Archive for June, 2011

Thai Days: Elections on Sunday – some advice to avoid confusion and arrest And try to avoid being trans sexual, trans female

June 30, 2011

One (a big one)  – you won’t be able to buy alcohol on Sunday. I’m sure exceptions will be made here and there (and everywhere else) but in reuptable restaurants your tipple will be restricted  to mineral water and mango juice.

Two – lay off the email social networking stuff. That’s banned on Sunday, too. You can gossip away and post pictures of your darling daughter but you can’t get political. If you try it you risk arrest. Your neighbours have been advised to keep an eye on you. Can’t see this pro-democracy plan working any more than the Prohibition plan.

Three – if you are sexually independent of generally accepted rules and regs and are a man who is deep down a woman you are in for trucks of red tape.

The Trans-Female Association of Thailand yesterday lodged a complaint. Their id cards state they are male. But theyarrive dressed as a woman. They then behave like women. And the guy behind the desk is non-plussed.

The Assocation has had enough of this!

“The picture may show a woman but it says ‘mister’ on the card. Or it may show a teenage boy and the person now looks like a woman” it explained.

Yeah, fair enough.

The Aassociation went on to stress that government had been slow to accept them and that society had a tendency to group homosexuals, trans-gender groups and transexuals as one group.

“When each group has its own issues.”

“The government says if  they change our title and sex it s is going to make society confused.” 

For once, I think governmemt has a point. If I was a clerk registering voters and a woman in an ostentatious frisky dress arrived with a teenage boys passport and a new name I’d say something along the lines of “flounce off maam. Voter fraud scandals could precipitate a coup and a sniper fight plus riots. Be as transsexual as you want but not right now.”

Brigitte’ s Pick: Repeat after me….. I WILL NEVER COMPLAIN ABOUT MY JOB EVER AGAIN!!!!!

June 30, 2011

Repeat after me….. I WILL NEVER COMPLAIN ABOUT MY JOB EVER AGAIN!!!!!


I will never complain about my job ever again


I will never complain about my job ever again


I will never complain about my job ever again


I will never complain about my job ever again


I will never complain about my job ever again

I will never complain about my job ever again

I will never complain about my job ever again

I will never complain about my job ever again

I will never complain about my job ever again

<http://jhb-rocketseed2.problemsolved.co.za/rs/Ux1CeU>

Homunculus

June 30, 2011

 

The short film above and the longer music video below were produced as promotional materials for my horror novel Homunculus, by my brother Charles.

Interested readers may click on the image in the sidebar to get the novel from Amazon.com

 

Thai Days: A tale of two poachers

June 30, 2011

Poacher number one:

Hmong hilltribe man, Nai Sae Tao, has just been arrested and charged with poisoning a female tiger and her two cubs in March. Tao asked his partner in crime, Hoang Van Hien, to take a photo of him sitting in triumph on the dead female. Dumb. Seriously dumb. But helpful for the prosecution.

The poachers sold the carcasses for 30,000 Baht (roughly $10,000) but have yet to identify the purchaser who police speculate is a member of a trafficking ring using Thailand as a source, and Laos and Vietnam as conduits for final delivery to China.  There are aproximately 100 tigers left in Thailand’s Huai Kha Khaeng and Thung Yai Naresuan wildlife sanctuaries where the dead tigers used to live. Penalties for poaching are light – a maximum of four years.

NOTE: July 22nd will see the launch of a new initiative sponsored by USAID with partners including Interpol, ASEAN WEN, National Geographic, FREELAND foundation and others. The initiative is called ARREST (Asia’s Regional Response to Endangered Species Trafficking). Snappy title! I’ll attend the launch and let you know what’s what.

Back to our poachers!

A further three poachers, believed to be part of Nai’s gang, escaped after a clash with rangers who found them in possession of a wild boar, weapons and illegally cut eaglewood (not quite sure what that is).

Hugh Paxton’s Blog is pleased to describe a happier Thai wildlife poaching story courtesy of the Freeland Foundation.

“From the age of 15 and for the next 38 years, Nuan Muangchan, and her family survived on earnings from illegal poaching. She sold edangered aloe wood and wildlife taken from Khao Yai national park.

Poaching was dangerous work and constantly took Nuan away from her family.

Although she was aware of her family’s distress and the risk of being jailed, with very few job options – all paying too little to support her family – she was helpless to change her situation.

In 2004, life as she knew it, changed.

Nuan joined a FREELAND alternative livelihood programme, ‘Surviving Together’, to farm mushrooms. Since beginning this sustainable, safe, and legal work, and with a steady income, she has never felt the need to return to the park to poach. Nurturing her mushrooms has yielded success after success. Nuan has re-invested profits to build new mushroom farms and increase her production. She now makes mushroom packs to sell to other villagers who have developed an interest in organic farming after seeing her success.

Following an accident, Nuan was able to pay for her daughter’s medical care. She can now also afford to send her grandchildren to school, which would have been impossible on the unpredictable earnings from poaching.

Nuan is proud of her achievements and regularly shares her ideas with other villagers to improve their mushroom business. Her future plan is to farm the slower yielding shitake mushroom, which fetches a much higher price on the market.

Contributing positively to her village, Nuan is now living in harmony with the forest.”

FREELAND contact details: info@freeland.org  and www.freeland.org  USA office: 500 Montgommery St, Suite 400, Alexandria, VA, USA 22314  Bangkok office: 591 UBC Building, 10th floor, Room 100 (you can’t miss it – it’s right next to a Japanese kumon classroom and there are bored looking Japanese Dads hanging around in the corridor), Soi Sukhumvit 33, Sukhumvit Rd, Wattana, Bangkok 10110

Mongolia: The Orkhon River Treasure

June 30, 2011

My wife, Midori, is involved in mobilising resources to manage Mongolia’s Orkhon River national park, once the seat of Genghis Khan’s vast empire. She has recently returned from a field trip and her account has been posted on the Global Environment Facility’s website.  Worth a read! 

website  http://www.thegef.org/gef/node/4611 .

Oh Gawd! Homunculus Two! Second Hand Soldiers for Sale!

June 29, 2011

Hello! And welcome to the start of more Homunculus nonsense and anarchy! You have taken time to visit Hugh Paxton blog and as a reward here is the first chapter of the next Homunculus novel. Over eighteens only.

HOMUNCULUS TWO: SECOND HAND SOLDIERS FOR SALE! 

PART ONE:  JACK’S BACK

CHAPTER ONE: CHUMP ONE.

The door bell chimed. Father Jack, still wearing the robes of a Catholic priest which he was not, (but it had become a habit) cracked his knuckles and suppressed a vulpine smile as he marched down the dimly illuminated hall to greet his caller.

The smell of freshly ground and recently brewed coffee was gently suffusing the air. An enticing whiff.

And a little more than that. A gas attack.

Jack, who had conducted lengthy experiments on nasal stimulation and its effects on the human brain (with a view to enhancing the tracking potential of hunter killer Homunculi) had reached the conclusion that simply smelling coffee put a person at ease and invoked feelings of warmth and a state of immediate (un-noticed) vulnerability.   

Release a few fumes in the right context and you had on your hands a nifty little trick, he’d decided. Then, after his experiments, he’d realized the coffee technique  was probably already employed by people who sold houses with rising damp to unsuspecting first time buyers.

Jack had decided to capture an Estate Agent with experience and tweeze out a few more home truths. He hadn’t got round to that yet. But in the house sales department he reckoned he wasn’t doing too badly.    

Jack slicked back his tousled red hair. It didn’t help. His hair bounced back. It re-tousled itself as it always did. He’d been born with a triple crown and no amount of oil, cream or alchemy kept it in order.

Che Sera. Whatever shall be shall be! Coffee smells. A little chocolate chunk beside the cup. A comfy chair. A crackling fire. Then a brandy or two. 

Jack suddenly noticed a blood stain on the wall.

“Bugger!” said Jack. He adjusted a light. The stain was now virtually unnoticeable. He shifted a small table. The stain was now concealed. He rearranged the freshly snipped roses on the table.    

The smile was back. He modified it slightly with the help of a leaded-glass mirror and a few grimaces and experiments. It became less of a leer.

But the leer was still there. Just below the surface.

He opened the door. 

“Mr. Livingstone I presume?”

Mr. Livingstone (Chump One) chuckled good-naturedly. A fat man, but tall, he was in his early thirties and had a pipe tucked into the top pocket of his Tweed jacket. 

“Cup of tea? Glass of brandy?” suggested Father Jack. “Come on in sir, come on in. A brisk day. Very brisk.”

“A tad nippy,” agreed Mr. Livingstone in a plummy Home Counties accent. “And I’ll take you up on that offer of a snifter. These woods of yours, a trifle damp, what?”

“It’s the tarn – Black Tarn it’s called. It gives off mists and fumes. But you should see it on a sunny day. The way it gleams and twinkles. It is a delight and seduction to the eye! And the coarse fishing is to be recommended. Pike, tench, rudd, eels in season… And there’s a carp pond behind the property.”  

“You have me hooked already,” laughed Mr. Livingstone.

That I have, you fat bastard, thought Father Jack.  

“Come on inside,” said Father Jack. “I’ve a lot to show you.” And he escorted Mr. Livingstone through the portal.

“Well,” said Livingstone half an hour later. A fire was toasting his feet, a well stuffed chair supporting his bulk. Soft cushions were behind his back. Livingstone was a man at ease. 

“Well, well, well. I’ll tell you straight and man to man I like the property, sir. I like it, damn me if I don’t. It has character, sir. Yes, I will, perhaps one more. But not too much. I’ve a bit of a drive ahead of me back toBeaconsfield.”

Jack refilled the man’s glass.

“And you say that the estate comes intact? With all furnishings? Furniture?”

“What you see is what you’ll get. On my word you may rely.”

“I like that.”

 “There may be surprises, too.”

Livingstone frowned.

“I’m not much of a fellow for surprises. Bit of a bluff sort of cove my wife says. Call a spade a spade, that’s me. I’d have to have the surveyors in before I could make a decision. I hope you understand. Don’t want dry rot or damp. Old property like this. Needs a thorough medical before changing hands, what?  Don’t want to find I’ve bought a wailing woman in the West Wing or rotting shingles on the roof.” 

Livingstone laughed.

Jack laughed, too. “Wailing women in the West Wing! Hah! That’s ripe! That’s rich!”

Jack stopped laughing and assumed a serious expression. “No ghosts here, Mr. Livingstone. And the roof is sound.”

“Of course it is. Of course it is. No hard feelings, what? Just need to set my mind at rest. Hope you understand.”

“I understand you,” said Father Jack. 

150 percent, you devious shite, thought Father Jack.

But was Livingstone too fat? Did he need that sort of bulk? The brain was working well. Very convincing. Livingstone was good. But the fatness of the man hinted at potential medical problems. The heart might be unusable and have to go. And the brain? Was it too good?

“So you’re heading out for theAntipodes?” enquired Livingstone in an off-hand fashion. For the second time.

“Indeed I am. An uncle has left me a sheep station near the Atherton Tablelands. I’ve always had an interest inAustralia, particularly the north east Tropics. And I believe that at my time of life change can be nothing but beneficial.”

“Very much so. Very much so. And you leave next week, you say?”

“Simply a recce. I wish to inspect the station, speak to the foreman, and that sort of thing.”

“Quite. And you will be leaving this property unguarded in your absence? Is that entirely wise?”

“My dear Mr. Livingstone, you may have it on my good assurance that crime in this neck of the woods has never been an issue of concern. Indeed I don’t think that I have locked door or window in the last ten years of my residence. And I don’t hold with these new fangled alarms.”

Mr. Livingstone’s expression remained doubtful.

“But a place like this, furnished with so many objects of artistic interest and value…if I do decide to purchase the property intact…I would hate to see an incidence of burglary in your absence and before we could complete the transaction to our mutual satisfaction. No matter how remote the chance might seem to you.”

“Rest assured, Mr. Livingstone. The property and all its contents are safe.”

Father Jack paused as if in thought.

“Your caution and concern might be reduced,” he said and snapped his fingers. Suddenly inspired. “I have had an idea. Why don’t I leave you the keys?”

“No,” said Mr. Livingstone in alarm. “I could not be held responsible! My dear fellow! You barely know me!” 

“Perhaps you are right,” Jack back tracked. “I wouldn’t wish to impose.”

“No, my dear sir. You keep the keys. But set my heart at ease and do lock up thoroughly.”

“I shall try to remember,” said Father Jack.

“I must be going,” said Mr. Livingstone. “But we shall be seeing each other soon.”

“I look forward to it,” said Father Jack.

Meaning it. Most sincerely.

CHAPTER TWO: The Toy Shop

To be continued!

 

Brigitte’s Pick: The Nine Top Fastest ..

June 27, 2011

9.
Fastest Car in the World
Shelby Super Cars Ultimate Aero (The Bugatti Veyron is faster @ 470KMPH)
412.28 KMPH

8.
Fastest (Land Mammal) Animal in the World
Cheetah
113 KMPH

7.
Fastest Bird in the World
Spine tailed swift
171 KMPH

6.
Fastest Fish in the world
Sailfish
110 KMPH

5.
Fastest Man in the world
Usain Bolt
40-43 KMPH

4.
Fastest Plane in the world
X-43 Aircraft
12144 KMPH

3.
Fastest Train in the World
Shanghai Maglev Train
581 KMPH

2.
Fastest Bike in the world
TomaHawk(Not a Legal Bike)
675 KMPH


…and Number
1.


World’s Fastest Days:

 

Thai Days: Planking warps into Pubpeab

June 26, 2011

It started with planking, but Thais, having tried that, decided to adapt the concept and commenced a new fad – the ‘pubpeab’. It’s along the same lines, but instead of pretending to be dead and stiff as a board (plank), a pubpeab practitioner cuts a traditional Thai seating position before someone in authority like a monk – hands on knees, legs folded decorously, delicate smile.

Of course, the Pubpeaber, like a planker, must perform in a place that is noteworthy for being peculiar, hazardous, or just plain damn silly. The bottom of a swimming pool, beside a tiger, in a crowded Bangkok Skytrain…After his or her job is done a photo is posted on the Internet. Fame, if not fortunes, is the result.

And here’s the thing! A facebook community page called “Pubpiab Thailand” has already garnered close to half a million ‘likes’. The site is in Thai but there is an English language translation. This has only attracted a few hundred ‘likes’. As journalist Andrew Biggs notes, “This is a Thai thing!”

In the Biggs verdict the fad will pass and everyone will resume sitting on their haunches.

The Hugh Paxton blog verdict is more cautious.  In my opinion all it requires is a series of catastrophes and audacious pubpeab shot/locations to fuel the flames and spread the fire. And inspire additional cultural takes on the theme. Bums facing Mecca. Just an idea. Probably a tad controversial. But the seed has been sown.

Krokodil: No smiles with this new drug

June 26, 2011

Hugh Paxton’s Blog is currently writing a new novel, provisionally titled ‘Stolen’. It deals with human, wildlife and narcotics smuggling and the plot and characters inhabit a dark, foetid international underworld.

A lot of research has so far uncovered repulsive behaviour and dreadful cruelties and degradation. At the moment I’m not enjoying writing it at all. But it’s strong. And I’ll finish it.

This last week’s dark discovery was a new-ish drug (four or five years old)  called Krokodil. That’s Russian speak for crocodile. Scientific types know it as desomorphine.

It is a pseudo-heroin manufactured in a lengthy process from ingredients avaialable in shops and relies on un-prescribed headache tablets for its birth .  Russia has Afghanistan as a neighbour and a lot of conscripts became addicted  to opiates during the Soviet occupation. The heroin routes have been partially shot up by Russians since peace prevailed ( and war resumed as is usual in Afghanistan )but Heroin addiction is still a problem in Russia. Maybe two million addicts.

The advantages of Krok are:

1. It’s cheaper than heroin.

2. It’s stronger.

The disadvantages of Krok

1. Your skin rapidly becomes scaly and flakey. You begin to look reptilian.

2. Miss a vein with your needle and you will develop an abcess.

3. You go grey and stink of iodine.

4. The high is low very quickly. You’ll have to do it again in two hours or you’ll begin to feel extremely uncomfortable.

5. You’ll go rotten.  Serious on this one. Flesh and skin just bubble away showing a hint of bone. Flies in Summer. Maggots.   

6. Your life expectancy will be barely a year.

There are a few more disadvantages. But I hope my point is well-made. This is not a drug to tamper with. It’s the worst.

HUGH PAXTON’S BLOG informs you of Krokodil with unease. Most of my readers are mature intelligent and highly unlikely to start going rotten. But bad ideas spread and  and I don’t want to spread bad ideas like this. But after careful thought I thought yes, let’s get Krok  aware. And if any of your kids start rotting and asking for headache medicine and iodine, bust their bedrooms ASAP.

Cheers from Hugh! Let’s make life a little better!  

I’m closing now. Going to give my wife and daughter a kiss! Things go wrong but things can go right! And with my  wife and daughter sleeping safe and warm and loving each other and loving me and hey! There’s a hell out there. B ut there’s also quite a lot of Heaven.

My very best to you all!

hugh

Brigitte’s Pick: Demotivational Posters

June 24, 2011

Thanks, Brigitte. For when you want to be demotivated!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.


%d bloggers like this: