Friday, June 22, 2018

Friday Funnies


Hi,

Well, we made it back to Chiang Rai.  It was hot and humid when we got off the plane.  Chiang Rai has been getting rain every day.  We’ll see if that stays the same.  Our friend Nukoon was waiting for one of his sons who was flying in from Bangkok.  That was a fun way to pass the time while we waited for Gong.  

The ‘Zany Day’ tune was “The Beat Goes On” by Sonny & Cher.  For the ‘Old School Friday’ song we go back to 1958.
I was in the 10th grade and this was my fantasy proclamation song.  “__ __ __, oh, I would do anything.  I would do anything, __ __ __.  For your kiss, oh, I would go anywhere.  Oh, I would go anywhere for your kiss.  More foolish I grow, with each heartbeat.  But we all get foolish that’s why I repeat.  __ __ __ (ahh, ahh, ahh, ahh) oh, I would to anything, I would do anything __ __ __.”  Clue:  I think it’s pretty clear.

It’s very difficult to keep our eyes opened, so this won’t take long.  Gong picked us up at the airport, Natcha was really happy to see us.  Daku was very happy we were home, and Chopper, who was outside, was also happy.  

A little while after we got home, we crashed.  There are naps, and there are states of unconscious.  After dinner, we did most of the unpacking and then the sleep came and possessed us again.  

Neechanon will be returning home on Monday morning.  I’m anticipating some increase in her language skills since she’s been staying with her grandparents and an aunt who speaks English and had been her teacher before.  

Today’s photo was taken in Taipei.  It’s the exterior of EVA’s ‘Hello Kitty’ plane.  


Fading fast, can’t hold on much longer.  Formula One is in France this weekend.  Zoom.

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


Thursday, June 21, 2018

Mercy


Hi,

We made it to Taipei after 13+ hours of flight.  The Jet Stream forced us to go north to the Balkin Islands and then turn west toward Japan and China.  There’s a 2 hour layover and then just under 4 hours to Bangkok.  A quick plane change later and we’ll be off to Chiang Rai.  

The ‘Zany Day’ song made quite an impact back in the day.  There were many responses.  Here’s another verse:  “The grocery store’s a super mart, uh huh, little girls still break their hearts, uh huh.  And men still keep marching off to war.  Electrically they keep a baseball score.  __ __ __ __, __ __ __ __.  Drums keep pounding a rhythm to the brain, la de da de de, la de da de da.”  Clue:  During their heyday, this duo was married.  If a drum keeps playing, what happens?

I was right about there being another list generated on our last day in L.A.  We got it all done and stayed on schedule.  Before we left, we got to spend time with Jeff, Anna, Sebastian and August.  Our schedules had been such, that we were all going in different directions, but we got in a really cool visit right at the end. 

The volume of travelers in the international terminal has grown.  New systems are in place for the famous border control inspections.  We kept out shoes on, laptops stayed in bags, and a new bin system keeps you from having to rush to take off jackets, etc.  The whole thing was much smoother for us.  

We had enough air miles to upgrade to business class this trip.  What a treat, and what a spoiling experience.  Oh well, more miles will come in time.  The main meal, grilled chicken in tomato sauce, served at about 1:30am, was totally edible by me, and that is unusual.  

Today’s photo was taken at the corner of National and Washington in Culver City.  After lunch on Wednesday at the Co-op, I was drawn to the giant cranes.  These things are all over town, a sign of ‘progress’?


I will send the ‘Friday Funnies’ from the comfort of The Big Brown House.  

Have a Thrilling Thursday.

                      Peace,
                                Danny

“I have always found that
mercy bears richer fruits than
strict justice.”
~Abraham Lincoln

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Soul

Hi,

The weather in Culver City is 10 degrees cooler than the weather in Chiang Rai right now.  Looks like we’re in for a bit of an ‘adjustment’ on our return.

The ‘Easy Monday’ song was “Walk On By” by Dionne Warwick, also covered by Issac Hayes.  Time for a ‘Zany Day’ song to travel with (5).  This one is from 1967:  “__ __ __ __, __ __ __ __, drums keep pounding a rhythm to the brain.  La de da de de, la de da de da.  Charleston was once the rage, uh huh.  History has turned the page, uh huh.  The mini skirts the current thing, uh huh, teenybopper is our newborn king, uh huh.  __ __ __ __, __ __ __ __.”
Hint:  Performed by a duo, babe.

Yesterday was the day we found the things we needed on our next to the last list.  I say that because today is our last day and there is sure to be a new list.  

We had lunch with Melissa, who worked with Lisa for 15 years, at a place called Wahoo’s.  We’ve been there before and it’s an experience.  There’s sort of a surf/sports motif, with lots of TV screens and food choices.  We meet with Mel every time we come to the States.  It’s another of those long-time relationships that continues to be interesting.  There are work updates, family stories, travel plans, etc. and we always manage to get in our fair share of laughter.  

During the course of the day we went to several health food stores.  We don’t have anything in Chiang Rai like what we see on the west side of L.A.  So many choices, at great expense, I might add.  There is a small shop in Chiang Rai called ‘Healthy Choice’ that we go to sometimes.  It could fit in the corner of one of the stores we saw today.  

Driving down Sepulveda Bl. this morning, we followed a food truck.  On closer inspection we saw the words “Thai Street Food”.  Oh, it was bound to happen.  We didn’t get to see the whole menu, but from the rear of the truck I could see a few favorites.  If you live in the area and ever see the truck when it’s open for business, take a pic of the menu and send it to me.  


Our final visit was with Cousin Wendy.  She loves animals and we always exchange stories about our dogs and the animals that she rescues, fosters, and helps.  There was also the updates on family members that she hears from and the changes in the local ‘cityscape’.  Wendy has been in real estate and gives us interesting insights.  It’s always a treat to hang out with her.

In the evening, Lisa, Anna and August went out for dinner and did some exploring.  They took Lisa to a store near the house that we had never been to called the ‘Food Co-op’.  Sounds like we missed a bet not going there sooner.  Next trip I have to check it out.  

Tonight we start the departure process by heading for the airport early to allow for traffic.  Then we wait for our 
12:05am flight to Taipei.  I’ll write to you from there.

It’s going to be a Wacky Wednesday.

                     Peace,
                               Danny

“There can be no keener
revelation of a society’s soul 
than the way in which it treats
its children.”
~Nelson Mandela

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Go

Hi,

The weatherman had it right, it was cooler yesterday.  I think it's going to be cooler again today and then warm on Wednesday.  

The ‘Easy Monday’ song was identified by several readers.  Here’s the second verse to jog your memory:
“I just can’t get over losing you, and so if I seem broken and blue.  __ __ __, __ __ __.  Foolish pride, that’s all that I have left.  So let me hide the tears and the sadness you gave me when you said goodbye.  __ __ __, __ __ __, __ __ __.”  Clue:  Anyone who had a heart would walk on the other side of the street.

Our time in the States is winding down.  Monday we had our regular visit with our friend Debby, who lives in Alhambra.  She and Lisa have been friends since they were teens.  We got to see photos of her four grandkids and hear all about them.  Our conversations are always stimulating and varied.  Keeping up with long-time friends feels good.  After our visit in Alhambra, it was a short drive to Pasadena for lunch at Saladang Restaurant, where we met up with Linda of ‘Frank and Linda’.  Frank is another old friend.  Last time we were here the four of us lunched together, but Frank is in the hospital right now.  The three of us had a fun time talking about pets, and memories.  One of those memories was that Blue had introduced all of us to Saladang many years ago.  Frank, get well soon.

Renting a car can sometimes present challenges.  The car we are currently driving has a fancy sound system with a touch screen, and lots of bells and whistles.  It’s not intuitive and has left us without a radio for this adventure.  Today it was time to get some gas.  I saw a button with the symbol for gas, but pushing it didn’t work.  Finally, I pulled on the bottom of the button and the little door opened.  When we were up north we had issues with the radio tech as well.  Remember the days when you turned a knob and the radio came on, you turned another knob and the stations changed?  Wow, am I a low tech guy after all?

One of the hard parts about visiting like this is that we can’t see all of our friends.  Remember, there’s always next time.  Oh, and there’s always Thailand (555).  

Today we will complete the ritual of the mailing of the box.  This is the box of clothes that will join us in Thailand after we arrive, making space in our suitcase for vitamins and dog treats that will travel with us.  ‘Consumable’ items cannot be shipped or mailed to Thailand anymore (for the last 3 years).  Such is life.

Sometimes, when flying, I look outside and can’t believe what I’m seeing, so I take a pic to share my confusion.  I call this one ‘Cloud Mountains’. 


 Have a Happy Tuesday.

                   Peace,
                             Danny  

“It does not matter how slowly
you go as long as you do not stop.”
~Confucius

Monday, June 18, 2018

Goodness

Hi,

Every day it gets a little cooler.  That is the trend until Wednesday.  We’re finally wearing the warm clothes we brought.  Not that it’s that cold, but wearing them makes things comfortable.  I like feeling comfortable (5).

The 'Old School Friday’ song was “Papa’s Got A Brand New Bag” by James Brown.  I think this ‘Easy Monday’ tune will be in your mind for a day or so:  “If you see me walking down the street and I start to cry, each time we meet, __ __ __, __ __ __.  Make believe that you don’t see the tears, just let me grieve in private ‘cause each time I see you I break down and cry.  And __ __ __ (don’t stop), and __ __ __ (don’t stop).  Hint: Just keep steppin’. 

Saturday we had a visit from our Godson Darryl and his 4-year-old daughter Kaylani.  They live in Lompoc and we hadn’t seen her in a long time.  Needless to say, she has really grown.  

In the evening we had dinner with Irene and Donna, our recent one-day house guests.  It was great to see them again and hear about the rest of their time in Thailand.  We updated them on things around the house and they showed us photos of some the the highlights of their trip. Sunday was another lunch and dinner day.  We dined with our friend Kathie at Emerald Thai.  It had been a year since we’d seen her so there was a lot to talk about.  

Our final weekend reunion was with our friend Diane.  She and Lisa used to dance together in a company and we always have great times.  When we entered Treehouse Thai, they were surprised to see us again.  We’ve been there four times in less than two weeks.  When Lisa explained that we live in Thailand and we like the place, we got more attentive service and our server started dropping Thai words.  

In between the eating, we did some shopping for things we want to take back to Thailand.  The next step will be to pack the clothes we’ll send back, so there will be space in our suitcase for vitamins and things.  It’s a routine we’re used by now, but still poses it’s challenges.  We don’t want to send clothes back home that we might want to wear in the next two weeks.  

The last week’s Friday message did not include our adventure to the Peterson Automotive Museum with my brother Denny and his wife Sheila.  The four of us met just after it opened and covered all three floors of exhibits.  Our initial motivation was an exhibit that included Quarter Midgets, which we raced in the mid-50s in Glendale.  One of the cars was the exact car that was our first one.  It brought back lots of memories.  After being amazed at the various collections, we finally adjourned to Treehouse Thai for lunch.  It was a fun morning that I’ll remember for a long time.  

Today’s photo was taken at the Peterson Automotive Museum.  My brother Denny and I posing next to a Viking Roadster, just like the one we started with.  Ours was a ‘kit car’ that was put together in the living room.


Have a Great Week.

                     Peace,
                               Danny

“The fragrance of flowers spreads
only in the direction of the wind.  But
the goodness of a person spreads in
all directions.”
~Chanakya

Friday, June 15, 2018

Friday Funnies

Hi,

The northern California weather was a tiny bit cooler on Friday, but still sunny and warm.  We were able to experience two kinds of weather in one day.  More about that later.

The ‘Zany Day’ song was “At The Zoo” by Simon & Garfunkel.  For ‘Old School Friday’ we turn to the GodFather:
“Come here sister, Papa’s in the swing.  He ain’t too hip, about that new breed babe.  He ain’t no drag, __ __ __ __ __ __.  Come here mama, and dig this crazy scene.  He’s not too fancy, but his line is pretty clean.  He ain’t no drag, __ __ __ __ __ __.”  Hint:  It’s about dance moves and things, and of course there are horns.  Hit me band.

So, aside from travel, our Friday was spent with Joe, mostly enjoying his exhibit at Far Out Gallery.  It should be noted that the gallery is located in what is called the ‘Outer Sunset’ district of San Francisco.  That is cool in itself, but it’s near the coast and there is fog and the initials of the gallery spell FOG.  It all comes together, right?  We arrived just as the doors were opening.  FOG is a storefront and if you were driving and not paying attention, you could miss it.  Fortunately, there is a lot of foot traffic and people walk in all the time.  The show was hung with skill and care by the owner, Anne Herbst, who is also an artist.  There are 32 pieces on display, but it doesn’t feel crowded at all.  The work is a mix of recent prints and paper sculptures as well as older prints.  We are given the many sides of Joseph Zirker, from delicate monoprints, to bold cast acrylic prints, a vacuum-formed face and paper towers covered with the writings of Rumi (handwritten by Joe).   While we were there we watched passersby come in and study the exhibit.  Peter, who opened the gallery, would introduce Joe and they would gush and ask him questions from different directions.  It was fun to watch him in ‘action’.  He has a side of his personality that is playful and tongue-in-cheek and makes me smile.  

While waiting for the gallery owner, we walked down the street to a little Thai restaurant and had lunch.  Let’s just say the food was a long way from Thailand.  By the looks of the steady stream of neighborhood customers, they have seduced the locals with their secret ingredient: sugar.  There was a sweetness to everything that had them coming back for more.  After lunch we returned and met Ann.  Joe introduced Lisa and showed the poster of her exhibit in Chiang Rai.  That led Anne to interview Lisa about her new process.  It was a regular art-fest.  


In addition to the action inside the gallery, there are train tracks on the street.  There is a local set of trolleys that run up and down.  Hey, it’s San Francisco after all.  These are modern, but still streetcars.


With the help of our friend, the voice of Google Maps, we boogied around the Bay area and never really got lost.    
I can’t tell you how many highways we traveled on during that adventure.  From Palo Alto to the north west coast of San Francisco, through valleys and over hills, we saw some amazing landscapes, lots of construction and enough cool cars to last me for awhile.  We finally got back to L.A. in time for horrific airport traffic.  I’m glad I didn’t have to drive in that.  

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

                     Peace,
                               Danny


Thursday, June 14, 2018

Age

Hi,

Our first full day in Palo Alto was a busy one.  The sky was crystal clear blue, and it really felt like summer when I was a kid.  

“The monkeys stand for honesty, giraffes are insincere, and the elephants are kindly but they’re dumb.  Ourangutans are skeptical of changes in their cages and the zookeeper is very fond of rum… It’s all happening __ __ __”
Hint:  It’s by a duo who celebrated New York in many of their songs.  

The place where we are staying has a lot of pick-up trucks.  Early in the morning, one at a time, these trucks started their day by sitting, idling for a very long time.  Their rumbling exhausts keeping me from going back to sleep.  As one would leave, the silence was bliss, until another started.  When the lot was almost empty, it was time to get up.  Nosey me wishes I knew what was going on, but I’ll never know.

We picked up Joe at 8:30 and drove across town to a place called Stacks.  That’s because the specialty is pancakes.  After a big breakfast we went to the health food store.  Joe is a regular there and it’s fun to see him in his local element.  I got some healthy cookies (555).  In the past, we would have gone to the art supply store, but it’s gone.  The apparent plague that has changed many towns and cities is having an effect on Palo Alto.  Gentrification is rearing it’s ugly head.  The rents go up, long time merchants are displaced by those willing to pay the new freight.  On top of that, art supply stores are becoming a rare thing, as digital art appears to be replacing paint and brushes.  Mom and Pop art shops are being bought by chains who can survive, apparently.  

The rest of the morning was spent in Joe’s studio, looking at all the new work, revisiting some old pieces, and learning some of his methods.  He and Lisa discussed the color black and how to achieve depth.  If you just walked in, it would sound like a really crazy conversation, but black is not just black.

Lunch at Zoe’s, a tiny coffee/lunch shop near the house, is always pretty cool.  Zoe is very committed to the community, and the planet and her shop reflects that.  I got a line on paper straws and a box of the best brownies in the world, complete with no dairy or soy.  She has singers on some evenings, in the style of the 60s coffee house vibe, and does projects with school children.  It’s a perfect example of one little shop, a mother/daughter team with a little help, making a difference where they live.  We all napped after lunch.

Our final adventure was a road trip to Santa Clara and the university there.  Some of Joe’s work is on display, along with a print exhibition of Mazur and a photo exhibit of jazz artists ranging from the 30s to the 60s.  In one of the rooms there was a phonograph playing albums of some of the artists.  There were big, comfortable chairs some one could sit back and enjoy the music.  It was ‘cool’.

Tomorrow we’ll go to San Fransisco and see Joe’s current exhibition at Far Out Gallery. 

Today’s photo was taken at Santa Clara.  The tall pine tree behind the chapel is the same kind that we have by our pool.  This one is about three or four times as tall.  The way ours is growing, it’s possible. 


Have a Thrilling Thursday.

                   Peace,
                             Danny

“Age is a case of mind over matter.
If you don’t mind, it don’t matter.”
~Satchel  Paige

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Angle

Hi,

The  daytime temps in San Leandro and Palo Alto are very warm.  The evening in Palo Alto was jacket worthy, but not as cold as it has been in the past.  It’s very pleasant up here.

‘Easy Monday’ was “Sunshine of Your Love”, as many Cream fans wrote to tell me.  Love that record.  So, ‘Zany Day’ is next, and you might know this:  “Someone told me it’s all happening __ __ __.  I do believe it, I do believe it’s true.  It’s a light and tumble journey from the East Side to the park.  Just a fine and fancy ramble __ __ __.  But you can take the crosstown bus, if it’s raining or it’s cold.  And the animals will love it if you do.”  Hint:  Animals hang out there.

Our flight to San Jose was fairly routine.  We got to LAX a little earlier than needed, which meant plenty of time for coffee and people watching.  We picked a bright red Chevy Cruze for our NorCal running around and it’s a fun drive.  Lunch with the Cousins was another warm affair.  Stories, photos, a review of Lisa’s exhibition on her laptop, and talk of all the kids and dogs in our lives.  

Using Google Maps, we let Ms Google direct us in our travels in parts unknown and she does a pretty good job.  I had a conversation with a friend about how many small neighborhoods have more traffic as a result of these ‘direction programs’.  As they find the quickest routes, it means they find short-cuts and that means driving through small, quiet areas, causing them to become less serene.  Progress?  At any rate, we usually find our way around without getting lost and that’s a great relief.  

The usual motels that we use in Palo Alto are all overpriced this week, due to the Stanford graduation.  We are staying in a place a little north of what we like, and it’s a little south of ‘right’, but it will do.  

We ate dinner at Joes favorite restaurant in Palo Alto, The Trellis.  It was warm enough to eat on the roof-top patio and it was perfect.  There were six of us, which made for lots of varied conversation.  We will have breakfast with Joe this morning and spend the day with him.  

Today’s photo was taken yesterday on the roof at The Trellis.  The grapes travel all the way around the roof, and start on the ground floor, from a single plant.


Feels like a Wacky Wednesday.

                     Peace,
                               Danny

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

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Past

Hi,

It was another beautiful SoCal day.  We have been enjoying the warm days and mild nights.  I especially like the fact that it’s dry.  I’ve never been fond of wet vacations (555).

The ‘Easy Monday’ song is still waiting for a friend or two.  “I’m with you my love, the light’s shining through on you.  Yes, I’m with you my love, it’s the morning of just we two.  I’ll stay with you darling now, I’ll stay with you till my seas have dried up.  I’ve been waiting so long, to be where I’m going, In the __ __ __ __.”  Clue:  Song had a distinct bass line and guitar solo.  Clearly a love song.  

In the morning we went to Venice Beach.  It has become a part of our visits.  There is something about being at the coast, even though not on the sand, that brings a feeling that only the ocean can deliver.  There is always something new to discover when walking down the ‘boardwalk’.  Many of the same vendors have been there for years, but the characters change from season to season.  We took our time, acting like the vacationers that we are, browsing in some of the colorful shops, and being impressed by a few performers.  We had coffee at the Boardwalk Cafe, where they have adopted a ’straws by request’ policy in an effort to cut down on the number of plastic straws that are polluting the ocean and hurting sea creatures.  At the beach, and all over town, the electric scooter thing is quite a phenomenon.  The system of riding something and just leaving it when you’re done is still a little puzzling, but it seems to be working.  

Today’s photo was taken at Venice Beach.  The tiny lobby entrance must have been quite an attraction many years ago.


In the evening we went for Japanese food with C-Bass and August.  Unlike me, the boys can eat anything, so C-Bass and I shared two plates that allowed us to trade some of the food so I could get what I needed.  Then we cruised the grocery store.  We also went on a little stroll down memory lane, so many things that we all remembered.

We’re on our way to LAX for our flight to San Jose.  From there we will drive north to San Leandro for lunch with the Cousins.  We’ll have dinner with Joe in Palo Alto and finally crash in Mountain View.  This trip, we’re staying an extra day so we can do more things with Joe.  Thursday we will all go to San Fransisco to see his current exhibition at the Far Out Gallery  http://www.faroutgallery.com/exhibitions-2017/.  

Have a Happy Tuesday.

                        Peace,
                                  Danny

“The past is a place of reference,
not a place of residence.”
~Unknown

Monday, June 11, 2018

Aim

Hi,

The weekend weather in Southern California was beautiful.  This time we packed the right clothes.  Meanwhile, back at the ranch, rain has been forecast for Chiang Rai all week.  Nice to be here.

The ‘Old School Friday’ tune was “Not Fade Away” by Buddy Holly.  It was later a hit by the Rolling Stones.  ‘Easy Monday’ may be familiar, it’s from the 60s English invasion.  “It’s getting near dawn, when lights close their tired eyes.  I’ll soon be with you my love, to give you my dawn surprise.  I’ll be with you darling soon, I’ll be with you when the stars start falling.  I’ve been waiting so long, to be where I’m going, in the __ __ __ __.”  Hint:  It’s by the first ‘Power Trio’ named for something that rises to the top.  The sun is involved.

The presence of Mr. Lag has not kept us from doing what we do on these visits.  Saturday there was a lunch date, a celebration dinner for August with his parents, an aunt and a cousin, a trip to the mall, and a Valley Cousins dinner.  Now, in between all of that there were several mandatory naps and some staring into space.  The graduation dinner was fun, eating at a place we’d never been to in downtown Culver City.  After Mexican food, we went back to the house for chocolate cake and lots of photos.  We tripped down memory lane with Jeff and Anna, recalling the days when we used to be ‘roadies’ for Mr. August and his DJ gear.  In the fall he’ll be going to the University of Hartford, studying Audio Engineering.  

One cool thing about all this new phone technology is the ability to make video calls.  We have been able to talk to Natcha and Cat on a regular basis.  Saturday night we talked to Cat while she was spending the night with Daku.  When he heard Lisa’s voice he got up and came over to the sound, and saw her face.  His tail started wagging and he started pawing the air.  Needless to say, we’re missing each other.  

Here is Mr. Daku making one of his stylish catches.


Sunday I went to a favorite meeting and then we went to the mall.  Culture shock at it’s finest.  Lunch and a little shopping and it was time for ’The nap’.  In the evening we had dinner with Cousin Martha and two of her daughters, Sophia and Emmaline.  Catching up each visit keeps us in touch and a part of their lives.  Staying connected seems like an easy thing to do, but it takes effort, even with all the communication tech at our disposal.

Tomorrow morning we fly up to Northern California to have lunch with the Oakland Cousins and spend a few days with Joe.  

Have a Great Week.

                        Peace,
                                  Danny

“The aim of education is the
knowledge, not of facts, but
of values.”
~William S. Burroughs

Friday, June 8, 2018

Friday Funnies

Hi,

The local, Culver City weather is very mild.  It’s called June Gloom because it’s cloudy, but the sun manages to beam down through the clouds and it doesn’t feel gloomy at all.  

The ‘Zany Day’ song was “Express Yourself” by Charles Wright & The Watts 103rd St. Rhythm Band.  Now it’s time for another dose of oldness with the ‘Old School Friday’ song.  “I’m gonna tell you how it’s gonna be, you’re gonna give your love to me.  I’m gonna love you night and day.  Well love is love and __ __ __, love is love and __ __ __.”
Hint: A hit with it’s writer in the early days of Rock-a-Billy.  Many covers of this declaration of love.

Day One of this adventure and Mr. Lag (Jet Lag) has us in his grips.  We took care of the basics before going to the house.  After landing we got the rental car, breakfast, money, and phone contracts.  Not long after the mid-day mark, there was this intense need to place the head on a pillow.  When we woke up, it felt like some kind of weighted dream world.  The travel was pretty heavy, time wise, a total of 28 hours from door-to-door.  It seemed longer.

We did manage to get out of the house and get some supplies.  We have to get in a good night’s sleep and a power nap tomorrow if we are to survive August’s graduation ceremony.  It would be embarrassing to have the chin drop at the wrong moment.  August came over and hung with us for awhile.  We talked about the college he’s going to in the fall and what life might be like.  

Changes in the cityscape are both subtle and obvious.  Vacant corners are filled, and once bustling corners are empty.  As we cruise around town I’m sure more will be revealed and surprises will greet us.  Changing continents definitely has an effect on one’s view of the bigger picture.

Today’s photo was taken outside the EVA Lounge in Taipei.  


Have a Wonderful WeekEnd.    On to the ‘Funnies’.    Don’t forget, Formula One is in Canada this weekend, and the French Open Tennis Tournament has it’s finals in Paris.  

                  Peace,
                            Danny



Thursday, June 7, 2018

Inside

Hi,

We finally landed at LAX.   Even with a 1 hour delay in our departure, we got to L.A. very close to the scheduled time.  I think we surfed the Jet Stream that moves from west to east over the Pacific Ocean.  

This week’s ‘Zany Day’ song is a sparse, funk tune that encourages us to say and do what we feel, and do it good.
“Some people have everything, and other people don’t.  But everything don’t mean a thing if it ain’t the thing you want. __ __!  __ __ !   Hint:  

Here are our numbers while we’re in Los Angeles:  Danny’s phone = 1-424-341-9044    Lisa’s phone = 1-424-298-1119

On this trip we did something that was suggested by our friend Eiko.  We’ve done it once and it worked so this trip we got a box of chocolates and gave them to the cabin crew before take off.  Our service was extra attentive and most of them came by to thank us.  

The flight from Taipei was on one of EVA Airlines ‘Hello Kitty’ planes.  It wasn’t just decorated on the outside, we had napkins, cutlery, and treats all with the image of Kitty or one of her friends.  Even the cabin crew’s aprons had the words and logo on them.

Landing in the fairly early morning meant we didn’t have to wait at all during the immigration process.  That was very unusual.  

Today’s photos are a contrast in skies.  The first was taken as we left Taipei.  The second was on our arrival to the Los Angeles skies.  It looked like a North Pole landscape.



Have a Thrilling Thursday.

                  Peace,
 
                          Danny

“Happiness is your nature.
it is not wrong to desire it.
What is wrong is seeking it
outside when it is inside.”
~Sri Ramana Maharshi

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Yourself

Hi,

Sitting here in Bangkok, it’s dark outside, but the puddles on the ground when we landed tell me that it rained.  It looked like it might rain in Chiang Rai but we got away before it hit.  

The ‘Easy Monday’ song was “Summer Breeze” by Seals & Croft.  Now it’s time to get a little crazy with the ‘Zany Day’ song.  “__ __!  __ __!  You don’t ever need help from nobody else.  All you gotta do now: __ __!  Whatever you do, do it good.  Whatever you do, do it good.  All right… It’s not what you look like when you doin’ that you’re doin’.
It’s what you’re doin’ when you’re doin’ what you look like you’re doin’.  __ __!  __ __!”  Hint:  It’s urging you to do your thing.  Part of the band name is a street in Los Angeles.

The airport is the busiest we’ve every seen it.  The main aisles were packed with tour groups taking photos, families trying to stay together, and of course, travelers trying to just leave.  I still get a kick out of trying to guess their ‘story’.

This morning we went to The Wanderer, where we had coffee and Cat met us for a snack.  Since she’s made the trip to America twice, she was relating to a lot of our preparation, etc.  We said our goodbyes and we went home for the final packing.  I believe that all the little trips we've taken in the last 6 months have helped us to fine tune the art of getting it together.  Less clothes, less shoes, more socks, and the check list of things we don’t want to forget.  

Natcha and Gong took us to the airport and in the course of traveling, we learned that a new Big C is being built at the intersection of the Super Highway and Airport road.  It means it will be a much closer drive.  

Back in BKK, we got a half hour foot massage before checking in for our flight.  We had time to spend before we could get our tickets and what better way than to relax in a dimly lit room, being attended to (555).

We leave at 1:45am.  It will be a bit surreal when we land in Taipei.  The airport will be open for flights, but most of the shops will be closed.  It will be like a ghost town.  Our arrival at LAX at 7 something in the morning will be quite a contrast.  

Today’s photo was taken back in 2015, and is part of the mystique of Thailand.


It’s definitely a Wacky Wednesday.

                    Peace,
                              Danny

“Be there for others,
but never leave yourself behind."
~Dodinsky

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Kindness

Hi,

Last night we learned that the big afternoon rain we had at our house, never showed up downtown.  Today an afternoon storm caught us downtown.  This time it arrived in our neighborhood a little later.

The ‘Easy Monday’ song is from 1971.  It has been covered by tons of artists from many different genres.  Here’s the second verse:  “See the paper layin’ in the sidewalk, a little music from the house next door.  So I walked up to the doorstep, through the screen and across the floor.  __ __, makes me feel fine, blowing through the jasmine in my mind.  __ __, makes me feel fine, blowin’ through the jasmine in my mind.”  Clue:  The subject of this song begins on June 21.  

The van left the station early this morning, heading for Wat Rong Khun.  On the way, we stopped at 2 7-11s but they were out of the little pocket morphs.  We got to the temple complex before the crowds, which made it easier to spend time at various points of interest.  Ajarn Chalermchai, the creator of Wat Rong Khun, was hanging out in front of a coffee shop and Ariel and Max got to meet him.  

This silly photo was taken at Wat Rong Khun.  


We had a fun lunch at Chivit Tamma Da.  Max had us cracking up when he got his drink.  It was a chocolate drink with a scoop of ice-cream and candy sprinkles around the rim.  He just sat there and stared at it for a long time.  Then he got started.  


To finish our little tour, we drove a few minutes north of our house to the giant Kuan Yin statue.  It boggles the mind, not only because it’s so large, but because you can go inside and view the landscape from the middle of her forehead.  We were fortunate to be able to ride up to the entrance in the ‘Hello Kitty’ tram, rather than the uphill walk.  The photo below, taken by Ariel, will give you an idea of how big Kuan Yin is, and the cute tram.


Tomorrow we fly to Bangkok in the late afternoon, sit around in the airport and then depart for the States a little after midnight.  I’ll be writing you from the airport.  I think the timing will work out that you might get the next message some time on the 7th.  See, we haven’t left yet and I’m already confused (555).  

Have a Happy Tuesday.

                      Peace,
                                Danny

“How wonderful it would be if people 
did all they could for one another without
anything in return.  One should never remember
 kindness done, and never forget a kindness received."
~Kentetsu Takamori

Monday, June 4, 2018

Miss

Hi,

The Chiang Rai sky was a combination of blue and cloudy.  We’re getting rain every day now.  Usually an afternoon downpour and a late night rain.  The yards are draining and we’ve managed to stay dry.  

The ‘Old School Friday’ song was “Earth Angel” by The Penguins.  This ‘Easy Monday’ song should be familiar:
“See the curtains hangin’ in the window, in the evenin’ on Friday night.  A little light a-shinin’ through the window lets me know everything is alright.  __ __ makes me feel fine, blowing through the jasmine in my mind.  __ __ makes me feel fine, blowing through the jasmine in my mind.  Hint:  It’s by two guys and a gentle weather condition.

Saturday morning Gong, Natcha and Neechanon packed up the truck and drove up to Mae Sai to visit family and friends.  We got to babysit Chopper again.  Their plan was to leave Neechanon with her grandparents for a few days.  They returned today, and Neechanon is in Mae Sai with her grandparents, and probably being spoiled as only they can do.  

Last week I learned about a doctor in Mae Chan, 40 minutes north of us, who can help with back pain.  Considering the long plane ride coming up, and remembering how it felt last time, I decided to contact him.  Sunday morning we drove up to Mae Chan.  Dr. Mark aka Dr. Happy, is a young Thai doctor with very good English and a good ear for listening. It was the first time I have had someone explain the whole issue with my compressed disc and the accompanying pain.  He gave me eight injections at acupuncture points in my lower back and sent me home with a small supply of things to take for a week or so.  There was immediate relief.  This morning when I got out of bed, there was no pain.  I’m feeling very hopeful, but I still have to be careful.  As Dr. Happy said, it feels good and you want to do things.  

Sunday afternoon our house guests arrived.  Ariel and her son Max came to spend a few days with us.  She is a good friend of Joe’s and is an accomplished writer and teacher.  We’ve been showing them some of the cool stuff around town, and having some good conversations.  Max discovered some little transformer gadgets that look like a number, but turn into vehicles.  There a set of ten and he had five.  They’re only on sale at 7-11 so we started our search last night.  This evening, after watching the Clocktower show, he got another number, one he didn’t have.  With four more to go, the odds get tricky, but he’s happy with the ones he has.  Tomorrow is their last day here and it will be a full one.  They are going to Chiang Mai by bus, spend a night at the elephant sanctuary, and then Bangkok and home.  

Today’s photo happened when Neechanon was ‘testing’ all the colored pencils in the box.  She would hold each one up, Lisa would say the color, and then Neechanon would draw on the paper.  The cute never stops.


Have a Great week.

                    Peace,
                              Danny

“You miss 100% of the shots
you don’t take.”
~Wayne Gretzky

Friday, June 1, 2018

Friday Funnies

Hi,

The sky in Chiang Rai looked like it could rain at any moment, but it never did.  We had some afternoon thunder that was impressive, and a tiny sprinkle that dried as soon as it hit the hot ground.  Yep, it’s the hot and rainy season.

The ‘Zany Day’ song was “Takin’ Care of Business” by Bachman-Turner-Overdrive.  We used to dance to that at an alternative disco (Bahama Mamas) in Mar Vista, CA back in the 70s.  Those were the days.  This ‘Old School Friday’ song comes complete with the intro, just to get you in the mood:  (Oh-oh-oh-oh, Wah-ah-ah, Oh-oh-oh-oh) __ __, __ __ will you be mine.  My darling dear love you all the time.  I’m just a fool, a fool in love with you…”  Hint:  It’s an oldie from 1954 that is probably on every compilation album of old records.  The group was named after a tuxedo wearin’ bird.

Right now I can hear Chopper yelping from his enclosure.  That means that the little family has either gone out or they’re eating on the patio.  Otherwise ‘Little Dog’, as we call him, is usually running around the yard or sleeping under something.  In fact, whenever we leave in the van, we have to look underneath just to make sure he’s not there.  His behavior may be getting better.  When we take both dogs out in the morning, Chopper wears a muzzle, which he hates, but that’s kinda the point.  It protects Daku, and us, from the tiny little pointy teeth, and when it comes off, he knows it’s because he didn’t bite.  Chopper is really sweet when he first wakes up, if he’s not hungry.  

We have learned to be forgiving when it comes to Google translations, especially on Facebook posts.  I don’t visit social media as much as Lisa these days, but we both get a kick out of, or are often baffled by what the translations present.  The latest language mystery is the use of the word ‘Cuddle’ in the middle of an English translation of a Thai phrase.  Lisa sent Cat a copy of a Thai post with its English from Google, including the word Cuddle.  Cat concluded that Google didn’t know how to translate the word or phrase and defaulted to Cuddle.  Now we can stop trying to make sense of it.  What makes this even more interesting is that Cat didn’t know what Cuddle meant anyway.  

It really is time to begin the clothing contemplation.  The local highs range from the high 80s to the low 90s.  The Culver City forecast is for a daytime range of high 70s to the low 80s.  It will be the night temps that will be the challenge.  Some of our Chiang Rai night time temps are like Culver City daytime.  Oh well, take a jacket and act like it’s winter (555).  I’m sure I’ll see plenty of people wearing something on their sleeves at night.  It’s the old story of bodies adjusting.  Two weeks won’t be so bad.  Joe told us they had a heat wave in Palo Alto, so maybe we’ll feel at home. 

Today’s photo is Chiang Rai from 25 floors up in a statue by a temple.  The city is way off in the distance.   


Have a Wonderful WeekEnd.

                           Peace,
                                     Danny