Cloud 9

WikiAnswers – What is the meaning of the idiom ‘on cloud 9’

According to the “Morris Dictionary of Word and Phrase Origins,” the phrase is based on U.S. Weather Service terminology. This theory holds that cloud types are numbered, and that “cloud nine” is the designation given to “cumulonimbus” clouds, the highest-flying clouds around, making them an apt metaphor for being “on top of the world.”

When “you’re on cloud nine” you feel wonderful!

Where does the phrase “on cloud nine” come from?

The phrase to be on cloud nine, meaning that one was blissfully happy, started life in the United States and has been widely known there since the 1950s; it’s since spread worldwide. It’s said to have been popularised by the Johnny Dollar radio show of that period, in which every time the hero was knocked unconscious he was transported to Cloud Nine. But that wasn’t the origin of the phrase. It’s been around since the 1930s, though early examples show a lot of numerical variability, with the cloud sometimes being as low as number seven or eight or as high as thirty-nine, though seven and nine were most common.

These discrepancies make me suspect the usual explanation of its origin, which is that it comes from the US Weather Bureau. The story is that this organisation describes (or once described) clouds by an arithmetic sequence. Level Nine was the very highest cumulonimbus, which can reach 30,000 or 40,000 feet and appear as glorious white mountains in the sky. So if you were on cloud nine you were at the very peak of existence.

The term has always had close associations with the euphoria that is induced by certain chemicals — alcohol in its earlier days but more recently crack cocaine — so perhaps we shouldn’t ask for too great a level of exactness in counting. And the cloud here is an obvious reference to some drug-induced dreamy floating sensation. But I suspect, without having anything so restricting as evidence, that seven was chosen because it’s a traditional lucky number and that today’s more usual nine appears for similar reasons — for example it also turns up in dressed to the nines and the whole nine yards.

Then, according to Thomas Veil on the Phrase Finder website:

The true and original origin of “Cloud 9” is derived from Buddhism.

The state of being in “Cloud 9” is the penultimate goal of the Bhodisattva.

Check on Martin Luther King’s paper on
“The Chief Characteristics and Doctrines of Mahayana Buddhism”.

“The Mahavastu, a late Hinayana work, gives a list of ten stages in the progress of the Bodhisattva, and the same number is retained, with modifications in detail, by the Mahayana authorities… In the ninth stage the seeker reaches the point when all his acts are unselfish, done without desire. Finally the Bodhisattva reaches the tenth stage in which he becomes a tathagata, a cloud of dharma.[Footnote: Radhakrishnan, op. cit., pp. 601, 602.]

I believe that the ninth cloud is also referred to as “The Bright Cloud of Great Refuge”.

Finally, we have Christi the Wordsmith, who weighs in with:

In Dante’s Paradise, the 9th level of heaven is closest to the Divine Presence, which itself dwells at the 10th and highest heaven. This notion may have enhanced the popularity of the expression on cloud nine.

So it seems that there is no single answer. Which, in my opinion, makes your question particularly fascinating.

More great hcmc restaurants

Some more cool places I forgot from last trip

Lac Thai. Terrific Thai food. Get up to the third floor. Take your shoes off. Make sure to have the soup as the main course.

Ciao. Coffee shop. Again the third floor is really comfortable. Across from Sun Wha

Quan an ngon. Amazing traditional Vietnamese food. Across from Presidential Palace. Little stalls all around. So bring your camera. Hot though no sitcom. 138 Nam Ku Khoi Nghia +84-8-38257179

Q.home Saigon Center. Has nice min long porcelain pieces. Good for souvenirs.

Villa romain. Bring your camera. In district 2. Italian food on the Saigon river. How cool is that. Pretty evening dining and the sunset is good

QD. Near Sun Wah. On 3rd floor above Rustic. Good wine bar

Miscellaneous Postings

From the last trip to Ho Chi Minh City, always like to collect a list of conveniences and places to get things. It’s amazing what a few queries can produce.

Anyway first some random facts on connections from Seattle. Best flight in terms of time is for an afternoon flight BTW if you are concerned about what are the more comfortable seats, is an amazing site. Tells you what the best seats are etc.

NWA. Leaves 1415 SEA via NRT and arrives 2310 SGN. Seats on first leg at 150 degrees on a A330. Main issue is that the seat power doesn’t work on either leg, so you are warned.

KE 20/681. Leaves 1440 SEA via ICN and arrives 2220 SGN which is faster. The seats are flat but incline 150 degrees in business class and they do have a first class. Haven’t tried it yet and more expensive than Northwest. But they don’t fly everyday. They skip Weds and Sunday. 777-200 on SEA ICN leg and then a -300 on ICN SGN leg. Some of the -200 have Kosmo Sleepers which are true lay flat seats.

If you have to work the whole day, there are some interesting choices:

Eva Air 25. Leave 0210 SEA and arrives 1130 SGN via TPE which is as efficient as NWA flight, but really good if you have work to do in Seattle and give you half a day in SGN. In business class on their A777-300, they are 2-2-2, slanted lay-flat seats and you want the center aisle so people aren’t climbing over you. They have 120VAC too and a panasonic AVOD.

And if you are stuck on United, the connections are works, but at least the flights have lay-flat seats. You can check on Suite Dreams. This site shows all the upgraded planes. Right now all the 767s and most of the 747s. But the routes include SFO-SYD and SFO-HKG. So you can take SEA-SFO-HKG-SGN, this takes a long time 9AM-10PM, but at least you get there on UA 869

For instance there is normally an online expat community like

Places to eat, drink and be merry

Veggies. Best place to buy produce
Cafe Mojo. Good cool coffee next to the Sheraton
Xu. Good ex-pat drink bar.
Anham Gourmet Market. All those treats from home
Vino’s. Wine, yes its 2x the price, but you can get it
The Temple Club. Near Sunwa Tower, Hey Branjolina can’t be wrong when the eat
Cepace. Wine and drinks for the late night next to Lancaster
Q Bar. In the Opera house

Calling overseas

Time once again for the annual review of calling overseas. Let’s pick a random example country and see how low the rates can go. For instance, if you want to call a Vietnam cell phone, what are the costs

From US to Vietnam Cellular

If have a mobile phone and sign up for AT&T World Connect, the cost is $0.50/minute. Much lower than the $3/minute if you don’t have a plan and you pay $5.00/month for the service, so it’s a good first cut.

If you have Skype and you call to another computer, then it’s free. If you call to a Vietnam mobile then it is $0.32/minute.

If get a and looks at the reviews then a good service to use from your cell phone is one that uses local access number and then dials to Vietnam, comes out pretty well there is a really complex array call to Vietnam Landline and Vietnam Cellular cards that are hard to figure out. They mainly differ on rounding and the weekly connection fee. So for instance the apparent cheapest called Hello Vietnam Cellular is 5.4 cents per minute, but it rounds to the nearest 5 minutes (so at least $0.25) and has a $4/month fee.

On the other hand, there is 9.0 cent card that rounds to the nearest second and has no monthly fee. The cross over point is how many minutes you are calling. If you call more than 114 minutes/month every month then the Hello Vietnam. That is because 9.0-5.4 is the difference of  cents against the $4 monthly fee ($4/(0.09-0.054)=111 minutes). So it depends on your call volume. The nice thing about prepaid is that if you don’t use it, you aren’t having to cancel. The deal here is if you buy $40 and have auto-recharge on, then the first card is actually $35 which will give you 470 minutes. Then you can see how your use goes. The payback against Skype is that is 4x cheaper!

As another example the $0.075/minute card has a $0.49/month so this pays back compared with the $0.090 card or 0.49/(0.090-0.075)=32 minutes/month minimum usage. So that makes the 7.5cent card the best buy if you are calling reasonably regularly every month.

Finally, the $0.064/minute card is a $2.80/month, so pays off at 133 minutes.

Calling from Vietnam wired phone to and from the US

This is more complicated. You can use Vonage which gives a local number and then people can dial to you. But it is $20/month. Your phone gets a US phone number, so anyone from the US can call it for cheap and you call using VOIP to anywhere in the US for a low cents per minute.

If you want to save the $20/month, you can use Skype from your computer, but that isn’t super convenient. So, you really need a handset to do this. While there are Wifi handsets that do this, most folks haven’t like the battery life or another features of the Belkin or the Linksys that does this.

The best solution is a DECT phone which is lower power and generally better. Google Shop has reviews of the Linksys iPhone CIT 400 that are general good and not super expensive at $130. It works with Skype.

For Skype, you need Belkin Wifi phone and then you need Skype In, so that there is a US phone and then this routes to the Wifi

Calling from Vietnam to US

Well, Vonage at $20/month has been the traditional way, but if you want to use Skype which is way cheaper. The main issue is that if you don’t want a computer on all the time, then you really want the Skype firmware built in and then have an IP connection. There are three flavors. A traditional corded phone, a Wifi wireless phone, a DECT wireless phone.

The corded phone is cheapest and most likely to work well. The Belkin F1PP010EN-SK Desktop Internet Phone for Skype has the best reviews on Amazon for any Skype phone. So seems like a good safe choice. You can dial out over Skype, but more importantly, you can buy Skype In and have a US phone number attached to it, so you can call from the US into any overseas country.

And surprisingly for a Wifi phone, the no-name brand Ipevo S0-20 Wi-Fi Phone for Skype seems much better than the Belkin Wi-Fi Phone for Skype F1PP000GN-SK, Netgear SPH200W or even the discontinued Linksys CIT400.

iPhone Speakers

There are so many units out there and iLounge doesn’t spend much time reviewing these days as the market has stabilized, so what are the best systems out there for sound:

  1. Boston Acoutics Horizon Duo-i as a clock radio Logitech lead for a while with the discontinued Anywhere High-Performance (A) which beat the Bose Soundeck (B+), but disappointed with the Anywhere Dream (B). So Boston Acountics (A-) has the new mantle at $200. I’ve used the iHome iP99 clock radio and they sound just Ok and it isn’t iPhone compatible. 
  2. Boston Acoustics i-DS3 Plus (B+) is a 2.1 sound system that is like a mini-stereo for your iPhone/iPod, so more appropriate if you want great sound quality. It can also be used with a TV as a 2.1 stereo system because is has RCA jacks. $386 from Amazon
  3. Logitech Pure-Fi Anywhere 2 (A-). Probablyt best compromise in portable “boom box” speakers for the Iphone/iPod.

Radio, radio, radio transmission

After spending a week listening for 8 hours a day to channel 16, I can’t help but wonder about the origin of the various strange terms. Why is French the language of the maritime trade for instance. Anyway, for all those classic things you here, what do they really mean?

  • Out. You should normally never say “over and out” 
  • Roger or Copy. Roger stand for the first letter in “Received”
  • Wilco. Stands for WILl COmply. You should never hear Roger Wilco as Wilco implies Roger.
  • Mayday, mayday, mayday. It derives from the French, venez m’aider which means “come help me”. It means the vessel is in grace or immediate danger like sinking. It originated in 1923 from Frederick Mockford who was asked to think of a word that would indiczte distress. He was in London and since most of the traffice was to Paris, he proposed M’aidez. The Morse code is SOS which the Gemerans first used in 1905. It is three shorts, three longs and three shorts and then it was easy to remember as SOS. So it never stood for Save our Souls but that is a backronym or mneumonic to help you remember it.
  • Mayday relay. A call you make on behalf of another vessel. If you hear a Mayday and there is no Coast Guard acknowlegement after a single repetiion and a two minute wait, you should send a Mayday Relay.
  • Seelonce Mayday. Comes from the Coast Guard or the vessel in distress and it means to all other communication on this channel while Mayday is in progress. It is actually French and is spelled Silence M’aidez.
  • Seelonce Feenee. This is French Silience Fini and means silence finished and you can use the channel
  • Pan, Pan. Vessell reqiures assistance but is not in desitress. It comes from the French word Panne which refears to a mechanical breakdown. BTW, no one doe it, but you actually ahve to say Pan six times to do it correctly. The morse code is X X X. The mneumonic is Possible Assistance Needed so you know the difference between this and Mayday
  • Securite, Securite, Securite. Urgent navigational or other information to pass along. Securite means safety in French

Iphone apps u have to have

Wow there r so many. Apple is truly creating an amaIng franchirse.

When u get yours here are the top 5 new apps I love and the top 5 I use over and over.

1. Cardstar. This let’s u put all your loyalty cards into your iPhone and it generate scanablr bar codes on your screen. Pain to setup but this is the future.

2. Flicktunes. Simplifies the interface so u can use in your car. Set a play list and then swipe right skips and left goes back. So no more looking to change songs.

3. Wikitunes. A much cooler interface than the native player app. This shows lyrics.

4.FMyLife. Man is this good entertainment. Read snippets about peoples well lives. Hilarious.

5. 6500 Facts. These r actually pretty interesting.

Then the ones in actually use alot

0. Skype. Works superbly. Just need to be in wifi range. If u have a jailbroken phone try gvmobile that does the same with google voice. And they have free calling to any number in the US now!!

1. Twitterfon. Free and reliable way to post to Twitter

2. Facebook. For when email is down.

3. Flixster. See the latest movie times and then buy the ticker.

4. Opentable. Reservations and it really works.

5. Shazam. I love music and this I’d software is amazing.

6. WordPress. I blog therefore I am.