Relative, As In “Compared To”

For many people hell became reality on Friday, January 20th 2017. No, why do I say that? In the country, that loves to proclaim itself as the leader of the free world, a new president was sworn in. A gentleman, who loves to boast and brag, yet with a reportedly very thin skin and a reportedly unique understanding of reality. But that’s not the point and not focus of this entry. As much as it may pain many people, especially the citizens of the United States – particularly the majority of thenpopulation that voted for the questionable democratic alternative, life will go on. America will not decay into a banana republic. democratic principles may be shaken a bit, but they will not break. There a checks and balances and a still free press. And if especially the free press will start to spend money on “shoe leather” and do journalism and explain the news, then everyone will weather the storm. Besides, let’s give him the benefit of the doubt and judge him by what he does. He has the house majority, the senate majority, the presidency, the majority in more than half the states of the union, the govenorship in (I think) almost half of all states. You can’t have much more power – No More Excuses, for getting nothing done. I was just as shocken as all oth Trump opponents abut his inauguration speech – scarry, nightmarish stuff. I do wonder where he gets the ideas for these dystopian wasteland speeches. Yes, big cities have big bad soft underbellies, places whe you don’t necessarily go in alone, but they also have many, great  friendly neighborhoods, where people know each other and whe normal people live and the only Mad Max in the neighborhood is your neighbor’s Yorkshire Terrier. If you experiened life ina real banana republic, for example in any of the many central african dictatorships or Russia for that matter or China. Any form of dissent would get the dissenter repressed if not simply vanished. You have seen how the Trump supporters lifted theor supposed Champion to victory – identify your champion – make it known who you champion is and then lift her or him to victory at the next opportunity. Don’t lament, prepare instead.

I realized this yesterday, as we took a ride along the Golf and all,of a sudden we see this.

Yes it is kitsch as kitsch can, but it is also a beautiful picture of love, trust and care. And by extension gives me hope that this period of nationalism and narrow-mindedness shall pass, too.

Being a Global Nomand myself, I find it very sad, when people, judge others by their passport, language of color of their skin, because it eleominates the possibiliyu, that the other person may have something you might need, appreciate. even admire. I have spent tye first part of my working life in the hatd disk drive industry – most of you will not know what that is all about, as ling as the box inside your computer stores the birthday pictures from grandma’s 75th birthday bash. but this industry was and prpably still is hypercompetitive. so competitive, that it is an unwritten law that everyone abides by, that anybodymight just have THE IDEA that will give your company a huge competitive advantage. As a consequence,the HDD industry is very inclusive a as in German alongside, Czechs, Russian, Americans, Chinese, Nepalis, Indians, Indonesian, you name it we have it. That openness made for a beautiful environment. That does not mean, that there was no conflict and politics, but an ass was ass because he was an ass, not because of his heritage or the color of his skin.

Hm, just noticed I might have been rambling a bit. Yes the sky may be grey and ominous, but there will be sunshine, too and soon enough.

So keep,your chin up, do small good deeds to total stangers without conditions and tell them to stay sharp, too.

Cheers Markus \m/

I Had This Rug…

A little more than twenty years ago I lived in Southern California in a small condo community with 16 apartments. I was the only student, everyone else was properly working for a living – we were a pretty eclectic group. Being the new kid, I was lucky enough, that my room-mate and our neighbors pulled me right in into their little clique. Every Thursday – with Swiss clock precision – we would go to a neighborhood diner, called Froggys on Turquoise St in P.B. . We’d go every Thursday between 6:30 and 7:00pm and I had a California Cajun Chicken Sandwich – it was so good. The only regular girl in our group, Jen, of “Bob and Jen’s”, christened the occasion “Stoopi’Tuesday Because It’s Thursday”.

I still love this time in my life. It was very carefree, no worries barely any responsibilities. I lived a great life on a limited budget, right then and there. When my friends Peter and Michael visited me, they got to experience it, too. So much fun. Everyone talked about their week, fully knowing that twenty four hours the weekend was calling.

My wife know about this time in my life and its importance to me and the growing nostalgia with every year. And today, when I cam home, Barbara arranged for our own “Stoopi’Tuesday” at home.

She made a kick-ass California Cajun Chicken Sandwich and later we are going to watch The Big Lebowski – a movie that was shot in Southern California while I lived there, too. And we should expand the statement for the opening of the movie, that says “…that sometimes there is a man.” to:”…sometimes there’s a man or a woman.”

And right now, I find myself on the couch typing this little entry for you, while trembling with anticipation to start the movie.

Stay sharp and abide.

Cheers Markus \m/

Thailand In Christmas Fever

Yes, never a dull moment here. A few years ago, I was introduced my this gracious host country to the Christmas rabbits. This year is is the ever-popular Christmas Cats.

In the foreground you can see, the locals think way ahead. Setting up a heart reminds shoppers that Valentine’s Day is only about 50 days away. As the Scouts say:”Always be prepared”
Stay sharp and prepared and never loose your sense of wonder.

Markus \m/

A Day Tuned In Sturm Und Drang….

…..Sturm Und Drang? – think Ride Of The Valkyrie, or Metallica’s Master Of Puppets (S&M recording). After yesterday’s post, I owe you an “Pick-Me-Up”. I tole a few more pictures today – a bright and sunny and cold day – and then sat down again processing them and re-processing some from yesterday. If yesterday was the “unplugged” version, then today I am running everything through a wall of Marshall Amps – to stick with the musical language.

We are punching hard in contrast – clear statements. The seemingly dead flowers resist the cold, the snow and the wind. But in just a few more weeks, the will awake and start to grow buds and then bloom.

The loneliness of the tree still exists, but now it projects strength against the dark cloudy sky.

Alright, gang that is it. I am hungry now and want to eat something. Stay sharp and do ‘t worry about days that play a soundtrack in “minor keys”, vivace (ital.: lively) will come as reliably as sun will come after rain.
Cheers Yours Markus \m/

A Day Tuned In A-Minor

Yesterday started out great. We got a time of snow

And the sun was shining down in the hilly landscape under its snow blanket. It was nearly picture postcard perfect. I went skiing on freshly groomed corduroy. 

By the time I got home, it had started to snow again and the the light had turned to opaque grey. And so did my mood – not sure why, but within an hour my personal soundtrack switched from Rolling Stones To Schuhmann. After lunch I went out into our Winter Wonderland to take a few pictures.

But besides a certain melancholy, I also felt quiet, relaxed, seeene and saw things clearly. And to me the these images convey all these things nicely.

Cheers my dears

Markus \m/


Oi, get your head out of the gutter. Straddlin’, as in straddling the end of an old year and the start of a new year. That’s what I am talking about….Jeez Louise.

Moving on, as I was saying, we are right now – probably until January 8th – in a period where we are straddling the old 2016 year and the brand-spanking new, barely unwrapped year 2017. Now what can a man do? Not much. We visited a few places – most notably among them the equivalent of a toy store, but for adult….men. This place is called Hans-Peter Porsche Traumwerk. You have not heard of it – do not despair. Because, just like any special place, it is way off the beaten path, hidden among foggy hills in the wild border between Germany and Austria – this place is called Anger (to my English speaking reader: Anger, that is really the name of the village.)

This place has everything – everything toys. Modern race cars, old race cars, steamboats, wind-up submarines, tons and tons of locomotives and trains, drumming monkeys, wide, wide varieties and arrays of tin-toys and tiny model cars. 

And then, as if it can’t get any better – a huge HO model railroad covering about 400sq-m (~4000sq-ft) combining the best of German, Swiss and Austrian landscapes.

I will only give you a small impression of the place, but encourage you whole-heartedly to visit this place, it is SOOO great.

Look, of course they had to include the Porsche factory in Zuffenhausen, Germany. So they built the old factory.

And the new factory – engineering offices shown here.

But, for me personally, it got even better. Because there is also a Porsche 550 on display. This is such an unbelievably beautiful car.

In the words of Rick Blaine, proprietor of Rick’s Café Americaine in Casablanca:”Here’s looking at you, kid.” The same look, from a different perspective.

Now, please enjoy the curves of this rear end – perfection. It is like butter.

And as you eyes slowly move up the car’s back the mood changes from sensual curves to purposeful racing hump.

And yes, there is a lot more to see, but to me personally the modelrailroad landscape and the car have been the stand-out highlights.

Cheers and I wish to all of you a good, healthy and happy new year 2017.
Markus \m/