30 July, 2009

More bits n pieces

I've spent too long on the computer already today, but I want to record some stuff before it slips away. Phone Our telecommunications dramas continue. First it was difficult to decide on the run what sort of package to cover our needs. Then, it took ages to all come through. After a while we got mobiles and the internet working (only after going to a public phone to activate it all) and we assumed that the land-line would follow eventually. But no, the company we'd signed up with couldn't contact us about our phone because we didn't have a phone (they rang my mother-in-law and she couldn't contact us either, because we didn't have the phone they were supposed to be connecting!). After nearly two weeks we rang them again and they admitted they'd given up on us. They said they'd try again, but we still would have to wait more than a week. Then we had a phone call saying they'd send out a technician. He came today. After digging up some of our lawn, he discovered that 2 m of essential cable hadn't been laid! Another type of expert is required to lay the cable, so we still wait. We've had some trouble with our mobile broadband (which runs off the mobile (cell phone) network), but are now thankful for it, because otherwise we'd have no internet either. Exchange student Are we crazy? We've volunteered to take a nine year old South Korean exchange student for eight days starting Monday. The school was pleading for host families. With a spare bedroom and a van, we thought we might as well give it a go. So for a week we'll have four boys in our house! Interesting. Why does Australia have shopping centres and Japan doesn't This is the question which our 10 y.o. was pondering last night. Actually Japan does have shopping centres, but not as many and not as many people use them for weekly shopping as Australians do. This has a lot to do with how densely populated Japan is. Small areas can easily support a grocery store. Also many less people have cars, many do their grocery shopping daily on bikes. Australia is much more spread out and people tend therefore to use cars and shop less frequently. Just different. Does this make sense? It is the best I can do right now because I've been staring at this computer screen for hours... Writing a news/prayerletter I've been writing monthly our news/prayerletters for more than 10 years now. For most of that time I've used the program "Publisher". The main objection I had to changing to a Mac is that Publisher doesn't work on Macs. Eventually I was persuaded that Mac's "Pages" could be a suitable substitute. This week our new letter is due out. I've been learning heaps about this new program. It hasn't been too bad. Until today. Having created a two page document that I thought looked okay, I got someone to print it out for me (we don't have a printer yet). The photos looked awful - people's faces almost unidentifiable. Ouch. I faced a familiar dilema - I could produce either a massive un-emailable file with wonderful photos OR I could send out an email-friendly document that has shocking pictures. I've done this before, several times, but on PC with Publisher. Hours later, I've fiddled and fiddled and my head is hurting. I've got something that might work and I've emailed it to a friend with a printer for her opinion. Now I'm going to turn this machine off and take a break while I fry up a good steak for dinner. Huge steaks, actually. I'm on a program of introducing our children to some food we cannot easily get in Japan. Food like Time Outs, Cherry Ripes, Rice Cakes (believe it or not), a variety of dried fruit, Mars Bars etc. Steak falls in that category, so here I go...I wonder what to feed our temporary South Korean son next week?

1 comment:

Hippomanic Jen said...

Telecommunications drove me nuts too. I got a bit cranky when the company charged US for the time THEY didn't turn up during the 5 hour timeslot they specified. Grrr. Hope it comes together soon.