Friday, February 29, 2008

Friday Funnies

Hi,
I guess a bunch of the regulars are on vacation. I really expected to hear from them. Send a post-card or something. Speaking of vacations, just a reminder that we'll be in Bali from #3 to #11 of March. It's so much fun, referring to days by their actual number instead of third. It's number 3. I'll try to send this message every day, but if you don't get your email, look for it on the blog site.
We went over to Overbrook hospital today. They took a couple of x-rays of my hip and spine. Fortunately, the medicine he gave me is what I'd been taking, ibuprofen. I got a shot today that seemed to help. I have a strained ligament. Can you say 'ouch'? The whole thing was much less than it would have been in the states.
I'll bet you were going to get out without a song for the weekend. Ha! Not a chance. I get sidetracked sometimes, but I can still remember a few things. "Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic" by The Police was the song. I just know you know this one: "I feel like this is the beginning, though I've loved you for a million years. And If I thought of our love ending, I'd find myself drowning in my own tears.
__ __ __ __ __ __ __..." Clue: According to the joke below, the artist plays golf. There's a word in the title that you, in L.A., haven't seen a lot of for a while. Trivia: This song and the last one had titles with seven words. Hmm.
End of the week observations. Whether you're in Thailand or any other country where you don't speak the language natively, never present a question with an answer included. For instance: 'Is this whole wheat?' Answer: Yes. The correct approach is to ask 'What kind of bread is this?' or better still 'what bread is this?' or a variation of pigeon English. Remember the clerk at the Wancome Hotel, where we lived for a month. His job was to stand at the counter and nod his head and say yes. He didn't understand a third of what we ask, but he always made us feel like he understood. Dangerous, when you're trying to find out something important. Anyway, we now ask very carefully.
The other thing we've noticed is that key words can change the concentration and focus (in any language) to the point where you'll ask a simple question and get a sentence back that has nothing to do with what you ask. Or, you ask why and the answer is 'yes'. Huh?
It's time for the 'Funnies', dedicated to all my golfing buddies. No, I don't play, but I know people who hit balls and walk a lot. Have a Mellow March WeekEnd. Oh, and Happy Leap Year Day, if there is such a thing.

Peace,
Danny


Stevie Wonder and Jack Nicklaus are in a bar. Stevie mentions that they ought
to get together and play a few holes.

"You play golf?" asks Jack.

Stevie says, "Yes, I have been playing for years."

"But I thought you were blind; how can you play golf if you are blind?" Jack
asks.

"I get my caddie to stand in the middle of the fairway and he calls to me. I
listen for the sound of his voice and play the ball towards him, then when I
get to where the ball lands the caddie moves to the green or further down the
fairway and again I play the ball towards his voice," explains Stevie.

"But how do you putt?" Nicklaus wondered.

"Well," says Stevie, "I get my caddie to lean down in front of the hole and
call to me with his head on the ground and I just play the ball to the sound
of his voice."

Nicklaus says, "What is your handicap?"

"Well, I play off scratch," Stevie assures Jack.

Nicklaus is incredulous and says to Stevie, "We must play a game sometime."

Wonder replies, "Well, people don`t take me seriously so I only play for
money, and I never play for less than $100,000 a hole."

Nicklaus thinks it over and says, "OK, I`m up for that. When would you like
to play?"

"I don`t care - any night next week is OK with me."


Gettin' Funky, Thai Style

www.flickr.com/photos/gratidudepics

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Sow (This was Wednesday's Message-Sorry)

Hi,
I'm a little late today. We've been watching the Oscars here in LOS. I was surprised to see the listing. Even though we haven't seen any of the movies, and the show got a bad review from C-Bass, we just had to peak in at 'the show'. Apparently C-Bass didn't like it because of all the nostalgia they stuck in. It was a hedge against the writers strike and I guess they decided to keep it all. I found some of it interesting, but then I'm not 13.
Some of you finally came through on the song front. It was "Laughter In The Rain" by Neil Sedaka. This one should be real easy for you:
"Though I've tried before to tell her, of the feelings I have for her in my heart. Everytime that I come near her, I just lose my nerve as I've done from the start. __ __ __ __ __ __ __........" Hint: This group had the charts under arrest in the early 80s.
Today we had two meetings. Boot called her friend who makes all types of window dressings. She brought over a table full of samples and, even though we don't know a lot about our windows yet, we narrowed down the type of treatments we want. Our second meeting was with a friend of Supat's who is a lawyer at Bangkok Bank (our bank). He's helping us work out the legal aspects of our land. You remember the drill, non-Thais cannot own land, technically. Did I say that? Anyway, there's procedure that we will follow and that's that.
We also walked around the yard and made some choices about trees and bushes. Since we've been living with all these plants, there are some we've become fond of and others that we don't want at the new house. We will be having some fragrant, flowering bushes for sure. This evening the air was full and it was wonderful.
The owner of Chiang Rai Toyota has noticed our construction and stopped by the site to enquire about the engineer and the company. He's not the only one. I think our project is going to put Khun Yuthana on the map in the housing industry. It's neat to be a part of something like this. They keep using the term 'Team' and there's a real payoff when egos step out of the way.
Well, I'm off to the Oscar after party. I'll say hello for you. (555) Have a Wacky Wednesday.

Peace,
Danny


"The law of harvest is to reap more than you sow.
Sow an act, and you reap a habit.
Sow a habit and you reap a character.
Sow a character and you reap a destiny."
~James Allen

Gettin' Funky, Thai Style

www.flickr.com/photos/gratidudepics

Windows

Hi,
Another beautiful day in LOS. We had a sunny day, with an afternoon thunder storm that lasted about one half hour. It left the air clear and clean. We knew there must have been a rainbow somewhere, but couldn't see it. Oh well.
We only had a couple of people recognize the song. I'm amazed. I gave you such clues. As Paul put it: "That clue really stung".
"__ __ __ __ __ __ __, Everything she does just turns me on. Even though my life before was tragic, now I know my love for her goes on."
Hint: There's some magic going on in this song. Add that to Paul's comment and the previous clue and you should have it.
The guy we bought the truck from, went down to Chiang Mai and expedited the release of ownership and today was the day to go to the DMV. Oh joy. Boot went along to act as my translator, which was a good thing, since he doesn't speak any English, and neither did the folks at the DMV. First he had to fill out a ton of paper work and then I had to fill in some blanks, at their direction. Next was the inspection. Thankfully, there was no one in line when I entered the huge garage. The truck passed with no problems and it was then time to sit and wait. First we waited outside in a little corridor, until the inspection was processed. Then it was off to the official waiting-room. Papers in the basket and wait. We waited and waited. We were called to the counter and given a number, and more waiting. Later we found out that there was a paper missing. He'd left it in his new truck, at our house. Back on the road to get the paper. We returned and waited some more. Finally, after three hours, the deed was done and the truck is now in my name. I guess it's the same all over the world.
While we were waiting, a guy came to a window near the door with some papers. He was wearing a hat and a mask that workers wear to cover their faces. I had to get a picture of this. If he'd been in the States and walked in like that, security would have been all over him.
After the brief 'storm', we ventured out and went over to Big C for a few things. The first stop was the 'eye store' where I got my contacts. I've been having a terrible time getting them in my eyes. Lisa has been putting them in, but it's been a chore. Since they helped me learn how to take them out, I figured they'd show me how to 'install' them. Just like before, they had me do it. We learned the trick and I got them both in my eyes without any crying. Whew.
Sunday we fly down to Bangkok on the first leg of our trip to Bali. We'll stay overnight and then take an early flight to our destination. We're calling it a short flight, compared to the flight from the U.S. to Thailand. It's four hours. Just a hop. (Ha) We will have access to the internet, but just in case you don't get my daily message by late morning, go to the blog site (listed below). It may be, that I'll be able to get that posted every day. We've been told that rain can really slow down the internet, and it rains every day. I'll remind you again, just in case.
Have a terrific Thursday.

Peace,
Danny

"People are like stained-glass windows.
They sparkle and shine when the sun is out,
but when the darkness sets in,
their true beauty is revealed,
only if there is a light from within."
~Elizabeth K├╝bler-Ross


Gettin' Funky, Thai Style

www.flickr.com/photos/gratidudepics

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Dreaming

Hi,
None of the rain that's been forecasted has materialized. From emails and phone calls, we understand that it's a lot different on the west coast. And not to leave anybody out, there's been cold white stuff falling in the east. Oh, we'll certainly get ours, but it's not the rainy season yet. Next week we'll be in Bali, and it rains almost every day, but then clears up nicely. Sort of like Hawaii.
"Ooooo, I hear __ __ __ __, Walking hand in hand with the one I love. Ooooo, how I love the rainy days, and the happy way I feel inside."
Hint: Do you really need any more? His initials are NS. By the way, big props to those who got it. I know this taxes your memory banks, but that's what it's all about. That and the music.
Today I decided that we should just go straight to Mae Sai for our check in. Why go through the potential aggravation of dealing with the police station, where no English is spoken, when we could have a road trip, and get it done. It took us exactly one hour to get up north. The business at the counter took about ten minutes, tops. After that, we drove up near the border, had some coffee and just walked around, looking at all the stalls and doing a little shopping. Business was slow and the merchants were willing to deal, which is what they expect anyway. It's all over priced up there, waiting for the tourist. We had a mild time schedule so we had to cut it short.
On the way home we stopped at Tesco/Lotus and got a few supplies. There are still parts of the store that we haven't explored yet. Next time. On our drive north, we noticed about a two kilometers stretch where there were strawberry booths, sometimes right next to each other. We decided that on the way back, we'd stop. Well, we did and it was interesting. The berry's weren't very sweet, but the juice they were selling is outstanding. At three bottles for 100 Baht, we couldn't pass it up. It's like dessert.
After lunch and a little relaxing, we went back out. We had to go to the bank and get some U.S. dollars. Imagine that? In Bali, the money changers will only accept crisp, clean, unfolded $100 bills. After a little lesson on real vs counterfeit, and the usual forms, we got our 'new' money.
It's been a busy day, but very satisfying. Tomorrow we have a couple of meetings and maybe we'll run by the site and snap some pics. Speaking of that, I've posted a few new things over at Flickr.
Once again, it's time for Tacky Tuesday. Enjoy.

Peace,
Danny

"I do not know whether I was a man dreaming I was a butterfly,
or
whether I am now a butterfly dreaming I am a man."
~Chuang-tzu (c.369-c.286 BC)

Gettin' Funky, Thai Style

www.flickr.com/photos/gratidudepics

Monday, February 25, 2008

Secret

Hi,
Well, back from the weekend of no mail. It seems nobody, except Lisa, remembered "Raindrops", by Dee Clark. You remember, "Raindrops, falling from my eyes..." Oh well, it was bound to happen. Since there's been so much rain in California lately, how about another rain song?
"Strolling along country roads with my baby, it starts to rain, it begins to pour. Without an umbrella we're soaked to the skin
I feel a shiver run up my spine, I feel the warmth of her hand in mine. Ooooo, I hear __ __ __ __, walking hand in hand with the one I love..."
Clues: He reminded us that breaking up was hard to do and laughed all the way to the bank. There's two clues in there, really.
We did our usual routine on Sunday. Went over to the 'Chicken Guy' and got a half for lunch, then ate at the NB and cruised around. We actually changed things up a bit and went over to the Wiang Inn and caught our friend Freddie in the lobby lounge. Oh, before dinner we had a massage.
Today we got a call from Boot, saying that she wouldn't be coming in. She had taken a neighbor to the hospital Sunday night and hadn't slept much. So, we were on our own. We managed to struggle through. (Ha) We went downtown for lunch and had a disappointing meal at what used to be one of our favorite spots. It seems that with prices going up on some food items, portions are smaller and, for some reason, quality is slipping. Another plus for eating at home. One of the items on the menu was 'Duck leg with five herbs'. We couldn't help laughing.
Tomorrow is the day for our three month VISA check in. Some of you may remember the comedy three months ago when we went to the police station to check in and they knew nothing about it. This time, we've got the forms, so we're going to try it again. If it doesn't work, we'll just hop in the truck and drive up to Mae Sai and go to the immigration office.
The Place is growing rapidly. The workers have started on the boxes for the concrete beams for the second floor. Next week, the pool people are supposed to start working on our 'cooling spot'. The plan calls for one end to be what's known as an 'infinity edge', which will feed into a waterfall in the corner. The waterfall will empty into a little pond with a bench, for sitting. I can hardly wait. We're going with a deep, deep blue for the pool. Stay tuned.
Have a Great Week.

Peace,
Danny

"The secret of life is to make the best of whatever comes along.
Make each day fresh and new.
Go in search of knowledge and experience.
Let your questions and your answers reconcile.
And do your best to remember...
The best kind of learning curve is an enlightened smile."
~Allin Austen

Gettin' Funky, Thai Style

www.flickr.com/photos/gratidudepics

Friday, February 22, 2008

Friday Funnies

Hi,
The end (almost) of another week. We hear, through the 'net-vine' that it's been raining in L.A. Well, last night we had a bit of rain. Lots of big thunder too. The kind that starts out like it's far away, and then seems to just roll across the land. This morning it was sunny and the birds were singing away. I like the night rain.
Bravo, to the few of you that named "For Your Love" by The Yardbirds, as the song. Once again, if you look back at the clues, you'll see that I handed it to you. Charlie Parker's nickname was 'Bird', short for 'yardbird', because he loved chicken so much. (or so the story goes)
Since it's so rainy and stuff, how about a relevant song. "Since my love has left me, I'm so all alone. I would bring her back to me, but I don't know where she's gone. Clue: If I give you the chorus, you have the song. It's one word and they're falling from his eyes. Remember the theme here.
Today we did some banking and had a meeting at the property. The workers are even higher in the air now. Forgot my camera today, but I'll get some shots tomorrow. They're working on the masts for the second floor. The upstairs is going to be one of the tallest structures on our road. Hmm, didn't mean to attract so much attention. Well, at least it won't be pink. We're approaching that time when the decisions are on us. Up to now, the structural things have been left to the experts. Now it's 'where do you want that?' and 'how far from here to there?' and stuff that makes you think. It's really quite empowering, actually deciding what we want to live in and how.
I'm going to post some more pics tonight or tomorrow. Lots of them. Today, we were riding down the Super Highway, on our way to a bank stop, when we spotted a big truck. What made this unusual was that there was an elephant in the back of the truck. You don't see that every day. Lisa managed to hang out of the window at a light and get a picture.
It's time for the 'Funnies', and in honor of someone coming of 'age', I present the last of the old people jokes. Have a Wonderful WeekEnd and I hope your favorite sport doesn't get rained out.

Peace,
Danny

Morris, an 82 year-old man, went to the doctor to get a physical. A
few days later, the doctor saw Morris walking down the street with a
gorgeous young woman on his arm. A couple of days later, the doctor
spoke to Morris and said, "You're really doing great, aren't you?"
Morris replied, "Just doing what you said, Doc: 'Get a hot mamma and
be cheerful.'"
The doctor said, "I didn't say that. I said, 'You've got a heart
murmur; be careful.'"

Gettin' Funky, Thai Style

www.flickr.com/photos/gratidudepics

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Courage (Monday 2-18-08

Hi,
Well, this will be a rather brief message. Our internet connection has been down for two days. Most frustrating and very odd, since we've been able to use Skype, which travels over the internet. Hmm. I can't begin to explain that one, except that Skype uses some kind of 'tunnel' that may not need the entire net. We'll probably have to have someone come to the house tomorrow and figure this out.
The weekend song was "Gimme Some Lovin'" by The Spencer Davis Group. I thought you knew. I'm guessing you'd like to start the week with an easy, fun one. How about this: "__, on a Sunday afternoon. Really, couldn't get away too soon." Hint: They started out young. Where does the needle go on a record?
We had a very nice weekend, even without the web. We went to the site and looked at some paint samples for the wall. Also chose the terrazo (sp?) for the terraces and foot paths. We had 'The Family' (Jen and the boys) over for dinner, watched a big football match between Manchester United and Arsenal (Manchester won) and generally hung out.
That was Saturday. On Sunday we ate out and went to the NB. There was a clash of music that was a bit hard to take. As we walked in, there was an ensemble of blind singers and musicians who had set up a la Venice Beach. Most of it was pretty good, until the guitar player/singer started up on the big stage. That's when the clash occurred. Nobody seemed to mind, so we just kept strolling. After we left the NB, we went to the video store. We hadn't been there in a long time. Found a couple of comedies and finished the evening with more football.
Driving observation number 29. Lisa had another of her revelations. In the U.S. we're taught to drive defensively. Here it's about driving offensively. Also, red lights are merely a suggestion. At some intersections it's up to you. At some, the red light is just a pretty decoration. I have yet to drive through one, although I'm getting the hang of the 'rolling start'. There are some corners where there's a big countdown light, and when it gets down to five seconds, you start your roll. Every time behind the wheel is an adventure in living/surviving.
Today we went to Big C to try and get some satisfaction with the internet thing and we were given a phone number. Thank you very much. While we were there I decided to have my eyes checked at one of the many 'eye shops' that are all over town. I got an exam the night before, downtown, but wanted a second opinion. This test was a little more sophisticated and I decided to try soft contacts for my distance vision. Hmm, this is going to take some getting used to. I used to use one hard lense in one eye, and it got easy to install. These soft ones are really difficult, but with practice I'll get the hang of it. It did improve my vision, so I'll keep at it.
Now it's time to me to go into town, to 'Cafe Connect', plug my laptop into their system and send this off to the world.
Have a Magnificent Week!

Peace,
Danny

PS I guess it wasn't so brief after all.

"It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are."
~E. E. cummings


Gettin' Funky, Thai Style

www.flickr.com/photos/gratidudepics

Wind (Tuesday 2-19-08)

Hi,
I'm back, with the full force of our maddeningly slow internet. All whining aside, it's nice to be back 'on-line' and in touch with things and info so far away.
A few of you responded to the easy-as-pie song. Here's a bit more: "Life would be ecstasy, you and me endlessly __..."
I'm not sure you need more clues. It's a song that's lasted since the mid 60s as a feel good love song.
So, I told you about the soft contacts. Well, last night I couldn't get them out. This morning I went back to Big C where I got them and they showed me what to do, and then had me do it, right there in the store. Talk about sucking it up and going for it. I made sure I had the move down right, took a deep breath and actually stuck my fingers in my eye. Eeek! Next thing I knew, the lense was in my hand. I had spoken to Jeff about this procedure earlier in the day and it seemed impossible. As he put it, you can't sneak up on your eyes. I'm just glad I learned how to do it and it's not as gross as I thought it would be.
We had a meeting with our 'staff' at The Place' today. Found out how much more things are going to cost, got the plan for the swimming pool and waterfall, and saw the first coat of paint of the wall. They're trying to get as much done before the Songkran Festival, which is in April. The workers are being given two weeks off, and some work needs to be either finished or contracted so we know they'll return.
When I was going to see about my eyes this morning, I noticed the police had one of their 'helmet checks' set up on the Super Highway. Motorbike riders without helmets were funneled to the side of the road, papers were inspected and I'm not sure what happened after that. Some pay fines on the spot and ride off, still without a helmet. Some get citations for various things. You get different stories, depending on who you talk to. All I know for sure is, helmets are required by law, and many view them as an inconvenience, until the pavement jumps up to meet them. I see them turn the corner off the main drag and take their helmets off and put them in their baskets. (every bike has a basket on the front) Like Supat says, we come from the future. It wasn't that long ago that there were massive protests to the helmet laws throughout the U.S., and yet, everyone who rides wears one.
Tomorrow we roll down to Chiang Mai for an overnighter. This time we have a list of things we want/need to do. I'm going to see a chiropractor at a wellness clinic (oh, you'll hear about that), we're going to a street where all they sell is silver goods, we'll cruise the NB, and of course, we'll cap it off with a visit to Pantip Plaza for some tech fulfillment.
Now I've got to go and make those mind wrenching decisions about what to take, or is it, not to take. It's really come down to being a two outfit trip. But what? Oh, the pain.
Have a Happy Tuesday.

Peace,
Danny

"Most people never run far enough on their first wind, to find out if they've got a second.
Give your dreams all you've got and you'll be amazed at the energy that comes out of you."
~William James

Gettin' Funky, Thai Style

www.flickr.com/photos/gratidudepics

If

Hi,
We're back in Chiang Rai and couldn't be happier. Our bus driver must have had a hot date or something, because we got home in record time. He was flyin'. We watched an episode of Kyle XY on my laptop and then crashed. The fast turns in the last mountain pass woke us up.
It would seem that the song wasn't a total stumper. I got mail from several of you. No sweat, it's almost over:
"To thrill you with delight, I'd give you diamonds bright. Double takes I will excite, make you dream of me at night
__ __ __, __ __ __, __ __ __" Clue: I'm out of hints, except to say the last word is that pesky little four letter word.
This morning we went to the U.S. Consulate. Many of you are probably aware of what goes on at airport security. You put your keys and change in a basket, remove anything that would set off the metal detector and send your carry-on through the x-ray machine. Well, you ain't seen nothin'. We did all of the above, and then they went through all our bags, had us turn off our phones, made me take the batteries our of my little recorder, and then they put the entire contents into a plastic bag. They gave us a card with a number on it and told us we could get our things after we were done. Whew. The Medicare thing couldn't be settled today. Have to communicate with Manilla. Hmm. We did get a document to verify residence so we can register the truck, so it wasn't a complete bust.
Our visit to Pantip Plaza confirmed our suspicion that compressed air in a can does not exist in Thailand. With all the computers and electronics, we just knew someone would know what we were talking about. Who wants to partner up and start an import business? (Ha) I did manage to get a Bluetooth headset for a really low price. Can you hear me now?
I hope you're not tired of driving stories, 'cause I've got another observation from Lisa. If they can see you, and they have room to stop, keep going. Whether it's pulling out in traffic, or approaching an uncontrolled four-way intersection, that seems to be the rule.
Another thing we've noticed: The color pink does not have the same connotations as it does in the States. Lots of pink houses, cars, trucks, motorbikes and clothes. Guys on pink motorcycles? Yep. It's a very 'Thai' color.
That's all for now. Have a Great Thursday.

Peace,
Danny

"If someone listens, or stretches out a hand,
or whispers a kind word of encouragement,
or attempts to understand a lonely person,
extraordinary things begin to happen."
~Loretta Girzatlis

Gettin' Funky, Thai Style

www.flickr.com/photos/gratidudepics

Monday, February 18, 2008

Courage

Hi,
Well, this will be a rather brief message. Our internet connection has been down for two days. Most frustrating and very odd, since we've been able to use Skype, which travels over the internet. Hmm. I can't begin to explain that one, except that Skype uses some kind of 'tunnel' that may not need the entire net. We'll probably have to have someone come to the house tomorrow and figure this out.
The weekend song was "Gimme Some Lovin'" by The Spencer Davis Group. I thought you knew. I'm guessing you'd like to start the week with an easy, fun one. How about this: "__, on a Sunday afternoon. Really, couldn't get away too soon." Hint: They started out young. Where does the needle go on a record?
We had a very nice weekend, even without the web. We went to the site and looked at some paint samples for the wall. Also chose the terrazo (sp?) for the terraces and foot paths. We had 'The Family' (Jen and the boys) over for dinner, watched a big football match between Manchester United and Arsenal (Manchester won) and generally hung out.
That was Saturday. On Sunday we ate out and went to the NB. There was a clash of music that was a bit hard to take. As we walked in, there was an ensemble of blind singers and musicians who had set up a la Venice Beach. Most of it was pretty good, until the guitar player/singer started up on the big stage. That's when the clash occurred. Nobody seemed to mind, so we just kept strolling. After we left the NB, we went to the video store. We hadn't been there in a long time. Found a couple of comedies and finished the evening with more football.
Driving observation number 29. Lisa had another of her revelations. In the U.S. we're taught to drive defensively. Here it's about driving offensively. Also, red lights are merely a suggestion. At some intersections it's up to you. At some, the red light is just a pretty decoration. I have yet to drive through one, although I'm getting the hang of the 'rolling start'. There are some corners where there's a big countdown light, and when it gets down to five seconds, you start your roll. Every time behind the wheel is an adventure in living/surviving.
Today we went to Big C to try and get some satisfaction with the internet thing and we were given a phone number. Thank you very much. While we were there I decided to have my eyes checked at one of the many 'eye shops' that are all over town. I got an exam the night before, downtown, but wanted a second opinion. This test was a little more sophisticated and I decided to try soft contacts for my distance vision. Hmm, this is going to take some getting used to. I used to use one hard lense in one eye, and it got easy to install. These soft ones are really difficult, but with practice I'll get the hang of it. It did improve my vision, so I'll keep at it.
Now it's time to me to go into town, to 'Cafe Connect', plug my laptop into their system and send this off to the world.
Have a Magnificent Week!

Peace,
Danny

PS I guess it wasn't so brief after all.

"It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are."
~E. E. cummings


Gettin' Funky, Thai Style

www.flickr.com/photos/gratidudepics

Friday, February 15, 2008

Friday Funnies (Feb. 15, '08)

Hi,
Fortunately, a few more of you wrote in with 'Vincent (Starry, Starry Night)' by Don McClean or things might have turned dark for the weekend. As it is, I'll go easy on you with something familiar. "Well, my temperature's rising
and my feet are on the floor. Twenty people knocking 'Cos they're wanting some more...So glad we made it, so glad we made it, you gotta __ __ __ (repeat 3x)" and rock all night. It was 1967, organ driven British R&B by a group named after a person.
I seems I opened a big ole can of worms when I mentioned the Formula One season beginning. I got mail from my brother, Denny and my good friend Lane, giving me grief about how NASCAR had already started and blah blah blah. I don't recall sending out any challenges or stating that I thought F1 was better or anything like that. But I got mail from defensive oval boys trying to put down the most sophisticated form of motor racing in the world. Hmm. Now I'll get some mail. (555)
Forgive me for going on and on about the driving thing, but it just gets better with time. Today I had another revelation as we were weaving in, out and around in the traffic. It's like being on a moving obstacle course. One of those games where things just pop up and you have to avoid them. That's what it's like. It could be a bike, a pedestrian, a bus, a motorbike or a car or truck. At any given time, one of them will appear and you must avoid. No wonder people who live in Bangkok complain about the driving. Traffic here is light by comparison. Notice, I don't complain about traffic, just the conditions for driving in general. It's something that will become second nature over time. I must also report that there's a dark side that emerges from time to time and wants to rule the road, in a tank. I'm working to keep that side out of the light, although it did provide us with a much needed laugh break today.
We think 'Tile Torture' is over. A plan is in place, tile has been chosen and we're moving on. It's pool time, after narrowing the width by one meter. More about all that after our first meeting with the pool people.
It's time for the 'Funnies', brought to you today by my dear friend Paul, an avid golfer. Have a Great, Wonderful WeekEnd.

Peace,
Danny

So a guy has been working on his golf game & he's starting to hit the ball farther than he ever has before. He's really pleased, except he's hitting it further than he can see & ends up losing alot of balls as a result. One day he's complaining to his buddies & one of them suggests that next time he plays he bring "Old John" along with him. Old John, he says, has the eyes of an eagle! The guy is sceptical, John has got to be 95 if he's a day, but his friend swears he has the eyes of an eagle and if anyone can help track his ball, John can.

So the next time he goes out to play he does indeed bring John along. Sure enough, on the very first tee he bangs one so far he loses it in the distance. "Nice looking shot" says John. The guy turns to him and asks "could you really see where it landed?". "Sure" says John "I've got the eyes of an eagle!". So the guy jumps into the cart - "Alright - now where did my ball go?" Old John replies "I forgot!"


Gettin' Funky, Thai Style

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Peace (Thurday Feb. 14, '08)

Hi,
So far, the forecasts for rain have all been wrong. We're having warm weather with some high clouds, but no rain. This evening there were some gusts of wind that felt like it does when it's about to rain, but they were just false alarms.
"Now I understand, what you tried to say to me, and how you suffered for your sanity, and how you tried to set them free..." Hint: He once fed us some American Pie, but this is an ode to an artist. Had a few of you who knew this one, so it's not impossible to get.
We had another of those frustrating 'tile days'. I'm confident that we will eventually find what we want, in the quantity we need. As with all 'plans', things change. For instance, the driveway will now be concrete instead of paving blocks. The nice part about it is that it can be colored the same tone as the roof tiles. (Dark brown) Nice.
This afternoon we went into town to run errands. When doing such a thing, you start to realize what a small town this really is. We're learning the strategic places to park that allow walking to certain destinations. When all else fails, we park at the Wancome Hotel (our home for the first month), pay 20 Baht and hit most of the shops. While we were out, we picked up a Valentine's gift for Boot. We don't know her reaction yet because gifts are usually not opened in front of the giver.
Speaking of V day, it's a big deal here. Don't know how it evolved, but there's lots of flowers sold, and all of the spots where lovers go are closely monitored to make sure that under aged teens are where they 'should' be. Good luck on that one. I noticed guys standing by motorbikes, holding flowers, waiting for their sweethearts, and a couple of guys riding towards a school carrying giant teddy bears. Ahh, youth.
One thing that's really changed for us is our new interest in football (soccer). It's our late-night entertainment, as long as we tune in before midnight. That's the hour for all the 'round-up' shows. We get a lot of English soccer and we're fans of Liverpool (C-Bass' fav), and Manchester United. We also see Spanish, Dutch and German league football. It's to the point where we know some of the players and we're getting a handle on some of the rules. That eluded us all the years we followed youth soccer in the States. How things change. There was a time when you couldn't get us to watch such a 'boring' game. Now, we look forward to it. Hmm.
Mark your calendars, because the F1 season is about to start. On March 14, it all begins again in Australia. The nice thing is, they show it here, with lots of repeats. Which brings me to another development. Our TV provider now has what amounts to a local version of TiVo. It's a DVR (they call it a PVR, ??) and it works pretty much the same. As soon as I can find out more in English, I'll start drooling.
Last but not least, it's still tourist season and tonight I got stuck in traffic behind a long procession of Samlors hauling a big group around town. Imagine a parade of about 20 three-wheelers, peddling their way in and out of traffic. It was quite a spectacle. I tried not to be jaded about the incident, but to imagine what a thrill it must have been for the passengers. Probably a little scary too.
Have a Nice Thursday where you are.

Peace,
Danny

"Let us dedicate ourselves to peace within ourselves, that wherever we go,
we bring peace and we learn to find peace in all things."
~John Morton

Gettin' Funky, Thai Style

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Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Hammer

Hi,
So, the song was "Sunny", as sung by Bobby Hebb back in '66. I heard from a lot of you, finally. Tomorrow might be different. "__, __ __, paint your palette blue and gray, look out on a summer's day, with eyes that know the darkness in my soul... Clue: This time there's a man's name in the title and the blanks are part of the title. As Supat might say, 'think outside the box' on this one.
It keeps looking like rain here, but then it blows away. The national weather service says there might be scattered thunder showers from something blown down from China. Speaking of China, anybody going to the Olympics? Just thought I'd ask.
We go to Bali in about 2 1/2 weeks. We've learned some interesting things in our preparation. They will convert US
Dollars to Rupiah if the dollars are crisp, unfolded and without marks. Otherwise the exchange rate changes. One dollar equals 9,124 Rupiah Hmm. We are curious to know the denominations of the money. Should I bring a bag? I can get a SIM card for my phone, but it has to be registered with a passport. Last, but not least, we'll be there during the Bali Hindu New Year known as Nyepi (the day of silence) on March 7. Lisa talked to her friend John, who will be our host, and he said there are parades and festivals the day before, and then the next day everyone is quiet. This is so the demons living beneath the island will think it's still uninhabited. This will be quite an experience. Try to imagine a whole country, quiet on New Years day.
We went on another 'tile hunt' today. Found something we liked, but they didn't have enough for the front and back porches. Same old story. Tomorrow we'll look some more. Meanwhile, there is a bamboo superstructure around the first floor, in preparation for the pouring on Sunday of the support footings for the second floor. I've been very curious as to how they were going to mount concrete slabs up in the air. I'm starting to get the picture. Sometime during your 'today', I'll post some pics that will speak to this. I'm trying to decide if I want to watch.
I think it's time for us to have a Wacky Wednesday.

Peace,
Danny

"If the only tool you have is a hammer,
you tend to see every problem as a nail."
~Abraham Maslow


Gettin' Funky, Thai Style

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Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Abundance

Hi,
Well, I got a message from my mother letting me know that my B'day really didn't count until it reached the time in the place where I was born. That would be near midnight on the 12th, in Los Angeles. Hmm, you mean I'm still a kid? Rock on. Ironically, I guess, I got a message from Denny (my brother, remember?) stating that he'd wish me a happy in 'his time'. So, I suppose that makes it a consensus. Too much to think about. I celebrated today.
I can count on two fingers, the number of you that got the song. Are we back to standing around like wallflowers? I thought I gave you good clues (generous, actually) but apparently not. Here's the second half of the second verse.
"...You gave to me your all and all, now I feel ten feet tall, __ one so true, I love you." Clue: An unusual name, in some parts, for a young woman. Days sometimes are given this name also. (no, not windy or rainy)
Today started out with a breakfast treat. Lisa make me French Toast. Yum. She also made me a beautiful card. Boot arrived with a box. It had a label that read "Happy Birthday Jessy Danny. I love you same Papa for me. From Boot" Inside the box was a white Thai shirt of thin cotton. Just in time for the hot weather. So, my girls are lookin' out for me. (oh, how chauvinistic? Not really)
Lisa and I headed out into the day. We had planned to go up the road and check out the Hill Tribe Crafts Center, but we got side-tracked. We were so close to Mackro that we decided to stop there first to see if they had BBQ sauce. There was a lurking memory that we had purchased it there before. Well, they 'no have', so we decided, on impulse, to drive up the highway to Tesco, a fairly new store that's part of a major chain in various countries.
The Super Highway is basically a two lane road with a half-lane on the left for, as the sign says in symbols, motorbikes, tuk-tuks and sam-lors. We didn't see any speed limit signs but we remember being driven at speeds of 100/120 kilometers per hour. That's 62/74.5 miles per hour. Tesco is about half an hour from our place. I thought I was doing pretty good on keeping a decent highway speed (60), but they just kept flying by. I upped the speed to 80 and still they came. On the way back, I decided to see what it felt like to go 'fast' and we climbed to 100 kph and decided that it felt fast enough for now. Oh, we really like Tesco. Not only did the have the sauce (got 3 bottles), it was clean, modern and wasn't as crowded as Big C. Of course, Big C is 5 minutes away, so treks north will be special. I can't wait to go back and really check out the whole store.
I forgot to tell you why we couldn't stay and play at Tesco. Before we left home, I got a call from Supat, asking if we could come to the property for a meeting this afternoon. They wanted it at 1pm so we said yes. That was the source of our time pressure. We hurried back to town, had lunch and got to the property at about 1:30. It was an ambush. We were standing around, looking at the progress and Supat hollered something, and all the workers left what they were doing and went to the shed. Then they lined up, each one carrying two roses. One at a time, they wished me a Happy B'day, bowed and gave me the rose and then gave Lisa a rose for Valentine's Day. It was something I have never experienced in my life. To have a group of 25 to 30 workers, who's names I don't know, do what they did, is almost embarrassing. Supat is the master at event planning. He orchestrated the whole thing and he did it well. I could tell that some of the workers had never said the words before and had been practicing, while others let it roll off their tongues like it was their native language. Impressed and overwhelmed. That about sums it up. Oh, and before all that, our 'executive crew' gave my a huge bouquet of white roses and Lisa a big bouquet of red roses. Needless to say, the house is full of roses. They're everywhere. It will be a day to remember.
Have a Happy Tuesday and stop by Flickr. Speaking of Flickr, there's another site I'd like to invite you to check out. www.flickr.com/photos/lisamosesgallery There you will find the artwork of Lisa Moses. Brilliant.

Peace,
Danny

"Abundance does not mean that you have a lot of
money or material possessions.
It means that you have what you need,
use it wisely, and what you don't need to others.
Your life has poise, balance, and integrity.
You don't have too little. You don't have too much."
~Paul Ferrini

Gettin' Funky, Thai Style

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Monday, February 11, 2008

Ice Cream

Hi,
We're just finishing another Monday. Had a nice weekend. Saturday we went to The Place for a meeting and a tour of the progress. The big news is that the pre-cast concrete floor is in place and by now, another layer of concrete over mesh has been poured. Care was taken to make sure everything was level. The tanks for the water treatment were delivered and the rendering of the wall is going very nicely. I'll post some more pics of what things look like.
The Place still doesn't have an address. Supat went to the land office and found out that we can't get our address until there is a roof on the structure. No roof, not a house. OK, I guess that makes some sort of sense.
I'm happy that so many of you recognized the line from "Purple Haze" by the one and only Jimi Hendrix. Oh, the stories I could tell about all the concerts. Paul sent me a link that you've just got to visit. It's: http://kissthisguy.com/
It's a collection of 'misshearings' that will give you hours of 'wasting time'. This next one should also be easy.
"__, yesterday my life was filled with rain, __, you smiled at me and really eased the pain..." Hint: Smooth from the mid 60s, let it shine on you. Hmm.
By the time you read this it will be #12 here and I will have officially qualified for discounts at Dinah's, Roll 'n Rye and my Medicare card. That's right. The grand young age of, uh, it's right on the tip of my tongue. As a child, one always imagines things like rest homes and canes and such. That's not the case here. So, eat your vegetables and take your vitamins, blah, blah.
Today I got a trick mirror for the truck. Over here, there are things they put on vehicles that you just don't see in the States. This thing goes on the very front fender on the left side (across from the driver) and is split, so you can see what's right in front of the bumper (for following too close) and all the way down the side of the truck (for squeezing through tight spaces). Of course, those aren't the real reasons, but they apply just the same. I'll have to post a picture of this thing.
The weather has been warm, with a forecast for rain around the middle of the week. It may or may not happen. What ever the weather, life goes on and it's pretty good.
Have a Wonderful Week.

Peace,
Danny

"My advice to you is not to inquire why or whither,
but just to enjoy your ice cream while it's on your plate."
~Thornton Wilder

Gettin' Funky, Thai Style

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Friday, February 8, 2008

Friday Funnies

Hi,
OK, you'll pardon me if I seem a little irritated, but I really expected a few more of you to write and tell me that the song was "How Long (Has This Been Goin' On)?" by Ace. Really. I practically put it in your lap. Shame on you. (5)
I have high hopes for the weekend though. "'Scuse me, while I kiss the sky..." (followed by dramatic guitar/bass line) Clue: Ha, you really think I'm going to drop any hints today? Ok, came from here, but you didn't meet him until he came back from there (across the pond).
Today we went to Big C. I guess I get a kick out of the place because it's like going to the mall. Lots of people, slices of life, kids and so much stuff I know I don't need, but.... Snap out of it. Part of our mission was to get a new SIM card for my phone. There are two major carriers in the north and the 'other' one has a 'data' package that could allow me to use my phone to make Skype type calls, and get faster speeds from my laptop. I could also, potentially get on the web from anywhere. Hmm. We may not have to pay the hotel for WiFi. So, we got that done, and dove into the store. We're learning where things are, so it's getting easier to wind our way around. As we headed for the checkout, I commented to Lisa that people were walking the way they drive. Crossing right in front of our cart, nearly missing me and not even blinking. We call it 'Nerves of Steel'. The term mostly applies to the bike riders and the way they just turn and swoop with the grand assumption that they will not be hit. Well, I don't want to be the one, but a little caution wouldn't hurt. Some people are quite surprised when I give them the right of way. How un-Thai.
Our landlord Boon Serm and his wife are back from visiting there kids. They've been at opposite ends of the country helping with a new grandchild in Bangkok and a daughter expecting triplets up north. They leave again on Sunday. It's nice to see them, and it will be nice when they're gone. Makes the place seem more like our house.
After dinner, Boot usually brings us some fruit or a Thai dessert. We've been having lots of watermelon, mango and sticky rice. Tonight she brought us something new. There were these slender cones made from banana leaves, stuffed with a pumpkin concoction that was a little like bean jelly in consistency. Also comes in watermelon and banana, yum.
Surprisingly, there have not been many fireworks. I really expected more noise for Chinese New Year. Oh well, it's not over. All the stores have special sections with gifts, decorations and accessories for celebration.
It's time for the 'Funnies'. Cousin Trudye sent this one. It's a blast from the past, but still funny. Have a Fabulous WeekEnd.

Peace,
Danny

The boss wondered why one of his most valued employees had not phoned in sick one day. Having an urgent problem with one of the main computers, he dialed the employee's home phone number and was greeted with a child's whisper.

'Hello ?'

'Is your daddy home?' he asked.

'Yes,' whispered the small voice.

'May I talk with him?'

The child whispered, 'No.'

Surprised and wanting to talk with an adult, the boss asked, 'Is your Mommy there?'

'Yes.'

'May I talk with her?' Again the small voice whispered, 'No .'

Hoping there was somebody with whom he could leave a message, the boss asked, 'Is anybody else there?'

'Yes', whispered the child, 'a policeman'.

Wondering what a cop would be doing at his employee's home, the boss asked, 'May I speak with the policeman?'

'No, he's busy', whispered the child.

'Busy doing what?'

'Talking to Daddy and Mommy and the Fireman ,' came the whispered answer.

Growing more worried as he heard a loud noise in the background through the earpiece on the phone, the boss asked,

'What is that noise?'

'A helicopter ' answered the whispering voice.

'What is going on there?' demanded the boss, now truly apprehensive.

Again, whispering, the child answered, ' The search team just landed a helicopter .'

Alarmed, concerned and a little frustrated the boss asked, 'What are they searching for?'


Still whispering, the young voice replied with a muffled giggle...



' ME .'


Gettin' Funky, Thai Style

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Thursday, February 7, 2008

Heart

Hi,
Another beautiful day in the Land of Smiles. This morning we went over to Tops for a few things. Once inside the building, we heard what sounded like kids singing/yelling something. Curiosity took us around a corner to a place called Music Palace. It's a series of clear plastic booths, each containing a video screen and a few chairs. The booth we were hearing had about six high school girls inside, singing along with the karaoke video of a popular group, at the top of their lungs. It was hilarious. Keep in mind, it was eleven o'clock in the morning. The other booths were all occupied, but they were singing to themselves. We walked away smiling and passed a guy who was also smiling.
"And you said you was never intendin', To break up our singing this way. But there ain't any use in pretendin' It could happen to us any day, __ __ has this been goin' on (repeat) Hint: Now really, do you need to be pushed off the edge? This was the second half of the only verse in the song. It shouldn't take long to figure it out. Paul got it right away.
This afternoon we went out to The Place. They're almost done with the concrete portion of the masts for the first floor. There was also a back-hoe digging holes for the water treatment tanks. There will be one on each side of the house and their purpose, as I understand it, will be to purify the waste water so it can be used for the gardens. We looked over the area at the rear, considering the placement of the pool. Yuthana showed us the pipes that were installed at the foundation which will secrete a liquid that will repel insects and varmints. Very interesting. Tomorrow, the pre-cast concrete flooring will be installed with a huge crane. I'll post some pics showing the guest bathroom and the living room/dining room area. Here's a chance to use your imagination. (Ha)
Driving observations: I mentioned before that it's survival of the biggest. It's also about the smallest taking what they can get. It's like a three-ring circus, navigating the streets. Motorcycles appear from out of nowhere, everybody turns when and where they think they can make it, and red lights are only a suggestion at some intersections. I think the highway is probably the only place where I'll be able to have a relaxing drive, maybe. Oh well.
Well, it's time to go out and have a Thrilling Thursday.

Peace,
Danny

"To know how to choose a path with heart
is so learn how to follow intuitive feeling.
Logic can tell you superficially where a path might lead to,
but it cannot judge whether your heart will be in it."
~Jean Shinoda Bolen

Gettin' Funky, Thai Style

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Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Doors

Hi,
By now, I suspect those of you in America are getting over Super Tuesday. We watched CNN this morning just to keep up. Having missed all the heavy campaigning, it all looked very surreal. I do, however, love those big touch boards they're using. It looks like magic, or a giant iPhone.
If your mail looked funny to you yesterday, it's 'cause it was. I've been dealing with a problem in my mail program, and had to resort to web-mail. I don't like it, not as user friendly, for me. You know, you get used to doing something a certain way, and you get it down smooth and then Blam! But the mail goes on. If you don't get anything by late morning, go to: www.gratidude.blogspot.com and read the latest episode.
"We Are The Champions" was what the Giants were singing. Queen was the artist who made it famous. Now, maybe you need something a little less obscure (like that one was so hard). How about this: "Well, your friends with their fancy persuasion, don't admit that it's part of a scheme. But I can't help but have my suspicions, 'Cause I ain't quite as dumb as I seem...." Clues: Title is a question, group is a playing card. It's an easy one.
This morning I heard Boot at the gate, and looked out the window. I saw what looked like a little white dog standing by her, and then hop on her bike. My first thought was that it was a stray, but most of the wandering dogs in our hood are shades of brown. This was a clean, white dog. I watched in amazement as this dog rode on the floorboard of Boot's bike, all the way into the yard. He came with her, on the bike. His name is 'Icy' (with an accent on the 'see') and he belongs to her friend Nui. He's eleven, and very smart. I might also add that he's bilingual. There are a couple of pics at Flickr. Check him out.
Today is Chinese New Years Eve. We learned that, among other things, all doors and windows should be opened at the stroke of midnight to let out the old year and let in the new. There are many traditions and rituals that I won't go into, but know this, it lasts 15 days and yes, there will be fireworks.
Living here in the Land of Smiles can bring unforeseen challenges. While there is a connection to the internet, it is not what one could call world level. Trying to get a good connection for a Skype video call is very hit and miss. Even voice calls can be tricky. It's not broadband, it's called ADSL and it runs through the telephone line. That should give you a clue. Everyone complains about it at one time or another, but the real problem is one of infrastructure. Then there's the issue of shopping for food and other products. Reading labels is, for the most part, a lost cause. There are some goods that have ingredients in two languages, but it's mostly Thai. Which leads us to another interesting reality: English as a headline. Sitting in a coffee shop, checking out a decorating magazine and I notice article headings in English. Diving in, I hit the bottom of the pool, everything else is in Thai. You see this all over. Tease us with English and then shift to Thai. Oh well, nobody said I had to understand all the signs. The last unforeseen challenge is missing the friends and having varied conversations in one's native tongue. (there's an odd term) On a daily basis, we speak a combination of things. English, to each other, broken Thai and English with Boot and Supat, and pieces of Thai out in the street. And somehow, we survive. Keep those cards and letters comin' folks, preferably in English.
Have a Wacky Wednesday.

Peace,
Danny

"When one door of happiness closes, another opens;
but often we look so long at the closed door
that we do not see the one which has been opened for us."
~Helen Keller

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Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Drawn

Hi,
I totally forgot to tell you about our Super Bowl experience. The listings showed an air-time of 5:30 (a.m.) which meant I'd be recording it, for sure. I'm curious, but not fanatical. Anyway, we waited until the game was over, and settled down to watch the pre-game. At first we were a little bummed. There were three Thai guys, obviously talking football, in Thai. With the help of fast-forward, we got to what looked like a full screen picture of the stadium. I was right. We heard voices and they were in English. Part of our curiosity was to see the commercials. Well, there were none. It was like when we had our big dish and we'd get 'wild feeds' from different parts of the country. There's a show, and then silence, where commercials would go. Sometimes there would be little conversations between the commentators, when they thought their mikes were off. So, needless to say, we enjoyed the game and the breaks.
"I've taken my bows And my curtain calls You brought me fame and fortune And everything that goes with it I thank you all But it's been no bed of roses No pleasure cruise....and we mean to go on and on and on, __ __ __ __-__ __..."
Hint: What are the Giants singing?
We're having warm weather again. Actually, mid-day is hot. There have been predictions of a very hot summer. By then, we'll have a pool to sit in, for cooling off. Speaking of the pool, I've come up with a unique design. The plan is for a parallelogram. When you see the hole, you'll understand.
Today we went to the bus station to get tickets for another Chiang Mai run. There was a big commotion in the parking lot. It looked like Red Bull was having a major promotion, complete with motorcycles, models, and a very loud P.A. system. After we got our tickets, we went looking for a broom for Boot and some glue remover. Imagine, trying to explain to someone who doesn't understand you, that you need something to take glue off the dashboard of your truck. As it happened, we parked in front of a store that looked like it should know. No English understood. Just then, two teenagers appeared. I think the girl was the owner's daughter. They understood, and even though they didn't have what we wanted, she wrote it down in Thai, so we could ask someone else. Whew.
We moved on to the Tractor store to visit Jen and her sons and invite them to dinner. During the course of our conversations, we showed off the new truck and the dashboard came up. (see, there was a carpet thing on it and we took it off) One of Jen's employees ended up removing it all with rubbing compound. That search is over. The family will come to dinner next Saturday. The Chinese New Year celebrations begin on number 7. It will be interesting to see what goes on in Chiang Rai, since it has such a strong Chinese connection.
Just as we were leaving the Tractor store, the Red Bull parade came down the street. There were boys and girls on the motorcycles, a flatbed truck with a cop seated on a bike, posing. and another truck with the P.A. system. I'll post the pics on Flickr.
Now it's time for a Happy Tuesday.

Peace,
Danny

"Let yourself be silently drawn by the strange pull of what you really love.
It will not lead you astray."
~Rumi


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Monday, February 4, 2008

Bird

Hi,
Welcome back to the life. We had quite a weekend. Saturday we went to a part of the market we keep passing. There's a store we've named the 'everything store', and we we found everything we were looking for. (5) We then went around the corner to the vegetable market for a few things. You gotta see the pic of the string beans. About 2 feet long. Then it was flowers for the house. A nice bit of shopping. From there we went to a section of town where we were to experience the 'parking monitor'. There are people in one district, who approach you as you park, put a slip on your car and collect 4 Baht. That's about $.13 US. When we returned to the truck, he helped us back out into the traffic. It's like he's the parking attendant for the block.
Oh, Boot's back. We had a happy reunion this morning. She felt great and was ready to dive into work. We are very glad she's back. The house looks bright again, clothes are on the line and we're having delicious ginger fish for dinner.
I guess a bunch of you were humming the song this weekend. If you missed it, it was "Fun, Fun, Fun" by The Beach Boys. Oh, and the car was a T-Bird. (Duh) Lane sent us an interesting background: The song, written by Brian Wilson and Mike Love was about Shirley England, the daughter of the owner of radio station KNAK in Delta, Utah where she worked as a teenager. She borrowed her father's Ford Thunderbird to go study at the library. Instead of driving to the library, she ended up at a hamburger stand. When her father found out, he took the car away. The next day she was at the radio station complaining about it to the staff while The Beach Boys were visiting and they were inspired to write this song. Now you know.
"I've paid my dues, time after time. I've done my sentence, but committed no crime..." Clues: There a football team singing this one. This group will rock you.
Sunday we went out to The Place. There was lots of activity, with a crane, a cement truck and about 25 workers. They were filing in the floor footings and working on the wall. There are pics at Flickr. You will notice, if you look real close, that the shirts and scarves from the ceremony are still flying high on the masts.
In the evening we went into town for a massage and dinner. Every massage place does the same thing, basically, but with their own variations on Thai massage. The place we went to was one we'd been to before. The last time, I just had my feet done, but Lisa had a full treatment. This time we both got the full deal. I'll just say that the highlight of the experience was when I realized that my 'operator' had shifted from knees to feet, and was walking on my back. Hmm, I'd heard about this, but it was a first for me.
We left relaxed and hungry so we strolled over to the NB and went to the upstairs restaurant for dinner. From upstairs we could look out on the NB and watch all the happenings. After dinner we went down and joined the crowd.
Have a Great Week.

Peace,
Danny

"A bird doesn't sing because it has an answer;
it sings because it has a song."
~Maya Angelou


Gettin' Funky, Thai Style

www.flickr.com/photos/gratidudepics

Friday, February 1, 2008

Friday Funnies

Hi,
Well, the whole world is getting rain or snow or something. We looked at a global weather map and it looks like part of our weather system is headed your way. (at least northern CA and some of Washington) It may fall apart before it gets there. It would be a welcome relief, since it's light sporadic rain.
Speaking of rain, we went to Big-C today and one of the things on the list was windshield wipers. There's a cart downstairs with auto stuff and there happened to be a guy there installing wiper blade refills. I took him out to the truck and for about $10, he cut and installed new rubber. Now they wipe crystal clear. Let it rain.
Most of you missed a perfectly good song. Lane, Paul and Rikki got it. "Raindrops Keep Fallin' On My Head" as done by B.J. Thomas. Lane tells us that this Bacharach and David hit went to #1 in 1970. It was also featured in Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. Now you know. For the weekend, a giveaway. If I don't get mail, I'll pick hard ones.
"Well she got her daddy's car and she cruised through the hamburger stand now. Seems she forgot all about the library like she told her old man now...And she'll have __ __ __ 'Til her daddy takes the __ away." Hint: Mid 60s by some local boys who made a lot of car songs. Give me the title and the make of the car. It's easy. Have 'fun'.
Not much to tell you. One of those busy morning/lazy afternoon days. Lisa worked on a painting and I read from the Thaivisa forum. Things are supposed to clear up this weekend. Maybe we'll take another drive somewhere.
I'll let you go early today, since the 'Funnies' are long. Have a WonderFilled WeekEnd.

Peace,
Danny

A very elderly gentleman, (mid nineties) very well dressed, hair well
groomed, great looking suit, flower in his lapel smelling slightly of a
good after shave, presenting a well looked after image, walks into an
upscale cocktail lounge. Seated at the bar is an elderly looking lady,
(mid eighties).

The gentleman walks over, sits alongside of her, orders a drink, takes
a sip, turns to her and says, "So tell me, do I come here often?"

*****************

Two elderly gentlemen from a retirement center were sitting on a bench
under a tree when one turns to the other and says: "Slim, I'm 83 years
old now and I'm just full of aches and pains. I know you're about my
age. How do you feel?"

Slim says, "I feel just like a newborn baby."

"Really!? Like a newborn baby!?"

"Yep. No hair, no teeth, and I think I just wet my pants.

**************

Q: Why should 60+ year old people use valet parking?
A: Valets don't forget where they park your car.

Q: Is it common for 60+ year olds to have problems with short term memory storage?
A: Storing memory is not a problem, retrieving it is a problem.

Q: As people age, do they sleep more soundly?
A: Yes, but usually in the afternoon.




Gettin' Funky, Thai Style

www.flickr.com/photos/gratidudepics