Tuesday, June 30, 2009


In an effort to fight off several weeks of severe sleep deprivation, and to make up for months of pretty much no non-web-based reading, this week I started going to bed early with a book.

Good night.

Vents, Pipes

Saturday, June 27, 2009


Vending Machines, No. 69

20th Century Man

First time I've seen this performance of a classic Kinks tune. Can you dig that, for me, a musical sound requires a human making that sound? Can you dig that I can fucking tell when it's a machine? Further, that I can tell when it's supposed to sound like a machine? [If that needs explaining, then listen to some fucking Pink Floyd, or Kraftwerk, or something.] Most modern pop is anti-music to me...

I Wanna Be Your Dog

No children were harmed in the making of this video...

Alt. Link

Take your "values" and shove them up your fucking ass.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Rusty Cage

A few things:
  1. Inspired by...

  2. If I seem somewhat preoccupied with religious images lately, it's only because I keep tripping over them....

  3. This will likely be the last time that I bother mentioning the fact that a particular shot was taken with my cell phone. In fact, I actually stopped mentioning it a few posts ago. I only pointed it out before because cell phone pics tend to be digitally inferior (and it just wouldn't do to have people think that I couldn't tell the difference...!). Anyway, I don't care any more.

Thursday, June 18, 2009


Cell pic, taken late at night on the way back to my hotel last week in Johor Bahru.

Fly Away

Slightly less impressive than Dubya's double shoe dodge, but Obama swatting a fly during an interview shows a certain don't-fuck-with-me kind of cool...

Alt. Link

[Via: J-Walk.]

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Iluma: Scenes from a Mall

I walked into this place, looked at the floor, looked up, and said to myself, "holy fuck."

Cell phone pics (click to enlarge, if your eyes can handle it).

Parkview Square, Singapore

As they say, I don't know much about art, but I know what I like. I like art deco, so I like this building, Parkview Square, in Singapore.

Cell phone pic.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Still Lucky

So I decided to go out and get those beers I was talking about in the previous post. Really, it only took me about 20 minutes, but it was time well spent (least not for the fact that I got more beer).

Wandering from one's hotel after midnight in a foreign country is always an adventure (note: Canada/USA excursions only count in very special circumstances--ones that I've never personally experienced and therefore doubt the existence of...). I wasn't 30 seconds from my hotel when I observed some police (or so I assumed) giving some whistles of appreciation to a young woman walking down the street just in front of me. It was a bit surprising to me that, what had been a hive of activity a few hours earlier was now pretty much a dark and deserted place. The police didn't do anything but whistle from across the street.

Not much else happened on my way to the 7/11. Inside the shop I picked up some beer and potato chips and placed them on the counter. The young woman working the cash rang in my purchases and then pointed to some sort of snack food on display on the counter. "Buy 2 of these and get 1 free [something]," I gathered from the signage and her talking. Feeling generous in that half-drunk kind of way, and knowing that it wasn't really going to cost much, I said "OK!" I pay for my purchases, and the young woman puts them in a bag. She passes me the bag and then beckons me to follow her. "Ah," I think to myself. "I'm going to get my 'free' stuff." She walks out from behind the counter over to a soft drink fountain. She gestures, asking me what soft drink I prefer. I've got a sack of beer in hand, so soft drinks are not really on my agenda. She's nice, though, and I don't want to seem rude or ungrateful. I scan the selection and say, "how about a 7-Up?" She seems pleased by my selection, and proceeds to pour me my drink, put a cover on it, and place a straw into the top. She hands me the drink. I thank her, and I'm off.

Now I'm walking down the street, sack of beer and snacks in one hand, and cup of 7-Up in the other. I hate to waste a free drink, so I'm taking the occasional sip. All of the other shops are closed and there's only darkness in the doorways as I walk. It's like this for a couple of minutes--darkened doorways, windows, darkened doorways, windows, darkened doorways, windows...

Then I see a pair of feet. The feet begin to step out from the darkness and I begin to see a pair of long-looking, dark legs. As the legs come out from the darkness I also see a white skirt.

I'm still walking. It only took a few seconds.

As the legs and skirt emerged from the darkness, so did a hand. The hand slid down the right leg and then hiked up the skirt. A voice said, "hey, baby."

I'd already walked past...


My work buddy and I gave our presentation today here in Johor Bahru. It went pretty smoothly and several people spoke to us about it when we were finished.

We took a cab to a different part of town and went to a Thai restaurant where we had a very good meal. One dish, a soup, was really fucking spicy--I mean burn your heart and lungs out spicy. I had two bowls, mainly because I'm an idiot, but also because it was really quite tasty. (If that makes no sense to you, well, maybe you should get out a bit more...)

Right now I'm sitting in my hotel room drinking beer that I purchased at a 7/11 down the street from the hotel. I'm listening to Social Distortion on my PC and posting to this blog. As I'm pondering whether or not to venture out to get a few more beers, it occurs to me that I'm one lucky bastard. Or privileged. Same thing, really.

Thursday, June 11, 2009


On the ceiling of my hotel room:

I've always understood the idea, of course. Now I know the word for it.

Sikh Temple

A few minutes walk from the hotel. Click to enlarge if you want a better idea of the detail.

Johor Bahru: The View from My (Dirty) Hotel Room Window

I can tell already that the next few days are going to be different from my brief experience in Singapore. A couple of minutes walk in any direction from the hotel takes me to another world. The faces of the people, the clothes they wear, the sights, sounds, and smells... Wow.

It's hot and humid here. That, coupled with the food I've been eating (very spicy!), gets me to working up a serious sweat. It doesn't feel bad at all, although I'm glad I brought a few changes of clothes. Had dinner this evening in a dumpy little Indian restaurant. The guy serving us had just enough English to be helpful (and he was also quite friendly). Since there was no way we could have ordered from the menu, he just gave us plates and invited us to go behind the counter and help ourselves to whatever looked good to us. It was all good.

I think, now, I'm really in Asia.

More later... (Cell phone pic.)

Wednesday, June 10, 2009


Damn, these Malaysians sure know how to make a Canadian boy feel at home! I arrived in Johor Bahru to find this in the lobby of my hotel:

The real story.

Travel Tip: Singapore and Smokes

I meant to mention this yesterday, but... If you're planning to visit Singapore, don't bother trying to bring in any duty-free cigarettes (purchased innocently enough at the international lobby of your point of departure). Yesterday when I went through customs I said that I had nothing to declare. I honestly thought I was telling the truth--I mean, that's what "duty-free" is, right? Wrong. At least in Singapore. They found the smokes that I'd made no effort to conceal. They weren't heavy-handed about it, or anything. In fact everyone was quite friendly about it (I imagine it happens a lot here). Still, I had to pay 70 Singapore dollars duty on a carton of smokes that I'd already paid 2300 yen for. Ouch. "Still cheaper than smoking in Canada." That's what I keep telling myself...

Smokers should also take note that Singapore is about the unfriendliest place I've been to for indulging your habit. It's occurred to me that a couple of whacks across the ass with a cane for illegal smoking might make for an interesting blog post. I'd probably have a hard time explaining it to my family and employers, though...

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

My Day in Cell Pics: Things Getting Blurry in Singapore

The wet bar is looking good...

My Day in Cell Pics: Walking Around Singapore

A very upscale but somewhat sterile eating/drinking area. Lots of people jogging. There's no mistaking that I'm in Asia, though--Chinese, Malay, Philippine, Indian, Arabic, any face you can imagine, and wearing all manner of clothing. Maybe tomorrow when I hop into a cab and go over to Johor Bahru I'll get a less sanitized version...

I had a burger with fries and a caesar salad at the place below. It was a delicious meal (served with brewed-on-the-premises beer). You can't get a good burger anywhere in Miyazaki, so these rare opportunities must be used wisely...

My Day in Cell Pics: The View from My Hotel Room in Singapore

My Day in Cell Pics: Miyazaki Station

Monday, June 08, 2009

Kooks, Tin Foil Hats...

This looks promising:
tinWiki is the first online encyclopedia dedicated exclusively to all the topics that inspire the authors to consider tin foil hats. Topics such as conspiracy theories, UFO cover ups, extraterrestrial programs, New World Order, Illuminati, secret government programs, top secret bases, and nearly any other "alternative topic" are the focus of this collaborative wiki.
It'll be pretty hard to top my all-time favorite, The Kooks Museum, though...

Singapore Swing

I was kidding around a bit over the weekend with the "busy" thing, but I actually have been a bit busy lately with work and family-related stuff. Tomorrow morning I'm off to Singapore for one night and then a few days in Malaysia. It's a work related trip, so I probably won't get any good pictures, but I will probably do some from-the-hotel-room blogging. As is usual with this kind of thing (from me), you won't learn anything useful or interesting about Singapore or Malaysia, unless you need to know how much it costs for a beer, or where the trannies hang out, that sort of thing...

Saturday, June 06, 2009

Vending Machines, No. 66

I actually posted this a month ago (using the post-date thingie or whatever the fuck it's called) because I figured I'd be busy this weekend...


How cool would it be to be in a band where, like, they ask you to go to the most famous volcano that killed the most white people or whatever 20,000 years ago and play some of your hits and make a video of you playing with shots of, like, statues and stuff that are, like, 20,000 years old or whatever and you're in this, like, colosseum-type place and rockin' out and all? Fuck, that would be cool.

I'm too busy, though...

Monday, June 01, 2009

A Sad Day

The last time I crossed from Canada into the United States by car was in about 1996 or '97. I was with a buddy in an SUV we'd borrowed from his parents, and we were on our way to follow Phish (official site here) around the New England states and New York for a week or so. (Heh, there is a shitload of unstated information in that last sentence...) It took us all of about 30 seconds to cross the border: we pulled up to the border crossing, the guard asked us where we were going and how long we planned to stay, we answered his questions, he thanked us, and we were on our way. That was all there was to it. We didn't have to show any kind of ID, and we didn't have to pretend that we were anything other than a couple of slobs heading to the (then) magical world of the USA on a mission of psychedelic/alcoholic stupor. Hell, the border guard even called "have fun!" as we were pulling away. And have fun, we did.

That was then. This is now:
The Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative, an anti-terrorism policy passed by Congress in 2004, requires travellers 16 and older who are entering the United States from Canada by land or sea to carry one of the following:

* Passport.
* NEXUS card.
* Free and Secure Trade (FAST) card.
* Enhanced driver's licence (EDL) or an enhanced identification card (EIC) from a province where a U.S.-approved EDL/EIC program has been implemented.
* Secure Certificate of Indian Status (when this certificate is available and approved by the United States).
[More detailed info on particular documents available here.]

Fuck you, bin Laden, and the horse you rode into town on...