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Toilet Bowl Stadium and Pay Hike

This is supposed to be 2 entries but I combined them into one.

First, I saw the toilet bowl National stadium on mrbrown website and could not stop laughing. The link to sammyboy forum by mrbrown is also lagi best. I think the Australian designers are using the recent Durai's golden bowl as an inspiration... But I could be wrong, Aussies tends to be very humourous (met a few jokers here) and they(the designers) might have intended it to be a joke but our gahment really like the idea very much. First we have the "statue of LKY", then the "durians", then the "ufo", followed by this... wat lau..

Ministers getting pay hike.. haha another good one from out MIW. Maybe they are smart. They kind of know that 2012(6 years for next GE) is going to be a year of change (or end of the world according to Mayan calendars). So they plan to take in as much as possible and "retire".. hahah. Anyway, nothing much to debate, pay for them will still increase even all the complains, all thanks to the 66.6% zombies who voted them in the first place.

Haze and Heat

Think most of you heard about the haze hitting the Northern parts of Thailand. I was planning to write about it but was preoccupied and forgot about it.

Haze here in Maesai is somewhat similar to those we have in Singapore. The cause is mainly farmers trying to clear their land with the minimum cost and time. By slash and burn. I have a rice padi field just next to me and I actually saw how they do it. They dried up the field and cut slashed away the rice or corn stalks (normally they have wilted after denying them of water. These stalks are then stashed in a huge stack which they burnt it. After burning. they will spread the remains (ashes or burn stalked) around the field and then plough it again to mix the soil with the ashes.

Since Maesai is relatively flatter (more open spaces) then Chiang Mai or the hillies Mae Hong Song. The smoke does not linger around the area so it gets blown off. The ashes are pain in the ass though. Every morning, my front porch and lawn are covered with black dust. Not too healthy at all.

Another thing to note is that its finally getting hot here in Maesai. Normally this heat wave starts in early March but this time (global warming??) it started later. Dry and hot.. Temp is getting 30+ degrees celcius in the afternoon. Will get even hotter in April and May.

Hotchkiss H35/38 revisited

I bought 2 of these at an offer in Singapore. I build one of them before but its the original French version with a plough. This time, I decided to paint it as a German version. The French lost the war early and many of their tanks were confiscated and remodeled by the Germans.
This particular H35 has a longer barrel for its gun and equipped with 4 bombs (anti personal and bunker).....

Painting this bugger is much tougher than the normal 3 colours camouflage. A lot of misconceptions is that its easier to paint a single colour. Not true actually. This particular German Gray actually has 5 coats of paint. The base, which is light gray, followed by red+black (reddish brown) as an undercoat. Then followed by the base German Panzer Grey as an overcoat undertone shadow (not totally covering the reddish brown). After than, mix the remaining German Gray with light gull gray as a midtone. This is sprayed on the larger flat surface areas and smaller parts. Finally, light gull gray is sprayed lightly on the flat surfaces and edges as highlight.

Weathering this time I decided to minimize it. No washing was done as I like the overall paint coating. Washing might make it more darker. (Gray already is dark colour) All I did was dry brushing mud and sand on the model to make it look a bit dirtier. Below are some more photos of the completed German Hotchkiss 35.

Funny Face

Wife and baby still not back yet. Gave me a call this morning and said they couldn't find a transport. Will be back tomorrow.

Anyway this post is about a toy I bought recently in Chiang Mai. I bought 6 of them as its cheaper (100 baht total). Already asked my mum to carry 4 of them back to Singapore. They called it the "Funny Face"

Its basically a balloon filled with clay or playdoh, tied it up with some yard(the hair) and stick 2 plastic eyes on it. Really genius as its a simple idea but yet fun to play. You could make various facial poses and could try to shape something out of it. (Use your imagination).

Maybe I should sell this in Singapore. hehe.. Cheap and easy to produce.

In the zone...

I didn't sleep much last night. Suppose to be in bed at 11pm but could not sleep. So took some DVDs out and watch until 3am. Woke up at 8am, so in theory only slept 5 hours. Didn't take a nap today so now a bit zone. hehe.

There are certain benefits of not having wife and baby around. Which means I could focus more on my stuff. I did not touch the computer until now as I have started working on my plastic models again. I had finished building one last time before I left but have yet to paint it, so I got the whole day working on it and managed to finish 80% of it.

Wife and baby will be back tomorrow, most probably in the evening time. So I guess I still got half a day to complete the project.

Game completed!

Just finished my Neverwinter Nights 2. Overall quite a good gamin experience. I played a Char Bo (Female) Sorcerer. A bit bad decision as the game is not very friendly to spell casters.

Anyway, here's a screen shot of my main character. You can view the bigger version by clicking on it. The sword I am holding is a powerful artifact. Its a silver sword of Gith.

Now have to go have dinner and rest my eyes. Non stop gaming for 8 hours.. :P Feels like my Poly gaming days again... hahaha

Last Golden Pizza.

If you have read this previous post. You will know about the Golden Pizza here in Maesai. Anyway, sad news is that the guy is closing the business and plan to move to Chiang Mai or even go back to Iceland. He is a really talented pizza cook I will say. But I guess demand for pizza in Maesai is still low compared to bigger cities.

Some updates on family. Wify's younger brother is getting married. Nah ma, they marry early here, he's only 19! So wify and baby is going to KengTung for the ceremony. I am forced to stay behind as my 2 month visa is non-multiple entry. Turbine, they have all the fun while I stay at home and guard the house.

So guess my blog will have more entries this few days.

Ka Nom

Ka Nom is the thai word (classifier) for desert, sweets and snacks. Normally they are sweet. The range of Ka Nom is huge as both bread and cakes are also classified as Ka Nom. (whereas some city folks will used still used the English word cake for cakes)

Today I am going to show and tell this Ka Nom known as Sai Mai. Not really know what it means as wify can only tell me its name. I have tried this a few times but since writing about me playing games can be boring for some. So decide to stick to food which interests most of my buddies :).

Sai Mai is quite an interesting Ka Nom. It comes in 2 parts as you see in the picture. One packet is the sweet sugarcane floss. (something like candy floss) While the other is actually or Poh Pia skin we eat in Singapore. You eat it by taking some floss, put it on the Poh Pia skin , wrap it up and put the whole thing in your mouth. The texture of crispy, melting sugar cane floss and the chewy skin is quite interesting.

The vendor sells this normally on a bicycle with a box at the rear end of the bike. I forgot to bring my camera as the stall itself is quite interesting. The box actually is a game. It is a simple electronic device under a wooden box. The display has a arrow pointing at various numbers. Its like a slot machine which you put coins (1 baht per play) and the arrow will turn with music (electronic of course) , once the music stops, you will be rewarded with the number of Sai Mai Poh Pia skins that the arrow points. The lowest number is 1 and highest is 5. So its like our Ti Kam in Singapore hehe. Of course, you could just skip the game and buy 5 baht or 10 baht directly. Which is better as 10 baht contains 15 pieces. As you should have guessed, the number of "1"s in the box is proportionally larger than 2 or 5.


Haha, back to my one line titles. A bit "Stoned" after a few days of inactivity. Actually wanted to write something but a bit lazy to do it. Hehe. Think I am more and more becoming accustomed to the pace of life here. Slow and easy.

Anyway, I am stoned because I have started playing computer games again. Haha. Since now got a good graphics card and a pretty good system. Decided to buy some games to test my new hardware mah. Jialat, got hooked to Neverwinter Nights 2. A D&D role playing game. Really enjoy every minute of it. Picked my favorite Sorcerer class and started blasting monsters with spells. The action is one of the reason I played, the story line is as usual, fantastic! Hooked to it by every minute. I enjoy playing RPG as it is some kind of a choose your own adventure book (remember those??).

The game developers are Obsidian Entertainment. They are worth a note as most of the people there are formally Black Isle Entertainment employees. (Those who play games will surely know about Black Isle. Anyway, Black Isle is famous for most RPG games but the best I have played so far is Planescape:Torment. No horse run.

Of course, now wify not very happy I play so late at night. :P Enough talking, still need to kill some Orcs with my Sorcerer

Baby Funny Crawl

As promised. A video clip of my girl crawling.
Quite a long clip by the way.

Day trip to Chiang Mai.

Day 1
I am writing this in Suriwongse Hotel in Chiang Mai. There is a wireless network but it is more for Intranet service. Its an interesting day, baby xinhui and my wife send us off at the bus station. Baby was not very happy when I drag my mother's luggage. Think she kinds of know I and Grandma is taking a trip without her. I try to make her smile (normally quite easy) before I board the bus but she give me a very black face... uh ohh...

Anyway, the bus took a looong time to reach Chiang Mai. 30 mins behind schedule btw. We only managed to check in at the hotel at 8pm. Mum and I went down to Arusan Market (just beside our hotel) for dinner. Not that good and a bit pricy. 540baht for 4 dishes and for 2 person is expensive in Thailand. Walked around the Night Bazzar market and mum bought some wooden photo frames and a newspaper stand (looks really cool) and bloody cheap.

Also managed to buy some "magic faces" hehehe. Quite an interesting toy actually. Will feature it in my future entry.

Day 2
I am now typing this on the bus at highway route 118. This bus bloody much faster then the one we took when we came. Anyway, today we woke up at 6am. Went down to have the breakfast buffet. The buffet spread quite ok. Took a Sawng Tiao to airport and send my mum off. Na Ma, airport tax increased to 700baht liao.. 200 baht more. I left the airport at around 730am. Jialat, too early to do shopping. So took a walk to the nearby shopping complex (Airport Central Plaza). As expected, still closed. Shopping centres in Chiang Mai starts at 11am (even on weekends). So if you happened to visit Chiang Mai. Do take your time, sleep late and slowly eat your breakfast.

Anyway, since its about 8am and I had my breakfast. I decided to check out my Chiang Mai apartment. The management have not banked in my last month's rent. Managed to get my rent and took a Swang Tiao back to hotel. Rest and bath until 10.30 before I hit off again to the same Shopping Centre. Bought a dress for baby and some cosmetics for wify. Then proceed to Kad Suan Kaew (another shopping centre) to look see. Nothing really interesting. One thing I noticed though is the lack of crowds. Seem like Chiang Mai a bit empty. Normally during this period the tourists will still be around but a bit quiet leh... Guess its the political situation in Thailand that puts people off??

Had lunch at Sizzler. Tried the Grilled Combo which consists of ground beef and fish. The salad bar is nice. Very fresh with varieties of salads, vegetables, pasta and soup to choose from. Tried the Asparagus stick, quite sweet and tender leh. The main course came while I was having the delicious onion soup. Quite a hefty portion. I saw mainly Ang Mo in the restaurant so I guess they have to cater their size of portion. The fish tasted bland. The toast is good though. Its butter and cheese melted. Very nice. The baked potato normal. Ground beef got mushrooms with melted cheese on top. Not bad for the first few bites but start to feel eeky once go too much into it. Too oily.

After the meal, head back to hotel, packed up and check out. Went next door to Pantip plaza (Chiang Mai Sim lim square) to buy some "software" and stuff. In the end, spent all the rent money on a 3D graphics card, a 512mb DRAM and a power backup cum surge protector. Price is actually quite the same in Singapore. Might be pricier for certain items but overall good bargains.

After my final shopping, took a Tuktuk to the bus station and waited for the bus. Came a bit late and finally got on board. I bought the 2nd Class aircon which have no reserve seats. So end up at the end of the bus just below the bloody engine. Guess why I am typing this? Because its too bloody hot to lie down on my chair and the only way to pass time is to type this bloody entry. Na Ma.

3 more days.

3 more days (actually 1 day and a half) my mum will fly back to Singapore. I will accompany her to Chiang Mai International airport on the 8th. Stay a night in Chiang Mai and send her off on the 9th. Its an early morning flight, so have to stay a night in Chiang Mai. Wife and baby won't be coming as the air condition in Chiang Mai is atrocious at the moment. Its the end of the cold season and the farmers are slashing an burning their fields. Making the air very hazy. Sometimes can be worse than Singapore in Chiang Mai. Over here in Maesai is better as we have no tall buildings or mountains that block the airflow. Still, its quite hazy compared to the usual clear sky.

Read from the Internet and watched Sat TV that there is an earthquake(aftershock) in CBD area today. Seems like quite exciting seeing all the people running down from their offices. Over here, the biggest news is still on the closure of iTV. Btw, iTV belongs to Shin Corp which of course, now belongs to Temasek... :P

A bit overwhelmed.

I am a bit overwhelmed by Xinhui's changes. Its has only been a month plus since I left and she feels different to talk to and play with.

The most obvious changes are that she has better grips and the ability to crawl. Its fun putting her at the end of the room and encourage her to crawl towards you. She has a very funny crawling method by the way. Absolutely funny. I'll try to get a photo of her crawling. hehe With better grips, she is surprisingly strong for a small baby. Able to hold onto something quite forcefully and could throw a cup across the room. And once she clings onto you, its quite hard to pry her away from you. Have to check with mummy what steroid she is feeding her.

Another change is the interaction with her. Now she has more eye contact. She attentively looks at you and your actions and sometimes tries to mimic them. Of course most of the time is wrong but the process of trying and learning is fun. She is also more "talkative". Babbling funny sounds whenever you talk or sing to her.

Another funny thing is you start to see your own mother making funny sounds and faces for her grandchild. Think all grandmas love to do that.

Weather here in Maesai is surprisingly cool and dry. Very dry actually. It starts to get cold in the evening and can drop till 24 or 25 degrees when its around 4 or 5am. I am still getting used to the bio-clock. I sleep late in Singapore but over here, I tend to sleep as early as possible. Anyway, enough updates. Back to spend more quality time with baby and wife. :)