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Friday, August 01, 2003

Good News: Ritsu is back safe and sound and we are both very happy.

The not so good news: I may be offline for a while, thus no or only sporadic updates here. Reason is that I found out that Telecom is totally ripping off customers who use ISDN... remember when I said that I had that funny equation in my last bill, 39 local calls @ 12.27 cents equals 92$? Well, I got a letter today saying that with ISDN, my local calls are being charged 3 cents A MINUTE!!!!! Which means when I go online using an old analog account, I pay 1.80$ per hour on top of that. No one ever told me, and I sure read the fineprint when I signed ... of course now this charge appears on Telecom's website.


I will have a long and nasty battle with Telecom over that, and, as sad as it is, I am switching back to analog! This may take a couple of days, so, I will not be as online as usual .

Oh, and on my ISDN connection I am getting a "modem hangup (SIGHUP)" error message, which no one at tech support can help me with (since they do not know macs) .. only the director of engineering could at least tell me that this is a Unix error message, so it must be a local problem ... great, without being able to stay online longer than 4 minutes, it is REALLY hard to research that matter ....

Further on that, I am pretty sure now (couple of hours later) that it is either a line problem or the modem is kaputt. And I wonder how long telecom would take to first admit it is their field and second to fix it actually.

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Thursday, July 31, 2003

What a busy day today was.... cleaning and getting lots of stuff done .. but nothing really to put on the blog. Anyways, toomorrow Ritsu returns (she was on a business trip to the Solomon Islands again) and then we will have more stuff that is worth taking pictures of.

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Monday, July 28, 2003

Gorgous Weather today ... well .. at least in the morning ... the morning was the lowest temperature I have seen here so far 18C but 82% humidity ... I had to bring the car to the shop for regular service at 8 AM, when I got back it was already 25C and 68% humidity - boy felt that nice ...

The sky was very clear and when I drove by the bay, which shows the mountain range opposite of Suva, I could see high mountains far away I have never seen before (right behind Joske's Thumb). So I took the opportunity and snapped the below panorama pic ... please click on the one below to get a really big and detailed version.

There is also a new movie clip on the movie blog. Suva's shopping district.

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Sunday, July 27, 2003

Here a some fun side notes regarding security, law and order on this island...

  • Last month there were 3 different successful escapes from Suva prison. The last one happened because after a transfer they forgot to lock the door. They also still have not found any of the 3 missing people.
  • A friend's house got robbed, but due to the selective items taken and several other investigations of his own, he can with 99% certainty name the thief. Neighbors saw his ex-housegirl's boyfriend jump fence one afternoon while the alarm was blarring. So much for these alarms. Seems you have at least 15 minutes time before anything happens. So, through contacts and some more detective work, my friend (not the police) found even phone numbers and addresses of family members and friends and handed this information over to the 'authorities' ... one would guess it should be easy now for the police to go get the guy ... no way, that thief has enough time to sell the loot and spend the money. (update: I just heard that my friend went today with the police to get the guy, and they actually caught him. They also went to all the pawn shops where the thief sold the stuff. And it looks like he is getting it all back!)
  • Recently I called the police because there was a car standing in front of our gate and some kid was calling out for some "Daniel" ... for like 10 minutes ... when I showed my face they immediatelly said "sorry wrong house" and moved on, but in stealth-hovering mode ... checking out houses if someone is in? Anyone's guess. Thing is that police said they would come and check them out (I even gave them the car registration) and sure enough no one came.

One of the main problems is that the police job is severly underpaid, so, what kind of motivation or incenntive do these people have? There are many reports about police brutality and incompentence in the papers. One really hopes that the newly appointed Police commisionair can clean the mess in a successful way. Best of luck to him, and may we all stay safe till then.

And they also have not managed to get rid of our rooster problem although I called them several times about it.

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Sunday is a pretty good day to go to the movies, especially the morning show when everybody else goes to church. Unfortunately that also means that a LOT of parents bring their kids, and PG-13 ratings does not hinder them to bring their little tykes, who of course cry when the movies gets scary or when it is too much dialogue and they get bored, and sure a 2.5 hour movie is a great idea too, especially considering the limited bladder volume of kids, this is why we buy them the largest soda!

Ok, I had to get that out of my system. I went today to watch Pirates of the Caribbean, and I liked the movie a lot. Everything that is good about a pirate movie, enhanced with today's technology and stunning visuals. The plot at times was a bit much, I think I got lost at some point, but in the end it all kind of made sense ... though I am still wondering is Jack Sparrow and Will Turner were related .. brothers from the same father or something? Anyways .. Jonny Depp is fantastic in this movie, and everybody else plays their part just fine, if not even better. Lots of fun character work. The movie just never seem to end.

As to the kids in the theater, I was inclined to ask the parents what "shut up" in their language was ... not that the kids would have cared much.

As to the weather: Rainy... and 22C/72F feels COLD ... Last night I slept with PJ and socks on, even had an extra t-shirt under the PJ. To the movie I wore long pants, sneakers, t-shirt and a fleece jacket, actually never thought I would wear that here. Guess one can get used to higher temperatures.

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