Bangkok, June 2007
Part III

After Part II

June 2007

Thursday, June 21, 2007

River Garden.

OK, I didn't get out today. Paul sent me some great DVDs and it was impossible for me to get off the couch.

Tomorrow probably won't be much better.

What? You want Patpong?

PS: Cool; it keeps me from having to shave my pocket change while in the USA.

Mint Releases More 'Godless' Dollars

AP - Posted: 2007-06-20 10:24:43

PHILADELPHIA (June 19) - It looks like the U.S. Mint has struck again - or not struck again, depending on how you look at it. New dollar coins featuring John Adams are missing edge inscriptions including "In God We Trust," according to the Professional Coin Grading Service, a rare coin authentication company based in Newport Beach, Calif.

The company said people have found hundreds of Adams dollar coins without the edge lettering, repeating a previous mistake. In March, an unknown number of George Washington dollar coins were struck at the Philadelphia Mint without "In God We Trust," "E Pluribus Unum," and the year and mint mark inscribed on the edge.

A spokeswoman for the U.S. Mint said the agency is looking into the reports.

After the Washington "godless dollars" were discovered, the Mint pledged to more closely monitor the striking process. But a Detroit collector received smooth-edged Adams dollars in sealed containers from the Philadelphia Mint. There also are reports of the opposite problem - Adams coins with edge lettering that has been double-struck, said Ron Guth, president of the Professional Coin Grading Service.

"It's too early to put a final price tag on the collector value of Adams presidential dollar errors because no one knows how many others will turn up," Guth said in a news release.

The Adams dollars, officially released into circulation May 17, are the second in a series of presidential coins slated to run until 2016.

Friday, June 22, 2007 (Pre-journal)

A reader from New Mexico (David) sent me this clipping from a US newspaper.

PS to the Pre-journal:

Maybe Connie Meskimen has the last laugh.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Unless you have seen the finale of The Sopranos you won't get this.

A PS to it all for the day:

It's new, it's disgusting! And it fooled an oil industry group

June 19th, 2007, filed by Deborah Zabarenko
Posted by Deborah Zabarenko, Environment Correspondent

Sometimes you can't make it up any weirder than it actually is. That definitely was the case on June 14, when a pair of environmental pranksters managed to promote themselves as keynote speakers at the Gas and Oil Exposition - aka GO-EXPO 2007 - in Calgary.

Masquerading as officials from ExxonMobil and the U.S. National Petroleum Council, the two appeared before an oil industry audience and the buzz was that they would deliver long-awaited conclusions of a study commissioned by U.S. Energy Secretary Samuel Bodman.

They actually offered something a bit more revolutionary: a new fuel called Vivoleum, to be used in the event of a global climate calamity and made "by transforming the billions of people who die into oil."

"We need something like whales, but infinitely more abundant," said the faux NPC rep "Shepard Wolff" - in reality, Andy Bichlbaum of the satirical duo the Yes Men. He then described the technology that would render human flesh into Vivoleum, a new Exxon product, with 3-D animations and a PowerPoint presentation.

"Vivoleum works in perfect synergy with the continued expansion of fossil fuel production," noted the ersatz Exxon rep "Florian Osenberg" (Yes Man Mike Bonanno). "With more fossil fuels comes a greater chance of disaster, but that means more feedstock for Vivoleum. Fuel will continue to flow for those of us left."

The oil industry crowd listened attentively through the presentation and only started looking quizzical after the speakers began distributing memorial Vivoleum candles, putatively made from the remains of an Exxon janitor who perished after cleaning up a toxic spill. The candles were really made of paraffin, beeswax and bits of human hair, "so they actually stank, as you might expect if you were burning a human being," Bichlbaum said. The candles were mounted in boboches - little circles of printed paper to keep the melting wax off people's hands - printed with the message: "80 percent Vivoleum" and commemorating an actor named Reggie Watts, who played the janitor in a tribute video shown at the event.

"At this point, people have gone through disgust to realizing that they've probably been had, which is just fine," Bichlbaum said later by telephone. After that, the conference organizer charged up to the stage, made them stop the show and hustled Bonanno off. Bichlbaum, still in character, told reporters who clustered around him, "Well, we've got to turn humanity into fuel or do something with them, it'd be cruel not to do something with all that resource going to waste."

Calgary police were summoned but no arrests were made, and the Yes Men left without further incident.

The two have been orchestrating these kinds of events since 1999, when a satirical Web site they made that was pegged to the Seattle meetings of the World Trade Organization was mistaken for an official WTO site and the Yes Men got "accidental invitations" to speak to various gatherings. Bichlbaum acknowledged that the GO-EXPO presentation was near the pinnacle of prankdom.

"I would say this is a really good one because it's the kind of industry that's most evidently destroying the planet and destroying our chances for survival," he said. "And these people that we were speaking to are the most directly involved in destruction of any audience we've spoken to."

The Yes Men see themselves as political activists, but Bichlbaum accepted the title of environmentalist. "I think you have to be ... We all depend on the environment so much right now. We're not talking about just destruction of nature, we're talking about destruction of humanity with climate change and the way these things are going. It's not a matter of environmentalism, it's a matter of wanting to survive."

Neither ExxonMobil nor the National Petroleum Council would comment. The conference organizers issued a statement saying they had verified that their keynote speakers were not who they pretended to be.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Today THOCBDC made a rare visit to a Catholic church. I've seen this place before from the air: when we were on the 26th floor of the Millennium Hilton. But I have never visited the place on foot.

Today I did.

It is a colorful spot ... nice outside architecture and really cool stuff inside; save for the stained glass windows which seemed too Stations of the Crossy.

But, no one was seen worshiping anything ... the pews were empty ... the confessional was bare of humans.

Outside, business was normal. Food beats gods any day.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Age 13: boys not toys.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Watcharee's grandmother, mother, stepfather, uncles, aunts, nephews and nieces at Ayutthaya. Altogether there were about 35 people there for her mother's birthday.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Boat traffic on the Chao Phraya river.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Our final dinner at the Millennium Hilton's Prime restaurant before we leave for Florida.

PS: Storm approaching ... actually it is just a pretty front.

Thursday, June 28, 2007 (Pre-journal)

fi yuo cna raed tihs, yuo hvae a sgtrane mnid too

Cna yuo raed tihs? Olny 55 plepoe out of 100 can.

I cdnuolt blveiee taht I cluod aulaclty uesdnatnrd waht I was rdanieg. The phaonmneal pweor of the hmuan mnid, aoccdrnig to a rscheearch at Cmabrigde Uinervtisy, it dseno't mtaetr in waht oerdr the ltteres in a wrod are, the olny iproamtnt tihng is taht the frsit and lsat ltteer be in the rghit pclae. The rset can be a taotl mses and you can sitll raed it whotuit a pboerlm. Tihs is bcuseae the huamn mnid deos not raed ervey lteter by istlef, but the wrod as a wlohe. Azanmig huh? yaeh and I awlyas tghuhot slpeling was ipmorantt! if you can raed tihs forwrad it.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Shang Palace at the Shangri-La hotel.

PS: Do we really want to come back to "Merica"!

Friday, June 29, 2007

At a little after midnight we'll board a flight from Bangkok to London. After a layover of several hours we'll catch a British Airways flight to Miami. The door to door journey will take about 29 hours (@ 22 of them in the air).

Saturday, June 30, 2007 (David's Birthday)

These photos were taken on the London-Miami leg.

Next: July

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