Friday, June 29, 2018

Friday Funnies


If the weather people were looking out the window today, the forecast would have been for rain.  I would have agreed.  Just as the black sky moved in and the breeze started blowing, the whole thing fell apart and we got no rain.  Funny how stuff works sometimes.

The ‘Zany Day’ song that nobody knew was “Cars” by Gary Numan,wn  Time for an ‘Old School Friday’ that everybody should know:  “Set me free, why don’t you baby.  Get out my life, why don’t you babe.  ‘Cause you really don’t love me, you just __ __ __ __.  You don’t really need me, but you __ __ __ __….and there ain’t nothin’ I can do about it.”  Hint:  It goes back a long way.  It was sung by a trio from the motor city who ruled the airways in the late 60s.

Today we felt the workout from yesterday.  That’s the way it goes.  I may have to cut back my enthusiasm a little bit, but I’m definitely ready for more gym time.  This morning we drove up to Ban Du and had coffee at Shong Cafe.  From there we went to Makro and got some supplies.  As we drove past the big intersection with Airport Rd., we saw the progress on the new Big C.  Building something as big as a food market/department store, food court, etc. will take some time.  We also went to the Healthy Market.  It was nice to see some friends there and Lisa got a big greeting from ‘The Fruit Lady’.  

Last night, on our final downstairs ‘run’, we encountered Neechanon.  She had been at her aunt’s house for the evening and was full of energy.  She’d had some ‘treats’ and was on a sugar high that told her it was time to play.  She involved us by giving us things from her kitchen toy box.  I was the primary recipient and ended up trying to juggle a scoop, a ball, and about five plastic blocks.  As it was winding down, she’d look at me and say ‘goodbye’ and then turn to Lisa and say, ‘Hello’.  We’d all crack up and she’d grab something else to play with.  Daku was lying in the middle of the kitchen, smiling and letting her place things in front of him.  She knows how to work an audience.

Have a Wonderful WeekEnd.     The ‘Funnies’ are coming.  This weekend there it tennis and Formula 1.  Oh boy.


Thursday, June 28, 2018



The weather continues to be a combination of rain and cloudy skies, with moments of intense sunshine.  Oh, and it’s hot.

Apologies to those of you who are confused and puzzled by this song.  I guess it wasn’t as popular as I thought.
“Here in my __ where the image breaks down, will you visit me please, if I open the door in __.  Here in my __ I know I’ve started to think about leaving tonight although nothing seems right in __.”  Clue:  He’s singing about life in a box that is also a conveyance.  

This morning it was still raining when it was time to take Daku out for his exercise.  In a bold move, we decided to go to the new gym and do a light workout.  The early crowd was just finishing, and after a few minutes, the place was almost empty.  It felt good to do something physical.  We’ll be in town for 3 weeks before our next out-of-town adventure so there’s time to get into a gym rhythm.  

After our workout we went to a tiny coffee place on the way home.  We were close to Chivit Tamma Da, but I thought we were not dressed properly.  It turns out we weren’t dressed properly for the tiny, concrete shop either.  It appears to be a meeting place for young entrepreneurials working without an office.  This morning there was a presentation of purses on the terrace, a face-to-face between a very sharply dressed couple, and a mini-motorbike presentation near the lawn.  There we sat, just from the gym, which may have qualified us, but still, I was in a tank top that I got in Bangkok in 2001.  Not so chic at all.  Lisa had the foresight to bring a pretty top.  Next time I’ll be ready (555).  

This afternoon Lisa got a message from Khun Nine, the gallery owner where her exhibit is being shown.  The message contained a photo from the ‘in flight’ magazine on Nok Air, featuring a photo of one of Lisa’s pieces and a little promo about the exhibit.  That was a nice surprise.  This Saturday we’re meeting one of her fans at the gallery to see the exhibit with ‘the artist’.  He wrote a glowing review of her work right before the show opened and it will be a treat to see first hand reactions.  Saturday is also the last day of the exhibit.  

Today’s photo is from the other side of The Big Brown House.  The back yard from the upstairs balcony, in all its rainy season glory.

Have a Thrilling Thursday.


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

Wednesday, June 27, 2018



We woke up again today to the sound of light rain.  It was an off and on day for the water from the sky.  The forecast was rain with a high of 79 degrees, but right now it’s night time and it’s 80.  They don’t know because they’re not here.  Anyway, it will continue to rain, with occasion thunder showers.

The ‘Easy Monday’ song was “Fixing A Hole” by The Beatles.  Congrats to everybody that wrote in with the answer.  And now, the ‘Zany Day’ song:  “Here in my __ I feel safest of all, I can lock all my doors, it’s the only way to live in __.  Here in my __ I can only receive, I can listen to you, it keeps me stable for days in __.”  Hint:  A 1980 hit based around life in a mobile device.

One nice thing about all the rain is the green landscape that surrounds us.  Not far from us there is some ‘unattended’ land that now looks like a mini-jungle.  I always hope that they don’t cut it down.  Usually, they don’t and it just fades in the hot season.  Right now things are growing fast from so much rain.  In honor of all the greening, today’s photo is part of our front yard.

This morning we finally got our TV working again.  Actually,it was the dish that needed repair.  It’s been down for at least a month and it was time.  Now we can keep up with tennis (Wimbledon is coming) and Formula One, we need to stay in touch.  Sometimes we look at news, but try to avoid it on TV except in major events.  

We went to Work@Home for coffee and had a brief, parking lot chat with Katai.  It’s interesting to see the patterns in people's lives.  We have an irregular coffee circuit that we like to travel.  There are two expats who go to Work@Home every morning and have their lattes and conversation.  Some might say that these patterns are just routines and indicate a boring lifestyle.  I have found that it’s nice to go somewhere and experience warmth and familiarity, so there!

I guess we’re feeling a bit better because we ventured off to Home Pro and picked up light bulbs and other needed stuff.  By the main door there was a young woman who said she was from Bangkok.  She had a table full of gifts one could get, depending on the size of a donation.  The organization is collecting money to feed elephants and protect natural habitats.  We supported them on our way out.  Now that more is known about the plight of the elephants, more organizations and sanctuaries are being established.  Cool.

Cat came by this evening and we got to see some of the photos she has taken for her photography class.  The class is four days this week, all day and they are using their phones.  Based on the pics we saw and her explanation, she’s learning a lot.  It’s a great experience.  After she left, the nightly storm arrived.  We hope she doesn’t get too wet on her way home.

It feels like a Wacky Wednesday.


“Imagination… it’s limits are only those of 
the mind itself.”
~Rod Serling

Tuesday, June 26, 2018



The rain that showed up last night never left.  When we woke up, there was a steady light rain that persisted off and on all day.  Bangkok has flooding.

So, nobody got the song other than Lisa, who gets almost all of them.  I’m going to skip down to the last verse.  Standby for the hint.  “I’m taking the time for a number of things that weren’t important yesterday, and still I go.  Ooh ooh ooh ah ah.  I’m __ __ __ where the rain gets in and stops my mind from wandering where it will go, oh.  Where it will go, oh.”  Hint:  When you repair something what are you doing?  Where does a golfer try to put the ball?

We stayed behind the walls today.  The mind wanted to go for coffee and do something, but the body said, “Stay where you are”.  It was one of those ‘blah’ days and typically comes after the long trip across the water.  I think we’ll be fine in a couple of days. 

During our plane travel we heard many announcements by people whose first language was not English.  As a result, a few things were either learned wrong, or never corrected.  ‘We are now randing at…’, and it took me a few to figure out that she meant ‘landing’.  There were times when words were left out, and times when the sounds made it clear that English was a low priority in the training.  I find this all interesting because so many passengers are English speaking and all of the Captains spoke with very clear English.  I’m done (555).

This afternoon we spent some time with Neechanon after dinner.  She is a little more assertive in her mischief making since her return.  There were a few times when the look in her eye was ‘I’m about to do this and you should try and stop me’.  At one point, she decided she wanted to go swimming.  She made a move for the pool, and finally took my hand so she could feel the water.  I thought it was to put a foot in, but when she tried to swing the other foot into the pool, I stopped her.  She then headed for the room where we keep all the pool toys and tried to open the door.  I opened it, and that may have been a mistake.  She started pulling out all the toys she likes, and was seriously planning a swim.  There I was, trying to reason with a 2 year old with arms full of toys, and fend off Chopper, who was eyeing the inflatable dolphin.  I finally called Lisa and she came to the rescue.  The pool was not forgotten and Neechanon had a little meltdown that only a mom can soothe.  

Ready to hit the pool.

Have a Happy Tuesday.


“Don’t let other people 
tell you who you are.”

Monday, June 25, 2018



All weekend there were forecasts calling for rain.  Today, at 5pm, it finally came.  It was a steady, medium-strength downpour that will keep the lawns green and provide lots of puddles for Chopper and Daku.

The ‘Old School Friday’ song was “For Your Love” by Ed Townsend.,wn  The ‘Easy Monday’ song should hopefully be familiar.  “I’m __ __ __ where the rain gets in, and stops my mind from wandering where it will go.  I’m filling the cracks that ran through the door and kept my mind from wandering where it will go…”  Hint:  It’s those pesky lads from across the pond, again.  It was recorded in 1967.  The title has a weather related theme.  It’s about home improvement.  Enough? (555)

Somewhere in the course of our travels, we got exposed to a bug that decided that it could take advantage of our ‘lag weakened’ bodies."  Its symptoms are a sore throat and lethargy.  All the trappings of the work of Mr. Lag, with the throat things for an extra bonus.  Consequently, we’re feeling very tired and sometimes guilty for not doing anything.  That’s the part that keeps one pushing and makes it last longer.  I say, surrender, let it heal and move on. Of course, Daku knows nothing of this and wants to go out and cruise the yard at the usual times.  Hmm.

Natcha and Gong went to Mae Sai for the weekend, to get Neechanon.  We haven’t seen her in about a month.  While they were gone, we let Chopper come upstairs and hang out with us.  Having that contact seems to make him calmer when we’re outside.  There is still the biting issue, but it’s getting better.  

Sunday afternoon Cat came over and we hung out, and then went to the Night Bazaar for dinner.  We had just enough energy to pull off a ‘road trip’ to downtown.  Today’s photo was taken at the entrance to the Night Bazaar.  This young man is there every night, playing his instruments (3) to pre-recorded tracks.  His system has become more sophisticated over the years.  He is blind, and has a Tuk-Tuk driver that brings him to town and helps him set up his gear.  

This morning Big C took most of our strength, but we did it.  This afternoon the little family returned and we got to see Neechanon.  She was so cute when she came inside.  It was clear that she was excited to see us.  I left the kitchen to go upstairs and she wanted to go with me.  She hadn’t been upstairs for a long time and had to make sure everything was still there.  There was also a little playful teasing on her part, trying to pick up everything in sight, waiting for me to say something.  Things are getting back to normal for everyone.  

Have a Great Week.


“Rain is grace; rain is the sky
descending to the earth; without rain,
there would be no life.”
~John Updike

Friday, June 22, 2018

Friday Funnies


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



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.


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

Wednesday, June 20, 2018



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.


“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



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.


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

Monday, June 18, 2018



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.


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

Friday, June 15, 2018

Friday Funnies


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’.


Thursday, June 14, 2018



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.


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

Wednesday, June 13, 2018



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.


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

Tuesday, June 12, 2018



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  

Have a Happy Tuesday.


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

Monday, June 11, 2018



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.


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

Friday, June 8, 2018

Friday Funnies


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.  


Thursday, June 7, 2018



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.


“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



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.


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