Murasaki Inu

A lifetime ago (13 or 14 years ago to be a bit more exact) I sat in a stuffy classroom in Tenri, Japan, and started penning my first essay in Japanese. Not having yet learned any kanji, I wrote it entirely in the phonetic alphabet known as hiragana. It began something like this: One day I walked to the main worship hall and saw a purple dog…
Thus, the legend of the murasaki inu (purple dog) was born. It was a recurring theme in later essays (four years worth to be exact) as well as many blues/enka jams (anata ha tashika ni aru / watashi no murasaki inu) when Cosmic Buddha would rock abandoned parking lots, smoky music studios, and our guitarist’s cram school late at night.
Well guess what?
I saw a purple dog today. A purple dog, here in Mahasarakham, Thailand. (Nam and I were taking my mom to see the fish sanctuary, so I have witnesses.)
I don’t think it was naturally purple. It looked like purple iodine solution (used for disinfecting wounds) had been liberally applied to a shaggy white dog, but that’s not the point. It was a purple dog.
That is all.

New Toy – 19xx Yamaha Chappy

This is an original ad for my new (old) toy, a Yamaha Chappy most probably made in the seventies, imported from Japan into Thailand. Actually, it has all the signs of having been stolen at some point, and it wouldn’t surprise me if that’s how it got to Thailand. I bought it off my boss who apparently bought it right after it was brought over. She let me have it for just about $100 US (3500 Baht). w00t!
Engine size: 50 cc
Top speed: 35 kph on installed speedometer, reading at over 40 on the much newer scooter riding along side during test run
This thing really puts a smile on everybody’s face – it’s fun to ride and fun to watch people’s faces light up when they see you.
Pictures of mine to follow.
Note: I had to do some horse trading to eventually get a little scooter I liked. This all started soon after I came to Thailand, about eighteen months ago.
First I bought a JRD (Chinese brand) 125cc “Snow” which had a remote starter, talking alarm system, and Vespa-style rear footbrake for 20,000 Baht (about $600). Then I bought a Suzuki Crystal in very rough shape for about $30 and sold the JRD for 25,000 Baht (about $750).
Then I bought a metallic gold automatic 50cc job from the eighties airbrushed with a Finding Nemo theme (hence dubbed “Nemo”) on the cowling. This was also about 1000 Baht, or $30. This is the only bike I may have lost money on as we can’t find it – it was left at my brother-in-laws house as a spare ride, but just went missing quite recently.
Then I got word that somebody wanted to buy the Suzuki for $60-$90, although this hasn’t been confirmed yet.
The person I sold the JRD to went back home quite recently, and was at a loss about what to do with it, so I bought it back… And sold it the next day for no profit, since the only reason I bought it a second time was because I felt bad for the person trying to get rid of it.
Actually, this deal fell through and I had to look for another buyer because the first buyer couldn’t come up with the cash and started asking for a discount. I laughed and said I could sell it the next day for more than the price I had offered him, and that’s exactly what I did.
Two weeks after that, the Chappy came into the picture and I strongly believe this is because I’d created some powerful horse trading karma getting to that point. I must admit, it’s a lot of fun playing horse trader when you’re on a roll… Now, if I can only find some way to turn this Chappy into, say, a CBR…

native mt captcha note (CaptchaSourceImageBase)

I sometimes get inquiries about implementation of the native Movable Type captcha system for comments, often from people who are on the same webhost as this site but cannot get the captchas to work.
You might just be in luck if you’re looking for a fix for the following message that appears at Blog Settings –> Comment settings –> Comment Display Options –> CAPTCHA Provider:

“You will need to speak to your host about Image::Magick and if it is installed.
CaptchaSourceImageBase is a configuration directive.”

As you can see, any really useful information is kind of left out, but a bit of Googling reveals the following: CaptchaSourceImageBase is simply a line that needs to be added to your mt-config.cgi file.
Specifically, edit your-path in the following and add to mt-config.cgi:

CaptchaSourceImageBase /your-path/mt-static/images/captcha-source

Hope that works for you.