Sunday, May 31, 2009

Ants Come Marching


KHUK KHAK, Thailand

Rainy season
Ants come marching
Read a book
Leave no crumbs


Monday, May 25, 2009

More on Shoes


KHUK KHAK, Thailand - Some of you responded to the shoes topic, so clearly, I'm not the only one who has thought about it.

I meant to ask, how many pairs do you have?

Do you have jogging shoes? Do you have 'everyday' shoes, tennis shoes, ski boots? Do you have 'nice' shoes to go with 'nice' clothes? Do you have shoes to go with this, and shoes to go with that?

What about work shoes? Play shoes. Do you have 'outside shoes' for the garden or barnyard, and 'inside shoes' for around the house, a house shoe? You got a shoe for mowing the yard?

Do you own a snow shoe or boots for winter? Do you own a shoe that goes over another shoe? Do you have more than one pair...of any kind of shoe, like, two or three pairs of golf cleats?

You got a hiking boot?

Do you have dancing shoes, club shoes, or moccasins? You ever own a pair of those calf-high leather mocs? Anybody ever give you a pair of beaded moccasins? Do you have a shoe that you bought just before going on vacation, like one day before?

'Honey, I've got to get some new shoes.'

'Honey, the kids are gonna need new shoes.'

You wearing sandals? Flip-flops or velcro straps? Leather, plastic, or rubber?

You got ice skates? Hockey skates? Figure?

You got a shoe rack, or 'shoe place'?

You ever own an Earth Shoe? Crocs? What color'd you get?

When you think 'Shoes', you think, 'Imelda Marcos', right? You can see how thinking more than one or two or five or a dozen pairs might lead you down that road.

Did you ever wonder, 'Where we going to put all these shoes?' And when you're done with a shoe, what do you do? Throw 'em out, both of them? Get them re-soled? Give them to Goodwill? Put 'em out at a yard sale?

I know, I know, it's a lot of questions about shoes. I was just wondering. I could tell you how many pairs I have, but I'm not going to. You might think...I don't know what you might think.

It's probably funny. Tell me. Go count. Go see.



Saturday, May 23, 2009

Couldn't Cry Till I Got Home


KHUK KHAK, Thailand - Be Prepared. Motto of the Boy Scouts. For the first time in a long time, I was prepared, carrying my kit bag beneath my seat.

Just at 5 pm, rush hour for Saturday market in Bang Niang, an ocean of Thai and farang collecting fresh meat and vegetables, the highway a converging hornets' nest of motorbikes, trucks, and speeding vans heading north, the orange cones not slowing them down.

For some reason, I went south toward Khao Lak with my goods in the basket, instead of north to Khuk Khak. A mile down the road, a cluster of people were on the edge of the road.

"Uh oh. I hope this isn't what I think it is."

Three women on a bike, patients #6, 7, and 8, this year, looked to be a grandma, her daughter probably driving, and maybe a granddaughter, about fourteen. The daughter had struck the pavement with her head and a man was holding a towel on it. She was conscious, sitting up, bleeding from her face, and dialing a number on her cell phone. The bike was laying on her legs.

The grandma was sitting up a few feet away, scrapes on her legs, a deep laceration on her heel. The young girl was bruised and scraped on her hands, arms, and legs, sitting up, nervously aware of the growing crowd, afraid to cry, but it hurt anyway. She nodded when I asked her if she was ok.

We used the all baby wipes, gauze bandages and roller gauze on the head patient, and loaded her on the first ambulance, her long black hair matted with blood. Before they closed the door, I told her she was going to be ok.

But her face will never be the same. A deep laceration to her forehead down to the skull, about five inches long. Nasty. A couple inches higher would have peeled back her scalp, but cosmetically more appealing. Relative to her head injury, a concussion probably, her other cuts and scrapes were minimal.

The grandma was okay as long as she kept direct pressure on her wound and stopped looking at it. The young girl was already in the second ambulance when we loaded the old lady. Off they went.

Just one bike. "Probably a dog," said Damon, when I told him about it later.

I never asked what happened, nor hung around the 50-strong crowd there at the scene. Got my gear, shook hands with the two guys who were part of the on-the-scene onlooker instant medical staff, and went back to my bike. I said thanks. They did, too.

With the seat up on my bike, my wallet was exposed, right there. Won't say how much was in it, but it was bigger than a breadbasket, but smaller than a plane ticket. All those folks standing around, nobobdy bothered it.

I never cried for any of my patients in Vietnam. Couldn't. Wouldn't let me. Not until I got home. Not until much, much later, like thirty-five years. After the initial suppression of shock and dismay, the rush of immediate involuntary response treatment, composing the patient, sending them off where somebody else will do the REAL work, there's a gully-wash of adrenaline that a smoke or a drink might calm, and then when you grow quiet and settle down, there's even time for a whimper and a tear.



Heaven Through Your Garden


KHUK KHAK, Thailand - Is refinement possible without comb, court, and attendants, Brahmin headdress, advanced practice, country club membership, or decade in a cave?
Would time and austerity justify accomplishment of the inevitable?

Couldn't we just read the book about the guy who did? Were there any angry gods? Can it found within the heart of an earthworm, the lotus blossum, the spectrum of your laughter?

Multiple lifetimes renouncing the world, fortunate birth, admission purchased with a Pilgrim's Prayer, hang from a cross, pull skulls, adorned with gold in a mummy's silence.

Address to the council, spiral through a black hole of doubt and pity, escape the claws of the raptor, king atop a mountain of bones, wake in a horrified sweat. Flames at your back, leap into the void.

Ionized, charging through the ectoplasm, psyche in the stratosphere, oblivious to destiny, the work in-progress, the well-trod path vaporizing in the heart of the woods, footprints swallowed in desert dune, high tide erasing existence, looking outward, looking in.

Those birds sing so merrily at dawn, the ferns so quietly collecting the dew.



Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Man Discovers 47- Million Year Old 'Missing Link' Fossil in Basement


'We never noticed it until just the other day,' says.


Thai Girls Put 'On Ice' For A Few Days


KHUK KHAK, Thailand - Had to put those two Thai tailor girls on ice for a few days after that 2500TB (Thai Baht @ 35TB=1USD) dinner last week. I've got the receipt right here to prove it.

Yeah, one of 'em ordered six giant prawn, a whole platter full, and although I don't speak nor understand that much Thai, I could easily see their order was enough for five or six people, and I wondered at the time, 'Who's going to eat all this food?'

Well, Kip's boyfriend, is who.

After placing our order of another half dozen entrees, An took two calls, directing Mos in from Phuket to a place at our table. Now, for me, there are three or four things going on right there that run coarse against my grain.

One, I absolutely hate people taking a cell phone call in the middle of a conversation, especially at dinner, and especially at dinner in a restaurant, and really especially if I'm paying for it. Hate is a strong word. Detest.

Two, if I've invited someone to dinner, it would seem appropriate that I should be notified beforehand if my guest wishes to invite yet another party. Maybe check and see if it's okay? Maybe that's being unreasonable. Seems to me like on a 'need-to-know' basis, I'd need to know.

Three, I don't like the style. It seemed really underhanded, sly, and presumptuous.

Four, I don't like being played for a chump.

I made my sentiments known after the waitress brought out a fourth table setting, and our table grew quiet and glum. Then all the food arrived. And then Mos arrived, and we had a nice, enjoyable, relaxed meal. And then the check arrived.

During the meal, I made a conscious effort to avoid thinking of the above cited issues of contention, and went along amiably with wherever they took the conversation. We were supposed to be having English class over dinner.

The deal is, I provide private English lessons, and An and Kip drive me to dinner. A two-hour class. I buy dinner.

You might be thinking, 'That's pretty messed up, Bro. You're not getting paid.' And from a logical standpoint, you'd be correct. But I look at it like, 'I get the pleasure of the company of two beautiful Thai girls for dinner once a week.'

Fair enough? Ain't no logic involved.

Ok. But there are some inherent problems, some of which you may have already begun to suspect.

One BIG problem is the assumption that all farang are rich. BIG perceptual problem. They figure if you can visit their country, then you mut hab big mon-eee.

So they test the water to see how big your money is, and how easily they can stretch your neck. It's a country of players. They're all players. Predator/Players. It's a second-world country clashing with the first-world west, a top-five-in-the-world tourist destination, behind Amsterdam, Barcelona, Paris and Rome, providing for European consumers.

Of course they think we have money. They see us come here and spend it. 'What you wan? How mush you need?'

They don't know I live in a trailer in the most poverty-stricken county in my own country. They have no idea of what rez life is like. But for that matter, neither do most Americans.

They don't know we live hoof-to-mouth, and under water, looking for some kinda lifeboat, some kind of bailout. The Thai don't know JACK about America, but they've heard of New York and Los Angeles.

They can't say, 'Colorado'.


But they can say 'Sou Dah-Ko-TAH', with the inevitable emphasis on the last syllable.

I'm not making fun of them; it's just that the French taught them how to speak English. You have to go to Singapore, or next door to Myanmar to hear English spoken as we would say, 'correctly'.

Have I lost the thread of this story, yet?

Let me scroll back up here for a minute and see where this is going.

Ok. They think we're all rich. They're wrong. But they don't know they're wrong until they find out FOR CHUAH. For sure.

Big money would have you on a yacht out on the Andaman Sea. They can see how I live. Big money would have my house on the beach. Big money wouldn't have sarongs for curtains.

Another not altogether incorrect assumption is that old fart Western men are suckers for young beautiful Thai women. I say young, because to me, they are, although An is 42. I'm not interested in anything but dinner company and the opportunity to teach, so they were also wrong on the chump assumption, the chump's motives. Can a person just be a friend?

'No, I don't want to be your business partner. No, I don't want to take you shopping in Phuket. No, I don't want to buy you a new laptop so you can talk to me when I return to Ah-mel-ika.'

So, those girls were testing me, and the test said, "We've pissed him off."

(They surely got the message when they mulled over the extraordinary dinner bill* after I excused myself to go a few doors down to an ATM. It was a quiet drive home).

Ok, cool. Let 'em chill for a few days. Teacher don't show for class. We no hab dinner.

But eventually, I had to come off that attitude and drop by their shop, for two reasons; one, I had to let them know I was chilled, too; and two, I had to do some follow-up on the suit I said I'd take, or tick-tock, tick-tock,** think about it.

Already told you about the problem with the suit and the shoes and everything...and as Bryan pointed out, it's not just the shoes..."Don't get started with that stuff -- leads to the need for ties, shirts, shoes, belts, handkerchieves, topcoats, gloves, etc. etc. It's a slippery slope. Just say no."

Well, I said no to the suit and shirt and pants, and settled on just a jacket, something that will sort of make me look like I could maybe be from France, with the right kind of slacks and shoes, and scarf and shoulderbag. Along with the right kind of stride.

Nah, it's not the France look that I want. You guys know what I'm saying. You wives and girlfirends, too. You know how your man feels and looks when he goes out and buys a new sport coat or suit.

Check yourself out in the hmmmmm. Till you look down at your feet.

'Gonna have to get some new shoes to go with this.'


*When eating with normal people, you could expect to pay about 150-250 baht per head.

**this expression, 'Tick tock, tick tock,' in English, accompanied by the gesture of holding your hand up to your ear like you're holding something about the size of a baseball, and making a rotating, back-and-forth motion, is universally applicable across Thailand, especially with the merchantile class, meaning, 'I'll think about it.'


Tuesday, May 19, 2009

What Your Shoe Say


KHUK KHAK, Thailand - It is low season here, the shops closed, or open with no customers, the beaches isolated, the restaurants empty. Rain is coming in every afternoon from the Andaman. Everywhere, you can get a good low-season price.

I rode my motorbike right down on the beach, zig-zagging with the waves, and parked it just above high tide mark, putting a sandal under the kickstand to prevent its sinking into the sand.

Did you know a Honda motor will run underwater? I found out today, crossing the river inlet, outlet, at low tide, misjudging the waves, going under, sinking in the sand, un-assing the motorbike and pushing it across, throttle wide open.

"Yeah. You just have to keep the throttle wide open," said Damon, the biker, when I told him.

The tailor lady offered me a suit jacket, pants, and tailored shirt for 2,000 Thai Baht, about seventy dollars. I could go for a deal like that, except I haven't worn a suit in, uh, since I stopped wearing a watch. That was in '91, a court appearance, witness protection. What's that? Eighteen years.

I could wear a suit to the airport for purposes of looking the part of the distinguished elderly gentleman or Japanese businessman, but comfort is the prevailing concern for a 22 hr. flight and 34 total hrs. travel door-to-door, and that just gets you to Denver. Still ain't home yet, so screw the suit.

And besides, if you buy a suit, you must have the proper footwear to accompany it, to be properly attired. And that would require deliberation of a whole nuther universe of options and possibilities about your choice, and what it might say about you.

The choice seems largely dependent on geography and what you're doing, and who you're trying to impress. If you're not trying to impress anybody, that narrows the choice considerably. What are you doing, attending a ball, a formal reception, a funeral, a parking lot? You working a ranch, your garden, ICU, your second serve, the streets?

'Honey, you gonna need a stilletto heel for that job.'

For every job, there is a uniform, and for every uniform, there's a shoe to go with it. Comfort is not a factor. Even when you say there is no uniform, there is a uniform. Take a look around. What is everybody wearing? Is there a concern?

Do these shoes match?

Each other? You mean your outfit? Your personality? Your idea of who you want to be? The ad in GQ? It's a loaded question.

Everybody is wearing them. It's the style.

Ok, Bozo. Get the purple ones.

Haven't worn a workboot in five, six, seven years.

You know they say Jesus bathed his feet two, three times a day? And he was wearing sandals.

Your feet, closed up, dark and damp, are a breeding ground for bacteria, is why, because of gravity pulling all your body's toxins down there, and the sweat glands in your feet. Don't believe me, smell your socks. That's why some people's socks can knock you over, why they sell odor-eaters and odor-absorbent socks, and why in a sweat lodge, you appreciate personal hygenic care of the participants.

Over here, they leave the shoes at the door, consider the feet the dirtiest part of the body, and culturally observe not pointing your feet at others, and especially the Buddha.

Maybe you already knew all that, about Buddha and stinkfoot. What you most certainly do NOT know, is that that black dog got one of my sandals and chewed it almost up.

What that means is yet another trip to the shoe guy at the end of Khao San road in Bangkok for his custom leather sandals. Everybody else, it seems, sells cheap-ass rubber Chinese flip-flops. There are decent sandal shops around, but they don't have your size.

So, for the first time in years, I've the need to contemplate the purchase of shoes, since I'll be headed for Indian Country, and they'll expect me to do some work this year. NOT computer work. REAL work. Outside work. You'll need something besides those sandals.

When you're wearing sandals, people don't take you as seriously as they do when you're wearing a certified workboot, or say, wingtips. You always look like you're on vacation.

In the Nebraska panhandle, people look down at your feet and say, "Hi, Stranger. You're not from around here, are you?"

On the rez, when the guys are ready to put up a 30-foot tipi, they look at my feet and give me a look that says, 'You aren't going to be any help. Better stand back. You might get hurt.'

Well, I have grown an affinity for wearing sandals year round. Your feet spread out and don't like being closed up in a certified shoe. When it gets too cold in S. Dakota to wear sandals, it's time for me to leave. It's not the people or the climate. It's about my toes.

Cold toes, runny nose, summer over, time to close.

Can't get the suit. Don't have the right shoes. Can't help set up camp. Haven't got the right shoe. Sorry, can't help you guys. Haven't got the right shoe.



Monday, May 18, 2009

Daily Maintenance


KHUK KHAK, Thailand - Some things require daily maintenance, such as your kitchen counter, your teeth, your primary significant relationships, your metabolism, in Indian Country - your car, and here in the tropics, lizard shit.

You can let any of these slide for a day or two, a few days even, but you'll soon regret the jamboree of insects on your counter, the scum on your teeth, your deteriorating relationships, your health, and the accumulation of excrement of gecko, attracted by the insects.

The floors, the floors you can let slide a day or two, the fans blowing organic debris into the corners. The communication can be put off a day more, you can have the dessert tonight and start working out seriously tomorrow, pluck the nose hairs another day.

Going to get around to it. The homework, the presentation, the wipe down, the last drink, the apology, the festering grudge, the yard work, the final cigarette, the email, the fully-functioning human being, the novel things that grew tedious and old, the little things that grew big.

A man sang a country song about a 'high-maintenance woman', one who wouldn't be interested in a main-ten-ance man, one who needed a great deal of attention, and attention to her needs; tomatoes under threat of frost, the flowers in your garden, the control tower radar, your pet's peculiarities, the wandering toddler, the boiling kettle, the critical mass plutonium, the molar extraction, the surgical knife, the killer on the loose.

There are things that cry out for immediacy; a natural disaster, an infestation, a ship slipping beneath the waves. Relative to the urgency, sometimes a hero is required, Spiderman or Mandela, an airlift of food. But most of the time, we can manage with daily care, pulling the weeds, wiping down the counter.



Thursday, May 14, 2009



KHUK KHAK, Thailand - When people ask me where I am now, I know they haven't been reading the blog entries. Date and location are the first two lines of the posts.

There are two post offices in the relatively near vicinity; one up north in Nam Kaen, almost all the way to Takuapa, a really pleasant 20k motorbike ride, and the other, down south over the mountain in Lam Kaen, much closer. Fifteen minutes.

The winding ride over the jungle-covered mountain, a national park, is always fun, either pressed forward into the curves, or sitting back chillin' with an iced coffee, riding with one hand. Depends on who's on your ass; a log truck creeping along in second gear, or a racer trying to reach Phuket in record time.

Today I was chillin. Nobody in the rear-view mirror at the base of the mountain.

It was a slow day at the post office, where a half-hour wait is the norm, along with the inevitable local Thai cutting in line and never looking back to meet your hot gaze. I don't quite get it. I'm 6 foot 2 inches. Don't they see me standing there?

It's like the message is, 'I'm Thai. You're a foreigner. You can wait.'

It happens at 7-ll, too. And at the embassy. Everywhere.

And so, I can stand there and glare at the top back of his head, or I can look out the window at the temple and take a deep breath, exhale slowly, and just wait my turn.

Today I was next. I was next behind the only lady in there, and I put my parcels right on the scales. I knew the guy working the desk. Well, I didn't know him...I'd been there before, he'd seen me before...many times. Well, not many times...several. In any case, he greeted me with a smile.

Another lady came in and sort of cut in, like they do when they only have a utility bill, which they pay there at the post office, as opposed to parcel you care about any of this?

Anyway, that's just setting the scene.

That was the scene today for my impromptu standup comedy act.

By the time the guy, the postmaster, got my packages weighed and figured up, there were about nine people in the post office. Four or five in line, and the other people waiting for them, motorbikes sitting outside. They all seemed calm as they waited for the foreigner and his packages to his kids back in the States.

When the guy said, "Four thousand, three hundred baht," which everybody in there was waiting to hear, I expressed shock with body language and yelled out, "WHAT!!??"

Everybody in the place had a good laugh, and the postmaster said, "Peng mak mak. Very expensive."

I thanked the lady who cut in, for waiting patiently, because the guy went ahead with my stuff and made her wait, though I indicated to her and the lady behind her that they could go ahead of me. "Pom mai reep," I told them. I'm in no hurry.

We were all laughing. Nobody was in a hurry.


It was in the shower, the second of the day at 11 a.m., that the idea hit me; 'Patience', with the flood of associative ideas that come with it, and upon which one could elaborate and hope that others can relate.

Then, I forgot it and went to meandering in the garden and fiddlling through half a dozen other projects; unearthing that huge stone, giving the palms their first-ever haircut, transplanting the ferns, take that stuff to the post office.

Then by the time I sat back down to write, I couldn't remember the topic nor any of the content ideas. Ate some cashews, and then it hit me. Still can't recall any of those ideas from the shower, but those folk's patience at the post office was remarkable.



Ants Suspect in Illicit Computer Entry


KHUK KHAK, Thailand - A week or so ago I mailed a query to some of you regarding ants suspected of taking up permanent residence in my laptop. Below is the explanation of the problem, followed by your responses. They are shared here with the reader, should they encounter similar problem. Thank you all for your contributions.



Hi Guys,

Turning to the only gurus I know.

I think I've got a colony of ants living in my computer, since a trip to Laos at the New Year. Pretty sure. They keep showing up, every day, on the screen and keyboard, from seemingly out of nowhere.

I believe them to be Lao ants, tiny ants from up north, Luang Prabang.

I'd like to flush them out. Can I hose down the laptop? Like, at the jet wash? Can I douse 'em with raid? Drano? Bleach?

Can I take a kitchen knife and pop my keyboard without permanenty damaging my machine (the sort of thing I'd be prone to do)? Can I do this my OWN DAMN self? What about rubbing alcohol? It evaporates, don't it?

It looks like there are little tabs, which there indeed are, on the keyboard that will allow its removal. Ha. Ha. You know what I'm thinking, right? Except when I pop the tabs and pry it with a kitchen knife, the keyboard bends, like it's being held fast by something else. Is there connected shit I'd tear loose by proceding?

I think the colony is just under the keyboard, and I'd like to have a look.

I'm just dying to take a look.

Thanks for your help on this. Hope you guys are doing well.


the shit is working ok, so why screw with it, right? Take it in to have it cleaned by people who know what they are doing. That's what my inner voice says.

Check One of the Following:


2. Go ahead and pop that sucker and take a look. Use a kitchen knife.

3. What if they are behind the screen? Take it in to the shop.

4. Get some of that canned, pressurized air and blow 'em the fuck out.

5. 1 & 3

6. 2 & 4

7. Make sure they are not simply coming from your table, onto the machine. This 'Lao ant in the computer' thing is all in your head.

8. None of the above. Continue as before. Kill ants as they appear.


The Results Are IN! Your responses:

Hi dad,

I had the exactly same problem actually. They were living in my iPod. They like the warm computer parts and if they stay in a long time it can fuck up your computer. I shook them all out of mine because it was smaller, but then i also sprayed (not directly) some ant killer around it to keep them away. You could also stick it in the freezer if you think it wont mess up any components.

I would not remove the keyboard, if thats what you want to do, take it to takuapa and the computer guy will do it professionally, p'kao knows him. Let me know how it turns out.



I'd say put a little bug stop(poison spray) on the perimiter of the keyboard and make it your own cradle to grave ant farm.



8. None of the above. Continue as before. Kill ants as they appear.

WHATT!!! Kill them? Ruthlessly wipe them out? Men, women, AND children? Totally indiscriminately. Some of them may have been trying to convince the others to leave the computer. Kill them as well? Oh Vic, you can't mean that. Think about what you're doing.

Also, do me a favor and insure that these critters are not on any endangered species list.

Regards, and good luck with the ants,



Buddha's gonna say #1 and #3, man.



I'd try the air over a few consecutive days and then the shop.

I know with isolated keyboards you can run them through water and they'd be ok, but I don't think I would mess with the one that connects into laptop.



what i know about ants could fit in a thimble along with 2000000000000 Lao ants. We get those big, black bastards, looking for water(moisture it think, cause i never notice them in the glass of water that stands out all night), so i'd try to desiccate them if you think you have to destroy a fellow member of Wamaskaskan(sp?).

how bout putting it in the oven, bake at 150 for a while and see what happens?
if that don't work, we had a saying on the boat, "...get a BIGGER hammer."
gudlukwidit...just don't piss them off...somebody said they might own the place where you plopping your ass down.



Hello dit is Martha i put my keyboard in dishwassher one time let it dry good for a few days and it is still working good. or hose it off.


Hey Vic,

three and four.....or do what you want, you're just dying to open the fucker up...ain't it?



Since you are travelling from one country to another, isn't this a NATIONAL issue, immigration or some big important office should be notified!!

On a practical note, I'd try peppermint oil, as ants hate it. I rub the counters where I see the little buggers in my kitchen with some on a cotton ball. They can't smell their scent trail because of it, and so somewhere else. Send 'em packin Vic! (I don't recommend the kitchen knife solution)

Peace out,


What I've learned about tropical ants is that you have to stop feeding them. I used to see a trail of marching ants any time someone left any type of food, especially sweets, around. I could control it by washing the area clean of any food debris.. Blow the laptop with an air can and then carefully swab it with an alcohol swab and keep the food way from it.



Dear Friend.......
What came to mind was something like the pied piper.....maybe if you played just the right song on's the name of that cool instrument that has a bow that is played by pushing out??? you know what I mean ( I hope)........some thing they like to dance to perhaps, they'd all come out for the party......
OR play that movie that has all the ants in it.....maybe it's disney, I dunno......maybe they'd all come out for an evening at the movies and you could act like the thunder beings and blow hard, scattering them to a distant place and then RUN really fast so they can not out for those knees tho, I 'm sure the team needs you on the court.
I wouldn't suggest alcohol or! poison. You've done really good this life helping others and being a man of integrity. The karma of killing all those ants may not be worth it.
You could act like a good american and capitalize on the population. Maybe teach them to type while you dictate, or have them do the graphics, or keep the bank balance and pay the bills. Give them a deadline to come up with a new comedy routine for you.......USE them. Teach them tricks like the flea circus, set up a tent maybe, charge at the door. Don't forget you're an american: MAKE MONEY on 'em.
Watch out tho. If they're not indigenous, it could reek havoc in South Dakota. They might become worse than a cloud of grasshoppers or locusts. They might eat all of the prairie grass, or all of the corn, or all of the wheat. It could spread to Nebraska, Iowa, Kansas....wipe o! ut the midwest before infesting canada and mexico. Oh no! What if they got as far as California. What would they do to the grapes and the future of wine? Please be careful. This sounds serious. Geez, hope none came through with this e-mail.
If you decide on #8, I'd suggest that you get a bird or two that like ants and keep them around to do the dirty work for you. Remember that karma thing. Keep your soul safe.
On the other hand, fun to be around. Why wouldn't they like hanging out with you? Get sour, say mean things, don't bath for a while, don't brush your teeth. Act depressed. Stop being mr. nice guy and maybe they'll move out on their own.
I really don't know what the best approach is. If you're leaning toward #2, we could call in our computer whiz, Zack! oree. Jeff knows him. He could suggest what size knife maybe. Who knows, you said it's held fast. Might need a crow bar. Zac'll know.
Is there a web site for this situation? You might be able to find the solution on youtube (?utube?). 15 hours of beauty downloaded every minute of the day. Did you check wikipedia?
Good luck, Bro. Let me know what happens...........k


It's obvious to me that in the that the ant's most likely view you as the invader in there world. So put something they like more next to the key board and wate for them to take up residency there. Learn to speak ant Lao so you can at least communicate. Be greatful most people pass to the milkyway with out a single friend you now have many. Have a great day.



4 only...maybe. First, do no harm (to the computer, not the freakin' ants)



Hi Vic,

Have you tried electrical shock?



I took the computer to the shop where I paid the utmost attention to it's partial disassembly. Even though the guy was talking to me in pretty good English while he took it apart, I noticed he paid attention to where he was putting the screws.

No ants. He blew it out with pressurized air.

The ants were coming from my table. Laura is right. Stop feeding them. Thanks for all the suggestions. You were great.



Saturday, May 09, 2009

7' Statue of Buddha Causes Unrest on International Flight


TAIPEI, Taiwan - Passengers aboard NW Airlines flight 1101 to Los Angles all had something to say about the seven-foot statue of Buddha brought aboard by a US citizen.

"It's not like something you'd wear around your neck," said James Davis, a passenger in the wide-body 777 flight from Bangkok to Los Anegeles. "The thing was blocking my view."

Officials at Suvarnabhumi International Airport in Bangkok allowed the man to board the aircraft with the statue as one piece of carry-on, which is allowed under current general aviation guidelines.

"He bought the ticket," said an unnamed official. "He had the seat", he said, adding, "the buddha cannot go below in baggage. The buddha must be above."

By the time the aircraft landed in Taipei, the entire cabin occupants were in a sour, grumbling uproar, with several passengers openly shouting insults at the man and asking the crew to do something about it.

Of course, nothing could be done about it while airborn, and the situation could not be resolved until the stopover in Taipei. At that point, the passengers demanded another aircraft, or the buddha's removal from the aircraft.

"I can't believe they let him bring that thing on board. What's he going to do with it, anyway?" asked Cecilia Dawes, a teleporter from Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

Another passenger who was demanding refund on her ticket asked, "Would they let me bring my seven-foot crucifix on board? Would they let me buy a seat for a seven-foot Jesus?"

After refueling and a long stand-off on the tarmac, the flight continued to Los Angeles.



Sunday, May 03, 2009

Iraqi National Museum Reopens


KHUK KHAK, Thailand - Amid much fanfare and tight security, The Iraqi National Museum has re-opened following the return of thousands of stolen artifacts.

I'm keeping all my stuff. It's worth a fortune in the hot antiquities market if I can sit on it a while longer. Don't look at me like that. The appropriation of art during war is a historical fact. It happens all the time during an invasion by a foreign army while people look the other way.

The museum was systematically stripped and looted of more than 15,000 artifacts during the US-led invasion that presumably was the objective of toppling the regime of Saddam Hussein.

My representative on the scene at the time had previously entered the museum for the purpose of 'casing it' and marking the location of the several items of particular interest.

"Most of the items were collected in a large duffle bag," he said, "with the exception of one piece, the winged, human-headed bull, that required a fork lift and flat-bed truck transport."

Stopped at the Iraqi/Syrian border, the winged bull was subsequently returned.

The military stood by as looters ransacked the nation's cultural heritage, offering no resistance as mostly peasants and a few private collector representatives poured into the museum at the onset of the 'shock and awe' campaign. "They saved the oil ministry, but the museum was a free pass," said my agent.

"I came prepared with my own lighting, knowing the city's utilities would probably be targeted in the first strikes," he said. "Our stuff was on two floors, so I had to work fast, from a detailed map of the items we wanted. Most of those people were working in the dark and had no idea of what they were getting. It was like a grab bag."

Some 15,000 items were plundered at the time, and U.S. commanders were widely criticized for failing to protect one of the richest collections of antiquities in the Middle East.

Only eight of the museum's more than 20 halls have been reopened, but those halls were packed with dignitaries and media as Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki made his way through the exhibition.

In Dec. 2007, Swiss authorities blocked the sale of an ancient clay tablet bearing cuneiform, thought to have been smuggled from Iraq, on the internet auction site eBay. At the time of the intervention, we had a bid of 2,500 Euros. It could have gone much higher.

The war-time acquisition of art work is a historical fact, and one of the rights of an invading or occupying army. It happens all the time. Look at the British museum. Look at Getty's personal collection.

You get Woody to give back all those thousands of arrowheads, or donate his collection to the Wabash County Museum, and I'll give some of my stuff back.



Friday, May 01, 2009

Work is Play


KHUK KHAK, Thailand - There is no 'slow lane' on southbound Lake Shore Drive in Chicago on a Saturday night.

We were in the far right lane, the exit lane, but it wasn't slow, by any means. Larry, the used-to-be smartest guy I knew, until he slammed on the brakes and threw it into reverse, was at the wheel.

I'm not that smart, but I know you can't pull some shit like that on an eight-lane expressway, which I said to him as we were going backwards.

A seventeen-year old kid rear-ended us after Larry hit the brakes and shifted back into drive, slithering away on rain-sickened streets, but not fast enough to avoid the collision.

Both cars pulled over, they got out, checked it out, little or no apparent damage, and Larry pulled another smart move. He handed the kid a hundred bucks and said, "Whaddya say we let it go at that?"

The kid gladly accepted, probably because there were two of us and one of him, and maybe he didn't see the back-up lights or see us reverse direction and go forward again before fish-tailing and smacking us in the back, and may have thought it was his fault. Maybe.

When we got back into the car and proceeded on our way, I just had to sit there and look at the guy for awhile. I thought he was one of the smartest people I knew. Went to Yale, and shit. Lived down the hall from the founders of microsoft or Apple or some melarky like that. Was talking laptops and Dick Tracey wireless internet connections back in the seventies. "Just imagine!" he exclaimed.

Anyway, Larry dropped a couple of points in the Smartest People I Know ranking, akin to Texas falling to Oklahoma late in the season, down from two to three or four, and I really didn't know the other five well enough to ascertain the depth of their knowledge and sarcasm, or their degree of brilliance. So, it was all pretty much relative and irrelevant, really.

But anyway, that's all beside the point. One of the things Larry once said was, "Work is play!" and I wanted to pass that along to you.

And Carl would add, "Until it's not."



Team Gave 'Green Light' on Executions


KHUK KHAK, Thailand - Recently released documents from the White House and Dept. of Defense indicate that the pirate negotiating consulting firm, 'Pirate No-Go & Associates', gave the green light in the run-up to the rescue of an American ship captain and the execution of his captors off the coast of Somalia.

Speaking on the condition of anonymity, a senior White House official said, "Yes, after five days of getting nowhere with the pirates, we acted on the advise of the No-Go team. I think most Americans were pleased with the outcome."

The public spokesman for the firm, Manny, said, "The team, comprised of the smartest people we know, was divided at first between those who wanted to 'gas 'em', and those who favored execution by Navy Seal."

"As gassing them would have involved revival and a long court battle," said Manny, "they decided the most expedient means would be to dispatch the pirates forthright at the most immediate opportunity."

The rationale for the action was that extended negotiations would not facilitate the captain's release.

"Bottom line is," said Manny, "we don't negotiate with no pirates."