Tuesday, July 31, 2007


How things can develop and change in a blink of an eye...

Or maybe a bit longer, if you are a frustrated fan of Minnesota and Boston, since your teams have sucked badly for the last... uhm... 15 years??

One of the six NBA teams I haven't watched live yet, the Boston Celtics, are rumored to have pulled off yet again a trade that could change the history of their near future. After years of failures for former teammates Danny Ainge (Boston's GM) and Kevin Mchale (Minnesota's GM), mainly due to their incapabilities, we have a winner. Or better, we have a loser. Kevin McHale. Who, just "gave away" one of the best NBA players EVER for peanuts. And with no apparent reason, since he had better offers for Garnett in the recent past, from Chicago, Phoenix and Boston itself, but always rebuffed them. As cnnsi.com writer Steve Aschburner wrote, "McHale has solidified his status as basketball hero. In Boston!".

After pairing all-star Paul Pierce with all-star Ray Allen, it seems Boston will add super all-star Keving Garnett.

If that really happens, three things will immediately follow:

- Boston becomes the Eastern Conference contender for the title

- I pretend to go and watch Boston's games as soon as possible

- Kevin McHale needs an alcohol test (and a body guard, in Minny)

So, for the second time this summer (after Memphis) I'm pleading of liking what, till an hour ago, was one of the worst teams of the league.

But are we on for a team bound to win few of the next 5 titles, and bring back Beantown to its old basketball splendor, or... will this turn out to be a half-failure like the 2004 Los Angeles Lakers, unable to win the title even with Kobe Bryant, Shaquille O'Neal, Karl Malone and Gary Payton on the roster???

Lunch break, update

Steven had the genius idea to contact his bro and sis in the Bay Area for their pick of worst possible food, to their knowledge, and Becca's reply was somehow familiar, although I had totally forgotten about it!!

So, here is her take for "grossest" food...


thanks for the heads up :))

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Far away

If there is any good day to be away from Asia, today might be it... unless, you either love to be there regardless, or live in soaking-wet Holland, both of which obviously apply to myself... SIGH

Myanmar: Mandalay-partly cloudy, Yangon-partly cloudy
Thailand: Chiang Mai-mostly cloudy, Bangkok-mostly cloudy, Phuket-mostly cloudy
Cambodia: Phnom Phen-mostly cloudy, Siem Reap-scatterd clouds
Laos: Vientiane-partly cloudy
Vietnam: HCMC-light thunderstorms and rain, Ha Noi-mostly cloudy, Da Nang-mostly cloudy
Malaysia: KL-mostly cloudy, Kuching-mostly cloudy
Singapore: mostly cloudy
Indonesia: Bali-partly cloudy, Jakarta-scattered clouds, Ambon-haze
Brunei: mostly cloudy
Philippines: Manila-overcast, Iloilo-thunderstorms and rain
China: Beijing-mist, Harbin-scattered clouds, Shanghai-light rain showers, Lhasa-light rain
Hong Kong: scattered clouds
Macau: mostly cloudy
Taiwan: Taipei-mostly cloudy, Kaohsiung-light rain showers
Mongolia: Ulaan Baatar-partly cloudy
South Korea: Kunsan-mist, Pusan-thunderstorms and rain, Seoul-scattered clouds, Yosu-haze
North Korea: Chongjin-light rain, Pyonggyang-overcast
Japan: Hiroshima-mostly cloudy, Tokyo-light thunderstorms and rain

Lunch break

I read on the paper about a funny top-ten "horror" list for food... as sure as there is something missing, like the brain of a live monkey in China, where to my knowledge they eat all kinds of bugs, snakes, turtles, rodents, jellyfish... or Thailand, where it seems they enjoy a similar taste for food as their Chinese neighbors, especially when it comes down to crispy tasty bugs...

or the taste of fruit-bat soup, served somewhere in Asia and South America, and even in Palau, is so rich in flavour :))... actually, I should pay a visit to beautiful Palau, as Shih Yun suggested some time ago, but I guess I'm digressing now...

or even the Australian aboriginals, who also banquet on all sorts of insects, most famously the honey ant...

in any case, I thought this list was YAK enough to be mentioned :)... and as you can see, the top 4 belong to my beloved Asia, maybe this is also why all the others "delicacies" you can find there were omitted, to give a chance to the rest of the world to make the list too!!

So if you thought that Fear Factor's second stunt was for strong stomachs, now you might think otherwise...

One, Fugu: Japan: The infamous pufferfish, highly poisonous unless cooked with extreme care. Some professional chefs prepare the fish so that there is a minute amount of poison in the meat, giving a prickling feeling and numbness on the tongue and the lips. Every year about 20 customers are victim of bad cooking (!!). (I'm throwing a party soon... anybody wanna join??)

Two, Cobra blood: Indonesia: The blood and heart of the cobra mixed with Arak, a middle-eastern liqueur, and served as a shot. (And you thought that there was no perfect combination in this world...)

Three, Fried tarantula: Cambodia: Best plucked straight from its burrow and pan-fried in sugar and garlic - they apparently are crispy on the outside but runny on the inside. (I can't wait to read that the tarantula is on the extinct animal list!)

Four, Durian: Vietnam: Fruit of the Malvaceae trees, with a skin covered in sharp thorns and an unpleasant odour, but has a custard taste. (It really smells like decomposing meat, believe me, but one good thing is that your farts go unnoticed!!)

Lamb fries: Lancashire, UK: Lamb testicles that have been peeled, bread-crumbed and fried. (I'll pass, I'm already full, thank you!)

Six, Mashonzha: South Africa: Found in mopani trees, these are worms that look similar to caterpillars and can be eaten alive, or fried. (Nothing better than some poo-looking low carb snack in the afternoon, right??)

Seven, Iguana meat: El Salvador: The meat of the iguana is said to taste like chicken but is much tougher. (My car tyres are made of Iguana meat... yes, it is tough...)

Poi: Hawaii: Made from the poisonous taro root, poi is mashed and cooked into a strong-tasting, edible paste. (People cook this generally for mothers in law there...)

Nine, Huhu: New Zealand: Fried larvae from the Hubu beetle. (these New Zealanders... they have a chance to drive a beetle, to listen to Beetles' music... but no, they've got to eat them! And this thing, makes even cockroaches look cute...)

Ten, Boruga: Columbia: A Columbian rodent, highly prized for its meat and not easy to catch. (what a shame!)

Any suggestions for what should have made the top-ten list???? I'm sure there is so much to discover, so many "hidden culinary treasures" out there...
(sorry, the canteen at work doesn't count...)

... and what's wrong with a freshly wood-oven baked pizza anyway??

Thursday, July 26, 2007

... and even dirtier...

Little update since my last entry...

One by one, and the latest being Germany's Patrik Sinkewitz, Italy's Cristian Moreni, Kazakhstan's Alexandre Vinokourov and tour leader Denmark's Michael Rasmussen, all the cyclists participating in the Tour de France (after many were barred from participating altogether) are failing the doping test... who will win now?? whoever won't be caught... RIDICULOUS...
By the way, as an old movie, both Vinokourov and Rasmussen swear they don't know HOW this was possible. I feel for them... NOT!
One proposal: ban cycling from the Olympic games as it obviously does NOT embody any kind of sportsmanship any more...
In this MESS, one round of applause to Mr. Nikolaus Brender, ZDF editor-in-chief, who decided that enough was enough and said that he would not broadcast the race with the famous yellow jersey leader until further notice. Furthermore, his right hand Mr. Peter Kaadtmann, added that "Our contract stated that we broadcast the Tour as a competition of clean riders, not of people using doping substances." Well done.

From two to four wheels, stupidity still rules. FIA, the regulating body of F1, has expressed its judgement on the fact that McLaren Mercedes illegally received and possessed ALL Ferrari's projects of this year's racing car. Here follows the CRAZY statement of FIA as you can find it on their website (no link here, as they don't deserve to be read):

“The WMSC is satisfied that Vodafone McLaren Mercedes was in possession of confidential Ferrari information and is therefore in breach of article 151c of the International Sporting Code. However, there is insufficient evidence that this information was used in such a way as to interfere improperly with the FIA Formula One World Championship. We therefore impose no penalty.

“But if it is found in the future that the Ferrari information has been used to the detriment of the championship, we reserve the right to invite Vodafone McLaren Mercedes back in front of the WMSC where it will face the possibility of exclusion from not only the 2007 championship but also the 2008 championship.

“The WMSC will also invite Mr Stepney and Mr Coughlan to show reason why they should not be banned from international motor sport for a lengthy period and the WMSC has delegated authority to deal with this matter to the legal department of the FIA.”

So, you are telling me they stole the projects in order NOT to use them at their advantage? Right... and IF those two persons should be banned, why not the others? Smells like scapegoat here...
Now I understand why they call it "the F1 circus", cos it's full of f**king clowns!

But you know what really pisses me off? The fact that these people think we are all a bunch of morons and actually believe what they say... for me, cycling was off my tv long time ago, now F1 too. No more time and money for them.

Here is Ferrari's statement:

"It's incomprehensible that violating the fundamental principle of sporting honesty does not have, as a logical and inevitable consequence, the application of a sanction, and legitimises dishonest behaviour in Formula One and sets a very serious precedent.”

“The decision of the World Council signifies that possession, knowledge at the very highest level and use of highly confidential information acquired in an illicit manner and the acquiring of confidential information over the course of several months, represent violations that do not carry any punishment.

“The fact that Vodafone McLaren Mercedes was in possession of such information was discovered totally by accident and, but for this, the team would continue to have it. This is all the more serious as it has occurred in a sport like Formula One in which small details make all the difference."


But as I said previously, the show must go on. If McLaren Mercedes, the proven cheaters, were to be disqualified as appropriate, the F1 "circus" (and now, for my next trick...) would be badly damaged and revenues seriously reduced. Money talks, baby.

Last. The cheaters are ALL Brits and Germans. If the case was reversed, do you know how many headlines about Italian cheaters and mafia? Well, now we know cheaters and mafia are not an Italian prerogative, especially in F1.

On the other hand, as I praised the NFL's commisioner Mr. Goodell for hitting hard on misbahving athlets, I'd like to report that he invited Atlanta Falcons' star quaterback Michael Vick to stay away from his team until further notification due to his personal involvement in an FBI investigation. Thank you, Mr. Goodell.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Dirty and dirtier

Poor beloved sport...

So much exploited, the dreams of millions of kids watching their heros crushed and shuttered... cheated... with no remorse, no regret...

After each and every disgraceful incident, you hear sportsmen either apologising (too little, too late), or denying the evindence, thus adding insult to my intelligence and the one of every other paying viewer to the wrong doing...

Too much money involved? Definitely.
But also, too little love for the game, whichever it might be.

I am on my way back from a week in Italy, I tried to stay away from news as much as possible... to relax... because as soon as I read news, it's most of the times disappointing... as it proved, once again.

Let's start from my beloved NBA.
A ref (the person entrusted to keep the game fair!!!!), Tim Donaghy, is under FBI investigation for allegedly fixing games results for the mob. Amazing. Shocking. Or maybe not.
At times, in the past, refreeing has been very doubtful in the NBA, to say the least.
So this just proves what everybody thought but couldn't provide hard evidence for. Matches in the NBA are fixed. Now it's proven.
And this ref, provided is the only one involved (I personally doubt it), was refreeing few of the most debated controversial games last season. What a surprise... NOT.

The Palace brawl, the Vegas fights during the All-Star game, the shooting of a Denver player, Indiana's Stephen Jackson firing his handgun outside a night club, drug use, domestic violence, gambling... even some deaths due to heart failures... the NBA, and its true fans, didn't need all this, and surely don't deserve it. But now, we get more. A crooked ref, to add to the game.

Latest, I read on ESPN.com that they fear for his safety. No shit. He puts up with the mob and he thinks he will reach pension age?? He has been watching too many movies, obviously...

He, and the other refs like him, should be put in Guantanamo... for ruining the dreams of many and the entertainment of many more... support, suffer, rejoyce... compete, fall and rise... NOT buy and sell!!! So now, who won because was deserved, and who didn't??? So many doubts, so many dark clouds hanging on the reputation of this wonderful sport. And for years to come, many will rightfully doubt anything close to a bad refreeing. Is he selling this game away? Again?

I'm seriously thinking about suing the NBA for cheating and STEALING my money (both satellite TV and game tickets)... at least, they would learn...

And then, FIRE that moron called David Stern... only busy with stupid futile shit like dress code, leaving the bench non-sense and salary cap, and let the game roll into layers of crap, over and over again by playing blind to the important pressing issues... he obviously has done his time, bring in someone like mr. Roger Goodell, the NFL commish... he certainly is doing a rather good job. The NBA needs a man like him.

Talking about the NFL. Roger Goodell, immediately after being named commissioner, didn't waste time to let his league know that something had changed. He wouldn't tolerate players crossing the line. ESPECIALLY, when the law is broken.
So here we are, with Tennessee Titan's Pacman Jones being suspended for the ENTIRE 2007 season and Cincinnati Bengals' Chris Henry suspended for half season.

On top of this, there is an investigation pending on Atlanta Falcons' Michael Vick for illegally hosting dog fights in his property and Chicago Bears' Tank Johnson being cut loose by his team for repeatedly breaking the law. Not to mention Denver Broncos' Darrent Williams, fatally shot last year outside a club.

Are the NBA and the NFL packed with criminas? Or misbehaving spoiled primadonnas who cannot control themselves? Or both??? Or are they just overpaid uneducated idiots?

Surely money cannot buy class. And they prove it, day in and day out.

What about the MLB? Barry Bonds being investigated for doping. He denies. His lawyer said: "I'll outmaneuver the FBI at every turn. I've kicked their ass in private, I will continue to kick their ass in public." This, in my vocabulary, doesn't exactly translate as: "Mr. Bonds is innocent" but rather as: "Mr. Bonds has a damn good lawyer". Just like O.J.Simpson did.

But even if Bonds is indeed innocent of perjuring in front of a grand jury, how can his record breaking career be taken seriously with so many doping allegations? Just look at him... he looks like one of those WWE overinflated "fighters"... all natural? Up to you to decide. I have, obviously, my own opinion... and my doubts. The list of players to consider, and their action, when deciding if baseball is clean or not, includes Mark McGwire, Jason Giambi and Jose Canseco with his book.

And do you remember Chicago Cubs' Sammy Sosa cheating by corking his bat?? He and Bonds were battling for HRs leadership in the league. One cheating one way, one the other. How fun.

Anyway, talking about the WWE... how to forget the recend homicide/suicide involving the 40 years old Canadian Chris Benoit? And the the "mysterious" premature deaths of many others, like the British Bulldog, Owen Hart (33), Yokozuna (34), Eddie Guerrero (38), Andre the Giant (46) to name only the most famous. In the past 20 years, 61 (!!) pro wrestlers died at an age anywhere between 21 and 46, and almost as many didn't make it to 65.

Are they simply recruiting wrestlers from hospitals or maybe, just MAYBE, steroids have something to do with this?

But, when talking about steroids, who better (or worse...) than pro cycling knows this problem? Every day you hear about a biker being caught, it really doesn't surprise anyone anymore. There is more steroids in pro cycling than rain in Bangladesh during monsoon season. It's a pure shame. But come on, how can you really believe a man can bike for 2 weeks, at 50 km/h average, for over 3000 km in total, up and down the Pyrenees and the Alps and not being doped???? Who are we kidding??

Last year's Tour de France winner Floyd Landis was stripped as was found positive to steroids. Past winners and top riders as Jan Ulrich, David Millar, Ivan Basso, Erik Zabel and Bjarne Riis where either involved or admitted steroids use. Even 6 times champ Lance Armstrong was linked, and although never found guilty, well... some evidence was there, as some french newspapers reported.

And if doping has always been linked to every sport (weight lifting, track and field...), what to say about the latest spy story in the F1?
Some back stabbing Ferrari chief mechanic Nigel Stepney tried to sabotage the race cars, but only after selling the projects of the cars to the McLaren Mercedes. How low can you go??

Four high ranking personnel from McLaren are said to be involved, not last chief project manager Mike Coughlan. A punishment is expected for McLaren, but remember this, they can't be punished too hard, because the F1 needs them.

So much for justice, right??

The show must go on, and mostly, bring in tons of money. So if you cheat, be it. This is the lesson learned today. And we lost another chance to make things right.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Ever thought of this?

Today I went to a friend of my brother, he is an osteopath... he cracked my back and neck around for over an hour, and although it sounds awful, he actually made me feel better...

While waiting for him, I saw a sign on the wall of his secretary's office... that made me think, and wonder if people ever thought of this (I know many people that surely NEVER even considered this...):

If God made us with two ears and one mouth, maybe we should listen more and talk a little less...

How right...

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Never say never

I never thought I would say this, but I think the Memphis Grizzlies could be fun to watch next year with a starting five of:

PG - Mike Conley Jr
SG - Mike Miller
SF - Rudy Gay
PF - Pau Gasol
C - Darko Milicic

Plus, coming off the bench Hakim Warrick and Damon Stoudamire...

Really, never say never...

Quote of the year

Top Gear's Jeremy Clarckson, on Malaysia produced car Perodua after a test drive:

"It oversteers, it understeers... it's not a car, it's a mess!!"

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Nessun Dorma

Everyone, please take 2 minutes of your time to have a look at this amazing TV bit posted on the blog by my friend Pelso (sorry Jerry, MY friend).

The voice, and the astonished faces of the jury says it all...