Archive for April, 2009
TT&T are a company that pretends to provide internet services. In reality they provide pain and heartache.
My internet “service” has become so intermittent that the down time is competing with the up time in the most frequent occurrence competition. So much so, that last Saturday I walked into TT&T and cancelled their service as from 15th May, after which I will suffer under some equally crappy alternative provider.
Bad move. On Monday my internet died completely and has been off until about 5 minutes ago. Twice daily calls elicited the response “we will call you back.” Total lies. Finally, yesterday afternoon, I refused to accept the promise of a call back and eventually talked to an engineer who tested the line and pronounced it dead. This morning an engineer called and promised to come round. Four hours later, he did.
He plugged in his own modem with a cocky expression, sure of proving my equipment to be defective. Nothing happened. He called someone, they didn’t answer. He called someone else, and my internet came back on.
My theory: Having told me I could not cancel until the 15th of next month, they then went and turned off my service immediately. Bastards.
Posts to follow later, unless the internet fails yet again.
This weekend marked the end of the Polo season at Polo Escape. Good news for those of you who are sick of photos of horses, bad news for me as I will miss the photography, the people, and the insanely great hospitality; which was much in evidence on Saturday evening with a lavish seafood and everything else buffet washed down by unlimited champagne and wine.
The weekend was marred in the final few minutes of the game on Sunday, when Paul Cheung fell off his horse. This would not have been too bad had the horse not then fallen on Paul, the result being a dislocate shoulder, broken ribs, and a broken collarbone that required emergency surgery last night.
Paul is the CEO of a diamond trading company in Hong Kong. Although clearly not short of cash, he is down to earth, a source of endless amusing stories and fine company. He is currently fighting a campaign with the management of Thai Airlines to get them to improve the quality of the post-meal toothpicks in Business Class. Beats combating global warming. Get well soon Paul.
The light was not as good as usual, but I managed a few reasonable shots, including this sequence of the Von Potobsky brothers fighting over the ball. Barging your horse into an opponent is an acceptable tactic in Polo. It’s especially satisfying if the other horse is being ridden by your brother.
The next shot is the one I would choose to print; such is the advantage of being able to take multiple shots per second, at least one of them usually turns out OK:
Having failed to get myself out on the streets at Songkran with my new waterproof camera, I find myself standing in the sea last week at a (for me) ridiculously early hour. The purpose of my semi-immersion is to capture some footage of Craig catching small waves on a SUP.
He proved that you don’t need big swell to have surfing fun, I proved that my little camera takes really good quality video, even if my cinematography skills need some work. While I was sitting with my “Final Cut Express for complete idiots” book, trying to work out how to turn the video into something useful, Craig had cranked out this neat little YouTube video:
Compressed for YouTube, the video is a little jerky and degraded; but full size, the video is a crisp and smooth 1280×720 of HD goodness. Not bad for a camera you can stick in your pocket and take anywhere.
Of course, with a bigger camera and bigger waves, you could produce something like this:
Most impressed with this baby camera and looking forward to some wind so I can strap it to various points on a windsurfer.
The more observant amongst you (not you, Jock) will notice that The Wall in the sidebar has gone. It was never used much, and the majority of usage was swinging towards what I assume was Russian spam.
The wonders of Gmail and WordPress spam filters means that I rarely have to deal with the daily avalanche of bollocks that descends upon this site and my email accounts; it is automatically shovelled into the place of digital death. So I have little tolerance for deleting spam messages which appear in places that are not automatically filtered, like The Wall.
So, it is gone. R.I.P.
There are many reasons why I love she who must be obeyed. She is kind, considerate, cute, fun and intelligent; to name just a few of her attributes. But there are days when the intelligence is thrown out the window and she moves into crazy panic mode. Yesterday was such a day.
Her auntie, together with German husband have come to stay in Pattaya for a few days. No problem with that, I have not been required to socialise, although a dinner is planned. This will no doubt be a pleasant enough experience, provided I can stop myself from starting a “my dad kicked your dad’s ass in the war” conversation with the husband. (To be honest, he probably didn’t. According to my mother, the only ass my dad was involved with was an Italian hooker with whom he spent most of the war; in a tent in the Egyptian desert. There was a horse involved too, which my father insisted lived outside the tent, but my mother, when she was really pissed with him, insisted spent more time inside the tent than would be considered normal in a non-bestial relationship).
I digress, Auntie and German hubbie are no problem. She who must be obeyed had decided it might be a good idea to lend them our bikes so they could cycle around, be assaulted by soi dogs and catch rabies, although she did not put it like that. Trouble is, our bikes have lain dormant in the condo basement car park for more than a year. They would need a good cleaning, oiling and adjusting before being ridden again. I decided the best plan was to agree it was a good idea to lend out the bikes, point out the maintenance issue, and then shut up. Hopefully she who must be obeyed would drop the plan.
She did, until yesterday morning when she suddenly decided that the bikes had to made ready for Auntie to ride immediately, or preferably sooner. I was not sure what prompted the need, but it was urgent and logic was being dispensed with. She called to tell me that she had arranged for our condo maid to prepare the bikes for action. Our maid has problems washing a plate properly, I doubted she could prep a bike.
What is she going to do, I asked?
Take the bikes to a bike shop to have the tyres pumped up.
How will she get them there given that she has no transport and the nearest shop is kilometres away?
Where will she get the oil to maintain the chain?
She can’t unlock a door without breaking something. How will she adjust the gears?
Not thought through, beyond deciding there was an immediate need and finding someone to throw some money at who would undoubtedly render the bikes beyond further repair. There was only one way to calm her down, I would have to do it myself.
So I spent a couple of hours yesterday, cleaning, oiling, pumping, adjusting; so that when she who must be obeyed arrived home I was a sweaty, oily, dirty mess of a man with two quite clean and entirely functional bicycles.
Ready for auntie, I announced, and did a little flourish with my greasy arms.
Ah. She looked embarrassed
I just called auntie and she told me she had had a knee operation recently so she can’t cycle.
Never mind, the bikes did need cleaning and it had been mildly therapeutic getting my hands dirty again. But I was hungry. So we went to Pan Pan.
We don’t go very often. Their pizzas are unspectacular and best avoided unless you want a sausage encrusted Frisbee. But their cakes are gooooood. So after something that looked like ravioli but was called something else, and a couple of glasses of wine; we went home with an expresso cake for me and a tiramisu cake for her. Mine went down nicely with a glass of Sambuca enhanced with three coffee beans (four spoils it, two is just not enough). It was only after there was no more cake to consume that I remembered that their expresso cake should actually called caffeine cake. The heart rate soars and you can forget about sleep for at least a week.
And so it was that the pretty young girl that is not me could be seen hanging around the Facebook poker tables until around 0300. Today I feel wrecked, think I will go for a cycle to keep awake.
Gratuitous photo moment. There was a Ferrari meet outside Pan Pan a couple of years ago. For some reason I thought a pizza restaurant sign reflected in the rear window of a Ferrari would be appropriate. Your mileage may vary.
My relationship with she who must be obeyed is such that we occasionally have disagreements that require me to sulk for a few hours. If she does something that I perceive to be contrary to the terms and conditions of our marriage, then I feel that the adult way of dealing with this is to take a huff and go and sulk in a corner for a while. She has a much more childish way of dealing with these things; she actually raises the concern and makes me discuss and resolve it. Where’s the fun in that?
Anyway, I felt the need to convert myself into sulk mode a few evenings ago. With she who must be obeyed busy losing chips at poker, and not prepared to weep openly and beg forgiveness, which would obviously be the right way to behave rather than ignoring me; I took myself to the TV and started watching House.
I have been pointed towards House by a number of friends whose taste I respect, and even by Billy whose taste is dubious (other than his charming wife of course).
A couple of weeks of torrent downloading A trip to the shop that sells legal copies, and I had seasons 1 to 4 in my possession. A few days on, and I have consumed season one already. It’s quite wonderful.
For the uninitiated, House is a genius doctor in an American hospital, whose bedside manner is a combination of cynicism and outright disdain for his patients. It’s intriguing, amusing and very clever. American production values with a very British sense humour and despair. Fitting then that House should be played by the wonderful, and very British, Hugh Laurie.
Icing on the cake: The title music is Teardrop by Massive Attack; no better way to start forty five minutes of quality entertainment.
Anyway, go to go now, she who must be obeyed wishes to discuss some problem about my excessive watching of the TV . Why can’t she just go and sulk for a couple of hours? Then I could get started on season 2.
I am sure you are familiar with advertisements which feature photos similar to the above. Sad, desperate men who find they are losing their hair, are encouraged to spend large sums of cash on snake oil, massagers and assorted other paraphernalia which have been scientifically proven to promote hair growth. None of them work, and the men are just as sad and desperate, and now they are also poor.
For those of you who are trying to put off the inevitable day that you will lose all your hair and become an emasculated shadow of your former self; like, say, Bruce Willis; worry no more. I am pleased to announce the Pattaya Days hair loss cure.
It is an appropriate day to launch the new product, as it is exactly six months since I started on my cure, although I didn’t know it at the time. Six months ago I was simply engaging in a very ordinary comprehensive car crash which landed me in hospital with a broken back. But as part of the car crash experience, I also managed to lacerate my head against what remained of the roof of my car, and rather neatly almost removed my scalp. Kinda incidental to breaking my back, and a passing doctor sewed back my scalp with one of those sewing kits you find in hotel room drawers. Once they had mopped up the blood and taken out the stitches, I thought no more of it.
But here is the strange thing:
At the time of the accident the top of my head looked a bit like the “before” in the picture above. Of course my head is a far nicer shape, and the colour of my hair is, how can I put it, more mature. And actually my bald spot was a little bigger. But it didn’t worry me. I couldn’t see it, and there are enough problems with the rest of my features without worrying about less hair than there used to be. And it provided amusement for she who must be obeyed on occasions; so it really wasn’t an issue.
And so it wasn’t until a couple of weeks ago that she who must be obeyed pointed out that one of her topics of mockery had been eliminated. The the bald spot had gone and a fine head of hair, albeit still maturely coloured, covered the top of my head. It’s a miracle!
Ripping off the scalp and re-attaching it seems to encourage hair growth. It’s only a small step from acquiring this information (patents pending by the way), to developing a commercial product. And so a product is only weeks away from hitting an eager market.
I envisage an attractively packaged, reasonably sharp and reasonably sterile knife. There will be a 28 page user guide, 27 pages of which will be disclaimers. Page 28 will contain the instructions.
!. Book into hotel
2. Drink. A lot.
3. Take knife. Wash carefully (Optional step). Slice neatly across scalp.
4. If all that results is a crewcut; try again, only lower.
5. Take sewing kit from hotel drawer and sew things up as best you can.
6. Hide blood soaked towels and have a nice cup of tea.
7. Wait six months.
If you would like to invest in this exciting business opportunity; get out your cheque book. I’ll bet that Bruce Willis guy will be first in the queue.
I am you are going to be rich!
Peace at last.
Long weekend: Done
Asean Conference: Almost done and then cancelled and replaced with riots.
Trip to in-laws: Deferred
After a couple of weeks of assorted mayhem, peace has returned to the streets of Pattaya. Driving around this morning, people were cleaning up from the Songkran party and life was returning to normal. And now we head into the low season as far as tourists are concerned, which may be bad for the tourist industry, but very pleasant for those of us who reside here.
Yesterday was the Songkran party day in Pattaya and, armed with my new waterproof camera, I had intended to head out and take some shots. But after a lazy afternoon on the sofa watching a cloud of spray which was meant to be the Chinese Grand Prix, I just couldn’t be bothered going out and getting wet. So here is “one I took earlier.”
And yes, she is a he.
Instead I took the camera down to the pool and amused myself making videos of a swimming she who must be obeyed. It works very well, above and below water, but I am not allowed to share any of the resulting video under pain of death. So you will have to make do with some more Songkran shots.
Thanks for the comments on Poker Pornography.
You were all correct. Miss B was my choice, and indeed I would happily donate poker chips and assorted fluids to her should the opportunity arise. I am pleased to see that the cultured readership of this organ shares my taste in this matter; even if the hairy Albanians prefer to throw their chips at the over-nosed, possible lady boy that is Miss A.
Camberley opined that the reason that Miss A gathered chips was because she looked “up for it,” and I think that indeed may be the winning factor. But she who must be obeyed had a different theory, “mine has bigger tits.”
In separate correspondence, Camberley suggested that I get she who must be obeyed to choose a new photo, given that I don’t seem to have my finger on the pulse of what constitutes attraction for my gender. So I did, and she came up with this:
Works for me, let’s see how it works on the hairy Albanians.