Posts Tagged With: Tomyris

This and that from re Thai r ment, by 3Th. 31 Jo-Jo 0001 (June 15, 2012)

TODAY FROM THAILAND:

A. POOKIE’S ADVENTURES IN THAILAND:

1. Waiting for the Queen

Last week Thailand celebrated the Buddha’s enlightenment (or perhaps it was the King’s birthday or Buddha’s, I never did catch which). In addition to celebrations scheduled throughout the country, a ceremony was planned for the large park area in front of the palace compound in BKK. LM persuaded me to accompany her to watch it.

After the almost one hour ride on the inexpensive but non-air-conditioned number 2 bus, we arrived at the site with thousand’s of others. We found a place alongside a large open area surrounded by temporary pavilions where we thought we would have a good view of the proceedings. In the center of the enclosed open space in front of us, a large stepped pyramid structure, all red and gold, had been constructed. LM said we were waiting for the Queen.

Facing the pyramid was a gold throne that I assumed was there for the Queen to sit in during the usually interminably long official buddhist ceremonies. Although the various pavilions had chairs in them, there were no others in the enclosure. Neither were there chairs for the spectators. Most people kneeled or sat on the ground. I don’t do kneeling or sitting on the ground, so I stood at the back of the crowd in front of one of the pavilions. The general public was not allowed into the pavilions.

Although there were a few people in suits and uniforms with mobile phones pressed to their ears scurrying around within the enclosure, the first organized group to arrive were a few dozen or so military or police, all spiffy in their brown starched and pressed uniforms. Each had hand guns by their side. They took up positions around the periphery of the open space facing the crowd. They soon were followed by a lot of people in white uniforms, many of which sported gold braid. These people milled about aimlessly, now and then bowing and weiing to each other. Then the band arrived, they had white uniforms also, only the conductor had braid, however. It was red. They marched around a bit but did not play music. Their instruments were all silver, unlike American bands that often mix gold and silver-colored ones.

Next to arrive was a squad of soldiers dressed in white wearing white metal helmets with gold spikes rising out of the top. They carried rifles. You know that it is a serious ceremony when guys with gold spikes rising from the tops or their head arrive carrying guns. Their job seemed to require them to be placed by their officers around the grounds in teams of two and to remain standing there without moving a muscle no matter what happens. Their fortitude was demonstrated when one or another of their officers would march up close behind each trooper and goose him. The statue soldiers did not flinch. I watched this in amazement for a while, until I realized that they were not goosing them but grasping the bottom of the troopers jacket and pulling it down to remove wrinkles.

I never understood why many of the worlds militaries maintain squads of similar types of statute soldiers. If anything happens are they still required to stand immobile? Why not use real statues?

After this, every few minutes or so, a limousine would drive up and disgorge a white uniformed person with lots and lots of gold braid. From among them, Princess LuckyGirl the current Prime Minister and sister to the deposed, exiled, fugitive Prime Minister Thaksin the Terrible, with her entourage emerged to a smattering of applause. She also had a white uniform, but I did not see any gold braid. She is not really a Princess and her name is not LuckyGirl. I just call her Princess because she is the sister of the man who actually runs the country from exile. Her real name is Yingluck. Ying in Thai refers to a young person, usually female and luck is well,…luck, and after all, she could be considered very lucky being born rich and then elected Prime Minister without ever holding a real job before.

She appears to be a tall woman towering over most of the men clustered around her. Either that or she just likes to be surrounded by short men. Better to see what is going on; probably a good idea for a Prime Minister, especially in Thailand.

After about 10 limousines let out their passengers, we stood waiting for the Queen and watched as thunderstorms moved across Bangkok toward where we were assembled. The thunderstorms arrived before the Queen and pelted us with their fury. Many spectators wisely brought umbrellas. I had not. Along with several other of the unprepared, I sought refuge beneath the banner attached to the side of the nearest pavilion.

When the rains let up a bit, the Queen arrived in a large gold limousine that seemed to be a cross between a sedan and a SUV. Following her vehicle were about 10 bright red limos. I do not know why they followed her, who was in them or why they were all red. Since the rain prompted the removal of the outdoor chair or throne, they ignored the pyramid and drove directly to a pavilion at the back of the enclosure and stopped. There then seemed to be a lot of rushing about and bowing and more weiing. Apparently, the Queen, unseen to me and most of the other spectators, disappeared into the pavilion and out of the rain.

I signaled to LM that it was time to go. Since the ceremony would be hidden from view, I believed there was no more to see and besides I was wet and tired. We made our way through the throng to the exit only to find it gated and guarded by some of the sidearm wielding, brown shirted soldiers who told us we could not leave until after the Queen does.

This upset me very much. Here I was drenched, 72 years old, exhausted from standing with nowhere to rest and trapped like a member of the band on the deck of the Titanic. I began to panic. LM recognizing my distress, dragged me back to where we had spent the last hour in the rain and tried to calm me down by suggesting that I sit on the sopping wet ground until I felt better. Meanwhile a very short Thai woman sidled up to me and attempted to pick my pocket and one of the brown shirts insisted that I remove my hat out of respect to the Queen who I could not see and now was convinced had never arrived. (To be continued, perhaps)

2. Hayden

SWAC said that Hayden arrives in Thailand for summer holidays on June 12. After that I am not sure about the schedule except that at the end of July or early August I am planning to accompany Hayden to Italy and then back to the US. I hope to be able to stop off on the East Coast for a few days to see my daughter and go for a ride on Terry’s sailboat.

Since I wrote the above paragraph, Hayden arrived in BKK and I reprised my nanny duties. After one day, despite the apparent success of my exercise regime in restoring some sense of vigor to my aging body, I was exhausted. SWAC agreed to relieve me and keep him with her for the evening at AVA. I am sure it will be more interesting for him, music, noise, pretty, sweet-smelling young women hugging him whenever he walks by. It could be worse.

My current travel schedule is to depart for Italy about July 15 and remain there for two weeks. SWAC and LM if she decides to travel with me will go to Sacile and Tamil just north of Venice at stay at the farm where Hayden and I spent a month together. Nikki, Hayden and I plan to travel to Naples and then by boat to Sicily for a week; I to visit relatives in Cannicatti outside of Agrigento and Nikki friends in Catania. None of this will probably happen but I like to write about it anyway.

B. NEWS STRAIGHT OR SLIGHTLY BENT:

1. Gaga over Rolex:

During her stay in Thailand for a performance, Lady Gaga tweeted that she, “Might buy a fake Rolex.” The Thai agency in charge of dealing with counterfeit goods, demanded an apology and threatened to launch a campaign against her appearance for insulting Thailand and interfering with their effectiveness in their fight against piracy. They also logged an official complaint with the US government.

When faced with almost universal ridicule based on the common knowledge that fake Rolex’s and just about any other brand of anything are blatantly sold by Thai’s on every main street in BKK, the agency proved that their effectiveness battling the illicit trade by promptly and publicly busting a dealer who openly sold fake watches for over 5 years. As expected, the dealer was a foreigner. The thousands of Thai purveyors in counterfeit products continue on without fear of official interference.

2. Your morning coffee:

In Singapore, a maid mixed her menstrual blood into her employers morning coffee in hopes that it would make him treat her better. When the employer discovered this, he had the maid arrested for assault.

(I do not see what he is complaining about, all that extra iron I am sure made him feel better. It was free too.)

3. So Gay:

Also in Singapore a man named Gay was accused of sexually harassing a woman.

This passes for news in Singapore.

4. It may or may not be difficult to comprehend:

In Thailand applicants for an entry-level job with the police department paying all of $250 per month, paid up to$10,000 each to a gang to provide them with the answers on the entrance exam.

According to the news reports, the exam takers received the answers relayed from gang members to radio receivers hidden “deep” within their private parts.

I still do not understand either why or how. Perhaps the East is even more inscrutable than we ever imagined.

TODAY’S FACTOID:

Every once in a while I believe it is worth returning to contemplate Tomyris and the Massegetae.

“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.”

This was Tomyris Warrior Queen of the Massegetae’s response to Cyrus the Great, Emperor of Persia, conqueror of the greatest empire of the ancient world and leader of the largest and most technologically advanced army of the time, after he demanded that Tomyris and the Massegetae surrender to him. Cyrus refused Tomyris’ advice. So, she personally led the charge of her forces that destroyed his army. After her victory, she searched the battlefield herself until she found Cyrus’ body, then she cut off his head and made his skull into her favorite goblet.

This leads me to conclude that one should never mess with a woman named Tomyris, or for that matter a Massegetae who some ancient historians believe became the Huns. I heard that there is a biker gang in South Dakota named the Massegetae whose leader is a six-foot six-inch transsexual named Tomyris. One is well advised to avoid visiting Mt. Rushmore.

For those interested in learning more about the Massegetae, this is what the ancient Greek historian Herodotus had to say about them:

“In their dress and mode of living the Massagetae resemble the Scythians. They fight both on horseback and on foot, neither method is strange to them: they use bows and lances, but their favorite weapon is the battle-axe. Their arms are all either of gold or brass. For their spear-points, and arrow-heads, and for their battle-axes, they make use of brass; for head-gear, belts, and girdles, of gold. So too with the caparison of their horses, they give them breastplates of brass, but employ gold about the reins, the bit, and the cheek-plates. They use neither iron nor silver, having none in their country; but they have brass and gold in abundance.”

“The following are some of their customs; – Each man has but one wife, yet all the wives are held in common; for this is a custom of the Massagetae and not of the Scythians, as the Greeks wrongly say. Human life does not come to its natural close with this people; but when a man grows very old, all his kinsfolk collect together and offer him up in sacrifice; offering at the same time some cattle also. After the sacrifice they boil the flesh and feast on it; and those who thus end their days are reckoned the happiest. If a man dies of disease they do not eat him, but bury him in the ground, bewailing his ill-fortune that he did not come to be sacrificed. They sow no grain, but live on their herds, and on fish, of which there is great plenty in the Jaxartes. Milk is what they chiefly drink. The only god they worship is the sun, and to him they offer the horse in sacrifice; under the notion of giving to the swiftest of the gods the swiftest of all mortal creatures.”

I have a few concerns and questions about the Massegetae life-style:
1. How does one have one wife held in common? Does it mean that you can only sleep with one woman each night?
2. How old do you have to be before they come for you and boil you up with a cow or two? Brisket of Pookie?
3. How pissed off with your lot in life would you be if you were forced to live on beef, fish, sour milk and a grandfather or grandmother now and then? Enough to want to go and beat the shit out of someone, I would imagine. 

PEPE’S POTPOURRI:

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

Graphic unavailable at this time.

 

After almost 100 years of fighting against the will of the people, the wealthy near their goal. Only Obama stands in their way. I doubt whether that will prove to be much of a barrier.

B. Terry Petrillo on her 94th birthday:

Terry accompanied by her daughter MaryAnn.

POOKIE FOR PRESIDENT:

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

Your elected representatives at work for you:

For this you elect them and pay them too.

By the way, who started the rumor that Republicans opposed big government? Republicans seem mostly to want to get government out of the corporate board room and into the bedroom [not yours of course, I am sure you would never do anything to require them to go there].

TODAY’S QUOTE:

“Free government cannot long endure if property is largely in a few hands and large masses of people are unable to earn homes, education, and a support in old age.”
Rutherford B. Hayes, 19th President of the United States.

Hayes, a Nineteenth Century gentleman and Republican President of the United States, would be called a socialist today by FauxNews, Tea Party advocates and members of the current Republican Party. I guess you can include Hayes along with Reagan, Eisenhower, T. R. , and Lincoln as Republican Presidents that would be shocked at how far their Party has fallen from the path they believed they had set for it.

TODAY’S CHART:

 

Q. What do woman want? A. How about being listened to once in a while.

TODAY’S CARTOON:

TODAY’S PHOTOGRAPH:

Photograph of the Amazon the “Lungs of the Planet,” provided by Phillip who, bless his heart, has an eye for beauty despite his fervent belief that private enterprise has the inherent right to inflict black lung disease on the earth’s respiratory organs.
Note: look closely at the upper right side of the photograph. Is that a shadow or is a jaguar sitting on the rock?

Categories: April 2012 through June 2012 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

This and that from re Thai r ment, by 3Th. April 17, 2011

The portrait supposedly of Christopher Marlowe...

The portrait supposedly of Christopher Marlowe found during renovations of the Masters Lodge (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

TODAY’S FACTOID:

1587. Christopher Marlowe‘s Tamburlaine his first play to be performed on stage in London. It told the story of the conqueror Timur ( also known as the “Lame” a comment on his physiognomy and not his sense of humor. As far as we know he had none, although he was known at times to smile broadly at the slaughter of the populations in the cities that he sacked. ), who rises from shepherd to warrior to emperor. It is among the first English plays in blank verse, and, along with Thomas Kyd‘s The Spanish Tragedy, generally is considered the beginning of the mature phase of the Elizabethan theatre.

50 years or so later, the religious right of that time, succeeded in banning theatre altogether.

TODAY’S NEWS FROM THAILAND:

a. Don’t hold your breath:

The Bangkok Post reported today that the Japanese government has ordered the operator of the damaged nuclear plant to pay each family displaced by the catastrophe about $12,000. As could be expected, the people who lost their home complain that it is not enough. One can assume that in all likelihood before any money reaches the injured parties, the company will claim it does not have the resources to fund the program, as a result the government will probably agree to pick up the tab then spend years figuring out how to do so, ultimately abandoning the program under pressure from the bond rating agencies, the business community and the conservative press claiming the nation is accumulating too much debt.

It is interesting to note how easy it is today for a government to abandon its promises to its people but never to its creditors. In a usually vain attempt to maintain its all important bond rating and to protect the value of the capital and rate of return of its lenders, it will forgo educating its people, or attending to their health and welfare. In Ireland, Ireland, Portugal of Greece it so far has made no difference to the downward spiral of their economies whether they accept or reject the conditions imposed on them in the so-called bailouts . If that is so, then why in heavens name would their governments shackle their people to penury in order to preserve the return on capital to some bankers and investors in Germany, Switzerland, England or New York)

b. Electioneering:

The current party in power in Thailand, in preparation for the upcoming election has derided the opposition’s promise to increase the minimum wage to 300 baht per day ($10), claiming their own proposal for increasing the minimum wage by 25% is better for employers.

25% of what?

c. It all sounds so reasonable:

A spokesman for the opposition party claimed that the country would return to peace if the exiled former leader of the party Thaksin was allowed to return to Thailand. He also assured everyone that if he were allowed to come back, Thaksin, would not demand the return of the more than one billion dollars confiscated from him and his family for corruption.

POOKIE’S ADVENTURES IN THAILAND:

Recently, after a hiatus of over six months, I have begun to republish items into my blog ( http://trenzpruca.wordpress.com/) Why I have resumed doing so, I am not sure. Perhaps I became tired of snips and pieces of things cluttering up my desk-top, then again perhaps not.

Anyway, as some of you know, the reason I tell myself (and you) that I write things like the blog and even “This and that…” is purely for my own pleasure. I refuse to admit to anything other than that.

A few days ago, I received my first real comment to one of my posts. The commenter said he liked my work and left me a cite to his own blog. I admit to being thrilled at receiving this acknowledgement of my existence and I immediately responded with a “thank you” note as I felt blogging etiquette probably required. I also dutifully clicked into his site as I again felt it was only the right thing to do.

My correspondent’s site primarily consisted of an ad. for a product called “Broccoli.” Broccoli it seems is essentially a wide rubber band  used to secure ones cash in lieu of a wallet. The rubber band in this case was decorated with a piece of silver metal, I assume to make it look serious.

A video hosted by a stereotypical beefy member of a well-known subset of my southern Italian ethnic group replete with gravelly voice and wavy black hair accompanied the advertisement.

He demonstrated the different ways one could wrap the rubber band around the “Wad” as he repeatedly called it. The so restrained wad firmly affixed the cash and even credit cards so that the twin evils of unsightly loose cash and overstuffed wallets were avoided. There was even a medical type snippet demonstrating how an overstuffed wallet in ones rear pocket can cause back pain. The video ended with a solicitation for investors in the company. If anyone is interested I still have the email address.

Remember “Never leave home without your Broccoli.”

JOEY’S MYSTERY NOVEL:

Chapter 18

As he disconnected the phone, Vince threw himself back on his bed, stared at his hand and began to feel fear. Not fear of the unknown that often just makes one more wary and suspicious, but fear that he has lost control in the unknown. It was as though something larger than him was bearing down on him and he could neither run from it, dodge it, fight it or even know it before it overwhelmed him. Wariness and suspicion were not enough to avoid being overwhelmed. Why did he feel that way?

He closed his eyes and thought back to the day following his interrupted interview with Isabella at the bar in Bizzare.

Early in the morning he had gone to the offices of the firm’s outside counsel retained to handle any fallout from what he now referred to as the “Red Star Affair.” Pepper and Rooney, was a boutique criminal law firm, specializing in defending large corporations and wealthy individuals accused or about to be accused of what has become euphemistically known as White Collar Crimes as though violent crimes could only be committed by the working and unemployed classes, the blood on the hands of most white-collar criminals washed clean by intermediaries.

Most large firms had their own White Collar Crime practice groups, but they always were uncomfortable with it like it was somehow not respectable or perhaps even slightly diseased. Also, its practitioners were suspect, mostly coming from those same State and Federal entities that were persecuting the firm’s clients. Nevertheless, in order to please those same the clients and assure them that they were prepared to service their every legal need, they usually kept the practice group and its attorneys around. Many good WCC attorneys, especially well-known litigators, therefore sensing their second class status in the large firms firm, left to form their own boutiques. Pepper and Rooney was one such firm.

Adam, Ansel, Pepper, often referred to as “First” or among his close friends as “Al” was one of the reigning heavyweights of the practice. He was tall, whippet thin but obviously in shape, hawk nosed and dark hair expensively dyed. He was dressed in the overpriced casual style affected by successful San Francisco attorneys; designer jeans, bespoke shoes, costly subtly patterned dress shirt worn without tie with sleeves meticulously rolled up to reveal precisely one-quarter of the forearm.

Upon entering the First’s sanctum, Vince was made to stand briefly as the great one pantomimed finishing up some exceedingly important task. He stood up, reached his hand across the desk and as they shook hands said with a frosty smile, “Mr Biondi, it is a pleasure meeting you finally. I know you must be very busy getting settled in your new position.” As he resumed his seat in his expensively leathered, throne like mechanical marvel of a chair, he added genially “How is that going?”

Vince refusing to take the bait at $1000 per hour, responded “I am here to get your advice about how I should go about arranging for the suspension from the partnership of all those partners involved in the ‘Red Star’ matter on which your firm is representing ours.” (Continued)

PEPE’S POTPOURRI:

a. Today’s chart:

Population distribution on earth (2007):
What should be noted as an error in the chart is that East Asia (China, Japan and Korea) is a quite separate entity from South Asia (India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Indonesia and South-East Asia, and South-West Asia). The latter actually dwarfs East Asia in population and economic and population growth.* One also should note that the “West” (North, Central and South America, Russia, Europe and Australia and New Zealand) also contains about 30% of the world’s population, more than China or East Asia. The so-called “West” also occupies, by far, the largest portion of the earth’s land mass, arable land and natural resources. Africa contains and will continue to support the fastest population growth on the planet.

*Thus, population distribution on earth can also be looked at as basically comprising only 4 major population zones, East Asia, South Asia, The West and Africa. With the world potentially poised on the edge of massive migrations of Peoples from the desertifying portions of the world, distribution of Peoples will change, with the affected South Asian and African populations colonizing large portions of the western world.

Advice you should be giving your children is to marry South Asians or Africans, or advise them to move to Canada or Siberia and counsel any of their children born there to so marry.

b. Trenz Pruca’s Aphorisms, Apothegms, Epigrams and Maxims ( http://trenzpruca.wordpress.com/) :

On Economics as a Science:

In Science, a physical theory that is logically consistent may be considered truth only until falsified. In Economics, a sociological theory that is logically inconsistent is often considered true even when falsified.

TODAY’S QUOTE:

By popular request:

“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.”

Queen Tomyris Receiving the Head of Cyrus, Kin...

Queen Tomyris Receiving the Head of Cyrus, King of Persia (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Tomyris Warrior Queen of the Massegetae to Cyrus the Great, Emperor of Persia, conqueror of the greatest empire of the ancient world and leader of the largest and most technologically advanced army of the time. Cyrus refused and Tomyris personally led the charge of her forces that destroyed his army. After her victory, she searched the battlefield herself until she found Cyrus’ body, then she cut off his head and made his skull into her favorite wine goblet.

(Never mess with a woman named Tomyris, or for that matter a Massegetae. For those interested however, this is what the ancient Greek historian Herodotus had to say about them:

“In their dress and mode of living the Massagetae resemble the Scythians. They fight both on horseback and on foot, neither method is strange to them: they use bows and lances, but their favorite weapon is the battle-axe. Their arms are all either of gold or brass. For their spear-points, and arrow-heads, and for their battle-axes, they make use of brass; for head-gear, belts, and girdles, of gold. So too with the caparison of their horses, they give them breastplates of brass, but employ gold about the reins, the bit, and the cheek-plates. They use neither iron nor silver, having none in their country; but they have brass and gold in abundance.”
“The following are some of their customs; – Each man has but one wife, yet all the wives are held in common; for this is a custom of the Massagetae and not of the Scythians, as the Greeks wrongly say. Human life does not come to its natural close with this people; but when a man grows very old, all his kinsfolk collect together and offer him up in sacrifice; offering at the same time some cattle also. After the sacrifice they boil the flesh and feast on it; and those who thus end their days are reckoned the happiest. If a man dies of disease they do not eat him, but bury him in the ground, bewailing his ill-fortune that he did not come to be sacrificed. They sow no grain, but live on their herds, and on fish, of which there is great plenty in the Jaxartes. Milk is what they chiefly drink. The only god they worship is the sun, and to him they offer the horse in sacrifice; under the notion of giving to the swiftest of the gods the swiftest of all mortal creatures.”

Categories: April 2011 through June 2011 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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