Enter the Daver

So I come home from a much-needed vacation only to be confronted with one of the strangest internet sights I’ve ever seen (and I’ve seen things that would make you cry): Cosmic Buddha’s resident drummer in a tinfoil hat holding a cat wearing the same, headlining an article over at Wired about – hold it – conspiracy theories!
At the end of the article, the author, Noah Shachtman credits the photo to a forum called CR4, but I couldn’t find anything there. I think it’s up to Dave to find out the story behind his clone.
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UPDATE: It would seem that my google-fu is much stronger than yours. I present an earlier occurrence of this photograph, as well as the possible original source.
If Dave wants to find his long-lost brother, he should get in touch with the webmaster at Planet Wally.
Also, I’ll post the photo in question in the extended entry below for future reference.

Read moreEnter the Daver

MT Beckons

So it’s time to make up for the rest of this month, blogging-wise. Get ready for a stream of posts that have been building up.
I still don’t have time to fix my sidebar, though. I’ll figure out where it disappeared soon.

Important Notice

It seems that Nam’s university needs us to go to Pattaya for some serious, important, pressing research on the quality of four star hotels in the area. And really, who are we to refuse such a noble assignment?
Be back in a few…
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UPDATE 3/29/2008
The resort that the university paid for us to stay at actually wasn’t four star… Check out the fountain art and I’m sure you’ll agree that such wasteful third world tackiness can only be found at a full five star establishment:
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This being Pattaya, the beach was sub-par for Thailand but the breakfast buffet at the resort was among the very best I’ve ever seen.

good juju, bad juju, it’s all just plain old juju

Yes, sometime I will probably stop trying to write blues lyrics in the titles… but today is not the day to do so, because yesterday, I ran over a chameleon sunning himself on the highway. When chameleons are chilling, sometimes they do this curious push up routine where they puff out their chests and bob up and down (apparently, this is the best time to catch them – in order to eat them, of course – at least my Thai friends tell me so). I was on my way to work in the Crown, cruising along in fifth gear and enjoying engine noise, the wind in my hair, and the way the asphalt turns into streams of buttery gold in the intense summer morning sun.
The stretch of highway I was on is a long straightway with no intersecting roads , so I was only looking about twenty feet ahead of my car. By the time I saw the chameleon doing push ups, it was too late to swerve. I felt a small disturbance in the force as the tiniest crunching sound was heard from under the front left tire. Then all was still.
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Last week a coworker said he had seen the exact same model of car as mine on the edge of town, so I hopped in the Kujira to go check it out… there it was, in dark blue, indeed looking pretty damn similar to the very car I was driving. As I’ve been looking for spare parts (most noticeably a missing piece of chrome trim from the front), this was a truly exciting find. Who would have thought another specimen, in seemingly good condition, could be found in the very city I brought mine to? I got stuck thinking about what to do next, though.
If I expressed interest in the car, I was afraid the owner would ask too much for it. Would the better play be to keep an eye on it and wait for the situation to change (the car might appear with a for sale sign some day, or break down)? In the end, I took a gamble on being straightforward and went to talk to the owner with Nam yesterday afternoon. The car wasn’t in the parking space of what turned out to be an insurance company, but the lady inside told us it was her grandfather’s and not a customer’s , as we had begun to fear. She told us they couldn’t sell the car, as it was all they had, but we left our number in case they ever wanted to sell it, and told the lady that as we wanted it for parts, it didn’t even have to be in running condition.
So that’s that. Someday, I may have a chance at parts, and until then, it’s nice to know there’s a friend running around town. I didn’t get a chance to see the car up close or verify if it’s the same model or not, but maybe I’ll make onther visit sometime to do that and speak to the old man. At the very least, I’d like to know how he came by it.

flickr group update

I let my flickr pro account lapse at the end of last year, and not just because they sold out to a bunch of greedy corporate zombies and made change my username, either. A lot of it had to do with the fact that my net connection, until this very week, was sad and pathetic (and reminiscent of analog modem days, but without the cool “screaming in tha ether” sounds).
Anyhow, now that I have a proper connect and even got issued a credit card here in Thailand, maybe I’ll renew again (but nothing can make me retract the corporate zombie statement). I was just checking the jump photo group I created a couple years back, and was pleasantly surprised to see that it grew a little: 226 members and 978 photos
This isn’t a huge or very popular group by any means, but just big enough to see a new photo every time you log in. Join up, if you have the jump in you!
(might as well) JUMP! on Flickr

check yourself

I know, I know. An occasional link and/or hurried musing does not (contrary to the title on my banner) an interesting blog make, but it has suddenly become so hot in this region as to shut down all unnecessary thought and action as we scurry around looking for shade and a siesta.
Anyhow. This here’s a handy site for when you think gmail/google/your website is down, but you’re not sure if it’s just your connection: downforeveryoneorjustme.com

Hanzo Steel Remix

I was sure I’d blogged about this previously but I can’t find the post, so…. You MUST MUST MUST check out this (old) remix of the Hanzo Steel albums over at b00mb0x: rollinupinmyrizla
I’ve been listening to it on and off for the past two years and it still makes me giggle.

total playing time 24:43
Track Listing:
00. i am gonna kill bill intro
01. blackstone & atari – bang bang (ouverture)
02. blackstone & atari – battle without honor or humanity
03. blackstone & atari – twisted nerve
04. bart blackstone – shepherd’s revenge
05. dj gerry v – the flower of carnage (fives mix)
06. bart blackstone – half japanesie (green hornet hardcore roar rmx)
07. billions mcmillions – the hanzo style
08. billions mcmillions – five-point palm exploding heart technique
09. bart blackstone – wrath of beatrix
10. hanzo steel outro

Last night a chili pepper saved my life

Me, the wife, the baby – we’ve all been extremely busy the whole time I haven’t been blogging. As I mentioned in a previous post, I had a gadzillion papers and tests to mark and final grades to issue, AND NOW IT’S ALL DONE!! In front of my office door, the tortured souls of those not determined enough to earn a passing grade moan and roil with much indignity. Oh wait, that’s not the sound of tortured souls, it’s just my fever hallucinations again!
Yes, I have been sleeping a lot (when not busy) trying to recover from this nasty congestive head cold thing that I even got prescribed industrial-strength pills for last week. However, the only thing that really helped was a couple nights ago when a coworker and her husband came over for a visit and she cooked up a big pot of sticky fat noodles with nuclear orange chili peppers from a market in Kalasin (a neighboring province).
I should explain here that I’ve always had a high tolerance for spicy food and enjoy feeling the heat after popping an errant chili or two… This was beyond that. After slowly chewing one, sweat was pouring from my brow and my sinuses were clear for the first time in a week… So I popped four more at once (hey, I wasn’t thinking clearly). DANGER WILL ROBINSON DANGER! It blew my head off andtears were pouring down my face for a few minutes…. But my sinuses were clear for a full 24 hours!
I woke up this morning again a little congested, but I don’t know if I can face those fiery orange hell peppers again… I can honestly say that eating them is a life-changing experience. Anyone wanna try?

More Crown History

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I got a mail out of the blue today from the previous previous owner of the Kujira Crown I bought last year:

I owned the Crown before you bought it off Chris.
Thought you might like to hear how I came (although it was in my wifes name ) to be the proud owner of that lovely old girl.
In 2003 I was an in house English teacher at a semi-conductor factory in Pathum Thani.
While waiting for the remainder of the class to arrive the boys were talking about cars. As we do!?P, one of the best guys in the class, asked me what sort of car I would like to buy. I answered a Toyota Crown.
“Oh I have one that my father bought new in 1973, I am having it re-painted at the moment ” he said. “I’ts got a Nissan RB 20 engine in it.”
I asked him why did you put a Nissan engine in a Crown and he said it was 10,000 baht cheaper than a Toyota engine.
At that point I said that if he ever decided to sell the Crown to contact me.
Finished my contract at the factory and went on to other things.
Some 6 months later I got a call from him saying he wanted to sell it and he would bring it over at the weekend.

It was cool to be able to hear more background on this amazing car..?.She’s still running great, although I had to take off the new rims because they were – cough – just too big (surprise).