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Author Topic: Vacation
Tom- geeking around

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Icon 1 posted June 30, 2006 04:15      Profile for Tom- geeking around   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
The time has come again!
We (me and my family) are packing our suitcases and getting ready. A certain "pre-departure excitement" sets in.
Yes, I am headed for the USA again. Six weeks nothing but laziness and hanging loose in Hawaii.


We're headed for the airport in a bit less than two hours. I don't know excatly when the flight to New York leaves.
Then, on Monday we're headed for LA and then Hawaii.
I might not be in IRC that much, but I'll certainly check. We'll arrive in Honolulu on Monday - and I'll probably be online as usual by Tuesday.

In the meantime, take care everybody!

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Pizza and ginormous jugs is what I need!

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maximile

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Icon 1 posted June 30, 2006 04:15      Profile for maximile   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
First post!
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Spiderman

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Icon 1 posted June 30, 2006 06:38      Profile for Spiderman     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Lucky bastard. [Cool]

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Math problems? Call 1-800-[(10x)(13i)^2]-[sin(xy)/2.362x]

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Demosthenes
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Icon 1 posted June 30, 2006 07:58      Profile for Demosthenes     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Tom- geeking around:
We'll arrive in Honolulu on Monday - and I'll probably be online as usual by Tuesday.

Hey, in case you've ever thought about getting a tattoo, Hawaii's the place to do it. It's a traditional art down there, and they've got the strictest inkshop licensing laws in the country.

Also, the black sand beaches are amazing, and there's some fantastic weed to be had. Enjoy yourself! [Big Grin]

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drunkennewfiemidget
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Icon 1 posted June 30, 2006 15:19      Profile for drunkennewfiemidget     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Spiderman:
Lucky bastard. [Cool]

Why? A first post is hardly something to brag about. [Wink]
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alfrin
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Icon 1 posted June 30, 2006 20:40      Profile for alfrin     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Am I the only one who keeps reading this title as "Vatican"? It is started to bother me.

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Art is Resistance / Resistance is Art

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Tom- geeking around

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Icon 1 posted July 01, 2006 13:26      Profile for Tom- geeking around   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Sorry for the delay.
I am back in business and in New York!

Phew, the flight itself was cool. But the trouble around it was a pain.
Two things: usually, I wouldn't even bother mentioning the other one...
But here comes:
Reason #1: My brother couldn't fly.
We checked in at a Senator's counter, which meant zero waiting time. But the elderly woman who was behind the counter was seriously slow. My brother and my mother only had stand-by tickets since the flight was overbooked. My dad talked to a supervisor and the problem was solved.
Then, prior to boarding we all (my family) had a quick passport inspection, and the agent mentioned that there is a problem with my brother's passport.
We were pretty suprised because he just got a new passport anyways and thought that he was fine. It turns out that the US Immigration wants (since 5 days by the way) a an extra page in the passport in recently issued passports that shows all vital stats machine-readable.

So, yeah.- because he didn't have that page, he didn't fly.

Reason #2:
we had one hour delay. As I said, I wouldn't even bother about that.. But #1 makes me pretty pissed.

well, yeah... =)

Thomas

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Pizza and ginormous jugs is what I need!

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Rhonwyyn

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Icon 1 posted July 01, 2006 22:30      Profile for Rhonwyyn   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
How old is your brother and will he be able to catch up with you guys soon?

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Change the way you SEE, not the way you LOOK!

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Tom- geeking around

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Icon 1 posted July 02, 2006 07:15      Profile for Tom- geeking around   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
He is 15, sometimes taken as my twin-brother..
As soon as he has this passport-thing cleared, we'll rebook his flight and he'll join us in Hawaii.

Still exciting =)
Thomas

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Pizza and ginormous jugs is what I need!

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dragonman97

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Icon 1 posted July 02, 2006 10:46      Profile for dragonman97   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Speaking of machine readable passports...I just noticed something interesting:
My passport isn't Y2K compatible!

OMG! Ponies!


Seriously, the dates in the final bar are written as YYMMDD. Who the fsck does that, anyway? Anyone who's anyone knows the ISO standard (8601, IIRC) specifies YYYYMMDD. *sigh*

(What does this mean for 100+ year olds and 3 year olds alike, anyway?)

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There are three things you can be sure of in life: Death, taxes, and reading about fake illnesses online...

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littlefish
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Icon 1 posted July 03, 2006 02:12      Profile for littlefish   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Or maybe Dman, it isn't Y3K compatible, as it has definitely passed into the 21st century without causing any planes to fall out of the sky.
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maybe.logic
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Icon 1 posted July 03, 2006 03:55      Profile for maybe.logic     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Tom- geeking around:
It turns out that the US Immigration wants (since 5 days by the way) a an extra page in the passport in recently issued passports that shows all vital stats machine-readable.

So they want another page with vital stats on it...

Is'nt that just an exact copy of the page with the mug shot of the bearer? but the only difference is the fact that it is machine readable? Have I understood this correctly.

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Ashitaka

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Icon 1 posted July 03, 2006 03:56      Profile for Ashitaka     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
yea, US customs is horrible, (compared with europe). My family and friends, when we cross the atlantic to see each other, we always fly through Toronto to avoid customs. We just drive over the border and are never stopped. We live in indiana and adding four hours of driving to a trip is usually better thatn going through atlanta or anouther airport.

Well , my younger sister was stopped once. They asked her where she lived and she said indiana. The border gaurd then asked what Dan Quayle's parents did for a living. Dan Quayle was a vice president when my sister was four. He was from Indiana. My sister didn't know so she got harrased some more then they let her through.

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"If they're not gonna make a distinction between Muslims and violent extremists, then why should I take the time to distinguish between decent, fearful white people and racists?"

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GrumpySteen

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Icon 1 posted July 03, 2006 05:53      Profile for GrumpySteen     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
She should have said they judge spelling competitions [Smile]

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The Famous Druid

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Icon 1 posted July 03, 2006 14:22      Profile for The Famous Druid     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Ashitaka:
yea, US customs is horrible, (compared with europe). ...she got harrased some more then they let her through

My (pre September 11) experience was that European customs was ridiculously lax, and USian customs ridiculously (and pointlessly) picky, but they don't actually stop you entering, they just harass you for a bit.

When we entered the US from Brazil, (with passports full of stamps from most of the major cocaine-growing nations of the world) the first border-droid we dealt with told us we couldn't enter because we didn't have enough cash/travellers-cheques to last for the entire stay, therefor we must be planning to work illegally. We showed our credit cards, and bank statements showing we had sufficient funds, but to no avail. After an hour waiting to see her supervisor, he asked what the probem was, then said "You have credit cards don't you?" and within 60 seconds he'd stamped our passports (with the wrong - and better - kind of visa) and wished us a pleasant stay in America.

My opinion of US authorities was confirmed a few months ago by a news story about the number of false passports the US authorities had detected, but they'd let most of those people enter anyway! Try that in Australia and you'll be spending the next few years in one of our gulags in the desert.

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Xanthine

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Icon 1 posted July 03, 2006 14:43      Profile for Xanthine     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I had some mild fun with a British customs officer last summer. She asked me where I'd come from, so I told her Denver by way of Canada. Then she asked me where I was going (Edinburgh). And then she asked me why.

"I'm visiting family."

And you could just see the alarms going off in her head. She demanded to know where my family was, I told her they were waiting for me in Edinburgh. And then I had to explain that the US is a big stinking country, we lived in separate cities, and therefore we'd taken different flights and I'd gotten rather severely delayed. And then I told her I didn't actually know anyone who lived in Scotland. Satisfied that I really was just a tourist, she let me go.

I almost told her that I actually had a very happy and fulfilling life in CO and wasn't planning immigrate illegally but thought better of it.

Oh yeah, and I got my stuff searched when I went to Canada last year too. For no apparent reason, my name got flagged at customs. Not even the officers knew why they were searching me. And that time I didn't even have a new Harry Potter book to distract them with. :/

I don't think I've even had my passport opened entering countries in continental Europe. No, scratch that, they did a passport control on the train into the Netherlands. They wouldn't give me a stamp. Even when I begged.

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And it's one, two, three / On the wrong side of the lee / What were you meant for? / What were you meant for?
- The Decemberists

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The Famous Druid

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Icon 1 posted July 03, 2006 15:39      Profile for The Famous Druid     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Xanthine:
They wouldn't give me a stamp. Even when I begged.

It's nice to know I'm not the only one who does that [Wink]

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If you watch 'The History Of NASA' backwards, it's about a space agency that has no manned spaceflight capability, then does low-orbit flights, then lands on the Moon.

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Xanthine

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Icon 1 posted July 03, 2006 19:02      Profile for Xanthine     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Oh good, there's another one.

I was mightyly bummed when I lost my passport with the spiffy South and Central American stamps in it.

BTW, I think the pre-9/11 strictness in European customs depended on where you were coming in from. My mom got the third degree when she came into France by way of Bulgaria back in '96. Fortunately, she knew this was going to happen and had her hotel receipts and so on ready to present and prove to the French border agents she wasn't a drug smuggler, gun runner, or some other kind of criminal.

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And it's one, two, three / On the wrong side of the lee / What were you meant for? / What were you meant for?
- The Decemberists

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dragonman97

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Icon 1 posted July 03, 2006 19:35      Profile for dragonman97   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by The Famous Druid:
quote:
Originally posted by Xanthine:
They wouldn't give me a stamp. Even when I begged.

It's nice to know I'm not the only one who does that [Wink]
As an aside: What's your experience with the number of stamps per page? I mean, I'm not exactly the most travelled person, but I'm kind of annoyed that they're only doing one full trip per page, even though my passport seems to have room for two. WTF? At this rate, I /only/ have room for a dozen trips over the next 8 years...sheesh!!! (One can get an extra 10 pages added, from what I've read.)

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There are three things you can be sure of in life: Death, taxes, and reading about fake illnesses online...

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Xanthine

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Icon 1 posted July 03, 2006 19:47      Profile for Xanthine     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
MY experience is this: they open your passport to a random page and eyeball it. If they think there's enough room for a stamp, they stamp it.

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And it's one, two, three / On the wrong side of the lee / What were you meant for? / What were you meant for?
- The Decemberists

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GrumpySteen

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Icon 1 posted July 03, 2006 20:28      Profile for GrumpySteen     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
dragonman97 wrote:
One can get an extra 10 pages added, from what I've read.

If you're entering Israel, they'll actually offer you an extra page at customs and stamp that instead of your passport because several other countries in the area won't let you in if you've been to Israel.

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dragonman97

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Icon 1 posted July 03, 2006 20:50      Profile for dragonman97   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Xanthine:
MY experience is this: they open your passport to a random page and eyeball it. If they think there's enough room for a stamp, they stamp it.

Actually, it's more the return that gets me. Each page has 2 columns and 2 rows. The columns are marked 'Arrival' and 'Return.' With the rows as they are, this should allow for 2 full trips on one page. On my very first international trip, the guy in Heathrow did a nice marking in the upper left box...and the guy in friggin' Newark stamped it in the lower right box. For that matter, it was an exceptionally bland stamp. JFK has a nicer stamp. I [hearts] NY!

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There are three things you can be sure of in life: Death, taxes, and reading about fake illnesses online...

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The Famous Druid

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Icon 1 posted July 03, 2006 21:09      Profile for The Famous Druid     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by dragonman97:
As an aside: What's your experience with the number of stamps per page? I mean, I'm not exactly the most travelled person, but I'm kind of annoyed that they're only doing one full trip per page, even though my passport seems to have room for two. WTF? At this rate, I /only/ have room for a dozen trips over the next 8 years...sheesh!!! (One can get an extra 10 pages added, from what I've read.)

Depends on the country, in my (pre 11/9/2001) experience tinpot African and South American dictatorships usually had really big stamps or very impressive stickers that took up a whole page, (the visa for Zaire, a country with a total of 100km of paved roads, took up 2 pages) while European countries usually had a simple stamp that could fit several to a page. If memory serves, the US sticker was quite big and impressive, with a picture of the statue of liberty, almost as good as the Bolivian one. Things may have changed since then, as it's well known that the September 11 attacks could have been prevented by the use of bigger passport stamps.

btw - some years ago, Mrs Druid had to apply for a new aussie passport, and took it down to the local post office with the required forms etc. The postal worker pointed out that the current passport still had 7 years left, to which Mrs Druid replied.. "I know, but it's full". The look the underpaid postal worker gave Mrs Druid was priceless [Wink]

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If you watch 'The History Of NASA' backwards, it's about a space agency that has no manned spaceflight capability, then does low-orbit flights, then lands on the Moon.

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Xanthine

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Icon 1 posted July 03, 2006 21:54      Profile for Xanthine     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
The US entry stamps I've got aren't much bigger than our typical airmail stamps and much less interesting. Maybe they have bigger ones to amuse tourists.

The Bolivian stamp I had wasn't too special. Ecuador does a computer thing that's really blah. Canada has a smallish stamp with a maple leaf that's kind of cute(yes, I had Canadian stamps in my old passport, this is what happens when you transit through Canada). Britain and Denmark were both boring. The other European countries I've been to didn't even bother looking, except for the Netherlands and we all know how that turned out. Bastards. I had to rip my bag apart to find that thing. The least they could've done was draw a smiley face.

The most impressive thing I had was a Panamanian transit visa that was circular and took up half the page. I was in Panama a whopping two hours for a layover, but I had to officially enter the country in order to go to the check-in desk to change airlines.

My parents went to Russia. The Russian visas they have are nicely folded up pieces of paper that got stapled into the back pages of their passports.

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And it's one, two, three / On the wrong side of the lee / What were you meant for? / What were you meant for?
- The Decemberists

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Tom- geeking around

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Icon 1 posted July 03, 2006 22:45      Profile for Tom- geeking around   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
THREADJACKS!

Alright, I am in Hawaii. Damned, this Island sucks..
Talk to you all later, normal routine will have set in soon...
*me opens his WiFi*..
There is a moron around here who has his WLAN entirely open, unprotected and possibly his router still set to the default linksys password..
*Evil things come to mind*

Enjoy!

Thomas

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Pizza and ginormous jugs is what I need!

Posts: 374 | From: Vienna | Registered: Aug 2004  |  IP: Logged


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