Archive for January, 2009

January 31, 2009

Fallout shelter.

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While I am still feverishly scambling these days to work my regular day job and finish off Fodor’s Caribbean by night ( Curacao is almost done woo hoo) events of the past few days seem wort commenting on.

As some of you may know the company I work for is a tiny part of a much bigger conglomerate called CL Financial. This is a big company by any standards of big with tentacles all over the globe and an estimated value of about 17 billion $US and, yes, I said billion. The parent company is involved in so many things that is boggles the imagination but they range from methanol production to banking and distilling to construction. As might have been expected given the current global trends all is not apparently well in the financial services areas of the company.

Yesterday I was, by order of our CEO, at Central Bank for a “major announcement” to be made involving the Chairman of our group, the Minister of Finance and the Governor of the Central Bank. You could figure out the point of that announcement from miles away.

As it turns out it seems our insurance arm and investment banking arm might have been unable to handle a run on deposits if it happened and the company turned to government for assistance.  The long and the short of it is government cannot afford to have hundreds of thousands of citizens lose their savings and has offered to guarantee deposits. The quid pro quo? CL has to hand over the investment bank to government, sell its holdings in the methanol company, sell its controlling share of Republic Bank and hand over CMMB brokerage firm. Not a bad deal for government at all.

Naturally, the staff at our company are cringing lest the changes mean an end to their jobs. Frankly, I am not worried as I have basically been through every imaginable situation and will survive. I doubt we will be seriously affected but who knows…stranger things have happened.

Back to the business of news now..further to follow.

January 25, 2009

Finally!…Thanks Dubya!

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January 25, 2009

Funny Stuff

I just came across this on the Miss Cellania Blog ( www.misscellania.com) and thought it was funny enough to share.

“Dear World:

We, the United States of America, your top quality supplier of ideals of democracy, would like to apologize for our 2001-2008 interruption in service. The technical fault that led to this eight-year service outage has been located, and the software responsible was replaced November 4, 2008. Early tests of the newly installed
program indicate that we are now operating correctly, and we expect it to be fully
functional on January 20, 2009. We apologize for any inconvenience caused by the outage. We look forward to resuming full service and hope to improve service in years to come. We thank you for your patience and understanding.

Sincerely,

THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA.”

January 24, 2009

Nearing the finish line

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Just to prove I have not been abducted by aliens or run off to Rio with someone of questionable morals I am uploading this quick entry this evening. Every year for about a decade I find myself cursing my overreaching nature as i grapple with a day job that has especially horrible hours and spend my evenings grumbling as i attempt to complete my work for Fodor’s. Right now I am out of the darkest period when I think it will never end and heading towards completion of sorts. 

Focus on Aruba is done, the Aruba chapter for the big book is done, Bonaire is done and T&T and Curacao are well on their way to being done. It is still a difficult time and one that precludes much in the way of socialising but psychologically it is good knowing that I am only a few days away from being mainly finished with it. Sure there will be queries after but that is nothing like tens of thousands of words waiting to be typed by my weary fingers.

Other than that there isn’t much to report. Barack Obama is now President in the US  resulting in the happiest moment I have had in the past 8 years – the sight of Dubya boarding a plane to take his derriere back to Texas. I managed to make it through he inauguration just fine but it was that sight that brought me closest to tears. I can imagine how my mother feels as she would turn off the TV whenever his face appeared . She can now give her remote finger a well-deserved rest.

Now enough of this staling writer’s block back to Curacao I go.

January 15, 2009

This blog is not dead

Thanks to my brother Vic for reminding me but I hasten to add that this blog is far from dead.  I am currently spending each day in TV land and every night writing for Fodor’s so I am not really in a position to upload entries. I think in a week or so I will be finished with the Fodor’s part so expect entries full of bathos and pathos then.

To fill in the T&T blanks:

The economy is sinking but government denies it and has just announced that we will be going into deficit financing ( to pay for their unnecessary projects).

The murder rate is doing well if you are predicting that it will exceed last year’s record

Everybody is watching their pennies because we see the economy is in for a bad time ( except the government because they are all having a great time).

Carnival is coming so despite the crisis many people will misplace their priorities and buy a costume instead of $3.500 worth of food.

The government has cut down about 500 trees in  the airport  carpark because the Secret Service told them to – despite the fact we are an eco destination..I mean if the new masters tell us to why should we disagree for a full 3 days worth of Summit of the Americas.

The government does not understand that prudent fiscal management should mean we have $6 billion US in savings which we do not. Apparently getting an oil windfall and concluding that we have to spend like crazy is the new definition.

This country is going to hell in a hand basket…but then it always seems to be and survives