Monday, December 31, 2012



Almost Happy New Year.  I'm still not used to writing a message on Sunday night.  Oh, it's still cold here in Culver City and that may be part of the problem.  I realized I hadn't written to you, but it was 5:30am, dark and cold.  There was no way I was getting up to do this.  (555)
Nobody wrote me with the song title for 'Old School Friday'.  It was "I'm A Roadrunner (Road Runner)" by Junior Walker & The Allstars.  You should have known.  To close out the old year, this 'Easy Monday' song one you're sure to know:  "Diamond life, lover boy.  He moves in space with minimum waste and maximum joy.  City lights, and business nights, when you require streetcar desire for higher heights... No need to ask, he's a __ __, __ __, __ __."
Clue: I may be rough on you if you don't get this one.  So easy.  Title in 2 words, artist in 1.

We had a wonderfully busy weekend.  We dined with friends, Dim Sum'd with The Family, visited and dined with cousins in Hidden Valley (Martha, Tanya, Emmaline, Sophia), and wore many layers of clothes the whole time.  

Meanwhile, back in Thailand, a taxi driver found 3 million Baht on the street and returned it to bank truck drivers.  That's about $98,000 US.  What a guy.  Oh, on TV they just showed the fireworks celebration over Bangkok at midnight and it was awesome.

Today (Monday) we'll have lunch with Bruce and Danielle, who are planning a visit to Thailand and will stay with us.  Tonight we will hang out with C-Bass and August to bring in the New Year.  

Stay warm, be kind, and try to avoid being out on the street at midnight.  

Have a Great Week and a Happy New Year,


"It takes a very long time to become young."

Friday, December 28, 2012

Friday Funnies


Clear skies can trick one into thinking it's a warm sunny day.  I still needed my hat, jacket and gloves.  It's cold here and there's no way around it.  

The 'Zany Day' song was "Crocodile Rock" by Elton John.  'Old School Friday' is next.   Here's one of my favorites from the Motor City:  "Money, who needs it?  Just to live my life free and easy.  Put the toothbrush in my hand, and let me be a travelin', man.  'Cause __ __ __ __, baby.  Can't stay in one place too long.  __ __ __ __, mess with me and I'll be gone.  Hint:  This one is by a singer/sax player and the key word in the title could be 1 or two words.  I left it at two.  It's a play on a cartoon creature who always outwits a coyote.  There, I practically gave it away.  Happy weekend.

Yesterday morning we approached two things on our list that are not considered fun.  We went to the Social Security office, got a number and sat.  After awhile Lisa asked if we could make an appointment online.  The answer was yes and we left.  There is something about sitting in a room of people, not knowing when your number will be called, that just doesn't feel good.  Next stop, the Post Office.  Visions of short lines danced through my head as we parked the car.  There was money on the meter and not many cars around so things were looking up.  We were in line with a woman who actually finished wrapping most of her packages while in line.  Very interesting.  We had a big box of vitamins we were sending to ourselves.  Without the weight of them in our suitcase, management of said cases will be easier.  It will also lessen the probability of being overweight, which the airlines frown on, but will gladly take your money to compensate.

On two occasions I ran into someone I know.  That is something that really adds to the sense of community.  It used to happen to us whenever we went shopping here, but the last two visits it seemed to stop.   It's nice when it happens.

In the evening we had dinner at the home of Lisa's former boss.  This was the second year we've done this and it was a fun, and educational time.  We talked about many things including Thailand, and the art world in America.  They are art collectors and we learned a lot about the changes taking place and how things work.  It's a lot different than what we know in Chiang Rai.  

Today there were a few times when I was tempted to drive 'Chiang Rai Style' but I refrained.  I don't think it would have been appreciated if I had turned in front of the oncoming traffic as soon as the light changed to green.  (555)

We close out the week with a photo from the Chiang Rai Flower Show.  We miss it every year, but it's nice to see what happens.

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


Will Rogers Wisdom (Part 1)

Never squat with your spurs on.

Never slap a man who's chewing tobacco.

There are two theories to arguing with a woman.  Neither works.

Never miss a good chance to shut up.

If you find yourself in a hole, stop digging.

The quickest way to double your money is to fold it and put it back into your pocket.

Thursday, December 27, 2012



It was another cold day in L.A. yesterday.  There was shopping, dining, napping and an art marathon in the kitchen.  

"Well, __ __, is something shocking when your feet just can't keep still.  I never knew me a better time and I guess I never will."  Hint:  The song is about a dance and memories.  The singer is a flamboyant performer who now resides in Vegas, but started across the pond.

We spent the morning getting some of the things we need to take back to Chiang Rai.  Most of what we need are vitamins that are free of certain food allergens.  When we finished parking in one big lot, it struck me that we probably wouldn't have to worry about anybody double-parking behind us in the aisle, which can happen in Chiang Rai at Central Plaza on a busy day. 

It was shocking to drive by Marina Market, only to find that they were gone.  For years it was our source of fresh fruits and vegetables.  We usually have fresh fruit at the end of every meal at home.  I guess we'll have to go to one of the big grocery stores.  Having old landmarks go away and new ones spring up can really change the way you move about town.  Some corners have been completely transformed.  Hmm.

Thai Boom was our destination for lunch.  With the help of one of the servers we had a nice visit with Suni, the owner.  She still talks about visiting our house a few years ago.  She invited us to visit her property west of Bangkok when she returns to Thailand in March.  When we asked for the bill, all we got was fortune cookies.  Nice.

While I was having coffee with a friend, the kitchen in our little apartment became an art workshop.  Lisa, Anna and August worked with oil pastels, and acrylic paint.  

Today's photo is from Christmas morning, sitting by the tree with C-Bass (next to Lisa) and August.  

Have a Thrilling Thursday.


"The happiest moments in my life
are those when I'm not thinking about myself."

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

What You Do


I hope you had a wonderful day.  We spent the morning with Jeff, Anna, C-Bass and August.  The evening was spent in Pasadena with family and it was lots of fun.

The 'Easy Monday' song was "The Christmas Song" as sung by Nat 'King' Cole.  Now it's time for another challenging round of 'Zany Day' song.  "I remember when rock was young, me and Suzie had so much fun.  Holding hands and skimming stones, had an old gold Chevy, a place of my own.  But the biggest kick I ever got was doing the __ __, while the other kids were rocking 'round the clock we were hopping and bopping to the __ __."

On Christmas morning it's usually the kids who are up first, but today it was us.  When everyone finally got up we had a yummy breakfast of cinnamon buns and turkey bacon.  Then it was time to dive into the presents under the tree.  The dogs, Peaches and Lola, had already had time to scope out the packages and figured out which ones were theirs.  There was definite merriment in the room and it continued until it was time for lunch.  

After a  lunch with a main course of turkey, dressing and veggies it was time for a nap.  This time it was brought on more by the turkey than Mr. Lag.  It seems like the cold weather has increased my appetite.  Hmm. 

Here is a photo of what the awesome 'Seven Fishes' dinner looked like on Tuesday night.  Anna created a delicious meal and also created a warm setting that made it a special night. 

In the evening we picked up my Aunt Sara and drove to Pasadena for dinner at The Westin Hotel.  My brother Denny and his wife Sheila, my mom, and our dear friends Blue and Ming gathered at a long table and had more turkey.  We hadn't seen Ming since he graduated from Stanford.  Denny, Blue and I always have conversations that end up in laughter.  After our meal we drove to Altadena and exchanged gifts and stories at my moms house.  This year we went way back in time, sharing tales of growing up on Wilson Ave.  Those were the times.  

Monday, when I was on my way to my mom's, I passed a man on Lincoln Bl. riding a horse down the street.  I should have made a U-turn and snapped a photo since it rivals some of the 'scenes from Chiang Rai'.  If I see him again, he's getting his picture taken.  

This trip has once again given me a pronounced traffic perspective.  Things are so orderly here, even when the traffic is heavy.  For the most part, people stop at stop signs and yield the right of way.  If those two things were to occur in Chiang Rai I would be a much more relaxed driver.  It's also nice to not have motorbikes going down the wrong side of the road, or turning in front of me.  Hmm, I could get spoiled driving here.  

Time for Wacky Wednesday.


"What you do speaks so loudly that I cannot hear what you say."

Tuesday, December 25, 2012



I'm so happy we got here just in time for a little rain.  You know how little we have experienced this year.  (555)  Fortunately, most of it fell in the middle of the night.  We had lunch at one of our favorite Thai spots, and a special dinner with our Culver City Family.  It was a good day.

Here are our phone numbers while we're in town:  Danny  (310) 494-1179    Lisa  (310) 227-2351

I'm sure that some of you missed the 'Easy Monday' tune due to shopping, decorating or wrapping.  No problem.  Here's the last line of the song, just to jar your memory.  The title is not in the lyric, but it's three words.
"And so I'm offering this simple phrase, to kids from one to ninety-two.  Although it's been said many times many ways, Merry Christmas to you."

After a fairly lazy morning at the house, we did a little 'essential shopping' and had lunch at Emerald Thai.  Our friend Nid, the manager, sat with us and we talked about Thailand.  That's always a special time and he was glad to see us.  We got a laugh out of Nid when we mentioned how weird it was that there wasn't an abundance of motorbikes on the streets here.   

I made a trip to Altadena to my mom's house.  She had ordered a turkey for us and it was ready.  Since we don't get much turkey in Thailand it's always a treat to have it on hand during our stay.  We had a nice visit and with the help of a friend who happened to call me, I helped her get her wireless keyboard working.  It amazes me the way she has adapted to using her computer at 90 years of age.

This evening we had what is called a 'Seven Fishes Dinner'.  It's a traditional Italian meal that Anna likes to make during the holidays.  While we were eating, one of the conversations was about food in Thailand and how different some things are.  It started when Lisa mentioned an odd little fish that Boot likes to cook for herself and how 'strong' it smells.  That opened the door to the whole thing.  

Lisa got an email from Boot, letting us know that everything was fine at the house and the dogs were OK.  

                     Somewhere Over the Pacific Ocean

Tomorrow morning we'll exchange gifts with the kids and hang around the house.  In the evening we will go to Pasadena for dinner with my family.  

Have a Happy Tuesday,


"None of us has the power to make someone else love us.
But we all have the power to give away love, to love other people.
And if we do so, we change the kind of person we are,
and we change the kind of world we live in."
~Rabbi Harold Kushner

Monday, December 24, 2012



Twas the day before, the night before Christmas and all through the streets, the shoppers were looking for that last special treat.  The merchants were hoping for one more big sale and drinkers were hoping to stay out of jail.  HoHoHo.

The 'Old School Friday' tune was "Please Be Home for Christmas" by Charles Brown.  Although I think Mr. Brown has the definitive version, you will probably hear The Eagles recording more than any other.   Our 'Easy Monday' song is a classic that I just know you will respond to:  "...They know that Santa's on his way.  He's bringing lots of toys and goodies on his sleigh.  And every mother's child will stop and spy, to see if reindeer really know how to fly..."

This morning the message is arriving a little later than usual.  That's because I seem to have defeated Mr. Lag and managed to 'sleep in' way past my usual wake-up time.  There is the added fact that a certain Golden Retriever was not at my bedside to wake me up.  Whenever we come to America I have to go through a 'time shift'.  In Thailand I write the 'morning message' the night before.  So, your Monday morning message is written on my Monday night.  You get it on your Monday morning.  While in America I have to write the message on the night before so I can send it out early on the appropriate day.  Did you follow all that?  There will be a test.

                   Can't you stay and play?

Our arrival at LAX was on time and immigration was fairly smooth.  In the baggage area of the international terminal there were men in red vests on hand to help women with their luggage.  A nice touch, although some of us men could also use some help with our overweight bags.  (555)  The biggest shock of our arrival was when we walked out into the night air.  Oh my, what a slap in the face.  The biting cold air made it clear that we were not in Chiang Rai.  I am grateful that the temps seem to be creeping up a bit.

Driving out of the Hertz lot in our rental, I went through the usual 'signal reflex syndrome'.  The wipers kept going on when I put on the turn signal.  Ha, it was the wrong lever.  Even when I kept telling myself "Think before you blink" I'd still hit the lever on the right.  I'm doing better now, but there is still the occasional 'wipe' of the windshield.  We also have to concentrate sometimes, when approaching the car, to make sure we go to the correct side.  Fortunately, I have managed to stay on the 'right' side of the street.  

So far we've hung out with Mr. August, gone to dinner with The Family, visited with my mom, and dressed quite warmly.  

More of our Adventures in America will continue tomorrow.  

Have a Great Week.


"You know you're in a good place in life
when you can laugh at what would have 
made you mad in the past

Gettin' Funky, Thai Style 

Friday, December 21, 2012

Friday Funnies


We're in Taipei, Taiwan after our flight from Bangkok.  Here's a transportation breakdown of our trip:  Taxi, plane, bus, plane, plane, bus, car.  This is why it takes a few days to recover.  We discovered that our new scheme of getting on L.A. time before we land will not work.  If we were taking a non-stop flight from Bangkok it could work.  The problem is in the timing of the layover.  We should have been going to sleep around 1:30 or 2pm, but we were waiting to leave BKK.  Hmm, back to the drawing board.

That 'Zany Day' song with the holiday twist was "I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus".  To be the trivia ruler at every holiday party, it was first recorded by Jimmy Boyd in 1957, when he was 13 years old.  Now you know.  And now, for some 'Old School Friday':  "Bells will be ringing the glad, glad news.  Oh, what a Christmas to have the blues.  My baby's gone, I have no friends to wish me greetings once again.... __ __ __ __ __, if not for Christmas, then New Years night."  Hint: This song has been covered by a lot of singers since it's debut in 1960, but I prefer the original recording by the blues singer who co-wrote the song.  

Our flight from Chiang Rai to Bangkok was on Nok Air, the planes with the bird face on the nose.  We got a special treat today.  Can you imagine the discussion before this color scheme was approved?

Sitting here in the EVA Lounge, I looked up at the big screen TV and saw an incredible boat parade.  I don't know where it was because all the captions are in Chinese, but the colors were so vivid and bright that it looked like an animation.  Modern lighting has many uses and parades are clearly one of them.  (555)  

The lounge in Taipei is an interesting exercise in decision making if you're hungry.  You could have pumpkin soup, or exotic pasta, or you could be adventurous and try the double boiled herbal broth with turnip and woodear.  In a pinch, there were fruit loops and corn flakes.  Oh well, they'll feed us right after takeoff, if we can wait a couple of hours.  Ha, the hungry strikes as the words are typed.  Anything but the woodear.

The party we went to on Wednesday night was a real international affair.  The guests were: Thai, Malaysian/Chinese, Australian, Japanese, German, Swiss, American, Canadian, Russian, English, French, Scottish, and Filipino.  Conversations are always interesting with so many different 'life references' to draw from.  

Just as the nights are getting warmer in Chiang Rai, we fly into cold country.  You folks in the L.A. area have about 12 hours to bring the temperatures up to acceptable levels.  (555)

Have a Wonderful WeekEnd.    Time for some 'Funnies'.  


Partial list of possible warning labels on alcoholic beverages:

WARNING: Consumption of alcohol may make you think you are whispering when you are not.

WARNING: Consumption of alcohol is a major factor in dancing like an asshole.

WARNING: Consumption of alcohol may cause you to tell the same boring story over and over again until your friends want to SMASH YOUR HEAD IN.

WARNING: Consumption of alcohol may cause you to thay shings like thish.

WARNING: Consumption of alcohol may lead you to believe that ex-lovers are really dying for you to telephone them at four in the morning.

WARNING: Consumption of alcohol may leave you wondering what the hell happened to your pants.

WARNING: Consumption of alcohol may make you think you can logically converse with other members of the opposite sex without spitting.

WARNING: Consumption of alcohol may make you think you have mystical Kung Fu powers.

Thursday, December 20, 2012



Twas the night before flight time and all through the house, most of the packing was done.  Oh, what a nice feeling that is, knowing we're ahead of schedule.  Thank you to all those who wrote and told us to pack warm clothes.  It's done.

So, a bunch of you remembered the 'Zany Day' holiday song.  We heard it tonight at dinner in Central Plaza.  Hmm.
"Then, I saw Mommy tickle Santa Claus, underneath his beard so snowy white.  Oh, what a laugh it would have been, if Daddy had only seen __ __ __ last night."  Hint:  This is so easy there are no more hints, except to say there's kissing involved. 

This morning we went to Makro early.  So early that we were in rush-hour traffic on the highway.  It was an odd assortment of driving, but we made it without any problems.  It was the earliest we'd been out in a very long time.  I think we might not do that for another long time.  

After lunch we went to Work@Home bakery for bread and had a nice visit with Jonathan, the English Retriever.  At nine years old he's very mellow and lovable.  We almost went to see the mini flower show at the Prison Park but the traffic was complicated and we had packing to do.  Looks like another year that we will miss the flowers of Chiang Rai.

This evening we had dinner with our friend Sutheera.  We met her at Central Plaza and ate at Black Canyon.  Normally they play covers of popular American songs or smooth jazz, but tonight we heard a collection of Christmas and holiday songs sung by a children's group.  Not the best dinner music, but the conversation more than made up for the shrill voices on some of the tunes.  After dinner we went to B2S, the big stationary store, to get some magazines for Boot.  As I strolled down the aisle I noticed a large collection of car magazines, and not far from them was a section devoted to cows and cowboys.  In case you think I'm joking, here are two of the titles on display.


One thing I can say about Chiang Rai is that it has an extremely diverse collection of cultures and characters.  I suppose that is part of the charm of this place.  You never know what you're going to see next.  Amazing.

Tomorrow morning we begin our journey.  We're going to try something new this trip.  Lisa came up with the idea that we put ourselves on Los Angeles time when we take off from Bangkok and stay awake and sleep accordingly.  That may minimize the presence of Mr. Lag after we arrive.  It would be nice to be more 'adjusted' during the first few days.  I'll let you know how it works.  We may be on to something.  In the meantime, I'll be sending you Friday's message from the lounge in Taipei during our layover. 

Have a Thrilling Thursday.


"Nothing is a waste of time if you use the experience wisely."
~Auguste Rodin

Wednesday, December 19, 2012



One more day and then we begin our 26 hour (door to door) journey to America.  People here think we're headed for warm weather but we have to set them straight.  The daytime and nighttime temps on the Westside of Los Angeles are colder than in Chiang Rai.  Brrr.

The 'Easy Monday' song was "Spinning Wheel" by Blood, Sweat & Tears.  It 'Zany Day' time again.  Here's another holiday song to get stuck in your head:  "__ __ __ __ __ __, underneath the mistletoe last night.  She didn't see me creep down the stairs to have a peek, she thought I was tucked up in my bedroom fast asleep..."  Hint:  Many have recorded this one, if you can remember the title that's good enough.  What usually happens under the holiday broccoli?

This morning I had my weekly massage.  The first thing Khun Joy said as I arrived was 'Cold?'.  The weather is the talk of the town.  While I was having my massage I thought about what to take on our trip that would keep me warm.  The conclusion was that most of my 'western' clothes would be key in keeping me comfortable.  My 'Thai' clothes tend to be light weight, loose fitting cottons.  I will be wearing thermals on a daily basis while in America.  

This afternoon we went into town to take care of a little T-shirt business.  It was after 4pm and we usually don't go out at that time because the traffic starts to get messy.  Sure enough, it was getting that way.  We met with Khun Natty, picked up a couple of shirts and then slowly made our way home.  Part of the problem today was a parade that was in the pre-staging process.  I had noticed a decorated pick-up truck at one corner.  A few streets were blocked and police were directing traffic.  Hmm, time to go home as directly as possible.  From what we learned later, there was a very large Buddha being installed at one of the temples and this was the reason for the parade.  

This evening we went to Khun Jaffee's house for a going-away party for Justin and Lisa.  He's been managing Le Meridien Resort for two years, but now they're moving to Bangkok to manage a hotel there.  The party was an outdoor pot-luck buffet with a nice variety of food.  The fact that it was outside should tell you something about our early evening temperatures.  We had some really nice visits with many of our friends who also know the guests of honor.  Because it's a relatively small community, we see the same friends at most functions and if someone is new to the circle they are quickly drawn in.  Now we have friends to visit in Bangkok.  

Here's a photo taken last night at dinner.  I must admit, I didn't know that it would be such a crazy looking pic, but the mood was like this throughout the evening.  (555)  

It's time for Wacky Wednesday.


"If you keep following the pack, you are going to end up
stepping in a lot of what they leave behind!"

Tuesday, December 18, 2012



I guess you can conclude that it was a late night out.  That's why this is coming to you later in the day, for those of  you on the North American continent.  

Congrats to all those who remembered this week's 'Easy Monday' song.  The last verse may ring a bell, maybe:
"Someone's waitin' just for you, __ __, __ true.  Drop all your troubles by the riverside.  Ride a painted pony, let the __ __ fly."  Hint:  Take your mind out for a spin and you might get this one.

Today was a rather mellow day in Chiang Rai.  This afternoon we had a very nice visit with Beth and Tawee.  Tawee is the director of The Sold Project and we had a lot of catching up to do.  They are also expecting their first child and they have a dog, so there were lots of stories and anecdotes.  The Sold Project is now getting major support from The Girl Effect as a result of a recent fundraising drive.  Tawee and Beth filled us in on the progress of the program (in terms of the number of children still in school) and it's amazing.  There are now 150 children in the project and  17 students from the village that are attending high school.  One of their scholarship students teaches the computer class at the center.  Change is happening and it's good.

This evening we went to dinner with our good friends Justin and Lisa, and Lisa's sister Brie.  We ate at Sawadee and had a fun time.  They will be leaving Chiang Rai in two weeks and moving to Bangkok.  He will be managing a hotel in the big city.  After dinner we strolled through the Night Bazaar and totally lost track of time.  That's what can happen when you're having fun.  

On the way to dinner we were behind this giant tour bus and I realized that the 'engine room' was lit up with green lights.  Amazing.  If you look real close, there is a monkey hanging from the back rail. 

                             Green Light

Have a Happy Tuesday.


"I'm always doing that which I cannot do,
in order that I may learn how to do it."
~Pablo Piscasso

Monday, December 17, 2012



Warm days and cold nights is the best description of this time of year in Chiang Rai.  The lists are done, the bags are out, and the countdown has begun.  

The 'Old School Friday' jam was "Shining Star" by Earth, Wind & Fire.   Now it's time for 'Easy Monday' and I think you might remember this:  "What goes up must come down.  __ __, got to go 'round.  Talkin' 'bout your troubles, it's a cryin' sin.  Ride a painted pony, let the __ __ __..."  Hint:  I left off the last word of that verse because it would have given it away.  (555)  Group name implies hard work, title is in two words and it's actually a thing.

Saturday we went out with our lists and just about completed everything.  One of our stops was The Mantrini Hotel, where we delivered the cast acrylic print that Lisa did of The King.  It will be on a wall in the hotel lobby that will feature artwork and photos of His Majesty.  This Friday there will be a big press gathering to explain the special Friday evening community gatherings at the Mantrini.  We will be in flight when this all happens, but the work will be seen.

We did a lot of visiting with friends over the weekend.  Spending time talking, learning and laughing with various friends has enriched our lives.  Sometimes it's a brief encounter, other times it's coffee or a meal, but the personal contact is what it's all about.  

Sunday, as we were leaving Central Plaza we spotted this cool little car at the bottom of the escalator.  Can you say 'Hello Kitty'?  Can you imagine driving around in this?  Hmm.

                                     Kitty Kar

Our regular yard guy has been out of town.  We have needed him desperately and this morning we got a call from his wife that a crew was on the way.  Another yard service was hired to take care of us.  They did a pretty good job cleaning up the over grown areas.  We wanted it to be dealt with before we left since there are certain things we don't want cut and others that need attention.  Daku was a little disappointed that all his long, tasty grass had been cut down.  Oh well, he still gets plenty to eat.  

We went into town to get a supply of treats for the dogs and run a few errands.  I finally found an optical shop that could trim my clip-on sunglasses to the shape of my frames.  While that was being done we walked down the business district to the art supply store.  It's amazing what one can learn just walking down the street.   I should have kept count, but there are more gold shops than I realized.  There are also a lot of optical shops (eye glasses, etc.).  There doesn't seem to be any concern about having the competition two doors down, as well as directly across the street.
Our walk also gave us an opportunity to check out a new cafe we'd heard about that has Thai and Western food.  The menu looks promising for lunch and dinner.  I might even have breakfast for lunch since they can make waffles.  Yum.

Our resident student Tatt is back.  He's been in Bangkok and Rayong for two weeks.  He went to have interviews with universities and to participate in an art and science project.  The project consisted of 50 students, chosen from all over Thailand.  He showed us a water color he did, and shared the Facebook page so we could see some of what they did.  It looks like it was a great experience for him.  Now he has homework to make up.  The dogs were very happy to see him and they let him know.  

Have a Great Week.


"The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself 
in the service of others."
~Mahatma Ghandi

Friday, December 14, 2012

Friday Funnies


We leave for America in one week.  The list of things to do before we go is getting smaller.  Today was a very productive day in that regard.  

The 'Zany Day' song was "Santa Baby" by Eartha Kitt.  Now it's time for some 'Old School Friday'.  Remember this?
"Yeah, hey, when you wish upon a star, dreams will take you very far, yeah.  When you wish upon a dream, life ain't always what it seems.  Once you see your light so clear, in the sky so very dear.  You're a __ __, no matter who you are
Shining bright to see what you can truly be.  That you can truly be."  Clue: These elements may have peaked before you were born, but the fire is not out yet.

This morning the fog came in to visit for a bit, then left. 

                                 A Foggy Morning

With the help of Boot and Kwan, we moved the art packing crates into the carport and covered them.  Most of the artwork has been 'staged' in the places where they will be hung.  Now I have to bring in the tall ladder and exchange the recent for the old.  Daku can't wait for me to hang the work on the landing of the staircase.  It's blocking his view and he likes to stand there and look down on the living room and the front yard.  

This afternoon I traveled out to New Life Foundation.  In the countryside east of town I saw lots of burning in the rice fields.  Makes me happy that our area mostly grows corn, sugar and bananas.  I also saw more progress on some of the building projects.  I'm going to have to take photos of some of the signage, and have a Thai friend tell me what some of these huge building are going to be.  In town it's easy to tell if it's a shop house or a condo, but in the country they appear to be industrial size.  Hmm.

While I was at New Life our friend Pat (pronounced Pot) came over to visit with Lisa.  Before today her name was Atom but she got it changed officially and this was the first day with her new name.  I got a chance to visit with her when I got home and we learned more about Thai culture and the nature of names.  Way too complex to try to explain, and since I don't totally understand it, we would all get confused.  Her name is actually longer, but Pat is her new nickname. 

This evening we went to the opening for some interesting ceramic work.  Many artists develop a 'thing' that becomes a theme at some point in their work.  Khun Keofar is quite fond of the human heart and had many pieces that were based on that image.  The artist is also a teacher and there were lots of young people from the university at the gallery.  We had a chance to visit with Khun Somluk and talk about the Bamboo Workshop and the February opening of the Art Bridge building.  He said we should refer to it as 'our' gallery.  Nice.  In the refreshment area the sound of early Beatles drifted over the enthusiastic voices of young people while the older artists sat around a big round table and chatted.  It was a wonderful mix and a hope for the future of art in Chiang Rai.

Have a Wonderful WeekEnd.    Prepare to laugh.


Thursday, December 13, 2012



Today was one of those days where we just buckled down and did what we had to do.  The cool thing is, we got it all done, and had time to have some fun.  

I'm loving the response to this seasonal 'Zany Day' song.  It's a classic and I'm glad you're remembering.  More?
"__ __, a 54 convertible too, light blue.  I'll wait up for you dear, __ __, so hurry down the chimney tonight... Come and trim my Christmas tree with some decorations bought at Tiffany's, I really do believe in you, let's see if you believe in me..." 

Our main mission today was to renew our Thai driver licenses.  Before we could do that, we had to take two of Lisa's cast acrylic prints to Tawd, the framer.  We have to have the frames removed for shipping and reframing.  After our drive to the countryside we went to the Thai version of the DMV.  We knew where to go from the first time we got our licenses.  We thought we took what we needed, but as we entered the building it occurred to me that they might want to see our 'house book'.  This is a document that shows where we live.  Everyone has something that verifies their residence and that is the 'real' identification.  Hmm.  When we got to the window, the woman showed us a printed list of what we needed.  Our house book was on the list, as well as a medical certificate.  That meant a trip to the doctor as well as going home for the book.  We had been to the doctor before and I remembered where his office was.  After a short wait we went into his office and went through the silly routine of holding out our hands, turning them over, raising our hands above our heads, and opening our mouths.  We had passed the medical exam and after paying 100 Baht, we were closer to our new licenses.  

On the way home from the doctor we tried to figure out if there really was some validity to what had just happened.  I tried to justify some of the movements, but they had nothing to do with driving a car.  We picked up the laptop on the way home and decided to go back after lunch and finish with the DMV.  

There is an unspoken understanding that when you are dealing with the bureaucracy, one should always take multiple copies of everything.  Since we didn't, we were directed to the 'restaurant' outside in the parking lot.  The woman running the shop was on her Bluetooth while she did other work.  We got to hear instructions to someone while trying to get her to make our copies.  She got it done and it was remarkably cheap.  Now we were ready.  Back upstairs we got things stamped and stapled and then we were sent to 'number 5'.  That is a room on the third floor where testing is done.  We had to do the 'what color is this' and a pedal test.  They have a miniature traffic signal hanging on the wall.  The tester pushes a button and you tell her the color of the light.  They are not arranged like real life.  They come on in random positioning and the yellow light actually looked light green.  We both thought the same thing.  After that we sat in a chair and stepped on an accelerator pedal until a red light came on.  Then you're supposed to hit the brake pedal within a certain amount of time.  Back to 'window 3', paid money then got our photos taken.  We are now permitted to drive a private vehicle for 5 years.  The funniest part of all this is that we have Thai friends who drive around and don't have a license.  The only people who get stopped and have to show one are motorbike riders.  Oh well, it's nice to be legal.

This evening we went into town and hung out at NorThai for a bit.  Somehow the subject of tennis came up and we were off on a long conversation about how much we like to watch it.  Martin and Kay also like tennis and it was fun comparing notes and opinions about players, etc.  It's nice having a place to go and just relax, talk and enjoy the surroundings.  We left NorThai and walked to the Night Bazaar for some last minute things.  It's been a full, productive day.

Today's photo is from the Bamboo Workshop.  It is in the shape of a traditional fishing net, and the artist has caught a giant rock.  The mouth of the net is about 6 feet in diameter.

                               Gone Fishing

Tomorrow evening we're going to the opening of an art exhibit for a ceramicist who teaches at Maefarluang University.  It's his first showing in Chiang Rai and he's pretty excited about it.  We're looking forward to seeing his work.  

Have a Thrilling Thursday.


"The greatness of a person is not how much wealth they acquire,
but their integrity and their ability to affect those around them positively."
~Bob Marley (edited by me)

Wednesday, December 12, 2012



It was another postcard day in Chiang Rai.  We had a mellow day with one trip to town, one visitor, and some dog training.  Lists are being completed in our prep for the Winter Visit to the U.S.A.

This weeks 'Easy Monday' song was "Purple Rain" by Prince.  It's time for some seasonal 'Zany Day' stuff.
"__ __, just slip a sable under the tree, for me.  Been an awful good girl, __ __, so hurry down the chimney tonight."
Hint:  I know you know this one.  Zany but so easy.

This morning I had a massage and realized that I was doing pretty good, physically.  Only one place was painful and since I didn't make a big deal about it, I didn't get tortured.  Whew, I was not in the mood.  I left feeling relaxed and peaceful.  Just the mood one needs when taking technical devices to the shop for service.  We had a printer and a laptop that needed help from TechnoCom.  They fixed the printer while we were there and think the laptop will be done before we leave town.  Boot sends us email when we're in America so we wanted it working.  The young people who work for this outfit are all very courteous and efficient.  

This afternoon our friend Tai came over for a visit.  We haven't seen her in a long time so it was good for everyone.  We have had many adventures with her so there are strong memories.  She and Lisa had a nice long visit and I dropped in for a while.  

After Tai left it was time to do some training with Mr. Daku.  Since the incident last week when he went out on his own, we have been working on getting him to have more respect for the open gate.  In other words, don't go out there.  Today was our second time working with him and he seems to be responding to our method.  It's kind but gets the point across.  Plus, he gets to eat extra yummy treats.

One of our friends posted a photo that I couldn't resist passing along to you.  It comes from Mae Sai, which is the border town with Burma, an hour north of us.  It would appear that there was one box too many on the back of this vehicle.


Tomorrow we have to go to the Department of Land Transportation and renew our Thai driver licenses.  The first one was good for one year, and this one will be good for five.  We have no idea what we will have to do once we get there.  Hmm, the adventure continues.

It's time for a Wacky Wednesday.


"Your beliefs don't make you a better person, your behavior does."

Tuesday, December 11, 2012



Today we were greeted by a crystal clear sky.  We visited with friends and went on a doggie expedition.  

It's so nice to know that 'Easy Monday' hasn't fallen on deaf ears (or eyes?).  Here's another verse for you to ponder:
"I never wanted 2 be your weekend lover.  I only wanted 2 be some kind of friend.  Baby I could never steal u from another.  It's such a shame our friendship had 2 end.  __ __, __ __ (repeat 2 times)  I only wanted 2 see u underneath the __ __."  Hint:  Really now, this is 'Easy Monday'.  Next thing I know you'll be asking me if I've read 'The Color Purple'.

This morning when Daku and I went out for our morning 'rounds' he discovered the neighbors cat huddled under our car.  At first I didn't know why he was so agitated, but then I looked and saw the cat at the right front wheel.  As I approached Daku to try and pull him away, the cat made a break for it and Daku was in hot pursuit.  Luckily, the cat made it to the wall and left Daku with only the scent of what might have been.  He kept going over the whole scene, from the carport to the wall, over and over.  Dogs.

After Lisa's massage we met with our friends Caty and Kobchai at Doi Chaang Coffee.  We haven't hung out with them in months and we wanted to get in a visit before we leave.  Caty is expecting twins and they are very excited.  We had lots of catching up to do and the time just flew by.  They also have two dogs so there was a lot of animal talk.  (555)

We had lunch at Siam Cafe and then strolled up Jet Yod Rd. for a visit with Martin and Kay at NorThai.  They have made some nice additions to the first floor and it's very warm and inviting.  Now it's just a matter of letting the public know that they are there.  

Late this afternoon we met with Gary and Jago at one of their 'play areas' by the river.  It's a huge field that's been plowed over and is vacant.  Along the bank of the river there is lots of room for running, playing and investigating.  We kept Daku on a long rope until we got to the river.  When we let him go he stayed around Jago and they ran around and played.  Jago likes to jump into the river and fetch a stick, but Daku was not up for total immersion.  He got close and checked it out, but wouldn't go in.  We ended up on a tiny island behind the River House Hotel.  There is a bamboo bridge from the hotel to the island and it has short grass that is perfect for the kind of play the dogs do at our house.  After a short time there we walked around the side of the hotel to our car.  Daku is already in dreamland.  It was a good workout for him.  Meanwhile, Boot took BamBam on her motorbike to visit some friends.  The dogs really had quite a day today.

                           Daku and Jago Running Free

Have a Happy Tuesday.


"The best teachers are those who show you where to look,
but don't tell you what to see."
~Alexandra K. Trenfor

Monday, December 10, 2012



The weather in Chiang Rai has two faces.  By day it's warm and sunny, at night it's a cold winter.  There is a 30 degree change from night to day.  We had a very pleasant  weekend of malling, partying, and hanging out.  Below is a link to a Facebook page that shows lots of photos of the Art Bridge Bamboo Workshop and Event.  

The 'Old School' song was "Foxy Lady" by the one and only Jimi Hendrix.  'Easy Monday' should be a piece of cake:
"I never meant 2 cause u any sorrow.  I never meant 2 cause u any pain.  I only wanted 2 one time see u laughing.  I only wanted 2 see u laughing in the __ __."  Hint: There was a distinct color theme with this artist during the era of this song.  And did you see the movie?

Saturday we went to Central Plaza to get a special gift and to do some Bluetooth shopping.  We heard a song playing over the mall system and I recorded part of it.  At Boomerang Music I played the selection and they had to hear it several times to figure it out.  It was from a movie soundtrack that isn't out yet.  Hmm.  I found it later on Youtube.   Isn't technology wonderful, sometimes?

In the evening we went to a Christmas party at our friend Eddie's house.  We had never been to his house, though he's invited us numerous times.  Things kept getting in the way, but Saturday we made it.  His house is a beautiful 'show piece'.  There is an attention to detail that gave it the feel of an upscale hotel.  We were wondering if we would know anybody there and it turned out we did.  We had a fun time hanging out with friends.  There was catered food, live music, and two Christmas trees.  Eddie has one of Lisa's prints in his collection and it looks great in his house.

Sunday morning it was so cold we put on jackets to play with the dogs.  BamBam had her sweater on from last year, but Daku didn't have one.  We knew he was cold over night because he stayed in his bed all night.  He usually spends most of the night on the floor next to Lisa.  Part of our Sunday shopping was new sweaters for both dogs.  Here they are sporting their new duds this morning.

                BamBam & Daku all Warm and Cozy

In the evening we went to the Night Bazaar for dinner and browsing.  With the cold weather upon us, and not much hair on my head, I have been wearing a knit hat in the mornings.  It's not very fashionable so I've had my eye out for something 'cool'.  Last night I found it at the Night Bazaar.  I am not only pulling out warm things for Chiang Rai, but for our upcoming trip to America.  We watch the weather forecasts and it looks like we'll be having colder temps when we get there.  Hmm.  Oh well, it is the 'Winter Visit'.  

Today was a National Holiday.  This one was Constitution Day and schools, banks, and many businesses were closed.  I can tell you that Makro was open and so was the vegetable market.  This afternoon a friend of ours came over and bought Lisa's cast acrylic print of The King.  That was very cool. 

In case you're wondering, we'll be there from December 22 to January 13.  Warm it up a bit if you can.

Have a Great Week.


"Everything you can imagine is real."
~Pablo Picasso

Friday, December 7, 2012

Friday Funnies


The fog was back this morning, as thick as ever.  It was gone by 'play time' and everyone had a ball.  This evening we went to the Art Bridge event and saw the results of our bamboo adventure.

That 'Zany Day' song that had a few of you puzzled was "Bohemian Rhapsody" by Queen.  'Old School Friday' is up next, and I think you know this one:  "You know you're a cute little heartbreaker.  You know you're a sweet little lovemaker.  I wanna take you home.  I won't do you no harm, no.  You've got to be all mine, all mine.  Ooh, __ __."
Hint:  The title is a description of a person.  That's all you get.

This morning the dogs had a play-date with Jago, the Saluki.  They knew he was in the yard before he got out of the truck.  Daku came tearing around the house just as Gary got out of the driver's side.  When Jago got out they went into their little 'let's play' dance and then began running around the yard.  BamBam was escorted out on a leash for the first few minutes and maintained her cool after being released.  Even after our dogs were worn out, young Mr. Jago was begging them for more play.  The morning ended with both dogs getting a bath.

Tonight was the Art Bridge Charity Event at Khun Somluk's house.   Our friend Kay rode with us and we had fun on the way to the property.  We had to park quite a way from our destination and the road was dark.  I used the flashlight app on my phone to light the way.  As we entered the driveway we saw The Shark.  We saw a photo on Facebook earlier today, but seeing it 'live' was another thing.  It looks even bigger in the darkness, glowing amongst the hedges.  Across the driveway were more creatures and a lighted bamboo path.  The huge back yard was now a wonderland of colored shapes.  There was an elephant perched high in the sky on a long bamboo pole, a giant chicken next to its egg, and numerous abstract creations.  A monk was giving a talk when we got there, and later there would be classical guitar and a string ensemble from a university out of town.  We saw lots of friends from in and out of the art circle and the evening was, for us, a huge success.  On our way out, when we reached the end of the driveway we were contemplating the uphill walk to the car.  There was a school van being used as a shuttle and it waited for us before leaving.  We got to ride in the little school bus, which was very odd, and avoid the climb up the hill. 

                   The Shark and it's Creator

This weekend we're going to a Christmas party, and I'm going to try and post more photos on Facebook.  If we're not connected, search for Danny Moses 520 (there are a ton of people with MY name)  

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


Class 1: How to Fill Up the Ice Cube Trays. Step by Step, with Slide Presentation.
Meets 4 weeks, Monday and Wednesday for 2 hours
beginning at 7:00 PM.

Class 2: The Toilet Paper Roll. Does it Change Itself?
Round Table Discussion. Meets 2 weeks,
Saturdays 12:00 for 2 hours.

Class 3: Is It Possible to Urinate Using the Technique of
Lifting the Seat and Avoiding the Floor/Walls
and Nearby Bathtub? Group Practice.
Meets 4 weeks, Saturdays 10:00 PM for 2 hours.

Class 4: Fundamental Differences Between the Laundry
Hamper and the Floor. Pictures and Explanatory Graphics.
Meets Saturdays at 2:00 PM for 3 weeks.

Class 5: After Dinner Dishes.
Can They Levitate and Fly Into the Kitchen Sink?
Examples on Video. Meets 4 weeks, Tuesday and Thursday for
2 hours beginning at 7:00 PM

Class 6: Loss of Identity - Losing the Remote to Your
Significant Other.
Help Line Support and Support Groups. Meets 4 Weeks,
Friday and Sunday 7:00PM.

Class 7: Learning How to Find Things - Starting with
looking in the right places instead of turning
the house upside down while screaming.
Open Forum. Monday at 8:00 PM, 2 hours.

Class 8: Health Watch - Bringing her flowers is not
harmful to your health.
Graphics and Audio Tapes. Three nights; Monday,
Wednesday, Friday at 7:00PM for 2 hours.

Class 9: Real Men ask for Directions When Lost.
Real Life Testimonials.
Tuesdays at 6:00 PM, location to be determined.

Class 10: Is it genetically impossible to sit quietly while
she parallel parks?
Driving Simulations. 4 weeks, Saturdays at noon, 2 hours.

Class 11: Learning to Live - Basic Differences Between
Mother and Wife.
Online Classes and role-playing. Location and times to be announced.

Class 12: How to be the Ideal Shopping Companion.
Relaxation Exercises, Meditation and Breathing
Meets 4 weeks, Tuesday and Thursday for 2 hours
beginning at 7:00 PM.

Class 13: How to Fight Cerebral Atrophy - Remembering Birthdays, Anniversaries and Other Important Dates and Calling When You're Going to be Late.
Cerebral Shock Therapy Sessions and Full Lobotomies
Offered. Three nights; Monday, Wednesday, Friday at 7:00PM
for 2 hours.

Class 14: The Stove/Oven - What it is and How it is Used.
Live Demonstration. Tuesdays at 6:00 PM, location to be

Upon completion of any of the above courses, diplomas will be issued to the survivors.

Thursday, December 6, 2012



It was a cold, foggy morning that greeted us today.  We seem to be in a pattern of hot and cold.  We spent the morning in the street handling business, and took delivery of Lisa's artwork in the afternoon.  Tonight we saw things in the night sky.

So, clearly you remember this 'Zany Day' song.  Just for fun, I'm skipping down to my favorite part.  Sing along:
"I see a little silhouetto of a man, scaramouch, scaramouch will you do the fandango.  Thunderbolt and lightning, very, very frightening me.  Gallileo, Gallileo, Gallileo....."  Clue:  The title is not in the lyric of the song, which is really an opera of sorts.  

This morning, after a visit to the bank, we had a meeting with Khun Natty to talk about the T-shirt project.  We should have a full supply in about a week, and someone is going to be selling them at Walking Street.  There is also a gift shop location that may want to carry them.  Natty said people see them in the restaurant and want to buy them.  This could get interesting.  

Natty told us that the family restaurant was super busy yesterday because of The King's birthday and Father's Day.  Here is a photo of the turn-out in Bangkok, in front of the palace, where The King made an appearance.

                Paying Tribute to Their King

On our way home we stopped at a fairly new 'Everything Store' to get some rope.  I looked up the word in my language app in my phone.  I didn't add the 'classifier' so when I said the basic word they looked at me like I was a foreigner (555).  They called for a young man who spoke a little English and we walked around the store until he finally figured out what I wanted.  Then I heard him tell the others and I was half right.  Unfortunately, you have to be 100% right or you can get ignored.  The place was a wonderland of 'stuff'.  Kind of like a 99cent store in terms of assortment and quality.  We may go back in the future.

This afternoon we got Lisa's artwork from Bangkok.  The three crates are in the guest room until we finish emptying them.  Tomorrow they will take their place in the carport and we will begin rehanging the cast acrylic prints around the house.  We've missed them.  

We got another notice from NASA that the Space Station would be doing a fly-over this evening.  We went out to see and at first we saw nothing.  Then we started seeing fireflies, which was very cool.  We were just about to give up when Lisa spotted a bright light moving quickly across the sky.  It was the Station, speeding through space and it struck me that there were people in that thing so I said 'Hi'.  It's so easy to forget that they're up there living, working, sleeping as they orbit around us.  You can go to the NASA website and look for the notification section.  They will send you an email when the Station will be visible in your area.  So cool.

Tomorrow morning we have a play-date with Jago.  In the afternoon I go to New Life, and in the evening there is the Art Bridge event with the bamboo sculptures, music and dance.  It's gonna be a busy day.

Have a Thrilling Thursday.


"To resist the influence of others, knowledge of oneself is most important."

Wednesday, December 5, 2012



Last night I could see all of my stars.  This morning it was cold, but by mid-morning it was warm again.  We had a busy morning, a lazy afternoon, and a night at the Bazaar.  There are fireworks tonight in honor of The King, and to just make noise.

So, by now you've figured out that 'Easy Monday' was "Fixing a Hole" by The Beatles.  This 'Zany Day' song has been the subject of discussion and controversy since 1975 when it first came out.  It's still zany any way you look at it:
"Is this the real life?  Is this just fantasy?  Caught in a landslide, no escape from reality.  Open your eyes, look up to the skies and see, I'm just a poor boy, I need no sympathy because I'm easy come, easy go.  A little high, little low..."
Hint:  We've sung this one in the past so you should remember it (555).  Title is two words.

This morning the dogs didn't get their play time.  We left early to pick up a fruit basket for Khun Joy.  We've changed and cancelled a bunch of massage appointments and she's always very accommodating.  

Here's something we saw on the way to Lisa's massage.  We have no idea what it's carrying, but considering that it's a full-size truck, I'd venture to say that in many places he'd be pulled over and cited.  Amazing Thailand.

After Lisa's massage we went by the vets, then on to Big C.  We usually approach Big C a little after opening in order to avoid the crowds.  Today we had to wait in line to get on the lot.  Inside it wasn't so bad and we didn't need a lot.  The shoppers are always interesting to me because I've learned to tell who is local and who has come to town to shop.  As we were leaving we saw a family pouring in the front door, eyes wide, looking amazed and enchanted.  

A new way of paying tribute to The King has emerged on Facebook.  All day people posted pictures, paintings and drawings with messages in his honor.  Most of the photos are archival, it's just a matter of deciding what to post.  We saw everything from childhood photos to a famous shot of The King and Queen meeting Elvis when he was in the service.  Lisa posted her cast acrylic print of The King in a musical motif.  He was quite a writer/performer back in his youth.  In fact, he and Lionel Hampton had a little jam session, with The King playing saxophone.  

I think we're clear on the fact that the motorbike is a very common mode of transportation in Thailand.  Many families rely on their bike to do many things in the course of the day.  Whether it's taking kids to school, going to the market, hauling produce or rubbish, or just going from point A to point B, the motorbike is the workhorse of the country.  It's not uncommon to see three on a bike.  A family of four on an evening ride is not that unusual, but the following photo will blow your mind.  If you count the baby, there are nine (9) people on this bike.  This shot was taken by someone else.

This evening we went to the Night Bazaar for a little shopping.  The place was very crowded with 'visitors' and locals.  It was unfortunate that we didn't see more people carrying bags.  Lots of looking but no buying.  We were the first sales for many of the vendors we encountered.  It's easy to tell because they take your money and pat it over their merchandise for good luck.  Hmm.

We're supposed to be able to see the space station at 5am tomorrow but I doubt that we'll be getting up that early to go out and look up.  Brrr.

It's time for Wacky Wednesday.


"Never give up on a dream just because of the time it will take to accomplish it.  
The time will pass anyway."
~Earl Nightingale