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Updated: 09/06/02

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Friday, 6 September, 2002

I went to dinner last night with my friend John to celebrate his birthday. It is actually next, but I will be out of town, so we did it early. His birthday is September 11th - I told him not to have as much excitement this year.

We went to DiPalma, a restaurant in Old City. We were the only diners there for the first hour or so. We ordered a bottle of 1999 Far Niente Chardonnay - but it had turned so we sent it back and had the 1999 Shafer Chardonney instead, which was lovely.

I had gorgonzola stuffed figs wrapped in proscuitto, and a terrific tenderloin steak. John had fried calamari and sesame coated seared tuna. They even brought out a little slice of chocolate torte with a birthday candle in it and gave us complimentary glasses of dessert wine. A very nice evening.

It's been a busy week. I had a glitch come up in next year's travel plans: I had booked our tickets on Qantas between Singapore and Cairns, Australia, and Qantas came back and said that in order to get the $797 fare there had to be a delivery address in the country of origin - Singapore.

Spent a half hour on the phone with "Sue" from Qantas Internet Sales. She was great and looked at every possible combinaton of flights and routes to try to get the price right, but everything was at least twice as expensive. She finally said, "Here's what you do. Make a reservation at a hotel in Singapore and arrange to have the tickets delivered to them to hold for you."

I thought about the hotel idea but didn't think it was secure enough, so I asked Mom if she had any friends living there that I could have the tickets delivered to. Long story short, Mom contacted her good friends Gennelle and David Pipes, and they agreed to have the tickets delivered to them and send them to me in the states! As it turns out, Gennelle just got her scuba certification so she is interested in hearing about good places to dive. We are planning to take them out to lunch when we come through Singapore after PNG next year.

The situation with THE HOUSE has gotten worse. Oscar keeps putting off having people on the site - he has another project going in town and is obviously needing the people there instead. He promised me that he will have a new crew on site on Saturday - we'll see. In the meantime, I have asked Richard to hire a couple of new carpenters to start working on the project since I cannot wait around for Oscar to decide that he's going to honor his responsibilities.

[Now I understand why people only build a house ONCE.]

I'm leaving tomorrow for Monte Carlo, my annual European convention. I have two full days of meetings on Monday and Tuesday, and will fly back on Thursday, the 12th. I was originally going to fly back on Wednesday after my meetings were over, until I realized that it was September 11th. While I don't have any reason to think that anything will happen, it just made me uncomfortable so I decided to stay an extra day.

[Vive La France!]

~ ~ ~

Quote du jour:

"The French are a logical people, which is one reason the English dislike them so intensely. The other is that they own France, a country which we have always judged to be much too good for them."

-- Robert Morley (1908 - 1992) English actor, director, playwright

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