The Gull Reef Club

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12/23/2016 · 8:43 am· lordhelmet · Merry Christmas Eve Eve Eve!
Merry Christmas to you and Mike as well as a Happy New Year!... | Read More

11/3/2016 · 1:30 pm· Jaime · See Something, Say Something, A First Hand Account
Sure doesn't, which in no way explains why the Cubs won! Interesting that we all woke up this... | Read More

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No good deed goes unpunished. But at least the Cubs won.... | Read More

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5/31/2005

Corporatebeast.com

Filed under: — Jaime @ 8:08 pm

Found this interesting little gem while viewing my visitors logs (yes, I do that…glaven).

Click this: http://www.corporatebeast.com/

See where it takes ya? I ran the name through the Network Solutions Domain Name Whois searcher and was told:

THE REGISTRANT IS AN INDIVIDUAL WHO HAS ELECTED TO HAVE THEIR ADDRESS OMITTED FROM THE WHOIS DATABASE

Elected? That is a weird choice of words. The phone number listed goes to a company in Vancouver, WA called Dotster but the IP that Network Solutions lists at the bottom is Google owned.

Who the hell is this Corporate Beast and why are they visiting my site??!?!

Why we really love the internet

Filed under: — Jaime @ 6:37 pm

Have any of you been folllowing this journal: thediaryofjesus?
Sinfully funny.

►►►►►►

Mike showed me this one today: Jim Morrison A Living Legend.
What people will do to make a buck. ADers imagine :rolleyes: guy here.

►►►►►►

Finally, if you beachcombers are looking to kill a few hours and brain cells try hapland and hapland2.

Happy surfing!

5/29/2005

Nickerie, Suriname

Filed under: — Jaime @ 11:17 pm

nickerie

Today we travel to the sleepy little farming district, Nickerie, on the Atlantic coast of western Suriname. Nickerie is partially bordered on the east by the Nickerie River and on the west by the Corantijn River. The Corantijn River also marks the far western border between Suriname and Guyana.

Suriname is a former colony of the Netherlands. Suriname became independent from the Netherlands in 1975 and like many former colonies, there are some stability problems in its government. Suriname held a general election this week, Surinam election ends in deadlock. The article indicates that no party received a majority of the votes. This may be due to the fact that Suriname is an extremely diverse nation, ethnically and religiously. The election results may merely be reflecting the diversity of this nation, but I won’t pretend to know anything about Surinam’s political scene.

Nieuw Nickerie is the capital of the district of Nickerie and the second biggest city in Suriname. It is a city on the run from the ocean. Nieuw Nickerie currently lies in its third location. The Nickerie River has claimed the first two homes of Nieuw Nickerie. The city was forced to move each time. Nieuw Nickerie is now protected by a sea wall in hopes to reduce the need for further city relocations.

Nickerie’s claim to fame is its abundant rice plantations. There are also a number of banana and tobacco plantations as well. So like most farming areas around the world, there isn’t much going on around here. Marlon Romeo has put together an incredibly comprehensive look at Nickerie on his site, Nickerie on the Web (Click on the image to start your tour). Ok, so the page looks a little 1998. You think Mr. Romeo has broadband access, photoshop, dreamweaver or whatever else he’d need to make a 2005 looking site? Me neither. Mr. Romeo, you have done a fabulous job. If I ever come to your beloved Nickerie, I’m looking you up to be my tour guide.

WunderPhotos has two decent pics of Nickerie, WunderPhotos. I also found this gallery that gives us a nice glimpse of Nieuw Nickerie, J. Willemsen’s Nieuw Nickerie Gallery. There are some striking similarities between Nieuw Nickerie and Savannah. The silty river water, the disheveled greenery, tin roofed shacks on stilts… Nieuw Nickerie seems laid back and sleepy. My kind of place.

I couldn’t help but think, however, that Nieuw Nickerie must be infested with mosquitoes after seeing this pic of their main street:

mainstreetsuriname

Egad. Get that water flowing people. No wonder every site I found about traveling to Suriname says you must get a malaria shot.

No trip is complete without sampling the local fare, Recipes from the Surinam kitchen. Lots of seafood, curries and chilies. This is a diet I could get used to quickly.

As with all of our Sunday Postcards this virtual trip must end. Don’t trade in your Euros yet, however. I received my first request for a virtual trip from Ms. Flynny. Next week, The Gull Reef Club Jet will be heading out to Italy in search of some Roman ruins.

Nickerie, Suriname is a quiet farm district that seems to change as much as the tides. I have enjoyed the pleasant, humid haze of this trip. Vaarwel, Nickerie.

5/27/2005

Now you are the one who is ‘it’

Filed under: — Jaime @ 3:06 pm

I see the divine Ms. Flynny has tagged me for the following meme… I’ll be sure to disappoint since it is about movies & all.

1) Total number of films I own on DVD/video:
Not many. 8, I think.

2) The last film I bought:

Uh… Season 3 of the The Simpsons…maybe?

3) The last film I watched:
Spiderman – but because it was on TV.

4) Five films that I watch a lot or that mean a lot to me (in no particular order):
I don’t have 5. In fact, I’ll just list all the DVDs I own…first three seasons of the Simpsons, Jay & Silent Bob Strike Back, Friday, National Lampoon’s Vacation, Roger Waters in concert, and Grisman and Garcia in concert.

The movie industry despises people like me. I haven’t rented a movie in at least 5 years and haven’t been to a theatre since 1996.

errmmm…glaven

But I know KA-RAZY!!!

Filed under: — Jaime @ 9:19 am

Rumors have been circulating this tiny city for the last week that the Godfather of Soul, James Brown, would be giving a free concert in Forsyth Park, like P-Funk did last year. While I still haven’t been able to personally confirm it, Mike claims he heard an announcement for this on the news and I know no reason why he would make that up. So we’ll be in Forsyth Park tonight at 7:30 and we’re bringing the camera. Stay tuned.

5/26/2005

Hip-Hop Honk = Horse Hustle

Filed under: — Jaime @ 6:07 pm

If any of you live in a town like Savannah, who makes a large portion of its revenue from tourism, you may have found yourself in a hurry behind a slow-moving horse and carriage full of rubberneckers. It’s my experience that about 65-70% of the carriage drivers are conscientious and know to move over at the first opportunity to let the cars pass. Find yourself in a hurry, however, and you will find yourself behind the remaining 30-35%. There is a secret to getting them to move over without honking and scaring the horses…loud music.

Mike is the main driver of our sole automobile so he figured this out sooner than me. Loud music, usually blues, is enough to annoy the tour guide/carriage driver but doesn’t cause the horses to start that freaked out prance/trot. Most always pull over right away.

In driving home with coworker, N—, yesterday, we found ourselves in one of these slow horse situations. We were on one of the many narrow one-ways, lined with parking spaces on both sides. The spaces were mostly empty so the carriage could have easily pulled over into one of the spots and let the backed up traffic pass. Unfortunately, it didn’t occur to the carriage driver to make such a courtesy, and N— tells me how much this annoys her. I tell her about what Mike and I do and suggest she try it. She quickly finds some very obnoxious hip-hop and turns it up. That carriage moved over faster than any I’ve seen. It was hilarious. N— thought this was great and vowed to use this trick from now on.

It takes a lot of patience to live in a tourist town. It also helps to know little tricks like these. I guess I should make the disclaimer, in case it is not clear, that this should only be used if the carriage driver has the opportunity to pull over and doesn’t. If there is simply no room to pull over, you will ruin some family’s tour by blaring your music. No need be rude. :D

5/25/2005

Memorial Days

Filed under: — Jaime @ 10:34 am

Instead of listening to the usual blather of talkshows and c-span, this week I have chosen to stop over at the Veteran’s History Project and listen to some of the oral histories of those who have served our country. Today I am listening to Don T. Lott, Vietnam Veteran, sharing his experiences with his son. For those of you sensative to crass language, you may want to avoid this. This is a real man’s story spoken in his own words.

Memorial Day is Monday. Take some time between now and then to remember our those who have served our country.

5/22/2005

Flew da Coup Coup Island

Filed under: — Jaime @ 1:57 pm

Comoros

In between Mozambique and Madagascar, where the Mozambique Channel lets out into the Indian Ocean lies today’s destination – the tiny, volcanic islands of Comoros. Depending on who you ask, the Comoros Islands consist of either three or four larger islands and a number of smaller islands. The main island is Grande Comore.

The Comoros were formerly a colony of France. Independence was gained in 1975 for most of the islands, with Mayotte choosing to stay under French control. Comoros considers Mayotte part of the island group – which is where the ‘three or four’ larger islands controversy begins. The islands have experienced decades of political strife as they compete for control. Sources vary, but there have been at least 19 coup attempts since 1975, four of which were led by this man, Bob Denard. Thus, the unfriendly moniker ‘Coup Coup Island’ was born. Within the last few years, however, the factions have come to some semblance of peace, tentative but hopeful. One of the main islands, Anjouan, even hosts a pretty impressive government site, The Anjouan Government. Kansas State University provides a good rundown of facts about these islands in its Comoros Islands’ Home Page.

I felt bad about not putting a lot of effort into last week’s postcard, so I vowed to make up for it with this one. In the process, I have really taken a shine to these mysterious islands. The Comoros played an integral part of the world’s earliest trade routes and are aptly designated as part of the Spice Islands. They come from a grand tradition. Helped then hurt by colonization, the Comoros now hold so much potential as a tourism designation.

This was a tough assignment. Being such a dangerous place, there simply are not a lot of photo galleries out there. One of the best galleries I found is in Czech, from the “Traveler’s Consortium”- if the Czech to English dictionary I found is correct. Still, pictures speak a thousand words, no matter the language. Please enjoy the Traveler’s Consortium’s Momentky z Komorských ostrovů (which I believe translates to Memories of the Comoros Islands, but I could be wrong on that first word). I also found this small, but pretty, gallery Travel in Moroni. For a somewhat depressing look at Comoros, Jeremy Jowell offers this journal entry and this photo gallery. A more recent look at Comoros is offered by world traveler “Erin” in her journal entry from January of this year.

The Comoros Islands are home to some very unique wildlife. It is the only known habitat of the ancient fish, the coelacanth. The Comoros are also home to Livingston’s Flying Foxes. These ‘foxes’ are actually bats – really, really big bats, as in 4 ft. wingspan big. Good thing they eat fruit.

Speaking of eating, here are a few unique Comorian dishes Comorian food link. Bananas and cassava make up a large part of the Comorian diet. Can’t say that I’ve ever had bananas for anything other than a snack or dessert, but any recipe is worth trying once, right?

Well, our bellies are full and we’ve seen just about all there is to see. It’s time to pack up and get ready for next week’s currently unknown destination. May the hope that seems to spring eternal in Comoros actualize itself sooner than later.

Kwa Heri!

5/19/2005

Plogress.com

Filed under: — Jaime @ 10:13 pm

Plogress.com is a site I found by way of Radley Balko’s blog, The Agitator.

On initial perusal Plogress seems very cool and hosts a concept that our own government should have implemented long ago. However, the cynical blogger in me can’t quite trust Plogress since I am unable to determine anything about who runs it. I admit I didn’t spend too much time looking but netiquette necessitates an ‘about’ page. Further, none of the three main entries are dated. Oddness. Anyone have any clue as to the (wo)man/men behind Plogress’ binary curtain?

Democrats Violate Geneva Conventions in Senate Chamber!

Filed under: — Jaime @ 6:16 pm

On the Senate floor this afternoon, Trent Lott courageously defended a voiceless victim who has suffered “years of hell”* in a “torture chamber”* by the hands of the nefarious Democrats.

Who is this victim you ask? Prisoners of Abu Ghraib or Guantanamo? No, beachcombers, if you guessed that, you are mistaken. This “torture chamber” is right here at home and the victim in it is none other than Justice Priscilla Owen, a federal court nominee. (Insert sound effect of brakes squealing or record being ripped from player here).

So Lott is either a major drama queen or far more callous in his politicking than I had previously thought. Why else would he use such dramatic terminology with respect to such a mild issue as judicial nominees when he, among others, is responsible for placing our soldiers into the face of real hell and setting the stage for real torture chambers? I loathe the misuse of language, particularly such upsetting, emotionally-charged language as Lott uses here. It’s just flurking rude, OK? Emotional language is STOOPID and anyone who uses it is a big fat, jerk who should be tortured in hell. Er…ahem…

Lott’s audacity in using such inflammatory wording is a core reason behind our political parties being so polarized and why most of us Americans are sick of both of them. Our leaders in DC have no respect for language and no respect for their constituents’ reasoning ability. Speak to us in paragraphs, in pages, and in chapters. Not everything needs to be made into a soundbite and not everything has to have drama.

*Source: Statements were noted by me while watching C-Span2 online this afternoon during the noon hour.

5/18/2005

Home Improvements 2005

Filed under: — Jaime @ 9:43 pm

This is mostly for my edification and assistance to my ever-diminishing memory but you beachcombers are welcome to read along.

Items completed on our house so far this year:

  • Bushes pruned
  • majority of weeds pulled
  • grass seeding started
  • bathroom door stripped and sanded
  • shelves for extra bedroom cut & painted
  • front door screened
  • office painted
  • That is all so far. This old house has miles to go before it moves from fair to good.

    5/16/2005

    Monday in Monaco

    Filed under: — Jaime @ 11:12 pm

    Monte Carlo

    After a number of cancelled flights and a few hours of sitting on the runway, we have finally arrived in the tiny, Mediterranean principality, Monaco. After last week’s gloomy trip to Badakhshan, I wanted to take us to the extreme opposite in lifestyle. What better place than the legendary home of high-rollers and tax shelters?

    Monaco is not all that large geographically so it won’t take us very long to see all the major sites. Here are two galleries that cover the basics: Visit Monaco Photo Gallery and Al Hoguin’s Monaco Gallery. I also found these images from Monaco’s Exotic Garden Jardin Exotique de Monaco.

    There is a reason Monaco is considered a playground for millionaires – no one else can afford to hang out there. A nice hotel room will cost you 400€ to 500€ a night. Real Estate is just as costly. It’s funny how we can be rich in the eyes of a Badakhshani and nearly paupers to a Monegasque.

    Frankly, I wasn’t all that impressed with Monaco. For all the Travel channel and Robin Leach narrated specials made about this locale, I thought it was sorely lacking in open space and public beaches. Let’s blow our last Euro in the casino and book on outta here.

    Until next trip…

    It’s Like Jelly, Baby

    Filed under: — Jaime @ 9:21 am

    Today marks 9 years since Mike and I first got together. That’s about a third of my life. A third I would never give up and certainly the best third so far. Today also happens to be Jerry Garcia’s 7th birthday. Awww…special day. :)

    5/15/2005

    No Plane on Sunday

    Filed under: — Jaime @ 8:57 pm

    Mike and I have spent all weekend painting the America’s Debate World Headquarters so I haven’t had time to prepare this week’s postcard. I promise we’ll leave tomorrow. Don’t unpack.

    In the meantime, check out my best (read ‘only’) Canadian friend’s new blog: Joe’s Blog. ‘Bout time you entered the blogosphere, Joe! :D

    5/10/2005

    Moronic America #2: Power thieves

    Filed under: — Jaime @ 6:50 pm

    When grocery shopping, have any of you pondered the necessity of open door refrigeration? Anyone? errmmm…glaven.

    Open door grocery displays annoy me. Our power company has raised rates in the last year and has petitioned to do so again. Yet, these grocery stores are never ordered to get some freakin’ doors for their fridges and freezers and do a little on their end for conservation. I wondered how much money could be saved if these stores would simply buy closed displays instead of open ones and found this example, BestWay of Hemingway, SC. Apparently, BestWay saved over $12k in one year by moving from an open to a closed display system. That’s a lot of hamburger.

    Other than the fact that we are grossly spoiled westerners, there is absolutely no other explanation for placing groceries in open refrigerators. I don’t need “open access” and I certainly don’t need to “Grab’n-Go”*. Listen, grocery store owners:

    I DO NOT NEED OPEN REFRIGERATION.

    Put a door on the compartment and save us all some money. And while you’re at it, turn down your lights when you’re closed. We don’t need our streets lit up like we’re on the Vegas strip just so you can keep your image advertising going. Power thieves.

    *Note that ‘Grab’n-Go’ is spelled exactly as I have it here. Why would they use what appears to be a trademarked phrase? I am confused as to why ‘grab and go’ would not have sufficed in their description.

    5/8/2005

    Walking the Wakhan

    Filed under: — Jaime @ 8:17 pm

    Badakhshan

    Happy Sunday, beachcombers. Welcome to this week’s Sunday Postcard. Today we are traveling to the most northeast province of Afghanistan, Badakhshan.

    Badakhshan is one of the most unpopulated areas of the world. Estimates I’ve found put the total population at around 50,000. Most of the citizens reside around the province’s capital, Feyzabad a/k/a Faizabad. Despite it’s primitive setting, Feyzabad does have an an airport and internet access.

    These next galleries give us a brief perspective of life in Badakhshan in general: Luke Powell’s Badakhshan and the Panjsheer Valley Gallery and Assistance Afghanistan photos.

    Portions of Badakhshan encompass the Hindu-Kush valley, known as the Wakhan Corridor. This map of the province gives you an idea of where the valley lies: Badakshan Map. The Wakhan Corridor is truly the middle of nowhere as the following galleries show: UNEP Environmental Assessment Gallery and Eurocorps ISAF VI, Above the Hindu Kush. I especially liked this image showing homage to a saint:

    Horns of a Saint

    All the infrastructure we often take for granted is completely absent in some portions of Badakhshan province. The lack of decent health care, transportation, and nutrition is discussed by Dr. Robert Simpson with Médecins Sans Frontières in his Mission in Afghanistan.

    You probably have noticed the scarcity of women in the photographs that feature people. Apparently, photography of women in this area is prohibited, Women photographed by ISAF troops protest with stones in Afghanistan , Xinhua via Afgha.com. This does not really surprise me however. My initial curiosity regarding this province arose because of this recent Washington Post article: A Killing Commanded by Tradition (registration required). This is a very harsh area of the world and the women have it ten times as hard as the men. This image is particularly compelling, especially in the largest zoom Eurocorps ISAF VI, Traveling Family.

    I know I will never get much closer to Badakhshan than I have today. I will miss out on the majestic geography, but I could not cut it there. Some humans are incredibly resilient.

    5/7/2005

    Simmering

    Filed under: — Jaime @ 3:43 pm

    Not much blogworthy as of late. Mike and I have been cooking up some ideas for expanding AD. The little creative energy I have has been spent in that arena…well that and a little Sims 2 home building I did this week as well.

    Oh yeah, and I also got my haircut. No one notices when I get my hair cut. It goes from really long to long. I’m no slave to fashion anyway so I’m not offended if no one notices.

    Tonight’s delicious scented dinner has been wafting upstairs all day. Slow cooked BBQ pork chops. Mmm…I can’t wait for dinner.

    The Georgia GOP invaded Savannah this weekend. Obviously, the local police were prepared for the antics of those bawdy republicans: Prostitution Sting Results in Seven Arrests. I’m working on Mike to go to River Street with me tonight sporting AD shirts and spread some publicity to the powerful muckety-mucks of my state. Plus, it would be too cool to snap a pic of Sonny Perdue hanging out at Wet Willie’s.

    Random question – do any of you have woods in your downtown areas where people live? We have a number of them here in Savannah. One of the woodland camps is rather close to our home in some woods under an overpass. It’s obvious people live there but the authorities seem to ignore them. Just the other day Mike and I saw a couple pushing a shopping cart along the railroad tracks to the camp. This is weird, right?

    Paranormal lovers and skeptics: it’s a free stream-link weekend at Coast to Coast AM. Sign up here.

    I recently stumbled across this website: Topix.net. It’s one of the best news link collections I’ve found. It certainly blows Drudge and Google News out of the water. The search feature is excellent. I’ve found local news reported in tech journals and such that simply isn’t being reported in the mainstream local media.

    That’s all I’ve got for now. I think I know where we’re traveling tomorrow. Pack for a trip to Afghanistan. Ladies, bring your burkas.

    5/1/2005

    Havana Daydreamin’

    Filed under: — Jaime @ 2:40 pm

    By Thursday, I began to fret that I would not be able to come up with a suitable locale for today’s postcard series. I continually found myself viewing depressing, war-related photo galleries and I really didn’t want to use that for this week. Friday morning I woke up in the middle of a dream where I lived on a beautiful beach in Havana and I knew it was Havana because written in the sand under the clear water near the shore were the letters ‘Hava’ and the rest was washed out. Havana it is, then…obviously :blink:

    We now start our virtual journey to our closest tropical neighbor, the forbidden paradise of Havana, Cuba.

    The first thing that caught my eye, as I think it does most tourists, is how trapped in time Havana appears, particularly the old architecture and the well preserved, half-century old American automobiles. Our first stop, Stanley Recek’s Havana, Cuba Gallery captures the architecture portion of this time warp well. Gerald Oskoboiny’s Havana Gallery has some great shots of the cars. He juxtaposes many of them with crowds of people in typical street scenes, such as this image – I suggest clicking on the large version to do it justice.

    The next thing I noticed is that everyone who takes a holiday in Havana photographs this hotel:

    che
    This photo courtesy of Amity Wilczek’s Havana Gallery

    Really, though, I don’t blame them. If my nanny, er government, would allow me to travel to Havana I would photograph that hotel too.

    For a unique way of seeing Havana, allow Michael Palin to be your guide on a Hemingway Adventure. I confess I’ve not read anything by Hemingway, but I am quite familiar with the Palin’s Travels series. Despite, my Hemingway ignorance, Palin does a great job of keeping it fun and providing essential information to make the story complete. I at least come away with a curiosity as to the taste of a mojito.

    As we depart Havana, I am left with sadness at the bitter feud this lovely island and my nation continue into a fifth decade. Our embargoes have not hurt Fidel Castro and his supporters. They continue to live in Cuban opulence and a majority of its citizens suffer. We need to end our political snubbing and embrace our southern brothers with our capitalism. I think it would be gratifying to start a tradition of rehabilitation and restoration in Havana as Savannah experienced in the 1950′s under the auspices of what we now call the The Savannah Historic Foundation.

    Vivo el Capitalismo!

    The Gull Reef Club