Free Ad-Free Opera Browser

This might be a bit late because I forgot to write an entry about it earlier, but they are giving away free registration codes in conjunction with the Opera 10-year online anniversary party. The registration codes will make your copy of the Opera browser ad-free! Normally, you have to pay 39 USD to make it ad-free. Get the codes now before it’s too late and download a copy of the browser! This offer is only valid until 12 a.m. Wednesday, August 31 2005 (PDT). I think you should get it. You might not want to use Opera as your main web browser but you can always use it to test whether your website designs are compatible or not with Opera. That’s a good enough reason to take up on the offer.

Update: The free offer is over now, though you can still get the registration codes by participating in their affiliate program, which basically means putting their banner on your site and try to get 250 people to click on it before you can get yourself the registration codes. It was so much easier when it was free. ;)

Canada · Life · Travel

Canadian Observations

These are the things about Canada that we found silly/funny/interesting during our trip out East:

— Every province has their own moose and deer crossing signs. It was interesting to see the difference between the signs as we went from one province to another. No moose crossing signs in PEI, though.

— I thought I was only imagining it when I first read it on a road sign, but apparently there really is a place called Saint-Louis-du-Ha! Ha! in Quebec (see the photographic evidence).

— There are more French-speaking regions in Eastern Canada than you think. Some of them are pretty hardcore in their frenchness (is that a word?).

— Troy almost brought me across the border to Maine by accident. Luckily, I noticed a sign facing US-side which said “Custom”. That was when we realised it was a border crossing point.

— Camping on top of the Appalachian mountain range inside a non-waterproofed tent isn’t really all that fun and exciting.

— Canadian bugs are FIERCE!

— Nova Scotians pronounce the word interesting ‘inteRESting’. It’s kind of interesting.

— I didn’t get stared at until we got to Quebec City (our last stop before we went home). Every time I entered a room, all eyes would be on me. I almost thought I was a celebrity!

— Storekeepers in PEI, or at least in Charlottetown, don’t seem to be too crazy about tourists.

— Americans are all over the Eastern Canada.

— Apparently, if you put an American flag in front of your business, you’re guaranteed to get a lot of American customers.

— The people of Shag Harbour, Nova Scotia really need to get creative and start selling t-shirts that say “I Was Shagged by Aliens in Shag Harbour” (read this page for context). All we could find there was a public toilet, which is not necessarily a bad thing.

— Speaking of public toilets, Atlantic Superstore is your friend. When other businesses failed to provide us with a public toilet, Atlantic Superstore never did.

— Troy visited so many public toilets during our trip that I had to suggest that he wrote a book called The Washrooms of Canadian Maritime. It would be kind of like The Bridges of Madison County, only less cheesy and with more toilets. And printed in Comic Sans.

Irving owns Eastern Canada, but mostly Saint John, New Brunswick where they own everything from gas stations to bakeries.

— Souvenirs from Eastern Canada cost an arm and a leg.

— Vietnamese cuisine is unknown in Eastern Canada. We coudn’t find any Vietnamese restaurant until we got to Montreal, Quebec on our way back. And we didn’t even stop there. I felt so deprived.

— People in Quebec like to put big things on top of their barns. Those things range from a life-size cow statue to a tractor.

— If you go East, you won’t see too many police officers after Quebec (if any). No mounties, either.

— In New Brunswick, we passed the hometown of a Canadian Idol competitor, Casey LeBlanc, who apparently got eliminated last week. We wouldn’t have known about that fact hadn’t they put up posters showing support all over the place.

— You won’t find too many gas stations or places to eat in PEI outside the major tourist areas.

— If I had to describe PEI in two words, those words would be “new potatoes”. New potatoes everywhere!

— We saw dolphins, seals, and deer in their natural habitats, but sadly no whales or moose.

— We drove over 5,000 kilometers during our two weeks of honeymoon. Had we driven the distance in Europe, we would’ve travelled through a bunch of countries! Maybe next time. :)


Because Random is Good

Yesterday we celebrated our third month of being married by going on a vintage camera shopping spree (well, sort of). We managed to get hold of four cameras; three of which take 120 films and one takes 135/35mm films. That means we could actually use them to take pictures! Yay! The oldest one of the bunch comes from the 30s. It’s older than most people I know.
This weekend, which happens to be the Labour Day long weekend, is going to be spent with friends at Troy’s family cottage up north by the lake. I’m so excited about it because I’m planning to take our newly acquired vintage cameras. I really can’t wait to start taking pictures with them in the outdoor. Things look especially pretty there at sunrise and sunset.
During the honeymoon, neither of us ever saw the sunrise since we always tried to get as much sleep as possible. We did see the sunset once in Nova Scotia, which looked pretty, but I really couldn’t wait to go back to the place we were staying because a zillion bugs were having me for supper. I ended up with several minor bug bites and one major one that lasted all week. We scratched watching sunsets off of our agenda after that incident.
Before we left for our honeymoon, Troy made me promise not to hurt myself. Not that I’m into self-mutilation or anything. I’m just clumsy, a walking disaster. Well, I survived the nature. Didn’t fall at all when walking on slippery surfaces outdoor. But I fell on my butt in the shower (of all places) the day before we left Nova Scotia. Luckily, nothing was broken. Only bruised.
During last year’s cottage long weekend, I managed to get myself stranded on the other side of the lake while canoeing alone and had to call for rescue because I didn’t think I could make it back to the cottage on my own due to the rather strong wind. Troy and a friend ended up picking me up on a motorboat. We went back to the cottage with the canoe in tow. I also managed to sprain my shoulder while trying to keep my balance as I was hopping onto the canoe. Conclusion: Firda plus canoe equals disaster.
We went to a post-baby shower party on Saturday night. We just had to share the story about our Tom Selleck sighting in Nova Scotia with everyone and found — much to our surprise (and horror) — that many girls still go ga-ga over Tom Selleck. And we thought it was only this one particular girl we know. ;)
Hmm, I don’t really know how to end this post. I think I’ll just end it by saying that I have a big hair today.


Back to Movable Type

And as you can see, the weblog is now sporting the standard Movable Type 3.2 template. Don’t worry. It won’t be long until the weblog has a new look. Well, I came up with a new design but ended up not liking it as much as I like the old one so the old look is back for the time being.
As for WordPress, all I can say is, it’s not you, it’s me. I just can’t get over MT. I’m sorry. Are we still friends?


Home Sweet Home

Not having a mother anymore, I used to get upset when I see someone talking to his/her mother in a less than pleasant way. I used to think that they don’t know how lucky he/she is to still have a mother. But then I gave it more thought and decided that it was me who got lucky to have a mother like mine. A mother who was not just a mother, but also a friend. She was my best friend, my partner-in-crime, the person who understood me the most. Why do you think I haven’t got over her death after all these years?

My mother was the heart of the house. After she died, home just didn’t feel like home anymore. It was a house, yes. But definitely not home. My mother was home. That’s why I didn’t have any objection when my brother asked me if he could rent out my bedroom to some college student a couple of months ago. Whatever. It was just a room. Only now does it hit me that if I did go ‘home’, I wouldn’t have a room to stay anymore. And I thought I would always have at least a room to return to, no matter how long I’d been away. But my brother could use the money and I probably wouldn’t go back to Indonesia in years so…

I guess it is official now that home is wherever my beloved husband and I live. Currently, it’s Waterloo. Who knows where it will be in the future. It might not be my native land or the place where I grew up. But it is home, because this is where my heart is. And that’s all that really matters.


It’s Picture Time!

Above is my most favourite picture from the whole honeymoon trip. It was taken on the ferry that took us from Saint John, New Brunswick to Digby, Nova Scotia. I like how I look so happy and how Troy is sporting what I like to call his Machu Picchu look. Nova Scotia is in the background. And yes, it was that foggy (and rainy and cold), though it got better once we landed.

Tom Selleck

Yes, that’s the paparazzi-style picture of Tom Selleck that I was talking about before, taken in Lunenburg, Nova Scotia, mostly for Loba (who just got engaged to SMooSH — congrats again!). The larger version of the picture is here. It was him, really.


Troy asked me to take this picture of the brand new version of the Xbox gaming console as it was being showcased on the Halifax waterfront. I think only gamers would find it interesting. I got two comments already on this picture, though. Silly gamers! :P

The rest of the honeymoon pictures can be found in this Flickr photoset (there are hundreds of them — be warned!), though I still have five and a half days worth of pictures left to upload. Told you I’d take a lot of pictures! Well, I’d better start editing and uploading the pictures again. Enjoy!