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Showing posts from November, 2012

Really Cool Songs

Really cool songs are usually not big commercial successes or chart toppers. There has to be something with the melody and/or lyrics that makes it special.

First on my list has to be Lou Reed, his drug laced, brash lyrics and mind numbing bass line and melody make this in a class of its own.

Just to prove that punk bands also can come up with gems, The Stranglers shine here.

How to be sexy, breathy and lyrics that are suggestive but goes nowhere with soaring vocals. Chris Isaak at his best. 

Listen first and see how compact and loud this band is, and there are only 3 of them The highly under rated Rush from Canada with their biggest hit.

The brilliant, enigmatic, in your face performer Annie Lennox ... in all her glory and talent, powerful lyrics to boot.

For all of Pink Floyd's brilliance, this song somehow stays with us for the longest time. Its the title I guess. So cool.

If The Beatles never existed, we'd be talking about The Beach Boys. Not many of us appreciate the musical geni…

Singapore Water Industry, Thanks To You Know Who

Saturday, 10 November 2012 06:34 S'pore - thanks to Malaysia's Dr M, our water industry is now worth $ 9 BILLION!Written by  mevotex Fresh water has always been a precious resource to Singapore. Being a tiny island with high urban population constrained by its land size, modern Singapore never have enough water of its own to support its population, but this is about to change.... In 1927, Singapore signed a water agreement with Johor to construct a pipeline transporting raw water from Johor to Singapore. During the Battle of Singapore in 1942, the pipeline was destroyed, which left Singapore with water reserves that could last at most two weeks. According to Lee Kuan Yew, this was one of his motives to envision water self-sufficiency for Singapore later when he became the city-state's Prime Minister. Immediately after the British awarded self-governance in 1959, the Singaporean government under Lee signed 2 water agreements with Malaya in 1961 and 1962. Under these agreements,…

Greece Issue Headed For A Solution In 6 Days

Greece's international lenders failed for the second week running to agree how to get the country's debt down to a sustainable level and will have a third go at resolving their most intractable problem in six days' time. After nearly 12 hours of talks through the night during which myriad options were discussed, eurozone finance ministers, the International Monetary Fund and the European Central Bank failed to reach a consensus, without which emergency aid cannot be disbursed to Athens.

However the markets should be taking the following comments more closely:

"We are close to an agreement but technical verifications have to be undertaken, financial calculations have to be made and it's really for technical reasons that at this hour of the day it was not possible to do it in a proper way and so we are interrupting the meeting and reconvening next Monday," Eurogroup chairman Jean-Claude Juncker told reporters.

"There are no major political disagreements,&q…

Songs That I Keep Going Back To

There are certain songs that you keep going back to, maybe they are not so popular now, heck, some were not even that popular then ... but these songs meant a lot to me. I never tire of hearing them, trouble is finding them, locating or even trying to download them properly in the first place.

There are songs that define a generation, I guess these songs defines me. These may be just pop songs with simple melodies and lyrics but they stayed with me.

The first one was an obscure hit back in the late 80s by one funnily named group called 1927. Every time I hear it, goosebumps, the soaring chorus and even cheesy lyrics but somehow it works ...

You Belong To Me was a major hit in the early 60s or late 50s I believe, the melody was very good but the way they sung it was too "big band Buble style". I always knew it needed to be toned down to a folk song for the lyrics and melody to shine through more. Kate Busby's rendition was spot on. Always mesmerising and reflective.

There was…

Taxis In Malaysia, Emblematic Of our Woes

The moment I got back, was greeted by a vicious queue for taxis, bought the stupid ticket for RM80 and had to throw away because the queue was nearly an hour's wait ... they said it was due to renovation being done to some parts of the road/building. B.S. The whole system is controlled. If you have a system, make sure it works, you do not want the first impression to be bad for tourists arriving in KL.

Had to dash for the KLIA Express instead, but its the first time it was full, can you believe it. Some had to stand. Something is not right. Even if you have a controlled airport taxi system, you should be flexible in that when there are not sufficient airport taxis, there should be a marshal or two to guide other normal taxis to take passengers away from the airport. I am sure you can take a higher percentage of the fare from these taxis, and they'd still be willing to ferry passengers instead of going off empty.

It is so stupid.

How much money we spend on advertising for tourism …

Diabetes Awareness Day

Sydney Day 4

Going further down, you get a wonderful bakery, a snazzy Northern Indian restaurant etc... its all fun stuff walking and and down the street on the beach.
Staying near the beach is very cool, you get to enjoy the life as beach bums. Wake up late or early, stumble down to the beach area for breakfast and read the papers, watch the pretty people go past. Whether its Coogee, Bronte, Bondi or Manly beaches, its the same drift. The shops are all a lot of fun and presents great variety.

Its only about 100 meters but its exciting kind of shops. Here you have a bottler (liquor retail store), a surf shop and SushiGOI, a popular sushi place much like Sakae Sushi.

Next to it you have a cafe, and another cafe and then the very fresh Coogee Fish shop, great fish and chips. I kinda counted that there were no less than 16 cafes in that 100 meters.

My morning comfort food in Sydney, bacon and crispy bacon roll.

Well, its not ever going to be a touristy type of travel blog since I have been here for a long…

Sydney Day 3

Its the third day, taking things slow now. Woke up late, decided to drive to Hawkesbury Turf Club which was having its race day today. Its about 65km away and a nice leisurely drive through the suburbs. 

In Malaysia there are just 3 turf clubs. Two in HK. In the state of NSW alone, there are 4 city tracks (bigger races, Canterbury, Rosehill, Randwick and Warwick Farm) and 4 provincial tracks (Illawara, Hawkesbury, Newcastle, Gosford). They really love their racing in Australia. Now multiply that with the other states, thats why you have horse racing everyday, plus greyhounds and harness (trotting).

Its very nice to drive to a provincial track, the people are very laid back, everyone comes dressed casual, drink lots of beer and wine and families wander around the track having picnics. Plus you get to see real horses racing and you can have a bet as well. You get to see more country folks at provincial tracks and its kinda nice.

Prior to that, headed to Marrickville (about 25 minutes from …

Sydney Day 2

Gee, this travel blogging is not exactly a lot of fun. Had to send photos from my I-phone (which does not take sufficiently good photos like the new Samsung phone) to my email before I could post about it. The first photo is the beautiful QVB, wonderfully restored by Ipoh Gardens, a fact not known by many people.

The 3 levels huge Apple store on George Street, eternally packed. No, I did not buy the new mini I-pad. Tempted though.

Anyway, tried to do all my shopping needs in one afternoon. 

Another mega store, Louis Vuitton, thankfully, no need to buy anything there for anybody (gulp).

The ravishingly beautiful and large Zara store.

So what did I buy? Stuff I couldn't get back home. Bought tons of stuff from Dymocks Bookstore.

 This one even our wonderful piracy industry did not put it in their list. Its probably the funniest series made in recent times. So glad to snare these two DVDs.

Yes, I have a strong penchant for horse racing and horse racing personalities and stories. More wonder…

Sydney Day 1 (Morning/Noon)

Great smooth flight, nary a hitch, the winds were behind us all the way we made the trip in 6 hr 50 min instead of 8 hr, amazing. Taxi cab flag fall was at A$3.80 (RM12.50) and the 12km trip to Kings Cross cost A$52 (RM165). Nice...

Now time to pick up my car rental. If you plan to drive, you should anyway, its brilliant and you cannot get a better deal than Bayswater Car Rental, the one with the "No Birds" tagline. Don't ask why they have that tagline. All in it only cost A$33 odd per day inclusive of insurance.

The guy at the front desk was from Thailand, we chatted about Thai politics, and then gave me a really good deal. The car I have had JUST 12km on it, ...  it came in yesterday. Now I know what its like to be a high ranking UMNO-putra seeking out corporate deals from Ministry of Finance and EPU.

Landed a bit too early to check in the hotel, so grabbed a hot ham and cheese croissant from Infinity Bakery @ Darlinghurst, plus a flat white and headed for Centennial Park…

Sydney Confidential

I will be making a quick trip to Sydney, flying off tonight. It was kinda last minute as I had not planned to do so. However, my closest auntie just had a minor operation so I thought it was best to make the trip with the stretch of holidays this coming week. 

I used to go to Sydney every year but haven't been doing so as my last trip was some 3 years ago. The majority of my relatives are in Sydney and most do come back to visit anyway. 

Another reason to get away was that I can sense too many things happening around me all at once, most of them good stuff. Its good to get away and stand back and refresh, to look at things anew. Things couldn't be better at Murasaki ts, while its hectic, and while waiting for the office to be fully renovated, its my last chance to get away for sometime as I will be pouring myself back into the mix later on.

I thought I will try to do a travel blog for the next 7 days for this trip, see whether I can cut it as a travel blogger for a change. I kind…

Why Obama Matters

Spent nearly the whole day following the US elections, why you might ask. If we were to have a global elections between Obama and Romney, I bet you it would be a landslide favouring Obama. The USA represents democracy for the rest of the world. Most citizens of other countries would watch and hope that the election and political processes in their own country may one day somehow live up to the US standard.

Obama is more than just the leader of the free world. He represents more than that. He made the world less racial. He represents the blurring of how people are treated badly because of the colour of their skin or where they are from. Although far from supporting GLT rights outright, the Democrats is the better of the two. It is a more enveloping and compassionate platform.It embraces.

On the fiscal and economic issues, Obama has done decently after taking over the legacy of issues from the Bush administration. Many things have been done but the real recovery will be slow. You cannot p…

Street Vendors / Local Farmers

This may be a small thing but we should really make it a concious effort on our part. Always try to buy from street vendors and local farmers plying their trade in a stand alone kerb stall. Their margins are low, they are trying to cut out the middleman, they are trying to cut out the wholesalers and distributors. They are trying to mitigate the effects of big bulk discount supermarkets. Of course I am not talking about those Petaling Street stalls that sell fake goods with 500% mark ups and they expect to be bargained down more than 50% anyways.

When you see genuine street vendors "making their own stuff", cooking their own food for sale, or local farmers plying their produce, .... try and buy from them, and try not to bargain. The same ringgit usually means more to someone than to us. Be thankful that we may have a job, a network or an education and work experience that allow us to make money much easier than a lot of other people. Being thankful is one thing, trying to be …