Posts Tagged With: Crayola.

This and that from re Thai r ment, by 3Th. December 13, 2010

English: The thirteen retired Crayola crayon c...

English: The thirteen retired Crayola crayon colors: Lemon Yellow, Violet Blue, Blue Gray, Orange Red, Maize, Raw Umber, Orange Yellow, Green Blue, Blizzard Blue, Magic Mint, Mulberry, Teal Blue, & Thistle. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

DAILY FACTOID:

1990: Eight Crayola crayon colors– Maize, Raw Umber, Lemon Yellow, Blue G ray, Orange Yellow, Orange Red, Green Blue and Violet Blue– are retired into the Crayola Hall of Fame in Easton, Pennsylvania.

Emerson Moser, then Crayola’s most senior crayon moulder, also retired after 37 years. After moulding approximately 1.4 billion crayons, he revealed that he is actually color blind.

TODAY’S NEWS FROM THAILAND:

Today’s Bangkok Post reports that the American DEA has posted notices in Thailand containing the face of the ethnic Wai tribe’s leader, and reputed drug lord, Wei Hsueh-Kan emblazoned on beer holders used to serve customers so that they can contemplate the $2 million reward while flirting with the bar girls.

POOKIE’S ADVENTURES IN THAILAND:

This morning I learned that the english language “Golden Oldies” radio station that I enjoy listening to while I drink my morning café latte is indeed broadcast from Thailand, in fact just down the road from here in the Outskirts of Hell.

As the date for my departure to the US becomes closer, I become more anxious. Why is that? I become older too. Are they related?

Last night I went out to buy presents for people I plan to see during my trip. Haggling made me tired so I gave up, ate a pizza and went home to bed.

Recently, while I was walking to the beach for my morning stroll, I met the old man from Texas with the walker. After exchanging pleasantries, he mentioned that he felt that things are going bad in the US with unemployment and Wikileaks and the like, but as a result of the election he hoped it would get better and there would be lower taxes and more jobs. “I do not like that socialism,” he opined. “It’s a lot like Communism.” He is on Social Security, medicare and disability and receives a veteran’s pension.

For those who wonder about these things, Petey the Wonder Dog still mans his post guarding the sand against the tide.

JOEY’S MYSTERY NOVEL:

A few months back I promised to send to you drafts of a potential mystery novel I have been playing around with. Here is the very rough draft of chapter one. The working title is “Red Star.” Your comments and suggestions are appreciated.

RED STAR

Chapter one:

“He was shot in the head. Please Vince come to the funeral. I think there is something we need to discuss.”

As he flew back to the US and to San Francisco to attend the funeral, he kept replaying in his mind yesterday’s telephone conversation with David Kitchen.

Sam Coign the mercurial Chairman of the law firm of McKenzie Reed had been found dead of a single gunshot wound to the head. The death occurred at his home in Woodside, a posh suburb of San Francisco where many of the captains of the Bay Area’s high Tech industry choose to live along with their parasites, the lawyers, CPAs and investment advisors who lived off of the fruits of their industry. He was found by his wife lying on the floor of his home office at the back of the house overlooking Sam’s beloved flower garden. A handgun was found near by. The police initially suspect suicide.

Kitchen explained all of this to him over his cell phone while Vinnie sat by the pool that serviced his condominium in Jomtien Beach Thailand where he had retreated to after taking early retirement from McKenzie Reed in a fit of piqué.

Kitchen served with him on the Firm’s so-called management committee. It was so-called because its members spent more time arguing than managing. Usually the arguments were between him and other four. He was almost always out voted. As a result Sam ran things as he saw fit. One day after several hours of bitter argument and shouting back and forth, he asked for and received early retirement. This was last year and he was 54 at the time.

He was tired of practicing law and tired of his life. All he wanted to do was go off somewhere and do nothing. But that would cost money, his divorce settlement and a series of disastrous investments left Vinnie with very little of it.

Nevertheless, having been long divorced, his children from his second marriage grown and hating the practice of law, he left to spend retirement with a restricted income in a low-cost jurisdiction. He chose Thailand for its tropical climate, relatively low-cost of living and frankly for its liberal view of sex.

When he asked if anyone had any idea about why Sam would do something like this Kitchen cryptically answered that he would rather not discuss it over the phone.

This did not disturb Vince at the time but coupled with Kitchen’s statement about the wish of the other members of the firm to speak with him about his, “arrangement,” it made much of the 21 hour trip across the Pacific Ocean a time of considerable anxiety.

PEPE’S POTPOURRI:

1. Wisdom from the Princess Bride:

[Buttercup kisses the senile King]
The King:What was that for?”
Buttercup: “Because you have always been so kind to me, and I won’t be seeing you again since I’m killing myself once we reach the honeymoon suite.” 
“The King: “Won’t that be nice…. She kissed me.”

2. Teachings of Baba Giufa:

Seeker: “Baba Giufa, tell me, how is one to know the truth?”

Baba Giufa: “If you do not have enough information to know the truth of a statement (and you never do), you should assume it is a lie and seek for a motivation. And if you find one, no matter how far-fetched, then you are better off assuming it is more true than the original statement.”

3. Today’s Cognitive Bias:

Endowment effect – “the fact that people often demand much more to give up an object than they would be willing to pay to acquire it”.

TODAY’S QUOTE:

“A state increases by being the asylum for the persons that are expelled and dispersed by other states.”
Niccolo Machiavelli, Thoughts of a Statesman.

Categories: October through December 2010 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

This and that from re Thai r ment, By 3Th. November 8. 2010

1998 USPS stamp commemorating Crayola crayons....

1998 USPS stamp commemorating Crayola crayons. Note the Roman numeral date “MCMIV” at the bottom of the gold medal seal (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Today’s factoid:

1994, Crayola produced a 16-pack of crayons that released realistic fragrances when used. In 1995, Crayola changed 13 of 16 scents because of complaints received by parents that some of the crayons smelled good enough to eat, like the Cherry, Chocolate, & Blueberry scented crayons. Eventually the 13 crayons with food scents were retired in favor of non-food scents.

Today’s news from Thailand:

Although an international travel magazine lists Bangkok as the best city in the world for tourists, the Thai travel industry continues to lag its rivals in Asia in tourism growth. Spokesmen for the Thai travel industry blame this state of affairs on “political instability” and the current rash of floods.

This all goes to prove Petrillo’s Rule Number 4 for interpreting the news, “a spokesman for any interest will always claim bad news for the interest he represents on someone else.”

The associated Rule Number 6 is, “One can be assured that the media will present the information obtained pursuant to Rule 4 as an “informed source” and never an “opinionated” or “interested” one.

Papa Joe’s fables and tales:

THE TALE OF THE RAISING OF THE LINGAM

One day in the late 70’s or early 80’s while sitting around with a friend drinking wine and smoking some dope and discussing mystics, rimpoches, gurus and yogas we had known which is what we aging hippies often did in the late seventies or eighties, my friend who I shall call Peter, told me the following tale:

During the Sixties Peter worked for an American NGO in india. At that time many of the young American guru groupies who frequented the Sub-continent during these times, travelled through the country like locusts. They were usually stoned, broke , homeless, diseased and smelly. Noe and then, some of them would end up camping out in one of the rooms in Peter’s home for a while, bathe, eat some food get a little healthier and move on.

After his stay in India Peter settled down in San Francisco, which was at that time also often the disembarkation point for those returning from their Indian adventures, One day, as could be expected, one of Peter’s previous boarders showed up at his house in not much better shape than Peter had last seen him and again after a few days he moved on.

Now it came to pass, as they say, that about a decade later Peter had the occasion to visit Boston for a few days. His friends, with whom he was staying while in Boston, invited him to a party in the prestigious Beacon Hill neighborhood being thrown in honor of a spiritual teacher and mystic that was all the rage at the time.

It goes without saying that when he arrived at the party Peter discovered the guest of honor, dressed now all in white linen, with long clean hair in a pony tail and a well trimmed beard was his one time guest. The Guru,, recognizing Peter grasped him in a warm embrace. Peter could only ask the obvious “What happened?”

The maharishi as he was now known took Peter aside and told him the following:

After leaving SF and crossing the country by begging on the street corners of many of the nations best cities, he found himself broke, hungry and homeless in Boston with winter coming on and was desperate.

So, he went to the supermarket and with the little money he caged that day, bought some rice. Next he scoured some of the empty lots of Boston for a rock of just the right size and shape. When he found it, he took it and the rice to a local park and between the roots of the tree dug a hole. In the hole he first placed the rice and then on top of the rice he stood up the columnar shaped rock, narrower pointed end up and covered it all with dirt that he carefully patted down so the ground looked natural and undisturbed.

Later that day he went around to as many people that he could, both those that he knew and those that he did not and announced that as a result of his stay in India and years of meditation, he had gained the ability to make the sacred lingam rise from the earth and that at a certain time the next day at the park he would demonstrate his power.

That next day he went into the park. At the appointed time he fell to his knees and began chanting and repeatedly bowing until his head touched the ground. He chanted and chanted, and bowed and bowed each time he bowed he sprinkled a little water. After a while, some on the onlookers became impatient while passers-by stopped to see what was going on.

Suddenly cracks appeared in the ground between the roots of the tree. He continued to chant, bow and sprinkle. Soon the pointed tip of the lingam appeared pushing through the earth. It continued to rise majestically until it stood fully tumescent in the sunlight.

“And that” concluded the swami, “was how it all began”.

Peter could not help himself but to ask, “And what do you make of all that?”

The master thought for a moment and replied, “If you do not use the proper rice your lingam won’t rise.”

Pookie’s continuing adventures in Thailand:

I thank all those who have commented on my quandary regarding my travel plans. The almost unanimous response seems to be “go for it”.

That being the case, what do I do with my condo? Keep it available for my return? But that would be costly. Give it up? But traveling with even the little amount of junk I have collected here is too much. Sub-lease it?

Mopey Joe’s Memories:

TOO MANY JOES (CONT.)

JOE (CONT.)

Joe was 17 when he arrived in America with his family. They settled in a little town about sixteen miles north of New York City called Tuckahoe, where somehow his father was able to buy or rent a modest house on Midland Avenue.

Joe’s father (probably named James) I barely remember and his mother I remember as a little wizened, shriveled old woman no more that four feet five inches tall. Their house’s smell always reminded me of old people, slightly musty,garlic and spices.

Joe never learned to read or write and barely learned to speak English his entire life.

His first job in America was as a teamster loading and driving a horse-drawn wagon. About a year after his arrival, Joe was loading his wagon with a co-worker, Joe on the wagon lifting the cargo raised to him by the co-worker. For some reason the co-worker called him a “filthy guinea”. Joe climbed off his wagon and killed him. The stories vary as to whether Joe killed him with his hands or with a knife and whether the victim was black or white.

In any event, Joe fled to Pennsylvania. Why Pennsylvania? I do not know. Maybe at that time it was a better place for fugitives than New Jersey.

After about 6 to 9 months his parents persuaded him to return. They retained a well-known Irish-american defense lawyer. who later became a long serving judge. to defend him. Joe pleaded guilty to a manslaughter charge. This is one of the reasons I suspect the victim was black. If it had been a white man he probably would have to plead to no less than murder 2 since at the time the only thing lower on the social scale than the italian immigrant was a black man (In modern times, the Italians have been replaced in by Latinos). Anyway, Joe served his time and was released in about a year.

Upon his return, he found that as a felon and an illiterate he could not get a job. He began walking along the sides of the railroad tracks that ran through the village picking up the bits and pieces of coal that fell off the coal tenders of the steam locomotives as they went by the Tuckahoe station. When he had picked up enough coal he would go from door to door in the village selling the coal at a low price to the residents for heat. After several months of this he amassed enough capital to open up a business selling coal, oil and kerosene. The business prospered.

Pepe’s potpourri:

1. The wisdom of Miracle Max:

Miracle Max: “Have fun stormin’ da castle.”
The Princess Bride.

2. Today’s very last album cover (I promise):

I am almost at a loss for words. This is either a satire or an insult to balding men, men with scraggly beards, hairy white men, white men, men with hairy belly-buttons as well as the women who love them. It is also an insult to homosexuals, flute players, baseball players, musicians of all kinds, nudists, copy writers and graphic artists. Also, he looks to me a lot like Nicholas Cage.

Today’s quote:

“A battle that you win cancels any other bad action of yours. In the same way, by losing one, all the good things worked by you before become vain.”
Niccolo Machiavelli, The Art of War.

Categories: October through December 2010 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

This and that from re Thai r ment, by 3Th. October 11, 2010

Today’s Factoid:

Frank Lentini, born Francesco A. Lentini (1889–1966) was born in Siracusa, Sicily into a large family. He was born with three longer legs, two sets of genitals and one rudimentary foot on his third leg. His primary legs also grew into different lengths. At the age of nine, Lentini moved to the United States and entered the sideshow business.

(And he was a great success in show business. Now you know all about Frank. Aren’t you glad you asked?)

Today’s quote:

“Hence it has come to pass that most or all sentient beings have been developed in such a manner, through natural selection, that pleasurable sensations serve as their habitual guide.”
Charles Darwin.

(So now we know the real reason for rejecting evolution – unbridled licentiousness.)

Today’s News from Thailand:

Little has changed in the political situation in Thailand. The military remains engaged in a mop up battle to preserve its prerogatives.

One must remember that ever since the 1932 military coup that overthrew the absolute monarchy, with few exceptions, Thailand has been ruled by a military dictatorship of some sort or another. During that time the military has had no problems switching political sides when necessary to preserve their power.

In 1945 the military dictatorship that overthrew the absolute monarchy, was staunchly anti-royalist and supported the japanese occupation of Thailand. It was itself overthrown by an anti-japanese civilian government. Nevertheless by 1947 it returned to absolute power by the simple expedient of switching to the royalist cause.

Over the next 50 years or so the Thai military appears to have slowly learned that the direct management of the institutions of government was no longer the optimum method of preserving power. The suppression of challenges from the right or left, religious or civil political forces was too draining on domestic military resources and international good will.

I think the modern Thai military has realized that they only required a few essential things to maintain their prerogatives. They are:

Absolute control of the military budget
Control over personnel in the chain of command.
Exemption from civilian judicial oversight.
Control of so-called military secrets.
A credible gun to the head of any government who may attempt to reform this system

The military will ally itself with any political entity in opposition to any person or institution that threatens this system.

Pookie’s continuing adventures in Thailand:

In spite of the noise of the party goers and the crash of the falls, I slept soundly. In the morning, I showered and left my cabin. TBB had just began stirring. Outside Gun Girl and one of the guys were frolicking in the falls. I went down to the restaurant where I had some cold eggs and instant coffee for breakfast (One cannot have everything). I sat by the side of the river and watched the sunlight come and go as it filtered through the trees lightning up different sections of the falls while leaving others in shadow.

We left the resort at about 11AM. I went in Lek’s vehicle, her son driving. Lek and I sat in the back seat where Lek became uncomfortably intimate and began telling me about her ruined marriage and her love affair with a British man whose offer of marriage she had to turn down because she could not stand her suitor’s teenaged daughter.

It was then that I began to perceive that perhaps Lek was supposed to be my blind date during the trip. Apparently, Gun Girl and the Sullen One were lovers and had slept together in one of the beds in the party house. Lek slept in the other bed with Mata Hari. She told me that when she woke up that morning “The lady-boy was draped over me like a blanket”.

Gun Girl, who is in her mid to late 30’s, was in full Cougar mode as the Sullen One was by far the youngest of our group, barely, if at all, out of his teens. His job, beside whatever nighttime services he rendered, seemed to be to carry Gun Girl’s luggage and camera and run her errands.

Eventually, we stopped at a gas station. We all got out and Lek’s son and girlfriend drove off in Lek’s car leaving the rest of us there with only Gun Girl’s vehicle. We waited, for what I neither knew, asked or cared.

After about an hour, a pick-up truck with a covered bed arrived. I was told that I would be traveling in the truck and the others in Gun Girl’s car. I got into the truck with two men in military camouflage jackets. They moved a couple of small machetes from the front seat so I could sit there. We drove off the paved road and onto a badly rutted and muddy dirt road and went up a fairly steep hill until we arrived at a wooden Thai house were everyone got out. The house was perched on stilts leaving the space beneath in a deep gloom. I could not see any windows in the house itself.

The two men and what appeared to be the residents of the building removed everything from the back of the truck and replaced whatever it was with a cooler, a case of soda water and some pads and a rug. I stood in the middle of the muddy rutted road and watched them scurry about or alternately closely examined the small stream that flowed around the house and across the road.

They soon finished doing whatever and everyone piled into the back of the truck except for me and the driver. In addition to the two of us, there were now two other men, a woman and a 4-year-old or so boy child. We drove back down the mountain and on to the paved road and after stopping for ice, took off in the direction that I assumed the other car had gone. No one in the truck spoke any english and I spoke no Thai.

We were supposed to be going into what Lek called the “Switzerland of Thailand,” but to me at least initially It looked more like a heavily forested Dolomites except here instead of granite, the mountains appeared to be made of limestone. Probably the same formation that formed the Andaman Islands south of here.

After topping a rise, we entered into a large valley containing a huge artificial lake. The valley fittingly was named “Lake Valley”. The lake itself was quite beautiful with the cliffs at the eastern edge dropping directly into the water. Dotting the center of the lake were many fishing shacks and along the shore more substantial construction on stilts or houseboats.

Passing the lake, the road got narrower as we plunged into dense foliage. Lacking the usual multi story canopy of the jungle, it and the hills around us reminded me a bit of the thick forests of the Catskills or Adirondacks but in place of maple, pine, birch, ash and hickory, Southeast Asian tree species filled much the same niches. Large groves of a tall tree with a diameter of about 12 inches appeared. I was told they were teak. Their leaves were large, the size of a chafing-dish.

When I was a kid the cheap dish sets we ate off of usually came with something called a chafing-dish. It was usually shallow and had a cover. We did not know what it was for (or what chafing meant) so we usually used it without the cover to serve anti-pasta or to serve mashed potatoes on meat and potato day (we were trying hard to assimilate).

As we climbed higher the multi story canopy jungle began to emerge. Huge trees with trunks two feet or more in diameter rising straight up, not branching for at least 100 feet, towered over the other trees like the redwoods tower over the coastal forests of California. The lower story of the forest canopy was made up of shrubs and bamboo groves.

We were passing through some of Thailand’s most extensive National Forests and Wildlife Preserves. They are reputed to contain Tigers, Gibbons, Elephants and a whole host of other animals (I even saw an “Elephant Crossing” sign). However the only fauna I observed were the scrawny, mangy feral dogs that seem to exist everywhere in the country.

We drove on and up through the unremitting green. I began to get bored. It was like climbing from the Central Valley on the way to Tahoe. At a certain point I would always get to feel a bit like Spiro Agnew. I had seen enough Incense Cedars, Ponderosa Pines and Giant Sequoias for that particular trip. Also, I always mistrusted green.

When I was growing up in Tuckahoe NY we lived for a while in Section 8 public housing. They required all the walls in the apartments to be painted with paint supplied by the Housing Authority and that paint was always institutional green. I grew to become strongly repulsed by the color. I have found it unfortunate that the environmental community has chosen the color and the word” green” as their trademarks. Why couldn’t they have chosen blue for the sky for example or orange for the sun or even magenta for its own sake and a for the sake of a few glorious sunsets?

Thinking of magenta made me think of Crayola crayons. I loved them – not to draw or color with. I found them horrid for that purpose, just like colored pencils and those stupid little watercolor sets that they forced on kids. No wonder so many give up the graphic arts while still children. Oils would work, but where does a 6-year-old find artist oil paints (acrylics had not been invented yet, I think)?

No, I collected Crayola crayons for their names, even if I rarely used them to draw with. Woolworth’s used to sell them singly from large bins. My favorite was “Burnt Sienna.” (Some other great names included, “Atomic Tangerine,” “Beaver.” “Electric Lime,” “Jazzberry Jam,” “Macaroni and Cheese,” “Mango Tango,” “Neon Carrot,” “Radical Red” and “Wild Blue Yonder.”)

I do not even recall what “Burnt Sienna” looks like, probably some shade of orange or brown.

One color I collected but simply did not understand was “Flesh.” It was very rare and one had to look around for it. I tried it out once on a sheet of paper thinking that my stick people drawings suddenly would come alive if I applied “Flesh” color to the circle that represented their faces. To my great distress, I discovered that “Flesh” was sort of a washed out pink. That was not the color of the skin of the people I knew. Pink was the color of the people who lived in the posh suburb of Bronxville, just south of Tuckahoe. You could not live in Bronxville if you were Italian, Jewish or Black. Bronxville people were pink, with visible blue veins no less. They gave me nightmares just like Froggy and Smilin Ed.

No, real people had skin that was dusky olive, or various shades of black or brown. Even the wealthy Jews who lived on the hills just outside of Bronxville looked more like us than those strange beings living across the village boundary a few feet away.

(Eventually Crayola recognized that not all people’s’ skin was pink and changed the name of the color from “Flesh” to “Peach”.)

The blackest person I knew was my friend Philie Pinto. Most people’s skin, whether black, brown, Khaki or olive, glow when in the light, sort of like a newly waxed automobile does. Not Phillie. He appeared to have been dipped in coal dust. He just adsorbed light. Once after many years absence, I returned to Tuckahoe and went into a bar called the Carioca. My grandfather used to own it when it was a fairly well-known jazz club in the area. It had fallen on hard times now and was dark and dingy. Phillie sat at the end or the bar. He had grown up to become the town taxi driver. I knew it was him. I could see his clothes, but his face was like smoke.

Some of the black kids in the town were what I have heard African-Americans refer to as High Yellow. Unlike the big-boned, heavy muscled, wide nosed very dark west african type like the Blout family, they were tall, slender narrow nosed lighter skinned like my friend Rabbit and his brothers and sisters. I do not know what color one would have called Rabbit, but certainly not yellow, high or not. Maybe “Burnt Sienna” or “Burnt Umber” another of my favorites. But I digress (I, by the way, always considered myself a khaki colored person).

Eventually we arrived at an overlook that gave great views over the mountains and back towards the lake. A Thai motorcycle club or gang was there. In the 90 plus degree heat they were all wearing long-sleeved leather jackets with “The Killer’’ emblazoned on the back. I do not know if it referred to the name of the club, or if they all chose the same nickname or if it was the name of their favorite rock band.

Anyway, after a short rest we went on to a Thai military outpost high on a mountain top overlooking Myanmar replete with razor wire, sandbags, trenches and buried bunkers maned by one soldier who did not seem to possess any armaments whatsoever but was otherwise, I assume, prepared to resist, as the first line of defense, any onslaught by the Burmese intending to invade Thailand, rape their women and burn down their capital as they have done so often in the past.

Actually raping their women would be completely unnecessary today given the availability for military RR in Thailand of places like Nana Plaza and Pattaya. And as for burning down the capital, some have said it would be doing Thailand a favor.

After looking across the mountains into Myanmar for a while, we left the redoubt to the lone soldier and journeyed down the mountain to visit a tiny village on the border called Pritik or something like that. Gun Girl told me that the village was in Myanmar, but it was not. It was however to some extent a Karen/Burmese peopled town. There were very few adults visible. The town seemed occupied principally by children, all seeming between the ages of 3 and 7. On the whole they appeared to me to be the most beautiful children I had ever seen.

The village seemed as peaceful as peaceful could be.

We then went to the border itself and walked across into Burma. On the Thai side there was a single uniformed soldier who lifted the gate and accompanied us as we strode into Myanmar.

We had taken some of the children from the town along with us. In addition to being beautiful they seemed also innocent and beguiling,( unless the town secretly was intent on raising a generation of accomplished sociopaths). We went up a small incline past the crest of the hill and came upon the Burmese guard-house. There was no gate across the road, but along the side of the road was a fence made up of small sharpened bamboo pickets and a gate behind which there were two tumbledown stone buildings.

The children opened the gate and ran into one of the stone huts and woke up the person sleeping there. He did not have a uniform, but I was assured that he was indeed Burmese. He posed for photographs with us as we stared across Burma to the Andaman Sea in the distance.

We then headed back down the mountain and stopped for dinner at one of those ubiquitous bamboo huts that dot the edge of the roadways in Thailand. They usually have a sagging palm covered roof, no walls, contain an open kitchen and a few tables. This one had three tables. It also had a coke machine and a Karaoke set up.

It apparently was owned by the family in whose truck I had spent the better part of the day. They cooked up what they called “Food from the Mountain”. It featured Frogs, not frogs legs but whole frogs that sat there on the rice in my dish looking like nothing else other than a burned brown frog that was staring back at me. I found it to contain too many bones. Another dish I was told was made from something that lived in the trees. It was not a bird, monkey or squirrel but no one knew its name in english. The third meat dish was made from some animal no one could or would describe (it tasted like chicken always a bad sign – maybe it was one of those feral dogs. Then again, I hope not). The vegetables looked like and tasted like vines and grass. Although I tried eating it all, it was too spicy hot for me to eat much, so they made me an omelet.

Mata Hari sang a few songs on the Karaoke machine. At one point, as everyone began to feel the effects of the prodigious amounts of liquor they had been drinking all day, the conversation got around to joking about whether at my age, I was strong enough to handle a woman like Lek. When I acknowledged that I probably could not, the man who drove the truck took from out of his pocket some pills that he said was Thai herbal Viagra and would make one strong and vigorous. Several of us tried it, including me.

That night we slept at the house of another friend of Gun Girl. Shortly after retiring the Thai herbal medicine hit me like Benzedrine on steroids. I spent rest of the night walking around the room, doing push ups, jumping jacks and several other exercises to burn off the energy until at about daybreak when I fell exhausted onto the bed and slept for perhaps two hours.

Ciao…

Categories: October through December 2010 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

This and that from re Thai r ment by 3Th. February 5, 2011

Democracy is when the indigent, and not the men of property, are the rulers. ~Aristotle

TODAY’S FACTOID:

1958: The 64-color assortment of Crayola crayons—with a built-in sharpener—debuts.


TODAY’S NEWS FROM THAILAND:

For the past week or so the news in Thailand has focused on the so-called conflict between Thailand and Cambodia over 4.5 hecters of land on which sits an ancient Khmer temple declared by the UN to be an international historical site. The ardent nationalist wing of the ruling coalition has called for war with Cambodia is necessary in order to preserve the Honor of Thailand and the King. They, the nationalists, of course have totally ignored the conflict in the south of Thailand where three whole provinces threaten to secede from the country.

The reason for this bit of selected blindness has more to do with the potential upcoming election than the country’s honor. It is in the long cherished and more often than not successful political ploy of the extreme right to manufacture a crisis attributed to a non-existent foreign threat in order to scare the general public to supporting their candidates. We witnessed it in the most recent US elections in which the threat of invasion by hordes of illegal Mexicans played so heavily in the election debate. Of course, after the election, the threat disappears almost as though electing the right people itself solved the problem. The Mexicans may still be coming but it is no longer as great a problem because the right people are there to protect us.

Anyway all this turmoil has spawned talk of a military coup which of course the military does not deny, if the good of the country requires. (Translation, if the Red Shirts may win the election or the current government appeases the opposition too much in order to win reelection, the military will act to carry out their duty to protect King and country.)

POOKIE’S ADVENTURES IN THAILAND:

In my previous email I indicated my creeping ennui and the risk it implied for me to do something foolish to banish it. Well, of course right on time, things changed. First SWAC proposed that I leave Paradise by the Sea and relocate to an apartment in Bangkok that she would provide me rent free in which Hayden and I would live so that I could act as Hayden’s part-time tutor and nanny during his next semester in school. Since that appeared to be something at least as foolish as falling in love, I decided to look into it.

The apartment in question turns out to be in a building slated to be torn down within a year or so. It is as large (three bedroom three bath) as it is run down. On the other hand it is almost across the street from Hayden’s new school and in walking distance of Nana Plaza (If Pattaya sits on the outskirts of hell, Nana Plaza is what one finds within after passing through hell’s gates.)

Hayden’s school appears to be one of the better bi-lingual schools in BKK.

Of course, I must assume that this is all a trick. Sort of like Lucy and Charlie Brown and the football. (I suspect this is all a ruse to get back some sheets she alleges that I improperly took from the Chiang Mai house several months ago.) Nevertheless, just like CB since I do not know for sure what the trick is this time, I will probably try kicking the football again. In order to protect myself, I have retained my residence in Paradise by the Sea.

Another incipient change in my life resulted from my annual check-up this past week. It appears that in order to forestall spending the remainder of my life hooked up to a kidney dialysis machine, I require an operation. The cost of the operation here although much less than it would be in the US is still prohibitive given that I have no medical insurance here, so I will have to return to the US to take advantage of medicare. I am hoping I can delay my return until spring when I had planned to return anyway. Tests this coming week will let me know if that is possible.

JOEY’S MYSTERY NOVEL:

In my last chapter, I mentioned a new character, Charlie Bowman. I had no idea who he was until I wrote him in. Now I have to figure out if he has any role to play at all. He could have been just about anybody. Imagine if I chose David or even Vince’s new secretary as Stephanie Coign’s “good friend”. Wholly cat-scat, what a concept, a story where the characters are interchangeable.

So far the only action in my attempted novel has been Sam’s death. I have to liven things up soon. Maybe Vince punches someone, or he is punched by someone, probably the latter. Elmore Leonard described his writing style as “…leaving out what the reader usually skips over”. I have been leaving out a lot, to no avail. One would think that given everything he has learned so far that Vince should simply quit and go back to retirement in Thailand. Usually Leonard’s main character has something special about him, he had done something or had failed miserably. Vince, I am afraid is an “almost man”. Whatever he does seems to be almost but not quite good enough, so he probably will not quit and stumble along simply trying to find out what he had gotten himself into. He has neither the balls nor the good sense to leave when things look so bad.

I should try writing some stories about “Vince ‘Mr. Almost’ Vicino”. A person like most of us who almost succeeds or almost fails or almost lives.

PEPE’S POTPOURRI:

a. Sayings from ‘The Princess Bride.’

Alas, it appears that I have come to the end of the quotes from The Princess Bride, so I will leave you with one of the last lines in the movie:

Grandpa: [reading to his grandson] Since the invention of the kiss, there have been five kisses rated the most passionate, the most pure. This one left them all behind. The end.

b. Today’s cognitive bias:

Just-world phenomenon – the tendency to rationalize an inexplicable injustice by searching for things that the victim might have done to deserve it.

TODAY’S QUOTE:

I was walking across a bridge one day, and I saw a man standing on the edge, about to jump off. So I ran over and said, ‘Stop! Don’t do it!’
‘Why shouldn’t I?’ he said.
I said, ‘Well, there’s so much to live for!’
He said, ‘Like what?’
I said, ‘Well…are you religious or atheist?’
He said, ‘Religious.’
I said, ‘Me too! Are you Christian or Buddhist?’
He said, ‘Christian.’
I said, ‘Me too! Are you Catholic or Protestant?’
He said, ‘Protestant.’
I said, ‘Me too! Are you Episcopalian or Baptist?’
He said, ‘Baptist!’
I said, ‘Wow! Me too! Are you Baptist church of god or Baptist church of the lord?’
He said, ‘Baptist church of god!’
I said, ‘Me too! Are you original Baptist church of god, or are you reformed Baptist church of god?’
He said, ‘Reformed Baptist church of god!’
I said, ‘Me too! Are you reformed Baptist church of god, reformation of 1879, or reformed Baptist church of god, reformation of 1915?’
He said, ‘Reformed Baptist church of god, reformation of 1915!’
I said, ‘Die, heretic scum,’ and pushed him off.
~Emo Phillips

Categories: January 2011 through March 2011 | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

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