Dive Bombers of Seattle

I’ve recently read BRITT SKRABANEK’s blog about a visit she took recently to Seattle and it brought back memories of some funny trips I’ve taken there. I’ve been to Seattle several times with my family to enjoy the people, sights and sound of a great city by the sea.

Of course we went to all the must see sights but also went to a few out of the way places. It seems every time I go somewhere I have odd experiences that are funny—to me—and they always bring a smile.

Seattle

Seattle

My kids were young at the time of our first visit and we started off in the pier area. I decided we would walk up to Pike’s Market and found a long stairway up to the next street level. We were about halfway up when my oldest son grabbed my arm and said, “Daddy. There’s a dead man down there!” My younger son and daughter agreed, so I stopped the precession and made my way down to the bottom hoping I wouldn’t find what my son thought he saw. I looked around and found no one that might be dead and my son yelled down, “Under the steps.”

I went around under the steps and there was a man sleeping, I hoped. I called out to him and he mumbled a few disparaging words, which was a great relief. He tightened his grip on his bottle of wine and went back to sleep. I left him with a few dollars and laughed as I re-climbed the stairs. I told my son. “It’s okay. He’s not dead, but he will feel like it when he wakes up.”

After visiting the market and watching the workers throw big fish to one another we made our way to the park at the end of the street. Here was my second surprise. There were a number of homeless people and they were all of Asian descent. I was amazed. For some reason it never occurred to me that there were Asians who were homeless. I’m from the South and at the time Asian weren’t that common. Yes, my wife is from Thailand but 2 and 2 does not always equal 4 with me.

Throwing fish at the market

Throwing fish at the market

Mount Rainier

Mount Rainier

They were a happy group and my kids went over to see what they were doing. They treated my children as part of the family and I had to drag them away to go on to our next adventure. We all waved as we left.

On a company trip I had been working for 36 hours straight and I was tired. So I went outside to look around and it was so foggy I couldn’t see five feet away. A big blob flew passed my head missing me by only a few feet and I ducked, wondering if they threw fish in the fog. As I stood up another blob whizzed by but this time I caught a glimpse of it. It was a seagull! I found out that they fly low to the ground when the fog is so thick. Sounds kind of dangerous for either party.

Fog in Seattle

Fog in Seattle

Seattle is one of my favorite places to visit. There are days so clear Mount Rainier seems close enough to touch and the sea shimmers in the bay. There are also many days of rain and fog and it’s like exploring the unknown as you go forth on your adventure. And the seafood is wonderful.

Check out Britt’s blog. She’s a very nice person to know and quite talented!

All photo’s were borrowed from the internet for this blog only.

Have you had any crazy things happen while in a strange place?

22 tips from Stephen King

danniehill:

Stephen King’s “On Writing – A Memoir Of The Craft” is such a great book for writers. It should be on everyone’s list that wants to write and make a difference. I have just started reading Kim Hooper’s blog. Perhaps you should try it.

Originally posted on Kim Hooper: Writing by Night:

As one of the most successful and prolific writers that’s ever lived, I’d say Stephen King is a pretty good source for tips.

Source: Business Insider
(My thoughts in italics)

1. Stop watching television. Instead, read as much as possible.

If you’re just starting out as a writer, your television should be the first thing to go. It’s “poisonous to creativity,” he says. Writers need to look into themselves and turn toward the life of the imagination.

To do so, they should read as much as they can. King takes a book with him everywhere he goes, and even reads during meals. “If you want to be a writer, you must do two things above all others: read a lot and write a lot,” he says. Read widely, and constantly work to refine and redefine your own work as you do so.

Steve (can I call you Steve?), you’re killing me with this…

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Back Home?

I can’t believe I haven’t posted anything since March of this year and people are still following me. Thank you all.

My wonderful wife and I purchased a house in South Florida July of last year and tried to settle in to Floridian life. Julee took to it with a smile and a feeling of ownership. One of her goals has been to have her name on property in the States, if only to show others that she is an American. The concept is a bit foreign—no pun intended—to me, but I’ve learned that when she’s happy I’m happy.

After 10 years in Thailand I too was ready to try life back in the States, but not with her zeal. To be honest, it didn’t work for me. Please understand that I love America and the people. One thing I missed in Thailand was the diversity of people that the States offer. I just couldn’t get my head around all the… rules of engagement and so I slowly slipped back into my hole, looking for the day I returned to Thailand. This post is a bit of a rehash of a previous one, but I do hope you’ll forgive me as I learn to blog again.

Well, we made it back to Thailand for three months and it was pure joy for me. For my wife, not so much. The weight of the world—and family— came off my shoulders. But as intended it was only a visit. I stepped off the plane back in the States and the bad leaped at me. I sought my hole, but my wife wouldn’t allow it.

It’s been four months now and I finally have found enjoyment with all the rules of play, family, expenses and those damn taxes, insurance, cable TV and the rest. I’ve also broke my addiction of watching TV too much. The best news is I’ve finally started writing again and it feels good. It may not be good writing but it’s good for me. I’m still an early morning writer which interferes with fishing, but I can do both—just not at the same time.

My first starfish

My first starfish

Big Snook

Big Snook

At the beach with our daughter at the beach

At the beach with our daughter at the beach

My blogging friends and fellow writers have been an inspiration to me and several have published new books that I hope to help promote in the coming days. Eden Baylee and Britt Skrabanek are two writers that will impress you with their talent.

I’m amazed at the people I’ve come to know through social media. All of you who read this simple blog have filled in the hole and I’ve thrown away the  shovel!

sas_2kindle Nola Fran Evie Cover Large

I’ll also be promoting my latest book as well. Not that many readers, so far, but it’s a great story with great reviews, take a look.

I hope those that follow my blog will continue and I’ll try to do my happy blogs.

About a few of the pictures of me holding fish. First, the big one was released and second; it isn’t cold. One friend commented that she didn’t know it was so cold in Florida, ha! It’s my Thai style sunblock. That day reached 95 degrees. I had no idea you can catch starfish with a hook. They’re a bit crunchy as sushi–joke.

THAILAND TIME

Thailand

Thailand

 

 

Our time in Thailand is almost over. My wife and I have been busy at the farm. My plan was to get back to Thailand and take it easy—best laid plans and all that. We’ve both had a great time and can’t decide if we’re excited to go back to the States or not. Time will tell. I’ve made up my mind that if things get crazy or my mind wanders then it’s back to Thailand for us. I may make my way back via sailboat.

My mind and body have been recharging and relaxing. That’s not how it had been in our nearly yearlong stay in the States, but I’ve made some decisions that will hopefully carry over when we return. One thing I did quite early in our visit is stop smoking. Notice I didn’t say quit. We’ll see how it goes in the States, but I’m in the right frame of mind now.

Two of my many projects

Two of my many projects

My wife and I are looking forward to getting back to the ocean and do some fishing. We have two small ponds on our farm where we raise fish. I enjoy watching my wife try and net some for supper, but being near the ocean is what I need.

Julee gathering supper and having fun

Julee gathering supper and having fun

We’ve gotten along with Julee’s family better than we ever have before. I’m not sure if it’s the knowing we’ll be leaving again or we’re just so happy to visit family without the stress. It’s been fun. My brother-in-law is a hoot. He’s in his 70’s and I can’t keep up with him. His fashion sense is impeccable, as you can see from the photo( mine needs a bit of work).  He’ll be looking after things while we are away. We’ve given him a few acres to plant as thanks for helping out. We can’t stop him from working so we thought that letting him plant tapioca will do him good. Not too labor intensive, but just enough to keep you moving. And the profit is all his. He’s a happy man.

Brother-in-law and me

Brother-in-law and me

It will be good to get back to the high speed world so I can watch Youtube without waiting and of course fishing, working on my boat, looking for a sailboat, American TV, Mexican food and well, that’s about it.

Here’s just a few pics from our visit. Enjoy

Nephew and son helping out

Nephew and son helping out

 

Niece and her grandchild

Niece and her grandchild

 

Dream a little dream

Dream a little dream

Thailand Grand Prix

Urban traffic, Thailand by Roger Lemoyne

There are many things I like about living in Thailand and my recent return has brought new joys for me—but not necessarily my wife.

Thailand is filled with exotic temples, fruits, beautiful women and scenes that will stay with you all of your life. Of course I missed many of these things while going back to the States for a year, but one thing I’m finding great joy in is driving.

Now if you’ve ever been to Thailand or most any country with few imposed driving regulations you might think I’m crazy. Can’t argue with you there. The lack of enforced regulations is the thing I like and I believe that it keeps road-rage down to a bare minimum. In fact I rarely hear about an incident of road-rage here.

When I first arrived in Thailand it was pretty much ‘anything goes’ on the speedways and small roads. It has improved to a degree but it’s still fun to watch. There is an etiquette to driving here, but it’s aggressive. If you are timid you’ll find yourself pushed to the side of the road and probably in tears. Drivers cut one another off, make their own lane, use the emergency lane—the rough lane on the outside—as a high speed passing lane and of course backup when they miss a turn. It’s crazy but I join in the circus and have a great time. In the cities a two lane–on your side—can quickly turn into a five lane road and no one seems to be bothered.

Talk about a way to relieve personal stresses! I take to the road and my worries vanish as I concentrate on the business at hand. When driving Thai friends and neighbors they always comment on how I drive just like a Thai. To me that’s a great compliment even if it’s not meant that way. People who come to visit from the States usually close their eyes for the first couple of days and the sounds of prayers are sometimes heard after a trip. I’m pretty sure I’m getting a blessing…

If ever you come to visit I’ll certainly provide a crash helmet upon request. And, by the way, I’ve never had a crash in my pickup truck—the motorcycle is another story.

Even with the political turmoil here Thailand is still a very safe place to visit and you will hardly notice any problems unless you watch TV. The people are beautiful, friendly and forever smiling.

Return to Thailand

Dannie and Julee

Dannie and Julee

I had been in the States for almost a year and fully intended to write about the differences between the States and Thailand. For those that don’t know, my wife and I had lived in Thailand for the previous 10 years.

Love that last

Love that last

I, along with my lovely wife, are now back in Thailand for a visit and to tie up some loose ends. I must say from the moment I stepped off the plane my body relaxed to a point it almost brought tears.

In the beginning of our journey, my wife was not that excited to move to Thailand—the place of her birth. She loves America, as do I, but I needed a change. It was nearly a matter of life and death. I have said this before but my wife has looked after me all our married life and even before. I’m a lucky man to have someone who understands my needs better than I.

I’ll admit I enjoy many parts of life in the States; food; conveniences; the ocean and being able to speak and perceive that people understand me. I do speak Thai but am often unsure if my point is interpreted correctly. But the States also brings back the sucking of the soul feeling I had when I left. Not the people—I do enjoy the mixture of people, but the rules, rules and more rules: from taxes, politics, insurance and electronics that seems to consume everyone. I’ve always felt that a cell phone is for making and receiving calls. That now seems the least of their purposes.

Being near my family—I thought would be the biggest plus. I once again became the head of the family—in my eyes—and it was an obligation I didn’t cherish. In my early life I was a decision maker and now that I can look back I see I put myself at a distance, what with work, caring for my family and providing for their needs. There’s much more that goes on, but that is personal.

One thing that came back to me was the sea. I have a small fishing boat and sitting at anchor or blasting through passes puts my mind at ease. My true love is sailing but the cost of docking is holding me back. I honestly think I am a thing of the ocean. When on the water my cares are far away—no matter the problems I face. Being on the incessant sea gives me the desire to write again. I haven’t written a word towards a manuscript in many months and I miss it so. It’s not writer’s block it’s the lack of desire. I’m still selling books, much to my amazement. I have done little to encourage readers to buy. I love them for helping me.

So, now, here I sit in Thailand soaking up the heat, the smiles, the beautiful people and with a feeling of contentment. My wife is also happier in Thailand than our past year in the States. She went through hell for reasons of her own and others. So we have decision to make.

After being here for over a month we both want to return to the States, but with changes that will benefit us. If I lose it again then I have a home here in Thailand. I went to the immigration office we visited so many times before and the officers were so happy to see us again. The lady in charge didn’t want to give me a 30 day extension—she wanted me to stay and offered another 1 year visa. Hard to imagine how wonderful the people are we come in contact with.

I’m getting old—yes, it’s true—and I still have dreams of crossing oceans. It might not happen but if it does I have to be in the States to make it a reality.

Sorry to drag this on. I should break it up but the thrill of writing, even this little post, is so exciting and I know you’ll forgive me. There are so many people in the reading and writing world that have touched me and I love you all.

Valentine’s Day sale on my books ~ FALL INTO WINTER and HOT FLASH #99cents

danniehill:

Books from a talented author for a special day!

Originally posted on :

Love is in the air, and there are many ways to show my  for readers. This year, I’m discounting two of my books from today until the 17th.

Fall into Winter and Hot Flash ebooks are now only 99 cents each! A combined savings of over 75% !

If you’ve ever thought of buying my books, now is the time to do it. Read a sample, peruse the reviews, and see if they are to your liking.

I hope you pick up one or both books. Feedback, good or bad, in the form of an honest review is always appreciated but never mandatory. The most important thing is you enjoy the stories. ;)

~ eden

* * * *

Fall into Winter

Amazon: US | UK | Canada ~ Smashwords

Fall into Winter is a provocative collection of four distinct, erotic novellas.

With locations in New York, Canada, Thailand, and Austria, four women…

View original 58 more words

Discovering Hummus

Hummus and pine nuts

Hummus and pine nuts

I finally tried something I’ve been seeing in grocery stores. Of course I’ve heard of it before and in research for my writing I know it has been around since the 13th century.

Hummus: Middle Eastern and Arabic food dip or spread made from cooked, mashed chickpeas blended with tahini(sesame oil), olive oil, lemon juice, salt and garlic.

Here’s my problem. As a young Southern boy I learned, in school and life, that humus is the top layer of earth where leaves and dead things decay and turn to rich soil. So now when I hear about people eating Hummus—guess what I think of. Now don’t get me wrong. I love flat breads like pita and unleavened bread and several other selections that come from the Middle East, but word association has kept me from trying Hummus, of any variety. I’ve seen it on the shelves in Thailand, but Thai food occupied my palate, except in the case of any kind of bread which I would indulge in, usually late at night.

Rednecks at the beach

Rednecks at the beach

Now that I’m back in the States, at least for a while, I’m renewing my love of Mexican food, pizza, hamburgers and just about anything that will make you fat. I’m still trying to accommodate the giant servings without the use of a doggie(take-out) bag. As a result I once again am gaining weight. I’ve also quit using tobacco products, which has added to my girth. A little know secret of mine is: I normally only eat once a day. Been doing that for years and I don’t know why, except that my mind works better hungry. Not that my mind works great, but any improvement is a plus.

Back to Hummus. I’m not sure if it helps with my ‘eating disorder’ but I read that it’s very good for you. While shopping with the wife—that will make another great post—I was perusing the shelves and came across a big pile of Hummus. I must give it to American marketing. They can make anything appealing. In what is known as an impulse buy I grabbed a small tub with pine nuts, something I do enjoy, and hid it away from my darling. She’s not crazy about buying things she has no idea what it is, although she buys many thing I have no idea about with no hint of guilt.

That night I pulled out some wheat thins and gave the Hummus a try. I had to go on line to see what was proper for eating the mash of chickpeas. It was wonderful! I even tricked the wife into trying it. She wasn’t as impressed as I was but I did observe her going in for more.

Potential fat guy and family

Potential fat guy and family

Now, I’m hooked on Hummus and hoping its not fattening. Give it a try and tell me what you think.

I haven’t written anything is several months and it feels good to stretch my fingers and brain. I hope you enjoyed this little post.

My American Dream

Captain Bob and Beowulf

Captain Bob and Beowulf

Well we made it to the States and talk about culture shock! I’ll post about my reintroduction to the racing rats later. This post is more about a daydream I’ve been holding on to for years now.

Most of you know I’m a sailor and the ocean calls me, even from the mountains of Thailand. Actually I’ve enjoyed almost everything about living in Thailand.

Cabin looking forward

Cabin looking forward

I was invited—I may have given my friend a few suggestive hints—to go sailing on a boat type I’m seriously considering for my next purchase. That is if we ever get a house—that’s another post as well.

The boat is an older, well-built and ocean capable Alberg 30, Beowulf. I had never been on one and looked forward to riding along in a sailing regatta(race).

Cabin looking aft

Cabin looking aft

A few weeks ago I arrived at my friend’s house early and we headed for the marina to meet Captain Bob and his boat. Captain Bob looked like the consummate sailor: puka shell necklace, deep tan and a happy kind of guy. The boat looked to be everything I thought I might see. It is 40 years old and show a bit of wear and tear but sturdy, and well founded.

As we motored out to the Indian River Lagoon I could feel the weight and balance of the boat. Once out of the channel we raised the sails and made our way towards the starting line. As soon as the engine was off and the sails pulling Beowulf took to her heels. I could feel the power of her and knew that this was a boat to cross the oceans. She also let me know that I was welcomed back to the sea—what a feeling.

Sailing

Sailing

If for no other reason my trip back to the States has been worth it. I told my wife—gently of course—that if we didn’t find a house I would buy a boat and sail back to Thailand. I’m a bit unsure of the look she gave me. I know my first obligation—and the most important one—is to make her happy. Then comes the boat.

I’ve been away for a while and still feel like a stranger to blogging but I do hope you enjoyed this little story.

Oh. We didn’t win the race but we weren’t last either. I’m ready for blue water!

Mainsail

Mainsail

In the hunt

Celebrating in Thailand

Fun!

Fun!

While my friend Eden was off in Jamaica having a great time in the sun and the surf we were harvesting fish from our two small ponds on the farm.

Fish gathering12 2912

Most of the village showed up for the fun. Thais love to gather for ‘sanuk’ (fun) and enjoy the day gathering fish. The kids ran everywhere catching baby fish to take home to put in a container to raise and just laugh.

Fish gathering10 2012

The fish in one pond were a bit small but as we are planning a trip back to the States soon we wanted to sell what we could before we leave. And New Year’s is the perfect time for this.

Fish gathering13 2912

The men threw nets for hours. Thais don’t like to leave anything behind when they gather food. I was very surprised to see how any fish evade their efforts a few days later. I hope you can feel the fun with these pictures.

Fish gathering11 2912

We build a small fire and cooked a number of fish fresh from the pond. This all took place during the ‘Pi Mai’ (New Year) celebration and I had a great time just watching the families.

Fish gathering6 2012

A little 'white lightning' and grilled fish

A little ‘white lightning’ and grilled fish

It's all fun.