June 17-26, 2003
Construction of Corkscrew Balloon IV is complete! Brilliant balloon artist Sian Jones was on hand to witness the test inflation near Bristol, England, and she has submitted photo documentation of the event.
Here you can see all four sides, honoring the Screwy Tuskers and the Patpong Corkscrew Club. Also featured is Jan the lovely balloon model. Additional detailed pictures are available in the Test Inflation Photo Album.
The late Thomas Biddle spent much of his adult life in Ecuador doing "his God-given best to convert unbelievers and their rascal-like children to the teachings of The Lord." For the better part of the early 1900s, Biddle concentrated almost all of his proselytizing efforts on the Jivaro tribe of eastern Ecuador, who were "infamous in everything and surely doomed to fry in hell for their silly scorn of the Jesus-like faces of their rightfully despised European trading masters."
Though Biddle loathed the Jivaro practice of shrinking human heads (tsantsas), he was rightfully amused that his 'converts' finally restricted this particular 'torment' to the Caucasian traders who took unfair advantage of the 'receptive friendliness' of the local Jivaro ('un-called-for') women.
This particular specimen was prepared(*) for the tourist trade.
(*) Standard 'shrunken skull' preparation in 1930's Ecuador involved a 'gentle' decapitation, soft tissue and gristle removal by hot water-assisted scraping and poking, the careful emplacement of super-steamed lava rocks through the 'neckal' cavity, pig-gut suture of head orifices and ... most important ... the constant monitoring of the off-bone flesh and rind condition throughout the 16 hour process.
All law students are familiar with the "stacks": great places in law libraries that house the Reports, the Digests, the Hornbooks, the Statutes and other Shit that make up the Law ... and where students spend countless hours in tiny carrels briefing cases, fantasizing about sex, thinking about food and wondering if it is all worth it.
In 2000 Max Aguilera-Hellweg photographed this skeleton of an eight-month old with anencephaly and spina bifida: yes, it was standing in the "stacks."
I think it is time to return to Bangkok.
Subj: Security Update Date: 6/20/2003 9:21:25 AM Eastern Daylight Time From: firstname.lastname@example.org To: email@example.com If you have been reading the newspapers or watching TV over the last two weeks, you are probably wondering what exactly is going on in Thailand concerning terrorism and how it relates to Americans residing here. You have most likely seen the story about the three men arrested in southern Thailand for plotting attacks against several embassies and soft targets in Thailand, and the more recent arrest involving a person selling material for possible use in a "dirty bomb". While information like this can be unsettling to some, investigations and arrests in such matters are ongoing worldwide. We have seen arrests in Saudi Arabia, Indonesia, Singapore, Cambodia, the United States, and many other places around the world. Plots have been reported in various regions, and facilities worldwide have been at a heightened state of alert for months. Southeast Asia and Thailand are not immune from terrorism, and the events of the past two weeks have shown that to be the case. The good news is that the Thai authorities are very active in pursuing matters related to terrorism, and the U.S. Embassy has a close working relationship with them. If credible information is developed concerning threats involving American citizens or American interests, we will provide you with as much information as we can, offer appropriate guidance, and work with the Thai authorities to make sure they are taking all possible steps to counter the threat. While we will continue to work closely with the Thai authorities with regard to the safety of the American community, we urge you to remain proactive in your personal security practices. You should remain vigilant and prepared. Consider holding emergency drills for your family or business, and report suspicious persons and incidents to the police immediately. If you haven't already done so, review the State Department's Travel Advisories, including the Consular Information Sheet for Thailand. Take the information seriously, and make sure your family members are aware of the information as well. The safety of American citizens in Thailand is extremely important to us. The Embassy's American Citizen services Unit is here to assist Americans and may be contacted at 02-205-4049.
Seven years (*) ago today THOCBDC's very first travel journal appeared. It was entitled "21 Reasons Why Denise Quit Her Job".Lore has it that over the course of seven years every single cell in the human body has been replaced by a new one ... so, we are not really the same physical person that we were before the clock started to tick. This may explain the 'seven year itch'. It may also have something to do with the feeling that people seem to make really major changes in their lives every seven years or so.
(*) Or, 2,557 days.
PPS: Model for CB #5?
Yikes! We're still stuck in Florida! Our departure back to Bangkok has been delayed by 'official' paperwork ... things like taxpayer-identification-number requirements, local driver's license insistences, social security missives ... all from those 'wonderful' government agencies that drive so many people to embrace the Libertarian Party, or take 'to the hills'.
Anyway, this evening we returned to Max's Beach Place for another round of mussels ... Watcharee's friend, Kig, came with us. Kig is from Thailand; she, too, is married to a 'farang' ... but is now a long-term USA resident.
PS: This just-in 'Immigration' tip from Andy Page of the UK's Inland Revenue: ... assuming you are coming into the UK from a 'dusky' part of the world, or you are in possession of a 'dusky' passport:
Immigration officers decide which people should or shouldn't be let into the country based on their shoes, according to author Tony Saint. "If you see someone from a Third World flight, they may look the part of the international businessman," he told us. "They may have the suit, may have the suitcase, the tie. But just have a look at the shoes and they will be the give-away as to whether they are genuine or not."
PPS: Do you think she is too tough for a CB model?
PPPS: From reader Bull (his 'Answer' embraces the question):
>>"PPS: Do you think she is too tough for a CB model?"<<
I think I would be afraid to be alone with her in a balloon.
OK, Don, how about this one? She's doing a quick change right now ... but, she will be ready.
"Driving ... Miss Watcharee"!
PS: A TV Guide ad: who actually buys these things?
What is this?
Of course, no respectable blog would be complete without a photograph of what the blogger had for dinner.
Another blog highlight: a view from the rear window.
PS: Reader D. M. from Stanislaus County, California (America's Most Famous Crime Scene) writes:
|"Cut the blog shit! Who gives a f*** about what the f*** you eat or what the f*** you see out your back door. Bring back the f****** p**** shots or your ass is f****** dead."|
PS: OK, D.M. (of the Stanislaus County jail), THOCBDC appreciates your threat.
Next: Part XXI