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As soon as I plugged in the Fujutsu laptop’s AC power and re-booted, I knew I was in deep trouble. The display was 20% scrambled.

Maybe it’s a software glitch or static buildup? I shut down and re-boot again.

Now almost 50% of the screen, the entire left side, was a mess.

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Make Your Bed and Lie in It

777One of my reasons for choosing this route to Sydney instead of the more obvious one across the USA and over the Pacific Ocean using a United or Qantas Boeing 747 is that Malaysia Airline uses a Boeing 777.

The center rear rows  on the Malaysia Boeing 777 are five seats across. (Seat Guru) In most of those rows (but not all) the armrests can be raised to create a bed-like space roughly 8 feet long. It’s a bit narrow for a guy my size but still sleepable. I’ve yet to see a Malaysia Air 777 on these 7 to 10 hour flights anywhere near pax capacity. However, whenever I inquire at checkin about the flight load, I invariably have been told that the flight will be “full or almost full.” I think that statement reflects a capacity definition that requires them to fly with empty seats because the aircraft’s fuel capacity will not allow it to fly that distance whilst carrying a pax in every seat.

But the 747, with much greater fuel storage, can carry full pax load. So, assuming the ability of the airline to sell – and assuming the demand – empty rows on a 747 in this kind of service are less likely than they are in a 777.

It should be interesting to how this works out on the flights during this itinerary.

UPDATE POST TRAVEL:  I have yet to see  a 777 fly these long segments with a full pax load.

Stockholm Syndrome

The Stockholm Syndrome is famous among pyschologists and sociologists. It refers to the intruiging concept, based on a prolonged bank robbery during which the hostages protected their captors when the police attempted a raid. Psychologists say that hostages often form sympathetic bonds with their captors as a survival mechanism. Survivors of an extended ordeal sometimes need to be deprogrammed back to the reality that they have been abused.

International air passengers at Stockholm’s Arlanda Airport may well need some shrink-service.

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First Day – Manly and Sydney

My first day back visiting beloved Australia started just after dawn in Manly with a brisk walk north along the beach, from the Gazebo near the Corso, about a mile to Queenscliff and back. If the Gazebo looks familiar to Americans, it was the centerpiece in a television commercial for Old Navy clothes, shown frequently across the US in August Prime Time. Teenage dancers were romping around the Gazebo, showing off the Old Navy fashions.

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Turning and Turning . . .

Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;

W. B. Yeats, poem

As usual, I’m clueless about what, if anything can be done to salvage the relationship with “E.” She’s totally withdrawn. I’m in the spare bedroom (says she can’t sleep with me in the same bed). Won’t talk (“nothing to talk about”). Goes off on her own for hours (“I need to be alone.”).

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Manly Jazz Festival – Day 01

The 29th Manly Jazz festival opened today. Despite a great deal of anxiety about the incomplete condition of the Corso reconstruction, everyone seemed satisfied. My son, John Harkins, was the afternoon’s attraction on the Main Stage overlooking Manly’s mile and one-half long beach.

I’ve never heard John play with such fire. His runs were awesome and his improvisations full of joy and excitement. I’m sure the crowd’s response added to his enthusiasm.  (Click on the “read more” links for photos)

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Manly Jazz Festival – Day 02

This afternoon, the John Harkins Trio were the backup for Delilah, an American singer. A huge crowd stayed seated and standees filled all the space in the plaza during the entire show despite the bitterly cold wind that came in off the ocean.

Manly Jazz Festival – Day 03

After the cold wind that drove out the audience for yesterday’s last set, this morning’s calm warmth is welcome. But spring in Australia is as full of shiny promises in the morning that become afternoon disappointments.

It’s not quite 6am. The same sun that is setting for the west coast of South America is now offering itself to the eastern edge of Oz as sunrise. The plaza before the main stage is empty and expectant. The street that parallels the beach is deserted. The guest house I’m now living in it just around the corner in that photo. There’s more text below the photos. Click any to expand.

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