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Everything posted by Specialist

  1. I had to run an errand from my hotel on Suk Soi 15 down to the Food Land on Soi 5. Being 64, and not having the easy walking range I had ten years ago, I hailed a cab. The driver was an older guy, and there was none of the usual "100 baht" nonsense. I got in. And I notice he had CLASSICAL music playing. I said "Good taste in music, thank you." He promptly identified it as Mozart. And I believe it was. It made the usual traffic jams a lot more bearable. TIT...
  2. T minus one week and counting. All that is left is to call the various banks and warn them not to freak out when they start seeing things from the other side of the planet. And pack.
  3. Eternal rest grant him, Lord, and light everlasting shine upon him. May he rest in peace. Amen. I don't think I ever met him, but I read his writings, and he was one of the crew. He will be missed.
  4. Specialist


    The problem with that hypothesis is that prevalence of homosexuality among males is closer to 2.5% - 3%. (Source: the LGBTQ amicus brief to the Supreme Court in the Texas sodomy law test case.)
  5. It has truly been said that "The cure for bad speech is MORE speech, not stopping speech." If you outlaw, for example, any speech about the KKK, you make it impossible for anyone to say WHY what the KKK says is wrong. You also make it difficult to point out WHO the KKK really was. AND you make it difficult to point out that even the KKK occasionally says something that, politically incorrect though it may be, damned well needs to be said. Case in point: "If it is wrong to discriminate against a black man solely because he is black, why is it not wrong to discriminate against a white man solely because he is white?" David Duke said that, in words very similar.
  6. What Stick and Flash said goes for me too.
  7. I just booked the airline ticket an hour or so ago. T minus 7 weeks and counting for a two week stay. I still have to set up the hotel in BKK and the airport hotel here the night before, and I need to call AA to set up seat assignments on the JL legs and request the J upgrade on the return transPac hop. I'm in coach on JL on the outbound transPac hop, which is better than AA MCE and *ALMOST* equivalent to AA PE. And that's BEFORE you allow for JL vs. AA flight attendants...
  8. Did he say which bars? This does sound like the sort of thing the Arab might try.
  9. Don't remind me. A few years ago, I encountered one such group. One of them was quite persistent: she/he WOULD NOT let go of my wrist. I finally had to employ a breaklock I learned many years ago. Done full speed and full power against a resisting opponent, it can break bones. I did it slowly and gently, which let him/her figure out that he/she could either let go or experience a lot of pain as his/her wrist was bent in ways it was NOT designed to bend.
  10. The first time, he got me. I didn't recognize him the second and third times. I realized who it might have been, and then recognized him when he started the game, the second time. I didn't recognize him at all the third time, except for the game, and then I realized who it had to be. I didn't remember the taxi number well enough to be certain of it, this last time. Different taxi numbers. This has happened over the course of several years. I won't swear that the third time was the same guy, but it sure sounded like him.
  11. Is there a procedure for filing a formal complaint against a taxi driver? I think this is the third time I've run into this particular clown. His modus operandi is to claim to understand where you are going, and then persistently misunderstand, until you are (ideally) a long way from your starting point AND destination. The first time, he got away with it. The second time, he tried really hard to misunderstand "Soi Cowboy" as "Soi Kow", giving up when I said "Soi yisipsahm". Tonight, after the hotel security guard told him Terminal 21, and I told him Terminal 21, he tried to claim he heard 41. When I said "Yisipet", he tried to ask "Sukhumvit?" This was after he'd driven RIGHT PAST Terminal 21. I ordered him to pull over, NOW. It took me THREE TIMES telling him to pull over and stop. He finally pulled over just short of Suk Soi 23, and I got out. Blew my plans for the trip pretty thoroughly, as I just got out of the hospital yesterday and didn't really have the walking range to get back to the skytrain station without serious rest time. I would REALLY like to see his cabbie license lifted and shredded, to force him into an honest career, like maybe a ya ba dealer.
  12. I do not currently have any capability for transferring CDs to MP3s. I'm trying to work one problem, not two.
  13. OK, my old Sony portable CD player crapped out on me, and I need to find a replacement. Good places to look? It will be playing through existing Bose headphones, so audio quality is a MUST. It will frequently be bedside, so provision for an AC adapter is a MUST. Where's a good place to shop? Obviously, I don't want to spend a ridiculous amount of money. (I could replace the old one for upwards of US$300, as it has long since been discontinued. NOT A CHANCE!) Suggestions welcome. Skytrain or subway or taxi access required: the doctor has put me on limited walking restriction for the duration. Thanks!
  14. "The Spy Who Dumped Me" - OK, this was just FUN. It trotted out EVERY LAST ONE of the known spy movie cliche's, and it still managed to wind up being fun to watch. "Casablanca" - Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman, if memory serves me. No matter how many times I see this one, I still enjoy it, every time. It is arguably the best movie ever made.
  15. It's funny. I used to enjoy walking down Suk, seeing the variety of stuff at the tourist trap stalls. Then the porn and the pills and the toys started crowding everything else out, and I got tired of it, real fast.
  16. Hit Charley Brown's off of Suk Soi 19. You might be in for a very pleasant surprise.
  17. T minus 2 weeks and counting. Arriving Swampypoom very late 14 Feb. DEROS 4 Mar. Two five-day (M-F) seminars back to back. This is going to be INTERESTING...
  18. Flash, you have to remember something. Hotmail is MICROSOFT. 'Nuff said.
  19. Tourism numbers may be high, but I saw something in the last couple of days that said they are off significantly in just the last few months. Wait and see. I'm tentatively scheduled to be in town for the second half of February.
  20. http://www.nationmultimedia.com/detail/Tourism/30358483 The key provision appears to be "The Interior Ministry regulation will be amended to allow foreigners who receive a visa waiver for 30 days and travel into Thailand via land immigration checkpoints or land border checkpoints to enter the country with an unlimited number of visa waivers per calendar year." This SEEMS to mean that you can make UNLIMITED visa runs per calendar year if you initially enter by land. It may or may not actually require the initial land entry, that that the exit/re-entry be by land. The first comment on the Thaivisa coverage page (https://www.thaivisa.com/forum/topic/1068563-thailand-announces-huge-changes-to-tourist-visas-in-bid-to-boost-tourism/?utm_source=newsletter-20181114-1434&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=news&fbclid=IwAR1od0AJCxSpCMb6bPSD5horgaDgiT5yzYD3J_-UxautK_sTDNM7wUyIOOI) seem to cover the critical point. ""Tourism numbers and revenues must be taking one hell of a hit to do this; it is a refutation of everything the Junta has been doing or saying for years. There is a great deal more to this story; I am looking forward to finding it out." Now, they are saying that this is initially a two-month pilot program, but, if they actually put it in place, they may find it difficult to kill. Certainly putting it in place and then killing it would hurt tourism even worse than it is already hurting. (And it IS hurting: that's kinda obvious.)
  21. Nope. None of the above. Watch was still on my wrist, wallet still in my pocket, mobile still back in my hotel room, room key still in pocket. You're jaded. I was surprised. And grateful.
  22. Sometimes, something happens that goes a long way toward restoring your faith in humanity and Thailand and the Thai people. Yesterday, I was walking up Suk Soi 7 toward the beer garden. I don't know what happened, but I stumbled, couldn't recover, and went down hard in the street. I saw a motorcycle avoid me once I picked my head up. Before I knew it, before I even had time to start thinking about how I was going to get up, there were people around me, asking if I was OK, helping me up. I finally counted four men and one woman. They got me stood up. I had some scrapes, bleeding. Someone found paper towels somewhere, they helped me clean up, and one of them then walked with me to the beer garden and saw me safely to a stool. The beer garden dek serve found a towel and then their box of plasters, and we finished the cleanup and bandaging job. TIT. Thank God. The Thais are still some of the most wonderful people on the planet.
  23. You recall correctly. Had Gore won Tennessee, we would not have had the Florida drama. It is EXTREMELY rare for a Presidential candidate to lose his home state and yet win the election overall. Given that Noo Yawk is Democrat to the stones, it is not surprising that Trump lost that state. As for why he won the election, well, look at the county-level or poll district-level maps and you will begin to understand. (Those maps will also give you a very strong hint as to why the US has the Electoral College.)
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