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Friday, August 12, 2016

Missing Tukta and Udon Thani │ What You Can Do to Overturn the Stabenow-Roberts GMO-Labeling Bill (S. 764)

In a false expectation that my wife Jack would likely be home late last evening from Vancouver, I kept the T.V. on until midnight.

Mango Thai Restaurant closes at 10:00 p.m., but even with the cleaning-up that staff engage in afterwards, I deemed it unlikely that she would be as late as this in getting here to Surrey.

So I wrapped things up and was soon enough to bed.

My youngest step-son Pote was up and alone ─ i.e., his nearly omnipresent girlfriend wasn't here.

I think my first serious break in sleep occurred around 4:16 a.m. ─ or at least, that's when I checked the time and decided to take a bathroom break.

Sleep was piecemeal thereafter, though I seemed to be dreaming a lot.  I just can't seem to remember them like I could when I was a young man.

I think that I finally got up around 7:18 a.m.

Pote was asleep.

I put a little work into the new post I have 'on the go' at my website Amatsu Okiya, but I had to break off to start getting prepared for my hike to the government liquor store about two miles away over at 108th Avenue & King George Boulevard here in Whalley.

I knew the day was projected to be sunny and hotter than we've had in some weeks, but I was very much surprised at just how hot it was to actually be.

It was 10:33 a.m. when I left home with Pote still abed.

I was back home at precisely noon (Pote was gone), but the return trip bearing a dozen cans of strong (8% alcohol) beer from each hand had me perspiring harder than I can remember doing thus far this year.

The experience definitely sapped me.

I had hoped to do some sunning afterwards, but I felt too much concern at the level of abuse the hot day would be for me out there under that brilliant Sun.

I wasn't feeling particularly stable ─ I was still suffering from excessive heat.

Besides, my shaven head already had a fair amount of exposure ─ wouldn't it be unwise to subject it to more?

So I scrapped the plan.

And instead ─ around 1:33 p.m. ─ I lied down upon my bed in just my undershorts, my eyes blindfolded to rest them from the daylight.

It helped me to cool down, even though I never sank into a nap as I had hoped I would be able to do.

I was only there a half-hour or so.

I think part of my trouble relaxing initially was failure in getting my mind off a video I had just seen of a bear chasing down a cow ─ apparently on August 4 in northwest Wyoming.

A fellow on a fishing trip filmed the footage from inside the safety of his vehicle as he came upon the chase on the highway.

He honked his horn a few times in a hopeless gesture of scaring off the bear while it was doing its worst to the slower cow, but the bear was not dissuaded.

I reckon that short of having a rifle and the will to use it on the bear, there wasn't anything that could have been done.

It is a rather ghastly sequence of less than 50 seconds that you are better off not witnessing if you are excessively sensitive about this sort of thing.

If you are morbidly curious, however, and have not yet seen the footage, then try here ─ the link ought to open up the video full-screen into a new browser.

My wife Jack phoned me after I was up from that rest.  She wanted me to take some frozen beef out of the fridge icebox, and to also take out a large tub of frozen pasta sauce she had prepared awhile back that was put into the freezer in our storage room.

Well, I found the tub of sauce sitting outside of the freezer ─ thoroughly thawed and very warm, for the room is rather exposed to the sunshine, and even has a so-called skylight in the ceiling.  In truth, the room was sweltering.

I couldn't detect that the sauce had spoiled, but my sense of smell is not the keenest.  I put the tub into the fridge to get it cold again, and let Jack know the bad news.

I was last into the freezer on Monday and had to take out a number of items in a search for some ground beef I had tucked away in there.  Did I overlook the tub of sauce when I put the frozen items I had removed from the freezer back into it?

Or was someone more recently at fault ─ one of my two step-sons, or my younger brother Mark?

There is just no way of knowing.

After all, the sauce was not left out deliberately.  Thus, any one of us who may have done it will of course not remember forgetting to put the sauce back after a bit of a rummage through the freezer in search of something.

Anyway, yes, Jack will be coming home tonight, even though the Pattullo Bridge will be closed for the entire weekend as its ongoing rehabilitation continues, and she'll be forced to use the toll-heavy Port Mann Bridge.

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I have written frequently before of how I was befriended by some Thai ladies in Udon Thani when I first visited Thailand in January 2003, and one of them ─ Tukta ─ owned her own car and was often involved in driving us around on sightseeing excursions.

It was on that visit in 2003 that I was to meet Jack.

I returned to Thailand in January 2004 to get engaged to Jack, and again in May 2005 to marry her, but I was never to see dear Tukta in either of those follow-up visits.  She didn't live in Udon Thani.

I've not been back to Thailand since the 2005 visit when I married Jack.

Tukta and I still keep in touch via E-mail and such.

She is raising a little boy whose mother oddly just left him in Tukta's care and went away ─ that was two or three years ago.

Tukta E-mailed me a few photos yesterday.

She looks rather dreadful in this first one ─ I'm surprised that she even saved it, let alone decided to forward it to me:


That image is undated, so I don't know when she took the 'selfie.'

The next two are of her and the little boy, and were taken on August 8:



And this final photo was taken of August 11:


I really liked Tukta, and I am very sorry that I was not able to retire as I had hoped ─ living over there for most of each year.

I was not able to follow that dream because having my wife Jack and her two sons here in Canada had plunged me into an ineluctable debt that only a miracle lottery-win will ever deliver me from it.

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Evidently it was on July 29 (2016) that President Obama acquiesced to Big Business and signed off on the Stabenow-Roberts GMO-Labeling bill (S. 764) ─ perhaps better known as the DARK (Deny Americans the Right to Know) Act.

The national bill allows the food industry to voluntarily offer QR codes on labels that may or may not indicate if the food product contains GMO ingredients; or there might be a telephone number a consumer can call to learn that information.

This was done instead of making it the law that all labels clearly state in as many words whether or not a product contains GMO ingredients, or is itself a GMO food.

Apparently 90% of the public wanted the information clearly spelled out on labels, but President Obama went back on his 2007 campaign pledge to ensure that he would enact legislation to make labels carry the plain truth about whether or not the product contained GMO ingredients. 
The American public wants clear GMO-labels on packaging, but politicians voted to protect major chemical and biotech corporations instead.
Senators voted for the infernally useless bill, and it was subsequently placed before Obama to sign ─ which he obediently did.

I don't have an application on my cellphone to read QR codes ─ do you?  I don't even want one.

But even if you do have such an 'app,' are you going to be scanning absolutely everything you might buy that does have that code, just to see if the product contains GMO ingredients?

And what if there is no code, and only that toll-free phone number?  Would you actually dial it for every product that has the number instead of a QR code?

But remember ─ the label doesn't even have to have a QR code or a toll-free phone number ─ this is entirely voluntary for the food industry.

Thus, the American consumer cannot possibly really know if the things he or she is buying are entirely GMO-free.

And apparently there may not even be a legal penalty involved anymore if a company lies and declares its product to be GMO-free.

It may not be too late for Americans to revolt against this travesty of a bill and demand that it be overturned.  You can read about what you may be able to do here:


I am so fed up with politicians who just do what the hell they want, and who don't give a damn about the public.

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I think I'm ready now to close off with this entry from my journal of 41 years ago when I was 25 years old, and living in a basement housekeeping unit in New Westminster.

The house I was renting the room at was located on Ninth Street at Third Avenue.

I see that this was to be one of those days in which I would be hiking out to my mother Irene Dorosh's  home in the Kennedy Heights area of Surrey.

The house is gone now, but its address was 12106 - 90th Avenue.  It was my main mailing address.

The hike to get there from my New Westminster room was roughly 1½ hours of fast-paced walking.
TUESDAY, August 12, 1975

I got up about 7:50 a.m., finishing off some crazy dream in which Mark was attempting to hunt me down and kill me for some petty slight.

Just prior to 10:45 a.m. I believe David was knocking; make that 9:45 a.m..

I left for mom's, but from 11:30 a.m. - 2:30 p.m. I sunned at the spot I tried once afore a short distance up the track.

Alex proved to be at work.

For mail I found a third ad for the yoga book I once wasted money on, my first Western lottery ticket for the fall draw, and a Donald M. Grant flyer.

I had a light snack, and then remained for supper.

Phyllis appeared for a short time, a while before Alex came home.

After mom left to work, I booted up and said farewell to Alex.

At home I exercised.  I wonder if ever I shall be rid of the flab smothering my abdominals and waist!

I shall be in bed before 10:00 a.m.
Was I feeling some guilt, perhaps, for feeling myself to be in love with my younger brother Mark's girlfriend?

My poor old friend Philip David Prince ─ I can scarcely believe how often I succeeded in avoiding the unfortunate chap.

I had known him since Grade VIII (1962/1963) at Newton Junior High School out in Surrey.  However, he had been living in New Westminster for several years, just as was I.

Alas, he was a tenacious visitor if he gained entry, and I usually had other things I wanted to do than be stuck in my room with the garrulously pontificating fellow.

So I would ignore his knocks if he came calling.  It was better to visit him when I had little else to do.

Apparently it was my intention to derive some sunning on this day while hiking to my mother's home.

The following map illustrates the Pattullo Bridge where I would have hiked from New Westminster (left) into Surrey:


However, back in 1975, the South Fraser Perimeter Road (SFPR) did not exist; and I don't remember Scott Road (120th Street) swinging as far away from the bridge as it does on that map.

I would hike over the bridge and then turn right onto Scott Road, following it a short ways until I met up with what were then the B.C. Hydro Railway tracks.

It was along that stretch of tracks between Scott Road and Old Yale Road where I would have spent the three hours sunning myself ─ I would have been in a field at the left of the tracks, for the right side was quite wooded.

That whole area where I sunned is probably cleared right out of the brush I would have had to pretty much hide away in while I sunned, safe from the sight of passersby.

Once done, I would have continued on along the railway tracks until I came to Scott Road again, up by 99th Avenue.

From there, I would continue along Scott Road until I got to my mother's home.

After my visit, I normally tried to get away before her husband Alex got off work and came home, so I am rather perplexed as to why I remained for supper and even lingered after my mother left to perform her evening janitorial duties ─ the office building of Scott Paper (now Kruger Products) in New Westminster was her main gig, so I could have gotten a ride back to New Westminster with her.

But for whatever reason, I waited until she left for work, and then readied myself, bade Alex a farewell, and set off on the hike back to my room in town.

The flyer from Donald M. Grant always exhibited some exciting new publications ─ hardcover collector's editions of books by authors such as Robert E. Howard.

I still own a few Donald M. Grant hardcovers, but I had parted with others back in the 1980s when my life was somewhat tumultuous..

I mentioned that my older maternal half-sister Phyllis dropped in for a time to visit our mother.

Anyway, I made it back to my room, and then engaged in some exercising. 

The hike would wipe me right out today, and I would be stiff as hell in no time whatsoever one it was done with; but back then, it was a limbering warm-up, I guess.

I never did pare off that "smothering" abdominal flab obscuring my abdominals, although I have at times come close.
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