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HEADLINES [click on headline to view story]:
Family Money: The Year That Went (Part 1)
Successfully Yours: Dr. Stuart Young
Snap Shots: You need three legs to be serious
Modern Medicine: Express Yourself

Heart to Heart with Hillary

Dining Out: Café Paradise - heavenly!
Animal Crackers: Bengal Cats
Down The Iron Road: The ‘Royal Scot’ Engines
Social Commentary by Khai Khem
The Computer Doctor
Sea Worlds
Guide to buying a small dog
Secrets of The Hand
Forgotten Classics
Coins of the Realm

Family Money: The Year That Went (Part 1)

By Leslie Wright

It has now become traditional that at this time of the year I review the forecasts I made back in January for what I thought might happen during the year that is now coming to an end.

But before getting into that, may I take this opportunity to wish all regular and occasional readers of this column a Very Merry Christmas (or “Melly Kalitmaat” as many of our local friends call it). May your holiday be a safe and enjoyable one.


The year that is now coming to an end has been a difficult one for most investors. We have seen considerable volatility in stock markets - caused more by nervous investor sentiment in a climate of uncertainty than any fundamental changes to world markets.

The year started off bullish enough, but then things turned a bit sour and the going got rough for equities all over the world - especially from the end of the third quarter.

As the chartists among you will confirm, October sees more dips in stock markets than any other month (for some strange reasons which we won’t go into here); but there’s usually a rally before Christmas.

This year was no exception as far as the October Blues were concerned; but the subsequent rally didn’t really take off - partly because of continued uncertainty over the result of the US elections, and partly because of continued strife in the Middle East, with the expected effect on oil prices eroding investor confidence.

It was in fact a difficult year to predict accurately - and it looks like next year is going to be even more difficult both for investors and forecasters.

So let’s see how close to the mark some of my forecasts were.

The Baht & the SET

Looking back to last January, my first prediction was that the Thai Baht would probably fluctuate within the range 37-42 to the US$ for most of this year.

Well, as we now know, the Baht managed to hold its own within this range for most of the year up until October, when it headed down towards 44 to the US$, recovering somewhat in November. At least it did not go to 50, as some pessimists believed it would; nor did it rise to 30 as some over-optimistic speculators thought it might.

The comment from the government in September that an exchange rate of 45 to the Dollar would be “acceptable” led most astute people to realise that the powers-that-be fully expected the Baht to go to that level, and that this would actually help exports, while not affecting the balance of payments too adversely.

There are some who believe it is still headed towards 50, and a few brave souls who are hoping for it to rise back to 25. (My own view will be given in this space a fortnight hence.)

My second prediction was that the SET would fluctuate erratically between 400 and 600 for the first half of the year, and “might break through to struggle up to around 700 by the end of the year.”

Here I was more optimistic than events subsequently proved. Although there were a few short-term rallies caused by speculative trading, the SET slid steadily and inexorably down past the 400 mark, then through the 300 mark, and apart from short-lived rallies at resistance levels, seems determined to continue heading south.

The US

The next prediction where I went out on a shaky limb was what I thought would happen with the US stock market.

A very tough one to call, and you will recall that I advised caution with respect to investing in US equities going into 2000. I ventured my opinions that a) the market would continue to ride the wave of investor euphoria for the first three months of the year, and then b) would gradually cool off, but c) this would be a gentle slide rather than a major slump. This is almost exactly what happened.

After a positive start, US stocks have experienced an overall trend downwards this year, with several peaks & troughs along the way - much discussed by the talking heads on instant-news TV as being a) signs of a recovery, and b) signs of disaster.

The speculative bubble of dot-com stocks burst rather spectacularly at the end of March (as I had predicted it would), and the Nasdaq index has been particularly volatile this year, ending the year some 40% off its all-time high in March.

The significant dip in the major indices in September & October was largely sentiment-driven and attributable to a) less-than-expected earnings’ reports, and b) nervousness about the Middle East situation affecting domestic oil prices, and in turn productivity & profits.

After a short-term rally, the next dip in November was caused a) by the uncertainty resulting from the Presidential election exacerbating an already uncertain market, and b) concerns emanating from lower-than-expected earnings’ figures in the technology sector.

The ‘soft landing’ that everyone has been hoping for has seemed very much on the cards throughout 2000.

Europe & the Euro

You may recall that European stocks were my strongest bet for 2000. Except for certain selected emerging markets which shone for brief periods, this proved generally correct.

I also said that doubts about the Euro had increased and no real solution was in sight for the Euro to recover, and I fully expected it to sink further - unless the EU countries got their act together and came up with a united policy to strengthen the Euro.

This also proved right on the mark, and despite some contrarian investors expecting the Euro to turn the corner and regain parity with the Dollar by the end of 2000, the Euro has slid steadily downwards throughout 2000.

UK & Sterling

I answered the question that many people were asking at the end of 1999 - “Will Sterling remain strong and steady?” - with my opinion that this seemed likely for the first three months of 2000 while doubts persisted over the Euro and Sterling continued to be seen as the principal alternative currency to the Dollar; and then Sterling would weaken.

Sterling did indeed remain strong - indeed, some would say over-valued - for the first three months of 2000; and then at the beginning of the second quarter it dropped in value by some 10% against the Dollar rather more suddenly than I (or anyone else) had anticipated. Thereafter however, Sterling managed to hold its own and even regained some lost ground against the Dollar in the third quarter, until it dropped again in late November to 1.39 - its lowest level against the Dollar in 14 years.

As international investors saw this as a buying opportunity in light of the weakening US economy, Sterling recovered somewhat in the run-up to Christmas.

I then really went out on a limb with the tentative prediction that the FTSE All-Share Index would end the year at perhaps around 3750-3800.

Well, this proved a little over-optimistic, and although the FTSE All-Share Index rose in the early part of the year, it slid back again in the third quarter, and at the time of writing was hovering around 3000.

Interest rates

Moving on to interest rates, I predicted that if the US market did not cool off of its own accord, the US Federal Reserve Chairman, Alan Greenspan, would raise US interest rates at various intervals, most probably in steps of 0.25% starting in February or March (he first did so in February); and if this did not serve to slow the economy sufficiently, he would be forced to raise them again in April or May if stock market euphoria continued unabated or inflation started to rear its ugly head.

Again, I got this one right on the money.

Mr Greenspan is a very astute man, and his occasional hints at what he might have to do if what he wanted didn’t happen served notice to the markets which reacted accordingly.

His step-by-step 0.25% increases in the first half of the year sufficed to cool down the market steadily to the extent that only one much-anticipated raise of 0.5% was needed in August, with no further rate hikes thereafter as the market continued to cool of its own accord, influenced by earnings’ figures and negative investor sentiment.

I then went on to predict that if the Fed raised interest rates in the first quarter of the year, the UK would probably follow suit shortly thereafter - which it did with an increase of 0.25%.

This hike was necessary not because the UK market had become over-heated like the US market had in 1999, but to prevent a significant capital flight of Sterling to Dollars in light of the widening disparity in deposit rates between the two currencies. Indeed, it is quite possible that this unavoidable rate hike may have been at least partly responsible for the contraction in growth and slowdown in earnings from UK equities.

On the local scene, I ventured the opinion that unless the economy in Thailand had an unexpected upsurge (which it certainly hasn’t) or all the strategic non-performing loans are repaid (which of course they haven’t been - on the contrary: 30% of restructured loans are now non-performing again), interest rates on local bank deposits would probably remain virtually unchanged throughout most of this year.

In fact, local interest rates have been slightly reduced from where they stood one year ago, but this has had little effect on the economy either positive or negative.


Japan was another difficult one to call. The watered-down economic package trundled out in 1998 had international investment analysts waxing enthusiastic about reforms being imminent and recovery in sight. This had the effect of significant amounts of money pouring into Japan in the third quarter of 1999 - most notably at the time when the US market seemed about to reverse - and the Nikkei responded very positively. However, towards the end of 1999 that growth seemed to be fizzling out again.

I commented that this seemed to me to be similar to the situation in 1994 when despite analysts’ opinions that a sea-change had taken place, the much-expected economic recovery didn’t happen.

Similarly, despite the overwhelming majority of institutional analysts holding a positive outlook for Japanese equities going into 2000, my opinion differed from the mainstream.

I said that I didn’t see the Nikkei rising much above 22,000 unless and until the US economy shows real signs of slowing, when the wall of money that’s been sustaining it will be looking for other homes. And for this, Europe was my first choice, with Japan coming in a very hesitant second, plus “keeping a cautious eye open for any danger signals that come out of that market.”

As things turned out, this view has proven correct; and if anything, Japan has fared even worse in 2000 than I predicted.

(to be continued next week)

Leslie Wright is Managing Director of Westminster Portfolio Services (Thailand) Ltd., a firm of independent financial advisors providing advice to expatriate residents of the Eastern Seaboard on personal financial planning and international investments. If you have any comments or queries on this article, or about other topics concerning investment matters, contact Leslie directly by fax on (038) 232522 or e-mail [email protected] . Further details and back articles can be accessed on his firm’s website on .

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Successfully Yours: Dr. Stuart Young

By Mirin MacCarthy

Dr. Stuart Young, the new Superintendent of the International School of the Eastern Seaboard (ISE) radiates vitality and contagious enthusiasm. He is a dynamic man who is making an impact on life, not vice versa.

Unsure whether it was good genes or an inspired upbringing that made Dr. Stuart the man he is, he does admit to a “Wonderful childhood, taken up with school, sports and church.” Born in America, Dr. Stuart’s father was a minister who moved his family to Southern California where he spent most of that childhood.

Dr. Stuart loved sport and excelled in baseball, basketball, football and tennis. He said and grinned, “Sport was an entree into meeting people when my parents moved around. But I did well enough in baseball to be offered a scholarship.”

Dr. Stuart took his first major in history with minors in philosophy and education, with a doctorate later. “I always had a fascination with history and with the family background in religion, philosophy is a natural follow on. Education is an interest that came along as a back up.”

However, like many young people, the decision making process was difficult. “I was 22, just finished Uni and struggling with a couple of issues. Whether to attend the seminary as I had decided, or take up the offer as a try out in the in the San Francisco Giants. Then there was the Vietnam War, which I didn’t believe in, but I did believe in America.”

One steadying influence has always been his wife. “I met my wife Sandy in college. We dated and married when we both graduated in 1967. We moved to Berkley where I was working with the church and studying theology and took a Masters in counselling in 1969. It was during that time I decided I did not want to be involved in the formal ministry and I took the radical decision to leave the seminary.”

As Dr. Stuart closed one door, another opened. “I had a telegram from a friend asking us to go to Pakistan to help run a home for 35 children. We were young, excited about travel and seeing the world. In 1970 we left for Lahore Pakistan and spent the next three and a half years there. Sandy and I were both working and we spent the summer months in Afghanistan, Iran, Turkey and hiking in the Himalayas.”

Having a family did not daunt these, by now, international people. “We had our first child in 1973. I went from Pakistan to Jamaica, then Norway - that was my introduction to international schools. Sandy was teaching also and in Norway in 1976 we had our second child.”

However, it was time for re-appraisal. “It was partly through that year I made the decision to return to Oregon to continue my Masters in Education. I loved teaching but the experience in those three countries raised questions for me.”

So it was back to Oregon where Stuart completed his Doctorate in Education Administration. Immediately Stuart was snapped up as Superintendent of an Oregon School and then the American Embassy School in Dakar, Bangladesh between 1982-84. I couldn’t help wondering what Sandy’s feelings were on this latest relocation - teaching and studying with three small children. Stuart smiled as he replied, “Sandy’s the best person in the world. She loved all these adventures and wanted to go. I am blessed with my family.”

He then had the offer to be headmaster of the Canadian Academy in Kobe, Japan. Dr. Stuart took that position for the next fourteen years. It would be too facile to say that the Kobe experience had a major impact on his life. “In Japan there were a lot of different things I didn’t expect,” said Stuart. Present during the massive Kobe earthquake of 1995 when 180,000 buildings were destroyed in 32 seconds and 5,200 lives lost, Stuart remarked, “What I learned is that disaster situations of that kind bring people together, people are so caring and giving. It is really equal opportunity and sad, too, when we can’t retain that wonderful co-operative closeness in ordinary times.” Stuart and Sandy were awarded distinguished citizens and service awards for their work in the disaster.

In 1998, after 20 years as a school superintendent, for Stuart it was time to again take a step back and reassess. They returned to America, but it was not long before he was approached to join the ISE as the Superintendent. Yet another door was opening.

Dr. Stuart thinks of himself as a lucky person, saying, “What could be a more rewarding important profession in the world than education? Helping to create a learning environment where children can develop skills that enable them to be successful and productive citizens for the kind of world they are going to enter. That is success to me.”

His plans for the future include working in education and writing on ‘How to bring Balance to your Life’. Just how he has achieved his own one-man balancing act will be a work of great benefit to us all. Never one to sit still Dr. Stuart’s spare time occupations are meeting people, tennis, golf, reading on education and the future (three or four books at the same time), restoring an MG TF convertible, and visiting his mountain man brother in Montana. He claims that he is simply fortunate in his family and his profession, though to meet the man is to realize that it is his overriding attitude of enthusiasm that makes him a most inspiring man. When asked what motivates him, he replied in amazement, “I am excited about all the possibilities and the opportunities. How could you not be?” Dr. Stuart certainly is!

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Snap Shots: You need three legs to be serious

by Harry Flashman

One of the marks of a serious photographer is a good sturdy tripod. This three legged device can open up completely new avenues in photography and let you produce images that otherwise could not be taken.

You need a tripod for this one

Having said all that, one of the marks of the rankest amateur photographer can also be a tripod. One of those light flimsy devices that are designed to fall over with the first mild breeze. Harry is all for tripods, but a decent one.

So what can you do with a tripod that you can’t do without? The first and most obvious is time exposure shots. The whole secret of time exposure is to keep the camera still, and you won’t do that by holding your breath and gripping the camera tightly, let me assure you. Twilight and night photography opens up a whole new range of pictures and effects. Just the simple expedient of being able to keep the camera steady while you shoot 30 second or longer exposures will result in some great photographs. Try taking a shot just after sunset, for example. You will be very pleased with the results.

Did you know that the very best landscapes during daylight hours are also best taken on a tripod? To get the huge range of depth of field necessary for these shots, you will end up with slow shutter speeds. The tripod ensures there’s no blurring. Those flowing, milky, misty waterfalls are also best taken with a tripod as again a slow shutter speed is required to capture that effect.

Even nature shots are done best with this piece of equipment. You can set up the camera and then leave it, so that the birds, etc., can get used to its presence, and then with a cable or IR shutter release you can get the nature photos of a lifetime.

Another type of shot that needs a tripod is the panorama. A compilation of images which when placed together form a wide angle view of any scene. This can only be done with the use of a tripod, and one that needs some special features too, but these are mentioned further down in the article.

Even when shooting still life images, the use of a tripod makes these shots a breeze. You can set up the shot and then make minute adjustments while looking through the viewfinder. Again you can use a slow shutter speed to be able to use very small apertures (around f22) to get the very fine detail into the shot.

So what should you look for and what should you spend? There are several items in the inventory that you should ensure are on any tripod you buy. The first is that it is heavy with strong legs when extended fully. The “locks” on the legs must also be secure. Another item is that the actual swivel head incorporates a level gauge, so that you can ensure the top swivels in a true horizontal arc. The tripod head should also have calibrations, so you can swing it a definite number of degrees. A removable “shoe” is also a good item, as you can then position the camera on the tripod, but also remove the camera to take other shots but then replace it in exactly the same position. The legs should be able to be spread out widely so that you can get the camera very close to the ground, and finally if you can get one, see if the tripod shaft can be removed and turned upside down, as this can get your camera completely at ground level and also immediately above an object placed on the ground. And how much will this cost? Expect to spend a minimum of 6000 baht. Harry’s own Manfrotto cost a lot more than that, let me assure you, but with fifteen years of faithful service, it has been a bargain!

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Modern Medicine: Express Yourself

by Dr Iain Corness

Have a look at the billboard advertisement done by a brassiere company on Pattaya 2 Road, close to the intersection with Pattaya Tai. There is a sexy model, showing acres of cleavage, with the punch line - Express Yourself! My immediate thoughts were to the effect that the Nursing Mother’s Association would have been delighted!

Of course, breast feeding has gone through the same cycles of social acceptance or otherwise, as the fad fashions such as the A line and the Bee-hive hairdos of the 1960’s have had. In the face of huge advertising campaigns by the artificial milk producers, appealing to the “liberated” Mums of the 60’s and 70’s, there came such junior medical school jokes as the three reasons as to why breast milk was better than bottled - being that it was always at the right temperature, the father didn’t have to get up to feed the baby and finally it came in such handy containers!

However, the world is slowly coming back to “normalcy” as far as infant nutrition is concerned. The simple fact is that the female of the species, the “mothering person” to be politically correct I suppose, was given the mammary glands that produce milk to feed children. Whilst the powdered milk Mums can be reassured that their children are getting good nutrients, Breast still beats Bottle. It is the natural way.

Some of the reasons for “artificial” feeding are very genuine, however, and include those mothers who find they just cannot produce enough milk. In the years gone by, such mothers gave their infants to “wet nurses” to be fed - a very “normal” and physiologically acceptable way of maintaining an infant’s diet. There are also bubs, who for some reason or other just suddenly reject Mum’s milk. We had one of those, who at 6 weeks just refused point blank to have any more of Mum. Eventually we were forced to formula feed and the child never looked back, and now being 6 foot 5 inches tall has not really had his growth stunted by the experience.

Of course, there was also the area of social acceptability of nursing mothers, and the various associations around the world have to be applauded for promoting “normal” behaviour in the western society. The so-called “primitive” countries have had no problem breast feeding in public - this “taboo” was something the so-called civilised societies produced and have now had to spend half a century trying to return to normal.

The simple expedient of expressing breast milk to be left to feed baby when mother is out working/shopping or whatever, has also meant that Mums can continue to be liberated, but babies can continue to have correct nutrition. Which gets us back to “Express Yourself” and the billboard on Pattaya 2. However, I’m sure the advertising agency didn’t think of that connotation. I’m also sure the powdered milk manufacturers don’t love me either - but it does have its place! But it’s not first up, that I’m sure of.

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Dear Hillary,

I feel I really must take you to task over your advice to Flatulent Freda and her wind problem. Your suggestion regarding taking a copy of the Pattaya Mail to the toilet surprised me. Firstly I assume that taking the newspaper with her was to read rather than to shred and use afterwards. Despite what some people say about your column I don’t think it deserves that sort of an end. The issue here is taking reading material to the toilet. Apart from it possibly becoming soggy, I read recently in the Bangkok Post that a study of hemorrhoids listed people reading in the toilet as one of the major causes. Apparently sitting there with a good book distracts one so much from the matter in hand (so to speak) that one tends to strain too much without noticing. So you see poppet (or is that popout?) I’ve got your interests at heart. This reader for one would hate to see you in a Pattaya courtroom having your delicate rear sued.

Regular Ronnie

Dear Regular Ron,

Hillary is so glad that you have brought to everyone’s attention that the Bangkok Post has been giving people piles. As far as even hinting that poor Freda shred the illustrious Pattaya Mail - you have “read” too much into it, my petal. Heaven forbid such an idea! Anyway, the newsprint rubs off and you get a motley bottom. No Ronnie, Hillary stands by her bowel training advice and a good book it is. What did you want, a whip and a chair perhaps, petal? Sometimes I worry about you people.

Dear Hillary,

I enjoy your column, but often wonder if people really write in with all the various questions. My own question relates to something as simple as where do you suggest I take my girlfriend when she comes out from the UK at Christmas? We would be looking for a standard Christmas dinner. Any suggestions?


Dear George,

Do people write in? Of course, petal, of course. Nobody could make up ones as silly as the letter above yours, now could they? Traditional Xmas dinner is on at lots of places this year in Pattaya, and if you want the British fare then you’ve got lots to choose from. Suggest you read the Community Happenings page, but you won’t go wrong with Shenanigans, Pat’s Pies and Deli, or Greg’s Kitchen, but there’s more if you look. If you’re planning a little champagne to go with it you can keep a place spare for Hillary.

Dear Hillary,

(This has been translated from Thai) My French boyfriend has a body odour problem and I don’t know what to do about it. It doesn’t seem to make any difference what he eats, he just sweats a lot and it is bad. I have asked him to shower every day but I am not sure that he is doing this. Since you seem to understand the farangs can you tell me what to do with him?


Dear Nok,

The perspiration problem is a common occurrence with farangs who are not used to our climate. In France it is so cold the people do not sweat much, so some Europeans only shower two times a week, which is something that Thai people over here would find very offensive indeed. Suggest that you buy your boyfriend a large cake of soap and deodorant and explain to him that you can’t get close to him because of the odour problem, and do your best from there. If he still smells after that, then perhaps you should change boyfriends rather than changing soaps.

Dear Hillary,

I have been trying to teach my Thai girlfriend to drive, but there are many problems. The first is that my Thai is minimal and her English not much better, so technical terms like “let the clutch out slowly” are impossible to get across. The second problem is that my car is very large and she has problems estimating the sheer size of the vehicle. The third snag is that she seems to have very little of what I’d call “road sense”. Do you know of any places I could send her to learn to drive, Hillary?


Dear John,

Ooh, Hillary loves writing “Dear John” letters, but you certainly have a pile up of problems, don’t you. Or I suppose it’s the “pile up” you’re trying to avoid, isn’t it, my petal. The first problem is the communication thing - please, don’t let her learn to drive by Braille, even if that’s how you basically communicate. Secondly, you have to realise too, that many people here get their licence first and learn to drive second, and that includes some “teachers” in the noble art of self driving. So where should you send her? Have you thought of the wide open stretches of terrain around hamlets like Korat - a lot less dangerous! No, John, I think you’re stuck with this problem. Take her out on the back roads where there is little traffic. Just past Siam Country Club golf course there is an abandoned housing estate, and that is a good place to begin. That is provided you are a good driver as well! Short of that, buy her a Jeep.

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Do’s and Don’ts in Pattaya

At this time of the year, the resort is humming with tourists. 99% will have a great and largely hassle free vacation. A few will have a nightmare. Here is Grapevine’s updated seasonal advice for the Christmas period 2000. Firstly, make sure you have travel insurance. Health risks are greater than in Europe or USA, not to mention daily traffic accidents, and attention in the best hospitals is expensive. If you expect to be treated here like you would back home, you must have a valid travel insurance document. Or an exceedingly large bank balance. Also, bring enough cash or traveler’s checks backed up by a credit card nowhere near its upper limit. Bank transfers are prone to delays in the Christmas period as officials all over the world take a few days off. Thailand is no exception. Keep valuables locked up, preferably in the hotel safe. Carrying them around is dangerous and there has been a recent mini spate of visitors being drugged with a spiked drink. Don’t accept food or drink from a stranger and, in a nightclub, try to avoid leaving an un-drunk beverage on the table if you have to visit the loo. All this seems very obvious, but every year people are caught out by not making elementary precautions. If you do suffer a theft, report it initially to the tourist police who speak English.

Passport Control

If you lose your passport, there’s no way you will get through immigration control at the airport without a new one or an emergency exit document issued by your embassy. Since embassies take holidays like everyone else, prevention is better than cure. It is a tradition in Pattaya for motorbike and other renters to ask to keep your passport as a guarantee. Never do this. If pushed, offer to give them a photocopy or don’t rent the vehicle. If you are involved in an accident, however minor, your passport will not be returned until you pay for any damage, often at inflated prices. Although car insurance is offered by reputable dealers, it is well nigh impossible to get cover for stolen or damaged motorbikes. Extortion, or something akin to it, could well be the result. The police will refuse to get involved in any argument between you and the renter, pointing out it is a civil matter.

Visa Overstay

Just about the most common reason for travelers in Thailand to get into trouble is overstaying their visa. Thai immigration rules are generous and most visitors from Europe, Australia and USA will not have needed to obtain a prior visa in their own country. A tourist typically will have been given one month’s permission to stay on arrival at Bangkok Airport. This can be extended once, on payment of 500 baht, by visiting the immigration police office in Soi 8. Expect to be given an extra week or so. After that, you’re out. If you are discovered to be on overstay, expect arrest and detention in the Pattaya police cells, followed by fine and deportation under escort. This experience will certainly make your holiday memorable but in the worst sense of the term. If you are on overstay, but actually make it undiscovered to the airport, the situation is usually better: you will pay the fine of 200 baht per overstayed day and be allowed to board your plane.

Criminals All

There are about one thousand police in Pattaya, so be careful out there. A motorbike accident which involves injury or worse to a third party, especially to a Thai, could turn into a criminal matter if you have been drinking or driving carelessly. Lawyers are often very expensive to hire and may want large sums of money whose exact destination is not always crystal clear. Drugs offences these days, both possession and trafficking, are rigorously prosecuted as are pedophile related cases. Given the sensitivity of the latter subject in Pattaya these days, it is best not to entertain any person in private unless they are at least 18 years old. If in doubt, check their ID. If they haven’t got one, assume the worst. Avoid all heated arguments with Thais and never use violence. It will rebound on you many times over. Pattaya now has its own court, independent of Chonburi, and you should not expect lenient treatment. Bail can be difficult to obtain and sentences harsher than you might expect. Under Royal Thai law all documents presented to you for signature will be in Thai.

Use Your Loaf

Pattaya, like any city in the world, has its share of bad guys and gals, farangs as well as locals. There are the usual scams including bag snatching, overpriced gems and credit card fraud. Don’t be tempted to make spur of the moment investments in businesses, such as bars, a subject which could and, indeed, has filled several books with a disaster theme. And don’t even think about buying property or time-share until you have thoroughly researched the subject. Many people come to Pattaya and want to stay and make money here. Working without a permit is against the law and you need professional advice about all such matters. Finally, remember that Buddha images are sacred and should be treated as such. The Royal Family is held in high esteem and Thais will not tolerate anyone being disrespectful to them.

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Dining Out: Café Paradise - heavenly!

by Miss Terry Diner

Although Hans Banziger’s Caf้ Paradise and Grill has only been up and running for 12 months, in that time it has firmly made its mark on the local gourmet dining scene. This has been in no small way through the personal efforts of Hans himself and his very innovative approach to his cuisine, so when Hans invited the Dining Out Team to try his latest offerings from his rotating specials, we accepted gladly. This promotion, which will last until the 28th of this month, is called “A Taste of Gourmet Dining” - what else!

The restaurant itself is one of the more pleasant eating places in Pattaya, with its large Rousseau style murals giving it a tropical ambience, while the salmon coloured tablecloths continue the warm theme. The table settings are good quality, with damask napkins and padded chairs at the correct height to the tables and sparkling clean glasses all show Swiss born Hans’ attention to detail. Mention must be made of the fact that a correct butter knife is supplied, as well as excellent (almost dribble proof) soup spoons.

The main menu, which incidentally comes in its own wooden presentation box, has been expanded recently and now includes some Swiss specials. However, it was the special menu we had come to experience. In this there were five items - a Beef Tournedos in a b้arnaise sauce (280 baht), a Duck Fillet Jubilee flamed with brandy (B. 190), Lamb Steak Provencale (B. 230), Roast Pork Fillet Dijon (B.190) and Fillet of Sole with leek and butter sauce (B. 190).

We chose as starters an Asparagus Princess for Madame and a Bermuda Fish Chowder for myself. These would be followed by “tasting” samples of each of the five specials, so that we could experience the entire range. To accompany the food, Hans suggested a Chilean Chardonnay Reserve from the Maule Valley, a very pleasant wine with just a hint of oak.

The asparagus came wrapped in ham and served with a mellow and creamy cheese sauce and was given top marks by Madame, while my chowder was thick and piquant with thyme leaves grated on top and was a magnificent starter.

The choice of mains was brought to the table and the difficult task of choosing where to start began. Both of us nibbled our way around the plate, savouring the very different “tastes of gourmet dining” that Hans had produced, with both of us awarding the beef tournedos top spot, closely followed by the duck fillet jubilee with its black cherry sauce for Madame and the roast pork fillet with the dijon mustard sauce for me.

Afterwards, we asked Hans about the very delicate b้arnaise sauce, and he explained that it was the “Queen of sauces” made by reducing vinegar and white wine with additions of egg yolk, clarified butter and tarragon - no wonder it tasted so good!

But our gastronomic evening was not yet over, with Hans insisting we try a new dessert which will be introduced to Caf้ Paradise after Xmas. We were to be the first to try it, called the Paradise Surprise. This turned out to be a Chocolate Fondue with bananas, rambutans, longans and pineapple in separate containers alongside. Spear the fruit with the supplied fondue fork and dip it into the bowl of hot molten chocolate and enjoy. Enjoy? It was rapturous, and definitely heaven on earth for the chocaholics of this world. Hans, it was simply inspired. People will come back just for this dessert.

Hans Banziger is certainly not letting complacency get in the way of Caf้ Paradise’s progress, with a children’s menu, fondue specials and a new dessert menu all in the offing very shortly in January. This is one restaurant you can highly recommend to anyone, and, as the restaurant’s motto proclaims, “the price is right”. Do go, and do try the Paradise Surprise!

Caf้ Paradise and Grill, 215/62-62 Pattaya 2 Road, opposite Royal Garden Resort, Central Pattaya, telephone 723 177.

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Animal Crackers: Bengal Cats

by Mirin MacCarthy

If you’ve ever fantasized of having a jungle cat as a pet but realized a large leopard on the prowl might just be a little hard to housebreak, then a Bengal Cat is the breed for you. These felines are hybrids first bred from crossing a wild small leopard cat of Asia with a domestic cat.

Careful, well thought out breeding programs have resulted in a beautiful, feral in appearance only, toy leopard with the playful, loving, dependable temperament of domestic cats.

Their pelts are varied from the traditional Bengal Spotted Tabby that has black or dark brown spots on a field of deep burnt gold, to the Snow Leopard marking, white or ivory with gray or brown spots, and a Marbled Bengal has stunning swirls of color.

Jean Mills of California was the creator of the breed of Bengals that we know today. She developed the present line in the late seventies, after obtaining eight female crossbreeds from an Asian leopard cat and domestic shorthairs from a researcher who had been investigating the partial immunity that leopard cats have to feline leukaemia.

In an interview with Editor: Clare Robson, in response to the question, “What impact does the success of the Bengal breed have on the future of the wild Asian Leopard Cat?” Jean Mill defended her position, “Early on, I had lots of opposition from purists who felt I was toying with Mother Nature, but there’s another side also. Many people would like to have a wild animal pet, but that’s what’s unfair to wildlife, whereas a dependable domestic cat resembling a leopard cat is a happy solution. There is a place in the world for copies. If there were no copies of beautiful things, most people would not know what the Mona Lisa looks like. We don’t harm leopard cats by using their genes in domestic cats, and may even discourage poaching. Women with a ‘living leopard’ in their arms will not want a real leopard skin coat.”

Bengals, because they have pelts and not coats like domestic cats, shed very little, and cause less allergic reactions. These miniature leopards display both the mystery and power of the jungle cat, and are fine hunters and climbers. Young kittens at play feint and growl as if on the hunt and attack their toys like prey. One of a cat breed that curiously enjoys water, bathing them is not a health hazard. Bengals are a breed that is as easy to care for as any other domestic cat. They use a litter tray, eat commercially prepared cat food, require protective inoculations and they get along great with children and other pets.

“Bengals are ideal family pets to be kept in the home,” says Jean. “They welcome me and beg for attention, and want to be held and hugged and purred. Majestic looking cats, although they aren’t crazy up the drapes, they are into things and curious. When you bring in the groceries, they want to see what’s in the sack.”

I wonder if Bengals can be leash trained? I could dream about taking a toy leopard for a walk through Beach Road!

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Down The Iron Road: The ‘Royal Scot’ Engines

by John D. Blyth


The London Midland & Scottish Railway (LMS), following the Railways Act of 1921, was formed from seven major railways of England and Scotland, and at once found itself in crisis - there was an almost total absence of fast and powerful express locomotives for the line’s crack trains. The ‘Claughtons’ from the London & North Western could sometimes do well, but were heavy on coal and maintenance; George Hughes’s ‘Class 8’s’ of the Lancashire & Yorkshire were best for short distance work on the concentrated lines of that company, and ill-suited for such workings as Crewe to Carlisle, 142 miles, with the notorious climb to Shap Summit to be tackled as well. Hughes, appointed top loco man in the new company, soon found himself at loggerheads with the Midland faction, led by formidable J.E. Anderson, a key man in the new company, answerable - curiously - to both the Operating and the Motive Power departments. He would accept the Midland’s ‘small engine policy’ and nothing else, and wished all heavy main line trains to be worked by pairs of locomotives of the famous but over-rated ‘Midland Compound’ type - others more amenable would see the costs in locos and men of such a policy. It held sway for over three years, by which time Hughes had had enough, and resigned, an unhappy man.

Unrebuilt ‘Royal Scot’ engine No. 46113 on a southbound train near Kilsby Tunnel in 1950. Smoke deflectors have been added and a larger ‘Stanier’ type tender provided.

Came from the shadows Sir Henry Fowler to take over; he had had a railway works apprenticeship, but had little understanding of locomotives or their design, and was more interested in metallurgy and workshop practice. Forced into action, he gave the order that a series of compound ‘Pacific’ locomotives should be built, and work was put in hand. Contemporary writers have said that what was emerging was a pretty shocking design! - and it is well that it did not appear.

The Visitor

It is not clear how it all happened, but in October 1926 there appeared in service on the London-Carlisle route, a Great Western ‘Castle’ engine. I suspect general managers of this kind of ruse, and I can well picture that G.W. man supreme, Sir Felix Pole saying, over a drink, to his LMS counterpart, ‘Having a spot of locomotive trouble, old boy? - why not try one of ours?’ Thus is history made, and thus it was that ‘Launceston Castle’ appeared working regular trains, first between London and Crew, and later over the more difficult section on to Carlisle. The LMS Dynamometer Car was used on all runs, and the ‘Castle’ performed with quiet ease and certainly all that was demanded of it. Only on one northward run to Carlisle was there any sign of trouble; in wet weather and stormy winds the locomotive began to slip badly; the GWR had always used gravity sanding to counteract bad rail conditions, and the gale force winds were blowing the sand off the track at once. Steam (or sometimes compressed-air) sanding would force the sand right under the wheels, making it far more effective. The tests were a success, and the outcome startling: Fowler’s ‘Pacific’ was cancelled without any reference to him, and the GWR were asked to build 50 ‘Castles’ for the beginning of the summer 1927 train service. The GWR refused, as they were bound to by an agreement; they also refused a request for a set of drawings, so that they could be built elsewhere - but had the LMS been wide-awake they might have been able to locate the drawings of a GWR ‘Star’ class locomotive they had had since 1910 and which would have needed little to update, being the predecessor of the ‘Castle’. Instead an approach was made to the North British Locomotive Co., in Glasgow, well provided with design offices and building space; they agreed to undertake all design work under LMS supervision, and to build 50 locomotives shared between their Hyde Park and Queen’s Park works. An LMS senior draughtsman made the trip from Derby to Glasgow and back to see that all was well. The ‘Summer Service’ deadline could not be met, but the locomotives came out quickly once a start was made. For most of the summer service of 1927 the newly-named ‘Royal Scot’ train was hauled, Midland style, from London to Carnforth by two Midland-type Compound 4-4-0s, and thence to Glasgow by two more of the type.

Rebuilt ‘Royal Scot’ engine No. 6115, still showing its old LMS ownership. Note the small smoke deflectors -almost useless! - the tapered boiler, and the double chimney.

Indeed a strange start to life for these 50 engines; 20 more were built at Derby in 1930, a 71st emerged from a rebuild of a disastrous experimental engine built with a high-pressure boiler on the ‘Royal Scot’ chassis - this was at the time the only ‘Royal Scot’ type engine to have a tapered boiler barrel. The big parallel boiler on the rest gave trouble with smoke beating down from the short chimney, and big deflector plates were fitted each side of the smoke box to give a lifting effect. Modified piston valves were also fitted to counteract the high coal consumption as the originals became worn.

Midland Railway type compound 4-4-6, the type with which Mr. James Anderson wished to run the LMS Railway - two to a train if necessary!

Nos. 6100 and 6152 exchanged numbers in 1933 and the latter, with the number 6100 and name ‘Royal Scot’ toured the USA and Canada with a train of LMS coaches, covering 11,194 miles without fail. In traffic the ‘Scots’ were almost all that could be desired, and they seemed to thrive on really hard work. The boilers suffered most from this, and about 1939 a design was prepared for new; Stanier-style tapered boilers were designed; two were fitted to smaller ‘Jubilee’ Class engines about 1942 and were fitted to the ‘Scots’ as and when they needed boiler replacements during the war. Smaller and lighter than the originals, they were even better steam generators. It has been said that these were really new engines, but in fact some parts, even the frames, were re-used, although new cylinders, wheels, and motion were supplied to all. The boilers were not the same as that on the 71st ‘Royal Scot’ (Class 2) but were shorter and classed ‘2A’.

Until steam was on the way out, the ‘Scots’ were kept on some of the heaviest trains on what was now the Midland Region of British Railways, notwithstanding the addition of more then fifty much larger ‘Pacific’ type engines; thus they were vital to the very end.

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Social Commentary by Khai Khem

Politically Correct Christmas Poem

’Twas the night before Christmas and Santa’s a wreck...

How to live in a world that’s

“Politically Correct?”

His workers no longer would answer to “Elves”

“Vertically challenged” they were calling themselves

And labour conditions at the North Pole

Were alleged by the union to stifle the soul

Four reindeer had vanished, without propriety,

Released to the wilds by the Humane Society

And equal employment had made it quite clear

That Santa had better not use only reindeer

So Dancer and Donner, and Comet and Cupid

Were replaced with 4 pigs, and you know that looked stupid

The runners were removed from under his sleigh

The ruts were termed dangerous by the EPA

And people had started to call for the cops

When they heard sled noises on their rooftops

Second-hand smoke from his pipe had his workers quite frightened

His fur-trimmed red suit was called “unenlightened”

And to show you the strangeness of life’s ebbs and flows,

Rudolf was suing for unauthorised use of his nose

He had gone on a talk show in front of the nation,

Demanding millions of dollars in compensation

So, half of the reindeer were gone, and his wife,

Who suddenly said she had enough of this life,

joined a self-help group, packed, and left in a whiz,

Demanding from now on her title was Ms.

And as for gifts; he’d ne’er had a notion,

That making a choice could cause so much commotion

Nothing of leather, nothing of fur,

Which meant nothing for him and nothing for her

Nothing that might be construed to pollute

Nothing to aim. Nothing to shoot

Nothing that clamoured or made lots of noise

Nothing for just girls, or just for the boys

Nothing that implied it was gender specific

Nothing war-like, must all be pacific

No candy, no sweets... They were bad for the tooth

Nothing that seemed to embellish the truth

And fairy tales, while not yet forbidden,

Were like Ken and Barbie, better off hidden

For they raised the hackles of those psychological

Who claimed that the “good” gift was ecological

No baseball, no football, some could get hurt

Besides, playing sports exposed kids to dirt

Dolls were sexist; and denounced as pass้

And Nintendo would rot the kids’ brains away

So Santa just stood there, utterly perplexed

He just couldn’t figure out what to do next

He tried to be merry, he tried to be gay

But you have to be careful with SOME words today

His gift sack was empty, lay limp on the ground

Nothing fully acceptable was to be found

Something special was needed, a gift that he might

Give to all without angering the Left or the Right

A gift that would satisfy with no indecision,

Every ethnicity, every religion

Every country, every colour, every language, every hue

Everyone, everywhere, even YOU

So here is that gift, it’s price beyond worth...

“May you and your loved ones Enjoy Peace on Earth”

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The Computer Doctor

by Richard Bunch

I have received many enquires from readers and clients regarding Netscape 6. I will therefore expand on what we have learned thus far.

Firstly, if you download the set-up file it is a not insignificant 25Mb and this in itself seems to have been a problem for many people. Use a download manager such as Download Accelerator Pro or Gozilla. You will initially be presented with a screen, which in all probability will say Internet Explorer 5 or 5.5 detected, upgrade to Netscape 6 available. Whilst this may be tempting, from experience so far the word upgrade is somewhat misleading, downgrade and make your system unstable would be more appropriate.

After installation you will be presented with a significantly different interface to those of previous versions. It includes tickers for things like CNN, and configurable ones too. Mail and Address Book functionality continues to be clumsy but more importantly it does not recognize these from earlier versions of Netscape, although there are options to import from competitor programs like Outlook, Outlook Express and Eudora.

It will, however, coexist with previous releases of Netscape and de-installation of the older release certainly would not be a wise option at this stage, it is likely that if you are a Netscape fan then you will be using this release for some time to come yet! If you are determined to go with Netscape 6, then be prepared for frequent system freezes and unpredictable action from other totally non-related programs. One amazing feature is that an error occurs if trying to use the save for web option within Photoshop version 6, and the error relates to a call to the netscape.exe. This is by no means the only oddity, there are many others too. It seems to make many major changes to the registry and its uninstall routine does not return the system to the preinstall condition, many of the registry keys remaining unchanged. Even after running utilities to clean it, problems still persist and personally I am now about to take the bull by the horns and do a format and reinstall, not something one relishes but I need my stability and sanity back. I for one will not be installing it again.

What amazes me is that it has been released in such an obviously buggy state. It really does have the feel of a BETA version and had it been released as such then the problems would have been tolerable but still annoying.

So, in conclusion, the watchword has to be if you really want to try Netscape 6, do by all means but be prepared for some heartache, frustration and lost productivity.

Send your questions or comments to the Pattaya Mail at 370/7-8 Pattaya Second Road, Pattaya City, 20260 or Fax to 038 427 596 or E-mail to [email protected] . The views and comments expressed within this column are not necessarily those of the writer or Pattaya Mail Publishing.

Richard Bunch is Managing Director of Action Computer Technologies Co., Ltd. Providing professional information technology and Internet services which includes; custom database and application development; website design, promotion and hosting; domain name registration; turnkey e-commerce solutions; computer and peripheral sales service and repairs, networks (LAN & WAN) and IT consulting. For further information, please e-mail [email protected]  or telephone/fax 038 716 816 or see our website 

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Protection of the guilty: Anyone who has had occasion to wander about the beer boozers, Sierra Tango bars and ogling dens has no doubt taken a fancy to the odd one or two females employed in those establishments. They may even have managed to try out a spot of horizontal folk dancing with said ladies, either in the dine and dash style of the Sierra Tango bars or the more long-term Put Your Toothbrush Next To Mine manner. However, as other attractions sometimes get in the way, these relationships can occasionally take a little bit of time to flower and prosper and the lady will find herself still gainfully employed in the establishment where you first made her acquaintance.

Therefore it’s a little sad when you decide to go back to the bar where the lady of your dreams is working and she’s not there.

What’s worse is that the girls who work with your missing lady in the bar and were formerly very chatty and helpful have suddenly developed serious cases of amnesia or Alzheimer’s, or both.

You ask a simple question like, “Where is Nok?” and they look at you like you’ve just turned green and have a nest full of vipers protruding from your ears.

Alternatively, they simply lie. “Nok go Bangkok today, you come back tomorrow,” or “Nok day off” or “Nok find cure for lung cancer and go to Sweden to collect Nobel Prize”. Of course, none of the excuses are the truth, except maybe the last one. Instead of just coming right out and telling you she’d gone off to inspect someone else’s etchings, they become consummate politicians and would have you believe the earth was in fact flat and the moon was made of green cheese.

For those who don’t think I’m serious, I suggest you take note of the sayings that can be found on the T-Shirts sold by the Jan Bar (Walking Street) and Nice N Sleazy (Soi Yamato). You might think they’re a joke, but like the mask of a clown, every joke has its serious side.

In the Hot Spots: Sweethearts (Walking Street, under Marine Disco) changed hands a few months ago and has been struggling to make its mark in the competitive ogling den market in Walking Street. However, the place consistently has some quite attractive dancing maidens, as well as the usual shows, the music mix is starting to get a little different to most other playhouses and the management is extremely personable. The problem for this particular place is its location. A lot of people don’t like to make the ‘long walk’ past the boxing ring to the front door. It’s a long walk back if you don’t like what you see. Champion and the more up-market T.W. One also suffer from somewhat similar problems in that punters have to make the ‘walk’ rather than just step straight in off the street.

Sweethearts kicks off at 2 p.m. with a happy hour that stretches through to 7 p.m. Draught beer is 45 baht and they have a special two for one offer on hard liquor drinks such as vodka, gin and scotch. If the hard stuff is your thing then you can get well and truly plastered for half the price. Mind you, the hangover still costs the same.

The place currently closes at midnight but the owners are currently considering the idea of extending the opening hours.

For the hungry: Mention of T.W. One and although the laid-back lounge is slowly starting to find its feet, many people still seem unaware of its best feature: the view of Pattaya Bay, whether by day or night from its balcony restaurant. If you do decide to drop by for a bit of nosh then you’ll see that T.W. One’s prices are highly competitive. I recommend the hamburger and chips, the latter being real ‘chips’ (like your mum used to cook), not the insipid french-fries that so many munching houses serve up.

In the Boozers: If the words ‘ska’ and ‘dub’ mean anything to you or if you are a fan of bands like The Police and The Specials then do yourself a favour and take a wander down Soi Chaiyapoom (Chock-a-Pom) to a nice little boozer named The Asylum. Actually, just go down there anyway as anybody who has been here for a while knows that Fun Town in many ways resembles an asylum and it’s a wonder no-one thought of christening their drinking palace with that cognomen before now. In the words of the owner, you won’t hear any Vengaboys or music of that ilk emanating from his sound system.

My e-mail address is: [email protected] 

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Sea Worlds : Deep Ocean

by Apichart

The deep ocean is the vastest province of life on Earth. It is the biggest habitat on the planet. More than 60 percent of the planetary surface is covered by water deeper than a mile. That deepness very nearly makes a single world-wide system. All the deep oceans of the world, save the Arctic, are continuous. The deeps of the Pacific, the Atlantic, and Indian Oceans all join the circumpolar deeps of the southern oceans. For we who inhabit the upper world of land, warmth, sunlight and seasons, life for us is an exception. The dark and dense, saline underwater world of the deep blue sea is the rule. This habitat is sparsely populated. Flora is not existent and its fauna is impoverished. Deep ocean is a wet desert. More than 80 percent of the marine life of our seas lives in the top 3,300 feet from the surface. In the trickle-down theory of the economy of our oceans, the species which live highest have the best chance of biological productivity. The sea’s sunlit layers insure this. The under class of marine life at the bottom is of simple structure and lives on sparse pickings.

An alien environment

The sea is divided into two great realms, the pelagic and the benthic. The pelagic includes all the ocean away from the shores and bottoms. By far, the greatest portion of the ocean is pelagic. Here is where most of the rich variety of marine life is found. The benthic is the realm of the deep sea and the ocean floor. Between these two realms are formed two horizontal zones. The uppermost zone is illuminated and reaches down to about 650 feet. This is where the light is good enough to allow photosynthesis to be created by the tiny plants known as phytoplankton. In this zone the water is a clear, well lighted place. This is open ocean where fish like the tuna, the kingfish, the sailfish, and the marlin reign.

Below, and far more voluminous, lies the true deep sea. The frigid blackness spawns a spooky fauna where the creatures look more like bad dreams. Fish and crustaceans in this zone take on the features of gargoyles and dragons. These forms of life survive here due to their extremely slow metabolisms. They are scavengers or predators of one kind or another. They are slow, and are simple organisms with uncomplicated structures.

The sea floor closer to shores is rich and diverse. Sunlight creates fertile life in these waters. Currents also carry organic material down the continental slope from the land. Here we find regions of high productively. But the truly deep ocean floor is a desert. Here, such as in high altitude regions on land’s mountain ranges, these areas are impoverished, and the creatures who inhabit this realm are opportunistic. Some are blind, some lack even eyes or mouths.

Clams and worms do well in the deep. Sea anemones are a perfect example of perhaps the oceans’ most adaptable animals. They have been found on the ocean’s deepest floors. They are a success story from the rocky tide pools of the zones near the surface, all the way down to the deepest trenches which score the ocean floor. The deep ocean has its own psychology.

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Guide to buying a small dog: Pomeranian

by C. Schloemer

Good Points: Adaptable, devoted to owner, handy size, happy nature, ideal for apartment living

Take Heed: Will yap if unchecked, thinks it’s a big dog so bigger dogs may be provoked

The Pomeranian is a happy, active little dog that will adapt cheerfully to life in a one-room apartment or a spacious dwelling. Some Pomeranians are so small they are referred to as the “tea-cup dog”, or “pocket pooch”. It revels in the role of lap dog, and it also enjoys walks with its owner. Alternatively, it will be quite happy to amuse itself in a garden. This breed is easy to care for and certainly cheap to keep, and makes a devoted pet.

Size: Dog: 1.8-2 kg, bitch: 2-2.5 kg. The bitch is slightly larger for easier whelping.

Exercise: Don’t think that because the Pomeranian is tiny in stature it has little use except as a decoration piece on the owner’s knees. True, they adore being pampered and petted. But they are also lively dogs, quite able to walk as far as the owner would wish, and often further! This breed is energetic and vivacious. Long walks in the park or lots of romps in the garden, this little dog has lots of oomph.

Grooming: This is not a breed for those who cannot spare the time for daily grooming. Indeed, the Pomeranian has two coats to care for; a short, fluffy under-coat and a long, straight over-coat covering the whole of the body. Daily brushing with a stiff brush is a must. The coat should be dampened with cold water, and the moisture rubbed in with the fingertips. Finally, the dog is rubbed down with a towel.

Working from the head, part the coat and brush it forward from roots to tips. Make a further parting and repeat the procedure until the whole dog has been covered.

The Pomeranian requires regular trimming. Owners should obtain advice from a breeder or breed club as to how the show cut should look.

Origin and History: The Pomeranian takes its name from Pomerania, in Germany, and it is generally thought to be of mid-European origin. However, it is a member of the Spitz family, which could mean that its history began in the Arctic Circle.

The known history of the breed dates from the mid-18th Century when it was introduced to several European countries. The Pomeranian became very popular until the Summer Palace in Peking was raided in 1860 and the appearance of the Imperial Pekinese usurped much of its popularity for a while.

The Pomeranian, in those early days, was a very much larger dog, up to 13.6 kg in weight. This breed was consistently bred down until, by 1896, show classes for Pomeranians were divided into exhibits over and under 3.6 kg. The British Kennel Club withdrew challenge certificates for the over 3.6 kg variety in 1915. The American Pomeranian club was formed in New York in 1900.

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Secrets of The Hand : Difference between the right and left hands

by Anchalee

Generally there are distinctive differences in the lines and their formation on the palms of both hands. It is, therefore, important to make a close study of these differences at the very commencement of the reading. If no such differences are observed or there is only a slight variation, this characteristic shows that the lines in childhood have undergone no significant change. This is not, however, a negative aspect, depending on the good signs of the hand. It may only mean that the individual has lived up to his potential. Very big differences seen on the right hand of an individual who’s left hand was less spectacular would indicate a person who started out with little and exceeded beyond his natural expectations with hard work and good luck.

Changes in the line of Head are the most important of all. Head Line on the left hand may sometimes slope downward, indicating an imaginative or dreamy nature. A straight, deep line points towards an inclination for practical abilities, which are better suited for a career in commerce. This means that artistic tendencies or acute imagination have fallen into abeyance. Glaring differences in Head Lines are often seen in the palms of writers or artists whose choice of vocation has been a complete departure from a family tradition.

Sometimes the change may be the opposite. Lines on the left side may point to a tendency towards potential talents that were not later developed for one reason or another. Changes can be observed in other lines of the palm. In every case, the indications on the right are the results of the developments and alterations from the characteristics and alterations shown on the left hand.

In reference to the health of the subject a comparison of both hands is very useful. There may be a badly formed line of Life in the left hand, and a strong, well marked Life Line on the right. This shows that in the early years of life the subject’s health was poor or delicate, but with care, the subject in later years developed robust vitality and a strong constitution. With modern medical advances a palmist may see very different hands on an older person who has outlived poor health.

It is not unusual to find the line of Fate appearing as if tied to the line of Life on the left hand. And then on the right hand, this line may stand out distinctly from the line of Life with a large space between the lines. This shows that the subject has been hampered by circumstances or people binding his life by love and affection in the early years, but after developing independence of character, he has broken away from such conditions.

The lines of the hand

There are seven Major Lines found on the hands. The appearance of these lines differs in every hand. Major lines must be studied and evaluated on both hands. They must also be evaluated on the inter-relationship they have with each other.

The Major Lines: Line of Life, Line of Head, Line of Heart, Line of Fate, Line of Sun, Line Health, Line of Intuition

People whose work involves mental concentration have more lines in their hands than those engaged in manual labour. Generally, hands of females contain more lines than males. Fewer lines are better in a hand than the presence of many confused lines. The presence of too many lines shows that the brain is used in too many different directions. These lines indicate confusion of mind on the main issues, and are an obstacle to success. Or they may be a sign of poor health or a hysterical nature.

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Forgotten Classics

by Mott the Dog

Forgotten Classics will be a series of articles on CD’s re-released from the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s. Our reviewer, Mott the Dog, is the foremost authority on this type of music this side of the Chao Phraya.

Pink Floyd - Wish You Were Here

*****5 Star Rating

Track Listing:

1. Shine On You Crazy Diamond (Parts 1-V)
2. Welcome To The Machine
3. Have A Cigar
4. Wish You Were Here
5. Shine On You Crazy Diamond (Parts V1-1X)

After the Amazingly successful “Dark Side of the Moon” Pink Floyd released their follow up album “Wish You Were Here” in 1975. It is still David Gilmour, Pink Floyd lead guitarist, vocalist and present leader’s favorite all time Pink Floyd album.

The CD contains 5 songs, 2 laments for the departed Syd Barret, and 2 cynical but funny swipes at the music business (how can you resist the line “Oh by the way which one’s Pink?). “Have a Cigar” was actually sung on the record by long time friend of Pink Floyd, Roy Harper, and the beautiful acoustic ballad “Wish You Were Here”, with its mournful lyrics.

The real star of the show, though, is the production that the band did between themselves. The wonderful musicianship of David Gilmour and Richard Wright carries you right through the journey and though the album is big, ambitious, even bombastic, it somehow dodges being pretentious. The Barret tributes are honest and heartfelt, and the cynical swipes at the music industry are signs of what was to come on Pink Floyd’s next album “The Wall”.

“Shine on You Crazy Diamond” and “Wish You Were Here” are still firm favorites in the Pink Floyd road show, and the CD still nestles in the Billboard Top 350 sellers after 25 years.


David Gilmour - Lead guitar and Vocals
Roger Water - Bass guitar and Vocals
Richard Wright - Keyboards
Nick Mason - Drums

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Coins of the Realm: Reasonable prices for Thai coins

by Jan Olav Aamlid - President - House of the Golden Coin

At the Spink auction in Hong Kong on November 25 most of the Thai coins were sold for reasonable prices. The reason for this might be that only a few dealers and collectors were present, and there were not any real top objects among the coins.

But there were some real nice coins to be bought. A 1/16 Fuang or Solut issued in the first year of the reign of King Chulalongkorn (Rama V 1868-1910) was offered for sale in practically uncirculated condition. This coin, struck in tin, only circulated for seven years. Anyway, most of the coins offered for sale today are in not very nice condition, and sell for about one to two hundred baht.

The estimated price for the 1/16 Fuang coin in the auction was 3,350 to 4,700 baht, but the buyer only had to pay 3,000 baht for this very nice coin. The catalogue price for this coin is in uncirculated condition is estimated to 10,000 baht, so I think the buyer did very well.

Six copper coins from King Chulalongkorn were sold in one lot. The lot consisted of a 4 Att or Sik from 1238 (1876), three 2 Att or Sio from the same date and two 2 Att from 1244 (1882). The auctioneer had graded the coins to be extremely fine, but some of the coins were actually nicer. The coins were estimated at 4,000 to 5,000 baht, but the buyer only had to pay 3,350 baht for the lot. Only the 4 Att from 1238 is estimated in the Thai catalogue for 5,000 baht in extremely fine and 10,000 baht in uncirculated, so this buyer should be very happy.

The two baht coin from King Mongkut (Rama IV 1851-1868) is a popular crown-sized silver coin. The one in the auction was in nice condition, extremely fine. The estimate was reasonable, 16,750 to 23,450 baht, but the hammer did not fall before 30,000 baht. Still, the buyer did well because similar coins are sold for quite a bit more in Thailand.

Sometimes coins have been made into jewelry. In this auction there were a pair of cufflinks made from two gold bullet coins, a gold 4 baht from King Mongkut and a gold Fuang from King Chulalongkorn. This pair sold for almost 15,000 baht. The coins, if they were not made into cufflinks, would be worth more than 100,000 baht. But in most cases coins made into jewelry are worth less if the coins have some kind of mounting affecting the coin.

Three lots of porcelain gambling tokens were also sold in this auction. These tokens were not only used for gambling, but also for buying food and other goods from markets and merchants close to the gambling houses. The average price of the tokens in this auction was almost 500 baht. This seems quite high, as tokens can be bought from dealers for about 100 baht in Thailand. The reason for this high price was that the tokens auctioned off were of very high quality, and many of the tokens had nice motifs and colors. The more common tokens are only in blue and white.

Gambling tokens were not allowed to be used in gambling houses after 25 November 1875. In 1893 gambling houses were outlawed, and the last gambling house in Thailand was supposed to be closed down in 1916.

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