Monthly Archives: October 2006

Travel Web Sites

my-area.gifAs we are preparing for our trip, I decided to note some web sites with useful travel tools. That way if anyone (nieces & nephews) ends up traveling outside of the country for the first time, they (nieces & nephews) will have a few references to get started. Whomever they (nieces & nephews) might be.

A time zone converter can be found at:

The Time Zone Converter:
The World Clock:

Singapore and Malaysia are 16 hours ahead of Pacific Time.
For currency exchange, we use Oanda to create a cheat sheet that we carry with us:

Oanda Cheat Sheet:

The Singapore Dollar (S$) converts as

  • S$1.00=US$0.64
  • US$1.00=S$1.56

The Malaysian Ringgit (MYR) converts as

  • US$1.00=MYR3.63
  • MYR1.00=US$0.27

Finally, the power adapter site we use is:

Electricity Around The World:

Singapore and Malaysia are both 230V, 50 Hz and use the English power plug (rectangular blade)

Our next entry will be from the road!

Preparations for Malaysia

Malay FoodMmmm, food. Looking good, yet?

Two days before we depart, and our final preparations are in full gear. Harriet’s about finished with her work, and I’ve probably got another 6 to 8 hours that I’ll put in over the weekend.

We’ve got our final to-do lists and we’re working through them. I’m in the process of getting reservations for our first couple of nights in Singapore. All indications are that we wouldn’t have any trouble landing at midnight and still finding a room, but I’d like to have something arranged. Plus, I can see the places on line pretty easily right now. It’s harder when we’re traveling.

I’ll be sending out a test mailing to those people on our travel we address list, and I’m referencing the blog, so I’m hoping this little post will greet all those first time visitors to the site.

Hello! Don’t be frightened. We’ll try to make your visits pleasant ones. See, I’ve even started off with a little selection of Malaysian foods. Who knew there would be a Malaysian Food site?
Okay, I’m off to check a few more things off our list.

My Computer is Back On-Line

I finally got my replacement power supply this evening, and that fixed the computer! So for me, everything is back on-line and functioning. This is just in time for the trip, which makes several things quite a bit easier. I’ll be sending out our ‘test’ email in the morning, so those of you visiting the blog for the first time will hopefully have some new and interesting posts to look at.

Power Surge Nightmare

Okay, we’re back on-line now. This has been a long and rather hell-ish day. We’re not hurt; we’ve just had our internet and computer dependent worlds knocked about.

Last night, at abut 3:00 am, Harriet was awaken by a loud “pop.” She got up to see if something had fallen downstairs, and when she turned on a light, it burned out with a loud “pop” of its own. She tried one other light, and it popped also. That woke me up, and we realized that something was wrong with the power. I have a voltmeter, and we were seeing 238 V on the outlets (they should be 110 to 120 V). So, I cut all the circuit breakers.

I called Edison, and they had a guy here about 4:30 am. Apparently, you can have a neutral line break in a way that the two phases in the power line can add across the outlets, turning your lines to 2x normal. After some tests, he suspected a tree had broken the line outside the house. A tree crew (contracted by Edison) arrived about 8:30 am and cut some branches away from a power pole, enough to allow access. The Edison crew arrived about 10:30 and began rewiring the section that had been damaged, and by about 12:30 pm we had the power restored.

Then began the inventory of things that have blown out. Oddly, the major appliances and the video electronics are all OK. It’s Harriet’s computer, my computer, the phone recording machine, and a lot of the smaller electronics that are burned out.

We’re in the process of trying to recover. Harriet’s business is completely tied up in that computer. So far, we’ve been able to move the hard drive into another, older machine she has for backup, and now she’s trying to get enough of it functioning so she can work. Steve and Krista have been real champions with helping her get a system working. We owe them, BIG.

I have an older machine that I’ve got running enough to access the internet, hence this update. I can get to my email through the browser, I’m just not able to access the stuff on my main computer. I ordered a new power supply on-line (yay!), so we’re making progress. We’ll see how far along we are before we leave on our trip NEXT MONDAY! Ouch.

The good news is that this didn’t happen while we were gone, and since it appears to have happened out of the residence (and maybe off of our property), Edison has some liability. We’ll be filing claims before we depart.

Hawk At The Beach

Hawk BeachBefore the big power blow-out, I was working on this post. It’s a bit out of data. Actually, I’ve probably missed several updates, but since this is already on-line, and the pictures are pretty cool, I’ll go ahead and finish it.

Hawk CloseA couple of weeks ago, I was lucky enough to catch this hawk as it was hanging out at the cliffs in Santa Barbara. I was taking a walk at Shoreline Park with my camera, and I was able to get a few shots. The bird seemed happy to hang out until I tried to move into a better position. I think it got bored at that point and flew off.

Here’s a close up of the hawk. I was pretty pleased with the detail.

I really appreciate this bird’s patience since I’m

  1. slow
  2. not a very good photographer and
  3. usually oblivious to these sorts of things

But, all in all, it came out rather nicely.