Back to Bangkok, Part IV

Following Part III

November 12-15, 2002

Tuesday, November 12, 2002


"Has the day of the dot com come and gone?"

"No, not quite yet. The dot coms will be with us for some little time yet ... but, as marginal players ... and, probably not nearly even as long as some people think ... and, I know for sure that the time is now ripe for the real rocket-take-off for any well designed dot hm. And, when that happens there will be a stampede out of dot coms and a rush into anything with a dot hm."

"What exactly is a dot hm?"

"It is the Internet country code of Heard Island and McDonald Islands."

"Where exactly is this place?"

"The islands are in the Indian Ocean, about two-thirds of the way from Madagascar to Antarctica ... 53.06º South, 72.31º East."

"Its population?"

"No humans."


"None ... it is 80% ice-covered ... bleak ... mountainous ... dominated by a large massif and an active volcano."

"What makes it so important?"

"It is the new home of"

The following article was tucked away on the inside pages of the Internet edition of the Bangkok Post. The 'paper' version of the paper reported it on page 4. But, according to inside sources the accused woman's hospitality career was not limited to her one-time position as a communications manager at the Sofitel Hotel. This morning much 'buzzing' was heard around The Oriental when her color photograph appeared on the front page of one of the great Thai language national dailies. The accused's 'signature' wrap-around sun glasses brought back many memories from 7 or 8 years ago.

Woman held for bank heist
Wassayos Ngamkham

A woman claiming to be the daughter of a former Thai ambassador was caught robbing a bank on Chaengwattana road yesterday.

Pisaka Pahulrat, 48, was arrested at Ayudhya Bank's Chaengwattana 14 branch. Police said Ms Pisaka was wearing sunglasses, a cap, jacket and gloves. She slipped a note over the counter ordering the teller to put as much cash as possible in a bag within five minutes. The teller pressed an alarm button and police arrived shortly after.

Police said she had a .22 pistol in her possession, a pouch and 2,551 baht in personal cash. She was charged with robbery, and possessing and carrying a firearm in public without permission.

She told police her mother had an acute illness and she needed money for her treatment. She stole the gun from her father and had acted alone.

Ms Pisaka said she was the daughter of Jamnong Pahulrat, whom she claimed to be a former ambassador to Brazil. She also said she used to work as communications manager at the Sofitel Central Plaza hotel but was between jobs.

Tonight Watcharee and I had dinner with Dr. Richard L. White and his wife Dr. Joanne F. White. They live in Provo, a town down in the Turks (small islands in the Caribbean Sea that may or may not also host Internet top-domains). They are good friends with Eric and Joan Bancel. (You remember them ... they visited us a couple of months ago.)

Who is this girl?

Wednesday, November 13, 2002

Though I wasn't able to attend the 2002 ICCA AGM in Europe I am aware that Addict Nick Hunt has proposed that the 2005 AGM (for both the ICCA and the PCC) be held in and on Heard Island and McDonald Island (now better known as Dot hm or simply .hm). I have taken the liberty of reproducing, below, his 'invitation' in its entirety:

In a message dated 11/12/2002 1:01:32 PM SE Asia Standard Time, writes:

Subj: The secrets out !!!
Date: 11/12/2002 1:01:32 PM SE Asia Standard Time

Dear Alf,

So, the secrets out about the ICCA & PCC AGMs in 2005. Having the CIA (Corkscrews in Australia) working for you unlocked the adventure to be had at these meetings.

Activities would have to include such things like - Elephant-seal polo, penguin pin bowling and polo bear wrestling. There would be Day-Trips on offer, in a fine open air dingy to Flat Island and McDonald Island with an overnight at "Shag Island." Warning: there is to be no 'shags on the rocks'. Starting all meetings with the toast and a refreshing class of 'Yellow ice surprise' would be nice. Staying with the local theme, meals would include, bird eggs, dried grass, mammal droppings and fish, lots of fish. There will be daily prayer sessions to be rescued and if we're lucky a trip on an illegal Russian whaling ship.

It will be a lot better than going to the mainland of Australia with it's Bushfires, drought, deadly spiders and snakes, killer jelly-fish, sharks, psycho koala's and kangaroos. Not to mention the beer drinking locals, but that's another story.

Please pass on my regards to Watcheree.

I hope you are both well.

Best regards from 'Down-under'


For readers still unfamiliar with Heard Island and McDonald Island (aka Dot hm, alias .hm) a quick read of my journal of yesterday and a trip to the links should give you the bare bones about the place.

Dot hm, though isolated from everywhere and everything ICCAers and PCCers are used to, Heard Island and McDonald Island is not totally barren of excitement. A quick pass through GOOGLE found this interesting neighbor:

Virtual Frog Dissection Kit

This award-winning interactive program is part of the "Whole Frog" project. You can interactively dissect a (digitized) frog named Fluffy, make movies, and play the Virtual Frog Builder Game. The interactive Web pages are available in a number of languages.

We welcome your suggestions and comments. Comments from teachers and students are especially welcome. Please note, however, that we are computer scientists, not biologists. We will not be able to help you with your homework (see biology-related information for help). Also, we don't know of any animals other than the frog that have a computer-graphics based virtual dissection page. We get frequent requests for this information. If someone has done such a page for a fetal pig, cat, etc., we'd be interested in hearing about it.

On a more serious note, I noticed that my neighbor, The Shangri-La Hotel, is now checking the undersides of entering motor vehicles using rolling mirrors. Trunks are being 'popped' as well. I am sure that the other hotels are taking similar precautions. As Watcharee and I have three hotels on three sides of us we are in a 'good' position to witness flying 'farangs' if the baddies 'move' up-market, so to speak.

Though a lot of Bangkokians are on edge ... what with bombs going off in neighboring resorts ... today's CNN news suggests that a barely-alive bid Laden1 may have again turned his threatening backside toward the West:

The tape is addressed to "peoples of the countries allied with the tyrannical U.S. government" and specifically mentions Britain, France, Italy, Canada, Germany, Australia and Israel, according to a U.S. government translation provided to The Associated Press.

"What business do your governments have to ally themselves with the gang of criminality in the White House against Muslims? Don't your governments know that the White House gang is the biggest serial killers in this age?" the speaker says.

Is this a ruse ... or must diners at Longchamps worry ... are the Beefeaters at the Tower in danger ... was all the propping of the leaning tower of Pisa for naught ... is the Toronto stock exchange in peril ... will Ayers Rock be sprayed with paint ... Israeli cooking wine; will it be boycotted?

1 Al Fijad, the highly respected Middle East publication of the Murdoch publishing empire claims that bin Laden is now armless and legless and must rely on blind flunkies to perform the all important wiping ceremonies.

PS. My Editor at THOCBDC has just informed me2 that the .hm in the frog page has nothing to do with Heard Island and McDonald Island. The place is even more barren than first thought. Can we be the only residents? Can anyone find me a neighbor?

2 "The frog dissection page, for instance, just has .hm in the middle of its URL; it's not actually in the .hm domain territory (it's in .gov)."

PPS to Nick Hunt: The 'girls' (Ohmy and Gift) send their love and have asked about your return to Patpong.

Patpong Corkscrew Club, September 2002

Thursday, November 14, 2002

We have a winner in our "Name that 'Who is that Girl' Contest."

Ms. A. Moore of Seattle, Washington (located on the Pacific Ocean in the American northwest) correctly guessed the names behind the faces now looking at you from niches immediately below the next paragraph.

Her prize is an all expenses-paid trip to Bangkok for the Loy Krathong Festival. In order to claim this prize she only has to contact Regency Travel of Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Should this prize go uncollected the monies set aside for it will be 'distributed' to the 'needy' of Patpong.

March 4, 2000:Porn
April 7, 2000:Oh
April 10, 2000:Oh
April 11, 2000:Mai
May 22, 2000: Ning
June 11, 2000:Watcharee1
August 18, 2001:Orange
October 26, 2001:Noi and Friend
November 29, 2001:Ohmy
December 20, 2001:Amma
March 26, 2002:Gift
March 30, 2002:Gift
August 24, 2002:Tung
August 30, 2002:Usa and Watcharee
November 8, 2002:Golf
November 12, 2002:Nuch

1 By now all readers should know that the password for any protected area at THOCBDC is 'password'; and that the get-you-in-the-door user name is always 'user'.

PS: If anyone should know the whereabouts of Ms. A. Moore please tell her of her good fortune. Repeated attempts to reach her by telephone have failed. The clock is ticking ... down ... not in her favor.

Friday, November 15, 2002

We are still waiting to hear from Ms. A. Moore of Seattle regarding her "Who's That Girl?" contest prize. Some of the puzzle girls are here to encourage her to come forward:

Ning Watcharee Orange Noi Amma Gift Nuch

Tomorrow, we will have a special feature, contributed by one of THOCBDC's regular readers. It will be a little different from the standard, run-of-the-mill daily journals ...

Stay tuned!

Next: The Secret Life of Alf

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