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Saturday, July 12, 2003

These days humidity is back at 87%, while it is still cold at 23C ... that basically makes you being covered in cold sweat all the time, not very pleasant ... It also kept being very windy and we have not seen the sun for over a week = no chance to hang out stuff to dry.

So much for the weather news. The SPG's should be over by now and Fiji got 52 Gold medals (while New Caledonia got 69 on the #1 spot of trophy winners)

Friday night was kinda fun, the american embassy hosted a TGIF related happy hour (the fax invite Ritsu got for it looked SO unofficial that I called the embassy to confirm) and we met a couple of people who me met before at the "fijian food workshop" from some months ago. I also got to meet the ambassador (who interestingly was born in Frankfurt, Germany). Afterwards we went to Ashiyana for dinner, the city was surprisingly crowded: there was some religious themed concert going on (saw a guy with a sandwich bored asking "Where are you going? - Heaven or Hell", boy, scary !). Food was great, Jonathan managed to make a mess, we all had fun.

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Thursday, July 10, 2003

Just got back from Marlin Bay Resort, but that was not a quick vacation trip. I will tell more later and I have some pictures.

So, the story is that this resort has some kind of new funky radio based internet connection, but Telecom here just sets up the box, and does not care about the connection to the computer ... so .. through contacts they asked me if I would come and take a look ... and boy is that a mess ... first of all the windows based computer was driving me nuts. After 2 years those machines just collect a lot of clutter ... but they do not lose the popping up offers for AOL ...

Anyhow, the resort is pretty nice .. was in the hands of a big american dive group, the trip to the island on a fairly big boat was nice, the trip back in a small nutshell was more adventorous ... more later

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Wednesday, July 09, 2003

Now, here is something interesting on the whole internet topic in Fiji. Recently a friend in germany ran a traceroute on me .. that is basically a way to check what route an internet signal takes from one place to the other .. and he got this really funky map:

It takes a while to see what is what here ... but that white blob on the lower right side is the northpole and where all those red dots are, that is russia, just north of Japan ... SO .. the signal from germany goes through russia ... which puzzles me as I thought the only cable connection goes from Sydney, AU via Fiji to Los Angeles ...

So ... and today there is an article in the newspaper that Telpac (read about them in the FAQ, basically they keep trying cleaning up the monopolistic internet market here) has been working with Connect to find out that Fintel, the evil guys sitting on that cable connection, are willingly rerouting the internet signals to make the connection slower, so that people stay online longer = more money ... and also, they can probably save cost by using some cheaper satelite via russia then the nice shiney cable ... bastards ... will keep you posted on that. Thanks to 'hutmacher' for the traceroute !!!

Oh... and I just got another one from "Andy" ...

now .. here it is a bit tricky to see .. but the signal goes from germany to NYC .. then back to Germany, then to San Fran .. then to Sydney and then to Fiji .. again, not really the shortest way ...

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Tuesday, July 08, 2003

Interesting to find an old photo of oneself on someone elses blog :)

This picture was taken at a Fashion Show in New York, where Fantastic Plastic Machine a.k.a Tomoyuki Tanaka was spinning ... was a very fun evening and drinks were free :)

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we had great dinner tonight at Fong Lee .. probably the best in chinese seafood around here (and despite that article behind that link .. they are NOT BYO anymore) ... we had some veggies with tofu in a kick ass sauce .. and lobster in garlic ... I was very impressed by the lobster ... I had lobster before at Daikoku .. and that was forgettable .. but this one was really nice .. and after asking several times where they got it from, i could make out that "fisin bot" meant "fishing boat" .. they got it from a fishing boat .. ok ..

what really ticked me off was one waitress saying "you got fed" .. or "you got fat" !!! I am not sure what she meant and how to take that ... still puzzled about that ..

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Monday, July 07, 2003

More on the weather: And boy was it stormy last night.

It even got worse yesterday ... the wind has picked up and knocked out the power on the whole island for 5 hours.
Many events of the SPG's are postponed (like sailing, yikes, I understand that one).

I was surprised though to see that most, if not all, shops downtown had lights (while traffic lights were out, yeah fun), but while sitting at Telecom, we were in the dark for 2 minutes ...

Speaking of Telecom, I went there to dispute our last phone bill, the one that claims that 39 calls at 12 cents yields 92$ ... i mean .. isn't that obvious that this is a bit off? Even if you do the easier approximation of 50 calls @ 10 cents ... should the whole thing not be closer around 5$ ? Well, that semi friendly guy Jale at Telecom failed to see that and claimed that if its on paper, it must be right ... I made him go and get a pocket calculator .. and after trying 3 times, he finally believed me and is now (hopefully) launching an investigation (I do not understand why I could not do that on the phone) ... anyways, thanks to the power outtage his computer was down, so chances are high that he does not do a thing ... well .. we will see :)

Want to see more of those wild palms up there? Visit my brand new Movie Blog

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Sunday, July 06, 2003

Weather update ... last night it rained like hell and it is still very wet, windy and gloomy outside. Perfect day to stay in bed. Though it is 23C/74F at 81% humidity, I perceive it as cold ... so much for the sunny paradise island .. well .. it is winter

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News from the Nacken Zoo ...

I mentioned before that this place is a zoo .. but in addition we now have (around the house) ... a couple of pigeons ... first time I heard their rythmic coocoo sound I though the neighbors are having fun ... but 'twas the birds ... seems they are trying to build a nest on our AC unit right outside the bedroom ... no way I let that happen ... more loud pigeons ??? nope ..

Then recently we saw the biggest grashopper ever ... i'd say 5-7 cm in length .. and he keeps showing up as well ...

and our "favorite" .. a stray male cat who stalks our Misha .. we named him "Chickenshit" .. since he runs away as soon as he sees us .. I actually spotted him now 3 times INSIDE the house already ... so cheeky ... the last time him and Misha got very loud ...

Well .. sometimes we can see them together .. like 2 feet apart, happily ignoring each other .. not sure what they are up to ...

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