Nothing they’ve said
Will bring back the dead
But she’s inside my mind
She’s still loving and kind
Nothing they’ve said
Will bring back the dead
But she’s inside my mind
She’s still loving and kind
Hugh Paxton’s Blog found the school burning by Islamic insurgents in Thailand’s deep south foul. The arsonists have been caught. They are about to reap the whirl wind. And if they are found dead before trial then they will be lucky little terrorists. If nobody kills them it’s a very long time, a very long time, in jail. One of the children wasn’t complaining. She was missing her school. Her kit. Her books. Her friends. Her sense of stability. Her safety.
The Islamic militants have torn that away from her.
They’ve smashed her school. She’s small. Her world isn’t something she can trust.
Several people tried to kill me when I was small and it has shaped my perceptions of Islamic militants. I hate them.
The six suspects are in custody. The schools will be restored.
The Islamists? Whether they are beaten to death tonight (while you read this) or are bloody lucky and make it to court, their lives are over. Why burn schools you fools!
Hugh Paxton’s Blog is delighted to see TheGirl is still running strong. Great ideas here from her for dates! Apart from the foreign movie idea. It might work for some, maybe for many, but as soon as I see something that hasn’t been made with people speaking English I suffer from narcolepsy and start snoring and dropping popcorn.
It annoys the hell out of my wife.
If I see a Bollywood movie sleep is impossible. Immediate flight is the only option. Before the singing and dancing starts.
That makes my first date last three to four seconds. A Thai movie only sustains my interest if I am on a long distance bus and have no opportunity for escape. But if your idea for a first date is a flight to Thailand followed by twelve hours, two breakdowns, a crash, a police drug bust AND a movie involving stomach sucking ghosts hopping about wrapped in cling film then your first date is likely to be your last.
But heck, first dates for me are a thing of the past. I’ve been married for 23 years. I used to have first dates and they were generally catastrophic if I thought too much about them.
TheGirl is right on the button. Sitting in a cinema or fumbling with menus with a snooty waiter is not the way to go. Beer oh yes indeed!! Stargazing (not an option in Beijing – they can’t even see their marathon due to smog, one reporter described as so thick you could taste it – find a desert, I strongly suggest the Namibian version, I have never seen so many stars and they seemed so close), museums! I simply love museums!
If you are having a first date, or a second or any sort TheGirl’s ideas are sound.
Volunteering for wildlife conservation is my favourite suggestion but a wild ride on a motorbike works, too! Then beer!
Her thinking is refreshing. That’s what a date should be!
PS This Blog promised to send TheGirl a Jim Thompson silk scarf. This wasn’t a first date thing at all. I’m married. It was a sort of thank you gesture for her posts and an encouragement to continue. The shop when I turned up had been demolished. Most of the building had been demolished. A bit Twilight Zone. My daughter and I spent about an hour trying to find an exit. They’d gone. Even the entrance we’d entered! How could so much vanish so quickly. I believe that most of those shops have just reappeared. I’m off now to see if this true. TheGirl! Rest assured you will have some silk before this year is over and earlier if possible. Unless Annabel and I disappear in the Emporium and are never seen again. Might happen. This is Bangkok!
Over to TheGirl! And dating suggestions!
From: TheReporterandTheGirlMINUSTheSuperMan! [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
Sent: Monday, October 20, 2014 7:18 AM
Subject: [New post] Six Fresh Alternatives to Boring First Dates
|TheGirl posted: "You’re not alone, 102 million people were unmarried in 2011, according to the United States Census. This group also made up 44.1 percent of all U.S. residents who were ages 18 and older. Further, the dating industry revenue topples $2 billion a year with "
Hugh Paxton’s Blog again applauds Anilbalan for his timely post. October is upon us, Halloween looms. And Ray Bradbury did Halloween better than many. I had no idea he’d died. Perhaps he’ll come floating past my window like a wisp of cackling mist. Probably not!
But this Hugh Paxton Blog will be getting into the spirit of the event and will be vserving up a rather strange supernatural episode that has the virtue of being just over the shrine pond and two minutes walk away from my house.
I heard the stories last night. I’d heard some before, but the new lot had a disturbing validity. They were told by people present at the time of the child murders and suicide of the murdering father or mother.
What impressed me was the way the stories came from different directions and conspired to make a rather coherent picture. I don’t wish to be boring, but I don’t believe in ghosts. I do, however, love a good ghost story. Thai Village has a very good ghost story to tell and I will tell it.
Everybody else here (even lawyers, air hostesses and piano teachers!) do believe in ghosts. They say they’ve seen or heard them. And the “ghost house” is a property most difficult to rent. There’s singing. Apparently. And would-be tenants flip their wits and run away.
I’ll do the story tomorrow.
Cheers from a ghost free house in Bangkok! Over to Anilbalan and The October Country!
From: Ghost Cities [mailto:email@example.com]
Sent: Sunday, October 19, 2014 8:01 AM
Subject: [New post] The October Country
|anilbalan posted: "With Halloween almost upon us, I thought that a post on the late Ray Bradbury – that October Dreamer extraordinaire – was timely. After all, the season of thrills and chills never had a greater fan, or finer exponent of the Halloween-themed short story, t"
Hugh Paxton’s Blog has an underserved reputation for rescuing wild animals. People have brought me injured creatures and they have in some cases made it back but when it comes to birds I have very little to be proud of. The young ones hang on for some time then die despite my best efforts.
Chang brought me a hawk that had decided to slam into the eight or nine floor window of Bangkok Hospital, break its leg, stun itself and tumble. The hawk ended up here in a kangaroo rat cage.
From: Hugh Paxton [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
Sent: Sunday, October 19, 2014 11:16 PM
Our hawk flew – at high speed – straight out of our kangaroo rat cage and straight into the car. Some hawks don’t seem to learn!
The kangaroo rat was pleased to see it go. There’d been quite a lot of pecking action. We searched today to see if it had broken its other leg but the bird had flown which was a blessing. If it hadn’t, its pecking would not have availed it. There was a peck-proof predator on the prowl.
I shall explain!
This morning I heard Buggly the beagle making its alarm calls. These differ from the foul hound’s customary irritating and brainless yaps and barks.
Alarm in this case was justly deserved. There was a HUGE monitor lizard inspecting our front garden with special focus on Buggly and the kangaroo rat. The cat, which after its recent skirmish with the pit viper, fancies itself as the valiant protector of Number 57, Thai Village, rushed to Buggly’s aid and I thought “You are one seriously stupid cat! It’s nearly eight feet long! Well, perhaps six feet! But this is not going to be a contest.”
It was a dilemma! What I wanted was a photo. And the cat to show a scrap of common sense. And the monitor to stay on our property. I also wanted my beloved daughter, Annabel, to see it.
I played this one wrong.
I should have let the monitor kill the cat and the pestilential dog and while that was going on should have got my camera and roused Annabel from her stupor. Instead I started yelling “Annabel! Monitor! Treats you come here! In! Leave off! Stand down!”
The monitor gave me a hard stare and then decided it had eaten enough of my goldfish and didn’t need a cat, rat or cowardly dog for dessert and a yelling Hugh. It ignored my “I’m not yelling at you! You stupid lizard! I’m yelling at my cat! Don’t go! I’ve got a rabbit, it’s fat and juicy!” It cleared off, destination shrine pond island.
Hope all’s well with you dear readers! And I’m sorry I can’t supply you with a photo of our monitor. But I’ve still got some goldfish left. And a cat. And a rat. And a dog. And a rabbit. He’ll be back!
Everything fairly fine here. My esteemed wife Midori off to Jakarta at 5 AM tomorrow. The new president is being inaugurated so the roads to her hotel are closed for military parades and one of her conferences has being cancelled for security reasons. She’ll find a way around this nationally important inconvenience.
I’m organizing Halloween festivities for what remains of Thai Village then it’s HK for four nights with Quentin (who has just recovered his ship captured by pirates off Viet Nam – his ships are always being captured by pirates or sinking or crashing into New Orleans which makes life for a ship insurance man interesting but not bland), Glenda and their daughter. I want Annabel to see the Peak, Star ferry, the harbor, the boats, the ships (particularly if they are being attacked by pirates, and if Quentin and the West of England company are involved is quite probable!) markets (and we’ll probably end up sitting in a revolving tea cup in Disneyland). Midi’s with us for just one night in Hongkers then its Mongolia for her and camel hair socks. I believe the temperatures will be brisk and very un-Bangkok!
Hugh Paxton’s Blog is thankful to Johan for sharing these birds of paradise with us all. He did this while enduring a vegetarian meal in Bangkok. Johan is from South Africa. It is a fine and aspiring nation and grows lots of vegetables. But what a full blooded South African wants on his plate or on his braai is not a lettuce leaf but a kudu steak or the best slice of beef fillet grilled to perfection and about two inches thick. And a yard long.
I relish his anguish! A couple of weeks ago our paths crossed. My wife was dragging me away to a vegetarian restaurant, Johan asked me where I was going and I said I am going to a healthy vegetarian restaurant and I asked Johan where he was going and what his plans were. “To cook meat!” There was an evil glint in his eye and I told him diplomatically that he was an utter bastard!
Karmic backlash! Johan gets to meet the lettuce!
My wife hauls him into a vegetarian restaurant and he can’t refuse. It’s a business lunch. While he is sniffing the odours of crisping pork from the street stalls, the sizzle of beef, the subtle wafts of double cooked duck with really nice crunchy skins and sauces, or, that old favourite, steamed chicken with many options when it comes to condiments, I’m here safe in my nest. Having a big fat English bacon sandwich.
Johan while staring at his lettuce decided to avoid conversation with the monsters who had engineered this appalling meal and came up with birds of paradise.
Hugh Paxton’s Blog suggests you slice a lettuce, add a cucumber, sit back and relax. Or nip out and grab a burger. Then sit back and relax.
It is quite a show! They really are not called Birds of Paradise for nothing. Although sometimes I think they look a bit more silly than Lady Gaga.
To: Hugh Paxton
Subject: FW: It’s Here! Full Birds-of-Paradise Website Launches Today
Here the website re Birds of Paradise I was referring to while eating vegetables. Johan
Get up close to some of the most beautiful animals on earth
Red Bird-of-Paradise by Tim Laman
Our Birds-of-Paradise Project website is launching today. As co-creator of the project, I’d like to invite you to take a special first look. Because you signed up for project notifications, we’re sending you the link before the site becomes widely available to the public.
The site takes you inside the world of the birds-of-paradise to show you how these spectacular birds create their complex displays. Using 35 high-definition videos, plus animations, slideshows, and interactive features, we bring you vivid, up-close examples accompanied by commentary from Tim Laman and me. You’ll be able to see and understand what’s going on at a level of detail that’s unprecedented for any group of animals—it’s almost like going into the forests of New Guinea yourself. You’ll also find sections of the site that explain the hidden facets of evolution and geography that led to the appearance of so many extraordinary species, plus a section that shows what it took for Tim and me, working with local New Guineans, to get the exclusive footage you see on the site.
Here’s some of what the site contains:
- 35 videos and 2.5 hours of running time
- A breakdown of the main parts of a male’s display: sounds, color, unique feathers, shape-shifting poses, and dance steps
- The crucial role of the females in choosing their mates
- Key concepts of evolution illustrated and explained in simple terms
- Secrets and techniques of how we captured such detailed footage
- A gallery of extraordinary sounds
- Interactive features to walk you through the birds’ diversity, how they get their colors, and why they evolved in New Guinea’s isolated mountains and islands
Visit www.birdsofparadiseproject.org to get up close with some of the most fantastically evolved animals in the world—and please reply to this email if you have any comments about the site or how it works. These are the birds that have captivated Tim Laman and me for more than eight years now as we’ve worked on the Birds-of-Paradise Project. I hope you enjoy them.
Cornell Lab of Ornithology
Co-Creator, Birds-of-Paradise Project
P.S. It’s a big site—here are a few of my favorite pages you might want to start with:
The Cornell Lab of Ornithology is a membership institution dedicated to interpreting and conserving the earth’s biological diversity through research, education, and citizen science focused on birds. Visit the Cornell Lab’s website at http://www.birds.cornell.edu.
Copyright © 2013 Cornell Lab of Ornithology, All rights reserved.
You are receiving this message because you subscribed on our website or are a member, donor, participant, or contact of the Cornell Lab of Ornithology.
Our mailing address is:
Cornell Lab of Ornithology
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Ithaca, NY 14850
Hugh Paxton’s Blog has just been instructed to go back to bed and rest by by beloved daughter. I wondered why. What nefarious schemes was she plotting? What motives? She explained that I’d got up early to make breakfast – right there! 5 30!
And that I should go and rest. I struggled. I had been planning to give her some homework but this wasn’t it.
What was her scheme?
It was tidying the house! My beloved daughter had decided to tidy the house with the help of Khun Mee and was concerned that if Khun Mee saw me in a room she would not wish to disturb me. And would avoid the room.
Not remotely sensible but I decided I didn’t give a damn! The idea of going back to bed was an offer I simply couldn’t refuse! I’m planning to stay there for as long as possible. They can clean every room in the house. Thoroughly. The roof needs a scrubbing! Just stay out of my bedroom! I am simply following orders!And sometimes I get lucky! Today’s my day! Cheers from Bangkok! Hugh
Cheers! Hugh from Bangkok
Hugh Paxton’s Blog, like most of the country saw a front page Bangkok Post image of a middle aged woman burning like a bonfire in front of a government office. She had problems with loans and repayments and arrived with her complaints and her anxious nature, armed with a knife and fully furnished with a container of kerosene and a lighter.
The photo is rather appalling. There’s a woman on fire, sheets of flame rising above her head.
This protest has resulted in an angry debate. While this woman was clearly ablaze there were some gormless office workers staring at the event. They have inspired wide spread hatred for their inactivity. But, in their defence, they weren’t expecting this sort of thing. And they probably were frightened or simply lost.
Chang, as usual, had strong opinions. “She’s stupid!”
“And they are stupid! Look at them! Stupid! They should help! They must help!”
Annabel had her own proposal. “Throw her into the canal! I would throw her into a klong!”
Personally I’d go for a fire extinguisher.
The bottom line according to Hugh Paxton is that suddenly being confronted with a woman on fire is a strange, unanticipated event but if a disturbed woman arrives with kerosene and a lighter, I’d suggest taking her lighter away and punching her with severity and rendering her incapable. Then confiscate anything inflammable.
I think the real villains of this ghastly event are the photographers. One team set up a tripod. The photo in the Post clearly shows some sociopath with camera and tripod busy with his coup while the woman candles away.
There is no record that the Bangkok Post photographer helped either.
The Junta Prime Minister has ordered everybody to help this chargrilled and doomed protester. But that’s fascists for you. Basically a mixed bag. Sometimes hard, sometimes kind. Intolerant yet moral.
Loan sharks, charging 20 percent interest a day to those desperate or stupid enough to require or seek their services will be in for a difficult time. The army is after them.
It is a shame that a woman has to set herself on fire to raise the issue.
Strange, cruel and sad world upon occasion.
Hugh Paxton’s Blog suggests that this is of interest to people living in Tokyo. The bowling is erratic (in my case), the company first rate, the mountains first class! A good crowd! And I spent quite a long time stopping various villainous companies from removing mount Kompira. They wanted to flatten it. Break it apart. Haul the sad remnants away.
They lost the struggle. People power! The mountain is well worth a look. Half way up the stairs to the shrine you will see a parade of thin wooden planks. These have been erected and decorated by the local Shinto priest. One of them says thank you to the Paxtons for helping save the mountain in calligraphy. I think that’s touching! Can’t read it. But touching!
Hugh Paxton’s Blog stands in awe of Bruce Kekule! He keeps on going and keeps on getting some serious results!
I imagine that he has quite a few leeches attached to his bollocks and a lot of vicious ticks in his ears. And on his bollocks. But Kekule makes it through! And with astounding results! Bruce is my kind of man!
Although I do find him a bit irritating. He’s successful! I’ve never seen a tapir or a tiger in Thailand! Not a hint of either! He keeps photographing them! And he does it very well!
Enough of my sour grapes! Bruce is a treasure! And a true crusader for biodiversity conservation and a recorder of our natural treasures here in Thailand. These are smashing photos!