When we play catch or practice hitting balls around the vacant lots and parks around here, people stop to watch. Hmm… I’ve never seen anyone else playing baseball in Thailand, either! I’m not a big baseball fan or anything, but it’s great for kids’ hand-eye coordination.

I found the equipment for sale at a secondhand Japanese goods store in town. This was a very popular business until very recently – you could buy containers of household stuff from Japan at various Thai shipping ports for around 70,000 baht and up. A lot of people started used Japanese good shops with stuff from a single container. You couldn’t see what was in the container before you bought it, so there would be some new stores opening with tons of old clothes, others loaded with baby strollers and rice cookers (the wrong voltage for TH), and many with just worthless crap. The best containers were probably the ones loaded with wooden furniture and bicycles. Many of the products were packed in similar moving company boxes, which led to speculation as to where this stuff was coming from.

Now that I’ve Googled a bit, UPDATE: We export used clothing from Japan to Thailand

Kon-Tiki – The Best Fishing Movie Ever?

I don’t remember the last time I saw this movie, but it must have been around 35 years ago… I can’t believe how good it is. This might be my favorite one-hour movie, and perhaps my favorite documentary, ever. There are just these gems of knowledge and experience spread throughout the whole voyage. Gonna watch the Hollywood remake from a few years ago next.

Rogue One AKA Star Wars in Dubai

For me, this is the second or third best movie in the entire series, behind Empire Strikes Back and maybe A New Hope. Definitely better than Return of the Jedi.

I really loved that Donnie Yen was in it, but kind of hated his mystical Tai Chi Yojimbo character (we get it, blind people’s other senses are finely attuned as hell, and Asians all have Jedi-like intuition except when driving ha fucking ha). And goddamn Star Wars weapons always piss me off – why does his sidekick with the belt-fed MG have to rack the slide like a goddamn Remington 870 after every shot at the end? Is it an over/under plasma LMG/shotty?

Aside from the usual cookie cutter Star Wars plot and minor nitpicks, the movie just worked. No fucking teddy bear creatures, no annoying CGI sidekicks, no damn jedis doing inexplicably stupid shit. The droids were fucking dope. And the final tie in to A New Hope! It was pretty goddamn satisfying. Now if Joss Whedon would just do a second season of Firefly with the same budget as the original, I’d be happy. Might as well hope for a season 2 of Freaks and Geeks, tho.

Freed Fishies

I had contemplated throwing all of our aquarium fish back into the pond in front of our house for quite a while. I had gotten quite lazy about cleaning the tank, and with a big pleco in there, there was just shit everywhere. The remaining fish were pleco, a native plant-eater called pla kady, and a stickleback-sized minnow of unknown species who washed up on our driveway less than a week ago after rain and flooding (which is getting worse every year). Today I finally got around to washing the tank and cracked it, badly, when laying it on its side. So I asked Max and Mina what they thought and they actually open to the thought of throwing the fish back in the pond to “be with their families.” Finding fucking Nemo, that surprised me.

So that’s where they went. The cruel irony is that they might not last a full day restored to the wild. You see, the excavator came and cleared away vegetation on the banks again, so the pond was once again made accessible. So at sundown, a bunch of foreign workers came and strung up nets inside of the pond to catch many future meals (the pond, which hasn’t been seriously fished for years now, is chock full of fish). I asked Nam to call the housing office to come chase the hunter gatherers away, because I don’t want them coming back to check their nets when we and our neighbors are gone during the day (since they are in a good spot to scope out empty homes when at the pond). The response was swift, and the workers disappeared, but the nets are still out there (the workers will definitely be back for their nets, no matter what). So I’m afraid the fish I released today, especially big, dumb Pleco, are going to get caught. This bothers me.

Trash Raider

There is a fat gecko (Hemidactylus frenatus) in our house that raids the kitchen trash when I leave the lid off. He runs away as soon as he hears someone approaching the kitchen, but I can hear the crumpling of the trash bag as he explores. Sometimes I leave the lid of the trash off just so I can hear him exploring…. He’s been with us for a couple years now (they apparently live 5-10 years), so I consider him a friend, but he’s still very skittish.

Although he probably just hangs around the trash to catch flies, I like to believe that he’s eating our leftovers; perhaps a tasty bit of stir fried basil-stained rice here, and a few nips of mango peelings there. I’ve yet to catch him in the act, though. Even Nam, who really hates geckos, thinks this little guy’s trash raiding habit is amusing… We call him Mr. Fatty because he’s just about the piggiest common gecko we’ve ever seen.