Friday, April 30, 2010

Friday Funnies


It was a mellow day here in Chiang Rai. Another vet adventure, guest swimmers, and a connection to the past was established.

Our mid-week song was "(It's A) Family Affair" by Sly and The Family Stone. I gave you a ton of hints on that one. Now, gather 'round Kook Kats and Kitties and check out this groove from the archives of jazz land as we go deep into 'Old School Friday'. With a nod to all the jazz buffs out there, I bring you a little shot of 'vocalese' to ease you into the weekend. "There I go, there I go, there I go, there I go...Pretty baby, you are the soul who snaps my control. Such a funny thing but every time you're near me I never can behave..... I'm I insane or do I really see heaven in your eyes? Bright as stars that shine up above you in the clear blue skies.... Oh, is there any wonder why I'm really feeling in the mood for love?.... And you can blow now if you want to we're through." Hint: It's the blending of a sax solo from a standard and a lyrical take without comparison. The solo was created in 1949, the lyric in '52 and the popular recording was released in '54. Oh, the history. Are you in the mood?

This morning we had to take BamBam back to the vet for a blood test to see if her thyroid medicine needs adjusting. This time we took the truck, but I haven't been driving it so the battery was dead. We jumped it with the Vios and roared off into town. After the appointment, battery still down so three guys from Dr. Arnon's pushed me a few yards to get started. Life in the slow lane. BamBam did real good during the procedure.

We had a long nap, and then a warm swim. The water was up to 88F, which is quite comfortable for walking in, and cooling off. We did our laps as the clouds began rolling in, followed by thunder in the distance. It looked like it was about to rain, but it didn't. It waited until later.

Not long after our swim Jindah, Leah, and a little friend came over. When Lisa saw them in the yard they both exclaimed 'Wai Nam, wai nam' meaning 'Swim, swim'. Duh. They are so cute in the little pool, splashing, kicking, and pretending to swim with the rubber rings, and paddle boards. Jindah's mother came with them today. She was dressed in traditional Akha attire. I didn't get a chance to meet her, but she has one of those faces that is full of 'character'. The kids played in the water until the winds became too strong. It rained lightly, and moved away.

A few months ago I told you about meeting an artist from L.A. who was here for an Art Festival. I got an email from Mark Greenfield today telling me that he was forwarding my contact info to a couple of artists that I knew back in my college days (1961) and beyond. I had been thinking about them, and wondering how and what they were doing, and now contact will be made. Life is good.

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


A man and a woman were asleep like two innocent babies.
Suddenly, at 3 o'clock in the morning, a loud noise came from outside. The woman, bewildered, jumped up from the bed and yelled at the man 'Holy Crap. That must be my husband!'
So the man jumped out of the bed; scared and naked he jumped out the window. He smashed himself on the ground, ran through a thorn bush and to his car as fast as he could go. A few minutes later he returned and went up to the bedroom and screamed at the woman, 'I AM your husband!'
The woman yelled back, 'Yeah, then why were you running?'

Gettin' Funky, Thai Style

Thursday, April 29, 2010



Life in Chiang Rai is still orderly and civil. Today I pounded bamboo, the car got washed, the Talat got cruised, and we visited with a friend.

I got mail. A few of you recognized this one. Of course the Bay Area 'Family' knew this one since it came from there. "Newlywed a year ago, but you're still checking each other out, hey, nobody wants to blow. Nobody wants to be left out. You can't leave, 'cause your heart is there, but sure you can't stay, 'cause you been somewhere else. You can't cry 'cause you'll look broke down, but you're cryin' anyway 'cause you're all broke down. It's a __ __..."
Hint: It's a song about everyday people and their attempt to stand tall. OK, there were hints about the group, but that should help.

By now the whole world knows that there is turmoil in Bangkok. Thankfully, Chiang Rai is like a world apart. There are sympathizers here, but nothing like what's going on in Bangkok. This is a small town by comparison, and people are doing what they always do to get by. We're perfectly safe and sound.

This morning I staked the plant in the front yard that was leaning over. Tomorrow I'll fix the other one. I also have a light to change on the front wall. Farm chores are never done.

After two trips to the vet this week, the inside of the car was one hairy mess. The outside was just as bad from all the rain and splashing mud. It hadn't been washed since before Songkran. The car thanked me.

Before lunch we went back to the Talat. Every time we go to the market it's an adventure. This morning a woman rode her motorbike through the crowd to get to her stall. The cool thing about this place is that you can find almost anything there. It's not just about food. Clothing, shoes, fishing nets, and treats of every description are all waiting. There's even a woman with a mobile key shop on the back of a pick-up truck.

After our swim we went over to Khun Jaffee's house. He told us about his latest projects in the publishing world, and some of his future plans. He's a very interesting fellow and we enjoy our visits with him.

How could I not share another dog story? Yesterday we got Boot a pair of pretty pink slippers. Lisa noticed that she had them up off the floor in her apartment. Daku had been eyeing them. He loves shoes. He doesn't destroy them anymore, (although he did destroy a pair of my socks the other day) he just like to carry them around. Hmm.

Have a Fantastic Thursday.


"You will regret many things in life but you will never
regret being too kind or too fair."
~Brian Tracy

Gettin' Funky, Thai Style

Wednesday, April 28, 2010



Today we had a morning black-out, an early afternoon storm, and a visit to the vet. This evening we had dinner from a bag, and Daku is not a 'puppy' anymore. Hmm.

In case you hadn't noticed, the 'Easy Monday' song was "(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction" by The Rolling Stones. Moving right along, see if you know this one: "One child grows up to be, somebody that just loves to learn. And another child grows up to be, somebody you'd just love to burn. Mom loves the both of them, you see it's in the blood..." Clue: The title is in two words. One of those words is also in the name of the group. Notice how I'm trying to be sly with the clues?

This morning I went out and did a few errands. They were of the 'handyman' variety. Bamboo for the leaning plants, and something to clamp on the upstairs drain plug so it would work again. I was successful on both adventures. The bamboo was a little weird because I was shown a big pile of fairly small diameter stalks but none of them was really what I was looking for. I chose one that was close, and while the man went to get his saw I started poking around and found a smaller piece. As he was cutting that I came across an even smaller one. I ended up with one extra piece that I'm sure I'll be needing at some point. Down on 'Bus Station Street', or 'Hardware Alley', I drew a picture of what I needed, and was taken to a bin where I found it. Whenever I go into the store they always know I'm going to end up drawing a picture or showing them a photo on my phone. That's how we communicate.

The pool guys were in the last stages of their work, vacuuming the pond, when the power went out. Nothing to do but sweep, and sit around until it returned. It wasn't off for a long time, but it's a strange thing to have it happen during the day. It's usually storm related.

Lisa noticed that BamBam has some kind of irritation in her right eye so we took her to the vet. After a long wait, it was determined that it might be the result of an insect bite. Nothing serious but she has drops that she gets every hour. Oh my. While I'm on the subject of dogs, Daku has become a bit bolder now that he's not a puppy. We discovered that he can put his front paws on the sink and get his ball, or anything else he fancies. Now the balls go in the cupboard and Daku is watched more closely. I call him Mr. Mischief.

Boot was sick today and Lisa had ballet class so Tye offered to stop and pick up some food on the way home from the class. They ordered it on the way to class and picked it up afterwards. It was soup, and it came in a plastic bag. This is a very common way of containing liquids here. Everything from soft drinks to soup is put in a bag for 'take away'.

We've had quite a day, and now it's time for an evening swim. Looks like it's time for Wacky Wednesday.


"To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make
you something else is the greatest accomplishment."
~Ralph Waldo Emerson

Gettin' Funky, Thai Style

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

The Day


Another beautiful day in Chiang Rai. It's 5:30pm and I'm watching the approaching storm. We went out before lunch and shopped, so let it rain. We have a massage later, and might have to dodge a few rain drops.

It really is an 'Easy' song. I have proof in the number of emails. This song has been an anthem for many generations.
"When I'm watchin' my T.V. and that man comes on and tells me, how white my shirts can be. Well he can't be a man 'cause he doesn't smoke the same cigarettes as me. I can't get no __. 'Cause I try, and I try, and I try, and I try, I can't get no. No, no, no" Hint: I gave you part of the title already. The four words before the blank are part of the (title). So, there seems to be a lack of resolution in the singers life.

This morning we went to the Talat (market) in search of sandals, snacks, and blouses. Scored on all three. I'm getting better at negotiating the 'streets' within the market. Some of the lanes are just food and since we go to another market for that, we just travel the ones with 'stuff'. There's so much 'stuff' to see. There is also a cast of characters that you're likely to see on any given day. Today we saw the blind singer. He has a small amplifier around his neck that plays music tracks as well as his voice. He seems to have a sense of the center of the aisle, and walks very slowly, singing to the tracks with sincerity. There is a cup in his mic hand for donations. That's his job, day in, day out. Brings things into focus.

This afternoon we went over to Arisara massage to make an appointment for this evening. It's easier in person than over the phone, given the language barrier, and not knowing all the names yet. On our way home we stopped at a new place we've been watching, and wondering about. It's hard to tell from the outside just what it is, so we decided to see. Peaking in a window, we saw a counter with what looked like a drink dispenser. A man came over and we got that it's going to be 'Coffee and Beer' and will be open in 'half a month'. Interesting combination of beverages. I think it's going to be kind of a sports bar. We'll see.

Around the corner from there was Chiang Rai Mall, where we investigated the availability of a TiVo like device for recording TV. The one from our service provider seems to be out of the picture. After many attempts, we finally got through as to what we wanted. You guessed it, Mai Mee. They could order something from Bangkok, so now we have one source. The search continues.

After a quick U-turn, we checked out a beauty supply store we've been seeing for some time. There were more workers than customers, so it was easy to get help. Most of the help was in Thai so it was not very helpful. There was one young woman who was fairly fluent in English and she was helpful. She was actually a Katoey, and quite 'passable'. I guess the beauty supply store is the perfect place to work. This place sold everything from hair color to toothpaste. It won't be a regular stop on our shopping 'tours', but good to know it's there.

It's almost time to go and now the rain is really coming down. Hmm, and we're going out there. Luckily, there's no big wind tonight so it shouldn't be a hard drive.

Have a Happy Tuesday.


"The day the child realizes that all adults are imperfect he becomes an
adolescent; the day he forgives them, he becomes an adult; the day he
forgives himself, he becomes wise."
~Aiden Nowlan

Gettin' Funky, Thai Style

Monday, April 26, 2010



Chiang Rai had the usual weather over the weekend. Sunny and hot all day with an afternoon storm. We did our usual thing. Lisa worked on more cast acrylic prints, I tended the dogs, and cleaned plant life from the pool. This morning the dogs were in 'hunter' mode.

Well, looks like a bunch of you flunked the 'Old School' test. The song was "Venus" by Frankie Avalon. I guess we'll have to do a real 'Easy Monday' song this week. "When I'm drivin' in my car, and a man comes on the radio, tellin' me more and more about some useless information, supposed to inspire my imagination, I can't get no, oh no no no..."
Hint: It's a one word title by a group from across the pond, named after a blues song. Hmm.

Our rain day count had been short for most of the month, but we're catching up fast. It seems like we're getting some everyday. The nice thing about it is that it comes in the late afternoon, so we can still do things without getting wet. Today it looked like rain, then blew away. It waited until tonight to do its thing. It started with big wind and then blowing rain.

Last week Lisa got a phone call from our young artist friend, Patchara. She was still in her family's village, up on the mountain, but she just called to say hello. It was a very nice surprise.

Saturday the yard crew came and did their thing. They worked until dark, when the rain came. Usually, they will keep working until they're done, but this time they had to stop. Most of what they do was taken care of so it wasn't really a problem. The tree that got 'tipped' in the wind has a new support and should be just fine. It's amazing that everything is still standing and looking so good when I consider how fierce the wind is each day.

Speaking of wind, some things do not withstand the wind. Yesterday morning, when I went out with the dogs, they both charged out to the front yard as usual. They focused their attention around one of the small palm trees. When I went to investigate, I found a little bird's nest on the ground and Daku was being a dog. I won't go into details, but it was a predator thing. Straight out of 'Wild Kingdom'.

When we first moved into the house I wondered if we would have any birds. Today we have at least seven different kinds of birds that seem to call this place home. Everything from Greater Coucal, the size of a large raven, to tiny little sparrow types. It's wonderful to have them around, but sometimes clean-up can be aggravating. Hmm.

Have a Great Week.


"Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength while loving someone deeply gives you courage."
~Lao Tzu

Gettin' Funky, Thai Style

Friday, April 23, 2010

Friday Funnies


We had another hot one today. Stayed pretty close to home, except for a run to Ban Du for mail. Rain is in the forecast by all the know-it-alls so we'll see.

As some of you know, the song was "Tell Me Something Good" by Rufus featuring Chaka Khan. Rikke reminded me that it was '74 not '84. I had '84 on my mind searching for another song of hers, 'Through the Fire'. Anyway, it's time for a dose of 'Old School Friday'. "__ if you will, please send a little girl for me to thrill, a girl who wants my kisses and my arms, a girl with all the charms of you..." Hint: The year is 1959 (or so) and this pop tune was a monster. There's a reference to a goddess. Should be easy.

Last night when we got home from dinner, there was a note in the mailbox for Boot, saying that she had a delivery waiting at the P.O. This morning we all rode up the highway to our 'local' Post Office. For some reason, it's not close at all, but oh well. It was a small envelope from her sister, containing her birth certificate. On our trip home we talked about the absence of a landmark. The big pink toilet seat image that hung on the side of a building on the corner where we turn off the highway is gone. What will we do? I know the intersection now, but I still used that image as a reminder and a reference for others. "Just make a right at the big pink...." Things will never be the same. (555)

Just after we got into the pool for some relief from the heat, clouds started dancing across the sun, and a breeze began to drift into the picture. Then we heard thunder in the distance. About 10 minutes after we finished our swim, the wind came in from the west with big time force. There was a light rain, the wind subsided and it was all gone. Hmm, a preview?

I have told you about certain endings in English that are difficult for Thais to say, but there are also some beginnings that cause problems. Words with the letter 'S' followed by another consonant, like 'P', are both pronounced. The soft drink Sprite becomes 'Sa Prite'. When you add that to the fact that 'Th' is not really part of the language, the name Smith becomes 'Sa Meet'. Understanding Thais who want to speak English can often be a challenge. Although not as bad as them trying to understand us. (5)

Have a Wonderful WeekEnd and enjoy the 'Funnies', courtesy of Cousin Trudye.


The Power of The Badge
A Drug Enforcement Administration officer stops at a ranch in Texas and talks with an old rancher. He tells the rancher, "I'm here to inspect your ranch for marijuana."
The rancher points and says, "Okay, but don't go in that field over there."
"Mister," the DEA officer explodes, "I've got the authority of the federal government with me!" He produces his badge from his pocket and proudly displays it to the rancher. "See this? This badge means I'm allowed to go wherever I want -- no questions asked or answers given. Have I made myself clear? You understand me, old man?"
The rancher nods politely, apologizes, and goes about his chores.
A short time later, the old rancher hears loud screams and sees the DEA officer running for his life chased by the rancher's gigantic Santa Gertrudis bull.
With every step the bull is gaining ground on the officer, and it seems likely that he'll get gored before he reaches safety. The officer is clearly terrified.
The rancher throws down his tools, runs to the fence and yells at the top of his lungs: "Your badge. Show him your BADGE!"

Gettin' Funky, Thai Style

Thursday, April 22, 2010



Chiang Rai was clear and hot today. So hot that everybody was talking about it. We were out and about this morning. Errands were run, hair was done, and today was Boot's birthday. We just got back from dinner by the river, with frogs.

Several of you knew the latest song right away. Here's the rest of the verse for those in need of more information:
"You refuse to put anything before your pride. I got something that will knock all your pride aside. __ __ __ __, tell me that you love me, yeah. __ __ __ __, tell me that you like it, yeah..." Hint: I kinda gave it away. If you were close, then you know. If not, it's from around '84 and a word association with Genghis could be made. What?

The other day, when we were in Mae Sai, we bought a thermometer. It's on the patio table, in the afternoon shade. The reading today was 102. Need I say more?

This morning we got up sort of early, for a hair appointment. While Lisa was getting pampered I ran a few errands around town. In the course of my travels I ran into our attorney, Khun Preecha. It's the little chance encounters that make the place feel comfortable. He was having tea at a sidewalk shop with some friends. He jumped up to greet me and we had a little conversation about golf and fitness, in English, and that was it.

I had made arrangements for someone to come to the house this afternoon to look at some molding that needs repair on our front door sill. The only problem was, it interfered with our afternoon swim. Hmm, fix the door or swim. As it happened, they didn't show, but Tye came over to bring Boot a cake, and presents. That was 5pm and we all had tiny pieces of a delicious little cake that had a fruit topping.

This evening we went to dinner at Leelavadee, a big restaurant by the river that we seem to go to a lot. They have good food, a cool trio, and the head waiter is quite a character. This time we arrived later than usual, which meant we couldn't get a prime spot overlooking the Mae Kok River. They took us to an area we'd only seen from a distance, but it was nice. There was no roof, just the open night sky. Behind us was a rectangular pond and somewhere in the bushes was a chorus of frogs. Not just any frogs, but the biggest frogs in the land. Their croaking was in the background, for most of the time, but there was one who got everybody's attention. Dinner was just what a birthday dinner should be, fun. Boot had a good time.

As soon as I send this to you, we're going swimming. Have a Thrilling Thursday.


"Those who dance are thought to be quite insane by
those who cannot hear music."
~Maggie Erotokritou

Gettin' Funky, Thai Style

Wednesday, April 21, 2010



It's been a gorgeous, hot day in Chiang Rai. I feel better, the boat got wet, the internet failed, and did I mention that it's HOT?

The 'Easy Monday' song was "Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds" by The Beatles. Shame on all of you who said it was by Elton John. No cookies for you today. Play with this one: "You ain't got no kind of feeling inside. I got something that will sure 'nuff set your stuff on fire..." Clues: It's a request for information from a singer and a funk band with a ton of hits. They're looking for something positive. Hmm.

Well, just as I predicted, visualized, forecasted, and imagined, I turned the proverbial 'corner' with the cold. Today was a marked difference from yesterday. Not as achy, and more energy. This afternoon I got some sun, which felt good. The only problem with 'getting sun', is that the air is so hot that you want to hide from it all. I went into the pool. It was a great relief to not feel so uncomfortable. After a light swim I got the boat and tried it for the first time.

The little speed boat is just that. The thing is fast. Our pool is 11 meters (36 ft.) from corner to corner and the little hot-rod zips down to the other end within a few seconds. I have to work on my turning skills, especially when it's coming toward me. That's when everything is reversed. It actually sounds like a motorboat with it's twin screws (propellors). Now I know what to do when the water is too cold to swim. Thinking about some floating cones for an obstacle course. Hmm.

Early this afternoon the internet went away. This hasn't happened in a long time. I waited for a polite period of time and then called Khun Nucha, my contact at CAT. Even though I knew what he'd say, I just had to call. Something about a cabun (cable to you) that was broken somewhere. Oh. Called again a few hours later and learned that many workers are looking for the problem. Last call of the day I was told that it might not be fixed today. Oh damn. So, the guys from CAT just came and left. They did what looked like a sophisticated test with a device I'd never seen, talked about some lines on a graph, and then left. Not sure if they'll be back today or not.

Meanwhile, Jindah came over with her daughter and two other little girls. They've been frolicking in the pond for over an hour and show no signs of tiring. There's something about kids and water. It can go on and on, as long as you let it. I remember those times.

This message is probably coming to you from Doi Chaang Coffee in the heart of Chiang Rai.

Have a Wacky Wednesday.


"Appreciation is a wonderful thing;
it makes what is excellent in others,
belong to us as well."

Gettin' Funky, Thai Style

Tuesday, April 20, 2010



Today there was no rain. Only aftermath. I have totally surrendered to the fact that I have a bad cold, and the boat hasn't even made it to the dock. Stay tuned for a few brief messages.

This time it really was an 'Easy Monday' by the mail I got. Here's a little more so you can sing it another day. (Ha)
"Cellophane flowers of yellow and green, towering over your head. Look for the girl with the sun in her eyes and she's gone... __ __ __ __ __ __ (repeat two more times)"

It was a sunny day in Chiang Rai. Hot, as usual, with some clouds floating by from time to time. We have a tall tree in the front that is leaning since the wind. In the back there is a giant banana leaf that broke and is hanging down into the yard. Other than that, we did pretty good. I think the fact that the duration was not that long really helped. The yard crew will be coming on Saturday.

I can usually 'fight' off most colds, but something is going around that crept up on me and smacked me in the head. Sunday there was a presence. Monday we were face to face. I did pretty good on our little morning road trip, but by the time we got home, I was ready for bed. I spent most of today in the bed, tissues by my side, moaning and groaning. Even though I know it will pass, my impatience wants it gone yesterday.

So you know I'm not playing about the cold when you consider that I haven't played with the boat yet. I hope I didn't give anyone the impression that I got the boat for the kids that come over. (Ha) The boat is mine. I might let them steer it or something, but it's a big boy toy. Now that we've settled that, I can't wait to get out there and buzz up and down the pool. Needless to say, I haven't been in the water for two days. I predict that I'll feel better in the morning and the worst of it will be over. Hmm.

Have yourself a Happy Tuesday.


"There are two types of people -
those who come into a room and say, 'Well, here I am!'
and those who come in and say, 'Ah, there you are.'"
~Frederick L. Collins

Gettin' Funky, Thai Style

Monday, April 19, 2010



The rains finally came. It's almost predictable, after Songkran, it rains. We've had several brief storms over the last couple of days. The rain has been great, but the wind brings the water inside. Today I have a fish story, and a new boat to tell you about. Stick around for the details.

The 'Old School' song was not known by most. Denny and Cousin Trudye were the only ones who knew "New Orleans" by Gary 'US' Bonds. Now it's time for 'Easy Monday'. "Picture yourself on a boat on a river, with tangerine trees and marmalade skies. Somebody calls you, you answer quite slowly, a girl with kaleidoscope eyes..." Clue: The title is in six words, there are gems involved, and a lot of controversy.

We wanted rain and we got it. Everything outside looks washed and happy. We've had thunder, and lightning, very very frightening to me (to quote a song). It's odd how it's only happening at night. It's just as well, that way we still get the swim in before the dump. This evening we had a power outage that hit just before dinner. We ate by candlelight, which was different. After dinner the lights came back on and normalcy returned.

Sunday evening we went to the Night Bazaar for dinner. Our plan, which was hatched in the pool, was to try the 'Fish Spa' after dinner. We've seen them in Chiang Mai, and there's one at Big C. I told you about them a long time ago. Tiny little fish in a tank. You put your feet in the tank and the fish nibble the dead skin from your feet. Sounds gross, but we thought we check it out. Well, the 'spa' in the Night Bazaar was not the same as the rest. I should have realized as soon as I looked in the tank. These were not tiny little fish. It's one thing to expect to be bumped and nibbled, as we'd seen, but these fish clamped on and it was creepy. Not just one or two, but a whole bunch, like leeches or something. Lisa screamed, I tried to hang on but pulled my feet out, and we both told the guy we were done. In less that 15 seconds we were totally grossed out. It still haunts me. I just might try it with the tiny fish, the way it's supposed to be. I'll get back to you on that one.

This morning we went to Mae Sai for our visa check-in. We went early and everything went very smoothly. We were done in about 15 minutes. Then we went into the shopping district. We had a few odd items we were looking for and actually had some success. One of the things we were looking for was a toy boat for the pool. You know, a radio-controlled motorboat. We knew that we could get one for less than in town and we found a pretty cool one. At first the young man couldn't get it to work. Then he remembered that it has to be in water in order to run. He got a small pan of water and brought it out. He put the back of the boat in the water and pressed the lever on the remote. Water splashed out all over the floor. It worked. I can't wait to put it in the pool tomorrow and buzz around.

Have a Great Week.


"See with your heart not with your eyes,
for beauty lies everywhere.
The mind reasons,
The heart knows."

Gettin' Funky, Thai Style

Friday, April 16, 2010

Friday Funnies


Looks and sounds like Songkran is over. There was wind this afternoon that felt like it might bring rain, Leah played in the little pool, and Daku's favorite toy finally broke.

I'm so happy you knew "Purple Haze" by Jimi Hendrix. Sam gets a 'speshun' prize for answering Thai style. He simply wrote 'Purpen Haze'. Outstanding. Now it's time for 'Old School Friday'. "Every Southern Belle is a Mississippi Queen, down the Mississippi down in __ __." Clue: That's the tag line to the song which was a hit around '60/'61 by a guy with a clever money moniker.

We were curious as to whether all the water play would end after the last day of the festival. It seem like last year it just went on and on. This morning, when I went out, there were no water stations. There were still a few pick-up trucks with bands of water-tossers but that was about it. What I hadn't planed on were all the closures. I figured folks would open their shops but I guess they just took the whole week off. I did manage to get the last cartridge of printer ink, so our artist in residence can continue with her creative flow. I told the guy I needed lots of ink and he told me he'd have more tomorrow. They always say that, with a smile. I'm learning to take it in stride.

Midway through our swim this afternoon, Jindah and Leah returned. This time they brought something for Leah to wear in the pool. She hung out in what we now call the 'little pool'. It used to be the 'sitting' pool, but lately it's being used by little people as a wading area. We're going to get some child-size life jackets for the kids who come over.

This morning Daku and I were out playing catch with his favorite toy. It's a little yellow football that used to make a squeeky sound. We throw it, he runs and gets it and, when he's really into it, brings it back for another toss. That's only after a brief game of tug-o-war. Well, this morning the ball with the split finally broke in half. I threw half of it on the ground and he ran over and examined it, pushed it with his nose, pawed it, and then decided to just chew it. I took it from him and explained that eating the toys was not OK. The green toy is not very exciting. Hmm.

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


Small Town Sheriff

In one small rural town the sheriff also fulfilled the role of the
town's veterinarian. One night the phone rang. The sheriff's wife

An agitated voice inquired, "Is your husband there?"

"Well, do you need him as the sheriff or the vet?" the wife asked.

"Both," came the reply. "We can't get our dog's mouth open, and
there's a burglar in it!"

Gettin' Funky, Thai Style

Thursday, April 15, 2010



Today was the last day (officially) of Songkran. We hit the streets and enjoyed the merriment, went down to the river, and the dogs had a special time with a little girl.

Based on all the responses, this could have been an 'Easy' song. Not too late to let me know that you know this one.
"__ __, all in my eyes, don't know if it's day or night. You've got me blown', blowin' my mind. Is it tomorow, or just the end of time." Hint: Something is blurring his vision while he plays guitar left-handed. Must be some kind of voodoo, child.

We spent most of the day at the house. Considering that most stores were closed, there was little chance that 'errands' would be successful. Next year we're going to make sure we have everything we need before the festivities begin. The whole point of the water began a long time ago with the washing of The Buddha. There were parades of statues and crowds would line the street and sprinkle water in order to cleanse the figures. It was also a time to clean house. Needless to say, it has evolved into a giant party, with sprinkling being replace by dowsing.

This afternoon we swam, and then decided we should go out and get some fruit, bread, and possibly some printer ink. It was a long shot but we figured the market would be open. We went there first and it was open, but water was being 'shared'. There was a stall that was clear of the wet stuff so we stopped there. Our usual bread spot was closed so we went to the little guest house/bakery. There was a truck parked right in front with a bunch of young people sitting on the back. They seemed to be taking a break so Lisa went in and got our bread. Three girls on a bike got soaked by another group just as they were pulling into the bakery. On our way home we saw some of the cutest kids doing their best to splash the cars and motorbikes. One little boy, with a little bucket on his head, rushed out and got us good. His face was beaming. We also spotted a soldier who was stationed at the entrance to the government building and he was dipping a small pan into a tub of water. Hmm, everybody plays during Songkran.

The scene at the river was so amazing that we went home and got the camera to get some shots. We parked at the boat dock across from the fairgrounds, and took pictures and a video clip of the hundreds of people along the shore and in the water. It was a sight to behold. As long as we've been here it's never been this big, .

While we were eating dinner, I realized I was hearing voices behind me. I turned around to see Boot, and her friend Jindah with her daughter Leah, hanging out on the back patio. At one point, Leah got up and came to the window when she saw the dogs inside. They spotted her and got all excited. She's about six, and she would put her face to the window and Daku would respond by trying to get to her. Finally, Jindah and Leah came into the kitchen while Lisa held Daku. BamBam is a bit calmer around her, but Daku is everybody's friend. While he was lying on the floor, Jindah and Leah began to pet Daku. He stayed very still, and they had a petting session. BamBam came over and sat in front of Leah and put out her paw. They bonded and it was very sweet.

Tonight we can hear the music and the partying from across the river. It's been quite a week.

Have a Thrilling Thursday.


"The answers don't come before the question.
Ask the question."

Gettin' Funky, Thai Style

Wednesday, April 14, 2010



Today another hot one. The forecast calls for rain, maybe, but we're not holding our breath. Celebrations continue today, and I made a little progress on my sprinkler project.

OK, 'Easy Monday' wasn't so easy. I only got one reply. The song was "We Gotta Get You A Woman", by Todd Rundgren. Hmm, I thought you knew. Maybe this will be easier: "__ __, all in my brain. Lately things don't seem the same. Acting funny, and I don't know why. 'Scuse me while I kiss the sky." Hint: There's a color involved, and it's by a guitar icon whose music live on.

This morning I went into town, knowing not much would be open, to get a fitting for the end of the backyard hose. Lisa tried to tell me nothing would be open, but being the eternal optimist, I assured her I'd find something. Well, all my usual sources were closed up tight. Bus station street had the lightest traffic I've ever seen. Both of 'my stores' were closed. Further down the road, the same thing. There was one long shot left. I made a right turn, onto the main drag, and crept up the street looking at all the closed shops. Then I saw open doors at the lawnmower/paint shop and I made a U-turn. After lots of tries at what I needed, the man showed me how he could make it using some PVC and pipe. It all made sense so we struck a deal. I left his shop feeling grateful, and more aware of how seriously the middle day of Songkran was being observed.

Tonight there's a big party going on across the river. There is music in the air from several directions, and it's a wonderful thing. Music is a big part of life here. Not just popular HOT 100, but the whole spectrum. Last night, while we were in Makro, they played some Isaan music. That is a region in the northeast of Thailand, and they produce some of the funkiest blues you'll hear this side of Howlin' Wolf. So there we were, walking down the aisle and this woman sings a line that knocked us both out. I don't know what she said, but the melodic line had us smiling and talking about it. Of course, there's no way to find out who it was, but there's tons of stuff like that here. It's all in a minor key, and it will get you, deep inside.

Monday, when we got our massage, I had a different woman than before. I mentioned that I had some pain in my right shoulder. She worked on it while I endured the pain. What she did has made a big difference. I only felt it when I swam, and yesterday there was just a twinge. Today I was able to swim with no pain at all. Hmm, what else needs fixin'?

Get ready for Wacky Wednesday, and a repeat from Ralph Waldo.


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

Gettin' Funky, Thai Style

Tuesday, April 13, 2010



We stayed in town today. In fact, we stayed at home until the evening. It was another hot one and we could hear the shrieking voices across the street and down the road. Water play was a cooling factor. We didn't throw water, we just got in it.

I got a couple of responses to our 'Easy Monday' song. I thought I'd be hearing from a bunch of you, but no.
"Talkin' 'bout things about that special one. They may be stupid but they sure are fun. I'll give it to you while we're on the run because we ain't got time to get this thing together....And when we're through with you, we'll get me one too." Hint: Oh come on, if you know it, you know it. Let me know. They're off to find something/someone.

This morning we were going to drive up to Mae Sai to the immigration office but Boot told us they would probably be closed since today was the official first day of Songkran. After looking at several sites relating to closures, we determined that they'll probably be closed all week. We'll check in next Tuesday instead.

Thailand is having one of the hottest, driest years in a long time. We can only judge by comparing it to the previous seasons that we've been here. It seems so. Whatever the case, it can be oppressive at times, and then you just get in the zone and do what you need to do. There is a man taking care of one of the fields to the west of our house. Every day he's been out there working in the heat. We stand and look out from the upstairs window, in the comfort of the cool, and marvel at his determination. There are many people who work outside and have no choice.

We have one neighbor next door and one across the street and down a bit. We don't know the neighbor across the street, but today the children of his staff set up a water station in front of the house. All morning we could hear big cheers and laughter every time they doused a car or motorbike with water. This year, like the others, found us dreading the whole thing at first, and then being fascinated by the many levels of the experience. The little kids are so cute as they wind up to toss the water. You can see mischief in their eyes and a smile just starting to form. When the water hits, their faces project pure joy. There is also such a strong cultural vibe to be absorbed. The fact that there is no age limit as to who can participate, the fact that many people slow down to give the revelers a chance to hit them, and the happiness that seems to be present everywhere, are things that make Songkran such an amazing adventure.

Boot has some kind of bug and has been in her house for two days. Lisa made a great spaghetti lunch today. After lunch we did our usual relaxation/nap time and then went for a swim. It's nice to be back in that routine of afternoon swims. My body feels better and it definitely cools us off.

This evening we drove up to Ban Du, just north of us on the highway. We had dinner at Baron Art Kitchen. On our way there, we drove through a little neighborhood that seemed to really be in the party spirit. Water was flying, we (the car) got wet, and the spirit of the thing was apparent. On the highway we saw more of the same. We were the first customers of the evening at the restaurant and it was kind of special. Then, about half way through our meal, a large party started assembling. When we left Baron, we stopped off at Makro, which is like a CostCo in the States. We just strolled around without a cart at first. Then we started to see things. Not that much, but enough to warrant a shopping cart. Hmm. We did see something that we plan to investigate. It's a stand-alone air/con. It was pumping out some pretty cold air and just might be what we need for the living room.

Have a Happy Tuesday and Happy Songkran.


"When special feelings come your way,
let them flow into your heart.
When miracles try to find you, don't hide.
When special people come along,
let them know what a blessing they are.
Let your smiles begin way down, deep inside."
~Collin McCarthy

Gettin' Funky, Thai Style

Monday, April 12, 2010



In spite of what you've been hearing about Thailand, Songkran is in full effect. Water, water everywhere. We went to a party on Sunday, and today we dodged water, and got a massage.

Our 'Old School' song was by The Dells. "Oh, What A Night" was their first big hit back in '56. Now it's time for 'Easy Monday', and I'm sure a lot of you remember this one by a guy whose nickname was 'Runt'. "Leroy, boy, is that you? I thought your post-hangin' days were through. Sunk-in eye, and full of sighs, tell no lies, you get wise....there's only one thing left that we can do. __ __ __ __ __ __...." Clue: A friend is going to help Leroy with matters of the heart.

It's been really hot here, so Songkran has brought some welcome relief for some. All over town you can see people riding on their motorbikes, soaking wet from all the water that's being tossed on them. 'Water tossing stations', as I like to call them, are all over town. Some are merely a small child with a bucket and a bowl, others are adults with music blaring, and trash cans full of water. There are, of course, the pick-up trucks with 50 gallon drums on the back with young men and women having a rolling party. There is a festive feeling as we ride down the street. You can hear big outbursts of cheering when someone gets wet. The actual holiday is from the 13th to the 15th, but it will go on all week.

Sunday we went to Big C for lunch and shopping. After a short nap, we went to a party at the home of our friends Gary and Baan. They just completed their new house, which was designed by our friend Nine, who is co-owner of 9 Art Gallery. We met a bunch of new people, and had a good time. There were expats from New Zealand, Australia, and Puerto Rico. Lots of interesting conversations, and sharing the stories as to why we were in Thailand. We also got lots of cool ideas for things we can do with our house.

Today we ventured out and got a massage. Since most of the schools are out for 'summer' vacation, there were tons of kids in the streets throwing water. There was no activity near the massage parlor so we were 'safe'. (Ha)

Tomorrow morning we'll drive up to Mae Sai for our routine, three month visa check-in. It will be nice to get out on the highway for awhile.

Have a Great Week.


"Man's heart, away from nature, becomes hard."
~Standing Bear

Gettin' Funky, Thai Style

Friday, April 9, 2010

Friday Funnies


We woke up to what appeared to be a cooler day. Ha, then the sun peaked and the day baked. We hung out, the dogs got baths, and then we swam. What a day. Chiang Rai remains calm and peaceful, while Bangkok is seeing Red.

Our most recent song was "Light My Fire" by The Doors. A ton of mail came in from far and wide. Now let's see how well you do with 'Old School Friday'. This time I'm goin' way back. "__ __ __ __, to love you dear. __ __ __ __, to hold you near. __ __ __ __, to squeeze you dear, that's why I love you so." Hint: The year is 1956, and every house party had this record. When it came on, the lights went down, and couples danced real slow. The group was inducted into the R&R Hall of Fame in 2004. I don't expect many of you kids to know this one.

For some reason, we didn't sleep well last night, which made getting up and doing morning things sort of tiring. There we were, at 6:15, going downstairs to start another day, feeling like staying in bed. Once I got outside with Daku, I sort of woke up. He has this routine now where he goes outside, relieves himself, and then makes a mad dash for the kitchen door. He knows his breakfast is almost ready. After he inhales his tiny meal, he's ready to go back out and play. BamBam hears us in the yard and Boot lets her out. She pounds on the door with her paw and gains entry. Sometimes she'll come out, sometimes she's ready to go upstairs. Eventually, both dogs end up chomping on rawhide bones while we have our breakfast. Then it's anybody's guess as to what will happen next.

Living in another culture can challenge one's thinking, and perspective. Right now, the news in Thailand is centered around a giant demonstration in Bangkok, that's been going on for a week. There are many levels of 'why', but the bottom line is that when one of the political parties wants change, they take to the streets to get it. The Red Shirts, as they are called, have converged on Bangkok from all over Thailand. The main boulevards in the shopping area of the city have been shut down. All the department stores are closed. At one point, the crowd approached some soldiers on one street and took three humvee vehicles from them. The soldiers had orders not to get into confrontations. When the demonstrators learned that the soldiers were not a threat, they returned the vehicles. As I've said before, it's different. The party seeking change has 10 leaders, and not all of them are on the same page. No one really knows what's going to happen, but it's changing things in the big city. Thailand has a history of dramatic governmental change, and I suppose this is just another chapter in that history.

Another little cultural note: There appears to be a village time keeper. I've noticed that every night, usually after dark, there is the sound like a hammer hitting a brake drum, on the hour. Just another thing that reminds me that I'm somewhere else.

Have a Fabulous WeekEnd. Enjoy the 'Funnies' from my friend Barry.

Being homeless these days is more competitive than ever. Only the most clever and creative signs are going to get people to let go of their precious spare change. Here are a few unique signs:

"Wife has been kidnapped! I'm short .98 cents for ransom"

"Time Traveller, Help ! Need $$ for new Flux Capacitor"

"Homeless Jedi" (Dressed in Black Hooded Robe)

"Why lie, I need a cold beer."

"Betcha can't hit me with a quarter."

"Britney's sister is going to have a baby and I need money for a nice gift."

Gettin' Funky, Thai Style

Thursday, April 8, 2010



The weather was a touch cooler today, but still hot. I made a hardware run and started a new 'project', we finished watching a favorite series from TV, and took a dip in the pool. Another beautiful day in Chiang Rai.

This current oldie sparked something in a few of you. I'll turn up the heat with the second verse. Sing along:
"The time to hesitate is through. No time to wallow in the mire. Try now we can only lose, and our love become a funeral pyre. Come on baby, __ __ __. Come on baby, __ __ __. Try to set the night on fire, yeah." Hint: The group name is something you have to open to go in or out. Hmm.

In order to water the lawns, it takes several changes of the sprinkler. Even with moving it about, and setting the timer on my phone, it's a tedious task. I've seen portable systems around town where there are sprinkler heads along a section of hose. I decided to try and make one of those. I went to the shop that sells the heads and found that they're quite inexpensive. I picked up four of them plus the fittings for the hose. Then I went down the road to the big hardware store and bought 40 meters of hose. That was a guess as far as the length. Do you have any idea how long 40 meters is? It's too long. Anyway, I had to adapt the faucet nozzle, and tomorrow I'll see what happens. It really depends on our water pressure. Hmm. Stay tuned.

We have been big fans of the show 'Roswell' and we just finished watching the last episode. Three seasons, most of them viewed while eating lunch. We call them 'The Kids', and it's been fun. Now we're going to re-watch 'Dark Angel'. That's entertainment. (Ha)

Lisa finished another cast acrylic print and has started on a new one. Jaffee came over this morning and discussed some projects he's thinking about. He's including Lisa in all his art stuff, which is really cool. Between him and our friend Natty, she has two people of influence who are in her corner. It's all coming together.

Last season we wouldn't think of going into the pool if it was below 86 degrees. This year were going in at 83, even though it's not as fun getting in, it's still great once we get used to the water. A few degrees can make all the difference in the pleasure of the water.

Have a Thoroughly Thrilling Thursday.


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

Gettin' Funky, Thai Style

Wednesday, April 7, 2010



We saw new things today, did some shopping, and tried to avoid the heat. Ballet classes began, and everyone is getting ready for the biggest holiday of the year.

Our 'Easy' song was "Handy Man" by Jimmy Jones. Lots of you knew the song but only a few knew the artist. My friend Stuart dropped the name of the first group Jones sang in, The Sparks of Rhythm. All that was in 1960. Jones' 'B' side was also a hit with "Good Timin'". Now you know. For those in need of success, here's one that should be on everyone's mental playlist: "You know that it would be untrue, you know that I would be a liar, if I was to say to you, girl we couldn't get much higher. Come on baby __ __ __....." Clue: Got a light?

In an effort to beat the heat, we ran our errands during the morning hours today. Not real early, but before the midday sun. We drove out to Ghan's house, west of town, to drop off some things for alteration, and to order a new waist bag. It's a nice ride that ends up in the country.

Back in the city, we stopped at Sinthanee to do some price checking on a small boom-box for the kitchen. Boot likes to play music while she works in the kitchen, and also leaves it on for the dogs. We got a price and moved down the highway to the TrueTV store. They are our service provider for all things television. It was time to see if they had any of their PVR's in stock. It's like TiVo, and it would be so nice, but we heard the familiar words 'My Mee' (no have).

Our main destination was, you guessed it, Big C. We found the perfect little device with a radio, and CD player. They also had a table Lisa has been looking for to use in her art studio. We made it home in time for lunch.

As we were heading out to Ghan's house, we noticed a bunch of men standing on a corner with big stiff brooms. The street was wet and we realized they were cleaning the street. This is something we'd never seen before. There are women who sweep and maintain the curbs and sidewalks, but this was street washing, by broom. Amazing Thailand.

This afternoon, Tye picked up Lisa for ballet class. The girls have had a break from their 'Lisa classes' since they were living in Chiang Mai preparing for the big show. Now it's back to the routine and it sounds like they were up to the task. It's a good thing the new studio has air/con. The old sports center would not have worked at all.

It feels like a Wacky Wednesday.


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

Gettin' Funky, Thai Style

Tuesday, April 6, 2010



Today in Thailand, there was a legal holiday, a lot of heat, and a forecast of more. We also had a tiny earthquake on Monday. See, we're keeping up with the times.

Well, a few of you knew this 'Easy' song. I'm thinking more of you will get it after reading the opening lines:
"Hey girls, gather 'round, listen to what I'm puttin' down. Hey baby, I'm your __ __." Hint: It's so easy that a hint might give it away. (Ha) Seriously, even if you don't remember the original artist, send me an answer.

I was sitting on the bed yesterday (Monday) when it began to wiggle from side to side. I thought it was odd, and I mentioned it to the dogs but got no reply. Lisa was walking through the house, getting coffee together, and didn't notice it. Our house was built with this in mind, and has some sort of flexing action in the main 'footings' to compensate. They don't happen very often in our area, but it's nice to know we're ready.

In Thailand the current dynasty of kings is called The Jakree Dynasty (also spelled Chakri). There have been nine kings, designated as Rama I through Rama IX. Today is Jakree Day, a celebration of all the kings of the dynasty. This all began around 1782. It seemed, at least in Chiang Rai, to be a bank and government holiday. Life on the street seemed to be going on as usual. Anyway, now you know a little more about Thai history.

We had another visit from the air/con guys this morning. They took the unit apart and cleaned the internal filters and now the air is much colder. I guess all the bad air we've been having got stopped at the filters. We'll probably have them come more often to give it a thorough inspection since we use it so much.

Right now Daku is sleeping on his back, which means he's really asleep. BamBam is getting her teeth brushed in the bathroom. They both like having their teeth brushed, although BamBam is a bit more compliant than Daku. He's cute though. He knows what's going to happen and assumes a position with his front paws resting on Lisa's leg. His main goal is to eat as much toothpaste (chicken flavored) as possible. Such a boy.

The water in the pool is finally at a 'bearable entry' temperature so we've been swimming every day. It's rising at about a degree a day. That's how hot it is. The forecast is for a hotter than usual season. We've committed ourselves to the concept of being comfortable through it all. No point in suffering.

Have a Happy Tuesday.


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

Gettin' Funky, Thai Style

Monday, April 5, 2010



Things are getting back to normal after a weekend getaway. We didn't really go anyplace, but we had a change of scenery. It's officially the 'Hot Season' and that's all I need to say about that.

The 'Old School Friday' song was "(I'm a) Road Runner" by Junior Walker and The All Stars. Now it's time for the famous 'Easy Monday' challenge. "Here is the main thing I'm tryin' to say, I'm workin' 24 hours a day, I fix broken hearts, I know I truly can." Hint: Kind of a Mr. FixIt guy. Extra points if you know who did it first.

I left out a little something that happened on Friday afternoon. We had a visit from Patchara, the girl who drew an amazing flower a few weeks ago. She and her guardian, Audrey, came over so Lisa could talk to her about art and get to know more about her. She's had a little art in school, but no formal training, and seemed interested. Lisa loaned her a couple of books, and she'll come back next month after she returns from her village. She and her sister have been living in Chiang Rai for about 10 years, going to school. Their home is an Akha village way up in the mountains. Audrey told us that it's quite a treacherous journey. Vacations are spent there with their mother.

Saturday morning Daku was sniffing around underneath the bedroom window and seemed agitated so I went to investigate. There was water on the floor. This could mean only one thing. The air/con was leaking again. What it really meant was, we had to vacate the room and move down to the guest room. We put in a call to the repair guy and he couldn't come until today. We spent the weekend living out of the downstairs guest room, going back and forth up the stairs for various things. It wasn't so bad, it's a very nice room with a great view of the back yard. The dogs adapted to the new routine and we managed. I think the thing they liked the best was being able to go outside directly from the room. They came and fixed the blockage today and we're back upstairs. Whew.

Riding over the bridge into town, we saw over 100 people playing in the river and lounging on the banks. What looks like a small village has sprung up in the last week. Primitive shacks have been set up for food vendors, a guy who rents inner tubes for floating in the river, and what looks like a shelter for massages. I'm going to have to get some pictures of all the action.

All over town there are colorful flower shirts on sale, in preparation for the Songkran Festival. Officially, it's April 13 through 15, but my guess is that all week there will be water throwing going on. Stay tuned for all the excitement.

Have a Great Week.


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

Gettin' Funky, Thai Style

Friday, April 2, 2010

Friday Funnies


It was a beautiful day to plan a trip, and that's just what we did. Our Summer Visit to America has been set. Also in the news, the car has been washed, and the dogs found a way around the new barrier. The adventure continues.

The mystery tune that had some of you bobbing your heads was "Flash Light" by Parliament. George Clinton and the gang know how to throw a party. Now it's time for 'Old School Friday'. See if this brings back any memories: "Money, who needs it? Just to live my life free and easy. Put a toothbrush in my hand, and let me be a travelin' man. Cause __ __ __ __, baby." Clues: This tune is by a sax player/singer who had a big sound and a 'small' handle. He had another hit that involved a weapon. The first two words are usually in parentheses, but sung. Hmm. Further Hints can be obtained from Wiley Coyote. (Ha)

Our little car looked like it had been through a storm. In fact, it had been through one, and it was pretty dirty. It was a great day for a car wash so we dropped it off and went to 'Work At Home' to see about getting reservations for our Summer Visit. We'd never used their travel service before. The airline told us we'd get a better rate through an agency so it was perfect timing. It almost worked, but after a few frustrations, and a higher price than we got originally, we decided to do it ourselves. We'll be flying out of Bangkok on July 6 and arrive in Los Angeles the same day, very late at night. We will depart LAX on July 22. As is the usual case, it will take us two days to return.

This morning, when I took Daku out, he made a very specific trip to the Bali Corner in the yard and began sniffing around the barrier that Rene built. Both dogs had been respecting this bamboo wall and left the corner alone. Today was different. I guess they've been talking about it and realized that it didn't completely cut off all access. Daku found the gap and made his way into the forbidden zone. It took a firm hand on his collar to get him out of there. This afternoon, BamBam snuck into the zone and got a little confused before getting out. She was also 'busted' for trespassing. It looks like I'm going to have to add a few more pieces of bamboo in order to foil the dogs.

Here's another language gem for you, for the weekend. Some words are heard, and understood, but when spelled out on paper, they take on a new look. The word 'Bag' is not spoken with the sound of a 'g' at the end, but more like a 'ck'. We have a note on the shopping list for 'Trash Backs'. And somehow we understand. Amazing Thailand.

Have a Wonderfilled WeekEnd. Enjoy the 'Funnies'.


Out of the Mouths of Babes.

On the first day of school, a first-grader handed his teacher a note from his mother. The note read, "The opinions expressed by this child are not necessarily those of his parents."

It was the end of the day when I parked my police van in front of the station. As I gathered my equipment, my K-9 partner, Jake, was barking, and I saw a little boy staring in at me. "Is that a dog you got back there?" he asked.
"It sure is," I replied. Puzzled, the boy looked at me and then towards the back of the van. Finally he said, "What'd he do?"

A little girl was watching her parents dress for a party. When she saw her dad donning his tuxedo, she warned, "Daddy, you shouldn't wear that suit."
"And why not, darling?"
"You know that it always gives you a headache the next morning. "

A little girl had just finished her first week of school.
"I'm just wasting my time," she said to her mother. "I can't read, I can't write, and they won't let me talk!"

Gettin' Funky, Thai Style

Thursday, April 1, 2010



Today in Chiang Rai, we had blue sky and puffy clouds. It was warm, of course, but so beautiful. Other than a trip to the frame shop, we spent the day around the compound. We'll look at some interesting language stuff a little later.

It turns out that more than a few of you knew this song. I'm pleased. This line should light you up:
"Everybody's got a little light under the sun... Most of all, he need the funk. Help him funk. __ __ , Spot Light, Neon Light" (and so on and so forth) Hint: Now we can continue to dream of the Mothership Connection. (Ha)

We left the house this morning with good intentions. First we'd go to the frame shop and pick up the work we left. Then we'd mail some pics to my mom and then... After our visit to the frame shop, we did go to the coffee shop/post office, but then we felt like going home time. I think we're still getting over our whirlwind trip in Chiang Mai. Waking up at 6:15 was a little harsh this morning. We've been 'sleeping in' for a couple of days. (Ha)

Sunday, while we were at the ballet, Tye mentioned going for pizza after it was over. She carefully, and playfully pointed out that it's pronounced 'Pisa' (with the accent on the second syllable). We practiced and laughed. Then she said that we'd been in Thailand long enough and we have to start talking like Thais. The next word was the name of the place where we were: Centrun, not Central. We laughed again and I pointed out that we knew that one, as well as 'Big C Speshun', which cracked her up. There are words that are used here that are English, but somehow get changed due to pronunciation. An example would be 'Bar Code'. We bought some toilet paper that had the words 'Bark Code' printed above the code. Need I say more. We understand, but still we can't help laughing.

There are also phrases that pop up from time to time, and we wonder how they got here and if they know the implications. Take for instance the little cafe we spotted yesterday. It was called: "Eat Me". OK, I'm done.

Tomorrow we take BamBam to the vet for a blood test to see if she needs a change in her Thyroid medication. In the afternoon we have a young artist coming over. She's the girl who drew an incredible flower at the benefit a few weeks ago. If she's really interested in art, we'll try and connect her with the women artists here in Chiang Rai.

Have a Thrilling Thursday.


"It is funny about life: if you refuse to accept anything
but the very best you will very often get it."
~W. Somerset Maugham

Gettin' Funky, Thai Style