Sunday, December 21, 2008

Winter solstice

So today was the shortest day in the year for those of us up here in the northern hemisphere, did anyone notice? The winter storms seem to be pretty bad in the states but the weather here is a nice cool 80 degrees here in Jamaica, I love this weather.

So what have y'all been up to? I went Christmas shopping yesterday and bought exactly one gift. I guess lots of family and friends this year will be disappointed as usual. I have a problem with buying gifts, if I don't know what someone wants or will appreciate they will end up getting nothing. That is much safer than buying them something that never gets used or thrown out.

Anyway is it just me or did Christmas skip Jamaica this year? Not many people have up the usual decorations and the traffic is not there. There isn't much Christmas music on the radio either, if it wasn't for my stash of Christmas mp3s it would just be like any other time of the year. One noticeable difference is the amount of people shopping at pricesmart though, that store is cleaning up this year.

This is a bit off subject but re the love life conversation started out in the comments. I am currently at a crossroads and the outcome may have long lasting effects, all I can say is stay tuned lol

Sunday, December 07, 2008

oh the pain..

  • Day 1 (Monday) there was a slight discomfort while eating lunch.
  • Day 2 there is no question about it, something wrong with my throat. There was also signs of a fever but I didn't have a thermometer to prove it.
  • Day 3 I woke up and decide to take a peep in the mirror and see what was going on. My left tonsil was the size of a golf ball. I tried to have breakfast, too painful. I threw up my white flag and decided it was time to go to the doctor.
There was too much to do at work that morning so it got pushed back. The afternoon was jam packed as well so it didn't happen either but for the last hour of the work day I made a trip up to the data center and had to stand up and I was dieing after 20 minutes, my entire body ached.

Day 4, I refused to go to work and suffer through another day so I stayed in a bit and went to the doctor. I'm in between doctors now, I haven't been able to find a doctor I like so I tried a new one. One letter, F. I don't like her. She was old, she had a thick African accent, I could actually read her hand writing and she tried to sweet talk me too much. She wrote me up for two days off work, gave me a prescription and I was out of there. I filled her prescription that contained vitamin C supplements, anti-histamine, antibiotics and 3 days worth of pain killers. I went home took my meds and nothing happened. Didn't feel any better, didn't feel drowsy and I was still miserable. When night came I walked across to the pharmacy showed them what the doctor gave me and asked them for some pain killers that will knock me out, enter Panadol PM. This always does the trick for me.. maybe coz I only take them every other year or so.

Day 5->6 the pain was still very much there and I can barely talk by this point in time. I am so drugged up that I have no problem staying home all day and doing nothing. The nights are even more terrible, I had a fever so bad that I woke up and was soaked like somebody threw a bucket of water on me. I figured that ice cream would help so I walked over to the supermarket and bought a carton of my fav (fyi Edy's butter pecan) but to my surprise my throat wasn't having it, something in the ice cream burns my throat and my gums are also sensitive now so the pecans and them not going to work out.

Day 7, Today, I woke up the left tonsil doesn't look as swollen as before but now my gums hurt even more. Today is the day to be sick, I was going up to the parents for lunch and my sister[specialized in internal medicine] was in town as well so I would see her as well. Of course she doesn't come to lunch by herself she brings along her bf(also a medical doctor) and her good friend(also a doctor). So when they started to talk to me and realize things were horribly wrong she went for a flashlight, took 1 look and was horrified. She called her panel of doctors and all of them were looking down my mouth and then went into a discussion on my current line of treatment. Three doctors trying to fix me for free, now that's what I call proper health care and they all agreed that the first doctor could have done a much better job with the drugs she prescribed.

I can still barely talk now but I am about to start this new set of antibiotics and painkillers my sister's friend prescribed for me. I have to go back to work tomorrow, hopefully this new line of treatment will fix the tonsillitis.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

it's still happening

Well the power company is still messing with me but I during my recent time off at home have noticed a trend. The voltage mainly spikes in the afternoon between 1 and 5pm. I don't know if I should even bother reporting the issue again, I just need to sit it out for a few more months and then I am outa here. In the mean time my refrigerator is spending so much time off that I am seeing around a 30% drop in my electricity bill. It doesn't seem to affect the food in there though so its a good thing I guess. This will make up for all the fuses I have been buying to fix my speakers.

Yes that many fuses + more have blown. Once I took up the camera I got trigger happy with the natural light and took some other photos of my ip power 9212 remote power and sensor boxes. A few years ago I hunted the internet high and low for them and placed my order at the first sign of them. I had grand visions of home automation with a computer sensing and controlling power around my apartment. They have yet to be used like so much of the other tech I have bought. I still have grand visions using x10 though.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

a time to catch up

Where does the time go? I took this week off to catch a breath and it's almost Thursday already! not to mention it's almost December.. but the year just started. I have observed that as I get older my perception of time speeds up. *sigh* I just googled it and apparently I am not the only one. I haven't read that article though, it looks pretty depressing for me to stop and read now, it will probably change the whole tone of this post. So what have I been up to? time to make another list

  • I got myself a 22" wide screen LCD for my computer and it's officially larger and much prettier than my 21" regular tv that I am now ignoring for several reasons. This larger monitor is great for editing photos and watching HD video :D
  • I went to the UWI to get information on their post graduate degrees. All the kids there look so young and it's only been 4 years since I've left that campus :-(. I am looking forward to going back to school again, it should be interesting trying to fit classes, exams and projects into my busy work schedule. yay!
  • I got a call from a guy in my section on Monday, he just came back from vacation and got his walking papers from our HOD. So my section now has 4 members.. I am not looking forward to that extra work. I like my work though, I hope they keep me.
  • It's all gravy. 11 months ago I made a resolution to spend more. I checked my finance app and I have spent a bit more than the same period last year but I am still way ahead of my end of year savings target.. so far ahead I can cut a check and pay for my post graduate degree in full and still be within my budget. I guess I can mark that down as a failed resolution.
  • I viewed a townhouse in New Kingston and an apartment in Kingston 8. I loved the location for the New Kingston place but the 18yo place left a lot to be desired in terms of maintenance, if a next real estate agent says bachelor pad I will know to lower my expectations. The uptown apartment was absolutely gorgeous! It's not in my ideal area[right in the middle of things] but I made an offer a little shy of the asking price, I hope I don't get it. I don't know whats wrong with me, I want to hold out until I can find the ideal place in the perfect area.
Let's hope I get some rest and post some more before I go back to the rat race.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Worked to death

I overnighted at Breezes Montego bay last week and I was a bit disappointed. This was my first time staying at an all inclusive hotel and after my 4 hour drive up the only thing I could get was a beef cheeseburger with fries or a hot dog? come on now. I got the food and went to the bar for a drink and was called over by one of the trainee managers who tried to pick me up to take pictures for her. I would have said that she had some big cojones to fraternize with the guests but it would seem all the staff was that way.

One thing I noticed at the outside bar was all the bees. I took a walk around the property and there was so many bees, apparently they were attracted to all the soda machines. You had to fight the bees to get to the machine and when I actually got a cup it was full of dead bee parts. The bees needed to chill from all the work, they were at a "luxury" resort. I did the same though, I dragged my ass out of bed at 11pm and drove to the middle of the city to put in a few hours of work. sux eh? my work patterns are so odd.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Power issues

JPS is messing with me. A couple of weeks ago I noticed that food came out of my microwave and it was still cold, my fridge guard was chipping out and the fuses started to blow in my speaker set. I found all this strange until one day I came home to my hot apartment to turn on the fan and it was barely spinning. I ran for my multimeter and it gave me 80 to 90v and it all started to make sense.

Since I am all about going green the term brown out has mostly lost its meaning since the florescent lights are either on or off and they don't get brown under a low voltage supply like I had been receiving. It still left the mystery as to why the 3amp fuses in my speakers where blowing but one day last weekend I plugged in my multimeter and caught jps giving me power at 150v sustained.

As far as I am concerned my supply voltage should be 115v +/-5v and anything else is unacceptable. 80 to 150v a deviation of 35v is enough to destroy anything worth having and that's what JPS has started to do. When the voltage got too low my DSL modem would drop out and I would lose internet service. On the flip side when the power was at 150v the 15v, 1amp, linear power supply primary coil burnt out.

Pretty much anything with an unfused coil facing jps faced certain doom as a second set of speakers in my bedroom died as well. That was the last straw, I took it apart as pictured to the left and cut off the dead transformer and fed the amplifier circuit with a rectified power supply I built 13 years ago(I'm so proud). This one has a significantly larger primary coil so it should withstand any further surges until I can find a suitably rated switched mode power supply for it as I have already done for my DSL modem. FYI if anybody actually read this far I majored in electronics for my undergrad degree.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Tastes like chicken?

What the hell is wrong with these lizards? I have no real problem living with them but they have crossed the line.

Saturday night I stepped into my kitchen and heard no end of commotion somewhere in the room. After some investigation I realized the lizard that normally lives under my fridge was in the garbage bag I placed on the ground pending the arrival of the garbage truck. It was eating my left overs so I quickly identified where it was in the bag and just stepped on it through the bag *splat*.

I thought that was the last of those buggers in my kitchen for now but some night later on this week I stepped into my kitchen to do the dishes and saw a single lone chicken bone in the middle of the counter, someone tried to help themself to a snack before I could clean up. Needless to say the lizard pictured above soon came into view as he tried to make his escape. Look at it, he is still licking his lips. I went for my camera and bug spray and now he is no more. Lizards be warned.

Sunday, October 05, 2008

back! but barely here

I think I promised my Mobay friend a picture from the last post.. so here it is! where does the time go? I have some many things to blog about but no time to update it, things have become so bad that I don't even have the time to go through the other blogs I normally read or to reply to my messages and friend requests on facebook.

What have I been up to then? Lets digress, the last time I was on a AA flight their in flight entertainment got me hooked on the big bang theory theory. I sat in the hotel that Monday and watched CBS' entire prime time comedy lineup and found the greatest thing next to sliced bread so when I came back to Jamaica I continued to follow their series. After missing a few episodes I did some googling and found I could download them via public torrents and the rest is history. I now have the full seasons of all the shows I liked but never had the time to watch downloaded. Is this illegal because I could have just watched them on my cable.. which is what is not happening now. Instead of watching the crappy quality How I Met Your Mother on my cable, I just download the episode the next day and watch it commercial free in wide screen format.

Now that I have hours of shows to watch on my computer I still don't have much time to watch them. I still probably just spend 30 minutes per day to watch an episode. So what else have I been doing with my time? I find that if I leave at 7:30am I can beat most of the traffic and reach work before 8 so I have been waking up and leaving early. I have also fought the urge of leaving at 4:30pm and started to stay at work until 6:30pm at which point there is pretty much no traffic on the road to go home. At the same time I come off as being a good employee and so much more work is getting done! What I need to start doing is waking up earlier and energized so I can go walking.. but one step at a time.

Enough chatter for now, I'll leave y'all with an interesting photo from that trip to Montego Bay. This photo was taken on the way back to town as I was passing through Ocho Rios. I am just going to assume that this is not really meant for the pedestrian crossing but for the dolphin park that should be somewhere near by. Yet again as per usual walking through the town all the locals thought I was a tourist and harrased me to no end. How does one look like a Jamaican? It shouldn't be that hard for me.. I born and grow here.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

postings from the couch

It is Thursday night and after 200+ km and a twisty turny trip though Sligoville I am now sitting on the couch not the guest bedroom as promised. What am I doing in Montego bay in the middle of the week? vaca, I needed it badly as Ruthie may have noticed. Being over here wasn't 'plan A' but the stars lined up right and I had to jump on it, the stars don't often line up for me.

Anyway for those who follow this blog you may have noticed last month my sister moved shop to Mobay and her parents followed her up here to help her get settled in. When they came back to Kingston and said they loved the townhouse complex that my sister moved to so much that they were going to buy one. Fast forwarding to this week they made the final payment and have now taken ownership of a unit. Will I ever be that cashy? I guess I will just stick to my window shopping for houses while I save my pennies.

So they decided to take a road trip to see their newly acquired property and coincidentally I was on leave this week so I could get to go(yes this is what I get when the stars line up). Of course my parents won't be moving to Montego Bay anytime soon so they just planned to rent it and use it as income since they are retired. This is a good plan but had a major flaw, they decided they will rent it to their daughter(for now) at less than 1/2 the going market rate. WTF! yup when the stars are lined up for my sister and actual ruler is used and I guess I get a best effort eyeballed 'straight' line scribbled by a kindergartener.

Pushing bad mind to the back burner these row houses are pretty sweet, they are up in the hills and have a view of the city and Mobay harbor. Crown molding, granite counters, double paned windows, these people know how to please. I hope the sun comes out tomorrow so I can go to the pool and bake myself to a cripsy brown lol. Maybe the stars will line up a cute girl for me by the poolside? lol wishful thinking.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Gusty Gustav

So many people including myself got tricked by tropical storm Gustav. At some point in time it shifted from passing north of Jamaica to passing over the dead center of our island. I knew about it but it seemed fairly disorganized for me to be that concerned about it so I went to work Thursday morning as usual. There wasn't much to do there so I was back home by 1pm and started to prepare for the storm.. yes, shame on me for waiting until then to prepare. I had enough tin food from last year so the only thing left was for me to collect some water and cover my stuff with plastic.

As the storm penetrated our little island I watched the news coverage on TV as people called in and reported fires on the power transmission poles, downed power lines and strong gusts of winds. I looked around and noticed I possibly subconsciously arranged what I now dub my 'MacGyver' survival kit on the edge of my pool table. These are items that have probably been all over my apartment for months but now a swiss army knife, 2 lighters, a paper clip, a serrated pocket knife and a $1 coin found them self together. I didn't have a flashlight but I had hundreds of little tea candles that would have provided me with continuous light for weeks if power went away. Was I really prepared?

One thing for sure work had me prepared (supposedly). Before I left work yesterday my boss gave me a so I can work from home if my dsl went or the dialup server died.. how thoughtful. When I reached home I pulled out my laptop and saw a flaw in their plan, my pcmia slot was broken(thats how I received my laptop from them). How could I have forgotten about that? anyway power never went away and I was glad. Everybody who called me told me they didn't have power or water. Up until I went to bed at 2am I had power, water, cable and internet service. I also noticed that there was about 2 feet of water on the main road that was now a river. That was very disturbing but I was high and mostly dry in the ghetto penthouse.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

The real parade

This float here was titled the Olympic dream and it was probably the most appropriate float in the parade given Jamaica's performance in the 100m sprints thus far, 2 golds, 2 silvers and lots of records broken/created. I don't need to get much further into this matter as I see pretty much every other Jamaican in the blog sphere has covered it already. We have nothing on China or Phelps winnings but as a small nation we have done pretty well for our self.

Enough olympics chit chat, it was now 2pm on Independence day and I was heading down to Halfway tree to see if I could catch the parade with real people in there.

This was quite the opposite of what I saw earlier in the morning, I thought the promoters where fluffing the numbers when they said 2000+ people would participate in the parade and they did not fail to deliver. It was baking out in the midday heat and yet still there were thousands of people lining the side of the road watching the parade.

They also mentioned a classic and sport car section of the parade. I am not quite sure what this has to do with Jamaica's independence but the people love them some classic cars. Can someone please explain how so many VW bugs made it to the parade? They may be classic but not classy enough to be parade worthy. There was also an unmodified 3000GT in the line up, really now.. maybe I could have entered my civic Vi-RS into the parade as well since they taking every Tom Dick and Harry. At the end of the parade there was also around 30+ bikers on sports bikes just revving their engines. I was at a lost as to their significance in this parade. I guess the promoters where trying to ensure they captured every ones attention. Bikers always seem like a trip to the ER waiting to happen to me.

I think the people in costume depicting various aspects of Jamaican history was the best part of the parade. Those man/donkey people took the cake. Do you see the guy with the Hasselblad camera roaming the streets? maybe not, the picture is too small, but he is the camera guy right behind the red gold and green flag man, if you took a peep over at their website their low budget camera starts at $18,000.. lets just leave it at that.

Then there was the passa passa float that you might have seen from my last post and in true passa passa road side pool party style they had the blow up pool and girls in it. Passa passa seems to have really taken off internationally, to di werl' in true Jamaican style, so I guess it does have some place in the parade. Thanks TG.

The parade had passed, I was sweaty, my memory card was full so I was just following the crowd trying to make my way back to where I parked when I saw a bunch of people looking up and taking pictures. It was Bruce(PM) and his team perched up in a building across from the clock tower. Nice parade Bruce and Olivia, I would have toned it down a bit and spent the countries money on infrastructure improvement though. *clicks tongue*

Independence day '08

This was a few weeks ago on August 6th, so yah I know I'm a bit late but as usual I have been bogged down with other things. Tropical storm Fay passed by Jamaica this weekend leaving me in my house with lots of time to edit photos so you can thank her for this post.

Anyway for Independence day I heard there was supposed to be a few street parades. The first one started at 10am just down the road from me so I saddled up and went down to TGIF to see a handful of people also waiting for the "parade" to start. First of all, as expected, they started in Jamaican time which means for us punctual people we had to wait an hour before the first float started to move, we all sat there wondering if we came late and missed the parade. The next issue was the missing music and the missing people. When the floats started to move they were empty and there was no music. I'll let the photos show how lame the first parade was.

After I had seen enough and was about to leave a guy stopped me and gave me his story. He just came back to Jamaica, was waiting on the barber to open, didn't know anything of a parade hence left his camera at home and would like me to email him the pictures. I found it odd for him to give me such a detailed story but as you can tell from my previous posts I think it's pretty much a given for people to stop me about some photography issue whenever I venture out into public with my camera these days. So guy, I apologize for the delay but here is the first set of the photos.

One thing to note. If you look carefully at the make a joyful noise float you can clearly see that it is church themed. What blows my mind is the back section with the ghost looking wacky waiving inflatable arm flailing tube man that is surrounded by white rum bottles pouring into the float. Bad sponsorship.. float faux paux.

Stay tuned I already have the pictures ready from the real parade later on that day for my next post that should be ready shortly.