Thursday, November 30, 2006

Small town girl makes good...

We finally recieved an e-mail from Poy. Poy is Ead and Nan's niece. She is a real sweatheart, and very good at speaking English. She left a few weeks ago for Boulder, Colorado. She is going to be a nanny. The host family has 2 kids that are both under 3 yrs old I think. Poy says she likes her new job, and is having a good time. I think this is the first time she has gotten to see snow. She said that the family has a second home in Vail. I see a ski bunny in the making! :)

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Birthdays at Ban-nok

Quite a week this week. We bought a computer and a heavy duty printer and went into business with Tep. Tep is a wizard with Photoshop and is teaching me everything he can. We are making just small things so far, like address labels, business cards, etc. We spend most of the time trying to figure out how the new equipment works. Anyway.....
We had 3 birthdays this month. Mine, Roongs, and Tik's (Tep's wife). We all met up at Ban-nok and had a bit of a celebration. Other friends showed up as well. Steve, Kong (Roong's boss), A, Poon, and a few others. A good time was had by all. Tep and Roong even got on the karaoke stage and sang a few songs.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Sunday, November 12, 2006


I hate Norton I hate Norton I hate Norton I hate Norton I hate Norton I hate Norton I hate the Yankees I hate Norton I hate Norton I hate Norton I hate Norton I hate Norton I hate Norton I hate Norton I hate Norton!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

(Daughters! Internet! Downloads! Virus Virus Virus Virus....ACK!!!!!!!!!!!)

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Spider wars!!!!

I have been playing only the 4-suit spider now. No more easy stuff. I won 7 out of the first 25 or so games I played. Pretty damn spiffy, if I do say so myself, and I do. But then I lost the next 286 games straight. Talk about a bad streak...yeesh! I tried everything, nothing seemed to break the slump. But finally this morning in the weeeee hours, I tossed in a Godzilla movie and got SERIOUS!!!!.
If a 240 ft tall lizard with a bad attitude and death breath doesn't inspire you, then nothing will (allthough the 9 pepsis might have been a factor). Anyway, I won 2 in a row. That's a first. I think it was a kharma thing tho. I didn't build any kind of shrine to the Cardinals for winning the world series. Who knows?

Things you need to know!

Why the heck does lighting a match get rid of ...umm..."bathroom" odors? Well...

When a match is struck, it produces sulfer dioxide, a "very pungent substance, to which the smell receptors are extremely sensitive." MadSci explains, "You can smell a minute amount of sulfur dioxide, but when you have done so, you will not smell anything else for a while." So, the match doesn't really get rid of the odor -- it just covers it up. This seems the most likely explanation, but MadSci presents a few other possibilities, including "oxidation of smelly substances in the flame" and "absorption of smelly substances onto the smoke." Take yer pick!

See? Not only is this blog breathtakingly beautious, it's also educational, and has only half the calories of a quarter pounder with cheese!

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Loy Kra-tong

We had another festival tonight. This one was called "Loy Kra-tong". Thousands of people went to the lake at the dam for this. Everyone makes or buys these little boats that are made of a variety of different things. They can be made from banana leaves, wood, flowers, or even bread. The little boats carry flowers, candles, and incense. We also put a small amount of money, a few strands of hair, or even finger nail clippings. Anything that will grow back. You go to the waters edge, and pray with your boat. then you let it go in the water. The idea is that the boat will take all the bad things that have happened to you and sail off with them, so you will have a good year. It happens on the full moon of this month. The pictures didn't come out that great, but it was a very nice evening.

And now for the near death news...

Speaking of funerals....Last night Roong and I met Thep and his wife Tik at a new restaurant near the dam in Roong's district. It's a steak house, which of course I couldn't resist. We also met a couple that are old friends of Theps, there names are Ping and Nicki. They are very nice people. They were camping near the damn. It was beautiful there. The temp was maybe 75 degrees, and there was a nice breeze blowing in off the water. But enough about them, I almost died dammit!!! We were at the table in the restuarant having a few beers, talking, and chowing down. The problem was, I was doing all that at the same time. A piece of steak got caught in my throat. I didn't panic, and took a drink to try to get it to move. That didn't work, and I started making this soft hiccuping noise. I thought I would freak out, but i didn't when i realized what was happening, and that I may choke to death, I was quite calm. Everything went into this slow motion mode. It wasn't scary, it just was. Just as I turned away from the table, Roong popped me on the back, and the steak came out. Yet another reason to love her. I know it sounds a bit dramatic to say i could have died, but that's what ran through my head. All the mistakes, regrets, and unrealized dreams softly rolled through my brain in that 30 seconds. Was a strange experience to say the least. It took a bit to explain to the restaurant owner that i was ok, and it wasn't the steaks fault! Anyway, today just seemed a bit sunnier, Roong seemed a bit prettier, and I was very happy to see my students in class today :)


Howdy again. We just got back from a funeral. Actually, we went yesterday and today. Yesterday was the funeral, and today was the ceremony before the cremation. It was very interesting to watch. many friends and family gathered there. There were several monks that chanted for about a half hour. Lots of flowers and such around the casket. The casket looked like a large jewelry box. It was white and covered with brightly colored mosaics. At todays ceremony, we listened to a speaker for a bit, then there was music. the music was mostly from two instruments. The first is like a xylophone, but it is on a large brightly colored wood frame that is shaped like a crecent moon. The other instrument looks the same, except it is a bunch of small wooden circles that make different soft "ploomp" sounds when struck with a little mallet. Afterwords, there was fireworks. These are supposed to help guide the departing soul to the afterlife. Everyone watched that very carefully. I soon found out why. The fireworks are homemade. Part of this envolves a half a coconut shell. So when the firework exploded a few hundred feet in the air, half a coconut came hurtling down at you. Everyone just casually moved a few feet in one direction or the other if there was any incoming. There was a photographer there, but we didn't take any photos. Sorry about that, but it didn't seem right. Seeya!

Odds and ends...

Hi again. These are just a few photos we found in the cameras, cell phones, and whatever else. Aren't those yellow shorts sexxxxxy!!

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Ead and Nan's New Home

Our friends Ead and Nan, that own the Ban-nok, are building a new home. It's a few hundred feet into the trees from where the restaurant is. They bought two very old houses up north, and are using the wood and logs from those to build it. Nan showed me a drawing of the front of the house, but the actual floor plan is in his head. It will be a mixture of traditional Thai, and a western log cabin. The photos are of the ceremony they had to bless the house as they put the first pillar in. The ceremony is called "Sow-Eag" This envolves friends, family, food, a monk, and a lot of string. I am not sure when the house will be finished, but I think Nan said about 6 months.