23 Jan 2007

And Then I Tried Wireless

I'm sitting by the fire, watching The District, stuffing chocolate down and typing this on the laptop on my last night before I head for Cambodia via Bangkok.
Another two spiders today, or one spider twice; not sure anymore..........
You see the Simpson's where Homer shouts "I'm not stupid!!" then thinks to himself........"Or are I?" Love it.
So, I gave it one more go with the ADSL modem and wireless router I got, what, 2 years ago? Maybe even longer. When I first got it the set up was a most complicated carry on and I never got it working despite giving it my best shot. Anyway, the other night I dug it out to have another go as it would still be nice to access the PC from the laptop to sync folders and files and to get the net sitting in front of the telly.
I started four nights ago by digging out the very flimsy instruction leaflet which has the web address you have to access to start the set up process. { I remember the web address was just a shed load of numbers.} Took it all in, honest, and a couple of days later hooked up the wireless kit again. The PC was on the net instantly so I checked the laptop and knock me down with a wireless wave, it was on the net by wireless!! But it's never that easy is it? The connection was showing as "Unsecured Connection". I now have to figure out how to make it a secure wireless signal to prevent outsiders using my connection. { Could they access my computer as well? Or just the Internet?}
I was reading the modem booklet, which explains how to set up security, just a couple of days ago as I said, and guess what, can't find it today. I'm back to dragging wires across the rooms for now as I'm out of time for this leave. Further modem adventures next leave. Nice piece here.
What do you think about all the fuss over the Muslim women wearing or not wearing their vale? Who cares? Do you reckon, like me that religion has taken over? Why do we call them Muslims? Why don't we call them Saudi's, or Indonesian's or, collectively, Asians? Do they sit round the telly of an evening talking about "Those Christians down at No. 28"? I doubt it. I have no idea what the answer is but if the media let go of the religious aspect of race we could possibly be taking a step in the right direction. And, I guess, if they would decide where they really want to live it would be a help.
We are continually told that not all Muslims are terrorists, but at the same time we are led to believe by the media that all terrorists are Muslims. Tough call....................
It's also worth thinking about the media and our politicians and what they have to do with it all. I work on a rig with Muslims, Buddhist, Christians, Witnesses to the First of the Fifth Adventists of the Later Day Hand Clap of Utah and everything in between and lo and behold, we just get along with each other with no friction, micky taking or long boring conversations about who's God it really is. So is it all down to media sensationalism and for some political ends? And so these two entities keep winding us all up and keep us believing we are heading for a major blow up? What do you think they are after?
Sometime in the 1960's a guy called Timothy Leary wrote "Think for yourself and question authority." Not enough people do I would guess.
And as early as 1958 this guy wrote this;
The Capitalist "Free Press:"
... Today the press is still legally free; but most of the little papers have disappeared. The cost of wood-pulp, of modern
printing machinery and of syndicated news is too high for the Little Man. In the totalitarian East there is political censorship,
and the media of mass communication are controlled by the state. In the democratic West there is economic censorship and the
media of mass communication are controlled by members of the Power Elite. Censorship by rising costs and the concentration of
communication power in the hands of a few big concerns is less objectionable than State ownership and government propaganda;
but certainly it is not something of which a Jeffersonian democrat could possibly approve.
In regard to propaganda the early advocates of universal literacy and a free press envisaged only two possibilities:
the propaganda might be true, or it might be false. They did not foresee what in fact has happened, above all in our Western
capitalist democracies -- the development of a vast mass communications industry, concerned in the main neither with the
true nor the false, but with the unreal, the more or less totally irrelevant. In a word, they failed to take into account
man's almost infinite appetite for distractions.
.... Only the vigilant can maintain their liberties, and only those who are constantly and intelligently on the spot can
hope to govern themselves effectively by democratic procedures.
A society, most of whose members spend a great part of their time, not on the spot, not here and now and in the calculable
future, but somewhere else, in the irrelevant other worlds of sport and soap opera, of mythology and metaphysical fantasy,
will find it hard to resist the enroachments of those who would manipulate and control it.
In their propaganda today's dictators rely for the most part on repetition, suppression and rationalization -- the
repetition of catchwords which they wish to be accepted as true, the suppression of facts which they wish to be
ignored, the arousal and rationalization of passions which may be used in the interests of the Party or the State. As
the art and science of manipulation come to be better understood, the dictators of the future will doubtless learn
to combine these techniques with the non-stop distractions which, in the West, are now threatening to drown in a sea
of irrelevance the rational propaganda essential to the maintenance of individual liberty and the survival of
democratic institutions.
Aldous Huxley, 1958
Humberside Airport was not quite the stressful episode as last trip with only a ciggy lighter confiscated as opposed to lighter, comb and pen last time. Comb? Hay ho.
Flew into the new Bangkok airport for the first time. It is typically Thai; not finished. And never will be. It looks like a building that's been thrown up to be used 'till the real airport has been built.
Anyhoo, I found my way round it OK, and after a 45 minute taxi ride was in the hotel where I had a note waiting for me informing me that the rig was ready to move so a car would pick me up at 3 AM to whisk me to Utaphau airport, near Pattaya, for a chopper at 7 AM. Wonderful. So after a fitful jet lagged snooze I had a 3 hour taxi ride, with a 10 minute lay by at a 7/11, to the chopper and a 2 hour chopper ride to the rig to find out it would not move 'till Wednesday at the earliest! We eventually moved on Thursday.
Utaphau isn't the biggest airport in the World, and at 7 AM there was me, a check-in guy and a bunch of frogs croaking away. On the plus side I missed the 5 hour bus ride through bandit country in Cambodia and a 6 hour boat ride to the rig.
And we learn of yet another tourist murdered in Sehanoukville , the Cambodian town we get the crew change boat. It appears the main industry of Sehanoukville is tourist robbing and killing, so you would imagine a bus load of us ex-pats passing through at 02:00 of a misty morning could prove to be an irresistible target!! Fingers, and everything else, crossed.
We have just spent the past three days flat out to a man like lizards drinking changing out the top drive. For you who don't know what a top drive is this is what it is in a nut shell. It's the bit o' kit that hangs in the drilling mast wot we keep screwing drill pipe on to and it's job is to turn all the pipe and thus the drill bit on the bottom to drill down to where they want to go which could be up to 20,000 feet. It also passes drilling fluid, mud, down the drill pipe which brings the cuttings back to surface. So, you see, if it breaks we don't be drilling so the rig don't be getting any money from Chevron. Also, this thingy weighs 25 tons and hangs off blocks and runs on tracks up and down the derrick. You can start to understand how we were wound up like clock springs in anticipation of the start to this performance.
So off we go, Ninja like, so management would suppose, into space to rig it down, lay it out and rig up a new one which we stole from the Trident XVI and smuggled into Cambodia by boat. The majority of the work involved was electrical and hydraulic rig down and rig up. This was incredibly time consuming as everything is out of reach in thin air and required us all to take on the roll of would be Peter Pans. And the electrics, surprisingly, does not just consist of a three pin plug and a B & Q extension lead.
Much to everyone's amazement we got back to drilling in three days without any drama. Quite an achievement.
Picked this up from "A Policeman's Blog" and loved the last paragraph;
"Can you attend 43 Church Road please. It's a family incident going back to the 5th of this month. Officers have attended but nobody has been in." A job going back a week and nobody's been to it yet, my heart is racing. Will this be a crime? You know, one of those incidents with an actual victim and an offender that I can identify within the first half hour? I doubt it. I have an idea, one that I put to the controller over the radio:
"Can you ring them first just to see if they're in?"
"No we don't want to do that, because we believe that the caller is now trying to avoid the police?"
Eh? Have I heard that right? We've got someone who called the police over a week ago and no-longer wants to talk to us, so we're going to try to catch them out when they're looking the other way? I thought that was the kind of thing we did with offenders.
I get to the front door, cross my fingers and knock quietly. Please don't be in, please don't be in, please don't be in.
Then the light comes on in the hallway and I hear some shuffling. Oh sh*t. Please be normal, please be normal, please be normal.................
Quote; Susan Ertz
"Millions long for immortality who don't know what to do with themselves on a rainy Sunday afternoon."

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