Another Barbeque

28 06 2009

As planned we had another BBQ yesterday. With some mutton and a bag of french fries left over from last weekend,  some fresh chicken and sausages Woon Hwan and I managed to deliver another successful mini BBQ. Even when Tzy Wen confirmed that Tzy Shih would be joining us as a last minute guest, we managed to pull through with enough food for everyone. Most of the credit must go to Woon Hwan this time around. By the time we were ready to start the fire I was so hungry that I complained of it, which is unusual. Then I realised that I had only eaten 2 pieces of pastry since having my lunch on Friday! Thankfully Mark had started to cook the french fries while we were waiting for the charcoal to light. I raided the first batch of fries before the could be brought out the BBQ. Sorry guys!

BBQSince it was planned as a mini BBQ, we sort of underestimated the amount of charcoal we would need to cook everything. The first to hit the flames were the chicken and sausages. They cooked in almost no time at all. But then when it was time to cook the Pièce de résistance . . . .

BBQ1

the charcoal fire died!

It took Shih, Tzy Wen and I a good 20 minutes to restart the BBQ using  whatever little charcoal and our cock brand fire starter (honestly, the brand is called Cock!) we had leftover.

cock brand

In the end the fire was just big enough to cook all of the mutton and sausages so  everyone could have their fill. The only disappointment was the Japanese sweet potatoes that Tan bought at a nearby supermarket.

Everyone chipped in . . . . wait a minute . . . what did Alvin do for the BBQ? Oh, I remember, he DID clean the sweet potatoes and wrap them in aluminum foil. Bravo Alvin.

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Michael Jackson 1958 -2009

26 06 2009

mojo-photo-thriller

What shocking news these days. Michael Jackson, the King of Pop has died in a hospital in Los  Angeles of a suspected cardiac arrest. Michael Jackson was born Michael Joseph Jackson on August 29, 1958 and passed away yesterday June 25, 2009 at the age of  50.

The man was an icon in my late school going years. When the album Thriller (above) was released in 1982, I was in form 3. Although he has release numerous others, I will probably remember Jackson for this album alone. All the parties I went to (not many in those days) were playing songs from this album. Within a year of it’s release this album became and still remains the top selling album of all time!

The man himself became an enigma not long after. His life took very strange and morbid turns and I lost interest in his career. The world will remember him for his music and his dance steps. He took dance choreography to new heights. He practically invented and perfected the “moonwalk”.

All of today over the radio and television networks, the world was awash with news of his death. Radio stations were playing his music almost nonstop, just like they were back in the early 80’s!

His later life was filled with controversial stories and accusations,  sexual scandals to rumours of horrible physical deformity due to excessive plastic surgeries. He spent the last few years of his life in a middle eastern country returning to the United states only recently to prepare for a 50 concert tour which now will never happen. It was also rumoured that he had embraced the religion of Islam (as did his brother Jermaine) and took on the name Mikaeel Jibril.  I suspect the fame he sought for. . . . .  and received did not bring him happiness. Rest in Peace Michael, for I guess you never did in this life. Here now is the Title Track to the the best selling album of all time.





Weekend BBQ

21 06 2009

A few slabs of mutton, 2 dozen chicken wings, french fries and Japanese sweet potatoes, add some friends, mix in a few drinks and what have you got? A great BBQ with lots of laughs. That’s what happened at my place last night and it was lots of fun. I did not manage to take many pictures with my camera as I was busy entertaining, after all I was the host. At the end of the day I found some pictures on my camera taken by some of my guests last night.

BBQ_2

PreparatonWoon Hwan helped me with the shopping and  preparation. His recipe of barbeque sauce, garlic, onions, oyster sauce and brown sugar for the marinade was a huge success. But I’m afraid that pose is not Hahahaha! Trust me he was completely sober when he forced someone to take that picture.

BBQThe fire was lit on a portable barbeque pit which had seen better days. We had build the “pit” around it using some clay bricks and wire mesh.  The house which I am staying in has a great layout where the living room and garden is at the back. I fondly call it the front of the house. Anybody driving past the house will not be able to see this part of the house. Almost absolute privacy.  Here you see some of my friends sitting around the small garden waiting for the meat to cook.

After the  food and a few drinks and a short card game, I had some satisfied guests as evidenced by the following pictures.

BBQ_3

BBQ_4BBQ_1

DSC_5327 (Medium)Because of the fact that one of my invited guest did not show up, we had some food left over. It should be enough for a mini cook out next weekend! Maybe then I shall be able to take more pictures.





How do they do it?

12 06 2009

While walking past a restaurant this evening I was stopped dead in my tracks by this sign that said . . .

Castrated chicken

Now I do not speak nor read Chinese but I am sure curious to know what the sign goes on to say. Now HOW do they do that to a chicken? And for god’s sake WHY? Does it make the meat taste any better?

And How do I verify that I got what I ordered?

Customer (to waiter): Are you sure this chicken was castrated?

Waiter: Errr I don’t know sir, we just trust the cook.

Customer: Well, I want to have a look for myself, ask the cook to show me that errrr part.

Waiter: Errr sir…. you want to see the chicken’s “that part” for yourself?

Customer: yes you heard me and bring the cook along too.





David Carradine dead at 72

5 06 2009

David-Carradine--C10110920

David Carradine was found dead. The star of the TV series “Kung Fu” was 72 when he took his own life in his Bangkok hotel room. I had followed this TV series when I was a young boy ( I guess back then there weren’t many TV series to watch anyway).  I will update this article soon. Right now it is bed time.





Forest Research Institute Malaysia

4 06 2009

Note: This post was kept in draft form since October 2008 and only edited and published today.

After attending a black and white art photography exhibition recently, my friends and I decided to try our hand at a bit of Black and White film photography for ourselves. We had bought some Black and White rolls of film a few months back but had never gotten around to using them. So we had decided to meet up early Sunday morning and head out to the Forest Research Institiut of Malaysia which is situated in the district of Kepong. That night I opened the container in which I had kept my own Nikon FE and an FM2 belonging to my brother in law. I found that the batteries had long died. After changing the batteries I loaded the first roll of film in at least 5 years. All the memories of my solo photography trips came back in a flash. TTL at that! hahaha! (Pun intended) Ok , enough bad photography jokes.

We arrived at around 9 a.m with our camera equipment. Each of us had our own digital SLR cameras, while Guna and I had brought our film SLR cameras loaded with black and white film. 5 cameras and about 10 lenses in all! Not light by a long shot. I have been here before so I decided on the route. Before long we were climbing up the Rover Track towards the highest point in the park. Not 10 minutes into the walk, Guna’s film camera’s film advance lever encountered problems and disconnected itself from the “take up” spool. With his film camera out of action, Guna concentrated on his digital shots. Here they are photographed at the beginning of the trail. It’s been quite a while since I took this picture but it does look as if Guna brought along 3 cameras.

A walk in FRIM_9

Beadon tried a few shots with the FM2 and admitted that he kept glancing at the film back after every shot looking for an LCD screen! Hahaha! Suffer dude. That was how most of us did it pre digital. To quote him, “The hardest thing about film is that you have to wait until it’s processed before you can see if you s@#%*ed up”. Actually, he did quite well when I lent him the FM2 to finish off the roll of film.

A walk in FRIMThis picture of the canopy of trees did not come off well at all. It was already 9 a.m in the morning and I think the sun was too high up by this time.  At the end of the Rover’s Trail I came upon a large crop of Hibuscus trees which were flowering. Yup it’s the Bunga Raya and i have not seen one in a long time here in Petaling Jaya.a walk in FRIM_4

a walk in FRIM_6

A walk in FRIM_2

Then we came by an abandoned house. There are many old but interesting looking houses that house the staff that work here in FRIM. This house seemed to have been abandoned for quite long time. It’s architectural style is something you do not see anymore in modern houses. It has a central courtyard which seperates the living area and the kitchen and toilets. I guess the idea is to keep the “dry” and “wet” areas of the house seperate. I was not very happy with the pictures I took on that day. Not many would look good in bkack and white.

This tree had a an interesting coloured moss growing on it. It was like someone had sprinkled tumeric powder (it’s what the malay’s call kunyit)  on it’s bark. But I thought picture itself was not a good candidate for black and white conversion.

a walk in FRIM_3

Here is tree root that was exposed by soil erosion. I thought it would look good in black and white but after some photoshop and grayscale conversion it did not look so good. A better candidate than the tree bark but not what you call a great black and white picture. What do you think? Does it look better in colour or b & w?

a walk in FRIM_5

root

Finally after sifting through my pictures I found a great picture which I thought would look even better in black and white. This is it after conversion and applying some vignetting. Anyone care to comment. I have loaded a rather larger picture file than I normally do if anyone wishes to download it.

a walk in FRIM_10

I have not been back to FRIM since that visit back in  September last year. Who is up for a walk this Sunday?





True Fitness, Truly Brainless

1 06 2009

Today after work I decided to ride my bicycle around Subang Jaya and USJ. No particular route was planned but I ended up outside a local gym called True Fitness. Since I was on a drive to get myself fit again, I thought I would go inside and ask them about their membership plan.

Switch on your speakers and you can hear loud, very loud music coming from the gym. Actually it was coming from the reception area of the gym. It was so very loud that I could not have a conversation with the receptionists even when I raised my voice. What you can hear from the video was music recorded while I was a good 20 feet from and outside it’s entrance. Needless to say I walked away from the loud music and the stupidity of it all. It might call itself True Fitness but the people running it are Truly Brainless! Why would you put a disc jockey at the entrance of your establishment and blast your potential customers with loud music. So loud that he cannot even hear himself speak. I think I have been to discotheques  which were quiter!

A few minutes cycling brought me to the Subang Jaya Municipal Council Stadium. There were quite a few people making use of the field and the running track. There I found my housemate. He too was on a fitness drive . . . . of some sort . . . . I think . . . . well you decide . . . .

That . . . . was his version of running.  Usain bolt he’s not . . . maybe more of an Insane Blot. Hahahaha! Wait a minute . . . . isn’t there a load limit for the high specification track? Now we know who actually caused the damage to these tracks. Well, at least Arnaiz knows HIS True Fitness because he surely wasn’t pushing himself . . . . or anyone else. hahahaha! Ok, Ok I had better stop here before I get  (as he would put it) a “Severe Beating”.