Tuesday, July 31, 2012



It looks like we're not out of the woods (clouds) with regards to the wet weather.  The sky was gloomy all day and in late afternoon it came down with gusto.  On the other hand, in a few months it will be the season and we'll be wishing for rain.  Hmm.

I can see by the slow response, that some of you are preoccupied with watching sports.  'Easy Monday' lives on:
"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...."  Hint: Remember the title is in 5 words.  It should be clear that it's not just about the weather.

It was a slow day around the Big Brown House.  The big excitement for the day was having the electrician come over and replace a faulty socket.  Tomorrow he's coming back to change the circuits in the guest room so the lights can be on a dimmer switch.  Sometimes it's the little things that make all the difference.  Being able to change the intensity of the lighting in a room is one of them.

Speaking of intense, there will be a five day event across the river from us starting tomorrow.  It's another O.T.O.P. (One Tambon One Product) affair.  It will feature vendors from various villages and districts where they concentrate on one thing and do it well.  There is an area just north of us that does nothing but grow and distribute bananas.  Others make products or special crafts.  We're going to go again this year and check things out.  Of course, this also means that we will probably have the thumping of live music every night.  It's not too intrusive, but you know it's there.

Transportation in Chiang Rai includes the whole spectrum of vehicles.  Everything from exotic, high-end sports cars to tricycles propelled by a hand lever.  The bicycle is a widely used mode, even on busy streets.  Some old-timers even take to the Super Highway to get where they want to go.  Here is an example of a woman who was on a mission, on the highway.

                                   Highway Rider

Last night we watched the final of the women's 58kg class weightlifting competition.  Thailand lifters came in second and fourth.  The winner lifted 304 pounds.  It boggles the mind.  In other sporting news, it took less than five minutes to be done with the white-water kayaking event, while skeet shooting held some strange fascination that would not let me go.  I think part of it is watching people shoot into the air and only seeing pink clouds as a result of their effort.  Most of the time you can't actually see the target as it flies by.  Then, after the real intention settles in, the fascination leaves: It's like practice for hunting.  

Have a Happy Tuesday.


"Remember the powerful presence that you are.
Remember the powerful being that you are.
Remember the light that you are."
~Aq'naton Ben-Ish

Monday, July 30, 2012



It turns out that the weather forecast was one day off.  It stormed really hard on Saturday.  Sunday was much better and Monday was basically dry.  Olympic fever has taken over the house and we've discovered 'new' sports.

A few of you knew the 'Old School Friday' song.  It was "I'll Try Something New" by Smokey Robinson & The Miracles.  Now get ready as we dance into 'Easy Monday'.  This should be a snap for some of you.  (Ha, Ha):
"__ __ __ __ __, 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), bright (bright) sun-shiny day."  Hint:  I hope to be singing this song all week.  (555)

I thought I'd share a photo of the way many here in Chiang Rai deal with the rain while riding on their motorbikes:

                    How's that workin' for ya?

While it was storming outside on Saturday we watched various events from the Olympics.  We've been enjoying some of the preliminary rounds in some sports because we get to see countries that are not usually featured on 'prime time' broadcasts.  We discovered that we like to watch team archery.  Hmm, never gave it much thought before, but it was rather exciting.  Another event that sucked us in was women's weightlifting.  Of course, we also watched things like swimming, diving, and gymnastics.  Here in South East Asia, badminton and table tennis are big so there are lots of contests being broadcast.  Fortunately, all the audio feeds are from the Olympics with English commentary.  If you're watching, write and tell me what your favorite sports are.  Just curious.

Sunday we had our friends Justin, Lisa and their son Jack over for lunch.  We always have a great time hanging with them.  Justin is the General Manager of Le Meridien Hotel and Lisa is an artist.  There was lots of conversation about the emerging development of Chiang Rai and all that it means culturally.  Jack is four and very curious.  At one point he wandered down the hall to Tatt's room and was there for a long time.  Later, Tatt had me cracking up over how he had to put everything away.  They were talking for a long time, but we never found out what it was about.  When Jack came out he referred to Tatt as 'the little boy'.  

In the evening we watched the Hungarian Grand Prix and Lisa worked on a new painting.  She's been doing a series of small 'acrylic on canvas' scenes and they're beautiful. 

Today began with a play-date with Jago at 7:30.  Daku was very excited to see his friend and at first, neither dog could contain themselves.  They were running around and into each other and just in a state of bliss.  Later BamBam was brought out and at first she went into her territorial mode.  After a time-out in the pen, she behaved more politely.  At one point Jago came up to me and stood on his hind legs with his front paws on my chest.  BamBam jumped up, came over and barked him away.  She was protecting me from the strange dog in her yard.  Pretty cool actually.

Later we went up to the frame factory.  We thought the highway would be messy so we left a little early.  The road was wide open and we were ahead of schedule so we looked for a place to get coffee.  We turned onto the access road to Rachapat University and found a little shop that was just what we wanted.  After our coffee we continued our journey.  After we picked up Lisa's artwork we went to Makro for supplies.  All signs of the celebration of last week were gone and it was business as usual.  I found out that there was another observance on Saturday.  It was the birthday of the Prince of Thailand.  Still learning stuff.

Have a Great Week.


"Sometimes, we just need to be amazed by the small things."
~Angela Pacheco

Friday, July 27, 2012

Friday Funnies


Well, as you probably guessed by now, it's still raining.  Oh my, how long?  We went out and did what we had to do today in the light, never-ending rain.  On my afternoon trip to the countryside I had an encounter with a herd of beasts.  

The 'Zany Day' song from 1959 was "Along Came Jones" by The Coasters.  Check it out on Youtube.  'Old School Friday' is up next and I'm hoping some of you might know it.  "I will build you a castle with a tower so high, it reaches the moon.  I'll gather melodies from the birdies that fly, and compose you a tune.  I'll give you lovin' warm as Mama's oven and if that don't do then __ __ __ __."  Hint:  'If at first you don't succeed..."  It's by a Detroit group that was fronted by a smooth voiced male singer.  It didn't sound smokey at all.

This morning we had to go to Makro.  Normally, this is a 15 minute drive at most.  Today it took 35 minutes because of road work and heavy traffic.  It doesn't look like they'll be finished anytime soon so I have to work out an alternate route.  At the store there were massive displays for various products, balloons, and a new garden at the entrance.  There was a definite carnival atmosphere with food booths in the parking lot and people trying to give us free samples of this and that.  Lisa asked someone what it was about and it was in honor of the Rains Retreat celebration.  

This afternoon I drove out to New Life Foundation.  The rain was light so the drive wasn't too bad.  Along the way I saw people knee-deep in water, bending over to harvest rice in the rain.  It's something I won't soon forget.  On the way home traffic came to a stop while we waited for a herd of black cows to cross the road.  It was a very large herd and I had a chance to take a picture.  Amazing Thailand.

                    They had the Right of Way

According to the weather reports, tonight is supposed to be the end of the storm.  Hmm, we'll see.  It would be nice to have a little sun for the weekend.  We're having company for lunch on Sunday and a dry yard would be nice.  The dogs would also appreciate it.

Have a Wonderful WeekEnd.   Enjoy the 'Funny'.


Gettin' Funky, Thai Style 

Thursday, July 26, 2012



Well, the big surprise of the day: drip, drip, drip.  We almost stayed home all day.  

Well, there are some memories out there that are still intact.  I got a few responses to our 'Zany Day' song.  More:
"Commercial came on, so I got up to get myself a snack.  You should've seen what was going on by the time that I got back.  Down in the old abandoned mine, sweet Sue was a-havin' fits.  That villain said, 'Give me the deed to your ranch or I'll blow you all to bits.'  And then he grabbed her (And then?)  He tied her up (And then?)  He lit the fuse to the dynamite (And then? And then?)   And then __ __ __ ..."  Hint:  If you know it, you know it.  Let me know.

Today it was not only drizzly, it was actually cool.  The dogs were a little disappointed that they didn't get their outdoor time, but Daku had a 'training session' and that seemed to calm him down.  

Tomorrow marks the beginning of the Buddhist Rains Retreat, also called Buddhist Lent.  In the earliest centuries of Buddhism the monks would wander the countryside and forests for nine months of the year.  When the monsoon season came they would stay inside the temples for the three months of the rain.  This has carried down to modern times and now the monks spend nights at the temples for three months, rather than staying in villages or in homes.  At Makro and at all of the little devotional supply shops, there are candles of all sizes wrapped packages with essential supplies, and garment cloth for people to purchase and then donate to the monks.   The photo below was taken inside of an ancient temple in Chiang Mai.  It is made of wood, which is very unusual. 

We ventured outside the walls this afternoon and went into town to pay the utilities at '7'.  We noticed that there are new traffic lights at one of the major intersections.  I know, you're wondering why that's a big deal.  Well, it's a countdown signal and the new lights are made up of much brighter lights and hopefully, with easier programming so things can be altered for the flow of traffic.  One major improvement was a lower duration.  Two minutes seemed way too long, so now it's 99 seconds.  (555)

Have a Thrilling Thursday.


"Peace is a practice, not a hope."

Wednesday, July 25, 2012



The day began with sunny, blue skies.  By lunchtime is was starting to cloud up.  By dinner time it was raining.  That seems to be the pattern here in Chiang Rai.  There is a storm that's moving down from China and it's name is Vicente. They're calling it a depression, I guess because all the rain it will bring will be depressing.  (555)

'Easy Monday' slipped by a bunch of you.  The song was "Laughter In The Rain" by Neil Sedaka.  Oh well, the 'Zany Day' is fun even if you don't know it.  Some of you may remember this 'Oldie' from the mid 60s.  
"I flopped down in my easy chair and turned on channel 2.  A bad gunslinger called Salty Sam was a-chasin' poor sweet Sue.  He trapped her in the old sawmill and said with an evil laugh, 'If you don't give me the deed to your ranch, I'll saw you all in half'.  And then he grabbed her (And then?), he tied her up (And then?), He turned on the buzz saw (And then? And then?)  Ack-ack  And then __ __ __..."  Hint:  The title is about the arrival of the hero.  Hmm.

This morning I got a very relaxing massage from Khun Joy.  She noted that it has been two weeks.  I was surprised that it wasn't as painful.  Maybe she's just a little out of practice on the deep tissue stuff, or just a little tired from all the work setting up her new place.  As a result, my body was in laid-back mode for most of the day.  

Daku and BamBam were quite happy that Tatt had the day off from school.  It meant more time to hang out in his room.  This evening, when I went to get Daku, he was lying in front of the door to the patio, watching the rain while Tatt did homework on his bed.  It was a classic picture.

Our friend Natt came over to visit in the afternoon.  It was nice to spend time with her.  We met her right after we arrived in Chiang Rai.  There was a lot of catching up on the happenings in our lives and she filled us in on her future plans.  Now that we've reconnected we'll probably be seeing more of her.  

One of the benefits of all the rain we've been having is the lush green that surrounds us.  This is a picture from the upstairs balcony at the rear of the house showing a part of the yard.  The field behind us hasn't been cultivated in a whole season and provides a wonderful 'ocean of green'.  

                     Backyard and Beyond

Time for Wacky Wednesday.


"When you do all the talking
you only learn what you already know."

Tuesday, July 24, 2012



We had a morning of drizzle, an afternoon of threatening clouds, and more drizzle in the early evening.  This evening we went to Central Plaza for dinner.

"After a while we run under a tree, I turn to her and she kisses me.  There with the beat of the rain on the leaves, softly she breathes and I close my eye.  Sharing our love under stormy skies.  Oo, I hear __ __ __ __, walking hand in hand with the one I love.  Oo, how I love the rainy days and the happy way I feel inside..."  

This morning the dogs got a soggy workout, but they had a lot of fun.  Lisa had her first massage at Khun Joy's new place.  While I was waiting for Lisa to finish, one of Joy's students arrived.  He's a young man who is working at the massage center where we first met Joy.  Nothing like getting a treatment from the teacher.  Tomorrow is my turn.

The off and on misting lasted all morning.  As we were finishing our lunch, Tatt came home from school.  He took his first mid-term exams today so he only went a half day.  Tomorrow is a school holiday.  I'm sure the dog's will love that.  They camped out in his room this afternoon.  If Tatt's door is closed, Daku will just plop down in front of it, dozing and waiting.  

Olympic history segments were airing back-to-back this afternoon so we watched and learned a lot about the evolution of many of the sports.  Pretty amazing stuff.  The old footage of the games is sometimes hilarious.  Things have really changed.  

There is a restaurant at Central Plaza that we have been avoiding because it's always very cold.  We love the food, but it's in that spot in the air/con piping that always gets the coldest air.  Tonight we took sweaters.  They've made it better, but we still wore our sweaters.  The food is always good so now we can 'safely' eat there.   After dinner we went to the record store and the market.  On our way out Lisa's phone rang.  It was our friend Natt, who we had just been talking about.  She had seen us in the mall, so we went back in and had a little reunion.  She's coming over tomorrow for a visit.  

Driving into the parking lot under the mall there is a sign that is quite specific.  The driveway intersects with a lane that flows to the right, and you must turn right.  Rather than caution you about oncoming traffic, you are given this warning:

Have a Happy Tuesday.


"Sometimes the heart sees what is invisible to the eye."
~H. Jackson Brown Jr.

Monday, July 23, 2012



We've grown accustomed to the rain.  (555)  We had a mixed bag of weather this weekend.  Saturday was so sunny we got the car washed.  Sunday evening it rained and today it dripped all day.  

The 'Old School Friday' song was "Our Day Will Come" by Ruby and The Romantics.  Bravo to those who knew it.  Now it's time for 'Easy Monday'.  This one is from 1975:  "Strolling along country roads with my baby, it starts to rain, it begins to pour.... I feel the warmth of her hand in mine.  Oo, I hear __ __ __ __, walking hand in hand with the one I love..."   Hint:  I think this one is so easy that a hint would be illegal.  

Saturday morning we went to the car wash.  While we were waiting we hung out at Doi Chaang Coffee.  With our clean car we drove to Central Plaza to visit Top's Market and check on the music I had recorded in my phone.  At Boomerang Music we played the recording for the staff.  First the manager, then two of her workers.  They knew who it was but didn't have it.  When I told her we heard it on Fat 93 she realized it was a new single and not for sale yet.  Then I played another song and they were a little unclear.  Now I have to wait for Da Endorphine to release their new music.  I like their stuff so now I'm checking out some of their older music.  It's a rock quartet with a female lead singer named 'Da'.  

Sunday we stayed at home for most of the day.  Boot went off for the day so we had to feed ourselves.  Well, Lisa fed us with her usual creative kitchen skills.  We had a great lunch with sauted shrimp as the main dish.  We needed some things from Makro and tore ourselves away from the comfort zone for a Sunday afternoon shopping trip.  We don't usually go there in the late afternoon and now we know why.  The place was jumping with families getting the weekly shopping done, stores stocking up, and staff replenishing shelves.  On the way to the store we had to make a U-turn on the highway.  Because of Sunday traffic there were police actually stopping the flow to allow for U-turns.  Very interesting.

While I'm on the subject of driving, I mentioned the special farm vehicles a few weeks ago and I now have a photo to share.  This type of 'truck' is used to haul produce from the fields or to local markets.  Most of them don't appear to be registered, and they putt along at a very slow speed.  This one has a slick new engine with not much power.

                                     Farm Truck

Sunday, we also managed to get in a brief swim.  We now have a new low on our 'temperature tolerance' meter: 80 degrees.  In the evening it started raining and we didn't want to go out, especially since 'our restaurant' closes when it gets too slow.  Lisa made dinner and then we watched the Formula One race.  It was very exciting with lots of action.  We also have been watching some very interesting films on the sports channel that give historical background on the Olympics.  

Today two friends with The Sold Project came over for lunch.  We ate and talked for over two hours.  Lots of life updates, project news, and comparing notes about living in Thailand.  We learned a little more about the train that travels from Chiang Mai to Bangkok.  Hmm, one of these days we may have to do that.  It's an overnight trip through the countryside.

Have a Great Week.


"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

Friday, July 20, 2012

Friday Funnies


Today there was no rain in Chiang Rai.  There were even patches of blue.  My road trip to the countryside was the only time away from the compound, and Lisa finished a different kind of art project.

My friend Frank was the only reader who knew the 'Zany Day' song was "Little Egypt" by The Coasters.  Time for the oldsters to think real hard 'cause it's 'Old School Friday'.  This is a romantic mid-tempo ballad.
"__ __ __ __ and we'll have everything.  We'll share the joy falling in love can bring.  No one can tell me that I'm too young to know, I love you so and you love me.  __ __ __ __, if we just wait a while...."  Hint: It's by a 'Girl Group' whose lead singer's name is a precious stone and the group loves love.  Song is about waiting for a special time.

We spent most of the morning catching up with news from around the world.  Since I wore out my welcome with the L.A. Times (exceeded my quota of stories read) I had to move on to Yahoo, where 'all the news that fits' is readily available.  (Ha)  Seriously though, I now know things I didn't want to know.  

This afternoon I drove out to New Life Foundation.  In my travels I passed a small herd of little goats hanging out on the sidewalk by the road.  One of them was standing on it's hind legs, nibbling at some leaves on a small tree.  Further down the road I got stuck behind a local bus.  It was interesting though, watching the 'back door guy' give arm signals to the driver.  All of the busses have an assistant who makes sure everyone is either on or off of the bus and lets the driver know.  Today, his job was to let him know when he had cleared a vehicle when passing.  Watching him helped pass the time.

When I got back to the house there was sunshine on the pool.  Normally this would have been a signal to get ready for a swim.  Today the water temp was 79 degrees.  That's too warm for the wet suits and a little too cool to just stroll into the water.  If it doesn't rain and the sun shines, we may swim this weekend.  I miss the water.

We got a new mailbox that's just like our 'old' one.  It's made of wood and standard numbers just wouldn't look right so Lisa painted our name and address on the top of the box.  I think it's symbolic in a way, having some creativity at the entrance to the house.  The mailman always finds us so we know it works.

                                  The Mailbox

Are you getting excited about the upcoming Olympics?  In 2008 there was a lot of interest here since there were many Thais in different sports.  At Big C the clerks had little flag decals on their faces from countries around the world.  Some of them knew the country of their sticker and some didn't.  This time we're hoping to see as much of the coverage as possible.  After reading the news today, we're just glad we don't live in London.

This weekend looks to be a mellow one.  The Formula One Grand Prix of Germany is happening and maybe time in the pool.  We have several 'projects' around the grounds and the usual shopping.  Maybe even a trip to Central Plaza.  Hmm, yeah, I've got two songs recorded on my phone and we want to get the CDs at Boomerang Music.  Looks like the weekend just got busy.

Have a WonderFul WeekEnd.          Time for the 'Funnies'.


Comments from Police Car Videos

"The answer to this last question will
 determine whether you are drunk or not.
 Was Mickey Mouse a cat or a dog?"

"You don't know how fast you were going?
 I guess that means I can write anything
 I want to on the ticket, huh?"

"If you run, you'll only go to jail tired."

"You know, stop lights don't come any
 redder than the one you just went through." 

"I'm glad to hear that Chief (of Police)
 Hawker is a personal friend of yours.
 So you know someone who can post your bail." 

Thursday, July 19, 2012



It was a drippy kind of day in Chiang Rai.  We had dry sky for our trip to the country, but by late afternoon it was storm time once again.  

So far no one knows the title or the artist of this 'Zany Day' song.  It's by a group that had a lot of 'Zany' hits.
"She had a ruby on her tummy and a diamond big as Texas on her toe, wo wo.  She let her hair down and she did the hoochie koochie real slow, wo wo.  When she did her special number on a zebra skin I thought she'd stop the show, wo wo, singin' 'Yeah, yeah (etc.)"  Clue:  It's about a diminutive dancer named for a northern African country that was once home to Cleopatra.  Hmm.

This morning was a little frustrating for the dogs.  They know when it's time to go out and play.  It was raining too much to take them out so  Daku finally surrendered and took the nap he usually takes after his exercise.  What a life.

Our friend Lisa and her son Jack followed us out to the frame factory to pick up the art work.  On the narrow road leading to the complex, we saw lots of people harvesting rice.  Before we left I had Lisa pose with one of Khun Tawd's cement elephants.  It's so huge that it needed a human standing next to it just for the sake of perspective.  Lisa talked to Tawd about having him make us one of his small elephants so she can paint it and place it in our yard.  

                              A Giant Elephant

Here in Thailand dirt comes in many colors.  Actually, shades of red to be more specific.  Most of what we see is kind of a terra cotta red, but there is also a deep maroon that we find fascinating.  We saw some today and it just doesn't look like dirt.  In know, weird thing to trip on, but if you saw it you would probably agree.  Maybe I'll try and take a picture of some to show you.  (555)

Driving around town, especially outside of the central part, there are lots of little sois (streets) that sometimes go unnoticed.  Today we thought about taking the time to explore some of them, just to see what's there.  We have been down some pretty narrow sois on the way to someone's house and sometimes to find a restaurant, but never just to wander around.  I guess that can happen in any town or city, one gets into a pattern of driving to get places and miss the side road to somewhere special.

Have a Thrilling Thursday.


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

Wednesday, July 18, 2012



We finally had a day without rain here in Chiang Rai.  It was beginning to feel like Seattle (Ha).  Our trip to the country was put off until tomorrow, so today was filled with 'in town' stuff.  It was a good day.

The 'Easy Monday' song was "Yesterday" by The Beatles.  The 'Zany Day' song may not be as easy, but it's fun:
"I went and bought myself a ticket and I sat down in the very first row, wo wo.  They pulled the curtain but then when they turned the spotlight way down low, wo wo.  __ __ came out strutin' wearin' nothin' but a button and a bow, wo wo singin' 'Yeah yeah!  Yeah yeah!, Yeah yeah!, Yeah yeah!."  Hint: The two words are the stage name of the main character and there's a country involved.  What?

This morning the pool guys came to do their usual job and discovered a problem with the filter pump.  It seems that the temporary capacitor that was installed last week allowed too much capacity (Ha) and it stopped working.  Johan arrived with a proper one and the day was saved.  Unfortunately it was misty this afternoon and the water temp was down to 77.  Had it not looked like rain we might have put on our wet suits and gone in anyway.

We went to Makro for some supplies and realized that it's not as simple as it used to be to go there.  With the highway repaving still going on, we have to go past our usual U-turn and then sit in one lane of traffic.  It's still no where near the traffic in a big city, but you get used to just going a certain way.  When the work is done the ride will be smoother and that will be nice.

Mornings at the vegetable market are always interesting.  You never know what you might see.  Today a young man drove into the market on his motorbike with a load of wrapped packages.  I don't know what they were but it must have been important.  He sat there with his motor running until the woman in the stall made him turn it off.  Sometimes we see people come in on their bikes, but it's just a quick drive through or they're coming to work.  There are enough vendors in the market that if one doesn't have what you want, another one will.  All except celery, which seems to be out of season right now.

Our masseuse, Joy, has moved to a new location.  Atom has been talking to her and explained where it was so we made a date to go see the new place today.  We picked Atom up from work and made our way to Viviene's for coffee before going to see Joy's place.  After a fun time over coffee we found the location of the massage 'shop'.  It's a large, two-story house and it's beautiful compared to the shophouse she had before.  We will get back on our regular schedule next week.  I can hardly wait.  Below is a photo of the new place.  The house on the right is her new home as well as place of work.  

                     The New House of 'Joy'

Might be a Wacky Wednesday.


"Sometimes your joy is the source of your smile,
but sometimes your smile can be the source of your joy."
~Thich Nhat Hanh 

Tuesday, July 17, 2012



The weather for today was rain, all day long.   As a result, it was a slow day at the Big Brown House.  We had an extended visit from a friend and that brought sunshine.

The 'Easy Monday' song was just that for some of you.  Today we'll take it from the top so you know where you are in the lyrics.  Here's a major hint: It's a day that's not today or tomorrow.  Oh, and it came from across the pond:
"__, all my troubles seemed so far away.   Now it looks as though they're here to stay.  Oh, I believe in __."

This morning there was a brief window when the rain turned into a slow drip.  That's when we took the dogs out for their exercise.  After that, it did that slow, steady kind of rain all day.  Daku enjoyed looking out on the yard.  There is something hypnotic about light rain, especially when looking out at lots of green.  Unfortunately, it can also make one sleepy. 

                                Lots of Green

Our friend Atom came over for lunch.  This was the first time we've been able to hear about her adventures in China. She spent the last six months at a language school outside of Beijing.  There were young people from Russia, Indonesia, Korea, Japan and Thailand and she made lots of friends.  They had classes in the mornings and the afternoons were for study.  She said her biggest accomplishment was learning how to bargain in Chinese.

After lunch she and Lisa looked at Lisa's cast acrylic prints and arrived at names for the new pieces.  Atom has been involved with helping Lisa come up with names that would relate in Thai as well as English. 

Tomorrow we will go out to the frame factory to pick up Lisa's prints.  A morning drive in the country after the rain should be nice.  I'm assuming it won't be raining, silly me.  

Have a Happy Tuesday.


"He who teaches children learns more than they do."
~German Proverb

Monday, July 16, 2012



Chiang Rai got it's full share of rain this weekend.  We had dry spells that let us get things done, but oh, the rain. 

It's sad when no one remembers "Come and Get These Memories" by Martha & The Vandellas.  Oh well, on to 'Easy Monday', and just to prove I still want you to feel like a winner, here's a song with a one word title, by four guys:
"Why she had to go I don't know, she wouldn't say.  I said something wrong, now I long for __."  Hint:  This one is so easy I started in the middle, knowing you'd get it. 

Saturday it looked like it could rain any time.  We basically camped out at the house all day.  In the late afternoon the rain came.  On Saturday's we always speculate as to whether there will be a 'Walking Street', based on the cloud formations.  This time there was no doubt.  It was one of those hard rains with the kind of thunder that hits overhead and feels like it's going to knock things down.  None of that happened, but it was quite dramatic.  The power stayed on and we just cruised through it all.  BamBam was at Boot's house and Daku was with Tatt, so we had no dogs.  

Sunday morning we went to Makro, our new most frequented store.  It's like going to Costco in the States, except that there are much more exotic things to buy.  I'll bet you didn't know that crickets are a big food item in Southeast Asia.  So big that there are cricket farms in the Northeast of Thailand that are shipping to Thai communities around the world.  It's a new frontier in nutrition.  Hmm, oh, never mind.

We made plans to meet with our friend Jaffee for dinner at the Night Bazaar.  We hadn't been in weeks and the sky looked like it might wait.  The weather seemed to discourage many of the vendors from opening, but we did get to say 'hello' to a few of our friends.  At dinner Jaffee showed us a brochure for 'Happy City', a golf resort east of Chiang Rai that is almost finished.  It has three golf courses and three very large apartment buildings, plus lots of resorty things to do.  

There is a shop near the entrance to the Night Bazaar that sells movie DVDs and luggage.  The woman who owns the operation has a little dog that has become a mascot.  We call it 'Little Purple Dog' since it struts around with purple fur.  This dog seems to understand the art of posing for a photo and will give you the 'good side' any time.

                             'Little Purple Dog'

This morning we went to Big C for a few supplies.  We have also been looking for a large piece of plastic to cover the packing crates for Lisa's art.  One place we hadn't looked was Home Mart, a store that sells building supplies and hardware.  They have a salesperson who speaks a limited amount of English, but she didn't get the concept of what we were describing.  We decided to use the plan that Lisa came up with, which was to cut up some large trash bags and tape them together.  

Last week I told you about the new taxi fleet here in Chiang Rai.  We learned that the Tuk-Tuk drivers were not happy about this.  Apparently they drove around town with signs on their vehicles protesting, and even had a little strike.  On our way home from our morning adventure we notice a bunch of Tuk-Tuks coming toward us.  Then more and more until we realized that they had all been at the Fairgrounds.  There must have been another driver meeting about the new taxis.  If I had my choice of rides in rainy weather it would be the taxi.  Eventually, they'll find a way to coexist.  

Have a Great Week.


"The only way to have a friend is to be one."
~Ralph Waldo Emerson