Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Playing "Chicken" With The Tourists

That's not entirely accurate: it was the tourist who played "chicken" with me.

This past Sunday I had to run an errand to West End (which is more like going 'up north' - okay, I won't go into the semantics) and the car needed some gas. Now, some people might not think that detouring to the gas station as a life-altering coincidence but, in this case, I might have just saved the lives (or prevented personal injury) of several tourists.

Imagine, if you will, a stretch of road with two cars traveling toward one another. Midway between the vehicles is an intersection at which exists a stop sign and at which two other vehicles await their cue to proceed safely to their own destinations. As I traveled toward the intersection intending to make my left turn, the oncoming vehicle is traveling toward me - in the same lane! We were almost equidistant from the intersection and, not knowing how fast the oncoming car was moving or in which direction it intended to travel, I flashed my lights at it in alarm.

Without moving to the proper lane, the oncoming car continued forward but reached the intersection before me and decided to turn, narrowly missing the car sitting at the stop sign. Thankfully, the vehicle at the stop sign checked both directions before proceeding forward and noticed the wrong-way traveller, as it is very common here for some Bahamians to ignore stop signs and stop lights, or many other rules of traffic for that matter.

Mr. Wrong Way quickly realized his error, probably after almost having a heart attack when he turned the corner and saw two other vehicles in the lane he thought he should be traveling.

How did I know he was a tourist, you ask? All vehicles here are given a certain colour of licence plate and that colour depends on its use and/or ownership. Rental cars are given white licence plates with the alphabetical prefix of "SD" followed by a number. I always wondered what was meant by the "SD" designation. Now I know: "Stoopid Driver".

Nobody ever said Bahamians didn't have a sense of humour.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

"Puttin' On The Ritz"

Firstly, let me apologize for the recurring and, more than likely, upcoming hurricane posts between now and the end of November. This post, however, is one I could not resist. So, without further ado ...

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As some of you know, I presently live in an area of the world that is ripe with tropical storms and hurricanes during the months of June through November every year. It is, therefore, typical if not prudent of me to monitor the weather in the tropics during the storm season for potential dangers that may befall us. Truly, a serious and intense attitude must be adhered to during these precarious times. Unless, of course, the storm has been named, "Igor" and, well, all serious objectivity goes south and turns into shits and giggles.

(Marty Feldman as "Igor" (pronounced "eye-gore") in Young Frankenstein)

I mean, really, how can anyone take a storm named "Igor" seriously? The forecaster from National Hurricane Centre was probably cracking up when he (or she) wrote the advisory headline, "...Igor creeping westward...".  I know I did.  One of the meteorologists on the Weather Channel even likened him to the sweet and innocent character that appears in Young Frankenstein, portrayed by the late (and great) Marty Feldman.

As I write this, Igor is merely a tropical storm, his projected path and development is unclear and will remain so for some time. I suspect that the storm's path with waver back and forth, much like "Igor's" hump did throughout the movie.

If Igor does eventually reach us, there's not much we can do about it other than prepare. In the meantime, I think I'll pop in the DVD tonight, just for shits and giggles.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Awww...How Purdy!

This is one of the latest infrared satellite images of the Atlantic.  I don't know if VanGogh would have been flattered or maybe just mad enough at Mother Nature to cut off his other ear in protest of being copied.

(Satellite Image borrowed from NOAA)

So far, none of the forecast tracks for the current storms have them coming toward our island (*crossing fingers, toes, legs and eyes - oops, maybe not the eyes, it makes it hard to type*), but we will get some of the effects like wind gusts that will cool down the temperature (YAY!!) and some rain bands that will make more work of our pool (bummer).  I guess you can't have the good without the bad.

Either way, I expect to be sporadically appearing online due to the weather and/or my stomach.  No worries, though, we will survive.

And, to any others out there that may be affected by the storms, be prepared and stay safe!


Edit:  In case anyone is interested in tracking storms, there are many sites.  I recently found this site  which shows the computer models of storm tracks.  There is a zoom feature on the left and a toggle menu on the far right.  It's quite interesting.