Sixty-nine-inch Buddha

Posted on November 23, 2003 by Steve

Stopped by Wat Yarnna Rangsee, the local Buddhist monastery, to try and catch up with some old friends. When I was teaching English years ago, I got to know a few monks in the "Beginner 1A" class. They spoke very little English, and I wasn't a great teacher, so I don't think they learned a lot despite their faithful attendance. Kham Pong was a class favorite. He was probably sixty and rather resembled the Buddha with his short, pudgy build, ready smile and shaved head. I drove them back to the temple after class many times, and one night he told me about how he became a monk as a teenager and began a life free of wine, women and song.

I asked the two monks on duty today about Kham Pong and they said he has left the monkhood, moved out and gotten married. Ha! They seemed a bit displeased at reporting the news, so I concealed my amusement and got a phone number for one of the other students who spoke a bit more English. They were happier telling me about the big new temple they are building soon, and the giant Buddha now being made in Thailand to be shipped here. Apparently the standard measure for the statues is knee-to-knee distance, and this one is a real colossus at 69 inches.

I was a non believer

Posted on November 05, 2003 by Steve

but we had a box of new Brita filters, and we hadn't changed the last one for a year, so I figured it was time for a taste test. I poured a glass from the pitcher with the moldy old filter, thoroughly washed the pitcher and followed the preparation instructions for prepping a new filter. When the new filter was ready, I poured another glass and let both samples sit for an hour. To my surprise, the new filter produced a smoother drink. I figured it would be effective at removing the lead, chromium, antimony, and other threatening chemicals listed on the package, I was just impressed that I was able to notice.

MMM taste the difference.

Six-digit ride

Posted on November 02, 2003 by Steve

Stopped by the neighborhood Ferrari dealer. It must be the only possible context in which Maseratis next door look bland. They even have an F40, previously seen only in teenage wall calendars. The coolest part was the garage parking lot with a dozen supercars, some partly disassembled, like a particularly well-appointed chop shop.