27 October 2006

Just take those old records off the shelf~~

The following are my favourite albums. My benchmark is I will list a fave singer or a group and I can only nominate one album from their complete works as my all time favourite.

Those that know me really well will not be surprised by some of my choices here. Afterall, English football is not just Chelsea and Formula One is not only Schumacher.

AC/DC : "Back In Black"
My first AC/DC album. Also the first album released after the death of Bon Scott. Panned by a lot of reviewers but hey, who else can do a song like "You shook me all night long" huh? (Although Quiet Riot's "Come on feel the noize" came close).

Al Stewart : "Year Of The Cat"
This album is what one would call a one hit wonder but what a massive one. The title track Year Of The Cat must have been one of the most memorable intros to a song in pop history.

Alan Parson's Project : "Turn Of A Friendly Card"
I used to think that APP best works are albums like I Robot, Eve and Pyramid until one day a friend loaned me his copy of Turn Of A Friendly Card. Game People Play is sheer cheesy disco but it got me real good.

ABBA : "The Album"
Me thinks ABBA hit their best form with this album and it all went downhill from there.

Bee Gees : "Children Of The World"
Yes I know. Why not Saturday Night Fever or Spirits Having Flown.... they came close. But COTW is pure Bee Gees before they went big time disco. Nights On Broadway is classic.

Beatles : "Sergeant Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band"
Need I say more?

Black Sabbath : "Paranoid"
I picked this solely because of the title track. I am not really that big on Black Sabbath so if you have recommendations do drop me a comment.

Bob Seger : "Nine Tonight"
Ok, the problem with Bob Seger is he tends to have one or two good tracks on each of his albums so it is hard to pin down which album is better until I found this live album Nine Tonight. Everything is here. If you think the studio version of Hollywood Nights is hot, wait til you hear the live version.

Bruce Springsteen : "The River"
Liked it because of the title track. On a bad day, it makes one feel very suicidal.

Cold Chisel : "Twentieth Century"
A lot of people prefered Circus Animals. Me? I prefer Twentieth Century, despite it being more commercial. I think it is the last Cold Chisel album before they broke up.

Dan Fogelberg : "An Innocent Age"
In "Leader Of The Band", Dan Fogelberg has written the perfect tribute song to fathers, and is also a karaoke tear-jerker, if you can find the song in karaokes. I found it once only.

Deep Purple : "Live In Japan"
This the first album on western music I ever listened to when I was young, and for an innocent kid, this has a very marked effect on my psyche and possibly explains why I am very partial to heavy metal later. Other kids were humming Take Me Home Country Roads while I was screaming "Nobody's gonna take my car~~~"

Dire Straits : "Love Over Gold"
Do not tell me Brothers In Arms is better. Brothers In Arms appears better because it is so commercial! (Money For Nothing). To really appreciate Love Over Gold, listen to it over a high end hifi set (not a mini compo) and you will be able to see Mark Knophler's tongsils. It is that good.

Duran Duran : "Rio"
What's a heavy metal rock fan like me listening to Duran Duran? They are not that bad you know. They hit their peak with Rio. The rest is crap.

Eagles : "Hell Freezes Over"
I used to think the original version of Hotel California is a classic, the solo ending and all that, and I still do. But I prefer the unplugged version now, probably because I have listened to the original version 1,836,692 times....

E.L.O. : "Discovery"
Yes, you scream Commercial!!!! Of course Discovery is commercial. It came out riding the late 70s disco wave, mirror balls, strobe lights, dark blue underwear and all that. Ok, Out Of The Blue came close but missed out by a whisker.

Fleetwood Mac : "Rumours"
You want to know why Rumours is Fleetwood Mac's best album ever? Go buy one and listen. If you don't like it, I will give you your money back.

Iron Maiden : "The Number Of The Beast"
I am not that big on Iron Maiden. There are probably better IM albums than this.

Jackson Browne : "Running On Empty"
An album consisting of studio and live tracks. Running On Empty must be J. Browne best effort ever, but you need to listen to it a few time to let it grow on you. Best track : The Load Out/Stay.

Journey : "Frontiers"
You hate that Steve Perry wail. I loved it!

Kansas : "Vinyl Confessions"
Reviewers slammed Vinyl Confessions as crap. Me? probably, but where on Earth can one buy a Kansas album for one Autralian dollar? I did.

KISS : "Dynasty"
This came out around the time of ELO's Discovery so it also very disco. I don't really like glam rock, but I find Dynasty palatable.

Led Zeppelin : "The Song Remains The Same"
Yes, Zeppelin IV is better and all that. TSRTS is a live album. I am biased because of the visuals (I went and saw TSRTS the movie ).

Lionel Ritchie : "Can't Slow Down"
This is Lionel's best solo work, me thinks. Correct me if I am wrong.

Mark Knophler : "Local Hero"
Local Hero is a movie set in Scotland. Mark Knophler did a few instrumental tracks on it. The Wild Theme is unbelievable. Drive somewhere where there are green hills, preferbly with cattle or sheeps roaming. Put Wild theme on. It will blow your mind. It did for me in Fraser National Park, Australia.

Meat Loaf : "Bat Out Of Hell 2 - Back Into Hell"
I am partial to anything written by Jim Steinman. Enuff said.

Michael Jackson : "Thriller"
Come on, you really need me to comment on this?

Mike Oldfield : "Tubular Bells"
Do you know that it took a long long time before I realised that The Exorcist used Tubular Bells for the music in the movie?

Moody Blues : "Long Distance Voyager"
The only thing I knew about the Moody Blues before this album is Nights In White Satin. This is the only MB album I ever bought.

Neil Young : "Live Rust"
Neil Young. Some called him a one tone guitar man. Twang twang twang. But put him together with Crazy Horse and select track "Like A Hurricane", earthquake on a Richter scale of 8.0!

New Order : "Blue Monday 12" Extended EP"
Thump thump! Thump thump thump thump thump thump thump thump thump thump thump thump thump hey pass the Ecstacy marn thump thump thump thump thump thump....

Pet Shop Boys : "Discography"
If one wants to know what Pet Shop Boys is all about, Discography is it.

Pink Floyd : "The Final Cut"
Dark Side Of The Moon, The Wall, bla bla bla... they are better I know. But for me, The Final Cut is it. Don't know why. Maybe the time I bought this album I was in a very down state. It was circa 1986, my Dad has just passed away and what is better than listening to Roger Waters/David Gilmour wail about death death death?

Queen : "Live Killers"
Best live Queen album of them all.

Rainbow : "Long Live Rock & Roll"
Not much to comment on this one. I just like it.

Rush : "Hemispheres"
What? You don't know I dig progressive rock?

Steve Winwood : "Back In The High Life"
For 5 years I have always thought Steve Winwood is a Negro (from Arc Of A Diver) until I saw the cover of Back In The High Life.

Styx : "Pieces Of Eight"
Blue Collar Man, marn. Blue Collar Man! You like Cornerstone? Go stand in the corner!

Tangerine Dream : "White Eagle"
Another of my odd tastes

Toto : "Africa"
Will anyone write a song as memorable as Africa again?

U2 : "Live At Red Rock"
Curiously, I never liked anything by U2 after this album. This is the innocent U2, not the U2 trying to score Top-40 number ones.

Jon & Vangelis : "Friends Of Mr. Cairo"
Collaborations by Jon & Vengelis are darn good, and FOMC is the best of them. Try it.

The Who : Tommy
Pass the weed marn, pass the weed.

Okay, there you have it. I may have forgotten one or two artiste/group but the above are my favourite albums. You would have noticed that my taste in music is like rojak (mixed) and covers various genres but that's me. If there's something worth listening to, the genre is unimportant (did I tell you I also listen to Eminem?).

26 October 2006

The month in sports...

Formula One:
So Michael Schumacher (a.k.a. Shoe-Me) retired. Big deal. I do not care if he's 7 times F1 Champion and all that (of which the validity of at least of two of the Championships are debatable). For me he will never hold a candle near Ayrton Senna and Alain Prost. It is way Schumacher drove that made me decided long ago that he will not be a champion in the truest sense. His win at all costs mentality has tarnished his legacy : witness how he took out Damon Hill on purpose just to win the chamionship by one point. That is not a true champion. That's cheating. I could go on all night about his other deeds but I will save the Earth's oxygen for more productive use.

Major League Baseball World Series :
So the Boston Red Sox is not in it this year, but the St. Louis Cardinals are! Cardinals are leading the Detroit Tigers 2-1 in the 7 game final. Go Cardinals!

Aussie Rules Grand Final 2006:
The Sydney Swans lost to West Coast Eagles by a point (84-85)??? Aaaaaaargh! Not fair!

League Cup (Carling Cup):
Liverpool scrapped through to the fourth round by the skin of their teeth by beating Reading 4-3. This is not good. Reds are getting nowhere fast.

Malaysian soccer:
Malaysia is now ranked No. 153 by FIFA, down 5 places from the previous ranking of No. 148. Since the rock bottom ranking is No. 198, we will be there very soon, at the rate Malaysian soccer is going.

I wonder who won the Melbourne Cup?

23 October 2006

Anatomy Of A Flu.

2.00pm Friday 20-10-2006:
Drove family to Sandakan to attend wedding reception. Car air-cond on high. Sniffle.

Friday night :
Eat eat drink drink eat eat drink yammmmmmm sengggggg. Reached home, on air-cond. More sniffles.

Friday midnight :
Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhh Chooooo!!!!! Piaaaaaattt!

Sniffle sniffle sniffle. Ahhhh chooo! Drove back to Lahad Datu. Attended Deepavali open house. Host handed me two cans of Coke that came out from the freezer. Opened Coke. Glug glug glug. Coke went down throat like napalm. Ahhhhh choooo!!!! Sniffle sniffle piaaaaaaaaattt!

Sunday morning:
Woke up with a cold, runny nose, throat a bit sore. Went out shopping but the sun is hotter than a supernova. More sniffle more ahhh choos. More piaaaaattts!

Sunday night:
Attended another Deepavali open house. Whacked curry and chappati like it is going out of style, disregarding my poor sore throat which is crying for help. Went home, dig through fridge for old flu medicine. Popped some. Slept after watching MU beat the crap out of Liverpool.

This morning:
Woke up with a throat that felt like it has been rubbed raw with a disc grinder. Cough. Hack! Ptooi!

Later in the morning:
Doctor : Well, what will it be?
Me : Fever, runny nose, cough, sore throat and probably AIDs soon.
Doctor : Oh, the standard package. Go outside and wait for your medicine.
Me : Okay.

Afternoon :
Me: I am going home to sleep. This cold pill is making me sleepy.
Colleague : Yeah right. How convenient.
Me : (Cough saliva droplets into colleague's face)
Colleague: What's that for?
Me : I have just given you the gift that keeps on giving. Now get out of my sight.
Colleague : Mommy! There's goes my Hari Raya holidays. I have been infected with the flu!

Oi Rafa! Cut the rotation crap please?

Liverpool 0 - M*n U*d 2.

I have never seen a more miserable Liverpool away match. A match in which not one single Reds player used his brain to do some thinking. Even Gerrard looked mentally tired.

What the bark is going on here?

I know Reds has a perenial disease of performing badly on away matches but to watch the match last night is like watching paint dry : There's nothing to get excited about.

Is Rafa wrong at long last? Can he please stop rotating for 3 matches and see what happens? We Reds fans are becoming laughing stock at EPL parties for christ' sake!

It is not good enough to win only at Anfield. We ARE supposed to win at Anfield!

I thought this is the year Reds go for the title. Looks like I may be wrong, and you can kick my ass up the PLUS highway if they do win it.

42? But what's the original question???

Hitch Hikers Guide To The Galaxy : The Movie

Beamed on Astro ch 42 last night.

As some Kommies will remember, I am a hard core HHGTTG fan, and have suffered the terrible TV series made in UK in the '80s where they tried to follow the book word for word and ended up falling flat on their faces. The worse thing was Zaphod Beeblebrox' second head. Terrible!

The movie now is 1 hour 50 minutes long and it is no mean feat to squeeze the key scenes from all four HHGTTG books into a movie under two hours long.

This is the first time I have seen a robot designed so good that it projects the robot's personality so strongly : Marvin the paranoid android. Just one look at his face is enough to send me into a depressed mood.

The movie captured the essense and spirit of the book and anyone who has never read a HHGTTG book (but has a wacky sense of humour) will be able to follow the storyline and enjoy the movie.

They then should go and get all 5 books in the trilogy (yes, all 5, that's not a typo) and read them after watching the movie.

Douglas Adams, the author of HHGTTG, did not live to see the completion ofHHGTTG, but he will be extremely pleased that the director still managed to present Adams' vision and ideas correctly.

May his soul forever rest in peace.

17 October 2006

More Lists of Mine

4 Mark Knophler/Dire Straits albums I like:

Local Hero
Love Over Gold
Brothers In Arms

4 places I really would like to visit one day:

Highlands of Scotland

4 movie directors I admire:

Stanley Kubrick
Quentin Tarantino
Francis Copola
Steven Spielberg

4 comics strips I follow everyday:

On The Fast Track
Baby Blues
Non Sequitor

4 types of people I despise:

Queue jumpers
Religious nuts

4 things I wish I have done:

Got a degree in Computer Science instead of Chemistry
Went to that Singapore Airlines interview in 1981
Did not start smoking in 1981
Have more kids as beautiful as LW and microW

4 greatest moments in my life:

Getting an offer from RMIT despite flunking my VHSC
When I got married
When my kids arrive
When Liverpool won the Champions League in Istanbul 2005 (Hey, I even cried!)

4 phobias:

Horror movies
Forgetting to lock a door

4 brands I always rely on:


12 October 2006

Hello? Is it me you're looking for?

These are mobile phones I have used or owned since 1987. My, they sure don't make them like they used to anymore.

1. Mobira TalkMan :

An ancient NMT 450 mobile phone the size of a small car battery, and it was the state of the art in 1988. Great for street brawls too.

2. Ericsson HotLine :

Another ancient NMT 450 mobile phone the size of a small UPS. Cool design but cockroaches tend to like chewing the orange keys off.

3. Dancall Logic:
The NMT 450 mobile phone that looked like a normal desktop phone, and you probably could not tell the difference unless you asked: "What's that huge finned heat sink doing at the back???"

4. Benefon TDP-10 450i:
Finally an NMT 450 hand phone the size of a brick but was real cool in the early 90s. The antenna alone has been classified as a lethal weapon against eye balls. This phone has gone places with me: city, jungle, rivers, mountains etc. Only problem is that it gets real hot after a long call. Hmmm, I have always wondered about the right side of my head....

5. Benefon Dragon:
The NMT 450 phone the size of a Nokia handphone, and you need not hide it in public in a fit of inferiority complex. Costing RM 4,000.00, it is the most expensive handphone on the market then, even though it is still analogue so people around always wonder why you are screaming. As long as you can climb a tree, you will never be out of reach for a signal.

6. Ericsson GF768:
My first GSM cell phone. Commonly known as the "GRO (Guest Relations Officer a.k.a. hostesses in night clubs) phone" in Lahad Datu, because all of them seemed to own one. Very tiny. Nice colours too. Mine's green.

7. Motorola cd928:
My second GSM cell phone. Bought it the day I destroyed my GF768 while trying to changed its grey casing to yellow and my screwdriver accidentally pry loose a tiny chip on the circuit board.

8. Sony-Ericsson T100:My first Sony-Ericsson phone. For RM300, a lot of people was surprised such a small phone can be sooooo low in price.

9. Sony Ericsson T105:
My second SE phone after I gave the T100 to Little Wombat as a reward for good Primary 6 exam results.

10. Sony Ericsson Z600:
My first clam shell phone. Don't know why I bought it except that it seems to be a good idea at the time. Gave it to the missus later.

11. Sony-Ericsson T610:
My first colour screen phone. Best phone during its time. The speaker's sound quality alone kills every other phone in the cell phone shops.

12. Sony-Ericsson K700i:
My current personal phone. Need to junk it soon. Joystick and keypad getting sticky. This phone is my longest serving phone : almost 2 years.

13. Motorola V66:
This phone is responsible for maintaining my sanity when I was admitted to hospital during my 2002 heart crisis. Doc Liew should know very well.

14. Motorola V3:
I used it for 2 weeks then hog it off to my sister because.... (see below)

15. Motorola V3i :... I found this to be even better looking. My current company phone.

Other phones I have used.....

16. Nokia 8850:
Businessman phone. Good idea for a while but the B&W screen is crap. No longer using.

17. Nokia 8855:Also businessman phone but in titanium blue colour. Good idea for a while but the B&W screen is also crap. I bought this after I sold the V66. No longer using.

09 October 2006

England 0 - Macademia 0

Euro 2008 Qualifier England vs Macedonia on 7-10-2006.

I started this match thinking and even predicting England to win 3-1 and what do I get? A miserable 0-0 draw, not enough sleep and bags under my eyes. And why?

Vain Looney was trying too hard to prove that he is a great striker that he ended looking like a buffalo running all over the field. At one point he even got into Gerrard's way just as Gerrard was trying to shoot at goal but has to pull back or else the ball will smack right into Rooney's face.

The midfield is hopeless. Lampard and Carrick played like they are parking the bus, but then not surprising since one plays for a club famous for parking buses while the other is overpriced. Lampard as usual is shooting at anything but the goal while Carrick is giving a new meaning to the word "conservative". Only Downing and Gerrard were working their butts off.

The back 4? That Cashley Cole, to think that Chelski is so hard up to buy him? Next Mido will be saying that Cole is the next easiest defender to play against. Neville and King are ok though.

It is surprising to see England play like this. Good for first 10 minutes then everything went down hill from there.

And with Gerrard missing the Croatia match, I won't be keeping my hopes very high.

(On the other hand, my second favourite internatinal team, Scotland, did beat the French, so that perked me up a bit.)

Mid Autumn Festival

It was Mid Autumn Festival a.k.a. Mooncake Festival a.k.a. Lantern Festival on 6th October 2006.

Since my little family of 2 kids is only 50% chinese, I have to remember to practice these rituals during the major chinese festivals throughout the year so that they will not forget their roots when I go to that big burrow in the sky.

The major chinese festivals we celebrate are : Chinese New Year, "Chung" Festival, Mid Autumn Festival and Winter Soltice Festival.

So, after dinner on 6th October, we were supposed to bring microWombie (5 years old) to a friend's house so that he can play his lantern with kids his age there. Unfortunately the night was ruined by rain and haze so we had to stay at home.

Then the rain stopped so I thought I will let him play his lantern in the front yard, as it is already too late to go out. The problem is there's no chinese kid his age on our street so he has to play alone.

I lighted up his lantern and we hanged around the front yard for a while but I can see he is missing something. Worse, we cannot even see the moon since the sky is covered by haze. I tried my best to help him make the best of it by telling him the story why we celebrate Mid Autumn Festival.

15 minutes later he looked at me and said : "Daddy, I think we should go in now. I am bored."

I said : "Ok son. Whatever you say. But don't forget why we do this every year, ok?"

microW : "Ok Daddy"

Me : (Sigh).

03 October 2006

I am tagged? Moi?

Now I am tagged. By me main marn Rkaru. After SMSing him to clarify what the heck is tagging in blog terms, looks like I have to continue if I do not want to have warts growing all over my face. Ok, here goes :

4 things many don’t know about me:

I have a phobia for creepy crawlies and heights.
I used to have a compulsive disorder : I recheck stove gas knobs again and again.
I can bowl a decent score at bowling.
I used to fish with one pound fishing lines.

4 movies I could watch over and over:

An Officer And A Gentleman
2001 - A Space Odessey
Apocalypse Now
A Bridge Too Far

7 places where I’ve lived:

Melbourne, Australia
Tiong Bahru, Singapore
Bangsar, Malaysia
Tawau, Malaysia
Sandakan, Malaysia
Manila, Philippines
Davao, Philippines

4 TV shows I love:

CSI - Miami
Paper Chase

4 places I’ve been for vacation:

Davao, Philippines
Dalit Beach, KK

4 of my favourite food:

Ngau Lam Mee
Mee Rebus
Fish & Chips (I am still looking for the best tasting one)

4 of my favourite drink:

Pina Colada
Tenom Coffee
Pepsi (Hardcore Coke hater)

4 places I would rather be:

Anfield stadium
The place in Scotland where they filmed Local Hero

4 favourite cars:

Porsche 911 Carrera
BMW 635 CSi
Toyota AE86
Toyota Hilux (before it sold its soul to the devil)

4 of my favourite soccer teams:

Liverpool FC
Derby County FC

4 soccer teams I love to hate:

M*n U*d

4 favourite songs:

Leader Of The Band - Dan Fogelberg
39 - Queen
Love Gun - KISS
Wasted Youth/Everything Louder Than Everything Else - Meat Loaf

4 favourite groups:

Dire Straits
Pink Floyd
Allan Parsons Project

4 others I wanna tag:

Daniel Franklin Gomez
Paul Tan