Saturday, March 25, 2006

How to save Google/Youtube videos

Ever wanted to save a Google/Youtube video for keepsakes? Here's how (same concept may work for streaming music as well):
  1. Play the video in Google/Youtube and wait till it is loaded all the way.
  2. Go to your Temporary Internet Files folder (in IE, go to Tools>Internet Options>Settings>View Files).
  3. Sort the files in order of size. The video will be one of the larger files and you will probably see Google or Youtube under Internet Address.
  4. Copy the file and save it in a desired folder. Rename it *.flv if necessary.
  5. Play the file using FLV player.
  6. Sit back and enjoy.

Xin-Hui draws a dream

This one is about a dream she had. Mommy, Daddy and Jia-Hui are on the right, and she and that boy are on the left. We are on a beach with the sea in the foreground, and our home in the background with three doors (the middle one is a secret door)...

La mer, qu'on voit danser le long des golfes clairs
A des reflets d'argent, la mer
Des reflets changeants sous la pluie...

(Confused? Look a few posts down.)

Monday, March 20, 2006

My little girl is growing up

Xin-Hui has been drawing pictures of herself and a boy at school. Daddy thinks she likes him. Why? Because the pictures are invariably of the two of them together - eating, at home, or getting married. Yup, getting married. So cute. She's a little shy about it, and says that she doesn't know whether he wants to marry her. If he doesn't then she says she'll stay with Mommy and Daddy. : ) And she's just five.

The wonderful mind of a child.
Meanwhile here's a latest of Jia-Hui.

You talking about me?

Sunday, March 19, 2006

This one sound yummy...

Taste of Paradise
A new restaurant in Chinatown offers heaven on a plate - at a price
By Wong Ah Yoke
The Sunday Times, 19 March 2006

YOU may remember me writing about a seafood eatery in a Defu Lane industrial canteen last year. Called Seafood Paradise, it was opened by a young man named Eldwin Chua more than four years ago.

Despite being tucked in an industrial estate, it drew crowds each night to its creative offerings such as baby back ribs in honey-pepper sauce.

Last month, Chua, now a slightly more mature 29-year-old, opened his second restaurant.

The new eatery - called Taste Paradise - is a posh 130-seater in the heart of Chinatown. What is most impressive is that, despite having experience only in running a zi char-style set-up, Chua's concept for an upmarket restaurant is spot-on.

Taking up two shophouse units in Mosque Street, it is tastefully designed with dark wood and glass set off by soothing indirect lighting. The look is contemporary, creating a comfortable ambience that is aided by jazzy Chinese music.

Managing the restaurant is another young man, 30-year-old Melvin Fan, formerly from Pine Court in Meritus Mandarin Hotel, who sets himself the task of training a team of waitresses worthy of a five-star establishment. And in just over a month, he has done a decent job. There is even a valet to park your car for you.
The baked lamb rack is so tender,
it's like butter when you slice through it.
The menu of original modern Chinese dishes is created by Hong Kong-born chef Fung Chi Keung. He is also a Pine Court alumnus.

At least half the dishes in Taste Paradise look so intriguing on the menu that I couldn't wait to try them. And those do not disappoint either.

I started my meal with fried carrot cake in XO sauce ($8) that was, without doubt, the best I have eaten in Singapore.

The cubes of carrot cake in this version were fragrant with the oil from Chinese sausages and tingly with the chilli in the sauce.

One would have thought that it would be a tough act to follow, but every dish that came out afterwards was just as laudable.

Whether it was a baked cod fillet ($10 per person) or a double-boiled superior shark's fin with conpoy in Japanese stone pot ($48 per person), there was a twist that made each dish unique.

The cod was topped with two types of preserved fish eggs to give the meat added texture and flavour. And the shark's fin was served with rolled-up popiah skin that was stuffed with chopped onion and deep-fried.

The restaurant's baked lamb rack in red wine sauce ($12 per person) was worth investigating too. The meat was tender enough for one's knife to slice through it like butter.
For a twist, try the double-boiled shark's fin
served with a rolled-up deep fried-popiah.
And you could do worse than to finish your meal with the braised vermicelli topped with simmered crabmeat ($16). Covered with sweet slivers of fresh crabmeat, the rice noodles soaked up the tasty gravy so well that the dish was perfect.

The prices are a bit high for Chinatown standards. But with food so good, can one complain?

TASTE PARADISE
48-49 Mosque Street, Tel: 6226-2958
Opening hours: Noon to
2.30pm, 5.30 to 10.30pm
Food: *****
Service: ****
Ambience: ****
Price: Budget for about $50 per person, more if you order shark's fin or live fish

Saturday, March 18, 2006

The truth is out there

911 Loose Change, 1st Edition:



911 Loose Change, 2nd Edition:



911 In Plane Site:



Facts, theories, counterintelligence. What do you believe?

Heads up from mrbrown

Sunday, March 12, 2006

Pick me, pick me!

Starhub is coming up with their version of the TiVo, dubbed Smart TV. The device basically integrates a dual-tuner set-top box with a HDD/DVD recorder and a cable modem. Features are pretty much what you would expect, including easy show-based recording, recording one channel while watching another, time-slip recording, etc.

Currently Starhub is conducting a survey to pick people to be on their launch trial. Pick me, pick me! Quite simply, I will never be a cable TV subscriber without the new box, because I can only watch TV during weekends, and can never be bothered with conventional recording. Then again, even if I don't get to be on the trial, I'll probably still get the box when it is lauched next quarter anyway...

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Baby hands and feet

I'm using my old Olympus digicam, which seems to do a better job of macro focusing than the newfangled models. Jia-Hui has stubbier hands and feet than Xin-Hui did when she was small. Mommy thinks she'll end up being stubbier overall when she grows up... hmmm.

Oh well, she still is so cute though!

Hand...

and foot!

Cult YTF

Yong Tau Foo, that is. With a killer sweet and chilli sauce combo, crispy meatballs and succulent braised shitake mushroom. On the 6th floor of Lucky Plaza. Pricing is not for the thrifty.

Yummy.

Sunday, March 05, 2006

BKK photo update

Last time I'd been to Bangkok was more than 10 years ago! First thing that hit me was that traffic was actually quite good! OK, except for the gridlocked Ploenchit/Sukhumvit area. Apparently the school holidays had something to do with it, but I get the feeling that execution of urban highways and mass transit has been stronger in BKK than say, in KL, where jams are still horrendous and getting worse.

I saw a few housing developments and generally, they were not cheap by Asian standards - roughly on par with Beijing and KL. Build quality was also about par, but the BKK houses had really nice landscaping, both on the plot itself and in the common areas. Also, upkeep on completed projects was impressive, especially at the condo developments. KL is far, far behind on that score.

High-end house in the suburbs - S$0.7m.

High-end condo in great location - S$0.6m.

Mass market condo in the city - S$0.15m.

And of course there was the food. We had several great meals, including at the panoramic Saffron (Thai) in the Banyan Tree, the lauded Baan Kanitha (Thai), and the very very politically incorrect Kaeik (sharks' fin). We missed out on the highly recommended Zanotti (Italian), but then hey, Italian, after 10 years away from Bangkok??? I think I gained some weight.

Would you like a view with that, sir?

Guilty, guilty, guilty.

The splendid Baan Kanitha.

I also visited a tailor for three pairs of pants. Reasonably priced for the material but workmanship, I felt, was not as good as in Singapore. Well, one has to try to find out, right? The ang mohs rave about it though. Maybe they're just not used to bespoke...

Also did some shopping. Hard to find anything to buy as prices were very similar to Singapore for like-for-like quality. I'm also not one for the night-market knick-knacks. The malls were nice, though.

Siam Paragon - BKK's mall du jour.

All photos taken with my new K750i, which I'm very pleased with.

Back home.