Thursday, June 28, 2007

"I think we are dead already!"

OK these three clips cracked me up. But, you have to watch all three, in order and completely. No cheating.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Quick trip to Dalian

The other week, I had to go to Dalian for a couple of meetings. I made the mistake of leaving the arrangements to my Chinese colleague; who made a complete and utter balls upo of it. I arrived at the Shangri-La Hotel to find there was no reservation in my name, and the hotel was full. My colleague rushed to get his briefcase to show the hotel booking, and, lo and behold, he had made the booking for the following week. There was nothing else for it, but to go next door and pay the walk in rate at the Furama Hotel. On the way there I was kicking my colleagues backside for not using the company travel agent to save a few pennies, had now resulted in us paying more money and me being totally pissed off at his inadequacy.
Last week, I had to go there again, but it was a last minute deal as we had to wait for someone to fly in from Korea. By the time the meeting was fixed, our company travel agent couldn't get a room at the hotel, nor could I using the Golden Circle website, but of course my colleague could using his Chinese website. Having double checked that he had booked the room for the correct night I set off to Dalian.
When I got to the hotel, everything was in order. The hotel was full, but they gave me a free upgrade to a suite (which pleased the company bean counters, as the suite came with a free breakfast), and because I was returning there for the nth time they had a present for me; a small panda toy dressed in a Shangri-La chefs uniform. Of course they had to get a photograph of the receptionist handing me the present.
The bar at the Shangri-La, F2, seems to have made a few changes - there is a quite good band from the Philippines, other entertainments, but they seem to have cleared out the working girls. The girl who comes round with the humidor of cigars, used to be dressed in a pin stripe skirt and jacket; now, she wears jeans and a superman t-shirt. There is a new girl on the desk, Sabrina, who seems to be one of those party all night and sleep all day girls.
So finally I have Dalian sorted out. Its a city that is certainly getting busier and more expensive. Probably the Shanghai of the future.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Jokes and the News

It has always amazed me how, so soon after a newsworthy event, the jokes, most of them sick, spread like wildfire; and that was even before the WWW became so widespread. The latest ones seem to be about Michael Barrymore. For those who are not au fait with British popular entertainment; Barrymore is a lanky, comedian/actor/entertainer, who has always beenat the fore front of the entertainment news with his alcoholism, "coming out of the closet" in a pub full of gay skin heads and of course the death of Stuart Lubbock.
Some of the jokes that I have heard so far, include:-

Micheal Barrymore was asked if he was doing Pantomime again this winter.......
"No chance of that " said Barrymore......., "I did Aladdin , 6 years ago and have never heard the last of it !"

Micheal Barrymore was asked if he was doing Pantomime again this winter.......
He won't have time. He's recording his new BBC sitcom - "Only Pools And Corpses".

Q:-Why doesn't Michael Barrymore own any ashtrays??
A:-He does'nt need them....He puts his fags out in the pool.

Don King has just signed Michael Barrymore up for a championship fight...
He's heard Michael was shit hot with his fists in the ring...

This post is about the speed that jokes go around - I have no interest whatsoever whether he is charged, found guilty or whatever.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Chicken or the Egg?

Having had a run in with a loud German lady the other week at the Bulldog Bar, you would have thought I would have learnt my lesson and steered well clear of ladies drinking Chardonnay. But, no, last night again I got laid into by a loud, wine swilling, middle-aged Australian lass.
We had actually met the previous evening when she told me her life story and how she was going through a rough patch with her husband. So last evening, I was a tad surprised when she comes to the bar with her husband, who came over on the ferry to take her back to Macau. He turned out to be a thoroughly decent and nice guy completely unlike the picture painted by his wife.
Anyway she was on her second glass of Chardonnay, when she turns to me and says, "I bet you can't tell me the answer to something." I asked her what, and she replied "What came first the chicken or the egg?". I said, "That's easy. The egg came first, naturally." Her reply was, "You can't prove that".
So I tried to explain my logic that at some time in deep history two non-chickens mated and produced an egg that contained, through a slight mutation, a chicken as we know it - therefore the egg must have come first. Her reply was that I wasn't there so I couldn't possibly know. I replied that you don't have to be at a particular time or place to know that something exists.
Now, her voice starts getting louder "But you haven't answered the question", she screeches at me.
This carries on for a while with her voice getting screchier and louder. I was very thankful when her husband dragged her away for a meal.
Of course, I was wrong; neither came first, as the egg contains a chicken embryo - so they both arrived at the same time.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Bold and Dynamic? More like street graffitti

So the organisers of the 2012 Olympics have announced their logo for the games, and I hate it - not that my viewpoint really counts. I am not sure whether it resembles a broken down swastika or a window that a football has been kicked through; but, I think this would not disgrace a subway as a piece of aerosol art.
First, of all the Olympic rings are white. OK there is a precedent for this (Sydney olympics), but I thought the rings were all about the colours. Of course, I may be a cynic, but by having the rings in white, the rest of the logo will be easier to change colour for brand products and mobile phones.
Second, London is written "london". Now, again this is probably to appeal to young people in England, where the schools, probably, don't bother to teach that the first letter of a proper noun shall be a capital letter. To me it's just sloppy.
It seems that £400,000 (US$800,000) was spent coming up with this design. I remember reading somewhere that the lady who came up with the Nike swish logo got $35. That figure seems more appropriate to this emblem.
Sitting here, several thousand miles away from this, I am reminded of the last major event in London marked by this sort of great planning - the Millenium and the Dome which Tony Blair claimed would be "a triumph of confidence over cynicism, boldness over blandness, excellence over mediocrity". About the logo he has said, "When people see this new brand, we want them to be inspired to make a positive change in their life." Well all this inspires me to do is throw up.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

We Didn't Start the Fire

is a dreadful song by Billy Joel that chronicles 120 well-known events, people, things and places that happened between the year he was born and 1989 when the song was released.
During the 2-3 minutes of this "song" 56 individuals are named. Could this be some name dropping record? Last Sunday afternoon I met someone, who could almost beat that record - or so it seemed to me.
This guy was the most tedious, twisted and egotistical person I have met in a long time. I can allow him some leeway for being jet-lagged and drunk; but, what is it about me, that seems to attract these sociopaths? I mean I had gone up there for a quiet Sunday afternoon drink, and possibly some food, and I end up having my ear bent by this ex-Rupert, with him dropping names like falling leaves in a gale, and regaling to my uninterested ears his problems with his multi-millionaire father-in-law, and how he was going to get his retribution - yawn. By the time I had finished two pints I knew so much about his circle of friends and his family that I needn't have to go to Debretts for any reference to the peerage; I had already heard it.
And it wasn't big and it wasn't clever - it was tedious.
The pop video was a blessed relief.
"Rock and Roller Cola wars,
I can't take it anymore!"

Monday, June 04, 2007

MTV here I come

After a brief excursion into the halls of shopping hell in Causeway Bay, on Sunday; I was in dire need of some libation, so knowing that several bars in Wanchai don't open until later in the afternoon I headed to Lan Kwai Fong for a few beers at the Bull & Bladder.
Being one of those establishments that has decided not to apply for an smoking exemption, I went outside to enjoy an intake of nicotine - when I was approached by two ladies, who encouraged me to go to the Cavern, and take part in the making of a music video. Being a complete and utter tart, I willingly followed these two ladies to take part in what was bound to be a VMA winning film.
There were about fifteen people sat at tables around the dance floor, whilst on the stage sat a solitary male singer with his guitar. In the corner was the producer, who welcomed us, and told us to just sit around pretending to be in a bar - which as a piece of acting wasn't that difficult.
Then he decided that he didn't like us sitting down, and wanted some of us to move around and talk to other people. After about half an hour he was satisfied with what he had filmed, thanked us and we were allowed to leave.
I talked to the singer for a couple of minutes, and it seems that this video wasn't destined to accompany the release of a record or anything - it was going to be aired on Youtube, in about six weeks.
What a disappointment; so, I headed back to the bladder for some more beer.

Friday, June 01, 2007

Shekou for a bit

I had to go to Shekou, yesterday afternoon for a meeting. I haven't been across there for a while, as I dread our hosts taking me to the restaurant in the office block where thay always serve the wrong kind of food for me.
Well, surprise, surprise, they took us to the restaurant at the hotel near their office, where I feasted on a very respectable fish and chips.
After a very positive, constructive meeting, I headed back to the ferry terminal only to find that they don't accept Hong Kong dollars, anymore. Obviously, now the Yuan is stronger than the HKD, they don't take it so readily - they won't even accept a larger ammount of dollars for a remimbi priced ticket.
I got my ticket in the end, but it was a right royal pain, especially as I have plenty of Renmimbi at home, but forgot to pick them up.