Songkran Arrives, Part IV

After Part III

April 17-22, 2004

Saturday, April 17, 2004 (pre-journal)

From The New York Times:

WASHINGTON, April 16 Two months before the invasion of Iraq, Secretary of State Colin L. Powell warned President Bush about the potential negative consequences of a war, citing what Mr. Powell privately called the "you break it, you own it" rule of military action, according to a new book.

"You're sure?" Mr. Powell is quoted as asking Mr. Bush in the Oval Office on Jan. 13, 2003, as the president told him he had made the decision to go forward. "You understand the consequences," he is said to have stated in a half-question. "You know you're going to be owning this place?"


Also from The New York Times:




PS: From The Nation (Bangkok):


Sunday, April 18, 2004 (pre-journal)

I am feeling incredibly lazy today ... so I stole this:

Click for details


Sunday, April 18, 2004 (the main bit)

No longer feeling lazy ...

A little background: yesterday Watcharee and I drove the length of Soi Ruam Rudi ... a quiet street that parallels Wireless Road (Wireless being the road upon which the American Embassy has its front door). Incidentally, the back of the Embassy estate abuts Soi Ruam Rudi [the US Embassy in Thailand is huge].

Anyway, Watcharee commented on how pretty was Ruam Rudi ... sort of a mixture of a London mews and a lower Manhattan street ... and wouldn't it be nice to own an apartment there.

So, this evening I strolled the whole street from its top intersection at Thanon Phloen Chit until its end at the Elevated Pedestrian/Cycle Walkway ... all the way taking photos of the interesting buildings that line both sides of the street ...

... until I reached a white apartment building just one block shy of the American Embassy. I knew that the US Security people did not like lenses pointed at their Embassy wall so my last photo was to be of this white apartment building. Well, no longer had my Canon went 'click' when three US Embassy Security people ran across the street and asked what I was doing. The upshot: after showing my ID and the entire digital contents of my camera I had to delete the photo of the white apartment building (*).

By the way, the security staff were very polite; they were Thai, not Americans.


(*) Only then did I notice that the nice white apartment building had a curious array of dishes, antennas and aerials on the roof.


Monday, April 19, 2004

Today we went shopping ...

... horizontally ...

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Tuesday, April 20, 2004 (pre-journal)

NEWNES:

Today we are again going shopping for a GPS device. Yesterday ... despite searching high-&-low and every-which-way-&-that ... we did not find one. Admitedly, we only looked in the largest shopping mall in all of Thailand.


(*) "Adolph" is AOL's 'ABCchek'TM preferred spelling [but, maybe it is thinking of the meat tenderizer].

(**) If alive in Paraguay he will be blowing out 115 candles; also, filing papers with the people who 'run' the figures for the Guinness Book of Records.

(***) THOCBDC is seeking readers' help on this one.


Tuesday, April 20, 2004 (core)

FORTUNE-TESCO is really huge ... well ... more looooooong and thiiiiiiiiiiiin and taaaaaaaaall than big, thick and bulky. But, in my opinion, it has more toys (*) inside than does Puntip Plaza. I think the only reason why it is less well known among 'farangs' is because it is so far away from the main tourist sites and because it is well off the route of the SkyTrain.

It took me 55 minutes to drive there in non-rush-hour traffic ... even though my odometer only showed that I drove 11.5 kilometers. And, 2/3rds of that was on the expressway.

Did I find my GPS? No! I must have gone to two dozen shops and not a single one carried any stand-alone GPSs. Some even expressed amazement as to why I would want one. This is very peculiar as Bangkok has more high tech stuff under glass than any place I have ever been.

I think I'll have to buy one from Amazon.com. and have it shipped over.

[An anonymous reader from Anytown thinks: "Why do you even want a GPS in Bangkok?"]

I have a lot of free time.

Very near FORTUNE-TESCO is a wonderful piece of architecture; it looks like something that you would find in France. It could be a five star hotel, even a fine department store ... perhaps the facade behind which lie some very expensive apartments. None of these. It is a giant 'massage parlor': the crown jewel in the property holdings of Thailand's most famous ... ah ... massage entrepreneur.


(*) Computers, software, cameras, phones, CD-DVDs, televisions, games....etc.


PS: Yikes, could disturbing news from Asuncion have pushed McWhirter's ticker into its last 'tock'?


Wednesday, April 21, 2004 (pre-journal)

With respect to yesterday's NEWNES event (the one immediately following Hitler's birthday), reader A.P. of the UK writes:

Alf,

You have got me reading some really boring stuff to solve this one. Twas Set up by PM A.J.Balfour to decide who should enforce Church of England rules by their ministers because as you will be aware C of E is a state church, its head being the monarch.

Appears that the old Canon law was no longer being effective in bringing ministers with more "catholic" tastes into line as required by Public worship regulations of the 1870s.

Think they eventually decided to let ministers judge ministers with regard to using certain practices with a "Roman taint" in their services!

Right on the tail of his last note, reader A. P. brings us something that we never knew about TESCO: "Dame Shirley Porter, daughter of the Founder of Tesco, is a fugitive from English Justice for doing dubious things while head of Westminster city council [Homes 4 votes as 'tis known in blighty]!"

Is she with Lord Lucan (*)?


(*) Roommate of Judge Crater.


PS to April 21, 2004 (pre-journal):

Judge Joseph F. Crater is one of the most famous missing men in America, perhaps even the world. On August 6th, 1930, he told friends he would be attending the Broadway play, "Dancing Partner" that evening, and was never seen or heard from again. Nobody has been able to explain why Judge Crater disappeared, although there are no shortage of theories. Earlier in the afternoon, Crater went to his office, and removed a large number of papers from his files. He also cashed a check for a very large sum of money. It is also unlikely that he ever showed up at the theater to see the show. Since he purged his personal files, obtained a large amount of money, and seemed to form an alibi with the theater, it seems the most obvious answer is that he disappeared on his own accord. But no one can explain why he would wish to disappear. The corruption investigators failed to turn up anything on him. So there didn't seem to be any danger of a scandal. Some say he was murdered by members of the underworld (whom he knew). Some even say he experienced some sort of religious conversion, and ran off to Mexico. By now, it is doubtful whether we will ever know what happened to Judge Crater.

Still Wednesday, April 21, 2004

THE MYSTERY OF LORD LUCAN
the 7th Earl of Lucan

At 9.45pm on the night of 7th November 1974, a distressed and bloodstained woman burst into the bar of The Plumber's Arms, Lower Belgrave Street, crying out "Help me, help me, help me. I've just escaped from being murdered. He's in the house. He's murdered the Nanny!" She was the Countess of Lucan, who had fled from her home at number 46, leaving behind her three children. She was obviously the victim of a serious assault, and the police and an ambulance were called to the scene. The police officers who arrived to investigate found a substantial house with a ground floor, a basement and four upper floors. Forcing open the front door, they searched the premises, and found the children in their bedrooms, unharmed. The door to the basement was open. There was no light in the hall, so they fetched a flashlight. They descended the stairs to the breakfast room, and found the walls splashed with blood, a pool of blood on the floor, with some male footprints in it, and, near the door connecting the breakfast room to the kitchen, a bloodstained sack. The top of the sack was folded over but not fastened. Inside was the corpse of Sandra Rivett, the children's' nanny. She had been battered to death with a blunt instrument. In the hallway was a length of lead piping, covered in surgical tape, very bent out of shape and heavily bloodstained. The back door was unlocked.

When Lady Lucan was able to make a statement to the police she named her husband as her attacker and the murderer of Sandra Rivett. Of Lord Lucan, there was no sign.

Shortly after 10pm, Mrs. Madeleine Floorman, a friend of the Lucans, who lived a short distance away, was dozing in front of the TV after a tiring day when she was awoken by someone pressing the doorbell insistently. Assuming it was a local youth, who had done this kind of thing before, she ignored it and went back to sleep. Some time later, the phone rang. She was sure that the caller was Lord Lucan, but he sounded distressed and became incoherent. She put the phone down and went back to sleep. (Later, some spots of what appeared to be blood were found on her doorstep).

At approximately 10.30 that evening, Lord Lucan telephoned his mother who lived in St John's Wood, telling her there had been a catastrophe at the house, and he wanted her to collect the children. She went straight there, found the place occupied by police, and informed them that the Lucans were separated, the children were wards of court, and that Lord Lucan currently resided at a nearby flat.

She then took the children to her home. The police searched Lord Lucan's flat. He was not there, but they found his car keys, passport, chequebook, driving licence, wallet and glasses. His blue Mercedes car was parked outside. The battery was flat. (It had been suffering from battery trouble for some time).

Lord Lucan was driving another car that night, a Ford Corsair he had borrowed from a friend some 2-3 weeks previously. (He had, in fact, insisted that he wanted the car for that particular evening.) It was about 11.30pm when he arrived in Uckfield, Sussex, at the home of his friends Ian and Susan Maxwell-Scott. The house was 42 miles from Lower Belgrave Street, a journey of about an hour at average speed, though he was a fast driver and might have taken less time. Ian Maxwell-Scott was away, but his wife admitted Lord Lucan and was surprised to see him in disheveled daytime clothing. His flannels looked as though they had been stained and something sponged off.

This was Lord Lucan's story, as told to Susan Maxwell-Scott. He had been walking past the Lower Belgrave St house, and had peeped in through the basement window. He had seen someone struggling with his Lady Lucan in the basement kitchen. He let himself in through the front door and ran down the stairs. He slipped and fell in a pool of blood, and the man had run off. He had calmed Lady Lucan down and taken her upstairs to try and clean her up, but while he was in the bathroom she had run out of the house shouting "Murder!". He had panicked, realizing things looked very bad for him, and decided to get out.

Between that time and arriving at the Maxwell-Scotts he said had made three phone calls, one to Mrs. Floorman, one to his mother, and he had also tried to telephone Bill Shand Kydd, who was married to Lady Lucan's sister but there was no reply. Mrs. Maxell-Scott said that he did not tell her where he made these calls from, but she got the impression they had been made after he left the house. At 12.15 he rang his mother from the Maxwell-Scotts house to check that she had the children, and rang Bill Shand Kydd again, but there was no reply.

Lord Lucan then wrote two letters, both addressed to Bill Shand Kydd at his home in Bayswater. (They were posted the following day. The envelopes were found to have smears of blood on them. ) Mrs. Maxwell-Scott tried to persuade him to remain so they could go to the local police the next morning, but he said he had to "get back". He drove away. There has been no validated sighting of him since.

Three days after the murder, the Ford Corsair was found abandoned at Newhaven. Bloodstains were found inside of both type A and type B, also, a piece of bandaged lead piping, unstained, but very similar to the one found in the murder house.


Thursday, April 22, 2004

Our local 'temple', Wat Suan Phlu, gets a new yellow paint job.




PS: The good times are back! Roll out the beer ... no, make that Champagne!

For the past couple of years my spam box has been flogging "Vi*gra", "U Can be 20 years younger", "female orgasm squirting liquid", "ink cartridges", "V Codene...no prescription", "HELP Nigerian widow", "Re: Italian Rolex order", "Stronger than CIALIS 1", "Super penile enhancements" and many other things that surely proved that our economy was in the pits.

But all that is in the past! Yes, for the past few weeks I have been given the inside dope on "Stock Promo. Moving", "Buy Investor Alert", "Making major breakthrough", "Second week in a row: Skyrockets", "Small Cap Promo Mover" plus loads of other stuff that proved that America was awash with spare cash. And just minutes ago I got "***INVESTOR TRADING ALERT***" which implied that I was nuts if I did not hock everything I owned to buy IJJ Corp. (Ticker IJJP).

Was this going to be the new Microsoft? Reading the first 20 pages of the 'prospectus' suggested that IJJ might at sometime even own the whole world.

But what did AOL "Personal Finance" have to say about IJJ?

And was there a chart?

IJJ CORPORATION (IJJP)
1.90 +0.45 (+31.03%)
as of 04/21/2004 at 03:57PM EDT (OTCBB Delay: 15 mins.)

Hey, but how does IJJP compare with MSFT (Microsoft) over the last 3 months?

IJJ CORPORATION (IJJP)
1.90 +0.45 (+31.03%)
as of 04/21/2004 at 03:57PM EDT (OTCBB Delay: 15 mins.)

Hmmmm ... does something smell here?

Yes!

I guess the fear of prison prompted the promoters to end their 'prospectus' with a paragraph that they hoped no one but the Feds would read (the third sentence from the end is where the juice lies):

"In compliance with Section 17(b), we disclose the holding of independently purchased shares of the company mentioned prior to the publication of this report.. Be aware of an inherent conflict of interest resulting from such holdings due to our intent to profit from the liquidation of these shares. Shares may be sold at any time, even after positive statements have been made regarding the above company. Short term trading targets are only guesses on our part. Keep in mind that when trading small stocks like the company above there is a chance you will lose every penny you invest. Furthermore there have been times in the past when the Company itself tells lies, gives false information and puts out false news. This email is for entertainment purposes only. This is not investment advice. We suggest you check with an investment professional before investing any stocks or mutual funds."

And, at the very very very end of this last paragraph lay the following 'words' (?):

"kkbnd vwcez tolof lbkum cqcaa nsjgdveoxq gcuan tjpvu isrjs tdxdt nfwpd bthjv ubjbx"

Any code-breakers out there?

Next: Fire!

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