T.I.T. Podcast Episode 56: Hot Fun in the SummerTime

  • Welcome to episode 56
  • A Sunday morning in Bangkok
  • Personal catch up episode
  • Hooray! No more weekends in Rayong
  • Almost summer break
  • No down time at all
  • More activities than teaching
  • Tom’s summer plans
  • Someone has a birthday coming up soon!
  • I like birthdays less and less the more I have them
  • Last birthday was atop Central World
  • A friend’s 40th
  • Brits and their ‘theme’ parties
  • The World cup just isn’t Tom’s thing
  • Just don’t enjoy sports…never have
  • American College football being the exception
  • More fast paced in my opinion
  • A visit to Chang Mai?
  • The Rose of the north
  • Different dialect of Thai spoken
  • Different ethnicity evident….more Chinese influence
  • Doi Intanon, the highest peak in Thailand
  • Stunning beauty in rolling mountains
  • Mountains vs. beaches in Thailand
  • The summers of my youth
  • Family vacations = mountains or beaches
  • Always big ‘to dos’ in my family
  • No big travel plans this summer though
  • Moving expenses are HUGE here!
  • Pattaya bound for sure
  • Hopefully only one more year there
  • New room, new class, new neighborhood
  • Not much of a peep out of the RedShirts
  • The calm after the storm
  • Considering doing an episode on Thai flaws
  • Tom doesn’t like to ruffle feathers
  • Fundamental flaws in Thai culture keep it down
  • Do I keep quite or speak up cause I care….
  • A video link from my friend Ken
  • Hello to a new listeners: Tom, and Arizona Chris
  • Go check out Tigger’s new vidcasts
  • Rambling closing remarks

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T.I.T. Podcast Episode 49: A Christmas Vidcast

Ho, Ho, Ho!  I thought I’d record a special vidcast for Christmas this year, instead of a podcast episode.  My partner agreed to sit down with me for a quick Merry Christmas to everyone out there, so please sit down and have a look and meet my partner for Christmas this year.  Lots of love and a very, very Merry Christmas to all of you out there!  (WARNING:  for some reason it seems to have been recorded quite loud!)

Email me at tominthai@gmail.com, please go Comment on my page or call my voice line at 1-206-426-2152 and leave me a voice comment for the show!

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T.I.T Episode 6: The Chapters of a Life

•    Welcome to episode 6
•    Comments, emails, messages…
•    Guns in your Dolce?
•    Do I lack flow?
•    Tom doesn’t take criticism well
•    When was the last time you complimented someone?
•    I’ve started running
•    Getting used to metric mess
•    My trip to the doctor and fear of needles
•    My bosses x-rated killer rabbit story
•    AJ is back…hooray!
•    I miss Tigger
•    Why I resisted podcasting at first
•    A chapter of my life is almost closed
•    Jimmy Kimmel and Richard Simmons….Again!
•    Why are we fascinated with crazy?
•    My 3 years without television,
•    I don’t like reality shows
•    Why so many crime shows?
•    The Mummy:  Tomb of the Dragon Emperor
•    Encino Man is starting to age….
•    Tom’s fascination with Asia goes back to childhood
•    Another week of next week off
•    Closing remarks and love
•    Email me at tomnthai@gmail.com or comment on my blog please!

Please let me know you guys are out there.  Please email and/or comment….still waiting for you guys to let me know how i’m doing.

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T.I.T Episode 2: The Journey

• New Intro jingle & Song: Get this Party Started by Shiley Bassey
• Welcome to episode 2
• Thanks for all the comments& encouragement thus far
• Last week of vacation and overcoming insomnia
• Not looking forward to going back to work
• I love Tom Hanks and Julia Roberts…”Charlie Wilson’s War.”
• Interesting side of an issue presented
• Why can’t more people see both sides of issues
• How did a country boy end up in Thailand
• Who is and how I met the professor March 1996
• When one night stands turn into relationships
• Lovers versus being best friends
• Knowing the end will come…or did I?
• The trial trip and final decision
• Blind leaps of Faith
• Still wasn’t enough in the end
• Why did I stay?
• Enough personal babble…
• Closing remarks and thanks again
• Closing Song: Temptation by Diana Krall

Always please feel free to email, message, question or comment and let me know how I’m doing. Thanks so much for all support and encouragement from everyone so far!

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Crazy Monday Ramblings from Chilly Willy…

Good morning, afternoon, evening or night depending on where and when in the world this finds you. It is late on a Monday afternoon here in Bangkok and boy is it hot outside. Actually, It is “shtonking” hot outside, to quote a dear friend of mine who once resided here in Thailand till quite recently. I’ve just come in from a strangely un-exhilarating trip out to the gym, and I wanted to sit down to write out my thoughts for you guys. You know, It always seems like I have good ideas to write about when I’m out and about away from my computer, but then my mind goes blank the moment I sit down here to share.

Did everyone have a good weekend? I meant to do something productive over the past weekend, like get up early and go out to visit the local aquarium with my partner. However, we spent the entire day on Sunday on our sofa cuddled up watching season 4 of Grey’s Anatomy instead. I’ve recently started getting into the show Private Practice, and it sort of connected the dots for me. Anyway, I feel sort of guilty that we didn’t get out of the house and do something productive but we just couldn’t get motivated to pull ourselves off the couch. However, I guess that is what lazy Sundays are made, right?

I’ve decided to embrace my problem with insomnia and make the best of it since I’ve still got 2 weeks left on my vacation time. There were some really great comments that came in from you guys that made me feel better about staying up all night, and I wanted to let you know I really appreciate the encouragement. I’m going to try and use the time productively, as I’ve still got to sit down to write out the last chapter of my study for my graduate degree. I might as well use the time I’m awake to do just that so I can finally wrap it up and be done with it. However, I know it seems silly, but I’m just about burnt out with doing work for my studies after all this time. I feel bored and lazy at the same time, and I can tell you that it’s not a good combination. I can’t help but hear my Mom and Dad’s voices in my head calling me Chilly Willy. He was this really cute little cartoon character I watched growing up, who’s favorite line was “me no like work.” So, having a penchant for being lazy and bored when I have down time is sort of a bad personality trait I seem to have possessed for a long time. I feel bored with things, but I’m to lazy to get off my behind to change what I’m doing. Anyways, I don’t know why I felt like sharing that with you today, but just wanted to get it off my chest. Maybe I’m not the only Chilly Willy out there in the wide world? However, for everyone else I hope you are having a productive start to your week and I’ll be back again to talk to you soon.

Attetion Spans and Slasher Flicks…

So, It is Monday here on a very soggy rain soaked Bangkok afternoon and I thought I’d sit down and share a few lines for my readers today.  I finished up the last term at work last week, so the first day of my summer holiday has officially come.  I went to the gym today thinking I would attempt to start the holiday off right, but I went to my gym’s branch I hate with the locker room like a sardine can cause it is closer.  However, despite changing in a confined space, I did enjoy a productive session and even bumped into an old friend on the way out.

I was thinking about what I should write for you guys today and unfortunately I kept coming up with a blank.  I’ve just not been feeling that creative or chatty lately and I don’t want to bore you guys by writing just for writing’s sake.  However, I finally thought of a couple of things  I wanted to “put out there” for your consideration and see if I can get some comments back on the topics.  I’d like to get some feedback from you guys on my  blog as far as optimal length of a post. How far down do you read in a person’s blog before you start to get bored?  I have a couple of blogs I enjoy that only do a paragraph or so with each post, but I also enjoy some that go on like the chapters of a novel in progress.  So, what do you think?  What is to long or to short?  How long is the average attention span of an educated adult?  Just some food for thought, and I’d honestly appreciate your feedback and opinions.

Anyways, on to my second thought which is bound to be much more thought provoking.  My questions is…Why do people like gory, slasher type horror movies?  I absolutely hate them, and I’ve had this discussion with a very close friend many times.  We agree that we just can’t work out the mass appeal of blood and guts type works of film.  I made the huge mistake of accidentally sitting down and getting caught up in watching one a while back called Hostel cause one of the actors was quite cute.   It started out looking like one of those cheap 80′s “boobs and alcohol” teen flicks, but it went terrible wrong about half way through the film.  Suddenly, these silly backpacker kids are being abducted, slowly tortured, and cut up into bits all for your viewing pleasure.  I want to know what is the appeal behind seeing a fellow man or woman sadistically or slowly murdered and tortured?  I mean sure…If you are a disturbed serial killer or psychopath then the appeal is obvious, but what about the rest of you?  Now, I’m not that thick because I know that it isn’t real, and that it is all just a story…special effects….blah, blah, blah.  However, my question still stands.  Why would you enjoy a pretend version of a fellow human being being slowly, agonizingly, tortured to death?  I also would like to differentiate between slasher films and scary monster type horror.  I can see the enjoyment out of watching a scary ghost, monster, or evil alien type of film as some enjoy a good shock of adrenalin that comes with the scare.  However, I don’t include slasher films in with this genre.  I still want to know what is the appeal?  I know some of you guys out there enjoy movies like this, so I’m hoping someone can enlighten me.  Well, on that pleasant note, I’ll be off for now.  Hope you are enjoying the start of your week wherever ever you are and will talk to you again soon!

T.I.T. Video Blog 3

I was to lazy to actually sit down and write a long post, so I thought I’d record a quick video blog to give you guys a little post birthday update. I talk about my exhausting week, ceremonies, and what I’m probably going to do with my upcoming free time next month. Anyways, have a watch and thanks for stopping by as always. I’ll write a post over the weekend so be sure to stop back through for a visit.

Could you take the mirror away now?

Good morning, afternoon, evening or night depending on where and when this finds you in the world.  It is Thursday evening here in the “Big Mango” and I’m relieved that there is only one more day to go till the weekend.  This year the fates have given us a mid-term break in our third term at work, so I’m looking at another whole week of vacation time off work again next week, yet again.  However, I’ve loads to do with my Graduate studies and helping a friend move, so don’t go getting jealous just yet.  We’ve had such a yucky wet week here in Bangkok, and I think it is safe to say that the monsoon season has started early this year in Thailand.  I’ve had the misfortune of getting caught out in the rain each and every day this week coming home from work, and I must tell you that I enjoy getting getting rained on as much as cats do.  The intense storms come rolling through the city like clockwork every day around 4:30, so I’ve managed to arrive home drenched every single day.  Fun times, right?

Anyways, I want to get on with my train of thought I had planned for this post so let me get it underway.  Do you consider yourself to be a friendly person?   Are you good at making new friends?  Do your friends consider you to be friendly and amicable?  Well, believe it or not…I don’t consider myself to be a friendly person.  I prefer my own company most of the time, strangers and new people make me uncomfortable, and I avoid large social gatherings like the plague.  My “real” life personality is not half as friendly as I come across, but a lot of that is just being from the south and raised in a culture of good manners.

I often wish i could learn to be more friendly and sociable but I have such a hard time overcoming my intense shyness.  Unfortunately, this all to often comes across as me just being a snob but nothing could be farther from the truth.   Until very recently I always have used alcohol to overcome my social fears, but my drinking has done more damage over the years than good.  I have found myself not able to interact socially at all now without the aid of alcohol and for the first time in my life I clearly see the problem that it has become.  I have become an alcoholic.  No, I don’t or didn’t drink every day but I am definitely a serious binge drinker.  It got to a point where the alcohol was negatively affecting my personal and professional life, soooooo…..it is time Tom said goodbye to the booze.

Well, that went in a direction I didn’t expect but I’m glad I put it all down just the same.  I don’t think I am at a place yet where i can share more about this issue, but I’ve been trying hard to take steps in the right direction.  I’ve been working out many things in my head lately and I just wanted to share with you and all my readers a little deeper into what makes Tom in Thailand the man he is.  Thanks for stopping by today to have a visit to my blog, and I certainly hope you will come again.  It is usually much more light hearted than this.  Take care and speak to you over the weekend!

Things you should know about this guy….

Happy Tuesday to you wherever this finds you and I hope your week is already treating you well.  I’m on day 4 of my between term vacation time, and already I’m starting to slip into that routine of sleeping till noon, and staying up till 3AM…Ahhh the good life!  Last Friday we had a little staff party around a colleague’s pool with lots of good conversation and red wine.  We had quite a mixed group nationalities represented like a South African, New Zealander, Mexican, Thai, and of course myself and one other being the Americans.  As the afternoon progressed the topic of conversation turned to American politics, and this wouldn’t be the first kind of these conversations I’ve had recently.  People of every walk of life from every country in the world are paying closer attention to this presidential election than any we’ve had before in recent times.  I think most citizens of other countries believe America has this one chance to redeem itself and do the right thing.

When i traveled outside the US five years ago to work, I learned something I had never known before.  My country’s reputation outside the US was and is very low.  Despite what the media in the US feed us at home, the world at large is tired of the America being the big bully, or the police force of the world.  Our leader is seen as arrogant, a war monger, and just ignorant of the responsibility of the duty of his position.  Now is finally our chance to correct and take steps to mend the damage that have been done.  Obama isn’t a miracle worker and I don’t think anyone expects him to be parting any Red Seas, but I think he is truly a step in the right direction.  Now, I’ve heard some fellow Democrats say that if Hillary doesn’t get it, then I’ll just vote for McCain.  I want you to know that the thought of that literally sends shivers up my spine, and this article I read the other day reinforces my belief that McCain will just be at least 4 more years of the same if not worse.  Have a read of the article below, and really think about where you want our country to be in 4 years.  I feel I should almost beg, but please allow your self to make the right choice when the time comes.  Enjoy your week as always and will speak to you again soon!

10 things you should know about John McCain (but probably don’t):

1. John McCain voted against establishing a national holiday in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Now he says his position has “evolved,” yet he’s continued to oppose key civil rights laws.1

2. According to Bloomberg News, McCain is more hawkish than Bush on Iraq, Russia and China. Conservative columnist Pat Buchanan says McCain “will make Cheney look like Gandhi.”2

3. His reputation is built on his opposition to torture, but McCain voted against a bill to ban waterboarding, and then applauded President Bush for vetoing that ban.3

4. McCain opposes a woman’s right to choose. He said, “I do not support Roe versus Wade. It should be overturned.”4

5. The Children’s Defense Fund rated McCain as the worst senator in Congress for children. He voted against the children’s health care bill last year, then defended Bush’s veto of the bill.5

6. He’s one of the richest people in a Senate filled with millionaires. The Associated Press reports he and his wife own at least eight homes! Yet McCain says the solution to the housing crisis is for people facing foreclosure to get a “second job” and skip their vacations.6

7. Many of McCain’s fellow Republican senators say he’s too reckless to be commander in chief. One Republican senator said: “The thought of his being president sends a cold chill down my spine. He’s erratic. He’s hotheaded. He loses his temper and he worries me.”7

8. McCain talks a lot about taking on special interests, but his campaign manager and top advisers are actually lobbyists. The government watchdog group Public Citizen says McCain has 59 lobbyists raising money for his campaign, more than any of the other presidential candidates.8

9. McCain has sought closer ties to the extreme religious right in recent years. The pastor McCain calls his “spiritual guide,” Rod Parsley, believes America’s founding mission is to destroy Islam, which he calls a “false religion.” McCain sought the political support of right-wing preacher John Hagee, who believes Hurricane Katrina was God’s punishment for gay rights and called the Catholic Church “the Antichrist” and a “false cult.”9

10. He positions himself as pro-environment, but he scored a 0—yes, zero—from the League of Conservation Voters last year.10

Sources:
1. “The Complicated History of John McCain and MLK Day,” ABC News, April 3, 2008
http://blogs.abcnews.com/politicalpunch/2008/04/the-complicated.html

“McCain Facts,” ColorOfChange.org, April 4, 2008
http://colorofchange.org/mccain_facts/

2. “McCain More Hawkish Than Bush on Russia, China, Iraq,” Bloomberg News, March 12, 2008
http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601103&sid=aF28rSCtk0ZM&refer=us

“Buchanan: John McCain ‘Will Make Cheney Look Like Gandhi,’” ThinkProgress, February 6, 2008
http://thinkprogress.org/2008/02/06/buchanan-gandhi-mccain/

3. “McCain Sides With Bush On Torture Again, Supports Veto Of Anti-Waterboarding Bill,” ThinkProgress, February 20, 2008
http://thinkprogress.org/2008/02/20/mccain-torture-veto/

4. “McCain says Roe v. Wade should be overturned,” MSNBC, February 18, 2007
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/17222147/

5. “2007 Children’s Defense Fund Action Council® Nonpartisan Congressional Scorecard,” February 2008
www.childrensdefense.org/site/PageServer?pagename=act_learn_scorecard2007

“McCain: Bush right to veto kids health insurance expansion,” CNN, October 3, 2007
http://www.cnn.com/2007/POLITICS/10/03/mccain.interview/

6. “Beer Executive Could Be Next First Lady,” Associated Press, April 3, 2008
http://ap.google.com/article/ALeqM5h-S1sWHm0tchtdMP5LcLywg5ZtMgD8VQ86M80

“McCain Says Bank Bailout Should End `Systemic Risk,’” Bloomberg News, March 25, 2008
http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601087&sid=aHMiDVYaXZFM&refer=home

7. “Will McCain’s Temper Be a Liability?,” Associated Press, February 16, 2008
http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/wireStory?id=4301022

“Famed McCain temper is tamed,” Boston Globe, January 27, 2008
http://www.boston.com/news/nation/articles/2008/01/27/famed_mccain_temper_is_tamed/

8. “Black Claims McCain’s Campaign Is Above Lobbyist Influence: ‘I Don’t Know What The Criticism Is,’” ThinkProgress, April 2, 2008
http://thinkprogress.org/2008/04/02/mccain-black-lobbyist/

“McCain’s Lobbyist Friends Rally ‘Round Their Man,” ABC News, January 29, 2008
http://abcnews.go.com/Blotter/story?id=4210251

9. “McCain’s Spiritual Guide: Destroy Islam,” Mother Jones Magazine, March 12, 2008
http://www.motherjones.com/washington_dispatch/2008/03/john-mccain-rod-parsley-spiritual-guide.html

“Will McCain Specifically ‘Repudiate’ Hagee’s Anti-Gay Comments?,” ThinkProgress, March 12, 2008
http://thinkprogress.org/2008/03/12/mccain-hagee-anti-gay/

“McCain ‘Very Honored’ By Support Of Pastor Preaching ‘End-Time Confrontation With Iran,’” ThinkProgress, February 28, 2008
http://thinkprogress.org/2008/02/28/hagee-mccain-endorsement/

10. “John McCain Gets a Zero Rating for His Environmental Record,” Sierra Club, February 28, 2008
http://www.alternet.org/blogs/environment/77913/

Courtesy of our friends at moveon.org

More Lazy Sundays…

uncle-tom-cabin.jpg

Well here we are on the last day of my week’s worth of vacation and I’m down to the last hours of holiday freedom. The thought of being jarred awake by a screeching alarm at 6 AM tomorrow is kind of depressing, but such is life right? I always fall into the same sort of routine on vacation and it screws up my internal clock when it comes time to return to work. I fall into a pattern of staying up until 2 or 3 AM and then sleeping till noon every day. I watch tv, surf or chat on the net, or spend time playing computer games till the wee hours of the morning and sleep till lunch the next day. However, that means tonight I will be wide awake till 2 or 3 and be savagely awakened at 6 AM by the mental torture of my alarm. I have a colleague at work who falls into the same sort of vacation routine when we have breaks, so at least I know i’m not alone in the world in regards to strange sleeping patterns. Anyone else?

I didn’t do anything constructive at all over my vacation, and must confess to spending most of it sprawled out in my little space on my sofa for most of the time. I did manage the gym once, and also made my way down to Grad. school Saturday morning for a meeting with the head about finishing my studies. Hmmmm, What else is going on? It sort of feels like I’ve turned off my brain this past week and now i’m reaching for topics to jump start my my mental facilities. I did get to talk to my parents on the phone last night as we were trying to work out my phone number, plus the relevant international calling codes to get through from there to here in Thailand. We talked a good bit about really exciting news in my family recently, which I had the pleasure of finding out first through Myspace. Just gives you warm fuzzy feelings doesn’t it? Anyways, I discovered my brother and his new wife are expecting a new addition to our family come next September. I was really excited for them when I read the news online and think my little brother will make such a good father when the time comes. My Dad has decided to adopt the name “Paw Paw,” which is very sweet as it was what we called his father when we were little. My Mother will go by “MeeMee,” which is what my brother called his blanket when he was a baby. It is very special and this will be the first grandchild, niece, nephew in our family. It is at times like these I regret not being closer to home, and hope that I can be a small part of the babies life as well when it is born and starts the journey of growing up. Though, I’m not so sure I like the idea of being called Uncle Tom, right? Just doesn’t sound right to me, as It will always carry with it the image of being southern and racist. However, hopefully I’m sure that I’ll end up being that crazy gay Uncle Tom that lives somewhere over in Asia to the next generation of our family, and in that regards I wouldn’t have it any other way! Much love to everyone, and enjoy your Sunday where ever you are.