Wednesday, February 21, 2018



The sky was cloudy this morning in Chiang Rai, but the clouds didn’t last against the hot sun.  Another one of those days.

The ‘Easy Monday’ song was “My Girl” by The Temptations.  I told you it was easy (555).  This week’s ‘Zany Day’ song might be remembered by some:  “[spoken] Is she really going out with him?  Well, there she is.  Let’s ask her.  Betty, is that Jimmy’s ring you’re wearing?  Mm-Hmm.  Gee, it must be great riding with him.  Is he picking you up after school today?  Uh-uh.  By the way, where’d you meet him?  [sung]  I met him at the candy store, he turned around and smiled at me, you get the picture? (yes, we see).  That’s when I fell for __ __ __ __ __.”  Hint:  By a group name for a mythical place.  There were motorcycle sounds in the recording.  

When we got up this morning, Daku had a different attitude about Chopper.  He must have thought about it overnight (he does this) because he was eager to see him.  We could hear his little puppy yelps from our kitchen.  Later we learned that his first night in his new home was typical.  He woke up a lot and did what babies do.  Fortunately, Natcha and Gong are fairly new parents so they knew what to do.  Clean up after the baby.  Later, they had fun in the yard.  

We cruised over to The Wanderer this morning for coffee.  Khun Noot, Kwan (Mercy’s Mom) and Kern were in the patio having coffee so we had to show them ‘baby pictures’.  

Our day took a dramatic turn when we took Daku to the vet to check on a missing patch of fur.  After the usual wait, it was determined that it was what is commonly known as ringworm (which is actually a fungus infection).  With only one instance of it on him, we are hopeful that we caught it early.  We have to find a hand-held black light so we can see if there’s any more.  What it meant in the short term was shampooing the dog with a special soap, and washing all his bedding, toys and brushes.  Daku was unfazed by most of this, and just wanted to see the puppy. 

This afternoon the Chinese Drum Units came to our street.  First they stopped at Bed Villa and then the big house across the road.  There were firecrackers, lion dancers and a drum circle that was pretty cool.

I’ll leave you with another photo of Chopper, showing his amazing eyes.

Could be a Wacky Wednesday.


“You have to dream before
your dreams can come true.”
~A.P.J. Abdul Kalam

Tuesday, February 20, 2018



Another hot day in Chiang Rai.  That about sums it up.  The overnight temps are still very cool, meaning the pool doesn’t warm up for swimming.  

The ‘Easy Monday’ song dates back to 1965 from a label in the ‘Motor City’.  It was the first major hit for the group that sang it.  “I’ve got so much honey, the bees envy me.  I’ve got a sweeter song than the birds in the trees.  Well, I guess you’d say, what can make me feel this way?  __ __ (__ __, __ __) talkin’ ‘bout __ __ (__ __).”  

The puppy arrived and we are all thrilled.  His name is Chopper and he’s 7 weeks old.  We saw a photo of his dad and he’s quite handsome.  The little bed we got for Chopper would have been too small in a few weeks so we got a bigger one.  He met Daku and really wants to be friends.  Daku is cautiously interested.  He wanted to go outside and be with Neechanon, Gong and Chopper, so that’s a start.  We took a ton of photos and Natcha is doing the same.  Needless to say, today’s photo is Chopper.

Having a new dog that isn’t our dog is going to be an interesting experience.  We have to let them raise this little guy the way they know how.  That is not to say that we won’t step in with some advice from time to time.  Fortunately, they listen and have already asked for help on a few topics.  Chopper likes us, ‘cause he’s a puppy.  I have to remember:  he’s not our dog.  No you can’t take him home with you (555).  When he looks at you with those mysterious bright blue eyes, it’s mesmerizing.  Tatt, our former student, is mad about Huskies and will probably want to book a bus to come visit.  

This morning, after a pick-up at the post office, we dashed through Makro and went to Melt In Your Mouth for coffee and our talk with Joe.  We have learned to adjust our composure when encountering new servers at the various places we go.  Today we had what was clearly a ‘new guy’.  Twenty minutes after ordering coffee and tea, the coffee came, but there was no tea.  They were out of Earl Grey, but he didn’t think to tell us.  Instead, he brought the honey for my coffee and gave it to Lisa.  What?  It was one of those ‘Let it go’ moments.  Not everyone has the same level of minimum education here.  There are some young people who only go to the 9th grade.  There are others who are given a job but get minimal training.  This probably happens all over the world, but understanding why, takes it to a different level.  Everyone cannot go to high school.  It’s just too expensive for many families.  If there is no family business, it becomes a struggle to obtain even minimum wage work.  

Saturday we went to the ‘Expat Club’ meeting to hear a vet that we went to back in the early days when we first got BamBam.  It was billed as a talk about, among other things, the relationship between Thais and their pets.  He almost got to that part, but questions from other directions sidetracked his talk.  One remark that was of interest to me was his response to someone using the term ‘law enforcement’ when talking about strays, etc.  He said, ‘We have laws, but no enforcement’.  We have seen this with the burning every year.  'A new law….’, and the burning continues.  He did state that there seems to be a new generation of pet owners that tend to keep their pets inside and give them more care than the traditional pet ‘owners’ who supply food for their pets but little else.  Hmm.

Tomorrow we’ll get to hear the stories about Chopper’s first night away from his mother.  I wish Neechanon could tell us her thoughts on the whole change.  Right now, I think she likes him as long as he leaves her stuff alone (555).

Have a Happy Tuesday.


“Simplicity is the ultimate
~Leonardo da Vinci

Monday, February 19, 2018



The weather has been on a lot of peoples' minds lately.  With hot days and cool nights, it feels a little odd for this time of year.  Nothing I can do about it, just enjoy the parts I like.

The ‘Old School Friday’ song was “Don’t Be Cruel” by Elvis Presley.  This ‘Easy Monday’ song is one of the easiest:
“I’ve got sunshine on a cloudy day.  When it’s cold outside, I’ve got the month of May.  Well, I guess you’ll say, ‘What can make me feel this way?’  __ __, talkin’ ‘bout __ __ (__ __).”  Hint:  I’m tempted but I won’t.  You should know this.

Saturday evening we had dinner at the mall with our good friends Sutheera and Nukoon.  It’s always fun when we get together, sharing different takes on local life as well as the political scene.  There is a theory that some of the land that’s being bought in Chiang Rai will remain vacant until there is a new government.  Speculation is the name of that game, at least when it comes to homes.  Nukoon has a big pond on their property and a duck decided to move in.  She spends the nights in a tree and flies down in the mornings and floats around all day.  Not a pretty duck, but a duck just the same.  

There were lots of celebrations around town and I think the reason is similar to the other holidays.  This is the first Chinese New Year since the end of the mourning period for the late King.  The balloon festival was bigger this year and there just seemed to be bigger energy everywhere.  

Sunday afternoon we went to The Wanderer for a concert of Biggles Big Band, a group from Amsterdam that makes an annual tour of Thailand.  We’ve seen them before, and they were good.  The band is bigger this year, with a string quartet added, as well as a few new horns.  It was also nice to see some women playing in the horn sections.  They did a segment with the Chiang Rai Youth Orchestra but we missed that.  We saw a few of our Thai friends there although most of the audience was made up of the local expat community.    

Today’s photos are a ‘Tree Update’.  There are two trees in our yard that were planted in memory of our dear friend Blue Johnson.  They are doing well and both have started to bloom.  It’s the first time for the little jasmine tree to bloom and the flowers are very fragrant.  Our friend Claire said that the new flowers are like Blue saying ‘Hi’.

This afternoon we went to get the second injection in the Dengue Fever vaccination series.  Our doctor talked to us about new findings and said that if we hadn’t actually had the fever, we should not take the vaccine.  I wasn’t sure if I really had it so they did a blood test and it turns out that I didn’t.  That meant I didn’t have to get a shot today.  I just had to give blood, which is still on my list of things not to do (555).  

The big news around here is that tomorrow Gong and Natcha will be bringing home a 2 month old dog.  It’s a Siberian Husky.  Gong has wanted a dog since they move in and they are confident that they can handle it and Neechanon, who has not met the dog yet.  More will be revealed.  Daku will have a new friend that hopefully will like to play.  He has missed that.  

Have a Great Week.


“We don’t stop playing
because we grow old; we 
grow old because we stop
~George Bernard Shaw

Friday, February 16, 2018

Friday Funnies


The weather?  Hot with moments of Really Hot.  The smokey air didn’t come until after dinner, so we had a beautiful day.

The ‘Zany Day’ song was “Maybellene” by Chuck Berry, 'The King of Rock & Roll’.  There, I said it.  ‘Old School Friday’ is up next:  “You know I can be found, sitting home all alone.  If you can’t come around, at least please telephone.  __ __ __ to a heart that’s true.”  Hint:  That should be enough to get this tune.

This morning, at 6:30am, the drumming started, announcing Chinese New Years.  I couldn’t tell which side of the river it was coming from, but it was a whole bunch of drummers.  There weren’t a lot of firecrackers during the day, which was a surprise.  We forgot to wear some red when we went out this morning.  My ancestors would be shocked (555).  At Big C the staff were all wearing some variation on the Chinese theme.  Some shops had matching red dresses for their employees.  

At the mall there was a lot of activity, we don’t know why except that it was a major holiday.  At Starbuck’s the power went out and we had to wait for it to reboot.  It came back on but the register wasn’t working so we just left the money.  Weird.  I am still getting used to seeing whole families hanging out at the mall.  It’s obviously not every family that follows the traditions of family unity and togetherness, but it seems to be very prevalent in regional cultures.  When I was a teenager, if we had malls back then, I wouldn’t have wanted to be seen with my parents.  

Downtown on Tanalai Rd. this afternoon, many shops closed early.  It was eerie to drive down the street and see so many store fronts completely closed off.  We went to The Wanderer for something cool to drink and saw families visiting.  This will be a big ‘dinner night out’ all over Thailand.  

Right around dinner time I heard Natcha call upstairs.  As I got to the landing I heard Neechanon’s little voice calling me.  Now she has my name down perfect.  Lisa said she was pointing upstairs and saying my name, and something else.  She’s also saying Lisa’s name.  We are both in the two syllable club (555).  No more Nee and Ca.  She was walking around with a phone that Natcha has loaded with songs for kids.  Neechanon knows how to scroll to her favorites and sing along.  I managed to catch a photo of her in action.  The second pic is her ‘Playhouse’ with some of her stuff inside.

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


Wednesday, February 14, 2018



The weather turned out to be hot today.  It also had that smokey haze that usually doesn’t come until later in the month.  At some point every day we have bad air.  Hmm.

The ‘Easy Monday’ song was “You’ve Got A Friend” by Carole King, then James Taylor, then everybody else (555).
That means there’s nothing left but to get crazy with a ‘Zany Day’ tune.  “As I was motorvatin’ over the hill I saw __ in a Coupe de Ville.  A Cadillac a-rollin’ on the open road.  Nothin’ will outrun my V8 Ford.  The Cadillac doin’ about ninety-five, she’s bumper to bumper, rollin’ side by side…”  Hint:  One word title is a name.

We set out on a different kind of adventure this morning.  After parking downtown near Tanalai Rd. (one of the busiest parts of the business district), we got coffee at Destiny Cafe, then walked up to the ‘Eye Guy’ on Tanalai.  We ordered reading glasses with the tint that filters out the blue light from computer screens.  The street was very busy and had the feel of a big city.  If all the streets were like that it would be cause for concern, but when only one is bustling, not so much.  Next stop was Teppawan art supply store.  We’re friends with the family and it always means starting in the rear of the store, greeting ‘Dad’ and pleasantries with Supalak, with whom Lisa exchanges photos and greetings every morning via ‘Line’.  When the items on the list were collected, we moved to the next stop.

Oh, what a busy place this is on Valentine’s Day.  We saw the build-up yesterday and this morning it was on full blast.  Down in the fruit market section we encountered a real traffic jam.  The street has fruit stalls on one side and stuffed animal shops on the other.  There is only room for one side to have parked cars, but today, there was double-parking on both sides.  That meant that the two-way traffic had to take turns, reluctantly.  It took awhile, but we managed to get our fruit and go.  

Monday, when we were at Big C, we spotted a Valentine’s Day photo background they had set up.  A selfie wouldn’t work so we ask a woman passing by and she took our picture.  Just two crazy kids running loose in the store.

This afternoon we were supposed to go to the DMV about our license renewals but we just couldn’t bear it so we stayed home.  Tomorrow!  

It’s gonna be a Wacky Wednesday.


“Treasure your relationships,
not your possessions.”
~Anthony J. D'Angelo

Tuesday, February 13, 2018



Another carbon copy day in Chiang Rai.  Actually, it was a little different in that the morning was warmer.  

I was pretty sure this ‘Easy Monday’ tune was going to bring lots of answers.  I’ve heard from a few.  Here’s more:
“You just call out my name and you know wherever I am, I’ll come running to see you again.  Winter, spring, summer or fall, all you have to do is call, and I’ll be there.  __ __ __ __.”  Clue:  This chorus from the song is the essence of the song.  The singer is declaring that they have your back.

This morning we returned to Melt In Your Mouth for coffee and a conversation with Joe.  While we were talking, the sound of ceremonial music came from the bridge.  Four silver vans preceded a pick-up truck carrying a large, white seated Buddha and the truck was playing the music.  It seemed so natural for that to happen.  We really have been here a long time (555).  Across a small channel off the Kok River we saw one man fishing with a crude spear gun, and another casting a net.  Morning life by the river is fascinating.

Today’s photos were taken at ‘Melt’.  The first was the view from our table.  The second photo is a garden next to Melt and related to the restaurant.

Part of getting a driver license is a certificate from a doctor.  In the past, we had gone to a doctor who gave a strange ‘test’ requiring us to hold our hands above our heads, wiggle our fingers, and a few other things.  We went in search of his office but he had moved on.  That meant an afternoon trip to Overbrook Hospital for the paper. 

The best time of day to visit institutions is in the early afternoon.  This seems to be a consistent rule of thumb for us.  Today at Overbrook was no exception.  After the usual check-in, there was a short wait to see the doctor.  This time we had a real exam.  The doctor asked us important questions about our health and made sure we were aware of the consequences of driving in poor health.  We are now cleared for take-off.  Tomorrow we’ll tackle the DMV in the early afternoon (555).

We had a visit from Neechanon after lunch.  She has been spending time with her aunts and we’ve missed her.  She immediately went to the bookcase and pulled out a book we brought back from the States.  On the ‘A’ page she spotted an apple and named it in a big confident voice.  What was significant is the fact that she has been taught to pronounce the ‘L’, rather than saying ‘appun’, as is often the case.  Brava to the aunts.  There was a little meltdown when it was time to go, but Natcha always distracts her so gently that it doesn’t last long.  

Have a Happy Tuesday.

“Clouds come floating into 
my life, no longer to carry rain
or usher storm, but to add color
to my sunset sky.”
~Rabindranath Tagore

Monday, February 12, 2018



The local weather has been close to ideal.  Cool evenings and warm days in the mid-80s.  Now all we need is a little rain to wash the sky and water the lawn.

I don’t think anybody remembered Little Richard singing “Send Me Some Lovin’”, but it was and still is a monster ballad.  Never mind, it’s time for ‘Easy Monday’, where we all know all the songs (555).  “When you’re down and troubled, and you need some love and care, and nothing, nothing is going right.  Close your eyes and think of me, and soon I will be there, to brighten up even your darkest night.  You just call out my name…”  Hint: I don’t know if we need hints today.  

Today in Thailand (Feb. 12) is my birthday.  Yesterday we had a party, since Monday really isn’t a party day (555).  There were 28 adults, 3 small children, and 1 very small visiting dog.  Everybody had a good time.  The Wanderer brought over another of their outrageous chocolate cakes, and friends brought orchids and fruit.  The weather was perfect, and nobody in the neighborhood burned any trash, meaning the air was pleasant.  We discovered that some of our friends were actually friends with each other and we didn’t know.  That made for some nice surprises.  Lisa choreographed the event and Natcha and Cat helped make sure everything ran smoothly.  When it was over, there was lots of stuff left over.  Most of it consisting of things we don’t eat, so we gave it away.  It was a good day.

Today’s photos are from the party.  

Since Natcha and Gong worked so hard all day, we went out for dinner.  The closest place was The Wanderer so that’s what we did.  When we returned home we didn’t realize how tired we were.  It actually carried over into today.  We had no shopping to do so we just went to Work@Home for coffee.  

After wearing black for the year of mourning, most of my T-shirts are black.  The weather in the mornings isn’t always warm enough for a loose fitting shirt so T-shirts work best.  Having said all that, we went to Big C so I could get a few shirts with color.  We finished our morning in the street with lunch at Melt In Your Mouth.  Sitting outside with the river in front of us was very relaxing.  

Tomorrow we go to the ‘DMV’ to renew our licenses.  Here’s hoping we don’t have to take a written test or watch the rumored 1 hour movie (555).

Have a Great Week.


“Common sense is not so common.”

Friday, February 9, 2018

Friday Funnies


The weather?  You know, cold this morning, hot the rest of the day.  Actually, it also depends on what part of town you’re in because that can change it all.  In our neighborhood, near the river, it’s cooler than down where the earth is covered by concrete and asphalt and the buildings block the breeze.  Weather zones.

The ‘Zany Day’ song was “Hotel California” by The Eagles.  ‘Old School Friday’ jumped into my head and wouldn’t leave.  “__ __ __ __, oh send it I pray.  How can I love you, when you’re so far away?  Send me your picture, send it my dear, so I can hold it, pretend you are here.”  Clue: An R&B ballad hit, by a singer whose first name was ‘Little’ (555).  His second name was also a first name.  Confused?  It has been sung by many artists through the years.  Miss Molly and Lucille might get upset if you don’t know this one.

I guess we must be getting back to our regular state of ‘healthy’, judging from level of ‘busy’ we’ve been up to.  This morning we went to Chivit Tamma Da and sat by the river for our morning coffee.  From there, we went to the big nursery on the highway to get plants for the yard.  That filled the back of the van, but also left us confident that there was still room in the back seat for our next stop.

Big C, late on a Friday morning.  The idea of it sounded horrible, but it really wasn’t that bad, and besides, we were shopping for an event.  Monday is my natal birthday and we’re having a party on Sunday.  When we headed for the check-out, we had a cart full of chips, juices, veggies and fruit.  Fortunately, a new checker was just opening up so we didn’t have to wait.  There was a Big C Bear walking around as part of a promotion.  Little kids were having their picture taken with the bear.  

For the last few days I have been trying to find a way for us to be able to watch the Winter Olympics.  Here we have this major event being held in our part of the world, and it’s not being televised.  The owners of the rights for this region are not broadcasting the games.  The American network is keeping the whole thing close to home and other countries are also wanting subscriptions, etc.  Now I have Google breathing down my neck presumably because I turned off my ‘cookies’ and they can’t follow me around.  I don’t really know, it’s just annoying.  There are aspects of technology that I think are wonderful, but when it starts creeping into my ’stuff’, I have concerns.  Don’t get me started on the ‘Cloud’.  Rant over.  We’ll settle for Youtube presentations of various sports and be happy.

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


Thursday, February 8, 2018



The weather is definitely getting warmer.  We can tell because the evenings are not cooling off as fast and the mornings have lost their ‘bite’.  Short-sleeves in the evening was crazy talk a few weeks ago.

The ‘Zany Day’ song was remembered by a few readers.  The last verse let’s us know that this, as was pointed out, is a cautionary tale.  “Last thing I remember, I was running for the door.  I had to find the passage back to the place I was before.  ‘Relax’, said the night man, ‘We are programmed to receive.  You can check-out any time you like, but you can never leave!’  Welcome to the __ __.  Such a lovely place, such a lovely face….”  Hint:  It’s about a place to stay on the west coast of the US.  

This morning we went back to Suzuki for our new battery.  The installation was quick and we were off in search of a new place to have coffee.  We ended up at a little Korean dessert shop off the highway.  The coffee was OK, and the ginger-honey tea that Lisa ordered was a little heavy on the honey.  In a dessert shop, everything is probably a little heavy on sweet.  The menu was very different.  Nothing we would want to eat, but interesting.  The location was a little off the beaten path, so I’m not sure it will last.  The complex where it’s located has had many vendors come and go.  

Today’s photos were taken at the Jazz Festival.  This time, it’s odd vehicles.  The first pic looks like an airplane until the eyes focus and you realize it’s a burger truck.  The second photo is a mobile ATM.  Hmm.

This evening we had dinner at Sawadee Restaurant in the Night Bazaar with four people we had never met before.  They are friends with Bob and Joan, a couple we met years ago, visiting from Northern California.  The plan was to meet in the Night Bazaar and, as luck would have it, we found them at our favorite silver shop.  We all hit it off and had a great time.  

Every week it seems like we learn something new.  Natcha told Lisa about a fruit that can help stop coughs.  It’s called ‘ma cahm bahn’ and it’s very sour.  It’s small and almost looks like a berry.  You chew it slowly, spit out the seed, and when done, drink some water.  The taste in the mouth goes from sour to sweet with the introduction of the water.  It doesn’t zap a cough like medicine, but it helps and it’s a natural remedy.  Cat knew about it too.  She said her village has a tree and you just pick them when you have a cough.

Have a Thrilling Thursday.


“Look at situations from all
angles, and you will become
more open.”
~The Dalai Lama

Wednesday, February 7, 2018



Fog was on the morning weather menu, but it didn’t change the rest of the day at all.  I must say, this is great weather for the travelers.  By Sunday it should be 80F.

The ‘Easy Monday’ song was “Biggest Part of Me” by Ambrosia.  I hope you all are utilizing the wonderfulness of Youtube when you don’t know a song.  You might find one you like.  Time for a ‘Zany Day’ tune to bring a smile to your face.  “On a dark desert highway, cool wind in my hair, warm smell of colitas, rising up through the air.  Up ahead in the distance, I saw a shimmering light.  My head grew heavy and my sight grew dim, I had to stop for the night….Welcome to the __ __.  Such a lovely place, such a lovely face….”  Clue:  The title is a place and there are a couple of them.  This one is zany in a weird kinda way.  Released in 1976 on an album of the same name.

This morning’s coffee was provided by Work@Home.  We got a chance to visit with our friend Katai, who is a very busy woman.  We learned that tractors are now being sold online so she has to change her way of selling in order to compete.  As she said, ‘The world is changing’.  She told us about a tiny restaurant under the new bridge that has two tables, that’s it.  The chef does all of the cooking and the food is good.  This is truly a case of someone doing what makes them happy, regardless of the compensation.  We’ll have to check it out.

We went from coffee to lunch at The Wanderer with Cat and our friend Lisa.  Sitting outside on a beautiful day seemed like a good idea until the attack of the giant moths.  When one came and landed on the table it was cute.  By the end of lunch it felt like a ‘B’ movie.  It didn’t stop us from having a fun time though.  Lisa is fluent in Thai since her mom is Thai and she grew up here.  She and Cat would drift off into little conversations and leave us trying to keep up.  Then, in order to have Cat practice her English, Lisa started using English as much as possible.  One of the Thai conversations that was interesting was hearing her explain to Cat the difference between a burrito and a taco, with appropriate hand gestures.  Good times. 

Today’s photo is one of the moths from lunch.

You may be getting a better look at Chiang Rai in the near future.  This evening on my way home from my meeting, I saw a Google Maps car, complete with the big camera on the roof.  It was all covered up, but there was no question that this little car will be riding around taking clips of our town.  

This could be a Wacky Wednesday.


“Hatred does not cease by 
hatred at any time; hatred ceases
by love.  This is an unalterable law.”

Tuesday, February 6, 2018



It was another multi-weather day in Chiang Rai.  The difference in the sky between morning and afternoon is quite dramatic.  The air quality is also getting dramatic and has become a topic of conversation around town.

“(Stay the night) Need your lovin’ here beside me.  (Shine the light) Need you close enough to guide me, (For all my life) I’ve been hopin’ you would find me.  You’re the __ __ __ __.  Well, make a wish, baby.  Well, and I will make it come true.  Make a list, baby, of the things I’ll do for you.  Ain’t no risk, now, in lettin’ my love rain down on you.  So we could wash away the past, so that we may start anew…”  Hint: What?  You want a hint?  The parenthesis are sung by the background voices.

Yesterday morning we watched the Super Bowl.  That’s right, Monday morning football.  So weird being on this side of the planet.  Live events often come ‘live’, but without the commercials.  We have to go to Youtube to see the so-called ‘funniest’, etc. commercials of the game.  So far, the most meaningful clip is from T-Mobile.

This morning we went to The Wanderer for our weekly conversation with Joe, in Palo Alto.  We had a good talk, even with some WiFi difficulties.  Sometimes one has to find that ‘sweet spot’ for everything to work.  As we were leaving we spoke with Khun Kwan.  She told us about her butterfly project.  It seems that in the course of getting rid of mosquitos, local butterflies have suffered.  There is a butterfly man who is trying to create different ways of moving the mosquitos and save the butterflies, who are not only pretty to look at, they are important for the pollination of many plants.

Down the road from The Wanderer, we took these photos of a water buffalo and her calf.

Downtown in the flower market, things are gearing up for Valentine’s Day.  I don’t know when it became a ‘thing’ here, but it’s a major selling day for the vendors, not only for flowers, but for the stuffed toy merchants as well.
Maybe I can get some photos this year of the giant toys being delivered on the backs of motorbikes.

Have a Happy Tuesday.


“The purpose of life
is a life of purpose.”
~Robert Byrne

Monday, February 5, 2018



The weather has been a little confusing lately.  The days begin with ‘almost rain clouds’ followed by warmer mid-day temps, and then cooling off at night.  The ‘Smokey Season’ seems to have started early, with a haze that has arrived a month early.  There is supposed to be a three month ban on burning, but that doesn’t start until the end of next week.  Meanwhile, we take precautions. 

The ‘Old School Friday’ song was “Earth Angel” by The Penguins.  Here’s an ‘Easy Monday’ song that might be easy:
“(Sunrise) There’s a new sun-a-risin’ (In your eyes) I can see a new horizon, (Realize) That will keep me realizin’ you’re the __ __ __ __.”  Hint:  I’m sure this group wasn’t named for a salad (555).  Subject of the song is a large portion of the singer.

Saturday night I went back to the Jazz Festival.  Lisa stayed at home to avoid the damp night air.  I took a few treats and a camping chair just in case I couldn’t get a table.  I ended up in almost the same spot as Friday night, with two chairs to spare.  I kept an eye out for Brenda and Eric and spotted them before the music started.  We had a great time talking and listening and passing judgment (555) when necessary.  Some of the hits of the evening were Jazz Philharmonic, Infinity, and Joey Alexander.  Philharmonic was smooth jazz with a little bite.  Infinity rocked the house but stayed in the genre.  Sometimes we could hear a Steely Dan vibe, and they also had a strong sense of funk/jazz.  The biggest mindblower of the evening was 13 year-old Joey Alexander on piano.  His trio took us on a journey with each tune.  He improvised on original tunes as well as John Coltrane.  His trio was the only unit that didn’t have any ‘charts’ on stage.  You can hear him on Youtube.  We left a few tunes into Brian McKnight’s set.  The volume was too high and it was more of a rock show.  Kinda missed the jazz aspect, although the younger members of the audience rushed the stage as soon as he started.  Am I getting old or something?  Anyway, I saw lots of friends and got to hear some great players. 

Today’s photos are from the Thailand International Jazz Festival.  You see Joey doing his thing in the first pic.  The second pic is the control center for the big screens.  The guy who pushed the buttons was dancing in his chair, and switching screens with the music when the right shot appeared.  It was a show in itself.

Just as I was about to leave the festival, there was an earthquake, centered in Burma.  Lisa felt it and tried to call me but I didn’t hear a thing.  Everything was fine, just rattling.  There were aftershocks, but not in our area.  

The papaya tree that Gong planted months ago is now bearing fruit.  I had some last week and it was delicious.  Can’t wait until the next one ripens.  So far, the yard has yielded bananas, coconuts, an occasional mango, and now papaya.  Our citrus fruits have been slow to mature.  Maybe it’s time to plant something else.

We got our visas for Australia, so the preparations are complete.  That will be in mid-March.  The next adventure will be the first weekend in March, when we go to Bangkok for the weekend for a Recovery convention.  

Have a Great Week.


“You drown not by falling into a river,
but by staying submerged in it.”
~Paulo Coelho