Cool season

Last night was the first night it felt a bit chilly since last “winter.”¬†From now through January is the best part of the year in NE Thailand.

We start the new term at Rajabhat Maha Sarakham University on Monday.

I teach weekend classes all tomorrow; today’s class was cancelled because we were locked out of the building. Nobody complained, because my students are also teachers preparing for next week.

Watching the Nam Chi

Thailand has been suffering from record flooding in recent weeks. What sets this situation apart from years past is that previously safe areas have also been flooded out. Rainfall has been heavy in some areas, but what seems to have caused the problems this time is the steady meddling with waterways and ignoring what might happen when they overflow.

Maha Sarakham is said to be at risk from today until October 31st.

I think the area where our house is should be okay, but of course there is also the possibility of the roads being wiped out, so I went aggro at Big C last week and stocked up on loads of boxed milk for Max and diapers for both of them. Also, the Nam (river) Chi flows in a long curve along the back of the Big C parking lot before running parallel to the highway to Kalasin, so it’s a good place to see the water level.

I hope I never have to use the rubber raft I brought over from Japan.

sunny rain

A couple weeks ago I was engaged in the never-ending battle to figure out why my Crown hates running cold so much (Next step: Replace coil pack and plug cables, plus various tweaking with components expensive to replace but cheap to check/clean). I took her out on the Sarakham bypass that’s close to our house and runs for a couple unimpeded kilos in a straight line. It was a glorious sunny day, dry and hot, and I was running with all four windows open.

As I started up the bypass, it suddenly started raining, though there was hardly a cloud in the sky (weather like this always reminds me of Hawaii for some reason). Luckily, I was headed into the wind, so not much rain got inside the car. By the time I was halfway through the run, something curious happened. The rain hitting the hot asphalt started steaming and the entire highway was enveloped in a dense fog. The thing is, I was completely alone on the road and I savored that moment of having it all to myself. As I cruised with windows open and wipers on, the wind blew the fog into dancing spirals that parted as we passed through. When I got to the end of the bypass, it suddenly stopped raining. When I got to school, the janitor sweeping out the parking lot saw my car and asked if it was raining.

I said yes and thought, just for me.

Max doesn’t like going to school

He will do anything to avoid going. Once he’s there, it seems that he has a great time, but he just hates going (this is how I felt about school at his age, too).

He is clever enough to say he is sick, and determined enough to say that he wants to go to the doctor and get a shot (!).

He will refuse food for over an hour, and then suddenly eat with gusto just as we’re about to go out to the car.

Once in the car, he will say he wants to eat this or that from a roadside vendor, or suddenly want to visit a specific place.

My favorite, though, is when he offered to stay home and clean his room:

Yes, I made him go when he was finished.

Random Links 10/21/2010

Why rebels and insurgent groups the world over love the Toyota Hilux
Hint: Rebels suck at preventive maintenance.

Tracing the fate of Aliens’ commandos (the Colonial Marines)
Game over, man, game over.

Create 8-Bit Style Graphics with Authentic NES, Gameboy, and Sega Colors (Photoshop tutorial)
Max as Mario? Mina as the Princess?

Lost, Unpublished Dr. Seuss Manuscript Surfaces
Having kids enables the enjoyment of One Fish, Two Fish a second time around.

One way to deal with a stupid homeowner’s association
I ROTFLed. Why the hell do people back home put up with that kind of crap at all?

2 Years In Prison – A Man’s Story
Not for the faint of heart. You have been warned.

Shoyu chili garlic fish sauce wings

It’s made like how it sounds (plus braised in Japanese sake to finish). It tastes how it looks. I suppose you could call them water buffalo wings.

Did you know that shoyu (soy sauce) is the root word of “soy” in English?

And that perhaps the best of example of a loan word from the Thai language in English is “bong?”

Cooking and linguistics are both a delicious jumble of influences and flavors.