Friday, November 30, 2007

Friday Funnies

Man, it's Friday already. The week really flew by. The song was "Why Can't We Be Friends?" by War. Oh, and you were that close. Lane sent some interesting background. The song was recorded in 1974 and released in June 1975.
The year after this album was released, "Why Can't We Be Friends?" and "Low Rider" were nominated for the Grammy awards in 1975. "Why Can't We Be Friends?" appeared in both the 2007 Disney movie Bridge to Terabithia. And now:
"I've got a song, I ain't got no melody, I'm-a gonna sing it to my friends. I've got a song, I ain't got no melody,
I' m-a gonna sing it to my friends. __ __ __ __ __ __..." Clue: Something to do with a geometric shape.
This morning we went out very early with Third, to look at more property. We've kind of settled on the piece we want, but it never hurts to check. We saw the land, and we're staying where we are. The airport is too close. One of the things we've been very concerned about is airplane noise. We hear all the flights in and out of the airport, here at the rental house. As the city grows, and air traffic grows, it will really become an issue. So, we go for quiet.
On our way home, we came upon a huge parade. It was 9a.m. and Third's old school was doing their big parade. It would appear that every class was represented, with a theme of their own. We saw cowboy outfits, traditional Thai, Greek, sports, representing themes like ecology, stop smoking, no drinking, and we only saw a few blocks. It went on for a long time, but they closed the street to traffic. There are 4,500 students in the school. That's big. I tried to take some pics from the car, but it was difficult.
It's been getting cold at night. The early morning is also a bit nippy, and then it warms up. Now it's about dressing in layers when we go out. This afternoon we hit the main drag for supplies and then walked over to the market where we found the plastic bag store. We wandered around looking at fresh fruits and vegetables and tons of fresh cut flowers. This market is much nicer than the government market in the center of town. It's where Boot shops and we see why. We found some baking potatoes, and strawberries. Hmm, we may have to dig deeper.
The 'Funnies' are long, so I bid you good-bye. Have a Great WeekEnd and know that I appreciate the intelligence of blondes.


A contestant on "Who Wants to be a Millionaire?" had reached the final
plateau. If she answered the next question correctly, she would win
the the $1,000,000. If she answered incorrectly, she would pocket only
the $32,000 mile stone money.

As she suspected it would be, the million dollar question was no
pushover. It was, "Which of the following species of birds does not
build its own nest, but instead lays its eggs in the nests of other

Is it:
A) the condor
the buzzard
C) the cuckoo
D) the vulture

The woman was on the spot. She did not know the answer. And she was
doubly on the spot because she had used up her 50/50 Lifeline and her
Audience Poll Lifeline. All that remained was her Phone-a-Friend
Lifeline. The woman hoped she would not have to use it because her
friend was, well… blonde.

She had no alternative. She called her friend and gave her the
question and the four choices. The blonde responded unhesitatingly:
"That's easy. The answer is C: the cuckoo."

The contestant had to make a decision and make it fast. She considered
employing a reverse strategy and giving Regis any answer except the
one that her friend had given her. And considering that her friend was
a blonde, that would seem to be the logical thing to do. But her
friend had responded with such confidence, such certitude, that the
contestant could not help but be persuaded.

"I need an answer," said Regis.

Crossing her fingers, the contestant said, "C: The cuckoo."

"Is that your final answer?"

"Yes, that is my final answer."

Two minutes later, Regis said, "That answer is… Absolutely correct!!
You are now a millionaire!"

Three days later, the contestant hosted a party for her family and
friends, including the blonde who had helped her win the million
"Jeni, I just do not know how to thank you," said the contestant. "How
did you happen to know the right answer?"

"Oh, come on," said the blonde. "Everybody knows cuckoos don't build
nests. They live in clocks."

Gettin' Funky, Thai Style

Thursday, November 29, 2007


Whoa, what a day we had. More adventure. It was time to make our first 90 day 'check-in' for our Visas. We were told that we could do it at the Chiang Rai PD. When we got there, they didn't know anything about it. They kept saying, 'You have to go to Mae Sai'. Now that you're wondering where this is going, hold on. Only three of you got the song. We've got to shake things up a bit. "I'd kinda like to be the President, so I can show you how your money's spent. __ __ __ __ __ (x 3) Hint: The group's name was the opposite of what they wanted.
After going around with the police, they called in a young woman from the 'Tourist Police' who spoke pretty good English. She didn't understand our Retirement Visa either. We wanted them to call Immigration in Chiang Mai. They left the room, came back and said 'Mae Sai'. OK, bye bye.
We took a Tuk-Tuk down to the family tractor store, looking for some kind of moral support and got it. Jen made a few calls and wished us luck. We walked around the corner to the bus station and found out the bus to Mae Sai leaves every 15 minutes and costs 33 Baht ($1.06). We got on the bus (not the cruiser that took us to Chiang Mai) and waited to depart. This was an older bus with narrow seats, no air, no water and no video screen. Just your basic bus, with a conductor who took her job seriously, with a casual twist. I never saw her smile, but she said 'thank you'. Anyway, once we hit the streets, we realized that this was not going to be an express. We stopped and picked up passengers, we stopped to buy a bag of oranges for the driver, and we let people off. At no time, did the front or back door ever close. There was a man sitting in the back who was some kind of door monitor. Every time we were about to take off, we'd hear his voice, 'aye', and the bus would start again. At one point, near the end, we had a full load, with people standing in the aisle as we rolled down the highway. We finally made it to Mae Sai, but the bus station is at the south end of town, so they piled all of us into a songtal (pick-up with a shell and two rows of seats). Like a shuttle, it took us to the border area, where all the action is. That trip cost 10 Baht or $.32.
Following directions, we walked to the border with Burma/Myranmar and went into the Immigration office. Their assumption, of course, was that we wanted to make what is called, a 'visa run'. This is required for those who wish to extend their stay without a lot of red tape. You leave the country, and then come back in, having your passport stamped with a new visa. Well, that wasn't our mission. We were sent down the road (1.5k) to the main office. This required a time out for coffee. At an odd little coffee shop connected to an odd little hotel, we found out that it was a bit of a walk and we should ride. No problem here.
Finally arriving in the right place, we had no wait, really friendly officers and the whole thing was a breeze. They gave us forms for our next 90 day check in so we could show them to the CR police. If they still don't get it, back to Mae Sai. Feeling light and elated, we strolled the street looking for the special black sesame treat we've grown to love. We went into the shopping district and felt transported into another world. We saw some interesting things, as in a gift but no treats. Took a few pics that you can see on Flickr. We decided that we didn't want to take the long way home, so we went to the big border hotel and asked about hiring a car. It could be done, so we did. We're very glad we did. We came home to hot soup from 'Boot's Kitchen' and all is well.
Have a Cool Thursday.


"We must know definitely and consistently that the universe is for us and not against us."
~Ernest Holmes

Gettin' Funky, Thai Style

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Worry - Tuesday, November 27

I'm glad you came back. I have stories to tell. As you may remember, it's now Sunday and we're going on an elephant adventure. This time we're going to ride on their backs. We decided to try a tour company that a friend of mine from Chiang Mai had recently used. (how about that, making reference to a friend from another city) The plan was to travel by boat, up the river. First we'd stop at The Monk's Cave Temple, and then proceed to Moo Ban Ruammit and the elephant camp.
We left the tour office at 9:30 a.m. and drove to the river. We could see evidence of the festivities the night before. There we were, the three of us and our guide, Ann, ready to start the day. We rode for about half an hour until we came upon the caves. This place is amazing. It's a natural cave that part of a temple complex. I'm still trying to find out how long it's been used this way. There was a monk giving a teaching to some visitors when we arrived. Ann told us that he lives in the cave. One side is open, facing the river so there is lots of light. There are also openings in the top and when it rains, it comes into the temple. It was a very quiet, serene place to be.
After another half hour, we arrived at our destination. When we rode in 2001, we approached the village from the road. It was really something, coming in from the river side, seeing these huge animals walking through the water, and clustered on the bank. The first thing we saw after getting off the boat, were several cages containing huge pythons. For a fee, you could have your picture taken with the python wrapped around you. No thank you, I don't do that! Kristy, on the other hand, does that. We have the pictures to prove it. Then we waited for a few minutes and got a chance to watch a little 'school'. They were training a couple of young ones. Finally, it was time to mount up.
We climbed a staircase to a platform where we leaned into the benches that would carry us through the village. Kristy and Ann rode on one and Lisa and I followed. Our driver's name was BG and he sat on the elephants head, not it's neck. Somehow, it works for the two of them. He talked and sang the whole time. Kristy's elephant had a brief spat with a dog and freaked us all out. The dog was walking down the path and the elephant clearly didn't like this dog. First he hissed, then he went down on one knee and slapped his trunk on the ground. The poor dog was losing it by this time and then we heard that loud trumpeting sound that elephants make, and the dog was gone in a blur. Whew.
Basically, we spent half an hour riding through the village, seeing everyday sights and hearing everyday sounds. We ended our tour by walking through a corn field and into the river. That was a little weird. Any time a large animal goes down hill, and you're on top, it's weird. (do I jump to the side or dive in?) Ok, so we're walking down the river, the water is up past the elephants stomach. This is feeling like an old movie. There's a pic of Kristy's ride 'snorkeling'. When we got back, we shopped, what else? The return trip was a bit faster, since we had told Ann we wanted to be back by a certain time. She managed to time things out pretty well and we'll use their services when you come to visit.
Oh, one last thing. Things have moved forward on the property I showed you, next to the policeman's house. We'll be buying it next week. Oh my.
I almost forgot....many correct answers to the song question. This song was 'story song' that joined the ranks of legends. "...And then smoke and gas belched out of that mine, everybody knew it was the end of the line for __ __, __ __ __" Clue: there were two adjectives in front of his name. Hmm.
Now it's time for Happy Tuesday.


"Worrying often gives a small thing a big shadow."
~Swedish proverb

Gettin' Funky, Thai Style

Human - Monday, November 26

After a wild and crazy weekend, I'm back. I'll fill you in after we deal with this song thing. A few of the 'Oldie But Goodie' fans remembered 'The Glory Of Love', by The Five Keys. The song was written by Billy Hill and has been recorded by numerous artists through the years, but nobody had the 'talking part' like The Keys. The line I love is when he said to his 'ex': 'You poor, sad, worthless, foolish, fool'. Anyway, it's still one of my favorite songs from the 50s.
Today we'll try a new direction. "Ev'ry mornin' at the mine you could see him arrive. He stood six foot six and weighed two forty five. Kinda broad at the shoulder and narrow at the hip, and everybody knew ya didn't give no lip to __ __." Hint: Obviously about a large person. The singer played it smart and left music for meat.
Friday night, we had our dinner with Kristy and 'The Family'. Another great time, with lots of laughter and fun around the table. After dinner we went back to the Night Bazaar for 'Kristy's Last Stand'. The whole thing shut down a little early because it started to sprinkle and the crowd was slim. We got what we went for and called it a night.
Saturday morning, we got brave and had Sing take us to the Waterfall park in his Tuk-Tuk. Long ride north of town. I've never been one who was big on hiking, but there we were. On a hiking trail. Beautiful country, clean air and an illusive waterfall. We found a small one early, near the base of the trail, so we decided to continue and find the big one. Well, we went up, and down and around and then we spotted this trail that went up, at about 45 degrees. We all voted to call it a day and start back. Good choice. We took lots of pictures and they're on the Flickr site. It was nice to be in nature like that. When you come to town, we'll take you there and set you in the right direction. (Ha)
Saturday evening we went to dinner with 'The Family', plus Boot and Roong, our neighbor who does hair and massage. We ate at The Garden Shrimp Restaurant and, as usual, got stuffed. From there it was off to the river for the festival of Loy Kratong. I had this image in my mind that the shoreline would be filled with people putting their Kratongs in the water and watching them float away. Oh, we didn't get to make ours, we bought them at the river. We were all in for a surprise. It's a giant carnival, with a ferris wheel, giant stage shows, booths of every description and food beyond belief. On the way, I noticed something in the sky, kind of glowing. Third said it was a balloon. Actually, it was more like a paper lantern. You will see these on the site, but it's a large paper tube (about 3 feet tall x 1 1/2 wide), open at one end, with a wire hoop to hold it open. In the center of the open end is a ring of some kind of burnable material that is lit. After the flame gets going, the hot air lifts the whole thing into the air (think hot air balloon). The sky was filled with these 'balloons' and it was a sight to behold. Meanwhile, all around us there were fireworks being set off, as the Kratongs floated down the river. What a night.
I'll save our Sunday adventure for tomorrow. To make sure you come back, I'll tell you that it had to do with elephants.
Have a Happy Week.


PS Don't forget to 'Flickr'.

"Human is that moment when the universe becomes aware of itself."
~Teilhard de Chardin

Gettin' Funky, Thai Style

Friday, November 23, 2007

Friday Funnies

Well, I'm a little disappointed. Ricardo was the only one of you to write with the correct answer to the song. It was
"Walk Away Rene" by The Left Bank. And the clues were so good. I just knew I'd get lots of mail on that one. Now:
"You've got to give a little (Wa-hoo), take a little (Wa-hoo) and always have those blues a little, that's the story of, that's __ __ __ __" Clue: You gotta be a rock not to figure this one out, even it you don't know the song. (Ha) My weekend gift. If you remember the talking part, send me the best line of the song.
Today we spent the afternoon walking around in the center of town. We started with lunch at Doi Chaang coffe and then walked down to Nut's mom's restaurant. She was there, and showed us her latest jewelry designs. Soi mak (very beautiful) and pang mak (very expensive). She's now making things for the King's daughter. Oh my. From there we went into the market district and walked up and down the aisles, taking in the sights and smells.
This evening we had a little dinner party with 'The Family'. Jen, Nu, Third, and Pui joined us for a gourmet dinner based around fish dishes. We talked, laughed and had one of the best times we've ever had. During the course of the evening, we discussed the land we want to buy. Third is helping us deal with the land office and the owner. We showed them our plans and they gave us feedback. We asked them where the Garden Shrimp Restaurant was located and after much discussion, Third offered to take us tomorrow night. (we were thinking Sunday) We told him about our plans to go to the Festival with Boot and he invited her to come too. Boot agreed and we have a plan. The big joke was, Third is going to be out of town. Making plans for others. He wants to be a politician. Yep.
We're going to make our own Kratongs tomorrow. Boot will bring the parts and we'll assemble them ourselves. They will be made of banana leaves, stalk and some part of us. Hair, fingernail plus a coin and a candle. Sometimes flowers are involved. It should be fun and we'll take pictures of the process. Jen explained that they send the bad down the river to make way for the good. Hmm, making way for good is always cool.
After dinner, Third dropped us off at the NB for Kristy's last stand. We were doing good and then it started to sprinkle and all the merchants started packing up. Our holiday shopping is almost done. Whew.
I forgot to mention that the other day, when we went up north, we stopped off at Anantara, a resort across the road from the Hall of Opium. I know the general manager and he'd told me to come by anytime. Well, wouldn't you know that the day we went, Mark was in Nepal (another story). His assistant gave us the OK to roam around and we did, a little. This place starts at $300 a night, and we didn't want to overstay our welcome. The grounds are incredible. As we were leaving, we were asked if we wanted to see the elephant camp. Of course we would. We piled into a converted little car and made our way up to the camp. The elephants are the ones I told you about, that have been adopted by the resort. They live there with their 'families' and take the guest for rides and the guests can learn how to 'drive'. We got a chance to give them sugar cane and visit with the cutest 2 month old. Go to the Flickr site for pics.
It's time for the 'Funnies'. Have a Fun WeekEnd.


Critical Dog

Following a woman with a dog out of the movie theater, a man stopped
her and said, "I'm sorry to bother you, but I was amazed that your dog
seemed to get into the movie so much. He cried at the right spots,
moved nervously at the boring spots, and laughed like crazy at the
funny parts. Don't you find that unusual?" "Yes," she replied. "I find
it very unusual. Especially considering that he hated the book!"

Gettin' Funky, Thai Style

Thursday, November 22, 2007


Happy Thanksgiving! Whether you celebrate it or not, give some thanks. I'll admit, there is a dubious origin to the whole thing, but the concept is sound.
So, nobody knows the song? Oh my, where were you in '66? If you were a teen or older, you should know this one.
"Just __ __ __, You won't see me follow you back home. Now as the rain beats down upon my weary eyes, for me it cries." Hint: Her name has four letters and begins with an 'R'. That ought to spark something. (Ha)
Today was 'Wat Day'. First we traveled 13 kilometers south of town to Wat Rong Khun. The sun was breaking through the clouds as we arrived. Perfect. Part of the beauty of the 'White Temple' is the fact that there are little mirrors cut to fit the shape of most of the ornamentation. I told you about the place back in January, but for those who don't remember or weren't reading this, it's a temple constructed by a very prominent Thai artist named Chalermchai Kositpipat. He wanted to build an artistic tribute to The Buddha, for all to enjoy. It's named after the town he's from, and it's where he built it. In short, he wanted to leave a legacy. The temple has been under construction for about five years and is half done. If you want to know more about it, see Mr. Google. There are many sites, and lots of photos. (I put some on Flickr)
As we were approaching the Wat, Supat asked if we'd like to meet Chalermchai. There was a chorus of 'Yes' and he said he'd find him if he was there, and make sure we met him. Soon after he parked the car, he called me on his cell and directed me to where he was. There beside him was the artist. We got a very cordial reception, posed for pictures and he was delighted to learn that we lived in Chiang Rai. Then it was off to the main building, which is like a small chapel, for lack of a better word. Photos are not allowed inside, so you'll just have to come on over and see for yourself. The mural inside is finally complete on the back wall. It's a very dramatic political statement about, among other things, the oil monster.
There is a gift shop with T-shirts and posters of his art. We wandered around, looked at the detail in the sculptured work and set out for part two.
On our way to Wat Doi Kow Kwai, on top of Buffalo Hill, Supat spotted some people harvesting rice. He really wanted us to have the experience, so he pulled over. Kristy and I headed for the field while Lisa photographed the adventure. Supat gave us visual instruction and we were handed sickles and we went to work. The rice had already been pushed over, so we grabbed a bit of the stalk with the tip of the sickle, pulled it up, took it in hand and sliced the bunch. Set it aside and do it again. Now we know.
After the 'harvest', we headed for the hill. If you recall, this is the home of 'Sii Hoo, Ha Dtah', a mythical creature with 'four ears and five eyes', who eats hot coals and leaves gold for you to clean up. (nice job) This time we took turns ringing the big gong. When hit hard enough, there is a thumping overtone that sets the dogs to howling and vibrates in you chest. There was a woman there who rubbed the center of the gong and it rang in a high overtone. We all tried it, but Lisa was the only one to succeed. There are some fun pics on Flickr, so check it out.
We had another great lunch and just hung out for a while. Then Kristy went across the street and got the full treatment from our friend Roong. Massage and hair wash and style. After dinner we went to the NB for you know what.
Now it's time to relax. Have a Wonderful Day.


"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, November 21, 2007


First off, some of you may have been observant enough to notice that I sent yesterday's message from a different address. I still get mail at the gmail address, but I'm having trouble sending. The .mac address is my secondary address.
It seems that Bill Withers slipped by a bunch of you. "Lean On Me" was the song, back in 1972. Now you know.
"Just __ __ __ You won't see me follow you back home. The empty sidewalks on my block are not the same. You're not to blame" Clue: Title includes a girl's name, group named for a side of a river. Hmm.
Well, it rained last night and this morning. Not heavy, but by the time we were ready to go sight seeing, we needed to change our plans. We cancelled the trip to the hill and Wat Rong Khun and headed north for the Opium Museum. On the way, we passed the Museum of Buddha and I told Supat that we'd like to see it. We were the only ones to enter a large open building. All around the perimeter were bronze statues of mostly seated Buddhas, from every era of Thai history as well as surrounding countries. Supat and the guide explained what set each one apart. We now know that the expression on the face, the fullness of the face, etc., reflects the conditions of the people at the time. If there was peace and prosperity, Buddha's face was usually full and smiling. We spent almost an hour, getting acquainted with the finer points of Thai art and legend.
From there we continued toward our goal, but hunger struck. We were taken to Cafe de River (and resort) on the banks of the Mae Kong. What a trip. The place was empty, and our trusty friend knew that they had tables by the water. So, we went down a brief, but scary, flight of stairs and took a table looking out on the river, and Laos on the other side. We had a delicious lunch and were treated to a couple of guys fishing, just as we finished. When I say fishing, I mean 'Old School". They were casting nets on the water. I think I got a couple of good shots. The whole thing will be on the Flickr page.
We finally made it to the museum. We spent one and a half hours learning more than we wanted to know about the whole world of opium. It was like a crash world history lesson, an economics class, and a bold look at the devious nature of many governments. It was a beautifully executed presentation in a modern, three-story building. When you come to visit, you'll have to see it for yourself.
Then it was on to the border. We drove to Chiang Saen for picture taking at the Golden Triangle and shopping. (more pics) After that we headed for Mae Sai and the border with Myanmar/Burma. It's a mad little border city that was just preparing for the evening bazaar. We went to the top of Scorpion Hill and looked down on the city and the border. We wound our way through the market place and stopped for some treats we remembered from January. They look like tortillas, made from black sesame flour, heated on a grill, sugar added in the middle and then rolled up. Yum.
Tomorrow we'll go to Wat Rong Khun and then another major local artist. The afternoon will probably be spent cruising downtown.
Have a Wacky Wednesday.

"Friendships begin because, even without words, we understand how someone feels."
~Joan Walsh Anglund

Gettin' Funky, Thai Style

Tuesday, November 20, 2007


We just got back from the NB. It's about 10:45 at night on Tuesday. Kristy arrived this afternoon. When we got back to the house, Boot presented her with a little Jasmine garland that she'd picked up on her way to the house this morning. I think it made Kristy feel very welcome.
After a nap, we had one of Boot's great fish dinners and headed out into the streets. It was fun, taking someone around and watching their eyes as they discovered new things. After a tour of the NB we went over and caught Freddie at the Wiang Inn. We're back home and we're beat.
Tomorrow we go on tour. First we'll go up to the top of Buffalo Hill and look out on the city. It's a great perspective from up there. Then we'll go down to Wat Rong Khun. One of Kristy's friends told her she just had to see the place, and ironically, it was at the top of our list.
We'll return to the house for lunch and then travel north, to the Golden Triangle, the Opium Museum and Mai Sei (at the border with Burma) It will be a long afternoon, but worth it.
"You just call on me brother, when you need a hand, we all need somebody to __ __..." Hint: I don't think you need one.
Have a Happy Tuesday and I'll fill you in on our travels tomorrow.


"However many holy words you read,
However many you speak,
What good will they do you
If you do not act upon them?"

Gettin' Funky, Thai Style

Monday, November 19, 2007


And, we're back. What a nice weekend. Hope you had the same. The weather here is wonderful. We're in that time of year when it's not too hot and not too cold.
Quite a few of you remembered the theme from "Shaft", by Issac Hayes. Here's another one from the same era:
"__ __ __ When you're not strong I'll be your friend I'll help you carry on..." Hint: This tune became a bit of an anthem, and even inspired a movie title. The singer was careful to avoid singing 'I know' on this one. (Ha)
We're kind of excited around here. Our friend Kristy arrives tomorrow afternoon for a five day visit. It's our first opportunity to play tour guide and show off our new country. We haven't done many touristy things since we've been here. So, we're going to hit some of the high points of Northern Thailand. There will, of course, be lots of pictures during the week.
I don't know if I mentioned it or not, but it's been like the 4th of July around here for several weeks. Fireworks of all kinds are being set off every night. Big ones, little ones, whistling ones and hissing ones. It's all a lead-up to the Loi Kratong Festival that begins on Wednesday. Remember the Friendship Festival banner (on Flickr)? Well, for a week, everyone will converge on a portion of the Mae Kok river, near the property we're looking at, to set little floral arrangements with candles, on the river. The purpose is to pay tribute to the water and ask forgiveness for harming the water. I suspect that the visual will be something to behold. Imagine a river, filled with flowers and flame, slowly moving along. Some put offerings of food on the arrangements, some put money. Boot told us that sometime kids wait downstream and take the money. Hmm. The tradition was to make the whole thing with a base made from a coconut shell, but now a lot are made with foam. (not good for the river) Anyway, we'll be there.
Today we went to Bangkok Bank and opened a new account. It was Monday morning and the place was full of people, patiently waiting for their place at one of the windows. We didn't have to wait as long since we were dealing with a new account, but it still took a while. Some, who had been there when we arrived, were still waiting when we left. No one was complaining. Amazing. The system works.
There's a flock of birds that come to the yard every evening, like clockwork, and create a chirping frenzy. And then it stops, and then it starts. After while they either leave, or go to sleep. We haven't figured that out yet. Boot thinks they stay here, leave for the day and then come home in the evening. That'll work. We all trip on it every day.
Have a Fantastic Week. Today's quote is from my dear friend Brenda.


"Life is so short and it is all about grace and gratitude isn't it?"

Gettin' Funky, Thai Style

Friday, November 16, 2007

Friday Funnies

I'm so relieved to see that recall is intact. A bunch of you knew "Time After Time" by Cyndi Lauper. Lane sent this:
Time After Time" was a single by singer Cyndi Lauper the second from her She's so Unusual album, and it reached #1 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 charts on June 9, 1984. The song was at #1 for two weeks and to date is her second highest charting and most commercially successful single worldwide after "Girls Just want to Have Fun". "Time After Time" was nominated for Song of the Year at the 1985 grammy Awards. The ballad is considered a classic of the 1980's and is still played frequently on adult contemporary radio.
"Time After Time" has been covered, either in live performance or on a recording, by at least 120 different artists across a broad spectrum of genres, including Blaque(on Blaque, 1999),Eva Cassidy, Allison Crowe,Miles Davis, (on Your'e under Arrest, 1985),Dilana,Distant Soundz Dilana, Distant Soundz, DJ Sammy, Dover, Everything But the Girl, Eddie Money and Juice Newton (as a duet). So now you know. One of my favorite covers is the Miles Davis one mentioned above.
"Who is the man that would risk his neck for his brother man? (__) Can ya dig it?" Hint: It was the main theme for a movie of the same name. Early 70s when a new genre of film was 'labeled'. Another line in the song ends with 'shut yo mouth'.
Today we went over to Big C for some basic shopping and a larger mattress for the guest room. The young woman in the mattress department greats us with a big smile and a little laughter these days. I guess she knows what she's in for. We go through a certain communication dance, and it all works out. We found what we were looking for. Also, I found a pendent I'd been looking for. It's of Jatukam Rammatape, who is a Buddhist angel from the Thai tradition. What caught my attention was the fact that he is often depicted as very black, with gold pants. How could I not be intrigued? Anyway, there's a place in Big C that had the size I wanted, and offered to paint it. I'll take a picture.
Tonight we went to the "Happiness Street Health Economic Corridor, Chiang Rai, Fair". I know, it's a mouthful. It was also a street full. Boot told us about it and suggested that we go. I'm glad we did, it was a very interesting cultural experience. The street was closed off and there were booths and tables set up so it was like a NB. Lots of school kids manning tables, selling crafts for organizations. There was a traditional dance exhibition, a DJ who had things rockin', a pair of Lanna singers who included us in their lyrics, a traditional instrumental group, a drum/gong group, and last but not least, a country/western quartet. There was enough food to feed everybody there and have some left over. We had a hard time leaving because there were hip-hop dancers performing in front of the DJ and it was a wall of humanity. We got around it and ran into another wall at the aerobic dance performance. Next year, bigger street.
Next week begins the 'Friendship Festival' at the river. We'll take you with us as we float flowers and candles on the river. Should be quite a sight.
Well, it's time for the 'Funnies' and a wish for you to have a Fun WeekEnd.


PS Check out the Flickr site this weekend.


Dickson's Gardening Rule: When weeding, the best way to make sure you are
removing a weed and not a valuable plant is to pull on it. If it comes
out of the ground easily, it is a valuable plant.

The easiest way to find something lost around the house is to buy a

One good turn gets most of the blankets.

An unbreakable toy is useful for breaking other toys.

ASCII stupid question, get a stupid ANSI.

A closed mouth gathers no feet.

Health is merely the slowest possible rate at which one can die.

It's not hard to meet expenses, they're everywhere.

Jury -- Twelve people who determine which client has the better lawyer.

If you want your spouse to listen and pay strict attention to every word
you say, talk in your sleep.

Gettin' Funky, Thai Style

Thursday, November 15, 2007


Well, we're back home, safe and sound. We had another speedy trip up the highway. Even with two stops to let people off, we made it in 2:45. Before we left, we went out this morning and checked out Pantip Plaza, Chiang Mai style. It's a building devoted to all things tech/IT/entertainment. Oh what fun, looking. We marveled at their fast escalators. They really zipped along. The place was just waking up when we arrived and some of the vendors had displays out, but they weren't there to take our money. I got a cooling fan for my laptop, a little flat tray with three fans in it. There's also some new software in the house. We'll see how that works.
"If you're lost you can look and you will find me, __ __ __" Hint: She wasn't so unusual, she just wanted to have fun. Think mid 80s, big hit.
Not much else is happening. Boot was here when we got home. She'd opened up the house and started dinner. Even though we were only gone for one night, it seemed like a long time. It was good to get home. I think all the walking around the NB took a toll on our legs, when you figure the day before, we went on the bike ride. Have to move into these things gradually.
Tomorrow things will return to 'normal' (Ha). We'll try to move the land verification forward, and make a few changes around here.
Have the best Thursday you've had all week.


"We don't trip over mountains,
It's the pebbles in the road that get us."

Gettin' Funky, Thai Style

Wednesday, November 14, 2007


I'm writing you from downtown Chiang Mai. We're at the Royal Princess, right in the middle of the NB. Very intense environment, to say the least. It must be five times as big as 'our' NB in CR. Our bus ride down was quite a trip. The 'GreenBus' is a Mercedeso-Benz and we've never been in more comfortable seats. They should be standard on airplanes. Tomorrow I'll try and get a few pics of the inside. We even had a 'hostess' who came around with bottled water and a snack after we started traveling. We watched a video of a popular TV variety show, and at the end of our journey, we were given hand wipes. The trip took just under three hours. We'll be doing this more often.
So, it would appear that some of you had your memories wiped. You couldn't remember "Goin' Out Of My Head" by Little Anthony and The Imperials. I gave you such good hints. Oh well, today you get another chance with this one:
"Lying in my bed I hear the clock tick and think of you. Caught up in circles, confusion is nothing new.."
Hint: It's time some of you got one of these songs.
I'm going to be brief (he always says that) because I'm on the clock. I had to buy time on the internet. Ugh. We went to the Immigration Bureau this afternoon and got our re-entry stamp so we can come and go as we please. It took about an hour and a half, but it wasn't unpleasant. Then we walked down the street to the Central Mall, the huge place I told you about before. We strolled around, discovered things we didn't see the first two times and returned to the hotel. One interesting thing was a market inside the mall, complete with fresh fruits and vegetables, and a bakery. Hmm.
After-thoughts: On our way down here, we passed a another bus that had a motorcycle inside, in the back. While we were waiting for our room to be ready, they brought us a mixed fruit cocktail, complete with tiny pieces of all the fruit, floating on top. Yum.
It's time for a Wacky Wednesday.


"A thankful heart is not only the greatest virtue,
but the parent of all other virtues."

Gettin' Funky, Thai Style

Tuesday, November 13, 2007


Every day, there's something that comes up that I want to share with you, and then I forget what it is. I need to carry our little voice recorder around and make 'notes of the day', so I don't get all feeble on you. There's so much input, some days, that it's like the head gets full. Sometimes it's new information and sometimes it's stuff generated internally.
Like right now, my minds is trying to imagine various parts of our proposed house. There will be two floors, but how to get from bottom to top. How much room between the house and the pool, and the pool and the sala. How tall should the wall be, how many plugs should I put in the studio and can I have 110 plugs installed along with 220. The mind is spinning, and I don't want it to stop. Hmm, don't worry folks, I'm OK.
"I want you to want me, I need you so badly, I can't think of anything but you... And I think I'm __ __ __ __ __ over you..." Clues: He'll shed tears on his pillow, if you don't get this. Night and day and night....
The little adventure begins tomorrow morning. Khun Sing will pick us up and take us to the bus station. Boot told us the trip takes about four hours by bus, with one stop. I'm hoping it doesn't rain. That would make it longer. We managed to find the location of the immigration office, so once we handle our business, it will be a mini vacation.
Chiang Mai is a major metropolis compared to Chiang Rai. Even though we've been there twice in the last two months, we were not totally in charge of our own agenda and someone else knew where to go. This time we're on our own. We do that well.
Oh, we went out this morning, for our first real bike ride. We rode for about half an hour, around the hood. We took a route that we walked a few weeks ago. This time it was easy. The bikes are light and balanced so it makes it fun.
Well, guess it's time to decide what to wear on the bus. (like it's a big fashion thing) Have a Happy Tuesday.


"The most important single ingredient in the formula of
success is knowing how to get along with people."
~Theodore Roosevelt

Gettin' Funky, Thai Style

Monday, November 12, 2007


I understand that you, in the U.S. are observing a holiday today. Over here, the beat goes on, but remembering is good.
Speaking of remembering, some of you remembered "Walk Like A Man" by Frankie Vali and the Four Seasons. Do you know this one? "I want you to want me I need you so badly I can't think of anything but you.." Hint: It's by a group, fronted by a 'little' guy, and he's losing his mind (so to speak).
Saturday we had lunch with our new friend Dee. Very interesting guy from England. He's been in LOS (Land of Smles) a long time. He raised a daughter by himself and teaches English at an elementary school. He's a landscape architect by profession and has been involved in the building of many houses. We got lots of good tips and information and got some great insights into the culture. At one point we were talking about the way Thai people seem to ask questions that are considered personal in the west. We're always asked our age, how much we sold our house for, what do we do, why are we here, and on and on. He explained that there's a need to know how we fit into their lives. The age thing, for instance, has to do with the level of respect we are due. Since we are older, we are given more respect than if we were the same age. It's a simplified version of a complex social structure. We talked about the land that Supat had found. Dee said he'd check it out and tell us about it on Sunday.
Sunday Dee and Supat came over and Dee had drawn a diagram of the property, and had written out points that made the land fit into our desires. The excitement level began to build. Today we went out and saw the land. It's north of town and near the Maekok River. There's a large house next door that's owned by a really nice policeman. After looking and talking about the area, the neighbor invited us to come and look at his house. It's a beautiful Thai style house with lots of wood. At one point, we entered a room that was like a shrine room, with pictures of Buddha and the King and Queen. Supat noticed a very nice medallion and asked about it. Apparently it was given to our host by the Queen. We were duly impressed. We got copies of the Chanote (the deed) and we'll have it checked out at the land office.
Earlier today we went by Fat Free and paid for our new bikes. Later, they delivered them to the house. I'm loving the service here. I got a chance to go for a quick spin before dark and I'm very happy. The bikes are from Taiwan and they're kind of a unisex style that looks like what would be called a 'girls bike' in the west. They came with a basket, a rack on the back and a bell. (ding ding)
Oh, last night we went to the Night Bazaar for a round of shopping. We also went to the bus station, which is right next door. We bought tickets for our first 'solo' road trip to Chiang Mai. Wednesday morning we're taking the V.I.P. bus (also known as the big green bus) for an overnighter. We will be going to immigration to get 're-entry permits' so when we leave in December and March, we can get back into the country. We'll stay in a hotel, visit the local NB and come back Thursday.
Now you know all our business to date. I'll be posting a picture of the new bike, the land and more motorbike shots.
Have a Wonderfilled Week.


PS Don't forget to visit the Flickr site.

"Nothing is good or bad, but thinking makes it so."

Gettin' Funky, Thai Style

Friday, November 9, 2007

Friday Funnies


Whoa, another Friday already. We ended the week with the promise of pressure. Water pressure, that is. We met with the waterworks guy and we're getting a 'Lucky Star' pump, with a two year guarantee and, as he put it, 'strong water'.

Check out this segue. Speaking of water, I'm impressed with how many remembered "Aqualung" by Jethro Tull. It had nothing to do with water, but oh well. Let's head back to 1963, when there were seasons, and we had to walk places.

"Oh, how you tried, to cut me down to size, tellin' dirty lies to my friends. But my own father said: 'Give her up, don't bother. The world isn't comin' to an end.' He said, __ __ __ __, talk like a man __ __ __ __ my son." Clues: You got your clues already.

Tomorrow we're having lunch with Dee, who we hope will become a new friend. Then we'll probably cruise down to the boulevard.

I'm going to sign off early today so I can make way for the 'Funnies'. These were sent in by Blue. Have a Fantastic WeekEnd.



Dear Redneck Son,

I'm writing this slow because I know you can't read fast. We don't live where we did when you left home. Your dad read in the newspaper that most accidents happen within 20 miles of your home, so we moved. I won't be able to send you the address because the last Lousiana family that lived here took the house numbers when they moved so they won't have to change their address.

This place is really nice. It even has a washing machine. I'm not sure about it. I put a load of clothes in and pulled the chain. We haven't seen them since!

The weather isn't bad here. It only rained twice last week; the first time for 3 days and the second time for 4 days.

About that coat you wanted me to send; your uncle Billy Bob said it would be too heavy to send in the mail with the buttons on, so we cut them off and put them in the pockets.

Bubba locked the keys in the car yesterday. We were really worried because it took him two hours to get me and your father out!

Your sister had a baby this morning, but I haven't found out what it is yet I don't know if you're an aunt or an uncle.

Uncle Bobby Ray fell into a whiskey vat last week. Some men tried to pull him out but he fought them off and drowned. We had him cremated, he burned for days!

Three of your friends went off a bridge in a pickup truck. Butch was driving. He rolled down the window and swam to safety. Your other two friends were in the back. They drowned because they couldn't get the tailgate down!

There isn't much more news at this time. Nothing much out of the normal has happened.

Your favorite aunt,

Gettin' Funky, Thai Style

Thursday, November 8, 2007


Today was pretty cool. We went by the lot with Pat and Boot, then downtown to get an amplifier for the living-room
sound. I spent most of the afternoon getting it all to work. Now we can listen to our CDs, tapes and my iPod. I'm still working on getting proper sound from the turntable, but I'll figure it out.
I knew I'd hit a nerve with at least a few of my rock friends. I've had a certain musical line going through my head all day. It came from this: "Feeling alone, the army's up the road, salvation a la mode and a cup of tea. __ my friend, don't start away uneasy..." Clues: Lane tells us the '71 LP of the same name has sold over 7 million copies.
While we were walking around downtown, near the market section, we saw one of the people I told you about yesterday. We heard the sound of a bicycle horn. I turn and saw a giant cart filled with ladders and brooms. I'll post a few pics on Flickr. We saw him again in another part of town later. He gets around.
It's finally been determined that what we need is a pump, to increase water pressure. There's a place called the 'waterworks' that's been suggested. Tomorrow may be the day. Think about it. When you come to visit you'd like to have some hot water, right? Of course you would. And when did you say you're coming? (Ha)
Oh, another interesting thing happened today. I went out to the front yard to get some perspective before we went to the property. Trying to imagine a different structure, and where the pool would be. I heard a bike at the gate and thought it might be Boot. It was Gai, a neighbor who works at Sinthanee. She stopped by on her way to work to return the blender that didn't work. Can you imagine Best Buy or Target doing that? Neither can I.
That led us to a brief discussion about preferential treatment. They (BB and Target) may do that sort of thing for their rich clients, we don't know. Considering all the stuff we bought at Sinthanee, maybe they consider us to be rich. (Big Ha) Of course, by Thai standards, I guess we would be rich. We try not to 'act' like we are, and we don't buy the most expensive stuff, but most falangs that are not just passing through are probably considered rich. Hmm. You're as rich as you think you are. Actually, I think the return of the blender was more in keeping with 'The Thai Way'.
Have an Abundant Day.


"Don't try to reason with your heart
or feel with your mind
for just as the heart knows no logic,
the mind can't lead you to your soul."

Gettin' Funky, Thai Style

Wednesday, November 7, 2007


Water pressure's up, felt hot water in the kitchen, briefly. It was a good day all around. OK, it was a great day. We went out this afternoon and looked at another property. This one has great potential. It's not in the city mix, but not too far out either. More later.
I'm so glad you all let me know that you knew the song. I was about to talk bad about you. (Ha) "Daydream Believer" was the last major Monkees hit in '67. Lane sent in the info. Also it was #1 for four weeks. Barry wrote in with the little known (at the time) fact that the boys didn't write or sing the early hits. Teens were very forgiving in those days.
For a little diversion, we're going to wander to the other side of rock. Who remembers this one with the 'drive your parents mad' lyrics: "Sitting on a park bench, eyeing little girls with bad intent...." Hint: Not really about a diving device at all, by a group who's namesake was not it's lead singer, as most thought. Great musical riff.
It struck me today, after we walked among the weeds of one rai and change (I've explained the rai, but 2.5= 1 acre) that it was about four times as big as the Nina lot. Hmm, that ought to be big enough for something grand.
Another observation: There is no escrow, so you never really know what someone may be trying to sell you. It may not be totally theirs. Now that's enough to perk up the paranoia. Today's outing was with a bank. Felt safe. One of my intentions, from the beginning, was to find a way to know about foreclosures on land. There are many speculators buying up land in Chiang Rai, because it's growing fast. Time will tell, but a little piece of it is waiting for us.
There are sound that one hears in neighborhoods, that have specific meaning. If you don't know, they just seem like noise. There is the thud of a wood block that travels slowly down the street, the 'ting' of a small bell, each calling out to tell everyone that someone special is coming by. There's the knife sharpener, for instance. When you hear the sound, you grab your knives and take them to the cart. There are services like this in many cultures. Some die out, some continue. Oscar Brown Jr. wrote a song about 'Rags and Old Iron'. He told the story of a horse drawn cart and the man who bought rags and old iron. Then there was the man in Japan that inspired Blue to write 'Yakimo'. This man pushed a cart through the neighborhoods selling sweet potato pies and treats. When you think about it, we had the Good Humor Man, the vegetable truck, etc. Now there are 'one stop trucks' that cruise some neighborhoods with all sorts of products. And the Beat Goes On. (but that's another song)
Have a Wonderful Wacky Wednesday.


"Do not believe in anything simply
because you have heard it.

Do not believe in anything simply
because it is spoken and rumored by many.

Do not believe in anything simply
because it is found written in your religious books.

Do not believe in anything merely on the
authority of your teachers and elders.

Do not believe in traditions because
they have been handed down for many generations.

But after observation and analysis, when
you find that anything agrees with reason
and is conducive to the good and benefit of one
and all, then accept it and live up to it."

Gettin' Funky, Thai Style

Tuesday, November 6, 2007


Boy, there must be a lot going on over there. Only one brave person admitted knowing the song. And Linda still has to go back to the drawing board. I gave you the group yesterday. Today I'm practically giving you the song. The chorus:
"Cheer up sleepy Jean. Oh, what can it mean To a __ __ And a homecoming queen.." Hint: Some of us used to get accused of doing this during school. Who me?
Today the water was back in the kitchen and the pressure in the shower is stronger. I'm not even going to begin to try and figure it all out. I have come to the conclusion that we are subjects in a test. We are, for all intents and purposes, the first tenants in this house. Someone may have lived here years ago, but Boon Serm and his wife have never been landlords. As a consequence, we're all flying blind. Imagine, if you will, that your living in an environment where the person you rent from doesn't speak your language, lives on the property, still considers the space you rent as theirs (like wandering in, unannounced), and thinks everything is fine, in spite of the obvious. It's still a wonderful life and I wouldn't trade it in, for the most part, but that's a capsule of the essence. We've been 'training' them about coming into the house and Boot has let them know that they can come in if we invite them. Same way vampires have to behave.
The weather is changing here. It's winter time. There are basically three seasons here: Rainy, Winter and Hot. We had a few really cold days over the weekend but it looks like we'll have a warm week, during the day. It's supposed to be in the mid 80s during the day and the low 60s at night. For many here, the nights are a problem because they don't have warm clothes. Last year many got very sick because of exposure. This year there have been drives to collect warm sweaters and jackets to donate to those in need. We brought warm clothes because we knew it would be cold in New Zealand when we go in March. Looks like we'll be wearing those things sooner.
Today we went to a store we'd never been to with Pat and got a heater. Very slick number for the bathroom. It's like a three foot tower of heat. Should be great for after a shower on a cold 'winter' night. The store had tons of stuff that we didn't have time to investigate. Most of it was from China, some of it looked good and some looked questionable. There has always been a strong Chinese presence in Northern Thailand (history lesson later), and with the trade routes opening up, more and more goods are being imported.
We also discovered another major market district. Supat got a call from Boot saying she needed trash bags. We were taken into this dense maze of streets where everything is sold. Foods of every description, 'bags' (we were taken to the plastic bag store), cut flowers, clothes, etc. We'll definitely be going back for a real excursion.
Well, time to go. We've been having a Dark Angel marathon and we just started season 2. (the DVD would make a nice holiday gift for some travelers I know)


"One determined person can make a significant difference; a
small group of determined people can change the course of
~Sonia Johnson

Gettin' Funky, Thai Style

Monday, November 5, 2007


So, I guess that all of you on the west coast have fallen back by now. We don't do that, as far as we can tell. What it means to us is that we're now 15 hours ahead of you. It also means we don't have to change the time on all the clocks and watches. I won't even attempt to explain how time is told here. Maybe later.
I'm quite shocked and surprised that nobody knew "In-A-Godda-Da-Vida", by Iron Butterfly. Hmm, you must have been pondering the clock. Oh well, maybe you'll remember this one, by a group with an animal name who had a TV show that was very silly. "Oh, I could hide 'neath the wings of the bluebird as she sings. A six-o'clock-alarm would never ring..."
We had a quiet weekend, hanging around the house. Most of the energy was spent on 'water drama'. A pipe broke up the street and we had no water in the kitchen all weekend. It wasn't a major deal, but it was irritating. Lots of little observations though. Saturday night someone across the street was playing a drum. After a while there was singing to the drum. I really enjoyed that. Another reason why we want to live around people. There's just so much culture to absorb.
Today we went to Overbrook Hospital to see about getting flu shots and see about our last Hep B vaccination. We were greeted by a charming woman who helped us get situated. I'm pretty sure we got some preferential treatment because the waiting room was real busy and we were taken upstairs very quickly. When we went back downstairs to the pharmacy, we met a couple from a town south of here. He's from Seattle, and has been here seven years. His wife is Thai and they were very nice. We exchanged numbers at the end of a visit that helped the time go by. When they called us to the counter, they forgot to tell us where to go for our shot. The woman returned with two small plastic bags. In the bags were vials and a needle. My first thought was, 'no way'. She directed us to the 'treatment room' where a nurse gave us our shots. Whew!
This afternoon, I was looking out at the yard and saw what appeared to be a squirrel. We had wondered if there were squirrels in Thailand. It was sitting on a tree stump, and then jumped to a tree and then to another. The thing that made it so amazing was that it was white. Hmm, an albino squirrel? I went to my old friend Mr. Google and discovered that it's a species that lives here and also in Burma and Indochina, and they're white. Now I'll be on the look-out for more.
Oh, our circle of friends is widening even more. Supat had told us about an architect friend who taught him English. He said he'd arrange for us to meet him. Then we got a call from Boot on Sunday and she was visiting with the same man. His name is Dee and he's English and he's been here ten years. Lisa spoke with him on the phone and he's coming to lunch next Saturday. Now we may have someone to help us design our house, who understands Thai and Western building. It's all falling into place.
Have a Fabulous Week.


"It is never too late to be what you might have been."
~George Eliot

Gettin' Funky, Thai Style

Friday, November 2, 2007

Friday Funnies


Well, I sounds like some of you really got in the 'spirit' of things. I got mail, reporting in on costumes and kids. In the costume department, Jimmy has to get a prize for this one. "I put a chair on my head and went as a piece of gum". Brilliant. I mean, it's just so 'out'. Linda was The Devil, C-Bass went out as Borat (he got mistaken for Sonny Bono, who he didn't know) and August was (what else?) a DJ. August did the Trick or Treat deal for just a little while. His thing is giving out the candy. He's loved it for years. This year he had sound effects going and a strobe light. We predict that in years to come, he'll have traffic backed up on their street, just to see what he's done.

Congrats to all the gouls and gobblins who knew "The Monster Mash" by Bobby 'Boris' Pickett, 1962. Linda sent this:

"Pickett was an aspiring actor who sang with a band called The Cordials at night while going to auditions during the day. One night, while performing with his band, Pickett did a monologue in imitation of horror movie actor Boris Karloff while performing The Diamonds' "Little Darlin'". The audience loved it and fellow band member, Lenny Capizzi encouraged Pickett to do more with the Karloff imitation. Pickett and Capizzi composed "Monster Mash" and recorded it with Gary
Paxton, Leon Russell, Johnny McCrae and Rickie Page, credited as "The Cryptkickers". This song was partially inspired by Paxton's earlier novelty hit "Alley Oop", as well as by the Mashed Potato dance craze of the era." And now you know.

"__-__-__-__-__, honey Don't you know that I love you __-__-__-__-__, baby, Don't you know that I'll always be true. Oh, won't you come with me and take my hand? Oh, won't you come with me and walk this land? Please take my hand..." Clues: The guitar riff in this song has been know to send grown people into a mono-syllabic frenzy, bobbing their heads and chanting words they don't understand. The song had one verse and one chorus, said little, but became an anthem. Oh, group is named for something that is probably, physically impossible.

We did more work on the house today. A man came and put some boards down in the attic so we can store stuff up there. We went into town for our lesson, but first we stopped by 'The August Store' (the one with all the mixing gear and things that plug in) to exchange a 'step-down' that fried. A 'step-down' is a transformer of sorts, that plugs into the 220v wall socket and converts the power to 120v so we westerners can have our devices from 'home'. We've found that many items will work with the 220v plugs, like cell-phone chargers, computer power supplies, etc. So, that's a part of the new life, dealing with truly alternating currents. This is going to be an interesting adventure in itself.

We also paid our first phone bill today. Actually, it's the house phone and we don't ever use it. We get calls, but we usually have Boot talk to the caller, since it's always in Thai, and mostly sales people. The bill was $3.90 for the month. Can you imagine your base phone bill being the much (or that little)?? Even if we start making outgoing calls, it's still a deal.

And now, I think it's time for the 'Funnies', sent in by Blue a while back. Have a Great WeekEnd.



A Gift for Mama

Four brothers left home for college, and they became successful doctors
and lawyers and prospered. Some years later, they chatted after having dinner
together. They discussed the gifts they were able to give their elderly
mother who lived far away in another city.

The first said, "I had a big house built for Mama."

The second said, "I had a hundred thousand dollar theater built in the house."

The third said "I had my Mercedes dealer deliver an SL600 to her."

The fourth said, "You know how Mama loved reading the Bible and you know
she can't read anymore because she can't see very well. I met this preacher
who told me about a parrot that can recite the entire Bible. It took twenty
preachers 12 years to teach him. I had to pledge to contribute $100,000 a
year for twenty years to the church, but it was worth it. Mama just has to
name the chapter and verse and the parrot will recite it."

The other brothers were impressed. After the holidays Mom sent out her
thank you notes. "She wrote: "Milton, the house you built is so huge. I live
in only one room, but I have to clean the whole house. Thanks anyway."

"Marvin, I am too old to travel. I stay home, I have my groceries
delivered, so I never use the Mercedes. The thought was good. Thanks."

"Michael, you gave me an expensive theater with Dolby sound, it could hold
50 people, but all my friends are dead, I've lost my hearing and I'm nearly
blind. I'll never use it. Thank you for the gesture just the same."

"Dearest Melvin, you were the only son to have the good sense to give
little thought to your gift. The chicken was delicious. Thank you."

Gettin' Funky, Thai Style

Thursday, November 1, 2007


Well, did you dress up? Did you celebrate Halloween? I know, it's for kids. (Riiiight) I'll bet you ate some candy though.
"Out from his coffin, Drac's voice did ring. Seems he was troubled by just one thing. He opened the lid and shook his fist And said, 'Whatever happened to my Transylvania twist?' It's now __ __, __ __ __..." You need no clues. If you don't know, you don't know. Ask a kid, big or small.
I'm sitting here watching Thai Music Videos. I'm mostly listening, but sometimes I look up and get drawn into the story. Most of them have these gentle stories of love found, love lost, with very sweet characters. Of course, that's just the station I'm watching. There are more 'western' styles for sure. I'm watching one by Potato and the band doesn't sing in person until the end of the clip.
More progress was made with regards to the settling in. We're still in a dilemma as to how to deal with all the paintings and pictures that we'd love to hang. The concrete bricks mean drilling holes, putting in anchors and then patching it all when we leave. Hmm, I'm working on a frame system so we could show Lisa's art without harming the house, too much.
We stayed in all day today. Tomorrow will be another story. We've got basic shopping to do, and a Thai lesson. We're getting closer to the idea of getting a vehicle. Tired of Tuk-Tuks, and tired of being dependent on someone else to go where we want to go. Khun Singh is very nice, drives slow and easy, but it's still out there in the wind and you have to plan what we want to bring home. So, I'm thinkin' four-door pickup, the small kind. We'll see. First, we get bikes.
I guess you can tell that I haven't much to say today. Oh, there's a bird that comes to the same tree limb every afternoon at the same time and squawks his little beak off. I haven't decided if he's calling his family in for the night or just trying to get a date. (Ha)
Enjoy your day and stay out of the candy.


"You can make your world so much larger
simply by acknowledging everyone else's."
~Jeanne Marie Laskas

Gettin' Funky, Thai Style