Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Destiny

Hi,

Our last morning in Chiang Mai was cloudy without rain.  There was the standard forecast, but it was dry for our trip home.  When we got to Chiang Rai, we could tell by some wet streets on the north side of town that it had rained recently.  It’s supposed to rain all week, but not steady rain of course.

‘Easy Monday’ was clearly easy for a bunch of you.  Here’s the second verse of this hot summer song.
“Whenever he calls my name, soft, low, sweet, and plain.  Right then, right there, I feel that burning flame.  Has high blood pressure got a hold on me or is this the way love’s supposed to be?  It’s like a __ __ burning in my heart…”  Hint:  It’s by a ‘Girl Group’ that had a string of hits in the 60s.  Billed as the lead singer plus her gang of vandals.

The first half of the day was going to the U.S. Consulate.  Due to the nature of security, they only allow parties that have business with the office, which meant I had to go alone.  I decided to take a minimum of stuff with me, since they want to see everything on your person.  When you have a lot of stuff, it takes a long time for them to sift through it all.  In the waiting area, I tried not to watch a reality-celebrity-cooking show.  At least they weren’t showing the news.

Summertime in Chiang Mai is a very busy place.  It’s already a haven in the north for expats, and when you add all the tourists, parts of town begin to look like someplace other than Thailand.  On my ride to and from the Consulate, I got to see morning in the various markets and what happens on the tiny streets.  My drivers were obviously using shortcuts.

We left town at 11:30 and arrived in Chiang Rai at 3:30pm.  That’s not bad, considering the slowing for the detour, a lunch stop and 2 coffee stops.  When we got home, it felt like we’d been on the road for twice as long.  It was a pretty busy weekend and we did have a non-stop Monday, so I guess we’re entitled to feel tired (555).

Today’s photo was taken at our lunch stop today.  Seeing this on the front door of a clothing shop, half way between Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai required that I take a photo.  How did this happen?  Hmm.


Have a Happy Tuesday.

                     Peace,
                               Danny

“A person often meets his
destiny on the road he took
to avoid it.”
~Jean de La Fontaine

Monday, July 30, 2018

Acceptance

Hi,

The weather in Chiang Mai has been pretty mellow.  The forecast has been for rain, but we haven’t gotten wet yet.

The ‘Old School Friday’ song was “He Will Break Your Heart” by Jerry Butler.  This ‘Easy Monday’ tune should start the week off with a bang:  “Whenever I’m with him, something inside starts to burning, and I’m filled with desire.  Could it be a devil in me, or is this the way love’s supposed to be?  It’s like a __ __, burning in my heart.  I can’t keep from crying, it’s tearing me apart.”  Hint:  This one goes out to all my friends who live where it’s very hot.

We had planned to go to Chiang Mai on Monday so we’d be there for a Tuesday morning appointment at the U.S. Consulate.  Then I found out that a friend of ours in Chiang Mai was being given a surprise 40th birthday party on Sunday.  We drove down on Sunday morning, through a little rain, but mostly good weather.  The construction zone on the highway that we experienced a few months ago is still happening.  About one half hour of very bad road is never fun.  Before the rough road we stopped at Charoen Gardens for breakfast and pie.  

We missed the surprise aspect of the party because we couldn’t get proper directions until we finally reached someone at the location.  Our Tuk-Tuk driver didn’t understand the map and Grab wouldn’t work because the location is an new business that wasn’t registered.  Anyway, we got there and had fun seeing people we knew and making new friends.  A couple at the party that we’d just met took us back to our hotel. 

The party was held at the Chiang Mai Holistic Center, which is the brainchild of Ali (the birthday boy) and his wife Nim.  She teaches yoga and he will be doing ‘singing bowl therapy’.  They invited us to go back today for individual bowl sessions with Ali.  There were brass bowls from Tibet and Crystal bowls from China.  He placed us on a mat with the bowls all around us.  With our eyes covered, he began sounding them at random locations and intervals.  After a few minutes I was drifting in a kind of meditation, sometimes listening for the sound, other times just feeling a ‘wash’ of relaxation.  It did not feel like an hour had passed.  So grateful for this new experience.

After the bowls, we walked a couple of blocks and met Becky, a friend we met at Lisa's first exhibit in 2009.  We had a wonderful time talking about the art communities and hearing some history on various topics.  An hour later it was time to meet more friends at a cool place called Salad Concepts.  Our friend Marty, his girlfriend Asu and her niece met us there for dinner and we had another positive food experience.  The district where we spent the afternoon is a fairly new addition to the metropolis that is Chiang Mai.  It’s more sophisticated than where we usually stay and felt like places we’d seen in the States.  

Today’s photos were taken at Chiang Mai Holistic Center.  The walls were painted by a local artist.



Tomorrow morning I go to the Consulate and then we start our journey back to Chiang Rai.  Now it’s time to relax.

Have a Great Week.

                      Peace,
                                Danny

“Acceptance is knowing the past 
will never get better.”
~Unknown

Friday, July 27, 2018

Friday Funnies

Hi,

This morning we woke up to the sound of rain.  The back yard was on the way to having a little river.  The rain finally cleared out, but it stayed cloudy all day.  Some of you have an abundance of rain, others have too much heat.  Hmm.

The ‘Zany Day’ song was “Lola” by The Kinks.  ‘Old School Friday’ is from 1960.  “Fare thee well, I know you’re leavin’, for the new love that you’ve found.  That handsome guy that you’ve been dating, whoa, I’ve got a feelin’ he’s gonna put you down.  He don’t love you, like I love you.  If he did he wouldn’t break you’re heart.  He don’t love you like I love you.  He’s tryin’ to tear us apart.”  Hint:  The actual title is not sung, but there’s a line in the verse that is so close, I almost left it out.  The singer was known as ‘The Ice Man’.

Today was a holiday and many places were closed.  One place that was open was the gym, and we went.  There was only one person working out, so we had the run of the place.  It was nice, not having to wait for anything.  Just a leisurely workout.

Since the drama with the boys in the cave, we’ve noticed a lot of families being close with their children.  This is not to say the they weren’t before, but there seems to be a different closeness, an appreciation.  We first noticed it in Nan, then I started seeing it here as well.  This morning, after the gym, we went up to ArtBridge and there were a lot of people taking photos of the giant mural.  I want to take some photos of the finished work, but there were too many folks doing the selfie thing to get a clear shot.  

This evening we went up to ArtBridge for the opening of a new exhibit, but we couldn’t even park.  There were about a dozen police vans in front of the place, and a big crowd of monks that they had brought, all milling around.  We turned around and headed south toward the mall.  When we got to the mall it was the same story.  We drove in one driveway, crept through the parking structure and went out on the other side.  Not only is today a holiday, it’s Friday, which is ‘going out’ night in Chiang Rai.  We came home.

Lisa found a dog trainer here in Chiang Rai that will come to the house.  He will work with Chopper and Gong and maybe they’ll be able to keep the little wild boy.  

Here are more photos from the parade.  The Senior Band, as I call them, were quite good on their traditional instruments.  The big silver bird was amazing.  I’m not sure how they did that.  The third pic is the ‘finale float’, that appeared to be made from wax, which is a key to most of the floats.  Candles are a big part of the holiday.




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

                      Peace,
                                Danny


Thursday, July 26, 2018

Education

Hi,

Today we got a mild reprieve from the rain.  The morning was a light rain affair that finally went away.  It was a cooler day as well.

This week’s ‘Zany Day’ tune was instantly recognized by several readers.  “Well, I’m not the world’s most physical guy but when she squeezed me tight she nearly broke my spine, oh, my __, __-__-__-__, __.  Well I’m not dumb but I can’t understand why she walked like a woman and talked like a man.  Oh, my __, __-__-__-__ __, __-__-__-__.”  Clue:  Her name rhymes with the drink in yesterday’s first verse.  Some might say this song is rather kinky.  The group was once tired of waiting.

This morning we went to Work@Home for coffee and had an unexpected visit with Katai.  It was brief because she was in a meeting.  They have meetings on the rear patio, so it’s not completely private.  We talked a bit about the rest of our Nan adventure and she returned to business.  I heard a sound truck coming down the street and went out to see what was happening.  It was the beginning of a parade in celebration of Asalha Bucha Day, which is actually tomorrow and part of the Buddhist Lent season.  I guess since it’s a National Holiday they decided to march today while everyone was available.

The parade was about an hour long.  We I didn’t think we could leave the shop, but it didn’t matter.  We were having fun watching the marching bands, floats with pretty flowers, drumming units, and groups of people walking with flowers.  These photos will give you an idea of the variety of local talent represented.  More tomorrow.





For all of you who were concerned about the size and potential weight of Nichanan’s backpack, it’s light as a feather.  I think there are some tiny little clothes and that’s about it.  When she gets more used to the school idea, this may change.  There may be ’things’ she has to take to school (555).  We’ll keep an eye on it.

When we got back from the parade, Chopper had the muzzle on and didn’t look too pleased about it.  Apparently he made chew toys out of a pair of Gong’s shoes.  This was not cool when added to previous offenses by the dog who likes to throw things and whip them into submission.  

Have a Thrilling Thursday.

                  Peace,
                            Danny

“Education is the key to
unlock the golden door of 
freedom.”
~George Washington Carver

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Imagination

Hi,

Last night, after sending the message about no rain, it rained.  Today, there was a very light, misty rain until the afternoon cloudburst.  We just never know what to expect.  Well, we’re pretty sure something will fall from the sky tonight.

The ‘Easy Monday’ song was “Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic” by The Police.  This ‘Zany Day’ tune should be real easy.  “I met her in a club down in old Soho where you drink champagne and it tastes just like cherry-cola, c-o-l-a cola.  She walked up to me and she asked me to dance, I asked her name and in a dark brown voice she said __, 
__-__-__-__, __.”  Clue:  The title is one word and it’s obviously a name.  

About the time when we were to take Daku out to play, we heard Nitchanan crying.  It was the ‘I don’t want to go to school’ cry.  It didn’t last long.  This afternoon Natcha told us that her teacher said she is very smart and speaks well for her age.  Some of the things that Natcha translates for us are pretty complex ideas for a 2 year old.  She’s slowly warming up to this new part of her life.

When we took Daku out, there was evidence that Mr. Chopper had already had his playtime.  The muddy paw prints and the ‘transplanted’ garden product was all we needed to see (555).


Today’s adventure took us north to Ban Du and Shong Cafe for coffee.  From Shong we traveled a short distance to Makro.  We hadn’t been there for at least a week.  After bringing an electric pencil sharpener from the States, we discovered that now they sell them at Makro.  Sometimes it pays to just walk the aisles and see what’s there.  Since they cater to the food trade, there are some fascinating containers and tools that we’d never use, but it’s just cool to know they exist.  

There is a lot of activity in the temples this week.  Saturday marks the beginning of Buddhist Lent, when the monks will stay at the temples at night.  Candles are a big part of the merit-making offerings, along with robes, food, and basic items.  This week the boys from The Wild Boars, the cave survivors, were initiated into the monk-hood for 11 days.  There were photos of them getting their heads shaved and of the ceremony.  Saturday is also the birthday of the new King, the first birthday since he has been King.  It will be a long weekend with many closures in both public and private sectors.  

In this photo, Nitchanan is modeling her new school backpack.   


It feels like a Wacky Wednesday.

                     Peace,
                               Danny

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

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Stand

Hi,

Chiang Rai got a break from the rain today.  By late afternoon it was looking like rain, but it hasn’t happened yet.  The Bangkok Post reported that it was raining up here.  Hmm, they should have called first (555).

Well, a few readers remembered this ‘Easy Monday’ song by a trio from across the pond.  It happened in 1981.
“Do I have to tell the story of a thousand rainy days since we first met.  It’s a big enough umbrella but it’s always me that ends up getting wet.  __ __ __ __ __ __ __, everything she do just turns me on.  Even though my life before was tragic, now I know my love for her goes on.”  Hint:  One of her passwords might have been ‘Shazam’, as she waved her wand.

Sometimes, it takes a certain skill and cunning to get a 2 year old to school.  Nitchanan has declared that she doesn’t want to go back to school, but so far, each time she’s gone she has been OK.  Today was no different, and we got to witness the departure.  I’m not sure where she thought she was going, but she spent the day at school and did all the things that were expected.  She’s making friends and that will be a big help.  We know that she thinks about it because this evening she told Natcha she’s not going back.  In the meantime, we got to spend time with her today and that’s always fun.  

Our first stop this morning was The Wanderer for coffee and to return some books on beads that Khun Noot loaned Lisa.  As we were leaving, Khun Thomas brought us a ‘Pink Apple’ tree for our yard.  Noot had mentioned it when they visited the house to help rescue Blue’s Tree.  Now we have another baby tree and will someday have some delicious apples.  

Yesterday we did the food shopping, so today was those odds and ends that move from one list to another.  It was nice to get out and see the city while it’s dry.  This afternoon Gong washed our filthy van.  Now it will probably rain so we’ll just stay at home and keep it dry and clean (555).

Speaking of vans, today’s photo was taken at the Nan Riverside Art Space, where the exhibit was held.  The van in the photo is what I guess you’d call a permanent installation.  The second photo is a part of the grounds.  Many trees are wrapped with artistic designs.  An interesting approach.



Have a Happy Tuesday.

                   Peace,
                             Danny

“Why stand in the shadows of
yesterday when you can stand
in the light of today?”
~Unknown

Monday, July 23, 2018

Credit

Hi,

The rainy season is in full effect.  While we were in Nan, Chiang Rai had rain every day.  The whole week has a forecast for rain.  

The ‘Old School Friday’ song was “Talk To Me” by Little Willie John.  Sorry you all missed that one.  Here’s an ‘Easy Monday’ song you probably know:  “Though I’ve tried before to tell her of the feelings I have for her in my heart.  Every time that I come near her, I just lose my nerve as I’ve done from the start.  __ __ __ __ __ __ __, everything she do just turns me on.  Even though my life before was tragic, now I know my love for her goes on.”
Hint:  The group had an arresting quality.  

Saturday morning we met with Katai and Towan in Nan and went to their favorite coffee place.  It’s part of the Amazon Cafe chain (no relation to the shopping thing).  They were right about the coffee, really good.  Across the street was a temple that is one of the big attractions in Nan.  There is a mural on the inside wall that depicts the history of Nan and is approximately 150 years old.  One panel shows a man whispering to a woman.  This has become a very famous painting in it’s own right.  We had seen it before, and we saw it all around town.  

Our next stop was the Nan branch of their tractor store.  Of course, I had to climb up and get a feel for this iconic vehicle that is such a major part of farm life here.  


We had to be at the gallery at 5pm, which meant leaving the hotel at 4:30.  It would be a day without a nap (555).  Most of the artists arrived early, so there was time to hang out, look at each others’ work and relax before the opening.  It turned out to be a wonderful experience.  There was no usual ‘presenter’, so one of the women introduced each artist and made a brief, descriptive comment about their work.  Lots of photos were taken and then the ribbon was cut.  Guest kept arriving and by the time we left, there was a substantial audience, considering where we were.  Nan is a rather isolated town, but between friends and relatives of the 25 women artists, the room was full of conversation.  There was also live music in the form of a local couple who both played acoustic guitar and sang.  The rain began as we made our exit, and it continued to pour all night.

There is a thing about goats in Nan.  I don’t know what it is, but there is a connection.  At the gallery there is a large sculpture consisting of about 5 goats, and in town we saw another large goat installation.  I couldn’t help bonding with the goats over our goatees (555).


Our drive from Nan to Chiang Rai was non-stop and took 4 hours.  We won’t be doing that again anytime soon, even though I enjoyed the journey and learned a bunch.  

Have a Great Week. 

                  Peace,
                            Danny

“It is amazing what you can
accomplish if you do not care
who gets the credit.”
~Harry S. Truman

Friday, July 20, 2018

Friday Funnies

Hi,

The weather on our trip to Nan was very light rain the whole time.  The forecast for Saturday is heavy rain all day. We’ll just have to wait and see.  

The ‘Zany Day’ song was “You Talk Too Much” by Joe Jones.  The ‘Old School Friday’ tune brings us the other end of the spectrum:  “__ __ __, __ __ __, um-mm, I love the things you say.  __ __ __, __ __ __, in your own sweet gentle way.  Let me hear, tell me dear, tell me ooo-you-ooo love me so.  __ __ __, __ __ __, tell me what I want to know.”  Hint:  At one time, this singer had a fever.  Now he just wants to hear her voice. 

We’re in Nan this evening.  It took us four hours, including a break for coffee in a very cool place about half way.  It’s called ‘2 Sis’ and it was constructed using shipping containers as well as conventional methods.


The landscape of the whole trip was a world of lush green.  We traveled through rice country, where the many shades of green seemed more vivid than ever.  The next turn would find the road lined with very tall trees.  The terrain was mostly plains and rolling hills.  Near the end of our journey we had to go over a mountain.  At the top of the mountain was a spectacular view.  It was tempting to just sit and stare, but we pressed on to our destination.


The biggest surprise came when we arrived in Nan and realized how big it is.  We had this picture of a small town in our minds, but it’s quite a place.  It took some time to find our hotel, but we finally made it.  The Google Maps person went a little nuts when I missed the turn into the driveway and kept going.  She tried to get us turned around, but the little streets sent her off the deep end and she just began barking orders.  We had to turn her off so she could rest and compose herself (555).  The hotel is six months old and, unfortunately, only has signs on the road in Thai.  

After getting settled in our room, we went to the gallery, which is about 20 minutes outside of town.  We met the owner and had a chance to see the exhibit before the opening tomorrow night.  Lisa was able to fix the little problem on her artwork and all is well.  On the staircase leading to the second floor, where the owner’s work is on display, I had to do a double-take.  What I saw was real yet not real.


We had dinner by the Nan River with our Chiang Rai friends, Katai and Towan.  They have a branch of their tractor business in Nan, so they know the city well.  It’s always a fun time when we go out with them and tonight was no exception.  We learned things about Nan, and realized that they had put a lot of thought into this trip.  Tomorrow morning we’re having breakfast with them (we’re in the same hotel), and then they’re taking us to their special coffee place, and then to a temple to see a famous mural.  We’ll definitely need a nap before the evening festivities.

Have a Wonderful WeekEnd.       On to the ‘Funnies’.   Formula 1 is in Germany this weekend.  Zoom.

                      Peace,
                                Danny


Thursday, July 19, 2018

Soul


Hi,

Chiang Rai got a double dose of rain today.  The prelude came in early afternoon and didn’t last long.  Late afternoon was when we got the medium rain that just kept going into the evening.  All the plant-life is very happy.

This week’s ‘Zany Day song comes from the New Orleans school of music.  Here’s hoping more of you remember.
“You talk about people that you don’t know.  You talk about people wherever you go.  You just __, __ __ __ __.  You talk about people that you’ve never seen, you talk about people you can make me scream.  You just __, __ __ __ __.”
Hint:  The behavior sometimes invites ‘put a sock in it’.  

Today was Nitchanan’s first day of school.  When Gong and Natcha started to leave her at the school Nitchanan began crying but they stayed strong and left.  This afternoon when the went to pick her up, she was doing fine until she saw them, and then she began to cry again.  She didn’t eat, but she took a nap.  I’d say day one was a success. 


We went to Work@Home for coffee before shopping.  As hoped, we saw Katai and Towan.  They had talked about meeting us in Nan this weekend for the art exhibit and Towan had directions.  To our surprise, he was sitting there with a map he had printed out, and was prepared to write out instructions.  We now have illustrated directions to Nan from a man who is a car rally navigator.  Who could ask for more?  We are headed into territory that is brand new and it’s nice to have some ideas as to what to look for.  Nan is a small town, but they have a Big C and a Makro, so it can’t be that small (555).  We are staying at a fairly new hotel that has an indoor pool.  That will be so cool, especially since the forecasts call for occasional rain all weekend.  We leave at 9am tomorrow morning for a 4 hour trip.

Now we’re sitting at the intersection of 'bags are packed' and 'did we forget anything?’  So far, this routine is getting easier, but that’s just the moment when something gets left, and remembered half way to the destination.  One twist in our packing is the fact that Lisa has to take a tool kit full of paint to do a repair on a piece that was injured after the last exhibit.  She didn’t know about it until one of the artists who is already in Nan noticed it during unpacking of the work.  Tomorrow afternoon will tell the tale.

Have a Thrilling Thursday.

                       Peace,
                                 Danny  

“I am not this hair,
I am not this skin,
I am the soul that lives within”
~Rumi

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