Monthly Archives: January 2012

This and that from re Thai r ment, by 3Th. ( 6 Mopey 0001) January 22 2012

TODAY FROM THAILAND:

A. Pookie’s Adventures in Thailand:

Last night unable to fall asleep, I looked around for things that would help me do so. I decided to calculate, with the help of the word counter program on one of my applications, the number of words I had written over the past two years. It turned out I had written about one million words.

Now what’s that all about? One Million words. That seems like a lot of words.

Why would anyone in their right mind write so much and not get paid for it? It’s like standing in a closed room and talking to yourself; that’s the definition of nuts.

One million words. That would be like writing 10 slim books or 5 longer boring ones.

And why was I awake at night adding up all this stuff about words I have written? Who cares?

That’s like figuring out how much I shit over the past two years. Since I shit about a little over pound a day, after two years I would have shit about 800 pounds. That is four times my weight.

So after two years, what I have to show for it all is one million words and 800 pounds of shit.

At least you can do something positive with the shit, spread in on some farm land and grow things. But, what does one do with used words.

What happens to all these words anyway? When you press the send button on your computer or whatever it is that you do, where do they go or where are they before or after someone reads them? Somebody once told me they are in a server someplace. Does that mean somewhere there is a server with a little electronic compartment called “Joey’s words?” Someone else said they just float around in the ether. Wouldn’t these trillions and trillions of words floating around overhead eventually become too heavy and come crashing down burying us all under tons of broken letters?

Frightening, no?

If I wrote all one million words on pieces of paper instead of into a computer, besides a bad case of writers cramp, I would have about 5000 pieces of note paper covered in scribbled words lying around my room.

That doesn’t seem so bad.

My little bookcase with my thirty or so books have more than that. My personal libraries over the years probably consisted of about 15,000 books containing over a billion words.

Why do we need so many words? Why would anyone read a billion words?

Think about it, every day probably 100 billion words are written and that’s just those written down. There must be a million times more words than that spoken. Why?

Maybe we are all made up of just words.

You know, if you ask a physicist what the universe is made of he will tell you “energy.” What the hell is that, “energy?” Well, the physicist probably will explain, it is like sunlight or electricity all waves or pulses. What the hell does that mean? Nothing.

Why not words? After all the Bible says in the beginning there was the Word. Maybe way back in the beginning all was silent. Maybe there was a prior universe and in that universe they said everything that could be said and so there was nothing more to talk or write about and everything became very quiet . The universe was sort of like a big deathly silent library.

Then, all of a sudden, someone said something like, “Oh shit, I dropped my fucking pencil,” and then everyone started talking a once.

“Boom” the “Big Bang,” words spreading out at the speed of light creating word galaxies, stars and solar systems.

And what about the “dark energy” the physicists tell us makes up most of our universe? Could it actually be “Dark Words?” Could they be those words floating around in people’s minds that no-one ever hears or sees?

Makes you wonder, doesn’t it?

So what about my 1 million words? Don’t I have something better to do with my time?

The Little Masseuse spends much of her time knitting wool scarves. She does it while watching television, riding on a bus or at work. After all, there is not that much to do at a health club but hand out towels and give a massage now and then.

But wool scarves? This is Thailand for God’s sake. What would a Thai know about wool scarves? It never gets cold here. If they actually wore them, they would probably die of heat prostration. They probably saw them in some old western movie about rich people at some expensive resort in the Alps and thought they were fashion accessories beloved by westerners. It had to be old movies. Nowadays, when one goes skiing, one wears a sleek brightly colored outfit made of plastic that makes one look like an idiot robot or a cartoon character.

Anyway, sometimes she sells them to westerners at the health club.

What’s that all about?

Why would someone come all the way to Thailand and buy a woolen scarf instead of one of those fake traditional Thai handicrafts sold on the sidewalks along most of the streets in Bangkok? Or, one of those carved wooden penises that the Thai’s seem to like so much and carry around in their pockets or attached to a key chain or dangling from a string tied around their necks?

And, what is all that about penises being good luck? Come on guys when has your penis actually brought good luck; a little fun perhaps, but good luck, probably not. More than likely, the damn thing brings you a lot of bad luck if you ask me,

Anyway, there are wool scarves stuffed everywhere throughout my apartment. I bought a bunch of them from her just to bring them to the US to get rid of them.

No, I am not going to take up knitting instead of senselessly spewing out words to pass my time.

Perhaps I can go and play checkers in a bar somewhere every day.

Does anyone play checkers anymore? Probably not, they now most likely play video games on their iPhones complete with sound effects.

I could grow tomatoes. That’s what old Italian men do. My father did it and his father before him. They were not farmers, they grew the tomatoes in their back yards or along the side of the driveway.

My father loved his tomatoes, obsessed over them. At times I thought he loved his tomatoes more than his family. Between my father and my grandfather they must have grown a million tomatoes. That’s a lot of tomatoes.

It’s frightening really what people chose to do with their lives.

B. News, Straight or Slightly Bent:

Today I had my first piece published in anything other that my own blog or some other blog that accepts everything submitted. True, it was only in the letters to the editor section of one of the two national english language newspapers in Thailand, The Nation. Nevertheless, my letter completely filled all the space allocated for the section (in other words it was long, very long). I will send a copy in my next post along with what I am sure will be outrage at my comments since I claimed, in that pseudo intellectual language that I affect and like so much, that the Thai national flood control plan is crap and doomed to fail.

MOPEY JOE’S MEMORIES:

On the Edge: Stories about the Creation and Early Years of California’s Monumental Coastal Protection Program.

A. Chapter 1. In the Beginning: an oft told story (continued).

The next morning John took us on a tour of the “Ecological Staircase.” In some ways that hike changed my life as much as anything has. Never before had I experienced anyone that seemed to have such a passionate love of nature, or of anything really; musicians or those sexually bewitched maybe. Perhaps those who met John Muir or explored the marshes with Mrs. Terwilliger (“Spend the day at home and you’ll never remember it. Spend the day outdoors with me, and you’ll never forget it.”) may have been equally affected as I was during this walk. For me it seemed both revealing and somewhat disquieting.

I grew up on the East Coast in and around New York City. I could be included among those who that passionate cynic Don Neuwirth said get nose bleeds when the soles of their feet are not in contact with cement. To us the “Woods,” as we called it, was somewhat forbidding and dangerous, a place approached with care and where possible avoided.

As we walked along, John pointed things out like a tour guide in the Sistine Chapel. He would stop, dip his hands into the mulch of the forest floor breathing in its earthy smell then urging us to do so also. At times he tenderly touched this or that shy plant explaining its particular remarkable attributes. I soon realized I was experiencing someone who appeared to be speaking about his beloved.

To John nature was nothing less that a symphony of renewal. I on the other hand could not go quite that far, the smell of the earth although pleasant still possessed the faint odor of decay. Where he saw in a green shoot pushing up through the browned fallen leaves as the miracle of regeneration, I saw only the catabolism of the dead.

And yet, and yet, I could not resist his infective enthusiasm and hoped, no wanted it all to be true.

Or, I suddenly thought, was this in fact just another example of something I once read, of, “…our peculiar American phenomenon of seeking guidance or redemption within nature.” From what could John be seeking redemption? Not being “The Olmsted?” Something that happened during recess in grammar school? A secret life perhaps?

Among the stunted trees John explained how the nitrogen depleted soil encouraged the plants in the area to evolve to trap insects from which to obtain that chemical so necessary for life.

As we trudged along we passed through the towering redwood forests that grew where the hard-pan had been broken at what could be called the staircase’s risers, crushed by the incessant geological forces as they thrust one step above the other.

As we walked in the silent spaces between the giant trees, John referred to it, as many do, as a cathedral. Like a cathedral’s columns, the massive trunks climbed up to where far above sunlight filtered through the branches as it does through a cathedral’s stained glass clerestory windows. Far below, in shadow the ground revels in silence.

But, in reality, even I knew the trees grew that high in order to expropriate the sun’s energy at the expense of everything below, just like, I assume, the builders of the great cathedrals sought to expropriate the grace of God, leaving the few worshippers scurrying about in the gloom and quiet below. Whenever I visited one of those churches, enjoying the brief respite from the vicissitudes of existence offered by the silence, I, nevertheless, soon found myself longing for the excitement and distraction of life’s bazaar outside.

As we turned to go back to the cabin for lunch, I was a bit relieved; fatigued from scrambling across the wild terrain and somewhat overwhelmed by my sudden imersion into the intricate mysteries of nature. Mostly, I guess, because although we usually simply absorb our momentary experiences with Mother Nature in unthinking contemplation, wandering about with John, however, was more like a post-graduate course in ecological transcendentalism. It was made even more exhausting by exposure to a lovers passion that you, the observer, could not really share.

Still, unless one is simply hateful or irredeemably cynical one usually hopes the lover succeeds and perhaps thereby you gain some vicarious empathic connection to what you could never experience directly.

Watching them plod on ahead of me, Jeanne determined to wring all that could be wrung from her experience and John, in the lead, shinning like Gandalf the White, I felt a chill and I thought again about redemption.

We all seek redemption for something. For me, perhaps it was absolution for that morning long ago, hearing my wife screaming over and over again, “My baby, my baby is dead” while I tried to breathe life back into that tiny purple and red splotched body and failed, or later, feeling nothing but anger at the stares of the mourners and the somber burial on some forgotten hilltop?

Could an innocent excitement about the future and a lovers enchantment redeem anything?

I followed them back to the cabin.

B. Postscript: Monty.

Undaunted by this tragedy and the collapse of his hopes and dreams at that time Monty applied the personal skills that made him successful as a prize-fighter to go on to other careers including a stint as a radio sportscaster. Eventually like so many during that time, he found himself in California and like many of those who eschewed the burgeoning and disruptive hippy sub-culture went into Real Estate and development, primarily shopping centers. He became quite successful, married had two children and a large estate in Rancho Palos Verde overlooking the ocean. Then things began going bad.

Someone, suggested Monty consider buying some property in San Luis Obispo County; eighteen hundred acres right by the water. Monty went to see the property. It was an old cattle ranch astride Pacific Coast Highway. It had been heavily overgrazed and denuded of most flora and fauna except for the stunted grass. Yet, the gently rolling golden landscape was attractive in a desolate sort of way as it rose up into some low hills that on one side flowed seamlessly back toward the grazing lands and on the other fell precipitously onto the rocks and breakers of the Pacific Ocean. Standing there on the top of one of the hills, Monty fell in love in a way he had not experienced for many years. To some, falling in love means redemption or peace, to others it is the gateway to destruction. Alas, for Monty although he had hoped it was the former, it unfortunately turned out to be the latter.

PAPA JOES TALES AND FABLES:

See: http://papajoesfables.wordpress.com/

THE NAKED MOLE RAT CHRONICLES:

1. Chronicles: Unfortunately, I believe we have had enough dark tales for one post, so I guess we will have to wait a few more days to hear Old George’s Tales of the Dark Times.

2. H. Glaber fellow travelers:

The “Urban Dictionary” which defined the phrase Naked Mole Rat as someone looking particularly unattractive, usually early in the morning or late at night. Characteristics include squinty eyes, hair pressed flat against head, puffy features. Usually the result of poor or no sleep and/or way too late/early to be up and moving around.

“She washed her face and brushed her hair, but a naked mole rat still stared back at her in the mirror.”

“After playing video games all night he was more naked mole rat than human.”

“That’s not a baby! That’s a naked mole rat!”

JOEY’S MYSTERY NOVEL:

RED STAR: Chapter, Don’t Piss Off Meg (continued):

Meg climbed the cliff face toward the road above while the wreck below still blazed. For a moment she wondered if killing a potential witness would make finding Stephanie’s killer more difficult. She dismissed that figuring he would have been dead anyway before he could be questioned and the automobile probably was a rental so it most likely had nothing helpful in it. Whatever there is to be gotten, she was confident the technical people will be able to extract it even from the burned scraps. Besides she thought, whoever killed Steph and tried to kill her made a big mistake, they got her pissed her off.

As she passed the emergency rescue team on the way down, she told them she was unable to get the driver out of the vehicle before it exploded and thought he was probably dead. She said she would send a technical investigation team down to sift through the wreckage.

Arriving at the top, she saw that no one from the Sheriff’s office had arrived yet. She recognized, Mike Williams of the Pacifica PD who seemed to be in charge. She told him the same story she told the emergency rescue team and added that she believed that the automobile and driver may have been connected to a previous incident being investigated by the sheriff’s office that would send a technical investigation team to assist the Pacifica group. She promised to call Mike tomorrow and coordinate the investigation. As they walked back to her cruiser, Mike joked about the crushed bumper when he saw it.

“Yeah,” she said laconically, “got to get that fixed.” She then got into the car radioed her office to bring them up to date and get things rolling. Picking up her cell phone she called Ray.

She told him everything that happened including with the lighter. He remained silent.

She then said, “Ray, I want to talk to everyone on your list starting with that fucking minister in Blackhawk. About 10 AM OK with you? Can you get it started?”

Ray agreed but insisted he come along on the interviews. She assented. Then following some discussion about coordination she put down the phone, started the car and drove to her home in Half Moon Bay.

She did not go directly into her house but walked the block or so to the beach, sat on a driftwood log watching the foam of waves shimmer in the moonlight and allowing the roar of the breakers drown out all thought. After a while she got up, took a deep breath, returned to her home, went in and slept deeply and unperturbed.

PEPE’S POTPOURRI:

What “Occupy” is all about and what it really wants:

TODAY’S FACTOIDS:

1. 2012: Giant Rats Trained to Unearth Dangerous Landmines.

Buddhist monk and Ashoka Fellow Bart Weetjens has trained sub-Saharan African giant pouched rats to detect land mines. Last year alone, in Gaza Mozambique 36 HeroRATs and 14 locally trained handlers cleared nearly 800,000 square meters of land, safely destroying 861 land-mines, 373 items of unexploded ordnance (UXO), 6,216 small arms and ammunitions (SAA), and one cluster bomb RBK-250-275. By the end of this year, APOPO hopes to clear an additional two million square meters of land.

In 2010, the Thailand Mine Action Centre (TMAC) asked APOPO to conduct land release surveys along its Cambodian border, in partnership with the Thai NGO Peace Road Organization (PRO). Ten weeks of sweeps uncovered 165 anti-personnel mines and 17 anti-tank mines. APOPO will maintain a presence in Thailand to assist the country’s compliance with the 2018 AP Mine Ban Convention (APMBC) deadline.

2. The good old days:

Does anyone long for the “good old days” when Lysol was marketed as a feminine hygiene product with ads like these:

3. Olive oil:

70% of “extra virgin olive oil” is probably a fraud.

Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/fake-olive-oil-2012-1#70-of-extra-virgin-olive-oil-is-probably-a-fraud-17#ixzz1k3KyOYG2

“POOKIE FOR PRESIDENT”

Please see the blog: http://papajoestales.wordpress.com/

What passes for political discourse in today’s United States of America:

In a letter to his colleagues, Kansas Speaker of the House Mike O’Neal ® regarding President Barak Obama called for his death writing:

“At last — I can honestly voice a Biblical prayer for our president! Look it up — it is word for word! Let us all bow our heads and pray. Brothers and Sisters, can I get an AMEN? AMEN!!!!!!

Let his days be few; and let another take his office

May his children be fatherless and his wife a widow.

May his children be wandering beggars; may they be driven from their ruined homes.

May a creditor seize all he has; may strangers plunder the fruits of his labor.

May no one extend kindness to him or take pity on his fatherless children.”

As far as I know, not a single Republican or conservative political leader or commentator objected to this. Had a politician of this rank called for the death of a Republican president, Faux news and the entire right-wing amen choir would have accused him of treason and screamed for his removal from office.

TODAY’S QUOTE:

“There are two sustainable ways to make money in finance: find people with risks that need to be carried and match them with people with unused risk-bearing capacity, or find people with such risks and match them with people who are clueless but who have money. Are we sure that most of the growth in finance stems from a rising share of financial professionals who undertake the former rather than the latter?”
Brad De Long

TODAY’S CHART:

TODAY’S CARTOON”

TODAY’S PHOTOGRAPH:

The mouse-sized naked mole rat is the longest-lived rodent known, surviving up to 31 years in captivity. Scientists are studying its longevity, including its ability to maintain good health and reproductive potential well into its third decade. (Barshop Institute for Longevity and Aging Studies/The University of Texas Health Science Center San Antonio)

Categories: January 2012 through March 2012, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

This and that from re Thai r ment, by 3Th. (2 Mopey 0001) January 19, 2012

TODAY FROM THAILAND:

A. News, Straight or Slightly Bent:

Terroristcapades:

A fascinating drama is unfolding in BKK over whether there is or was a terrorist threat to tourists.

Based upon Israeli intelligence reports, the US and a number of other countries, as they often do in these cases, issued an advisory to its citizens traveling in the country of a possible terrorist attack at some popular tourist destinations.

Then the Thai police announced they had captured an admitted Hezbollah terrorist and were looking for a supposed accomplice.

This was immediately followed by an announcement by Thai deputy prime minister Cheeky Chalerm, that there was no evidence of terrorists operating in the country and criticized the US for issuing the directive without clearing it first with his government, since it could have an adverse impact on the local tourism industry recently devastated by the epic floods. The Thai military and security services followed with statements that they are on the job and that there were no terrorists in the country despite the weekly bombings by Muslim separatists in the South and the still unresolved “Red” vs “Yellow” shirt antagonism.

This was followed by reports that the alleged terrorist told police authorities that Hezbollah decided to call off the terrorist campaign now that he had been caught, followed by an unverified report that Hezbollah wanted talks with the US about the situation.

Cheeky Chalerm, because his bizarre denial of terrorists operating in the country was ridiculed by almost everyone, was replaced as government spokesperson on the non-terrorist terrorist crisis. He successor then immediately criticized the US for trying to protect its citizens and repeated the claim that there is no terrorist threat in Thailand. In any event the spokesperson added, Thailand’s security services knew about the plot since mid-December but had not acted because the alleged terrorist broke no Thai laws.

This was followed by the announcement by the police of their discovery of a shophouse in which the individual in custody stored large quantities of the type of fertilizer used to make bombs, as well as timers, wires and other bomb making paraphernalia. The man subsequently was charged with not having obtained a permit to possess the bomb making material.

The official government statements that followed (not from the police actually investigating the incident) maintained that the alleged terrorist claimed there was no other terrorist involved and the bomb making equipment was for export and not for use in Thailand. They also renewed their criticism of the US for disrupting the Thai economy, but said that they had no problems with Israel whose security apparatus started it all.

Subsequently, in separate reports in The Nation one of Thailand’s two national English language newspapers, it was revealed that the US notified the Thai minister of foreign affairs 24 hours prior to posting the warning and according to police the suspect, who the government previously had reported was not a terrorist but an innocent go between, admitted driving around Bangkok looking for targets.

In the Bangkok Post a government minister accused the US of being “impolite.”

What’s next? Stay tuned.

B. Pookie’s Adventures in Thailand:

It is getting closer to my departure date. The weather is becoming hotter and the skies overcast. There are reports of unseasonably low temperatures in the North (down to as low as the mid-fifties Fahrenheit) and additional flooding in the South.

Because of the overcast and the chill (temperature down to the low 80’s in BKK) I have avoided swimming and spend my time sweating in the gym.

As I mentioned in my previous post I have begun entering “This and that…” on to a blog. I include the posts and some of the email exchanges that followed them, mostly Irwin’s, those regarding Hayden and those that prompted changes in “This and that…” It will take some time to enter them all. Because of the limitations of the blog format, I have organized them by category on a quarterly basis (Jan 2010 through March 2010, April 2010 through June 2010 and so on.) I have entered January 2012 to date posts and January through February 2010. The link is: https://josephpetrillo.wordpress.com/

MOPEY JOE’S MEMORIES:

On the Edge: Stories about the Creation and Early Years of California’s Monumental Coastal Protection Program.

A. Chapter 1. In the Beginning: an oft told story (continued).

About two weeks after my almost mystical encounter with John Olmsted in the shadow of the TransAmerica pyramid, I found myself traveling to Mendocino and Jughandle Creek with my friend Jeanne McMahon. I was intrigued and smelled the beginnings of an adventure; if strolling among flesh eating plants and stunted trees with a tall skinny obsessed hippy could be considered as having the makings of an adventure.

I do not remember how we got there. I did not have a car at that time and neither did Jeanne. I guess we hitch-hiked which was the preferred mode of travel for those of us eager to join the counter culture (you know “On the Road” and all that).

Jeanne was a freckled faced, relentlessly positive young woman from Dubuque Iowa who, in late sixties, like many others had left the mid-West farm belt to join the nation wide migration of those eager to experience “what’s happening” in California. She walked with a spring in her step, her face resolutely pressed forward toward whatever new experiences life she was sure would lay at her feet.

A few years later, she decided to go to medical school to become a doctor. She went back to school to acquire the proper science credits. She was successful and was admitted to medical school. To celebrate, she and a companion decided to go camping and hiking for a few days in the Trinity Alps a few miles north of Mendocino, an activity she loved.

While hiking, she slipped and fell off a cliff, her friend ran to find help but was not able to bring it back in time. Jeanne died alone and in pain as most of us ultimately must. Her friend and I accompanied her body back to Dubuque for burial. Two weeks later he drowned while swimming.

But that was then in the future and is now in the past. Then we were off on our adventure blissfully and thankfully ignorant of our futures (John himself died a few months ago after a long illness).

John lived in a little cabin in the redwoods alongside Jughandle Creek. A sign was affixed to the cabin that announced “The Jughandle Creek Conservancy.” Inside, John and a friend had just returned from mushroom hunting and had laid on the table before them an incredible collection of dirt encrusted bizarrely shaped fungi that they both were obviously enthralled with. They invited Jeanne and I to join them in sampling their earthy delights. We declined.

After a while we unrolled our sleeping bags on the porch outside and slept soundly lulled to sleepy the rustle of the wind through the redwoods and the periodic hoot of an owl on the hunt nearby.
(To be continued)

B. Postscript: Monty.

Interestingly, I do not remember the circumstances that first brought me into contact with Monty. It had been about seven or eight years since I left public service and resumed my career as a private lawyer for hire. I was a partner in a large firm and was extremely well compensated for representing the corrupt and venal, mostly before the corrupt and venial organization that the California Coastal Commission had become primarily because its director was corrupt owing to the fact that he could not comprehend how truly venal he really was.

Anyway, Monty had sought a permit from the Coastal Commission to develop what originally was to be a large recreational oriented subdivision on about 1800 acres that he owned on the coast in San Luis Obispo County. He was having great difficulty persuading the Commission staff to recommend to the Commissioners approval of his designs despite having scaled them back several times. I was called in to see if I could help him out.

Let me begin by introducing you to Monty; at least as I saw him. Most if not all I learned about Monty’s life before I met him, I learned from Monty himself. Of Irish heritage, he reveled in the Irish passion for story telling and was good at it.

He was a kid off the NY streets. At that time, NY was a center of the horse racing business. Monty’s family worked at the local tracks as trainers and what have you. Monty spent most of his early years around race horses, those who were in the racing business and gamblers.

During his mid-teens he decided to become a prize fighter. He was a middle weight and amassed a notable record in the course of his professional career. Before he was 21 years old he had won over 40 bouts while losing only four. This was all the more of an impressive record when one realizes that he fought during boxings golden years when the middle weight devision had some of the greatest boxers that ever lived. Monty was smart, had great hand speed, could take a punch and never, never gave up. He could have been a contender. Unfortunately, his career was cut short when in a street fight someone plunged a knife into his eye.
(to be continued)

PAPA JOES TALES AND FABLES:

See also: http://papajoesfables.wordpress.com/

THE NAKED MOLE RAT CHRONICLES:

A. Chronicles: Workers (continued):

As you can see, the toilet burrow is a rather large and imposing room as well as it should be. Here, throughout the day the residents not only relieve themselves rub themselves down with it so that, in the dark tunnels, we can distinguish members of the community from intruders by their smell. It also serves as sort of a cantina where we can supplement or diet of tubers. So it is a very important place for us.Sort of like the teachers lounge in a high school.

Well, we are in luck, look who is here, Old George, perhaps I can get him to tell us a story about the Dark Times.

(In our next issue Old George will tell us a tale about the “Dark Times.”)

B. H. Glaber fellow travelers:

The “They Call me Lucky” band. According to Peter G. a member of the band, “You will be pleased to know that for tonight’s ‘They Call Me Lucky’ band gig, Dennis named the set list, ‘Lucky Naked Mole Rat New Year’. A tunnel is reaching out to the Outer Richmond.”

H. Glaber says, check it out.

JOEY’S MYSTERY NOVEL:

Alas, once again I must put off the next installment of RED STAR. On the other hand, I guess, for a mystery or a thriller any additional suspense is a good thing. Some regrettably we leave Meg, having just murdered a potential witness for the crimes she was investigating because he called her a dyke, climbing the at Devils Slide, while Vince, in Isabella’s apartment removes the briefs that he shit into in panic during the assassination attempt on his life. Stay tuned.

TODAY’S FACTOIDS:

1940: From Strange Victory and from William Shirer’s The Collapse of the Third Republic, one can track the French reaction to the Nazi attack across the Meuse starting on May 10, 1940.

“The first thing to note is that the Nazi lead elements took up to 70% casualties and kept coming–indicative of extraordinary ideological commitment. In a world in which any “normal” unit breaks at 25% casualties or so, it’s hard to beat people who keep coming at you: you can only hope that the enemy doesn’t have that many of them. Had the Nazi soldiers been “normal,” the initial attack by the seven panzer divisions would probably have failed, and the French would have had time to redeploy.”

for those interested in a great brief discussion about the fall of France in 1940 see: ttp://delong.typepad.com/sdj/2012/01/hoisted-from-the-archives-defending-cheese-eating-surrender-monkeys-blogging.html

2012: Anti-crime group SOS Impresa has released a report that calls the mafia “Italy’s number one bank”.

The report argues that the ability to exploit the financial crisis has lead to criminal groups earning a turnover of 140 billion euros ($179 billion), more than 100 billion euros ($127 billion) in profit, and more than 65 million euros ($83 million) in liquidity.
Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/mafia-bank-italy-2012-1#ixzz1j7BhAYPS

1983: 90% of all Major Media Outlets in the US (t.v. news, major movie studios, radio news, print news, etc.) were owned by 50 different companies. TODAY, that same 90% of the Media is owned by … ready for this? … just “6” different corporations. Those corporations are: GE, News Corp. (Rupert Murdoch), Disney, Viacom, Time Warner, and CBS.

PEPE’S POTPOURRI:

What “Occupy” is all about and what it really wants:

“POOKIE FOR PRESIDENT”:

Please see the blog: http://papajoestales.wordpress.com/

1. Santorum says:

“…If the Supreme Court says that you have the right to consensual [gay] sex within your home, then you have the right to bigamy, you have the right to polygamy, you have the right to incest, you have the right to adultery.”
Rick Santorum- Associated Press, April 23, 2003

(Sounds good to me.)

Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/shit-santorum-says-2012-1#-4#ixzz1inD07Ruc

2. Of course it is not racist:

I have noticed the racist right wing propaganda machine appears to have temporarily halted sending through the mails photographs of chimpanzees or orangutans with Michelle Obama’s face superimposed. They now send pictures of Ms Obama informing us that as First Lady she stays in expensive hotels and is protected by elaborate and costly security, failing to mention that every white first lady before her did the same. I guess, they believe that she should still be sitting at the back of the bus.

TODAY’S QUOTE:

“Genghis Khan led millions of women and children to slaughter—with premeditation and a happy heart. History sees in him solely the founder of a state. … Our war aim does not consist in reaching certain lines, but in the physical destruction of the enemy. Accordingly, I have placed my death-head formations in readiness—for the present only in the East—with orders to them to send to death mercilessly and without compassion, men, women, and children of Polish derivation and language. Only thus shall we gain the living space (Lebensraum) which we need. Who, after all, speaks today of the annihilation of the Armenians?”
Adolf Hitler, 1939

In case we forget, two or three times as many Poles were exterminated by the Nazi ethnic cleansing machine during WWII than Jews. But then there were a lot more Poles to get rid of.

TODAY’S CHARTS:

1. Temperature rise in US over last century:

2. World-wide rise in atmospheric CO2 over previous 400,000 years:

TODAY’S CARTOON:

TODAY’S PHOTOGRAPH:

Categories: January 2012 through March 2012, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

This and that from re Thai r ment. February 12, 2010

I apologize my last post was misleading. I really do not know anything about flowers. I bought a book about flowers in Thailand to use with Hayden on our walks to and from school. You know, the kind with photographs of the flowers too blurred to identify and no scale so you do not know if it is a big or little flower. Anyway I liked the names, frangipani and golden trumpet so I put them in. I always thought frangipani was a type of candy and golden horn was what Sinatra played in one of his movies…or was it a golden arm he played with. I can’t remember. Anyway, yesterday I noticed that the Orchids in the garden bloom at different times. One day the lavender Orchids are in bloom and the plants on the other trees look dead. The next day the lavender plant looks dead, but the yellow-flowered orchid plant is in flower. Did you know that every evening Thoreau would leave his Walden Pond digs and walk back to his home in Concord for dinner?

Today’s first photograph shows the view looking back to the developer’s phallus and includes the totally useless security gate to the subdivision. It is one of three totally useless security gates in the subdivision. If fact one of the others stands right where I am taking the photo not twenty yards from the one you see. I don’t know why.

The second photo shows the last street to the school. The FCHS is on the right and on the left with their own bridge that they can use to avoid meeting the unwashed and unsaved.

Today I am going to get a shave at the local barber shop ($1.50) because tomorrow I am off to Kuala Lumpur to renew my visa and I want to look my best. I have never been to Malaysia before. I worry if I will be safe if I am circumcised. How would they know? Do they have those full body screens at the airport? Do you see the kind of stress I am under every day in paradise?



——————————————————————
FROM MY JOURNAL
Thursday February 11, 2010 2PM

Tai, what to do about her. I so much need to get laid and I like the way I taught her to give me blow jobs, that every time I talk with her I want to be with her at that moment. I then try to think of ways to do that without upsetting my situation here. Am I a cad? You betcha.

COMMENTS:

From Irwin:

cuz joe – as a writer, be it unpublished, in my never ending search for experiences of which to put upon paper without getting my hebrew hands dirty, including but not necessarily limited to anglo-saxon depravity and doing things that seem to make an orange county lifestyle at issue (and even tho these activates may make no sense unless one is a follower of the blade runner projections on the future of our cities) i forward this slideshow email to you so that you may see exactly how it is that i, your remaining spirit in america, spent yesterday evening without a bong hit.

the first group of photos are taken at the southwest corner of the intersection of veteran avenue and wilshire boulevard in westwood and the following (which include moving pictures) were taken at the mayan theatre on hill street in downtown los angeles – i was able to successfully get to these places thanks to xanax and the fortuitous nature of the gods of the 405. for some technical reason, perhaps the lateness of the hour or the absence of absinth, i have not been able to just paste the photos herein. it’s little things like this that my friend, known affectionately as “the giant overby” and sometimes called “the big o” is want to say, “it’s the nature of things”.

since due to the whims of that woman who robbed you of your senses and property which then led to not having your garage face the street and thus deprived you of opening and operating the joe’s bank kok convenience store, i had another idea which i thought of last night when i saw some mexicans operating a small portable barbeque (brazier?) on hill street whereon they were cooking hot dogs wrapped in bacon (a no no in tel aviv but perhaps not in chaing mai) that were being purchased and devoured by tequila driven-just-leaving-the mayan theatre-patrons who had developed the munchies. you could do this on world cup! maybe even have a small fridge on wheels wherein to store popsicles tinged in ganja or whatever to tantalize the minds of those adolescent chirstian fundamentalist children you have written to me about. i’m not sure that hot dogs wrapped in bacon would be a good seller in that part of the world;however, i do suggest that it be something that could be popular without already being sold widely by local natives from burma.

in the event the web address below doesn’t work try pasting it into your browser.

http://picasaweb.google.com/irschatzman/JustAThursdayEveningInLosAngeles?feat=email#slideshow/5437609790060956898

From Ruth:

Malaysia: this could be the beginning of beautiful friendship. I remember when you had never been to Thailand before, and now look!

You want beautiful flower names? Read the Nero Wolfe stories–the orchids are always getting in there somewhere. I can’t spell any of the names though.

From Nikki:

I like these writings of yours if u got time to write means u are enjoing ur retirement plenty of time to think and relax.
ok now i need the maid phone number and also how to organize the pick up for hayden at the school.
She changed the password so i cant get no more info maybe some asshole warn her that somebody was messing her account she is no that smart in technology.
Anyway i know what i need it was a party on the 14th and she is involved in another date which come out with a strange name joush anh or whatever the fuck he is arab or libanese scum like that.
instead of remain to chang mai while u are gone she only care about her dates and business also asking me another load of cash fuck that
where are we going? eventually i am gonna to face her i can’t allow this shit forever in front of me and the baby or i can play indifferent and let her go to hell like she deserve
i dont hate people but when a devil cross my way i become a crusader
keep me update and take care of the boy

Joe’s Response:

The principal and Jerry have agreed to help out getting Hayden to school and things.

I agree that she is a bad person. We Have to figure out how to shelter Hayden from her. She hates the both of us now that we are on to her game.

From Nikki:

Stick with ur plan don’t get discourage from her she can’t kick u out after all the money u poured in that house u got the rigth to stay plus she is not going to sell the house soon anyway so ignore her treaths and diktat.
she is gettin nasty nobody likes her anymore she is just a quick fuck neither so attractive don’t forget she is pushing 43 years by now she is losin all that THAINESS that she had before also completely a failure as a mother i have a part of responsability in that i should be more resolute and strong bout her decisions but instead i was keeping spoiling her with money and trips thinking that finally she was a good mother but i am wrong.
In a mood of madness she can fuck everything up but she knows how much we love the kid and i don’t think she want to destroy another life runnin away with the baby.
The neiboroughs knows everything and stay away from her even PAT mother and the lady across the streets are avoiding her she is breakin one of the basic rule in thailand ABANDON her own child
Ask around and even the girlbar and prostitutes after work they are going see and feed teir own babies
YES SHE IS A BAD PERSON and don’t deserve our generosity and any help i am also disappointed about the family i never saw such a cold behaviour from the grandma and the sister nevercall or visit the baby what a shame
we got to protect and shelter the baby before is too late
niki stay in touch

Categories: January 2010 through March 2010, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

This and that from Thailand. February 11, 2018

Yesterday I walked around my garden examining the health of the plants and looking for the variety of flowers planted. That’s when I realized that I was looking in the wrong direction for the flowers. Apparently, in tropical climates flowers grow more often high up in trees than closer to the ground as they do in more temperate areas. The lilies (like the spider lilies bordering the driveway) grow close to the ground but the others like the Frangipani and Golden Trumpets grow high up on the tops of the trees. The Frangipani trees look like they are not doing well for some reason.

Today’s photo is a regression on my walk to the school (and perhaps a regression of my mind as well). About half way along the long street in my prior photos, stands the corrugated metal shack visible in today’s photo. There are several such shacks in the subdivision and I would guess hundreds of thousands throughout Thailand. These shacks contain no heat or AC, no running water except from a hose and limited if any sanitary facilities. These shacks are inhabited by the day laborers who work in the subdivision.

The Thai’s like to have their manual laborers close to hand, unlike in America where we assume they have the means to travel long distances to their jobs (otherwise they would be considered lazy). The laborers are mostly illegal aliens. Mostly Burmese. They are darker skinned than the normal Thai. I hear tell that they work for lower wages and on jobs so menial and dangerous that not even the poorest Thai will undertake.

Periodically, for often arbitrary political reasons, the brutal Thai immigration police will raid these dwellings, beat the inhabitants up and load them on to trucks to be sent back across the border. Thank God the US as a civilized country refrains from that.

Of course these illegal immigrants, unlike in the US, are the scapegoats for political hijinks. The business community loves their low wages and fear of complaining about working conditions and so they lobby hard to make sure no immigration reform upsets that particular apple cart. In order to achieve these goals not only do they buy off their favorite pols, but their hirelings are sent out to incite the know nothing conservative element (there are no tea-baggers in Thailand yet) in the country to oppose reform by claiming the illegals are taking the jobs of citizens, exploiting the welfare rolls and that they left their own country only because they are inherently lazy and want to take advantage of the more civilized welfare laws of Thailand.

Aren’t you glad that you all live in a really civilized country where this does not happen and where most of us recognize the difficulties our progenitors had to face when they came into this country, the bigotry, the menial dangerous jobs and the calls for immigration reform to stop the flood of our dirty, lazy non english speaking ancestors who failed in their own country and only came here to take our jobs and live off the benefits that the original settlers worked so hard to take from the Native Americans.

And then there are the Liberals and NGOs. Here in Thailand (unlike in the US) they try to make you believe they really care for these people and not the principle involved. They seem to want save these people by forcing them onto the unemployment rolls where somehow they will be better off. I often wonder how bad the lives of these people must have been in their home countries for them to leave it for a life like this.

Anyway what is a good liberal like me to do as I quake with sorrow at these people’s predicament when I walk by their hovels. I know (imagine a light bulb here)!! I am a foreigner in another culture and as a good liberal I know that I should never interfere in the cultural practices of another ethnic group or country, so I will do nothing. I feel good about that.

Stop me before I do it again. I cannot help myself.

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COMMENTS:

From Joe to T. Goggin:

I wonder if I am ever going to miss that. But then again I have always believed that we men are held together by fear and stress. Something we got from running through the jungle or grasslands or whatever. Stress that we would not kill enough food for the family (and avoid the ridicule of the women who had probably just went out and picked enough fruit to feed themselves) and fear that some Wooly Mammoth would step on heads if we were not careful. If we stopped a moment to smell the flowers then for sure some saber-tooth tiger will come along and bite us on our ass. Then about 50 years ago we invented retirement and when the great day arrived we would stop work let all the stress and fear slide from our bodies and minds and promptly die leaving everything to our wives.

From Irwin:

buongiorno! joe –

i am sitting here at the computer having my morning hot chocolate drink (although i use to love espresso, i think it rotted out my insides and now only serves as a laxative) and biscotti; the latter made by musso’s in union city california which i purchase at stater bros market at the corner of euclid and slater avenues. some morinings i do not feel like consuming a real breakfast (i’ve already given up lunch). anyway after reading your message (below)i am contemplating flying to thailand to get a driver’s license. you see, my california license is coming up in august of this year and since i have already received the maximum number of renewals in the mail sans testing i am already very anxious about august. i have great difficulty facing written tests even if it means just checking boxes ever since that time in the eighth grade when i blanked out taking a test in geometry – did you take geometry in school and have you ever ever used it?! since i can’t stand to be in a car when my last wife is driving it is absolutely necessary that i have a driver’s license if i am ever going to go anywhere – come to think of it i don’t go much anywhere, except maybe to the dmv in august.

one or two emails ago i forwarded to you an article about an elephant compound which depending upon which side of chaing mai it is located may be less than an hour away from your home, and i wondered if you had gone there and what your reaction was relative to the description of it by the author of the article. we don’t have any elephants in the santa ana zoo except for one on which you can ride but i haven’t seen it in all the times i have been to this zoo. in fountain valley, particularly green valley, wild animals are limited to crows, sparrows and feral cats, although the guy who did the pinstripping on my car told me he saw a coyote run past his shop (it’s in a small industrial complex adjacent to the santa ana river bank). of course there is always “felix the cat” of whom i think i have probably written to you about before.

thank you thank you thank you for the new word. “vigorish”!! i sometimes read the dictionary while on the toilet but i have not yet got to the v’s, (thank god). now i will be restless until i have the occasion to use the word in public. speaking of which my plans for today include being in public. i will be going to the arco gas station, the post office to mail a chinese new year’s card to my son’s in-laws (its the year of the tiger – i am year of the ox), the bank if my social security check comes and visit my mom before i go to los angeles this evening. of course i may cop out and just take my walk and a nap.

by the way, what are all of the christian fundamentalists doing there in north thailand? high school and all. they can’t all be missionaries are they?

my comments on your written discussion of the burmese condition are in fruition.

From Joe to Nikki:

This is a follow-up to my previous email that I rushed to send because of the time urgency. I now have a few additional moments to write as Hayden is taking his morning shower.

I have very good news to report. Last night Hayden slept by himself in his room. I left the doors to his room and mine open and told him if he got scared or anything he could come to my room but only if he did not wake me up. He first tried to talk me into sleeping in the big bedroonm but the bed was not made up. After going to bed in his room he would call out to me to see if I was asleep yet. Eventually he fell asleep and slept through the night. He was so proud of himself he said to me, “Tonight we will sleep with the doors closed“.

More from Joe to Nikki:

Sorry for writing so many emails in such a short time, but I really think this has been a special morning. I have never seen Hayden so happy and confident as he has been this morning. On our walk to school he rode his bike and I walked beside him. He chatted on as usual, but not the childish gibberish he often affects and no “po-pos” and the like. Instead he talked about real things like when he will be ready to have his training wheels taken off his bicycle and whether I need to go to the bank, taking martial arts lessons and so on. I am very excited I hope it lasts and there are no setbacks.

It is too bad his mother cannot share in our excitement over his maturation and rehabilitation. I am afraid she sees him mostly as a burden and feel guilty about it and as a result is overly strict and controlling with him as if keeping him as a baby dependent on her is verification of her motherhood. She may love him but does not appear to get much joy from him. I think she is torn by us. On the one hand I think she recognizes that we are good for the boy and on the other hand resents that we interfere with her control of him. And, the bottom line on her personality is her fear of losing control. That in part explains her frenzy when one of her “boyfriends”, you me and Richard for instance, turns to someone else for comfort and affection.

Hayden wants me to take him to the tai-kwon-do lessons this afternoon.

Categories: January 2010 through March 2010 | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

This and that from Thailand. February 10, 2010

Another glorious morning in my suburban paradise. That is the problem with paradises it is always another after another. I am glad I am eventually going to hell, at least I will have something to be pissed off about.

To continue my morning trek to school, the first photograph shows the convenience store in the garage that I mentioned in a previous email. It is located about halfway along the long stretch of road in my most recent photographs. The second photo is the end of the long road where it veers to the right by the American fundamentalist christian middle and high school on the left. The large building on the left is one of the school buildings and behind the wall is some of the acres and acres of sport fields used by the school. They are almost always in use by the students for competitive team sports. I guess the theory is that this prepares the “young uns” for the competition to become the “select”. Either that or the scientifically proven vain hope that if they keep their hands on the ball or the bat or whatever, it will keep them out of their pants or skirts or each others. Cynical am I? Maybe that’s what happens in paradise. Oh, the phallus that you can just about see at the end of the road, I believe is the developers memorial to himself.

By the way, Cuzin Irwin suggested that if I ever were so desperate to start a blog in be named, “re Thai r ment”. He gets like that at times. I was asked by the same distant relation if there were anything exotic in my neighborhood seeing as it appears it is not that much different from Orange County. Actually there is. Every morning at 7AM a loudspeaker goes of with rendition of the Thai anthem. But I hear the same thing occurs in Orange County except it’s the Star Spangled Banner. Maybe that is where the Thais got the idea, like they got the idea of subdivisions.

Ciao


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COMMENTS:

From AnnMarie:

Just sent off my response to yesterdays email. Todays made me laugh. I like the blog title suggestion, cute. Hope you have a wonderful day in your little piece of paradise. It’s evening here, and I have a terrible cold so I’m off to bed. I hope to dream of my own paradise and another trip to Italy!

By the way, thank you for all the wonderful memories in Italy, I have pictures of you and the kids from that trip framed in my entryway. It was alot of fun traveling with you… dare I say you were a lot more fun than Jason! Lol. Wish you could have joined us at our Farmhouse in Tuscany last summer. All my pictures are posted at http://www.annmarie.smugmug.com if you’re ever bored in paradise. I try to keep it updated, so check back ever so often to watch the kids growing up.

More from AnnMarie:

Many people love that face of yours! How do you think you were so popular with all the ladies?

Anthony is doing better, he seems to have shaped up this last month. For the first time he seems to realize things and he’s showing a real interest in finishing school. He’s getting motivated, so for that I’m happy. As for Athena, she is really growing up too fast for me, But I know she’ll do well. Aaron, well… he’s taking after Jason in some areas and me in others what can I say, but still I love him to death. Of all my children he’s the most affectionate and caring.

Have a wonderful day! I llok forward to more of your emails & pictures!

From Irwin:

joseph of thailand – maybe you are missing something by having those high walls and wooden gate. if you had a garage front facing the street you too could open up a convenience store like the one in your photo, but specialize in sexually oriented goods like bamboo condoms and kick the box-ing videos. i’m stuck for a name at the moment but i will come up with one. joe-bang-kok’s?

speaking of streets, it was a lovely day here in southern california. the temperature was in the lower 50’s, clear blue skies with nary a cloud in sight. actually i have been informed by watching the discovery channel that the sky is purple and not blue. i can’t remember how that determination is made (spectograph?) and it still looks blue to me but i am partally color-blind so maybe just maybe it’s purple. if this is ever widely known think of all the things which will have to chenge like songs (“blue skies is all i see”), expressions (“sky blue”) and of course all of those paintings which picture the heavens as we know them. anyway, when the wind, which was light, stopped, the sun warmed one’s cheeks. so i paused during my walk and sat on a bench at our private 21 acre park owned by us members of the green valley homeowners recreation association. i don’t remember what i thought about. i try not to think most days when i am outdoors. i’m usually not sucessful at the subterfuge but i like to indulge myself in thinking that i have control over my body and mind having the luxury of not pausing to fret about something if i want to just enjoy the scenery.

even tho the recent rains have pretty much cleaned up the streets, tomorrow is the second thursday of the month. here in green valley, on the second and fourth thursdays of each month (unlike having one’s maid sweep the sidewalk as on world cup) the street sweeper truck comes by and using non-potable water pretends to present a pretty picture. however there is nothing on the truck which actually picks up the dirt so i’m not sure what’s gained except perhaps for dragging some dirt from in front of my house to my neighbors or a contract for the mayor’s nephew. since our streets are public, this cleaning scam is carried off by the city of fountain valley for which my monthly trash and water bill provides a sustenance along with those other owners of property in this garden city. when the subdivision was built street signs noting the street cleaning schedule were permantly affixed to some poles along the major collector road. over the years these signs have disappeared (perhaps with the hope that one could refuse to pay the $30 ticket for leaving your car on the street on street sweeper day claiming lack of knowledge; however, over the years such feeble excuses as ignorance of the law go unoticed and the street sweeping police will come and get you if you don’t adhear to the regulations. there is nothing like waking up at 8:00 am in the morning and going outside to get the newspaper only to notice that there is a ticket placed under your windhshield wiper). as we now have two small cars they are both easily stored on my driveway – when there were four of us and four cars it use to be a nightmare. to compensate for the missing warning notices one of the local realtors posts his own signs on the second and fourth wednesday of each month. this posting is the subject matter of today’s photo. if the postage isn’t too much i could send you one to install in the front of your wall to terrify the neighbors.

i thought today that if nostalgia for your former home sets in you might occasionally appreciate some news from bagdad by the bay. here are two stories i copied from the mad asian man blog which i found today when i was searching the web:

“murder victim ran a basement brothel
Last month in San Francisco, 44-year-old Xiao “Ben” Xiong Luo, was shot to death last in an invasion-style attack at his home in the Sunset District. Authorities suspect he was running a brothel out of his basement: Police suspect Sunset slaying house was brothel.

According to police, Luo was shot once in the chest by one of two masked men who burst into his home on January 27. Eight other people who were inside the home with Luo were tied up but not harmed. The assailants fled, and no suspects have been arrested.

The police have released a tape of a 911 call placed during the shooting, as well as surveillance video footage and detailed descriptions of the assailants: Police describe suspects in Sunset slaying. Police ask that anyone with information call the department’s tip line at (415) 575-4444.”

“the low down dirty housing swindler
A San Francisco real estate agent hired to help low-income Asian American residents apply for city-sponsored affordable housing was recently charged with swindling them out of payments he allegedly claimed would guarantee them the coveted units: Housing agent accused of bilking the poor.

Kan Yin Chow is accused of stealing $1,000 to $4,000 apiece from 19 Chinese-speaking applicants who were trying to get into housing in the city. He was arrested last month arraigned on grand theft, burglary and credit fraud charges. More here: Man arrested in alleged affordable housing swindle.
angrylink | sha”

so you see you aren’t missing much. things are the same as when you were taking the cable car. incidentally speaking of cars, i have been wondering how you obtained a thai driver’s license given the sparseness of that country’s language in your vocabulary.

Joe’s response:

With reference to my Thai driver’s license, I do not have one. I have been told that I have up to six months to get one. I have also beed told that unless I am involved in an accident, a $5 bribe will be enough to get me off if I am ever stopped. I assume the cost is higher if one is in an accident.

Anyway, you do not have to speak and read Thai to get a driver’s license in Thailand. You do not have to take a test to see if you know and understand the Thai traffic laws (not even the Thais understand them if there are any and I doubt it). You do not take a driving test. All they do is administer a depth perception test and if you fail a little vigorish (would you believe this word is in spell check?) gets your license anyway.

PS: joe-bang-kok’s is not bad. I wonder how it will play with my fundamentalist christian neighbors?

From Bill Geyer:

Glad to hear from you. I’ve been enjoying your illustrated daily journal about everyday life across the sea. I hope your visa red tape has worked itself out. I guess red tape didn’t require globalization. It was always with us as part of the human condition, like original sin. Are you getting any writing done yet? Sometimes I find before I embark on any extended written project, that it helps to warm up by writing a few short things like letters or notes to the file (like before you come out of the bullpen); so maybe that’s what you’re doing.

Naida’s final book in her Cosumnes trilogy “Rest for the Wicked” came back from the printer last week (3,000 copies, first printing) so she’s shifting into the publishers marketing mode. Visualize the prototypical one-man band. I’ll send you a copy FYI if you’ll tell me where and how best to do it. My current role is warehouseman and after-the-fact editor. So far I’ve caught 5 errors (4 typos and one of substance) in 450 pages. Assuming I haven’t missed too many others, that’s better than average for our first print runs. I’m guessing we’ll have to order a second printing reasonably soon, so we can fix them then.

As I probably told you, I’ve been working on a big project to find new funding sources for the Williamson Act county subvention fund which used to come ($40M) from the state General Fund but got vetoed last year by the Governor. If the counties don’t get some offset money for their WA tax losses, they’ve individually and collectively threatened to terminate their WA programs. I’ve been making headway getting my work funded and have just completed a 14 page draft of a white paper on possible funding options.

From Joe to Nikki:

Natalie left for BKK this morning. I saw her off at the airport at 6 AM. She was still in her irritable mood.

Hayden woke up in his own bed this morning (he went to sleep in Natalie’s). He said to me, “Where is Mommy?”. I told him that she had already left. “Oh” he replied, “then get out of my room” and then he rolled over and went back to sleep. When he finally got up, he was in a very good mood. This is all a good sign.

The Principal told me that summer vacation begins on March 15th and continues until May 1 when the school closes until May 17th. I am not sure if the new semester begins on May 18th or not. I need to get that clarified. Anyway she told me that Natalie had indicated to her that she would take Hayden with her only during the two weeks that the school is closed. Thai is a good sign also.

Ciao.

Categories: January 2010 through March 2010 | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

Thia and that from Thailand. February 8, 2010

The farmers are burning off the stubble in their rice fields in preparation for planting their crops. The air smells of the burning and I cough a lot.

Travel journals like this usually relate the picturesque and mundane. I was never much into picturesque as any photograph of me will attest. The mundane however is my metier. In keeping with that, I have decided to share my morning walk with Hayden to his school. The capacity of my computer limits me to only about two photographs at a time, so here are the first two.

In the first one, we have just passed through the gate and turned right. Our wall is on the right. Most of the Thai neighbors have elegant gates as one can see on the left, behind which stands a house owned by a corrupt Thai banker. We on the other-hand have a cheap wooden gate without even an automatic gate opener. We must be the shame of the neighborhood. Every time I get out of the car to open the gate I fear a visit from the HOA.

In the second photograph, we have turned right at the intersection. Our wall continues on the right and we will eventually walk to the end of the street in the distance. On the left a woman is sweeping the street and sidewalk in front of the house where she works. A lot of that goes on here, even the subdivision with my $20 a month HOA fee sweeps the street. They do not fix the sidewalks or the streets however. Stay tuned for even more exciting photographs of this legendary trek.

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FROM MY JOURNAL:

February 5.

2010 9AM
Yesterday I learned from Nikki that Natalie’s real reason for not wanting me to drive the car was not the absence of insurance, but the fear that I will get into an accident with Hayden in the car. Since I have cut down on my intake of Prozac from 30mg to 20mg these insults are getting harder to take.

I am in an unpleasant situation. Tai seems about worthless for assisting me on my visa problems. I do not have enough money for the KL trip and must rely on Nikki. Natalie is plotting to find some way to be rid of me.

Today I will get a shave, take the car and go to Central to open the bank accounts. Need to complete forms for transfer of Social Security direct deposit. Need also to fill my Flowmax prescription.

Cannot seem to be able to keep-up with my work plans. Depression? Who knows.

Did manage to write a page or two of “A Case of the Joes”. A good start.

12 noon
Barber shop closed. Walked home. Took a nap. Awoke to what sounded Hayden calling me. Could not determine what it was. My plan to go to Central and open a bank account to direct deposit SS was frustrated by the information on the forms that the account would be a savings account, no ATM and no transfers. I could write checks however and use them to transfer my deposits every month to a checking account.

I still need to open a house account a personal account and get my medicines. So I guess I will go to Central now, stopping for my shave first.

7PM
Got my shave. Went to Central. Only 10,000 baht in Bank. Not enough for KL. Went to BKK Bank to open an account. They wanted a longer visa time than I had on my passport.

None of the pharmacies in Central had Flowmax or a Thai equivalent. Went to Big C. Pharmacist there found the Thai version. Cost 1300 baht for 30 pills.Depressed. Do not have enough money for KL.

Need to ask Nikki for a $400 loan.

Went to Hayden’s school. Early.

While waiting called Tai. She seemed distracted. Asked me for money. Said not until the 17th. Asked about her attempts to secure visa in BKK. She sounded annoyed when she said “I’ll go out later today”. Resolved not to call her until she calls back.

Went home with Hayden. He showered, ate and went out to play with Leo.

Researched Western Union on internet. Got occupied with massages, escort services and ladyboys. Felt guilty for giving in to the distraction and–I cannot think of the term.

Went down stairs and lit a cigar and started writing this. Maid brought dinner. Ate it. Hayden returned excited. Said he could ride his bike without training wheels. Insisted we take them off. Tried but did not have proper tools. Promised that I will try again tomorrow. He ate dinner. I returned to this.

February 6 2010.

8:30PM
Am in bed with Hayden reading his books. They are books with accompanying CD’s with a reciter so the children can read along with the speaker. His Favorite is “Santa Duck”. He also has “Run Turkey Run”, “Sam the Snowman” and “Curious George’s Christmas”.

Natalie is coming tomorrow. Dreading it. She will try to get money from me and make an issue of the car’s side-view mirror.

Today we went to the pool within the subdivision. Hayden played in the water and I played with my computer.

Spoke with Nikki tonight. Told me Nat was coming tomorrow. Her date cancelled.

Hayden went to school for his art class.

Called T tonight. Said her phone was not working. Had not met with whomever regarding visa.

February 7 2010.

1:30 PM
Nat. arrived at about 9:30 this morning bringing food and drink. More or less ignored Hayden and went to bed for a nap.

Walked Hayden to Leo’s. Spoke with Leo’s father Jerry. J. said he would take Haden and Leo on his motorcycle to school for a play . Returned home.

Nat up. Asked me for money to pay maid. Said, “I spoke to Nikki . He said he had”. N. responded that he had not sent it yet and went back into the house to change. N. left to pick up H. Brief discussion re: broken mirror on auto.

Made lunch of passion fruit juice, donkey sausage, parma. cheese and Italian processed ham.

They returned.

8PM
Still no word from T.

Nat. took Hayden for a haircut. Picked him up at school. It was to play not to a play. My bad. When they returned Hayden went to Leo’s house.

Hayden played with Mario a friend of Leo’s who was visiting. Leo was unhappy. Spoke with Jerry and his two friends for a few minutes. Returned home.

Nat left for manicure and shopping.

Water repairman came worked on water pump replaced a part, worked an hour charged $20. Checked the heat in showers. Said the pump cabinet switch things were misplaced most water was going through pipe with little force while the pipe with the switch that provided more pressure was on the less used pipe. Estimated fix would cost about $85. The prior waterman according to Nat charged her about $1300 and did not fix it. (I believe it was less than that and Nat. Pocketed the money). I paid $600 of it.

Nat. returned in a bad mood. Said the Bar had not yet opened (7PM). They needed her there to run it. This means she is planning to go back soon. We ate dinner. She complained that Nikki’s Parma cheese wedge was too large and he did not bring a grater. And so to bed.

February 8 2010.

Monday 8AM
Thought I would write early today. N. woke in a foul mood. Accused me of not buying or sending the things she ordered me to buy and send from SF. I did not want to tell her she was right, Anthony was supposed to. He said that his friend who is coming to Thailand (in March??) would carry them with him since it costs about $100 to ship. Assured her that they will arrive. She grunted. She insisted I drive Hayden to school and return about 9-9:30 because she had to buy flowers and fruit for the Buddha. She is the Buddhist equivalent of the fundamentalist Christian. Pray and believe and you are saved no matter what else you do in life.

I hope I will get some work done today and not be distracted by my porn obsession. Spent much of yesterday on dating sites trying to find a women tranny cheap enough to take care of me. I feel guilty about that, especially the tranny part. Nevertheless, I cannot get over how remarkably beautiful and sensuous some of them appear to be and how much I enjoyed my time with Isabella.

9:30 AM
Back home. Set up in Sala. Farmers are burning rice fields. Can hardly breath. Coughing. Upstairs the smell of the burning is strong. Maybe has something to do with N’s mood. Doubt it. I will try to ingratiate myself by mentioning it as the reason she feels so bad. Maybe it will get her to return to BKK.

Made an obvious discovery regarding my novel. Read instructions about how to write one first.

2 PM
Not enough money in my account to buy my tickets. Wrote to Nikki begging for help.

She “went shopping”. Cadged 1000 baht from me. Wanted more but I refused. You could buy a room full of food for 2000 baht. She left at about noon. Will probably not be back until 4 PM. Hmmmm… Do you suppose….. Nah, she is too busy working. That’s what it has always been called. Too snide. Sorry.

6:30 PM
a lot happened regarding the water (see emails to Nikki for the day).

COMMENTS:

From Ann Marie:

Dear Papa Joe,

I shared your email with Athena this morning on the way to school. I love your writing voice, I’ve never had the privilege of reading anything you’ve written before, she agreed that you’re a “very good writer.” We talked about how she gets her writing skills from both sides of the family. In fact I showed my English professor a book of poetry she put together last year, he raved about it saying she was just as good as some of his college students. She devours books like you wouldn’t believe. I’m very proud of her. Sometimes when it gets late and she won’t put a book down, I think of you and your mother when you were young. Athena smiles when I say “don’t be like papa Joe & read with a flashlight under your blankets when I leave. She says she wants to be a writer and photographer when she grows up.

Hope you are happy in Thailand, perhaps I’ll get over there to visit with you some day. In the meantime, take good care of yourself, and know that we love you. I would’ve liked to send you off properly with a nice family dinner, but Anthony told me you were too busy.
By the way I picked up all your photographs for safe keeping, and Anthony wanted to keep all your various awards and plaques, so they are all in my garage.

Sent with Love & well wishes,

Ann

PS I beg to differ about your journal not being “picturesque” I have many photos of you in Italy that speak very differently. And the picture of the farmers prepping their crops seems picturesque indeed. Thank you for sharing the “mundane” with me.

Joe’s response:

Thank you for writing and for reading my emails. I am so pleased with Athena’s progress and ambition. She not only reads and writes but as I have noticed she observes as well. The last time that I saw her at the garage sale she seemed suddenly to be much more mature and grown up that she had been.

Thank you and please also thank Anthony for being so considerate regarding my things. Tell him his friends here are waiting for him to return. By the way how is he doing?

As for the picturesque, I was speaking of my lumpy odd shaped face. I guess it can be considered picturesque if pictures of old junk yards can be considered so.

From Irwin:

wow! was i taken aback by your (today’s) photos of the street scene outside your home. the scenery is not what i had imagined. seems open space is at a premium there as well as in parts of the usa. i guess i had pictured something more “exotic” whatever that means….perhaps trails, lots of native vegetation, smelly dead bodies on the side of dirt roads with lots of flies and the like. but no matter. if you are happy i’m happy; well, that is, i’m happy for you!! i suspect that the “open space” is outside the subdivision as you mention farmers and “stubble” which is i assume not referring to peasants’ beards. what do they plant in their rice fields when they are not planting rice? given the tropical nature of the country i assume that there are lots of fruit trees, banana, etc. growing in the wild as well as in cultivated areas run by the local farmers’ collective (“kibbutz”).

i see you have picked up some new readers. i’m guess that the “bill gates” is not the bill gates. maybe soon you will need a meter program to see exactly how many people read your email messages. while i don’t update my blog(s) very often i do subscribe (free) to a program which keeps track of head count but as to accuracy i’m not sure. the problem with my “glowing man” blog is that i haven’t tied it to any distribution program so i have to send out an email to recipients (i keep a list) telling them that i have updated the blog – somehow this process doesn’t sound as my being very up-to-date with the 21 st century but i have my excuses;namely that i don’t read manuals or other forms of written instructions and consequently if the task isn’t something i can learn by trial and error i can’t learn it at all, or rather won’t try. i suspect (doing a lot of that lately) that because i use “blogger” which is the free google blog program i told you about instead of some hosted blog program which charges a fee that i suffer the distribution problem.

here the rain has stopped however i still can not see clearly. i was going to have cataract surgery on my left eye last year but postponed it to take care of the cancer. now i really don’t much care and the thought of any type of invasive treatment to my body leaves me cold – although a lobotomy might be rewarding. no, i don’t mean the dance. today’s photo from me is a photo i took of the “la la la lady” who sings (“la la la la”) as she walks along los jardines east. she may be thai. she is definitely asian – do the thais in your part of the world sing while they walk? maybe it’s an ethnic trait like jews hoard money (wish i had some. no, not jews. money!).

if you look up in the sky right now you might see a vapor trail of the satellite which was sent up this morning. i have fixed my scanner and am listening to the nasa frequency. the man said that it is now over japan and while i know that japan is not near thailand maybe it’s not that far away. actually, “fixed” is not the right word. the scanner wasn’t broke i just wasn’t receiving the station i usually listen to ( it’s a ham station where notwithstanding fcc guidelines and standards obscenity and indecency is foremost with several of the regulars bordering on the mentally incompetent and definitely socially cruel and gross. my kinda’ people). every once in a while i accidentally touch one of the buttons on the scanner and it goes out of wack to where i can’t receive any transmission from anywhere. thus comes into play my excuse of not reading manuals. so i spent a good fifteen minutes this afternoon pushing all of the buttons on the damn thing one after the other and finally by a stoke of luck it is now tunable to some frequencies where i can hear the voice of real people – my last wife lives upstairs and i downstairs so we seldom exchange a word except when i wander up the stairs to inquire what time i should have dinner ready. the timing never works out. she’ll say “one hour” and the next thing i know i’m back up the stair saying “it;s been more than an hour” and she isn’t downstairs yet. it’s little things like that which cause my misogyny to grow at an increasing rapid rate. by the way before i leave the subject of radio transmission you might enjoy having a short-wave radio given the location of your domicile. you haven’t written about tv coverage so i don’t know what you receive beyond bangkok bugaboo, the bbc and al jezeera. then again after having four wives, three children, being eighty thousand plus in credit card debt and building that palatial estate on world cup i am not certain how much baht you have left(i understand that one baht is equal to 0.03 c american) and may not be able to afford such luxuries as a $ 100 +/- radio. some day when you are in your cups and in a talkative and sharing mood i hope you tell me about your finances and how you pulled off this coup of yours which permits you to retire debt and work free in thailand. in exchange i might buy you that radio. i could purchase it on ebay and leave it to them to figure how to deliver it to you without having to hire an elephant and mahout.

yesterday, as is traditional, i was not invited to any superbowl party. so i stayed home and had a superbowl party for one. not being a football fan i did not know who to root for. i did not have chips and dip but i did consume some raw cashews and sparkling mixed berry flavored water from trader joe’s…..@ 89 c a bottle or 29.6 baht. i don’t know that the trader joe’s on brookhurst and hamilton in huntington beach will take baht but i guess i could ask on next shopping trip.

afternotes:

i’m not sure what she is carrying in her bag. usually the people here who carry bags on their walk are walking their dog(s). i can think of nothing much more than disgusting than picking up dog shit with a plastic bag (well i guess using one’s bare hands would be more revolting) which is why, among other reasons, we do not have a dog. my eldest son has two and i have never figured out where he got the unfulfilled desire to have a dog when he had his own household. he has told me that his kids are of the age to play with puppies but i have never seem my grandchildren go near the dogs. my youngest son, who is quite strange, also has a dog which i have never seen as i hardly ever see him – although we are suppose to go together to lucha va voom on thursday night to see mexican wrestling and if we are lucky they will also have the midget female stip tease ladies. i wonder if what they say about their genitalia is true.

in case the news hasn’t made chaing mai yet, michael jackson’s doctor is being arrested today for involuntary manslaughter. i thought you and yours might want to know that being such big fans of the deceased singer/pedophile. i confess. i did buy the thriller casette when it came out years ago and i had the (1989) oy1mobile which had a casette player unlike the more contemprorary (2004) oyonemobile which has a cd player. you will note the difference in spelling. i couldn’t bring myself to put the license plate (“oy1”) from the caddie, now deceased and crushed by the state of california, onto the olds and thus the plate on that reads “oy one”. the last time google came around to take street view photos i still had the cadillac: .http://maps.google.com/maps?

by the way. last night i had a vision of me opening a store in chaing mai where i would sell photos and a limited food menu. do they have business licenses in thailand and/or would i have to hire you to bribe a public official?

if you start a blog you could label it “re thai r ment” instead of “this and that…”.

i need a drink.

Joe’s response:

Cuzin,

Your emails and blogs are the best. I am jealous. Mine are like lumps of wood compared to your living trees. Some times I do not respond for days while thinking about them. They make my day. God you’d think I was going to ask you for money with all this flattery. Maybe I will. After all, living exclusively on social security while girlfriend #1 (Hayden’s mother) tries to drain me of every last baht leaves me sinking in debt as always.

Thailand is no different than any other country where if you want to see the exotic and picturesque of the brochures you have either to leave the cities or go to a museum. What Thailand does have near to hand everywhere is massage and sex.

You have now asked me twice how is it that I do whatever it is that you think I do. That can be answered in one word, “RUN”. When the going get’s tough, Joey runs. I would rather die a thousand deaths given the alternative. It is those who stand and fight that die.

I now at this advanced age live in a world of three dooms. I love that word doom (words are such Hos, they will do anything for anybody at any time and for free). Dooooom. Stretch it out and it is one of the essential sounds emanating from the bowels of the cosmos like the Maharishi’s ohm. Any way my three dooms: First is the doom of retirement. I always believed that we (men at least) are held together by stress and fear gifted to us by our jewish caveman ancestors. Stressed because our hunt for food may fail and we and our families may starve to death. Fear because some woolly mammoth may emerge from the bushes and step on our head. If we stop to smell the flowers some saber-toothed tiger will immediately bite our sorry ass. Then about a hundred years ago they gave us “RETIREMENT” and for a brief moment the fear and stress we think disappears, then we die.

The second doom is the “REAL DOOM”. Earlier in our life death was some remote possibility, so we planed and dreamed (most (all) of which failed to occur). Now it is an onrushing certainty and planning at best means for that day and dreams are what happens (if we a lucky) in our sleep.

The third doom is what I call my personal existential doom. I live here in this place at the sufferance of my greedy, mostly insane ex-lover in whose name I stupidly placed the deed to the house. At any moment I can be out on my ass. And then what will I do? Run, I guess.

On that note, ciao for now.

From Irwin:

wassup?! i just returned from a rain-drenched trip to (a) the bank (nsf); (b) cvs drugstore (metamucil for me and protective undergarments for mom); (c) the liquor store to buy $10 worth of lotto tickets(“listen you oriental bastard sell me a winning ticket this time or i’ll cut off you f_____g pigtail!); and (c) bi-rite meats to buy fresh salmon for tonight’s dinner(i broiled it in pepper, dill and melted butter). i did take an umbrella when i left however the damn thing broke when i tried to open it up so my clothes are somewhat damp at this moment. fortunately for me a few hours earlier it was only cloudy and not raining so i did the 1 ½ mile walk routine but since it was cold outside (not dressed properly to face the fierce elements of fountain valley) i walked rather briskly which is what i am told one is to do for health reasons – perhaps it makes the heart beat faster but then again in my case so does sex (as i remember it) and fear.

today’s photo is not one of natural vegetation on the outskirts of the subdivision as there isn’t any natural vegetation since 1967 when the area was graded by george holstein – i always thought the name of that builder was somewhat ironic because prior to the residential development the area was either strawberry fields or dairies, the latter of course having “holdstein” cows. anyway both george and the cows are long gone. the photo shows some tangerines overhanging a neighbor’s back yard wall. i figured since i could reach them they must be public property and i did use the hooked end of my walking stick to secure one tangerine which i pealed and ate as i walked along. it was juicy but somewhat tart – i never ate a tart in spite of having dated a few in my day.

as far as my prose is concerned thanks for the complement but don’t underestimate the quality and worth of your literature. it’s meant quite a lot to me in the short time which you have been sending emails to the states. reading your exploits in a foreign country is exhilarating without my having to buy travelers checks or pack a bag. then too, please remember that i am a habitual plagiarist and have not an original thought, phrase or word in my head. having something to do as in responding to your emails has kept me from suicide as has the fact that i don’t have a license to buy a gun and furthermore think it’s a crime to have to spend $400 for a revolver to blow oneself away when for the same amount of funds one can buy a good italian dinner and a quality bottle of gettanera (sp?). if you want to seek some comfort about personal writing attributes see today’s new website http://vangoghletters.org/vg/letters.html. so far i have read about five of van gogh’s letters to his brother theo and am still searching for some special artistic or aesthetic quality which set it apart and above from, say a letter i might write to my aunt edie were she still alive today. i guess it’s like beauty, in the eye of the beholder. or then again, maybe because the originals of the letters may be in dutch or french neither of which i have a firm grasp.

funny you should mention “social security”. earlier today i composed a letter to the social security administration expressing my curiouisity as to why my mother’s monthly social security check is ten dollars less than mine. shouldn’t it be a lot less? i have to believe that i worked longer and made much more money than did she and my step-father combined. i am hoping that i have been substantially underpaid by the federal government but my suspicions are that i have not and that my paltry #1298 bucks a month is just the nature of things. perhaps working for local government for eleven plus years is the cause of my financial displeasure, astigmatism and beaten brain.

i think you are right-on with this “doom” thing! in fact i think you are overlooking an opportunity to make a bundle. you should create a (men’s) board game (e.g. monopoly) titled “doom”. i can imagine some of the squares now as i roll the dice and watch my life being fucked before me with my very own eyes. somehow i think it’s also tied in with that story-joke i emailed to you earlier today about the “husband store”. the funny part about that joke is i believe it to be 100% true which is why, i guess, it is so funny and i think the male “doom” is because we gave women the right to vote.

it would seem that we both suffer from the same malady of attaching ourselves to women who are smarter and trickier than we are. this is obviously our downfall. why couldn’t it have been women who just liked sex, have money and drink beer instead of being analytical and clever; although i personally find it unattractive to see women drink from a beer bottle or to use one for that particular obscene act although i have seen worse in tijuana.

fino alla prossima volta,

From Stevie Dall:

Great kid! Re picturesque photos, if anyone had gotten a shot of us in 1978 stretched out across the Panoramic Trail in our respective inappropriate garb, dying of thirst while waiting for the Marsh family and Norbert with 3 week old Brian AND the canteen to catch up with us, THAT would have been picturesque.

From Joe to Nikki:

Natalie arrived Saturday breathing fire. Almost the first thing she did was to ask me for money to pay the maid. I told her that, I thought Nikki had. She sniffed, “I haven’t received it yet”. Usual complaints. Mostly ignored Hayden. Said she needed a nap because she was up at 3AM closing the Bar. She was better that evening.

Yesterday she went to get her nails done and to shop for food. The new waterman came and fixed the pump for 700 baht. Better pressure. Hot water now for all except my room. That shower is luke warm. He said that in order to get everything working properly we need to switch the mechanisms on the two pipe lines. The one on the less used pipeline would provide the better pressure and make even my room’s shower water hot. Said it would cost 2500 baht. I told him I would get back to him on that. When I told Nat. she told me to go ahead and pay for it. I think she has lost interest in it because there is no money in it for her. By the way she got angry at you for bringing a cheese wedge that big because it was too big to be grated. And besides you forgot to bring a cheese grater. (I am not kidding. she was upset.)

I am afraid I am going to need your help financially sooner than I thought I would. She has wheedled out of me over 4000 baht since she has arrived (1300 for the “old waterman, 1000 for the new, 2000 for food). Now I do not have enough in my account for my airline tickets. Even if I delayed my trip to the 17th I would not know if the deposit would be booked that day and I will be fucked.

Joe to Nikki again:

I thought I will bring you up to date on the latest Chiang Mai doings. I think she is obsessed with the money she will lose by not overcharging us. This afternoon a man came onto the property. I asked her who it was. She said the Water man. I said but my guy came yesterday and fixed it and told me it could be made better with some minor changes costing 2500 baht. She said that her guy was the guy who put in the system and was an expert, not like my guy who was just some guy off the street. Her water guy she tells me told her that it needs major repairs. I went with the the guy to the tank and asked him show me what was wrong. He could not show me. Then he pointed to the tank that was fixed yesterday. When I said that was not it, he rummaged around and pointed at the mechanisms. I asked him how much it would cost to fix . He wanted to talk to Nat. The woman across the street who had recommended this guy then showed up. After a while the waterman said everything was all right with the water and left quickly. When I asked Nat what happened to the 35000 baht owed to the waterman. She said it was not owed to the Waterman but to the electrician who she said had removed all the heaters and took them to his shop to be fixed and that is what cost so much. I said that they all could have been replaced with new heaters for less than that. She said that she is too busy to be here to take care of it.

Later she asked me why I did not have my Water-guy fix the rest for 2500 baht. I said that I would not have the money until next week. She then told me that I would have to pay the maid 5000 baht for her salary because she is using the rest of money that you sent her (remember yesterday she said that she did not receive it) to pay the electrician and that next week when I receive my money I should pay the maid the rest (are we sure the maid gets 10,000 baht. She let slip yesterday that she paid her 5000 baht.a year ago). She then said that I had agreed to pay 30000 baht per month to live here. I told her that I did not but, 30000 baht per month is the the total of the expenses that you and I agreed it would cost for all expenses here. She walked away and went to her gym.

I picked up Hayden. When she came home she and Hayden started up because Hayden was chewing gum that he got from the kid across the street.

I am reporting all this only to keep you informed. Do not tell her that you know about this. Anyway, I think it is funny that she is becoming so transparent.

We have to keep going for Hayden’s sake. I hope for his sake she leaves soon.
message:%3CF821A44B-BE86-4248-90C5-3B6E82484D49@mac.com%3E
Ciao

Joe to Nikki yet again:

I hope you are enjoying Caracas.

I have some news from Chaing Mai. Earlier today Natalie told me she was returning to BKK tomorrow morning. I do not know if she has told Hayden yet. If not I am sure he will be dissappointed. I on the other hand cannot be happier. I it appears have replaced you on the shit list.

She did however tell me that she intends to go to the US during the Summer recess. When I told her that I thought that the vacation ran from early May until mid-August. She said surprised, “for three months?”. I suggested that Hayden would be old enough to fly by himself so she could send him back when it was convenient for her. She seemed to like the idea.

That’s all for now.

Nikki’s response:

Well i cannot follow all her changing programs one day in usa another in italy and such i only care that the baby has at least a decent school year is very important at this stage of his life.
anyway whatever she is planning for the next months the baby will finish his term in chang mai
the all mess and bullshit about the water is a fake she is not organized and the system was sucking since the beginning but is a good excuse to obtain extra cash
i guess she come up to bring the baby in italy which i think was just a temporary lie to keep me calm and trying another couèples of months see if the school is working
i gave 10000 thb for the maid and she get furious cause me and u talked to the principle and sign the paperwork for the next semester or whatever she said that only her can talk about the business and the school is robbing us cause she can get a better deal as a thai person
this is only bullshit she want to manage the money that’ s all.
I dont want to start a POOR’S WAR with her but she has to realize her budget and cannot ask for more if u were not ther we have to pay a nanny for so consider that fuck for a little food and a cleaning how much u will overcharge there?
the fucking cheese grater will cost 50 fucking bath on the street juesus she just want to get angry at us and involve the baby
She is getting insane joe let me tell u this stuff is getting serious i have to get things fixed up befotre is too late.
Send me ur trip dates and which airline u fly and when if i can i will make u the ticket from italy on line
anyway will call u asap
Be careful at this time the situation is very delicate and dangerous
Take good care the baby and check him up all the time we don’t want to get in trouble
call me.

Categories: January 2010 through March 2010 | Tags: , | Leave a comment

This and That from re Thai r ment, by 3Th. (27 Joseph 0001) January 16, 2012

THE NAKED MOLE RAT CHRONICLES:

Chronicles: Workers.

Hi, my name is Gail. I am a worker and I have been asked to show you around the burrow. Workers like me are smaller than the other naked mole rats in the community, like the Queen and the soldiers. That is a good thing, I think. It helps us get around and through all of the tunnels. Although all of us can run forward and backward equally fast and our skins are loose enough we can almost turn around in them, it is a bit easier for us to move about the smallest of the tunnels than it is for the bigger soldiers and the Queen, may she reign forever.

First a word about us workers. We work almost all the time, except when we eat or sleep or use the toilet. Although each of us can do whatever any other one can, some of us specialize. For example, when we dig a tunnel one of us, of course, is in front doing the actual digging. Behind the digger are one or more sweepers sweeping the refuse back to the last of us in the line who sweeps it out of burrow altogether where it forms a volcano like mound about five inches high. That’s what I like doing best, volcanoing and I am pretty good at it.

Some of the others are good at other things. Take Old George, he is one of the oldest citizens in the burrow. He is so old he remembers the Queen before the current Queen, my mom, may she reign long and prosper and may she be not as irritable as usual. He sometimes tells the younger workers stories about the Dark Times after the prior queen died and the other females fought often to the death throughout the tunnels until one emerged victorious, Old Horror, Glabix XI calls her, my mom, Eleven’s too, may her reign be fruitful.

Anyway, in addition to telling stories and being old and all, Old George is a tool-maker. He finds and shapes bits of wood that the workers doing the digging can use to make it easier and faster. With or without tools we workers can build a super tunnel over a mile long in three months. A super tunnel is one that two of us can walk side by side of pass each other going in opposite directions. These super tunnels connect the important places in the burrow.

Well, here we are at one of those important places, the Restroom or Loo.

TODAY’S FACTOID:

1938, November 12: The “Jewish Question.”

‘I have received a letter written on the Führer’s orders requesting that the Jewish question be now, once and for all, coordinated and solved one way or another… I should not want to leave any doubt, gentlemen, as to the aim of today’s meeting. We have not come together merely to talk again, but to make decisions, and I implore competent agencies to take all measures for the elimination of the Jew from the German economy, and to submit them to me.’
Hermann Goering.

Goering’s statement followed the infamous Kristallnacht. Also, shortly after the Kristallnacht Martin Sasse, bishop of the Thuringian Evangelical Church and leading member of the German Christians movement, published a compendium of Martin Luther’s writings ; Sasse “applauded the burning of the synagogues” and the coincidence of the day, writing in the introduction, “On 10 November 1938, on Luther’s birthday, the synagogues are burning in Germany.” The German people, he urged, ought to heed these words “of the greatest anti-Semite of his time, the warner of his people against the Jews.” Diarmaid MacCulloch argued that Luther’s 1543 pamphlet On the Jews and Their Lies was a “blueprint” for the Kristallnacht.

One of the few public demonstrations of opposition to Kristallnacht was led by, William Cooper, an Aboriginal Australian whose people also had experienced racial based extermination attempts by a Germanic people, who along with a delegation of the Australian Aboriginal League marched through Melbourne to the German Consulate to deliver a petition which condemned the “cruel persecution of the Jewish people by the Nazi government of Germany.” German officials refused to take the document.

However, lest we forget and thereby minimize the true evil of right-wing hate, in addition to the Jewish Holocaust, Gypsies were often killed on sight, especially by the Einsatzgruppen [mobile killing units] on the Eastern Front. The total number of victims has been variously estimated at between 220,000 to 1,500,000; even the lowest number would make the Porajmos (Gypsy genocide) one of the largest mass murders in history. Homosexuals were hunted down like vermin and over 12 million Poles simply were slaughtered to make room for the planned expansion of the German race.

TODAY’S NEWS FROM THAILAND:

1. Airport Fracas:

A few days ago an official of Thailand’s Customs Department set off the security alarm as he passed through the security machine at the BKK airport. A security officer asked to pat down official before passing further into the airport. The official objected, pointed to his name tag, slammed both hands against the security officers ears rupturing one of his eardrums and walked off. It was all caught on tape by a security camera and received significant play on the local news.

A Customs Department spokesman said it is investigating the incident but did not think it was a big enough deal to remove the investigation out of local hands.

Thailand in now experiencing national soul-searching about how far, if at all, they have come from feudalism.

2. Prime Minister Princess Lucky Girl tours the military:

In keeping a campaign pledge to get to know them better, the Prime Minister has begun a series of lunches with leaders of the various branches of the nations armed forces, who were instrumental in executing the coup that removed her brother, the exiled, fugitive ex-Prime Minister Thaksin the Terrible.

3. Thailand’s “Sufficiency” economy:

On December 23,1999, His Majesty the King of Thailand announced his goal of a sufficiency economy for Thailand. The country’s political leaders ignored him on this just as they did on flood control, rural development and the need to protect the Monarchy from criticism. They do however claim undying loyalty to the Royalty Family.

It sort of resembles those in the US who express unabashed reverence for those in military service, even to the point putting on huge displays in their honor, while often opposing almost every program intended to provide those same servicemen and women, health care for war related injuries, job retraining and education, family assistance and just about anything else that would actually help those who put their lives on the line for the rest of us a little more than hollow hypocritical celebrations.

POOKIE’S ADVENTURES IN THAILAND:

I have little to report about my activities here. I am still planning to leave on the 24th of the month to return to the US. I arrive in LA for a day or two, then go to Sacramento. This is different from yesterday when SWAC wrote to tell me that I should not go to Sacramento because Dick in whose house she and Hayden lives (he actually lives in another house) did not want me to stay the month. This morning she emailed me that I should go to Sacramento so that she could return to Thailand to sell her condominium. Tomorrow I am sure it will change again.

I have begun transferring these “This and that…” emails into a new blog. It takes a lot of time to do so. In my next issue of “This and that…” I will explain all about it.

Although I still go to the health club six days a week, I now only swim for my workouts. Since I had my most recent lingering illness, I have found myself too exhausted for extensive gym exercises.

PAPA JOES TALES AND FABLES:

See: http://papajoesfables.wordpress.com/

MOPEY JOE’S MEMORIES:

On the Edge: Stories about the Creation and Early Years of California’s Monumental Coastal Protection Program.

In the Beginning: an oft told story (continued).

The tall skinny apparition led me through the columns into the sparsely furnished lobby of the newly completed building where several large easels were set up in some sort of an ad hoc exhibition. My guide introduced himself as John Olmsted. I was later to learn that he was a descendent of “The” Olmsted, the high school dropout from Connecticut who became a journalist and in the latter stages of the Nineteenth Century parlayed his journalistic abilities and his political connections to win the competition to design NY’s Central Park becoming thereby one of the most successful landscape designers of his generation.

John stood me before easels and proceeded to explain to me all about something he called an “Ecological Staircase,” and about the “Pygmy Forest.” Now, at that time, I was vaguely familiar with the word “Ecological” at least enough to know it had something to do with nature, but what it had to do with staircases had me mystified and curious. To explain it, he had a large chart set up on one of the easels. The best I could make out was that logically it had something to do with “The Pygmy Forest,” and that John was going to connect it all up for me.

John then pointed to a photograph of what appeared to me to be one of the ugliest plants I had ever seen. Had it grown in my garden, I would have pulled it out by its roots hoping I acted quickly enough to prevent it infecting the rest of the place. To John however, the sight of it seemed to have instilled in him an almost religious ecstasy.

He enthusiastically explained that the stunted monstrosity was a full-grown tree. My excitement at that revelation was muted.

Unperturbed by my lack of response, John continued with his presentation.

It seems the ground around a place called “Jughandle Creek” located somewhere along the coast in Mendocino, a county lying about 100 miles north of San Francisco, according to John had, over the eons, risen and fallen beneath ocean and each time it rose the incessant waves carved out a ledge. About five or so times this happened sculpting the land to appear, to the imaginative obsessive, as a giant staircase, hence the Staircase to which Ecological was appended. It was all beginning to make sense.

John explained that the ground on the top of each step (for some reason that I have forgotten), became packed as hard as cement. Over the years the soil settling on top of that cement became more and more hostile to just about any living thing except for flesh-eating plants, these benighted trees and marijuana.

Apparently, the roots of the trees could not push through the cement-like hard-pan causing the stunted growth of these three-foot high monstrosities. “Natural Bonsai,” John crooned. They did not look like any bonsai I ever saw, but hell, who was I to argue with the crazed hippie descendent of “The” Olmsted.

The looming tragedy that prompted John’s hysteria and resulted in the exhibit and the selection of me as a potential acolyte, was a developer’s plans to build a motel right in the center of the first step of John’s beloved Ecological Staircase, thereby ruining it for future generations of, I assumed, people like John, as well putting the existence of the nearby forest of stunted trees at risk.

While I thought that any trees that could thrive in that soil was a match for any developer, I nevertheless heard myself say those eternally fateful (and often regretted) words, “That’s awful, I used to be a practicing attorney, what can I do to help.”
(To be continued)

JOEY’S MYSTERY NOVEL:

RED STAR: Chapter, Don’t Piss Off Meg (continued):

Meg had not spent the greater part of her non-working, waking hours taking innumerable high performance driving courses for no reason. It was her hobby. So, she calling upon that expertise, quickly manipulated brake and steering wheel to regain control of her vehicle, even on the crumbling unstable verge along the unbarricaded edge of the cliff and soon found herself behind her attacker. She speeded up, drove to the outside close to the cliff-face and began to pass him. As she came abreast of the other driver, she could see him glance at her and hunch over the steering wheel. She guessed he intended to try to drive her against the escarpment that rose up alongside the road. Before he could act, she floored her cruiser’s accelerator to speed up. As the nose of her vehicle edged pant his, she sharply pulled of her steering wheel, turning her wheels so it appeared the nose of her car would cross in front of his bumper and crash into him, forcing him toward the cliff edge. It was a bluff as she almost immediately righted the car again. As she expected her bluff worked. He panicked, swung he steering wheel hard to the right to try to avoid contact, broke into and uncontrolled skid and tumbled over the cliff edge and onto the rocks below.

Meg slowed to a stop then backed up to where the other car left the road. She carefully parked on the shoulder, put on her blinking emergency lights, calmly report the accident on her two-way. Then she got out opened the trunk, took out some emergency flares and reflectors and laid them out for about twenty feet along the edge of the road where the other car had gone over.

She then for the first time looked over the edge down to the tangled hunk of metal far below wondering why it had not burst in flame and muttered “Fuck you, asshole,” and slowly began the climb down the precipice to the wreckage.

By the time she arrived she could hear the sirens of the police cars and ambulances from Pacifica to the north and Half Moon Bay to the south as they converged at the crash site.

The gas tank had ruptured. Escaping gasoline dripped onto the rocks and ran off into the surf a little way below. She was thankful it had not ignited.

The driver’s door had sprung open from the impact and the driver appeared still alive. She gingerly extracted him and both dragged and carried him far enough from the wreck to be sake from any explosion.

He was in bad shape. He was bleeding from a nasty head room and both his legs and one of his arms appeared to be broken. She figured several ribs also had his lungs had been punctured since he was spitting up blood. He did not look to her as though he would make it until the medical team arrived.

He was conscious though. She knelt leaned in close to him and said, “I will try to help keep you alive until the emergency team get’s here, but first tell me who sent you?”

His pain wracked eyes hardened and he responded in a whisper through the blood, “Go to hell you fucking Dyke.”

“Wrong answer cock-sucker.”

She grabbed him by his shirt, dragged him back to the wreck and threw him back in, took out a plain zippo lighter, stepped back a few steps, flicked on the flame and tossed it into a puddle of the leaked gasoline. She quickly retreated a safe distance and the gas flamed up and upon reaching the tank exploded.

She stood for a moment watching the flames devour the automobile then looked up. The emergency vehicles had arrived and the first of the medics were beginning their descent. She turned and began to climb to meet them.
(to be continued)

PEPE’S POTPOURRI:

What “Occupy” is all about and what it really wants:

How about giving US workers a break?


“POOKIE FOR PRESIDENT”

Please see the blog: http://papajoestales.wordpress.com/

What passes for political discourse in modern America:

“Obama and his radical homosexual mafia plan to sodomize the world and make such perversion seem as wholesome as apple pie and vanilla ice cream. In reality, such perversion cannot be printed in a family publication or broadcast on any FCC regulated TV or radio stations.”
Summit Ministries founder David Noebel attacking the Obama administration for pushing back against attempts to criminalize and persecute gays and lesbians abroad.

TODAY’S QUOTE:

“The very rich on today’s Wall Street are now so rich that they buy their own social infrastructure. They hire private security, they live on gated mansions on islands and other tax havens, and most notably, they buy their own justice and their own government. But citizens of the stateless archipelago where people like Schwarzman live spend millions a year lobbying and donating to political campaigns so that they can jump the line. They don’t need to make sure the government is fulfilling its customer-service obligations, because they buy special access to the government, and get the special service and the metaphorical comped bottle of VIP-room Crystal afforded to select customers.”
Matt Taibii, Rolling Stone

TODAY’S CHART:

TODAY’S CARTOON”

TODAY’S GRAPHIC :

Categories: January 2012 through March 2012, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , | 2 Comments

This and that from Thailand. February 4,2010

I thank all of you for your advice and counsel regarding my visa problems, especially the recommendation that I avoid speaking Hebrew in Malaysia.

My sister suggested that I change these posts to a blog. After some thought, I decided against that because if I did, then I would have to pay more attention to spelling and grammar. Spell-check is a pain.

Not much has occurred in my idyllic life here in my Thailand subdivision except that I found a pizza joint nearby that specializes in Thai-Italian fusion New York style pizza. Basically it is pizza with a lot of pepper.

Although I love my subdivision style life, I am considering moving for a while closer to the sea-shore. When Hayden’s semester ends he may return to the US for the vacation. In that case the suburban life no matter how idyllic will probably kill me with ennui.

Did I mention the feral cats?

Ciao.

—————————————————————————

COMMENTS:

From Ruth:

I am now thoroughly confused. I thought Hayden actually lives in Thailand, but then he wouldn’t be “returning” to the US. However, as long as you’re not confused, everything is no doubt okay.

Please don’t become a blog. It is fun to have your missives turn up in my email in-box. If you turn into a blog, I’ll have to go click on something and I’d rather not.
I haven’t heard this much from you in about 10 years, and I’m finding it all quite entertaining.

Can’t wait to hear how the visa processing turns out.

Be well,

Joe’s response:
Hayden lives wherever his mother drags him off to, sometimes in Thailand, sometimes in California and sometimes in Italy. That’s the problem. By moving here I am trying to get some stability in his life. You know, things like socialization with his peers, education and the like. Unfortunately his mother is considering returning to San Francisco for a while and taking him with her. If that happens, I will be off to the beach.

From Irwin:

dear joe –

it’s raining here in fountain valley, garden spot of the nation, and i have just turned down a lunch invitation. the weather description on my home (web) page reads “Current: Showers Wind: SE at 5 mph Humidity: 86%”. i don’t understand why the humidity is only “86%” and not 100% given i can see the water falling out of the sky into my backyard and being slurped up by the cushions on the chaise lounge on the patio. no one sits or lays on the furniture because it’s so old as to be disgusting in appearance, however my last wife insists that nothing be thrown away so the stuff stays there only used by felix the cat (we have no elephants or tigers here) on days when it’s not too unpleasant outdoors for felines; due to the precipitation i assume today is not one of those days.

i have just finished some sourdough toast and hot chocolate drink getting up late because it’s cleaning ladies day. for some reason every two weeks the cleaning ladies arrive at my house at 8:00 am forcing me to remain in bed with my door closed hoping that i don’t have to go to the bathroom. i figure that they are going to someone else’s house later in the day and have questioned why it is that i have to be subject to the early morning visits and not someone else but my questions and pleas are only met with stoic silence.

i have taken a liking to the rain although i am somewhat distressed by the spots on the living room ceiling. when it rains means i don’t have to feel guilty about not going outside or anywhere. furthermore everyone, don’t they? knows that rainy days are perfect for a nap! which is what i do everyday but take particular delight in doing on rainy days as i can use the excuse that its not just escapism that leads to the afternoon snooze but rather the patter of rain on the window sill. i have explained to physicians of some questionable professional excellence that when i am sleeping is the only time that i don’t feel shitty. when i tell them this they just look at me as if to say “duh”. when i arise it takes me about five minutes before my nose starts to run, my bowels turn and i fall apart. if i thought your prozac would work i’d take some, in fact maybe a whole bottle, but it won’t. for almost ten years imipramine did a fair job especially when it was combined with alcohol but then too it’s magical properties began to fade and when i decreased my alcoholic consumption and stopped working my body and mind once again began to show it’s fragility and exhibit what are generally referred to as symptoms of anxiety – although to tell you the truth i am no longer sure if it’s fear i’m fearing or just the idea of using the term to explain away the physical symptoms. i have been offered another antidepressant (zoloft) but have refused to take it unless the psychiatrist meets with me once a week to deal with what i assume are long seated emotional issues; unfortunately for me kaiser permanente does not offer such psychiatric services but rather relies upon treating the mentally ill with cognitive behavior therapy (which i have already taken in a group setting listening to ill-dressed or fat whining women complain about what a poor choice of a mate they made – this is not the stuff of my crises). i do admit a certain benefit to understanding cognitive therapy, although i despised the homework, but sometimes use what little i remember to correct my faulty thoughts.

i believe it’s nine questions one answers to determine if one is depressed and i usually nod affirmatively to at least seven; however, i know why i am depressed – i am unhappily married living in a vacant marriage, i have alienated my family, i haven’t lived up to my potential and feel guilty and worthless, i won’t let myself do anything to improve my life and finally i am in debt and not rich. i have to believe i will not receive a check from kaiser permanente to cover my physical wants like the trip from istanbul to venice on the orient express. anyway i’m on my own. in case of psychiatric emergency i can go to the nearest hospital but they will lock me in a room and that’s the last thing i need – i opt for a warm sandy beach with a pretty honey colored woman rubbing my back and scratching my head.

mostly i think it’s because i haven’t become anybody (the current expression i believe is, “i use to be somebody but now i am somebody else”). while i was busy making and spending money i fooled myself into believing i was somebody and would someday blossom into what i was meant to do – but what is that? i don’t seem to be good enough at anything. perhaps i could be a writer except, like you, i don’t like to use spell check and secondly i have nothing but drivel to write about and furthermore if there were grammar police i believe i would have already been arrested, convicted and hung. i once wanted to be in the theatre but i can’t memorize an alphabet yet alone lines from a script; besides jonny depp has made all of the movies i would have wanted to make except one. i took (opera) singing lessons and while my voice did improve i still can’t sing as well as some poor black kid who is going to be tomorrows no 1 on the hit parade. still i think i could have been a spokesman for the people. i don’t know that means politician, but i realized that i am not quick enough of wit to debate anyone let alone someone on fox news or msnbc and then again what “people” am i to be the spokesman for?! besides i don;t have an opriginal idea or thought in my head. so maybe i should settle on becoming a writer, but an unpublished one (it could happen) and maybe i won’t ever even write a book!

as for you, you have a wonderful opportunity with hayden. you can be the father you maybe never were but wanted to be with your now grown adult children. i envy you pal. go for it.

From Irwin:

joseph – i just got through listening to tosca on the internet radio station of which i informed you. it’s a little tough to take so early in the morning but it fits my mood and i especially like the music without even thinking about the storyline.

i hope i wasn’t too depressing in yesterday’s email to you; unfortunately i have no one with whom to share my woes and so i picked you defenseless as you may be some thousands of miles and electrons away.

it’s still raining but i’m running out of food, so i need to get to the bank, pay some bills and then there is always the saturday lotto ticket to buy before it gets dark.

if you are in kuala lumpur (sp?) i hope it’s a short stay and you are safe. i beleive that the words translate to “muddy confluence”. wikipedia notes that “Kuala Lumpur alone has 66 shopping malls and it is the retail and fashion hub for Malaysia” so maybe you can pick up some fashionable goods to flaunt next time you are back home and visiting the mall in chaing mai.

Categories: January 2010 through March 2010, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

This and that from Thailand. February 3, 2010

I have not written to you all in a while because of the bane and obsession of the ex-pat community everywhere, visas. I entered Thailand on a 30 day tourist visa intending to convert it to a retirement visa (one year renewable) during those thirty days, the most common method of obtaining the RV. Unfortunately, I did not know that the change of visas requires 21 days. I applied with only 19 days left on my original tourist visa and therefore they could not process it in Chiang Mai. Last weekend I flew to Bangkok because I was told that the 21 day rule did not apply there. All I got for my efforts was annoyed.

So now I have to leave the country briefly to renew my 30 day visa. Normally that would not be much of an issue. For years ex-pats on a tourist visa would take the bus to one of the borders, cross it and immediately return with an additional 30 day visa.

Unfortunately for me, a few years ago in the fervor of anti-immigration patriotism that rivaled the frenzy of the GOP on the subject, the Thais changed their immigration laws so that a land border crossing gets you only 15 more days while flying in and out remains as it was. I will leave it to you to contemplate the rational, effectiveness and consequences of the change.

Anyway, I am now making plans to fly to Kuala Lumpur Malaysia for a few days to renew the visa. Stay tuned.

I missed my jungle trip as a result of this travail. Hayden went with some friends anyway. Today’s photo shows him with a tiger cub.

Joe…

—————————————————————————

FROM MY JOURNAL:

January 29 2010.

11am
I am on the Air Nok 10:45 flight to Don Muang airport BKK. I am going to see if Tai can arrange for my visa. I called this morning. She still has not gotten the information regarding the visa from her brother. This is the third day that it was supposed to be coming. That and the lack of response to my call to her this morning leads me to suspect that something else is going on. Maybe Natalie is right she is married to a policeman. After all, I have not been allowed to visit her apartment and she did not show up to the hotel as she promised the last time I was in BKK claiming the baby was sick and her phone was not working.

Last night I sat on the patio musing about how big a fool I have been with Natalie (and most women), believing what they say with my arrogant insecurities. I am doing the same with Tai as I did with her. Fuck, I am still an adolescent.

Spoke with Natalie. She accused me of going to BKK only to see the “bitch”. She prohibited me from visiting AVA because she did not want any “trouble” from her. I assured her I was coming to BKK only to resolve my visa problems and that if I cannot then I will have to go to Kuala Lumpur to renew my 30 day tourist visa. Am I any better than them? No, just not as good at it.

Cordt and Nikki are supposed to take Hayden to the Tiger Park and the other animal attractions outside of Chiang Mai. Cordt is to pick up Nikki at our house at 11 AM. As of 10:50 Nikki was still in the supermarket. Will Cordt wait for his return? Stay tuned.

Spoke with Anthony this morning. He told me Hiromi sold the dining room set to a used furniture dealer for only $300. Ann has the paintings and they will continue to try to sell them. They have almost paid for the car registration and insurance.

10:23 PM
I checked into the Swan Hotel near the river and across the street from the Haroon Mosque, near the Assumption School and church and the Oriental Hotel. The manager’s body oder made me gag. I could not help but think that at times I must smell like that. It embarrassed me.

Waited over an hour for Tai. Went to MacDonald’s in Robinson’s. Ordered a Big Mac meal. Tai said she was not hungry. She had put on about 20 pounds as a result of the pregnancy. On her it looked good. The conversation at lunch was strained and mostly concerned Natalie.

I returned to my hotel and she went to check on the baby. I was becoming furious because she had not responded to me with any affection. What did I expect? I had gone to Chiang Mai for Hayden and had put her and her child off.

I took a shower and then spent about a half an hour trying to kill a mosquito buzzing around the room with no success. Slept for about an hour and a half, through many bites from the damned insect. Woke up and saw him lying on the bed enormously engorged with my blood and unable to take flight. I swatted him and my blood splattered on the sheet.

Waited for Tai then went to the lobby and called her on my cell phone. She said her uncle would not return until Monday and I would not learn about my chance of obtaining the Marriage Visa. I was greatly annoyed by this since she had almost a week to find out and I had travelled all the way to BKK to hopefully process it.

She came to the hotel and we left for dinner. She was wearing the same things she had worn earlier, jeans and a T-shirt with writing on it most of which I could not make out because it was printed in faded light blue.

While waiting for a taxi a european woman was almost struck by a taxi as she ran across the street.

We went to the Good View Restaurant on the river and sat at an outside table located at the corner of the balcony in such a way that it felt as though we were sitting on the prow of a large ship.

We ordered. Mine was prawns stir fried in egg. I did not like the texture of the eggs and their color which was orange. I drank watermelon juice and switched to coke. Again we spoke mostly of Natalie and the conversation got so stilted that we stopped talking and stared over each others shoulder. I began to feel that the relationship was over.

In the cab as we rode back to the hotel, I resolved to tell her that the relationship was over and blame my self for it. I realized that I was feeling sorry for myself and only trying to generate an emotional commitment from her as would any other adolescent.

When we got to the hotel I said nothing an she led me back to my room. After some desultory conversation she lay on the bed and said that she had to go pick up the baby since she had left him with a friend. I was furious believing that she had a lover back at her apartment. I tried to say what I had thought of in the car. I did not get far as we embraced. She felt good. The extra weight made her both soft and firm. My dick hardened. I began to undress her. She said that the doctor told her she cold not have sex until he examined her incision again. Suspicion again. She told me to shower and said she will go and pick up the baby and return tomorrow. She promised to spend the night with me then since her auntie would return and be available to take care of the infant. I showed her my boner sticking up in my pants. She grabbed hold of it. It felt electric. We kissed and hugged some more and she got up from the bed and came around to my side and told me to undress for the shower so that she can leave. I did and my boner was as hard as it ever gets now. She asked for 1000 baht to pay the sitter. I gave her two. She stood there and leaned down and kissed me. Then she played with my cock. I wanted to cum. This went on until she pulled away saying if she stayed any longer she would not be able to leave. I got up and held her thinking if I go to Ke Sahn for a massage tomorrow would I still be able to get it up after the orgasm the Kesorn would elicit from me. She left and I took my shower and an now writing this.

3:00 AM
Cannot sleep, mosquitos. Lowered Temp. to 18C on theory mosquitoes do not like cold. Am lying in bed typing this waiting for room to chill eating a KitKat and drinking water

January 30, 2010

12:30 PM (Saturday)
Woke up showered, dressed and called Tai. Spoke for moments and phone went out called back many times.No answer. Suspected she was with a boyfriend.

Called Anthony, Hiromi gave most of my things away to charity.

Called Nikki,. No answer.

Went to Starbucks. Ordered caffe latte and croissant. Tried to connect with internet. Could mot because it required joining their system and then resisted all my attempts to do so.

Walked to Skytrain. Took it to NANA. Went back way to Ambassador and up to health club. Asked for Kesorn. Told she would not be in until 1PM. Left walked to Asia Books on Sukhumvit near Asoke. Saw new Hewson. Looked for a bird identification handbook. Could not find one. Decided not to buy. Left.

Natalie called. Did not answer.

Tai called. Answered. She explained phone was out of order. Agreed to meet up later.

Called Nikki. He found a barber and other shops across from school. He also found out from maid info on electric bills and HOA fees. Said I could not access internet for research on Laos and Cambodia visa requirements. He said he would do so. Asked me to say hello to Ke Sahn for him. Agreed to pick me up at airport tomorrow morning. Returned to Ambassador. Drank a pepsi float. Wrote this and went upstairs to health club.

4pm.
Waited for Kesorn. She acted very excited to see me. She was still in her street clothes. She grabbed me by the hand and dragged me to the massage room. Hugged and kissed me. She started the shower for me and helped me into the tub and left. I showered, dried off and laid down in the massage table to wait for her to return. She came back with her massage oils and uniform. She stripped off her clothes and got into the tub to shower. Finished. Stepped out. Put on only her bra and tights. “No one will see”, she said. She then leaned over me and kissed me long and hard. Then I turned over and she began with her deft strokes on my back working slowly down my back to my buttocks where she she concentrated for quite a while first with feather like strokes of my asshole followed by stronger strokes. Then my dick and balls were oiled and stroked. Sometimes both my asshole and dick were worked at the same time. I began to moan and I felt the exquisite rising of my cum. This went on for a while and then she went on with the massage of my legs and feet. I turned over. She oiled my dick and began working on it. She bent over and began sucking on it as I moaned with the rising implacable orgasm. Again and again I came. Then it was over and she washed me off and dried me and finished the massage as I drifted in and out of sleep. After, I invited her to Chiang Mai where she had been before. She gave me her number and said she would take the train. I paid and left.

Got on the Skytrain and spoke with Nikki on the cell. He said Natalie had called him asking if I were back yet. He said I was still working on my visa. I guess so.

Tai called. said she had not found a baby sitter, but hoped she could join me for dinner.

Returned to hotel. Ate Pad Thai and drank a watermelon juice. Went to my room then sat outside, lit up my cigar, watched the overweight tourists mostly women sunning themselves by the pool and wrote this.

9:30 PM
Just returned from dinner with Tai and some of her family. She called me before dinner, said, “come down to the lobby my uncle and brother are going to dinner with us”. I thought they were preparing to execute me for marrying and not supporting Tai. I probably thought this because they are Muslim and my conscience was not clear.

Instead I was met with the Auntie with Tai’s baby, Tai’s sister-in-law with her two year old, Tai’s female cousin who works in the Chinese Embassy or some such. Went to a fish place, ate, drank coke and had a chocolate sundae. While ordering I was over-conscious of their being muslim and did not order beer or pork. The men arrived later. I slipped Tai 2000 baht to pay for dinner (there were seven adults and two children and a baby). The bill came to about $8 per adult.

Decided to prepare budget for Tai.

I am now back in hotel waiting for her.

January 31 2010.

Sunday 8AM
She did not show up nor call. Once again I am the fool. When I was a child when asked what I wanted to be when I grew up, I usually answered, “a bum and a clown”. It looks like I will get my wish. When the Chiang Mai house is sold I will be a bum and I have more and more become Emmet Kelly. I am now at the airport waiting for the plane that will return me to..what?

February 2 2010

Tuesday 5PM
Well she called eventually that day. Said she fell asleep with the baby and woke up at two in the morning and did not want to wake me up by calling. Do you believe it?

Anyway got back to CM, took a nap and saw Nikki off to the airport.

On Monday morning Hayden wanted to take his bicycle to school. After a few blocks he asked me to bring the bike home with me after getting to school. Told him could not. He then wanted to bring the bike back to the house we did and drove to school. Got a shave, 50 baht. Gave 50 baht tip.

Tried to buy tickets to KL. Debt card not accepted.

Used Skype to talk with Nikki.

This morning Hayden decided he did not want to shower and made the maid and I chase him around the yard laughing. Caught him, carried him up the stairs to BR

After shower and dress, drove to school.

Drove to US consulate. Broke my left side mirror as I passed too close to someone on a motor bike going the other way. Do not know if I struck him or he struck me with his hand for getting too close.

Parked across river from Consulate, ealked, experienced security, entered the inner sanctum, got my notarized document and fled.

Went to Central, parked waited in Starbucks for mall to open, went to ATM, denied. Drove home in panic. Called BOW straitened things out. Natalie called said she was coming up while I went to KL. Thought about this called Tom arranged for additional 7 days on current visa. Picked up Hayden, drove to Big C, got 5000 baht from ATM, ate donuts. Returned home called Natalie, said I was not going to KL until next week. Suggested she did not need to come to CM. She agreed.

Called Tai told her to try again to get visa in BKK.

COMMENTS:

From Irwin:

joe – it seems more than somewhat ironic that a person such as you who spent years dealing with, manipulating and often overcoming stringent government bureacracy and regulations to find yourself having to sojourn for 1/2 week in parasitic filled malaysia due to a visa screw up – not a place i would want to visit right now; come to think of it i don’t visit anywhere at the moment, i am in my isolation period having cancelled all my luncheon appointments with relatives (one) and former collegue political operatives (three) and worrying about not cancelling a date previously planned for next week with my younger son (one) to attend mexican wrestling (“sexo y violencia”) at the mayan theatre in downtown los angeles. speaking of “younger son”, hayden appears to be a good looking young chap obviously resembling the good looks of his mother and probably doesn’t even care for scampi.. please take extra precaution while in kuala lumpur remembering not to speak hebrew or to stare in people’s eyes, particularly those wearing turbans and the like.

although i am in isolation, i still take my daily walk. on it i pass two churches. today’s photo is the more curious of the two. the building does not have any windows. i’m not sure if it’s to keep their god in or out.

take care!

Joe’s response:
Irwin, you may be remembering me from the days before my psychiatrist put me on Prozac. Since then I have been happy but worthless in any professional or personal endeavor that requires any amount of aggressiveness or cynicism. The choice was retire or quit prozac. I tried going cold turkey and found out what that means.
ciao

Categories: January 2010 through March 2010 | Tags: , | Leave a comment

This and that from Thailand. January 27,2010

Yesterday, I drove to and returned safely from the mall. Just before braving the “real” Thai streets, I practiced driving around the subdivision in order to get my turns straight and condition myself for driving on the right side of the street that here is the left. That’s another problem. Not only do I have to remember the rules of the road but I have a semantic problem as well, so I do not know what I am talking about. Did you know the test for a driver’s license in Thailand, in most jurisdictions, consists solely of a depth perception test?

I learned yesterday that they (whoever “they” are) have prohibited the construction of new commercial structures in the subdivision. Turning part of your home into a shop or restaurant is apparently excepted.

The fundamentalist Christian missionaries, that I mentioned in a previous post, who were sent here to convert the little brown Buddhists to the pleasures of hellfire and brimstone, are being criticized for acting as though they are exempt from Thai law and treating the locals like they do not exist. The huge Christian high school, filled with tall blond blue-eyed teenagers and containing endless sports fields, has been willy-nilly throwing up three and four-story classroom and “dormitory” buildings in the subdivision. It also forces native Thais and not people of european descent to pay a fee if they want to attend their charity garage sales. In addition, the school charges the residents a fee for using the subdivision’s own health club because it is located on the School’s leased land. What this demonstrates to me is that the politics of HOA’s are the same everywhere.

On Friday I get to leave this island of western pretensions and travel to Mae Rim and see the elephants, tigers, monkeys, snakes and whatever.

Joe…

Today’s photo: the view from the covered patio towards the “Sala”. During the day when I am not napping, I can usually be found in either the patio or Sala.

Categories: January 2010 through March 2010 | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

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