Sunday, December 30, 2012


After nearly 4 months in the pot, here is the bounty from about 5 spuds planted from a grab bag of mixed fingerlings that had been sitting around. Not too bad. The greens and leaves hadn't really completely wilted or died as most literature I read said should happen when they are ready to harvest. Though as Ozzie the dog began to enjoy snacking on the green tops, and with all the rain in December, the pot was eternally waterlogged, so it seemed like a good guess to pull them up. Next time I'll use one a potato bags (that Theresa gifted me for X-mas!), so I can keep layering the soil higher and higher to get more potatoes.

Someone gave me a massive evecherria succulent off of freecycle a few months back that was in bad shape. I cut off all the thingers and replanted them in a few pots/boxes, and they are now exploding:
Ozzie the potato top eater.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

D & M

Durian and mangosteen season was in full wing. Hooi's parents brought us to this durian stand outside Kuala Lumpur and picked out the plumpest durians for a proper tasting of the prickly and smellerific fruit. Naturally, you must top of your durians with a round of mangosteens afterward. Even a peon from medieval times could have postulated such a correlation beforehand. So we relented to such generosity and indulged.

Check it:
An unusually pale looking Malaysian scopes out the durians

Sunday, December 2, 2012


This was a pretty cool picture I took in Krabi town, Thailand. Hope he gets the 10 cent bottle refund.

Saturday, December 1, 2012


Tiger A, wants in on the water, pondering a move:

Tiger A, pounces:

Tiger B, making a comeback:

Thursday, November 29, 2012


Thai roti, not to be confused with Indian roti, is a rolled up crepe-like desert pancake, usually sweet, typically filled with condensed milk and bananas. Here in Krabi, we sampled it nightly, whipped up in saute pans in carts alongside the streets.

Sunday, November 18, 2012


Why am I still posting things from travels that happened nearly 6 months ago one might ask? With the barrage of traveling from May-August, combined with school, graduation, thesis, visitors, moving, starting a new job, and life in general, I never really got around to posting much of it, especially from the whirlwind southeast asia trip. And there was a lot of it. I recently managed to print my 2011 posts into a hardbound book. I had already done so with 2010. So, I am trying to play a bit of catch up to get what I can down on paper. While I'm still gettig 50-100 hits/day to the blog (mostly organic traffic, a feat in and of itself), I might as well go for the shameless pile up of key words while I still can. I'm not too sure what the plan with the blog is after that. Something more local, surely. Whoever gets automatic feeds from this thing and is rolling their eyes, feel free to allow me to alleviate your suffering :) 

With that said here are some shots from the beautiful Thai island of ko phi phi, where we spent a few days.

Hiking up to one of the island peaks

Just another impeccable Thai kitchen that happens to serve up great food
Taking a boat for some snorkeling and to a few smaller islands
Fearless captain
Maya Beach. I am impermeable to the color changing effects of sun.
Great fire shows on the beach
Friends we met on the boat, from Kentucky and Buenos Aires. Someone can't hold a camera steady.
Feckless use of fire.

Food Bike

The best pad thai in Phuket comes with a motorcycle attached and is consumed on the kiddie stool adjacent to the bike. Lets hope at least the engine isn't running while the food is being cooked.

Saturday, November 10, 2012


Just got my Masters diplomas (note the plural, ha...ha). One in English, one in Dutch, each signed by all three Universities. They are done really nice. Sooo cool.

Moto Times

Zipping through the rural mountains in northern Thailand around Chiang Mai on the back of a tiny motorcycle was one of the funnest parts of the trip through southeast asia. Luckily, Dennis was pretty good at driving the thing. His confidence grew by the hour, as so did my nervousness as my ass hung half off the back of the bike. Pretty soon he was driving like a local, zipping through cars, and using the shoulder (aka madman style). The great thing about being on a bike is that we could easily go where we wanted, making plenty of stops when just about anything caught our eye.

View of Chiang Mai during a pit stop up a nearby mountain

Temple pit stop

Pit stop to snack on some rambutans

Pulled over at this isolated roadside shack for some iced coffee.

Time to walk it.

Letting the bike cool down. The mountains were a little too much for Mr. Engine

Leaving Chiang Mai

Stopping for gas

Swerdlow showing us around on the first day

Stopping at a night market for what else, more rambutans.

Thai Buddhist Monks

Really know how to climb:
These are 'trainees'. Most Thai boys spend a period as monks when they are young.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Thai Markets

Anyone who has spent a minute or two with me while traveling knows one thing: I love markets. I'm drawn to them like a magnet. Chiang Mai and the surrounding region, in northern Thailand, has some of the best food markets I've ever been to. They are great not only for their wide variety of known and unknown foods, but they feel lively, are generally tented or partly covered (and it feels like the motorcycles are nearly part of the market), and oftentimes dingy. God knows what half of the stuff is. But mostly succulents.

The first few are of a market in central Chiang Mai:
Nuts, beans and mysterious dried fruits.

Malaysisa is the real place to get durians, but you can still get the putrid stuff in Thailand
Bok Choy?

You sure have your choice in rice type
 This was a busy market a ways out of town that Dennis & I spotted while driving back on our moto. Everything was served in plastic baggies (soups included). We definitely didn't look the part here, but it was a zillion times more local than the one in central chiang mai. We picked up some soups in baggies, and spent five minutes asking around to buy some bowls and spoons (which no one had because they were all taking their food home). We found a table outside a residence a few blocks down to chow down.

For desert we bought some roti from this lady. This roti was filled with bananas and condensed milk.
Bagged soups.
This is a market near the Chiang Mai University that Brian took us to. Also filled with tons of great stuff and unknowns:

Brian scoping out one of his favorites....a Chiang Mai special to bring back to a friend Bangkok
Fruits and motos.