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Showing posts from May, 2017

The Day I Cleaned Up a Shipwreck

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When they told me my new title would be "International Hotelier," I figured it would be a life of sipping Mai Tais, chatting with my new best friends Rihanna and Sammy Hagar poolside, and generally working on my tan.  Well, let me tell you, this is not the case.  Not only have Rihanna and Sammy Hagar not been over to visit, but I have purchased no rum whatsoever.  (My tan, however, is killer.)

What I have learned is that "International Hotelier" is really a form of shorthand.  Yes, it does sound cool (especially if you pronounce it "ho-tel-yay"),  The long version of the title is simply a list of sweaty, grueling, disgusting, dangerous, and I must say, strangely fulfilling list of sub-titles.  So far, this list includes carpenter, machete-wielder, demolition expert, cook, rodent-killer, launderer, and more.  However, this week, I added internet installer, and yes, shipwreck-cleaner-upper.

First, the internet.  Al Gore was indeed a genius for inventing the…

Reunited and it Feels So Good

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After a long 28-day absence, Amy and I are back together.  That's right, Amy and I both survived being apart for a month.  Although there was no doubt of Amy's success, being unsupervised for that long would usually end in jail, hospitalization, the morgue, or all three, for me.

All of this started because of Otto's failure to pass the international certification to get to TCI.  You think you have issues getting a passport?  Try being one of our four-legged friends.  At least they didn't give me a blood test- I would never have got in.  After a litany of tests, Otto's rabies antibodies were low.  Not to worry, he was given an booster and retested.  We await his results.  But in the meantime, we had to scrap all of our moving plans and juggle our schedules.  In short, between Amy coming down here and going back to Austin, and my going back to Chicago for some work, we missed each other for a month.

During that month, Amy went back to Austin and got Toby certified to…

There Will Be Blood

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What do you get when you take an IT professional and a lawyer, give them a machete, and send them into the overgrown bush to lay waste to the standing foliage?  127 mosquito bites, plenty of cursing, and about a half pint of blood.

Despite our newfound love of the machete, a half acre of trees and underbrush still posed quite the risk of life and limb.  We began our three day journey with high hopes and, as it turned out, a bit too much hubris.  "Hah," we said.  "What could possibly stand in the way of our newly-sharpened machete and our unbridled passion for destruction?"  "These are mere trees, and we are MEN."  "Our cavemen ancestors tamed far more dangerous wilderness," we boasted.

Little did we know that the trees had other plans.  "Look at these fucking idiots," the trees whispered.  "These guys look like they type for a living, and haven't been near a bladed weapon in their lives."  "Haven't these morons …

Fun With Crowbars

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"It is easier to destroy than create." - Larry Niven, Noted Science Fiction Writer

Mr. Niven can suck it.  Obviously, he has never engaged in the thankless task of demolition.  Yes, the awards and accolades usually go to those artisans who begin with a clean slate and create something marvelous.  However, behind every Eiffel Tower or Statute of Liberty, there were the poor shlubs who cleared out the ground and demolished whatever was on the land beforehand.  It was in those ranks of unsung heroes that Davin and I found ourselves next.

In the room which ultimately will be the bar/rec room, we found ourselves facing some extensive water damage from a leaky roof.  We needed to see where the water was coming from. We needed to tear down the existing ceiling fans and drywall.  In short, we needed crowbars.

Now, the crowbar is about a simple tool as you can get- a six-pound piece of iron, crafted for smashing, pulling, yanking, and pretty much any destructive type of activity.  It…

Water, Water, Everywhere

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Sorry for the delay.  Things have been moving fast and furious and I have been shirking my blogging duties.  I am, however, getting into a nice rhythm and should do better.  That being said...

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Well, we made it to Providenciales.  We landed, dropped our stuff, and like Tom Hanks in Castaway, our first goal was to secure our water supply.  (Well, the first goal was actually to grab a 12-pack of beer and celebrate the beginning of our adventure, but I digress).

Now, Turks and Caicos has a lot of things, beautiful beaches, sunshine for days, and aqua-colored water as far as the eyes can see.  The problem with all of the island's turquoise-colored water, however, is you can't drink a drop.  (That's right, we live in the world of the Rime of the Ancient Mariner: "Water, water, everywhere, nor any drop to drink")  In fact, the island of Providenciales has no fresh water supply on the whole island.

The only two places one can get fresh water on the isl…