Archive for October, 2006

I’m afflicted. Is it heredity? Or am I a product of my environment?

 

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My father is an Amateur Radio Operator, or “ham” for short. The basement in my childhood home is filled with electronic junk. At least it – or most of it – was still there the last time I visited. Continue reading ‘I’m afflicted. Is it heredity? Or am I a product of my environment?’

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October 24, 2006

Dog Shows

Click the thumbnails to see the full-size pictures.

This past weekend was the Bangkok Grand Dog Show at The Mall in Bangkapi. It was sponsored by the Kennel Club of Thailand which I joined last year. I had been to two shows to observe earlier this year, but this was the first dog show I entered since moving to Thailand 18 months ago. The KCTh does not recognize any points won in AKC sanctioned events in America, so my dogs have to start all over again, although Gianni’s Am.CH status is recognized here. I want to earn my dogs their Thai Champion status.

The shows in Thailand operate the same as AKC shows, but the point system is totally different, and there are more classes. I don’t understand the requirements for becoming a CH just yet. The show president – a Police General – informed me that the summary printed in the Show Catalog will be translated into English by the next show. That will help a lot! His wife also helped me a lot with registration. They both speak excellent English.


There were three shows, two on Saturday – a Group 9 Specialty (Companion and Toy Dogs) and the 45th KCTh All Breed Championship Dog Show – and the FCI Int’l Championship Dog Show on Sunday. So we had three opportunities to earn “Challenge Certificates” and points. Since there are 4 FCI shows anually in Thailand, it’s also possible to earn an International Championship… cool!


To get my dogs registered with the KCTh I had to submit their AKC Registrations and Pedigrees, and pay a 100 Baht fee. Since Kolie wasn’t interested in helping me show, I asked our houseboy Thien if he would like to help. He takes such good care of the dogs anyway, bathing them and feeding them and giving them their vitamins. They follow him around the townhouse constantly and some even sleep with him occaisonally. So we worked together for about a month, practicing setting the dogs on the table, and walking them “down and back” in the soi in front of the townhouse. Thien really enjoyed the break from house chores and the dogs loved the extra attention.


We loaded the grooming table, supplies (Sandee French taught me the importance of making a checklist!) the 3 Papillons and the Chihuahua in their crates, show clothes, a small cooler of drinks and bait, and Kolie, Thien and me into a taxi Saturday morning. It took almost an hour to get to the shopping center in Bangkapi, a suburb northwest of Bangkok. We unloaded on the 4th floor outside the exhibition hall, found a spot near Ring 3 and set up shop. We were ready 1/2 hour before the scheduled start of the Group 9 Specialty, but unfortunately the Thai judge “had car trouble” and we waited more than two hours to go in the ring.


Takko was up first, after the Long Coat Chihuahuas. He is nine years old now, very stubborn, and uncooperative! He refuses to stand up straight on the table, and when on the floor insists on his nose to the mat and marking whenever he can. He did get a 1st ribbon against one other Smooth Coat, though, but against the other class winners he got 2nd Place. And then in the FCI Show Sunday he was written up by the Portuguese Judge for improper topline and bad gait. Later I vowed that these were his last shows!


The Papillons followed the Chis, the French Bulldogs, and the Maltese. Gianni, Doobee and Lele were the only Paps entered, which I had expected. The Thai judge told me Gianni was too “leggy” for his taste. Lele took Best of Breed in the Specialty. Doobee took BOB in the All-Breed. We didn’t make any Group placements. Sunday at the FCI Doobee took BOB again.


I had a great time. Kolie was bored… especially Saturday because the All-Breed Group didn’t happen until almost 7 pm. Thien was thrilled. Kolie had bought him a nice black suit to show – he looked great and was so happy – and we both had new Gold neckties – the color of the King. I wore the great black suit that Dad bought me last time I was in NJ. It was my first opportunity to wear it.



You know? People are the same all over the world. You live your life, you follow your interests privately and socially. You laugh, you love, you cry, you rejoice. The experience this weekend could have been the same anywhere. Maybe there were more smiles though. Maybe I’ve never been happier.

Kolie gets his Passport back

We were so excited that Kolie was granted his Visa to visit the United States a week ago today. What we didn’t know, however, was the term of the Visa. It could be for one, three or ten years, with one or multiple entries. And we wouldn’t know until he got his Passport back by courier. I thought for sure it would come
Wednesday but it didn’t. Then Thursday morning Kolie had a meeting across town from his home office. After lunch, a co-worker called to tell him the envelope from the U.S. Embassy had arrived. He rushed across town, opened it, and found a ten year Visa inside! His co-worker snapped this pic of him outside his office.

It being an incredibly beautiful day in Bangkok, Kolie walked over to Wat Phra Kaew, the famous temple complex near his office. Thank goodness he had his new digital camera with him.

Sunny skies, happy feelings, and beautiful lotus buds and blossoms.
Wat Phra Kaew is a huge tourist attraction. I spent hours there my first trip to Thailand in 1998.

Later, when he came home, I snapped this picture of us in the carpark garden in front
of our townhouse. It’s not every day that young “single” men from developing countries get permission to visit America. We are truly blessed that at least for the next ten years we’ll be able to travel together to the good ole USofA whenever we want. I still have to pinch myself to make sure I’m not dreaming. I probably would not make the trip we planned for the Holidays if he were not able to come with me.

If you’re interested in reading about the process we went through to get his B1/B2 Non-Immigrant US Visa you can read what I posted on the ThaiVisa Forum here and here.


Swiss Hug April 2006

Mothers Day Weekend Aug2006 in NE Thailand

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