Anatomy of a Tribute

Well, I got a bit homesick walking by the local pizza parlor today. Not for food, mind you, but for my music and my stereo stuff, which is slowly making its way through customs in Bangkok. So I donned a pair of headphones and headed for the Tube.
Lo and behold, someone had uploaded new Tenacious D vids! The first two are pretty much universal must-sees:

Making of Tribute

The other two are raunchy as hell and NSFW. I’ve nicknamed them “Kewpie,” and, “Heinz.” If you’re a D fan, you should definitely go check them out:
BJ (Kewpie)
LSD (Heinz)

Broom Man

We live in a gated community near Mahasarakham University (where Nam is heading up the Japanese Studies department). Every day a few vendors are let in to peddle their wares/offer their services. There’s the ice cream truck, which I have heard (the song is different from anything I have heard in other countries, but just as distinctive) but not seen. There’s apparently a knife man who comes by on a bicycle/whetstone contraption, which I have seen on old TV shows and read about in books, but never seen with my own eyes. And then there’s the Broom Man, who rides around on a reverse-tricycle motorized push cart:

The Broom Cart in its full pimpalicious splendor; our house in the background.
That’s my father in-law’s 40-year old Ford Capri behind it, which deserves a post of it’s own in the near future… It’s now a hybrid (as in mixed origin, not power system) American/Japanese/French/Thai supercar which I asked my brother in law to put racing stripes on (I’m sure it once had at least 25 horsepower).

Honda Power!
Nations rise, civilizations fall, but the Broom Cart will outlast us all.

I think I’ll write a blues jam about the Broom Man.
The coolest thing about the Broom Man? He’s content with his life. He showed me the workings of his cart and his full range of products, and it made me want to cry how much he was selling them for… But the Broom Man smiled, and all was well again.
I bought the bamboo rake for a dollar fifty, and he was on his way.

House Mods and Maintenance, Thai Prices

I’m overseeing a 4-man crew of electricians today. They’ve come to add outlets to my bedroom, bathroom, and balcony, as well as enhance security around the house by adding two spotlights to the large side yard and one to the small side (we never know when the geckos might rise against us). Plus, like all the help that comes round the house, they serve the general function of being my in-law’s temporary biotches, which is funny as all hell. Nam’s mom and dad disagree about where to install something or what color it should be, and try to make the workmen take one side or the other… Then I go and raise hell by going back on everybody’s decisions and choosing what I want (hey, I’m paying for it, so it’s my decision, right?). The workmen then interject with practical limitations/suggestions (mounting this outlet too low in the bathroom might cause you to be electrocuted, etc.), and it’s back to making different decisions within the new parameters. There is a cow somewhere out in the woods behind the house mooing its ass off, and I am loving every minute of this.
Before you get any wrong ideas about my high roller lifestyle, check out today’s bill from the electricians:
Parts: 2500 baht (including spotlights)
Labor: 2000 baht (4 men, approx. 8 hours of work)
Total: 4500 baht = $121 or 14,436 yen
I love Thailand!
For once in my life, my room has enough electrical outlets (This is every man’s dream, ladies, remember that. Oh, that and floor drains – and I have those too.) and the house wiring is all properly grounded, too ( I hired a separate electrician to check the completed work).
I totally went out and bought them an awesome lunch, too, so they won’t come back and gank my house when there’s a flood or a riot or some such nonsense… Maybe that’s wishful thinking, but my father in law is supposedly giving me an old handmade rifle later tonight, so maybe I’m covered there anyway.
Since I started writing about prices in the post, I thought I’d write about a few more:
A new housekeeper came to clean today: 150 baht/day (the old housekeeper was only 100 baht/day! ; the electrician’s go-fer boy is also getting paid 150 baht from his boss for today’s work – I asked when he bummed a smoke earlier.) = $4
The housekeeper’s husband came by to fix Nam’s motor scooter (a few minor parts, 2-stroke oil, and labor): 240 baht = $6.50
I also paid for our airline tickets from BKK to Khon Kaen this afternoon (two one-way tickets, distance/time is approximately LA to San Fran, or Osaka to Tokyo): 4,400 baht = $118.50
I really shouldn’t even start writing about food yet (I’m getting the photos together), but a whole steamed chicken at the local marketplace is 40 baht ($1) and a nice 2.5 pound steamed tilapia was about the same.
In short, me likey.
Speaking of food, tonight Nam’s mom is taking us to the market where they sell live insects and scorpions and other yummies. Photos to follow.