Monday, November 30, 2009

Nothing but fish

So far we've noticed that the only two words in your vocabulary is 'Pa' and 'Ta', to be more precise 'Pla' meaning fish and 'Guitar' respectively. Frankly apart from these two, the rest we have absolutely no idea what you are on about :)

 

What makes it even more adorable is that 'Pa' simply means anything that is alive under water :) we saw a few shrimps swimming today and of course it was nothing but fish to you :)

 

Your mother and I can not wait until you can string a few simple sentences together, we are wondering what kind of a voice you'll have and more excitedly we are waiting to hear you express your feelings whether it be something as simple as cold or hungry. Communication is the first step, and I sincerely hope the rational part will come later, the sense of knowing what is right and wrong is so important in a modern society, although to start talking of this when you are not yet two may be a little too heavy :)

Friday, November 27, 2009

Long time coming…

The last time we went out to anywhere with my parents, you were still sucking your umbilical cord for nourishment, a couple of Sundays back your mother had to go out to a function in the afternoon, thus leaving yours truly alone with you.

 

I did what any responsible dad would do... I called my mother :)

 

I wasn't daunted or anything, the only concern that I had was your lunch, I am not the best cook in the world (nor the worst either, although your mother would beg to differ). Luckily we have one of those slow cooker, so your mother had lovingly prepared all the 25 billion ingredients, put them all in the cooker and let it simmered, and all I had to do was to add a handful of spaghetti.

 

By the time your mother had left (about one pm), you were asleep, the house was messy and strangely quiet. Again I did what a responsible dad would do, turned on the telly :) I had it all planned out, my mother was going to be here exactly when you wake up, and she will automatically be on auto pilot and take over the whole operation of feeding you your lunch.

 

Time was getting tight, two o'clock had already come and gone, you were starting to stir but there was no sign of my parents, then the phone rang… They were stuck in traffic and weren’t sure when they will get here. There was no way out this time, as soon as I had put the phone down you were already sat up in your cot, still a little groggy, I love holding you when you just woken up, all nice and warm and very cuddly :)

 

At least everything was ready, the food was just right, the spoons, plates and cups had been laid out and your high chair was already in placed. Only after a few minutes you were back on your turbo mode and it was time for lunch, which unexpectedly went a lot smoother then I had anticipated, the last time I gave you lunch, it took over an hour, and half of it was over the walls and floor. This spaghetti dish smelt so delicious I’d wished your mother made more of it as there was none left, you ate it all.

 

IMG_0070 Like a bad sitcom, my parents arrived as soon as your lunch was over and you were in high spirit, ready to play, play, and play :) Not wanting to stay in the house, all of us jumped into my car and headed off to Putthamonthon (probably the biggest Buddhist Park in South East Asia), in its essence it is a massive park with a huge Buddha sculpture at the heart of the Park.

 

 

 

 
 
 

After driving a while, we found the right spot for you, there was a small children play area that sits opposite a huge lake, along the way we had stopped off and bought three loafs of bread and 3 bags of fish pellets. Naturally you ran towards the play area with my mother trying to keep up, the frequency of your little legs shuffling is pretty amazing. All the while with my mother in tow, you had a go on the slider, the swing and a see-saw…

IMG_0252 IMG_0051

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After the play park, we hopped across a small road and headed to a grassy bank next to the lake, I have a couple of clips of you trying to throw a piece of bread into the water, shall we say it would have gone further if had just dropped it :)

IMG_0250 IMG_0251

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The best of all for me was to see how my parents were having such a great time, having grown up overseas and spending only 3 months out of a year in Thailand for over 18 years, then coming back home and immediately started a nine to five job have initially created some issues between us that needed tuning, all is more than great now, though I must admit all of the issues were at my end they were and have always been fantastic.

So it was a grand Sunday, after Putthamonthon we went to a small local restaurant to pick up a few dishes to take home for your mother, the old clich├ęs comes to mind, ‘the eyes were bigger than our stomach’, well at least we’ll now have something to eat in the morning…

Thursday, November 26, 2009

New Font…

I am a bit of a font fanatic, just like the holy grail, I have been searching and searching for just the ‘one’ forever. I have a real soft spot for monospaced (fixed-width) font, and must have downloaded most if not all the free monospaced font from the net…

But today I think I have found it, the font I am using right now (you’ll probably won’t see it, because it isn’t installed on your machine) is ‘Envy Code R’, and it has all the characteristic that I have been searching for :)

Here is the link that will take you to all you need to know about Envy Code R…

http://damieng.com/blog/2008/05/26/envy-code-r-preview-7-coding-font-released

Cheers.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Kao Yai Trip

IMG_0163 As we were going through our normal Saturday routine (car wash, Gymboree and etc.) suddenly your mother had a blinding idea of going to Saraburi (one of Thailand's central province) on the Sunday, of course who was I to say no :)

 

 

 

 
IMG_0172Packing up the house for one of these day trip is becoming easier and easier, I had managed to get everything ready in roughly the same time as your mother took to wash, changed and artistically put on her make up, which means all in all a blooming long time, of course (again)  who was I to complain :)

 

Because of where we live, going north out of Bangkok was simple, no need to fight through all the city centre traffic, it took us just a little under two hours to cover the 150 Kms distant. We ended up getting lost just a little (which is very normal for me), the place we were heading to is actually about 35 Kms beyond Saraburi, to a popular sub district of Muok Lhek. The biggest attraction in the area is the Kao Yai National Park (which covers several provinces).

 
IMG_0233T
iming was perfect, we had left right after your breakfast, so not long after we had set off you were all snuggled into your car seat, then promptly felt asleep and didn't wake up until we had reached our first stop, a small restaurant call Tong Buok (direction translation is Gold Plus) which sits literally opposite one of the entrance to Kao Yai National Park.

 

 

 

 

The weather was nice and cool (like early autumn in the UK), lunch went well, your wisdom teeth are coming up now so we are beginning to give you more grown up food, you had no problem scoffing down steamed egg (with pork) and rice, and again you never had any issues with eating, from spaghetti to broccoli, the only thing you don't seem to like are sweet things, the last time your mother gave you a small piece of chocolate brownie you chucked up the brownie as well as a large part of your lunch (right in the middle of Starbucks)... never again.

 

Driving in Kao Yai was great fun, with steep, tight, winding climbs then suddenly a long straight road slowly descending and disappearing into the distant, covering both sides were thick forests and in part a huge drop of a gorge that was no more than a hair's breadth away. All the while we knew we were getting higher and higher, the already cool weather was getting cooler and cooler, by the time we reached the first stop (site seeing platform) you already had another shirt put on you.

 

The view was stunning, but I'd guess you are too young to appreciate it, instead your entire focus was on a monkey that had just jumped out from the forest behind the small car park and trotted along to the viewing platform, like a true owner of the forest, he (I can see his ding-a-ling) was there to look for food (left over by us humans).

 
IMG_0184IMG_0189
  
   
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  
IMG_0219W
e decided to drive up a little further, to one of the National Park Centre (with lodgings plus camping areas), at the heart of the building there was a small permanent exhibition about all kind of animals that could be found in the area; my interest was more on a small wooden bridge that joins the parking area to a walk trail (more photos opportunity, hoping there was enough light for the iPhone's camera sensor).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

IMG_0199As we didn't know how long the trail was, so we decided to turn back after about 10 minutes of walking as it was getting late and there were a couple more stops we would like to make. It must have been just a little passed four o'clock when you were back in the car seat; earlier in the afternoon while we were heading to Kao Yai we drove past one of the new point of interest of Kao Yai, and have been a real talk of the town, Primo Pisto.

 

 

Primo PistoPrimo Pisto was a perfect stop (if there weren’t toooooo many people), the design, decor and colour pallet is very much Italian, it is a restaurant and a vineyard (not sure if they have lodging or not), with its picturesque scenery and perfect weather, I was not surprised why this place was so popular, and that is its downfall.

 

Looks like everyone had to stop here (as did we ;), but no one was interested in the restaurant (which was closed), people were there to simply take pictures, treating it like a IMG_0209monument. We were looking forward to have a nice cup of coffee and chill a bit, but that was out of the question. Instead there is now an entrance  fee of 55 bahts each, which can be redeemed for a small (but very delicious) ice-cream (your mother had coffee and for some strange reason she got me a raspberry yogurt). The vineyard behind the main building was great, with mountains in the background, being a keen photographer myself it was no surprise why half of Thailand had decided to visit here on this day :) 
 

 
After just a few minutes, we decided to leave but will definitely come back when it is less busy. With nothing else in mind we have decided to head back to BKK, it was a shame as we have a little time left but didn't know where else to go.

  
IMG_0223Driving slowly and not far from Primo Pisto, your mother spotted a small cafe call ‘Coffee Mania’, it was gorgeous, with proper swings (when I say proper, it is because it was hung from a branch of a tree and not some cold metal poles), it could only seat no more than 20 people (outside). Of course by the time we saw it, I had already driven passed, your mother looked at me and vice versa, usually we seldom make a U-turn on/for anything… but this time was different, we had a little time left and really wanted to make the most of this day, so U-turn we did :)

 

  
IMG_0225We were not disappointed, the best experience (for us) usually comes from human interactions, one of the  customer there was a lady with her ageing mother and two small feisty (but very friendly) dogs (although she wasn't Thai but spoke Thai perfectly), and ooohhhh how you love dogs, so this is how it went... you + 2 (fun loving dogs) = (Lots of laughters x screaming) + n, which make this quick stop even more memorable.

 

After our finishing our usual order (Cappuccino & Americano), we headed off home. I had expected an easy drive home, but I couldn't be more wrong, by the time we had reached the main road, all the big trucks were out in force causing a tight traffic jam, it was still flowing although slowly. Luckily, you once again slept all the way home and continued to sleep until about eleven, we didn't think you would wake up but just in case your mother had already prepared your dinner, when you did wake up your mother and I knew this will be another very late night for the both of us :) you were so full of energy again... 2 am was when everything calmed down again... before your mother and I went to sleep we were already discussing our next trip to Lopburi :)

Monday, November 23, 2009

It had been such a long time… :)

IMG_0135 Your mother really wanted to go to the cinema last Friday, I was supposed to leave a little early so that perhaps we could catch the 4-5 pm showing of 2012 (your mother kept saying 2021 to the amusement of all her FB friends).

Being a reliable soul that I am, I just couldn't get away soon enough; feeling absolutely full of guilt I did the next best thing possible... took her to the pub and tried to get her drunk. Only kidding, it had been such a long time since we went out and with all the time we had (before picking you up) it was the perfect little excursion.

As a secondary action plan, I've been looking at a new TV set to replace the old clunk you've been watching. If we can't find the time to go to the cinemas, at least I can try to bring a cinema (sort of) to your mother (20 brownie points). The idea died just like trying to fly a paper kite in a heavy monsoon, and she does have a point, “when was the last time we sat down and watched a full featured film on the current TV”… I said in a very confident (but very, very quietly)… “Can’t remember”…

Love you,

Dad

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Dropbox :)

dropboxFor the past few weeks I’ve been obsess with a new toy, the iPhone3GS, because I was late to the game any questions/problems that I have, someone had already answered it on the net :) which made my life so much easier.

Since forever I have been religiously listening to all of the 'Tech’ podcasts (TWIT, CrankyGeeks and so on), several mentions have been made about ‘Dropbox’, it is simply a ‘sync box’, download a small application from
www.dropbox.com, install it on the PC and you are ready to run.

It creates a folder on the PC and anything that are dropped into this box is automatically synced to my cloud-dropbox (like a backup), each folder can be shared over the net; there are 2 special folders (Photos & Public), any folders created in these 2 folders will be given a dedicated ‘Internet link’ thus by giving this link to your friends/family they can get to the content just by clicking the link that you’ve sent to them.

Here is the fun part for me, Dropbox also has a client for the iPhone, once installed and set up it becomes a part of my sync-able network. This client can access the camera roll, just by clicking on a photo it  automatically uploads it to my cloud-dropbox, which is then synced to my PC… Not only that, I can also access my dropbox via the Internet, meaning maximum accessibility.

I am sure there are several alternatives to this solution, but I feel I am going to be with dropbox for quite a some time (upgrade on the 2GB is possible but of course at a price), I am not planning to put anything sensitive (such as the banking details and etc) in the DB so I have not looked into the security aspects of this solution, I was looking for something quick, easy and convenient…. and I’ve definitely found it in DB :)

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

2nd Blogpress test




Another test, trying to have no link to the thumbnail picture...

- Posted via iPhone (BlogPress Lite)

iPhone test




Testing, testing... Using Blogpress Lite via iPhone...
- Posted via iPhone (BlogPress Lite)

Friday, November 13, 2009

No more surprises…

logo100 Travelling and getting lost in the ‘blogspot’ Universe is one of my favourite ‘nothing else to do’ thing, to be out there and not knowing what will be coming up next is quiet refreshing, best of all, blogspot made it so easy with the ‘next blog’ button just sitting right there at the top of most blogspot blogs, that is until now.

The randomness aspect in a purely (or mostly) user generated content can be a real eye opener, admittedly most of the blogs are nothing more than a diary of their lives, the opportunity to have a quick peer into a slice of their time and events that the users were willing to share is somewhat intriguing.

Of course, at time it can be very repetitive, there are endless blogs about their first child (seem to be a very popular one, including our own) not to mention travel blogs, again, the ‘next blog’ button would just zoom me out of there and land on a totally different world (rarely, it even landed me in a world which only belongs in a darkened room which in only lit by the red ash on the end of a burning cigarette).

Nor matter how mundane the blogs are, I always find myself reading at least a couple of postings before jumping out of there, just like in Harry Potter’s ‘Floo’ network (which is governed by the Department of Magical Transportation of the Ministry of Magic); ‘next blog’ is my Floo network but governed by Blogspot (AKA Google).

Unfortunately, ‘next blog’ button is getting an upgrade, it is now going to be intelligent :) it will now simply take me to a blog which is similar to my own, which mean a never ending story of babies!!! (I have tried it, and hooray to them, it really worked… nothing but blooming babies!!!). My Floo will no longer take me to a ‘Burmese’ blogger (although not understanding a single letter, it still gives me a sense of something unexpected)…

Like all things tech, there is a work around, one can go to http://play.blogger.com, it will play a slide show of random pictures from various blogs, and all one have to do is to click on a picture that is of interest then it will zoom you off to that particular blog… not a bad work around, but unfortunately not all interesting blogs has great pictures… well, it is better than having no Floo network at all :)

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Waving and a Cold…

google_wave_logo

For the past  few weeks or so I have been  trying (not hard) to get an invitation to Google Wave, all the while not expecting anything, and suddenly a friend of your mother sent her a Facebook’s message asking if she wants to be invited!!! Just imagine my face… your mother… who had been banished from Geekdom on the day she was born was going to get an invite?  Luckily I also know that person (his nickname is Boat, most if not all Thais have nickname from birth, your mother is Ja y and now it is Gio), I kind a took a little liberty and quietly / humbly / subtly  asked if he could also invite me… :) :) :) :) :) He did :) What a guy… :)


Immediately afterwards I was obsessively checking my gmail account, refreshing it… oooohhhh about 25 times per second nothing happened, in fact the invitation did not arrive until today… So your mother, Boat and I have been ‘waving’ to each other… here was my comment on Facebook…

"Been trying Google Wave for the past couple of hours... I think it needs more fishes in its pond... feels rather empty at the moment... kind of 'waving' to oneself in the mirror :), liked it so far, have been waving to/with a couple of friends... Google is definitely spicing things up in the e-mail world :)”

On a totally tangential topic, you had developed a slight cold yesterday, both your mother and I were busy so it had gone way passed nine before we started to set off home, as usual you were fast as sleep by the time we pulled up in the garage… As your nose was runny, we decided to give you some medicine while you were sleeping… the operation was not successful, you were just too tired and we didn’t want to wake you up… mission abandoned :)

You are looking better this evening, right now you are eating your dinner and I think by the time I get downstairs, you would have showered as well :) Lets hope you sleep well tonight, the weather is changing fast and many small infants are getting poorly, lets hope the weather picks up soon.

Love you.

Mum and Dad

Saturday, November 7, 2009

500 THB per Hour?

rfs2005You were exactly 18 months old a couple of days back, so it was a good time to start looking for your nursery… Here in Thailand there are so many options, not just the locations but the curriculum is also another headache.

English is such an important tool for today’s working environment, and in the future it can only gains in its importance, there are several nurseries that teaches purely in English and no Thai… But we are living in Thailand, not being taught Thai from the very beginning just doesn’t seem right (to me) somehow.


Of course there are several nurseries that have a bilingual curriculum, but often the command that one gains of the English language is not up to par with the purely English only nurseries. I was lucky enough to have started off in a bilingual school (my English was terrible), then at the age of 10 was sent to England until my graduation, so in a way I kind of have the best of both worlds.

One of the option that we have is a nursery near your mother’s office, so she popped round there yesterday and talked to one of the administrator, as a nursery go, you’ll only be there 3 hours a day and at 80,000 THB per term (3 terms in all) we are talking of around 500 THB an hour (excluding all the little extra charges… and the list is pretty long :) ).  At first it feels a little excessive, but like all the other parents, we really do want the best for you (or the best ‘of our ability’ is a more fitting description).

We still have some time yet, so we are going to look for more options in the same area, but we now realised the cost is very much in that range thus unavoidable… Time management is another big issue, we live right on the skirt of BKK, and commuting to your school in time for 08:30 is going to be a nightmare (for BKK’s notorious traffic) , and that again will affect your quality of life, having to have your breakfast in the car is not really what we wish for you. But if we find a nursery near our home that would mean your mother will have to relocate her small business to a home office, another big change there.

Of course these are not ‘the end of the world’ issues, but our cheese is certainly being moved soon and in more way than one… So what is the first of our action plan? Finding the right nursery seem to be the key, then everything else can evolve around that… :) looking forward to see you in your first school uniform… more opportunity for photographs, lets hope Nikon release the D700 replacement soon (sorry, I have to get back to a ‘boy’s toys’ comment).

Love you…

Mum and Dad

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Plan B

intel_core_i5-750_chip

Had a thought last night upon giving up the core i7 project, as there are no real MBs which support usb 3.0 at the moment, at first I was going to go with a Q9550 build just as a stop over (may be for a couple of years) , then a friend suggested that I should take a look at a Core i5 build as the prices will  not that much more than a Q9550 build… and that is the way I have chosen to go.

CPU:                 Core i5 750 [7,500 THB]
MB:                   Asus P7P55D Evo [7,350 THB]
CPU Fan:        Thermaltake, SpinQ VT [1,790 THB]
Ram:                Hyper-X 4GB 1600 [3,950 THB] 
Power:            Thermaltake Tough Power 850w[ 5,800 THB]
OP:                    Windows 7 Home Premium [3,990 THB]
Graphic:          XFX 4890 XT [7,450 THB]

The main differences between the core i5 and Q9550 build are the other components that I also have to change, if it was a Q9550 build, I could have used the old ram, cpu cooler and perhaps the psu, but at the end this investment could always be moved to another build down the road ahead.

So, I am assuming for the next build (after this one) I shall only have to upgrade the MB and CPU… :)

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Not yet another reason to wait…

180px-Certified_Superspeeed_USB_logo.svgJust as I was about to make a move and get all the components, there was an article on the net today, mentioning Asus is now rolling out new MB with USB 3.0 capability as well as a USB 3.0 PCI card.

This project have been postponed so many times, firstly I was waiting for the Core i7, then it was the Windows 7 and now USB 3.0… As I am in no rush, thus logically it would make more sense to wait, but in terms of greed, I just want to get on with it.

180px-USB_3.0_Icon.svgAdmittedly none of the peripherals are USB 3.0 yet, but soon they will arrive like rain in the monsoon season… I’d guess I could get one of those USB 3.0 PCI card… … … … …

After a large cup of green tea, and debated like a total mad man (literally like a mad mad, as I was arguing with myself), the logic side won, this project is once again on hold, as this isn’t like a new piece of hardware that gets upgraded regularly (e.g. graphic card or CPU and etc.) but it is a new technology which rarely comes along (the next big one which looks interesting is the Light Peak from Intel).

It was worth it to have waited for Core i7 and Windows 7, I am guessing another 3 months won’t do any harm :), just needed to be more patience :) and be less greedy :)