Sunday, September 30, 2012

Free vs My Time

Hmm..."Free" can have many different meanings on the web. Now that I have a few websites, I need to do some offsite seo, so people know they are there. OK, I have the basic idea of what I need to do, like submitting them to search engines, articles, backlinks, etc. I am still no pro, but I have the general idea.

Because of that, I still look for lists of what experts think you should do once you have your site built. Check lists. Everyone seems to have a bit different way of doing this, so I like to see what's out there. I came across a few, that all suggested using a certain free submission site to get listed on like 200 different search engines. Ok, free is good, I will give it a go. I used one of my old sites, just in case. It only took a few minutes to give all the info it needed, and then click "submit". It said "thanks" and asked me if I wanted to add any others. That was easy. I noticed that some of the results were pending an email verification, so I went to the email to do that.

WOAH!!! There were like 153 verification emails there waiting for me! Well, a mobii's gotta do what a mobii's gotta do. I started this, so I had to finish it. What got me, is that every single one of these little SOB's asked me for the same exact info that the original submitter had asked for. Umm...weren't they supposed to pass on this stuff when they submitted my site? Wasn't that the whole point of this "we make it easy for you" operation?

I spent about 2 hours with this mess. I am the first to admit that my time isn't exactly worth gold at this point yet, but it damn sure isn't "FREE"!

Monday, September 17, 2012

The Bangkok Invasion

Much to my dismay, last weekend has come and gone. Last Friday, I had to go take that stupid teacher License test again. I am so glad that that could possibly be the last time I have to do it. But, apart from that hour of my life that I will never get back, the weekend kicked ass!

The only problem I had was when I first got there. I usually time my arrival so that I can stop at the Zeer shopping mall and have lunch at Mickey D's. But, after I had ordered, I reached for my wallet, only to find that it wasn't there. I am now at the point in my life where I don't freak out over such things anymore, I go straight to rage. I feel bad, because I scared the hell out of the poor little girl behind the counter. I spent about 15 minutes searching the car to no avail, and then called Palmiez for help. Sweet as only she can be, she left work and met me at the hotel. She took me to the bank so I could get some money, which turned out to be just about 1 km from the hotel. During which time, Roong called to tell me that I had left my wallet on the bed, so all was OK. (except that now my wife knew exactly how much money I had for this little adventure, never a good thing)

I went to take the test, and was going to stop and apply for a job at the Sarawittiya school that is right across the street from the apartments. But, the test site was like an hour taxi ride from the hotel, and it had started to rain pretty hard, so I couldn't. I will do that next time. So, I took a nap to rest up for the night's festivities.

Good thing I did too, because it was a busy night at The Dubliner. The pub is moving a few km's down the road, and Saturday night was their going away party. I think that everyone that wasn't sure that they could make it on Saturday made damn sure they were there on Friday. Irish guys can drink. I mean to the point that it should be considered a super power or something. Every 5 minutes, one of them would walk up, slap me on the back, buy me a beer, and tell me the most insane stories that I have ever heard. I laughed so hard that it hurt. A free beer just for listening to a story is a pretty good deal, if you ask me. You will occasionally  have to hear one a few times, but that's OK. I met lots of great folks, and had a killer time. After I had hit my limit (and a few more) I strolled down to Subway, got a foot long double everything, and headed back to the hotel for some much needed sleep.

The next day, I met No.1 daughter in the lobby, and we went shopping. Pukky couldn't go because she had a make-up class. First, we stopped at the Bangkok Bank, to see about getting me a credit card. The bank I am with now can't give me a card, and can't explain why not either. I can't even use their ATM card online. With Bangkok Bank, you can. The lady at the bank said I could only get a Mastercard if I deposited 100,000 baht in an account, like a secured card. That sucks, but at least I know what I have to do now. It only took 6 years to get a straight fucking answer out of these dipshits. But, at least I know now.

Since the serious stuff was finally finished, Palmiez and I hit the mall. I found all kinds of things that I wanted, even a very affordable little drawing table. I will try and get that next trip. The highlight for me was when Palmiez told me that she had a surprise for me, and told the taxi driver where to take us, without giving me a clue. What she had found was Villa Supermarket. They specialize in foreign foods. I was in heaven!!!

Man, I spent a weeks pay on stuff I haven't seen in years. They had everything from my fav Kraft Mac and Cheese, to Trisquits, A-1 sauce, and Clausen pickles. They even had Cheese-Whiz! Haaaaaaa! I tried to show some self control, but met with only minimal success. The other thing we got was one of those little internet card thingies for my laptop, so I can get to the internet anywhere I am. This will be fine, because I can use it on any computer, so Roong can use it on her laptop too.

Chew Chew and I wore the day out at about 3pm, so we stopped at Starbucks to recharge and then headed home. Those cappuccino drinks will fire you right up, but it doesn't last long. By the time I got back to my room, it was nap time.

That evening, I headed back to the Dubliner for their closing party. I have to walk over a crossing overpass to get across the street to catch a taxi. This puts me right in front of the large gates of the school that sits there. As I was walking by I heard in a strong, but rather high and nasally voice, "Hey, where you now going?" I turned around and saw that it was this little skinny gate guard with a very serious look on his face. Irritated by his arrogance, I stormed over and was ready to nastily ask him why it was any of his damn business, when he pulled a Jedi mind trick on me, he smiled. Not a "nice to meet you", or "hey, what's up?" smile though. His little face contorted into this huge tight-lipped smile, and he gave me this odd Puss-in-boots "sad kitty eyes" from the Shrek movie kind of look. I can handle either one, but both of them together from this little guy was a 10 on my creepy meter. Then it hit me, I was under a GAY GAURD ATTACK! Ack!!! Run away, run away!

I caught myself though, and knew just what to do. I slowly looked around, and walked up to the gate bars. I then gave him my best impression of the smiling big eyed kitty look that I could, and quietly said "I'm going THAT way. Have you ever been THAT way?" If it was possible for his grin to get bigger, and his eyes to get wider, they did. He took off like a shot towards the other end of the big gate, because it was the only way to get out of there. I could see what he was up too, so I immediately turned and gave a two fingered whistle that could have shattered glass. A taxi that was just going by slammed on his brakes, and I practically dove in. I may have to rethink applying for a job at that school.

As we were pulling off, the little gate guard was just rounding the corner and realizing that I was out of there. I felt sorry for him, so I rolled down the window and gave him a shrug, and a wave. He just gave a small sad smile and waved back. I don't think that this was the first time that such a thing had happened to him. I will spare you the details from Saturday night's debauchery at the Dubliner. Needless to say, it was even worse than Friday's. God, I do love that place.

Sunday, Palmiez and I went and strolled around a different mall, and had lunch. Before I knew it, it was time to go. The Dubliner won't open up at it's new location for almost 2 months, so it will be a while before I go back to Bangkok again. It's going to be a long 2 months. *sigh*

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Holiday in Rayong

We had a three day weekend, so Roong decided that she would like to go to the beach. That sounded good to me and the girls, so off we went. We went to Rayong because it's only about a 4.5 hour drive, it's never crowded, and has just about every thing you need. Pukky and I even found a restaurant that serves German food. Not much of it is actually German, they just write the name of the dish in German, with a translation, which is OK by me. A good steak is a good steak in any language. Anyway, here are a few shots of the girls and I on the beach in Rayong, and on the Island of Samet....

  Us hiding from the sun under the umbrellas on one of the Samet beaches.

  The girls and I on the beach at Rayong.

Palmiez and Puk and I at one of the bazillion restaurants that line the beach on Samet Island.

The only sounds I heard for 3 days were the waves breaking on the beach, and some little cutie in a bikini occasionally asking me if I wanted another beer. I do not remember the last time I was that relaxed. 

My wife said that because this was a holiday, she thought that I could use a little spirituality. OK, fair enough. I kept looking until I finally found a church that made sense to me. Hey, my religion comes with extra cheese and a free toy, does yours?
Who could ever get enough of these cuties?

Pom Pom!

Someone talked the girls into getting henna tattoos while we were there. I have no idea who did that.  :)

Pukky and her Yoko shades.

Roong and the girls at the entrance to the Samet Island park, or whatever they call it.

Thursday, August 02, 2012

Help! Help! Bigfoot Ate My Chihuahua!

"Looking for Bigfoot". Yep, that's a real show. I have been watching these things since I can remember. Every Sunday, they go out and are sure that they will find proof that Bigfoot, or Nessie, or some other local legendary monster exists. Guess what...they never do. In 50 years of watching these things, not once have any of them ever found anything. Personally, I think these douche bags have a better chance of finding "Nemo", than of chasing up a Sasquatch.

The scientific community has gotten more reliable confirmation information from the "Star Trek" TV show, than from these bozo's. OK, so why do I keep watching them? I guess it's that deep down somewhere maybe I hope that there is a little more to all of this than just what I can see. I don't know why I would need there to be more, but I think that's part of it. The other reason I watch this stuff is that there isn't a baseball game on.

Oh, there was one show that apparently found something. These guys were looking for the "Chupacabra" down in the Southern border states. They actually did find this really bizarre species of long fanged wild dog that may be the explanation behind the Chupacabra myth.

Well, vampire pooches today, Yeti's tomorrow. We will just have to wait and see, won't we?

Friday, July 20, 2012

Clean Dirty Car Graffiti

You have to admit, it would be a total hoot to come out to the car that you have been avoiding washing for the past 6 months and find that some talented young artist had done this. It's so much more interesting than just seeing "WASH ME!" or "HONK IF YOU'RE HORNY!"

Monday, July 09, 2012

Dam Funny

This is an actual letter sent to a man named Ryan DeVries by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Quality, State of Pennsylvania.
The guy's response is hilarious, but make sure you read the State's letter, here, first before you get to the response letter. The Dam...

"SUBJECT: DEQ File No.97-59-0023; T11N; R10W, Sec. 20; Lycoming County Dear Mr. DeVries: It has come to the attention of the Department of Environmental Quality that there has been recent unauthorized activity on the above referenced parcel of property. You have been certified as the legal landowner and/or contractor who did the following unauthorized activity: Construction and maintenance of two wood debris dams across the outlet stream of Spring Pond. A permit must be issued prior to the start of this type of activity. A review of the Department's files shows that no permits have been issued. Therefore, the Department has determined that this activity is in violation of Part 301, Inland Lakes and Streams, of the Natural Resource and Environmental Protection Act, Act 451 of the Public Acts of 1994, being sections 324.30101 to 324.30113 of the Pennsylvania Compiled Laws, annotated.! The Department has been informed that one or both of the dams partially failed during a recent rain event, causing debris and flooding at downstream locations. We find that dams of this nature are inherently hazardous and cannot be permitted. The Department therefore orders you to cease and desist all activities at this location, and to restore the stream to a free-flow condition by removing all wood and brush forming the dams from the stream channel. All restoration work shall be completed no later than January 31, 2006.

Please notify this office when the restoration has been completed so that a follow-up site inspection may be scheduled by our staff. Failure to comply with this request or any further unauthorized activity on! the site may result in this case being referred for elevated enforcement action. We anticipate and would appreciate your full cooperation in this matter. Please feel free to contact me at this office if you have any questions. Sincerely, David L. Price District Representative and Water Management Division."

Here is the actual response sent back by Mr. DeVries:

"Re: DEQ File No. 97-59-0023; T11N; R10W, Sec. 20; Lycoming County Dear Mr. Price, Your certified letter dated 12/17/05 has been handed to me to respond to. I am the legal landowner but not the Contractor at 2088 Dagget Lane, Trout Run, Pennsylvania. A couple of beavers are in the (State unauthorized) process of constructing and maintaining two wood "debris" dams across the outlet stream of my Spring Pond. While I did not pay for, authorize, nor supervise their dam project, I think they would be highly offended that you call their skillful use of natures building materials "debris." I would like to challenge your department to attempt to emulate their dam project any time and/or any place you choose. I believe I can safely state there is no way you could ever match their dam skills, their dam resourcefulness, their dam ingenuity, their dam persistence, their dam determination and/or their dam work ethic.

As to your request, I do not think the beavers are aware that they must first fill out a dam permit prior to the start of this type of dam activity. My first dam question to you is: (1) Are you trying to discriminate against my Spring Pond Beavers. (2) Or do you require all beavers throughout this State to conform to said dam request? If you are not discriminating against these particular beavers, through the Freedom of Information Act, I request completed copies of all those other applicable beaver dam permits that have been issued. Perhaps we will see if there really is a dam violation of Part 301, Inland Lakes and Streams, of the Natural Resource and Environmental Protection Act, Act 451 of the Public Acts of 1994, being sections 324.30101 to 324.30113 of the Pennsylvania Compiled Laws, annotated. I have several concerns.

My first concern is; aren't the beavers entitled to legal representation? The Spring Pond Beavers are financially destitute and are unable to pay for said representation -- so the State will have to provide them with a dam lawyer. The Department's dam concern that either one or both of the dams failed during a recent rain event, causing flooding, is proof that this is a natural occurrence, which the Department is required to protect. In other words, we should leave the Spring Pond Beavers alone rather than harassing them and calling their dam names.

If you want the stream "restored" to a dam free-flow condition please contact the beavers -- but if you are going to arrest them, they obviously did not pay any attention to your dam letter, they being unable to read English. In my humble opinion, the Spring Pond Beavers have a right to build their unauthorized dams as long as the sky is blue, the grass is green and water flows downstream. They have more dam rights than I do to live and enjoy Spring Pond. If the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Protection lives up to its name, it should protect the natural resources (Beavers) and the environment (Beavers' Dams). So, as far as the beavers and I are concerned, this dam case can be referred for more elevated enforcement action right now. Why wait until 1/31/2006? The Spring Pond Beavers may be under the dam ice then and there will be no way for you or your dam staff to contact/harass them then. In conclusion, I would like to bring to your attention to a real environmental quality, health, problem in the area. It is the bears! Bears are actually defecating in our woods. I definitely believe you should be persecuting the defecating bears and leave the beavers alone. If you are going to investigate the beaver dam, watch your step! The bears are not careful where they dump!

Being unable to comply with your dam request, and being unable to contact you on your dam answering machine, I am sending this response to your dam office. THANK YOU. RYAN DEVRIES & THE DAM BEAVERS"