Oral candidiasis (oral thrush)

Mina’s got it, but we caught it early. The new nanny had seen it before and told us to get it checked out- yay for us finding an experienced nanny. The pediatrician started Mina on an oral course of nystatin; hopefully her whole mouth won’t turn to cottage cheese.
On a related note, Max’s cough is almost gone, which is a big relief. It took way too long for it to get better, and he’s been out of school for eight days now (this week the teachers were gone from Monday to Wed. to Udon Thani for a conference or something). Nam and I have been taking turns watching him and it’s a relief that he can go to school tomorrow so we can FINALLY GET STUFF DONE.

Coupla quick links 6/19/10

Anthony Bourdain: My war on fast food
An edited extract from his new book; the gist is that he hates fast food almost as much as he once loved cocaine, but his writing is entertaining as always.
You can probably guess in which country the shortest guardrail in the world is located.
Sadkeanu.com was served a DMCA cease and desist order and doesn’t have the resources to fight back against a heavy-handed government or wanker Hollywood stars who can’t comprehend fair use.
The Olympic Ruins of Modern Greece
There is a simple solution to this problem: Create a mobile Olympic venue and move it around to each city via zeppelin every four years.

ESL Lesson of the day – Son of of Bitch (i.e., Son of Bitch)

This video of a Korean English teacher explaining choice bits of slang and expletives had me snorting with laughter:

My favorite ESL-related clip of all time, though, is Harold Ramis’s opening scene in Stripes (I can’t believe it’s almost 30 years old – I remember watching it at the drive in with my parents):

Son of Bitch! Shit! – When you care enough to send the very best.

Max is staying home from school

…all this week so we can knock out this deep cough he’s had for a couple weeks, in addition to some eye infection we’re keeping check with eye drops… It seems that nursery school is just an incubator for germs, and the kids are walking petri dishes. I’m staying home with Max all day today and Nam’s at work, so I finally have a few minutes to start looking at photos from our trip back home. Here’s one of my favorite shots from the first few days:

Max with grandpa

Like most of the photos on our trip, I didn’t take it and don’t know who did, but good job whoever it was!

Google Talk Plugin Crash – Windows 7 Home Premium

I bought an ASUS UL30A laptop when we were in the states to replace my trusty, crusty old Dell Latitude x300 that lasted for seven whole years and still wouldn’t quit. I decided on the X5 variant because it was black (as opposed to the silver option) and cheaper than the updated version, but still good for ten hours (actual; ASUS claims 12 hours but all of the reviews say 10+. Good enough.)
It’s my first extended experience with Windows 7, and with a x64 Win OS. It kicks ass very hard.
One of the few problems I’ve had with it was with Google Video Chat crashing Gmail when I’d try to pop out the chat window, only when using video. Clicking on the pop-out button would result in Chrome locking up but often still sending and receiving audio streams from the chat.
Popping-out the chat screen isn’t a necessary feature, so I tried to ignore it. Hitting that pop-out button is a twitchy habit, though, so I’d often inadvertently crash the browser and go through the force quit, no error report, hurry up and terminate please, restart browser, yes restore pages I had open before Google Chrome didn’t shut down correctly, reinitiate video chat and don’t pop out the window this time cycle.
Then today, I had a strange error a couple times just when starting Chrome: The following plug-in has crashed: Google Talk Plugin
This new error meant something had to be done, and this is what I’ve come up with:

  1. Close Google Chrome
  2. Uninstall the Google Talk Plugin via the appropriate Control Panel in Windows
  3. Reinstall from http://www.google.com/chat/video

I’m just guessing, but this procedure might work for other problems with the Google Talk plugin on other platforms as well; it seems this particular one springs up in Vista most often.


The other day, I was dozing off in the pre-dawn glow coming through the French windows in our living room when I suddenly remembered something that happened on the flight back: Having survived the thirteen hour leg from Bangkok to Incheon with two cranky babies and zero sleep (and also having taken a capital D with hyperized Max present in the aircraft lavatory – one of my proudest achievements and a story in itself), we stiff-legged it off the plane like penguins and waited around the nearest room for our stroller to be produced.
An unkempt old lady with crazy eyes came up to me and started asking for help in what I first thought was Korean. I tried to tell her that I couldn’t speak Korean, but she would not be dissuaded and continued to plead with me in guttural tones. While I was wondering what she wanted, I noticed she had a little nappy haired girl in tow, who had rosy cheeks and was crying inconsolably. After a while, the old lady put two boarding passes in my hand and said, “Ulaanbaatar.”
“Oh, Mongolia?” I asked.
“Mongolia,” she confirmed. Now having identified the language I totally couldn’t understand, I flagged down one of the Korean Air staff members hanging around and asked him to help the old lady, as she was noticeably limping. The man wouldn’t help out and just told us to move down the hall to the transfer area. Fucker.
Nam and I looked at each other, and decided to help them out. Both of us were taking care of a baby and carry ons, so we weren’t moving quickly anyway. The old lady’s limp looked really bad and the little girl would start wailing every time she was put down. I offered to carry a brown shopping bag the old lady was carrying in addition to a big black backpack.
We only walked a minute or so until we hit a line of people waiting to get through security checks to the transfer area. I was so zonked and busy trying to keep the kids happy that it didn’t register until the very last minute that I was carrying somebody else’s bag through a security check. A brief flash of paranoia and bad Hollywood-induced visions nearly froze me in place, but I ran up to the old lady and put the bag on the scanner conveyor next to her backpack.
// //
When the man working the x-ray scanner saw the bundle of det cord wrapped around a take out box full of spicy Mongolian Barbecue, he hit the panic button and drew his sidearm in one smooth motion, but it was too late. The “old lady” and “little girl” had already stepped out of their human hosts and begun weaving death and mayhem.
First they triggered the bomb, which atomized the meat slathered in special chili sauce, blinding everyone in a ten foot radius, including several guards. Then they pulled scythes from the black backpack and went for the throats of anyone moving.
They came for me, too, but I made the sign of an ancient Mongolian god in the air and whispered, Ulaanbaatar, Ulaanbaatar, Ulaanbaatar, and they left us unharmed. Nobody else made it out alive, though. The spirits needed blood, and they took it from fat tourist and tough Korean grandma alike that day.

Snail curry

I just came back from lunch with a bag of (aquatic) snail curry that I accidentally ordered at a new restaurant located just behind our campus. It looked like an appetizing fish or chicken curry under the glass when, but when it was served I saw it was full of snails or similar freshwater shellfish.
Me hates parasites.
So I munched on the other things i’d ordered and brought back the snail curry in a bag. I gave it to a group of girls I’d taught before who were hanging out outside the teacher’s lounge. They seemed happy with it.
I forgot to take a photo, though. Oh, well – one snail curry looks like the next, I suppose.