Friday, August 30, 2013

Friday Funnies


Hi,

Hot and rainy was the order of the day, luckily it didn't all happen at the same time.  Blue arrived and everyone, including the dogs, is happy.  

The 'Zany Day' song was "Big John" by Jimmy Dean.  Now it's time for a dreamy ballad on 'Old School Friday'.
"When I want you in my arms, when I want you and all your charms.  Whenever I want you, __ __ __ __ __ __ __."
Clue:  It's by a couple of brothers who were really brothers, singing about something that happens when one is asleep, or sometimes awake.  Hmm.

Last night we went to the airport to pick up Blue.  While we waited for the luggage to be unloaded we could see him, but could not enter the area.  We watched as passengers without luggage met their friends.  We saw two friends coming back from Bangkok and it was another example of life in a 'small town'.  Our vet was one of the people we saw.  Finally, Blue got his bags and we headed for home.  At the house, BamBam started barking until she realized who it was, then she was all smiles.  When Lisa brought Daku out he wanted to get crazy, but he was held back.  This morning he wandered down the hall to see if Blue was awake.  Later this morning BamBam tipped down the hall and managed to make contact.  Our dogs love house guests, and especially Blue.

This morning we drove up the highway to Makro, and Blue was amazed at the growth that is taking place in the area.   It's always fun to be with someone who hasn't been here for a long time because they see things we sometimes take for granted.  Many things are new to Blue that are no longer new to us.  Perspective changes as we ride around town.  This evening we're going to Big C and then to Doi Chaang Coffee.  Tomorrow we'll lunch at Art Bridge and hang out.  

Today's photo was taken at a light on the Super Highway.  It seems that these trash men have the best seats in the house when it comes to picking through the garbage.  I guess it's a perk of the job.  Hmm.


Have a Wonderful WeekEnd.        Time for a 'Funny'.

                   Peace,
                              Danny


Thursday, August 29, 2013

Go


Hi,

Chiang Rai weather was, well, same as it ever was.  Even with the afternoon rains, the pool is warmer.  We had a very interesting lunch and watched an incredible sunset.

The 'Zany Day' song got some correct responses and some great guesses.  Here's the second verse of this story:
"Nobody seemed to know where __ called home.  He drifted into town and stayed all alone.  He didn't say much, kinda quiet and shy.  If ya spoke at all, ya just said 'Hi' to __ __."  Hint:  The first word is a descriptive adjective and the second is a name.  The character is like a Paul Bunyon.  Oh, and it's not Young Fred.  (555)

Today we had our friend Khanti over for lunch.  He is an artist and also teaches at Chiang Rai Rajabhat University. We learned a lot about him today and he's quite a guy.  He grows rice behind his house, for personal consumption, has a big pond with fish that he doesn't eat, and has three pet ostriches.  That last bit really got our attention.  Apparently he saw a baby, thought it was cute and kept it.  Then he got two more and didn't realize how big they'd get.  They all have names and they come when called.  He says they like people, but one has to be aware that they will try to peck bright objects, like watches.  Khanti gave us our baby Jacaranda tree that he grew from a seed.  We also learned that our banana tree is a very good variety that has lots of health benefits.  He is currently doing a survey of the handicrafts of different villages in the area, noting that each village has a unique style or medium.  Wow, my head is full of so much stuff after that lunch.

All of the preparations are completed for Blue's arrival tonight.  We are all excited about his visit.  This evening there was an amazing sunset full of swirling clouds in various shades of orange.  Today's photo was taken from our front yard with my iPhone using HDR.   


The next two weeks we'll be playing tourist and tour guide since Chiang Rai has changed so much since the last time Blue was here.  So many new places to see, the ones we pass by but never check out.  I suspect we'll be learning and doing a lot.  Hang on for the ride.

Have a Thrilling Thursday.

                  Peace,
                             Danny

"Wherever you go, go with all your heart."
~Confucius 

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Trust


Hi,

Chiang Rai experienced a sunny, hot day.  It's just what we needed to dry out a bit.  Of course, that didn't last long when the afternoon rain came.  While the sun was out we were out and about.

The 'Easy Monday' song was "Suite: Judy Blue Eyes" by Crosby, Stills and Nash.  Who remembers this 'Zany Day' 
saga:  "Every morning at the mine you could see him arrive.  He stood six-foot-six and weighed two-forty-five.  Kinda broad at the shoulder and narrow at the hip, everybody knew you didn't give no lip to __ __, __ __, __ bad __, __ __."  Clue:  This is a story-song that won the Grammy for Best Country & Western song in 1962.  The two-word title includes the name of the main character in the song.  

Today's adventures began with lunch at Art Bridge.  When we got there the place was practically empty and hanging out in the restaurant was very peaceful.  We took some of Lisa's T-shirts to be sold in the gift shop, cruised through the gallery, after lunch and talked to Blue while he was at LAX preparing for his flight to Thailand.  He will arrive tomorrow (our Thursday) night.  

On our way to pick up the new studio sink we stopped at a nursery and got a vine for the front wall.  The last time we were there it was bustling with lots of vendors and plants.  For some reason, it was rather quiet and bare this time.  I guess you have to catch it at the right season.  

Shopping can sometimes be a challenge.  Normally, there is someone at the home improvement store who speaks English.  Our timing was off and all of the English speakers were at lunch.  While I was off looking for someone to help, Lisa communicated enough to get them to understand that we wanted the sink.  Then we found out there was no delivery or installation.  The box with all the parts fit in the back seat of the car, and tomorrow Khun Mahn will come and put it together and install it.  

The photo for today is a sight that we see from time to time.  Motorbikes with 'side hacks' are common for carrying everything from ice to rice, cooking gas or trash.  This shot is a man and his wife using it as a sidecar, which is not the safest thing to do, but when has that been a problem?


It's time for Wacky Wednesday.

                   Peace,
                              Danny

"As I watched the seagulls, I thought:
That's the road to take.  
Find the absolute rhythm and follow it with absolute trust."
~Nikos Kazantzakis

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Happiness


Hi,

Today's weather could best be described as cloudy with periods of intense sunshine, followed by a 5pm shower.  We lunched at the Plaza (sounds so HiSo), shopped for a sink, and bought flowers for the kitchen garden.  Cool day.

This week's 'Easy Monday' tune got a lot of responses so far.  Here's something from the second movement:
"Friday evening, Sunday in the afternoon, what have you got to lose?  Tuesday morning please be gone, I'm tired of you, what have you got to lose?  Can I tell it like it is?....."  Clue:  The title is in four words.  One is a name and two describe a special attribute of the subject.  Hmm.

This morning we went to Central Plaza for lunch and also to check on my laptop fans.  After dining at Mikey D's, which was a splurge and a break from our usual diet, I stopped at one of the many phone accessory counters.  For some time I have been eyeing a telephoto lens for my iPhone.  I got a demonstration and based on what is available, it's pretty cool and will allow me to capture things far away.  

In Thailand the cell phone systems are not tethered to contracts by the service providers.  You put money on the phone and pay as you go.  When you need more money it's a simple matter of going to a 7-11 or the providers shop and tell them you want to 'top up' your phone.  We did exactly that and then hit the Apple Service Center.  It turns out my fans have to come from Europe and won't be here until Monday.  This means we'll have to put up with my noise machine a little longer.  

There is something about walking into a home improvement store that send the mind racing.  Oh, look at that, we could use that, those are beautiful.  Today we saw the latest in floor and wall tiles.  The images on the tiles are digitally printed and the colors and details are so vivid you just have to have them.  Well, we didn't go nuts today, but some day.  What we did see was a great little sink that will go perfectly in Lisa's studio.  The current one needs to be replaced so it's coming home tomorrow.

This afternoon we stopped by the garden center and picked up three potted, flowering plants to put in the garden in front of the kitchen.  We'll keep them in pots and when they're done it will be easy to replace them with what ever is in season.  This is how many of the colorful landscapes around town are maintained.  The photo for today is from our garden in the back yard.  This is one of many orchids that always comes through with beautiful flowers.


Have a Happy Tuesday.

                    Peace,
                               Danny

"To seek happiness outside of ourselves,
Is like trying to lasso a cloud.
Happiness is not a thing,
It is a state of mind."
~Omar Khayyam

Monday, August 26, 2013

Young


Hi,

Chiang Rai saw a lot of rain this weekend.  I'm done with the rain, but the rain is not done with me.  In brighter news, the artwork is on display in the coffee house and things are progressing with the Chiang Mai exhibit.

The 'Old School Friday' song was "Superfly" by Curtis Mayfield.  For 'Easy Monday' try this on your memory:
"It's getting to the point where I'm no fun anymore, I am sorry.  Sometimes it hurts so badly I must cry out loud, I am lonely.  I am yours, you are mine, you are what you are, you make it hard..." Hint:  The composition is a collection of movements performed by three musicians.  It's about a girl.  

There is nothing more difficult than trying to direct a dog to stay on higher ground when it's time to do his thing.  Daku went out in a light drizzle following the storm last night and he wanted to explore the yard.  The yard was under water and I knew he wouldn't pee there, but he wanted to smell it anyway.  We sloshed around for a moment until I pulled him to where it was just soggy.  There is so much water in the earth that when another downpour comes, the lakes appear.  Today the yard crew came and took advantage of the 'dry' day.  They worked fast and finished before their usual time.  They knew what was coming.  During dinner it started again and by the time we finished eating both yards were flooded.  The adventure continues.

Saturday morning we took Lisa's cast acrylic prints to Chivit Tamma Da and Joakim and his staff helped us set them in the windows.  They posted a photo of part of the room on their Facebook page and over the weekend it got 90 likes.  Below is the photo.


The Chiang Mai exhibit opens on September 14 and this is the first time we have done all of the 'work' to put up a show.  There are so many little pieces to bring together in order for the opening to be an event.  Finding someone in Chiang Mai to 'cut the ribbon' has been an ordeal.  Today we made contact with someone in the city who is being a tremendous help.  Our hotel rooms have been booked, the crates are being rebuilt, and the new works are being framed.  Then there is the invitation, the press release, and what to wear (555).  It's all worth it in the end.  

Lately, we have been noticing 'Cultural differences' that creep into everyday life.  The other day Boot was making soup for dinner.  Normally it is served with rice on the side.  Neither of us wanted rice and when we told Boot, she was like 'You can't have Tom Yum without rice'.  We asked for salad and she was almost offended, but then Lisa explained that soup and salad is a very normal thing to have in the West.  Dogs are also a 'tender' subject and we are continually trying to explain that dogs don't necessarily know what's best for them.  Our dogs are not street dogs and we treat them differently.  There is an attitude that they have their own minds and they can handle whatever.  We would rather protect them from danger (like cars) than leave it to them to deal with.  Oh my.

Have a Great Week.

                  Peace,
                             Danny

"I am not young enough to know everything."
~Oscar Wilde

Friday, August 23, 2013

Friday Funnies


Hi,

The weather forecasters have really been on the game lately.  The rain has come as predicted.  Today was no exception.  Afternoon storm was a big one.  Running errands in the mornings seems to be the way to go.

Congrats to all who remembered "Lovely Rita" by The Beatles.  After two easy ones this week, 'Old School Friday' may hurt your brain a bit.  Some of you players will know this one.  Forty years ago this was a hit song and movie:
"Darkest of night, with the moon shining bright, there's a set goin' strong, lotta things goin' on.  The man of the hour has an air of great power.  The dudes have envied him for so long... Oooh, __, you're gonna make your fortune by and by.  But if you lose, don't ask no questions why.  The only game you know is do or die.  Ah-Ha-Ha"  Clue:  Enter the 'smooth criminal', long cars, and mean streets.  The character in the song was a hero to some, though he didn't wear a cape or fly.

This morning we took a little trip to the vet for Daku's follow-up.  The vet says he's doing great, the healing is going well.  Just as we were thinking we were out of the woods, Boot noticed another hot spot this evening.  At least now we know a good way to treat them.  It's the nature of the breed to go through things like this, apparently.  When we got home Daku was in rare form.  He was full of energy and ran around outside like he was a puppy.  I guess the relief of having a simple doctor visit and the car ride made him happy.  

What is it about potholes that causes them to defy repair?  It seems to be a universal thing, all over the world.  A hole appears, a crew comes days after it emerges and fills it with something and a few days later it's a hole again.  Just thought it was worth noticing.

Today's photo was taken at Art Bridge.  What you are seeing is a battle scene made of carved wooden figures.  There is a box next to the display and when a 10 Baht coin is inserted, the figures all move and engage with each other.  The amazing thing is, you can't see any wires or means of motivation.  Just wait until I corner the artist and bug them about how this works.  (555)

                            Wooden Battle

This afternoon we wrapped six of Lisa's cast acrylic prints for tomorrow installation at Chivit Tamma Da coffee house.  This will be an interesting experiment since they have never featured local artists before.  Next week I'll show you photos of the mini exhibit.

This weekend, if it's storming outside we'll be keeping up with tennis from America, the Volleyball World Grand Prix from Lausanne, Switzerland, and the Formula One Grand Prix from Belgium.  It's a good thing we can record stuff.  

Have a Wonderful WeekEnd.   Prepare to laugh.

                     Peace,
                                Danny
                               

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Go

Hi,

With an overnight rain and a brief downpour this afternoon, I think we've had enough for a week.  The rainy season continues.  While the sun shone, we went to town with a list and got most of it done.  It was a good day.

Isn't it fun having an easy 'Zany Day' song?  From your responses, this one was a snap.  Here's the next verse:
"Took her out and tried to win her, had a laugh and over dinner, told her I would really like to see her again.  Got the bill and __ paid it, took her home and nearly made it, sitting on a sofa with a sister or two.  __ __ meter maid, where would I be without you?  Give us a wink and make me think of you...."  Hint: Let the meter run out and maybe you can meet her.  (555)

This morning we tackled the portion of Bus Station street we've been avoiding.  Near the corner where it intersects with the storm drain construction, parking is difficult, driving is free-form, and it's just not fun.  Today we managed to find that one space that allowed us to visit several shops within walking distance.  At the health food store we asked the owner if the street work was hurting business.  She said she gets some customers, but it has hurt them a bit.  Walking along the main drag, we noticed that a big portion of the street had been finished and repaved.  It was not cause for celebration though, the next segment is a giant hole in the street.  No one knows how long it will be like this, but the hope is that by the beginning of 'High Season' things will be back to normal.

At Central Plaza we checked on the fans for my laptop and discovered that they are coming from Singapore and the waiting continues.  The stationary store is at the other end and as we passed under a giant, overhead screen we saw a little toddler.  His grandfather pointed to the colorful lights on the big screen and the little boy stopped.  Then the dance music started, his body took over, and he began to dance.  It was one of those special moments.  There are a series of businesses on the upper level that are all related to beautification.  There is a skin care center, the body sculpting center, and something called F.B. Medical which remains a mystery.  They were all having their morning staff meetings, the young women dressed in their stylish suits with immaculate hair and make-up.  A few steps down the hair salons were doing their thing.  Morning in the mall is fascinating.  

This afternoon, not long after our swim, the rain came again and stayed long enough to once again soak the yard.  The grass has grown so fast that it's time to call the yard crew again.  

Today's photo was taken out in the country.  This spirit house was the only thing left after the main house was demolished.  Presumably, it was left behind because it was occupied.


Have a Thrilling Thursday.

                Peace,
                           Danny

"Wherever you go, go with all your heart."
~Confucius

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Rich


Hi,

Sunshine, clouds, and rain, another day in Chiang Rai.  Today we paid a visit to the Talat, and had a visit from a group of college students.  We also had a guest storm in the late afternoon.  

The 'Easy Monday' song was a snap for most of you.  "Stop! In the Name of Love" brought in more mail than I've seen in a long time.  Nice to hear from so many of you.  Our 'Zany Day' song will begin with the first verse, otherwise it would be way too easy (555).  "Standing by a parking meter, when I caught a glimpse of __.  Filling in the ticket in her little white book.  In a cap she looked much older, and the bag across her shoulder, made her look a little like a military man.  __ __ meter maid, may I inquire discreetly, when are you free to take some tea with me?"  Hint:  The song title actually is two words.  

This morning we started our rounds in the street with a stop at Major Media to pick up Lisa's DVDs.  It was nice doing business with such a happy and efficient staff.  The videos will be on sale at the art exhibit in Chiang Mai next month.  

Our visit to the Talat (market place) was actually an afterthought.  The place where we get chicken sausage is across the street.  We decided to go in and get some treats, and then I mentioned that I wanted to look for shirts.  I knew there was a series of aisles, deep inside the maze, that carried men's shirts.  We had looked before, but hadn't found any light-weight fabrics.  I was ready to give it another try.  Using my 'tracker sense' we made our way through the narrow passages and found two stalls that had what I was looking for.  We got back to the main aisle without getting lost, which is no simple feat.  We got our treats and a new basket for the dog toys.  

A few weeks ago our friend Sutheera had discussed a project she was doing with some business students.  They were to sell a product and donate some of the proceeds to charity.  When she saw Lisa's T-shirts she asked if the students could sell them.  It sounded like a good idea and today she and six students came over to the house and picked up the shirts.  They will sell them at the Night Bazaar and Central Plaza this weekend.  A portion of the sales will go to The Sold Project, and the rest will go to support an elementary school.  In today's photo they are counting the shirts.


The weather forecast had called for rain today and tomorrow.  This time they got it right and we had a storm that drenched our yards.  Boot had gone to visit a friend and we figured she'd wait out the rain.  When she finally got home we discovered that she got wet anyway.  The dogs didn't get their afternoon yard time, but Daku and Lisa played a bit in the house.

It's time for Wacky Wednesday.

                  Peace,
                             Danny

"If you want to feel rich, just count all of the things you have that
money can't buy."
~Unknown

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Things


Hi,

Today we had another art related adventure.  We also had a brief downpour that watered everything.  

It seems that the 'Easy Monday' song is a hit, again.  I got a huge response this week.  Glad I struck a chord.
"I've tried so hard, hard to be patient, hoping you'd stop this infatuation.  But each time you are together, I'm so afraid of losing you forever.  __! __ __ __ __ __, before you break my heart....Think it over."  Hint:  I think we're past that.

This morning we had to go to Makro for supplies.  We also had to return our air-cooler for repair.  It just stopped working, but it's still under warranty so we're hoping they'll take care of it.  From Makro we went to a coffee house called Chivit Thamma Da, which sits on the bank of the Mae Kok river.  The owner, contacted Lisa about displaying her artwork in their main sitting room.  It's like a solarium, with lots of glass and antique furniture.  We have known him for some time so it was easy to discuss the concept.  There is space for seven cast acrylic prints along with a background page.  They get lots of out-of-town visitors as well as locals and it might be a great opportunity for widening the 'fan base'.  

Since we have had little rain lately, the pool has been warming up.  Today it was very comfortable.  We swam and replayed the day.  Then a big cloud covered the sun.  

Around 5pm I glanced out the window and the air at ground level was gray.  Someone was burning a giant pile of trash.  When we left the air-conditioned bedroom the smell of the smoke was clearly plastic.  The doors and windows downstairs were open and the house smelled like smoke.  After closing things up I put the air filter machine in the dining room.  It took awhile for us to calm down from the invasion.  The idea that it is OK to just burn and fill the air like that seems to still be prevalent.  Sometime progress is slow.  The sudden downpour after dinner helped wash the sky.  

At Saturday's dinner party there was an instrument sitting in the front of the dining room.  I had seen one before, but didn't know the exact name or origin.  Our friend Third Googled 'Harps' on his phone and we learned that it was a Burmese Harp.  It was a sharp contrast to the Karaoke technology on the other side of the room.

                         Burmese Harp

Have a Happy Tuesday.

                      Peace,
                                 Danny

"Those who cannot feel the littleness of great things in themselves, 
are apt to overlook the greatness of little things in others."
~Kakuzo Okakua
 

Monday, August 19, 2013

Blame


Hi,

This weekend was warm and dry in Chiang Rai.  Lots of clouds, but no rain.  We were busy, but it was all good.

The 'Old School Friday' song was "Busted" by Ray Charles.  Here's an 'Easy Monday' song I'm sure you know:
"__! __ __ __ __ __, before you break my heart.  Baby, baby I'm aware of where you go, each time you leave my door.  I watch you walk down the street, knowing your other love you'll meet.  But this time before you run to her leaving me alone and hurt, (Think it over) After I've been good to you?  (Think it over) After I've been sweet to you?  __! __ __ __ __ __...."  Hint:  It's by a trio from the motor city, the message is pretty clear.  

Saturday morning we followed our friend Anoi to a place called Major Media.  We wanted to put Lisa's ASEAN TV interview on DVD to sell at her exhibit in Chiang Mai next month.  The staff was very professional and while we stood talking about the project, the young tech had removed the video clip from Youtube and edited it for the DVD. We went back today to see the master and finalize the cover and disc photos.  Wednesday we will pick up 50 DVDs ready for the show.  Amazing.  

Our Saturday adventures continued when we picked up our friend Kelly, who is visiting from America, and took her to Art Bridge for lunch.  When we first met her she was working at MaeFarluang University and volunteering with The Sold Project.  She had not seen Art Bridge so we had lunch and toured the gallery and gift shop.  We compared notes about living abroad and of course, our observations about life in Thailand.  Kelly had been staying with Caty, mother of 'The Twins' which meant that when we took her home we got to spend a little time with the girls.  That was a treat.

In the evening we went to a restaurant near the airport for the dinner party for Dr. Sutheera.  There were about 30 guests and we sat at the table with Sutheera and her husband's family.  We knew most of the people at the table so it made it more fun.  The family that looked after us when we first arrived in Thailand was at our table and we really enjoyed catching up on family news and remembering our 'early days'.  One of the highlights of the evening was the featured entertainment.  The singer, who works at the restaurant, has a whole Elvis songbook that he sings with his Karaoke machine.  On some of the songs he sounded just like Elvis.  Today's photo shows him hard a work.  Note the poster below the keyboard.


Sunday evening we went into town and had dinner at NorThai.  We had a chance to hang out with Martin and Kay, the owners.  After dinner we went upstairs to Martin's gallery to see his new series of paintings.  NorThai has really evolved since it's opening and it has a very warm, inviting vibe.  

Have a Great Week.  Big thanks to my friend Christopher for today's funny/profound quote.

                         Peace,
                                    Danny

"You can't keep blaming yourself.  Just blame yourself once, and move on."
~Homer Simpson

Friday, August 16, 2013

Friday Funnies


Hi,

Chiang Rai has moved into a familiar weather pattern.  Sunny with clouds, afternoon rain, and occasional thunder stroms.  All the humidity had caused problems for Mr. Daku and his 'Golden' skin.  The adventure continues.

The 'Zany Day' song that so many of you knew was "Strawberry Fields" by The Beatles.  'Old School Friday' is going to be a challenge for you 'kids', 'cause it's, well, from 1963.  We've gone deeper, but this one is a little off the grid.
"My bills are all due and the baby needs shoes and I'm __.  Cotton is down to a quarter a pound, but I'm __.  I got a cow that went dry and a hen that won't lay.  A big stack of bills that gets bigger each day, the county's gonna haul my belongings away 'cause I'm __."  Hint:  One word describing the absence of funds, starts with a 'B' like in broke but that's not the word.  

This morning we had to take Daku to the vet.  It turns out he has hot spots on both elbows and one had become infected.  We took him to the vet in Ban Du and he was very calm through the whole visit.  The doctor said she has treated a lot of Golden Retrievers for the same problem.  He was prodded, scrapped, scrubbed and medicated.  Poor baby spent the whole afternoon sleeping, mostly due to the antihistamine he was given.  For a few days he'll have to wear the 'cone from hell' and stay inside unless escorted by an adult.  It's going to be an interesting process.  

The weather was beautiful today.  The big storm came while we were napping so it didn't interfere with the day.  We got in the pool with the sun beating down and within 5 minutes it got cloudy, dark and windy.  We got out and went inside.  A few minutes later the sun was back.  Bummer.

Yesterday, during our travels, we passed a true 'country barbershop'.  It sits on a busy road and offers a chic, open-air vibe that the locals apparently enjoy.  


Tomorrow evening we're going to a celebration dinner for our friend Sutheera, who just got her PhD in business marketing.  I'm sure we will get to meet some of her friends from her academic world.  

Have a Wonderful WeekEnd.   Time for a laugh.  These two characters look just like Daku and BamBam.

                    Peace,
                               Danny


Thursday, August 15, 2013

Power


Hi,

We had another beautiful day in Chiang Rai.  Lots of sunshine mixed with clouds.  It was a busy day full of adventure and wonder.

Congrats to all those who named the tune right away.  There's still time to show how smart you are (555).
"Living is easy with eyes closed, misunderstanding all  you see.  It's getting hard to be someone but it all works out.  It doesn't really matter much to me.  Let me take you down 'cause I'm going to __ __, nothing is real..."  Clue: It was the 'B' side of a single about a lane named after a bit of money.  Part of the title is also part of a hair color.  (moan)

This morning I had an 8am appointment to get our car serviced at Toyota.  They sent me a reminder text last night, which kinda blew my mind.  They finished the car 45 minutes earlier than expected, which was fine with me.  I was hanging out in the 'wait area' watching a show on my iPad and looking up occasionally to peak at morning Thai TV.  I drove away with clean oil and a clean car. 

The afternoon was crazy busy.  Before we left for Art Bridge to exchange one of Lisa's prints, Daku had a little freak-out.  He has a hot spot on his elbow and when we started to leave he lost it.  He wanted to get in the car, and started crying and running around.  He usually doesn't mind a bit when we leave.  Lisa calmed him down and left him with Boot.  

At Art Bridge we handled the business of exchanging the work and then we drove to Khun Angrit's restaurant to pick him up and go to his 'garden'.  Angrit is an artist and one of the members of the board of Art Bridge.  He had been telling us about it and invited us to see it.  It's located off a winding road west of the village of Ban Du.  As we got closer he pointed out a protected forest on one side of the road.  When we reached his place we pulled onto a small road and parked.  We walked up a path that had bamboo growing along the side and arching over the path, like a tunnel.  Flowers and vegetables were what we were expecting, but we couldn't have been more wrong.  After about 1/8 of a mile, there was an open area that was just filled with plant life.  He pointed out the trees he had planted from seeds, and various bushes.  He just lets it all grow.  It was not a garden at all, it was a huge hillside with views in every direction.  His property is about 15 1/2 acres of rough trails, meadows and forest.  It was like being transported to another place, far away.  It was quiet, and the smell of the wild grass reminded me of being in the mountains as a child.  There were baby rain trees, pine trees, fruit trees, and herbs growing wild.  His dream is to one day build a small house on the land and live there.   Today's photo was taken by Angrit at the entrance to the property.


When we finally got back to the house all we wanted to do was get in the pool.  Not to swim, but to cool off and relax after being in the blazing sun.  We timed it just right because after dinner a giant storm hit.  Thunder, lightening and wind sent BamBam running for cover and us checking all the usual places.  All is well and the storm has passed, for now.

Have a Thrilling Thursday.

                     Peace,
                                Danny

"Power 'should be' the ability to do good things for others."
~Unknown

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Mind


Hi,

Chiang Rai had another nice, dry day today.  There were lots of threatening clouds, but lots of sunshine.  There was a massage, and a busy afternoon in the streets.

'Easy Monday' was "Groovin'" by The Young Rascals.  Time for an easy 'Zany Day' song.  Forget hidden meanings, just tell me the title and who sang it (555).  "Let me take you down 'cause I'm going to __ __.  Nothing is real, and nothing to get hung about.  __ __ forever."  Hint: It's a place and there is a fruit involved.

This morning I had my first massage in two months.  On the way to Khun Joy's I passed the big hole in the road.  There were men working and a tractor standing by so that was hopeful.  Joy has been working on her English and even though she still has a limited vocabulary, we had fun 'talking'.  There was no torture involved so I would call it a good massage.

Every time Lisa finishes a new cast acrylic print, we take it to Bliss Studio so Chalit can photograph it.  He has a method that gets all the colors exactly like they appear in the print.  This way we not only have a permanent record, but it can be used in things like catalogues, etc.  Today was one of those days so we went into town, without a nap or our afternoon coffee.  What?  Leaving Bliss and arriving at Big C, we noticed lots of cars in the lot.  It was mid-afternoon and the shoppers were out.  It was hard to believe that aside from Duncan Donuts, there is no place to get coffee at Big C.  Hmm.

Across the highway at Central Plaza we were shocked to find that the parking lot was almost full.  When we got inside we didn't see that many people, unless they all came in one car each.  We did find coffee at our favorite mall spot.  Some people were sitting at 'our' table so we had to sit in a corner.  A group of women were taking pictures and at first we ducked out of the way.  Then they motioned that they wanted us in their picture.  OK, we leaned over, smiled and will probably end up on someone's Facebook page.  We watched small families, and groups of school kids strolling back and forth.  There have been large billboards around town for a condo complex called 'The Terminal'.  Today we saw a model of it and asked a few questions.  It's going to be near Art Bridge, near the access road to the airport and will be finished in three years.  This should be interesting.

By the time we left the mall, the afternoon traffic was starting to build.  Now I remember why we stay inside after 4pm.  It isn't that it adds so much time to the trip home, it's that there is more to keep track of on the road.  Motorbikes down the center of the road, bicycles and motorbikes on the side, and all the other things that happen all day.  It makes the head spin.  On a positive note, the hole in the road has been filled, though it's a little bumpy to drive over.  When we got home we breathed a sigh of relief, and went for a swim.

Today's photo is the view to the west as the sun was starting for home.  We have no idea what those clouds have in store for us tonight.  


It's time for Wacky Wednesday.

                    Peace,
                               Danny

"I see the world differently by changing 
my mind about what I want to see."
~Gerald Jampolsky

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Within


Hi,

After a brief shower this morning, we had a very hot, sunny day.  What?  If it's like this tomorrow, the big dog gets a bath.  (555)

We finally have an 'Easy Monday' tune that almost everybody knows.  You may not have responded, but I know you know it.  "We'll keep on spending sunny days this way.  We're gonna talk and laugh our time away.  I feel it comin' closer day by day.  Life would be ecstasy, you and me endlessly __, on a Sunday afternoon.  Really, couldn't get away too soon.  Ah-ha-ha (x 3)..."  Hint:  The group that recorded this had an adjective in their name for a while.  What was it and were they on this record?  I'm all out of hints.

This morning, after Lisa's massage, we went to the Talat (market) to pick up some treats for our afternoon coffee date.  We had another of those special encounters with 'Parking Guy', who does a cool little dance with his hands as he guides you into your space.  From my rear-view mirror I watched his hands twirl around, change speed and then tap on the fender when he was happy with the position.  He works hard all day, bringing a smile to parking a car.  There are no meters, so he collects 4 Baht (about 14 cents).  I doubt if he makes much money, but he puts everything into his work.  Hmm.

On our way to Cornelus' house this afternoon we noticed that a pot-hole had been dug up.  Now it's a giant hole in the middle of the road at a busy intersection.  One just drives around and sighs.  When we arrived at the house, two tiny little dogs came out to greet us.  They weren't allowed in the house because they tend to be clingy, according to Cornelus.  While the coffee was brewing we talked about house guests since he just had five unexpected visitors.  It was light and fun.  He showed us some little books that he makes and sells at his exhibits.  They are small collections of pictures that he's placed in albums, with a theme.  One was titled 'Violence & Religion', another was called 'The Story of Us' with pictures of people from around the world.  In his studio he showed us his latest series of artwork.  His partner, Ahnoy returned from a funeral of an uncle and had quite a story to tell.  It seems that the man was 79 years old, had 53 wives through his life, and has 22 sons and 3 daughters.  There are countless grand children.  Ahnoy told us that he met relatives who live near him that he's seen for years and didn't know they were related.  

Today's photo is the giant sculpture in front of Art Bridge, with the addition of some neon art.  At night it definitely draws attention to the location.

Art Bridge At Night

Have a Happy Tuesday.

                 Peace,
                            Danny

"What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters
compared to what lies within us."

Monday, August 12, 2013

Breath


Hi,

The weekend weather in Chiang Rai was a mix of showers, downpours, and steady rain.  We even saw some sunshine.  

The 'Old School Friday' song was "Stand By Me" by Ben E. King.  It's time for 'Easy Monday' so everybody can play (555).  "__, on a Sunday afternoon.  Really, couldn't get away too soon.  I can't imagine anything that's better, the world is ours whenever we're together, there ain't a place I'd like to be instead of movin', down a crowded avenue...."
Hint: The title is one word (Ha).  It's easy.

There has been some flooding in areas around us, but our immediate neighborhood drains pretty well.  I think it's all in the river.  It just keeps rising and is now covering the whole 'beach' on the south side.  It's hard to believe that about a month ago it was knee deep in the middle, and now it's hip deep at the shore.  

Saturday we were out and about and it began to sprinkle.  Today's photos show two bits of ingenuity.  Riding on an electrically assisted bike you see a girl on the back in a chair that has been tied to the bike, holding an umbrella to keep her and her mother dry.  



Sunday we stayed in all day.  In the evening we went to Art Bridge for dinner with Stephan, Claire, Scott and Michele.  They are all from Australia.  We had a fun time exchanging tales of Thailand, hearing about the hotel business, and life in general.  It's so interesting to eat with people who are adventurous and willing to try food I know I can't or won't eat.  Scott is a chef so he's always looking for new dishes or ways to prepare things.  What a brave guy.  

After dinner we went to Makro, which is right across the highway.  We figured that we'd get what we needed and save a Monday morning food run.  It turned out to be a good idea.  

Late last night we experienced another episode of 'BamBam, the clairvoyant dog'.  She got all agitated, wanting to go downstairs.  This usually happens when she thinks Boot has come home.  I took her down and put her in Boot's house, even though no one was there.  When I got back to our house a bike came to the gate.  It was Rudy coming home.  How did she know?  (cue eerie music)

Tomorrow we get back in our massage groove in the morning and coffee and dessert with an artist friend in the afternoon.  

Have a Great Week.

                     Peace,
                                Danny

"Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the
moments that take our breath away."
~Unknown

Friday, August 9, 2013

Friday Funnies


Hi,

After 24 hours of rain, it's been 'dripping' this evening.  The dogs got lots of play time this afternoon and all is well.

When the dust settled, only two readers knew the 'Zany Day' song, "Back In The U.S.S.R." by The Beatles.  Oh well, here's an easy 'Old School Friday' tune you're sure to remember.  "When the night has come, and the land is dark, and the moon is the only light we'll see.  No, I won't be afraid, oh, I won't be afraid.  Just as long as you __, __ __ __."  Clue:  The title is three words, it's a request for support.  The singer drifted around before going solo.

The 'Tropical Depression' that is over Northern Thailand dumped a lot of rain.  Our front yard was like a marsh, but it drained properly.  The back yard continues to get that 'lake look' when it's heavy.  I guess the drain needs to be opened up with some kind of snake device.  Other parts of Chiang Rai had flooding, but nothing serious as far as we know.  A friend posted a photo of a section of the Super Highway north of town and it was completely covered on one side.  

We went into town this morning while the sky was in sprinkler mode and it wasn't too bad.  It's always interesting to see the various methods people come up with to stay dry, or not.  I was thinking about all the people who will get to work or school with their clothes soaked.  Sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do.

In yesterday's post I discovered that the names of the twins may not have been aligned with the photos.  Just to clear things up, the big smiling face in the gray top was Taeyo, and the cutie in the white top was Jaiyah.  

One of the benefits of so much rain is the greenery that surrounds us.  Today's photo is the road to our house.


The weekend is looking pretty calm.  Sunday we're going to dinner at Art Bridge with friends.  Lisa will be working in her studio, preparing for the exhibit in Chiang Mai, and I will be doing something as yet undetermined (555).  Oh, and we'll be making every attempt to stay dry.

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

                       Peace,
                                  Danny


Thursday, August 8, 2013

Help


Hi,

We have known since yesterday that sometime today a major storm was coming to town.  The day was cloudy with patches of sunshine until late afternoon.  The timing was perfect for our lunch with the twins.

Only one person has named the 'Zany Day' song.  It's an uptempo number by those four lads from Liverpool.  That should get you started.  "Been away so long I hardly knew the place, gee it's good to be back home.  Leave it 'til tomorrow to unpack my case, honey disconnect the phone, I'm __ __ __ __ __ __ __.  You don't know how lucky you are boy, __ __ __ __ __ __ __."  Hint:  The place of his return no longer exists.  Think White Album.  

The main focus today was our lunch date with Caty and the twins, Jaiyah and Taeyo.  Our friend Kelly, who is on a return visit to Chiang Rai was also part of the party.  The girls were both awake when they arrived and got our full attention.  
When we first met them they were still in the hospital.  Four months later they are so much bigger and very aware.  Taeyo and I had a little smile exchange early in the visit.  Later I had fun with Jaiyah.  Before lunch we got to talk to Kelly about her travels and studies.  She's near the end of a masters program and will go into foreign service when she's done.  During lunch the twins entertained themselves on a mat with overhead soft toys.  They make little sounds as if communicating with each other.  It was pretty clear that Caty is terrific at nurturing two little ones at once, which is no easy chore.  One point of interest was that they almost never sleep at the same time.  That means it's hard for mom and dad to get sleep sometimes.  Seeing the twin's bright faces and realizing their distinct personalities is a joy.  Of course, they are the featured photos today.  

                                    Jaiyah 

                                       Taeyo

Around 4pm the rain began.  At first it looked like it would be a light shower, but it soon turned into a raging downpour.  The yards became ponds in places, and it lasted for almost an hour.  It slowed to a sprinkle for an hour.  There is lots of thunder in the distance, so we know more is coming.  The weather alerts even had a notice in red, which we've never seen.  According to Thai radio it will last for two days.  We have what we need in the house so we'll be fine.  The dogs won't like it, and neither will I when I have to take them out, but they both have sense about it, in their own ways.  

Have a Thrilling Thursday.

               Peace,
                          Danny

"It is one of the most beautiful compensations of this life
that no man can sincerely try to help another
without helping himself."
~Ralph Waldo Emerson

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Hope


Hi,

What began as a 'post card' kind of day soon shifted to stormy weather.  Oh well, it's still the rainy season.  Tomorrow night, more is on the way in inches.  

'Easy Monday' was "Ooh Baby Baby" by Smokey Robinson & The Miracles.  Time for a 'Zany Day' song you might know.
"Oh, flew in from Miami Beach B.O.A.C., didn't get to bed last night.  On the way the paper bag was on my knee, man I had a dreadful flight.  I'm __ __ __ __ __ __ __.  You don't know how lucky you are boy, __ __ __ __ __ __ __. "
Clue:  Four of the seven blanks are initials for something or is it some place?.  

This morning we had a little 'ball drama' during doggie play time.  Yesterday, Daku's yellow ball went into the bushes and was lost.  This morning Lisa took a slightly larger pink ball for him to chase and he loved it.  The problem was, so did BamBam.  She would not chase her beloved red ball at all.  She wanted the pink one.  Finally, Lisa pretended to throw the pink ball in the bushes and then told BamBam to go find it.  This is her specialty, hunting down the balls in the bushes.  It took some trying, but she finally found Daku's yellow ball.  Tomorrow we'll see if they will both chase their own balls, or insist on the pink one.  

We spent much of the morning filling in events and things on the calendar.  Things are picking up, with appointments, lunches, coffees, and a party.  I called Toyota to schedule service on our Vios and had to wait for them to call back with someone who spoke English.  That's when I discovered that Monday is a holiday.  It's The Queen's birthday, as well as 'Mother Day'.  This is a very big holiday in Thailand and mothers are celebrated in many ways.  In Bangkok, mothers and their children will travel around town for free on the SkyTrain.  Hmm.  

We met our friend Jaffee at Doi Chaang for a meeting this afternoon and saw other friends in the process.  Our friend Supat told us how property prices were rising, and Khun Noot, the owner of Doi Chaang has been experimenting with making a non-dairy cake for us.  We usually see someone we know when we're there and it gives it a nice community vibe.

On the way home we drove through the main business district.  Today's photo shows what happens when one has to move a lot of boxes in one trip.  He had to be careful making the turn, for obvious reasons.


It's clearly time for Wacky Wednesday.

                   Peace,
                              Danny

"Most of the important things in the world
have been accomplished by people who have kept on trying
when there seemed to be no hope at all."
~Dale Carnegie

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Universe


Hi,

Today was a beautiful day, and we managed to 'take care of ourselves'.  We experienced storm drain detours and dined at the newly opened Art Bridge Restaurant.  

Well, it seems that there are still some memories intact.  The 'Easy Monday' song got a proper response.  Here's more:
"Mistakes, I know I've made a few, but I'm only human, you've made mistakes too, and I'm cryin'.  __ __ __, __ __ __."
Clue:  When the smoke cleared he was still in love.

Boot and Rudy had plans for a day trip to Mae Sai.  They were going to visit some friends in the Mae Sai Riders motorcycle club.  She told us we would have to take care of ourselves, meaning get our own lunch and dinner.  We're big kids and we know how to do these things.  We stayed home until late afternoon and had a restful but productive day.  

Our dear friend Blue is coming to Thailand at the end of the month.  He'll be here for almost 3 weeks and we've been waiting for his return for a long time.  There are also many friends of his/ours who have been asking us when he'd be back.  

We had to go downtown this afternoon and we were pretty sure we'd hit the 'New Chiang Rai Traffic'.  It actually wasn't as bad as I thought it would be, thanks to a policeman directing traffic at the Clock Tower circle.  That could have been a disaster, but it was pretty smooth.  Construction is on the main north/south thoroughfare through town.  With not many alternate routes, things back up quickly.  We got to our destination, in the construction zone, parked on the sidewalk, and that was that.  I never thought I would just do something like that and take it in stride.  (555)  I guess I'm becoming 'localized'.  We stopped by Work@Home and while we were waiting for our bread to be sliced, we had a Thai/English lesson with the woman at the counter.  She has been asking customers questions as a way to learn English, and in turn, teach them a little Thai.  Our lesson with her today was how to say 'It will rain tonight'.  We also learned that she is 65 years old.  It's pretty cool that this woman is working on her language skills at 65, on her own.  She deals with tourists a lot and realizes the value of being able to communicate.  

Our dinner at Art Bridge was great.  They did a lot of work, not only on the kitchen, but the general presentation.  The menu has been expanded, there are little touches of class around the place, and what we ate tasted really good. While we waited for our food we went into the gallery to see some of the new work that went up over the weekend.  We could spend hours looking at the different works of art, since there are so many styles and concepts represented.  Art Bridge Rocks.

Today's photo is from our dinner cruise on the Ping River.  It was taken from the bow of the boat and the colors kept changing.  This was one of the best.

                      Glowing Purple Bridge

Have a Happy Tuesday.

                  Peace,
                             Danny

"The universe is full of magical things patiently waiting for our
wits to grow sharper." 

Monday, August 5, 2013

Measure


Hi,

We're back from an adventurous weekend in Chiang Mai.  There was a river cruise, lots of new friends, and Lisa went on a tour of some galleries with the host of her next exhibit. 

A bunch of you knew the 'Old School Friday' tune as "Save The Last Dance For Me" by The Drifters.  'Easy Monday' is an oldie but goodie I'm sure you remember:  "I did you wrong, my heart went out to play, but in the game I lost you, what a price to pay.   I'm cryin', __ __ __, __ __ __."  Hint:  The title is actually an exclamation and one word sung twice.  That should make it easier (555).  

We arrived in Chiang Mai in mid-afternoon and checked into The Empress Hotel.  It's an older hotel that tries really hard.  Since our dinner was going to be later than usual, we decided to go to the hotel coffee shop for a snack.  During the course of our meal our server kept bringing us things.  First she brought us candy bars, the little boxes that have an elephant inside.  Near the end of our meal she brought a single rose and gave it to me.  I remember this from the last time we stayed there.  She whispered to me that I was to present it to Lisa and give her a very big kiss.  I complied and the staff cheered.  

Two of my friends from Koh Samui, an island in the south, were staying in our hotel for the big meeting on Saturday.  The four of us were picked up by a local friend, Tony, and driven to The Riverside Restaurant.  As we began our slow ride down the river, the sun was just going down and the bridges over the river were lit with changing colored lights.  We ate with Tony and Marty, a good friend of mine that I've known for years.  Along the shore, lots of guys were fishing in the light of the many restaurants that populated the bank of the river.  It's amazing to realize that the long string of eateries were all doing big business, each one catering to a different taste.  Our dinner wasn't anything to write home about, but the atmosphere and the company made up for that.  We had a ball.  As we walked through the restaurant after the cruise, a young band was playing in the bar and they were quite good.  Next door there was another band performing.  It seems that live music is a very big thing in Chiang Mai.

          Dinner Cruise on the Ping River, Chiang Mai

Saturday morning, sitting in the dining room having breakfast, we watched as lots of travelers were preparing for their day of adventure in Chiang Rai.  The city has lots of tourist attractions and with some of the groups, I could sense their excitement.  I went to a meeting in the park while Lisa prepared for her lunch with Khun Wantip, the owner of 116 Art Gallery.  

My afternoon was spent in a big room in the hotel, with representatives from areas in Thailand.  I learned a lot and contributed when I could.  During our lunch break, which was around 1:30pm, Lisa and Khun Wantip were leaving for a road trip.  They were in our hotel so I met them in the lobby.  It turned out that Lisa would not be back until late afternoon.  They went to several galleries outside of town, and got to know each other better.  Lisa's exhibit will open on September 14 and run for 6 weeks.  

We spent Sunday evening exchanging stories of the day and just relaxing in our room.  It was a very productive weekend for both of us.  

Have a Great Week.

                Peace,
                           Danny

"The measure of our life is not whether others know our name,
but whether we have touched the lives of others."
~Unknown

Gettin' Funky, Thai Style