Monday, March 26, 2012

I Eated It: Gold Leaf Chinese Restaurant.

Cast your peepers over the below photos, all taken within the Sunshine branch of Gold Leaf Chinese Restaurant. 

I am not as well versed on the smaller and more hidden yum cha venues on the West of Melbourne (if you happen to read this and know of any, tell me in the comments!), but this is by far some of the best yum cha I've actually had in Melbourne. I've been a few times, each time it was a Sunday, at around 11.30am. Always go early and book in advance, as when it hits the lunch time peak, it really fills up and you'll have to sit in a crowded waiting area for a table. It's a large venue, owned and operated by a group of yum cha chefs from Hong Kong. There are plenty of varieties of dim sum and assorted cooked items to choose from the loaded carts that are regularly pushed around the  dining room floor. Stand outs for me were the fresh Siu Mai, and the brilliant Tofu Fa dessert. Overall it's a tasty and not too expensive experience. If you live on the west side of Melbourne, and desire weekend yum cha, you'll be hard pressed to find better than this.

Home Made Chicken Rice Time.

Nothing beats a good home made Malaysian dinner. Above is Hainanese Chicken Rice. The wife made it, and then we literally decimated the entire chicken, not leaving a single scrap left behind (apart from the bones). Although, we don't have this as often, because it takes a bit of preparation to get right. Although the pressure cooker from Malaysia Amway cooked the chicken whole, and perfect. Mmm.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Another Hot Evening.

So I'm sitting on the couch at home, Galaxy Nexus in hand, dreading the hot, sweaty sleep that awaits me. The ambient temperature is still sitting around the 28 degrees Celsius mark, but the large Kmart fan makes mobile blogging a tad easier. I would be using my MacBook Pro if it weren't dead as a door nail, but this heat, well, we all know how MacBooks can turn into lap burners! So the Nexus will suffice.
I'm quite surprised how much I can actually do on this phone. The screen is so much nicer than the iPhone 4 due to its extra real estate, and Flash via the stock browser is snappy and quick. I've almost forgotten that I've not used a computer at home for more than a month! So that is a testimony for Google to use. Can a mobile phone replace a laptop for home use? Yes! If it's a Galaxy Nexus that is.
Now if Google would please just send me that Chromebook....

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

I Eated It: Little Nyonya.

Located on the very lower end of Bourke Street, technically in the Docklands district of Melbourne, and facing the waterfront, is the quaint Little Nyonya. Serving up some traditional and not so traditional Malaysian fare in well designed surrounds, I wasn't even aware that this place existed until the lovely wife directed me here after I picked her up from work one afternoon and when I told her that I'd cook dinner her face took a turn for the shocked, and thusly, this is where we ended up. 

First off, we both partook in a large glass of Cham. Cham is technically half coffee and half tea, and the combination here was quite even, and not too sweet. It must have had a kick of caffeine, as it took me a while to get to sleep that night!

Here we have a generous portion of Tok Tok Mee, a curry based soup noodle with pork and prawns. Not too strong, but with a heavier hint of coconut. Don't get this confused with a Laksa, it's quite a different base flavour. Still, the wife enjoyed it, although she said the saltiness was a bit much, she became incredibly thirsty at night.

What I decided to eat, was your stock standard Hokkien Mee. What made this dish stand out was the fact the chef was quite generous with the small pork crackling bits that seem to be very common in Malaysia, but  hardly make an appearance at all here in Melbourne. All up, it was a good dish, but still, as the problem is with every Malaysian restaurant here in Melbourne, they just can't seem to get the flavours correct. It's not that authentic. In the end, it's all about what ingredients are available here, and they aren't the same as what is commonly used at Malaysian hawker stops. 

'Little Nyonya' is honestly quite a nice Malaysian eatery. It's interior design is especially catching, bringing back some of that Melaka style. Supposedly the lunch time menu differs from dinner, so I'd have to give that a gander next time we're in the area. I'll have to give it a couple more goes to really give a definitive answer to whether this is a stand out Malaysian restaurant or not.

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Friday, January 20, 2012

New Year, Need to Blog MORE.

Sometimes it's hard to think of what to write in a blog to keep readers interests up. Some other bloggers I've come across in the Bloggersphere are excellent at keeping up the random posts here and there and about all different types of events in their lives and or their opinions on things that have happened in this world. So I really need to stop sitting on my hands and post more often. I shouldn't just create different blogs for different content, but lump it all in here, to boost the weight and size of 'Not Your Average Gweilo.' So, after this post is done, I'm deleting my other blog (not that there is much on there anyway, or even that many viewers) and begin to post more varied content in here over the year and gather more readers.

So to begin 2012, I'll tell you what happened to my cereal the other day. It got destroyed by a wild hacky sack:

It's a daily ritual for us here in my workplace. A group of guys have an afternoon hack. It get's the body moving and keeps the mind sharp. It's also good for a laugh, because we really aren't that awesome at the sport. On the occasion a hack will come flying across the room, into someone's head or, on this occasion, cereal. At least it was only Cheerios. I'm not even that big a fan of them. But, don't you worry. I'll get my revenge one day...

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Malaysia Series: Tapah.

Nestled amongst the hills, close to the junction to Cameron Highlands is the small, but full of character town of Tapah. Birth town of my mother in law, we stopped by one day, took some photos and enjoyed a nice Teh Tarik at Yat Sin, a corner cafe. This is a nice example of the real Malaysia, buildings with history, where nothing has changed over the years, and the older residents walk around in the stifling heat with a beaming smile on their faces.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Malaysia Series: The National Monument.

The first part of the monument.

On the same day we arrived on our last trip to Malaysia, we decided to stop at the National Monument. For those who don't know what it is, and as per Wikipedia states, and I quote: "The National Monument is a sculpture that commemorates those who died in Malaysia's struggle for freedom, principally against the Japanese occupation during World War II and the Malayan Emergency, which lasted from 1948 until 1960. It is located in the Federal capital, Kuala Lumpur."

Almost at the main statue.

At first, we were there to search for my uncle's name, although I might have confused the fact that he was a ranking Major in the English army during their time in Malaysia, and headed up the Penang Police force. So, apart from my lovely wife, I had other ties to Malaysia before! 

One thing about this last photo, as we were coming from Melbourne, Australia, it was relatively cold that evening. I think it was pushing 5 degrees celsius or colder, and as always, the air conditioning is on in the plane, so you always end up being cold. Then you arrive in Malaysia, and the humidity hits you like a wall! So here I am, in jeans and a polo and I'm dripping sweat all over. It was worth it though, the National Monument is well maintained and is a great example of Malaysia's history. 

The main statue.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Malaysia Series: Bangunan Sultan Abdul Samad.

First things first. I love Malaysia, and it's truly my second home, being that my lovely wife is Malaysian! Through the various upcoming posts I'll be writing about a particular photo and it's significance.

On my third trip over, I decided that I needed to catch up on some sight seeing, that I'd not done before. In this photo, we see my wife taking a photo of the imposing and beautiful Bangunan Sultan Abdul Samad, the KL Hight Court. It was under some prep for a festival, which is why you can see various pavilion structures popping up.

You may ask why did I want to see this area? The wife asked the same question, and it's because of this: Jackie Chan's Police Story III - Super Cop. When he and Malaysia's own Michelle Yeo attempt a risky break out of a mobsters wife from her court appearance. So, I literally wanted to see where they had filmed this sequence, and here it is.

The Little Pleasures Of Life.

I am certain, that a vast majority of my generation went through the Snake phase. I was on the crest of the mobile phone wave, when the Nokia 3010 or something, I can't remember exactly, became popular and actually owning a mobile phone was becoming more and more common. I was going through a box of old computer gear and I sat down with a pile of unmarked CDs and went through them to determine wether or not I should bin them. One one CD I found some old photos from back when I was still in Tasmania. The above photo was a humorous find! Look at that score, I must have been beside myself with excitement for producing such an effort. I wager there are better scores out there in the world, but for me, this was an achievement worth taking a photo of. It reminds me of a simple time, when we had green and black screens and it suited us fine, and batteries lasted for a week, and not a single day, and when we had maybe 10 contacts in our phone and pretty much only called our parents. Simple times. Ah, the memories.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Shanghai Photography.

A photo taken with a Canon 550D in the back streets of Shanghai, close to the Yuyuan Garden. It was a scorchingly hot day, and this chap was nodding off under the semi-shade of his ramshackle shop front. I'm unsure as to what the store was. We had wandered off the main street, in search of a more authentic Chinese street, and found it. The smell and heat became quite overwhelming to your senses as you see the hidden example of Shanghai's residents.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Jesus music, the best music for our minds and ears...

Thursday, October 6, 2011

All About Steve.

Steve Jobs, 1955 - 2011.

Today, the world mourns a tech legend, the one and only Steve Jobs.

The man behind the re-invention of the Macintosh brand, who brought a lowly second choice to a Windows style PC, into a massive must have computational instrument. His ideas were more than just 'another computer' they were works of art. A classy item to sit proudly on any desk.

Even though we understand that Steve did have many creative and highly talented people behind him, he himself, was just a pure magnet of energy, we always hung off every word at every press conference or event he held. It was just so exciting to see what he and his team had in store for us next.

For me personally, it began a long time ago, back when I was still in school, living in Tasmania, Australia. My dad and I were hardcore Atari Computer fans. We had an Atari 1040STe, an Atari 1040 Mega STe and also the final TOS based OS computer, the Medusa. We dabbled with PCs, but were always staunch Atari supporters until they folded entirely with the failure of the Jaguar game system. I knew a bit about the Macintosh, in Europe, the Macintosh and the Atari guys were good friends. I do believe there were talks of possible take overs from either side (maybe during Steve Jobs' absence, when Macs were failing) and a fusion of TOS and Mac OS was on the horizon, but never eventuated.

The Atari 1040STe.

My first real Mac temptation came from a friend, who's mother managed one of the few (maybe only) Mac authorised resellers in Hobart. They always had Macs in their home, and the she brought back an original Tangerine iBook, I was astonished and captivated by this sleekly shaped piece of art. I really racked my brain looking for the justification to attempt to co-erce my dad into a purchase.

The iBook in it's many colours.

Sadly, the iBook purchase never happened. A similar feeling washed over me with the release of the PowerMac G4 Cube. That thing, truly was a work of art, it still is. It was stylistically well before it's time. My friend had the original Unreal Tournament playing on it and I was itching to have one for myself! Once again, it wasn't to be.

The PowerMac G4 Cube.

My actual first Mac purchase is what I'm blogging on right now. A 2007 MacBook Pro. It's in immaculate condition and I love it to bits. Along with my iPhone 3GS, I'm not as up to date as many other Mac fans, but I still love reading all about Apple's latest forays into the tech market place.

Steve, you will truly be missed by ALL tech nerds all over the world. God bless you, your family and all who worked for you in all the Apple shops and factories all over the world.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Blogger App For iPhone.

So yes. I'm currently writing this post from my iPhone and from the comfort of a place most people sit to use their smart phones on their 'Angry Bird Breaks.' I believe they coined another term for this... It's a functional app that I'm still really exploring all it can do (which probably isn't all that much) but at least it's semi useful for instant, on the go posts.

You can also attach images, as you can see from the photo I took of the lovely ceramic waste bins in Suzhou, China. Possibly the nicest looking garbage bins I've laid eyes on.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Joel Houston - Song Writer for God.

A vast majority of Christians world wide know the Australian Pentecostal Church Hillsong, and a vast majority of Churches world wide sing their worship songs on a weekly basis. It's always an exciting time of the year when it's time for Hillsong Live's new album release, to hear what worship music they have created this time (for the people who can't afford or make it to the yearly Hillsong Conference). Each album improves, and each song becomes much more intricately structured, each track filled to the brim with praise.

One of the integral components to Hillsong Live and also Hillsong United is the lead pastor's son, Joel Houston (who is now co-pastor at Hillsong NYC) and on a personal level, the songs he writes are some of my favourites. Joel seems to specialise in what I describe as 'epic' worship, lengthier tracks that build and build into a massive explosion. I typically will be listening to these tracks on a daily basis and they never fail to send shivers down my spine as I listen to them. I had the privilege of attending 2011's Hillsong OneDay Conference and experienced these songs in a live setting, with around 10,000 other worshippers and the presence of God and the power of the songs is such an experience to be felt.

Below are a few of the songs that Joel has written over the years.

Rise - Hillsong Live, album: God Is Able
Rise, is currently my favourite track on God Is Able. It's a brilliant way to start the album and is written specifically to prepare the Church's heart for worship.

With Everything - Hillsong Live, album: This Is Our God
With Everything has one incredible build up that just explodes at the end, and when experienced live, with thousands of other worshippers singing in unison, it is almost an outer body experience! It really brings you right there with God.

Beautiful Exchange - Hillsong Live, album: A Beautiful Exchange
The title track from the above mentioned album, remains one of Joel's most atmospheric and hypnotic worship songs, which he supposedly wrote in his head as he was surfing one day in Bondi Beach. Another track that truly shows his heart and love for Jesus. 

Psalm 150:1-6 ESV
Praise the Lord! Praise God in his sanctuary; praise him in his mighty heavens! Praise him for his mighty deeds; praise him according to his excellent greatness! Praise him with trumpet sound; praise him with lute and harp! Praise him with tambourine and dance; praise him with strings and pipe! Praise him with sounding cymbals; praise him with loud clashing cymbals! ...

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Upcoming Blogs Preview!

There are a few things of late that have been keeping me from really getting back into blogging, mainly, being the rush to finish all my allocated work on the movie Ghost Rider 2 - Spirit of Vengeance (and yes, that is all I can talk about until it's released) and then heading off with the wife for a well earned holiday.

I used to blog quite regularly, way back in the day. It was a daily thing. But now, it's like a monthly, rare occurance. But I want that to stop. It's a nice and normal hobby and a way to put my thoughts out there where a few people might stumble across them and actually read them. 

So, back to my recent trip. We spent a couple of weeks in the homeland that is, Malaysia and about nine days in Shanghai, China and it's surrounding provinces. This is where a bunch of my upcoming blogs will focus. Some photos and interesting tidbits and information. So yes, maybe after I post said blogs and add some labels I'll get a few more readers.

See you soon!

Thursday, July 28, 2011


After some pondering, I decided to change the title of my blog. It reflects an amalgamation of previous blogs and attitudes that I brought to them. It's been many a year since I delved into the internet. Way back in the day when Yahoo chat was the hot place to hang out, and when "A / S / L?" was thrown about willy nilly and when your ICQ chat list was populated by hundreds of people you never even met before, from all parts of the world. When your PC was infected by hilarious viruses that spammed your desktop with frightening, never ending java script pop ups and personal websites were awash with clipart and gifs.  Now, just for reference, I'm talking about the late 90's internet era, when the net was cool and when you now kick yourself for not purchasing more domain names.

So yah. I'll be using Blogger more now. I'll be doing odd design changes randomly too. Like adding a title image at the top! Stay tuned various thousands of visitors!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

I Eated It: Meetbowl.

Meetbowl - South Melbourne | Urbanspoon

Up above is a link to Urbanspoon's page on said foodery.

So yeah, I've been twice now. It's actually quite a tasty place, not the physical building mind you, but the food contained within it's walls. Indonesian is it's specialty, basic hawker style Indonesian food that warms the cockles of your heart and bowls. Provided on the table you will see a delightfully powerful chili sauce that's well worth plastering over each bite of Bakso Special (what I've had twice. I should try something different next time, and write about it, also remember to take some photos). A thing many westerners fail to realise, is that it is a simple eatery. It's not trying to produce fancy food, it's back street style, slap it together and quickly get it into the customers guts. But, all in all, I'll be going back again. It's close to my work, and because there are no good Malaysian food holes around, this is the closest I can get to real comfort food.

You can view some images on the Urbanspoon link above. I'm not going to post someone else's photos now am I. Or will I? Nah.

Decisions, decisions.

So, after much pondering and back and forth blatherings, I've decide to stay with Blogger as my blogging tool of choice. I began using Blogger back in the late to early 1980's and I then experimented with other services. Wordpress lasted around 10 minutes, but I had a liking for Tumblr that lasted for a lot longer than 10 minutes. Possibly it lasted for 10 minutes times by however many 10 minutes are needed to make a couple of years. That's a few 10 minutes. But I digress to regress back to my 1980's Blogger statement. It wasn't actually that year, but it was a long time ago that I messed around with Blogger. I even had it before I had my Gmail email, although I can't remember what I created or how to log into it. So yes. Please to read more stuff in the future if you may.

Oh yes, and follow with that Google Follow Friending thingy thats to your lower right!