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 :-

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

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 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 :-

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 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 !!!"

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 : 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.