Daddy needs money for a new clutch

Luckily, a rush editing job came in and daddy is going to do an all-nighter. Mommy took the kids to grandma’s house and our house is quiet and lonely. Max’s new fish and newer freshwater crab are playing tag, but more about that later when I have more time. Daddy is doing a job related to the Rockefeller Foundation, and that has absolutely nothing to do with the ROC (“yeah, number one clique here”), yo.

How to defeat a breathalyzer test in Japan 5 years ago, or Thailand today

Put your mouth up to the apparatus and make a show of drawing a deep breath. When you exhale, do it through your nose instead of your mouth, but obviously not in a way that will be noticed by the people administering the test. Basically, you are aiming to make a sound like you are exhaling into the apparatus while not actually doing so.

At least, that’s what I hear.

The best way to avoid trouble at all is of course to avoid drinking and driving entirely.

But hey, work drink-ups are a bitch, I know.

Today I ate dinner with a dirty diaper in my hand

…some days there just ain’t enough time for simple pleasures. And apparently, even that isn’t enough because Nam pulled a large glass marble out of Mina’s mouth about an hour before I found her about to swallow a rubber band. She has very quick hands, and follows her older brother around, whose purpose in life seems to be breaking things into little pieces and strewing them all around. This is a bad combination.

Speaking of Max, he got in a squabble with a girl at school today and she apparently stuck a finger in his eye, because his upper eyelid is all swollen up. When I took him to brush his teeth, his own reflection in the bathroom mirror set off a long string of sleepy crying and exclamations of pain.

So actually, I was conscious of the soggy diaper in my hand and also that I was eating a plate of cold food (I hate cold “warm/hot” food) as fast as I could, but it didn’t bother me so much because babies were crying all over.


“Hayaku” Time Lapse Journey

Turn up the sound, sit back (for 8 minutes), and watch this:

I hate listening to Royksopp, but I like it used in videos.

This brought back a flood of Japan memories. It’s funny how my memory has become compartmentalized by country. I have a set of memories that affects things I do every day. They pop up when I’m driving, cooking, or buying something at the store. I remember doing the same thing in different settings years ago. I can remember details like what it smelled like that day or the looks on people’s faces*. For the most part, these memories are very private and I feel like an island – but then I remember I can talk to Nam about most of it, and I don’t feel so alone.

What about the babies? They are going to grow up knowing at least two very different lands and languages. That is just their starting point – I can only dream of what the future holds for them.

* As I was writing this, I flashed back to driving in Bordeaux almost 15 years ago in a rented Opel Vectra (turbo gasoil) and almost t-boning a young guy in an VW Golf because I went on the wrong green light. It was such a bad mistake, the guy would have been totally justified in getting angry about it, but he saw I had realized my mistake and instead just nodded and gestured in acknowledgment.

ran dry

My red pen just ran dry as I was correcting papers and it got me to thinking – I’ve never used a new pen until it ran out. Of course, I’ve had them stop running prematurely and finished up partially-used pens, but I can never seem to keep pens around from start to finish. Other people take them, or they just disappear magically, perhaps into the wormhole that most of my socks eventually seem to drop into, as well.

Also, I cannot remember how long it’s been since I’ve written a letter by hand. I used to do it every few years just for the novelty, but now… I’m definitely going to make the kids do it, though.

Chris Pongpitaya’s Supercar Knockoffs

…Because nothing says genuine 911 like a spoiler the size of a Cessna wing (and judging by the height of the hood, front wheel drive as well).

(thx Mark)

This video intrigued me so much, I had to dig around a bit. Here’s the juicy bits:

Here’s some alternate contact info I found; I have no idea if it’s correct.

Chris Pongpitaya Schoenes Co.
229/3-4 Soi Akamai 7, Sukhumvit 63
Bangkok 10110 Thailand
Phone +66 2392 4177

Deleting Gmail Trash

Today is Mother’s Day in Thailand since it’s the Queen’s birthday, and the Queen is mother to all Thais. Nam and Max went to Khon Kaen with my mother-in-law and I spent the day watching Mina. She basically slept on me all day, only waking to feed and put everything within reach in her mouth before throwing it on the ground.

While she slept, I trashed several thousand mailing list messages in Gmail that I’ve no longer got time or interest in keeping up with, and hit the Empty Trash Now link. The following message ran across the status ticker thingy up top:

Oops… the system encountered a problem (#793) – Retrying now…

Gmail continued to suffer from Excedrin headache #793 for a few minutes, after which the beautifully empty trash page appeared with this message in the middle:

No conversations in the Trash. Who needs to delete when you have over 7000 MB of storage?!


On a related note, I don’t really like the new Gmail interface (mainly, the Compose mail button sticks out like a wart), but I can live with it. If you can’t there’s a way to switch back to a much older version of the interface, albeit without Labs support.

Sickly Gecko

Yesterday when looking for tools to make a gated baby fence, I found the smallest gecko I’ve ever seen. He was hiding under one of my tool bags and was suffering from some gross mold that had eaten away part of his body. Less than an inch long, the thickest part of his body was about 1/16″. He was too weak to run for very long, so I trapped him on a scrap of paper and put him outside on the window ledge where lazy insects like to congregate. I fear he wasn’t long for this world, so I hope he got a nice last supper.

The Boobie Mushroom and Leafy Mothra

Both recent finds when all I had was a crappy cell phone camera.

The boobie mushroom is the size of a large charsiu bau and appears after a heavy rain.

This is the first time I’ve seen this type of mushroom here and one can only wonder if licking the nipple would be deadly or not.

The leaf-winged moth AKA Leafy Mothra

I found Leafy Mothra in our driveway and captured it in an empty mustard jar for Max to see. He was duly impressed, as the entire body was blaze orange. Leafy Mothra was about 2″ long.

My other, much-neglected baby

The Kujira Crown is still my daily driver; driving in heavy rain everyday with no power steering, no hand brake, fairly torquey rear wheel drive, and Max in the front seat (in his new, larger baby seat) is a challenge, but it’s cool driving such a unique car every day.

Here’s a photo from the other day when we had to dispose of a dead body in the woods:

Although the lighting in this photo masks it very well, she is in great need of a new paint job, which when done properly will entail sanding everything off, fixing several holes and rust patches, and cutting out and patching the hopeless areas with sheet metal and bondo.

What color? My love for black is tempting me to say to hell with the fact that it will be like sitting in a microwave and just go for it, but I’m also toying with the idea of gunmetal gray or dark metallic silver. Or bluish silver. Or hell, even just brown again – I never thought I’d own a brown car, but it suits this car pretty well. Oh well, I have plenty of time to think about it since all the money saved for the new paint job has long since been used on diapers and milk and medicine and toys and clothes and whatever for my other, un-neglected babies. <sigh.>

UPDATE: This is what my MS-60 Kujira Crown looks like now:

Insult to injury

Mina reared back as I was holding her today and smashed the side of her head into my nose so hard I saw stars and involuntarily shed tears for a couple minutes. If I had much of a nose, it might have broken; as it was, it only bled profusely. Mina thought it was funny as hell, then she peed on me through her cloth diaper. Then she cried when I put her down to stop the nose bleed, and finally, she took a huge overflowing dump in her pee-soiled diaper, which I had to clean up after I stopped crying and bleeding.