Sunday, December 30, 2012

Arriving soon :)

Photo bookCan’t believe it has been over 2 years since the first (and only) photobook.

There were several reasons why I had left it for so long, the first book was done out of curiosity, so it took no effort at all in choosing the photos, but when it was time to do a proper thought out book, it was a slog going through all of the photos (not professional enough to have the time to go through all the photos during each import and ranked them).

Then there was the cost, this time I have decided to look for an alternative to Blurb, to be more precise a ‘local’ alternative.

Surprisingly there were several options available locally (in BKK), and even more surprisingly the pricing (in general) were at the same level as from Blurb. I was expecting it to be less, but to be fair, I am not comparing apple to apple here, all I did was to compare my previous book from Blurb and the spec of the products offered from other service providers.

In the end, I had decided to stick with Blurb, the only down side I can see is the waiting time (cheapest option), but I can live with that. Moreover, I remembered really enjoying using their Smartbook program to put the book together. However since the first book my workflow now include Lightroom, and one of the module is their ‘Book’ module, the best way to put it is, ‘powered by Blurb’.

After reading up on the basics, I just jumped right in and it couldn’t have been simpler, the theme of the book was ‘the family in 2012’ (not the most focused of a topic :), it was a simple matter of creating a collection, then quickly go through all the photos in the library (pressing B sends the chosen photo to the ‘target’ collection), the final hurdle was to go to the book module then just slot the photos from the collection into the template.

It handled RAW file like me eating cakes :) and I loved the ability to go directly from the ‘book’ module to the ‘develop’ module then back to the ‘book’ module again. Anyway, they couldn’t have made it easier for one to part with one’s money :)

After I have finished putting the book together, I’d exported it as PDF (sent to phone and tablet), and after that with just a single click I was logging myself into Blurb (straight from LR4), and after a few more clicks the photobook was on production and ‘Ka-Ching’ for them, haa haa haa.

Perhaps next time I can come up with a proper topic rather than this buffet of drag and slot, haa haa haa.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

A Day with Dad – Rattanakosin Exhibition

‘Two hours? You’ve got to be kidding me’ was my immediate thought after the nice young lady over the counter said how long it would take for the guided tour around the exhibition. “Or you can take route number 2”, a smile suddenly rushed across my face then disappeared faster than when it came, “route 2 will take 4 hours”...

KhonMatt’s Christmas holiday is now in full swing, and we’ve been trying our hardest to keep him busy. So far we haven’t taken the easy way out by putting him in another class (if it was to be another class, I was thinking of Chinese or something different, during last summer break we enrolled him into a very Buddhist school and that was very interesting, ended up with a fractured arm :)




So, for the very first ‘A Day with Dad’ we went to Rattanakosin Exhibition (Under King Rama 1, Rattanakosin was actually the name during the initial period of a city that we now call Bangkok). These past couple of weeks I have been introducing you to the various public transport, and the most challenging of them all are the buses (the topic on Thai Buses warrants another post by itself) :) The bus #47 and #15 actually took us from where we were straight to the exhibition.

I am still not sure why they are calling it an ‘exhibition’ rather than a museum, the only difference I can tell is that we had to be guided rather than left to wander around at our own leisure, that’s why it was such a shocker as the two options were either two or four hours :) route.

At the end of the day it was well worth it, Matt was well behaved (eventually) and quite engaged, and that is quite a good barometer, if they have managed to keep him engaged, I am sure the exhibition could keep any one engage, even a goldfish :)

Here is the link for more information, Nitas Rattanakosin (<—Click), one of our favourite part was when they took a photo of all the visitors, then we were ushered into this room with a large screen, suddenly our faces became a part of an animation highlighting all of the interesting points in modern Bangkok, I have never heard Matt laughed so hard, lol. Of course I can not, not mention ‘True Coffee’ which is on the ground and on the third floor, where the latter must have one of the best view in the entire area (see my pic :)



































Thursday, December 20, 2012

Back to the Hills :)

Dear Matt and Marcella,

Last Sunday your mother was invited by her focolare group to the yearly family picnic in Khao Yai area, so we all got up really early on the Sunday, your auntie Tip came to help, and by some miracle we were out on the road by nine... ish....

Of course Matt and Marcella have already had their breakfast but not us, so the first petrol station stop was more than welcome for your mother and I, the petrol was not needed, but coffee and sandwiches were like treasures.

SONY DSCWe got to the event just in time, we decided to set our HQ in one of the building where there some kids already playing... One of the kid was not so kind and started to pick on Matt by kept throwing Matt’s hat from the balcony. After picking his hat up for the second time I decided to ask nicely to the child, who couldn’t have been more than 7 or 8 to stop throwing the hat... I was surprised by his reply... “F^&% you”. It took more than a second for my brain to register exactly what that child had said, especially in an event where cardinal of the Catholic church was giving Mass not more than ten metres away.

With that child being so young all I could say was, “where are your parents?”, some of the older kids who were there did have a go at the child for using such language, with no answer coming from him and after some irksome silence moment I decided to let it go.


Khao Yai was well known for great weather, but not today, the sun must have been angry at something, because the heat was unbearable. Mass was over by around noon, your mother went off to receive her communion while the rest of us stood off just to the side, by the way holding 2 children while trying to take photo was harder than I had first anticipated :)
We decided not to have lunch here, Matt, Marcella and myself were physically melting, lol, so as soon as your mother had said hello to all her friends, all of us took off to the restaurant not too far from the event.


SONY DSCIMG_0173Matt couldn’t have been more than two the last time we were at this restaurant, but the weather then couldn’t have been more different, I remembered putting a tiny sweater on Matt because it was so cold.


As usual, lunch was a colourful event, Marcella ate like a whirlwind whilst Matt was the champion in the making for a slow eating event. Once Marcella was done, remaining in her seat was the last thing she was going to do :)


SONY DSCSo she was off walking and wandering around, but being only one walking wasn’t her greatest asset, her greatest asset would be ‘falling’, haa haa haa, so your mother and I would take turn just like a wrestling match.

One to stay with Matt and get totally frustrated because a turtle could have been born and died of natural courses (after leading a very full and meaningful life) while Matt would still be chewing his tiny spoonful of ‘whatever’ :) and the other one of us would have been off with Marcella, and get totally worn out, following her around up and down the stairs for the millionth time, or picking her up and putting her down twenty times every second, even the Hulk wouldn’t think twice about giving up.

After lunch we were off to the Khao Yai’s National Park, of course as soon as we set off after lunch you two fell asleep, I was as sleepy as one of the seven Dwarfs, and my driving was putting your mother on the edge of her seat, so it wasn’t surprising that she was over the moon once we have reached our destination. We have a photo of Matt at the exact the same location, trying to walk over the bridge... We were there for about an hour before we had to set off home, as it turned out it wasn’t a bad way to spend a Sunday no matter how tiring it was :)


The left photo was taken back 22.11.09, while the remaining two was taken this past Sunday, then you needed your mother’s hand to cross the bridge, now you run ahead without a care in the world :)










Couldn’t hear what you two were talking about, but it must have been something fun judging by the smile on your faces.








Bits and Pieces


Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Quiet time


Looks like Marcella will take after her brother :) books are becoming a big part of your lives… Can’t wait until you are old enough to enjoy Terry Pratchett, J.K.Rowling, Bill Bryson, Douglas Adams (and you’ll know why I am obsess with the number 42? lol), and so many more :)

But please do stay away from the Twilight series (vampires that sparkle in the sun!!! come on…) however I’ll let you know in another post if Stephenie Meyer is worth a read in the future, one never knows, one bad book (or a series of bad books) doesn’t mean he/she can not eventually write a classic in the future, just look at Bob Clark’s (sadly cut short) career, how can one have ‘A Christmas Story’/’Porky’s’ (etc.) sitting next to ‘Rhinestone’ on the same resume?

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

After the Children had sung

Dear Matt,

All parents of EY2 were invited to attend a mini singing session today :) the whole of EY2 was putting on a performance, and what a performance it was! Each class took turn to take lead in a song while the remain classes sing along as well. One of the teacher reminded all parents not to concentrate so much on taking videos and photos but to also enjoy the performance… well said :) of course it felt like she was speaking personally to me (I’d even thought she was going to mention me by name, then I realised that I have no idea who she was :) )

One of the teacher was kind enough to offer to take our photo as a family (and there are not nearly enough family photos of all of us together, so I was over the moon), and then you decided it was against your religion to look at the camera… instead you had chosen to look at the teacher’s feet… :) seng jing jing, haa haa haa.

Once again I have decided not to post the photos of you singing as your friends would be on it as well and that would have been wrong without their parents permission :)

Huge SmileOff Gaze haa haa

More books please

Dear Marcella,

We are now introducing books into your daily routine, hoping you’ll another bookworm… I believe in a balance diet of modern media and traditional books, modern media is easy, turn it on and just let you absorb it. Of course in an instant you are drawn to it like a young lady to a Hermes bag. Above all there are plenty of good content on the both the TV and Internet, we just have to be selective.

Books require additional effort, reading it in such a way so you are hooked have been difficult especially when you are only one (and a bit). Matt’s room have somehow turned into your reading room, so removing you from the living room and into Matt’s room have definitely increased your focus on listening. I have no doubt that you have no idea on what is going on, our readings are just sounds to you, but soon you’ll get it and you’ll be hooked on reading just like all of us.

And it’s never too early to teach you on the basic mechanic of a mouse and keyboard, I likened those to driving a car with manual transmission (proper car, proper skill, haa haa haa) rather than driving a car with automatic transmission which is like using a tablet :)

Who knows in fifteen years mouse and keyboard could well be obsolete, to be replaced with touch screen and voice dictation, just imagine in fifteen years grammar Nazi would be out of a job and subsequently making the net one step less fun :)



Thursday, December 6, 2012

Long live the King :)


Dear Matt and Marcella,

5th of December is our beloved King’s birthday (85th birthday), and all of us wore yellow for this celebration, it was fantastic to see yellow shirts everywhere (well, almost everywhere :) ), it also doubles up as ‘Father’s day’.

Many of our friends went to see the king at Ananta Samakhom Throne Hall, but we decided to stay closer to home.

The atmosphere was brilliant, and both of you had a great time :)















Sunday, December 2, 2012

When the cat’s away…


Dear Marcella,

The things I let you do when your mother is away… if she only knew that I let you chew your own feet, well perish the thought that she would ever find out :), oh kidding she knows I spoil you rotten :)

My precious Zombie :)


Dear Marcella,

If I write a thousand words, a hundred thousand words, a million words to preciously express my sorrow, it would still be only a grain of salt in the ocean, for my sorrow is vast and all consuming, every second of my time on this earth is nothing more than mind numbing pain… since you’ve turned.

I have only suffered this kind of sorrow four times before, it was after watching The Phantom Menace, Attack of the clones, Revenge of the Sith and of course Batman Forever, after each film I just wanted to whole world to burn!!! it was that brilliant :)

Believe it or not, living with a zombie is relatively easy, just keep them away from all living things and pretty much feed it constantly with raw meat seemed to do the trick, ‘not unlike living with me’ your mother would say :)

(By the way, your temperature is now back to normal, but you’ll still be taking your antibiotics for 4 more days)






SONY DSCYou are not a zombie really, it was only a small plate full of beetroot :)

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Hello again Doc. :)

Getting BetterDear Marcella,

Another week, another visit to the hospital, several times in this past couple of months you have been in and out of hospital, and it was always with the same high temperature, but this time was one of the worst, last night your temperature reached just a little over 39c.

SONY DSCI don’t think you’ll ever get used to the rub down routine given by the nurses, in fact I don’t think I can get use to it either, but it had to be done to keep your temperature down.

This morning Matt made you something from his ‘Brain School’ class, a handmade flower just for you. The teacher asked who he was making it for and his reply was immediate, “it’s for Marcella” :)

When you woke up this morning, Matt was already by your side and he once again gave you his Siamese Twin (his butterfly pillow)… I could not stop smiling, but we couldn’t give it to you because the last thing we want is two poorly children in the house :)

Here is the flower Matt made just for you :) Hope you get well soon baby :)