Monday, June 30, 2008


What a weekend. It was busy, amazing and tiring. I'm pretty sure we're glad it's over. Saturday was the big party and it was quite a success, according to our guests. I"m not sure if we will put on anything of that magnitude again for a long time. More after this interlude.
The weekend song was "Atomic Dog" by George Clinton and Funkadelic. Happy that we had some 'funksters' in the crowd. I guess we should start the week with something more familiar. "When you're weary, feeling small, when tears are in your eyes I will dry them all..." Clues: Another one of those 'duos' that parted and did pretty good on their own. Something about water. Hmm.
So, our friend John had a great time here and left today. He was here for the party. The prep for the party began Friday night with the delivery of tables, a canopy frame and lots of accessories and drinks. The plan was to set up the whole affair in the driveway. Never had a party in the front yard before. Anyway, there were lots of people doing lots of work and we watched as they went from one task to the next. Our first guest arrived a little before 4 o'clock. Keep in mind that we had a small list of people we had invited and Boot had a bigger list. As the guests began to arrive, it was an odd feeling not knowing who they were. We'd call Boot out to the front so she could introduce us to them. What was interesting was that these people that we didn't know brought us gifts. We had floral arrangements all over the living room by the time it was over. Then there was the beautiful picture of the King and Queen, live roses, a bamboo plant, a wall hanging and a collector edition of a Buddha that Jen and the boys brought. There were children of various ages, and friends that didn't know they would be at the same party.
Then the rains came. We scrambled to get the tables under the canopy, but when it really started storming, some of the tables were put on the porch. Nobody left because of the rain. They just kept eating and drinking. The whole thing was cool because it brought everyone a bit closer. New friends were made, numbers exchanged and it felt good to watch it all happen. Our neighbor, the policeman, and his wife came over. We hadn't had much contact with them, but the ice was broken when they took the tour of the house. As soon as he saw Lisa's art studio he was floored. His wife told us that he draws sketches. He poured over all the work and I think he wants to come back. Speaking of the tour, we went up and down the stairs way more than usual. When we got up Sunday morning our legs and feet were wiped out. Needless to say, we all went downtown and had a massage last night.
On the puppy front, Bam-Bam has taken to running through a bed of grass-like plants that are a little taller than her. She's not supposed to do it, but it's pretty cute when she sneaks in and does her thing. She's also finally started relating to her ball. Today Lisa was playing with her and she threw the ball and Bam ran after it, pounced, growled and brought it back. Cool.
The pool guy is back from his stint in the temple, with much shorter hair. Hopefully he can settle the problems we've been having with the water. It starting going bad right after we enjoyed a couple of days swimming. Before the party, I was really bummed but since it rained it wasn't an issue.
That's all for now. Have a Great Week. I'll post some party pics today or tomorrow.


"If you can't find a hero,
Be One."

Gettin' Funky, Thai Style

Friday, June 27, 2008

Friday Funnies

We come to the end of a very busy, interesting week. Some things have changed and some remain the same. All in all, life is going on, just as if I hadn't planned a thing. Oh, the art of letting go. (What?)
I've been enjoying the mail this week, even though some of it is brief. I know that "Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds" by The Beatles was a tough one (5) but you came through with gusto. Here are a few lines to start your weekend. "Yeah, this is a story of a famous dog. For the dog that chases its tail will be dizzy. These are clapping dogs, rhythmic dogs, harmonic dogs, house dogs, street dogs...Bow-wow-wow-yippie-yo-yippie-yeah..." Hint: The song is about a dog. (Ha) Tell me the title, artist and quote a famous line from the song. Hmm. You can thank Christopher for the inspiration.
We traveled down to Wat Rong Khun this morning and got there before the tourists. The place was practically empty, which was perfect for taking our time and examining things. There is a major remodeling project going on at the entrance to the chapel and it meant we couldn't walk over the bridge. Fortunately I have lots of pictures so I can show John what we missed. If you're wanting to see what I'm talking about you can either go to the Flickr site and go way back to November or you can Google 'Wat Rong Khun' and you'll find many sites with pics.
We returned to Chiang Rai and had lunch at The Legend. This is a little resort that we visited when we first got to town. It's a high-end spot on the river that's quite nice. Lunch was good, the atmosphere was great, and we hung out for quite a while.
Back at The Place, Bam-Bam is getting older and bolder. Today Lisa played with her and the level of play has escalated. She (Bam-Bam) is charging and running more and going places in the yard with wild abandon. I'd make some kind of profound analogy to humans, but I think I'll leave that alone.
This evening Lom, the woman who's helping put on the party, arrived with supplies for tomorrow. It's an odd feeling to not have to do anything. It won't be like this all the time, but we'll get to see what a Thai party is like and then we can go from there. There are more cultural things to absorb, more social nuances to observe, and new people to meet. Who knows, we just may widen our circle of friends. Some of the guests are from our list and some are Boot's friends. The adventure continues.
It's time for the 'Funnies', sent to me by on old distant friend, Daryl. Let me know if you relate. Have a Dynamic WeekEnd.


Recently, I was diagnosed with A. A. A. D. D. - Age Activated Attention Deficit Disorder. This is how it develops:

I decide to water my garden.
As I turn on the hose in the driveway, I look over at my car and decide
my car needs washing.

As I start toward the garage, I notice that there is mail on the porch
table that I brought up from the mailbox earlier.

I decide to go through the mail before I wash the car.

I lay my car keys down on the table, put the junk mail in the garbage
can under the table, and notice that the can is full.

So, I decide to put the bills back on the table and take out the garbage first.

But then I think, since I'm going to be near the mailbox, when I take
out the garbage anyway, I may as well pay the bills first.

I take my checkbook off the table, and see that there is only 1
check left.
My extra checks are in my desk in the study, so I go inside the
house to my desk where I find the can of Coke that I had been drinking.

I'm going to look for my checks, but first I need to push the Coke
aside so that I don't accidentally knock it over. I see that the Coke
is getting warm, and I decide I should put it in the refrigerator to
keep it cold.

As I head toward the kitchen with the Coke, a vase of flowers on the
counter catches my eye--they need to be watered.

I set the Coke down on the counter, and I discover my reading glasses
that I've been searching for all morning.

I decide I better put them back on my desk, but first I'm going to water the flowers.

I set the glasses back down on the counter, fill a container with water
and suddenly I spot the TV remote someone left it on the kitchen table.

I realize that tonight when we go to watch TV, I will be looking for
the remote, but I won't remember that it's on the kitchen table, so I
decide to put it back in the den where it belongs, but first I'll water
the flowers.

I pour some water in the flowers, but quite a bit of it spills on the floor. So, I set the remote back
down on the table, get some towels and wipe up the spill.

Then, I head down the hall trying to remember what I was planning to do.

At the end of the day:

----the car isn't washed,

----the bills aren't paid,

----there is a warm can of Coke sitting on the counter,

----the flowers don't have enough water,

----there is still only 1 check in my check book,

----I can't find the remote,

----I can't find my glasses,

----and I don't remember what I did with the car keys.

Then, when I try to figure out why nothing got done today, I'm really

baffled because I know I was busy all day long, and I'm really tired.

I realize this is a serious problem, and I'll try to get some help for

it, but first I'll check my e-mail.




P.S. I just remembered.


Gettin' Funky, Thia Style

Thursday, June 26, 2008


I know, it's a little late. So sue me. On second thought, don't. We just got back from the Night Bazaar. For a Thursday night, it was pretty busy, and mostly Thais. We went with our friends John and Penny.
Looks like we're remembering some of the important songs. Like this one from some people a long time ago (Ha) in a land far away.
"...Look for the girl with the sun in her eyes and she's gone. __ __ __ __ __ __ (repeat as needed)" I'm glad there are no questions.
So, this morning a little crew from the first crew came back to repaint the driveway. This time they got it right and it looks fantastic. We picked John (our friend from Bali) up at the airport in the early afternoon and hung out at Doi Chaang while the last of the driveway dried. After a tour of the house, he napped and we cooled off in the pool. It's getting to be a routine. And what a nice routine it is. Penny came over for dinner on a rented motorbike. Like I said, she's an adventurer on another level. We had a great dinner and then hung out on the patio and John visited with Bam-Bam. As it got dark, we made our way to the NB for a little 'looking'.
Tomorrow morning we're going to go down to Wat Rong Khun, one of the 'must see' spots here in Chiang Rai. Before that though, we have to be available for a call from Mr. August. We have a 'Skype Date' so he can meet Bam-Bam. Speaking of August, his dad (Jeff) sent us a YouTube link of the latest piano concert footage. As usual, his playing was incredible. And, he was sharp. The artist was wearing a black suit, black dress shirt and a contrasting tie. I'll check to see if it's a public link. Amazing that we could be in Thailand and watch footage of a piano recital in Hollywood, on our computer.
Every now and then there is sad news. We found out that Bangkok Blue will be closing Sunday night, for good. The short version of the story is that a ruthless corporate entity that bought the shopping center where the restaurant is located, is greedy beyond belief. They refuse to negotiate the lease renewal and signing it would not only be bad business, it would destroy the restaurant. If you've never been there, you have a few days, though I suspect it will be crowded most of the time. For more on this, please visit their web-site: Needless to say, Blue, Joyce and Ming were not planning on this turn of events. After five years running a very successful attraction, they're having to move on, and it hurts. I'm sure I'll be telling you more about this in the next few days.
It's time to have a Great Thursday.


"Laughter is the shortest distance between two people."
~Victor Borge

Gettin' Funky, Thai Style

Wednesday, June 25, 2008


Well, it was another day in paradise. It really struck us today as we slipped into the pool after a hot, muggy afternoon. The water was perfect, and there was just a slight breeze in the air. The best part, we were wide awake. It wasn't a dream.
I'm so glad that great big fat clues jog your memories. That seems to be what happened with "Manic Monday" by The Bangles. Just a trickle on day one, but day two brought a flood. Now you get a free pass. Most of you will get this one on the first day. It's easy:
"Picture yourself in a boat on a river With tangerine trees and marmalade skies Somebody calls you, you answer quite slowly A girl with kaleidoscope eyes..." And don't go writing me for hints.
We took Bam-Bam for her second shot today. She didn't make a peep (dogs don't actually peep) and was very calm about the whole thing. There's nothing as fun as watching a puppy playing. Today she discovered the joy of chasing birds. Well her first one anyway. Then she'd break into a run and just flop down. What's going through that tiny brain? One thing's for sure, she's not a guard dog. She's a 'greeter'.
Our friend John, from Bali, is arriving tomorrow for a little rest after a stay in the hospital in Bangkok. We're delighted that he's coming. I'm sure he'll get a kick out of Bam-Bam since he has five dogs of his own. The place is really going to be jumping, what with the party on Saturday and our friend Lonnie arriving on Sunday from L.A. Now we'll see what this house can do. (Ha)
Oh, I went to one of my hardware stores today to get some tubing to make a sun shade for the yard and pool. While the guys were cutting the stuff, I was brought some ice-water. That's another first. Don't wait for that at B&B or Homey D's. When I went to the car wash, the woman told me to go wait in Doi Chaang (coffee) and relax. It's the little things like these that make this place 'Amazing' and 'Different'.
Time to have a Wacky Wednesday.


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

Gettin' Funky, Thai Style

Tuesday, June 24, 2008


I don't mean to sound like a bragging parent or anything, but Bam-Bam seems to have grasped the whole 'training' thing already. Day three and she handled her business on her own. Now we have to teach her to pick up after herself.
I only heard from one of you regarding the song. Brenda was quick with the answer Today's line will surely open your mind.
"It's just another __ __. I wish it was Sunday, 'Cause that's my funday, my I don't have to runday. It's just another __ __." Clues: This is such a gift, I don't think I can leave any clues.
We had dinner with a friend of our friend John's this evening. Her name is Penny and she's been traveling around Thailand. It's so interesting to talk to 'adventurers' these days. There was a time when it all seemed so distant and romantic. Now we're sharing stories about our lives and it all still seems distant and romantic. I suppose it's all relative. We find our comfort zone and take our time stepping out. Penny has lived in Bali, South America and a few other places that just slipped my mind. Next, she's headed for Corsica. Wow.
The sky tonight is clear, which is rather unusual these days. It's full of stars and for a brief moment there was nothing but the sound of crickets. We have lights that sit on top of the wall across the front of the property and they put a glow on the front lawn and it's contours that makes it kind of magical. Still in a bit of a transition stage, getting used to the fact that this is where I live and it's not temporary.
Earlier today we traveled south of town to a giant store that sells a little bit of everything. We were looking for a lamp for the guest room, and some nice waste-baskets. We ended up with a crazy lamp shaped like a cat, that serves as a night light with a clock and a reading lamp as well. We also got some other things we didn't know we needed. (isn't that the way it goes?)
Oh yeah, Bam-Bam and Boot have totally bonded and she follows Boot all around the yard. She hangs out on the step to Boot's apartment and when it's time for cooking, she lounges on the step to the kitchen. Tonight they took a motorbike ride to visit Boot's friend Da. That's where Icy lives. When Boot showed up with the puppy, Icy gave her the cold shoulder. Hmm.
Our next big thing is the party this Saturday. We just have a few more things to do and hopefully we'll have time to just chill until the big day. I wish you could all come to the party, but I guess I'll have to just tell you about it and share some pictures.
Have a Happy Tuesday.


"Man has never made any material as resilient as the human spirit."
~Bern Williams

Gettin' Funky, Thai Style

Monday, June 23, 2008


It's been an amazing weekend and an incredible Monday here in Chiang Rai. The big news is, we got a dog. A little ahead of schedule, but Bam-Bam is the newest member of our little family. She's nine weeks old and you can see her on the Flickr site.
Over the weekend I got lots of mail regarding the song. I knew I could pull you out of the shadows with an oldie but goodie.
"You Keep Me Hanging On" sung by The Supremes, written by Holland-Dozier-Holland (1966). The group was originally known as The Primettes. Also, there were originally four members of the group. And Diana Ross was not one of the first - it was Florence Ballard and Mary Wilson." Thanks goes to Michael for the little known background on the group.
Let's start the week with a song that just might ring a bell for some. It's by a 'Girl Band' and the day of the week is a clue.
"Six o'clock already I was just in the middle of a dream. I was kissin' Valentino by a crystal blue Italian stream." Good hunting.
So, Saturday we went out looking for a large umbrella for the patio. Boot went with us because she remembered a place that made them. We found the place, but what they had wouldn't keep out rain. We wandered down the road to the furniture store, again, to browse. Then I suggested we go look at the puppies at what looked like a pet store. Well, Boot fell for a little brown spaniel mix that was begging to go with us. We caved and that was that. Boot finally came up with the name for her. We're going through that wonderful (Ha) period of adjustment called house-breaking. Oh my. Thanks to the internet, we got some good tips. Bam-Bam is really smart and she's already learning what she's supposed to do. Today we got a container for her to sleep in so she knows to tell Boot when she needs to go out. (she really can talk) After two nights of cleaning up after her, we may get some relief.
Today we not only got Bam-Bam a 'room' but we found a huge umbrella. I used my super drill for the first time and hung a mirror. We had a storm in the early afternoon and then it was blue and sunny. Around 5 o'clock we decided it would be a perfect time for a swim. The water was warm and it was heaven. The pool is 11 meters from corner to corner and it makes a pretty good lap for exercise. Today we mostly just played around with our pool toys and sat in the 'sitting pool'. That was very nice. This was really the first time we spent any time in the pool. Next time I'm going to break out the fins and goggles and get in a workout.
Now that I know how easy it is to drill into the walls (brick, with a thin layer of concrete), it's time to start hanging pictures and art.
That also means it's time to get a ladder. It never ends.
There are some new pics at the Flickr site, including some shots of the Blessing of the house, some exterior shots and of course, the dog. Have a Wonderful Week.


"Get the vision.
Suspend disbelief and skepticism.
Allow yourself to take the journey toward real magic."
~Wayne Dyer

Gettin' Funky, Thai Style

Friday, June 20, 2008

Friday Funnies


Well, looks like Mr. Double Space is back in town. It's one of the ghosts in the machine. Every machine has one or two. They don't always present themselves, but eventually, if you use a machine enough, you will meet him/her/it. That being said, paragraph breaks will be double spaced.

I got a few emails, from some of the 'faithful' in response to the ridiculously easy song for yesterday. People, it was the song you sing when someone has a birthday. "Happy Birthday" Ugh. Lane sent some interesting research. I guess it's time for some learnin'. According to the Guinness Book of World Records, "Happy Birthday to You" is the most popular song in the English language, followed by "For He's A Jolly Good Fellow" and "Auld Lang Syne". The song has been translated into at least 18 languages, though it is often sung with the English lyrics even in countries where English is not a primary language.

The melody of "Happy Birthday to You" comes from the song "Good Morning To All", which was written by American sisters Patty Hill and Mildred J. Hill in 1893 when they were kindergarten school teachers in Louisville, Kentucky at what is now the Little Loomhouse. What wasn't mentioned in that article is the fact that for years, that song was uncopy-righted until someone stumbled across the fact and claimed it. Now, if it's used on the air or film, etc. they are due royalties. I call that clever, lame, blah blah. Now you know.

For the weekend, here's an oldie I'm sure you'll remember. Try and remember where you were and what you were doing, if you were born. "Set me free why doncha babe, get out of my life why doncha babe...Cuz you don't really love me, You just __ __ __ __" Clues: Really now. 'Girl Group' from a giant hit machine. Bubble hair, fabulous gowns x three. Hmm.
We had another Skype call from August today. I'll bet nobody caught a mistake I made yesterday. If you catch it, let me know and you get a Gold Star. Anyway, August sent us an email with four pictures from a limo ride that he and his teacher and three other kids got to go on. It was part of a fund-raiser for his school. They drove the kids to a local ice-cream shop. Of course, Mr. August was all about the lighting in the back, and how they could change colors. It's really neat having him call us like this.
Things on the compound are settling in. The grass is starting to fill in some of the parts that didn't take, and we seem to have regular feathered visitors. We're getting used to the stairs, which means we only do them when we have to (Ha). Rooms are starting to look like people live in them as opposed to depositories for boxes. I actually got some speakers connected to an amp and I listened to some music in the music room. After our party next week, we may be able to settle into our creative adventures.

It's time for the 'Funnies'. Have a Cool WeekEnd.



More Ponderings:

Why call them hot water heaters if the water is already hot?

If nothing sticks to Teflon, how do they stick Teflon on the pan?

How do they get a deer to cross at that yellow road sign?

Why do they call it a TV set when you only get one?

How come wrong numbers are never busy?

Why do we send cargo by ship, and shipments by car?

Why call it a building if it's already been built?

Why does one get in trouble for WRECKless driving?

Gettin' Funky, Thai Style

Thursday, June 19, 2008


Whoa, a day without rain in Chiang Rai. Unusual but welcomed. Beautiful clouds but no rain. It made it easier to go out and do things.
The song we all remembered (5) was "Love The One You're With" by Stephen Stills. I know, a lot of you thought it was Crosby, Stills and Nash or CSN/Young, but it was just the 'S'. Lane sent me a very heavy rundown of the many covers of the tune. In fact, in '71 CSNY covered it. The Isley Bros. recording was one of the best departures in style and Aretha did it live at Fillmore West. So much music, so little time.
Since I missed a day with the song, and it's now Thursday, I'm giving you a one day challenge. This song has been around for ages, used to commemorate ages and until recently, it was free for the taking. "__ __ to you. __ __ to you....." You've sung it a hundred times yourself, so don't sit there and scratch your head. Send me the answer.
The August Chronicles, Part 2: As planned, August called us this morning. We had sent him an email last night telling him we were finally connected. He must have awakened, read his mail and jumped onto Skype. It was a little after 7 am (his time) when he called. He looked a little sleepy, but excited. He told us he had just come out of iTunes, getting some songs for his Friday gigs.
We wanted him to call in his morning so he could see the house in the daylight. I carried my laptop around and gave him the royal tour. What's really funny is, he didn't tell anyone else in his house about it. True to form, he wanted to know how they did the lights in Thailand so I showed him the recessed ceiling lights and he gave his approval. We opened and closed the gate for him and took him out to the waterfall. The whole thing was very cool.
I went back over to CAT to see if they had figured out the one wrinkle in using the air card and found that the company that made it hasn't addressed some part of the Mac firmware. Ok, means nothing to me except if I disconnect, I have to type a bunch of code back into the computer. I did it in the office (they made me) and I did it at home. I don't like doing it so I'll probably leave it on most of the time. So there. Now I just have to find a way to create a Wi-Fi network here at the house with this new gadget.
We've been looking for a piece of furniture that nobody has and decided to visit our Pakistani furniture guy and his wife. We bought our first kitchen cabinet and our TV cabinet from them and they're really enthusiastic. We presented our request, after drawing a picture and using the tape measure, and finally he made a call to someone and said he could have it tomorrow. We hope we were clear as to what 'it' is. Tomorrow we'll know. Stay tuned on that one.
I'm going to have to study up on the operation of the pool. Kob, the designer, is going to the temple tomorrow, get his head shaved and live as a monk for nine days. A large percentage of Thai males spend time living and studying in the temples. It's often done during childhood, but sometimes as adults. I was told that many men do it before they marry. I'll be learning more about this.
Anyway, I need to know why certain things are happening and he was the guy. I'm hoping his assistant will come and help.
We had a 'Thai Moment' today as we were leaving Tops. (It's a grocery store) We had parked in the underground garage and when we returned to the truck, the security guard was sitting on the tailgate, singing to himself. As we got closer, we greeted him, he replied and got off the truck. Hmm.
Have a Groovy Thursday.


"The light around someone who speaks truth,
who consistently acts with compassion for all,
even in great difficulty,
is visible to all around them."
~Jack Kornfield

Gettin' Funky, Thai Style

Wednesday, June 18, 2008


This morning I took my laptop over to CAT and discovered they'd never installed the software driver on a Mac either. So, two bosses and I sat together for a couple of hours and got real close. I left my box with them (separation anxiety) and Lisa and I got into our day. I reached them during lunch and they were on the internet, from my computer. There is still something to fix, but I'm sitting on the bed writing this message and I'll send it from the bed. Now things can begin to 'normalize'. Hmm, abnormal not to have internet?
I'll bet some of you observant ones noticed that I forgot to give you day two of our current song. Fear not. This should help:
"Well there's a rose in a fisted glove, and the eagle flies with the dove, and if you can't be with the one you love honey __ __ __ __ __" I don't think any hints are needed after that line.
The August Chronicles: It's been a while since I featured the adventures of Mr. August. The big news from him is that he just bought a laptop, with his own money. He bought a Dell, but put an Apple sticker over the logo on the cover. Let's you know where his heart is. Our 8 year old techie saved up and is now a truly independent soul. He told us he's watched a movie, played a few games and made long distant calls. He said he set up Skype himself. Hmm. Anyway, he Skyped us at the coffee shop and while we were talking, he got up, walked to his room and connected the laptop to his sound system. He's going to be busy this week (last week of school) as DJ August. He has two gigs in one day at school. An afternoon party for his class and an after school gig at the after-care 'Club 26'. Most of the money he saved was from DJing parties. I see a bright future here.
This evening we had our first dinner party. Nukoon and his wife Sutheera came over to see the house and join us for dinner. Some of you may remember our dinner adventures with them in the past. We had a really nice time. They brought us a beautiful portrait of Rama V, one of the most revered Kings of Thailand. It's a sign that we're acclimating when we can discuss Thai politics, economy and culture and not feel nervous or stumble for words. It also helps that they speak English. (5)
The device I have for our internet is quite something. It looks like a usb memory stick with two tiny flashing lights. It's giving us speeds that are much higher than we've had since we've been in the country. It's a CDMA network, for those of you who are curious. I'm so jazzed. Can't wait for someone to wake up so I can test out Skype. (Isn't it nice of me to wait?)
It's time for Wacky Wednesday.


"Sometimes life's shadows are caused by
our standing in our own sunshine."
~Ralph Waldo Emerson

Gettin' Funky, Thai Style

Tuesday, June 17, 2008


I forgot to tell you about our second 'house guest'. You'll recall that Icy the dog spent the night at Boots. Well, last Friday Ui spent the night as well. He's a really sweet eleven y/o kid who thinks the world of Boot.
Today was a good day. In fact, it was almost a red letter day (where did that come from?). We went back to the CAT Telecom office to see if they had received the hardware we needed to get the internet. We were introduced to a man named 'David' who speaks fluent English and told us the cards had arrived. We couldn't stop grinning. We got the device, spent a bunch of time in the market and finally got home. Of course, I immediately set out to install and use our new connection to the world. The bottom line is, I'll be taking it to CAT tomorrow morning so they can set it up properly. The instructions tell me to do things I've never done before, in places I've never gone. I'll leave that to professionals. (5)
We have been having new revelations about driving in Thailand. Here in the north, it's perfectly acceptable to turn in front of on-coming traffic and it's really OK to cross the center line to pass someone, even when traffic is coming, apparently. It's also acceptable to drive as slow or as fast as you deem safe, or not. Some vehicles can only go so fast. Samlors are like a pedaled rickshaw and when they have a passenger, starting out is very slow. Some of the motorbikes with trailers are pretty slow. The trip is, everyone tolerates all of this. It's the strangest thing. I've mentioned this before, but there are no motorized traffic control officers. No motorcycle cop to pull you over for running the light. No patrol car following you and checking your speed. In spite of this, it's organized chaos. Sometimes it's scary when vehicles are moving in every direction around you and you have to fly right through. I often hold my breath as I squeeze in and out of traffic. At the end of the day, nobody wants to hit anybody and near-misses don't count as hits. Hmm. It's Different!
Have a Happy Tuesday.


"Those who dance are thought to be quite insane by
those who cannot hear music."
~Maggie Erotokritou

Gettin' Funky, Thai Style

Monday, June 16, 2008


It's been almost a week since we moved in and we're starting to settle in, as we continue to go through the normal amount of trouble-shooting. Most of the things we're dealing with are correctable and at least we know who to call.
Your weekend song was "Mama Told Me Not To Come" as written by Randy Newman and (the hit) performed by Three Dog Night. The hint about the group referred to an old way of gauging the cold in OZ. The colder the night, the more dogs one needed to stay warm. So, a three dog night was pretty cold. Now you know. If you've never heard Randy Newman's version of his own song, check it out.
Let's start the week out with one you all know (Ha). "If you're down and confused, and you don't remember who you're talking to.
Concentration slips away because you're baby is so far away..." Clues: It's by a singer/writer who sang by himself, then with a trio, then a quartet. He's urging us to do something. Hmm.
Saturday was a big day around here. It was the day we had the Blessing of the House. The same five monks who blessed the land came to do the house. Everything was ready when they arrived a little after 9 o'clock. They got settled, were gived and iced lemon tea and then began. After a few prayers they went outside and chanted a mantra at all four corners of the property. There was throwing of water and some small stones were buried at each stop.
The next portion was a combination of hypnotic, interesting and grueling all at the same time. Lisa, Boot and I sat under the structure I told you about. There were strand of string that hung from the top and rested on each of our heads. For almost an hour we sat cross-legged listening to chanting, call and response and more chanting. There is a groove that evolved in the chanting that is wonderful. I have no idea what they said, but I had this mad urge to run down the hall, grab a didj and join in. I stayed put. After the ceremonial part, all the rooms were visited by the 'second' monk and water was thrown. We had to do some quick saves in the art room. After it was over, the monks were fed there one big meal. They remembered coming when it was just dirt and holes and they liked the house. We wrote on candles like before and were instructed by the head monk, to light out candle at 8 o'clock. Supat, our 'program director' informed me, in passing, that we got the 'all options' blessing. Hmm, no wonder it cost so much. I guess it could be a good thing in the long run. It was the first time we'd had a group of people in the house and it was very comfortable. While the monks ate at the dining room table, everyone else ate buffet style in the 'inside' kitchen, gathered around the island.
I have a ton of pics to upload so you can see how the place is looking now. Bear with me. I'll have to spend some time at Doi Chaang setting things up before it happens. We're only running at 480 kbps maximum speed at the house and that's on the PC laptop. You'll just have to be patient. (555)
We're discovering our neighbors. Not the ones next door, but the ones down by the river. It seems that there's a restaurant right behind the boat landing that features Karaoke at least 2 or 3 nights a week. They turn up the mike and it travels over here. With the front windows closed, it's very faint. The first night we heard it, it was almost painful a few times. Some people have no idea what they sound like and I guess that's half the fun. The other half of the equation is that everybody's half drunk and it all sounds good. Oh, how cruel. No, we won't be sitting in down by the river.
That's it for now, Have a Terrific Week.


"To give pleasure to a single heart by a single act is better
than a thousand heads bowed in prayer."
~Mahatma Gandhi

Gettin' Funky, Thai Style

Friday, June 13, 2008

Friday Funnies

Well, we're at the end of a wild and wonderful week. Sitting here, on the bed, looking out over the cornfield behind our property, listening to the muffled sound of territorial dogs barking, and gazing at the cloud-streaked blue sky, I am grateful. What a gift this is, even with all the aggravation.
The song you were supposed to be singing was "I Want A New Drug" by Huey Lewis and The News. For the weekend I'm going deep:
"Want some whiskey in your water, sugar in your tea? What's all these crazy questions they're asking me? This is the craziest party that could ever be, don't turn on the lights, 'cause I don't want to see! __ __ __ __ __ __ x 2, That ain't the way to have fun, no."
Hint: This tune was written by a prolific songwriter who is the son of a famous American composer and was performed by a group who's name is derived from an Australian form of weather forecast.
Right now, Friday 6 p.m., our living room is being transformed into a traditional Lana style 'something'. Supat, Lom and her son Jack are decorating for the House Blessing Ceremony tomorrow morning. There's a structure right inside the front door that looks like the frame of a three-legged tent frame. It's decorated and has bunches of bananas at the base of each leg. I'll be taking pictures and posting after the ceremony. A bit too much to try and describe. The same monks that blessed the land will bless the house.
We cleared out the last bits of our presence at the rental house. Unfortunately, Boon Serm (landlord) sent us away with a bad taste in our mouths. Let me just say that greed is a terrible thing. I'm washing it out of my mind.
Meanwhile, back at the place, we kept the windows closed last night and didn't hear the roosters this morning. In fact, we slept until 8 a.m. I don't know how long that will last, but it was nice. I got several messages referring to the territorial nature of roosters. Ain't nature grand. On the other hand, Lois wrote to say that peacocks are the worst. I have heard their sound and I'm just glad we don't have any in the hood.
Today we stopped at what looked like a hardware store to do some comparison shopping for a drill. I need one fast enough and strong enough to drill into concrete. All the walls are brick with a concrete coating. Saw a cute cordless number but was told that it wouldn't cut it. I ended up getting a Hitachi with variable speeds. This store is one of those fascinating places were you see things that just draw you to them. It's like the 'Tool Crib' at Home Depot on steroids. Hmm, I do need a few more things....
We had a visit from Icy today. That's the little white dog that's an old friend of Boot's. He hung out all day. It was fun to watch him when he first arrived. He ran around investigating this and that. 'Oh, so many vertical things and nobody's been here before.'
I think it's time for the 'Funnies'. Have a Wonderful Weekend. Oh, and Happy Friday the 13th.



Why are there flotation devices under plane seats instead of parachutes?

Why are cigarettes sold in gas stations when smoking is prohibited there?

Why do fat chance and slim chance mean the same thing?

If you can't drink and drive, why do you need a driver's license to
buy liquor, and why do bars have parking lots?

Have you ever imagined a world with no hypothetical situations?

How does the guy who drives the snowplow get to work in the mornings?

If 7-11 is open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, why are there locks
on the doors?

Gettin' Funky, Thai Style

Thursday, June 12, 2008


A few days ago I mentioned that our house is practically in the country. Or, the area is just outside of town and it's 'country'. Or, it has the feel of living in the country. Whew! The point of all that was to say that the roosters wake me up in the morning. I'll explain more in a minute.
It looks like some of you have listened to the news (one of today's hints). Now you get to hum the first verse and send me mail.
"__ __ __ __ __, one that won't make me sick, one that won't make me crash my car or make me feel three feet thick..."
Hint: I think you know by now that he's tired of something, and wants a change. A new something.
When we lived in the rental house, in the city, there were roosters. Some of them crowed all day. Then they seemed to stop. Now I know that roosters don't migrate but it was odd. The country roosters are scattered some distance away, to the rear of our property. One will crow and another will answer, and another and so on. It's almost like wolves in the moonlight. It could be that the waking up thing is due to that fact that we open the window in the middle of the night. That lets the lovely rooster tunes into the house early. I think the air/con at the rental muffled the sound. Hmm. Bottom line, two mornings here and up at 6 a.m.
It was another day of slowly unpacking and pondering. We both made progress with our respective 'rooms'. Lisa's art studio is looking like it's ready for work. I'm still considering where to put everything and how to wire things. I took a couple of didjeridoo breaks and that was cool. The house is rather boomy so the didj sounds are intense.
Yesterday afternoon the pool guy, Kob, explained all the hardware in the big hole behind the waterfall. He showed me how to set the timers, and shut things off and on. And then the first thing I heard this morning, after Mr. Rooster, was the sound of rushing water. One of the pipes feeding the pool had come apart and water was flooding the lawn. I found the valve to shut off the water to the house and did the deed. Only problem with a solution like that, no water in the house. Oh my. We endured until Kob arrived. He fixed the pipe and water was restored.
Life will be full of little adventures, mishaps and wonderful moments. That's what it's all about. Sometimes, when a string of the same thing appears, it all gets magnified out of proportion. That's the big job now. Keeping a perspective, chin up, head high, blah blah.... It really does work once one gets over ones self. Life here can be viewed with many shades of glasses. It's all a matter of choice.
Now it's time to do a Thursday.


"Every change is not an improvement,
but every improvement is by change."

Gettin' Funky, Thai Style

Wednesday, June 11, 2008


Today is the day of long quotes. Didn't plan it that way, it just happened. It was also our first day to wake up in the new house. More about that later.
The song you didn't know was "The Shoop Shoop Song (It's In His Kiss)" Linda sent this history, which was actually shortened by me. I think this is enough to make you want to hear it. "The original version of this song was released by Merry Clayton. However,
it did not become a hit until a version of this song was released by Betty Everett in 1963 on her album "It's In His Kiss" and then as a single in 1964. This version became a big hit in many markets, both in the United States and internationally. Many other versions of this song have been recorded by such artists as Linda Ronstadt, Aretha Franklin, Cher, The Supremes, and Lulu." Now you know.
Next up, a singer who's asking for something new. What is it? "One that won't make me nervous, wonderin' what to do. One that makes me feel like I feel when I'm with you. When I'm alone with you." Hint: He's looking for something to take. Hmm.
Last night we were so excited it was hard to go to sleep. Thoughts were clashing. How wonderful it is verses all the things that still had to be done. Boot got up at 5 a.m. and I got up at 6:15. Lisa managed to go back to sleep a few times, but I was wide awake. I went down and opened the gate early, since we didn't know what time the workers would arrive. There's a button in the hall that we can push to activate the gate. We also have two remotes. Still love my technology, even in the country.
Workers started hitting the yard at 8 o'clock. I could have slept in. (Ha) Most of the morning work had to do with the landscape. I use that term because it's so much more than gardens. Today part of the crew scrubbed the sitting stones that are placed at various points. Another team painted the driveway. And just when we thought the planting was over, more plants were put in the ground. We found out today that the three palms across the back are coconut palms. Kek, the artist that created all this, has committed to being the caretaker of this masterpiece. That is a big relief. If you've seen any of the pictures you'll understand. Oh, and more to be posted very soon.
If you'd like to get in touch with me, during these lean internet days, you can call. If you use Skype, set up a 'Skype Out' number with Thailand as the country. Then enter 08-7182-5507 (without the dashes) and you'll reach my cell phone. If you don't have internet telephony (I love that term) you can call 01166-08-7182-5507. That would be long distance, which you can do with various methods. Or you can make a local call to (310) 499-0102 and it will forward to me. Be aware that I won't stay on too long since I'm paying. Not to be rude or anything, I won't hang up on you. If you don't reach me, it's probably the middle of the night and my phone is off. So, we now know how to stay in touch if a voice is necessary.
It's time for a Wacky Wednesday. Enjoy.


"Finish each day and be done with it.
You have done what you could;
some blunders and absurdities have crept in;
forget them as soon as you can.
Tomorrow is a new day;
you shall begin it serenely and with too high a spirit
to be encumbered with your old nonsense."
~Ralph Waldo Emerson

Gettin' Funky, Thai Style

Tuesday, June 10, 2008


Well, we did it! Today we moved in to our new house. It was a wild and crazy day, with more truck loads of stuff (amazing how much it grows) lots of installations and an immense feeling of satisfaction. Oh, and a growing list of things that need attention. This is later in the day because I had to wait to send it. I should be back on schedule by your Wednesday morning.
I'll just say that the song I gave you is approachable. Linda got it and a few of you have it lurking right outside of reach.
"If you wanna know if he loves you so It's in his kiss (That's where it is, oh yeah)" Hint: OK, I just gave you part of the title. The song is known as "The __ __ Song" Note that the two blanks are the same word. Hmm. How hard could it be?
We are beginning to enjoy the comforts of home. As I write, Lisa is enjoying her first bath. We just got back from dinner at the Night Bazaar and it's really time to chill.
Today we had two air/cons removed from the rental house and installed here. The upstairs unit didn't get finished so we're braving it without air. It's been raining since a storm that came this afternoon so it's warm and humid. If we chicken out, we'll just run down to the guest room and sleep there. Oh, sweet luxury. Then there was the team from the dish company. We thought they might not show to move it since the scheduled time was right at the beginning of the downpour. It let up and an hour later they showed and moved it. They spent hours trying to find a way to get a signal to two other rooms beside ours. Since we'd had the house wired with the proper cable, they just had to test a bunch of cable in a handy box in the hall and tonight Boot is watching her favorite show in her room. Of course, if we want to watch T.V., we have to watch the same thing. That will change after we get her a receiver of her own. For now, it's cool.
Well, I have to go down to the 'Cafe' and send this out so I'll cut it short. I have lots more to tell you so stay tuned and have a Happy Tuesday.


"If you can't fight
and you can't flee......

Gettin' Funky, Thai Style

Monday, June 9, 2008


This will be the week that was. Tomorrow we're moving. Water or no water, damn the torpedos, full speed ahead. We have a plan for living if the water isn't finished. For now, it's just exciting to know that it's finally going to happen.
The gift you were given for the weekend was apparently not appreciated. I got one message that got the joke. Brava to Linda. The song was "Hey, Hey, Na, Na, (Kiss Him Goodbye)" by Steam. It was one of those songs I tried hard to forget. Do a Google search and there's a YouTube video at the top. Anyway, that was your gift for a while. Today we'll play with a song that I know you know:
"(Is it in his eyes) Oh no, you'll be deceived (Is it in his eyes) Oh no, he'll make believe If you wanna know if he loves you so It's in his kiss (That's where it is, oh yeah)." Hint: The title is not a lyric in the song, but a background part. It was a 'Girl Group' from the mid 60s.
Like I said, we're movin'. The weekend was full of more boxes, lots of sweat and more questions than I can count. Things like 'when will...', 'where is...', and 'what is...' filled the air as we stood and looked at rooms full of our lives. There are boxes we never unpacked when the container arrived. We now have rooms full of wonder. 'I wonder why I packed that?' and 'Will wonders never cease?'.
The landscape crew is still working their magic. Today they put down the sod for the front lawn. It's a little like a checker board, but when it grows in, it will be beautiful. It's looking kind of like a golf course. Can't wait to see the back area. There are still more plants to be put in the ground and lots of clean-up.
Waterfall pool guy and his crew were also hard at work. They planted a variety of green on various levels of the rocky formation. It's looking very tropical and exotic. Now they're in the water-cleaning process. I guess it's time to put up a few more pictures on the Flickr site. Be sure and check them out.
Speaking of the pool, I've gotten several emails wondering about the shape of the pool. In some of the pics it looks like a diamond. Actually, it's a parallelogram. If it had been a rectangle, it would have gone too far towards the back of the yard. So, after much visualization, I came up with the present design. We actually gained one meter on the length of a lap. Cool.
This will be the last message I get to send from the comforts of home for a while. We won't have our same internet connection when we move. We will be receiving email via a GPRS/EDGE connection which is very slow. Sending will take too much time, so we'll be making treks to the local Internet Cafes to send messages and make Skype calls. Bear with us during this little interlude. We're waiting for an 'Air Card' which, if it works in our area, should give us comfortable speed and stability.
Final observation of the week: This Place we've built is actually in the country, in a manner of speaking. When you consider that there was no main water line, minimal internet, and it's across the river from 'town', we're in the country. Hmm.
Have an Inspired Week.


"For the things we have to learn
before we can do them,
we learn by doing them."

Gettin' Funky, Thai Style

Friday, June 6, 2008

Friday Funnies

It's been a mad, crazy day here in the Land Of Smiles. It was to be moving day. We got up bright and early ready to get rid of all the boxes stacked everywhere. Then we got a call from Supat saying the movers he found were afraid it was going to rain. So? It's the rainy season. Stay tuned.
You may have read that Bo Diddley passed this week. He was a pioneering influence on what would become Rock and Roll. I remember buying a 78rpm of his first big hit. It was 'Bo Diddley' (the man was not shy) backed with 'I'm A Man'. I played those songs over and over. That was back in the days of segregated radio, even in L.A. If it hadn't been for Hunter Hancock, a lot of artists would never have been known. He made it a point to feature the best there was of Jazz and Rhythm and Blues by 'Negro artists'. I could hear a song on 'Huntin' with Hunter' and go over to Mr. Ford's barber shop/record store and find a copy. If he didn't have it, he'd get it by next week. Those were the days when life was simple and so was I. (555) Boy did I wander. The song was by Bo, who's real name was Ellas MacDaniel. It was from 1959 and it was "Say Man". We saw Bo Diddley in West Hollywood in the early '70s, still grinding out the same show he did a hundred years ago. That's another story. Oh, the rhythm I spoke of is not found on this song, but on 'Bo Diddley'. It became his signature. There's a whole list of tunes that have used it through the years and I'd love to send it to you if you ask for it.
For the weekend, I'm giving you a gift. Not only will you get the song, but you'll have a song in your head that will make you scream.
"He'll never love you, the way that I love you, 'cause if he did, no, no he wouldn't make you cry... Na, na, hey, hey, goodbye." Clue: I'm literally giving this away to make up for the obscure Bo Diddley tune. If you read the last part of the quote, the silly part, press the reply button and send it back.
So, having our mouths all set to move, we set out for an alternative. Lisa, Boot and I went down to Big C to investigate our internet options a bit more, pick up a few things and look for a mover. Someone at Big C suggested we talk to someone at the furniture store across the highway. We stopped there and a woman told us about the people who moved her. Boot called her later to get the number. It took a bit of work, but a couple finally came to the house. After looking at all our stuff, she gave us a price. We kept wanting to know if she had a big truck. Finally we got the answer we wanted to hear. A little later, a blue dump truck pulled into the yard. Now, my idea of a big truck is a truck big enough to hold a lot of stuff. This was a little dump truck. At least the bed was small. Little did I know the secrets of Thai moving. When it was all said and done, they moved more than we'd planned on, in three trips.
Lost in translation: We knew it might rain so we asked them to cover our things. On the first run, they covered the load. On the last two loads, they didn't cover and it rained. Big rain, with spectacular lightning and thunder. Fortunately, nothing got ruined, but we spent a bunch of time wiping things off. They put everything in the rooms where we wanted and we hope we don't change our minds too soon. Now it's a matter of unpacking and deciding where to put things.
Last, but not least, they started the water installation today. As we drove up we could see workers digging a ditch along the side of the road. Later they dropped off a huge coil of pipe. Presumably, it will connect to our system and we should be ready to move in on Monday. I'm staying calm, given the rains. It could be Tuesday, but we're seriously planning on Monday.
It's time for the 'Funnies'. Have a Cool WeekEnd.


The Magician

A magician was working on a cruise ship in the Caribbean. The audience
would be different each week, so the magician allowed himself to do
same tricks over and over again.

There was only one problem: The captain's parrot saw the shows every
week and began to understand what the magician did in every trick.
Once he understood that, he started shouting in the middle of the

"Look, it's not the same hat!" "Look, he's hiding the flowers under
the table!" "Hey, why are all the cards the Ace of Spades?"

The magician was furious but couldn't do anything, it was the
captain's parrot after all.

One day the ship had an accident and sank. The magician found himself
on a piece of wood, in the middle of the ocean, and of course the
parrot was
by his side.

They stared at each other with hate, but did not utter a word. This
went on for several days.

After a week the parrot finally said, "Okay, I give up.
What'd you do with the boat?"

PS F1 GP of Canada this weekend.

Gettin' Funky, Thai Style

Thursday, June 5, 2008


We're down to the final hours before the move. Well, sort of. Tomorrow (Friday) the moving truck comes for the big stuff. Then Saturday we have the boxes moved. We still don't know when we will move in permanently. There are still a few things left to be done at The Place. Wait for it.
I got a few responses regarding the artist, but not the song. I knew it was a long shot when I decided to present it. Think of it as part of your musical 'edumacation'. (Ha) Say, I'll bet you need more lyrics. "Well, I was walking down the street with your girl the other day/Ah-ha/And the wind was blowin real hard/Is that right?/And the wind blew her hair into my face/Ah-ha/You know what else happened?/What happened?/The wind blew her hair into her face/Yeh?/And we went a little further; you wanna hear the rest of it?/I might as well/The wind blew her hair into the street!" Clue: His initials are E.M. aka B.D. and he's a 'Man'. I love that last exchange. If you're trying to find the beat, think 'Hand Jive'.
The landscaping is still going on, with more plants arriving, but the grass can't go in until the standing water problem is solved. We've been getting a fair amount of rain and we have a couple of lakes. We joked today that we could just get some fish and call it a day. They are working on a solution to enhance the drainage. We thought the waterfall was done but there are some cracks in the channel and it leaked. Today they resurfaced the walls and put in some shoring until the cement can cure.
The last main obstacle to our move will be the city water. Tomorrow we're supposed to get the word as to when they will begin. It will take three days and we're hoping they'll start this weekend. (Sigh)
Today we went into town and went to what we call the 'Crazy Store'. This place has everything under the sun. We finally found a frying pan with a lid. Very important for making popcorn. We also picked up some of those essentials like mops and brooms. Got to keep it clean.
That's all for today. Have a Brilliant Thursday.


"Ambition is putting a ladder against the sky."
~American Proverb

Gettin' Funky, Thai Style

Wednesday, June 4, 2008


Believe it or not, we didn't go to The Place today. We did spend a bit of time packing things up. This morning I had a bit of an adventure that I'll tell you about in a minute.
The song a few of you got was "Babylon Sisters" by Steely Dan, from the Gaucho LP. Yes, it all comes back, doesn't it. The following lyrics are delivered by the artist and his sidekick. The characters alternate lines. It's kind of a spoken word thing.
"__ __/Whats that boy?/I want to tell you bout your girlfriend/What about my girl?/ Well, you dont look strong enough to take the message/Im strong enough/I might hurt your feelings/My feelings are already hurt by being here with you..." Clues: This pioneer musician was best known for a signature rhythm that was copied by many artists and groups through the years. This week he left this plane of existence. For bonus 'Cool Points', name another song with that beat. The more songs, the more points. Oh yeah, think square guitar. (What?)
This morning I took the truck to Toyota of Chiang Rai for a basic check-up. All the way there, I was hoping I'd get someone who spoke English. Well, didn't happen. Usually, when you take your car in for service, you stand in a driveway with a man with a clipboard who asks a few questions and then directs you to have a seat in a room with old coffee in foam cups and a vending machine for snacks. Or you might have to sit around a table and try to avoid the sun. This was not my experience today. A young woman came to the truck as I was getting out and greeted me. We established that I wanted basic service and nothing was wrong. She wrote up a ticket and led me into a very modern room that looked a bit like a bank. She directed me to a 'service advisor' who would help me. Once my number came up, it was my turn to sit at the counter while he looked up the truck on the computer. While I sat there, I was given a glass of ice-water. At one point we realized that it might go better with some English so he made some calls and the fairly new assistant manager of sales arrived with a big grin on his face. He helped us finish the paper work and then led me to the waiting lounge.
We walked up some steps, into the showroom, and up a few more steps where he just pointed and told me to enjoy my wait. As I entered the room I noticed a giant TV screen in the far corner. There was a woman sitting at a computer doing a Google search, rows of plush chairs and a children's playground on a patio. I had been told that there was coffee and snacks, but figured it would be the usual. Not the case. There was a counter with fresh coffee, hot water for tea, and little snacks for the taking. There was not a foam cup in sight. They provided cups and saucers for our drinking pleasure. Once I absorbed the basics, I started noticing the little things. There was a massage chair, a rack with current copies of a wide range of magazines and daily newspapers. In a far corner, I noticed a door. I peaked in and discovered a 'quiet room', complete with reclining patio chairs. There was a man in there sleeping. There was a big bay window that looked down into the service area, which was very interesting to me. I watched mechanics work on different vehicles, noting their routines and patterns. It's a very slick operation. For instance, when they take your car back to the garage, not only do they put the little paper floor mat down, they cover the seat with a cloth seat-cover. Supat and I were joking about how funny it would be to just go there and spend an afternoon hanging out in such nice surroundings.
Well, that's enough babbling for today. Have a Wacky Wednesday.


"Sometimes, if you stand on the bottom rail of a bridge
and lean over to watch the river slipping slowly away beneath you,
you will suddenly know everything there is to be known."

Gettin' Funky, Thai Style

Tuesday, June 3, 2008


Hi, Today we had heat, and no rain. Umbrellas get double duty this time of year. I noticed a bike today with a handy sheath for carrying an umbrella at all times. Good idea.

I know the song is not a total bust because Lane and Jimmy got it. Lisa could sing it, but couldn't remember the exact title. Not to worry, this group often has titles that confuse. Although, in this case, it's quite obvious. See if this rings a bell: "__ __ shake it, __ __ shake it. So fine so young, tell me I'm the only one. Here come those Santa Ana winds again." Clue: In a bold move, I'll give you one of the words, sister.

Today our dining room table arrived. We had to have it made, because everything we saw would only seat six and we needed eight. The table is beautiful. We gave the man the height, length and width and a chair so he could match the wood. He did an amazing job. I neglected to get a picture of it today, but I'll snap a few tomorrow.
The big news today was the pool. When we got to the house, the water truck was back and this time it was filling the sitting area by the waterfall. We got to watch the water in the pool rise and finally spill over into the channel around the perimeter.
I took some pictures of the waterfall in action and I'll post them today. The creator of this monolith was tuning the 'fall' of the water with rocks and a sanding tool. Very interesting. We'll have to wait a few days before we can enter the pool because it has to filter some very dirty water. All those rocks took their toll on what started out as clear water.
Friday and Saturday will be moving days, even if we don't get the city water. We'll stay at the rental house and 'camp out', but all of our stuff will be at the new house. We'll spend our days there, unpacking and getting acquainted.
That's pretty much what's happening in our corner of the world. What about yours?
Have a Happy Tuesday.


"Vision without action is a daydream.

Action without vision is a nightmare."

~Japanese Proverb

Gettin' Funky, Thai Style

Monday, June 2, 2008


Back from a wild, wet weekend. Not that we didn't have plenty of sunshine, but the clouds finally delivered. We spent most of Saturday at the new house. I'll fill you in after a musical interlude.
Not too many of you wanted to "Dance With Me" over the weekend. Orleans is the group you have to thank for the memories.
"Drive west on Sunset, to the sea. Turn that jungle music down, just until we're out of town. This is no one night stand..."
Clue: This is by a group fronted by two very prolific writer/performers that we visit quite often. Tune is about a wild time in Cali and somebody shakin' it. What?
We had to get up extra early on Saturday in order to be at the site at 8 o'clock. When we arrived for the blessing of the Spirit House, there was quite a scene. Two men conducted the ceremony. In western terms, I guess they would be considered laymen of the temple. They brought their own six foot table, complete with a red covering. The table was filled with portions of various kinds of food. There was rice, corn, chicken, duck, vegetables, a big basket of fruit and, last but not least, a pig's head. Incense was burning all over and there were bunches of flowers. We were each given a candle. On this candle we were to write our name and birth date with a special stylus.
One of the men, the head guy, sat and began chanting from a thick notebook. This was the initial blessing of the land, of us and the spirits that live on the land and the ones who may visit the land. At one point we were given a prescribed number of incense sticks and were instructed to offer prayers of our own. The whole ceremony went on for a little over an hour and a half. It included tossing of water on us, dabbing our palms and foreheads with a special paste, walking around the 'house' three times, and sticking incense into all of the food. Small figurines were placed on the Spirit House, to represent our ancestors. A long strand of string was run from upstairs in Lisa's studio (tied to a small Emerald Buddha) and stretched all the way across the yard to the Spirit House. A piece of that string was tied around each of our wrists and we are to wear it for three days. I will post pictures of all this on the Flickr site.
Things are really changing as far as the house is concerned. The inside is basically finished. All the window treatments are done, most of the touch-up and cleaning is done and now it's just the little things that we're catching and having corrected. We moved a few things over and the first furniture arrived. Bed frames, dressers and dining room chairs give it all a feeling of anticipation.
The landscape crew is still planting borders and creating little gardens all around. We had our first bird sightings during the ceremony. They've discovered our trees. You may recall that I was wondering about how the geckos would know about the house. Well, somebody told them. We spotted a tiny baby upstairs in the studio. Amazing Thailand.
Sunday marked the arrival of the first truckloads of water for the pool. By this afternoon it was almost full. The pool guy was in the water, in his trunks, walking around with a net, cleaning the surface. Tomorrow they're supposed to fire up the waterfall and test the pump and filter. Guess who's getting excited?
Needless to say, we've started doing some real packing and making preparations for the move, which is still based on the arrival of city water. Boot is staying with us now, since she gave notice on her place. So, we're getting a preview of living together. It's going to be pretty cool.
Have a Wonderful Week.


"The only limits are, as always, those of vision."
~James Broughton

Gettin' Funky, Thai Style