Back Home in Bangkok, Part II

After Part I

May 14-18, 2005

Saturday, May 14, 2005

The following three paragraphs are from AP or Reuters ... just food for thought after yesterday's news:

After Pope John Paul's death, Italian newspapers were filled with reports of miracles attributed to him. But they all stemmed from inexplicable cures while he was alive. According to Vatican procedures, a miracle must have occurred after his death for it to be considered.

Beatification is the first step toward canonization and allows the candidate to be called "Blessed" and to be honored in a limited way in the liturgy.

Canonization is an infallible declaration by the pope that a person who was virtuous to a heroic degree in life is now in heaven and worthy of honor and veneration as a saint.

Reader K. S. from Las Vegas wrote on the back of this picture postcard:

"Your THOCBDC is losing touch with its readers. Go light on the train station stuff."

Sunday, May 15, 2005

The Bangkok node for AOL was down for most of today ... so, all I can offer is a view from the Ploenchit Skytrain station: looking east toward the Nana Skytrain station.

Monday, May 16, 2005

Reader Andy Page of the U. K. sends this photograph of a London double-decker that only a lawyer (*) could love.

(*) Well, maybe any reasonable man might go for it, too.

PS: Andy labeled this picture: "This bus features in many English legal rulings or the man on it!"

Tuesday, May 17, 2005 (pre-journal)

Since Sunday I have received over a thousand spams from Germany. Why?

I did a Google and got: "Results 1 - 10 of about 2,860,000 for german spam. (0.05 seconds)"

Here are two of them.

One article from Ziff Davis E-WEEK and a note from blog follower Steve Rubel at MICRO PERSUASION suggest why:

E-WEEK leads.

Sober Virus Spams German Nationalism
By Ryan Naraine
May 16, 2005

A new variant of the Sober mass-mailing worm is being blamed for the deluge of German spam messages flooding inboxes this weekend, anti-virus experts warned on Sunday.

The spam barrage arrives with politically themed messages in German and contains only links to news articles on German Web sites. Finnish anti-virus vendor F-Secure Corp. said the spam run is being powered by Sober.Q, the latest mutant of a worm that was first spotted in October 2003.

The latest spam barrage comes just two weeks after Sober.P launched a massive attack by promising tickets to next year's World Cup soccer tournament in Germany. In that attack, the worm spread quickly by harvesting e-mail addresses from infected systems.

This weekend's spam run does not include executable attachments and resembles the methods used in June 2004 by Sober.H, an earlier variant.

"I am getting inundated with reports this morning. I think this is the biggest 'Request for Information' ever for us and certainly the busiest Sunday we have had in a while," said Scott Fendley, an incident handler for SANS ISC (Internet Storm Center), a group that monitors malicious Internet activity.

Fendley told Ziff Davis Internet News the spam attack appears to be linked to the 60th anniversary of the end of World War II. There are several references in the subject lines to the bombing on Dresden in 1945 and other war-related political themes.

Many of the links point to the homepage of the right-wing extremist National Democratic Party (NPD) in Germany.

To protect against the spam barrage, businesses are urged to adjust e-mail filters to block the handful of subject lines being used.

Steve Rubel at MICRO PERSUASION writes:

Many bloggers are saying they are getting bombed with right-wing German spam today. I am one of them.

Phillip Lenssen sums it up ...

My Gmail account is being swamped by hundreds of German spam mails today - literally hundreds of them, un-filtered in my inbox. Usually, Google is good at filtering out spam, but not this time. The mails cover different topics in German and English, linking to public (mostly non-spam, "regular") articles. Implicitly, they all express right-wing views. Some more, some less radical. I suspect I'm by far not the only one getting these mails.

The press, so far, has been fairly quiet on this issue. eWeek, however, is reporting that there is a spam attack underway, but does not dig into the potential blog aspects of it.

What's going on here? While I can't be sure, my hunch is that certain German political groups may be targeting bloggers to get us to spread their message. I haven't seen spam pickup in any my other mail accounts - some of which are very public. So, again, early signs point to an attack on bloggers. Anyone have more info?

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Living so close to three of Bangkok's best 5 star hotels it's almost faster to eat out than it is to eat in. Should we walk across the street to the Shangri La Hotel and treat ourselves to the best buffet in Thailand, take the boat from our dock to the other side of the Chao Phraya River and eat Chinese at The Peninsula or walk a block and dine in one of the Thai restaurants at The Oriental?

Last night Watcharee and I chose Next-2, that fabulous buffet restaurant at the Shangri La Hotel. Our favorite waitress, Jane, took care of our watering needs while we maneuvered ourselves around the food offerings.

We always start at the long tub filled with iced mussels, oysters, giant shrimp and clams.

After that we move on to the sushi.

Followed by a wide assortment of salads and other appetizers.

And that is just for starters!

I am saving the main course(s) for tomorrow.

PS: Reader H. K. from Fargo, North Dakota (USA) complains: "Sometimes, like today, your journal entries can be so unctuous, flatulent, shallow, showy, bloated, uppity and oily ... all in one ... that you deserve to be hit with a million German spams an hour."

PPS: The Las Vegas girls from the other day seem to getting on nicely.

Wednesday, May 18, 2005 (Pre-journal)

FLASH! Huge explosion rocks Bangkok.

Fire rages through Bangkok slum

BANGKOK, May 18 (TNA) - Firefighters this afternoon struggled to tackle a blaze in a Bangkok slum community which raged through 50 houses and killed one elderly resident.

Panicked residents of the slum in Bang Kho Laem district told reporters that they had heard the shout of 'fire', and has fled from their houses, taking as many of their meagre possessions as they could grab.

Fire engines rushed to the scene, but fierce wind made tackling the blaze difficult, the alleyways among the houses were narrow, there was little water, and it was an hour before the flames were under control.

One 65 year-old resident of the community was killed after choking on smoke, while a rescue volunteer was injured by falling masonry.

Initial reports suggest that at least 50 houses were damaged in the blaze.

Police are now investigating the cause of the fire, which is believed to have started in a two-storey house which had been rented out to Myanmar immigrants. (TNA)--E006

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Time for the main course(s).

Of course, Watcharee and Jane are still here.

But, we are moving on to the major plates....

Kabab? We'll pass this time.

Mongolian fire pot? Later, maybe.

How about the ready to grill fish, lobster, lamb, pork, beef and chicken? Load it on.

Indian? With condiments? Nope, have to draw the line somewhere.

Next: Part III

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