Sunset On 2013

The sun is setting for the final time in 2013. What a year it has been. There were wars, terror attacks, natural disasters, murder, rape and pillaging and death. But there was also laughter, hope, new life, creation, initiative, disclosure, protest, new and old friendships and just love between people.
There were many Davids who slayed Goliaths, some of who haven’t understood, yet that they have been slayed….it’ll come.
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And so humanity walks along with the passing of time to what we hope to be better and brighter things ahead.
A happy new year to all of you. May you stay healthy, find true happiness , contentment, satisfaction and purpose in everything you do.

Cheers
Yours Markus \m/

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I’m On A Boat

Hey darlings, you may have heard the super cool song from the band The Lonely Island called “I’m on a boat”. The Lonely Island are three guys who worked as writers on Saturday Night Live and who gained fame with their Digital Shorts. One of them was “I’m On A Boat”, it’s on Youtube, look it up – very funny with a good groove and funny lyrics that involve having ones way with a mermaid, if you can believe that.

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Anyway, all weekend long I had that song beating and pulsing in the back of my head, since I was on a boat – a friend’s boat and we cruised a few islands off Pattaya, Thailand. When I am in the sea or on mountains, I feel humility but I also feel very comfortable, sort of like a baby feels when cradled by the loving arms of a parent. The boat was a 36ft sailboat with a Genua (an oversized job, that reaches around the mast and overlaps the main sail) and a mainsail. The boat accommodates 4 adult pretty easily and 6 could find room there as well, but would need to squeeze on deck a bit. Anyway, it was a great weekend for four. The wind was blowing and we made good speed. The boat was nicely heeling especially in the afternoon, when the wind freshened up and caused about 3-4ft swells. We spent the night Saturday to Sunday in the Marina, since we had a hard time finding a secure anchorage and the wind kept blowing through the night, which would have made for a different kind of rocking and rolling.

MikesBoat3-MarinaSunday, after a breakfast we went out again. We had a stiff breeze out of the North-East, which meant we sailed into the wind and had the waves coming at us. None the less, spirits were high and we made good way to wards Ko Larn. We ached on the South-West side of Ko Larn and I went snorkeling – it was too cold for my ship mates (water: 26.5C, air: 26C – note to self, when you live in Thailand, you really start believing that anything less than 30C is Winter).

After a little snorkeling followed by lounging, reading, doing nothing on deck, we set sail again to casually return back to the marina.

MikesBoat4-SkippersOur two skippers – Barbara and Mike

Well, as you can see, life is not half bad in Thailand at all. I will leave you with a Moment Of Zen image “Billowed Sails”.

MikesBoat2-SailsSmBWWell mateys, that is it for today. Stay sharp until the next.

Yours Markus \m/

 

 

 

When You Can’t Win

Hello my sugar cakes. A few weeks ago there was a big scandal on Bangkok, which even made it to the other side of the Pacific. A Bangkok street vendor was telling with tears eyes the story of how Starbucks was coming after him with all it’s might. And all this just because his logo and name looked and sounded pretty much identical to that of the big bad corporate giant. Of course Starbucks didn’t like the negative press and so a few days later the same street vendor was interviewed again and was reporting happily that the two parties have settled. most importantly he did not have to live to be 673 years old to pay all the damages.
So all is well, right.
[insert buzzer sound here!!!] No it’s not and I will show you why.
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How audacious, courageous, ludicrous is that? A small local offer shop has opened right next to a Starbucks Coffee and this one names itself “Star Back Cafe” and it is movie themed.
So, what is Starbucks to do? If they go after this guy, too, they will again earn bad press, if they don’t intervene, it might be the start of the dilution of their brand.
Not that I am rooting for the big corporation, but Starbucks was once small, too. and they came up with their own nMe, logo, brand identity and clearly a lot of people have put in a lot of work and thought into what is now the look and feel of Starbucks Coffee worldwide. Whether it is the products, the merchandise, the cups, the baristas or the shops themselves. You know what to expect when you see a Starbucks.
So, when I see blatant, unimaginative rip-offs of anything for that matter, I can’t help but to point out the obvious:”you’re a cheater, who clearly is not capable of creative thought for himself and I pity you. Now get ready to get your tush sued off by the ‘big bad corporate giant’!”
Honestly, we don’t need more Starbucks or McDonalds or Gap stores, what we need is more variety. Spend the time and thought to develop your own unique and maybe even courageous value proposition. The stick it to the big guys, by eating into their market share, because you are better not by copying them – have some self respect.

Markus \m/

Christmas Eve

Good evening everyone. It’s Christmas Eve and of course there is chaos. Because today of all days the BTS puked over everyone’a holiday plans, by being out of service. There pedestrians, bicyclists, motorcycles, cars, buses, street vendors and of course all the people that usually take the BTS all trying to go about town on the already perma-traffic-jammed streets.
Now, I am home and I am going to literally cool off and pound my frustration about the 3hrs it took me from Soi 2 to Soi 20 off my soul and mind.
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Merry Christmas from BKK.

Oh yes and stay sharp

Markus \m/

Weihnachtsgrüsse – x-Mas Greetings

Today we have three images from all walks of life. The first “walk” is Christmas greeting from me in Bangkok at 24C to you my dearest readership. Merry Christmas to all of you and your loved ones.
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Next is a shadow game on the dark streets of Bangkok, illuminated by streetlights, with beautifully abstract shadows cast.
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And finally, a picture that you take at work when you absolutely love what you are doing – when you play with work, when works becomes play and play becomes work.

Well having said that and having given you a little update, I say:
“Sayonara dudes, stay sharp.”

Yours Markus \m/

Products You Can’t Get In The US / GB

I just bought a bottle of water at the airport. And because it is an international airport, it caters to an international clientele. For example, the 7-eleven sells these cookies, which could never be sold in any English (or ‘Merican) native speaking country – ever.
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Would you like to have Collon Cream Cookies (say it out loud, if you don’t get it) in chocolate brown or cream white?
I know it’s oh so juvenile, but come on it is funny, too.

Stay sharp
Markus \m/

HARDCORE – no bones about it

Today, I saw a motorcycle, a Yamaha R1. A bike you ride on a track in full leathers or on the road when your love constantly restraining yourself or when you just don’t care. The owner of this bike was so hardcore and devoted to his not caring, he rode racing slick on the front and back of his bike.
I think this is the first time I saw someone riding completely treadles slicks in normal road traffic – well, whatever is considered normal traffic in Bangkok.
So feast your eyes on this fat Pirelli rubber.
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Not bad, huh, I know. That’s why I called today’s entry HARDCORE, because that guy is just that!
To the unknown rider “may you always have a palm-sized area of rubber on the road and may your slicks never encounter any rain”

So long, stay sharp.

Markus \m/