Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Spark


Hi,

This day was what one might call ‘picture perfect’.  A little less humidity might have made it perfect, but it didn’t rain and that was important today.  

The ‘Easy Monday’ song this week was “Sailing” by Christopher Cross.  That leaves us looking at another ‘Zany Day’.
“__ __ __ __ you worry me to death.  __ __ __ __ you even worry my pet.  You just __, __ __ __.”  Hint:  Ode to a ‘Chatty Cathy’, someone with excessive conversation.   The year was 1960.  

The big adventure today started at the flower market.  We needed something special to take to Rae Maefarluang for the tribute to The Princess Mother.  Lisa chose a beautiful purple orchid plant.  On our way to the park we encountered heavy traffic.  We’re not sure if some of it was going to the same place, but there were police at each intersection, directing traffic.  Inside the park we quickly realized that this was a much bigger event than we imagined.  We made our way to one of the central areas and left the orchid on a table.  Then Lisa and Ajarn Nakorn (our host) saw each other and he invited us into a tent with chairs, where the ceremony was to take place.  It was nice to be out of the sun and sitting down.  At 9am the monks began chanting.  There were several rounds of prayers and chants, and gifts were given to them.  

When we left the tent, it became clear that there were thousands of people at this tribute.  There were numerous Hill Tribes in traditional outfits, school children in dress uniforms, villages and businesses as well as individuals from all walks of life.  I counted at least 6 dance troupes, and there was a traditional orchestra made up of high school kids, providing a background for festivities.  Each ‘unit’ stood in line and made their way to the area where the flowers were placed on a table.  I’m guessing that when the table would fill up, the flowers were taken to the main display area.  We lasted a little over an hour and then it was time to go.  We are very grateful to Ajarn Nakorn for inviting us to this epic event.  More pics tomorrow.




For a little over 2 years we have been saying/spelling the name of the ‘baby’ wrong.  Natcha asked Lisa to help her write it in Western letters, we think for school, and that’s when we discovered that the sound they are saying is not what we heard (not unusual).  So, her name is ‘Nitchanan’.  It’s very subtle, but when Natcha saw it and sounded it out, she knew that was how it should be spelled.  Her face lit up as she held the piece of paper.  It was that moment when her little girls name could be ‘seen’ in English and she was beaming.  

Looks like a Wacky Wednesday.

                   Peace,
                             Danny

“You’re only given a little spark
of madness. You mustn’t lose it.
~Robin Williams

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Fear

Hi,

Our weather was mostly cloudy and hot, and this afternoon we actually got a ‘small rain’.  It wasn’t very hard and it didn’t last long, but things got watered.  As soon as it stopped, someone started burning something.  We’re hoping it will rain overnight.

The ‘Easy Monday’ song was quickly recognized by a few of you.  Here’s a little more to stimulate your memory:
“It’s not far to never-never land, no reason to pretend.  And if the wind is right you can find the joy of innocence again.  Oh, the canvas can do miracles, just you wait and see.  Believe me.  __ takes me away to where I’ve always heard it could be.  Just a dream and the wind to carry me, and soon I will be free.”  Clue: Wind power is involved.

This morning our intention was to go to Big C, and then stop by the mall for coffee.  When we got to the mall there was a line of traffic at the entrance to the lot.  In the distance I could see some kind of activity in the open area in front of Starbuck’s, which was our destination.  Sadly, we never got there.  We sat for 20 minutes, and when they opened the mall ten minutes early, I knew something was wrong.  They still hadn’t opened the parking lots or allowed for a full flow of traffic.  The management of the parking lots has been a thorn in my side.  I’ve ranted about it before so I’ll spare you another verse.  I’ll have to ask a Thai friend if they know what happened today.  Curious in Chiang Rai (555).

Natcha and Gong went to check out a pre-school for Neechanon and found a place they really liked.  Yesterday morning Neechanon was in the yard with Natcha.  She gave us her usual greetings and then she took Lisa’s hand and led her to the edge of the carport and had her sit down.  Then she motioned for Natcha to come and sit beside her as well.  She had a very specific thought about the three of them hanging out together and it worked.  

Today we have more photos from the ArtBridge mural.  The basic design was created as a collage using photos of various stages of the saga.  Then each photo was assigned to the ‘wall’ and sketched in larger scale, followed by the artists actually painting.  



Tomorrow morning we’re going to a special Flower Ceremony in honor of The Princess Mother, the late mother of the late King.  It will be held at Rai Maefarluang, the big botanical park dedicated to the teak trees.  

Have a Happy Tuesday.

                Peace,
                          Danny

“The enemy is fear.
We think it is hate, but it is fear.”
~Gandhi

Monday, July 16, 2018

Wet

Hi,

The forecasters had it wrong this weekend.  We never got any real rain.  A few showers and hot temps were what we got.  This is now being a rather slow rainy season.  The abundance of green around the countryside, gives the impression that it’s been storming quite a bit.

The ‘Old School Friday’ song was “The Glory of Love” by The Velvetones https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f-prFT-eLxY  Now it’s time for another ‘Eazy Monday’ tune:  “Well, it’s not far down from paradise, at least it’s not for me. And if the wind is right we can sail away, and find tranquility.  Oh, the canvas can do miracles, just you wait and see, believe me.  __ takes me away to where I’ve always heard it could be.  Just a dream and the wind to carry me, and soon I will be free.”  Hint:  This 1980 song has a one-word title and it relates to a boat.  

Mr. Chopper is still with us.  We thought he was going to stay in Mae Sai with Gong's family, but that plan was not practical.  This morning he and Daku were standing side by side briefly and Chopper is almost as tall as Daku.  The bigger he gets, the harder it will be to deal with some of the things he does.  For now, there is a routine that we’ve adopted that seems to be working.

Saturday morning we went to Central Plaza Mall.  We had coffee and went to the big stationary/art supply store.  We have been noticing a resurgence of ‘Yellow shirts’, once a symbol of a political movement.  There were also ‘Red shirts’ and after reaching a peak, both parties were told to back off.  I am curious as to what has stimulated this new popularity in the Yellow.  At the mall there were vendors selling them, and lots of people wearing them.  It may just be about maintaining the memory of the late King, Rama 9.  More will be revealed.

There is still a lot of activity surrounding the cave rescue.  The initial talk about fast-tracking the stateless boys to citizenship was set aside.  The feeling is that they should go through what everyone else goes through, without special favors.  Their lives should return to normal as quickly as possible.  It was also mentioned that they were just victims of nature and not heroes.  For many, it’s an incredibly sensitive cultural issue that has deep roots.  

Today we went to ArtBridge to deliver the three works that Lisa will have in the exhibition in Nan, which opens next weekend.  We were aware of the big mural that is being painted in honor of the football team, their rescuers and Khun Saman, the Navy Seal who lost his life during the ordeal.  This morning there was a lot of activity surrounding the mural, and people are stopping to take photos of the work in progress.  Lisa did a little painting this morning and went back in the afternoon for several hours.  In related news, the ‘Mu Pa’ boys, as they’re being called, were very sad when the heard that Saman had passed.  They are being monitored by psychologists as well as doctors.  

Today’s photos were taken at ArtBridge.  Here we see Lisa working on details with a tiny brush.  Tomorrow, a wider view of the mural.



Have a Great Week.

                    Peace,
                              Danny  

“Some people walk in the rain,
others just get wet.”
~Roger Miller

Friday, July 13, 2018

Friday Funnies

Hi,

The weather today was great.  Without the heavy clouds, the humidity was lower.  Just another hot, sunny day in paradise.  

The ‘Zany Day’ song was “Car Wash” by Rose Royce.  This week’s ‘Old School Friday’ has been on my mind for a few days.  It brings back many memories of Blue and how we used to sing along in the van and laugh during the ‘talking part’.  “You’ve got to give a little, take a little, and let your poor heart break a little.  That’s the story of, that's __ __ __ __.  (spoken)  I hold in my hand dear, three letters.  Three letters from the stage of your fine, fine, super-fine career.  The first began, “Eddie, darling, sweetheart, my wonderful one…. The third became the joker of the deck, you ended your letter enclosed, ‘please sign my check’.  Why you fool!  You poor, sad, worthless….”  Hint:  This recording was made in 1957.  The song was written in 1936 and is considered a standard.  The group is named for a very soft material.

Yesterday I mentioned the probability of there being a wider discussion on the plight of ‘stateless’ people.  Today in The Nation, a Thai English language newspaper, there was a big article on the topic.  There are already moves being made to get the three boys who are stateless, the proper papers and make them Thai citizens.  It’s not easy for most people, it usually takes 10 or more years.  http://www.nationmultimedia.com/detail/national/30349971

It turns out that as soon as the last divers were exiting the caves, the pump that was keeping the passages open failed and water began pouring into the area. They barely made it out. 

This morning we went back to Sound/Brown Coffee.  The coffee is still good and the tunes were also cool.  They have opened a ‘Hostel’ on the property with a ‘Room for Rent' sign in front.  Hostels are big with young backpackers and travelers on very tight budgets.  You get a small room and a shower down the hall.  Hmm.

After our coffee we went to a place on the Super Highway that I will call the ‘Anything that has wires, plugs in, or uses a remote’ store.'  When approaching the entrance, there are rolls of colored wire on big spools.  Inside, it’s very dimly lit, almost sinister, and there is a long counter on the left.  Several women behind the counter seem to know everything that is crammed into this maze of wire, lights, and gadgets.  We needed a new remote for our floor fan.  The woman checked the brand, disappeared into the darkness for a few minutes, and returned with a small remote.  It was different than what we brought, but she assured us that it would work with our fan.  Sure enough, it works just fine.  The place is fascinating and we imagined being able to go in there and just ‘explore’.

We got to see Neechanon this morning, just before she went to her aunts for the day.  She is getting better in her hearing and repeating of words.  She really listens and this is important at her age.  In the early years, if all one hears is the ‘first’ language, then sounds from other languages are more difficult to hear and pronounce.  Hearing English words at 2+ years will give her an advantage later.  

To the west of us, there is new construction happening.  We’ve been hearing the sound of nail guns and hammers, so today I looked over the wall and there it was.  Don’t know what it will be yet.


Have a Wonderful WeekEnd.     The ‘Funnies’ are comin’.

                      Peace,
                                Danny


Thursday, July 12, 2018

Courage


Hi,

It finally happened, we got some rain.  Actually, things got watered pretty good, but it wasn’t a storm or anything close to that.  With temps in the 90s and rain clouds, it makes for some truly tropical weather.  Hot and muggy were the words of the day.

The ‘Zany Day’ song has many fans.  It’s a fun song that came to life on the silver screen, even funnier. 
“(Work and work) Well those cars never seem to stop comin’.  (Work and work) Keep those waxin’ machines hummin’. 
(Work and work) My fingers to the bone.  (Work and work) Keep up, I can’t wait till it’s time to go home…Talkin’ ‘bout the __ __ yeah, __ __ yeah…”  Clue:  Think of the thing that has to happen before you wax a car.  Hmm.

This morning the sky decided to rain just as it was time to take Daku out for exercise.  By the time it ended, we were headed to Big C to get in an early shop.  Sometimes when shopping, it’s easy to tune out what is coming from the store’s overhead speakers.  When music is playing it can be nice, but lately there has been a move to run lots of commercials.  They are introduced by a man who says, ‘Attention please, promotion starts now’ and then the advertising begins.  Today it became something I heard every time and, of course, it was annoying.  Next time I’ll hum something or put an airpod in my ear and listen to music.  We did have a very ‘Thai’ moment with the lady from the chicken sausage counter.  She always goes to the back and gets us fresh packages.  Today we had moved a few aisles over and she found us.  That was a very sweet thing to do.  

Every day we’re learning more about the rescue.  The boys are in the hospital until they are free of infection and any signs of hypothermia.  We saw a video today of the divers bringing them through one of the passages.  It was a very courageous thing they did, considering the small area and the ever-changing terrain.  The boys were sedated and strapped to stretchers, with full face masks for oxygen.  That was a good move, a lot less chance for panic attacks.  It’s going to be hard for their families to have to wait to hold them.  They can visit, but only through a big glass window.  It’s still a topic of conversation around town.  

Today’s photo was taken on our Bus Station Street adventure earlier this week.  This blend of the old and new was found in the new shoe store.  You never know what you’ll see in Chiang Rai.


Have a Thrilling Thursday.

                      Peace,
                                Danny

“Courage is what it takes to
stand up and speak; courage 
is also what it takes to sit
down and listen.”
~Winston Churchill

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Chapter

Hi,

The weather forecast for today was changing every few hours.  It was going to rain, but the time kept moving.  In the end, it didn’t rain.  It was cloudy for awhile, then hot and sunny.  Who really knows?

The ‘Easy Monday’ song was “Lady Marmalade” by LaBelle.  This ‘Zany Day’ song might also be familiar:  “Oooh..You might not ever get rich, but let me tell you, it’s better than diggin’ a ditch.  There ain’t no telling who you might meet, a movie star or maybe an Indian chief.  Workin’ at the __ __, workin’ at the __ __, yeah…”  Hint:  Zany song became a zany movie about a place for characters to work.

The story of the boys in the cave is the stuff of legends.  It will be told for years and years, evolving into some kind of mythical something.  For now, their lives and backgrounds are unfortunately being exploited by the news media and the powers that be.  The team will get a sponsor, and that will be very cool.  The story that will have ripples is about the number of these kids who are ‘stateless’, and what that means.  In some countries everyone has some kind of legal status.  You are a citizen, a legal immigrant, the holder of a visa, etc., but you can move about.  In this region of the world, stateless means you are not a citizen and have no rights.  Some of this stems from being a refugee who fled poor conditions or persecution, or ethnic bigotry that deems some people less than others.  Either way, maybe the lid will be blown off the concept and people can taste freedom.  Whew.

This morning there were good intentions of going to the gym for a proper workout.  After Daku’s gym time the consensus was to stay at home.  I rode the bike and did some light weights and that was that.  We stayed in all day, until I went out for my meeting.   When we usually leave in the mornings, we miss some of the activity around the place.  Today there was the sound of the lawnmower drowning out the splashing as Khun Na cleaned the pool.     

Today’s photo was taken yesterday when we met Khun A.  He was using his ‘Old school tiny phone’ and I just had to get a pic.  Notice the button for the FM radio.


It feels like a Wacky Wednesday.

                       Peace,
                                 Danny

"Do not judge my story
by the chapter you 
walked in on.”
~Unknown

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Bicycle

Hi,

We had another rainless day, even though there were storm clouds looming overhead.  All the boys are out of the cave and now four rescuers may need help.  

This week’s ‘Easy Monday’ song had a lot of responses.  It’s one of those songs that’s hard to forget.
“He sat in her boudoir while she freshened up, the boy drank all her magnolia-wine.  On the black satin sheets, oh I swear, he started to freak.  Itchi gitchi ya ya da da.  Itchi gitchi ya ya here.  Mocha-choca-lata ya ya.  Creole __ __.  Voulez-vous coucher avec moi, ce soir?  Voulez-vous coucher avec moi?….”  Hint:  The group use the last name of the lead singer, who went on to become a major artist.  There used to be Blue Bells too.

The antics of Chopper the dog continue to frustrate everybody at The Big Brown House.  Yesterday Gong planted some grass in the form of squares of sod.  As soon as Chopper stepped on them, he realized they would be fun to play with.  Gong was not happy.  The biting is not better and everyone, including Daku, is ready for him to be gone.  More will be revealed, it just wasn’t the right time.

This morning we met our friend Atom at The Wanderer.  She brought a friend with her and we had a really neat time.  She had told us about him in the past, and they have worked on some projects before.  His name is A (not sure how he spells it) and he lived in England for 11 years.  He and Atom told us about their latest adventure and we shared some ideas.  It was nice to be able to put a face to a name.  A is a big fan of Nagas, mythological dragons, and was wearing an interesting ring.  

Today’s photo is a Naga worn by our new friend A.


The Wild Boars, the football team of the boys who were trapped, went out on the field (pitch) today.  It was their first time kicking the ball around since their team mates disappeared.  The whole community is preparing to help the boys recover from their ordeal.  

Have a Happy Tuesday.

                  Peace,
                            Danny

“Life is like riding a bicycle.
To keep your balance, you must
keep moving."
~Albert Einstein

Monday, July 9, 2018

Attitude

Hi,

The weekend weather was the usual hot, with just a few showers during the day.  We got rain on Sunday afternoon but it didn’t last too long.  Rain is now equated to slowing the rescue of the ‘football boys’ and we don’t want any of it.

‘Old School Friday’ was “So Much In Love” by The Tymes.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zsGy-ndBhUc
The ‘Easy Monday’ song is a rowdy number from 1975.  “Hey sister, go sister, soul sister, go sister (repeat).  He met __ down in old New Orleans, struttin’ her stuff on the street.  She said, ‘Hello, hey Joe, you wanna give it a go? Mmm, mmm.  Itchi gitchi ya ya da da, itchi gitchi ya ya here.  Mocha-choca-lata ya ya.  Creole __ __.”  Clue:  One of the few hit songs, to my memory, that covers this subject so boldly.  Hmm.  Song was featured in a Broadway musical, years later.  

A huge collective sigh of relief was heard as the first group of football boys emerged from the cave.  There is still a lot of work to do in order to get the others out, but when the first four came out, there was an energy shift throughout the area.  It takes time to replenish the oxygen tanks for the boys who are waiting, and the trip is taxing for the divers.  Another group of four has come out and now there are five, including the coach, waiting for rescue.  It’s difficult to know exactly what’s happening due to the many news sources and inconsistent information.  The big hope is that they can complete the extractions before the next storm.

Saturday afternoon Khun Noot, from The Wanderer, came over with her long-time friend and garden specialist, Thomas.  They inspected ‘Blue’s Tree’ to see why it looked so unhappy.  Apparently, it’s a tough tree to keep going after transplant, unless you know what you’re doing.  There are parasites that have attacked the roots so it’s not getting proper nourishment.  Thomas got his watering can, poured in some powder and watered the tree.  He also sprinkled some volcanic dirt on the top.  They were pretty sure it will come through and start growing again.  

The evening was filled with two art exhibit openings.  The 9 Art Gallery exhibit of works by Cornelis Hoeke was a nice gathering of friends and artists.  At the ArtBridge Gallery, they had already turned out the lights by the time we got there, but they opened the room for us.  The work was by alumni of the main technical school and we knew most of the artists.  A few had ventured out into new styles and/or mediums and it was interesting.  There is now a ‘cafe’ on one side of the building, not to be confused with the restaurant.  The cafe was the location of the afterparty.  Even though the gallery was closed, the artists were holding court and having a great time.

Sunday evening we went to the mall for dinner.  While we were strolling around we saw these Ferrari scooters and roller skates.  Hmm.


This morning I stepped out of my comfort zone and, after some convincing, went with Lisa and got my first pedicure.  It’s a very nice place and I found the experience to be not nearly as intimidating as I imagined (555).  I have ticklish feet and there were only a few times when they jumped all by themselves.  Now I have pretty toes.  What?

Have a Great Week.

                    Peace,
                              Danny

“Your attitude, not your aptitude,
will determine your altitude.”
~Zig Ziglar

Friday, July 6, 2018

Friday Funnies

Hi,

Rain was forecast and until this evening, we thought they had missed the mark again.  The wind came up after dinner and there was some rain, but nothing significant.  It’s still very hot here.

The ‘Zany Day’ song was “Bang Bang (My Baby Shot Me Down)” by Cher.  It was written by Sonny for her first solo project.  Here comes another ‘Old School Friday’ song that some of you may know.  “As we stroll along together, holding hands walking all alone.  __ __ __ are we two that we don’t know what to do.  __ __ __ (__ __ __) In a world of our own (__ __ __).”  This mid-60s ballad is about, well, you know.  The title is actually four words.

Our Friday was one of those days when we got things done in a progression that just worked.  We started in Ban Du, just north of town, with coffee at Shong, followed by a trip across the highway to Mega Home.  One block away to the south was the post office for the package we missed, and then on to Browney’s Pet World.  When you buzz around this town awhile, pictures of how to get places appear in the eyelids (555).  A few more stops and it was time for lunch.

We met our new friend Sly, who is visiting Chiang Rai, at The Wanderer for lunch.  He lives in Saigon and had never been to Chiang Rai.  There were not many people there, so the stroll through the gardens and the woods was very relaxing.  As usual, the food was good, the laughter was abundant, and we all left with big smiles on our faces.  Someday, we may visit Sly and his family at a coastal spot in Viet Nam.  That would be cool.

At The Big Brown House a new decision about Chopper was made.  Gong has been doing a lot of extra work cleaning up after and dealing with the 6 month old Husky and he has reached his limit.  We don’t know exactly when or if this will really happen, but he wants to take Chopper to live in Mae Sai with his family.  Chopper would have lots of space and could live like a ‘Thai Dog’.  We would all miss him, but for Natcha and Gong, it’s like having two kids plus their regular work.  They have started selling food again in the evenings, and they seem to have found their groove.  


On Saturday we have two art openings to attend.  One at 9 Art Gallery for our friend Cornelis, and the other at ArtBridge, featuring young artists from the technical school that many local artists attended.  We’ll start at 9 Art and then drive up to ArtBridge.  The opening at ArtBridge will have lots of speeches and stuff, so it will take longer to get to the ribbon cutting.  At least that’s our theory.  The weekend of doubles wouldn’t be complete without a sports double.  The Wimbeldon Championships are continuing, and Formula 1 is in England as well.  Whew.

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

                  Peace,
                            Danny


Thursday, July 5, 2018

Science

Hi,

We had another hot day today.  No rain again and that’s a good thing.  Everyone is hoping that things stay dry so the water can be pumped out of the cave where the boys are still trapped.  The less water, the easier they can exit.

So, a couple of people got the ‘Zany Day’ song, so far.  Here is the second verse of this disturbingly zany song.
“Seasons came and changed the time.  When I grew up, I called him mine.  He would always laugh and say, ‘Remember when we used to play?’  __ __, (__ __ __ __).  __ __, (__ __ __ __). __ __, (__ __ __).  __ __ (__ __ __ __ __ __).”  Clue:  All of the little lines are not the same phrases, but would totally give it away (555).  

Before we left on our adventure today, we searched for a menu from Hacienda Cafe and Bakery.  There is no Mexican food in the hacienda, nada.  We met Susan and Noy after finding the place with no problems.  It used to be a big house that was converted into what it is today.  The first thought that came to mind was, ‘This doesn’t feel like Thailand’.  It has a lot of European style art, classical music playing in the background, and menu items that might be labeled Euro/Thai.  The food was good and the view of the valley was spectacular.  During lunch it was noted that there are three venues we can visit with distinct views.  Chivit Tamma Da has a river view, The Wanderer has the woods, and Hacienda has a valley and a foothill.  We learned more about lettuce and pesticides today.  There is always something to learn when spending time with Susan and Noy.  Today’s big lesson:  Just because it’s hydroponically grown does not mean it’s organic and pesticide free.  Noy explained that most farms do not completely seal their growing beds from the outside world.  It means that plants can be contaminated by spray from other farms, or, because pests get on the crops, they are sprayed while growing in their hydroponic tanks.  Now we know.

Today’s photo was taken from the upstairs porch at Hacienda Cafe.  


One of the nice things about this heatwave with no rain is the warmish pool.  It gets a little better every day.  Today was a good temp for an easy workout.  

I’m finding it interesting to hear perspectives on cities from visitors.  I had dinner this evening with a friend who has lived in Saigon for 20 years.  When I mentioned that Chiang Mai felt dense and very congested, he commented that it felt relaxed to him, compared to Saigon.  We both agreed that Chiang Rai was a very relaxed atmosphere, even when the traffic ‘seemed’ heavy.  This musical hook sums it up pretty good, “Tryin’ to make it real, compared to what.”  (Cool Points if you know the tune and who made it famous)

Have a Thrilling Thursday.  Note: Just realized that I wished you a Thrilling Thursday on Wednesday as well.  Oops.

                  Peace,
                            Danny

“Science is a beautiful gift to 
humanity; we should not
distort it.”
~A.P.J. Abdul Kalam

Wednesday, July 4, 2018

Freedom

Hi,

The weather in Chiang Rai today was HOT.  It was listed as 92, with a real feel of 102.  I believe that.  It may be hotter tomorrow.

The ‘Easy Monday’ song was “The Girl From Ipanema” by Astrid Gilberto and Stan Getz.  And now, the ‘Zany Day’ song:  “I was five and he was six, we rode on horses made of sticks.  He wore black and I wore white, he would always win the fight.  __ __, (__ __ __ __), __ __, I hit the ground, __ __, that awful sound, __ __, (__ __ __ __ __).”  Hint:  Kinda the dark side of zany, written by the husband of the singer.  Title is two words, both the same.

Last night the van did something weird that seemed related to the transmission.  This morning there were no signs of the odd behavior, but we took it to Suzuki to have it checked.  They said they would reset the computer, which made sense to someone who doesn’t completely understand how a car works anymore (555).  That gave us an hour to either sit in their waiting room, or explore the changes on Bus Station Street.  We were on our way to a known coffee destination when I spotted a sign on a side street.  The place had a modern look so we checked it out.  It’s called “Sound, Brown Coffee”.  We don’t know why, maybe the words just sounded good.  The coffee was good and the sounds they played were Korean ‘K-Pop’, a very slick form of modern R&B that I like.  One of the guys who works there remembered seeing us at The Wanderer many times and referred to Lisa as Cat’s ‘Auntie’.  I guess we do get around.  We’ll be going back to SBC from time to time.  We liked the vibe.

There is a stretch of Bus Station Street that is filled with shoe and bag shops.  Lots of browsing to be done.  Since it was early in the day, most of them were empty and made it easy to get help if we needed it.  As we were leaving the last shop on the ‘row’ I noticed a new way to avoid copyright infringement.  


Neechanon hung out with us upstairs before lunch.  Now that she’s really talking, we’re trying to use English words along with the Thai words she understands.  It’s a slow process, but she is very smart and always repeats the new words.  

In the afternoon we met our friend John, and his niece Haley, for coffee at Chivit Tamma Da.  It was 2pm and the place was absolutely buzzing.  We’ve never seen it so busy.  Before we found our friends, I congratulated the co-owner, Joaquim on the Swedish teams World Cup victory over Switzerland.  He was very excited, of course and then laughed about how so many people think they are the same country.  Geography is not a big subject here.  
We found our friends and a quiet table in the air/con room.  Haley just finished her first year of college in the States, and is majoring in Computer Gaming Graphics through the art department.  Getting an understanding of what she will be doing helped us see the bigger picture of art education on some levels. There are infinite possibilities when one is prepared.

Our big adventure for this week will be tomorrow’s trip to Mae Chan, to find a hilltop Mexican restaurant called Hacienda.  We meeting our friends Susan and Noy.  Now I just have to figure out how to get there.

Have a Thrilling Thursday.

                      Peace,
                                Danny

“May we think of freedom, 
not as the right to do as we please,
but as an opportunity to do what
is right.”
~Peter Marshall

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Opinions

Hi,

We stayed mostly dry today.  A brief downpour was all we saw, for a few blocks.  Looking like a dry night ahead.

This week’s ‘Easy Monday’ has a lot of friends.  Here is more of the song, just in case you don’t remember:
“Ooh, but he watches so sadly, how can he tell her he loves her, yes, he would give his heart gladly.  But each day when she walks to the sea, she looks straight ahead not at he.  Tall and tan and young, and lovely, __ __ __ __ goes walking, and when she passes, he smiles but she doesn’t see, she just doesn’t see….”  Clue:  This 1964 hit is from Brazil.  The name of a famous beach is in the title.  That’s all you get.

The big news in Thailand is the rescue of the 12 member youth football team and their coach.  They were trapped for 10 days in the caves north of Chiang Rai, near the border town of Mae Sai.  Their rescue became an international story and attracted various professional search teams from around the world.  The caves are very extensive and when heavy rains came, the boys got cut off due to flooding, but were able to move to higher ground.  The people who found them had to use SCUBA equipment in order to reach them.  There have been vigils by every religion, sect and belief system, praying for their safe return.  They are still not able to leave the cave because it will be a difficult exit.  The boys have no training in diving and don’t swim.  It will be weeks or months before they can be reunited with their families, but they are safe and mostly healthy.

Today we had lunch with our friend Sutheera at Chivit Tamma Da.  Arriving early has it’s perks.  We got a balcony table with no ‘neighbors’ and it was perfect for conversation with a view.  By the time we finished, the section had filled up.  Sutheera teaches at Chiang Rai University, in what they call the Business Faculty.  They are in summer school now and she has Master and Doctoral students.  On a recent trip to Bangkok with her husband Nukoon, they spotted her book at a major bookstore, next to some noted authors.  That always feels good.  There was lots of talk about travel, eating while traveling, and of course, the football team.  As we were leaving, we had a little love-fest with the two resident dogs.  When we got home, Daku couldn’t get enough of the new scent.

The photo below is from our Saturday visit to 9 Art Gallery.  We’re standing in front of one of Lisa’s two-panel paper sculptures.


Have a Happy Tuesday.

                Peace,
                          Danny

"The greatest deception men
suffer is from their own
opinions.”
~Leonardo da Vinci

Monday, July 2, 2018

Dark

Hi,

The weather has been mostly cloudy with occasional downpours.  Some of those have been during the day, and problematic.  Well, only because we got wet during our Sunday lunch at The Wanderer.  And the umbrellas were in the van (555).

The ‘Old School Friday’ song got lots of action.  It was The Supremes singing “You Keep Me Hanging On”.  This week’s ‘Easy Monday’ should be just that, easy:  “Tall and tan and young and lovely, __ __ __ __ goes walking.  And when she passes, each one she passes goes, ah.”  Hint:  You may remember this as the song that introduced America to a musical form it was unaware of on a large scale.  Something to do with a beach.

Saturday afternoon we revisited Lisa’s exhibit with a friend who is a big fan of her work.  His name is John and he’s originally from Holland.  He used to be in the art world as a curator, putting exhibits together.  He wanted to meet us in the empty gallery so we could look at the work without crowds of people.  I must agree, one cannot fully appreciate the art with people standing in front of it taking photos, although that can be loads of fun.  Anyway, it was good to get his impressions, observations, and observe his sense of wonder.  At the end of the visit, he took some photos.  I’ll post those later.  Khun Nine, the owner of the gallery, suggested we return in the evening, after the sun is down, and take a video of the exhibit without the outside light bouncing off the work.  We did and it made a difference.  We now have a series of video clips, documenting the exhibit.

Sunday morning we drove up to Mae Chan for another appointment with Dr. Mark, aka "Dr. Happy."  I was beginning to get some pain in my lower back and we felt that it would be best to treat the inflammation before it got too bad.  He agreed and I got ‘the treatment’.  It definitely makes a difference.  

Driving up and down the highway, the weather was great, as in dry.  We went directly to The Wanderer for lunch and things were looking a little darker, but not rainy.  We were almost finished with our meal when it began to rain.  It didn’t take long before it was in full downpour mode, forcing a leak in our table’s umbrella.  We kept shifting around, but it started splashing and finally we gave in.  No time to relax at the table, it was time to get help.  One of the servers brought a big umbrella, we went inside and paid the bill and then dashed to the van.  All of the distances were short and we were laughing all the way.

Today we went back to Nine Art Gallery to pack up the show.  Actually, the staff had already taken the work off the walls and had it wrapped in bubblewrap.  All we had to do was have them load it in the van, and Gong’s pickup.  

This afternoon we had a very nice swim.  Since we’ve missed the gym it was a perfect way to stay on schedule.  I recently discovered, from Dr. Perry in Chiang Mai, that magnesium citrate would alleviate a nagging foot cramp when doing the flutter kick.  It works and I was able to do some serious swimming today.

Today’s photo was taken before dinner, when Neechanon was entertaining us with her new toy.  Before she came to the table, she had been feeding him yogurt.  We never did get his name.


Have a Great Week.

                    Peace,
                              Danny

“There is nothing in the dark 
that isn’t there when the lights are on."
~Rod Serling