03/16/17
Udon Thani Airport

Slightly Lost Geek – Udon Thani Thailand

In this new series of strange ranty type things, a Slightly Lost Geek (read as me) wanders various places on the planet with somewhat limited resources. The SLG will then tell everyone what the SLG notices about the topic location. Take note that the SLG is from a “reasonably developed” third world country known to many as Malaysia, or home of the corrupt… and all thoughts and opinions are of the SLG alone. In this episode, SLG explores Udon Thani, Thailand.

Udon Thani

Udon Thani

Now, Udon Thani according to Wikipedia is a province (changwat) in northeast Thailand. It is bordered by the provinces of Nong Khai to the north, Sakon Nakhon to the east, Kalasin Province to the southeast, Khon Kaen to the south, and Loei and Nong Bua Lam Phu Province to the west. It occupies an area of 11,730 km². The provincial capital is Udon Thani, the major city in the province. I ended up here mainly because I had already visited Bangkok and didn’t particularly like it. Note that despite my home being the bustling Kuala Lumpur, I am actually averse to noisy, loud, and crowded places. After a wee bit of reading, I discovered that a great many travelers favored the North of Thailand (Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai, and Udon Thani) because of the relative quietness compared to Bangkok (and other more popular tourist destinations), and much lower cost of living. Also, I figured Udon Thani would be a more developed location compared to Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai mainly because of the large expat population there – Udon Thani apparently has the 2nd largest expat population in Thailand after Bangkok. Surely expats wouldn’t flock in droves to somewhere without running water and electricity right? Continue reading

03/25/16

Batman vs Superman vs Lex Luthor vs Doomsday vs Wonder Woman

This is the result of having 5 pots (characters) and 2.5 lids (hours)… with a storyline that is some sort of a amalgam of how many Michael Bay moments you can fit in and a dash of a comic book storyline (you know… black embossed cover with white bag). I won’t say that the movie is terrible… but it sure is a letdown. Let’s just say the best things that came out of the movie were Hans Zimmer and surprisingly… Gal Gadot.

Now, I’m not too concerned about Civil War… because Marvel seems to be smart enough to have named the entire movie after a specific comic book story arc and are unlikely to stray too far… rights and legal issues notwithstanding. They also made the smart decision to wait a good 8 years from the first Iron Man to build the majority of the characters independently before attempting the comic book equivalent of the WWF/WWE Royal Rumble unlike DC.

There’s more… but I won’t spoil it for those who haven’t seen it yet. I mean DC already did that for you guys anyway HA HA! Annoyed nerd mode disabled…

SPOILERS BELOW…

Continue reading

05/2/15

I Had A Dream

As I opened my eyes and everything slowly became less of a blur, shoulder height crops that appeared to be… corn came into view. It seemed like a fairly bright night thanks to the moonlight, and that same moonlight helped make it apparent that I was sleeping on a tar road in between fields of corn. As romantic as this may sound, “romantic” wasn’t the word in my head as I noticed a somewhat large, mass blessed person sleeping right next to me (sleeping on tar roads is the next big thing after kale).

It was apparently the crack of dawn, because all of a sudden, the Azan rang out across the land. My sleeping partner, for lack of a better word, with sudden and cat-like agility stood straight up… and loudly declared, “Oh shiii… This is mah’ jam!!!”, before moonwalking with inhuman speed in the direction of the Azan.

I awoke with the exact same facial expression I had in my dream, which could be best described as “dafuq?”… I look forward to being contacted by Freud and Pavlov… ‪#‎IHadADream

12/29/14

Singapore, Smoking (or equivalent), and you…

Malaysians know Singapore as that sterile plot of land at the Southern tip of Peninsular Malaysia, while the rest of the world (that knows of Singapore) knows Singapore as that dot that is quite close to an unknown point on the equator. If you like either chewing gum or smoking, chances are you aren’t particularly fond of Singapore… mainly because Singapore is also largely known as a buttoned all the way up, straight laced, follow the rules or burn at the stake kind of place. In their well intentioned effort to improve the health of its citizens, the Singaporean government has made it incredibly difficult for anyone to find a place where you can do anything and smoke at the same time. Very low percentage of population smoking? Check. Very few smoke friendly areas? Check. Scary stories about vapers being hunted down and subjected to medieval torture? Check.

As a vaper visiting Singapore, the government has managed to make me a smoker. I’d much rather be vaping, but given the horror stories of fines and confiscations… you can see where I’m coming from. I vape indoors and in private, almost as if the combination of vegetable glycerine and propylene glycol creates crystal meth rather than a (yet to be clinically proven over time) harmless cloud of vapor. I puff on a cigarette openly, because that stick of tobacco has become my vape replacement device, instead of the other way around. My top rated vape pen is of no use here, this is likely going to be a short visit.

To be clear, I’m not saying the Singapore government (they aren’t even my government so why should they listen to me) should say you can vape anywhere and everywhere. I do, however, think that vaping should be at the very least as tolerated as tobacco smoking is. Anywhere you can smoke, you should be able to vape. Say what you may about the (unproven) long term safety of vaping, but vaping is proven to be a very effective smoking cessation device. Would you rather your friend be smoking crack cocaine or tobacco? Would you rather your friend be smoking tobacco or vaping? That’s the train of though I’m following, C is less harmful than B is less harmful than A… and while I have mentioned the long term effects of vaping are as yet unproven, I’m going to just throw it out there that it is probably a lot healthier than tobacco even with the limited information available now. I am of course ignoring the extremely biased research that has shown up in either direction, both for and against vaping.

I’m not entirely sure how chewing gum fits into this discussion, but you could probably shoot an email to the relevant government department and find out.