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StoneSoup

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Everything posted by StoneSoup

  1. Gee, there is a vicious war going on in Ukraine. Blood in the streets. Our normal flight route traverses the center of combat between two warring nations. Let's see .... we can divert our flight route to avoid the combat airspace - at an extra cost of US $5,000 in fuel. Or - we can fly into the hornet's nest, and chant "Inshallah". Decisons, decisions - what shall we do????? Boom goes the dynamite!! Idiots SS
  2. See: https://www.onnutcondos.com/ Ideo Verve Sukhumvit condo development is directly across Sukhumvit from Tesco-Onnut, a few steps from Onnut BTS. Other nearby condos are: Rhythm Condo - Sukhumvit and Soi 50 - maybe 150 meters from Tesco-Onnut My Condo Sukhumvit 81 - Maybe 250 meters from Tesco-Onnut The Room Condo - Low-rise on Sukhumvit Soi 79 - very quiet. 350 meters from Tesco-Onnut The Next Condo - Sukhumvit Soi 52 Condo One - Sukhumvit Soi 52 President Sukhumvit Condo - At Soi 81 - Brand new, just opening - 100 meters from Tesco-Onnut Q House Condo - Brand New, will open soon - In Sukhumvit, near Soi 79 - 200 meters to Tesco-Onnut Cheers, SS
  3. I agree that the flowing headline banner behind the DJ appears to be in Vietnamese.
  4. Well, you know, Thailand has very rainy weather, but sometimes it gets warm. Is this a good thing? Yawn......
  5. This is a bullshit PC campaign - but - it will inevitably succeed. Washington Klingons - go for it. 'Beats Washington Parasites. Washington Oligarchs. District of Columbia Bedwetters. Capitol Plunderers. SS Former American Ex-pat Now - American Exile
  6. Well, I have a somewhat similar view to Ura Dick - except that instead of suggesting that the US Government "put all resources blown .... into domestic programs", I would instead suggest the US Government leave that money with the people and companies that earned it in the first place. Productive people and businesses are being bled white to fund everything under the sun. The government is TERRIBLE at putting money to use effectively. Private enterprise is MUCH superior. SS
  7. Organizing a new major party, big enough to significantly influence the formation of a new government, would require a level of organizing - and associated funding - that simply cannot be assembled in Thailand. There are only two significantly funded entities - all the other parties are just opportunistic splinters off the main branches, hoping to be able to bargain for pet causes as part of joining a coalition to form a government. But - the base of the coalition is always one of the "big two". The only possible alternative - that could generate the necessary funds - would be a group such as those behind the Dhammakaya Temple - and their "cult-like" character does not seem sufficiently mainstream to gain the necessary traction. Basically, any major political force needs a great leader, and massive funding. I just cannot see those two prerequisites evolving spontaneously, independent of the existing parties. Cheers! SS
  8. The choices are: 1. Military coup - The military probably offers the most favorable ratio of superior competency to (relatively) low corruption - with some concept of "public service". 2. Civil war - This is probably what the country really needs, but that answer is not PC - let the "last man standing" create the next government 3. Partition of the country - The north will fall back into a third-world scenario 4. The Status Quo - See-saw one-up-manship, a slow-festering ulcer, but with the deck stacked in favor of the entrenched elites None of those solutions look very appealing. By default, Thailand remains in Situation #4 - and the longer that scenario goes on, the eventual resolution by one (or more) of the other three "solution" will be that much more bitter. It is entirely possible that Thailand will go from Choice (Status) #4, to Choice #2, to Choice #1, to Choice #3. Fun for everyone in that sequence. In classical geopolitics, the answer is Wild Card Solution #5 - Demonize a neighbor (Cambodia?), and get everyone to subordinate their "minor" grievances to the necessity of joining forces to overcome the "existential threat" from foreign invaders. Unfortunately, Thailand is surrounded by weak neighbors - and it would be hard to inflate any of them up to be a credible threat to the Thai Nation. Drip, drip, drip ......... Cheers! SS
  9. For some reason the lyrics reminded me of a lot of realationships in Bangkok: "...playin' detective,wanna' know it, too Goin' through my pockets, searchin' for clues Trying to follow me, you and the desperate crew The end of this relationship was long overdue Now what you did was cute, girl' you spent the loot Easy on the tears, oops, 'mind you'll soil the suit Do yourself a favor, and find a new recruit And don't take it personal. because you got the boot..." http://youtu.be/NTdz0zRAWEM
  10. For anyone who might be interested in the Bitcoin phenomenon, from the standpoint of how things work in Thailand, I have launched a website to serve as a central clearinghouse for relevant information. You can find a directory listing the (very few) business in Thailand that currently accept Bitcoin at: http://www.bitcoinrealmthai.com/ You can read an accurate summary of Thai government treatment of the first fully-legal Bitcoin exchange in Thailand at http://www.bitcoinrealmthai.com/thai-government-regulation-bitcoin-trading/ If anyone is interested in learning more, there is weekly meetup of Bitcoin enthusiasts, as posted at: http://www.meetup.com/Bangkok-Satoshi-Square/ Bitcoin has three main uses: 1. As a store of value - and it continues to take periodic beatings in this regard, due to whipsaw price volatility. 2. As a means of carrying out convenient retail or on-line financial transactions - with an app on your mobile phone, you can make a payment down to 25 satang very quickly and easily, at a merchant set up to acceopt payments; in the future, it will be easy to make (or receive) on-line micropayments - of, say, 20 or 30 baht - opening up new ways of delivering paid content at a very low threshhold of entry. 3. As a method of transferring funds internationally - quickly and inexpensively. In this role, Bitccoin van be thought of as a "magic envelope". You purchase as envelope to hold a specified amount of funds in whatever currency you are using to purchase the envelope at your end. The size of the envelope is determined by the amount of money it contains. You then send the "magic envelope" off to its destination - similary to sending a e-mail message or Tweet - but to a very strange looking alphanumeric address. The "magic envelope" reaches its destination within a few minutes - anywhere in the world that has internet. It can move 24 hours per day, 365 days per year. The "postage" for the trip is about 1 Satang - regardless of the size of the envelope. The recipent "opens the envelope" by "cashing it in" for an amount of money in local currency, roughly equivalent to what you orginally put into the envelope. The "magic envelope" is then ready for reuse by someone else. Right now, due to limited numbers of exchange points, the "exchange rates" between Bitcoin and local currencies can be somewhat unattractive - but that situation will improve, as more players begin enterring the market, increasing competitiveness. Resistance to Bitcoin in 2014 is almost perfectly mirroring resistance to e-mail in 1994. It is only a matter of time before digital currencies become ubiquitous. Cheers! SS
  11. James R. Schlesinger, Willful Aide to Three Presidents, Is Dead at 85 James R. Schlesinger, a tough Cold War strategist who served as secretary of defense under Presidents Richard M. Nixon and Gerald R. Ford and became the nation’s first secretary of energy under President Jimmy Carter, died on Thursday in Baltimore. He was 85. A brilliant, often abrasive Harvard-educated economist, Mr. Schlesinger went to Washington in 1969 as an obscure White House budget official. Over the next decade he became chairman of the Atomic Energy Commission, director of Central Intelligence, a cabinet officer for three presidents (two of whom fired him), a thorn to congressional leaders and a controversial national public figure. http://www.nytimes.com/2014/03/28/us/politics/james-r-schlesinger-cold-war-hard-liner-dies-at-85.html?_r=0 Quite a resume: Secretary of Defense, Director of the CIA, Chairman Atomic Energy Commission. I remember him for two things: 1. He was the Secretary of Defense when I memorized my first military Chain of Command in 1974 (way, way deep into the recitation) 2. He was the driving force and main proponent for developing both the A-10 Warthog Thunderbolt, and also the F-16. As a grunt, those were guardian angels to be cherished when available. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_R._Schlesinger RIP. Cheers! SS
  12. I will drink this evening to Fred Phelps dying in agony - a slow lingering death would be ideal.
  13. Hal Douglas, "The Movie Trailer Guy", dead at age 89. I'll bet you can recognize his voice: (and this clip will probably put a smaile on your face) Cheers! SS
  14. While doing some business research involving GMM Grammy Group, I stumbled across the story of this guy, of whom I had never before heard: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rewat_Buddhinan Then I found one of his songs on-line - evidently performed and filmed in 1986: http://youtu.be/XsPNP18Gu_Q Not half-bad at all. Flash - you must have heard of this guy - he must have effectively been the first real rock star of Thailand. He evidently died in 1996, at just 48 years of age. 'Founder of GMM Grammy in Thailand - which is now a quite substantial empire. Cheers! SS
  15. I think that the relatively small number of frequent posters who still populate this board are mostly people who have lived in Thailand longer than ten years - and once you've been here that long, most of the "in your face" sex trade is no longer of much interest. Plus - the costs are WAY up, and the attitudes/attractiveness of the girls substantially down - to the point where it isn't worth the effort in most cases. I haven't barfined a girl in probably six or seven years - and probably never will again. But - I'm still glad that Cowboy and Nana exist - and i do occasionally stop in - mostly to reminisce about days gone by. In "the good old days" most go-go bars were stand-alone operations, who succeeded or failed based on their merits - and where managers and mamasans had almost total leeway to do whatever they thought was best. Think - a small, custom sandwich deli or pizza parlor that would make individual creations to the customer's order. But - nowadays - the go-gos are mostly "franchises" owned by a few big players - who standardize everything according to some plan - and it is boring and repetitive - as per McDonalds or Pizza Hut. What;'s to write about? "Yeah, I went into the McD's at Ploenchit Center. I had my 600th Big Mac. It was pretty much like the last 300 that I had - and indistinguishable from the one I had last week at Onnut McDonalds" Who's going to bother writing - or reading - that report? 'Sorry. Cheers! SS
  16. OK, I feel a bit hesitant to cast dispersions upon a recently departed gent who can't defend himself - but ..... I'm not so sure that Nelson Mandela's saintliness was not substantially fabricated by a white western media that felt guilty. To whit: “I salute the South African Communist Party for its sterling contribution to the struggle for democracy.â€
  17. OK, this one is really "outside the box" - but, give it a chance - the guy actually has an amazing voice:
  18. Two bad-ass cellos, plus one fine drummer:
  19. Johnny Cash's haunting cover of a song by Nine Inch Nails:
  20. Let's see - 'haven't heard any Brazilian hits featuring an accordion lately..... http://youtu.be/hcm55lU9knw There is also an English version: http://youtu.be/CwC5BFX7rqQ
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