Saturday, December 29, 2007

This is what happens...

if you marry into a family with lots of advertising people...


http://www.elfyourself.com/?id=1831939341

No comment, just laughter.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Same Same all over the World

There are some things that are the same, no matter where you are in the world. Here some expamles from my observation:

- Sundays bring out the worst car-drivers. Better stay off the road
- Mondays in the Gym: Everyone working out chest and biceps
- During Christmas people go absolutely nuts: Forced spending + false friendliness

Besides, McD seems to have a new strategy. Fast food now turning "Long Order"...
Ten years ago: you order a Burger, the guy behind the counter gave it you and tells you how much.

Today:
Me: One Cheeseburger please. Only the burger, nothing but the burger!
They: You want the meal?
Me: NO! Just a cheesburger.
They: You want fries?
Me: No, please just the burger.
They: Having here, or to go (Yes, I want the burger "to Go" not "take away")
Me: For here please
They: Any drinks with that?
Me: No, JUST THE BURGER!!!! THE BURGER WILL DO.
They: ok, how about a apple pie with that, is on offer!
Me: No, please just give me the burger
They: Ok, that will be XX dollar. Would you like to pay cash or credit card. If you pay by UOX card you get a free drink.
Me: Thanks, I will pay cash and I don't want the drink - Just the burger...!!!!

Bon Appetit!

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Merry Christmas all around!

Dear all, we wish you a rocking, happy and merry Christmas!
Today we are having a "white Christmas" in Singapore as we are painting our apartment - freshening up the white paint :-).

Well, hope Santa will bring us all a lot of presents and have a good time everyone!

Sunday, December 16, 2007

FREE DOWNLOAD

Free Screensaver: Fish Tank

An answer to Heiko's Question

On a number of occasions Heiko asked me: "What is so great about Asia?" Here is the answer:


Tuesday, December 11, 2007

One year in Singapore


It has been an exciting year 2007. Almost 12 month ago we started with our relocation to the "Garden City". We left behind our hamster (see picture) and upgraded to a dog. Wondering how the hamster is doing now...Perhaps ended up in some chinese soup. Good for your ahem... you know...! :-)

Previously sitting on a plastic covered sofa, enjoying the view over haze covered hills, we are now enjoying the sound of cicadas right next to our place while lazing on the mother of all sofas.

We now got private owned vehicles (push bikes) and we both got new jobs. Besides that, we are now engaged and my parents will pay us another visit in April 2008. Errrr.... we do feel bad as we can't make it to Germany for the festive season, but we will try to make it in summer.
In two weeks time, Nicole's family will come to Singapore for a few days and we are going to celebrate Christmas in Singapore with them. Here the hilarious bit: I just can't get over it, every shopping mall plays Bing Cosby's famous hit "Dreaming of a White Christmas"(just like the one it used to be)... Very bizarr in 30 Degrees and glaring sunlight.
With a number of exciting trips abroad, this has been an amazing year, let's hope 2008 will keep going in the same style.
Merry Christmas everyone!!!

Monday, December 10, 2007

Things that make you go "mmmmhhhh"

Sometimes one is just amazed... Two rides in taxis on the same day, one day one night.
The first one was horror. Running late for an appointment, the taxi does not show up. And that is despite booking it from a predefined location, plenty of time in advance. Then the driver takes the wrong way, incurring more cost and heading away from where I want to go. Well, he did not argue about the reduction in the fare I offered. He claimed he did not know the place. Right, it is like going to the Eiffel Tower in Paris, or the Colloseum in Rome...Rarely anyone would want to got there.

The next one takes me straight there, no diversion, smooth and easy ride. However, I am out of cash and there is no credit card reader in that particular cab. I realise this at the end of the ride, apologize and the guy just says "Is ok, no worries...." So he doesn't want the money! Amazing... Thanks to the unknown cabby.

Friday, November 30, 2007

Quality - Please bring it back!

Those who know me will know why I simply love this ad. While this ad has been highly influential to the adversing industry, this week has been influential to me. During my first week in my new job I have been busy withstrategizing, learning, organizing and meeting people. Among those I met where highly respective and influential people from the ad-world, such as the founder of Batey in Singapore. My new job is fun and challenging at the same time and I am excited to see where it will take me.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

The new place is the old place

Today we had a least one good news: The property agent has finalized the negotiations with our landlord and we will extend our lease contract for another year. They make us bleed, however, we save the trouble of moving and re-connecting all the services.

Until January 2009 we will stay in Flamingo Valley, so no need to change anything...

Anyone who want to visit, just give us a ring!

Monday, November 19, 2007

Biggest Mail box in the block


A very cool mailbox...

There are several cool signs around here.
I like the street name: Maria Ave.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Greed

Economics applied: a government imposed price ceiling is bad for the economy and supply and demand regulate the price. Cool! Sounds fun as long as you don't have to live with the prospect of sending all your money to your landlord.

Singapore has seen a dramatic growth over the past few month - which is great - and with that people gained a lot of confidence. People started investing again and the next big trend was to EN-BLOC residential and commercial property (If all tenants agree, the entire place is sold, most likely to be knocked down and redeveloped). As there is a lot of $$ to be made, a lot of people happily joined the selling and demolition spree.

Demolishing a building takes a few days, while building it a few years. Congratulations! The net effect is now that both, residential and commercial properties have become very expensive. Our Landlord, at the end of our lease, is offering to extend, but at market value. Which means a 53% increase. Funny! The place we are living in is going to be demolished soon as well. Would you want to move into a place for only 8 month and pay the same as for a serviced apartment????
Sure, people should make money, but wouldn't it be nice to say "hey, the place is sold, I already make millions on that. Why not increase the rent a bit, keep the tenants and have 8 more month hassle-free rental income...." Let's hope the place stays empty till it is knocked down!

Consequence for us is now that we will have to move into a HDB (Public) housing estate.
A fellow sportsman in the gym yesterday mentioned that Exxon is moving it's operation from Singapore to Thailand. I would do the same... Imagine, the rents have increased by 50% and few hundrets of your staff rock up, asking for payrise to cope with the increased cost of living.

Now, this whole issue is very exciting to monitor... On one hand, Singapore wants to attract "foreign talent" and also grow the population, on the other hand there is little or no intervention to deal with the rising rents. Not only private individuals may go elsewhere, but small businesses may seek other locations. Eventually, this place might loose its competative edge and then all the greedy people may end up loosing money big time.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Next book project started

As I am waiting for the immigration to furnish me with a new work permit, i need to keep myself busy. The first two days were well spent on cleaning the house, several erants to do and getting some paperwork in order.

Today I have started on a new book. Not reading it, but writing. This time around, I will be elaborating on "Learning" and I am planning to have to bulk of the wrinting done by next week. This morning I managed to put 1500 words on paper, building the foundation.

Later this week I will make myself at home in the library to get the required references for my work. Needless to say that I cannot take home any books as I don't have a valid Employment Pass (Did I mention, that you need one to have a watch repaired by the authorised dealer hahahaha)

Film tip in connection with this post: Finding Forrester

Monday, November 5, 2007

Wikipedia scares me!

When we were young, we needed to ask mom or someone who "really knew things" if we wanted to find out the most profund things in life. Now that there is Wikipedia there is no more need to wait until we see aunt XX or uncle YY who knows about these issues.

Hang on there... Have you really tried Wikipedia. The amount of information on there is scary. I have NOT found a thing that is NOT on there. I mean, type "Eins Live"in the ENGLISH version and there is a description of a German radio station. Entire blueprints of battleships, critics on movies like Apocalypse Now (Redux) can be found. There is stuff on almost every movie. Try "Disturbia", a movie most of us may have not even heard of.

Who writes all that stuff...??? And what will happen to aunt XX or Mom???? No longer needed as the Go-To address for information?

Sunday, October 28, 2007

ROOOOOOOOOOAAR



Alright, it is this time of the year where I celebrate my birthday.
This year we had three days continuous celebrations. We started off on Thursday with a visit to the 12th anniversary of ZoCards, thanks to Pierre. We were joined by the a friend who, after living here for 17 years, mistook Boat Quay for Clarke Quay end ended up in the museum instead of the bar. Eventually he made it to the right place. After some wine and beer Maroccan food finished off the day.

On Friday we went for a three course meal with Champagne at Rogues. Rogues kindly delivered vouchers for free food and drinks. Being a night with a full moon, a visit to the Megadeth concert seemed to be just the right thing to do. Open air makes sense here and the event was a much better one than Yngvy Malmsteen in Hong Kong. What was missing were people in leather jackets, plastered with metal and patches. No one was really drink and I cought some people drinking WATER! At a Heavy Metal gig! Next thing you know is that there will be a juice and milk bar at the Alice Cooper concert. What i liked was the statement from frontman Mustaine that apparently they are from San Diego and that a fire had burned down his house. He said though:"It takes more than a F*#&+ng fire to make us cancel our tour."Now that is what you call attitude (Compare to Copperfield who is grounded cos some woman claimed he raped her... Right... A guy who could have them all...) Awesome gig by the way. Saturday would have been another concert, Heaven and Hell, the original Black Sabbath line up. Hey, there is culture in Singapore! Some of the staff deserves special recognition, such as the "Usher" of the male toilets... A 70 (!!!) retieree working at a Megadeth (!!!! Four exclamation marks) concert to spice up his pension money. RESPECT!


NB: The image confirmes why I prefer to have a camera as a camera as opposed to a phone that takes pictures...Anyway, I tried.

Saturday we went to the 1nitestand, the comedy club. English fellas taking the p*&s out of their home country - Hiralious! The Germans got their fair share as well...If you are in Singapore while there is a show: Go for it. The tickets for this event were also proudly sponsored by.... Rogues.

Today we take it easy with a bit of cycling and shopping. Now it is time to head for dinner.
As there are still some vouchers left, the rest of the week I will be dining at - you guessed it - Rogues.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

I pledge Guilty

Today I violated Murphy's Law. What is the punishment for that?
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Murphy_law

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Test Post on Web site

As i am trying to redirect my blog to http://www.stefanpertz.org/ I am encountering difficulties.

Anyone got an idea how to link Blogger to my own site???? H.e.l.p. !

Friday, October 5, 2007

The future was yesterday

So you have seen I, Robot and thought it is a nice little movie. Frankly, it scared the living hell out of me. Having read Asimoov's I, Robot novels 18 years ago they were cool science fiction.
But that was decades after the book was published. Now, today you have to ask yourself how far away are we from that future? Come to think of it the 3 laws of robotics make perfect sense. Also the possible outcome that lead VICKY to take over the world.

The latest is that robots (ASIMO II) dances and runs. There are robot soccer world championships and the latest fad is to produce military robots to fight on the front (of whatever war). Now ask yourself how far away are we from that "future". The Terminator no longer seems to be a thing for weirdos that like Austrians on steroids.

Comes the next one! Think of the great narration of the movie "The 13th floor". Not only is Adorf an excellent actor, but this is likely an equally good movie as Matrix when it comes to making you think. While we may think that Second Life is fun, as we create Avatars, some actually believe that we already live in a computer simulation (http://www.simulation-argument.com/matrix.html)
By the way, second life is an old idea... Guys, you remember the C-64 and LCP...(Little Computer People)?? A new group of researches is the spin off from these kinds of applications. They research the behaviour of people in VR and they actually claim you can judge if there is a male or female behind an avatar by monitoring it's behavior.

And here is for all the business travelers: Next time you approcah the runway, ask your stewardess (Airhostess or Flugbegleiter) if there is an actual pilot in the cabin or if that thing uses Autoland (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Autoland). Coming back to I, Robot... Cars that drive automatically. Funny? Boring! Why would i want to have a car that drives without me..?
Even though Mercedes no longer Dymler Chrysler is close to it.

And here comes the last dying breed: Printed stuff. Watch Minorty Report (originally written in the 50s). There you see the people holding a newspaper which is a translucent sheet, updated via mmmm Bluetooth or Wireless Internet. Research points at decreasing production of print media. Not that people don't read, but not printed stuff as we know it. People nowadays read on a screen of some sort. Over the last few years we have seen TVs becoming increasingly slimmer. How much more does it take before there is such thing as the roll up screen? Well, done already (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/discussion/2005/10/11/DI2005101101387.html).

At this point I would like you all to go and get the following videos: War Games, Terminator (ignore the time travel), I, Robot, 13th Floor, Fail Safe, Silent Running, THX 1138, Blade Runner and Titan AE. For those who still know how to read: Neuromancer and Gekauftes Leben. Once you'r done tell me that you are not scared!

Alright, while you do that, i will log onto my Third Life and see if I can get some Nano fodder for my HTML-Dog and the Binary Code Cat. 100010010011 1011 10001!

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Tee macht aggressiv!!!


Bored? Get some pets!

Beginning of the year we moved to Singapore. As we lived in a hamster box sized aparment in Hong Kong, we did not have any furniture (One could sit on the TV, but not for long). First thing in Singapore was to buy furniture. We found this amazing set of a table and benches in Mango wood. Very stylish, very neat. Adding a matching bookshelf and a funky, huge and cosy sofa with a coffee table, made of the same wood (I like coffee tables as they go well with coffee).

Throw in some lamps and oil paitings and TADAAAA comes the designer home. Actually, the furniture came with an own breed of little pets. Woodworms.

Woodworms are really fun. They don't make any noise, no need to walk them. Just wipe off the sawdust once a week. The coffee table has been in for replacement / treatment 4 times by now (one time almost got an Indian worker killed as he slipped on the staicase). The bookshelf just came back and I found more worms.

Now the folks from the store are going to replace the whole lot for us. Next time we buy aluminium or steel furniture. Also much better if you happen to have a dog. Less chewing!

Monday, October 1, 2007

Impact of Chinese Holiday on World economy

Amazing! China is celebrating the golden week, meaning they are on a week-long public holiday.
Good for them! And good for us. Why? Here is why:

Because all of a sudden the constant stream of strange e-mails stopped. No more Viagra that I don't need, no expelled dictators that want to give me their billions, no fake watches or bags, no invitations to meet the most beautiful women in my neighborhood and so on!

I am looking forward to the next golden week...Until then, I am thinking about taking up that offer from the investment banker to store his 300 Million USD for a week to earn 10% commission.

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Old passion - new frustration

My old passion just sparked up again: Motorbikes.
Cars cost a fortune here and are so useless it is unbelievable. Hence, a small motorbike (filmtip here: The fastest indian of the Planet, starring Anthony Hopkins!!) will be the remedy for all our problems. Going to work will be easier, the trip to the gym a breeze and a visit to KL without the hassle of the bus.

Alright, so off we go. Needless to say that the official Yamaha dealer does "not know"where the nearest second hand shop is. Well, I might have to go back and tell him it is right behind his shop. New bikes lack the crashes, if anything is faulty then it is your fault. However, in a land with a strange taxation system a pre-owned vehicle may make sense.

I have seen 4 bike shops on Saturday. 3 looked like junk yards (Wie hiess doch der Motorrad-Schrotter hinter Lauenau???). Wrecks cost 5,000 $, total wrecks change hands for 4,000$...
A new one is not much more expensive.

Here is the best part: There are no 500 cc bikes. As there are 2 types of licenses, those with the open one opt for the big superbikes. Sure, makes complete sense to me to have a bike with 140 BHP and tyres that glue you to the corners, something that does 260 Km/h... Especially in a country where the highest mountain is 140 meters high and the most windy road is a loooooong sweeping curve towards the airport. You need that kind of power when traveling in a city and where the longest day trip will take 26 minutes. Make sure you pump petrol before you start your journey.

One thing is for sure: I will NOT, NEVER, under NO circumstances buy a scooter! Object of desire at the moment is a CB400... Smoke'm!!!

PS: NONE of the websites of the 4 major Japanese manufactorers have a function to locate a licensed dealer in Singapore... If you trust Pink Pong Motors then go fo it! Business made difficult!

Saturday, September 22, 2007

What a week!

After a busy week, running our own seminar in Singapore, next week is a short one. Wednesday to Friday I will take time off. One of my plans is to visit a local motorcycle shop. Soon I will be re-joining the two wheeled community... We may go to Pulau Ubin for some cycling.

Also, Nicole will start her new job on October 1st. She will be joining a publishing company with a number of publications, handling a magazine dealing with economics...

Monday, September 10, 2007

Pitfalls of communication

The idea for this post is sparked by a conversation Kevin (Harper) and I had over a lunch in the University mensa...

You know the feeling: You receive an SMS and it all sounds like Greek to you (or chinese if you are Greek). There is this gibberish text that you need to decipher first. 2n9t for tonight, C u for See you soon and take good care etc.

Some may argue that this is the end of well spoken languages, the downfall of English.
To others (like me) it just signifies the creativity of people. Why do kids SMS like that to begin with? Because initially the message was limited to few characters only. Nowadays you can have some hundret characters in an SMS, enough to write complete sentences and words. Yet, the new SMS language prevails. To me, this is an evolution of language. This whole issue is particular interesting to me as a non-native speaker. I would argue that one needs to fully comprehend a language in it's correct form first before you could use and understand the SMS language. Same as humor. If you don't get the fine nuances of language, the best joke is lost on you.

Trouble starts if you don't speak SMS.

What will be next? Contracts signed in SMS in short? Advertising using SMS lingo?

NB: I just so hate the term SMS-Message... Why? Well, check it out

Saturday, September 8, 2007

Great, just great

OUR DOG SNORES!!!!

Friday, September 7, 2007

Dogenstein's Monster?

Right...Wondering why Spike always makes a massive mess when he is eating or drinking, we had a closer look. The Internet (http://www.silkyterrier.com/) reveals and confirmes what the vet stated: "your dog has a deformed mouth!"

With his lower jaw being shorter than his upper one, half the intake of water drips out and he drops half the foot he tries to eat (well, that will keep him busy). Anyway, for the next 12 years we better have the mop handy. Or maye... how about some cosmetic surgery. We could make the upper jaw shorter to match the lower one.

Friday, August 31, 2007

Published - At last!

The other day, a publisher sent me a mail, saying they would like to publish one of my assignements as a book. Currently it is available as E-Version on Amazon.de . My assignment on Tom Peters, "The Guru in me" will be printed shortly.

This means it will have an ISBN and the outline will be available to 6.000 bookdealers.

Pulitzer here I come!

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

What is going on?

A lot! Please watch this space as we are up to a lot of things.

We are planning a visit to Hong Kong for the Marco Polo Oktoberfest, we are throwing away our alarm clocks as Spike is waking us up at 6:00am sharp every morning and we have wood worms in our furniture. The shop will now bring the 4th (!!) coffee table as the entire batch was infected.

Movies no one needs, but we have rented (waste...):
- Pathfinder
- Wicker man with Nick Cage
- The Reaping

Speaking of which... Bourne Ultimatum... Highly acclaimed, the movie event of the Millenium: Hey, there are ways to hold the camera stable. Watching the movie I got seasick, cos the picture is so shaky. Perhaps that was meant to create some extra drama or the effect that one is deeply into the action. Well, this movie did not do it for me, other than having an excuse for popcorn.

Here is for those who still know what a book is: Dick Francis, Forfeit. Ok, written in the 60s, and maybe no one can remember what a typewriter is and why the main character has no mobile phone (Guys, remember Ryder Hook, the Nova Man? He was living in the future and had no Credit Card). Anyway, great plot and lives by developing a rich character.

In other news...There is a guy on the radio telling about his hobby, which is collecting vacuum cleaners. Liked the poll on Einslive.de, asking what hobbies people have. One wrote she is collecting pictures of road kill and she has this amazing image of a cute Kangoroo ran over in Nothern Territories. Once I wanted to collect fried eggs. Perhaps I really should?

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Once a month

For the 8th time this year we are headed to Malaysia. This time we will spend a long weekend in Taiping, thanks to the National Day in Singapore. The trip will start on Wednesday night and we will be back on Sunday.

While Hong Kong is suffering from a Typhoon 8 warning, Malaysia is hot and steamy as always.

As for activities we have planned a trip to the Cameron Highlands, visiting a tea plantation and to buy strawberries, eat strawberries, then buy more stawberries. And other exotic stuff. Like onions, garlic, flowers and such. Hey, you have to make the most of a 200km ride just to buy and eat strawberries... Maybe another day trip will take us to Pulau Pineng (Penang) or to Butterworth for all it is worth.

Since Spike the nerve wrecker is in a pet hotel in Singapore, we can actually sleep in a bit.

Saturday, August 4, 2007

New family member: Spike

As of last week, there is now three characters in da House. Spike is a "Silky Terrier", 3 month old and comes with a long lasting battery for the barking. Bark timer usually kicks in at 22:00 and stops at 11:00... 2 Kg of pure energy and poo-power...

Later we gonna buy some purple and pink ribbons, T-shirts and a give him a hair-do. Just kidding.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Take away from Bali

Nicole had some food poisoning on Bali. It took me until Friday before it struck me too.
Two days in bed and I had to take a Taxi to get to the doctor, which is 500 meters from where we live. Because of this, I had to cancel my next trip to KL (Trees and highway).

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

As posted earlier, we have been on vacation. We went to Bali and stayed in Ubud, the cultural center of the island. Our place was nestled within rice fields with a river running right in front of our villa. No TV, miles from the town it was a tranquil and relaxing atmosphere.

We treated ourselves to a spa session, candle light dinner, a trip to the vulcanoes, visits to temples and some food poisoning thrown in for good measure. Nicole that is... but she is alright now. I looked kinda funny with a sorong. I guess I prefer a kilt.

The climate is really nice with a bit of a chill in the evenings. People are really friendly and helpful while the landscape is just breathtaking. As for the beach, don't ask us, as we stayed away from the busy places with all the binge drinkers. What we have seen is rice, rice and more rice. Brown, white, black, before, while and after harvest.

The funniest bit is the currency as two pieces of clothing can cost you more than a million. And we are talking non-label clothing. You just can't get rid of that stuff as every time you pay for something, you get a dozen notes back. My wallet is still swollen.

By the way, Jetstar airways now provides food on the trip between Singapore and Bali.

Thursday, July 19, 2007


Endlich URRRRLAUB!! 5 Tage Bali. Villa mit eigenem Pool!
Finally VAAACATION!!! 5 Days Bali. Bungalow with own Pool!

http://www.villasemana.com/
Please note: I won't check any e-Mail and the phone is so off you would not belive it!

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Climate Control

Recently, after signing a UN Global Compact, there are a number of activities that are supposed to stop global warming:
- Entire nations to wear green t-shirt (Which have to be produced first most likely)
- A concert that goes for 24 hours, with stars flying in with their private jets...

Great! Will this make a difference? Sure does: T-Shirt manufacturers and record labels will be jumping for joy!

Here is what i am doing:
- Use my own fabric back. Yes, the same i am using for the past 7 years and that i have taken to UK, HK and Singapore. NB: Whenever we go shopping there is two types of shoppers. A) Expats from the west, that bring their own bag and carry it proud like Oscar B) Locals and their maids that have a plastic bag for every item, then bagged again... 10 items = 15 bags.

- Switch of electric appliances. I love the Skyline of Hong Kong. - I really do. But is the lighting show really nessecary every night, escpecially in view of what is happening around us? Are all these neon lights important (Maybe the ones in Wan Chai - agreed)

- Take the push bike whenever i can. Look at Hong Kong and Singapore: Double-Decker busses, 100 seats, 3 passengers! Just great.

- I am buying quality products that last longer or might be worth fixing. This way the re-buying cycle is prolonged and there is less waste.

- Use rechargeable batteries

- I only print what really needs printing. Also I only take flyers that contain information that is important (Usual behavior: Grab any piece of paper someone shoves in your hands and discard at the next bin without even looking at it)

Folks, a concert and a green shirt worn on any day that someone proclaims as the "save the world by wearing a green t-shirt day" won't make a difference...Get real, it is up to everyone, all the time!

Post Scriptum: There are now 1000 people allowed as SPACE TOURISTS! Great...! How much pollution does the start of a space going rocket cause?

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Botanical Gardens - A place to rest

This weekend we spent some time in Singapore's beautiful botanical garden. Located near the Orchard Road, this huge park offers a dedicated Orchid Garden, tropical rainforest and lush park landscapes. I followed the house rules "don't shout or disturb the tranquil environment" by simply falling asleep.

As a nice side effect my skin now has the color of my T-Shirt...

In other news: the world's ugliest dog has been voted for:
http://www.stern.de/lifestyle/mode/591681.html?nv=sb

Congratulations Elwood!

Monday, June 18, 2007

Dengue fever - A serious threat?

Two persons died from Dengue fever this year. After the first man died, Singapore has stepped up with the awareness creation for protective measures. There is now busses covered with anti-dengue messages, TV-ads, Taxis are covered with the same message. There is ads in the subway as well as Flyers being sent to our homes. Interesting.

I am not trying to play this down, but in 2006, worldwide less than 200 people died from Dengue. During the same time 182 people died in traffic accidents in Singapore alone. I may guess that many of them were foreign workers that are usually sitting in dozens on the flat beds of trucks. Or the kids that mums have sitting on their laps in the front seat - no seat belt of cours. Poor dad hits something and the kid goes through the windscreen. As 19 people died from dengue (out of 4 million) this is about 10% of the fatalities in roadaccidents, whereby not every Singaporean is moving around on the streets.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Diese Woche: Nuescht passiert

Ok, Sinn und Zweck dieses Blogs ist es, Euch alle auf dem Laufenden zu halten.
Da irdendwie nichts besonderes passiert ist (Oder wollt ihr wirklich wissen, wie hart und lange ich jeden Tag arbeite oder dass wir im Fitness Studio waren??) werde ich auch niemanden mit belanglosem Zeug aufhalten.

Habe ich mir hier grad wiedersprochen, da dieser Eintrag nun wirklich belanglos ist?

Ach ja, leider werden wir es im August wohl nicht schaffen nach Deutschland zu kommen.
Hoffentlich zu Weihnachten... Bitte Schnee sicherstelllen!

Gruess ditsch!

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Contribution to save the planet

Vroooooooooooom!



Here our conrtibution to protect the environment: We are now zipping around the island on our push bikes. Makes it much easier to go for grocery shopping, to the movies, the food court etc. Nice side effect is that one might actually become fit!


These are Trek bikes, same brand as Luis Armstrong... Errr... Sorry, Lance Armstrong uses to win the Tour de Brie. Still have to send in the voucher for the free injections of EPO.

Sunday, June 3, 2007

Trip to the Zoo

Not only does Singapore have a Bird park, which we tool my parents to, but they also have a Zoo and the Night Safari right next to that. For a small place like Singapore, that is a lot of parks and zoos!

Today we went to see some strange animals in the Zoo: White Tigers, Warthogs and Hippos. Singapore's Zoo is located at the nothernmost part of Singapore, which is a nice secludet area. The whole Zoo is an explosion of green as it is embedded in a jungletype environment. They have done a great job to decorate the place with worn out Jeeps from Safaris too and the whole place feels like one is really in the respective places where the beasts are from. The jungle surrounding helps with the ambience! Amazing how exciting one can be about a Zoo, right :-)...


Anyway, here is a nice pic, let's see if you can spot the Hippo. (A hint: it is green in color)

Thursday, May 24, 2007

I want to ride my bicycle...


Tomorrow Group Website becomes national heritage!

As of today, our website www.tomorrow.com.sg is part of Singapore's National Heritage.
The National Library Board has taken snapshots to preserve the site for the current and coming generations...

Quiet interesting as The Tomorrow Group is owned by a Swede and the guy running the Singapore office is a German!

Well done!

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Sportive Career Continued

Next event I will take part in:

Passion Run Singapore
http://www.singaporepassionrun.com/cgi-bin/passionrun/pp.cgi?set=home

Vital stats at the time of writing:
Weight: 81KG
Body fat 13,7 %

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Save the clutches of Singaporean taxis!

Dear Toyota Co-operation of Japan, please start exporting the Toyota Crown Taxi with automatic gear boxes to Singapore. It hurts to sit in a cab, where the driver is in 4th Gear after 50 meters, doing 30 Km/h uphill and the entire chassis is humming with vibration. The engines have to labour so hard... Or you just put in 1st, 4th and 5th gear, skip 2 and 3...That at least would save a lot of gearchanges.

Unless you are making a lot of money on replacement gearboxes and clutches....

Saturday, May 12, 2007

How to spend quality time in Singapore?

Ok, so it is your weekend and you don't know what to do. Here is a fun and exciting activity: Go to Singtel and buy something - anything.

You walk out to the street, 36 Degrees and 95% humidity and WAIT for the bus. Once at the trainstation you go to the platform and WAIT for the train. On weekends usually 8 minutes waiting time between the trains. Needless to say that where you live the bus schedule is not syncronised with the train schedule, so you always see the train leaving. 8 Minutes... Byproduct: A massive cold as one has now passed from sauna to freezer to sauna and back to the freezer in less than 20 minutes. Lucky we are all so resistant and robust!

Alright, let's go. Get cash first. Line up in front of the ATM, wait 15 minutes until the teenager is done testing all the functions and options on the bloody machine. Then of course the machine is empty: line up at the other ATM and repeat the routine.

As there are only 8 Singtel shops for 4 Million people and they are unconveniently located in the most populated places, there are always a lot of people. 10 in the morning, 9:00pm: Doesn't matter, so you que up and WAIT. There is an information counter where you have to obtain a Q-Number. This simple process will take about... mmmmm let's be conservative, 45 minutes. No benches, no TV and it lacks Singtel handing out cookies, coffee and amphetamines to make the waiting time more pleasant.

The QUUUUUUUUUEEE number will reveal that you have to WAIT about 45 - 60 minutes for your turn. This time can be conveniently bridged by queing up for a coffee. You have to wait to be seated in the cafe among all the other Singtel customers.
Naturally you miss your turn and que up again for an Express number... Takes only 15 minutes.

FINALLY! You raise your arms, yell a triumphant scream and it is your turn! You tell the assistant what you need and you are off to a flying start to make it to the cashier.

Yes, you have guessed it: There is a que in front of the cashier! This one is fast and it takes only 30 minutes.

The grand finale is around the corner. With all the purchases it is only natural that a guy wants to head home straight away. All these beautiful cables, gorgeous chargers etc need to be inspected, plugged and played with and prominently displayed around the apartment. Time is precious when it comes to satisfying the need to play with the new boys toys: TAXI!

Too bad! You are in Ngee Ang City where the AVERAGE (let me repeat and dissolve this candy treat on the tongue A-V-E-R-A-G-E) waiting time for a taxi is 48 (fortyeight!) minutes. Taxi stands also lack entertainment, benches and alcoholic beverages.

6 hours later you are back home to discover that the broadband modem is not the right one and you need to exchange it. This will take care of your next weekend then.

Happy WAITING!

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Movies I have seen this year in the Cinema (and spent money on):

Curse of the golden flower: Colorful! Like walking into 7-Eleven on LSD.
The story in short: all dead.

The Hitcher: Boooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooring
Shooter: Good show. Bit predictable, but a welll written story
Hills have Eyes II: What a waste of useful natural resources!
28 Weeks later: Can I sue the producer for wasting 2 hours of my life?

Sunday, May 6, 2007

Just got back from another trip to Kuala Lumpur this weekend. Soon the people at the petrol stations will know me by name and there will be a highway exit named after me.

Thanks to the endless effort of the students in Lincoln, my assisgnment "The Guru in me" has made it into the Tamara Journal, published by the Univeristy of New Mexico - Thanks a million.
The Journal is now available in full on EBSCO as well.

Thursday, May 3, 2007


Source: Straits Times, 2nd May 2007

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Thirteen days after our return from Cambodia it is time again to travel. This weekend I will be heading to Kuala Lumpur to meet up with my better half. This time, I am taking a bus. The 360KM trip is said to take 6 hours. Well, that would be some time for a good book and perhaps to recount the palm trees along the way. Will be back on Sunday night, given I get hold of a bus ticket...

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Here is to the people that are concerned about our enviornment...Hong Kong, April 14th. I guess it is just a very foggy day.

Here in Singapore the COE (Tax on cars) will be reduced by 9%. This will result in more cars on the road. I just wonder how that would fit into the plans of the local government to "play a key role in the green push".

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Late April 2007,... Finally I have managed to create this blog - Thanks Tim!

What I will post here are thoughts, reports on travel that we are doing and generally keep everyone updated on what I am up to.

The planned BBQ unfortunately had to be cancelled due to Nicole's biz trip to Malaysia. We will have it another time.

Today my parents have left Singapore again after a one week vacation here. This has been the second time for them.

The highlight of the visit were our trip to Cambodia. Luckily we found the same Taxi driver we have used last year, a very knowledgeable guy. Getting up at 5:15 in the morning was worth it as we were all by ourselves at the temples of Angkor. We did the same tour as during december. Our trip started at the main temple Angkor Wat, then to the other temples nearby. During the lunch hour we went back to the hotel for some rest.

This time around we were able to see the floating village out on the Tonle Sap. It is amazing to see how poor people really can be. Nevertheless, these people know how to have a good time. However, some people, like the Tuk Tuk drivers, seem to have become greedy.