One Bad-Ass Bike

A few weeks ago, I wrote about simplification and how items with fewer features somehow command higher prices. But sometimes you come across something that was stripped down by to its essentials by a visionary soul. I saw a Yamaha SR500 still with drum brakes and beautiful spoked wheels – originally probably from the late 1970s. That SR500 was stripped down – no battery, no cushy bench, no fat fenders. Instead just a frame, engine, drivetrain, matt black – pure bad-ass attitude and utility, made in metal with minimum plastic parts…built to last mechanical engineering purity. I love that bike!
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Well, I am a sucker for simple black stuff that works.
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You’ve got to admit that is pure poetry.
This bike to me is like a Leica M camera.
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Alright and we are at the end of this entry. Enjoy the day and stay sharp.

Laters
Markus \m/>

Start The Day With Flowers

I am fortunate enough to live is a place where flowers are abundant. Year round something is always blooming. Blooming means there is full on colour. But today I want to focus on shape rather than colour.
20140327-072631.jpg I find it fascinating, that there are all these minute variations on closer inspection, yet, if Asked we could not distinguish one blossom from the next. Especially these flowers with their curved 3D shapes. When you think about it. If se could enlarge them to a size of say 50x50ft, that would be one hell of a skate park!

20140327-073124.jpg Then we have got these orchids (?, I have no idea about flower names, besides roses, I just enjoy flowers, their shapes and their grace. Besides they are always engineering marvels). The pollen carriers are are way out extended away from the actual blossom connected only through these slender bendy rods.
20140327-073641.jpg This final picture, I am pretty sure, should be an orchid. And again the shape detail – there isn’t a straight line anywhere – again one hell of a skatepark, if magnified a thousand times.

With that my musings in flower shape cone to an end.
Stay sharp, be awake as you go through life.

Hasta luego compadres
Markus \m/

Abstract

One of the cool things about being a human being – isn’t that a most outstanding way to start a sentence, not to mention an entire blog entry – is that we can recognize pattern that machines cannot. Because we can abstract bitches (yeah, I am talking to you heartless machines). I digress and get carried away. So where were we; right our awesome ability to abstract. So, let’s abstract a little, shall we?20140325-174510.jpg
What is it? Milk cans, correct. Milk cans I saw in northern Italy last year.
Next, a picture I call Trucker Chess. It was a bit inspired by the first Harry Potter book, when the protagonists have ti play a game of chess on a life-sized board.20140325-174854.jpg

Finally, Truckers Chess from a different vantage point.20140325-175059.jpg And this brings us to the end if out little excursion into the land of abstraction. Stay super sharp and continue abstracting like a crazy m…..f…..r.

Cheers
Markus \m/

Threesome In The Pool

Whoooaa, hold your horses people. This is a more or less PG rated blog, but now that I have your undivided attention let’s get to it, shall we:
I swam this morning, because swimming is a good way to wake up. After my swim, I was able to see the beauty all around me, such as these flowers in the pool. I developed three different visions of these.
Hence the title, I am not sure if I want to know what you were expecting, but I think it would have failed the PG rating…..very likely.
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Unlike my usual preference, I supersaturated the colors, which also produces a nice strong contrast.
20140325-071309.jpg Evidently, a black and white image.
20140325-071333.jpg And finally a black and white image with the flowers just screaming red. May be a bit too loud, but sometimes, sometimes you’ve got to let it scream.

Alright, off to work now. Stay sharp and sayonara dudes.

Markus \m/

Bored While Shopping

I had most excellent run this morning. And afterwards, after my shower I indulged in my ultimate luxury – gong back to bed and spending time in that special place between deep sleep and waking. That to me is the ultimate luxury. Ideally, this all takes place in Winter when it’s really cold outside and you come home sweaty, yet also cold. Then in bed you take a book, start to read and you wake up one or two hours later with the book on our chest. So, I didn’t have the cold, but everything else was there. At about 9:30am it started to pour, the first rain of the season. When it stopped raining, we decided to go shop a little. And that is when I get bored. That’s when my legs play tired, I yawn and just overall the 5 yr old inside of me needs a nap. So the adult has to put the foot down and commands the brain to distract the 5yr old.
These two then look at all kind of stuff, while the rest of me just hangs on for the ride and blogs about it.
Uh, uh, uh there is skeletal Mickey Mouse. Let’s take a picture and try to not get killed by the surprised traffic:
20140322-143431.jpg then comes the part where other people try things and because of the lack of distractions and no nap, the 5yr old inside of me must be looked after. Now he’s taking pictures of what boring stuff is happening around him.
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Eventually, we all end up in a Starbucks, where my 5 yr old swlf gets a cocoa, brain get sugar in form of a mango-mangocream cake and I write the entry.
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So all that’s left to say is: Compartmentalize yourself, enjoy you multiple personalities and of course stay sharp…

Cheers mates
Markus \m/

Three Images

Usually, I prefer B/W photography, because it reduces the image to the essential. Today, though, three saturated colour images as a curveball to myself.

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Well there you go, my favorite flower in Thailand – no idea what the name is – but the smell is intoxicating. And two images I took on my way to work, taken from the car.

Cheers and maintain a sharp mind…
Markus \m/

A Short One

Good morning sunshine. Just two quick photos to prove I am still walking through life with all senses engaged.
The Truck Driver:
20140318-074432.jpg Evidently, this would be a lot harder if the driver would be American or European: >180cm/6ft AND > 55kg/120lbs
Next – Mirror, Mirror…..
20140318-074727.jpg This one I tool from the parking deck of Foodland. Barbara was doing the groceries, while I was charged with parking the car. But why park when there are 8 stories of parking garage just begging to be explored – which is what I did. This is the view from the top….not bad for a supermarket parking garage.

Cheers, stay sharp.
Markus \m/

A Little More Lumphinee

A few weeks ago I posted an entry about Lumphinee Boxing Stadium. I went there at night and took a few images. This weekend I went back and took a few more of the inside.
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The abandonment is sad to see. There are paper flyers on the ground depicting fighter profiles. For these guys, Lumphinee was hallowed ground. Whether they won or lost their bouts, they at least had a change to fight at Lumphinee. Now, though, not even the cats that walk about the premises give a damn.
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There are a few broken pieces that show a little of what grandeur there may have once been. Because, let’s face it, Lumphinee was not a glance stadium! it was gritty! the roof were galvanized sheets and, yes it did rain through the roof on occasion. But the stands were build from teak – that stuff lasts, while the ring was teak boards on a steel base.
Speaking of the stands.
20140310-205000.jpg Now they are all empty, waiting to be dismantled, because teak is a precious commodity and is reused in Thailand. The cool thing about the stadium, was that spectators were close by the action…a cozy place if you will.
20140310-205217.jpg And where just 5 weeks ago people were exchanging the latest tips and hints for the final fight night, there are vacated buildings that serve for vagrants drying their clothes.

The new stadium, by the way is conveniently located close to the middle of nowhere, reachable by taxi, on foot, by bicycle or possibly even by bus. Genuinely smart thinking and a great demonstration of urban planning.

In closing, please stay sharp and think shot through, before you tear down historic buildings – think integrate, instead of replacement.

Cheers
Markus \m/

Fun With Food

Supposedly, there are 17 different varieties of bananas in Thailand. I must say, the overall variety of fresh fruit in Thailand is simply awesome. As my mind is always looking for new things to soak up, i created my own piece of art when I looked at my lunchbag the other day – yes it had a banana in it:
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Ta-daah, just in case I would forget….BREAKTIME.
While yesterday, Barbara and I had breakfast at Chu’s (because the newly opened RSM Muay Thai Academy, was extremely ill prepared to accommodate customers with the desire to attend a Muay Thai class – oops we forgot to schedule a trainer….REALLY!?!???!). So, instead we went to Chu’s in the Exchange Tower at the Asok intersection.
And to make a long story short, here is Barbara’s Latte with Caffe-Art.
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So there you have it, fun with food. Enjoy your food and stay sharp.

Markus \m/

Very Rich Or Very Poor – Appendix

As I was riding my bike through Bangkok, I thought of another example that either very rich or very poor people have – bicycles without gears, fenders or any other frills, possibly even without brakes.
In America and also here in Asia, the is a big resurgence of single speed and fixed gear bicycles. This in itself is nothing too surprising. When you are an urban dweller, one gear is totally sufficient to ride from point A to point B, unless the urban area stretches over a mountainous terrain, which is not necessarily the case in a Bangkok, Minneapolis, Denver, Berlin, Munich! Heidelberg, Paris or New York City. Hence, there are plenty of single spews and fixed gear bikes in use.
Where the path splits is when brand new stripped down fixes or single speeds sell for north of $1000. The general thought is the less you get, the less it should cost it. But that’s not the case anymore. Be it camera or sports cars, the less you get the MORE you pay these days.
Porsche, Lamborghini, BMW and Ferrari all have street legal “track” versions of their normal sports cars. They strip the normal road versions by the AC (comfort), the stereo, (entertainment) the carpet and noise damping (convenience) finally tear our the upholstered sports seat and replace it with a naked carbon bucket and the car is a 100kg lighter, your wallet an additional 30-50 Grand lighter and the bottom line of these companies a bit fatter. However, we the consumers just lap it up. Same thing with the single speed bikes or no frills cameras. Now why is that? Beats me, but it gave me an idea. I think I will start to sell the scrap from my company by marketing it as extremely once in a lifetime limited editions.

Cheers and stay sharp.

Markus \m/