Saturday, August 29, 2009

While I was drinking coffee and deleting the posts of Disa, the spammer, I came upon my TBR list (To Be Read Challenge) that I posted in December. I've read about 60 books this year, but still haven't gotten around to most of the books below. Ah well, will be going on home leave soon so better bring a few of these with me.

List One:
1. Baghdad Burning II by Riverbend - I used to follow her blog but now I check back intermittently to see if she has posted anything new after 22 Oct 2007. She has blogged of her experiences as a Iraqi woman and her thoughts on the war, American troops and a life being boxed in by the violence and the aftermath of the occupation. In October 2007, the family decided to leave - and her last post was in Syria. What happened next? Where is she? Her first book was great and very intense.
2. The War of the Nerves by Ben Sheppard
3. Brasyl by Ian MacDonald
4. In the Spirit of Crazy Horse by Peter Matthiessen
5. Shriek: an Afterword by Jeff Vandermeer
6. Dark Sun by Richard Rhodes Vte
7. Gate of the Sun by Elias Khoury - currently reading
8. Black Lamb and Grey Falcon by Rebecca West
9. Wandering through Vietnamese Culture by Huu Ngoc Vte
10. Espresso Tales by Alexander McCall Smith
11. Alias Grace by Margaret Atwood
12. Development as Freedom by Amartya Sen

Alternate List:
1. Echo House by Ward Just
2. A Long Long Way by Sebastian Barry

3. A Mercy by Toni Morrison
4. Indignation by Philip Roth
5. Child 44 by Tom Rob Smith
6. Physics of the Impossible by Michio Kaku
7. 2666: A Novel by Roberto Bolano
8. The Stuff of Thought by Steven Pinker
9. Sly Mongoose by Tobia Buckell
10. Kirinyaga by Mike Resnick
11. A Case of Exploding Mangoes by Mohammed Hanif

12. A Grand Delusion by Robert Mann

Friday, August 28, 2009

Being spam-botted

Sorry to say, I've just put comments on verification and moderation cause some spam bot is leaving comments in Chinese on old entries. I myself find having to do the verification thing for commenting to be time-consuming when I'm on dial-up and sometimes the comments don't go through but I'm feeling desperate.

Anyway, I think I'll reconsider when and if the coast is clear....

I just can't imagine why these spam-bots exist. What benefit do they get in leaving messages on blogs, in other languages?

Friday, August 07, 2009

SWF - 7 August 2009


backtowards lao

I took the train to Bangkok. There is now a rail link between Thanaleng, Laos and Nongkhai, Thailand. This is a view back towards the Lao side.

cell phone reception

These guys were hanging out on the bridge. Not sure if they just like seeing the train go by or whether the cell phone reception is that much better.

I spent the next few days in Bangkok - dental work and sleeping. Finally felt some energy and walked around old neighborhoods I haven't visited in a long time.

monks in boat

River express taxi on the Chao Phraya River

Chao Phraya river front

Houses on stilts along the waterfront.

royal palace

An unusual view of the Sanam Luang, the Royal Park. I remember a grassy field from 20 years ago, but with various gatherings and demonstrations, they have now paved it over.Although there were some banners in favor of one side of the current rounds of problems, there were no demonstrators so the park has become a parking lot.

With the skies looking so threatening, it wasn't long before the sky poured down on us.


View from the pedestrian overpass by the MBK shopping center, looking across at the Sky Train station. I was happy I got up the stairs before the rain started coming down.

This is my contribution to Skywatch Friday, whose members post pictures of the skies around the world.