Friday, August 29, 2008

Friday Funnies

We just got back from our adventure with Johan. We went to a development that I told you about a while back. Remember when I told you about the place with the moats and drawbridges? Well, he built all the pools. Everyone there is from Holland, and so is Johan. I'll fill you in after this musical interlude.
The song I was looking for was "Shining Star" by Earth, Wind and Fire. You thought that was easy? Try this one for the weekend: "I guess you wonder where I've been, I searched to find a love within'. I came back to let you know, got a thing for you and I can't let go..." Hint: It's about going to any length, I suppose. We've been here before.
So, Johan picked us up about 4:30 this afternoon and we traveled south of town. We were a little surprised when we got to our destination because it looked familiar. Supat had taken us there to see the houses back when we were looking for land. Johan knows everybody in the development so it was a simple thing to walk into back yards and check out the pools. We saw some really beautiful work and some dramatic concepts. The last house we went to was where we met Jane and Ruud. We hit it off with them right away and they invited us to sit and talk on their terrace. After a little while Johan mentioned that we were going to dinner and invited them. We all went to a Thai restaurant nearby and had a giant dinner. After dinner we traded numbers and plan to have them over when the pool is 'redone'.
Earlier in the day I got a CD player installed in the truck. The truck came with a cassette player and we wanted something more up-to-date. We bought it before we went on vacation and it seemed like time to get on with it. Can't say much about it yet, except that the radio sounds better and more stations pop up in search mode. I have to read the manual and all that. I'll get back to you.
I finally figured out what to plug where to get the sound from my computer into and out of the TV. Now we can enjoy our 'shows' in style. Say, where's the popcorn?
This week's 'Funnies' are from Cousin Trudye. Have a Great WeekEnd.


Getting Old









Gettin' Funky, Thai Style

Thursday, August 28, 2008


Oh, another beautiful day in paradise. Partly cloudy skies, a brief shower in the early afternoon, then bright sunshine. I know, it gets tiresome, but that's how we roll. (Ha) Speaking of rolling, I've got more street stories later.
I'm so glad you were able to travel through time with me and remember the song. If you still need some help, try the chorus:
"You're a __ __, no matter who you are, shining bright to see what you could truly be..." Hint: Half the title is in that line. You are one whether you know it or not.
Today we went to the art framing shop to have some of Lisa's and Joe's work framed. It's still boggling our minds that we can get good quality framing at an affordable price. On the way, we encountered a tiny little car that insisted on driving in the middle of the road. Very frustrating. Then, as we approached the highway, the light turned green for our lane, but cars and bikes kept crossing the intersection. The red light is merely a suggestion.
After we placed our order and chose all the matting and frames, we went looking for a cord to connect my laptop to the TV. It's been a long time coming, setting things up so we could watch our 'shows' on the big screen. We found what we were looking for at our old friend, Big C. When we got home we set it up and it worked. Amazing. Still haven't sorted out the sound part, but it was really cool being able to go from 15" to 31".
While we were hanging out in the back yard, Boot told us that she'd discovered one of the giant lizards (actually a form of Gecko) behind some plywood. It sleeps during the day and eats bugs by night. We saw it sleeping and that's alright with me. It's also alright with me that they don't come inside. The weird part is that we've never heard it making it's trademark sound. Speaking of creatures, the new trees have already attracted more birds. And to think, I was wondering if the birds would find us. (Ha)
Tomorrow we're going on a little adventure with Johan. He wants to show us some pools he's built. Then he wants to take us to dinner at one of his favorite Thai restaurants. Aside from the business part of our relationship, he's a very likable guy. It's nice to meet an expat who likes this place and has a sense of humor about it all.
You've probably been seeing news items about the protests and demonstrations in Bangkok. Up here in Chiang Rai, life goes on and nobody seems affected by it. I guess that's one of the nice things about being in a small city/town.
Have a Fantastic Thursday.


"Use what talents you possess;
the woods would be very silent
if no birds sang except those that sang best."
~Henry Van Dyke

Gettin' Funky, Thai Style

Wednesday, August 27, 2008


It was a beautiful day in LOS today. Warm and humid, but not overly oppressive, with a nice bouquet. (Ha) Isn't it funny how descriptions can sometimes totally miss the mark. To say that this is the rainy season is brief and understated. To say it's the monsoon season is grossly overstating. That would imply that it's a constant deluge of monsoonal rain. It rains hard, sometimes. It floods is some areas. All this is to say that at some time each year, everywhere in the world gets what is considered extreme weather by someone who doesn't live there. I'm not sayin' hurricanes aren't extreme, or blizzards are a figment, I'm just sayin' that all that you read is not the whole story. Ask yourself why people live in a place where it's night all day and the ground is frozen. I could go on and on but I won't. You'll have to admit, this was a mild one compared to some rants.
I got a ton of responses to the Dixie Cups singing "Chapel of Love". It was also recorded first by The Crystals, but their version was more of a ballad and didn't do as well. Now we'll move forward in time and see if this group of elements sparks a memory.
"When you wish upon a star, Your dreams will take you very far. But when you wish upon a dream, Life ain't always what it seems."
Clue: Maybe you can see one on a clear night.
We now have some incredible new trees in the yard. In the front there's a Freesia that has three colors of flowers and is very fragrant. In back Kak planted a beautiful Plumeria by the pool. When I find out more about the others, I'll report. We had him move the little orange tree from the middle of the driveway and now there's a big full tree in it's place. Makes for a whole new picture.
Bam is becoming quite a character. She has a bone and a toy upstairs now and today she managed to get Lisa to play with her, upstairs. She made all the moves like she needed to go outside, but got in the way as soon a Lisa opened the bedroom door. She grabbed her ball and it was obvious what she wanted. It's hard not to indulge her. This evening Boot and Bam went for a visit on the motorcycle. She sits on the floorboard and is learning how to ride Thai style. Makes me shudder, but all the kids are doing it.
I think it's time you had a Wacky Wednesday.


"Nothing is a waste of time if you use the experience wisely."
~Auguste Rodin

Gettin' Funky, Thai Style

Tuesday, August 26, 2008


Right now (Tuesday evening) we're in the midst of the biggest storm since we've been back. There's major rain, big lightning flashes and thunder rolling through the valley. Now all we need is a fireplace (Ha). It's still warm.
I thought more of you knew the current song. I got mail from a few regulars and a surprise visit from a Bay Area friend. Here's a little more: "Gee, I really love you And we're gonna get ma-a-arried Goin' to the __ __ __" Clue: One of the two girl groups that hit with this song is named after something you'd find at the water cooler. (Ha) Hmm.
Today we were expecting visits on our three current projects but none of them showed. The nice thing is, they all called. So, tomorrow will be a day of activity. Pan will work on the closet, Johan will bring a plan and Kak will bring new flowering trees.
If you recall, last week we went up to Mae Sai and had our little detour excursion. I forgot to tell you that the next day, they had major flooding in the lower part of the town. Had we gone a day later I would really have a story to tell. As it is, we're not in any danger of high water since we have farm plots on two sides and they're both about two meters lower than our property. Speaking of farming, they've harvested the corn and plowed the fields, presumably getting ready for another planting. One of my early fears was that they would burn after the harvest. This has been the usual way, here in LOS, but since there's a world wide demand for rice and corn, farmers are replanting the fields. Whew.
Lisa went on another adventure with our friend Sutheera today. Sutheera teaches at Chiang Rai University and invited Lisa to go to lunch and watch her teach a class. It was a business logistics class, mostly made up of young women. Apparently the boys take technology courses. Sutheera had Lisa speak to the class about the importance of learning English. Only a few admitted to speaking a little. The entire class was in Thai, which meant that Lisa didn't learn much about logistics today. Before class they went to an art gallery on the campus. Sounds like someplace to explore.
This afternoon, Bam-Bam went into a barking frenzy that meant only one thing. A dog had wandered into the yard. I left the gate open just in case one of our worker friends showed up. Bam has become a very territorial creature and will not tolerate intruders on four legs. She normally won't go near the front gate, but today she went all the way to the edge to make sure the dog left. Boot and I kept yelling at her to come back and it wasn't until I gave her my 'Alpha Command' tone, that she turned around and responded. Needless to say, I closed the gate. She's getting bigger and bolder and funnier by the day. After dinner it was raining so she got her exercise in the living room. Boot and Lisa would toss her the ball and she'd run, slide and get it. She'd alternate who she returned it to and it became a game. I wonder how long we can do that inside? Probably shouldn't make a habit of it.
Well, have a Happy Tuesday.


"There are many paths to the top of the mountain,
but the view is always the same."
~Chinese Proverb

Gettin' Funky, Thai Style

Monday, August 25, 2008


So, the Olympics are over and it's time for another vacation. (Ha) We got to see most of the things we were hoping to see. There was a lot more of the games on Thai TV than we anticipated. Today life got back to 'normal', meaning people buzzing around doing things. More on that later.
Quite a few of you knew that the song was "I Can See Clearly" by Johnny Nash. Next up, another Golden Oldie from way back:
"Spring is here, Th-e-e sky is blue. Whoa-oh-oh, birds all sing as if they knew. Today's the day we'll say "I do" and we'll never be lonely anymore. Because we're..." Clue: It's a song about a place. Hmm.
Saturday our landscape artist Kak, rolled in with a whole crew to do the yard. The past two times it took two people two days to do the place. This time they did it in a day. Then Johan came back with his engineer to figure out what would be necessary to put the pool in order. It turns out that Dirty Pool Guy really didn't know what he was doing. They're going to sort it all out and in a few weeks we'll be swimming again. We also had Pan and his assistant upstairs planning another layer of shelving for our closet. It was truly a 'Three Ring Circus' around here. More of the same tomorrow.
Yesterday we said farewell to Blue and Ming. Their long stay is over and Ming will be off to Stanford later next month. We had a wonderful time going, doing and hanging out. We'll miss them.
More Driving in Thailand: This evening we were going into town and I was making my usual comments on the driving tactics around me when a bike with a green headlight came toward us on the wrong side of the road. There are also a few bikes with red lights on the front. You won't see that in L.A.
This weekend we let Bam-Bam come upstairs. We've been gradually letting her spend more time in the house, since she's moved past the frantic puppy stage. Her first climb up the stairs was very slow and cautious. She did very well in the bedroom, investigating and resisting the urge to get on the bed. When it was time to go down the stairs, there was even more caution. This is a good thing. By the end of the day today, she was taking the stairs like an old pro. At one point I took her down and put her outside. A little later she came up by herself. We're enjoying the idea that she can hang out with us. Oh, after looking at pictures of puppies, we're thinking that she may be partly Irish Setter. Time will tell.
Have a Grand Week.


"Express love through acknowledgment.
Notice the good in those around you and freely comment on it."
~Mary Manin Morrissey

Gettin' Funky, Thai Style

Friday, August 22, 2008

Friday Funnies

We had a very beautiful day here today. The sky was bright blue, with distant clouds. It started off coolish (it's a word) and then got hot. It was pretty laid back around here. Blue went on an adventure of his own. He went on a trek to deliver some photos he had taken of a Hill Tribe. They were quite pleased with their pictures and many wanted him to take more.
I can add Linda to the short list of those who got the song. Lane sent this: "Stranded In The Jungle" was written by Ernestine Smith & James Johnson in 1956; the same year this R&B novelty classic was a huge hit for the West Coast vocal group The Cadets. The Cadets version of the song was actually a cover of the Jay Hawks original version, although much more polished and energized." Now you know.
For the weekend, consider this: "__ __ __ __ __. the rain is gone. I can see all obstacles in my way..." Hint: Read the 'Funnies' below and you get some clear answers.
So, this is a little late because my dog ate my homework. (Ha) Actually, we were down at the Night Bazaar. When we got home, there was the unwinding, snacking and yes, there's a basketball game on the TV, in Thai. It's the US vs Argentina and it's a little lopsided. And still, I watch. This afternoon we saw some Equestrian show jumping, and some Rhythmic Gymnastics. That was very cool. Oh, and there were two Thai boxers in semi-final bouts. There is great joy in LOS tonight, they both won.
We got a new pool guy today. His name is Johan, he builds pools, he's from Holland but speaks English, and he's lived here for three years. He's going to redo the mechanical aspect of our pool and make it right. In about three weeks, we'll be swimming again.
Since we play with old songs every day, I thought you might like this list that my friend Lee sent me. If you've seen it, laugh again.
Have a Great WeekEnd,


Golden Oldies Revised

Herman's Hermits --- Mrs. Brown, You've Got a Lovely Walker

The Bee Gees --- How Can You Mend a Broken Hip

Bobby Darin --- Splish, Splash, I Was Havin' a Flash

Roberta Flack--- The First Time Ever I Forgot Your Face

Johnny Nash --- I Can't See Clearly Now

Paul Simon--- Fifty Ways to Lose Your Liver

Marvin Gaye --- Heard It Through the Grape Nuts

Procol Harem--- A Whiter Shade of Hair

Leo Sayer --- You Make Me Feel Like Napping

The Temptations --- Papa's Got a Kidney Stone

Abba--- Denture Queen

Tony Orlando --- Knock 3 Times On The Ceiling If You Hear Me Fall

Helen Reddy --- I Am Woman, Hear Me Snore

Gettin' Funky, Thai Style

Thursday, August 21, 2008


It's been quite a day here. There's been home improvements, puppy play, shopping at an afternoon market, Olympics and a dinner party.
So, Trudye and Lane knew the song. How about you? I don't expect the 'kids' to know it, but there are some oldsters out there.
"Baby, baby, let's make romance. You know your old time lover hasn't got a chance. He's __ __ __ __ flat as he can be, so come on pretty baby just you and me. Meanwhile back in the jungle..." Hint: If you know it, you know it. If you don't you don't. There were clues.
Our 'handyman' guy Pan came over today and did a bunch of work. There are little things that need to be done and he does a good job. We now have covers over the two large 'pits' behind the pool. Next week he's going to build some shelves for us.
Throughout the day, we had lots of contact with Bam, since we were outside a lot. She's also being allowed inside a little more. She's learning how to be a calm puppy, and being taught not to go down the hall.
Tonight we had Jen and the boys over for dinner, along with Blue and Ming. We had the usual good time and great food. One of the high points of the evening was Third telling us about a class he's taking in water management. He went out to his truck and brought back a little bottle that tests for calcium plaque. Of course he tested all the water and we discovered that our drinking water had this plaque. It's not the worst thing one could have in water. He tested an expensive brand of bottled water and it was clear. We learned that our bottled water is free of bacteria and that made us sigh with relief. That's what usually makes one sick.
In preparation for the dinner, we took Boot to the 'Afternoon' market near us. It was such a different vibe from the morning market. I guess it was all the same food, but the way it was arranged was not as comfortable. Boot usually buys food in the morning anyway, so this was a special trip. This market had a lot of people coming from work and shopping for dinner items. At least now we know what goes on there.
Did I tell you that we found the Olympics on Thai TV? Yep, two channels, complete with Thai commentary. It's not constant, but we've been able to watch a lot of the events. Add to that our ability to watch some US TV through Slingbox and it's turning out to be a pretty good run. This weekend there's a Formula One race as well. So much sports, so little time.
Enjoy your Thursday.


"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

Wednesday, August 20, 2008


As I predicted, it was a day of adventure. We spent most of the day out of town. Our Retirement Visas have been renewed for another year and we can come and go as we like. Pretty much, the last major piece of biz we have to deal with for a while. Whew. But there's more.
The song most of you got was "Everyday People" by Sly and the Family Stone. See, I knew you knew that one. This one is hard:
"I crashed in the jungle while tryin' to keep a date with my little girl who was back in the states. I was __ __ __ __ ,
afraid and alone, tryin' to figure a way to get a message back home..." Hint: This one goes way back. Mostly spoken word, R&B tune.
After we dealt with immigration, we went into Mae Sai to look around. It was nearing lunch time so we started looking for some place to eat as we made our way towards the border. There was a place we wanted to show Blue and Ming. It's an antique store that deals with very old Buddhas and other symbolic objects. We saw many beautiful pieces and I picked up two amulets that are over one hundred years old.
We found a place for a nice lunch and then went into the shopping maze with a new intensity. It gets a bit repetitious after while, seeing the same items in every other shop, but if you look hard enough, you find neat stuff. We started fading a little after 2pm and started the trip back home.
That's when things started getting interesting. There are a series of roadblocks on the highway. South bound seems to be for preventing illegal Burmese from going south, and catching possible smugglers. They usually wave us through, but today was different. Not only did they have me pull over, we had to get out and they went through all our things. I'm not sure what they expected to find. We came to the conclusion that they were waiting for us to act nervous or try to hide something. Didn't happen, nothing to hide. Near the end of the search, as they looked under the back seat, I told the lead officer 'See, no Burmese'. He had to laugh and sent us on our way.
We went a little farther down the road and saw what looked like another checkpoint. It wasn't in the usual place. It was a detour, and they were turning the traffic around. Oh fine. How will we get home? Fortunately we keep a map in the glove box and Blue acted as navigator and we took alternate roads and finally made it home. We left Mae Sai at 2:00 and got home at 4pm. Our trip took an extra hour of winding roads. We called Boot and found out that some farmers were protesting and closed the road. The one good thing that came out of this, we got to see more Thailand.
Needless to say, I'm tired, so I'll be signing off now. Have a Wacky Wednesday.


"Friendship consists of only one soul;
inhabiting two bodies."

Gettin' Funky, Thai Style

Tuesday, August 19, 2008


By the time you get this, it will be August 19. That day marks our beginning of life together. Tonight we went to dinner with Blue, Ming and Boot. We had a great time with good food, lots of laughter and cool music from our friend Berm. We seem to gravitate to the same restaurant for celebrations. Oh yeah, it's been 38 years.
It's nice to know that certain songs garner an immediate response. Our current tune is one of those. There's still time to remember: "You love me you hate me You know me and then You can't figure out the bag l'm in. I am __ __, yeah yeah." Clue: This song had a phrase that became part of our language: 'Different strokes for different folks'. Hmm.
We finally found some channels here that are showing The Olympics. The commentary is in Thai, so unless there's music involved, like synchronized swimming, we turn off the sound. Well, sometimes we listen to what they're saying and pick up a word or two.
It was looking pretty bleak for a while, but now we're getting the games and we're happy. Not that not getting them could make us unhappy. (Ha)
Bam-Bam is turning out to be a very smart dog. She's understanding verbal commands, which she sometimes ignores. She also has figured out how to open one of the kitchen doors and let herself in. It's fun watching her as she gets bolder and bolder. She's not afraid to go to the front of the house now. Today while we had lunch we had to put her out, so she went around to the front and peered in the front door. Lisa got her a new toy while we were in L.A. and she loves it. It's Bam's only cloth toy. It's a little bird that squeeks (what else). Sometimes she just walks around with it in her mouth. She still loves her balls and tries to play with both of them at the same time. Hmm. Blue took a bunch of pics of her that I'll post soon.
That segues to the fact that I posted some pictures from our visit to the U.S. Mostly us and 'The Boys'. I'm going to make a separate folder on the Flickr site of some beautiful photos that Blue took of the house. It's amazing what a sophisticated camera in the hands of a professional can do.
Tomorrow we make our trip north to Mae Sai for our Visa stuff and some 'looking' in the wild and crazy market section. Blue and Ming are going with us and it should be another in a series of fun adventures.
Have a Happy Tuesday.


"In seeking wisdom,
the first step is silence,
the second listening,
the third remembering,
the fourth practicing,
the fifth teaching others."
~Ibn Gabirol, poet and philosopher (ca. 1022-1058)

Gettin' Funky, Thai Style

Monday, August 18, 2008


We're back in the Land of Smiles. Sorry you missed the Friday Funnies but I was stuck in the Twilight Zone. I'll tell you about that after a brief musical interlude.
That last song we dealt with was "Too Hot" by Kool and the Gang. I'm so glad so many of you remembered. Today, try this one:
"There is a long hair that doesn't like the short hair For bein' such a rich one that will not help the poor one..." Hint: This is a song by a Bay Area group who were trying to get us to all get along. Hmm.
So, we got the rental car back on time, hit the airport and had short lines through all the scrutiny. So far so good. We were supposed to leave at 5:30pm and it looked like that would happen. Then we just sat on the runway. We didn't leave until 6:15. Waiting for a connecting flight from somewhere created a shift in the space/time continuum. On our flight to Taipei I noticed a perfectly straight line in the clouds. It was like a motorcycle had driven across some snow. Very strange. So strange I took a picture of it. Anyway, it's very disorienting when you chase the sun. We had daylight for much longer than the senses can stand.
By the time we arrived in Taipei, we barely had time to go through security and board our connecting flight to Bangkok. We finally arrived in Thailand at 1:30 in the morning, and checked into our hotel at 3 o'clock. I think we had a new 'worst room ever' contender. First of all, there were no windows, then there was the matter of the bathroom. Actually it's a misnomer since there was no bathtub. Not much worked well but we managed to get a little sleep. Oh, I didn't mention that it's now Saturday morning. We got back to the airport and had an uneventful trip to Chiang Rai.
Blue and Ming met us at the airport, which was a really nice end to the journey. It's good to be back. When we got to the house, Boot and Bam-Bam were waiting for us. Bam is a lot bigger and was very happy to see us.
We're getting back in the groove, trying to get our body clocks in sync with 'real time' and preparing for our first annual visa renewal. There is a theory among some behavioral scientists, that a habit is established in 21 days. We were gone for a little more than that and I can tell you that I got in the habit of driving L.A. style. The most obvious manifestation of this is the repeated turning on of the windshield wipers. (remember when I first started driving here?) It will be a few more days until I normalize. (Ha).
That's all for now. Have a Wonderful Week.


"Everyone should carefully observe which way his heart draws
him, and then choose that way with all his strength."
~Hasidic saying

Gettin' Funky, Thai Style

Thursday, August 14, 2008


Well, today we leave the big city. Today we stuff the bags, hug the kids and take to the air. Today we collect memories and shoes.
What a surprise to get so much mail on the first day of a song. Now I know an era to pick from when you need an easy one. Or maybe it's an age thing. Not sayin' old, rather, young. Sometimes I get email from one of you stating that you couldn't have known a song, you weren't even born yet. I understand, but I don't care. Turn on K-Erth or something. (Ha) Here's the chorus of the song:
"Oh, it's __ __ , __ __ lady. Gotta run for shelter Gotta run for shade (repeat) Clue: Apply the same hint from yesterday. It's by a gang you wouldn't mind having in your hood.
Last night we had an early birthday party for C-Bass. He won't be 14 until the 29th, but we couldn't leave without celebrating. August, Lisa, and I decorated a store-bought cake and after a light dinner we partied. It was rather timely considering that today C-Bass has to go to his new school for orientation. For better or worse, he'll miss our leaving. The whole notion of us living in Thailand has become less dramatic for him. He's even learning to cook Asian dishes and has insisted on taking Japanese at school.
Right now, August is here visiting. Anna just brought him his breakfast. She stayed for a while and we talked about the little apartment being like a bed and breakfast. Anna has a real 'touch' when it comes to arranging things, whether it's living space or hair.
Mr. August is usually the first one up, but this morning he slept in (too much party last night). Jeff told us it was a great opportunity for him to 'claim' the TV and watch the news. Oh, yesterday Mr. August wired his big speakers to the TV and a couple of microphones. Last night, at one point, Lisa and Jeff were talking through the mic and it was hilarious. This morning August wanted to turn on the speakers and promised to set them low. Jeff asked him what would be the point? He left them off.
So, I know I haven't called a lot of people, even though we're in the same time zone. Each trip will be an exercise in refinement of behavior. I will promise to do better, miss a few calls, make plans to visit, cancel a few dinners and on and on. I will continue to write and let you know if I think I'm doing better or worse.
Leaving Los Angeles again, doesn't make me sad. It's leaving our friends that is a little sad, but it's softened by the knowledge that we'll be back soon.
Have a Cool Day.


"The sages do not consider that making no mistakes is a blessing.
They believe, rather, that the great virtue of man lies in his ability
to correct his mistakes and continually make a new man of himself."
~Wang Yang-Ming

Gettin' Funky, Thai Style

Wednesday, August 13, 2008


This is almost over. By next week you'll have my daily message in your inbox before the crows begin. As it is, mornings are tending to run a little late. Especially when you consider that we stay up late watching the Olympics with C-Bass and they're also on in the morning. I love the Olympics. I don't always love the presentation, but the games, and all that goes with it is quite amazing. Anybody remember the Red/White/Blue channels? That year we got to see everyone compete, not just the favorites. NBC gets major point deductions. It's a whole other rant that I'll save for later.
A few of you knew "Expressway, to Your Heart" by Soul Survivors. Since we're in the club, partying, here's another gem:
"At seventeen we fell in love, high school sweethearts love was so brand new. We took the vows of man and wife forever, for life
I remember how we made our way, A little patience, the time we prayed, can't imagine that this love is through..." Hint: Oddly enough, the song title and the name of the group are opposites. Hmm
We had a wonderful dinner with my mom last night. She wore a Thai original that we brought her and she looked stunning. Of course, we ended up at Sala-Dang in Pasadena.
There's so much to do today that I'm going to have to sign off early.


Sometimes the heart sees what is invisible to the eye.
H. Jackson Brown Jr.

Gettin' Funky, Thai Style

Tuesday, August 12, 2008


Well friends, it won't be long now. We'll be packin' the bags, stuffing things down and saying "so long." The gap won't be as long this time though. December is not that far away. By this time next year, you won't even know we were gone. You'll just say, 'Oh, haven't seen you in a while'. If you think about it, you probably have friends that you don't see for months at a time. Hmm, maybe we should all increase the number of connections we make with friends during the course of a year.
I forgot to give props to Christopher for being the only Funkateer to get the weekend song. Bravo! Meanwhile, the rest of you are stuck in traffic, trying to figure out the current song. I know some of you know this because you used to play it.
"I was wrong, mmm, I took too long. I got caught in the rush hour, a fellow started to shower you with love and affection, now you won't look in my direction on the __ __ __" Hint: He's trying to get to someone he neglected by the __ is too crowded. It's an eastern term for that thing you're speeding on (to quote a commercial).
Yesterday was a gas. As we rolled on to the Pier, August was surprised to know that we could even do that. After getting 'All Day' wristbands for August and Lisa, we headed for the roller-coaster. Oh me? I was the cameraman/holder of things. He told Lisa that he hadn't been on the coaster in a long time and that he was just a little scared. They decided that they were both excited/scared. After that, it was one ride after another. Swinging things, spinning things, bumper cars and flying things. We stopped for lunch and then they resumed ride-fest. During lunch, August discovered this thing that looks like a trash can, but is really an opening in the floor of the pier. We could see the ocean. Not a big deal? You're not eight. Just to give you a perspective, when we finally got home, August announced that he was going to go and rest. We couldn't believe our ears, but it was true. It had worn him down. Funny thing is, he bounced back really quick, creating projects with hoses, buckets and water in the back yard.
C-Bass came over last night and watched the Olympics with us. It was fun, the three of us hanging out on the bed talking, picking favorites and trying to understand the new scoring system for gymnastics. We talked of many things and got to delve inside the mind of an almost 14 y/o. We won't be here for the actual B'day, but we're going to have a party tomorrow night.
This afternoon we dive into the freeway system for a trip to Altadena. We're going out to dinner with my Mom. We're looking forward to a fun evening. There are so many stories to tell and memories to share.
Have a Happy Tuesday.


"Someone once wrote: "Happiness is always a by-product.
You don't make yourself happy by chasing happiness.
You make yourself happy by being a good person."
The happiest people I know are people
who don't even think about being happy.
They just think about being good neighbors, good people.
And then happiness sort of sneaks in the back window
while they're busy doing good."
~Rabbi Harold Kushner

Gettin' Funky, Thai Style

Monday, August 11, 2008


You know what? This is very late today. I had to make a run into downtown L.A. in morning traffic. Oh joy. It's been a long time since I'd experienced the 'rush hour'.
The weekend song was "Dr. Funkenstein" by Parliament. That would be George Clinton and company. Let's start the week with this: "I've been tryin' to get to you for a long time, because constantly you been on my mind. I was thinkin' 'bout a shortcut I could take but it seems like I made a mistake." Clue: I was just on one of these, sort of. It was big in '67.
The weekend was full of dinners, visits, and time with the boys. We got our storage bin emptied and spent some time with my mom. There was the changing of printer ink and the ritual light-bulb replacement. Tomorrow we're taking her to dinner. The countdown has begun. Basically, we have three full days left. More lunches, dinners and visits, not to mention adventures.
Today's adventure: The Santa Monica Pier with Mr. August. He's been so excited about this one that it has been hard to contain him. I'll be watching from the sidelines as he and Lisa go on the roller-coaster. I'm not big on those. I'm sure that by the time we leave, I'll have a complete understanding of how everything works. August will make sure of that.
We talked to Blue and Ming last night. They're enjoying their time in Thailand. They're currently staying in our house and being taken care of by Boot. And yes, it's still raining.
Well, have a Wonderful Week.


PS Before we leave, I promise to post more pics on Flickr.

"Life is like a rainbow.
You need both the sun and the rain to make its colors appear."

Gettin' Funky, Thai Style

Friday, August 8, 2008

Friday Funnies

As I approach the last weekend on the continent... I realize how overly dramatic that sounds. December is not that far away. We will be back. It doesn't all have to be done in one visit. So now in my mind, I can lighten up.
I knew there were some party-animal-rockers out there. You remembered "Rock and Roll All Night" by KISS. Funkateers arise:
"They say the bigger the headache, the bigger the pill, baby. They call me the big pill...We love to funk you, __ Your funk is the best (talk!) Take my body, give it the mind To funk with the rest (kiss me on my ego)..." Hint: Group is named after a political body and the title is based on a classic. Hmm. Have fun. (If you'd like the entire lyric, let me know)
Yesterday was quite a day for me. After dropping Lisa off in the Marina, I ventured into Santa Monica. Midday in August is not the time to be looking for a parking spot out there. Anyway, I found a spot on the ninth floor of a structure, then I found the elevator that didn't work, after that, the store didn't have what I was looking for. I was determined to find another way to get to the ninth floor besides climbing. I found it. Whew.
Next stop, the Culver City DMV. There is now a sign on the door stating that they can only accommodate 120 people in the room. So, one door was locked and there was a line coming out of the other. Fortunately, I only had to drop off a sheet of paper and it was taken by the door monitor. Later in the day, we traveled across town to the edge of the USC campus. There really will be a light-rail system down the middle of Exposition. At least they have begun the project. Hmm, surprise me and finish it on time.
It looks like the dollar is gaining ground on the Thai Baht. That means our money is worth more. That's always cool. When you live on international terms, which we all really do, the interconnection of everything become all too clear. I refuse to try to explain what I don't completely understand, but the falling price of oil is somehow related to our dollar being more valuable in LOS.
Have a 'Cool' WeekEnd and enjoy the 'Funnies'. Big thanks to my good friend Lee for this gem.



Dear Tech Support: ,

Last year I upgraded from Boyfriend 5.0 to Husband 1.0 and

noticed a distinct slow down in overall system performance,

particularly in the flower and jewelry applications,

which operated flawlessly under Boyfriend 5.0 .

In addition, Husband 1.0 uninstalled many other valuable

programs, such as: Romance 9.5 and Personal Attention 6.5,

and then installed undesirable programs such as :

· NBA 5.0,

· NFL 3.0 and

· Golf Clubs 4.1.

Also Conversation 8.0 no longer runs, and Housecleaning 2. 6

simply crashes the system.

· Please note that I have tried running Nagging 5.3

to fix these problems, but to no avail.

What can I do?




First, keep in mind,

· Boyfriend 5.0 is an Entertainment Package, while

· Husband 1.0 is an operating system.

Please enter command: ithoughtyoulovedme.html and

try to download Tears 6.2 and do not forget to

install the Guilt 3.0 update.

· If that application works as designed ,

Husband 1.0 should then automatically run

the applications Jewelry 2.0 and Flowers 3.5.

However, remember, overuse of the above application

can cause Husband 1.0 to default to

Grumpy Silence 2.5 , Happy Hour 7.0 or Beer 6.1 .

· Please note that Beer 6. 1 is a very bad program

that will download the Farting and Snoring Loudly Beta.

Whatever you do, DO NOT under any circumstances install

Mother-In-Law 1.0 (it runs a virus in the background that will

eventually seize control of all your system resources.)

In addition, please do not attempt to reinstall the

Boyfriend 5.0-program These are unsupported

applications and will crash Husband 1.0 .

In summary, Husband 1.0 is a great program,

but it does have limited memory and cannot learn

new applications quickly. You might consider

buying additional software to improve memory

and performance. We recommend

· Cooking 3.0 and

· Hot Lingerie 7.7.

Good Luck!

Tech Support

Gettin' Funky, Thai Style

Thursday, August 7, 2008


So, let's get a few things straight, from an eight y/o perspective. We are not living here, but rather 'hoteling'. We are here and therefore, available to any given time. That's how it is in Mr. August's world. We have a signal for when we're able to visit. If the shade is up on the door, it's OK to come inside. This morning there was a knock at the door. The shade was down. He heard voices and figured we were up. Oh, Monday we're going to the Santa Monica Pier because it's fun. "Hey, you know what?"
Looks like I've drawn out the party animals (5) with this tune. This next line should be a giveaway if you're on the fence:
"You keep on shoutin', you keep on shoutin': I wanna __ __ __ __ __ and party every day" Hint: It has to do with rock and roll....
The Olympics begin tomorrow. Fortunately, we'll have a few days where we'll get to watch the games. When we get back to LOS, my understanding is that we'll only see the sports where Thais are involved and the commentary will be in Thai. Back home, we'll make some popcorn and settle in for long badminton matches, weight-lifting and probably some soccer. This is a perfect time for Slingbox. Whew. We could go with the option of having you record the games on your computer, compress the files and send them in email. (Ha, Ha, Ha)
I have new things to do and places to see as a result of conversations with friends who have been to Thailand. If things haven't changed too much, we'll have many new adventures waiting for us. There is a train that runs from Chiang Mai to Bangkok. We could take the VIP bus to CM and then the train to BKK. It would take a couple of days, but we'd get to see more of the countryside and let the imagination fly. (you know, shades of the Orient Express) Just a passing thought.
Yesterday's beach trip was lots of fun. C-Bass invited another friend to go this time. He and Charley hit the water early and rode lots of waves. August built a variation on the treatment plant using a giant hole that the big boys dug. Lisa and August played in the little waves for a long time and we all probably stayed in the sun just a little too long.
Have a Thrilling Thursday.


"A good traveler has no fixed plans,
and is not intent on arriving."
~Lao Tzu (570-490 B.C.)

Gettin' Funky, Thai Style

Wednesday, August 6, 2008


Late and quick. That's how I'll describe this message today. Yesterday we said goodbye to the little Lexus. It finally found a home. As fun as it was to drive, it also liked to drink premium, and had a healthy appetite. Bye-Bye.
Many of you remembered Lionel Richie's "Hello". Today's song became an anthem that's probably still being sung someplace.
"You show us everything you've got You keep on dancin' and the room gets hot You drive us wild, we'll drive you crazy" Clue: A lot of makeup went into this one.
Today we return to the beach for another day in the sun. That's something else I miss, living in Chiang Rai. I guess we'll have to travel down to the south and visit some of the islands. (555)
With just about a week left for this visit, I can say that I'm enjoying myself but part of my head is still in LOS. I commented to a friend, that I still think in a different time reference when it comes to making certain phone calls. I'll start figuring out what time it is where they are as if I'm still in Thailand. Oh my.
I guess it's time to coast. We've gathered the things we wanted to take back and most of the business has been conducted. Now it's just time to enjoy ourselves and our friends.
Have a Wacky Wednesday.


"If you cross a bridge before you come to it, you have to pay the toll twice."
~Benjamin Franklin

Gettin' Funky, Thai Style

Tuesday, August 5, 2008


Monday was a busy day. Took C-Bass to tennis camp, went to the Apple Store in Santa Monica, had separate lunch dates, met with our accountant and spent time with the boys and Wii. And that got us to dinner time. Whew.
Nice to see that some of you recognized the song. If you're still pondering this one, I'll tell you that it's one of the better ballads of the era. I know, that's not really a clue, just a comment. Here's a clue: There was clay in the video. 'Oh thanks', you're thinking.
"__ ! I've just got to let you know, because I wonder where you are and I wonder what you do. Are you somewhere feeling lonely? Or is someone loving you?....."
So, it turns out that there are calendars that begin with Monday. I got mail from Liz informing me that it's that way in France and Christopher wrote to tell that you can do it in Office. C-Bass will be so pleased.
It occurred to us this evening that our truck in Thailand will seem rather primitive after the cars we've been driving on this visit. It's quite 'old school' when it comes to conveniences. You know, unlock the door with the key, roll the windows up and down, air/con that doesn't turn off, no heater (thankfully) and a wheelbase that doesn't encourage U turns. I'm not complaining, it's just going to be an adjustment getting behind the wheel. Oh yeah, and then there's the shifting.
I'm starting to miss Chiang Rai. So many things that it's hard to put my finger on just one thing. I think I miss 'the pace of life'. What was feeling like traffic over there is just a few extra cars and trucks and motorbikes. I miss seeing all the unusual modes of transportation that we see on a daily basis. West L.A. doesn't have any motorbikes with trailers, no Tuk-Tuks, and certainly no 'three on a bike' travelers. A tank of gas lasts two weeks because there isn't far to go to get anywhere. I think my reaction time is quicker as a result of driving in Thailand. It's a matter of survival. (Ha) It's also a matter of survival that I have less gastric distress at 'home'. Something about eating unaltered food that makes my body happy.
Things I miss when I'm not here include: Hummingbirds, signs I can read, common language (most of the time) lots of close friendships that I hope last forever.
Have a Happy Tuesday.


"The spiritual path is not one of attainment, but return."
~Alan Cohen

Gettin' Funky, Thai Style

Monday, August 4, 2008


I had an interesting discussion with C-Bass about the nature of the calendar. His basic thought was that since Monday is the day that work and school begin, and Saturday and Sunday are called the 'weekend', why doesn't Monday start the 'visual week' (the one on paper)? Good question?
The weekend song was "Drift Away" by Dobie Gray. Ah, now you can sing it. Let's start the week with one I think you'll get:
"I've been alone with you inside my mind. And in my dreams I've kissed your lips a thousand times..." Hint: The hook is a greeting we all use, the singer was in a hit group and went solo, and his daughter leads a simple life. Oh, I've said too much.
Saturday evening was spent with the Valley Cousins. We had a delicious dinner on the patio by the pool, talked about many things and after dinner, worked on a giant puzzle, played with iPhones (danger Will Robinson) and listened to music. It was really great being with everyone.
I'm getting a new appreciation for 'time'. It's amazing to see how things change in six months. That's why it's important for us to touch down on the continent twice a year. It must be a real shock for those who are away for years at a time.
Speaking of being away, Lisa called Boot last night. When asked about Bam-Bam, Boot's response was: "Oh, getting big eh!" So, we'll be returning to a bigger dog.
Yesterday we took C-Bass and Darryl Jr. to dinner. We let C-Bass pick the venue and we dined at Dinah's. The original motivation was the possibility of having breakfast for dinner. Well, he didn't order pancakes. Once the ice was broken, the 'boys' talked' and we had a fun time. We returned to the house and played with the new Wii. In case you don't know, it's a game that uses little 'wands' to control the action on the screen. We played tennis and you actually stand and wave the wand like a racket. C-Bass seemed to beat everybody (but then, he goes to tennis camp). He's had more practice. Yeah, that's it. There's also bowling, basketball and golf. Darryl and August played the longest and had a good time. It was like old times on Nina Place.
Have a Wonderful Week.


A smile is a light in the window of the
soul indicating that the heart is at home.
Source Unknown

Gettin' Funky, Thai Style

Friday, August 1, 2008

Friday Funnies

Yesterday we went to the beach. This is the first time we've been on the sand in a very long time. We don't live near any oceans and although we visited Venice Beach in December, we didn't actually 'do' the beach thing. More in a minute.
The song, which a lot of you knew, was "Good Lovin'" by The Young Rascals. They later became simply The Rascals, but this was when they were young. For the weekend we'll try one that should ring a bell: "Oh, give me the beat boys and free my soul,
I wanna get lost in your rock n roll And __ __" Hint: It's from '73 the line is from the chorus.
Our beach adventure included Anna, August, C-Bass and his friend Sam. We went to Santa Monica beach while it was still early enough to find a nice spot near the water. C-Bass and Sam set out with their boogie boards and hit the waves. August, who took all his 'tools', began digging in the sand. The older boys caught lots of waves and took a break when the life-guard brought everyone in close, due to a possible rip-tide. We had figured that we'd make sand-castles with Mr. August, but that would be too mundane. August built some kind of filtering drain thing on his first round. He later constructed a water treatment facility, complete with a separate tank that was covered with sand. He's always thinking outside the box. After awhile C-Bass and Sam went back to the water, but mostly to talk. They'd stand in the shallow water for a while and slowly drift out further and further. I looked up and they were riding a wave toward the shore. When the wave dissipated, they just sat there in the water and continued talking. I got a chance to stand down by the water and play my didjeridoo for a while. It was a wonderful time.
After we'd all had enough beach, the kids went home and we went to Venice beach for coffee and a souvenir for Boot. It was the first time in a long time we'd been there with all the tourists. We felt like tourists too, so many things were different. Now there's a 'Gold Guy', a cool band playing in front of the sidewalk cafe, and lots of shops we'd never seen. Had we not been drained by the sun, we might have taken more time to investigate. In the evening, Lisa went to a big pet store with Anna and got a toy for Bam-Bam. Couldn't leave her out.
Our calendar is filling up with visits, lunches and dinners. We'll have to take a little 'vacation' when we get home just to get over all the activity. (Ha)
Well, I guess it's time for the 'Funnies'. Have a Pleasant WeekEnd.


PS If you want new jokes, send them.

Final Exams

These four friends were so confident the weekend before finals, they decided to go up to the University of Virginia and party with some friends. They had a great time. However, after all the hearty drinking and partying, they slept all day Sunday and didn't make it back to Duke until early Monday morning.
Rather than take the 100 point final then, they decided to find their professor after the final and
explain to him why they missed it. They explained that they had gone to UVA for the weekend
with the plan to come to study but, unfortunately, they had a flat tire on the way back, didn't
have a spare and couldn't get help for a long time. As a result they missed the final.
The Professor thought it over and then agreed they could make up the final the following day.
The guys were elated and relieved. They studied that night and went in the next day at the time
the Professor had told them. He placed them in separate rooms and handed each of them a test
booklet and told them to begin.
They looked at the first problem, worth only 5 points, something simple about free radical
formation. "Cool," they thought at the same time, each one in his separate room. "This is
going to be easy."
Each finished the problem, and then turned the page. On the second page was written: (For 95
points): Which tire?

Gettin' Funky, Thai Style