Friday, January 29, 2010

Friday Funnies


More gorgeous weather here in Chiang Rai. Today we visited the talat (market), had dinner with a friend, and started preparing for Boot's time away.

'Old School Friday' is going to take you way back. Shout out if you know this one: "__ __, well it's time to go. __ __ well it's time to go. I hate to leave you but I really must say __ __, goodnight." Hint: The group is named after a breed of dog. The song was a hit in 1954, and was featured in a teen movie many years later. Hmm.

The late morning found us in the midst of the talat. The place was humming with activity. We were on a mission to get some shoes. I've grown fond of a pair of slip-on shoes that have seen better days. After much searching I found a comparable pair and struck a deal ($5.41). Lisa also found a beautiful pair of shoes, but only after we hit every shop we could find. There are stalls with clothes and shoes that can easily be missed if you don't take a turn in the maze that is the talat. We took a break to get Lisa's favorite treat, a coconut milk dessert that's cooked in little cup shapes. Hard to describe, but delicious. While we were waiting, everyone around the stove was reading my 'I am not a tourist shirt' and having a good laugh. It's become my ultimate 'ice-breaker/conversation starter'. It also helps get local prices.

This evening we went back to Leelavadee Restaurant for another dinner. This place is turning into our most used eating spot lately. We met our dear friend Sutheera there for a dinner that's been on hold since before we went to America. We had a great time, catching up on our respective lives, and discussing various topics of the day. Before we went into the restaurant Sutheera showed us a book she had to publish in order to get a promotion at the university where she teaches. The whole thing was in Thai, but it looked very impressive. She teaches marketing and that's been the focus of her Phd. studies in Bangkok. It's always a treat to be able to spend some time with such a busy woman.

Boot will be going to Rayong on Sunday and returning the following Sunday. She will spend the week with her family. There will be a ceremony at the family home signifying 100 days since her mother's death. It will also give Boot a chance to spend time with her sister and brother. Boot asked us today 'What you do when I'm gone?'. I guess we'll do what we did before. Eat out and wear dirty clothes until she returns. (5555) Seriously, we know how to take care of ourselves, in a pinch.

It's time for the 'Funnies'. Big thanks to my good friend Barry for this week's laughter.

Have a Wonderful WeekEnd.


One day the old German Shepherd starts chasing rabbits and before long, discovers that he's lost. Wandering about, he notices a panther heading rapidly in his direction with the intention of having lunch.

The old German Shepherd thinks, 'Oh, oh! I'm in deep doo-doo now!' Noticing some bones on the ground close by, he immediately settles down to chew on the bones with his back to the approaching cat. Just as the panther is about to leap, the old German Shepherd exclaims loudly, 'Boy, that was one delicious panther! I wonder if there are any more around here?'

Hearing this, the young panther halts his attack in mid-strike, a look of terror comes over him and he slinks away into the trees. 'Whew!' says the panther, 'That was close! That old German Shepherd nearly had me!'

Meanwhile, a squirrel who had been watching the whole scene from a nearby tree, figures he can put this knowledge to good use and trade it for protection from the panther. So, off he goes, but the old German Shepherd sees him heading after the panther with great speed and figures that something must be up.

The squirrel soon catches up with the panther, spills the beans and strikes a deal for himself with the panther.

The young panther is furious at being made a fool of and says, 'Here, squirrel, hop on my back and see what's going to happen to that conniving canine!"

Now, the old German Shepherd sees the panther coming with the squirrel on his back and thinks, 'What am I going to do now?', but instead of running, the dog sits down with his back to his attackers, pretending he hasn't seen them yet, and just when they get close enough to hear, the old German Shepherd says...
'Where's that squirrel? I sent him off an hour ago to bring me another panther!"

Gettin' Funky, Thai Style

Thursday, January 28, 2010



Today was a day of adventure. It seems to happen a lot and it's always exciting to make new discoveries. We also managed to take care of some business along the way.

Nice to know that some songs stay in the memory. If you're still not sure, the chorus may help you get the message: "I'll send an SOS to the world (repeat). I hope that someone gets my (repeat 2 times) __ __ __ __ (repeat 1 time)." Clue: How would you ask for help if you were stranded on a desert island? Hmm.

This morning we went downtown to get some copies made. While that was happening we went to 7-11 and paid the water bill. I still can't get over that. It just cracks me up that we pay our bills at 7-11. Then we went to the pharmacy warehouse for vitamins. With time left before the copies were finished, we went to several 'Eye Shops', as I call them, to see if anyone could examine me for progressive contacts. It seems that they don't have the proper equipment in Chiang Rai for this procedure. I'll have to wait until our next trip to Chiang Mai. Guess it's a big city thing. (Ha)

After we finally got our copies, we went to the 'Coffee Bar/Post Office' to mail the stuff. It's so convenient, no waiting at all. A few steps away, in the same store, is Tops, a mini-market where I get my favorite cookies. Just a typical morning run.

This afternoon we had a coffee date with our friends Atom and Ting. They wanted to go to a new place they discovered. It was on a little side street and the coffee was really good. We sat on a tiny patio and sipped and talked. Behind the shop is a house that is a restaurant. It's a family business and the mom does all the cooking. Apparently the food is also quite good. I guess we'll have to check it out someday. During our conversations Lisa mentioned how much she liked coconut ice-cream. They told us that there were lots of places where we could get it in the area so that was our next stop. From there we went to a bigger version of Tops and they helped us find rice milk. We were on a roll. While we were looking at various variations of rice milk we discovered that there is corn milk, and also drinks from every kind of seed and nut you can imagine. It may take awhile to get up the courage to try some of those.

Saturday night we're meeting them at the Night Bazaar to do some exploring and show them the Nine Shop. It's really fun hanging out with our Thai friends that are fluent in English because they can explain things and solve little mysteries.

Speaking of mysteries, during our Thai lesson the word 'sign' was on the list. The word for 'stop' was also there. I asked if the two together was how you would say 'stop sign' and Janya just smiled. She said there was no word for that and it didn't matter since nobody stopped anyway. We all laughed at that. Amazing Thailand.

Have a Fantastic Thursday.


"My mind is a garden. My thoughts are the seeds.
My harvest will be either flower or weeds."
~Mel Weldon

Gettin' Funky, Thai Style

Wednesday, January 27, 2010



It was another sunny day in Chiang Rai. We had a little sprinkle last night but nothing to get excited about. Today we went back to school, and we made a new friend.

Congratulations to all those who knew the 'Easy' song was "It's Too Late" by Carole King. Here's a new challenge for you: "Just a castaway, an island lost at sea. Another lonely day with no one here but me. More loneliness than any man could bear, rescue me before I fall into despair. I'll send an SOS....." Hint: It's by a trio from across the pond, singing about a man lost in a big pond. Hmm.

We've been having forecasts of rain for several days, and yet the sun shines. While some of you wish the rain would end, we just wish we could get enough to water the yard and clear the air. How about a small trade?

Yesterday we went to one of the local appliance stores in search of an air purifier. There is a salesman who speaks pretty good English but he wasn't around. We knew the words to describe what we wanted, but it still got misunderstood. We were escorted to a building in the rear that we thought might be a catalog desk but it turned out to be a dead end. Then one of the guys came out with a small vacuum cleaner and we just looked at each other. When it was determined that they didn't have what we wanted, they just left us there. It was like 'OK, we're done'. As we walked to the car we couldn't help laughing.

It's been quite a while since we've had a Thai lesson. We had promised ourselves that we'd study on our trip to America. That didn't happen. When we got back we kept putting it off. We did some review over the last couple of days and then jumped back into it today. Our teacher, Janya, had some new material for us and we spent the session learning some new words and worked on sentences. It actually felt good to be doing it. Now comes the commitment to study. Oh boy.

Sometimes you just never know how connections with people will play out. Lisa's childhood friend McKinley found her on the internet and they had a wonderful reunion while we were in America. McKinley has a college friend named Teresa who is an artist and is on a tour of Thailand. He wrote to us and put us in touch with her and today we met her at her hotel and spent the afternoon and evening seeing the sights and talking about art and life. We went to Le Meridien and saw the exhibit of Lisa's art and were very pleased to see that it was all hung the way she wanted it. Then we went to dinner by the river, and drove down to see Wat Rong Khun. The lights were out on the temple grounds, but all the little mirrors that cover the building were sparkling in the moonlight. Very eerie and beautiful. We drove back to town and watched the light show at the new Clock Tower, which was built by the same artist as the temple. We finished the evening off with watermelon shakes in the lobby bar of her hotel. It's always fun when we have visitors and this time we got a new friend as well.

I feel a Wacky Wednesday comin' on.


"If there is light in the soul,
there will be beauty in the person.

If there is beauty in the person,
there will be harmony in the house.

If there is harmony in the house,
there will be order in the nation.

If there is order in the nation,
there will be Peace in the world."
~Chinese Proverb

Gettin' Funky, Thai Style

Tuesday, January 26, 2010



If you're still reading yesterday's post, I understand. It was longer than usual. That's what happens when there's lots to share. Today we went banking, got a phone adjustment, and set up for the art show. Oh yeah, and Lisa did some driving.

The 'Easy' song should be a snap. I received email from some of you, but I need to hear from anybody who knows this one. Call it a survey or whatever, but let me know that you know. Here's the first verse to help you out:
"Stayed in bed all morning just to pass the time. There's something wrong here, there can be no denying. One of us is changing, or maybe we've just stopped tryin'. And __ __ __ baby, now __ __ __, though we really did try to make it...."

I don't think I told you that about a week ago Lisa got an iPhone. Now we both have the same phone. We're using the first generation phone since there's no real 3G happening in Thailand. I'm telling you all this because today we went to the DTAC store (her service provider) and had them connect her to the internet. Now she can get her mail wherever she is, and surf if she wants to. She rarely wants to though. It's just nice since we do so much communicating through email, both here and with America.

On the way home from the phone store I asked Lisa if she wanted to drive home. Of course she did. I stopped the car and we switched seats and off we went. We're going to be doing more of this because the adjustment to the left side of the road comes from frequent repetition. For some reason, sitting on the right side of the car makes everything seem 'just wrong'. It gets better. Speaking of driving, we have a new phrase to describe some of the driving we encounter: "Lawless Driving".

Today was the day to 'hang' the art show. This is a process that is normally done by someone from within a gallery, with preferences from the artist. This is Lisa's second show and since it's a non-traditional show, she was left to decide how and where she wanted her paintings to be hung. The show is in a hallway off the lobby of the hotel and the space is limited. It took several tries, placing the works on the floor where she wanted them to hang, looking at the whole thing and then rethinking it all. When we left the hotel, we had a pretty good idea of what it will look like, even though most of the pieces hadn't actually been hung yet. We'll go by tomorrow and check it out. It's all very exciting to see her paintings and prints on public display. The new series is already attracting attention. Oh, to be a fly on the wall. Or a gecko. (Ha)

It's time to have a Happy Tuesday.


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

Gettin' Funky, Thai Style

Monday, January 25, 2010



We made some new discoveries, a beautiful cast acrylic print was finished, the rain didn't come, and preparations are being made for another new year celebration.

Our 'Old School' song was "Daddy's Home" by Shep and the Limelights. Now it's time for the 'Easy Monday' song:
"It used to be so easy living here with you. You were light and breezy and I knew just what to do. Now you look so unhappy, and I feel like a fool. And __ __ __, baby now __ __ __..." Clues: It's from 1971 by a singer who had lots of hits. In this one she faces the fact that time has run out on a relationship. Should be a cinch for most of you.

Saturday we decided to go over to our new favorite store to pick up some water and juice. We found a parking place and discovered that there is a 7-11 on both sides of the street, in the same block. Hmm, talk about convenience. While we were shopping, we couldn't find the bottled water. Lisa asked one of the clerks and she led her into a side room where the water is kept. The clerk then proceeded to carry the two big bottles up to the check-out counter. After we paid for everything, a young man carried the water to the car. Wow, that's what I call service.

The air-conditioner did a weird thing the other day and water started dripping down. Not good considering the weather was warm and there was occasional smoke in the air. We called our service guy and he couldn't come until today. We expected him at 4pm and made arrangements with Boot to be at the house since we had a 3pm massage appointment. The repair guy showed up at 2 and started working. It all worked out and we got to Pai massage on time.

It's one thing to be on time, and another when neither masseuse is there. We left the place and decided to check out a new place we'd seen on the highway. We'd been watching the construction and wondering what it was going to be. It's a very ornate building and we were guessing it was going to be a restaurant. When it turned out to be a massage place we just figured 'some day' we'd try it. Well, today was the day. There were amazing touches throughout, including glitter on the brick walls in the lobby, beautiful lace screens, and sandals to wear after our feet had been washed. When they first had us sit down for the traditional foot washing there was a tray for each of us with a cool damp towel, and a cup of tea. It's the first time we'd had our feet washed and then rinsed in a separate pan. We were then led down a long hallway to a room with a divider down the middle. They use tables instead of mattresses on the floor. The tables had a sash of Thai silk draped across for decoration. Instead of pajamas, we changed into a top/shorts set of light cotton. All the little touches made it feel like we were in a special place. Our massages were not as specific as we get at Pai, but it was our first time. I should also mention that it didn't cost as much, $4.50 for 1 hour. Amazing Thailand.

After our massage we decided to get the car washed and take care of a little project we had. Our friend Kira, back in America, has a school project where a little cut-out of a person named Stanley travels around and has his picture taken in interesting places. We brought Stanley to Thailand with us and today we took him over to the Clock Tower for a photo shoot. He stands about 6 inches tall and has a big smile. We took his picture in front of the Clock, and pointing to the sign at Fat Free Bicycle shop. The pictures are now in America and will go into Kira's collection. It was really fun setting up the shots.

Lisa finished another amazing print in a series she's been doing. Tomorrow we go to Le Meridien Hotel to hang the art show. The new piece will be in the show. The grand opening will be on February 13.

On February 14 there will be grand celebrations around here for the Chinese New Year. It's the Year of the Tiger. As it always happens here in Chiang Rai, celebration will begin before the day and continue until the fireworks are gone. (Ha) There is a large Chinese and Thai/Chinese population here.

Have a Great Week.


"To grow, you must be willing to let your present and future,
be totally unlike your past.
Your history is not your destiny."
~Alan Cohen

Gettin' Funky, Thai Style

Friday, January 22, 2010

Friday Funnies


We just returned from the Night Bazaar (NB). It's after 9pm here. Today we had cake with lunch, a visit from a friend, and a sky that got cloudy then cleared.

The boogie tune a handful of you remembered was "Taking Care of Business" by Bachman-Turner Overdrive (BTO). That one brings back memories. For "Old School Friday" we'll travel back to '61 and see if you know this classic:
"You're my love, you're my angel (rat-a-tat), you're the girl of my dreams. I'd like to thank you for waiting patiently. __ __, __ __ to stay." Hint: If you've been paying attention, you'll know that this song title is also the name of a Chiang Rai art event. It's an answer song as well. Extra points if you know the song it answered.

Today (in Thailand) is Lisa's birthday. Boot picked up a little cake on her morning food run and surprised Lisa with it at lunch. Sutheera called her this morning and sang 'Happy Birthday', our friend Tye came over this afternoon and brought her some gifts and they visited for awhile. This evening we went 'out on the town' and had dinner at the NB. On top of all that, Lisa finished the new piece she's been working on, and if the sun is strong enough this weekend (part of the process in the print making), it may make the show at Le Meridien. It's been quite a day for the B'day Kid.

It is said that Golden Retrievers can learn around 200 words. Daku is well on his way. In fact, both dogs are understanding a lot of verbal references and maybe someday we'll actually have conversations. (Ha) You do remember the joke about the talking dog, right?

On our way home this evening we passed a Chinese temple and heard the sound of drums and cymbals. A group was practicing their Lion Dance routine. I just caught a glimpse of the two-man beast as we drove by. There is a very diverse cultural/spiritual make-up here in Chiang Rai. Walk into various shops and businesses around town and you'll see some sort of shrine somewhere, with an offering of food and/or drink in place.

Now it's time for the 'Funnies'. Have a Dry WeekEnd.


Lipstick at School

According to a news report, a certain private school in Washington
recently was faced with a unique problem. A number of 12-year-old
girls were beginning to use lipstick and would put it on in the

That was fine, but after they put on their lipstick they would press
their lips to the mirror leaving dozens of little lip prints.

Every night, the maintenance man would remove them and the next day,
the girls would put them back. Finally the principal decided that
something had to be done. She called all the girls to the bathroom and
met them there with the maintenance man. She explained that all these
lip prints were causing a major problem for the custodian who had to
clean the mirrors every night.

To demonstrate how difficult it had been to clean the mirrors, she
asked the maintenance man to show the girls how much effort was
required. He took out a long-handled squeegee, dipped it in the
toilet, and cleaned the mirror with it. Since then, there have been no
lip prints on the mirror.

There are teachers, and then there are educators...

Gettin' Funky, Thai Style

Thursday, January 21, 2010



It was another beautiful day in The Rai. We got a welcomed delay on the art show, lunched in town, and discovered that the dogs treat us differently. Hmm.

There were a couple of responses to the current song. The group seems to have eluded everyone. Try again.
"If you ever get annoyed, look at me I'm unemployed and I love to work at nothing all day. And I'll be __ __ __ __ every day, __ __ __ __ every way. I've been __ __ __ __ it's all mine, __ __ __ __ and working overtime."
Hint: It's from 1974, there are several brothers in the group, and they're from Canada.

It appears that the Friday hanging of the art show will be postponed until Tuesday. We would have been ready, but there's a piece that Lisa's working on that she'd really like to put in the show and the delay will make that possible. Sometimes things just work out.

When I take Daku out for his morning run, he takes me around the west side of the house. It started a long time ago when I started letting him go out without a leash. When he and Lisa go out, he takes her around the east side of the house, past the kitchen and the car port. When I take both dogs together, it varies, depending on BamBam's mood, since she takes off and Daku chases her, and I just tag along. They have some sense about the whole thing, I guess. It's rare that they just stay in the back and play.

This evening I went downtown and on my way back I drove down 'Clock Tower Street'. At the Tower there is a roundabout. Somehow everyone manages to get around the circle without running into each other. I slowed to let a big group of Harley/fake Harleys merge when I heard a loudspeaker. I didn't notice that it was coming from behind me. It wasn't until I saw a red and blue light bar that I realized it was an emergency vehicle. As it came up behind me it was clear that it wasn't the police. It was the Rescue Rangers on a mission. I pulled over and the truck roared past, belching black smoke. They continued up the street, announcing their presence and pushing the traffic to the side. Amazing Thailand.

Have a Good Thursday.


"Find the seed at the bottom of your heart and bring forth a flower."
~Shigenori Kameoka

Gettin' Funky, Thai Style

Wednesday, January 20, 2010



The weather in Chiang Rai is a study in contrast. This morning it started out cold and turned into a beautiful, warm day. We continued with the prep for the coming art show, the dogs munched leaves, I had coffee with a friend, and we went to an art show opening this evening.

Well, the 'Easy' song turned out to be a hard one, based on the response. It was "Did You Ever Have To Make Up Your Mind?" by The Lovin' Spoonful. I even gave you obvious clues. Oh well, maybe you remember this one:
"You get up every morning from your 'larm clock's warning, take the 8:15 into the city. There's a whistle up above, and people pushin', people shovin', and the girls who try to look pretty..." Hint: A great boogie tune doin' what needs to be done, by a group that's a hyphenate.

It's wintertime here, but it's not what you'd expect. Jackets are needed in the early morning, but by the afternoon, only one layer is required. There has been a forecast for rain, but we've seen that before and nothing happened. It would be nice to have a little rain. Not the kind in California, just an afternoon shower. We've been keeping up with what's been going on with the weather over there. We hope everyone is doing OK. Stay warm and dry if you can.

Across the street from our house there is a stand of teak trees. They have big leaves, some are 8 or 9 inches wide. This time of year the trees shed their leaves and if the breeze is just right, they blow into our front yard. For some unknown reason, the dogs treat them like potato chips. They love to pounce on one, bite it, and then lie down and eat the whole thing. This afternoon Boot and Lisa picked up all the leaves and when I took Daku out this evening, he covered the whole yard looking for them.

We took the last of Lisa's art to the frame shop today. Khun Noy is going to deliver the whole batch to the hotel on Friday for the hanging of the show. The work of the four artists will go on display Saturday, but the official opening will be later.

My friend Marty, who lives in Pai, was in town on his way to Mae Sai. We had coffee at Doi Chaang and talked of many things. The area where he lives is southeast of us and is a very beautiful part of the country. Some day we'll get down there and take in the scenery.

Our evening was spent at 9 Gallery for the opening of a show by the owner of the gallery. Khun Sompong and his wife Nai have created a setting for local artists to display their work. His show was titled "Daddy's Home". Of course I immediately thought of the song. When we got to the gallery, Nai asked us if the meaning was 'Daddy is home' or 'Daddy's house'. I explained that I understood it to mean that Daddy was home. She smiled. Then I told her there was an old song by the same title, and she told us she knew it and began to sing it. We all laughed.

It's time for Wacky Wednesday.


"Life can only be understood backwards, but it must be lived forwards."
~Soren Kierkegaard

Gettin' Funky, Thai Style

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Only Love


This was a day of running dogs, watering lawns and gardens, and a visit to the market. We also discovered an amazing store near us.

I'm surprised that I didn't get more responses to this 'Easy' song. I guess you were out playing in the rain.
"__ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __, pick up on one and leave the other behind? It's not often easy and not often kind __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __?" Hint: That's the first verse. It really is easy, just make up your mind that you can remember and you will. (Ha)

Last night and this morning, when I took the dogs out for exercise and playtime, they both were drawn to a small tree in the the front yard. It has little, fragrant flowers. Some are white and some are purple. It drew the dogs into what I can only describe as a 'spell'. They totally obsessed on the little tree until I managed to distract them. With noses in the air, they circled the tree. BamBam even stood on her hind legs, trying to get closer to the source of the attraction. Then they found the flowers that had fallen from the tree. Most of them were colorless and starting to dry out but that didn't stop the dogs from devouring them like they were some doggie treat. I'll try and find out the name of the tree the next time the yards get groomed.

Yesterday I mentioned that Boot had Sunday off. Well, yesterday and today she hasn't been feeling well so we're still on our own. Today we went to the market for some basics. We have it down to a science now. We start with the fish guy and the chicken lady. I tell them what we want and then we move on to the vegetable section. There's a couple who have a nice assortment of what we like to eat and it all looks good. From there we head over to the noodle lady and then it's back around to pick up the fish and chicken. We didn't stop at the fruit stand because we bought watermelon yesterday at the afternoon market in Ban Mai. We realized today that we get all our meat and produce in the open air market. That was one of the odd things about shopping in America. One has to go into a grocery store to get these things. There are small versions of those stores here, but it's not the same as the open air shopping. Hmm.

Speaking of shopping, on our way home today we needed potato chips to go with our tuna sandwiches. I was going to stop at a 7-11 on the way and I found parking right in front of a store. We've seen this store many times as we drive down the street, but it's one of those places you could drive by for years and never know what's inside. Well, today we went inside and were totally blown away. It's a major market, complete with a pharmacy section. The only thing they don't have is fresh food. We strolled up and down the isles just checking the place out. Needless to say, we left with more that potato chips. I even found a juice that I've never seen in the other stores, made by one of the major brands. We will definitely be going back for supplies since it's a lot closer. We also enjoyed the courteous staff. At one point Lisa was carrying several items and a young woman spotted her and rushed over with a basket. It's the little things.

This morning we listened to two pivotal speeches delivered by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. As always, it was moving and thought provoking.

Have a Happy Tuesday.


"Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that.
Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that."
~Martin Luther King, Jr.

Gettin' Funky, Thai Style

Monday, January 18, 2010



Well, we're slowly getting back into the rhythm of our Thailand lives. Artwork is at the frame shop, the dogs have settled down (Ha), and the town is crawling with tourists. Today we paid a visit to our vet and experienced rush-hour traffic, Chiang Rai style.

The 'Old School Friday' song was "Cry Me A River" by Julie London. It's worth a listen if you don't know it. Now it's time for 'Easy Monday'. I'm trying to be gentle with these, and yet offer some sort of vague challenge. (Ha) I've been accused of being too easy. "Did you ever have to finally decide? Then say yes to one and let the other one ride, there's so many changes and tears you must hide. Did you ever have to finally decide?" Clues: There are nine words in the title. It's asking a question. It's from 1966. The group name involves a utensil, sort of.

Some of the weekend is a blur. We're still recovering from the trip home. We delivered some of Lisa's art work to the frame shop, and we'll take more tomorrow. There was also a trip to 'The Tractor Store', as we call it. This is the business/home of 'The Family'. We went by to deliver a wedding card and gift for Nu and Nan, who got married while we were in America. We missed a big event. There were 600 people at the wedding and from the pictures we saw, it was quite something. The bride and groom were still on their honeymoon in Viet Nam so we visited with the rest of the family. Oh, they do actually sell tractors, and parts for cars and tractors.

Sunday was Boot's day off and she was delighted to get a break. She'd been taking care of the house and the dogs for over three weeks. That meant that we had to fend for ourselves. Lisa hasn't lost her magic in the Thai kitchen. We had a delicious lunch and decided to go to the Night Bazaar for dinner. Our friends there were glad to see us and that was nice.

While at the Night Bazaar we stopped by a vendor to show her the bag I had made from the material I got from her. I overheard a non-Thai woman speaking fluent Thai and whispered to Lisa. Her husband was standing off to the side and we got into a conversation with him. It turns out they've been living here for ten years. They operate 'Home of the Open Heart', a center that takes care of children and family members of those who have contracted HIV/AIDS. They've been doing it for nine years. They're from Australia and were very nice to talk to. We'll probably be seeing them in the future.

Today we went to the flower market and picked up a fruit basket to take to Dr. Arnon, our vet, since we'd missed his grand opening party. He told us that 30 vets from Bangkok came up for the party. His wife asked him why he hadn't invited the 'family for BamBam'? He explained to her that we were in America. It seems that BamBam has a following. Who knew?

It's bloom time in The Rai and there are flowers everywhere. We have a very colorful yard this time of year and the roadsides are the same. It won't be long before everything dries up and it all turns brown. We do have our seasons.

Have a Great Week.


"Our greatest strength lies not in how much we differ from each other
but in how much - how very much - we are the same."
~Eknath Easwaran

Gettin' Funky, Thai Style

Friday, January 15, 2010

Funnies Funnies


Our first night back in Chiang Rai was typical. Today we tackled Big C, drove in 'traffic', and made appointments for various things. Preparations also began for another art show Lisa will be in later this month.

Our last song, which got a big response after day two, was "Leaving on a Jet Plane" by Peter, Paul and Mary. For the 'Old School Friday' adventure, we'll try and hum a tune by a singer/actress from the '50s. It was a Pop hit.
"...You drove me, nearly drove me out of my head, while you never shed a tear. Remember, I remember all that you said: Told me love was too plebeian, told me you were through with me and now you say you love me, well, just to prove you do, come on and __ __ __ __, __ __ __ __...." Hint: The lyrics are from the bridge. There is a request for tears in this one, and the singer's last name is the same as a city across the pond. Hmm.

You may recall that yesterday's message mentioned that I was fading. Not long after I sent the message, we went to bed. I woke up at 3:30am and stared at the ceiling for hours. There were little naps sprinkled in, but I never got back to a sound sleep. Lisa woke up every hour, but managed to sleep a bit more. It always happens like this. The problem with just getting up is that Daku thinks it's cool to get up that early. He woke up, but played by himself until 6am. He remembered the whole morning routine. Whew.

When we were in America, one of the things we missed was our Doi Chaang Coffee. Blue and Ming gave us a bag for Christmas and it made all the difference in our morning routine. It was 'Piko's Peaberry' in a chic black bag. We can't get it in Thailand. It's sold in Canada and Europe. Blue and Ming picked some up for us when they went to Vancouver to visit the Doi Chaang offices recently. Thanks guys, for bringing a little bit of Thailand to America by way of Canada.

All that was just to tell you that we started our morning in a very familiar way and things felt like they were returning to normal. Later in the morning we went to Big C to restock certain staples. We noticed that the road crews had been busy while we were gone. The new bridge is finished, but not open, and there's a big stretch of the Super Highway that's been completely repaved.

After lunch we thought we'd just rest a bit before going back out into town. We both fell asleep, along with Daku. Our car was in serious need of washing so we went downtown and dropped it off. While we were waiting we walked around and discovered that Lisa's favorite used book store is closed. I peeked in and there was nothing there. Down the street there's another store that exchanges books in English, but it's not as extensive.

The woman who runs the car wash commented that we'd had a dog in the car. That opened the door for a 'broken' conversation about dogs. I knew that she also has a Golden and when I mentioned that, her face lit up.
We left there and went down to Pai massage and set up an appointment for tomorrow morning. Can't wait. After that we stopped at the bakery/hotel and picked up fresh bread and went home for dinner.

Around 8pm that feeling set in. The one that says 'You're getting very sleepy. You can hardly hold your head up." This is how it will be for a few days. As much as we fight it, it always wins. Oh well.

Le Meridien Hotel will be the sight of an art show of 'Expats', and Lisa will be one of the artists. We have a week to get ready. That means taking her new prints to the frame shop and getting a few others reframed. Tomorrow afternoon we have a meeting with Khun Jaffe and the other artists to discuss logistics.

It's time for the 'Funnies'. This list of things to ponder was sent to me by Cousin Trudye.

Have a Wonderful WeekEnd.

Subject: Points to Ponder

I think part of a best friend's job should be to immediately clear your computer history if you die.

Nothing is worse than that moment during an argument when you realize you're wrong.

I totally take back all those times I didn't want to nap when I was younger.

There is great need for a sarcasm font.

How the heck are you supposed to fold a fitted sheet?

Was learning cursive really necessary?

Map Quest really needs to start their directions on #5. I'm pretty sure I know how to get out of my neighborhood.

Bad decisions make good stories.

You never know when it will strike, but there comes a moment when you know that you just aren't going to do anything productive for the rest of the day.

Can we all just agree to ignore whatever comes after Blue Ray? I don't want to have to restart my collection... again.

I'm always slightly terrified when I exit out of Word and it asks me if I want to save any changes to my ten-page research paper that I swear I did not make any changes to.

"Do not machine wash or tumble dry" means I will never wash this -- ever.

I hate when I just miss a call by the last ring (Hello? Hello? Darn it!), but when I immediately call back, it rings nine times and goes to voicemail. What'd you do after I didn't answer? Hangup the phone and run away?

I hate leaving my house confident and looking good and then not seeing anyone of importance the entire day. What a waste.

I keep some people's phone numbers in my phone just so I know not to answer when they call.

I think the freezer deserves a light as well.

Gettin' Funky, Thai Style

Thursday, January 14, 2010



Totally fading here. We got home around 3:30pm, Thursday (Midnight Wed. for most of you). I know, it's weird. The dogs were so excited to see us. They both gained some extra pounds while we were gone, but that will change. Boot was also glad to see us. It's good to be home. We really missed Boot and the dogs, but you already knew that.

It appears that no one remembers the song. Maybe this will help: "I'm __ __ __ __ __, don't know when I'll be back again... oh babe, I hate to go." Hint: Do you really need one?

I hate to go but I can't keep my eyes open. The next few days will be a little strange until I get on the right time. When you lose a day, it all gets blurry as to what the real time is and sometimes the body wants to sleep when the body wants to sleep. Better known as 'Jet Lag'.

Have a Cool Dry Thursday.


"Live in the moment and make it so beautiful that it will be worth remembering."

Gettin' Funky, Thai Style

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Flight Time


The airport was the airport. When we arrived at our terminal we saw a long line of people standing outside in the cold. I went to get a cart for our bags and was shocked to see a $4 charge for the rental. Most airports offer them as a courtesy. Hmm. Anyway, we managed to roll our bags into an open door, ignoring the line. The counter for EVA was just inside the door. Because we were flying First Class, we avoided the long line. At the counter, the first bag went on the scale and it was under the limit. Then the ticket agent printed out tickets and had both bags tagged. When she directed us to the TSA area I asked about the second bag. She said, 'You weigh at home and it's OK?'. I stammered and assured her that it was fine. Well, it was lighter than the one on the scale and we breathed a sigh of relief. The last time we flew home, they weighed our carry-ons. This time they didn't.

I won't bore you with the long line and the final scrutiny before officially entering the terminal. It is what it is and it's not going to get any better. Our plane was late getting to LAX so we left 45 minutes after the scheduled time.

This is our first experience in First Class on EVA Airlines. It's a totally different world on this side of the curtain. The flight attendant didn't just wave her hand in the direction of our seats, she led us to them. As soon as we sat down in the big, giant seats, we were like little kids. There was so much to see, so much to discover. The seats are electric and have a whole control console for adjusting every part you can imagine. In Elite Class you get a little plastic bag with a tooth brush and lotion. This time we noticed leather pouches on the seat. Inside was a whole toiletry kit, complete with a folding hair brush. The headphones are the 'noise-cancelling' type that really fit over your ear. Instead of a thin blanket, we have a quilt. The video screen is larger, and so are the restrooms.

We had dinner after take off. Not a plastic, foil covered 'What is that' meal, but a three course dinner. We ordered a chicken dinner and expected it to be what we were used to on previous flights. Wrong. First of all, an attendant came by and placed a tablecloth on our trays. Then came the food tray, complete with a water glass, and a wine glass. Our first course was a small salad made up of small, neatly sliced chicken breast with radish slices in between, three kinds of lettuce, a wonderful dressing, and a choice of warm bread or rolls. We thought it was a snack. Then they came by and just took just the plate. That was our clue that more was coming. We looked at each other and couldn't believe it. Then we started laughing when Lisa said we were acting like a couple of 'Hillbillys'. It was true, it was such an amazing change from the many times we'd been on the same airplane. The second course was 'dinner'. Grilled chicken with mixed vegetables and rice. Oh, and we had real plates and silverware. No plastic forks in this cabin. For dessert we had a fruit plate. It also should be noted that at any time we'd like something to drink, or a snack, they're more than happy to accommodate. I had a suspicion that we might like this and I was right. One could get spoiled with treatment like this. I smell food. We're going to eat soon so I'll sign off and say 'Wish you were here'.


Gettin' Funky, Thai Style



Today, or night (it's dark outside), I'm writing to you from high about the Sea of Okhotsk. We're flying southwest toward Japan. We finished our visit with a grand slam. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner, all with notable friends.

The 'Easy Monday' song was "Bohemian Rhapsody" by Queen. Your mid-week challenge is one we played with a few years ago. It's actually another easy one: "All my bags are packed, I'm ready to go, I'm standing here outside your door, I hate to wake you up to say good-bye..." Hint: The hint, like before, is '1970', the year of the song.

Tuesday morning Lisa had breakfast with her friend McKinley. I stayed home and organized all my 'stuff' for packing. I also spent some time with C-Bass. Three weeks is just long enough to put things in places you forgot, or at least take enough out of the bags that it makes you wonder how it all got in there in the first place.

Marina del Rey seems to be the popular spot for lunch on this trip. Lisa met with Jeff for lunch and I went on a hunt for the last three things on the last list. I managed to find one of them and a little lunch. We had a big laugh when I mentioned we could go by a stationary store that's been gone for years. I had a current store in mind, but said 'Culver Stationary'. If you've lived in the area then you know that place closed about 15 years ago. (Ha)

We had our last dinner at Emerald Thai. Nid, who runs the place, is a dear friend and we hadn't had a chance to sit and talk with him. When we originally told him we were moving to Thailand he immediately started teaching us Thai. At least he tried. We had a light meal and mostly talked about how he's doing. It seemed like it meant a lot to him that we came by. It was a warm visit that we'll remember for quite awhile.

The time before our flight was spent with The Boys. C-Bass and August hung out in our apartment and while August read to Lisa, C-Bass and I flipped through the pages of Star magazine, discussing the ins and outs of the 'star making machinery'. Lots of big laughs and '15 year old' questions. When it was time to go there were many hugs, but they handled it the best of any trip. It's still difficult for us to leave them, but we're all getting a little more graceful about it.

It's been a busy three weeks, but well worth the effort. There are many friends that I didn't get to spend enough (or any) time with but we'll be back in the summer. Until then, there's email, and a primitive thing called the telephone.


PS You will be getting another message today with 'Flight Time' as the subject.

"If you're not thinking about a negative thought, your vibration is going to
rise to its natural positive place."

Gettin' Funky, Thai Style

Tuesday, January 12, 2010



What can I say, another lunch, another dinner, and some serious packing. I also have another entry for the 'Chronicles' for you today.

There were some who got the 'Easy' song rather quickly. Trudye heard it on the radio as she read her mail.
"I see a little silhouetto of a man, scaramouch, scaramouch will you do the fandango? Thunderbolt and lightning, very, very frightening me. Galileo, Galileo..." Hint: Admittedly, this song is all over the place, but it was a brilliant little operetta by a group whose name is a member of any royal family. Hmm.

This morning while Lisa had coffee and conversation with our friend Kerrina, I went to Best Buy to get an I.R. 'Blaster' for our Slingbox. We've been missing the wonders of our 'Sling' for a whole F1 season. Here's hoping the new one does the trick. Then I went to the art supply store to get more gel for Lisa's cast acrylic print making. Essential stuff.

We had lunch with our friends Raul and Vivian at a little diner that plays oldies. I even splurged and got in the mood with a Cherry Coke. (Ha) It was really good to spend time with them and catch up on everything.

We had made plans to go by our former house on Nina Pl., at the request of it's new owner. We got by late and missed her, but got to get all the 'news' from our 'across the street' neighbor. She gave us an update on everyone on the block. That was very cool. The house looks great, by the way.

The August Chronicles: Today August and I put the Galileo telescope together. One of the lenses was a little to big to fit into its tube so we had to sand it down a bit. Once it was in place the rest was pretty easy. August learned very quickly how to focus it and ran upstairs to see if he could see the Hollywood Sign. It was too hazy today but he'll try again. He did see distant palm trees and was quite pleased with the project. This evening his dad, Jeff, told us about August's reaction a few weeks ago when Jeff was considering changing satellite companies. When he told August that they might drop Dishnet for DirectTV, August was not too happy at all. In fact, he was outraged. "I was born with Dish, I grew up with Dish, I won't know where any of the channels are without Dish." You get the idea. For reasons other than the outburst, they didn't change companies. Tomorrow he's going on a field trip to the aquarium. That should provide some interesting tales.

This evening it was back to Thai Boom for me. I had dinner with a bunch of guys that I've known for years. We had a great time sharing a meal, laughing and talking. Our friends at the restaurant treated us to coconut ice-cream for dessert. Nice.

The bags are almost full and there's still stuff waiting. May have to make some 'serious' decisions. (Ha) We've done it before and we can do it again. We fly away at 11:25pm tonight. Of course, that will be after a few long lines. On the bright side, we've taken some of our accumulated miles and upgraded our seating for the trip home. We'll be flying business class and riding in the 'big seats', along with other extras. We may just get spoiled. (Ha) I'll tell you more after we get to Taipei.

I'll send you something from the Taipei airport during our layover. It's going to take a full 24 hours to travel door to door.

Have a Happy Tuesday.


"Service is the rent you pay for room on this earth."
~Shirley Chisholm

Gettin' Funky, Thai Style

Monday, January 11, 2010



It's been a busy weekend. There were more lunches, dinners, and shopping expeditions. There were also brief naps, and more card games.

The 'Old School' song was "Earth Angel" by The Penguins. I actually got a couple of correct responses. I'll bet you're glad it's 'Easy Monday'. "Is this the real life? Is this just fantasy? Caught in a landslide, no escape from reality..." Hint: They said they would rock you and they did. This one's a little heavy, but should be easy.

Friday we were back in Marina del Rey for lunch with our friend Richard. He's really into coffee and actually roasts green beans as a hobby. We brought him some green Doi Chaang beans and learned more about coffee over lunch. After lunch we had coffee with our friend Claire.

Saturday we went to Pasadena and had lunch with Blue at Saladang restaurant. Never enough Thai food. (Ha) From there we went to my Jean's (my mom) house and helped her set up a Skype account, and got her printer working. Now we can talk to her computer-to-computer and see each other.

Sunday Jean came to Culver City and we had lunch at Thai Boom and had a fun time. After lunch we took pictures. In the evening I had dinner with two old friends in Hollywood. Lots of reconnecting going on.

As our visit gets closer to the end we find that, as usual, there were more things we wanted to do but just didn't have the time. I suppose that's part of the price one pays for living so far away. Maybe we'll have to sneak into town sometime and wear disguises. (Ha)

Tomorrow we have a couple of lists to finish off. Oh yeah, packing will be one of those things that will be on the list. I have a project with August in the afternoon. We're going to put a cardboard telescope kit together and learn more about Galileo. That should be fun.

We fly out on Tuesday night so there will be one more post from America and probably one from the 'road'. Have a Great Week.


"Life is either a great adventure or nothing."
~Helen Keller

Gettin' Funky, Thai Style

Friday, January 8, 2010

Friday Funnies


The agenda for today was just like the others. Lunches, errands, and hanging out with The Boys. I forgot the name of a landmark, and more changes in the landscape of L.A. were presented. Hmm.

The song we were humming was "Pretty Woman" by Roy Orbison. Now I'll bet the clues make sense. (Ha) For the 'Old School Weekend' see if this rings a bell. "__ __, __ __, will you be mine? My darling dear, love you all the time. I'm just a fool, a fool in love, with you..." Hint: A celestial being with both feet on the ground.

Today Lisa had lunch with her former boss in the Marina. Before that she had coffee with two friends from the institute and I got a chance to visit with them before running off to do what I do. (Ha)

Driving up Lincoln Bl. I noticed that Marie Callenders and Kinko's were gone. Not just closed mind you, but everything is gone. What a shock. My destination was the Apple Store in Santa Monica. I got a call from my friend Darryl while I was there and I couldn't remember the name of my location. All I could get out was 'the big mall place near the water'. Oh my, guess I've been away too long. He reminded me that it's the 3rd Street Promenade. I had to park on the top of one of the parking structures and I got to see the ocean for the first time during this visit. Wow.

From Santa Monica, I returned to Culver City. These little trips across town are as much sight-seeing tours as they are errands. It's funny, but I really enjoy seeing all the cars that we don't have in Chiang Rai. Like Bentleys, Corvettes, just to name a few. I find myself out of the loop when it comes to food as well. Trying to find lunch was a bit of an ordeal. I finally did and then spent some time with a friend of mine.

When I headed back out to Marina del Rey to pick up Lisa, the fog was starting to roll in. There's another strange saying. I guess it does appear to roll if you think about it. Anyway, the view from the tenth floor of the institute would have been wonderful, except for the fog. I remember what it looks like and I'll just have to hang on to that. I got a chance to see Pedro, a fellow Formula One fan and we talked about the state of the sport. That was nice.

The casino was open again this evening in our little kitchen. C-Bass and Lisa played more solitaire and then 'Fish'. I can't remember if I ever played that one. Later, August came over and we all ate dinner and then he taught Lisa a card game. Then he showed her a board game he created, and then they played 'Candyland'. I'll probably see his board game tomorrow. Can't wait.

Tomorrow we have to go to El Segundo, to the offices of the airline we use so we can order our dinners for the return flight. Their website just isn't cooperating. Sometimes technology gets in the way.

It's time for the 'Funnies'. This musical laugh is from my dear friend Blue. Have a Wonderful WeekEnd.


Before the gig, the bandleader calls the singer over to him and tells her, "Tonight, when we do 'Night and Day,' I want you to sing the second verse first, and then break into the bridge one bar earlier than usual. Transpose the bridge up a minor third, but then back down again for the last three bars of it. Then add a 5/4 bar going back into the FIRST chorus, singing on only off-beats. During the sax solo, go to the bridge a bar-and-a-HALF too early, interrupting the solo, finish the first verse, go to the coda a bar late, and then keep singing for a full 3 beats after the band has ended."

Her eyes widen and she says, "Are you nuts? That's way too hard, I can't do all that."

He says, "Why not? You did it last night!!

Gettin' Funky, Thai Style

Thursday, January 7, 2010



So, today we had a grand reunion with a friend from the past, picked up another pile of vitamins, had dinner with a good friend, and there was a solitaire marathon.

A bunch of you filled in the blanks and came up with the song. The ending should help the rest of you. Hmm.
"I guess I'll go on home, it's late. There'll be tomorrow night, but wait! What do I see? Is she walkin' back to me? Yeah, she's walkin' back to me, oh, oh, __ __." Hint: It seems pretty clear that it's about a woman. (Ha)

It's a very special day when one can connect with someone from the past. Today was one of those days. Lisa has a friend named Lisa whom she hasn't seen in 24 years. They've been in contact for a little while now and we did a Skype video call a few weeks ago and got to see each other, their dogs and ours, and generally share our lives. The Marina shopping center was the sight of today's reunion and it was something to see. Lisa and her husband Hamilton live in Nevada and they drove to California with their two dogs, Keltie and Jake. Her dad was with them and we all had lunch, and got caught up.

As the days wind down and we get serious about our departure we still have 'chores' to do. I think we almost finished up with the vitamins today. Tomorrow there will be a run to the Apple store for a battery, some odds and ends, and then we have to get serious about doing a test of the luggage to see just how to arrange it all. Oh, the joys of travel.

This evening we had dinner at Emerald Thai with our dear friend Kathie, who, among other things, introduced me to the world of the blog site. A world traveler in her own right, we always have a wonderful time.

C-Bass and Lisa had a conversation about solitaire with real playing cards after he beat his computer version of the game. He didn't know that two people could play at the same time, against each other. That meant a trip to the store for two decks of cards. This evening they played double solitaire for about two hours. Big fun.

Have a Thrilling Thursday.

“Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.” ~Howard Thurman

Gettin' Funky, Thai Style

Wednesday, January 6, 2010



Today there was lunch in Marina del Rey, an excursion to Brentwood, a trip to the mall, and hanging out with The Boys.

The 'Easy' song was "Tell Her No" by The Zombies. Seems like a lot of you remembered that song. How about this one: "__ __, walkin' down the street, __ __, the kind I like to meet..." Clue: The irony with this song is that the singer couldn't really see that well. There may have been a movie. Hmm.

While Lisa lunched in the Marina, I went to Brentwood to pick up our tax papers from the accountant. Yes, we still pay taxes. (Ha) I was fortunate enough to get a parking space right in front of the building and there was time on the meter. I love the new meters, with their digital read-out and blinking lights. Too bad it costs so much. In Chiang Rai we can park in the business area for 12 cents.

Later I joined Lisa in the Marina and visited briefly with some friends from the institute where she used to work. Then we went over to Fox Hills Mall (I will always call it that), where I had a salad (yum) and we did some shopping. We cruised the new Target and found some nice things and some necessary things. Then it was off to See's and then Vitamin World. We have to calculate how many of which vitamins and then figure out how many bottles to buy. Whew. It adds weight to the luggage, but some things we just can't get over there.

In the evening C-Bass and I watched the Orange Bowl while Lisa and August played a board game. Mr. Bass, as I sometimes call him, knows a lot about football and did a little side commentating for me. We could tell from the laughter and exclamations, that the board game in the kitchen was lots of fun.

Have a Wacky Wednesday.


“Nobody can go back and start a new beginning, but anyone can start today and make a new ending.”
~Maria Robinson

Gettin' Funky, Thai Style

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Hold On


Today the sun was out and there were a few visits with old friends. We're in the last third of our stay and the pace is picking up a bit.

The 'Easy Monday' song seems to be a winner. I have a ton of mail to prove it. I think you like this song, still.
"And if she should tell you 'I love you', (whoa, whoa), just remember she said that to me, __ __ __ " Hint: At this point there are no hints. You know it or you don't.

Lisa spent the early afternoon with a friend out in the marina. She got to take the car. The little Mazda is easy to drive and she had forgotton how fun it was. Hmm.

Some of our friends are people we've met through their businesses. We have two Thai restaurants that we frequented through the years before we left, and we still stop by to visit when we come back. We discovered that our friends at Thai Boom had a second location. Today we decided to go up and pay them a visit. Suni met us at the door and it was a very warm greeting. She and her husband Woody came to our house when they were in Thailand last year, so we have a special connection. They have a server, (Noom, speaks very good English) who got brought up to speed about our relationship and lots of conversation ensued. We got to practice our Thai (with lots of English sprinkled in) and Sunday we're going back to the first location and share pictures of our home and Lisa art. Suni told Noom that we live in a castle. Hmm.

In the course of hanging out with C-Bass, he's shared some interesting questions with me. Like why do people have conversations in Facebook when they could call each other on the phone? Good question. I also learned that he prefers comedies over action movies. Most boys his age like the action, I think. Of course it's not the same when it comes to video games. Maybe they should make 'comedic' video games. Or not. August lost another tooth this afternoon and brought it in to show us. He had it in a plastic bag, all ready for the Tooth Fairy. I remember the days.

Tomorrow will be a day of errands and 'stuff'. Driving around gives me a chance to realize all the changes that have taken place in the city since we've been gone. I suppose I'll notice changes in Chiang Rai when we return.

We talked to Boot this afternoon and she told us Daku has been biting everything. Part of that is his age and part of it is the fact that things are different and he doesn't understand. She told us BamBam was on the bed with her and Daku tried to join them. He's much too big for that and she made him stay on the floor. We miss the dogs.

It's time for a Happy Tuesday.


"Hold on to what is good even if it is a handful of earth.
Hold on to what you believe even if it is a tree which stands by itself.
Hold on to what you must do even if it is a long way from here.
Hold on to life even when it is easier letting go.
Hold on to my hand even when I have gone away from you."
~Pueblo Blessing

Gettin' Funky, Thai Style

Monday, January 4, 2010



We had a very busy weekend and the week ahead shows no sign of letting up. With a week and a day remaining, there is still lots to do and many people to see. I see a vacation in the future.

Our Friday song was answered by many. "Since I Don't Have You" by The Skyliners. It's 'Easy Monday' and I know you know this one: "And if she should tell you 'come closer', and if she tempts you with her charms, __ __ __.... Don't hurt me now for her love belongs to me." Hint: The group name is all the rage in movies these days, the song is asking the listener to turn down advances from the girl he loves. Hmm.

Friday we had lunch with our friends Kerrina and Michael and their three kids, which is always a treat. In the afternoon we met with Blue and Ming for a final visit with Ming before he returns to Stanford. He brought us a copy of his business plan for the Doi Chaang Coffee project. In between visits there were errands to run and business to attend to.

Saturday we attended funeral services for Cousin Marion. As is usually the case, it turned out to be a bittersweet family reunion. There were cousins we hadn't seen since long before we moved to Thailand so it was great to see them again.

After the service, and a gathering at the family home, we drove up to Benedict Canyon for a reunion of a different sort. Lisa has reconnected with a childhood friend by way of Facebook. They haven't seen each other since Lisa was 18. McKinley found Lisa while we were still in Thailand and they've been catching up since then.

Sunday we went to an afternoon party and then spent the rest of the day with the Valley Cousins. It's always a joy to hang out with the family. We sat outside until we couldn't take it anymore. Yes, we're still not handling the cold too well. We were brought up-to-date on all the happenings. It was also the first time we'd had Mexican food since we've been back.

The overnight temp in Chiang Rai was 68 degrees, with daytime highs in the low 80's. I can handle that.

Have a Great Week.


PS: Christopher wrote to tell me that Friday's quote is by Hilary Cooper.

"You might not know what you lost before it's gone.
On the other hand you might not know what you're missing until it

Gettin' Funky, Thai Style

Friday, January 1, 2010

Happy New Year


We ended the year with a great adventure. Onward into the new one with eyes wide open.

The last song we sang was "I Can See Clearly Now" by Johnny Nash. We'll end the year with 'Old School Friday'. "I don't have plans and schemes, and I don't have hopes and dreams, I don't have anything, __ __ __ __ __." Hint: It's from '59 and it's by a group who's name has something to do with what you see when you look up. Hmm. Oh yeah, the word 'You' is repeated many times at the end.

Today we all piled into the family van and went to Chinatown for Dim Sum. We had a ball. The trick is not to let the servers put anything on the table that you don't really want. We managed to get just what we knew we wanted and it worked out great. After lunch Lisa and I went into the main shopping area so I could get a warm jacket. I'll leave it here for the L.A. winters (Ha). We met up with the rest of the family at an herb shop on Broadway.

When we were going downtown we noticed the big 'L.A. Live' complex from the freeway and decided to check it out on the way home. We drove across downtown and made our way to the complex. It's quite impressive. Not knowing what to expect was kind of nice. Anna had been there before and pointed out where the red carpet had been for the daytime Emmy Awards. There was a temporary ice rink right in the middle of the main courtyard and Jeff and August went skating while we got coffee. Jeff is a pretty good skater and August is just learning. It looked like most of the kids on the ice were having their first experience and there was a lot of falling and grabbing the rail around the rink. There seems to be a lot to do down there and we'll probably return on another stateside trip.

This evening we had a delicious dinner. After dinner there were board games, conversation, and August got busy on Wii. He got it connected to the internet and has been downloading new games and activities. As I write this, we're all hanging on until midnight so we can set off little confetti poppers and make some noise.

I wish you all a very Happy New Year. Or, as they say in Thailand: 'Choke Dii Pii Mai'.


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

Gettin' Funky, Thai Style