Friday, May 10, 2019

Going the other way :-)

Dear Matt and Mar,

It has been 3 months and still can not use Open Live Writer, meaning blogging becomes a pain rather than pleasure (what a cliche, haa haa haa).

By the way, just got a new mech. keyboard (my first)... first thought was to use at the office, but since it makes such a clanger with each key typed, I am afraid there was a strong possibility for the first fatality by way of three burning staplers.

But since I don't blog anymore, there was no need to type so much (if not at all) at home, but I really want to use this new keyboard... so what was I to do? Literally 5 minutes a superb idea suddenly rushed in between my ears and...

I am going to keep the blog 'off line', so in a way I am 'going the other way', haa haa haa. Will probably be using Google Doc (I am such a Google Fanboy). Got to go, that a lot of blogs to be typed up... haa haa haa.

Saturday, February 2, 2019

Is it really the end of the line?

Dear Matt and Mar,

[02.02.2019] At around the middle of January, my dear friend, and much loved ‘Open Live Writer’ failed to upload a small post to this personal blog... After searching around a little on the net, it was obvious that it wasn’t only affecting me but probably the whole globe (drama queen in deed)... haa haa haa, sounds like a James Bond’s like villain being behind this incident, lol.

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Someone much clever than I found out that the failure only occur if one’s Open Live Writer (OLW) article had photos, and those photos are being hosted in Google Photo, and that something at Google Photo had changed on the 15th of January.

I have no idea here, and can only assume that either ‘Google Photo’ or ‘OLW’ will have to update something to make it all work again.. but after diving into Github, it was mentioned that the kind volunteers at OLW had now moved on to something else. To be honest, one can not complain for a second, those people gave up their free time to deliver a fantastic tool, which I have used for free for years and years! So THANK YOU... _/\_

This site is really on Blogger (a hosted site), and Blogger have been a fantastic for our family diary or family orientated blog, but without OLW using Blogger is just too cumbersome. And according to the people in the know on Github, there will be no update to solve this issue.

Right now I looking for alternatives, and by far the most popular migration is Wordpress. I have been looking at this for the last couple of days, initially it had left me scratching my head quite a bit... Wordpress.org (WPOrg) or Wordpress.com which one is a better fit? Haa haa haa, then there were other options, Wix and Squarespace, just to mention a couple.

After reading several articles and even more YouTube vids, I think the best one would be WPOrg, but this is a totally new territory for me, and I am bricking it! Haa haa haa.

First of all WPOrg is self hosting (took me a while just to understand that, haa haa haa), simply I have to find a company to host my blog, luckily WPOrg recommends three (I wonder how much money they pay WPOrg to be on the recommended list ;-) Well it works, because it looks like I am going to go with Bluehost :-)

Obviously I already have the domain name, and now the web hosting have been chosen... all I have to do now is go to Bluehost and kickoff the whole process... like I said, I am bricking it, haa haa haa, will give it another week before the jump… haa haa haa.

Dusty BKK…

Dear Matt and Mar,

[19.01.2019] The talk of the town is all about pm 2.5, in all of my years back in TH, and BKK, this is the first time that there has been such an alert concerning pollution in the air, and to be honest you didn’t need an alert, all one had to do was to look out of the windows.

The haze was a little more yellow and heavier than the normal morning mist, and it was still there way into the afternoon. So there has been a mad rush for masks (N95) and air filters.

Luckily, and I don’t really know why, we had masks strewn here and there, and not just the usual ‘I’ve got a cold’ masks (there was a huge box of those), these were N95 masks :-)

Hoping things will improve soon, it just reminded me of the smog over Beijing that was on the news sometime ago.

Sunday, January 20, 2019

I don’t like Sunday… haa haa haa

Dear Matt and Mar,

Let’s make that Wednesday too, haa haa haa, Sunday morning means a couple of hours on the first floor, and it was never easy to get my ar#e our of the door, never… haa haa haa.

Noticed a couple of things though, once I am in the room, the Wednesday evening session is the most difficult. After fasting all day, and then a meal before jumping down to floor one may not be the best combination… lol.

Sunday morning is actually easier, probably due to a good half day of fun eating on the previous day… haa haa haa.

Went through a short stint of thinking to go back to three time a week, but that remained as my intention until now, haa haa haa.

Saturday, January 19, 2019

Across Continents…

Dear Matt and Mar,

Just a snapshot of one of my meetings, haa haa haa, easy to take a photo of this one as I was the only person from the Thailand office. From my previous companies, skype was the main mode of online global meetings, and I loved it, functionally I think it is very powerful. But here we kind of use a combination of VC and Skype (to share slides), and it worked really well.

I am still getting use to the VC, found myself raising my voice the longer I speak, lol, like I was trying to reach them with my voice across the continents... haa haa haa.

Matt had asked me at least a couple of times, what I actually do... haa haa haa, I am just a small cog in a huge machine full of cogs and other bits and bobs... haa haa haa. I am lucky to have the opportunity to have been involved in many industries, and this latest one is the Construction  Industry, more specifically Steel roofing industry... great people, great team, but very difficult market conditions and our heritage doesn’t help, lol. Well, enough of that for now... haa haa haa.


Tuesday, January 15, 2019

New fav shot :-)

1546078850742-01Dear Matt and Mar,

This is now your mother’s favourite Wefie shot, that is if Matt doesn’t try to prank us all with his ‘sticker’ trick, haa haa haa.

It is also my fav way of taking our group photo, I just like the composition, but the most fun, was always the setting up part.

Everyone would be shouting instructions at Matt, all at the same time (move this way, move that way, come back, noooo move forward, please tilt left… nooo that is too much, haa haa haa), unfortunately the three set of instructions (from your Mother, Mar and Me) were never the same… haa haa haa.

I think most of them (wefies) so far, the only person in focus had always been Matt, haa haa ha.

Splendidly done :-)

1547381572289-01Dear Matt and Mar,

[15.01.2019] Just a little glimpse into Mar’s next competition, I feel that your mother absolutely loves the preparation part of Mar’s competition. Your mother, coach and Mar would start off by choosing the song, then the costume to fit with the theme, then the choreography to bring everything together.

The next event will be at the end of January, I am not going to spoil it for now… but the costume does give it away somewhat, haa haa haa.

Coach Toon, had put Mar forward to four events, the three had the same routine as the previous event, and the additional one is the reason why she had to have a new costume :-) I am now hoping I can have leave on that day, lol.

Monday, January 14, 2019

A Brand New World, haa haa haa

Dear Matt and Mar,

[14.01.2019] Well, this is it, I am totally hooked! Each Saturday morning the team would split, after dropping your mother and Mar off at CTW for her ice skating, Matt and I would take off to ‘More than a game Cafe’. The amount and variation of games are mind boggling, the past few games that Matt had chosen, just blew my mind… totally engaging and so gorgeously beautiful it was amazing… There are more to this than monopoly, risk and scrabble haa haa haa.

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And it isn’t all fun and game, trying to understand the rules and the ability to explain in plain English to the rest of the would be player(s) can be a real challenge, haa haa haa, we try not to involve the staff, unless we were really stump (which was not often). Truth be told, if any part of the rules were unclear, we just made up our own rules, haa haa haa.

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Something fun for the afternoon :-)

Dear Matt and Mar,

[14.01.2019] I had this idea of taking a bat and ball to the park for the longest time, but for some unknown (lazy on my part) reason we never got round to it, that was until this past Saturday. Of course the day was already pretty full with Ice skating, board games, music and art (haa haa haa), but we made an effort to pack a few things, badminton kit, soft ball kit, footy and so on together, just in case we had time at the end of the day.

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That was exactly where we found ourselves, it was probably running close to 17:40 by the time we’d reached the park, the sun was already retiring from a hard day’s work, so the weather was somewhat cooler. We knew the park well enough to know this small plot where no one ever visit, and that was where we’d set up for the late afternoon.

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We’d created an ad hoc softball game, the trees were just right and consistence enough to be the 4 bases, the rule was simple, hit the ball as hard as you can, run around the 3 trees and touch the home tree to get one point, however if you were touched by the ball before collecting the 4 bases you were out. Of course in trying to avoid to be caught up and touched by the ball, you two ended up running as far as India, lol.

It turned out to be more fun than any of us had expected (in fact it was so fun we came back on the Sunday too, haa haa haa), now I wonder where I can find a cricket bat in Bangkok? Haa haa haa.

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Sunday, January 13, 2019

Hamster Factory haa haa haa

Dear Matt and Mar,

[09.01.2019] A bit of sad news on the Hamster front, let me recap the story so far. We bought the two hamsters (Frost and Crystal) back in early November, I didn’t want a boy and a girl, but the pet store said it could fight each other, so we got a boy and a girl, hence Crystal and Frost.

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Ok, so we got the them in early November, well, they got on with each other rather too well, as you two have made comments that Crystal is looking rather fat, haa haa haa, and I was dreading it... because your mother and I thought she wasn’t fat, she was pregnant... haa haa haa.

December

One glorious morning in early / mid December Mar came in screaming... ‘There is a baby’, and there was, one tiny pink one, and I was over the moon, purely because there was just the one... well, that joy only lasted one day, the following day 4 more beautiful pink babies were added to the fold.

Of course we were all excited (I was more worried) and for the rest of the morning we were all more than frantic! Each of us went online and started to search on what to do when Hamsters have babies, and it was frightening... if we didn’t get it right they could eat the babies.

We followed the guideline to the letter, and each morning we would gingerly take a peak, taking most care not to touch the babies, we gave the mum extra food and treats, we made sure not to clean the pen for at least 2 weeks.

The development of the babies were astounding, in no time they were running around the pen, and as they were old enough to be touched, we decided to clean out the pen... but we couldn’t, for it was obvious that Crystal now has more buns in the oven! You can not imagine how stressful that was for me, haa haa haa.

At the end of December we were all away for a couple of nights, when we returned on the first of January, and Crystal was huge!

January

Must have been around the third or the forth, 6 more pink babies arrived and I’ll keep it short, sadly none of them survived. I took the opportunity to clean out the babies myself not wanting you two or your mother to see any of it. I was heartbroken...

Something had to be done, if we don’t change there is a strong possibilities that we are going to be a Hamster producing factory right in our home.

36909005-01The plan was simple one, give back Frost (after some serious negotiations with Matt) and the babies (even harder negotiations with Mar) to the pet store... after calling them, they would not take it back, haa haa haa, what to do now?

At the end it was quite obvious... somehow we have to look after all of them, and to me the solution was simple, we had to separate Frost from Crystal, so off we went to another pet store (this one is just down the road) to pick up another pen...

So that is where we are right now, 2 pens, the big one has Crystal and the 5 young hamsters, and Frost in a separate pen... so far so good...

Luckily one of our neighbour may take a couple of the young ones, but I know that there is one that neither of you would let go. One of the baby (let’s call him red) has beautiful grey fur, and with striking red eyes! Haa haa haa haa haa.

D3 Sukhothai, The Inbound :-)

001Dear Matt and Mar,

This is really my highlight of the trip, haa haa haa, no, not because we were driving back to BKK, but a stop over in Phichit Province. Your grandfather have been giving me amulets to wear since I was very young, and now I have quite a collection around my neck, haa haa haa.

Whenever I travel around the country I would try to visit the temple that each of the amulet originated from, and I have 2 I have yet to visit, Wat Bangkhlan (Pichit) would be one of them :-)

I thought the detour would have meant at least a seven or eight hour drive back to BKK, but by pure chance the temple was not in the main district of Pichit, but very close to the road leading back to BKK, meaning the detour was not much of a detour, just another half and hour drive out of our way, and I couldn’t wait.

The rush of holiday makers were decidedly missing from the roads, haa haa haa, we were pretty much driving on empty roads and got to Wat Bangkhlan in just an hour and a half. The visit was also important to your grandfather, as this was also his first visit :-)

We were there for about an hour, then we were on the road again, in total with the stop over, it took us just a little over six hours by the time we dropped off your great aunt at her home. We stopped over at my parents place for about ten minutes, just for them to drop off their stuff before we all headed out for a late lunch.

I believe we ended up home around three/four-ish, and I was ready just to crash and sleep... haa haa haa. Wow, what I thought was going to be a chore for three days, turned out to be a really fantastic time with the family, now we are planning to do similar thing in Nan Province :-)

D2 Sukhothai, Fantastic Day :-)

36908504-01Dear Matt and Mar,

[12.01.2019] What a laugh of a day, after breakfast we were out of the resort around eight-ish (although way before that, you two were making plan on where to visit), the Unesco Sukhothai Historical Park was literally 5 minutes away, once there instead of parking right away, we’d decided to drive once around the site, and ended up parking close to where we were the previous evening.

We were already somewhat familiar with the site so finding our way around was not a problem, also we knew that although the entrance fee was free (for the New Year period) but one still had to pay entrance fee for the bicycle or the electric car if you wish to take them into the park.

We ended up splitting into two teams, your grandparents and grand aunt got an electric car (with a driver), and us four got the bicycles. We decided to follow the tram route, meaning we were lead to all of the main attractions, and I’ll let the photos explain the rest, haa haa haa‘

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Your grands finished the round in just a little over an hour, a totally different story for us though, haa haa haa. Nonetheless, we all caught up with each at the museum across the road (the museum was fantastic, especially for your grandfather, who loves the period religious relics).

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It was almost noon, but the team was not that particular hungry. In the morning whilst your grands were doing the round in the Historical Park, the driver who also acted as a guide (and according to your grandfather, very knowledgeable too), the driver also mentioned that there are 2 other temples outside of the Historical Park that we must visit.

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The two temples were ‘Wat Chang Lom’ (Surrounded by Elephants Temple) and ‘Wat Si Chum’, it was so easy to see why the driver said we must visit these two temples (essentially the Historical Park were filled with temples too), they were fantastic :-)

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Lunch was at one of the local eatery nearby, nothing to write home about, it was alright :-) After lunch with nothing else on the agenda we took a drive to Ramkhamhaeng National Park, fantastic clean air, and it was a good drive, but in terms of attraction there wasn’t much too it, unless you got off on foot and follow the trail into the jungle... haa haa haa, not much chance for us with 3 over 70s and 2 kids, haa haa haa.

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The day ended with us having to move to a bigger room then it was supper, this time once again your mother came through, I have no idea how she keeps finding these places, haa haa haa, your grands were totally enjoying the evening.

We had to take to bed early, for tomorrow (New Year) we were driving back to BKK, and we wanted to start really early to avoid the traffic (as it turned out, it was not that bad :-).

Saturday, January 12, 2019

D1 Sukhothai, The Drive Up :-)

20181230_055158-01Dear Matt and Mar,

[11.01.2019] First thing first, I was dreading this day, it even went a little pear shaped a few weeks back when I was booking the hotel... somehow I’d thought your grandmother only wanted to stay for one night... haa haa haa, and found out literally only a few weeks before the trip that she wanted to stay for 2 nights... I could not call the hotel fast enough... haa haa haa.

Of course the news wasn’t good, apparently it was all full and we could not extend our stay, and the staff had kindly suggested an alternative hotel. It was not the scenario I wanted to be in, moving hotel is just a pain in the arse. I was a little stubborn and so after having spoken to the hotel staff, I went back on line, and to my surprise on online rooms were available, in a blink of an eye additional night was rushly reserved, haa haa haa.

Your grandmother was so afraid that we would be stuck in the holiday rush traffic, that 2 nights before we travel she called me to try to cancel the trip, haa haa haa, of course we couldn’t. I didn’t quite know why she was worried, as she had planned to drive up on the 30th so to avoid the holiday rush.

On our way to Pitsanuloke

As it turned out, the drive up could not have been more pleasant, in fact it was superb lol. The plan was to arrive at your grandparents’ place around 05:45, and set off around 06:00, but it was 06:30 by the time all wheels were turning towards Pitsanuloke.

The plan was to drive straight to Pitsanuloke, visit the temples and then lunch before driving to our hotel in Sukhothai. I was expecting to reach Pitsanuloke around noon, but in the end we arrived more than an hour earlier.

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Although your grandfather have visited Phra Puttha Chinnaraj before, but he had never visited another temple next door, Phra Nang Phraya, and he was so looking forward to this so much. This being the New Year, the temples were kind of full but not overwhelming, your grandparents and grand aunt totally enjoyed this visit.

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Luckily your mother didn’t have to find a restaurant for lunch, my uncle had already provided name and number, and the instruction was very clear... “give them a call as soon as you arrive’, look I don’t mention too much of my uncle, great guy, a bit posh though... haa haa haa. Bann Mai was fantastic, my uncle wasn’t wrong :-) and now to the final leg of driving, and I was dreading it, driving with a full stomach is so tiring... haa haa haa.

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Turning left to Sukhothai

Just over an hour later we arrive at the resort, and it was awesome :-) luckily I gave them a call yesterday, and it ended up with only one room that needed to move, superb. The resort is tiny, but gorgeous, the room style was very unique, the whole place is over 10 years old, but excellently well maintained, however the electronics could do with an update though, haa haa haa. The most important thing was that my parents and aunt was loving it.

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Here was the bonus point, under your own decision, Matt had decided to share the room with his grandfather… you are ten and leaving us already, haa haa haa.

Can’t remember exactly the time we arrived, but there was plenty of time for you two to have a quick swim, then it was off to the Unesco Sukhothai Historical Park, as this was the New Year they had set up fair and music in the park, oh man it was fantastic, but we didn’t want to explore too much as we were coming back here first thing tomorrow morning.

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Evening supper was quick and light, to be honest I just wanted to put my head on a pillow, haa haa haa. What a great first day :-)