Thursday, 3 September 2015

Up Early,

and off to the hospital for my bi-monthly check up,

 I arrived at 8.00 in the morning, so the check up started, weight, 76.5 Kg, blood pressure 128 over 60 and 68 heart beats per minute, which all seemed to be fine, blood sample taken then off for a real treat, a English breakfast!, so I drove to Soi LK Metro and entered it from Soi Bukaow, looking at the end of the Soi,

 these are the two buildings that we saw on Sunday behind the Robin's Nest,

 and this where I will be eating, Kilkenny,  

 as I have an hour to wait before the blood test result is in,

 it is opposite the Billabong bar and hotel,

 looking through the balloons, the bar had a party last night,

 breakfast is served, good value for money just 135 baht, diet restarts tomorrow!

 this is something you will often see if you are out here, offerings and prayer made by pretty much everyone,

 and mobile food sellers,

 beer coolers washed and drying in the sun, 1 hour was up, so back to the hospital, blood sugar 125 which was good, a chat with the doctor and an appointment was made in the afternoon to see a ear specialist, I kept having a blocked ear, so I was on my way home, Diana was out shopping, so I was thinking I would be home alone, but as I drove into the Soi I meet Bill walking the other way, he had just called so now I was in we settled down for a chat, after an hour or so Alex called by so we all chatted some more, after saying our farewells I was back to the hospital, my left ear needed cleaning, the amount of wax removed was staggering, the good new was that there was no infection, but the doctor prescribed some drops to use for the next week, only 1 slight problem, I had switched my telephone off so it did not ring whilst seeing the doctor, you guessed it, I had forgotten to switch it back on again, I thought it was a bit quiet for the rest of the day!

 in the evening it was glad rags on as we were out to Cherry's,

 for their International buffet, the salad bar,

 next to a selection of starters,

 including sushi,

 the buffet is 399 baht and is held every Wednesday and Saturday,

 lots of heated main course dishes to chose from,

 plus a carvery and a selection of pizzas,

 Jim and Cher were also here, just having returned from Siem Reap in Cambodia,

 so eyes down and start with the salad bar,

 our first round of starters,

 followed by a second round and then on to the main course, 'Cheers!',

 dessert to finish and what a selection,

7 flavors of ice cream to choose from,

 a difficult choice for Diana,

 3 desserts all for me, not really two of them are not mine, guess who's they are? Cherry's is situated on Third Road opposite what was one the X-Cite disco,

we finished with a coffee, then home, after saying our goodbyes to Mr. Tony we settled down to watch some cable television, then ear drops in and we were off to bed.

Plant A Tree,

and potentially stop a forest fire,

but not just any tree, it has to be a Mediterranean/Italian cypress tree, (Cupressus sempervirens), why so? in the 1980's, researchers planted varieties of trees in Spain, testing how the different varieties of trees would handle exposure to a deadly pathogen, then, in 2012, disaster struck, the study area was burned to a crisp, 'when we got there we saw that all the common oaks, holm oaks, pines, and junipers had completely burnt, but only 1.27% of the Mediterranean cypresses had ignited,' study author BernabĂ© Moya told BBC Mundo, the reason they survived was simple, they found that cypress trees are able to maintain a high water content in their leaves, even in very hot, dry conditions, other trees, like aspen or cottonwood are fire-resistant, but their dry, fallen leaves can be a fire risk, whereas the fallen leaves from the cyprus act like a sponge and hold on to water, so at least in the Mediterranean area researchers are looking to use this tree to make natural fire breaks, I wonder if the idea would help in America, Canada, Australia and other wildfire areas in the world?

Absolutely Amazing,

the first words I thought,

 as I looked through the work of Salah Baazizi from Anaheim, CA - United States,

caught at the very split second and in pin sharp focus, the camera and lens used was a Canon 7D and a Canon 400mm 5.6 lens, I can find no more information about the photographer but for more of his work look here, absolutely stunning.

The Race Is On,

to build the world's fastest computer,

one that will beat China’s Tianhe-2 (above), from it's top spot where it has been for the past 5 times in the world tables, how fast is fast? a Linpack benchmark performance of 33.86 petaflops, or quadrillions of floating-point calculations per second, that's how fast, it is also the word from the 45th edition of the twice-annual TOP500 list of the world’s most powerful supercomputers, roughly twice as fast in the petaflops league as its nearest rival, a Cray XK7 a system installed at the Department of Energy’s (DOE) Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Titan, as it is known, is the top system in the United States, it achieved 17.59 petaflop/s on the Linpack benchmark, but look out as the Obama administration unveiled a new national initiative promising to deliver an exascale supercomputer 30 times more powerful than China’s Tianhe-2 by 2025, an exascale computer like the one envisioned by the Obama administration that's capable of one quintillion, or 1,000,000,000,000,000,000, or one billion billion floating-point operations per second or keeping it simple one exaflop, but is this a race you want to get into? back in 2010 PCAST, the President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology, gave this advice, from the report, 

“While it would be imprudent to allow ourselves to fall significantly behind our peers with respect to scientific performance benchmarks that have demonstrable practical significance, a single-minded focus on maintaining clear superiority in terms of FLOPs count is probably not in our national interest,” 

in other words the so called 'arms race' in computers could be costly and an obsession with a FLOPs count could divert resources away from making other discoveries, all very well and good, but will it make writing our blog any quicker?

Wednesday, 2 September 2015

Straight On To Today's Post,

as I am up early for my bi-monthly health check,

 we had a busy day ahead, first thing off to the motorbike shop,

 as we had a few miles to travel today a top up of air in the tyres,

 first stop the bank, I had a telephone call to say I needed to sign a few papers for my new Mastercard, papers signed and some money drawn out and we were over the road to the Pattaya Beer Garden,

 we made our way past the Samsung television which today was not working,

 and alongside the beer bars on the walkway to the garden, the view looking past the water treatment plant along the beach, work still seems to be continuing burying pipes in the sand,

 looking across towards the new marina,

 work has certainly come on a pace on the new condo,

 behind the pier building, when finished it will have commanding views across the bay, if you like heights!

 whilst waiting for our breakfast a long tail boat made it's way past us,

 and what better way to start the day,

 than with an ice coffee,

 and a prawn cocktail overlooking the bay?


 and for Diana a few mini burgers or sliders as they are known here with coated chips and coleslaw, the bill came to 370 baht including Diana's water, we next stopped at the money exchange, we wanted to convert some Thai baht into American dollars for our forthcoming holidays to Cambodia and Hong Kong,
also this morning the postman called to say a package was waiting for us at the Chaiyapruk post office on the Sukhumvit Road which is almost opposite the floating market, but before that a little bit of excitement, as we made our way along Second Road there was a police presence, about 6 or 7 officers were pulling everyone over, including motorbike taxi drivers which we had never seen happen before, anyway a quick look at my newly renewed Thai driving licence and we were on our way with a remarkable American accented, 'have a nice day!',

 and this is what we picked up, Diana just loves these, Jacob's Cheddars, so unknown to her I bought 12 packs of them from the UK, I kidded her along that I did not know what the package was, so taxes and duty paid and we were on our way home,

we watched some cable television in the afternoon, after our evening meal Transcendence, a sci-fi set in the not too distant future where artificial intelligence is taken to a new level of self awareness and actual physical form, very enjoyable,

to round the evening off another from Foyle's War, tonight's episode titled Killing Time, with that we were off to bed.

Tuesday, 1 September 2015

I Had A Quiet Day At Home,

but Diana popped out,

 for a girl's afternoon window shopping expedition and meal at the Central Festival with Riza, so for me it was tea and biscuits, feet up for a black and white very old movie, the one I chose from the set of three was We Dive At Dawn, a stiff upper lip war movie based in a submarine, a thrilling, for it's time, adventure starring Sir John Mills

after our evening meal and some cable television we settled down to watch Interstellar, one of the few space movies we have seen where the space shots are so realistic, good enough to make you think you are actually there, but leaving that aside a movie that is appealing on so many levels and the twist, so good, we both really enjoyed the story although in places a bit difficult to follow, but well worth watching,

then like the afternoon movie back to Britain at war, well just getting over one in Foyle's War, tonight's episode The Russian House, as you might expect another gripping story set against the end of the war, we liked it and so did a lot of other people as it scored an 8.00 on the IMDb, with that we were then off to bed.