Wednesday, April 30, 2008


Considering that this isn't the rainy season, we're sure getting a lot of rain. Today was an off and on day. A drizzle here, steady rain there and much cooler temps. Actually, it was rather pleasant.
I got lots of mail over the last two days. "Somebody To Love" really pushed a button for some of you. It was by Jefferson Airplane (way before the Starship days). Linda did some research and found some interesting things:
Written by Great Society guitarist Darby Slick and first performed by that band, which included his then-sister-in-law Grace Slick on vocals, the song made little impact outside of the club circuit in the Bay Area. The song was released in 1966 as a single on the North Beach subsidiary of Autumn Records and received minimal circulation outside of San Francisco.
When Grace Slick departed to join Jefferson Airplane, she took this song with her, bringing it to the Surrealistic Pillow sessions, along with her own composition "White Rabbit." Subsequently, the Airplane's more ferocious rock and roll version became the band's first and biggest hit; the single by Jefferson Airplane peaked at #5 on the Billboard Hot 100. Now we know. There's more at Wikipedia.
Now that we've had an easy one, let's challenge those brain cells a bit. This is from the mid 70s by a singer who golfs at night (Ha)
"Everybody's got a thing, but some don't know how to handle it. Always reachin' out in vain, accepting the things not worth having but, __ __ __ __ __ __ ..." Clue: Singer is convincing someone that he's got their back. I think you know this one.
Tomorrow (number one May) is Labor Day here. Supat told us the banks will be closed and the workers have a day off. Hey, they just had two weeks off. Oh, I'm not running anything. The roofing crew is from a village up north and they've been living in our house. They've been camping in what will eventually be our upstairs closet. Guess that give you a clue about it's size. The bedroom area had already been staked out by Supat's father-in-law, who is our overnight security. With a locking gate, it's not so vital that he sleeps near the supplies. He's quite happy to be 'inside'.
Today we were a bit startled when Boot went running to the front door, making noises. We both thought she was chasing away the neighborhood cat that seems to like the yard. In fact, she was chasing away the huge four-legged neighbors. We had a dozen or so cows in the yard, having a feast. We had left the gate open and they took that as an invitation. They left quickly and without any fuss. I think they knew they shouldn't have been there. That was our big excitement for the day.
Some of your mail has been returned to me. If you've missed a few days, write me or go to the blog site and catch up. Your ISP rejected my message. Principle players: AOL and Sbcglobal.
Are you ready for a Wacky Wednesday?


"Wish not so much to live long, as to live well."
~Benjamin Franklin, Poor Richard's Almanack

Gettin' Funky, Thai Style

Tuesday, April 29, 2008


Well, we seem to be in a pattern. Rain at night, cloudy mornings that look like rain, and then hot sunny afternoons. I love the overnight rains because they clean the air, water the plants and help with the water shortage. The only drawback is the puddles on the property the next day. It hasn't slowed the work at all, but it did mean a relocation of the 'office' from out in the yard to my music room.
I see that more than a few of you had our current song on your 'favorites' list. Just in case the opening line didn't do it for you:
"Don't you want __ __ __, don't you need __ __ __, wouldn't you love __ __ __, you better find __ __ __". Hint: Vocals were by a slick singer, band was from the bay and the song was part of a movement, so to speak.
Today we went back to The Place. More roof tile is in place and the perspective is changing. As we approach from the west, it is now this big brown house. When we pulled into the yard, there were about 4 vehicles in the drive and room for more. I guess that part of the design was sound. People were all over the place. There was a new crew that I'd never seen before. They were working on the pool and the waterfall area. There was a tile master from Bangkok working on the front porch and two women filing in the color on the back porch tile. On top of that, there was the crew installing ceilings and wiring. In fact, there were seventy workers on the site today. There are still more things to attend to, such as towel racks for the bathrooms and the layout of our closet. We're incorporating some things that have to be explained. I have to print out some pics of walk-in closets so the guys will get the idea.
The big news today was the arrival of what is called The House Book. It's a little blue book that gives our official address and states the land ownership. The house has a birthday. It's April 21, 2551. I guess we'll have a birthday party next year. Hmm.
This evening, while we were eating dinner, an SUV came into the yard. At first I thought it was the people who clean the yard. Then we heard laughter and many voices. About eight happy folks came to the front door. They had a basket of fruit and nuts and a bag of something. Lisa opened the door and they started chattering away. I ran and got Boot from the kitchen. It turns out these are all relatives of Boon Serm, our landlord. Every year, as part of their Songkran offerings, they bring him gifts. They didn't know that he's living in Chiang Mai with his daughter and new grandbaby. It was an interesting encounter and we learned more about traditions.
Have a Happy Tuesday.


"The true measure of a man (person) is how he treats someone
who can do him absolutely no good."
~Ann Landers

Gettin' Funky, Thai Style

Success (Monday Message)

From what I've been hearing, it's hot everywhere. We had a slight reprieve and some overnight rain but by mid-day today it was hot again. Not a big problem. Run inside and get cool. Someday, maybe, I'll be able to go out in the noon day sun all wrapped up like the workers on the house. For now, no way.
The weekend song was from The Beatles. It was "Hello, Goodbye" and I got a moderate response. I guess that means you're needing an easy one. Hmm, let me see... "When the truth is found to be lies, and all the joy within you dies, don't you want __ __ __..."
Hint: The song is asking a musical question. It's something everybody wants. Hmm. Oh yes, the group was something that flies.
We had a nice weekend. We went over to The Place and got more nagging questions answered. We went through a few rooms and looked over the progress and had a big laugh as Supat imitated me, sitting in the music room playing the piano and looking out at the view. The workers were putting the final layer of concrete on the living room floor in preparation for the wood floor. More tile was in place and the 'feel' of some of the rooms was obvious.
Sunday we had lunch in town and ate dinner at home. A switch from our usual pattern. After programing the DVD for the F1 race, we went into town. First stop was a massage. The women work on a rotation, so you never know who you'll get, but I got the same woman as last time. Her name is Nit and she remembered that I didn't want any twisting movements or walking on the back. Lisa had a woman named Lin and she was very sensitive to certain problem areas. We ask if we could have them next week and they assured us that is wouldn't be a problem. We left feeling refreshed. Then it was off to the NB. I was to meet my new friends for a Didjeridoo circle. They were nowhere to be found so we walked around a bit and came home. Then the rains came.
Today we met with the curtain lady, watched the race and had a mellow day. In a conversation with C-Bass, he told us about a web site where we could watch movies. It's a little shaky right now because of our bandwidth issues, but that should be much different after Thursday. We'll be moving to a new package that should give us more oomph. Right now we share the line with 20 other users. With the new program we'll only be sharing with 10 users and from what I've read on the forums, life will be smoother. It still won't be like the internet you get in the U.S., but it will seem like high speed to us. Nothing like having real broadband.
Observing the two-wheel culture is one of my favorite things. It struck me today that there is an ease of movement among the motorbike riders that seems very natural. They just hop on and glide through traffic like it's no big deal. The fact that the traffic moves at a much slower pace probably has a lot to do with it. I remember a cab driver in Bali telling us that every family has at least one bike, maybe more. I'm sure I'll have more to say about this for a long time.
Time for a new Wonderfilled Week.


"Success is to be measured not so much by the position
that one has reached in life as by the obstacles which
he has overcome while trying to succeed."
~Booker T. Washington

Gettin' Funky, Thai Style

Friday, April 25, 2008

Friday Funnies

Are you ready for the weekend? I don't know where that came from. Maybe remembering how much weight was put on it. Especially during the school days. Don't worry, I'm not going to take you down memory lane right now. But...
OK, speaking of memory lane, there was nobody walking down it the last two days. Ricardo was the only one to know the song by The Chambers Brothers. It was "Time Has Come Today". Guess you'd better go to iTunes or somewhere and hear a sample. I must admit, it was intended to be a stumper, but I didn't think it would be that dramatic. Here's an easy one for over the weekend.
"You say yes, I say no. You say stop, and I say, go, go, go. Oh, no..." Hint: One of many by a prolific quartet from across the pond. That's all you get.
Today we picked the colors for the tile grout. It was simple and painless. Supat brought the tiles and a color chart to the house and we just matched them up. Hmm, why couldn't choosing the tile have been that easy? Then we drove up to Mon's shop and went over the fabrics we'd picked for the window treatments. It was a bit taxing, having a three way conversation with Boot and not being sure if everything was getting across. It should be pointed out that Boot also was taxed in the process, sometimes having to explain things to Mon that had no Thai word. We finally had all windows accounted for and a plan to revisit the construction just to make sure. Oh yeah, Supat told us there were sixty workers on the site today. Awesome. Maybe we really will move in the first week in June.
Another day with rain in the forecast, but not in reality. I just finished a new project. I made a Didjeridoo out of PVC tubing. I'd been curious about making one for a long time and noticed some scrap pieces at the site. I took a piece that had a good diameter for me and started reading up. Basically it's pretty simple. A length of tubing, sand the end for the mouth-piece and start playing. Of course I had to take it a bit further. Read something about opening up one end to give it a bell shape, for the tone. I ended up getting some fittings that accomplished the same effect. A nice coat of dark brown paint and I have a great sounding instrument. Oh, and I added a joint in the tubing that will allow me to change pitches. Smooth. I'll take it and my 'authentic' Didj to the circle on Sunday.
Have a Wonderful WeekEnd and enjoy the 'Funnies'.


The Border

A customs officer at the Mexican border noticed a man coming across
one day on a bicycle with two small sacks tied to the handlebars. He
naturally got suspicious and asked him to open the sacks, but when he
did he found nothing but sand.

This went on every day for the next month. Each time he'd stop the
bicycle and open the sacks, and he'd find only sand.

A few years later, he ran into the biker in a restaurant in Tijuana.
After some small talk he said, "Come on . I know you were smuggling
something all that time. I won't tell. I'm just curious. What was it?"

The other man said, "Bicycles."

Gettin' Funky, Thai Style

Thursday, April 24, 2008


The forecast called for rain but the rain never came. Tonight we had lots of lightning, but no rain. It's a lot cooler than yesterday and that's nice.
I can't believe no one knows this song. Not one reply. And I thought the clues were pretty good. Guess not. Here's a little more:
"I've been loved, pushed, (put) aside. I've been crushed by tumbling tide and my soul has been psychedelicized. Now the time has come there are things to realize. __ __ __ __, __ __ __ __" Clue: There's a cowbell in this one, that plays a prominent role, tick tock.
We had a pretty busy day today. The morning mission was to search for bed frames for the master and guest rooms and find a dining room table with seating for eight. We'd seen some real nice sets, but for six. Our first stop was a good one. We found a great deal on the beds in just the color wood we were looking for. As a bonus, they had a cool little couch that converted into a bed. That will go in the music room, just in case.
We had a three o'clock appointment with Mon, the woman who's going to do our window treatments. She came to the house and then we all went out to the property to look at the windows. Well, the windows aren't actually in yet, but she had a chance to measure everything and get a feel for the place. The Place was bustling with activity. Most of the wall tile was installed in our bathroom, the floor was almost done in the guest room and the guest bathroom wall was in progress. Now it's coming together. All those trips back and forth to the tile store were worth it. Work had also begun on the wiring and the frames were being installed for the ceilings. They consist of an aluminum grid that is then covered with drywall. Another crew was painting the wood trim on the outside and yet another group was working on the pool. Whew. Enough to make the head spin.
After the trip to The Place we went back home and poured over huge sample books, trying to find fabrics for curtains and blinds. Mon met us later and confirmed our choices. Tomorrow we'll go to her shop and look at more stuff. We also have to go back to the property and choose colors for the tile grout. Who knew? This should be interesting.
I don't know if it has to do with the new motorbike helmet law or not, but there were police checks all over town. One cop was standing in the street at an intersection, checking for helmets and registration. Hmm.
Well, go out there and have a Great Thursday.


"If opportunity doesn't knock,
build a door."

Gettin' Funky, Thai Style

Wednesday, April 23, 2008


The heat-wave is over, for now. It dropped down to 80 today and I think last night's rain had something to do with that. What ever the reason, it's a good thing. We're expecting more rain over the next three days.
The song that only a few knew was "I Wanna Be Your Lover" by Prince. I know, it was right on the tip of your tongue. Remember this?:
"__ __ __ __ , young hearts can go their way, can't put it off another day. I don't care what others say. They say we don't listen anyway __ __ __ __, hey Clue: Early 70s band of brothers. Timely song has been featured in many films.
This morning we went to the market with Boot. We wanted to go and watch her do her thing and learn the 'ropes'. There are some things better left unseen. We'd been to the market before. It's not like I didn't know what went on there. We were standing in an area where chicken and fish were being sold. I hadn't noticed the large pan on the floor next to me, until it splashed. It was full of long black fish and the only thing keeping them in was a net. I guess one of them was giving it one last try and water flew out and I was suddenly aware of fish on the floor. My attention had been on the tanks of fish. It gives a whole new meaning to the word 'fresh'. Boot picked the one she wanted, it got scooped out and the man took it off somewhere and we continued to shop. We watched with wide eyes as Boot bought everything from coconut milk to fresh cut ginger, leafy greens to chili. It was a fun excursion.
We looked at the cookie store across from the market, but they were sold out. Boot said she knew a place at the big market so off we went, into the center of town. Talk about 'action'. This was it. We went up to a grocery store and discovered some good deals. We struck out on the cookie thing, but got to see some pretty cool stuff. I spotted bootleg Frosted Flakes. How dare they. They were called Tiger Flakes, with a picture of Tony on the package. Hmm.
Since we were near the road to the property, we decided to just drive by and check it out. We ended up walking around, seeing the progress and getting answers to some burning questions. Some of the house has it's first coat of brown paint. It's going to be awesome. I forgot to take pictures, but I'll get some soon. There was a guy from the tile store working on the pattern to our bathroom wall tile. I suspected there might be a pattern and he found it. Nothing worse than disjointed leaves.
A new helmet law is going into affect that limits 2 people per bike and they both have to be wearing helmets. I don't see that happening up here. Maybe they can try to enforce it in BKK, but there aren't enough police to pull that off in CR. Not that I don't think folks should wear helmets. I do, but it's the wild west. Reminds me of the commercial where the cowboys are on the range, trying to drive a herd of cats.
Well, it's time for a Wacky Wednesday.


"Perseverance is failing 19 times and succeeding the 20th."
~J. Andrews

Gettin' Funky, Thai Style

Tuesday, April 22, 2008


Today was Boot's birthday. Lisa made a card and we left gifts for her on her table. This evening we went out to dinner. More about that later.
"I wanna be your brother I wanna be your mother and your sister, too. There ain’t no other..." Hint: The first four words of the first line are in the title. Just so you know, Paul got it, so it's possible.
The big project for today was getting new tires. Last evening we noticed a low tire, the product of a slow leak. Rather than just fix an old tire, I did the adult thing and got new ones all around. Supat told me the best place to go and had me call him when I got there so he could talk to the owner. It was a different experience from buying tires in the U.S. There's always the smell of old tires when you sit around waiting. And that's if there's a place to sit around. Instead of tire funk, the sweet smell of incense floated about. When they began working on the truck I watched from a distance, in 'the resting area'. I noticed that before they put the new tires on, the operator thoroughly cleaned the inside of the wheel, where the tire seats against the rim. Interesting. Then a woman came by with a tray of ice-water. That never happened before. A little later, the owner came over and asked me if I'd like them to put nitrogen mixture in the tires instead of air. Hmm. It keeps the tires cooler. They use it on airliners and F1 cars. That's all I needed to hear. Fill'em up. Then it was on to my free tire alignment. What? After I paid I was given a gift. A Lao pillow and a calendar. Yes, a totally unique experience. It took a while, but it was worth it.
I spent part of my waiting time exploring an area next to the tire store. I don't care where you live, there's always a place on a street that you travel on, where you say 'I wonder what's over there'. Well, this was one of those places, so I went to see. It was a giant market place for fresh fruits and vegetables. It was mid-day and farmers were driving in and dropping off big bundles of produce. It was fascinating to watch the routine. A few people were shopping but it was mostly vendors setting things up. We're going to go over one day with Boot and see if things are really fresh and what the prices are like.
So, we took Boot to dinner. She directed us to a spot called Moo Mai that was wonderful. It used to be a very large Lana (northern) style house that was converted into an experience. As we walked into the yard there was a playground for kids. To the right, there were several small open tents, each with a table for four by candle light. We strolled in and Boot picked a spot that turned out to be right in front of a small stage. Very friendly, attentive staff and a decor that had my eyes constantly discovering something new. It was fun. Normally, when you order a drink you get a bottle's worth. Boot and I had Cokes and our server kept coming over and topping off our glasses. Lisa had a Tang Mo Pun (watermelon shake) and soda water. We ordered a fish dish and shrimp plate. Just as dinner arrived a young man started setting up for a set on the small stage. He played acoustic guitar and sang and was very entertaining. On some of the songs, Boot would explain what he was singing about. That made a big difference. On a few tunes he used a drum machine and was very adept at managing it and the guitar. After his set, as we were leaving, I went up and spoke to him. I just wanted to thank him for his set. I hope to get together with Berm in the future.
It's time for Happy Tuesday. You haven't gotten to the quote yet, but know that I have a bunch of butterflies all over me.


"Happiness is like a butterfly.
The more you chase it, the more it will elude you.
But if you turn your attention to other things,
it comes softly and sits on your shoulder."

Gettin' Funky, Thai Style

Monday, April 21, 2008


I'm back from the weekend. Speaking of that, my friend Frank figures there must be something out there that points to the origin of that term. Any takers?
Over the weekend you were supposed to be remembering a particular song. Only three of you got it. It was "Politician" by Cream. Hmm, now the clues make sense. Here's one that may stump some of you, but I just know I'll get some mail after you sing along.
"I ain’t got no money, I ain’t like those other guys you hang around. It’s kinda funny, but they always seem to let you down..."
Clues: It's from '80, and the singer wants to be something. He's been known by many names, including a reference to a color.
Saturday Poui and her mom came over for lunch. They took a wrong turn and got lost and I had to go and meet them and show them the way. I only mention that part because it made me smile, that I knew where they were and how to get home. Guess I'm settling in and becoming localized. Another indication was on Sunday when we were walking down 'The Strip' and one of the Tuk-Tuk drivers called out and said, 'Hi Danny'. Nice.
Saturday afternoon we got our living room set for the new house. We set it up so we can use it here in the rental house. It's all very comfortable and it's going to work with our new floors just fine. I'll have to take some pictures so you can see. That evening we drove out to Makro and did a little shopping and looking. It was fun to get out on the road, even for a brief time.
I know I keep talking about the weather, but it's a great conversation piece here. Everybody is talking about the weather and how hot it is. Even though it happens every year. For instance, tonight at seven o'clock it was 90 degrees. Hmm, that's hot. How hot is it? It's so hot that the ants tried to come inside to beat the heat. Fortunately, they only found one point of entrance and we were able to fight them off. It wasn't pretty, but it's over now.
Sunday we did our usual evening thing and went down to the NB for dinner. After dinner I went and jammed with my new friends. There we were, on one of the isles, with three didgeridoos droning away and a youngster playing a drum. The guys put out a basket, as a lark I think, and people were stopping to listen and put money in the basket. We had a lot of fun and we'll do it again next week.
Today I had a revelation of sorts. We were sitting in traffic and I noticed a young woman on a motorbike. She was one of three and she was sitting in the first position. The driver was second and then another behind her. What hit me was, the first person sees everything that's coming yet has no control at all. I put myself in that position and it was a very creepy feeling. Imagine, flying through the wind and having no control, just faith in the driver. Hmm, not where I'd want to be.
Work resumed on the house today, with the crew returning from their vacation. There's a roof to finish, walls to be painted, a ton of tile to be set and a pool to finish. It is about six weeks from completion and patience is now a word that comes to mind.
Have an Inspired Week.


"Tension is who you think you should be. Relaxation is who you are."
~Chinese Proverb

Gettin' Funky, Thai Style

Friday Funnies

Here we are again, at the end of another week. And another time when I ask the age old question: Who says this is the end of the week? Anyway, that's one for the debate teams.
Bravo/brava to all those who knew/remembered "Shop Around" by The Miracles. If you said it was Smokey Robinson and The Miracles, I'll let it pass, but this song was before his name became part the group name. You youngsters remember don't you?
"Hey now baby, get into my big black car (repeat)...I support the left, though I'm leanin' to the right (repeat)...but I'm just not ready, when it comes to a fight." Hint: These people are all over your news. This group rose to the top. It's a hard one.
So, today we went out into the world. It was a busy Friday in Chiang Rai. We started with the Post Office, in the middle of town. I had to circle the parking lot because the lot was full and the streets were full and it was a one-way street. In every city there's a part of town that one tries to avoid just because of the hassle. This is that place. The downtown market is a bustling mass of everything with wheels and even though most of the streets are one-way, you can get trapped in there and it seems like a maze. Someday it will all make sense. For now, I know how to get in and get out. Parking? Forget it.
After the P.O. we went out to The Place. From a distance, we have a big white house, due to the coat of primer. It makes the whole thing look even bigger. We walked around in the silence and absorbed what would soon be our home. This is a first for us. A brand new house. It's still sinking in, and the excitement is building.
After visiting the house, we went down to what I like to call 'The Strip'. Pahonyothin is the street with the NB, lots of eateries, and the main night time/tourist focus. By day, it's a busy business district. We needed to go by the travel agent and a place we call the pharmacy. It really isn't a pharmacy, it's a warehouse/store with everything one could need to get well or stay healthy. The place is packed to the ceiling with so much inventory that you sometimes have to walk sideways through the place. It's a mess, but they deliver, most of the time.
We did some window shopping at Sinthanee, looking at air/cons, T.V. and U.P.S. devices. The whole ordeal of pricing things can be fun, tedious and scary. Fun because you get to go into the big shiny store and look at all the neat 'stuff'. Tedious because you have to focus on all the stuff and compare and decide. Scary because sometimes the things you really like are the most expensive in the place and you have to let them go and not throw a temper tantrum. Hmm.
We were going to go to Big C but the line into the lot was way down the street. We could just imagine what it must have been like inside. Instead, we stopped and looked at furniture and found a great deal on a living room set. We have to go back tomorrow with a piece of our floor to see if they can 'live' together.
It's time for the 'Funnies', brought to us this week by Cousin Trudye. I can totally relate to this piece. Let me know if you found a connection.
Have a Great WeekEnd.


The Great Forgetting -- By David Brooks – Some excerpts

Society is now riven between the memory haves and the memory have-nots . . .
This divide produces moments of social combat. Some vaguely familiar person will come up to you in the supermarket. “Stan, it’s so nice to see you!” The smug memory dropper can smell your nominal aphasia and is going to keep first-naming you until you are crushed into submission.

Your response here is critical. You want to open up with an effusive burst of insincere emotional warmth: “Hey!” You’re practically exploding with feigned ecstasy. “Wonderful to see you too! How is everything?” All the while, you are frantically whirring through your memory banks trying to anchor this person in some time and context.

A decent human being would sense your distress and give you some lagniappe of information — a mention of the church picnic you both attended, the parents’ association at school, the fact that the two of you were formerly married. But the Proustian bully will give you nothing. “I’m good. And you?” It’s like trying to get an arms control concession out of Leonid Brezhnev.

Your only strategy is evasive vagueness, conversational rope-a-dope until you can figure out who this person is. You start talking in the tone of over-generalized blandness that suggests you have recently emerged from a coma.

Sensing your pain, your enemy pours it on mercilessly. “And how is Mary, and little Steven and Rob?” People who needlessly display their knowledge of your kids’ names are the lowest scum of the earth.

You’re in agony now, praying for an episode of spontaneous combustion. But still she drives the blade in deeper, “That was some party the other night wasn’t it?”

You lose vision. What party? Did you see this person at a party? By now, articulation is impossible. You are a puddle of gurgling noises and awkward silences. After the longest of these pauses, she goes for the coup de grĂ¢ce: “You have no idea who I am, do you?”

You can’t tell the truth. That would be an admission of social defeat . . .

Gettin' Funky, Thai Style

Thursday, April 17, 2008


Another day without Boot, and we managed to fend for ourselves. We mostly hung around the house and worked on little projects. Lisa worked on several art projects and I began learning how to use the 'Organizr' in Flickr. You can check out my handywork at the site. Lots more to do, but it's a start.
Some songs can stand the test of time. The one we're working with has done just that. Some of you knew it, and the original artist and some of you knew a popular cover version. Still, the song stands. This should clench it just in case you're feeling unsure.
"My mama told me, you better __ __" Now you really don't expect me to give you any more clues, do you?
Even though our main work crew is still on vacation, a painting crew started today. They're putting the primer coat on the house. We're going over tomorrow to check it out. I woke up early this morning and couldn't go back to sleep so I pondered the front gate. It's a sliding gate made of steel, with wood panels. It's very heavy, but easy to open and close. The plan was to have it motorized so we could push a button in the house or the truck and activate the gate. Well, so far the cost is being prohibitive for the motor affair so we decided we'd just have to walk out and open and close the thing. This morning it dawned on me that this could pose some problems with locking and unlocking. There could be times when somebody would either be locked out or locked in. Hmm, what to do? I have a plan for an electric latch affair like they have in security buildings. I've put my people on it. (I love saying that)
Tonight we went back to the NB to see about exchanging something. The place was packed. I think it was a combination of the heat and the fact that Songkran is over and many locals came to town. We strolled around and said hello to some of our friends. There's one guy we ran into who plays the didgeridoo. We met him a couple of Sundays ago and he told us they'd be jamming again this Sunday. We plan to go back and I'll take my instrument and join in.
There's something about the layout of the Chiang Rai NB that makes it easy to just hang out. It can get crowded, but it's not the same as the sidewalk affair in Chiang Mai and Bangkok, where you're pushed in one direction or the other. Plenty of room to ponder the merchandise. Last night we spent some time with our friend Poui. We have a real connection with her. She and her mom are coming over for lunch on Saturday. One of our goals was to make friends with some of the creative artists in the community and it's starting to happen.
Oh yeah, I told you that we thought the storms might cool things off. Not so according to the weather reports. Today it was 97 at 3 o'clock this afternoon. The weekend is going to be hotter. The air/con works in the house and the truck so we'll just hide from the heat and dash from place to place. (one could get a funny visual out of that)
The Olympic Torch will arrive in Bangkok on Saturday. As with every other stop around the world, there will be demonstrations. Let's hope things stay peaceful.
Have yourself a Fantastic Thursday.


"Have patience with all things, but chiefly have patience with yourself. Do not lose courage in considering your own imperfections, but instantly set about remedying them - every day begin the task anew."
~Saint Francis de Sales

Gettin' Funky, Thai Style

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Blueprints (Tuesday's)

It's Tuesday night in Chiang Rai and we're in the middle of another thunderstorm. Wind, rain, lightning and thunder, the whole show. It started just about the time Boot was supposed to go home. She ended up waiting out the first wave. I offered her a jacket, which she refused (and I expected). We keep forgetting that she's been living through things like this all her life, and riding a motorbike in the rain is not a particularly big deal.
I had about three responses to the song. Today's portion is from the chorus, which will induce immediate memory recall. (Ha)
"The sailors say, __, you're a fine girl (You're a fine girl) What a good wife you would be (Such a fine girl) Yeah, your eyes could steal a sailor from the sea." Hint: See, you don't need any hints 'cause it all came back to you.
Since we didn't need anything from the stores that were closed, we stayed home. This afternoon I took all the Buddhas outside and washed them. Boot said, 'You act like Thai people'. She didn't realize that I learned it all from reading on the web. When Lisa explained how I knew so much about Songkran, she really laughed. It was one of those laughs of understanding. Now that she's experiencing the internet there are many references that mean something to her. It's nice to see her face light up in recognition.
Tonight Lisa is trolling through my iTunes archive and having a grand time. There are probably a couple of thousand files of various kinds of music. She's been using her Shuffle to listen to music, but has a Nano that has room for music. With the Nano, you can see what you're listening to and scroll to what you want. There's going to be a lot of scrolling.
Well, that's about it for today. The sound of the rain and the music are very distracting. (Ha) Hopefully the temps won't rocket up like predicted. Oh, and the roof got a second washing. All is well.
Have a Happy Tuesday.


"Cherish your visions and your dreams, as they are the children of your soul, the blueprints of your ultimate achievements."
~Napoleon Hill

Dreamer (Wednesday's)

We spent the day on our own. No big deal, kinda like a Sunday on Wednesday. Boot called in sick and we had to make her promise to stay home and get better. She was going to try and come in this afternoon. We really can take care of ourselves. (Ha)
I know some of you were trying real hard on the song, and some of you just shined it on. Now you get to pound your head on the wall. It was "Brandy" by Looking Glass. Hey, stop that. This next one should be a little easier. It's dedicated to all the shoppers out there.
"Just because you've become a young man now, there's still some things that you don't understand now. Before you ask some girl for her hand now, you keep your freedom for as long as you can, now..." Hint: This one came out a long time ago. It's a miracle this song didn't get them in trouble. Hmm.
We went out, mid-day to the 'chicken guy' and to Tops for some supplies. We didn't see anybody throwing water. Yea, it's over. Well, it's not really over, just the water part. Many shops were still closed and the streets seemed a little quiet. I only saw one pick-up with some rogue 'water boys' in the back.
Speaking of trucks, there's an interesting thing here called the "Rescue Patrol". This is a group of young men from mid teens to late twenties mostly, and they seem to be dedicated to helping with any kind of problem. There's a spot near us where they hang out and I see them several times a week. Some of them have light bars on their trucks, like a police vehicle. I'm talking red light and siren. I don't know how this works, but it's allowed. One day we saw an ambulance racing by them, going up the Super Highway. Two of the the trucks started up, guys piled in and they raced after the ambulance, sirens blaring. I've been told that they help people stranded on the road, assist with traffic control, and play a big part when there's any flooding. They were probably seeing some action over Songkran due to the fact that the roads were full of travelers and there were lots of accidents. It doesn't exactly keep them off the streets, but they are contributing to their society. Very cool.
This evening we went to the NB for dinner. It was a clear, beautiful evening and the merchants were very happy about that. They've missed two nights this week because of rain, not to mention the low turn out because of the holiday. The NB is going through a transformation. They're building a structure that will apparently house some of the vendors, so they don't have to set up and tear down every evening. Right now, there's extra congestion in a few places, but it's still the biggest evening attraction in town.
We stopped by the Wiang Inn to see our friend Freddie, but he has left the building. We found out he's down in Phuket. Maybe we'll see him down there some day. Another place we haven't been yet. Actually, there's a lot of Thailand we haven't seen. Of course, we may not see any of it after the house is finished. We may not want to leave. Just kidding.
Time now for Wacky Wednesday. Oh, all of the quotes this week were provided by my friend Claire. Thanks.


Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world.
Harriet Tubman

Gettin' Funky, Thai Style

Monday, April 14, 2008


It was a quiet weekend for us. Even with Songkran going on, we stayed in. I'll fill you in after our Monday morning musical interlude.
The song that rang a bell was "On and On" by Stephen Bishop. One of those gems from the 70s. From the same decade try this:
"There's a port, on a western bay and it serves a hundred ships a day. Lonely sailors, pass the time away and talk about their homes..."
Hint: It may seem a little obscure without the music, but it was very popular. Of course, it's about a girl.
I'm not sure when it happened, but some time last week, I picked up a little stomach bug that followed me home and waited until the middle of the night to make itself known. So, I spent the entire weekend in bed, with a fever. Sweetheart that she is, Boot insisted on coming to the house on Sunday, to cook for me. Slept a lot, had two kinds of chicken soup and rode out the storm.
Speaking of storms, we had one Sunday night. About 2 p.m. it got dark, like it was 5. Just as the sun started going down, we heard thunder. Pretty soon there were big flashes of lightning. What we ended up with was a lot of noise and a bunch of rain. We had been told that it always rained during Songkran, but we weren't sure, based on the sky, whether to believe it. I had joked with Yuthana about needing someone to clean off the new roof. He said, 'No worry, rain come'. OK, rain come. Now I have to go and see if the roof is clean. Silly me.
Even though I was sick and shut-in, I did notice a few goings on in the 'hood'. Like the truck load of kids that left Sunday morning, laughing and cheering as they turned out into the street, and the sight of them returning at the end of the day, soaking wet with big grins on their faces.
And don't forget the fireworks. Every holiday requires that someone set off things that make big noise. It wouldn't be so bad if there were a warning. Just minding your own business and Blam! I don't think I'll ever get used to that. It should be a bit quieter at the new place. Another Songkran note: Lots of businesses are closed for a week, including the Post Office. I went out this evening and most of the sidewalk 'water stations' had been abandoned, but there were tons of pick-up trucks roaming the streets looking for someone to splash. I did get wet, or should I say the truck got wet. The real trick is to be quick on the wipers so you can still see where you're going. It should be noted that the authorities have been urging the revelers to not hit motorbike riders in the face. Good idea.
Well, one more day of water, supposedly, and that part is over. Tomorrow we'll clean all the Buddhas and look towards the new year. The weather is supposed to go over 100 degrees for the rest of the week so there just might be more water throwing, just to cool off.
Have a Wonderful Week.


"Buried deep within each of us is a spark of greatness,
a spark than can be fanned into flames of passion and achievement.
That spark is not outside of you it is born deep within you."
~James A. Ray

Gettin' Funky, Thai Style

Thursday, April 10, 2008


Well, we made it back to Chiang Rai, without incident. As we were leaving the bus station, I spotted a sign over a shop that read:
"Pordee Coffee". It didn't look like a Thai word and the more I thought about it, I started laughing. Did it say 'Pour de coffee'? Hmm, maybe on our next trip I'll go find out. I love it.
Boy, did I get a lot of responses to the song line yesterday. Tomorrow I'll fill you in on all the research that was done. In case you need a little more for recognition, here's the opening line: "Just yesterday morning they let me know you were gone. Susanne the plans they made put an end to you..." Hint: He's often called 'Sweet Baby __' and this was his first hit. Other than that, you're on your own.
As I mentioned yesterday, today is actually the first day of the water aspect of Songkran. As we made our way up the highway, the bus got 'splashed' a few times by young people. As we passed through various villages, we'd see small gatherings, with their water set ups. Usually a few buckets or trash cans, and a small bowl for tossing the water. A few had garden hoses and just sprayed the road. We did see some motorbike riders who were soaking wet.
Back in town, Supat's car got one good bit of water from some kids. I guess as the week progresses we'll see more of this. It's a good thing we have 'air' in the truck. Just keep the windows rolled up and hit the wipers when needed.
We went over to The Place to see the new roof. Now it's looking like a giant house. The workers finished the top portion and will finish when they return after the Songkran break. When we arrived, they were having a party. They were all sitting around on the ground in a circle, eating, singing, and drinking. They all had on their colorful 'Songkran shirts', which are actually Hawaiian Aloha shirts. Who would imagine that the popular garb for the Thai New Year is a shirt from Hawaii? Fortunately, we brought a few so we will fit in when we go to town. (That's if we go to town)
Another development at the property was the delivery of all the tile we've been ordering. It was quite something to see all the tile assembled in one place. Up until now, we've just seen it one tile at a time. Man, it's a lot of tile. Now it's just a matter of the right tile reaching the right room. I have faith that it will happen.
Drop by the Flickr site and check out the NZ pics and the new shots of the house. I'll be posting them tonight (your morning) so be patient.
Have a Terrific Thursday.


"Some people have thousands of reasons why they cannot
do what they want to,
when all they need is one reason why they can."
~Willis Whitney

Gettin' Funky, Thai Style

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Courage 2

We've had a very full day here in Chiang Mai. It started with the buffet breakfast, which was complimentary. No flowers though. They throw quite a spread, with a wide variety of choices. Many of the offerings are things we don't eat, so it's pretty easy to keep it simple. I'll get to the rest of the day in a minute.
It's funny how the second day of clues almost always brings many answers. A lot of you recognized "Deacon Blues" by Steely Dan.
Lane wrote in with a little background:This song probably refers to The Wake Forest "Demon Deacons," whose football team had losing streaks during the 1977 (1-10) and 1978 seasons (1-10) which paralleled one of several of The University Of Alabama's extended winning streaks, including back-to-back National Championships during the 1978 and 1979 seasons under Coach Paul W. Bryant. Alabama is known as "The Crimson Tide": "They got a name for the winners in the world, and I want a name when I lose. They call Alabama the Crimson Tide, Call me Deacon Blues" Now you know.
"...I've seen sunny days that I thought would never end. But I always thought that I'd see you again." Clues: There are a couple of elements involved here. It's time to make you think.
After breakfast, we had a woman at the front desk show us where the art stores were on a map. Our plan was to tackle that bit of business and then figure out how to get to Hang Dong. We went down to the corner and engaged a Tuk-Tuk to take us to the closest store. While we were waiting, we saw a convertible model. We'd never seen a topless Tuk-Tuk and the idea of riding around in the hot sun just didn't appeal to us. Our driver took us right to the location and Lisa was able to find some paints and pallets, but no canvases. We figured the best thing to do was hail another ride and head for the second store. We found a really neat guy who knew where it was and we got a real good taste of Chiang Mai in the morning. Busy streets, but no heavy traffic. At our second stop we found what we were looking for. The driver waited for us and brought us back to the hotel.
We had lunch at our 'spot' and Lisa had the bright idea to ask the owner if he knew anyone with a car. He made a couple of calls and a friend of his came and took us to Hang Dong and waited while we looked around. The heat was oppressive so we only stayed an hour, but saw lots of beautiful furniture. We got some ideas for what we'll need and I bought another Didgeridoo. Some of you may recall that I got one there in October. I found out today that they were made in Bali. Hmm. Anyway, it was a worthwhile trip and it helped us narrow our focus for the house.
Songkran officially begins on number 13, but apparently the water begins tomorrow. On our way to Hang Dong, there was a big splash of water on the windshield. Someone was doing a little practicing. We called Supat to make sure he could pick us up at the bus station tomorrow. We were going to have Khun Sing pick us up in his Tuk-Tuk, but the thought of us and our luggage getting soaked changed our plans.
The August Chronicles: A few weeks ago August sent us an email, with the help of his dad. It was a 'painting' he'd done of some flowers. A pleasant surprise. This morning we called and talked to Jeff and C-Bass. When it was August's turn, he told us he was very busy with many things to do. Homework, piano practice and getting ready for bed. Then, after he'd signed off with 'Talk to Jeff', he returned to the phone to say he wanted to play something for us on the piano. He proceeded to play a very intricate, advanced piece of music that blew us away. What a guy.
Our camera is back, safe and sound in Chiang Rai, so I'll be able to post some pics of the house with its roof and Kalae. Today's quote is another about courage. I forgot to tell you about a young man we saw last night at the NB. He was walking down the sidewalk playing a large electric piano and holding a plastic cup. He was blind and it struck me that this was an incredible display of courage. To put oneself in the chaotic space of the crowded sidewalk, with strangers bumping, merchants hawking and uneven surfaces spoke volumes.
It's time for a Wacky Wednesday.


"Courageous risks are life-giving, they help you grow,
make you brave, and better than you think you are."
~Joan L. Curcio

Gettin' Funky, Thai Style

Tuesday, April 8, 2008


Dateline: The Road. After a harrowing, three hour ride through mountains, detours and a stop by the police, our bus made it to the big city. After a brief bargaining session with what seemed like a mellow Tuk-Tuk driver, we went on the Mad Hatter's Wild Ride. This reporter likes a thrill and enjoys the feeling of wind in his face, but damn. We squeezed through gaps in traffic that should have scrapped paint. Near misses every block, from the station to the hotel. We are so out of practice. Or maybe we've just grown accustomed to small town life.
Back to reality. Didn't hear from too many of you yesterday. And I thought you knew your tunes. Here's the lead into the hook:
"They call Alabama the Crimson Tide, call me __ __..." Hint: Now really, does that need explaining? It's a classic from two prolific guys.
I keep remembering things I meant to tell you. Being in a hotel again reminded me of a card that was in our room in Bangkok. It had to do with a certain type of guest. The term they used was 'Lady Joiners', and there were lots of rules and regulations. Every hotel has some type of notice. In Chiang Rai, at our first home, The Wangcome, they had a person at a desk in front of each elevator, to sign visitors in and out. Hmm.
This afternoon we walked for miles, looking for an art supply store. We were given a tip at our favorite eatery, but the store we found wasn't what we were looking for. After tramping around in the heat, we returned to the hotel and went for a swim. Oh joy. It was a big pool that went from very shallow to not too deep. Each lap in one direction had to end early because my hand would hit bottom. We had a great time since it was empty. Then a big party arrived and took over one end so we just hung out for a while. Most relaxing.
This evening we dressed for dinner and ate in the hotel dining room. We were their first guests of the evening. Talk about service. After our meal we asked for the check. Our server brought us each a cookie and flowers: three roses for me to give to Lisa, and a garland of jasmine for her to give to me. Still no check. Then she returned with two snifters of brandy. We sent them back and asked again for the check. This time she brought it. We could tell by the smile on her face that she also thought all that stuff was a bit much. She was a trainee and did a very good job. The bill was pretty small considering we got dinner, cookies, flowers and booze. Tomorrow we hit the same room for the breakfast buffet.
A big part of our mission was to see an art festival. After dinner we went to the Night Bazaar in search of same. After asking many people, we finally got it straight, from a desk clerk at one of our former hotels. It was a disappointment. With the exception of three artists, all those assembled were doing the same thing. Namely, photo-realism. It's amazing what they can do, but it's not very creative. That's what we were looking for. The artists we did find that were being creative, were mostly doing variations on a theme. One artist really moved us with his scenes of monks in various settings. Oh, we did get two address for art supplies so tomorrow we'll track them down.
And now it's time for Happy Tuesday.


PS Click it, I dare ya.

"Courage is the power to let go of the familiar."
~Raymond Lindquist

Gettin' Funky, Thai Style

Monday, April 7, 2008

A Friend

We just finished another Monday. For most of you, it's just beginning. It's very hot here in northern Thailand. We had to leave the shelter of our air-conditioned bedroom and go out into the day. Whew! Actually, once you get going, you kinda get used to it, but the cool air does feel better.
Looks like there were more than a few Four Season fans out there. "Let's Hang On" was one of their many hits. Here's an oldie we've played with before. The line for today is from the last verse. It's one of my favorites. Extra points for the album name.
"This is the night Of the expanding the man I take one last drag As I approach the stand I cried when I wrote this song
Sue me if I play too long This brother is free I'll be what I want to be..." Clue: It's not really a blues, in the purest sense.
We're just about packed for our little trip down to Chiang Mai. We usually only go for one night, but since they're having their annual Art Festival, we decided to stay for two nights and take in the sights. We're also considering a side trip to Hang Dong, the furniture village, to check out some possibilities for the new house.
Speaking of the house, we went over today to go over more details. The roofers were hard at work, in the hot sun. Now we're getting a better picture of what it's going to look like. Among the details, I wanted to make sure that our electrical circuits were grounded properly. The custom here is not to do this, and I don't know why. Our laptops have metal cases and you can 'feel' the current. Not cool. Anyway, I've been assured that this can be solved. We also wanted to make sure that there will be a lightning rod on the roof. There's a lot of electricity flying through the air when it storms up here. I've read many stories of things getting 'fried' during a storm. Our rod will be placed behind the ornamental Kalae, a large wooden fixture that looks like an 'X' but is intricately carved. Bring on the storms.
This week Lisa started giving Boot some lessons on the computer. She really wants to learn how to use it and she's learning fast. We set up an email account for her and she sent me a message today. She teaches us so much about Thai language and culture that it seems only fitting that we teach her things too. It won't be long before she understands why I spend so much time with this thing.
Today's quote was sent to me by my good friend Claire. Thanks a bunch. Everybody have a Fabulous Week.


PS Don't forget to click the ad.

"A friend is one who walks in when others walk out"
~Walter Winchill

Gettin' Funky, Thai Style

Friday, April 4, 2008

Friday Funnies

We seem to be getting back to our normal time zone pattern. Today we had to get up early, and it took an alarm to get the job done. Yea. We had to be at the hospital for a doctor appointment at 9a.m. When we arrived, the joint was jumpin'. It still amazes me how efficiently they run the place, from my perspective. We were in and out in 25 minutes. There were people waiting that had it much longer, but ours was a simple thing. I continue to have mixed feelings about the preferential treatment I believe we get. Hmm.
I'm so glad that some of you remembered Smokey Robinson's 'Tracks of My Tears'. There were also some close calls and that's cool too.
"__ __ __ to what we've got, don't let go girl, we've got a lot. Got a lot of love between us, hang on, hang on, hang on to what we've got."
Clues: Should be pretty obvious, what the theme is, by a group who had a gang of hits. Not everybody's cup of tea, but at least they weren't called 'summer, fall, winter, and spring'. Get it?
Yesterday when I mentioned the police, I didn't want it to sound like they don't have anything to do. I'm sure they do, and they help a lot of people. I guess the real point of the observation was that there isn't a lot of effort put into chasing people down. I think that's a good thing. The little 'mental ticket book' that I used to use in the States, to write up offenders has long been emptied and replaced. That's about as far as it goes. A lot of the police don't even carry guns. How nice. There's definitely less of a feeling of intimidation, which may lead to calm. Somebody could come over here and do any number of studies on the way things work and how the people feel.
We went over to the The Place again today. They've almost finished the rendering of the outside walls. The whole place looks totally different. When the camera returns, you'll see. Tomorrow the roofing crew comes to town and starts on the tiles. Then it will look like a house and we'll be able to get an address. That will lead to water and power. We've been getting by with 'borrowed' power and well water.
This weekend will be the first time since the start of the F1 season that we'll be at home. It's race three and I can hardly wait. We missed the opener in Australia but watched Malaysia while we were in NZ. And did I tell you that I learned a tiny bit about Rugby and it doesn't look quite as confusing? Well, I still don't know all the rules, but I get it. Rugby is the big sport in NZ, so everybody's into it. It's going to take a lot more time for me to get into Cricket. I noticed that they had a big match down in Chiang Mai last week. The matches can go on for days. Very interesting, from a sociological standpoint. The extent that folks will go to support a sports team is quite intriguing. From the people who wear costumes and paint, to the soccer fans who sing through the whole game, to the fans who travel to far off continents, I find it fascinating. Hey, there's another study. See, I'm giving some of you a reason to travel and see the world.
I'm pretty sure it's time for the 'Funnies', brought to us again by my good friend VonSheila. Thanks for the laughter. Everyone have a Great WeekEnd and please visit the blog site and click on the little box. I'm entering a new phase in life and sharing all of this with more of the world. So go click.


Bill and Sam, two elderly friends, met in the park every day to
feed the pigeons, watch the squirrels and discuss world problems.

One day, Bill didn't show up. Sam wasn't concerned;
he thought Bill might have a cold or some urgent appointment.
But after Bill hadn't shown up for a week or so,
Sam really got worried.

However, since Sam didn't know where Bill lived (the only time they ever got together was at the park)
he was unable to find out what had happened to him.

After a month had passed, Sam figured he had seen the last of Bill .
On his next visit to the park, however, Bill was sitting
on their usual bench waiting for him.

Amazed and delighted, Sam exclaimed, 'For crying out loud Bill , what in the world happened to you?'

Bill replied, 'I've been in jail.'

'Jail?' cried Sam . 'You? What on earth for?'

'Well,' Bill said, 'You know Sue , that cute little blonde waitress at the coffee shop where I sometimes go?'

'Yes,' said Sam , 'I remember her. What about her?'

'Well, one day, she filed rape charges against me.

At age 89, I was so proud that when I got into court, I pleaded 'guilty.'

'The judge gave me 30 days for lying under oath.'

Gettin' Funky, Thai Style

Thursday, April 3, 2008


It was another hot, muggy day in Chiang Rai. Maybe it's just me, but there seems to be a sense of anticipation in the air. Songkran is coming and it's not just the New Year that's causing this feeling. It's the water. Songkran is the Thai New Year and also a time of cleansing. The tradition, as I understand it, is to wash all of the Buddhas, and give 'blessings' to others through the sprinkling of water. There are parades through the streets with floats carrying icons. People throw water mixed with flower essence on these icons as a way to honor them and start the year with a clean slate. What really happens is, there is a giant water fight that consumes the country for anywhere from three days to two weeks. Many non-Thais actually leave the country or go to resorts to avoid the water. It's also a time for house cleaning and repair, which is why we're giving the house crew ten days off. They'll go back to their village and work on their homes and their parents' homes. It's going to be impossible for us to stay inside for all the time of Songkran, so we'll probably get wet. April 13 is the beginning and I'll surely have tales to tell. If you'd like to learn more about it, go to:
It was nice to see that your 'old song memory' is intact. Lots of you wrote in with the title and artist. If you're on the fence, try this:
"So take a good look at my face. You'll see my smile looks out of place. If you look closer, it's easy to trace __ __ __ __ __.." I don't think anymore hints are needed.
Driving in Thailand is getting better. I'm still hitting the wiper lever from time to time, expecting the turn signal to come on, but it's happening a lot less. I'm also becoming a lot more forgiving of the odd vehicles that impede my travel. The old man on the bike pulling a trailer is much less an annoyance than he used to be. The motorbike with the sidecar selling food is doing what it needs to do. I still get a little ticked off at the drivers who force their way into my path. Another thing that struck me today was the fact that there are no law enforcement vehicles who's job is to ticket offenders. It's like the wild west. There are policemen on motorbikes, but they're just going from point A to point B. They seem to spend most of their time setting up their road blocks to ticket the bike riders who have their helmets in the basket and not on their heads. I'm told that it's a good hustle. Hmm. Maybe it keeps a few heads intact as well.
It's now time for you to have a Thoroughly Thrilling Thursday.


"Whatever you vividly imagine, ardently desire, sincerely
believe, and enthusiastically act upon ...
must inevitably come to pass!"
~Paul J. Meyer

Gettin' Funky, Thai Style

Wednesday, April 2, 2008


As you approach the middle of the week, can you remember what you did seven days ago? I thought not. Can you remember fourteen days ago? This is just another random, unscientific survey, delving into the workings of the human mind. I know, it's crazy.
What's even crazier is how we can not remember recent history, but recall song titles from forty and fifty years ago (some of us anyway). Cousin Trudye and Denny were the only ones to get the song. It was "Stagger Lee" by Lloyd Price. When it was time for him to appear on American Bandstand (it was that big a hit), Dick Clark ask Lloyd to re-write the lyrics because he didn't think they were appropriate for his audience. Hmm, I think Dick was right. After all, it's about gambling in the dark, threats, guns and "...three little children and a very sickly wife." The kids don't need to know about those things. Funny thing is, they could hear it on the radio. What? Here's one you should know:
"Since you left me if you see me with another girl, seeming like I'm having fun. Although she may be cute she's just a substitute..."
Clue: The lyric is from the middle of the song. There are tears involved.
We went over to the expo today. There were merchants from all over the country. Lots from Chiang Mai and some from places we've heard of, but haven't visited yet. We went to look and gather business cards for future reference. We ended up buying one thing for ourselves and one thing for the house. We got a beautiful mirror with a unique frame. When I get the camera back, I'll take a picture. We didn't see the whole expo because the heat was really something. It looked like there was going to be a carnival tonight and lots more booths. One of the things we've learned is to forget how things should go, or what would be logical. It's slowly sinking in that there are many levels of thought and action and ours aren't the only acceptable ones. Take for instance, the delivery of the mirror this evening. They said they'd bring it at six o'clock. At six they weren't here. At 6:30 Boot called to see what happened. Then the rain started, real hard. They showed up a little after seven. Boot was furious and wouldn't even speak to them. They brought the mirror in a pick-up, uncovered and it was all wet. When we pointed out this fact, we were met with laughter. Like "oh yeah, that". What? Lisa gave them a towel to wipe it off before brining it into the house. It's just different.
The forecast for the rest of this week is warmer and warmer. Or should I say 'hotter and hotter'. We may reach 100 F by the first of next week. If the evening rains keep happening it may stay a little cooler. And to think, Chiang Rai is a cooler place compared to other spots.
I guess it's time for a Wacky Wednesday. Enjoy.


"To exist is to change, to change is to mature,
to mature is to go on creating oneself endlessly."
~Henri Louis Bergson

Gettin' Funky, Thai Style

Tuesday, April 1, 2008


And hello from the wet and dry north. They've officially declared our province a drought area. Thousands of homes are affected because a lack of water produces less crops which produces less money to live. The Maekong river is down and tour boats are having a tough time. It's hot, then it rains, then it's hot. I guess the last 'rainy season' didn't produce enough ground water to last. We have no snow pack, so until I understand more about the water systems, I'll just have to guess. One couldn't tell there was a problem by watching life in the city. I think the people in the country are most affected right now. Here's hoping they can get the help and care they need.
Speaking of help and care, what happened to you all with the song? Nobody wrote me. Of course, I knew this would happen. (Ha)
"__ __ went home, and he got his forty-four. Said, I'm goin' to the barroom just to pay that debt I owe. Go __ __ go __ __.."
Clue: See, these guys were arguing and it got ugly. The key figure's name is the title of the song and it's what happens to those who imbibe too much.
Today we did a lot of 'stuff'. We had a list and we did almost everything. A run to Big C, the bus station, the tile store. Stuff like that. We've become experts at picking tile (with the help of our friend Nom). We got out in record time today. The trip to the bus station was to get tickets for a run down to Chiang Mai from #8 to #10. They're having their annual Art Festival so we're going to check it out.
On our way to The Place today, we took the detour along the river. The fair grounds were full of activity. People were setting up booths and stalls and we knew something special must be going on. We asked Yuthana about it and he told us it's a big expo of crafts from all over Thailand. It's kind of like a trade show, only it's local arts and crafts people selling to dealers and the public. We're going to go tomorrow afternoon with Boot. Who knows what we'll find. I'm sure we'll see things for the house (like there was any doubt) Then there's the matter of budget. (Ha)
Today was also the day that technology turned on me. But I won in the end. First, after cleaning the filters on the air/con (that's what it's called) they wouldn't go back in. It's a simple plastic screen with a special fiber mesh. It was supposed to slide into place. I've done it before and had no problems, but today... The problem was the lid. Lift too much and it closes part of the path of the screen. Then something went crazy with the wireless Internet connection and it took me quite a while to solve that one. There's a pattern to the frustration, acceptance, perseverance, solution thing. When I distill the whole thing, it will go down in history along side other 'stages' of life. Really.
Well, it's time to go surfing. Or was it sleeping? I think we're getting better with the 'lag' thing. Got up at 7:30 this morning. Of course, I did wake up at o'dark-thirty, but I managed to go back to sleep. There's hope.
It's time for Happy Tuesday!


"Worrying about the future is like trying to eat the hole in a doughnut.
It's munching on what isn't."
~Barry Neil Kaufman

Gettin' Funky, Thai Style