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About Skeptic7

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  1. Well done and congrats! Thailand sure is producing some top notch golf talent.
  2. Skeptic7

    Infantino says 2018 World Cup is the best-ever

    They say this every World Cup. I disagree. However, this year has been the best ever for the most dives, fake injuries and fouls, bad acting and phony faces with eyes clenched and mouths agape in embarrassingly fake agony. Gives a bad name to the sport and the otherwise fine athletes. It's just so egregiously fake, phony, silly looking, wimpy and stupid. Should be an automatic
  3. Yes Vasu and at the best rate too. Exchanged some older $100 notes earlier this year. As long as they are not damaged, no problem.
  4. Skeptic7

    Birds in your garden

    It's tough to watch all the toil and effort of a pair...only to see it fail (or in the case below...robbery and murder!). In The States (Marietta, GA) decades ago, put up a couple Bluebird nest boxes. One on my property and one on some state property, with permission. The nests over the years were always successful, as the boxes were a fortress on a pole of the perfect height and placement for Bluebirds, equipped with a long squirrel/raccoon baffle. An egg here and there didn't hatch and once found a dead fledgling by the birdbath I also provided, but overall very successful and always fledged all or most. One year however, Great Crested Flycatchers chose a Screech Owl box I had attached high in a huge oak. Had only seen a Screech Owl roost in the box a couple times. Was thrilled with the flycatchers and watched them build the nest. When the clutch was laid, the female would settle in every evening for the night to incubate with the male standing close guard. I knew when the eggs had hatched, as the pair was bringing food continually all day. As usual, the female would settle in at dusk and the male watching close by. One evening, a day or 2 after hatching, was on my elevated deck about to go in for the night, when heard all kinds of commotion and frantic bird screaming. Grabbing my binoculars just in time to see a raccoon fall from the nest box...his arm had been inside. Then all was quiet. With a flashlight, I ran out and inspected the situation. All quiet and seemed OK, but I was troubled. The next day I was out on the deck early and eagerly watched the box. Only one bird was bringing the food and calling continually when it rested. I took a ladder out and saw 4 bald youngsters and some feathers stuck around the nest hole. Realizing then that the masked bandit had climbed up and probably snatched the attentive female right out of box. The male assumed his feeding and calling (to the female) immediately after I left, but still only one bird doing all the feeding. Confirmed it was the male, because that night no bird went inside to incubate. The male will not...not in his DNA. This was April, which can still be quite cold in north Georgia, especially at night and a cold front was approaching. Contacted a wild animal rescue facility and they said what I already knew...the very young nestlings wouldn't survive the overnight temps, as it was going down into single digits. They told me to bring them in to their clinic and they would try to rear them, but said that odds were not good. They also had an incubator. I extracted the nest with the help of a friend and took them in. All 4 died. Still feel bad after all these years.
  5. Have been asked once...the answer was "NO"
  6. Accessing bank funds and retirement accounts for US expats can prove a nightmare for those without an actual US residence address. I still have such, but for a couple guys I know whom do not, as soon as they informed their financial institutions of their foreign addresses...Red Flags start flying. Threatened with account closure and/or heavy restrictions on trading within those accounts, such as 401-k and IRAs. Ridiculous BS. Also extremely intrusive rules required if over $10k in a foreign bank acct. Liberty is a word very loosely defined in the USA.
  7. In the words of Mr. Spock..."fascinating"
  8. Skeptic7

    Birds in your garden

    You did the exact right thing. Hand rearing a nestling is near impossible...even for pros, but not impossible. Hand rearing a fledgling has much better odds. Too bad. Lots of Bulbul failure stories here, even in seemingly perfect conditions. Here's a very interesting and in depth study on the breeding biology of RWBU in China. Overall success rate was approx 34%. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4790259/ Nest success For a total of 225 eggs (n=87 nests) laid, hatching success was 53.78% (n=50 nests) while fledging success was 63.63% (n=34 nests), and overall nest success was 34.22%. The average number of fledglings per successful nest was 2.26±0.67 (n=34 nests, range=1-3).
  9. If only! But then the next motorbike riding all the footpath are the BIB!
  10. A bit off-topic, but tried to link my Barclays Online Savings acct to BKK Bank NY a few months ago. Despite the process seemingly proceeding normally (had previously linked my Credit Union account with no problem) and the link showed "Pending" in my acct screen...the small verification deposits never showed up at BKK Bank NY. Called Barclays and the rep said she saw the transaction and that it was pending, but had no idea why the verification deposits didn't happen. She said she would submit them again...and again I received an e-mail from Barclays saying that within 2-3 business days the small deposits would be made. Again it never happened. Called again and got the same response and offered to resubmit. I asked to speak to a supervisor, as this had already been attempted twice without success. Was told that none was available, but one would phone me back within 2 business days. I told the rep that was totally unacceptable, but OK since not other option. Never got a call (big surprise there), so I hit back with my dollars and transferred a very substantial amount out of Barclays to another online bank with a slightly higher interest rate. Don't expect the linking process to work there either, but made me feel better! Things continue to get more difficult for expats.
  11. The final hammer blow to destroy an already weakened wall that was intended to keep subjective religious/superstitious BS out of government and legislating. A dark day indeed for the once great secular government, which set it well apart from most others. This asshat, like the (now) majority of justices will put their superstitious dogmas before The Constitution, which they are sworn to uphold. They will put their silly, backasswards, regressive and oppressive beliefs before the rule of law.
  12. Skeptic7

    Surprise bathroom visitor: identify please

    Huntsman spider bite possible reactions: The effects vary, including local swelling and pain, nausea, headache, vomiting, irregular pulse rate, and heart palpitations, indicating some systemic neurological toxin effects, especially when the bites were severe or repeated.
  13. Skeptic7

    Surprise bathroom visitor: identify please

    Spiders Thailand has plenty of big scary-looking spiders but only a few species will bite a human being. This still means thousands of bites every year. Luckily, deaths from spider bites are very rare - less than 3 per year across the whole world and these are generally a result of allergic reactions. (this number is probably a bit low, as a search of USA Spider Bite Deaths is about 6.5 annually, but still extremely rare) The most dangerous spiders in Thailand are mainly forest dwellers. Some Tarantula species have a reputation for aggression and the bites are painful and best treated in hospital with anti-venom. Symptoms can include swelling, exhaustion, muscle cramping, difficulty breathing and fever. Sometimes, these occur days after the bite. For your safety, empty out shoes and shake clothes before wearing, especially in rural areas! Full article: https://wanderwisdom.com/travel-destinations/Thailand-Health--Safety-and-Risks-1-Dangerous-Animals Fun Fact: All spiders have fangs! And, yes, they almost all have venom in them. Lucky for us, most spider poison will not harm people because it is quite weak. Most spiders use their venom to paralyze its insect victim long enough to devour it.
  14. Skeptic7

    Surprise bathroom visitor: identify please

    Widow spiders...Latrodectus geometricus (brown) and Latrodectus mactans (black)...are both found in Thailand. Though widows have a bad rep, they are almost never lethal and certainly not aggressive. However, these bites can be painful with mild to moderate reactions and even severe in children and/or people with an allergic reaction.