What is true manhood?


True Manhood is playing to win.
True Manhood is making the shot.
True Manhood is making them remember your name.

True Manhood Quadruple Barrel Triple Malt Scotch* Whisky. For the True Manhood in you.

*Proudly made to stringent Scottish standards in the old country (Vientiane, Laos). Available at the Grapevine.

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RMU Welcome Screen


This is a huge Windows-driven LCD with which I gauge my arrival to the university every morning. It’s usually not on when I roll by the first time since I have a lot of early morning classes, but on free days I sometimes  see diagnostic screens, Windows startup, and the plethora of error dialogs that the operator has to click through before getting to the day’s scheduled programming. Sometimes I dream of hijacking it for giggles.

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Fire, No Water, Burn.


During the Songkran water festival,  a fire truck came around to refill its tanks at the pond in front of our house.  The trucks normally spend the duration of the festivities driving along the main strips downtown and basically enjoying being the kings of the country-wide watertfight. On this day, however, a huge fire broke out within a mile of our house and this truck was not at all ready to do its job… The next day we saw another fire truck spraying people during the waterfights,  so obviously, Songkran is the worst time of year to have a fire in Thailand.

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Somdet Phra Theppharatratsuda Chao Fa Maha Chakri Sirindhorn Ratthasimakhunakonpiyachat Sayamborommaratchakumari

AKA Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn, Thailand’s Princess Royal, came to our university to open my faculty’s new building today (Official title: The Local Knowledge Learning Center). Pretty much every Thai staff member/teacher wears an official white uniform to these ceremonies, so it was fun being the only person in a black pinstriped suit (those not wearing dress whites wore white or black suits, but nobody else had pinstripes – I’m so happy I had this one made all those years ago because it’s BOSS). There was much discussion leading up to today’s event about where the best place to enter the campus and park would be, with some teachers coming in hours before the ceremony started, but I snuck in through an unguarded back gate on my scooter and talked my way past three roadblocks five minutes before assembly time. Then I sweated through the next three hours, happy I had an undershirt and a folding fan. It was glorious.

Phu Farm Canned Foods

Phu Farms… As aptly named as a company can be…

Silkwork larvae are a snack I’ve had in Korea and Cambodia as well, and they don’t taste so bad. They are a good novelty food after a few beers. The canned frogs, however, are, well…

New canned food display at Nam’s university shop featuring locally conceived products
Silkworm pupae – YUM!

Mina approves (well, she did before we opened the cans)

The shopkeeper gave Nam a sample of the new product – canned frogs!


Reposted from my Facebook account

I’m having an eventful birthday. After dropping off Max and Mina at school, Nam and I drove by an accident on the side of the road. I saw my co-worker Bruce lying on the asphalt, so I told Nam to pull over and ran out to help. A middle aged woman riding a small motorbike with a little girl on back had hit Bruce’s mountain bike from behind. Judging from the damage, she had been going pretty fast.

There were already several people gathered around watching and talking bullshit, but typically, nobody was really helping. The woman was lying down, motionless, in a pool of blood leaking from her head, so I made sure she wouldn’t drown in it and left her alone, then helped Bruce who was down and in pain but seemed to not be seriously injured. Nam picked up the little girl so she wouldn’t get hit by a passing rubbernecker. The girl seemed totally unhurt.

The reason I am writing about this here instead of my blog is that my Facebook page has much more local exposure, and I would like to publicly shame someone – Nam saw a doctor that we know (who works at the university clinic just up the street) standing there, just watching with the rest of the crowd. She called his name and motioned him to come over to help as we couldn’t even hear sirens yet, and HE REFUSED. Instead, he just stood there and continued to watch for another few minutes until the ambulances arrived.

So I would just like to take a few minutes to publicly address this cowardly asshole: HEY ASSHOLE, your job is to HELP people! It’s NOT to inspect enough ears and throats to buy a big house, or to prescribe enough drugs to buy a new Camry every two years. When you see people injured on the side of the road, it’s YOUR JOB (and it’s actually the law) to GO HELP THEM AND STOP WATCHING LIKE IT’S A FUCKING MOVIE.

Anyway. Nam rode in the ambulance with the little girl, Bruce was followed in a second ambulance, and I drove our car there. The woman was hurt in a bad way. Her family eventually showed up and claimed the little girl, didn’t say thank you to Nam, were only concerned with the money the woman had been carrying (and apparently kind of accused Nam of stealing it!). So hey, fuck them, too.

Then I was in the ER with Bruce, explaining his condition to the nurses and doctors, when a baby was brought on to the next bed with bad burns. The nurses said it had been doused with boiling water and started taking photos for evidence. The baby was screaming at first, and then just crying, and it took about half an hour for it to get exhausted enough to fall asleep as they cleaned the burns and applied some kind of cream…. it was one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to see. But the worst part about it was that the young mother was more concerned about herself than about her baby. She kept looking at me and Nam and the nurses as if to say, “forgive me!” I could only shake my head in disgust and Nam actually admonished her, “take care of your child, he needs you!”

There is a lesson in here somewhere. I’m just trying to figure out what  it might be.

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Matcha set – Eka Cafe

I’ve been archiving photos from Nam’s Samsung Grande and realized she’s been taking a lot of food photos. I used to do this, but stopped carrying a smartphone, and my tablet doesn’t have a front facing camera (hence the Facebook #Facecuts series I started). So I’ll be uploading a bunch of photos documenting what we’ve been eating recently.

First up, the matcha (green tea) set at our friend Tong’s cafe here in Maha Sarakham:


M&M’s First TKD Exposition

Nam left for Japan on a work trip yesterday, but we are keeping busy at home. Max and Mina’s dojo did a taekwondo expo at the old Sermthai shopping mall in town.




Max likes watching kung fu movies at home, and then forgets he’s studying TKD, not wushu:

Then, predictably, somebody set off Mina and she went all Dragonball on everyone:

Video to follow as soon as it finishes uploading.


Thai Jaeger – The Golden Buddha Mech

Somewhere between the Chiang Yuen and Sam Sung districts on a two-lane highway lined with rice paddies and stands of vines and overgrowth, there is a secret Jaeger base under construction.




When completed, this powerful addition to the Pacific Rim forces will boast three powerful weapons to fight the scourge of Kaijus: Tree Falling in Forest Kick, Cosmic Bodhisattva Blast, and Spinning Lotus Beam.