Friday, October 30, 2009

Friday Funnies


I had a Friday morning runaround, did some banking, and made an appointment. Boot is headed for Rayong, the waterfall structure is done, and we're going to the Night Bazaar for dinner. Hmm.

Glad to see so many memories intact. A bunch of you knew "High-Heeled Sneakers" by Tommy Tucker. He was what you'd call a 'one hit wonder'. His real name is Robert Higgenbotham, a multi-instrumentalist who continued with his 'day job' as a working musician. For the weekend I have a good one. It's from 1981.
"Believe it or not, I'm walking on air. I never thought I could feel so free. Flyin' away on a wing and a prayer. Who could it be? Believe it or not it's just me." Clues: As seen on TV, everybody loves a hero. That's all you get.

This morning I took Boot down to the new bus station to get her ticket. It was early and the ticket office wasn't open yet. We waited, only to find out that they didn't have tickets yet, but we could get one at 7-11.
We drove back towards town and stopped at a 7-11 (they're all over the place) and after 15 minutes, they told Boot that they didn't have the code to issue a ticket. Back to the bus station. By now they were ready to do business and she got her ticket. Whew.

Later in the morning I went to the bank to do a little business, got some gas, and started the process of entering my further adventures in dentistry. There is an expert denture maker who I saw months ago, after an extraction. He had stopped making devices because of back problems. I wanted to see if he had resumed his specialty and I made an appointment to see him on Monday. Eating on one side of the mouth takes longer and it's time for the gap to be filled. If he can't do it I'll take his advice on where to go. Probably Chiang Mai. Oh my.

The main structure for the waterfall is complete. It's beautiful and has a nice sound. Next week the landscaping will be done and it will have a totally new look. There will be trees, orchids and other exotic plants for our 'jungle corner'. Stay tuned.

Now that Boot's gone we enter the quest for a happy medium between eating out and cooking at home. Tonight we're eating out. It seems extravagant, but it usually costs about $9 for dinner for two. Not bad when you don't want to cook. I'll be making market runs and Lisa will create magic in the kitchen on the days when we feel like it. At least we know we can survive on our own. (Ha)

Monday begins the Festival of Loy Kratong. You know what that means: Floating Kratongs (little baskets made of banana leaf or bread, decorated with flowers, coins and a candle), giant lantern/balloons floating into the night sky, and lots of fireworks. Oh yes, and lots of music from across the river.

Have a Wonderful WeekEnd. On with the 'Funnies'.


A Sudden Change of Mind

My Dearest Susan,

Sweetie of my heart. I've been so desolate ever since I broke off our engagement. Simply devastated. Won't you please consider coming back to me? You hold a place in my heart no other woman can fill. I can never marry another woman quite like you. I need you so much. Won't you forgive me and let us make a new beginning? I love you so.

Yours always and truly,

P.S. Congratulations on you winning the state lottery.

Gettin' Funky, Thai Style

Thursday, October 29, 2009



Things are a bit somber around the house this evening. Boot just got the call from her sister that their mother had passed. She'd been very sick for a long time and now the suffering is over. Boot will go to Rayong tomorrow.

This song got a pretty fair response but no one knew the original artist. This verse should give you the song:
"Put on your __-__ __, wear that wig hat on your head (repeat), I'm pretty sure now baby, you know you're gonna knock 'em dead." Hint: Something to do with shoes. Hmm.

Today we went into town for lunch. We ate at an old favorite we found behind the Wangcome Hotel. We always get the chicken burger and today was no different. Nothing like a chicken burger and fries.

Tomorrow morning we will take Boot to the bus station to find out when she can leave. The web site for the bus company was in Thai, didn't include Chiang Rai to Rayong on the list, and offered no working phone number. Most frustrating in a time of need. We'll get it sorted out in the morning and she'll probably take the afternoon bus so she can arrive the next morning. It takes 17 hours and I can't imagine a lonelier ride.

Have a Wacky Wednesday.


"You can't direct the wind,
but you can adjust your sails."

Gettin' Funky, Thai Style

Wednesday, October 28, 2009



Chiang Rai had another gorgeous day. Cool morning, hot afternoon, and a warm night. We played hooky from school, got an OK to use the pool, and found something to make us 'cool'.

So, 'Easy Monday' turned out to be a bit of a challenge. The group was Buffalo Springfield and the song was "For What It's Worth". I told you in yesterday's hint. (Ha) Maybe today's song will be this week's 'easy' one. "Put on your red dress baby, 'cause we're goin' out tonight. (repeat) And wear some boxing gloves, case some fool wanna start a fight." Hint: This is an oldie from '64, it's a blues, many covers, and apparel is involved.

We seem to be in a 'post card' weather pattern these days. As the season turns to winter, one would not know it by the temperature. It's not as hot as it can get, but it's hot. This leads me to the perfect segue to the topic of 'cool'. Yesterday, while Lisa and Atom were talking the topic turned to heat. Lisa mentioned an interest in Chinese herbal medicine and Atom wrote down the name of a blend that cools the body. Today we went to the pharmacy warehouse and when Lisa showed the owner what Atom had written he asked "How you know this medicine?". We all chuckled and it was explained. We got a supply and we'll see what happens.

This afternoon we asked if it was alright for us to use the pool. The level is down about 8 inches and we wanted to raise it up. We were told that we'd have to wait on adding water, but we could use the pool. I suppose it will still swim OK. Now I have to put my foot in the water and see if it's warm enough. Hmm.

Since it's Wacky Wednesday, I'm going to give you some classic song titles as they'd be spoken in Thai:
"Speshun Angun" and my favorite, "Purpun Haze". Do you know these songs?


"Peace is possible.
Each moment that one individual chooses peace inside,
the whole of humanity moves forward.
We each have the ability and responsibility
to become peacemakers in our daily lives."
~John Morton

Gettin' Funky, Thai Style

Tuesday, October 27, 2009



Chiang Rai woke up to clear blue skies this morning. It was a day of visits for us. We got a visit, went for a visit, and planned a visit.

You may be interested to know that several people knew this song. Some got the title, one got the group, and Lisa knew the whole thing. Find a quiet spot and let your mind drift back, or sway to the lyrics and sing:
"Stop, hey, what's that sound? Everybody look - what's goin' down? (repeat)" Hint: Here's some info, for what it's worth, that might help: Steven Stills and Neil Young were members of this group. Really. 'Easy Monday' lives.

We have a PC laptop that hasn't been doing so well lately. Its battery is gone and the only way to get a replacement, outside of mail order, is to go to Chiang Mai. Since we got the ADSL connection it hasn't been able to join our network. Today I paid a visit to my friends at CAT to see if they could help me configure the thing to work. I was told that a technician would come to the house tomorrow, maybe. Right before lunch, Khun Nucha from CAT paid us a visit. He'd come to the rescue. Boot came out of the kitchen and said, "Why he come now?". She was ready to serve lunch. Nucha worked on the laptop while we ate lunch. One hour and fifteen minutes of troubleshooting, poking around, and testing this and that and he got it working. I'll say this, the guy's thorough. He's a prince.

I had just enough time after Nucha's exit, to get myself together for a visit with Atom. She and her sister Jennie did all the translations for Lisa's art show catalog. We finally found some time to hang out and we were going to meet at Doi Chaang Coffee. When we arrived I saw a familiar face right by the door. It was Nate, a young man I met at the 'play' a few weeks ago. He and his wife are here for one year, teaching English and encouraging at-risk kids to stay in school. I ended up talking to him while Lisa visited with Atom.

We're just about done with the plans for our 'Winter Visit' to America. Actually, the plans have been set, it's just one more reservation to go. We'll be arriving on December 21 and departing on January 12. On this trip we're doing something different on the way back to Thailand. We're going to use some of our mile credits to move up to Business class. The flight from LAX to Taipei is the longest of the trip; usually 14 hours. We decided that we might as well be a bit more comfortable during that time. Of course, it may make it difficult to go back to the usual on the next trip. Oh well.

This afternoon we got a glimpse of what the waterfall will look like in action. The crew ran water over the falls to check the flow and make changes on the stones, for the right effect. There were a few times when I had to look away. There are some things I learned a long time ago that always stuck. Like electricity and water don't mix. Watching a guy standing in water using an electric grinder was more than I could stand. Nothing happened but it sent chills down my spine. We have a few huge 'fossil' stones left over, and one will go in a front bed as an ornament and we're hoping to have a bench made with the other two. We think we got that conveyed to Kek this morning. One never knows, just hopes.

It's time for Happy Tuesday.


"Although we have been made to believe that if we let go we will end up with nothing,
life itself reveals again and again the opposite; that letting go is the path to real freedom."
~Sogyai Rinpoche

Gettin' Funky, Thai Style

Monday, October 26, 2009



We had an exciting weekend. Daku turned nine months and went to the doctor, we entertained friends, and many interesting 'sights' were seen.

Well, looks like we had another stumper, except for Barry. The song was "Double Vision" by Foreigner. Hmm.
For our 'Easy Monday' song I must point out that the title is not in the lyrics. (don't you just hate that?) Consequently, there won't be any 'lines' to go by. I will tell you that it's four words. It's from '67.
"There's somethin' happenin' here. What it is ain't exactly clear. There's a man with a gun over there, tellin' me I got to beware..." Hint: The group was named after a steam roller and was the seed of many amazing careers. The song is of a social/political nature and was written after a demonstration. Easy, huh?

Saturday we took the 'puppy' for one of his shots. During the visit he got weighed. He now weighs 59 pounds, though he looks much heavier because of his thick coat. He's moved into that phase where he's very playful and doesn't realize how big he is. Still waking us up at 6am on the nose. There are those days when he wakes up early, but when he's told to 'go lie down, he complies.

The major 'rock work' is done on the waterfall and now we enter the testing phase, hooking up various valves, and then the planting of the 'jungle'.

Saturday evening we had dinner with three friends, and Boot prepared a delicious meal. Her friend Jindah spent the day helping Boot and they had a good time. At one point they were out in back playing badminton and laughing a lot. It was nice to hear. It turns out that Jindah's sister has a booth at the Night Bazaar and we've known her for about 2 years.

Over the weekend I saw two boys playing in the river. They had ridden their bicycles into the water up to the seats. They were stuck, but it didn't stop them from having a good time. Saturday morning, on my way to get the truck serviced, I saw a motorbike with two adults, a child, a dog that was so big his front paws were hanging over the handlebars, and a little poodle in the basket on the front of the bike. A real family outing. Though the holiday is over, the fireworks continued all weekend. We're seeing more and more colorful headlights on motorbikes and I even saw a Samlor (a pedal driven three-wheeler) with a blue LED light strip on the back.

Have a Great Week.


"Your present circumstances don't determine where you can go;
they merely determine where you start."
~Nido Qubein

Gettin' Funky, Thai Style

Friday, October 23, 2009

Friday Funnies


This morning we woke up to rain. We had visitors, did some visiting of our own, and I finished a 'handy' project.

There's nothing like second day clues to bring the mail. Of course, it helps when the clues give it away. The song was "Rose Garden" and the hit was sung by Lynn Anderson. It was written by Joe South, who recorded it first, but Anderson's was the one that started a chain of covers.

For the weekend, ponder this: "Feelin' down and dirty, feelin' kinda mean, I've been from one to another extreme.
This time I had a good time, ain't got time to wait, I wanna stick around till I can't see straight. Fill my eyes with that __ __. No disguise for that __ __ ....My __ __ gets the best of me." Hint: Two words that describe something that happens to two eyes, twice at the same time. Huh. It's a '79 hit by a big rock group of the time.

When we woke up this morning it seemed darker than usual. Opening the curtains revealed why. It was raining and looked like it had been for awhile. It wasn't a hard rain, but water was falling from the sky. It finally stopped completely around 9:30 and the rest of the day was overcast. It was a nice relief from the hot, humid days we've been having. It was also nice to have light rain right after the planting of the trees and flower bed plants.

Late morning, Sutheera came by with her mother and the little girl that they're raising. It's always fun when they come over because there are lots of questions and laughing and our Thai is challenged. Sutheera is a teacher so she's always giving us little chances to learn something new. That's one of the nice things about trying to learn the language. Everyone is willing to contribute to your education. Sutheera said we shouldn't worry about the language gap. She said, 'You're here'. Hmm.

After our nap/coffee we went downtown to visit Jen and 'The Boys' at the tractor store. In the course of conversation we found out that son Nui and Dr. Nan are getting married in January. Unfortunately we'll be in America and will miss it. They will video the event so we can see, and Nan said they'll just have to have another party when we return. From the tractor store we traveled up to Clock Tower street and popped in on Nat, our friend from Chiang Mai who designs jewelry and has become quite an entrepreneur. We're going to have her over for lunch next week.

Our two doorbell buttons (for Boot's house and ours) out by the front gate had a little plastic hood over them for protection. It cracked from the sun and started falling apart so I improvised and made a new one, rehung he remote buttons and weather sealed it (I hope).

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


The following are quotes from science exams taken by school children:

Water is composed of two gins, Oxygin and Hydrogin. Oxygin is pure
gin. Hydrogin is gin and water.

H20 is hot water, C02 is cold water.

Mushroom always grow in damp places so they look like umbrellas.

The body consists of three parts - the branium, the borax, and the
abominable cavity. The branium contains the brain, the borax contains
the heart & lungs, the abominable cavity contains the bowels, of which
there are five - a, e, i, o, and u.

Rhubarb: a kind of celery gone bloodshot.

For a head cold, use an agonizer spray to spray the nose until it
drops in your throat.

To keep milk from going sour, keep in the cow.

Gettin' Funky, Thai Style

Thursday, October 22, 2009



Errands were run, hair was done, and rocks were the order of the day. We got two new trees and the night was filled with fireworks on the eve of a holiday.

It would appear that you need help with this song. My friend Barry was the only one to get it. This should help:
"I beg your pardon, I never promised you a __ __. Along with the sunshine, there's gotta be a little rain sometimes." Hint: If that line didn't do it for you, answer this question: What do you have if you plant a bunch of pretty flowers that have thorns? I expect mail. (Ha)

This morning I dropped Lisa off at the hair salon and tackled a list of errands. My first stop was Big C. Some essentials and a bag of doggie treats. From there I went to Toyota to try and make an appointment to have the truck serviced. If I had thought about it, I would have taken the 'book' for the truck so they knew what I wanted. What actually happened was interesting. When I drove into the parking stall for service I was immediately met by a young woman who began writing on her clipboard before I could say anything. I tried to explain that I didn't want service for the car, but for my pick-up. Finally another woman came over who spoke a tiny bit of English and we finally got on the same page. So, Saturday morning at 8am I'll get the truck serviced.

There were several more stops on my little adventure but they were mostly routine. I did run into a snag at the electronics warehouse trying to explain that I wanted an adapter for a stereo plug that had an elbow bend. Try that with out the right words. Finally I drew a picture and they got close but it was the wrong size. Where's Radio Shack when you need them?

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, the workers started installing the rocks on the waterfall. There are big ones and little ones and as the day progressed, we began to see the concept unfold. It's going to be beautiful. It has a rugged, natural look that will be framed by, in Kek's words, a jungle. While that was going on, the garden folks continued with the installation of the ground cover and late in the day they planted two trees that Kek calls 'Red Palm'. They're like palm bushed with red stalks. Very interesting plants.

Tomorrow is the celebration of the birthday of King Chulalongkorn, or Rama V. He was born on September 20, 1853 and is perhaps, the most revered of all the Kings of the Chakri Dynasty. He reigned for 42 years and 23 days and achieved great advances for the country. Among the changes were the abolishment of slavery and freedom for everyone born during his reign. There is much more to the story and you can Google his name and find out about this incredible statesman.

Have a Great Thursday.


"The nobler sort of man (person) emphasizes the good qualities in others, and does not accentuate the bad.
The inferior does the reverse."

Gettin' Funky, Thai Style

Wednesday, October 21, 2009



It was another beautiful, warm, humid day in Chiang Rai. There was major progress on the waterfall, new plants arrived, and we found a new bakery.

Your 'Easy Monday' song was "What's Love Got To Do With It?" by Tina Turner. I'm glad many of you remembered. After two easy ones, it's time for a challenge. "I could promise you things, like big diamond rings but you don't find roses growin' on stalks of clover...Come along and share the good times while we can." Hint: It's not Rock & Roll. This early '70's hit has had many covers. Good luck.

This morning, like most, it looked and felt like rain. It never did and when the sun was exposed from behind the clouds, it got hot. Speaking of the sky, there's supposed to be a meteor shower between 1am and 6am West Coast US time, but it can be seen anywhere in the world. The 6am time is apparently the best time to view. That is, if you're not trapped under a layer of something that limits your view of the sky. Hmm. Let me know if you see anything.

Not long after the workers began their morning pounding and cementing a huge truck came into the yard. It had a big load of rocks. Not just any rocks, but big beautiful rocks. They're kind of a golden color. Part of the load looks like something from under the ocean that is very old. To unload the rocks they pushed them onto big woven bags and then four to five of Kek's workers carried them over to a spot in the yard. Now the west side of the yard looks like a rock quarry. The 'steps' of the waterfall are done and waiting to have small stones in place on the vertical face. The large stones will have water flowing over them, as I understand it.

We also had a delivery of small plants for ground cover in the flower beds. They will create a dense carpet effect and hopefully discourage the dogs. They will also add a nice base for the flowering bushes. I wish you could smell our yard in the evening and early morning. In the rear we have Gardenias and Night Blooming Jasmine and it smells unbelievable. In the front there are two flowering trees that combine to give off an intoxicating scent.

This afternoon, after our Thai lesson, our teacher Khun Janya asked us what we were going to do. We mentioned making a stop at Work At Home to pick up some bread. She told us about a bakery she and her husband use near Wat Jetyod. We decided to check it out. It's located in a guest house, in an area that looks like it used to be the lobby. They had whole grain bread without milk or butter so we bought two loaves. Tomorrow morning we'll put it to the test.

It's time for a Wacky Wednesday.


"Education is what remains after one has forgotten
everything he learned in school."
~Albert Einstein

Gettin' Funky, Thai Style

Tuesday, October 20, 2009



It was a quiet day on the compound. A little early morning web drama, waterfall corrections, and the running of the dogs. We drove by the Night Bazaar (NB) and ran into friends.

"...__ __ __ __ __ __ __....Who needs a heart when a heart can get broken?" Clue: A cynical song about the nature of relationships. What? Many knew this one so I know it's easy.

This morning we were in our usual routine. Get up at 6am with Daku and go downstairs. I take him out for a run around the yard while Lisa fixes his breakfast and ours. Then we go upstairs and check our mail, and the headlines over breakfast. That's when it began. We both got notices from CAT saying something about an incorrect pass word. In other words, the network was down. It would be another 2 hours before the CAT office opened. I waited until 8:30 and called Khun Nucha. He informed me that he was in Chiang Mai, but would call the office and have someone fix it. Sure enough, a few minutes later our internet was back. Late this afternoon I got a call from Nucha, checking to make sure everything was alright. Amazing.

The August Chronicles: August, the piano player had another recital a few months ago and he played a Russian composition. Jeff, his dad, posts all of August's performances on YouTube. This latest clip has surpassed his others as far as 'views'. The majority of them are coming from Russia. I guess that makes Mr. August an international 'item'. In news closer to home, he's been asked to be the DJ at the school Halloween party. He's very proud of this since it means a write-up in the school paper and everyone from the school is invited, not just his class. He's still inventing this and that, and plugging things in.

We went back to the NB this evening and ran into a friend of Boot's. She was working at her sister's booth selling shirts. We stopped by and realized that her sister is a woman we made friends with when we first got to Chiang Rai. Our world here is getting smaller.

Have a Happy Tuesday.


"With imagination we can capture infinity.
With love we can make infinity worth imagining."
~Brian Henke

Gettin' Funky, Thai Style

Monday, October 19, 2009



I'm back from a very mellow weekend. We had some rain, sunshine, and progress on the waterfall. We picked up rocks, went to a school play, did the Big C shuffle, and cruised the Night Bazaar.

It looks like you got an 'Easy Friday' out of me. It was Elvis with "I'm All Shook Up". That tune was written by Otis Blackwell. Elvis changed a few things and got co-writing credit. Blackwell wrote several other big hits for Elvis and many other artists. Google his name and check out one of the greatest 'unknown' writers of early Rock and Roll. Now you know.

For 'Easy Monday' let's try this: "You must understand, that the touch of your hand makes my pulse react..." Hint: The song asks the question of the ages. (Ha) The singer was half of a turbulent duo that rolled on the river. Hmm

Saturday evening we were invited to a play put on by some school children. It was at the home of Martin and Kay, new friends of ours. The adventure began with just getting there. They live in a part of town we didn't know existed. I knew how to get to the vicinity, but then things went bad. We ended up calling and talking to three people and finally got close. Martin came to a fork in the road and led us the rest of the way. The property is on a hill, and as we drove up we saw a stand of teak trees. Almost like their own private woods. The 'audience' was a mix of Thais and foreigners and we met more new people. The children were students of Kay's. She's Thai and is very fluent in English. She's been teaching them English and the play was about ancient Egypt, a Roman invasion and a modern day mummy mystery. It was fun watching the kids playing many roles and changing props. When it was over there were fireworks and oneflaming ballon was sent into the sky. Then we went on a tour of the house and got to see Martin's art work. He uses wood as his canvas and his recent works are 'paintings' done with wood stain. Quite an amazing effect.

We have found it necessary to do periodic sweeps of the flower beds and the lawns to pick up small rocks. Both dogs seem obsessed with picking up, and eating rocks. We don't want a repeat of the Daku incident so we've been vigilant about it but it's a real chore. What's curious is how these rocks keep appearing. The wonders of nature.

Sunday we went to Big C as soon as the doors opened. It was strange going into the complex with only the workers there. Some shops were just opening and we had no crowd to contend with at all. That was nice. In the evening we had dinner at the Night Bazaar and then did some holiday shopping. There is a lot of new stuff on the tables since we're entering what is called the 'High Season'. That's when the tourists come. Many of our merchant friends were smiling since business was starting to pick up. That's good for everyone.

Tomorrow, The August Chronicles return. Stay tuned. Have an Exciting Week.


"Natural beauty comes in all colors,
strength in many forms.
When we learn to honor the differences
and appreciate the mix,
we're in harmony."

Gettin' Funky, Thai Style

Friday, October 16, 2009

Friday Funnies


Friday in Chiang Rai and the sky was clear blue for the afternoon swim. Today we visited a 'mega store', watched the workers, and had a pretty pleasant day.

I knew you had it in you. The song was "You're So Vain" by Carly Simon. Lots of stories persist as to who the song was about. I'm not going to get into that. (Ha) For the weekend I'm goin' way back. See if this rings a bell:
"A well a bless my soul, what's wrong with me? I'm itchin' like a man on a fuzzy tree. My friends say I'm actin' wild as a bug, I'm in love. __ __ __ __" Hint: He took the world by storm. Some called him The King. The song title is similar to what he could say he did on stage. At least Ed Sullivan thought so. Hmm

Like most mornings lately, the sky was overcast and looked like rain. By early afternoon it was sunny and clear. The temps are a little cooler, although that's not saying much. We know it's cooler because the pool is cooler. Not cool at all. (Ha) It's still swimmable and we've been enjoying it after the work crew leaves.

We went to a store that I discovered last week. It's a beauty supply 'mega store'. From the street, the only clue that it's big is the fact that there are two front doors. I drove by for a long time and never noticed it. We basically went in to get some emery boards so Lisa could do the dogs nails. We ended up browsing through most of the place in total amazement over the depth of the stock. This is the place where all the little salons come to shop. We'll be going back for sure.

Work continues on the waterfall project. Today I figured out what they're doing. Part of it is creating a central drain for the pond. The rest I'm not sure about, but tomorrow morning we're having a meeting about it all. It appears to be a bit too late to turn back, but we're going to finally get the air cleared as to what we want and don't want. We'll have someone there who knows all the technical aspects and speaks pretty good English.

Don't forget The Godfadda Workout at The Norris Center this weekend. See, you waited too late and you missed the free limo ride so you'll have to get there on your own. You don't want to miss this.

Have a Great WeekEnd.


Poorly Worded Ads:

2 female Boston Terrier puppies, 7 wks old, Perfect markings,
555-1234. Leave mess.

Lost: small apricot poodle. Reward. Neutered. Like one of the

A superb and inexpensive restaurant. Fine food expertly served by
waitresses in appetizing forms.

Dinner Special -- Turkey $2.35; Chicken or Beef $2.25; Children

For sale: an antique desk suitable for lady with thick legs and
large drawers.

Four-poster bed, 101 years old. Perfect for antique lover.

Now is your chance to have your ears pierced and get an extra pair
to take home, too.

We do not tear your clothing with machinery. We do it carefully by

For Sale. Three canaries of undermined sex.

For Sale -- Eight puppies from a German Shepperd and an Alaskan

Great Dames for sale.

Have several very old dresses from grandmother in beautiful

Tired of cleaning yourself? Let me do it.

Dog for sale: eats anything and is fond of children.

Gettin' Funky, Thai Style

Thursday, October 15, 2009



Today was full of surprises. The hole in the yard got deeper, cement makings were delivered, and drama ensued. 'Daku the Destroyer' struck again, and we still haven't seen rain.

Seems as though this was another easy one for some of you. Maybe the hook will bring back some memories.
"...I had some dreams, they were clouds in my coffee, clouds in my coffee and __ __ __, you probably think this song is about you..." Hint: It's about one who puts themselves ahead of others and likes to look in the mirror. Hmm.

We knew from the tone in BamBam's bark that there were strangers in the yard. The workers had returned and started right in on the hole. A little later Khun Kek showed up and I tried to get him to explain what was going to happen. All he could do was show me a bunch of pictures of other projects and he clearly didn't understand that we didn't want another pump system. Later in the day Johan came by while we were out and he was also a bit upset at what he saw. I have every confidence that in the end, things will work out but for now, it's a mystery.

Early this morning we heard Boot calling from downstairs. She seemed distressed. We looked out over the balcony and saw why. Daku had totally shredded the remainder of BamBam's old bed. There was stuffing all over their pen. He has clearly moved into another phase of puppydom. Oh my, I guess we'll have to limit him to rubber toys and rope for the time being.

Apparently typhoon Parma has lost a lot of it's steam over Vietnam. Not that that's good for Vietnam. They got heavy rains and flooding. It means that we probably won't be seeing any storm action. Right now that's a good thing, what with the hole and the rest of the outdoor work being done.

We went into town today and it struck me that there are many little benefits from frequenting the same shops. At the drugstore warehouse they give us a discount. When we went to the art supply store, Lisa bought a big canvas and the owner gave her a discount and a tube of paint. And so it goes, all over town there are little gestures of gratitude and kindness. Nice.

Have a Thrilling Thursday.


"When they think that they know the answers,
people are difficult to guide.
When they know that they don't know,
People can find their own way."
~Tao Te Ching

Gettin' Funky, Thai Style

Wednesday, October 14, 2009



The weather is changing here in Chiang Rai. Work began on the waterfall, and Daku napped in his new bed.

That song from 1963 that had you baffled was "On Broadway" by The Drifters. Can anybody tell me three lead singers from The Drifters who had successful solo careers after leaving the group? Can you tell me the name of this next song? "You walked into the party, like you were walking onto a yacht...and all the girls dreamed that they'd be your partner, they'd be your partner and __ __ __..." Hint: Three little words that can deflate the ego. It's a star singing about another star. Oh my. One who thinks he's "all that".

I made a little mistake yesterday when describing the storm in the Pacific. It was a typhoon and not a cyclone and nobody said anything. OK class, cyclones are like tornados, and typhoons are like hurricanes. I don't know why. Ask the internet, it knows everything. (Ha) Anyway, it keeps looking like it's going to rain and then clears up into a nice, sunny day. I understand that the West Coast is getting a bit of moisture this week. Try and stay dry, if you want to.

Now that the renovation on the waterfall has begun, I don't want it to rain. That would not be good. The job will probably get interrupted by rain since it's going to take awhile to completely rebuild our monolith. The work today was interesting. Three guys, a crowbar, and a lever began the task of prying huge rocks from their concrete beds. Then there was the matter of getting the rocks from their spot on the structure down to the ground. There were times when we just couldn't look. The guys managed to move a lot of rock without injury. In the afternoon they began digging a big square hole beside the pond. We have no idea why so we'll have to wait until tomorrow when Kek returns. One end of the circle part of the driveway is covered with rocks of every description. The dogs would have a field day if they only knew. I had one of the guys cover it all with a tarp. There are still too many juicy rocks all over for their own good. Someday this craziness will end. Either the dogs will tire of the rocks or all the rocks will be eliminated from the yard. (Ha)

This afternoon Daku joined us for nap time. He spent the whole time sleeping in his new bed. Oh yeah, this morning, in a teenage adrenaline rush, he tore up BamBam's old bed. Such a boy.

It's time for Wacky Wednesday.


"The best things in life are not things."

Gettin' Funky, Thai Style

Tuesday, October 13, 2009



We woke up to a very cool, overcast day. More gate business, and errands got us out of the house. Today Daku got a new bed.

Looks like Monday was 'Easy' for some, but not for others. You still have a day to respond. Maybe these will help.
"They say that I won't last too long __ __, I'll catch that Greyhound bus for home they all say. But oh, they're wrong, I know they are 'cause I can play this here guitar. And I won't stop till I'm a star __ __." Clue: The group that sang this could probably see the street in question from up on the roof. (Ha) It's somewhere you go to see musicals in NYC. Don't say I never gave you anything.

There is a cyclone (hurricane in the west) that's been wandering across the Pacific tearing things up. It will fall apart when it reaches the land, but we may get some 'weather' as a result. It looked like it was going to be a stormy day this morning, but all we got was one five minute downpour and scattered sprinkles. There are areas of Thailand that get large amounts of rain every year. Flooding and over-run rivers cause a lot of damage to farms and lives in general. We're in a part of the country that seems to get missed by most of the dramatic weather. Maybe it's because we're surrounded by mountains. Whatever the reasons, we're very happy with our location.

In the past, the idea of dealing with an insurance company and filing a claim was something that created anxiety and then became a waiting game. When the gate guy told us that it was caused by lightning, we called our insurance agent and he told us what we needed to do to file a claim. He and his associates came to the house and took our information on what happened. They talked to the gate guy, asked him for a letter, and he fixed the gate. We were told today that we could expect a check in two to three weeks. I have never had to call an '800' number, sit on hold, get transfered from office to office or anything. I call one guy and it gets handled. Amazing Thailand.

This afternoon we went to the used book store and then to the vet's. We were on a mission to get a bed for Mr. Daku. He really likes to curl up in BamBam's bed, even though he's way too big for it. He manages to curl himself up and snooze. Today we found a bigger bed that will stay in our room for his overnight enjoyment. As I write this, Daku just met his new bed and it's a perfect fit and he likes it.

Don't forget, this weekend at the Norris Center in Palos Verdes, "The Godfadda Workout" starring Seth Isler as all the characters. You don't want to miss this. It's so good, we went all the way to New York to see it open off Broadway. Tell'em 'Danny Boy' sent ya.

It's Happy Tuesday time. I couldn't resist sharing another quote from Miles that I got from Ming.


"If you understood everything I said, you'd be me."
~Miles Davis

Gettin' Funky, Thai Style

Monday, October 12, 2009



The weekend found us at an art show opening, and Big C. Chef Lisa outdid herself on Sunday and we got a giant delivery. Today there was 'joy' in the Rai when the gate guy returned.

I'm happy to report that the Friday song didn't fall on deaf ears. It was "Black Cow" by Steely Dan. Cousin Trudye wrote and ask me what kind of a drink a Black Cow was. Well, basically it's everything from a root beer float to a cocktail with lots of 'stuff' in it. That's probably the reference in the song. Now, once again, it's time for our 'Easy Monday' song and this one should be a cinch. It first came out in 1963 by a group. Tell me the group. "They say the neon lights are bright __ __. They say there's always magic in the air." Hint: This one's so easy it really doesn't deserve a hint, but there's a street name involved.

Saturday evening we went to 9 Art Gallery for an opening. It was a one woman show for an artist who filled the gallery with oil paintings of flowers. Not just paintings of flowers, but various motifs including the Ying-Yang symbol, some rather psychedelic concepts and tiny little round pieces of wood with a flower on each that you could buy real cheap. We ran into a lot of people that we met at Lisa's show and had many nice conversations. It's a nice way to stay connected with the art community.

Sunday morning we made a early run to Big C for weekly supplies. Going early is the best way to beat the crowd. Even so, there were plenty of shoppers. Normally we'd go there for lunch and then shop but this week Lisa had a lunch plan so we opted to eat at home. We had a great tuna sandwich lunch, and now we have a new item on our Sunday menu.

A few weeks ago we had commissioned Khun Yone, the man who built the dog enclosure, to make a big cabinet for Lisa to store her art. He arrived on Sunday with a crew of about five guys, to help carry it upstairs. After much negotiating on the stairs, they finally got it into her studio. Since he made it completely out of 'good' wood, it was very heavy. After it was in place one of his guys did some touch ups on the finish and then he worked on making sure that the hinges on the doors were aligned and working properly. It's really nice to work with someone who cares about his craft.

The 'joy' I mentioned was the arrival of the gate guy and the new electronics for the motor. Once again, we have our 'magic' gate back and we no longer have to get out of the car to open and close the thing. We are all very happy.

Have a Wonderfilled Week.


"Everything is a gift of the universe --
even joy, anger, jealously, frustration, or separateness.
Everything is perfect
either for our growth or our enjoyment."
~Ken Keyes Jr.

Gettin' Funky, Thai Style

Friday, October 9, 2009

Friday Funnies


Another Friday has come and gone on this side of the world. We went into town, napped, and swam, and Lisa started a new painting. The gate will move again, and all the trucks are gone. Oh, and fireworks this evening.

The song Lisa and Ricardo knew was "Help Me" by Joni Mitchell. Oh my, someone wasn't paying attention. Well, for the weekend try this: "In the corner of my eye, I saw you in Rudy's, you were very high. You were high, it was a cryin' disgrace, they saw your face..." Hint: '77 was a good year for this group. Sad song, really. Title is the name of a beverage. Hmm. Hey, it's Friday.

This morning we went into town to basically run errands. One of the things on the list was a bed for Daku. He's has become quite fond of BamBam's bed, which is actually too small for him but he manages to get his whole self inside. We want to get him one for upstairs. Our pet supply store didn't have any but they did have more free bow-ties for the dogs. There are a ton of pet stores here and one of them is bound to have what we need.

After lunch we found ourselves getting away from the heat by escaping to air/con land. We ended up sleeping. After coffee we went for a swim. Later this afternoon, after several phone calls, it was finally established that the gate motor was indeed fixed but the guy was waiting for the insurance people to pay him. Not acceptable in light of the weight of the gate. (you like that rhyme?) We got it settled and the gate will be operational on Monday. There seems to be a tendency not to tell you what's going on until it's about to happen. Oh well.

Last night Mr. Narong moved the last of the trucks out of our driveway. I think their project is done. Speaking of trucks, last night I saw another level of the rolling light show. It was a truck with one green headlight and one yellow headlight. Yes, the wheels are turning in an effort to top that and come up with something truly unique. (Ha)

As Lisa works on a new painting featuring two cranes, there are fireworks going up behind our house. Not a lot, but colorful. Not sure if they're from the school or the temple. Either way, it's a nice treat.

Have a Fantastic WeekEnd and enjoy the 'Funnies'.


He is new to baseball

Coming home from his Little League game, Billy swung open the front door very excited. Unable to attend the game, his father immediately wanted to know what happened. "So, how did you do son?" he asked.

"You'll never believe it!" Billy said. "I was responsible for the winning run!"

"Really? How'd you do that?"

"I dropped the ball."

Gettin' Funky, Thai Style

Thursday, October 8, 2009



On a sunny day in Chiang Rai we got a visit from a real electrician. We swam, had company, and experienced a spicy 'bowl switch' at dinner. Yum?

Amazing. I got one right answer, one and half-right answer and that was it. I hope this line and clue will help.
"'Cause you're a rambler and a gambler and a sweet talking ladies man, and you love your lovin'. But not like you love your freedom." Clue: The title of the song is a cry for something. The singer has been from Woodstock to the canyons and sometimes painted her own album covers.

For some time now, we've had a few lights that didn't want to work. I'd change bulbs but still no light. The last handyman even went into the ceiling, changed a switch and left us with the same problem. Today a guy came over that Kek recommended. He climbed the tall ladder, used a meter to check the flow of electricity, and fixed all of the offending sockets. What a joy to have all the lights working. It's not like we were in the dark, but it makes a difference when they all work.

We had an early swim this afternoon and discussed the possibilities of warming the pool water. The pool is a great place for brainstorming.

Just before dinner we had a visit from Tye and Pong. They came over with envelopes from their temple. A fundraising drive is on and, well, they were asking for donations. We ended up having a lively, fun conversation about the Thai language in it's written form. It started when Boot handed me an envelope and I asked her if she wanted me to fill it out in Thai. She laughed and said 'Yes'. She ended up filling it out, but it opened the door for our observations. Pong pointed out the 'artistic' font that was used and how we might not recognize some of the letters. He was so right.

When we sat down to have dinner, it was a green curry dish that Boot had made yesterday. There was so much of it that we said we'd finish it today. The problem was, mine was a little spicy. I didn't remember it being that way yesterday but I forged ahead anyway. It finally got to me and I started coughing. That's when we realized that I had Lisa's bowl. We switched and finished our meal and my comfort level returned.

Today Daku actually barked at me. A real "Big dog" bark. He wanted me to play with him and he got my attention. I wonder when he'll start barking more often. It's quite nice that he doesn't, but I know it's coming. BamBam, on the other hand, is a barking fool. She barks at the little birds that come to the yard. It's very annoying and I'm trying to figure out a way to explain to her that it's OK. Any change in the landscape brings barking. She is a dog after all, so I guess we'll have to deal with it. Hmm.

Have a Great Thursday.


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

Gettin' Funky, Thai Style

Wednesday, October 7, 2009



Today saw a gathering of black vehicles, a poolside meeting, and a hard day at school. This evening we were entertained by rolling light shows. What?

The 'Easy' song turned out to be easy after some thought. It was "At The Zoo" by Simon and Garfunkel. See if you remember this tune from one of American music's most prolific writer/performers.
"__ __ I think I'm falling, in love again. When I get that crazy feeling I know I'm in trouble again..." Clue: The singer is asking for assistance/rescue or something like that. More clues tomorrow.

This morning our neighbor asked if he could park his SUV in our driveway. When I saw the black Toyota roll into the yard I thought it was Johan. He drives the same thing. It was Mr. Narong. Around 10am Johan arrived in his black Toyota SUV and it was beginning to look like a car club. A little after that Kek showed up in his black Toyota pick-up. When you add our Vios to the mix (the mascot), it looked just like a photo shoot.

I met with Johan and Kek to discuss the waterfall renovation. Johan speaks some Thai and his domain is the pool and its plumbing. I wanted the two of them to be on the same page before the work began. We discussed everything from water flow to rock removal. We're hoping to completely transform the area and make it more pleasing to the eye. The pool guys will start work on some pipe rescue next week and Kek and his crew will begin on the 15th. Another leap into the unknown.

At school today we learned another group of consonants and vowels. It was a bit overwhelming, just the sheer number of new things to learn to draw and remember. For instance, there are three letters for 'S', although only one is used frequently. The example word that was used was 'sua' the Thai word for tiger. There is another word that's very close that means shirt. It's all in the tones baby. We also learned that when two consonants stand together as a word, the vowel sound is always a long 'O'. Next week we're going to work on conversation and listening. In the meantime, we got a lot of things to work on.

This evening we went to the Night Bazaar. There are a few new vendors and a lot of new things to see as they gear up for "The Season". We'll try and do our holiday shopping before the rush, and before the 'tourist' prices go into effect. We got some good ideas and will probably go back a few more times this month.

On the way home from the Night Bazaar we saw a bunch of pick-up trucks with blue LED strips on their side mirrors. Then we were confronted by a truck with green lights under the front bumper and blue lights in the grill. A few minutes later a bike came around the bend with two green headlights. We thought we'd seen it all. Then, just before we turned onto our street, I almost didn't see a guy and his motorbike since he was using a flashlight for his headlight. He was holding it in his hand and it was aimed away from the road. Hmm.

Wacky Wednesday is on the way.


"The best way to prepare for tomorrow
is to make today's consciousness serene and harmonious.
All other good things will follow upon that."
~Emmet Fox

Gettin' Funky, Thai Style

Tuesday, October 6, 2009



Today was another one of those postcard days here in Chiang Rai. That cooling trend I mentioned is over. The car finally got washed, and now the sky could use the same. Read on.

It really was an 'Easy Monday' for some of you. I got lots of mail with the right answers. There's still time to get it. "Someone told me it's all happening __ __ __. I do believe it, I do believe it's true." Hint: It's from 1967 and it's by a duo who were fixtures in the musical landscape of the time. They knew Mrs. Robinson too. How much more can I tell you?

We kept putting off getting the car washed because it kept looking like rain. It was very dirty and it was getting worse with the construction next door. They seem to be out of their 'dirty' phase, but it didn't matter. The car was not cool. I took it down to the car wash and then took a stroll around the area. I finally picked up a King flag for the front of the house and then decided to walk over to the market and check out the fruit. I think pineapples are on their way out and the pears I bought were not too tasty. What's a fruit buyer to do? I know, let Boot buy the fruit. (Ha) Now the car is all sparkly and looks like the new car it is.

There was communication with the gate guy today. We called him and got news that what ever shorted out cannot be fixed. I don't know when he planned to tell us. It's all getting complicated and now the insurance company is involved since lightning was the culprit. Meanwhile, we push the gate. How long?

Just as we were finishing dinner a cloud of smoke came billowing in through the open doors. We quickly jumped up and closed all the doors and windows and turned on the air. From upstairs I could see two large fires burning on the other side of the field to the west of us. This is one of my biggest pet peeves and it makes me angry when it happens to this degree. There seems to be no regard for anyone else. "I've got trash and I want it gone so I'll just burn it." This is wrong on so many levels. Don't get me started. Ugh. Rain equals 'sky wash'.

It's time for Happy Tuesday. Hmm.


"To live is so startling it leaves little time for anything else."
~Emily Dickinson

Gettin' Funky, Thai Style

Monday, October 5, 2009



Over the weekend Lisa cooked up a storm, and Boot returned. The dogs are now taking showers, the weather has entered a slight cooling phase, and it's very quiet here tonight.

The weekend song was "Smooth Operator" by Sade. I guess you were just too busy to write. I know you knew. Once again, it's time for our 'Easy Monday' song. This one really is easy, you just have you think about it.
"The monkeys stand for honesty, giraffes are insincere, and the elephants are kindly but they're dumb. Orangutans are skeptical of changes in their cages..." Hint: What's the place where you can find all these animals?

This weekend we watched the Formula One race from Japan. Since it's so close, we actually got to watch it with only an hour's difference in the start time. That meant we lunched in the guest room and watched qualifying and the race at noon. Lisa got real handy in the kitchen with Boot out of town. Between my shopping and her cooking we ate pretty well, though we don't want to make a habit of it (shopping and cooking that is). (Ha)

Sunday morning we got a call from Boot, telling us she was at the bus station. We drove down the highway to the new station and picked her up. She's really happy to be back in Chiang Rai. Her mom isn't doing well, but Boot got to spend time with her as well as her sisters and her brother. She came back by bus the whole way and it took 16 hours.

The trade festival across the river ended on Sunday night, and the difference in the noise level tonight is wonderful. It's so quiet and peaceful. The next event will be in November when everyone celebrates Loy Kratong.

The normal procedure for bathing the dogs has been to take them outside, hose them off, soap and rinse and then let them roll around on some towels. BamBam loves it but Daku does not like to be washed. That's odd since he loves to splash water out of his bowl and lie down in it to cool off. Anyway, yesterday BamBam needed to be rinsed off since there was some residual soap on her and she was scratching. We took her into the guest room shower enclosure and Lisa used the hand-held nozzle and it worked like a charm. Today it was Daku's turn and even though he didn't like it, it was easier to manage the whole thing since there was no where he could go. He flashed a few dirty looks afterward but he smells so good.

Have a Cool Week.


"To those who can dream there is no such place as faraway."

Gettin' Funky, Thai Style

Friday, October 2, 2009

Friday Funnies


It was another overcast day with a chance of rain that never came. In fact, it got sunny and hot in the afternoon. We spent the day behind the walls. I ran with the dogs, the dogs ran me, and we're bonding on another level. The party continues across the river, and there's a curious cage behind our house.

It would appear that you've been 'stumped' by Toni Fisher and "The Big Hurt". It was released in December of '59 and went on to become a #3 hit on the national charts. The mysterious sound throughout the record was produced by running two tape machines playing the track at the same time. By placing a finger on the flange of one of the tape reels, the sound became 'out of phase' and a new 'effect' was born. Since that time it's been called many things, and now it can be produced by simply stepping on a pedal. Ain't science grand?

For the weekend, think about this one: "Diamond life, lover boy. We move in space with minimum waste and maximum joy. City lights, business nights when you require streetcar desire for higher heights... No need to ask, he's a __ __ (repeat 3 x). Clues: The singer goes by one name. Many people fancy themselves as the character in the song.

Not much happened around here today. There are things I haven't told you about so this is a good time to tell you. Every night our neighbor lights a fire on the other side of his property. There's something he puts on the fire that smolders all night and supposedly keeps the mosquitoes away from his cows. Hmm.

There's a big corn field behind us and on the far end there is an area that's been fenced off. Inside the area a large cage with a metal roof has been erected. From what we can see from our balcony, there is a big black bird inside the cage. I don't know exactly how to get over there, but I think I can take one of the tiny streets in the village and check it out. We're so curious that I may have to put it on my list of things to do. Or, have Boot go over on her motorbike. That might be less obvious. (Ha)

Don't forget, October 17th, at the Norris Center in Palos Verdes: The Godfadda Workout.

It's time for the 'Funnies'. We continue with the observations on raising boys, from the mother in Texas.


Brake fluid mixed with Clorox makes smoke, and lots of it.

A six-year old boy can start a fire with a flint rock even though a 36-year old man says they can only do it in the movies.

Play dough and microwave should not be used in the same sentence.

Super glue is forever.

No matter how much Jell-O you put in a swimming pool, you still can't walk on water.

VCR's do not eject "PB & J" sandwiches even though TV commercials show they do.

Garbage bags do not make good parachutes.

The spin cycle on the washing machine does not make earthworms dizzy.

80% of Men who read this will try mixing the Clorox and brake fluid.

Gettin' Funky, Thai Style

Thursday, October 1, 2009



Today the weather report was wrong, I went shopping for fruit, and we got a massage. We also got a call from Boot, telling us that she'll be home on Sunday. Yea!

This song has only yielded one response, from Cousin Trudye and she had it right. Have I really stumped you?
"Oh, each time you go, I try to pretend it's over at last. This time __ __ __ will end..." Hint: Find synonyms for large and pain and you'll just about have it. Hmm.

We were all prepared for rain today. Even Mr. Narong cancelled construction next door, but the rain never came. As a result, there were gardens that needed water so I spent some time with the nature around us. It's one thing to look out and enjoy the sight, but I got a deeper appreciation of everything as I watered. Everything has grown so much that it's hard to imagine how it was in the beginning.

I went back to the market today in search of fruit. Yesterday I got a couple of watermelons that were very sweet. The Ban Mai afternoon market didn't have any pineapple that looked good so I didn't buy any. We learned how to pick them from Boot. All the fruits are smaller and the pineapple can be anywhere from the size of a big navel orange to half the size of a Hawaiian version. The color is also important because if it's too green it won't be sweet. If it's a rich tan color you've found a prize. I strolled around and found a stand that had just the right size and color. We had some after lunch and it was very sweet. I also picked up a couple of Chinese pears and the first one was good, but rather small. I'm getting the hang of all this, but I'll be glad when Boot returns since she knows what she's doing. I'm merely a good guesser at this point.

Yesterday afternoon we had a visit from one of Lisa's ballet students. Emily and her mom stopped by and Em, as she's called, brought Lisa a beautiful bowl with a garden scene made of miniature plants. She had made it herself. I'll post some photos soon.

Going down to Pai Massage is always a combination of treat and torture. The treat is having the ability to get a complete Thai massage for $6. The torture is the fact that there's always something they'll touch that indicates congestion, which usually translates as pain. In order to relieve the congestion one has to endure a certain amount of pain. The weirdest part of it is that when I announce that it hurts, it's met with a smile. Hmm. Khun Nong and Khun Ploy are our regular operators and they know what's happening with our bodies and we get very conscientious service. The other treat is to leave feeling 'Sabai Sabai' or feeling fine.

By the way, little Panda born at the Chiang Mai Zoo is getting bigger and cuter by the day. You can probably find pics if you Google 'Thai Panda'.

Have a Great Day.


"Knowledge speaks, but wisdom listens."
~Jimi Hendrix

Gettin' Funky, Thai Style