Monday, February 28, 2011



Chiang Rai is HOT. Not as hot as it's going to get, but hot enough that everyone's talking about it. When the nights get into the mid 60s, you know that winter is definitely over. The good news is, the pool is warming up. We had a great weekend. Stay tuned.

The 'Old School' song was "There Goes My Baby" by The Drifters. Guess that one threw most of you. Now it's time for 'Easy Monday' and this one should be a cinch. "I think I'm gonna be sad, I think it's today, yeah. The girl that's driving me mad, is going away. She's got a __ __ __, she's got a __ __ __, she's got a __ __ __, but she don't care. Hint: By four lads from Liverpool, somebody's leavin' somebody. So easy.

Saturday we ran some errands and spent the evening watching American TV on the computer. We find that we're actually missing the tennis matches. There's been scattered coverage of some of them, but not the marathons we've gotten used to. We went out and picked up the big leaves in the front yard and that was a major job.

Sunday morning we drove out to Ban Din where the frame 'factory' is located. Lisa has a new piece that needs to be framed and it was good to cruise in the country. We just hung out in the afternoon, and went to the Night Bazaar for dinner. After we ate, we strolled around. We saw our friends from Connect Cafe and they had their twins with them. This is the first time we'd met them. They're a little over a year old. With a little coaxing and some warming up, I got a smile from Earn, the little girl, and a 'High Five' from Ing, the boy. One of the merchants couldn't come to the opening of the exhibit but she had sent a beautiful scrap book constructed with hand-made paper. We visited with her and she was very apologetic, and hopes to stop by and see the show later. The woman at the jewelry store also made a point of telling us she planned to go as well. Our friends in the Night Bazaar are very warm and supportive. It feels nice.

This morning we watched the Oscars 'Live' and that was fun. We've seen several of the movies so it made it more relevant. If you didn't see the end of the telecast, you missed the childrens' choir from PS 22 in New York. These kids are amazing. There are tons of videos of them on Youtube. Check them out. (Look up 'PS 22 Chorus')

This afternoon Lisa took photos of my 'head' for my new passport. It's been 10 years since we first came to Thailand and it's time for a new one. We'll go to Chiang Mai on Wednesday, visit the Consulate on Thursday morning and drive back to Chiang Rai after that.

This evening I was at Doi Chaang Coffee, which is where we always seem to meet people we know. Tonight was no exception. Khun Supat, who was the site manager for the construction of our house, was there with his friend Mr. Abdul. We had heard of Mr. Abdul for years but never met him. It was cool to finally meet him. He had sent me pictures of the progress on the house while we were on our trip to the U.S. I also saw two other friends at the coffee shop. Nothing like living in a small town to make you feel at home.

Have a Great Week.


"It's not the load that gets you down, it's the way you carry it."
~Lena Horne

Gettin' Funky, Thai Style

Friday, February 25, 2011

Friday Funnies


Another sunny day in Chiang Rai. We had a visa check-in, some out of town shopping, a cozy lunch, and a quiet afternoon.

Our 'Summer of Love' song was "Groovin'" by The Young Rascals. That wasn't too hard was it? Denny suggested a bonus question: When did they go from 'Young Rascals' to 'Rascals'? You have the weekend to play with Google and remember the 'Old School Friday' song. "__ __ __ __, movin' on down the line. Wonder where, wonder where, wonder where she is bound? I broke her heart and made her cry. Now I'm alone, so all alone. What can I do, what can I do? __ __ __ __ (Whoa-oh,oh,oh...)" Clue: Someone is leaving, that much is clear. Drifting away in a manner of speaking. This group ended up on the roof at one point in their long career. This is from '59.

This morning, just as Daku was about to remind me that it was time to play, Lisa remembered that we had planned to go to Mae Sai today. It was time for our 3 month check-in. We got out on the highway just in time for a little rush hour traffic, but it moved through town at a good pace. We got to Immigration at 9am and it only took a few minutes to fill out forms, and get them stamped. Next week we have to go to the U.S. Consulate in Chiang Mai. I have to get a new passport and Lisa needs new pages in hers. We'll go down on Wednesday morning and return Thursday sometime after our morning appointments.

There is a big Tesco/Lotus (grocery & department) store just south of Mae Sai and it's the one place we always look for 'western' things that we can't find in Chiang Rai. They also have some nice household products. We went through most of the store, looking mostly to see if there was anything new.

By the time we got back to town it was almost lunch time so we decided to eat at The River House Hotel, since it's on the way home. The small restaurant looks out onto the hotel gardens and the river. There was no one else in the place so it was like a private dinning room. It was a very enjoyable experience. When we finished eating we walked around a bit. There is a small island in the river with a wooden foot bridge from the shore. Looks like fun. I also noticed a path on the other side of the river, with what looked like a walking path. This needs investigating.

Have a Wonderful WeekEnd. Time now for the 'Funnies'.



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

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

"Really? How'd you do that?"

"I dropped the ball."

Gettin' Funky, Thai Style

Thursday, February 24, 2011



Today in Chiang Rai the temperature was reported as 90 degrees at the airport. This is the first evening that feels warm so it's safe to say that winter is over. Daku had a reluctant visit to the vet, and we had lunch in town.

The 'Summer of Love' song may have been hard to get on the first pass. This should make it really easy for you:
"__ on a Sunday afternoon. Really, couldn't get away too soon..." Hint: Seriously?

Things are shaping up for the March 4 'encore reception' at 9 Art Gallery. The invitations have been sent, and duties have been assigned. There is a slight possibility that the Governor may show up to this one.

Mr. Daku has been having trouble with his ears for quite a few weeks. The last time we took him to the vet for a follow-up visit he got some rather rough treatment and today when we pulled up in front of the building he was not pleased. We got settled in the waiting room and then he heard the voice of the doctor and got very upset. He tried to make it to the door but that wasn't going to happen. In the treatment room he tried to hide behind Lisa when the doctor came in. The actual cleaning of the ears went well, and he behaved like a good patient. We're hoping that this round of medicine and cleaning will do the trick. By the afternoon he was not shaking his head, and he played in the yard like nothing had happened.

Boot had the day off and went to Ban Du to help her former mother-in-law. That meant we had to fend for ourselves when it came to meals. We went to Siam Corner for chicken burgers, and paid the power bill at 7-11. Lisa made dinner and the dogs hung out with us. Later this evening, when Boot came home, BamBam did her little 'I'm so excited' dance and went with Boot. Daku had been upstairs sleeping but when Lisa went back up, he was doing the same dance, wanting to go to Boot's. He loves to spend time at her place in the evening. He usually falls asleep and has to be coaxed into getting up. It's become a routine. Life with the dogs.

Have a Thrilling Thursday.


"Life is for giving and you are the gift.
It is only in freely giving yourself that you fully realize
the abundant gift you are."
~Betty Lue

Gettin' Funky, Thai Style

Wednesday, February 23, 2011



We had a hot day in Chiang Rai. It's hard to know just how hot, but it was hotter than yesterday. The nights are still cool, but that's little consolation when it's blazing at 1pm. Today we solidified plans for an 'encore' reception for Lisa's art exhibit. We also did a little shopping around town.

Our 'Easy Monday' song was "Just My Imagination" by The Temptations. 'Summer of Love' also brought us some easy tunes to remember. This next one is so easy I've started with the last part, in an effort to throw you off. (Ha)
"...Life would be ecstasy, you and me endlessly __ ..." Clue: One word describing an activity or a state of being that is pleasurable and relaxing. It's by a group that was young at the time.

On March 4 we will be having an invitational reception at 9 Art Gallery. It will be a small gathering of close friends and members of the tourism industry here in Chiang Rai. We're trying to do it in such a way that it doesn't put too much extra work on the gallery.

We had every intention of going out shopping in the morning, before lunch. The plans got changed when the air/con repair guys showed up an hour early. The unit in our master bedroom works fine for a period of time and then starts to drip from one end. It usually means it's time for it to get a thorough cleaning. Today, when they removed the inner filter, it was really nasty. We were not surprised considering that we run it when it's smokey outside, and that happens a lot. The cost of the cleaning was minimal, which leads me to believe that we should do it more often. Hmm.

After lunch, and a brief snooze, we went into the streets of Chiang Rai. There was the visit to the gallery and then Big C. Wednesday afternoon is a good time to shop at 'The C'. Not too crowded, and plenty of parking. Boot uses a broom that is common to most Thai households. It's made from part of the palm tree and the ends of the bristles are curved and soft. It works surprisingly well considering that it's the complete opposite of the stiff broom used in the 'west'. I got her a couple last week but she wants brooms with thicker bristles and more body. It seems that some products that are all over town come from the same source. The brooms I got in the market are the same as the ones we bought today at an appliance store. At least they didn't mark up the price. The search will continue for the perfect broom.

Both of the dogs like ice cubes. Sometimes they'll get one as treat, or a reward. Daku has figured out that when I get to the end of my lunch drink, and he knows this by the sound of the slurping straw, it's time for ice. When he hears the sound he sits up and waits very close to the table. What a dog.

Time for Wacky Wednesday.


"Things which matter most must never be
at the mercy of things that matter least."
~Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Gettin' Funky, Thai Style

Tuesday, February 22, 2011



Today I have more memories of Phuket, airport drama, and the return to normal in this wonderful adventure called life.

Looks like 'Easy' was easy this week. Many of you knew the song. Some of you can't remember the group. Read on:
"Ooh, her love is heavenly. When her arms enfold me, I hear a rhapsody. But in reality, she doesn't even know me. 'Cause it was __ __ __ once again, runnin' away with me. It was __ __ __ runnin' away with me." Clue: I'm tempted to tell you the name of the group from Motor Town, but it's 'Easy Monday'.

There are many similarities between Phuket and Pattaya as far as the beach front goes. The bustling activity, the traffic, the umbrella lined beaches, and the Muay Thai kickboxing trucks. The trucks advertise the boxing matches that are held on Monday nights, and when I rode by on Friday night, there was something going on. There is a pick-up truck with a platform at roof level, and on this level there are boxers in a ring posing in their shorts and gloves. The loud-speaker blares about the champions fighting on 'Monday night, Monday night'. The 'hawkers' on the sidewalk mimic the chant with a slight chuckle, letting me know that they think it's a little over the top. The stadium where the fights are held is a sight to behold. Giant statues of boxers and a monster are bathed in multicolored flood lights. It's really hard to miss.

The island of Phuket is bigger than Singapore although Singapore has more people. This bit of trivia was offered by Khun Prirum on one of our drives. He also told me that the tourist traffic keeps growing, and they may have to enlarge the airport to accommodate the demand for flights to the island. I found it interesting that the in-flight safety announcements on certain topics were in more languages than usual. In addition to Thai and English, which are given live, there were recorded messages in Chinese, and French.

I think I might really enjoy Phuket in the off season. It's a beautiful place and I understand the desperation of seasonal commerce, but it might be a nicer experience with less pressure and less people. Hmm, guess I'm not looking for as much intensity these days. (555)

Sunday afternoon I arrived at the airport and checked in, only to find out the flight had been delayed. This was just on the verge of being a problem since I had to connect to Chiang Rai on the last flight of the evening. When we got to Bangkok I knew they had closed the check-in counter but I went anyway. They gave me a boarding pass and told me to hurry to the gate. Now you have to understand that hurrying to the gate means going through the security check, down an escalator, and then down a long corridor with moving sidewalks. With all of that distance and some unfamiliar speed-walking, I made it just as they were boarding. My bag was left at the check-in where I had to sign that I understood that it might not make the flight. It didn't. I had to return to our local airport and pick it up after the morning flight arrived on Monday. I just love our little airport. I walked up to a closed Air Asia window, the woman looked at my baggage stub, and took me over to the ticket office and found my bag. So simple and personal.

Monday morning I had a massage to help get over the whole travel thing. I think the trick to traveling well is to not be in a hurry, and to be free of worry. The weekend was a wonderful experience and I accomplished what I set out to do. That's what's important.

Have a Happy Tuesday.


"It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are."
~E. E. Cummings

Gettin' Funky, Thai Style

Monday, February 21, 2011



I survived the weekend in Phuket and I'm here to tell you some highlights. My homecoming welcome from Daku was over the top, and it's good to be here.

The 'Old School Friday' song was "Louie Louie" by Richard Berry & The Pharaohs. Yes, The Kingsmen covered it. If only Mr. Berry had known what was to come he wouldn't have sold the rights for $750. Now it's time for 'Easy Monday'. "Each day through my window I watch her as she passes by. I say to myself, 'You're such a lucky guy.' To have a girl like her is truly a dream come true. Out of all the fellas in the world, she belongs to me. But it was __ __ __, running away with me..." Clue: It's all in his head. That's all you get, it's so easy.

The first thing I noticed, even though I knew in advance, was that the Patong district, where I spent the weekend, is very expensive. It's a tourist destination all year, but this is 'High Season' and everyone wants to get all they can. The standard price for transportation anywhere in the beach area is 200 Baht (a little over $6). They don't have any three-wheel transportation like Tuk-Tuks or Samlors, it's all tiny little trucks with open sides and a roof, or metered taxis that don't use the meters. I tried walking from my hotel to the beach but it was too hot and I wasn't sure about directions. Most of the time, for the evenings, I used a taxi driver who spoke great English and was reliable. Khun Prirum studied English in college and was quite the conversationalist. I would call him and he'd come and get me, which was great. I asked him lots of questions about Phuket and got lots of answers. When I asked him about the tables I saw by the side of the road with whisky bottles filled with gas for sale he said it was because the gas stations close at 10pm. The district is busy almost all night and the bottles of gas are mostly for the motorbikes.

Walking down the street along the beach is like running a gauntlet of 'hawkers' bidding for your attention. Every shop and stall had someone trying to sell something. There were also the taxi drivers with their relentless question:
"Where you go?". Most of what was being sold was overpriced, considering I'd seen the items in Chiang Rai or Chiang Mai for far less. I suppose if one were on vacation and it was the first time you'd seen it, you buy. I guess I've become a little jaded when it comes to street commerce.

Meanwhile, the street was filled with one-way traffic consisting of tons of motorbikes, cars and trucks. Khun Prirum told me that many visitors have accidents on the motorbikes because they don't understand Thai traffic. That made perfect sense to me. There is a cultural modesty about the body that many vacationers do not respect and I can just imagine what Thai people must think of some foreigners. Guys riding motorbikes without shirts on and women walking in the beach district in bikinis don't always sit well with the locals.

The little hotel where I stayed was mostly occupied by Italian vacationers who were in town for several weeks. In the morning when I'd go downstairs for some instant coffee, I was greeted with 'Buongiorno'. Nothing like a little Italian in the south of Thailand to start your day. Max, the owner, told me he wished he had a more diverse clientele. They would gather in the lobby each morning and then head for the beach. Max said he tries to caution his guests about the strength of the sun, but they don't listen.

Saturday night I left the district and went north to the J.W. Marriott resort where my friend Clifford plays piano and sings. The place is incredibly beautiful and the piano bar lounge is open on three sides giving it a magical nighttime effect. I got a chance to hang out with Clifford for a bit and then watch him perform. What a treat.

I'll finish my tale of adventure tomorrow.

Have a Great Week.


"Remember that the best relationship is one in which your love for each other exceeds your need for each other."
~The Dalai Lama

Gettin' Funky, Thai Style

Friday, February 18, 2011

Friday Funnies


I'm here on the island of Phuket, in southern Thailand. It's been an interesting travel day. I haven't been to the area where I'll be spending most of the weekend yet, but I've seen some sights.

The 'Summer of Love' song was "Try A Little Tenderness" by Otis Redding. It's time for 'Old School Friday' and I think you know this one: "Fine little girl, she waits for me. Me catch the ship for cross the sea. Me sail the ship, all alone. Me never think me make it home. __ __ oh, oh, me gotta go (repeat)." Hint: Two words, both the same. Remember, this is 'Old School Friday' and this is from the 50s. 'Cool Points' if you give the correct answer for the artist. Clue: It's a person 'and' a group.

Today was 'Late Plane Day' for Asia Airlines. The morning flight to Bangkok was to board at 8:05am but at 8:20 the plane had not arrived. When we got to BKK we had to wait on an outside staircase until a bus came to take us to the terminal. The flight to Phuket had the same problem, no plane to board. Fortunately, it didn't cause any problems for me so I guess it's just one of those things.

The first thing that struck me on arrival in Phuket was the heat. Way hotter than Chiang Rai. After getting my suitcase I went out into the lobby area to look for the driver that would take me to my hotel. There was a gauntlet of taxi drivers that I had to wade through and then I saw a few people with hotel signs. None of them was from my hotel. A woman asked me which hotel I was going to and when I told her she pointed outside. There were at least thirty people leaning on a rail, all holding signs from different hotels. I slowly went from one end to the other until I saw my name. Whew. The trip to the hotel is about 40 minutes and the woman who drove me spoke a tiny bit of English. We had a polite conversation in both languages and then rode in silence the rest of the way. The scenery reminded me a lot of Krabi, which is also in the south. There are no Tuk-Tuks as we know them. Just motorbikes with sidecars. We passed a place called the 'Mango Saloon', and another building that had a big sign saying 'The Future', with logos for electronic products. A big sign on the door said 'For rent', which made me chuckle. The Future is for rent. (Ha)

I'm staying at Patong Suite Home, which is run by a very nice guy named Max. He's an expat from Italy and he's been here for 3 years. My little room is all I need since I won't be here much. It's on the third floor, with no elevator, and has one of those 'all in one' bathrooms where the shower is right on the wall next to the toilet. There is internet, but it's only available in the lobby. So much for late night cruising.

Speaking of cruising, Patong Beach is known for being the party capital of Asia. I'm staying off the main street where all that happens, and sticking to the hotel with my friends. I'll have more to tell you on Monday.

It rained today in Chiang Rai. Just enough to wet the lawns and clear the air. I talked to Daku on the phone, and from what Lisa tells me, he knew it was me but was very curious as to what was going on.

Have a Wonderful WeekEnd. Time for some 'Funnies'.


Old Harold

I was having trouble with my computer. So I called Harold the computer guy, to come over. Harold clicked a couple of buttons and solved the problem.
He gave me a bill for a minimum service call. As he was walking away, I called after him, "So, what was wrong?" He replied, "It was an ID ten T error." I didn't want to appear stupid, but nonetheless inquired, "An, ID ten T error? What's that ... in case I need to fix it again?"
Harold grinned.... "Haven't you ever heard of an ID ten T error before?"
"No," I replied.
"Write it down," he said, "and I think you'll figure it out."
So I wrote down: I D 1 0 T
I used to like Harold.............

Gettin' Funky, Thai Style

Thursday, February 17, 2011



The heat is on. The forecast calls for a gradual rise in the temperature. It's not like we didn't know it was coming. (Ha) We're also doing battle with pesky mosquitos. Today's adventure in town took us to the market.

A few of you knew this 'Summer of Love' song right away. It's a tender song giving us a tip on what to do.
"You know she's waiting, just anticipating, the thing that you'll never, never, never possess. But while she's there waiting without them, __ __ __ __, that's all you got to do." Hint: The artist sat on a dock watching the boats, his career ended sadly at age 26.

We're in that time of year when the big leaves from across the street blow over the wall and into the yard. The dogs love them. In the morning they're damp from the dew and don't have much appeal, but in the afternoon they're nice and crunchy. We call them 'teak chips'. I took Daku out to play and he was so distracted that I had to wait until the few that he could find were devoured. Then he got down to serious running around and retrieving.

There is an aisle in the market that has about five vendors that sell nothing but bags and purses of every description. We were in search of a black purse and we finally found one. There was a tiny little girl, the daughter of one of the vendors, who made a point of coming over to me and waving 'bye bye'. What a different world it must be for the children who grow up in the cramped aisles of the markets. They manage to do what children all over the world do, they find ways to play.

Tomorrow morning I'll be taking the early plane to Bangkok, on my way to Phuket (Poo-ket) for a convention. We're in the height of 'The Season' in Thailand and Phuket is a tourist destination. It should be bustling with visitors. We have a friend who is performing at the Marriot Resort and I'm hoping to connect with him during my visit. I'll be writing to you from there and I'll give you a bit of what I see.

Things are slowly returning to normal around here, coming down from the excitement of the exhibit opening. Lisa went into her studio this evening. More beautiful creations are sure to emerge.

Have a Thrilling Thursday.


"Gratitude releases a dynamic current of spiritual energy
to go before us to exert a mighty influence in our world."
~John Randolph Price

Gettin' Funky, Thai Style

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

To Live


Chiang Rai weather is moving past 'warm' when it comes to daytime temps. Hot is more like it. Today we took pictures of pictures, and basically stayed at home. Sometimes that's nice.

The 'Easy' song was "All You Need Is Love" by The Beatles. Time to wander back to the 'Summer of Love'.
"Oh, she may be weary, them young girls they do get weary, wearing that same old shaggy dress. But when she gets weary, __ __ __ __ " Hint: The soulful artist who sang this really showed his sensitive side. Even if you weren't around in '67, you should know this standard.

This morning I put together the second incarnation of my sprinkler system. I still have additions to make, but the front lawn got a good soaking. Tomorrow the back gets wet. Eventually we will have someone come and build an 'in lawn' system that just requires the turn of a handle. This thing of dragging hoses around and then winding them up can get a little tired.

After lunch we bravely put off our usual relaxation time and went over to 9 Art Gallery to take some photos of the exhibit while it was empty of people. Lisa took stills and I shot movies. We're still examining the results, but we'll be sure and share with you. Not having glass on her prints makes it much easier to photograph them.

Today we had a minor sports marathon. We slept through one tennis match, had coffee during another, and watched World Cup Equestrian Horse Jumping before dinner. That was one of our favorites when we lived in the states. Now we just get the European broadcasts showing mostly 'Euro' horses. We actually get a wide variety of sports here, depending on the mood. Everything from billiards to cricket, beach handball to netball, and of course, the two forms of football.

It's time for Wacky Wednesday.


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

Gettin' Funky, Thai Style

Monday, February 14, 2011



Today was Valentine's Day here in Chiang Rai and was widely celebrated. We had a successful opening for Lisa's art exhibit, with a good turn out and two sales.

Oh my, we didn't do so well with the 'Old School Friday' song. It was "Earth Angel" by The Penguins. For 'Easy Monday' we sing a song that we sang before. It seems fitting to use again for Valentine's Day. Do you know this:
"There's nothing you can do that can't be done. Nothing you can sing that can't be sung. Nothing you can say, but you can learn how to play the game. It's easy... " Hint: Title is in 5 words, sung by four guys from across the pond.

Saturday was the big day. We kicked it off by attending a birthday party for our friend Gary. It was a sit-down lunch where we met more new people and had some fun conversation. Gary and I share the same birthday and it was really cool that he had a gift for me.

We left the party and got a little rest before getting ready for the opening. Boot had given me a beautiful shirt and I decided to wear it that night. Lisa wore basic black with a long, orange vest type garment from Vietnam. Boot came with us in a pretty dress, and the three of us made quite a picture. We arrived at the gallery at 6:30pm so Lisa could make last minute checks of the name plates on her work. Everything was in order and to our surprise, the mayor showed up early. He was very interested in learning about Lisa's art and the process that she uses. She and the mayor and Khun Sompong went into the gallery and she explained things.

As the crowd began arriving we were treated to three violin pieces by Sakkan, the son of the gallery owners. It turns out that we knew most of those who came. We think there were about 50 people there. The mayor was a very nice man who spent quite a bit of time talking about Lisa's work and how she had become a part of the Chiang Rai art community. He and Khun Jaffee, who translated for the mayor, both referred to Lisa as an "international artist." I guess that means there's some travel in our future.

After the mayor's comments, Lisa was introduced. She was accompanied by our friend Chalit, who translated for her. She expressed her gratitude to those who had come, and told them of the inspiration she had derived from Chiang Rai and it's people. At the end of the talk she thanked them with a couple of sentences in Thai. The crowed was very appreciative of this and she got a rousing applause. She then presented the mayor with a cast acrylic print that she'd made for him and they took pictures together. Then came the ribbon cutting by the mayor.

The crowd swarmed into the gallery and spent lots of time viewing each piece, studying all the nuances of Lisa's creations. There are many things to see in each one and we could see some of the local artists standing together, discussing the work. One of the pieces was bought by Supaluk Teppawan, the woman who owns the art supply store where Lisa buys paints and supplies. She bought two of Lisa's works at her first show. She's a real 'patron'. She doesn't speak any English, yet they have managed to forge a friendship. At one point during the show she called her son in Bangkok, who speaks English, and spoke to him and then handed the phone to Lisa. He told Lisa that his mother is going to learn to speak English so they can talk. When he comes to town they'll come to dinner. The other sale was to our friend Eddy. There was also a conversation with a young man we met named Bet, who wants Lisa to do two works for his new hotel. Things are definitely 'happening'.

Today, in celebration of Valentine's Day there was a concert in front of the Chiang Rai Mall, right on the sidewalk. It started in the afternoon and went on into the evening. There was also a carnival at the central park so the kids had something to do. This is amazing Thailand.

Have a Great Week. More on the opening evening tomorrow.


PS Pictures coming soon.

"Bitterness imprisons life; love releases it."
~Harry Emerson Fosdick

Gettin' Funky, Thai Style

Friday, February 11, 2011

Friday Funnies


We had another one of those 'post-card' days here in Chiang Rai. We went to the gallery twice, Lisa went on the radio, and there was 'presenter drama'.

The 'Summer of Love' song that baffled many was "A Whiter Shade of Pale" by Procol Harum. No, I don't know what it all means either. It's time for 'Old School Friday'. Here's one that's sure to bring back memories for some of you 'older' readers. (Ha) It's been covered a million times, but there's extra 'Cool Points' if you can tell me who did it first. "__ __, __ __ will you be mine? My darling dear, love you all the time. If just a fool, a fool in love with you." Hint: We've done this one before, it's about a celestial being with both feet on the ground, so to speak. A favorite 'slow song' back in the day.

This morning we went to 9 Art Gallery for the arrival of the works. Most of Lisa's cast acrylic prints were still wrapped, but we did get to see a few of them in their final framed form. What a thrill.

This afternoon we met Khun Jaffee at the government building for the radio show. The public relations center was where the little radio studio is located. They went over the format for the show, topics to discuss etc. and as they went in to start the show I left to run another errand. I got to listen to Lisa on the radio. There was a lot of Thai, and then Jaffee would say, "We'd like to know....?", and Lisa would respond to the questions. She did a great job telling the audience why we chose Chiang Rai, how it inspired her, and how the cast acrylic print process works. Tomorrow they're going to give us a CD of the broadcast.

This evening we went back to the gallery to see the progress in hanging the show. Quite a few of the pieces were on the wall and it became apparent that something very special was happening. We hadn't seen many of the pieces in their frames so it was like seeing new works. Khun Sompong did a wonderful job of placement and told us he'd tried it three different ways. While they were working this afternoon he told us someone came in off the street to look at the big four-panel piece of Chiang Rai. It's going to be quite a run.

We found out this morning that the Governor had to cancel, but that the Mayor was going to present instead. I think it's just fine since it localizes the appearance of support. He'll do a good job since this is one of the things he does a lot. The bottom line is that people are coming to see the art work.

Tomorrow we're going to a birthday party at noon, and hopefully have time to rest before showtime. Tomorrow is also my birthday, and I couldn't think of a better way to celebrate it than being at the opening of Lisa's show.

Have a WonderFilled WeekEnd. Enjoy the 'Funnies'.


Weather For The Dogs

To tell the weather, go to your back door and look for the dog.

If the dog is at the door and he is wet, it's raining. If the dog is
standing there really soaking wet, it is raining very hard.

If the dog's fur looks like it's been rubbed the wrong way, it's windy.

If the dog has snow on his back, it's probably snowing.

Of course, to be able to tell the weather like this, you have to leave
the dog outside all the time, especially if you expect bad weather.


Gettin' Funky, Thai Style

Thursday, February 10, 2011



Today was a busy one. Another trip to Bliss, a visit to the stationary store, coffee with friends, and we now have clean teeth. Oh yeah, the garden crew showed up.

It seems that a few of you knew this one right away. The 'Summer of Love' brought us some interesting stuff.
"And so it was that later, as the miller told his tale, that her face, at first just ghostly, turned __ __ __ __ __."
Hint: Really now, if that line doesn't do it for you, you don't know the song. Don't worry if you don't know how to spell the name of the group. No points off for bad spelling. (Ha)

This morning we went back to Bliss to deliver some posters and invitations. We chatted with Chalit and made arrangements for him to have some of his promo literature at the show. He's been a tremendous help throughout the project and we want to help him as well.

There is a stationary store called Munic, and it's huge. Like most of the stores of this type here in town, they sell everything from paper to ping pong balls, to drums. We found what we were looking for and actually got home 'early'.

After lunch, and a brief nap, we went for our teeth cleaning appointments. Our former dentist, Dr. Nan, is now just doing her specialty which is orthodontics. She suggested a Dr. Oy, but we ended up seeing Dr. Ott. She was very nice, spoke good English, and cleaned our teeth just fine. The bill for both of us came to a little over $30.

As we were leaving the hospital, Lisa called our friend Kwan to see if she was at Doi Chaang. She and her boyfriend David, who's visiting from England, were there so we went over for coffee. We had a fun visit with them and they're coming over on Sunday.

We've been so busy with preparations for the art exhibit that we haven't had time to check out the new, giant bookstore that opened recently on the Super Highway. That will be near the top of the list of things to do next week. Tomorrow the art arrives at the gallery and the excitement is really building.

Tonight there's a big party going on somewhere in the neighborhood behind our house. Needless to say, there's music that will probably thump on into the night.

Have a Thrilling Thursday.


"It takes a long time,
to learn to be young."

Gettin' Funky, Thai Style

Wednesday, February 9, 2011



It was a day like any other, sunny and mild. It was also another day of light errands. We had nice visits with friends, solidified more plans for the exhibit, and bravely set up a dental appointment. (Ha) I also encountered strange sounds from next door.

Your 'Easy Monday' song was "Mr. Postman" as sung by The Marvelettes. Next up, the 'Summer of Love' and one that some of you are sure to remember: "We skipped the light fandango, turned cartwheels 'cross the floor. I was feeling kinda seasick, but the crowd called out for more..." Clue: The title, in 5 words, refers to a colorless color. Hmm.

This morning when I took Daku out for his '7:30 recess', we were both startled by odd sounds on the other side of the wall. Our neighbor has a pen near the front of his property that holds a group of pygmy deer. Most of the time they are very quiet. One wouldn't know they were there except for the foul odor that sometimes emanates. Today there was a squeaking sound along with what could only be called a 'deer bark'. Daku was totally distracted by this and just stood staring while the unseen deer bellowed. Amazing Thailand.

We went to Bliss Studios to pick up the latest photos of Lisa last pieces, and had a very nice chat with Chalit. He showed us some of his 'art photos' and told us where they were taken. Many of them were taken in the states when he was a student. They were all black and white, which is his first love in photography. We're learning things every day.

This afternoon I went over to the hospital and made appointments for us to have our teeth cleaned. No big deal, but it is the dentist after all. The Thai word for tooth is 'fun' so I call them Dr. Fun. (555)

Later our friend Tye came over and helped Lisa translate the last part of her speech for the opening ceremony. She wants to address the audience in Thai. Now it's just a matter of delivery. It sounds really melodic and I'm sure they will appreciate the effort.

Friday morning all of the art work will be delivered to 9 Gallery and the hanging process will begin. That will be a magical time, watching the show evolve. Khun Sompong, a talented artist in his own right, will hang the show.

Time for a Wacky Wednesday.


Today's quote was discovered by Christopher on a blog by a computer programmer:

"...should multiply happiness, divide despair, subtract past, add future."

Gettin' Funky, Thai Style

Tuesday, February 8, 2011



Chiang Rai is still celebrating Chinese New Year in certain quarters under clear skies and moderate temps. The opening night festivities are growing, and we went another day without the yard 'groomers'.

I'm guessing it was a Super Bowl daze that caused you to not know the 'Easy' song. This might help your head:
"You better wait a minute, wait a minute... please __ __, deliver the letter, the sooner the better. Wait a minute, wait a minute..." Clue: That's got to be one of the more memorable lines in the song. Come on, it's easy. Oh, and I want you to tell me the original group that sang it.

This morning as we drove across town for Lisa hair appointment we noticed a large group of young men in brightly colored shirts assembling in the court yard of a large temple. Later I was sitting at a red light when I heard the distinctive sound produced by the drums and cymbals of the Dragon Dancers. As I passed the intersection I saw the same young men, some inside a big green dragon, performing in front of a store. This afternoon we heard the sound in our neighborhood. They were across the street in the yard of the big house. They were there for quite some time, with drums and cymbals clashing and fireworks going off for about 2 or 3 minutes. I guess this troupe gets paid to come and do what they do. After they finally finished it appeared that the owner had a little party for them. I'll have to find out more about the function of the dance.

The son of the owners of 9 Art Gallery is going to perform at the opening of Lisa's exhibit. He is a child prodigy violin virtuoso. He lives at school in Bangkok, plays with the Bangkok Symphony, and is only 15. We are very fortunate that he will be in town this weekend. He'll play a few numbers before the ceremony begins. The ceremony consists of Khun Nine introducing Khun Jaffe who will introduce and translate for The Governor, who will speak and then present Khun Lisa who will speak in English with translation by Khun Chalit. When Khun Lisa is done, she will present the Governor with the gift of one of her works, and then the ribbon across the front door will be cut and the exhibit will be officially opened. That's the capsule version of the 'ceremony'. I'll be sure and take lots of photos of the whole thing.

Have a Happy Tuesday.


"When one door of happiness closes, another opens;
but often we look so long at the closed door
that we do not see the one which has been opened for us."
~Helen Keller

Gettin' Funky, Thai Style

Monday, February 7, 2011



The weekend weather in Chiang Rai was perfect. Not too hot, with a light breeze. We did more promotion for the show, went to The Sold Project, Walking Street, did Big C, and the Night Bazaar.

The 'Old School' song was "Just Because" by Lloyd Price. Cousin Trudye also noted that John Lennon covered it. Now it's time for some 'Easy Monday' and I know you're ready for something extremely easy. Here goes:
"Please __ __, look and see (Oh yeah) if there's a letter in your bag for me. Please, please __ __, you know it's been a long time (Oh yeah), since I've heard from that boyfriend of mine..." Hint: All I can say is 'Mail time'.

Saturday we met Rachel and her friend Kelly and followed them out to the countryside west of town for our first visit to the Sold Project Resource Center. They have a two-story Thai house that serves as a residence/office for volunteers upstairs, and the center downstairs. The view to the west is nothing but farm land and it's beautiful. We were joined by Khun Plah, who works with the kids and their parents. We learned a lot more about the project over lunch. As we were finishing lunch the first group of kids began to arrive. Some of them arrived by bicycle, others just walked. Their village is not far away and the sound of their voices was the only thing we heard in the tranquil setting. We went down to find them playing a game of Twister. Lisa prompted them to use the English words for 'Left' and 'Right'. They were using English for the other directions, but using Thai for which hand or foot to use. They couldn't stop laughing, but eventually got into using the right words. A little later Kelly was going to give them a lesson. Later the next group arrived. They were a little older. The center is their place to come after school and on Saturdays. It was a great experience for us to see the center in action, having heard about it for some time.

We had an early dinner so we could get to Walking Street before it got too crowded. We managed to get there and have some space to really examine some of the things on display. There was lots of music, food, and a wide assortment of things for sale. We saw some incredible wooden lamps, and discovered a little art gallery that appeared to be run by students. After seeing most of the 'Street', we realized we were getting tired so we made our way to the car and home.

Sunday was pretty routine, with lunch and shopping at Big C, a nap, and dinner at the Night Bazaar. We took invitations to a few of our friends, even though they won't be able to come to the opening. Our friend the 'Scarf Lady' really focused on the catalogue when Lisa showed it to her. She examined every picture, pointing out all the things she saw. It was a very special moment to watch her face light up.

This morning we watched the Super Bowl. We had fun since it was a good game. Fortunately, the half-time came at the same time that Daku was ready for his morning play so I didn't miss anything.

Tomorrow Kek and the yard crew are supposed to come. We're hoping they make it because the teak leaves from across the street have started falling and blowing over the wall. Of course, the dogs love it. They approach them like they were potato chips or something. I tried to get Daku to play this afternoon but he just wanted to examine all the leaves. BamBam has been on 'restriction' lately in an effort to let her shoulder heal. She hasn't been limping so we think it worked. She can't wait to start running and leaping again.

Have a Great Week.


"The most influential person who will talk to you all day is you,
so you should be very careful about what you say to you!"
~Zig Ziglar

Gettin' Funky, Thai Style

Friday, February 4, 2011

Friday Funnies


Friday in Chiang Rai was partly cloudy and busy. We did more promotion, took a nap, ran the dog, and went to the Night Bazaar. See? Busy.

The 'Summer of Love' was the summer of Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band and The Beatles song you didn't know was "Getting Better". A few of the 'regulars' knew it. Oh well, maybe you should brush up on your Beatles.
It's time now for 'Old School Friday' and we go back to 1957, and a hit tune by a singer known as 'Mr. Personality'.
"__ __ you left and said goodbye, do you think that I will sit and cry? Even if my heart should tell me so, darling I would rather see you go... I know you think you're smart just going around breaking lovers hearts...." Hint: This artist saw two men gambling in the dark, and he wants to get married.

This morning we were expecting the yard crew, but they had to cancel until Tuesday. Daku and I usually go out and play so we did our routine. Sometimes he's very focused about running and fetching, but the last few days it's taken extra work to keep his mind on it. There's a dog next door who comes to our gate whenever he's let out of his yard. Daku and BamBam always keep a look out for his feet along the bottom of our gate. If they see him, they run over and walk back and forth sniffing and dog whispering. If we're playing with the ball, he just changes course and it's over for a few minutes. Today we had two good sessions, even with the interruptions.

Mid morning we went out to start delivering more posters and invitations. We met with Rachel and Kevin at Doi Chaang and gave them invitations, and got final directions to the Sold Project Resource Center where we'll be going tomorrow.

Today was the day Boot took her motorbike to the village Honda shop for new tires. That meant she'd probably be gone during lunch so she told us to eat out. Since we were going to be eating lunch away from home today, and we planned to leave a poster with our friend at Siam Corner, we decided to lunch there. I had my 'usual', a chicken burger, and Lisa had a chicken and vegetable dish. We browsed a day old Bangkok Post, and watch the traffic on Jet Yod Rd. After lunch we went to see Dr. Arnon, Daku and BamBam's vet, and gave him a poster. Everyone is putting the posters up in very nice spots.

Tonight we finished the list with a trip down to the Night Bazaar. Most of our friends there can't make the opening because they work in the evenings. The restaurant where we have dinner put up the poster, and they'll probably come by in the day time. It's a funny thing about art exhibits. There is incredible focus and pressure to have a large, successful opening, sometimes forgetting that the exhibit will be up for almost a month. I've been having this thought that maybe mid-way through the run of the show there should be another reason to gather people in the gallery. Or, for those who work in the evening, an afternoon thing. Just thinking out loud.

Just so you know, I'll be watching the Super Bowl 'live' on Monday morning at 6:00am. If anyone wants to tell me what a 'Steeler' or a 'Packer' is, feel free. (555)

The Friday before the show, February 11, Lisa will be interviewed on the Provincial radio station. This thing has taken on a life of it's own.

Have a Wonderful WeekEnd. Enjoy the 'Funnies'.


Dog Rules for Stuff

1. If I like it, it's mine.

2. If its in my mouth, it's mine.

3. If I can take it from you, it's mine.

4. If I had it a little while ago, it's mine.

5. If I'm chewing something up, all the pieces are mine.

6. If its mine, it must never appear to be yours anyway.

7. If it just looks like mine, it's mine.

8. If I saw it first, it's mine.

9. If you are playing with something and you put it down, it
automatically becomes mine.

10. If its broken, it's yours.

Gettin' Funky, Thai Style

Thursday, February 3, 2011



"Sawat Dee Pee Mai". That's 'Happy New Year' in Thai. That was the greeting around town all day. We spent the morning delivering posters, and catalogues to various friends. We also got a false start from the garden crew.

I'm a little surprised that more of you don't recognize this song. The album it's from was a semi-concept piece.
"Me used to be angry young man, me hiding me head in the sand. You gave me the word, I finally heard, I'm doing the best that I can. To admit it's __ __, a little __ all the time...since you've been mine." Hint: The group is often referred to as the 'Fab Four', and the album cover featured a host of celebrities. Hmm.

Our first stop this morning was Doi Chaang Coffee. We gave a poster to Khun Newt and she said she'd post it in a prominent place. Then we went down to the 'Tractor Store' for a visit with Jen and Pui. We had a fun visit and they came up with places where we should place the posters. They got very enthusiastic about the whole thing. It's wonderful how our friends are willing to help with the promotion of the show.

In the afternoon we went to 9 Art Gallery to pick up the invitations that were printed. Jaffee met us there and we discussed the writing of the press release, and the comments for the Governor. Khun Nine is going to help with all that. The invitations will go out to the gallery's mailing list, and will be placed in shops and restaurants around town. This evening I stopped by Doi Chaang to drop some off and saw the poster hanging in the window. Things are really taking shape.

While I was setting up the fittings for my new 'hose project', I heard voices on the other side of the wall. It was Khun Kek and his garden crew. I was under the impression that they were coming on Friday, but we let them in and they began work. A bit later we noticed that we didn't see anyone in the yard. All their stuff was gone and we realized that they had the day wrong and just left. Oh my. Guess we'll see them tomorrow.

Tomorrow we'll hit the street again on the promotion trail. Many shops were closed today because of the New Year. It's quiet tonight at the festival grounds, but a friend told me there's a big disco party at the Old Airport. Rock On.

Have a Thrilling Thursday.


"When you start being good to yourself,
You start feeling good about yourself."

Gettin' Funky, Thai Style

Wednesday, February 2, 2011



We had another one of those 'special' days here in Chiang Rai. One might even call it 'epic'. We sipped coffee to the sound of firecrackers, received a gift New Years Dim Sum, and met the Director of the Ministry of Tourism in the office of the Governor.

The 'Easy' song was "You Really Got a Hold On Me" by The Miracles. Yeah, you knew that. (Ha) It's time, once again, to trip back to 1967 and the 'Summer of Love'. "I used to get mad in my school (No, I can't complain), holding me down, turning me round, filling me up with your rules. I've got to admit it's __ __ ..." Clue: It's from a monumental album by a major quartet from across the pond. Something has improved.

This morning we set out with a list of things to do and places to go for promotion of the art exhibit. After mailing catalogues to Lisa's dad and my mom, we went to Connect Cafe for a cup, and to see if they'd hang a poster. While we were having our coffee, two strings of firecrackers were set off. They each lasted about 30 seconds and the way they're made, there's always an extra big one at the end. All around town we could see little pieces of red paper, the aftermath of the excitement.

Our next stop was Sahapaiboon, to see our friends Atom, Jah, and Thoe. We sat in an office with Atom, and her mom came in with a bowl of Dim Sum for us to take home. We also were given some oranges.

As we were leaving Sahapaiboon we got a call from Jaffee. He was on his way to the Governor's office and needed more posters and catalogues. I made a U turn and we headed towards our side of town. As we approached the building, Jaffee merged onto the road right in front of us so we followed him in. First we went to the office of the Director of the Ministry of Tourism. He's a very cordial man with a great sense of humor. He led us upstairs to the office of the Governor. It seemed that he'd just left, but we met his secretary and his brother. We stood around talking, and taking pictures. Then we went to another office that turned out to be the Provincial radio station. We met the man in charge and he told us they would be plugging the show in the afternoon every day. This was a lot more than we expected and we're very grateful for all the attention. They gave Lisa an official letter that was basically saying the the Governor accepted and would be there on the opening.

We were glowing as we drove back downtown to meet with Kevin. He and Rachel (who designed the posters) are going to distribute some posters around town. We connected at Doi Chaang for a brief visit and then went home for lunch. What a busy morning.

The afternoon was spent on more practical, every day stuff. Buying garden hose, renewing insurance, and picking up another fan that had been repaired. The hose buying experience is worth mentioning because hoses aren't sold like they are in the states. You buy what you need. There are no fitted ends, you do that yourself. I needed 50 meters so the guys checked the weight of a full roll. That weight was then halved and they unwound hose and placed it on a scale until they got the right weight. Hmm, a novel approach but it worked. Now all I have to do is put my little system together and water the front lawn.

As I write, there are firecrackers going off behind the house, a bass is thumping somewhere in the distance, and the New Year is about to explode in Chiang Rai.

It's sure to be a Wacky Wednesday.


"Enjoy the little things in life, for one day you may look back and realize they were the big things."

Gettin' Funky, Thai Style

Tuesday, February 1, 2011



No clouds today. Chiang Rai weather was back to normal. Sunny and clear, temps in the mid to high 80s. No cyclones, snow, or Santa Anas in sight. Wish you were here. (Ha) Today we tied up all the loose ends of production. Yea for the team.

For a minute there I thought you all were going to make 'Easy Monday' look bad. Then the responses came in.
"I want to leave you, don't want to stay here. Don't want to spend another day here. Oh, oh, oh I want to split now, I just can't quit now __ __ __ __ __ __ __. __ __ __ __ __ __ __. I love you and all I want you to do is just hold me, hold me, hold me..." Clue: It's by a group that later added the lead singer's name to the name of the group. In this song he's letting us know he's under the spell of his girl. Hmm.

This morning we had a 9am appointment to drop off the last three prints for photographs. While we were at the studio Lisa had Chalit write down, in Thai, instructions on how we wanted the catalogue inserts copied. We left his place and went to a copy place we'd used before. The written instructions, plus a phone call helped us get what we needed. While things were being photographed, and copied we went to the bank, and the fruit market. A big circle back around the square to pick up stuff and we were ready to head out to the frame factory.

It was all so efficient. We were home before lunch. After lunch Lisa got a call from Jaffee saying that he had the catalogues from the printer in Bangkok, along with 50 posters. He came over and we discussed who should get what and made lists. We are now in promotion mode. Jaffee will cover the hotels, we have a list of spots we frequent, and tomorrow Rachel will get a stack of posters. We took catalogues to the gallery so they can deliver them to their VIP list. Khun Sompong will make a large version of the poster to set in front of the gallery. Needless to say, we are excited. The sad thing is, the studio is empty. I think we need to pull out some older things so we can keep the vibe.

On a non-art note, I've spotted an interesting trend. There are lots of young people with bicycles of every description. There are clubs that ride together, and those who just use them as daily transport. Recently I noticed a teen riding very slowly, then he stopped and balanced. The next thing he did really threw me. He pedaled backwards and spun the front end around. I looked closely and saw no brakes on the bike. It was 'Direct drive', like the track bikes in the Olympics. How do they ride around town with no brakes? Very slowly. Amazing.

Have a Happy Tuesday.


"Power "should be" the ability to do good things for others."

Gettin' Funky, Thai Style