Jacen plays ball

The local international school has a rec league where they graciously let homeschoolers participate in sports. With the soccer season over, Jacen decided to give basketball a try. They had a game on Thanksgiving afternoon--the school is international, so doesn't get off for US holidays--so I brought my camera to try and get some good shots. His team, the Bobcats, are undefeated going into the final week.

091126 Bobcat Basketball

091126 Bobcat Basketball

What we have here...

...is a failure to communicate.

Ann's sick, so the kids and I went out to eat. We tried a new place on Middle Ring Road. I ordered water for everyone and a chicken dish for myself. Jacen ordered a shrimp dish (or so he assured me). Emmy wanted sate, so I asked the waitress if they had any and then ordered it when she said yes. Then I ordered two side orders of rice--it still weirds me out when I find a restaurant where rice doesn't come with the meal--one for me and one for Jacen.

Well, we got the water. I got my chicken dish and rice. Then they brought out a plate with steak and veggies. We discussed this for while, but couldn't figure out why we got it; it wasn't sate (little strips of meat grilled on a stick) and it certainly wasn't shrimp. Finally I asked our waitress what it was, and she assured me it was steak. Ah. Sate. Steak. They both start with "s" I suppose. But I swear I was speaking in Thai when I ordered the sate. The sauce on the steak was too spicy for Emmy, so she let Jacen eat it, which was just as well, cause his shrimp and rice never came. Of course, that meant Em never got any dinner. She settled for a bowl of noodles at home.

Sigh. All those months of Thai lessons...

Bring a Girl?

I'm studying in the book of 1st Kings for my quiet time these days, and I'm currently working on chapter 8, where Solomon dedicated the temple. As he chose to hold the dedication during the Feast of Tabernacles, I'm doing a bit of studying on that Feast. Using Libronix, my favorite Bible study software, I found an article on the Feast in a book called "The New Manners and Customs of the Bible." On page 118, I found this amusing quote: "The three great festivals or feasts were Passover, Pentecost, and the Feast of Tabernacles. On each of these occasions every male Israelite was commanded 'to appear before the Lord' and bring a gift offering with him: 'Three times a year all your men must appear before the LORD your God at the place he will choose: at the Feast of Unleavened Bread, the Feast of Weeks and the Feast of Tabernacles. No man should appear before the LORD empty-handed. Each of you must bring a girl in proportion to the way the LORD your God has blessed you' (Deuteronomy 16:16–17)." Hmmm. Bring a girl, eh? [Freeman and Chadwick, Rev. ed., 1998]

I am not a chew toy!

I was wrestling with Jacen on the floor this afternoon. Jezzy, as is her wont, snuck into the fight through the back door, nipping at Jacen's feet and hands and pulling on his shirt. After one particularly successful nip, Jacen yelled, "I am not a chew toy!"

Doi Inthanon: Part 3

After a stop at our third waterfall, we went to the summit of Doi Inthanon. We had to stop about a kilometer short of the top and walk the rest of the way, because the road had washed out. Here are the kids at the top, 2565 meters above sea level.

091114 Doi Inthanon

Doi Inthanon: Part 2

Our second stop was another waterfall, Mae Klang. It was not the most impressive waterfall at the park, but it was still nice. Did I mention we took Jezzy with us on our family vacation?

091114 Mae Klang Waterfall

Once again having a Thai driver's license (and speaking a bit of Thai) was a big help. Instead of paying the usual farang (westerner) price of 450 baht, we only paid 145 baht to get into the park.

Doi Inthanon: Part 1

Doi Inthanon is the highest mountain in Thailand, so we set out last Saturday to have a family trip to the top! First stop along the way was Mae Ya, the highest waterfall at Doi Inthanon (280 meters). It was a beautiful site.

091114 Mae Ya Waterfall

A nearby sign make us chuckle: "Danger! Strength water. Don't swimming." As we continued on we saw men threshing rice in a field; they tied the rice stalks to sticks and beat them upon a wooden threshing floor. It was like stepping back in time hundreds of years.

No Logos 4 for me

As a long time user of Logos' Libronix, I was excited to hear that version 4 had arrived. My excitement is much diminished. I downloaded the free software upgrades to try them out. The PC version loaded and runs, but it runs s-l-o-w-l-y. I have have a 2 year old iMac running Parallels 3; Libronix 3 runs smoothly, no problems. Libronix 4 is too slow to be usable. I also loaded the Mac version, and it also runs...sorta. It's alpha software and acts like it; basic functionality is not there, and it crashes all the time. Perhaps newer versions will work well--I certainly hope so!--but for now I'll stick with version 3. Sigh.

Is there any chicken left?

I went to a Thai restaurant to pick up lunch today. It's a place that sells "gai yang," which is fairly similar to rotisserie chicken. But here's the deal: They sell the chicken until they run out, and they don't make any more that day. So you have to come early in the day, and your first question is always: Is there any chicken left?

Ann sets a new record!

Specifically, she set the record for least number of bites of a Thai meal. Thais love spicy food, way hotter than Mexican food. Not long after we arrived here in Chiang Mai, I ordered soup one evening for dinner. I could only take 7 bites (slurps?), even though I bought a Coke to cool my mouth down. That record stood unchallenged for 7 months. Until tonight. Ann ordered a Thai cold salad tonight, and it was so spicy she could only eat 3 bites. A new record. :-)

Libronix 4 - Free!

Logos' Libronix has been my favorite Bible study software for years. They've just upgraded their engine to version 4, and although they don't advertise it on the front page, you can get this new engine for free. Of course, they'd like you to upgrade to a new version of one of their nice packages, but if you already have all the books you need, you don't have to. The engine comes in both a PC-version and not-yet-ready-for-prime-time Mac-version. If you want to see everything the new version can do, take a look here. If you're serious about studying your Bible, take a long, hard look at Libronix.

Loy Krathang: Day 1

Sunday night we went downtown again to see Loy Krathang. We watched Khom Loys and Loy Krathangs being launched, fireworks shot up all over the place, vendors selling every thing imaginable (including some fireworks to us!), a kids beauty contest, and some Thai dancing. The kids even got to ride a small Ferris wheel. Though it was a bit dangerous at times--a khom loy nearly burned Ann and too many fireworks were too close--we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves.

091101 Loy Krathang

Pragmatic Religion

We saw this Thai gentlemen releasing a Khom Loy next to the Ping River during Loy Khrathang. Notice the interesting juxtaposition: He's wearing a Buddhist charm on his wrist and participating in a Buddhist holiday. At the same time, he's wearing a cross, the symbol for Christianity.

091101 Loy Krathang

In western culture we would tend to observe that Buddhism and Christianity are mutually exclusive and pick one or the other. But Thais tend to be more pragmatic, picking and choosing bits and pieces of whatever works. As a friend said, this man has all his bases covered.

Loy Krathang: The Prelims

Technically, Loy Krathang doesn't start until Sunday night, but we went downtown on Saturday to see what was going on. Loy Krathang is the name for these little bamboo rafts that the Thais release into the Ping River.

091101 Loy Krathang

The origins are probably rooted in animism, where the Thais worshipped a river goddess and asked for her blessing. The holiday took on Buddhist overtones, and the rafts are lit to honor Buddha. The general belief is that when the rafts are released they take away the badness in a person and/or they grant a wish. In this, Loy Krathangs are similar to Khom Loys, and there were plenty of those still being released.

091101 Loy Krathang

Whatever one believes, Loy Krathang is an excuse to have fun. What water is to Songkran, fireworks are to this holiday. The uncontrolled lighting of fireworks in crowded areas is rather dangerous, but perhaps that's part of its appeals.