Fortuitous Testudines

On my way home from the gym about an hour ago, I spotted a familiar silhouette on the side of the road… I saw it after my headlights had passed over, but some primal part of my brain recognized the dark shape and screamed POSSIBLE FOOD SOURCE. I stopped and backed up a bit, and got out of the car.
The rear running lights on my car shine through 38 year old lenses, so they aren’t that bright. But they were bright enough to show that I had found a pretty big turtle with pretty yellow stripes running up and down his legs and neck; his shell was about 9 inches long and he weighed around four pounds. When I picked him up, he tried to pee on me but my daddy reflexes are too well-tuned to get caught with such clumsy reptilian attempts (in contrast, Max has successfully barfed, peed, and crapped on me all in one day).
I decided to take him home instead of leaving him to get run over so far from a water source. I wondered how he had gotten there… Was he an escaped pet? On a walkabout? Or was he the ghost of my dead pink chicken, Pinky, come to say goodbye to daddy once again? (I miss that chicken, godammit!)
I put him on the hood of the Kuj (and he of course peed all over it), then drove home. I showed him to Max, who was kind of impressed, and Nam said I should let it go in the pond in front of our house. So we walked it down to the water’s edge, mumbled some quasi-religious well wishes common to those who don’t really care about religion but sometimes like to acknowledge there are greater forces than ourselves out there somewhere, and I tossed it into the water.
Then I washed off my hood with a half-empty bottle of water from my gym bag.
If that turtle makes it through the winter, avoids being eaten by the workers who net fish in our pond, and doesn’t get run over anytime soon, I’ll be really happy.

Fix your Facebook feed

If it seems some of your friends recently stopped posting on Facebook, it might be due to a recent Facebook “upgrade.” Here’s the fix:

  1. Go to FB Home Page
  2. Choose “Live Feed.”
  3. Scroll to the bottom & click ” Edit Options.”
  4. You will then see your “News Feed Settings.” Change the 250 to 5000, which is Facebook’s friend limit, and your feed will work correctly again.

The World Housing Market – 50,000,000 Yen Edition

Here is an amusing photo series depicting the kind of houses you can buy around the world for fifty million yen (which is a whopping 547,106 USD at today’s rate – endaka is such a fickle bitch!): 5000???????????
The locations represented, in order, are:

  • Thai
  • Bali
  • Chicago
  • Costa Rica
  • Brazil
  • Spain
  • Tokyo

The problem, of course, is that land value skews the representations far too much. For instance, if you paid half a mil for the Thai house in anywhere but a few select locations, you paid 3 or 4 times more than you should have. Also, Brazil and Indonesia sure have similar architecture and beaches… Still, it’s a pretty funny idea until you over-analyze it!
That is all.

Surveying Khao Yai National Park, Thailand

Last week, while tripping balls on cold medicine and mourning the loss of our pink chicken, I mentioned going on a scouting trip for our upcoming International Camp. Here are some photos which are neither international nor even educational, but I like them anyway. If you’re lucky I may even throw in the odd caption.
Khao Yai National Park. Entrance fees for Thais: 20 Baht. For foreigners: 200 Baht. Yet somehow, I got in for the Thai rate (because my coworkers told me to shut up so I could pass as Thai. Thanks, girls!)
The dormitories we were supposed to stay at, but will no longer be able to because our financial dept. didn’t make the transfer on time…
This totally reminds me of Full Metal Jacket.. PRIVATE PYLE WHERE R U!!
Can we infer that there’s a 500 Baht penalty for leaving food outside the Room?
Snail shoe rack? I forgot to ask what’s written in Thai.. but maybe it’s better kept as a mystery.

Zato #9 – Adventures of Zatoichi

In a sense, I’ve been employing a Zatoichi of my own here. The baby in Nam’s belly is a week bigger than normal, and Nam feels very heavy, so she goes to get massages 2 or 3 times a week now. I also went last week after my fever, because my shoulders were all bunched up and I couldn’t sleep.
The masseuse is a blind man named Moh Ken (“Moh” is an honorific for doctors and other health practitioners). Moh Ken is a funny sorta guy; he doesn’t carry a cane sword, but he’s strong as hell from massaging people all day. When he massaged my shoulders, I was very aware that he could have snapped my collarbone like a twig any time he felt like it (and yes, this is a funny thing to be thinking during a relaxing massage if you’re not at least a little bit strange yourself). Moh Ken carries around this talking pocket watch that tells him time at the press of a button. His senses are fine-tuned enough to tell when people are moving around huim in the confined space of the massage shop.
I watched him change the sheets on the massage table this last time, and it was just fascinating. On one hand, I wanted to offer help (I mean, he was double-sheeting the table with fitted sheets so that he only had to change them after every two customers – pretty cool!), but on the other hand, I knew he would just swat me away with his rough blind samurai hands…
All previous Zatoichi posts