Papa Piggy

Almost a month ago, a big storm came and blew my ceramic boo-chan (pig-shaped mosquito coil holder) over. As you can see, he did a Humpy-dumpty which made me really sad because I bought him for half off at Jusco in Sumoto a few years back and will probably never buy a 7,000 yen ceramic pig ever again.

Luckily, it was nothing two and a half tubes of super glue (the most popular brand in Thailand is called Power Glue) couldn’t fix:
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Actually, if you look closely, you can see that mommy pig’s been put together again, too.

No work accomplished today

I wanted to get some midterm grading done the past five hours, but I ended up entertaining Max instead. He wouldn’t go to sleep and Nam was busy putting together slides for a presentation in Bangkok at some lexicographical conference in ten days – it takes precedence over my work so I had to watch the baby (of course, pretty soon he will be the toddler and there will be a new baby).
I really need to get as much grading done as I can in chunks because with 11 classes (7 different courses; 3 which I’ve done before but am improving and 4 new ones), a few hundred students, and 35 hours in the classroom a week, it’s impossible to finish all at once or very quickly.
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Something else also popped up this evening: A couple cops came by the house and asked us to call another cop about a traffic accident or something. It turns out that some crazy bitch who tried to make me rear-end her because I wouldn’t let her cut me off while making a dangerous turn into a signal-less intersection (whew!) reported my license number to the police… I remember it very well because it happened on my birthday last week and I was really pissed off, but refrained from cussing her out because I felt bad for the kids in the car… I couldn’t believe that she cut in front of me, waited for my car to get close, and then stomped on the brakes to try and cause an accident with kids in the car. Of course, there’s really nothing she can do unless she makes a bullshit claim, so we’ll see what happens. Basically the cop who Nam called asked us to work it out because this woman came and complained about me “teasing” her… That would be the part where I told her she was a horrible driver and should be more careful with kids in the car…
I feel the cops really have no business asking us about anything or to do anything since nothing happened (apparently by her account as well as mine), but maybe she has a brother on the force or something. If it comes to a “who has bigger friends” contest, though, I will be prepared and show no mercy…

Monkey Time at Kosamphi Forest Park

A few weeks ago we decided to go out for a drive. It was time to take Max for his first visit to the monkey park in the nearby town of Kosum Phisai, so we put his car seat in the trusty old Kujira and were on our way. We took the Kujira instead of the Cefiro because:

  1. Monkeys are little bastards that scratch up cars for fun
  2. Max sleeps really well in the Crown with its worn suspension and lulling vibration
  3. It’s a proper cruising car!!

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Max spots some fellow monkeys!
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To a normal person, this might just look like a bunch of monkeys sitting in a row, but this sight reminded me of cruising by a red light district in Osaka at night where house after house had an old women standing in the doorway, beckoning passers by to come in (I suppose old women just remind me of monkeys).
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Check out the ghost reflection of the key in the ignition!
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In the rearview
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A discerning mommy wondering whether tthis sun-dried banana is organic or not (it is).
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This is why we took the old car.
The Kosamphi Monkey Center (AKA Kosamphi Forest Park, also spelled “Kosumphi”) is a great place to visit if you are tired of seeing giant catfish, and indeed, I think they should just call it a “monkey sanctuary.”

Adless Gmail

I don’t really mind the ads in Gmail*. I’d actually feel kinda guilty/uneasy if Gmail were totally free, because I depend on it so much. This is interesting, though: How to avoid Gmail’s Sponsored Links
Forget Big Brother – we need top worry about those who we willingly trust with our privacy every day.
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*If they bother you that much, you can always use a dedicated email client with Gmail.

smell my armpit

I forgot to post my instructional photo on how to harvest bananas, caveman style:
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Unable to hold the clump with one hand while chopping with the other (the clump was hanging over into the neighbor’s yard in an awkward position – don’t worry they got their cut!), I instead used E. Honda power to rip it off.
This was taken a couple months ago in our backyard. We pretty much have the best tasting bananas in the world, and they are the perfect food for babies. We even sun-dried some and made chips. Yum!
P.S. That’s an empty bird’s nest constructed in between the fruit. We’d spotted it before but never saw what kind of birds made it – I made sure it was vacant before starting the harvest.
P.P.S. After harvesting bananas you cut down the tree (actually a “pseudostem”) because it only bears fruit once. Ours get quite thick by the time the fruit is ripe, around the diameter of a basketball, or larger at the base.
P.P.P.S. I bought this bad ass thick brush knife, about 18″ long, maybe carved from a leaf spring. It’s fun as hell to concentrate and try cutting down banana trees with one stroke, although it’s kinda cramped in our backyard so I have to be really careful not to cut my own leg or get crushed by a vengeful felled pseudostem.