Muay Thai

Went to a Thai Boxing match a few nights ago with a bunch of folks from Singapore. Thai boxing, Muay Thai, is like regular boxing in that the fighters wear gloves. But they also use knees, elbows, and kicks. It can be pretty brutal. Went to one in Bangkok a while back, it was boring compared to this one. We saw a few knockouts, and a dude get his leg jacked up by his opponents kicks. Hard to fight when you can't stand up.

One round of entertainment between rounds was this. Four fighters in the ring, blindfolded, with one referee. So the blindfolded dudes walk around and try to pummel on each other. Occasionally the ref couldn't get out of the way fast enough, so some dude would beat on the ref until he could move. And then the ref would kick the dude in the chest... it was great to see him fight back. Good clean family fun.

The after fight entertainment was a vegas style cabaret show. Weird thing though, the dancers were all "lady boys". They look good, but they are dudes. Entertaining, but disturbing. I should be able to get some pics of the fight and the dancers from a dude that took his camera.



As in constant location. Haven't moved for 15 days. Not gonna move for a while longer. Living on the cheap. Learning Kung Fu. Was gonna learn to meditate, but they wouldn't return an email or answer the phone...... they must've been too busy meditating.

Kung Fu
Been to about 9 classes, finally got punched in the head earlier today... but I got to hit a dude also, so it's cool. My teacher says I need to work on balance, maybe for a week or so. Lots of kicking. Pretty sure I've kicked more in the last week than since I was a baby with my feet kicking in the air while I was helpless on my back. Haven't had to paint any fences yet, but it may yet come. Started learning the single stick today. Pool sticks and broom handles are gonna have all new uses. It is humbling to watch the dudes that have been at this for a while- they are fast. The teacher, Master Jade, doesn't strike fear into your heart at first glance, but he is quicker than lightning, with the balance and agility of a cheetah. I'm pretty sure he could kill anyone I've ever met, if needed.

Speaking of death, I did the most insane thing of my trip over the weekend. Rented a motorcycle. Honda Phantom 500cc Cruiser. Put over a hundred miles on it. This was not a random whim, there was a purpose for this insanity. Even though I took a motorcycle training course back in Houston a few years ago, this was the first time I had a bike on a public road. I figure it is actually safer to cut my teeth on a bike here, rather than back in the states. (a) They are common here, so everyone on the road is on the lookout for bikes. Not so much back home. (b) They often have special bike lanes. (c) Traffic generally moves slower. At 65 mph, I was often the fastest thing on the 4 lane divided highway. Back home at that speed, I would be an 'obstacle'. Anyway, gotta make a 'visa run' this coming weekend. That means leave the country and come back in to get the visa renewed. Standard options are fly or spend 6 hours in a minibus. Flying is expensive and 6 hours in a minibus sounds about as much fun as having teeth pulled. So I'm gonna take the bike to the border.. about 250 miles round trip. Should be a good day... other than when it rains. It rains almost everyday here.....

Should not have published that last blog about total trip losses. The waterproof Olympus got nikked at the Sunday night market last week. I was stone cold sober. I think the strap was hanging out of my pocket. Boom gone. Could have been worse. Current conundrum is whether to go waterproof again, or get something with a viewfinder. I like viewfinders. I hate taking pictures on an LCD. And that is about the biggest dilemma on my mind... life is rough.

Bit Torrent
Downloaded some pirated software the other day. Put myself on a self-education plan to learn the most powerful photo editing software around. I figure a few hours a day, and I be up to speed pretty quick. I got a lot of photos that could use a little cleanup. Also, to pull off a photography career, this will be an essential skill. Time will tell.

Barack Obama
Spent some time reading his website. That further convinced me this guy is just another typical tax and spend Democrat. Basically an idiot. Why we would even consider a politician from Illinois as the leader of the free world is beyond me. Illinois is a messed up place. This guy's proposals range from a few sensible ideas to the completely ludicrous. God help us if he gets elected with a sitting Democratic majority in Congress. His promise of pulling out troops in 16 months and leaving a small "reaction force" is political double talk. He is promising the impossible and giving hope to the bad guys. The Taliban are sitting around praying to Allah that he'll get elected. Bottom line is, should he win, I'll be home in time to lock and load.

The remainder of the trip plan is slowly coming together.


Hunker Down

Hiding out in a German restaurant to access free & fast wi-fi. Just completed (I think) a 4 hour marathon session of uploading crap to the new web server. The server upgrade fiasco was an unfortunate consequence of the need to change web hosting plans to save money and get more bandwidth, along with a few other service upgrades. There were two major problems: (a) the need to upload everything to the new server and (b) the new server was "case sensitive". Web pages are driven by text files that link them all together. The old server was not case sensitive. So any link where the capitalization within the html file and the actual file it pointed to did not match, had to be fixed. Turns out one of the basic rules of html is always use lowercase.

Major pain in the butt.

Anyway, I'm to a new destination tomorrow. The "where's Larry?" contest is a few locations behind..........