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About Brightly

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  1. Thanks to all. This must be some sort of a ""tapping in" scheme. Tomorrow I will test this thesis. Today, I negotiated for another apartment in the complex that's being refurbished --at a handsome rate. It will be ready in a month or less. At this point, do I call out tampering (assuming it exists--and it must--presumably at the hands of the owners) , or wait and see if it happens again? I know it's a tough call. Complaining too early may result in losing a prime apartment ; on the other hand, moving to another apartment (while paying exorbitant electricity rates at the old unit) may signal complacency. What to do?
  2. I ask senior members to help me unravel this thorny question. When I initially moved here, I took a serviced apt for a few months. The electricity rate was 7 baht/unit. When I was at the serviced apartment, my highest rate was 3200 baht for usage. When I moved into a twice-sized townhouse with same usage (A/C running in bedroom most times) my bill was reduced: no more than 2500 baht a month for a property twice the size. (Granted, this was on "government "rates--4.85/unit, I believe). I have recently moved into a pleasant, lovely apartment complex that charges 7 baht for unit--just like the first apartment I lived in. I am using electricity at a similar rate: I run the A/C most times in the bedroom. The first month's electricity bill was 5400 baht. I spoke with the owners, and they suggested that I monitor my daily/ weekly usage. And this came with the admonishment (and I've heard this in Thailand and other countries, BTW), that I am using "too much electricity." As an aside, I refuse to apologize for my A/C usage. I know what it has costed me historically: at both 7 baht and "government" rates per unit, and I simply want to understand why I am paying so much more presently. So, in the next month at my new abode, I was sure to keep my A/C at "smart-saver" settings, as well as reduce hot baths. I expected a bill lower than 5400 baht. This month, my electricity bill is 7900 baht! I have again been told that I use "too much" electricity, and been told to monitor my meter. But why should I monitor my meter? My usage will not decline, and what if the electricity meter is rigged? Has anyone had a similar problem? Is there any advantage to "monitoring my meter," if in fact it is set high? I like my new place a lot,, but when my electricity is almost as high as my rent, I must take some kind of action. Any suggestions?
  3. I guess I'm in a DIY mood today (see grey hair tint). But this is a decent "bra hack" for those with ample bosoms: Buy two (one or two size smaller) T-back (also called razor-back) sleeveless t-shirts. It's best if they have a bit of spandex in them. Put the first on backwards. Now it will look slightly obscene ('cause your breasts will protrude from either side), but just take a breath...and put the other one on the "right" way. What you get is an undergarment that not only comes up high in the front (covering the dreaded cleavage area), but provides some degree of support all-round. Great for wearing under blouses and shirts. I call it "poor-woman's" shape wear! Ladies, give it a try. It won't work for every fashion, but it's a decent go-to when you're going for some degree of modesty and support.
  4. Another thing (and it's been discussed here before): Bras that fit. If you have an unusual size (like 34 F)--forget it. All you can do is order online and hope for the best. If they don't fit, they are hard even to give away. This is worse than even having a large (or wide-narrow) foot size! Also, swimsuits for western bodies. Very difficult, even for an "average" body. Not to mention Sudafed, and some OTC eye drops that could be picked up anywhere but here. Not that I'm complaining...I just make sure that I have friends willing to schlep these things back yearly. Oh, and Brillo Pads. Miss those guys. And also, good electric toothbrushes (like Sonicare). Available online, but impossible to find in a brick-and-mortar shop. Not that I'm complaining, just sayin'.
  5. With regard to grey-hair shampoo... Nancy L, I feel your pain! I used to have it shipped here from Amazon, but that's pricey. I have also made DIY shampoo/conditioner with actual success ! I got food coloring from CM Plastics, and started with one drop of blue coloring in about a cup of shampoo, then added less than a drop of red to get the hue I wanted. Add shampoo or coloring to get the tone best for you. This works surprisingly well, but works even better (using same recipe) as a final rinse/conditioner. I have tried using both tinted DIY shampoo with tinted conditioner, and the results is a bit too dull-looking. These days I just get the occasional violet toner done when I go to my hairdresser (Absolute Hair Salon), but I'm sure he would sell it to me if I wanted to add it occasionally to my conditioner. Hope one of these options work for you!
  6. Hi Grumoy Old Fart, I get you, my friend, maybe more than you know. Is is it possible to imagine a day--even one day--that you don't bitch and moan? I'm not saying NEVER bitch and moan, but I'm asking,: What would one day look like if you didn't bitch and moan? It might not feel any different, but it might be cool to try for a day and see if it was an experiment worth trying. Just a day. Seems pretty harmless.
  7. Well, what are you doing about that? Making a formal protest? Leaving the country in disgust and despair? Trolling on TV?
  8. So, most of us know of this approximate scenario: I shopped at a big local chain on the weekend, and had the items delivered at home. Delivery came as expected, but I later realized that an item was missing.: Namely, a semi-pricey broom (with an expanding handle to accommodate those over 5 feet tall--yay!) Not suspecting malfeisence, but rather incompetence, I declined to call the store. What good would that do, except to make the situation muddier and harder to unravel? I'd just go in and sort it out. A couple of days later, I arrived back at said grocery store, armed with both delivery and purchase receipts. Oh, I just knew how this would play out: Starting with being "greeted" by a sullen, female underling, no interest in my query, barely looking up from her Facebook page, and wishing I would just de-materialize. And this was exactly what happened. The disinterested young woman attempted to pry the receipts from my hand, and I held my palm flat, and my posture said, "Don't even THINK about it." I know how this stuff goes. Next step, (some sort of) manager... So, she called to one of her English-speaking superiors, and I understood just enough Thai to surmise exactly what she thought of me in her exchange No news here...seen/heard this too many times to count. As I waited for the mid-manager to step in, I further just knew what would happen next: a twenty-minute rash of phone calls, some computer fumbling, with finally some front-man/woman emerging, somehow placing the blame on ME for not receiving my item, and me walking away with no broom, a simmering discontent, and positive affirmation of my predictions. Instead, after sullen-girl bumped me to her manager, things took a surprising turn. Manager-lady strode over, smiled, and said, "We've tried to call you, Kuhn "X,". "Here is your item." She handed me my broom, my name brightly tagged on it, with a silly bow and emoji sticker affiixed to boot! Now, this is not a news-breaking story, to be sure. But's a story we don't tell enough on TV: When things go delightfully right. I like hearing the excellent airline stories, the good immigration tales, and the odd yarn about some random wonderful thing a Thai person unexpectedly did for us. In the immortal words of Chuck Berry, " C'est La Vie say the Old Folks~~It Just Goes To Show You Never Can Tell." We truly never can tell! Folks bitch and moan daily on TV about trivial and redundant topics. God, we all know it's true. Trolls gotta troll, moaners gotta bitch--I guess... Perhaps trivial items about the unexpected good turn won't satisfy the sarcastic, unfullfilled beasts on TV, but I like reading the more upbeat posts--even if they seem corny or cliched. But that's just me... I'm sure the trolls will troll now. As they do.
  9. Exerpt from today's follow-up email from Uber after I reported an unsafe ride 3 days ago: "We've followed up with the driver right after we received your email. The incident will be noted on the driver's account for our records. Should there be any untoward incident in the future involving the same driver and other riders, these reports will be referenced and will be used to assess the suitability of the driver staying on the system. We have fully refunded the fare for this trip. This is not because the driver failed to take you to your destination, but because of the entire undesirable experience. An updated receipt was sent to you, and the adjustment will take a few business days to reflect on your account. If you have any further details that you believe are relevant please send them my way. Meanwhile, we have ensured you will not be matched with this driver again." THIS is why I support Uber. Thai songteaw mafia, greedy tuk-tuk drivers and corrupt government officials-- GET A CLUE! (Yeah, right...)
  10. Uber/Grab or its incarnations will out. If they are deemed illegal, there will be an Internet work-around to provide it. Uber is democratic: No price-gouging based on ethnicity. Uber employs (mainly) responsible, insured drivers with new(ish) vehicles that are air conditioned, and provide seat belts. Uber may be more expensive than red trucks, but they beat the heck out of dangerous, overpriced tuk-tucks. Customers --Falang and Thai--have had a taste of the "future" (actually the present), and there is no stopping its presence. OF COURSE Chiang Mai needs reliable public transportation. It's heartbreaking to see empty bus stands all over town! But until that time arrives, Uber will out. I recommend those who use Uber to wholeheartedly support it. TIp your drivers well. Give them good reviews when warranted (which is almost always). I also keep driver's numbers (with their consent) on my phone list, and encourage them to keep mine as well. In case they are shut down (again), we both of have a life-line to the other. One last thing. I had my first really bad Uber ride last week. I reported the driver, an investigation has commenced. (an agent in Amsterdam contacted me immediately me by email), and I'm assured the driver will never be able to access my ride requests in the future. What kind of protection do we have with local drivers? (Suppressing a sarcastic chuckle and moan here...) The market demands Uber, and it will survive in one form or another. Even my best friend, a female Tuk-Tuk driver, sees the writing on the wall: "Things change. People used to shop more in malls. Now they shop online. Thais resist change. But technology moves quickly. Our young people accept and embrace technological change, and Thais, moving forward, must be more ready to keep pace with change. Will I be out of work as a Tuk-Tuk driver? Yes, in time, my job will vanish, and I will adapt. There will always be a need for songteaws, but their numbers will diminish. Drivers need to look ahead instead of clinging to the old ways." Easier said than done, but these words come from a 56 year-old woman. So, I hold out tentative hope that (albeit probably kicking and screaming), drivers and the government will be forced to move towards change. The market demands Uber, and it is too late for suppression. Please support Uber if you are a patron!
  11. I was badly injured by a hit-and-run driver while in a crosswalk in the US. Shattered leg, titanium knee replacement, the whole bit. Now I walk with a cane, retired early because of it, and moved here Yep, the irony: moved to the second-worst traffic accident country on earth after a terrible accident at home! But I knew this going in. I take my exercise in the gym or pool, and have almost entirely elimated pedestrian activity altogether. (Thank You Uber!) That's how I do it. MIght not work for you, but so far (knock on titanium knee), it's worked for me.
  12. Thanks! It's going to be on a deck, so I'll have a drain hole drilled, and will drain it via preexisting plumbing set up for a washing machine.
  13. Hello all, Does anyone know where I might purchase a galvanized feed trough like the attached images? I want to make an outdoor tub, and this is what I'm looking for. Thanks in advance!
  14. I SO wanted to love La La Land. But a paper-thin plot, actors who couldn't truly sing nor dance (although I absolutely appreciated their earnestness), and no memorable songs left me feeling that a revamp of the great musicals of the past should be left, the past. But it did come at a time that people really needed a sweet, uplifting film. And it was beautiful to look at (saw it in the big screen here--had to wear ear plugs--what's up with the volume in theatres here?) And I DID enjoy it--and it will probably sweep the Awards, but... MOONLIGHT... What a film...! And my personal favorite-- MANCHESTER BY THE SEA It will be interesting to see if #oscarssowhite will make for a backlash vote this year. I'll probably be looking at the highlights on YouTube later...sigh.