Monday, October 31, 2011



We had great weather this weekend. Overnight rain, lots of sun, and a bit cooler. We had coffee with one friend and dinner with another. The party across the river continues and we're going on a road trip.

The 'Old School Friday' song was "Monster Mash" by Bobby 'Boris' Pickett. 'Easy Monday' is next and it's a current hit by special request from my editor. This is a chance for all you 'youngsters' to get in the game. (Ha)
"There's a fire starting in my heart, reaching a fevered pitch and it's bringing me out of the dark. Finally, I can see you crystal clear, go ahead and sell me out and I'll lay your ship bare... We could have had it all, __ __ __ __, you had my heart inside your hand, and you played it to the beat. (Tears are gonna fall, __ __ __ __)" Hint: It's by an artist that goes by her first name only, and though it's not Rock & Roll, there's a lot of rolling involved.

Saturday we had our usual morning and then went to Doi Chaang with our friend Atom for coffee and conversation. We had a fun time discussing lots of different stuff. Her family has a house in Bangkok but it's safe from the water.
Our plan for the evening was to go to a big concert at the Dusit featuring the Chiang Rai Youth Orchestra but by late afternoon we decided to just stay at home and hang out.

Sunday we didn't go to Big C since we already had most of what we needed as a result of our 'extra shopping' during the week. We did go to the vegetable/fruit market. We invited our friend Chalit to go to dinner at the Night Bazaar that evening. He had never been to Sawasdee Restaurant and really enjoyed the food. It seems that every conversation these days includes talk of the flooding in the Bangkok area. We strolled around the Night Bazaar after dinner and all of the merchants were singing the blues because of the floods. It's the beginning of 'High Season' and people are not coming to Thailand the way they usually do. There are 'visitors' in town, but not like last year at this time. It's rough on the vendors because they have stocked up with new items, and have few customers. Hopefully the travel industry will start directing people to the beauty of the far north.

This morning we realized we didn't have enough celery for our morning veggie drink so we went out on a search. I can tell you that early Monday morning is not the time to find celery. It's not a staple at the vegetable market. We ended up having the drink without it.

Wednesday we're driving down to Chiang Mai for one of our overnight trips. We haven't gone in a long time and there are a few things we'd like to find in the big city.

Have a Great Week.


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

Gettin' Funky, Thai Style

Friday, October 28, 2011

Friday Funnies


Last night we had a yard-soaking storm. Today we had a mix of sun and clouds that made it easier to run around town doing this and that.

The '81 Wednesday' song was "Urgent" by Foreigner. Oh, now you remember. Time for 'Old School Friday':
"I was working in the lab, late one night when my eyes beheld an eerie sight. For my monster from his slab began to rise, and suddenly, to my surprise he did __ __, he did __ __ __. __ __ __, it was a graveyard smash..." Hint: It's about a dance you might do at a Halloween party. Easy.

We woke up to the tail end of a big storm that I apparently slept through. Daku and I didn't like the soggy lawn when we went out at 6:30, but he did what he had to do. There was a light sprinkle for half an hour and then the sun came out. It's so nice to have some rain and not worry about any flooding.

Driving north on the Super Highway is becoming a regular thing these days. Today we went to the airport to change our plane tickets from November to December. On the way back we stopped at Makro for more 'provisions' since we heard the news that many suppliers would be out of service for weeks. Fortunately, the fresh things we eat mostly come from this area. We made a few more stops on the way home and now have enough of the basics to last us a long time.

This afternoon, while driving into the eastern countryside, I noticed that some of the rice fields are starting to turn yellow. This is a sign that the rice is nearing maturity. The first time I saw this I thought it was dying, until it was explained to me. So, the fields go from lush green to an odd yellow and then it's over. Hmm.

Tonight there is the familiar thumping bass from across the river. Not sure what's going on, but just know that it's a party and you're invited. (555)

This weekend will be the inaugural Formula One GP from India. We'll be watching.

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


Some race horses in a stable were boasting about
their track records. "In the last 15 races, I've won 8 of them!"

Another horse breaks in, "Well in the last 27 races, I've won 19!!"

"Oh that's good, but in the last 36 races, I've won 28!", says another.

At this point, they notice that a greyhound dog has been sitting there
listening. "I don't mean to boast," says the greyhound, "but in my
last 90 races, I've won 88 of them!"

The horses are clearly amazed. "Wow!" says one, after a hushed
silence. "A talking dog."

Gettin' Funky, Thai Style

Thursday, October 27, 2011



Another beautiful day in northern Thailand. The sun was out and the streets were dry. The same can't be said for Bangkok.

It looks like '81 Wednesday' is a hit. I'm happy that the 'younger' set is getting songs they know. (Ha) Here's more: "But sometimes I wonder as I look in your eyes, maybe you're thinking of some other guy. But I know, yes I know, how to treat you right. That's why you call me in the middle of the night. You say it's __, so __, so oh oh __. Just wait and see how __ my love can be. It's __, emergency. __ ..." Clue: The title refers to a situation that is in need of pressing action, in need of attention. Hmm. If you moved to another country you would be called the name of this group.

This morning, while Lisa was at her massage, I ran errands and got a lot accomplished. At the market everyone notices when I shop alone since we usually do it together. From the parking guy to the fruit lady, the question was the same: 'Shop alone?'. There's always a smile with the question.

This afternoon I had a long talk with our friend Pete, who lives in Bangkok. We were concerned that he might be in the path of the water. His place is safe and the streets are dry. He did mention that the only water he could buy was Perrier, at great expense compared to drinking water. Many 7-11s and other convenience stores are closing due to shortages. Another thing that was brought to my attention is the fact that many people working in Bangkok are there to send money to their families in other parts of the country. With so many businesses closed, the flow of money out of the city has been cut off.

The other night we decided that there must have been a consensus that it should be 'Ride a bike with no lights night'.
We kept noticing bicycles riding in the dark with no illumination whatsoever. Not a good idea under any conditions, and yet they ride.

Mr. Daku has been playing teenage games lately. He's trying new patterns of behavior. The first time I throw him the ball in the morning, he runs and gets it, and then just plops down and chews the ball. No amount of calling can bring him back. After the first time he plays the game in the usual way. Both he and BamBam are getting very good at catching the ball. BamBam is the true athlete of the pair, but Daku tries really hard and makes his share of catches.

We have flowering bushes across the back wall and on one side of the yard that produce little green fruit. Daku has learned to spit out the seed, but we still don't want him eating them. Tomorrow a friend of Boot's is coming over to pick all the 'apples', as we call them, so we can cut down on the possibilities of him picking them up.

Tomorrow morning we have to go to the airport and change the dates on the tickets we bought for our Bangkok flights since we won't be going until our December trip to America. There are so many things to change as a result of the postponement of the exhibit.

Have a Thrilling Thursday.


"It is expressly at those times when we feel needy
that we will benefit the most from giving."
~Ruth Ross

Gettin' Funky, Thai Style

Wednesday, October 26, 2011



Today a mild morning became a hot afternoon. We spent the morning stocking up on supplies that we may need in the near future. The wheels are turning for another exhibit, and Bangkok is getting more water.

That 'Easy Monday' tune was "You Are The Sunshine Of My Life" by Stevie Wonder. Bravo to all who got it. My friend Brady, in SoCal wants to play with songs from 1981, so for the next four Wednesdays we'll play '81 Day'.
"You're not shy, you get around. You wanna fly, don't want your feet on the ground. You stay up, you won't come down, you wanna live, you wanna move to the sound.... You say it's __, so __, so oh oh __..." Hint: Sung by a band of international make-up (well, two countries), who all had major Rock backgrounds. Ten years earlier it would have been called a Super-Group. The title refers to the need for immediate attention.

Last night it became apparent that many products that we use might not be around for very long. The way the shelves were clearing at Makro made us go to Big C this morning. We got more water, and cooking oil and basic things for the kitchen. Sugar seems to be going fast, along with Boot's favorite oyster sauce. After our Big C adventure we returned to Makro to get more things. There are several reasons for the stock depletion. One is that many roads north from Bangkok are closed to truck traffic. Village stores are overstocking to prepare for the worst, and some things are not being put into the supply chain due to factory closures.

We had planned to take Lisa's art exhibit to Chiang Mai after the Bangkok dates. Since that's been delayed, we're going to see about doing something in Chiang Mai after the first of the year. It's a big city with a large art community. Some research will be needed to find the right place. In the meantime, Lisa has been invited to be a part of a workshop and exhibition at Chiang Rai Rachapat University. The artists will donate one work to be on display, and create a piece over a two day period. Half of the proceeds from sales will go to one of The King's foundations that helps people.

Helping people is what is on the minds of many here in Thailand. Seeing the photos of the floods, and reading personal accounts makes it clear that there is a lot of suffering going on in the Bangkok area. Some of the outer provinces are seeing water recede, but still have to be on guard for more water coming. There is another high tide on the way, which means that there will be no place for the rivers and canals to go but into the streets. There are thousands of people living in tents inside warehouses. We've seen several donation centers in Chiang Rai. The spirit of helping is very strong and it warms the heart.

It's time for a Wacky Wednesday.


"Your present circumstances don't determine where you can go;
they merely determine where you start."
~Nido Qubein

Gettin' Funky, Thai Style

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Three Things


This morning we had a meeting of the minds and postponed Lisa's art exhibition in Bangkok until next year. It was a very difficult decision to make, but the obvious one. Things are very uncertain there, and the end of the month will bring another high tide which will make it difficult for the flood waters to drain into the ocean. Meanwhile, we tried to have a day of distraction.

Nice to see that some of you remembered this 'Classic'. 'Easy Monday' lives. Here are the lyrics to the chorus: "__ __ __ __ __ __ __, that's why I'll always be around. You are the apple of my eye, forever you'll say in my heart." Hint: Oh, really now.

After the postponement of the exhibit, the pins and needles subsided and sadness took their place. There is a void where there was once a swirling vortex of energy and enthusiasm. How does one fill that void? Well, shopping is one option. After all, we did have a list of things to do. Our first stop was the pet supply store. A supply of rawhide bones, a new bag of dog food, and a new toy that looks like a hedgehog.

We managed to keep things rather sane as we shopped. The only place to get a new power adapter for Lisa's laptop is iBeat at Central Plaza. Oh joy. After a fun lunch at KFC (comfort food) we went to iBeat, where I managed not to look at too many things with focused eyes. (Ha) At the art supply store Lisa found a paint color she's been needing. We saw people we knew, and that feeling of community felt good. We went down to the lower level, looking for the 'treat lady', but she wasn't there. After the lunch we had it's probably just as well.

This evening we went to Connect Cafe for dinner. We got to see the twins, who are walking. They're 21 months old and after a moment of warming up, we got smiles and waves. Their mom told us that her family house is in Bangkok. Her parents, and siblings have been moving things to the upper floor, wrapping her piano in vinyl, and sealing windows and doors. One of her relatives had sealed her house from the water, but the level rose to a point where the pressure pushed the floor tiles up from beneath the house and flooded the first level. After she told us of the shortages in Bangkok and Chiang Rai we changed our evening plans and went to Macro. We have stocked up on water, cooking oil, paper goods and dog food. Many industrial parks, factories, and supply houses in and around Bangkok were hit by the flood. It changes everything.

I leave you with a link to a slideshow from the Bangkok Post. Volunteers are rescuing dogs in the flood waters.

Have a Happy Tuesday.


"I have just three things to teach:
simplicity, patience, compassion.
These three are your greatest treasures.
Simple in action and in thoughts, you return to the source of being.
Patient with both friends and enemies, you accord with the way things
Compassionate towards yourself, you reconcile all beings in the world."
~Tao Te Ching

Gettin' Funky, Thai Style

Monday, October 24, 2011



We're back to the sunny, hot days here in Chiang Rai. The weekend was a busy one and there's lots to tell.

The 'Old School Friday' song got only one response. Lisa knew it. It was "Smokey Joe's Cafe" by The Coasters and/or The Robins. Still don't know why the same recording is credited to two groups. For 'Easy Monday' see if you remember this one: "I feel like this is the beginning, though I've loved you for a million years. And if I thought our love was ending, I'd find myself drowning in my tears. __ __ __ __ __ __ __, that's why I'll always stay around..." Hint: I started with the first verse, just to add a little difficulty. It's by a singer who has quite a catalogue of hits. He started out as 'Little' but soon outgrew that name.

Saturday morning we went to the flower market and got a fruit basket for Noy and Susan. We had orchids put on the handle and it was beautiful. Then we drove up to Mae Chan to their house for lunch and a tour of the lettuce farm. When we arrived we were greeted by two of their five dogs. One is a German Shepard and the other is a Dalmatian.
The first thing that we noticed was the very high, vaulted ceiling in the living room. Very airy feeling. Susan is an American expat and she designed the kitchen for herself, with high sink counters and a pantry. Kitchens in Thailand typically have low counters and she's tall, so she made sure the whole thing fit her. In the rear there is a pond with a sala that sits over the water. The lettuce 'farm' was quite impressive. There are four transparent 'buildings' filled with special tables with trays for the lettuce to grow in. They grow seven types of lettuce and we saw everything from seedlings to full grown plants. Noy mixes the nutrients himself since he was a chemist when he lived in America. They both are chemists and it made for some interesting conversation over lunch. Susan made a lunch that consisted of everything we could eat. She even made chocolate pudding for dessert using rice milk that she made. We were quite blown away by that. They also made us each a glass of what is called the Five Juice drink. It's four vegetables plus apple, and it has tonic qualities that they swear by. More on that later. We had a wonderful time and look forward to more time with them.

Sunday we went to Macro and got all the ingredients for making the 'Juice'. Later in the day we went into town and got a juicer. We had dinner at the Night Bazaar and then went to 'Happy Street'. It's like 'Walking Street' but in a different neighborhood. We strolled about half of it and then stopped at Praatap Jai to hang out with friends.

Today was a holiday in honor of the birthday of King Rama V. He was the King who changed many things in Thailand for the better. If you Google him you'll learn about him. He is highly revered by the people. Now we know why we were hearing fireworks.

The situation in Bangkok is still not good. Predictions are that there will be water on the streets for weeks. We haven't talked with the gallery yet, but it's likely that Lisa's exhibit will have to be postponed. We've been in limbo all weekend. Things in Chiang Rai are normal, so there's no need to worry about us.

Have a Great Week.


"Wherever I go, I keep finding myself."
~Zen Master

Gettin' Funky, Thai Style

Friday, October 21, 2011

Friday Funnies


Today it actually got hot again. We're in that 'cool morning, hot day' season. The water drama in Bangkok is the main topic of conversation here. The city of Chiang Rai is dry and the river is dropping. All is well.

'Dealer's Choice' was "Aja" by Steely Dan. In case you hadn't noticed, I do recycle songs that I really love. Sometimes I do it because nobody knew them the first time. Guess what? Sometimes nobody gets them the second time around. Hmm. It's time for 'Old School Friday' and this one may prove to be a stumper (that was a challenge).
"One day while I was eating beans at __ __ __, just sittin', diggin' all them scenes at __ __ __, a chick came walkin' through the door that I had never seen before. At least I'd never seen her down at __ __ __. And I started shakin', when she sat right down next to me." Clue: These guys had a ton of hits, most of them written by a team that ended up on Broadway. The title is the name of an eating establishment.

This morning while Lisa got her massage I went to the vegetable market for Boot. Before I made the turn down the aisle where the chicken lady sits, she noticed me and gave me a big smile. When I reached her she just held up three fingers and I nodded. That meant that I wanted three whole chicken breasts. Then I picked out some cabbage, saw the fruit lady and returned for the chicken. There is something very elegant in the simplicity of the markets here. It's also fun to watch the other shoppers and how they buy their food.

We've been noticing a lot of dump trucks on the main road near our house. Construction is big in Chiang Rai these days. There are two buildings in progress near our street, and all over town things are being built. I have mixed emotions about it all. The quaint little town we visited in 2001 is slowly growing up into a center of activity in Northern Thailand. Hmm, I'll have to find more short-cuts as the traffic increases.

Tomorrow we're going to Mae Chan to have lunch with Khun Noy and his wife Susan. They're the couple who took us to meet Chalermchai at Wat Rong Khun. We'll get to see their hydroponic lettuce farm and meet their dogs. It's going to be a fun time.

Have a Wonderful WeekEnd. The 'Funnies' were seen on a button on Facebook. I couldn't resist.


"I'm fluent in three languages: English, Sarcasm and Profanity."

Gettin' Funky, Thai Style

Thursday, October 20, 2011



The weather feels like fall. They don't call it that here, but that's how it feels. A little warmer today, and the night sky is clear. We spent the day at home, mostly trying to figure out the path of the water in Bangkok, and the logistics of the exhibit.

Well, a couple of readers got this one on the first day. It's a lyric that's open to lots of interpretation. Read on:
"Up on the hill, they've got time to burn, there's no return. Double helix in the sky tonight. Throw out the hardware, let's do it right. __, when all my dime dancin' is through, I run to you." Hint: These guys drank a big black cow, and got the Deacon Blues. Hmm.

Mr. Daku was in a boisterous, teenage mood today. It could be the weather, or it could be that he really is a dog after all. When he gets attracted to a scent, there's no stopping him from investigating. The neighbor's cat comes into the yard and that means the hunt is on. BamBam can get equally distracted by birds. She chases them out of the yard, and studies them in flight. I wonder what she's thinking?

Next month is the celebration of Loy Krathong (the 'H' is silent) and I've been wondering if there will be more offerings made to the rivers in light of what's been happening lately. Superstition being what it is here, my guess is that it will be an extra busy week. We'll see.

With Lisa's art exhibit just two weeks away, she's been very busy with the details that are involved. This is the first time we've had to plan something in another city, with an unknown gallery and it means there have been lots of phone calls, emails, and questions. I have every confidence that in the end, it will be a wonderful experience. Another chapter in the great adventure.

Have a Thrilling Thursday.


"Love is the light that dissolves all walls
between souls, families and nations."
~Paramahansa Yogananda

Gettin' Funky, Thai Style

Wednesday, October 19, 2011



Today began with a chill in the air, but warmed up nicely by mid-day. We went into town this morning, I had afternoon coffee with a friend, and we did a little yard work.

'Easy Monday' found us dancing in our heads to "I Will Survive" by Gloria Gaynor. 'Dealer's Choice' may not be so easy: "Up on the hill people never stare, they just don't care. Chinese music under banyan trees, here at the dude ranch, above the sea. __, when all my dime dancin' is through, I run to you." Clue: The one word title is a person's name, also the name of a part of the world, but spelled differently. It's by a group/duo that created a very hip blend of Jazz and Rock.

These days we seem to be looking at the Bangkok Post more than the L.A. Times. We're trying to keep up with what's going on with the flooding in the districts around Bangkok. The news is that the news changes. Some officials say one thing and then another contradicts that, leaving people wondering what's going on. With the opening of Lisa's exhibit on our minds, we're hoping things clear up in the next week. One story ended with a line that made us smile: 'The water level at Pakkret is the highest in the memory of the old reporter.' I think he meant to say 'this old reporter.

We went to the bank this morning and our friend Bobby told us that he'll be getting his MBA degree at the end of this session of classes. We've watched him go through a lot in order to satisfy all the requirements.

The vegetable market was our next stop. We have made friends with many of the women there. Some of them took longer to smile than others. At one table an old man was buying some chili peppers and was trying to barter. I could tell that he was just messing with the vendor and at the end, he turned to Lisa and gave her a big smile. Quite the character.

After lunch I went to Central Plaza to meet a friend from Chiang Mai who was passing through town. I hadn't seen him in months and it was good to catch up. We got coffee from a little cart that is made in the traditional northern style. They take a cloth cone filled with coffee and slowly pour hot water in, sometimes recirculating the water. He said some people call it 'antique coffee'. It has a 'texture' that's thicker than drip coffee, and it's quite good. We first saw this process when we were living at the Wangcome Hotel after we move to Thailand. Oh, the memories.

Late in the day Lisa and I went into the yard and picked up the little green 'apples' that fall from the flowering bushes that line the back wall. The dogs, especially Daku, like to munch on them. Daku has realized that the seeds are bad for him so he spits them out, but we're not sure that he should eat the fruit at all. It's going to be an every day thing to keep him away from them. Just another adventure in Thailand.

Looks like a Wacky Wednesday. Thanks to Christopher for today's quote.


"The truth does not become more true by virtue of the fact that the entire world agrees with it,
nor less so even if the whole world disagrees with it."

Gettin' Funky, Thai Style

Tuesday, October 18, 2011



Last night we had rain. This morning it was cold. Cold enough to put on a long-sleeve shirt, and close the windows.

It's nice to know that some of you survived the disco era with your memories intact. I like this part of the song:
"Go on now, go, walk out the door, just turn around now 'cause I don't need you anymore. Weren't you the one, who tried to hurt me with goodbye? Did you think I'd crumble? Did you think I'd lay down and die? Oh, no not I, __ __ __. Oh, as long as I know how to love, I know I'll stay alive.... __ __ __, hey, hey." Hint? Seriously?

Today was rather laid back. I think the cold had something to do with it. I had a massage this morning that was brutal. Khun Joy ground away at the tight muscles on the left side of my body and loosened things up. I'm still getting used to the idea of someone laughing when I tell them I'm in pain. What? The little boy in me wants to run out of the room. The old man in me wants to slap her. (555) Healing is not always fun. Maybe, in the not too distant future, I'll just have a regular, routine massage. What a joy that will be.

The cold weather makes the dogs extra frisky. They ran like crazy this morning and this afternoon. The exercise serves two purposes. It keeps them in good shape and healthy, and it makes them more docile in the house. Wild dogs inside can be a lot to deal with.

We're still keeping a watchful eye on the news from the Bangkok area. It's difficult to keep a perspective since we don't know our geography that well. What we know is: water is coming from over-filled dams, along with unseasonable rain and the rivers can't handle the volume. The central part of Bangkok city is safe and is being protected as much as possible. On the English news they will mention areas that are having trouble and we don't know where they referring to unless they show a map. Even that is of little help without a landmark. That leads me to the realization we keep having about how it feels to be illiterate. All our lives, in America, we could read signs, and understand the written word. Without that capability, big parts of the puzzle are missing. Something to think about.

Have a Happy Tuesday.


"A little light in a dark room is still a great illumination."
~Ernest Holmes

Gettin' Funky, Thai Style

Monday, October 17, 2011



We had nice weather over the weekend. We got rain, and it was a giant overnight thing that left us with flooded yards that slowly drained. The days were great. We got more this evening, but it was brief.

The 'Old School Friday' song was "Night Time Is The Right Time," made famous by Ray Charles. Now it's time for 'Easy Monday'. This time we're going back to 1979, and a dance hit that I'm sure you'll remember, even if you didn't dance. "First I was afraid, I was petrified. Kept thinking I could never live without you by my side. But I spent so many nights thinking how you did me wrong, I grew strong, I learned to carry on... __ __ __..." Clue: In three words the singer is declaring that she can make it without him. Hmm.

Saturday night while we were sleeping, we had the biggest storm we've had in weeks. The lawns were so wet that the dogs didn't get their morning workout. I checked the drains in the front lawn and they were working, but there was just so much water that it took some time for it all to leave.

We went to Central Plaza and did some shopping for something special Lisa to wear for her exhibit opening in Bangkok. In the evening we went to the opening of an exhibit for two artists that we know. Some of the work was really stunning. The artist used the traditional method of 'dot painting', but created atmospheres that were non-traditional as far as depicting The Buddha. The gallery is going to be moving to a new location next year because the present spot is right on a busy street and it's very small. There were people standing in the street and it's just not safe. The whole affair was like a family party. All of the local artists were there and there was lots of drinking and eating.

Sunday we did our usual Big C adventure and then came home and watched the Korean Grand Prix. In the evening we made cookies and hung out with the dogs.

This morning we had our friends Chalit and Amber over for coffee and conversation. Amber is an American, but has been living here for 2 1/2 years and is fluent in Thai. She's even started teaching Thai, which is interesting since most foreigners teach English.

The news of the flooding around Bangkok is finally reaching the rest of the world. Things are looking up as the water levels are dropping, but it will be a long time before things return to normal. Here in Chiang Rai, life goes on as usual with no flooding problems. We are north of the dam system that is part of the problem. We passed a parking lot where donations were being collected for the flood victims and there was a huge pile of everything you could imagine. In Bangkok, the response has been so great that they ran out of space to keep the donations. Thais are very proud of the fact that they take care of each other.

Have a Great Week.


"However far the stream flows, it never forgets its source."
~Nigerian Proverb

Gettin' Funky, Thai Style

Friday, October 14, 2011

Friday Funnies


The day began with clouds that looked like rain. By afternoon it was sunny and hot. Tonight there is lightning in the west, but clear sky above. Lisa went on a road trip with a friend.

'Dealer's Choice' was "Magic Carpet Ride" by Steppenwolf. 'Old School Friday' goes back to '57 for a classic:
"You know the __ __ __ __ __ __, to be with the one you love..." Hint: There's a point in the song when Margie sings her song. It's a blues by a legendary singer who is proclaiming a certain time of day to be the best. Oh, and I left out all the background parts. (Ha)

Yesterday on our way back from Mae Sai we noticed the spire of a temple rising above the trees. We had been told that it was the source of the lighted temple we see from the air when we fly into Chiang Rai at night. We followed what seemed like the logical roads until we started seeing signs with pictures of the spire, nailed to posts. We followed the signs and found the temple on a steep hill. It is apparently Chinese in origin and has two huge dragons in front. It's round, and we were able to drive around it. We didn't stop to check it out, we just wanted to see it up close. Now, when we fly in at night we'll know what we're seeing. From the air it looks like a white cone.

This morning, while Lisa got her weekly massage, I ran some errands. I went to a place that we were told was called 'M Star'. The actual name is 'Aim Star' and it's a good thing I knew the intersection. It was a small thing, but it still made us chuckle.

This afternoon Lisa went back to Mae Sai with our friend Tye. They have been planning this trip for some time, but it kept getting interrupted. They did some shopping and a little investigating. While looking for the Doi Tung factory they asked two women at a roadside food stand if they knew where it was. At the same moment, both women pointed in opposite directions. Eventually they found the factory, where traditional style products are made. In a large room there were 40 weaving machines working away.

This weekend we will be going to another art exhibit opening at a gallery called '4-Cope' that is co-owned by Khun Tawd, the man who frames Lisa's work. Our friend Tye told Lisa that all the Thai artists know us. I guess they would considering we've been going to every event in town for about three years. The energy at these affairs is very stimulating. We learn a great deal about the culture and get a different view of life in Thailand.

Have a Wonderful WeekEnd. Don't forget the Formula One GP from Korea this Sunday. Now, on with the 'Funnies', courtesy of Steven Wright.


I bought a dog the other day... I named him Stay. It's fun to call
him... "Come here, Stay! Come here, Stay!" He went insane. Now he just
ignores me and keeps typing. He's an East German Shepherd.

Gettin' Funky, Thai Style

Thursday, October 13, 2011



We had a clear, sunny day for a road trip to Mae Sai. Along the way we learned more about Thai culture and got another look at the beautiful rice.

The 'Dealer's Choice' song got a couple of responses. I think today's lyrics will set the record straight. "Well, you don't know what we can find. Why don't you come with me little girl, on a __ __ __. You don't know what we can see. Why don't you tell your dreams to me. Fantasy will set you free. Hint: Read yesterday's clue.

This morning we got an early start on our trip to immigration. They open at 8:30am and we had a 10am appointment at the frame factory. Just north of Ban Mai, which is close to us, we saw a long parade of Monks by the roadside. People were giving them offerings and pick-up trucks were being loaded with what we assume were the gifts. Today was the first day after the three month Buddhist Lent, also called Thod Kathin, the presentation of Monk's robes. It signals the end of the "Rains Retreat" when monks stay in the temples at night. The line was very long and there were people waiting for about 1/2 mile up the highway in order to make their offerings.

When we got to the immigration office we were told that it wasn't time for our check-in, so we have to go back next month. It was what I'd call a frustrating relief. We thought we were late and might have to pay a fine. It all worked out. On the way back we stopped for coffee at a place we've seen many times. The coffee wasn't that good, but it was a nice break. We made it to the factory on time and the final framing looks great.

The logistics of getting Lisa's artwork to Bangkok has become a little complicated due to the flooding that's going on in the provinces south of us. I won't bore you with the details, but with a little effort, the show will go on.

The people of Thailand have been responding to the call for help as many in the flooded areas are now homeless. All over the country donations of food, water and clothing are being made. It's heartwarming to see how everyone pulls together in a crisis.

Have a Thrilling Thursday.


"True religion is the life we lead, not the creed we profess."
~Louis Nizer

Gettin' Funky, Thai Style

Wednesday, October 12, 2011



Another clear day in Chiang Rai. Another clear night, with a beautiful, full moon. That's why this is coming to you late. I've been out howling at the moon. (555)

The 'Easy Monday' song was "I Can See Clearly Now". It was a radio hit by Johnny Nash, then recorded by Jimmie Cliff, and then Bob Marley. Since no one as given me a year to draw from, I get to play 'Dealer's Choice' again. Do you know this?: "I like to dream yes, right between my sound machine, on a cloud of sound I drift in the night, any place it goes is right. Goes far, flies near, to the stars away from here. Well, you don't know what we can find..."
Clue: It's usually the domain of genies, but not always. Title is three words.

Today we had a little reunion with Jimmy, Poui, and Umpie, Poui's mom. We haven't seen them in months, since they've been living in Australia. We really enjoy their company and they had lots to tell about their lives down under. We showed them pictures of the non-slip material we had put on our patio and they gave us more. Lunch was delicious and we tried some Thai desserts that were also quite good.

This evening we attended the Full Moon Party and made more friends. We met a couple from Ventura, CA. and had some good conversations. The party was made up of a diverse group of people and it was fun to move around and mingle. Next month we'll miss the party since we'll be hosting house guests. More on that later.

Tomorrow we have to get up early and go to Mae Sai immigration. On the way back we'll stop at the framer and check the progress being made. It's going to be one of those days.

Looks like a Wacky Wednesday.


"Worry is like a rocking chair --
it gives you something to do
but it doesn't get you anywhere."

Gettin' Funky, Thai Style

Tuesday, October 11, 2011



There was more blue sky over Chiang Rai today. A morning ride to the countryside, a trip to the art supply store, and an afternoon swim made it a beautiful day.

'Easy Monday' really is easy. I'm sure you remember this tune. There's an island flavor to the rhythm, and it's all about being able to see the bright new day. What? "I think I can make it now, the pain is gone. All of the bad feelings have disappeared. Here is the rainbow I've been prayin' for. It's gonna be a bright, bright sun-shiny day." Hint: The title is five words. Hmm, something about vision.

This morning we drove out to Khun Tawd's (sp) facility out in Ban Den to drop off two of Lisa's cast acrylic prints that needed to be crated. The rice fields around his place are bright green right now and it's incredible. The air was clear and we could see the foothills in the distance. We'll be going back on Thursday to see the last of the framing work. Then all the work will be crated and shipped to Bangkok for arrival the day before we get there. It's less than a month until the big exhibit.

Back in Chiang Rai we went to our favorite art supply store. The owner is one of Lisa's 'patrons' and is very sweet. The store is typical of most stationery shops in that it has everything one could need for any project dealing with paper, plus musical instruments, weightlifting gear, and badges and patches for school uniforms. It's a place where you could spend a lot of time just looking.

Doi Chaang Coffee was next on our agenda. We had a brief talk with one of our friends and then settled at a back table for coffee and the Bangkok Post. They have a new parking lot attendant who is very friendly. When we left, he carefully closed our doors for us, with a big smile.

The pool has warmed up a bit due to the sunny days. BamBam got a bath just before we went into the water and after she did her little drying exercise, she came over and gave us her usual 'doggie grin'.

Tomorrow we're having lunch with Jimmy and Poui at their house, and in the evening we're going to Jaffee's for the monthly Full Moon Party. It should be a perfect night to view the moon since the sky is so clear.

Have a Happy Tuesday.


"What is right for one soul may not be right for another.
It may mean standing on your own and
doing something strange in the eyes of others."

Gettin' Funky, Thai Style

Monday, October 10, 2011



We appear to be out of the rainy season here in Chiang Rai. Hot, sunny days with hardly a cloud in the sky. We had a very busy weekend as you will soon find out.

Our 'Old School Friday' song was "Tonight You Belong To Me", by Patience & Prudence. Now do you remember? It's time for 'Easy Monday', and a song I know you know: "__ __ __ __ __, the rain is gone, I can see all obstacles in my way. Gone are the dark clouds that had me blind. It's gonna be a bright, bright sun-shiney day." Hint: Really?

Saturday afternoon we had an early dinner at Vivien's before the opening of Chezmoi Boutique and Home Stay. We were the only patrons in the restaurant and it was quite nice. When we arrived the Chezmoi there was already a crowd gathering. The time finally came for the presentation and we were a little curious as to what was going to happen. First the two young women responsible for the evening were introduced. They introduced their parents and the home stay concept was explained. Basically, you stay with the family instead of just renting a room. You take meals with them and learn more about their lives. It's a nice way to learn about a culture.

The main attraction of the evening was the fashion show. We were ushered into a large empty space that is usually their boutique. There were flowers and candles on the floor. The music began and a young man came out and just stood there. His role was to escort each model up the steps to the runway. One by one the models appeared wearing original fashions that were breathtaking. The theme of the show was 'Tribal Warriors' and each garment depicted one of the Hill Tribes of the region, except they were modern, fantasy costumes. All of the models were stunningly beautiful as they walked in slow motion on the runway. The audience reception was very enthusiastic and the feeling was that this was a 'world class' presentation. When photos are available I'll try and post a link.

After the show, the models did a little mini-parade down to Praatap Jai, where some of the art work of the designers were on display. We had to leave at that point in order to get to 9 Art Gallery for the opening of an exhibit of two artists that we know. By the time we got there they had just cut the ribbon and the crowd was huge. I've never seen an opening with so many people. We got a chance to talk with each artist as we viewed their work. That made a big difference since some of the pieces had deep meaning.

Sunday we did Big C, and the vegetable market. In the afternoon Lisa prepared her now famous mashed potatoes and gravy for the Canadian Thanksgiving dinner that evening at Bob and Noni's. There was a big spread of food, lots of friends and conversation. While we were standing in their outside kitchen I noticed a large, white statue of The Buddha on the mountain to the west of their house. It was quite a sight.

Have a Great Week.


"It takes as much courage to have tried and failed
as it does to have tried and succeeded."
~Anne Morrow Lindbergh

Gettin' Funky, Thai Style

Friday, October 7, 2011

Friday Funnies


All day long it looked like it could rain anytime. It never rained, but we're hoping for overnight showers. Ironic since many other parts of Thailand are under water and having problems with too much water.

It looks like most of you missed the boat on the 'Dealer's Choice' song, literally. It was "Mississippi Queen" by Mountain, and that was the name of the boat you missed. 'Old School Friday' is next, with what can only be called early 'Bubble Gum' from 1957. "I know (I know) you belong to somebody new, but __ __ __ __ __. Although (although) we're apart, you're part of my heart and __ __ __ __ __." Hint: It's by two young women whose names both begin with the same letter.

This morning, while Lisa was at her massage, I went to the main post office to buy some mailing tubes. I stood in a short line and when it was my turn I tried to describe what I wanted. I finally rolled up a large envelope in hopes that the clerk would understand. The woman next to me said something to her in Thai and she looked around in the back. 'No have'. Leaving the place put me in the Friday morning traffic through the main market. It was an exercise in controlled chaos. I found it very exciting though, all the activity going on everywhere I looked.

On the way home from the massage we spotted a very unique vehicle. It was a motorbike with a large windshield and a canopy. The rider was completely covered by this device. I imagine rain could blow in from the sides if they went too fast, but there's also protection from the sun. Hmm, I wonder it this will become popular? I had a realization about the motorbikes with sidecar type additions. They're like a cheap way to have a pick-up truck. When I think about the various things I've seen being hauled in them, it's like the bed of a pick-up truck. Hmm.

This afternoon on my way out to New Life Foundation, I spotted what can only be called an abuse of privilege. While driving down a two lane road I noticed flashing red lights in the distance. They were coming down the center of the road, causing the cars ahead of me to move to the shoulder. The same was true on the other side of the road as well. As the police pick-up truck approached, I could hear the siren blaring. It turned out to be a caravan of about 15 government and private vans and trucks, all moving at a high rate of speed, right down the center line of the road. Nothing more to be said about this one.

We have a busy weekend coming up. Tomorrow morning we'll take another of Lisa's prints out to the framer. In the early evening we're going to the official opening of Chezmoi, a fashion boutique that makes custom clothes and jewelry. Then we'll dash up to 9 Art Gallery for the opening of a new exhibit that is featuring a friend of ours. Sunday afternoon we will be in the country for the Thanksgiving dinner. In between all that is the F1 Grand Prix from Japan.

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


There's a senior citizen driving on the highway. His wife calls him on
his cell phone and in a worried voice says, ''Herman, be careful! I
just heard on the radio that there was a madman driving the wrong way
on Route 280!''

Herman says, ''I know, but there isn't just one, there are hundreds!''

Gettin' Funky, Thai Style

Thursday, October 6, 2011



Our day began with clear blue skies. By the late afternoon it looked like it might rain. It hasn't yet, but it still could. We met with friends for lunch, and had an afternoon swim. Another day in paradise.

A cryptic message from my friend Stuart let me know that he knew the song and the band. How about you?
"__ __, she taught me everything. This lady she asked me, if I would be her man. You know that I told her, I'd do what I can, to keep her looking pretty, buy her dresses that shine. While the rest of them dudes were makin' their bread, buddy, beg you pardon, I was losing mine!" Hint: A boat named for a river with lots of "S's" and a lady of royalty?

The passing of Steve Jobs left us feeling sad this morning. His ideas and innovations have become a big part of our lives. He is no longer suffering and that's a good thing. I am grateful that he was here.

We went to Doi Chaang again today, to meet Tawee and Beth. Since it was lunch time we went next door to Work@Home to eat. They are in the process of moving from Chiang Mai to Chiang Rai so we had lots to talk about. Beth has lived in Thailand for over five years, and Tawee hasn't lived in Chiang Rai for a very long time. We discussed the differences between the cities and the change of pace. He is the new director of The Sold Project and is looking forward to the challenges. We talked about dogs, shared pictures, and enjoyed the company of Jonathan. After they get settled I'm sure we will see more of them.

After lunch we swung by the little post office at Edison so Lisa could mail a package, and then it was home for some relaxation. When we got up from our nap the sky presented some big, dark clouds. There was a cool breeze but I checked the pool temp just to see how it felt. We decided to go for a swim. The water felt cold at first, but after half a lap it felt good. Usually we like the air to be hot if the water is cold, but today it was just fine. So glad we did that.

Have a Thrilling Thursday.


"What we see depends mainly on what we look for."
~John Lubbock

Gettin' Funky, Thai Style

Wednesday, October 5, 2011



It was a 'Blue Sky Day' here in Chiang Rai. We went to town and got coffee and a car wash, but that's just part of the story. The yard got a manicure and the pool got cleaned. Hmm.

The 'Easy Monday' song was "I'm Only Sleeping" by The Beatles. Wake up, it's time to Rock. This 'Dealers Choice' is one of my favorites from 1970. "...__ __, she taught me everything. Way down around Vicksburg, around Louisiana way, lived a Cajun lady, aboard the __ __. You know she was a dancer, she moved better than wine. While the rest of them dudes were-a gettin' their kicks, buddy beg your pardon I was getting mine!" Clue: The name of a river is involved.

This morning we got a call from Khun Kek that he wanted to come and groom our yard today. That was great, because it's gone crazy with all the rain. He had some different workers with him today. We went around the yard with him and his new lead man and told him how we wanted things trimmed. They worked until dark and did a good job.

Due to a crossing of our own signals, this was not the day we were to have coffee at Doi Chaang. Tomorrow is the day, but we went anyway. We left the car at the car-wash and the owner told us it would be one hour. That was fine since we thought we'd be talking at least that long. After an hour of hanging out having coffee we decided to see if the car was done and get some bread next door. As we walked towards the lot I noticed that our car was still sitting in the staging area, and still very dirty. We kept going and went to Work@Home Bakery. They didn't have bread, but we got some quality time with Jonathan, the Golden Retriever. His owner told us he thinks he works there. In the morning he walks from their house in the rear, with the rest of the family. He greets customers, and has friends from all around the world. What a guy.

Meanwhile, back at the car-wash, the car just sat there. We returned and explained to the woman that we had to go and needed our car. Just then one of her workers hosed off the back of the car. Hmm. She spoke to them and then assured us that she could have it done in 20 minutes. Then she gave Lisa a hug. Didn't see that coming. We went back to Doi Chaang and sat by the indoor pond and waited. They finished the car on time, and we are very happy in our clean car.

After our nap I went downstairs to make coffee and realized that I had left it at Doi Chaang. Lisa called Khun Noot and she said they found the bag and would have someone drop it off. Fifteen minutes later it arrived. Didn't see that one coming either. We were going to pick it up, but she insisted. Amazing Thailand.

We're going to the Night Bazaar tonight. It's time for Wacky Wednesday.


"And in the end, it's not the years in your life that count.
It's the life in your years."
~Abraham Lincoln

Gettin' Funky, Thai Style

Tuesday, October 4, 2011



Today in Chiang Rai the weather was more beautiful than yesterday. Almost clear sky, mild temps, and a steady breeze. Looks like the rainy season might be behind us. We stayed in and did a little craft project.

This 'Easy Monday' song contains a sentiment shared by many. If you were alive during the era of this song, and you don't remember it, you must have been doing what the song is talking about. Hmm. "Everybody seems to think I'm lazy, I don't mind, I think they're crazy. Running everywhere at such a speed, till they find, there's no need. Please don't spoil my day, I'm miles away, and after all __ __ __." Hint: It's so easy, I know it's a yawn for some of you. (555)

The exercising of the dogs has turned into a two ring circus. We start out having the dogs take turns retrieving the ball. There is a point when Daku becomes bored, so we had to devise a way to get him running. I continue to toss the ball for BamBam, who will run all day, and Lisa tosses the frisbee ring for Daku. He loves it. Sometimes he chases it, but he seems to have the most fun catching it. He leaps into the air and grabs it. One time he caught it with his front paws. When he's finally done, he just walks away. It's made the whole routine a lot of fun since neither dog has to wait for the next run.

This afternoon we cut out more of the images of the non-slip material. While we were cutting away the phone rang. It was Poui calling to let us know she and Jimmy were in town from Australia. How ironic, that she called as we were working on the material they gave us. We're going to have lunch with them next week. They're busy booking visits the same way we do when we visit The States. It will be good to see them again.

During the rainy times Boot missed one of her favorite things; watering the gardens. Since it hasn't rained for several days she's back out in the yard in the afternoons, watering and watching the dogs play. She really enjoys it, even though it's not something we ever asked her to do.

Tomorrow we're having coffee with a couple who got married while we were away. Tawee works for the SOLD Project and we have known him for some time. This will be our first time meeting his new wife Beth. It should be fun.

Have a Happy Tuesday.


"No one can choose your mountain or tell you when to climb.
It's yours alone to challenge, at your own pace and time."

Gettin' Funky, Thai Style

Monday, October 3, 2011



The weather stayed nice in Chiang Rai over the weekend. It's a good thing, since we were out in the street quite a bit.

The 'Old School Friday' song was "Searchin'" by The Coasters. Now it's time for 'Easy Monday' and a song I'm sure you will remember. "When I wake up early in the morning, lift my head, I'm still yawning. When I'm in the middle of a dream, stay in bed, float up stream. Please don't wake me, no don't shake me, leave me where I am, __ __ __."
Hint: It's about something we all like to do, or at least need to do. It was done by four lads. That's all for today.

Saturday morning I had my first massage from Khun Joy. Lisa has been raving about her so I decided it was time. To say that it was sometimes painful would be an understatement. It was more like physical therapy and each time she found a spot that was congested she would show me what else it was affecting. I was way overdue for a massage and things have tightened up. I learned that the pain I felt in my big toe, when she massaged it, was directly related to my stomach and my head. Hmm. I'll be getting back to routine massages from now on.

In the afternoon we went to the opening of the photo exhibit for our friend Thomas. There was a good turnout and the work was good. Some of his candid shots of people were wonderful. We saw a lot of our friends there and had some interesting conversations about art and Chiang Rai in general. We got invited to a Thanksgiving dinner next Sunday at the home of Bob and Noni. Bob is Canadian and they celebrate on the 10th of October. Lisa will make her mashed potatoes and gravy and Noni will be baking a turkey. We can hardly wait. Turkey is a rare thing here in Thailand.

After the exhibit we went downtown and had dinner at Connect Cafe. There, we ran into an American friend who was hanging out with a bunch of her teacher friends. We'd seen them before, but never met. Later that evening we baked cookies. Yum.

Sunday we changed our pattern and went to the vegetable market and then to Makro. Some of the things we would have purchased at Big C came packaged in bulk there, so now we have mass quantities of a few things. Later we met our friend Natty at her parents' restaurant. We just sat and talked for awhile. She explained that they have to prepare a special menu this week for the Chinese Vegetarian Festival. We had noticed a lot of activity at the temple down the street, and that's the reason why.

We had afternoon coffee at Doi Chaang. In the evening we met Jaffee at the Night Bazaar for a dinner meeting to discuss the progress on the planning for Lisa's Bangkok exhibit. While we were waiting for Jaffee we had a conversation with the owner. We asked her how things were going and she said, "Not busy, but my heart is good". That was deep.

Have a Great Week.


"When we dwell on the problem, the problem gets bigger.
When we dwell on the solution, the solution gets bigger."

Gettin' Funky, Thai Style