Wednesday, August 31, 2011



Today's weather was a mixed bag. Hot and muggy in the morning, light rain in the afternoon, and hot in the evening. We met some very interesting people today, and learned a lot.

That 'Easy Monday' song was "Make It With You". It's time now for 'Songs of '68'. Prance around as you sing this:
"I was born in a cross-fire hurricane, and I howled at my ma in the driving rain. But it's all right now, in fact it's a gas..." Hint: 'Who am I?' This rowdy R&R song was done by a rowdier band from across the pond. You know this one.

This morning I got a call from Toyota telling me that the car was ready. They said 'The battery is broken'. I can live with that. Thomas arrived a little later on his motorbike, followed by Khun Siam and Joyce, in Siam's car. Siam took us to Toyota so we could get our car. The plan had been to visit a home gallery of another artist, but he was not home. At Toyota, I had to wait a bit, and Lisa made friends with a Thai woman who lives in a remote area south of town. She told Lisa that she only comes to town 3 times a month. I don't know if I could do that, but I guess she's happy.

We left Toyota in a clean car, ready to face the world. One funny thing before we left though. The 'broken' battery was on the floor of the passenger side. We had to assure the service tech that we didn't want it. We all had a laugh about the strangeness of it all. We followed Khun Siam most of the way to his house. Joyce rode with us and remembered up to a point. She called Thomas and he led us into the village to the house. I think I can get us there again.

The experience at Khun Siam's house was amazing. He teaches art, and makes bamboo furniture. His girlfriend, Buse, is an artist that he met in an Akha village. She's never had any training, but makes some of the most moving scenes of people that I've ever seen. It all has that 'untrained' look, but there is a maturity in the subject matter that is sometimes humorous, sometimes shocking, and sometimes 'Hmm'. Siam has been careful not to try to teach her anything, except show her various kinds of paint. We went through her work and as Joyce would touch a piece, Buse would describe in Thai or Akha the nature of the scene, or the meaning and Joyce would interpret.

Khun Siam took us to see some of his bamboo work on a porch in the rear of his house. There was a swing set that he made for the children who come for art lessons on Saturdays, several couches, a few tables and some really neat stools. Inside I noticed he had a few Suengs (Traditional four stringed instrument). He told the story of a man he met who was from the Chan state in Burma. The man was covered with so many tattoos that his skin was black, and he had gold caps on his teeth. That visual image was vivid in my mind. He watched this man play the Sueng and asked him to teach him. The man said he couldn't teach him but he could watch him play. Siam watched him play for two years and learned one song. He played the song he learned from his 'teacher'. He likened the style to Ravi Shankar, because the bottom strings were used like the drone of a Sitar. The little concert he gave us was wonderful. We can't wait to get together with Siam and Buse.

Time for Wacky Wednesday.


"The greatest good you can do for another is not just share your riches,
but reveal to them their own."

Gettin' Funky, Thai Style

Tuesday, August 30, 2011



We had another beautiful day here in Chiang Rai. It was hot, but it's always hot. The spray man came, the pump guy didn't, and I had a car adventure.

It looks like this really is an 'Easy Monday' song this time. I just love getting mail. Here's a little more to ponder:
"Life can be short or long. Love can be right or wrong. And if I chose the one I'd like to help me through, I'd like to __ __ __ __." Hint: Do you really knead a hint as to who sang this? It's clearly a love song about wanting to succeed with a certain someone.

It was a typical morning around here: Up at 6:30, feed dogs, eat breakfast, play with dogs. Then we waited for the meeting with the tank/pump guy but he didn't show. The spray man came at 9:30, which meant the house had to be closed up tight. They did their thing and we hung out with the dogs.

Mid-morning we had a list of errands we wanted to take care of so we got all ready to go. I went out to start the car and the starter just groaned and quit. No battery. Hmm, what to do. Our truck is being used by our friend Jaffee, so it meant we had no means to start the car. The jumper cables were with the truck, so after lunch he came over and I got it started. I drove across town to the Toyota dealership on the highway, not wanting to take any chances.

When I arrived at Toyota I left the engine running while I tried to explain the problem. It was pretty easy to get the point across, but the young woman checking me in brought over another service tech who spoke a little English. More Thai/English/pantomime and he understood completely. At one point he asked how I got there. I explained the second car/wires thing and he said: "Oh, electricity". Now we were in sync. He talked to the shop and told me the engineer said it should charge overnight, and then they'd test everything. Oh, so now I have to get home.

I had two options for getting home. One was to walk down the highway to Central Plaza and get a Tuk-Tuk. The other was to call our old friend Khun Sing, who drove us around in his Tuk-Tuk in the early days. It was so hot that the thought of the walk became a quick second place. I called Sing and he knew it was me, but he seemed unsure as to where I was. I ran back inside and put one of the service guys on the phone. A little later Sing pulled up and I bounced home in the back of his Tuk-Tuk. When we got to the house he came into the yard. He asked about the dogs, about Boot, and then Lisa came out. They had a little reunion and we went around so he could see the pool. He's a really sweet man and it was great to spend a few minutes with him. I just may have to call him when it's time to get the car tomorrow.

Speaking of tomorrow, we're going to be picked up by Thomas and Joyce for our unknown adventure into the countryside. I'll take you along for the ride in my next message.

Have a Happy Tuesday.


"Imagine what a harmonious world it could be if every
single person shared a little of what he is good at doing."
~Quincy Jones

Gettin' Funky, Thai Style

Monday, August 29, 2011



Believe it or not, we had a rainless weekend here in Chiang Rai. We had new friends over, and went to a dinner party, all in one day. The whole town was jumping with a festival, and two street happenings.

The 'Old School Friday' song was "Eddie My Love" by The Teen Queens. Cousin Trudye was the only one to get it. That's OK, 'Easy Monday' is next. "Hey, have you ever tried, really reaching out for the other side? I may be climbing on rainbows, but baby here goes... I want to __ __ __ __." Hint: This song was a hit about this time in 1970, but a group named for a form of food. Easy.

Saturday was a pretty mellow day around here. We were still in the glow of the Friday night event. The weather started warming up so we mostly stayed in, except for an afternoon swim.

Sunday was a big day for us. We invited some new friends over for lunch and a swim. Thomas and Joyce are a couple in their mid 20s. He is from France and teaches at Alliance Francais, the French school here in town. Joyce is from Bangkok, but has lived in the north for many years. We also invited our friend Atom. Over a lunch of Boot's spaghetti, Joyce and Thomas told us about their experience living on Doi Mae Salong (hill to the sky) in an Akha village. They lived in a bamboo/thatch house with open windows and no conveniences. They really enjoyed being part of the village life. Thomas is also a photographer and showed us some of his work that will become postcards. After lunch we went for an extended 'swim' and basically hung out talking. They're going to take us on some excursions to places we've heard about, but never visited. They're very adventurous.

In the evening we went to the home of Martin and Kay for dinner with his sister and brother who are visiting from England. Bob and Noni were also there so it was a nice group of artistic friends. We hung out on their patio before dinner, along with their five dogs. Martin and his sister cooked a delicious dinner and I spent most of the time talking with Martin's brother Max. After dinner we came home and watched the Belgium Grand Prix.

Chiang Rai was busy this weekend with Walking Street on Saturday night, Happy Street on Sunday, and the O.T.O.P. Festival all weekend. In fact, the festival is still going on. I can here the thumping of the bass so I know they're still there. (555)

Tomorrow we'll find out more about the proposed water tank system we're going to have installed. It's coming just in time. Today the water 'go away', as Boot says. With the new tank system this won't be a problem. Bit by bit, we're learning how to work around the quirks of life on the edge of town. The adventure continues.

Have a Great Week.


"It is when you are grateful for what you have
and able to share it with others
that you are living in abundance."

Gettin' Funky, Thai Style

Friday, August 26, 2011

Friday Funnies


Chiang Rai had more rain overnight, and for part of the day. The afternoon was perfect for the dedication of the art at the government building.

The first 'Song of '68' was "Beautiful Morning" by The Rascals. Oh well, 'Old School Friday' is next. Remember?:
"__ __ __, I love you so. How I've waited for you, you'll never know. Please __, don't make me wait so long." Clue: Three words, one is a guy's name. She's sick in bed, waiting for him to return. Real teen drama back in '56. Three groups recorded the song in the same year. Who did it first? (I know, ya gotta be old to know this)

We had standing water for most of the day, in both yards. The front drains for the lawn have been working since I poked them, but there's just so much rain that it can't leave fast enough.

We went to the government building and Lisa signed next to her name in the book for artists. That was the registration. They gave her a T-shirt, an art map of Chiang Rai, and a book with all the art that is on display. The book is very well made and includes a section with photos and info on all the artists. After checking in we went for coffee at Doi Chaang, since we had an hour before the festivities.

When we returned for the ceremony, there was a crowd gathering. There were young people playing traditional instruments, and several groups of girls did traditional dances. The whole event took place in a big open courtyard within the building complex. Most of the artists that participated were there and it was like a reunion. There were a few speeches and then a ribbon-cutting. We sat with our friends Bob and Noni and they filled us in on what was going on. Before we knew it, that part was over and they began picking up the chairs. They were replaced by woven mats that were placed in rows on the ground. These were to sit on during 'dinner'. While that was going on we went into the building to look at the art work and also to find Lisa's cast acrylic print. All of the work was framed by Khun Towd and looked great. We finally found Lisa's work and took pictures.

We were going to leave at this point, but somehow we were directed to sit for food. There was a small, round table with four cushions around it and that was where we tried to have dinner. There was little that we could eat, although I did have some sticky rice and a sweet drink from a bamboo cup. Mainly we just watched the next part of the show. Four school children went on stage to draw. One of the youngest made a very dramatic piece that caught everyone's attention. While they were drawing, an artist/musician played an instrument that he'd made. We'd seen him before and I'm intrigued by the way it sounds. It has three strings, and a half-bowl for a 'body'. The open half of the bowl rests on his chest and is lifted for vibrato effects. It's a very soothing sound. We met with him after he played and he explained more about it.

The weather stayed dry, and the evening was a success. There was a wonderful turnout for this art event, and it's clear that there is a commitment to presenting Chiang Rai as "the City of Artists." That's pretty cool.

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


One day a first grade teacher was reading the story of Chicken Little to her class. She came to the part where Chicken Little warns the farmer. She read, "...and Chicken Little went to the farmer and said, 'The sky is falling!' The teacher then asked the class, "And what do you think the farmer said?" One little girl raised her hand and said, "I think he said 'Holy Sh*t! A talking chicken!'" The teacher was unable to teach for the next ten minutes.

Gettin' Funky, Thai Style

Thursday, August 25, 2011



As predicted, it was a busy Thursday here in Chiang Rai. The leak got fixed, there was an adventure with the mini-frig, and a major storm in the evening.

Some of you caught this one real quick. I suspect this 'Song of '68' will ring a bell for the rest of you.
"It's a __ __, ahhh, each bird keeps singin' his own song, so long. I've got to be on my way now. Ain't no fun just hangin' around, I've got to cover ground, you couldn't keep me down. It just ain't no good if the sun shines when you're still inside..." Hint: It's about the 'a.m' time of day.

The work crew showed up this morning and went into the crawlspace above the ceiling, armed with silicone. They found the source of the water leak, and two roof tiles that had shifted. They were in and out in less than an hour.

Our little mini-frig in the bedroom stopped working so we took it to Makro, where we bought it. We took Boot with us since no one there speaks English. We were directed to the service center down the highway. It's behind a store we've been to many times. We didn't know about the part in the back. We should be hearing from them within a week. Boot did all of the talking, in Thai, and when the paperwork was done the young man explained to us in English about how long it might take. You just never know who knows what.

The afternoon was the usual routine. As we were enjoying the pool we noticed dark clouds coming from the west. Just as we finished dinner it began to rain. It was light at first and then a tremendous downpour that lasted about 40 minutes and flooded both yards. The rain continued for another hour. I'm sure there were many people who got caught by surprise by this storm.

Tomorrow we go to the government building for the presentation of the art work. It will be very exciting when they finally hang the works and we can go and 'visit' the piece that Lisa contributed. I guess this will make her an official 'Thai Artist'. Hmm.

Have a Thrilling Thursday.


"Laughter is the shortest distance between two people."
~Victor Borge

Gettin' Funky, Thai Style

Wednesday, August 24, 2011



The threat of rain loomed over Chiang Rai all day. We stayed around the compound all day. It was a low-key day at the Big Brown House. Tomorrow will be different.

'Easy Monday' wasn't easy, was it? The song was "Fun, Fun, Fun" by The Beach Boys. It's time for our first episode of 'Songs of '68'. Many of you were probably groovin' to this one back then: "It's a __ __, ahhh, I think I'll go outside for a while (an just smile)..." Clue: You should be able to get it from that. The group began young, but grew up fast. Two words describing a time of day. Now this is easy.

We had just finished with the morning 'dog play' when Boot announced that the 'Spray Man' would be coming at 9:30. It was dark and cloudy and seemed like a bad idea. Why spray when it's going to rain? Well, he must have looked out of his window because he didn't come. The pool guy came and did his thing, leaving the water nice and clean for our afternoon swims.

Tomorrow the contractor will bring a small crew and investigate the source of the water leak. Then the fun begins. We'll probably have to move our 'base of operations' downstairs for a day or two, but that's no big deal.

We're still following the Women's Volleyball Championships and the Thai team is doing pretty well. They're still in it, and playing close with Brazil, and Serbia. There's more tennis going on, and Formula One restarts after a three week break. Did you know that next year there will be a Formula One race in Texas? You should go. (Ha Ha)

In case you hadn't noticed, the world has been shrinking since the dawn of the internet. There is more information out there than ever before, and news of events comes to us in the blink of an eye. At the same time, it's possible to stay completely in the dark, and know nothing. The contrast is profound. We see it every day. It's one of those things that I think about living here in this amazing place.

It's time for Wacky Wednesday.


"Men trip not on mountains!
They trip on molehills."
~Chinese Proverb

Gettin' Funky, Thai Style

Tuesday, August 23, 2011



It was a beautiful day here in Chiang Rai. Lots of blue sky, and pretty clouds. We had home improvement discussions with a contractor, Lisa reconnected with her masseuse, we got official mail, and I ran errands.

I'm a little surprised that I only heard from one of you regarding the 'Easy Monday' song. Eileen knew who and what is was even though she doesn't like the band. Now that's a good memory. Here's a little more of this fun song:
"Well the girls can't stand her 'cause she walks, looks, and drives like an ace now (you walk like and ace now, you walk like an ace). She makes the Indy 500 look like a chariot race now (you look like an ace now...) a lotta guys try to catch her but she takes them on a wild goose chase now... And she'll have __ __ __ 'til her daddy takes her T-Bird away."
Hint: Hey, I just gave you the song. What are those three little words that make up the title? It's easy and it's fun.

The other day I noticed that water had come into the bedroom where the ceiling meets the wall. Just a little, and it probably happened during some of the heavy rain. Our friends Sutheera and her husband Nukoon arranged for a contractor to come over for a look. He's coming back on Thursday to investigate. While he was here we asked about putting in a tank/pump system so we could have better, consistent water pressure. We'll do that after the repairs are made. It's nice to have friends who can help us with things like this, since language and reliability are key factors.

Lisa's favorite masseuse, Khun Joy, left the place where we met her and opened her own 'shop'. Today Lisa got a massage from Joy and it was right on time. While that was happening I got a haircut, bought a bouquet of flowers for Joy, and made a bread run. There was a hand-painted sign as you enter the street by the fruit market. It had a notice in Thai and under it, in small letters, 'Look Out'. I always do, but the new sign leads me to believe that somebody didn't.

Yesterday there was a very important looking envelope in the mailbox. It was from the government, and since Chalit was over, we had him translate the letter. It was an invitation to the presentation of the works produced at the 100 Thai Artist project that Lisa participated in a few months ago. There will be a ceremony to present the works to the new government building, followed by a dinner. This all happens on Friday afternoon and evening. Very exciting stuff.

Life continues to be an adventure for us here in Chiang Rai.

Have a Happy Tuesday.


"Success is to be measured not so much by the position
that one has reached in life as by the obstacles which
he has overcome while trying to succeed."
~Booker T. Washington

Gettin' Funky, Thai Style

Monday, August 22, 2011

Be Yourself


True to form, we had more rain over the weekend in Chiang Rai. We also had a busy time. There was a wine tasting (didn't partake), lunch with a friend, an orchestra concert, and some hanging out in the pool.

The 'Old School Friday' song was "Long Tall Sally" by Little Richard. For 'Easy Monday' here's one you know:
"Well, she got her daddy's car and she cruised through the hamburger stand now. Seems she forgot all about the library like she told her old man now. And with the radio blasting goes cruising just as fast as she can now. And she'll have __ __ __ ...." Hint: The group was into the beach, the title is three words that are all the same. There's a car involved.

Saturday morning we discovered that our upgraded room at Le Meridien included breakfast. It was sprinkling so we couldn't stroll the grounds, so we checked out as noon. That evening we returned for the 'gathering', which was a wine tasting event with food and door prizes. We mainly went because many of the attendees were friends of ours. We had a fun time meeting new, interesting people and hanging out with friends. Our new friend Renoud, from the hotel, made sure I had plenty of Coke to drink. With each bottle of wine, they brought out a gourmet dish that went with that particular wine. I couldn't eat any of the food either, but it was an interesting concept.

Sunday we went to Big C, and later had lunch at Central Plaza with our friend Atom. Because the weather was wet, there were lots of people in the mall, just strolling and hanging out. While we were traveling around town we spotted a guy on a motorbike carrying a big bird cage, with a bird inside. Hmm.

In the evening we returned to the Plaza for what we thought was going to be a concert by the Chiang Rai Youth Orchestra. They were there, but part of the show was a recital by the Yamaha Music School Violin classes. The orchestra played a number and then out marched at least thirty children from about four to fourteen. They were carrying violins of various sizes and were all dressed up. Small groups of them would play a little exercise, the audience would applaud, and then the next group would play. Parents with video cameras were all over the place. The final 'student' was quite impressive. Then the orchestra got busy. We listened a bit more and went to the Night Bazaar for dinner. We hadn't seen our friends at the restaurant there since we've been back. It was good to get a 'home cooked meal' from them.

Today our friend Chalit came over to photograph Lisa's recent cast acrylic prints. After he finished we all went for a swim and hung out in the pool talking about many things. He stayed for dinner and got to experience Boot's spaghetti. It was a wonderful day.

Have a Great Week.


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

Gettin' Funky, Thai Style

Friday, August 19, 2011

Friday Funnies Music


In my excitement, I totally forgot to give you a song challenge. See, I wrote the message in our room and had to go to the lobby to send it. I was supposed to also find you a song. Got back to the room and Lisa asked me about the song and that's when it hit me.

For 'Old School Friday' tell me the title of this song and the artist: "I'm gonna tell Aunt Mary 'bout Uncle John. He claims he got the misery but he has a lotta fun, oh baby, yeeah baby, woo-oo baby, havin' me some fun tonight."
Hint: The title has three words, one is a woman's name. The artist is a very flamboyant piano player who said he taught The Beatles everything they knew. 'Shut up'.


Gettin' Funky, Thai Style

Friday Funnies


Today has been one of those perfect days, when everything fell into place. Our stay at Le Meridien is like a fairy tale, so far.

As you all probably guessed by now, the 'Summer of Love' song was "The Beat Goes On" by Sunny & Cher. Come with me now, to the early days of Rhythm and Rock, for another dose of 'Old School Friday'.

This morning we started picking out the few things we'd take on our one night adventure. Check-in time at the hotel was 3pm, so we had time to do a few things. An artist that we are friends with had an opening while we were in America. We wanted to see his work so we went by 9 Art Gallery, had a fun chat with Khun Nine, and enjoyed the range of Khun Cherd's work.

We had lunch at home, a brief nap, finished packing, and made the long drive (ten minutes) to the hotel. When we checked in we were informed that we'd been upgraded to an executive room on the preferred guest floor, with a river view. This was a major change from where we would have been. Our room is one of the nicest we've been in during all our adventures. We even have an iron and ironing board, which is very rare in Thailand.

Before we relaxed in our room, we went for a walk around the grounds. Le Meridien has three huge pools that are arranged like steps. Each one flows into the one below, and as you look out at the river it looks like the pool flows into space. a true infinity pool. A lap is about the same as three in our pool. We swam, and lounged on a seat in the lower pool. We met a little family that had been playing while we swam. They had just arrived in Chiang Rai and were looking for dinner ideas. We told them about Sawasdee in the Night Bazaar. After weeks in Bangkok, they were happy to be in Chiang Rai.

When we returned to our room after our swim we had a surprise waiting. On the coffee table was a plate with a piece of three-layer chocolate cake with 'Happy Anniversary' written in icing on the plate. There was a note from Renoud, the Food and Beverage Manager, wishing us a happy stay. Later, after our dinner, he came to our table and we had a brief visit. Tomorrow evening he will be the host of the gathering in the library of the hotel. One other thing worth mentioning is the restrooms in the hotel. Instead of paper towels or air blowers, they provide rolled washcloths for drying your hands. A very nice touch.

We don't know what we're going to do tomorrow, but it will be fun. There is a complete gym that we plan to explore, maybe another swim, and we haven't had lunch here yet. More on Monday.

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



A missionary was going in to the most remote section of Africa. He
found a native that would take him upstream to a tribe of headhunters
cut off from civilization. In the distance they could hear drums.
"What is that drumming?" he asked nervously. The native replied,
"Drums okay, but if they stop it would be very bad".

The drums continued for 3 days as they got closer to the headhunters'
village. Then without warning the drums suddenly stopped. The forest
fell eerily silent. With panic in his voice, the missionary calls out
to the guide, "The drums have stopped! What happens now?" The guide
crouched down, covered his head with his hands and with despair in his
voice, answered, "Tuba solo."

Gettin' Funky, Thai Style

Thursday, August 18, 2011



It was another dry day in Chiang Rai. I could get used to this. There were clouds, and moments when we wondered what might happen, but it was a beautiful day. We went into town this afternoon.

Quite a few of you knew the 'Summer of Love' song. Our friend Wayne, from Texas, was the first and only person to write in with a favorite year. He picked 1968, so for the next four Wednesdays we will be playing with Golden Oldies from that year. Right now we still have to finish off the 'Summer of Love', with a song from a married couple who later became a diva and a politician respectively. "Grandmas sit in chairs and reminisce. Boys keep chasing girls to get a kiss. The cars keep going faster all the time. Bums still cry 'hey buddy, have you got a dime'. __ __ __ __ __, __ __ __ __,......" Hint: There's a reference in the title to something a drum does, like the ticking of a clock.

We stayed around the house for most of the day. This afternoon Lisa got a massage and I took care of some house business. On our way into town we spotted a little red car with big letters on the back window stating: "This car is White". What? We also saw three kids on a motorbike, which is not unusual, but the last one on the back was holding a guitar. Hmm. Not a day goes by when we don't see something that we'd never see in the States.

All of the arrangements have been finalized for our anniversary 'getaway' at Le Meridien. It's going to be fun, staying in a place we've been to many times, but never as 'guests'. We have a 'Garden View' room, and the use of many tempting facilities. Saturday afternoon we'll check out, and then return for a gathering in the evening with some of our friends.

Have a Thrilling Thursday.


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

Gettin' Funky, Thai Style

Wednesday, August 17, 2011



The weather returned to it's unseasonable 'normal' today. We went to the veggie/fruit market, and the pet supply store for our out-of-the-house excursion.

That 'Easy Monday' song you wrestled with was "Spinning Wheel" by Blood, Sweat & Tears. This week we will see the demise of the 'Summer of Love' category with one last entry. There was lots of memorable music that year, and I think we've covered the ones that were not too obscure. Send me your favorite musical year and I'll play with that year for Wednesday's 'game'. I'll choose the years in order of 'arrival' in my inbox. Our final 'Summer of Love' song has a fitting sentiment. It's by a duo that had a few hits and a TV show. "Charleston was once the rage, uh huh. History has turned the page, uh huh. The mini skirt's the current thing, uh huh. Teenybopper is our newborn king, uh huh. __ __ __ __, __ __ __ __. Drums keep pounding a rhythm to the brain. La de da de de, la de da de da." Clue: So, the title is four words about the passing of time.

This morning, when I took Daku downstairs, it was dry. When we went for his play time around 7:30, it was starting to rain. About an hour later the pool guy arrived. It still amazes me how he does his job in the rain. He has upgraded his work outfit to include a full, hooded raincoat. Imagine looking out and seeing a black, hooded being holding a long broom, pushing it through the water, in the rain. Very surreal.

With all the morning rain, Boot hadn't gone to the market. When we told her we were going out, she said she needed vegetables. It was a pretty routine stop, except that our regular chicken lady wasn't there. There are two other women who sell chicken, but it's just not the same. After the market stop we went to Bus Station street. I went to Sahapaiboon for lightbulbs and Lisa went to the pet supply for treats and vitamins. That's what I call efficient shopping.

Friday we will be celebrating our 41st year together. This year we're going to spend the night and day at Le Meridien Resort here in Chiang Rai. The whole layout of the hotel is beautiful. The back of the property looks out on the Mae Kok river. There are gardens to stroll, and if the weather holds up, a huge pool that gives a view of the grounds and the river. We've never stayed there so it will be an adventure in our own back yard.

It's time for Wacky Wednesday.


"To exist is to change, to change is to mature,
to mature is to go on creating oneself endlessly."
~Henri Louis Bergson

Gettin' Funky, Thai Style

Tuesday, August 16, 2011



Today the weather in Chiang Rai was rainless. What a relief. We spent the morning visiting immigration. Then there was an afternoon swim and a bread run. Another wonderful day in Thailand.

Our 'Easy Monday' song was easy for lots of you. Some confusion about the band though. They were not named for a windy city, but for three words that express hard work. What? "You got no money, you got no home. __ __, all alone. Talkin' 'bout your troubles and you, you never learn. Ride a painted pony, let the __ __ turn." Hint: I think that just about gives it away. It's about how things seem to come full circle and work themselves out. Hmm.

After breakfast, and the running of the dogs, we set out on the highway for Mae Sai. It's about an hour each way, and the countryside is amazingly green and lush. There are several 'T' intersections with the highway that have a lane set up for motorbikes to continue traveling north without stopping for the traffic lights. They have been co-opted by cars and trucks as well. Next time we'll get in that lane and save some time. None of the police check-points stopped us this trip. I guess they're getting to know us.

At the immigration office we showed up prepared for the annual renewal of our visas, and things went very smoothly. We actually had more copies of things than they asked for, which is a first. It's always better to err on the side of excess since we never know what rules or procedures have changed. We got lots of smiles from the officers through the whole process. When Lisa thanked one of the main guys he gave her a big smile and asked how she was. It's such a relief to have this kind of rapport after hearing all the stories about the 'horrors' of the immigration offices.

When we made our bakery run, Lisa had a chance to visit with Jonathan, the beautiful English Golden Retriever that 'runs' the place. As soon as we got home both of our dogs smelled Jonathan and were examining her very closely, and actually ignored me. That's OK, I know they love me. It's just hard to pass up the smell of another dog.

Have a Happy Tuesday.


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

Gettin' Funky, Thai Style

Monday, August 15, 2011



Well, needless to say, there was lots of rain this weekend in Chiang Rai. We also had moments of sun. We enjoyed an art exhibit, and basically hung out for most of the time. Oh yes, there was also tennis and volleyball.

The 'Old School Friday' song was "Heartbreak Hotel" by Elvis Presley. You knew that. For 'Easy Monday' see if you remember this one: "What goes up, must come down. __ __, got to go round. Talkin' 'bout your troubles, it's a cryin' sin. Ride a painted pony, let the __ __ spin." Hint: This late 60s hit was by a 'big band' that rocked the charts with a strong jazz influence. There's something round involved.

Saturday morning we got a jump on Big C and tackled the shopping early. We discovered the new location of many products and we're starting to get comfortable with the new layout. More remodeling is going on and many of our favorite vendors seem to be gone. Maybe they'll return after the makeover. Hmm.

In the evening we went to Prataap Jai for what turned out to be a very nice experience. Before the actual opening of the exhibit we sat around talking with 'old' friends and made some new ones. I met a guy from Brazil who provided entertainment that evening. He plays guitar and sings, only in Portuguese. We really hit it off since that's some of my favorite music. The show consisted of a few works by local artists from the neighborhood (village). There were wood-cuts, wood carvings, polished aluminum patterns, acrylic works that looked airbrushed, some unique jewelry, and some photographs by one of the shop owners. The best part of it all was that it didn't rain. That came much later.

Sunday, Lisa went to lunch with our friend Sutheera. They went to Central Plaza and I ate at home. We had planned to go to the Night Bazaar for dinner, but decided to just stay in. Lisa made a delicious dinner and we watched sports, and some old TV shows.

Things are gearing up for the U.S. Open tennis tournament. Last week we watched the Rogers Open from Canada. At the same time the Women's World Volleyball Championships have been going on here in Thailand with women from different countries competing. Though we don't consider dancing a sport, there was also the Thailand Open, an international 'Dance Sport' competition. Hmm.

Tomorrow we go to Mae Sai to do the annual renewal of our retirement visas. So many things to prepare for our friends at immigration. We will dress 'Politely' and take care of business.

Have a Great Week.


"A bit of fragrance clings to the hand that gives flowers."
~Chinese Proverb

Gettin' Funky, Thai Style

Friday, August 12, 2011

Friday Funnies


It rained hard last night, flooded the yard, and then rained more all day. Today is 'Mother Day', the Queen's birthday. We had coffee with a friend and the artist is at work.

Well, nobody wrote to tell me that the 'Summer of Love' song was "Expressway To Your Heart" by Soul Survivors. I guess the summer weather is just too nice. It's time for 'Old School Friday' and this one should be easy: "Well, since my baby left me, I found a new place to dwell. It's down at the end of lonely street at __ __. You make me so lonely baby, I get so lonely, I get so lonely I could die." Hint: It was probably not in California. (Ha)

When we woke up this morning we had a serious lake in the front yard. Everything else was soggy. I put the broom handle in the drain holes and the water started flowing into the field. Daku took great interest in the swirl created at the opening. Later, Lisa took both dogs out to play with the ball. They went crazy, having big fun and getting very muddy.

"Mother Day" here in Thailand is what they call The Queen's birthday. It's a major holiday with banks and many businesses closing. Many families go out for dinner or have celebrations in their homes. There are also special services at many temples. Boot presented Lisa with a beautiful gold pin with little rhinestones on it.

This afternoon we had coffee with our friend Atom. We hadn't seen her since before our trip to America. We got caught up on her trip to London, and stories about her puppy.

Tomorrow evening we'll be going to an art exhibit opening at Prataap Jai. They're featuring local artists from the Sankhong Village, where the center is located. This same neighborhood is hosting a 'Happy Street' every Sunday, similar to the downtown Saturday Walking Street.

The river has risen quite a bit this week. When we drove over the bridge into town we noticed that a few of the steps that were installed on the bank are now submerged. We are fortunate that in our area, because of the elevation, there is no major flooding.

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

Lipstick at School

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

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

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

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

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

Gettin' Funky, Thai Style

Thursday, August 11, 2011



We had a wonderful breakfast in Chiang Mai, a wild goose chase before lunch, and scattered rain on the road home. The dogs were glad to see us and the rain greeted us as well.

So what happened to all those 'Summer of Love' pros out there? We've sung this song before. Try these lyrics:
"There's too many ahead of me. They're all tryin' to get in front of me. I thought I could find a clear road ahead, but I found stoplights instead... On the __ __ __ __. That __, not the best way. At five o'clock, it's much too crowded (Too crowded)..." Clue: It takes soul to survive in heavy traffic. He's tryin' to get to her on the wrong freeway. Hmm, in the East it's called something else.

This morning we walked from our hotel to a little cafe where we usually get breakfast. It's almost like dinners of old. They make a yummy cinnamon French toast that has become my favorite meal there. There was rain overnight which meant going to and from the place involved side-stepping lots of puddles. Back at the hotel my key card wouldn't activate the elevator. One of the staff took it to the desk and I was told that my phone may have been the culprit. Hmm, my phone is on my belt, on the other side of my body. It turns out that my money clip is magnetic and that's what fouled up the card. Too much technology.

Our friend Ten picked us up and we went for coffee at a bakery/restaurant. It's changed owners and the new theme is the 50s. It looked a lot like Cafe 50s in the L.A. area. There was a fake juke box and checkered table cloths. We hadn't seen Ten in quite a while so we had a lot to talk about. It felt good to reconnect.

After packing up the small amount of stuff we had for this trip, we checked out and met our friend Mark for the great compressor search. The whole thing was a bust; no one had what we needed. We had lots of laughs about it and went to lunch at a little place somewhere in Chiang Mai. He was directing me and I have no idea where we went. There are many 'streets' that look like alleys. Once you turn into one there's a whole world that could have been missed.

The ride home was pretty routine. There were a few times when the sky opened up and it rained hard, but then it cleared. Even with cautious driving it still only took us three hours. It's always good to be home.

Now, Have a Thrilling Thursday.


"Hearing is a gift,
Listening is an art."

Gettin' Funky, Thai Style

Wednesday, August 10, 2011



I'm coming to you from the beautiful Dusit 'D2' hotel in the heart of Chiang Mai. The weather was good on our drive, and it's been a mellow time so far.

Our 'Easy Monday' song was "You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin'" by The Righteous Brothers. 'Summer of Love' is next:
"I've been tryin' to get to you for a long time. 'Cause constantly you been on my mind. I was thinkin' 'bout a shortcut I could take, but it seems like, I made a mistake. Well, I was wrong, ooh, took too long, I got caught in the rush hour, the fellow started to shower you with love and affection, now you won't look in my direction on the __ __ __ __..."
Clue: Love and a traffic jam are not a good mix.

This morning, as we got ready to leave for Chiang Mai, Lisa noticed that Daku had put the Firehose toy in our suitcase. The last time we packed he left his ball. I think he's trying to tell us something. We had a rather uneventful drive through the mountains and plains. Everything is very green and in some places the growth is very dense. The rice fields are in various stages of development and each has it's own distinctive shade of green. Going through the mountain passes the jungles are very impressive. We made our usual stop for coffee at the half-way mark. There was a sign in front of the cafe that read: "Drink coffee, feel good". I guess that's being to the point.

We're staying at what is simply called 'D2'. It's a very hip hotel with a color scheme of orange and white. They play mellow background music and all the staff is young and very attentive. Today it struck me as to why I like having a young staff: I don't feel guilty about being waited on. (Ha)

The traffic in Chiang Mai is intense. It's a bustling metropolis compared to Chiang Rai. We went out after lunch and our driver gave us a whole long pitch about calling him for anything we needed. This town is a big tourist attraction and everyone who's driving anything wants to take you places you don't want to go, or help you buy something. Hmm. There is a moat around the old city and after all the visits here, we still get confused. The city also has a very large expat population which makes it different visually, seeing so many 'Western' faces.

This evening the doorbell to our room startled us. It was a young man from the hotel bringing us a complimentary bottle of mineral water and two fortune cookies. Amazing.

Tomorrow we will meet our friend Ten for coffee, and then go on a quest for the compressor with our friend Mark. We'll also hit the bookstore that sells books in English, and stop at the market that specializes in Western food products.

Yesterday I should have wished you a 'Happy Tuesday' instead of a Thrilling Thursday. For now, have a Wacky Wednesday.


A student asked Soen Nakagawa during a meditation retreat,
"I am very discouraged. What should I do?"
Soen replied, "Encourage others."
~Excerpted from Essential Zen

Gettin' Funky, Thai Style

Tuesday, August 9, 2011



Today began with a clear, blue sky that turned cloudy and threatening by the afternoon. There was no rain and we swam. I had hardware adventures, and a walk in a cornfield. Hmm.

A few of you got this 'Easy' song right away. It's by two 'Brothers' who really weren't brothers, or 'Brothers'.
"Baby, baby, I get down on my knees for you. If you'd only love me like you used to do, yeah. We had a love, a love, a love you don't find everyday. So don't, don't, don't, don't let it slip away... 'Cause it's gone, gone, gone, and I can't go on, nooo..." Hint: Really? They're begging her to bring something back. I'm begging you to tell me you know what it is.

This morning I printed pictures of a drain 'snake' to take with me to the hardware store. At my first stop they didn't understand what I wanted until I told them it was to clean a pipe. I should add that I told them in Thai. Then they got it, and I got the expected answer: "No have." I overheard them mention a store on the highway, but thought I'd try the next shop on the block. They referred me to the first stop. I ended up at Home Mart and they had a great big display of what I wanted. The cashier smiled at me and then her face turned thoughtful. She said, in English, "Very nice to see you". I was a little flustered at first because I thought she knew me. Then I understood that she was practicing her English. At least she's trying to communicate.

Back on the compound I tried the snake in the drain hole for the lawn. It really didn't do the trick. There was major blockage. I took a long-handled broom and went into the cornfield next to our property. That's where the other side of the drain comes out. The field is about 6 feet lower than our yard so it meant climbing down a steep bank into the 'pit'. The corn is dead, but the underbrush is thick. I was wearing rain boots so I felt secure as far as what might have been in all that plant life. I stuck the handle into the drain and pushed, and a bunch of junk came out on the yard side. We won't know until the next rain whether it did any good. If not, I'll try again until it clears.

One interesting thing that happened at the first store is worth mentioning. I bought some light bulbs and as soon as I left the aisle, a young woman rushed over and took them from me and simply said, "Test". She put each bulb into a socket that was mounted on a board to make sure they were good. Great idea.

Tomorrow morning we're going to drive down to Chiang Mai to get the airbrush compressor we've been looking for. We've had the actual airbrush for sometime, but they don't have the correct compressor in Chiang Rai. We'll stay overnight and come back on Thursday.

Have a Thrilling Thursday.


"Treat every person with kindness and respect,
even those who are rude to you.
Remember that you show compassion to others
not because of who they are,
but because of who you are."
~Andrew T. Somers

Gettin' Funky, Thai Style

Monday, August 8, 2011



The weekend in Chiang Rai was a combination of sunshine and rain. Lots of rain. We did the usual shopping, and went to a dance recital at Central Plaza. There are still remnants of Jet Lag that have us waking earlier than usual.

The 'Old School Friday' song was "Sixteen Candles" by The Crests. Time for some 'Easy Monday'. You know this:
"You never close you eyes anymore when I kiss your lips. And there's no tenderness like before in your fingertips. You're trying hard not to show it, (baby). But baby, baby I know it... __ __ __ __ __..." Hint: It's a hit by a duo that had some big hits in the second half of the 60s. Something is missing. Hmm.

Saturday we got a surprise visit from the yard crew. Boot had been trying to get them to come before we returned from our trip, but that didn't happen. When they arrived, we were happy they were here, but a little unhappy that we wouldn't get our nap. The weed-wacker that they use to cut the lawn is very noisy. Lisa gave Khun Kek instructions about what she didn't want trimmed (almost everything) and we just let them do their thing. They did a good job this time and left as the sun was setting. We managed to doze a bit between the noise.

Sunday we made an early assault on Big C for provisions. They had completely rearranged the store. It was like going to a new place, not knowing where anything was. I understand the tactic, but it doesn't make it any easier to get what you came for. Some things made sense, others didn't.

Lisa, Boot and I went to the furniture store to get a new clothes rack. This is a very important item in Thai living since clothes dryers are rare. We took Boot with us so she could have a say in what we bought. We found one and also got a couple of shoe racks, also important since we don't wear our outside shoes in the house.

We stayed home for lunch, and around 3 o'clock a giant storm hit. It rained hard for an hour and then slowly drifted away. We got a call from our friend Tye telling us that her daughter Napa, Lisa's former ballet student, was going to be dancing at Central Plaza at 6pm. We went to the 'Mall' and had coffee and treats before the show. It was a recital given by a dance school run by the mother of one of the girls that Lisa taught. There was a stage, sound-system, and two M.C.s. The two women that introduced the dancers also gave numerous pitches for the school. We don't know what they said exactly, but we got the idea. In between each number there was lots of chatter, interviews with the dancers, and little contests that included the audience. Napa and the other girls did a good job, and it was a treat to see her dance. It's interesting that the Plaza is becoming a performing arts venue for the community. There have been other shows there in addition to the art exhibits.

Today we did a little banking in preparation for our visa renewal later this month. This afternoon we had another giant rain storm, and once again the yard was flooded. One of the drain tubes for the front yard is clogged so tomorrow I'll see if I can find a 'snake' to open it up. I'm not quite sure how I'm going to explain this at the hardware store, but I'm sure I'll think of something. (555)

Have a Great Week.


"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

Friday, August 5, 2011

Friday Funnies


An afternoon storm made it clear that we were back in Chiang Rai. It was a quiet Friday here on the compound, still recovering from the long trip home. The dogs are still staying close and being very loving.

That 'Summer of Love' song was "Friday On My Mind" by The Easy Beats. 'Old School Friday' is next, but it could be called 'Easy Friday' just as easily. Remember this?: "Happy birthday, happy birthday, baby. Oh, I love you so, __ __ make a lovely light, but not as bright as your eyes tonight. Blow out the candles, make your wish come true, for I'll be wishing that you love me too." Hint: It's a birthday that's called 'Sweet'. Hmm. It's from 1959.

Today we ate a lunch prepared by Lisa. It was a delicious tuna salad with the added treat of chips from Trader Joe's. We managed to bring back a few bags of favorites and they added a little something extra to the meal. That won't last long though. When they're gone, they're gone.

After lunch we contemplated the pool. The water was at an acceptable temperature, but the bodies weren't willing to put out the energy. When we settled in for a nap, the sky was getting dark. Lisa predicted a big rain and she was right. At three o'clock I woke up to the sound of thunder. There was a big, black cloud overhead and in an instant it was raining. Daku had just nudged me with two of his rope toys, meaning he was ready to go outside. I let him know that there would be no rolling around in the grass today. We got out just in time for the downpour. For an hour it thundered and rained so much that the front lawn flooded like we'd never seen before. The power went out for a while, and I knew that BamBam, who is afraid of thunder, was probably cuddled up with Boot in her apartment. Later she told us that's what happened. It continued to rain lightly into the evening.

Right now Daku is having a training session with Lisa. He rolls over, turns around, and fetches various ropes and toys. The real work is getting him to drop his toys in the basket. It's a slow process, but he loves it.

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


Blonde Password

During a recent password audit by Microsoft & Google,
it was found that a blonde was using the following password:


When asked why she had such a long password she said
she was told that it had to be at least 8 characters long
and include at least one capitol.

Gettin' Funky, Thai Style

Thursday, August 4, 2011



I'm writing to you in the midst of Jet Lag. Lisa realized that the need to sleep is not necessarily connected with the normal sleep time in the place you leave. Hmm. We managed to have a fairly normal day (5). Got the car washed, drank some Doi Chaang coffee, and got a few needed things for the house. There was also a visit to the vet.

Well, to my surprise there were a few of you who remembered this song. As Stuie put it: "Easy song with a good beat". "I'm gonna have fun in my city, I'll be with my girl, she's so pretty. She looks fine tonight, she's out of sight to me...Monday I'll have __ __ __ __." Hint: Stuie's answer is a clue to the group's name.

The morning alarm came much too early. Both Daku and Lisa had a restless night, but that didn't stop him from being ready to go out at 6:30 in the morning. Today was the day for BamBam's annual vaccination. Aside from snapping at one of the assistants who was trying to comfort her, she was pretty good during the ordeal. She's just the opposite of Daku when it comes to riding in the car. She's all dog, with her head out the window enjoying the breeze.

A lot can happen in Chiang Rai during a three week period. There was progress on building projects, new steps on the bank of the river, and lots of green everywhere we looked. It's been raining quite a bit since we left. When we went for the car wash and coffee, we inquired about our friend Kwan. They told us she left for school in Scotland this morning. Lisa called her mom and she said she'd have Kwan call us. The painting that Lisa made for Khun Noot (Kwan's mom) is hanging on the wall behind the cash register in the coffee shop. That was nice to see.

We made an appointment for a massage in the afternoon. Our nap after lunch should have been longer, but we managed to get up and out. We both drifted off during the massage and we had a chuckle about that. Lisa's regular masseuse has apparently retired so she had a new person today. She tried real hard to live up to Khun Joy's reputation. Boot called while we were being treated, saying that we needed fruit. That meant a quick spin through the fruit market and then a trip to the grocery store for juice and water. Just a regular day in Chiang Rai.

I'm still hitting the wipers instead of the turn signal lever. For some reason, all the motorbikes really made us feel like we were back. They were almost a welcome sight. We have left the land of 'orderly driving', and are back in the land of 'up to you'. The rhythm of the city is slowly creeping in on us.

The dogs have stayed very close to us since last night. They want to be where ever we are. They're also enjoying the special toys we brought back from America. Both of them love the new fire hose toy. The one we got them last trip is just a little piece of cloth. It should be called 'nearly indestructible'. They don't know our dogs.

Have a Thrilling Thursday.


"Help your brother's boat across,
and your own will reach the shore."
~Hindu proverb

Gettin' Funky, Thai Style

Wednesday, August 3, 2011



Three flights later and we're home. Each flight was unique in its own way, and the dogs gave us a wonderful, warm welcome.

Our 'Easy Monday' tune was "Hotel California", by The Eagles. The 'Summer of Love' song from the road is next. This tune feels just as cool today as it did in '67: "Monday morning feels so bad. Everybody seems to nag me. Comin' Tuesday I'll feel better, even my old man looks good. Wednesday just won't go, Thursday goes too slow, I've got __ __ __ __." Clue: You shouldn't need one, but there's a day of the week involved. (555)

The first flight of our journey was spent in the business cabin. I like to call it 'The Big Chairs'. The service is incredible, and the food is special. We read, slept, and I watched a couple of movies. We use our mileage to upgrade for the long ride home. This time, the return trip from LAX to BKK was an hour shorter because they didn't fly up to the Bering Straits.

After a three hour layover in Taipei, we entered the plane in the 'Elite' section. These are the medium seats, with pretty good food and service. There's more leg room than in economy and that's where we usually travel.

We spent about 7 hours in the Bangkok airport. We got a foot massage and then checked in so we could hang out in the food court near our gate. Even though we slept on the long part of the trip, my head got heavy in the late afternoon. Say 'Hello' to Mr. Lag. The last chapter of the story was with Thai Airways. We went to our gate and realized we had to go down a flight of stairs. Once we were there it was obvious that we would be taking a bus to the plane. At the plane we had to climb a double flight of stairs to enter what turned out to be a giant oven. There was no air/con. As the plane began to fill it got hotter. Everyone was fanning themselves, even the staff. It cooled a little after taking off, and that's when I went to sleep for most of the 1 hour flight.

Our dear friend Tye met us at the Chiang Rai airport with our car. Yes, it felt odd to drive on the other side of the road. I put on the wipers when I changed lanes, right on schedule. The dogs went a little crazy when they first heard us. It took time for them to cool down, but it's nice to know that they missed us that much. Boot made us some food, and now we're slowly unpacking. The whole house is neat and clean, and there are little touches that tell us that Boot wanted our coming home to be special. Daku is finally lying on the floor, just watching.

It's time for Wacky Wednesday.


"Maturity is achieved when a person postpones immediate pleasures
for long-term values."
~Joshua L. Liebman

Gettin' Funky, Thai Style

Tuesday, August 2, 2011



Monday was pretty mellow for a 'last day'. We had a traditional lunch, a relaxed afternoon, and a little family dinner.

Things started off slow, but some of you must have hummed a few bars and it all came back to you. Here's more:
"Her mind is Tiffany twisted, she got the Mercedes Benz. She got a lot of pretty, pretty boys that she calls friends. How they dance in the courtyard, sweet summer sweat. Some dance to remember, some dance to forget... Welcome to the __ __. Such a lovely place, such a lovely face. They're living it up at the __ __. What a nice surprise, bring your alibis." Hint: It's 'Easy Monday' on Tuesday. You don't need a hint.

One of the highlights of our adventure yesterday was the numerous 'supercar' sightings in the West Valley. We saw three different models of Lamborghinis, and a couple of beautiful Ferrari sedans. Zoom.

This morning we ran some errands for last minute items we can't buy at home. Then it was time for the main event of the day. We have been going to Chinatown for Dim Sum with Jeff, Anna, and The Boys for about three years. It's turned into a 'Family Tradition'. This time C-Bass invited a couple of his friends along. The eight of us had a great time fending off the vendors, and figuring out what we liked. Everyone seemed to have a favorite. It was a far cry from the first time we walked into the Ocean Seafood restaurant expecting fish. What a surprise.

This trip the time seemed to go by very fast. It's easy to feel at home in our little apartment, and lose track of the days. Our home away from home is always a delight when we arrive, and makes us a little sad to leave. Anna always adds little touches that make it warm and cozy.

We actually had our bags packed before it was time to go. That made it a lot easier to enjoy the rest of the day. Still traveling with more than we use, which is something that will take some deep thinking. (555)

This has been a really good trip. Many great experiences, and many surprises. The landscape of the westside has changed a lot. Some streets seem strange with landmarks missing. It's amazing how dependent one can become on a tree when traveling through the city. When the tree is gone, there is a feeling of: 'What?'. We marveled at the new stuff, missed the old, and started to get a handle on the traffic. Pumping gas for the last time until December, I was reminded of just how large this place is. The number of gas stations and the number of pumps at each one added a new perspective.

From high above the Pacific Ocean, I bid you Happy Tuesday.


"If you could be anyone in the world,
you should want to be yourself,
because you're the only on equipped to do the job."

Gettin' Funky, Thai Style

Monday, August 1, 2011



This visit is almost over. We will go to the airport late tonight for our flights back to Thailand. It's been a wonderfully busy three weeks.

The 'Old School Friday' song was "Maybe" by The Chantels. By the way, most of the 'oldies' can be heard if you search on Youtube. It's time for 'Easy Monday'. "On a dark desert highway, cool wind in my hair, warm smell of colitas rising up through the air. Up ahead in the distance, I saw a shimmering light. My head grew heavy and my sight grew dim, I had to stop for the night..." Hint: It's about a place of temporary housing, maybe.

Our Friday appointments with the acupuncturist were very pleasant and I got some relief from what I'm now calling 'Travel Back'. All the handling of suitcases sometimes takes a toll, but Amir did something that made it feel much better. What I really need is a valet when we travel. (555)

Saturday morning we went to Altadena and spent time with my mother. We had a lot of fun, but then, we always do. I put a new greeting on her answering machine, and Lisa showed her how to do some things on her computer. By the time we left, we were getting hungry so we had lunch in Pasadena.

We spent the afternoon visiting with a bunch of friends that we hadn't seen in a very long time. In the evening we hung out with Jeff, Anna, and The Boys. Later, I managed to stay up late and watch the qualifying for the Hungarian Grand Prix. Morning came too soon.

Sunday morning we drove out to Hidden Hills to have lunch with Joel, Martha and Sophia of the Valley Cousins. Cousin Joel played us some incredible music he's been working on and we had a really nice visit. From there we went to the Santa Monica Airport for a craft expo where our friend Joy had some of her beautiful jewelry on sale. The last time we were there was for an art show. There were also lots of very fancy food trucks. In Chiang Rai it would be motorcycle kitchens (Ha).

The next time you hear from me I will have posted from LAX. By the time you read it I'll be flying over the Pacific Ocean, savoring the memories of this visit.

Have a Great Week.


"One can never consent to creep when one has the impulse to soar."
~Helen Keller

Gettin' Funky, Thai Style