Friday, July 29, 2011

Friday Funnies


This morning we have double acupuncture, and a day with Mr. August. Yesterday we had lunch with long-time friends and separate dinners again. We're also getting a good dose of local traffic. Hmm.

The 'Summer of Love' song was "Creeque Alley" by The Mamas and Papas. 'Old School Friday' is next:
"__, if I pray every night you'll come back to me. __, if I cry every day, you'll come back to stay. Ohhh, __."
Clue: This one's by a 'Girl Group' that had numerous hits. Maybe you know it.

Yesterday we had a mellow morning. After checking out a new speaker experiment that August was working on, we went to the pet supply store. Oh my, there certainly are a lot more things for dogs in America. We got the things they like, and also a new chew toy. Let's hope Daku doesn't eat it.

From there we went to Santa Monica for lunch with Kerrina, Michael, Katja, Kira, and Zane. We've watched the kids grow up through the years and it's always a treat to get together with them. Kerrina was our physical therapist for years. After lunch we walked down to her new location to check it out.

Since we were in Santa Monica we decided to go to The Promenade. I have commented on the orderly way that people drive in L.A., but it all changes when the quantity of cars is so large. In other words, heavy traffic seems to be the norm. Silly me, I didn't realize that it's now an all day thing. There was a time when rush hour was an hour in the morning and an hour in the evening. Ha, it happens at any given time. And to think, I thought we had traffic in Chiang Rai. Two intersections can back up and take a few extra minutes. Well, we'll be back there soon and it will feel like nothing for a few days.

Lisa had dinner with her childhood friend McKinley and I had dinner with my good friend Mark. She had Italian, I had Thai. Keeping the connections to people in our lives is very important.

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


The Workout

I felt like my body had gotten totally out of shape, so I got my
doctor's permission to join a fitness club and start exercising. I
decided to take an aerobics class for seniors. I bent, twisted,
gyrated, jumped up and down, and perspired for an hour. But, by the
time I got my leotards on, the class was over.

Gettin' Funky, Thai Style

Thursday, July 28, 2011



Wacky Wednesday turned out to be not so wacky. There was a breakfast, a lunch, and two dinners. Hmm, that's sounding kinda wacky.

I'm impressed by the number of you who remember this tune. Though it's a little obscure, it tells the story of the rise of a very successful singing group. The title is a place. "In a coffee house Sebastian sat, and after every number they'd pass the hat. McGuinn and McGuire just a-gettin' higher in L.A., you know where that's at, and no one's gettin' fat 'cept Mama Cass." Hint: The last phrase of each verse should be a clue to who sang this song.

Lisa had breakfast in the Marina with a long time friend that we haven't seen in years. August and I drove her to meet our friend Pam. Then August and I spent the morning hanging out. He made some silly putty/play dough out of various things in the kitchen, experimented with squirting different liquids from a turkey baster, and I helped him practice his piano. Then we went to Del Taco and picked up lunch. Late in the afternoon the laser device he was waiting for finally arrived but he had to leave for his piano lesson. In the evening we got the full demo of what it can do, along with all the rest of his 'disco gear'.

While August and I were hanging out, Lisa was having lunch with her former boss, and then visiting at the institute. Many relationships were built over 30 years and it's nice to see old friends. When I went to pick her up it struck me that I knew many people who were still there.

We had separate dinner engagements in the evening. Lisa had dinner with our dear friend Susie. We met her years ago when we had a cat that we couldn't keep. She adopted him and we stayed in touch. I had dinner with old and new friends.

The pace seems to have a mind of it's own in these last days in L.A. There are still people we'd like to see, things we'd like to do, blah, blah. Believe it or not, we're still making adjustments to see more friends.

Have a Thrilling Thursday.


"There are hundreds of languages in the world, but a smile speaks them all."

Gettin' Funky, Thai Style

Wednesday, July 27, 2011



We started 'Happy Tuesday' with a 'Blast from the Past', did some shopping, and Lisa went to a TV show. It was a good day.

The 'Easy Monday' song that wasn't so easy this time around was "Black Cow" by Steely Dan. Back in the 'Summer of Love' this next song was making the rounds. If you did any California dreamin' you'll probably recognize the lyrics.
"John and Mitchy were gettin' kinda itchy just to leave the folk music behind. Zal and Denny, workin' for a penny, tryin' to get a fish on the line.... and no one's gettin' fat except Mama Cass." Hint: Most of us know the song, but not the title. It's two words, and the don't appear in the song. Hmm. If you know the group, that will do.

We went to Dinah's for breakfast with our friends Pam and Steve. We always meet them there, but this morning there was a celebration of Dinah's 52nd anniversary. The parking lot had old cars on display, a big chicken walking around, and what looked like a line to get inside. We got a table pretty quickly and realized this was the day when they rolled back the prices to 1959. The menu was a very simple affair and you couldn't make substitutions. We all ordered the breakfast menu. Coffee was 15 cents, two eggs, a meat dish, and pancakes came to $1.25. We had a nice visit, catching up on what's been happening in their lives. The total bill for the four of us came to $6.09. I guess you could say we were big time spenders. (Ha)

After breakfast we got out the list of things we need to take back to Thailand. We made the rounds of the local stores and got most of what we need. We almost got stuck when we entered Bed Bath and Beyond. They have all these amazing 'As Seen on TV' things by the front door. Stuff you don't really need, but cool inventions that draw you in. Self-control kept it down to a Magic Pillow. What a fun place.

The afternoon was a real treat. Nothing on the schedule so we had a chance to relax. When 'rest period' ended it was time for Lisa, Anna, and August to go to Television City to watch the taping of 'America's Got Talent'. They were there for four hours and I got a full report when they returned. They had fun and August especially liked the guy who dove three stories down, into 12 inches of water. Hmm, why? That's show biz.

Lisa talked to Boot and things are going well at the Big Brown House. Daku and BamBam are fine and the weather is hot.

Today I'll be hanging out with Mr. August while Lisa visits with old friends. I'm sure we'll have little adventures.

It's time for Wacky Wednesday.


"The soul is dyed the color of its thoughts. Think only on those
things that are in line with your principles and can bear the light of day.
The content of your character is your choice.
Day by day, what you do is who you become.
Your integrity is your destiny - it is the light that guides your way."
~Heraclitus (c.540-c.475 BC) Greek philosopher

Gettin' Funky, Thai Style

Tuesday, July 26, 2011



The weather in Chiang Rai calls for partly cloudy skies and a temperature of 84 degrees with 70% humidity. We'll finish up on Sunday's activities and then go to the beach.

So 'Easy' for some, but where are the rest of you? This two word title refers to something that might make some say 'Moo'. "I can't cry anymore while you run around, break away, just when it seems so clear that it's over now drink your big __ __ and get out of here." Clue: They sang about Josie, and then got the Deacon Blues.

Sunday afternoon we drove to Alhambra to visit with our good friend Debby. She took us to see a cool 'restaurant' that's owned and operated by her son and daughter in-law. It features every kind of breakfast cereal you could imagine. They also serve a few other things, but the array of cereals boggles the mind. The wall behind the counter is filled with huge containers full of all your childhood favorites. Yum. We had coffee next door and had a great time talking about lots of interesting things.

Our next stop was my mom's house in Altadena. We picked her up and went downtown for dinner. There we met with Blue and Ming for a Thai dinner and more conversation.

Back in Culver City, we hung out with C-Bass and watched the Formula One GP from Germany. It was a treat for us to see the race with commentary from our favorite American analysts. When we watch in Thailand we get the commentary from two British guys who are actually in Singapore.

Monday was a 'Beach Day'. Anna, August, Lisa, and I piled into the family van and went to Venice Beach. We stationed ourselves at a little cove where the water splashes on the rocks. August had told us about it and really wanted us to see it. There weren't many people around and it was very relaxing just lying in the sun. August took each of us over to the rocks so we could experience the mist that follows the slashing of the surf. After we'd had enough sun we strolled the boardwalk. It was quite busy for a summer Monday, with people from all over the world checking out all the things that probably never happen where they came from. August and Anna got henna tattoos, and we checked out all the wonders of Venice Beach. It was a great time.

In the evening we had dinner with our good friend Kathie. We always dine at Emerald Thai, but this time we went early so we could show Nid, the manager, some pictures from Thailand. It was fun watching his reactions to the pics and hearing his laughter. Kathie also got to see a bunch of pics and we had fun talking about some of the special places in Chiang Rai. It was a very good day.

Have a Happy Tuesday.


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

Gettin' Funky, Thai Style

Monday, July 25, 2011



The weekend is a bit of a blur. There were lunches, dinners and a party for a two year old. There was driving, laughing, talking, and lots of new memories created. Oh yes, and Lisa talked to Daku on the phone.

The 'Old School Friday' song was almost a 'stumper', but a few of you knew "Only You" by The Platters. Now it's time for 'Easy Monday', and a tune we've played before. Just think bovine and you'll do fine: "In the corner of my eye, I saw you in Rudy's, you were very high. You were high, it was a cryin' disgrace, they saw your face. On the counter by your keys was a book of numbers and your remedies. One of these will screen out the sorrow, but where are you tomorrow?" Hint: This band (duo) blended Rock and Jazz in addition to some thoughtful lyrics. Oh, there's a drink involved.

Friday morning we made one of our obligatory trips to Ross (Ha) to check out the latest in discount fashion. Then we went to Marina Del Rey and met long time friends, Claire and David, for lunch. Lisa worked with Claire for years, and she has been an avid follower of the art adventure. Our lunches have become a regular part of our visits.

We spent Friday evening at Emerald Thai, having dinner with Blue and his son Ming. It's hard to believe that Ming is almost 21. It was kind of a birthday dinner/reunion since Blue's is past and Ming's is coming soon. There's something about hanging out with family that's very satisfying.

Saturday morning we were in Santa Monica for an acupuncture appointment. Back in Culver City, we took our GodSon Darryl to Dinah's for what has become a traditional meal. It's either lunch or dinner, but it's always at Dinah's. He filled us in on the last 6 months of his life, and we discussed the future.

Eastwind Thai was the site of an early dinner with some of the Valley Cousins. Jennifer, Nowell, and their niece Laurel came to town and we had a fun time catching up on everything in all our lives. We shared photos and talked about a range of topics. Time just seems to fly by when you're having fun.

Sunday was the busiest day of the weekend. I met with friends in the morning and then we went to Leilani's 2-year-old birthday party. We've been having lunch with Leilani, and her parents Paul and Joy, since she was a baby. When we arrived Leilani greeted us with the charm of a seasoned hostess. We enjoyed a delicious BBQ lunch, lots of conversation and the cake ritual, but had to leave for the next chapter of the adventure.

I'll continue our Sunday saga tomorrow, but first I have some observations that make us say 'Hmm'. I was a little off my game when it came to buying gas yesterday. I had to get out of the car, pay for the gas, and then actually put the gas in the car. In Chiang Rai it's totally 'full service'. You tell them how much, they pump the gas and then you pay. Driving here is very 'orderly'. I think I mention this every visit, but it's such a contrast to some of the things I encounter while driving in Thailand that it's worth mentioning. The mere fact that no one turns in front of me when the light turns green adds to my serenity. (555) The word for the number 5 is pronounced 'Ha'.

Lisa called Boot to see how things were going at the house. Near the end of the conversation Boot put her phone to Daku's ear so Lisa could say 'hello'. He responded with a big tail wag and heavy panting. It's going to be a crazy time when we return.

Have a Great Week.


"Worry does not empty tomorrow of its sorrow.
It empties today of its strength."

Gettin' Funky, Thai Style

Friday, July 22, 2011

Friday Funnies


Thursday morning we got up early, had coffee, and packed the bags. Our vacation was over and it was time to say farewell to Pescadero. We went to Palo Alto, and then the airport for a TSA adventure.

'Summer of Love' brought us "All You Need Is Love" by The Beatles. 'Old School Friday' brings us this ballad:
"__ __ can make this world seem right. __ __ can make the darkness bright. __ __ and you alone can thrill me like you do, and fill my heart with love for __ __." Hint: This tune sounds great around twilight time.

Once we had our bags packed we had a chance to say our goodbyes to Bill and Rachelle. Coco and Ruffy were still sleeping. The drive to Palo Alto was pretty easy and we met Joe for breakfast. After breakfast it was a simple stroll across the street to the big art supply store and our semi-annual shopping for the things we can't get in Chiang Rai. Then we went by the gallery where Joe has had many shows. We visited with his agent, Paula, and shared photos of Lisa's cast acrylic prints. We learned that Paula has a son who lives in Singapore. The world is getting smaller.

From the gallery we went to Joe's studio and looked at some of his new work. He's always experimenting with new ways to express himself, and ways to manipulate various medium. Walking through his studio is a source of inspiration for anyone who is creative. We got to see new wood-cuts, paper sculptures, and cast acrylic prints. He's a busy man at almost 87 years old. What a guy.

The next stop on our 'road trip' was San Jose. We filled the tank, and returned the car. After checking in we went to the TSA screening section. Last time we were there I experienced the x-ray machine with no problems. This time I was told that I'd have to undergo a 'pat down' because the x-ray showed 'multiple anomalies'. What? A very polite agent did his job after asking if I had anything in my pockets. It turns out that the slips of paper in my back pockets were anomalies. I didn't have any bomb residue on my person so I was cleared for take off. Next time you fly, empty all anomalies from your pockets. (555)

The flight home was routine until we got on a bus to the terminal. First bus was full. Wait for second bus. Get to terminal and walk to baggage. Wait for bag. Then wait for bus to Lot C. It took 45 minutes to get from the plane to the ride to our car. I think the process of getting to and from the airplanes is what makes traveling tiring. Hmm.

So ends the first week of our summer visit. Next week will be just as adventurous I'm sure. Stay tuned.

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



After spending 3-1/2 hours enduring the long lines , surly clerks and
insane regulations at the Department of Motor Vehicles, I stopped at a
toy store to pick up a gift for my son.

I brought my selection - a baseball bat - to the cash register.

"Cash or charge?" the clerk asked.

"Cash," I snapped. Then apologizing for my rudeness , I explained ,
"I've spent the afternoon at the motor-vehicle bureau."

"Shall I gift-wrap the bat?" the clerk asked sweetly. "Or are you going
back there?"

Gettin' Funky, Thai Style

Thursday, July 21, 2011



Today was a perfect day to be in Pescadero. The weather was warm, the sky was clear, and a light breeze kept it from getting too hot. We went to the beach, toured the 'grounds', and I went for a special ride.

This 'Summer of Love' song didn't get by a few of you, and there's still time to send in your answer. Sing along:
"There's nothing you can make that can't be made. No one you can save that can't be saved. Nothing you can do but you can learn how to be you in time. It's easy. __ __ __ __ __ (repeat) Hint: Four lads from across the pond getting deep about the nature of things.

Last night we got another good night's sleep. You could probably tell by the lateness of my message delivery. I tried to do it the night before but I was just too exhausted. After breakfast we got a tour of the house conducted by Coco. Then we went outside and walked/hiked around most of the 7 acres of property. There are beautiful, old trees, gardens, and even a old barn. The whole thing is on a hillside, so there are various levels for each attraction.
From most locations we could see the ocean, in the distance, between the trees. Ruffy went along with us and in what they call 'the field,' she played fetch with a pinecone. Doggie fun.

After our tour we went to the beach. This meant getting in the car, driving down the driveway to the highway, going up the road for less than a mile, and parking. Coco picked the spot where we would make camp. She dug a hole while we talked about the beaches and the efforts to keep the area from becoming developed. Then we walked up the beach to the tide pools and looked for sea life. Coco discovered a crab, a small fish, and a green anemone. We watched some small kids who were in a surf camp. They all had on little wetsuits and were learning how to ride boogie-boards. Dogs are permitted on leashes, but some people let them run free. It wasn't too crowded while we were there, and it was very pleasant. We relaxed in the sun and went home for lunch.

With no phone service and spotty internet it was a great afternoon for just hanging out and then napping. This evening we met Bill for dinner at Duarte's Tavern in the heart of Pescadero . It's a tiny community with the feel of another era. Bill took Lisa and me into the back of the restaurant so we could see the bar. We peaked in and looked around. As we left Bill just whispered, "Authentic". It reminded me of 'Northern Exposure'. We had a very good dinner. Then it was time to leave.

Bill had come back to Pescadero with his 'other car', which we didn't know about. He asked who wanted to ride back to the house with him and it turned out to be me. When we went outside I was looking for his older, BMW coupe. There weren't many cars on the street and then I heard the chirp of an alarm and saw the flash of lights on an Audi Quattro sitting across from us. "Is that yours?" I asked. "Yep". That began a series of ooohs, aahs from me. This car basically is a Lamborgini V8 drivetrain with an Audi body. The first thing I noticed as I sat in the seat was that it was low to the ground. Real low. Bill slowly pulled out onto the small two-lane road and halfway through his turn he hit the gas. The car just turned the corner in a blink and then the back of the seat felt like I was being shot from something. Everything to the side was a blur. A car pulled over, he honked 'Thank you', and we were gone. I later found out the car was Rachelle, Lisa, and Coco. I knew what was coming next as we turned onto Bean Hollow Rd. It's a winding semi-mountain road that leads to the coast. We zipped around turns like we were riding in a go-cart. The engine is right behind the seats and the whine of the 4.2 Litre V8 was music to my ears. Once I was able to lose the fear of flying off the road, it was fun. Then we rolled to a stop and he asked if I'd like to drive. Without hesitation I confirmed that I wanted to fly. I didn't put it to any test, but I did feel it push me down the highway. A new thing has been added to my 'wish list'. Hmm.

Tomorrow morning we drive back to Palo Alto for our traditional breakfast with Joe, and then a tour of his studio. It's a chance for Lisa to spend some quality time talking about art and life with her dad. We also get to see his new work and marvel at the new ideas he always comes up with. After the studio visit we'll return to the airport and fly back to LAX.

Have a Thrilling Thursday.


"Some men have thousands of reasons why they cannot
do what they want to,
when all they need is one reason why they can."
~Willis Whitney

Gettin' Funky, Thai Style

Wednesday, July 20, 2011



Yesterday was quite a day of adventure. I'll give you an overview and fill in some blanks later. We're in Pescadero now, after a good night's sleep.

That 'Easy Monday' song was "America" by Simon & Garfunkel. Once again, it's 'Summer of Love' time.
"There's nothing you can do that can't be done. There's nothing you can sing that can't be sung.... It's easy. __ __ __ __ __ (repeat) Clue: This is so easy, you get no clue.

Our Tuesday wake-up call was 5am. When we arrived in San Jose, we were in a different terminal than previous trips. We asked a woman, at a rental counter, where the car rental center was located. "Through the double doors to where the sun shines." Oh. That would be a bus stop where we waited to be taken to the desired location. When we got to the stall with our car, it was smaller than expected. It was verging on tiny so we asked for a mid-sized. They were all booked so now we're cruising the Bay Area in a Chevy Malibu. Nice car with plenty of room and great on the highway.

Lunch with the Oakland Cousins was really nice. We met at the Thai restaurant we used to go to when we first started these lunches. It's actually a 'fusion' type place so it's not really like 'home' but the food is good. We shared lots of stories, laughs and pictures.

From our lunch in Oakland we headed south to Palo Alto for dinner. Once again, the timing couldn't have been better. We stopped in San Leandro for coffee. Mr. Lag was trying to make an appearance. Considering that I'd had no nap in two days, I was doing pretty good. Anyway, we got to Palo Alto right on time and went to the Chinese restaurant that Joe and Eva love. Karen Jo was with us and we had some fond memories of her visit to Chiang Rai.

The next part of our trip was a complete unknown. Driving from P.A. to Pescadero. More coffee please. We had directions from our friend Bill that began with: 'Head West on Highway 84 towards Thailand'. Of course that cracked us up. We followed the directions and, after one wrong driveway, we found the house. We were greeted by Ruffy, a beautiful Collie. We hung out with Bill, Rachelle and Cordelia (Coco) for about an hour, talking about our trip, Thai politics, and animal life in the area. We are staying in a guest house on property across the Pacific Coast Highway from the ocean. It's very peaceful here. Time to go enjoy it.

It's time for Wacky Wednesday.


"Tension is who you think you should be. Relaxation is who you are."
~Chinese Proverb

Gettin' Funky, Thai Style

Tuesday, July 19, 2011



The weather here in Culver City was warm again yesterday. This morning we're on our way to Northern California for a visit with the Oakland Cousins, Joe & Eva, and the Athas family. Our flight leaves early so it's good we're over the worst of the Jet Lag.

For some of you the song was 'Easy'. Maybe the next verse will ring a bell. Just get on the bus and ride along:
"Kathy," I said as we boarded the Greyhound in Pittsburgh, "Michigan seems like a dream to me now". It took me four days to hitchhike from Saginaw. I've gone to look for __." Hint: The couple are on the road, looking for a place. It's a big place and they're already there. Hmm.

This morning we went to Marina Del Rey for a little shopping. I dropped Lisa off for lunch with a dear friend from her old job and then I went to the mall for a bite to eat. Give me a reason to go to a mall and I'm there.

After Lisa's lunch was over we went back to the mall. (Yea) We didn't find what we were looking for, but we saw more shops that we'd missed the last time we were in town. It was fun just strolling through the place.

During the course of the afternoon I met with two friends on different occasions, at the same coffee shop. It's nice to get some one-on-one time with people who mean a lot. While sitting at a sidewalk table sipping coffee, we saw a guy ride by on a bicycle that was modified so he sat at least 12 feet in the air. We were very curious as to how he would deal with a red light. Hmm.

In the evening Lisa went out with Anna and 'The Girls' for a dinner in Hollywood. I fended for myself and spent the rest of my time with some close friends. It's been a good day without a hectic pace.

Today we will fly to the San Jose Airport, and drive to Oakland for lunch. Then we'll go south to Palo Alto for dinner with Joe & Eva and Karen Jo, who visited us in Thailand. After dinner we'll drive down to the coastal town of Pescedero where we will spend two nights at a beach house, guests of the Athas family. It should be very relaxing since there's no place to go and no phone reception. I'm calling it a 'vacation'. I'll probably have to go into town to send the next chapter of this saga.

Have a Happy Tuesday.


"All our dreams can come true,
if we have the courage to pursue them."
~Walt Disney

Gettin' Funky, Thai Style

Monday, July 18, 2011



This may seem a little late, but that's because I may have won the battle with Mr. Lag. That's right, slept all night. Our schedule is beginning to gain momentum so I'm going to need my rest. (Ha)

'Old School Friday' was tricky. A few of you knew "That Old Black Magic", but didn't recognize Louis Prima & Keely Smith. We usually try to remember 'original' artists but I should have used the word 'unique'. Oh well, it's time for 'Easy Monday'. This one's by a very famous duo I'm sure you know. Hmm, do you see a pattern?
"Let us be lovers we'll marry our fortunes together." "I've got some real estate here in my bag." So we bought a pack of cigarettes, and Mrs. Wagner's pies, and we walked off to look for __."

We're looking forward to a productive week since our sleep pattern may have returned to normal. Over the weekend we had to plan things around the possibility of falling asleep at mid-afternoon and again around 8:30. Being rid of Mr. Lag means that I can focus better, which means more quality time with family and friends. We've been hanging out with 'The Boys' and getting caught up on what's been going on in their lives. The big news is that C-Bass has his license to drive. What? That means that he absolutely needs a car, which opens hours of discussion. He has also become a very good drummer, and is in a band. August has more electronic gear to try to understand. He's into lighting now and that brings a whole new vocabulary to the table. Things have certainly taken a giant leap since we were here last.

Saturday was spent trying to get things we had on the 'get right away' list. We've done pretty good as far as getting around town goes. It's the little subtle changes that can be most surprising. There's also the matter of memory. When you've been away for a long time, a mental picture of a place can be vivid, but the name can still escape you. Hmm.

On Sunday we listened to the traffic reports to see if we could sneak over to Altadena to see my mom. As you know, there were no problems at all. We arrived around mid-afternoon, looked at photos on my iPad, and then went to downtown Pasadena for a meal at Saladang Restaurant. There needs to be a word to describe the meal between lunch and dinner. Send me your ideas and we'll laugh together.

Have a Great Week.


"Peace is not merely a distant goal that we
seek, but a means by which we arrive at that goal."
~Martin Luther King Jr

Gettin' Funky, Thai Style

Friday, July 15, 2011

Friday Funnies


And we're back, comin' to you live from somewhere in Culver City, California. The trip was pretty smooth, and we're having early morning conversations with Mr. Jet Lag.

The 'Summer of Love' tune was "Alfie", first recorded by Dionne Warwick. Now we go back to 1959 for 'Old School Friday'. This recording is a standard with added lyrics and a real vocalese flavor, sung by a duo. They won a Grammy for this recording. "For you're the lover that I have waited for. You're the mate that fate had me created for. And every time your lips meet mine, hey, down and down I go, 'round and 'round I go. In a spin, lovin the spin I'm in, under __ __ __ __ called love." Hint: Do do that voodoo that you doo, etc.

When I left you yesterday, we were on our way to board the flight from Bangkok to Taipei. When we arrived at the gate, our boarding passes set off an alarm on the check-in machine. We stood to the side, waiting to see why this happened and then we got a big surprise. We were being upgraded to business class. Their computer probably told them we travel that way on our return so they gave us the extra seats. Not a problem. Three hours plus in the big chairs is always welcome. The service was the usual 'extra nice', and the some of the food was good.

The long haul across the Pacific was just that - long. Our time was spent sleeping, eating, watching movies and TV shows. On a good day, we have our food issues. On an overseas flight on a Chinese airline, we have our food issues. We did manage to eat parts of several meals, but there were some things we couldn't even approach. It's always exciting to watch the video monitor that shows the progress of the plane. We flew under a full moon, and as we started traveling down the coast and began to see the lights of the cities, the reality struck.

We landed on time at LAX and busses took us to the main terminal. We walked a long way before getting to the Customs & Border Patrol area. That's when things slowed down. Following instructions, we entered a serpentine line for U.S. passport holders. As we stood there I began to notice that not everyone had a U.S. passport. Hmm. Then the line stopped moving. By the time we were near the front, it had been an hour and now there was only one officer working our line. I had motioned, along with others, for the supervisor to come over, but he stayed away from us. When he did come near, Lisa questioned him about getting us some help. We received the 'overwhelmed and under-payed' speech as the line began to grumble. About 30 minutes later, with new agents at work, we got through that part of the process and got our bags. It took longer to go from the plane to the street than it took to fly from Chiang Rai to Bangkok. I'm just sayin'.

Our arrival at the Hertz Rental lot made us feel better. The Mazda 6 we ordered was sitting in the front row, with my name in lights. What a welcome. Very carefully I drove out of the lot and into the correct lane. I only hit the wipers once, so I guess my mental imagery has paid off. I've been practicing driving here, in my mind.

As we drove up Sepulveda, we looked to see the familiar and what had changed. I made a mental note to avoid Sepulveda during high traffic times. A quick stop at Pollo Loco for a late night snack and in a few minutes we were rolling our suitcases into our little apartment. Late to bed, early to rise; introducing Mr. Lag.

We'll be avoiding all the areas that the news is talking about with the freeway closure. Wouldn't want to fall asleep in traffic. (555)

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


Advice for an Old Guy.
An old guy was working out in the gym when he spotted a 'sweet young thing'...
He asked the trainer that was nearby, "What machine should I use to impress
that sweet thing over there?"
The trainer looked him up and down and said,

"I would try the ATM in the lobby."

Gettin' Funky, Thai Style

Thursday, July 14, 2011



Sitting here in Bangkok, waiting for the plane to come. So far we've been ahead of schedule with check-ins and things. We had a special visit from friends at the airport, and it's almost time to fly to Taipei.

Things began slow, but I've been getting mail with the right answer. Here's the second verse:
"And if only fools are kind, __, then I guess it is wise to be cruel. And if life belongs only to the strong, __, what will you lend on an old golden rule?" Hint: This hit was written by a very prolific team and sung by someone with a psychic investment.

After saying our goodbyes to Boot and the dogs, our friend Tye drove us to the airport. Check-in, coffee, waiting, then flying. The trip to BKK took an hour. Once we got our bags we met with our friends Louise and Jesper. They took the Skytrain to the airport to have lunch with us. We had a really fun time catching up on their travels, and just hanging out. They brought some Krispy Kreame Donuts with them and after lunch, that was dessert. When it was time to go through immigration we said our farewells.

The airport is packed with travelers, and we're contributing to the madness. Time to catch our plane. See you from SoCal.

Have a Thrilling Thursday.


"There are many paths to the top of the mountain,
but the view is always the same."
~Chinese Proverb

Gettin' Funky, Thai Style

Wednesday, July 13, 2011



During the morning rain we kept trying to remember if we'd forgotten anything. Hmm, that will get you every time. A couple of outings and we've got everything we need for this adventure. Daku is sensing our departure and acting accordingly. Today he dropped a ball in the open suitcase when we weren't looking.

OK, 'Easy Monday' was "Don't Stand So Close To Me" by The Police. Now we travel to the 'Summer of Love' and this: "What's it all about, __? Is it just for the moment we live? What's it all about when you sort it out, __? Are we meant to take more than we give or are we meant to be kind?" Hint: The title is a person's name, from the movie of the same name, from blah, blah. This should be easy.

This time tomorrow we will be somewhere over the ocean, on our way to the U.S. There's some kind of built in thing that makes it hard to pack too early. We're past that point now and it's full speed ahead. Didn't sleep much last night, tossing and turning and thinking. Maybe it's just a set-up so we'll sleep on the plane. (Ha) Even though we've done this a bunch of times, it still feels a little weird thinking of packing for three weeks. We're looking forward to seeing friends and family. We even have a birthday party to attend. Excitement fills the air.

We went to Central Plaza this morning and one of our stops was the 'record store'. Yesterday I heard a song on the TV that I really liked. I asked my friend who it was and she said "Curry Baba". At least that's what I heard. I asked the woman in the store if she had such a group and she produced a double CD by "Calories Blah Blah". What language barrier?

Tomorrow I'll probably be writing to you from either Bangkok or Taipei. Either way, you'll hear from me from the 'road'.

Feels like a Wacky Wednesday.


"We can easily forgive a child who is afraid of the dark;
the real tragedy of life is when adults are afraid of the light."

Gettin' Funky, Thai Style

Tuesday, July 12, 2011



Our day was full of bright sunshine, and occasional clouds. By afternoon it looked like the rain would pass. (Ha) We had another massage marathon, and there were baby birds playing in the yard.

There were a few responses to the 'Easy Monday' song. I think you know it, so here's a line that might help:
"'s no use, he sees her, he starts to shake and cough. Just like the old man in that book by Nabokov." Clue: If I gave you the lyrics to the chorus I'd be giving you the title. Hint: It has something to do with proximity.

This morning Khun Ann came to the house to give us each her special 3 hour massage ($15 each). While Lisa got her treatment I ran some errands. One of my stops was at the coffee counter post office at Tops. I had to send some documents to Bangkok that were time sensitive so I used EMS (Express Mail Service). I was surprised when told that it would cost 37 Baht ($1.21) Another convenience that we enjoy is paying bills at 7-11. I had to see if Boot could pay the bill for her TV there and it turns out she can. With so many 7-11s all over town, it's easy to take care of business. The way it works here is, if you want a 7-11 store, you can have one if you're willing to do all the work for about 40 percent of the business. A friend of ours called it 'buying a job'. Hmm.

Lisa, Ann and I had a pleasant lunch and after she relaxed a bit, it was my turn. She speaks very little English so there isn't much communication during the session. Atom gave her a list of words and phrases that might be important and it appears that she's done her homework. Sometimes she'd use gestures and sound affects to get her point across. By the end of the session I was very relaxed and a few 'kinks' were eliminated. Then we went for a gentle swim.

This evening I left the house around 6:15 and the weather was nice. It was cooling off a little, but it didn't look like rain. By 7:30 it was storming downtown, but not at our house. On my way home I saw many bikers huddled under bus stops, and salas. They didn't see it coming. Now it's raining everywhere. Oh well, everything is getting watered.

Tonight begins the serious packing. Before that can be done, there's 'destination weather' to check up on, just to make sure we bring the right clothes. Our understanding is that it will be cooler than here. Hmm, that will be a nice change.

Have a Happy Tuesday.


"You cannot teach a man anything;
you can only help him to find it within himself."

Gettin' Funky, Thai Style

Monday, July 11, 2011



Sunshine, wind, and rain were all on the weather menu this weekend. It didn't stop us from doing our usual things. We went to a cultural affair, dined at the Night Bazaar, watched Netball and Formula One, and swam. Whew.

The 'Old School Friday' song seems to have eluded all but Cousin Trudye. It was "Sweet Little Sixteen" by Chuck Berry. Now it's time for 'Easy Monday' and I'm thinking you might remember this one. It came out in 1980.
"Young teacher, the subject, of schoolgirl fantasy. She wants him, so badly, knows what she wants to be. Inside her there's longing, this girl's an open page. Book marking, she's close now, this girl is half his age..." Hint: The title is six words. It's by a trio from across the pond. Somebody gets very nervous in this song. Hmm.

Saturday evening we went to Le Meridien Hotel for the 20th anniversary of the Alliance Francaise school here in Chiang Rai. The goal of Alliance Francaise is to promote French as a second language and also French culture. There was a photo exhibit of works by one of the teachers. Then we saw a slideshow about the history of the school, and a performance of some very cool music by an international jazz ensemble. Each player was from a different country. Thailand was represented by the sax player. Our table was made up mostly of people we knew, which made it fun. We also met new people and had a good time.

When we returned home from our evening out, it was time for the British Grand Prix. It was a very exciting race and a great end to our international night.

Sunday we did the Big C thing and noticed that a lot of the vendors are gone. We're not sure why that is, but several 'land marks' were gone. While on that subject, we are missing our neighborhood fruit vendors. The couple that ran the stand have been gone for a couple of weeks. It was convenient having them so close. One thing that isn't gone are the chickens. They seem to be back, if the presence of the rooster's crow is any indication. What's nice is that there is only one rooster. There used to be four or five and every time one would crow, the others followed. We mostly hear the sounds of the many birds that inhabit the trees in our yard. It's nice.

The time has come for serious bag packing. The decision making process has begun. What to take, what to wear, and what do we need to bring back. Makin' a list and checkin' it twice. (Ha)

Have a Great Week.


"Life is like a rainbow.
You need both the sun and the rain
to make its colors appear."

Gettin' Funky, Thai Style

Friday, July 8, 2011

Friday Funnies


We had another hot day in Chiang Rai. We also had a rain storm that was pretty intense. There was a reconnection with a seamstress, and a visit from friends.

The 'Summer of Love' tune was "I Heard It Through The Grapevine" by Marvin Gaye, then Gladys Knight and The Pips, later by Creedence Clearwater Revival, and of course, The Grapes. 'Old School Friday' is by an early legend in Rock & Roll. He could play a guitar like ringin' a bell. "'Cause they'll be rockin' on Bandstand, in Philadelphia P.A. Deep in the heart of Texas, and 'round the Frisco Bay. All over St. Louis, way down in New Orleans, all the cats wanna dance with __ __ __." Hint: Tells the saga of a teenage girl wanting to go to a concert. Great song.

This morning we got a phone call from our 'missing in action' seamstress Gahn. Seems she'd been working in the pineapple fields like we thought. She called to say she had all the work done, so we went out to her place to pick it up. She lives west of the city, on what was a quiet country road. Now there are new businesses, and a house is being built next door to her. She lamented the tearing down of the 'jungle' on the lot next to her. She misses all the birds, the bamboo, and the night-blooming plants. Oh, the price of progress.

After we left Gahn's we drove across town to our new seamstress, Orn. She greeted us with a big smile and we left her a bunch of work. When asked when it would be done she told us 'tomorrow'. Now that's the way I like it.

Our friends Sutheera and Nukoon dropped by to visit today. We haven't seen them in a long time. Nukoon was very excited about the election since the party he belongs to won. He's hoping to get back into government work. We talked about all the building going on in the area, and the new roads that will go around the city. At one point we were talking about the wonderful weather in Chiang Rai and he told me that when he was a boy it used to get colder in the winter. He said there would be frost on the grass in the mornings. Then he laughed and said, 'Not any more'.

Tomorrow evening we're going to Le Meridian Hotel for an affair sponsored by the French Consulate. There will be music, art, and food. We'll probably see friends and make new connections. Then we'll come home and watch the qualifying for the F1 Grand Prix of England. Today we watched part of the International Netball Championships. It's a very interesting game, a bit like basketball but with no dribbling, no physical contact, and the net is on a tall pole with no backboard. Hmm. The things you discover living in another land.

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


When I go to casinos, the most ridiculous sign I see is the one that
says: "If you have a gambling problem, call 1-800-GAMBLER."

I thought about it for a moment and dialed the number. When they
answered I said, "I have an ace and a six. The dealer has a seven.
What do I do?"

Gettin' Funky, Thai Style

Thursday, July 7, 2011



This is the day the heat came on strong. It was a scorcher. We went out for lunch, got more 'meds' for Daku, and enjoyed a refreshing swim in the afternoon.

Our 'Summer of Love' song was familiar to many of our regular players. See if you remember:
"I know that a man ain't supposed to cry, but these tears I can't hold inside. Losin' you would end my life you see, 'cause you mean that much to me. You could have told me yourself, that you love someone else. Instead __ __ __ __ __ __, not much longer would you be mine...." Clue: I was reminded that this song was also sung by a bunch of grapes. What? Oh yeah, I forgot to mention that "Suite: Judy Blue Eyes" was sung by Crosby, Stills and Nash.

This morning Daku's limp came back due to too much running last night, so we called the vet to see if he needed to see him again. He wants us to give him another round of anti-inflamitory medicine and something for the pain. Of course, once the pain is gone he's ready to go again. Right now he's on 'restriction'. No running or playing with BamBam.

On another nature front, we realized that we haven't been hearing the roosters crowing all day. The only thing I can figure is the people with the little chicken farm have moved away. In a way, we'll miss them. On the other hand, it's much quieter. Hmm.

Boot had a doctor appointment today which meant we were on our own for lunch. We went to a restaurant near us that we've wanted to try, but it was just too hot. We ended up at The River House where we were the only patrons. It was a nice, peaceful lunch. We left there and went to Dr. Arnon's for Daku's pills and ran into our friends Kwan and Kern from Doi Chaang Coffee. They had taken their kitten to the vets. Nothing like the small town vibe.

I've noticed a couple of motorbike riders around town wearing 'helmets' that used to be worn by equestrian riders. Very chic, but I'm not sure they were made for the street. Most of the head gear worn by riders here are not really made for protecting much. Priced at under $10 they don't provide much padding or support, but if you don't have one on your head you're subject to a 'fine on demand' from the local police.

Next Thursday, when we fly to Bangkok on our way to the U.S., we'll be having lunch with Louise and Jesper, our friends from Denmark. That will be fun, since we didn't think we'd ever see them again. They'll be leaving Thailand soon and going back to Denmark.

Have a Thrilling Thursday.


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

Gettin' Funky, Thai Style

Wednesday, July 6, 2011



Sunny and hot was our day in Chiang Rai. The yard got groomed, we ran errands, and Daku is learning new tricks.

"Suite: Judy Blue Eyes" was the 'Easy Monday' song. If you Google it and go to the Wiki site, it's very interesting.
Now we go back to the 'Summer of Love' for an R&B tune that still sounds good. It's about 'Old School Twitter'.
"Ooh, I bet you're wondering how I knew, 'bout your plans to make me blue, with some other guy that you knew before. Between the two of us guys, you know I love you more...." Clue: The title is in six letters, it was a hit by two acts (male and female) from the same label, and I wish I owned the copyright.

This morning was one of those mornings when you can feel the difference in the weather at 6:30. There is a brightness, and a warmth that says 'start early'. The dogs got an early run before it got too hot. The 'yard people' (sounds like a horror movie) were scheduled to come a little later. Two of our trees appeared to be dead and had to be cut down. We think it was due to termites. Sometimes having a conversation with someone who only has a few words of English can lead to gross misunderstanding on both sides. Anyway, the trees are gone but will be replaced.

Our trip into town was very productive. We're in that 'getting ready to leave' mode and that means making sure there's enough dog food, medicine for BamBam, etc.

After dinner we went to the Night Bazaar for a few things. We also made a stop at Watch Guy for a battery. The town is in the midst of what they call the 'Little Season', when people come to visit during summer vacation breaks in Europe and the U.S. There are many vacation places in the world that are not safe for travel, so Thailand has become one of the alternatives. It's great for the locals who depend on the tourist revenue.

Daku is learning to pick up his toys. Well, sort of. Sometimes he gets it just right. Lisa has been training him and he now knows which things to bring back, and when he's patient, he drops it right in the toy basket. Another new trick is having him wait while a treat is placed on his paws. He has to lie there until he get the 'OK' to eat them. He's quite good at that one.

It's time for Wacky Wednesday.


"Do not go where the path may lead;
go instead where there is no path and leave a trail."
~Ralph Waldo Emerson

Gettin' Funky, Thai Style

Tuesday, July 5, 2011



Today was sunshine and mostly blue skies, all day. Not a drop of the drip. We had massage therapy at home, and swam in the sun-warmed water.

The 'Easy Monday' song was easy for a bunch of you. Some of you were celebrating the holiday, but there's still time to get down to business. We've played with this one before. The title implies several movements joined together. "I've got an answer. I'm going to fly away. What have I got to lose? Will you come see me, Thursdays and Saturdays? What have you got to lose?" Hint: The first word of the title is also something that might be found in a hotel. Oh yes, there's also a woman's name mentioned.

We did something Saturday that completely slipped my mind. We went to the grand opening of the newly rebuilt Sinthanee Center. This is the place where we get all our major appliances. They had a big fire last year that gutted the place. In between rain showers we joined the festivities. It was like a circus, with contests, product models in glamorous outfits, all in a bigger showroom than before. Inside there was every kind of appliance, gadget, and entertainment system that you could imagine. They even had cars and motorbikes in there. We walked around checking things out and saw some of the people we've dealt with in the past. I'm sure that a lot of the staff was happy to have more than a temporary space. Outside there were customized motorbikes on display, and test rides were being given on a small course. We'll have to go back without the crowds and spend more time.

This morning Khun Ann returned to give Lisa another session of her special massage therapy. While that was happening I went out and ran errands. Atom came over near the end of Lisa's session and the four of us had lunch. Then it was my turn. Ann worked on me for a little over two hours and is the first person to work on my thumb in a gentle fashion and actually explain what was wrong. Of course, this was through translation, but it doesn't hurt and that's a good thing.

The water in the pool was back up to 85 degrees and felt wonderful after the relaxing massage. It was a great way to end the day.

Have a Happy Tuesday.


"No person was ever honored for what he received.
Honor has been the reward for what he gave."
~Calvin Coolidge

Gettin' Funky, Thai Style

Monday, July 4, 2011



Our weekend in Chiang Rai was full of rain, and tennis. The details of our trip to America were finalized, and the election is over.

That 'Old School Friday' song you were trying to remember was "In The Still Of The Night" by The Penguins. I guess it's time for some 'Easy Monday'. This song is by a trio that became very popular. Later they became a quartet. "It's getting to the point where I'm no fun any more, I am sorry. Sometimes it hurts so badly I must cry out loud, I am lonely. I am yours, you are mine, you are what you are. You make it hard." Hint: The title is not sung in the song. It's one of the most profound break-up songs I know.

Saturday we got to Big C just as they opened the doors. We knew it would be a big shopping day since it was the first Saturday of the month and the day before the election. We were right. It was pretty empty when we started, but by the time we were done is was getting very crowded.

Our plan was to go across the highway to Central Plaza to get some questions answered about the iPad, but it was too early to go inside. We had coffee at Starbuck's and found out that they open at 10 on the weekends. The timing was perfect. There was no one in the iBeat store so we got help right away. The rest of the day was spent around the house, watching the water fall from the sky, and the women's final at Wimbledon in the evening.

Sunday was a classic 'Do Nothing Day'. Lisa did some painting, I worked with my iPad, and we stayed home all day. Now that we have the DVR we can record things like a tennis match and start watching after about an hour so we can race through the commercials. Over here they show the same commercials for every break so it gets monotonous after a bit. I mean, how many times can you watch the same Thai Airways commercial, or the same 'Amazing Thailand' tourism clip?

The result of the election on Sunday means that the government will now be run by a different party. The Prime Minister has stepped down and Thailand now has it's first woman Prime Minister. Yingluck Shinawatra and the Pheu Thai Party won by a landslide. The military has promised there will be no coup. This young democracy is entering a new stage in it's history. It's very interesting to be living here during this evolution.

Have a Great Week.


"Most of the important things in the world have been accomplished
by people who have kept on trying when there seemed to be no hope at all."
~Dale Carnegie

Gettin' Funky, Thai Style

Friday, July 1, 2011

Friday Funnies


We just returned from 9 Art Gallery. The opening ran late, the art was wonderful, and we saw lots of our friends. Luckily the rain stopped before the exhibit opened. Of course, there's more.

Our friend Wayne, in Texas, created a new song 'descriptor' when he called "Gimmie Some Lovin'" by The Spencer Davis Group a "Can't Stand Still" song. I'd have to agree. For 'Old School Friday' we'll turn on the blue light for this classic 'slow song'. This should be easy. "__ __ __ __ __ __ I held you, held you tight. 'Cause I love, love you so. Promise I'll never let you go __ __ __ __ __ __." Hint: Shoo doob n shoo bee doo.

Today was the first day of July so Boot went to Ban Du to help her former mother-in-law with lottery tickets. That meant we were on our own for meals. We spent the morning figuring out part of our trip, transferring photos to the iPad, and trying to decide where to eat lunch. That's hard work. We went into town and tried the newest location of a place where we've eaten before. The same menu cooked by a different cook in a different location will not necessarily come out the same. We now know this for a fact. After lunch we came back to the house and relaxed.

Just before the afternoon rain Lisa took the dogs out for a brief 'browse' around the yard. As they came in the rain came down. Later, when they went out again, the rain had stopped but they both got wet and muddy anyway.

Tonight's exhibit featured two artists who both have a theme about rice. One artist is new to us and we were impressed by his creativity and attention to detail. When an artist can paint a weaved basket and make it look real, one tends to take notice. The pre-show entertainment was a guitarist who studied guitar through an on-line course with Berkeley School of Music. He was playing a MIDI guitar set-up that brought back memories. By contrast, the music after the opening ceremony was a polka CD. Khun Nine, who co-owns the gallery with her husband, was very excited because their 16 year old son, a violin prodigy, was chosen as one of the 32 most important people in Chiang Rai. That's pretty impressive for that age. Maybe the fact that he lives in Bangkok, plays with the symphony, and has been invited to Belgium for a 'Master Class' has something to do with it.

This weekend we'll be watching the election process with great interest.

Have a Wonderful WeekEnd. Now enjoy the 'Funnies', sent in by Alan.


Subject: The Harley Mechanic and The Cardiac Specialist
A mechanic was removing a cylinder-head from the motor of a
Harley motorcycle when he spotted a well-known cardiologist
in his shop.
The cardiologist was there waiting for the service manager
to come and take a look at his bike when the mechanic
shouted across the Garage,'Hey Doc, want to take a look
at this?' The cardiologist, a bit surprised, walked over to where the
mechanic was working on the motorcycle. The mechanic straightened up,
wiped his hands on a rag and asked, 'So Doc, look at this engine.
I open its heart, take the valves out, repair any damage,
and then put them back in, and when I finish, it works just
like new. So how come I make $39,675 a year and you get the really
big bucks ($1,695,759) when you and I are doing basically
the same work?'
The cardiologist paused, smiled and leaned over, then
whispered to the mechanic...

'Try doing it with the engine running.'

Gettin' Funky, Thai Style