June 2003
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Tourists in a strange land ...

June 29, 2003

My wife promised me adventures the day we got married ... and today she delivered. With the weather cloudy and the air warm but not muggy, we took several hours getting up and moving. Finally deciding on taking another trip to Myakka to go roller blading - which overruled (Cam's idea) a trip back down to Venice - had us packing our bag with water, shoes, roller blades, and jackets (in case the weather went sour). And we were off ...

First, we should mention again that the rain has been steady down here up until this week. In fact, a dam in Bradenton was on the verge of breaking and several homes here in Sarasota were flooded due to the high water. We ourselves have some minor water damage due to a leak in the roof. So when we came upon the "Local area traffic only" sign we(I) decided that it was likely placed during the high points of the water and not yet picked up. Continuing on we soon saw that the waters were indeed high (only a about a foot or two below the bridges). It was not long though until we found ourselves at the entrance to the park. One problem ... the gate was shut and a sign read "Road Closed due to high water".

"Well, we weren't going to take the car in anyway" - said Melissa.

So, putting on the blades we payed the park fee ($2) through a collection box and headed into the park through the pedestrian walk-through (unchained). It was around the first bend that we saw why the road was closed ... the water still covered the road, though half only had a trickle flowing across.

"Guess we turn around here then ?" said Melissa. Slightly disappointed as she had really been looking forward to this roller-blading trip.

"Nope, we can make it through on this side" commented Cam as he glided into the very shallow stream.

Problem was that was not the only water section we had to cross ... and we soon saw ourselves passing through several more. The forest floor had turned into a swamp, and Melissa kept stating "Keep your eyes open". And almost like an omen, right beside us just off the side of the road we met an old friend ...

gator learking

His tail splashed hard sending our stomaches into our throat.

"Ahh ... hon!" Melissa stated in a shaky voice.

"YEA, I KNOW! What do you want ME to do about it!" yelled Cam.

We came to a stop on the next available dry patch of road. Knees knocking knowing exactly what we saw. Our eyes were now darting the flooded under-bush looking for what else leaked in the shallow waters.

"Where to now ?" ask Cam wondering if Melissa actually wanted to continue. Thing was ... there was a choice to be made. Press on through the next 5 1/2 miles of park road, which could possibly contain more of these prehistoric "friends". Or head back ... the way we just came. Though the car is only a few hundred feet away ... we still KNEW what was between us and that protection. Feeling like we were caught in a real-life moment of Jurassic Park, we took a deep breath and headed back.

"So, Melissa, do you want to go first ... or second"

With Melissa taking the lead, we sped past the guarded patch of water.

"Melissa, be careful", thinking that she might wipe out if she pushed it too hard, water and roller blades don't usually mix.

"Just keep up", she would shout back.

Then the last patch of water (you remember how innocent it was when we passed through just moments before) seemed to jump as there was another large splash - this time from the other side of the road. Well, at that point we broke for it ... sprinting back to the car. Still shaking, I could barely open the door.

Scrambling to remove the roller blades and put on our shoes to leave, a Ford Explorer with "Fire Unit" marked on the side, looked as if they were about to stop in on us. Though they turned around when they noticed we were heading out. Think they thought we just saw the road closed sign. Turns out they were patrolling the road as we saw them doubled back again as we were driving home. As we crossed over one of the bridges we managed to see yet one more of our gator friends swimming merrily in the river, boy they are big.

And to think ... just a few weeks ago we were wondering where Florida was hiding these creatures.

Well ... final thoughts ... "It was worth the $2 ... but probably not such a smart idea" - though it was an adventure !

Posted by csb at 12:10 AM


Well, I'm glad to see that you're sense of adventure hasn't diminished. Now if only you're sense of survival can keep up with it.

Posted by: John at June 29, 2003 12:01 PM

haha. Good entry Cam... makes me feel like I should be taking more adventures here. But for now I'm stuck working on a homework assignment. Ugh.

Posted by: orque at June 29, 2003 2:05 PM

Well ... it was that ... an adventure. What I am really hoping to do is going on a 'toured' hike/canoe trip with one of the park rangers. That way we can get introduced properly to the creatures of the area.

Posted by: Cameron at June 30, 2003 8:31 AM

Umm I hate to tell you this but there are worse things than gators in flooded swamps...hasn't anybody schooled you on the idea of the water moccasin.


Gators for the most part you can see...snakes are a little tougher. Hence I like to stick to saltwater. Only sharks and riptide and jetskis to worry about :).

Posted by: Jeff at July 4, 2003 1:26 PM

Hello. And Bye.

Posted by: XRumerTest at February 26, 2012 2:36 AM


Posted by: Xavogopi at December 19, 2012 4:00 PM

Early morning - late night

June 29, 2003

[ Work has keep me busy so I am posting several entries all at once ... sorry for the confusion ]

Wednesday: Staying late ( evidently I have fallen back into my old habits ) again at work I managed to complete another build of our software for QA. Though I know of plenty of issues that remain - I feel I am making progress. However, I did not get the usual time of relaxation when I got home - instead went straight to bed.

By 2:30AM the alarm was going off and Thursday had begun. For today I was sending Krishen home. Evidently his TN visa was about to run out and he needed to cross back to Canadian soil to renew. This caused a great deal of "excitement" at work due to the expense of the flight and the work days missed. Thus, they seem to be looking at moving ahead with the process of getting H1-b visa's to avoid this problem in the future. Besides a little more freedom and flexibility, we are not yet sure of all the advantages and disadvantages yet -- but I am sure it won't take long to search those out.

One more thing to note ... on the way home from Tampa we came across some road construction. Typical. Except for a couple of things ... (1) they had no flag people ... and ... (2) they were not stopping traffic while they were placing an overhead road sign with a crane [ directly over the lane of traffic ]. What resulted was complete confusion on the part of the drivers. All hesitating (myself included) wondering if we were allowed to go or not. In fact the crew seemed to be completely ignoring the traffic all together. -- Such things would not happen at home and I have a feeling that ICBC and the WCB would someone's head if they saw such things. Hate to see what kinda of lawsuits would result if that sign had fallen on a car, or one of the workers hit.

Posted by csb at 12:09 AM


Florida : Sunshine State

June 29, 2003

Tuesday I managed to grab a afternoon off work and headed north the the closest district DMV. This in an attempt to get the required paperwork to complete our move. Odometer readers are required along with a basic vehicle inspection ( though it was much simpler than when moving to Seattle -- and much much easier than moving back to BC ).

On the way home I stopped at the Tax Collectors office to grab the plates ... this, however, turned my short lunch break into a several hour affair. The young lady, a history teacher still looking for an assignment, had not previously done a out of country registration. Thus, there were many questions that needed to be answered and things looked up. She was quite nice about the whole thing, and even gave me some pointers. There was one snag in the whole process ... tax. The state of Florida wants to charge me 6.5% sales tax on my vehicle (on the fair market value) ... even though I have owned the car for 3 years. We sat around searching for loop holes in the registration requirements. The best we could come up with came about by fluke ... I have to manually send in the Title papers to GMAC since I did not have their address on hand ... thus - I got the plates and can hold off on the tax until I finish the paperwork -- which is required to be complete before the next time I register ( one year from now ).

And now to the law books to search for that loop-hole ...

Posted by csb at 12:09 AM


Something for you to keep in mind: Any vehicle taxes that you pay which are based on the value of your car can be taken off your income taxes. So, that 6.5% registration fee can be deducted.

Just thought you'd like to know.

Posted by: John at June 29, 2003 12:05 PM

Time for the "Dog and Pony" show

June 24, 2003

At 11:30 Krishen and I managed to sneak away from work and along with Melissa headed to the Tampa Apple Store in search of the future ...

One only needs to go as far as apple.com to review the latest changes in our world of bit manipulation. However, the real treat lies in watching the full show, Steve loves his shows. Heck, even Melissa watched, and enjoyed, everything but the stuff on new development tools.

But for a summary:

   - Music store has recorded over 5 Million songs sold
   - Safari is released as 1.0 (and if by far my favorite browser)
   - iChat AV Public Beta is released and includes both voice and video conferencing (I have downloaded it - so join me online ... though I only have a mic available)
   - In combo, Apple released a new device - the iSight

But the big news comes with a preview of Panther and the announced availability of the PowerMac G5 this September.

View the specs of the new G5 right here, or here, or here. But we are basically talking upto 8 Gigs of RAM, a 1 GHz frontside bus, and cools its 1.6-2 GHz processor(s) with 4 independently computer cooled air tunnels - bringing the background noise down from the current G4s.

Panther, being release before the end of the year (a copy of which we are expecting here at work within weeks), has some very exciting features - the most relevant to myself would be the fast-user switching. Both Melissa and I agreed that this would solve a number of our home-computing wows. However, the fast searching, MUCH improved finder, and exposé feature are also high on my list of important improvements. Take a sneak peak

So ... what else did I see that was interesting.

- Apple released a 'roadmap' indicating they will release 3GHz machines within 12 months after the G5 release. This is interesting as Apple does not like releasing information like this ... but corporate America has been requesting it

- IBM came on stage and made a very public (in my opinion) commitment to the G5 and to Apple. This is a big thing for a couple reasons: for one IBM is more consistent with their chip production than Motorola and IBM public support brings a more stable peg to the Apple platform (in the eyes of the analysts).

- New Developer Tools, XCode ... still waiting to see what it is all about, but this will be a BIG deal in my world. Especially the 'fix on the fly' and 'auto-compiling' features - not to mention distributed builds using idle machines on your network ... very very very cool

Man ... wish I was there ... the 175 sessions of information packed geekdom would be "insanely great" ... but all in all - a very good, positive, and exciting show. Even though the specs were released a little early (oops), I was still not disappointed in what I saw.

What were your thoughts on the show ? The future ? And the public reaction to Apple latest developments ? ... comment now. (You of course can always comment using the 'comments' link below each posting!)

Posted by csb at 9:37 AM


Lucky Dog.... I was stuck watching the streaming version after the fact. Our local Apple Store isn't big enough to have a theater. :-(

Posted by: John at June 24, 2003 1:50 PM

Break out the bats

June 22, 2003

Finally ... a day to sleep in. Sunday being the typical 'day of rest' allowed me the chance to finally sleep past 9. This after two days of early mornings and a week of late nights.

Friday Melissa and I broke out of bed at the crack of dawn to meet up with a neighbour down at his work site. Turns out that his company is salvaging a old Best Western here in town and they were giving a bunch of stuff away. Being the cheap folks we are we jumped at the opportunity. Being that it had going on since Monday, by Friday much of the good stuff was taken. We did manage to grab a couple mirrors, a bed frame, and a few plants ... all at a price we could afford ... FREE!!! :)

Saturday the alarm went off far to early for me ... but the chores must be done! Breaking out the bats, hard hats, and hockey gloves we loaded into the car and headed to Walmart ... for today "Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix" hit the shelves and Melissa was determined to get one. Turns out that living in the small, quiet community of Sarasota allowed us to easily snag a copy before they were sold out. And the few lines allowed us time to play dress up, Melissa had a great time trying on dresses, hats, shirts, skirts, and pants as we wasted the early hours of the morning ... on returning home I prompted crashed in bed.

As for the rest of the week ... it was dull and boring. I worked, and worked, and worked. Had our final design review of the our pelvis exam simulator so I was caught up in preparing for that. Melissa has enjoyed pulling out the game consoles and has been busy trying to finish Super Mario since poor weather has kept her mostly inside. The week has been cloudy and raining - with some down pours like I have never seen before. Apparently a dam in Bradenton was on the brink of breach this past week (Bradenton is just a couple miles north of Sarasota) and several people we evacuated. Though it seems like everything is ok now, we are expecting continued rain until Tuesday. And, just for note, when I say rain ... it it more like walking through a car wash.

Hopefully I won't be so lazy in my reporting of the news this coming week ... we are hoping to make it to the Tampa Apple Store for the WWDC keynote address - so if that happens I will make sure I post the notes :)

Posted by csb at 1:37 PM


hahaha... baseball bats. didn't realize what you talking about, then you said Harry Potter and it all made sense. :)

kinda freaky about the dams in bradenton. just glad i'm not living on the first floor! :)

Posted by: Krishen at June 23, 2003 12:38 AM

Exploration to the south

June 15, 2003

First off, we wanted to recognize that Vancouver and Victoria (and likely all of southern BC and northern Washington) has been experiencing a hot spell. Reaching 30+ degrees Celsius in the last few days. Just wanted to let you know that we know how you feel ... the water temperature in the ocean here pushed 30-31 degrees Celsius today. We feel your pain - but love our tan :)

Now, for recounting our journey. Leaving around 11 AM (little later than planned), we took the scenic route down Tamiami Trail in search of Venice beach and the shark teeth mother-load. The drive was quite pleasant as we passed out of Sarasota with green grass, trees, and bushes lining the road side. As we crested the draw bridge coming into Venice we got an out-standing view of the city as well as the surrounding country side. A smaller city, it had a very historic old west kinda feeling to it. We drove on looking for the "Beach this way" sign - but none was to be found. So ... we just kept driving. Finally we saw a sign for Manasota Beach and Gulf Beaches so we took the right turn and headed towards the coast. Once we arrived at the beach we took a left and drove down the coast a bit, we were exploring after all. The small road stretched under a canopy of oaks and palms making the drive quite relaxing. Stopping only once to let a turtle cross the road we soon arrived at what turned out to be our destination, yet another of Florida's many beaches.

At Blind corner beach (or something along that line), we unpacked the towels, banket, fins, snokels, and masks and headed to the water. Through not the nicest of the beaches we have seen, it was uncrowded and seemed much more of a family beach. One thing we did notice was that the shore was lined with dead fish (later discovered was a result of red tide), they were not fresh and it did not stink so we took our chances and headed into the water. There were tons of shells on the bottom, probably due to a lack of tourist in the area, so we picked up several more for our expanding collection.

After some sun bathing, shell hunting, and general relaxation we decided to go find a Subway for lunch/dinner (was pushing 4PM and I was getting hungry). After picking up lunch and stopping at a sewing shop to check on repair prices and slipcover patterns we headed home. Through before we got out of town we finally saw the "Venice Bch to the left" sign ... and having come all this way we made the turn.

Leaving the main road, Venice turned more into a tourist town with cleaner streets and store fronts. The beach was a nice one. Does not have the white sands of Siesta instead offers crushed shells and tiny pebbles for sand, but it was nice and did not stick to you like syrup. Turns out there is a reef not far off shore, so we ended up running into some scuba divers while snorkeling out in the depths (6-10 ft of water is deep around here). A hundred yards off shore and 10 ft down we discovered where the sand dollars are hiding from beach goes. There were hundreds of them buried in the sand enjoying the peace and quite of the ocean. Pushing farther from shore we finally started diving in more the one atmosphere of water - though not having tanks with us the bottom time started to be cut short.

After having our fill of the not-so-deep green ocean we headed back to land. Seeing a breakwater in the distance we headed that way ... there is always life around a breakwater. We did not get very far before we noticed yellow stakes in the sand marking the sea turtle nests. Hmm .. guess it is past May 1st (start of the turtle nesting season). We are going to have to find out when they hatch and come help them be directed back to the ocean. Apparently they use the moonlight sparkling off the waves to find the ocean after hatching. Human development has put a kink in these plans with street, car, and house lights causing some of the turtles to head inland thinking it is the ocean. So every year volunteers get together and 'chase' them towards the water - sounds like it would be good fun.

We also came across several people sifting through the sand. Questioning them reviled what we were looking for ... shark teeth. Now with our eyes peeled on the ground we were in the hunt. And before long we had 3 teeth, two being perfect specimens. In our after-trip research it turns out we found 2 sand shark teeth and 1 bull shark tooth, all between 15-20 millions years old (distinguished by their dark colour). Happy with our day we headed home in hopes up meeting up with Kim, Angie, and Krishen for a night out on the town.

One more thing to note, it does seem as if the daily dump of rain has begun ... on our way out to buy groceries we could watch the dark clouds roll in. What an interesting site, the clouds drew a line down the sky ... bright blue clear sky on one side ... storm clouds on the other. All during the sunset -- which made for a beautiful display of colours and light. It will go from hot and sunny - to a massive lightening storm - back to clear skies all in 2 hours. Provides a nice break in the later part of the day.

Posted by csb at 7:53 PM


Well, at least you didn't reviled them with questions. :)

Sounds like it was a fun time! The rainful becomes even more regular in July and August. You can almost set your watch by it, 4pm on the dot.

Posted by: Krishen at June 15, 2003 11:43 PM

Okay, time to update already :)

Posted by: Krishen at June 18, 2003 12:04 AM

Geezzz ... like your one to talk :)

Posted by: Cameron at June 18, 2003 7:01 PM

i am one to talk. my blog was only down for a week or so. :D

btw, if you think you'll be posting infrequently, you can configure MT so that stuff doesn't roll off so quickly.

Posted by: Krishen at June 20, 2003 3:34 AM

Okay, time to update!

Posted by: Krishen at June 22, 2003 2:20 AM

On to Venice

June 14, 2003

We continue pumping out the code at work. I got re-tasked this week to help lower the CPU usage of one of the applications. After 2 days with the code, we managed to reduce the app from 60% to 20%(or better). While more is yet to be trimmed, everyone seems happy about the progress. As for next week, I will be putting the finishing touches on the Pelvic ExamSIM.

In the mean time, Melissa are heading to Venice today - though we won't have a camera withus .. we will tell you all about it when we get back.

Posted by csb at 11:26 AM


License to Drive ... oh and those Myakka pictures!

June 11, 2003

Today Melissa and I joined Alex (my Russian counterpart here at METI) in a trip to the DMV. Figured with me providing my information to the cops the other week it was finally time to update that drivers license. [ Ordered the car insurance Monday ]. So we get there and we find out why drivers down here are so bad ... they can't walk, hear, and should really be at home hooked up to a heart monitor. Turns out that they transferred over Melissa's learners license without a problem ... which was a surprise. Though they would only give me a license until my TN runs out next Feb 29th - and I had to turn in the Washington State license so now I am back to using the BC license for the next 30 days.

One other thing we noticed, Dad you will like this, state law dictates that if you drop out of school or miss 15 days or more without an official leave of absence YOU LOOSE YOUR LICENSE (or can't get it in the first place). This is done of course to promote staying in school ... interesting the way they handle things down here.

But now back to the real reason everyone showed up ... PICTURES !!!!!! All photos were taken with Krishen's wonderful digital camera. (we need to get ourselves one of those ... oh well, abuse while you can!!!)

Yes Krishen ... these bite too!

Melissa ... did you not reading the sign ... there are creatures about!

There you are ... we have been looking all over for you!

Playing catch with the local fishermen

Steamboat Wille; still at it after all these years

The park had some incredible views

Look waaaaayyyy up!

... but try not to look down !!!

Their canopy research tower provided a stunning view of the area

Where one finds trees, one must climb

Melissa and I stop for a photo op!

Recently the frogs have started to come out and play

Just look at those colours!

And the plant life: This was a Palmette, distingishable by the 'squared off' stem

"So whatcha wanna do tomorrow ?" ... living the life of the Jungle Book

Posted by csb at 10:48 PM


great pictures!

Posted by: Krishen at June 14, 2003 3:39 PM

Works all in the camera :) We just have to figure out what camera we want - combined with what we can afford ... hmmm

Posted by: Cameron at June 15, 2003 1:39 PM

Hi kids, what great pictures! The res on that camera is fantastic!
Sounds like you are having a great time exploring your new home and surrounding area. Most interesting pets you have also - you will have to keep a close eye on Patches!
We are back to cloudy weather here with the usual cool ocean breeze.
Work is not too busy for me these days - summer is usually my planning and catch up season. We also have the FREE assistance of an adult ESL student these days, so my department is actually caught up on things.
Doug's reno business is doing quite well and he is getting lots of small jobs, which keep him hopping. He would love to land a BIG one where he gets to renovate a whole kitchen, bath or house! That day will come I am sure.
His quartet is going to sing in Langley this weekend so Barb is coming down and we will cycle and golf hopefully.
Next weekend, Jusly 1st, we are going to take a day trip to Pender Island and go exploring there. Neither of us have been there yet.

I guess I should close, as this is a letter, not really just a comment - other than to say - we love you and miss you - and are glad that you are doing well there.

XOXO mom

Posted by: mom at June 19, 2003 1:17 PM

Long day

June 10, 2003

Well ... not that we have basically spent all that wonderful green paper they call money down here, figured it was time to sit down and make a budget. What a pain! Went back through the last several months, pouring over data from the web site, pay slips, reciept papers -- fighting to find that ever-lovin' last dollar. At one point we were missing like $350 ... but not to worry ... turned out to be a typo. None the less ... it was a stressful evening. Gotta love makin' those budgets that you know don't stand a week in the real world. At least they give you an idea of where the money is ... right ?

The disappointment was compounded by the fact that the ducks lost ... were blanked ... were taken out back and fried. Oh well ... 4 months and we do it all again!

Posted by csb at 1:26 AM


Weekend of Discovery

June 9, 2003

The end of the weekend brings time of reflection -

Two weeks and two adventures after snagging a pair of brand new RollerBlades(TM) for Melissa [ $25 @ Salvation Army ]; we explored more of our surroundings. Our last two outings look us to Orange Ave, a nice up-scale neighbourhood just outside of downtown. This time, however, we wanted to explore our local area. Heading towards McD's for ice cream we found this walking trail heading away from the main road ... so being the risk takers we are enter we did.

Was a quiet trail that made its way to the front entrance of a 45 hole golf course. This is where Melissa met Mr. Pavement for the first time. Though I must say he was a lot nicer to her than he ever was to me, she came away with only a minor road rash. Moving along, we eventually completed a huge circuit surrounding our apartment complex, weaving our way back home. It felt like an incredible amount of distance for only one hour of relaxed blading, though we will have to drive it to get a better idea.

We rode down trails, passed creeks and communities, by parks and schools, and through neighbourhoods. The heat finally brought us home to the pool where we relaxed before heading to Walmart with Krishen for a movie rental. "Walmart rents movies ?", you ask. No, they don't - but they do have a $5.88 bin that is great for the treasure hunter. However, we ended up leaving with the latest James Bond adventure to add to our collection; since none of us had not seen it yet we figured "what the heck!".

Not so early to bed ... but early to rise. Waking about 2 hours earlier than planned I managed to get some time in on a personal project that has been neglected over the last few months, something I hope to get more time on in the future. However, our 10 AM wake-up call came soon enough and our day began.

Our packing of the cooler and gathering of our gear was delayed as we went to pack Krishen's air-conditioned vehicle and noticed the doors locked and the keys ... well they were on the front seat. Oops! However, a quick call gathered the spare keys and we were soon on our way.

Myakka River State Park lies about 20-30 minutes East of our place. Our first stop was for lunch at what they called "The Bird Walk"; a boardwalk that stretched out into the march of Myakka Lake. There we sat and ate lunch watching a Snowy Echel trying to catch some lunch of his own. And leaking in the weeds out in the marsh was a more 'interesting' creature that decided to stay the distance.

Moving on further, Krishen enjoyed an ice-cream while we strolled through the woods near the river tours boat dock. But what we found at the end of the trail brought and end to doubt and worry. Looking over the edge of a pear at the end of the trail we saw our first gator - in the wild and enjoying the company of the fishermen. We were starting to believe it was something Floridians made up to keep the tourists away. Joining him was a large Heron, who kept his distance from our new found friend, trying to play catch with the fishermen as they through back their catch. The marsh was packed with fish ... the lines were not in the water a few seconds before a fish was snagged ... though don't reel too close to those eyes poking through the waves !!!

After heading on from there we stopped at a nature walk and decided our day would not be complete without seeing more of what the Florida wilderness had to offer - though we were sure to stick mostly to the trails! First stop on the hike ... the canopy walkway. Moving up tower one, you walk across a suspension bridge about 20-30 ft in the air - about the same height as the tree tops allowing you to see first hand the life living in the tree tops. The second tower headed to about 80 ft providing a view of the area like no other. Rising a good 30-40 ft above all the trees you were able to see to the edge of the horizon ... no mountains obstructing your view.

Climbing down (surprised I managed to get up there in the first place) we headed out for a nature walk of our own ... looking to find a path less travelled on I soon came face to face - eye to eye with a red and black spider. Though not too big, it did manage stop me in my tracks. I had just looked up from watching where I was stepping and there he was - 2 inches from my nose. Melissa decided that it was best not to be moving in that direction and we soon were back on the designated path.

Salem Palms and Sawed Palmettes lined the walk ways as we travelled through the Hammock. Spying birds, insects, plants, and assorted animals we studied the fresh wildlife of the area with the fascination of an excited cameraman. Over bridges and meadows; through tress and shrubs; it was finally the misquotes that finally drove us out. And back home to reality.

Further relaxation in the pool and a quick trip to the "Main Bookstore" downtown ended out the weekend. Now, as I sit here typing this, Melissa sleeps peacefully on one of our new couches. All in all, we seem to be settling in here just fine.

Until our next adventure ...

( I will post pictures of our weekend adventure as soon as I can steal some from Krishen - the more we explore the more we find a need for a digital camera of our own. )

Posted by csb at 1:08 AM


Impaired driving ... is it manageable ?

June 5, 2003

Well, a late night discussion raged last night involving Melissa, Krishen and I as we tried to hash out an effective solution to impaired driving. The question: "Should a vehicular accident involving an imparired driver could carry a 1st degree murder charge (pre-meditated) ?" The statement comes from the fact that as a society we are educated in the dangers of driving while impaired - Sleep, Drinking, Drugs, or Cell phones. So we should be capable of making the judgment call of if we should drive or not. Thus, if you get behind the wheel while impair you are essentially stating "Lets go kill someone tonight" - and thus carry similar penalties.

Problem is that you would have to have proof to convict someone. So while drugs and alcohol leave a trace, is there a way to measure a persons 'tiredness' ? Then on top of that - how do you enforce it ?

My personal opinion is that the driver already 'signs' a contract stating that he/she/it is capable of driving - it is called turning the ignition and stepping on the gas. Unless the driver is required to pass a physical exam and drug test prior to getting behind the wheel, there no practical solution. As a driver you are responsible not only for yourself and your passengers but also all pedestrians and traffic (bikes, cars, trucks, planes, and trains). Redundancy in this situation just reduces the connivence - thus reducing the ability to gain public support.

The way to gain the results, I believe, is to ease the restrictions, add research money into devices that assist the 'user' make a qualified decisions (since being impaired effects your judgment), and then stiffen the penalties. Which basically takes us full circle. "Should a vehicular accident involving an imparired driver could carry a 1st degree murder charge (pre-meditated) ?"

Thoughts ? Krishen looks at being impaired through lack of sleep

You know ... I have no idea how this came up in conversation, especially since we just finished watching "Star Trek: Nemisis" ... maybe it had something to do with Troy piloting the Enterprise ?? "Nemisis" turned out to be a nice conclusion to the Next Gen sage ... which in my opinion was the best of the 4 concluded series.

Posted by csb at 9:18 AM


All in a nights work

June 3, 2003

It is almost becoming routine; Melissa and I driving down the road and being one of the first on the scene of an accident. With several of such experiences under our belt we were again thrown into that situation last night.

Travelling east along Fruitville, a gentleman decided to make a left turn onto Beneva. The only trouble was - he did not have enough room and was clocked by another gentleman travelling west. Melissa and I were a couple lanes over and a couple car lengths back - so she got to see the whole thing happen. I of course was paying more attention to the road in front of me, though the whole situation was hard to miss. The screeching tires, shattering glass, and all.

Grabbing our beach blanket and kicking ourselves for taking the first aid kit out of the car, we crossed the road to find the twisted cars hemmed into the poor cars waiting at the stop light (heading south). Can't imaging what that would have been like ... seeing two cars come spinning towards you -- and NO-WHERE for you to go. Anyway, in typical Melissa fashion she was quickly able to take control of the scene and assess the damage to each individual. With only one individual showing signs of distress, Melissa focused her attention on her.

When the paramedics arrived (only about 5 minutes thanks to 911 and the fire station being 2 blocks away) Melissa passed off the patients name, age, condition and currently known medical conditions. The paramedic then left Melissa in control, only as a secondary thought asking if she was ok to stay at station. Returning with further equipment and staff, he then had Melissa help with the 'roll' onto the backboard. After he was verifying that she was a nurse only to be shocked when he found out she was a regular jane. He mentioned that she did a better situation assessment and patient handoff than several of his partners. Which of course was a huge confidence boost.

In the end thanks to both vehicles having airbags, everyone only had bumps and bruises. Only the one lady was taken away, and that was more of a pre-caution. Turns out though that the cops decided to take down my license as ID due to us being witnesses; which now means I am going to have to get to the DMV soon and get my Florida license and Melissa is going to have to get some form of ID down here as well.

Hopefully that is the last of the accident scenes for quite some time, though it re-iterates the need for me to get in and do a First-Aid course.

Posted by csb at 9:01 AM


Well there will probably be an EMT basic course here at METI someday. This being the state of Florida you probably will be seeing another accident soon enough. Though usually you'll see the afteraffects and not the accident itself.

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