Saturday, January 31, 2009


Not a full day of sloth today, but as I'm sure Cathy will point out, a disproportionate part of it was spent conquering the world. Alas, not in a Pinky and the Brain sort of way, but in a Civilization IV sort of way. That game is my Kryptonite. I start playing for an hour or so, and next thing you know I simply can't quit until I finally destroy the Germans.

About the only other thing of note was dealing with Australia stuff. We had to call in our passport information to Air Canada for the tickets we have booked for this summer. Alas, as we suspected, there are going to be a few rackets. First of all, my passport looks like a follow the adventure book. You know the ones from when you were a kid...if you want the hero to jump off a cliff, go to page 14. If you want him to turn around and run, go to page 38. Well, what with it getting stolen, reissued from Rome, having it's expiry date extended and whatnot, I can tell there's going to be rackets. Thank God, we're not going through the US this time.

Air Canada seems fine with it for now, but we will see what happens when we start travelling with it.

Cathy's problem is that her passport expires next January. Which means she would be trying to enter Australia with less than six months left on it. Which is a no no. Australia won't let her enter the country. So even though the thing is barely four years old, she now has to apply for a new one. I'm sure we'll get it before July, but still, it's a bit of a nuisance.

That's assuming we can get new passport photos taken. I think they take passport pictures in town these days either at city hall or at motor vehicle registration.

The other bit of interesting news that came from calling Air Canada about the passport stuff was confirmation that we can change a leg of our flight if we want. We're getting back in Ottawa around August 11 and flying back to Iqaluit the next day. However, Cathy might change her trip back up and fly home for a few weeks.

Hell, I might be flying back to Newfoundland for a few weeks in August. All depends. I've said I don't talk about work, but I think I can mention that my contract is over in July. It might be extended, but I don't know yet.

Anyway, we can change that leg for $90 each, which is good to know. Granted, we'd still have to get seats on another flight up north, which could be a challenge. Plus, there's the cost of flying from Ottawa to St. John's. But one set of worries at a time.

In the meantime, back to sloth I think. And perhaps I might take another crack at those pesky Germans before I head to bed.

Last Five
1. Nobody but me - The Pursuit of Happiness
2. Crocodile rock - Elton John
3. Witness - Tori Amos
4. On the run - Sam Roberts
5. Let's work - Mick Jagger*


In Iqaluit said...

We got our passports photos taken by Roger Belanger. He charges $50 (those were his rates last year anyway) and he comes to your house. The price is a bit steep but if you have no choice, it's better than the cost of a plane ticket to get it done for $12 in the south. I think he gave us the photos the next day. I thought he was professional.

And I am sure you know... but you will need a tourist visa to get into Australia (even us Canadians! to a fellow commonwealth country! crazy!). It's easy to get online and costs AUS$20 - or at least it did when I went in 2003.

I went in November at is was cold! But it will be warm if you go to the Great Barrier Reef or Northern Territory.

Have fun sorting the trip out!

SRD said...

are you sure the australians won't accept cathy's passport? I've travelled on one with only weeks left lots of times and never had anyone question it. not that one wants to take chances, but I didn't really think that reg was ever really applied. Canadian passports are the WORST, MOST BUREAUCRATIC ever to have to get 're-issued'. No one else requires you to jump through as many hoops. Good luck finding someone who qualifies as a guarantor.

towniebastard said...

The tourist visa is why we were calling Air Canada with our passport info. Apparently when you book using Air Miles and fly first class, they take care of these things for you.

(We're not bragging about the first class thing, but if you're going to spend 13 hours flying over the Pacific Ocean, isn't it nicer to fly first class than economy? So why not blow the air miles)

Oh, and thanks for the photographer info. We'll check in on him next week.

And SRD, some countries are picky about you flying in with your passport expiring soon, and apparently Australia is one of them. Given their tight immigration rules, guess that shouldn't be a surprise.

Ron said...

I want to hear more about your Civilization gaming!! Which version are you using? I assume Beyond the Sword. I have been playing it since the original version came out... Actually before that as I had the boardgame back in the 80's.

So at the risk of being a total geek sharing info on your preferred strategies would be a great help as I generally find it hard to win above "Warlord" level in the game which suggests to me either I could be refining my approach to the game.

I generally like to concentrate on building up my culture and technologyat the expense of the military. I find that generally if you are big enough the other civs will leave you alone until later by which time you've had enough time to build up a substantial lead. Probably my biggest weakness is ignoring the development of the cottages early in the game.

Anyway - hope to hear more about your strategies for victory.