Friday, August 24, 2012

Guns don't cause crime

A friend of mine posted a really stupid photo (I could editorialize here and say, "are there any other kind?") of Ted Nugent waving two of his automatic weapons with the caption "If guns cause crime, then all of mine are defective."

This is one of the propaganda tricks of the gun lobby. It goes right along with "Guns don't kill people; people kill people."

This is just stupid because it misses and sidesteps the obvious: People WITH GUNS kill people. Yes, people kill with knives, poison and any number of other assorted weapons. But only guns are designed to kill. They have no other real purpose.

Guns don't "cause" crime. No one ever said they did (except the gun lobby propaganists). Guns just make it easier for people to frighten and intimidate other people. And guns make more crimes deadly. 

This is written by a person who has been robbed at gunpoint - me. Without the guns the people in the black ski masks were pointing at me, there would have been no robbery. 

So, no, the guns did not "cause" the robbery. They just made it possible.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Isaac a dud

We're very happy to say that Tropical Storm Isaac was, for us at least, a dud.

We did a lot of work to prepare, to tie things down, to be ready, and...nothing. Well, not really nothing. We got about half-an-inch of rain and 35-40 knot winds but that's it. And honestly, we're grateful.

Elaine has been in a couple of tornadoes; I've been in or very near four. We both agreed we don't really need/want to experience a hurricane. Last year Hurricane Irene went right over us. Fortunately (for us anyway) she'd dumped all her rain on the eastern third of the island. All we got was 70-80 knot winds. Seventy to 80 knots winds are nothing to sneeze into. They are dangerous and deserve respect. But - we had 60-70 knot winds in Michigan, usually when it was about 10 degrees. Here at least it's 80 degrees. Anyway, the point is Irene is as close to a "real" hurricane as I want to get.

Tropical Storm Joyce, the next one in line, is already churning across the Atlantic but she's already well north of us. The surfers are all hoping she pushes some waves our way.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Waiting for the hurricane

Last year it was Irene. This year the first hurican to skirt us is Isaac. He became a Tropical Storm yesterday and is forecast to be a Cat 1 by Thursday afternoon just as he passes south of PR. This morning's projected track indicates Isaac has slowed a bit and will develop into a Cat 1 a little farther east than earlier predictions. The track has also moved north a little bit putting more of PR within the "cone of possibility." Let's hope it doesn't veer too much farther north.

I went out to do our weekend shopping last night. Stores were a little crazy as people began stocking up on canned goods and water. Many shelves were already empty. There were lines at the gas station as people filled their tanks in anticipation of power outages that render gas pumps useless. Of course, we many not be allowed to open Friday regardless. Last year when Irene went through the governor ordered all bars closed and a ban on all alcohol sales - except beer. I guess beer was allowed because it's considered a food group.

Anyway, we're hanging in for now, watching and waiting. Stay tuned.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

I'm me again!

When I got my Puerto Rican driver's license almost four years ago, they made a mistake in my name. In spite of a couple of (half-hearted) attempts, I couldn't get it changed. This meant among other things I had to use my passport to fly because the name on my ID (i.e., my driver's license) didn't match the name on my ticket. One of the big tourism selling points for PR is you don't need a passport to travel to and from the U.S. Well, I did need my passport. Renting a car was sometimes interesting. I had to explain why my DL name didn't match the name on the reservation.

Yesterday I was at CESCO (the PR version of the DMV) and finally got it changed. This time it was amazingly easy. I was truly surprised. Unlike previous visits to CESCO, people were helpful, the process was pretty straightforward, and made sense in this age of instant electronics. In about half-an-hour (including standing-in-line time) I had a new, correct driver's license.

The whole passport thing is not a really big deal but it was a pain. Now I can just use my shiny new Puerto Rico driver's license.

Names are funny things. Having the name wrong somehow felt like it wasn't really me.  Because it wasn't really my name on that little plastic card, it wasn't really my card in spite of the picture and all the other correct information. For reasons I can't fully explain I feel a sense of relief that my card now has my name on it.

At Ola Lola's we recognize the importance of names. We introduce ourselves to guests and ask their names. We try very hard to remember the names so when guest return a second (and third) time, we can greet them by name. It's a little thing and we don't always succeed, but we think it's important, part of the welcoming, the-first-time-you're-a-guest-the-second-time-you're-family feeling at Ola Lola's.

Tuesday, August 07, 2012

New dive site

There is a new (to us at least ) dive site we've gone to a couple of times now over the past couple of weeks. It's a really great reef right in downtown Aguadilla, appropriately known as (wait for it) Downtown. It's a pretty short swim out to the reef. We drop in about 25 feet of water. Along the outside the reef drops to 70 or 80 feet, almost like a wall dive. There are some very interesting, very healthy coral on the reef with lots of varied life swimming around. Considering it's location we were pleasantly surprised at the health of the reef and how unspoiled and untouched it is.

The two times we dove this reef visibility hasn't been very good. That may be one factor in why more people don't dive it more often. But the limited visibility has given me the chance to play with my new underwater flash.In the murky water you have to get close to things to photograph them so I got work with the flash set up close up. The colors really pop with the flash. Some things, like that purple sponge, look brownish under water because the water filters out various wavelengths of light as you go deeper, starting with the reds. So anything with a lot of red in dulls out as we descend. But the flash adds all the wavelengths back in, letting us see the "thing's" true colors.

 We're all looking forward to diving Downtown on a clean day. Hopefully this winter, after hurricane and the rainy season, we'll get some cleaner days on the reef. It should be diveable most of the winter, even in surf season. Because of where it located, it should be pretty well protected unless there is a lot of "west" in the swell.

Here's looking forward to a bunch of great dives on a new site!