Archive for ‘Wii’

March 17, 2008

When good news goes bad.

As we slogged through the morass of tepid news stories today I had pause to ponder on the nature of what we consider news. Too often it seems that we view stories as fodder to fill a half hour rather than worrying too much about the quality or even, heaven help us, the freshness of stories. This phenomenon is especially acute on weekends when our newsroom is pressed for staff and the stories available are not what I would politely call – earthshaking.

Even at the best of times in a small country such as this where most stations run on shoestring budgets the news is usually 80% based on press conferences and what government is ostensibly doing. Because of the constraints and the rather tricky libel and slander laws these stories usually are what passes for news. In a larger, more developed country there is the chance to do investigative pieces, hurl innuendoes around with gay abandon and generally find a wider palette with which to work but here we are rather stuck within a fairly rigid framework. This is not the happiest state and we certainly try to put in the odd bit about HIV or other topical subjects but there are only so many around. I would also suggest that the in-depth sort of look at a subject is generally not what the public wants. Based on newspaper sales and general feedback it would seem viewers want who was killed, who is heading to jail and what politician is in the doghouse.

If we look at the recent attempts by government/Caribbean Airlines to purchase a private jet which by all accounts will cost a ton of money and be primarily used for the benefit of the emperor apparent the limitations of our abilities as an industry become painfully clear. The reports in all media are primarily based on what the government/CA says and what the opposition says. Government speaks of the matter almost exclusively on on official platforms and any attempts to ask pertinent questions about the cost/benefit analysis of the purchase are brushed off as being “confidential” business matters. The fact that the purchase is costing taxpayers  a figure North of $400 million plus we still have to pay to book the silly thing are mere piffles apparently. The latest news indicates the deal with Bombardier may be scrapped in favour of leasing a jet..who knows what will go on with that deal? There is no point in even discussing the strange explanation that we were paying $10 million US more for the jet because someone else wanted it – sort of like a Wii on eBay at Xmas time I guess. Apparently with the US economy in a downhill slalom there are still dedicated buyers who will pay millions more for a jet from what is , it seems, the only executive jet manufacturer on the planet ( it seems Learjets and Gulfstreams are passe).

Back to the news in general. When filling 30 minutes of news time it is sometimes a matter of just finding things to supplement the actual news that rears its head on that day. Generally speaking the important stories go in the bit before the first commercial that we call the “first section” and the other “stuff” goes after the break and before the regional news. Sometimes, a really good story ends up in the swampy ground of the second section because of editing time constraints or waiting for a last minute addition to the story but generally the section is populated by sloppy seconds. These can be ho-hum stories that are not really of any great import or even leftover stories that weren’t able to be aired the day before or even days before. Is this news? Probably not but the exigencies of filling air time can lead us to adopt the attitude that if some of our viewers never saw it before it is probably news to them.

Now from a marketing point of view it would make sense to pepper the duration of the newscast with hot stories to keep the viewers tuned in. This would lead to the US style of saying “ coming up later in the newscast ..a baby killer could be in your neighbourhood..stay tuned” but sadly this doesn’t work too well here. It might work if you are 100% sure nobody else has the story  but otherwise you will be scooped by the other news houses who place the same story higher in the news thus making you look stupid for placing it at the end of the second section to keep viewers glued.

I could talk of how we choose the order of stories but that is material for another blog entry.

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March 6, 2008

Royal flush

A couple of days without blogging which i believe is a record for me…ah well absence makes the heart grow fonder. Basically, between developing an intense Wii addiction and the lack of anything useful to write about I took a rest from blogging. 

As you might be able to tell from the picture attached to this entry HRH Charles, Prince of Wales and his pet albino monkey..oops..sorry..Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall are visiting our fair crime-ridden shores. Since their arrival they have done all those useful things the royals are famous for; they have smiled a lot, humoured the natives by attempting to play the national instrument, walked around nodding sagely and retired to their yacht to count the minutes before they return home.

The trip has been billed as an example of HRH’s devotion to things green as he flew over first class on a commercial airline rather than using the royal jet or whatever it is they normally use. The ever critical British papers have latched on to the fact the rented yacht he is using as his accommodation and inter-island transport had to sail empty from Europe to be here for his convenience which equates to someone flying 260 times across the Atlantic. How dare they hold the royals to the same standard as everyone else? Surely  the flag currently flying everywhere Charles goes is not the only Royal Standard he is entitled to?

On a side note I am a bit puzzled that a country that seems to lavish Mercedes and other luxury cars on the most minor of Ministers seems content to ferry the royal couple around in a Nissan. I agree it is a new Nissan but surely if the aim is to impress we could do better than something that looks like it was picked up foreign used in the Bamboo?
 
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January 24, 2008

The Write Stuff

When I started this little online diary a few months ago I said I would try to put up the occasional blog entry. Having become almost addicted to a near daily update I seldom even think that anyone even reads what i write. Having created this mirror site ( which is rapidly becoming my entry point to the blog because it is more  convenient) I now have access to all the site stats that WordPress provides. It amazes me how many hits this site actually gets. Between the two sites over 2000 pages have been read and as of yesterday the .Mac site crossed 1000 hits and the WordPress figure, which started much much later is already in excess of that and climbing rapidly. The fact that so many people read amazes me but WordPress also allows me to see what pages people read and how they came to the site..which is even more interesting.  Google started indexing my pages a while back and quite a large percentage of my readers apparently find the site through Google. It is interesting to see whaat they search for as well. People search for the names of some of my interview subjects, for the names of ieTV staff members, for Carnival related subjects and my favourite…someone who searched for “being hogtied “. I also notice that the tags I place on the entries can make a real difference to the number of page reads. When I did one of my entries on the diversity of my friends and used the word “gay” as a tag the hits skyrocketed. I guess there are a number of people out there who actively search out specific themes and want to know about regional developments in that area of interest. Given that there are any number of things I could write about  I suppose it sometimes affects what I choose when I realize that readers prefer certain subjects. I am happy to oblige. Other than that I stayed home today as the flu still has me feverish though given my previously stated belief that it is similar to sex..I should take what I can get. I used the time to do laundry, work on Fodors and ponder the uselessness of existence…all the while feeling guilty that I was actually not at ieTV. I took a break to go to HiLo to get medication and to give Omar a lift from downtown to the Cascadia Hotel where is currently working with a Carnival Mas Camp…why they would pick such a oddly located distribution point I will never know. After that brief expedition and a rather puzzling call and hangup from a good friend I came back home and went back to Fodors till my back could take no more at the keyboard. Whatever guilt I may have felt about taking a day off ( so I only worked 6 days this week) was quickly dismissed when Vashtee called from work to say that her sister was diagnosed with a medical problem in the States and she had to fly out on Friday to be with her. Vash has been off for various reasons in the past and it means that I have to fill the gap and produce the weekday and weekend news in addition to my One on One interviews and whatever special projects Tony Maharaj needs done. I love work..but after doing that for almost 3 months non-stop last year i ended up getting nosebleeds from the strain on my body. I hope it will be of a shorter duration this time..thank heavens for a great crew.  My new work schedule starts tomorrow so wish me luck. I will update the .Mac site tomorrow.  picture-1.png 



January 15, 2008

Missing the Mondeo

Those of you with too much time on your hands who have been following this blog may have noticed that a week before Xmas I mentioned that my dearest Ford Mondeo aka The Hearse had to check in for some repairs after a  fan sensor broke. With the holidays happening etc. it is now the middle of January and she is still not fixed. Today I was sent on an errand by the garage to go to my pal Jai at Ford to get a head something or the other and the aforementioned sensor. Is it me or should I not have to walk away with some heavy objects after spending $1000 on parts? The sensor looked the size of a matchbox and didn’t seem too complicated to my eyes and the head thingie was a flat thing wrapped in cardboard.The total weight of my thousand dollar purchase must have been about 200 grammes. As I was leaving Jai said I really should change the something belt and the water pump at the same time. Not wishing to feel the pain of spending money again I told him I would check with the mechanic and get back to him. Needless to say the mechanic thought it might be a good idea too and now I have to spend another $2500 . These new parts better weigh something or I will be apoplectic. I know computers and gadgets really well but when it comes to cars my normal reaction is to just keep throwing money at the problem until it goes away.

Other than that I have made some progress on Fodor’s as my young friends were back at University today and with a remarkable lack of Wii-ing and watching America’s Next Top Model I was able to get a fair amount done. Not to say I don’t miss the two crazies they add a weird new dimension to my life and give me a different perspective. I become so wrapped up in my work world and forget what it was like to be at university and watching my pennies yet pursuing as much fun as possible. The late night discussions and liver challenging booze consumption is a bit out of my league now though. One must recognize one’s limitations.


Alvin popped in for dinner this evening so he could avoid the traffic and it was lovely having him here. When you are friends with someone for so long words do not have to be exchanged the company is enough. We had a lovely braised pork tenderloin served on a bed of reduced onions with mashed potatoes with caramelised onions and some buttered peas. Simple but perfect for two hungry friends.

On the subject of booze I was mightily impressed that Iggy was able to belt down 11 shots of Stoli and remain standing…for a while at least.

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January 2, 2008

Touchdown

Ah home sweet home..though I am reminded of Tom Hank’s line in The Money Pit where he says “home crap home”. I really hate flying with a passion now I just don’t like being locked up in an aluminium tube at 35,000 feet stuck next to strangers and without a kitchen or the possibility of hosting an impromptu cocktail party. What makes it worse is that once you are up there you really can’t opt out and I have never been able to sleep on a plane no matter how long the trip…well there was that one time but that was in First Class and I had access to valium 10s. That being said ,and while I will admit my overnight flight back to Trinidad was no picnic, I find the service on Caribbean Airlines to be quite excellent. On both the up and down segments the flight boarded and left early. The staff were efficient and it was really about as pleasant as could have been expected. Even check-in was pleasant in both directions.

I was completely surprised when one of the FAs came up and asked me if I was Vernon and indicated that I had also flown up with the same crew. After that, as I sat there awaiting catastrophic wing failure ( Oh yes, I watched the NGC “Seconds from Disaster” marathon) or disastrous turbulence as i once did flying from MIA to CCS, the level of attention I was given was startling. I really was impressed with Caribbean Airlines.

After getting through Customs and Immigration fairly quickly Peter met me and drove me to work where I picked up my gate-opener and the company vehicle and headed home. I made a valiant effort at unpacking but my eyes were crossing at that point so I went for a quick nap at 8am which ended at 2pm. Then a quick trip to HiLo for no reason other than to remind myself I was truly back home followed by mad cleaning spree. It is amazing how much dust accumulates in a place after only a week or so. As much as I hate dusting I take some comfort in thinking it is the remnants of long dead enemies as I Endust everything in sight. Also, as much as I have dreaded it I finally tidied up my closet and organized my clothes when i looked at them earlier I suddenly began to fear that Omar’s approach to organizing clothes was contagious. At least I was able to see my floor.

In catching up news other than the two Peters and Robin I also called Iggy to assure her that i had obtained the duty free Stoli Citrus so we could carry out our artful plan to collapse into a small heap after some libations and giggling a lot. I finally heard from Omar who is still enjoying his turtle-fest and is now, I am told, blacker than Othello. I can’t wait to see the new melanin charged version of him. Things at the office also sounded normal and Heidi has started booking a slew of interviews already. I am a bit puzzled about the blind cricket player since the only thing that comes to mind is “Ouch!”. Stevie also sounded in good spirits when i spoke to him even though he was off work because his sister is in town. He must have an awful lot of sisters as he always seems to be off for that reason.

I will be off to the grind tomorrow and happily so. I suppose I will also hear that the repairs on the Mondeo will cost the equivalent of a kidney transplant..ah well. At least I can walk outside without shivering and see blue skies or at least the promise of blue skies.

I am tired now although it is still early but it is wonderful being surrounded by my stuff and the occasional bits of stuff that aren’t mine but that remind me of friends who grace me with their company. It’s good being back on my little crazy island.

From tomorrow I will return to musings about things in general I suspect and do fewer of these daily summary narratives…a lot more freedom with those.

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December 28, 2007

Belonging

It is raining now in Toronto which, given the weather of late, is something I actually find somewhat comforting. I was walking back from a fairly fruitless expedition to Future Shop ( if their name is any indication forget Blade Runner, the future will be filled with disinterested store clerks and loud noise) when I got to musing about life in this part of the world. It used to be my life but now I can look at it from an outsider’s perspective. As I dodged ice patches on the sidewalk, and battled against a fierce cold wind in near darkness at 4:30pm I thought to myself the closest analogue to this is a freezer. The temperature is the same and it sees about as much light in a 24 hour period. I know I did it for a large part of my life but really i don;t see what sort of existence this is. The average person wakes up, turns up the thermostat, gets ready for work, warms the car up, gets in it and drives to work risking slipping and sliding to certain death on the 10 lane highways, works for a company that doesn;t give a hoot about them, heads to the mall to buy self-worth and then goes home to start the cycle again. As Bruce mentioned in his comment yesterday the human interaction and being regarded as a valuable person even by strangers is totally missing.

I am not quite sure why I am feeling this way this trip perhaps it is the Victor/Melanie fiasco, or maybe I am missing people I have become attached to or maybe it is just my mental state but the dreariness of it all is really getting to me. And it isn’t just winter as I can assure you if you dropped me in London or Paris right now i would be in a much cheerier state. I have trouble with a combination of awful weather and a society that runs almost entirely on materialism. I like to think there is a point to life…even if only to see what comes next…and here and now I am confronted with a society whose whole point seems to  be to amass things…great hordes of things. When I was at Future Shop to get my camera battery i went looking at the new iPods and the newest Macs and I thought ..how lovely…they are probably more feature rich than mine and certainly faster…but do I need to toss out the ones i have that are running fine…Nope! It is very easily to be caught up in the “latest and greatest” mindset here. When I get back home I know I will be working and using my remaining time to relax and spend time with the people I care about. Will a faster gadget enhance that experience in any way? The answer is clearly no.

I was also thinking of my patterns in Trinidad and imagining exactly what would be happening right now if I were back there and all the other players were in place. During the day I would have been at work screaming about the year in review and joking with Gis, Mel, Wong, Ria and Steve. I would undoubtedly talk to Peter Police three times on the phone, Omar at least twice, Alvie and Binky twice each, Robin once and Peter Sheppard once. I might even have thrown Astrid some shade on facebook. Then I would have gone home and started working  on cleaning up my Fodor’s chapters and, depending if Omar was popping in for a Wii match with or without Astrid in tow en route to a party, I might fix a small dinner. At which point I would make up Astrid’s room. At some point Peter Police would call to check in and then Binky would call from Sky Bar to find out how I was doing and I would fill him in on the latest developments. After that I might be convinced to go out with O & A or just stay home in my shorts on the chaise with the cascade night breeze keeping me cool. This is not earthshaking stuff I realize but it is very human stuff. I don’t just work I work at a company that i KNOW likes me and appreciates me, I don;t just make polite conversation with the crew we genuinely enjoy each other, when I talk to my friends these are not faux friends they are real friends and when I sign off with Binky I often say “Love ya Binks” and he always responds with “Love ya too Rocco” ( don’t ask..he invented it). We interact as people are supposed to. Oh sure, when I say “Love ya Alvie” or “Muz” depending on my mood there is a good chance he will respond with “Yeah, yeah…whatever” but that is part of the fun of knowing each other so well.

There is a truism in news that we usually call “First World always trumps Third World” meaning that given a choice of two headline stories one being 1,500 killed in Bangladesh floods or 4 killed in elevator accident in Manhattan…the elevator always wins.  I think it is true to say in my view right now…sometimes the Third World trumps the First World handily.

Think of it this way. If you are thrown outside wearing only your D&G underwear in Trinidad in January you might be a bit hot and possibly embarrassed ( depending on how you look in them) but if it were to happen to you here in Toronto..You Die!

Happy thoughts.

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December 26, 2007

Happy Holidays

Best wishes to all today as I drop my cynicism for a nanosecond. Xmas arrived on a predictably bleak and depressing Toronto day with unbroken cloud cover and piles of dirty snow all over the place. I awoke…muttered at my folks and proceeded to down several cups of  coffee and brave the lovely outdoors to have a few drags – all in order to get myself into a civilized state. After this ritual I was able to wish a Merry Xmas to anyone within earshot. My cell, at this point, had scads of text messages from well-meaning folks who seem unaware of the great quicksand field that is mobile roaming. It must be the exuberance of the season that people would assume I would be awake at 8am to get their expressions of holiday cheer. By this time it was around 11am Toronto time the phone and Skype calls started and i got to chat with Peter Police and Omar..which was fine despite my aversion to telephones…both calls were under 3 minutes. Then it dawned on me that I had been elected to do dinner and I had food to deal with so downstairs to the kitchen I went.

Somewhere along my trip to the kitchen I learnt that my brother was sleeping in the basement and that all was not well in married town…a cook cannot be daunted by such distractions. I proceeded to appraise the Australian lamb leg, the ham and other items with a gimlet eye. Given that it would most likely be only 4 of us eating and Mum is basically a vegetarian the quantity of flesh seemed a bit excessive but I formulated my plan of action and moved to the next step. This would normally be assembling the ingredients but it turned out my next step was realizing that my cooking gene does not come from my mother. There was a paucity of what i consider basics and enough counter space to possibly fold a small napkin on but little else. My quick assessment of the fridge and the pantry revealed: no garlic, no rosemary, no balsamic, no cream, no onions, no shallots, no chives, no balsamic, no cilantro..well..you get the picture. So, like an actor who has had his script blown away when someone opened the stage door…I improvised. I had left a few strange things behind from my last visit so the lamb leg was eventually scored and rubbed with olive oil, pickled sushi ginger, mint leaves and dijon. Don’t knock it…it worked quite well thank you. The ham got a bath in dark soy, diet coke and sugar. Mum volunteered that the neighbour had left two organic acorn squash with her when she went on vacation so those were split, seeded, brushed with olive oil and placed in the oven to caramelize. There wasn’t a fresh vegetable in the house and with Mum consoling me by telling me that frozen veg has the same nutritional value or better than fresh I was only able to gently mutter “but the texture sucks”. I settled on her frozen cauliflower figuring if I under cooked it slightly and bathed it in a cheese sauce it might be passable. There was a brief moment when I asked for a cheese grater and one could not be located that Mum fled upstairs in tears..but I was able to deal with that by pointing out that with our family… a missing cheese grater was the least of our worries. Thank god I didn’t ask her for a nutmeg grater! The potatoes available were small Yukon Gold so mashing was out of the question…so I boiled the suckers…then split them, tossed them in olive oil, sprinkled some ( shudder) dried parsley on them tossed them in the oven to brown. The caramelized squash was mashed with butter. All in all not my best work but given the resources it came out rather well.

Vic eventually emerged looking forlorn made a few cell calls and sat around until he announced that the kids were being readied and would be here by 6pm. This quite naturally caused a general panic since Quinlan at least can be a handful and my nerves and kids are not good flatmates. So as he drove off to collect his progeny the remaining three of us quickly chowed down aware that eating with two kids running around made a family dinner impossible. It was a good plan because he eventually returned with the kids and the rest is a blur to me. I had an instant headache and consumed a goodly portion of wine and cigarettes on the porch just to stay sane. There was wrapping paper everywhere, lots of demanding and a general lack of the peace and quiet that fuels my life. By the end of it Mum, Karl and I barely escaped with our lives and higher brain functions intact.

What was good about today? A few things that I am grateful for.

I heard from people I truly care about.

Bruce called this evening from Yarmouth fresh from his trip to St. Martin.

I heard Mum on the phone to about 5 people saying my iPhoto hardcover book was the best present she ever got.

One shop was open on Bloor Street today and I got Diet Coke.

I spoke to the office and it was like ET calling home because I got Giselle.

I lived to tell about it.

There was no plethora of gifts today as Mum is too busy dealing with Karl ‘s health problems and Victor’s ongoing drama and Karl is basically blind and cannot move around very well since his toe amputation…that was fine with me…I am really not into gifts at this stage of my life.

A few random thoughts now. Thank goodness for Skype. I miss my alternative family of Alvin, Binky, Peter, Naz, Peter Police and Robin a lot. I am really glad I don’t have to deal with Toronto winters. Who knew that Omar would develop a fondness for D&G underwear? I am now on facebook.com but is it just me or is seeing that my new gal pal Astrid has been “Super poking” sound just a little bit off colour? It is probably just me.

Merry Xmas to all and to all a good night.

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December 19, 2007

In the midst of life we are in death etc.

There are many things I want to write about today but I really can’t as I am a bit tired. Actually going out at the wrong time given work and my desperate need to finish Fodor’s has proven to be interesting…though this evening that wasn’t the problem. Work started out stressfully as the Mondeo was overheating and I barely made it to work before the needle hit the red. Did I mention I also had a near flat and had to stop at the gas station? Well..trust me it adds a whole new level to watching the needle rise.

Once at work it was the usual checking what was going on so i could do a lineup and then worrying about the car. I worry a lot. After telling him my symptoms my guy Jai at Ford started bandying about repair numbers in the $10,000 plus range. Naturally I started thinking of cliffs and edges again. After checking a few Year in Review stories ( thank you Robin) and getting a handle on things I pondered my car again. Should I pretend I never saw it and leave it in the ie car park forever? Should I crash it into a light pole and call my insurance company after volunteering for a sobriety test? I pondered all my options and the fact I couldn’t drive her too far and settled on the garage near work. I walked over to see if they could check her and, after a visit to the office, realized it was owned by friends of mine…sweet joy! I walked back and drove her back to the garage where she still is now. Apparently, after a cursory look at the engine ( and after fighting with a geriatric fool who pulled into the garage ahead of me) I was told it seemed a simple matter and I assume I will find out tomorrow the extent of damages. I am certain it will cost less than $10,000. Lesson one…never trust the dealer. I will give the old girl one thing ..she always gets to where she has to go.

Tony was his usual cool self…though looking rather dapper in a black suit…I told him the problems I was having and he blandly said…”well use the company car”.I did again…and I still feel like a lesbian with a stick shift. Note to self…if he ever sells the Suzuki…buy it!

We got our bonuses today and I find if I think of it as a large tip it makes more sense. I guess this means I have to brave past the lighthouse again to go to a DollarValue Supermarket ( we own them ) and spend my non-cash contribution. I see Smirnoff in my future.

It is still raining so I assume if it keeps up I better get to reading the Torah to check on the proper cubit scenario so I can sail out of here. I must look for a dove.

In friend news..Peter Police ( we call him that) is now a Corporal and Omar is planning to mop tomorrow…both are rather monumental. I congratulate both of them. Rumour has it Omar may actually be able to see his floor tomorrow.

Off to bed now to procrastinate further about writing and praying the Mondeo repairs are of a kinder gentler price.

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December 12, 2007

Counting down 2k7

I am still having problems with my wireless connection at home so I have resorted to ..shudder…using an ethernet cable. I look forward to the day when everything is wireless and I include electricity in that scenario. Work was quiet but I was not producing the news today. I will be producing tomorrow and Thursday so I can sneak off to Tobago for the weekend. I spent quite a long time nagging reporters into getting the lead out on completing their Year in Review segments so we can wrap the wretched thing up before I head off to Toronto on the 24th.

Why is it that every station in the known world insists on having a Year in Review segment? Is there a national obsession with walking down memory lane at the end of each year? It seems to be one of those unwritten rules that every station has – like anchors having bulletproof hair or sports presenters being loud and badly dressed. The YIR programmes are a lot of work and inevitably stresses reporters, video editors and producers alike – where are the human rights campaigners when you need them? I will say one good thing about ours is that we gave up on the dreary chronological “this happened and then this happened” approach in favour of a top ten countdown format. I made the change after I joined the company, though it was not my idea ( can’t remember which staff member suggested it) , and it is a better approach for several reasons. It allows us to narrow down our focus to the ten main stories of the year which eases us up a lot and prevents the ugly business of looking at every little thing that happened for the entire year.It allows the reporters the luxury of getting creative and concentrating on the stories assigned to them. Our Video Editors are also spared the sheer torture of ploughing through a year of footage and can simply work on doing a 6 minute piece. Best of all, I think it is a better experience for viewers. People love a countdown and want to see the top story of the year. A year of news is, by its nature, a series of disparate events and lacks narrative whereas the public craves narrative. Creating a top 10 of the year adds the narrative that makes it easier for the public to follow the “story”. It isn’t the BBC approach and it may horrify news purists but I think it works…in fact..I am sure the other local stations will be copying it sooner rather than later.

It has been a rainy evening in Port of Spain so I have been thinking quite a bit. I am not the most emotional person but I sometimes ponder the complexity of emotions and how they move us. I gather from song and verse that love makes the world go around – a phenomenon I normally ascribe to the interplay of hormones. That being said, since we are all just great swirling soups of hormones that regulate every aspect of our lives, the phenomenon is not something to be dismissed easily. I also recognize that the emotion is not limited to the world of humans as the animal world has many examples of couplings that seem to indicate the emotion is alive and well amongst our feathered, furred and even scaled friends. I initially thought it was somehow based on the need to reproduce and that said urge was, in some cases, linked to monogamy. My initial theory was tossed out the window when I read of Carlos and Fernando the two male flamingos who are now celebrating their fifth anniversary with their adopted ( abducted) children. I would have said gay but I think that is a purely human concept as it involves a social and political aspect of which our bird friends may not be aware. More startling still, I note that C & F are bucking the trend of their ilk since flamingos are not normally known for..shall we say..their constancy. What to make of this?

It is a difficult subject to contemplate but clearly there is a need in the animal kingdom, in some cases,  to find a mate and to create a life together. Despite being a cynic I am also a hopeless romantic so I can’t say this realization shakes my world view but it is still comforting. It leads, however, to the bigger question – what makes two individuals fall in love and what makes it work. Is there, in this world of flesh and bone, a forever when it comes to love?  Clearly questions too big for this, or any, blog entry.

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December 11, 2007

Past the Lighthouse

Making up now for no entry yesterday as things conspired against being able to upload anything. I got involved in Fodor’s as I should and then went to pick up Omar to go to a “surprise” birthday party for Caleb hosted by Vishaal in Central Trinidad. Somewhere in that mix..that required me to drive past the boundaries of POS ..was the need to stop by Alvin’s house to make dip and vegetable rice. I was able to deal with the change in barometric pressure from POS and my anticipated nosebleeds never actually materialized.


Frankly I don’t see the point of surprise parties. So much surreptitious running about and 99 times out of 100 the person is not surprised. I suspect in the case of the other 1 it involves the paramedics being called to deal with a heart attack. In the case of Caleb approaching Vishaal’s house and seeing that many familiar cars parked pretty much put paid to the whole surprise concept. Despite Vishaal’s rather cavalier approach to party planning I must say I enjoyed myself a lot and it was a chance to see a lot of people I know all at once.


My plan to upload an entry upon my return home last night was stymied by ether a Mac OS problem with my wireless broadband or a provider problem. It is made especially annoying because once there are comments online iWeb refuses to open my site offline until it can connect to the internet to download them. I am going to try disabling comments for today to see if It makes a difference. Not to worry..even though the comments may disappear they are still there once I reactivate them.


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