Friday, September 28, 2018

Friday Funnies


Well, no rain today.  Just hot and muggy.  Down in Bangkok, they said it was raining in Chiang Rai.  They should call us first, before they go to press.  

The ‘Zany Day’ song was “Thank You (Falettinme Be Mice Elf Agin)” by Sly & The Family Stone.  It’s time for another chapter of ‘Old School Friday’, this time brought to you by the year 1959:  “I’m going to __ __, __ __ here I come.  I’m going to __ __, __ __ here I come.  They got some crazy lil’ women there and I’m gonna get me one.  I’m gonna be standing on the corner, Twelfth street and Vine.  I’m gonna be standing on the corner, Twelfth street and Vine, with my __ __ baby and a bottle of __ __ wine.”  Hint:  The title is a place.  Everybody in the world has sung this song, but the original ‘Hit’ was by a cat with the initials W.H.  Work that memory (555).

This morning I finally gave in to the fact that my back and shoulder were in need of relief.  We’ve been trying home remedies such as rubs, electric stimulation and hot towels, but it persisted.  The lower back seems to be announcing itself more dramatically in the mornings and all of this is a clear sign that it’s time for another treatment.  

After lunch we set out on the highway for Mae Chan and the office of Dr. Mark (aka Dr. Happy).  On the way, we stopped at ArtBridge to see about a T-shirt I'd ordered.  It’s related to the mural project about the rescue of The Wild Boars football team from the caves.  While we were waiting for my shirt, we toured the main gallery exhibit.  Back on the highway, the traffic moved at a steady pace for a Friday afternoon.  Dr. Mark took photos of my back so we could see the muscles in spasm.  Wow, had no idea that it looked like it did.  Who sees their back, especially when it’s in pain?  Anyway, some parts have improved, which is always good news.  Some things can’t be fixed so we go for improving the quality of life.  

Chopper is spending the evening with us.  He is mellowing, so it’s a good time to do more socialization with him.  Tonight’s experience is quite different than the times when he had to be monitored constantly.  Daku is mostly sleeping through it.  

Today’s photo was taken by Natcha.  Nitchanan was sitting on the stairs, probably thinking about dashing upstairs.

Have a Wonderful WeekEnd.       Time for the ‘Funnies’ and a reminder that Formula 1 will be in Russia this week.


Thursday, September 27, 2018



There was something in the air this morning that told us it just might rain.  After the moon set, the clouds started moving in, and after lunch the thunder started.  Not long after that the rain began and that was our weather day.

This week’s ‘Zany Day’ song was recognized by a few readers.  Here’s a verse full of clues as to the artists:
“Dance to the music, all nite long.  Everyday people, sing a simple song.  Mama’s so happy, mama start to cry.  Papa’s still singin’ ‘You can make it if you try’.  I wanna __ __ (__ __ __ __ __)”  Clue:  It’s a funky song of gratitude. 

Our first stop, in the streets of Chiang Rai this morning was at the clinic for our vitamin C injections.  A lucky parking place across the street was a perfect start.  After a short wait, we had to re-explain why we were there to a nurse that wasn’t there last week.  When she finally looked at the cards, she understood.  Another nurse came in and administered the shots.  For some reason, mine was painful after she was done.  In fact, it hurt most of the day.  In the future, I’d like nurse Pay, at Overbrook Hospital, to give me any needed injections.  

We drove through town and had coffee and roti at The Wanderer.  It seemed like a good thing to do after getting stuck.  The table where we were seated is in a good location, away from the main room.  Since it was later in the morning, things were getting busy inside.  I sat on a different side than usual and the view was ‘new’ to me.  

Today’s photo is my new view of The Wanderer, as seen from the patio.

On certain streets, mainly in the downtown business district, there has been a parking fee for as long as we’ve been here.  We pay 4 Baht ($ .12) and there doesn’t seem to be a time limit.  Off street parking is 30 Baht ($ .93) at private lots.  Bangkok is starting to charge for parking in the inner part of the city and cars will pay 20 Baht for the first hour and the 30 after that.  I’m telling you all of this because it’s still such a deal to pay such a small amount to park.  Now watch, Chiang Rai will raise the rate for street parking to 10 Baht (555).  

With the ending of the rainy season, or so it seems, the burning of trash has become a regular thing again.  Maybe we should go to the offenders and offer to pay for their trash pick-up.  It’s so cheap, it would be worth it.  Hmm, maybe if I were Thai and I could explain that it’s that or a big fine from the city.  Yeah, that’s gonna happen.  We’ll just keep the air filters going.

Have a Thrilling Thursday.


“Beware, so long as you live,
of judging men by their 
outward appearance.”
~Jean de La Fontaine

Wednesday, September 26, 2018



What can I say?  Another day like the one before.  Based on the pool temp, the air may have been a little warmer, or the sun a little more intense.  It was great Thailand weather.

The ‘Easy Monday’ song was “I Heard It Through The Grapevine” by Marvin Gaye.  It was first recorded by Gladys Knight and The Pips.  Both recordings are great performances of the song.  This ‘Zany Day’ tune was performed by a family affair.  “Lookin’ at the devil, grinnin’ at his gun.  Fingers start to shakin’, I begin to run.  Bullets start to chasin’, I begin to stop.  We begin to wrestle, I was on the top.  I want to __ __ (__ __ __ __ __).  __ __ (__ __ __ __ __).   Hint:  There’s some pretty sly imagery in the lyrics.  The title has some words put together that may seem unfamiliar but make sense when spoken or sung.

For the second morning, Daku has been put upon by the humans.  Today he got a bath.  It’s the same drama every time.  When he realizes what the preparation is about, he tries to hide in the living room or in the little kitchen.  All through the process, there is the same sad face.  When it’s over he rolls around on the towels, and then does the same on the lawn.  It takes all day for him to dry, even with the hair dryer for a short time.  He doesn’t seem to mind being damp, especially in this heat.

Trips to Big C always seem like ‘it’s just a few things’ and end up being a full cart.  Today we realized we were shopping for two people and two dogs.  That made us laugh.  The lady at the chicken sausage counter wanted to give us more balloon art today but we declined.  Nitchanan just had two big flowers last week.  Some things need to be spaced out a bit.  This week she seems to be enjoying playing with Chopper and Gong on the front lawn.  We learned today that there is a ‘practice’ of having a dog wear all night whatever they have been chewing on or tearing up.  Chopper was wearing a shoe around his neck this evening.  I don’t know whether this will work, since Lisa spotted him chewing on said shoe.  Hmm.

Today’s photo was taken at Polar.  It’s a green tea latte that John ordered.  We were all impressed with the artwork.

It’s gonna be a Wacky Wednesday.


“ I believe things cannot make
themselves impossible.”
~Stephen Hawking

Tuesday, September 25, 2018



Today was almost a carbon copy of yesterday.  The air was hot from mid-morning to after dark.  The clouds didn't mean a thing, even the dark ones.  Everything just drifted away.  The afternoon dips in the pool are a great distraction.

This week’s ‘Easy Monday’ song was a favorite of many readers.  Maybe you remember it too.  “I know that a man ain’t supposed to cry, but these tears I can’t hold inside.  Losin’ you would end my life you see, ‘cause you mean that much to me.  You could have told me yourself, that you love someone else.  Instead __ __ __ __ __ __, not much longer would you be mine.  Oh, __ __ __ __ __ __ and I’m just about to lose my mind.”  Clue:  This song was first recorded by a group with a woman lead, and then by this solo male artist, who had a major hit.  He eventually asked the musical question: ‘What’s going on?’  You know this. 

This morning we took Daku to the vet.  He has a hotspot that hasn’t shown much sign of healing and we were concerned about infection.  There was also what appeared to be a wound on his left-front leg.  It’s tiny, and it needed to be seen by the doctor.  This morning’s doctor was a vet we hadn’t seen at the clinic before.  She took one look and said it was from the ‘glass’, which I translated to mean ‘grass’.   Daku was taken to the back, which always makes us nervous, and returned a few minutes later. The vet showed us the little thorn that was in his leg.  They grow on the ends of the weed-like plants on the front lawn.  The hotspot is not infected so we’ll just try to keep it dry and apply what we know works.  Here’s the weird part:  Daku sensed that we were going to the vet before we even started the process.  When we change clothes to go out, he usually just lies down and watches us.  Today he was pacing around, ready to go on a trip.  He couldn’t wait to get in the van.  Dogs know more than we realize.

Since Daku is the topic of the day, here’s a pic Lisa took this morning while we were exercising him.  He knows how to ‘gently’ take food from our hands.  Sometimes he forgets, but if he’s reminded, it’s very gentle, no teeth.

All day, there has been a procession of dump trucks going down our street.  They’re taking dirt some place and it always peaks my curiosity.  Once, we actually followed a truck down some very narrow streets and found the ‘yard’ where the dumping was taking place.  Hmm, maybe tomorrow (555).

After dinner, Lisa learned that Nitchanan likes Chopper better than Daku.  Daku’s tail has always bothered her, and he’s always very curious about her food when she’s walking around with something edible.  Chopper does not come in the house, unless invited, and then it’s with strict supervision.  Nitchanan is older than Chopper and established herself has his ‘boss’ when he was just a pup.  It’s a very interesting dynamic and is subject to change with the wind.  Kids.

Have a Happy Tuesday.

“You can’t blame gravity
for falling in love.”
~Albert Einstein 

Monday, September 24, 2018



We’ve gone from ‘Oh, it rains every day’ to ‘We really could use some rain today, everything is so dry’.  It wasn’t that long ago that we were getting soaked.  A few days of sunshine and we forget the puddles and potholes.  It’s time for that delightful compromise: Overnight rain.

The ‘Old School Friday’ song was “Oh Boy” by Buddy Holly and The Crickets.  ‘Easy Monday’ should be a breeze:
“Ooh, I bet you’re wondering how I knew, ‘bout your plans to make me blue, with some other guy that you knew before, between the two of us guys, you know I loved you more.  It took me by surprise, I must say, when I found out yesterday.  Don’t you know that __ __ __ __ __ __ not much longer would you be mine…..”  Hint:  Song about ‘word of mouth, gossip, written before 'social media' (555).

Slowly, we are being released from the clutches of this out-of-season flu.  The gross symptoms are almost gone and the energy is slowly returning.  The strangest things about it was the appetite.  It never left.  This illness has been the talk of the town.  Not that it makes it any better, I guess it’s nice to know you don’t have some strange, isolated, incurable thing that no one can deal with.  Oh wait, no one really knew what to do with it.  Hmm.  We press on.

The pool has been getting a lot of use lately.  The hot days and warm water make it a perfect time for lounging mixed with a few lazy laps.  Maybe that’s where the appetite comes from.  Anyway, it feels good to move again.
Chopper comes out and walks around the pool, being careful not to get too close.  He likes to climb around the vegetation that surrounds the pool, practicing his ‘fearless hunter’ skills.  

Today’s photo was taken this afternoon.  I guess it was a dog day afternoon.

At our Sunday lunch at The Wanderer, I discovered a whole new crop of desserts in the cooler.  When I asked about the Ginger Cake with sauce, it turned out it was made with milk.  This prompted conversation with Kwan, who comes up with the new ideas and she said she’d try to make it with coconut milk.  Not long after we got home we got a text saying she had make them and we should drop by for a sample.  We had dinner in the woods and came home with little ginger cakes and a supply of sauce.  Today we returned to sample the coconut ice-cream with no milk and it was delicious.  We may have to stay away from there, or start thinking about new clothes (555).  Yum.

This morning we had coffee with our friend John, who has been in America for over a month.  We met him at Polar and had a great reunion.  All the catching up and storytelling and laughter that would fit into one morning.  

Have a Great Week.


“The only way to make sense
out of change is to plunge into it,
move with it, and join the dance.”
~Alan Watts

Friday, September 21, 2018

Friday Funnies


It was another dry day in Chiang Rai.  By the afternoon we had blue skies with just a few puffy clouds.  The air was a little cooler than the day before and there was less humidity.  Nice.

The ‘Zany Day’ song was “Mama Told Me Not To Come” by Three Dog Night, originally by Randy Newman.  That leaves us with one more tune to deal with, ‘Old School Friday’.  “All of my love, all of my kissin’, you don’t know what you’ve been missin’, __ __! (__ __) when you’re with me, __ __! (__ __), the world can see that you were meant for me.”  Hint:  The title is a two word exclamation.  It’s from 1957 and an early example of what was to be called Rockabilly.

This morning we had to shorten Daku’s exercise because he started limping again.  This time it seems he is favoring a front leg.  He gets a little too enthusiastic outside and wants to run when he should be walking.  He spent most of the day downstairs.  The odd thing is, he doesn’t appear to have a problem with the stairs.  We just have to keep a close eye on him and see what develops.  

Lisa found a new coffee shop on-line on the edge of downtown so we decided to try it out.  Our friend at Google Maps got us most of the way there, but she dropped the ball on a left turn.  We found the place and it was OK, but not anything special.  Oh, and they had a big cat hanging out near the kitchen so we will not be returning.  Besides, there was no view.

We needed a few things from Big C, and of course, that always ends up being an understatement.  We ended up doing the usual amount of shopping and finished just as the Friday crowds were arriving.  The funniest part about the whole trip was when we were about to leave and Lisa realized we had forgotten the two items we went for in the first place.  We had to laugh.  

Nitchanan returned to school yesterday and went again today.  Looks like she’s back in the groove.  Being back with her school friends means that she is soaking up new things.  Today she started doing a ‘fake laugh’ that she learned from a friend, and Natcha really doesn’t like it.  It’s one of those annoying things that will pass eventually, but at the time, it make you want to scream.  The woman at the chicken sausage counter gave us two balloon flowers for Nitchanan and they were the hit of the afternoon.  

Today’s photo is of Nitchanan’s ‘Playhouse’, also known as the guest room.  

Whatever this demon flu/cold thing is, it’s waning a little bit.  Our energy is a little better and the coughing has subsided.  We got to spend some time in the pool today, doing laps.  That was not in the cards a few days ago.  Progress is cool.

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


Thursday, September 20, 2018



There was rain today, in places where we weren’t.  Downtown it did not rain, but northeast about a mile, the streets were wet.  

This week’s ‘Zany Day’ song has a few long-time friends.  Here a little more:  “Open up the window, let some air into this room.  I think I’m almost chokin’ from the smell of stale perfume.  And that cigarette you’re smokin’ ‘bout scared me half to death.  Open up the window, sucker, let me catch my breath.  __ __ __ __ __ __, __ __ __ __ __ __, she said, that ain’t the way to have fun, son, that ain’t the way to have fun, son.”  Clue:  Sometimes it’s best to heed advice.  Group name is a way of ranking temperature in the Oz outback in winter.  Hmm.

This morning we went downtown to get our vitamin injections.  We had made a plan with Cat to meet her across the street at the Honda dealer when we were done.  Her bike was making ‘bad noises’ and needed a diagnosis.  At the clinic, they took our vitals, interviewed us briefly and then we got our B12 shots.  Next week we go back for vitamin C.      

Meanwhile, across the street, we got there a few minutes before the technician came in with the news.  They would need to keep the bike for 3 days to complete the work.  Something inside the engine needs to be replaced.  We took Cat to Work@Home where we had coffee and she had hot milk.  Then we discovered that they no longer rent motorbikes.  We were told where we could find rentals and went there.  Cat is now riding a newer bike without bad sounds.  She’ll be able to get to her classes and her teaching jobs without missing any appointments.  

This was the day we had to do our Immigration check-in and get our re-entry permits.  When we walked into the office, there was only one person being served.  While our papers were being processed, we talked to the person who helped us the last time.  We talked about her golf game, laughed about needing more practice, and then watched her interview an African woman about her braids.  It was like a little party.  I mentioned that we had seen one of their co-workers who had retired to Nan and that we hung out at the art exhibit.  They thought that was so cool.  For what used to be a dreaded event, going to immigration just got a whole lot better.  We know when to go, and everyone is a ‘buddy’ now.  We even got tips on the new photo regulation for the next time we renew.  

Feeling like we had just accomplished something major, we stopped by The Wanderer for a little reward.  Tea and cake/cookies were the order of the day.  We got to see the family and learned that when Lisa orders chicken, it’s referred to as ‘Khun Lisa’s chicken’ in the kitchen.  Kwan wanted to be sure of what chicken Lisa likes, so Lisa told her which chicken and now it’s clear.  As we were leaving, I noticed a big, orange spiny fruit on the counter.  It’s our photo of the day.

This fruit is called ‘Gac’ and has lots of vitamins and is good for you, even though the little spines are sharp.

Have a Thrilling Thursday.


“Every writer is a frustrated actor
who recites his lines in the hidden
auditorium of his skull.”
~Rod Serling

Wednesday, September 19, 2018



We had a pleasant weather day, even though the sky was threatening for most of it.  In the afternoon the rain came again.  It didn’t last long, but soaked everything.  I’m sure there will be more.

‘Easy Monday’ was The Temptations singing “My Girl”.  See, you did know that.  On to another ‘Zany Day’ tune:
“Want some whiskey in your water, sugar in your tea?  What’s all these crazy questions they askin’ me?  This is the craziest party there could ever be, don’t turn on the lights, ‘cause I don’t want to see.  __ __ __ __ __ __, __ __ __ __ __ __, that ain’t the way to have fun, no.”  Hint:  About a party the singer was warned about.  

The nastiness continues, nose blowing, coughing a little, and feeling very sluggish.  This morning we went to Work@Home for coffee.  We were hoping to see Katai and Towan and just as we finished our coffee, they showed up.  We had a really good visit.  It had been weeks since the four of us had been able to talk.  We talked about how we’re doing and eventually, the conversation turned to how they are doing since the passing of Towan’s mother last week.  It was a good talk for all of us.  Then we talked about dogs, of course, and what makes it difficult to get another pet after being so invested emotionally in the last one.  Another deep conversation.  At the end of it all, they told us about a doctor they go to for vitamin injections that really help when they’ve been sick.  We found the office and will go in the morning.  A boost will be welcome.

This afternoon I went down the hall to turn off the light in the guest room and realized it had become Nitchanan’s new playhouse.  The big bed is perfect for playing with the animal set, plus, she doesn’t have to sit on the hard floor.

Today’s photo was taken at The Wanderer.  We have had them living in our yard for a few months.  I don’t know which flower they like, but we’re glad they live here too.    

Lisa and Chopper have a special relationship these days.  Today, while she was talking to Natcha, Chopper came over to her and kept insisting that she pet him.  That’s major progress.  He really seems to be evolving, getting mellower.

Feels like a Wacky Wednesday.


“If you aren’t in over your head,
how do you know how tall you are?”
~T.S. Eliot

Tuesday, September 18, 2018



We were awakened by a 5am storm that turned into a steady rain for a few hours.  Then the sky cleared and it was beautiful.  We’re not sure when the next wave will come.

‘Easy Monday’ was so easy most of you just neglected to say anything.  Michael resisted the temptation and answered anyway.  Here’s the rest of the first verse:  “…when it’s cold outside I’ve got the month of May.  I guess you’d say, what can make me feel this way?  __ __, (__ __).  Talkin’ ‘bout __ __ (__ __). “  Clue:  First of many hits from this 5 man vocal group from the motor city.

This morning, after the sky stopped dripping, we drove up to Shong Cafe and met Cat for coffee and breakfast.  Now that she’s in her third year as an English Education major and is also teaching, we have lots to talk about.  She has a teacher who is what is called a ‘native speaker’ of English, but who has a heavy regional accent.  We discussed the problems with trying to learn the language and the dialect and how it could impact teaching to others.  Her powers of observation are getting very sharp as she learns and teaches at the same time.  

We’re still not over this crazy flu thing.  Today was a little better for me and a little worse for Lisa.  We think that maybe the rabies shot yesterday had something to do with the change in symptoms.  The afternoon was spent mostly taking care of ourselves and relaxing.

Natcha and Nitchanan are still sick so we went out for dinner.  Cat came over and we went to Sombroso for Mexican food.  Today was ‘Taco Tuesday’, which meant 50% off on tacos.  The place was really busy with what seemed like a lot of regular customers.  We learned that the people running the place are Americans.  Cat’s order took a long time because they ran out of sauce.  After making more, the owner came to the table, apologized and told her the order was on the house.  Now if only I could just get them to make a special sauce without the green chilis.

Today’s photo was taken at Big C last week.  I’m not exactly sure what’s in the baskets so I simply call it ‘Mounds of Food’.  I do know that there was rice involved.

Have a Happy Tuesday.


“Life is a lot like jazz,
it’s best when you improvise.”
~George Gershwin

Monday, September 17, 2018



Our weekend was hot and sunny.  This afternoon (Monday) we got smacked with a storm containing all of the weather elements of this region:  wind, heavy rain, thunder and lightning.  It lasted about an hour and was gone.

The ‘Old School Friday’ song was “Georgia” by Ray Charles.  The song was written in 1930 by Hoagy Carmichael and Stuart Gorrell.  It became a major hit in 1960 when Mr. Charles recorded it.  For many years, Ray Charles would not perform in Georgia because of the racism he experienced there.  It’s time for a real live ‘Easy Monday’ and I’ve got just the tune for you:  “I’ve got sunshine on a cloudy day….”  Hint:  Really?  Title is in two words.  I’m tempted to give you more lyrics, but those should get you started.

This virus thing we have just won’t leave us alone.  Imagine having a bad head cold, a persistent chest cold, and no energy and you have a vague picture of what we’re dealing with.  Every time we venture out, we return exhausted. Staying at home has proved to be the sanest thing so far.  Sunday we had take-out from The Wanderer since it’s the closest and easiest menu to negotiate.  When we got our dinner order, there was a container with a note stating that it was a special soup they make at home when they're feeling sick.  It was quite delicious. 

Out in the world the Chiang Rai marathon was held on Sunday.  We knew something was up when we heard a woman’s voice over a P.A. system at 5:50am.  They must have started at 6am because it was endless for about one hour.  We left the house later in the morning and we could see people slowly making their way back to the start/finish line.  Our friend Joaqim at Chivit Tamma Da said his wife did the 5k and he heard that there were about 1000 people participating.  It’s very festive whenever there is a walk, run or ride event.  I guess it’s like that around the world.  

Today’s photo was taken from the porch at Chivit Tamma Da.  I call it ‘Chivit In the Morning’.

Daku gave us a bit of a scare this morning when he jumped over a hedge in the front yard.  When he landed he was limping and we feared he had done something permanent to his hip.  We kept him downstairs for the day and now he is doing just fine.  I had a talk with him about curbing his boyish enthusiasm when it came to the stunts.  I think we reached an understanding.  

At Overbrook hospital this afternoon, Lisa got another injection of the rabies series, with one more to go.  Nurse Pay told us there are a lot of people with the flu coming to the hospital.  The annual flu shots will probably come out next month.  Our doctor have her something to help with the stuffy head and one of the cautions said: ‘May cause sleepy’.  We just had to laugh.  We tell Daku to ‘go lie down, go sleepy’.  Hmm.

The weekend heatwave warmed the pool to 92 degrees.  Needless to say, we dipped into the 'spa' and just hung out for about 30 minutes.  I’m sure the afternoon storm cooled it off a bit.  Some form of rain or storm is predicted for the rest of the week.  Too bad, Gong washed our dirty van this afternoon.  

Well, I’m done here, time to put my head down and rest my eyes.  

Have a Great Week.


“Magic is believing in yourself,
if you can do that, you can 
make anything happen.”
~Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Friday, September 14, 2018

Friday Funnies


Today was hot and muggy.  No rain in sight, although the Bangkok Post said is was raining here.  Hmm, a simple phone call could make things so much more accurate (555).

The ‘Zany Day’ song was “Purple Haze” by Jimi Hendrix.  Here’s an ‘Old School Friday’ song that should be easy:
“__, __ the whole day through.  Just an old sweet song keeps __ on my mind (__ on my mind).  I said __, __, a song of you (a song of you) comes as sweet and clear as moonlight through the pines.”  Hint:  It’s a name.  Could be a person or a place.  

There are days when you wake up and you just know you are not 100%.  This was one of them.  Both of us were feeling lousy, flu symptoms shifting in intensity.  It’s amazing what one can do on sheer will power.  We did the Daku exercise thing and then regrouped and went to Big C.  The dogs have to eat, and so do the people.  After shopping we took a brief break for coffee and then cruised the fruit market.  By the time we got home I was getting that 'creepy skin' feeling.  As I suspected, a very low-grade fever upon me.  Needless to say, the rest of the day was a long nap for both of us. 

Here in Thailand, some people still have landlines in their homes.  This phone is hanging on the wall at The Wanderer.  It’s there as an antique.  I wonder how many young wanderers know how it works. 

I just realized that there is a theme to today’s message.  The song is old, the photo is something old, and, well, when you read the funnies you’ll understand.

Have a Wonderful WeekEnd.        Don’t forget the ‘Funnies’, and Formula 1 is in Singapore for a street race.  Zoom


Thursday, September 13, 2018



It was a beautiful day in Chiang Rai.  Scattered clouds couldn’t keep us from seeing the blue sky and feeling the sunshine.  I hear thunder in the distance, we may get to test the new driveway drainage after all.  There is a storm heading for the Philippines that could possibly bring us left-overs, but that's a few days away.

This week’s ‘Zany Day’ song might be considered a R&R standard from the Summer of Love.  Still remembered.
“Yeah, __ __ all in my eyes, don’t know if it’s day or night.  You got me blowing, blowing my mind.  Is it tomorrow or just the end of time?  Help me, yeah, __ __!”  Clue:  By now you’re wondering if he’s singing to a woman or a drug, or both.  Hmm.

Basically, we spent another day moaning and groaning, reviewing symptoms and napping.  Natcha and Gong took Nitchanan to the clinic again so we had to get lunch outside.  We tried the new Mexican restaurant called Sobroso.  We arrived just after they opened so it was empty.  After checking out the menu and determining that they had food we could eat, we ordered lunch.  I ordered chicken tacos and Lisa got the enchiladas.  My plate had four little tortillas set up in open-face style.  It was a good sized meal for me and the taste was quite good.  When you can’t stop eating, that’s when you know.  Lisa had a similar experience with her order, except that they had to redo the who thing.  When you say no cheese, some cooks take it upon themselves to alternate with something else.  Her order came with cream on the enchiladas.  Who does that?  They replaced the meal and it was good without cream (555).  We will be going back to Sobroso for sure.  Oh, and they played a variety of Mexican music that really added to the experience.  

Mr. Chopper is getting better with age.  He still has some areas where improvement is needed, but he’s more fun to be around these days.  The more social interaction he gets, the more he seems to cooperate.  Everybody needs love.

Today’s photo was taken in Bangkok by an unknown friend of Tatt’s.  Tatt was rehearsing for his graduation in October.  We will be going to Bangkok for that weekend.

Here’s hoping everyone who needs to, reaches higher ground out of the path of the hurricane on the east coast of the U.S.  

Have a Thrilling Thursday.


“You wander from room to room
hunting for the diamond necklace
that is already around your neck.”

Wednesday, September 12, 2018



The forecast told us that it was raining in Chiang Rai, but that didn’t really happen.  This afternoon we had a ‘Thunder Concert’, but no real rain.  The driveway entrance drain system was completed, but we couldn’t tell if it worked.  Maybe tomorrow (5).

The ‘Easy Monday’ song was “Never My Love” by The Association.  It’s time for a ‘Zany Day’ song, from 1967.
“__ __ all in my brain, lately things don’t seem the same.  Actin’ funny but I don’t know why.  ‘Scuse me while I kiss the sky.  __ __ all around, don’t know if I’m comin’ up or down.  Am I happy or in misery?  Whatever it is, that girl put a spell on me.”  Hint:  There is a color involved.

This was an ‘off the grid’ day for us.  Since there was nothing needed from ‘outside’ and we were both feeling ‘under the weather’, we just stayed at home and chilled.  Lisa has what seems like the flue without the fever.  I’m on the outer fringes of something that seems like a bad cold.  So far, I can breathe and sleep isn’t a problem.  Small favors indeed.  We have been exposed to a lot of potential ‘donors’ lately so we just have to ride it out.

Nitchanan is still battling a similar ailment and has missed school due to a fever.  Today they went to the clinic at the government hospital, but it was too crowded so they have gone to see the doctor at his private spot.  This is the practice here.  Doctors work at one of two hospitals during the day, and then have their own private clinic in the evenings.  Even though Nitchanan isn’t feeling well, she was still up for visiting while we had dinner.  She brushed Daku (sort of) and brought us pillows for our backs.  She also tried to slip upstairs after dinner, but Natcha convinced her that she needed her to help close the curtains.  

Monday, when we went to Polar, a funny thing happened.  As we were about to pay the bill, the manager came out to give them a price and we had this moment.  She asked if we had met, thought she’d seen me before.  I said maybe, and then she said she wanted to take a photo with me, that she thought I might be famous.  Well, of course you can take my picture, and I am quite famous in my mind (555).  Lisa and I took a photo with Pim and now we’re celebrities at Polar (555).  

Today’s photo was taken at Polar.  There’s a whole jungle growing around this tree.

For those of you who keep track of these things, we have booked all aspects of the Winter Visit.  We’ll be arriving in Los Angeles on December 23, and returning to Thailand on January 10.  One thing I can say, with certainty, is that it’s always different when we get there.  That keeps it interesting, to say the least.

It’s gonna be a Wacky Wednesday.


“No need to think outside the box,
simply realize there is no box.”

Tuesday, September 11, 2018



The weather this morning looked like it would be a typical, cloudy Chiang Rai day.  The afternoon got dark a little early and we had a repeat of the Saturday storm, complete with flooding yards.  It drained after a few hours and all is well.

The ‘Easy Monday’ song has lots of friends.  This beautiful love ballad by a six-man vocal group is still a favorite.
“What makes you think love will end when you know that my whole life depends on you (on you).  __ __ __, __ __ __.  You say you fear I’ll change my mind, and I won’t require you.  __ __ __, __ __ __.  How can you think love will end when I’ve asked you to spend you whole life with me (with me, with me)….”  

Our driveway at the street collects water during storms and it’s the major puddle on our road.  After Saturday’s storm we decided to do something about it.  This morning Khun Yee and his crew came to install a collector tank like the ones in the yard.  They will do something to make sure the water flows in the direction of the tank and we may put an end to this splashing nuisance.  

We have been avoiding the construction to the west of us for most of the week.  This morning, looking from upstairs, I noticed a bit of a traffic jam.  The sudden storm probably had something to do with it.  Digging trenches and then having them fill with water can be a problem for the crews that have to go into the trench.  Having grown up not even knowing where the water went in a hard rain, it makes me appreciate the planning that must have taken place so long ago.  Witnessing the installation of what was taken for granted in another life, is hard to describe.  Storm drains as a modern convenience is as close as I can get.  

Today’s photos are a couple more from the ‘storm series’.  Front and back yard lakes.  Now, where did I put that row boat?

We just saw a article about brand new buses that will be used to take passengers around the city.  It appears to be like a shuttle, with stops at the airport, bus stations, the mall and other points of interest.  For $0.60 US, it might be fun to ride the bus to the mall and not have to deal with the crazy parking lot.  

Have a Happy Tuesday.


“The past cannot be cured.”
~Elizabeth I

Monday, September 10, 2018



The weather made up for weeks of light showers on Saturday afternoon.  What may have been the storm of the year paid a visit to our area and dumped more water that we’ve seen in a very long time.  

The ‘Old School Friday’ song was “Stand By Me” by Ben E. King.  Here’s an ‘Easy Monday’ that really is easy:
“You ask me if there’ll come a time when I grow tired of you.  __ __ __, __ __ __.  You wonder if this heart of mine will lose its desire for you.  __ __ __, __ __ __.”  Hint:  It’s by a large vocal group, 1967, friends of Windy.

Saturday morning looked like most mornings lately.  The sky was cloudy, but had the potential for a nice day.  Some time in the mid-afternoon hours, the sky got dark.  The next thing we knew, we were hearing the sound of ‘big drops’, meaning that hard rain was coming.  It didn’t take long before the visibility had been diminished and the sound could best be described as a roar.  The wind joined the party and all we could do was watch it happen.  With nowhere to go, we just went from window to window, checking out the yards and watching the water collect.
The weird thing about it was the way it just did it’s thing, then faded into nothing.  By early evening vendors were setting up for ‘Walking Street’, which we were sure would be canceled.  Streets were mostly dry and life was returning to normal.  

Today’s photos show the aftermath of the storm in our yards.  The first photo is from the carport.  When cars drove by in the street, little waves came under the gate and traveled to the porch.  The second is part of the back yard.

Sunday morning we went out to see a yard full of debris.  Not only were there leaves from some of our trees, but from across the street, along with trash that floated in from down the street.  Gong cleaned it all up, even though it was his day off.   

This morning we went to Overbrook so Lisa could get another dose of rabies vaccine and I could get a tetanus booster.  Monday morning is not the most fun time at any hospital, but with the help of Nurse Pay, we got through it without waiting or going crazy (555).  

This afternoon we went to immigration to renew our retirement visas.  We had made arrangements with our attorney to meet there so he could explain part of our land business.  They have added a new item on the renewal application and he helped explain in Thai.  It took two trips, but we got our visas for another year.  

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, Nitchanan is sick and Lisa may have contracted some or all of whatever it is.  When little ones begin going to school, things come home that you just can’t anticipate.  Before she started feeling bad, we noticed that she had progressed with her ‘wai and curtsy’, which is something all little girls learn.  We wondered when we arrived, just how young this ritual was taught.  Now we know.  Before children can walk, boys and girls are taught to put their hands together to form the ‘wai’.  We’ve watched adults hold toddlers hands in that position and say the words, Sawadee kup or ka depending on boy or girl.  
It’s just the way it is.  

Have a Great Week.


“The charity that is a 
trifle to us can be
precious to others.”

Friday, September 7, 2018

Friday Funnies


The weather today was almost a carbon copy of yesterday.  Patchy clouds, lots of sunshine and heat, a small threat of rain with no wetness.  Let’s do it again.

Bravo to the brave and few who remembered this week’s ‘Zany Day’ song.  It was “50 Ways to Leave Your Lover” by Paul Simon.  That leaves one more tune for the week, ‘Old School Friday’.  “When the night has come, and the land is dark, and the moon is the only light we’ll see.  No, I won’t be afraid. oh, I won’t be afraid, just as long as you __ __ __.”  Hint: This should be easy.  Feeling safe with someone by his side.

This morning we started the ‘new’ exercise routine with Daku.  He was expecting to first chase the ball and then go back and forth across the front lawn.  Instead, we walked around and he was a little confused.  We were all a little confused.  The doc said no running and even though Daku usually mostly trotted, walking was seeming dull to us all.  In a related train of thought, last night at the funeral service, we mentioned the idea of a chair lift to our friend Third and he immediately got on his phone and did some Google searches and found several companies in Bangkok.  What a guy.  Now we have a start on a possible solution.  Our friend Alonzo, an artist in the States, sent info as well, on a company in Bangkok.    

We braved the mall this morning, before it opened, and went to Starbuck’s for coffee.  We are slowly learning the tricks of the traffic around the parking lot.  

This afternoon’s cremation service had a very large turnout.  The air was hot and still, but respect won over comfort.  There was chanting, but not a lot of speeches, just a simple ceremony.  Everyone lined up and placed a paper flower on a tray that would be a part of the fire.  Silent prayers were said and that was how it ended.  

The main road to our street is a mess.  There is a big, wide ditch running the length of the road for several blocks.  Fortunately, there is a path to our soi, but the traffic going south is bumper-to-bumper so it’s often grid-locked.  Alternate routes going in and out are a lot less stressful.

Nitchanan is going to a language preschool.  She is learning Chinese and English.  Natcha told us that she can count to 20 in Chinese already.  She and Gong don’t know what she’s saying when she says things in Chinese, but it’s pretty amazing that she’s learning so fast.  Her teacher is also excited about her aptitude.  

When I told you that Khun Noot gave us some giant lemons, I thought I should show you just what I meant.  On the counter at The Wanderer, you can see the big lemons in the background.  In the foreground is what is called a finger lemon.  They were all grown organically and the whole fruit, including the skin, can be used.

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


Thursday, September 6, 2018



It was another beautiful day in Chiang Rai.  The evening sky had a few scattered clouds and a sunset.  We haven’t seen one of those in a long time.

The ‘Zany Day’ song has a few followers.  The chorus of the song might trigger a memory or two, or fifty.
“You just slip out the back, Jack.  Make a new plan, Stan.  You don’t need to be coy, Roy, just get yourself free.  Hop on the bus, Gus.  You don’t need to discuss much.  Just drop off the key, Lee, and get yourself free.”  Clue:  Remember, the title is in 6 words

We had a really busy day.  It started with coffee at The Wanderer.  Khun Noot gave us a giant bag of her super-size lemons.  Then we went back to the house and picked up Daku, for a trip to the vet.  There have been occasions when he seemed to be in physical discomfort so we wanted to get him checked out.  Dr. Arnon took x-rays and discovered that he has what is called ‘hip luxation’.  He told us that it’s common among older Goldens and he suggested monitoring his activity.  There will be no more morning exercise runs across the front lawn, although he has been reluctant to run lately.  Our biggest concern is the stairs.  We’re investigating a ‘chair lift’ device that could take him up and down.  Later, we may use it with a smile (555).  For now, we’ll try to get him to stay downstairs during the day.  He always likes to stay with us at night.  Everything changes.

This afternoon we went back to the hospital for Lisa’s second rabies vaccine injection.  The effects of the other shots have basically worn off, with the swelling in her hand almost gone.  Our friend, Nurse Pay, will be helping make the rest of the series as ‘painless’ as possible.

After the hospital, it was a quick trip around a few corners to the tax office, where we paid our annual bill.  The most interesting thing about this is the fact that it stays the same.  That brought us to swim time and a chance to do some laps and relax.

Tonight was the last night of services for Sutheera’s father.  There was a big crowd and a full compliment of monks.  It was basically the same service, but with different participants.  Tomorrow afternoon will be the cremation ceremony and we will attend that as well.  

Today’s photos are part of a collection of dishes that Gong created while at cooking school in Chiang Mai.  I will share more next week.  They are little works of art.  They also look quite delicious.

Have a Thrilling Thursday.


“The teacher who is indeed wise
does not bid you to enter the house
of his wisdom, but rather leads you
to the threshold of your mind.”
~Khalil Gibran

Wednesday, September 5, 2018



Here in Chiang Rai it was sometimes cloudy, sometimes sunny, but there was no rain.  More of this would be nice.

The ‘Easy Monday’ song was “Still The One” by Orleans.  Oh, now the clues make sense, right?  It’s time for another ‘Zany Day’ song.  “The problem is all inside your head, she said to me.  The answer is easy if you take it logically.  I’d like to help you in your struggle to be free, there must be __ __ __ __ __ __.”  Hint:  There is a number involved in the title.  It’s a song about making an exit.

When Natcha returned from taking Nitchanan to school she told us that our street was indeed closed at the main road.  Now the question is, how long?  This afternoon I used an alternate route to get downtown.  It took about the same amount of time.  It’s good to know more than one way to get anywhere (555).

Today we went on a little road trip.  We began northbound on the Super Highway, stopping in Ban Du for hot-spot cream for Daku.  Then we continued up the highway to Doy Din Dang for coffee and a special chat with Tamako.  It’s always so pleasant to sit in the little coffee shop with no walls, surrounded by their forest. It makes for easy conversations about whatever comes to mind.  We covered everything from dogs to global warming to art world politics.  We also met a new person from America who is friends with Tamako and Somluk.  

From the red clay earth of Doy Din Dang we traveled south to the other end of Chiang Rai, by way of the by-pass road, east of the city.  After a quick visit to HomePro we reversed our course and made it home by lunch.  

The last time we lunched at The Wanderer I enquired about the ingredients in their new ‘Young Coconut Custard Cake’ and learned that there was no dairy involved.  I tried a piece and now I have a new favorite dessert in the woods (555).

Since Gong’s return from Chiang Mai and cooking school, he has been making little gourmet dinners.  We haven’t had one yet, but I’m sure if we asked he'd cook something up for us.  His presentations are beautiful.

There is something about a ‘blue sky day’ after so much rain that brings people out into the streets.  This afternoon I drove downtown for a meeting and the streets were busier than I’ve ever seen on a Wednesday.  

Feels like a Wacky Wednesday.

“Teachers can change lives
with just the right mix of 
chalk and challenges.”
~Joyce Meyer