Family Trip to Central Khon Kaen


Mina scratched up her nose from falling, so we bought her a hand knit hat* that doubles as a helmet. It’s the only hat she has ever tolerated wearing.


Max likes taking photos with mommy.

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* Max and Mina got matching Lilo & Stitch hats sold by a nice stall vendor. 360 Baht for the pair.

The Accidental Motorcycle Thief

The other day, I wanted to go for a quick lunch at the canteen (cafeteria), so I asked one of the students interning for the Japanese course if I could borrow her scooter. She gave me the key and told me where it was parked, along with a description. She said the license plate number was 85, and that it was a 100cc Honda Wave, with a manual transmission, in gray.

I found the 100cc manual Honda Wave almost immediately, but noticed that the license plate was actually 58 and that it was blue with gray accents. I chalked it up to the student remembering it wrong, or me hearing it wrong, and decided to test it by trying to start it up: No problem. I rode off in the direction of lunch, happily upshifting with my foot in this age of boring automatic plastic bi-wheeled conveyances.

When I got back on the scooter after lunch, the key was harder to turn. I had to work at it a bit. Then, when I got back to my building, I couldn’t turn the key to the far left to lock the steering column. I tried for a few minutes doing the jiggle-turn maneuver, but finally just gave up. When I went back to my office, I told the intern that I couldn’t lock her bike and asked if she’d had problems with her key, but she had no idea what I was talking about. A warning sign flashed briefly in my head.

“You said your plate number was 5-8, right?” I asked.

“No, I said 8-5,” she said.

Uh-oh.

I ¬†looked down at where I’d parked the bike and saw a girl wiping tears from her eyes, our building’s custodian trying to console her, and a security guard talking into a walkie talkie.

I went down and apologized, and in the end, everyone except the victim had a good laugh about it (she was still in shock at having her scooter stolen). I felt bad for making her feel bad, but also because the first time I stole a bike, [A.] it was only 100cc, [B.] it required no skill because of the worn lock, and [C.] it provided zero exhilaration because IT WAS A TOTAL ACCIDENT.

Dropbox is addictive

Getting more Dropbox space is like earning achievements in your favorite video game.

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It’s been a while since I wrote about Dropbox vs. Google Docs (for MS Office document backup), and there have been new developments since then that really make this software interesting. So how do you get started?

First, create a Dropbox account (clicking this link gives you and I both 250MB extra storage space on top of your initial 2GB)

After you sign up, you will be presented with a list of basic tasks that teach you the basics of the service. As an incentive, you are awarded extra storage space (250MB) upon completion of all the tasks.

Next, complete simple tasks (like linking your Twitter/Facebook accounts to Dropbox) on this page to further boost your Dropbox space (128MB x 6). Note: You may not want to connect Dropbox to your social networking accounts due to privacy concerns.

Finally, make links for your friends/visitors with your referral code (like this) to boost space for both of you.

Random Links 11/22/2010

The Burger Lab: Revisiting the Myth of The 12-Year Old McDonald’s Burger That Just Won’t Rot
We all assumed it was due to preservatives/additives/salt content, but this experiment tries to determine the real reason with a control – homemade burgers.

Dogs Don’t Understand Basic Concepts Like Moving
BEST ILLUSTRATIONS EVAAAR!!

Grandma’s Superhero Therapy
Interesting background story, but the curtains in the sandwich photo sealed it for me.

The Shadow Scholar: The man who writes your students’ papers
I felt like this in high school; I wrote around fifteen entrance exam essays for various universities with 100% success rate (and then didn’t make it into a UC myself due to a missing physics credit – I’m just a bad Amerasian).

Spidermax

From today, Monday’s my only day off – and I’ll take it, because until now I didn’t have one (I was teaching at least TOEFL prep night classes every day, but they finished last week). I figure I’ll spend the morning drinking cafe creme and playing on the computer, clean the Crown’s spark plugs before it gets too hot, and go in to the office in the afternoon.

Max is staying home because there’s only one teacher at school (one quit and another’s at a seminar) today and he’s coming down with a cold or something. It’s easier to make sure he gets enough liquids and sleep at home… BUT HE AND MINA ARE FIGHTING EACH OTHER AAAAAAALLL THE TIIIIIIIIIME!

It doesn’t feel like a day off.