July in Florida, Part III

After Part II

July 2004

Sunday, July 11, 2004 (pre-journal)

"Six Feet Under" a long time ago.

Bangkok in 1981.

Sunday, July 11, 2004

Vietnamese and Chinese vending machine drinks in the early 1980's:

PS: Bangkok in the early '80's looks like more fun.

Monday, July 12, 2004

Guess who?

Wednesday, July 13, 2004

THOCBDC's core: corkscrews ... Iron pieces (part of the core) ... not the best, but ...

Wednesday, July 14, 2004 (Annie's Birthday)

Happy Birthday, Annie!

A strange corkscrew ... a bit different:

Why this car? No, I did not buy it ... it came here by accident. "F**k!" Yes, someone backed into me ... while I was moving.

Thursday, July 15, 2004

From the cigarette lighter collection of Chairman Mao and Kim Jong Il:

Friday, July 16, 2004

Maybe only my kids will be watching this program ... it IS more than 30 years old:

PS: Election year advice? Words to Iraq? Or, just plain advice to someone who is thinking of getting a divorce ... or, taking on a lover?

"It must be remembered that there is nothing more difficult to plan, more doubtful of success, nor more dangerous to manage than the creation of a new system. For the initiator has the enmity of all who would profit by the preservation of the old institutions and merely lukewarm defenders in those who would gain by the new ones." - Machiavelli, The Prince

Saturday, July 17, 2004

Ok, this is for "Dead Like Me" fans ... do you recognize the episode?

PS: The foundation of the episode was from the canvases (sketch pads) of Edward Hopper.

Sunday, July 18, 2004

A Seattle corkscrew ... but is the Hotel still alive?

Monday, July 19, 2004

My friend, Derek, led me to this site ... which explains a little more about The Gowman Hotel. Can it be that this very corkscrew once belonged to "Bunny"?


Life of An Ex-Madam

"Our bodies write bills that our minds and souls have to pay."

One morning, walking off my hunger, I looked over dark green velvet curtains and a brass rail into the dining room of Seattle's Gowman Hotel. I saw this red-headed girl with a silver fox "chubby jacket," which was just the greatest thing in the world to have at that time. She was eating steak and eggs and coffee and milk. Steak in the morning for breakfast! It stayed in my mind. Later, when I was skiing in the mountains during an affair with the captain of the vice squad, it turned out that his buddy owned that hotel, and knew the girl. She was a call girl.

I couldn't stay in the mountains one minute longer. I pressured the captain to take me to Seattle. Once we got back, he introduced me to the Gowman's owner. I had one thing on my mind. "Who is this girl? I want to see what she does. I want to know all about this." It amused the captain and his friend. They could see what was going to happen. They took me to her room and pulled open drawers full of beautiful lingerie, silk stockings I couldn't get, and closets full of clothes. I wanted it and I wanted her out of the hotel. And I did take that suite. The captain of the vice squad taught me the law side of the game, the racketeers and pimps to avoid. I was seventeen years old.

With World War II going on and three aircraft carriers in Seattle, I couldn't turn all the tricks myself, so I called some girls I'd met in jail. And then I couldn't work myself, because somebody had to keep the books. Who was going where, who was next? I was a madam before I knew the word.

All the girls, myself included, had a lifetime of yearning along with the shame. There was a lot of shame we didn't talk about. If we happened to be in a frame of mind not receptive to what we were doing, even the nicest of men was someone we resented-if for nothing more than for having to fake pleasure and successfully play with his emotions. We were satisfying someone else's needs when our own needs went unfulfilled. Our bodies wrote bills that our minds and souls had to pay. I wondered, who was I, what was I, how did I get into this? Where was I going to be tomorrow?

Tuesday, July 20, 2004

And, now for something different: a photo of our friend Susan.

PS: But, I do need to have a few corkscrews lying around.

Wednesday, July 21, 2004

Should there be an apostrophe (possessive) on this corkscrew ... or, is it just a sloppy plural that ran out of space on the tube?

Admittedly, Port was a frequently prescribed medicine for the weak, sick, elderly and those not of a strong heart.

PS: I think the corkscrew guy got it right.

Thursday, July 22, 2004 [HAPPY BIRTHDAY LINDA]

This afternoon we got back from Miami's Homeland-Security-US-Immigration-Office (a place that makes the most awful and dreadful South Florida driver's license bureaus look, by comparison, like The Oriental Hotel lobby on a gala reception night ). And, still (some 17 months after our marriage) HSUSIO still doesn't know when our Green Card hearing is scheduled for (sorry for ending on a preposition) ... [but, so did W. Churchill end sentences in this way, while winding up awkward bits]. Anyway, the people gave Watcharee another one-year I-512 (visa to come to the USA). Whatever, we'll probably go back to BKK in mid-August and await the 'word'. Usually HSUSIO gives the person 2 to 4 weeks notice of the interview date.

In the mean time ... and keeping with our corkscrew roots ... we have some Williamson's ... one of them is really rare:

Friday, July 23, 2004

Flying corkscrews:

PS: Which one is Bobby Fischer ... is the other one Don Bull, or someone else?

Don Bull, pictured here in 1992 during the match in Yugoslavia?

PPS: Bangkok 24 years ago ... hard to imagine what she looks like now:

Saturday, July 24, 2004


Sunday, July 25, 2004

Unless the people who run Miami's US Immigration Homeland Security factory have us on their immediate conveyor belt, we will probably be flying back home to Bangkok about two weeks from today. We miss Thai food. The local Thai restaurants (aside from Sushi-Toy on Federal Highway) are very 'weakish' ... catering to tongues who like the bland.

Only a trip to The Oriental Market (on route US 441 ... or State Road 7) can satisfy Thai taste buds. We usually go there at least once a week. Watcharee cooked this for tonight ... rather, these were her preparations.

For corkscrewers:

Some "ivory" ladies who assist with corks.

Monday, July 26, 2004

Pocket corkscrews ... symmetrical ones (the handles, that is).

PS: I guess she is 24 years older ..... sigh ... so am I ...

Tuesday, July 27, 2004

Yes ... perfume corkscrews ... well, a couple of them might have been designed for opening medicine bottles (e.g., pulling the little corks out of quarter-pint sized glasses of "Ol' Doc Jacob's Magical Codeine Cough Syrup" ... to make a rough evening go a little smoother ... while her old man pulled down a fifth of Old Crow?).

You can see how small they are ... lying next to a Williamson (built for wine).

All are silver (terribly tarnished ... sorry), save for the gold one.

The gold one has an eyeglass built into the handle (1.5 power) to allow the lady to look a bit tighter toward stage.

One of the silver ones has a signet ... perhaps an obverse seal.

Wednesday, July 28, 2004

Here are four cork-NON-screws ... tomorrow you can see three more, if you choose to tune in:

Today's are (1) an old AhSo (2) a UNeek (3) the Magic Twist and (4) Tomey's Patent.

All of these use things other than a screw to leverage-out the cork. (*)

(*) These are older machines that rely on something other than a worm to pull the cork ... very 'modern' alternative ones use air and other gasses to pass the cork (which we will look at later).

Thursday, July 29, 2004

As promised, here are three more cork-NON-screws; from left to right: (1) a three piece French thing ... which surely must have retailed for less than any other opener on the market (*) (**), (2) the EZ Cork Puller and (3) Greely's Cork Extractor.

(*) It is just a peg of wood bundled with a couple of miniature metal paddle inserts...each with finger holes. I have never tried it on a cork; my guess is that it is not worth even the tiny number of French francs that it cost.

(**) A rock from the garden...slammed against the neck of the bottle...would be an easier way to get at contents; but, you might need a sieve to separate the shards of glass from the claret.

PS: Well, twenty four years ago WAS fun.

Friday, July 30, 2004

These are Champagne taps: little machines that allow you to get at the 'bubbly' without actually pulling the cork.

Since 19th century bottlers of Mumms and Chandon and Piper were convinced that their lady customers could only take a glass or two or three of their wine before plunging the magnum back into the ice bucket ... well, they 'allowed' them (via these clever taps) to squirt or dribble only a glass or two or three from the bottle. After which, the ladies, in faux modesty, could vault the sparkling juice back into the ice (allowing it to wait for them until the following night ... or morning?)

Saturday, July 31, 2004

After allowing the audio to marinate for 10 months, National Public Radio's program "Only a Game" released its coverage of the 2003 King's Cup Elephant Polo Tournament (featuring the Screwless Tuskers) today. In case you missed it on the radio, the clip is available in the archives of the Only a Game web site. (The Elephant Polo segment is near the end of the broadcast.)

If you'd like to download an MP3 copy of the portion of the program that was dedicated to Elephant Polo, just right-click here and save it for posterity.

"Only a Game" also provided some photos from the tournament at its site:

Next: Final Week in Florida

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