Bovine 911

Last night, Nam, Max, and I saw something I’ve been expecting to see ever since I came to Thailand.
We had finished dinner at a restaurant just down the road and were on our way home in the Cefiro when we came upon flashing lights at a big curve. A police pickup blocked the view from the rear, but when we passed by we got a clear view of the latest road casualty: A young white cow of the type that used to frequent our yards, locally (and also commonly) known as Brahmans.
When I first started driving around here I was sure this type of accident would be commonplace, but as it turns out, people seem to make sure their animals are in at night. Sometimes cows or small herds of them get away from their keepers during the day when they are set out to graze, but I’ve never seen them on the roads after dark.
This all leads to the question of liability… It seemed that the only party injured last night was the cow, but that could very easily not have been the case… Which party is legally at fault in Thailand? I only know of one related case, personally: A coworker was driving down a country highway and hit a fighting cock trying to run across. The owner ran out from his house and demanded 3000 Baht ($90 US) in compensation. My coworker refused to pay and drove on, and insists this was both legal and the right thing to do.
I’m going to have to ask more people about this.

Where the Wild Things Are – Trailer

Right here.
(It kept crashing for me in Firefox but worked fine in Chrome. I’m using the QuickTime Alternative plugin though, so it just might be me.)
My brother was quick to send over a copy of this book soon after Max was born since (A) it was one of our favorites when we were little, (B) because it was one of the first books featured on Reading Rainbow, and (C) the protagonist is of the story is also named Max.
Adam also sent this last year:

Forgetting babies in cars

Over at the Washington Post: Forgetting a child in the back seat of a hot, parked car is a horrifying, inexcusable mistake. But is it a crime?
It’s kind of a moot question since it might be hard to find a worse punishment than the guilty are already going through… This was one of the hardest articles to read in recent memory. I tried to relate to the parents in the story, but it’s just hard for me to believe that people can completely forget about their own babies in their cars.

One Minute Forrest Gump

This video was everywhere including the top of Digg a couple weeks ago but I like it a lot, so here it is:

What I really wish they’d do is make a one minute version of Benjamin Button because I fell asleep less than halfway through both times I tried to watch it – and the second time, I started a quarter way through the movie!

Our New Thai House Part 4 – Roof and Walls

The Our New Thai House series must be finished before the subject becomes Our Old Thai House!
By the end of this period in September/October of 2007, the house was 90% completed.
In some of the photos above you can see a transformer box on the power pole to the right of the house. It took me considerable effort to get it moved from there, but it was of course worth it. Most Thais think its a non-issue, but after I campaigned to get it away from my house, nobody wanted it in front of theirs, either. We kept bothering and trying to bribe the power company to get it moved, to no avail. The man in charge at the power company claimed, out loud, to be incorruptible. This was relayed to me second hand, as foreigners should generally stay away from such negotiations. The intermediary reporting this back to me and the housing developer was sure we had hit a wall. I, however, am a skilled listener.
When a government official in the third world says they can’t be bribed, it can mean a few things: It can mean they are newly elected to office and don’t know how things work. It can mean they are currently under investigation. It can mean whatever you want to bribe them for isn’t possible/available at that specific point in time. Or it can mean your initial offer was too low. What it absolutely does not mean is that the official cannot be bribed under any circumstance.
So we made a better offer. The price to get a transformer moved just down the street in rural Thailand, all-inclusive? 50,000 Baht (approx. $1,500 US). We split the cost down the middle with the developer.
It was worth every satang.


Our New Thai House entries:
Our New Thai House Part 1 – Picking a Plot
Our New Thai House Part 2 – Foundations
Our New Thai House Part 3 – Groundwork
Our New Thai House Part 4 – Roof and Walls
Our New Thai House Part 5 – The Blessing Way
Landscaping Our House – Before and After

leaps and bounds

Max is developing at such a fast pace, it’s hard to keep track of. I’m just jotting a few notes down here.

  • He knows the word “clock” in Thai. If you say it, he looks up at the clock.
  • Not only does he like playing with all the remotes in the house, he has started to understand that they control something. He was playing with the TV remote this evening and looking up at the TV every time he pressed a button to see what had changed (nothing, since he was pointing it at himself, but still…)
  • He can almost stand up without hanging onto anything.
  • He can trick us into putting a finger into his mouth (to munch on) even though we’ve fallen for it tons of times already. He has this awesome sleight of hand plus angelic face technique that’s impossible to resist.
  • A couple weeks ago, a ladyboy tried to kiss him and he defended himself with a mighty backhand. I laughed out loud and rescued him.

Summer Thundershowers Over Upper Thailand


The intense high pressure system from China remains over upper Thailand. This causes summer thunderstorm i.e. thundershowers with gust over the country during 14-15 March, 2009. People should beware of severe weather in the period. Wind and wave in the Gulf is strength.

(I really dig whoever updates that website; their English reads like poetry, or bad subtitles, which I love equally.)
China has finally given me something nice, in the form of an intense high pressure system. It rained most of last night quite hard and the temperature this morning is 19.5 degrees C (67 degrees F) as opposed to yesterday at the same time when it was around 35 C (95 F). It is cool and its nice to have a break from the dulling torpidity of the hot season here in Thailand. The baby is sleeping peacefully without a fan or the AC on, which is a blessing in itself.

3/13 link roundup

Monkey gets revenge on owner who forced him to climb trees for coconuts…
The punchline is in the second half of the title, which is why I cut it off.
This comic strip, apparently known as the End of Calvin, made me really sad:
(click for full size)
This guy compiled all of the “grown up” Calvin & Hobbes strips he could find on the net: LINK
Don’t forget to look through the comments there, either, because that’s where I found the antidote for the above strip:
(click for full size)
39 Future Magazine Covers

The best toilet design, ever

(made by the genius can coffee otaku squad at Georgia)