31 October 2007

Together in electric dreams 12" remix

I was compiling my favorite 1980s MTV video collection by trawling You Tube and out popped this 12" remix (extended version) of "Together In Electric Dreams" by Giorgio Moroder & Phil Oakey.

I have heard the normal album version of the same song a zillion times over the years but not this remix version. When the intro started, my jaws literally dropped to the floor and I bowed deeply in appreciation of Giorgio Moroder's talent in doing synth music.

Best served with your speakers volume turned up to "Are you nuts???" level, especially the intro and that instrumental interlude just before the end.

28 October 2007

Say what?

I was in a traffic jam the other day behind a police van. When I looked at the stickers on the police van's rear windscreen, I almost laughed my head off after reading the message depicted by the Chinese characters in the top sticker.

The message in these three stickers are supposed to be saying "Don't bribe me" in three languages (Mandarin, Tamil and Malay), which is very normal for a police vehicle. The problem is, they did not realize that somehow the rear mirror has covered up the chinese character "Don't" so the message now reads as "Bribe Me".

I would like to think that this is an honest error when the stickers are pasted onto the windscreen, but somehow I have a feeling someone in an auto accessory shop is playing a very clever prank on the cops.

19 October 2007

Khe Sanh

Cold Chisel is my all time fave Australian rock group. When I started to like them in the mid 80s, they are on their way to breaking up and Jimmy Barnes started doing solo albums.

Among their great albums are "Breakfast At Sweethearts", "East" and "Circus Animals". One of their last albums "Twentieth Century" are said to be too commercial but I loved it to bits all the same.

However, the Cold Chisel single that I can never forget is "Khe Sanh", from their first self titled album "Cold Chisel" in 1978. If you have broadband connection, check out the Khe Sanh video at You Tube. See if you will agree with me that it is indeed a classic.

Khe Sanh will be 30 years old next year, but it still sounds like it was released yesterday.

Khe Sanh - Cold Chisel

I left my heart to the sappers round Khe Sanh
And I sold my soul with my cigarettes to the black market man
I've had the Vietnam cold turkey
From the ocean to the Silver City
And it's only other vets could understand

About the long forgotten dockside guarantees
How there were no V-day heroes in 1973
And how we sailed into Sydney Harbour
Saw an old friend but couldn't kiss her
She was lined, and I was home to the lucky land

And she was like so many more from that time on
Their lives were all so empty, until they found their chosen one
And their legs were often open
But their minds were always closed
And their hearts were held in fast suburban chains
And the legal pads were yellow, hours long, pay packet lean
And the telex writers clattered where the gunships once had been
And car parks make me jumpy
And I never stopped the dreams
Or the growing need for speed and Novocaine

So I worked across the country from end to end
Tried to find a place to settle down, where my mixed up life could mend
Held a job on an oil-rig
Flying choppers when I could
But the nightlife nearly drove me round the bend

And I've traveled round the world from year to year
And each one found me aimless, one more year the worst for wear
And I've been back to South East Asia
You know the answer sure ain't there
But I'm drifting north, to check things out again

Well the last plane out of Sydney's almost gone
Only seven flying hours, and I'll be landing in Hong Kong
And there ain't nothing like the kisses
From a jaded Chinese princess
I'm gonna hit some Hong Kong mattress all night long

Well the last plane out of Sydney's almost gone
You know the last plane out of Sydney's almost gone
And it's really got me worried
I'm goin' nowhere and I'm in a hurry
You know the last plane out of Sydney's almost gone

Well the last plane out of Sydney's almost gone (yeah, yeah)
You know the last plane out of Sydney's almost gone
And it's really got me worried
I'm goin' nowhere and I'm in a hurry
You know the last plane out of Sydney's almost gone

15 October 2007

You eat french fries with what???

French fries. We all know what they are. Many eat them dipped with tomato ketchup. Some with chili sauce. Some just eat them plain.

I never like the fries they serve in fast food restaurants, be it McD, KFC or Burger King etc. To me, a good french fry (for me) should be thick with a width of almost 10mm and length of 3 to 4 inches. It should not be too crispy.

The best french fry I ever had was the one sold at the Student Union House cafeteria at Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology in the 1980s. They are of the size mentioned above, a bit limp as if they are not fried enough but they are indeed cooked properly. The photo above is just an indication how it looked like. I never did manage to take a photo of the real thing.

The best thing to go with these fries? Not many people know this, especially Malaysians, but it is Vinegar! Just spray some vinegar onto your fries but not too much until it becomes soggy. Taste better than tomato ketchup.

13 October 2007

My comfort foods

We all have our comfort foods that somehow give us immense pleasure when eaten, especially when we are not having a good day. Here are mine:

1) Thosai :

Thosai is a crepe made from lentils and rice blended with water and left to ferment overnight. Normally served with curry, chutney and other condiments. I learnt to like thosai after I got tired of the common roti canai (an Indian flat bread), but it is impossible to find thosai in Lahad Datu today. There used to be a place selling it but no longer.

2) Har Gow:

Har gow are a type of dim sum that are made up of prawns, seasonings plus some other veges such a bamboo shoots and wrapped in a gluton-free wheat flour based wrapper and steamed in a small bamboo basket. The perfect har gow's wrapper will not break up when picked up with chopsticks, and the filing should be slightly chewy but not mushy. I am still on my quest to find the perfect har gow. Not many have even came close.

3) Fish and Chips :

Fish and chips needs no introduction right? You know what's the problem with the fish and chips served in Malaysia? The accompanying sauce. It should be a tartare sauce, not some white stuff made mostly from mayo. Restaurants here in Sabah almost always serve a mayo based sauce and when I ask for tartare sauce, the waiter sort of have that glazed look in his eyes... and those fish & chips serve up by the Greek chips shop in Melbourne Australia? Terrible!

4) Cream of Mushroom Soup :

I have always liked cream of mushroom soup. Best one I have ever had was in this little restaurant at Kinabalu Pine Resort. The mushrooms they used are the fresh ones grown just across the road on the slopes of Mount Kinabalu. Heaven.

5) Dried Pork:

Dried pork or Bakkwa are thin sheets of meat made of barbecued pork, salt, sugar, seasonings. Very similar to beef jerky but not as tough. A very highly addictive snack. I once finished a kilo of this in one night and my cholesterol level was shot to hell.

6) Fried Scallops & Chips :

The Greek chips shop in Melbourne serve one helluva fried scallops & chips. The scallops are almost the size of hockey pucks and are juicy and tender. Scallops in Sabah? Size of poker 20 sens coins.

7) Char Siew Pow :

Char Siew Pow is a white steam bun filled with mince pork with various spices and seasonings. Best when they just came off the steamer. About the size of a small apple, one can polish of 10 of these if one is really hungry.

8) Four & Twenty Chicken Pie :
I had zillions of this during my five years in Melbourne. A lot of people prefer the normal 4&20 meat pie but not me. The meat pie is too salty, while the chicken pie is just right, and great for cold winter nights. Can't get them in Malaysia at all.

9) KFC Coleslaw :

I love the simple coleslaw they have at KFC. I nicked this photo from KFC USA menu. The Malaysian version does not have the green stuff.

10) Curry Mee :

Noodles with a curry gravy, served with chicken meat, prawns, fried bean curd, and other yummy stuff. People like their curry mee with sambal, but for me, a dash of lime juice is good enough. Still has not found my perfect curry mee though.

11) Beef noodles :

Noodles in beef and soup. The trick is in the beef. Get the right meat texture and everything falls into place.

12) McDonald's Filet O'Fish :
My ultimate comfort food? The Filet O'Fish! I first had it in 1980 when the first McD opened in Singapore. I once polished off five of this over one night.

The best thing thing about it is consistency. I had Filet O'Fish in Kota Kinabalu, Kuching, Kuala Lumpur, Penang, Genting Highlands (all in Malaysia). I had it overseas in the Philippines, Australia, Thailand and China. They will be the same in terms of taste and ingredient quality.

11 October 2007

The itch! The itch!

Great. Just great. A long festive weekend holiday coming up and what did I get?

Chicken pox! Must have been infected by my son who had his about 3 weeks ago, so now it is my turn.

Today is the third day, and my chest, back, head and face are full of red spots. Worse, it itches like hell.

Why I never get this when I was a kid I will never understand. They say that for adults in their 40s to get chicken pox, it can be hell.

Hope it clears up soon, but was told it takes about 2 weeks.

I may not get my long weekend, but at least I got a 2 week medical leave.

04 October 2007

Rafael Benetez, please spare me the agony!

UEFA Champions League Group stage. Liverpool vs Marseilles at Fortress Anfield. A sixty million pounds Liverpool strike force. Best midfielder Gerrard in the business. Almost the best defensive back four in England. Nothing can possibly go wrong, right?

Liverpool 0 - Marseilles 1.

What the heck is wrong with my team??????

We started the English Premier League season this season with a bang. Liverpool bought one of the most coveted strikers on planet Earth (Fernando Torres). Won the first few matches on a trot and even demolished hapless Derby County 6-1. I said this is going to be the year. This is going to be the year Liverpool may just win the EPL title after 19 years.

Then the freight train start to sputter. Three drawn matches in a row, with teams we should have kicked right out of the stadium. The manager is back to his tinkering ways of rotating players. Even then I forgive him, for I want to believe he knows what he is doing.

To lose 0-1 to a French team that's currently ranked 17th in France is sheer madness. And we even had home ground advantage. Anfield fans are our twelfth player.

This practice of rotating players just isn't going to work. Players need to play on the same team for long stretches in order to develop good understanding with each other, and thus win matches. Rafa's excuse of rotating players because he is worried his star players will get injured by playing too many matches just doesn't cut it. Hell, when Liverpool last won the Champions League in 2005, they had a lousy season with key players injured most of the time. Rafa is being over protective.

I really hope with this defeat, Rafa will wake up and stop the rotation crap and play his best first-eleven most of the time. I still have hopes for the mighty Reds, but not by much if things are going to go on like this.