Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Talk

Hi,

It’s approaching 7:30pm on Wednesday evening and the atmosphere is electric.  First came the wind, then the thunder with such intensity that it feels like it could break the sky.  Surely, after all this noise, we will get some rain.  We need more than last night, it did nothing to clean the air and the day was just as hot.  

This week’s ‘Easy Monday’ song was “I Can See Clearly Now” by Johnny Nash.  So, I guess you know what time it is.  It’s time for a ‘Zany Day’ song:  “Want some whiskey in your water, sugar with your tea.  What's all these crazy questions they askin’ me?  This is the craziest party there ever could be.  Oh, don’t turn on the lights, ‘cause I don’t want to see.  __ __ __ __ __ __, __ __ __ __ __ __.  That ain’t the way to have fun, no…”  Clue:  A warning was given by a parental unit.

When we woke up this morning, we expected to see a bright, sunny day.  What actually appeared was the same old dirty sky as the day before.  After our talk with Joe, we took Daku to the vet.  He could somehow sense that he was going to be traveling.  Even before he saw the visual clues, he became restless, pacing around the kitchen.  When the sheet used to cover the seat came out, he was in full-on agitation mode.  Once he was in the van he was a lot better.  

At Dr. Arnon’s (the vet), the waiting room was empty.  This was great news for us and Daku.  Even though he was a little nervous, he didn’t show it.  I forget that some places are slower to start than others.  The doors might be open, but the folks inside are not really ready.  That seemed to be the case this morning.  One of the counter receptionists came over and visited with Daku and that was fun for him.  Finally, we saw the doctor and got a diagnosis of an infected hotspot on his elbow.  Daku was given an injection and some pills to take and we were out of there.  

Putting on an art exhibit without a manager means a lot of administrative work for the artist.  Add a second language and it becomes a mountain of things to keep up with.  Lisa is getting things done and there is actually some breathing room.  The opening is a week from Friday and most of the elements are in place.  There is still some translating to be done, and the transporting of the artwork next week.  Bit by bit, slow and steady, or something like that.

Today’s photo is one of the pieces from ‘Courage in Clay’ by Somluk Pantiboon.  It is clay with acrylic accents on canvas.


It feels like a Wacky Wednesday.

                      Peace,
                                Danny

“The primary use of conversation
is to satisfy the impulse to talk.”
~George Santayana

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Learn

Hi,

Rain has been forecast.  We’ve heard this song before, but this time we desperately want/need the water from the sky.  The hot weather can be dealt with, but the nasty air makes it difficult on many levels.  The pool is just about ready, but we cannot swim while breathing dangerous air.  Come on sky, deliver.

A few of you knew the ‘Easy Monday’ song right away.  It’s clearly a song of hope and moving on.  Here’s more:
I think I can make it now, the pain is gone.  All of the bad feelings have disappeared.  Here is the rainbow I’ve been prayin’ for.  It’s gonna be a bright, bright Sun-Shiny day.  Look all around, there’s nothin’ but blue skies.  Look straight ahead, nothin’ but blue skies.  __ __ __ __ __, the rain is gone….”  Clue:  Vision has been corrected.

It has been decided that traveling home on a Monday can really mess up our sense of time.  Yesterday felt like Sunday because that’s usually the day we return from a weekend away.  Today felt like a Monday since it’s the day after getting home.  You see how this plays out?  

The three days that we were gone, something changed at The Big Brown House.  Chopper got some schooling.  He is a tiny bit mellower, a little less bitey, and pays attention to vocal commands.  We think Natcha spent more time with him, which I’m sure he enjoyed.  Chopper lives outside and puppies need companionship.  I think it’s paying off.  This evening she spoke to him in Thai and he stopped what he was doing and stretched out on the floor.  I need to know what she told him, and memorize it.  

This just in, it’s raining.  It’s also windy, which means that we might end up with a dose of clean air.  Just thought you’d like to know (5).  

This morning we went out and delivered more posters and invitations for the upcoming exhibit.  Social media has been bombarded as well.  If half the people that say they’re coming actually show up, it will be a crowd.  We just need clear weather for that one night.  Hmm, I’d better place an order now.

Cat returned from her adventure in the States.  We talked to her at various stops along her journey from San Francisco to Taipei to Bangkok to Chiang Rai.  On the way to her dorm from the airport she talked about how it took almost a week to get over the Jet Lag going over, and now she has to go through it again, with classes starting tomorrow morning.  

Today’s photo is our friend Khun Noot, balancing stones near a waterfall.  Patience and a gentle touch, that’s all.


Have a Happy Tuesday.

                  Peace,
                            Danny

“If you learn from defeat
you haven’t really lost.”
~Zig Ziglar

Monday, April 23, 2018

Words

Hi,

Everywhere we go it’s hot.  Bangkok was in the mid-90s, Chiang Rai is in the mid to high 90s with very nasty air.  Patiently waiting for rain.

The ‘Old School Friday’ tune was “Stay” by Maurice Williams and The Zodiacs.  Here’s an ‘Easy Monday’ tune that has been a winner for years.  “__ __ __ __ __, the rain is gone.  I can see all obstacles in my way.  Gone are the dark clouds that had me blind.  It's gonna be a bright, bright Sun-Shiny day.”  Hint:  See, I told you it was easy.

First, some of you may have noticed that I neglected to post a photo in the Friday message.  The curious thing is, no one mentioned it, which makes me wonder if you even read this (555).  I know you do because you thank me for the cash prizes (5).  Anyway, here’s the one I was going to send on Friday before I got distracted with the trip.


Our flight to Bangkok was pretty routine, although we did see a bunch of ArtBridge guys at the airport in Chiang Rai, on their way to BKK for the same exhibit.  Our friends Nita and James had made arrangements for their driver, Khun Boonrit, to pick us up at the airport, and that was much nicer than a taxi.  Since it was lunch time by the time we got to their house, the four of us went to a place simply named “Chicken and Rice”.  It’s a traditional Singaporian dish and this place had quite a following.  We even took some home for a late snack.  After lunch we had a foot massage and then relaxed until time for the exhibit.

We used a service called ‘Grab’ to get to the exhibit.  It’s very much like Uber, and it worked well for us.  Khun Somluk’s exhibit was held at a small complex of three galleries.  ‘Artist+Run’ was the gallery with Somluk’s work.  The title of the show was ‘Courage in Clay’ and consisted of large canvases using clay as the medium.  He literally painted with clay, using different kinds of brushes.  The work is abstract and the various clay tones gave it a sort of magnetic quality.  It was hard to look away as the browns and grays played tricks on the eyes.  I wish the gallery was closer so we could visit the exhibit more.  


Construction is an ongoing reality in Bangkok and most cities.  What surprised me was the giant cranes working on Sunday.  Seven days a week there was work going on near where we stayed.  We couldn’t hear it, but I watched the crane moving around high atop the building.  I wonder how they get the crane down when they’re done.  Hmm.  Anyway, at some point on the horizon, you can see construction happening.  Where there is construction there are workers, and they are not always Thai.  Apparently it is a common practice to bring in workers from Burma, and house them in makeshift dwellings for the duration of the job.  Zoning is seemingly non-existant, which doesn’t always sit well with the neighbors.

On Sunday morning Juan, the osteopath, came to the house and James and Nita had him work on my back, and it turned out to be very beneficial.  In the afternoon we got to swim and that was great.  In the evening we went to a place called ‘Common Ground’, which has maybe 10 or 12 different food outlets.  You order at a counter and then sit in a common area.  We’d been there once before and it’s fun.  You can mix your meal to suit your taste.  There was a DJ playing some very cool stuff and it added to the ambience.  I’m pretty sure we were the oldest folks in the place, but it didn’t matter, I was diggin’ it.

This morning Khun Boonrit took us back to the airport and after we checked in, we went to our gate and were surprised to see the parents of our friend Atom waiting for their flight home.  They had been in BKK for the week. We had the longest visit we’ve ever had with them (all in Thai), saw pics of their grand-kids and had a chummy time.  

Daku and Chopper gave us warm welcomes.  Chopper has changed in the three days since we’ve been gone.  He wasn’t as bitey and he responded better to our commands (to not attack Daku).  Everything was a little less urgent, which is good for Daku.  It’s good to be home.

Have a Great Week.

                     Peace,
                               Danny

“No matter what people tell you,
words and ideas can change the world.”
~Robin Williams

Friday, April 20, 2018

Friday Funnies

Hi,

 Chiang Rai weather boils down to hot sunny days and stormy nights.  Right after I sent you yesterday’s message, the wind came howling in, the lightning flashed and the water came down at various angles.  The front yard was a lake and the debris this morning was from trees down the road.

The ‘Zany Day’ song was “She Came In Through The Bathroom Window” by The Beatles.  We’ll close out the week with a tune that we have approached before.  “__, ah, just a little bit longer.  Please, please, please, please, please, tell me that you’re going to (sung: tell a-me you’re gonna).  Now, your daddy don’t mind, and your mommy don’t mind, if we have another dance, yeah, just one more, one more time.  Oh won’t you __….”  Hint:  From 1960, one word that should be rather obvious.

Since the air has been getting washed every evening, we went to the gym this morning.  We did a little more than before, creeping up to a full workout.  The gym was a little busier than last time, but we were able to do what we wanted.  This morning we discovered dressing rooms with lockers.  Before we return we’ll have to get locks so we can stash our stuff.  One interesting observation:  There were only a few older people working out.  Hmm.  Did we wander into the young people’s gym?

While on the subject of young people, the exhibit we’re going to see in Bangkok is being held at a gallery run by a friend of ours from Chiang Rai.  We became friends partly because he speaks English.  Angrit is the artist some of you may remember, who took us to see his ‘garden’ which turned out to be a huge piece of land with lots of trees and flowers.  His Bangkok gallery is one of three in the same complex.  We’ve been told that lots of young people come to the galleries, so we’ll get to ‘act our age’ (555) this weekend.  

After a lot of requesting and pleading, and an ultimatum, Chopper is wearing a collar.  It’s almost essential that a dog with his strength and temperament have some sort of ‘handle’.  Trying to pull him off Daku is very difficult.  This afternoon he was out in the yard with the family and it came in handy. 

Tomorrow we go to Bangkok (BKK), where we’ll be picked up at the airport.  We’ll be going to a local ‘dive’ for lunch and then a foot massage.  This is going to be a very enjoyable weekend.  Our hosts, James and Nita, are making sure that we will have a good time.  

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

                      Peace,
                                Danny


Thursday, April 19, 2018

Limits

Hi,

The weather today was the best it’s been in a long time.  The sky was blue all day, with puffy white clouds.  Oh yes, and it was very hot.

The first time we ‘played’ this ‘Zany Day’ song, a bunch of you chimed in with the title.  This time, not so much.
“She said she’d always been a dancer.  She worked at fifteen clubs a day.  And though she thought I knew the answer.  Well, I knew what I could not say.  And so I quit the police department.  And got myself a steady job.  And though she tried her best to help me, she could steal but she could not rob.  Didn’t anybody tell her?  Didn’t anybody see?…..”  Hint:  If you drove down Abbey Road in 1969, then you should remember this tune.

This was what I would call a travel day.  Travel around town, that is.  We delivered posters to most of our friends with businesses.  By 10:30 it was time for a coffee break.  Since we had to go to the mall when it opened, Starbuck’s was the spot of the day.  There is some kind of major development going on at the mall and it has me very curious.  Something is being built right where the motorbike parking lot used to be, and there are drilling rigs in various places.  The little town that could is really growing.  

One of the things we wanted to do at the mall was get rid of some electronic ‘waste’ in the form of an obsolete WiFi router.  There is a small trash can in one location that appears to be for batteries and very small items, but the basic awareness of electronic disposal has not happened yet.  We were directed to the Apple Care shop and we got a mixed reception.  The counter crew didn’t have a clue of what we wanted to do.  They called a man from the back and he seemed to understand.  With all the consumer electronics being sold all over the world, this is a major issue that needs to be addressed.  Rant over.

This morning I managed to take a couple of photos of Chopper before he got wild and crazy during exercise time.  He is much taller than in previous pics.  We’re pretty sure he’ll be taller than Daku when he’s full grown.  He’s 4 months old now.  In the second photo he’s telling me something about how it’s not his best side (555).



It’s time to start pondering what to take on our weekend adventure to Bangkok.  We’re flying down on Saturday morning, attending the opening of an exhibition by Khun Somluk from Doy Din Dang, and then spending a whole day with no fixed agenda.  Hmm.  

Have a Thrilling Thursday.

                     Peace,
                               Danny 

“The difference between 
stupidity and genius is that
genius has its limits.”
~Albert Einstein

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Minds

Hi,

We’ve moved into that time of year when looking at the sky is a better way to forecast the weather than looking online.  The storm last night wasn’t a major one and today was cooler, with only sprinkles this evening.  There may not be any thunder, but the frogs are taking it’s place.  

‘Easy Monday’ was just that for some of you. The song was “Groovin’” by The Young Rascals.  Now it's time for another episode of the ‘Zany Day’ song.  “__ __ __ __ __ __ __, protected b a silver spoon.  But now she sucks her thumb and wanders by the banks of her own lagoon.  Didn’t anybody tell her?  Didn’t anybody see?  Sunday’s on the phone to Monday.  Tuesday’s on the phone to me.” Hint:  Those four lads from Liverpool in one of their later productions.  There is some climbing involved in the title, which is pretty long.

This morning we began with a much needed trip to Big C.  We stayed away during Songkran, so supplies were needed.
While we were in the meat department I noticed a sign above what looked like a kitchen.  How did I never see this before?  What a cool idea. 


After Big C, we headed north on the airport bypass road and went to Doy Din Dang for coffee and a chat with Tamako.  We had another of our wonderful visits.  During our conversation on artists and technicians, she mentioned that creating colors is an important part of the process.  When they make colors during the firing of ceramics, there is a lot of experimentation that goes into finding the desired color.  Black is not just black if it’s going to have depth and character.  It was a very exhilarating conversation.  

Outside, at Doy Din Dang, I spotted a large banana leaf and looked to see if it had any fruit.  This photo is proof, with Lisa’s help for perspective, that I really did see giant bananas.  Tamako told us that they have become rare, and they used to see people on the side of the road, grilling them over a charcoal fire.  


On the way home we stopped at Macro, which was going a little crazy with shoppers.  Neighborhood stores see an increase in business when everyone is at home for 5 or 6 days.  At Browney’s Pet World we saw a nearly full parking lot.  This was a first for us.  I guess it’s because they were closed over the holidays.  

Another sighting of note while we were on the highway was the progress on the Bangkok Hospital.  We’re getting our very own version north of Chiang Rai University.  It won’t be as extensive as the one we’ve used in Chiang Mai, but we know from experience that one gets first class care.  We’ll be watching this with great interest.

Looks like a Wacky Wednesday.

                      Peace,
                                Danny

“Let us put our minds together and see what life
we can make for our children.”
~Sitting Bull

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Answer

Hi,

This morning the storm from last night was just finishing.  All day we had cooler temps and cloudy skies with a forecast of more rain.  This evening it started up again.  Big thunder cracking across the sky.  Lisa looked out and saw Chopper playing in the rain.  He’s inside now, for awhile. Maybe the rainy season has begun.

The ‘Easy Monday’ song should be looping in your mind.  If not, here’s another verse:  “__, down a crowded avenue.  Doin’ anything we’d like to do.  There’s always lots of things that we can see, we can be anyone we want to be, and all those happy people we could meet just __, on a Sunday afternoon…”  Hint: Originally relates to something on the surface of a record.  You know, where the needle drops.  Oh my, I’ve said too much.

We stayed at home today.  There was lots to do for the afternoon visit from Khun Sompong from 9 Art Gallery.  He was coming to look at Lisa’s work for the upcoming exhibit.  He curated her first exhibit at their gallery and she wanted his input.  The morning was spent bringing all 31 pieces into the living room and guest room and arranging them.  Gong and Natcha were a big help.  Sompong was excited about the new direction of the work and had lots of positive things to say.  After his walk through, we sat and talked about various art things like pricing, galleries, and the nature of the art business in Thailand.  

Today’s photo was taken on the by-pass highway just outside of town.  Is there something they’re not telling us?


The morning dog play was altered today due to Mr. Chopper being just to ‘bitey’.  His little doggie brain is obsessed with biting Daku, or anybody nearby, especially when he’s excited.  We had to separate them so Daku could get his exercise without having to drag the little dog across the lawn.  I’m sure it’s a ‘phase’ he’s going through.  He does have his moments of cuteness, when you just have to smile.  Several wrappings from the trunks of palm trees blew off the trees and into the yard.  These make perfect prey for the stealthy hunter they call “Mr. Chopper."

Natcha and Neechanon just came upstairs to visit.  She told Natcha she wanted to see us.  Tonight she noticed a photo of herself and was surprised.  One of her standard things to do is try and ride the exercise bike.  As she gets taller, the hope builds that maybe this is the night.   When she got on this time, she made a motor sound, like she was on a motorbike.  It’s 8pm and she’s wide awake.  For Natcha and Gong it’s going to be a long night.

Have a Happy Tuesday.

                      Peace,
                                Danny

“For every complex problem 
there is an answer that is
clear, simple, and wrong.”
~H.L. Mencken