TOP BUFFETS OF 2012

Every year, in the past, we have named the Best Buffet for the year. Every year, without question, one buffet is named - and many agree. Shady Maple in East Earle, Pennsylvania gets top honors. But, there are so many other great buffets that don't get named because they are not as large and not as extensive as Shady Maple. This has bothered me for awhile. It is like waiting for the new cowboy to

Mein Wort des Jahres "Weniger"

Nun ist das Jahr schon wieder fast zwei Wochen alt. Ich weiß nicht wie es euch geht, aber mit guten Vorsätzen in dem weitverbreiteten Sinne habe ich es nicht so. Nicht, dass es nichst gäbe, was man verbessern oder ändern könnte.

Doch die Vorsätze, wie sie meistens gefasst werden (endlich abnehmen und das Gewicht, das man als Teenie hatte, erreichen und halten, viel  mehr Sport, nur noch gesunde, fettarme, zuckerfreie Ernährung...), sind unreal und sehr schwer umzusetzen. Ich halte es eher so, dass ich versuche, mich weitestgehend richtig zu ernähren, dass Sport zu meinem Leben gehört. Mal schaffe ich es meinen Joggingplan einzuhalten, mal gibt es ein - zwei Wochen, wo es nicht so gut läuft.

So habe ich keine Vorsätze für das neue Jahr in dem Sinne. Ich habe mir aber ein Projekt für dieses Jahr vorgenommen. Eine Art Jahrbuch zu einem Wort und das ist für mich "Weniger". Ähnlich wie der Blog "weniger ist mehr" oder dem Simply life Prinzip, will ich Schritt für Schritt entlasten. Das betrifft meinen Haushalt, jede Schublade, jede Ecke, jeden Schrank. Aber auch Freizeit und alles Andere.
Nicht mit übereilten Projekten oder Zeitplänen, sondern immer und immer wieder bis es langsam aber sicher zur Gewohnheit wird und ich nicht weiter darüber nachdenken muss. Und dazu will ich mein Jahrbuch führen und gestalten. Will darin die einzelnen Aktivitäten und Ergebnisse, aber auch Erfahrungen darin festhalten.

Wie sieht es bei euch aus? Habt ihr gute Vorsätze für dieses Jahr? Habt ihr Projekte, die ihr über das ganze Jahr führen wollt? Was haben die zum Inhalt und wie sehen sie aus?

Ich werde über meine Jahresaufgabe immer mal wieder berichten, euch Bilder zeigen und mein Album und dessen Fortschritt präsentieren.

Nun wünsche ich euch ein schönes Wochenende#
Für den Moment
liebe Grüße
Conny

Schwein gehabt...

Meine Tochter kam vorige Woche nach Hause und präsentierte mir stolz ihre gerade gewerkelten Figuren.

Seht mal:
Die Ohren und Haare hat sie mit dem Wellenquadrat gestanzt und dann zurecht geschnitten und geformt.

Mir gefielen die Schweine und ich dachte mir, dass man die doch sicher komplett aus Stanzteilen machen können müsste.

Da habe ich mich hingesetzt und einwenig probiert. Und hier meine Schweinerei....
Die Ohren sind aus den Flügeln der Vogelstanze, die Haare sind aus dem Wellenkreis und die Nase ist die Framelits Form Knöpfe für die Big Shot.

Diese Schweinchen habe ich mit ins Büro genommen und als Glücksbringer für meine Kollegen/innen verschenkt. Sie kamen super gut an und zauberten sofort ein Lächeln in die Gesichter.

Für den Moment
liebe Grüße
Conny

TRADITIONAL THAI MASSAGE--- ( THE JOY AND BENEFITS )

One of the many joys about living in Thailand for me is my discovery of the famous Thai massage . Monday is the highlight of my week as I have a lady who comes to the house at 10 o'clock am every Monday and gives me a massage that always gets me started on my week with a" spring in my step and a song on my lips" as the old saying goes. I use to just go with a two hour classic Thai massage, but now that I am really into it for my health and since of well being ,I have started to have a one hour traditional Thai massage ,and I told her from the start not to jerk me apart and I want no pain, and after that I have a cup of coffee and then I'm ready for my wonderful one hour herbal oil massage , and I can say that it is to kill for , her hands are like Angel wings gliding over my body and and the strengh from her hands seem to be absorbed by my body as it is rejuvenated and when it is all over ,rather than "feeling like a wet noodle" so to speak, I feel like a dead battery that has been hooked up to a quick charger and I ready to take on whatever up's and downs life has to throw at me for the rest of the week.

The Thai massage uses both the palm and thumb,to concentrate on the pressure points of your whole body. This type of massage includes some streching,to reduce fatigue and to relax tired and tight muscles, and also to improve the blood circulation,this type of massage can be very helpful and relaxing for those older folks like myself and and also for anyone that is having trouble with poor circulation of blood to their legs and feet.

"Thai Massage ,one of the hot "new" massages offered by most spas,was actually developed by the Buddhist monks in thailand as a healing modality 2,500 years ago.It uses passive streching and gentlepressure along the body's lines to increase flexibilty,relive muscle and joint tension and balance the body's energy systems.It is both deeply relaxing and energizing."( quote from a article by Anitra Brown,about .com )

Thai massage has its roots and beginnings in a spiritual tradition, and its puropse is to heal a person physically,emotionally and spiritually.It should not be confused with sensual, and Swedish massage.

Hope you enjoyed this post and that if you have never tryed a traditional Thai massage before that you give it a try, I think you will be pleasantly surprise at they way your body will feel afterward, and remember ,if you want,that you tell the therapist that you want no pain ,at least not the first couple of times , thats the way I did it and loved it .Just a side note ,I had a friend who went for a Thai massage and he laid down on the mat and just went with the flow, the next day he ,was so sore he couldn't hardly get out of bed . ha ha . Malcolm

Rang Hill (Khao Rang) in Phuket Town

Rang Hill (Khao Rang) is found on the north side of Phuket Town and is a popular gathering place for locals in the evenings or at weekends and quite a lot of tours take a quick drive up here too. There are 3 different roads up to the top from the south and east sides of the hill (check the map at the end of the page). The main route starts on Mae Luan road next to the Rang Hill Dental Clinic (which we use!). There's a big sign at the corner saying "Khao Rang". The road is shady and well kept. You pass a restaurant called Phuket View on the way up - must try it one day! And finally reach a parking area with a little park in the center at the top of the hill. It is walkable, though a hot walk of about a mile from the bottom. It's not one of Phuket's highest hills, the top is about 140m above sea level, compared to nearby Monkey Hill about 270m high (the one with all the aerials on top) and Phuket's high point is well over 500m above sea level.

Rang Hill (Khao Rang) Sunset

(above) View from Rang Hill looking Southwest to Chalong - and you can just see the hill with the Big Buddha on the far right of the photo. From the main viewpoint you can't see much of Phuket Town which is mostly to the Southeast of the hill. But the view to the west and south is nice with all the hills. Not a spectacular view, but pleasant, and since there's a carpark and place to eat, people come.

Rang Hill Panorama

You'll often see couples sitting together quietly enjoying each other's company and the fresh air and trying to ignore the minibus full of Aussies who just arrived.

Couple on Rang Hill

Rang Hill Viewpoint

(above) A couple and (maybe) some Aussies enjoy the view at Rang Hill

One of the other routes up the hill starts at a small turning just south of the Vachira Hospital, and passes a hard-to-find temple, called (yes) Wat Khao Rang. I'd never seen this temple until January 2012, it had somehow eluded me and is well worth a visit. A 3rd route starts on a side road near the Bangkok Phuket Hospital, passing the Dairy Hut restaurant and the Royal Spa.

The "Other" Phuket Big Buddha

(above) Big Buddha at Wat Khao Rang

There's a well known restaurant (Tunk Ka Cafe) on the top, which is a real Phuket legend, it's been there since before the days of tourism. Easy enough to find, bit of a walk downhill on some steps made from old railway sleepers which must have come from some distance away as there's no railways in Phuket! They do great iced coffee and have a menu of local food, not that expensive and great view from there too. Nice in the evening with the lights spread out below.

Ice Coffee at Tunk Ka

There's a newer restaurant at the top too - Khao Rang Breeze. More expensive, I have not eaten there, I prefer funky to fancy and so does my wallet. They do have a great toilet there ....

Auuuu!

(above) sign for the toilet at Khao Rang Breeze

Statue of Korsimbi Na Ranong

This statue is in the park at Rang Hill. His name is Ratsada Korsimbi Na Ranong, and he was governor of Phuket around the turn of the 20th century. He did a lot to advance Phuket, especially modernizing the tin mining industry, building the Bang Yai canal through Phuket Town, and bringing the rubber industry into Phuket on a large scale. That's today's history lesson. With tin and rubber, Phuket was already quite a wealthy place before any tourists came here.

Family at Rang Hill

That's my wife and kids enjoying the view just around sunset from Rang Hill. We've been up here countless times and while you get more spectacular views from the Big Buddha or from Phromthep Cape, Rang Hill is a nice place to stop if exploring around Phuket Town, which I often do!

UPDATE NOVEMBER 2014 - a New Viewpoint is now open at Rang Hill!

Rang Hill - Location Map


View Rang Hill, Phuket Town in a larger map

Oh sind die schön....

Wenn die allerbeste Freundin der eigenen Tochter so vor einem steht und dabei immer wieder die Gästefilzschuhe streichelt und betrachtet, die sie für ihren Besuch bekommen hat, was macht man bzw. "Frau" dann????

Ich jedenfalls setze mich dann hin und mache ihr eben welche. So geschehen am 01.01.2013, als Lisas Freundin über Silvester bei uns war und am späten Nachnachmittag wieder abgeholt wurde. Und... das ist das Schöne am Filzstricken, man schafft das echt in ein paar Stunden. Vormittags angefangen und nachmittags schon in der Waschmaschine gefilzt.

Doch seht selber:
 so sahen die Schuhe vor dem Filzen aus...
...und so danach.

Das Mädel war ganz begeistert und hat ihre Schuhe mit einem Strahlen mit nach Hause genommen.

Für den Moment
liebe Grüße
Conny

Glücksbringer

Ich weiß nicht wie es euch geht, aber mich hat der Alltag ab heute für ein Stück wieder. Der Arbeitsalltag hat wieder angefangen....

Dieses Jahr war ich, seit dem ich in dem Haus wohne (und das ist nun schon über 8 Jahre), zum 1. Mal zu Silvester zu Hause. Also habe ich wie zu Nikolaus, Ostern, Weihnachten auch, den Nachbarn eine Kleinigkeit gebastelt und vor die Tür gelegt.

Seht mal.
Ein kleines Kleeblatt aus ausgestanzten Herzen. Beim Zusammenkleben hat mir meine Tochter und ihre Freundin Jessica geholfen. Mädels noch mal vielen Dank dafür.

Eine Nachbarin hat sich so gefreut, dass sie das Kleeblatt direkt an ihr Namensschild an der Tür geklebt hat.

Nun wünsche ich euch einen tollen Dienstag
Für den Moment
liebe Grüße
Conny

Family Reunion in South Carolina

I know, it's been a while , but with all the excitement of Christmas and New Years , we've been busy , and we lost our beloved boy (dog) Sabu over the holidays , sooo that was a hard time too. Things are getting back to normal now . This will be the last post of our trip to the USA last year , it was a great time with friends and family and we still talk about all the folks and food and fun we had . Hope you enjoyed the little post and pictures . This next trip was a trip from Tenn. to S.C. for a little mini "Burgess" family reunion in Marietta , S. C. It took place at the old restored home place of Marietta and Oren Moore , what wonderful host they were and the place is like a step back in time , every room has a different theme to do with their family and everything is really old , but looks new, a wonderful restoration job and labor of love by Oren (Benny ) Moore for his sweet wife .Lots of Burgess's and their families showed up from all over and it was a wonderful time ,Food was brought by all and I ate till I thought I'd pop, lol. I'll never forget this get together . Took a lot of pictures of the place and folks and will post a few  , hope you enjoy.

The next post and afterwards will be back to life in Thailand and of our life here in Wang Pho .

Dairy Hut Seafood Restaurant, Phang Nga

Happy New Year 2013 (or 2556 here in Thailand, we're way ahead)! This is the first blog post of 2013, and it's a restaurant we tried on January 1st. From our house near Phuket Town we can normally drive over the Sarasin bridge in about 45 minutes and over the bridge is Phang Nga province which we are exploring more and more in the last couple of years. I need to make a new blog post about Phang Nga linking to all the posts on the blog that involve a trip over the bridge. On January 1st we headed out for a new year lunch, and Dairy Hut Seafood was the target. We'd seen it opened sometime last year, a new branch of the Dairy Hut restaurant in Phuket Town, which is one of our regular places.

From the bridge, its about 40 minutes to Phang Nga Town and there are places to visit on the way such as Wat Suwan Kuha, a temple built in a cave, and Wat Manee Sri Mahathat, which is right by the road, featuring a huge black statue of a revered monk. Just before Phang Nga town, there's a junction - the road goes straight to town and right towards Krabi, and this is also the way to Surat Thani and the east coast of Thailand. Less than 1km down this road is a PTT gasoline station on the right, and 2km later on the left is Dairy Hut Seafood. Easy to spot.

Dairy Hut Phang Nga Restaurant

It certainly looks like a newly opened restaurant - all very clean, freshly painted and with carefully tended grounds. And of course on January 1st it was quite full. A lot of cars parked and I was worried we'd not get a table! But it's bigger than it looks, and there's lots of outdoor (shaded) seating. Great location. Near the road, but it's not noisy, right next to a jungly mountain and a lake, and here's the view on the other side of the road...

Dairy Hut View Across the Road

I liked the place right away, and I am sure we'll eat there again. Seating was comfortable, and we had a lake view from our table. The menu is big, and it would be easy to over-order! We ended up spending about 900 Baht for 4 people (yeh, 2 of the people are kids, but I tell you our kids eat a lot!). Price will depend what you order of course, as you can get lobster and big prawns or mantis shrimp, these cost more and are priced per kilo. We ordered half a dozen dishes and by the end we were stuffed, the food was not finished and we asked for a doggy bag!

The view from our table. Cheers! Happy New Year!

Cheers! At Dairy Hut Seafood, Phang Nga

So, what did we eat? First, I ordered 'Yam Pla Duk Foo' which is fried catfish salad, and a favourite dish of mine. I often head straight for the Thai Spicy Salad section of the menu. I like Yam Tua Pu (wingbean salad), Yam Gung Seab (dried shrimp salad), Yam Ta Krai (lemongrass salad) and more. The plate of Pla Duk Foo here was big. It comes with a mango salad with cashews and chili. Delicious!

Pla Duk Foo

Salad - Part of Yam Pla Duk Foo

I'm hungry just looking at that. Also had a fried fish dish, my daughter had some spaghetti carbonara, we also had some chicken with garlic and a big beef and vegetable hotplate. Everything was tasty though the spaghetti looked more like noodles and my daughter said they do it better at Dairy Hut in Phuket.

Beef Hotplate

Dairy Hut Food

This restaurant is certainly aimed at Thai people who want a nice, but not expensive, meal out. You can tell a lot by looking at the other guests, and the licence plates on the cars in the car park .. a lot were from Phuket. I did see 2 other non-Thai customers, both I guess were foreign residents like me, eating out with the family. Now of course a restaurant like this is not a place you're likely to visit for lunch if you stay in Kata beach. It would be a 2 hour drive, and you'd not want to get a taxi for a ride like that, would cost more than the food. If you stayed in the north of Phuket, or rented a car and went exploring in Phang Nga, a great place to stop and eat for sure, or try Tha Sai Seafood, a bit further away from Phuket, or Samchong Seafood, a bit closer. All in Phang Nga province. Just over the bridge from Phuket island ...

Dairy Hut Seafood - Location Map


View Dairy Hut Seafood, Phang Nga in a larger map

Back to school.


Yesterday was Parent Teacher Interaction day at my kid's school. Parents meet the teacher once every three months to know about the progress of their kids. That is four times a year.

In my time and all, I got to meet my English teacher that many times only in my full school life.

I know. I know. My less than perfect education still shows up.

It was my turn to go with the kid. My wife had gone the previous six times. Gender equality is a loose concept in India. Like Safe Delhi, Aadhar.

I got up at 8:30, shaved and went to school at 9.00 AM. The idea was to start early, get in first, get out fast and finish it in a flash. A technique that works well in many places but for... well you know where.

The receptionist handed me a token.
"How many kids are there in the class?" I asked as I saw the token number.
"Twenty five." She said and smiled.
I was the last. I cursed and joined the crowd - the crowd of people who wanted to beat the crowd.

Ten minutes later, I was sweating profusely. It was nothing serious. I was just having a major panic attack. I am scared of school. Shit scared. Every other night, even now, I have a nightmare where my school forms the setting. Following two are the scariest, hence best, nightmares of mine.

In the first dream, the teacher asks a tough trigonometry problem.
Nobody in the class knows but for me. I go up to the board to solve it.
Standing in front of the board, I look down and see that I am not wearing my pants. Or my underwear.
So it goes.

In the second dream, I am sitting in an exam hall, confident and well prepared.
The question papers are distributed. I open the question paper and turn pale.
It is a Science question paper. And I am prepared for History.
So it goes.

I curl my fingers hard and suppress the urge to run away from that place.
I hate school.
The other places I hate are - college, office, house, road... so it goes.

I get up and go to the toilet.
The toilet: looks clean. smells good. but appears tiny.
The urinals, water faucets, toilet bowls, mirrors, everything has been fitted for kindergarten kids.
Suddenly the school seems less scary.
'I can do this.' I tell myself. I begin to feel relaxed.

Outside, it is the turn of the parent sitting before me to meet the teacher.
I could hear them talking from where I am sitting.
The kid inside is Einstein. Or so his father thinks. He is asking whether he should put the kid in Abacus.
"How about Vedic Mathematics?" The father asks next.
Then he wants to know when should a kid be introduced to computers.

Thirty minutes later I go inside.
The teacher hands me a report card. It is red in colour, as big as a weekly magazine and is folded into two sheets. I open the report card and see a table. My kid has been assessed and graded in twenty different parameters.
I study the report card closely.
The card is blue in colour inside. Small pictures of a butterfly, a balloon and two kids ( a boy and a girl) make up the three corners of the report card. There is a picture of a building in the fourth corner. It is a school. I know it because,it says so. Above the entrance of the building, it is written 'SCHOOL'. In block letters. No name. Nothing. Just

'SCHOOL'.
"Nice. Nice. Very Nice." I tell myself.

"Do you have any questions?" The teacher asks.
"Yes." I say. "Where is the toilet that you use?"

China Buffet, East Meadow, New York

I have been to the China Buffet many times but not since the opening of Chen's Buffet in Levittown, New York. This seems to be the case for many of China Buffet's customers. Many have started going to Chen's. My last article about China buffet was in January, 2010. Chen's opened just about a year after that and took away much of the little business that this buffet had. Chen's has become more and

Flohmarkt aufgefüllt, tolle Aktion von SU Valentinsschatz

Ich habe meine freien Tage u.a. dazu genutzt meinen Bastelschrank wieder mal auf Vordermann zu bringen und habe einige Teile aussortiert. Diese habe ich in meinem Bastelflohmarkt eingestellt. Diesmal einige SU Stanzen und eine BIGz Form einer kleinen Handtasche. Schaut doch mal rein.

SU hat zum Jahresanfang wieder eine tolle Aktion gestartet. Valentinsschatz.
Beim Kauf eines Stempelsets, dass es nur innerhalb dieser Aktion gibt, bekommt man ein komplettes Kartenset im Wert von10,95 € dazu geschenkt. Wahnsinn. Schaut doch mal rein.

Wenn ihr gern dieses Angebot nutzen wollt nehmt doch an meiner Sammelbestellung am 08.01.2013 teil.

Ich freu mich auf einen tollen, kreativen Januar mit euch.

Für den Moment
liebe Grüße
Conny