Thursday, August 31, 2017

Forgive

Hi,

We had clouds all day.  There were glimpses of bright sun, and then it was gone.  No sign of rain yet tonight, but it’s early.  It’s not as bad as the forecasts so far.

This week’s ‘Zany Day’ tune was not a big hit for the group known for having hits.  Still, it’s fun.  “Three cool chicks, three cool chicks.  Walkin’ down the street, swingin’ their hips, spittin' up a bag of potato chips.  And __ __ __ did three big flips for three cool chicks.”  Hint:  There is a number in the title.   

By the time we took Daku out for his morning exercise, the overnight rain had soaked in and the lawn was not too soggy.  The air was cool and he was in a running mood. 

For some strange reason, when we got ready to leave for Big C, Daku thought he was going with us.  That would have been totally distracting for everyone (555).  One of the items we picked up was chicken sausage.  At the station that sells them they have a whole collection of ‘packaged’ meat.  As an attraction and a way of promoting good will, they give children balloon creations.  Some examples are in today’s photo.


Down the road from us, on the river side, there is some kind of major project going on.  We can’t see what it is because there are fields of tall corn in the way.  There has been heavy equipment moving earth and boulders, as well as dirt trucks.  I suppose I could just walk down the path they cut and see what’s happening.  Hmm, maybe I’ll do that.  The suspense is killing me (555).  The other option would be to go across the river and look from the other side.  A mystery is unfolding.

From time to time I mention how we come across translations from Thai to English that don’t quite make sense.  Sometimes they take on a life of their own.  “Eat kids so longevity…so I will swallow your brother right away!!”
That was the exact wording of a machine translation from our friends at Facebook.  Clearly, more work is needed. 
Another part of the problem that arises when a person posts in Thai on Facebook and an English speaking person clicks on ‘translate’, the Thai person has no idea what the English reading person is seeing.  Oh, not good at all. 

We didn’t see Neetchanon at all today.  She spent the whole day at her aunt’s house and when she came home she crashed.  I can just imagine all the fun that went on over there.  It’s almost like going to preschool.  It gives Natcha a chance to do things here, even though she misses her little girl.

Have a Thrilling Thursday.

                    Peace,
                              Danny

“Forgive yourself for not having
the foresight to know what now
seems so obvious in hindsight.”
~Judy Belmont

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Unique

Hi,

The weather forecasts are calling for rain for the rest of this week and into next.  Today we had some sprinkles, but no rain.  Nighttime seems to be when it happens the most.  The daytime thunderstorms haven’t been showing up (555).

The ‘Easy Monday’ song was “Uptight (Everything Is Alright)” by Stevie Wonder.  Here’s a ‘Zany Day’ tune some of you may remember:  “__ __ __, __ __ __, parked on the corner in a beat-up car.  Dividing up a nickel candy bar, talking all about how sharp they are, these __ __ __.”  Clue:  Another from our favorite zany vocal group.  

This morning Lisa had brunch with our friend Lisa at Chivit Tamma Da.  I stayed home with Daku and did stuff around the house.  After lunch time, Cat came over for a visit.  She had a break from classes today.  We learned more about life as a ‘Second year student’, as they are called.  Tonight she will be volunteering with other Second years to help explain to the First years, how things work on campus.  Later this evening there will be a music concert headlined by Big Ass, a Thai R&R staple.  During the course of our conversations we said something about washing some clothes that she left.  She explained that she would do it because in Thai culture, young people are not supposed to have older people do things like that for them.  That explains why Tatt always washed his clothes in the shower and Cat always did her laundry early in the morning, when it wouldn’t interrupt the household.  

Today’s photo was taken last week after ‘Guess who?’ had some pool time.

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This evening we went to an art exhibit opening at ArtBridge.  The show consisted of pencil drawings by three artists and the work was outstanding.  One of the artists focused on portraits of the other ArtBridge artists.  Not only were the drawings well done, they captured subtle aspects of their personalities.  We also got a chance to preview an exhibit that will open on Saturday in the main gallery.  It’s the men’s answer to ‘In Her Eyes’, the women’s exhibit that recently closed.

It’s looking like a Wacky Wednesday.

                      Peace,
                                Danny

“Always remember that you are
absolutely unique.  Just like
everyone else.”
~Margaret Mead

       

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Humor


Hi,

This morning there was just the hint of a rain shower, then a beautiful cloudy day. 

“She’s a pearl of a girl, I guess you might say.  I guess her folks brought her up that way.  The right side of the tracks, she was born and raised, in a great big old house full of butlers and maids.  She says no one is better than I, I know I’m just an average guy, no football hero or smooth Don Juan, got empty pockets, you see I’m a poor man’s son…. And it all right, what I can’t do.  Out of sight because my heart is true.  She says baby, __ __ __, __, clean out of sight….”  Hint:  It’s a wonder more of you didn’t remember this one.  The fourth dash is the actual title.

‘Adventures on Bus Station Street’ is the name of today’s episode.  We took our van to the Suzuki dealership for servicing.  Since we were on Bus Station Street, we decided to stroll to the other end for coffee.  On the way we passed the shops where they sell lawnmowers, blowers, etc, a mattress shop, the row of shoe, bag, and watch shops, and then the noodle district.  We did some browsing along the way.  Coffee was found at the other end of the street.  There was air/con and quiet.  Just the thing to pass a little time.  We were told it would take 2 hours for the service so we were resigned to waste some time.  After coffee we started back, stopping at Healthy Choice to look around.  We’ve known the owners for a long time so we talked for a while.  Khun Big told me all about the bus station drama.  The new structure will be for the local buses that go to nearby cities.  The one exception will be the Green Bus, the one we used to take to Chiang Mai.  He said they insisted on being in the downtown station.  It makes sense, since they carry a lot of tourists as well as local travelers.  Big and his wife have two sons that are older teenagers now, with deep voices.  We’ve been seeing them since they were little boys.  Time flies. 

On the shoe and purse end of the street we stopped at a shop where we are frequent patrons (555).  When we got back to Suzuki, they had finished the work and were washing the van.  The total time was just under two hours.  We’re ready to roll for another six months ’til the next servicing.

Today’s photo was taken at the airport here in Chiang Rai.  I never showed you the big screen they’ve added.  There are several nature clips like the one pictured, and also previews of films at the mall and other notices.

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Reflecting on our morning, I realized that we know two families that live and work on Bus Station Street.  They work on the street level and live on the two floors above.  The ‘Shop House’ is quite a traditional fixture in this part of the world. 

Have a Happy Tuesday.

                    Peace,
                              Danny

“Like a welcome summer rain,
humor may suddenly cleanse and
cool the earth, the air, and you.”
~Langston Hughes

Monday, August 28, 2017

Compassion

Hi,

We seem to be back to hot days and rainy nights.  Last night a quiet storm crept in and left enough water to flood the back yard.  I’ve taken to calling it ‘The Swamp’.  It’s off limits for Daku until the rainy season is over; just too muddy.

The ‘Old School Friday’ tune was “Ain’t That A Shame” by Fats Domino.  Now we’re back around to ‘Easy Monday’ again.  “I’m a poor man’s son from across the railroad tracks, the only shirt I own is hangin’ on my back.  But I’m the envy of ev’ry single guy since I’m the apple of my girl’s eye…. She says ‘Baby __ __ __, __, out of sight.  Baby, __ __ __, __, clean out of sight.”  Hint:  Life is good for the singer.  The title is in the lyrics, only set backwards.  Excuse the dashes, you’ll just have to sing it to yourself.  (555)

Sunday morning, around 4am, there was a sound coming from outside that could have been a bird or a dog.  It was difficult to tell.  One instance and then nothing for a new minutes, then another.  We finally investigated and discovered a little dog that had been abandoned in the empty lot next to us. It was lying on a towel and couldn’t seem to move. Lisa took it some water and we determined that we should take it to Dr. Arnon, Daku’s vet.  It turns out ‘she’ was appreciative for the help.  She didn’t make another sound after we began attending to her.  When we spoke with the doctor on call, he said he was not sure if she could survive.  Then we spoke with Dr. Arnon and he said he’d give her overnight and see.  In the end, there was nothing they could do.  Dr. Arnon thanked us for bringing her to the clinic.  When he explained that she would not survive, he said some of his staff would go to the temple. Somehow, that made me feel good.   Tonight we took them a fruit basket.

Sunday night we went to the Night Bazaar for dinner at Sawadee Restaurant.  We were the only guests for most of our time there.  The owner and his wife came to the table at separate times and we talked about how things were going.  They depend a lot on tours bringing their clients for a Thai dinner.  Lately, the guides have been letting their clients feed themselves, which means they eat street food.  Other vendors echoed their feelings and are hanging on until the High Season begins in November.  It was nice to see our friends.

While we were out and about town, we went to the mall for a few things.  It was the weekend of the Chiang Rai Coffee ‘Expo’ and it was in full swing when we arrived.  The main floor was full of booths from various suppliers and the aroma was wonderful.  I had no idea so many coffee companies were in the region.  We saw many Hill Tribe costumes since a lot of the coffee is grown by the tribes.  I would guess that for every mountain/foothill, there is a coffee company.  Tea was also represented at this expo.  It was too late in the day to sample anything, but it was great to see so many small businesses make such a coordinated presentation.

Today’s photo shows Neetchanon in the kitchen, using Daku’s bed as her desk while she scrolls through the nursery rhymes.  She has specific songs that she likes, recognized by the logos on the list.

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There is a thing called ‘Music Mix’ on Youtube, that many small shops use for their background music.  We learned about this today at Shong Cafe while trying to get the name of a song.  What they were playing was a long collection of music in a particular genre, with no titles or artists given.  Interesting and frustrating.

Have a Great Week.

                Peace,
                          Danny

“Compassion is the desire that moves
the individual self to widen the scope
of its self-concern to embrace the whole
of the universal self.”
~Arnold Toynbee


Friday, August 25, 2017

Friday Funnies

Hi,

Our weather today was overcast with drizzles off and on all day.  Yeah, real happy stuff (555).  My weather app says there are no ski resorts nearby so I don’t know about ski conditions.  Doesn’t matter, don’t ski.  Just thought I’d mention that bit of nonsense.

The ‘Zany Day’ song was “Poison Ivy” by The Coasters.  ‘Old School Friday’ comes from one of the legends of ‘Back in the day’:  “You made me cry, when you said, ‘goodbye’.  __ __ __ __?  My tears fell like rain.  __ __ __ __?  You’re the one to blame.”  Hint:  It’s by a piano player named for his girth and a popular game. 

This morning we got up at our usual time of 6am.  While Lisa was finishing our breakfast, Cat came into the kitchen.  She’d been awake since 3am.  Welcome to the mysterious world of Jet Lag.  Today she moved her things back to her dorm apartment and will spend most of the weekend with her sister.  Back to school on Monday morning.

Big C got our attention this morning.  We did our little routine with the list and a little browsing.  I noticed a clever display above the check-out area.  Three umbrellas were hanging open, with raincoats suspended from the handles.  If it’s still up on our next trip, I’m taking a pic.  We had our coffee stop at Starbuck’s at the mall.  Here’s an interesting observation:  In the States, there was an abundance of Starbuck’s coffee shops.  In Chiang Rai there is one.  Hmm.  What we have here is multiple locations of local coffee brands.  Stiff competition.

Today’s photo is what happens when a creative salon owner decides to decorate the ‘toilet room’.

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This evening Natcha and Neetchanon came upstairs after dinner.  There is a clock puzzle we got for her on a bottom shelf and regardless of how the visit begins, Neetchanon always gravitates to the puzzle.  This time she brought it to the bed.  A few times she almost got a number in the right spot.  It would appear that Neetchanon’s real goal is to dump the pieces out.  When Natcha took her home she began to fuss.  Daku got very concerned and wanted to follow them.  What a pal.

Have a Wonderful WeekEnd.   Stay tuned for the ‘Funnies’.   Formula One is in Belgium this weekend.  Zoom!

                Peace,
                          Danny

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Thursday, August 24, 2017

Speed

Hi,

Last night we had a big storm.  Lots of wind and rain in the middle of the night.  Today has been light rain almost all day.  Oh well.

Assuming you all got yesterday’s message, I’m surprised there were so few responses to the ‘Zany Day’ song. Hmm:
“Measles make you bumpy, and mumps’ll make you lumpy, and chicken pox’ll make you jump and twitch.  A common cold’ll fool ya, and whooping cough’ll cool ya, but __ __, Lord’ll make you itch!  You’re gonna need an ocean of calamine lotion.  You’ll be scratchin’ like a hound, the minute you start to mess around.  __ __, __ __, late at night when you’re sleepin’ __ __ comes a-creepin’ around..”  Clue:  There’s a plant involved.  There, I’ve said too much.

It looks like my stormy time with Google is over.  They say I exceeded my ‘limit’ on the number of emails one can send in 24 hours.  Please!  I waited them out, though I think they went longer than the 24 hour punishment, and now I can send again.  What has it come to when the big joy in a day is the ability to send email?  Just sayin’.

The big news at The Big Brown House is that Cat is home from America.  She’s been gone for a month, and for the most part she’s been hearing and speaking nothing but English.  We immediately noticed a difference on the way home.  It will take a few days for her to decompress.  She has so many stories to tell, so many life lessons she’s learned, and as she put it, so many things she didn’t realize.  So far we’ve briefly talked about homelessness, racism, and the work of The Freedom Story.  Except for a ‘nap’, she said she stayed awake for the whole trip to Thailand.  Hmm, I wonder what time she’ll wake up tomorrow? 

When we got to Chiang Rai International Airport (CEI) there were many new things to see.  The most notable are the two giant, four-sided screens that display everything from animated flowers and birds to previews of movies at the mall.  There is a little kiosk where you can take a photo that gets posted at the base of the big screen.  We took one while we waited for Cat’s plane, and then another with her after she landed.


Have a Thrilling Thursday.

                Peace,
                          Danny

“There is more to life than
increasing its speed.”
~Mahatma Gandhi

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Life

Hi,

I’m having difficulty with Google lately; they won’t allow me to send mail.  That’s why yesterday’s post took so long to get to some of you.  If you don’t receive mail from me, go to https://gratidude.blogspot.com/ for the latest version of ‘Adventures In Thailand’.  Remember, it’s always there when the mail is late.

Today was another beautiful day, except it was super hot. 

The ‘Easy Monday’ song was “Here, There, and Everywhere” by The Beatles.  Are you ready for another ‘Zany Day’ tune?  “She comes on like a rose, but everybody knows.  She’ll get you in Dutch.  Now you can look but you better not touch.  __ __, __ __.  Late at night while you’re sleepin’ __ __ comes a-creepin’ around.”  Hint:  Attention hikers!

This morning Mr. Daku got a bath.  When he saw us assembling the various bath ‘tools’, he went into the little kitchen, presumably to hide.  Drying this guy is an all day affair.  He’s at that stage where the undercoat is coming in and it retains water.  When he’s dry he looks big and furry.  When wet, he looks like a normal dog.  I think he likes the dry look.

We went on a little dining adventure today.  Our friend John, of John and Aey, invited us to try a little eating spot on a road we’ve traveled a lot, but never paid attention to what’s on it.  Krungkao Coffee & Cakes is a cozy diner with indoor and outdoor seating.  One of the main guys is a dessert specialist, so in addition to a variety of lunch dishes, there’s the ‘milk shop’ menu.  Some of the treats looked outrageous, but they’re heavy on the sugar and butter.  We all had the chicken salad, and Lisa and I shared a tiny piece of chocolate cake.  I liked the place and I’m sure we’ll be going back.  They’re open on Sunday’s, which is a day we always eat out.  We had a great visit with John, it’s been awhile since we’ve talked.  They are about to leave for a five week vacation and in my book, that’s pretty brave. 

Today’s photo was taken in Palo Alto, California on our recent trip.  Lisa’s dad Joe, has some grape vines that are very colorful this time of year.


Cat is in the air, on her way to Taipei and then Bangkok.  She will arrive in Chiang Rai on our Thursday night. 

Here’s hoping this message found you before it was time for the next one (555). 

It’s a Wacky Wednesday.

                  Peace,
                            Danny

“Don’t be too timid or squeamish
about your actions.  All life is an
experiment.”
~Ralph Waldo Emerson

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Peace

Hi,

Chiang Rai had a weather day that was perfect.  Blue skies, a few puffy clouds, and moderate temperatures made it a great day to play outdoors.

Only a few of you seem to recognize the ‘Easy Monday’ song.  It has to do with locations.  Once you get it, you got it.  “There, running my hands through her hair.  Both of us thinking how good it can be, someone is speaking, but she doesn’t know he’s there.  I want her everywhere, and if she’s beside me I know I need never care, but to love her is to need her everywhere…”  Clue:  Take yesterday’s first word of the verse, add today’s first word, and you may remember. 

It’s so weird to be in a place where not many people are aware of the big news story in the States.  The eclipse was not a news story here at all.  There was no dimming of the sun, no giant shadows, no special glasses.  Life went on as usual.  What I do find interesting is the reaction of animals in affected areas.  Was there any new scientific breakthrough as a result of all the stuff there is to measure stuff?  Just wondering.

We had an interesting, productive morning.  It began with a visit to a nail salon for a repair.  Then off to see the ‘Watch Guy’ for a clock repair, a digital reset and watchband.  He asked  if we could come back in an hour and that was fine.  I have noticed that Watch Guy’s English has really improved since we’ve been here.  For a long time we had to work hard to communicate. 

Today’s coffee stop was at Work@Home.  Right after we arrived, Katai showed up and Towan joined us.  There was art talk and then she let us look at her latest ‘Diary’.  She draws and writes in a book everyday.  Her artwork is wonderful and her calligraphy looks like it’s been typeset.  Each day is a thought or a reflection of something in her life.  The little adventure made us smile a lot.  Katai invited us to join them at a private restaurant for a special dinner.  It’s a new place in town that only seats one party per evening.  They ask about allergies and then prepare the meal from there.  It will probably be near the end of September, since this place is super popular. 

Today’s photo was taken from inside the nail salon while I was waiting.  I noticed this 'rolling kitchen' pull up and stop.  Then the guy took out his wood blocks and tapped them a few times.  There was no response so he moved on.


Every time we go to America we send ourselves a box from there to here.  It’s usually items from our suitcase that got replaced by vitamins, which we can’t ship.  Today it arrived.  Now everything is where it’s supposed to be (555). 

Have a Happy Tuesday.

                   Peace,
                             Danny


“Better than a thousand
hollow words, is one word
that brings peace.”
~Buddha

Monday, August 21, 2017

Changed

Hi,

Our new weather pattern seems to be:  "Looks like rain all day, with an afternoon shower right after the humans swim."

The ‘Old School Friday’ song was “Louie, Louie” by Richard Berry & The Pharaohs.  This is the original song, make no mistake.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z-2CKsaq5r8  On to the question of ‘Easy Monday’.  Do you know this?:
“To lead a better life, I need my love to be here… Here, making each day of the year.  Changing my life with the wave of her hand.  Nobody can deny that there’s something there…”  Hint:  A very cleverly written song.  The title is hidden in the beginning of each verse.  It came from across the water in 1966.

So, I forgot to tell you that Saturday was our 47th anniversary.  I didn’t forget the anniversary though.  We had a wonderfully cozy dinner at The Wanderer.  They reserved ‘our table’ and there was no one there for most of the time.  We had the whole place to ourselves.  We dined on chicken burgers and fruit smoothies, laughed and took selfies.  Before we got our food, Khun Noot came out and brought Lisa a beautiful lavender rose.  Then she raced back into the kitchen and made us some custom garlic bread.  When it was time to pay the bill we were told there was none.  Dinner was on the house.


Most of our weekend was pretty mellow.  We swam, dodged a few rain storms and experienced the mall on a Sunday afternoon.  Big fun for us is running into people we know while out on the town.  It just affirms that small town vibe.  We saw friends while we were there and it added to the day. 

We’ve been having video calls with Cat every few days.  She’ll be heading back to Thailand later this week and she’s feeling homesick.  The trip has been a major success on many levels.  It will be an adjustment to jump back into uniform and become a student again. 

There are parts of Thailand that are having some serious problems with flooding.  North of us at the border with Burma, the city of Mae Sai had flooding that caused damage to homes and many merchants in the market shops.
On Thai news there is footage of areas that are under water.  Special boats have been sent to some areas to help move flood victims to higher ground.  The Mae Kok, the river near our house, is at one of the highest levels we can remember.  As rivers go, it’s still a long way from us and there is no danger. 

Today we went to ArtBridge and took down Lisa’s artwork from the womens’ exhibit.  It’s a nice feeling to come home with fewer pieces than we originally hung on the wall.  The next exhibit will be a solo show next year, here in Chiang Rai.

Have a Great Week.

                    Peace,
                              Danny

“When two people meet, each one
is changed by the other so you’ve got
two new people.”
~John Steinbeck

Friday, August 18, 2017

Friday Funnies

Hi,

What began as a cloudy morning turned into a major downpour in about 10 minutes.  There was sunshine and soggy yard play.  We are in the ‘you never know’ portion of the rainy season.

The ‘Zany Day’ song was “Along Came Jones” as recorded by The Coasters.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eFyr49TwuiI&list=RDeFyr49TwuiI#t=14  Now it’s time for another ‘Old School Friday’ tune.  Who remembers?:
“__, __, oh, oh, me gotta go.  __, __, oh, oh, me gotta go.  Fine little girl she waits for me.  Me catch the ship for cross the sea.  Me sail the ship, all alone.  Me never think, me make it home.  (Chorus)  Three nights and days, me sail the sea.  Me think of girl constantly.  On the ship, I dream she there.  Me smell the rose in her hair.  __, __, oh, oh, me gotta go…”  Hint:  Oh, this is so easy it hurts.  The title is a name sung twice.  Please don’t be confused with the later remake that created crazy rumors.

One minute we were going to stay at home, the next, we were on our way to The Wanderer.  A short drive with no traffic made the whole idea easier to handle.  I ordered coffee and Lisa ordered a cup of rose tea and an order of roti.  That last part made for an interesting exchange with two servers.  When pronouncing the word ‘rose’, the last two letters are often left off, leaving you with ‘ro’.  Now put the ‘ro’ from rose with the ‘ti’ from roti and you have what might seem like two orders of roti.  Or two orders of rose tea.  We finally got what we wanted and it was all good.  The Wanderer grandbaby was ‘at work’ today.  He has a really cute smile, but it takes some work to bring it out.  Mercy stopped by briefly, to say ‘Hi’, and our morning was complete. 

Neetchanon is now speaking more words.  There are some phrases in either Thai or Akha that she kept saying this evening.  They were directed at Daku, in reference to her ball.  The blue ball in the kitchen is hers and she is very territorial about it.  If she throws it (and I use the term loosely) to Daku and he gets it, she gets upset.  He does tend to hang onto it once he gets it (555).  She now throws the ball either up or out, but not behind her.  It’s interesting to watch this progression. 

Today’s photos are from Mellow coffee/milk shop.  The first pic is more wall painting.  The second is the little car that sits out in front.



If the rain pattern continues like it’s been, we’ll be having a quiet weekend at home. 

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

                     Peace,
                               Danny


Thursday, August 17, 2017

Vision

Hi,

Chiang Rai had another pleasant day.  There was a little light rain in the afternoon.  Rain is predicted for the rest of the week.  I really hope not - we need to dry out.

It seems that we have a very popular ‘Zany Day’ song this week.  Here’s the second verse:  “Commercial came on, so I got up to get myself a snack.  You should’ve seen what was goin’ on by the time that I got back.  Down in the old abandoned mine Sweet Sue was havin’ fits.  That villain said, ‘Give me the deed to your ranch or I’ll blow you all to bits!’  And then he grabbed her (and then), he tied her up (and then), he lit the fuse to the dynamite (and then, and then…!)  And then __ __ __……”  Hint:  It was recorded by a zany bunch.  The hero always comes along at the right/last moment. 

Today was ’coffee shop sample day’.  We’ve been rotating around a few spots we like and not knowing about a lot more.  This morning we went to one of the four coffee shops situated around the Clock Tower.  It’s part of a chain that features a Hill Tribe brand.  We chose it over another across the street because they had air/con and the morning was heating up.  The coffee was very strong, but with a little hot water (we always ask for that), it was quite good.  Sitting by the window, looking out at the traffic roundabout that circles the Clock Tower was a new experience.  It’s one thing to drive through an intersection, and yet another to sit and observe.  All I can say is: ‘Wow’.  The way the cars, bikes and trucks weave in between one another, the near misses, and the daredevils, the mind gets boggled. 

Not far from the Clock Tower is Teppawan Art Supply.  It’s a family business run by our friend Supalak, her husband, their son Pete and his wife Jeab.  Supalak is one of Lisa's good friends and also a patron.  They send each other a ‘Line’ message every morning.  In addition to getting some paints, Pete showed us a new line of notebooks they are producing.  They have a leather cover and quality paper inside.  He gave Lisa the model with unlined paper that can take watercolors. 

Living with the seasons gets ‘real’ when your favorite fruit goes away.  That’s the case of the mango.  There are mangos around, but they’re either over-ripe or sour.  The pineapple is still delicious so that’s my new dessert.

After our brief nap we went to Overbrook Hospital to get immunization for Dengae Fever.  It’s something not to be messed with.  Lisa and I had it a few years ago.  She had the full version and I had enough to know I got knocked down.  Nurse Pay, our friend in the Treatment Room, set up a doctor visit where it was explained that there are three rounds of the medicine, six months apart.  It doesn’t guarantee that one won’t get sick, but it lessens the odds and the degree of the impact.  The side affects of the injection can include a low-grade fever and muscle aches.  I will gladly go through that if it means not having the illness.  So far, we’re feeling fine. 

Coffee shop number two was not far from the hospital.  You may recall that we stopped at ‘Mellow’ months ago but they hadn’t opened for the day.  We finally got back there today and had coffee.  It’s actually a ‘Milk Shop’, like where Cat works, but with a bigger menu.  The coffee was good and the ambience had a ‘fun’ potential.  There is a cartoon theme throughout and it fits with what they serve.  One menu item that caught our eyes was ‘Jelly Smoothie’.  What?  Don’t know, and don’t really want to try one, but it looked cartoonish.  There are lots of antique car models in the window and fun wall paintings. 

Today’s photos are some of the photos I took today.  Pic 1 is the rear wall.  Pic 2 is a close-up of the window to the kitchen and the ‘counter car’.



The biggest event of the day was our afternoon swim.  With all the rain lately, we haven’t been near the water.  The last few days the water felt too cold for a comfortable swim.  Today it was very borderline so we went for it.  Once in the water, it was good for the exercise, but not for lounging.  More please.

Have a Thrilling Thursday.

                     Peace,
                               Danny

“The only think worse than
being blind is having sight but
no vision.”
~Helen Keller

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Fearless

Hi,

Last night it rain all night.  Today we had a soggy yard.  Our big drain pipe is doing it’s job, but now we need a solution for the swamp out back.  Why is it that dogs like to go to the places where they get the dirtiest?

The ‘Easy Monday’ song was “By the Time I Get To Phoenix” by Glen Campbell, written by Jimmy Webb.  Let’s see what ‘Zany Day’ song will baffle you this week (555).  “I plopped down in my easy chair and turned on Channel 2.  A bad gunslinger called Salty Sam was 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).  And then __ __ __, tall thin __.  Slow-walkin’ __, slow talkin’ __.  Along came long, lean, lanky __.”  Hint:  A song about a hero, goes by his last name.  Title is in three words.

The day began at 5:20am, after lying there for hours.  Sleep is still being elusive.  You’d think that after so many days without a full nights' sleep or afternoon naps, that it would finally return.  This evening at 7:30pm some outside force decided it would be a good time to fall asleep.  I’m awake and trying my best to hammer this out before collapsing.

The rain from last night was not completely gone, which meant that it was sprinkling when it was time to take Daku out to play.  He doesn’t like to play in the rain.  That’s fine with me.  The rain picked up and he went home (5)

The Shong Cafe was our coffee spot this morning.  While we were there, we had a video call with Cat, who was about to have homemade pizza for dinner.  She’s having a ball and meeting lots of people who are supporting the efforts of The Freedom Story (formerly The Sold Project).  The call was made using ‘Messenger’ and it was clear and free.  Who knew?

Busy would best describe the morning in the street.  After coffee we went to Makro for a quick shop, then the bank, and a stop at Sinthanee to check an air/con remote that stopped working.  It was not fixable, but we were told where we could get a new one.  We found the place and it turned out to be a very fascinating shop.  It’s on the Super Highway and we’ve passed it a thousand times.  Inside, it was like an electronic warehouse/wonderland.  All the little pieces that make things work were in there.  When we presented the remote, the clerk went to a two-sided rack that was about ten feet long and seven feet tall.  It was covered with remotes.  There were parts for fixing or making speakers, wire couplings, and things that go inside of other things.  The new remote works fine.
After a quick fruit run, we headed home. 

Today’s photo was taken when we stopped for light bulbs.  It makes things pretty clear.


There are a number of words that are the same in Thai and English.  When Lisa wanted to ask about ordering a new remote, she looked up the word in the phone translator.  The word for order is order, with the accent on the second syllable.  Now you know.

Our TV went out sometime while we were out of town.  When I called to ask about it, a recording said that if it was not storm related, stay on the line.  Otherwise, hang up and try at a later date.  When we were at Big C a few days ago, I spoke to a rep and put in an order.  Today two guys came and noticed a small branch of leaves hanging over the edge of the little dish.  They said that was the problem.  They cut the branch and the picture came back.  They left without any compensation.  Amazing.

It feels like a Wacky Wednesday.

                   Peace,
                             Danny

“Let us not pray to be sheltered
from dangers, but to be fearless
when facing them.”
~Rabindranath Tagore

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Prevent

Hi,

It’s Tuesday night in Chiang Rai and we’re having a major storm.  Wind, rain, and big thunder very close by.  All day long it looked like this was coming.  It sprinkled for most of the day, and now this.

The ‘Easy Monday’ song has a few friends.  Maybe the next stop in the tune will ring a bell:  “By the time I make Albuquerque, she’ll be working.  She’ll probably stop at lunch and give me a call.  But she’ll just hear that phone keep on ringing, off the wall, that’s all.”  Clue:  So far he’s gone from a place in the title, to New Mexico, then on to Oklahoma.  It’s a sad ‘leaving’ song. 

This morning Mr. Lag decided to change the game.  After being awake for hours, we surrendered and got up at 5am.  Of course, this left Daku a little confused since we never let him disturb us this early.  It was still dark outside and that made things even stranger for him.  After breakfast it felt like nap time. 

The Wanderer was our first stop in the outside world.  There was no one there but us, which always makes it feel very special.  Mercy, the resident Husky greeter, came over and talked to us.  Then her ‘mom’, Kwan came over and we had a nice visit. 

While we were away our vacuum motor died dramatically.  All we knew was that there was a shock and smoke came out. When we took it to Sinthanee for a check our service friend told us that it would not be worth it to fix the motor.  We now have a new vacuum.  We also have a new sales friend.  While he was writing up the order he tried to pronounce Lisa's name.  He did pretty good on ‘Lisa’ but struggled with Moses.  Lisa kept repeating the sounds until he got it.  He would repeat it at every appropriate moment and we’d all laugh.

I seem to be in a perpetual state of confusion when it comes to my phone bill.  The company I use sends text messages that are sometimes in Thai and sometimes English.  They called me this morning and then hung up, almost like a crank call.  When I went to pay the bill, I didn’t go into anything but just asked how much.  Some months, especially in a Jet Lag phase, it’s easier to just pay the $21 and be done with it.  Considering that I’m getting phone service and internet, it’s such a deal.  We just paid $40 each for 3 weeks of service in L.A.

Today’s photo was taken at Suvarnabhumi International Airport (BKK).  It’s a great graphic of the various traditional masks of the region.


Have a Happy Tuesday.

                    Peace,
                              Danny

“A destruction, an annihilation
that only man can provoke,
only man can prevent.”
~Elie Wiesel

Monday, August 14, 2017

Heart

Hi,

While we were in the States, the weather here in Chiang Rai was very rainy.  Since Saturday night when we arrived, it hasn’t really rained yet, just sprinkles off and on.  It’s good to be back to hot and muggy sometimes rainy.  I did not just say that (555). 

The ‘Old School Friday’ song was “16 Candles” by The Crests.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gmOU_9gTvyI
Here is your ‘Easy Monday’ song:  “__ __ __ __ __ __ __ she’ll be rising.  She’ll find the note I left hanging on her door.  She’ll laugh when she reads the part that says I’m leaving, cause I’ve left that girl so many times before.”  Hint:  There are two cities and one state mentioned in this ‘road song’.  The singer had a stellar career in Pop and Country music. 

The trip home was uneventful, as trips home go.  There was a feeling of deja vu in Taipei.  While sitting in the lounge, looking at email, I got a message that our Cousin Conley E. Broome had passed.  It was in Taipei last year that we learned of the passing of my mother.  Although we knew it was near, it’s never easy when it happens. 

In Bangkok we got to stand in a very long line to go through immigration.  It moved rather quickly though, considering the number of travelers trying to enter at the same time.  When a couple of major flights from foreign countries arrive at the same time it puts major pressure on the immigration officers.  That may explain why our guy had absolutely no personality.  Oh well, we made it into The Kingdom without any problems. 

We met up with our friends Jesper, Louise, and 4 1/2 year-old Rasmus in Bangkok and had lunch.  When Rasmus spotted Lisa he ran to her and gave her a big hug.  They told us about some of their adventures in the beach areas.  They left for Denmark the next day.

Today’s photo was taken on the long flight over the Pacific.  What you’re seeing is sunrise, except this scene stayed like this for hours as we flew away from the sun.  I don’t know when it changed, but it was a strange sensation imagining that the sun might not 'come up’ (I actually know that it doesn’t come up).


 Waking up on Sunday morning in our house was a wonderful thing.  It seemed like this trip took more energy from us.  It may also have been another trick of the famous Mr. Lag.  The most we could do in the outside world was
make the 3 minute drive to The Wanderer for lunch.  We were joined by Tatt, who arrived in Chiang Rai around 3am Sunday morning.  He took a nap at the bus station and the took a cab to our house.  He arrived as we were starting our morning at 6am.  Daku doesn’t care about how we feel after a long flight, he wants his breakfast. 

Today we went to Big C, a totally brave thing in our condition.  When we went to the mall for coffee at Starbuck’s, we noticed that people were going inside the mall and it was only 10:30am.  That’s because it was an official holiday.  The Queens birthday (Mother’s Day) was Saturday, so the following Monday is a holiday.  Having no energy for the mall, we moved on to the fruit market for pineapple and mango.  What a joy to have fresh mango after lunch and dinner.

There had been changes since we left.  Neetchanon is saying real words mixed in with her own language.  She’s saying some things in Thai and Akha, and Natcha said she tells Daku to sit and stand up. 

Well, the head wants to be on the pillow and it’s only 8pm.  At 7pm we realized we had crashed and forced ourselves to stay awake for a few hours.  It’s hard enough getting the time right without unscheduled naps (555).

Have a Great Week.

                     Peace,
                               Danny

“In prayer it is better to have
a heart without words than words
without a heart.”
~Mahatma Gandhi

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Friday Funnies

Hi,

Today was another postcard, picture perfect weather day.  Not too hot, as long as you weren’t in the sun (555).

This week’s ‘Zany Day’ song was “Just Dropped In to See What Condition My Condition Was In”, by Kenny Rogers & The First Edition, 1967.  ‘Old School Friday is next.  I just know some of you remember this one:  “Happy birthday, happy birthday baby, oh, I love you so.  __ __ make a lovely light, but not as bright as your eyes tonight.  Blow out the candles, make your wish come true, for I’ll be wishing that you love me too.”  Hint:  Age is just a number and there is one in the title (a number). 

Not to confuse you or anything, but I’m writing this on Thursday, telling you about our day because on Friday I’ll be in the air.  The big adventure on our last day in America was a visit to Venice Beach.  We used to come here a lot, many years ago.  Arriving before the crowds was a good start, and gave us a chance to browse without interruptions in some of the shops.  After getting the gifts we wanted, we just played tourist.  It was our day, so we got ourselves presents too.  Lunch at the Sidewalk Cafe was good for watching the people strolling up and down the walkway.  Taking in the local color (characters) is always a plus.  It’s interesting to watch people entertaining the tourists by just being themselves.  Hmm.  We walked down to the skate park and joined the crowd that was watching ‘kids’ of all ages swoop in and out of the sculpted pools. 

Today’s photo was taken at the skateboard area at Venice Beach.





Our Godson, C-Bass, made us a dinner of shrimp Pad Thai.  It was delicious.  Some of the best we’ve had, and we’ve had a lot.  It was a wonderful way to end the trip.  He and his brother August, Lisa and I had a cool farewell meal.  Earlier, I went to the market with C-Bass and he said something that gave me a better perspective on what I’ve been feeling.  He doesn’t like all the changes that are taking over Culver City and he said, “This is not the town I grew up in.”  That is what I have been feeling.  It was so ‘to the point’.  Anyway, I’ll have to think of it as a new town I’m visiting next time.

Right now we’re hanging out in the EVA Lounge at LAX.  What a cool way to wait for a flight.  Food, beverages, football on TV and solid WiFi make it all OK.  The next time you hear from me it will be from Chiang Rai.  We arrive there on Saturday. 

Have a Wonderful WeekEnd.         Now, the ‘Funnies’.

                  Peace,
                            Danny


Thursday, August 10, 2017

Deeds

Hi,

The temps in Chiang Rai are about the same as Culver City.  The difference in weather is the fact that Chiang Rai is supposed to have high humidity and/or rain.  Oh my.

A few readers were quick to identify the ‘Zany Day’ song for this week.  Here’s more:  “I pushed my soul in a deep dark hole and then followed it in.  I watched myself crawling out as I was a-crawling in, I got up so tight I couldn’t unwind.  I saw so much I broke my mind.  I __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __.”  Clue:  The singer is checking up on himself in a psychedelic manner?

I’m finding it hard to concentrate as I write this message.  This is our last night (Wednesday) in the U.S. until December.  Tonight (Thursday) we will go to the airport, stand in a few lines while being scrutinized, and then board the plane for the long haul to Taipei.  Then, after a couple of hours on the ground we’ll take off for Bangkok.  In Bangkok we’ll have a 5 hour wait until we board the plane for Chiang Rai.  There will be a bit of sunshine in Bangkok because we will have a visit from Jesper, Louise and Rasmus.  They’re going to meet us and hang out at the airport. 

Wednesday was another full day.  Our friends Sandy and Ady have a little dog that they will be taking with them when they move to South Africa.  They asked if we could look for a natural remedy for travel anxiety that they could give their dog.  We went to our regular ‘pet spot’ and they had exactly what we asked for.  Never knew there were such things.  

We had a fun dinner at the Overland Cafe with Mark and Erica.  I have known Mark for about 25 years.  We talked about travel, food, and Westside rents.  It was a great way to finalize our ‘eating out’ activities. 

We’ve just about exhausted all of our lists.  A few things keep working their way from one list to another, as we either can’t find them or just put it off.  This morning we’re going out to Venice Beach to get a few items to take home as gifts.  It will be good to smell the ocean, hear the waves, and see the sights of the ‘boardwalk’. 

Today’s photo is one that most of you have seen before.  Just wanted to remind you of why we’re feeling homesick.  This is home.  The Big Brown House.


Have a Thrilling Thursday.

               Peace,
                         Danny

"When deeds speak,
words are nothing.”
~Pierre-Joseph Proudhon

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

World

Hi,

I suppose you could call yesterday a perfect weather day.  Then again, it depends on where you’re standing.  From where I was, it was great. 

The ‘Easy Monday’ song was “School Boy Crush” by Average White Band.  Congrats to those who remembered.  Now it’s time for a ‘Zany Day’ adventure.  This week’s ‘Zany Day’ song is from 1968 and was sung by a group that featured an artist who went on to have a huge solo career.  It also has one of the longest titles in popular music with 11 words.  “I woke up this mornin’ with the sundown shinin’ in, I found my mind in a brown paper bag within.  I tripped on a cloud and fell eight miles high, I tore my mind on a jagged sky.  I __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __.” Hint:  The singer is paying a visit to himself, a reflection on a certain kind of experience.

Last night we had a great talk with Jeff, who recently returned from a trip to Japan.  Anna is still there, as hair stylist on the ‘Fuller House’ TV show.  Jeff plays the bass so he found the street where musical instruments are sold in Tokyo.  When he asked if he could play a bass in one of the stores, the clerk took the bass, wiped it off and tuned it before handing it to Jeff.  Sounds like a place to visit someday.

Tuesday was another full day.  There was a three hour block of visits with friends from the institute where Lisa worked before we left, and dinner by the ocean in Redondo Beach with Denny and Sheila. 

This Summer Visit has been filled with bittersweet memories.  As most of you know, we made two trips last summer.  The first time we came after my mother had a major stroke.  On the second trip we had her memorial.  A year later there are many reminders of her in the things we do and don’t do.  Having dinner with my brother and sister-in-law was comforting.  Things were easier than the last time we got together six months ago.  Time is a healer.

Today’s photo was taken last evening in Redondo Beach as the sunset.


We talked to Cat after we got home from dinner.  Last night was the event for the donors to the ‘Freedom Story’, the organization that sponsors education for Cat and the other young people from her village.  She was a special guest and was interviewed by Rachel Goble, the president and co-founder of the project.  Cat said she was a bit overwhelmed by the response she got from the audience after the talk.  Everyone wanted to talk to her.  This is being an amazing adventure for her.

I realized this visit, that I not only enjoy seeing all the exotic cars that populate the streets of the L.A. area, I’m enjoying the sounds as well.  Sometimes I see what’s making the sound, other times I just hear and wonder.  Tonight, while getting gas in our ‘quiet Hyundai’, I heard the throaty sound of what must have been a race-ready sports car.  All I saw was tail lights.  The sounds of the streets can be intoxicating.

Two more nights and we will begin our journey home.  We have one more dinner, and I think I’ve got one more coffee in me.  The Big Brown House is calling.  I’m actually looking forward to being stuck in the house, listening to the sound of the falling rain (I know, it’s a song).  Grateful for everything in my life. 

I think it’s gonna be a Wacky Wednesday.

                      Peace,
                                Danny

“The most beautiful thing
in the world is, of course,
the world itself.”
~Wallace Stevens

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Seeds

Hi,

Monday’s weather was a little cooler during the day.  The late afternoon breezes were chilly - to me.  I need a bit more heat and humidity to be totally comfortable.  Somewhere between here and home there is ideal weather.  Right now, Chiang Rai is 84F and cloudy with a thunderstorm expected at 11:15am.  Oh, and it feels like 92F. 

The ‘Easy Monday’ song seems to be stumping you all.  This should shake it loose:  “She said, ‘Hey, wait a minute, hold on.’  She said, ‘Hey, just a little bit, hold on’.  Whenever I try to think of what it feels like to feel it for the first time, and was it really such a thrill.  She said, ‘Look boy, but don’t you touch, that ain’t much.  Only a __ __ __.”  Clue:  The boy is madly in love on the way home (555).

Monday we began the week with a bang.  Lisa had a morning coffee with our friend Joy, we made the famous ‘Box run’ so we can send stuff home, lunch at Emerald Thai with our friend Kathie, afternoon coffee with Lisa’s childhood friend McKinley, a yoghurt watch with my friend Christopher, and Lisa went to dinner with Sebastian.  Whew.  There were also little shopping  things stuck in between various events. 

The end of this trip is getting closer.  Only three more ‘sleepings’ as August used to put it.  It’s becoming clear to those around us that we are getting homesick.  You know the signs:  Excessive talking about the dog, mentioning The Wanderer to those who will listen, sitting in the corner rocking back and forth, and not wanting to go outside in the cold air. 

Today’s photo was taken in Palo Alto on Sunday.  This driftwood sculpture is by Deborah Butterfield.  She specializes in driftwood horses.  This horse is just grazing in a big vacant lot. 


We recently encountered two travelers who did not succumb to the evil Mr. Lag.  Jeff, who traveled from Japan to L.A., and Cat, who flew from Taipei to SFO had no problems after their long flights.  The common denominator was the fact that they didn’t sleep during their flight.  Staying awake for 14 hours on the plane is not something I think I can do, even if it would kick Lag’s butt.  I guess we’ll just have to deal with the consequences (555).
Have a Happy Tuesday.

                  Peace,
                            Danny

“Don’t judge each day
by the harvest you reap
but by the seeds you plant.”
~Robert Louis Stevenson

Monday, August 7, 2017

Life

Hi,

I’m back from a weekend in Northern California.  The daytime weather was warm.  The evenings were verging on cool.  We usually aren’t in the States this late in the summer, so I can’t make comparisons.  I do know that Sunday evening in the San Jose area was getting chilly.

The ‘Old School Friday’ tune was “Dedicated to the One I Love” by The Shirelles.  Here’s a little something to make it an ‘Easy Monday’: “Meet me in the playground at a quarter to four, wait ’til everybody’s long gone.  There must be so many things that we can explore, maybe I can walk you home.  If it starts to rain, we can take some shelter, I’d like to hold your little hand.  My heart is spinning like a helter-skelter.  We’ll get to know each other if we can…”
Hint:  The title is three words describing early romance.

Friday we went back to school, so to speak.  On the campus of the ever-changing U.S.C. we went to the credit union to see our friend Irene.  Some of you may recall that Irene stayed with us years ago, on a return trip from China.  We had lunch at the faculty club.  I haven’t had waffles and chicken in a long time and it was better than I remembered.  The campus was buzzing with activity as the school year is about to begin. 

Today’s photos were taken on Friday.  Can you tell me where we were?  Extra Cool Points if you can tell me the name of the horse.



Saturday morning we flew to San Jose to begin the northern portion of our U.S. visit.  We got a car similar to the one we’re driving here in L.A. (Hyundai Elantra in L.A., Sonata in the north).  Thanks to the woman inside Google Maps, we motored around the area without any problems.  On the way to San Leandro for the Cousin’s Lunch, she changed our course to save us time.  The lunch was a lot of fun.  We shared photos of life during the last 6 months, laughed a lot, and heard family stories we never knew. 

Saturday dinner was with Joe, Lisa’s Dad, at The Trellis Italian Restaurant.  It’s Joe’s favorite place and we ate on the roof, with grape vines all around.  Meals with Joe are always fun and informative.  At almost 93, he has a sharp wit.  Listening to Lisa and Joe discuss art concepts and methods is always fascinating.  The owner is a friend of Joe’s and he came and sat with us for a bit.  He calls me ‘Potato Man’ from the days when I found that eating chicken and a dry, baked potato was my safest way through dinner.  He was pleased to see me eating a real meal this time (555). 

Sunday we went to breakfast with Joe and marveled at the size of the meals we’d been served.  After our meal we returned to Joe’s studio for a tour of recent works.  He has an exhibit opening in October and we got to see the framed cast acrylic prints that will be shown.  Around noon Cat arrived.  She was spending the weekend in Santa Cruz with a board member of The Freedom Project.  She and Joe have met on Skype, but this was their first face-to-face.  It was sweet how she referred to him as her Grandfather.  We had lunch at a Greek restaurant that turned out to be a real ’teachable moment’ for all of us.  When I asked the owner to explain ‘humus’ she looked at me and said, “You don’t know what humus is?”  She was a little impatient with us, but the mass quantity of food was good.  Joe went home with a huge salad, and Cat had a huge half of a chicken wrap.  Needless to say, it was good to see her and hear about her first week in America.  One thing she said she was grateful about was that cars stopped for pedestrians. 

We had dinner with our friend Bill at a French Restaurant in San Jose.  There is a special district called Santana street.  It’s comprised of high end stores and restaurants and is the perfect ’Sunday Stroll’.  Good food and great conversation.  Then it got cold.  We were only a few minutes from the airport and our flight back to L.A.

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, August 4, 2017

Friday Funnies

Hi,

Our little corner of So. California had great weather today.  It was sunny, hot, and not too humid.  It was, well, summer weather.  Imagine that.  We see, from Thai outlets, that the weather there is going to be rainy all weekend and into next week.

The ‘Zany Day’ song was “You Don’t Mess Around With Jim” by Jim Croce.  That leaves us with only one place to go from here, ‘Old School Friday’.  “This is __ __ __ __ __ __.  While I’m away from you, my baby, I know it’s hard for you, my baby, because it’s hard for me, my baby, and the darkest hour is just before dawn.”  Hint:  This R&B ballad was originally recorded by a ‘Girl Group’ with a long string of hits.  It’s based around something that kids did, mostly on radio and TV, when requesting a song for someone they liked. 

We had some time before my contact lens appointment so we got out ‘the list’ and proceeded to shop for Daku, visit the $1 store, and go into an actual grocery store.  When we get home, Daku will have a choice of some exotic bones to mess with.   The $1 store was a little disappointing.  There wasn’t a lot on the shelves and what they had was of little interest.  Hmm, spoiled by the ‘Everything Store’.  There is a Ralph’s grocery store that used to be an Alpha Beta (we still call it that) and that was where we got a few staples.  The big thing there was a big magazine rack and most of them were in English.  I wish I had time to explore.

For the last 6 months I have been wearing 14 day contact lenses that give me good long and mid-range vision.  I’ve had to use reading glasses for reading and close work, like eating (5).  I’m trying out what are called Monovision contacts.  One is for the distance vision eye and the other for the near vision eye.  The brain is supposed to pick the correct eye for the task, putting it in simplest of terms.  I’ve had them in for about 12 hours and my brain is beginning to figure things out.  The doctor told me there is a compromise with this system and it’s up to me.  That sounds like Thailand.  For me, the payoff is not having to pull out the reading glasses to see close things.  Also, I can look at close stuff without my eyes feeling extremely strained with the Monovision.  The minus is the fact that the distance is not as sharp as the other system, although it’s still changing.  I’m grateful that I can see.  This is more about the quality of life stuff. 

In the afternoon Darryl and Kaylani came over for a visit.  They drove down from Lompoc.  The last time we saw KayKay, as she likes to be called, they came on the train and she was still in a stroller.  Now she’s 3 and quite a bundle of energy.  Darryl is doing a great job, stepping up to the challenge of being a single dad.  We sent them off with a series of children’s books and a little bundle of treats for the road.  It was really neat to meet her again.  Here they are at the end of their visit.


Have a Wonderful WeekEnd.     Hang on for the ‘Funnies’.

                  Peace,
                            Danny



Thursday, August 3, 2017

Cheer

Hi,

Yesterday’s weather in the Culver City area was hot and humid.  Almost like Chiang Rai, but not quite the same flavor.  A little cooler would have been nice.  

I got a couple of hits on the ‘Zany Day’ tune.  I think we need another verse to see if this works (555).  “Well outta south Alabama came a country boy, he say ‘I’m lookin’ for a man named __.  I am a pool shootin’ boy, my name is Willie McCoy, but down home they call me Slim.  Yeah, I’m lookin’ for the King of 42nd street, he drivin’ a drop top Cadillac.  Last week he took all my money and it may sound funny but I come to get my money back.  And everybody say ‘Jack, don’t you know?  You don’t tug on Superman’s cape, you don’t spit into the wind, you don’t pull on the mask of that old lone ranger and __ __ __ __ __ __.”  Hint:  Now we know this man is a pool hustler, among other things. He is not to be trifled with.  Hmm.

Our morning exercise came in the form of ‘mall walking’.  We didn’t go there to get a workout, but looking for a few items at Target had us walking back and forth, covering the length of the store several times.  

The ‘two meals at the same place’ adventure worked great.  We had lunch with Diane at Treehouse Thai.  It seemed like it was more about conversation than food, but we all felt full by the time it was over.  Dinner at Treehouse with Cousin Martha and two of her three daughters was fun.  Sofia is studying dance and her sister Emmaline is about to begin studies at USC.  They filled us in on their lives and Sofia and Lisa talked dance a lot.  The staff was quite surprised to see us return with a group for dinner.  There were big smiles all around.  They still didn’t get the ‘spicy’ part right on the orders for Lisa and Martha.  They kept telling them ‘Medium Thai’ spicy rather than ‘American’ spicy.  It really is a thing.  

Going to a store like Trader Joe’s at rush hour is not always the best thing to do.  Oddly enough, it wasn’t bad inside.  Getting there was half the battle.  One nice thing about fruit shopping here in the States is the way you can buy as many or as few bananas as you want.  In Thailand, you have to buy the bunch.  It might be five, it might be 10, but you have to buy the bunch.  Smart stores, like Macro, have started selling small bunches (3), wrapped in plastic for those of us who don’t want to take home half a tree (555).

Today’s photo was taken in Oakland.  It’s Cat by the Bay.  


This morning I’m going to see about a different contact lens approach.  In the afternoon our Godson Darryl is coming to visit with his 3 year old daughter.  

Have a Thrilling Thursday.

                      Peace,
                                Danny

“The best way to cheer 
yourself up is to try to cheer
somebody else up.”
~Mark Twain

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Friends

Hi,

Tuesday morning, watching the weather reports, we thought we were back in Thailand.  Not that we get such comprehensive reports on TV, but just the idea that rain was on the way was shocking.  We did get a little rain but it was gone in a flash.

The ‘Easy Monday’ song was “Daddy’s Home” by Shep & The Limelights.  It was the answer song to “A Thousand Miles Away” by The Heartbeats.  Both groups were the same singers and both songs are musically very close together.  Here they are for your listening pleasure: “A Thousand…"  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3HQBDRSryUA  and “Daddy’s Home”  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GJMeqjJBr9s   It’s time for the weekly ‘Zany Day’ song:  “Uptown got its hustlers, the bowery got its bums, 42nd street got Big __ Walker he’s a pool shootin’ son of a gun.  Yeah, he big and dumb as a man can be, but he stronger than a country hoss.  And when the bad folks all get together at night, you know they call Big __ boss, just because.  And they say: ‘You don’t tug on Superman’s cape, you don’t spit into the wind.  You don’t pull the mask off that old Lone Ranger and __ __ __ __ __ __.”  Clue:  The last word of the title is a name.  The singer has the same name.

We had breakfast with Steve and Pam at Dinah’s.  We always have at least one meal and a couple of coffee dates at Dinah’s.  It’s another one of those ‘throwback’ places that brings up memories from another time.  We had fun looking at pictures of each other’s dogs, kids and grandkids.  

Then we did something we have been putting off for years.  Lisa has a collection of VHS tapes from her Dancer Days.  There are many memories on those tapes, but without a good machine to play them they are useless.  It addition to that, time takes it’s toll on tape and they will turn to dust before we know it.  So, I found a place very close to us that will transfer them to a digital thumb drive (which will be easy to take home).  

We found a new ‘Take Away’ lunch spot.  The deli counter at Sprouts.  Now we can get a healthy sized turkey sandwich at a reasonable price.  

Today we’ll be having lunch and dinner at Treehouse Thai in Culver City.  Our friend Diane is meeting us for lunch and Valley Cousins Martha and ‘The Girls’ (sounds like a singing group) will be there for dinner.  We haven’t had Thai food in a few days so this will be cool.

The photo for today was taken at Suvarnabhumi Airport in Bangkok, in the women’s toilet (that’s what they call it).  Note: I did not take this photo (555).


Cat tells us that her summer English studies are going well.  She has homework every day and she’s 'studying like it’s science’, which is a good approach.  She is enjoying Oakland.

It Feels like a Wacky Wednesday.

                      Peace,
                                Danny

“Remember that the most
valuable antiques are dear
old friends.”
~H. Jackson Brown, Jr.