29 November 2010

It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Carnival

I had a relaxing weekend: just one trip to town to do some Christmas and housewares shopping.  No cooking, no real laundry to speak of, some basic house cleaning.  So with nothing much to update, I thought I would take this opportunity to write about the anticipated upcoming holiday events, namely Carnival, Christmas, and J'ouvert.  The December calendar looks something like this:

17 December – Official opening day of Carnival
If you're familiar with Carnival, you'd think that it was held during Mardi Gras, the week before Lent.  And you'd be right, except that apparently among all of the countries that hold a regular Carnival season, some refrain from competing for interest from the largest ceremonies, opting to hold their own at a different time of year.  St. Kitts holds its Carnival pre-Christmas.

18 December – Soca Monarch.
St. Kitts' own American Idol for soca stars.  Some of the island's best calypsonians will be there.

25 December – Christmas.

27 December – J'ouvert parade at dawn.
People begin to gather before 4:00 AM, and start off on the march through the circus by 6:00.  Historically, this took place the very morning after Christmas, but was bumped to the 27th this year.  I'm still in the process of looking for a troupe to join – it's a very big commercial endeavor nowadays, with many of the high-visibility corporations on island sponsoring catch-all, low-cost troupes.  Most of my friends who are also going to participate have already confirmed with one group called the "Red Devils" which just isn't for me.  So I'm still looking.

1 January – Grand Carnival Parade.

3 January – Last lap.
With no more days left to celebrate, celebrate the last day with one last go.

So that's what I look forward to following my birthday.  But won't I be working, you ask?  Yes, but I will not be going into the office starting the 17th, seeing as how it and so many other businesses are closed for holiday through the first week of January.  I have already taken steps to ensure that I have work to engage me throughout the month of December, namely the Entrepreneurship course initiative currently underway.  So no worries.

The highlights for November have been chosen, sorted, and recorded for posterity.  Enjoy.

26 November 2010

Funnyquote Friday

Here's your quote for this week, fresh from my latest Skype conference with my good friend Michael:

"You know, algebra is just so useful, 
all of the time... I'm just sayin'."

Thank you, Michael, for that nugget of wisdom.  I can't help but concur, and point out that I have been conveying this sentiment for many, many years now.  But, hey, small steps, right?

Well, yesterday was indeed Turkey day, but fighting off a 72-hour bug kept me home from the celebrations at a fellow PCVs house.  I was able to contribute my green bean casserole in exchange for a plate of some very delicious and unapologetically carbohydrate-laden T-giving comfort foods, but I was heartbroken to miss out on the chance to share a special American tradition with my comrades.  Especially when I received a text asking if I had a football to bring to the get-together.  Imagine!  I haven't got to throw a football around since, oh, November of 2008, when Georgia Tech was gearing up to thwomp Miami.  Good times.

As an update, I felt well enough this morning to go into work for the first time since Monday.  I worked a little from home this week, and was able to complete the latest revision of the NSTP's Career Guidance Handbook, leaving only a handful of content decisions that need to be made by my counterparts before it is dubbed fully finished.  In addition, I am going to seek confirmation on my intention to begin working on curriculum for an Entrepreneurship class, an initiative that has been sought not only by my office but by the government as well.  I anticipate getting a basic skeleton of the program prepared before January, when I will work closely with my office associates to flesh it out with some practicality.  With no cash flow to fund common resources needed to run a class, we will be relying on what resources we have available, e.g. human expertise, the internet, in-office printers, etc.

Go Jackets!  Beat U (sic) GAg!

P.S. The November highlight video should be ready, on schedule, at the end of the month.

24 November 2010

On a Lighter Note

I realize that my posts have been increasingly anxious as of late, and so I wanted to shed a little light on another side of living here, namely what I have found to do in my spare time.  And we EC82s are discovering exactly that which previous volunteers made clear to us during pre-service training: there is lots of spare time.

As followers know, I am indeed catching up on my reading, something I had been forgoing months before leaving for staging.  Right now I am currently working on two books, a novel set in London spanning from prehistory to modern day, and a biography of Albert Einstein.  On my shelf (metaphorically speaking, since my apartment does not, in fact, have a bookshelf) is Thomas Friedman's The World Is Flat, a book which not only all of my finance professors, but also the multimillionaire major-corporation CEOs they invited to speak to our classes, insisted that we not graduate without reading.  Next to that is Kathy Reichs's Bare Bones, which is one of her murder mystery novels whose popularity helped launch the popular FOX television show now in its sixth season, Bones.  Next to that is A Brief History of the Caribbean.  Then John Grisham's The Firm.  Then the STAR WARS novel I am currently on, Star By Star by Troy Denning, which is kind of like the third act of a The New Jedi Order five act play, for you Shakespeare buffs out there.  It means that the major turning point in the series is expected by the end.  And rounding out the list is the relatively new fantasy first-part by Christopher Paolini, Eragon.  All in all, a good mix of fiction and non-fiction, I think, expanding on my usual fare while holding onto some familiar staples as well.

I also find time to invest in my most ego-sensitive pastime, chess.  Specifically, I rediscovered a lost love in internet correspondence chess, provided by Stan's Net Chess, for which there is none better.   Feeling up to a 2-month long game at a pace about 1 move per day, friend?  Find Rainman and challenge me to a match; provisional memberships are free!  In the meantime, I am currently fending off six opponents from six different corners of the U.S.  The leisurely pace is a welcome diversion from the typical play-against-the-clock speed chess so prevalent on popular hosting sites nowadays.

For exercise, the reader knows that I seek out opportunities to engage in recreational running, like attacking the hill here at Mattingly or participating in the monthly hash.  I also walk to the grocery store, roughly 10 minutes one way.  I do not have any handy weights in my apartment, though I have considered curling those 5 liter jugs of water to build up my biceps. (I'm half-kidding; I haven't actually done this)

Of course I still find time for my daily/weekly webcomics.  For those of you who are unclear about what those are, they are simply the internet response to newspaper syndicated comics: instead of having to be the top 1% of nationally-recognized comic illustrators to be published, for the mere price of a domain, anyone can create an internationally-available comic to be updated at whatever rate the artist thinks he/she can manage.  Still unclear?  Here are some of my family-friendly favorites, in spite of some of their names: xkcd, perhaps the most internationally recognized and widely parodied "nerd comic;" Cowbirds in Love, a philosophy and science comic with a penchant for bad puns; Spiked Math, far and away the funniest and nerdiest strictly-math-major humor site; and Brawl In The Family, a webcomic that parodies the lives of Super Smash Bros. characters when they are not brawling.

Since I am not willing to pay for cable television here, I have an incentive to use the internet for that purpose as well.  And through the glories of IP masking, I am able to bypass regional restrictions and still watch my favorite TV shows on Hulu and Comedy Central.  Also, Saturdays mean Gameday, and I can usually listen to the Yellow Jackets play by streaming the radio station carrying the game if I want.  In addition, I have a radio in my apartment, and I go back and forth between ZIZ radio (pronounced as in the British, "zed eye zed") and Big Wave 96.7 FM.

And of course the occasional Sporcle quiz.

Well, I hope that was as interesting or enjoyable for the reader as it was for me.  Suggestions?  Comments?  Reviews?  Add your thoughts here.  Thanks to everyone that is remembering to pray for me; I entreat everyone's continued prayers for faith and patience, among other things.

P.S. Yay 50 posts

22 November 2010

Spread the word! Tell your friends!

Later post today, I know: I'm not feeling very well this afternoon.  My joints are achy and hypersensitive to the point that it's laborious to type.  But it was an even busier weekend than usual, so I'll try to crank something out all the same.

I was on Nevis all day Saturday for the follow-up to the march the previous week.  It came in the form of a video that will be aired on Nevis TV between the dates of Nov. 25 and Dec. 10.  Here is the link; please check it out. My fellow PCV on Nevis and I are very proud of the result, and hope that it will serve to enlighten and encourage the people of Nevis in this time of increased incidents of domestic, and organized, violence.  In fact, things are getting increasingly desperate here by the week: just last week a taxi carrying 17 tourists was held at gunpoint outside the gate to Brimstone Hill and robbed by a couple of criminals.  The resulting swift action by the cruise lines culminated in about half the tourism activity during peak season, and a call for higher security measures to be taken on island.  The reaction from the government was an eloquent reproach by the deputy prime minister and minister of national security (which you can see here) tying the incident to the repercussions for all of the tourism industries on island.  Still, what with Carnival and Jouvert approaching, the environment is a unique and mildly unsettling mix of "Good Will Toward Men" and "Watch Your Back."

But it wasn't all work over the weekend: I got to see each of the PCVs on Nevis at one point or another: one when we took to the beach for a few hours, and the other on Saturday night at this very chic yet amiable club that was celebrating its 1st year anniversary.  Here's hoping both it and I are around this time next year to celebrate lucky number 2!

19 November 2010

Funnyquote Friday

Seen on a jewelry outlet sign at Frigate Bay:

"Sometimes it's okay to throw stones at women."

I hope everyone finds this quote in good humor.  It certainly lends itself to a certain disregard for historical sensitivity, but I'm all for remarking on odd cultural proclivities in good faith.  Right?

It's been a challenging week.  Between the march last Friday, the hash on Saturday, and the library realignment on Tuesday, my legs haven't had time to recuperate enough to pick up running Mattingly hill again.  My resolve is far from wavering, but the circumstances have demanded that I push my regimen back another week.  I'm looking forward to an especially relaxing weekend, and preparation for Thanksgiving dinner at a fellow PCV's house here on St. Kitts.  I'll be in charge of the green bean casserole!  So Mom, don't forget to e-mail me that recipe.

 And now, some pictures from sunrise:

17 November 2010

A Veritable Entropy Machine

Oh, so exhausted.  You know, I abuse that word to the point that I've devalued its meaning – I feel bone-tired.

Phase I of the Library Reorganization Project happened yesterday.  Let me tell you: trapped in a library from 8:30 to 4:00 with an assortment of between half-a-dozen and a dozen 5th and 6th grade boys does wonders for your powers of shutting out distractions.  Now if only I could have taught them the same trick.  At least they weren't trying to touch my hair every three seconds (again).  With their help, we ultimately managed to unshelve and reshelve about 99% of the books that we set out to sort.  We did not get around to cataloging each entry yet, but I plan to spend some time on Thursday going through and alphabetizing shelves and adding card entries and shelf labels.  PC staff was able to capture some video and pictures, so I'll post some just as soon as I get my hands on them.  All in all it was relatively close to what I had in mind for a single day's activities, and we did make several solid steps of progress, but I have to believe that we could have accomplished a little more if the students had been able to maintain focus.  But that's one of the challenges that all teachers have to go through here, so I guess a WELCOME BACK TO REALITY is in order.

Anyway, for reality, it's not too bad – I think I treat myself to a dinner from Neville's Eatery tonight.  Mmm... carbs.

14 November 2010

The March Against All Forms of Violence

The rally and march from Pond Hill to Charlestown was a rousing success: it boasted a substantial turnout, a clear message, media attention, and a stirring conclusion.  It began at the bus stop outside the neighborhood of a young lady that was tragically killed in a domestic violence altercation just a number of weeks ago.  A wreath was placed there, in her memory, and a speech was given, stating the purpose of our march and our resolve to see this trend of violence and abuse in homes discontinued.

Then about 30 strong began the walk down towards the square in Charlestown, with signs decrying the anti-violence message in countless different ways, and with heartening songs and chants to walk to.  Various groups joined in for stretches of the path, at times bringing our count to near 60, including a primary school class, a group of secondary school students, some other Peace Corps volunteers, and women and men from the communities we passed along the way.

Around 3:30 we reached the square in Charlestown, making the march portion of the event a full hour.  We were so many by this point that we had to spread out around the park as best we could; the park was already starting to crowd up with people from the island, since it was a Friday evening.  With heavy-duty amps blaring, we christened the march with stirring speeches from representatives of the Ministry of Social Development and VOW: Voices of Women, together with music and song suitable for the occasion.

The speeches culminated in a prayer and another moment of silence for the remembrance of the young lady, which segued into the final exhibit at sundown: a candlelight vigil.  A stirring ceremony, it began with the laying of a wreath at the base of the monument in the square, a wreath with a candle at the center, and every man and woman in attendance was given a candle to light from the flame of the wreathed candle, and pass that light on to a nearby participant.   

Similar to a Christmas Eve ceremony in the States, but instead of singing a song with candles lit, participants added their candles to the steps surrounding the monument, a symbol of solidarity with the deceased.Pretty soon, the base of the monument was brightly lit by a candle for each person who was made more aware of the evils of domestic abuse right in their own country.  I was honored to be a part of such an inspired project, not to mention motivated to see some degree of similar success with my own projects.

I attended this month's Hash on Saturday, a run around the grasses and up the cliffs at Banana Bay, one of the southernmost points on the island, directly facing Nevis.  It wasn't a tough run this time; however, much to my dismay, an ill-fated contingent of four of us hashers took a wrong turn up the side of one cliff, and only discovered our mistake once we reached an overlook that was in view of the line of hashers going a different direction.  So I guess I ended up doing a hash-and-a-half this time – suffice to say I was mortally exhausted when finished.  The moral of the story?  No good comes from being in the front of the pack at these things.  You just gotta be average and you'll do better than most!

My fellow PCVs, EC80s all, and I mark a successful day concluded

12 November 2010

Funnyquote Friday

Your quote for the week is a sign on Church Street just outside my parish of St. George's Anglican:

In truth, this wasn't that funny to me, but a friend pointed it out as being deceptively ironic, so hopefully it is sufficiently funny to readers.

Big news!  I'm scheduled to be on Nevis all day today, filming a gender awareness march directed by a fellow PCV there.  So I get to take the ferry across and see the other 1/4 of the Federation.  I am very much looking forward to it; I've met so many fantastic Nevisians already in my time here on St. Kitts, that I want to find out what all of the hype is about.

In other news, cooking has been going well; I made delicious tacos complete with homemade salsa last night.  Fun!  Come to find out, however, that a little onion goes a long way, so I definitely need to go easier on the onion next time.  Additionally, I'm giving the passion fruit juice experiment a second go-around, since the last try was kind of disastrous.  So I'll get back to readers on that in due time.

I finally finished hanging all the new/clean curtains in my apartment.  The improvements in the arrangement of light are immense: my bathroom is far more lit up now with a set of half-length sheer curtains for half-length windows that match the kitchen's curtains, and my bedroom is finally dark in the morning thanks to a new set of sufficiently-masculine semi-opaque beaded curtains.  So apart from drilling into the concrete wall, which my neighbor said he has the hardware to do, I am quite nearly done with internal improvements.  Now to just decide what to do with the 36" CRT sitting on my floor.  Anybody with suggestions for pumping a digital signal through to A/V cables?  It'd be great if I could watch DVDs on the monitor without having to finance a DVD player...

10 November 2010

A Blurry Flurry of Acronym Fury (BFAF)

Mr. Wilkin Chairs the Graduation
 On Sunday, I attended the National Skills Training Programme's most recent graduation, where about 30 youth and adults earned certificates for training in ITS (Information Technology Services).  It was a joyous affair, with some of the graduands earning their very first certification/degree.  I was responsible for photographing the event, since the media was unable to attend due to the adverse weather conditions. So if the pictures came out funny, blame me.  The IT classes that were offered this past season were put on as a joint effort of the NSTP, the Basic Needs Trust Fund (BNTF), and the Community Upliftment and Enhancement Team (CUET).  In addition to remarks from representatives from each of these NGOs (Non-Governmental Organizations) and the SKNMOE (St. Kitts/Nevis Ministry of Education), a troupe of primary school girls performed an interpretive dance and a young lady sang a beautiful piece to commemorate the occasion.  After the ceremony, a dinner of finger foods was served and the guests, staff, and resident PCV went home satisfied.

Over 50 People In Attendance
I am very close to finishing up my first revision of the final draft of the CDH (Career Development Handbook) for the NSTP.  I am working on the final module, leaving only the appendices and any additional material I have not yet received. Unless something changes, it should be all ready to submit by this time next week, for the perusal of the newly-appointed director of the NSTP, Mrs. James, and the former director and newly appointed director of TVET in St. Kitts (UNESCO's Technical and Vocational Education and Training program), Mr. Wilkin.  Here's hoping for the best!

Mrs. James Delivers Remarks to the Graduands
On Monday I visited a fellow EC82 PCV stationed on Antigua, who was on-island for a VAC meeting (Volunteer Administrative Council).  It was held at the GL (the Golden Lemon, a resort at Rawlins Plantation in Dieppe Bay), and in addition to the pleasant company, we enjoyed the private pool adjacent the two bedroom suite at the resort.  The VAC representative from SVG (St. Vincent and the Grenadines) also joined us, so we got the updates on all our Antiguan and Vincy EC82 friends.  Both groups appear to be doing very well, with no leave-takers since staging at Miami – EC82 is still 28 strong!

Graduands, Trainers, and Speakers

08 November 2010

Measuring Immeasurable Quantities

I gave my 328 sq. ft. corner of this world a good scrubbing down yesterday, including washing the curtains in the living room.  Even just sweeping the sand, dust, and spiders from the floor is enough to make the place feel 200% less grody.  The decorations are going to be more difficult to hang than I expected: in order to hang a curtain of 50 CDs, I'm going to need something more substantial than the plastic hooks that stick to the wall.  But I don't have a drill to put a screw into a concrete wall, so that's kind of at a standstill for now.  Also, the curtains in the bedroom still need to be replaced with something of the plain and opaque variety.  But those are not readily available at most department stores here on island (who knew?).

I saw my first mongoose on Saturday!  It was looking for food next to Shipwreck, a beachside bar at South Friars Bay, and was later joined by a full-size adult monkey, who, like some bears in Hiawassee, are apparently willing to risk the proximity to large groups of humans when they are confident that food is forthcoming.  Which poses an interesting paradox: apparently the best way to see the natural part of the island, the beautiful animals in their natural habitat, is to go to the least natural part of the island, the tourist corners where food is readily available and locals do not shoo them off.

I'm continuing my efforts to get more in shape, and I'm taking it to the bubble chart!  I promise to glitz up the page very soon.

05 November 2010

Send Me a Skype!

With a stable internet connection, assuming of course the power doesn't go out, I can now Skype® anyone that wants to enjoy long chats by the beach... for cheap!  If you have a Skype account yourself, send me a friend request (rainmandx, Basseterre, St. Kitts) or e-mail me your info and I'll add you.  If not, but you are still interested in talking via telephone, just tell me what times are good for you and I'll pick up the nominal cost.  Bear in mind, denizens of the east coast, that following this weekend, I will be one hour ahead of you, so I will not be available to talk after 8:00 EST or so.  Gotta keep up my killer sleep schedule so I can run before work!  Thanks in advance.

Don't have Skype?  Get it here.

P.S. Ha more like SKNype, amirite?

P.P.S. 42 posts

Funnyquote Friday

Your quote for today comes from my fellow PCV and friend from Halfway Tree, referring to her internet connection:

"If the wire reaches everywhere in your house, 
it counts as wireless."

Well said by someone who carries a generous portion of the requisite Peace Corps optimism.

I am enjoying full-fledged DSL internet at my apartment, finally.  And the plumber came by one morning this week and fixed my hot water knob in the shower.  And I cooked for myself again!  So I am riding high on the shower tower of Skype hype and flour power.

I cooked on Tuesday, this time I fried some eggplant I purchased at the Basseterre market, which opens about three mornings a week and one afternoon when the produce boat from Grenada comes in.  The inspiration came from another time gone by when friends Patrick, P.J. and I found ourselves on campus for summer semester and the need to cook.  Patrick's favorite dish is none other than Eggplant Parmesan, and we teamed up to produce a satisfactory portion for dinner and, in the process, set the smoke alarms off in a deserted Freshman dormitory.  So the Atlanta Fire and Rescue got to appreciate our cooking as well!  I still remember the cooking instructions, and so I used that experience to guide an attempt at fried eggplant with sauteed vegetables on white rice with lentils.  Success?  Let's just say it was infinitesimally better than... edible.

I picked up some passion fruit at the market as well, and am waiting on a friend to show me the right way to juice them.  In case the reader does not know or forgets, this is what the inside of a passion fruit looks like:
So part of the fun of juicing passion fruit is holding back one's gag reflex in the process.  But the end result is so worth it, it comes at an easy cost.

The commercial was a success.  And more importantly, the ensuing Healthy Breakfast Cereal sale was demonstrably successful, to the point that the students ran out of cereal to sell within the first hour of opening.

Progress at my primary attachment, the National Skills Training Programme, is progressing, if slowly.  I am loosely scheduled to submit the fully revised copy of our new career development material by the middle of November, so more updates are sure to follow this month with regard to the reception of my suggested changes and added clip art.  Following that, I'll put together some interview materials to be used to gather post-service information from previous clients of the NSTP, eventually culminating in statistics and success stories to be used towards acquiring funding.  Also on the docket: setting up data collection systems to accommodate these new data, as well as transferring a large portion of the NSTP's stock of manuals and textbooks to electronic form for accessibility and preservation purposes.

I ran again this morning, making it the third time this week and in three different directions.  This time, I took the dirt road that parallels the main road going west from Mattingly, and ran all the way until I was North-South even with a visible cell tower on a mountain, a displacement of about 1.75 miles by my estimation, whereupon I came across a donkey that was hogging the whole passable portion of the trail.  So I turned around and ran back.

04 November 2010

I Gotted Teh Internetz

Oi! It's about time!  On the fourth attempt in four different days over two weeks, I finally have a stable internet connection at my apartment.  I have other duties in town right now, however, so I will make a proper update later, maybe today but definitely tomorrow.

01 November 2010

Some Tricks, but More Treats

I'm officially submitting my application for honorary membership in the Olympia Academy, posthaste.  I require nary a response to be assured of my immediate acceptance.  The inspiration comes from my recent acquisition of a copy of Walter Isaacson's biography of Albert Einstein, wherein the author recounts Einstein's core group of fellow physicist philosophers that would stay up nights and talk and charlar about... well, physics, philosophy, and no doubt some other topics as well.  Unfortunately, such a congregation I have not yet found on island, though I am continuing to search away.  I still require the services of Skype to take advantage of the willingness of friends both in the States and on other islands that share my penchant for deep discussions, but LIME assures me that they will be able to install a cable modem at my apartment by Tuesday.

As many a reader may have noticed, this past weekend was Halloween.  The common traditions associated with the predominantly U.S. holiday are not observed here in the islands – instead, a slightly similar glorification of pranks and trickery loosely associated with Guy Fawkes (mostly in the form of lighting firecrackers in the street, day or night) takes place the last week of October through to the first week of November.  But the dearth of familiarity did not stop a half-dozen of us PCVs from getting together, baking sweets like fudge muffins and rice krispie treats, and watching Halloween movies like Casper and Shaun of the Dead.  Nobody dressed up this time; it's underrated hard to pull off, since there are no costume shops (at least not geared towards Halloween costumes) and we couldn't be expected to pack anything so frivolous.  All in all, it made for a delightful evening, and I didn't face a bit of homesickness until I went into the office this morning and explained all of the familiar details of the U.S. tradition to coworkers...

I was true to myself and did my running this morning before work.  Furthermore, I was pleased with my performance: I ran for a full 20 minutes, going in my estimation around 2.5 miles in that time, and walked the last mile.  I ran from my apartment at Mattingly along the bypass freeway all the way to the Monkey Hill roundabout, which is about halfway down the SKB airport's landing strip, and back.  I plan to continue this habit 5 days a week, maybe meet my friend at Sandy Point to run Brimstone Hill on Saturdays, and rest on Sundays.  I'm staying realistic, which is to say I'm not going to get overly upset if I'm not able to maintain that regimen for long; alternatively, if it works out and I get bored, I want to eventually add push-ups and sit-ups to it as well.

It was brought to my attention the other day that I have not shared with my readers the nature of public transportation on island.  Since I myself am prohibited by the Peace Corps from either operating a motor vehicle or even riding a motorcycle while on island, I am quite subject to relying on public transportation every day I need to go anywhere except grocery shopping.  So here's how it works: there are two forms of for-hire transportation available to the public, taxis and buses.  However, one is not immediately differentiable from the other – both taxis and "buses" are actually full-size 16 passenger vans of every color under the sun and with large, garish script on all sides declaring the handle of that bus. (For example, some buses on that frequent my route are "Mr. War," "Sacrifice," "Big Blue," "Hulk," "Up 2 De Time," "Passion," "Jehovah Jireh," "Crunch Time," et al.)  The only real way to discriminate between Taxis and Buses-For-Hire are their license tags: Taxis read TA #### and are yellow, while buses read HA #### ("H" for "hire") and are green.  And it's vitally important that one discriminate between the two: a bus will take you three towns over for EC$2.50 or to the other side of the island for EC$3.75, but a Taxi will take you anywhere on the island for a mere... EC$45.00.   So no taxi riding while I'm here!

The bus names are a kind of cultural touchstone here; not only does it serve to differentiate bus drivers and their services (it works, too: some buses won't fill up at the terminal because people recall which ones don't have air conditioning, have bad tires, etc.), but it also is a form of expression and abject pride for the bus owners, many of whom willingly go by their handles in public and around town when not driving their buses.  In fact, it's given me time to think about what I would want my bus to be named, were I to have my own.  And I think that, short of settling on only one thing, I would want it to read, "All Dem Tings" in the drippy goo font that is so popular in that circle.  Have a different idea?  Post the name to your own virtual bus here.

MIG's created a blog.  So read it if you want.  I mean, I don't know what he thinks he has to say, and it's not as interesting as mine, certainly, but... whatever.

Also, 0 Comments on the video? Really?  I put a lot of effort into that, people!