Archive for June, 2008

Two weeks of intense programming

Its been a long 2++ weeks!

On 12 June, Yahoo! Small Business removed one programming function from the PHP programming language that they provide – the WordPress software powering this blog is written in PHP. Alas: this one function provided the necessary support for reading new blog postings from the eMail, the scheme we use heavily for posting on this blog. True, Yahoo’s documentation has always said that the function (the fsockopen() function, should you care about the details) was not supported, so I guess I’ve been skating on thin ice for a few years now. The new mechanism (much more difficult to implement, but much more efficient and powerful) is using all fully supported functions.

Well, with this totally different scheme now implemented, we’re on the air again. So expect more posts !! Doreen’s picture post Panama City Activities (below) is the first example.

Panama City Activities

We have been busy around Panama City enjoying activities with other cruisers and just exploring on our own.


Several weeks ago a group of friends gathered at Paul’s place to enjoy a party and barbecue that Shirley (s/v WindSong) put on to celebrate Frank’s 50th birthday.


Bill and I walked to the Canal Administration Building on one of our walks. The building was opened the same year as the canal (1914). The US flag flew over it for many years; but with Panama now having control over the canal, the Panamanian Flag flies proudly over the building. Inside the rotunda are four large murals that depict various parts of the canal construction.


We enjoy sitting on Lanikai with our morning coffee, or around sunset, just watching the ship traffic going to and from the locks. This ship is the Columbian tall ship that passed by – with the sailors all standing in the rigging.


One cloudy Wednesday we went to the Albrook Mall with Frank and Shirley (s/v WindSong). We watched a movie (the new Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull) and afterwards enjoyed a yummy desert at the Crapes and Waffles Cafe.

“403 Forbidden” Errors

Huummm… Don’t know what happened, but Yahoo! Small Business (our domain hosting service) has had this blog out of service for about 3 days. All you saw was “403 Forbidden”. Its obviously fixed now, but we’ll probably never know what really happened.

Ships Passing Nearby

We see ships of many different nations passing very nearby while we are tied up at the Balboa Yacht Club in the Pacific entrance channel to the Panama Canal.


This is an example of the tankers that pass by almost every day.


There are lots of these boxy car-carrier ships going both ways thru the canal.


Occasionally we see the gray ships of the Navy of various nations entering the canal. This ship is from the Japanese Navy.


Last week a new Vancouver Ferry passed thru on its way to Vancouver BC, Canada. The logo and pictures on the side of the ferry celebrate the up-coming Winter Olympics in Vancouver in 2010.


We even had a square-rigged training ship of the Chilean Navy pass by about two weeks ago. Notice all the sailors standing in the rigging and along the yard-arms.

We do enjoy sitting out on the deck of Lanikai in the evening, watching the ships pass into and out of the canal; at that time of evening they seem to be going in both directions. There is a large container-ship port between us and the first locks of the canal so some of the ships only go that far and return back out; indeed some of those are too big to go thru the canal !