Daily Archives: 03/16/2005

Legend Of Earthsea

Last night Sci Fi Channel rebroadcast the Legend of Earthsea miniseries that originally aired back in December. I taped the broadcast and I finally got a chance to watch the series tonight.

Yep, it sucked. Pretty darn bad show. It’s obvious somebody thought this would be a good chance to mix a Lord of the Rings type quest (look, our small and insignificant hero bearing his magical talisman right into the heart of the evil empire, with a fat guy sidekick in tow) together with some Harry Potter wizardry school crap (spells going poof in the background, wacky wizard teachers, and an annoying popinjay to serve as our hero’s foil). The screenwriters took the plot of two novels and created an unseemly chimera, with no charm and very little sense. This show cheapens Earthsea and is a true disservice to Ursula Le Guin’s enchanting stories.

The brand new tape I bought for this purpose must have some problems since the last 45 minutes or so did not record. But that’s okay, I think I’ll manage without watching that dreck sink to its lousy, inevitable conclusion. Maybe I’ll go page through the books instead and try to recapture the magic of Earthsea.

Coots At The Post Office – A Lethal Combination

Maybe I’m just unlucky. About three weeks ago I went the the Agaña (sorry, Hagåtña) post office to collect a package. For some inscrutable reason the Postal Service only had one clerk working the counter. I stood in line for 45 minutes waiting to pick up a package, along with about 50 other people.

Now the wait is going to be long whenever there’s only one dude working the counter, but this line was particularly stymied by one old man. Hell, if ever there was a definitive ‘coot‘ this guy was it. Old salty sea Navy veteran, washed up on Guam’s shores and looking like Robinson Crusoe. Wiry build, wild white hair, bushy white beard, scrimshaw tattoos all over his arms, cracked look in his eye… in other words, a crazy ass old coot. Mind you, not the deranged homeless type of coot, just a stubborn old fart with too much time on his hands.

That old coot tied up that poor clerk almost the entire time I was there, complaining about how some tires got shipped or something. Who the hell ships truck tires? Old coots apparently, though they don’t like paying the postage due when them big ass tires arrive. He yelled, cussed and pleaded with the beleaguered clerk for 30 long minutes while nobody else got served. I was pretty damn steamed, hell everybody was pissed off in that line – just because this old fart’s got nothing better to do than harangue postal workers doesn’t mean I need to waste all afternoon waiting for my package.

Partly it’s his fault for being an old coot, but mostly I blame the Post Office for only having one clerk working the counter during lunch time rush. Hell, I was all excited when a second clerk slowly came forward, assembled his materials, logged onto his terminal, counted his cash, set the date on his postmark and finally started seeing customers. Finally two clerks to handle this unruly mob. Of course as soon as the old coot was finished ranting and wandered off in a disgruntled fog the original clerk promptly shut down his terminal and walked away. Now that’s customer service for ya baby. Fuck those people, I’m a lazy mope with a federal job. Think I’ll go take a nap now…

Fast forward to this morning. I received another package slip in yesterday’s mail, so I stopped off at the post office to collect my new booty. And who’s standing in line three people ahead of me? Crazy old coot! I know this is going to be ugly and sure enough, when he gets his turn at the counter off he pulls out a oily sheaf of documents and starts in on the hapless clerk about how the post master needs to apologize and he better yadda yadda yadda or else he was gonna write a letter yakkity yak yak.

Mercifully there was another clerk at the counter so I was able to bypass the coot and get my newest toy, a Garmin eTrex Legend GPS from REI. Now I know that the office in Tamuning is a 13°29’45.5″ N and 144°46’54.8″ E and 49 meters above sea level. So I guess my new toy more than makes up for the inconvenience of old coots.