30 September 2004

A bit cryptic this one...

Well, this has been a pretty weird week. The *big* thing that happened this week has caused me to seriously think about where I'm going to be and what the hell I'm going to be doing in the near future... coz I sure as hell don't have a freaking clue at the moment. Some people would think 'dude, you're ok - nothing happened to you', but that's just it - now I don't know when it will happen. I know I can't believe anyone's promises to the contrary, because they seem to have very little control over the situation anyway. Am I being cryptic enough yet? Some people reading this would know what I'm talking about... I just want to get up, walk away, and not come back.

Apart from that, I've had Avis contact me today and say that because I haven't submitted a copy of my US license yet that I'm going to have to return the car tomorrow. Thus they completely ignored my e-mail days and days ago when I said I won't be getting a copy to them in time because I only just received my social security card (I received it late... probably because of the FREAKING HURRICANES???), and the earliest time I could book in a license exam was early October. So, I sent them the exact same e-mail I sent last time. I ain't returning the car. Sheesh, some people have been here for a LOT longer than I have and they haven't even made any attempt to get a license yet!!! Legally I'm obliged to drive on my Australian license for 6 months anyway.

On top of that, I was told if I didn't return a certain form then I'd get my overseas adjustment payments cut off. I was told at the start I didn't have to fill out that form. Maybe I'm on the wrong list somewhere. What gives? Is someone just trying to piss me off?

Other than that? Heck, I dunno. I just ordered 4 books from Amazon: Chain of Command, The second world war, The first world war AND A daily show book, because God damn, I love the Daily Show.

Has anyone ever noticed that when Dave Chappelle tries to look like a white man, he looks a bit like Dave Grohl?

27 September 2004

Another weekend, another hurricane

I'm completely and utterly exhausted. God knows how I'd be if I actually *lived* here. It seems that just about every weekend a damn hurricane hits Florida and it's back to the bunker. What ever happened with hurricanes hitting *during* the week?

Hats off to the Power for winning the grand final on the weekend. I know a few bogans who would be pleased with the result. I was actually watching it live with a few Aussie mates in an English pub on Friday night. We were trying to explain the rules to a few other American people in the pub. They thought it was pretty cool how free flowing the game was and how there was a bit of biffo every now and then. I hear that there was just as big a celebration in Adelaide as when the Crows won a few years back so that is good. I saw little Johnny in the crowd at one point and said "look, there's our PM!" The Americans couldn't pick him out - he sorta blended in with the crowd. One thing I couldn't explain to the Americans there was the pre-game entertainment. I know the people who organised this were probably taking the piss out of footy, but I found it hard to explain the following to the Americans in the bar: a bunch of gay-looking guys wearing AFL uniforms; a slew of Human Nature wannabes (c'mon guys, aim higher than that); Kath and Kim; and of course Guy Sebastian.

I actually went to see a baseball game last week, and that was pretty cool. It was the Marlins vs the Phillies and the Marlins went down 2-4. I nearly got the opportunity to catch one of the balls that the outfielders threw into the crowd. It landed a couple of rows in front of mine. I've got some pictures from it that I took with my camera so I'll have to get my butt into gear and post them. It wasn't a packed stadium but it was still a great atmosphere and I could see how people would get hooked on it.

I've fallen in love... with my camera. I've been pretty much non-stop taking pictures with it and annoying the heck out of a lot of people. I love the fact that I can turn it on and instantly take a picture. When I press the damn shutter release button, a picture gets taken, just like a film SLR. I don't have to wait and completely miss the shot. There's nothing really to look at yet picture-wise coz they're all test pictures with varying apertures and exposure times and so forth. I have decided though that I do need a zoom lens however, and the Nikon 80-200mm f/2.8D ED AF Zoom-Nikkor fits the bill perfectly I think. I've seen it advertised for 1/2 the price these days, thank God. But of course, this is one of those 'lofty dream' things I always have. Give me some time and I'll probably settle for something more reasonable... or I might not. Heh. I need to take some photography lessons at some point too. I've found this site to be quite handy for photography stuff so far.

Ok, got a farewell lunch to go to. Check yaaaaa.

23 September 2004

Settle down dude

Whoa! I'm in a sleep deprived state of mind at the moment. Another hurricane is heading this way (apparently), which I don't really give a damn about anymore. A group of women in their mid thirties are in the aisle next to my cube giggling about what singles bars are good. I'm trying to listen in but I'm just so spaced out at the moment I can't really understand what they're saying. I've been advised that taking Melatonin for a couple of weeks could help me out a little with this sleep problem. Oh God, they're getting really loud now. A guy has joined the group. I bet he thinks he's the bomb. Hats off buddy, and whatever.

Last night could have been a good night of sleep... if not for the guy who was up at 7am using a BLOODY CHAINSAW! I tell you what, bugger the Texas chainsaw massacre - there would have been one in Florida if he kept it up. Then there was the annoying 'tap tap tap' of hammers after that, like that drip drip drip into the sink of a leaking tap that you can never really bother to go stop but which keeps you up for hours.

Hmmm, I glanced over at my previous post. I was a bit angry yesterday...

22 September 2004

American media is pathetic - a rant

This has been really, really bothering me lately. I am getting sooooo pissed off with the two completely and utterly different worlds that exist in America. I believe that the American media can be given a huge pat on the back for most of this. I thought Australia was getting a little bad, but over here it's ridiculous.

I cannot believe how censored the media is over here. Every swear word, no matter how tame it is, is "beeped" out. I watch a few shows on the comedy channel where the sound channel is nearly a constant "beeeeeeep". There is no blood shown of incidents for where there should be lots of blood. They're very careful not to show that because that would indicate, heaven forbid, that someone could have died. Most importantly, no-one seems to be pointing out enough that Iraq never had any weapons of mass destruction... which is the whole reason why innocent civilians and Americans over in Iraq are getting killed right now, isn't it? Where is the media asking the hard questions to get the people thinking? Why has president Bush got such a high approval rating at the moment (47%)? Are these people who make up the 47% doing their research? Are they really analysing why Iraq was invaded? They were lied to!!! The Bush administration itself says they were "misinformed" (or so they would like us to believe). That's a big f%$ken cock-up. Now they've got a hell of a mess to clean up. But take a step back and look at the situation: they went and invaded another country WITHOUT APPROVAL FROM THE UN. These people in Iraq didn't pose a threat to them. North Korea poses more of a threat by saying "look here - we have nuclear weapons!" but they're silently ignored. American has killed thousands and thousands of innocent people in Iraq and they've gotten themselves killed in the process. Do the people back in America realise this? Do they really believe that by being in America they're doing the right thing? Do they really believe the bullshit that Bush is saying? Sure, some would believe that ousting Saddam Hussein was a good thing. Was it America's right to go and do that? They have replaced him with a US puppet. A lot of people are pissed off because these Americans have come and invaded Iraq, because they don't believe America's reasons either and they want the US to get the f*$# out of their country. Howard decided to support the US because they're big and powerful and if in the future Indonesia or someone opposed to us decided to attack Australia then we could say "hey we helped you in Iraq, remember? ... help us". Oh, and then there is that free trade agreement thingo too. It's just a big game of chess.

So where does this 47% approval rating come from? I think it's partly because Kerry doesn't seem like the best alternative either. I wish there was an Al Gore there or another Clinton. Kerry seems smart - but anyone would be against Bush. Kerry seems to lack a really big spine. I dunno - I get a feeling that if there was someone like Clinton going for President then the 47% would be a lot, lot lower. I think the general feeling over here is that most people are opposed to Bush, but they're not too fanciful of Kerry either, so they say "well, maybe Bush will realise his mistakes and make some changes..." yeah, right. Don't give a nitwit like that another chance to f$^k up the world for another four years. People don't generally perceive you as being that great anymore, America.

Which gets me back to the point of media censorship. Continually there is news that people are getting killed by some terrorist. There is news that more Americans are getting killed over in Iraq. Well, all that translates to over here is a concerned looking news presenter with censored images playing in the background. SHOW THE REALITY! People die from this sort of stuff! If people see what is really happening - pictures of corpses, limbs, everything, they're going to make more informed decisions because they've been given a dose of reality. They're going to think "gee, war is a really bad thing. It should probably only be used as a very last resort" NO FRICKEN DA! The war in Iraq was not America's business. It is the business of GREED. America made the middle east their business, so some extremists made America their business.

I dunno, I'm pretty fired up about a lot of stuff here. It's my blog, my opinion, but I just had to get it out there. I'm getting so frustrated that not enough information is getting out to the general people, and it's the media who should be doing that. Everything seems so corrupt. Everything IS so corrupt.

I HOPE people choose Kerry for president. He's not the most enticing candidate but he's the only one who isn't Bush. Bush and his administration are very, very dangerous people. America should realise this.

Down here in south Florida there are a lot of rappers who are trying to get this exact point out. They are trying to get people to "slam bush" and are having anti-bush demonstrations and urging people to vote, and vote against Bush (as far as I've heard, it's all anti-Bush). There is a debate coming to Miami University between Kerry and Bush at the end of this month. I'd love to try and get to see that... we'll see.

signing off for now. I'm tired.

A sad day

This is probably the one thing that makes being on the other side of the world really suck. My mum called up this morning to say that our family's cat had died. His lungs had filled with fluid, the vet thinks this may have been due to cancer, so it was decided that he had to be put down to save him from any more pain. Up until the last couple of weeks he was still being the larrikin cat he's always been, but his condition deteriorated rapidly.

He was a charger of a cat and had a real personality - much more than some people I've met in my lifetime. He outlived a lot of other cats by nearly making it to 15 years old. Some people may think "dude, it's only a cat, get over it" but it's the memories I associate with him that make it all the more painful. I'm very big on memories and I get extremely attached to things, so I spent the whole day reminiscing about the time from when we first got him (when I was in primary school for crying out loud) up to this point. I just wish I could've said a last goodbye to him before he went.

He was a cat model I reckon. If he hadn't been neutered all the girl cats would have been forming lines blocks long for a chance to see him, and I would have had to tell them to just leave the poor guy alone for a few minutes.

RIP, and thanks for the memories...

20 September 2004

No Internet

Heck, what a weekend. I've got a bit of a headache today (very unusual for me to get one unless I'm listening to an annoying person) and I actually didn't do much to cause it... honestly. The good thing is that I did receive most of my stuff on Friday. Yes, I finally have a digital camera! Problem is I didn't receive a memory card in the time frame promised by Amazon so I couldn't do anything with it anyway. The instruction manual looks nice though. I also received some Event TR5 monitor speakers for music production stuff. For the moment though they're doing a fine job of being a part of my improvised stereo system until I actually have the equipment/skills to use them for their intended purpose.

I'm currently being hassled by Avis reminding me that I've been here for 50 days and they still haven't received my driver's license details. I only *just* received my social security number. Well, considering it took a while to have me entered into the system for some reason (approx. 3.5 weeks) and then processing delays (it took 3 weeks for me to get my SSN - we had something called hurricanes?) that brings me up to about this date. I've got a booking for a license test this Tuesday anyway. Cool, I'll have a Florida driver's license (assuming I pass the test :-)

Now to the title of this post, I think I fried my network card in my computer on the weekend. Maybe I was downloading too much stuff? They probably don't like the fact that I'd have around 5 Gigs of virtual instruments on the download queue. Whatever the case, I'm going to find it a bit harder to update this site until I figure out what the heck's gone on. Actually, that's a big fat lie. The more furiously I work the more often I update the blog because I actually *need* to take a break. So now you'll know if I'm working hard or not...

I'm also thinking of getting some home contents insurance over here, I've got a lot of $$$ invested in the stuff I've bought over here already. I'd be a broken, dribbling mess if I lost that.

Oh, I won't be answering any phone call or replying to any SMS to my Aussie number until I get back from the US. The reason? I went a bit crazy calling people when I first got over here, knowing that it would cost me a lot but making the calls anyway. Now I have a very expensive phone bill from the Telstra bloodsuckers. I should have grabbed one of the fairly cheap phone cards over here to make my calls... stupid me.

Nerdy site of the day: http://www.physorg.com/

17 September 2004


I don't know what the freaking hell is wrong with me (there are probably some people who could give some suggestions... wisearses) but lately I seem not to be able to get to sleep. I've been lying in bed for the last couple of hours trying to get to get some shut-eye but it seems impossible. My mind continues to race. I get up for a bit and play a few chords on guitar, and then I end up wishing I had my piano. Next I'm listening to some songs on my ipod, sampling anything from Rachmaninoff to Roxette to Rammstein. I'm freaking jumping around my apartment like the people in the iPod ads (except to Rach - can't really jump around to classical... at least I haven't yet figured out a way to yet). Why is this? Is it because the succulent, sumptuous, salivacious (???) pork ribs over here are just so good? Is it because the amount of fat in the food I'm eating is much more than it would be over in Oz? But hey - it's all "low carbs"... yeah, whatever that actually means. Take the stairs every once in a while instead of the lift pilgrims. Maybe it's not the food. Maybe it's the humidity. Maybe it's the fact that the air conditioning isn't working properly at work and I'm so bloody cold I have to wear a jacket. Then I get outside and instantly I'm covered in water from condensation. Maybe the sudden changes in temperature are causing the meninge of my brain to expand and contract weirdly which could somehow adversely affect the sleeping centres of my brain, if they're located on the periphery of the brain... which they probably aren't... wtf am I talking about now???

Maybe I can't get to sleep coz I'm looking forward to Christmas tomorrow (or rather, later on today). I ordered a bunch of stuff online on Monday, and I should be receiving it soon. Not getting the stuff instantly gives me time to get over the buyer's remorse so when it finally does arrive I'm as happy as Larry.

I've taken on a promise to myself to not rely on other people as much as I used to. On several occasions now I've changed plans to wait for people who in the end never call to say they'll be late or not even coming. Bastards. That really, really pi$$es me off. Screw 'em, I'll make my plans without them.

And... how the heck do venus fly traps work? And why am I asking that question when I'm not even drunk? People answer that by saying 'the doomed insect stimulates the cilia-like hairs which causes the trap to shut'. That ain't enough I'm sorry. I think I concluded last time by saying that the stimulation of the hair may cause a cell laden with a saltier-than-normal substance to release said substance. It could also be less saltier than normal too I guess. Through osmosis and some sort of cascade effect enough water gets moved around which causes the trap to shut. That's probably utter B.S. and I should really do some reading to find the true answer. Maybe then I could sleep...

15 September 2004

More pics pics pics

Quick update: I've put up some of the pics from the Keys and some stuff from hurricane Frances. There ain't a heck of a lot there (I think I've got more somewhere...), and I couldn't think of any decent comments for some of them, but hey you're reading this so you've obviously got nothing better to do anyway. Knock yerself out, yeeharrr! The Keys, Hurricane Frances

What - you want more? Ok. I've uploaded some movies to my Ozemail account. I've got two from the time I saw the booty shaking at the Clevelander in Miami's South Beach. The other one is from the visit to the Everglades. All of them don't have sound, sorry. For the Clevelander movies, put some RnB music on. For the Everglades movie, put your lips together and blow. Add a "whoa!" at the end when you see the camera shaking a bit (that's me trying to hold onto the camera). The movies are in Quicktime format so you'll need the player from Apple to view them. Also, if you can't download the movies that's probably because Ozemail have reached their download limit for the day. This is probably not much more than the 10MB space limit they give me. Cheap bastards. Try downloading them again another day.

Clevelander 1 - disabled
Clevelander 2 - disabled
Everglades - disabled

Sinking feeling

I don't know why, but every place I want to go to or have been to in this part of the US seems to get hit by a hurricane. Orlando (Disney World) got hit a week before we went. Palm Beach got hit by Frances just last week. Jamaica got pummeled and now Ivan, not content with killing 60 odd people in the Caribbean, has somehow sneaked into the Gulf of Mexico and is poised to hit New Orleans. Of course that's what everyone at work is talking about at the moment. I was reading this story this morning and that picture of traffic looks all too familiar. Apart from reading that article I was also reading the latest advisory on Ivan which I've got an excerpt from here:



That is a HUGE hurricane! It's much bigger and potentially much more destructive than Frances was and the worst part of it looks to hit New Orleans. Wow wow wow. In Australia I'm used to cold fronts as the worst sort of weather, and that's it. In the southern parts of Oz we're only really affected by slow droughts and quick bushfires (mostly lit by wankerchop fire bugs). This is just a completely other type of natural disaster that has me fascinated. Heaven forbid I was thinking of visiting Kansas - now they're going to get tornadoes. It just amazes me how much the US gets hit by these natural disasters. Oh, add another tropical storm/hurricane to the list: Jeanne may hit the east coast of Florida. It seems to be heading pretty much in the same direction that Frances was. Is someone playing Sim City with the US? Now all I'm waiting for is a monster attack and then I'm out of here!

13 September 2004

A stupid weekend

If anyone asked me what I did on the weekend, I'd have to be given some time to think about that. I sure as hell know what I felt - incredibly pissed off. In fact, I haven't been that angry in a long time. Long story short, someone was supposed to catch a flight out on Saturday and we couldn't find them anywhere as we were going to drive them to the airport. I spent 5 hours trying to locate this person and nearly got to the point of calling local hospitals. The hotel didn't know where the person was - they were supposed to check out but hadn't changed their hotel booking. At 8:30pm Saturday night, just as I was about to drive to work to attempt to find out flight details, the person showed up. They'd changed their flights till the next day and had spent the afternoon having fun in South Beach. The person didn't let us know this because they didn't want to wake us up. F$#K OFF! That has to be the lamest excuse I've ever heard and when they told me that that I got in my car and sped off back to my apartment. I tried to spin the wheels but an Oldsmobile Alero is too gutless for that. I was just so angry I couldn't actually say anything. Not only did that incident stuff up my whole Saturday afternoon it also stuffed up my whole Saturday night. I was planning on going out and meeting some people in South Beach but of course that didn't happen because it was too late to get ready and head off to Miami. Yeah, I'm still pretty angry about that.

Sunday was a much better day. I went swimming at Ft Lauderdale and was thinking how nice it would be to have a hammock. There was a guy later on who'd obviously had that idea before and had set up a hammock between two palm trees. What I saw next was just plain cool - he had a pet squirrel on a leash! I sat there watching the squirrel run around for a little while. I wish I had a camera with me at the time.

Talking about things on leashes, in downtown Ft Lauderdale the previous night I saw a couple walking around. They looked like a pretty normal couple until I noticed that the guy was holding a leash... that was attached to a collar around the woman's neck. I'd heard that Key West (notorious for that sort of stuff) had been evacuated due to Hurricane Ivan (which will miss this part of Florida by a long shot) so that couple must have taken up temporary residence in Ft Lauderdale. Yerrrrr...

11 September 2004

Time to get the hell out of dodge

Nobody really knows where hurricane Ivan is going to hit. Whatever the case, we'll probably feel some of the effects here. I and a cow-orker are contemplating getting out of Florida for the weekend through to early next week and heading to somewhere like... ooh New York. A few reasons for this:

1) It's far enough up North that the hurricane couldn't hit us there.
2) It would be cheaper flying North than West (so we've been told), also taking into account the considerable costs in getting a ticket at such short notice.
3) It's New York.
4) Due to the emergency situation, the company will pay for all costs (within reason - it may turn out that New York is too far - or too wishful thinking).
5) The Sheraton that I was going to shack up in for the weekend has recently had an influx of what I would call 'questionable' people. Ok, they're here to fix up things that have been damaged from the previous hurricane and their company has provided them with accommodation. Normally it wouldn't worry me at all. There are, however, over 100 of them. They will be locked down like the rest of us in the hotel for the whole weekend and they'll probably have copious supplies of alcohol (hell, we did for the last one). Yes it's cliched and you may think I'm being pretentious, but I don't give a shit what anyone else thinks at the moment. I'm not going to take the risk of being in the same hotel with them. They're snorting and belching already and I feel like I've already been sized up. I just wouldn't feel safe staying there.
6) The other choice of course is my apartment here, but if a hurricane did hit I am on the top floor and on the corner. That's practically one of the most exposed apartments possible. Plus, there is no backup power here.

So, I'm in for another interesting weekend. I'm curious to see how this one pans out.

P.S. Oh and Mum, don't worry :-)

09 September 2004

Potentially another hurricane to deal with

This is unbelievable. This link *should* spin you off to a saved image of the predicted track of hurricane Ivan. I've marked a red cross indicating my approximate location. If the image link doesn't work, this site has the latest updates on the hurricanes that may be threatening the region.

Ivan is currently a category 5 hurricane (the worst you can get) with wind speeds up to 165 mph (~260 kph). That is bloody fast. I was reading up on hurricanes and I think the worst winds recorded have been 200 mph (320 kph) so Ivan has a way to go yet. If the hurricane continues on that predicted track then it could be worse than Frances was. I was lucky with Frances because I was on the south-western side of it. Plus, I was a little south of where most of the damage was. *I think* the north-eastern side is typically the worst in anti-clockwise hurricanes/cyclones, and it looks like it may be that side that hits here. We'll see what happens.

I just received a funny e-mail about hurricane preparation in Florida:

Subject: Notice to Florida Homeowners regarding Hurricanes

Notice to Florida Homeowners

You are about to enter the peak of the hurricane season. Any day now, you're going to turn on the TV and see a weather person pointing to some radar blob out in the Gulf of Mexico and making two basic meteorological points:

1. There is no need to panic.
2. We could all be killed.

Yes, hurricane season is an exciting time to be in Florida. If you are new to the area, you're probably wondering what you need to do to prepare for the possibility that we'll get hit by "the big one". Based on our experiences, we recommend that you follow this simple three-step hurricane preparedness plan:

STEP 1. - Buy enough food and bottled water to last your family for at least three days.
STEP 2. - Put these supplies into your car.
STEP 3. - Drive to Nebraska and remain there until Halloween.

Unfortunately, statistics show that most people will not follow this sensible plan. Most people will foolishly stay here in Florida. We'll start with one of the most important hurricane preparedness items:

If you own a home, you must have hurricane insurance. Fortunately, this insurance is cheap and easy to get, as long as your home meets two basic requirements:
1. It is reasonably well-built
2. It is located in Nebraska.

Unfortunately, if your home is located in Florida, or any other area that might actually be hit by a hurricane, most insurance companies would prefer not to sell you hurricane insurance, because then they might be required to pay YOU money, and that is certainly not why they got into the insurance business in the first place. So you'll have to scrounge around for an insurance company, which will charge you an annual premium roughly equal to the replacement value of your house. At any moment, this company can drop you like used dental floss. Since Hurricane George, I have had an estimated 27 different home-insurance companies. This week, I'm covered by the Bob and Big Stan Insurance Company, under a policy which states that, in addition to my premium, Bob and Big Stan are entitled, on demand, to my kidneys.

Your house should have hurricane shutters on all the windows, all the doors, and -- if it's a major hurricane -- all the toilets. There are several types of shutters, with advantages and disadvantages:

Plywood shutters:
The advantage is that, because you make them yourself, they're cheap. The disadvantage is that, because you make them yourself, they will fall off.

Sheet-metal shutters:
The advantage is that these work well, once you get them all up. The disadvantage is that once you get them all up, your hands will be bleeding stumps, and it will be December.

Roll-down shutters:
The advantages are that they're very easy to use, and will definitely protect your house. The disadvantage is that you will have to sell your house to pay for them.

"Hurricane-proof'' windows:
These are the newest wrinkle in hurricane protection: They look like ordinary windows, but they can withstand hurricane winds! You can be sure of this, because the
salesman says so. He lives in Nebraska.

"Hurricane Proofing" Your Property:
As the hurricane approaches, check your yard for movable objects like barbecue grills, planters, patio furniture, visiting relatives, etc. You should, as a precaution, throw these items into your swimming pool (if you don't have a swimming pool, you should have one built immediately). Otherwise, the hurricane winds will turn these objects into deadly missiles.

If you live in a low-lying area, you should have an evacuation route planned out. (To determine whether you live in a low-lying area, look at your driver's license; if it says ``Florida," you live in a low-lying area.) The purpose of having an evacuation route is to avoid being trapped in your home when a major storm hits. Instead, you will be trapped in a gigantic traffic jam several miles from your home, along with two hundred thousand other evacuees. So, as a bonus, you will not be lonely.

If you don't evacuate, you will need a mess of supplies. Do not buy them now! Florida
tradition requires that you wait until the last possible minute, then go to the supermarket and get into vicious fights with strangers over who gets the last can of SPAM. In addition it is best to leave your cars gas tank on Empty. And plan to fill it after the storm. In addition to food and water, you will need the following supplies:

1. 23 flashlights - At least $167 worth of batteries that turn out, when the power goes off, to be the wrong size for the flashlights.

2. Bleach - (No, I don't know what the bleach is for. NOBODY knows what the bleach is for, but it's traditional, so GET some)

3. A 55-gallon drum of underarm deodorant.

4. A big knife that you can strap to your leg. (This will be useless in a hurricane, but it looks cool.)

5. An Assault rifle. (This will be used to fight off the looting mobs afterwards!)

6. A large quantity of raw chicken, to placate the alligators. (Ask anybody who went through Camille; after the hurricane, there WILL be irate alligators.)

7. $35,000 in cash or diamonds so that, after the hurricane passes, you can buy a generator from a man with no discernible teeth.

Of course these are just basic precautions. As the hurricane draws near, it is vitally important that you keep abreast of the situation by turning on your television and watching TV reporters in rain slickers stand right next to the ocean and tell you over and over how vitally important it is for everybody to stay inside.

Good luck, and remember: It's great living in Paradise!

Heh, all so true.

I've finally swung around to thinking in US dollars and an Eastern US timezone. Hence, you may notice that the posts have all been reset to more reasonable times since I changed the settings for my blog (i.e. not Adelaide timezone anymore). With that little bit of info I'm sure you'll sleep well tonight.

Well, I reckon I might go study some hurricane/cyclone theory now. I'm such a freakin' nerd.

Disney World pics are up

I've only got a few of them uploaded. For some reason I've become really picky with pictures lately and a lot of the ones that were taken just don't cut it. I had to put some up from Disney World though, so you can find them here. There are a few other pics from Miami Zoo that I haven't put up, and probably won't put up. I mean, if you want to see a giraffe, go to the zoo.

I should really try and get to bed *before* 12 for once...

07 September 2004

Thank god for (insert your favourite mp3 player here)

If you have one, I guess that is. I'm amazed it took me this long to get one. I gots me a new 40GB iPod yesterday and I friggen love it. I've been walking around everywhere listening to my music collection, probably looking like a bit of a wankerchop, but oh well. I also realised how disorganised my mp3 collection was. A lot of the mp3 tags are all screwed up and iTunes reorganised the directory structure... shit. Now I don't know where a lot of my music is hidden. I've half filled my iPod already and have currently around 4000 songs to choose from. Would you believe *most* of them are actually legit? I forgot some of the music I had, which was probably a good thing. I think my mind was actually protecting me in some way by doing that. Ooh - INXS is playing. Gotta love that shuffle function :-)

Whilst I was couped up in the Sheraton hotel on the weekend I got the opportunity to meet a few new people. A couple of them were from Jamaica, and hearing them say "three" as "tree" and "theatre" as "tear-ter" cracked me up mun. I hope to catch up with them when/if I go to Jamaica, or at least I could get some good advice on where to go.

Ooh - "Run Away" by the Real McCoy is playing. Ahh the memories...

05 September 2004

I'm a-ok.

G'day everyone. I'm safe and well! I just arrived back from the hotel to find my apartment still intact. There isn't a huge amount of damage around the place - a few downed trees here and there but in my neck of the woods we seem to have gotten off pretty lightly. I didn't even lose power at my apartment. I'll be writing some more stuff later - I have to get ready to go out now :-)

04 September 2004

The calm before the storm... or not?

I need to see something happen here. My mind normally races at a million miles an hour, and I have some mechanisms built in place to filter out a lot of the crap that could come out. I do it for all you lovely people out there. If I didn't of course, you probably wouldn't be reading this because you probably would write me off as being 'a bit of a weird wanker'. But, my mind is racing and I have nothing to occupy it with. I'm turning into a freaking psycho here. I'm going to turn into one of the performers at Key West, sprouting out mis-guided gibberish at harmless tourists passing by for measly tips.

As you may or may not have guessed, I'm running on alcohol at the moment. It's nearly 1 am in the morning. Hurricane Frances has decided to park its flossy butt about 150 miles east of where I am. Not only that, it's decided to turn into a bit of a wuss by downgrading itself to a category 2 hurricane. I don't know what is going on with this hurricane, I ain't used to them, but it seems the local weather presenters over here don't have a clue of what's going on either. Not even the guy on channel 7 who wears the pin-stripe suit and as far as I can tell, has not mispronounced a word so far, knows what the dickens is going on. It seemed like when it was first approaching the Florida coast that Frances' vengence would be swift and harsh. Now it's crawling along at 6 miles per hour and it's wreaking havoc on the Bahamas. That's pretty bad because the infrastructure in the Bahamas for this sort of thing is pretty crap, according to one of my civil engineer friends over here who frequents the place.

I think I would speak for a lot of people when I say that impatience is growing. Everyone is waiting for something to happen. 2.5 million people have evacuated Florida because of Frances. By now it was supposed to be half way over Florida, but the bugger has decided to be a prick and taunt us. Do nothing or do something Frances! Leave the Bahamas alone. Come and pick on someone your own size (reality check - it is as big as Florida state).

We can't go outside. All the shops are shut for tomorrow and probably the next day and the next day after that. People want to return to their homes. People want to get out of their shelters. Personally, I can't keep on drinking - do you know how expensive drinks are in a Sheraton hotel?

It's now or never Frances. If you're going to do something, do it now. If you're not, stop prancing around and get the f out of here.

02 September 2004

Hurricane Frances

This thing is bloody HUGE with a 185 mile radius, which is quite unbelieveable. Coverage on this hurricane is on every channel there is, and at work yesterday the *only* thing I heard people talking about was the hurricane - where they were going to get enough wood to shore up their houses, making sure they had enough supplies, where their evacuation zones were. Theoretically, I should be at work today. However, the office has been closed down for today and possibly tomorrow. Given that it's also the labor day weekend over here, that's 5 days I've potentially got off. I have to find some good reading material I think...

I know that if it does hit this far south, which seems like a possibility, then I sure as hell ain't staying in my apartment. I'm on the top floor (number 4) and am located right on the corner. I'm practically in the most exposed position you could get. Yes, there will be shutters being put up and yes the glass is shatter proof but I don't know how much safer that really makes me feel up here. So, I'm going to shack up in a hotel with some friends for the weekend. Plus, they've got back-up power generators there (I haven't heard about any for here yet) so that'd be handy for keeping up to date on stuff.

I've bought enough supplies to keep me going for a few days. That's about half a supermarket, but hey. No really, I do have to go buy some more though.

Well, I'd better get going and sort some stuff out. I'll see if I can fit in another update post before too long. Meanwhile, you can go check out this site for an image loop, and this site for an update on the expected path of Hurricane Frances (click on the link called 'maps and charts').