Where’s my switch?

My e-mail this morning to Sybaritic pretty much explains it all.

I recently placed an order with you (order #10881) which
included a D-Link Gigabit switch (DGS-1016D); the order arrived yesterday. Upon
opening the package I noticed that the product was not shrink-wrapped. Initially
I thought nothing of it, until I opened the box and discovered that the switch
itself as well as the accompanying rack mount kit was missing.

What can be done about this?

(There were no problems with the other products in the
order)

–K

Let’s hope they do something about this…

UPDATE (14:41): They found my switch, and it’s on it’s way to me. Hopefully there’ll be a happy update tomorrow sometime.

age++;

On Sunday I turn 22.

Since I won’t be around on Sunday to post this (the joys of still having 56K at home, which is practically unusable), I’ll get this off my back now. As per tradition, here’s “On This Day” for January 21.

Events

1785 – Chippewa, Delaware, Ottawa, and Wyandot Indians signed the treaty of Fort McIntosh, ceding present-day Ohio to the United States.
1861 – The future president of the Confederacy, Jefferson Davis of Mississippi, and four other Southerners resigned from the U.S. Senate.
1908 – New York City prohibited women from smoking in public.
1950 – Former State Department official Alger Hiss, accused of being part of a Communist spy ring, was found guilty of lying to a grand jury.
1954 – The USS Nautilus, the first nuclear-powered submarine, was launched at Groton, Connecticut.
1976 – The first supersonic Concordes with commercial passengers simultaneously took off from London’s Heathrow and the Paris Orly airports.
1977 – President Jimmy Carter pardoned almost all Vietnam War draft evaders.
1998 – President Bill Clinton angrily denied reports he’d had an affair with former White House intern Monica Lewinsky and had tried to get her to lie about it.
2003 – The U.S. Census Bureau announced that Hispanics had surpassed blacks as America’s largest minority group.

Births

1738 – Ethan Allen, American soldier, frontiersman.
1813 – John Fremont, American mapmaker.
1824 – Stonewall (Thomas) Jackson, famous Confederate General of the Civil War.
1884 – Roger Nash Baldwin, American founder of the American Civil Liberties Union.
1905 – Christian Dior, French fashion designer.
1925 – Benny Hill, British comedian.
1927 – Telly Savalas, American Emmy Award-winning actor.
1940 – Jack Nicklaus, American golf champion.
1941 – Placido Domingo, Spanish operatic tenor.
1957 – Geena Davis, American film actress.

Deaths

1793 – King Louis XVI executed by guillotine in the Place de la Revolution in Paris, one day after being convicted of conspiracy with foreign powers and sentenced to death by the French National Convention.
1950 – George Orwell (pseudonym for Eric Arthur Blair), Indian-born British novelist and essayist.
1959 – Cecil B. de Mille, American film maker.
1997 – “Colonel” Tom Parker (born Andreas Cornelius van Kuijk), manager of Elvis Presley.
2002 – Peggy Lee (born Norma Dolores Engstrom), popular singer, songwriter, and film actress.

Meet Ron, the family travel agent.

As the post title implies, I do a lot of the organising behind the family holidays, reasons being that I’m good at finding places to stay and that, owing to my photographic memory, I’m excellent at memorizing a road map and finding my way around the place. Anyway, on to what I’m blogging about… my mom phoned me this morning asking me to organise some flights between Durban and Cape Town. The first one will be flying my sister up from Cape Town for the Easter weekend. My aunt from Australia (the one north of Sydney) will be visiting us during this time, which is an added bonus. Then, my mom wants to go down and pay my sister a surprise visit at the end of April, when all those public holidays are. I was originally going to take my mom and dad to the Berg for that weekend, but all the places are already booked out so my mom wants to do this instead. I’m thinking of joining her, firstly because I won’t be accompanying the rest of the family when my sister starts varsity at the beginning of February, and because then we can go halvies on car rental and accomodation (obviously I’ll also be paying for my own air ticket).

I went looking at four options: SAA, kulula.com, 1time and Mango. Out of those four, I’m recommending kulula.com – I’ve flown with them many times before and it’s always been an enjoyable experience. Mango isn’t THAT much cheaper for flights between Durban and Cape Town, and their flights are at ungodly hours of the morning or similarly late at night. Evidently they only offer their “specials” for flights involving Johannesburg. My mom still needs to make the final decision, but my recommendation to her is that we pay the R300 extra for the kulula.com return ticket and fly at a more reasonable time. SAA has excellent flexibility in this regard because they have so many damn flights, but they’re almost double the price of the other offerings, so I would only use them if I had to be in a certain place at a certain time. As for 1time, they don’t seem to do flights between Durban and Cape Town.

Speaking of which, I may also be in Cape Town for two weeks in September. A friend of mine has got timeshare down there, so we’re all planning to go as soon as we’ve saved up enough money and leave. I got offered a place on the trip, I suspect mainly because of my reputation as the “walking, talking roadmap”. Now we just need to organize a bakkie that will be big enough for all 5 of us, plus luggage. I can always donate the family trailer to the cause though.

I’ve got a meeting now so I suppose I’d better end off.

UPDATE: I was slightly misinformed. Regarding the Cape Town flights, it’s one or the other: either we fly my sister up or we fly down. Guess which one I’m pushing for? 🙂

Photos from Down Under

As promised, some photos…

Here’s me at Durban International, thinking “Can I get on the plane already?”

Seems I wasn’t the only one…

I had a five hour wait in Johannesburg when I landed, so… here’s a photo that I took out of total boredom. Guess which flight was mine?

Talking about Perth, here it is:

… and here’s their supposedly world-famous beach. It’s kind of strange to imagine that Durban is at the other side of that ocean…

Here’s Melbourne:


That last photo is the queue of people waiting to see Shane Warne. Needless to say, I got out of that area pretty damn quickly.

Couldn’t resist this one, though…

Melburnians have a little competition amongst them to see who can put on the best Christmas lights display, with some rather spectacular results. Here’s one of them, taken on the night before I left for Sydney:

This is the place that we went to for Christmas Day:

… and another “can’t resist” photo:

I took many photos in Sydney, mainly of the harbour bridge and opera house, but I won’t post them here, mainly because everyone’s seen photos of that. So here’s one from the Blue Mountains, about an hour and a half west of Sydney. They boast the steepest train ride in the world, as these photos show:

That’s my cousin Lachlan next to me in that last one. And no, that wasn’t the actual train, just a model of it just for people who want to take photos.

There’s many more photos, but I don’t have the time or the space to post all of them. Maybe I’ll put them all up on my website if enough people bother me about it.

Oh, OK, I’ll post one more; this is the photo of me when I finally got back to Durban:

Spot the difference.

Australia, land of hopping rats and Shane Warne.

Firstly, happy new year everyone 🙂

I left on the 16th for Australia, departing from Durban’s little backwater airport mid-morning and arriving at Johannesburg an hour later, then had to put up with a 5 hour wait at the airport. Yay for my MP3 player. Then it was on to one extremely cramped 230 seater Airbus for the flight to Perth.

And herein starts my first rant. The plane wasn’t too large and was extremely cramped. The in-flight entertainment wasn’t adequate. The food was terrible. Shame on you, SAA.

Next time, I’m saving up for a business class ticket.

Anyway, I got into Perth the next day at around 09:20 Perth time (02:20 SAST) and got greeted by my aunt and cousin who live there. Most of the day was spent trying to acclimatise, but in the evening we all headed off to Carols by Candlelight, which was really, really great. The next day was spent being shown around Perth and I was taken bowling by my cousin in the evening.

The next day I hit a real brick wall – jet lag had caught up to me big time (damn 7 hour time difference) and I was feeling rather dehydrated. It’s quite hot there – nothing I’m not used to coming from Durban, but it’s a dry heat rather than Durban’s humid conditions, which means you dehydrate quicker – something that I wasn’t quite prepared for. So, the day was spent lying in bed and watching DVD’s. Until the late afternoon, when my uncle took me to fly his model aeroplanes. He hooked up two controllers to let me take control of the plane, and he flicked it back to his control whenever I got the plane in a death spiral. So it went, until we succeeded in nose-diving the plane into the ground directly after take-off (we blamed the wind). It was a home built plane, so it wouldn’t take long to repair.

That night my cousin took me to watch Eragon in Gold Class. Gold Class, for those of you who haven’t been to Australia, is really awesome. The cinema consists of around 40-50 reclining seats, every two seats sharing a table. You order your food (I had pizza and beer) before the movie starts and you tell them when in the movie you want them to bring you the food, and sure enough it gets brought to you while you watch the movie. That was really great. The movie itself was really good too. Now why can’t we have something like this back in South Africa?

The next day (Wednesday) was spent at a theme park just south of Perth, and the day after that I was off, on a flight to Melbourne. Just a little 737 to get us there (3 hour flight), but it was quite comfy and the in-flight entertainment was of the best quality. Unfortunately plane food is, well, plane food. ‘Nuff said. Anyway, I got into Melbourne in the middle of 35 degree heat, and was picked up by my cousin (who’s 13 years older than me). It was her birthday that day, so we all went out to dinner.

Early on Friday morning I watch the news. It’s a 30 minute news bulletin, with 25 of those minutes dedicated to Shane Warne, who had just announced his retirement from cricket. (He comes from Melbourne, which partly explains the bias in the news builletin.) I was taken to the local train station, and told “take this train into Melbourne, off you go and get on with it”. So that’s what I did, and I spent the best part of the day exploring the city centre and shopping for presents to take home.

On Saturday we didn’t do too much in the morning, but in the afternoon we went for a walk along the banks of the Yarra river looking for koalas. You just have to look in the tops of the gum trees and eventually you’ll see one – koalas spend 22 hours of the day sleeping, and they’re extremely sluggish when they do wake up. Those things are worse than sloths. After that, we took a drive in the country looking for Hopping Rats (aka kangaroos).

That evening, we took a drive in the suburbs admiring all the Christmas lights. In Melbourne, the residents compete as to who can put on the best Christmas lights display. Some of the displays have to be seen to be believed – I’ll be posting the photos later this week, and then you’ll see what I mean. Then it was back into the city for a look at the city lights.

While I was in the city, I had a “hook turn” demonstrated to me. Melbourne is known for its tram tracks, which run in the middle of the road. To stop cars turning right from being taken out by a tram, Melburnians have devised the “hook turn”. If you want to turn right, you go in the far left-hand lane and you stop in front of the traffic coming in from the side. You then wait for the lights to turn green for the side traffic before turning and going across the intersection. Sounds confusing, but it works.

The next day (Sunday – 24th December now) I was up early for my flight to Sydney, and was then taken two hours north of the city (Maitland) to where my other aunt, uncle and two cousins were staying. We had a big Chrismas Eve party that night, yet I managed to get up early on Christmas Day to head off to church. After the present opening we all headed off to a wine farm an hour away for lunch.

Boxing Day was spent being shown around the area, and watching Day 1 of the Ashes test. In the late evening I also managed to get coverage of the South Africa vs India game back home in Durban. The 27th was mainly another big souvenir shopping day.

On the 28th (Thursday) my cousin went back to his grotty little flat in Sydney, and I went off with him. Most of the day was spent just getting there (lots of traffic), but in the evening we went on a cruise around Sydney harbour. I think the photos I took there are the best of the whole trip. On the 29th (my last day before leaving home) we went up into the Blue Mountains for some sightseeing and walking, and in the evening more Sydney sightseeing.

The 30th deserves little mention – it was a 27 hour ordeal to get back home to Durban, once again aboard that blasted Airbus.

All in all, it was a thouroughly enjoyable trip, and I look forward to my next visit. I can just see myself living there if Jacob Zuma ever comes into power. 😛

I’ll post some of the photos later this week, once I’ve recovered from the jet lag.

UPDATE: Just saw how much business class tickets cost – nearly fell out of my chair in shock and horror. I think I’ll rather go for sleeping pills instead. Much cheaper.