Thursday, July 31, 2008


This is gonna be quick. The long flight from San Jose and the second, intensive security check had taken their toll. (Ha) Seriously, it takes a lot out of one to stand with your arms out and go through the tension of watching all your belongings wiped down for explosive residue. (555) Repeat after me, 'I will always travel with my passport'. Really, I just slept late.
Some of you recalled the tune. Let's check back and see how things turned out at the doctor's. Our singer got this reply:
"He said, "yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah (Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah) Yes, indeed, all you really need (Is __ __)" Hint: Is it really needed?
We actually had a smooth trip home, if you discount getting lost leaving LAX. Yes, but we discovered where all the limo drivers and express vans go to hang out. Like that's really something I wanted to know. It was an eerie sight seeing all of them waiting to re-enter the streets to dart and swoop. Oops, got off track. We found our way out with great relief.
Today we're going to the beach with Anna and The Boys. It's been a long time since I've felt sand between my toes and smelled the salt water. (don't know how it smells these days) We spotted the Pacific from the air, but it's not the same as being there.
Have a Great Rest-of-the-Day.


"A bird that you set free may be caught again,
but a word that escapes your lips will not return."
~Jewish Proverb

Gettin' Funky, Thai Style

Wednesday, July 30, 2008


Sitting up here in San Jose, reflecting on the day. It began easy enough. We got up really early, packed the last of our stuff and made our way to Park 'n Fly. It was when we got to the ticket counter that things got tense. I had left my Passport at the house, since I'm living the life of a 'local', totally forgetting that I don't have my new drivers license with my photo on it. So, after much discussion, many inspectors and a special high level search, I finally was allowed to go to the gate. The same thing may not happen in the same way on our return, since I was allowed to fly here and I'm returning so soon. At least that's what I was told. I'm just happy to be here.
So, many of you were paying attention and some of you, as Lois put it, were busy. Fair enough. It was "People" by the one and only Barbara Streisand. If you have time to wander back to 1966, tell me about this tune: "I was feelin' . . . so bad. I asked my family doctor just what I had..." Hint: This group recorded this early in their career when they were 'young'.
We've been driving around in a little Mazda 3 sedan and I like it. As they say 'Zoom Zoom'. The woman at the rental counter tried real hard to put us in a Corvette. "It's just $200 more, and I won't even charge you that much." Right.
San Jose is a lot different than Los Angeles or Chiang Rai. There's a local train that runs down the middle of the street. There are many ways to get lost. There are many streets that are on diagonals with north and south, which makes it easy to get disoriented. We're staying in a hotel that is familiar, except for the room. The one we got this time is a bit strange. No need for detail, but the bathroom is bigger than the sleeping area. It looks like an after-thought. 'Hey, we have some room left, let's make another room'. Ok.
We had a great time with Joe and Eva. We went out to dinner and then returned to their house for a tour of the latest work in his art studio. We're going back to Palo Alto this morning for breakfast with Joe, a visit to an art exhibit and more 'art talk'.
Oh, there was an earthquake today. It was centered in Chino Hills, but felt all over SoCal. We knew nothing of this until we got a call from C-Bass. It was good to hear from him. Some people felt it and others didn't. I wonder how the news 'worriers' will spin this one? Of course, you're going to tell me where you were and what you were doing when it hit. (Ha)
It's time for an early check-out and a Wacky Wednesday


"Worry is like a rocking chair
it gives you something to do but it doesn't get you anywhere."
~Dorothy Galyean

Gettin' Funky, Thai Style

Tuesday, July 29, 2008


As you read this, I'm somewhere between LAX and San Jose. If you got up late, you know where I am. Now I could have been real clever and set this all up so you got it as I was taking off, or landing. Then I could have said something like 'Just touched down....', but I just don't feel that inspired. Knowing it can be done is sometimes enough of a thrill.
What's the deal, people? Do we have to go back to basic training with the songs? Do you read your mail. This one is sooo easy. I've already given you a major hint. Ricardo wrote me with the title and artist. Who's next? "__ , __ who need __ are the luckiest __ in the world." Hint: The singer who made this song famous has given several farewell concerts (not as many as Cher).
Today we made our way to the City of Commerce to check our storage stuff. We only got lost once, because we approached from a different freeway than the directions we were given. Some things seem logical at the time, but suddenly have no relationship to logic at all. What I mean is, turning left just because you exit from the opposite direction doesn't mean you'll be headed in the right direction. Get it? Anyway, we found the place, after a tour of the industrial underbelly of Los Angeles. To our surprise, there wasn't as much in the storage bin as we anticipated. This is good. We'll sort out the where, when, and how when we get back from the north.
After our storage adventure, we drove to China Town for lunch. Of course, how could we go that far and not do a little browsing? We went to our favorite store and were greeted by our 'friends'. It was a trip seeing how big their kids had gotten. We talked of Thailand and they encouraged us to visit Viet Nam, where they're from. It was a nice reunion of sorts.
One things for certain, the traffic in Chiang Rai is nothing like L.A. It occurred to me that our Super Highway has no on-ramps. Just intersections. Guess it's not really a freeway at all. There's only one intersection where the traffic backs up during 'rush hour' and it usually clears with each signal cycle.
We talked to Boot this evening. We got a full report on the happenings at The Place. Bam-Bam is doing fine. It turns out that when Boot goes to her English class, she puts Bam in her room and she sleeps until Boot returns. It's been raining every day but that's not really news. (Ha)
Time to go pack for the trip. Have a Happy Tuesday.


"Nurture your mind with great thoughts, for you will never go
any higher than you think."
~Benjamin Disraeli

Gettin' Funky, Thai Style

Monday, July 28, 2008


I know, I'm very late today. We had a pretty busy weekend and yesterday was a big day. Before we get to that, have I mentioned that it's much cooler than we expected? You were having a heatwave before we left Thailand. Now it's a bit cold. Just goes to show that you can't always rely on the 'weather liars' to know how to dress. I brought a bunch of warm weather clothes. I'm glad I left some winter things in our apartment.
A bunch of you must have missed Friday's message. That must be the reason you didn't write to me about "Lowdown" by Boz Scaggs. Hmm. That's alright. I have a real easy one for the start of the week. "...We're children, needing other children, and yet letting a grownup pride, hide all the need inside. Acting more like children than children." Now, do you really need a clue on this one? I didn't think so.
Saturday, I was supposed to go to the movies with C-Bass, to see the new Batman movie. He had second thoughts about it, and decided not to go. He was right in his predictions about the violence and tension. Lisa went with me instead. I do not understand how this film got a PG-13 rating. I'm not about to write a review. If you want to see it, go for it, but don't take your kids. Heavy stuff.
The evening found us at a pre-wedding dinner for our friends Paul and Joy. It was a fun time, meeting the rest of the wedding party, parents, and cousins.
Sunday was the big day. As a 'Groomsman' I had serious responsibilities. (Ha) Like, make sure the groom is at the wedding, seat guests on the proper side and don't fidget during the ceremony. The wedding was on the lawn at the California Yacht Club. The Groomsmen wore traditional Filipino Barongs (a sheer long-sleeve shirt with embroidered panels down the front) and the Bridesmaids wore lovely copper colored gowns. The bride chose a lace sheath with a tasteful train. All in all, a beautiful picture.
Today we're going downtown to see what's in our storage room. Then we'll see where it can be relocated. Tomorrow we leave early for our Northern California trip. We'll fly to the San Jose airport, check in to our hotel and then drive up to Oakland for lunch with the Bay Area Cousins. We'll have dinner with Lisa's dad Joe and his wife Eva. Wednesday, we'll breakfast with Joe, see his latest art projects and then lunch with our friends Bill, Rochelle and Cordelia.
Have a Great Week.


"Peace is not merely a distant goal that we
seek, but a means by which we arrive at that goal."
~Martin Luther King Jr

Gettin' Funky, Thai Style

Friday, July 25, 2008

Friday Funnies

It's Friday in Los Angeles (or should I say Culver City) and I think the worst is over as far as the J.L. I know you're all tired of hearing me whine about it. I tried to out think it, tell myself that I was going to stay awake and induce a normal sleep pattern. I don't think it can be done. The stronger the body clock, the harder it is to alter it. After seven months in LOS, flying back to this continent and arriving on the same day I left has taken it's toll.
Nobody wrote me about the song. It was Olivia Newton-John's "I Honestly Love You". See, you knew it. For the weekend:
"Baby's into runnin' around Hanging with the crowd, putting your business in the street talking out loud. Saying you bought her this and that And how much you done spent...I wonder, wonder who put those ideas in her head..." Hint: This classic is from a Bay area artist that puts on a legendary holiday show for his local fans, has had a ton of hits, and has an unusual first name. Now that you know the lowdown on the artist, this should be easy.
Yesterday we drove over to Altadena and picked up my mom for our trip to Bangkok Blue. We had a fun time hanging out with the family (Blue, Joyce and Ming). After our great lunch and a lot of laughter, we went back to mom's, for more hangin' out and catching up. Even though we talk on the phone every week, there's nothing like being there.
Speaking of being there, when we returned to our 'vacation house', we noticed big hearts drawn in chalk, on the driveway. We followed them, like a trail of crumbs, and at the end was an invitation: "Party in August's room, fun fun fun". I had plans for the evening so I went by to see what was up. He had decorated his room with strings of lights, set up all of his DJ gear and had his various 'work' lights (strobe, blacklight, etc.) set to one remote. Of course he demonstrated the whole thing. It was brilliant. No more hitting all the switches for each light. One button and they were all on, and off.
Tomorrow I'm going to the movies with C-Bass. We're going to see the new Batman flick. Personally, I can hardly wait. The vehicles alone are enough to make me want to see the movie. The new bike looks awesome.
More Culture Shock: It dawned on me that the absence of all the motorbikes buzzing around in traffic was making the driving much easier. They tend to add a measure of tension since you never know when one might pop up beside you. At the same time, seeing big bikes on the streets has me turning my head trying to get a better look. We don't see much of that in Chiang Rai. Yesterday I bought gas for the first time. Back home, they pump the gas for you. I hadn't done it in quite a while. In addition, I hadn't been hustled by anyone for a window wash in a long time. Weird.
That's all for now. It's time for the 'Funnies', inspired by my old friend Jet Lag. Have a Summer WeekEnd.



1 "They told me at the blood bank this might happen."
2 "I wasn't sleeping, I was trying to pick up my contact lens without hands."
3 "I wasn't sleeping! I was meditating on the mission statement and envisioning a new paradigm!"
4 "Amen"
5 "This is just a 15 minute power-nap like they raved about in the last time management course you sent me to."
6 "Whew! Guess I left the top off the liquid paper"
7 "I was doing a highly specific Yoga exercise to relieve work related stress."
8 "This is one of the seven habits of highly effective people!"
9 "Boy, that cold medicine I took last night just won't wear off!"
10 "Darn! Why did you interrupt me? I had almost figured out a solution to our biggest problem."

Gettin' Funky, Thai Style

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Good Enough

One of the things on the big 'to do' list when visiting the States, is to pick up things we can't get in Thailand. Such things like vitamins, certain cookies, and a few tech items. Today was a day like that, plus some visits to a couple of government agencies. Oh, what fun.
There were no responses to the song, so you could still be first with the right answer. Wouldn't that be something? Here goes: "...And you shouldn't blow the chance When you've got the chance to say I love you, __ __ __ __. Hint: Since we're so close to the end of this I'll tell you that the initials for the last name are N-J.
Regardless of how you feel about the driving in the L.A. area, I must say that it's quite orderly and polite compared to home. Several times we approached intersections and the cars turning left waited for us to pass. How nice of them. Red lights are more than a suggestion for the most part, and drivers take turns at four-way stops.
I'm getting spoiled driving our rental car. It's a Jeep Patriot with an automatic transmission, comfortable suspension, and four doors. Every now and then I still reach for the shift lever with my left hand. That will probably fade as our stay goes on. I will admit to hitting the wiper lever thinking I was using the turn signals. That too shall pass.
Tomorrow we're going out to Bangkok Blue with my mom. That should be fun. We haven't had any Thai food since we've been back. I'll bet you haven't been there yet. Maybe it's time for a car-pool to lighten the load. Which brings me to the price of gas.
Wow. There's still such a wide range of high prices. In Thailand, most of the stations have the same price, and it's falling.
One last thing. Today we drove by our old house, just to see if it was being taken care of and to see any changes. It still looks great. The new owner wrote us to say how much she is enjoying it and we can tell by the plants and trees that she was right for the place. Lisa's mural is still up on the shed in the back yard. That was good to see, if even through the fence.
Have a Cool Thursday.


"Never think that you're not good enough yourself.
A person should never think that.
People will take you very much at your own reckoning."
~Anthony Trollope

Gettin' Funky, Thai Style

Wednesday, July 23, 2008


So, we're back and still doing battle with the 'Lag'. The plan today was to stay awake so we'd sleep real good and get back to 'normal'. Ha, didn't work and a nap got the better of us. Maybe another day or so and we'll be alright.
A few of you recognized "Venus" by Frankie Avalon. Oh, now you remember. I'm digging deep today. Do you know this one?
"Maybe I hang around here A little more than I should We both know I got somewhere else to go..." Hint: I honestly don't know how this hyphenated singer had the success she did. Oops, that wasn't very nice, was it? Hmm.
Culture Shock: Riding down the street last night and all of a sudden, two Culver City police cars are coming from the other direction with red lights and sirens blazing. Unheard of back in Chiang Rai. The closest we get to this is when the 'Rescue' boys race to an accident. Also, there are some streets that have been closed, and/or redirected and left me wondering what I was supposed to do. There's a car dealership that is now a furniture store and 'our' KFC is gone. What next?
We've been doing a lot of hanging out with 'The Boys'. August joined us this morning, with his laptop. The three of us, sitting on the bed computing. I helped him do an iTunes search for DJ mixes. He's still working on his collection. Very interesting to hear what this eight y/o is listening to. I wonder if his peers have the same tastes? Meanwhile, C-Bass is now taller than Lisa, his voice is deeper and he's pondering which iPod to get.
This evening we met our friend Cynthia for dinner at Dinah's. We ordered turkey, since we can't get it in Thailand. That's right, no turkey. Cynthia and her husband Lynn have relocated to Arizona so we had lots to talk about. Life goes on, different.
Lisa talked to Boot today. The house is fine and Bam-Bam is fine. We miss Bam. Boot tried to put her on the phone. (Ha) That would be a good trick, getting a puppy to relate to a phone. I guessing she'll be a lot bigger by the time we get back. Wonder what she'll be collecting then. Right now she brings her rocks to Boot's door and lines them up. I wonder what she's thinking?
Have a Wacky Wednesday.


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

Gettin' Funky, Thai Style

Tuesday, July 22, 2008


I'm sleepy. Our trip to the States took a total of 30 hours, when you include all the layover time. It was a good trip in spite of all the waiting. Imagine spending over 6 hours in an airport. In Taipei we actually slept. I'll have a lot more to say tomorrow.
Got a few responses on the song. Here's a bit more, in case it was right on the tip of your tongue. (There's a funny saying.)
"__, goddess of love that you are, surely the things I ask can't be too great a task" Hint: Besides being a goddess, the central figure in the song is also a planet. What more do you need?
During the rest of the week I'll be pointing out moments of culture shock as I move about in Southern California. For now, I'll just say that things have changed and driving on the right side of the road is not as weird as I thought it would be.
Have a Happy Tuesday.


"If you want your life to be a magnificent story,
then begin by realizing that you are the author;
and everyday you have the opportunity to write a new page."
Mark Houlahan

Gettin' Funky, Thai Style

Monday, July 21, 2008


Well, I'm here in the Taipei airport. Total layover time is six hours. This trip is setting records for inefficient use of time. We spent about the same amount of time in BKK at the airport overnight. This is the first time we've flown into Taipei in the daytime, so that's a bit of a treat being able to see the countryside on approach, and know that there's really something there besides an airport. There is a resting lounge where I'm presently sitting. It has WiFi, but it seems to be limited. There are couches, big TVs and a mix of people from around the world.
The weekend song was "Hot Fun In The Summertime" by Sly and the Family Stone. Let's try this one: "__ if you will, please send a little girl for me to thrill..." A 60s classic (IMO) and one of those songs that can stick in your head.
Speaking of music, the Starbucks here in the airport has several James Brown CDs for sale. Saw the same thing in BKK. I've had a chance to listen more closely to my recent CD purchase, 'The Underground Project' from Thailand. It's a collective of Rap/Hiphop groups and covers the whole spectrum within the genres. I was sitting on the flight from Chiang Rai to Bangkok, bobbing my head and I'm sure a few fellow travelers were wondering what I was listening to. I have some VCDs that I plan to watch on the long flight this evening. Thai groups like Body Slam (concert footage) and Big Ass (greatest hits). It's a great deal when you can get a CD with the videos of the songs for less than six bucks.
Have a Great Start to your Week.


"Sometimes your joy is the source of your smile,
but sometimes your smile can be the source of your joy."
~Thich Nhat Hanh

Gettin' Funky, Thai Style

Friday, July 18, 2008

Friday Funnies

Well, I guess that's why they call this the rainy season. It's been raining all day. Actually, it started last night and continued throughout the day. Mostly light, but rain never the less. It didn't stop us from running errands and it didn't stop a major parade this afternoon. It's a thing call adaptation. Whereever humans commit to living, they adapt to the demands of the climate.
That's a great lead for the weekend song. But first, let's clear up the last one. It was "Evolution" and it was by Motorhead. I'll bet you've never heard many of their tunes. I guess it's time to broaden the palette. Thank Christopher for the awakening.
"End of the spring and here she comes back Hi, hi, hi, hi, there Them summer days, those summer days That's when I had most of my fun, back Hi, hi, hi, hi, there, them summer days, those summer days..." Clue: I thought I'd be sly and slip in a summer song. Have fun with it.
A few days ago we took one of Lisa's small paintings over to a frame shop she discovered. Today we got it back and met the owner. He did a wonderful job matting and framing the piece for less than $8. We'll be taking more things to him when we return. The frame guy is also interested in artists who do original work. So many artists are caught up in photo-realism here that he encourages the young artists that try to do original work. He showed us two pieces he bought from a young man we've made friends with at the Night Bazaar. Our little world is certainly coming together nicely.
Little Ms Bam-Bam is moving into the wild days of puppyhood. She used to stay in one part of the yard, near Boot's door. Now she's the great explorer, venturing out to the far corners of the grassy plains in search Her latest thing is rocks. She finds them and bites them and then brings them back to home base. Little ones, big ones, any ones. She likes to go out behind the waterfall, probably because there are some loose stones she can play with. She's also going into little puppy flip-outs where she kinda loses control and has to be reeled in. Hmm, sounds like a teen to me. There are the 'isn't she the sweetest thing' moments to counter the crazies.
The next time you hear from me will be from the airport in Taipei. Have a Hot, Happy WeekEnd.


PS Here's some more little things to think about.

Wrinkled Was Not One of the Things I Wanted to Be When I Grew up!!!!
Procrastinate Now!
I Have a Degree in Liberal Arts; Do You Want Fries With That?
A journey of a thousand miles begins with a cash advance.
Stupidity is not a handicap. Park elsewhere!
A picture is worth a thousand words, but it uses up three thousand times the memory.
Ham and eggs...A day's work for a chicken, a lifetime commitment for a pig.
The trouble with life is there's no background music .
I smile because I don't know what the hell is going on.

Gettin' Funky, Thai Style

Thursday, July 17, 2008


Today was a special day here in Thailand. It was the first day of Buddhist Lent. Many stores were closed and all the schools are closed for two days. This morning I could hear chanting from a temple in the village. This evening, all the temples were buzzing with activity. For the next three months the monks will stay inside the grounds of their temples overnight and many young men will take vows and study for the duration. During this time, monks will meditate, study and teach more than usual.
It would appear that the song was not as 'outside' as you might think. I got several messages from those who knew the song.
"I see the light in the sand. Time to find out, who I am! Lookin' back to see where I stand. __ , __" Hint: I really can't think of anything to tell you if you don't know this one. Next song will be easy.
I forgot to mention that yesterday, while we were going to the hardware store, we met a traffic jam. It was caused by a long procession of school children of all ages. We don't know what the final destination was, but they were carrying signs that had to do with the earth. Many of the kids were carrying small plants that were to be set in the ground somewhere. Some of the older students were dressed in traditional costumes. There seems to be a big awareness campaign focusing on saving the planet. Cool.
Today we took Boot over to the language school for an assessment interview, in English, so they could place her in the right class. She and Lisa went inside and I hung out with Bam-Bam. There was a couple making a large floral display for a float. We watched them work and I noticed they had a puppy tied to a tree. The young man brought his puppy over to meet Bam-Bam. This was her first encounter with another dog. They stood face to face, sniffed noses and then he growled and she growled and that was that. Bam got busy smelling all the new smells, moving around in a random search for something. It didn't matter that she didn't know what she was looking for, it was a new adventure. Every now and then she would pull on the leash and take us back to the truck. Then a woman brought her little dog over and she met her second dog. Her little tail was wagging like crazy and she seemed to enjoy the meeting. There was so much to investigate, she paid no attention when I tried to get her to play with her toy. It was a good time.
While we're in the States, we will have house guests. Blue and Ming are coming to Thailand and will arrive before we get back. Boot will be here to take care of them, and then when we return, we'll get to spend a few days with them before they go home. It's nice to have a place where we can do that sort of thing.
Well, time to start packing, I guess. Have a Great Thursday.


"All of man's problems stem from his inability to sit alone in a room for any length of time."

Gettin' Funky, Thai Style

Wednesday, July 16, 2008


Flight time is getting closer and tomorrow we get out the bags and start making serious decisions. Today was a day of trying to tie up some loose ends. We went to my favorite hardware store and got some wire mesh so I could make a fence to keep Bam-Bam out of two flower beds. We had a whole team of young people helping us. Each one understood a little bit of what we were trying to do and collectively they helped us get what we needed. I went into 'handyman mode' and made a cute little fence. We didn't get enough material, but it still works. Bam didn't like the noise of the hammer and when I was done, she saw the fence and wouldn't get near it. Success.
Some of you got the song and some of you looked it up. For those who did neither, it was "Alone Again, Naturally" by Gilbert O'Sullivan. It really was a big record in it's day (1972). If you think that was off the wall, or obscure, let's see who knows this one: "__ is a mystery, Full of change that no one sees, Clock makes a fool of history. Yesterday's too long ago, Don't agree with what I know, Tomorrow becomes a new place to be." Clues: This is by a band with an unusual name. It was a request that's been going on for some time and I finally caved. Some say it's how things came to be.
We just got back from the Night Bazaar. Should be our last trip before we leave. The place was packed. It was cool because when there are lots of visitors, new stuff appears. Got some new stuff tonight. When you get here, you'll see what I mean. (5)
Our dear friends Blue and his son Ming have a new enterprise. It's an Ebay store called 'Eastern Aspects'. Bangkok Blue is still open for business. The 'Store' has some amazing old Jimi Hendrix recordings and memorabilia, some Thai crafts, and Blue has his photographs available. You should go check it out.
I've been contemplating the changes I'll have to make while driving in the States. You know, little things like staying on the right side of the road, not turning left on red lights, not turning in front of people just because they see me and have time to stop, little stuff like that. Oh yeah, and observing a speed limit. On the Super Highway there are no posted speed limit signs. The mere fact that there will be people who may be keeping track of how fast I'm going is a little unsettling. (Ha) Seriously though, it will take a short period of adjustment. I have a friend who returned to England for a visit and he said his mother had to keep reminding him of what was 'proper' driving. I'll keep you posted as to how it goes.
Time for a Wacky Wednesday.


"I don't want to get to the end of my life
and find that I have just lived the length of it.
I want to have lived the width of it as well."
~Diane Ackerman

Gettin' Funky, Thai Style

Tuesday, July 15, 2008


We had a fairly quiet day on the compound. Dirty Pool Water Guy came by, did nothing and promised to bring workers tomorrow. We're sorta done with this guy. If we get the work he owes us we'll be happy. There are things about the pool that no one seemed to think about until now. Of course we didn't know we'd have corn fields on two sides, complete with insects that seem to like to swim. Solution will be a cover for the pool. The fantasy solution is a big plexiglas enclosure for the whole thing. Oh well, a cover will do just fine.
A couple of you knew the song, so it wasn't totally obscure. It's a tough song to quote because of the stream of the lyrics:
"...Left standing in the lurch at a church were people saying, 'My God, that´s tough she stood him up, no point in us remaining.
We may as well go home' as I did on my own __ __,__" Hint: He always ends up the same, and it's not in a crowd.
We've been studying the L.A. weather scene and it looks like it's very similar to ours, except that the nights are about ten degrees cooler in L.A. That will be welcome. If you recall, when we visited in December it was very cold.
Today we got the details on English lessons for Boot. She's going to be studying at the same school we went to in the early days. It's one of the best schools here and has a great reputation. She's very excited about this. It will be good for all of us in the long run.
We realized that we're going to miss Bam-Bam while we're gone. In a very short time, she's become part of the household, not to mention the cutest little dog we know. Today we watched her from an upstairs window as she explored part of the yard. Walking around, sniffing, hearing a sound and focusing on that and then being drawn to something else. She still has a little puppy brain with a rather short attention span and sometimes it's really cute. We get a big kick out of watching her try to decide which toy to put in her mouth. What a life. By the way, there are some recent puppy pics over at Flickr.
Next week, I'll be reporting from a different continent, with a different cast of players. To find out who these people are, got to the blog site listed below and check out the 'Cast of Characters' column on the right. Then you can keep up.
Have a Happy Tuesday.


"Humankind has not woven the web of life.
We are but one thread within it.
Whatever we do to the web, we do to ourselves.
All things are bound together.
All things connect."
~Chief Seattle

Gettin' Funky, Thai Style

Monday, July 14, 2008


Welcome to what is looking like it will be the wild week before we leave for the States. So many things to do, ends to tie, things to let go of, and on it goes. When the pace of life gets in sync with all around you, it becomes different when you break away for more than a few days. It requires looking into the future, in hopes of avoiding 'I shoulda thought of that' moments. Other than that, everything is wonderful.
The song a few of you got (Lois and Trudye to name the few) was "Long Tall Sally" by Richard (Little Richard) Penniman. Next:
"In a little while from now, if I'm not feeling any less sour, I promise myself to treat myself and visit a nearby tower, and climbing to the top...." Clue: This is a sad song about being left at the altar, among other places, by a singer who's name sounds like a famous writing duo.
Sunday we went to Big C for lunch and looking. We found a few things that we needed. I almost bought a purple garden hose, but I held back and got a traditional dark green. Here's something different: Outside faucets are not threaded, you push the hose on and hope it stays. I managed to find some little hose clamps to make sure it stays in place.
Speaking of water, this was water day at The Place. We had a visit from Drinking Water Guy, Outside Water Guy and a no-show from Dirty Pool Water Guy. We're learning something new every day, as a result of persistence and variations in translations. We seem to be doing some retrofitting after one month, but it's worth it in the long run. We're finding out who's reliable and trustworthy and who to smile at and run. Ah, the Adventures.
Today was also Art to the Walls Day. Boot's friend Pan came over and helped hang quite a few things. Now it looks like our house. We have pictures of two Kings, Lisa art, Joe's (Lisa's Dad) work and a family tree pic of my father's family. More to come, but now the walls are warm.
Bam-Bam is going into that long-legged stage, and becoming quite vocal. She's becoming a watch dog. The guard bark is different from the 'come out and play' bark. Of course, it's still barking and she's still learning the 'rules'. She and Boot went off yesterday to visit friends. In the course of our travels, we passed them going in the opposite direction. There was Bam-Bam, sitting in Boot's motorbike basket, breeze in her face looking like Snoopy in one of his adventures. Today she went for a ride in the truck and seemed to enjoy that as well. She just gets comfortable in the back and mellows out. Oh yes, and ball play is getting more involved. If Lisa and I are both outside she will alternate who she brings the ball to, which I think is pretty clever. Letting us both in on the fun. There is also a marked difference in the way she will initially approach us. She will come to Lisa jumping and smiling and playful. When she comes to me, she almost crawls to my feet. She recognizes that I am the Alpha male of the pack. Am I supposed to howl?
That's about it for now. Have an Exciting Week.


"The greatest good we can do for others
is not to share our riches with them,
but to reveal their own."
~Author Unknown

Gettin' Funky, Thai Style

Friday, July 11, 2008

Friday Funnies

Right now it's a little after 9:30 in the evening and we've been having a light show in the sky. It must be far away because there has barely been any thunder. We first spotted it as we were coming home from downtown. The Night Bazaar was packed tonight but we had some things to get in preparation for the trip back to the States.
So, some of you knew the '62 hit by Mary Wells, "The One Who Really Loves You". As Linda put it, it was a classic. And now:
"Gonna tell Aunt Mary 'bout Uncle John, he says he has the misery but he has a lotta fun. Oh baby..." Hint: The title is a descriptive name for a young woman, written and sung by an outrageous showman. It's had many covers, but the original is the one that counts.
Today we went to Mae Sai in the morning. I won't bore you with details, but I will say that going to the border tourist center is better done in the morning, when just the locals are out. We finally found a wireless doorbell. Now we can close the gate even when we're expecting workers. It will be good for so many reasons.
I got four messages telling me about the telescoping light bulb changer. I should have mentioned that I knew of such a device but couldn't find one here. Thank you to all who sent me links and tips on how to deal with the high ceilings. They probably have them in Chiang Mai or Bangkok, but not 'up country'. Boot says she knows a handy-man who can take care of all that. Ah, life is sweet.
I'm not going to go on (as you know I can) because it's time for the 'Funnies' and they're kinda long. Blue sent this wonderful list for you education. (Ha)
Have a Wonderful WeekEnd.


Little Known Laws of Nature:

Law of Mechanical Repair
After your hands become coated with grease, your nose will begin to itch and you'll have to pee.

Law of Gravity
Any tool, when dropped, will roll to the least accessible corner.

Law of Probability
The probability of being watched is directly proportional to the stupidity of your act.

Law of Random Numbers
If you dial a wrong number, you never get a busy signal and someone always answers.

Law of the Alibi
If you tell the boss you were late for work because you had a flat tire, the very next morning you will have a flat tire.

Variation Law
If you change lines (or traffic lanes), the one you were in will always move faster than the one you are in now (works every time).

Law of the Bath
When the body is fully immersed in water, the telephone rings.

Law of Close Encounters
The probability of meeting someone you know increases dramatically when you are with someone you don't want to be seen with.

Law of the Result
When you try to prove to someone that a machine won't work, it will.

Law of Biomechanics
The severity of the itch is inversely proportional to the reach.

Law of the Theater
At any event, the people whose seats are furthest from the aisle arrive last.

The Starbucks Law
As soon as you sit down to a cup of hot coffee, your boss will ask you to do something which will last until the coffee is cold.

Murphy's Law of Lockers
If there are only two people in a locker room, they will have adjacent lockers.

Law of Physical Surfaces
The chances of an open-faced jelly sandwich landing face down on a floor covering are directly correl ated to the newness and cost of the carpet/rug.

Law of Logical Argument
Anything is possible if you don't know what you are talking about.

Brown's Law of Physical Appearance
If the shoe fits, it's ugly.

Oliver's Law of Public Speaking
A closed mouth gathers no feet.

Wilson's Law of Commercial Marketing Strategy
As soon as you find a product that you really like, they will stop making it.

Doctors' Law
If you don't feel well, make an appointment to go to the doctor, by the time you get there you'll feel better. Don't make an appointment and you'll stay sick.

Gettin' Funky, Thai Style

Thursday, July 10, 2008


Just slipped home, between the raindrops. We were down at the Night Bazaar checking out a few things. We had just concluded our stroll when we noticed the merchants frantically pulling out their plastic sheeting. A clear sign of things to come. I don't think it will be heavy, but it's still wet.
Well, I'm really surprised that I haven't heard from more of you. The song was a major hit in '62 on a label that hit big.
"...So love, you better wake up, yeah, before we break up and you lose me, little me __ __ __ __ __ __ (I really love you, yay, yay, yay)" I think you'll get it, if it's in there.
Today we got a ladder and began hanging art work. Something I hadn't considered with the tall ceilings is the fact that you can put things way up high if you have a tall enough ladder. Well, some things work up high, but most don't. Besides, I don't have a really tall ladder and I'm happy with that. We got a cool little vacuum that gets up all the cement and brick dust that comes from drilling holes in the walls. Something else that I haven't figured out yet is how to change the light bulbs that are recessed in the ceiling. So, maybe we'll have to buy a tall ladder and have someone else climb up. Hmm.
The other night when we were at the NB we went into my favorite store, The Nine Shop. They were playing some Thai Hip-Hop that knocked me out. I asked the woman the name of the song and she told me and tried to give me a way to remember. I forgot, of course, only remembering some hand gestures that signified the title. I felt a little funny about doing them in the record store so I had her write it down. On the way to the truck tonight, we stopped in at the new record store on the main drag and I showed the woman the paper. Her face lit up with a big smile, she made the gesture and went and got the CD. I guess it's a big tune right now. Now I have a 'friend' at the shop. She also showed me some new releases in the same genre. Maybe I'll see if I can get a preview of these in the future. Hmm, getting into the popular music of the culture was one of the things I had on my list of things to do. The world is certainly shrinking.
Have a Cool Thursday.


"We can easily forgive a child who is afraid of the dark;
the real tragedy of life is when adults are afraid of the light."

Gettin' Funky, Thai Style

Wednesday, July 9, 2008


As the song once said, 'The Beat Goes On' and around here it becomes more and more apparent every day. Shifting from one culture to another is initially very overwhelming and exciting. It consumes all the receptors, frazzles the attention. What to look at next, where to go, what to learn, where not to go are all very important questions. After ten months, a lot of those questions have been answered, curiosities satisfied, and a few mysteries resolved. Now it becomes day to day life, without the adrenaline most of the time, without feeling like I'm always on the edge. Now comes the living.
Day two didn't bring many new responses to the song. Those who knew said "Right Place, Wrong Time" by Dr. John. If you ever want to treat yourself to a musical adventure, get a copy of 'Gris-Gris' by Dr. John. Guaranteed to blow your mind. So, a shift in time and genre to an era when singing groups sang and songs were about something you could relate to your life. Hmm.
"Some other girls are fillin' your head with jive. So now you're acting like you don't know that I'm alive. Love, you better wake up, yeah, before we break up and you lose me, little me __ __ __ __ __ __" Clue: This wasn't actually a group, but the sound gave it that feeling. This singer had many hits that you've probably hummed. Hint: It's R&B and she's trying to keep her boyfriend.
It looks like we're about to have a showdown at the black lagoon. If the pool guy doesn't get his act together soon, he will be replaced and someone besides us is footing the bill. It's the last little nagging thing to be dealt with and today I put my bare foot down. Didn't get angry, just firm. I figure that with all the beautiful hotel pools in the area, there must be someone who knows what they're doing.
Bam-Bam is growing and learning every day. She's also getting a little territorial, which is a good thing. Today a man from the water department came to the house and she barked at him. She knows everyones' voice now and when she hears one of us, she perks up. She doesn't yell for attention until she makes eye contact. Then you're obligated to play. This evening she was getting hungry so she went over to the bag with her food, sat down and barked at Boot. I'd say this is a smart little dog. We'll be posting some more pics of her soon.
The August Chronicles: This morning I got a Skype call from August. It was a complete surprise. He said he was just going through his Skype 'stuff' and noticed I was on-line so he called. How grown is that? Lisa and I had a fun conversation with him about what he's been doing with his summer. I asked him if the house phone got fixed (wasn't working the other day) and he told us his dad fixed it. What he didn't tell us was that fact that he had been busy testing phones, plugging and unplugging and somehow that's how things went bad. He took his laptop and walked around the house to show us the plugs that worked. We couldn't see anything, not that it mattered, he was just being Mr. August and plugs were involved. It's going to be fun hanging out with the boys again.
It's time for a Wacky Wednesday.


"Dance to the music of your heart and
the audience will surely applaud."

Gettin' Funky, Thai Style

Tuesday, July 8, 2008


This morning we went to the market. Not the grocery store, but the market. Think of it as 2 city blocks of food, clothes, hardware, and stuff you really don't need. I find the whole thing totally fascinating. It's like the heartbeat of the city when it comes to food. There are other markets, but this is the big papa, the grand-central. You'll just have to take my word for it or come and see for yourself.
I was impressed with the mail I got on the song. If you didn't get it, here's one of the boldest clues yet. A dead giveaway:
"Just need a little brain salad surgery, got to cure this insecurity... I been in the __ __, but it must have been the __ __..."
This afternoon it started raining again, really hard. The yard guys were back early today, I guess to get a jump on the rain. They don't just mow and blow, they comb and groom. They've been out in the flower beds (and there are a lot of them) picking weeds, clipping dead branches and turning the soil. I think that without the rain, it's maybe two full days. We're certainly glad we picked Kek and his crew to maintain the plants, since they know what they are and what they need. Imagine moving to a new country and having to learn a whole new array of nature.
Then there are the animal sounds. Some are accounted for and some are not. There are day-time sounds and night-time sounds. The other night we heard what sounded like a giant frog. At least he has a giant voice. It was coming from the waterfall corner. I'm not sure if he was in the corn or in our yard. There are also some birds that have a distinctly tropical sound, as in jungle. Some by day, some by night. Every few days one of us will say, 'Did you hear that?'.
The rain finally stopped and it's really humid. It's 8 o'clock in the evening. I'm going to sign off and go out and listen to the night.
Have a Happy Tuesday.


"What a wonderful life I've had!
I only wish I'd realized it sooner."

Gettin' Funky, Thai Style

Monday, July 7, 2008


We had a pretty mellow weekend. It didn't rain too much so we had a little break. Sunday we had a visit from Kek, the landscape guy. He walked the grounds and surveyed the progress of the plants and was a little concerned about the corner of the yard by the pool. We explained that the pool guy had been dumping pool water onto the grass and that's why it was brown. I'm still a little unclear about why he does this and we've told him it must stop. Kek told us the tree we thought was dead was still alive and that he'd guarantee it. Today we got our first yard service from two of his guys. It took them most of the day to do the front. Then the rains came. I mean a storm, like the one that hit the party. They slept on the front porch until it let up, did a little more work and had to stop again. They'll be back tomorrow.
Some of you were on the 'good foot' this weekend since you knew "I Feel Good" by James Brown. You all should know that one. Try this: "...I been in the right trip But I must have used the wrong car My head was in a bad place And I'm wondering what it's good for."
Hint: It's about timing, by an artist who is not really a doctor, per se.
We have finalized all our arrangements for our visit to the States. Two weeks and we'll be 'Coming to America'. We had planned to come in June, but we wanted to make sure the house was finished and we had a chance to get settled. For the first time, we had to go through a travel agent to get our flights. We usually time things so we don't have to stay in Bangkok (BKK) too long. This time we have a flight that leaves at 6:30 a.m., which means we have to arrive in BKK late at night and hang out in the airport for about six hours. Oh well, we'll just park ourselves in the lounge, surf the internet and watch our little collection of old T.V. shows on the computer. Then, when we get to Taipei, we have a longer than usual layover. It's a nice airport and I'm sure there are parts we haven't explored yet. We arrive in the U.S. on the afternoon of the 21st. We'll be in town for three weeks.
We've been noticing a large number of tourists here in Chiang Rai, for this time of year. Typically, this is not a big travel time since it's the rainy season. Actually, it's the best time to come because everything is so green and lush. I guess some people figured that out, or maybe they're just here because it's their summer vacation time. Whatever the reasons, it's good for the town because it brings business to merchants who rely on outsiders. The economy here is centered around farming.
Speaking of farming, there was a lot of activity in the corn field behind the house today. They were harvesting the crop. Very interesting. As I looked out on the field, I could see the corn moving in various places. On closer inspection I could see a person. It was a weird effect, seeing the tall corn stalks swaying for no apparent reason. Then an odd little truck would drive in and large sacks of corn would be tossed on the back. The little trucks would drive out of the field and the sacks transferred to pick-up trucks. Quite an operation. I think they had to stop when the storm came. Tomorrow I'll be looking to see if they take more corn. Our balcony is like a ring-side seat to the harvest. Who knew?
Have a Great Week.


"Though we travel the world to find the beautiful,
we must carry it within us or we will find it not."
~Ralph Waldo Emerson

Gettin' Funky, Thai Style

Friday, July 4, 2008

Friday Funnies

Today (where I am) it's the 4th of July. Just another day in paradise. If you're in the U.S. you probably have the day off (maybe) and you're planning something. As the sun goes down, you'll hear loud noises and look to the sky to see if you can see the fireworks. Here, we looked to the sky to see if the rain had really stopped. Enjoy your holiday. If it's not a holiday for you, just enjoy your day anyway.
Yes, it was The Rolling Stones with "(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction". See, that wasn't so hard was it? For the weekend tell me about this: "Whao, __ __ __ like I knew that I would...So good, so good 'cause I got you. (horns) Hint: I really shouldn't, it's so obvious, but here goes: The hardest working man in show business, the GodFather of... See what I mean?
We got a double dose of rain today. Early afternoon we had a light rain that didn't last too long. Then a little later, a monsoon type downpour. We're actually getting used to the weather patterns. What's still odd is the fact that it's warm. In between rains I made a trash run and learned a few things about my new neighborhood. A trash run is basically me taking our trash and putting it with other trash that the city picks up. As far as we know, there's no pick-up on our road yet. We have to look into this soon. First thing I learned, don't make a trash run at 4 p.m. because that's when school lets out and there's lots more traffic. Second, the kids at the big school were wearing very different uniforms from what I've seen in the city. Maybe it was a special day or something but they were dressed in a very traditional northern style costume that was very cool. Basically black shirt and pants with patterned material as accents. Missed a great photo op.
Bam-Bam had another trip to the vet today. She's the calmest puppy we've ever seen. No whining, squirming or anything, just cooperative and docile. Oh it's different in the yard when she wants to play. She's grown a bunch and she's learning how to chase things and bring them back, explore on her own, and use her little voice when she wants attention. Lonnie wanted to help us get her a dog house, but apparently that's not a common thing here. I may have to find some plans and either try my hand (oh please don't) or have someone build it. Hey, how hard could it be?
Well, it's time for the 'Funnies', submitted by cousin Trudye (with a little edit by me) If you have any 'G' rated funny stuff, send it.
Have an Explosive WeekEnd.


1.. My husband and I divorced over religious differences. He thought he was God and I didn't.

2.. I don't suffer from insanity; I enjoy every minute of it.

3.. Ever get the feeling your stuff strutted off without you?

4.. I used to have a handle on life, but it broke ...

5.. Earth is the insane asylum for the universe .

6.. I'm not a complete idiot -- Some parts are missing.

7.. Out of my mind. Back in five minutes …

8.. NyQuil, the stuffy, sneezy, why-the-heck-is-the-room-spinning medicine.

9.. Consciousness: That annoying time between naps.

10.. Ever stop to think, and forget to start again?

Gettin' Funky, Thai Style

Thursday, July 3, 2008


I just returned from taking Lonnie to the airport for his flight back to Bangkok. He plans to stay there for a week and then return to the U.S. We had a wonderful visit. It was nice to spend time with him reminiscing about old times and old friends. Lonnie will be 87 years old next month and I mention that only to point out that almost anybody can make the trip and have a good time. Ahem.
I guess there's no pulling the wool over sharp eyes. Quite a few of you got the song. It's not like I gave you any major hints or anything. (Ha) If you didn't get it yesterday, maybe this line will help: "I can't get no, oh no no no. Hey hey hey, that's what I say."
Today Lonnie and I had quite an adventure. Those teak elephants that he bought gave the shippers the impression that we needed some kind of permit to ship them out of the country. We went to the compound where the Forestry office was located only to find that there were many government agencies on the grounds. After going into three different offices we found the right one and they told us we didn't need a permit. Armed with that information, we headed back to the shippers and they packed everything up and sent them on their way.
We heard a new bird in the yard today. It seems like every few days we hear a new sound of nature. Many of the trees have taken root and are getting nice and leafy. The lawns are filling in and the rain is sinking in faster than before. That's a good thing because the thought of having a swamp after each rain was getting a little discouraging. Now we just have to get some balance back in the pool and all will be well.
At one point in our travels today, Lonnie ask me if there was much graffiti here and I told him I really hadn't seen any. I've seen it in Chiang Mai (you may have seen the pics) but up here there seems to be a better respect for property. There were many more questions that I couldn't answer so I have some research to do and people to interview so I can answer the queries of our next guests.
In other news, it appears that Bangkok Blue will remain open for the time being. If you haven't been there yet, head on out and tell them we sent you.
Have a Mellow Thursday.


"You can have everything in life you want
if you'll just help enough other people to get what they want!"
~Zig Ziglar

Gettin' Funky, Thai Style

Wednesday, July 2, 2008


Today we had rain, twice. Early afternoon there was a light shower, right after we had lunch. I figured that was it for the day. A few hours later, a storm hit and really dumped a bunch of rain, just as we were having a massage. It lasted for over an hour. We don't know how much falls when it rains, so we judge each occurrence by the amount of water that pools at the lowest part of the lawn. Hmm, we need MegaDoppler 90,000 I guess.
I'm glad to see some of you are up on your classics. Paul pointed out that I've been hitting all the classics from all the genres. That's been my goal lately, though sometimes I wander. "Bridge Over Troubled Water" is a classic from Simon and Garfunkel. Next:
"When I'm drivin' in my car and that man comes on the radio and he's tellin' me more and more about some useless information supposed to fire my imagination..." Clues: This one hit our shores in the 60s and is still with us. If you're really stuck, refer to today's quote for inspiration. (5)
This morning Lonnie and I went down to Wat Rong Khun. I never get tired of visiting this beautiful place. We had a mellow time and Lonnie enjoyed himself. On the way home we stopped at a shipping company to check on sending a teak elephant back to the States. What we discovered was that since teak is no longer harvested, the government has restrictions on exportation. Since it's a gift and it's one item, the shipper was sure that all we had to do was go to the Forestry office for a certificate and it would be alright. Tomorrow we'll find out the real story when we go to the office. The things you never think of.
Bam-Bam had her first experience with rain today. Boot had let her out and then the rain came. Puppy was just grooving around when Lisa spotted her. She brought her in and dried her off. Bam thought it was a new game, of course, and was ready to play. It's double duty watching Boot raise Bam-Bam. She's never had a puppy and there are some concepts missing. All in all, it's going quite well. Oh, Bam-Bam has also discovered bugs and now she's a hunter. Oh my.
Have a Wacky Wednesday.


"Satisfaction isn't so much getting what you want
as wanting what you have.
~David Myers

Gettin' Funky, Thai Style

Tuesday, July 1, 2008


OK, I know I'm running a little late. We went to town with Lonnie for dinner and an evening at the Night Bazaar. We ate at our new favorite place (as far as food diversion goes). The Pizza Factory, which may seem odd since neither of us eats any dairy and pizza's are made with cheese. A few weeks ago we wandered up to this place and decided to see if they could make a BBQ chicken pizza with no cheese. 'Can do' was the answer and it was good. Anyway, Lonnie wanted some non-Thai food so it fit the bill. He had spaghetti and we had the pizza.
"...I'm on your side Oh, when times get rough, and friends just can't be found. Like a __ __ __ __ I will lay me down..." Clues: I see by your responses that you need no clues. If you didn't respond, you're just being lazy. You know this one. (Ha)
This afternoon we had visitors. Through an interesting series of connections that began with our friend Dan in LA, we had a visit from his friend Alan and his associate Ten. Dan had shown them the Flickr pictures of the house. I knew Alan was coming to Thailand but we didn't know each other. Only that he and Dan had studied massage therapy and that's how they met. It turns out that Lonnie is from 'the valley' and knows where Alan practices. They got to talking and Lonnie's going to visit him in the States. Meanwhile, Ten was describing a treatment he'd done and I called Lisa into the conversation. She ended up getting a treatment from Alan that may have relieved a shoulder problem. If you followed all that you're doing pretty good. Alan and Ten treat people who have pain problems and they have clinics in Pacific Palisades and Chiang Mai. Alan is hoping to move here someday. It was quite an afternoon.
Tomorrow I'm going to take Lonnie down to see Wat Rong Khun and visit the local Post Office so he can mail his Night Bazaar goods to the U.S. A large teak elephant would not travel well in carry-on. It's comforting to know that the guest room is working out as planned. It's seen two visitors within a week. Everything works, it's quiet and relaxing and they don't hear us and we don't hear them. Of course, when you drag people all over the place and wear them out, they go to sleep when it's time. (Ha) Just kidding.
I almost forgot. Our neighbor has deer. You read right. He has three little deer in an enclosure. They're very pretty and make a strange little sound. We don't know much about them yet but when I find out, you'll find out. Maybe I can manage some pics.
Well, it's time for a Happy Tuesday.


Don't look down on anyone in unless
if you are willing to help pick them up.

Gettin' Funky, Thai Style