Things I replaced on our car over summer vacation

You may understand part of the pain and frustration we¬†experienced if you can recognize the complete set of gaskets and ferrofluid engine mounts (replaced with solid urethane mounts). Yes, the whole front end of our Cefiro A33 (USDM: Infiniti i30) was taken apart and put together again. It runs really sweet now, except for a noisy power steering pump, another set of wheel bearings, some paint bubbling up on the roof, etc., etc., and so forth…. And my car, the 40 year old Kujira Crown, will be totally done sometime this year, hopefully (that’s a story in itself; not enough space or patience to cover it here).

Insecticide Spraying in Rural Thailand

UPDATE: I’ve added a video to the bottom of this post.

The first time I saw government spraying (fogging, really) in our neighborhood was last year. There was the sound of a lawnmower engine from a block away, and then a man with a backpack sprayer walked by on the street, spraying a dense, white fog over our front yard, which promptly blew through our open windows ala a 1940’s public service announcement/DDT promotion. The cloying stench of RAID remained on the house for a couple hours, and I had to wipe everything down before the kids got back.

Today, we got a twenty minute warning by a pickup truck broadcasting over a PA – “We are spraying for mosquitoes in five minutes. Remove young children from the area!” I started the car, threw the kids in, and Nam drove them to their grandparent’s house in her nightgown. As they pulled out of the driveway, I could hear the backpack sprayer’s engine a few blocks down.

Since we live in what has become a fairly upper-class neighborhood (3 years ago, it was just our house and one other in the middle of fields), many parents are taking heed and evacuating as I write this. And I saw the sprayer go down a side street a few minutes ago, and he had no frolicking entourage ala South Korea. People are smart enough to take this seriously.

The question is, is it necessary? What the local government is most concerned about, of course, is mosquito-borne disease like malaria, dengue fever, West Nile virus, and any number of nasty strains of encephalitis. In fact, the last time we were in the children’s clinic, there were warnings about outbreaks of malaria and Japanese encephalitis somewhere in Maha Sarakham province (but not within 50 km of us). The short answer is, nobody knows for sure.


The sprayer came and went. It is over this year. I have some video I will post later, but both my camera batteries are dead right now. A small gecko just fell off the eaves onto the stairs to our pavilion. He was writhing around for a couple seconds, but now he just looks out of it. Maybe he ate a tainted mozzie.


Poxy Varicella

I came home yesterday after lecturing for two days, fresh off finals week, looking forward to a nice, relaxing evening and some much-needed sleep. Alas.

Max has chicken pox. Which means Mina will probably get them soon as well. Trying to keep babies living under the same roof quarantined is pretty much impossible, especially since the nanny isn’t around today, and Nam has a faculty meeting from now. It’s all on sleep-deprived daddy now… Max is just torture to look at with sores all over his mouth, writhing in agony and saying no to everything. Mina just wants to play. Plus the fuel pump in the Kujira died this morning. And the coffee in the pot tastes bitter.

A pox on pox.