25/01: Back in Japan

Category: Travel: Japan
Posted by: MrD
Ahh yes, Japan. The home of incredible levels of politeness, cute pigeon-toed, knock-kneed gals and vending machines.

Did you say vending machines? I love Japanese vending machines. Let's take a look at what's on offer.

Hmmm. What's Qoo? The name does not make me want to drink it. Wanna drink some goo? And the little mascot looks to me to not be enjoying it. Dunno, think I'll pass.

I think I'd rather take my chances with Pocari Sweat. And often do actually; it's pretty good.

But I often wonder: "Just what is a Pocari anyway?" and "Those Pocaris sure do seem to sweat an awful lot; I sure hope that they are not mistreated." Best not to think to much about it, methinks.


Their website has its moments of fun too, by the way. Did you know it's good for hangovers, the trots and just waking up? Nor did I!

But wow, what's this? A pack of spliffs? Aw damn, it says "Cannibis free." What's the point of the packaging then. I know, I know, cheap attention grabber. But I'd bet you'd be able to make this fly with the real thing in Cambodia or maybe Amsterdam...

If the above were selling something other than tobacco, it would have to be the best vending machine ever. But for now, this one will have to do:

I WANT one for my house. As long as it keeps getting refilled by the beer fairy. It will hold a place of honour right next to the incredible draft beer pouring machine found in the First Class Lounge at Narita airport! I must have that machine too...

With stuff like this, how can you NOT love Japan?
Category: Funny Stuff
Posted by: MrD
Just a quick one. This was spied at the Sala Daeng BTS stop.

Sophomoric level of humour? Sure. That's me. But seriously, this is a Thai company, so I wonder if the owner's their English was good enough to make the joke (entirely possible) or just a "happy accident?"

In Japan later working, so maybe sporadic posts. Or not.

21/01: Never assume

Category: General
Posted by: MrD
Assume. Ass. U. Me. What an asshole I am.

Let me start at the start. I busted my arse to get back to Bangkok to see MsG (the GF some of you know) before my Japan trip. It wasn't supposed to happen but it did. She works for her Mom full time, goes to Uni full time and we still find time to spend together. Great. But we talked on Wed (no time to see me), Thursday (she could only come in the morning, but I had a headache and I said no), and then nothing. No answers to SMSs, phone not being answered. All weekend. And she knew I was leaving again for three weeks on Tuesday.

I figured she was pissed at me and knowing Thai gals, doing the silent treatment (not that she's ever done that -- we don't fight, yet). But that silent thing gets on my tits. And considering our schedules, this was over the top.

I assumed.

So I, leaving for Japan tomorrow, sent a snarky SMS to her about not having time for me and maybe I'll see her when I get back, or maybe not. In ten minutes, I get a call. From her sister.

Sis tells me that MsG's been in the hospital since Friday morning and only today has she the strength to even talk on the phone. But she saw that SMS and was upset. Let's say it again: what an asshole I am.

But I didn't know. Still feel like an asshole tho'.

It seems that Friday morning, she got out of bed and promptly passed out. Her heart rate was about 170 and she had extreme shortness of breath. Then her heart rate would slow to about 50, but still with the shortness of breath. Her mother took her to the hospital.

She basically slept (not sure if chemically induced or not) until today. She's on oxygen (just thru the nose, not the full face mask) and a drip of something (couldn't read the handwritten Thai label) with a flow meter, so it is not just saline. But no O2 sat meter or heart rate monitor hooked up. Dunno why. Not sure if she has a fever, it did not feel like it when I touched her, but the room was quite warm (made me sweat) and she was still under a blanket and slightly cold, so maybe.

MsG told me that they did blood work and x-rays, but told her that it was simply exhaustion. That really does not fit with the symptoms in my mind, but it was like pulling teeth to get any info from the staff (night shift nurses and no doctors around). And MsG is typically Thai and does not ask questions of the doc.

All I know is that she look OK, but very tired. And I was with her chatting for about 45 minutes this evening and she was completely drained before I left. No energy at all. And still short of breath. Extremely worrisome to me, as MsG is a fit, middle class, 21 year old city girl who doesn't smoke, drink or do drugs.

I'm able to push back the Japan trip a day, but that's it. This sucks. When she needs me, I can't be there.


BTW, MsG forgave me my little childish outburst. I brought her flowers and apologized. I was good enough to know that she loves lilies, so brought those. And it turns out that "I've never had a man who I love give me flowers!" she said tearily. Sure, she's been given flowers before, but not from anyone she cared about.

Category: Food
Posted by: MrD
Who doesn't like Pho? What? You don't even know how to pronounce it? Easy, just say fuh (like foot without the t). It's soup. With beef or chicken. Just order a bowl and Add in some chili oil (and/or Sri Racha chili sause), basil, bean sprouts and a little fish sauce -- all sitting on your table -- and enjoy. Here's a recipe, but I have no idea how good it is. Let me know if you try it.

Anyway, I've been meaning to take this photo for a couple of years now. I finally did.

From the Pho Bo Gai (that's Beef & Chicken Soup in Vietnamese) Restaurant on Swanston St in Chinatown, Melbourne.
Category: General
Posted by: MrD
OK, this is just such an interesting site I had to make a break here to tell you about it! Start at the beginning.

Read there and comment when you get to the present.

Carry on.
Category: Travel: Australia
Posted by: MrD
...if they name a street after AC/DC.

Even tho' they grew up in Sydney. From Wiki: On October 1, 2004, a central Melbourne thoroughfare, Corporation Lane, was renamed in honour of the band. However, the City of Melbourne forbade the use of the slash character in street names, so the four letters were combined. The lane is near Swanston Street where, on the back of a truck, the band recorded their video for the 1975 hit "It's a Long Way to the Top (If You Wanna Rock 'n' Roll)".

Here's a map:

And here's some pix I took yesterday. Ya, not very flash as far as streets go, but the thought was nice.

Remind me to take pix of the whole new neighborhood in Detroit (W of the Lodge and S of Warren Ave) that has all streets named after Motown acts. Very hip!
Category: Travel: Australia
Posted by: MrD
OK, what's up with the flies here? They are the most obnoxious creatures on the planet. Normal flies you swat away and they leave you alone. Not here. They go for your eyes, nose, ears and even mouth. And will not be deterred by waving hands. Bastards! I hate them.

And while I am not afraid of snakes, I do have a bit of concern when a TV news story warns that "due to bushfires, snakes are heading into the city." Yikes.

Oh, and he first one of you who mentions circle flies gets a smack!
Category: Travel: Australia
Posted by: MrD
OK, a cheap post since I'm in Australia again now. But a great f@#$%ing song. In spite of the atrocious enunciation of the capital of Tahiti LOL (polish up yer Frogish b-4 U click)! That'd be "Pa-pee-AH-tay". But hey, artistic license.

And don't misunderstand me. I'm still the militant atheist. But like the famous Northern Hemisphere constellations, the Southern Cross is *special*. It is beautiful. Just because of us humans and our sense of geometry and spacial recognization, if nothing else. That may be minimalizing it, but you know what I mean. If not, that's what the comments are for!

And after spending time here in Oz, I can relate even more. And maybe it is the folk wisdom buried in this CSN song that I could have used to keep my marriage together.

Naw. I did all I could. She left me, dammit. And no pensive midnight watch will even let that make sense to me. I need to remember that to keep my head clear and the guilt away. I was right (just believe me). It's tough. I am the fist person in my family to ever be divorced. That weighs on me, even though my parents are long gone and I'm an only child.

Man, I could sooo live here in Oz. What a cool place -- it sooo matches with my personality. And the ads from the Victorian Gummint crying out for skilled expats are not helping...

But I'd surely miss my wonderful new (Thai) girlfriend. Of course, she could come with me and be very welcome in Oz. If she wanted to (she doesn't: she likes Thailand just fine, thank-you-very-much!). But that whole "welcome to America, legal immigrant" thing is something sadly I'm not sure would be true in my home country these days, with the illegal immigrant problem as it is. And I understand.

Oops, another tangent. I will try to be better at avoiding those in future posts.

Gee, maybe not a cheap-n-easy post afterall?

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10/01: Updates?

Category: General
Posted by: MrD
Ya, I've been totally remiss. I just did not feel like maintaining this blog.

But I'm caving-in to the pressure and reviving it.

Watch this space for the next couple of days. I promise *some* activity. I do not promise how entertaining it will be!
Category: General
Posted by: MrD
...it's simple biology!

And besides, I've settled down with a rather mature 21 year old.

Now has anyone a proven speech to to announce to daughters that their new "mother" is but two years older than them????????????

THAT makes me very afraid...