July 9th, 2006


(no subject)

I did finally get to sleep, at about 4 AM, and slept until 10. I showered, then found out that I didn't have a razor (I had two parts of one), so I had to go out and buy razors, and also bought some aspirin (actually acetaminophen; they don't seem to have the real thing here) and all of the supplements that I left at home for fear of the customs people seizing them and caning me. They have GNC here, in the enclosed mall attached to the hotel, and it carries everything that the stores in the US do, and they even take their bargain card. Guess it was a good thing that I got one the last time I was there. Starbucks doesn't allow me to use my Duetto points, unfortunately, but that's OK; it's not like it's going to break me to buy my coffee there, and believe me, I hadn't had a good cup of coffee until I went there a while ago.

It's pouring rain here. Evidently I came during the rainy season. Mary warned me time and again to bring an umbrella, which I did, only to find that the hotel supplies one in the room for my use. I don't think I'm going to get many pictures.

The hotel is very nice. I don't even feel like I'm away from home. Internet service is excellent here. The only thing that isn't so good is that they only provide instant coffee in the room.

I did figure out the television finally. Of course, there's nothing to watch, but that's beside the point. They were showing Sumo from NHK earlier today. I think it was the lightweight division; the wrestlers weighed less than I do.

Oh, for those of you with iPods: I found a battery pack that uses 4 AA batteries that will power an iPod for I haven't figured out how long, but I think longer than the battery on board. Belkin makes it, I paid about $40 for it, and it's great. If you travel a lot, or you're stuck on a plane for a long time (as I was the last couple of days), you can't beat it. It is kind of heavy and bulky, but if you're not going anywhere (just sitting around listening), it's great. It uses the hookup, so it's only for listening through headphones, and it precludes your using the iPod as a disk drive (but then, if you had it hooked up to your computer, you'd be recharging the battery, anyway).

Yesterday, when I was in Hong Kong, I constantly heard this message that included a phrase that sounded like "ja ho ta", and I thought they were paging me in the airport. Mean trick to play on someone who's been on a plane for 16 hours.

I bought a bunch of books before I left on my trip. I managed to finish only one of them, Lauren Weisberger's Everyone Worth Knowing, her followup to The Devil Wears Prada. It was OK, most of it like the first book, although she paid a little more attention to characterization and it was more of a traditional romance. One of the flight attendants asked about it, because she had just seen Devil and wanted to know if this one was as good. I was tempted to give her this one, but figured that there was an off chance that Mary might want to read it. I picked up a few others that I'll probably read while I'm hanging around the room, including W. Michael Gear's The Athena Factor, Lee Child's Persuader, and JoAnn Ross' Impulse.

Question for you writers: when you read books, do you take notes on plot, setting, characters, etc.? I read something recently that suggested it, and it makes a lot of sense.

Guess I'll go hunt down some food. I have a meeting at 10:30 this evening (in about 3 1/2 hours) to strategize with my workmates here. Later, y'all.