xylophone

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About xylophone

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  • Birthday 11/23/1947

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  1. I have encountered both the main instances spoken about here in friends places and did manage to fix them..... As has been said by others, the placing of the toilet over the hole made in the floor for it was a poor fit to say the least, with no rubber seal of any description, and there was a gap round the back of it where you could actually put your fingers, hence the smell coming up, so was able to fix that. Another friend had smells coming up from the vent pipes and overflow vents in the bathrooms and these were of an older type (seemingly made of cast iron or something like it) where the rim of the "inverted cup" had grooves in it so that the smell came up no matter what one did, so I changed those out for the type depicted on the drawings here and that seems to have fixed that. Quite amazing what passes for "plumbing" here and some of the worst I have seen was in an expensive penthouse-type apartment owned by friends in Patong. Go figure!
  2. Had mixed fortunes on my shopping expedition today as I was unable to find any of the walnut bread in Tops despite an extensive search – – perhaps they have run out or haven't baked any new stuff, but certainly couldn't see any! However I did have a stroke of luck as I decided to glance through the Olive oils there and they had a special on for their olive oil from Crete, called Gaea, Kritsa Estate (from the Koroneiki olive) buy one for 275 baht and get one free, so I did. I also noticed they had another organic olive oil there for 285 baht and was tempted to buy it, but these two bottles will do for now. Then I set off in search of the organic shop and I did find it eventually and it only had one olive oil in there and it was the very same one I had seen in Tops, only this was 345 baht. Only to be expected from a smaller shop without the buying power I suppose, however I didn't buy anything else from there because I was a little disappointed with what they had in stock. However I have the makings of a nice Greek meal for tomorrow night with the new olive oil, hummus, Kalamata olives and feta cheese, along with some Greek style yoghurt.......now to pick up some nice bread tomorrow!
  3. I noticed another small guest house which had just closed and was for sale/lease and it brought to mind this post of your LiK, this especially after I visited my Thai lady friends guesthouse/hotel a couple of days ago and found it to be in a pretty sorry state, whereas a few close by were showing accelerated age (greedy builder owners scrimping on quality, finish and materials). I think her hotel was built (seven years or so ago?) along with quite a few others when new middle road was underway and I remember thinking then that surely this was overkill for a place which never seemed stretched for accommodation and indeed no one I had ever met had struggled to find some sort of accommodation here. I have to agree with your comments because the likes of these along with many other similar ones built in the middle road, as well as a few others cropping up in various places, really did result in some desperate measures as regards pricing. And I seem to recall just a year or so ago commenting on the fact that a larger hotel in middle road, roughly opposite the Art condominiums had a special on for room nights at 248 baht, and now of course we have the situation where some smaller places are advertising rooms at the equivalent of 167 baht per night. As DrDave has said, "that one only needs to open their eyes and see the number of bars, restaurants and guesthouses that are constantly turning over. These businesses owners are likely not selling because they're making money hand over fist. As has been mentioned many times before, Patong has a continuous cycle of business purchase and failure. Someone is always at the ready to buy a failed business which starts the cycle over again". I really don't see how this cycle can keep repeating itself because somewhere along the line someone is going to cotton on to the fact that many of them are not viable business propositions any more, and after having destroyed the businesses of those folk who saw potential in the place, only to have it ripped from under their feet by greed, lack of planning and corruption, what then?
  4. Thanks, never seen it there, but never really looked for it, so will have a good scout around next time I am there, but prob off to Central tomorrow for lunch and to look for some good olive oil nearby!!
  5. Making me feel hungry!! Where did you buy the walnut bread??
  6. Jumping around a bit here, however I'm sure the OP won't mind too much.......... Ventured down to Bangla Road this afternoon to go for a foot massage in Soi Patong Resort and something I hadn't noticed in my recent forays was the extent of the new building going on, this especially taking in the site of the other white elephant, which was built alongside of the new Tiger complex and never took off, plus another huge block of land and what were once shops – – so much so that this newly cleared site actually comes up to and fronts Rat-u-Thit road opposite the Starbucks at the front of Jungceylon. I asked a security guard nearby if he knew what was going there and he said it was another Central Plaza and when I mentioned, "Robinsons" he also said yes and pointed to the other cleared block across the road, so I never really did get a clear idea! It's amazing the things that you notice during the daylight that you never notice in the evening; one being the size of that new building site and the other being the dilapidated state of Bangla Road itself, not to mention the poor condition of many of the bars and buildings. I stopped and said hello to the owner of my favourite restaurant, Salute, in Soi Patong Resort and noticed that the large restaurant which used to be called "Thai Basil" has a new for sale sign plastered across it. Previously it was advertised at 3.3 million baht with rent of 125,000 baht per month, but now that had been dropped to.1.5 million baht for a quick sale, however the rent is only paid up until March of next year, so someone will have to negotiate a new lease by the looks of things. In all honesty I could never understand why that restaurant opened up in the first place because it was a sort of upmarket Thai restaurant and prices matched that positioning, whereas similar Thai food could be purchased in very close proximity in any number of places for about a third of the price, so in my opinion it was destined to failure from day one?? Having said that, it is a large restaurant and is in a good position with about seven other restaurants nearby, so a different sort of restaurant in a place like that could well be okay, sort of a "restaurant strip/alley" if you like..........but then this being Patong, who knows? Did see a couple of "outside people chasers" (OPCs) and even got stopped by one, this means that the "timeshare/fractional ownership/whatever they're called these days" property touts are still about and indeed I saw a couple just the other day in Karon and they had stopped holidaymakers within about 100 metres of one another. I wonder if they're still doing the fake scratch-it cards routine (everyone a winner). And something I haven't experienced for a while.........the disgusting smell of sewage or similar emanating from a couple of drains, reminding me that I'm still in a place where the infrastructure is definitely Third World and/or quite possibly belongs to the Middle Ages!
  7. Thanks for the link above Schlog..........got onto their website and it seems they have joined with another health food supplier, Good Karma, whom I have bought from before, so will be worth a visit AND now I know exactly where it is!.
  8. According to a friend he also plays tennis nowadays!
  9. Thanks for the articles and info...........and I've looked on Google for koroneiki olive oil here and also on Lazada but no luck as yet. Has anybody ascertained whether the greek shop pictured by Sclog (thank you) has it or similar unadulterated olive oil?
  10. I visited Don's place a few times and it seems as though he was unhappy about the Rawai experience towards the end. I did hear that it was because of a couple of break-ins, but again, only hearsay?
  11. If we are thinking about the same guy, I believe you'll find he still has a beachside bar/restaurant just opposite and beachside of the end of Sawatdirak road??
  12. Very true and something that had slipped my mind......so thank you again for this and your tips. I do remember some lovely olive oils I have tasted, but many from here seem to have a bitter taste which I do not like. I like the fruity ones with just a taste of pepperiness so will keep on trying til I find one!
  13. Good post thanks for the info............ I did see a couple of articles a short while ago about olive oil and its authenticity and what I read quite shocked me! I subscribe to a magazine called ConsumerLab which does testing on all sorts of things, but mainly vitamins and supplements, but it did do one on olive oils and it turns out that there are a couple from the USA which were highly rated, and not only by the magazine but by independent tests and tastings. I tried to source some from New Zealand where I have tasted some stunning olive oils, but prohibitive cost and shipping and who knows what will happen to the stuff once it gets here (impounded/tax/customs/whatever). Now perhaps you can answer something for me because I have seen some small bottles of extra-virgin olive oil in Tops (Waitrose) here in Phuket and they are extra-virgin olive oils made from individual olive varieties and labelled as such and also from individual producers, including from Crete and Sicily (I believe). Sure they are a little more expensive than the run-of-the-mill stuff, however do you know anything about them?
  14. A little story around the wine at the Deli, Lik............... As I said in a previous post I was helping out with his wine and the fact that some of it really needed shifting and we tasted a couple of bottles of one particular wine (can't remember what it was now) and it was at the end of its life, slightly marginal you might say, so we agreed that he shouldn't buy anymore and that we would discount this wine big time, to shift it. As I recall he never got any complaints about it....!! Anyway a few weeks later I was ferreting through his stocks out the back and found some more of it and I asked him why he had bought some more when we agreed it was marginal and he replied that he hadn't ordered any. Got to the bottom of the story and it turns out that the distributor in Bangkok realised that Loon was not too hot on his inventory/stocktaking process and would box up some of the old (and marginal) wine and ship it down to him, and because he wasn't on top of the stocktaking process, his girls used to sign for the delivery and store it out the back and he was none the wiser – – that is until we found this and he put a stop to it. I suspect he lost some interest in that shop way before it eventually closed.
  15. Carrying on from Old Crocs interesting post and one where he mentioned Baan Sukhothai brought back some memories of my first visit here. My first visit was in March of 2004 with a friend who had pointed out cheap holidays in Phuket so off we went and I had no idea what to expect as I had never heard of the place before. We stayed at the Baan Sukhothai and if it's the same one as I remember, it had a little tea shop in the front of it and it was a great place for an afternoon reviver with a pot of tea and a sticky bun because they did have some nice cakes on display. My friend got very sweet on one of the girls who worked there and did pursue her a little, however I don't think anything became of it at that particular time because she would insist on being chaperoned whenever they went out. As I said, I had no idea what to expect and the fact that there were girls in every bar willing to accompany you back to your room and being very forthright about it, was quite a surprise. However I had a long time girlfriend back in NZ and really wasn't interested in what was on offer here although I have to say I was very tempted sometimes. Seeing a bit of the island was a priority, and I think we must have visited just about everywhere, including a trip to Phuket Fantasea, as well as an elephant ride/trek, which I found to be extremely boring especially as we had to wait sometimes as the elephant decided to gorge itself on some of the greenery along the way. Luckily enough we found a good taxi driver and also teamed up with a small gang of guys from Liverpool, so the outings were always good fun and also we weren't ripped off by this taxi driver. The Bier Kutsche was one of the drinking holes as was one of the bars in Soi Seadragon and looking back I was really here for a break as I had been working far too hard for far too long with a great deal of responsibility upon my shoulders, so relaxing was a priority and I partook of the facilities in the spa which was attached to the Baan Sukhothai and although I thought it was expensive, it was most relaxing. It wasn't an overly exciting visit, but it was an eye-opener and my friend who was keen on the girl in the teashop actually came back for Christmas and was here when the tsunami hit and they fled to the hills and stayed there for some considerable time as I recall him telling me. I came back again on my own in March after the tsunami and was amazed at what had been achieved, but there were still signs of the carnage around the place which was only to be expected, however to their credit some of the more resilient Thais had strung up canvas awnings and so on along the remaining shells of some of the shops down at the front and were conducting some business from these places. At the Bier Kutsche the owner pointed out the line on the side of the bar, which was where the water from the tsunami had reached and it was about a couple of foot high, not as high as I had expected, but probably very scary when it was happening. I will go onto my third visit, because a few months later I decided to take a sabbatical from work and came here for two months and it was then that I met a young lady with whom I "fell in love". She worked in the Bier Kutsche morning shift and evening shift weeks about. We went out to dinner a lot and made friends with a couple of friends who had Thai girlfriends and we would visit Rock City, Tiger disco and anywhere else that took our fancy and all seemed rosy at the time. Also I wasn't very aware of the bar girl scene and consequently wasn't paying my girlfriend anything apart from taking her shopping (often now I come to think about it) and buying her meals, and it never occurred to me at the time that whenever we went out for meals, whether it be lunch or dinner, a couple of her friends would always turn up, purely by accident you understand, so I would end up paying for them as well and I never thought anything of it until much later. I was really struck on this girl and I thought things were going well until one day she informed me that she couldn't see me any more because her "boyfriend from America" was coming over to stay with her and was paying her fifty thousand baht for ten days!!!! I was shocked about this because I had considered myself to be her boyfriend and really couldn't get my head around what was going on, this especially as I thought she was the one for me. Well he came and went (quite literally) and despite the fact I said that I would like to get back together, my heart wasn't really in it, even more so when she would get phone calls all hours of the night and early morning and have to go into the toilet to speak with him for fear of me overhearing. I learned my first lesson and got to know a lot more about how the bars and the bar girls worked here at that particular time because I made it my business to find out and luckily enough a little later I was able to meet my very good friend Terry, who had a bar in Soi Eric and I continued my learning experience through him and also by observing and making friends with most of his bar girls and they taught me a lot about what this business was all about, and some I admired, whereas others were just out to take as many farangs for a ride as they could – – but then that's another story for another day.