Slept in. Hung out with friends. Soaked in a hot tub. Watched a torrential downpour. (Finally got to see all the sluices in this place working.) Now it is halloween night. I’m slapping together a costume. There is a theme with my friends of medical/insane asylum. I’ll see if I can pass myself off as a crazy person.

Today we were supposed to dress up futuristically

So, I’ve been trying to drink to be more social. Yesterday I found a good tasting drink that I started sucking back. It was nice and fruity and called a Tropica, or something like that. Today I found out that that was a non-alcoholic drink. So much for that plan. This will teach me to ask for a girly drink.
I was talking to a lady who I knew from last year, and she had some good insights about me. Usually when I’ve talked to psychologists, I’ve come out of it feeling worse about myself. This nice person gave me a good talk where I know how to improve myself and gave me a better hope for the future. I probably shouldn’t discuss the details here, so I won’t.
Other than that, my friends have been arriving all day. My roommate showed up. I went snorkelling again, (although I missed the boat because my room key suddenly stopped working, and had to get shipped out especially.) I hung out at the pool. I met a beautiful woman who seems to like me too.
I guess that’s the hope for the future.

Be a pirate day

I had a few items of clothing to look piratical, but what really completed it was a clip-on earring that a woman loaned me; she had two, but she looked more like a gypsy with both on, so we shared the pair. I’m told clip-ons are supposed to hurt after awhile, but I had it on all night with no problem. And it was big.
And with that, pirate night ends. There was a pirate festival week here that ended tonight. They wanted to do a big sendoff, so everyone was encouraged to be a pirate. There were some fantastic costumes. Some people really know how to do the pirate. And I don’t think I saw any Johnny Depp impersonators. Although one guy was the spitting image of Captain Morgan.
I also found out who my roommate is going to be. I know him from before, and I hate him. That’s probably too strong a word, because he’s a very nice person. I just hate him because he has that cute, european look that woman go crazy for. And he knows how to work it. So not hate, jealousy.
Maybe I can get pointers from him.

Snorkel day

Today I did snorkelling. Well, I slept in and took a nap before lunch as well. But I think I’m acclimating now, so at two o’clock I went out on a snorkelling trip. It was nice and I had a good time. The sea wasn’t too bountiful though. I did see some fish, and I think they were taking advantage of the fact that I’m not supposed to touch them. A group of yellow and blue one confronted me and kept coming at me; they looked harmless enough. Different from the fish that looked like miniature swordfish; I left those alone. Those and the jellyfish the size of my thumb.
Other than that, I hung out with friends, eating and drinking.
It’s pirate night tonight. I’ll see what I can come up with.

Wakefulness Report

Okay, I’ve been lethargic since I’ve arrived. Not unexpected; left Edmonton at one in the morning, four hour flight to Toronto, four hour layover there, four hour flight to Jamaica, an hour (est.) to get through customs, and an hour and a half bus ride.
I found a mattress in a wooden hut near the dining area, and rested there for awhile. That helped. What really worked was getting some high-sugar food into me. Now I’m feeling alert. There is a twinge of sleep still in me, so I don’t expect to be up all night, but I feel functional now.
I’ve also spotted some friends, not close ones, but familiar faces are good.

At Resort

I’ve arrived. The resort seems nice. Much bigger than the last one, so I’ve had to spend some time exploring. They provided a map, but this is more interesting.
Haven’t seen anyone I know beyond one glimpse in the distance. Hopefully they’ll show up at dinner.

In Jamaica

I’m in Jamaica now at the bus’s rest stop. The flights were okay, except for sitting next to a rather large woman for one leg. I met two friends in Toronto, but they are staying at a different place tonight. So the bus ride to the resort is bereft of people I know. Hopefully I’ll find familiar faces at the actual place.
Since this is a new resort for me, in a different part of Jamaica, the bus ride at least has new scenery. But right now I’m hungry. And the driver tried to sell me some weed.
But now we’re moving again. More later.

Getting ready for a vacation is stressful

Ugh. What a day.
I hope you realize the sacrifice I’m making for you guys. Every time I take a vacation, Edmonton has beautiful weather while I’m gone. Tonight I leave for Jamaica, so I hope you enjoy the sun.
For me, it hasn’t been going that well. My car died on me. Luckily it was in the Canadian Tire parking lot. I go there only once or twice a year, so that is pressing the odds. From the sounds, it was my battery, but it could have been the alternator. I was hoping the service centre would be more helpful, but they wanted $75 to check out my car. Instead, I talked to the battery department and borrowed some tools from them. Not very good tools, but after a great deal of struggle I was able to remove the battery from my car. I brought it to the battery department and they confirmed it was dead/dying. I got a new one and got it back into my car. It started without problem after that.
But now I’m running late on trying to get ready.
The Edmonton SkyShuttle service is sounding more and more hostile to me. If I didn’t know better I would think they were trying to prevent people from using the service. From a hotel on Whyte Avenue, they say it will take an hour and a half to get to the airport. At eleven at night? Also, be there fifteen minutes early. Previous times I’ve taken this shuttle, it has taken forty minutes, tops.
I’m going with the assumption they are trying to cover themselves legally. Because there is no way I want to sit around and wait for no good reason.
Further updates as they warrant.

A pleasant surprise

I finally took my car in to get repaired. When I had the accident, I promptly contacted my insurer and went to the recommended place near my work to get it estimated. I held off on actually getting it repaired because I figured I would wait until summer. Then I got laid off.
Since then, I’m not using my car that much. My insurance provides for me to have a rental car while I wait for repairs. But it sounds like a lot of trouble to drive across town to the service shop, then deal with rental agencies.
So, instead I asked to go to a non-recommended repair shop. I had to drive a bit to get a new estimation, but once that was done, I took it to Doug’s Place, which is a five minute walk from where I live. I figured that I could skip the rental and just live without a car for the few days they said it would take to do the servicing.
I dropped it off yesterday morning. Unfortunately, my career counselling service had a seminar downtown today that I wanted to attend. Without a car, I had to walk there. It was pleasant enough, and downtown is an interesting place to stroll about afterwards. But while I was there, I got a phone call from Doug’s Place.
My car was ready 26 hours after I had dropped it off. And when I picked it up, I got a gift certificate for $25 at a steak place. They even vacuumed the inside. I need to get into accidents more often! (Do bigger accidents mean bigger gift certificates?)
In other words, I’m very satisfied with the service at Doug’s Place.

Travel time

If you ever meet anyone who is planning on creating a time machine, and has a reasonable chance of success, you should kill them straight away. This is not to prevent the grandfather paradox. As far as I’m concerned, there is no reason not to go back in time and go gunning for grandpa. I’m more concerned about the act of time travel itself.
I am of course only concerning myself with backwards time travel. Forward time travel is fairly harmless and we have the technology right now to do it. (You just need to slow down personal time, and that is automatically done in the presence of any sufficiently dense object. [Insert fat momma jokes here.])
There are two theories of how you can get past time travel paradoxes. The first is the Novikov self-consistency principle. I like this one for fictional purposes, because it maintains consistency while still allowing fun things to happen. As long as you can make it look like nothing has changed, you can change as much as you want. i.e. Rescue every drowning person on the Titanic, as long as you replace them with identical drowned corpses, and then take them back with you to wherever you left from. But it also implies the idea of some greater force controlling things and making sure causality is maintained. As an atheist, I have trouble believing that. Physics doesn’t have a plan.
I’m more concerned about the parallel universe idea. Basically, when you go back in time, you create a parallel universe that you are free to mess up, but you are stuck there. So if you kill your grandfather he is dead and in the future of that universe you will not be born. But that isn’t the problem of your previous universe.
But let’s think about that: You are creating ANOTHER universe! Well, mass and energy are the same thing. Where is the energy coming from to create this universe? To create a parallel universe would require all the energy of this universe. And with entropy, you would actually need more than the energy of this universe. So if you built a time machine and went back, you would need to destroy this universe.
I’m opposed to that. This universe is where I keep all my stuff.

I’m still upset

Five minutes after I finished the last entry, a driver massaged the rules a bit and I was able to get a ride to Whyte Avenue. It did mean I had to walk two blocks on Whyte, dragging suitcases, on a Friday evening.
But I’m home now.
My throat has been scratchy since I first boarded a plane today/yesterday. That doesn’t bode well, but at least it is happening at the end of the vacation, not the start.

I’ve had better returns

Well, I’m bitter now about the airport.
My late flight lands, I get my luggage and I go to the Sky Shuttle booth. I want to take a shuttle bus to a hotel near where I live. I don’t have any other options unless I want to pay a lot for a taxi. (I’m unemployed and I can’t just throw money around.) I arrive at 11:38 PM, and am told that the next bus won’t leave until 1:00 AM.
What. The. Hell?
The Sky Shuttle has this new “Green” policy, which looks more like a “Cheap” policy. They won’t leave or pick-up until they have to. Since they have no busses to spare, I’m stuck waiting for the last one. Previously they used to have regular departures. Now I realize that may not be the most efficient method, but face it, the airport location is far from the city. Taxi rides are expensive to and from here. If you are going to be this far away, you need to have a regular service to get people into the city. Otherwise you have situations like this where I’m stuck in a waiting room for over an hour.
Cranky and tired.
And venty!
I can’t call anyone to pick me up; it’s far too late at night and I don’t want to wake someone up. I don’t like imposing on friends at the best of times.
An hour ago, I was all in favour of closing the downtown airport. Now, I’m thinking we need to shut down the international and consolidate our service in Calgary. If Edmonton wants to act like a cheap podunk town, it should be treated like one. All our flights to go to Calgary.
Cities have a transit system no to make money. It is there to help the citizens. The Sky Shuttle now feels like it is not there for the travellers.
This is reflecting very poorly on Edmonton.


Yesterday, 24 hours before I was to fly, I used the resort’s internet to try and check-in for my flight today. But apparently WestJet will not allow you to check-in if your flight leaves from the Dominican Republic. That seems like a serious bug, but I guess not many people use computers on vacation.
I figured I would at least ask at the in-person check-in for the emergency exit row. I’m not sure how it happened, but I guess since the clerk couldn’t give me that, he tried to get me as close as possible. So I was seated in the row in front of the emergency exit row. Also known as the worst row on the plane. The one row you can’t lean your chair back in.
I don’t like leaning back because I don’t like inconveniencing the person behind me. But if the person ahead of me leans back, I like to have the option to rescue myself
Luckily, there was an immigrant family in front of me, so the small child did not lean back. Instead, through great feats of acrobatics and hyperactivity, he was able to get his foot back to me through the gaps. His baby sister was also rather vocal.

Vacation’s End

Usually on the last night before leaving a tropical vacation, I like to stay up as late as possible. I mean, what am I saving my energy for? I’ve done this where I haven’t slept at all upon getting onto my flight. This time though I didn’t see the sun rise. I saw hints that it was about to; lightening sky, glow on the horizon, etc. But everyone else was gone, and I needed to get a solid two and a half hours of sleep before breakfast.
But I’ve been lax in updating. Near the end of the vacation, you feel pressured to fit more and more into your few remaining days. So I could do amazing things I can’t do at home, or I could update a blog. I picked the former.
Two days ago, Thursday, we did a group excursion off the resort. It wasn’t that good, but it was different. We traveled by bus/jeep to a beach. The resort we are staying at has a man-made beach that quickly turns into sharp, pointy rock bottom. This other beach took an hour and a half car ride. But after half an hour (or an hour?) in the water, we were pretty much done. But we had scheduled three hours. We just hung out and relaxed and ate the packed lunch. The highlight was a bunch of horses that were herded along the beach.
After we were picked up we renegotiated the excursion and went into a local town. There I bought some souvenirs, including a machete (I wonder if I’ll get that into Canada?) some cigars and the local alcohol speciality. (I nearly purchased a painting, but I’m not really that kind of guy. Besides, a frame in Canada would cost more than the art.) The others seemed to conglomerate at a beach bar where they ate and drank. The guide was great, because he protected us by letting us know good prices and whether we had gotten ripped off or not.
When it was time to go it was a trial for the guide though. People kept wandering off. When he finally got the last two missing people back to the bus, others had gone off to buy some ice cream.
Long day.
In the evening there was some dancing in the disco, but the salsa lessons didn’t seem to take. More just random gyrating. Then late into the night by the pool.
Yesterday was the last day. There had been talk to go to the Blue Lagoon for some waterfall diving so I got up early for that, but no one had the energy so I went right back to bed to catch up on sleep.
In the afternoon we did some shuffleboard and then we got a few people to go snorkelling. There really isn’t support for water activities, so there is no scuba diving. But the snorkelling was easy enough. A lot of black sea urchins though. We did discover that there were two beaches, and the second one that is more remote was much better for swimming from. We rounded a big rock sticking out of the water and saw a brain coral the size of a coffee table.
For dinner the resort brought out cake to say goodbye to our group. We’ve been very popular here, having more fun than the average tourist. And they have made us feel very special. Then we went to the bar and pool and hung out there far too late into the night.
This morning we left. Although I did manage to sneak in a skinny dip into the pool half an hour before the bus. (Don’t make me bored or I will entertain myself.)
I am pretty sure the airport is trying to make me go insane. My watch is still broken, so I’ve been depending on my cell phone. And it seems that some cell tower here is off, because my cell phone is telling me a time five hours off. There are no clocks readily apparent, not even on the departure time video monitors.