Monday, November 26, 2012

Recharging station

SONY DSCDear M & M,

Came home to this scene tonight, Matt was already very tired when I’d picked him up from school this afternoon, and after refusing to nap I knew that he would be recharging very early on in the evening, I was not wrong :)

Little March always begins her recharging at around this time, but after a swim this afternoon, it looks like she will take a little longer to charge up this time :)

If I was a photoshop guru, I could cut you two out and make it looks like a Chinese Martial arts scene, but I am not, so that is the end of it, haa haa haa.

Attached to you :)

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Dear Matt,

From behind her back, she (my mother) teased you with a glimpse of something unknown and different, red in colour and just the right size for your hand :) After that glimpse everything in the entire universe became irrelevant to you.

As per her expectation, you felt in love with it straight away, to be honest I had thought she’d bought you light saber (of course not a real one, not even ‘Klong Tom’ would have that!)

It turned out to be something even more brilliant :) I think the traffic police uses them, at a push of a button it shone ‘bright’ red, another push the angry red light flashes, another push turned on the halogen torch… wow, the second button was the highlight for you and a total nightmare for us.

The second button sends out a sound of such pure ‘annoyance’, it could drive a hardcore PETA member to club an entire field of adorable baby seals.

We could live with the flashing lights, we could live with how you two have become inseparable (even in the shower)… but we have forbid you to push the second button, because if you push that button one more time I promise you I’d do something so horrible that even the devil would turn me away from La Porte de l'Enfer, :) haa haa haa.

Friday, November 23, 2012

We are not late :)

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Dear Matt,

We have finally found a solution… now we’ll have to see how long we can keep this up :)

It has been pointed to us that you are not always on time getting to school, so your mother has been putting some pressure on yours truly… We tried to wake you up early for breakfast, but as mentioned earlier getting you to finish a bowl of anything is like asking a Koala to swim across the Pacific Ocean, and without goggles too.

After that we have to fight through the morning rush hour, with every parents trying to get their child or children on time to school, one can just imagine how hectic that may be :) in short it didn’t work, we were still a little late.

So what we are trying now is to switch things around a little, and it all starts the night before :) The evening before while your mother would be busy cooking supper she would at the same time be making your breakfast as well (for the next day, and that is our secret sauce).

Instead of giving your breakfast at home, we or I would now be sitting down for breakfast with you at school… meaning after you getting up, showered and dressed (during that time your breakfast would have been prepared and packed) we immediately head out from home to school. Thus avoiding the traffic altogether, this morning took less than 15 minutes to get to school comparing to the usual 30 – 45 minutes, and there was no headache trying to find a parking space, that alone could take another 10 minutes.

This morning we arrived a little before seven, and by the time you’ve finished your breakfast and milk we still have ten minutes to spare, giving you time to play with your friends before the ‘very hard’ morning class of ‘more playing’ starts, haa haa haa.

However I do find it a little intimidating, being the only person there with a XY chromosomes pairing, but that soon disappeared, to see you happy and relax, instead of me rushing you to wakeup, to shower, to brush, to dress, to eat, to drink, to run… haa haa haa. Let see how this is going in about a week time :)

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

BROCCOLI!!! Nom Nom Nom…

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Dearest Marcella,

I didn’t have a clue how to crop this, I tried it in tight but it was just to frightening :) haa haa haa.

Anyway, up to now we have yet to discovered what you ‘don’t like’ to eat, I have a couple more things on the list to try, but so far you have passed each hurdle with flying colours :) which is completely opposite to Matt, Pluto could have finished three laps around the sun (about 743.7 years) and Matt would still be only half way through his supper.

On the 16th of November, I saw you took your first few steps, how and why such a trivial thing be so important to me? I don’t know, would be the most honest answer... perhaps it is just a sign of you growing up :) and perhaps I don’t want you to, oh am I going to be one of those super, over protective father? I’d guess we all will just have to wait and see :)

Now that I am on a permanent holiday (for the time being), I am being more involved in your daily routine which is a blessing, I’ll also try harder to get Matt’s bedtime routine back on track again :) haa haa haa, he is going to hate it :)

By the way, you are poorly again, this time from a flu, temperature is a little high, in the low 38, and we have discovered an ulcer in your mouth, our original thought was HFMD, but since you had visited the Doc. only the day before and he didn’t mention anything so we are assuming it is a one time incident, luckily we have enough medicine to open our own pharmacy, so everything was on hand to make you comfortable as much as possible :) Hopefully you’ll be better soon, your eyes were as bright as ever this morning, which is a good sign :)

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

The Old Green Chair

SONY DSCDear Matt,

Your sister is just old enough now to be able to sit in the green car seat but she never get the chance, a few years ago, sometimes it was impossible (and I mean impossible) to get you to sit in this chair, but now it seems to be your favourite place to be whenever we are on the road :) So your sister have been demoted to your mother’s lap, which is of course her favourite place to be :)

I am getting a little worried for your weight at the moment, you have been around this 15 kgs mark for what seems like forever, you are eating well although a little slow, who am I kidding, slow isn’t the right word to describe how slow you eat, haa haa haa.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Under Pressure :)

The ShirtDear Matt,

Today [12.11.12] I knew something was not right as soon as I have turned into the school’s gates, the familiar blue/white shirts and blue shorts were nowhere to be seen :) Instead I thought I had just driven into India :) Then it hits me like an elephant standing on a cement block whilst dropping from Burj Dubai, it’s the Diwali festival.

The whole school was supposed to dress up in traditional Indian clothes for the Diwali festival... I know how you are baby, so while we were still in the car I briefed you the whole situation, and you seemed pretty cool with it, that was until we got to your class.

The level of energy was high, parents were making fuss (I usually would make the biggest fuss of all) taking photos of their child/children and friends. Everyday you would be like little ‘Tigger’ coming into class, but not today, you were more like ‘Piglet’ haa haa haa, sorry baby, but it was so strange to see you so quiet.

I called your mother to inform her of the woeful :) situation, a few seconds later she called back, your auntie Tip was on her way to school with your change of clothes, at first I had thought it was a bit of an over kill, but after hindsight, your mother was absolutely right (again), by motorcycle it took less than 10 minutes from our house to the school.

In the meantime I went back to your class to tell you that the clothes were coming, the slight smile was more than enough, luckily a couple of your friends had also forgotten to dress up but they didn’t seem to be affected by it :)

The sky was dark and a few drops of rain had already fallen, I had to run for cover when your auntie came up in her white motorcycle, I of course could not have been thankful enough. After giving the clothes to the class helper, I’d waited... the smile was back, the bounce was back and the laughter was back, what else can I say :)

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Touting Thailand Today [14.11.12]

20121114.105035_the_nation_obama_wen_jia_baoHave we discovered oil in Thailand?

So the President of the United States, the freshly re-elected Mr. Obama is coming to Thailand on the 18th - 19th of this month, and China’s Premier Wen Jiabao will virtually be treading on Mr. Obama’s shadow as he arrives on 20th - 21th. First thought in my mind was “Have we discovered oil in Thailand?”, even if we did, with our government’s track records of managing things (prime examples being Suvarnabhumi airport, 3G concession, Bangkok Futsal Arena), it will be another century before black gold get to come out from the ground and just as quick disappeared into someone’s back pocket.

 

Thai parliamentThe plot thickens...

The forever long running Soap Opera, with its glorious cast, starring our Ex-Prime Minister Mr. Thaksin Shinawatra (in exile), his sister (Ms. Yingluck, our current Prime Minister ), their ‘Red Shirt’ army, the opposition party (led by The Democratic Party), Mr. Abhisit Vejjajiva, his gang  of Yellow Shirts (although he would say they are not his gang) and others world class actors (oh, just kidding, they are not really actors but serious politicians who only have the well being of the people in their heart).

Anyway, the Soap Opera is still raging, the government is now trying to remove Mr. Abhisit Vejjajiva from the army (taking away his rank) just when he was going to lead an attack at the incumbent government, through the ever entertaining ‘Motion of No Confidence’ (a vote of censure). So now the anti-Government group will now gather (somewhere), probably close to the Parliament.

But the plot thickens, Ms. Yingluck have just had tea with the Queen of England, and after that she will be off somewhere else, then somewhere else and then somewhere else, so by “accident” she may not be there at the ‘Motion of No Confidence’ altogether, that have just added about a ton of formula one grade petrol to the raging fire... this should be interesting.

 

Rang NgawThe real Soap Opera

Who cares about the real world Soap Opera, right now I would say about half of our population are glued to the TV of the ‘Rang Ngaw’ short soap opera. It seems to be everywhere, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram even in Pinterest... it’s in the news, it’s on every talk show, well just about the only place it isn’t on is on my TV... :)

Here is the jist of it, there are these twin sisters, one is a good girl and the other not. The good girl twin sister became a mistress to some arse of a businessman with an insanely jealous wife, somehow the jealous wife got someone to kill the good girl twin sister... then the naughty twin sister stepped in and took over her sister’s identity... with nothing but revenge on her mind... Naaahhhh, the ‘Motion of No Confidence’ will be much more entertaining :)

Saturday, November 10, 2012

US General Election 2012

Obama and RomneyDear M & M,

I am not sure how the global political scene will change when you two turn eighteen (eligible to vote), but right now, USA, China, Germany, Russia, and still to a certain extent Japan seem to be running the show. I am guessing that the list won’t change much, perhaps India will have a bigger part to play.


At the end of the day I see it as this, ‘Politics’ is ‘Business’ and ‘Business’ is ‘Politics’, whether one is clean or not, the health of the businesses (economy) certainly has a big chunk in driving who will be in power (Politics) and once in power one uses Politics to drive more businesses for one’s friends country to enable one to remain in power (Politics), and hopefully along the way actually do something useful for the people who had elected them in the first place.


Politics, Entertainment, Economy, even religion of the USA, somehow get into all nooks and crannies and affect all societies around the world , so you two shouldn’t be surprise that the attention right now is on yesterday’s US General Election (06.11.2012).


I am not too familiar with the US political system, but the magic number is 270 electoral votes, as of this very second Obama is at 238 and Romney is at 191, there are some battleground states still to come in. To me how these two potential Presidents will change the world once in power is still unclear, but with the current situation in the US is still not so hot Economy wise (the Business) I am guessing this is where one of these two will focus their attention.


One of the key ‘battleground’ state is Florida with 29 Electoral votes, Obama is at 3,944,806 and Romney is at 3,904,931 (estimated 90% of the results are in), so there is only a hair width in it (50% : 49% split) :)


Oh, Obama just won it... lets the media circus begins. It will be like eating cold turkey three weeks after Christmas... you are sick of it but you’ll still eat it anyway :)

I am one :)

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Dearest Marcella,

Happy birthday to youuuuu, happy birthday to youuuuuu, happy birthday dear Parsuuureeeeee, happy birthday to youuuuu. :)

Can not believe it has been over a year already! Your mother is organising something simple this afternoon, and I have to apologise for not being there. I doubt you’ll remember your ever first birthday cake, but I am hoping your mother will take loads of photos this afternoon :) Matt is already more than keyed up to blow the candles for you :)

This is one of my favourite photo of you and your mother, she must have taken it herself, so it was a fantastic surprise to see it in the Lightroom library :)

Can not wait to see you tonight, I am hoping I’ll catch you before you are off to bed, just to wish you happy birthday again :)

[07.11.12]

Friday, November 9, 2012

Completely Hooked :)

Winnie The PoohDear Matt,

You got me hooked on Winnie the Pooh audiobooks :) Even when I have dropped you off, the first thing I do is to continue listening to the stories. The dramatisation and read version are just as good as each other, everything is really down to the writing of the stories, Mr. A. A. Milne is truly first class.

Although I was surprise that Tigger didn’t make an appearance until quite late on in the storyline. Tigger seems to play a huge role in modern Pooh Bear stories. I can not stop smiling on the love that is full of competitiveness between Piglet and Pooh, wow.

I also didn’t know that there were only two books from A. A. Milne, moreover, the characters were based on real people such as his son Christopher Robin Milne :)

What is my favourite line from all the original stories?

Kanga: “Roo dear that’s not the way to talk to somebody who can spell Tuesday”

On the audiobook, it was read by Dame Judi Dench, in a slight Australian accent... :)

Late again…

Dear M and M,

Really missing you all this evening :) will be home in about an hour or two :) but the both you will be asleep by then, so another night without saying goodnight :) anyway, soon things will get better :)

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Little M Gymboree :)

Dear Marcella,

I was over the moon to have been told that your Gymboree class have been moved to Sunday instead of it being during the weekdays, simply means I have a chance to take loads of photographs of you crawling around.

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So this past Sunday was the first one I’d attended, Matt was also there, and it was a real challenge telling him not to run around your class. The lady in charge was a tough cookie, and she made it clear that Matt was supposed to stay outside, but she will allow it this time :)

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SONY DSCNonetheless, you seemed to have a great time when compared to the Little Gym you have been attending. In Little Gym class you would be crying from the very second entering the gym and wouldn’t stop crying until we’d left the place, haa haa haa.

The sign is showing that you will probably be crawling just like your brother did, on your hands and feet, rather than hands and knees :) it will be the second Spiderman we have in our family :)

I may have gone overboard with the photos this time, almost maxed out the 8GB card, even shooting raw meant way too many photos to go through in one sitting :) but at least I have them now :) it will be interesting to compare your and Matt’s photos in Gymboree classes :)

Monday, November 5, 2012

Everything is delicious :)

Dear Marcella,

Everything is truly delicious with you :) during this weekend we took you to an ice cream parlour and a couple of restaurants, and to see you there gnawing away at whatever was in front of you was a right laugh :) and you are getting to be a handful now (haa haa haa, we love it really), grabbing anything and everything in your reach :)

I’ll let these photos speak for themselves (Wafer, Carrot and Beetroot) , I must have a billion of these and never get tired of them :)

 

Delicious 1Delicious 2Delicious 3

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Why won’t you sit? :)

Please sit :)

Dear Pasuree,

There is a small merry-go-round in one of the most well known department store in Thailand.

The speed of which it moves is not too far off one of those protons hurling down the Large Hadron Collider.

Together with the speed and your insistent on standing room only, meant I had to run around the merry-go-round holding you by the waist while trying to keep a calm face :) I thought I did alright, until I saw the photos that your mother took, and this is one of the better ones :)

Of course like all children, one round on a merry-go-round can never be enough :) trying to pull you off after the first round, I had thought someone put superglue on your hands (unfortunately we don’t have a photo of that).

I believe it was the fourth round when I had said enough was enough, there was no other choice as it was either a heart attack or lunch, and I was feeling awfully peckish.

Short Break in Cha-Am

Cha Am all by the beachDear M & M,

As this was Matt’s half term break, and we couldn’t keep him in BKK again this time, although Matt had asked us several time to go to Pattaya but we couldn’t face it again in such a short period of time, luckily the hotel with the great water park was also fully booked :)

We decided to head South instead of East, another famous area is Huahin but we wanted to try something new, so we stop short of Hua Hin and headed for Cha Am instead (only 30 odd Kms before Hua Hin).

I think this was my first time staying in Cha Am, and I was not disappointed, not as developed as the ‘grand’ Hua Hin, but still developed enough not to be too boring while at the same time keeping its charm of being a typical Thai seaside town, anyway Matt didn’t care as long as it has a great pool, he was as happy as a monkey with a three foot banana.

The hotel (Grand Pacific Sovereign Cha Am) was better than I had expected, it was awfully clean and very well kept, the rooms we had were large and comfortable. With you kids being there your mother decided to take the rooms right next to the pool (another great choice).

 

 

Cha Am by the beach - 1Cha Am by the beach Matt

Jae Kaew Restaurant - 1Cha Am by the beach Matt - 2

There were plenty of nice restaurants there, relying on the wonderful world of Internet, one evening your mother had her heart set on this ‘Phoom’ restaurant and it wasn’t far from the hotel. After driving for a while we were sure we had driven passed it (not a good sign).

So out came the GPS, as was expected we had to do a u turn and after “You have arrive at your destination, on your right”, I was still at a loss, because what I was looking at was a pile of half demolished building, but next to it was a small road with another sign, ‘Parking for Phoom here’. Aha, the restaurant must be down this road...

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Errrm, no it wasn’t, as soon as we’ve turned into the small road it was very apparent that it was nothing down there except for a Freddie Krueger or two, for it was literally pitch black, one would expect a couple of candles if there was a restaurant. After a quick look left and right, I spotted another sign, “Phoom Restaurant”, right next to the pile of rubbles :) Haa haa haa, your mother and I laughed so loud and we decided to eat next door instead, which turned out to be quite good.

On the SandThe team - 1Recovering

Back HomeBecause we were close to Hua Hin, we did pop in one afternoon for lunch, surprising it took only about 20 minutes to get there, and another 20 minutes to get through the traffic :) At the end we thought it was a great idea to stay in Cha Am instead of Hua Hin, and we shall definitely come back here again.

For the three days there, Matt spent his entire time in water (pool, sea, bath and shower), Marcella spent her entire time on medicine :) ooohhhh, I am exaggerating just a little, it was another fun time for all of us, even Marcella who for the second time had a quick walk on the beach and dipped her toes in the sea :) from a couple of her expressions, I am guessing that she loved the sea but hated the sand... there is a science experiment in there somewhere :)

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Blogger Page Navigation

Blogger Page NavigationI’ve been on blogger since 2007 (having moved from windowslive), and during the past 5 years I have tried several solutions for adding page navigation to the blog, and all the working ones required me to add code right into the HTML page, entering the HTML page is like letting a baby (me) on to a Demolition derby match, every tiny step could have been a disaster.

For the longest time I got one working like a charm, but a few months ago when I had totally revamped the template I had decided to wait for a better solution, I was hoping that Blogger would come up with something in house, but that never came (but they have done a bunch of amazing improvement though).

So yesterday I decided to make another search on the net to see if someone has managed to come up with a better solution, I was hoping for some code for a widget that one could just copy and slot in the HTML widget then place it at the bottom of the page... and I was not disappointed.

If you are on Blogger and wanting to have page navigation, please follow this link,

http://24work.blogspot.com/2012/01/numbered-page-navigation-for-blogger.html

After making your choices for looks and page number set up, it will try to add the page navigation automatically, but I had decided not to do it that way, but instead doing it manually by copying the code then add it to the widget myself.

The instruction is clear and simple, if I could do it then honestly anyone could do it, in 5 minutes the page navigation was working faultlessly.

Sony Alpha a99 arriving in Thailand

a99 in THSoon to arrive in Thailand, Sony Alpha a99 at 94,990 (body only), but the current campaign is free SF-32UX (sd card, 4,490) and (wait for it...) free VG-990 (11,990)!!!, including free 1 year Sony extended Warranty (3,180), oh... where is that lottery ticket?

Actually I can use a couple of winning lottery tickets right now :) To make the ‘lust list’ complete, lets just throw in a SAL70200G (63,890), SAL2470 (64,590) and of course the SAL50F14 (13,490). Not to forget a camera bag, for a camera bag addict (CBA) such as yours truly, one will always need a new bag to go with the new goodness (so superficial :) )

Wait, how about the lens filters, new camera stand, additional battery? What else... screen protector for the back lcd, and perhaps a new wife, for there is no way on earth she would approve this budget request... Maybe, just maybe I can argue this against the D4, once she sees how much cheaper this is, she may, with the slimmest of hope, she just might say ‘maybe’, and that is all I need because that ‘maybe’ is just a stone throw away from a full blown, glorious ‘Yes’...

Until she finds out I was comparing an apple to an orange... haa haa haa, perhaps I’ll just keep this ‘lust list’ to myself... and weep gently each night into my pillow until a99+1 arrives :)

Friday, November 2, 2012

A Shirt and A Dress :)


Dear M & M,

I’ve just realised that from all of the very recent posts, it looks like Matt only has one shirt (green hoops) in his wardrobe, and Marcella only has one dress (grey with red flowers) in hers.

It is plain to see that these two are your mother’s favourite choice for the both of you :) I think it is time to spend some ka-ching and get more clothes for you :) lol.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Stomach Virus

caring-3Dear Marcella,

In the very early morning of October 24th you suddenly came down with something which made you cried continuously, we weren’t sure what was upsetting you but your mother thought your stomach was a bit bloated.

From our experience with Matt, we had thought it was just gas, so we decided to give you airx which usually does the trick. Only a few minutes later you were sick (this was the first time for me), I’d thought being sick would have helped but it didn’t. At the same time your temperature was also rising fast, it must have peaked around 38.5c, so we began our well rehearsed routine of tylenol and the wipedown.

After a couple of hours your temperature was still a little high, but you managed to fell asleep, however that wasn’t for long, and soon you were up and crying again. We then got ready to drive to the emergency but decided against it at the last minute, simply because your usual doctor usually comes in very early in the morning, and that was only a couple of hours away.

caring-1Fashion-1Luckily Matt was on his half-term break so there was no extra burden of driving him to school, we decided to leave Matt in the care of Tip, and the three of us headed to the hospital. It was obvious that you were still very uncomfortable, after a couple of tests and another wipedown you were in the Doctor’s office, she wanted to have some urine and stool sample, you did your duty and all we had to do was to wait for the result, by this time you were beginning to smile again (I was in such a hurry to get to the hospital, I’d committed the most hideous fashion crime ever, socks with flip flops, lol).

The diagnosis was, ‘Stomach Virus’, there was nothing one can do but to treat the symptoms such as high temperature and stomach ache. There was no diarrhea so no risk of dehydration, but we kept an eye on it nonetheless.

The following day we headed off to the south for a short holiday, as in earlier posts, we did all we could to keep the temperature down. The Doctor said it will be over in three days, and she was right on the money, as on the third day when we were due to drive back to Bangkok, your temperature was back to normal but you did look a little tired, and you eyes were not as bright as they usually were.

By the time we got home, and after a long sleep, you were back to yourself again, your mother was over the moon and so relieved that you were no longer in pain, we promised ourselves to make another trip soon, just for you, as we felt like you have missed out on the whole thing :) it will be such a laugh to see you swimming with Matt again :)