philsquest

the adventure I find myself in / das Abenteuer in dem ich mich finde

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Christmas

Merry Christmas to all of you.

May those days be days of peace, joy and of good fellowship!

I already went to Hui Kau Laam, the Lahu village where we work and had a great Christmas celebration with people coming from four villages to spend the day at our community center. Another one was planed for the 26th. But now I got sick with a stomach flu and I decided to let my co-workers do the honors. Now is family time and we are enjoying it fully 🙂

When you walk you change

These were my favorite pair of shoes and I wore them for quite some years. They were extremely comfortable and just really fit my feet. But now they’re worn out and slowly disintegrate into the different parts soon to be thrown away.

When I think of this I remember the movie “Forrest Gump” and his shoe comment. My favorite shoes led me down many paths and through many adventures. The whole experience made my life richer building me up (the good and the bad). Of course it would have happened with other shoes just the same. I guess I just felt a spur of nostalgia looking at them knowing that I have to loose them. It reminded me that life is a succession of phases. New things come into our life’s constantly, we get attached to it and then loose it. After going through a period of grieve and perhaps needing a long time to understand the meaning of it. Later, looking back it will have enriched us, perhaps even given life to something new and deeper.

Changing our website

I am in the process of changing all our blogs to a new server and from typepad to wordpress. Because I have little knowledge about servers, and setting up more elaborate systems I spend quite alot of time researching and trying out things.

  1. I had to find a server that runs with WordPress easily. I found Dreamhost, that has one-click install for WordPress. During the process of moving our blogs I the learned some stuff about ftp and users, multiple blogs on and domain hosting.
  2. I had then to change nameservers where we have our Domain names, I had to then fully host them on Dreamhost for WordPress. Unfortunately I forgot that I had hosted our e-mail on another server and forgot to change MX  Mailserver (or something like this)
  3. I moved two blogs (this one and Lillian’s) easely. Even though we lost the pictures or at least some of them. (I cannot be bothered to figure that one out)
  4. With the questasia.org blog I have a much harder time. It has to be in two languages and has to have a certain look (at least what I think it should be) It’s in my head and I am no designer. I searched for days for a template and to figure out what the best way is to make it good. WordPress has thousands of plugins and possibilities.
  5. Next and probably the most important thing will be the content. To fill questasia with photos, stories and descriptions of all the projects we did over the years. This will take a log time. I will not move the old content but start from scratch.

For now I am very busy with this. I had some days working at home and hope to have questasia.org running soon.


My black notebook

No it is not a new computer. Just a little sketch A5 din with a black front cover. plain white paper held together with a spiral book binding. Even thogh I try to keep everything I can on my laptop and write most of my stuff on the computer there is always a need for paper. 

I also always wanted to write a diary, but gave up the thought before I ever started. (except when I was in my extremly depressed and melancholic teens a looooong tie ago) So this will not be a diary where I turn my feelings inside out and confess my worst thought and sins and glorify my experiences. No I am thinking more of ideas, perhaps notes of insights I gain and if it goes really well perhaps some lyrics for a song or a sketch of some landscape ….. who knows 🙂

Some of it may land here in a future post, we’ll see. Honestly I just like the thought of having a black spiral sketchbook in my bag. It makes me feel arty and intelectual.

Moving my questasia blog

I am still researching the best way to put up the new questasia blog. I will move everything to self hosted WordPress on a different server. It is also time to totally redo the questasia site. I think I won’t keep any posts and just start new. Make it a bit more like and informative web site. Here are some problems I am trying to figure out with the things I need or want to have in the new questasia site.

  • Bilingual (I need to have it in German and English)
  • Under one domain name, or somehow with sub domains
  • One dashboard for both languages in WordPress for updating (if possible)
  • Some cool Photo gallery plugin or hosting
  • Easy enough that I can actually do all this 🙂 (no excessive coding please!)
  • … there might be more things I cannot think of right now

So I am researching if I have to install wordpress twice, I mean do I have to have two blogs (that’s what I have now) or can I do it in one blog?

How does all the domain mapping work?

What features does WordPresss 3 actually have, hat is possible and what plugins are there to make it possible?

And also I need to find a cool template I like 🙂

All this said there is some internet work waiting for me……..

Cobra in the garden

This is how the snake looked like (not the actual one)

Yesterday the gardener was cutting the lawn and some bushes in our front yard when I saw him hitting something with a long bamboo stick. I went out to asked him what he found. Somehow I knew it was probably a snake. He showed it to me and said it is a งูเห่า (Ngu Hau) which means cobra. I asked him if it was poisonous. He smiled and said this one is very poisonous; he was scared of them because they are deadly. Then he added this was a small one, only about a meter and a little thicker then my thumb.

Of course this is not the first snake I have seen. We encountered many over the years. Usualy the once we have seen are not poisonous. Still it reminded me that we actually have dangerous creatures around and sometimes in our house. Like in other posts Centepede, and Snake alarm

UN Irish Pub

This Friday we are playing in the Irish Pub again. Our once a month gig. (Always last Friday in the month) We start after eight and play sometimes close to midnight.

So if your are in Chiang Mai and you like Irish Folk and other folk music then come and listen and also enjoy original Guiness. Yes, best Guiness in town and also great food at the UN Irish Pub.

A new beginning

I moved (not house nor country) no I moved my blog to a new server from Typepad to self hosted WordPress. It took me the better part of the last days to find a server and starting to move several domains and blogs around. I also moved Lillians blog My Thailand Diary to the new server at Dreamhost.

I have never done this before and had to learn alot. (honestly I liked the challenges just a little) I am learning still on the go with the knowledge that many others have done this who are much more clever then me and so I can learn from them alot. Thanks to the internet.

I had Typepad for about 5 years. The service there is excellent. The help from the staff was great and I would still recommend it. Two things made me consider a change. The prize and some limitations with my blogs. And to be honest I also needed a change. Lillian has used WordPress for the same amount of time and when we had to move her blog I thought why not move all of them 🙂

The bigger challenge of remodelling the questasia site is still to come. This will be one of my bigger challenges in the coming month.

So with all this I hope to get back into writing again.

42 years and I finally got my lava-lamp

Today was my Birthday. It was a great day and I will not go to bed till midnight. I mean I only turn 42 once in my live. I have the feeling that it will be a great year. I have energy despite the hot weather here in Thailand and looking back over the years I find myself alot more positive then I used to be. I am a person who sees the world with all it’s problems and dangers. Who goes through the world with doubts. I can discern very quickly and assess what can go wrong. But I guess on my journey with God I have found more confidence in myself and trust in God (I would call it faith). Living the life we live here has taught me to worry less and actually believe that God means it well with me, loves me. I am really looking forward whats in store this year on this journey with Jesus. Today I am quite excited.

My wife and my three children gave me a great birthday gift today. Something I wanted for years but never wanted to buy. It seemed to unimportant to have. For years I was fascinated by the lava-lamps, I believe came up in the 70’s. I always wanted on even as a child. Now finally I got one and we all love it. It cannot describe why. I think it has a very soothing effect on me and at the same time the liquid movement fascinates me.

Closed indefinitely

IMG_3088

Lillian took this photo when we we in Pai last week. The note stuck to a little second hand book shop. I had to grin because it is one of those things that on some days makes Thailand very charming and on other days it can drive you into madness.

There is no date on this note. So the ten days could have started 9 days ago or Yesterday and there is no way to know, expect maybe to ask the neighbor who probably doesn't know either. The shop keeper must live very much in the moment. One day he or she said to himself I go away for ten days, took out his or her crayons and created a piece of art putting alot of thoughts into it by choosing different colors and cutting away the edges of the boring A4 printing paper. The shop keeper packed the bag and walked away never to be seen again for just ten days……

In my urge to define goals, setting deadlines, making appointments and defining the things in my life I realized I lost the freedom of just saying: "closed for ten days". (indefinitely) Perhaps I will be back, sooner or later I will for sure because those things are kind of important. But sometimes I need to live in the moment without giving an explanation; just perhaps a note that says that I am gone.

 

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