NEW articles daily! Subscribe below to receive daily updates with our new articles!
Proof that if you have one week or three hours to pack a suitcase. You’ll pack the same things both times.
This being my first monthly article to Sir Bob’s LiP Website, after last month’s article “Fair Winds and Following Seas” Where I informed the LiP readers of a change to my status So unlike others I’ll freely admit I have no plan as they do, to start my own blog site. I’ll stay loyal to Sir Bob and LiP, it’s just my nature.
But can you guess what happened to me? The day I posted my article on Monday 1 October 2018. My computer, that I purchased in 1995 (YES, I said 1995!) Well it died, bought the farm, shuffled off this mortal core, it has ceased to exist. Is now henceforth to be referred to as a former Computer. I owe that rant to my love of Monty Python’s skit about the parrot, beautiful plumage, The Norwegian Blue. Please google that if you’ve never seen it. (But it was long overdue for the old machine it to kick the bucket, don’t you agree?)
Upon reading this, you might cough the words “Bulls%#t”, and think; “NO electronic gear could last from 1995 until the month of September 2018.” But alas it is mostly true, please, allow this humble scribe to explain. Then you may call foul or scoff at me!
My first modem screeched and howled the first few years, and then was replaced with an internal one. I was living in the Big “PO” or Olongapo City. A very nice place, except for where YOU live.
The clock kept ticking on…
On a mountaintop in Bataan we built our very own house, five years after we purchased the “Puter”, but our area, as perfect a spot to live as it is, other than where some have spent their vacations. I know it will be hard to believe but at the turn of the new millennium, it lacked a few basic things.
We had sporadic electric power, The Answer: I bought a Honda Generator, big enough to power all including one A/C. BTW I still have that generator and albeit now it takes up to three pulls to light it off, vice the one pull it used to take years ago. A friend asked why I didn’t buy an electric starter. I’ll let him figure it out.
Water! There was none provided by the Barangay, so in 1999 we drilled a 380-foot-deep well and found an underground flowing spring. Because it was pointed out, if you want to mix cement, you need water. Pouring money into the well, we had the finest pumps and pressure tanks money could buy. BTW here in 2018 it all still functions as when it was new as I run it once a month to prepare for when the water goes offline for weeks at a time (It has done that), but like a good scout, “I am prepared”
I live on a dirt road called Ilang-Ilang Street, coming uphill to where we lived during the rainy season the slope connecting us to the National Highway turned to mud and people could not traverse the hill (Nor motorized conveyances). Paul Thompson went to the Barangay Kaptain and said that I the well-paid Merchant Seaman would provide the materials if he would provide the labor and we could pave the incline.
He liked it, the volunteers whose mothers’ wives and children slogged in the mud to come home every day, got to work the next day. After four days of work, and two thousand USD and all were happy. (I will now point out that there was another route where I could still get my car to my house) I threw a party at the Hall for all, and next to the Barangay Counselor then changed the name of the Street to his family name. (If you have no sense of humor, go home!) BTW in 2018, it is still Ilang-Ilang Street, not Diel Street.
In 2014 the entire street was paved. If you just wait long enough….
Of course, there was also no trash removal, so a stainless-steel incinerator was built and worked well, 14 dogs take care of food waste. The guy with the pushcart who buys bottles and plastic helped, but was very picky as to what items he’d take. Unless you tell him, it is all free, if he just takes it all away, for some reason he did. The only thing left was the ash from the incinerator and my brother in law took it to a local landfill. Once more problem solved. (2015 we got trash removal)
Cable TV it is still not here on the mountain nor any landline, but it is only 2018, please give it time.
No land lines? So, it was Cell Phones for my family, and boy did my wife and daughters love that. three Motorola’s for them (Bought in Singapore) and a cheap Nokia for me. I seldom use phones. But put them all on a monthly plan after I received a call for a “Pass-A-Load” which, I had no idea what it was or how to do it.
Our TV consisted of an antenna on a fifty-foot bamboo pole that swayed in the tropical breeze and provided 3 channels of grainy pictures, well that just won’t do. (According to the three ladies I reside with) What can I do? Buy a satellite dish of course, did you know that rain will cut off the satellite signal? I didn’t, and I live on the Island of Luzon with a strong and long Rainy Season.
Did I bring up the subject of no internet on my mountain? But any reasonable mind would figure if there is no running water what are the odds Paul would have internet? There, in fact, was none where I live, are you shocked? So, for a couple of years, I went to town (Olongapo City) to take care of things requiring internet. Such as E-Mail, banking, ECT. The fact that my favorite watering hole on Fender St. (OG’s Bar and Mexican Restaurant) one door over from the Internet Café. Problem semi-solved.
In the year 2001 while a group of our daughters, classmates were visiting the house and doing teenage stuff. The subject of connectivity came up, one young man asked if I had a cell phone, I said yes, he took it to the computer and five minutes later he hooked my Nokia cell phone up to my computer, and I had to dangle it out a window and go outside to answer it. BUT!!! I now had internet, it was not cheap but Paul had just been pulled into a new millennium with the internet. No more just a stand-alone “Puter”. I have “E-mail” and Google, and soon after that there was Friendster and then Facebook, and all the other things in life to vex you. Next, a Dongle came along (Still hung out a window) Then came an antenna for broadband and as I’ve always said if you wait…It will come!
Stop: take a coffee or cocktail break, as I’ve not stopped rambling on and on!
So, as the years slide past, I was invited to write for LiP because Mr. David Starr brought me to Bob’s attention and the rest is history. (Thank you, Dave and Bob)
As I have pointed out so many times in my articles, that after my 25 plus years living on these wonderful Islands I found out one major fact: “If you can smile and laugh at anything you might find odd.”
You will survive and thrive thus your chance of running to the airport to go back home, decrease exponentially.”
Also, I did not fail to wait until that wonderful day when they came to hook up fresh water to my house which saved me 3,000.00 Peso’s a month on the electric power run the pump, it took to provide my own water.
Yes, the power will still pop off once in a while, so I keep my generator well serviced, but it is no longer an inconvenience, it is just an opportunity to see if all is working well and gassed up. Like holding a “Brown Out Drill” but for real!
When my satellite signal keeps cutting out in the rain, I have an opportunity to shut the foolish TV off and read a book, whether it be paperback, bound, or E-Book Reading is FUN-damental.
Yes, we came back to my very old “Puter”, I’ve had three new monitors over the years moving me slowly to a flat screen now, Printers more that could be counted. Upgrading the memory, and a few minor little things. Until 2006 the MOTHER Board needed replacing and we know that can be a major trauma. I lost windows 95 (A lesson well learned) Oh I still have 1995, old speakers sounding as sweet as they did yesteryear.
But this time in 2018, the Puter well and truly gave up the ghost.
While at the Data Works repair shop, the technician speculated it could be the Mother Board, to which I laughed and said; “It is so old now I call it the Grandmother Board” thus adding a new joke to the Filipino lexicon because the building roared when the Old Kano said that.
After a while, my Computer guy who was with me agreed with the tech that it was time after 23 years to just let it go… Fair winds, and following seas to my trusty old computer. I wanted to cast it into Subic Bay, but new pollution regulations prevented that.
One more point was proven with this article, my Son-in-Law Christo, asked me for the old puter carcass, as his nephew was in school studying computers and would like to work on it. Landfills my ass, Mike and Frank of The Pickers Fame would starve to death in the Philippines.
This was my first monthly article, please note it was much longer than normal, but now I have more to say and more time to say it. See yah all in December. Which will be much briefer, I promise. With a month to write it, maybe I’ll make less grammatical or spelling errors than I used to…Paul, dream on!