Sunday, December 31, 2006

New Years Eve 2006

For New Years Eve 2006, I went to my favorite French restaurant, Vincent's. If you're in Minneapolis and love good food, then I highly recommend it. Vincents has never disappointed me and is the only high end restaurant that I keep coming back to again and again.
They had a special New Year's Eve menu and that's what I had. The very first thing about Vincent's that appeals to me is their bread and butter. All restaurants have this but how many actually serve you fresh warm bread that's crusty on the outside and soft on the inside? The butter is also soft which make it spreadable. You'd be surprised at how many high end restaurants can't even get this simple thing correct. (Eg. Levains)

From there, every dish was a delight to the taste buds. The only one that was so so was the monk fish. I think a more delicate fish should have been used, either that or the fish was overcooked. Special mention goes to the Pan Seared Foie Gras, the Scallops and the "Monte-Carlo" Hazelnut Cake. These 3 items just made the whole dinner an experience to remember.

But again, every single dish was excellent. This is to date the only high end restaurant that I'm willing to shell out cash for again and again. If you like good dining and are in Minneapolis, visit Vincents. You won't regret it.

Another special thing to note is that today was the first time this winter that Minneapolis has had snowfall that accumulated. Christmas might not have been too white but New Year's sure as heck will be.

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My B'day Dinner

My B'day was on 29th December and I had a friend in town. Both of us are foodies so we tried out this very hot restaurant called Levain which has won all sorts of awards.

The result? Disappointment. We tried the 7 dish tasting menu and except for the last 2 dishes, the cheese plate and desert, it was not great. The dishes looked good, the ingredients were fresh but the tastes did not mesh well on the same plate. I won't go into details but suffice to say that this is the first and last time I would ever go to Levain.

Anyway, what about B'day loot? I got 3 games, HamsterZ Life, Okami, and Disgaea 2, and an iPod Nano. And I got myself a cool new 22 inch LCD monitor.

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Monday, December 25, 2006

12 Days of Winter's Veil

Hehehe here's a video for the World of Warcraft fans.

Merry Christmas 2006

I thought of posting the usual pictures about Christmas but this is 2006 and pictures are old school. So here's a montage of Youtube and google movies all about Christmas.


Ahhh the famous Christmas Lights Video from last year. If you didn't know, someone actually took 3 days to set this up and got national attention.

Another excellent light show.

Merry Christmas from Korea

I love Mariah Carey's All I want for Christmas

A Christmas Kitty special

Nice short Christmas Coke COmmercial

And finally here's Janice Dickinson’s 12 Days of Christmas. If you don't know who Janice Dickinson is... don't worry, just think of her as a super bitch has been model and enjoy the video.

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Sunday, December 24, 2006

Funniest Trailer EVER!

There's a new show coming out in March called Black Sheep. But its only coming out in New Zealand. Watch the trailer.

It could be that I'm twisted but a movie about killer sheep and were-sheep just struck me as hilarious! I was laughing so hard.


Friday, December 22, 2006

Anatomy of my Christmas Tree

I just put up my Christmas tree last weekend, a little late but better then never. I live alone so its not a huge tree. And its pre-lit so I odn't have to bother with putting the lights on. Just 3 parts, the base, bottom and top. I think it looks nice when lit.

I got this tree in 2003 when I first moved into my house. I also started a tradition of adding new ornaments to the tree every year. As you can see for the first 2 years I was going for a silvery look. I got the pig because a certain good friend of mine loves piggies. And the colored balls were a find at Crate and Barrel that took my fancy. This year I found Sesame Street ornaments that I just loved. And that little star wand? That actually belongs to my niece. She visited me last year and that wand was from a doll. She forgot to take the wand back with her so I kept it as the Star on top of my tree.


Thursday, December 21, 2006

First Snow of 2006

Well its the 20th of December 2006 and today was the first day that it actually snowed. I wished I brought the camera with me so I could take photos but sadly I got home late and so here's some shots from my balcony.

As you can see its not a lot of snow. Just enough to cover the ground but not a lot more. And the temperature is still fairly warm so more of it will melt tonight. Still it will probably be a White Christmas... barely.

Here's the forcast for the rest of the week. Yep, its gonna be a mild winter. And the temperature is in degree Celsius because my family does read the blog and I dont think they get the Fahrenheit system. I know it took me quite a while to get used to it.


Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Too Cute for Words

Oh my goodness, this pup is named Spudgy and he's sooooo cute! Watch the video as he tries to stay awake. And for more awesome photos of Spudgy go here.

Thanks to eins for the tip. And check out cute project.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Politics is no laughing matter in Singapore

Be warned, this post is slightly political so skip if you're not inclined to listen.

My sister forwarded this article to me.
SINGAPORE, Dec 20 (Reuters) - Chewing gum, homosexuality, public protests... the list of things frowned upon is long in Singapore. But satire? Yes, that too. Seriously.

Political humour is playing a bigger role than ever in the city-state, and despite government's insistence that politics is no laughing matter, satirical websites are blossoming., an irreverent website that relentlessly pokes fun at the Singapore "gahmen" (government), gets 4 million hits per month in a country of 4.4 million, while popular blog receives some 20,000 downloads per day for its droll podcasts about life in Singapore, up 10-fold from a year ago. "These websites touch a popular vein. They deal with issues of everyday life in a language that can be understood in the kopitiam (coffee shop). It's like the parables of Jesus," said researcher Gillian Koh of the Institute of Policy Studies.

Others say government disapproval of these websites has added to their appeal.

Colin Goh is the only public face of the large collective that puts together, a website named after the term for "talking nonsense" in "Singlish" -- the local patois of English laced with Hokkien Chinese and Malay words.

"The others do not want to reveal their identities, they are too scared," said Goh, a former lawyer with degrees from University College London and New York's Columbia University.

Goh and friends set up TalkingCock in 2000 in New York, where he lives. The project has since grown into a huge, rambling site with dozens of anonymous contributors.

Goh insists the site's focus is on humour, not on politics.

"All humour is about daily life. It just so happens that in Singapore, the government occupies such a large part of our lives," said Goh, who is also an award-winning film director.


Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong is well aware of TalkingCock.

In his national day speech on August 20, Lee actually showed a slide of

"If you want humour, you go there. Some of the jokes are not bad. Not all of them," he said.

In another speech on April 1 -- April Fool's day -- Lee said there was space for political debate in Singapore, but stressed that discussions on politics must be taken seriously.

"Countries can become unstable if political figures are not given basic respect and acceptance," Lee was quoted as saying by state broadcaster Channel NewsAsia.

Goh said he vaguely agrees with the government that jokes are no substitute for real political discourse.

"It is bad for the satirist when people look to the satirist for alternative serious political commentary. We'd be very happy to go back to our court jester status," he said.

Singapore print and broadcast media are government-owned or controlled, but on the Internet anti-government views abound.

Catherine Lim, Singapore's best-known fiction writer, said the government's allergy to satire is not surprising.

"It's a very Asian, Confucian thing, especially if you take it to the point where you make them lose face. That is absolutely intolerable, even in a society as modern as Singapore," said Lim, who has angered the government before with her criticisms.

Australian academic Garry Rodan, who has written extensively about Singapore politics, said the Singapore government is not comfortable with political jokes because "humour challenges the notion of a foolproof meritocracy".

Lee has said repeatedly that the government tolerates dissent but would respond to criticism that it disagreed with.

"Because if we don't respond, untruths will be repeated and will be believed, and eventually will be treated as facts and the Government and the leaders will lose the respect of the population and the moral authority to govern," Lee said.


mrbrown -- the Internet moniker for blogger Lee Kin Mun -- was the first satirist to find out what that response could be.

In July, his weekly column in state-owned newspaper Today was axed after he had poked fun at a series of price hikes that followed soon after the May 6 general election.

"It is not the role of journalists or newspapers in Singapore to champion issues, or campaign for or against the Government," the information ministry wrote in a blistering reply.

In his National Day speech, Lee said the satirical column had "hit out wildly at the Government and in a very mocking and dismissive sort of tone".

One of mrbrown's podcasts had a starring role in the run-up to the elections when it mocked the way the government harped on for days about an opposition candidate's bungled attempt to submit an election form.

mrbrown's podcast parody of the affair as a food stall vendor hounding a customer over an order of a bowl of minced pork noodles was downloaded 200,000 times and spread like wildfire in the blogoshpere.

Like others in Singapore's lively Internet scene, both mrbrown and Goh are worried about an upcoming revision of the penal code, which could take into account "new technological developments" such as the Internet.

"At any time, the government could drop the guillotine on us. So, not very funny times, I'm afraid," Goh said.

Articles like this serve well to remind us that Singapore is NOT a democracy, it never was and never pretended to be. The government constantly reminds us that Big Brother is alive and listening. I would go so far as to say that the Singapore government can track any Singaporean to an address around the world, and I think it very likely that they do. If banks can handle millions of transactions a day, a rich nation can easily track 4 million people's activities.

In fact I would not be surprised to find that if I had a file that my blogging would also be noted in that file. My only comfort is that I don't get enough hits on my blog to warrant attention. And if you think I'm paranoid, then you're probably not Singaporean.


Saturday, December 16, 2006

My Fave Christmas Song

I first heard this song about 4 years ago while driving home from work, and it literally brought tears to my eyes. Ever since then I've always associated Christmas with this song and get a warm fuzzy, hope you like it too. Its called "The Christmas Shoes".

Check here to play the song


Square Eggs!

OMG! They have this device that will allow you to cook square hard boiled eggs. Its called the Egg Cuber and can be ordered here.

RATS!!!! I So wanted to get this but they are out of stock. And its only $2.99 Definitely worth the cost for that first moment of making a square egg.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Christmas Presants

Remember my previous post about being a bad Uncle? Well I plan to rectify that. And it starts with always remembering to send them Christmas presents. I've been very lax in that department, but I remembered this year! Here's what I got them. The High School Musical DVD board game is meant for 6+ years old, but my nephew loves High School Musical. And the twister dance game seems popular with young girls. Both were on Amazon's top 20 toys for 2006. Have I mentioned that I love Amazon?

Sent them out on the 9th, so it should reach them in plenty of time :)


Wednesday, December 13, 2006

OMG! An anime about Bill Gates

You heard me. The people over at Japan TV posted this anime intro entitled Eccentric Merchant Gates - The Evil Bill Gates Anime. I kid you not, its about Bill Gates and his attempts to take over the world. LOL!!!
This is a translation of the words:
Eccentric eccentric eccentric merchant GATES!
Net being peaceful today
Eccentric(A merchant!) The hotness speed
fastest Windows98 function that Gates is means
of the punishment that substantiality is glad of
“OSR to 2!” ”
ActiveX to meet if I call it
It is entirely patch … of nonsense the driver who festered
“Fujitsu” “WaOhooon!”
“IBM” “Horohho!”
“NEC” “ukkkyy!”
“here, everybody go!”
A business associate is Microsoft
There is free-lance Wake now, and it is Ascii …
“off course”
Enemy or friend or S Jobs
“Is it enemy kana, a friend?”
But I can be lonely
I want to “never watch JDK of Sun”
Try 98 hard hang in there, and it is 98
I am limit …
Let I let me drink it and drink it
Mysterious revision 80byte … which nobody knows
Eccentric eccentric eccentric merchant GATES!

Saturday, December 09, 2006

I got a Personal Chief !

Well... close enough to a personal chief. I signed up with Seattle Sutton! Basically I pay them $125 (+$15 delivery fee) a week and I get 21 meals delivered to me, breakfast lunch and dinner, 2000 calories a day. So its almost like having a personal chief.

This is my latest effort to lose weight. Also it does allow me to get more variety in my diet. Currently I cook a big pot of something and it lasts 3days - a week. It does get boring after a while. And $125 isn't really expensive, considering I don't have to grocery shop any more, which can get expensive when you see all all the other junk food. Anyway, I'm trying it out for a few weeks and see if I like it.
My first food delivery. The food was delivered in this cool temperature controlled bag.

This is what 4 days of food looks like. Thursday's dinner thru Monday's Lunch. and the next delivery is Monday.
This is my first Seattle Sutton meal. Chips with salsa, a corn salad and Taco pie. It was pretty good, but I've got to get used to the portions.

Here's some other meals.

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Friday, December 08, 2006

A bite to eat

Found this very interesting hobby. Making miniature fast-food.

i know it's hard to tell from this shot, so I'll give you something for scale. . . .

The burger was a little over one inch tall and about an inch wide.

Here, we have the "money shot" of the burger with its many teeny layers

After taking all the pictures we cut the tiny burger in half and each ate half. It tasted awesome.

Our official entry is the burger, though the burger and fries together are still less than two inches.
Here are some shots of the preparation of our mini-meal. Everything was handmade, including the tiny buns.

I used a Splenda packet for scale, since it was two inches long. Check out the mini pickles, onions and tomato!

It only took a few seconds to cook.

Testing the tiny french fries.

Two batches later. . .

So. . .very. . .small.

I made the soda and tray out of polymer clay and my husband designed and printed the label and tray liner out of Craftster content

We had so much fun making this together. It was seriously challenging, right down to the sesame seeds.

So, from the two of us, we hope you enjoy our delicious entry. . . .I know we did!

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For the Ultimate in Geekiness

This just came on sale Tuesday!!!

If you know a geek / are a geek / or live with a geek, chances are you'll want to buy this. I know I did!
For the uninformed, 'Dungeons & Dragons' tells the tale of six kids who, after riding the Dungeons & Dragons rollercoater, mysteriously get sucked into its fantasy world. There, each of them gains magical talents and abilities, all the better to survive their time in the Realm. The bow-shooting ranger, the acrobat, the thief, the cavalier, the wizard, and the boy-barbarian are soon joined by a baby unicorn, and tutored by the mysterious Dungeon Master.
Dungeons & Dragons - The Complete Series in DVD!!! Its only $29.99 on Amazon. Ahhhh... all 27 episodes on five discs. I don't think I ever watched the series in full. And I'm glad I resisted the urge to get taped copies of this much loved cartoon on ebay. I just knew it would eventually be on DVD!

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Free DVD rentals at Blockbuster

Found this at cnet
Blockbuster is offering free movie rentals for every Netflix envelope flap brought into participating stores December 5 through 21. In order to qualify, however, Netflix subscribers must also have a Blockbuster store membership. The membership is free and can be applied for at the store. The tear-off Netflix flap, which has the subscriber's name and address on it, and is normally thrown away, will be used as proof of Netflix membership and must match the name on the Blockbuster card. Renters are eligible to receive a free movie rental for every flap they bring into the store, but they will be subject to Blockbuster's typical due dates and rental fees.
Guess where I'm going tonight :)

Monday, December 04, 2006

Fortune Cookies

Hehehe a Rant on Fortune Cookie by the folks at illwillpress.

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Sunday, December 03, 2006

Agar Agar

I got this hankering to make some Agar Agar, but would you believe that no one sells it? They only sell Gelatin. So I improvised and used more Gelatin in hopes that it would harden more. As you can see from the picture below it didn't quite hold its form.

What's the difference? If you want your jelly to giggle like in the TV commercials, use Gelatin. But if you want to make to make real agar agar cakes there simply is no substitute. Anyway I finally scored some agar agar on my Thanksgiving trip to Pittsburg and here's my Agar Agar effort. Pretty decent if I do say so myself.

I was feeling pretty good about it until I saw these agar agar creations on Yochana's blog. Put mine to absolute shame.

Good thing I bought a lot of agar agar. I'm now on a quest to improve my agar agar skills. Nothing as ambitious as Yochana's Christmas cake. I know my limitations.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Spray-On Condoms

Yep! A German firm has developed a spray-on condom for all your lifestyle needs. The liquid condom comes in an aerosol can that you spray onto the organ in question. A few seconds later, the liquid solidifies into the familiar latex and forms a tight seal. The company says it's a great time saver and is easier to use than traditional condoms. It's still in the testing phase (in fact, they're looking for volunteers right now) so it might be a while before it hits the neighborhood drug store.

I'm not so sure that this will be a "hot" product. After all, condom's take up a lot less space in your pocket than a can of spray, and let's be honest, if it takes you more than a few seconds to put on a condom, you're doing it wrong! However, I do see interesting possibilities for this as an instant protective covering. Who needs to buy gloves, just spray it on your hand and viola!

If your german's good, check out the company's site.