Monday, 28 February 2011

Sunday, So Out To Lunch,

as a kid Sunday was always a special day, in the early 1950's Dad and Grandad would wander off down to the club and bring back a selection of seafood, crab, prawns, shrimps, some times jellied eels and of course heaps of mussells and whelks, with bread and butter followed by a snooze in the afternoon, later when we had television the afternoon film was favorite, so keeping to the tradition of keeping Sunday a special day we were off, but first stop to the Kodak shop to get some paperwork for the bike encapsulated,
before going to the Robin's Nest, there were not so many people there to day, but for us the good news is that the rain had stopped so at least we arrived dry,
beef madras for me, 'Cheers!'
and a Thia dish for Diana, both excellent, then home for a few zzzz's, must keep up the family tradition! a quick play with the stamps and we were set for the evening,
I guess pretty much everyone will have seen some part of The Shining, it was featured on one of the Simpson episodes we watched a few days ago, which is why I thought of watching it again, for anyone that has not seen the film a man, his son and wife become the winter caretakers of an isolated hotel where Danny, the son, sees disturbing visions of the hotel's past using a telepathic gift known as "The Shining", the father, Jack Torrance, is underway in a writing project when he slowly slips into insanity as a result of cabin fever and former guests of the hotel's ghosts, although named 'The Overlook' in the book and film the hotel is actually called The Stanley Hotel, no not after me, I was not around in 1909! but Stanley of Stanley's Steamers was, in 1903 he purchased 160 acres and began to build, the hotel open in 1909, strangely enough the original version of this film was poorly received in the States so the director cut 24 minuets from it's length before releasing it in Europe, cutting totally the efforts of two actors although their names still appear in the credits,
then to an old favorite, The Third Man, an out of work pulp fiction novelist, Holly Martins, arrives in a post war Vienna (this is a great site for tracking down locations where the movie was shot in Vienna), divided into sectors by the victorious allies, and where a shortage of supplies has lead to a flourishing black market. He arrives at the invitation of an ex-school friend, Harry Lime, who has offered him a job, only to discover that Lime has recently died in a peculiar traffic accident, then the chase for truth begins, strangely enough the behind the scenes intrigue could almost be made into a film, like one of the most memorable lines in the film by Harry Lime (Orson Wlles) 'in Italy for thirty years under the Borgias they had warfare, terror, murder, bloodshed—but they produced Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, and the Renaissance, in Switzerland they had brotherly love, 500 years of democracy and peace, and what did that produce? the cuckoo clock,' all of this was not in the book, Orsen just made it up as he finished the scene, also the Swiss pointed out at the time they did not invent the cuckoo clock, another little known fact is that the author (Henry) Graham Greene based Harry Lime on a real life friend who he worked for in MI6, the traitor Kim Philby who he stayed friends with after his defection, also unlike The Shinning that had 24 minuets cut from it for European audiences the same happened to The Third Man but the other way around, 11 minuets was cut from the version released in America, it appears that American audiences at the time had to be protected from an actor playing an American drunkard, Joseph Cotten playing the part of Holly Martins, another little snippet, the grave that was dug up in the film was not a grave but it is now a real grave of a person named GrĂ¼n well translated into English it is Green, the name of the author, what are the chances? after all of that we were off to bed!

Do Not Mess With Fish 129,

and you thought fish were fun! the fish pedicure craze is now sweeping Great Britain, Experts are worried that the latest beauty craze – offered in scores of salons – could spread infection and disease and a major investigation is under way, very popular out here I first featured them with a full run down in October 2008, mentioning the good that can be done by the fish, but it has taken until now to make it's way to the UK, the strange thing is where these fish naturally occur people are encouraged to visit the hot springs, Dr. M. Ali Akpinar and Dr. Atilla Yanikoglu, Department of Internal Medicine, Faculty of Medicine and Department of Biology of Cumhuriyet University both noted the benefits that patients received from these fish, but I guess the experts in the UK did not read their paper or our blog!

Why The £250bn Wind Power Industry Could Be The Greatest Scam Of Our Age - And Here Are The Three 'Lies' That Prove It.

no the above was not written by me! but I have believed it for as long as I can remember, wind farms will never produce what they claim, also they will never be anything more than a money maker for the owners, what other industry gets a public subsidy equivalent to 100 or even 200 per cent of the value of what it produces? this is why so many people are now realising that the wind bonanza — almost entirely dominated in Britain by French, German, Spanish and other foreign-owned firms — is one of the greatest scams of our age, to keep our homes warm we were having to import vast amounts of power from nuclear reactors in France, wind turbines are so expensive that Holland recently became the first country in Europe to abandon its EU renewable energy target, announcing that it is to slash its annual subsidy by billions of euros,

first lie, is the pretence that turbines are anything other than ludicrously inefficient, the most glaring dishonesty peddled by the wind industry — and echoed by gullible politicians — is vastly to exaggerate the output of turbines, as they increase in number (the Government wants to see 10,000 more in the next few years) it will, quite farcically, become necessary to build a dozen or more gas-fired power stations, running all the time and emitting CO2, simply to provide instant back-up for when the wind drops, (the people that bang on about wind farms have yet to realise there are windless days, so where do they think the electricity will come from?),

the second great lie about wind power is the pretence that it is not a preposterously expensive way to produce electricity, no one would dream of building wind turbines unless they were guaranteed a huge government subsidy, this comes in the form of the Renewables Obligation Certificate subsidy scheme, paid for through household bills, whereby owners of wind turbines earn an additional £49 for every 'megawatt hour' they produce, and twice that sum for offshore turbines, when a Swedish firm recently opened what is now the world's largest offshore windfarm off the coast of Kent, (notice how gullible we are? the world's largest, no other country would fall for it!), at a cost of £800million, we were told that its 'capacity' was 300 megawatts, enough to provide 'green' power for tens of thousands of homes, what we were not told was that its actual output will average only a mere 80 megawatts, a tenth of that supplied by a gas-fired power station — for which we will all be paying a subsidy of £60million a year, or £1.5billion over the 25-year lifespan of the turbines, money to burn, to appease the tree huggers and greenies I guess is another way of looking at it,

the third great lie of the wind propagandists is that this industry is somehow making a vital contribution to 'saving the planet' by cutting our emissions of CO2, even if you believe that curbing our use of fossil fuels could change the Earth's climate, the CO2 reduction achieved by wind turbines is so insignificant that one large windfarm saves considerably less in a year than is given off over the same period by a single jumbo jet flying daily between Britain and America, then, of course, the construction of the turbines generates enormous CO2 emissions as a result of the mining and smelting of the metals used, the carbon-intensive cement needed for their huge concrete foundations, the building of miles of road often needed to move them to the site, and the releasing of immense quantities of CO2 locked up in the peat bogs where many turbines are built, when you consider, too, those gas-fired power stations wastefully running 24 hours a day just to provide back-up for the intermittency of the wind, any savings will vanish altogether, I have to admit I have reproduced extensively from the article by Christopher Booker, we seem to agree on many issues like this, at last some one else is seeing the expensive truth and is a in a position to bring it to the attention of others, I just hope some one in power will follow Holland's lead.

Sunday, 27 February 2011

I Normally Wake Up Just Before 08.00 Every Day,

but this morning I was up well before that, Pattaya was the epicenter of a huge thunderstorm, by 11.00 in the morning the rain was still falling, the clouds still looking menacing over head, we had planned to go to the weekend plant market to buy some soil, but it looked like it was not on the cards today,
then at about midday the rain stopped and we had a few brief moments of sunshine so off we went, but first I took a picture of Diana's sunflowers still growing but a few caterpillars are having a feast of the leaves,
the market we were going to is on the Sumkivitt highway, next to Mini Siam,
and almost opposite the Bangkok Pattaya hospital,
you can park on the road, but we elected to park inside, there is plenty of space,
as soon as you stop there are as you would expect plants every where,
in the foreground one of Diana's favorite plants, Bougainvillea,
of course lots of orchids, these 50 baht each or 5 for 200 baht,
it looks dry, but with the recent rain it was a bit muddy underfoot,
the variety of plants was staggering, especially when you consider it is just a temporary market,
lots of figures for the miniature garden, it is difficult to see the scale of these but the mushrooms in the bottom right are about half an inch across,
we bought some more fertiliser, there are lots of different mixes, but we have found that 16-16-16 seems to work the best, the numbers refer to the amount of nitrogen, phosphorus, & potassium in the mix,
I have always liked these trees when they become established,
I am not sure what they are called, but they have the most beautiful flowers, like these red ones,
or these yellow/white/pale pink,
another new plant for me,
it just sort of hangs, but has these strange fruits/seeds on the lower stems,
they almost look unreal,
now these I know are native orchids, no breeder has made them look this way, this is how they are,
we have looked at lots of small plants but trees are here as well,
not to mention many different types of palm trees,
some one has spent an age looking after these,
the cut off leaves on the trunk almost a work of art in it's self,
another one I know, a passion fruit,
it has a really strange looking flower,
garden ornaments, no gnomes, that seems to be a European thing, but lots of animals,
and flamingos,
there was a super abundance of water lilies too,
if only we had enough garden to make a fish pond,
another orchid stall,
but unlike the yellow ones we saw earlier these have been breed over several years by orchid breeders,
taking the best flowers of some and mixing with the hardness of others,
then joy of joys, a fish stall,
it seems strange seeing fish for sale in an open market, one of the many things out here that is banned by our European masters in the UK,
here is another strange one for me, a type of orchid I had not seen before,
it has huge numbers of 'micro flowers' on the flower stems, each flower just a few millimeters across,
next on our walk was a stall selling Hibiscus,
but these had huge flowers,
both the red and the yellow flowers about 5 inches across,
more garden ornaments, this time plant pot holders, I kept looking at the one in the middle, he reminded me so much of one of the creatures in the film Evolution,
then to what we came for,some bags of soil for the front flower bed, they were quiet heavy, having picked one up I thought two would be safe, four foolhardy,
but as they were 20 baht each or 6 for 100 baht the six it was then,
after wobberling our way home Diana started to put the new soil out,
meanwhile I carried on moving and adding some of the stamps I had purchased over the last few months,
like these, given as samples in the 1934 International Air Post Exhibition,
I had to go out and see how Diana was getting on, it is all starting to look nice,
Miss Greenfingers,
whilst outside I remembered the tyres on the bike were a bit flat,
luckerly only at the bottom of the tyre! the foot pump had now started to behave itself, a bit of tape round the pressure gauge saw to that,
then back to the stamps,
on the right of the stamp the legend 'printed on paper supplied by Samuel Jones & Co Ltd London'
on the left the legend 'engraved and printed on steel', under the border of the stamp at the bottom 'Institut de Gravure - Paris' so I wonder was the engraver French and the stamps printed in the UK? I do not surpose I will ever know,
back to the stamps,
then out on the town,
Walking Street was still crowded with tourists, but on the way in the police had nearly stopped the flow of traffic on Second Road with motorbikes that had been pulled over and parked in the street, not to mention the huge crowd of tourists who had hired the bikes to get around town, I know people should not break the law, but you can bet everyone of these tourists, when they return home will remember the 400 baht fine and having to que in the police station to pay it and then pay another 200 baht parking fee when they pick up the bike the following morning from the pound rather than the nice times they had here,
but hey less tourists means it is easier to get around town, that must be the plan!
the bar of our choice, Champions,
lots of pretty signs, but I have mentioned this before, if you are thinking of having a tattoo, do you really want to go to a tattoo parlour called 'House of Pain'? into Champions where we meet up with Juu, Brian and Sa, also Slim Jim called in to say Hi, then home feet up,
for another New Tricks, but it all went a bit pear shaped, I closed my eyes for a second and fell asleep! so with that we were off to bed.