Money matters: What
goes around, comes around
MBMG International Ltd.
U.S. investors are pouring money into stock mutual
funds at the fastest rate since equity markets peaked in early 2000,
according to Strategic Insight. The New York-based firm estimates almost
$134 billion has flowed into stock and balanced funds so far this year,
approaching the record reached in the first three months of 2000.
Some investors have recently pulled money because of
concern about the terrorist bombings in Madrid, but this has been a loss
of momentum and there’s no sign of a reversal yet in this trend.
Investors seem to have bought into the idea of a sustainable recovery in
2004. Last year’s 26 percent advance by the Standard & Poor’s 500
Index led to a net $153 billion of stock fund inflows over the whole year.
The buying continues this year even as the markets stagnate. The S&P
500 is up 0.9 percent and the NASDAQ Composite Index is down 2 percent.
To us this is definitely the return of Mr.
Greenspan’s much vaunted, “irrational exuberance”. The S&P 500
has climbed 44 percent since falling to a five-year low in October 2002.
Investors have been buying equity funds this year, against a background of
state and federal regulators expand their probe of improper trading
practices in the $7.5 trillion fund industry and consumer confidence
U.S. consumer sentiment fell in March for a second
month, reflecting a rise in pessimism about the job market, a survey by
the University of Michigan found. The economy has created fewer jobs at
this stage of the expansion that began in November 2001 than in any
economic recovery since World War II. Concern about terrorism also is
increasing after 202 people were killed and about 1,500 were injured in
train bombings in Madrid on March 11. Following that attack , investors
withdrew about $1.5 billion from equity funds, according to estimates from
TrimTabs Investment Research in Santa Rosa, California, the first week of
withdrawals since July last year.
We have recommended selective selling of equities since
the turn of the year. That sounded like stupid advice until now. With
individual investors pouring these near-record amounts into mutual funds
during January and February it looked and at times felt like a big bull
However looks can be deceptive. The S&P500 was up
only 4% YTD at its February 11, 2004 peak. It has now surrendered all
those gains. The NASDAQ was up 7.5% at its January 26, 2004 peak. It is
now in negative territory. Most stock indexes and industry groups have had
a similar performance. The point is that they didn’t actually go up that
much on big buying and have now given up those slender gains. There is a
danger that individual investors could find themselves sucked into another
bubble right at the top.
The official line is that the US economy is thriving
(although you have to question their critical faculties if they’re
taking this on trust in election year - especially as Greenspan himself
continues to dissent from this by pointing out the lack of job creation at
each Fed meeting) and a year of slid gains had brought the feel good
factor back to financial markets.
Even excluding the balanced funds, total US equity fund
inflows have been around $75 billion so far in 2004. That works out to
$1.4 billion/day. About 70% of inflows go to domestic funds, so about $1
billion of buying a day (on average) has produced a minus 1.5% return on
the US stock indices.
The markets are going down despite big buying?
There’s one for the record books. Now that most major stock indices are
down on the year, the inflow is starting to waver. The markets could be on
the verge of a day (or make that a year or 3 - using Kondratieff.
One forecaster believes that the markets will decline
from now until the bottom in 2007 – the year of reckoning. If $1
billion/day of buying produced a net decline in the indices then what
could $1-2 billion per day of net public selling produce? More and more
people believe a return to the bear market lows.
Another forecaster points out that many stock indexes
are turning down from their declining 200 week averages (S&P500,
NASDAQ, OEX, SOX, IBEX, SMI, etc.). That the 200 week average is declining
implies the long term trend is down. Therefore, stock indexes are turning
down from their declining 200 week averages. This implies a return to the
bear market lows and possibly beyond. In other words there could be a big
decline coming and it might just have started. If they regain previous
lows then we’ve only seen a fraction of the potential fall - maybe as
little as 10% of the full extent. If they go beyond that, then it could
get really ugly.
Looking at the fundamental economics we believe that
the Bush administration has taken one of the biggest gambles in history
and so far there is no indication that it’s paying off. Admittedly it
might, but if it doesn’t, brace yourself for an extremely bumpy ride and
possibly the worst crash and global recession since the 1920s and 1930s.
At times like this it’s important to ensure that your
portfolio is positioned not to get caught up in the carnage, but to
exploit the upside that might occur. Sounds idealistic? Not really - just
a matter of making the most of the opportunities that are out there.
In a future article we will explain how market neutral,
delta-hedged and long/short equity funds manage to capture the market
upside without exposure to the downside. Over time these methodologies
deliver slightly superior returns to traditional funds, but in a much more
In the US, the rules formulated by the SEC in the 1920s
only permit the rich guy to avail himself of these kinds of strategies.
Luckily, that particular dinosaur has no jurisdiction in the offshore
world. If Eliot Spitzer really understood what he was doing, he would
channel his well-intentioned energies against the SEC (rather than the
institutions and his current spat with the OCC).
Nobody has done New York state investors such harm as
the SEC, and when so many companies have been found guilty of taking
advantage of an outdated system, you can’t help but wonder if the system
shouldn’t be shouldering rather more of the blame? Meanwhile if the
sentiment pendulum is now beginning the long swing from unfounded optimism
to deepest despair, we’re ready.
The above data and research was compiled from sources
believed to be reliable; however, neither MBMG nor its officers can accept
any liability for an errors or omissions in the above article nor bear
responsibility for any losses achieved as a result of any actions taken or
not taken as a consequence of reading the above article. For more
information about the above please don’t hesitate to contact MBMG
International Limited, No.2Z, 2nd Floor, Somkid Place, No. 6 Soi Somkid,
Ploenchit Road, Lumpini, Patumwan, Bangkok 10330 - Thailand, Telephone: +
662 650 3123/4. Facsimile: + 662 650 3125 e-mail: info
@mbmg-international. com Website: www.mbmg-international.com
Snap Shots: Grandma Moses and photography for ‘phailing’ eyes
by Harry Flashman
we get older, there are some pursuits that begin to be restricted to the
young. Septuagenarian motorcycle racers would be fairly rare; however,
photography is a pursuit that can be followed by just about everyone,
irrespective of age. In fact, much of photography is actually more suited
to the elderly than the young.
Let’s face it, who is able to get up early for those
classic early morning sunrises, or has the patience to wait for the late
afternoon sunsets? Only retirees who have their time freed from the daily
It is thought, in the general community, that to be a
good photographer you need 20/20 vision. Not any longer! Just because you
have to wear glasses shouldn’t stop you, because modern technology is
here to help you. Today’s cameras can solve this problem. Provided you
can point the camera in the right direction, the camera will do the rest.
Welcome to the wonderful world of Auto Focus (AF). AF cameras work by
moving the lens in and out electronically to focus on the subject in the
middle of the viewfinder, just as if you were doing it yourself. They do
this quickly and accurately and some cameras will even give an audible
‘beep’ to let you know the focus has been set.
Another problem often associated with aging is
stiffening of the fingers. Today’s cameras take care of this as well.
Technology has developed the easy load system for you. Just drop the film
cassette into the camera, pull the film across a couple of inches (about
50 new fangled millimeters) and close the camera back. The camera will
automatically wind the film on and stop ready at frame number 1. It will
even indicate if the take up is not successful, and will not operate until
the film is in correctly. Nothing could be simpler or more fool proof.
While still on stiffening fingers that don’t like
fiddly little jobs - remember those dreadful fiddly pull up handles to
rewind the film? The tiny button under the camera you had to push at the
same time? Try using those with arthritic fingers. Now you don’t have
to, with Auto Rewind as well. When the last shot has been taken, the film
automatically rewinds into the cassette. This is just getting too easy.
Is it just too much of a hassle these days to walk up
to distant objects to get close-up details? Zoom lenses save you having to
go the distance. The zoom lens will do it for you. With a zoom lens it is
no problem at all to get a close-up, a wide angle and a distant shot from
the same camera position. Maybe an autofocus compact camera with a zoom
lens is just the camera for you. Just push a button to make the zoom bring
the subject closer or farther away.
Flash without being arrested. These days forget
struggling with flash guns and working out complicated guide numbers and
all that scientific tommy twaddle. Today’s camera manufacturers have
taken the tears out of using the flash too. Most new cameras have their
own in-built flash which comes on when the light levels are too low, will
set their own flash power and give you perfectly lit indoor night shots
every time. You don’t have to worry about doing anything. The camera’s
brain does it all.
So there you have it, Grey Power. There are cameras
available now which can get you back into photography again. If you once
had the ‘photographic eye’, then that ability is still there. All you
have to do is get the equipment to let you use and enjoy it again. All the
camera stores these days will stock cameras with all the features
mentioned above. An autofocus compact with built in zoom, auto load and
auto flash will set you back less than 6,000 baht.
Remember the famous Grandma Moses who began her painting career very
late in life. You can start your photographic one.
Modern Medicine: Osteoporosis
and how to avoid it!
by Dr. Iain Corness, Consultant
Rule Number One - be a man! Yes, ladies, this
is one of those conditions like breast cancer, where it’s not all that much
fun being a woman. Osteoporosis is a condition in which the bones lose their
density and thus become very much easier to fracture. This is particularly
prevalent in later life, and the statistics would indicate that 30 percent of
women reaching 90 years old will suffer from a hip fracture by that age, as the
result of osteoporosis.
Now this does not mean that older men don’t get fractures,
but the majority to suffer in this way are women, because bone density is very
much related to female hormones, amongst other factors.
So let’s look at which factors are involved in winding up
with low density (and weaker) bones. Begin with advancing years! This is an
increasing problem throughout the civilized world (I include Thailand, despite
misgivings at times) as modern medicine is getting people to live much longer.
Long enough to fall over and break something! Or even just getting compression
fractures of the bones in the spine with 25 percent of all women over 70 showing
Another major factor is inactivity, or lack of exercise.
Immobilization after a fracture, or bed rest after major surgery, can cause more
fractures through the decrease in bone density caused by the bed rest. Lying in
bed can be dangerous, as many young ladies have found out!
Another important factor is calcium. This element has a major
role in building and maintaining bones. An adequate intake of calcium is
necessary to build up the strength of the bones during the growing phases in
childhood, and then to maintain that strength during adult life. The daily
intake should be between 800-1,500 mg, which is best taken in the normal diet.
Dairy foods are also the best source of easily absorbed calcium and items such
as 35 gm of cheese, 250 ml of milk or 200 gm tub of yoghurt will supply between
200-400 mg of calcium. If you aren’t into dairy foods then tinned sardines,
salmon, mussels, oysters, almonds and tofu have good quantities of calcium as
Now here’s where being a woman has its downside. Oestrogen
levels need to be kept high, as this hormone plays an important part in
producing new bone. When oestrogen levels decrease after the menopause (or
following surgery to remove the ovaries) then women become at risk. This is one
of the ‘good’ arguments behind hormone replacement therapy. Other causes of
decrease in oestrogen levels can be through anorexia or even very intense
exercise, such as occurs with female marathon runners, for example. Lactating
mothers also lose their calcium, as it goes preferentially to the milk supply
Another factor towards giving you less dense bones is my old
friend - smoking. Really, with so many ill effects caused by smoking, I find it
difficult to understand why any intelligent person continues. I can fully
understand the addiction process, but not the continuation in the face of all
the evidence process - but then I suppose some people just like their family to
be able to claim early on the life insurance policy.
Excess alcohol on a regular basis also weakens the bones, as
well as other weakenings, such as Brewer’s Droop.
So do you have weak bones? The way to find out is via Bone
Densitometry, a non-invasive screening process. Ask your doctor about it next
time - especially if you are a post-menopausal lady!
Heart to Heart with Hillary
I am at my wits end. How do you get hold of a tradesman here, or even an “odd
job” man, such as you can get in the UK? They can’t speak English and the
workmanship is terrible. Where do I go to find someone? It’s not as if I want
them to build the Taj Mahal or anything like that. Even just putting in a new
light in the kitchen seems to be an impossible ask.
Home Improvements Henrietta
Dear Home Improvements Henrietta,
Your problem is a very common one, I am afraid, but does relate in part to the
language situation. As you correctly point out, “they can’t speak English”
but you should not forget, my Petal, that you are living in Thai-land and the
language the people speak here is called Thai! It is unreasonable to expect
tradesmen to accommodate your lack of local language. There is a way around the
problem, however. If you scan the Classified sections of the paper, you will
find that English speaking tradesmen do advertise, and if you ask around in any
of the local ex-pat organizations, they will be able to give you the names of
some reliable people. But you should always remember that in any country, even
English speaking ones, getting a good tradesman that can do everything is like
rocking horse poo. Very difficult to find.
My father (a 70 year old widower) is coming over to Thailand to see my husband
and I next month. He gets along very well with my husband and already hubby is
making noises about taking Dad out to some of the places that he wouldn’t see
at home and that he wouldn’t take me to, for example. How do I convince my
husband that these places are not suitable for my father, and he should be more
discreet with where he takes him? As I have a busy schedule with organisations
and charity work, I cannot be with both of them all the time as a chaperone.
Dear Dutiful daughter,
It is a father’s role to look after his daughter during her growing up, not
the other way around after she has grown up, my Petal. Particularly when Dad is
now 70! Sure, help look after his needs, but that is all. I am sure that if you
leave your two boys together they will be able to get by some evenings, complete
with discretion. Is that the important factor? Being discreet? By this stage, I
would imagine that your father understands your position fairly well with the
organizations and charity work and will not embarrass you. He doesn’t need a
chaperone. Let him enjoy his twilight years. Hubby has the best ideas. Dad will
soon say if he is enjoying himself or otherwise.
This is a real estate problem, but I am hoping you can help me. Last summer I
rented a small apartment for six months, from a Thai lady I met socially. She
asked me for a deposit equal to two month’s rent, which I paid, because I
think that’s a standard thing and she said I would get it back at the end of
the contract. When it was time for me to go back to the UK she would not give me
the deposit back because she said she was waiting for the bill for the
electricity and water and telephone and had to deduct those amounts first. I
wrote to her from the UK and asked for the remainder from the holding deposit,
but she never replied. When I came this time I went looking for her, but nobody
seems to know where she has gone. This has really annoyed me and I was wondering
how I can stop this happening again? Have you any suggestions, Hillary?
Roger the Lodger
Unfortunately my Petal, you went into the rental contract with your eyes shut
and your brain in neutral. You might have been the lodger, but now she’s the
dodger! This is not the UK. There are no agencies over here to help people get
their unwisely spent money back. Just learn from the experience and next time
rent through a reputable real estate office, which will hold the deposit in
trust and credit your account after all the bills are paid. As for last year,
put it down to experience. It’s not the end of the world!
My friends wanta (sic) know how old you is reely (sic) and would you come out
with us one night? There are four of us who go regular to the bars and we said
it would be fun to have you come along with us. Are you game enough for four
young guys? Or are you just a stay at home and tell people what to do type of
Oh you young boys with the excess circulating hormone problems! You’re all too
young for me, pretty Petals. When you’ve grown up send me another letter. In
the meantime learn to spell. After that I’ll tell you what to do, but you
would probably wouldn’t take my advice anyway.
A Slice of Thai History:
Dr. John Crawfurd and the Mission to Thailand, 1822
Although Europeans had been trading and travelling
through south-east Asia for well over 200 years, the British mission headed by
the dour and sardonic Dr. John Crawfurd to the court of King Rama II was
virtually the first official visit to one of the most powerful nations in the
by Duncan steam
Born on an island off the west coast of Scotland in August
1783, John Crawfurd followed his father into medicine, studying at Edinburgh and
completing his medical degree in 1803.
From the cold climes of Scotland he joined the medical
section of the British East India Company and spent the next five years in the
northwest provinces of India. In 1808 the 25-year-old was transferred to the
island of Penang where he began the study of the Malay language.
In August 1811 he, along with Stamford Raffles (later the
founder of Singapore), travelled with Lord Minto’s expedition to Java. The
British took control of the Indonesian island from the Netherlands, which had
been incorporated into Napoleon’s French Empire. Crawfurd was later appointed
resident at the court of Yogyakarta.
Raffles, the lieutenant governor of Java, and Crawfurd fell
out over the issue of land reform on the island. Java was restored to the Dutch
in 1816 and Crawfurd returned to England where he published History of the
Indian Archipelago in three volumes in 1820.
After returning to India, Crawfurd’s knowledge and
expertise was put to good use by Lord Hastings, the governor-general, who sent
him on a mission to Thailand and Cochin-China late in 1821 and early 1822. The
British were especially interested in learning more about Thai foreign policy
with regard to the northern Malay states.
The missions were of limited obvious success, although in the
case of Thailand it did pave the way for closer relations with Britain,
partially leading to King Rama II allying his country with the British in the
First Anglo-Burmese War (1824-1826). This in turn helped Captain Henry Burney
conclude a treaty of commerce with Thailand in June 1826.
Crawfurd’s account of his mission was published under the
title Journal of an Embassy to the Courts of Siam and Cochin-China, Exhibiting a
View of the actual State of these Kingdoms in 1828.
When Crawfurd called in at Singapore in November 1823 he met
with Raffles and declared his missions a failure. Raffles pointed out that it
was of no great consequence as merchants in both Thailand and Cochin-China were
being drawn to trade in Singapore, a free port, thereby circumventing the royal
monopolies that existed in their own countries.
That same year, Crawfurd was appointed British Resident of
Singapore, a post he held until 1826, ironically, the year of Raffles’ death.
In 1827, Lord Amherst, the governor-general of India, sent Crawfurd on a mission
to Burma. As with his previous diplomatic missions, it was only partially
successful and after its completion the 44-year-old returned to England. His
Journal of an Embassy to the Court of Ava in 1827 was published in 1829.
He failed to enter parliament during the 1830s and spent the
remaining years of his life writing books and papers about south-east Asia and
the Indian sub-continent. Included in these were Grammar and Dictionary of the
Malay Language (1852) and A Descriptive Dictionary of the Indian Islands &
Adjacent Countries (1856). In the latter book, Crawfurd claimed Raffles was not
‘an original thinker’ but one who ‘adopted the notions of others - not
always with adequate discrimination’, although he did concede he was an
In 1861 he was elected president of the Ethnological Society and 1868,
Crawfurd was appointed as the first president of the Straits Settlements
Association. He died in May that same year in South Kensington, London, at the
age of 84.
Personal Directions: There’s a lot to building a Positive Personality …
by Christina Dodd
Following on from last week, here are a few more
guidelines (from Shiv Khera) to building a positive personality that we all
seem to know about, but from time to time need reminding of.
Step 4: Don’t criticize and
“When I talk of criticism I refer to negative
criticism. Why should we not criticize? When a person is criticized, he
becomes defensive. Does that mean we should never criticize, or can we give
A critic is like a back-seat driver who drives the driver
Positive criticism What is constructive criticism?
Criticize with a spirit of helpfulness rather than as a put-down. Offer
solutions in your criticism. Criticize the behavior, not the person, because
when we criticize the person, we hurt their self-esteem. The right to
criticize comes with the desire to help. As long as the act of criticizing
does not give pleasure to the giver, it is okay. When giving criticism
becomes a pleasure, it is time to stop.
Receiving criticism There are many times when we are
criticized, justly or unjustly. The greatest people in the world have been
criticized. Justified criticism can be very helpful and should be taken
positively as feedback. Unjustified criticism is really a compliment in
disguise. Average people hate winners. When people are not successful,
critics have nothing to talk about.
The only way you will never be criticized is if you do
nothing, say nothing or have nothing. You will end up being a big nothing.
An inability to accept constructive criticism is a sign of poor self-esteem.
A person with high self-esteem accepts positive criticism and becomes
better, not bitter.
Complaints Some people are chronic complainers. If it is
hot, it is too hot. If it is cold, it is too cold. Every day is a bad day.
They complain even if everything goes right. Why is it not a good idea to
complain? Because 50% of the people don’t care if you have got a problem
and the other 50% are happy that you have got a problem. What is the point
of complaining? Nothing comes out of it. It becomes a personality trait.
Does that mean we should never complain or invite complaints? Not at all.
Just like criticism, if it is done in a positive way, complaints can be very
Step 5: Put positive interpretation on other people’s behavior
In the absence of sufficient facts, people instinctively
put a negative interpretation on others’ actions or inactions. Some people
suffer from “paranoia”; they think the world is out to get them. That is
not true. By starting on a positive note, we have a better chance of
building a pleasing personality resulting in good relationships.
For example, how often have we put through a call and not
gotten a reply from the other party for two days and the first thought that
comes to our mind is, “They never cared to return my call” or “They
ignored me.” That is negative. Maybe:
* They tried, but couldn’t get through
* They left a message we didn’t get
* They had an emergency
* They never got the message
There could be many reasons. It is worth giving the
benefit of doubt to the other person and starting on a positive note.
Step 6: Be a good listener
Ask yourself these questions. How does it make you feel
when you wanted somebody to listen to you and
* They did more talking than listening
* They disagreed with the first thing you said
* They interrupted you at every step
* They were impatient and completed every sentence you
* They were physically present but mentally absent
* You had to repeat the same thing three times because
the other person wasn’t listening
* They came to conclusions unrelated to the facts
* They asked questions on unrelated topics
* They were fidgety and distracted
* They were obviously not listening or paying attention
All these things show disinterest in the person or the
topic and a total lack of courtesy. And the following words perhaps best
describe the feeling of not being listened to:
Neglected, rejected, dejected, let down, unimportant,
small, ignored, belittled, annoyed, stupid, worthless, embarrassed,
Now let’s reverse the scenario. How does it make you
feel when you want someone to listen to you and they
* Make you feel comfortable
* Give you their undivided attention
* Ask appropriate and relevant questions
* Show interest in your subject
Do the following words describe the feeling of being
Important, good, satisfied, worthwhile, cared for,
pleased, happy, appreciated, encouraged, inspired.
Listening shows caring. When you show a caring attitude
toward another person, that person feels important. When he feels important,
what happens? He is more motivated and more receptive to your ideas.
Step 7: Be enthusiastic
Enthusiasm and success go hand in hand, but enthusiasm
comes first. Enthusiasm inspires confidence, raises morale, builds loyalty,
and is priceless. Enthusiasm is contagious. You can feel enthusiasm by the
way a person talks, walks, or shakes hands. Enthusiasm is a habit that one
can acquire and practice.
Live while you are alive. Don’t die before you are
dead. Enthusiasm and desire are what change mediocrity to excellence. Water
turns into steam with a difference of only one degree in temperature and
steam can move some of the biggest engines in the world. That is what
enthusiasm helps us to do in our lives.”
If you would like to write to me or contact me further
about any of our personal or business skills programs, then please email me
at Christina.dodd @ asiatrainingassociates.com I’d be very happy to hear
Until next time, have a wonderful week!
Social Commentary by Khai Khem:
Hello! Is anyone out there?
My TOT and TT&T telephone lines were
in perfect order during Songkran holidays - not before, and not now. The
‘big Songkran push’ is over and now that all the tourists have left,
I’m stuck with such noise on my TOT line that I cannot stay connected to
the Internet because it is connecting at between 16-36 Kbps AGAIN.
What is going on? My guess is the massive real estate
and building boom - old equipment, too many new properties, too little
money, lack of planning, and not enough lines and skilled employees have
left us all caught short. Am I close? The problem with guessing is that
most ordinary people guess wrong.
Thank goodness for letter-writer Ron Martin and his
kind effort in sharing his problems with us. We are definitely not alone.
TT&T and TOT do need to get their house in order. How can a region of
this size and population survive without the most basic telephone
services? I feel like a neglected car, running on only half its cylinders.
We are all limping at ‘half speed’.
Such unreliability is annoying but if the companies
would respond to our questions in a professional way, customers could be
reassured with more information and know that upgrades are in progress. If
the news is gloomy at least we would know what is going on and perhaps
adjust accordingly and temper our impatience.
The good news is that when my field technicians do
come, it is because the complaints operator bothers to write out their
work orders, otherwise the men in the field do not know which addresses
are having problems.
Today I got a woman on the 1177038 complaints number
who actually spoke English but told me to wait so she could speak to
someone else. That tells me she has little authority to give a direct
order, and the ‘backroom’ employees that communicate with field
technicians are not telling anyone, not filing the paperwork, or whatever!
To be fair, maybe they are just so busy running from address to address
because the telephones all over this area going ‘kaput’. Who’s
minding the store here? Do they need to bring cable, computers, switching
gear boxes, whatever from Chonburi; Bangkok? Are we suffering a spate of
new hook-ups, waiting for more modern equipment? Who knows? It is
imperative that this situation is corrected as soon as possible.
Mr. Martin is right; the office workers and complaints
operators are not technical people. However, the field technicians are
quite capable of eventually tracking down the problem which is often
outside and involves a lot of complicated trouble-shooting - IF and WHEN
they get the tools and cooperation they need.
I’m not sure about Mr. Martin’s “freelance
technicians”. I assumed the field technicians in the Mabprachan area
were TOT and TT&T employees and have credentials to come into my home
to check my equipment and are accredited to check public phone lines,
outside cables, and report faults with the aim of finding where the fault
lies and submitting the reports.
So far each and every technician who has been coming to
my home for more than 8 years has finally either found the problem on my
property, or diagnosed the problem down the line to my eventual
satisfaction. Yes, some problems took longer than others to solve, but
I’ve had my same TOT number and line for almost 8 years, and although
the reliability has hit bumpy patches, I still own the line and use it.
I’ve been told by TOT branch offices over the years
that one department doesn’t speak to the other. These telephone
companies cover all of Thailand but have no system to exchange info (or
working mentality prevents it and I believe this to be true). Interaction
throughout departments must improve information exchange and co-ordinate
their areas more effectively.
I’ve had some wild rides with telephones in Pattaya
but not all of them ended badly. In the past I spent 5 months getting my
original TOT line to work. I had no dial tone for months and when I did,
it didn’t last more than a day or so. The manager at the time from the
S. Pattaya office drove to my house in his business suit to direct
technicians and show good will. Turned out all the switching gear boxes
from BKK were defective - a whole factory order made by a European
company. This does happen sometimes when Quality Control has been
overlooked. TOT bought the equipment in good faith. It was eventually
replaced when the error was discovered.
During this time I hired my own telecommunications
experts out of Mabtaput to go and sort it out. As far as I could
understand, each telephone number has its own switch box. Noise on the
line, dead line (no dial tone), and continual engaged signal can all be
traced to switching gear or fault on property line or main cables on
roads, etc. This is complicated, frustrating and most of us do not have
time or inclination to take a course in modern telecommunications.
Trouble- shooting on modern telecommunications is difficult under the best
circumstances. Even very advanced nations go through this at one time or
If some of my information is either incorrect or
outdated, please consult with an expert on this subject. I’m also
confused. I can only relate to some of this from personal past experience
and what I hear from other users, plus what my field technicians have
shared with me. Truthfully, it is over my head.
On a lighter note; I will probably miss my deadline to
my Editor today. Sorry Ed. Dead line on TOT.
The Massage In The Moon:
Sun in Sagittarius/Moon in Libra
In this combination, the broad-minded, philosophical
Sagittarius is joined with the sociable, sensitive and imaginative Libra.
These natives are charismatic, popular, and make friends easily. First
appearances lead people to think they are somewhat na๏ve and perhaps
overly optimistic. That smooth Libra charm and easy-going nature can be
misleading. There is a serious side to these individuals. In truth, they
are deep thinkers who possess amazing insight and acute wisdom.
All are stubbornly independent, which is probably due
to their undaunted faith in themselves. Like all confident people, the
Sag-Libra will set far-reaching goals and work tirelessly to achieve them.
Magnetic charm and high spirits work to their advantage, as does their
ability to learn quickly. Natives born into this sign usually achieve
success and recognition early in life. They are blessed with great
intelligence which is revealed at a young age. As youngsters, they excel
in school studies, where they first get a chance to use their scholarly
talents. All have vivid imaginations and a thirst for knowledge,
particularly abstract knowledge.
These individuals prefer to deal with large concepts,
and focus on the big picture. Picky details often confuse them. They are
much more intrigued by the wonders of the universe and the nature of
mankind than the mundane drudgery of balancing a checkbook or domestic
chores. The Sag-Libra often comes off as the absent-minded professor who
turns up at the office (or research lab) with mismatched socks or one
brown shoe and one black one.
Libras are snappy dressers and will probably spend more
on clothes and accessories, a lavishly appointed home and an expensive car
because they are very fond of beautiful things. But the Sagittarius has
his or her eye on grander visions and the pettiness of details are often
scorned. Our Sag is blessed with good luck and can afford to drift afield
without getting into too much trouble. Their true domain is the abstract,
science and spiritual. They drift back to ‘terra firma’ eventually.
Although there may be Sagittarians out there who are
talented athletes, I’ve found most are physically clumsy. In my
experience, they are inattentive drivers, and always seem to be bruised
from running into doors and furniture. I swear - if there is a hair on the
carpet, your Sag friend will trip over it. Remember, they are looking at
life’s ‘big picture’ and trying to figure out how the universe
works. Their heads are in the clouds and their eyes are on the stars.
These individuals have dynamic personalities, a great
sense of humor and the ability to laugh at themselves, which makes them so
endearing. The inner workings of their minds may be profound and serious,
but they are also fun-loving, adventurous and generous. People find them
easy to get along with because so much of their character is made up of
childlike wonder and a sense of joy at just being alive. Their fresh
appeal is contagious and they will always be surrounded by admirers and
involved in an active social life.
Career choices for the Sag-Libra are unlimited. They
are endowed with so many talents and learn so quickly that success comes
easily for them. Libras do have a reputation for being slightly lazy. What
is often perceived by others as a lazy streak can be deceiving. They just
make hard work LOOK easy.
This combo will do well in any field which involves
human relations. They make fine teachers, lawyers, politicians,
psychologists and good managers in companies which specialize in public
and product image. They will not do well in a boring back-room job
hammering out details and shuffling paper. The Sag-Libra needs human
contact and freedom to explore. There is a restless streak in this
Sun-Moon sign and travel to far off places often satisfies that insatiable
curiosity and free will.
All are incurable romantics and will search for a soul-mate who shares
their lofty dreams and idealistic view of the world. Passionate, inventive
and attractive to the opposite sex, many natives of this sign have a hard
time settling down. Life is just too exciting to commit a lifetime to one
mate. Many Sag-Libras marry more than once and some marry very late in
life. The lure of adventure is too tempting to resist and fidelity in
romance is not their strong point. This quirk does not enter into their
standards of morality. They are neither cruel nor selfish toward their
partners. Philosophically, human relationships are merely part of the
process of exploration.