Friday, August 27, 2010

After work in Hat Yai yesterday I hopped onto a....

Then, while on the way home a large group of young, nubile high school girls got on and I was immediately...

+ ED

Between them....

A big bunch of


A tad know.

Actually it was....

And quite clearly....




I'm still getting over it!

- Jeeem -

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Weather predictions...

Over the years, in particular as a fisherman, I learned to watch the weather. Predicting it often became the difference in coming home with fish for dinner and coming home empty handed.

There was an old ditty I remember well:

"If the wind is from the North...Man should not go forth. If the wind is from the South, it blows the fly into the fishes mouth. If the wind is from the West, this is the best. If the wind is from the East, tis not fit for man nor beast."

I found that ditty to often be true.

Here in Thailand I don't fish, but I enjoy watching the weather and sometimes it pays to be prepared. So, for those interested, here are some interesting weather predictors that you can try out at home. I've found most of these work pretty good!

  • Insect eating birds will begin feeding lower, on insects closer to the ground, since when a storm is approaching, insects are forced lower by low level downdrafts. In fair weather, insects are forced higher by fair weather updrafts (works every time!).

  • Winds blowing closer to ground are a sign a storm is approaching.

  • Leaves of deciduous trees will turn bottom side up 12 to 24 hours before a storm.

  • Swamp, marshland and standing stagnant water odors are more noticeable as bad weather approaches.

  • Ants will build tiny DIKES or MOUNDS at the entrance to their tunnels before it rains; their activity will cease within an hour of the storm's onset.

  • If you have curly hair, your hair will become more 'unruly' as a storm approaches, due mainly to the increased humidity in the air. In the case of a severe downpour, with possible flooding... wooden handles, inter-meshing or inter-connecting wooden "L" joints, door frames, etc., doors will stick, L joints will bind, and wooden handles will swell with the excess moisture in the air.

  • If you have a campfire, or are barbecuing, the smoke will typically hang low in the case when a storm is moving in. Smoke rising straight up means clear weather.

  • Lots of morning dew or frost on grass usually means the day will be fair. Little or no dew or frost means the air has been moving and wet weather is on the way.

  • Morning glory blooms open wide when fair weather is on its way, but close up when inclement weather approaches.

  • A red-sky sunset means rain within the next 24 hours is unlikely; the color occurs when there is little moisture in the atmosphere. A red sky or red sun at dawn means a storm is approaching (I've found this one a very accurate predictor).

A ring around the moon is caused by the refraction of light through ice crystals in the atmosphere. If the corona increases and expands as the night progresses, it's a sign that rain or snow is on the way.

Hope you enjoyed those!

Until next time!

- Jeeem

Monday, August 23, 2010

Bachelor stuff….

So…I’ve found a new spot in which to purchase groceries. Ban Kunine Sang…the tiny village just southwest of my home.

They have veggies, meats, canned goods, and dry goods…anything a guy would ever need.

I usually go there and purchase vegetables, canned goods, and either pork or chicken, and gas up my motorcycle too…but, the other day I noticed the store manager had a nice cache of fish, from where I don’t know, but it looked fresh so I nabbed a couple red snapper.

So I bought those two red snapper. Juicy ones, thick, meaty…got them home and threw them into the freezer. And that’s where they stayed until today.

Now, I’m in a position employment-wise, where I am only working twice a week…which sucks big time because I need much more work to be able to pay my bills, but….I gotta eat.

Those red snapper have been in my freezer for a week now…I love fish, but I’m not that good at cooking them…Well, if it’s already filleted, then yeah…but, these were whole fish…

So today I pulled those big, fat babies out of the freezer and let them defrost while I thought what to do with them. One thing I know about filleting fish, is ya gotta have a sharp, thin knife. Something I don’t possess. So, I gutted the two of them, took the back side of my knife and began scraping off the scales, and then I cut off the heads. I just can’t bear to eat anything with the head still on, something an Asian wouldn’t understand, I’m sure.

Anyway, here I was with two un-filleted fish…what to do?

Suddenly I had an idea…

I chopped up some scallions, garlic, onion, searched the fridge for something…Ah! Tomatoes! Eggplant! Morning glory! Peppers!

I chopped em all up and tossed them inside the cavity of the two fish, sprinkling some on top too. Then I put a big dollop of butter on top of both of them, and threw them in the oven at 350 degrees for fifteen minutes.

It was nothing but a big guess, but damned if it didn’t turn out pretty darn good! There were some remnants left, so I stripped the bones out best I could, threw the rest in a pot, added a little bit of water and tomato sauce, and brought it to a boil. I added this concoction to some rice, sprinkled in a few kibbles, and voila!

Dog food!

My two dogs loved it! They were growling at each other trying to keep each other away from their dish. Too funny!

So, the life of a bachelor isn’t all that bad…ya just gotta get inventive!


Sunday, August 22, 2010

We’re constantly bombarded with information…stimulus. Some of it we take in, some we discard.

When I was a child I had very little interest in history except what came out of my grandmother’s room. My grandmother, my adopted mother’s mother, lived with us while I was growing up. Her name was a classic southern one…Minnie Lee Hess. She had a room off the eastern corner of our house and rarely moved from her bed.

When I was bored I would often gravitate to my grandmother’s room and snoop. Well, fair was fair, as when ever she did get out of her bed it was typically to spy on me and my goings on.

There were two main articles of interest in that room for me. A large trunk containing the personal effects of her deceased husband whom she called “Pops,” who fought in the Spanish-American war and a small portrait on the south wall of her room, which she told me was called, “The Blue Boy.”

It was difficult to snoop in her trunk since she had a lot of stuff piled on top of it and it was locked, the lock only opened by a screwdriver or other flat object. So, the only times I was able to snoop in her trunk was when she would take a trip with her sister Mildred.

The other times I would walk into her room and stare for long periods of time at the portrait of her Blue Boy. I don’t know why, particularly, as I surely was not a budding art fanatic, but I just loved looking at that portrait.

It was years and years after her death and the death of my adopted mother when the house was donated to the local Grandview Baptist Church, all the contents included. I never saw that portrait or the trunk again.

Then roughly two or three weeks ago I was at work at C-Bright Language School and saw a Xeroxed copy of an article about that very portrait…The Blue Boy. I briefly scanned it and then made a mental note to research the portrait more completely on the Internet once I got home.

I found that the portrait was painted by Thomas Gainsborough circa 1770, and considered Gainsborough’s most famous work. It is thought to be a portrait of Jonathan Buttall, the son of a wealthy hardware merchant of the time, although this was never proved.

The blue apparel on the boy was typical seventeenth century apparel and was regarded as Gainsborough’s homage to Anthony Van Dyck, another artist of the time, who painted a portrait of Charles II as a boy. Gainsborough’s oil painting is said to be startlingly similar to Van Dyck’s portrait.

Like many paintings, the portrait made it’s rounds…from the possession of Jonathan Buttall, the son of the wealthy hardware merchant, to politician John Nesbitt, and eventually by 1802, artist John Hoppner.

It currently resides in Huntington Library, San Marino, California.


Friday, August 13, 2010

I'm going batty!

I've a new addition to my usual creepy-crawler crowd! A creepy-cruiser...
Alias, a bat. I went downstairs last night to go to the bathroom, flicked on the light and immediately looked down since the bathroom floor is typically a toad-minefield at that hour.

Then suddenly I felt something whiz by my head. Instinctively I ducked thinking god-knows-what, and when I looked up I was relieved. It was only a bat.

Those little buggers are usually down the road a piece, around the durian farms, but evidently one of their crew has gone exploring. I like them cause they eat literally thousands of mosquitoes and other flying bugs at night, but...where there's a bat...there's bat guano.

That's scatological lingo for bat poo-poo.

It's enough I have to clean up tons of gecko poop every few days...but now bat poo?

No way.

So, I threw open all the downstairs windows and the door, in hopes he (or she) would fly out, but no such luck. It found the door to the bathroom okay, but instead of flying outside, it went upstairs and was quite happy since it's flying-bug heaven up there.

So now the thing is camped-in, hanging upside down on one of the roof rafters in the bedroom.

Gotta love this place!


Tuesday, August 10, 2010


This is the "I'm MISERABLE," contest...

I am miserable...

Sunday, August 8, 2010 at approximately 10:20 a.m., I spilled boiling water on my hands and forearms while heating water for a bath for my dogs.

After the screaming stopped, I just stood there for a second and tried to calm down and gather my thoughts. My health insurance had run out, I had very little money...(in fact, I can't even pay this month's rent..), and I knew from my medical background I had a severe second degree burn...

Once my duckies were all in a nice little row, I went into the bathroom, stripped down, and began dousing my arms and hands with cold water...for about twenty minutes. Thoughts kept creeping through my mind...should I go to the doctor? Should I call in to work?

That afternoon I had a scheduled meeting at a local Hat Yai restaurant with the C-Bright Language School staff. I had ordered my meal ahead of time, so I had to be there....

I finished bathing, dried off, powdered down, and then went upstairs and got dressed. At that point all I had to worry about was the pain...and it was pretty intense. But, as I dressed and got ready, the pain slowly began to subside...of course two Paracetamol tablets and a couple pain pills left over from my surgery helped a bit too.

I managed to get to Hat Yai, to my meeting and back without a lot of pomp and circumstance. The next day was a Monday and my day off, so I took it easy. But, I woke up with my arms covered in blisters. It seemed every time I did something...washed a dish, hung out clothes, attempted to cook...I'd either pop a blister, or rub and inflame a sensitive area, so by Tuesday, I was one sore dude.

I was eating Tylenol like it was candy, but if I didn't, I was in some pretty unbearable pain. Riding my motorcycle into Thung Lung was no easy task, as my hands were swollen up like balloons. Then I got onto the Songtheaw heading into Hat Yai, and the first miserable incident happened...I was sitting in the Songtheaw, minding my own business, and on hops a drunk Thai man, yapping to beat the band...

"Hey Falang!" he said, and my heart sank. This is one of the things I hate about riding in a Songtheaw...the asshole passengers they sometimes pick up. Without warning he reached over, grabbed my hand and squeezed, trying to be friendly. What happened next, he was not prepared for...neither were the rest of the passengers...

I simply screamed, as he pressed his goddamn hand right into a painful area where a blister was...actually a group of blisters....popping about four out six of them. I screamed and at the same time jerked my hand away...finally showing him (up close) just what he had done...

That shut him up. Nobody, including me, ever heard a peep out of him after that...meanwhile, I just sat there in silence, feeling the pulsing of pain that matched every heartbeat. to work, taught my students, then headed back. Was hanging on the back of another Songtheaw (the women sit down, men stand up unspoken rule. You know...gentleman crap), and suddenly some jerk bounds onto the back pedestal where I'm standing, never freaking looking at where he's going or what he's doing, and grabs onto....NOT the passenger handle...but, MY GODDAMN ARM....popping another four or five blisters....Big ones! So, now I'm hanging off the back of the Songtheaw with serum from my big blisters quite literally dripping onto the tarmac...little pieces of me, scattered all over southern Thailand....

Pain? Hey, let me tell this point, pain becomes a relative thing...Relative in a sense that at the very moment some jerk grabs my hand or arm, there is an intense amount of pain, but that pain tends to subside quickly, so this last time I didn't even so much as flinch....but, the real pain comes later.

Put my arms up above my problemo. Drop them down below my waist....OUCH! The pressure is almost you can see how this effects daily just gotta work around it.

Okay, so now I'm MR. MISERABLE.

Your JOB....-should you choose to accept to click on the black and white "Miserable" picture above, save it to your hard drive, and finally....COLOR THAT BAD BOY!

Yes! You heard me right! COLOR THAT BAD BOY!

...means, clicking on the black and white "miserable," picture...saving it to your hard-drive, then pulling it up in the lame, "Paint," or any other program, color it, add action, flash, or just....whatever!

The best one wins!

Submit your final project to:

Good luck to you all...and for those who lose....MISERY!


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