Thursday, February 28, 2013

No place like home?

Do you know how loud Thai buses are? Even Sleeping Beauty would find it hard to keep her eyes shut and snores her way through even the shortest of journey.

Mobile Home Framed

All regular bus users would find the scene in front of me quite normal, even mundane, and this certainly wasn’t the first time I’ve seen a young kid, who is probably the son/grandson of either the driver or the conductor, relaxing on the bus :)

Don’t quite know why but at first I was quite sad at what I was seeing, thousand of scenarios could have been played out before ending with the scene above, after pointlessly running though some of them, the most important thing came through, at least he was safe sleeping on the bus with his parents by his side…

Or if you are a cynic, which most of us tend to be (I can here ‘Speak for yourself, sir, there isn’t an ounce of cynic in me’ :), then this kid have been on a nine hours stint of under age binge drinking, who was then caught by his dad, who had decided to let him sleep it off before giving him a good hiding once home… oh just kidding :)

If the most simplistic answer tends to be the right answer, then this kid was tired during his way home and decided to crash on the gearbox, no need for Sherlock after all :)

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Back to Cha-Am (part three, ‘Swim, Eat, Swim, Sleep, Swim’)

Dear Matt and Marcella,

It seems all you two wanted to do was to Swim, and that was exactly what we did, unfortunately I didn’t take any photos of us in the sea, because I was having too much fun, haa haa haa.

Not quite in focus, but still one of my favourite, looks like Mum and March was having a real intriguing conversation, but in truth the conversation was about “would you like anymore waffle?” lol, the answer was ‘yes’ of course, lol.

Marcella is turning out to be another water-baby just like Matt, and we couldn’t be more happy :) But too much confidence around water almost gave me a heart attack a few times… haa haa haa.

Back to Cha-Am (part two)

Dear Matt and Marcella,

The couple of places we had managed to visit during this trip was Swiss Sheep Farm and Santorini Park.

The last time we had visited a sheep place (it isn’t a farm, more like an attraction) was in Ratchaburi Province, and it left me with such a bad taste in my mind because the sheep was out in searing sun fully wooled (is that even a word?). Most of them looked like they were slowly being cooked inside while standing.

Swiss Sheep Farm (again, a ‘farm’ this is not, and attraction it definitely ‘is’) was a delight, the sheep looked happy (I am not a sheep expert) but there were many lamb running around, which for me was a great sign of ‘happiness’ lol.

Marcella loved every single one of them, she is growing up to be a very animal person, cats, dog, fish, giraffe, even mosquitos. On the other hand Matt was off climbing on the huge red tractor in the barn.

Apart from the sheep there were some other attractions, the decorations / design of the place does provide many photos opportunities, we were there very late in the afternoon so the weather was almost perfect but soon it was dark and it was time to go.

The following day we visited Santorini Park, there were rides, arcade and several attractions, a couple of hours can easily fly by here especially for the kids, just make sure you take a lot of cash with you :) lol.

All the rides that we went on were 120 THB per person, but if a child is below a certain height can be charged lower.

We only had about an hour when we visited Swiss Sheep Farm and Santorini Park, which for me was a little short, a couple of hours would have been much better :)

Supper was on everyone’s mind (mostly mine, lol), so it was time to go :)

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Bangkok is Beautiful: Siam Walkabout

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Had a couple of hours in Siam area yesterday, Siam is by far the most famous area in BKK for teens to hang out and be themselves (which isn’t always a good thing, lol), together with Marboonkrong, Siam Centre and Siam Paragon as its neighbour, so this really is the place to be, unless you are me who is forty going on a hundred, lol.

I got there a little late so things were already winding down, but like anywhere in BKK, it doesn’t come to complete stop, life just take a little breather before going full pelt once again.

 

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Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Canned Dreams

Canned DreamsWhile surfing through Google+, came across a shared post from ‘Al Jazeera English’ (originally shared by Witness), one always have a soft spot for good documentaries, and was definitely hooked on ‘Canned Dreams’… Although a bit short but definitely worth sharing.

“ This film follows the journey of the ingredients which make up a can of ravioli and the dreams and destinies of the workers who contribute towards the making of these ingredients.

The film features seven ingredients, seven main characters and seven strong stories from seven countries.

The can represents the absurdity of food production, as well as the diversity of European culture, as the film goes on to tell a universal story.”

Click here ---> Canned Dreams

Bangkok is Beautiful: Naris Damrat Bridge

Missed a bus stop on the way home this evening, so had to walk back through a couple of bus stops before catching another bus home.

Came across a community running along the sides of one of many Bangkok’s canals, the bridge that I stood on is named ‘Naris Damrat’ (built 1970, and I must have walked/drove across this bridge a gazzillion times but have never seen it like this), the lighting was great, the air was cool, the traffic was light so there was hardly any annoying traffic sound, in a way it just didn’t feel like Bangkok this evening.

I was thinking of walking along the side for some more snaps, but it was late and I can’t see the people appreciate a grey haired man, carrying a rucksack and holding a camera taking photos on their door steps at this time of day, lol.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Back to Cha-Am (part one)

Dear Matt & Marcella,

Matt have been moaning forever for us to go back to Cha-Am, as it was his half term last week, there were no excuses not to get back there, and we were all really looking forward to it :)

SONY DSCThe last time we were here, Marcella’s temperature was running high, although Matt had a great time, I am afraid the rest of us were too worried for her, and we couldn’t do all the things we wanted to do.

This time was different, the weather was not searing hot, the wind was breezy and kept us all cool, the people were light which meant we didn’t have to queue for anything, we got to eat where we wanted to eat, and play where we wanted to play :)

 

 

SONY DSCThe routine was a simple one, all would be up early for breakfast, after which Matt would start his morning pool/sea session while March would be off on her walk, a nap and play time. All would meet up around noon and drive off for lunch, by the time we’d come back, Matt and Marcella would be fast asleep. Once up, would be another pool/sea session for the both of you, wow what a lark that was :). By late afternoon we would be off once again to some interesting places (sheep, lol), then dinner… the itinerary may sound light, but trust me your mum, Pui and I felt like we have ran a marathon every single day while in Cha-Am :) haa haa haa.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

LEGOs Vision, I need it back.

I wonder at what age do children lose their "LEGOs Vision"? I am so old now that I have forgotten I ever had it, but after talking to many friends with a child (or in many cases, children), and from my own experience, it had become so clear that all children possess this extraordinary ability.

SONY DSCLike a super secretive military grade radar embedded in their brain, with the sole purpose of plotting out all LEGOs at floor level within a 300 miles radius, even at the luminance of 0 lux, even against LEGO friendly camouflage background, this ‘ability’ is so amazing I am totally convince if you throw a hundred LEGO into a black hole, a child will easily end up discovering a hundred and one.

What is even more amazing, is how those positions of LEGOs are then transferred from the data bank to their feet. While running at full pelt they can effortlessly glide pass all the LEGOs (lots and lots of LEGOs) without even coming close to one.

Not sure if a pain scale exists, but I am sure if there is, stepping on a LEGO will be a there at the apex of pain, and all pain shall be measured against it.

I want this ability back... I need this ability... we have LEGOs strewn on the floor right now, we have had it for the past couple of years, and with his sister growing up fast we shall continue to have LEGOs strewn on the floor for the next eternity and a half.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

‘Brawling in Bangkok’, what happened?

2013-02-12 18.06.102013-02-12 18.05.39Has SP gone and hire the same photographer as PP? Or have I totally missed the trend-train on this one, is the ‘psychopath face’ the new trend for leading Thai politicians? SP and PP are by far the two leading candidates for the office, and the plastic, soul-less photos are getting to be a worry, lol.

The word on the street, by that I mean the news :), PP is leading in various polls, people are finding it hard to believe SP and his batch of new promises, simply because they haven’t seen much from him while he was in office for the past 4 years (this allegation is of course unproven). PP on the other hand has the clear benefits of having no history in this position, and his work with the police have always been quite ‘pretty’ (don’t really know how to put it any other way :))

PP is younger, fitter, slimmer, and has a smile that once hooked into a generator can light up Blackpool Illuminations for the whole month. However, statistically, SP has the advantage, the past representations from ‘the Democratic party’ have always trail in the polls only to finish first each time.

I still have yet to decide on where to put my ‘X’... still waiting for a better portrait photo, haa haa haa, oh just kidding.

A nothing shot, but not for me :)

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Dear Marcella,

This is a really useless photo, so much noise, composition is as boring as listening to a politician’s speech, nothing to attract one’s attention, no smiles, no faces, just a back of your head, the colour pallet is mundane, it has neither passive nor aggressive energy, no perspective, no lines, no symmetry, the subject is meaningless and there was no story to tell… you were just going for your evening bath.

This is certainly another one of my favourite, and it could only be mine alone. The photo brings back more than just a snap shot of time that the rest see. I can hear your laugh and screech, relive every waddle steps you took from the living room to the bathroom (keeping my fingers crossed hoping that you won’t fall over), remembered vividly every detail on your face each time you looked back at me, just to check that I was still there, and how you loved having a tiny soft towel around your neck. The crescendo was a huge smile as you jumped (more like dropped) into your bath… :) almost a perfect photo then :) haa haa haa.

Just for you :)

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Dear Matt & Marcella,

Your mother and I were quite surprise to see that Matt was adamant on taking out this book from his school’s library, especially when we know how much he looks forward to his library day and has only a limited number of books he can take out. This book is really for a much younger child, then later your mother found out that Matt took this book out especially for Marcella :) My smile was so big one could slot in a CD, still in its case :)

Friday, February 8, 2013

Panicking at Soi Burirom 4 – 4 days later

It has been four days since the fire, decided to take a little walk down the side street to see the extent of the damage. As mentioned in an earlier post, the ending could have been a lot worse, if the fire was to happen during the night it would have been a totally different story.

Gas CanistersBurirom4Unlike in the UK, we get our cooking gas delivered in different size canisters, and it isn’t too far from imagination if one of these were to go off due to the fire.

I am assuming that most households would have at least one or two of these in their home (that’s why all stoves are electric in the modern Condominiums (no gas allowed), a bit of a slight safety hazard to have a 400 room condo filled with 400+ gas canisters, sounds like a good beginning for a Hollywood movie).

From a quick glance, it looks like two and a half roof / second floor were affected, in a more densely populated area it isn’t uncommon to hear ten or twenty houses disappeared due to the blaze, I’d guess they will have to fix this fast as the monsoon season isn’t too far away.

Synctoy >>>> FreeFileSync :)

When moving to a new PC, many windows users have their favourite “List” of mandatory programs to be installed as soon as Windows allows it. I also have such a list, and once in a bluemoon it changes, just like yesterday.

In no particular order; Chrome, Windows Live Writer (part of Windows Live Essentials) (amazing set of tools, not sure if it will still be there with Windows 8), Lightroom, MS Office, MS Image Composite Editor, Gimp, Inkscape, MS Security Essentials, SumatraPDF, Skype, Picasa (not that I need it, it’s more of a comfort thing), Truecrypt, some fonts (now totally besotted with PT mono), Line, Flickr tool, iTunes, Lastpass, Dropbox, CCleaner, 7 Zip, Handbrake, VideoLAN and MS Synctoy.

All of the above have to be loaded before I even feel like working, haa haa haa. Of course to be productive one perhaps needs only three or four of the above, but ‘no’, I must have all of it... ‘aaaalllll of it’... “How can I finish off an essay if I don’t have Skype?”, haa haa haa, totally ridiculous but it is just the way it is.

Most of the programs mentioned above are free or donation-ware, however some paid programs have proved themselves impossible to be dethroned, MS Office and Lightroom will be here for quite a while yet.

FreeFileSyncLogo2The latest change was ‘MS Synctoy’, discovered last evening that it wasn’t deleting files that it was supposed to deleting. Let say there were two hard disks, A (on the right) and B (on the left). Files were deleted manually on drive A, and upon syncing, the expectation was for the same files to be deleted on drive B, but instead it copied the files from drive B back onto drive A, totally defeating the point.

After tweaking all the settings and running it through several scenarios, I just gave up, the problem still exists, so I’d turned to the community on the net (with hindsight I should have done this in the first place :)) only to discover that many people were facing the same issue, so the only solution was to find an alternative, and where better else to look if not on www.alternativeto.net?

The first alternative that came up was ‘FreeFileSync’, (<--- Click) an open source software, 5 minutes later it was running and working like a charm (2 days later and so far so good). As a ‘not so hardcore’ user, this FreeFileSync is perfect, the UI is friendly and logical, the explanation of each action is clear and concise and best of all, it’s ‘fast’.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

The routine :)

SONY DSCDear Matt,

This is where we have breakfast every morning, when I say we, I mean you :) by having your breakfast at school means we have avoided the painful traffic jam, and it also means you can get up a little later too :) (in this case when I say ‘you’ I really mean ‘me’, haa haa haa).

Because this week is the Chinese New Year, that was why you were wearing the wonderful red ‘dragon’ shirt with matching red trousers (I saw at least 3 other children with the same awesome shirt and trousers).

A fun little project, food photography

SONY DSCSome quick pics were needed for the shop (for FB and other promotion materials), because it was such a small thing they decided to let me have a go… it turned out to be a fun Saturday morning.

All credit went to Gio for the arrangement, tried to use as much natural light as possible (simply because we didn’t have anything else, haa haa haa).

At the end of the project, the photo could have been ‘cropped in’ a bit more, but decided to leave it for the user to decide (she did crop in a lot tighter for the postcard size print).

Monday, February 4, 2013

Panicking at Soi Burirom 4

Under control

Initially didn’t pay attention to the single siren that went passed, then another siren came, and another, from all directions, and it didn’t fade away down the street like it usually does, this time it stayed.

We are in the Klong Thom area, probably one of the busiest area in the whole of Bangkok, unlike some of the other tourist’s areas, Klong Thom have stayed pretty much out of the ‘tourist’ grid, but it is a favourite to many Thais.

Soi Burirom 4 sits across the street from Klong Thom, so the smoke did caused quite a lot of stir, but by the time I got there, several small fire engines were already in place and water was already flowing, luckily they caught it in time.

So far no one have been reported hurt, and the fire didn’t spread, it could have been a totally different story, considering all different scenarios, we are fortunate to have this ending today.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Not a care in the world.

Dearest Marcella,

Your brother was asleep in your pram, to your right, your mother was tired out and drinking a cup of cappuccino, I am slightly off to your left snapping more photographs than a sane person should :)

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But you didn’t care, that milk couldn’t have come at a better time, just right after a few mouthful of deep, sticky chocolate :)

You really didn’t care what was going on around you, your gaze was fixed on some random thing, probably thinking on how to tired out your parents even more after the milk had run out :) haa haa haa haa haa.

 

 

 

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