Friday, October 31, 2014

Friday Funnies


We had a very hot day today.  The Loy Kratong holiday is coming next week and we can hear sounds of music from across the river.  The celebration begins Wednesday and will go until Friday.  

The 'Zany Day' song was "Along Came Jones" by The Coasters.  Our 'Old School Friday' song should be familiar to many of you.  If you remember last weeks 'Old School' tune, you should have no problem with this week's entry:
"You're my love, you're my angel, you're the girl of my dreams.  I'd like to thank you for waiting patiently.  __ __, your __ __ to stay.  How I've waited for this moment to be by your side.  Your best friend wrote and told me, you had teardrops in your eyes.  __ __, your __ __ to stay."  Clue:  Back in the day, answer songs were very popular.  Same crew, different name, but vocals just as smooth.

We spent the whole day at The Big Brown House.  Lisa worked on various aspects relating to her upcoming exhibit that opens on November 29.  The catalogue is at the printer, but there are still invitation designs, demonstrations, and press releases that have to be prepared.  

I spent most of the day sifting, or rather shoveling through two storage areas that have accumulated a lot of unnecessary baggage.  It's amazing how much can grow in the dark (555).  There is a fine line between being sentimental and being a pack rat.  I tend to save things, the thinking being that I might someday need, or have a use for them.  Today was the day when I faced the music and let them go.  I can now say that I have Thailand memories that are nice to recall, but not worth saving.  What do you do with a business card that you cannot read, or a phone number to someone you don't remember?  And then there are the little tech things that didn't quite work, but were just too cool to toss.  They're all in the trash, along with some magazines that are now obsolete because technology has made such rapid leaps.  In the midst of all the things that are going away, there were some items that just have to stay.  Missing music, memorabilia from conventions, and gifts from a long time ago that remind me of special people are the things I keep.

Today's photo was taken by Blue this evening.  We have been having some very dramatic cloud formations and he caught one of them just as the sun was setting.  

Tomorrow we will probably venture out into the world.  Cat needs a badminton racket and proper shoes, and we always have a running list of things for the house.  This weekend is the Formula One U.S. Grand Prix and because of the location, we will have to record the events and watch them later.  I'm not getting up at 3am to watch (555).

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


Thursday, October 30, 2014



Chiang Rai had another hot day.  There had been indications that the cold season was coming, but I think it's on hold.  

Wow, a bunch of you knew this 'Zany Day' song.  It's a lot of fun, especially if you can visualize the scenes.
"Commercial came on, so I got up to get myself a snack.  You should've seen what was going on by the time that I got back.  Down in the old abandoned mine, sweet Sue was a-havin' fits.  That villain said, 'Give me the deed to your ranch or I'll blow you all to bits'.  And then he grabbed her (and then?), he tied her up (and then?), he lit the fuse to the dynamite (and then? and then?).  Ack-ack, and then __ __ __.  Tall, thin __, slow-walkin' __....."  

This morning the yard crew came to do their thing.  During the rainy season everything grows so fast that things need attention more often.  There was a misunderstanding about our bamboo plants today.  They were trimming it when we returned home and I told them to stop cutting, but the cutting continued.  Later, Lisa told me I'd be disappointed with the result and I was.  Instead of a bushy, naturally growing bamboo plant, we have a manicured stalk with a burst of leaves at the top.  It's not OK.  

Our adventure today included a massage, followed by lunch at Central Plaza.  Mid-day Wednesday is a lot less crazy than the weekends at the mall.  During lunch Blue and I discussed the community center aspect of the mall.  Not only does it provide activities and events, but there are full-service branches of all the major banks, and counters where you can pay various bills, like power, internet, and TV services.  There are semi-fancy restaurants on the upper level, a low cost food court near the theater, and traditional food served on the lower level.  With Chiang Rai expanding the way it is, it's nice to see that within the growth, there is a place where community can be nurtured.  

This evening our friend Rachel came by with some photos of Cat and her mother.  When asked if the photos would make her feel happy or sad she said, "Both".  The pics were taken when Cat was 10 years old.  We all went to dinner at Sawadee Restaurant at the Night Bazaar and had a fun time.  It's always good to see her and hear about the growth of The Sold Project.

Today's photo was taken at the frame factory, where the little elephants for the art project are being made.  This little guy is the model.  You're getting an early look at what the artists will be working with.

Have a Thrilling Thursday.


"I have not failed.  
I've just found 10,000 ways
that won't work."
~Thomas A. Edison

Wednesday, October 29, 2014



We had another cloudy, hot day with no moisture at all.  They keep forecasting this and that, but nothing ever lands on Chiang Rai.  This evening we got to watch the International Space Station fly over.  Always amazing.

The 'Easy Monday' song was "Love The One You're With", originally by Stephen Stills, then The Isley Brothers, Luther Vandross, and Crosby Stills Nash & Young.  Time for some 'Zany Day' madness with something from '59.
"I flopped down in my easy chair and turned on channel 2.  A bad gunslinger called Salty Sam was a-chasin' poor sweet Sue.  He trapped her in the old sawmill and said with an evil laugh, 'If you don't give me the deed to your ranch, I'll saw you all in half'.  And then he grabbed her (and then?), he tied her up (and then?), he turned on the buzz saw (and then, and then?).  Ack-ack, and then __ __ __.  Tall, thin __, slow-walkin' __, slow-talkin' __.  __ __ lonely, lanky __."  Hint:  The title is three words and one is a name.  It's from a crew known for producing zany hits.

This morning Lisa and I went into town.  After a brief stop at the Talat, we went on a light bulb run.  At the larger stores, whenever you buy bulbs, they test each one.  It's a nice practice that avoids them having to deal with returns.  We were so impressed with the entertainment unit that Blue got yesterday that we went back and got one for the house.  While we waited for the salesman to get a new unit, we got the customary bottle of cold drinking water.  When we finally got our receipt it included a coupon for a free cup of coffee.  Hmm, that will surely bring us back (555).  

This semester Cat will be playing badminton three days a week for her physical education.  She likes the sport and it's more exercise than they usually get.  Sounds like fun to me.  The semester began with homework on the first night, which is an indication of how intense things will be.  Her new schedule will give her one day off (Sunday) from 'learning stuff'.  She is one of a growing number of kids from her village that are going well beyond the average level of schooling a generation ago.  

Today's photo was taken in the late afternoon at Boon Rawd Farm.  Visitors are strolling through the rows of tea plants.  

It's time for Wacky Wednesday.


"We have more possibilities
available in each moment 
than we realize."
~Thich Nhat Hanh

Tuesday, October 28, 2014



This morning the sky over Chiang Rai looked like rain was coming.  We were hoping it might happen, but alas, it never did.  It ended up being another hot day.  Hmm, maybe tomorrow.  

This week's 'Easy Monday' song struck a chord with a lot of you.  It's also apparent that many love a certain cover version of the tune by a band of brothers.  "Don't be angry, don't be sad.  Don't sit crying over good times you've had.  Well, there's a girl sitting right next to you, and she's just waiting for something to do... And if you can't be with the one you love, honey, __ __ __ __ __."  Hint:  I don't think that's necessary.

Today was a very productive day.  We began with a little road trip to Khun Gahn's house to pick up some sewing and leave fabric for more work.  After we left her place we drove down her road a bit so we could show Blue a restaurant with some very unusual sculptures of Hill Tribes on the roof.  

Driving across town, we noticed that a few of the newly built modern shop houses were starting to be occupied.  It's hard to tell which ones are shops and which ones are actually apartments.  When we reached the Healthy Market we split up in three directions.  Lisa went to the plastic store, where we get bags, and straws.  I went to order our fresh fish.  I always leave the fish man to do his thing, since he starts with live fish, and return when he's done.  Blue was on a hunt for asparagus, and found some.  Later the three of us went to the fruit stand.  There is a strange practice in the east when it comes to bananas.  You must buy the whole bunch, regardless of size.  I asked the owner if I could buy half of the bunch and he said, 'Can't do'.  I knew this, but took a chance anyway.  We ended up with a large bunch that probably won't get eaten before they start going bad.  Oh well.

We stopped at Sinthanee, a Best Buy type store to look for a small sound system, and found just the right thing.  Blue has an iPod with a large collection of music and he found a unit that not only had a docking port, but plays USB, FM radio, and CDs.  We're thinking about getting one for the house as well.  Great sound in a small space.

Our next stop was Art Bridge, to drop off the sketch Lisa made of her elephant ideas.  The trip gave us an opportunity to drive past Browney's Pet World.  They are making great progress and it looks amazing.  We were joking that they'll probably have a section for every animal you could imagine.  The zebra food is just past the gorilla section, to the left of, well, you get the idea.  

We learned that the little elephants will be on display in several locations after they leave Art Bridge.  They will be on tour, going to Chiang Mai, and Bangkok.  It will be a mall tour, like the one we saw with painted cows last year.  Some of them may even go to France for a little tour.  Hmm, this is bigger than we thought.  

For those of you who were wondering, Daku does have a thyroid deficiency and is now taking medication.  He should be back to his 'hairy' self in a short while.  You would never know anything was wrong based on his appetite or behavior, so he just keeps being Daku.

Have a Happy Tuesday.


"Hold a true friend
with both hands."
~African Proverb

Monday, October 27, 2014



The weather here in Chiang Rai has been a mix of hot days with cool mornings and evenings.  

The 'Old School Friday' song was "A Thousand Miles Away" by The Heartbeats.  This week the 'Easy Monday' song is a tune we've featured before, so I know you know it.  "If you're down and confused, and you don't remember who you're talking to.  Concentration slips away because your baby is so far away.  Well, there's a rose in a fisted glove, and the eagle flies with the dove, and if you can't be with the one you love, honey __ __ __ __ __."  Hint:  Not necessarily the best advice, but hey, it's a song.  

Saturday we went to Art Bridge and had lunch before the big meeting about the little elephants.  We saw lots of artist friends and after the meeting, which was all in Thai, one of the guys explained what was happening.  The artists will be given money to buy paint for the project and on December 20, all of the elephants will be displayed at Art Bridge.  We still don't know what GreenWing, the Honda dealer, will do with the statues, but the whole thing is exciting.  We have seen similar project in other cities with horses, cows and elephants and the public display draws a lot of attention.  Today we went to the frame factory where we saw the model for the elephants.  They were making the mold that will eventually be the fiberglass beast.  Can't wait to bring one home.

Today's photo was taken by Blue, inspired by the clouds above the house.  

Sunday was a very busy day for the crew of The Big Brown House.  We spent the morning finding things we needed at Big C and then Central Plaza.  At the mall we were lucky to find a parking place and decided to enquire about the VIP parking.  There is a section painted bright red that is reserved for holders of a special sticker.  It seemed like a good idea until we found out that it costs about $4,000 (US) for one year.  I think will just ride around the lot until we find a spot.  

Our Sunday evening was spent at Boon Rawd Farm.  We had been invited to dinner with our friends Sutheera and Nukoon and Nukoon's family.  There were ten of us at a big table.  We had met Nukoon's two sons before, but never really got to know them or their spouses.  There were lots of conversations that would start at one end of the table and end up at the other end.  It was a lot of fun.  At one point the subject of dogs came up and before we knew it, everyone had their phone out, showing photos of their dogs.  We were passing the phones around like they were baby pictures.  While all of this was going on, we could hear music from the country music trio that strolled around the restaurant serenading the diners.  At one of the tables a dinner guest joined in with a big voice. People got up to see who was singing.  It was a festive evening for sure.

This was a second time we had been to Boon Rawd on a Sunday in the late afternoon and it's a very special time.  There were lots of families walking in the tea fields, post-graduation photos being taken with generations of family, and what looked like the props from an earlier wedding being packed away.  Cat spotted a couple of Thai TV stars who were out with a group of friends for dinner.  

Tonight we had our friend Rachel over for dinner.   She is the president of The Sold Project and visiting from America.  We got updates on various Sold projects and life stuff.  She and Blue talked cameras since they're both photographers.  She and Cat have known each other for over seven years and have a special bond.  

Have a Great Week.


"There are two things over which you have
complete dominion, authority, and control:
your mind and your mouth."
~African Proverb

Friday, October 24, 2014

Friday Funnies


Today was a beautiful day in Chiang Rai.  There were times when it looked like we might be consumed by rain, but it would blow away and leave clear skies.  

One person got the 'Zany Day' song.  It was "Wake Up, Little Susie", by the Everly Brothers.  'Old School Friday':
"You're __ __ __ __, but I still have your love to remember you by.  Oh, my darling, dry your eyes, daddy's coming home soon.  On my knees every day all I do is pray, baby, just for you.  Hope you always want me too.  Daddy's coming home soon."  Clue:  This classic has seen a lot of miles since the 60s.  R&B ballad that had an answer song that was also a hit.  About a long distance relationship.

In some areas of Northern Thailand, the army is distributing blankets in preparation for the cold season.  There are many people who don't have the means to stay warm.   

Our morning adventure centered in the Talat, the big market in the center of town.  We were on a hunt for material to make pants.  Parking was interesting this time.  I was backing into a space that had a motorbike in a vulnerable position.  Blue got out to guide me and just as we finished, a parking lady came running over.  Normally she would have helped, but she was busy moving obstacles that had been placed in the street to save places.  She wasn't having it. Inside the market we found pants material right away, and went looking for a silver chain for my new amulet.  There are two gold shops in the Talat and one of them is just open tables, and the other is more like a store, with enclosed, glass cases.  I'm guessing the open tables are a lower quality gold, and besides, who's going to try and steal something with so many vendors around?  Anyway, I found a perfect chain and learned a lesson on materials.  Some chains are made of steel, and others are silver.  Now I know why some chains set off metal detectors.  

This evening we took Daku to see Dr. Arnon, the vet.  A blood test confirmed that he is healthy and tomorrow we will know if there is any Thyroid problem.  While we were there, Dr. Arnon asked us to help him with some English questions.  It was all about some signage at his Mae Sai clinic and how to word a phrase in English correctly.  After rewording their idea so it sounded 'right', he was very happy and gave us some extra Thyroid for BamBam.  

Tomorrow we're going to Art Bridge for a meeting about some tiny elephants.  One of the major motorcycle companies has donated 60 little elephant statues to be painted by artists from Art Bridge and Lisa was chosen to be one of the artists.  We'll get the details and might just come home with a little animal.  

Blue shot this photo of one of the flowers in our yard after the rain a few days ago.  We get so used to seeing the flowers that it's sometimes easy to forget the individual beauty that each one possesses.

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


Thursday, October 23, 2014



The light rain I told you about yesterday turned into an all-nighter.  It didn't flood anything, but it came down pretty hard.  Today was cloudy and cooler.  Things are changing, winter is coming.

I'm shocked that nobody has responded to this 'Zany Day' Rockabilly tune.  The singer's girlfriend is asleep.  
"Well, what are we gonna tell your Mama, what are we gonna tell your Pa?  What are we gonna tell our friends when they say, 'Ooh la la'?"  __ __, __ __.  __ __,__ __...."  Hint:  There's a name in the title.

Today was a mellow day.  We stayed at home until the evening.  Lisa worked on her art, I played my guitar, and Blue took photos in the yard.  

This evening we met Pay and Boy at Tongtung Restaurant for dinner.  It's the second time we've been to this eatery that is owned by Boy's Aunt and Uncle.  The first time we ate there it was practically empty.  Tonight the place was almost full.  There were lots of family dinners and the atmosphere was almost festive.  We always learn a lot when we hang out with Pay and Boy.  Tonight we got the history of the amulet that Boy gave me.  It was made 26 years ago in observance of 150 years since the death of Pra Somdet Tho, the monk who was the teacher of Rama V, the King of Thailand, who did many great things for the country.  To give you a reference, if you are acquainted with "The King & I", the king in the story was Rama IV and his oldest son became Rama V.  He ended feudal slavery, made education available the general population, and established international relations with Europe.  Each king spends time as a monk and Pra Somdet was his spiritual teacher.  Boy is quite knowledgable about the history of amulets as they relate to Buddhist linage.  Pay told us about a vegetable that was in one of the dishes this evening that is only available in Northern Thailand, and Lisa learned that the green chili served with the fish is very spicy.  Throughout the evening the restaurant was filled with the sound of a Seung, a Thai stringed instrument resembling a guitar.  The young man in today's photo only took one short break.

Just when we thought we were out of the woods, the ticks are back.  Last night Daku had way too many of his little friends stuck to him.  He's also shedding longer than usual so tomorrow he is going back to the vet to see if we can find out what's happening.  He doesn't seem phased by it at all, but we miss his big bushy tail.

Have a Thrilling Thursday.


"If you do a good job for others, you heal yourself at the same time,
because a dose of joy is a spiritual cure.  It transcends all barriers."
~Ed Sullivan 

Wednesday, October 22, 2014



After days of forecasting rain, we finally got some 'small rain' late this afternoon.  It may be enough to water the yard, but it won't cause any problems around town.  Yesterday there was big rain in Chiang Mai.  I guess the mountains stalled it and just gave us leftovers.

This week's 'Easy Monday' song was another hard one.  Hmm, have to rethink this.  "Baby Don't Go" by Sonny & Cher.  I'm pretty sure you'll remember this 'Zany Day' song.  It's all about a disaster at the movies.
"__ __,__ __. __ __ ... We've both been sound asleep, __ __ __ __ and weep.  The movie's over, it's four o'clock and we're in trouble deep.  __ __ __ __, __ __ __ __"  Hint:  Another tune by a duo.  

On our way to Big C this morning we saw lots of military men in their dress uniforms.  At Mengrai Square, on the highway, it was clear that this was to be the location of a big ceremony.  Driving down the highway in the afternoon there were policemen on all the corners, waiting for a motorcade.  We'll have to ask around to find out what it was all about. 

At Big C, as we walked through the parking lot, I saw this wooden couch carved into the shape of a Naga, a serpent that is featured in Buddhist and Hindu mythology throughout Asia. 

We made two trips into town today.  In the afternoon we started at the bank.  While Lisa and Blue went inside, I went to the mobile post-office van that was parked down the road.  When I walked up to it, the window was closed and I thought I was too late.  Then I noticed a man inside and he slid the window back and a rush of cool air came out.  As he was filling out forms and stamping things I noticed that there was a small version of the air/con we have in our house, inside the van.  That's pretty cool (pun intended).  Having the postal service move to different locations during the day allows people who can't get into the center of town an opportunity to post letters and buy stamps.  

We usually don't venture into Central Plaza in the early afternoon, but today when we arrived the place was packed.  Since we didn't go into the main floor of the mall, I don't know if there was an event or not, but it looked like a sale day on a weekend.  Our focus was in the lower level at Top's Market.  Lisa commented that Top's is like Chiang Rai's version of Gelson's in Los Angeles.  They have lots of imported items as well as a wide variety of fresh food.  One might assume that it's there for expats, but that doesn't seem to be the case.  It draws a lot of Thai shoppers in addition to their international clientele.  

Time for Wacky Wednesday.


"Embrace the glorious mess
that you are."
~Elizabeth Gilbert

Tuesday, October 21, 2014



Today's weather ranged from dark and cloudy to sunny and hot.  Right now, it's almost 7pm and we are being serenaded by thunder.  We'll see if any rain comes from it all.

'Easy Monday' may not be as easy as I thought.  I'm hoping that today's verse will help jog some memories.  
"I never had no money, I bought at the second hand store.  The way this old town laughs at me, I just can't take it no more.  I can't stay, I'm gonna be a lady some day.  __ __ __, pretty __ please __ __.  I love you so, pretty __ please __ __."  Clue:  The chorus is a plea for someone to stay.  The duo, a married couple, went by their first names.

This morning we went to the home of Khun Gahn.  She lives south of town and runs her family's pineapple farm.  When she's not picking fruit or cultivating the land, she is a seamstress.  The current season for her pineapples is over and she's on a break.  She works very hard, but always has a smile.

At our local health food store, Healthy Choice, we learned that walnuts are very hard to get.  The owners told us they could order some from Chiang Mai, but that they were 'pricey'.  They had some of their own supply they were willing to sell us and we were grateful.  I will be interested to find out where they actually come from.  

In Thailand, the term 'drug store' is replaced with pharmacy.  There is a chain that has a pretty good selection of products and they have at least one pharmacist that speaks English.  This is becoming a common thing, since they often have customers who do not speak Thai, but may speak English.  We have noticed that in Chiang Mai, where there is a large expat community, more English is spoken by Thais.  Maybe that trend is moving north to Chiang Rai. There are certainly a lot more English speaking visitors during High Season.  

Across the road from our house there is a large piece of property that used to be a corn field.  For some reason, it has been abandoned and now it is a beautiful, lush blend of trees and bushes.  Blue captured this image this afternoon.  Beyond the palm trees, in the haze, is the river.

One of the fun things about traveling around town is seeing the names of some businesses.  A few recently spotted signs include:  'Tiny Cup' coffee shop, 'Cafe@Home', and 'Happy Nest' guest house.  

Have a Happy Tuesday.


"The privilege of a lifetime is
being who you are."
~Joseph Campbell

Monday, October 20, 2014



Chiang Rai had friendly weather all weekend.  There were some threatening clouds that kept the temperatures down, but they didn't dump on us.  Winter is coming, we just have to look at all of the second-hand warm coats for sale by the side of the road.  It's almost time for a wardrobe change (555).

'Old School Friday' was a good one for you.  "You Really Got A Hold On Me" by The Miracles.  'Easy Monday':
"I never had a mother, I hardly knew my dad.  I've been in town for eighteen years, and you're the only boy I've had.  I can't stay, maybe I'll be back some day.  __ __ __..."  Hint:  Mid 60s hit by an odd couple who became big hits, then he went to Congress and she went to Vegas.  She's still performing her farewell concerts (555).

Saturday was a day of visits.  Our new friends Brenda and Eric stopped by on their morning bike ride and we spent a couple of hours in conversation.  There were tours of the house and the yard.  Eric is a retired landscape architect, and had lots of questions about the building of the house and yard design.  Blue, Eric and I talked about our experiences living in the Thai culture.  We all realized that we've learned a lot about the world since we've been here.  With so many countries so close to us, and visitors from around the world, we seem to have a different awareness of connections.  There were some deep discussions about the cultural history and the world of the Hill Tribes.  The whole morning was very stimulating. 

In the afternoon we met with our nurse friend Pay and her boyfriend, Boy, at Doi Chaang Coffee.  Boy is a collector of Buddhist amulets.  He brought me one and spent some time telling us about it's history and the life of the monk who made it.  We had a fun time and we're going to dinner with them on Thursday.  One of the interesting things that happens sometimes is the taking of photos at little gatherings.  We had no idea, when we were snapping pics, that we'd end up on Facebook.  It's one of those social evolutions that we've been swept into without even realizing it.  Oh my.

Sunday lunch at Art Bridge seemed to follow our unintentional theme of 'relaxing' this weekend.  It was very mellow.  Then we went across the street to Makro and what looked like chaos, was actually pretty cool.  The parking lot gave the impression that the place would be jammed up with shoppers, but we got what we needed and left without incident.  Whew.  

This afternoon I looked out from our upstairs window and saw this scene I couldn't resist capturing.  Just a quiet stroll through the farm.  

Have a Great Week.


"You can't change the past, 
but you can make adjustments 
in your present for a better

Friday, October 17, 2014

Friday Funnies


Today's message is the 1,900 edition of "Adventures in Thailand."  I actually began writing this daily email in 2001 when we returned from our first trip to Thailand.  I am grateful for all the loyal readers through the years.  You keep me going (555).

The 'Zany Day' song was "Monster Mash" by Bobby 'Boris' Pickett.  That means it's time for 'Old School Friday'.  Here's one you may remember:  "I don't like you, but I love you.  Seems that I'm always thinking of you.  Oh, oh, oh, you treat me badly, I love you madly, __ __ __ __ __ __ __..."  Hint:  The singer is caught in the grip of love.  It would take a miracle to break free.

Daku made the rounds of the vets today.  He's been shedding more than usual and we wanted to get him checked out so we went to out first vet's clinic.  It's the first time Daku has been out in the world in a long time and he enjoyed the ride, but as soon as we got to the clinic he knew something was up.  Nothing was determined and we decided to talk to our other vet, to see if she had any ideas.  That meant another ride in the van in the afternoon.  Dogs have good memories and Daku remembered that the last time he was at this vet he got two shots.  He finally settled down and let her do her job.  It turns out he's fine and we still don't know the reason for the shedding, so we'll keep researching.  I think Daku deserves a road trip that doesn't end at the vets.  

I did a lot of driving today but it was all worth it.  I got to see a lot of Chiang Rai, and that's always fun.  Cat had her last morning trip to The Brain before school starts, since she'll spend the last week of vacation at her sister's house in the village.  

Today's photo was taken at Central Plaza last Sunday.  The mall was a busy place, with the annual 'Beetle Festival', and a Taiko Drum exhibition.   The drummers in the photo did several sets and the sound was thunderous in the mall.  The Beetle Festival was smaller this year, which was OK with us.  This is the deal when stag beetles are displayed, bought, and traded.  They're creepy bugs with big vertical pinchers and are the mascot of the Chiang Rai United Football team.  I think they are the local bug or something, holding a place of honor with things like flowers and trees.  What?

None of the rain that's been forecasted has arrived.  I'm hoping we have a dry weekend as well.  On the other hand, the lawns need watering.  Hmm.

Have a Wonderful WeekEnd.     And now, the 'Funnies'.


"The worst thing about parallel parking is

Thursday, October 16, 2014



There were forecasts of thundershowers for today, but none appeared.  That worked out fine for our busy day.  Besides, we just got the van washed and I had no plans to take it out in the rain (555).

This week's 'Zany Day' song is getting some action.  Here's another verse from this seasonal novelty hit:
"Out from his coffin, Drac's voice did ring.  Seems he was troubled by just one thing.  He opened the lid, and shook his fist and said, 'Whatever happened to the Transylvania twist?'.  It's now the __, it's now the __ __, the __ __, and it's a graveyard smash...." Hint:  Do you really need a hint about this one-hit wonder?  

Our morning adventure took us to the Talat (the main market) where we searched for bedspread material.  As is usually the case, we found what we were looking for at our favorite store.  We have purchased a lot of material over the years and have a great rapport with the owner.  He and his wife have two fabric stores on either side of a main aisle.  One day I had a long conversation with his father, who told me about coming to Thailand from India a long time ago, and how much he loves it here.  He also has a cousin who has another type of shop in the market. 

We made a few more stops around town and then it was almost time to pick up Cat from The Brain.  That's when we turned onto the street with the row of nurseries.  I sat in the van while Blue took photos of flowers and Lisa looked at plants.  The next thing I knew, Lisa was standing by the window with a tree.  We now have a new little pine tree to add to our collection.  

Today's photo is from Baan Dam.  What looks like giant silver mushrooms are actually woks.  Each wok has three metal rods for the legs and it opens the door for the imagination to fly.

This afternoon we made a return trip to Arisara for a massage.  In a perfect world, a massage would happen just before bed time.  As it is, we left the place at 4pm feeling like a nap was in order.  Hmm.  

Have a Thrilling Thursday.


"Freedom discovers you the moment
you lose concern over what impression
you are making, or about to make."
~Bruce Lee

Wednesday, October 15, 2014



It was a beautiful day for moving around the city.  Even with the increased number of cars on the road, it's still easy to get around.  Life in a small town that's growing up.

The 'Easy Monday' song was a bust.  One person got it, and another knew the artists.  "I Feel Fine" by The Beatles.  Shame on you.  I'm sure I won't have to wait for replies to this 'Zany Day' song.  It sees a revival once a year.
"I was working in the lab late one night when my eyes beheld a eerie sight, for my monster from his slab, began to rise and suddenly, to my surprise he did the mash.  He did the __ __, __ __ __, it was a graveyard smash...."  Clue:  At the end of October there will be many strange things on the streets in America.  This is just one of the stories in the costumed city (555).  Get your dance on.

Living on the north side of the river puts us in a different zip code than the main part of the city.  As a result, whenever we have to go to the post office, it's the one in Ban Du, which is a short drive up the Super Highway.  I was discussing this with Johan, our pool consultant, and we decided there are pluses and minuses to the location.  The main Chiang Rai post office is very close, but parking is very difficult.  In Ban Du there is a big lot and no problem parking.  That alone made the trip this morning not so bad.  When we got there, no one was at the window, and many people were waiting.  Hmm, this didn't look good.  After a short wait, we got our package.  There have been times when many piles of boxes had to be searched before finding the right one.  Apparently, anything can be mailed if you're willing to pay the postage.  I once saw a motorbike wrapped in bubblewrap and cellophane being taken off a mail truck on the dock.  

This afternoon we all went down to the carwash.  After the various rainy drives, the van was looking a bit tacky.  There were no other cars at the shop and it made us wonder if rain was coming.  It's not, so we left it and went to Doi Chaang to hang out.  Cat's favorite beverage at Doi Chaang is their vanilla milkshake.  Today she didn't get one because it was too close to dinner.  Hmm, where have I heard that before?  When we picked up the van, the woman who owns the place asked, once again, asked about Cat.  She can be a little nosey, but we always have a polite answer.  Eventually she will remember and that will be the end of it.  Usually it's 'where have you been?' sort of questions.  

Today's photo was taken by Blue.  This temple is on the Super Highway near Art Bridge.  Its decoration is typical, with the use of cut mirrors, tiles and paint, but what stands out is the use of stainless steel.  That's what gives the chrome effect.  

Time for Wacky Wednesday.


"To recognize one's own insanity
is, of course, the arising of sanity,
the beginning of healing and
~Eckhart Tolle

Tuesday, October 14, 2014



Chiang Rai weather is in that beautiful pre-winter phase, where the days are rainless, the temps are comfortable, and the evenings are cool.  It's also the beginning of the 'High Season'.

Well, nobody seems to remember this week's 'Easy Monday' song so we'll try again.  Here's another tiny verse from one of the biggest musical groups on the planet:  "Baby says she's mine you know, she tells me all the time you know, she said so.  I'm in love with her and __ __ __.  Hint:  Hmm.  No.

The saga of the water purification system continues.  The replacement unit works great, but leaves a puddle under the sink.  After careful examination, I determined that the water is coming from the unit.  After more calls to the store, two men who seemed to know a little more about it came to the house.  They found the problem, slowed the leak, and informed us that next week a crew from Chiang Mai will come and fix the problem.  Oh my.  In the meantime, we can run the unit and enjoy clean water.  Hmm.  

This evening we went to the Night Bazaar for dinner.  We usually go on Sunday nights, when many vendors take the night off or attend 'Happy Street'.  Tonight was a different story.  The place was jumping, not only with most of the vendors present, but what looked like bus loads of tourists.  From the conversations I could tell that some of them were from China, Russia, Germany, and America.  This is always good news for Chiang Rai's economy.  Tourism is a big part of the regional business and many people rely on 'High Season' to survive.  It's also nice for us because it means new items are on the tables and browsing becomes an adventure all over again.  

Today's photo was taken at Baan Dam.  It's a partial view of a very tall door.  I don't know where the carving was made, but the detail is amazing.  There was another door with different carvings on the other side.  

Leaving the Night Bazaar, we were surprised by the amount of traffic on the street at 7:30 in the evening.  Things have certainly changed since we first arrived in 2007.  As we drove past the Wangcome Inn Hotel, Blue commented on it being our old 'stomping grounds'.  We lived there for our first month in Thailand and tonight we touched on some random memories of that time.  It was fun looking back on that special time.  We had made a big leap and were, in a way, free-falling with eyes wide open, into a new chapter in our lives.  Every day presented new discoveries.  After seven years here, we are still discovering new things, different ways of seeing things, and enjoying life as it comes.  

Have a Happy Tuesday.


"Beautiful people are not always good,
but good people are always beautiful."
~Ali Ibn Abi Talib

Monday, October 13, 2014



We had a wonderfully busy weekend celebrating the birthday girl.  The weather tried to stop us on Sunday, but then it realized we were on a mission and it cooperated.

The 'Old School Friday' song was "Heatwave" by Martha & The Vandellas.  Here comes that 'Easy Monday':
"Baby's good to me you know, she's happy as can be you know, she said so.  I'm in love with her and __ __ __.
Hint:  Three word title is the singer's state of being.  It came from across the pond.

Saturday afternoon we went to Central Plaza to see if the phone that Cat wanted was in stock.  Little did she know that we were actually going to get it on that trip.  There is an interesting thing that happens when it comes to tech stuff here in Thailand.  Everybody sells whatever brand they want, and it doesn't seem to matter if the 'company store' is at the same location.  There is a large Samsung store in the mall, but there are also numerous counter shops that also sell their phones.  After checking with the main store and two more shops, we found the phone in the right color and closed the deal.  Cat now has a phone that can do all of the things she's wanted to do, and more.  At the Starbuck's, I tried to use a couple of gift cards from the U.S., only to discover that they have a new policy that they are only valid in the country of origin.  Hmm.  

The forecast for Sunday called for rain and that's what we got.  Cat's friend Oum came over bright and early and the five of us piled into the van and headed up the Super Highway to Baan Dam, hoping that the rain might stop.  It didn't, so we kept driving and went for a tour of the campus at Maefahluang University.  We didn't know that she'd never seen it so it was a treat for both girls.  Just as we were leaving, the rain stopped and we had a chance to go to Ban Dam.  It's a large piece of land with lots of things to see, so we explored a little and then let the girls go off on their own while we hung out in a beautiful Doi Chaang Coffee shop.  So far, the day was working out as planned.  Click the link to see photos of this interesting artist installation.

After lunch at the mall and some browsing, we went home for a little break.  While we were resting Cat called Boon Rawd Farm, our next destination, and found out that we needed to be there before a certain time if they were going to see the animals.  Back on the road to the farm.  It turned out that we'd have to ride bicycles to the animal compound so we took the girls to the bike rental spot and told them to call us in an hour.  We were not about to ride over hill and dale to see giraffes and zebras.  They had a ball, riding a tandem bike through the tea fields and along roads that circled a lake.  

Boon Rawd Farm is owned by the Singha Corporation, Thailand's leading beer company.  The farm grows hops, barley, tea, and other plants.  The restaurant where we waited looks out over the countryside and on Sunday there were lots of families relaxing on the lawns, playing games and just gazing out at the vista.  The farm is like a giant park, with picnic areas, bike paths, and events throughout the year.  Later we had dinner there and then returned home for a birthday cake.  

It's hard to resist having one's picture taken with the giant Singha Lion that sits on the lawn at the entrance to the farm.  Blue shot this as the sun set.

Today was a day of rest and relaxation for us.  Cat went to the two universities with a bunch of kids and staff from The Sold Project to work on the tree project she's been involved with.  This evening she showed us her grades for the first half of this semester.  All of the work she's been doing has paid off and she did really well.  

Have a Great Week.


"You will never have to force 
anything that's truly meant to be."