Archive for ‘Clyphil’

July 18, 2008

Of zabocas and quenks.


It was a mixed day today so let’s start with the positive which is that avocado season has started and soon junkies such as myself will have our fill. Known here as zaboca by all but the most uppity nosed types from Westmoorings, our version is somewhat different to the puny Haas variety normally found at the fruit and veg stands in North America and Europe. Ours are bigger and with a lighter texture and can get decidedly large. Because we do not import avocados from other regions it is very much a seasonal treat that is much anticipated. While other cultures come up with clever ways to use the avocado in creative dishes here in T&T we like ours served just the way it is – either just sliced and served or eaten with local crackers.


I shall start this next bit by explaining that a quenk is a wild pig that lives in this part of the world. After work I dragged myself to the gym in a torrential downpour and made my way up the steps to the gym with my $5 in my hand for my traditional bottled water. There was a newish young lady at the desk so I smiled and asked for a bottle of water offering my money. Getting the water and continuing with my normal routine with Clyphil would have been far too simple a scenario though. Oh no. The wretched woman at the desk asked me where my membership card was. I politely explained that because I always lose mine it is kept at the front desk and pointed to where it was. This wasn’t good enough for her as she insisted I take it with me. I told her that for all my time at the gym this had not been a problem for anyone before and, in fact, it was reception who suggested I leave my card there. This too wasn’t enough for her as she asked if I could not read the sign on the door saying that all members show their card. I politely expressed surprise that she was able to read the sign on the door and that I was showing her my card by telling her it was on her desk. She went on to say that she was following procedure which prompted me to suggest she should have sought employment at Dachau instead. 


By this point in the proceedings i was starting to nose breathe and was on the verge of going into full verbal assault mode. I  told her that whatever floated her boat was fine with me but I was not changing my plan to leave the card at the front desk. Did she go into customer care mode? Nope. She proceeded to tell me that her boat was floating just fine which led me to inform her it must be a pretty strong boat since it was obviously carrying a lot of extra cargo. Sadly, at that point Clyphil heard the ruckus and told her he would hold my card  for me – though even that led her to keep babbling something about  procedure as the two of us walked away into the gym proper.


It turns out that the other four guys in the gym at that time had also had problems at the desk that day and one of them was actually fit to be tied. Why do some people work in jobs that clearly don’t suit them. I am sure there was a prison guard position she could have filled. I would never dream of doing something outside my range of abilities like coal mining or teaching daycare. We need to get back to the state where customer service really falls on the shoulders of those who are able and trained to handle it. Good luck with that I guess. I would probably have better luck if I went outside and prayed for 1957 Chateau Lafite to fall from the sky.

July 5, 2008

A brick short of a load.


I seem to be getting into a once a week entry habit. I hope this is not a sign of blogitis setting in although I am aware my entries do not in any way enhance the planet.I suppose we all pass through ebb and flow periods in terms of communication so , as with all things in life, I will wait and see how it plays out. I am now handily heading out of depression territory but still not feeling all that great physically – I hope it is nothing trivial so I can have a legitimate reason for thinking gyms and personal trainers are a waste of time. When I think of how much I spend on the gym I cringe and since I can see no improvement I am led to wonder about my own sanity. Thankfully, as I have mentioned before, I am living in a country where sanity is not really an asset.

This week was the usual assortment of murders and political intrigue keeping the newsroom buzzing. Melissa Williams managed an exclusive on Thursday when I was producing news so that added a bit of excitement. T&T is currently without a permanent Police Commissioner as the previous one retired ( early) and the service commission given the task of finding a replacement had the ruling party turn down their candidate in parliament. The man chosen was Senior Superintendent Stephen Williams who has spent his life in the police. He is 47 and by all accounts a highly competent individual. Unfortunately for him he was not the man the PM wanted in the post so despite rigorous interviews and passing the polygraph test ( which some of his competitors did not) he was doomed from the outset. Mind you, he probably didn’t help his case by speaking to the papers after his name was announced as the chosen candidate by the PSC and he declared that his ambition was to own a BMW X5….note to future candidates…say “world peace”.


On a side note I am rather shocked to notice that my blog has crossed 14,000 hits. Since I assume I am writing to an audience of just North of zero even that modest figure rather shocks me. Even more puzzling I had occasion to search for the headquarters for the ruling PNM the other day at work and noticed that my blog comes up as the second hit on Google…right after the official web site for the PNM.  I have no idea how that happened but if you have come here after searching for Balisier House on Google looking for a positive experience….I apologize. 

March 21, 2008

Junk in the trunk


As I type this I have just returned from spending a bit of time with Alvin and Binky just shooting the breeze and catching up on the usual bits of news that seem to make life slightly fun. That being said I had to take 3 aspirin before leaving the house as Clyphil has artfully conspired to ensure that every muscle in my body is in some sort of spasm following his torture session in the gym. You know it is all very well for a 23 year old to be telling people to sit on a ball and contort themselves into various unusual positions but I would like to see him do it at my age. That being said, I must say he really gets me to do things that I would never have even ventured to do at the gym otherwise.  I have now taken 2 more aspirin extra strength and I am hoping that I am able to sidle out of bed tomorrow as I have a day off and there is a plan afoot to drive to Icacos on Trinidad’s extreme South-Western tip. It is entirely up in the air if I will go or not as it is my day off and sleeping in is high on my priority list ( as opposed to getting in  Robin’s HiLux for a 4.5 hour drive in each direction). I am only considering it because I may get a chance to take lots of pics and it will be fun hanging out with the usual gang.

I added another gig of RAM to the iMac G5 that i am currently using after I agonized about whether or not to but two gigs of matching RAM so as to switch the processor into a 128 bit data path which is theoretically faster but the thought of tossing a good 512 Mb stick in the drawer seems wasteful. So far the machine is, as the say in the tech world, “teh snappy”. I am never sure why tech people like to spell “the” that way but i guess it is a inside joke on a common typo. Now, of course I am almost certain I will run out and purchase another 1 gig stick on Tuesday just so I can see how snappy it can get ( and it is pretty damned snappy now). Why do i obsess on technology so??? It is a curse. I also know that within a month I will be buying a Macbook Air and most likely an iPod Touch…just so I can have them…never mind my old iPod is working an I have given away the at least two iPods I have bought since then. For that matter why do i need an Air since it is only thinner than by powerbook and not even noticeably faster? Ah well.

And speaking of technology, I cast a rare glance into my junk mail folder on Apple’s Mail today to see if anything slipped through the cracks. Nothing did amazingly given I use 5 email addresses on the programme but the content of the junk mail truly amazes me. I mean what else but junk mail would have subjects like “Boobs galore at SM beach” or “longer and harder os good for her” or even the tantalizing “Britney loves it large”. I mean God bless Britney and her refusal to settle for anything less but really who, other than a spam emailer, has ever sent out anything with such subject lines? Even more puzzling is who on earth would open one of those emails and click through to the advertised site? Surely someone would have to be dumb beyond reckoning to respond to such a thing. I suppose, though, spammers count on the .001% ( I hope)  who would be stupid enough to actually open and check such an email. But  even in that select club who would be so extraordinarily cretinous  to actually whip out a credit card and order the product? Well yes, I suppose there might be a few people with internet access who are actually cretins..but surely they would not have a credit card? I ask myself how these spammers actually make money given the abysmal response rate? Now being a Mac user I might also assume that many of these spam items might also be vectors for viruses which cannot affect me so i will excuse those enterprising souls who use it for that purpose…but again…who the hell would open an email with such a subject line??

It says a lot about the human condition that out of the 310 items of junk mail that Mail has caught a goodly 275 are for something to do with either penis enlargement or sex in general. In case you are wondering the remaining emails seem to be trying to sell me a Rolex which , of course, one would naturally purchase via an unsolicited email. No matter how developed we become as a species with our technology it always seems that someone will use the latest and greatest tool to push sexual content. Don’t get me wrong I have nothing against sex and i hear it is very good in the right circumstances, but there is something terribly wrong when sex seems to dominate every aspect of human life. Look at the internet and personal computers..possibly the most powerful combination of tools to spread information that has come along since writing and most people use it for…make a guess…sex. I would not be surprised if at least 80% of people view some form of sexual content on the web or even use it for arranging sexual trysts. I would not be surprised if closer to 100% of teenage boys use the internet for looking at sexually explicit material at least a majority of the time. Despite the fact it just comes down to something going in somewhere and a bit of friction the sex urge is part of the internet and , from what I can see, a major part of the world of spam.

Maybe it is just me but do that many men really obsess about their penis size? There seems to be no lack of fraudulent products available through spam or on the internet in general for addressing the ..ahem..point. It is all too sad.

Now if you will excuse me I have to do some clicking to see exactly why Britney is so emphatic.