Khon Kaen to Maha Sarakham

When Nam is driving, I like snapping photos from the passenger seat. Up here in Isan, this type of photo is defined by capturing the camera in the side mirror and long green fields of rice when it’s the right time of year. Otherwise, it’s just a big, hot, dusty expanse.

Teaching the New Generation of Chinese Students

I’ve been teaching the new freshman classes of Chinese students from various forestry and agricultural universities on exchange programs with Rajabhat Maha Sarakham University (my workplace and soon to be alma mater) for several years now. They keep getting more and more open-minded about the world, and the most recent group of 35 from Honghe University was the best yet…

The groupthink is slowly disappearing and real independence is just starting to show. I used this as an opportunity to accelerate their learning with memrise, YouTube, IG, and Facebook.

I’m thinking about writing a paper about how to most effectively stimulate their natural curiosity and independent thinking with only online tools, although it may be not looked upon so kindly by their minders… We have talked in class extensively about what will happen after they leave Thailand the day after tomorrow – their online profiles outside of the great firewall will become stagnant and wither… or will they? It’s said there are cracks in every wall.

Anyway, one of the kids just posted this on FB and sent me the translation, and it made me happy.

“Our English teacher is an American Japanese and I like him very much. The way of class is too humorous. When the teacher is in class, he will give us a game. It’s too exciting. Although my English has gone backwards after the college entrance examination, I just want to take English classes. Because the English class will make me very happy. The teacher also asked us to go to his house to cook. There are three kittens in his family. It’s so cute, I sometimes go to tease the cat. There is also a teacher’s daughter who is super beautiful. The teacher also said that he wants his daughter to marry at the age of 50. Absolute daughter slave haha “

Rad.

New Host Test Post

We were down for approximately a day because I was coordinating the change while on a trip to Laos last week.

A pox upon whoever bought JaguarPC and ruined a once-great webhost. My new host is much, much better, and I’m paying less than a quarter what I was to JaguarPC. I was with them for over twelve years – the last few years, their service got worse and worse and finally, they tried to double their fees on my yearly invoice, so fuck them. Want an honest webhost review for Jaguar PC? They are dishonest. They are slow. They suck. Great, hope that helps someone makes a decision.

Here’s a test photo of a mosquito eating apple slices:

Click to see the entire Mosquitoes Eating Fruit Series.

Poco F1 + Google Camera

I bought a Xiaomi Pocophone F1 in September of 2018 and it’s basically been my main since then. Aside from sensitivity issues when typing with both thumbs, it’s been a really excellent phone. Besides offering flagship specs for 1/3 the price of an equivalent Samsung, the camera is top notch. A couple months ago, I got it into my head to try a custom ROM, but ended up just installing the Google Camera apk instead. It’s been fun. Here’s a couple of shots after sundown last night, one in normal mode and one in night mode, both shot unsupported:

You can click through a couple times for the original size photos.

Farewell to Nam Kaeng

The Nam Kaeng (Thai: “Ice”)

Cats come and go at this house, but Nam Kaeng was special because she was so sassy and a patchwork quilt kind of mean girl. The first time she ran up to me, I thought she was rabid because she was so familiar and insistent on getting scratched on the head. It turns out she was just claiming her new servant.

We’d never really noticed a cat with orange eyes before!

It turns out she came from a neighbor’s house and just decided to live here with our other cats, much to the consternation of her owners. I took her back to their house several times, and they kept her in a cage, but she managed to escape and come back every time. One time, she came back with a lion cut.

We laughed at this for hours, and she never stopped with the stink eye.

So as it turns out, this murderous heat wave was probably just too much for her. She died in our driveway on the first day of Songkran, and we didn’t find her until two days later… So sad!

Goodbye, Nam Kaeng!