Banning “Dzongkha” – Microsoft hates the Dalai Lama and Bhutan, but Loves Chinese Money!

Oh, Microsoft!

In October 2005, an internal Microsoft proposal blocked the term “Dzongkha” from all company software and promotional material, substituting the term “Tibetan – Bhutan” instead. The International Campaign for Tibet cites the memorandum as saying Dzongkha “implies affiliation with the Dalai Lama, which is not acceptable to the government of China”. The Bhutanese, who have never been under the rule of the Dalai Lamas, even if they revere the 14th Dalai Lama, were dismayed by the decision. Linguists have pointed out that the word “Dzongkha” has no particular association with the Dalai Lama. Ironically, the government of the People’s Republic of China continues to use the term “Dzongkha” in its official publications.

Oh well, Chinese gold still glitters I suppose… And Microsoft isn’t exactly known for taking the ngyen khag* route.
* risky (Dzongkha phrasebook)

Druk Yul – Land of the Thunder Dragon

I’m currently doing some minor freelance work for the government of Bhutan, which has been one of my dreams since I heard than Bhutanese look just like Japanese about ten years ago.
That is all.
UPDATE: This is just editing work, not destroying spam botnets with my magical mango tree. The content is regarding policy for the Royal Institute of Health Science at the Royal University of Bhutan. Still stoked to have been chosen.

It’s Mango Season

Around these parts, mango season comes at the hottest time of the year. This year, luckily, we have been blessed with rain almost every week, which brings down the temperature and gives everybody a nice respite from the dry heat. The first five months or so when I first came, it didn’t really rain at all, so it’s been nice having a cooler hot season last year and an even cooler one this year.
Back to mangoes, though – everybody seems to have mango trees growing in their yard and a single mature tree can produce perhaps hundreds of fruit every season. So visitors over the past few weeks have kept our fruit baskets overflowing with all different varieties and flavors of mangoes. Combined with the fruit on one of our banana trees ripening a couple weeks ago, Max and family have been enjoying a truly bountiful harvest.

Natchan’s mom plating a particularly delicious variety of mango, “oklong,” from her trees at home, with Nam.


One of my favorite sights in the whole world – a pile of fruit ready to be devoured!


Max is just like daddy – he loves getting his hands dirty eating the pits.

This afternoon while Max slept, it rained again and I sat on the porch with a pocketknife, a plastic bucket, and a few dozen mangoes. I started peeling them one by one and sucking all of the flesh off the pits. Before long, the bucket was filled with pits and skins and sweet mango juice was dribbling down my arms. About the closest sensation I can think of back home is eating fresh peaches: Sweet, sticky fun. The only difference is that mangoes grow all over the place here – it’s one of the most common fruits grown in people’s yards. Thank god for that.
After I could eat no more, I planted the pits outside our fence to begin a new cycle.

Max is all better

Thanks for everyone’s well wishes and thoughts and prayers; here at we welcome positive energy of all denominations…
As special thanks, I present all of you with this very, very special video:

If you are a Nagi Noda fan, you know this is one of her best-known pieces of work. The description on the YouTube page is:

It’s a word-for-word parody of Susan Powter’s first workout video, featuring poodles and a crazy poodle-woman. Absolutely surreal. It was made by Nagi Noda for Panasonic. It was part of 10 films they made for the 2004 Athens Olympics.

UPDATE: Here’s the wikipedia article for this vid: LINK

Max has been having a rough week

It seems he had a bad reaction to an MMR vaccine two weekends ago. It caused a fever five days or so after the shot and now he’s broken out in a rash all over his torso… We are monitoring him closely, and he’s been in an understandably grumpy mood for the past five days or so.
Was it a hot shot? Or just a bad reaction?
There’s no way to tell. We took every precaution possible, but it still AAAAAAAARRRRGH… worrying about him drives us crazy.
Everything’s all right for now though, I think.