It’s a beautiful day in the neighbourhood…

I hate to mention that in view of the nasties that are heading for the home territory, but one of the things I can say for Ambergris is that it does have beautiful weather. That, and a view.

Recently the noise hasn’t been that bad, either, but we still get drunks wandering by at 4:00 AM, and that god-awful, wretched music.

Everywhere you go – literally – one is assaulted by a sort of frantic music, played to the same repetitious, boring beat, and at a level that can be heard all over the country. It’s an obsession. And, if it is not being played from every hole in the wall, people are ‘bopping’ along with a smart phone or ghetto blaster.

I swear that if you open up the top of their heads you would find nothing but mush.

Today is the day I pay my dues to stay in the country – $50 BZD – so I am waiting for my driver to take me down to immigration. I may also take a look for something I can put on my feet. I prefer Velcro straps in white, but there is nothing like that in San Pedro. Laces are not only difficult for my fumbly fingers to manipulate, but they also dig into my instep. However, as I discovered, to order them in from outside quadruples the price ($75 US in duty, taxes and shipping alone!)

Two Irish Lads: Second edition is now listed on Amazon, but not on Barnes and Noble yet. It’s a bit early to expect that. It was only released last Friday. I haven’t been able to change my web page because the file transfer program I bought 10 days ago doesn’t work (what else is new?!)

I must create some St. Patrick’s Day ads as well.

Now available on Amazon in print, Kindle and Nook formats.
Now available on Amazon in print and Kindle formats. 

 

Good News…

The Two Irish Lads: Second Edition goes to the printer today.

Yes, the Two Lads are making their second debut with scrubbed faces and changed duds, and I gave them each a hug as they went out the door.

As usual they will be available in print, Kindle and Nook formats, and the new Amazon and Barnes and Noble pages are either up and running, or soon will be.

Reese Dante’s cover makes an outstanding impression, but the iUniverse first edition (typically) detracts from this. I have written to them to take it down, but unless there is a buck in it for them they aren’t that interested.

It started out hot and sunny, but a brief shower dropped the temp for a while. I has now passed, and so I think I can make it out for lunch without getting wet.

Re-writes on Coming of Age on the Trail are coming along nicely.

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Hate to tell you this, but it’s hot…

It’s a hot one – 31C with very little breeze – but that’s why I’m here.

There is a better class of people occupying the island these days, older, but some of them come with their own annoyances – like the drill-sergeant who just moved out. He had the annoying habit of saying things like, “You’re working too hard, Gerry,” right in the middle of a difficult paragraph.

Saw a 4-foot moray eel yesterday. It was only about 10′ off shore, but I didn’t get a photo of it. The fishermen all scrambled to get out of the water when they saw it.

Waiting patiently for the block proofs of Two Irish Lads to come through, but so far so good.

Just received word from my publisher, Maple Creek Press, that the block proof etc. should be ready for my approval next this week. (Feb. 21 to 28).
Just received word from my publisher, Maple Creek Press, that the block proof etc. should be ready for my approval next this week. (Feb. 21 to 28).

Incompetence comes with a high price…

When you pay top price you expect it will at least work, right?

Wrong.

In this day and age paying for an advertised product seems a privilege, and with it you may or may not get service.

I have spent the last two weeks dealing with incompetence of one sort or another. First, I tried to order a pair of shoes online – a task that should have taken me 15 minutes at most. It took me THREE DAYS, and in the end I paid $113 for a $37-dollar pair of sneakers. [The duty and taxes were $52, alone!)

Then, I paid $40 US for a FTP program ($70 CDN) that won’t activate using the company’s own serial number.

Finally, ‘The Bank of More Oil’ screwed-me-up on my credit card – not once, not twice, but THREE TIMES.

Realizing that the expiry date (01/16) would happen while I was out of the country, I contacted the company to arrange for a renewal card toward the end of September 2015. Thereby I was assured one would be sent out within ten working days. Meanwhile, a week before I left in November, I arranged for credit card with another bank, and wrote Bank of More Oil off.

There was a method to my madness, because it also got rid of a lot of charges that I no longer wanted but couldn’t cancel because the companies made it so difficult (…without a private investigator to find the formula.

Well, come 01/16 I found that Bank of More Oil was allowing these very same charges through on (what I thought was) and expired card.

Turns out, in their logic 01/16 means 31/01/16, so I was hit with the very same charges – in some cases yearly – that I wanted to get rid of.

BUT…

To make matters worse, they started to allow charges dated 02/16 through as well!

That’s when I blew my top, and now they have cut me off from communicating with them as well.

Grrrrrrr!

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Here are a few photos you may find interesting:

 Views like this is what you generally see of Belize, and they are there almost every place you look; however, there is another face to Belize as well...

Views like this are what you generally see of Belize, and they are there almost every place you look; however, there is another face to Belize as well…

 

 A short walk away from the beaches, this is a fairly typical scene of what San Pedro looks like.

A short walk away from the beaches, this is a fairly typical scene of what San Pedro looks like.

 

I think the word to describe it is "utilitarian." If it works, don't care what it looks like.
I think the word to describe it is “utilitarian.” If it works, don’t care what it looks like.

 

And the next time you complain about potholes, think of this one.
And the next time you complain about potholes, think of this one.

 

Just received word from my publisher, Maple Creek Press, that the block proof etc. should be ready for my approval next this week. (Feb. 21 to 28).
Just received word from my publisher, Maple Creek Press, that the block proof etc. should be ready for my approval next this week. (Feb. 21 to 28).

 

I’m as mad as hell, and so what…

I’ve spent most of the day trying to download a FTP (file transfer) program that contains all of my web page files.

My approach to these things is that it generally takes a week to download, and perhaps another week to activate. Just why it is a two-step process I don’t know, but it sure isn’t for my benefit.

True to form, I paid my money ($70 Cdn) and downloaded the program just fine, but the activation process won’t work. It says there is a ‘general problem’ (whatever that means) so I will try again tomorrow.

But why am I being put through this rigmarole? I paid my money, plus exchange, so why am I the one being inconvenienced?

Well, here’s my answer. It’s because no one gives a shit. Not the company, not the government who let the Canadian dollar slide for political reasons, and not my fellow consumers who let rip-offs like these go unchallenged.

Mind you, trying to get through to the company with your complaint almost requires a private investigator, but that a story for another day.

Grrrr.

The high price of footwear in Belize…

What does it take to purchase a pair of shoes online from Belize?

Perseverance, perseverance, and lots of money.

I finally managed to get through the maze of non-shipping destinations, non-existent Zip codes, and wrong email addresses, to order a pair of ordinary sneakers – $35.95 US. However, by the time all the charges (duty, shipping, etc.) had been added up it came to $112. US!

Yikes.

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!@#$%^!

I’ve been trying to buy a pair of shoes online. FOR TWO F*CKING DAYS I’ve been trying to buy a pair of shoes online!

I thought that it would be easy just to go through Amazon and I’d have my shoes in a few days. WRONG. Amazon doesn’t ship to Belize. Neither does Target, and Sears shipping is “temporarily unavailable.”

So I tried Kmart, but kmart’s shipping form requires a ZIP code to complete, and Belize doesn’t have a ZIP code.

So I tried contacting kmart, and received an email address ‘orders@customerservice, etc.’ but it is non-functioning.

Nearing the end of my tether, I contacted Kmart again and received another email address, which I copied very carefully. That’s when it started to rain, so I shut the computer off … WITHOUT SAVING THE F*CKING EMAIL ADDRESS.

That’s when I quit. Tomorrow I’ll think about it.

angry-man