Wednesday, December 21, 2005

This is

just heartbreaking.

Arrived Safely

R arrived safe and sound in Fiji. As his flight got in at 4:00am, we stayed at the Raffles Gateway just across from the Nadi Airport. It was pretty sweet for an airport hotel, and only cost $F75. I understand R made it out just in time before flights from Portland were canceled due to ice! I'm only going to work for two and a half days this week, have next week off and the following Monday off for Christmas and New Year's Day. So don't expect any posts until the New Year. Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night.

Friday, December 16, 2005

Happy Days are Here Again...

R comes tonight! My shipment of household goods has actually sailed! Cingular actually canceled my account! And they finally paid my grant reinbursment, and my oven is fixed! Thank Santa!

Thursday, December 15, 2005


Even in the states, I've been tricked into folowing reality programming due to sheer exposure. FijiOne's policy of being only one channel causes me to be exposed to all sorts of TV I might not otherwise watch. Because I can't, you know, just turn off the TV. I'll just watch whatever is presented to me. I'm terrible. I know. So I've been hooked into watching the Amazing Race. Of course FijiOne's policy of delayed programming also means that I just spoiled the ending for myself by finding those links. I would describe the Amazing Race as combining all of the stress and hassle of travel, removing any of the relaxing aspects of vacations, removing any meaningful experiences of world travel and adding the stress of competition. Yuck! I have no sympathy for any of the contestents, as they pretty much knew what they were getting into. I hated the program the first two times it came on. Now I can't wait until the next episode and the next season. Wait, that's how I feel about all reality programming!

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Cults in Fiji

I already posted how delighted I was when the Fiji government denied Rev. Moon entrance to Fiji. I now happy to report that Fiji is having second thoughts about letting Portland faudster Benny Hinn whom even Christians seem to despise, into the country.

Somehow I'm not concerned about the homegrown cult The Magical Powers of the Holy Spirit. Perhaps exactly becaue it's homegrown, or just that it may be a modern day cargo cult. From the article: "
The group hopes that its registration certificate obtained last month would enable it to pursue its goal of withdrawing an enormous amount of money. The money was banked by the cult’s founding father some years back and cannot be withdrawn with the certificate."

Boycott Cingular

Really, this is much more imporntant than boycotting that one Dairy Queen that won't accept coupons. If you are ever in a position to not get a Cingular phone or contract...DON'T. I've already filed my FCC complaint and my Better Business Bureau complaint, and am too exhausted to go into much detail. Long story short: Before I left, I called to have the phone canceled. Only after I'm already here do I realize that they didn't actually cancel it. Now they won't give me the time of day without the magic PIN. As I only use one PIN and they say that's not it, I know their PIN is a phantom. After calling the international help number, going into the Vodaphone store here and having fifteen rounds of e-mail with them, they will do nothing. I mean they won't even give me a postal address to mail a letter of dispute to. So I've filed FCC & BBB complaints, am keeping files, and if this ever comes up on my credit report, I'll start an investigation and dispute there too. My only consolation is that I am not alone in thinking that Cingular Sucks, and Hating Cingular. However it is also proof that I will never have satisfaction. The saddest story on the epinions site is titled "Cingular ruined my birthday". Cingular mysteriously canceled her service without her knowledge & she thought that nobody loved her when she didn't get any calls on her birthday!

Monday, December 12, 2005

Movies on FijiOne

I thought I'd start posting about the movies that FijiOne plays. Every Saturday night, they play some sappy romantic comedy or heartwarming family film. Then on Sunday, they play some much more adult themed movie, often very violent but not so much sexy. What's funny is that they seem to be chosen out of the $4 DVD bargain bin, and have a high probability of being Canadian. I'll start posting the selections, let's see if we can come up with any patterns. This week: Saturday was Salt Water Moose, and Sunday was Anchor Zone. Note that both are Canadian.

Non-Specific and Casual Terms of Endearment

In Louisiana it was "darling", in Baltimore it was "hon", in Fiji I'm finding that it is "my dear". What was it in Portland? "Dude"?

The above phrases are generally terms for loved ones, but in particular places there seems to be a designated term that can be used with strangers without implying any sort of actual intimacy. Please comment if there are any specific terms used in your part of the world (I'm particularly curious about Richmond, VA) or to remind me if there was one in Portland.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Alaska through the eyes of Fijians

Some members of the USP DFL (distance and flexible learning) department are currently in Alaska to share ideas. As you might imagine the South Pacific and Alaska face similar challenges in delivering education to remote, isolated areas with poor technological infrastructure. They're writing a blog about it. I don't know any of these folks personally, but the observations and their take on Alaska are priceless. Such as "Later on in the day we took a taxi to Fred Meyers which is one of the nearest shopping malls from where we are staying. We took a look around & was so amused with the range of things they were selling. Left the mall @ about 4pm & it was dark outside. That's another interesting fact about Alaska in the winter; daylight is from 10am-2pm with the rest of the day in total darkness"

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Fiji says 'No' to moonies

State rejects visa for controversial cleric
Tuesday December 06, 2005

The Home Affairs Ministry has rejected visas for an Asian religious group that was supposed to have arrived into the country today. ...

If you have to say "we are not a cult" then chances are, you are a cult.

Monday, December 05, 2005


As I'm finding my reading material pretty much exclusevely from the USP Library these days, I'm catching up on my Zola. I'm currently reading Savage Paris. I'm finding it particularly interesting as it is set primaraly in the fish and vegetable market of Paris known as Les Halles.

Here in Suva I'm taking great delight in the fish and vegetable market seen here [more photos from someone else]

Believe me, the picture does not even begin to show the enormitity and busy complexity of the market. Each time I go, I end up leaving not so much because I'm done shopping, but because I'm overwhelmed and overloaded. Only this weekend did I even realize there was an upstairs.

And today, while cruising around the digital library webspace for work, I come across this excellent online exhibit, which shows me actual photos and images of the Paris market.

Advent Calendars

I've added some online advent calendars to the side bar. There are lot's on the web, I've only linked one's I thought were interesting. No overly religious, corny or amateurish ones. Some don't allow 'cheating' opening a door before the actual date. These just drive home how far away I am as it actually is the next day here in Fiji! I got a Christmas tree, I'll post more photos and experiences of my first Christmas in the tropics, which is definitely turning out to be weird for me.

Friday, December 02, 2005

Katrina Reconstruction rendered in HO scale

If any of you are familiar with my n-scale model railroading hobby and Sadtown, you'll understand why I'm delighted that this model was built, even if there was a bit of a brew-ha-ha over it. Knowing how much work goes into these things, it is quite impressive that it has been built in such a short time.