Arrived at Work Safely

February 07 2007

This is a bad, bad rain ... was plowing water most of the way to the office ... most streets have rivers running through them.  Water in drainage pipes shooting up through the covers in the street (visualize 1 foot fountains in the middle of the street).

It continues to pour ... its now been almost 3 hours ... I feel so sorry for the people ... there is nowhere for this rain to go ... I hope it stops soon.

The Silence Is Broken

February 07 2007

After a couple of days of relative quiet (that is only a little bit of rain), the clouds moved back in.  There were scattered showers throughout the city on Wednesday, but nothing heavy. The problem, however, is that the ground is super-saturated already, the ditches are full, the rivers are full, the lakes and reservoirs are full.  Sooooo ... any rain is too much rain.  And now the city is prone to flash flooding.

Through yesterday the waters slowly began receding in the flooded areas (the press claims that 75% of the city has been affected).  However, that is changing as of right now (438am). Late last night we could hear thunder rolling overhead.  About 330am the rain started again - at least here at the house. It is still going - and its a pretty heavy and steady rain.  Time will tell if it is one of those 12 inch gully washers - but I don't think so.

As I drive from the office (central) to the house (6 miles SE of office), the roads are not too bad ... I generally take good roads.  But, we do take some short cuts along the way ... most of these are in pretty good shape (if they weren't we wouldn't be on them) ... so I am not getting a good perspective on the devastation in/around the city.  The local news shows a lot ... but don't know how good of a sample that is.

Sent an SMS to an Indonesian friend last night who lives in the far north part of town, the "old city".  She has been stuck at home all week due to flooding ... but her house was dry ... until yesterday.  Don't know what happened as it didn't rain that much yesterday ... but as I said ... any rain is too much rain right now.  She says she's ok - I need to try to contact her today.

Yesterday Decy attended an expat women's tea (our companies expats).  Normally Decy doesn't go to these things because she feels out of place and many of the woman are arrogant.  But, overall she had a pretty good time ... and even helped one woman who was from Argentina that could not speak very good English ... so they conversed in a mixture of Spanish and Portuguese ... with the other women watching in amazement wondering how an Indonesian woman speaks English and Portuguese.

While at the ladies tea, Decy presented the need to help those that have been affected by the flood.  Decy received donations of about $300 (plus our contribution) inwhich she used to buy water and other supplies. She will hand out the supplies directly to the needy ... and not go through any agency.  Not sure if she will do that today or tomorrow.  I need to talk to her about "security" to make sure she has at least one of the drivers beside her at all times ... in case the crowd presses in too close.

While $300 isn't a lot of money ... Decy was a stranger to the expat ladies ... she had met only one woman before .... so, I am thankful that they opened up their hearts and wallets.  Personally, I believe this event is really the planting of a seed.  I know that many expat wives have generous hearts ... but in a foreign country they need guidance and help in directing their monies and energies to the right source.  I believe that someday she will get a call asking for her help ... to the ladies .. so they can help others.

It is now 510am ... the rain is still coming down rather heavily.  I can see the pool filling up again, but it is not yet overflowing.

One more topic before I have to close to go to work.  Decy has been in contact with her immediate family.  Most live about about 10-15 miles south of us.  The area called Ciputat is a little bit hilly.  That means, of course, the low lying areas are getting severely flooded (as in 6-10 ft of water) while the higher areas less so.  Thankfully all the family is generally on higher ground.  Nevertheless, there is still some street flooding (2-12 inches) in and around the houses.  Back in 2002 when Decy built her house in Ciputat and rebuilt her mother's house (next door) she took a concious decision to raise the elevation of the house.  The workers hauled in truckloads of sand ... created a "pad" and then built over it.  What that means ... is that the two houses are now "above grade".  Decy says that several houses on the street where our two house are have water in them (I think measured in inches not feet.  However, our two houses are just fine - once again ... thanks to God.

Its time to do final prep's for work, so I must log off ... it will be a challenging drive ... I will try to blog once in the office so all know I arrived safely.

And, yes ... the downpour continues ... its now been 2 hours ... while it may not sound like much ... if this continues at this pace for another 2 hours the city will be paralyzed again.  Even if it stops raining right now ... this will still raise the water level for those already flooded out.

Quiet Wednesday

February 06 2007

Finally a night of no rain ... according to the news, things should be quiet today ...although it appears another weather pattern is moving into the area tomorrow - we shall see.

At least so far, it appears the new exercise equipment is being put to good use - I understand that both Chely and Decy are using all of it on a regular basis.  As for me, some basic free weights in the morning .... and (so far) 3 times on the treadmill.  Came home last night and jumped on the treadmill - ended up doing 5.6 kilometers in 45 minutes.  Not bad for an old man that is out of shape - but I was pretty wiped out afterwards ... AND I have to do better if I am going to do some serious hashing (oxymoron).

Decy confirmed we have plenty of bottled gas.  As for money - she withdrew the approx equivalent of US$3k from the banks to hold "just in case" .... over the past few weeks lots of computer servers and ATMs have been down (even yesterday AT the bank) .... we can't risk not being able to get to some cash.

Our issues with Amsouth Bank continue to have a rippling effect.  Seems my medical insurance carrier was trying to make deposits there (although they were informed months ago that I have a new account).  As part of a partial rectifications seems they decided to mail paper checks to me here in Indonesia (dumb !!).  Thankfully, the company agreed to cash them for me and give me the rupiah equivalent.  In addition to the 2 checks I have already received, there seems to be about $1k in other medical reimbursements that we can't seem to find .... ho hum ... its always something.

Think I will close for now.

ciao ciao.

Arrived Safely At the Office

February 05 2007
Lots of street flooding ... went through a foot of water at one point and could see that water had receded about a foot already.  No doubts low lying areas are hurting right now .... office is open ... but that was after I was SMS'g management with progress reports along the way ... I was the guinea pig.

Today Is Gonna Be a Bad Day ....

February 05 2007

Monday turned out to be a good day weather-wise ... after the rain stopped at approx 430am ... there was nothing in the main part of the city (just south in the mountains).  But then all hell broke loose at mid-night.  We have had non-stop downpouring ever since.

The swimming pool in the back yard has been close to overflowing several times over the last 4 days (then it pumps itself down).  Tonight (er, this morning ... its 415am) ... it can't keep up.  Looks like it will overflow any minute.  I'm not too worried about it as it is about 1.5 feet below the house level.

*** I will be posting this in pieces ... so watch this blog ... it will grow over the next 30 minutes.

Decy went to the store yesterday to stock up on supplies.  She said it was a zoo there.  Lots of people hoarding water, dried noodles, and other supplies.  Of course, Decy was there to do the same ... she couldn't find any more 2 liter bottles of water so bought 20 cases of the smaller stuff. Plus, she bought a bunch of other things.  It took about 4 hours to go to "Walmart".  Then, she sent the driver on a "search and destroy mission" ... he stalked a bottled water truck for miles.  When it stopped he went and negotiated for some big water dispenser bottles.  Decy says we now have enough water in the big bottles for 1 week ... plus the 20 cases ... just in case (no pun intended).

At the store there were problems with the computers and many debit and credit cards weren't working (checks are a rarity here due to the ease of forgery).  Thankfully, Decy was thinking ahead and brought cash (that she had taken out of the bank last Friday).

Speaking of cash, our Indonesian internet banking has been up and down for days due to the flooding .... this morning it appears completely down.  A local branch of the bank is only about 10 minutes away and more or less on high ground.  I'll probably send Decy to go pay some bills and get some more cash out.

Not sure where we are on gas for cooking ... I think we are fine. But need to check on that today (we buy bottled gas).  I've also reminded Decy to keep the cars full of gas.

As for school, late yesterday JIS advised they would be open today.  Of course, that was before tonight's downpour.  One of the JIS campuses is having all kinds of problems - water has been cut off and they are TRYING to truck in water.  They are asking kids to bring bottled water to school.   The girls' campus hasn't asked that ... but Decy is going to give the girls some water just in case.

A number of people at work (expat and Indonesians) are having problems.  One Indonesian family had to be rescued from the 2nd floor of their house.  Had another co-worker call me from home ... their home was ok, but flooding is so bad they can't get out.  Even had some expat co-workers not doing so well .... with sewage starting come out backwards from the toilets and drains.

We are very blessed in this house.  Although the process of finding and leasing it was difficult ... and we lost several before we got to this point ... God was clearly watching over us.  We are in a good sub-division, it has stable water and electricity.  Its elevation relative to the rest of the area is good.  We are not near any drainage ditches, culvert, rivers, etc.  And, the house is about 4 feet above grade .... just in case.

It would not surprise me if we closed the office today.  If we do ... then we will activate the warden system ... and I have to call 55 people on my list ... that will take 2-3 hours (again).  So, if they wait much longer ... I won't be able to reach everybody before work time.  On the other hand .... yesterday we told people to "use their best judgement" RE coming to work or not ... and we just might leave it at that.  I am certain that a lot of people won't make it to the office today.

As per the press, there are now (yesterday) ~350,000 out of their homes ... with 25 dead.  Tonight's rain will raise the numbers.  Lots of finger pointing right now RE who's fault is this.  Obviously, weather has a lot to do with it.  Sadly, the local culture has brought a lot of this on themselves.  I recall in December when I went to south of town to Jatiluhur (where much of the rain is coming from).  I saw one of the reservoirs - and I saw some places were "deforestation" had taken place.  I specifically remember looking at it and thinking that it would be very flood prone as there is nothing to catch the rain ... and no grass has been planted .... and now here we are.

Some people are blaming the flooding on the rich (building big houses in the water catchment areas). Some people are blaming it on "too many malls" ... meaning large buildings that take up precious soil that could have absorbed rain water.

The city has talked and tried to build canals to divert the water.  There is a major one they have talked about for years ... but they say that the land is "too expensive" to buy ... so they can't build the canal.  Guess what they are saying is it cheaper to let people get flooded out every year ... and some to die - - there is much that I could blog on RE thoughts about life and death for Indonesians ... but that will have to be another day.

Pool is definitely overflowing ...

Well, I better close for now ... have some things to take care of.

ciao ciao


February 04 2007

In answer to Grandma Suzy - we did not leave the house at all on Saturday and Sunday.  Monday - I am working.  Monday - school is closed again.

Future flooding will be largely dependent on the strength and duration of the showers/downpours - a 2-4 hour downpour will paralyze the city.  We are in the deepest part of the rainy season where anything can happen or nothing can happen.  A lot depends on how much water they release from the dams upstream of the Jakarta.

Decy is at the store as we speak picking up more supplies, including emergency bottled water - we always keep bottled water in the base case ... but this is EMERGENCY water.

I'll blog regularly, internet access permitting.

ciao ciao

And The Saga Continues

February 04 2007

According to the press, there are now >300,000 people flooded out of their homes here in Jakarta.  The death toll climbed from 6 on Saturday to 20 Sunday.  According to the press (and it seems right) most of the rain on Sunday was south of the city, in the mountains .... however, there are about 12 rivers that run from there into the city .... so the rain there just moves into Jakarta.  As for here in the city .... it began raining heavily again last night (Sunday night) at about 1am.  It is now 435am ... the rain has just now lightened up ..... more flooding on its way ... no doubt.

According to the press/weather forecasters .... we have 2 more weeks of this.  Don't know if that means .... on / off rain ... or pretty much "on".

Disease will soon become an issue as people run into sanitary and drinking water issues.  I need to have Decy double check our bottled water supplies and bottled gas supplies.

Because of the unstable internet access, I will post this blog and then "edit" it from time to time.  That will ensure that at least some of what I write will be saved, even if I lose the connection.

Yesterday (Sunday) was an incredibly frustrating and emotionally draining day.  The 3 hours I spent implementing the emergency warden system did me in.   The basic approach works good .... we have wardens in various sub-divisions that then call the 4-6 company people that live in their area.  The wardens act as a "messenger" for any emergency.  Having 4-6 people to call is one thing ... but I am the HOTEL warden ... and currently we have 55 visitors in 3 different hotels.  So, not only do I have a gazillion calls to make ... but I have to go through an operator ... and the list, which is always changing as people arrive/depart Jakarta has too many errors.

Everybody has been instructed about the warden system and that they need to keep the organization informed of any travel changes .... but they don't .. then when you add in a bit of human error ... it becomes a mess.

I wasted a bunch of time trying to call one visitor that was supposed to be here until 8-Feb ... but seems they checked out on 31-Jan.  Then, I accidentally called somebody that was supposed to have checked out at 31-Jan ... and they were still here.  Then, there is the family that have moved from a hotel to a house ... but the records haven't been updated (for whatever reason).  This family is on my list to call ... but the only number I have is the hotel.

Add to the above, that I was on the phone for 3 hours ... if I hadn't had my charger nearby, my phone would have been dead.  Then - because of the rain - many of the phone circuits are down ... which means I often had to call 3-4 times just to get through to the hotel once ... so you do the math regarding phone usage ....

Also had some technical issues at home. First, I couldn't find my call out list ... and call record log.  So I tried printing it ... had printer problems ... got one printer to print ... but it was out of color ink (nobody replaced the cartridge, which we had).  The list was in black, red, yellow (while that printer did not do gray scale) ... so, half the list was missing (red colors).  I kept flipping back and forth between the PC ..... the new (black only) print out and the old color print out ... I got confused which list I was on ... which is how I happen to accidently call somebody who SHOULD have left the city .... but didn't.

As you can tell, this was a very frustrating event.  I will write a report today and spell out all the ugly details.  Some people will be offended .... but if I don't highlight the weaknesses in our processes then we can't improve them ... and in the event of a major emergency (riots, earthquake, evacuation) .... accuracy and efficiency will become critical.

Enough ... I am already tired and it is only 455am.

ciao ciao

This One's For Chris ...

February 04 2007

So why did my last blog include a message to many folks, but not Chris?  Its because I was replying to THEIR emails via the blog because I couldn't get Yahoo to accept my emails.

Soooo .... Chris ... if you had sent me an email then you would have received a personalized message inside my blog.  BUT, having said that ... nobody has made any comments about my recent flooding blogs .... but because you did comment on the last one ....


BTW, we are still ok. The rest of the city is challenged.  And, we have activated our company's emergency system, of which I am a part ... and I have just spent 3 hours on the phone ... but God watches over us.

It is pouring rain again ... we are ok ... but I hurt so much for the less fortunate .... every drop of rain we get just adds to their situation.

Please pray for the less fortunate in Jakarta ....

Sunday Morning

February 03 2007

It was a relatively quiet night last night ... some very heavy rains around 2am, but it did not last long.  Don't know what the weather will be like today - obviously - but the paper says we should expect more of the same.

We told the drivers not to come in today (just like yesterday).  There is no where we have to go ... so that allows the drivers to take care of their families.

Access into Yahoo is virtually non-existant, and replying is usually impossible.  So if anybody is trying to email, I am probably not seeing it.

Norma - thanks for tax information.

Paul - go ahead on the medical stuff you mentioned.  Ok on the car - keep me posted. Good luck.

Josh - thanks for tax info confirmation.

Mom - yeah, heard about tornado ... and checked to see which counties.

As for us ... we're ok.  We can easily manage in this house for a week or so ... 40 pounds of rice goes a long aways ... if necessary - but we have plenty of other items too.  We were able to contact the extended family in the Ciputat area (Decy's mom, bro's, sis's).  Lots of flooding in and around Ciptuat ... and some some of the subdivision where the houses are (Villa Mutiara) have water, even on the street where Decy's mom lives.  However, both houses there are ok and above street grade - and the property where others live (boys you remember) is ok because its on a small slope and the water is running past the houses and not collecting inside.

Didn't go hashing yesterday, it would have been a dumb move. However, I did use the treadmill. Not as much fun .. but it suffices. 

... Better close before I lose the connection. ciao ciao

To All .....

February 03 2007

Don't know how long the connection will last.   We are all ok ... high and dry for now ... still with electricty and water. sometimes internet. not much on phone.

We have extra food, water, gasoline, and backup power generation.

Others aren't so lucky.


February 02 2007

Due to all the rain and flooding, internet access has been dead for about a day ... it is very slow right now. Don't know when we will lose it again.

We are fine. House is high and dry. Just a little bit of roof leakage in the maids area.  Many parts of the city are under water - lots 2-3 feet deep. Some 10 feet deep.  Chris and Paul will recall the Sabang area where we ate porridge at night on the street - its 3-4 foot deep in water.  Canals are overflowing.

More rain is coming.

As for Decy (Stacy, thanks for asking) - she's doing better.  I think it was the fact that they gave her 4 or 5 medicines to take at the same time.  After she finished 2 of them ... she started feeling better.   Don't yet know how her chlosterol is doing ... but she it taking the medicine, eating differently, exercising, and losing some weight (not that she had much to lose).  Presume in a couple of weeks she will go back and have things rechecked.

Need to hit "enter" before I lose the connection again.

ciao ciao

Let The Floods Begin

February 01 2007

Two weeks ago the media were complaining that the low amount of rain associated with this year's "rainy season" would cause drought conditions.  They were bemoaning the dropping level of a key reservoir/lake south of town.  Fast forward 2 weeks ... after weeks of severe and heavy rains we now have tens of thousands of folks flooded out of their houses.  Some are under 10 feet of water.  Thankfully our house is not in a flood prone area ... and ... it sits about 3-4 feet above street level.  Now people are complaining about folks on the south side of town developing in areas that affect the water shed and water absorption rates ... which then reportedly pushes the water towards the city.

Of course, hundreds of millions of dollars have gone into water handling projects over the last 10 years ... most projects are incomplete, behind schedule, and over budget.  Some reasons are just due to inadequate planning ... some due to cultural issues. No matter the reason ... many folks are suffering.

Well ... today is Friday.  YEAH.  I know Decy has a number of social plans for today and tonight .... weather permitting.  As for tomorrow, we are considering going hashing - could be interesting in the rain.  And, unfortunately, on Sunday ... I have to work on TAXES !!!! yuk.

ciao ciao.

Just Stuff

January 30 2007

Decy and I have been slowly working into a modest exercise routine.  This is a bit challenging because with typical Jakarta traffic ... NOTHING is close by ...  unless we were to have a membership at the Kristal hotel.  Even if we did, with the hours I work, it just wouldn't work out for me.

So, over the weekend Decy did some shopping for a treadmill.  She found a pretty good one (treadmill) and an "Elliptical Bike".  The EB is like a stand-up biking machine that also works your arms in an arobic way.  The pedals travel in an elliptical fashion and are shaped more like a cross-country machine vs a bike pedal.

As for the treadmill, its a typical programmable one. Has approx 12 pre-set "courses" ... motorized inclination adjustors ... calorie burner estimates .... etc etc etc.  Anyway, she negotiated a pretty good price, which was about US$1,600 for both.  Stuff was delivered last night.

If I use the treadmill like I did back in 2001, that was when I lost 40 pounds - clearly I won't do that again.  However, when i did that my stamina and running ability increased dramatically and clearly improved my performance on the hash - which I could have used last Saturday.

Received an email from PricewatershouseCoopers, regarding 2006 taxes - which they do on my behalf (paid for by the company) because of my expat assignment. I know there will be extra work to do this year because Indonesia has a "property tax" that will likely impact me. I dread the added paperwork ... but have to begin the process this week.

Ciao Ciao.

Don't Feel Like Writing Today ...

January 29 2007

Really not much to write about ... just a bummer day all around.

Got up at 2am to call Aetna insurance.  Seems they are trying to deposit money into my closed Amsouth account.  The lady on the phone made a comment about not being sure if they would be able to "resend the money" to my Bank of America account.  I quickly responded that they could and would ... as they have sent over $1,000 to Amsouth which has been rejected. I will need to work this via email

This AM, I sent an email to Money Magazine in response to an article about whether or not parents should be able to take cash gifts given to children (from others) and use it for the "common good".  The magazine said "No, it was wrong".  I agreed and told them that.  Then, I went on to tell about the boys' accounts and how it has grown over the years - there's a lesson to be learned by long term savings ... even if small at the outset.

ciao ciao.

Monday Morning, Already ???

January 28 2007

The older I get, the more convinced I am that weekends should be 3 days long instead of two.  Seems I just can't accomplish all the things I want to do on the weekends - - - hmmm, maybe that is what retirement is for.

On Sunday, Decy and I went and got a massage then ate Nasi Padang.  I (unfortunately) did some work and Decy took the girls to Pondok Indah mall to get some stuff.  Later, a good friend of mine Nat came over and visited.

Nat use to be an expat here in Indonesia, went back to the US, worked on a bunch of Angola stuff, and now will soon relocate back to Indonesia.  Its a "small world" in my business.

When I woke up Sunday morning, I noticed I had a big golf-ball sized bruise on my right hand (round in shape).  I figured I had gotten it from the mini-massage by Mimi the night before .... but maybe from the hash.  All during the day, I watched the bruise - it has lightened a bit, with the center turning a little lighter (but not white) ... there was/is just a bit of soreness.

Mimi was out all day (her day off), so we didn't see her until evening.  In talking to her (I was teasing her about brusing me) she advised that I had it on my hand when I came home from the hash.  The only thing I can figure out is I must have gotten poked by a sticker bush.  Of course, that would have been pretty easy when you are running through the jungles not on a trail .... I also have a thousand grass cuts on my leg ... actually not a thousand ... but it feels like it.

Time to close - need to work on some financial stuff.

Ciao ciao

Sunday Morning

January 27 2007

Just a quickie while others sleep.  Went on the TGIF hash yesterday (Saturday).  Its one of the hashes I use to go on - back in 2001.  Also, brought a friend of mine that I knew in Angola that was also transfered to Indonesia.  The TGIF hash use to be on Friday's (duh) but traffic forced them to move to Saturday's (can't run in the dark).

The run was good - through the jungle, rice fields, through a few kampungs (communities).  While running by myself I got off the trail and couldn't find it for 15 minutes.  However, I was following a river and knew that if we crossed it once ... we would have to cross it again (to close the circle).  So I kept running up river.  Finally found the bridge and the trail again.

All in all it took me probably 1 hr 20-30 minutes.  Decy didn't run, and said I was about 10 minutes behind the leaders. There were many folks after me, so I don't feel too bad.

As for the festivities before and after the run, I was sorely disappointed.  Virtually nothing before the run ... no joking, no welcoming visitors ... just "here's what the paper looks like on the trail, have fun".  Afterwards, we waited around for nearly an hour - but the closing circle was even later than that - so we left.  I know there was an "on-on" (dinner & party afterwards) but obviously we didn't go.

As for the folks there, there were many still from 2001.  The group was very small (maybe 25-30 folks).  And hardly any younger, higher energy folks - primarily a bunch of old geezers that looked like they had been on too many hashes.

So - although I loved the run - the group dynamics left something to be desired.  There are 3 or 4 other hash houses in Jakarta and another one that runs on Saturday's also.  I need to find that group and check it out.  I want to run !!!!

*** also, please pray for Decy - she's getting quite a few headaches lately and recent blood work showed her chlorestorel to be quite high (not sure why).

ciao ciao ...

Friday Already ???

January 25 2007

Another week bites the dust.  Lots of wonderful work challenges ... but nothing I can really write about.  Glad today is Friday ... I'm looking forward to going out with Decy tonight.

There's a 75% chance of going hashing tomorrow.  I am looking forward to it ... although I know the Indonesian hashes are always much harder than the Angolans.

... otherwise ... not much to write about today. Sorry.

ciao ciao

Sama Sama

January 24 2007

In bahasa Indonesia can be interpreted as ... its the same ... or "back to you" ... really not much to report about today ... just lots of work and very frustrating internet access ....

There are moments when the access is good ... but it lasts about 10 minutes ... then everything freezes and absolutely no connection ... then it reconnects and continues.  I'll still try to upload some pics ... but I probably won't be successful until the Taiwan fiber optic cables are repaired.

Still haven't hashed since I've been here ... but I think I will give it a try this weekend.

ciao ciao

Generally Speaking ....

January 23 2007

... I hate surprises at work - because surprises tend to be negative.  Got hit with three surprises yesterday ... all negative urggghhh.

Without going into to many boring details -

Surprise #1:  Just finished (27-Dec) assembling a 2 volume 20 chapter reference manual including CD disk.  Yesterday received an email from a department advising they have just added a new chapter (to be placed somewhere in the middle of volume #1).

Surprise #2:  6-Jan completed a key letter to our VPs in Houston discussing the state of our internal controls.  Just found out yesterday that something might have been overlooked (or perhaps not disclosed to us) - still researching that.

Surprise #3:  Was invited to an health emergency response planning meeting.  Learned that weeks of work I did in November was entirely ignored - they don't even remember receiving the data.  Also learned that they would send out a new request for information (sometime this week, maybe) and would request new information within a week.

Well .... at least it is hump day.

Speaking of hump day ... not sure what is going on with our water heater.  I think the breaker is kicking at night (and I'm the first up every morning).  Have now taken 5 cold showers in a row .... I MUST talk to Decy about this ...  bbbbbrrrrrrrrrrrr ....

RE the dogs and cats, no mom, I don't want any of yours ... have enough challenges here.

Internet access is still sucky ... and today seems worse than others.

Ciao Ciao

It Must Be Insanity ....

January 22 2007

They say the sign of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different response.  They say the sign of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different response.  They say the sign of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different response. 

So why do I continue to waste my time tryng to upload pics into Phusebox?  Because I am a dreamer and and cautiously optimistic that it will be successful someday.  I believe (think ?) that the issue is the rerouting of internet access via Australian satellites .... but, I don't know for sure.  Supposedly (according to world press) the fiber optic cable repairs in Taiwan will be completed about mid-Feb.  If that is the case ... things should be back to normal a week or two afterwards .... urrrggghhhh.  In the meantime ... $7/day +++ ($8/day when you include taxes) is pretty much being wasted on very limited UNLIMITED access.

As for me and my family, we are doing ok.  Was able to get online "enough" to order some SAT study guides for Chely via ... only took 1 hour .... was afraid I'd lose the internet connection altogether before I completed the transaction - it stalled a number of times ... but didn't die.

Work is coming along - finally getting on the backside of my YE reporting.  Building a new excel- based database application for tracking controls related issues.  It will replace an old highly inefficient spreadsheet.  The new models include a lot of customized drop-down menus (to improve consistency and reduce key strokes), numerous data validations (including some to limit the number of characters in a text (so people don't get too long winded) ... and a really neat security tool where I protect the sheets and cells ... but allow certain, pre-specified users to be able to edit the LOCKED cells without having to use a password.

Thasya has been accepted into a play called Flappers.  She is the singing and dancing line.   Rehearsals (4+ each week) start this week.  The play is in March ... she is going to be busy busy busy ... and will have to stay on top of her studies and rest when she can.  Her modelling lessons end this week.

As for Decy - she's spending time organizing the office and starting to work some business plans RE what she wants to do.  Now that we are pretty much done furnishing the house (a few odds and ends left) she has time to focus on other things.

The dog and cat are doing fine and successfully survived the YE sacrifice period.  Its amazing watching the two of them play.  I can't believe the dog will actually let the cat climb on the dogs back and then get carried around the house.  Hey, wait a minute .... I don't have a dog and cat.  Gotcha !!!

Enough of this for now ... connection might die any minute.

Oh before I forget .... I love my mother ....

ciao ciao

Earthquakes Suck !!!

January 20 2007

As per world press ... 7 of 9 fiber optics lines were damaged during the Taiwan quake in late December.  Much of the world's internet accesses have been rerouted - - and ships are in place fixing the cables as I blog.  In the meantime time, internet access to US based systems will suck ... including Phusebox.  Supposedly this will abate in mid-Feb.

In the meantime, things seem to suddenly be getting worse here (internet-wise).  We called the service provider about the sucky service.  They said they have re-routed access via a satellite based in Australia ... and according to them ... the Australians are hogging all the bandwidth and causing instability.

While what they say is probably true ... doesn't make me any happier .... we have to pay $7 a day for this unstable, unacceptable access ... and its very frustrating.  Can't even get into Amazon to buy a SAT study book for Chely .... uuuurrrrgggghhhh !!!!

So, be patient friends and family ....

And, yes, MOM ... I do love you !!!!

ciao ciao ....

Earthquakes Suck !!!

January 20 2007

As per world press ... 7 of 9 fiber optics lines were damaged during the Taiwan quake in late December.  Much of the world's internet accesses have been rerouted - - and ships are in place fixing the cables as I blog.  In the meantime time, internet access to US based systems will suck ... including Phusebox.  Supposedly this will abate in mid-Feb.

In the meantime, things seem to suddenly be getting worse here (internet-wise).  We called the service provider about the sucky service.  They said they have re-routed access via a satellite based in Australia ... and according to them ... the Australians are hogging all the bandwidth and causing instability.

While what they say is probably true ... doesn't make me any happier .... we have to pay $7 a day for this unstable, unacceptable access ... and its very frustrating.  Can't even get into Amazon to buy a SAT study book for Chely .... uuuurrrrgggghhhh !!!!

So, be patient friends and family ....

And, yes, MOM ... I do love you !!!!

ciao ciao ....

Uncle ... I Say Uncle

January 18 2007

Ok, after 3 days and hours and hours of trying to upload pics to Phusebox I give up ... Day 1 wasn't too bad and I was successful in uploading about 11 pics ... since then I'm 0 for 50 ..... I've wasted a gazillion hours of my time.

During my lunchtime today I will try to upload some pics from the office.  I hate doing this, but don't have much of a choice.

Today is Friday (yeah).  Decy and I may do something different tonight (we have an invitation to a special club) or we may just go back to CJs. Haven't decided yet.  For lunch, Decy is going to visit with somebody she met here that is from Angola (surprise, surprise).

Tomorrow, we are invited to an open house. Don't know if we will go or not ... I have a bunch of work I need to do ... and Saturday afternoons is a good time to do it ... especially if I try to get a massage in the morning.

As for Sunday, one of our friends, Nat Simpson, may be coming over ... so I won't get much work done then.

As you can see ... not really much to report ... all's quiet in who'ville.

ciao ciao

Wasting Gazillion Hours ....

January 17 2007

What little time I have available for the internet is currently being wasted trying to upload pics into Phusebox. Not sure what is going on ... the pics are compressed ... I try uploading them ... 5 at a time ... after about 15 minutes the Phusebox screen comes back blank.  This is happening even with 1 pic.

... other than the above ... all is fine here.

I will try again.

Quickie ...

January 16 2007

Struggling to get the pics posted ... even with compressed files ... time to go to work. I try some more tomorrow.

All is fine .....