Musical Observations in Thailand

1. The most popular western band in Thailand is the Eagles
a. I have heard Hotel California more times in one week in Thailand than I did growing up in Southern California in the late 70s/80s
b. Thais singing Life in the Fast Lane at karaoke are no better at it than Japanese singing Country Road
c. Or, for that matter, Americans singing karaoke at all
2. The most popular band among Thai taxi drivers is Carabao
a. There is also an energy drink of the same name sold everywhere, one with a green label and a brown one marked XO
b. The one marked XO tastes like frog penis
c. Or at least what I imagine frog penis tastes like, you fags
3. Currently, the most overplayed music in the Chattuchak market stalls is Punjabi MC
a. Second is Linkin Park/Jay Z (Collision Course)
b. The only thing more annoying than overplayed Punjabi MC is the unmistakeable stench of shit that permeates certain areas of the market
c. Luckily, those areas do not include the deep fried pig stalls, which make the best deep fried pig in all of Thailand in my humble opinion
4. The violinist in the lounge of the the Fortune Hotel in Ratchada is tone deaf
a. Or maybe just never learned how to tune his shit
b. Or maybe just avant garde
c. Or maybe just hates his job and is fucking with everyone
5. Thai rap is fucking awesome
a. Now all they need is a Thai Flava Flav
b. With his clock set to “Thai time” (15 to 45 minutes late, depending on mood)
c. I saw a hooker who looked just like Terminator X walking down the street in a dress and high heels

The World’s Fastest Indian

This is the best movie I’ve seen in a long, long time. Although this is partially because all other movies I’ve seen the past year or so sucked, it really was a damn good movie. Anthony Hopkins is the man. Simple story, simple plot, simple dialogue, flawless acting, no bad guy, no glamtastic CG, excellent cinematography, and just enough racing/greasemonkey scenes (like watching Hopkins cast his own pistons).
Just a hunch, but I think gearheads like Gen and Gaijin Biker would especially get off on this movie if they knew that the bikes filmed on the Bonneville flats were Ducatis (not to dis the featured Indians or Triumphs, though).

Kaki King – Playing With Pink Noise

When we first heard of Kaki King, we had only one thought, what a strange name. However, that seems kind of superficial after you hear her play. (The video takes a while to load so you might want to pause it once and let it load all the way before viewing, so you can see it without it stopping partway through.)

We are big fans of her playing style, and yes, before you ask, T has tried playing along to this clip. It was pretty funny to watch: He’s convinced either the lip piercing or breasts give her an unfair advantage.
Her site is pretty cool, too:

Spam Patterns

So the latest trend in comment/trackback spam is furniture. Ceiling fans, wood flooring, wood cabinets, etc. May I just point out the fact that this is retarded.
In addition, the very latest spam was about “oral herpes genital pictures.” Now that is some sick shit.
In a perfect world, spammers are Tokyo and I am Godzilla.

Radar Detector

My trusty cheap-ass radar detector. I go through one of these every couple years which is how long it takes for the solar panels/battery to run down. I need to run it solar because my Silvia’s cigarette lighter is broken. Come to think of it, that’s a problem I’ve seen on many Silvias, as well as the 240/180sx. Design flaw, methinks.

Success of 24

Last night I watched a documentary on Flight 93, one I hadn’t seen before. Every time I see photos or footage from 9/11, it still makes me tear up a bit…
Right after it finished, I watched the new episode in the great adventures of Jack Bauer. And suddenly, I understood why I’ve liked the show from the first episode I ever watched.
There are some seriously evil fuckers in this world who just need killing. And I wish someone would hurry and send Jack after them.


Some of my colleagues are on a company ski trip to Hokkaido. I guess it’s an allowed day off on this fine Monday, because they keep bombarding my keitai with pics of white slopes and messages like, “having fun?,” and, “gambatte kudasai!”
G-man, at least, is for some reason being nice and sending non-ski related Engrish-esque findings up in Hokkaido, so I thought I’d post them here:
Um, I guess if you make them, they will come.
There’s a bestiality joke in there somewhere.
Meanwhile, to all of you bastards skiing today: God Will Punish You! A pox on you! A thousand years of morning exercises and pointless safety certification meetings await!

Sumoto River Construction Update

One of the berms they built on the river yesterday partially collapsed, leaving a tracked crane stranded out on the water. I was driving by and saw as it happened. Now I have seen a lot of things swallowed by the river – houses, rice fields, even a brand new 350z, but a crane? That would be something new.
But the owner of the crane wasn’t ready to give up on it yet. He sent his men out on a boat, and they probed the sunken area of the berm with bamboo poles. It appeared the road had sunk around half a meter into the river. One man got off the boat and into the driver’s compartment of the crane. He started the engine, then revved the hell out of it in long, angry bursts. Diesel smoke hung over the river like a scene from some nameless Vietnam war movie. And then the crane lurched forward!
To other cars passing by, it must have seemed like the crane was driving over water – a sort of Frying Dutchman, trying to round the Cape of Sumoto in a Kubota crane. In fact, the sight of it almost caused an accident – there were sounds of tires screeching on the main road, but no sound of impact.
Today, on my bus ride to work, I saw fish upriver of the construction zone for the first time since the big typhoon two years ago! They looked and acted like carp, but experience tells me they are mullet, even if all of their pathways to the ocean seem blocked by all the spill barriers and earthen berms put up by the construction crews.
Before the big typhoon and the flooding, the river was filled with all kinds of fish, both fresh and salt water (and the mullet, which can live in either). Crabs, too. And they used to raise unagi in there, as well… I hope it all returns someday. Right now it is so muddy from the construction that I doubt anything but the hardiest fish can live in there.
You know, I really am going to have to take my camera out there sometime before they finish up. It is quite amazing how they have channelized the river so far.

Exchanging Dollars in Thailand

This is just a short topic I wanted to write down for future reference.
Anything older than the very newest US dollars can be a real pain in the ass to exchange in Thailand.
– I was flat out refused at one major bank and two exchange booths trying to exchange $100 bills.
– One bank had a note written on the window saying that US currency from 1990, 1993, 1996, and 2002 of any denomination, could not be accepted. (I suppose we have Kim “supernote” Jong Il to thank for that.)
– To determine if a note is real or counterfeit, the following procedure is used by the cashier:
1. Hold the bill up to ceiling light and squint at it for a while.
2. Straighten out the bill against the edge of the counter; reversely, if bill is new, crumple it up a bit and mumble something about it being “too old” or “too new.”
3. Call over the next cashier and let them squint at it against the ceiling light for a while.
4. Pass it under a UV lamp (presumably in case “COUNTERFEIT” has been stamped across it with lemon juice).
5. Call over the manager. He will take the bill and executively squint at it against the ceiling light for a while.
6. Test it with a counterfeit detecting pen.
7. Collectively squint at the bill against the ceiling light with every staff member in the bank, up to and including the branch president, and his pet poodle. Pretend you all know little details to look for like the booger in Andrew Jackson’s nose, etc., and have a little powwow about it.
8. Once you have cleared the first bill, start from step one to check any additional ones.