Bangkok, June 2008

After May

June 1-10, 2008

Sunday, June 1, 2008 (Pre-Journal)

Here is the Leo girl for June.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

These photos were taken at the front of the Athenee Residence: the Ruam Rudi side of the building.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Are we going to have another coup in Bangkok? The atmosphere this week is very similar to the one that prevailed just before the last coup ... the one that booted Thaksin.

Hey, maybe the US masses could learn something from Thailand ... we would not have had to suffer a full 8 years under the W if we had gone to coup school earlier.

Meanwhile the Shangri-La's lobby bar was all peace and quiet, as it should be.

My Thai friend, Kanda, from California has found a new gadget. According to her it performs audio and video miracles. Does anyone else have one? Kanda's gadget reminds me of a pet grumble: why can't we have Tivo in Bangkok? Our local cable service (actually, satellite service), True, does not offer anything like Comcast in the US offers. This is annoying.



Most of the students entering College this fall, members of the Class of 2011, were born in 1989. For them, Alvin Ailey, Andrei Sakharov, Huey Newton, Emperor Hirohito, Ted Bundy, Abbie Hoffman, and Don the Beachcomber have always been dead.

  1. What Berlin wall?
  2. Humvees, minus the artillery, have always been available to the public.
  3. Rush Limbaugh and the "Dittoheads" have always been lambasting liberals.
  4. They never "rolled down" a car window.
  5. Michael Moore has always been angry and funny.
  6. They may confuse the Keating Five with a rock group.
  7. They have grown up with bottled water.
  8. General Motors has always been working on an electric car.
  9. Nelson Mandela has always been free and a force in South Africa.
  10. Pete Rose has never played baseball.
  11. Rap music has always been mainstream.
  12. Religious leaders have always been telling politicians what to do, or else!
  13. "Off the hook" has never had anything to do with a telephone.
  14. Music has always been "unplugged."
  15. Russia has always had a multi-party political system.
  16. Women have always been police chiefs in major cities.
  17. They were born the year Harvard Law Review Editor Barack Obama announced he might run for office some day.
  18. The NBA season has always gone on and on and on and on.
  19. Classmates could include Michelle Wie, Jordin Sparks, and Bart Simpson.
  20. Half of them may have been members of the Baby-sitters Club.
  21. Eastern Airlines has never "earned their wings" in their lifetime.
  22. No one has ever been able to sit down comfortably to a meal of "liver with some fava beans and a nice Chianti."
  23. Wal-Mart has always been a larger retailer than Sears and has always employed more workers than GM.
  24. Being "lame" has to do with being dumb or inarticulate, not disabled.
  25. Wolf Blitzer has always been serving up the news on CNN.
  26. Katie Couric has always had screen cred.
  27. Al Gore has always been running for president or thinking about it.
  28. They never found a prize in a Coca-Cola "MagiCan."
  29. They were too young to understand Judas Priest's subliminal messages.
  30. When all else fails, the Prozac defense has always been a possibility.
  31. Multigrain chips have always provided healthful junk food.
  32. They grew up in Wayne's World.
  33. U2 has always been more than a spy plane.
  34. They were introduced to Jack Nicholson as "The Joker."
  35. Stadiums, rock tours and sporting events have always had corporate names.
  36. American rock groups have always appeared in Moscow.
  37. Commercial product placements have been the norm in films and on TV.
  38. On Parents' Day on campus, their folks could be mixing it up with Lisa Bonet and Lenny Kravitz with daughter Zöe, or Kathie Lee and Frank Gifford with son Cody.
  39. Fox has always been a major network.
  40. They drove their parents crazy with the Beavis and Butt-Head laugh.
  41. The "Blue Man Group" has always been everywhere.
  42. Women's studies majors have always been offered on campus.
  43. Being a latchkey kid has never been a big deal.
  44. Thanks to MySpace and Facebook, autobiography can happen in real time.
  45. They learned about JFK from Oliver Stone and Malcolm X from Spike Lee.
  46. Most phone calls have never been private.
  47. High definition television has always been available.
  48. Microbreweries have always been ubiquitous.
  49. Virtual reality has always been available when the real thing failed.
  50. Smoking has never been allowed in public spaces in France.
  51. China has always been more interested in making money than in reeducation.
  52. Time has always worked with Warner.
  53. Tiananmen Square is a 2008 Olympics venue, not the scene of a massacre.
  54. The purchase of ivory has always been banned.
  55. MTV has never featured music.
  56. The space program has never really caught their attention except in disasters.
  57. Jerry Springer has always been lowering the level of discourse on TV.
  58. They get much more information from Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert than from the newspaper.
  59. They're always texting 1 n other.
  60. They will encounter roughly equal numbers of female and male professors in the classroom.
  61. They never saw Johnny Carson live on television.
  62. They have no idea who Rusty Jones was or why he said "goodbye to rusty cars."
  63. Avatars have nothing to do with Hindu deities.
  64. Chavez has nothing to do with iceberg lettuce and everything to do with oil.
  65. Illinois has been trying to ban smoking since the year they were born.
  66. The World Wide Web has been an online tool since they were born.
  67. Chronic fatigue syndrome has always been debilitating and controversial.
  68. Burma has always been Myanmar.
  69. Dilbert has always been ridiculing cubicle culture.
  70. Food packaging has always included nutritional labeling.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

The June 2008 issue of Esquire published the results of this Pew Research Center poll.

Americans say they would be less likely to support a candidate if he or she were:

Atheist: 61%
Muslim: 45%
Mormon: 25%
Evangelical Christian: 16%
Hispanic: 15%
A woman: 12%
Jewish: 11%
Catholic: 7%
Black: 6%

Personally, I would prefer to see an atheist in the White House. And, I have a strong suspicion that one or more of the three remaining contenders for the spot are closet atheists. Obama's father was an atheist and Obama himself did not join a church until he developed political aspirations ... so, he is my strongest case for being a closet atheist. Hillary's Bill is likely in my mind to be a nonbeliever and she probably agrees with him. McCain seems bright enough not to be superstitious. Unfortunately, all of them, for obvious political reasons, have to pretend to suck up to God.

Returning to food, Angelinis in the Shangri La hotel is still one of my favorite Italian restaurants.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Watcharee makes busy feeding the 'spirits'. But, in the end a cat got it.

PS: We now have a clothed photo of Sandra. But, feel free to check her out in the buff.

Thursday, June 5, 2008 (Pre-journal)

I wonder what that ceremony would be like ... the sprinkling of holy water ... chants in Latin by altar boys ... several incense burners swung from gold chains ... the lighting of red holy candles ... maybe the Pope himself would have to don his bright pink slippers and pay a visit to the crime scene. I suppose at some point the one in charge of the ceremony would have to ask God to wipe up the mess.

Atheists caught having sex in cathedral

(CNN) -- A man and a woman have been charged by police in Italy after they were found having sex in a confession box, it was reported Wednesday.

The Italian ANSA news agency said the young man and woman were taken into custody by police in the northern city of Cesena following a telephone complaint from a man attending morning Mass in the city's cathedral.

Authorities were alerted after a parishoner heard "rustling and groaning" coming from inside the confession box and pulled back the curtains to reveal a goth-rock couple engaged in oral sex, ANSA said.

The agency said the pair -- a 31-year-old laborer and a 32-year-old teacher -- defended their conduct saying: "We are atheists and for us, having sex in church is like doing it any other place."

However, Bishop Antonio Lanfranchi of Cesena-Sarsina took said the couple's behavior was "an outrage of notable proportions which bespeaks unutterable squalor."

He added that a special ceremony would be held to purify the confession box.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Lek, who works at my local foot massage shop celebrated her 25th birthday today with an in-shop cooked meal.

Friday, June 6, 2008

My old home, The Oriental, is looking pretty good. IMHO this place is still the best hotel in the world. Hey, I really miss 1410, the Gore Vidal suite. Anyway, old readers will recognize the views. Now that the rainy season is here you can see that they have just installed the canvas over the Terrace dining area. The Author's Lounge is a great place for High Tea.

PS: Don Bull writes:

Yesterday I got my boat ready for summer. I cleaned and polished. I checked life jackets and other accessories. I inserted the key in the ignition and turned it. Nothing happened.

I wondered "Dead battery?" I opened the battery compartment and lo and behold - no battery! Stolen! I didn't feel as bad about the battery as I did in knowing that a fellow boater could stoop that low. Sad.

But today I felt a little better about the theft from me after reading about a far worse theft. Can you imagine? ...

8-foot statue of Jesus stolen off Detroit crucifix
By Corey Williams

DETROIT (AP) — Thieves seeking copper to sell as scrap may have stolen an 8-foot statue of Jesus Christ off a crucifix in Detroit. Problem is, it's made of plaster.

The Rev. Barry Randolph said Wednesday that the statue at the Church of the Messiah is a green color and looks like copper, one of several metals coveted by thieves because of soaring scrap prices.

Thieves have damaged copper pipes and stolen aluminum gutters at the church over the past few months as the congregation has dwindled from about 350 members to just 50, congregation member Donya Ray-Gregg said.

It's unclear when the statue was snatched. A parishioner noticed it missing Monday from its perch on the side of the church, 10 feet above the ground. A small piece of plaster was found nearby.

The church has made a public plea for help.

"It is so crazy," Randolph said. "It's been there for so long and was a symbol of hope to a lot of people in this neighborhood."

Police were investigating, but department spokesman James Tate said it was doubtful thieves had mistaken the plaster statue for copper.

"People who steal copper know what copper is and what it feels like," Tate said. "There is no way they would think a plaster statue is some type of metal."

How low can you go??????

P.S. This afternoon I bought a new battery. $99.16. I feel sad again.

Further news from Don:

Again from the same news source:

An 8-foot statue of Jesus that was stolen from the cross at the Church of the Messiah on Detroit's east side was found in an alley near the church.

The Rev. Barry Randolph said Patricia Bower, a woman who lives in the neighborhood, decided to take a shortcut home and found Jesus "in a bush, between two trees" Wednesday night.

Randolph and a church member went to pick up Jesus and found the green-hewed, weather-beaten statue with only a hand missing.

"We are truly grateful," Randolph said Thursday.

But in a twist, someone advertised the statue for sale on the classified ad Web site Craigslist on Wednesday. Then, presumably the same person called the church to try to sell it to back to the congregation for $1,000. Randolph said he declined. The statue had been found by then.

The statue is made of a strong plaster, but a thief or thieves may have mistaken it for copper. A parishioner called church staff Tuesday morning and told them the statue was missing from the 107-year-old Episcopal church at 231 E. Grand Blvd. The cross on the side of the building was badly damaged.

"We got calls from all over the world," Randolph said of how fast the news spread.

Vandals and thieves have hit the church a few times in recent months. The basement was flooded when someone tried to steal copper pipes. The aluminum gutters were stolen as were bricks from the back of the building.

The church will have the statue and cross repaired and will host a "resurrection celebration" when it is put in place. Randolph said the church will post a sign next to it: "Jesus is not copper. Do not take him off the cross."

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Up to very recently a Thai woman who was married had to change her ID card to read Mrs. rather than Miss. Now she has the option of keeping Miss or returning to Miss. Of course, the political cartoonists had fun with this.

PS: Yes, there is another foot massage place that I visit. It is located up the river at River City.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Adjacent to the Athenee Residence there is, for want of a better word, a strip mall. In the heart of Bangkok it is hard to find a block of retail businesses that has its own dedicated street level self-parking lot ... thus strip mall comes to mind even though the locals call it something else. Though it has been on Ruam Rudi for a number of years, its tenants have been recently upgraded. In the past, THOCBDC has visited at least two and perhaps three of the restaurants that are located here, but THOCBDC has yet to do a census of all twelve of the businesses that share this off-street parking strip.

Here are the twelve businesses and the parking strip as well as a shot of the Athenee Residence as seen from the strip mall.

Monday, June 9, 2008 (Pre-Journal)

Any guesses as to what this finger bone once did?

Monday, June 9, 2008

Yikes! What is this? I saw it in Lumpini Park yesterday. It doesn't move but it does move water. Apparently it is hooked up to a timer or some sort of activation device as it started up while I was there.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Due to a glitch in my desktop computer I'm forced to use an ancient (2003) laptop ... and its stored photos. Hope to be back in 2008 within 24 hours. Meanwhile let's go back ...

Any guesses as to what this finger bone once did?

It is part of the finger that Napoleon Bonaparte flipped at the Duke of Wellingon during the Battle of Waterloo. It is from the collection of Marie.


A finger of a Prostitute..JFD.



AP — Former Democratic presidential candidate Dennis Kucinich introduces a resolution on the House floor, calling for the impeachment of President Bush. Kucinich says Bush mislead the country into going to war against Iraq, violating his oath of office. Kucinich's proposal is not expected to go anywhere.

YES! It should go somewhere.

PPS: Why I really don't like living in America:

A new law makes South Carolina the first state to give drivers a chance to display a cross on their license plates. The design features a cross over a stained-glass window and the words "I Believe." Critics call it a state endorsement of Christianity, but the bill's co-sponsor tells The New York Times that such views are from "very closed-minded people." In April, Florida rejected a similar design, below.

Next: Part II

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