Sunday, June 28, 2009

Violinist sets world record for speed playing

David Garrett, one of the rising stars of classical music (and crossover music) sets a new world record for fastest violin playing. The entire Flight of the Bumblebee in about 1 minute 6 seconds. Averaging about 13 notes per second.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Endless David Caruso one-liners

I've never really been a fan of CSI Miami, which I call the Horatio Caine Show. Everything just simple revolves around him, and the rest of the team, well, they just seem too irrelevant to have any effect on the show. The chemistry in LV and NY is just so much better with characters inter-playing off each other and everybody, even the lab techs, play such an important role.

But anyway, Horatio Caine is famous for his peculiar style of speaking, especially at pivotal moments, with his sunglasses. I'll let you watch for yourself :p

Friday, June 12, 2009

pleasant surprises

One of the things I missed about coming to Malaysia was the pleasant conversations I'd have while checking out at the grocery shops and supermarkets. Most Malaysians would find it strange, but honestly it was very pleasant to hold a nice conversation with the checkout cashiers, even if it was superficial and short. It just enhances the shopping experience somehow. Honestly, it does, and make grocery shopping just that little more enjoyable.

Now, I've come to not expect anything of the sort here in Malaysia, most cashiers at supermarkets just scan your items through and look as it they've been working non-stop for the past 273 hours without a break and their cat just died on them. Any questions or anything are generally met with total indifference (although there are some good exceptions, but this is generally the case).

Imagine my delight when today, when I was shopping at Cold Storage at Jaya One, the cashier was efficient, friendly and actually could hold a decent conversation. We talked about my usage of the shopping bag (therefore eliminating the need for a couple of plastic bags), freezer bags and maybe one or two other things while she was scanning my items. It was short (probably about a minute tops) and wasn't very meaningful, but it left me with a really good impression. I don't know her name, and I don't think she'll ever read this blog, but whoever you are, you did wonderfully. It brightened up my day just that little bit, but it was significant. Thank you!

P/S:- the name on the receipt says Raminah Makiran. You're a credit to your service. Thanks!

Monday, June 8, 2009

alright, best of's! (or at least recommendations)

I get requests for food recommendations quite often, as people usually regard me as some form of a foodie. However, I can honestly tell you, I'm not much of one, I don't travel far and wide to look for the best food or anything. The real definition of a foodie is embodied by my neighbor KY who's done a whole series of food reviews on his blog (and he even gets invited to food tasting at various places, how cool is that?)

But anyway I digress. For the benefit of those who would still ask me for recommendations of where to eat and all that, I give you... my favorites. They may not be the best, but usually a combination of good quality and decent price.

Bear in mind, these are all from the Klang Valley area of KL, Malaysia, so, sorry Vancouverites and folk from other areas of the world. I apologize for not being able to include your area in this list :p

Another caveat - I don't eat very expensively, so there isn't anything here that would really knock you back much more than RM100 per person. The only meal which I've had that really cost over that was the Prego Sunday Bubbly Brunch at Westin Hotel KL and that was only because we got vouchers for it.

Best of (and some honorable mentions)

Hamburgers : Carl's Jr. (those without any location mean any outlets) (P/S:- I'm dying to try out the reverse pork burger at Ribs @ Oasis. Will do so some day. Will post results here!)

Chicken sandwich : Wendy's spicy chicken and grilled chicken sandwiches

Pizza : Pizza Uno (Centerpoint)

Italian : California Pizza Kitchen (KLCC)

Fried Chicken : Bubba Gump Shrimp Co (the Curve) - if Popeye's (TTDI) is anywhere near as good as it is in the US, it deserves a mention here as well

Steak : Castell Steakhouse (PJ)

Pork Chop : Ribs @ Oasis (BU4)

Budget Japanese : Sushi Tei (Tropicana City Mall)

Premium Japanese : Kampachi (Equatorial Hotel KL)

Korean : Ka Wha Korean Barbecue (Bangsar)

HK food : Causeway Bay (Low Yat Plaza)

Seafood (local) : King Crab (Tmn Megah)

Seafood (Western) : Lobsterman (SS2), Bubba Gump Shrimp Co (the Curve)

Sandwiches : Subway!

Ice Cream : New Zealand's Natural

Satay : Hj. Samuri (Damansara Uptown)

Nasi Lemak : a good one is Sea Park mamak (beside the Maybank)

Pan Mee : Bao Bao pan mee (Aman Suria)

Chicken Rice : Kam Heong (SS14 Subang or Kota Damansara), Ipoh Chicken Rice (Midvalley)

Porridge : Pork Porridge (just outside the OUG market)

Dim Sum : Hong Kee (Damansara Jaya)

Alright, that's all I can think of now. Any suggestions, comments or snide remarks, (or violent protests) leave 'em in the comments section.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

the weekend is here

Finally managed to drag myself past the Friday work day and into the weekend. Waking up early every day is murder on someone who's very much a night person and all. And this week I have to wake up even earlier with my wife away for the week.

Teacher's Day has come and gone. I think the extent of Teacher's Day stuff that I got was one lollipop from one of the older students. I dunno, is it not a big thing here? I always thought it was. Not that it's really important, though. Honestly, sometimes the smiles and appreciation from some of the good students almost makes up for the fact that I'm not a morning person, and I'm not a kid person (I don't like dealing with little kids). Although the naughty ones are pretty nasty and make everything frustrating.

Which makes me wonder, why are some kids really naughty that way? You can order them to behave, but they do stupid things anyway.

A sample conversation from a typical day of mine

Me: Don't touch the instruments
(five minutes later, a student is banging on one of the keyboards)
Me: Don't touch that! Didn't I tell you not to touch any of the instruments?!
Student: Uhh, yeah
Me: Isn't the keyboard an instrument?
Student: Uhh, yeah
Me: Didn't I tell you not to touch it?
Student: Uhh, yeah
Me: SO, why did you touch it?
Student: Uhhh.....
Me: Why did you touch it?
Student: I don't know
(usually ends with me doing a facepalm on myself)

Uhhhh I'm sorry but I have no idea what goes on in the minds of these people. It's like instructions just go in one ear and go out the other.

But anyway, I digress. Just went to a good barbecue with friends, to celebrate Jasmine's birthday. Happy birthday, Jasmine! Good way to wind up the work week, and tomorrow I DON'T plan on waking up early. At all. No way. Nada.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

a twisted ending

a very touching video, featuring a deaf and mute girl who is determined to play the violin... and she does (although not the actress in the video, the violin playing is so fake)

and a very strange twist at the end. you'll have to watch it to believe it. it's a Pantene ad! what Pantene shampoo has to do with violin playing, I don't know.