Posts Tagged With: Socrates

This and that from re Thai r ment, by 3Th. September 25, 2010

Todays factoid:

1589 The woman credited with introducing haute cuisine to France, Catherine de Medici, wife of King Henry II of France dies. When she arrived in France from Italy she brought with her ice cream, the fork and had a strong influence on the development of sophisticated dining in France.

(She also had a fondness for roasted Huguenots)

Today’s quote:

“Want prompts a thousand crimes, you must admit. Why do men steal? why break burglariously into houses? why hold men and women captive and make slaves of them? Is it not from want? Nay, there are monarchs who at one fell swoop destroy whole houses, make wholesale massacre, and oftentimes reduce entire states to slavery, and all for the sake of wealth. These I must needs pity for the cruel malady which plagues them. Their condition, to my mind, resembles that poor creature’s who, in spite of all he has and all he eats, can never stay the wolf that gnaws his vitals.”
Socrates in “The Economist” by Xenophon.

Today’s news from Thailand:

The Bangkok Post recently reported that the chairman of commission to revise the Thai constitution announced that the new document will not deal with either Political or Military reform.

Although in my opinion this should result in a very short document, the chairman estimated that the commission will take at least three years to produce the first draft.

Petrillo responds:

Some of you have enquired whether or not the dog in the photograph a few emails back was mine.

No, the dog I believe is Petey, the canine star in the “Our Gang” movies of the 1930-50’s who, following his illustrious career in cinema, retired to Thailand where at night he sits on the beach and stares at the surf.

Other’s of you have wondered why, in my most recent emails, I have wandered away from describing my wondrous adventures here in Thailand, writing fanciful tales instead.

The answer is that for the last few days I have suffered from an attack of ennui, a condition that makes one uninterested in doing anything different today than he did yesterday.

Yes, I know that is the normal condition of most people. But, I have always conducted my life like it was a rudderless boat blown about by any chance wind that may come about. Sometimes I land on a strange shore where I root about a bit until I foul my nest and move on. Other times I just drift aimlessly. Sometimes I feel as though I am floating through some great garbage dump in the ocean where the residue of past lives can be seen bobbing about.

It is interesting to compare the Great Pacific Garbage Dump with the Bermuda Triangle. In the Bermuda Triangle things go to disappear, it the Great Pacific Garbage Dump the past just floats up all around you.

For the past few weeks I have been bereft of even the hint of a breeze to fill my sails.

Pookie’s further adventures in Paradise:

Most day’s after breakfast I spend the mornings walking the 1000 paces that I read somewhere one should do as part of ones daily exercise. It seemed easy enough, so that is why I do it.

I usually try to walk barefoot in the sand on the beach. True, the gritty feel of the sand on my bare feet sets my teeth on edge and I am terrorized that I will inadvertently step on some sharp-edged detritus that will puncture my foot and cause pain, sickness and even death. Nevertheless, I believe walking on the sand allows me to exercise those small muscles in the foot and ankle upon which our ability to balance ourselves depends. Shoes, even those preceded by the word “athletic,” immobilize these muscles. So, I feel that if I am going to exercise anyway I should not ignore them.

This morning while on my way to the pharmacy to pick up my months supply of pills that prevent my prostate from expanding like a weather balloon, I passed by the skinny woman I wrote about in a previous email.

Although it is against my above mentioned philosophy to initiate contact of any kind, I had sort of hoped she would acknowledge me with a look or a nod that might be interpreted as that slight breeze in my sails, so to speak. But she took no notice of me.

On the way back I passed her again sitting on the sand. I was afraid that she might think I was stalking her and start screeching and embarrass me, but again I was ignored.

Today is my regular massage day so I happily avoided contemplating the winds of chance and settled for doing what I generally do on Fridays.

Yesterday I read Sheldon’s new novel “Perfect Alibi” in one sitting. For a story that has little of the kind of action one often sees in thrillers, (there are no shoot outs, no wild car chases, no terror and the like), Sheldon keeps the reader riveted to each page.

Today’s medical chart:

I have no idea what the medical specialty may be of the doctor displaying the attached chart in his examining room. If you do, please let me know.

Ciao

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Categories: July 2010 through September 2010 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

This and that from re Thai r ment by 3T. September 20, 2010

Today’s factoid:
1494 Columbus meets the Arawak Indians in Jamaica. The Arawak used allspice to smoke and season meat and it is this recipe that Jerk seasoning is based upon.

(That’s funny, I alway’s thought that jerk was one of the many names the Arawak had for Columbus.)

Today’s quote:
“As to marriage or celibacy, let a man take which course he will, he will be sure to repent.”
Socrates

(Not only was Socrates a misogynist, but he was also a pedophile and once slept with Alcibiades who almost single handily destroyed Athenian civilization. This latter tragedy should not be blamed on his and Socrates’ single night of passion.)

Today’s news from Thailand:
In some previous emails I described the ongoing conflict between Thailand’s military general staff and the other institutions of government. Except for one short interlude after WW II, from 1932, when the Thai military and some civilian leaders overthrew the absolute monarchy, until 1973 Thailand was governed by a military regime similar to that which exists in Burma today. In 1973, to some extent in response to a dispute regarding the ever-increasing size of the military budget, a form of civilian rule was instituted. Nevertheless since then, no civilian government, except for that of Thaksin in his original election and that of his party following the 2006 coup has taken office except as a result of an uprising of sorts, usually led or abetted by the military. No matter what one thinks of Thaksin, a corrupt, greedy opportunist or the second coming of FDR as a traitor to his class, one cannot deny that the military general staff remains the dominant political institution in Thailand. Recently the Bangkok Post in an article about the 2006 coup quoted a political science professor at Chulalongkorn University opined:
“Since Sept 19, 2006, the military’s budget has almost doubled – going from 85 billion baht at that time to 154 billion baht this year. That number is set to jump to 170 billion next year. There are some 1,100 generals in the army. There has not been such a consolidation of power by a single class of army graduates since the rise of Class 5 led by another coup-maker Gen. Among our neighbors, military power has only reached this level in Burma. The increased role of the military overtook the space for a civilian government. In fact, the army has actually taken on a new role as political manager.”

Pookie in Paradise:
I have attached hereto a photograph of the skinny woman who I mentioned in my previous email I saw by the pool. She is sitting on the beach today. In the background one can see one of the fishing boats heading in and several others on the sand preparing to go out at high tide.

Now some of you may think that I am prejudiced against the corpulent. Far from it. As a charter member of the bleached, whale like, rotund, blubber filled sedentary class, I reflect only sadness at my own lethargy.

I have also included a photograph of the white dog that I referred to in my previous email. Irwin wondered if it could be a descendent of “Petey” the white dog with the black spot around his eye that appeared in “The Little Rascals” movies. I responded that I thought that it was Petey himself who after his career in cinema retired to the beach in Thailand.

You may believe that all dogs are retired, but that is not so. Dogs work hard, scratching for fleas, marking their territory, finding food, licking their genitals, having sex, sniffing rectums, barking and so on. It’s a dogs life I tell you.

Now Petey as I have named him, really is retired. He does none of that aforementioned stuff. During the day all day he lies in the sun on the beach road next to the food vender stalls forcing the cars traveling along the road to detour around his supine body. And at night he sits on his spot of sand starring at the waves. He appears so content that I am considering joining his daily routine.

Today’s photos:

Categories: July 2010 through September 2010 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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