Thursday, April 30, 2009



Our day was rather laid back. There was a massage, a nap, and an unexpected visit from a friend. Oh, and both dogs got baths.

Easy week continues and so does the flow of mail. It's great hearing from readers who don't usually write. (Ha)
"__, you don't have to put on the red light..." Hint: The singer is in love with a 'working girl'. Somebody call the cops. Hmm, get it?

Our day started off like any other. Up at 6:30 to feed Daku, but instead of going back to bed, we had an early breakfast so we could be at Nong's noodle shop for Lisa's 9am massage appointment. The streets are really humming early in the morning. (not that it was that early) The shop is located south of town on the highway. We arrived right on time and after saying hello to Nong I returned to town to pick up some vitamins. I resisted the temptation to go hang out at Big C and just hung out in the truck for most of the time. I got back to Nong's about 9:50, thinking she'd be done at 10. In typical fashion, it was longer than an hour. Nong's niece invited me into their house and brought me some ice water. I sat and watched a sci-fi movie that was dubbed in Thai with Chinese subtitles. Now that was a trip. Wonder what will be playing next week?

Like I said, it was a lazy day. After lunch everybody took a nap. We were hanging out in the dining room when the doorbell rang. I opened the gate, not knowing who it was and it was Berm and his wife Tum, who we hadn't met before. He is leaving town tomorrow for Phuket to try and get work singing in a restaurant down there. It's a major resort/tourist town and he expects to make more money. He wanted to say good-bye and return some art supplies Lisa had loaned him. We had a very nice visit and in the course of things his wife told us, through Boot's translation, that he talked about us all the time. You never know when you're going to make an impression on someone.

After they left it was time to wash the dogs. Daku was first and this time he was very cooperative. He just stood there and let it happen. Whew. He's a fast learner and he now knows that when the towels are laid out on the deck he's supposed to roll around on them and dry himself off. He'd squirm around and then get up and run around and then come back and dive onto the towel. What a game. Not sure if BamBam taught him that or not but it's one of her things too. She was an angel during her bath. Afterwards she mixes the towels with a little roll on the grass.

All that dog bathing called for a swim so we did. It was a little earlier in the day, but the sun was hot, the water was warm and it was the right thing to do.

That was our lazy day. Have a Thrilling Thursday.


"Wish not so much to live long, as to live well."
~Benjamin Franklin

Gettin' Funky, Thai Style

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Living in Chiang Rai



Another day of adventure and discovery living life in Thailand. Lisa found the missing masseuse, I found new eyes, and the house got new air. Hmm, what does it all mean?

Looks like 'easy week' is being just that for some of you. The song was "(Sittin' on the) Dock of the Bay" by Otis Redding. Continuing with the easy ones, here's a tune you gotta remember. Think: Early scene in 48 Hours.
"__ you don't have to wear that dress tonight, walk the streets for money, you don't care if it's wrong or if it's right" Hint: Another hit from a trio we featured recently. One word, a name, and you've got it.

This morning the plan was to go to Sinthanee, a major appliance store, and get the new air for Lisa's studio. She got an email from our friend Sutheera and the plan changed. Sutheera took Lisa on a search for Nong, the woman that became her regular masseuse. She left the massage parlor to open a noodle shop, and all we had was a crude map. Sutheera found the shop and Nong is going to give Lisa a massage tomorrow morning at 9 a.m.

Their next stop was the fruit market street where they got a couple of gift baskets. Our neighbor Mr. Narong is in the hospital and we wanted to get the family something. Gift baskets are a common way of conveying many sentiments or thanks. One basket was for Narong and one for our friend Ty, for all her help in negotiating the car deal.

Meanwhile, I went to Big C to have my eyes checked. My suspicions were correct and I needed to strengthen my prescription a bit. I just wish the makers of contacts would provide smaller increments of adjustment. Oh, I can see and that's the point. Of course it's not a good idea to turn me loose in Big C by myself. (Ha) I see everything and could find a reason to want lots of it, but I have self-control. (Ha again) I went home and had a solo lunch.

This afternoon we visited Ty at her sister's pharmacy. It's a small neighborhood drug store that's open thirteen hours a day. Ty is watching it while her sister in on a vacation. We took the fruit basket, talked and learned more Thai. She's a persistent teacher, always starting a new train of thought in Thai and forcing us to understand what she's saying. From there we drove on a street we'd never traveled, and it took us to the Super Highway and our last stop.

Arranging for the new air device was a snap. We knew what we wanted and it was all settled in a short time. We're getting what is called an inverter air-conditioner. It's supposed to use less power over extended use. Lisa's studio gets extended use and we discovered that the cold air goes down to the dining room. If the small machine slightly cools the room then a larger one will serve a dual purpose. The kitchen get the little air/con. Boot spends a lot of time there during the day and it's where the dogs sleep during the day and Daku stays at night. Many problems solved.

We ended the day with a refreshing swim and then dinner.

Have a Wacky Wednesday.


"Allowing an unimportant mistake to pass
without comment is a wonderful social grace."
~Judith Martin

Gettin' Funky, Thai Style

Tuesday, April 28, 2009



It was an adventurous Tuesday here in 'The Rai'. The downtown market, the hospital, and a string of stops for various essentials, ballet, and a swim. Just a typical day you know where.

What does it take to get you to remember the classics? I did get mail from the 'pros'. This should wake you up:
"I'm __ __ __ __ __ __ __, watching the tide roll away. Ooo, I'm just __ __ __ __ __ __ __
Wastin' time." Hint: I've tried a little tenderness, and basically given you the song. If you know it let me know.

This morning the day started with a visit from our insurance guy. He delivered the papers for our policy on the truck. He speaks very good English and likes to visit. We had a pleasant time talking about Songkran, and the state of things. He also confirmed that the car we ordered is a very good one.

After our visit we headed out for Overbrook Hospital, which is just a few minutes from the house. When we got in the parking lot, there was no place to park so we left. We were going to see if we could get some Tamiflu just in case we noticed any symptoms. There have been no indications of any problems in these parts but an ounce of prevention, blah blah. We returned in the afternoon only to find out it was not available. Hmm.

Since we were so close to the main marketplace we decided to dive in and pick up some material for Lisa's studio that we'd been meaning to get. There's a man we call 'Fabric Guy' who has a good selection to choose from and he's very personable. It took us a few tries to find him, we still get lost in the market sometimes. He was happy to see us and mentioned seeing me on the street. Hmm. Anyway, we got just what we wanted and roamed around until we found our way out. As we were leaving the area we saw a guy wearing a sport shirt with images of various African-American hair styles. I managed to stop him and he let me take a picture of the back of the shirt with my phone. I'll post it soon. Where did he find that shirt in Thailand?

While Lisa was giving Napa her ballet lesson I went out to pick up more dog food for Daku. The first stop didn't have the 'puppy' version so I went down the 'Bus Station' street to the big pet store. That was after I made a stop at the hardware store for some cement. I have to pour a little barrier around the posts of the dog run to keep them from digging. I think they like to dig there because it's the only bare dirt in the yard, and it's soft. I can always tell when Daku has been at it by the little ring of red dirt on his nose. So wrong but so cute.

The overnight light rains have cooled the temps here, but the humidity is still high and the pool is cooling. Say it isn't so. We swam anyway and it's great exercise. That and the stairs will really do you.

Big thanks to Christopher for today's quote.

Time for Happy Tuesday.


PS: If you've been reading this blog, please let me know by leaving a comment and your name. It would be nice to know who's out there.

"If a friend is in trouble, don't annoy him by asking if there is anything you can do. Think up something appropriate and do it."
~Edgar Watson Howe

Gettin' Funky, Thai Style

Monday, April 27, 2009



We had a wonderful weekend here in Chiang Rai. There was a cool rain that cleared the air and cooled things off a bit. BamBam got a diagnosis and Daku got bigger.

The weekend song was supposed to be an easy one but by the looks of my mail, I was wrong. A few of you got it though. It was "With A Little Help From My Friends", originally recorded by The Beatles and covered masterfully by Joe Cocker and Friends. Now you know. I'm hoping to make this an easy week for music lovers everywhere.

"I left my home in Georgia, headed for the 'Frisco bay'. 'Cause I had nothing to live for, and look like nothin's gonna come my way..." Clue: This seaside lament is from '68 and it introduce an amazing performer to the world.

Sunday we had lunch at Black Canyon over at Big C. After that there was the usual shopping for supplies and then home to the dogs. We altered our usual schedule for dinner so we could be back in time for the Bahrain Grand Prix. We had a 'chili' afternoon swim, due in part to the rain. When we get a rain like that it adds cool water to the pool. It was still very pleasant once we got used to it.

We usually don't go to the Night Bazaar until early evening but this week we went early. It's still fascinating to watch the vendors setting up their tables and booths for the evening. The amount of work that goes into each presentation on a daily basis takes a lot of determination and dedication. We ate at the newly remodeled 'Stage One' restaurant where it all began many years ago. We were the first customers of the evening and Johnny, as he's called, was happy to see us. He's like the manager and he has this 'cool' persona that makes it seem like he's from somewhere else.

Today we were supposed to meet a friend of Ty's who is a salesman for Toyota. We just assumed we'd go to the dealership and discuss the car we were interested in. Well, Khun Wimon came to the house. We wanted to test drive the Toyota Vios and he happened to drive one. He arrived and we talked about the car and the discount he was going to give us, being friends of Ty's. Then it was time to hit the road. I drove this little four-door around the driveway and was surprised at the response. After circling and heading out of the property I was happy to note that it's not as wide as the truck. This is a nice thing since our road is rather narrow. We didn't go far, but I got a chance to get a feel for it. I liked it a lot. Plenty of 'zip' and it handles well.

When we got back to the house we just figured we'd go to the dealership later in the week and do the details. Wrong. Wimon pulled out the paperwork and wrote up the order right there in our dining room. That's what I call service. Boot was there to translate for us since he spoke no English. We were told that it comes with a year of car insurance among other perks. He had a great sense of humor and offered to be our gardner. We put a deposit on the car and now the Toyota factory will build it to our order. He told us that due to the economy they don't keep a large inventory of cars in stock. What's interesting is, they do stock pick-up trucks. Hmm.

This evening Daku got in trouble for jumping over the fence I put around one of the flower beds, because he wanted to eat the flowers. He got a time out in the kitchen. When he returned to the yard he just played with BamBam. Oh yes, it turns out that BamBam has a Thyroid imbalance and will have to take some medication for awhile. Her energy is returning and hopefully so will her hair (she developed a bald patch on her back). Now we have two energetic dogs. Oh my.

Have a Fantastic Week.


"A person is not hurt so much by what happens,
as by their opinion of what happens."
~Michel de Montaigne

Gettin' Funky, Thai Style

Friday, April 24, 2009

Friday Funnies


We had an interesting, busy Friday. There was another trip to the internet provider, a car hunt and an evening swim. Another one of those great days in Chiang Rai.

I suppose we could call this the week you didn't sing. Oh, we had a few with the right answers, but most of you just didn't bother to write. (Ha) The song you just missed was "You'll Lose A Good Thing" by Barbara Lynn.

For the weekend I guess it's time for an easy one. "What would you do if I sang out of tune, would you stand up and walk out on me?" Clue: This song has two hit versions. Of course I'm looking for the original but you can mention the other one. We've done it before but this week cries for help.

I have grown to accept the fact that the internet in Thailand is slower than what I left in America. What we've been using feels fast by comparison to the earlier systems but when it doesn't work, I want to scream. Oh, for a broadband cable that's super fast and always on. (555) All that to say that I had to make another trip to the CAT office this morning. I took a print-out of the connection log so they could see the short duration of some of the hook-ups. Calls were made but it's still the same. Maybe I'll get some satisfaction next week. Ugh.

After reading my survey of driving in Chiang Rai, Lisa decided she wants to start driving here. (Ha) Actually, she's been considering 'independence' for some time. Today we went 'looking'. We started with a large used car lot on the highway north of town. We wanted to see what the going price might be for a recently owned vehicle. Then we went to the Toyota dealership and checked out new cars. There was really one car we were looking at, and it's called the Toyota Vios. It's a small 4-door with lots of safety features and runs on Gasohol. Our friend Ty told us to shop around and then she'd call her friend. Later, when she brought Napa for her ballet lesson, she got on the phone and did what she does. Bottom line is, she can get us a discount on the car we like with a few added extras. The woman is amazing. What was really interesting was how we were treated at the dealership. There was no hustle, no pressure, just listening to what we wanted and answering our questions. Hmm.

We ended our day with a first time sunset swim. There was just a glow in the sky, the yard was silent and the water was warm. It's the first time we've been in the water with the underwater lights on. Pretty cool, although now we wish we had some different colors besides bright white. May start hitting the pool twice a day. Hmm.

Have a Wonderful WeekEnd. Now it's time for 'rehashed' Funnies ('cause you didn't send me anything)


Why isn't phonetic spelled the way it sounds?

Why are there interstate highways in Hawaii?

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

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

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

Have you ever imagined a world with no hypothetical situations?

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

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

Gettin' Funky, Thai Style

Thursday, April 23, 2009



We just finished a busy Thursday up here in Chiang Rai. We visited the vet, and then went on a little road trip up north. Then there was a late afternoon swim and we got mail from America.

I got a couple of hits on the song but the artist is still being elusive. Here's another verse for you to ponder:
"I'm givin you one more chance, for you to do right If you'll only straighten up, we'll have a good life 'Cause if you should lose me, oh, yeah __ __ __ __ __." Hint: She's obviously telling him what he could lose. Here's the thing, it's in the title. Hmm.

Daku had an appointment for another of his vaccination series. He's gained two more pounds since Saturday. We met a two month old Golden who was a lot smaller than Daku was at the same age. Dr. Arnon says he's going to be a very big dog and that he's very smart. It's true, he's learning things very quickly. At three months he sits on command and is comfortable with a leash. He's started teething and there's not much to do about that except keep an eye on what he chews. Not a simple task.

After lunch we drove up to Tesco-Lotus, a British chain store that is part department store and part grocery. It's always a little frustrating, thinking we'll find things there because it gives the illusion of being a bit more sophisticated. (Ha) A few items were found that were not on the list, but oh well. It was a nice drive and we saw more interesting sights.

As promised, here's a little insight on driving on two wheels in Chiang Rai. First of all, even though helmets are the law, if you're on side streets or in your village, you will notice that most of the helmets are in the basket on the front of the bike. Occasionally the police put up little road blocks and pull all the bikes over for a check of helmets, registration and insurance. They have started setting them up so you don't know they're there, like blind corners, etc. Here's a tip, if you just done your hair and you don't want your helmet to mess it up, don't fasten it and just hold the visor up a bit and ride with one hand. Works great if you have an automatic. (Ha)

Motorbikes generally ride to the left of the car traffic, but if you keep up your speed you can ride anywhere. That means that if the flow of traffic is slow for any reason and there are slow bikes on the side of the road, it's perfectly alright (apparently) to go down the other side, as long as you avoid the oncoming traffic. Hmm. When approaching a red light, make every effort to work your way to the front of the line. Sometimes this might even mean riding on the sidewalk. If you're turning right, take off immediately and turn in front of the oncoming traffic. They will usually wait until all the bikes have turned anyway. If no cross traffic is coming and the light is about to turn green, it's OK to turn before the light turns. If you and a few friends need to go somewhere, no problem. Three on a bike is common. It's also common to see as many as five. If your passenger is wearing a skirt, riding side-saddle is a way of life.

If you'd like to be a little different, there are custom items you can get to fix up your ride. You say you'd like a green or red headlight? No problem. When parking, you head your bike into the curb. Helmets are usually just left in the basket. Says a lot for the 'crime rate' around here. Nobody seems to bother with them. The motorbike is a large part of the transportation around here and you will see riders that look as young as 12 buzzing through the streets. Oh yeah, 16 is the legal age. So, have fun when you get here. Hmm, I'm having no part of it.

Finally, since it's such a rare occasion, I'll mention that we got mail from across the water. We got a little package from Kristin, complete with a CD of all the pictures she took while she was here. Very nice.

Have a Great Thursday.


"Look at life as an energy economy game.
Each day, ask yourself, "Are my energy expenditures
(actions, reactions, thoughts, and feelings)
productive or nonproductive?
During the course of my day,
have I accumulated more stress or more peace?"
~Doc Childre and Howard Martin

Gettin' Funky, Thai Style

Wednesday, April 22, 2009



Happy Earth Day to you. Hmm, something doesn't sound right about that. Anyway, some of you early birds will find this message a little later than usual. We just got back from Mu Mai restaurant, where we took Boot for her birthday. More about that later.

The Police were the singers of "Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic", just in case it slipped your mind. Our next song is in honor of Earth Day (do you see a theme here?). This song might be sung to us by The Earth:
"You know I love you, do anything for you, just don't mistreat me and I'll be good to you, 'cause if you should lose me, oh, yeah __ __ __ __ __" Clue: I think it's pretty straight forward. A rather clear message for someone to toe the line. Hmm.

Today is Boot's Birthday and we told her to do just do a few light things, and enjoy the day. We took her to lunch at the Rimkok Resort, which is just down the road from the house. It was fun going out like that. After lunch we strolled the grounds of the hotel, looked at the river and then sat by their giant pool. Boot's boyfriend Rene called from France while we were by the river. It was perfect timing.

I know that some of Thailand is aware of the Earth Day campaign, but I'm not so sure it's really been accepted. If it had, there wouldn't have been fires burning this morning. Kind of a slap in the face. So it causes me to wonder just what it will take for everyone to be on the same page (or planet). Things are changing, even disappearing. If one person can make a difference, imagine what a whole big bunch of people could do.

Last night Lisa made cards for Boot. One was from 'The Kids' with baby pictures of both dogs. Then there was the grown up card from us. We planned to go to Mu Mai for dinner. It's the place where our friend Berm sings and plays guitar. We hadn't heard him in a while and we all like the place. We also made arrangements for Ty (new spelling) to meet us and surprise Boot. She was quite surprised and it was a treat to watch. They are very good friends and it really made the evening complete. After dinner Berm sang Happy B'day, and a little cake that Ty brought appeared from the waiter's station.

We'll have to wait until tomorrow for the tips for two wheels in Thailand.

It's time for a Wacky Wednesday.


PS The quote could have many meanings today.

"All you have shall some day be given; Therefore give now,
that the season of giving may be yours and not your inheritors."
~Kahlil Gibran

Gettin' Funky, Thai Style

Tuesday, April 21, 2009



Today I got the truck serviced, which can be an experience. The rain came, briefly, and BamBam had a Birthday. Also, more reflections/insights on driving in Chiang Rai.

I'm happy to see that we've started the week off with a song you know. If you need more, here's the bridge:
"I resolve to call her up a thousand times a day, and ask her if she'll marry me in some old fashioned way. But my silent fears have gripped me long before I reach the phone, long before my tongue has tripped me. Must I always be alone? __ __ __ __ __ __ __ ....." Clue: Do you really need one?

So BamBam is one year old. There wasn't much fanfare or celebration. She is a dog after all. There was some joking about cake, but nobody moved. (Ha) She's become a very loving dog in this short year. She has developed some patterns that make us smile and she can still go from mellow to crazy in a heartbeat. Looking at her 'baby pictures' is a trip. So small and delicate. Right now she's still trying hard to maintain dominance over Daku. I think she's going to have her paws full. He'll most likely weigh as much as her in two or three weeks.

Going to the Toyota dealership is always an adventure. It's a grand, modern complex on the highway and is maintained very nicely. As soon as I pulled into the service parking stall, I was greeted by a young woman who took down the milage and escorted me into the reception area. She gave me a number and said 'Please sit down'. It's like this every time. Then I waited for my number to appear on the screen above the row of service consultants. I had an appointed time and they almost got to me on time. After the paperwork I went through the "new car" showroom to the waiting area. It was much cooler there so the wait wasn't too bad. I played with my phone, watched some Thai T.V. and nearly panicked when the clock hit noon and I looked into the garage and everyone started taking off their work aprons. I could see my truck and the guys were leaving for lunch. The lights went out in the work area and I was thinking I'd be stuck there. It's happened before. Just then a mechanic appeared and got into the truck and drove it out to the carwash area. Hmm, must be done. Close. I didn't actually leave the lot until a little after 1pm. Still, it only took a two hour wait instead of all day. And all that without the help of an English speaking employee.

While on the subject of motor vehicles, there are a few things you should know if you ever want to drive like a local. I can't speak for the big cities but up here, things seem to be based on some vague traffic 'traditions'. If you're going to turn right (like a left turn in the U.S.) and the car in front of you is also turning, stay close to their rear bumper and just force your way through the intersection. That one really gets me. If you find it necessary to turn in front of oncoming traffic, it seems to be OK to take your time. The theory is that if they can see you they'll slow down. When approaching a red light, do so as fast as you can. Don't expect to be given the right of way for anything. Merging in an alternate manner is unheard of, and stopping for pedestrians is also just not done. Personally, I brake for women with children, older people and monks. Many basic traffic laws are merely "suggestions." There are no traffic police, and no pursuit vehicles so it's like wide open to a certain degree. Staying in the 'flow' seems to be the safest route. Tomorrow we'll explore life on two wheels.

Time for Happy Tuesday.


"One meets their destiny often in the road they take to avoid it."
~French Proverb

Gettin' Funky, Thai Style

Monday, April 20, 2009



Well, looks like we're havin' a heatwave just like the folks in Southen California and India, just to mention a few spots. How fitting, as we approach Earth Day. Hmm. We had a nice weekend filled with swimming and hanging out with the dogs.

I guess I was wrong to assume that you would know the weekend song. (Ha) It was "The Wind Cries Mary" by The Jimi Hendrix Experience and Lane was the only one to write me with the answer. Maybe you know this one:
"Though I've tried before to tell her of the feelings I have for her in my heart. Every time that I come near her I just lose my nerve as I've done from the start. __ __ __ __ __ __ __, everything she does just turns me on..."
Hint: This band from across the pond had an arresting string of hits. This one is all about a guy who just can't seem to connect with the love of his life.

Saturday we took Daku to the vet because he had a hurt toe. He was brave about it, but if we touched it he let out a little yelp. Just couldn't see him like that. It turns out it was a toenail that must have been jammed or something. Dr. Arnon gave him a shot and he's been fine since. Oh, we weighed him since it had been a week since the last time and we knew he was bigger. At 3 months old he now weighs 25 pounds. Oh my, he's going to be a big dog. He has a very deliberate pattern before he goes to sleep. Whether it's in the morning, afternoon or night he always smacks his paw in his water bowl to the point where there's a puddle on the floor and then crashes in the puddle. He knows how to stay cool.

Speaking of staying cool, it's been really hot for the last three days. For us that means planning any outside trips based on the coolness of the destination. Like Sunday, when we were trying to decide where to each lunch. There were a couple of options but they were all the typical Thai style 'indoor/outdoor places where you just can't avoid the heat. We settled on the Pizza Company downtown. We hadn't been there in a while so that's where we ate. We had our usual cheeseless pizza (I know, not really pizza without cheese) and some chicken sticks. Their delivery guys were real busy that afternoon.

Having the pool in operating condition has been a real treat during this heat. Afternoon swims take the mind off the heat and provide a relaxing break in the day. Of course the relaxing comes after the laps. Today Boot let the dogs out while we were swimming and Daku charged right over to the edge to see what we were doing. It's only a matter of time before he dives in. Golden Retrievers are 'water dogs' but we're hoping he doesn't know that.

Have a 'Cool' Week.


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

Gettin' Funky, Thai Style

Friday, April 17, 2009

Friday Funnies


We spent the day at home. There was painting, strumming and swimming. Lisa taught a class and we hung with friends.

I know, that last song was somewhat of a stumper. It was The Beach Boys singing "I Just Wasn't Made For These Times". Check out the lyrics for a dose of 60's angst that would probably work with today's listeners.

For the weekend, we'll float around in the same decade and try and remember a song that opened many ears.
"After all the jacks are in their boxes, and the clowns have all gone to bed, you can hear happiness staggering off down the street...__ __ __ __ __" Hint: Left-handed genius left us too soon. If you can make sense of it all, then you were trippin' too. Just watch out for the breeze (5).

It was a quiet day at the Big Brown House. Everyone stayed near the air/cons since it was so hot outside. The dogs wanted to stay inside, which is a rare thing. Lisa worked on another painting, and I did some pool stuff and messed with a Seung (a four string Northern Thai instrument). Of course, I'm not playing it in a traditional manner at all. Can you say slide guitar? I think I've found something. (Ha)

This afternoon Napa came over for a ballet lesson. Today Tay (her mom) and Pong (her dad) both came. It turned into a 'family visit'. Pong is usually playing golf at the time of the lessons, but since this is a holiday week, he played this morning and spent the afternoon at ballet. He told me about the instructions Napa gave him if he was to watch her lesson. "No speak" were her words. Pong started laughing at the firmness of his daughters directions. After we talked for awhile he went upstairs and watched Napa.

After the class we all hung out in the back yard. Tay has become a very dear friend and I'm slowly getting to know Pong. I suppose if I became addicted to golf we'd become fast friends. Hmm, don't see that in the near future. Maybe I can get him in the water.

Have a Pleasant WeekEnd and don't forget the Chinese F1 Grand Prix (SpeedTv). Now it's time for the 'Funnies'.


Knock on Wood

Three older ladies were discussing the problems of getting older. One
said, "Sometimes I catch myself with a jar of mayonnaise in my hand,
in front of the refrigerator, and can’t remember whether I need to put
it away, or start making a sandwich.

The second lady chimed in, "Yes, sometimes I find myself standing on
the stairs and can’t remember whether I was on my way up or on my way

The third one responded, "Well, I am glad I don’t have that problem;
knock on wood," as she rapped her knuckles on the table. She looked up
and said, "That must be the door, I’ll get it!"

Gettin' Funky, Thai Style

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Each Day


It was another hot day in Chiang Rai. BamBam saw the doctor, Daku met the roses, and the celebrating continues.

I'm proud of the few of you that knew the song. Maybe today will bring more mail (Ha). Little Surfer knew it (5)
"Each time things start to happen again, I think I got something good goin' for myself but what goes wrong?
Sometimes I feel very sad, sometimes I feel very sad (Can't find nothin' I can put my heart and soul into)...
__ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __." Hint: The group was a family affair. If you don't know, I guess you just don't know. Hmm.

BamBam had her weekly visit with Dr. Arnon today. He's still trying to get a handle on her hair loss. She was the perfect angel until one of the assistants presented her hand and Bam growled at her. That's when they got the muzzle. After that she was gentle again. Her spirits are high and her appetite is good so we're hoping it will clear up soon.

Meanwhile, this afternoon Daku and BamBam were having their daily play on the front lawn when Daku started messing with the little rose plant. I saw him from inside but it was too late to say anything. When he came in he had a tiny little cut on his face and a hurt paw. Tomorrow I'll dig up the rose.

The beach on the river was packed today. There were still water stations around town and the trucks were still roaming, looking for victims. I saw a wild water fight at a stop light between two pick-up trucks. (well, the people in the back of the trucks) The same is true in Bangkok, where a few days ago there was chaos. Today it was water, water everywhere.

This brings me to a comment I received from one of my readers. I was asked how I could call it 'paradise' with a war going on. Well, let me say this: There was no war, there was extreme civil disobedience that lost it's steam. There were road blockages and small demonstrations in other parts of the country, but for now, things are peaceful. Here in Chiang Rai, nestled behind our wall, with all that we survey, it is paradise. We could travel the streets of the town with only the fear of getting wet. We stay on top of the news and do not invite fear into the daily equation.

On a lighter note, I forgot to tell you a Daku story. He has discovered that in our closet there are treasures. His little doggie brain has decided that Lisa's ballet shoes are the perfect thing to take for his chewing pleasure. Now we just have to remember to close the door when he's in the room. The shoes will be moved, but he will undoubtedly find something else. Never a dull moment.

That's it for today. Have a Thrilling Thursday.


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

Gettin' Funky, Thai Style

Wednesday, April 15, 2009



Today was 'Doggie Bath Day', among other things. We had a breakfast adventure and cruised the quiet morning streets. This is the last day of Songkran, maybe. What?

My faith in your musical knowledge has been restored. "Standing In The Shadows of Love" by The Four Tops was the song. Now I hope you realize that I can tell if you've been to Mr. G. He's not always right. Know this one?:

"I keep looking for a place to fit in, where I can speak my mind. I've been trying hard to find the people that I won't leave behind. They say I've got brains but they ain't doin' me no good, I wish they could..." Clue: A sad little song about being out of sync with the world by a major L.A. group in the 60's. I think it's beach weather.

What do you do when you run out of bread and the bakery is closed? Why, you go out for breakfast. That's what we did this morning. We went down to Doi Chaang Coffee and had a pretty nice meal. We sat upstairs and could look down on the indoor pond as its caretaker was feeding the plants and fish. After that we rolled down to the main drag and I picked up some contact lenses. The traffic was very light for a Wednesday morning. With so many businesses closed, it all seemed a little odd. Even our massage spot was closed. It's New Years Day and I don't know why I expected things to be open. Traditionally, people return to their family village for celebrations like this. Family is very important so businesses close to observe and let their employees do the same. When we built the house, all the workers got 10 days off. This year, because of the unrest in Bangkok, the Prime Minister has extended the holiday for two days. Whether that happens up here is anybody's guess.

What was open were the water stations. They were just getting fired up and the trucks were starting to drive around looking for 'splashees' (Ha) I had been wondering where and how the trucks were getting all that water in the drums. There's a 'filling station' right by the city water tower. They run a hose to the street and for a fee, you can fill up. Yes, life here is different.

BamBam and Daku got baths today. It was Daku's first outdoor bath. Up until now he's been bathed in the shower. This was a lot easier. We almost didn't bathe them because it looked like rain. It did sprinkle a bit and then the sun came out. (It doesn't really come out) After getting most of the water out of their fur, we put them in the pen and went for a swim. The end of another day in paradise.

Have a Wacky Wednesday.


"Never see anything that you do as a failure but see it as an accomplishment.
Then you have never failed; you have always learned."

Gettin' Funky, Thai Style

Tuesday, April 14, 2009



A little sunshine, a little rain gave us a lazy day at the compound. Lisa finished a large canvas, I found closures and new pictures have been added to Flickr.

I didn't get the mail I expected (there's the problem) on this song. What? too many chocolate bunnies? OK.
"__ __ __ __ __ __, I'm gettin' ready for the heartaches to come. (repeat) " Hint: That was the chorus of the song. What is cast when light is interrupted by something. Try and get this without Google, it will give you the wrong answer. (5)

This morning it looked like rain, then it got kinda sunny and then this afternoon it rained. A nice steady downpour that gave the lawns and trees a nice watering. It had been very dry and this rain is good for everything. Selfishly, I like the fact that I won't have to water the lawn. Check out the house pics and you'll understand.
I had to take Daku out while it was raining and he got into it. At one point he just collapsed on the wet grass, turned over and let the rain fall on his tummy. Hey, he's a dog.

I went out to see about getting the truck serviced this morning but the Toyota dealership was closed. I went by the hardware store for a few things but they were closed. So was the bakery. Three days off for Songkran for almost everybody. A lot of the smaller shops are still open and of course the 'C' is open. There's nothing that can't wait until Thursday.

In preparation for her August art exhibit, Lisa has been working on some larger format canvases. She's just finished her second brilliant piece and I suspect there will be more.

There is a water station right down the street from us that is run by some kids. This morning when I left at 9:20 there was a little boy out there waiting. He got me too. This afternoon we heard squealing and laughing and it was three or four kids at the same spot, wetting everything that came down the road. I commented to my friend Claire that I don't think something like this could happen in a city like L.A. She agreed: "Oh my goodness! You're right - people would have a "cow" if someone touched their cars... AND, don't forget the hair!" Something to think about. (Ha) Oh, for those of you who might be new to all this, I should explain the (5). In Thai, the number five is pronounced 'Ha'. Get it?

Well, it's time for Happy Tuesday.


PS Thanks to Claire for the quote

"For attractive lips, speak words of kindness."
~Audrey Hepburn, when asked about her beauty secrets

Gettin' Funky, Thai Style

Monday, April 13, 2009



Over the weekend there was sunshine, swimming and water everywhere. BamBam gets mellower as Daku gets bigger, and life in Chiang Rai is still our little paradise.

I'm surprised that more of you didn't write me about the weekend song. Guess you were busy with your holidays. It was "No Particular Place to Go" by the one and only Chuck Berry. That was in 1964. Here's one you'll remember:
"I wanna run, but there's no place to go 'cause heartaches will follow me I know. Without your love, a love I need, it's the beginning of the end for me....So don't you leave me __ __ __ __ __ __..." Clue: It's by four guys who topped the charts many times, pleading not to be left alone. Hmm.

Let me begin by letting you know that despite the news that you hear about the unrest in the Kingdom, all is well in Chiang Rai. The 'Red Shirts' are wreaking havoc in Bangkok and other areas but up here in the north the only thing that seems to matter is Songkran. This place is party central. The throwing of water is a high priority, along with having a party at the same time. Up and down the streets there are 'Water Stations', as we like to call them, with young and old armed with cups, bowls and buckets ready to douse passers by. Motorbikes are an obvious first choice and they really get it. There are also rolling water stations. Pick-up trucks with 50 gallon drums of water roam the streets throwing water on other cars and bikes and also 'attacking' throwers on the side of the road. On our way to dinner Sunday night we were stopped at a traffic light on the highway behind a truck with three young women on the back. They had a big drum of water and they were all soaked. One of them began taunting some guys on the side of the road. One of the guys ran across the highway with a bucket and made a direct hit.

There are also the little solo throwers that are as cute as they can be. Boys and girls ten and under standing vigil with their little containers, waiting for the next vehicle. They twist around and, with perfect timing, hurl the water so it hits just as you pass them. The looks on their little faces is priceless. It's a combination of glee and devilment.

Saturday Johan came over and we made some adjustments to the pool and started cleaning the water. Sunday and today we swam and it was wonderful. The weather was hot and the water was perfect. Things are definitely looking up. There is a different perspective, standing in the water surveying our house and property. A sense of accomplishment and serenity.

BamBam has become very loving lately. She likes to cuddle, at least when she's hanging out with us. If Daku is in the room it can be a different story. They love to play and sometimes she gets carried away. When we're outside she can be a handful, picking up rocks and taunting us to try and catch her. Daku has picked up a few of her tricks and we're starting to training him because he's already too fast to catch and he's going to be a very large dog in a very short time. He's so cute that it's hard to get mad at him when he does what he does.

Have a Marvelous Week.


"Hold fast to dreams, for if dreams die,
life is a broken winged bird that cannot fly."
~Langston Hughes

Gettin' Funky, Thai Style

Friday, April 10, 2009

Friday Funnies


The week is done, the pool is full, a ballerina is back, and the water-throwing has begun. Now we try and stay dry.

So, not many of you could nail down "Mississippi Queen" by Mountain. Shame on you. (Ha) It's cool, but you should know that rockin' song. For the weekend, we're going to mid 60's classic by one of the hardest workin' guys in show bizness, besides J.B. "Riding along in my automobile, my baby beside me at the wheel. I stole a kiss at the turn of a mile, my curiosity running wild...with __ __ __ __ __" Hint: Something about aimless driving.

This morning the water truck arrived and began the process. After the first truck load we were a little concerned. The price we settled on was not going to make a dent in the filling of the pool. The truck was smaller than our calculations. We explained, through Boot, that it would take way more than four tanks of water. Negotiation finally got us what we needed and Truck/Water Woman still made money. Tomorrow we'll start the cleaning process. The pool sat empty for a day during winds, so the water is dirty, but that's a minor problem now. Oh, and the water feels warmer than I expected. Yea.

This afternoon we got a visit from Tay and Napa. They had been to a family reunion in Rayong, which is in the south. It's also where Boot is from. Anyway, they dropped by and brought some gifts and Tay invited us to her house on Monday to watch her neighborhood celebrate Songkran. (Monday is the first official day of the holiday) Tay is always thinking of ways for us to learn more about the Thai experience first hand. We learn a lot from her.

In case you see things on the news about Thailand and the demonstrations in Bangkok, I would like to remind you that we are far from there and things here are rather mellow. Just thought I'd ease any worried minds.

With all the water truck activity today we had to leave the front gate open most of the time. This made it hard on the dogs. They couldn't run free and play like they usually do. Each time we took them out they had to be on leashes. It's just as well since it was a very hot day and we don't let them run too much when it's like that. They are adapting to the leash thing pretty quickly. It's not too bad managing both dogs at once. Of course, Daku is still not clear on his role, so we just let him go where he wants and occasionally reign him in.

It's time for the 'Funnies'. This was sent to me by my friend Claire a while back. Thanks much.

Have a Wonderfilled WeekEnd.



Susie's husband had been slipping in and out of a coma for several months. Things looked grim, but she was by his bedside every single day. One day as he slipped back into consciousness, he motioned for her to come close to him. She pulled the chair close to the bed and leaned her ear close to be able to hear him.

"You know" he whispered, his eyes filling with tears, "you have been with me through all the bad times. When I got fired, you stuck right beside me. When my business went under, there you were. When we lost the house, you were there. When I got shot, you stuck with me. When my health started failing, you were still by my side. "And you know what?"

"What, dear?" she asked gently, smiling to herself.

"I think you're bad luck."

Gettin' Funky, Thai Style

Thursday, April 9, 2009



Today Daku got weighed, there was a chopper sighting, a water deal was made, and it didn't rain. Oh yes, and it was hot again.

Nice to know that some of the good records are remembered. Such is the case with our current tune. Try this:
"This lady she asked me, if I would be her man. You know that I told her, I'd do what I can to keep her lookin' pretty, buy her dresses that shine. While the rest of them dudes were makin' their bread, boy beg your pardon, I was losin' mine...__ __ you know what I mean..." Hint: The title is a bit of a play on words. The boat and/or the lady. Hmm.

This morning, on the way to the vets, we spotted a big gathering of motorcycles in from of the high school. Note that I said motorcycles, not motorbikes. These were 'big' customs. One stand-out was an orange custom framed chopper complete with raked neck and long tube front end. Some of you will appreciate this. After the visit to the vet I went back out to get pictures but they were gone.

Meanwhile, at the vet's, both dogs got the once over and Daku got another vaccination. We put him on the scales and he now weighs 20 1/2 pounds, at 9 1/2 weeks old. This guy gains big weight every week. He's getting taller and his face is losing that little bear look. He's starting to look like a dog. And to think, he used to be able to walk under BamBam.

Long time readers may remember that when we first bought the property, the first thing we had to do was bring it up to street level with dirt. The young woman who brokered the dirt was suggested for the task of bringing in water to fill the pool. She arrived today and looked at the pool and after a bit of conversation, she set a price. Tomorrow we will begin filling the pool. It should be about three tanker trucks to do the job. We'll see.

While the heat is bearable, we prefer to stay inside with the air running. The dogs like to come upstairs since it's cooler. That's nice in a way, but also means that it's like a wrestling arena in our bedroom. Both of them are developing strong personalities and they keep us in stitches. Fortunately they are the laughing kind.

Have a Cool Thursday.


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

Gettin' Funky, Thai Style

Wednesday, April 8, 2009



All around town, folks are sprucing things up. Cleaning, painting, and trimming in preparation for Songkran. Meanwhile, we did our civic duty by shopping today. (Ha) It might seem like we shop a lot, but it's almost all necessary stuff. Really.

OK, the song was "Suavecito" by Malo. That was in '72. The brother I referenced was Carlos Santana. His younger brother Jorge led Malo. I don't think they had any more hits, but they worked a lot and were big in Mexico. Many major players in the Bay Area were in Malo, but a rift broke up the group. Another version of Malo, featuring two original members, is still touring. Now you know.

"__ __ if you know what I mean. __ __, she taught me everythin'. Way down around vicksburg, around Louisiana way, lived a Cajun lady aboard the __ __.." Clue: This 1970 hit is about a woman. There's a state name somewhere and you know what I mean. Some of you might remember we played this one a while back.

The August Chronicles: It's time for another installment of the Chronicles in honor of Mr. August's B'day. He had another fabulous party where he DJ'd and worked the crowd. There was a bouncer (not the person, the thing) and of course a cake with a photo of The Man doing his thing. Jeff, his Dad, did a very cool edit of the party video that you can view on YouTube (link), along with The Solar System (271 views) and several piano recitals. Check him out.

We can't seem to get a definitive answer as to when the water throwing will begin, so we're trying to handle whatever business we have to do early in the week. Today we went to the bank and then to Big C, the happiest place in Chiang Rai. We had lunch first and then went upstairs for a few essentials. The place was jumping. This is our second Songkran, and being no expert, I must say that it seems busier this year than last. The thing I really like about all this, from a visual point of view, are the colorful shirts everyone is starting to wear. Like I said, I don't know why, but Hawaiian style flower shirts are basic wardrobe for this time of year. I had a few, but the material is a bit heavy. I got two today that should round out my 'look' for the season. There's a gas station on the highway and all the attendants wear matching shirts. I may have to get a pic of that. Finally, there's a full moon tonight and across the river someone's setting off a fireworks display. It's freaky because we can't hear anything, just the sight of the clouds lighting up. (insert Twilight Zone music here)

The work on the pool is basically done. It looks fantastic. Cheurn and his wife have done a very professional, artistic job and we're very happy with their work. Johan will be proud. We may be able to start filling it on Friday. I have to investigate getting some water delivered like we did when we first filled it. The waiting is killing me. Oh well, there's always the river.

On that note, it's time for a Wacky Wednesday.


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

Gettin' Funky, Thai Style

Tuesday, April 7, 2009



The last 24 hours have been very eventful. That is if you consider a storm, a trip to the Transportation Office (DMV) and not enough sleep events. Hmm.

I can't seem to stump all of you. There were several messages with the correct answer to the song. Sing along:
"Laaaa-ah-ah, la-la, laaaa-ah-ah (repeat)... __, mi Linda __ The feelin' I have inside for you __, mi Linda, __" Hints: The leader of this group's brother is a very famous/talented guitarist in his own right.

Last night (this morning) around 2am the wind began and some of the windows started whistling. I don't recall this happening before. Then it got more intense and we started to hear thunder off in the distance. At this point we were wide awake and waiting. We made a check of the big doors and then the lightning started. It still hadn't started raining yet but we knew it was coming. Such drama. When it hit, it was a three ring circus. The sky would light up, the thunder would jar the senses and the rain was slapping the house like Homey the Clown. (Ha) At one point there was a loud door slam from downstairs. I figured it was the guest room or my studio door. I was right in a way. My door had slammed shut because the door to outside had blown open. That meant wiping up the rain that had blown in and making sure everything was secure. It took a bit of 'football' (soccer) to take our minds off the storm that was finally calming down. One hour of adrenaline in the middle of the night is hard to get over.

This afternoon Boot, Lisa and I went over to the DMV to register the truck. I wanted to get it done ahead of the due date since it would be the beginning of the Songkran merriment. A few other folks had the same idea. The place was packed but we had to do what we had to do. There's a small counter just inside with a young woman who takes your paperwork and directs you to the next step. This is a nice touch except that the concept of waiting in line is non-existent. I was standing behind a man who was next and all of a sudden, a woman just pushed her way towards the desk. I scooted up as close as I could, edging in her direction at the same time. Talk about a duel of body language. I won and got my turn at the desk. I got my number and it was 30 away from the one being served. Oh no. It turned out that things went very fast and we didn't have to wait too long. When we left the building there was a car parked in the driving lane, right behind us. Another common practice. Most of the time drivers will leave their car in neutral so you can push it out of the way. What? Fortunately, the driver appeared just as we were becoming frustrated. As we pulled out onto the road, I was glad that doesn't have to happen for another year.

Did I mention that I didn't get my afternoon nap? I know, poor baby. Well, with the hour plus from last night and the heat and humidity of the day, I was ready, but some days there's just stuff that has to be done. Like arriving home and noticing a loose board in the gate. That meant a trip to the hardware store, borrowing an extension cord long enough to reach the house, and a bunch of concentration at the end of the day. Oh my.

I think you know what time it is. It's time for Happy Tuesday.


"If you have built castles in the air, your work need not be lost;
this is where they should be. Now put foundations under them."
~Henry David Thoreau

Gettin' Funky, Thai Style

Monday, April 6, 2009



The weekend saw progress on the pool, lots of doggie play, and the beginning of a new adventure for me on the internet. Hmm, oh yeah, and a rain soaked Formula One race.

The weekend song was "Rockin' Robin" by Bobby Day. Now do you remember? We'll start the week in the middle 70's. Hold on:
"Never, I never met a girl like you in my life... The way that you hold me in the night, the way that you make things go right, Whenever you're in my arms girl, you're filling me with all your charms... " Clue: Title is in another language, by a group whose name translates as 'Bad'. Hmm. Should be easy.

Saturday I joined Facebook, after starting to feel left out. What a rush. I had no idea just how big a thing it has become. I have connected with so many people that I had lost contact with. I now know more about some of you than you were willing to tell me through email. (Ha) Now the trick is to not get sucked into the vortex and disappear. Hmm.

Khun Cheurn, the guy who is doing the work on the pool, set all the piping in place and then he and I went on a hunt for the tile to cover the pipes. He spotted some black tile that was 12x12 and said he could cut it. That was fine with me. He has a device that looks like a paper cutter and it 'slices' the tile. Who knew? Today he put concrete over the piping and set the tiles in place. It's looking good. Of course, more will be revealed.

We're still having our ups and downs with our internet connection but it seemed to hold pretty good over Saturday and Sunday. The testing was to be done on Sunday, but today we had more dropped signals. I guess I'll have to go back to CAT and have a talk.

Sunday Boot spent her day off visiting friends so we baby sat the dogs. There are times when they just hang out together and can be left in the kitchen. They play and sleep. Daku has discovered another use for newspaper besides getting it 'wet'. He's entered the chewing stage and we walked in on him lying on a pile of torn up paper with a piece hanging out of his mouth. The joys of 'parenthood'.

Sunday night we went into town for our usual dinner at the Night Bazaar. There were a lot of people there. It's probably because of Songkran and all the visitors who come to be with family for the holiday. Speaking of Songkran, I found a site that tells a lot about it and gives a very good history of the celebration.

This morning the garden crew arrived for their monthly 'grooming' of the yards. Three men and three women took to the yard, weeding, clipping, mowing and raking. This month they managed to get it all done in one day. Some of the long grass that Daku loves to hang out in has been cut down, but it will grow back. He still loves his favorite spot on the small hill in the back yard.

This afternoon I went to the dentist that Tay had taken me to a few weeks ago. I call him Mor Fun Music (Music Dentist) because he plays different music every time. On the first visit he was playing Charlie Rich. Today it was classical music. He said it depends on his mood. He re-set a crown that had come off. One of the simpler things I've had to deal with lately.

The beach was crowded all weekend and again today. We plan to go down to the 'shore' and experience the vibe and take some pictures.

Have a Great Week.


"Kindness in words creates confidence.
Kindness in thinking creates profoundness.
Kindness in giving creates love."

Gettin' Funky, Thai Style

Friday, April 3, 2009

Friday Funnies


You can feel the energy building around town. Something's coming. People are leaving for their home towns and villages, and others are arriving in Chiang Rai. Songkran is the biggest holiday of the year.

I was quite surprised that some of you remembered "Ode to Billy Joe" by Bobbie Gentry. That song came out in 1967 and it's still wrapped in mystery. It took on a life of it's own with the last verse. The singer and Billy Joe were seen throwing something off the bridge. Then later he jumped. Nobody knows what they threw off the bridge. There were rumors that the police had questioned Gentry but that wasn't true. I have to tip my proverbial hat to the writer for creating a story that has no resolution after all these years. It was a 'reality show' in a song. We thought it was real. Talk about getting caught up in the moment and staying there. Whew.

For the weekend I'm going back a few more years. The second verse lyric should make this a simple one to get: "He rocks in the tree-top all a day long, hoppin' and a-boppin' and a-singin' his song..." Hint: Think Aviary Rock. Really a kids song with adult production. Too many hints might give it away.

We got a Big C list from Boot and decided to go out in the morning and get it out of the way. It's senseless to guess when you're going to beat the crowd. Friday is not the day, no matter what time. We still had a successful trip. I meant to check out the 'Songkran Shirts' but got focused on the mission and forgot about it.

I forgot to tell you about a few sightings around town. At the Post Office the other day all of the clerks were wearing pink polo shirts. The other night we saw a young man wearing pink Keds tennis shoes. I keep telling you, real men wear pink. Oh, we saw a pink VW on the road yesterday. It was cool. Oh, and there's the pink Hello Kitty Honda. There were other non-pink sightings as well. A motorbike with a utility side-car carrying a total of seven people down the road last night. They make 'kiddie' seats for the motorbike so the child can sit in front of the driver. This as opposed to standing as they careen down the road. Not really sure about that one.

There was lots of noise and dust behind the house today as they cut the tile in the pool and started the process of chipping out the bottom three inches where the wall meets the floor. This is where the new pipes will go. We're still in tile hunting mode and will continue tomorrow. Here's a trick I learned today. To make a chiseling device, take a short piece of rubber hose (4"), push a hardened nail through one end, hold the other end, and bang away. Not the most efficient way to do things but I saw it work. Hmm.

The dogs are full of mischief these days. Daku likes to take things. This morning he wandered over and took one of the worker's gloves. He's done this with socks and of course sandals. Hey, he's a dog. This evening Boot brought them upstairs and we noticed that they were both damp. She explained that she was taking a shower and they both wanted to do the same. They played (wrestled wildly) for a while, had to be separated so they could calm down, had chewy bones and now they're both sleeping. They're in the same pose, lying on their sides facing the same direction.

Now it's time for the 'Funnies'. Lisa's friend Lisa sent us this list, obviously written by a dog. Have a Great WeekEnd.



Dog Pet Peeves

Blaming your farts on me.....
not funny... not funny at all !!!

Yelling at me for barking.
Helloo - I'm a DOG!

Taking me for a walk, then
not letting me check stuff out.
Exactly whose walk is this anyway?

Any trick that involves balancing
food on my nose. Stop it!

Any haircut that involves bows or ribbons.
Now you know why we chew your stuff
up when you're not home.

The sleight of hand, fake fetch throw.
You fooled a dog! Whoooo Hoooooooo what
a proud moment for the top of the food chain.

Taking me to the vet for 'the big snip', then acting
surprised when I freak out every time we go back!

Getting upset when I sniff the crotches of your guests.
Sorry, but I haven't quite mastered that handshake thing yet.!

Dog sweaters. Hello ???
Haven't you noticed the fur?

How you act disgusted when I lick myself.
Look, we both know the truth. You're just jealous.

Now lay off me on some of these things.
We both know who's the boss here!
You don't see me picking up your poop do you?

Gettin' Funky, Thai Style

Thursday, April 2, 2009



It was doggie day at the vets, work started on the pool, and we went on a tile hunt. The sky was clear and blue all day, and that was refreshing. There was also lots of activity at the 'beach'.

I was very impressed with how many of you got the song right away. I guess there's no stumping you. This line might help the rest: "...He said he saw a girl that looked a lot like you up on Choctaw Ridge, and she and __ __ was throwing somethin' off the Tallahatchie Bridge" Clue: This is an ode which is a kind of story. The blanks are somebody's name. Hmm, did I give too much away? We'll see.

This morning the pool 'expert' arrived with a woman who I think is his wife. They started working on the new pipes that will go in the pool. During the course of the day they found the source of the leak. It was above ground and hidden behind some plants. We were left with the decision of just fixing the leak, which was caused by poor workmanship, or going ahead with the original plan. We were told, in the classic Thai way, that it was up to us. So, we chose to go with the big plan since there just might be the same workmanship under the pool. Better safe than sorry.

While they were starting on the pool we packed up the dogs and headed to the vet for our weekly visit. BamBam is still having problems with her skin so we're keeping a close eye on that. Daku is getting much better. We weighed both of them and Daku is now weighing in at 7.6 kilos (16.75 lbs). He's almost half as heavy as BamBam and he's only 9 weeks old. He's going to be a big dog. We also got him a big boy collar today. There are many times when we need something to hold on to when trying to gather him up.

This afternoon we were told that it would be a good idea to go and look for the tile that will cover the pipes in the pool. We were given a size and the color option was ours. This brought back many memories of when we built the house and had to spend hours at the tile store. We found what we thought was black tile at the right measurement. In the dim light of the warehouse it looked black. When we got home and saw it in the light of day it was dark brown. It just wouldn't work against the dark blue of the pool so we had to take it back. There was no black tile which meant we had to go to a second store. Same story and on to the third and fourth stores. So far, we haven't found what we need. I guess tomorrow the hunt will continue. Ugh.

The bridge we travel over to get to town goes over the Mae Kok river. The level is very low and it has become a beach for the locals. Today we could see lots of adults and kids playing in the water in their clothes, and many umbrellas on the shore. One of these days we'll have to go down and check it out at ground level.

In town all the clothing shops have big displays of colorful Hawaiian shirts. This is part of the 'dress code' for Songkran. I'm not sure how this came to be, but it's really something to see. Sounds like a photo opportunity to me. Hmm.

Have a Thrilling Thursday.



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

Gettin' Funky, Thai Style

Wednesday, April 1, 2009


Today Daku got some lessons from BamBam, and a bath. The pool got emptied, and the sky filled with clouds.

You had a real break with an 'easy' song this time. At least that's what you told me. It was 'ABC' by The Jackson Five. That means there's a real possibility that I'm going to throw you a curve this time. What do you think? "It was the third of June, another sleepy, dusty Delta day. I was out choppin' cotton and my brother was balin' hay.." Clue: There's a country/folk vibe (Duh) and there may be a bridge.

This morning Lisa went out to see what the dogs were doing and watched BamBam present Daku with a rock. Bam walked up to Daku and set it right in front of him and then touched his nose. As if to say, "These are fun to chew and it drives them crazy." Daku doesn't need any help finding things to get into. He's an independent character who ventures off by himself finds the corners of the yard and the closet. Last night I looked up and he had crept into our closet and had taken one of Lisa's ballet slippers and was about to enjoy it on his cushion. If I leave the door open, he'll go back and try again. He and BamBam are the best of friends now and sometimes you can tell that Bam gets a little tired of constantly playing. Daku, on the other hand, would wrestle and run the yard all day if you let him. Of course there would be breaks for food (20 seconds) and sleep.

This morning the pool guys came and finished the emptying process and Johan brought over a bunch of plastic pipe that will be used in the 'make over'. This afternoon it kept looking and feeling like rain, but nothing happened. At about 6:30 it started with thunder in the distance. Then it got closer and it felt like it was right over the house. We had the curtains closed but there's a window in the bathroom that reflected the lightning. The sky would light up and then the thunder would hit. It was quite dramatic. Then the rain came and it rained hard for a short while and now it's gone. That's usually how it goes here. Big buildup, short production, and a tapering exit. I can hear thunder way off in the distance as the storm rolls on. I just hope it waits until evening for the rest of the week so the guys can work on the pool. (how selfish of me)

We've decided that if we get a really hot day, or just feel like a swim, we'll go down the road and swim at the Rimkok Hotel. They have a huge pool with an island and a bridge. Looks like a fun place to visit. It cost 80 Baht ($ 2.25) to use the pool.

It struck me that it might be weird to have rain during Songkran. Johan told me of a year when it rained and everything went on as if it was dry. In other words, they threw water at each other in the rain. I guess if you gotta throw, you gotta throw. Some of you may remember last year's Songkran and how I did a little research. I discovered that it's a time to clean, especially all the statues and amulets of Buddha. That's where the water began. Hmm, how things grow.

Now get out there and have a Wacky Wednesday.



"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed
by the things you didn't do than by the ones you did. So
throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor.
Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover."
~Mark Twain

Gettin' Funky, Thai Style