Monday, April 30, 2012

See


Hi,

Wild and crazy weather has been on the menu here in Chiang Rai.  Sunshine during the day and afternoon storms.  Today we received some sad news.

The 'Old School Friday' song was "Stand", originally sung by Maurice Williams & The Zodiacs.  'Easy Monday' should be easy:  "Sometimes in our lives we all have pain, we all have sorrow.  But if we are wise, we know that there's always tomorrow.  __ __ __, when you're not strong, and I'll be your friend, I'll help you carry on.  For it won't be long, 'til I'm gonna need somebody to __ __."   Hint:  The singer is telling someone they are there for support. 

Saturday we decided to go to Walking Street in the evening.  During our afternoon swim a big black cloud appeared, right on schedule in the western sky.  There was a brief shower.  A little later the wind came up and started whipping things around and we knew we'd be staying home.  

Sunday we went to the market and shopped for food.  We had plans to eat at home and then go the the Night Bazaar for our usual dinner at Sawadee Restaurant.  The same weather pattern as Saturday changed our plans again.  I guess we're getting an early rainy season.  The one nice thing about it is the abundance of green.  

                           
              Our Plumeria Tree

This morning we were driving down 'School Street' when we saw a sight I just have to tell you about.  A motorbike pulled out into the street and the passenger had a small table upside down on her head.  She was holding it by the sides as they swung out into traffic.  I wish I could have gotten a picture.  Hmm.

When we got back to the house there was an email from America telling us that Lisa's cousin Joel Goldsmith had passed.  He had been battling cancer and now the suffering is over.  Through the years we had become close on many levels and he will be dearly missed.  The memory of Joel will live on in the beautiful music he composed, his warm heart, and willingness to argue any point.   Thanks for being you.

Have a Great Week.

                   Peace,
                              Danny

  "It is only with the heart that one can see rightly,
what is essential is invisible to the eye."
~Antointe de Saint-Exupery


Friday, April 27, 2012

Friday Funnies


Hi,

The weather in Chiang Rai has decided to mix it up a bit.  Hot sunshine plus two rain storms within 24 hours.  Today we had a Big C experience and BamBam found new hiding places.

That 'Bad Ass Bass' song you almost remembered was "Rescue Me" by Fontella Bass.  I must say that a few of you knew it, but I expected more.  Hmm.  Time for an 'Old School Friday' mind twister:  "Now, your daddy don't mind, and your mommy don't mind if we have another dance.  Yeah, just one more, one more time.  Oh, won't you __, just a little bit longer.  Please let me hear you say that you will.  Say you will."  Hint: Singer wants her to remain for another dance.  What's so hard about that?  It's also something dogs are prone to ignore.

                    A Cluster of Orchids in the Yard.

Last night, just as we had turned out the light headed for dreamland, I heard the sound of rain.  What?  That meant getting up to make sure certain things were brought inside.  It was a quiet, windless rain that gave the yard a good watering.  This morning the air was nice and clear, and all the plants looked vibrant.

Yesterday evening we got a call from Boot.  She had received her monthly call from the 'Spray man' letting her know that they would be at the house at 9am today.  We like a little warning so we can bring in things like shoes, dog bowls and beds so they don't get sprayed.  

Today we went to Big C, which is a brave thing to do on a Friday morning.  Since we didn't arrive early, it was very busy. There were clear signs that school is about to start.  One main aisle was devoted to school uniforms in various styles and colors, including shoes.  Parents were fitting kids for tops, skirts, shorts and shoes.  There was a booth just past the check-out with a monogram machine for some of the uniform tops.  Everyone who is 'legal' can go to school, but it costs.  

This afternoon I went out to New Life Foundation for my weekly meeting with the residents.  About 10 minutes after I'd left I got a call from Lisa saying that the wind was blowing and it looked like rain.  When I got to the center, about 40 minutes east of town, the sky was cloudy, but no wind and no sign of rain.  When I got home I heard the story of a major storm that blew things around in the yard.  There was a lot of heavy rain and thunder, and that's not something BamBam deals with very well.  At one point Lisa went upstairs looking for her and couldn't find her.  She looked in the closet but didn't see her, but heard her breathing.  BamBam had hidden herself in the back of the closet behind a container.  No thunder was going to get her.  

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

                  Peace,
                             Danny

Headlines from the News:

Police discover crack in Australia

Tuna biting off Washington coast

Many antiques seen at D.A.R. meeting

Two convicts evade noose; jury hung

Drunk gets nine months in violin case

Thugs eat then rob proprietor

Man held over giant L.A. brush fire

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Talents


Hi,

Another extremely hot day has been logged in the annuls of history.  Once again we braved the madness and went into town.  

It's Day 2 of 'Bad Ass Bass' and the mail has shown that you know this tune.  The lyrics aren't heavy, but the bass was.  "__ __, come on and take my heart.  Take your love and conquer every part, 'cause I'm lonely and I'm blue, I need you and your love too.  Come on and __ __."  Hint:  It's something St. Bernards and firefighters do.

While we were doing 'morning things', like watering and getting ready for the day, I spotted a new bird in the yard.  It landed on our wall and then hopped down into the yard.  The bird has long legs and a very big wing-span.  It must have been young because it didn't fly away when I crept up to take photos.  It stayed in the shade and made it's way to the back yard where it spent a few moments getting the spray from a sprinkler.  It finally flew across the yard and on to our neighbors yard.

                                 A Morning Visitor

This morning we left the house with a list.  We began our adventure at the main market, where anything and everything is sold.  There are some things in life that you can depend on to stay the same.  The fish/shrimp counter at the west entrance will always have a heavy aroma (I'm being nice) which is amplified in the hot weather.  Certain food vendors never seem to go away, the gold stand is an institution, and the strolling musicians are there rain or shine.  Today we saw both of the blind singers.  It still boggles the mind how these cats negotiate the narrow aisles and continue to do what they do.  We saw the 'treat lady' who had a stall at Central Plaza.  She's back in the market due to the high rent at the mall.  She introduced us to a new dessert today and it's yummy.  

The vegetable market has many things on the surrounding streets that are part of a shopping expedition.  There are flowers, fruit, stuffed animals, and 'The Chicken Guy'.  He has a stainless steel cart and roasts a delicious, franchised chicken.  Our usual guy wasn't there so after getting some fruit we drove across town to another location where we thought there was a cart.  We found it, right next door to an 'everything store'.  It's like heaven if you like hardware, novelty, notions, toy type stores.  I do but I've learned to stay calm.  Got what we needed and got out.

The campaign to get motorbike riders to wear helmets seems to be working.  I see a lot more riders with their heads covered by the inexpensive, slightly protective shells they are required to wear.  What's funny is that as soon as they leave the 'metropolitan' areas, they take them off and put them in the basket in front of the handle bars.  

Have a Thrilling Thursday,

                  Peace,
                             Danny

"Use what talents you possess;
the woods would be very silent
if no birds sang except those that sang best."
~Henry Van Dyke

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

A Friend


Hi,

What began as a cool morning turned into an inferno.  Clear skies brought high temps and the heat is still the talk of the town.  We seem to be doing well at surviving without Boot, but we'll gladly welcome her home.

Our 'Easy Monday' song was "School Boy Crush" by Average White Band (AWB).  You shoulda known.  Time to get ready for some 'Bad Ass Bass'.  See if you remember this tune:  "__ __, take me in your arms, __ __, I want your tender charm 'cause I'm lonely and I'm blue.  I need you and your love too, come on and __ __."  Clue:  Sung by a woman with an unusual first name and a last name that looks like the theme of the day.  She needs to be 'saved'.

Last night we let BamBam spend the night with us.  Normally she sleeps in Boot's house but she was so cozy with us late last night that we thought we'd have a 'sleepover'.  Well, it's the last time she stays all night.  She woke up in the middle of the night and did her little low growl, prompted by my stirring.  Then she woke up at 6am and wanted everyone else to be awake.  We all went downstairs and started the day about 20 minutes early.  

On our Wednesday mornings Lisa talks to her father, Joe, in Palo Alto and then we take the dogs out.  Playtime consists of them taking turns chasing and retrieving the ball and then playing catch.  They don't actually throw the ball back, but they catch it and bring it back.  I think they're ready for the circus.  After dog play I go for my weekly massage.  

We stayed in the house for most of the day and the dogs seemed OK with that.  They're used to going out and roaming around at different times of day, but even they have relented and choose to be inside.  This afternoon I went into town.  On my way home I stopped and took a picture of a unique rotisserie grill on the side of the road.

As you drive past, it appears as though the girl is turning the chicken.

Our neighbor has a pen near the front of his property where he keeps some Pigmy Deer.  I have no idea how he got them, or why he keeps them, but sometimes they smell really bad.  We noticed that it's not so bad right now and I realized that they probably cleaned the cage out for Songkran.  Hmm, nice that it's clean during the hot season.

Speaking of nature, it struck me that we live with many sounds that have become a part of our lives, but seemed quite odd when we first got here.  During the course of a day and evening we hear hooting birds, croaking frogs, and lizards that holler in the night.  Hmm, it's a jungle out there.

It's time for us to shift into 'Going to America' gear.  We'll be crossing the Pacific in just 19 days.  What should I take, what do we need to bring back, what does it all mean?  These and more critical questions are pondered each time we visit the 'East'.  

Time for Wacky Wednesday.

                  Peace,
                             Danny

"A real friend is one who walks in
when the rest of the world walks out."
~Unknown

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Start


Hi,

It's 'broken record weather' time here in the north.  It's very hot and the forecasters say it's going to get hotter as the week goes on.  Temperatures are hovering around the 100 F mark right now.  We actually went out into the furnace today.

I'm surprised that I didn't get more responses to the 'Easy Monday' song.  Must be something in the air.  Hmm, Spring Fever?  That's what the song is about, in a way:  "She said: 'Hey, wait a minute, hold on.'  She said 'Hey, just a little bit, hold on.'  Whenever I try to think of what it feels like to feel it for the first time, and was it really such a thrill?  She said 'Look, boy, but don't touch, that ain't much, only a __ __ __."  Clue: You need clues?  A three word title from a Scottish funk band should set your mind reeling.

A normal Tuesday morning has me taking Lisa to her massage and then running a few errands.  When I bring her home Boot usually has the juice drink ready and then we either relax or go out for more errands.  Well, without Boot things are different.  Today we decided to go to the mall for lunch.  No cooking and it's very comfortable.  I think Central Plaza is going to see a lot of traffic during this hot spell.  Maybe not a lot of money will change hands, but it's a nice place to hang out.  This afternoon it looked like a little of both.  We always make it a point to see if people are carrying bags.  If they are, that means merchants are doing business.  

Some schools have returned to classes while others are still on vacation.  It's an interesting system that has some children in school and others not.  This morning we noticed some kids on the way to school, while at the mall there were teens strolling around.  That would be pretty frustrating to have friends that didn't have to go to school, especially in the heat.  Hmm.

We went from Central Plaza to Makro, for a contrast in shopping.  Makro is like Costco in the States, a bulk store.  It's also cash only, which seems to serve the small neighborhood stores just fine.  When we see the large, platform type carts with cases of items piled up we know it's a small store stocking up.  It would be interesting to know just how many of these stores there are.  At Makro there were students working in several departments.  I've seen this at other stores around town.  I guess it's a kind of work experience program that gives them practical knowledge about various business environments.  Not a bad idea.

       Our new BBQ Grill.  Yes, that's a little smoke stack on top.

Since we discovered that Boot is allergic to shrimp, we don't have it at the house.  Today Lisa bought some shrimp and cooked it for dinner.  While she did that I watered the yard.  That's one of the things that Boot enjoys doing.  I understand the attraction, I just don't like rewinding the hoses.  Oh well.  Our dinner was great.  A new recipe has been created and the shrimp were cooked to perfection using the guidelines passed on from the owner at Sawadee restaurant.  

After dinner, while we were cleaning up, the dogs were both lying down, looking out the front door into the dusk.  It was quite a picture.  

Have a Happy Tuesday.

                   Peace,
                              Danny

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


Monday, April 23, 2012

Drama


Hi,

We had quite a weekend here in Chiang Rai.  Friends came to lunch, followed by a rain storm, and a family enjoyed the pool.  The dogs were very 'social' through the whole thing.

The 'Old School Friday' song was "Blue Moon" as recorded by The Marcels.  It's 'Easy Monday' time.  Remember this?:
"Meet me in the playground at a quarter to four, wait 'til everybody's long gone.  There must be so many things that we can explore, maybe I can walk you home.  If it starts to rain, we can take some shelter.  I'd like to hold your little hand. My heart is spinning like a helter-skelter.  We'll get to know each other if we can.  She said hey, wait a minute, hold on.  She said hey, just a little bit, hold on..."  Hint:  A song about young love by a more than average band.

Saturday we had our friends Noy and Susan over for lunch.  They are the couple who grow the delicious hydroponic lettuce up in Mae Chan.  We spent hours talking about everything under the sun.  They left just as the wind started blowing and then the rain came.  Things blew around the yard but it didn't last too long.  I guess there was no Walking Street that night.

Sunday morning we took Boot to the airport for her flight to Bangkok.  From there she got a bus to Rayong.  We did a little shopping and then got ready for our swimming guests.  Plah and Ghee, who we met through The Sold Project, came over with five kids of varying ages.  The kids have been swimming in the river every day and the chance to swim in a pool was an exciting prospect.  They had a great time playing games and swimming.  At one point Ghee had them dive for coins and that proved to be one of the more popular activities.  After their swim we sat around and ate fruit and then the kids went up to see Lisa's studio.  The last time they were at the house we asked Ghee if he could make us a BBQ grill.  He arrived on Sunday with a cute little mini version of an oil-drum BBQ.  I'll post a picture tomorrow.   

              Kids enjoying the pool and waterfall

We stayed in Sunday evening and watched the Formula One race from Bahrain.  Today we went into town and got a few things done, like shopping at the vegetable market.  Lisa made a great lunch and a delicious dinner.  So far, we're doing fine on our own but we miss Boot.  

Have a Great Week.

                      Peace,
                                 Danny

"Learn to watch your drama unfold 
while at the same time knowing you are
more than your drama."
~Ram Dass

Friday, April 20, 2012

Friday Funnies

Curbside Fried Chicken

Hi,

As usual, it was another scorcher in Chiang Rai today. We were out and about in the morning before it got too hot, but then I went back out in the afternoon. Later there was swimming and a concert.

This week's 'Bad Ass Bass' tune was "Day Tripper" by The Beatles. For 'Old School Friday' we go back to 1961 and a remake of a Rogers and Hart classic. Who could forget: "Bom ba ba bom ba bom ba bom bom (it goes on for a while),
__ __, you saw me standing alone, without a dream in my heart, without a love of my own..." Hint: Another easy one, but you have to tell me who recorded this version. The group was named for a popular hair treatment.

We went to the flower market to get an arrangement to take to the concert we attended this evening. In the process, Lisa picked up two cute little stuffed teddy bears for Boot and her sister. The market was also humming with activity. There's a guy who cooks deep-fried chicken right out on the street. They were doing a brisk business. It reminded me of a famous spot in Pasadena called 'Bill's Chicken Shack', where we used to buy a bag of chicken and the bag would be all greasy before you got in the car. Back in the day when we didn't know any better. (Ha)

I went out to New Life Foundation this afternoon for a meeting with the residents. On the way I stopped and got a hair cut. It was a good thing because there was no air at the center, just overhead fans and they didn't lower the temperature. When I got back to the house Lisa was in the pool with our friend Shannon and a visiting friend of hers. The water was a welcome relief.

Our day ended with a concert given by Sakkan Sarasap, the young 17 year old violin prodigy and son of the owners of 9 Art Gallery. It was a solo performance in the auditorium at the Dept. of Engineering for the City. He played works by Bach and Paganini and it was amazing. We have watched him develop over the last four years and he just keeps getting better. He lives in Bangkok, attending school on scholarship and is becoming a 'violin hero' among younger players. After the concert, members of the Chiang Rai Youth Orchestra came on stage to have pictures taken with Sakkan, who used to be in the orchestra. They each gave him a rose and he managed to smile through it all. He has been a member of the Bangkok Symphony Orchestra since he was fifteen.

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

Peace,
Danny

Gary and Pete
Two alcoholics walk into a tavern at the same time. They step up to the
bar and they each order a beer. As they strike up a conversation, they
become quite excited:

Gary: Gee, you look familiar. Are you from around here?
Pete: Sure am. Lived here all my life. Grew up over on Truman Street.
Gary: Is that so. I grew up on Truman, What school did you attend?
Pete: I went to North Side Elementary and then Washington High
School.
Gary: Same here! This is amazing. I graduated in 1946.
Pete: Now that is something. I graduated in '46 too! My home room
teacher was Miss Arnold.
Gary: Well I'll be. Miss Arnold was my home room teacher, too!!

Just then, the phone rang and the bartender answered. It was his wife.
"Are there many customers today?", she asked. "Naw", answered the
bartender. "The only people here are me and the Johnson twins."

Gettin' Funky, Thai Style

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Lift

Daku's new friend, Jago at 3 months old.

Hi,

It appears that all of Thailand is going through this heatwave. It's actually hotter in other places, but that doesn't make it feel any cooler here. We spent the morning in town and had a surprise visitor in the afternoon.

I got a few correct responses to the 'Bad Ass Bass' tune. There should be more. The bass set the tone.
"Tried to please her, she only played one night stands (repeat). She was a __ __, Sunday driver, yeah! It took me so long to find out, and I found out." Clue: Here today, gone tomorrow. Don't trip if you don't remember.

We started our errands early this morning. Well, we left around 9:30 for the bank. This was the first time doing a particular transaction without the help of our friend Bobby. The service was just as efficient and friendly as always. Our next stop was our old friend Big C. We hadn't been there in over a week and there were things we needed. While we were shopping they played a really cool R&B set in between some obnoxious commercials. Some days I wish I could get a set list, but it's never gonna happen.

Central Plaza is right across the highway from Big C so it was a natural progression to just go there next. (Ha) The plan was to put more money on our phones, get some maple syrup from Top's, and try to see our friend Eddy and get his new email and phone number. The mall doesn't open until 11am on week days so we went to Top's market first. By the time we finished the mall was open and we got our phones 'topped up'. Eddy likes the Starbuck's at Central Plaza and is usually there every morning having his coffee and reading the paper. Today I guess we were too early, we didn't see him.

Just about the time we were starting our 'after nap coffee' the doorbell from the gate sounded. As the gate opened I didn't recognize the truck that was pulling in. Not until the driver had parked and lowered the tinted window did I realize it was our friend Gary. I also had a strong feeling that he was not alone. I was right. Gary had his new dog with him. I don't remember the name of the breed, but 'Jago' (Jay-go) is a slender, long-legged puppy that has an almost Grayhound quality. At 6 months old he's about half his adult height and now he's almost as tall as Daku. After he got comfortable with us we introduced him to Daku. Jago jumped straight up in the air. He hid behind Gary, the truck and whatever else he could see. Daku kept approaching him and they finally started playing a sort of 'tag' running game. Daku loves to play so it was big fun for him. Then BamBam came out and was not having any of it. She came out growling and went for Jago in a very aggressive way. BamBam started chasing him and Daku took off and managed to put himself between Jago and BamBam. Jago escaped harm and we put BamBam back in the house. That was about all the puppy could take in one outing and he was ready to get back in the truck. We're going to plan a play date during the cooler time of day so they can have fun for a longer time.

Have a Thrilling Thursday.

Peace,
Danny

"A sure way to lift oneself up is by helping to lift someone else."
~Booker T. Washington

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

People

Layes of clothing @ 100 Degrees

Songkran Splash

Hi,

The weather is in a definite pattern. Warm nights and mornings, hot mid-day, hot and humid with afternoon clouds, and back to warm night. Today we hid from it as much as possible.

So, 'Easy Monday' song was "Everyday People" by Sly & The Family Stone. Time once again to savor the lower frequencies of 'Bad Ass Bass'. "Got a good reason, for taking the easy way out. (repeat) She was a __ __, one way ticket, yeah! It took me so long to find out, and I found out." Hint: Really, this should be an 'Easy Monday' song. If it weren't for the bass line, well.

The dogs aren't getting to spend as much time running in the mornings since it's so warm. BamBam will run regardless of the temperature, but Daku has a sense about these things. When it starts to get hot he just won't run. Of course, he's a bigger dog with a thicker coat and he has his priorities. Today they had to stay in all day because the yard crew arrived around nine, without notice. Right behind them was the pool guy. He only takes about an hour, the crew was here all day.

It is still baffling how people can work in the blazing sun, in high temperatures (100 F) wearing layers of clothing. I've heard all the theories about insulation blah blah, but it was hot out there today and three layers just takes my mind to another place.

Our landscape guy, Khun Kek, got us some more big fan palm type things for behind the waterfall. In a few years they'll be a great wall for the corner of the yard. We also had him plant 5 bougainvillea that we bought last week. He gave us some little cakes as a Songkran gift.

Boot is going to her home town of Rayong on Sunday to visit her family. She'll return with her cousin, who will live here with Boot and help with the house. It will be an adventure for her and for us. Once again, we will have to take care of ourselves. (555)

Time for Wacky Wednesday.

Peace,
Danny

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

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Space

Our favorite place to dine out. Sawadee Restaurant in the Night Bazaar.

Hi,

We had another hot one today here in Chiang Rai. It seems like the common greeting is: 'Very Hot'. Then conversation can begin. We were out in it today, takin' care of business.

Let me put it the way my brother said it: 'Everyday people should know this one.' After all, it's 'Easy Monday'.
"There is a blue one who can't accept the green one for living with a black one tryin' to be a skinny one. Different strokes for different folks, and so on and so on and scooby dooby dooby. Ooh, sha sha, we gotta live together...
I am __ __." Hint: Ha, you know you wanna dance to the music.

Today we had a normal Tuesday morning. The afternoon went in a completely different direction. Instead of hanging out with the air/con and then swimming, we went into town after lunch. While the car was being washed we had iced-coffee at Doi Chaang, then walked a block to Thai Airways to book our tickets to Bangkok in May. A stop at the pharmacy gave us a laugh. There was a woman helping out and when Lisa told her what she wanted the woman thought for a moment and said 'no have'. Well, we know they have it. Just then one of the owners appeared, heard the comment and called out for one of his guys to fetch the product. It's like, if I don't know it, we don't have it. Hmm.

As the heat continued to slam us in the face we made our way past the car wash to Work @ Home bakery for some bread. Our friend Jonathan was there and greeted us for a hot minute before going back into his air-conditioned sanctuary. He visited long enough to smell our dogs and get rubbed behind the ears. We hung out in front of a fan, looking at magazines until we thought the car might be ready.

Once we were back in our clean car, we went to the vegetable market. All over town there are many shops that are still closed. The same seemed true at the market. We got what we needed and noticed that all of the fruit vendors were making gift baskets, wrapped in plastic with ribbons and bows. We're not sure if it's Songkran related or not. More investigation is needed.

Our last stop was the HP store where we had to return a faulty ink cartridge. Oh my, this was not a simple task. First, the progression of events had to be understood. Then the result had to be comprehended. After a lengthy phone call to the main store, a test was conducted and the cartridge was indeed faulty. Then we had to wait while a young man from the store went to the main shop to get approval, blah blah. We finally left with a new cartridge, and a knowledge of the whole inventory in the showroom.

Home for a swim, dinner at the Night Bazaar, end to a busy day.

Have a Happy Tuesday.

Peace,
Danny

"Between stimulus and response, there is a space.
In that space lies our freedom and power to choose our response.
In our response lies our growth and freedom"
~Victor Frankl

Monday, April 16, 2012

Each Day

Fish and Shrimp Dinner at Savana Restaurant, Chiang Rai. (Last Thursday)

Hi,

It's hotter than hot in Chiang Rai. Songkran is over and the streets are dry. We had a great weekend, mostly hanging out. We went out for dinner with friends on Saturday, and have been in the pool on a regular basis.

Well, it looks like everybody got stumped on the 'Old School Friday' song. It was "Transfusion" by Nervous Norvous. Now it's time for 'Easy Monday' and I just know you're happy it's here. This should be easy for most of you:
"Sometimes I'm right, then I can be wrong. My own beliefs are in my songs. A butcher, a banker, a drummer and then, makes no difference what group I'm in. I am __ __." Hint: It's by a 'family band' and it speaks to our similarities, and salutes the common man. There are some pretty sly lyrics in this one.

Saturday we watched the qualifying for the Chinese Gran Prix from Shanghai. Then our friends Chalit and Amber came over for a swim. We had a lot of fun hanging out in the cool water and talking.

After our swim it was time to get dressed for dinner. We were to meet our good friends Sutheera and Nukoon at Fuji Restaurant at Central Plaza. It took longer to get there than expected due to the craziness of Songkran. The streets were jammed with people throwing water. At one point there was a real traffic jam by one of the 'filling stations' when two pick-up trucks decided to do battle. Buckets of water were being tossed back and forth between the trucks. Anyone who passed got soaked. We finally got to the mall and all was calm.

We'd never been to Central Plaza on a Saturday evening and we were surprised to see so many people. We had a very nice dinner with our friends. We talked about the various traditions related to Songkran and then the conversation turned to our pets. They have five dogs and two cats. Two of the dogs are babies and that always leads to stories. After dinner we showed them a coffee stand we like and then we went shopping.

Sunday I watched the Formula One race while Lisa and Sutheera worked on a paper that Sutheera is writing for her doctoral project. She brought us chicken and mangos so we stayed in and had dinner at home. It was a very pleasant day.

This morning I got a call from our friend Pete, who is in town from Bangkok visiting his family. He and his mom were coming over. They were visiting family and friends that they wanted to pay their respects to, and we were on the list. His mother owns the art supply store where Lisa gets many of her supplies. She is also a 'patron' of the arts and has three of Lisa's cast acrylic prints in her collection. We had a great time talking about everything from food to dogs. Lisa brought BamBam out to meet them and Supaluck, Pete's mom, and BamBam became fast friends. They wanted to know about everything we eat, which was kind of interesting. As they were leaving Pete told us that the next time we come to Bangkok he wants to take us to Hua Hin, a beach resort town south of Bangkok.

It's been a very social weekend filled with many fond memories.

Have a Great Week.

Peace,
Danny

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