Friday, July 24, 2009

Garbage Enzyme

The name sounds like a Supervillain in a Superhero comic book or TV series. I, for one, thought so when I saw the article in an e-mail from a friend. It turned out to be something really good which, if everyone does his/her part, could contribute to improving the environment.....well at least prevent more depletion of the ozone.

Being very much handicapped in the realm of science I shall refrain from explaining the details and instead guide you to a most interesting Blogger's site from which you will be able to get links to more sites for more information....that is if this article interests you at all. Here it is :-


http://www.fh2o.kuchingkayak.com/2008/07/04/garbage-to-save-the-world-on-garbage-enzyme/


and this one :


http://www.free2consult.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=65


I hope you will find this useful.


Since my last update I have travelled to Singapore, Kota Kinabalu and Miri. Yes, in spite of the H1N1 crisis. I am aware that it is a foolhardy thing to do and some people would even label it selfish. When you expose yourself unnecessarily you run the risk of bringing back the virus to spread it amongst your close friends and relatives who are in constant contact with you. Having said that, I have to state that my excursions were neccessary and I stayed away from crowded places and practised the highest standards of hygiene. So far no one, touch wood, has been infected and I am fine.


I was going to relate some stories of the travels but this time I am going to let the maxim "A picture is worth a thousand words" do the talking.













This is where I go to for a night of Aromatic Coffee and good Jazz music in Singapore ! Their Brownies are fantastic as well.













The IR Hotel and Casino looming above the skyline across the marina in Singapore. Expected to be ready end of this year! Durty Nelly's at Marina Square is the place to go for great Pies and Ales.







This is at the Best Western Cafe at the Grand Palace Hotel in Miri. I didnt take a photo of the actual Rib Eye Steak I had because I forgot that I had my Camera with me until I had finished the exquisite dish. May I add that it was V.F.M. If you dont know what that is, shame on you. It is Value For Money !!!







A cool classy Cat. Reminds me of a friend of mine who is always well groomed and dressed immaculately.






Some senior guy we met at the Boardwalk along the Waterfront of Kota Kinabalu. He said he was there to watch the Sunset, the Moonrise and then the Moonset and the Sunrise beyond the beautiful Sutera Harbour. The Tsunami predicted to happen that day did not !




To sign off here's another link to an "Ultimate Wedding Dance."

http://www.parkwayreststop.com/archives/2937



Cheers !

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Christian the Lion Cub

A long lost friend from Vancouver, B.C., Canada sent me a video clip which I found to be extremely touching. It also got me wondering why when friends, separated for a long time, say years and years, finally meet, the joy and excitement over the reunion will not be as intense as what is shown in the clip.


video

The message in the video is so powerful that I do not need to write further. I only hope that the owners and makers of the video do not attach any copyright restiction for it's use. Afterall it has obviously been circulated over the internet to all corners of the globe.

If a Lion can remember and exhibit such joy on meeting his old friends so can we !

Friday, June 26, 2009

Michael Jackson

The sky tonight will be brighter by two! That was what I wrote in twitter and facebook this morning on hearing the news about MJ and Farrah Fawcett. Think of the stars in the Galaxies that brighten our nights, inspire our imagination, sometimes give us hope and then you will understand what I mean.

In memory of MJ here's a link to a particular YouTube clip in which he is featured singing one of his greatest hits and my favourite :-

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=msqfQpoFTYk

And for Farrah :-

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cfAJvIuJb-8

RIP Michael and Farrah, with your creator.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

High Tea

The worst thing a Blogger can do is to leave his/her Blog without update for almost a month. Even the most faithful of followers would not have the patience to sign in everyday just to be greeted by a blank page for so long. I plead guilty and apologise for the neglect.



Even though this is not a professional Blog and it is done only for fun to satisfy an inclination to write and share tall tales, humour and, once in a while, some serious experiences, there is still the responsibilty to keep it updated regularly for the sake of those kind enough to show interest in the site. Therefore, I shall not shun this responsibility from today onwards.


I owe it to the readers to explain why the Blog has been dormant. Half a dozen reasons spring to mind but they are liable to be shot down as excuses so I shall not even try. Let's just blame it on procrastination and tardiness.



Now that I've got the monkey off my back I am ready to roll.

What do most people do on a lazy sunny Sunday afternoon ? Play golf, watch TV, go for a ride in the country, tend the garden, bring the kids to the beach or go to the cinema and watch the latest Box Ofice movie ? Me, I do all of the above (not at the same time) as well as stuff my face with food.

I had one of the most pleasant Sunday Afternoon at Gaston's and Clare's home at Jalan Subok last Sunday. The lovely ladies of the "Arts and Environment Group" from the Church of Our Lady of the Assumption had organised a High Tea to follow their quarterly meeting. Because it was also to say farewell to one member who was leaving Brunei, spouses were also invited. As always, the array of food was incredibly sumptious !

Whilst the ladies were chattering away discussing the agenda, I sat with the men at the other end of the sitting room talking about everything, from the goings on in Iran to the geographical contours of the ridges and hills of Jalan Subok. Then I heard a noise which rose above the voices in conversation. It was the rumbling of an empty stomach and I was 100% certain it came from the ladies' section. As if that was the cue the Chairlady abruptly brought the meeting to an end and said "O.K. let's eat !" In the middle of grace, I heard the stomach rumble again and this time discovered that it was mine.

I headed straight for the Briyani Rice which I drowned in the gravy from the Chicken Masala. I put the whole thing away in about 30 seconds and went back for a second helping and this time I supplemented it with the exquisitely Roasted Chicken (Perfectly done by Susie). Compliments were being paid to Margaret who had prepared the Briyani and Chicken Masala. Someone even said that the curry tasted so authentically Indian that Margaret could qualify as one. Indian or not, it was delicious.

After the curry, with the stomach rumbling now very much reduced, I sampled the Prawn Mee. I am at a loss for words here. The soup was better than any that I have tried in Brunei including the Prawn House Restaurant at Traders' Inn Hotel. Clare, start a Prawn Mee business and I will be your first customer.

Then there were the various assortment of desserts from Judith's Chocolate Coated Eclairs to Catherine's multi colored Jello. There were Cheesecake, Pan -cakes and a couple of Nonya Kuehs, all excellently done by the other ladies. There was some alcohol in the form of Bristol Cream Irish Coffee which Lia brought. After a couple of sips faces started blushing and the ladies were fired up. They ended the afternoon Line Dancing to Rock and Roll music. The men were too full to rock.

I wish every Sunday can be like this.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Tattoos !!!

Kate Von D ...does that name ring a bell ? And I dont mean just riiinnnng.... riiinnng. I mean bell as in DING DONG...DING DONG ! Yes ! That's Kate Von Drachenberg of L.A. Ink. fame. I'm not sure whether that should be Inc. or Ink. Let's go with Ink. If you are into tattoos that's who you should research. You must have seen L.A. Ink. on Star TV. Well the story goes that she has left L.A. Ink and started a parlour of her own. Now she has written and published a book, an autobiography which is making it's way up the Best Sellers' list.

So what is it that motivates a person to go under the needle just to have art "branded" into his/her skin ? I wont have space here to explain the when, how, why and where it all started besides I have not done the necessary research. I can only offer my two cents worth. Nowadays it is considered "cool" to have a tattoo because many celebrities have it. David Beckham and Robbie Williams are two of the most famous people with equally famous tattoos. The Hip Hop and Gangsta Rappers are credited with starting the craze. The idea is actually stolen from tribes in East Asia. The natives of Sarawak, Malaysia wear tattoos as a symbol of manhood. The more you have and the more intricate they are, the more you are feared and honoured. Why ? The pain you have to undergo while having the needles dipped in dye knocked into your skin over a couples of hours is testament enough to show how tough you are. The natives of the South Seas, New Zealand comes immediately to mind, even have tattoos on their tongues. That is part of the reason why the Aussies always lose to them in Rugby. When the Kiwis All Blacks stick their Tattooed tongues out, the Aussies are ready to give up. Then there is the Japanese Yakuza who adopted the same psychology...scare your enemies with tattoos !

In the 21st Century the Tattoo has become high fashion. A cute little tattoo in the right place can enhance a woman's sex appeal by leaps and bounds. Dont take my word for it. Ask Madonna, Beyonce, Paris Hilton and the many other Pop Stars, Movie Stars and Fashion Divas. Kate Von D is the Queen of them all.

So ladies, YM and friends, if you are reading this, what are you waiting for ?
And just for reading my Blog here's a treat :-


video

And here's the link to her book's website :-

http://search.barnesandnoble.com/booksearch/imageviewer.asp?ean=9780061684388

I am sorry I shall not be able to tell you where in Brunei you can go have a tattoo safely administered. If you find one please let me know. I want to have one done also. Maybe one that says "Lights on but no one's home !" My son Aaron has a snarling, Black Leopard showing fangs, on his left shoulder.

Till next time....Happy Tattooing !

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Seat Belt Rumble

You wouldnt believe what happened to me last Friday when I was on my way home to BSB from Singapore....ya ya Singapore again. As usual I was taking SIA on account of the ..ahem...wine. My faithful alarm woke me at 5.00 a.m. After completing the routine which involved shower, throne, dental care, hair care, B.O. care (Body Odor lah..tsk tsk.) and a hasty breakfast, I headed for the Taxi Stand. The training I had undergone for positive thinking and using my sub-conscious mind did not fail me. The Law of Attraction ensured that a taxi was waiting when I got there. It was just 6.30 a.m. by then and in Singapore 6.30 a.m. was still totally dark. "Good Morning Sir, where to ?" the Cabby asked. I said "Good Morning, Airport, Terminal two." And so we were on our way.



Have you ever ridden in a Taxi in Singapore ? If you have then you will understand how frustrating it is to have to buckle up. It is law in Singapore that the passenger must have his/her Safety Belt secured. The trouble is the belts at the back seats of Taxis in Singapore are uncooperative. No matter how hard you try they just wouldnt fit in at your first attempt. You are forced to try at least 25 and half times before they became interlocked. By the time you accomplished that feat you'd have arrived at your destination. It is as if the people who assembled the vehicle installed these seat belts just to annoy you. If you are short tempered and impatient, dont ride in a taxi and especially not at 6.30 a.m. in the morning. I managed to get mine locked just as the taxi pulled along side the curb at Changi Airport. I managed to keep calm, breathed deeply and even gave the Cabby a tip. It was not his fault that his vehicle had a Back Seat Seat Belt possessed by Gremlins and he did get me to the Airport safely and in time.

Dumping my luggage on to the trolley I walked in straight to the Departure Board to see which row I had to check-in for SQ 182 to Brunei. To my dismay it was not listed. I looked again and it was still not there. "Aha!" I said to myself. "Somebody has committed a blooper !" So I strutted towards the SIA information desk and told the lady in attendance "SQ 182 to Brunei is not listed on your Departure Notice Board, why ?" She smiled and said " Oh Sir, it will be displayed later. It's too early now. We have to make room on the board for earlier flights." Indignantly I told her "It's almost 7.00 a.m. and my flight is at 9.00 a.m. do you still think it's too early ?" "No Sir, your flight is at 1440 hrs.!" "No it's not ! It's at 9.00 a.m.! I always fly at 9.00 a.m. @#xx*#*@x !!! The rebellious seat belt was taking it's toll. The nice SIA lady said "Calm down Sir, please check your ticket." "I have no ticket. I bought it online." "You have a print out of the confirmation ?" I did so I checked, had a mild heart attack and then I began searching for a hole to creep into in total embarrassment. The SQ 182 flight to Brunei on Fridays was indeed at 1440 hours. I had never flown on a Friday back to Brunei. I had taken things for granted and was then paying the price. I apologised and quietly slipped away to enjoy the next 7 hours at Changi International Airport. I think I could live at Changi.

Whenever I am in the City I like to spend my evenings sampling live music at different Bars and Hotel Lounges. Here is a group I found exciting. They are called "Cats in a Cradle", four local lads performing at the Indochine Restaurant at Wisma Ria, Orchard Road.


I had meant to upload a video clip here but couldnt make it work. These guys were doing a cover of The Eagles' hit "Take it Easy" in three part harmony. They were good.








Because the video didnt work, here's a bonus. This is the "Crazy Elephant Bar" at Clarke Quay. This is the home of "The Blues" in Singapore where all the Blues artists from USA and Europe come to perform. The Lead Guitarist is local and is lightning fast with his riffs.


For those of you who like Tattoos I have a special treat for you in my next update.

YM and friends, be sure to tune in !

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Pet Therapy

Last month saw the screening of Marley and Me, a hollywood movie starring the ever-so-sweet and bubbly Jennifer Aniston and Owen Wilson of Shanghai Knights fame. It was the story of a mischievious Labrador who, despite his antics and bad behaviour brought joy, love and most of all, Family Bondage to his human family. The film ended on a sad note, Marley, the Dog, died.

There are thousands of tales about pets. There are stories of pets who saved their owners from disaster, from robbery, from fire and from death in general. There are stories about Cats, Birds, Rabbits, Horses, even Pigs but mostly about men's best friend, Dogs. Scientists and Doctors now use Dogs in therapy. Many Rehabilitation Homes for the aged now employ Dogs to bring joy to the elderly who are otherwise less inclined to be active and to exercise. Children in hospitals have been found to recover from illness faster when a pet is introduced into the therapy session.
The Blind and other disabled person become more mobile with a trained Dog as a companion. The benefits of having a pet are obvious.

Yet, on the other hand, you will be able to see stories of cruelty to animals. You read about the senseless killing of Dolphins, Whales, Sharks, Monkeys, Bears and the list goes on and on. Habitats are being destroyed for the development (Note that the word used is not survival) of Mankind. The Orang Hutan and the Panda Bear, the Buffaloes and the Gorillas, almost all the animals from which Man can find an economic excuse for killing is endangered. No wonder mother nature is fighting back. Climate changes, Earthquakes and Storms, Floods and Landslides threaten the earth now. Mr. Al Gore, maybe you are a bit late ?

A friend sent me this website in which cruelty at it's worst is highlighted :-

http://www.mycen.com.my/rescue

On a lighter note here is short clip of a family of Chihuahuas enjoying dinner. I am not sure whether the owners are breeding them for sale but if anyone is interested send an e-mail to me at teewrex@rocketmail.com and I shall tie you up with the owners directly. You will understand why I cannot publish their e-mail addresses here. Aren't they cute ? And they only eat Tamales, Burritos and Tacos and sometimes they need a swig of Tequila . Aiyai yai caramba! You know I am jesting right ?


"Hey Rosita, com queek ! Down at the Cantina they're giving Green Stamps with Tequila !!!"

video

Adios Mi Amigos!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Why no update ?????

It has been almost 2 weeks since my last update. Not only that, I haven't been reading the blogs I follow viz. Foodie Tales, Okay Sandy, Sini Sana Terbang and Runonadidas! Sorry guys, will catch up right away.



Over the past weeks there have been myriads of e-mails to respond to. The flurry of electronic, digital messages zipping in and out of my mailbox were like bees at their beehives. School and classmates of days gone by have recently re-discovered each other and a kind of reunion has begun in cyberspace, complete with postings of old photographs on Facebook. We are talking about a span of 40 odd years of memories recaptured. That's why no blog ! Fingers tired from over-typing.


I am unable to describe the emotions. There is a kind of euphoria in the air right now and everyone involved is excited and are recalling and relating episodes of their childhood era in emails and facebook postings. All of a sudden we are back in the 50s and 60s. Stories of delinquency, youthful adventures and encounters with teachers, girlfriends and rivals are being exchanged. It is like the flashback in a movie. We see images of one another not as we are now but as we were then...young, reckless and full of life overwhelmed with raging hormones.


Why did it take so long for this to happen ....the reconnection between childhood friends ? In my opinion, this would never have happened if not for the advent of the Internet and it's many spin-offs.

Yes, a few of us had written to each other over the years but it eventually dwindled down to only once or twice a year through a Christmas Card, Chinese New Year Card or Hari Raya Card. Then it completely stopped. It became irksome to put pen to paper to write a letter. Then we had to shove the letter into an envelope and have it sealed. Addressd it, go to the Post Office, lick a stamp and stick it to the envelope and post it. Then there's the frustrating part of waiting for the reply.......which usually comes only after you've forgotten all about the person you had written to in the first place. No wonder they call it Snail Mail.



With the Internet and E-Mail, we get Instant Gratification ! O.K. there are some people who do not even return emails instantly but they are a minority. We are creatures who thrive on Instant Gratification. We like to be able to send of our messages with a click of the Mouse or Touch Pad.....! Make that "with a touch of the Touch Pad" before I am queried by Goose. We are elated (there's that word again) when we receive an instant reply. We now have instant noodles, instant coffee, instant cereals....Good Grief !



Now, with Facebook and Twitter and what not there is no more excuse for family and friends to lose touch.....even for an instant !



So much has happened since my last post. Manchester United has won their 18 th League Cup, equaling Liverpool's record. Aung San Suu Kyi arrested and tried, H1N1 came and has not gone, Selamat caught in Johor because the Large Sign across the causeway read "SELAMAT DATANG" and yet I am at a loss for words. So I shall let a photo do the talking and end this update :-


My friend Jack Russell, the Durian Seller. He drives a tough bargain but he lets you have VFM ! His durians may be expensive but he insists that they are PFV. In case you have forgotten :

VFM = Value for Money and PFV = Priced for Value.

His durians are the equivalent of Celine, Lanvin, Louis Vuitton, Chanel, Prada, Rolex, Armani and Yak Kun Toasts Box along Orchard, speaking of which, the Orchard Central and Ions Super Structures which will boast hundreds more of retail outlets plus foodcourts and restaurants, are due to be opened soon. So much for the recession.......!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Electromagnetic Radiation

Making the rounds in the internet this week is an article about a woman losing her unborn child because she slept with her cellular phone switched on and close by. Although this particular story might be urban legend made up to motivate overzealous netizens to forward e-mails to warn family and friends of pending hazards, that Electromagnetic Radiation is a threat to health is believed to be true by a majority of Scientists and Doctors including Dr. Neil Cherry from New Zealand. W.H.O. does not subscribe to this fact but at the same time, do not discount it entirely either. So what are we supposed to believe ?

In this kind of situation, the universal advice would be "Better be safe than sorry!" Dont go to sleep with your Mobile Phone switched on and kept under your pillow no matter how much you love it, even if it's an I-Phone. Get a Teddy Bear ! It's softer and nicer to snuggle with....or a Barbie Doll for some of you weird guys out there. Seriously, if you wish to get more detailed information Dr. Neil Cherry's website is : http://www.neilcherry.com/........ obviously.

Whilst we are on the subject of forwarding e-mails, I am an addicted forwarder ! However, I only like to forward jokes. It is difficult to categorise what I like so I shall list what I dont like. On the top of the list of what I dont like are Chain E-mails. These are the ones which tell you to forward it to 10 other people within 10 minutes or ill fortune would befall you. I have always deleted them without forwarding. Yet I have not turned into a frog, gone bald, grown an extra toe or stepped on dog poop. Then there are those which use emotional blackmail particularly guilt. You are asked to forward the e-mail to 10 others because each one would earn a baby sick with Cancer, 20 US cents from AOL, Microsoft, BOA!..Havent they heard about the Financial Crisis ? Even the Almighty has been invoked to promote the proliferation of e-mails in the internet. If you dont do as asked, you are hell bound for all eternity. Guilt is also a factor in this case because they state if you dont follow through on the instructions you would have betrayed your God and religion. Good Grief !!!

Then there is Porn but I shall not venture into that realm for fear of being banned for life from blogging.

I welcome all else for it is said being informed is a source of empowerment.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Goose Vs Duck

According to the Sunday Times dated 3rd May 2009 the Goose is loosing ground to the Duck but through no fault of it's own fault. Roasted Goose or in it's Cantonese traditional name, Siew Ngoh, had always graced the Chinese dining table during auspicious occasions for centuries. In Singapore this tradition is even more tenaciously followed. Geese were imported mainly from Taiwan. The Avian Flu which started in 1997 put a halt to the custom. When the pandemic started, a ban on the importation of fowls was naturally imposed for the protection and welfare of the citizens. In Taiwan, supply dwindled as birds died or were slaughtered. After the ban was lifted prices shot through the roof as economic principles of demand and supply took hold. Only the privileged were able to afford the Roasted Goose then until even now. However, to Singaporeans this is not a "big deal' as the westerners would say. The Duck had come to the rescue. Three gastronomical experts confirmed to the Sunday Times' Taste section that duck meat is just as exquisite as goose meat and as such would be the perfect substitute during feasts. It appears duck can go down just as well as goose when it comes to Cognac slinging. (This part, I added myself I have to confess). The experts were able to tell which meat belonged to the goose and which, to the duck when the specially prepared dishes were laid out for the test. In my book, this should really qualify them as experts.




You were expecting a dramatic story about a shoot-out between the Goose and the Duck at the Baiduri Masters' Golf last week-end didnt you ? At least those of you who know who Goose and Duck are, were thinking of the results of Goose's venture back to golf. According to reports from the "animals" he posted quite a good score for someone who had not been playing for 3 years. Well done Goose ! You have put the soothsayers who predicted doomsday in their places.




There was no drama at the Royal Brunei Airlines Golf Course but it appears that there was plenty at another venue to which the animals flocked after the tournament. The gathering was to celebrate the return of Goose to golf. The reports did not mention cuisine; no roasted goose; neither was there roasted duck. The reports were unusually devoid of golf even. But the fact that there was insufficient thirst quenching liquid at the watering hole was highlighted profoundly more than once. The joy of having Goose back was surely overwhelmed by disappointment over the situation. They will be back next week to make up for the shortfall.




In my previous posting I indicated my weakness for Hotdogs. Just for some visual effect here is a picture of breakfast I had last Friday.




See the half bitten Hotdog - a Bratwurst seasoned with black pepper and grilled - next to the Bacon and Egg Sandwich ? This was at Basement 1, Singapura Plaza. I forget the name of the stall but the brewed coffee was fantastic !
And this is the little bottle of Chardonnay I was served on SilkAir ...the reason I always fly SIA!

Friday, May 1, 2009

Never go Grocery shopping when Hungry

Aaron, that's my son, once told me "Never go grocery shopping when you're hungry" and today I discovered the wisdom in that advice.

I had an extensive shopping list to fulfill which usually means plenty of leg-work is involved when you are in Singapore. Being as large as they are the Malls accomodate dozens of retailers offering similar merchandise and there are dozens of Malls scattered all over this island. I think you get the picture if you are a VFM freak like me. You dont simply purchase the item you are looking for immediately from the first vendor you encounter at the first Mall you enter. No! You do a little bit of reseach , comparison and window shop for a while. Then by the time you have completed this process skipping in and out of MRTs and Buses, you would have forgotten which store offered the best bargain and you end up either starting all over again or, if your feet are ready to give up on you because you had not been disciplined with your diet over the last two weeks, you would have just bought the item from the last store regardless and find out later that it was 20% cheaper at the first store you visited. What's that got to do with being hungry ? I am coming to that right now.

Halfway through my shopping excursion, because of the circumnavigation on foot, blood sugar took a freefall! Yes, you know the feeling..hypoglycemia and I am standing right next to Auntie Annie's Pretzels. I am not a big fan of those twisted sticks of baked dough but the Pretzel Dog was begging to be eaten. I surrendered. I could never walk past a Hot Dog stand without purchasing a Hot Dog so I had to extend the same honour to a Pretzel Dog. I read minds and I hear you say "excuses, excuses!" Aunty Annie's happened to be situated just outside a Supermarket and as there were things on my list which have to be bought from a Supermarket, I entered. Hunger pangs still lingered as the Pretzel Dog was so minute. Aunty Annie must have been thinking of Snow White's 7 little friends when she made them. Every packet and can of foodstuff, Cheese, Crackers, Bread, Drinks and whatever was edible, even Medicine, in the Supermarket seemed to be saying "buy me!" and being so hungry my rationale was compromised. My shopping cart got filled with many more items which were not on my grocery list at all.

So please heed these words "Never go Groceries shopping when you are hungry!" Trust me, I know because I was a victim of this folly too many times.

How does one spell Diarrhea

Have you ever watched a TV Program covering a Spelling Competition between young students ? If my memory serves me it was called "spelling Bee" or something. Those amazing kids were like superheroes of spelling. The most lengthy, strange, foreign and almost ridiculous words were thrown at them yet they survived. I find words which originated from the French are the hardest to spell.....and pronounce...thus the difficulty to spell. Take for example escargots, Yves Saint Laurent, Croix, Pierre Cardin and blah blah yakity yakity yak. Dont even mention Latin. Even romanised Chinese has jumped on the band wagon. When it used to be simply Chang we now have Zhang, Tan has become Dan and so on and so forth. I think that's why we have Global Problems. I wonder whether those super-speller kids know how Diahhrrea is spelt.

Alas, I shall miss the Baiduri Charity Golf Competition because I am still in Singapore. Coverage of these kinds of events is what every aspiring blogger should not miss. It is traffic attraction to the blogsite. I hear you say only golfers would wish to read about themselves. Not necessarily true. My animal friends will prove you wrong. Golfing as well as non-golfing members will be interested in the event if only to see the how the Goose fared. He abandoned the honorable game almost 3 years ago due to an ailing back. He incured the injury when he attempted to find out which would come up the winner after impact, his spinal column or a BMW car. This is what people refer to as a hard lesson learned. Now fully recovered he has been itching to get back to golf and tomorrow will be the first day after the long absence. He has less than 12 hours to find his misplaced golf shoes which he had used for rock climbing a couple of months ago...or was it when he climbed the coconut tree for young coconuts at Koh Samui and the James Bond island.

Anyway I wish him all the best and hope he stays away from water hazards, red fire ants, mating water fowls and low flying aircraft.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Pandemic Swine and Coffee

Mother Nature is scolding us again ! Like a pampered spoilt brat we have been disobedient and disrespectful. We have disrupted her life and caused her much grief. So once more she must punish us. This time it is through Swine Flu.

Isnt it ironic that the pandemic should start and spread at the Americas where the global crisis also originated ? And as usual the trigger happy politicians and business analysts who are experts in the field of blame quickly take advantage of the situation. Headlines in the media all over the world are blaring out "Swine Flu is delaying the recovery from Financial Crisis and Economic Failure." Well maybe those are not the exact words but that is the gist of it.

Sometimes I cant help but suspect that there is a massive conspiracy by a group of sinister and powerful people who are orchestrating all these unnatural phenomenon for their own benefit. So what if a couple of millions of people die in the process. If they can start wars for this purpose why cant they start epidemics ? Why cant they start the Financial Meltdown just to sabotage the progress of thirld world economies and avoid being overtaken ? There many more "why cants" out there. The bookstores are filled with books written by people who are closer to the truth than we are. This little blogspace cannot accomodate enough information other than this to remind you that the powers that be are capable of these bad bad deeds.At least with Hitler, Saddam, Ghenghis Khan, Attila the Hun and other historical figures, there are no disguises.

I have learned of another term which I like. VFM you already know as "Value for Money."
This one is "Priced for Value" PFV. I am a Coffee Connoisseur. OK, maybe not a connoisseur as the furthest I can go in a conversation about the delights of coffee is about Kopi O Poh. I am completely lost in Starbucks, Coffee Bean and other Coffee franchise places with their variety of fancy coffee blends. I can accept the different flavours of coffee beans from different countries but I feel the genuine taste of coffee is violated when mumbo jumbo are added viz. caramel, flavoured cream, herbs, nuts etc. Many people come to Coffee Franchises just to appear "cool" and when they start to order their Lattes and every what not, they would almost yell it out so that everyone can hear it and go "oooooooooh ! How sophiscated!"

Anyway, my usual order in a Starbuck's would be a tall today's brew. That would be the brew of the day which is written on a notice board on the wall behind the Cashiers where orders are taken. The notice would tell you which Bean i.e. Arabica or Java or Colombian is being used today. Tall means the smallest cup. I would have a skinny blueberry muffin with it. Yesterday I decided to patronise another outlet, TCC which is short for "The Coffee Connoisseur." I walked straight up to the counter, silently practising my order. You dont want to blurt out the wrong words and embarrass yourself in front of all the "Coffee Connoisseurs" there. Imagine going into TCC and saying "Kopi O Poh, please!"

When I started to say my order I was cut short by the cashier who said "Please take a seat at a table sir and our waiter will take your order." I said "Oh, I thought it was self-service like at Starbucks.!" I could hear her sucking her breath in shock, mouth opened and eyes as big as a Marmoset Monkey. I was politely led by a waiter to a table and was handed the menu. This time I was the one who took a breath of shock and when I looked up I saw a Marmoset Monkey staring back at me, reflected on the glass panel in front of my table. The cheapest cup of coffee was about SGD6.00. I suppressed the urge to pretend that I had received an emergency call on my mobile and had to rush out of the place, so I stayed and ordered. When the waiter came to serve me my coffee I whispered to ask why the coffee was so expensive and he answered "Oh, they are PRICED FOR VALUE, sir." The first sip of the coffee convinced me that TCC does have the right strategy, exquisite coffee, excellent service, fine decor, comfortable furniture and the most delicious Pumpkin Cheesecake I have ever tasted. However, I could never give up my KOPI O POH from Chop Jing Chew.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

HTML

Hypertext Markup Language ! I spent the whole evening in Kinokuniya and Border's browsing through books in their Internet and Computer sections searching for books, written for semi-retards, which taught HTML and how to build a website. You dont have to remind me that since I am looking at these specialised books for Dummies and Idiots, I would be considered one of them.

A picture is worth a thousand words ! Now who said that ? Confucius ? Have you ever wondered why he was named Confucius ? Nevermind, this is getting a bit too confusing.

Anyway, back to HTML. I am a dedicated reader of Super Blogger Ranoadidas's blogs and am inspired by his work. He uses photos, motion graphics and illustrations to tell his stories so professionally. That's what I want to learn to do. That's why I am trying to learn HTML and Photoshop and....Widgets and Gadgets. Good Grief !...... there are so many things to learn !

Google's AdSense is starting to insert Ads into my blogsite, you may have noticed. Did you see the one about how to get rid of Man Boobs ? Apart from Google Ads I have to use the Copy and Paste features of Windows to illustrate my site but I have to be very very careful not to violate copyright laws. It is safer to know how to create your own graphics.

This is a bit dry huh!? What do you expect ? Monday morning Blues, man!

Chopping Board

On the flight into Singapore I passed my time reading the Sunday Times. As usual I dove into the Sports pages first and was "elated" (there's that word again) that Man-U is back on top but that should not be a surprise ya ? Then the cartoon comics grabbed my attention until the Stewardesses insisted I had to have my meal before the next turbulence struck. There was plenty of such moments of turbulence today which made it quite difficult to keep from spilling the Chardonay all over the newspaper. The Stewardess decided to leave the bottle with me so that she did not have to go back and forth from the galley, grabbing people's head and hair trying to steady herself when the plane rocked and rolled in the turbulence. It was only a small bottle.




Who likes Airlines food ? Most people, and by "most' I am talking about 99.99 % of people will say they dont. I represent the 0.01 % who will say they do....I do ? Weird ! I think it is not the food but the fact that you are eating in a plane 30,000 feet in the sky somehow whets the appetite like when you go camping or picnicing.....even the sardine in the tin tastes nice.


The Sunday Times assigned almost 2 full pages to articles covering chopping boards. This was obviously prompted by the Geylang Serai Rojak incident. Are they saying that the culprit responsible for the unfortunate affair is the chopping board ? Whether the answer is yes or no I think everyone should look into the matter further, use the internet for research and examine your chopping boards at home. We all know that Bacteria thrives on chopping boards. The authorities will surely begin to inspect food vendors to ensure proper hygiene is practised.





No sooner has the news of Mexico's Swine Flu hit Singapore, there are already advertisements for it's prevention appearing in various local media. Microbeside (TM) - Silver Ions is one such product advertised. Is it a reflection that the population is now ever vigilante starting from the days of SARS.


That's it for now but before I sign off, a reminder to the few Moms who read this blog....I am hoping there is one or two at least.....to take a look at that chopping board in the kitchen. Is it time for a replacement ? Disinfect it with a STEAM CLEANER not detergent or any other cleaning agent. A Steam Cleaner is best.




Saturday, April 25, 2009

Quiznos Sandwiches



It's funny after you have had an experience for the first time, a pleasant one, the same kind of things tend to happen again soon. The day before yesterday I was given a treat in the form of a Vietnamese Sub which was exquisite. Last night I received an e-mail from a friend introducing me to Quiznos Sandwiches.

It appears that they have opened in Singapore at Far East Square, Pekin Street since January this year. I cant believe I am hearing about it only now.

I am off to Merlion Country this afternoon and will definitely make a beeline for Far East Square to try them. I have a feeling that their Subs wont be as nice as Liz's Vietnamese Sub because Liz's is prepared with Heart. Franchise foods are not.

Talk to you all again soon.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Manjaro

When you walk into Manjaro the first thing that hits your senses is the decor. You feel like you have stepped into another part of the world through a magical door like in the TV episodes of "JUMPER". It takes you a couple of seconds to realise you are still in Brunei Darussalam and not in South Africa or the Caribbean Islands. Without a doubt the owners who planned the decoration of the place, are endowed with artistic flair, leaning towards Architecture and Interior Decoration. Elephants nestle in every nook and corner of the restaurant but they pose no threat to your appetite. They actually promote the sophistication of the place. Dimly lit but not disturbingly dark, it is the perfect place for a rendezvous or when you just need some time and a place to be alone with someone special or your Laptop for some serious web-surfing, tweeting or facebooking.




The owners are Wuei and Priscilla and their story and that of Manjaro, in their own words, can be found at http://www.manjarobrunei.com/


I found the menu to be mostly Western, Mediteranean and healthy. That's not to say you cant find any local specialties there. I do not pretend to be a gourmet or a qualified food critique and you already know me for being the ultimate VFM seeker. It is a 4 out of 5 star place for me. So what's the 1 for you ask. It's reserved for something which has not turned up yet. I believe nobody's perfect and if Manjaro has a fault then I'd still be right. Right ?

You still dont know what VFM is. Shame on you. Go back to an earlier post about the Dim Sum place at Changi Airport, Singapore.


So, what about the menu and recommendations? Please visit the site or better still visit Manjaro and try the Pastas. That's what keeps me going back again and again. On my last visit, only yesterday I had the pleasure of being one of the tasters (I was going to say Guinea P) of a newly introduced Sandwich..."Vietnamese Sub. " As my maternal grandmother-in-law would say..."Telinga pun kan terabang!" Briefly, it was a mixture of Lettuce, Coriander, Green Chilli, Onions bathed in light sauce on the top of several slices of home-made Chicken and Beef Pate stuffed in between 2 halves of 6 inch Baguettes. Cilla's Mum, Liz was responsible.
You can tell from the expression on his face the gentleman examining the menu likes what he sees and is finding it difficult to make up his mind. I bet he goes for the Vongole. That's Pasta...spagetti specifically...with seafood and tomato based sauce. I had that on one of my excursions there and it was delicious. I always like to eat food which have names I cant pronounce.
Oh yes, one other thing, they have good music there too. No wonder the joint is packed with youngsters in the evenings and during holidays.
After all that I have become hungry. Time for some ABC...Ice Kacang...chendol..

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Sandra

I am elated...so much so that I can even use such a fancy word as "elated". You know the feeling you get when your spirit is uplifted by a gracious compliment or acknowledgement from somebody you care very much about ! Well it just happened to me. I have just received an e-mail from Sandra who lives in Perth, Western Australia saying she has read my blog and she's happy I'm doing it and she seems to like it and she is telling her friends that "Uncle David has a Blog !"

Hi San ! Thanks for those sweet words. You know what ? I am one of those old people who are trying hard to keep the generation gap from drifting too far apart. Note that I still use the word "old". Some people prefer other less obvious terms like "retro", "senior" or "vintage" which I dont really like. It makes me feel like wine or an old model car.

By the way, Sandy also has a blogsite : http://www.okaysandy.blogspot.com/ . If you want to know what young people in Perth are up to these days, read Sandy's posts. She plays football. I hope it's the British version - soccer as the yankees call it - not the Australian version. The Australian version is like two musclebound teams of Mr. Universes or Mr. Olympias trying to score goals using their heads, elbows, knees and feet. Unlike their sissy yankee counterparts they wear no protective gear. San, tell me you play SOCCER.

I have another reason to be happy. This blogsite is being graced by Captain Fred. If you look hard enough at the "followers" panel you'd see his logo. I am honoured. Captain Fred is a living example of the title of my blogsite. He is all kinds of everything although by profession he is a Businessman who owns a successful I.T. company. Entrepreneur is the word that describes him perfectly as he has been able to establish a profitable business out of his hobby and past-time i.e. fishing and boating. He was recently invited to participate in a Government run Forum to brainstorm the potential for Eco-Tourism employing the seas off Brunei Darussalam. I was going to write about this today but there appears to be some intelligent exchange between the "animals" on this subject by emails so I thought I had better wait until a consensus is arrived at.

Diahhrrea.....does this word scare you? It does me, especially after the Geylang Serai Rojak incident. Even the spelling of the word is frightening. Funny how the sound and pronunciation of a word always seem to suit so well the subject it describes. Anyway, I received an e-mail today from someone close..in the same way as Sandy is to me..which I feel can be helpful if and when (touch wood) we are afflicted with Diahhrrea. Here is part of the e-mail copied and pasted :-

Hi all,With recent cases on the Gelyang Serai, Spore food poisoning out break(with 2 deaths todate), I would like to share the info received from afriend. Pls read on it may be of help....When someone gets diarrhoea, sometimes the solution is so easy, wewonder why anyone has to suffer.The secret is in rice water.This is already known in this region. Ask your maids -- Sri Lankan,Indonesian, Filipina and they would know about it.My mother knew about it. When Dr Albert Winsemius came to Singaporemany years ago for a farewell and thank you dinner in his honour, hebrought along hiswife Aly and his granddaughter, Jolijn. Both women came down with verybad gastroenteritis.. They saw the doctor who gave them medication. Itwas slow to work.Mother boiled some rice in lots of water and went to their hotel withtwo 1.5L bottles of rice water.I cringed in shame at the offer of this folk remedy, which seemed soprimitive to me. Never heard of this cure before. To my surprise, itworked, and they were even able to go out for dinner the next day. Bothwere exclaiming how the rice water did the trick of making them wellagain. Well, luckily it worked, I thought to myself.I was discussing this a few years back with Kim Ng, the ex-matron of KKHospital. She said, yes, that is what Professor Wong Hock Boon, thenotable paediatrician teaches. I was shocked and made some comments howcould he? It was common knowledge so what had he got to do with it?Many months later, I regretted laughing at it. Dr Christina ShantaEmmanuel, who is the CEO of...uh, which group I have forgotten. EitherNational Health Group, or Polyclinics, or whatever... regarded meseriously when I brought up the topic like it was good fun. She saidthat Prof Wong Hock Boon had presented a paper on it. At someconference. After he had done clinical trials.Then his results were published in the Lancet, the Medical Journal alldoctors read. In fact, said Shanta, he was credited for saving the livesof 2 million African babies by this method.Ah, so! I am impressed.It is rice water and not rice, that does the trick. I have found iteffective again and again. You take a handful of rice and boil it in alarge saucepan with lots of water. Like three or four large glasses.Then you cool that and drink the water. If you are in a hurry to relievethe ailing person, take the saucepan off the fire and dunk it in afrying pan or basin of cool water with ice cubes if necessary.This gives the patient a chance to drink the rice water sooner and curehimself or herself sooner.When drinking the rice water, make sure there is lots of it. You have totell the patient that enough water must go in to line your guts fromthroat to other end, all 10 to 12 metres of it. If you take rice, itstays in the stomach. If you take broth, some of it may go into thesmall intestine.But if you take rice water, it will carry rice grains to every inch ofyour small and large intestine to the end where the problem is.How does it work? Even Prof Wong Hock Boon doesn't know. Read theattached file. Or go to* http://rehydrate.org/dd/dd06.htm#page2*It is good to pass on the news to everyone you know because thecomplaint is so common and people suffer unnecessarily. You would bedoing your friends a great favour to relieve them of their misery whenthe occasion arises. Thank You.

Several other follow up e-mails between ladies of different backgrounds and races were also forwarded to me and all agreed this remedy has been used by their mothers, grandmothers for ages and they worked all the time. The odd thing is...only the ladies seem to have an interest in it. Hmmmmm I wonder why !

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

TW Fried Kway Tiao

I have never been so anxious and motivated to write. The muse is back from Emerald Hill, Orchard Road, Singapore, properly sobered up assisted by the music in the background. It's Billy Joel singing his heart out. "A bottle of red, A bottle of white....." is about a rendezvous at an Italian Restaurant in the Big Apple. I think Billy Joel is an underrated Popstar as far as South East Asia is concerned. We only know him for "Just the way you are," his biggest hit.





Speaking of hit, the reason I am excited in writing this update today is I have had a wonderful culinary experience this morning. This statement would have some people thinking of a classy joint at the Sheraton or the Empire Resort. Far from it. This was at Stall No: 14, Sumbangsih Mulia Food Court, Beribi. Would you believe I forgot to get the name of the establishment ? Forgive my lack of journalistic competence. Anyway, as usual one of my faithful readers has come to the rescue. This place is called TW Char Kway Tiao and you are allowed to spell it any way you like! The owner and chef extra-ordinaire is none other than Mr. Young Ted Wee. I shall not provide anymore information regarding his family background. If you are as curious or Kay Poh as I am then you should go there and find out and at the same time sample his specialty, Fried Kway Tiao. You will not regret it.







At BND3.00 a plate it is VFM. Aha, you should now be familiar with VFM. Remember the Changi Airport incident ? If not, go back a couple of earlier posts.


Anyway, TW's Fried Kway Tiao gets 4 stars out of 5 from me. Now you may think that I am biased because I am acquainted with his family and because his Kway Tiao stirs up reminiscence of the old Kuala Belait Market Kway Tiao which I loved during my younger days. Not quite so ! I brought a friend and his remark was "Wah, not bad. Cannot find KwayTiao fried like this here in BSB. And also not oily some more ! Usually I have to ask them kurang manis !" I said "kurang what....kurang manis?" wondering since when had he started taking sugar with fried Kway Tiao. He replied "No Lah ! Kurang Minyak !" We argued for a while about whether he had said manis or minyak but that's beside the point. He had genuinely enjoyed the Fried Kway Tiao.



When I received my plate of Kway Tiao Ted Wee asked whether I would like some homemade "sambal" with it and he warned me that it was hot. I said yes being a sucker for all things homemade. When I asked he said that his Mom made the sambal. "Not your Dad ?" I said. " No, my Dad only knows how to make Bogeys and "Tok Nam" on the Golf Course" he replied. Before I get Ted Wee into trouble I'd better tell the truth. He didnt say that. But I must say the sambal complemented the fried kway tiao perfectly.



Ted Wee has my complete admiration and respect for having the maturity at this tender age to decide what his passion and dreams are and have the guts to act now and go for it. This is truely being free...being able to do what we love and not live life shackled by convention...what other people think or say. How many of us can boast of having done this ?



I shall not be surprised if one day TW will be in the same ranks as celebrity chefs such as Jamie Oliver, Anthony Bourdain, Bobby Chinn, Martin Yan, Gordon Ramsay........! And I hear TW is no mean golfer too. As a single handicapper he can take on his Dad with one hand tied behind his back. Nope, he didnt say that too.



How would you all like a Marine Park somewhere out there just off Tungku Beach or Crocodile Beach or Pelong Rock ? Coming up next !

3rd Blooper

This is getting to be very embarrasing....a third blooper ! Read the following sentence which is from the update of this morning's post "Of course you already know about TED but this is for "just in case you have not"." and tell me that it doesnt sound like the Queen's English. You're right, it doesnt. It should read "Of course you already know about TED but this is for "just in case you dont".
There isnt a fourth ....... I have proof read the original post, like two and a half dozen times.

Since I am here updating this morning's update I might as well write a little bit more. Do you believe in Ghosts ? According to the Sin Chew Daily of Singapore, it seems like the administrators of The National University of Singapore do. Here is the article :-

Things that go bump in the night at Singapore varsity

Mon, Apr 20, 2009The Star/Asia News Network

THE National University of Singapore has put up a notice 'warning' students of a headless woman ghost in the campus, reported Sin Chew Daily.
The signboard was spotted at the front of the university's Federal Building of its Bukit Timah campus.
According to the notice, many people had 'bumped' into the ghost in white wandering around the upper quadrant of the building.
It also gives information on other spirits.
The notice also talks about the sounds of Japanese soldiers marching up and down the corridors and lights being randomly switched on and off.
"There is also an elevator at the Zoology Department that operates on its own, which is operated by the 'resident spirit'.
"Chairs and tables would be thrown about in classrooms according to students who study late into the night," it reads.
A university spokesman said the signboard was one of nine along its Campus Heritage Trail that tell the history and major events reported in the campus in the past to help visitors know more about the university.
Asia Paranormal Investigators founder Charles Goh said the Zoology Department building had been taken over by the Faculty of Law and the haunted elevator no longer exists.
-The Star/ANN


Now what do you make of that ? Imagine being stuck in an elevator with the resident spirit and I'm not talking about Cognac or Whiskey !
This is a follow up on this morning's update. Either it was too early for anyone to notice the bloopers this morning or it means nobody's reading this blog. Nevermind, I still have to correct the errors before Goose picks them up.

First is "awoken". What is awoken ? Sounds like a name for a Star Wars character. Anyway as long as you get message I think the Queen doesnt mind. You dont get this ? Helloooo...The Queen's English ?

Then there's "interlectual". Inter..what ? O.k. that was grossly mis-spelt and there's no excuse, mea culpa. Still you got the message didnt you ?

Dont forget ! Sign in again to find out about the fabulous Char Kway Tiao !

Monday, April 20, 2009

A friend has awoken me up to the fact that a lazy blogger will eventually lose all the readership his blog has managed to garner, even the faithful lone friend who signs in everyday just to see what more absurdity has been posted. So whether I am inspired or not I must update this blog today, having been silent over the weekend on account of late nights; watching EPL Football.

Isnt it disappointing that Man-U lost the semi-final to Everton on penalties. The two who missed were the Senior Players- Berbatov and Ferdinand. Sir Alex was not wrong in putting in his youngsters and they held up until the penalties. Well let's see what Man-U can do at the UEFA Champions' semis. I bet Sir Alex will not bench their big guns then.

Remember TED ? I came across TED in Facebook and since then I am addicted.
I shall let TED explain themselves so if you are interested go to :- www.ted.com. I guarantee you will not regret it especially if you like interlectual stuff. Excuse me for being presumptious. Of course you already know about TED but this is for "just in case you have not".

On to another sensational news......Susan Boyle ! Isnt she wonderful ? You must have seen and heard her on YouTube and CNN and ...well almost everywhere. Her clip on YouTube is reported to have over a million hits ! But I was wondering, apart from the instant fame and riches which will come later, will she get any financial reward from those million over hits on YouTube ? I do hope so.

Have you heard of a young entrepreneur who is getting a name for himself serving one of the best "Char Kway Tiao" in town ? Stay tuned.....tomorrow.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Blogs started out as records of events happening along a timeline, a tool used by journalists to dissipate information quickly by internet. This function is so adaptable that it can serve anyone who loves to write and is not aversed to sharing their thoughts. It used to be restricted to the "Columnist" of the Newspaper Industry and now goes by a more Hip or Cool name or whatever this new generation likes to call it.

Now, does it benefit society or does it cause antagonism? The answer to this question requires plenty of time and a couple more megabytes as it would invite a lot of debate. A blogsite is not an ideal place for this therefore I shall "sit on the fence" and only say that it does benefit society but it can be antagonistic when abused. Tell me what can be good when abused ?

Why this boring truism ? I just had to get it off my chest. An acquaintance had read my blog and was not very impressed. He was of the opinion that bloggers can cause much conflict and informed me that many have been sued. He said "Look at the state Malaysia is in right now, all because of Bloggers !" Dumbfounded at his narrow-mindedness, I could not find words to dispute him then. Anyway, my time and megabytes are precious to me so I shall not dwell on this subject matter any longer. I prefer a more humourous approach to everything I do so next update will be lifelier.

Hey have you all heard about TED ?

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

The Pen is Mightier than the Sword. This statement is a favourite amongst anyone who is not connected to the military. Taken literally, this would conjure up a ridiculous scenario of an army wielding pens defeating their opponents carrying swords. But most powerful assertions such as these are never meant to be taken literally.

The Pen is indeed mightier than the Sword. Nowadays I might say "The Mouse is mightier than the Sword." Alright some of you who tend to be perfectionists will argue that it is not the mouse but the "keyboard" or the "internet".

With so many stories in the media including books and TV about the upheaval of Government, Idealogy, Crime - the list is unending - brought about by somebody's writings, I am relieved from boring you with any examples here. However, I wish to mention one which I feel is so appropriate - The Watergate Affair which brought about Richard Nixon's exit from office. Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein from The Washington Post made political history in the USA in 1973. There are of course so many other cases both significant and otherwise.

The Goose, one of my "Animal" friends - non-literally -, sent me an article through e-mail which described the plight of the real natives - Sons of the Land if you will - of Sarawak and Sabah. It was related in the form of a true story of a young Penan mother who eventually succumbed to Cancer not only because of poverty but because of neglect by the Government whose officials were too busy ensuring re-election and lining their own pockets. I found it very moving. For the whole story please go to :- http://www.malaysiakini.com/news/102388

The writer, in my opinion, has done an excellent job. I hope his article will find it's way to a larger, more influential site where the whole world's attention can be drawn to it. Then the politicians of Sarawak will be shamed into action, to improving the quality of life for their indigenous citizens and also to stop clearing the precious rain forests to make way for Dams and Hydro-Electric Power.

Then his pen will have been mightier than the sword........well mouse or internet if you insist !

Monday, April 13, 2009

I am advised by Adsense that approval for my account is forthcoming but only in a week therefore this site will have to remain as it is for a while yet. The different shades of green and yellow should be exciting enough for you to keep on reading.

Nope ! Nothing on Lucky Plaza yet but a little episode which happened at Changi Airport this morning fits the bill.

I was flying back to good old Brunei Darussalam and after checking in and had gone through Immigration I was suddenly attacked by hunger pangs. It was not surprising as I had got up at 5.00 a.m. showered, brushed teeth, sat on throne, dressed, hailed a taxi and rushed to the airport without breakfast. Unlike the Opera singer in Korea I remembered to put on my pants despite the rush. Now, almost shivering with a hypo-glycemic condition I debated where to eat. Harry's is a Bar Franchise I frequent for Erdinger's Beer in town. They have a branch at the departure lounge in Changi and someone told me they served great Hash Browns with Sausages, Bacon and Eggs for breakfast. I was tempted but decided against it because Harry's at Changi happened to be THE designated smoking area at the Airport. That's what I like about Singapore. Nobody's forgotten, even those whose life purpose is to destroy their Lungs. After you enter the glass door you'd have to have a GPS to navigate your way to the bar or table. The smoke from the cigars and cigarettes is that thick. Somebody could make a fortune selling Gas Masks at the entrance. Then I thought of Subway Sandwiches but was drawn away by the sight of a delicious array of Nonya Kueh at Bengawan Solo. Just as I was taking a seat at a table I developed a yearning for Dim Sum and recalled what a friend had told me about this place at Changi which served awesome Dim Sum. They were so good that Premier Lee and his family eats there as well as celebrities like Jet Li and Martin Yan, the Chef . So I headed to the lift to get to the 3rd Level where this establishment, is situated.

Upon arrival I was greeted by a lone waitress who, I found out later, was actually the Cashier. The place was empty. I looked behind the Cashier's counter and sure enough, displayed on the wall were photographs of Premier Lee Hsiang Loong and his family, Jet Li with the Manager of the place and Martin Yan of Yan can Cook TV fame. I took my seat at a table and was handed the menu. Dim Sum in Singapore pales in comparison with Dim Sum in Hongkong but I found Dim Sum at Ah Yat's Restaurant in town to be almost as good and most important of all had VFM. What's that ? That is what people like me always look for...Value For Money ! I wonder if Jet Li also looks for VFM. At Ah Yat's a "loong" or bamboo container of Siew Mai or Har Kao costs SGD1.80 and there are three pieces. A saucer of Pai Kuat also costs SGD1.80. With this kind of value all precautions relating to Cholesterol, Hypertension, Hyperglycemia and any other Hypers can be thrown into the wind. At this establishment at Changi Airport the prices for all the items in the menu could cause you to "die standing"...a favourite expression of Singaporeans. I almost did..but sitting.

Then a little, pretentious, not so young anymore, waitress came and almost yelled "Yes, can I take your order ? You like the special fried rice with scallop or the specialty of the house, noodles with abalone, or you like Dim Sum, what kind of Chinese tea?" She rattled on and read me the whole menu giving me no chance to tell her that she was raining spittle all over. When she finally finished, almost exhausted, I said "Give me one Siew Mai"! Suddenly I heard heavy breathing, like a Bull snorting, getting ready to deliver to the Matador what he truely deserves, horns in the butt. I looked at the waitress and thought she had gone into Cardiac Arrest. She swallowed once and the veins on her neck under her jaws looked ready to burst and she said "We dont sell one siew mai. Three in a ba..ba..basket!" Not wishing to incur further wrath and spittle I said "O.K. gimme one basket!" She said "Only one ah ?" Before I could reply she screamed "What about Tea, what Tea ?" I said "Tea Tea lah, what do you mean what Tea?" I was getting annoyed at her demeanour and wanted to give her back some of her own medicine, minus the spittle. She gave a gasp of exasperation and said "Oolong, Jasmine, Chrysanthemum or Kokpoh ? "ooooh!" I said. "how much is the Tea ?" "You can see in the menu" "I dont want to see in the menu, why dont you tell me?" "Different Tea different cost, some ten dollar, some 20 dollar, some even 50 dollar, want or not?" "Not! And cancel my Siew Mai!"

I picked up my Duffel Bag and stormed out of the place quickly before the she-devil could come after me with a Cleaver and her spittle. I ended up at the Yakun Kaya Toast place on Level 2 where I had the Set..Kopi O, 2 Softboiled Eggs and a Kaya Toast Sandwich. As I sat eating and contemplating murder for that friend who recommended the Dim Sum place, I wondered whether Premier Lee, Jet Li and Martin Yan had encountered the Waitress from Hell and if they did whether they had ever come back a second time.

Through the Dim Sum ordeal I had caught a glimps of a placard placed on the table which called out "Beat the Recession!" and I now thought to myself "with exhorbitant prices like that they had better come up with another slogan".

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Well Done DPMM !!!! Saw on TV you stopped GOMBAK - the current leaders in the S-League - in their tracks and this happened not at home in National Stadium, BSB but in Jalan Besar Stadium, Singapore ! 2 -1.....Impressive !!

Ya! Ya! I know I promised more on the "Unethical Practices of Salemen" in Singapore but I am not so ready yet. The Muse who is specialised in this particular subject has not reported back to me. I am informed by reliable sources that he was last seen trying to walk a straight line outside the pubs at Emerald Hill.

Everybody's raving about the movies "Shopaholic" and "Gran Torino". Both received 4 Popcorns each from critics. I was more interested in "Shinjuku Incident" and "Fast and Furious 4" but both got only 3.5 Popcorns. This is not an attempt to provide a movie guide or a preview. It is meant only to bring to your attention that there is "entertainment" worth considering outside of the shell you commit yourself into for the sake of earning a living, be that your office or your home. Relax, De-Stress and have fun and you just might live to a hundred.

Nobody knows how to apply the "work hard ; play hard" maxim better than my Animal friends. They play hard at Golf, Fishing and other Sports. Note that I have not used the semi-colon over the word -sports. You can apply them if you wish to. Also note that I have excluded the word - Drinking. You can include it if you wish to. Anyway all of these guys have successful careers because they work hard but they know when they have to relax and have fun too. In fact they have been known to go on what they themselves term..obscene holidays. No, no, no the word obscene in this context does not imply that these guys are inclined towards amorous adventures. Obscene here is like...great, very expensive, very often, exotic. I better stop singing their praises here before it gets to their heads when they read this. On the other hand I think it is safe because I know they'd rather be fishing and golfing than reading OD's blog.

It's a lazy, sunny Sunday afternoon here in Singapore and Clarke Quay beckons. I'm off but before I go.... if the foregoing seem like a potpourri of nonsense, let me remind you, this is "all kinds of everything".

Ho Yum Ka Ler!

Friday, April 10, 2009

What is a serious blogger concerned with ? Who reads blogs ? How does a blogger draw traffic to his site ? What the heck is HTML ? Who is interested in "all kinds of everything" which is non-specific ?........................these mind boggling thoughts resonate in my head from the moment I started this venture. Did you notice "blogging and "boggling" ? Nevermind, I digress.

Ekhart Tolle, in his book - The Power of Now - says to achieve enlightenment you have to be free of thought. Zen Buddhism is one of the ways to enlightenment through meditation.

So I woke up early this morning to meditate and become enlightened but instead started writing this blog. I must get up to speed, must insert pictures and illustrations, must provide breaking news and interesting facts, must use html and Blogger Powertools to attract readers. Then it happened. I became enlightened. My mind went completely blank. I realised that I had always been enlightened and I didnt need Ekhart Tolle or Zen to show me how. I remember my teachers used to call me a numbskull which is another way of stating that my brain was not functioning as it should. According to Ekhart that is no thought and no thought is enlightenment. Q.E.D.!

Anyway that's rambling. I just wanted to inform you all that I shall be improving this site with pictures and illustrations and Adsense Ads - I know how much you all like comics - and will post more interesting articles although the whole theme will still remain generalised. I dont think being specific is actually interesting, contrary to the advice of Super Bloggers who are making tons of dough out there by being specific.

Before I sign off I'd like to thank Joe alias MJY for signing in to be the first follower of this blog. I know he reads another well established superblogger called .....something like a sports footwear, a famous brand. Hey Joe here's another blogsite which might interest you : http://www.foodietales.blogspot.com/. Blogger is a friend of mine and she can cook up a storm !

'nuff said for now.

How Yum Ka Ler !

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Well now, how's that for a start ? On the very first blog of my life I went and commited a blooper ! Look at second paragraph, last line...."at 0.0010% as well" . That should have read "at least 0.0010% as well". I have a distinct feeling that there will be a lot of this correction process in future blogs but I am sure you will bear with me.

These errors have since been corrected

My favourite animals, close friends who chose to be called that, have been exchanging emails describing experiences with unethical salesmanship in Singapore. There are no less than 3 incidents where people have been conned into buying goods at twice the price of exactly the same stuff sold elsewhere. Apparently this practice has been happening over a span of several years and the authorities have done nothing to curb it. Complaints are mostly aimed at the shops in Lucky Plaza.

The discussions started when one of the "animals" received an email which is presently being circulated over the internet about an incident which happened to a local woman at Lucky Plaza.

Unethical sales tactics in Singapore will be the subject of my next blog when enough facts have been gathered. I shall be including pictures .......as soon as I learn how to do it !

Ho Yum ah !

Starting out on a Blogging Journey

This is the beginning of a Blogging adventure ! Dare I say that I am starting out with zilch.....am not even sure how to spell "zilch". Nevermind, I shall look up the thesaurus or maybe Wikipedia later

This reminds me of the beginnings of "SEINFELD". You know that TV Series about "nothing" ! It turned out to be a top-rated sitcom. I am hoping that my blogs about "all kinds of everything" might turn out, if not as well, at least 0.0010% as well.

I am not even sure how to access the Dashboard let alone use Adsense but I shall get a hang of it all eventually. Persistence is the key to success.....at least that's what all the Gurus say.

Ok, as this is just the beginning I will just leave it at that. You have an idea what's in store so watch this space.

The Begining

The begining of a blogging adventure !



Watch this Space.