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Thursday, January 7, 2016

ARE YOU WEARING CLEAN UNDERWEAR?

So far as the travel thing goes, hey, not a lot to talk about.  Right now I am still (ug) sitting in Siem Reap, following my plan of 'not traveling during the holidays because I know better'.

It is working out well, though it is a bit dull.

After another week or so I will catch the $10 bus to Bangkok where I will immediately attempt to go to a different town a couple hours west.  I've spent way too much time in Bangkok and don't want to spend any more.  There is nothing I want to see or do there.

West and a bit south of Bangkok are three towns I will begin to explore.  If I can find one I want to stay in for a month I'll do so.  If not, move to the next one.

Should all three of those not pan out, in the far south of Thailand there are three more towns.  Unfortunately, there are reports of various Islamic extremist activities that took place a couple years ago.  Bombs and shit.  But hey, the last couple months have been pretty dull.  After checking out and or staying in those towns, I'll head into Malaysia to look for a place to hunker down for a bit.

Normally, I wouldn't mind going back to Georgetown but nearly dying of Dengue Fever really made the town less appealing.  I wouldn't have minded going back to the mafia bar for a drink or few.



I HAVE NO IDEA WHAT TO CALL THIS SECTION

#51:  "Clean Underwear"

When an animal dies, it's buttocks attempts to protect itself by crapping.  No creature enjoys literally 'eating shit' so the juicy buttocks is spared in favor of less 'juiced up' body parts as arms, legs, chests and heads.  The self indulgent buttocks.

Sadly, this then causes the mother of the creature - irrespective of species - to 'die of shame' when she finds out their offspring wasn't wearing clean underwear when it perished.  Clean underwear is a priority even over survival.



BOOK REVIEWS

"Alterworld" - Play to Live, books 1 to 4.

Irritated that they haven't released 5-8.  Apparently, the Russian author hasn't mastered English so he has to get them translated.  Pity - puts him out a few grand.  English FTW!  Anyway, the books are solid.  From reading the reviews on the translated book 5, not so much there - but I'd wait to listen to it in audio format.  This is a series that is pretty much actually just one long book.  Outstanding for the players of MMO's - it will give you some nostalgia moments and make you wish they'd release one a fraction as good in real life.


Nikki Heat series by Richard Castle

A cross between a murder mystery, police procedural and the TV series Castle.

I'm listening to the audio books now (up to the fourth or fifth) and I find them surprisingly good.  Honestly, I didn't expect all that much but they're keeping me plenty interested.

6/10


Hard Day's Knight

This is another book (see also the Bill the Vampire series) about nerds who become vampires.

I've got to say that it is fortunate the world the author has made is relatively simplistic because these two vampires are about the dumbest I've seen in a while.
That's not to say that the book isn't entertaining.  It's got a bit of the snark and geek factor that make these sorts of books entertaining - but don't expect too much over Laurel and Hardy Meet the Mummy.  Simple world with very simple characters who sometimes do funny shit.

5/10 for the first five books.  I'd written the above review after reading just the first book but I blasted through the rest pretty quickly.  If the final scene in the last book (no spoilers from me) doesn't convince you that 'the heroes are stupid as shit' then there is no way to convince you.  Stupid, sexist and small minded.  But mildly entertaining.  The books were easy to listen to.  Bubblegum for the brain.



Phillip Marlow series by Raymond Chandler

Better in the movies with Boggart, IMO.

Yeah, I realize it is pretty much the last (first?) word in 'noir' but holy crap, it's rough for me to read. It's like talking to your great grandfather who bitches about all the kids being on computers all the time. When you ask what he and his friends did for fun when they were kids, he responds "Beat niggers with sticks!" with the gleam of remembered racism.

Seriously, they're rough to read. It is pretty obvious that Chandler may have hated blacks and gays slightly less than others of his time, but trying to put it in this time is rough.

When I was running 1920's Call of Cthulhu (tabletop RPG), the players thought a bit of the stuff was pretty racist. Given that Chandler is one of the more tolerant, educated writers of his generation I think I wildly undersold the racism.

Parts are good but honestly, I'd rather just watch the movies.


"You're Never Weird on the Internet (Almost)" - Felicia Day

Neurotic and funny.  Being that neurotic is totally inconceivable to me.  Totally.  But it is interesting.  Rates high on my 'geek meter' (a good thing) as anything written by someone who became addicted to MMO's would.

5/10.


Let's Pretend This Never Happened - by Jenny Lawson

Another neurotic autobiography.  Entertaining.

5/10.


Logan's thoughts on both neurotic books (Never Weird and Let's Pretend):

Both of these books deal with anxiety, depression and feelings of awkwardness in social situations.  The depression part I can completely relate to.  After suffering that for a year or two before I went onto disability and then left the USA (yea!) to travel the world I can relate.  Having no money, no job and no hope of getting either I think I get it.

The anxiety and social awkwardness, nope - I don't relate.  Even a little bit.  Sorry if that makes me totally unrelatable.  After reading both books though, I did find what I find to be a common thread.  When in those situations, both authors are busy looking inward.  How am I being perceived?  What do I feel about this?  How are they looking at me?

I don't do that.  I try instead to figure out the other person.  How do they see things?  What would they like to talk about?  (Clue, the answer is always themselves.  This is human nature.)  My favorite thing is to search around (conversationally, I don't go through their pockets) to find out what they know which interests me.  If I can find something they are excited to talk about and I am honestly interested in then not only do they get to carry the conversation but are delighted to do so.

If I can't find anything, I might just jump to "What makes you special?"  This is a huge bombshell of a question.  As it totally puts them on the spot I look at it as a last ditch effort.  Most people will try to claim they aren't, but I've yet to find someone who isn't in some way special.  Disclaimer - it may be that they were the only preschooler who was able to color within the lines and used the correct colors hence no longer relevant but until you ask you just don't know.

Am I saying this outlook makes me any better?  Well, both the ladies who wrote the books are famous, make a living writing acting and such.  I live in some of the dirtiest undeveloped countries in the world and am usually broke.  Hence, no.  Maybe being a bit neurotic pays.

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PICTURES

{{2011}} London, GB | Rail N Sail | Amsterdam, Netherlands | Prague, Czech Republic | Budapest, Hungary | Sarajevo, Bosnia | Romania | Chisinau, Moldova | Ukraine: Odessa - Sevastopol | Crossed Black Sea by ship | Georgia: Batumi - Tbilisi - Telavi - Sighnaghi - Chabukiani | Turkey: Kars - Lost City of Ani - Goreme - Istanbul | Jordan: Amman - Wadi Rum | Israel | Egypt: Neweiba - Luxor - Karnak - Cairo | Thailand: Bangkok - Pattaya - Chaing Mai - Chaing Rei | Laos: Luang Prabang - Pakse | Cambodia: Phnom Penh | Vietnam: Vung Tau - Saigon aka Ho Chi Minh City

{{2012}} Cambodia: Kampot - Sihanoukville - Siem Reap - Angkor Wat | Thailand: Bangkok | India: Rishikesh - Ajmer - Pushkar - Bundi - Udaipur - Jodhpur - Jasalmer - Bikaner - Jaipur - Agra - Varanasi | Nepal: Kathmandu - Chitwan - Pokhara - Bhaktapur - (Rafting) - Dharan | India: Darjeeling - Calcutta Panaji | Thailand: Bangkok - again - Krabi Town | Malaysia, Malaka | Indonesia: Dumas - Bukittinggi - Kuta - Ubud - 'Full Throttle' - Gili Islands - Senggigi | Cambodia: Siem Reap | Thailand: Trat | Turkey: Istanbul | Georgia: Tbilisi

{{2013}} Latvia: Riga | Germany: Berlin | Spain: Malaga - Grenada | Morocco: Marrakech - Essauira - Casablanca - Chefchawen - Fes | Germany: Frankfurt | Logan's Home Invasion USA: Virginia - Michigan - Indiana - Illinois - Illinois - Colorado | Guatemala: Antigua - San Pedro | Honduras: Copan Ruinas - Utila | Nicaragua: Granada | Colombia: Cartagena | Ecuador: Otavalo - Quito - Banos - Samari (a spa outside of Banos) - Puyo - Mera

{{2014}} Peru: Lima - Nasca - Cusco | Dominican Republic | Ukraine: Odessa | Bulgaria: Varna - Plovdiv | Macedonia: Skopje - Bitola - Ohrid - Struga | Albania: Berat - Sarande | Greece: Athens | Italy: Naples - Pompeii - Salerno | Tunisia: Hammamet 1

{{2015}} Hammamet 2 | South Africa: Johnnesburg | Thailand: Hua Hin - Hat Yai | Malaysia: Georgetown | Thailand: Krabi Town | Indonesia:
Sabang Island | Bulgaria: Plovdiv | Romania: Ploiesti - Targu Mures | Poland: Warsaw | Czech Republic: Prague | Germany: Munich | Netherlands: Groningen | England: Slough | Thailand: Ayutthaya - Khon Kaen - Vang Vieng | Cambodia: Siem Reap

{{2016}} Thailand: Kanchanaburi - Chumphon | Malaysia: Ipoh - Kuala Lumpur - Kuching - Miri | Ukraine: Kiev | Romania: Targu Mures - Barsov | Morocco: Tetouan

{{2017}} Portugal: Faro | USA: Virginia - Michigan - Illinois - Colorado | England: Slough - Lancaster | Thailand: Bangkok | Cambodia: Siem Reap |

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