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Sunday, February 18, 2018

My Wife Jack Enjoys a Family Gathering Today Back in Thailand: Photos and Videos

Only my eldest stepson Tho was home last evening when I commenced watching a movie, but he soon enough left, and I was left alone to enjoy my selection.

I know that I could still enjoy a good Christmas movie, but I want to be home all alone before subjecting myself to one ─ I need a total absence of distraction from the presence of anyone else in the house.

My stepsons are constantly making such a hell of a ruckus in the kitchen ─ I don't need that when I am trying to immerse myself into the emotion of a good Christmas experience.

And so, not knowing that Tho would be going out, I opted to try a science fiction movie ─ The Girl with All the Gifts.

It was a "two cans of strong (8% alcohol) beer" flick.

Overall I was fairly caught up in the drama and excitement, but I was somewhat put off and disappointed with the ending. I had hoped the kid would somehow prove an ally of mankind ─ she seemed inclined that way, not at all wanting to be with "the hungries."

But in the end, she released a mass of spores that were going to destroy the last remaining human beings wherever on Earth they might exist; and the young female teacher she had come to love merely became her prisoner, shut up in an air-locked formerly-mobile lab, and with no further purpose in life than to be teaching the feral children who were like Melanie, "the girl with all the gifts."

The teacher would never again be able to set foot outside of her containment unit, or she would swiftly become infected and die via the fungal spores.

That seemed like a damned bogus ending to me ─ spend the decades of life ahead of her shut up in that contained lab with no possibility of ever knowing fulfilling love and human intimacy until she finally died.

But enough of the movie ─ it is what I suddenly discovered while its credits were running that is of import.

Throughout the movie, the living room window blinds were open, for I watch T.V. in the dark. Thus, I have a constant view of the outside.

Well, during the credits, I happened to turn my attention in the direction of the outdoors; and to my amazement, everything was white.

Snow was thickly falling, and already there seemed to be an inch of the stuff on the ground in the space of less than that movie's duration, for the scenery out there was not white when I began the show.

I heard Tho tell my younger brother Mark late this morning that Tho had been to a movie theatre last evening, and had been shocked to come outside afterward and find all of the snow magically everywhere ─ it was nearly like being teleported somewhere else.

Anyway, I took some photos with my cellphone while standing just outside of the front door last night, but I haven't checked to see if they turned out worthwhile.

I could have gotten to bed around 11:30 p.m., I suppose ─ maybe even earlier. But I had checked my wife Jack's Facebook account, and I found a number of new posts with many photos and even three videos ─ Jack is presently over in Thailand on a 14-week holiday to visit her mother at the family home in Nong Soong, a large village perhaps a 15-minute drive from the city of Udon Thani.

So I wanted to download the videos. But try and try as I did, the method I had been using with previous videos Jack had posted was suddenly failing me.

It would seem like the videos would be downloading, but when I would check the folder I was directing them into, all that would be there for each video were a supposed .mp4 file that was utterly empty of even a byte of content, plus some multi-megabyte .mp4.PART file that was not a video file and could not be played.

I finally gave up and went to bed well past midnight.

Today I found that if I used my Chrome browser instead of Firefox ─ which is my preferred browser ─ then I could finally get successful downloads. For whatever reason, Firefox has become deformed for video downloading purposes in just a day or two.

I resisted checking the time overnight until the point came when I realized that the day was bright outside ─ it may have been 7:51 a.m. when I then checked. It was definitely no earlier than 7:41 a.m.

I had spent possibly as much as 7½ hours in bed overnight without ever feeling wakeful enough to care to know the time, despite having a night of fractured sleep.

Just after I rose and emerged from my bedroom, my youngest stepson Poté started rousting himself from bed to soon ready and drive away to work.

Mark never got home after spending the night at the residence of his girlfriend Bev until just after 10:00 a.m.

I put in the minimum amount of work generally self-assigned for content addition on the post I am building at one of my six hosted websites, and by then it was well after 11:00 a.m.

That was when I turned my attention to my wife Jack's Facebook posts, and found myself able to download her videos using Chrome.

She was very productive with her photos. Of the many I selected for downloading, I even ended up dismissing a few of those rather than saving them into the Google Plus album where I have been filing them.

On the day's agenda was apparently a good-sized gathering of some family and friends at the farm-like home of one of her relatives ─ I would love to be living in that tropical setting!

I will lead off with these four photos which may have been taken on the drive to that location. Jack, the woman Jack always refers to me as being Jack's "sister-cousin," and Jack's old friend Daisha, are riding in the box of a pickup truck, along with a couple of young boys.

I didn't bother saving any of the photos Jack took of the boys, since I have no idea who they are; but here are the four photos of the three adults:





This is a nice picture of Jack with her only living brother Santi:


In this photo, Santi can be seen in the background, while Daisha is seated just beyond Jack:


Here are Jack and Daisha:


Jack had two other brothers besides Santi, by the way. One brother was much loved, and died in some sort of traffic mishap; the other was a trouble-making drug-user and drunk who may have overdosed or suicided.

This is also a nice picture of Jack with her brother-in-law, husband of Jack's sister Lumpoon:


Jack took a number of photos while she was off on a walk in the surroundings:










 
Jack looks so beautiful in those photos! 

I don't know who the woman in the shrubbery is:


Jack can be so very fun-loving and mischievous!

Here she is with crouching Daisha, her brother-in-law just behind Daisha, and a woman I am unfamiliar with:



Jack identified this as her very first motorcycle:


If it is, then she has taken me for a few rides on it when I visited her family home in both 2004 and 2005 before Jack ever had a visa to come here to Canada.

Okay, now here are the three videos.

Be advised that only Isaan Thai is being spoken, but in the first two videos Jack takes the viewer on a bit of tour of the surroundings.

I don't think she was using her iPhone 6 to do the filming, for the result is not as clearly focused as I would think would otherwise have been the case.

The videos were all apparently uploaded directly to Facebook as they were being recorded ─ live, in other words.

Finally, I also want to express how proud I am of Jack having such a comfortable presence ─ she seems such a natural videographer, if only she had a better means of recording.

These are the first two videos ─ remember, no English is being spoken:



The third video is half as long as the first two, and mainly involves what must be a productive fish pen of some kind in a klong:


I didn't include any photos that showcased Jack's mother or Jack's sister Lumpoon ─ the only other two people I would have been able to identify. But both are represented in the videos.

And here I am going to close today's post with one of my old journal entries from 41 years ago when I was 27 years old, and living in a basement housekeeping unit in New Westminster.

I was renting in a private home located on Ninth Street [Google map], and two houses up from Third Avenue.

The journal entry previous to this ended with me writing that I was leaving my room at 1:10 p.m. to hike out to the duplex unit that my younger brother Mark was renting in Surrey.

The duplex was located a reasonably short distance down Semiahmoo Road [Google map] from where it leads off from Old Yale Road.

Since I wrote nothing further until this latest journal entry two days thereafter, I must not have returned to my room.

For several months to this point in time, I had been spending more time at Mark's duplex than I think I was at my own room.

Mark worked on shifts at a mill (plywood?), and when he had day shift, I would usually ride back into New Westminster with him early in the morning because Mark had to drive through town to get to the mill that employed him.
FRIDAY, February 18, 1977

I came into town in the back of Mark's truck this morning, because he again took John & Dennis to work.

The only item worth mentioning in the way of mail at mom's yesterday was the credited pouch of Western Express Lottery tickets for March 9.

Bill [my old friend William Alan Gill who was still in a hospital following gastric bypass surgery] phoned me several times yesterday after I'd gotten back to Mark's, hoping I'd hike back to mom's and drive his car into town to pick him up from the hospital.

I finally declined, and at his request, phoned Nell's [my Aunt Nell Halverson] on his behalf; Bruce [my cousin Bruce Halverson] answered. He tried to get hold of me last Saturday to go over to his place, and said he might give me a call again this weekend.

Bill eventually got his ride from old family friend Evan.

Melody [Melody St. Jean, my ex-girlfriend] called me a few times too. She & Chris [her new boyfriend] were fighting.

After Bill got home [he may have been living with Melody and Chris, but I never indicated this previously in my journal, and I now do not recall it to be so], she invited me over, requesting I purchase a quantity of things at IGA, but at last cutting it down to cigarettes and Bill's chocolate bar.

When I did go, I bought these items at the drug store for $1.24 ─ and was not reimbursed.

I only stayed till 9:00 p.m. Now, besides a shitting, wormy Doberman, they've got a kitten. It was good to get away.

I believe St. Joseph's School ripped me off for a Provincial Lottery ticket.

*****

The landlady doesn't seem to be home, so I feared I might have a wait today for my cheque; but I surprisingly discovered it must have arrived yesterday ─ all $146 of it!

I cashed it, bought a $10 money order (I'll mail for another Provincial Lottery ticket from St. Joseph's School, and pay for the Western Express pouch to my credit), and visited the new Briscoe's meat market; unfortunately I wasn't given a chance to browse, and left with nothing when informed they were out of beef heart.

I'm leaving to visit dad at 11:30 a.m.

*****

The day was sunny.

Dad & Marie [Maria Fadden, his girlfriend] were home and sober. However, my conduct last time must have been a source of ire for Marie, as she remained  hostile and distant all day.

I spent about $4, having a filling meal of liver & onions with grated spuds; ¾ lb. of margarine was used for frying, but the feed didn't seem particularly greasy.

Marie took off in a rage after dad & I went to buy these things (she was convinced we'd gone boozing), returning as I was having the second part of supper.

Earlier this month in New West, dad saw Art Smith [an older former co-worker of mine], whose hand appeared broken. He'd fought 2 guys where Angie [Art's estranged wife] had moved in, and said calmly to dad in the beer parlour that he was going to kill her; Judd [Gerald Smith, Art's younger brother] joined them.

Too, dad also saw David Prince [another old friend of mine from my secondary school days].

He told Dave & Art that he didn't know if I'd moved or not.

Anyway, dad desperately wants employment to be free of Marie. Maybe we'll make it yet.

I watched TV with him till 11:00 p.m. (he dared continue no later), then left.
My father and Maria were living in Burnaby, not too very much this side of Metrotown. I would have walked to visit him, and then walked back to my room later.

It's interesting that he had recently bumped into both Art Smith and David Prince, both of whom were living in New Westminster as I was, for I had not seen either of those two guys for possibly a couple of months, I guess.

My friend Bill had let my mother Irene Dorosh have use of his car while he was in St. Mary's Hospital in New Westminster ─ a venerable medical institution that no longer exists.

I didn't want the responsibility of driving Bill's car into New Westminster from Surrey because I only had a learner's permit ─ I had never been licenced to drive, and I would not have been at all comfortable being in control of Bill's car entirely on my own.

I gather that when I phoned my Aunt Nell's home to see if someone there was available, no one was. My cousin Bruce was just slightly younger than I was, but he probably was not licenced, either. 

If Bill was indeed living with Melody and Chris, they were a reasonably close walk from where Mark was living ─ definitely less than a mile.

My mother and her husband Alex were living in the Kennedy Heights area of Surrey, but I believe that she was on a trip to Reno with a friend of hers; and Alex was working. Their home was my main mailing address, so I generally visited there maybe three times a week.

The house was less than three miles from Mark's duplex ─ no bother of a walk for me. 

I had means of gaining entry, too ─ no one needed to be home when I would go there. And that was what I preferred if only Alex was around ─ I was always a little uncomfortable socializing with him.

But back to the present now ─ I had to postpone finishing this post. My brother Mark arrived home from the bar ere I was quite completed typing out the old journal entry.

It is going to be well after 11:00 p.m. now before I get it proofread and published.

By the way, Mark announced to me that he would be retiring in three weeks.
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