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Following the Secret Mission Journal

October 14-25, 2002

Monday, October 14, 2002 (pre-journal)

Patpong Corkscrew Club members may be able to identify this girl. She is a product of a new PhotoShop 7.0 feature ('Patterns').

Who's That Girl?

Any guesses?

Will reverse engineering help? I don't think so. But, Derek would know ... as he has the eye.

Today I present my annual "Best Six Corkscrews" for this year. Details are available in my corkscrew section.

Best Six of 2002

Tuesday, October 15, 2002

We have a winner!

Yesterday, through the use of advanced "patterning" techniques developed at The House of Adobe (PhotoShop 7.0) I was able to create what I thought was an unbreakable photo code. Using the crunch power of Pentium 4 in conjunction with the algorithmic histo-wrapping functions built into the multi-layered crypto logic that has been cleverly incorporated into the Adobe product I was convinced that the 'design' posted yesterday could never be traced to its source.

I was wrong!

Within hours of my challenge Derek successfully attacked and broke the code (only his address has been changed ... hmmmm ... having just ".com" as an address would be the ultimate!).

Subj: Challenge!
Date: 10/15/2002 12:21:16 AM SE Asia Standard Time

OK Alf, I see that you've thrown down the gauntlet and issued the challenge as it were ... I will hopefully rise to the occasion!

You didn't give me much to go on ... your image was well and thoroughly screwed up. Usually I can place the picture fragment in an earlier journal by memory, but I must be getting old ... so I had to resort to forensics.

I took one cell of your image and blew it up so I could look at it without the distracting patterns (a clever ploy!). The bit on the left looks like an arm and/or a breast, but I can't place it. The facial bit on the right was all I really had to work with.

Your comment that it was a PCC member narrowed down the field considerably, to around 6-7 candidates.

The heavy red lipstick would seem to place the "generation" of the Pongette to the "Early Patpong Members," as shown at Although Wise, Jean and "A" were photographed extensively, none of the three wore that shade of lipstick at the time.

So the field is now down to three: Ohmy, Gift, and Amma.

The smile in the photo is showing teeth, and Gift appears to smile close-mouthed, so that will rule her out.

It came down to a photo finish between Ohmy and Amma. I clipped facials of both girls and laid them out beside the puzzle image for comparison. Have a look at the attached photos.


In the photo of Ohmy, notice that the nostrils appear wider than the sample, the nose and indeed the entire face is shorter. The smile also appears to be wider. The proportions just don't seem right.

Amma's face appears to be a much closer match. Notice the left eyebrow's swooping approach to the nose appears similar to the sample. The proportions of the face are similar, the mouth is narrow enough. The puzzle photo appears to have been taken from an angle slightly more to the subjects left side than the one I have clipped, but despite the perspective differences, the two images are very close.

So Alf, my final answer is Amma. Yes, it's my final answer. Do I win the million? Or have I wandered totally off in the wrong direction and made a fool of myself?

Wednesday, October 16, 2002

Our new place looks pretty good after our long absence ... I'm approaching it by water from the Sala Rim Naam side of the river ... the old place looks empty.

Thursday, October 17, 2002

"Through my fault, through my fault, through my most grievous fault!"

We learned that in Catholic prep school. Well, it was just another part of the prayer ritual that was pure rote. Since most thoughts of pre-teen and teen inmates were 'sins' in the eyes of Holy Mother Church the phrase naturally and unthinkingly tripped from our lips whenever the hickory stick (which hung droopily over a sugary sweet picture of The Virgin) was even eyed by the housemaster.

Today I mean it. The other day, right up here, I posted my "Best Six" corkscrew photograph for 2002. But I forgot to mention who was responsible for the choice and the positioning of the corkscrews: my former girl friend, Jean. All of the pieces that were in that "Best Six" picture were purchased via the post ... and they were delivered to her house ("Thailand imposes a 100% duty on imported corkscrews", I lied).

Anyway, to Jean the credit goes ... "Mea culpa, mea culpa ... etc."

Today Watcharee hung pictures of her King and Queen in our apartment. I was not tempted to search out one of George W. Bush.1

1 It is probably a felony to steal a photograph of a sitting President from a United States Embassy or Consulate (the only source of 'Dubua' pictures in Thailand ... though inexpensive but less flattering ones are found on T-shirts in the Patpong night market).

Friday, October 18, 2002 (Feast of Saint Luke)

It has been a long time since I have used either my Nikon's 'fish-eye' lens or my Canon's 'stitch technology'. I don't think I have used them on river shots since we left The Oriental. It's early afternoon here in Bangkok so I don't have a rear sun. Anyway, this is the view from our porch.

Tonight we are going over to The Peninsula for dinner. I'll see what these little machines can do after the sun goes down ... shooting the other way.

PS It was a clear night for lenses but I am not too sure how well this 'stitch' technology works in the dark. Anyway, Watcharee enjoyed the night away from our kitchen.

Saturday, October 19, 2002

This is our street.

This is our lobby-pool.

Both of these photographs were brought to you through the use of Canon's advanced 'stitch technology' which allows the ...

"Alf, stop playing around with that stupid camera gadget. Hell, I'd even rather read about all those fucking saints you used to bore us with than look at stretched pictures of your backyard. Shit, man, you are in Bangkok ... get laid ... shop at Puntip for some pirate software ... go to a bar! Damn!"

Sunday, October 20, 2002

You want excitement? We'll give you excitement!

How about a bowl of rice soup!1

Rice Soup

1 In all fairness, we didn't even leave the 'farm' today. We watched DVDs and had a quick meal at home.

PS. Since Derek was so fiendishly quick at 'cracking' the "foolproof" (?) algorithmic histo-cryptic photographic code that Adobe spent millions in building into PhotoShop 7.0TM ... well, let's see if Derek can do it once we have allowed the Adobe engine to deepen the puzzle to 14 more layers of entanglement.2

Another Puzzle

2 Derek, there is a hint in the first line; as well as in the last.

Monday, October 21, 2002

Reader Derek from writes:

>>"Alf, stop playing around with that stupid camera gadget. Hell, I'd even rather read about all those fucking saints you used to bore us with than look at stretched pictures of your backyard. Shit, man, you are in Bangkok ... get laid ... shop at Puntip for some pirate software ... go to a bar! Damn!"<<

Actually, I rather like seeing the pics of Bangkok. Wish I could see them in even higher res. Tell your alter-ego to shut his yap and keep snapping away. :)

Of course, you *could* go to a bar and take some pictures of the hotties there, that would also qualify as scenery... LOL

This Canon 'stitch-tech' photograph is just for you, Derek. It shows the footpath food-stalls that are directly across the street from our apartment.

And, should you 'crack' the coded photograph that I posted yesterday all of the readers at THOCBDC will be treated to something very special.

Tuesday, October 22, 2002


While we all eagerly await the results of the Adobe PhotoShop 7.0TM algorithmic histo-cryptic 'pattern' generating naked lady photo contest,1 here is an easier puzzle to work on:

Whose Tattoo?

Which of these two girls 'sports' this particular tattoo?

  1. Watcharee
  2. Ning

The answer is here.

For bonus points can you identify the tattoo?

For extra bonus points can you give the reason for the tattoo?

Fort points beyond belief can you identify the room in which the photograph of the tattoo was taken?

1 At the moment, is favored to come up with the first winning answer ... but, this is a personal guess based on past experience. In the unlikely event that Derek falls flat on his face the full and correct answer (in the form of a naked lady) will be posted here at THOCBDC within 72 hours [though all timing clocks are set to Southeast Asia time, they are subject to change].

Wednesday, October 23, 2002

Peninsula Health ClubSince moving to Thailand I have logged 7,044.72 kilometers1 on the various treadmills at the Fitness Club in The Oriental Hotel here in Bangkok.2

After we left The Oriental for the River Garden 99 days ago I haven't broken this pace ... even though my trip to my old club now involves a bit of a journey: up and over the Chao Phya River's traffic clogged bridges, down Bangkok's busy footpaths and around the city's notorious potholes.

But, now that The Peninsula Hotel is only a short and direct boat ride away from our new home, I thought it was pretty stupid of me not to join its Fitness Club also. So, today's picture spread is all about my new (and 2nd) fitness club ... and how I get there. No, I am not going to abandon The Oriental ... I'm just giving myself a choice.

1 That's 4,377.42 miles...or 17.59% of the Earth's circumference (assuming a home planet girth of 24,889 miles).

2 For sure, health reasons were secondary; maintaining caloric balance was the primary goal.

Thursday, October 24, 2002 (Feast of St. Raphael the Archangel)

For months I have neglected my coverage of the Skytrain's progress: the construction of the extension which will take its tracks to the far side of the Chao Phya1 River. Once this cross-river link has opened up there is no doubt that the arbor battle that has so far been restricted to the 34th and 35th floor of "that building" on Charoen Nakhorn Road Is Adolph Still Out There?will intensify as more aggressive tenants move into the building.

Dear reader, does anyone know if Adolph's Meat Tenderizer is still available? A search using GOOGLE turned up a bewildering assortment of links ... only some of which relate to MSG and recipes for Chicken Adolph. Most sites show how the product can be used to clear blocked intestines (by dissolving the balking meat), relieve bee stings (by eating the abdominal discharge left subcutaneously by the pissed off insect) and make the defecation of cats even more foul than it already is (thus keeping dogs from making a mess of litter boxes). Since the URL is 'available', maybe our world is 'down' to what's left on the supermarket shelves and the few odd cases lying around in wholesalers' warehouses.


1 Sometimes spelled "Chao Phraya."

2 In 1999 Linda Santarelli was not impressed with this fact.

Friday, October 25, 2002 (Feast of Saint Crispin) [No joke!]

Admittedly, THOCBDC for weeks ... nay, fortnights ... has been as bland as Mister Milquetoast's Baptist Library visits.

Reader Miss M. B. F. of the Greater District of Columbia area writes:

"What, pray God, has happened? When all around us has turned bloody and exciting your pathetic sheet has just pumped out Ovaltine and Mother Cohen's Chicken Broth. When kids and oldsters alike have been picked off cleanly with .223s your little 'read' has turned into a parchment of purity. Unless you go back to the old ways count me out ... cross me out ... don't come near me again!"

Dear Miss F:

We at THOCBDC think you'll be pleased with today's issue. It's been a wonderfully 'rough' day for the local crime reporters and here are the pictures to prove it. Enjoy!

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