Art In Unexpected Places

Look what I found – Pop Art.
What some manufacturing companies will likely discard as a means of production at the end of life, others see as art.
This is a painting tray. If it could talk, it would tell many a great stories about who and what has received a coat of paint on it.
20140131-152227.jpg
With a little bit of manipulation it looks like this.
20140131-152425.jpg

Stay sharp and keep your eyes trained on beauty in unexpected places.

Markus \m/

Where Did Public Scales Go?

I stumbled over an image I took a while ago – either in May last year or Christmas 2012, when we were visiting family in Italy.
Anyway, I do remember spotting the opportunity when I saw the scale i n public.
I recall how all of a sudden childhood memories bubbled up of when my mum would take me to kindergarten (known in America as Pre-school). On the way to my kindergarten, we would walk past a bakery, where my mum would by me a Berliner – similar to a donut, but made with much more love than Dunkin’ or Krispy could ever muster – filled with raspberry jam. And next to that bakery was a public scale, where you put in 10c, stepped on the platform and got off shocked and frustrated.
Now. All this happened in just a blink of an eye in my mind when I saw the scale in northern Italy.
20140130-213546.jpg

And that ends my little trip down memory lane – prompted by a scale.
And speaking of lanes. I found a ripping rendition of “Heartbreak Hotel” ( which is located and the end of Lonely Lane) by a very young Guns And Roses on itunes – oh so excellent.

Stay sharp and visit Memory Lane on occasion, Lonely Lane not so much.

Markus \m/

Serenity Now

20140129-064029.jpg
Yes, since new year’s it’s been full on – never a dull moment.
This is when I saw this fountain with it’s soothing water flow and shapes.
Breathe in with awareness – hold briefly with awareness – breathe out with – hold briefly with awareness – repeat…… And relax.
Sometimes, I can very much relate to George Costanza, who exclaimed:”Serenity Now!”

Stay sharp, yet in a state of relaxed awareness
Markus \m/

What Is This…?

Yes, what is this that you see just below this sentence you are about to finish reading – now.
20140121-192947.jpg
Well, whaddayathink?
If you said transmogrifier, time machine or doomsdayearthquaketsunamigenerator you would be sorely wrong.
It is a film projector. You see before iPhones, bit torrents, Netflix and even TV, so waa-haay before all this digital stuff, about the same time people took photos that required paper and chemistry and ABSOLUTELY; right about the movies were shown with projectors. Of course projectors did not have a USB plug to watch ripped movies. No, back then movies were delivered as celluloid strips rolled on reels.
Far out, man, you might think. But that’s what it was like in the nineteen eighties. Film, those were the days.
Now for those of you not familiar with the eighties, it was a period in movie history that was where the piano player had already been replaced with a soundtrack.

Stay sharp
Markus \m/

Bangkok Shutdown – A Family Affair

As promised, a few more images from the shutdown in Bangkok. Thus far – with the exception of the well publicized incidences – the protests have been very peaceful. This weekend, families came out and turned the protests in a pick nick like event, with food, naps and chats, while waiting or someone to take the stage at their location and give a rousing speech about how everything will be better when victory is theirs.

EatInAll that protesting is making a man hungry and tired, while others brought their crafts projects.

SleepInMore waiting and more napping.

Apparently a lot of people stay directly at the protest sites. Near MBK is also a museum – BACC – with a sculpture outside of a bust with very generous motherly curves. She has one arm stretched out invitingly – similar to Michelangelo’s painting “The Creation Of Adam”, under her protection, the protesters have set up base camp like tent city.

TentCityI was also mentioning, that the real winners of the protests appear to be the T-shirt and whistle sales people. About that, There are tons of T-Shirt, proclaiming the Shutdown of Bangkok.

T-ShirtNotGood

However, for me personally a mere shutdown is similar to abandonment, to giving up. That’s why I like the few T-Shirts that also proclaim what will happen after the shutdown, it gives a motivation, a reason if you will – it gives a WHY.

T-ShirtGoodShutting down Bangkok, in order to restart Thailand.

The protesters have five demands, that they need to have met, before reconciliation.¬†Chief among them is the buying of votes – actually paying voters to vote for a certain party and the wasting of tax money on ill-conceived pandering (such as the Rice Pledge Scheme), one tablet PC for every school child – a promise that was made during the last election campaign and is still unfulfilled, even though it’s harebrained. Tablet PC will not improve Thailand’s education level and system, teaching how to think critically will); the start of a serious effort to end corruption in the government and police; more independence for the provinces – Bangkok apparently appoints provincial governors ¬†and of course the amnesty bill, which essentially would pave the way for a smooth return of the refugee brother of the current prime minister.

Interestingly, while there are protests at a few locations, life still continues for the many millions of people in the rest of the city – they go about their business.

HuaLompongManCrossing_Small

Stay sharp

Markus \m/

Shutting Down Bangkok On The Weekend

Today is Saturday. Barbara and I seized the opportunity to ride in the newly freshened air through Bangkok on our bikes. The streets are all very empty, so riding is good and significantly less dangerous tan it usually would be. Along Sukhumvit are three main occupations: Asok, Erawan Shrine opposite Central World and at the intersection at MBK.
I have a hard time gaging the progress or the successes the shutdown has brought, but the city is definitely transformed. See here the upper level at the BTS station National Stadium in front of BACC.
20140118-222557.jpg
It looks like Everest base Camp.
Since the riding was so good, we pushed our luck a bit by taking the actually blocked Silom overpass. We were enjoying the elevated ride a lot, even in spite of the occasional barrier. Just short of lumping apart – where we would have had a great view over the park and Silom, we encounter the military branch of the Shutdowners. The road was blocked with a sandbag fortress, when. Little man in camouflage started yelling at us. I waved at him and he or someone in the fortress discharged a signal pistol – just one big boom. We turned around. This image shows the empty elevated overpass and your can spot the sandbag fortress.
20140118-223119.jpg
That was pretty uncool, I must say.
But to understand just how deep the hate of the protesters against the current government is take a look at this.
20140118-223321.jpg
Tomorrow, I will show a few more images from the protests that I took with my camera, not with my phone.
As the clock is ticking towards February 2nd, I actually get more nervous about how this conflict will be resolved.

Until the next, stay sharp and stay behind barriers, even if the road begs you to ride or skate on it.
Markus \m/

Dress Up Friday

Day 5 of the Bangkok a Shutdown, the Bangkok Siege, whatever you want to call it. The air is getting better, fewer cars, but the protesters managed today to create a nice traffic jam. Quite a few of my fellow man- me among the. Of course – decided, that since the highways are empty, it couldn’t be all that bad on Sukhumvit, but it was worse. So, it took me seventy minutes what you can walk with a swagger in your step in about fifteen minutes. Great.
Upon arrival home, I decided to go for a run – remember the improved air quality…carpe diem, dudes…or better carpe post meridiem. So much for your Latin lessons today. On the way home I bore witness that Bangkok, despite it being Friday – as in casual Friday – is dressing up…the city dresses up quite literally and is formal, not business casual.
20140117-213006.jpg
A light pole with a formally knotted tie, there you have it.
As my man Walter Sobtchak of Sobtchak Security and the Dudes bowling partner would say:”Alright then.”
Stay sharp.

Markus \m/

Breaking News From My Fantasyland

This morning as I was walking around, I witnessed chaos and mayhem. I am of course not talking about the BKK protests, but about the famous white Porsche 911 meeting, which was disturbed and interrupted in a display of complete disrespect by a green car of the same make and model. But see for your self.20140116-095038.jpg
Engines were revved to the breaking point in desperation. Little imaginary, rich drivers were yelling at each other shaking fists. It took hundreds of seconds of almost heavy handed intervention to sort all cars out.

Stay sharp
Markus \m/

Good Mooooaaarniiinnng Baaangkok.

Day 4: Commuters continue to enjoy recordbreaking travel times to work. This is a clear benefit. I also noticed that with fewer cars on the road, there is so much less noise. I am tempted to say that Bangkok is on its way to become a healthy city. Reduced pollution, reduced noise, Bangkok is going to become the Estes Park of South East Asia – except for the mountains and the altitude and the massage parlours and the Go-Go bars and the 14 million extra people compared to Estes Park, but hey, it’s a start and definitely a nice dream.
20140116-072845.jpg The safety and security conscious protester set up their tents right next to the Asok Traffic Police station.
20140116-073042.jpg The stage where men yell and scream from, while I was and still am really hoping for an appearance of teenage hard rock heroes – “C’mon guys make a middle aged happy, let me be 17 again, even for just a few hours. I am talking to you Guns’n’Roses, the Van Halen, heck, Frankie goes to Hollywood, please step up.” But no dice so far.
I will close with two views up and down the BTS line, just because they have such great vanishing points. It’s like watching a 3D movie, but without wearing these glasses or trying to get cock-eyed (remember that fad with the 3D books in the 1990’s).
20140116-073621.jpg Looking from Asok towards the Emporium at Phrom Phong.
20140116-073816.jpg Looking from Asok up the line towards Nana – bow-chigga-wow-wow.
I will close with this traffic aid, intentioned to increase a driver’s visibility as she wants to merge from the little soi onto Sukhumvit – good luck with that, but enjoy the trip into the beautiful country of the “Peoples Republic of Psychedeliastan”.
20140116-074353.jpg

Stay sharp
Yours Markus \m:

The Siege Of Bangkok

It’s been 3 days since the siege of shutdown of Bangkok begun. My worst fears have been absolutely not confirmed. Traffic on Sukhumvit of course is more of less non-existent. The road is pretty much locked off from the Asok intersection to Central World. The highways are slick and spam clean and free. We are making record time to and from work. From hat point of view “the siege” could continue a bit longer.
But, the speeches when I get home or the polka music they are playing and of course the whistles really get on my nerves. Other than that the protests have been peaceful for three days. Granted it has not been hot and humid, yet. The real winners thus far of the siege are the street vendors – business is GOOD!! If you sell food, drink, t-shirts and whistles. The overall mood when I walk by in the morning and evening is more like a big family pick nick or an orderly Woodstock with Polka music in the evening between speeches.
Of course, both sides are giving out paroles to persevere and maintain the shutdown.
The thing that I personally found most amazing are some of the t-shirt designs.
“shutdown Bangkok – restart Thailand”.
The protesters are also filling gaps their leaders have completely missed. Some people made signs in different languages to explain their point – here in German. “We need a reform before the election, in order to have a fair and clean election.”
20140115-213207.jpg
As much as I like concerts with big crowds I do feel a little queasy when it come to walking through the cheering crowds when some “leader” yells and screams in a language that I don’t fully understand, while the masses scream and whistle in agreement. 80 years ago, on a different continent a little man was able to rouse the people just as well, and 12 years later the world stood in flames. While I understand that this is an exaggeration, but I was talking about how I feel when I walk through the masses.
So, let’s hope it all stays peaceful and that my biggest peeve stays the nightly polka music.
As I think about it, there is one more nice side effect. The air is so much cleaner in Bangkok. Less traffic is a beautiful thing.

Alright, thus far all is well in the empire.
Stay sharp

Markus \m/