No Path To Power – 22nd April 2023

It’s just another Jarrow Crusade
Ignored by those in power
Backed by a whole class of people
Whose life has gone sour
The change will slowly come
Too late for those affected
The masses’ message manipulated
Ignored and rejected
The power is not with good people
Whose members swell the ranks
But held by the precious few
Who own the guns and tanks
As your protest heads down the street
Always remember your way home
Before that’s taken from you too
And you’re left to seethe alone
You’re either with us or against us
Left conquered when divided
Along the path of least resistance
Your own future will be decided

Today I’m feeling:

A little more positive today. I’m liking that I can’t remember what day it is but that will all change soon.

Today I’m grateful for:

Electricity. After 4 hours without it last night I thought it wasn’t too bad but then realised I was still able to use my phone and iPad as they still had charge. If they had run out I don’t think I would’ve been so happy.

The best thing about today was:

Almost finishing the flashcard sorting. I could’ve finished it but as I find this kind of task enjoyable I want to stretch it out one more day. Next, I have to integrate their use into my lessons and hopefully, the students find them useful.

(I couldn’t resist and finished them off so now the island in the dining room is relatively clear again.

What was out of your control today and how did you handle it?

First thing this morning I stepped on Amy’s thin folding mattress on the floor and under my foot was wet. Argh! It felt like a full bladder of piss had been dispensed. I picked it up and hung it outside in the sun, having to also take the rug too as it had seeped through to that as well. Good morning!

Something I learned today?

In some street interviews, many young Chinese people assumed America has high-speed rail because it’s America so they must have it.

Write about a memorable experience from this past week.

The coming of the rain and the destructive storms. The rain was good, the destruction not.

I took this picture because this was the result of the storm last night. I threw some more breeze blocks up there and climbed up and tried to get the sheet back in place but that wasn’t possible. Even though it was only 10 am everything up on the roof was already burning hot. I was also nervous up there as there was a lot of flex in the frame in the middle of the roof. I did my best and placed the six blocks strategically but I think it still may not be enough if the wind really whips through again.

Trump 5390 – 27th February 2023

I met a salesman from an orange land
Who said “Two fat and chubby legs of stone
Stand on the golf course…In the bunker, on the sand
Buried in broken promises, whose botox smooth
Unwrinkled lip, and sneer of old demand
Tell that it’s maker well understood
Lifeless things will always be lifeless things
This hand mocks him, there is no good
And on the pedestal, these words appear
My name is Trump, you’re fired!
Look at my face, losers, and despair
No trace remains of policies of decay
A colossal trainwreck of heartless hot air
Blows across the bunkers and far away.”

As Shelley imagined Ozymandias over 2000 years ago, I imagine the same about Trump over 2000 years from now.

Today I’m feeling:
Happy though still a little dizzy and tired.
Today I’m grateful for:
The charging cable that I always borrow from Kru Mai so I can use the speaker in the classroom. I’m charging now so I can use it for class tomorrow.
The best thing about today was:
In my morning class finding 100 baht that someone had dropped but no one claimed. I kept it and waited to see if anyone would come back to claim it though no one did. In my second class, it was Anchan’s birthday and we sang her happy birthday. Often the kids ask me for money and I’ll give them one baht and tell them to share. Anchan cheekily asked for 100 baht and as I was up for the day I gave her the money I’d found.
Something I learned today?
In 2010 the US Supreme Court made a ruling in Citizens United versus Federal Election Commission that companies are people and money is speech, therefore allowing companies to use money to influence the political process, effectively turning the US into a plutocracy.
What is my favourite photo of the past month?
I think this must be the pictures Aing took of me at the waterfall. The experience itself was fantastic and freezing and then to see myself, a flabby middle-aged man in his underwear dwarfed by the torrents of water falling from the rocks yet laughing with joy, stupid mad joy still motivates me to live my life any way I can and want.

I took this picture because, in the messy garden of House which is full of green everything, this red flower overhanging the path screams ‘take my picture’!

This Is Your Fuel – 20th February 2023

Suck up all the art
Fill yourself with beauty
Become a state of being
Admit yourself this duty
We need you here
You’re needed now
Your inquisition
Inspires somehow

Within enrichment’s search
Potential will be realised
Corrosive forces negated
Leaves creatives satisfied
This is your art
Your appreciation
Forever fuelling
Fires of inspiration

Today I’m feeling:
Surprisingly ok despite a lack of sleep last night.
Today I’m grateful for:
The traditional Thai brooms that I used this afternoon to sweep leaves off our paths and terrace. I’ve grown to like them over time. I used the prefer a hard sweeping brush but that wouldn’t be so useful for these leaves.
The best thing about today was:
Finishing my first class with about 30 minutes spare so I let the kids go and some invited me to play volleyball with them. Later some of my students from my second class seemed in a jovial mood and happy to come to my lesson when usually they have other things on their minds. Both classes were quite raucous but I was able to eventually guide them through and maybe even one or two of them actually learned something.
What was out of your control today and how did you handle it?
I’m still playing catch up on household chores and want to vacuum and mop the floors but I can’t get everything done. Or perhaps I’m just a little too lazy to knock it all off in one night. Tomorrow afternoon I’ll have some extra time but I’m already thinking to go to Daytripper and chilling there! When I’m thinking about things getting out of my control for this question I’m usually focused on emotional control and in general that has been quite stable recently.
Something I learned today?
I found out about a group of women called Codepink who have been protesting in the US against the war in Ukraine and against the sabre rattling and machinations of the war machine towards China. Good on them. Now they need to get the rest of the American people on board to convince their government against further escalations.
What am I thinking about right now?
The smell of cat pee! My students. Cat pee. Making the bed. Washing my hands. A snack? The smell. My own pee. My aching back. Today’s journal entries. A whole lot of thoughts about nothing in particular. My version of ignorance is bliss.

I took this picture because I’ve had to cover my mattress with Snake Brand Prickly Heat Cooling Powder in an attempt to cover up the smell of cat pee. I’m not sure how well it’s going to work or what side effects I might experience once laid down in bed.

Lead By Example – 17th February 2023

Oh, won’t you show me the way?
As Peter Frampton used to say
If you want the world in your image
You’ll want everyone to play

If your example is to cheat and steal
This may not really appeal
If you can’t change and adapt
Perhaps your intentions are not real

If your example is subjugation
To control every other nation
Don’t be surprised when you fail
It’s a simple explanation

Do as you would have done
This is not a war for anyone
Compromise and coordination
Is how hearts and minds are won

Today I’m feeling:
Contemplative and calm today.
Today I’m grateful for:
Finding a stash of whiteboard markers in the teacher’s room as both of mine ran out yesterday. I was hoping to squeeze the last drop out of them until the end of the semester as new ones are usually hard to come by at this time of year. I was surprised to come across a pencil case with at least four new markers in. I was kind enough to leave two!
The best thing about today was:
With letting the M2 kids have free time today to allow those that wanted to go to Big’s funeral I enjoyed sitting with them and watching them entertain themselves with games, drawing and dancing. I was happy to let them divert their thoughts though many of Big’s class were still subdued.
What was out of your control today and how did you handle it?
There had been mention of some kind of conference this weekend that teachers would attend though both David and I had only heard it second-hand from other Thai teachers. As usual communication here is shithouse and I was quite prepared to just ignore it and claim ignorance. However, as we’ve had lots of free time with sports week and scout week I made a last minute attempt to get information by send ing a message to our department head, Kru Nu. She replied but only give the location, nothing about times or agenda. Oh well, it’s better than nothing I guess. The Chinese whisper is that registration is from 8am to start at 9am so I reckon I’ll get there close to nine and grab coffee at House on the way. It’s annoying that one of the cats has sprayed on my bed right near the pillow and I was hoping to be able to wash the sheets this weekend. David also told me he had to cancel plans too. As we always say, this is Thailand.
Something I learned today?
I saw a crazy video of a train line in the US that is in the same state as the recent accident there (Ohio) and holy shit I couldn’t believe that a train could even travel on it. The lines zigged and zagged and dipped and rose and looked well in need of repair. Later I read that there have been four derailments in the last two weeks, at least one of which also contained hazardous material. Along with video of an overturned road tanker spewing toxic gases into the air, it’s what you’d expect in a third world country.
What details am I noticing right now?
The powerful thudding bass from either Yerm or more likely some villager’s PA where they maybe singing karaoke or Thai luk krung songs. I can only hear the thuds. I’m sleepy and may even skip my shower. I can still smell the fabric softener in my Government Issue t-shirt despite having been wearing it for a week (though gh only usually ten minutes a day). I can also smell the candle burning in the bedroom to counter the smell of cat spray on my bed. I can hear the whir of the fan in my computer and in the power supplies for the camera system. I can feel the crick in my neck from laying down whilst writing this. Also the ache in my wrists. I’m also noticing the phone battery is about to run out. Good night Jim Bob.

From the vaults, I took this picture last month on my bike ride. Just looking at it again now makes me want to go again!

Google It – 14th February 2023

Just give me the answer
I don’t want to think
The end result the same
No waste of pen and ink
I don’t want to learn
Just want to jump the queue
Find the fast way forward
And the easiest way through
Smart enough to cheat
I’ll copy from the best
And when the time comes
I’ll just bluff the test
If I end up in the field
Painfully planting rice
I’ll remember those times
At the top were really nice

Today I’m feeling:
Smooth, content. I didn’t get enough sleep last night but it hasn’t put me in a bad mood. More like a dream state that I’m gliding through.
Today I’m grateful for:
The lady that always serves me at Oasis. She recognises me now and knows that I like to add sugar, vinegar and pickled chilli to my food.
The best thing about today was:
Relaxing a little into my classes today and enjoying the interactions with everyone. I was also heartened to receive small valentines gifts from my old students as well as stickers from my current ones.
What was out of your control today and how did you handle it?
Amy called me and was annoyed and upset. I’d been to the hospital to see the psyche but I didn’t wait around to get the meds as there were too many people waiting. I knew I could come back later when it was quieter. At some point, the hospital called Amy’s number because I hadn’t collected the meds. Amy’s phone diverts to her mum here in Thailand and then she calls Amy. I don’t know why no one calls me! Amy checked on the camera and thought I wasn’t at home as I’d kept the doors all closed because of the air pollution but I was in the living room eating food and watching TV. When she called she wanted to know where I’d been and talked in an accusatory manner and this annoyed me as I was feeling very good until then. Anyway, a little while later I’d worked my mood back into feeling positive again and called her at our regular time. She was tired and still a little grumpy so we didn’t talk long. Everything will be fine again.
Something I learned today?
I’ve read a little about a serious train derailment in Ohio that caused a huge explosion of dangerous toxic chemicals and that it hasn’t got much coverage there as the US focuses its media towards its coming war with China and having its population on board with that idea. Some reports have said that the effects of the situation are worse than a nuclear reactor meltdown!
I can feel it will soon be time to disconnect from news again soon. Everything is just seemingly fucked everywhere you look.
What makes me laugh?
Really there are not many things that make me laugh as such. I still enjoy comedy etc but that has a purpose to make you laugh. So the main thing that makes me laugh is, of course, my students. They make me laugh when they are happy and playful but also when they are angry and emotional.

I took this picture because the morning sun burns red through the haze on the horizon.

Together We Rise – 9th February 2023

Once again, I was told I was free
That I could be whatever I wanted to be
So I told of the things inside my head
That had filled me full of existential dread
Then I found that so many people didn’t agree
I was called out and threatened constantly
I never thought just because of words I said
Made people so upset they’d want me dead
I realised freedom does not mean free
What’s freedom to you is not so for me
A common line must be towed instead
If you wish to lie in a settled bed
But is it possible for us to agree
That opposition is the end of you and me
We don’t need to succumb to lies we’re fed
Together we can travel the road ahead

Today I’m feeling:
Productive if only for household chores. Not sure I’ll be able to stay awake this afternoon.
Today I’m grateful for:
An afternoon cappuccino to keep me awake through the day but hopefully not so much that I can’t sleep tonight. I went out to Daytripper to enjoy it and watch the Kishore Mahbubani online course videos about US-China relations.
The best thing about today was:
A sense of achievement from sweeping up leaves, cutting back some climbing vines, preparing for cleaning off the roof, washing bedclothes, cleaning Kim’s room and getting everything ready for her to spend her nights in here again. I enjoyed doing it all.
What was out of your control today and how did you handle it?
I’m here in Kim’s room writing this and I can see that the fuckin’ ants are out of control. I wonder if this is why the doesn’t like to sit directly on the floor. I sprayed ant killer in one corner of the room where I can see them coming and going but there must be many different colonies here all vying for their pieces of territory and the pull of Kim’s food bowl. Kim is sitting watching me and wondering what the hell is going on.
Something I learned today?
The US voted no at the UN to make food a human right. They voted no to the convention of rights for persons with disabilities. No to the convention on the rights of the child and against the resolution ‘combatting Nazism and contemporary forms of racism.’ The US sure likes to be different.
What emotion am I feeling right now?
Lethargy as my body winds down from the activities of the day. My mind though is still busy but that will soon wind down too. I also have a feeling of anticipation looking forward to jumping into bed with fresh clean sheets. My body is already experiencing the sensation, I’m looking forward to it that much.

I took this picture because new sheets, new sleeps. Almost summer.

百年羞耻 – 8th February 2023

The body was weak with a cancer at the heart
Viruses found a way in to rip it all apart
Poison took hold and began to stake a claim
So began one the one hundred years of shame

Infection spread to disable all the limbs
Antibodies form and internal war begins
Now a puppet left to play in a rotten game
Raped and tortured by a hundred years of shame

Slowly, slowly the body returns to balance
Both yin and yang improve upon their talents
Heads held higher to rise above the strain
The beginning of the end of a hundred years of shame

Now the muscles flex, the body’s lesson learned
At unity with the brain, power has returned
No matter the want, things are not the same
Since the end of a hundred years of shame

Today I’m feeling:
Content and energised. A long walk in the jungle and a dip in the freezing water under the waterfall really got my blood flowing.
Today I’m grateful for:
Aing and Now paying for my lunch which we had at the restaurant in the stream. All the food was delicious. Spicy seafood salad, Tom Yum soup, veggie fried rice, deep-fried fish and squid.
The best thing about today was:
Getting under the waterfall and having the air sucked out of my lungs. It was freezing and invigorating and I felt cosy once I got my shorts and t-shirt on again. I should sleep well tonight.
What was out of your control today and how did you handle it?
Last night I found Kim had a scratch on her head and was limping again, presumably from fighting, so I decided to keep her in again. I really want her to enjoy the freedom to be outside but she just can’t stay out of trouble. I’ll start putting her back in her room at night again from tomorrow. Right now she’s in our walk-in where she’s content to recover as best she can. She still seems happy enough and is eating fine. Hopefully, she gets better soon.
Something I learned today?
There was an earthquake in Turkey and Syria a couple of days ago and China has already got people on the ground there helping. In comparison, the USA has sanctions in place for Syria which hampers western allies’ possible efforts to help. Syria is already crippled by civil war and US military involvement as well, removing their oil to be kept in a safe place ie. the USA! I’m coming to respect China more and more every day. I just hope they can avoid getting dragged down by the bullying tactics of the west.
What is a word you feel that too many people use?
Taking this question literally, the word is probably ‘Mine.’

I took this picture because this was the destination for today. Khun Korn waterfall. Aing and Now said they wanted to come here as they never did during the time they were studying in Chiang Rai. They’d been busy until today so today it had to be. Just by chance, at school this morning, I met Kru Mai and Kru Karn waiting to be picked up and I guessed they were going camping with scouts. I asked them where the campsite was and it was also at Khun Korn! So I made sure to go and surprise my old students whilst visiting. They all told me that they weren’t having fun but it looked like they were really!

No More Maus – 17th June 2022

Burn the books that shook and rocked
Ban the guns all cocked and locked
Pay the man a corporate donation
Say a prayer to save the nation
Scoff as the rest of the world is shocked

The end of days, the Rapture foretold
When shock and awe have taken hold
Scrambling with a personal hell
Now has come the time to tell
About all the lies that have been sold

Most people would rather argue about reality than do something about reality.

Ryan Holiday

Gamnad737/Grave Blankets – 25th August 2019

Cat #:199TZM

Grave Blankets: 

Grave Blankets is Steve, Kyle and Dave. 
More at:


Harsh Noise from Bangkok, Thailand, Main project of “Arkat Vinyapiroath” The sounds of liberation which may lead to free the others from their inner confinement, Bangkok Noise outfit who represents the stories through recordings from time to time in both acoustic and electric sound synthesis.

Grave Blankets: 

Recorded with signals sent from land to space to land again and again and again. Thanks to resistors and capacitors. 


Gamnad737’s track recorded, mixed, mastered by Arkat Vinyapiroath at Moontone Records in 2019 


Artwork and layout by Dave Petersen 
Yarhn, Vaccine and Sacrifice mastered by Jeff White