Monthly Archives: April 2013


 There once stood a building, tall and proud, which had been designed and built by old time architects and builders upon a solid foundation.  It stood for many years, each of it’s constituent parts working with the others to remain a steadfast edifice, immune to the ravages of time and the inclemency of the weather.

Even when the worst storm ever seen hit the building, broke out all the windows, blew away many of the shingles, and damaged the inside terribly, the structure still stood and the bricks, windows, and shingles worked together to rebuild and restore the structure.  Even the chimney, which stood above all of them belching it’s orders with hot air and sooty smoke, worked to restore the building to its original glory.

There was one brick in the middle level of one of the walls who was proud of the little building and the work they had all done, but who longed for Continue reading

I have a good friend who is a retired Royal Thai Police Colonel.  A very good man and a great friend.

A few months ago, I asked him about helping me get a Thai Drivers License because, as a law-abiding type American, I thought it was the thing to do.  (All right.  Yeah.  I also didn’t want to get into trouble for NOT having one).  He asked me if I had an international drivers license, which I do.  He then said, “That meets all the requirements of Thai insurance so why to do you want a Thai Drivers License?”  Again, I responded, I thought it was the right thing to do.

He then gave me what I thought was odd advice.  “If you are stopped by the Thai Police, DO NOT SPEAK THAI to them!” (for those who don’t know, I speak Thai well enough to sometimes fool people on the phone into thinking I’m a Thai who spent a long time studying overseas).  My friend went on to explain that if I don’t speak Thai to them, they won’t know what to do and will just let me go.

Yesterday, I had a chance to test this theory.

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On a web forum I used to frequent, we debated the question of a 13-year-old boy with 18 convictions on his record, including the rape of a 72-year-old woman.  It was reported that the Supreme Court will be considering whether his life sentence without the possibility of parole, after being tried as an adult, constitutes “cruel and unusual” punishment under the 8th Amendment to the Constitution of the United States.

I can tell you there were plenty of impassioned and firmly expressed opinions on this subject!

While the case is more than 20 years old, the questions still remain.

There were a few folks that believe the boy had the right to a “chance” at redemption.  In their opinion locking a boy up at 13, regardless of his record with no chance ever to get out of prison was indeed cruel and unusual.  Some lamented the lack of a focus on “rehabilitation” in the prison systems.
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Bert the Turtle & Dumb MonkeyWhile browsing an online discussion forum some years back, I noticed a thread entitled “Surviving a Nuclear Attack” and just for kicks, I opened the thread to see how to do the impossible.  The first post didn’t say much but left a link to some survivalist website which actually had some hints on how to survive a nuclear attack.  Those “hints” are not important to the story but rather the first reply is.

In the first reply, the poster writes, “That’s ridiculous!  They taught us everything we need to know in 1951.” This poster  left a link which took me to a video, a copy of a 1950’s era civil defense training film.  Those of us who are old enough can remember being taught to “duck and cover” in case of a nuclear attack.

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