Much ado about scripting, Linux & Eclipse: card subject to change


What a week!

Back from my weeklong escape to the Caribbean, and finally have a moment to write a little about it. Wow. First cruise, and I'm hooked. Great food, great staff, great locations. Photos, for the curious, are here. Planning the next one already... but no idea where yet.

Got to see the following locations:

  1. Fort Lauderdale, Florida: meh.

  2. At Sea: ye gods there's a lot of water out there. Makes ya feel rather... insignificant. Then again, with this non-winter weather, I feel like a contributing factor in global warming. Apparently empowerment smells a lot like impending doom.

  3. Grand Turk, Turks & Caicos: very cool. Very small. Lots of salt water ponds, a recently decommissioned prison (now featuring a small tour and gift shop of horrors). Lighthouse on the northern tip was cool, but sadly not accessible from the inside.

  4. Road Town, Tortola, BVI: also very cool, though there was a couple sitting just behind us on the tour who kept bickering and nattering on about pointless and sundry trivia the whole time. At several points on the guided tour I couldn't hear our guide over your own narrative. You know who you are, and we love you anyway. :-)

  5. Philipsburg, St. Maarten: nice beach, great sail boat. Got to race in the sveral-times-a-day-just-for-you-tourists 12M Regatta race - featuring the actual Stars And Stripes and True North boats from the Americas Cup from the late 80s. 20 years later, these ships are still in fantastic shape. I'm happy to report that in our race, the Canuck boat (ironically, an all American crew of tourists) just barely nosed us out for the lead (we were 83% American with a mere two Canadians onboard). So the American crew beat the mostly American crew using the Canadian boat. I guess you could call that a tie. Either way, it was fun, and of course ended in some gratuitous commercialism as Dad bought yet another t-shirt and a slightly grainy photo of us all winning the race (at least at that point we were in the lead).

  6. At Sea: damn this planet is blue, blue, blue. Contemplated jumping over the side to see if they'd stop for me or if my estate would score a big settlement cheque instead, but opted instead to stay on board. My presence was requested at the next trivia challenge (which we of course lost).

  7. Half Moon Cay, Bahamas: jetskiing with Dad (pictures TBD) was fun, despite our ability to literally suck at it. At one point in the tour, Dad went over some very shallow water and swallowd a bunch of sand into his ski, resulting in his going evern slower than before. Later, I did the same trick and managed to suck a small forest of shallow-water ocean life -- ferns or mosses of some sort -- into my ski. Thanks to the annoyed, yet helpful repairs by our guide, I was once again up and running... with a high-pitched screaming warning light lit up on the console. After convincing him that that noice wasn't there when we first set out, he took off with my boat, blasted it up to some insane speed, blew all the sand out, and handed it back to me, still sporting that 'I hate tourists' annoyed and bored look. All in a day for the staff of Holland America's private island, I guess.

    After jetskiing we hooked up w/ the womenfolk who were ageing prematurely in the sun on the beach as their tour had been cancelled due to apparently rough seas. A quick lunch, and it was off to saddle up for the riding/swimming thingamabob we'd signed up for. I have to say, honestly, I wasn't expecting to enjoy it much, but due to a comfy saddle, and well-fed horse, and a rather forgivingly slow walking pace, it was fairly entertaining. Still more work than actually going for a walk myself, as it added the extra level of 'not falling off' to the mix. I'm hoping the pictures turn out since I didn't actuall see much along with route except my horse's neck and my hands gripping the saddle. Part two involved resaddling with a waterproof 'bareback saddle', which I'm told is *not* an oxymoron despite its obvious self-contradictory nature. We climbed on, went for a trot in the ocean, circled, and about 5 mins later, were back and ready for a drink. All I can say is ouch.

    Later that night we got to win our first trivia event ... well, come in second, anyway, which for the first time all week actually counted for something. That said, we would probably have been beaten by the 12-year-old playing solo had it not been for our ringers, Matt & Geri. Ah, good times.

  8. Fort Lauderdale, Florida: still meh, but at least our plane was on time, and our luggage arrived in Toronto as expected. Air Canada staff in Florida were friendly and helped us skip out on a $25 weight surcharge by shuffling 5 lbs of crap from one 55 lb suitcase to our lighter 45 lb one.