Friday, June 22, 2018

Friday Funnies


Well, we made it back to Chiang Rai.  It was hot and humid when we got off the plane.  Chiang Rai has been getting rain every day.  We’ll see if that stays the same.  Our friend Nukoon was waiting for one of his sons who was flying in from Bangkok.  That was a fun way to pass the time while we waited for Gong.  

The ‘Zany Day’ tune was “The Beat Goes On” by Sonny & Cher.  For the ‘Old School Friday’ song we go back to 1958.
I was in the 10th grade and this was my fantasy proclamation song.  “__ __ __, oh, I would do anything.  I would do anything, __ __ __.  For your kiss, oh, I would go anywhere.  Oh, I would go anywhere for your kiss.  More foolish I grow, with each heartbeat.  But we all get foolish that’s why I repeat.  __ __ __ (ahh, ahh, ahh, ahh) oh, I would to anything, I would do anything __ __ __.”  Clue:  I think it’s pretty clear.

It’s very difficult to keep our eyes opened, so this won’t take long.  Gong picked us up at the airport, Natcha was really happy to see us.  Daku was very happy we were home, and Chopper, who was outside, was also happy.  

A little while after we got home, we crashed.  There are naps, and there are states of unconscious.  After dinner, we did most of the unpacking and then the sleep came and possessed us again.  

Neechanon will be returning home on Monday morning.  I’m anticipating some increase in her language skills since she’s been staying with her grandparents and an aunt who speaks English and had been her teacher before.  

Today’s photo was taken in Taipei.  It’s the exterior of EVA’s ‘Hello Kitty’ plane.  

Fading fast, can’t hold on much longer.  Formula One is in France this weekend.  Zoom.

Have a Wonderful WeekEnd.    Stay tuned for the ‘Funnies’.

Thursday, June 21, 2018



We made it to Taipei after 13+ hours of flight.  The Jet Stream forced us to go north to the Balkin Islands and then turn west toward Japan and China.  There’s a 2 hour layover and then just under 4 hours to Bangkok.  A quick plane change later and we’ll be off to Chiang Rai.  

The ‘Zany Day’ song made quite an impact back in the day.  There were many responses.  Here’s another verse:  “The grocery store’s a super mart, uh huh, little girls still break their hearts, uh huh.  And men still keep marching off to war.  Electrically they keep a baseball score.  __ __ __ __, __ __ __ __.  Drums keep pounding a rhythm to the brain, la de da de de, la de da de da.”  Clue:  During their heyday, this duo was married.  If a drum keeps playing, what happens?

I was right about there being another list generated on our last day in L.A.  We got it all done and stayed on schedule.  Before we left, we got to spend time with Jeff, Anna, Sebastian and August.  Our schedules had been such, that we were all going in different directions, but we got in a really cool visit right at the end. 

The volume of travelers in the international terminal has grown.  New systems are in place for the famous border control inspections.  We kept out shoes on, laptops stayed in bags, and a new bin system keeps you from having to rush to take off jackets, etc.  The whole thing was much smoother for us.  

We had enough air miles to upgrade to business class this trip.  What a treat, and what a spoiling experience.  Oh well, more miles will come in time.  The main meal, grilled chicken in tomato sauce, served at about 1:30am, was totally edible by me, and that is unusual.  

Today’s photo was taken at the corner of National and Washington in Culver City.  After lunch on Wednesday at the Co-op, I was drawn to the giant cranes.  These things are all over town, a sign of ‘progress’?

I will send the ‘Friday Funnies’ from the comfort of The Big Brown House.  

Have a Thrilling Thursday.


“I have always found that
mercy bears richer fruits than
strict justice.”
~Abraham Lincoln

Wednesday, June 20, 2018



The weather in Culver City is 10 degrees cooler than the weather in Chiang Rai right now.  Looks like we’re in for a bit of an ‘adjustment’ on our return.

The ‘Easy Monday’ song was “Walk On By” by Dionne Warwick, also covered by Issac Hayes.  Time for a ‘Zany Day’ song to travel with (5).  This one is from 1967:  “__ __ __ __, __ __ __ __, drums keep pounding a rhythm to the brain.  La de da de de, la de da de da.  Charleston was once the rage, uh huh.  History has turned the page, uh huh.  The mini skirts the current thing, uh huh, teenybopper is our newborn king, uh huh.  __ __ __ __, __ __ __ __.”
Hint:  Performed by a duo, babe.

Yesterday was the day we found the things we needed on our next to the last list.  I say that because today is our last day and there is sure to be a new list.  

We had lunch with Melissa, who worked with Lisa for 15 years, at a place called Wahoo’s.  We’ve been there before and it’s an experience.  There’s sort of a surf/sports motif, with lots of TV screens and food choices.  We meet with Mel every time we come to the States.  It’s another of those long-time relationships that continues to be interesting.  There are work updates, family stories, travel plans, etc. and we always manage to get in our fair share of laughter.  

During the course of the day we went to several health food stores.  We don’t have anything in Chiang Rai like what we see on the west side of L.A.  So many choices, at great expense, I might add.  There is a small shop in Chiang Rai called ‘Healthy Choice’ that we go to sometimes.  It could fit in the corner of one of the stores we saw today.  

Driving down Sepulveda Bl. this morning, we followed a food truck.  On closer inspection we saw the words “Thai Street Food”.  Oh, it was bound to happen.  We didn’t get to see the whole menu, but from the rear of the truck I could see a few favorites.  If you live in the area and ever see the truck when it’s open for business, take a pic of the menu and send it to me.  

Our final visit was with Cousin Wendy.  She loves animals and we always exchange stories about our dogs and the animals that she rescues, fosters, and helps.  There was also the updates on family members that she hears from and the changes in the local ‘cityscape’.  Wendy has been in real estate and gives us interesting insights.  It’s always a treat to hang out with her.

In the evening, Lisa, Anna and August went out for dinner and did some exploring.  They took Lisa to a store near the house that we had never been to called the ‘Food Co-op’.  Sounds like we missed a bet not going there sooner.  Next trip I have to check it out.  

Tonight we start the departure process by heading for the airport early to allow for traffic.  Then we wait for our 
12:05am flight to Taipei.  I’ll write to you from there.

It’s going to be a Wacky Wednesday.


“There can be no keener
revelation of a society’s soul 
than the way in which it treats
its children.”
~Nelson Mandela

Tuesday, June 19, 2018



The weatherman had it right, it was cooler yesterday.  I think it's going to be cooler again today and then warm on Wednesday.  

The ‘Easy Monday’ song was identified by several readers.  Here’s the second verse to jog your memory:
“I just can’t get over losing you, and so if I seem broken and blue.  __ __ __, __ __ __.  Foolish pride, that’s all that I have left.  So let me hide the tears and the sadness you gave me when you said goodbye.  __ __ __, __ __ __, __ __ __.”  Clue:  Anyone who had a heart would walk on the other side of the street.

Our time in the States is winding down.  Monday we had our regular visit with our friend Debby, who lives in Alhambra.  She and Lisa have been friends since they were teens.  We got to see photos of her four grandkids and hear all about them.  Our conversations are always stimulating and varied.  Keeping up with long-time friends feels good.  After our visit in Alhambra, it was a short drive to Pasadena for lunch at Saladang Restaurant, where we met up with Linda of ‘Frank and Linda’.  Frank is another old friend.  Last time we were here the four of us lunched together, but Frank is in the hospital right now.  The three of us had a fun time talking about pets, and memories.  One of those memories was that Blue had introduced all of us to Saladang many years ago.  Frank, get well soon.

Renting a car can sometimes present challenges.  The car we are currently driving has a fancy sound system with a touch screen, and lots of bells and whistles.  It’s not intuitive and has left us without a radio for this adventure.  Today it was time to get some gas.  I saw a button with the symbol for gas, but pushing it didn’t work.  Finally, I pulled on the bottom of the button and the little door opened.  When we were up north we had issues with the radio tech as well.  Remember the days when you turned a knob and the radio came on, you turned another knob and the stations changed?  Wow, am I a low tech guy after all?

One of the hard parts about visiting like this is that we can’t see all of our friends.  Remember, there’s always next time.  Oh, and there’s always Thailand (555).  

Today we will complete the ritual of the mailing of the box.  This is the box of clothes that will join us in Thailand after we arrive, making space in our suitcase for vitamins and dog treats that will travel with us.  ‘Consumable’ items cannot be shipped or mailed to Thailand anymore (for the last 3 years).  Such is life.

Sometimes, when flying, I look outside and can’t believe what I’m seeing, so I take a pic to share my confusion.  I call this one ‘Cloud Mountains’. 

 Have a Happy Tuesday.


“It does not matter how slowly
you go as long as you do not stop.”

Monday, June 18, 2018



Every day it gets a little cooler.  That is the trend until Wednesday.  We’re finally wearing the warm clothes we brought.  Not that it’s that cold, but wearing them makes things comfortable.  I like feeling comfortable (5).

The 'Old School Friday’ song was “Papa’s Got A Brand New Bag” by James Brown.  I think this ‘Easy Monday’ tune will be in your mind for a day or so:  “If you see me walking down the street and I start to cry, each time we meet, __ __ __, __ __ __.  Make believe that you don’t see the tears, just let me grieve in private ‘cause each time I see you I break down and cry.  And __ __ __ (don’t stop), and __ __ __ (don’t stop).  Hint: Just keep steppin’. 

Saturday we had a visit from our Godson Darryl and his 4-year-old daughter Kaylani.  They live in Lompoc and we hadn’t seen her in a long time.  Needless to say, she has really grown.  

In the evening we had dinner with Irene and Donna, our recent one-day house guests.  It was great to see them again and hear about the rest of their time in Thailand.  We updated them on things around the house and they showed us photos of some the the highlights of their trip. Sunday was another lunch and dinner day.  We dined with our friend Kathie at Emerald Thai.  It had been a year since we’d seen her so there was a lot to talk about.  

Our final weekend reunion was with our friend Diane.  She and Lisa used to dance together in a company and we always have great times.  When we entered Treehouse Thai, they were surprised to see us again.  We’ve been there four times in less than two weeks.  When Lisa explained that we live in Thailand and we like the place, we got more attentive service and our server started dropping Thai words.  

In between the eating, we did some shopping for things we want to take back to Thailand.  The next step will be to pack the clothes we’ll send back, so there will be space in our suitcase for vitamins and things.  It’s a routine we’re used by now, but still poses it’s challenges.  We don’t want to send clothes back home that we might want to wear in the next two weeks.  

The last week’s Friday message did not include our adventure to the Peterson Automotive Museum with my brother Denny and his wife Sheila.  The four of us met just after it opened and covered all three floors of exhibits.  Our initial motivation was an exhibit that included Quarter Midgets, which we raced in the mid-50s in Glendale.  One of the cars was the exact car that was our first one.  It brought back lots of memories.  After being amazed at the various collections, we finally adjourned to Treehouse Thai for lunch.  It was a fun morning that I’ll remember for a long time.  

Today’s photo was taken at the Peterson Automotive Museum.  My brother Denny and I posing next to a Viking Roadster, just like the one we started with.  Ours was a ‘kit car’ that was put together in the living room.

Have a Great Week.


“The fragrance of flowers spreads
only in the direction of the wind.  But
the goodness of a person spreads in
all directions.”

Friday, June 15, 2018

Friday Funnies


The northern California weather was a tiny bit cooler on Friday, but still sunny and warm.  We were able to experience two kinds of weather in one day.  More about that later.

The ‘Zany Day’ song was “At The Zoo” by Simon & Garfunkel.  For ‘Old School Friday’ we turn to the GodFather:
“Come here sister, Papa’s in the swing.  He ain’t too hip, about that new breed babe.  He ain’t no drag, __ __ __ __ __ __.  Come here mama, and dig this crazy scene.  He’s not too fancy, but his line is pretty clean.  He ain’t no drag, __ __ __ __ __ __.”  Hint:  It’s about dance moves and things, and of course there are horns.  Hit me band.

So, aside from travel, our Friday was spent with Joe, mostly enjoying his exhibit at Far Out Gallery.  It should be noted that the gallery is located in what is called the ‘Outer Sunset’ district of San Francisco.  That is cool in itself, but it’s near the coast and there is fog and the initials of the gallery spell FOG.  It all comes together, right?  We arrived just as the doors were opening.  FOG is a storefront and if you were driving and not paying attention, you could miss it.  Fortunately, there is a lot of foot traffic and people walk in all the time.  The show was hung with skill and care by the owner, Anne Herbst, who is also an artist.  There are 32 pieces on display, but it doesn’t feel crowded at all.  The work is a mix of recent prints and paper sculptures as well as older prints.  We are given the many sides of Joseph Zirker, from delicate monoprints, to bold cast acrylic prints, a vacuum-formed face and paper towers covered with the writings of Rumi (handwritten by Joe).   While we were there we watched passersby come in and study the exhibit.  Peter, who opened the gallery, would introduce Joe and they would gush and ask him questions from different directions.  It was fun to watch him in ‘action’.  He has a side of his personality that is playful and tongue-in-cheek and makes me smile.  

While waiting for the gallery owner, we walked down the street to a little Thai restaurant and had lunch.  Let’s just say the food was a long way from Thailand.  By the looks of the steady stream of neighborhood customers, they have seduced the locals with their secret ingredient: sugar.  There was a sweetness to everything that had them coming back for more.  After lunch we returned and met Ann.  Joe introduced Lisa and showed the poster of her exhibit in Chiang Rai.  That led Anne to interview Lisa about her new process.  It was a regular art-fest.  

In addition to the action inside the gallery, there are train tracks on the street.  There is a local set of trolleys that run up and down.  Hey, it’s San Francisco after all.  These are modern, but still streetcars.

With the help of our friend, the voice of Google Maps, we boogied around the Bay area and never really got lost.    
I can’t tell you how many highways we traveled on during that adventure.  From Palo Alto to the north west coast of San Francisco, through valleys and over hills, we saw some amazing landscapes, lots of construction and enough cool cars to last me for awhile.  We finally got back to L.A. in time for horrific airport traffic.  I’m glad I didn’t have to drive in that.  

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


Thursday, June 14, 2018



Our first full day in Palo Alto was a busy one.  The sky was crystal clear blue, and it really felt like summer when I was a kid.  

“The monkeys stand for honesty, giraffes are insincere, and the elephants are kindly but they’re dumb.  Ourangutans are skeptical of changes in their cages and the zookeeper is very fond of rum… It’s all happening __ __ __”
Hint:  It’s by a duo who celebrated New York in many of their songs.  

The place where we are staying has a lot of pick-up trucks.  Early in the morning, one at a time, these trucks started their day by sitting, idling for a very long time.  Their rumbling exhausts keeping me from going back to sleep.  As one would leave, the silence was bliss, until another started.  When the lot was almost empty, it was time to get up.  Nosey me wishes I knew what was going on, but I’ll never know.

We picked up Joe at 8:30 and drove across town to a place called Stacks.  That’s because the specialty is pancakes.  After a big breakfast we went to the health food store.  Joe is a regular there and it’s fun to see him in his local element.  I got some healthy cookies (555).  In the past, we would have gone to the art supply store, but it’s gone.  The apparent plague that has changed many towns and cities is having an effect on Palo Alto.  Gentrification is rearing it’s ugly head.  The rents go up, long time merchants are displaced by those willing to pay the new freight.  On top of that, art supply stores are becoming a rare thing, as digital art appears to be replacing paint and brushes.  Mom and Pop art shops are being bought by chains who can survive, apparently.  

The rest of the morning was spent in Joe’s studio, looking at all the new work, revisiting some old pieces, and learning some of his methods.  He and Lisa discussed the color black and how to achieve depth.  If you just walked in, it would sound like a really crazy conversation, but black is not just black.

Lunch at Zoe’s, a tiny coffee/lunch shop near the house, is always pretty cool.  Zoe is very committed to the community, and the planet and her shop reflects that.  I got a line on paper straws and a box of the best brownies in the world, complete with no dairy or soy.  She has singers on some evenings, in the style of the 60s coffee house vibe, and does projects with school children.  It’s a perfect example of one little shop, a mother/daughter team with a little help, making a difference where they live.  We all napped after lunch.

Our final adventure was a road trip to Santa Clara and the university there.  Some of Joe’s work is on display, along with a print exhibition of Mazur and a photo exhibit of jazz artists ranging from the 30s to the 60s.  In one of the rooms there was a phonograph playing albums of some of the artists.  There were big, comfortable chairs some one could sit back and enjoy the music.  It was ‘cool’.

Tomorrow we’ll go to San Fransisco and see Joe’s current exhibition at Far Out Gallery. 

Today’s photo was taken at Santa Clara.  The tall pine tree behind the chapel is the same kind that we have by our pool.  This one is about three or four times as tall.  The way ours is growing, it’s possible. 

Have a Thrilling Thursday.


“Age is a case of mind over matter.
If you don’t mind, it don’t matter.”
~Satchel  Paige