Daily Archives: May 23, 2012

This and that from re Thai r ment, by 3Th. October 27 2010

Chez Panisse

Chez Panisse (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Today’s factoid:

1971 a seminal year in the world of gastronomy:
McDonald’s introduces the Quarter Pounder. It sells for 53 cents.

Chez Panisse opened by Alice Watersin Berkeley, California.

The first Starbucks opened in Seattle.

          Coca Cola introduces the plastic bottle.

(What did we who were born before 1971 eat or drink?)

Pookie’s continuing adventures in Thailand:

A SHORT WALK ALONG JOMTIEN BEACH

As I have mentioned in previous emails, in the mornings I walk along the beach from the seawall supporting boat ramp to the dead tree in the surf and back again, a distance of a little over two kilometers or so.

I generally trudge along head down scanning the flotsam and jetsam thrown on the beach by the night’s tides hoping to avoid stepping on some bit of rubbish that may puncture my foot and possibly cause me great pain and lead to some awful tropical disease.

It addition to the normal dead fish, bits of seaweed, severed crab claws, fragments of shells, plastic bottles and the like I have noticed the recent appearance of a great number of large translucent blobs of beached jellyfish among the litter. They look like sputum left by a gang of semi-drunk giants on their way to or back from an evening in whatever night spots giants go to in the Outskirts of Hell to do whatever it is that giants do there.

I have also begun to notice among the mornings detritus a significant increase in farang (European) tourists. As the monsoon rains wind down, high tourist season begins.

Although the beach appears more crowded, it probably is not because there are a greater number of people on the beach, but on account of the fact that the westerners take up so much more room. Also the tourists appear to crowd close to the water in the sun while the Thais sensibly prefer to stay back in the shade under the umbrellas and the trees.

I do not subscribe to “W” nor do I read the “Style” section of the Huffington Post, but I have become aware of a significant style change in beach wear.

The more gargantuan the man the smaller the tiny black Speedo style brief he wears until among the most adipose endowed it almost disappears altogether into the many creases and folds of his flesh. These men generally lie on tiny towels or beach chairs exposing their skin to the sun, but for some reason never losing their pallor.

On the other-hand the younger more fit males stand by the water’s edge flexing and preening and turning bronze. Interestingly these younger men seem to eschew the black mini-bikini briefs wearing instead traditional colored briefs or trunks. They also never seem to sit or lie on the sand unless accompanied by a young woman in which case they spend their day sitting on a towel or beach chair and pouting

The women on the other hand all seem to wear what I have only seen before in some of the pornographic photographs dutifully sent to me by my male friends and which I dutifully in turn send on to other male friends within two days, fearful that to do otherwise would result in some of my appendages rotting and falling off.

Anyway these  appear to consist of some thread connecting three tiny pieces of brightly colored cloth placed not so much conceal but to expose, leaving covered only those portions of the anatomy that would otherwise break the seamless expanse of milky flesh.

It appears that there is some universal rule in operation here. The younger shapelier women lie face down on their towels and unloose the upper string for some reason certainly not because it in any way could impede the ray’s of the sun. The lower portion of the set of course disappears completely into the natural cleft of the body thus in total giving the impression of someone lying stark naked on the sand.

The older, more generously proportioned women on the other hand remove their tops entirely and inevitably lie flat on their backs providing to the gentle caress of the sun and the refreshing touch of the breeze to that which the hand of man probably has not roamed in a decade or two.

Now you may think there goes old Pookie the misogynist, but that is not so. I have previously told you of my problems with my self perception of my body. When I stand before my mirror in the evening I am acutely aware of my own drooping male dugs and wonder what my size would be for one of Kramer’s male bras (C cup at least).

What you need to know is how I dress for my walk in order to understand my dyspeptic comments. I try to cover myself from head to toe with only the tips of my toes and my arms below my elbows exposed to the sun. As a result my lower arms have turned to that khaki-olive shade of my youth when the pink kids in Bronxville would call us “White N***ers”. But not to our faces, because if we heard that, some of my more excitable friends had the tendency to turn the Bronxville boys blue-veined pink faces, black, blue and red.

Now my parents fearful that I would be misled by my black and italian gangsters in training friends, sent me to a private school to get away from all that and to get a good education so that I can have more options to f*ck up my life. What I did learn was that while yes my Sicilian friends were quick to resort to violence when faced with real or imagined slights or financial gain, my new more upper class school chums while manifestly less violent, exposed me to the real meaning of sadism.

But I digress, my beach attire consists of my straw hat that appears in almost every photograph I send you and a pair of ski goggles. Yes ski goggles. Why in Thailand there would be a store that sells ski goggles I cannot even try to guess. Anyway, I wear them because they have an adjustable strap to keep them in place, and they are large enough that I can wear my prescription glasses under them and thereby avoid the expense of buying prescription sunglasses that I will lose anyway. I also like the way the high ultra-violet protection of the glasses turn the color of water in the pool while I am swimming laps allowing me to zone out even more when the endorphin high hits thereby diminishing the insufferable boredom of swimming laps. Of course I then begin smashing into the edges of the pool, or bumping into other swimmers or swimming endlessly in a circle. But that is another story.

Anyway, I wear a long shirt, a vest in which I carry things like my phone, passport, cigars and the like. Of course I am wearing my long pants. Over my shoulder is the bag in which I carry my computer.

I am miserable , sweating and generally hate anyone I see on the beach enjoying themselves.

Petrillo’s dyspeptic guide to the unwary tourist in Thailand:

Shortly after exiting the plane at the airport in Thailand the traveller will become aware of the two universal greetings by Thais.

The first is Sawatdee, followed by what sounds like Ka if the speaker is female and Kop or Krap if the speaker is male. The emphasis is usually placed on the Ka or Kop resulting in the introductory Sawatdee sounding garbled or unvocalized.

The second is, “Hey you, farang.”

Today’s album cover:

Today’s quote:

“I’m sorry, Jack, but if you had fought like a man you would not now be about to die like a dog.”
The notorious pirate Ann Bonny to her lover, fellow pirate “Calico” Jack Rackham, just before he was hanged by the British for piracy.

Today’s bonus quote for additional confirmation that women are short-changed by history.

“Now listen to me and I will advise you for your good: give me back my son and get out of my country with your forces intact, and be content with your triumph over one-third of the Massagetae. If you refuse, I swear by the sun our master to give you more blood than you can drink, for all your gluttony.”

Tomyris Warrior Queen of the Massegetae to Cyrus the GreatEmperor of Persia, conqueror of the greatest empire of the ancient world and leader of the largest and most technologically advanced army of the time.

Woodcut illustration of the defeat of Cyrus II...

Woodcut illustration of the defeat of Cyrus II by Tomyris, Queen of the Massagetae (Photo credit: Penn Provenance Project)

Cyrus refused and Tomyris personally led the charge of her forces that destroyed his army. She cut off Cyrus’ head and made his skull into her favorite wine goblet.

(And history gave Cyrus the honorific “The Great”. Perhaps it was ment to be ironic.)

Categories: October through December 2010 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

This and that from re Thai r ment by 3Th. October 24,2010

Todays factoid:1857 Milton Snaveley Hershey of chocolate fame was born. (“Let’s call it ‘Milton’s Chocolate’?” “No, no, how about ‘Snaveley’s’?” “Oh well, let’s just call it ‘Hershey’s’ then”.)

Today’s news from Thailand:

The Bangkok Post reported that in Australia a 6-year-old muslim girl was banned from riding the school bus. It seems that after enduring constant insults about her head scarf from some of the older boys on the bus the six-year-old had enough and retaliated against a seven-year old boy tormentor by pulling down his pants for all on the bus to see. The little girl was banned because apparently de-pantsing someone on the school bus was against the rules while merciless taunting was not.

Pookie’s continuing adventures in Thailand:

FROM RUBAIYAT TO RUBY OTT ON THE RUBY YACHT AND HOME AGAIN

All my life I have often taken voyages of the mind as I have pursued some research thread or another (Please see attached, if you are interested in how this all got started). Anyway the internet is a marvelous vehicle for anyone who enjoys traveling without leaving ones bed.

In my most recent voyage, I had been traveling north escaping from the  9th Century devastation of Southern Italy with some jewish merchants and settled with them in the Rhine Valley only to be forced to move eastward into the Pale, when the armies of Western Christendom had made that land too dangerous for my Hebrew brethren.

Shortly thereafter I was at the home of the local Rabbi, in a shtetl deep within the Pale somewhere in eastern Poland, when that good man began to become quite emotional and upset about a radical Sephardic Rabbi named Maimonides

who lived among the muslims and was obviously corrupted by them. According to the Rabbi, this Maimonides was attempting, in his erroneous writings on sacred subjects, to humanize the

Maimonides (pictured) the eminent scholar and ...

Maimonides (pictured) the eminent scholar and philosopher was a victim of forced conversion at one point (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

faith of their fathers.

I decided to visit Maimonides at his family home in Egypt where he was working as the physician to the Sultan Saladin. One evening shortly after I arrived, I asked the honorable doctor-rabbi to instruct me in his teachings. He responded to my request by saying “Pookie, before embarking on a voyage into Hebrew esoterica, you should first travel to Persia and stay a few evenings in a caravansary called ‘The Perfumed Garden’.”

I did so and one evening while relaxing in the hot tub after the days debauch, I met a fellow traveller who introduced himself to me as Mercury Ali. We got to talking about this and that and after swapping some tales of our respective voyages he suggested that in the evening we attend the salon of the well-known Hori, Scheherazade where he assured me that the finest stories in all of Persia could he heard. Be careful he warned me, the tales are so beguiling they can become addictive. It has been rumored that some of the attendees at the salon had become so besotted that they remained there for over 1000 nights.

Assuring him that I will take his warning seriously, I accompanied him to the salon. I admit I soon began to find myself becoming addicted to the conversation. After a few nights with Haroun al-Rashid, Delilah the Crafty, and any number of men named Sinbad (Aladdin and Ali Baba, to my regret, were off on some adventure or another) I met up with another attendee, the besotted tent-maker, mathematician and astrologer Omar Khayyam. He invited me to spend the next few days with him and a couple of Horis, and a few bottles of Napa Valley’s finest jug wine under some trees in the desert somewhere.

One morning, having finished off the jugs of wine, I found myself with Omar banging on the door of a local tavern demanding the proprietor open the premises so that we could resume our drinking.

After a downing a few cups of chardonnay in the cool common room of the tavern, I fell asleep on the table and woke up in the early part of the 20th century in Greenwich Village in New York City at the house of two hippies who were dancing with each other while reciting Omar’s verses.

It seems that Bob Babbitt and his wife, Jessie were having a party to celebrate the end of their short unhappy experiment with sobriety. Among the guests was a gentleman who went by the obvious alias of O Henry. I was later to learn that he was a convicted embezzler, ex con and drunken pharmacist from North Carolina who was hiding out in New York in the witness protection program under an assumed name.

He suggested that since the current party was winding down, that I join him at another get-together in the Bitterroot Valley of Montana hosted by a friend of his called Idaho. It was a reception in honor of the newest residents of the valley, Homer K. M. and his girlfriend Ruby Ott.

The following morning we joined Rocky and Bullwinkle on Bullwinkle’s boat the “Ruby Yacht” and travelled down the Bitterroot to Veronica Lake where we spent the day. That evening tied up the boat at one of Today’s factoids.

[P.S. 1. to Athena and Arron (and Anthony also) if you read this far, here is the connection to the complete collection of O Henry’s tales: (http://www.gutenberg.org/author/O._Henry), You can read his short stories, “The Rubaiyat of a Scotch Highball” and “The Handbook of Hymen” should you want to take my voyage in reverse.
2. to Natalie Alavi, if you have read this, perhaps when Cyrus gets older you can use it to introduce him to his wonderful Persian literary heritage.
3. to Phillip, who I am sure has not read this, but if you have, I regret to inform you that Omar (who was previously a member of the Taliban) and Scheherazade are living together in an apartment in North Beach San Francisco with another illegal alien couple from Guatemala who formerly served in the Sandinista army and that Omar and Sherry (the name she goes by now) are strong supporters of Obama, Nancy Pelosi and Barbara Boxer when they are not out campaigning for the “Green Party”.]

Today’s chart:

Given the upcoming election, I thought you may appreciate this:

Today’s quote:

“I live on Earth at present, and I don’t know what I am. I know that I am not a category. I am not a thing—a noun. I seem to be a verb, an evolutionary process—an integral function of the universe.”
Buckminster Fuller, “I Seem to be a Verb” (1970)

Categories: October through December 2010 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

This and that from re Thai r ment, by 3Th. October 21. 2010

The Rocky and Bullwinkle Show

The Rocky and Bullwinkle Show (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Today’s factoid:

In one 6-episode story of The Rocky and Bullwinkle Show, Bullwinkle finds the Ruby Yacht of Omar Khayyam in the town of

Frostbite Falls(on the shores of Veronica Lake, no less).

Today’s news from Thailand:

1. In light of the scandal surrounding the recording on a mobile phone from a meeting between a MP and court personnel indicating an attempt by the MP to influence a pending court decision, the Constitutional Court banned mobile phones from meetings with Court Judges. I assume however, meetings to influence pending cases are still ok.

2. A report in the BP indicates that suppression of the Red Shirts remains a higher priority for the Thai military general staff than defeat of the armed insurrection by muslim terrorists in South Thailand.

3.As a result of a strike by migrant workers, the workers gained the right to possess their own passports. It appears that until recently, employers required migrant workers to surrender their passports while employed. Often the confiscated passports when returned following the employment contained photographs of people other than the passport holder pasted over or replacing the original.

Pookie’s continuing adventures in Thailand:

GUN GIRL’S RETURN, ALMOST – AND CELINE DEION SINGS

A few day’s ago, Gun Girl called inviting me to join her for dinner at a restaurant she likes near by. She offered to pick me up at my condo at 7 PM that evening.

Following my late afternoon nap, I showered, shaved, powdered and scented myself, brushed my teeth, swirled some mouthwash, put on a new pair of pants and a just laundered shirt and waited.

At about 7:20 she called and said she had gotten into an accident with a motorcycle at a street corner close to my condo and asked me to assist her. I left and walked to the intersection of the street she mentioned and Beach Road. I did not see her and called her cell phone. She said that she was actually at the corner of the street a few blocks down from Beach Road but that she was getting things in order and no longer needed my help. She asked me to go back to the condo, promising to call when she had finished. I told her I would wait for her call at Cafe Le Mar instead.

I walked back to the restaurant and sat at the bar, ordered coke and watched a music video of Celine Deion in concert. She would often stop between songs and speak to the audience for a very long time. As she spoke, the audience would alternately, cheer, laugh or cry. I had no idea what she said since I do not understand French.

She impressed me as a remarkably ungainly woman. She moves with all the awkwardness of a 13-year-old girl.

Her songs all sounded eerily the same. The same breathy two or three notes over and over again.

After watching and listening to her for over an hour, I thought I had gone insane.

Caterina Sforza

Caterina Sforza (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Today’s quote:

“Fortune helps the intrepid and abandons cowards… whatever may come, I am resolved to follow the course until death.”

Caterina Sforza, Countess of someplace or another in Italy.

For those who would like to know more about what made Caterina so special, please see the attached.

The following is one episode in the remarkable life of Caterina Sforza as related by Ben Thompson in his blog, “Badass of the Week“.

One night after dinner a bunch of angry guests stabbed Caterina’s husband to death, threw him out a window, and dragged his naked corpse through the streets of his capital. Caterina barricaded herself in her chambers with her children, but was eventually captured by the same douchebags who killed her husband. These dickheads dragged her out to one of her castles, stuffed a sword in her face, and ordered her to have the garrison commander surrender.

She responded by saying she needed three hours to go inside and negotiate with the dude and that it would be all good in the hood. These morons allowed it, so of course she went inside, reneged on her deal, and immediately started organizing the city’s defenders to resist.

The dumbshit conspirators then dragged her screaming children outside the castle, threatening her by saying they would execute the children one by one if she didn’t come back down, but she flipped them the bird, hiked up her skirt, grabbed her crotch threateningly, and told them that she didn’t care what they did to her kids because she “bears the instrument to make more”.

La dama dei gelsomini by Lorenzo di Credi Port...

La dama dei gelsomini by Lorenzo di Credi Portrait of Caterina Sforza. Location: Museum of Forlì in Italy. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

That’s pretty stone cold. Not only did this crazy chick basically moon the entire army of conspirators with her junk and leave her own kids to die (they lived BTW – the jailers didn’t have the balls to kill them, even after Caterina called their bluff), but her Girls Gone Wild: Ultimate Xtreme Renaissance Championship Hyper Fighting Edition antics pumped up the defenders of the castle and left the dumbass rebel leaders with the morale-crushing realization that they’d basically just let their one piece of leverage walk right into the front door of her castle. How stupid can you be?

The garrison held out for two weeks, before Caterina turned the tables, crushed the conspiracy, defeated her enemies, and rescued her children. When she finally caught the man behind the plot, she tied him up, forced him to watch as she burned down his house, and then dragged him around the town square behind her horse for a while. Once he was covered from head to toe in third-degree road rash burns, she had him publicly dismembered, piece by piece, and reportedly got quite a kick out of watching the horrified look on his face as her executioner tossed the dude’s severed body parts into the assembled crowd one by one.

Did I mention that you didn’t want to cross her?

See, http://www.badassoftheweek.com/sforza.html.

Categories: October through December 2010, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

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