PLDT – Why Do You Make Me Hate You So Much?

It’s been a crazy couple of weeks and I’ve been meaning to write an update but I’ve just been that busy. I was in Hong Kong for 8 days and meant to write something about that but the time has eluded me. Also the company I work for has been bought and it’s not immediately clear what that means for my future.

Anyway, last month, I was a little bit late in paying bills – sheer laziness, no other reason. I paid my monthly PLDT bill a couple of days after the due date. But here’s the thing – it was due on a Thursday, I paid it on Saturday, the payment registered on their system on Monday, and then they still cut my service on Tuesday because essentially their systems are so fucking shitmongous that they couldn’t cross-process the information on time.

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Fujifilm X-T2 Bought, Now I Gotta Learn It

Yes, I bought the Fujifilm X-T2, as promised. (I bought the graphite edition because the price difference was less than I expected and the guy in the shop told me that in HK, the graphite versions generally have higher resale value, not that I’m planning on selling this any time soon.) I also like the retro look of the graphite edition vs. the all black:

(not my image)

Along with the camera, I purchased 3 lenses.

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A Slow Week – Champix Moods – And What Lenses to Buy?

I never really took any vacation last year. At least not the “going to a resort” or “going to a great city” kind. I took off a week when my mother first came to Manila in March – and then bookended the year by taking off a week in December to deal with her death. I’m taking off all of next week, and while I’d rather be spending that time in Bangkok or Penang or Vietnam, I’ll be in Hong Kong (for reasons that I won’t go into). It will at least function as a vacation – I won’t be going into the office, I’ll be staying at a nicer hotel than the one my company puts me in for business trips, I’ll see lots of friends and eat lots of good food … and I’ll buy a new camera.

So I’m expecting a pretty good week. And as a result this week feels as if it’s taking forever. How can it only be Wednesday when every morning I wake up convinced that it’s Friday?

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Are All Philippine Banks As Incompetent as BPI?

BPI. Bank of the Philippine Islands. They’re the only bank I deal with here, as they’re the ones with my mortgage. They make dealing with HSBC back in Hong Kong seem like nirvana by comparison.

Go into any branch any time of day for any transaction that requires a teller and you are guaranteed to be there for an hour. Their ATM machines are filthy and prone to outages.

I’m up late tonight and want to pay bills online but I can’t because their website is down. You can get to the home page but you can’t log in.

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No Bad Words in Facebook Ads?

Screen shot of original post:

Suggested ad on Facebook:

Spot the difference?

I just find it amusing that someone took the time to write a program that would screen out certain words for Facebook ads.

(No, I don’t pay to “promote” my site. I don’t really do anything to promote it at all – aside from having things set up to automatically post on Facebook, Twitter and Google + whenever I post a new thing here.)

 

Getting G.A.S. Again

One of my “thinking by writing about it” posts ….

Many photographers suffer from G.A.S. I myself suffered from it for many years. G.A.S. of course stands for Gear Acquisition Syndrome.

I cured myself of G.A.S. by not looking at gear review web sites and not reading photography magazines. But lately I’ve been thinking …. I may not need to buy a scooter (for reasons that I won’t go into) so maybe I would have the money to finally upgrade my camera.

My Nikon D800 is now 5 years old. It has served me well. But it’s big and heavy and the lenses are also big and heavy and imaging technology has moved forward by 5 years.

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Some Days Are Good Enough

It is 5:39 AM as I start writing this post. I’ve been up since 3 AM. There are several reasons for this.

I’ve started taking a medication called Champix, which is supposed to help one quit smoking by somehow reducing the, um, enjoyment one gets from a cigarette and from nicotine. Actually I’d started taking it in November but went off it when my mother died. I’d felt it starting to work and always intended to give it another try and started with it again last week. One of the common side effects is insomnia, which I’ve got. Another is very vivid dreams, which I’ve got. One rare side effect apparently is suicidal thoughts, which so far I don’t have.

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A Few Good Days

I need distractions. I’m so horrified by the events in the U.S. during the past ten days but I don’t know what to say about them, what to add to the discussion. I need distractions.

Friends from Hong Kong (American husband, Filipino wife) have a house in Angeles. We drove up there for the weekend. The drive itself is quite okay – well it’s roughly 60 miles but takes almost 2-1/2 hours if you drive straight through. The NLEX highway has plenty of American-style rest stops – the larger ones not only have gas stations but also have 15 or 20 fast food chains. The ones on the drive south also feature outlet stores from Nike, Adidas and others, crafts shops, even a shop selling ATV’s.

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THE STATUE OF LIBERTY WEEPS AS PRESIDENT TRUMP TARGETS MEXICANS AND MUSLIMS

Posted on the Anne Frank Center For Mutual Respect’s Facebook page:

THE STATUE OF LIBERTY WEEPS
AS PRESIDENT TRUMP TARGETS
MEXICANS AND MUSLIMS

Statement of Steven Goldstein, Executive Director of the Anne Frank Center for Mutual Respect, the U.S. civil and human rights organization among Anne Frank organizations worldwide:

As President Trump prepares orders to wall out Mexicans and shut out refugees from America, today marks one of the most hateful days in our nation’s history. Donald Trump is retracting the promise of American freedom to an extent we have not seen from a President since Franklin Roosevelt forced Japanese Americans into internment camps during World War II. Today the Statue of Liberty weeps over President Trump’s discrimination.

President Trump is beyond the wrong side of history. He is driving our nation off a moral cliff.

When President Trump uses national security as a guise for racism, he doesn’t strengthen our national security. He compromises our national security by engendering disrespect for America by people around the world.

Make no mistake, suspending visas for citizens of Middle Eastern and African countries is not called national security. It’s called prejudice.

President Trump is now exacerbating the largest global refugee crisis in history. His slamming America’s doors on the starving, the wounded and the abused is a grotesque blot on our nation’s history of freedom. The President’s actions are an embarrassment to the timeless vision of America as inscribed by Emma Lazarus to “give us your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free.”

Demonizing refugees and immigrants, and spending billions of taxpayer dollars to keep them out of our nation, will go down in American history as one of the most tragic deviations from our national conscience.