Friday, December 29, 2017

Friday Funnies

Hi,

Let me start out by saying that Palo Alto is a little colder than Culver City.  The early morning air has that ‘bite your face’ kind of thing.  It will definitely wake you up.

The ‘Zany Day’ song was “Chug-A-Lug” by Roger Miller.  Here’s an ‘Old School Friday’ from the ‘Slow Dance’ file:
__ __, look at his eyes.  __ __, how they hypnotize.  He’s got everything a girl could want.  Man oh, man what a prize.”  Hint:  Title is an exclamation. 

Our flight this morning was rather uneventful.  The sky was mostly clear and we had a good view of the coastal mountains all the way to San Jose.  When we got our rental car the drama began.  Something in the computer would not allow the ‘gate guy’ to release the car.  He sent us to the rental desk, but there was no one there.  The room was locked.  We were told to go downstairs to the main counter.  There we met a woman who said she could clear it up.  First, there was something wrong with the car.  Then there was ‘something’ about our discount.  After many questions that seemed very irrelevant, we got another car and started our journey north.

Driving to San Leandro in our Ford Fusion was a fun experience.  It felt heavier than the little Hyundai we drive in L.A.  The inside is definitely more comfortable, with nicer seats, the hybrid thing, and a knob to change gears.  Strange but fun.  

The ‘Cousin’s Lunch’ with Trudye, Eunice and Skip was lots of fun.  There was family updating and sharing of photos.  We looked at Lisa’s art and got some wonderful interpretations.  Eunice and Trudye saw images that the artist had not intentionally painted.  That brings a smile when people look deeper into one’s creation.  At her sister’s prompting, Eunice told us about the various ‘projects’ she’s involved with, now that she’s retired from teaching.  Busy and inspiring are words that come to mind.  Neechanon and Daku were also a topic of discussion.  Good times.

After the lunch we made our way back to Palo Alto.  It was nap time for sure.  It was brief, but helped a lot.  Our second big meal was dinner with Joe, Lisa’s Dad, his good friend Maria Louise, his step-daughter Karen Jo and her son-in-law Na’im.  We had heard a lot about Maria Louise, but had never met her.  She’s lots of fun and has a quick sense of humor.  Good food, stimulating conversation and a good bit of laughter all came together to make a memorable dinner.

Today’s photo was taken just after take-off from LAX.  


Mr. Lag is still on us.  This may be his longest stay yet.  Regardless of what we try, that sick, sinking feeling comes in the afternoon and evening and there’s not much to do but ride it out.  It’s Thursday night and I’m writing from our motel room in Palo Alto.  I can barely keep my eyes open and it’s just after 9pm.  I’ve been battling with Lag for an hour and he’s winning.  

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

               Peace,
                         Danny


Thursday, December 28, 2017

Truth

Hi,

The cold morning turned into a pleasant day.  Maybe there’s a warming trend on the way.  A nice weekend would be welcome.

A few of you knew this ‘Zany Day’ song of experimental behavior.  Maybe the last verse will remind you.
“Jukebox and a sawdust floor, somethin’ like I ain’t never seen, and I’m just goin’ on fifteen.  But with the help of my faneglin’ Uncle I get snuck in for my very first taste of sin.  I said lemme have a big ol’ sip, brrr I done a double back flip.  __-__—__, make you wanna holler Hi-De-Ho.  Burns your tummy don’t you know, __-__-__, __-__-__.”

It was “Eye Day” for us.  All of the tests they had to give, we got.  As a result, we both got a slight ‘bump’ in our reading prescription and all eyes are healthy.  That was good news.  I also learned a little bit more about how the contacts work.  While we were waiting for them to make new lenses for Lisa's reading glasses, we went across the street to the Westside Pavilion.  The young woman that was helping us with our eye stuff told us it will be closing soon.  Inside we could feel a sense of doom.  Many stores are already gone and others are having big sales as they pack up to leave.  We have fond memories of this mall.

In our travels around town we are seeing giant apartment complexes going up.  I still wonder what the impact on traffic will be when they’re completed and occupied.  In Chiang Rai the same question arises, but they don’t seem to fill them with people so we don’t know.  Hmm.  

Khun Toon surpassed his original goal of raising 700,000 Baht for the hospitals when he reached 1 Billion Baht.  Now it’s gone even higher.  He ran a total of 2,191 kilometers (1,361 miles) over 44 days.  His support team said he ran for 372 hours. In every town or village there was a party atmosphere waiting for his arrival, even when it was in the middle of the night.  In Chiang Rai, ArtBridge had a big celebration, complete with portrait T-shirts and local celebs there to greet Toon.  Local nurses turned out for his arrival at Maefarluang University.  They sold out of the shirts, but we’re getting ours from a second printing they’re doing.  Gotta have a piece of history.

Our dinner with Denny and Sheila was wonderful.  The food at Manhattan Beach Post was outstanding.  Sheila and Lisa shared their artwork and Denny showed us some of his recent photos of birds taken during a class on photographing birds of prey.  That’s an interesting story for another day.  Their son Gavin sent us some of his beautiful artwork and we talked a lot about dogs.  All in all, it was a memorable evening.

It feels like we’ve been here for a long time, but it’s only been 5 days.  I think the weather has an effect on me when it comes to time.  Weird, but for me, cold days are either busy or hiding from the cold.  Warm days tend to be more laid back, and seem to go by slower.

This morning (Thursday) we fly up north to San Jose airport, drive to San Leandro for the Cousin Lunch, then drive south to Palo Alto for dinner with Joe and extended family.  

Today’s photo was taken at The Big Brown House and sent to us by Natcha.  Looks like the kids are getting along just fine.


Have a Thrilling Thursday.  I’ll write to you from Palo Alto.

                      Peace,
                                Danny 

“Tell the children the truth.”
~Bob Marley

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Remember


Hi,

We got word this afternoon that it was raining in Chiang Rai.  I’m sure the air, the trees and the lawns are happy.  Meanwhile, still wearing layers of clothing here in L.A.

The ‘Easy Monday’ song was “Merry Christmas, Baby” by Charles Brown.  That leaves us with a ‘Zany Day’ song to deal with.  “Grape wine in a Mason jar, homemade and brought to school by a friend of mine.  After class me and him and this other fool, decided that we’ll drink up what left, __ __ __ so we helped ourselves.  First time for everthin’ ummmm, my ears still ring.  __-__-__, __-__-__.  Hint:  One might call this a drinking song, country style.

This morning we woke up very early again.  How early?  Watching the morning news before the sun was up.  It was actually about the time we’d be up with Daku, except that we would have had more sleep.  Mr. Lag is still being a pest.  We went out for coffee, just like at home, and began our ‘tour’ at Tanners, a place we’ve liked in the past.  

After a pleasant coffee break we drove out to Marina del Rey, to the giant CVS pharmacy (still Sav-on in my mind) for things we can’t get in Chiang Rai.  Going to a store like this gives us a chance to see what’s new and interesting.  Some products, like digital clocks, have to be checked carefully to make sure they can handle the 220 volts of electricity.  Here, things run on 120v and it’s an easy way to ‘break’ something.  

We had lunch today at Thai Boom restaurant, with The Smith Family.  Paul, Joy and Leilani have been regulars on our visits.  This morning Leilani, who is almost 8, asked Paul how long we had known each other.  We’ve been friends for about 20 years.  That was too much for her to fathom at the moment, but it impressed us.  It’s a wonderful thing, to realize that one has such long-time friends.

A nap in the early stages of these visits is not just by choice.  It is an obligation that must be fulfilled, tribute must be paid to Mr. Lag.  In a few days, hopefully, these naps will become optional (555). 

Sometimes, in Thailand, when asking if a dish is spicy, you will be told that it’s only ’spicy, a little bit’.  Seriously?  Look at those chilis.


This morning we will both get our eyes examined.  It’s so much fun we just can’t stay away.  We used to get them examined in Chiang Rai, but the level of sophistication is much greater here, as far as the machines and the interpretation of results.  I’m still looking for that perfect combination of contacts for distance, and reading glasses for close work.  Right now the ‘eyes’ don’t have it (555).  

We’ll be having dinner with Denny and Sheila, my brother and sister-in-law.  We’re going to a place none of us has been before.  The adventure continues.

Feels like a Wacky Wednesday.

                      Peace,
                                Danny

“Remember, it’s better to be a
has-been than a never-was.”
~Tiny Tim

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Lips

Hi,

Hey, it’s still cold here in Southern California.  The nights have also been cold in Chiang Rai.  As I type this, I’m having a deja vu moment, recalling another year when this same weather dance was happening.  Brrr.  Oh, and Mr. Lag is still imposing his will on us.

The ‘Easy Monday’ song hasn’t even garnered a wrong answer.  I should have expected that, given the day and all.  Anyway, here’s the second verse of this R&B classic:  “Well, I’m feelin’ mighty fine, got music on my radio.  Well, I’m feelin’ mighty fine, got music on my radio.  Well, I wanna kiss you, baby, while you’re standing beneath the mistletoe.”  Clue:  Three words, two of them have been used all day by many people.

We stayed in all day.  It was nice, just hanging out with the family and the dogs.  There we were, Jeff, Anna, C-Bass, August, Peaches and Lola and the two of us, having the traditional cinnamon roll/turkey bacon ‘breakfast’.  It actually happened in two waves.  The Boys slept in, so there was the first wave of just us ‘older’ folks.  When The Boys emerged we ate more, opened gifts and laughed a lot.  

The August Chronicles:  It’s been a long time since I’ve shared about the wonderful, clever things Mr. August creates.  He and two other students were given the task of collecting everyday sounds from around the campus, and then using them to create music.  August took some of these random sounds and altered them, and then used them as instruments and created a song.  One example was the use of the hum produced by the microwave oven.  It became the bass for the song.  I’m hoping we can get a link to this ‘music’ so you can hear what he created.  After dinner we listened to August’s tune and then he showed us the ‘raw' elements that were used and how he changed them.  It was a brilliant piece of work.  

From the music ‘lab’ of August, we went to the film studio of his older brother, C-Bass aka S. Ian, where we saw his documentary project.  It was a profile on a comedian, done in what could be described as a monologue.  We were drawn into this man’s story and why he does what he does.  We never saw him do his routine, but we were given the sense that he does it for the love of doing it.  It was very moving and touched our hearts.  What a wonderful evening.  

Today’s photo was taken in Bangkok, during our recent weekend adventure.  When large trees fall, they cut them like this for amazing table-tops.  It will take a very large room to house this beautiful table.


Have a Happy Tuesday.
  
                   Peace,
                              Danny

“For attractive lips, speak works
of kindness.”
~Audrey Hepburn

Monday, December 25, 2017

Guide

Hi,

It appears that it doesn’t really matter where you are, there’s an 80% chance that it’s cold.  Today warmed up a little bit here in Culver City.  It’s still not what I’d consider warm, but this is winter time after all.  Chiang Rai warmed up, according to Natcha.

Before I go on, here are the numbers while we’re here:  Danny  (310) 691-4293,  Lisa  (310) 691-4388

The ‘Old School Friday’ song was “Run, Run Rudolph” by Chuck Berry.  Since it’s Christmas Day for many, our ‘Easy Monday’ song was my mom’s favorite song for the season:  “__ __, __, you sure did treat me nice.  __ __, __, you sure did treat me nice.  Gave me a diamond ring for Christmas, now I’m living in paradise.”  Clue:  This song was originally recorded in 1947.  The artist who sang this song wrote last week’s ‘Easy Monday’ tune.  This recording is considered an R&B classic.

After our long delay in Bangkok and our downgraded seats, it was a relief to have the final segment of the trip be trouble-free.  We had a traveling companion in the form of a paper sculpture collage that had been purchased by a  friend.  On the ‘Big Plane’ we were able to stow it above our seats and it had a gentle ride to America.  

My theories about Jet Lag being lessened by landing in the morning and having a full day on the ground were totally unfounded.  Mr. Lag was on the plane, therefore, his control landed with us and he exercised it on Saturday afternoon.  After we dealt with our car contract and acquired our phone numbers, we did a little necessary shopping.  That’s when our friend announced that it was time to collapse.  The veil of powerlessness was lowered and we hurried home.  

As usual, I had no problem with staying on the correct side of the road, but my right hand couldn’t avoid the reflex of flicking the lever that turned on the windshield wipers.  A few more days and I’ll be driving like a ‘native’ (555).

Today’s photo was taken from the plane as we approached Taipei, 6:30am.



Sunday morning we woke up at 4am, right on schedule.  After staring at the ceiling for awhile, we got up and had a very early breakfast.  Later I went to a meeting, where I met up with my ‘other family’.  We had lunch at Emerald Thai on Venice.  It’s usually one of our first stops on the Thai food circuit.  Nid, the owner, has been a dear friend for over 17 years.  It was a good visit with more to follow, I’m sure.

Have a Great Week.        Happy Merry Everything!

                Peace,
                          Danny

“Whoever travels without a guide needs
two hundred years for a two-day journey.”
~Rumi

Friday, December 22, 2017

Friday Funnies

Hi,

The north continues to be a topic of conversation.  It’s all about the cold.  Some areas are below freezing, which is very unusual.  Folks living on the mountains are really feeling the chill.  

The ‘Zany Day’ song was “Rudolph the Red-Nose Reindeer” as sung by Bing Crosby and thousands of others.  The other day, it followed us around the mall.  We must have heard 4 versions inside of an hour.  I got a suggestion/request for this week’s ‘Old School Friday’ song.  “Out of all the reindeers you know you’re the mastermind.  __, __ __, __ ain’t too far behind.  __, __, __, Santa’s got to make it to town.  Santa make him hurry, tell him he can take the freeway down.  __, __, __ ‘cause I’m reelin’ like a merry-go-round.”  Hint:  I think you know who this is about.

This morning Neechanon was introduced to her new bike.  She has seen her father on his bike so she knew the concept, almost.  The first thing she tried to did was get on the seat.  At her age, one needs to experiment, test, and evaluate.  She sat on the rack over the rear fender, not worrying about whether the thing would move or not.  We just let her do what she wanted.  

Today’s photos show a little of the stages of her approach.




Before we left for the airport, we had fun ‘talking’ with Neechanon.  I have become her ‘favorite’.  When she races upstairs she always makes sure I’m going too.  If I have to leave she gets upset.  She can now say my whole name, both syllables loud and clear.  The whole family took us to the airport, and on the way she counted to ten in Thai and English with Natcha, and then named everyone in her family.  For now, Lisa is still ‘Ka’ but she’s working on it.  

I had every intention of getting this message out much earlier, but things happen.  We didn’t leave Chiang Rai on time.  In fact, we were two hours late.  In Bangkok the lines were very long for immigration (called ‘Passport Control).  Lisa is not one to stand in line if there’s the possibility of a better way.  She discovered a ‘Premium’ line and after a compassionate plea about my not being able to stand that long, they asked our ages.  That clenched it.  The new line consisted of one person.  

Finally at the gate for our flight to Taipei, we were told that it would be a smaller plane, with no enhanced coach, although that’s what we pay for every time.  Some blah blah about something we couldn’t understand with a bottom line: no refund or adjustment.  In Taipei we averted another very long line while looking for the ‘toilet’, as it’s called.  We now have a 4 hour wait before we leave for Los Angeles.  

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

                    Peace,
                              Danny


Thursday, December 21, 2017

Worth

Hi,

It’s the one word that’s on everybody’s lips: Cold.  It was colder last night, like 45F, and it seemed to linger until it was time to take the dog out.  It finally warmed up, but not so warm that two shirts and a vest felt too hot.  Tonight is supposed to be somewhere between 42 and 47 degrees.  Living in thermal clothing.

It looks like the ‘Zany Day’ song is the first real easy one in a long time (555).  I know it’s one of the most popular holiday songs in Central Plaza Mall (cringe).  “…Then one foggy Christmas eve, Santa came to say, ‘__ with your nose so bright, won’t you guide my sleigh tonight?’  Then how the __ loved him, as they shouted out with glee.  __ __ __-__ __, you’ll go down in history.”  Hint:  Seriously? 

This morning we went up to Shong Cafe for coffee before tackling Makro, only to find them closed.  There was a note on the door in Thai, and due to the cold, we didn’t try to figure it out (555).  Next door is a place called ‘Harmony Cafe’ and I’ve been wondering about it for months.  Today we sampled this new little spot.  It’s got comfortable seating, like a living room or den, and a very mellow feel.  If only the coffee were hot and they had the little cookies and tea we might leave Shong forever.  Maybe it was a bad day.

Your first photo is a typical aisle at Makro.  I took this pic after I looked up and realized how much stuff is in there.


Our lunch with Cat was fun.  Of course, we talked about dealing with the cold and how much she didn’t like riding her motorbike in this weather.  She’s on a break from school until the 8th of next month.  Her substitute teaching is over so she’s working in the milk shop a lot.  Over New Years she is going camping with a bunch from her department at school.  They are going to Nan, where it is very cold.  I asked if they’re sleeping in tents and she said yes.  Oh my.  We got a ’Toon Update’ and he will be arriving in Chiang Rai on the 23rd, at her college at 7am.  She says it will be too cold and too early to go out and see him, but I’m betting she goes.  Everyone we talk to knows about Toon and the run to save the hospitals.  Cat told us that Chiang Rai Hospital, which is a government hospital, will be one of the units benefitting from the funds.  All Thai people are eligible for very inexpensive insurance that guarantees them some degree of medical care for a nominal fee.  It sometimes takes all day to see a doctor, and one may end up in the hall on a gurney, but they’re being served.  Toon’s efforts could change that a great deal. This guy is making history.

This evening we met Nukoon and Sutheera for dinner and had a good time.  We did some reminiscing and realized how long we’ve known them.  They told us about a duck that has taken residence in their pond.  It sleeps in a tree at night and flies down to the water every morning.  Nukoon acted like he didn’t like the duck, but then produced a movie clip on his phone.  He likes the duck (555).  

Today’s second photo is the centerpiece of the flower show.  The aroma is wonderful.


Have a Thrilling Thursday.  Tomorrow I’ll say goodnight/morning from Bangkok.

                    Peace,
                              Danny

“Nothing is worth more
than this day.”
~Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Stumbling

Hi,

The colder weather arrived last night.  It meant putting an extra blanket on the bed and a sweater on the dog this morning.  We decided that the hardest part is the getting out of bed.  Just wrong.  Tonight, the coldest is supposed to be 48F early in the morning.  

The ‘Easy Monday’ song was “Please Come Home for Christmas” by The Eagles.  You shoulda known.  Anyway, here’s another seasonal favorite that fills the ‘Zany Day’ song requirement:  “__ __ __-__ __, had a very shiny nose. And if you ever saw it, you would even say it glows.”  Hint:  I think this one is obvious.  My gift to you (555).  So, there’s a name in there.

There is something about this cold weather that seems to stifle activity.  We didn’t go to one of our usual haunts this morning because most of them would have been too cold.  Instead, we had coffee at home.  What a concept.  We left the house to run one errand to the vet and that was our morning.  When we got in the van, the front seats were in different positions, and when I turned on the key, the rear wiper started going.  Guess who was practicing her driving?  For now, Neechanon is happy in the carport.  Hmm.

This afternoon we went downtown and that was an experience.  The traffic was heavy for some reason.  Maybe it’s the fact that there’s only one lane in each direction through the center of town.  Or maybe it’s the time of year (555) with all the tourists and the various vehicles that bring them and haul them around.  Whatever the reason, it was very busy.

We stopped at Work@Home for coffee on our way home.  It was a little late for coffee, but I have lots to think about if I’m awake tonight (5).  We didn’t know that Katai was in her office, so it was a nice surprise when she came down and visited with us.  She and Towan are going to another city tomorrow on business.  There will be an agricultural festival, and since they are part of that community (supplying tractors), they will dress in local attire.  It’s one of the interesting things about life here, the ways that villages and small towns maintain their cultural heritage.

  When I left my meeting at 6pm on Bus Station street, there were tour buses unloading visitors for the Night Bazaar.  It wasn’t even dark yet.  The cold doesn’t seem to be stopping the need to shop.  

Neechanon has been learning how to call us for meals.  Her version of ‘yoo hoo’ comes out like ‘Ha Ha’ followed by a name.  This evening when Natcha called for Lisa to go downstairs, Neechanon called and when I didn’t appear, she called me specifically.  Lisa had to explain to her that I was not at home.  It’s all happening so fast, this growing up thing.  

Two more ‘Sleepings’ and we’re off on another adventure.  It will be different for us on this trip than in the past.  I just realized that we will leave Chiang Rai on the last flight of the evening, and leave Bangkok around 2:30am.  Once in the air, they will feed us and then, 3 hours later we will arrive in Taipei.  When do we go to bed?  Oh my.  We will have a long layover in Taipei so that may be a chance for a few winks before the long flight.

Some of my AOL friends may not have received yesterdays message.  I got feedback to that effect.  Let me know if you want it, or if it came through.  Remember, you can always got to the blogsite:  gratidude.blogspot.com

Today’s photo shows Neechanon starting her campaign to go upstairs.


Feels like a Wacky Wednesday.

                 Peace,
                           Danny

“Stumbling is not falling.”
~Malcolm X

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Answer

Hi,

The cold is here.  The ‘Hawk’ has landed.  We woke up to a brand new form of weather.  It almost warmed up during the day.  In the sun, when the wind stopped, it was nice and warm.  Daku got his bath and we all sat in the sun.

Only one person has responded to the ‘Easy Monday’ song.  I’m surprised, but oh well.  This is a busy time.
“Choirs will be singing ‘Silent Night’, Christmas carols, by candlelight.  __ __ __ __ __, __ __ __ __ __, if not for Christmas, by New Years night.  Friends and relations, send salutations, sure as the stars shine above.  But this is Christmas, yes, Christmas my dear.  The time of the year to be with the ones you love…”  The group that sang this also told you about a hotel in California. 

Countdown mode is in full effect.  In addition to making sure we have everything in place for the house to operate smoothly, meaning Daku’s needs will be met and Natcha has what she needs, there are also visits with close friends, things to take with us, things to order for delivery in California, and, oh yes, packing the suitcases.  Whew.  I know I missed something, and that’s the way it goes.  It always happens that I take too many shirts that never get worn because it’s too cold.  Not this time.  I’m not falling for that, ‘Oh, it’s just like the temps in Thailand’ routine.  It’s a different kind of cold and I’m coming prepared (555).

Yesterday afternoon our friend Atom came over.  We had a nice visit and got caught up on various things.  At her family’s building supply location they have installed a giant statue of two elephants hugging.  They are also having the finishing touches put on a very old Teak house that was disassembled up north and brought to Chiang Rai and put back together.  It will be a kind of Heritage display.  

A few weeks ago I told you about the Rock singer, Toon Bodyslam, who is running through Thailand.  He started in the south and is raising money for the small hospitals all over the country.  He’s on his approach to Chiang Rai and hopes to be in Mae Sai, at the border with Burma, by 25 December.  So far he has raised just under 900,000,000 Baht.  That’s 27.5 million US Dollars.  It boggles the mind.  I would imagine a little vacation will be in order after this heroic feat.

Last night Lisa got a call from our friends at The Wanderer, inviting us to a specially cooked dinner.  It is a very touching gesture.  When we get back from the States we will get our ’special meal’ from dear friends.

Thursday will be a busy day.  In addition to all the last minute ’stuff’, Cat will join us for lunch at the house.  In the evening we will have dinner with Nukoon and Sutheera, long-time good friends.  Every year we attend Nukoon’s birthday dinner as part of the family.  This year we leave on the night of the event, so we’re taking him to dinner.  Nukoon met us at the airport in 2001 and supplied us with a government van and driver for the three days we visited Chiang Rai.  When we moved here, Sutheera came to our hotel room and introduced herself.  Through the years we have kept a strong friendship.  

The first of today’s photos was taken at The Wanderer, from our table.  The second is Lisa and the ’Scarf Lady’ in the Night Bazaar.     



Neechanon has been visiting us and talking up a storm.  She now has words for Lisa, Daku and me.  Lisa is ‘Sa’, Daku is ‘Koo’ or ‘Too’, and I am ‘Nee’.  She seems to favor the second syllables at this time.  We’re gonna miss her for the three weeks.

Have a Happy Tuesday.

                    Peace,
                              Danny

“At the center of your being
you have the answer; you know
who you are and you know what 
you want.”
~Lao Tzu

Monday, December 18, 2017

Door

Hi,

The Chiang Rai temps are slowly dropping.  Last night was cold, tonight is supposed to be a little colder, and so on and blah, blah.  During the day it still gets to a comfortable level and tomorrow Daku gets a bath.

The ‘Old School Friday’ song was “Santa Baby” by Eartha Kitt.  Here’s hoping this ‘Easy Monday’ song has more friends.  “Bells will be ringing, this sad, sad news.  Oh, what a Christmas to have the blues.  My baby’s gone, I have no friends to wish my greetings once again…”  Hint:  This holiday blues was made famous when covered by a popular band.  The title is a plea. 

Saturday morning we went to Central Plaza Mall to check out the mini-exhibition of the Women of ArtBridge.  We knew it was a small space that they had, so we wanted to see how it had been integrated into the bigger floral display.  When we walked in, there was a huge garden with live flowers, set in a garden-like arrangement.  Off to one side we found the artwork.  The set-up hadn’t been completed yet, but Lisa’s work was already in place.  What we didn’t realize was, this flower show was ‘The big one’ for the season.  What used to be a huge, outdoor event is now inside the mall.  This means that for the first time in many years, we got to see the flowers.  


Sunday, when we went to The Wanderer for lunch we got a pleasant surprise.  Just after we ordered, our friend Chalit and his girlfriend Zen arrived and we invited them to join us.  We had a wonderful time talking and learning.  Zen lives in Bangkok and her family’s clothing business has been involved with producing clothing in the former King’s colors, mainly yellow and pink.  She told us about the changes that had to be made last year, when everything went to black garments.  We also discussed the pros and cons of giving names to visual art.  That included the issues that arrive when having to translate them into another language.  I really enjoy these little roundtable discussions, they’re always stimulating.

Cat came over to visit in the afternoon and told me about an ‘app’ called Shazam.  She knew how frustrated I get when I hear a song I like while in a store or restaurant, and no one knows the title or who is singing.  Shazam listens to the music and tells you who it is.  Simply amazing!  

In the evening we went to the Night Bazaar for dinner and a final pass at gift shopping.  Then we returned to the mall to see if the art exhibit had been finished.  There were four other artists there and the booth looked good. 


Have a Great Week.

                  Peace,
                            Danny

“Don’t spend time beating 
on a wall, hoping to transform it
into a door.”
~Coco Chanel

Friday, December 15, 2017

Friday Funnies

Hi,

We’re not sure what to make of the recent forecasts.  First off, this morning was very cold.  Supposedly, 59F and it’s going to keep dropping.  After the morning chill, it got hot.  Maybe this is just the tune-up we need before going to So. California.  Hmm.

That ‘Zany Day’ song that seemed troubling was “50 Ways To Leave Your Lover” by Paul Simon.  It’s been a tough week in ‘Tune Town’ so I’m making ‘Old School Friday’ an easy one:  “__ __, slip a sable under the tree, for me.  I’ve been an awful good girl, __ __.  So hurry down the chimney tonight.”  Hint:  Imagine it being sung with an earthy voice, with feeling.  It’s a holiday classic.

This morning, after Daku’s exercise time, it was time for me to do the routines that Juan gave me on Wednesday.  We took the video Lisa shot and transferred it so we could watch it on the TV.  We both followed him through the workout and could feel a difference.  To be continued for sure.

It’s less than a week before the big trip across the water.  The lists keep expanding as more things come to mind.  Today we went to the mall before it opened and shopped at Top’s Market.  We went in for one thing and came out with bags of stuff, all relevant.  They totally rearranged the store again.  This time, not only did they change the location of products, they eliminated a major aisle that ran the length of the store.  So not cool.  It takes more time, which is the whole point, to get from one item to the next.  Very clever indeed.  

In the center of town, we went to see Watch Guy for a couple of bands.  He ask us to return in 30 minutes, which was just enough time to visit downtown.  After essentials at Watson’s, we went to a phone case store and I got a better case for my new phone.  Watch Guy had finished but the bands were two links too large.  We returned after lunch and all is right.  There are still a few things to be done, but we have a few days to work with.

Today’s photo was taken at Suvarnabhumi Airport in Bangkok.  Imagine my surprise, as we walked out of the arrival area and saw this:


Tomorrow we will go back to the mall and check out the exhibit containing2 of Lisa’s cast acrylic prints.  It turns out that the Chang Beer music thing is running for several weekends.  The tables and stage are still set up.  

Chiang Rai will host the first Thailand International Jazz Festival in February, at Singha Park.  It will feature artists from Singapore, Indonesia, South Africa, Japan, United States, and Thailand.  I’m going to order my tickets this weekend.  The headline attraction is Brian McKnight, who many of you know.  Our little town is getting on the map.

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

                    Peace,
                              Danny 


Thursday, December 14, 2017

You

Hi,

Clear blue skies and moderate temperatures, that’s what our Chiang Rai weather was today.  Meanwhile, our friend Claire, in an eastern part of the States, reported 3 degrees.  Feeling grateful.

The ‘Zany Day’ song is very clever and quite wordy.  I’m going to give you the chorus and see if that works for you:
“You just slip out the back, Jack, make a new plan, Stan.  You don’t need to be coy, Roy, just set yourself free.  Hop on the bus Gus, you don’t need to discuss much.  Just drop off the key, Lee and set yourself free… There must be __ __ __ __ __ __.”  Hint:  Singer/writer was once half of a successful duo.  Be glad this isn’t about shades of grey (555).

This morning, Daku was in a running mood when we took him outside.  It might have been the beauty of the day, the cool air, or the fact that he gets treats when he runs, or all of the above.  We had a good time and he was smiling a lot.

Out in the street, we began at Shong Cafe for coffee.  They have changed the place and made it more of a restaurant.  No more soft, mini-couches and cozy spots.  Now it looks like a cafeteria, with tables for four in tidy rows with the same thing on each one.  We still like the place, but it may not get the frequent visits as much.  There’s so much coffee in this town, well, there are plenty of choices.

After Shong, we went across the highway to the big post office in our zip code to try and handle the mailing we skipped out on a few days ago.  We had to wait, but we stuck it out and got it done.  Our next stop was at our bank.  They were upgrading their ATM system, specifically, changing the cards that could be used with merchants.  Since we don’t use it as a debit card, the whole thing seemed pointless, but what are you gonna do?  We sat and signed lots of paperwork, entered a new PIN in a little box, signed copies of copies, and finally left with our new cards.  At first, the manager didn’t know what we wanted to do.  We found out about it from the ATM machines.  A man at the desk next to us, who spoke very good English, had just finished the process and verified everything we were trying to explain to the manager.  

Our last little adventure took us to the southeast corner of town and a place called Global House.  We were looking for a large piece of thin wood or fiberboard to support a large piece of polyethylene for a new print Lisa is working on.  We found the perfect piece but they don’t cut anything.  It was too big to put in the van, so we may ask Gong to get it and bring it home in his pick-up truck.  I have another place I want to try and I know they have big saws and they cut stuff.  And so it continues. 

This evening, after dinner, we took two of Lisa's prints featuring flowers up to ArtBridge.  They will be in an exhibit at Central Plaza Mall that will be comprised of works by women.  The focus is on flowers, I suspect it has to do with the annual flower show that begins in December and runs through early January.  

Today’s photo is another from the Chiang Rai airport.  We were sitting in Doi Tung, waiting to board our flight, when Lisa noticed this sign advertising a new drink.  We are still puzzled as to what it is.  Never heard of ‘coffee jelly’.  Is this a take-off on the ‘Jello shot’ and is this really a good idea?  (55)  I’ll let you know when I know.


Have a Thrilling Thursday.

                    Peace,
                              Danny

“You, yourself, as much as
anybody in the entire universe,
deserve your love and affection.”
~Buddha

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Life

Hi,

We just got back from Bangkok, where it was hot, as expected, and rainy in the afternoon, also expected.  

The ‘Easy Monday’ song was “Good Day Sunshine” by The Beatles.  The album was “Revolver”.  It’s time for another ‘Zany Day’ song.  “'The problem is all inside your head” she said to me.  ‘The answer is easy if you take it logically.  I’d like to help you in your struggle to be free.  There must be __ __ __ __ __ __’”.  Clue: This 1975 tune is about breaking away.  There is a number involved.

The trip to Bangkok was a big success.  Not only was it a fun travel day, but I got a great treatment and loads of things to do on my own.  Before we began, Juan showed us a series of exercises involving mobility, strength, and stretching.  He asked if we wanted to film it, so Lisa captured the whole ‘training’ demonstration on her phone.  We also discussed stretches to do on the plane, on long flights.  We can both benefit from what we learned today.  My only wish is that we could have been driven to the airport in a leisurely manner, to maintain the peaceful feeling that was there when we left the studio.  Instead, when we got to the airport, we were minutes away from boarding time.  The train depot is at the opposite end of the airport.  At times we were literally running.  It occurred to me that the airline is usually late in boarding, but we didn’t want to take any chances.  Running on a moving sidewalk is a very interesting sensation.  When we finally got to the gate, they were no where near ready to board.  We sat down and regrouped. 

Today’s photo was taken this morning at Chiang Rai International Airport.  These Akha women are part of a larger group that was traveling to Bangkok.  We had never seen a group this large traveling in full, traditional costumes.  Actually, this is daily wear for some tribal groups, at least when they come to town.  The man on the left is also Akha. 


We left the house this morning at about 8:20am and returned at 8:10pm.  What a day.  Natcha made us tuna salad and cut fruit for our return.  She had also done some baking during the day and the kitchen smelled like brownies and chocolate chip cookies.  Oh, how cruel.  

Feels like a Wacky Wednesday.

                       Peace,
                                 Danny

“Life isn’t about finding yourself.
Life is about creating yourself.”
~George Bernard Shaw