Monday, January 23, 2017

Smile

Hi,

The weather in Chiang Rai is gradually getting cooler.  Could this be the onset of winter?  Northern Thailand is the only part that gets a ‘cold season’, as it’s called.  Right now, the south is having a tough time with rain and flooding, while here in the north we’re having beautiful days and cool nights.   

Only one reader knew that the ‘Old School Friday’ song was “Finger Poppin’ Time” by Hank Ballard and The Midnighters.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZNi2gY7nzTU   ‘Easy Monday’ will be much kinder.  “Stayed in bed all morning just to pass the time.  There’s something wrong here, there can be no denying.  One of us is changing, or maybe we’ve just stopped trying.  And __ __ __, baby, now __ __ __ though we really did try to make it….”  Hint:  I don’t really think you need one.  This is so easy.  

Saturday afternoon we went to Art Bridge.  There was the opening for another ’Small Painting’ exhibition as well as a New Years party for the members.  The party was great fun, with a gift exchange that consisted of a piece of art.  Now everyone who participated has a piece by a fellow member.  We got a chance to talk to friends and be in a room full of creative people.  

Sunday was a big day.  It was Lisa’s Birthday.  We had breakfast at The Wanderer under the trees in the morning air.  There was hardly anybody there so we could enjoy the morning sounds, laugh and talk.  We were back at The Wanderer for lunch with Cat and our friend Rachel, who is in town from Oakland, CA.  Another fun meal that was also a bit of a planning meeting for Cat’s trip to America.  

Back at The Big Brown House, Cat and her sister Toy surprised Lisa with a big fruit basket.  As we were leaving for dinner at Sawadee Restaurant in the Night Bazaar, Natcha came upstairs and surprised Lisa with a cute little birthday cake with candles lit.  

There is a lot of road work being done around town.  On the Super Highway, one of the major intersections with the east side of the city is basically blocked on one side.  This means that traffic has to do some major detouring (is that a word?).  I suspect it has had an impact on the small businesses that rely on a steady flow of locals.  We don’t know what the schedule will be for the proposed house next door.  If they let the dirt ’settle’, then it will be a few months before they begin work.  They started building a bridge near the Dusit Island Resort near us, and then they stopped.  It’s been years since they worked the dirt and installed the pillars.  Today there was activity around the site.  We still haven’t figured out why there is a bridge in the first place.  In a way, it’s fun having these little mysteries around town.  One never knows what’s coming next.

Today’s photo was taken in our yard.  It’s a purple thing.  Not something we planned, but it worked out beautifully.


Have a Great Week.

               Peace,
                         Danny

“Don’t cry because it’s over.
Smile because it happened.”
~Dr. Seuss

Friday, January 20, 2017

Friday Funnies

Hi,

Chiang Rai weather was perfect again today.  It would have been a great day to get out there and do stuff, but that didn’t happen. 

The ‘Zany Day’ song was  “My Boy Lollipop” by Millie Small.  You should have known that (555).  It’s Friday again, and time for ‘Old School Friday’.  Here’s a tune from 1960 that should have you movin’ all weekend.  “(Hey now, hey now, hey now, hey now) It’s __ __ __ __, __ __ __ __.  I feel so good, and that’s a real good sign.  Hey now, hey now, hey now, hey now, hey baby, come along with me.  Hey, hey baby, come along with me.  We’re gonna shake it ’til it breaks, just wait and see.  Hey now, hey now….”  Hint:  The title is actually only three words, but sung like four (what?).  It refers to something done with the digits of either hand while dancing.  Oh, now you get it.

As far as I can tell, we don’t have any more travel plans until the latter part of February.  That should be enough time to get over this recent ’season of busy’.  The trip to Chiang Mai was only for one day, but it seems to have taken its toll.  We stayed at home all day, feeling drained.  I’m beginning to think that there is a direct correlation between the kind of travel energy expended, and the aftermath.  If it’s a pleasure trip, and the mind is open and relaxed, one can feel refreshed.  If there is ‘working’ involved either mentally or physically, then there is a higher drain on the energy reserves.  Ha, killin’ ‘em with science.  All of this is based on personal experience and has no basis in fact, but it makes sense to me.  This last trip had timing concerns, and a friend waiting to hear the outcome of some medical testing.  It had just been one week since our return from the States and our friend, Mr. Lag, had just left.  I rest my case, and my head.

Today’s photo was taken at Charoen Gardens (the pie place) on the way to Chiang Mai.  This water feature is a new addition to their massive renovation project.  The cool morning air created the wonderful mist.


Neetchanon has been learning new things.  She has her own version of a wave that she uses to greet and also say goodbye.  Natcha has taught her to blow kisses, which is cute/funny.  She has been enjoying her ABC book and seems to have preferences when it comes to plastic utensils to play with.  Her walking is getting better each day and as she approaches her first birthday, she can travel across the living room on her own.  This evening we discovered that she likes to dance and sort-of sing along to rhythmic music on Natcha’s phone.  

The big news around here is that the big lot next door will be a house.  They played in the dirt again today and that phase seems to be done.  The tractor guy moved the last of the dirt around and smoothed it all out.  Now we wait to see if we can figure out who’s house it is.  Meanwhile, our new neighbors down the road come up on my WiFi options as “Bed Villa 555”.  That says it all.

Tomorrow is the annual Art Bridge meeting, this time with a gift exchange.  Everyone has been encouraged to bring a piece of artwork.  Sunday is Lisa’s birthday, and Tuesday is Daku’s.  

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

                  Peace,
                            Danny


Thursday, January 19, 2017

Live

Hi,

The weather in Chiang Mai is always warmer than Chiang Rai.  That is not to say that it doesn’t get cold there.  We just didn’t experience it.  We did feel the cooling off that happened this evening in Chiang Rai.  

This week’s ‘Zany Day’ song has some fans out there.  At least they remembered it.  Here’s the second verse of this literary masterpiece:  “Whoa oh, __ __ __, never ever leave me, because it would grieve me, my heart told me so.”
Hint:  Don’t let giddyup fool you.  It’s not about horses, it’s about candy (555).  Really.

Today we had a few adventures.  Nothing earth-shattering, but new for us.  We had our first Uber encounter coming home from the U.S. Consulate office.  We got a ride in a little Mitsubishi Mirage, which isn’t a luxury car, but comfortable, and the woman driving was very polite and got us to our hotel for very little cash.  We’ll do it again next time we’re in Chiang Mai.  The business at the Consulate was routine, but still required the ‘routine’.  Filling out a form, paying some money, and raising my hand and swearing it was all true.  When Lisa asked if the staff would be different with the new president, she was told that there would be no changes.  Apparently the northern office is not important enough.  That’s fine with us.  Their service and concern has been pretty consistent and we like it.

At the art gallery, we were able to load all 25 pieces of art into the back of our little van.  I was surprised, Lisa was sure it would work.  With the van full of art, we went back to the mall for lunch before hitting the road.  We parked near an entrance, and asked one of the attendants to keep an eye on the van.  When Lisa offered him 100 Baht, he  looked around nervously and shook his head.  I understood what he meant and as we left him, Lisa shook his hand and the deal was struck.  Oh, those devious Westerners.  Inside, I saw a shirt on a mannequin that read: ‘Bad Influence’.  

Today’s photo was taken a Central Festival Mall.  It’s me with a display consisting of floral chickens for the Chinese New Year, the Year of the Rooster.   


Having driven Highway 118 to Chiang Mai and back many times now, I have concluded that the morning drive to CM is light because most of the traffic is going towards CR for the day.  The big trucks are making deliveries and the tour vans are carrying day-trips.  The traffic feels lighter in the afternoon going towards CR because the vans are going back to the big city (CM) and the big trucks are doing the same.  There are still pockets of slow vehicles, but it’s not long parades like we see going in the opposite direction.  

Have a Thrilling Thursday.

                   Peace,
                             Danny

“We all have to live together,
so we might as well live
together happily.”
~The Dalai Lama

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Foolish

Hi,

The weather here in Chiang Mai is warm.  Not a surprise, just interesting that it stayed so warm after the sun set.  
The drive down was the usual grind, but not difficult.  We did stop for pie and it was so good.

The ‘Easy Monday’ song was “Never My Love” by The Association.  The ‘Zany Day’ tune is next.  Dig deep and tell me:
“__ __ __, you make my heart go giddyup, you are as sweet as candy, you’re my sugar dandy…”  Hint:  Yep, you guessed it, totally silly song that was a hit in some circles.  I’d be a sucker if I gave you the obvious clue (555).

Because of the rain that happened while we were gone, the countryside is lush and green.  We stopped at Central Fiesta Mall for lunch.  The first thing I noticed was the number of two-wheeled monsters in the ’Super Bike’ parking area.  So, it’s not just high-end cars rolling around Chiang Mai.  

On the ninth floor, facing the Night Bazaar street, we can hear a band playing somewhere out there.  Oh joy.  It’s just an overnight stay.  That’s what I keep telling myself.  You’re tired enough that you won’t hear it.  Hmm, we’ll see.  In the evenings, the hotel has a trio of musicians set up on the front steps and they play to the passing parade of tourists.  Some of them are quite good.

Today’s photo was taken from the air, just after we left Bangkok, heading for Chiang Rai.  The collection of farms give the effect of a giant stained glass window.


Tomorrow we go to the U.S. Consulate for verification of our Social Security.  Then we’ll load up the art and head back to Chiang Rai. 

It feels like a Wacky Wednesday.

                   Peace,
                             Danny

“Talk sense to a fool
and he calls you foolish.”
~Euripides

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Boat

Hi,

It felt like summer today.  The day got warmer a little earlier, and stayed that way a lot later.  This is unusual weather for this time of the year.  It’s usually much cooler.  Me, I’m not complaining one bit.

I’m surprised that only a couple of you remembered the ‘Easy Monday’ song.  Think, lush harmonies and sharp suits.
“What makes you think love will end, when you know that my whole life depends on you (on you)? __ __ __, __ __ __.  You say you fear I’ll change my mind and I won’t require you.  __ __ __, __ __ __.”  Clue:  Something is not going to happen.

Mr. Lag has a new trick this time around:  Make him sleepy way before bedtime.  I’m not falling for it, though my head nods from time to time (555).  The days have been very productive, even with the waning symptoms.  

This morning we went to Art Bridge so Lisa could submit a ‘small painting’ for the next exhibition.  We also got to see the annual ‘Artist Exhibition’ with the late King as the focus.  There was a wide range of experience and skill represented.  Some of the artists have been painting the King since they were small children.  Others have studied photo realism, and some of those pieces were stunning.  Lisa’s work in the exhibition was sold before it was hung.  

We made our first stop at Makro since our return to Thailand.  Now we’ve been to all of our regular stores.  In the course of our travels around town, we’re seeing changes and progress on structures that seemed to have stalled.  The little ‘motel’ down the road is open for business and has banners along the road.  Work has restarted on the lot next to us.  I guess they were waiting for the dirt to settle a bit and the rain to finish.  The parade of dump trucks was constant today.  There is a big metal fence around the corner where Doi Chaang Coffee and the car wash once lived.  It continues to be a sad sight.  

The Wanderer was the lunch location today.  We met our friends Sandy and Ady for a major ‘catch up’ session.  We talked about so many things, it was like a blur.  

This evening I had yet another new experience.  Going to a new doctor at his evening clinic.  I have an infection of some kind in my eye-lid and it wasn’t getting better.  Our friend, Nurse Pay told us about this doctor so we went to see him.  His clinic is near the location of the small flower show, which is still open.  We were tempted to check it out, but the flowers look so much better in the daylight.  You will get a photo update when we do visit.

Tomorrow morning we head down to Chiang Mai.  We’ll pack up ‘Timeless Harmony II’ and bring it home.  When we took the exhibit to Chiang Mai, we did it in two trips.  It will be interesting to see just how many art pieces we can fit in the little van.  We’ll have some relaxing time before we leave on Thursday.  
 
Today’s photo was taken by Lisa in our front yard.  This is one from the current bloom of orchids.


Have a Happy Tuesday.

                  Peace,
                            Danny

“We may have all come on different ships,
but we’re in the same boat now.”
~Martin Luther King, Jr.

Monday, January 16, 2017

Afraid

Hi,

It’s good to be back in weather that agrees with me.  The nights and mornings are cool, and the days are warm, but not hot.  No rain in sight.  Interestingly, it rained most of the time we were gone.  

The ‘Old School Friday’ song was “Ain’t Too Proud to Beg” by The Temptations.  The ‘Easy Monday’ song came out in 1967 and should be one you know.  “You ask me if there’ll come a time when I grow tired of you.  __ __ __, __ __ __.  You wonder if this heart of mine will lose it’s desire for you.  __ __ __, __ __ __.”  Hint:  A beautiful declaration of love from a very large vocal group.

I was so frazzled and desperate to stay on schedule that I didn’t tell you about our homecoming.  Gong met us at the airport, and when we got inside the van, there was his sister Gope holding Neetchanon.  She immediately reached for Lisa to hold her.  It doesn’t get any better than that.  

Our little friend stowed away in our bags again.  Mr. Lag never seems to get spotted by Customs.  This trip seems to have given him new inspiration to reek havoc. There’s also a mental thing going on that makes you feel like, well, stupid.  I keep forgetting things, drifting off in distant thought, etc.  The sleep pattern is off, but that is to be expected.  Ain’t travel fun?

Saturday morning we went to The Wanderer for coffee and a little 'Forest First-Aid’.  What a nice reminder of why we live here.  Natcha informed us that it was ‘Children’s Day’ and a vague memory of this came back.  All over the Kingdom there were special events, programs, and outings paying tribute to the children.  At our house, Natcha’s sister Fone came over with her two kids, Shampoo and Gop, and brought Neetchanon a little traditional Chinese outfit.  We all sat on the patio and watched her practice walking, clapping and waving.  


Today we got crazy/brave and went out twice.  Big C in the morning and Central Plaza Mall in the afternoon.  We actually got things accomplished.  The mall looked like it was a Saturday morning with super sales or something. 

It always takes a few days to get used to the volume of motorcycles here, as compared to the L.A. area.  It adds to the need for heightened awareness.  It gets easier after Mr. You-Know-Who goes to sleep.

Have a Great Week.      The Australian Open (Tennis) began today.  We’re happy.
 
                Peace,
                          Danny

“We can easily forgive a child
who is afraid of the dark; the real 
tragedy of life is when men are 
afraid of the light.”
~Plato

Friday, January 13, 2017

Friday Funnies


Hi,

I have to make this quick.  Mr. Lag has me in his grips and it is difficult to force my eyes to stay open.  What you’re getting here is the bare bones of ‘adventure’ (555).

The ‘Zany Day’ song was The Coasters singing “Idol With The Golden Head”.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ELvB4Ul58pQ  For ‘Old School Friday’, here’s something that maybe more people know.   “I know you wanna leave me, but I refuse to let you go.  If I have to beg, plead for  your sympathy, I don’t mind ‘cause you mean that much to me.  __ __ __ __ __, sweet darlin’….”  Hint:  I’m tempted to give you easy clues for this song by a motortown quintet.

Today’s photo is an orchid garden at the airport in Bangkok.  They were also working on a ‘wall garden’ in the arrivals section.


In this year of change we also noticed things gone or different when we returned.  It’s safe to say that everything is still changing in the world.  My job is to get over it.

Have a Wonderful WeekEnd.   And now, the ‘Funnies’.

              Peace,
                        Danny