Monday, September 26, 2016

Control

Hi,

It may have rained near Big C today, but it never reached our area, north/west of town.  Lisa reported big puddles on her shopping trip this morning.  I stayed in for another day.  More on this later.

The ‘Old School Friday’ song was “A Thousand Miles Away” by The Heartbeats.  Tell me about this ‘Easy Monday’ song.  Extra ‘Cool Points’ if you know who recorded this and why it’s special.  “You’re my love, you’re my angel.  You’re the girl of my dreams.  I’d like to thank you for waiting patiently.  __ __, your __ __ to stay.”  Hint:  How is Monday related to Friday.  Has someone returned?

During the second half of the Singapore Grand Prix I noticed that my throat was getting sore.  A week and a day later, that’s gone but I have a fever that comes and goes.  It’s like the flu with a nasty, messy cold mixed together. I don’t like it one bit and if nothing has changed dramatically by morning, I’m going to see a doctor.  Wow, how brave was that little speech?  The symptoms are similar to when I had bronchitis.  Maybe I’ll get the same bag of medicine and take only two of them.  There is a tendency here to prescribe more than is necessary.  We’ve been told by doctors that “Thai people like to take pills”.  Non-doctors have told us the same.  We always look everything up on the internet to see what it is before swallowing.  

Yesterday (Sunday) was my first time out of the house in a week.  We went to The Wanderer for lunch.  It’s a short trip and driving wasn’t a problem.  Our friend Rachel, from the US, is in the country with a film crew working on projects for The Sold Project and we ended up eating with her.  We had a nice lunch and mixed conversation.  I say mixed because some of it was academic, some was humorous, and some got emotionally heavy.  Rachel knew Blue from her previous trips and they talked photography, and Thai culture.  She was at the service at the house and we talked about how difficult it is, moving on with two empty rooms down the hall.  More healing.

Today’s photos are from our last morning in Singapore.  The first pic is the pool at Claire and Stephen’s apartment.  We never got in the water since it was a bit chilly, but it provides for extra long laps.


The airport had a TV lounge that was a circular affair with three different screens.  There were News, Sports and Children’s programing.


The Chill area was pretty cool.  There’s place to plug in a device for music, alarms, or charging.  Cool idea.


Time for me to rest my eyes from typing and just relax.  Trying to find the right temperature to be comfortable is not being easy.  I heat up, I cool down, sounds like a song.

Have a Great Week.

                   Peace,
                             Danny

“The goal of meditation isn’t
to control your thoughts,
it’s to stop letting them 
control you.”
~Unknown 

Friday, September 23, 2016

Friday Funnies

Hi,

The weather today was a carbon copy of yesterday.  It was very hot, with clear skies and partial morning and afternoon smoke, clearing around dinner time.  

Our ‘Zany Day’ song was “Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds” by The Beatles.  Since this has been a difficult week tune-wise, here’s an ‘Old School Friday’ song that’s easy.  “You’re __ __ __ __, but I still have your love to remember you by.  Oh, my dar-ar-ar-arling, dry your eyes.  Daddy’s coming home soon.”  Hint:  Your mileage may vary. Easy.

When most people hear of Singapore, they think of clean streets, and no chewing gum.  There’s so much more to it than that.  It is a very diverse country a population that is mostly Chinese, then Malaysian, Indian and other South East Asian cultures, as well as a Western Expat community.  I still don’t know what a native Singaporean looks like and that’s the beauty of it all.  We learned that cab drivers must be citizens, and that everyone has a chance to buy an apartment in a clean neighborhood. There are many religious faiths practiced in Singapore and they work side-by-side to have a harmonious community.  That’s pretty cool.  Being an island, everything comes from somewhere else, so it’s very expensive.  Even so, what a unique experience.

Sunday afternoon, after the bird park, it was short nap time.  Stephan and I had an appointment with some racing cars.  We were so tired, we finally agreed to miss the first two ‘warm up’ races.  Using the trains, we got very close to the race course in the Marina Bay district.  After going through the security gate, the excitement began to build.  We could here the Porsche Carrera race getting underway.  Once in our seats, we got to see them blast by, trying to time the movement of our heads with that of the cars.  We finally got it, but it was weird.  There was no one selling refreshments in the stands, so we had to leave the grandstand and go out to the food area for stuff.  After the Porsche race the real crowds started coming in.  Some people may have been there, but in another area watching a live music show.  We got to watch part of a set by Pentatonix and they were awesome.  Over the three days of the event, there was music for every taste and age group.

Back in the grandstands we waited for the Formula One cars to make their entrance onto the track.  There’s a lot of activity before the race actually starts and we got to see it all.  Our seats were on the start/finish straight.  I thought the Porsches  were loud (555).  They were just a whisper compared to the Formula One cars.  It was like a pack of wild animals were out there barking at each other.  When the race began they were a blur.  Every time they would come around, our heads were snapping back and forth.  The big screens above the track provided a view of other parts of the course, the same thing I usually see on TV.  When they went into the pits to change tires, all we could see was a crowd of men scrambling around the car, then stepping back as the car roared off.  The whole process is under 3 seconds.  We had a great time at one of the most spectacular venues in the season.  After the race there were big fireworks, the trophy ceremony and then the filing out into the night.  As we left the park, all of the usher crew were standing on either side of the exit, waving goodbye with big smiles on their faces.  

Here are a few photos from my Formula One experience.  



Have a Wonderful WeekEnd.    Time for the ‘Funnies’.

             Peace,
                       Danny


Thursday, September 22, 2016

Words

Hi,

We had a rain-free day in Chiang Rai.  The downside of clear, dry days is the invitation they send to those wanting to burn plant waste.  The farmers behind us got rid of lots of little piles of corn waste, sending plumes of smoke into the air.  Fortunately, the wind was blowing west so we missed most of it.  Mr. Flu continues his visit.  I think I’m getting better, but remain mostly miserable.  While we were in Singapore, Cat got it and now Natcha, along with her niece, seem to have the same early symptoms.  It’s the season.

The ‘Zany Day’ song had a few hits.  I’m pretty sure it’s familiar to most of you so here’s a little more:
“Cellophane flowers of yellow and green towering over your head.  Look for the girl with the sun in her eyes and she’s gone.  __ __ __ __ __ __, __ __ __ __ __ __, __ __ __ __ __ __, Aaaahhh…”  Clue: After 49 years, there are still theories about the nature of this song.  At this point it hardly matters.  Enjoy the song.

In Singapore we took a taxi to the Jurong Bird Park.  Imagine going to a giant zoo that is dedicated to birds.  We had breakfast in a little fast-food place.  The first photo is the creative kiddie chairs.  There was a tram that we rode through the park.  We got off at several stops to view birds up close.  They claim that almost every species of bird is represented somewhere in the park.  It would have taken a full day to see everything, but we had a lot of fun, learned things, and found it very relaxing walking among the trees and waterfalls.  There is a Wiki page with photos of many of the featured species. 
 
I wanna eat at the kids table.


Ahhhh


Have a Thrilling Thursday.

                  Peace,
                            Danny

“Raise your words not your voice.
It is rain that grows flowers
not thunder.”
~Rumi
 

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Good

Hi,

Last night’s storm brought the usual flooding in the yards, it cleared up by mid-day.  Today we had beautiful weather, though I didn’t get to go out into it.  Mr. Flu is still here.  It’s going through whatever it has to go through, and sometimes I feel like I’m just a passenger.  Hoping to be well by the weekend so I can go outside and play.

The ‘Easy Monday’ song was “Reminiscing” by The Little River Band.  Oh well, here’s a ‘Zany Day’ tune that’s a little easier:  “Picture yourself on a boat on a river with tangerine trees and marmalade skies.  Somebody calls you, you answer quite slowly, a girl with kaleidoscope eyes.”  Hint:  It was only fitting that the biggest band in the world would have a psychedelic song in 1967.  

And now we return your programing to the Singapore adventure.  Saturday afternoon we went into the center of things and had a fantastic dinner at a little place with a curious menu.  I guess you could call it ’Singapore Fusion’.  Claire and Stephen know a lot about food things since he’s been in the hotel business for a long time.  Before I forget, we also sampled, on another occasion, the most popular dish on the island:  Chicken Rice.  Oh, so good.  If you’re ever in Singapore, try some. 

After dinner we went mall hopping.  There are several high-end shopping areas that are fascinating for many reasons.  I like to people watch, check out who is shopping, and who is looking, and also price things.  That’s when the fun began.  We started pricing clothes and decided we liked our clothes just fine.  Then Stephen and I went watch shopping.  We found a watch that cost $145,000 Singapore dollars ($106,800 US).  What?  In one of the shops someone was being fitted by a clerk who was wearing gloves.  Oh, and once they pass a certain price range, some shops call them ’time instruments’.  Who knew?

Today’s first photo is from an underground mall where the not so rich and famous shop.  The fountain gives off positive ions that were immediately noticed. 


The photo below had me wondering for a moment.  There were no zebras, only a crosswalk with striped lines.  Oh, and I was looking forward to seeing zebras.
 

Tomorrow we’ll visit the giant bird park.  It’s going to be fun.

Feels like a Wacky Wednesday.

                   Peace,
                             Danny

“We must train the mind to 
always see the good.”
~Unknown

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Islands

Hi,

I was just about to tell you how it was a typical cloudy day in Chiang Rai when the wind came up and now it’s storming.  The rolling thunder tells me this may come in waves.

I was sure this week’s ‘Easy Monday’ song was one you would get quickly.  We’ve ‘sung’ this one before.  
“Hurry, don’t be late.  I can’t hardly wait, I said to myself when we’re old.  We’ll go dancing in the dark, walking through the park and __.”  Hint:  This should be easy.  Imagine thumbing through old, happy memories.

Based on real science, I have the flu.  The science included elevated temperature, achy joints, nasty cough, etc.  There is also that wandering mind thing, but that happens even when I’m not sick (555) so I didn’t include it in the science.  

All I can tell you about life outside is that the corn field next door finally got plowed under.  Big news in the hood:  Gong went to the fruit market today and got a bunch of mangos and watermelon so we’re set for a few days.  Daku has been bugging me to take him outside and doesn’t understand why we’re not doing our boy thing.

Friday night in Singapore, after we got settled at the apartment, Claire and her two little dogs took us to the pet supply store.  Some treats were found and I ended up walking Ginger home from the store.  Rosy is the other dog and they are Dachshunds.  Feeling a little dog like that pulling on a leash is a lot different from trying to manage Daku when he wants to pull.  We all got along great for the whole weekend.

Singapore is a very clean, orderly place.  We had seen a documentary a few days before we went, but it didn’t prepare us for the feeling we got.  There was a calm, polite vibe that took a minute to get used to.  On our train ride into the center of town Saturday morning, as soon as we got on the car a young girl jumped up and gave her seat to Lisa.  It happened a few more times.  The kids are taught to do this in school.  The train system is very efficient and we rarely had to wait more than 3 minutes.  We had brunch at a little cafe that played very cool music and had good food.  

The major adventure for Saturday was the big park complex, called Gardens on the Bay, near the Marina Bay Sands Hotel and Casino.  There is a little zoo inside the park and lots of walkways through nature.  Singapore prides itself on its green space.  Trees, gardens and little forests are everywhere you look. The hotel is an iconic structure with three tall buildings (2,561 rooms) and a large shelf-like structure going across the top of all of them.  We didn’t get to see it from up there, but there is a swimming pool that appears to flow over the side.  
 
Today’s first photo is the Marina Bay Sands Hotel and Casino.


This next photo is an overhead shot of Gardens by the Bay.  The orange structure on the bridge is made of fabric with lights inside.  We didn’t get to see it at night, but I can only imagine.


Have a Happy Tuesday.

                Peace,
                          Danny

“We are life islands in the sea,
separate on the surface but 
connected in the deep.”
~William James

Monday, September 19, 2016

Beauty

Hi,

The last three nights spent in Singapore were filled with windy, thunderous storms.  The days were dry, hot and very humid.  It’s nice to be back in Chiang Rai where it’s just hot and humid.

The ‘Old School Friday’ song was “Venus” by Frankie Avalon.  For this week’s ‘Easy Monday’ song see if you remember this:  “Friday night, it was late, I was walking you home, we got down to the gate and I was dreaming of the night.  Would it turn out right?  How to tell tell you, girl.  I wanna build my world around you.  Tell you that it’s true.  I wanna make you understand, I’m talking about a lifetime plan.”  Hint:  This one is from ’78, the title is one word.  Looking back, fondly.

There is so much to tell you about our weekend in Singapore.  Most of it will have to wait until tomorrow.  After a 10 hour travel day, and fighting off a cold, I’m a little wiped out.  I will tell you this:  We went to a bird park, ate local food, rode trains and taxis, and watched some very loud, fast cars up close.  

Today’s photos are from Singapore.  The first is a street in the center of the city that still maintains an earlier form of architecture, including mall shops, shophouses and a mosque in the distance.  The second pic is part of the ‘arrival card’ that must be filled out.  The warning is pretty specific.



Have a Great Week.

            Peace,
                      Danny

“Beauty surrounds us, 
but usually we need to be
walking in a garden to know it.”
~Rumi

Friday, September 16, 2016

Friday Funnies

Hi,

We sampled weather in three cities today.  Early morning in Chiang Rai was cloudy with a chance of sunshine.  Bangkok was hot and humid at mid-day.  Singapore was warm and humid when we arrived late this afternoon.  There is a chance of rain everywhere.  Hmm.

Well, a few of you knew the ‘Zany Day’ song.  Congrats to you.  It was “At The Zoo” by Simon & Garfunkel.  It’s ‘Old School Friday’ time and I know you know this one from 1959:  Hey, __, oh __.  __, if you will please send a little girl for me to thrill.  A girl who wants my kisses and my arms, a girl with all the charms of you.  (Bridge)  __, Goddess of love that you are.  Surely the things I ask, can’t be too great a task….”  Hint:  Too many clues in the lyrics.  Don’t want to give it away (555).

Things were going great this morning.  We got up a little early, finished packing, had breakfast, Gong packed the van and we left for the airport.  As we were standing at the ticket counter I realized I had left the F1 tickets at home.  What?  Lisa called Natcha, who went upstairs and located the package.  When Gong returned home, she sent him back to the airport with the tickets and all is well.  Whew.  The hour flight to Bangkok was the usual, except the view from the sky was blankets of green landscape.   

Flying to Singapore requires going through Thai immigration in order to exit the country.  We go through this every time we fly to the States.  Today, for some reason, there were tons of people leaving and the lines were incredibly long.  The two hour flight to Singapore felt short for an international flight.  We watched a documentary on the island nation on the way there so we were ready.  Another round of immigration on arrival and we connected with our friend Claire.  She has been here few about 3 months so she knows the routine and how things work.  We got SIM cards for our phones, some Singapore dollars and took a cab to her condo.  

I will have much more to tell you about our adventure next week.  We lost an hour in the traveling and had no nap, so sleepy time has arrived.  

Today’s photo was taken at Chivit Tamma Da last week.  It’s called a Butterfly Plant.


Have a Wonderful WeekEnd.    Time for the ‘Funnies’.

                Peace,
                          Danny