Friday, March 31, 2017

Friday Funnies

Hi,

Even though it looked like rain a few times today, it never happened.  It just stayed very hot.  There are still forecasts for rain sometime in the coming days but I have given up waiting (555).

The ‘Zany Day’ song was “Splish Splash” by Bobby Darin.  Time for more oldies on ‘Old School Friday’.  “Whenever I’m with him, something inside starts burning, and I’m filled with desire.  Could it be the devil in me?  Or is this the way love’s supposed to be?  It’s like a __ __ burning in my heart.  I can’t keep from crying, it’s tearing me apart.”  Clue:  This could be the theme song for Chiang Rai weather.  This ‘Girl Group’ from a famous motor city label had Nowhere to Run so they took to Dancin’ in the Streets.  I’ll bet you know this one.

This morning we did our usual routines and then went to Work@Home to visit our friend Katai.  Today we learned about the upcoming Ching Ming Festival.  It is celebrated by members of the Thai-Chinese community as well as in China.  She explained that her family will gather in Chiang Mai, where her father is buried, and clean up the burial site and then have a big picnic and welcome the spirit of her father.  This region of the world is rich with various traditions that pay respect to the elders of the family.  

On the way home we stopped at a hardware store so I could get a new screwdriver.  After drawing a crude picture of a Phillips driver, the owner announced ‘Oh, you want Sa-crew’.  I got what I needed and while we drove home Lisa looked up the word screw in our language dictionary.  Sure enough, there was the Thai word for screw: sa-crew.  Two consonants together like that are not spoken in Thai, so there are words that only make sense if you listen carefully.  The word for bridge is sapan, or span.  Life remains interesting.

Today’s photo was taken on the island of Koh Lanta, at the Pimilai Resort.  This twisted tree is fascinating.


This afternoon our language teacher, Khru Aor, asked if one of us could sit in on Gong’s English lesson so we could hear how he’s doing.  I spent a half hour listening to him respond to various questions, asking questions, and having a little conversation with me in English.  He also read a little bit from a workbook.  He’s getting over his shyness and is making great progress.  I also learned more about him through this process.

It may be a little cooler this weekend, like in the mid-80s.  Another dip in the pool just might be in order.

Have a Wonderful WeekEnd.       Time for the ‘Funnies’.

                    Peace,
                              Danny


Thursday, March 30, 2017

Purpose

Hi,

It was another hot day in Chiang Rai.  There was a very strong breeze in the afternoon, blowing this years batch of little puffy balls all over the lawn and the pool.

Most of the usual suspects knew the ‘Zany Day’ song on the first day.  There’s still time to join the crowd and impress us with your knowledge of zany old songs (555).  “Bing bang, I saw the whole gang, dancing on my living room rug.  Yeah, flip flop they was doin’ the bop.  All the teens had the dancin’ bug.  There was Lollipop with-a Peggy Sue, Good Golly Miss Molly was-a even there too.  A-well-a, __ __ I forgot about the bath, I went and put my dancin’ shoes on, yeah…”  Hint:  Easy zany should be a category.

This morning we had an appointment with our attorney.  He was going to accompany us to the land office so we could pay our annual ‘house tax’.  In Thailand, foreigners are not permitted to own land.  You can own a house, but not the land.  This leads to many variations of who’s house is it?  We have a legal document that protects us from unsavory consequences and keeps us legal.  When we got to his office, his assistant informed us that he was in Bangkok.  She had a document ready for us to take to the office, with the amount due at the top.  Since we had a good parking place, we walked the 2 blocks and took in the local store-fronts.  It took awhile for them to actually take our money, but with the help of three office workers, the case was closed until next year and we didn’t have to explain anything.

On our walk back to the car we peaked in the window of the Chiang Rai Fitness Center.  There were rows of aerobic exercise machines and a weight rack.  We’ll have to go by when they’re open and see what’s going on in there.  We also saw a book shop, but it’s run by a big fluffy cat so we kept walking (555).

This afternoon we were back at the big tile/appliance store with a van-load of blue tile that wasn’t needed for the pool.  They took the tile back and gave us a credit.  Pretty amazing.  Then we applied that to the tile we need for the patio deck.  I love it when stuff like this works out.  

School is out and the traffic has changed.  There are a couple of major streets that we used to avoid in the afternoon because when the kids got out for the day, the traffic was crazy.  Between school vans, parents picking up their kids, and the kids on motorbikes, moving objects would be coming from every direction.  Today we breezed down one of those streets with no obstructions.  

Today’s photo is a Burmese Shan Rain Drum taken at the house of a friend.  It’s also called a Frog Drum for the four frogs on top.  The whole thing is made of bronze and has a distinctive sound.  They’re not used much in today’s music, mostly used as tables, but very interesting to see and hear.


Have a Thrilling Thursday.

                     Peace,
                               Danny

“Efforts and courage are not
enough without purpose and 
direction.”
~John F. Kennedy

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Wish

Hi,

Nothing new to report on the weather front, except that it almost looked like rain.  There were clouds but they weren’t really rain clouds, and the breeze was warm.  Maybe tomorrow.

The ‘Easy Monday’ song was “Misty” as sung by Johnny Mathis.  There were many beautiful readings of this song.  Now it’s time to get a little crazy with a song that dates back to 1958, but still has that ‘Zany Day’ zing.
“__ __, I was takin’ a bath, long about a Saturday night, yeah.  A-rub dub, just relaxing in the tub thinking everything was alright.  Well, I stepped out the tub put my feet on the floor, I wrapped the towel around me and I opened the door and then __ __, I jumped back in the bath.  Well, how was I to know there was a party goin’ on?”
Hint:  This oldie was a big radio hit for an artist who really wanted to be a lounge singer.  The two word title is something that kids do in water.

This morning we went down the highway to the store where we got the tile for the pool.  While searching for something that would compliment the new tile around the water, the lights went out.  I just figured the store had overloaded a circuit.  Then Natcha called a little later to say that the power was out at the house.  Hmm.  Much later, there was an article in the Chiang Rai Times stating that there was a massive outage covering four provinces.  In our area it didn’t last too long.  Eventually, we found a tile that will look great on our patio.

Yesterday we made a little run to the mall.  One of the things on our list was a special ‘water wing’ device that our friend Sandy told us about.  At Robinson, the major department store, they didn’t have it, but they did have lots of pool toys and water accessories.  We came home with a floatation device for toddlers.  

Today’s photo was taken in our back garden.  It’s the first Gardenia of the season.


We have been rather focused on getting the pool completed and I lost a bit of perspective.  During these hot days, we could have gone down to the river, like so many people do.  What was I thinking (555)?  I was reminded of this the other day as we crossed over the bridge and saw 4 young women posing for a photo in their wet clothes.  Most river swimming is done fully clothed.  They sell swim-wear in the stores but I think it’s reserved for pool use.  I have yet to see people in the river in swimsuits.  There is a strong tradition of modesty here.

This feels like a Wacky Wednesday.

                    Peace,
                              Danny

“What we wish, we readily
believe, and what we ourselves
think, we imagine others think also.”
~Julius Caesar

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

History

Hi,

The weather in Chiang Rai is in a new pattern.  It’s very hot during the day, but begins with cool, cloudy mornings that almost look like rain.  We have a forecast calling for rain but there seems to be disagreement among the ‘experts’ as to when it will happen.  It’s pointless to live by the forecast, unless farming or set on sunbathing (555).

It’s cool that so many of you remembered this ballad.  There are tons of covers, any artist will do on this one.   
“Walk my way, and a thousand violins begin to play.  Or it might be the sound of your ‘hello’, that music I hear.  I get __ the moment you’re near.”  Clue:  The use of the title word is not referring to the weather.

We like the way the tile on the pool deck looks so much that we’re going to change the patio to match.  This morning Kkun Yee, the young man who built the Thai kitchen and other jobs, came over to measure and give us a price.  Next month he’ll come and do the work over 3 days.  It will be nice to have non-slip tile on the patio just in time for the swimming season.  

Songkran begins on April 13 and there has been lots of speculation as to how it will be observed in Chiang Rai this year.  With the year-long official mourning period in place, big celebrations are discouraged.  Apparently, the large gathering in Bangkok on Khao San Road has been cancelled.  This is a street that has become a mecca for tourists and Thais alike to come and throw water and party.  We don’t have a street quite that notorious, but it will be interesting to see just how ‘busy’ the revelers are this year.  At Big C and at Central Plaza Mall, Songkran shirts, and power squirt guns are all on sale in mass quantities.  Hmm, maybe it will be splashing as usual.

In our early days in Chiang Rai we used to go to an ‘Everything Store’ that sat on a big dirt lot near the fruit market.  We haven’t been there in years, but at the suggestion of Gong, we went there today.  It’s grown into quite a shopping center.  There are rows of little shops carrying a variety of clothing and accessories.  It’s like the neighborhood mall for those without the Central Plaza budget.  

The big corner lot where Doi Chaang Coffee and the car wash used to be is going to be a parking lot.  At least that’s what it appears to be, with chalk lines in the dirt, what else could it be?  Every time we pass by, I hear Joni Mitchell singing about how they paved paradise…  The lot is not open for business yet, it just sits there being a reminder of what used to be.

Today’s photos were taken on Sunday at the home of Somluk and Tamako.  One side of the house is decorated in large platers made by Somluk.  The large fish pond is a very quiet spot that can also be viewed from inside the house from several angles.



Have a Happy Tuesday.

                   Peace,
                             Danny

“History, despite it’s wrenching pain,
cannot be unlived, but if faced with
courage, need not be lived again.”
~Maya Angelou

Monday, March 27, 2017

Life


Hi,

The weekend weather in Chiang Rai was the usual ‘Hot’.  Sunday night we had rain and it was wonderful.  The morning air today was clean and clear.  By late afternoon the culprits were back with a stinky fire.

The ‘Old School Friday’ song was “Rock and Roll Music” by Chuck Berry.  ‘Easy Monday’ is old, but very easy:  “Look at me, I’m as helpless as a kitten up a tree, and I feel like I’m clinging to a cloud, I can’t understand.  I get __, just holding your hand”.  Hint:  Really, a hint?

The big news from The Big Brown House is that the pool is finished and was enjoyed Sunday afternoon.  The little family was the first to slip into the water.  Neetchanon, being held by Gong, had a ball.  That inspired us and we were quick to go in and do a few laps.  The water wasn’t at the ideal temperature, but it was fine for swimming.  

Today’s photos are the pool, of course.  




Sunday was a rather full day.  We drove up to the home of Somluk and Tamako, owners of Doy Din Dang Ceramics, for coffee and a tour of their new additions.  Somluk wanted us to see where he had hung one of Joe’s works.  The location was in a room where they hang out and relax.  It was the perfect place.  One of Lisa works is also hanging in their home.  That was pretty exciting.  After seeing the wonderful collections of ceramics and art, we had coffee and fruit and conversation.  We really enjoyed their company and the time flew by.  

On our way to lunch at The Wanderer, we stopped in at Fong-Nom, the milk shop where Cat works.  We’d never been there before so it was a special visit for all of us.  She made us an iced tea drink and told us about some of the things they offer.  A lot of the dishes are toast-based, then they pile on various toppings.  There is one variation that is constructed in a small, hollowed out loaf of bread.  The shop is on a side street near her university.  It’s one of those places with no front wall, so on a hot day like yesterday, the temperature can be overwhelming.  Now we can visualize where she is when she’s at work.  

Daku and Neetchanon have what seems like a different relationship lately.  He has moments when he will let her touch his face and he doesn’t try to lick her or run away.  She’s also learning how to pet him instead of grab.  He still doesn’t understand that she is a fragile little person and sometimes when he walks through the kitchen, his tail knocks her down accidentally.  He’ll figure it out with some help.  

Temps will be in the 90s all week, so it’s likely that we’ll be dipping into the pool when the air is clear.

Have a Great Week.

                       Peace,
                                 Danny

“We must let go of the life we 
have planned, so as to accept the one
that is waiting for us.”
~Joseph Campbell

Friday, March 24, 2017

Friday Funnies

Hi,

The forecast should now read: Hot and Smoggy.  The bad air has finally become the talk of the town.  

The ‘Zany Day’ song was “Maybelline” by Chuck Berry  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QjrQWU2EcsA&list=RDQjrQWU2EcsA.  As many of you figured out, this has been Chuck Berry Week, in memory of the amazing artist who inspired a whole genre of music and musicians.  ‘Old School Friday’ is also by The Master.  This one came out in 1957.  “Just let me hear some of that __ __ __ __, any old way you choose it; it’s got a back beat you can’t lose it, any old time you use it.  It’s gotta be __ __ __ __, if you want to dance with me.  I’ve got no kick against modern jazz, unless they try to play it too darn fast, and change the beauty of the melody, until it sounds just like a symphony.  That’s why I go for that __ __ __ __…..”  Hint: The title is what this man was all about.  

The last two trucks of water came today and the pool is taking shape.  The water is not ready, but it’s getting better.  The cruel irony is that just as the water will be perfect, the air will keep us inside.  Now is the time to invent a mini-scuba arrangement so we could swim in bad air and not be affected.  Hmm.

This morning we had coffee and cookies with our friend Lisa.  She came to pick-up three of Lisa’s cast acrylic prints to hang in one of the houses she is decorating.  She brought chocolate chip cookies made with almond flour.  We sat there and pigged out.  She’s sending the recipe (555).  We also got the number of a man here in Chiang Rai that does a kind of healing adjustment to the body.  He lived in Japan for 30 years and is building quite a following.  May have to give it a try.  

This evening we went to the opening of an art exhibit at 9 Art Gallery.  We saw many of our friends and it was an hour well spent.  We left a little early since standing on the highway with the bad air is not such a good idea.  Besides, I wanted to get home and write to you (555).

Today’s photo was taken by Natcha, showing us how Neetchanon looks in her new motorbike helmet.  


This is the first weekend of the new Formula One season.  The cars are different this year so you’d better tune in and check out the action from Melbourne, Australia.  Zoom.

Have a Wonderful WeekEnd.           Time for the ‘Funnies’.

                    Peace,
                              Danny


Thursday, March 23, 2017

Reason

Hi,

We officially decreed today a bad air day.  When you can see the haze, and distant objects are a different color because of it, it’s just wrong.  We closed up the house and ran various machines.  Hmm, and we were doing so well.

Congrats to those who recognized the ‘Zany Day’ song right away.  I’ll just jump to the last verse so you can see how this all turns out:  “The motor cooled down, the heat went down, and that’s when I heard that highway sound.  The Cadillac a-sittin’ like a ton of lead a hundred and ten, half a mile ahead.  Cadillac lookin’ like it’s sittin’ still and I caught __ at the top of the hill.  __, why can’t you be true?  Oh __, why can’t you be true?  You done started back doin’ the things you used to do.”  Hint:  The name in the title is the same as a brand of make-up.  

Some of you miss episodes of our life here, so I’m going to fill in an important bit of information.  Neetchanon is the daughter of Natcha and Gong, our house/yard keepers.  She is 14 months old and she has stolen our hearts.  The three of them live in the apartment at the back of our house.  

This morning, after exercising Daku, we took Laurel to the airport for her flight to Bangkok and then America.  We ran some errands and got home in time to see the water truck make it’s 10am delivery.  I’m not sure just how many trips it made, but the pool is still not full.  I was told that two more tanks tomorrow should to it.  Meanwhile, the work is basically done.  

My photo account of our island trip would not be complete without showing you some food.  Today’s photo is the sandwich that was served on our Thai Smile flight back to Chiang Rai.  There is charcoal in the bread.  I didn’t eat it, but had to show you.  (555)


We had lunch today at The Wanderer with our friends Sandy, Ady, and their daughter Dylan.  They are about to take a trip to South Africa to visit family.  Ady told us about a prescription he was given for a cough that blew his mind.  The medicine was called ‘The Brown Mixture’.  It was a liquid containing, among other things, tincture of opium.  The instructions were to take up to four ‘glugs’.  And just what is a glug?  He said he didn’t cough and he felt pretty good.  We all laughed.  Of course he did.  The liquid mixture has been banned in many parts of the world for obvious reasons.  

Have a Thrilling Thursday.

                 Peace,
                           Danny

“Prejudices are what fools 
use for reason.”
~Voltaire

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Silence

Hi,

Introducing today’s weather:  Hot.  The sky showed signs of burning, but it didn’t smell bad.  That doesn’t necessarily mean anything, just wishful thinking.  

The ‘Easy Monday’ song was “Johnny B. Goode” by the late Chuck Berry.  It was recorded in 1958.  Time to head out on the highway for a ‘Zany Day’ song.  “__, why can’t you be true?  Oh __, why can’t you be true?  You done started doin’ the things you used to do.  As I was motorvatin’ over the hill, I saw __ in a Coupe de Ville.  A Cadillac a-rollin’ on the open road, nothin’ will outrun my V8 Ford.  The Cadillac doin’ about ninety-five.  She’d bumper to bumper, rollin’ side by side.  __, why can’t you be true?  Oh, __, why can’t you be true?…..”  Hint:  We obviously have another song with a name as the title.  It’s from 1955 and was inspired/adapted from a Western swing fiddle tune.  It’s been called one of the first R&R songs.

Today we have been in the streets almost all day.  I’ll just tell you where we went and you’ll see why this message will be brief:  Picked up Laurel at the airport and went to Wat Rong Khun for tour of grounds and galleries.  Drove to our house for brief stop, then to The Wanderer for lunch.  One hour rest, then off to Art Bridge.  Drove to Doy Din Dang to see ceramics, then the post office and home.  Cat joined us for a trip to the Night Bazaar for dinner and shopping, stopped at the Clock Tower for the light show and then home.  Whew!

Even though the tile on the pool deck is not finished, the water is coming tomorrow.  It will be cold for awhile, but if things keep going on the hot side, it will warm up soon.  I still have to get my materials for the solar heater project.  That will speed things up.

Today’s photo was taken yesterday, here at the house.  Neetchanon is wearing the little dress Lisa spotted at Big C.  


It’s gonna be a Wacky Wednesday.

                   Peace,
                             Danny

“Nothing strengthens authority
so much as silence.”
~Leonardo da Vinci

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Nature

Hi,

Chiang Rai weather in a word: Hot.  The famous ‘They’ say it’s going to get hotter and then cool off a bit.  We’ll be over 100F before the cool down.  Today the sky was not pretty.  It wasn’t a total smoke-out, but it wasn’t clean air.

Many of you knew this ‘Easy Monday’ song on the first pass.  I’m sure more will get it today.  It’s a classic.
“He used to carry his guitar in a gunny sack, or sit beneath the tree by the railroad track.  Oh, the engineers would see him sitting in the shade, strumming with the rhythm that the drivers made.  The people passing by, they would stop and say, ‘Oh, my, but that little country boy could play!”  Go go, go __ go….”  Clue:  Title is first name, middle initial, and last name of a guitar player not much different than the singer.  Hmm.

We got word today that the pool would be ready for water on Thursday.  Hmm, now we just have to find out where to get the water.  Someone helped us with a phone call the last time we needed water, but I’m not sure who.  I suppose we could go to the water department and ask about a water contractor.  I know that the ‘Dirt Lady’ also sells water.  With a little detective work we’ll get the water.  Once it’s filled, it will have to be conditioned.  Possible swimming over the weekend?  It would be right on time with the temps we’ve been promised.

This morning we passed a coffee shop with one of the best names yet:  "Captain Coffee."  I love the possibilities.  The caped coffee crusader flies in to ‘perk’ you up, blah blah blah.  I could have so much fun with that.

After two attempts to find parking at our local post office, we gave up.  We have a wonderful, remodeled post office with fast service and not much waiting, yet we can’t use it.  I guess it’s all those things because not many people are ever inside (555). 

Daku got a bath today and of course, he didn’t like it.  He doesn’t moan anymore, just gives the most pitiful looks.  It’s the time of year when he does his major shedding.  We stopped by Work@Home and had a nice visit with Katai and told her about Daku’s bath.  She shared stories about their English Golden, Jonathan.  He didn’t like the hair dryer so Thovan would put him in the back of their pick-up and drive him around town until he was dry.  They both had a lot of fun doing that.  

Today’s photos are from Koh Lanta.  The first is from the hillside restaurant at Pimilai Resort.  The second is a coastal village seen from the boat.



Have a Happy Tuesday.

                 Peace,
                           Danny

“Nature does not hurry,
yet everything is accomplished.”
~Lao Tzu

Monday, March 20, 2017

Universe

Hi,

The weather has been mostly the same.  The days are hot and the nights cool down.  Today the sky showed evidence of burning somewhere.  There is a distinct yellow/pink cast in the air.  

The ‘Old School Friday’ song was “Venus” by Frankie Avalon.  Can you say early ‘Bubble Gum’?  ‘Easy Monday’ is here and it’s time to tickle your brain.  “Deep down in Louisiana close to New Orleans, way back up in the woods among the evergreens.  There stood a log cabin made of earth and wood, where lived a country boy named __ __ __, who never learned to read or write too well, but he could play a guitar just like a-ringin’ a bell…”  Hint:  The title is a name, and it’s by one of the legends of R&R.

Even though Songkran doesn’t begin for 3 weeks, the little ‘village’ has already been erected on the other side of the river.  The thatch-roofed shelters are ready to house vendors and it looks like people are camping already.  The government extended the period of mourning for The King to one year, but we have seen a gradual return to normal.  There may not be fireworks this year, but I suspect there will be the usual music concerts and carnival atmosphere.  A few weeks ago there was a concert downtown that was billed as ’Stress Free Music Festival’ and featured Smooth Jazz type acts.  We are waiting for the water (555).

While on the topic of water, today’s photos are from Pimilai Resort.  The first photo is the ‘Dock’ from the beach to the boat.  This handy invention keeps the feet dry.  It was, however, challenging to stay upright and make it to the boat, especially when the waves caused it to ripple.  The second pic is one of two speedboats used to ferry guests. 



More progress has been made on the pool.  They’re almost finished with the tile inside the pool.  The lights are in, and the plumbing is invisible.  We may be putting water in this thing next week.  

Natcha took Neetchanon to the zoo in Mae Lao, about 30 minutes from here.  Unfortunately, the day was too hot for it be fun.  Meanwhile, Gong has been busy planting seedlings of herbs around the yard.  

Wednesday Cousin Laurel of the New Hampshire Cousins will fly in for a quick visit.  We’re looking forward to showing her the sights and catching up on life things.

Have a Great Week.  

                    Peace,
                              Danny

“The universe is wider than
our views of it.”
~Henry David Thoreau

Friday, March 17, 2017

Friday Funnies

Hi,

I’m back in Chiang Rai.  Don’t need to tell you that it’s hot.  Apparently it’s cooling off, but still in the 90s.  Is the pool ready yet?

The ‘Zany Day’ song was “Rubberband Man” by The Spinners.  Some fans felt this group ‘sold out’ with this novelty departure.  Now it’s time for ‘Old School Friday’.  This record was released in 1959 and became a big hit.  
“Hey, __, oh, __.  __ if you will, please send a little girl for me to thrill.  A girl who wants my kisses and my arms, a girl with all the charms of you… __, Goddess of love that you are.  Surely the things I ask can’t be too great a task…”  Hint:  This one should be easy.  

Our last morning on the island was interesting.  We got up at our usual Chiang Rai/Daku time of 6am.  When we got to ‘Thai Spice’, the restaurant where breakfast is served, there were no other guests there and all of the food wasn’t out.  That’s early.  It was nice to see the grounds without any activity, and take in the morning sounds.  

We had one last stroll on the beach in order to get to the speed boat.  There was another couple leaving but we didn’t get to meet them until we reached the end of our ride.  The boat was very windy and it made conversing difficult.  The ride ended at the same spot where we got on the ferry a few nights earlier.  The four of us got in a big van that drove us to Krabi Airport.  The young couple is from London and had one last day in Bangkok before going home.  We talked about travel, places they’d been, and why we were here.  It really made the time go quickly.  Maybe we’ll hear from them in the future.

Most of our flights on this adventure were pretty painless.  All were on time or early, and the landings were great.  The flight from Krabi to Bangkok had one snag:  The three folks behind us couldn’t stop talking.  That wouldn’t be so bad if it was not so loud, with outburst of laughter and all in French.  The occasional kick in the seat didn’t help.

A day in Suvarnabhumi Airport is always the same, but different.  There is one big level where all of the domestic and international carriers have their check-in windows.  That information alone gives you an idea of it’s size.  The mass of humanity that passes through this place daily just boggles my mind.  

We arrived in Chiang Rai to the sound of a traditional orchestra.  This time, instead of children, it was senior musicians.  It was heart-warming to watch how freely people put money in their donation box.  I stood and watched them, waiting for our bags.  They all had very warm smiles and I guess my bobbing head helped seal the connection.

Gong, Gop and another nephew met us with the van.  Gong has three sisters and I think he really enjoys the company of this little crew.  It’s so good to be home.  Even the thought of climbing the stairs didn’t dull the excitement.

Today’s photos from Pimilai Resort are the beach level pool and us at dinner on the beach.  



Have a Wonderful WeekEnd.         Time for the ‘Funnies’.

                    Peace,
                              Danny


Thursday, March 16, 2017

Impression

Hi,

This morning we woke up to a cloudy sky.  Oh no, what?  It didn’t take long for the clouds to burn off, leaving the island hot, sunny and very humid.  

A couple of you responded to the ‘Zany Day’ song right away.  This R&B tune came out in 1976 and was a hit.
“Once I went to hear them play at a club outside of town.  I was so surprised, I was hypnotized by the sound this cat put down.  When I saw this short fat guy stretch a band between his toes, hey, I laughed so hard ‘cause the man got down when he finally reached his goal… Got that rubber band up on his toes, and then he wriggled it up all around his nose.  Hey, y’all prepare yourself for the __ __…”  Clue:  Half of the title is in the lyrics.  Silly, zany stuff for sure.

When we woke up this morning the conversation was about whether to swim in the pool or the ocean.  After breakfast the sight of the concrete staircase we had to climb was depressing.  When we left our room to go to the water, we walked along a different road.  I figured there had to be another way to the beach besides the giant, leg-eating staircase.  Sure enough, the alternate road took us to the reception area.  That led us to the forest walkway which took us to the ocean.  The water felt great and we bobbed around, swam a little, and had a fun time.  

Going back to our room would be the real test as to whether the new route would work.  There was no question that we would have to go up.  An elevation change was a scientific fact.  Whether it would leave us exhausted and in pain was going to be the question.  The plan worked perfectly.  We managed to eliminate considerable stress.  This made us very happy.

With the back and forth being what is was, we ate lunch in the room again today.  We were ‘saving’ ourselves for dinner on the hill.  Our little place is at the top of the beach area.  The hillside area is a tram ride up a winding road.  There are a bunch of living spaces, another pool, and the Seven Seas restaurant.  That’s where we dined tonight.  We didn’t realize that this was ‘Mama Mia’ night.  An Italian buffet was the menu and it had things I can eat.  I enjoyed watching the rapport between some of the guests and the staff.

Since I went on about the stairs, here are a couple of photos from two directions, just to give you perspective.



Tomorrow morning we leave this special place and head back to another special place.  We will travel by speed boat to the ferry dock, ride across to the mainland, and then drive to the Krabi Airport for our flight to Bangkok.  Then it’s an airport day until the late afternoon flight to Chiang Rai.  

Time to pack.  They want to pick up the bags at 7:15am.  Hmm.

Have a Thrilling Thursday.

                   Peace,
                             Danny 

“Sometimes one creates a dynamic
impression by saying something, and
sometimes one creates as significant an
impression by remaining silent.”
~Dalai Lama

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Thrive

Hi,

The weather here on Koh Lanta is very warm, but the breeze from the Andaman Sea has kept us comfortable.  

The ‘Easy Monday’ song was “We Can Work It Out” by The Beatles.  ‘Zany Day’ is a tune from the mid-70s:
“Hand me down my walkin’ cane, hand me down my hat.  Hurry now and don’t be late ‘cause we ain’t got time to chat.  You and me, we’re goin’ out to catch the latest sounds guaranteed to blow your mind so high, you won’t come down, no.  Hey, you all prepare yourself for the __ __.  You’ve never heard a sound like the __ __.  You’re bound to lose control when the __ __ starts to jam.”  Hint:  About a unique musician, by a group named for what a top does when put into motion.

This morning we got to sleep in.  Primalai has four restaurants and two pools, plus a private beach.  There are plenty of opportunities to get lost.  Thai Spice is the name of the restaurant where breakfast is served.  Our table looked out onto the water, from the hillside location.  It was our first encounter with the food staff and their dedication to make one feel comfortable was obvious.  After our meal we strolled down and checked out the beach level pool.  It was 8:30 in the morning and people were already camping out on the lounge chairs.  Only a few were in the water. The infinity pool is large and the effect of the water going into the ocean really works.  It inspired us to go back to the room and change.  Going back to the room is more than a notion.  There are several flights of stairs to get to our hillside spot and today we went up 4 different times.  This is a workout for sure.

It has been 5 months since we’ve been swimming.  We decided to take it easy and not get carried away.  A few laps of the big pool was enough for the first time back.  All of the lounge chairs were taken so we went to the poolside bar, which was empty.  More great service and that feeling that this is a dream.  A short flight of stairs down and we were on the sand.  If so inspired, we could have rented a two-person kayak, a sail board, or a stand-up paddle board.  No inspiration came so we waded into the sea.  On our afternoon swing by the beach we asked about the little private cabanas that were set up for meals.  We capped the day with a sunset dinner in a semi-private area.  

Today’s photos are from Pimalai Resort.  The cool thing about this place is having beach and forest at the same location. 



Feels like a Wacky Wednesday.

                   Peace,
                             Danny

“My mission in life is not merely
to survive, but to thrive; and to do so 
with some passion, some compassion,
some humor and some style.”
~Maya Angelou

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Stardom

Hi,

The weather today was a bit of a mystery to me because I wasn’t in it much.  The morning was spent at Chiang Rai International Airport and then on the plane to Bangkok.  The afternoon was spent in the airport and then on another plane to Krabi.  From there it was a couple of air conditioned vehicles so I really can’t say.  It looked hot.

Since most of you already told me you know the ‘Easy Monday’ song, let’s skip to the bridge:  “Life is very short, and there’s no time for fussing and fighting, my friend.  I have always thought that it’s a crime, so I will ask you once again.  Try to see it my way…. __ __ __ __ __, __ __ __ __ __.”  Hint:  What?  Isn’t it nice to have a really easy one for a change (555)?

So, it’s 10:15pm and we’re at the Pimalai Resort on Koh Lanta.  It took us many hours from door to door.  Granted, we spent hours waiting for our flight to the south, but it was still a day of travel.  I could tell you about the sights and sounds of the airport, but that would be boring.  I can tell you that once we landed in Krabi, things got interesting.  We were greeted by a man holding a sign from the hotel.  He confirmed that we were the party he wanted and then he passed us off to a driver.  The van took us on a long trip into the darkness and about an hour later we pulled onto a dirt road that led to a fancy clearing.  A sleek, black SUV was waiting for us.  The bags were transferred and the driver asked us if we’d like to order dinner.  We wouldn’t be arriving until after 9pm and they could have it waiting for us.  We ordered from the hotel dinner menu, he called it in and we took off.  

Our next stop was the ferry dock.  We were one of the last vehicles to make it on board.  It seemed like we sat there forever, until we realized we were moving.  In the darkness there was no way to ‘feel’ the movement.  The ferry just slipped away from the dock and we were headed for the island.  Once on land we had another long drive through several towns and villages.  When we started driving into the hills I knew we were close.  

We were greeted with flower leis, Thai style.  A golf cart took us and the hotel guide on a long and winding trip up a hill to our room.  It’s beautifully decorated and I’ll know more about the view in the daylight.  We were cautioned to be sure and lock the windows and doors when we leave because the monkeys have learned how to open them and enter the rooms.  Oh my.  

Today’s photo is outside of the main lobby at Pimilai Resort.  It’s a giant bowl sitting in the center of a pond.  Water trickles over the edges and creates rippling reflections with the light.


Have a Happy Tuesday.

               Peace,
                         Danny

“The main ingredient of stardom
is the rest of the team.”
~John Wooden

Monday, March 13, 2017

Thanks

Hi,

The ‘Hot Season’ is definitely upon us.  It will peak this week at around 100F, then drop back into the 90F range next week.  Progress on the pool continues at a good pace.  We are so ready.

The ‘Old School Friday’ tune was “Make It Easy On Yourself” as sung by Jerry Butler.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FLlBzu2LRPA  Just in case you've never heard it.  Now, on to the serious business of ‘Easy Monday’.  “Try to see it my way.  Do I have to keep on talking till I can’t go on?  While you see it your way, run the risk of knowing that our love may not last long.  __ __ __ __ __, __ __ __ __ __.”  Hint:  Conflict resolution?    

Tonight is ‘Pack the Bag night’.  We will be gone for 4 days, which means more than a weekend and less than an overseas trip.  Since we’re going to a island, with an emphasis on beach and pool activities, I’ll start with two swimsuits and go from there.  It struck me this afternoon that I will not be driving for the whole time.  There will be a lot of riding though.  The resort is on a hillside, rather than on the beach.  As they put it, it’s vertical instead of horizontal.  There are carts that take guests from their rooms to the beach.  We’ll be riding in one of those.  

The air around Chiang Rai has been much better than in past years at this time.  It’s possible that the multi-pronged attack on the fire starters is working.  In addition to the threats from the government, there have been some local, village based awareness programs and the word is getting out.  Whatever the reasons, the air is a lot less ’stinky’ and the sky is basically blue.

We have a flowering tree in the back yard that gets more spectacular each year.  This year it’s outrageous.  Natcha and Lisa were looking at it the other day and Natcha said it looked so good she wanted to eat it.  Below are two photos.  The first shows how it looks from the front of the house, looming up from the rear.  The second photo was taken on the balcony next to our bedroom.



Just so you know, today was Thai Elephant Day.  Now you have some trivia to spread around (555).  

Have a Great Week.

                 Peace,
                           Danny

“No duty is more urgent than
that of returning thanks.”
~James Allen

Friday, March 10, 2017

Friday Funnies

Hi,

As you know, we laugh at most of the weather forecasts that call for rain when the sky is clear and it’s 90F outside.  Today they called for possible thunder showers and we laughed.  This morning, while out with Daku, actual drops fell from the sky.  I felt one or two and it was over.  Hmm, I don’t think that counts as rain.

The ‘Zany Day’ song was “Keep a-Knockin’” by Richard Penniman, aka Little Richard (wooo). https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FJ6SstTS4YY.  Time for some ‘Old School Friday’.  “If you really love him, and there’s nothing I can do.  Don’t try to spare my feelings, just tell me that we’re through and make it easy on yourself.  __ __ __ __ __ ‘cause breaking up is so very hard to do…”  Hint:  The version in my head was sung by a male balladeer with the nickname ‘The Iceman’.  

We started our day outside the wall by dropping the printer off again at the repair center.  This time we took Lisa’s computer so they could possibly do some troubleshooting.  Around the corner at the post office, we had a quick and easy time since is was practically empty.  There is a handicap ramp on the side of the building that caught my attention.  Basically, I think it’s a little steep.  Really?


Like many homes here, we fly the flag of Thailand and also the King flag.  It was time to replace them both with new ones so we went to our friends at Teppwan to get new ones.  Pete informed us that there was a new King flag with a different design and that flying the old one was not legal.  He chuckled and said they probably wouldn’t arrest us, but it was better that we had the new one.  The store has undertaken a monumental task of remodeling and remaining open.  Imagine, trying to keep everything clean, yet available while the ceiling is being replace and things are being cut and sanded, etc.  They’re making it work and it will be beautiful when it’s done.

Our afternoon at the house was like a circus.  The workers were doing their thing in the back, then our friend Eric came over to consult with us about how to make a water drainage system now that the land has been filled in next door.  We have a good understanding of what must be done and Khun Cheurn will help us find someone to do the work.  Then Nung arrived to work on some lighting issues just as we were concluding things with Eric.  Not long after that we had to retrieve Lisa’s computer and printer from the shop…that yielded no satisfaction whatsoever.  We press on.

Neetchanon has been a real delight lately.  Today she was walking around the kitchen talking in her big voice.  She’s also getting curious about things around the house.  We have to pick up Daku’s water bowel when she’s investigating things because she likes to pick it up, spilling water all over.  This afternoon she tried to pick up the mop bucket.  

Today’s Neetchanon photo shows her being excited to be in the big living/dining room area.  She was flapping her hands as she walked in, smiling that special smile.


Have a Wonderful WeekEnd.    Stay tuned for the ‘Funnies’.

               Peace,
                         Danny


Thursday, March 9, 2017

Origins

Note:  Time is running out.  March 10 is just a day away (Thai time)  If you want to keep receiving this slice of adventure, let me know.  

Hi,

The weather highlight of the day was the wind.  It came out of nowhere and whipped around like something from the Sahara, or the dunes of Namib.  Those warm winds that drive people crazy all over the world.  That’s what we had all day.  The biggest complaint was headaches.  It died down around sunset and then someone lit a very smelly fire.  Life in the almost-country is never dull.

I must say, I was delightfully surprised to see how many of you remembered this week’s ‘Zany Day’ song.  And on day one at that.  Here’s the second verse of this tune by one of the zaniest men in showbiz:  “You said you love me but you can’t come in.  (repeat 2 x)  Come back tomorrow night and try it again.  __ __-__ but you can’t come in….”  Hint:  There’s a ‘Wooo’ in there, if that helps.  Some of the singer’s friends have names like Molly, Sally, Jenny and Fanny.  

For the first time in a long time we went to Macro.  Not much has changed in the big supply store.  We stopped at Art Bridge on the way and picked up a painting Lisa had on exhibit.  The center is hosting another Kid’s Art Camp next week.  It’s gratifying to see how much time the local artists are devoting to the next generation by exposing them to different media and methods of expression.  

Our next stop was to see our attorney.  We haven’t seen him in about 3 years and he’d moved.  As we were leaving I noticed his ‘Coffee Table’ in the lobby, and it is one of today’s photos.


The pool crew continues to make good progress.  The old pool used a system that involved a ‘surge tank’.  It’s basically a big hole where excess pool water goes, blah blah.  The new system will not use this tank, so today a little dump truck delivered two loads of gravel to pour into the big hole.  There’s more to it than that, but right now there is a big pile of gravel, and another of sand, waiting to go into the hole.  

The second photo today is the lettuce that Khun Jin brought yesterday.  We had some with lunch and it was very good.  


Have a Thrilling Thursday.

                  Peace,
                            Danny

“All our knowledge has it’s
origins in our perceptions.”
~Leonardo da Vinci

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

See

Hi,

The weather in Chiang Rai is doing it’s repetitive thing these days.  I really don’t mind.  It helps to dry the concrete.  

It always amazes me how day 2 of a song will bring lots of answers.  That’s how it was with “Knock On Wood” by Eddie Floyd.  Congrats to all those dynamic memories.  This week’s ‘Zany Day’ song will be a true test of your ability to retain crazy:  “__ __-__ but you can’t come in. (repeat two times) Come back tomorrow night and try it again.”  Clue:  That was half the lyrics.  A key word in the title was in the last title.  Oh yeah, it’s old.

The pool crew said they were ready for the tile, glue, and grout so we moved up the deliveries.  Our little van went beyond the call of duty this morning and brought home ten bags of tile glue, five bags of special additive, and four big tubs of grout.  The tile store delivered all of the tiles in the afternoon.  Now it looks like Friday will be the day they will begin installation.  They are working much quicker than estimated and are telling us that they may be done by the 20 of this month.  We’re giving it a cushion and expecting 25.  Either way, it’s way ahead of the original time given.  Time for me to get to work on my solar project.

With the van loaded down with supplies, there was time for coffee so we took the easy route and went to The Wanderer.  It was fairly empty when we arrived, so we got to visit with Khun Noot and her grandson, who is four months old.  What a special time, now that we’ve just experienced this age with Neetchanon.  Just imagine, going to the woods to visit grandmother.  He’s going to have a great time when he’s a little older.  Mercy was there too, howling/talking to us about something important.  

Today’s photo was taken at The Wanderer.  The tall tree is called a ‘Giraffe Tree’ and it became infested with worms and died.  They are taking it down, bit by bit.  


This afternoon we each had our first massage with Khun Jin.  She came to the house bearing gifts.  We did not expect anything but a good massage, but she brought a box of lettuce plants and two tomato plants.  She was able to explain why somethings were responding the way they were, and how some pain was connected to another spot that was also congested.  It will be good to get back to a rhythm with massages.  

It’s Time for Wacky Wednesday.

                     Peace,
                               Danny

“It’s not what you look at that matters,
it’s what you see.”
~Henry David Thoreau