Friday, May 29, 2009

Friday Funnies


It was another beautiful day in Chiang Rai. Hot, humid, the same old dance but without air or a fan. Some things got fixed and some stayed the same, after repairs. Hmm.

I think a record was set on the number of responses to "Three Times a Lady" by The Commadores. It was also covered by Kenny Rogers among the many.

For the weekend see if you know this one: "I'm __ __ __ where the rain gets in, and stops my mind from wandering where it will go..." Clues: Four guys, I can relate, easy as pie. OK, go for it.

It all started last night. The rain came in a mild fashion. There were no high winds so we were not on 'alert', just enjoying the sound of it. Then a sound from within got our attention. A very slow single drip, drip, drip coming from the ceiling of the closet. What? We knew that Wit (handy guy) was coming over to work on a wall light so we'd have him look into it.

When Wit arrived this morning we had him start with the 'drip'. Apparently one of the roof tiles had shifted during the last windstorm and was letting a bit of water inside. At least it wasn't a gapping hole. After the roof repair we wanted him to fix a ceiling light that didn't work. I'd changed the bulb and nothing happened. Here's where lack of language can really be a barrier. Wit somehow didn't get the fact that the socket was bad. He decided to test it with his screwdriver and all the power went out. He had to carry the tall ladder down the stairs, reset the circuits, carry the ladder back up and try and figure out what went wrong. This kept happening until we were ready to just let the light be dead. He replace a switch and something else and still no light. Oh, and power was off for long periods in the middle of the day. This was not cool at all. (Ha) Oh well, the roof got fixed and that was the most important part.

This afternoon we had a visit from Ghan. She does alterations on clothes and she brought some things she'd been working on. One of the things she finished was a waist bag I had her re-create for me. I have a couple of these bags made with colorful stitching from the Hill Tribes but I wanted one in all black. It has a big pocket on each side for carrying things. I can wear it with anything and not clash.

Tonight we got big rain. We're on a break (Ha) right now. It would be a perfect time to take Daku out, but he's sleeping. Last night he didn't want to go downstairs when it was his bed time. We decided to let him sleep upstairs in the bedroom. This is big because he's usually kept in the bathroom if he stays. He slept until 5a.m. Then he was all wide awake, sticking his nose in the bed and wanting to go out. I took him down and brought him back and he was cool until 6. Then I took him to the kitchen to wait for Boot and BamBam. We're going to try it again tonight. The ultimate goal was to have a dog that stayed with us at night. He's still pretty young, but if it works it's even better that the pattern begin now.

We have a rainy weekend ahead. Hope yours is dry. Have a Wonderful WeekEnd. Oh yeah, there's 'Funnies'.


A lesson about blood flow and circulation

A teacher was giving a lesson on the circulation of the blood. Trying to make the matter clearer, he said: "Now, students, if I stood on my head the blood, as you know, would run into it, and I should turn red in the face."

"Yes, sir," the boys said.

"Then why is it that while I am standing upright in the ordinary position the blood doesn't run into my feet?"

A little fellow shouted, "'It's because yer feet ain't empty."

Gettin' Funky, Thai Style

Thursday, May 28, 2009



Our little car got it's first service adventure, the heat and humidity continued and the forecast calls for rain.

I knew you had it in you. The mail has been pouring in on this one. This popular song is from '78, it's a ballad.
"You're once, twice, __ __ __ __, and I love you..." Hint: See, I told you there was counting. Oh, the big giveaway: it's a song about a lady.

This morning we got a call from Toyota informing us that it had been one month since we got the car and it was time for its first service/check-up. They set an appointment for 2pm. While I was on my way there they called me again to remind me. When I pulled into the parking stall a young woman came up to the car and knew who I was. I was duly impressed. While I was sitting with the service counselor (that's what they're called) I asked them if they could remove some numbers that were on the windshield. There are six vertical rows of numbers that become very distracting while driving. I knew they weren't supposed to be there. Even after they brought over a young man who spoke a little English it was still not clear. We went back to the service area and I showed them what I was talking about. They finally got it. I had to wait for about an hour and a half but when I got the car the numbers were gone and it had been washed.

While I was waiting for the car I hung out in the 'resting area' which I've described before. I listened to music on my phone and watched the Thai version of the Emmy's and then a soap opera. There were refreshments and magazines and the whole thing was very comfortable. Tye and her husband Pong came to the house to visit Lisa while I was at Toyota. When Lisa told them where I was they didn't understand. It seems that the word is pronounced differently. It's not Toyota, it's Toyo-Tah, with the accent on the last syllable. OK then.

If you've ever had a fantasy about racing through the streets with red and blue lights flashing on the roof of your car and a siren wailing then you should come to Chiang Rai and join a Rescue Club. There are these civilian clubs where the guys drive pick-ups with small campers on the back. They usually congregate at designated spots and listen to emergency radio channels and even have a hotline number. They are sometimes the first responders to everything from traffic accidents to floods. They actually transport people to the hospital if an ambulance can't get there soon enough. Just think about it. Hmm.

The 'Ladder Guys' were out in force today. These men have big carts with a variety of aluminum ladders and they pull these things all over town. I saw three of them today, which is rare. Must be time to do things up high.

Our favorite 'football' team, Manchester United, lost to Barcelona in the European Championship. Oh well, we like Barcelona too. It was a 2-0 shutout and I think a lot of people were very disappointed. That's sports. You know life has changed for us when we're into soccer/football and not up on what's happening in the NBA, MLB, or the NFL. Hmm.

Have a Thrilling Thursday.


"I was brought up to believe that
how I saw myself was more
important than how others saw me."
~Anwar El-Sadat

Gettin' Funky, Thai Style

Wednesday, May 27, 2009



Today was cooler but humid so the comfort level didn't change. I went for a swim and never got dry and Daku is taller.

Only a few of you got "Stuck In The Middle With You", by Stealers Wheels. It's OK 'cause it was a long shot. One of the writer/members of the band was Gerry Rafferty who went on to have a hit with "Baker Street".
Now it's time for an easy one. You ought to know this one from the late '70's. Follow the clues and you'll win.
"Thanks for the times that you've given me, the memories are all in my mind. And now that we've come to the end of our rainbow there's something I must say out loud..." Clue: The name of the band is a rank you'd find on a ship, the song does some counting, and Eddie Murphy did a wonderful parody back in the SNL days.

Today we had to call the air/con guy to come check on our bedroom unit. Just when it gets really hot, the thing doesn't get as cold as it should. Still gets cool, but not quite enough. My guess is that it needs more 'cold juice'. (Ha)

Isn't it ironic that the extremes of temps would go all crazy. A month or so ago I was complaining about the pool being too cold. Now it's like swimming in a tropical lagoon. Today it was 92 degrees. Bath time. That should give you an indication of how hot it's been around here. After my swim and shower today, I had to keep a towel handy because of the humidity. I could have sworn I'd dried off, but by the time I got upstairs my face was dripping.

The dogs have the right idea. Sleep through it. Daku sleeps a lot during the day because he's growing so much. He eats, takes a nap, plays a bit, naps, eats... His back is almost the same height as BamBam's and they're nine months apart. By the time he's five months old he'll be bigger than her. When will it end? We wanted a big dog and we got one. Both dogs are hanging out with us this evening and they finally surrendered to the fact that they were tired. The room is quiet. Shhh.

Well, I guess you'd better get out there and have a Wacky Wednesday.


"Time is like a river - it flows by and doesn't return."
~Chinese Proverb

Gettin' Funky, Thai Style

Tuesday, May 26, 2009



It was another hot day in Chiang Rai. We stayed out of most of it. There was a helmet crackdown (excuse the unintentional play on words) and lots of 'night cruising'. What?

Well, at least two of you knew the song. I don't really want to stump you, just challenge you. This may help:
"Clowns to the left of me, jokers to the right, here I am __ __ __ __ __ __." Clues: This tune was a hit in '72 and has had many covers. One of them by a Serbian Rock band called Cactus Jack. I know you've heard of them. (Ha) One of the writers of the song went on to have a solo career. If you get stuck, write me. Hmm.

With all the hot weather, many motorbike riders are opting to ride with the wind in their hair. This has given the police a new stream of revenue as they set up 'inspection points' in unexpected spots all over town. They're catching riders on blind corners, narrow access roads and any place where they can't be spotted early for a U-turn. Very clever.

This evening I went down to the Night Bazaar to meet with Paradorn, the artist that will be in the show with Lisa. On my way into town I noticed many small families out cruising on their bikes, three and four to a bike. They were out enjoying the relative cool of the evening.

Speaking of families, with our daily visits to the hospital I've had an opportunity to make many unscientific observations. When a Thai family member has to go to the hospital, often everybody goes. Especially if it's a senior member of the family. Yesterday in order to get to the treatment room where Lisa was taken, we had to pass a hallway for intensive care. In the 'lobby' of that unit there were two rows of chairs and behind that a large open space of bare floor. On the floor there were several families with blankets spread out. They had food and beverages and were just camping out. Watching the unity of these families is heartwarming.

Tonight I set up some speakers in the bedroom and put on some music. Daku is really into sound and seems to love music. He just sat there, right in the middle and listened. He reminded me of the dog on the old R.C.A. logo: "His master's voice'. Who remembers that?

It's time for Happy Tuesday.


"Don't let yesterday use up too much of today."
~Native American Proverb

Gettin' Funky, Thai Style

Monday, May 25, 2009



Hot is the best way to describe the weather here over the weekend. Yes, everybody's talking about the weather. We got a gift with our Sunday lunch, and Lisa did more Chiang Rai driving.

I'm surprised that I didn't hear from more of you with regards to the weekend song. It was so easy. The song was "Land of a Thousand Dances" by Wilson Pickett. Oh now you remember. Here's another stumper for you:
"Well I don't know why I came here tonight I got the feeling that something ain't right I'm so scared in case I fall off my chair..." Clues: If you get stuck, tomorrow's clue may help. The group had an odd name. Hmm.

Over the weekend Lisa finished another painting in her 'Dancers in Nature' series. She talked to the gallery owner about her show in August and discovered that we have some work to do besides her art. There's nothing like 'art business' to open ones eyes. There's a catalog that has to be produced and it's our responsibility. Also, the show needs a title. Time to put on the other creative hats and get busy.

Sunday we did our usual lunch at Black Canyon. During the course of our meal we heard some music that we really liked. It was an American artist and we wanted to know who it was. I asked the manager and she told me his name but I was having trouble understanding her. She wrote it down and it was Jason Mraz. I've heard him but never had any of his music. Later, when we asked for our 'Check Bin' a server brought it and she came to the table with a copy of the CD. She had gone to the back and burned it while we finished our lunch. I love it.

Earlier Sunday morning we had to go to the hospital for Lisa's bandage change. This time she drove us. She's getting more comfortable with the quirkiness of the local traffic. A friend wrote and asked a very interesting question: "Is a different part of the brain being used since you're driving on the other side of the car on the other side of the road?" Sometimes it feels like that. Hmm, there's a study for some courageous scientist.

Today we went back to Overbrook for a 'Toe check' and it didn't look so good. After much waiting, she was taken to the second floor to her doctors office and he had to remove the rest of the nail on her big toe. Then he gave her the instructions he thought he'd given her in the beginning. Limited walking, plenty of rest and no more ballet lessons. This came on the eve of what was to be a new adventure. Tye and three other mothers had rented a space for Lisa to teach their daughters. There were to be two lessons a week. Now the whole thing has to be put on hold until we return from America in July. Bummer. The discomfort is waning and the spirits are lifting. Everything will be alright so there's nothing to worry about. I'll get a good workout running the stairs and Daku has taken to lying beside her on the floor.

Have a Great Week and for those of you in the U.S., have a pleasant Memorial Day.


"If I try to be like him,
Who will be like me?"
~Yiddish proverb

Gettin' Funky, Thai Style

Friday, May 22, 2009

Friday Funnies


It was another postcard day here in Chiang Rai. Blue sky with some fluffy white clouds. Did I just say 'fluffy'? Repairs were made and we braved downtown on a Friday afternoon.

It was bound to happen. It was just a matter of time before things broke down and you didn't know what I was talking about. I think the 'no Google' may have set a few of you back. (Ha) Leveled the playing field. The song was "Nature Boy". The artist was Nat 'King' Cole and the film was The Boy With Green Hair. This is a classic recording of the tune and the film will blow your mind. I'll let you read about it and maybe we can find it online.

For the weekend, everyone gets a break from the taskmaster. This song has probably been covered at least a
thousand times. Oh, it's about dancing or something: "Naaa, na na na naaa, na na na naaa na na na na na naaa, na na na naaa..." Hint: Ha, you expect a hint after all that info? Another song where the title is not in the lyric.

We have a new repair guy now. He's the same man who fixed our sink problem. Boot interrogated him and found out he can do lots of things. Today he fixed the front gate and did the heroic deed of climbing up into the roof to check on 'The Thing'. Of course, he found nothing. He also found that we hadn't lost a roof tile, it was probably a left over piece that blew off in the high winds. We slept downstairs last night because the noise was too creepy. That was a bit of an adventure for the dogs. They've wandered into the guest room, but never hung out there. It wasn't bad, but it wasn't our room. Tonight we'll start off upstairs again and see what unfolds.

On Fridays the traffic starts to pick up steam a little after 3pm. We were down on the main drag and it was really getting busy. On our way home we saw what may have been a major contributor. There is a large Wat (temple) in the north east part of town. We passed in front of it and discovered it was the staging area for a big parade. There were at least 75 to 100 women dressed in traditional Thai suits, all shades of lavendar. There were three floats that we saw, and a couple of drum-corps units. We don't know the occasion for the celebration, but it was a big deal. The crosstown traffic going in the direction of the wat was bumper-to-bumper and not moving much. If I can find out what it was, I will let you know.

Here's a bit of information you can drop at your next dull gathering: The hardware stores in Chiang Rai are all run by women. There are men who work there, but the bosses are women and the sales people are women. Very interesting.

And finally, a Daku story. We got up at the usual time this morning and BamBam was outside and Daku was in the kitchen. Lisa entered the kitchen and Daku did his usual 'I'm so hungry/Good morning dance' around her feet. She prepared his breakfast and as he was gobbling it down, she realized that he and BamBam had already had breakfast. Two meals in fifteen minutes? No problem. Needless to say, he got small lunch.

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


You know how most packages say "Open here". What is the protocol if the package says, "Open somewhere else"?

Why are they called buildings, when they're already finished? Shouldn't they be called builts?

Why are they called apartments, when they're all stuck together?

Why do people without a watch look at their wrist when you ask them what time it is?

If at first you do succeed, try not to look astonished.

Gettin' Funky, Thai Style

Thursday, May 21, 2009



It's been a beautiful day here in Chiang Rai. It was 91 at the airport, no rain in sight and it's been a mellow day.

I got some correct answers regarding the song title, but homework (memory mining) is needed on the artist.
"And while we spoke of many things, fools and kings this he said to me: 'The greatest thing you'll ever learn is just to love and be loved in return'". Clue: The boy was a natural. The year was 1948. Many covers so be careful. Movie had a different title than the song. Singer played piano, sang, and had a T.V. show at one time. Technology allowed him to do a duet with his daughter. Hmm.

This morning I ran some errands. There's a place downtown that we call the 'drug store'. It's actually a small, over-stuffed warehouse for everything medical. There's so much stuff in the place that it's a wonder they know where anything is, but they know and they find it. One time a doctor told us to get what we needed there instead of waiting at the hospital pharmacy. Anyway, I stopped there for a few things and then got the car washed. It was way overdue. With all the rain we've had, it was filthy. What a joy to see it all shiny in the sunlight. Now if I can just avoid the puddles. Oh, there's one of those words that doesn't come out the same in English. In Thai speak it would be pronounced 'puddin'. Now you know.

Last night we heard a noise that sounded like something metallic being struck. I went out with my flashlight and walked the grounds but saw nothing. Then we realized it was coming from inside, above the ceiling. Hmm, then we heard little feet and got concerned. Whatever it was, it was moving and there was no way to deal with it. Pretty freaky. We saw a broken tile on the deck after the big storm and figured that was how the 'thing' got into the house. We haven't heard it tonight, so far. I'm hoping it found it's way out in the daylight.

Lately Daku has discovered his sense of smell. He has become acutely aware of everything and whenever he's outside he has his nose to the ground, sniffing anything in his path. He also locks in on smells in the air. If the neighbors are cooking, he knows. Another thing he does now is hide things from BamBam. Last week he had a rawhide bone and he took it and hid it behind a floor lamp until he was ready for it again. BamBam and Daku have this thing where they'll trade treats. They'll be chewing away and just get up and switch places. They're quite a pair. Daku is almost as big as BamBam and he's only 4 months old (on the 24th). Gonna be a big dog.

You might want to figure out how to program your VCR or TiVo for the Monaco GP this weekend. It's always a star-studded event and a very exciting race.

If you're in America, have a Cool Thursday. If you're in New Zealand, have a Great Friday.


"There will come a time when you believe everything is finished.
That will be the beginning."
~Louis L'Amour

Gettin' Funky, Thai Style

Wednesday, May 20, 2009



A day of sunshine. A day for dog washing. A day for preventative measures. Another beautiful day in Chiang Rai.

The song we were pondering was The Rolling Stones' "19th Nervous Breakdown". Now you knew that didn't you?
Our next musical adventure is a very old song that has been covered for years by many singers. You know the rules: Give me the title and the original artist. Bonus points if you can tell me the movie it was featured in.
"There was a boy, a very strange enchanted boy. They say he wandered very far, very far over land and sea..."
Hint: It's about a boy. (Ha) The singer was unforgettable. The movie was deep. I saw it as a boy, so you know it's old. Oh, no Google.

Yes, it's true. The sun shone all day. It was a wonderful thing. There were clouds, but nothing serious. We made what may have been our last morning hospital visit for awhile. When we returned, the dogs got overdue baths. They need to be able to run around outside and dry off and with all the rain, it hasn't been possible. They were smelling like dogs. (Ha)

This afternoon Lisa was reading over our house insurance policy and found a couple of interesting items. If we had an elephant, it would be covered. I think that's brilliant. Also, in the event that a "space ship" falls on the house, we're covered. That is, unless we tell them it's OK to land and they hit the house. Then we're not covered. Hmm.

I went out and scoured the hardware stores in search of some kind of weather stripping for the studio door. The answer from everyone was 'no have'. There was a piece they all tried to sell me but it was made to keep out wind and bugs. Water would flow right through. In desperation, I realized that all I needed was a strip of thick rubber. I started my new search at an industrial type store and they had rolls of what I needed. It took some doing to explain what I wanted and why, but I got the point across. I cut it to fit and glued it to the outside of the door. The handyman is in the house.

It's time for Wacky Wednesday.


"If you want to feel rich, just count all of the things you have that money can't buy.

Gettin' Funky, Thai Style

Tuesday, May 19, 2009



Tonight "Storm of the Century II", the story of wind and rain. We also had another 'First' in our Thai experience and we continue to be amazed.

I guess there are some songs that just slip by the memory. I did get a few responses to this one. Try this line:
"You better stop, look around, here it comes, here it comes, here it comes, here it comes, here it comes your __ __ __" Clue: When it gets to the point where you just can't take it anymore and something snaps. Easy one.

So, Sunday we went to the Night Bazaar for dinner, knowing it might rain. The restaurant is upstairs and looks out over one of the vendor areas. We usually watch as they set up for the evening. Well, it began to rain just as we finished eating. The wind started blowing the rain and we just watched from our perch. When it finally subsided we made a dash for the car and home.

Today Boot was not feeling well so we went out and bought our lunch. We went to a noodle shop where Sutheera got lunch for Lisa once. We've seen people buying prepared food and taking it home in plastic bags (rather than foam containers) but we'd never done it. We ordered a chicken noodle soup and all the ingredients are put in bags, and the tops are twisted and then wrapped with a rubber-band. Now we know. Oh, the food was really good.

This evening we went to Big C for dinner. They have a large indoor parking area and we figured that if it rained, we could stay dry. We had a nice dinner and picked up a few things. On the way home we noticed that the curve in the road by the hospital was flooded again. This was a sure sign that it had rained hard while we were eating. Then we saw tree parts scattered all over the road.

Turning on to Maefahluang Road, which the main road toward our house, it was dark. Another sign that a big storm had been through. The lights on the bridge were out and the entire area was in darkness. When we turned onto our street, we couldn't see our house. That's a freaky feeling. Of course this meant that the gate would not be responding to the remote. Fortunately Boot was home so I didn't have to climb over the gate to unlock it. Boot told us the wind was blowing so hard she couldn't leave her apartment. Our neighbors had things flying around their yard and we had a few chairs in the wrong place.

Just as we drove into the car port the lights came on. Perfect timing. We went in to find water had entered the house in the dinning room and both of our studios. My room was pretty bad and it took some time to mop up. Now we wait to see what sort of damage it did to the laminate flooring. Our insurance covers water damage so it's going to be OK. I have to do some serious weather proofing in the meantime.

In the 'Still being amazed' department, today we saw a motorbike at the noodle shop and the owner had inserted CDs into the spokes. Didn't get to see it moving, but I'll bet it's a prism light show when the sun hits it. Pictures coming soon.

Have a Happy Tuesday.



"You can make your world so much larger
simply by acknowledging everyone else's."
~Jeanne Marie Laskas

Gettin' Funky, Thai Style

Monday, May 18, 2009



I'm happy to report that most of the water drama is under control. The pool is crystal clear and the kitchen sink is also clear. The only drama left is beyond my control. The water from the sky is still falling.

The weekend song was only recognized by Lisa and Barry. It was "Express Yourself" by Charles Wright and the Watts 103rd St. Rhythm Band. Hmm, guess you missed 1970. I'm sure you know this: "You're the kind of person you meet At certain dismal dull affairs Center of a crowd, talking much too loud Running up and down the stairs..." Hint: There's a number in the title and it came from across the pond in '66.

There is bitter irony in the pool being clean and clear. Neither one of us can swim right now since we have to keep our injuries dry. Today there was no rain and the water was perfect. A big sigh and an 'Oh well' was all I could come up with.

Two men spent the whole day reconstructing the plumbing under the sink and now there are no clogs and no leaks. No more emptying dish pans outside and mopping up water. The interesting thing is that there apparently is no such thing as a plumber in these parts. There are people who know how to work on pipes. It's all PVC tubing and it is an art the way they work with it. Having the workers in the kitchen all day really threw the dogs for a loop. They usually spend time in the kitchen either napping or following Boot around. We had them upstairs most of the time and we'd take them out for walks and necessities. Now they're just hanging out with us and it's great.

This morning I had to have a tooth pulled. The last of the dental work for awhile. In another month or two I'll have a partial bridge made so I can use my whole mouth. Then I can finish my meals with everybody else. (Ha)

I can hear thunder in the background and we saw some major lightning when we took the dogs out. It's going to rain tonight but it was expected. The fields around the house are still very wet and we can see signs of new life in the furrows. Can't tell what it is yet but we're keeping a close eye on it.

Oh yeah, we read about the earthquake in L.A. Hang in there and have a Great Week.



"Do what you can, with what you have, where you are."


Gettin' Funky, Thai Style

Friday, May 15, 2009

Friday Funnies


I suppose one could say we've entered the 'Rainy Season' here in Thailand. Rain every day. Rain every night. Oh, there's sunshine. There's always sunshine, but mostly clouds and rain. Doesn't that sound like fun? Or Seattle?

Aloha y'all. The song was "Hawaiian Wedding Song" ("Ke Kali Nei Au") and it was made famous by Andy Williams in 1959. The original song was written in 1926 by Charles E. King. The English lyrics are by Al Hoffman and Dick Manning. This song has an interesting history and if you'd like to know more about it, write me and I'll send it.

For the weekend we're going to visit a song that I've given you before. Maybe you'll remember this time:
"It’s not what you look like, when you’re doin' what you’re doin'. It’s what you’re doin' when you’re doin' what you look like you’re doin'! __ __ " Hint: This tune could be the anthem for 'Social Networking' sites like Facebook. The hook is two words and it was an early L.A. Funk record. You need to have this on your iPods.

So, I totally forgot to tell you about my little 'boo boo'. I was out in the yard with BamBam earlier this week and I tripped on the edge of the terazzo and skinned my knee. Being the brave one, I let Lisa clean it up but knew I didn't need to go to the hospital. It was doing pretty good until the other day when I had that wonderful swim. Not good for the knee. Today I surrendered myself to the doctor and it's going to be just fine. Now we have the right kind of bandage and stuff to keep it clean. We're making friends at the hospital with our daily visits. The nurses make sure we're taken care of and it's nice.

This afternoon I made a Big C run while Lisa painted. Odds and ends and a check on her phone that was misbehaving. Everyone must have waited for the break in the rain to come out and shop. The place was buzzing, but I had a mental list and I knew where everything was so it was easy. Getting to be an old hand at this.

Today they took down the multicolored ferris wheel across the river. We could see it from our kitchen window and it was a real treat. The traffic flow is back to normal and that's a relief. The entrance to the fairgrounds is like a 'Y' and many drivers cross the middle line in spite of on-coming traffic. Hmm, I wonder what would happen if there was "Driver's Ed."? They'd have to debunk the Law of Perpetual Motion and that would upset the local universe. (Ha) Seriously, it's something I'll have to document on film.

Our house-guests will be leaving on the early flight in the morning. They'll fly to Bangkok and then make their way south to Rayong. We didn't realize that this was the first time Yongsukh had ever flown and his first visit to Chiang Rai. He and his friend Joh went out this afternoon and walked into town, I think. They mostly stay in their room unless they're eating. Today Boot and Yongsukh hung out on the patio and had a long talk. He gave Lisa and me Buddha pendants from his temple in Rayong. I'm hoping that when he comes to study next year we can spend some time together. Maybe my Thai will be better next year and we can communicate.

Well, look at the time. It's time for the 'Funnies' courtesy of our friend Lisa in Nevada.

Have a Wonderfilled WeekEnd.


Wanda's dishwasher quit working so she called in a repairman.
Since she had to go to work the next day, she told the repairman,
'I'll leave the key under the mat.
Fix the dishwasher, leave the bill on the counter, and I'll mail you a check.
Oh, by the way don't worry about my dog Spike. He won't bother you.
But, whatever you do, do NOT, under ANY circumstances, talk to my parrot!'


When the repairman arrived at Wanda's apartment,

he discovered the biggest, meanest looking dog he has ever seen.

But, just as she had said, the dog just lay there on the carpet

watching the repairman go about his work.

The parrot, however, drove him nuts the whole time with his incessant yelling,
cursing and name calling.

Finally the repairman couldn't contain himself any longer and yelled,

'Shut up, you stupid, ugly bird!'

To which the parrot replied, 'Get him Spike!'

Gettin' Funky, Thai Style

Thursday, May 14, 2009



This has been 'Water Drama Day'. There was water from the sky, water from the sinks and of course, water in the pool. What did we do with all this water? Read on.

I'm impressed with the amount of mail I got on the first day of this song. You should have no problem after this:
"This is the moment of sweet aloha. I will love you longer than forever, promise me that you will leave me never..."
Clues: The location, which is in the title, should be a snap. What do you think is happening? Big hit in '59. Hmm.

This morning we had a major downpour around 11am. Johan and Cheurn had come earlier to install the portable pump/filter combo to start cleaning the water. The rain finally let up but continued off and on throughout the day. Right now, at 8:30pm it's starting up again with thunder and lightning. May be another wet night. The forecast is for rain through Tuesday.

We've been having a problem with both of our kitchen sinks. We were under the impression that they were leaking. A man was supposed to come several days ago to fix it but never showed. Today he came and announced that we were having a problem with our sewage system. Great. There are underground tanks on both sides of the house that are supposed to clean the water and then allow it to seep into the ground. Instead, the water is seeping into the kitchen. I won't go into the details of what happened next but we're hopefully going to get it cleared up on Monday. That means three days of bailing water. See, 'water drama'.

With all that's going on with the sinks we needed some better containment so we went to one of the 'everything' stores in the market and got two big tubs so we can catch it before it hits the floor. Trying hard to keep a calm, cool head but it's not always easy.

It's the last night of the Expo across the river and we never got there. Tonight the traffic was streaming in, rain and all. Throw a party on the river and everybody comes.

All of the fields surrounding the house have been plowed, planted and watered so now we'll just wait to see what comes up. Probably corn, but maybe not. In light of what happened with the last planting it may be something else. What ever it is, it will be nice to watch it grow. At least it's not houses. (Ha)

Have a Terrific Thursday.


"Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the
moments that take our breath away."

Gettin' Funky, Thai Style

Wednesday, May 13, 2009



This turned out to be a very busy day. There was the road trip, and pool guys. There were monks to deliver, and once again murky waters from the mystery pool.

It was like pulling teeth but we all got on the same page with the song. "Monday, Monday" by The Mamas and Papas, and now you wish it wasn't in your head. Fear not. There's another song coming. (Ha) This one goes out to Kathie, who's going to the place this song was written for. "This is the moment I've waited for. I can hear my heart singing. Soon bells will be ringing..." Clues: The title is not in the song but the place is mentioned. Picture an island and you might be close.

We were awakened early this morning by BamBam's barking. Usually we get up before she does but things are a little different these days. Our house guests get up at 5:30 which meant Boot got up early, which meant Bambam was up early. It all worked out and we managed to go back to bed. Tomorrow it will be different. Boot will feed the dogs and hopefully we will wake up when it's time to wake up. (555)

We hit the road a little behind schedule, but it didn't matter. The car drove very smoothly on the highway. At one point we were cruising along at 110 and it felt like 60. Oh, that's kilometers per hour. (Ha) I did push it up to 125 just to see how stable it is and it passed the test. We handled our affairs at immigration without a hitch and headed back to Chiang Rai. On the way to Mae Sai we had noticed signs for coffee along the road. We made a stop on the way back to check the place out. It was a very small, cozy indoor/outdoor place by a stream right next to the road. The coffee was great and the vibe was relaxing. I took a few pictures that I'll have to post.

It turns out that Yongsakh (correct spelling) and his friend are just visiting Chiang Rai. Next year he will be moving here to study. So we have two monks staying with us for a few days. This afternoon we took them to
Wat Phra Singh where Yongsakh will be living next year.

The morning visit from the pool guys yielded what looked like an old fish pond. A call and a visit from Johan in the afternoon left us both scratching our heads. Tomorrow he'll bring a portable filter to clean up the water and then he and Khun Cheurn will try and figure out what's going on. Meanwhile, the mystery pool is living up to it's name. Hmm.

I think it must be Wacky Wednesday.


"Seek direction from one who's already there."
~Old Zulu Saying

Gettin' Funky, Thai Style

Tuesday, May 12, 2009



It was a 'stay at home' kind of day. Not much happened besides the usual dog stuff, an afternoon dip and a reality of nature that was hard to take.

Looks like a few of you really know your 'oldies'. It's a simple title that uses the same word twice. Not today.
"Every other day, every other day, every other day of the week is fine, yeah. But whenever __ comes, but whenever __ comes you can find me cryin' all of the time." Hint: Double the blank and you've got it. Yesterday's clue should have nailed it for you.

We had another rain storm last night. The nice thing about them is that they last about an hour and then blow away. The yard was soggy this morning so that means we won't have to water for quite awhile. Especially considering the fact that this is supposed to happen for the rest of the week. Hmm, maybe I'll get my lake after all. (Ha)

In the newly devised scale of dog years vs human years BamBam is 15 and Daku is about 6. That explains quite a bit. Bam can be very cooperative at times and then just turn left on you and be a perfect pain. Daku is "cute boy" one minute and Mr. Mischief the next. Trying to keep all this in perspective can be a chore sometimes. As Thai dogs go, they have a very good life and this is just a period of 'adjustment' for them. When they get a little older, they'll come when called and they won't want to eat everything in the yard. (Oh really?)

I'm totally getting over feeling guilty for some of the luxuries we're enjoying at this time in our lives. The idea of walking out of the guest room door and stepping into the pool is the way I envisioned my life. Here it is and I'm digging it. Not saying that this is for everyone, but it's OK to want your life to be a certain way. No sense in denying desire. (don't get carried away with that one)

While we were eating dinner Boot was outside with the dogs. This has become an evening ritual. She sits on one of the rocks while they run and play. I heard them come around to the back and turned my head to notice Boot trying to get something out of the pool. A baby bird had fallen from a nest in our roof. It was upsetting to all of us. There is a feeling of total helplessness.

Tomorrow we go to Mae Sai for our visa check-in. It will be our first road trip in the Vios. I'm getting a little excited about cruising up the Super Highway instead of bouncing.

I was just writing "In the next couple of days Boot's brother will be moving to Chiang Rai." Then Boot called upstairs and announced that her brother, Yongsahk, was at the airport. He's been a monk for 12 years and has transfered to Chiang Rai to study at the temple near our house. We just got back from picking him and another monk up and Boot is helping them get settled in the guest room for the night. They're also having a reunion since they haven't seen each other in many years. Their smiles said it all.

One adventure after another. Now it's time for Happy Tuesday.


"We come equipped with everything we need to experience a
powerful life full of joy, incredible passion, and profound peace.
The difficult part is giving ourselves permission to live it."
~Deborah Rosado Shaw

Gettin' Funky, Thai Style

Monday, May 11, 2009



It's been quite a weekend. We got rain, air, and joy from the radio. We also watched Formula One in Spain from the U.S. and Thailand at the same time. Whew.

The weekend song was "No Fair At All" by The Association. Now do you remember? Let's start with an easy one:
"__ __, so good to me, __ __, it was all I hoped it would be..." Clues: Someone is sad on a certain day of the week. Part of the group name was celebrated in America on Sunday. Easy.

You may recall that we bought a new air-conditioner for Lisa's studio. It couldn't be installed because of the rain last week and the fact that there was some necessary roof climbing. Well, they came on Saturday and started the installation. The two young men worked hard all day and got most of the work done. The only problem was, the air wasn't coming out as cold as it should have. They returned on Sunday to finish the kitchen install and put more freon in the studio unit. By the end of the day we had cold air coming out of both units. Lisa's happy, the dogs are happy, and so is the dining room. (Ha)

Saturday evening we went to dinner at Mu Mai with Johan, Noy and Ronald. We had a great time. The table was almost too small for all the food that was ordered but we managed. It was nice to spend time getting to know Ronald. He started his journey back to Holland today. We hope to see him again.

Saturday night we had a big storm that was good. Everything got watered and of course the dogs loved the puddles.

Through the wonders of modern technology we were able to watch a live broadcast of the F1 race on SpeedTV (love the commentary) using Slingbox, and also on our TV from the True Sport Channel here in Thailand. We do that because we don't always get a continuos signal from the States. Anyway, it was very exciting and we'll be right there with front row seats again in two weeks for the Monaco GP.

Today we went into town and Lisa traded some books she'd read for some new ones. Then we had coffee and visited with Jen and the boys. They were busy converting the inventory at the tractor store to a digital system. Giant undertaking but worth it in the long run.

Lisa's toe is doing just fine and she was able to give Napa a ballet lesson this afternoon. Oh, the radio reference has to do with the sound system in the new car. We have six stations programed in and we have been listening to some really cool Thai music. Modern music with lots of Western influence. The Pop/Rock music scene here has a lot of variety. My favorite station, which I've mentioned before, is 93FM Fat Radio. The call letters in Thai sound like 'Gow Gow Sip Sam'. Very cool.

Have a Great Week.


"We don't receive wisdom;
we must discover it for ourselves after a journey
that no one can take for us or spare us."

Gettin' Funky, Thai Style

Friday, May 8, 2009

Friday Funnies


Another hot day over here. Reportedly 97 degrees. An expo moved in across the river and the Formula One gang moved into Barcelona. Big weekend coming up. What about you?

Thanks for tuning in to radio T-Funk. That was Eric Burdon and The Animals with "Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood". This weekend you get to sing this one: "I've never seen this side of you before Till now...after all the time we spent together, just doesn't seem fair __ __ __ __" Clue: In association with the concept of good-will, I've practically given this one to you. Hmm, and there was a clue in there. (Ha)

Everybody's talkin' about the weather. We know it's hot when the people who have lived here all their lives say it's hot. I started to use the term locals, but it struck me that we are them. Or is it them are us? Anyway, we're local and I'm here to tell you that it's hot.

Today was the opening day of the Mekong River Export Expo. Merchants from various provinces in the region will be showing their wares. At least this is what we've been led to believe. We'll be going one day next week. Meanwhile there's a party going on and we'll have a week of thumping bass and fireworks every evening. We don't usually hear a thing once we close up the bedroom. Let them play all night.

It would appear that I'm into two sports. Formula One has been in my life for quite a while but the latest is a surprise. I can't believe that I know the teams in the European Football final and I have a favorite. Yes, it's true, the late night pacifier has turned into something I'm interested in. We'll be rooting for Manchester United, although we also like Barcelona. As far as F1 goes, I used to be a dedicated Ferrari fan but this year has been a let down. I still love the Prancing Horse, but this season I'm digging the new kids at Braun GP. You really should watch a race or two.

Right now there's a full moon in the east and a distant lightning storm in the west. The lightning is behind some very high clouds and it's looking like a light show of gigantic proportions.

Have a Wonderful WeekEnd and enjoy a few more 'Funnies'.


A man is recovering from surgery when the surgical nurse appears and asks him how he is feeling. 
'I'm O. K. but I didn't like the four letter-words the doctor used in surgery,' he answered. 
'What did he say,' asked the nurse.. 

A doctor examining a woman who had been rushed to the Emergency Room, took the husband aside, and said, 'I don't like the looks of your wife at all.'
'Me neither doc,' said the husband.
'But she's a great cook and really good with the kids.'

Gettin' Funky, Thai Style

Thursday, May 7, 2009



This morning we went to the vet's without the dogs. We had a meeting with an old friend, and I went for a solo swim in warm water. Oh yes, and Daku found his 'voice'.

Nice to know that I can't stump all of you. It really wasn't my intention, just a little challenge. Maybe this will help: "I'm just a soul whose intentions are good. Oh Lord, please __ __ __ __ __." Hint: Sometimes animals are misunderstood by humans. Hmm.

After making our routine visit to the hospital for a dressing change on 'the toe', we went over to Dr. Arnon's to see if BamBam still needed the special food for her skin. We got the word that she can eat 'regular' dog food. Of course one can't go to the vet's without shopping for toys.

While on the subject of dogs, Daku barked twice today. They were little yelps, but definitely barks. They were both directed at BamBam. I think it surprised her as well as us. We knew the day had to come when this would happen and now that it's here I can only imagine how it will sound when he's grown up. He's becoming very affectionate when he's calm. There is still the reality that he's a puppy though.

Our old friend Supat came over after lunch so we could discuss some repairs that still haven't been done. In the course of talking he told us about a house that Yuthana, our contractor, is building. The client doesn't live here, but saw our house on my Flickr site and gave Yuthana approval based on what he saw. They even want the same color. Supat told us that many folks around town call it the 'Chocolate House'. So now it has two names. The first name that it was given was 'Big Brown House'. Looks like we've started something here in Chiang Rai.

We also had a visit from Ghan, who is a seamstress and who has done a lot of work for us. She altered some clothes for Lisa and did a beautiful job. It always feels like she doesn't charge enough for the work she does so we give her a little more. It's a very nice arrangement all around.

Well, that was our day. Hope you have a Fabulous Thursday.


"I am learning to be patient and compassionate with myself
as I gain the courage to be true to myself."
~Shakti Gawain

Gettin' Funky, Thai Style

Wednesday, May 6, 2009



Today the sky was blue with just a few white clouds. None of the dark, rain heavy monsters that have been dumping on us. We spent the morning in the street and the afternoon around the house. A real nice day.

That song that you weren't sure you remembered was "Our House" by Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young from 1969.
"Baby, do you understand me now, sometimes I feel a little mad. But don't you know that no one alive can always be an angel, when things go wrong I seem to feel bad..." Hint: This came from across the pond during the invasion in the '60s. Think about it and tomorrow you may understand.

This morning we went over to the hospital for a bandage change on Lisa's toe. We hadn't noticed the little slip they gave us said 8:00am. When we got there mid morning, the place was packed. After a wait, she got taken care of by a very sweet nurse that set things up so we won't have to wait anymore.

Our next stop was the hair salon so Gope could wash Lisa's hair. No need to try and wrap a bag on the foot when you can have a shampoo/massage/style for $2.82 (including the tip). Amazing Thailand.

Like I said, the rest of the day was pretty laid back. Lisa did some work on her computer, I pondered contact lenses, and wondered why our internet connection was still the same. Oh, it came back, but nothing has changed. Tomorrow I go back to CAT. Watching the news this morning I discovered that yesterday was the 59th anniversary of the coronation of the King and there was much pomp and circumstance in Bangkok. No doubt many businesses were closed for the occasion.

We had a visit late in the afternoon from Johan, his girlfriend Noy, and his son Ronald, who is visiting from Holland. We did some pool things and had a nice time hanging out. We made plans to go to dinner this weekend. BamBam is madly in love with Johan.

Now it's Wacky Wednesday.


"Discovery consists of seeing what everybody has seen
and thinking what nobody has thought."
~Albert von Szent-Gyorgyi

Gettin' Funky, Thai Style

Tuesday, May 5, 2009



Today was a weird one. We lost our tether to the 'outside' world, we visited the hospital, and rain canceled swimming. Oh, and Daku is getting crafty.

I got lots of responses to our first song for the week. It's nice to know certain songs are remembered. It's really an easy one. The chorus should have given it away. "I'll light the fire, you put the flowers in the vase that you bought today..." Hint: An ode to a happy home. Ahhh.

I'm sending this to you from Doi Chaang Coffee in beautiful downtown Chiang Rai. That's because we've been without our internet connection all day and it looks like it won't be on until maybe tomorrow. I went to the CAT offices this morning but the gate was closed. You see, if the systems down, might as well go home. It's better than listening to a bunch of frustrated clients. (that's my take on it) I'm sure you have gone through this yourself, but for us it means that we have no news access and no Google (Ha). We did have access to email through my iPhone and I managed to answer a few messages, but it's not the same.

This afternoon Lisa had minor toenail surgery to deal with an infection. Everyone at the hospital that we have to interact with is always so nice and patient. The doctor was one that we'd seen before. He looks like he just left high school, but he knows his stuff. Not much English, but everything got communicated. She's resting with her foot up and a bandage on her big toe. Ballet had to be canceled for this week and driving will commence at the same time. We have to go to the hospital every morning so they can clean and re-bandage her toe.

Speaking of driving, last night we went out and cruised around. We went over to the Sports Stadium by our old 'hood' so Lisa could get behind the wheel but it was closed. After 9pm the streets are pretty empty so she took the wheel and drove us all the way home, which is across town. Not bad for her first time driving in Thailand. Now we'll try it with a few more cars. I told her that the final exam would be negotiating the downtown market at lunch time. (Ha)

I've been meaning to tell you more dog stories. When BamBam was younger, before we got Daku, we'd noticed Boot talking to her in Thai. BamBam was also following directions from us in English. A few weeks ago we realized that Daku was also responding to both languages. Then one day Boot said something to them and it sounded different. We asked what she said and she told us it wasn't Thai. It was Lanna, with is a language unique to the north and I think is mixed with Lao. So, the dogs are tri-lingual. Hmm. Today Boot came in and told us about Daku hiding a bone from BamBam. After dinner both dogs came into the dining room and Daku had a piece of bone in his mouth. When BamBam left the room he went over to a corner and put the bone behind a lamp. Clever little guy. One more! Daku decided that he wanted to learn to play the Cahn, a wind instrument made from a gourd and bamboo. He kept going over to it and licking it and finally I had to move it. The boy was obsessed.

It's time for Happy Tuesday.


"...meditation is very much like training a puppy. You put the puppy down and say, "Stay." Does the puppy listen?
It gets up and it runs away. You sit the puppy back down again. "Stay." And the puppy runs away over and over again. Sometimes the puppy jumps up, runs over, and pees in the corner or makes some other mess. Our minds are much the same as the puppy, only they create even bigger messes. In training the mind, or the puppy, we have to start over and over again."
~Jack Kornfield, A Path With Heart

Gettin' Funky, Thai Style

Monday, May 4, 2009



The weekend was full of water and anticipation. In the midst of it all, Lisa completed another art piece and another pool mystery may have been solved.

The last song of "Easy Week" was a big success. "I Shot The Sheriff" was the tune and Bob Marley and the Wailers were the original artist, with Eric Clapton being the cover artist. Most of you got the whole package.

This week may find some of these easy for many, but I'm hoping to challenge you just the same. Here's the first:
"__ __ is a very very fine house, with two cats in the yard, life used to be so hard but now it's easy, 'cause of you..." Clues: It a song about a dwelling by a group that was often referred to by their initials. Hmm.

Late Saturday night we had what seemed like the 'Storm of the Century'. We woke up Sunday to a drenched yard. It had rained so hard that we had lakes in the front and back. It drained off without any problem, but it was a lot of water. I had to take Daku out for his morning business and I tried to cover him with a big umbrella but it got him anyway. He didn't seem to like it. He kept stopping and pawing at his nose, trying to wipe the water off. Bambam loves the rain and if given the chance, she'd run around soaking it up.

We got a call from Khun Wimon that our car had arrived and we could pick it up on Monday afternoon. All thought went to that. Oh, the waiting. We arranged for Ty to take us to the dealership to pick it up and act as our interpreter. Today was the big day. We went to the bank early in the afternoon and Bobby, our man at the bank, took his usual good care of us and we got a cashier's check for the amount agreed upon. When we got to Toyota we had to wait while they finished some paper work and got it cleaned up. It turned out that the car was actually going to cost a tiny bit less than we thought. It seems that Wimon was able to knock off part of the cost of the window tint. Nice. After signing a bunch of papers we had our picture taken with the car. Lisa, Wimon and I stood in front of the car holding a giant 'Toyota' key and on the roof of the car was a sign with my name on it. Nothing like a little 'ritual' to complete the deal. Then we got instructions on all the controls and we rolled off the lot.

The car is a 'Vios' and if saying it in English, one would pronounce the 'i' like eye and a long 'o'. In Thai there is no letter 'v' so it's pronounced 'Wee-os'. Got it?

The pool mystery has to do with a sensor that I discovered was not telling the pump that there was enough water in the surge tank. We kept having to add water when it looked like there was enough. Today I gently tugged on the cord and the pump started running. Hmm, can't wait for Johan to return from vacation.

It's 8:50 in the evening here and as soon as I send you this we're going out for a drive while the streets are empty. In the next few days we'll go to the old airport so Lisa can get acquainted with the car and then start driving with 'others' on the streets.

Have a Great Week.


"Live out of your imagination, not your history."
~Stephen Covey

Gettin' Funky, Thai Style

Friday, May 1, 2009

Friday Funnies


It was a Friday of arrivals. First it was the rain, then the garden crew, followed by the air/con crew, and later Napa. A busy day without leaving home. Hmm.

So, we've been humming "Roxanne" by The Police, and some of us have the image of Eddie Murphy in a jail cell with headphones on screaming the song. 'Easy Week' draws to a close with one that everyone should know, I hope:
"__ __ __ __, but I did not shoot the deputy..." Clues: It's an admission of guilt, by a singer who is now a legend around the world. It was made famous by a guitarist who some say is cream of the crop. Just to make it hard, give me the original singer/writer and the artist who made the song famous.

When we woke up this morning it was raining. Not a heavy rain, but light and steady. I assumed, of course, that the garden crew would not be coming. Wrong! What's a little rain when there's work to be done. They showed up at 9am and started in on the weeding and grooming. I was certain that the air/con guys would cancel since a big part of the work is outside, on the roof. Well, they arrived a half an hour early. They looked at the job, we walked around the house and they decided to come back when the roof was dry. I knew that would happen. It's fine, since the weather is cooling with the rain, but we still want it done soon.

The grooming of the yards takes a crew of 6 to 7 workers all day. Today they left around 6pm. We decided that the next time they're scheduled to come we're going to plan a day trip of some kind. The noise level gets a little intense at times with several machines going at the same time. It would be a nice break and a way to visit new parts of the area. Besides, when we get the new car, it will be fun to travel. Hmm.

Napa arrived on time, but this week has been a little different since her mom is not with her. She speaks no English and without Ty to translate some things, the teaching gets difficult. I'll just say that today's lesson was rough on Lisa and was not what she'd planned.

The dogs didn't like the fact that they couldn't have their yard when they wanted it. When they had to go out, it was on leashes since they tend to want to visit with the workers too much. I took Daku out this evening on his leash and we ran. He realized he could take the leash in his mouth and 'run' me. We had to have a little lesson about that. It looks cute when dogs carry their leashes in their mouths but it's not a doggie toy. It's a control device and I intend to maintain control. Daku is going to be way too big to be in control of me. (Ha)

It's time for the 'Funnies'. These are from Cousin Trudye. Have a Mellow WeekEnd.


A little boy went to his father and asked: 'Dad, where did my intelligence come from?'
The father replied: 'Well son, you must have got it from your mother 'cause I still have mine.'
A blonde calls Delta Airlines and asks, 'Can you tell me how long it will take to fly from San Francisco to New York City?'
The agent replies, 'Just a minute.' 'Thank you', the blonde says, and hangs up.
'Mr. Clark, I have reviewed this case very carefully', the divorce court judge said, 'And I've decided to give your wife $775 a week.'
'That's fair your honor, and every now and then I'll try to send her a few bucks myself.'

Gettin' Funky, Thai Style