Monday, January 21, 2019



The weather is staying pretty consistent in Chiang Rai.  The nights are not quite as cool, but the days are remaining in the mid to high 80s.  

The ‘Old School Friday’ tune was “Goin’ Out of My Head” by Little Anthony & The Imperials.  This week’s ‘Easy Monday’ song is really easy:  “I’ve got sunshine on a cloudy day.  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 __ __ (__ __).”  Hint:  Comparing his love to various wonders of nature and wealth.  I’m Tempted to tell you more but….

Our ‘Adventures In Thailand’ are still a bit limited to destinations with short walking distances.  Saturday morning we were going to meet Cat at Chivit Tamma Da, but when we arrived at 9:45am, the lot was full and the joint was jumping.  We ended up at The Wanderer, where we did our usual of coffee and roti.  This was the first time we’d seen Cat since we left for the States.  We had a lot of catching up to do.  There was so much to talk about that she followed us to the house and we continued our conversations.  

Most of Saturday was spent watching the Australian Open, plus wonderful moments with Nitchanan mixed in for good measure.  Sunday morning, Lisa drove me to my meeting.  Quite often, I have to walk a long way from where I can park to where I need to be.  This made it easier.  The body is improving, but long walks and standing for a long time are still difficult.  We had lunch at The Wanderer with our friends Nukoon and Sutheera.  Nukoon is a big tennis fan so we had lots to discuss.  I asked him if he played and he told me he started with badminton, then tennis, and finally, golf.  We laughed when I mentioned that it was a lot less running.  It was his first visit to The Wanderer and he enjoyed his meal and the atmosphere.  

While browsing through Facebook, we discovered that we missed a big parade Sunday evening.  Not that we could have gone (555).  It was a lavish affair with flower floats carrying costumed members of the LGBT community.  This is a major deal since not long ago, there was an almost zero tolerance on the community level.  The times, they are a changin’ and that’s a good thing.  

Today we got a new water pump on one side of the house.  It’s a slick little Italian job that is much quieter than the old pump and puts out more pressure.  It took two guys a little over an hour to make the change-over.  

Lisa captured a moment as Nitchanan transformed into ‘Camera Woman’, using the handle of Lisa's cane as the eyepiece and lens (there is an LED light that she sees as the lens).  She very carefully posed Natcha, making little adjustments until she had it just right.  

Have a Great Week.


“We may have all come on
different ships, but we’re 
in the same boat now.”
~Martin Luther King, Jr.

Friday, January 18, 2019

Friday Funnies


My sympathies to all those who are living in the midst of ice and snow.  We’re having very pleasant weather this weekend.  Wish you were here.

The ‘Zany Day’ song was “Norwegian Wood” by The Beatles (Rubber Soul LP).  And now friends, it’s time for ‘Old School Friday’: “Well, I think I’m __ __ __ __ __.  Yes, I think I’m __ __ __ __ __ over you, over you.  I want you to want me, I need you so badly, I can’t think of anything but you.  And I think I’m __ __ __ __ __, yes, I think I’m __ __ __ __ __ over you, over you….”  Hint: The title is a phrase used to describe losing ones mind.  It’s by a lead singer who really was little, and his background singers.

So, we called ourselves going to bed early and yet, we were awake at 4am., pretended to be asleep until 5ish and then we surrendered to being awake.  This is a critical part of the process because once we stir or speak, then Daku gets up expecting to do downstairs.  The day began in darkness.

We had our first real ‘outing’ into the city.  Gong had brought it to our attention that we needed to get a new tire so we went to a place I used years ago.  It was almost to the mall, which meant we saw a lot of Chiang Rai on our way.  It was still fairly early, so we experienced the end of the morning traffic.  At the tire store, we got four new tires at a very decent price.  There’s nothing worse than hanging around a tire shop so we hailed a Tuk-Tuk and went back into town for coffee at Work@Home.  Our friends weren’t there, but it was nice to relax in familiar surroundings.  We hailed another Tuk-Tuk back to the tire shop and our timing was almost perfect.  

The first Tuk-Tuk drove through the fruit market, which we hadn’t seen in a long time.  On our ride home we drove through the main market and experienced the morning dance that keeps the city moving.  I made a few mental notes of streets to avoid due to road work.  

The coffee shop next door is still under construction.  Today they moved into the hammer and nail phase of the project.  It was so nice when they just poured concrete and waited for it to cure.  So peaceful (555).  

In today’s photos, Nitchanan and Daku are seen hanging out in the living room.  She carried her bag of chips all around, and Daku followed, patiently waiting for something to drop.  In the first pic you can see her airplane.  
In the second pic they’re posing for the camera, hamming it up.

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


Thursday, January 17, 2019



This morning it looked like it might rain.  Of course, that burned off and we had another beautiful day even though it was a little cooler.  

Day two of a song is usually when the memories give the answer.  Let’s see if this ‘Zany Day’ song works the same.
“I sat on a rug, biding my time, drinking her wine.  We talked until two, and then she said, ‘It’s time for bed’.  She told me she worked in the morning and started to laugh.  I told her I didn’t and crawled off to sleep in the bath.  And when I awoke I was alone, this bird had flown.  So I lit a fire, isn’t it good, __ __.”  Clue:  There is furniture involved. 

Even with a good night’s sleep and an afternoon nap, we are still finding it difficult to stay awake at 7:30 in the evening.  Mr. Lag is trying to make a statement and it’s being heard.  “You will obey”.  I suppose the chin dropping to the chest is a sign of submission.  This may be a short message.

We learned more about water pumps today from our friend Edwin.  We got a call from the ‘Water Works’ company and when Lisa asked the young woman if she spoke English, her reply was, “I cannot do that”.  Hmm, we had to laugh.  Once we make contact, we’re going with the Italian model they sell.  

This afternoon, Nitchanan came to visit and brought a new toy.  It was a large model of an A380 jetliner with a friction motor.  You do remember friction motors don’t you?  They were mostly in cars, and made them go faster and farther on the floor.  Anyway, it was one of those moments when there was an attraction to a non-traditional toy and it made me smile.  She handed me the plane and began to play with the little didgeridoo.  Then we’d trade again.  Another game was born, for a minute.

There is a bird that we have come to love, even though we can’t always see them.  They are called the Greater Coucal and they like to hang out in big trees and one bush in our yard.  They sound like apes when they are courting, making a hooting sound that gets louder with each series.  Here’s one in our yard.

Have a Thrilling Thursday.


“Love is when he gives you a 
piece of your soul, that you 
never knew was missing.”
~Torquato Tasso

Wednesday, January 16, 2019



We’re having cool mornings, which are perfect for exercising the dog and warm afternoons, great for snoozing at the request of Mr. Lag.  He could leave anytime and it would be OK with me.

The ‘Easy Monday’ song was “Smooth Operator” by Sade.  Here’s another ‘Zany Day’ entry to tax your mind:  “I once had a girl, or should I say she once had me.  She showed me her room, isn’t it good __ __.  She asked me to stay and she told me to sit anywhere.  So I looked around and I noticed there wasn’t a chair.”  Hint:  It’s those pesky boys from across the pond, mid 60s and there is furniture involved.

This morning we had a delightful and insightful breakfast with our friend Edwin.  He gave us some healing meditations that have helped him.  In the course of conversation, he mentioned a man who Blue went to a few times.  The healer with that foul tasting herbal tea.  When the conversation turned to exercise, it opened the door to swimming and the construction of a heating system for our pool.  We learned that there is a company that deals with all things water, before it enters the house.  This outfit may be the closest we’ll see to plumbers.  We have their number.  Sure beats trying to do it myself.  A big revelation during breakfast was the number of people in Thailand who speak Lao.  The province of Issan (in the northeast corner of Thailand) is right next to Laos and it’s population speaks mostly Lao.  Any discussion of language in Thailand also includes the many forms of Thai language as well as English and how it is taught.  It was very stimulating morning.

I may have mentioned this in the past, but there is a thing that tarmac workers do at airports that always gets me.  The people who guide the plane out of it’s parking spot stand and wave just before the plane leaves for the runway.  I have seen it once in the States, in San Jose, but always in Thailand and Taiwan.  

While on the subject of travel, on our flight from Bangkok to Taipei, we were on the ‘Hello Kitty’ jet.  It’s not a big deal from inside the plane, except that they play the most annoying music over and over as the passengers board the plane.  Today’s photo is Kitty’s place in the airport.

We still haven’t seen a lot of Chiang Rai since we’ve been back.  Our running of errands is on ‘hold’ since neither of us can stand in long lines or walk long distances yet.  Luckily, there are no lines at our favorite coffee shops.

It Feels Like a Wacky Wednesday.


“Love is the only force capable
of transforming an enemy into 
a friend.”
~Martin Luther King, Jr.

Tuesday, January 15, 2019



We’re in the weather pattern that begins with a cool, foggy morning and progresses into a hot, sunny day.  

It would appear that the ‘Easy Monday’ song has slipped right by some of you.  Here’s the second verse.
“Coast to coast, L.A. to Chicago, western male.  Across the north and south to Key Largo, love for sale.  Face to face, each classic case we shadow box and double cross, yet need to chase.  A license to love, insurance to hold, melts all your memories and change into gold.  His eyes are like angels but his heart is cold.  No need to ask, he’s a __ __, __ __, __ __, __ __.” Clue:  The group and the singer share the same name.  The title refers to someone who seems to get away with everything they attempt.  To give too many hints would be the Sweetest Taboo.

Let me just say that Mr. Lag is in the house.  Sleeping patterns are not what they used to be, and we know enough by now to just go with it.  One minute we’re watching the Australian Open tennis tournament, the next, we’re sound asleep.  It’s fortunate that we have no particular place to be for a few days.  That could be embarrassing.  Then there’s the waking up in the middle of the night.  

Yesterday we went to immigration to fulfill a new requirement that states that whenever we leave the province or the country, we must check in and let them know where we were.  It’s a little curious, but we comply because they said so.  

Tomorrow is ‘Teacher’s Day’, not to be confused with ‘Teacher Appreciation Day’.  On Teacher’s day the schools are closed to contemplate the value of educators in the life of students.  It’s also a day off for teachers.  January 16 has been Teacher’s Day since 1957.  We first heard about this when Natcha mentioned that Nitchanan would have no school tomorrow.  Teacher Appreciation Day was introduced to us by Napa, a ballet student of Lisa's many years ago.  This is the day when students bring flowers, candles and incense to school, crawl to the teacher and present them.  Three specific flowers are given: one to symbolize wit, another to show respect, and a third to honor their perseverance.  

We’re starting our day with breakfast at The Wanderer with our friend Edwin.  We haven’t seen him since the wonderful dinner we had with his family, before our trip.  It’s been awhile since I had breakfast in the woods.  I’m leaning towards the waffles with cinnamon apples.  

This morning we exercised Daku for the first time in over two months.  The front lawn has been missed.  He was so happy to be out on the lawn with the two of us.  As he was breaking the rules by running, he had a big smile on his face.  Yes, it’s true, dogs smile.  

Have a Happy Tuesday.


“He is no fool who gives what
he cannot keep to gain what
he cannot lose.”
~Jim Elliot

Monday, January 14, 2019



We are back in Chiang Rai, where the weather is wonderful.  Today is was in the mid-80s, going down to the mid-60s tonight.  Yeah, this feels good.

The ‘Old School Friday’ song was “School Days” by Chuck Berry.  Here’s an ‘Easy Monday’ tune we haven’t hummed in a long time:  “Diamond life, lover boy, he moves in space with minimum waste and maximum joy.  City lights, business nights when you require streetcar desire for higher heights.  No place for beginners or sensitive hearts.  When sentiment is left to chance, no place to be ending but somewhere to start.  No need to ask, he’s a __ __, __ __, __ __, __ __.”  Hint:  

We left off with us waiting for our plane at LAX.  There was a special moment when we first got to the airport.  When we dropped off our car at Hertz, we pulled into the wrong line.  After explaining our situation, they arranged for us to be driven to the airport in our rental.  At the curb, we had to figure out how to get our luggage inside to EVA Airlines.  A tall young man walked up and volunteered to help.  He was on his way to Fiji and was feeling good. He carried all of our luggage in one trip. The wheelchair people picked us up at the EVA ticket window.  When we got upstairs for the inspection and scrutinization portion, I got the royal treatment again.  This time I guess I looked like I would be an agreeable subject for a training session.  This young man, looking as nervous as I was feeling, started explaining everything I had heard in San Jose when I went through this the first time.  I tried to explain that I knew what to expect, when his supervisor/trainer stepped in and told me he had to say everything because it was blah, blah, blah.  She had a good sense of humor and we began to chat about ‘things’ as he interrupted to tell me which part of his hand would search where.  I was finally released with the knowledge that I’m a good training subject, and that most of the TSA workers are staying on the job so they don’t lose their place.  

Flying across the ocean was uneventful.  I was hoping to sleep a lot, like on the previous long segment, but there I was, wide awake.  I ended up watching some movies, snoozing a little, and wishing it was over.  That never works.  In Taipei we didn’t have too long before it was time to go to the boarding area.  When we arrived at the airport, it was very empty since we got there before the stores opened.  Later, when we rolled down the same corridor on the way to our flight, it was like a bustling city.  There they were, 7 something in the morning, selling perfume and whisky to whoever was willing to buy.  

Looking back over the whole trip, it was one of the most difficult journeys in the eleven years of doing this.  Mostly because of the physical issues this time.  Six months from now we’ll remember this with a smile and say ‘Well, that happened.’  For now, it’s time to rest and recuperate.

Pulling into The Big Brown House, we tried to absorb as much as possible.  The lawn, the trees, the house, it seemed like such a long time ago.  Daku was overjoyed as well.  He circled and circled and eventually calmed down.  We had  just finished dinner when Nitchanan made a shy appearance.  The first thing we noticed was her height.  She was taller.  Gong and Natcha had done an amazing job of moving all of our stuff back to the upstairs bedroom.  

The only thing we did on Sunday was drag ourselves over to The Wanderer for lunch.  Khun Noot came to our table and spent some time with us.  She made a pot of organic teas that she had blended.  She told us that over New Years the place was swamped with visitors.  It was nice to be there when it was mellow.

The first photo was taken by Lisa, on our approach to Chiang Rai.  These are some of the foothills that surround us.
The second photo is a cup of the tea that Khun Noot made for us.  

Last night Nitchanan was totally over her shyness.  As she entered our room there was a big “Hello”, and she picked up where we left off 3 weeks ago.  

Have a Great Week.


“It doesn’t take a lot of strength to hang on.
It takes a lot of strength to let go.”
~J. C. Watts

Thursday, January 10, 2019

Friday Funnies


The afternoon weather in Culver City was almost warmish.  I wore at least two layer the entire trip.  The rain that was predicted never appeared and that was fine with us.  There will be plenty of time for rain when we get home.  When you have things to do in the street, rain makes it harder, at least in the big city.

The ‘Zany Day’ song was “Flight 505” by The Rolling Stones.  ‘Old School Friday’ is an ode to education and being young, set to a R&R beat by ‘The Master’.  “Up in the mornin’ and out school.  The teacher is teachin’ the Golden Rule.  American history and practical math.  You studyin’ hard and hopin’ to pass.  Workin’ your fingers right down to the bone, and the guy behind you won’t leave you alone.”  Hint:  The title is not in the lyrics.  It’s from 1957, but is now a classic.

Thursday morning we had breakfast with my childhood friend, Reg (Reggie when we were younger).  Our breakfast menu included travel, retirement thoughts, politics, and the past.  It’s been a few years since our last face-to-face and it was good to see him.  

We went to a little French cafe for lunch.  Well, I guess I’m not a continental guy.  Maybe I need the real deal.  At any rate, most of it was good and I’ll leave it at that.  

It appears that I’m not the only person in the L.A. area who misses things the way they were.  I’ve listened to many reviews of the changing times and most of them are not good.  We have to wait and see who will occupy the area in about 5 years.  Who can guess the next frontier for the land barons?

We’ve had some fun, off the wall conversations with The Boys and I keep being amazed that they are so old so fast.  The timing of our exit this evening was such that we didn’t get to say goodbye to Jeff.  We did a Facetime from the car and that was fun.  Never done that before, but it worked.

Right now, it’s Thursday night and we’re sitting in the EVA lounge waiting for our flight.  Boarding begins before I should actually send this, but if I wait until we get to Taipei it will be very, very late.  So, you’re getting your Friday message early.  

This pic is a blast from the past.  Daku is pleading for me to take him out and play.  A thousand words, and a lot less hair.

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


Wednesday, January 9, 2019



It’s warming up, just as we prepare to leave.  What?  The rain was a brief thing and yesterday it was blue skies with streaky clouds (is that a thing?).  I had to take off my big jacket in the afternoon.

The ‘Easy Monday’ song was “I Wish It Would Rain” by The Temptations.  That means it’s ‘Zany Day’ time.  Here’s one from what is probably the oldest working band in R&R:  “Well, I was happy here at home, I got everything I need.  Happy bein’ on my own, just living the life I lead.  Well, suddenly it dawned on me that this was not my life.  So I just phoned the airline girl and said, ‘Get me on __ __ __, get me on __ __ __.”  Hint: This is ‘Leaving town’ week.  The singer is looking for a change of scenery.  There is a number involved.  Band name comes from a blues song.

Tuesday was a breakfast day.  We met Pam & Steve at Dinah’s and this time our table was in a big room with no other customers.  The quiet of the room made it very easy to have comfortable conversations without battling to be heard.  

I drove up to Hollywood for a meeting and had a chance to see another part of ‘The City’.  From the cool strip on Melrose Ave. to the posh, HiSo of Robertson Bl., it was all ‘Same, Same, but Different’.  I also got to see a lot of old friends that I have missed.  Sometimes I’ll see the same folks each visit, other times it’s a year or more before we see each other.  It was a good day for a reunion.

After picking up Lisa and CBass, we went to Thai Boom Restaurant for a late lunch.  We got a big, warm greeting from Khun Woodie and Khun Soonie.  We hadn’t seen either of them for long time.  Thai was spoken, lunch was good, and we kept being amazed at how big the place looked after being remodeled.  

We’re starting to get messages from friends at home, wondering when we will return.  Kwan, of The Wanderer, even included some bait in her recent message.  She sent photos of chocolate chip cookies, fresh from the oven with a caption describing them as crunchy on the outside and soft and gooey on the inside.  Yeah, we’ll be home tomorrow (555).   

In the evening, Lisa and The Boys went to the Japanese Market Food Court for dinner while I stayed home and rested my back.  

I call this one “Sky & Crane”.  This is an example of the contrast between the construction and nature in Culver City. 

The ‘Sleeping’ countdown has begun.  Years ago, August used the term ‘Sleeping’ when counting days to an event.  We still use it just for fun.  We have 2 more Sleepings until we leave for home.  

It Feels Like a Wacky Wednesday.


“Your task is not to seek for love,
but merely to seek and find all the
barriers within yourself that you have
built against it.”

Tuesday, January 8, 2019



For most of our Monday there was a mist that just kept falling.  It was probably rain in some areas, but all we got was mist.  I’m not complaining, I much prefer mist over cold rain.  In Chiang Rai they’ve been having rain.  Maybe it will be over by the time we arrive on Saturday afternoon.  Hmm.

The ‘Easy Monday’ song had a verse that was a real ‘sing-a-long’:  “Day in, day out, my tear stained face pressed against the window pane.  My eyes search the skies, desperately for rain.  ‘Cause raindrops will hide my teardrops, and no one will ever know, that I’m cryin’, cryin’ when I go outside.  To the world outside my tears, I refuse to explain.  Oh, __ __ __ __ __, (Oh, __ __ __ __ __).”  Clue:  The key words are there, the singer desires water from the sky to camouflage his tears.  

We started our day with eye exams.  So much fun, trying to read fuzzy letters, get air puffs in the eye, not to mention flashes of light.  I had joked with Lisa that they were probably going to tell me I need to wear glasses and give up the contacts.  Well, it was kind of a compromise, I’m supposed to share my eyes with regular glasses a couple of days a week, and take the contacts out every night.  What?  That’s not convenient at all (555).  Really, it could have been much worse.  As is stands, the new set of contacts are not the right prescription, at least in one eye, so I have to call and go back.  Lisa’s eyes are great.  

Our lunch venue was Cafe 50’s, a place we used to go to sometimes.  It’s still very popular, and still has that vibe like you entered a time capsule.  A nice thing about the cafe is the various turkey dishes they serve.  We just can’t get turkey in Chiang Rai.  Some ideas just keep on working, and this place is one of them.  

Today’s photo is from our visit back in time.  Dare I say it, reminds me of my childhood.

The next stop on our tour of the town was at Amir Zagross for another round of acupuncture.  In addition to two hours of needle treatment, we both got more education about how to heal our bodies.  Amir is a teacher, so he has a way of giving just enough information that one can absorb it and not feel overwhelmed.  When we get home, I have a project for Gong.  I need a ‘slant board’ so I can gently decompress my body.  I also got, at my request, a detailed report that I can give to the acupuncturist at Overbrook Hospital, so I can continue my treatments.  Things are slowly improving.  Impatient me dealing with the medicine of time.  Key word here is surrender.

One of the more disturbing things we keep encountering is the growing number of tent encampments of homeless people under bridges and overpasses.  Feelings like sadness, guilt, and powerlessness all smash into each other.

While Lisa spent time with ‘The Boys’ and Jeff and Anna, I went to dinner and a meeting with a friend/pen pal.  That’s what I call a full Monday.  Today, Tuesday, should be a little milder.  We’ll see.

Have a Happy Tuesday.


“You can be a victor without having victims.”
~From a Fortune Cookie

Monday, January 7, 2019



I sometimes forget that it’s winter time in Southern California, and that means it can rain.  Imagine that, water from the sky in L.A.  I seem to recall a song that claimed that it never rained in….

The ‘Old School Friday’ song was “There Goes My Baby” by The Drifters.  Here’s what I think is an ‘Easy Monday’ tune:  “Hmmm, sunshine, blue skies, please go away.  My girl has found another, and gone away.  With her went my future, my life is filled with gloom.  So day after day, I stay locked up in my room.  I know to you it might sound strange, but __ __ __ __ __.”  Hint:  There’s a weather thing involved.  I’m ‘Tempted’ to tell you more but it’s easy.

On Friday we started our day with an appointment with Franco for more knowledge on muscles, and a mild adjustment.  In the afternoon we saw our acupuncturist, Amir Zagross.  He offered a deeper perspective on my injury and gave me some new exercises.  We both received what I like to call a complete ‘tune up’, which consist of needles front and back, followed by an invigorating massage.  It struck me, after it was all over, that we are medical tourists.  We all laughed.  We’re going back to Amir again today after our eye exams.  The photo below was taken in Amir’s office.  I like the ‘calm greeting’ from the monk.

We had a really fun dinner with our long-time friends Ray and Eiko, at Lenny’s Deli (formerly Juniors).  It’s like walking back in time, dining in this landmark establishment.  Their son, Jonathan joined us - we hadn’t seen him since he was a boy.  He is a statistician for football and volleyball teams, among other things.  It was an enjoyable learning experience for us.

Everywhere we go, we see change.  Change in the landscape, change in neighborhoods, and changes that are yet to be unveiled.  We have changes in Chiang Rai, for sure, but here it seems like there are simultaneous changes that must boggle the mind.  What’s going to be there?  Why did they dig that deep hole?  You know, those ‘little kid’ questions that don’t have answers yet.

Saturday I celebrated 29 years of Recovery at two meetings.  Sunday, Lisa joined me for our tradition of her giving me a cake.  We had a fun lunch with a bunch of friends, went to another Ross and spent the rest of the day relaxing.  

Today we start the week with lots of busy.  The adventure continues.

Have a Great Week.


“Art is the only way to run
away without leaving home.”
~Twyla Tharp

Friday, January 4, 2019

Friday Funnies


It seems to be more of the same, weather wise.  This is definitely a colder ‘feel’ than past winter visits.  

The ‘Zany Day’ song was “Lipstick On Your Collar” by Connie Francis.  Cousin Trudye was the only reader who knew it.  ‘Old School Friday’ is a sad song from a group with tons of hits/memories:  “__ __ __ __, movin’ on down the line.  Wonder where, wonder where, wonder where she is bound?  I broke her heart and made her cry.  Now I’m alone, so all alone.  What can I do, what can I do?  Hint:  Maybe he should have taken her up on the roof for the view of Broadway.  The title refers to someone leaving.

Yesterday morning (Thursday) we packed our bags, said goodbyes, and headed for the nearest Ross store.  This was the true test of Lisa’s walking.  She lasted longer than I did.  We have to try another one, with better product, but at least we know that shopping is now on the table.  After Ross, we came back over ‘the hill’ to Culver City.  

We had lunch at Emerald Thai with our good friend Kathie.  She drives all the way from San Clemente to hang out with us.  She is deep into the world of tap dancing and is building web sites to support dancers.  We talked about travel and how far we’ve come (pardon the pun) since our first flight.   

It was the first afternoon this week that there was enough time for a nap, even though it was short.  We really thought we’d be doing a lot less, seeing fewer people on this trip due to our ‘injuries’.  The schedule is almost as crazy as any other visit, except that the cold nights have kept me in for most of the time.  We still haven’t completely solved this back thing.

In the evening we had dinner with our friend Diane, who Lisa danced with ‘back in the day’.  It was a case of a Facebook reunion that got us back in touch a few years ago.  We had a fascinating dinner, mainly because we learned so much about body movement, the nervous system, and how to deal with the current problem.  She is a practitioner of the Feldenkrais Method, which involves mindfulness of ones body movements and learning to change habits.  That’s a brief, non-professional take on it.  We also had a fun conversation realizing how many musical artists we liked and tripping down memory lane.  Diane also suggested acupuncture, so I’m going to see if I can get an appointment with our former doctor in that area.  We have a whole team (555), maybe we should call a meeting and blah, blah, blah.

The photo below was taken by Khun Noot, of The Wanderer, early in the morning in Chiang Rai yesterday.  She called it a ‘Vanilla Sky’. 

We talked to Natcha last night and discovered that Chopper is now living in Mae Sai with Gong’s parents.  The final straw, so we’re told, was when Chopper chewed up Gong’s new shoes.  Everyone will miss him, and who knows, he may return.

And finally, I’ll be staying up ’til midnight tonight because tomorrow will be January 5 and I will be celebrating 29 years of Recovery.  

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


Thursday, January 3, 2019



It seems like the days are a little warmer, but those nights, oh, those nights.  Last night it was supposed to go down to 39°.  I didn’t go out to verify (555).

The ‘Zany Day’ song didn’t get the tiniest bit of recognition.  Oh well, here’s the second verse, with more clues:
“You said you belonged to me, made me stop and think.  Then I noticed yours was red, mine was baby pink.  Who walked in but Mary Jane, lipstick all a mess?  Were you smoochin’ my best friend?  Guess the answers yes.  __ __ __ __, told a tale on you.  __ __ __ __, said you were untrue….”  Clue:  A key word is in this verse.  An item of clothing is involved.

It’s Thursday morning and we are about to bid farewell to Valley Village in the San Fernando Valley.  A mouthful on any day.  Our Wednesday adventures took us to the San Gabriel Valley for lunch with Frank and Linda and a visit with Debby.  We met Frank and Linda at Saladang Thai Restaurant in Pasadena.  We always do a lot of memory-lane stuff since Frank and I grew up in ‘Dena, as we called it.  Frank and Blue were housemates and were in the band Expressway for years.  The four of us had a wonderful time remembering Blue.  During our conversation, we all remembered his ‘style’ and how there was art in everything he did.  So many memories. Today I’m feeling his loss again. Then Linda remembered a conversation with a friend and my mom’s name came up.  Jean left an imprint on a whole community.  For our next visit we’re going to meet on Frank and Linda’s new boat.  That should be fun.  

It was a very short ride to Alhambra to meet with Debby.  She and Lisa have been friends since childhood.  It’s ironic that we have visits with childhood friends on the same day on every trip.  Hmm.  We got the rundown on her grandchildren, and even got some artwork from two of them.  While I snoozed a little, Lisa and Deb talked about days in Montana.  Lisa was recently contacted by a distant cousin who sent a ton of old photos, some that Lisa had never seen.  The smallness of the world becomes very obvious at times like these.

Today I share two photos from home.  The first was taken the night Natcha and Nitchanan had a sleepover with Daku.  Nitchanan is preparing to read a story to Daku.  In the second, Nitchanan is cuddled up with Teddy, as she calls him.  

Have a Thrilling Thursday


“I think we all have empathy.
We may not have enough
courage to display it.”
~Maya Angelou

Wednesday, January 2, 2019



Coming to you from Valley Village, CA, where it’s 46°, looking to climb to a sunny 63° for the high.  Last night it went down to 39° and that deserves a ‘Brrrrr”.  In Chiang Rai it’s a bit warmer, with highs in the high 70s on the way to mid 80s later in the week.  That’s my kind of weather.

The ‘Easy Monday’ song was “A Hard Days Night” by The Beatles, but you knew that.  ‘Zany Day’ is next, and it’s a bit of a Soap Opera:  “(yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. [repeat])  When you left me all alone at the record hop, tole me you were goin’ out, for a soda pop.  You were gone for quite a while, half an hour or or more.  You came back and man oh man, this is what I saw:  __ __ __ __, told a tale on you.  __ __ __ __, said you were untrue.  Bet you bottom dollar, you and I are through. ‘Cause, __ __ __ __ told a tale on you, yeah.”  Hint: The dated lyrics tell us this happened a long time ago.   

In yesterday’s message, I used the wrong words to designate when things would happen.  What?  Yes, I said ‘tomorrow’ we would be going to the valley, when it should have read ‘today’.  I know you probably scratched your head and thought, ‘he’s just a little sleep deprived’.  You may have been right.  Anyway, I wrote those words the night before and my brain has gotten used to writing in the morning while on this side of the big lake (555).

Yesterday we saw the beginning of the Rose Parade, but then we had to go.  I never did see the rest of it.  We drove out to Northridge for a therapeutic visit with our friend Alan.  He worked some magic on Lisa’s ankle and she stood up and walked without any pain.  Then he showed Lisa a bunch of things to do on my back to ‘release’ the muscles that are affecting the nerves, etc.  It was like a master class.  We both left feeling good and ready to meet the world.

We arrived in Valley Village in time for lunch.  Nowell and Jennifer are the consummate hosts, making sure we were comfortable in every way.  As we were getting up to speed on life stuff, a neighbor of theirs came by and a new voice was added to the chorus.  A little later, Cousin Martha and her youngest daughter, Sofia, arrived.  Sofia is 14 and was born on Lisa’s birthday.  So now we had several generations seated around the table and of course, the conversation changed at a moments notice.  It was a stimulating afternoon.  Somewhere in there, I manage to slip away and get in a much needed nap.

In the evening, we went to a ‘Left-overs’ party a few doors down at a neighbors.  It was a new thing for us, and turned out to be fun.  There had been a party the night before and what better way to deal with extra food than to have another party, with no new food.  So there we were, sitting in the midst of a neuropathologist, an air-traffic controller, a TV executive, to name a few.  Discussion ranged from deep to shallow (555), and it was all fun.  

Today, Wednesday, we’re going to the San Gabriel Valley for lunch with Frank and Linda and then to Alhambra for a visit with Lisa’s childhood friend, Debby.  Whew!  We will return to Valley Village, where we will connect with Cousin Laurel, who stayed with us in Chiang Rai.  Her mom Ellen, also spent time with us at The Big Brown House.  

Today’s photo is a cute little tractor that is also a thumb-drive cover.  I thought it was pretty clever, especially since it belongs to our friends Towan and Katai, who happen to own a large tractor business in Thailand.

It feels like a Wacky Wednesday.


“And now we welcome the new year. 
full of things that have never been."
~Rainer Maria Rilke

Tuesday, January 1, 2019



Happy New Year.

The weather in Culver City was milder today.  Translation:  Not as cold as a few days ago.  At least it felt that way. I still wouldn’t sit outside waiting for a parade.

A few of you responded to the ‘Easy Monday’ song.  I know you know it, but this is a distracting time of year.
“You know I work all day to get you money to buy you things.  And it’s worth it just to hear you say, you’re going to give me everything.  So why on earth should I moan, ‘cause when I get you alone, you know I feel OK.  When I’m home, everything seems to be right.  When I’m home, feeling you holding me tight, tight, tight, yeah.  It’s been __ __ __ __, and I’ve been working like a dog….”  Clue:  It’s by those four lads from across the pond.  Someone had issues with work, next LP there were eight days in the work week.  Yeah, one day to count all the money (555).

This morning we saw a few of the celebrations in other parts of the world, where it was already 2019.  Lots of over-the-top fireworks and displays.

It’s eerily quiet in our neighborhood right now.  Hmm, if we were in Chiang Rai, with less than 3 hours to go, something would have exploded by now.  On the other hand, the quiet is nice.

Today we had a fun lunch with Paul, Joy and Leilani.  Our usual lunch spot, Thai Boom, was closed for the holiday so we regrouped at Tree House Thai.  It has become our meeting place over the last few years.  Joy is a jewelry designer and one of our goals this trip is to see her studio.  We discovered today that Leilani has a passion for musicals.  One can really feel dated when a 10 year old knows more about modern musical theater than you.  Oh well, I know some old TV she’s never heard of (555).

We had dinner with August and C-Bass at Emerald Thai.  It was good to see Khun Nid again and the food was good.  ‘The Boys’ as we still call them, had some very funny insights about eating out on The Westside, complete with imitations of waiters, descriptions of food, and how things should be.  We’ll return for more food and visits before we return to Thailand.

Tomorrow we have another mini-trip.  We’re going to spend two nights with The Valley Cousins, which means packing a few things.  On our way there, we will go to another valley area for a therapy session with our friend Alan.  He will expand on the things we learned from Franco and maybe give us more methods of helping my back.  It’s going to be a busy morning, but a restful few days.  Please don’t quote me on that last comment (55).

The photo below was taken yesterday as we waited to ‘push back’ from the gate at the airport.  The words ‘Electric Raceway’ drew my attention.  What does this mean?  Do they race the gates late at night when no one is around, or do they use the moveable ramps as a track for radio controlled cars.  Hmm, nosey people want to know.

Have a Happy Tuesday.


“The secret to living well and longer is:
eat half, walk double, laugh triple and 
love without measure.”
~Tibetan Proverb