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Monthly Archives: October 2015

Lando hope and glory: Memoirs of a Super Typhoon

Cleopatra's emergency rations

my emergency preparations for Lando.

Dahlings, I know you’ve all been worried sick about me so I should update you on my little business trip in the Philippines. It turned out that the others who were flying to meet me, bailed on me after looking at the weather alert. Something about a Super-typhoon being one of the worst ever made them change their mind.

So there I was. Jilted at the altar hotel due a major storm heading my way and staying in the city that was projected to be an epicenter for 40+ inches of rain.

I naturally called up my local work colleagues as asked I should get back to Manila in order not to be stuck here in the aftermath. “Oh no, it will not be that bad. You should still visit us on Monday. Roads will be driveable on Tuesday.”, they cheerfully said.

Being a bit skeptical, I decided to stay since I had come all that way and may as well get something out of it. Decision made: I would have a short meeting on Monday morning and be on the road by lunchtime and even get back 1 day earlier than planned.

Saturday I bought a weather jacket and stocked up with essentials in case of power outage in my mini-bar:- see my picture. Saturday night the rain started and on Sunday, the strong winds came. By evening it had stopped. I had survived my first typhoon. Nothing to it.

Except it started again Monday morning and got progressively worse. Continue reading..

Where and who’s Lando?

Who's Lando?

Who’s Lando?

Dahlings, it seems the only time I read a paper version of a newspaper is when I eat breakfast in hotels.

So what did the Philippine Star have to say on Oct 15th while I munched away my cornflakes.

I tittered so over the headline”Mirian picks Bongbong” which is as I said last year, not some reference to some stoner activity but the nickname of someone. Politicians do love their Bongs.

Next article, I look up to the top left and spit out my tea. There is a flippin’ Typhon heading towards North Luzon for Monday. Where am I going to be on Monday? North Luzon.

Expecting it to be sunny weather per weather forecast from a few days ago, I haven’t even brought a jacket.

Typhoon Lando (international name Koppu) intensified as Public Storm Warning Signal No. 3 was raised over northern Aurora, Quirino, and Isabela, weather service PAGASA.

So where is Lando going to make Landfall?  Oh crapola, very near me. Not only but it is going to be an usual storm in that it is going to be slow moving and so will dump a lot of rain. Looks like my plans to leave on Tuesday may be in jeopardy as we can expect a lot of damage.

Where's Lando? Path of the Typhon

Where’s Lando? Path of the Typhon

Even if I get to Manila, my flight was to going to Taiwan which may get the remains of this in a few days.

Oh the joys of travel.

Ciao for now,
Cleo

EVA fall in love with someone

Cleopatra's Hello Kitty experience

Cleopatra’s Hello Kitty experience

Dahlings, I am roaming in The Philippines to conduct some biz.

And just for the heck of it – and to annoy Caligula – I flew EVA AIR.  While outgoing flight was regular one, the connecting flight was a “Hello Kitty” theme.

Actually, we all know I am not THAT shallow. I chose the airline for price – it was almost 50% cheaper than what United were offering – and time – EVA was one of the quickest to get to Manila from Houston.

It was my first time time flying EVA and was impressed.  I was expecting bare bones budget but what I got was equivalent or better that what I get on United. The FAs were keen, attentive and friendly. My food was presented well and for airline food, tasty and a bit spicy. As for leg room, I didn’t feel too cramped like I usually do when flying United and the plane was new and well kept. The In flight entertainment was ok but nothing to rave over but there again, I have given up relying on airlines to entertain me. I plan on being unimpressed and bring along my own media which in this case, was an audiobook. Continue reading..

Not responsible for broken windshields? Oh yes you are..

Sneak warning sign to avoid liabilities

Signs of things to come..

Driving home from work, I noted a truck ahead of me which had a warning sign on it. Being curious I came up close to read what it said

Big letters WARNING. Smaller letters “STAY BACK 200 FT” with “NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR BROKEN WINDSHIELDS”.

However, the stupidity is that you’d need to be closer  that 200 FT away to read the flaming thing.

This had me thinking about the legality of such a sign especially as you need to be close up to read it and you never entered into any agreement with them. Researching around, I found this reddit discussion. My take away from reading it all : Continue reading..

The accidental nose job

Oi Maintenance person- When you see that button that says “do not press” and you are so curious to find out what it does, this is is does.

Just being nosey

The incident happened during a maintenance check with the forward landing gear retracted on the tarmac at Singapore’s Changi Airport Sunday. The only thing hurt except someones pride.

If I was in Singapore Airlines’ PR, I would say that it is not an accident but that the plane is just practicing bowing.  I would be impressed if they did this just for me – a new greeting to the super important class such as a Roaman Emperor.

Cali.

Artiller(y) the Han

A case study in how to get arrested

A case study in how to get arrested: Man with a funny shaped object caused a Kerfuffle at Xiamen airport.

Dahlings, when I wrote about the teenager who brought bomb shaped clock to Toronto airport in his hand luggage, I thought it was the hormones taking over the common sense part of the brain.

After all, no right minded adult would carry anything looking like a bomb in their hand carry onto an airplane would they?

Except Chen Liang, aged 39, tried to do exactly that in Xiamen Airport when he brought a souvenir which was empty artillery shell in his hand carry. What is more, after he was arrested he couldn’t understand what all the fuss was about. Continue reading..

Guide to Swansea by Caesars Dad

Swansea: keeping a welcome in the hillside. Copyright Wendy Hopkins/Facebook


Swansea, What do you want to go there for? The traffic there is bloody terrible and all the shops are closed. The ones that are open sell overpriced rubbish and they now charge you for plastic bags.

It’s expensive to park and you’ll probably get your car broken into anyhow. You don’t want to go down if the Swans are playing as the traffic will be worse.

No point going to the pubs in Swansea either as a pint is expensive and they are full of drunks especially on the weekends.

If you want a cooked breakfast, don’t eat at Swansea Market as you can get breakfast for a few pounds from Tesco’s instead.

And the Gower? It’s over rated with nothing down there but beaches. The traffic there is awful and it is likely going to rain. Bloody windy down there where you’ll catch a cold.

Why don’t you stay in and watch TV? Not that there is anything on TV anymore but lot of repeats. I particularly like watching travel shows. Not that I would go to any of those place: Too expensive.


 

Taking the Mickey: Disneyland increases prices to over $1000

What to do with 35% ticket increase.

Hmm..What to do with a 35% ticket increase?

It’s that time of year again: The annual increase in Disneyland ticket prices and a 35% increase for an annual pass, has taken it over the $1000 price tag. They are also introducing their version of surge pricing which is one way to cull the sheep keep the crowds down but also maintain profits. The previous price increases have only led to higher attendance.

Disneyland (The one in California) have done away with their $779-a-year, “premium” pass and replaced it with two versions : One – “Signature plus” covers all year ($1049), the “signature” pass covers 350 days (minus coverage for peak periods around holidays) cost a mere $849.

Disney World (the one not in California) has  a “gold” pass with 335 days of access for $549. The full Monty (or equivalent without the Male stripers) is $829. Continue reading..

Think outside the Box Jellyfish

Box Jellyfish: CC licence

In her post on Water deaths in Australia, Cleopatra introduced us to the Box Jellyfish. As a man whose maritime experience is confined to Mare Nostrum, I confess, I not heard about them before then.

Since most Cnidarian, especially those classed as Cubozoa, don’t have ability to read maps, I figured there was no reason that that confine themselves to Australia.

Which is why I was dismayed to hear about a 20 year old German woman who died at a popular Thai resort after taking an evening swim where this third reported fatality in Thailand in 14 months from a box Jellyfish. Continue reading..

Houston we have a problem

“.Don’t shoot”: A crimbo robs a Houston camera crew.

As part of an initiative to promote Houston, a film crew was were filming a promotional video in front of a piece of local art that proudly says “WE LOVE HOUSTON”.

Lights. Camera. Action.

And action it was when an unscripted event happened and a man produced a handgun and robbed them of their equipment.

“It’s ironic we were there filming a video about how awesome Houston is when it happened,” Jankovic says.

..Luckily for Jankovic one of the cameras that the suspect stole, the GoPro, was rolling time-lapse footage when it was taken. The suspect ditched the GoPro but not before a picture of the suspect was captured. That GoPro and the weapon used in the robbery were found at the construction site.

Jankovic says the gun ended up being plastic.

I’ll bet the perp didn’t expect he’d be filmed. The best quote in the Houston Chronicle article:

This incident will likely not end up in the final cut of the realty company’s promotional video.

No. They don’t say..