TODAY’S NEWS FROM THAILAND:
1. Today is the King of Thailand‘s birthday. Recently he was awarded three patents for his own inventions bringing the total number of patents held by the King to 10. The Bangkok Post referred to him as “The Inventor King”.
2.The former Swiss ambassador to China recently paid $40,000 for a replica of Venus de Milo made from Panda dung.
3. About a year ago the Thai military accepted delivery from and American company of a lighter than air ship for reconnaissance work in the deep South:
The airship and the associated systems never worked.
No repair manual accompanied the purchase.
The Thai military did not buy the complete system, specifically the system that allowed the airship to communicate with the ground.
Recently the US company that supplied the airship closed up shop.
The members of the military procurement committee that approved the purchase now fear possible punishment.
POOKIE’S ADVENTURES IN THAILAND:
Earlier this week I was taking my morning walk along the strand. It was a bright sunny morning and I was feeling very good, much better than my 71 years usually allows me to feel. As I left the sand to return home, I noticed an old man sitting on a bench with his walker near by. His face was deeply lined and spotted with stubble and he was overweight, quite decrepit and wheezing. Nevertheless, he happily would call out to passers-by and engage them in conversation. He did so with me.
He told me he originally was from Texas on the outskirts of Houston and was staying here at Paradise by the Sea with his son. We exchanged a few stories, he about his time in SF after returning from serving in Viet Nam and I about visiting my daughter while she attended Rice University in Houston. I then asked, “How old are you, old-timer?”
“Sixty- eight,” he replied.
My emotions suddenly closed down. I could not access my thoughts or feelings; embarrassment, pity for him or me, foreboding or something else? Every time I tried to examine my reaction it was as though a door was suddenly closed and I was left with was a vague sense of fear of finding what was behind it.
A day or so later, when leaving my apartment for another beach walk, at the end of the driveway leading to the condo complex, I saw him again. He had fallen and was lying on the ground, his walker tipped over beside him. I rushed over to him and with the aid of two security guards we were able to pick him up and restore his to his walker.
“Out racing again this morning,” I commented jokingly?
I noticed that he had scraped his right elbow and it was bleeding, so I asked it he needed additional help.
“No,” he said, “I can make it back home by myself. I have suffered worse falls than this in my life.”
a. Wisdom from the Princess Bride:
Count Rugen: “Your princess is quite a winning creature. A trifle simple, perhaps. Her appeal is undeniable.”
Prince Humperdinck: “I know, the people are quite taken with her. It’s odd, but when I hired Vizzini to have her murdered on our engagement day, I thought that was clever. But it’s going to be so much more moving when I strangle her on our wedding night.”
b. Today’s Cognitive Bias:
Illusion of asymmetric insight – people perceive their knowledge of their peers to surpass their peers’ knowledge of them.