Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Free From Fear

Life by the lake is rolling along. Most of you may recall that when we lived on Nina, we had a backyard that attracted a variety of birds. Now we have a huge backyard, with huge tall trees and no birds. It's the weirdest thing. There are ducks and egrets and hummingbirds, but no pigeons, Klingons or Romulins. (crows and bluejays). Somebody please explain this.
Frank got the song, first time out. Where are the rest of you. Lane got the title, but since he's young, he missed the group, although The Dave Clark Five did record the song. Remember them? Here's the second verse:
"All at once it happened, the prettiest in the world. I said a-won't you come over and a-talk to me, and be my girl"
Clues: I gave you good clues yesterday. Figure it out or wait for the answer.
This morning I'm going up to the Thai Consulate (they were closed yesterday) to try and make some sense of a few things on the visa application. For instance, purpose of visit: retirement. Length of visit: see what I mean? They also want the name, address and phone number of someone in Thailand. We can provide that, but how often does someone have that information. I'm just sayin'. I imagine some of the questions don't seem odd because the form is for several visas. Oh well, I'll report back tomorrow and tell you what I find.
I have to set up the movie date I proposed with C-Bass. I offered to take him to see the Simpsons' movie. That will be an experience. First of all, I haven't been to a movie theater since that Will Smith movie about the dating consultant. (I think) We watched the Simpsons in the early days, but not since. I'm sure we'll laugh 'til we're sick and most of it will lose much in translation.
Off into the day, sorting and tossing (sound familiar?) and discovering. Have Tasty Tuesday.


"For the one who has no inner, angry thoughts,
Who has gone past being a someone, a this or a that,
That one is free from fear and is blissful.
Even the gods cannot win such serenity."
~Udana Sutta

Gettin' Funky, Thai Style

Monday, July 30, 2007

No Such Thing

Here we are, with another Monday. I trust you had a pleasant weekend. Saturday we went to a really cool wedding out in Whittier. We sat outside, under trees, with a nice breeze and watched Tom and Christy exchange vows. On a funny note, at the usual place in the ceremony when the minister asked if anyone could show just cause (blah blah blah), he said, 'get in your car and leave'. Great twist.
After the dinner and festivities, we went out to Bangkok Blue and were surprised to see my old friend Frank and his wife Linda. We sat together and had a wonderful time talking about everything under the sun. Today's song is my way of saying 'welcome to the list'. I just know he knows this one. If you know your oldies, you might remember:
"Ah-mmm, ah-mmm, ah-mmm, ah-mmm. Well, I went to a dance just the other night, Everybody there was there.
I said __ __ __ __ __ __, This dance is gonna be a drag." (Actual title is 3 spaces) Clues: Artist rocked a robin. This is a song of rejection, and repetition.
Oh, the Friday song was "Tear the Roof Off the Sucker (Give Up The Funk)" by Parliament, 1975. They're also referred to as P-Funk and Linda P. found this in Wikipedia, "The etymology of the term P-Funk is subject to multiple interpretations. It has been identified alternately as an abbreviation of "Parliament-Funkadelic", "pure funk" or "Plainfield Funk", referring to Plainfield, New Jersey, the hometown of the band's original line-up. The liner notes of CD versions of the Motor Booty Affair album suggest that the "'P' stands for 'Pure.'" The breakout popularity of Parliament-Funkadelic elevated the status of P-Funk to describe what is now considered to be a genre of music in its own right. Fans of this genre of music often refer to it as "The P." Now you know.
Sunday afternoon we had a little swimming party. Jeff, Anna and The Boys came over. We had lots of fun swimming and hanging out. Jeff told us that he took August to the music store, and he didn't want to leave. (Big surprise) When they got home, Anna said, "It must have been like a toy store for you", to which August replied, "No, those are tools and I need all of them". Now she knows.
Sunday evening I went to a bachelor party. It's been many years since I've been to one of these. It was great. There were about 35 to 40 of us, all fired up to give Raul a big send off into married life. Big fun.
It seem that our list of things to do to prepare for our exit keeps getting longer every day. More and more things surface, that need attention. If there were a person to hire to handle all of this, I'd hire them. There's an idea for someone looking for a specialized market.
Time to head out and conquer the list. Have a Marvelous Monday.


"The king said: 'Venerable Nagasena, where does wisdom dwell?'
'Nowhere, O king.'
'Then, Sir, there is no such thing as wisdom.'
'Where does the wind dwell, O king?'
'Not anywhere, Sir.'
'So there is no such thing as wind.'
'Well answered, Nagasena!'"

~Milindapanha 77

Gettin' Funky, Thai Style

Friday, July 27, 2007

Friday Funnies

There's good news on the horizon. Yesterday I got a 'walk-through' of the little room we'll stay in when we visit America. (doesn't that sound so expat?) The construction is progressing, but we won't be able to live there until our December trip. Actually, the way the plans are drawn, it will be two rooms with a half-wall divider. Very cool.
It would appear that Free had a lot of fans for their song "All Right Now", 1970. Lane's background provided this: "Lead singer Paul Rodgerswent on to become lead singer of the rock band Bad Company along with Simon Kirke on drums. Lead guitarist Paul Kassoff, a much revered blues-rock guitarist, died from a drug-induced heart failure at the age of 25 in 1976." Linda dove into the research pool with this: "All Right Now" was also adopted by the Stanford Band as its signature tune. Their version of "All Right Now" debuted as part of a halftime show held at the Rose Bowl on January 1, 1972 and in subsequent years displaced "Come Join The Band" as Stanford's de facto fight song.
"You've got a real type of thing going down, gettin' down, there's a whole lot of rhythm going round (x2).
Ow, we want the funk __ __ __ __ Ow, we need the funk We gotta have that funk (x2)" Note: The blanks are actually a parenthetical part of the title (big word huh?). Hint: This group is a far cry from the boys across the water. Song has to do with figurative demolition. (Ha)
C-Bass came over last night. We dined on newly acquired TV trays after a quick tour of the condo. After dinner we decided to show him the grounds. He slowly got himself together and once we got outside, he wanted to go exploring. After we had seen the part we knew, we headed out for parts unknown. We knew there was a third pool somewhere, so we just started walking. We ran into our friend Karen, who also lives there, and she directed us to pool #1. This place is much bigger than it appears. We found the pool and just sat around joking and being silly. A little family came and we decided to continue our journey. It was very relaxing, just strolling, with no particular place to go (remember that song?). Back in the room, they had their usual dessert, warmed up chocolate icing. C-Bass had it all over his face. I think he likes it. Next week, I think he's going to bring his swimsuit so we can go in the pool.
Today will be spent dealing with more details. Things like address changes, absentee voting, and reservation changes at Villa Brazil. We move there in a week and a half.
It's time for the 'Funnies'. This is part one of a big one, so stay tuned. Have a Great, Hot, WeekEnd.


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Lost: small apricot poodle. Reward. Neutered. Like one of the

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For sale: an antique desk suitable for lady with thick legs and
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Four-poster bed, 101 years old. Perfect for antique lover.

Now is your chance to have your ears pierced and get an extra pair
to take home, too.

We do not tear your clothing with machinery. We do it carefully by

For Sale. Three canaries of undermined sex.

For Sale -- Eight puppies from a German Shepperd and an Alaskan

Great Dames for sale.

Have several very old dresses from grandmother in beautiful

Tired of cleaning yourself? Let me do it.

Dog for sale: eats anything and is fond of children.

'Gettin' Funky, Thai Style'

Thursday, July 26, 2007



It's another bright and sunny day in L.A. Hats off to all of you who got the song right away. Need a little more?

"I said, 'Slow don't go so fast Don't you think that love can last?'She said, 'Love, Lord above Now you're tryin' to trick me in love'." __ __ __ Baby, it's __ __ __" Hint: Free yourself and you might remember.

As you can see, the gap is back (between paragraphs). Let's just say 'I meant to do that'. Anyway, the Retirement Party for Lisa was a smashing success. She had no idea what they were going to do, so in a way, it was a surprise. There was a big table with a balloon arch over it, and palm trees at each end. The spread included Sate Gai (chicken sate or chicken on a stick for you uninformed) from our fav Thai Boom, all kinds of munchies direct from Thai Town in Hollywood, and a tropical cake with air-brush decoration. By the time Herb (the director) began his little talk, the room was full. He spoke of her 30 years at ISI and how much he'd miss Lisa and all her guidance. She's been there longer than him, and you could feel the respect. Then Lisa said a few words, eloquently I might add, gave props to her crew and then it was time to eat and mix. I got to meet the faces behind many names I've heard through the years, mostly names from USC campus. One of her assistants passed a book around the institute and people wrote notes to Lisa. Very touching gestere. They're all really going to miss her.

Right in the middle of the festivities, I got a call from C-Bass. He had 'run away' and wanted to know what to do next. (que up dramatic music) When I asked him where he was, he was still on his street. I was right in the middle of a conversation so I told him to stay where he was and I'd call him right back. Five minutes later I called back and was told that I needed to come up with a plan. What? I'm not running away. Long story short, he went back home and the crisis passed. He's coming over tonight.

The big adventures around here include sitting in the jacuzzi and juggling the gate card and door keys. Other than that, it's pretty smooth.

Have a Big Thursday!



"As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them."
~John Fitzgerald Kennedy

Gettin' Funky, Thai Style

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Looks like we hit on a winner with "Little Red Corvette" by His Purpleness, Prince. A whole bunch of you got it. So cool.
If you got yesterday's mail, and didn't respond to the song, send me something. I'm having a crazy time since I canceled my RoadRunner account. It's like they're getting some sort of diabolical revenge. I'm not happy about it either. I can still send and receive mail through Gmail using Safari, but it's not as convenient as Apple Mail. So, the beat goes on and the machine is winning.
Try this tune on for size: "There she stood in the street, smiling from her head to her feet... Let's move before they raise the parking rent. __ __ __...." Hint: By a quartet in '70, very cool stuff, Rock with a dash of blues. Hmm.
The August Chronicles: We had prepared August for a different kind of evening. He was so excited, that when we picked him up he told us he'd been thinking about it since yesterday. We stopped at Polo Loco and ordered dinner. He'd been thinking of the condo as a hotel and since he'd been in a hotel, he had a reference. We tried to explain that it was not really the same. When we pulled into the parking garage, his little antennae were out, scanning the place for everything that had a function. Some things he knew, others were big question marks. He walked around the place, sizing up each room. He got a big kick out of the fact that there are two entrances to the bathroom. We went down to the gazebo, where residents BBQ, and had a 'picnic' dinner. While we were eating we spotted a duck, having a swim in the pool. Later a little duck family of three strolled by.
The plan was to go for a walk of the grounds, but first we had to go up and get sweaters. August didn't have one, so he ended up in one of my long-sleeve warm shirts. Very Cute. Anyway, He locked the door, and asked questions about all sorts of things. We explored the grounds and the clubhouse. August explained how all the pipes around the pool worked, how the wires were joined in the light boxes, and wondered why the pool tables were covered but not the ping-pong table. In the end, he offered to lead us back to the condo, and he did. Hmm. His final analysis of where we're living: very boring. (no toys or art stuff or 'How It's Made')
Big doin's out at the institute where Lisa works. There having a retirement party for her this afternoon. Should be quite a bash. I'll be there with bells on (not really) Of course I'll report what I see. (Ha)
Six more weeks and we fly away. Have a Wacky Wednesday.


PS Yesterday's message (July 24) is dated July 25 on the Blog. That is incorrect. I posted late. Oops.

"If the only prayer you say in your whole life is 'thank you,' that would suffice."
~Meister Eckhart

Gettin' Funky, Thai Style


Looks like summer weather is in full swing. Actually, I ordered
it, in preparation for the weather in LOS. We're headed for low
90s/mid 70s with humidity. Yum. (really rather oppressive until you
get used to it)
Some of you late 90s music fans got the song right away. I
guess after today's clues, more of you will get in the car.
"__ __ __, Baby youre much 2 fast. __ __ __, U need a love thats gonna
last." Clue: He used to be a symbol, think color and wheels, and
I'm not cut out for condo life. The street is too far away, it
takes too long to ride over all the speed bumps and now I'm done
complaining. Oh, and people walking on my head. Like I said before,
a house will spoil you.
As we count down the days here on the continent, there's still
lots to be done. It's amazing, how deep the change of address thing
can go. Things you don't think of initially, pop up as you turn a
corner. Then there's email stuff. I get several daily pieces and
they've stopped coming. Oooops. It's all about the loose ends.
We're planning our regular evening with August. I'll pick him up
from day camp, we'll pick up Lisa from work and we'll have a picnic
under the gazebo and walk around the property. Since we have no toys
or art materials, he'll probably take in the remodeling highlights and
be ready to go home. The main thing is that we get to have him with
us in the 'space' we're in, today. C-Bass want to come on Thursday,
which is really cool, since he's been having a hard time with all of
Over the weekend, we ate at Emerald Thai. It used to be our
regular spot when we lived near downtown Culver City. There's a young
man who works there who remembered that we were moving to Chiang Rai.
He gave us the number of a close friend of his who works in the forest
areas near where we'll be. There's a warm hospitality that makes the
adventure even more palatable.
Last but not least, I set up a 'blog' last night. I'll be
posting the daily message there, plus photos from time to time, so you
can see what we see. Go to: http://gratidude.blogspot.com If I
have trouble sending the daily mail to lists, you can check out the
blog. I'm new to all this, so be gentle.
I'm off to Pasadena to meet with Blue at Saladang (beautiful Thai
spot) and then up to Altadena to visit with my mom for some computer
lessons and some light bulb changing. (Ha) Oh, and we'll most likely
laugh a lot.
Have a Terrific Toasty Tuesday.


"Humility is the soil in which all other virtues grow."

'Gettin' Funky, Thai Style'

Monday, July 23, 2007

Let The Games Begin


Welcome to my Blog. That sounds a little strange doesn't it? Like some deep dark dungeon or a spot on the wall. Well, it may be a little of that from time to time. (Ha) You may or may not be familiar with my 'Daily Mailings'. I've been writing about my life and the things I see around me for over seven years.
Now that Lisa and I are going on the adventure of a life-time, I thought I'd make it easier for you (and me) to keep up with all that's going on. I'll continue to send the daily mail, but I'll also post it here, along with the occasional pictures. What would mail from Thailand be without pictures? Also, one never knows when the email aspect may not work as well as we'd like.
As we roll along into the land of Blogdom, I'll fill you in on the cast of characters.

Bye for now,