Thursday, January 18, 2018

Why?

Hi,

The warm weather is here.  Time to approach the pool warming project once again.    

No one has remembered the ‘Zany Day’ song.  I guess one man’s hit is another mans ‘Hmm’.  Oh, but when I tell you...
“__ __ __ __ __, one that does what it should, one that won’t make me feel too bad, one that won’t make me feel too good… One that won’t make me nervous, wondering what to do.  One that makes me feel like I feel when I’m with you, when I’m alone with you, I’m alone with you.”  Clue:  This tune is from 1983.  A man in search of a more manageable high.

Today I’m feeling better.  I took Daku out for a walk on two occasions this afternoon.  In the morning I walked around the house with Lisa and Daku and it felt pretty good.  I think Mr. Lag is tired of the flu because he seems to have left the building.  I have not felt compelled to put my head down today.  This is progress.  Looks like we’ll be going out on Saturday night.  

There has been a new twist to the ambient sounds of our neighborhood.  There is some construction going on, now far away, and the workers like to play the radio in the afternoon.  What fun.  It’s temporary, so I can let it go.  Still no activity behind us or next door.  I guess the new year brought a change of plans.  

On the 28th of this month Neechanon will be 2 years old.  Lately she has been asserting a new found independence. I don’t want to label it with the obvious, but she is finding joy in doing her own ‘thing’.  Natcha is very good at reeling her in with gentle distractions.  Today’s photo is from a recent trip to the arcade, and the ball pit.


As we slowly move towards wellness, our little world looks brighter.  The idea of a semi-busy schedule doesn’t seem so overwhelming.  Bring it on!

Have a Thrilling Thursday.

                   Peace,
                             Danny

“Millions saw the apple fall,
but Newton was the one who 
asked why.”
~Bernard Baruch

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Enemy

Hi,

The daytime weather in Chiang Rai keeps getting better.  We sat in the healing warmth of the sun after lunch, and it felt wonderful.

The ‘Easy Monday’ song was “Smooth Operator” by Sade https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4TYv2PhG89A  
I was glad to see that a lot more of you remembered this song.  Now it’s time for a ‘Zany Day’ song.  We’ll start with a little more than last time (555).  “__ __ __ __ __, one that won’t make me sick, one that won’t make me crash my car or make me feel three feet thick.  __ __ __ __ __, one that won’t hurt my head, one that won’t make my mouth too dry, or make my eyes too red.”  Hint:  Singer is looking for an alternative way to alter himself without too many side effects.  Good luck with that.  

While we were sunning on the porch, Neechanon paid us a visit.  She is very entertaining.  We are learning that she knows a lot more Thai than we realized.  Today she made a point of stating who was sitting down, and another time, when Gong closed the kitchen door, Neechanon mentioned it.  This means it’s time to pay closer attention, it’s not just baby talk anymore.  Natcha took her home, hoping it was nap time.  A few minutes later Neechanon came running out to the front with a big smile on her face, and all by herself.  I went back to the little house to let Natcha know and just as I got there she was calling her daughter.  It appears that she will have to be watched more closely as well.  She decided that being in the front with us was more fun than being at home.  

Today’s photo is a second men’s grooming item that caused me to scratch my head in wonder.  Still shaking my head.


Every day I feel a little better, but not well yet.  Tomorrow may be a day to test the ‘wings’ and check out my stamina.  These things can trick you into thinking everything is all better and then leave you stranded.  A few laps around the house should tell the tale.

Feels like a Wacky Wednesday.

                    Peace,
                              Danny

“It is certain, in any case,
that ignorance, allied with power
is the most ferocious enemy
justice can have.”
~James A. Baldwin

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Nothing

Hi,

Things seem to be warming up in Chiang Rai.  The nights are still cool, but not cold, and the days are getting warm.  

One person has named the song and artist.  Surely you remember this very cool song.  Here’s more:
“Coast to coast, LA to Chicago, western male.  Across the north and south, to Key Largo, love for sale.  __ __, __ __, __ __.”  Clue:  Sultry voice over a mellow Pop/Jazz track.  Mid 80s.

So, not much to tell.  We spent most of the day in bed.  Natcha took care of us and Daku.  We had a visit from Neechanon that brightened up the morning.  My symptoms are waning as Lisa’s get worse.  Underneath it all is Mr. Lag. 
 
Before we left for the States I snapped some picks at Top’s Market.  This product caught my eye, not because I wanted to buy it, but because of the name.  For the next time I’m feeling dull…..


We have to get well soon.  Invitations to parties and events are coming up.  This Saturday is the annual exhibit and reception at Rai MaeFarluang.  This is a park that is part of the Chiang Rai historical something.  They have a permanent exhibit on the history of Teak and its uses in northern Thailand.  Ajarn Nakorn invites us every year and it’s a big event on the Chiang Rai social calendar.  Hmm, I’d better check to see if I’m dull (555).

We sat in the sun after lunch.  The warmth felt good.  It was good to hear the familiar sounds of our surroundings, just to let me know I was really here.  The Greater Coucals and their hooting, the roosters, and the sounds from the river are all things you don’t hear in Culver City (5).  

As Mr. Lag draws the curtain on another day, I bid you good night (morning in the case of those across the pond).  

Have a Happy Tuesday.

                      Peace,
                                Danny

“Nothing in all the world is
more dangerous than sincere
ignorance and conscientious
stupidity.”
~Martin Luther King, Jr.

Learn

Hi,

Greetings from Chiang Rai.  So glad to be home.  The weather is similar to Culver City.  We didn’t experience too much of the outside world today.  Between the flu and Mr. Lag, a whole lotta sleepin’ goin’ on.

The ‘Old School Friday’ tune was “(Sitting on the) Dock of the Bay” by Otis Redding.  For ‘Easy Monday’ you get a challenge:  Name this tune by one key phrase:  “…no need to ask, he’s a __ __…”  Hint:  The singer was known by one name.  

The journey home was one for the books.  Once we checked in at the airline, a wheelchair agent took us to the immigration portion of the process.  Rolling through the people traffic while sitting down is a unique experience.  Fortunately, the young woman pushing me was quick to announce our need for folks to move.  Once you are taken to your destination in the airport, the chair is taken to another assignment.  That meant our stay in the EVA Lounge at LAX left me to stand on my own (555).  The private room we usually camp out in was occupied by 4 guys from Poland, but they graciously shared with us, even giving up a table and getting an extra chair.  Amazing what that wheel chair could do.

The long flight was difficult on several levels.  I was in my 4th day of the flu and a cough was developing.  Lisa was having minor flu symptoms with a sore throat being the most dramatic.  The ‘cold and flu’ meds I’d been taking helped me sleep away a nice portion of the flight.  On my ride through the Taipei airport, I was joined by a Thai woman in a wheelchair.  Our chairs were linked together so one guy could push us both.  During our ride, after she determined that we lived in Thailand, she asked me what I didn’t like about America.  Bold, to say the least.  I was crafty with my answer, considering she asked a loaded question.  It ended up being a discussion of the warm attributes of the Thai people, blah, blah, blah.  There were some flashing smiles that silently told the whole story though.  She reads the news.

Today’s photo shows you part of the coast of Taipei.


One thing I didn’t like about the chair ‘bit’ was having to wait until everyone had left the plane in order to be escorted to the wheelchair.  The fact that I didn’t have to walk the long distances through the three airports was worth any other complaints, though. The biggest weirdness was in Bangkok.  Our ‘driver’ told us that the plane to Chiang Rai had no ‘gang way’, and that passengers would have to climb stairs.  He ordered a ‘super lift’ truck to take us to the plane.  I was beginning to feel like this was too much.  All the buses left for the plane and we were still sitting there.  We got a little upset with this guy, thinking that we could miss our plane.  Finally, a big truck appeared and a lift gate on the back was lowered to the ground.  I was rolled on and Lisa joined me as we were hoisted up to a compartment.  We drove to the plane and then they drove the front of the truck right up to a door and they rolled me right to the door.  Oh my, feeling a little embarrassed that I had held things up, I made my way to our seats, trying to look as pitiful as possible.  The hour flight went by quickly and I volunteered to walk off the plane.  I was done.  I was home, almost.

Gong picked us up at the airport.  Once we got home Daku was one happy dog.  He went for a crazy run and then came in and continued to circle us.  He didn’t understand why we weren’t playful, but I think he’s understanding something now.  Neechanon came in and was shy at first, then burst into a stream of language that warmed my heart.  She has a new thing where she will either tap you to join her, or pull on your arm.  She kept wanting to get my attention while she explored a box we brought home.  Later we learned that she knows colors in English.  Lisa has a series of paintings on the staircase wall and Neechanon knows the main color of each one.  She was very clear and enthusiastic when Natcha would point to a color:  ‘Blue, red, green, purple, and yellow.   It’s good to be home.

Have a Great Week.

               Peace,
                         Danny

“Learn to see things as they
really are, not as we imagine
they are.” 
~Unknown

Friday, January 12, 2018

Friday Funnies

Hi,

From what I observed, it was a nice day in L.A. yesterday.  The sun was out and they say it warmed a little.  I didn’t go out.  Just as we prepare to leave town, the weather warms up.  Hmm.

The ‘Zany Day’ song was “Yakety Yak” by The Coasters.  Time for ‘Old School Friday’ and one you’re sure to remember.  “Sittin’ in the morning sun, I’ll be sittin; when the evening comes.  Watching the ships roll in, then I watch them roll away again, yeah.  I’m (__ __) __ __ __ __ __ watchin’ the tide roll away, ooh, I’m just (__ __) __ __ __ __ __ wastin’ time.”  Hint:  This 1968 blues has become a classic.  The singer also urged us to try a little tenderness.  

Nothing much to tell you from my end, except that I think I’m doing a little better with the help of modern medicine.  Based on the long distances one must walk at the airports, we’ve ordered a wheelchair for the three segments of the trip.  It will be odd, but worth it.

Checking the weather in Chiang Rai, it will be 76 on Sunday when we finally arrive.  Then the temps will rise through the week and settle in the mid-80s by Wednesday.  It will be just what my body needs to feel better.  The forecasts are very similar for here and there at this time.  Which brings me to this:  Have you ever traveled some place and taken way too many clothes?  Especially when it’s cold?  That has been the case almost every time we come to the States.  It’s always cooler than I think it will be and I end up wearing nothing but the same warm shirts.  The tropical wardrobe could be left in Thailand.  

I regret that I had to cancel some visits with friends, but there’s always next time.  Here’s a thought, why don’t you come and visit us?  (555)  

Today’s photo was sent to us by Natcha.  Little Neechanon is contemplating something in the yard while all bundled up.  The morning and evening temps are in the 50s.


My hands are not liking the typing movements, so I bid you farewell until next week. 

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

                   Peace,
                             Danny


Thursday, January 11, 2018

Adapt

Hi,

The weather today in Chiang Rai is cloudy, and in the low 60's.  The weather in Culver City on Wednesday was dry, which was welcome.  It was still cool, but I didn’t really get to sample it.  

This week’s ‘Zany Day’ song has been around here before.  I got a few responses already.  It’s a parent/child thing.
“Don’t you give me no dirty looks.  Your father’s hip, he knows what cooks.  Just tell your hoodlum friends outside, you ain’t got time to take a ride.  __ __, don’t talk back, __ __, __ __…”  Clue:  The song is sung by a group that specialized in zany R&B tunes.  

This flu bug thing started making it’s presence known on Monday evening.  Now we have a monster instead of a thing.  Actually, it’s going in waves of dramatically overwhelming to something I could fake my way through.  I am grateful to those who have sent me over the counter remedy suggestions.  We will be investing in enough to get me home.  

I stayed in the bed all day yesterday.  My physical condition rendered me unwilling and unable to do much besides moan and groan when I was out of bed. (555).  I have two days to make this thing fade so I can be presentable on Friday night.  We all know one must be presentable when flying long distances.  Really?  

Today’s photo was taken when we were in Palo Alto, visiting with Lisa's dad, Joe. 


Have a Thrilling Thursday.

                 Peace,
                           Danny

“Intelligence is the ability
to adapt to change.”
~Stephen Hawking

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Tolerance

Hi,

And then the rains came.  In our little corner of the world the rain wasn’t so hard.  In other places it caused a lot of damage from flooding and mudslides as a result of the recent fires.  Weather people say the worst is over.  We can only hope.  There was rain in Chiang Rai again.  In the midst of all this weather talk, I seem to have acquired a version of the flu.  I say that because I intend to be done with it quickly, so I’m telling it that it is not so strong.  

The ‘Easy Monday’ song was “Rain” by The Beatles.  You shoulda known.  ‘Zany Day’ is next and it’s an easy one:  
“Take out the papers and the trash or you don’t get no spending cash.  If you don’t scrub that kitchen floor, you ain’t gonna rock and roll no more.  __ __, don’t talk back.”  Hint:  The title is a term used to describe trivial language, or something to that effect.  

There is a strange listlessness that comes over one when trying to concentrate with a fever.  My temp is not that high, yet I seem to be staring at the screen.  Hmm.  

Today’s photo is another from the flower show in downtown Chiang Rai.  I hope it’s still up when we return. 


One of our little projects every time we come to the States is sending a box back to Thailand.  The box contains clothes that we brought, that we won’t need for a couple of weeks when we return.  In place of those clothes, we pack our suitcase with things we can’t mail, like vitamins.  We’re used to the routine now, even though is doesn’t make a lot of sense, but that’s another conversation.  This trip, the post office was empty when we arrived.  No waiting at a post office is a big deal.  

Time to rest my head.  Trying to be done with this misery before the long plane ride home.  I can’t imagine feeling like this, eight miles high.  

It’s gonna be a Wacky Wednesday.

                   Peace,
                             Danny

“In the practice of tolerance,
one’s enemy is the best teacher.”
The Dalai Lama

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Lead

Hi,

So yesterday we got wet, a little bit.  Today is supposed to be what we would call the ‘Storm of the Century’ in Chiang Rai.  There might even be thunder.  We don’t get to see weather people on TV where we live, but I’m sure they would take thunder as a given during a storm.  Maybe that’s what we need, a Max Doppler blah blah weather person with lots of maps and graphics.  What we have is weather reports generated by Western computers.  Hmm.

So, the ‘Easy Monday’ song was recognized quickly by a few readers.  This time I’ll give you better clues.
“When the sun shines they slip into the shade, and sip their lemonade when the sun shines.  __, I don’t mind.  Shine, the weather’s fine.  I can show you that when it starts to __, everything’s the same.  I can show you.  I can show you.”  Clue:  If you live in California, what was/is the weather word of the day?  It’s something that falls from the sky.  That makes this a ‘Super Easy Monday’.

Yesterday was a different kind of ‘Visiting Day’.  Lisa had a long visit with her good friend Lisa and I had a long visit with my friend Dan.  Do we see a pattern here?  It was a good day.  

Just 4 more ‘sleepings’ and we’ll be on our way.  It’s not that I don’t like being here, but being there is calling me.  We’re missing Daku, and the little family.  If only we could transplant a few things from here to there.  I’d like to have a Sprouts Market, a Trader Joe’s, and maybe a Ross (555).

While sitting in the window at Jersey Mike’s (subway sandwich shop) talking to my friend Dan, I had a revelation. Here's my version of the history of the Thai driving thing where cars and motorbikes turn in front of traffic when the light turns green.  Once upon a time in the bigger cities, all the motorbikes would come to the front of the line on a red light.  Because of the heat that rises from the engines on their bikes, they were given the ‘free’ turn so they could get moving and cool off.  Over time, cars just followed close behind to get through the light without waiting.  Now, it’s an assumed ‘right of way’.  It doesn't take the bitter taste out of my mouth when they turn in front of me, but now I understand, and I will make an effort to relax when it happens (555).

Today’s photo was sent to us by Cat.  She took this at the outdoor flower show in Chiang Rai.  


Have a Happy Tuesday.

                Peace,
                          Danny

“To lead people,
walk behind them.”
~Lao Tzu

Monday, January 8, 2018

Courage

Hi,

The weekend weather was warm enough that I didn’t need a jacket.  Even though the evenings got cool, it still was not like before.  Now there are forecasts for two days with rain, Tuesday being the worst with 2-4 inches predicted.  Hmm.

The ‘Old School Friday’ song was “He Will Break Your Heart” by Jerry Butler.  For ‘Easy Monday’ we have a weather related song:  “If the __ comes they run and hide their heads, the might as well be dead.  If the __ comes, if the __ comes.”  Hint:  Hmm, what can I say, it’s easy.

Our last weekend in the States was a busy one.  Friday afternoon we had a great coffee visit with Cousin Wendy at Dinah’s restaurant.  It seems like we always get caught up on family news when we hang out with Wendy.  I ended up back at Dinah’s for dinner with my friend Martin.

Saturday morning we drove out to Pasadena where we had lunch with Frank & Linda at Saladang Thai Restaurant.  I’ve known Frank since childhood and he and Blue were in a band together.  There are always bittersweet moments when we share memories.  What was funny was the fact that they didn’t expect us to want to eat Thai food.  On our way home from Pasadena we experienced Los Angeles Freeway traffic at it’s best.  There is nothing like sitting still on a freeway designed for fast driving.  No more Chiang Rai whining (555).  I understand the concept of ‘splitting’ the lanes on a motorcycle, I used to ride, but I only drove between the cars when traffic was slow.  When riders go between the lanes while the cars are moving fast and the bikes are going faster, well, that freaks me out.  

Sunday morning Lisa and my dear friend Mark gave me a cake at a favorite meeting.  Then we went to Thai Boom where we were joined by more friends.  As a group, we hadn’t shared a meal in many years. 

Sunday afternoon we went out to San Fernando Valley and watched Cousin Sofia in a rehearsal at her dance/school as they prepared for a competition.  Sofia’s birthday is the same date as Lisa’s birthday, and she is a ballet dancer.  While we watched, we got a chance to visit with her mom, Martha.  

From the dance studio we drove to Studio City and spent the rest of the afternoon and evening with the Valley Cousins.  We got to spend time with Owen, the newest cousin.  He’s three months old and adorable.  Nowell grilled chicken and veggies and we had a family dinner. 

Today’s photo was taken in Palo Alto.  It’s another installation from the ‘Play’ exhibition.  The colored circles are lights and they change colors as you turn a ring around their lenses.  Theoretically, you could create a design with the lights.  


We have 4 more ’sleepings’ and then we leave.  There are still a bunch of things to do, and people to see.  The upcoming rain storm may require us to change a few things around, but we’ll get it done. 

Have a Great Week.

                    Peace,
                              Danny  

“Success is not final, 
failure is not fatal.  
It is the courage to continue
that counts.”
~Winston Churchhill

Friday, January 5, 2018

Friday Funnies

Hi,

The weather in the L.A. area continues to warm up a tiny bit at a time.  There is the possibility of rain next week, but I’m not going to look that far.

The ‘Zany Day’ song was “Help Me Rhonda” by The Beach Boys.  For ‘Old School Friday’, see if you know this one:
“Fair thee well, I know you’re leavin’, for the new love that you’ve found.  That handsome guy that you’ve been dating 
Whoa, I’ve got a feelin’ he’s gonna put you down.  Because he don’t love you like I love you.  If he did he wouldn’t __ __ __.  He don’t love you like I love you.  He’s trying to tear us apart.  He uses all the great quotations.  He says the things I wish I could say.  Whoa, but he’s had so many rehearsals, girl, to him you’re just another play.  He don’t love you…”  Hint:  The exact title is not sung in the song, but I think you know.  The singer was known as ‘The Ice Man’.

Our ‘Sleepover in the Valley’ had a great ending.  Thursday morning, after Nowell and Jennifer went to work, we went out for breakfast.  When we returned we complied with Jennifer’s urging and went into the hot tub.  It’s been a long time since we’ve been in one and it was so relaxing.  At first we weren’t sure if we could stand the hot water, but after a few seconds of the powerful jets of water, it was clear that we should stay.  After we got out I was ready to take a nap (555).  We packed up our stuff and headed out into the world.  

Late morning on the freeways used to be a good time to travel.  The rush hour was over and the lunch traffic hadn’t started.  It’s not that way anymore.  Sitting in an ocean of cars, it felt completely foreign.  Each time we return, the memory of certain things seems a little more distant.  It didn’t dampen our spirits, but I forgot how much time used to be spent this way.  What seems like a traffic jam in Chiang Rai is really nothing.  

We will return to the ‘Valley Cousins’ on Sunday afternoon for a gathering of generations.  The whole West Coast Clan will gather for dinner, featuring a special guest.  We will get to meet Owen Joel, the new son of Sam and Emma.  Long-time readers may remember that Sam and Emma visited us in Thailand a few years ago.  Sam is the son of Nowell and Jennifer and we’ve already seen the baby pics.  It’s going to be a big occasion. 

Today’s photo is of Tina and Lucy, the house-mates of Nowell and Jennifer.  


Today is my ‘Other’ birthday.  It marks 28 years in Recovery.  I’m feeling very grateful for the life I’m living.  

Have a Wonderful WeekEnd.      On to the ‘Funnies’.

                  Peace,
                            Danny


Thursday, January 4, 2018

Plan

Hi,

Yesterday was warmer than the day before.  I’m liking this trend.  On Thursday in Thailand the high in Chiang Rai was 78F.  You know I like that.

This week’s ‘Zany Day’ song is by a group who started out doing surf music.  Only two readers got it so far:
“She was gonna be my wife and I was gonna be her man.  But she let another guy come between us and it shattered our plan.  Well, __ you caught my eye (caught my eye), and I can give you lotsa reasons why, you gotta __ __ __, help me get her out of my heart.  __ __ __, __ __ __ __, __ __ __, __ __ __ __….”  Clue:  They loved the beach and cars and girls.   

Our adventures on Wednesday took us back to Emerald Thai to have lunch with our friend Linda. She has been an important part of us having wheels when we come to visit.  Then we went ‘over the hill’ to Studio City where we spent the night with Valley Cousins Nowell and Jennifer.  By leaving at 2pm we avoided the main freeway rush-hour traffic.  When we arrived at their house, no one was there but the dogs, Tina and Lucy.  They gave us a warm greeting and it was like seeing old friends.  Since we had a couple of hours before they got home, we went exploring.  We found a mall and a Ross.  The mall was pretty cool with lots of shops we didn’t know about.  There is a store called ‘Cotton On’ that was fun to browse in, especially with the sale prices.  We are both fond of cotton clothing, so this place is a great find.  

Everywhere we go, we’re seeing more people with their dogs.  It first came to our attention when we were flying up north.  There were passengers on the plane with their little dogs in small carriers.  In the two malls we’ve visited there have been dogs with their owners, out shopping and enjoying the crowds.  In Chiang Rai there is one day a year when pets are invited to come to the mall with their owners.  That’s quite a scene.

Our hosts took us to dinner at a Vietnamese restaurant.  Lisa and I had the Pho Ga, think: chicken noodle soup.  It was a good dish on a chilly night.  Back at the house we looked at Lisa’s art, talked about Thailand, dogs and what it takes to watch current TV in Thailand.  We also learned about ‘Alexa’ by Amazon, with some practical demonstrations.  Pretty amazing.  Needless to say, I’m intrigued.

Today’s photo was taken in Palo Alto.  This is part of the garden of Jerry and Barbara, Joe’s friends.


Have a Thrilling Thursday.

                     Peace,
                               Danny

“Everyone has a plan 'til
they get punched in the face.”
~Mike Tyson

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Impossible


Hi,

The weather was warmer today in SoCal.  While we were out and about this morning and evening, I didn’t have to wear my warm jacket.  I hope it stays like this for the rest of the trip.  That would be so nice.

The ‘Easy Tuesday’ song was “Help” by The Beatles.  I’m surprised that no one wrote me with the answer.  Still trying to figure out this ‘New Year’ thing? (555)  “Well since you put me down I’ve been out doin’ in my head.  Come in late at night and in the mornin’ I just stay in bed.  Well, __ you look so fine, and I know it wouldn’t take much time for you to __ __ __, help me get her out of my heart.”  Hint:  I consider this a zany approach to the subject (555).  In fact, it’s devious.  Same need for assistance as the last song. 

It’s hard to believe, but August is in his last year of high school.  He came to our room last night, to work on one of his college applications.  The little boy who used to count the plugs in our last house, who loved to watch ‘How It’s Made’, is almost grown.  

 We went to U.S.C. for lunch with our friend Irene.  Today we ate at a fairly new part of the campus called University Village.  This is a ‘redo’ of an area just north of the main campus, featuring small restaurants, and some anchor stores like Target and Trader Joe’s.  We ate at a ‘Green Leaf’, which is apparently part of a chain.  The food was quite good.  Everything is fresh, made to order.  It was fun catching up on various things with Irene and sharing stories from ‘home’ with her.  She stayed with us for a few days, several years ago.  Before we came to visit this time, she requested a treat from Thailand that she still remembered.  

This evening we went to an Italian restaurant in Santa Monica with our friend Richard, who used to consult at the institute where Lisa worked.  More good food and conversation.

The last time we were in town I made some observations about the gentrification of the West side.  On this trip it is even more apparent that there is a trend to the more ‘upscale’ in everything.  New businesses, mostly food industry, are popping up all over and they are all ’trendy’ fusion spots with high prices for what they offer.  There is a nearby place where a cup of coffee costs $5.  What happens to those who are displaced by this?  What happens when large apartment/condo structures open?  What was once a bedroom community will eventually become a dense city.  Will it still have a soul?  Something to think about.    

Today’s photo was taken on our flight to San Jose last week.  In the middle of the desert I saw what looked like some alien base, something that would eventually just loom up into the sky.  The more I looked, the more I saw solar panels.  Hmm, and it was such a good UFO story.  Hmm, are we sure they’re solar panels?


Feels like a Wacky Wednesday.
 
               Peace,
                         Danny

“It always seems impossible
until it’s done.”
~Nelson Mandela

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Welcome

Hi,

First, let me apologize for not sending a message on Monday.  I was so overwhelmed with the beginning of a new year that I was beside myself.  The truth is, I forgot.  New Years Eve was fairly quiet, a perfect time to write to you, but my mind wandered and then the ball dropped.  Oh, it’s still being cold at night, but that seems to be everywhere in this hemisphere.  Chiang Rai and Culver City had the same temps yesterday.

The ‘Old School Friday’ song was “Gee Whiz” by Carla Thomas.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ESjzB0m_60E
Since I didn’t give you a song on Monday, this week we’ll call it ‘Easy Tuesday’ (555).  The elves are telling me that it had better be an easy one.  “__!  I need somebody __!  Not just anybody __!  You know I need someone.  __!  When I was younger, so much younger than today,  I never needed anybody’s help in any way.  But now those days are gone, I’m not so self assured.  Now I find I’ve changed my mind, I’ve opened up the door.”  Hint: One word, a request for assistance, from the movie of the same name, 1965.  You have one day to respond, then the message will self-distruct and a new song will appear.

While we were in Palo Alto, we went to the Palo Alto Art Center with Joe to check out a wonderful exhibit.  The title was simple: ‘Play’.  Some of the installations were interactive, inviting our participation.  Today’s photo was taken just inside the door of “Silver Clouds” by Andy Warhol and Billy Kluver.  It consisted of helium-filled mylar pillows that float around the room.  They were very sensitive to air movement in the small room and made it fun to try to avoid them, or touch them.  


From the art exhibit we visited two of Joe’s very good friends, Jerry and Barbara.  Joe and Jerry go for walks along the bay and Joe reads to Jerry.  They are a fun couple from another era.  They have a house full of memories and art, and a yard filled with succulents and little animal statues.  Jerry is a retired actor and has many stories to tell.  

It’s hard to tell where Jet Lag ends and being tired takes over.  Most of our afternoons still have that heavy-lidded moment when the ‘I can’t stay awake’ feeling consumes us.  It’s getting better, but our sleep has not normalized yet.  

Natcha has been giving us daily updates about things at home.  Daku is doing great, and of course Neechanon is getting cuter by the day.  Cat spent New Years Eve with Daku and the little family had a quiet dinner at home.  Our friends Brenda and Eric picked up tickets for us for the Chiang Rai Jazz Festival.  We missed a little Christmas concert at The Wanderer, but it’s OK because we’ve seen the Youth Orchestra many times.  

After a little over a week here, I’m starting to get used to things like driving in heavy traffic, not cringing at the price of things, and trying hard to resist the temptations brought on by the abundance of desserts, etc.  

We now move into the visiting stage of this adventure.  The appointment book is quickly filling up.  Wednesday, we’re going out to ’The Valley Cousins’ and spend the night at the home of Nowell and Jennifer.        

Tomorrow we have a lunch at USC and a dinner in Santa Monica.  Moving from place to place is how we get to see the city (555).

Have a Happy Tuesday.

               Peace,
                         Danny

“And now we welcome the 
new year.  Full of things that
have never been.”
~Rainer Maria Rilke