Daily Archives: February 3, 2012

This and that from re Thai r ment. March 6, 2010

It is hot. Chiang Mai has shared in the heat wave that has struck Southeast Asia for the last week or two. Although the mornings and evenings continue to enjoy wonderful spring like temperatures, mid-day temperatures approach 100 degrees. Ordinarily that temperature wold drive me indoors, however the Sala that I sit in writing this remains very pleasant. Other parts of Southeast Asia are hitting temperatures of 110 degrees or more. It all appears to reflect the regional differentiation in climate produced by the general global warming. The 0 decade just past has been the warmest and driest on record, consistent with the temperature reports for the globe as a whole. The climate models I have reviewed predict that this trend of warmer and drier weather for Southeast Asia will continue into the foreseeable future. We have already seen the climate of the Northeast portion of Thailand, the country’s poorest, change from semi tropical to semi arid during the past decade or so. Given that the ASEAN nations of Southeast Asia contain a population of 600 million almost twice that of Europe and their lack of modern infrastructure, I expect we will see significant population movements regionally in the next decade.

For the past week I have been forced to forgo my normal writing schedule (emails, novels, journals) and succumb to pressure to complete a number of children stories by next week when Hayden returns from Bangkok. I got started on this because I ran out of children’s books to read to Hayden at bed time. When my daughter Jessica was a child, often before bedtime I would make up stories to tell her. Unfortunately, long before the story was finished, much to her dismay and amusement. I would fall asleep. In order to avoid inflicting that trauma on another child, I decided to write down the stories so that we can read them together. I chose to use Goggle Images to illustrate the stories with cartoons and photographs to add interest. Once it got out that I was doing this I began to receive demands and deadlines to produce new stories, not from Hayden or other children who could care less, but from their parents. I am under the gun to finish one of the stories by Thursday of this week for parental review.

One group of stories are a series of detective tales staring Hayden and his stuffed animal friends “Snaky the Snake”, “Buddy the Bear”, “Whitey the White Tiger” and other creatures of his bedroom menagerie. Also appearing in the stories are some of the creatures living in the gardens and empty lots around the house. They include “Feral Kitty (one of the feral cat pack that lives in the lot next door), “Boo-blue bird”, “Francis the Fraidy Frog”, “Clarence the Cross-eyed” the king of the cobra’s living in the lot next door (yes, we have cobras as neighbors in the lot that I have dubbed the “Wild-lands) and in Bangkok “Ratty the Great, King of the Rats, the 10347th of his Line” and others. The humans in the story include me “Pookie the Old”, Nikki the Pilot” and “Pi Newan.” Pi Newan is the name of the maid and is usually the heroine of the adventures while Nikki and Pookie prove to be pompous and mostly useless. In addition to the Prologue, the first three tales are, “The Case of the Missing Breakfast”, “The case of the Monster of the Wild-lands” and the Case of Close Encounters of the Rat Kind”. The latter I have to finish by Thursday or suffer the consequences.

Tomorrow is Hayden’s 5th birthday. Today’s photograph is of the small party we held before he left for Bangkok.



Sunday, February 28 2010 11AM

Have stomach ache. Played with Hayden of balcony. He was very affectionate. He wanted to go to Night Safari. Went. Closed until 11 AM. Returned and agreed to go back after lunch. Will nap see if my stomach feels better.

Monday, March 1 2010 4PM

Yesterday as we got into the car to go to the Night Safari N. called. Said she did not want us to go. I agreed. Hayden very unhappy. It was probably better that I saved the money. Hayden fell asleep on my bed while waiting for Pi Newan. I let him sleep.

Today still no word from Nikki. Very hot. No school today, probably a Buddhist holiday. Spent most of the day in my room. Sprayed Hayden with water on the balcony. Sent emails. Worried about Irwin’s health. then worried about my own.

8:30 PM

Sitting with computer trying to avoid going to bed, like Hayden. Worried about Jason. Worried about Jessica. Worried about Tai. This is a worry night. Maybe I should go to sleep. Sat out on balcony at sundown with Hayden. Smoked a cigar. Tried to show Hayden Orion. We tried to figure out if what were darting around in the sky were bats of birds. I thought they were bats, Hayden birds. Good night.

Tuesday, March 2 2010 8AM

Hayden was up and ready to go by 7 AM. In a good mood. Played the “if you do not hurry I am going to leave” game, roles reversed.

Cannot get internet connection to operate. Very frustrated, pissed. What the hell is going on?

1 PM

Immediately after writing the last sentence above, my internet connection resumed operating. Still, what the hell is going on?

Irwin responded that it is depression and not a return of his cancer causing him to write emails like he usually does.
Still no word from Jason and Jessica.

As for Tai, she tells me baby in hospital again high fever and spitting up milk. The baby I saw was unusually unresponsive, does not cry or laugh. Fear the worst. She wants money again. Fear the worst.

Nikki arrived and is napping as I type this.

Just called Tai. Told her instead of going to BKK to see her, I will send the money I save to her for the baby. She seemed happy with that, said only, “when will you send the money?”. Another Hmmmm.

2 PM

NIKKI still napping. Set up a calorie counting internet program. I believe I am down to 211 lb.. Need to weigh myself soon. Avoiding work on my writing. why? not a block but simple aversion. Would try Hayden’s story but am beginning to feel obsessed. Try Amanda’s story, at least it is a one time thing.

11 PM

Went to dinner with N. and H. Ate too much. Got a b’day cake for Hayden. Did not call Tai. Need to record my time spent in activities.

WEDNESDAY March 3 2010 6PM

Well, today was interesting. After dropping Hayden off at school, Nikki and I drove to Mae Rim after getting lost we stopped for coffee and directions at a gas station/ coffee house. While sipping our coffee Natalie called, first Nikki who did not answer, than me who did not answer also than Nikki again. This time Nikki decided to answer after we agreed that he would tell her that we were not together. She told him that she had made reservations for her and Hayden to fly to the US on April 4. This was what Nikki and I suspected for quite a while. Nikki argued forcefully that he opposed it as it was not good for Hayden to change schools again. She responded that she had to bring him to the US to have his passport renewed. Nikki told her that not only was it unnecessary but that it was time the child’s birth certificate was changed to reflect the real father. She said that Gary would not agree to the passport and that she had to work it out. A rather heated exchange then took place that I only heard one side but that included her accusing me of brainwashing him.They also discussed Hayden’s loss of free flying privileges as Nikki’s son. Natalie then told Nikki that Gary paid the insurance. (Doubtful since she has constantly told us she had no ins.) Finally she appeared to concede that she would go to the US without Hayden. That, Nikki would bring him to BKK and Nat, Nikki and Hayden would spend a few days at the beach. I would go to BKK by train on the 8th or 9th to take him back to CM.

Later we stopped at the restaurant under the waterfall along the Mae Rim- Erewan road where we had lunch and from where I called Kesorn to arrange for her to come to Chiang Mai.

Later on the way back to pick up Hayden from the school we discussed the strange co-incidence of her changing her password shortly before Nikki’s computer crashed and he lost all his contact information and I began getting notices from my computer that someone or something was also on my line.

Got to school. Choti said Nat called and told her she wanted Hayden in summer school.

Hayden and Nikki went off shopping and I returned to the house and called Tai. She said the Hospital stay for Aslon cost 20,000 baht. I agreed to send 2000 tomorrow.

9 PM

Went to restaurant at the street end. Nikki liked the herbal wine. Plotted. came home. Played with the video boxing. Had fun. And so to bed.

Thursday March 4 2010 10:30 PM

Got up at 7:30 AM, overslept. Hayden and Nikki slept until I woke them at 8 AM. Dropped Hayden off at school. Had coffee with Nikki. Got a shave. Drove to restaurant
near airport. Commented on Thai police sitting near us two officers at one table and two staff at another. Left lunch late. Went to BKKB to open accounts then to fish massage. By then it was 4:30. Picked up B’day cake then Hayden and dropped me off to start BBQ while they went shopping. Cordt and Friend Kevin arrived, then Leo, then Jerry, then Nikki and Hayden. Ate and talked about Land Use, Lao wood trade, US democracy and flying commercial airplanes. Choti arrived brought cheese cake. Ate sausages, franks, pork and fruit. Then all left. Hayden insisted on attention after Leo left and that sent the rest home.

Earlier Spoke with Tai, said she was sick. I sent 2000 baht. N. called wanted 1200 baht paid to gardeners. Nikki agreed to pay. and so to bed.

Friday March 5 2010 10 AM

Got up. Got Hayden ready for school. Nikki was very creative with “Pirate” costume. Got to school. Nikki went off to do “business”. I went to coffee shop. Took Nat’s phone call accused me of not paying gardener’s their 1200 baht yesterday. the electric bill and 10,000 baht to the maid. I said “OK” after graduation. She said ”you always say OK and then you do not do it. Thai people expect to be paid on time”. I said “OK”. Hung up.

1:30 PM

Went to graduation. Took pictures and videos with the computer. Hayden’s report card showed improvement over the semester. His teacher, Peter. said that he was very committed when he was learning something especially Maths.

Left went to salon to watch Nikki get hair colored.

Went to pick up Leo and Pam and brought them to house for birthday cake. Natalie called Nikki as we were cutting cake seemed more interested in Hayden and Nikki carrying their bags with them on plane then the birthday.

I will take Leo and Pan back to Leo’s house at 2 PM


From Irwin:

i can’t say that i share your views regarding global warming, etc. in my conservative years i have come to believe that if there is any “global warming” that it’s just the nature of things that occur as the planet earth ages and/or is effected by outside forces, like al gore, other planet/sun/moon discharge and visits from clackto. i don’t think hair spray has contributed to the demise of dinosaurs and other animal species nor will contribute to the actual extinction of mankind any more than bad movies, such as avatar. but then again what do i really know. more than that what do i care? i am at the stage of life where i hope everything we are told is proven wrong, except of course for the children’s stories you are now in the process of writing. congratulations on that!

and speaking of effects of the environment, unless that is not you but is another adult in the photo you sent (happy birthday hayden!) you are becoming asian in appearance.

Joe’s response to Irwin:

I am writing this from my 2nd class bunk on the overnight express train from Bangkok to Chiang Mai. I flew down this morning to pick up Hayden. It seems like mom did not want a beach vacation after-all.

I disagree with your disagreement with my disagreement with someone who disagrees with someone else. You see, it is all about cow farts. Global warming and the resulting climate change is a direct result of the exponential increase in cow farts generated by the growth of the bovine population occasioned by the expansion of McDonalds. In fact there is a direct correlation between the increase in the consumption of Big Macs and the sudden precipitous increase in global temperature over the past 50 years. I defy anyone to produce an analysis that shows differently. The solution, of course is to simply increase the sale of chicken McNuggets. Not only do chickens emit less methane gas per pound than cows, but chicken shit is a better fertilizer thereby increasing the growth of climate altering gas absorbing vegetation. Directly from this flows flows the “McNugget Assumption” “that it is easier to persuade McDonalds to sell more McNuggets than to persuade a coal company to shut down a single coal fired power plant or as Petrillo’s First Rule of Practical Politics states ” you can lead a horse to honey but you cant forget the bees.


From Anne:

So enjoy reading your e-mails, I honestly think you should write a novel. I’m sure you heard about the horrible winter we had. We’ve lived in Virginia twelve years and I had to have my driveway ploded twice in a period of two weeks, which I never had to do before this year. I would not complain to much about Ciang Mai’s heat. Something, we’re all looking forward too, maybe not so extensive…………………………….

You seem very relaxed and enjoying Hayden, love the pictures………………Stay well.

Bill Gates writes:

Global warming is a crock!

When you get to writing the porn stories based on your Thai experiences – you know, the two legged feral cat ones! – send me a copy.

Life sounds boring but good.

Joe’s response to Bill Gates:

That’s in the novel. Although one of the children’s stories takes place at AVA and provides enough for the imagination of reprobates like us.

By the way Nikki told me that Natalie claims she has found a buyer for AVA that she is taking to Italy for some reason. Should we sue or laugh?

Any news?

Bill Gates responds:

Re: a buyer for AVA: let’s laugh, then think about suing, then laugh again. Us getting cash from AVA is like the reality of your thesis about McDonald’s, chickens and methane gas! But, hope springs eternal, so I await my check.

Speaking of waiting for checks, here’s the latest on Electric Point: As you know, there was a agreement to represent them as plaintiff’s vs. the bad guys on a fixed price basis, but the bad guys came after them. We’ve since defended, made court appearances down there, and accrued billing that has nothing to do with the original concept of a fixed price Retainer Agreement for going after the city. Jim has told them about the hourly billing (which wasn’t part of the deal originally), said we need to be paid and is negotiating for some additional work under a new agreement that will probably look like the” fixed price” original one. I haven’t talked to Jim about it in a week or so (he’s been out of town) but it seems everything is going into the hopper and the old deal, the new one and the hourly billings are all on the table. I have no idea how it will wash out but you can bet I’ll be pushing the shit out of him to get some cash, since the cost of living here is a little more than in Thailand and I’m about to start recycling old coffee grounds to cut expenses!

That said, I’ll probably be in Thailand the end of Apr/first of May time frame. I’m going straight to Pattaya from the airport and plan on spending a week there. I have a tenant that’s been depositing into my rental acc’t. and I need to access the funds, including the May 1st rent. Don’t plan on spending time in BKK or your area but let’s see what happens and maybe we can think of something to get us to have a “pop” (not at AVA – every time I think of that place and getting so screwed [while feeding a lot of people], I get so pissed I can’t stand it). Come to think of it, suing doesn’t sound so bad… laugh again.

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

This and that from re Thai r ment. February 28, 2010

Well, for those who expressed concern and interest about my visa saga, on Friday for a mere additional $60 under the table, I finally obtained my 3 month visa, upgradeable to a one year renewable retirement visa. I celebrated this weekend by sleeping a lot.

I now can look forward to whatever it is that one looks forward to.

Hayden’s school semester ends on Friday and a two week summer recess begins. I plan to take him to Bangkok by train next weekend so that he can spend is fifth birthday with his mom. They will go to the South of Thailand to spend some time with NaIalie’s relations. I plan to spend a week or so at the beach, hopefully on one of the islands in the Bay of Thailand. Hayden’s summer semester begins on the 17th of March and ends sometime in July when the fall semester begins. Natalie is contemplating having him skip the summer session and taking him to Italy or San Francisco or both. If that is the case I will probably spend most of my time at the beach until he returns, unless one of you choose to come to Southeast Asia and invite me along on your vacation.

Today was the first very hot day in paradise. I took my nap on the balcony, not because it was cooler but because I thought it would be Cool. I was neither cooler nor Cool. Today’s photograph is of the balcony directly off my bedroom.

I hope everyone is healthy and well and anyone that needs a job has one.



Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Interesting time. Sunday I got sick from withdrawal for not taking my Prozac for 5 days. No pharmacy able to fill prescription. Jerry drove me to hospital got prescription. Took pills and went home to bed. Monday got up feeling better. Found the car battery that we jump stared yesterday dead again. Spent the remainder of the day worrying bout money and went to sleep. Did begin my “Hayden” stories. Tried out what I had done so far with little effect on Hayden. Disappointment. Today had to buy new battery (3750 baht), give maid 1000 baht for food. Ugh, I cannot spend more than 1000 baht per day and have any left over for months end…

Wednesday, February 24, 2010 8 AM

First day since I returned that I feel relatively healthy, Plans for today include haircut and shave, medicine shopping run and work on “Biondi”. Although I am behind on work schedule I am not too far behind. Should research and maybe ask Mary how to set up blog. DON’T FORGET TO RESEARCH AND CANCEL SS AND AARP.

Thursday, February 25, 2010 9AM

Today is an “itchy” day. One of those days when you feel itchy just under the skin and feel as though something is about to happen and it is not going to be good.


So far so good. Sent 2000 baht to Tai.


Got shave and haircut (200 baht). Picked up Hayden and so to home.


Getting ready for bed. Hayden out for dinner with Leo and parents. Have to wait up until he returns in case N. calls. Wasted day???

February 26, 2010 9:30 AM

This morning I will go to immigration office to file for long term visa.
Earlier this morning I thought that I was spending most of my time in this diary on myself, another indulgence. I thought it would be better and more interesting to spend more time on observations especially of Hayden. Perhaps this is a normal evolution in journals, begin with self indulgence, run out of things to say, look around and see what is happening.

As I have mentioned somewhere, I have several concerns about Hayden’s behavior that may or may not be independent of his mother’s actions. For example, his flagrant exhibition of his sexuality. He is always rubbing his penis and likes to parade around the house naked with an erect boner. During the period that he slept in my bed he often tried to get me to touch his wiener. He is constantly presenting his butt whenever we try to take photographs or when he is dancing around. I do not know if this is “normal” behavior at this age or signifies something else. I will try to keep a record of it.

12 Noon

Returned from immigration office. Choti arranged for my 3 month non-immigration visa to be issued today. I owe 4000 baht, 2000 for fee and 2000 for vigorish. I am slowly strangling from lack of money. Will I last until the 17th of March. I have only about $500 in account. If AARB etc. deducted only about $300 left or about $15 (450 baht) per day..Ugh again…


I have left my room following my nap and went to the Sala because it usually prompts the maid to bring me lunch. I have become Pavlov’s dog.

Saturday, February 27 2010 10 AM

Am at Sunshine Kindergarden Bi-lingual School. Today is the last day or the Saturday Art Program at the school and they are having a party for the children. Hayden is in an exceptionally good mood, laughing a lot and running around with the other children. Unable to detect anything of underlying behavioral significance except this morning he was in his meta-sexual mood slipping his hand under my butt as I sat playing with my computer. Whether it was for attention or some other reason, I do not know. At school he alternates between wanting me to leave and go back home and wanting me to stay. Neither with great emotion.

The school is a happy place. music playing all the time. “I’m a little Teapot” just finished. Lots of play space and play surfaces. Lot of small chairs around it happy colors. Jerry sat beside me. Have to attend to him.

11 AM

Okay, chatter completed, walk around accomplished, back to diary. Hayden asked me not to go home. I assured him I was not. Jerry sits down again. See you later.

11:30 AM

Back again. “Itsy Bitsy Spider” is playing, followed by “This Old Man”. Jerry is off to see the rugby match on television. I guess the formal part of the “last day” party is over as chaos appears to have taken over. Ah, Choti is trying to organize the younger children into singing a song or something. Lot’s of clapping by Choti for attention and lot’s of OK’s. Now she has got them all to sing, “Good Morning to You” with everyone clapping in rhythm. Choti now it wearing an elephant mask and going around the circle of children greeting them and shaking their hands. The now are singing “Good by to you”.

I walk over to where the older children are. Hayden is in this group along with Leo, Mario three girls and two teachers, one Hayden’s usual teacher and the other a male most likely the art teacher. They are coloring various shapes printed on a sheet of paper that they will cut out and paste on a small paper bag to make a puppet. It looks like they will also paste some of the shapes of paper pie plates. To make what I do not know.

Hayden seems to require more attention that the others. He has now brought his cut outs to the art teacher and has sat down next to him and resumed coloring the shapes he had not yet cut out. He is definitely more active than the others (ADD?). He has colored the paper bag and looks like he is working with the art teacher to paint something. He has gotten up and walked back and forth along the work table looking for something he apparently cannot find. His puppet is finished. He is now going around the table smiling and showing off the puppet. None of the other children are doing that. He has come over to me to show me. We talk about it. I ask him what is it’s name? He answers Hayden.

Mario is wearing shades. Hayden. Leo and Mario all of whom have finished their puppets have gone to lie down on the mat. The other children follow. Several songs that I recognize but cannot name are playing now. The teachers are washing up the paint brushes, etc. “Row, Row Row your Boat” is now playing followed by “The Hokey Pokey”.

5 PM

Slept most of afternoon. Hot. Took shower. Hayden wanted to go to the pool. Went. Had some discussion with guards regarding membership in World Club. Resolved. While walking down stairs to pool, I went ahead of Hayden and disappeared from his view. He started screaming and crying. Said “I could not see you”. Is this normal for a five year old boy?

When we got to the pool, he did not want to go into the children’s pool if anyone else was in it. When the two older children left, he went in and seems to be enjoying himself alone.


From Irwin:

sometimes when people get sick, like having a bad cold or the flu, they often exclaim in a wavering voice, “i think i’m dying!” well, although my nose is running, i don’t have a cold or the flu, but yesterday i thought sure i was on my way out. i could feel my body just sort of say, “oh, wtf” and just give up. i was driving at the time so i pulled over just in case i lost consciousness…i was really sleepy. needless to say, but i will, i made it through the rest of the day and the night and today;not in the best of comfort however it just wasn’t time for a dirtbath. so here i am struggling to stay upright and tossing off an email to thailand.

bad news of today, other than the status of my personal well-being, was that i accidentally deleted my email address book. the whole book!! the good news was that fortunately i had printed out a copy yesterday so i spent much of today entering all of the names and their email address into the outlook express program (i don’t like the windows live mail program). then to capitalize on this experience i copied the address book and sent it to a cd. it worked. the cd works, however, i am not sure that if i lose the addresses again on my pc i can copy those on the cd into the program. i hope i don’t ever have to find out. to top things off, two days ago i received an email from a person who was in my high school graduating class (the first time i received such correspondence). on his email was a list of about fifty people that he had sent the email to in addition to myself. somehow, in a manner i couldn’t replicate with other addresses today, i managed to copy that list and put it into a folder on my email program. i really don’t need those fifty email addresses. there were only two people on it that i might ever corressspond with having no desire to let my high school friends in on the joke that in spite of great promise in the twelfth grade i have amounted to nothing. but it was just the idea and then again the list was in email addresses and not names so, except for the two addresses, i didn’t know who those people were or if indeed they were from the graduating class of “55”. i’m not positive but i think raquel welsh was in my class. other than her i don’t know of anyone who i socialized with on a daily basis at the “old grey castle” that amounted to anything. i hated school and had a miserable time.

i am somewhat confused based upon your description of hayden’s school recesses. located therein, and i do hope i’m wrong, is an inference that could be drawn by an unknowledgeable reader that since his mother’s social calendar seems to be different than yours that perhaps late day romance has withered. none of my business but i do wish you well on the woman front. if so i conclude that in addition to getting away from it all, you have done an honorable and noble thing by paying attention to and participating in raising your youngest son. i admire such an undertaking. i wish i had the assuredness that i would step up to the plate and do the same if the situation so warranted.

unlike your warming locale here it is in the high fifties today but the rain has stopped! i just returned unwet from my walk (no pictures) whereon i stopped at the south-west corner of slater avenue and los jardines west and spoke with lilly campbell. lilly has been sending postcards illuminating her local real estate expertise for years and indeed she sold the house next door to me when the smiley family lived there (they are now in henderson nevada just outside vegas). i explained to her that my last wife intends to be buried in the house and that lilly’s services would be an unlikely event involving the schatzmans of fountain valley.

last night i watched an old black and white western staring gregory peck, a familiar looking woman and richard widmark. now don’t ask me why i did this. i don’t know although i suspect that there was not any action movie on the other channels which i had not seen before more than once. the only option was some soft-porn flicks which i find silly and boring, especially when you can watch some hardcore stuff (no cum shots) for $12.95 and up. i think the movie (‘yellow sky”) must be a well-known film critics idea of good old westerns as there was some interesting camera shots and relatively good performance on the part of the fake cowboys and indians. tonight i have a feeling that i will retire earlier than usual so that i may fall asleep and escape this cusp of emotional and physical pain.

when a baseball person comes up to the plate on a ballfield in chaing mai does the announcer say, “bahter up!”?

Joe’s response to Irwin:

The mother and my romance withered some years ago. That is why my new friend (pictured below) may accompany me these next few weeks. Alas, like my pecker I fear that romanceis withering also or to quote the great Willie Nelson, “I’ve outlived my dick”.

As for Hayden, it appears that I am the only one raising him. I am merely waiting for the rug to be pulled out from under us.

Your email worries me. I thought you were in remission. Is that not so?

Regarding “Yellow Sky”, I do not recall it (nothing new, I sometimes do not recall my name), but let me guess, Peck plays the Hero, Widmark the heavy and the familiar woman is well, familiar and she plays no role other than the familiar woman is a western, unless she plays the familiar prostitute.

It is hot again here. I nap even more than usual in the heat. The house however even without the air conditioner on stays comfortable for my naps.

Joe..or as I am called here in Thailand “Pookie”.

More from Irwin:

dear pookie:
the name “pookie” is, if i am not misinformed, used by a character on the soupy sales show. i can’t remember what pookie looked like or if he was a dog like “white fang” and “black tooth” or some other species of character but he must, as have you, made an impression on me as i have remembered the name to this day.

i am impressed by your particular talent for attracting good looking women (is she eighteen?!) and would beg for your advice as to how to do it except as you quoted the mantra, i must admit that i am also a member of the willy nelson longevity club. while it is true i have a vial of livitra in my credenza drawer i have not used even one pill contained therein – i assume that such substances are freely available in thailand so if you are worried you should trot off to the nearest appocathery (sp?); which in your case may be that convenience store in a home garage shown in a picture you sent. unlike you, i have no one with whom to use a dick-drug and my heart could not take the tremors of another affair (did i tell you that on one the husband found out and called my wife?) not to mention that my attractiveness has faded coincident with the diminishing thickness of my wallet, obliteration of political connections and lack of status……..thus no power. no dick/no money leads to a lonely life.

please do not worry about me. i sometimes long for eternal sleep…maybe almost daily. my cancer is not only in remission but my oncologist surgeon say’s that i am “cancer free”. my suffering is caused by an unending sequence of physical ailments allegedly related to anxiety and depression. on the other hand, i have come to the conclusion that any physical pain with which i contend is no more than do others , it’ just that i am more sensitive to such malfunctions and ruminate on them. my depression is due to a misspent and unfulfilled life, watching others succeed where i have failed, having no money to speak of (still paying off 2008 income taxes) and my physical complaints. ain’t it cool?! at least if i could play the piano like oscar levant – he once was quoted as saying that he “knew doris day before she became a virgin”.

i now will also take a nap. i will dream that your girlfriend has a friend for me.

Joe’s response to Irwin:

“…no power, no dick/ no money leads to a lonley life.”, words to live by.

Thank you for setting my mind at rest about your health.

Viagra and Cialis give me a headache.

My girl friend thought that she could possibly make available the young lady in the picture below. With her clothes on she often plays a nurse.

(Photograph ommitted – site decorum)

Irwin’s response:

cousin – perhaps to spare me much additional anguish, the fates succeeded in masking the nurse photo you emailed to me yesterday. all that appeared on my monitor screen was your text and a square with a little red box in the upper left hand corner (seen by many a computer novice). it’s perhaps best that i didn’t get to glimpse at what i am missing for why torment myself with what might have been? however, i guess i would be willing to be man enough by accepting such punishment as a view of the photo might render should you sent the photo to me again…please!

i was up late (2:00 am) watching some movies. one i hadn’t seen before and after watching wished i hadn’t due to the way it dealt with it’s disappointing storyline finish and the second i have seen before but watched most of it again anyway to see what halle berry would do for me. so i’m a little groggy this morning. in a couple of hours i will take 1/2 xanax and then leave to see my surgical oncologist (i call him “the sturgeon” as what he always tells me is quite fishy). i see him every few months as a visual check on my cancer-freeness, and then take an mri/cat scan/pet scan every six months or so. i think i have to do this for five years so that he has steady employment at kaiser permanente. since he is of japanese origin i will tell him that last night i also watched part of tora tora tora (i thought it was going to be a jewish religious movie). it seems that the radiation left me with a condition called “trismus” which i refer to as “merry trismus” on occasion. there is a hand held machine-gadget which is touted by it’s manufacturer as being beneficial for sufferers of this oral constraint and i will see if i can’t get the good doctor to have kaiser order me one and pay for it.

since the kaiser facility i am going to today is not the one closest to me and is only a couple of miles from the house of my eldest son, depending upon what time i get out of the doctor’s clutches and into the oy-onemobile i may stop by the schatzmans of yorba linda and play with my grandchildren for a short while – i like to physically annoy them. when there i also keep an eye out for coyotes (the kids don’t play outside). this the second house my son and daughter-in-law have purchased which is in coyote territory and has a major slope in the back yard. i think these things have some meaning of which i have not as yet been able to decipher. perhaps they know i am frightened and annoyed by canines (they have two) as i can’t stand something smaller than i which threatens me, not to mention cause significant pain when it’s jaws clamp down on my skin and then i may have to go to the doctor and receive painful injections as part of a rabies regimen. why dogs are afraid (mostly) of their master but not of another human i can’t fathom. as to the reason for the schatzmans’ penchant to live under a slope i can not venture a guess, i have not a clue. frankly they probably don’t either.

given this hectic schedule for the day i guess i will forgo my daily constitutional. the last few times i have began to take different routes to take the edge of the boredom that comes with seeing the same houses, streets, etc. nevertheless since i remain mostly in my subdivision i don’t see anything new. last sunday i drove off with the intent of walking along the boardwalk of newport beach but turned around and came home do to gastric distress while on the 55 south – in orange county the beach is sort of south and not west.

when i arrive home from the doctor’s appointment, then i may take a late afternoon nap. perhaps i will dream of being the recipient of some special physical “attention” by the aforementioned nurse. i bet she could really take extra good care of me.

mi perdoni padre, perche ho peccato.

And more from Irwin:

joseph – early this morning about 2:00 am when i was about to retire and chalk off another lost and unfulfilling day i noticed that the screen on my cell-phone had a graphic of a column and the word “battery” appeared. i thought well maybe even tho i charge the battery each night all night long something went wrong and the battery is really run down. so i put in the plug and charged it again until the screen read “battery full”. i pulled out the plug and went away. when i came back to fill my pockets before leaving on errands this afternoon i noticed the cell-phone screen was blank and so i figured that there must be something wrong. as in broken. damaged goods. kaput. fini. didn’t pay the bill.

i took the phone into radio shack where i had purchased it maybe three years ago and the salesperson who had a ring in his lip told me that it would cost around $80 to fix, if they could, but that he would give me a new phone free. what’s the catch? i had to sign a new two-year contract with at&t. since i maybe receive three phone calls a month (usually the wrong number or a salesperson) i have been contemplating doing away with the phone altogether except for fear of need in case of emergency – like if i should actually try one of the levitra pills in my cradenza drawer and i get an erection that lasts over four hours and i have to call the doctor. in a quandary, i left radio shack and headed to trader joes to buy a kosher chicken – it being the sabbath thus the kosher butcher shop was closed.

on my way i remembered that there was an at&t store about a mile ahead and so i stopped there. a man named abraham (fitting) asked if he could help. i explained the problem. he took the phone in hand and lo and behold, no burning bush but he turned it on! it works. apparently after the super battery charge the phone turns itself off and i didn’t think with what’s left of my distilled potato liquid ravaged brain that i should just try to turn the phone on. i confess i almost wish the phone were permanently dead and that i needed to buy a new one rather than continue to suffer from the personal embarrassment, indignity and continuing rumination about being so very very stupid.

which leads me to my question which is, since you, in a previous email, sent a phone number beginning with “0” or something absurd like that i am guessing that you rid yourself of your cellphone before you departed the shores of california. is that true? in which case i can delete that no longer functioning number from my cell-phone address book leaving that vacancy for perhaps a new found love as unlikely as that may be.


Joe and Hayden’s email to Nikki:


Haden says “I love you”. He wants to know when you are coming to Chiang Mai. “I would like to go with you to Pattalung.”

hayden i love you when are you coming (this line was typed by Hayden)

Nikki’s Response:

HI my schedule is pretty much open after we celebrate hayden birthday we can either go to some beaches and than divert to pattalung but the only problem is her planning after all she can drops us off somewhere as usual getting tired or bored going to work……
anyway u guys wait me there and we ll organize something the baby had to to dentist too so i think pattaya or hua hin woul be closer
see u later


From Ruth:

Congratulations. Dare I ask if the year for the year-long begins at the end of the 3 months or at the beginning? No. I don’t dare ask. Forget it.

If Hayden winds up in San Francisco, does he get to meet and maybe play with his relatives there? I’ve lost track of how many children Jason has with Hiromi, but I was able to figure out how old the older three are. I do sometimes wonder about Anthony, who really was a great kid in the days when he was about 4-8.

Best mystery I have read in decades, maybe ever: Michael Dibdin’s “A Rich Full Death.” Did I already tell you this? Best novel not a mystery: White Tiger.

If Joan ever gets her giant new loom (part of which she has already dropped on her hand, with very dramatic results) put together, she is going to let me help weave rag rugs. I have also signed up for an afternoon workshop called “Making Faces: Playful Portraits Art Workshop.” Nursery school was one of my favorite life phases, and still get a kick out of artsy-craftsy things. I just don’t want the results accumulating in my house.

Enjoy the hot weather.

Joe’s response to Ruth:

Jason has one child with Hiromi, a girl Amanda, She is one month older that Hayden.

Anthony has had a difficult adolesence. He is still basically a good kid.

Is that a new Dibden? I thought I had read them all.

I read White Tiger. I agree great book.

I took a loom weaving class once. Made a scarf (hat else). Haven’t touched a loom since.

Have fun with the worksop. Hayden provides me with enough kindergarden crafts to last me for a while.

On a more serious note, the following is part of an email that I have received from Irwin. Please do not tell him that I sent it to you. It looks as though his illness is even more serious than he lets on. (email above)

Ruth responds:

There are no new Dibdins. He died a couple of years ago. This one was 1999. It’s not Inspector Zen. I’m reading one of the Zen ones now: “Cosi Fan Tutti.”

I didn’t realize Irwin was ill, although this excerpt certainly sounds as if he’s got some kind of problem. I hope he got himself checked out, because this description could have been a mild heart attack or stroke, and some of those things can be treated. I sent him an email before I got this one from you, just asking how he is. Haven’t heard back, but I didn’t attach any significance to that. Please let me know if you hear anything else.

I just came back from another computer lesson. I wish I would get more comfortable trying things. I love it when they show me all these cool things my computer can do, but it’s hard to find excuses to keep doing all those things for practice so I forget them by the next time I try. I’m going to have to take lots of pictures in order to play with all the i-photo gimmicks I’ve learned.

Do your two families have any interaction or do you keep them strictly separate?

Over the past weekend, I ran into all sorts of people who knew me back when I was a real person as opposed to a councilwoman. It was such a nice feeling to have people glad to see ME as opposed to IT. Remember how the women’s movement was always complaining about being treated as objects? I never really experienced that until I became and elected official, and then I couldn’t shake it. Recently though several former staffers and one current city staff guy have been quoting me to me or have told me stories about myself that turned out to be quite fun.

Joe responds:

I probably read it but I cannot recall it. I had always gotten the impression as I read through the Zen books that Zen himself was slowly dying.

Speaking of computers, I spent most of this morning trying to figure out why I could not get on to the internet. Finally I gave up in frustration, and of course I was immediately connected.

Ruth Responds:

this one takes place in Florence and Robert Browning figures prominently in the story

Joe to Ruth:

I guess I was concerned unnecessarily about Irwin. I received this today:

please do not worry about me. i sometimes long for eternal sleep…maybe almost daily. my cancer is not only in remission but my oncologist surgeon say’s that i am “cancer free”. my suffering is caused by an unending sequence of physical ailments allegedly related to anxiety and depression. on the other hand, i have come to the conclusion that any physical pain with which i contend is no more than do others , it’ just that i am more sensitive to such malfunctions and ruminate on them. my depression is due to a misspent and unfulfilled life, watching others succeed where i have failed, having no money to speak of (still paying off 2008 income taxes) and my physical complaints. ain’t it cool?! at least if i could play the piano like oscar levant – he once was quoted as saying that he “knew doris day before she became a virgin”.

Ruth Comments:

Sounds to me as if concern is appropriate. He’s been depressed for years, usually focused on this notion of a failed life but either unwilling or unable to find something to amuse himself. I didn’t know about the cancer. I haven’t seen Irwin since you and he and I had lunch in Newport Beach probably five years ago–I think Hayden had just been born or was at least still an infant.

Maybe the fact that he doesn’t like that others have succeeded where he has failed explains why he can’t bring himself to email back to me.

By the way, I read a book by Oscar Levant that was wonderful. Of course I don’t remember the title, though I may still have it in the house someplace.

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

THIS AND THAT FROM re Thai r ment. February 22, 2010

Just in case there are those of you whose lives are so bereft of interest and are wondering about the hiatus of emails from me, or as Cuzin Irwin (who always has his way with words if with little else) feared that I was wandering “bahtless in Thailand”, I am pleased to report that I have made it back from Malaysia with my limbs intact. I spent 5 days in Kuala Lumpur wrestling with visa issues and three days in Bangkok wrestling with other things.

Unless someone desperate for information about Malaysia requests more, I will provide only the following:

1. most people speak English (a benefit of colonialism).
2. The public transportation system is great. 3.If you ever are in KL, go to the Malaysia Tourism Center. Not only is it an interesting site, and the people there can help with almost any question you may have, but it is the best place in KL that I could find for free wifi access.
4. Todays photos show me dramatically looking up the wrong way in front of the previously designated world’s tallest buildings. Actually I am looking dramatically up at another KL skyline icon, the Space Needley thing in the next photograph.

As for the three days I spent in Bangkok they were well, three days in Bangkok. I did manage to take Hayden on a tour of the putrid BKK canals by “rooster tail” boat as shown in the third enclosed photo. He is holding my glasses and hat that he insisted on doing because as he explained, otherwise I would only lose them. I do not know whether to be pleased at his sagacity and consideration or pissed about it.

Ciao for now….


Sunday February 14, 2010 7PM

Yesterday morning I listed the things I had failed or forgotten to do or had simply screwed up. Add to that the failure to check that Monday is Chinese New Year and if the Thai Embassy is open. It is not.
My email to Nikki today sums it up:


Shit, shit and more shit. The Thai embassy is closed tomorrow because of Chinese New Year. That means that I have to spend another day here and return to  BKK on the evening of the17th and travel to Chiang Mia on the afternoon of the 18th. The good news is that my return ticket costs only about 5000 baht The bad news is my room costs another 1500 baht and my expenses increase about 500 baht. So I break even. The good news is by the 18th I certainly will have my SS check deposited in the bank. The bad news is I have to stay another day. The good news is Hayden can stay another day with his mother. The bad news is that Hayden can stay another day with his mother. The good news is that I do not have to face Natalie for another day. The bad news is that I look like a fucking idiot.

This evening I checked on my bank account balance. It shows a 600 ringgit decrease from yesterday (1900 to 1300). How did that happen? I did not draw anything out. Did the bank deduct my medicare? something else??? Shit again.

Add to that that I changed my telephone card so that I can make calls from here to Thailand and overseas. I failed to transfer my contact numbers and they appear to be lost until I return to Thailand. I found Nikki’s in my email and he gave me Natalie’s. I still do not have Tai’s.
I will not make my return reservations until Tuesday morning after I beg the Embassy staff to process my visa in one day. Lots of luck (LOL???). By waiting the tuesday flight will probably be booked as well as Wednesday and probably Thursday also. The Tuesday ticket cost is 7500 baht. I have 8000 baht left in my account after drawing out 5000 tonight for safety.

Shit, I made another mistake. Each night is $45 that computes to about 150 ringgits a night or 600 ringgits for all 4 nights that translates to about 6000 baht. If my flight to BKK costs 6000 baht then I have only 1000 baht or 100 ringgits for food and transportation through Thursday. It can not be done. If I beg the Counsel to process in one day and succeed then my flight to BKK costs 7500 baht and my room only 4500. One os 12000 baht and the other is also 12000 baht. But expenses are less. Then what happens in BKK???

Tuesday, February 16 2010 7:30 PM

Well I made another mistake, oversight or fuck up whatever. I got to the Thai Consulate almost on time but when I got to the counter the clerk informed me that I needed a photograph to accompany my application and if I did not return by 1PM today I would have to start the process tomorrow. I flew from the building and after refusing the offer of a gypo cab driver to drive me to a shopping center and wait for me and drive me back, I hustled off to find a shopping center with an open photoshop (the first I saw was closed for Chinese New Year), cursing all the way and melting in the heat. I found one and took a metered taxi back (Mr. Gypo was not too unreasonable I found out) in time to submit my application that they said will be ready at two thirty tomorrow afternoon when we will have to “que-up”.

Last night I was furious with Nikki after he told me that he gave in to Natalie on the school tuition and that he will give her the money instead of paying directly. This convinced me that I had to make preparations to leave Hayden since we have lost control over his education and our planned budget to Natalie who will only mean that all expenses will be those dictated by her so that she can steal. I can only survive on a strict budget now and this will not be it.

I am also convinced that my reduced intake of my psyco-pharma medicines are having the effect of turning me back into the raving lunatic that I was before starting on them, thank God. I hope now I will no longer be the agreeable simpering idiot I had become and will be more likely to push back and scare people like Natalie.

I am also angry at Tai for being unwilling to assist me on the visa as for the other reasons mentioned here above. I am thinking of moving to some place like Krabi alone. My budget then will include enough to pay for periodic massages to replace the medicines. Maybe after a while, I will move from Thailand. Need wifi though.

Am more and more obsessed with Transexuals. Unfortunately, I could not afford to meet either of those I had contacted here in KL. I wonder what it means. Sex is only massage. It can be provided by human, beast or inanimate object with equal effectiveness. It is only a matter of taste.However, I feel no urging for sexual relationship with men. If fact I remain unable to see any sexual attractiveness in men. On the other hand women with dicks turn me on. Go figure.

Wednesday February 17, 2010 10 AM

Got up late (8:30 AM). Brushed teeth but d/n shower. Rushed to eat breakfast. Back to room, finish packing. Check out. CC accepted. means I have 450 ringgit (4500 baht) available. Happy times. Does that mean check in or bank carry? Stay tuned.

Left hotel, walked to subway, went to next station, walked to Malaysia Tourist Center where I am now. Decided not to answer Nikki’s email until I return to CM. Still in a burn about it, Natalie and Tai. Will go to Consulate at 1-1:30 to get on line for visa. Then to airport.

2:30 AM

It is amazing how I can allow myself to get into things like this. Got visa went to airport. flew to BKK. Called Natalie. Said I will get hotel for night. Called Tai. She sounded annoyed. Said where should I stay? Got taxi to Swan. She was outside. Said I do not want to be seen going into hotel. Checked in. Called. She said she will be over in a while, did I want dinner? Said no. She came with brother. Brother left. She said she will get me MacDonald big Mac. Left with 1000 baht from me. Showered. Went to bed. Waited, playing with computer 2 hour. She arrived with cold food, no straw for coke. She said she was going to see a friend downstairs. Took my lighter and left. Called one hour later said wanted to go drinking with friend. Will be back. Has not returned. I feel stupid and embarrassed. How could I have ever believed her or feel guilty that I was playing with her? Could Natalie have been right all along? God forbid. Not that she had been right but that she had not lied. Ah, tomorrow will be another day.

February 19 2019 7PM

And actually it is another two days. Got up Thursday, checked out and checked in at the Honey Hotel. T. called said she was waiting for me because she could not get into my room. Pointed out 1. I would have heard it if she knocked 2, She could have called and 3. the room was unlocked until I checked out. Silence. Said she was coming to Honey right away. She arrived. We got naked. I sucked her nipples awhile than ate her for a long time. Sweet. She said, “you are driving me wild”. Tried to enter. Too soft. Ate some more. Tried again same result. Fingered her for awhile. Then we held each other. She jerked me off. That was sweet also. I wanted her to suck me but she demurred. “It’s been too long”. she said. “You’ve forgotten what I taught you?” I joked. Showered. She left, agreeing to meet that night and spent the night together.

Natalie called. Said, “we are bringing Hayden over to spend the night with you”. So they did, not Natalie but two other women. And so it was Hayden and I played with the computer and went to bed. T and I agreed to see what we could do on Friday.

Today came. Hayden and I awoke. Natalie had said that we should go to Aquarium today and that I should take Hayden to Dentist (and pay of course) on Saturday and make reservations to fly to CM after his appointment (I pay again)

Went to aquarium. Asked Tai to meet her there. Hayden had been introduced to her as “Auntie Chicken” in an attempt to spare us all from Natalie’s wrath. Had great time at aquarium. Left. Met Tai. Gave her 15000 baht for air conditioner. Took skytrain to river. Took “Rooster Tail” to canals and to snake farm. Had an awful zoo. Some animals sick. After return Tai went home and we returned to Honey Hotel. Tried to make reservations for flight to CM on Nok Air. Card declined. Called Nat. She said that I had to give her 5000 baht for maid, 10,000 baht for electrician beside others. I said Nikki gave you an additional 10000 baht for H. trip back to CM, his dental appt. and the maid. Heated discussion on her part. Said will meet at Robinson’s in 25 min to get money and take H to shower. H. wanted to go to pool. Cried. Called Nat. Adamant on 25 min.

Went to ATM. Card w/n work. N. arrived. Told her about card. She threatened to have H. live in BKK and “send me back to US”. Left.

Returned to Hotel. Talked to Nikki. Nat had called him. Lot of talk.

Called BoW. Got hold lifted. Card worked in ATM, but not for reservation. Will try again.

Spoke with Tai. Bought a Pizza. Will try to make reservation now.

Saturday, February 20, 2010, 11 PM

Back in Chiang Mai. Cannot sleep despite exhaustion. Look forward to returning to schedule. Appear to have blocked out end of yesterday and most of today. Am beginning to feel effects of not taking my Prozac. Need to go to pharmacy tomorrow.
Hayden did not want to sleep in his own bed tonight so is sleeping next to me. Want to smoke a cigar. HMM, getting addicted? Trying to think of things to write. Cannot. G’night.


From Irwin:

welcome back to the living! it should have been, “bahtless in bangkok” not “bahtless in thailand”. also i am most disappointed that you did not forward to the other lucky regular recipients of your emails a copy of the news article i so carefully crafted. i thought it was one of my best writing efforts to date. however i forgive you for having the good taste to ignore it.

finalmente a casa!

More from Irwin:

it’s going to start raining soon. i’ve taken two walks, driven to the bank and back, and enjoyed an hour’s nap. i like to sleep. i do not feel any pain (emotional or physical) while catching forty winks. anyway it always seems to turn colder when rain is about to appear and then when it rains it feels warmer;maybe that’s because i have already turned the heat on.

i imagine you have some type of heating system on world cup and then again since it’s in a tropical climate maybe all you need on a rare chilly night is a cotton blanket and a spicy bowl of hot fish ball soup. baring cost, i imagine that solar panels would serve you quite well as an energy source for generating electricity and subsequent warmth or coolness; then again, a burmese waving a fan might suffice. by the way, i have been thinking (always dangerous) about something to occupy your time: how about writing a musical taking advantage of the phrase (bahtless in bangkok). since you can’t speak thai compose it in english and maybe it will be a hit at the filmore (sp?) in san fran.

there is nothing new here in america of which to write, at least not any news which would serve either as an inspiration or warning. i don’t pay any thoughtful attention but notice as i pass by the tv set that health care is still at issue and stuff like that which leaves me cold as one never has enough information to make a judgment about what position to take on today’s political concerns. i have very much stayed out of any emotional involvement in government except perhaps a morbid desire to hear about a political figure(s)/party(ies) failing on some particular effort of theirs. their smugness infuriates me. i am in my vote “no” period although i can be sympathetic to ballot measures for high-speed rail and almost any anti-environmental endeavor. i would vote for legalizing prostitution should that be placed upon the ballot however now that we have given women the right to vote i doubt that they will cast their ballot in their best self interest.

today is the anniversary of johnny cash’s birthday. walk the line!


Joe’s email to Nikki:

I have not heard from you in a while. You had mentioned that you would be in New York on the 23rd and that you would try to get to Chiang Mai soon thereafter. What is your schedule now? Try not to come through Bangkok on the 26th or 27th of February as there may be riots following the Court’s decision about Taksin.

As for what has been happening here. Hayden seems to be doing fine. He misses you and looks forward to seeing you.

I have had little contact with Natalie. She usually calls the maid in odrer to speak to Hayden. I had to replace the battery in the car. Natalie forgot to check the water level in the battery and in was bone dry and dead.

Hayden, who is standing next to me want to send you this message, “po-po head” and “I love Nikki”


Nikki’s response:

Back in Italy now i was suppose to come earlier but one plane was damaged in rome during the refueling so my flite was delayed and screws up everything we had a full load of paxs waiting and nervous about it not good publicity for alitalia but finally we managed to leave kennedy airport at around 2 in the nite imagine the mess and the complaints so i had to do one of my famous and best greasy landing to please them.
In the arrival we had be on hold on the ground because the police have to arrest a couple of DONS just in time
They were flying first class and nobody knows about they look very nice and elegant brooklin style u know what i mean probabily from palermo or corleone
Only in italy this stuff could happen
well i don’t have my schedule yet but ill try to visit the baby for his birthday in march let me check first how is the turmoils in bkk i don’t want to be stucked there
He is still sleep alone by now?
i didn’t talk to her just messages requesting cash as usual
Stay safe with the baby there ill keep u posted

Joe’s follow-up:

Your NY flight adventure sounds like a movie plot. Too bad you visit to Thailand will be delayed. Hayden is looking forward to seeing you. He sleeps in his own room now, but ever since his trip to BKK he asks the maid to stay in the room until he falls asleep.

I do not answer Natalie’s calls anymore since I assume the only reason that she would want to talk to me is to ask for money and I do not have any to spare. On that note, I intercepted the Home Owners Association invoice. The fee is six hundred baht per month. She has not paid the bill for almost a year and we now owe over 12,000 baht. It is clear that whatever she uses the money she gets from us for, it is not for the Chiang Mai expenses.

Nikki’s response:

Now not only she is lying on the budget but she also not paying
HOLY SHIT that’s the word for this mess anyway try to talk to the manager and tell him we gonna pay soon maybe in 2 installment.
Do me a favour i lost track of how much and when we have to pay for Hayden school so talk to the principal and find out about it for good before she take over and rip me off some more cash and more lies
I can visit anytime depend on my next schedule so let u know hopefully soon
Keep me updated about the political situation and if there are problems in the airports
call me tomorrow with skype i want to see the boy best time is before u guys go to school
take care

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

This and that from re Thai r ment. February 14, 2010

Yesterday, I arrived at KL airport at about noon. The plane parked pretty far from passport control. That was to be expected since I flew on Air Asia a local budget airline. No more flying first class across the Atlantic of Pacific oceans and staying at hotels like the Hassler or the Oriental and the like. It’s strictly budget airlines and budget hotels (barely one step up from hostels) for me now.

It is especially difficult for me this month as it is often at this time of the month. I am waiting for my Social Security check that the government sends with annoyingly bureaucratic regularity every third Wednesday of the month. You would think they would now and then send it a bit early. But that’s government for you. They should have privatized Social Security a long time ago then my SS account could have had as much in it as my 401K, nothing. But I shouldn’t assume that just one screw up by the country’s banking elite indicates that it is a recurring problem, although its been happening with annoying regularity for 400 years now.

Take this morning for instance while I was waiting for my ride to the airport I noticed that it was quite chilly. Chilly in Thailand!! Another nail in the coffin of global warming. I was happy to see the sun rise however, having been scared witless by the Colbert Report that the darkness last night proved that the sun went out and we were sure to be all dead this morning. Dammit I promised not to do this anymore.

Anyway after a surprisingly long walk from the plane to passport control I was pleased that the passport control and customs process proved to be as efficient as I found anywhere. I paid $2.50 (the local currency is called Ringgit) for transportation from the airport into the city, expecting at that price to board a decrepit overcrowded shuttle bus for the 60 K ride into downtown KL. Instead, I boarded one of the most luxurious buses I have ever ridden

We arrived at the central bus station where I left the bus and found that public rail transportation was readily available. I took it to within a block of my seedy hotel. Along the way I was surprised that unlike Bangkok where they proliferate, there were no Arabs to be seen and that struck me as strange. Why did they go to Thailand a country that is at best ambivalent about Muslims and not to Malaysia a Muslim country? On the other hand why did we go into Iraq.. Oh almost did it again.

More about Malaysia later or tomorrow or never, I have just received bad news. Not only did I leave a day early unnecessarily but I just found out that the Thai Embassy is closed tomorrow because of Chinese New Year. The good news is that my return trip ticket is cheaper. The bad news is that I will have to spend more money on shelter and food and things like that. The good news is that my SS check should be deposited by the time I fly out. The bad news is that I feel like a god dammed idiot. Oh oh did I just say something that might get me in trouble here. Jesus Christ I hope not. Now I’ve done it. I think I will go hide under the bed.

No pictures of KL yet, thank whoever, but not to forgo the opportunity I have attached a photo of the swimming pool of the high school in World Club Land subdivision back in Chiang Mai that we are allowed to use after 3PM. That is Hayden in the foreground doing something strange to his nose.


Saturday, February 13, 2010 9 AM

Sitting on Air Asia flight AK 763 from Chiang Mai to Kuala Lumpur, seat 28 D. Hectic morning. Got up (Hayden insistence) at 6Am. Got ready and ate breakfast. of toast and coffee. Waited for Jerry. Picked up at 8AM. Told him that Hayden was going to BKK this morning and was to meet N.’s cousins at 10 AM for trip. J said no can do would have to bring Hayden back to airport after dropping Leo and mother off at school.

While going to gate N. called. Said I told you H’s flight at 10:10 AM, not meeting, he will miss flight, call Jerry, you screwed up, hung up. Tried to call Principal c/n get through. N. called said “ you almost caused him to miss his flight”. Called N. asked “Did that mean you contacted them”. Answered “Yes, I called the school”.

Last night, N. called, spoke with H. H cried “why can’t I go with Pookie. One way or another I will be on that flight”. H. went to bed in his room with Maid sleeping on floor. Series of phone calls. N. made arrangements for H. to fly with cousins to BKK tomorrow morning. Said H. to meet cousins at 10:10AM at One to Go counter.

Am on flight to KL now. Things not done: did not change baht to ringgits or whatever they’re called: did not check ATM to see if I have funds or if TG made deposit; do not know where Thai embassy located in KL; have no return ticket; unsure of transportation from AP into KL; more???

10 PM

Arrived at KL airport at about noon. The plane parked pretty far from passport control. That was to be expected since I flew on Air Asia a budget airline.

Anyway after a surprisingly long walk from the plane to passport control I was pleased that the passport control and customs process proved to be as efficient as I found anywhere. For $2.50, I boarded one of the most luxurious buses I have ever ridden for the 60 K ride into downtown KL. During my ride as I looked out my window at the at the built environment of the area, I found it to be one of the more pleasing and organized that I had ever seen. Not at all like the disorganized and dirty environment one finds in Bangkok and most cities. The road from the airport is new and efficient and lined with palm plantations and forests broken about every kilometer or so with a Mosque or an interestingly designed commercial building.

About one third of the way in they were construction a new town that looked fairly well planned to me. After about another third there was a second older new town, again that looked well organized and lacking dirtiness that Americans like me find so unaesthetic. Approaching the outskirts of KL, the city and its skyline was as dramatic and impressive as is San Francisco’s as you approach it from the Bay Bridge or New York for New Jersey. On the left of the skyline rises a sail like building similar to a hotel building in Dubai that for a while was billed as the most expensive hotel in the world. In the middle stands something that looks like Seattle’s Space Needle and on the right soar the twin towers, that used to be the tallest buildings in the world until a taller one was recently built and quickly abandoned also in Dubai. Looking at the twin towers It struck me how we could get back at them for the destruction of our twin twin towers (I know they’re Malaysians and not Saudi Arabians, but they are Muslims and aren’t they all the same). We would just open an abortion clinic in one of the Towers and free our home grown terrorists to get the job done. I know I know, I promised not to do it. I am incorrigible.

We arrived at the central bus station where I left the bus and found that public rail transportation was readily available. I took it to within a block of my seedy hotel. Along the way I was surprised that unlike Bangkok where they are as thick as flies on something gross, there were no Arabs and that struck me as strange. Why did they go to Thailand a country that is at best ambivalent about Muslims and not to Malaysia a Muslim country. On the other hand why did we go into Iraq.. Oh Oh almost did it again.

Again my American aesthetic was pleased by orderliness and absence of disrepair I found in the city. Actually the US built environment is probably one of the most disorganize and derelict built environments in the world. I have travelled by car across the country about 15 times and except for the actions of our government to preserve some of our scenic wonders, I found it in most part to be unrelieved dreck. So where did I and most Americans I know get this affection for the orderly and clean environment (and by clean I mean the appearance of cleanliness). I think that aesthetic that allows us to turn up our collective noses at the chaotic and dirty cities like Bangkok, Newark and Liverpool, comes from the habitations of our upper middle class. Places like in the Northeast like Bronxville as I remember it growing up, or Greenwich of current notoriety located in the middle of the Northeast forest and generally hidden from view. Did you know the Northeastern forest of today are as extensive as they were at the time of first contact? Go figure. It is a climax forest however.

Climax, I love that word. It describes not only what you think it does but you also have climax in novels, and civilizations and a whole host of things. Do you know what it means? It means the end is coming very soon.

In the mid Atlantic, Bethesda as I recall and the Williamsburg area where Ann lives and where I found joy with her and Al are those types of places. In Florida it is hard to find anywhere, I guess some of the Islands in Byscane Bay where we can gaze for our boats and the clean and orderly communities of the very rich. In Northern California we have places like Ross and Woodside and in Southern California we have Aliso Vallejo of which several of us are very familiar and Cappacola a mispronunciation that Southern Italian immigrants where I grew up mispronounce a Gabbagall, a tasty pressed meat that is my bit of humor on the pronunciation of Cota de Caza of Teamster Union fame.

This all led me to think about the putrid canals that criss-cross my subdivision in Chiang Mai choked with Hyacinth and water lilies. Unlike a Disney cartoon with the frog calmly sitting of the pad amid the beauty of the pond, some of these plants are brown and dying or dead while others are in various stages of flowering. It is not a climax environment. That’s what nature is about, the chaos of living and dyeing not the orderly beauty of my garden which is like all well tended gardens in a climax state. Turn your back for a moment and it returns to chaos.

How the hell did I get here? I was in Malaysia. Jesus Christ!

Oh shit I’ve done it now. They will be knocking on my door soon. I think I’ll hide under the bed. See you later.


From Irwin:

cuz – depression came early this morning. so i went for my walk. an unexpected change in weather arrived rapidly, from low 50’s yesterday to 79 today and i am expecting an earthquake as i firmly believe that when the temperature changes this much this fast that the ground will move and swallow us all up. further down the street two girls had set up what at first i thought from a distance was a lemonade stand however upon getting closer and not seeing any cooler containing a liquid i decided that maybe they were taking orders for girls scout cookies. i took no photo as we three were the only ones on the street at this early hour and i didn’t want to scare them being not far from the police station with its pervert squad. next i passed a woman with a grey headscarf that went down below her waist. she said, “good morning” and smiled. i suspect she was a practicing muslim but i can’t tell as they all look alike to me. if i pass her again i will say, “salaam alaikem” and see what happens. needless to say i did not take a photo as the grey outfit she was wearing was bulging around the waist and it’s possible she was a suicide bomber so i decided to play it safe. the farther i walked the warmer it got but i was all in one piece.

when i am depressed (when am i not? oh yes. when i hear from you!) i get sleepy so i sat down on a park bench and dozed off for i don’t know how long. i awoke to find a small dog tugging at my right pantleg. i thought maybe i was hallucinating or in a roman polanski movie but a lady walked up and grabbed the dog. i did not complain about the little tear marks in my pantleg as i figure i’m lucky my skin was not pierced and why let a good thing turn ugly in green valley, where ms. fountain valley has a wart on her nose.

the only photo i took this morning was of a wild cherry tomato plant growing in someone’s side yard facing the sidewalk. the photo appears below your previous message or you will have to view this vegetative miracle as an “attachment” for reasons known only to my email program which seems to be malfunctioning when it comes to adding pictures to my text. how the plant got there i don’t know. propagation is a funny thing. anyway i felt some strong symbolistic connection between the cherry tomato plant and myself (birdshit?) however any analytical conclusions will have to await the next time i see it.

tell us more about kl. your adventures to date are schematic to say the least. please provide more full-blown descriptions of important things like architecture, food and sex, not necessarily in that order. as to why there are muslims in thailand as opposed to kl, a muslim country, just look around and you’ll see why.

yesterday i decided to have some adventure and left the house. first i drove to a kaiser permanente facility in the city of irvine where man and nature both prosper and perhaps your former client lennar, someday. (about twenty minutes away). the facility was closed. its where my primarily care physician moved to and i have bought him a present which i wrapped myself and intended to deliver to the receptionist. why the present? i figured it might get me some attention and then i could complain without having to have an appointment. from there i went to wholesomechoice market which i enjoy as it has a great selection of most reasonably priced fresh quality produce as well food from all over the world including kosher meat (packaged) and hallal meat(unpackaged). most of the customers appear to be of persian extraction and there are always two or three drop-dead gorgeous women shoppers there at almost any time of the day. i bought a whole smoked whitefish, a can of spicy olives from the westbank, two sweet lemons, roma tomatoes, a red onion, 1/2 dz persian cucumbers, hummas, a bottle of grapeseed oil, a bottle of pomegranate molasses, and fresh out of the oven sarnak (sp?) which is a flat bread made out of whole wheat flower and about two and one half feet long wrapped in brown butcher paper. i almost bought some thai chili peppers but they were $3.29 a pound and when i asked a lady patron how to prepare them she said stir-fry and since i wasn’t cooking i opted out of that purchase – besides my intestines are just about in working order and i think that pepto bismo rather than thai peppers might be more kindly received. from there i went to the post office where i bought some postage stamps and mailed the package to the doctor. then i went to stater bros market and picked up some stuff for tomorrow when it is that my grandchildren are coming to spend the day’ i have no plans for them but there is always cartoons on tv except the girl is now almost eight and insists on watching all 1312 episodes of hannah montana.

i think colbert is right about the sun…just picked the wrong evening.

More from Irwin:

don’t know if you ever heard of kiva but its something i have been paying attention to for some time. i have two loans out (see below). kindly don’t tell my last wife; she wouldn’t understand considering i am always telling her i have no money. when i say “money” i mean extra thousands, not twenty-five dollars.

i thought this might interest you if you feel like doing something for other people who want to be entrepeneurs and are not just looking for a handout.

Maurice Obonyo Omanya in Kenya (Activity: Tailoring)
You Loaned: $25.00
Newly Repaid: $4.17
Total Repaid So Far: $8.34 (33.36% of your loan)
Repayment Status: Paying back on time
View loan profile at:
Daribazar Humbaan in Mongolia (Activity: Clothing Sales)
You Loaned: $25.00
Newly Repaid: $1.39
Total Repaid So Far: $1.39 (5.56% of your loan)
Repayment Status: Paying back on time
View loan profile at:

p.s. i guess i could visit mongolia and calim the trip as a tax deduction in terms of looking after an investment.

And even more from Irwin:

New Straits Times
Kuala Lumpur
February 18, 2010
Edition: Main/Lifestyle
Section: Main Section

Earlier today police were scouring the City searching for an American thought to be involved in the recent assassination of a Hamas agent in Dubai. As to what the purported criminal was doing in Malaysia nothing was revealed except for police acknowledgement of the finding of an incomplete passport application at the restaurant “Bon Ton” which is located on the ground floor of the Shopping Center in Julan Sulktan Ismail. The fugitive is a known frequenter of shopping malls.

It is alleged that the American is none other than Joseph Petrillo, former political operative and lobbyist of California, a western State in the USA, who disappeared from the city of San Francisco some weeks ago.

Acquaintances of Petrillo contacted by this newspaper expressed concern about not hearing from him for several days as well as disbelief in his possible involvement in the Dubai incident given his penchant for avoiding physical confrontations and pasta with red sauce. “I’m quite worried about “Cousin Joe” said family friend I R Schatzman , “if something has happened to him I’ll never get back the Dean Martin records I lent him and he also owes me ten bucks!”

Police continued their search this afternoon. Rumors have spread that he may now be in northern Thailand but he has not been yet spotted by Burmese trackers. Anyone with possible information about his location should contact Kuala Lumpur’s new Police Chief Zul Hasnan at any of the Tourist Police Stations 241-5522; 243-5522; 249-6590 .

And even more from Irwin:

well, they (see below) have only one place left to go….world cup! by the way where are you?? are you ill or wandering bahtless in chiang mai?

today i am attending a funeral. it’s for the sister of the only friend i have here who calls me to see how i am and if i want to go out to costco or for breakfast. even tho i knew the woman having seen her maybe fifteen times in her life, if it wasn’t him i wouldn’t venture to the memorial park on such a day – rain is imminent and my body aches, my nose runs, and a swarm of seagulls is circulating over the cul-de-sac; i think that is a sign of a storm coming or then again it could be that marge, the neighbor lady across the street who has outlived two husbands since we have been here, has spread some bread crumbs on the asphalt. i think it’s probably a combination of both given that it’s unlikely the gulls were on the beach seven miles away and suddenly felt that marge had done her beneficent best for the birds (almost an alliteration, not bad for 8:15 am on a sunday morning;but then again maybe the 1/2 xanax is kicking in).

tell me you are alive and that i can count on having two friends in the world. in the meantime i will brush what few teeth i have left (lost three for the radiation), take a shower, dress and prepare to drive up the 405 when all i really want to do is sleep, if i could, permanently.


Correspondence with Nikki:

The line was bad and we were breaking up so let me say something to clear any doubt
i gave her another 5000 bath for the beby needs dentist stayover friend and return ticket
she told me thet her account shows only 1000 bath
lie or true? who knows……
now this is the program get back with the baby and wait till the bills are coming see if this month we can get a clear situation about the budget now that we start the march month and so we finally can see how much is going to her and how much is going to chang mai
she want to handle the school fees telling me that we should not sign anything and her as a thai can get a bargain
I know is hard for u to handle that mess but u should clear once for good how much she need from u and that’s it make a deal and this is gonna be ur budget forever
me i am stucked with a 50000 thb a month even if some of that is going to her personally but what option i have? leaving her to shuttle the baby back or abandon him somewhere?
if u were in my pants what would u do?
is not a problem for me that money but i want to be able to see the baby regularly and provide a good school that’s all i want rigth now
as far as your planning is going make a dateline and come up with a decision to stay or leave.
i suggest u to wait till the end of march to decide anything drastically and see how things are going no need to rush
evrything is temporary with her nothing is sure is a crazy and strange situation and all i do is for the baby’s sake
good luck for ur visa and hope to come there soon to talk about

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

This and that from re Thai r ment, by 3Th. (Frbruary 2, 2012) 17 Mopey 0001



Thanks to the generosity and quick thinking of Stevie and Norbert Dall (may they live long and prosper), I found a place to stay the night after arriving in Sacramento at about midnight. The next morning they picked me up and we drove to El Dorado Hills where we had lunch in a lakeside restaurant located in a vast shopping center designed to look like a traditional french village with parking.

After lunch they dropped me off at the house that I would be staying at to await Hayden’s return from school. SWAC arrived before he did and explained that instead of coming home, Hayden was spending the weekend at the apartment of SWAC’s friend Joey who the last time I was here she was furious with for calling her, in effect, a tart. He would return on Sunday morning at about the same time she leaves for the airport in San Francisco on her way to Thailand to remain there for about a month. Joey will drive her to the airport and then go on to Fresno to visit his family for a week leaving Hayden with me until he returned. Hayden then would resume living with him until SWAC’s reemergence. Although Dick, SWAC’s husband in whose house she lives (Dick lives at his mother’s home in Roseville), could have minded the boy for the week, he unfortunately had to go out of town for business and so the job fell to the default nanny, me.

Anyway, on Saturday we went to Joey’s house. Both Joey and Natalie were going off on separate errands and I was importuned to watch over Hayden and Joey’s two adopted boys for a few hours. The boys had constructed a rough treehouse in a gnarled chestnut tree located behind the apartments. I spent my time enjoyably watching the boys running back and forth from the tree to the apartment’s refuse bin, rooting out treasures to carry back and boost into the treehouse to enhance that mysterious ambience coveted by small boys.

Hayden decided he did not want to spend the night at Joey’s and returned with SWAC and me to Dick’s house where both Dick and SWAC spent an inordinate amount of time instructing me on my duties even though I had done them all innumerable times during my previous visits.

Hayden, himself, seemed to have advanced from the wounded neediness of the insecure child to the dreamy independence of the seven year old to whom the vagaries his life had become normal reality.

That night while trying to get to sleep, my mind drifted here and there as I tried to gain, if not understanding of things, the comfort of post hoc rationalization. I realized that since stopping my psychopharmacological drugs (happy pills), my tolerance for accepting circumstances that I find objectionable has diminished to at least what it was prior to beginning the medication regime. It is time for me to get on with things.

The following day, after SWAC left for the airport, Hayden, Dick and I visited with Bill and Naida at their ranch. Hayden rode one of the horses for a while. We then all went for a wonderful walk along the Cosumnes River to a rocky area downstream containing 19 or more grinding holes that Naida believes were made by the ancient predecessors to the indians featured in Naida’s novels that settled about a mile up river. Bill, who is still recovering from open heart surgery, heroically accompanied us. We stopped at the golf course club house for lunch and to give Bill the opportunity to rest and recover from the exertions of the hike.


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 litigation:

Before coming to California, I had practiced law in both New York and Italy. In New York I amassed one of the longest streaks of consecutive victories in jury trials in the history of the state until that time. In Italy, I practiced International tax law, a subject I knew nothing about.

I had given up the practice of the law in favor of hippiedom when I migrated to California and, therefore, at that time was not a member of the bar. For that reason, with regard to any litigation affecting Jughandle Creek, I could only operate, more or less, as a volunteer clerk or unofficial paralegal. I worked with two distinguished and very good attorneys; an older man named, if I remember correctly, Ferguson and a young attorney, Dick Gutting (or Cutting, I no longer remember which). Ferguson was a well known volunteer of his time and efforts on behalf of environmental causes, while Gutting, although at that time an associate in a distinguished law firm, had set his sights on a career in the emerging field of environmental law.

Like I said they were very good attorney’s while I, even with my enviable record that might mark me as a successful advocate, was at best a mediocre attorney. Almost immediately disagreements arose as I prepared the first draft of the briefs to challenge the Environmental Impact Report on the proposed motel development at Jughandle Creek.

Before addressing the disagreements, a little background on the issues. A few years previously the California legislature passed a law requiring that prior to taking an action governmental entities prepare a study of environmental impacts that may flow from that action. The law was more or less modeled on a similar Federal law enacted at the urging of then President Nixon. At the time it was assumed that the requirement applied, like the Federal law, only to governmental projects. In California however a court subsequently had held that it applied to private projects requiring governmental authorization also. The Jughandle Creek litigation would be one of the first that addressed the issue as to what if anything was demanded of the governmental entity should the report indicate that substantial adverse environmental impacts could be caused by the project.

The law suit was dismissed at the trial court and was now on appeal.

The disagreement between those working on the brief was over, not only my ability to frame the legal agreement itself (which for this discussion we will skip over), but also the nature of advocacy itself.

You see during my career as a trial lawyer, I discovered that no matter how polished and convincing my presentation or how devastating my cross examination of opposing witnesses, whenever I questioned the jury following a verdict as to what it was I said or did that convinced them, they would say, “nothing” and insist that the facts themselves were overwhelmingly in my clients favor.

Confused, I demanded that my firm give me only those cases the other lawyers did not wish to try because they believed them to be losers. I still won and the juries still gave the same explanation for their decision.

I deduced from this many things, most of which are quite obvious. The most significant insight was that no-one likes to admit his or her actions were based upon the urging of others. I had stumbled on to this truism inadvertently and had conducted my advocacy accordingly. For example, I rarely cross-examined my opponents witness in an effort to damage his credibility since it risked juror dissatisfaction with the domineering lawyer putting words into the witnesses mouth. Rather, I would try to lead him into expanding his story so as to stretch the bounds of credulity.

The legal argument we were, in part, trying to make was over the technical and often arcane issue of divining legislative intent. You see, without some prior legislative authorization to do so, a governmental body is never obligated to act, even in the face of obvious substantial adverse impacts (with the exception of gross human rights violation). To do so whenever an adverse impact is perceived invites chaos. This is one of the fundamental tenants of the rule of law. Even the human rights exception relies upon the fiction that somehow these rights are fundamental and exist even if not written down and adopted by a legislature.

In the EIR statute no specific language existed that in anyway directed the local government to do anything once they had accepted the document.

I argued that the brief had to strongly highlight the significance of the damage (not really an issue in the litigation other than it was so) and that the legislature specifically provided a mechanism for uncovering that impact and failure to act on the information would render the legislative action futile (not really a legal argument) and then lay out the various legal arguments by which the appellate court could find a legislative intent to justify what I hoped appealed to the judges sense of equity.

Ultimately we agreed on some form of the above approach, the briefs submitted, the case argued and the judgement rendered in our favor. Alas, I was not there to savor the victory, my six year old son Jason, Jeanne and I had departed on a several month tour of Europe when the decision was announced. (To be continued.)



The more I struggle with my attempts to fashion stories and tales fitting an imagined evolution of NMR’s unique society, the more frustrated I become. It is not simply some “Watership Down,” imagining a recognizable human culture reduced to fit little furry creatures that live in burrows. Nor is it like some fantasy author postulating some spacefaring Panthera Leo community. NMR society is alien to almost all recognizable mammalian cultures. I searched through hundreds of tales and stories hoping I could find one or more to adapt. None that I found was adaptable to NMR society. How does one write a tale if the sex and survival instincts are unrecognizable? Only the NMR queen seems to fit our archetypes. Yet, the other individuals in the NMR community lacking either sex drive, or competitive urgings, nevertheless seem to live relatively self directed social lives lacking among insectoid species.

Any suggestions??


RED STAR: Chapter, Rachel (continued).

Without thought, Rachel threw herself into the car diving across the transmission hump separating the front seats seeking whatever protection from impending doom the automobile offered and hoping the hulking stranger’s self preservation instincts were somewhat higher then hers at this moment. He slid in behind her, miraculously inserted the key into the ignition without fumbling, started the motor and plunged directly ahead as two more bullets bit into her car and shattering the front window.

The automobiles tires struck the curb and the car lurched across the sidewalk, traversed the plaza, careened off a parking meter and sped off down the Embarcadero. He squealed around the first corner he could heading west throwing her body against the dashboard. He did not seem to notice. Then he zigzagged back and forth from street to street apparently believing it would somehow put off pursuit or make him difficult to find. They continued like this until arriving near the intersection of Van Ness and Mission Streets by the hulking Goodwill Industries store where he pulled over by an unoccupied meter. He placed his head on the steering wheel, breathing deeply, hands shaking.

Rachel silent until now said, her voice deep and cracking slightly, “City Hall’s a few blocks away. The police are there.”

He turned toward her as though just noticing her. His round face shiny with sweat. Blue eyes wide with fright. He dug into his pocket pulled out a business card and handed it to her. Said, “Here call me I will pay any damage.”

She almost screamed, “Are you nuts? We have been shot at, almost killed. You highjack my car kidnap me and you give me your business card and offer to pay for damage to my car. I want the fucking cops.” She realized she was beginning to lose it. Whatever hormonal cocktail her body had mixed to carry her this far was evaporating.

Her outburst, on the other hand, seemed to shake him from wherever he was at. His eyes cleared and what appeared to be the beginnings of smile played with his lips.

“You’re right. I am sorry. You saved my life. I cannot ever pay you enough.”

“I did not save your life. You attacked and kidnapped me and you are right you can never pay me enough.”

“Listen before we bring in the cops, let me try to explain what happened,”
he pleaded.

Although clearly the large hulking man sitting across from her seemed at the end of his rope, she nevertheless was unsure, whether from fear or curiosity, to open the door and run to the police or to stay and listen. Curiosity got the better of her and she said, “Ok go ahead, but make it quick.”
(to be continued)


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


2012: Child poverty in the US:

Child poverty is absolutely exploding all over America. According to the National Center for Children in Poverty, 36.4% of all children that live in Philadelphia are living in poverty, 40.1% of all children that live in Atlanta are living in poverty, 52.6% of all children that live in Cleveland are living in poverty and 53.6% of all children that live in Detroit are living in poverty.

2012: Net worth:

According to an analysis of Census Bureau data done by the Pew Research Center, the median net worth for households led by someone 65 years of age or older is 47 times greater than the median net worth for households led by someone under the age of 35.

If you can believe it, 37 percent of all US households that are led by someone under the age of 35 have a net worth of zero or less than zero.

2012: National Efficiency.

The US uses about 221 tons of oil equivalent to produce every million dollars of GDP, while the comparable number for Britain is 141, for France 170 and for Germany 164.


B. : You might be a conservative if (by Bruce Lindner) [continued]:

8: You believe in putting American jobs first, except when president Obama rescued 1.5 million GM and Chrysler autoworkers, because that was socialism.

9: It angers you that you can’t communicate with the Mexican busboy at your local Olive Garden, but when you took a vacation to San Francisco’s Chinatown, you thought it’s quaint that so many Chinese-Americans are holding fast to their traditional language. Because that’s America!

10: You deny that the lunatic who tried to murder Gaby Giffords was a conservative, even though he targeted a Jewish, pro-choice, pro gay rights, Democratic Congresswoman.

11: You thought it was perfectly normal that every president in history had an untethered right to raise the debt ceiling when warranted, but when Obama asked the GOP held congress to do it, you thought it only natural that it be tied to cutting Social Security and Medicare.

12: When the new 112th Congress was sworn in, you swooned as they promised to focus on “Jobs, jobs, jobs.” But when they pivoted, and went after NPR, Planned Parenthood and gay rights, you cheered.

13: You accuse president Obama of raising your taxes to the highest point ever, even though they’re lower today than at any time since 1950.

14: You believe the wealthiest Americans are “job creators,” and they are — but it doesn’t bother you that all the workers in those positions are in India, China and Malaysia, and they’re doing the jobs that our fathers once did.

15: You believe gays are anti-American, because their lifestyle is a threat to the children… unless they’re married to Tea Party-backed presidential candidates from Minnesota.

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


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

The insufferable ignorance of the right:

My right wing correspondents are at it again. If you recall these are the same persons who among other things floods me with emails containing what no rational person one could possibly deny are racist images of the First Lady or the President and then when challenged deny, in high dudgeon, any racist intent insisting they were forwarding them because of its substantive and humorous intent.

A few days ago, I received a video of the very right wing Congressman King, calling for President Obama and Nancy Pelosi to leave the United States. Now not only would my correspondents probably shake with indignation (and probably did) at calls for W’s impeachment or for war crimes trials of members of his administration, but they go on to maintain that those who object to King’s statement are left wing racists because King is black. They forget that only 3 years ago, they nag their cohorts were apoplectic regarding the then candidate’s black pastor’s sermon that Blacks have had little benefit from the Constitution. They claimed their outrage was not racist in nature but indignation at the insult to America.

I mention it here, not because I am surprised or shocked, but to further indicate the level to which any sensible political discourse has fallen due to the pervasive nature of Faux Think and ditto-heads.

To again quote David Frum who remains a life-long committed Republican and thoughtful consultant to conservative causes:

“The business model of the conservative media is built on two elements: provoking the audience into a fever of indignation (to keep them watching) and fomenting mistrust of all other information sources (so that they never change the channel). As a commercial proposition, this model has worked brilliantly in the Obama era. As journalism, not so much.”

“But the thought leaders on talk radio and Fox do more than shape opinion. Backed by their own wing of the book-publishing industry and supported by think tanks that increasingly function as public-relations agencies, conservatives have built a whole alternative knowledge system, with its own facts, its own history, its own laws of economics.”

King subsequently recanted his outburst. I guess that proves he must be a racist also.


“We have now, it seems a National Bible Society, to propagate King James Bible, through all Nations. Would it not be better, to apply these pious Subscriptions, to purify Christendom from the corruptions of Christianity; than to propagate those Corruptions in Europe, Asia, Africa and America! “
John Adams letter to Thomas Jefferson.

Thomas Jefferson’s response:
“These Incendiaries, finding that the days of fire and faggot are over in the Atlantic hemispheres, are now preparing to put the torch to the Asiatic regions. What would they say were the Pope to send annually to this country, colonies of Jesuit priests with cargoes of their Missal and translations of their Vulgate, to be put gratis into the hands of every one who would accept them? and to act thus nationally on us as a nation?”




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This and that from re Thai r ment, by 3Th. (January 30 2012) 13 Mopey 0001


I left the Little Masseuse standing in the lobby of Savrunbhumi Airport in Bangkok and passed through customs and security. My flight to Taipei was delayed due to a maintenance problem and then, after we boarded, delayed some more until finally we were asked to return to the terminal for dinner. I had pizza and a coke.

We were then herded back onto the plane for our flight to Taiwan and my transfer to the flight to LA that had been held at the airport. The flight itself was no more uncomfortable than usual. I occupied myself by intermitting episodes of napping and viewing movies on the personal screen provided each seat on EVA. I saw a movie about a man, his son and robot boxing starring Hugh Jackman; a film, with De Niro about governmental assassins killing each other and, a story about Mossad agents in post-war East German kidnapping an ex-Nazi doctor wanted for war crimes, that goes horribly wrong. The last film starred Helen Mirren who for some reason always turns me on, a fact I am sure she will be pleased to know.

Arrival at LAX was a nightmare. Of all the international arrivals I have been through all over the world, this had to be perhaps the worst. At one point, having taken over an hour to work my way through passport control, I had gotten to the baggage carousel that, of course, was not the same one at which I was repeatedly advised my baggage would be deposited and retrieved my suitcase. I proceeded to where the signs informed me that the line for customs began. The line itself snaked about 3/4 of the way around the terminal. As I approached the end of the line, a woman, clearly an airport employee, dramatically and firmly attempted to wave me off from joining the end of the line located about two feet behind her. She insisted that I turn around and go back through the entire terminal, circle around the baggage carousels and approach the same spot from another angle, saying that this way was blocked. I ignored her and pushed my way onto the line while she scurried ahead to shoo away other travelers seeking to join the same line.

After almost another hour, I emerged, met Monty and proceeded to the currency exchange desk to exchange baht for dollars. They charged me a fee that amounted to almost one-third of the value of the money exchanged.

I slept the night at Monty’s house. The next morning, after breakfast, he and I went to the local High School to exercise. Torrence High School’s athletic fields have recently been redone in the modern style that passionately obliterates any form of natural life. The track was an attractive rust colored rubberized material, the field in shiny green Astroturf and the stand’s silver aluminum bleachers had replaced wooden ones.

Following our walks around the track eight or ten times, stretching and pushups on the Astroturf and a few very slow wind sprints, we took off to visit with Ben at his new apartment where I talked extensively and excessively on the subject I like most, me.

After leaving Ben in peace, Monty and I eventually ended up in a high end clothing store in Redondo Beach owned by Jimmy and imaginatively named “Jimmy’s.” Jimmy, who is originally from Pakistan, served us wine and mixed nuts and stories about growing up Muslim in Pakistan as a virtual orphan, gaining a scholarship to study in America, becoming wealthy, raising a family, and in the end, like Ben, Monty and I ending up as members of the M3WBNB Club. At least he still has a bankrupt clothing store where he serves good wine and mixed nuts.

The next day, it was off to meeting other members of M3WBNB regarding a South East Asia distributorship for a product called “Blue Cow,” a specialty drink that’s supposed to calm the drinker down as opposed to something like “Red Bull” which makes them crazy.

This was followed by a brief get together with Pete another member of the club, who in his previous life raced at Indianapolis and in the Baja 500. Pete was at the garage he leased in order to refurbish auxiliary vehicles that move containers around the nearby Port. He, Monty and I swapped stories about when we were somebody.

Then off to Union Station for the train to Sacramento that is scheduled to arrive in Sacto at midnight only to discover I had nowhere to stay for the night.


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).

Back at the cabin we ate a lunch of elaborate home made trail mix and some locally grown fruit while John explained how to, “use the techniques of the private real the estate market to protect resources.” It seems, he had managed to cajole many of his neighbors into selling him relatively low cost options to purchase their land. He raised the money for the purchase of the options from various endeavors including peddling “Jughandle Creek” Christmas cards. His goal was eventually to sell the options to the California Department of Parks and Recreation. Unfortunately the Department did not see Jughandle Creek with the same urgency and significance as John.

Nevertheless, John’s approach of using the private market to preserve nature impressed me a lot since, among other things, it indicated some creative thought regarding getting something done beyond simply pressuring government to figure it out and do it. This approach affected some of the implementation policies that several years later I wrote into California’s Coastal Plan.

Since I had already been hooked, the remainder of the afternoon was spent discussing, planning and plotting our strategy for preserving and protecting John’s beloved Staircase.

It was clear to me that John was a lover and while he, like any lover, believed he would fight to preserve from harm every strand of his beloved’s hair, he was not, a defender. The difference to me was that the defender operates more or less by the following rules:

1. If the conflict is severe, damage is inevitable. (The lover often cannot neither conceive nor tolerate of the slightest harm to his beloved.)
2. You cannot protect anything if you are dead. (The lover, on the other hand, swears he would give his life for his beloved, but in fact rarely does, and because of that is prone to rash and foolish decisions.)
3. The opponent has to know right down to his shorts that he is in the battle of his life.
4. The defender will be disposed of the moment those defended believe the threat is past. Any songs that will be sung will be sung only about the lovers or those who merely survived the enemy’s rout.

(If this all sounds a little Seven Samurai and the Magnificent Seven, it is.)

Anyway, eventually we began the defense using all the traditional methods; protests, demonstrations and the like (John had may allies and supporters he could call on) and I joined in. Then came the litigation.
(to be continued)


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


1. Chronicles:

I am sorry, I have run into a form of writers block over tales for Old George to tell about the “Dark Times,” in the NMR colony. If anyone has some simple plot suggestions of tales that fit NMR society I would appreciate it.

2. H. Glaber fellow travelers.

To, Paul W. Sherman, Stanton Braude and Jennifer U.M. Jarvis, who in the August 1999 Journal of Mammalology reported that there are no food fights among baby mole rats. Although unlike any other mammal, the Mole rat Queen births as many as twice the infants as she has mammaries, there is no problem because the normal greedy behavior of other mammal infants is absent and they willingly take turns sucking on a tit.


RED STAR: Chapter, Rachel.

Rachel was a very attractive woman. Perhaps one would not consider her drop dead gorgeous, her nose was a bit too pointed, her hair an undistinguished shade of brown, her shoulders a bit too angular. Nevertheless these minor imperfections aside, from anyone’s perspective she was a very pretty woman. She was smart too. Having gotten her advanced degree in finance from Wharton, she spent a few years on Wall Street as an up and coming financier. But she was not especially happy doing what she was doing and when her mother got sick, she returned to San Francisco to take over the family’s flower shop on California Street near posh Pacific Heights and in the past three years opened a second outlet in downtown and transformed the small business into one of the cities leading event planning operations.

But still she was not completely satisfied. Her personal life, as it had been since high school, was pretty barren. She worked long hours and on her few dates she found that her brusk no nonsense manner and intellectual attainments put off most of her suitors. At 34 she had begun to accept the fact that in the long run she was destined to be alone. This in itself did not bother her too much. But there was a gnawing sense that she was somehow at fault in the paucity of significant relationships. No matter how much she told herself that she was an independent modern women making her own life, she retained a deep seated feeling that she was, in some way, failing.

This evening she had just finished dinner with her friend Janice who had left soon after dinner to hook up with a guy she had met a few days ago at Cafe Americano located a few blocks away. Perhaps, she thought that’s whats bothering her, she needed to get laid but instead she was going home like most nights to watch a little television, catch up on some work, review her investments, read a book and then go to bed.

It was a beautiful San Francisco night. She stood for a moment on the sidewalk in front of the McWerter building in which the restaurant was located and took a deep breath then began walking down Steuart Street away from busy Mission Street toward the little cul-de-sac into which Steuart Street ended where she had parked her car. As she walked along she could hear sirens wailing from somewhere toward Market Street. She thought that there must be a fire in one of the stores or office buildings on Market since so many sirens appeared to be howling all at once.

As she crossed Howard Street she fished out her keys from her pocked and jingled them absent-mindedly as she walk along toward the end of the Cul-de-sac. Her car was parked in the last space before the road ended. To her left toward the Embarcadero and the bay was a small plaza, a remnant undevelopable piece of land turned into a forlorn paper strewn park. To her right across Steuart, rose the 8 or so level parking garage that serviced the area, while in front of her the plaza narrowed as the Embarcadero slashed across in until it ended at the entrance to the new main offices of the Gap, a well known clothing manufacturer. She smiled slightly when she thought about one of the sayings she remembered from her classes at Wharton that went something like, “you could always tell when a company is about to fail; it is almost always soon after the leave the place that served them so well during their growth for their signature headquarters building that inevitably was built to feed the CEO’s ego.” She mused that that appeared to be happening to the GAP which had experienced dramatically declining profits almost ever since moving in.

She arrived at the car, pressed the unlock button on the key and opened the diver’s side door. Suddenly a large dark shape rose from in front of the car where it had apparently been crouched and hiding. Before she could react, she was grabbed flung against the side of her automobile and her keys snatched from her hand. The suddenness of the attack and the pain as her body struck the metal stunned her and she found herself dragged toward the door. She regained some control over herself and began to resist. Her attacker pushed and pulled her even harder, he was quite strong and he shouted “get in the car before we both get killed.” Just then she heard a loud sound like something exploding and the rear window of her car shattered.


During the days when I had somewhat of significant impact on the planning and implementation of California’s coastal program, I often found myself on one side an ideological divide among environmentalists; between those that focused on the protection and rehabilitation of coastal resources (my leanings) and those that believed that no development is good development. The no development side had a valid point, they argued that, if all development were eliminated along the coast (or at least all new development) the natural environment would return to the state nature intended.

As with most absolutist ideologies, it overlooked several inconvenient facts among which was that no part of California’s shoreline no matter how remote was free of impacts caused by the vast migration of population to California over the last hundred years or so. Unless all or most of those people were driven off, the resources would continue to degrade simply from their continued presence no matter how much future development was restricted.

My position was prompted by concerns about the continuing impact of economic conflict on coastal resources as well as questions of simple equity.

A little story may help explain the evolution of my views. Early in the program, we received a proposal for development of a small resort hotel on the shores of one of the myriad of inlets along the coast. There was no other development along this section of the coast and the resources that could be impacted were especially sensitive. The developer was someone largely self-financed and could not by any means be described as a “large developer.” In fact, I believed that essentially his entire financial resources were tied up in this property. During a meeting with him, as I discussed the various concerns we had with the proposed project, he became visibly agitated. Finally unable to contain himself, he jumped out of his seat, rolled up the sleeve of his shirt to reveal the telltale tattoo of identification numbers that indicated a survivor of the Nazi death camps. He shouted that he was being treated almost as badly as in the concentration camps.

Now without getting into the appropriateness of his analogy or whether or not it was simply a cynical ploy to play upon my emotions for his benefit, it did place in hard contrast the nature of my actions.

Ultimately we denied this project, as we were required to so that the Coastal Plan could be completed without compromising its effectiveness, by actions that could be inconsistent with that plan. Although the denial was ostensibly temporary, I am sure the impact on the developer was devastating since he probably was not financially strong enough to maintain his position and may have been forced into bankruptcy or worse. I also knew that any plan that we came up with would have as one of its goals the maintenance of this short stretch of the coast free from development.

I realized then that our decisions, did not simply preserve resources, albeit temporarily, but also often penalized the economically weak, while favoring of the financially strong. Our actions actually gave an advantage to the large landowner or the well funded development corporation, who could lie in wait for political fortunes to change or could spend whatever it took on political and economic consultants to obtain the economic reward from the exploding value of an entitlement for development along the coast that we had created.

Because a permit to develop along the coast became immensely more valuable as a result of our regulation, those with the wherewithal to wait for a politically propitious time or to purchase the political and technical consultants (of which I was a reasonably successful one following my departure from governmental service) to acquire the prized permit, were often successful. Those without the wherewithal lost, sometimes everything.

As a result, it became my approach to instruct the Commission staff to inform the prospective developers early in the project approval process as precisely as we could what we wanted the development to do, what resources to be protected and equally important what resources needed to be restored or expanded. The latter because I believed that absent such action, environmental resource degradation and loss from the ongoing effects of already existing development would continue. If you are not increasing the extent and health of the resource base you inevitably are losing them. This the “No Development” ideologues simply failed to understand or appreciate.

If the Permit to develop was as valuable as we apparently had made it, then not only were we using that increment in value to improve the resources but, I believed, we also reduced the inequities between the economically powerful landowners and developers and the much more common small entrepreneur. Now the burden was no longer on the agency to maintain an often untenable position but upon the applicant who must decide if the value in hand was worth more that the uncertain future value that may be obtained by fighting on.

The question can be raised whether or not we are merely forcing current development to bear the costs of past errors by government. The answer is, yes and no. Land use regulation does not simply shift property values it, in fact, increases the value of the entitlement itself. In other words the land values have been shifted to some extent from the lands potential development value to its value entitled. On the other hand costs to develop are increased and therefore may represent an increased societal cost, but perhaps not to the extent of the costs of environmental degradation flowing from a failure to regulate. These costs (in either case) often fall heaviest on those least able to bear them. To deal with this several commentators on the process urged and a number of us on the staff agreed that included among the so-called coastal resources were those things that can be considered replacements in whole or in part for some of the societal impacts. These included increased access to coastal recreation by the general public, preservation and expansion of lower cost facilities and the like.

The plan and the legislation that ultimately emerged attempted to address most of the issues mentioned above without surrendering its strong focus on coastal resources as follows:

a. The creation of a regulatory agency with specific, not general, policies to focus the regulation on the particular unique resources of the coast and to encourage their expansion.

b. Funding for acquisition of those areas of great value for recreational, environmental and even equitable goals (such as the resort developer referred to above) and,

c. An environmental redevelopment and public access agency to begin the process of undoing the damage already done.

Following in the passage of the massive California Coastal program, alas, those ideologically committed to the belief that no development is good development gradually prevailed in the regulatory program resulting in the favoring the large and powerful developer over the small and financially weak producing a hodgepodge of poorly designed projects, both large and small, a spate of inequitable decisions falling primarily on the economically defenseless, and a slowing down of resource preservation and restoration even to the point of interfering with the ability of other agencies to carry out the policies they were charged with in the coastal legislation.

So does this make me a “liberal” on environmental matters. Not to that certain segment of the environmental community that opposes all or most development. I consider myself, if tags are necessary, more an environmental populist who believes that, even in environmental matters, the statement I have made several times before, should qualify every social, political, environmental and collective action we make and perhaps individual actions as well:

“Why would anyone be morally bound or wish to be morally bound to a civil society that does not share the goal that its citizens deserve a fair distribution of wealth, income and power? If the civil society is not dedicated to that end what else could it possibly be dedicated to? What is freedom to those without wealth, income or power?”

Anything less in my opinion is neither patriotic, good public policy nor moral.


2010: Prescription drug dangers.

In a report in the Journal of General Internal Medicine, study authors said that in looking over records that spanned from 1976 to 2006 (the most recent year available) they found that, of 62 million death certificates, almost a quarter-million deaths were coded as having occurred in a hospital setting due to medication errors.

An estimated 450,000 preventable medication-related adverse events occur in the US every year.

The costs of adverse drug reactions to society are more than $136 billion annually — greater than the total cost of cardiovascular or diabetic care.

Adverse drug reactions cause injuries or death in 1 of 5 hospital patients.

The reason there are so many adverse drug events in the US is because so many drugs are used and prescribed — and many patients receive multiple prescriptions at varying strengths, some of which may counteract each other or cause more severe reactions when combined.

2012: Headphone danger.

According to Chris Woodyard at USA Today, serious injuries have increased 300% in the last six years for pedestrians wearing headphones. Even more worrying, 70% of the people in these instances were killed.
Nearly 70% of those that died in the accidents were under the age of 30.

Surprisingly, almost half of the vehicles involved in the accidents were trains and not cars. The rapid increase in these accidents directly correlates to the rapid growth of the MP3 player market.The loud volume of the headphones blocking engine and horn noise coupled with the distraction of the music seems to be a fatal recipe. It just might be time to turn down the volume when on the move.

Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/headphones-may-kill-you-2012-1#ixzz1jlx9uwLV

2012: Olive oil.

Italy sells three times as much olive oil as it produces.

Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/fake-olive-oil-2012-1#italy-sells-three-times-as-much-olive-oil-as-it-produces-15#ixzz1k3LIeCcs


A. : You might be conservative if (by Bruce Lindner):

1: You’re irate over the president taking so many vacation days on the taxpayer’s dime (61 thus far), but you thought George W. Bush earned every minute of his leisure time (196 days at the same point in his presidency).

2: You’re happy with your 40 hour work week, paid vacations and company-provided healthcare, but you’re strongly anti-union, because those commies haven’t done anything for you lately.

3: You strongly support the First Amendment and its guarantee of religious freedom to all, but you don’t think Muslims have a right to build an Islamic Community Center in Manhattan.

4: You believe Ronald Reagan was a devout Christian, even though he hated going to church, but any president who spends twenty years going to the same Trinity United Church in Chicago must be a Muslim.

5: You believe when a Republican governor creates a healthcare package with an individual mandate for everyone in his state, that’s a good idea. But when a Democratic president does it, suddenly it’s unconstitutional.

6: You’re so enthused about demonstrating your Second Amendment rights, you can think of no finer place to brandish your pistol in public than at a presidential rally.

7: You believe Bill Clinton was responsible for Osama bin Laden’s escape ten years ago, but thankfully George W. Bush caught up with him and killed him in Pakistan.

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


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


“When a man tells you he got rich through hard work, ask him: Whose?”
– Rousseau




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

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