Thursday, April 17, 2014

Karpal Singh, My Other Hero, May He Rest In Peace.




In the Malaysian political scene, I have two heroes whom I salute.  Eversince I could vote, I always voted for DAP.  Even before I could vote while still a student, I was a staunch DAP supporter for I knew all along DAP is a sincere political party working for peace and equality for all Malaysians.  It is only their other political opponents that spinned negative news about DAP.  If you disagree with me it is ok.  But I shall not go into debate with you.  This post is not for debating.  This post is to convey my solemn respect for the late Karpal Singh, who tragically was killed in a car accident this early morning.  Karpal Singh was my other local political hero.  May he rest in peace.  My sincere condolences to his family.  It is a very sad day.  I salute you Karpal Singh.

My number one local political hero is none other than Lim Kit Siang.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

A Most Expensive Surprise Gift From My Internet Friend

Yesterday I met up with my internet friend from KL.  He came to Penang to attend the Tzu Chi's graduation ceremony.  My friend Gary Kang is now officially one step nearer to becoming a Blue Angel of Tzu Chi.  He is now able to wear the grey shirt to serve the people.  After a period of time through further dedication of service to the community, he will become a full fledged Blue Angel, wearing the blue shirt. For those who don't know about what I am writing about, please read my article on Tzu Chi.

When we met, he presented me a clear plastic container which I thought were two pieces of timsum buns.  The plastic container was somewhat opague and I couldn't see clearly.  Then he opened the container, and to my surprise, it was an expensive commodity; 4 beautifully sorted pieces of pure birdnest.   By the way our friend Gary has a swiftlets' building in a remote town, and these four precious pieces came from there.  

I dared not ask him about the market price of these 4 pieces for fear he might change his mind and ask me to pay for them.  Just joking.  Gary will never do that to me, knowing I am a retired old man without pension.

Thanks a million, my friend Gary, for the expensive surprise gift.

Take a look at the photos below:

Two types. Left shows the finer grain. Right shows the streaky type.  


Closer look at the finer type


Closer look at the streaky type

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Brilliant Answers For Stupid Questions


 

 Q1. How can you lift an elephant with one hand? * You will never find an elephant that has only one hand.

Q2. In which battle did Napoleon die? * His last battle.

Q3. River Ravi flows in which state? * Liquid.

Q4. What is the main reason for divorce? * Marriage.

Q5. What is the main reason for failure? * Exams.

Q6. What can you never eat for breakfast? * Lunch & dinner.

Q7. What looks like half an apple? * The other half .

Q8. If you throw a red stone into the blue sea what will it become? * It will simply become wet.

Q9. How can a man go eight days without sleeping ? * No problem, he sleeps at night. 




Q10. Where was the Declaration of Independence signed? * At the bottom of the page. 

Q11. If you had three apples and four oranges in one hand and four apples and three oranges in other hand, what would you have ? * Very large hands.

Q12. If it took eight men ten hours to build a wall, how long would it take for four men to build it? * No time at all, the wall is already built.

Q13. How can you drop a raw egg onto a concrete floor without cracking it? *Any way you want, concrete floors are very hard to crack.

The Three Stages Of Life

How true, how true!

But it will be a tragedy if in the third stage of life one has no money.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

My Love For Chinese Pop Songs (Vol 1)

My internet friend Gary once commented that my father must had made a mistake sending me to English school. Gary is 100% correct. Although I think and speak in English, everything else is Chinaman in me, especially music.
From today onwards, if possible, each day, I shall present my favourite evergreen pop songs from youtube and share them here.


fb #1 (13 Oct 2013)
For a starter, let me share with you one of my top favourites
無言的結局 Wu Yan De Jie Ju
by Lin Shu Rong & Loh Shi Fung





 fb #2 (14 Oct 2013)

While searching through the youtube site, I came across this wonderful video featuring a duet doing two Hokkien songs, featuring traditional musical instruments.

Hokkien songs are mostly about love, family and the vicissitudes of life. They are usually sung with deep emotion and delicate vocal, facial and body expressions. 




fb#3 (14 Oct 2013)
Today I like to share this piece with you by Loong Piao Piao. This piece exudes that air of nostalgia for an old man like me. Ah! Time flies and awaits for no one, even the bloody corrupted and racist politicians have no chance to escape.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=boIFalWj17Y&list=RD02aUxHbwvJm-w

fb #4 (15 Oct 2013)
 wang shi zhi neng hui wei by Yu Yar.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=umGfX57xXig

fb #5 (16 Oct 2013)

Today I like to share this song with you by the stunningly beautiful Tracy Huang.

Autumn Wing 秋 风... 黄莺莺 TRACY Huang

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=mRCkivOeG9s

I particularly like the Thai version which sounds very sensual. You can listen to the Thai version and read more in my blog posting @
http://blackandwhite999.blogspot.com/2012/08/tracy-huang-happy-61st-birthday.html


 My love for Chinese pop songs (#6) (17 Oct 2013)
Today I like to share a happy song in Hokkien by Chen Lei the Taiwanese singer. He is hot property since he sang this song.
欢喜就好 - 陳雷 Chen Lei : HUA HEE TIO HO

"Happy Is Good Enough". this song describes the ironies in life. Even the best things have their problems. The last line is superb "Pretty wife, elopes". meaning having a pretty wife, also problem! Enjoy!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z9qGmA5rHmc


My love for Chinese pop songs (#7) 18 Oct 2013

Pan Mei Chern's greatest hit. I think it means "Wishing for a family". Her trademark : a tomboy look.
 https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=qOOMTw3hGU4
My love for Chinese pop songs (#8: part 1 of 2) 19 Oct 2013
If you an Asian, you will know this song. The evergreen classic by Teresa Teng : The Moon Represents My Heart
If you wish to know more about Teresa Teng and listen to more of her songs please click the link in "My love for Chinese pop songs (#8 : part 2 of 2)" after this post.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=bv_cEeDlop0
My love for Chinese pop songs (#8 : part 2 of 2)

More about Teresa Teng :

http://goodguy.hubpages.com/hub/Teresa-Teng-the-iconic-Asian-singer
My love for Chinese pop songs (#8 : Bonus Addition)

This piece by Teresa Teng sung in Malay (actually Indonesian) is for my Malay friends. I remember a similar piece sung by local Malay singers in a male/female duet with a chorus line "lompat apek lompat".
 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7VHD5peWp7w&feature=share
 My love for Chinese pop songs (#9 part 1 of 2) 20 Oct 2013

Feng Fei Fei aka Queen of Hats, because she always wore a hat in her performances. Sadly Feng Jie (Sister Feng) as she is very fondly addressed by all of us, succumbed to cancer on 3 Jan 2012, aged only 58.

If you want to read more about her and watch her other videos, please click the link on my next post after this @ (My love for Chinese pop songs #9 part 2 of 2)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I0OxnL_kK10
 My love for Chinese pop songs (#9 part 2 of 2)
More on Feng Jie @
http://blackandwhite999.blogspot.com/2012/02/feng-fei-fei-another-mandarin-pop-icon.html
 
My love for Chinese pop songs (#10) 21 )ct 2013

Jenny Tseng was born in 1953 and still looks stunning today, albeit a little weight has been added! She is from mixed parentage, mother Chinese and father Austrian. Her peak career was in the 70s and 80s. She married the popular actor Alexander Fu Sheng who died in a car accident in 1983, aged 29. In 1987, Jenny gave birth to a girl and later revealed that the father was Fu Sheng, from his sperm bank.

I named my daughter almost 30 years ago after Jenny Tseng whose Mandarin name is Zhēn Nī (甄妮). I spelt my daughter's name as Chern Ni for ease of pronunciation for those not familiar with Hanyu Pinyin pronunciation.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GxF14XWZNAk&list=RD02c41dygWjHvY
  My love for Chinese pop songs (#11) 1 Nov 2013

It's a gloomy day. Rained heavily and disrupted my favourite Hokkien serial on Astro. So I shall share a gloomy song by Tang Lan Hua 汤兰花 in her famous 1960s' film "Jilted" 负心的人 or literally translated as "heartless person". This video shows the original clip. The theme song bearing the same title starts @0.00 and ends @ 2.37. Then follows by a happy song @ 8.22.
我在你左右 - I'm By Your Side
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lgZRHa1oAms
 
My love for Chinese pop songs (#12) 2 NOV 2013

Since there are friends reading this, I shall continue. Today and another 2 days I like to share three singers I never knew by names but were very familiar with their songs since the 80s. Because of this "My love for Chinese pop songs" series, and grateful thanks to youtube, only now I know their names. They were original singers for such evergreen songs, but sadly I think they didn't make it big. Perhaps Chai Yoon Choy and Kang Gary can give me more info into them.

First on the list is 橄欖樹 (Olive Tree) by 齊豫(QiYu). I notice that her name has 2 versions Chyi Yu and Yu Chyi. From the photo characters from top to bottom it is Qi Yu or Chyi Yu
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HrjQmZ8t8nQ
 Photo: My love for Chinese pop songs (#12)

Since there are friends reading this, I shall continue. Today and another 2 days I like to share three singers I never knew by names but were very familiar with their songs since the 80s. Because of this "My love for Chinese pop songs" series, and grateful thanks to youtube, only now I know their names. They were original singers for such evergreen songs, but sadly I think they didn't make it big. Perhaps Chai Yoon Choy and Kang Gary can give me more info into them.
 
First on the list is 橄欖樹 (Olive Tree) by 齊豫(QiYu).  I notice that her name has 2 versions Chyi Yu and Yu Chyi.  From the photo characters from top to bottom it is Qi Yu or Chyi Yu
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HrjQmZ8t8nQ
 
My love for Chinese pop songs (#13) 4 NOV 2013

Today I like to share the second "mysterious" singer. Her name is Shen Yang (沈雁) and this is my favourite song "一串心" (Yi Chuan Xing). The website has a few translations for "Chuan" meaning rude, arrogant, relative, conspire, string. So I need Gary or Chai to give the exact meaning in this context "一串心". Hope they can give me more info on this singer.

This song brings nostalgic reminiscence of my more relaxed family lifestyle in the 80s. This song is so soothing to listen to. I don't know whether the lyrics has beautiful sentimental meaning or not.

This song and almost all of the songs that I enjoyed were usually played on cassette tapes while driving during the 80s along the federal highway from Subang Jaya to town and back home after work. I have thrown away all the cassette tapes and now having problem finding these songs on cds because I don't know Mandarin. Lucky to have youtube!!

They said when you are retired, you will have time to enjoy life. Time yes, but circumstances sometimes affect one's life. So I will just listen to this song again to regain my sanity.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wFbp7iRJmzg
  My love for Chinese pop songs (#14) (Maybe last post on this topic) 5 NOV 2013

The last of the three "mysterious" singers is Yin Xia (銀霞). The song is 蝸牛與黃鸝鳥. Sorry don't know how to read Chinese. Doesn't matter. Just enjoy listening to the song. That's what I have doing for donkey years.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5KAMe3UtRAg
 My love for Chinese pop songs (#15 part 1 of 2)  6 NOV 2013

This song is for my sister's listening pleasure. Happy Birthday And Stay Healthy And Be Happy!

This song sung by Lin Dai in 1956. Composed by Yao Min. The rhythm is Japanese Enka style with the usually long musical introduction before the actual singing. Many were surprised that it was not composed by a Japanese.

Below is the modern version without the long musical introduction. Nothing can compare with the original, which I will post after this one.

Not a very appropriate song for the birthday girl but this surely brings back the feeling of sweet nostalgia.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SiChUMxk4XE
 My love for Chinese pop songs (#15 part 2 of 2)

Now the authentic one by Lindai herself.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XgQ1WUN2HF8

Monday, October 14, 2013

Masterpieces Of Traditional Chinese Music

Below is a very informative and entertaining video on traditional Chinese music, through the courtesy of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.  The introduction and explanation in English are most valuable for those not Chinese educated, like me.  This video is pretty long, 1 hour and 14 minutes.  Please sit back and enjoy.


Sunday, October 13, 2013

My Love For Chinese Pop Songs (Addition)

Yesterday I put up a posting on this subject.  While searching through the youtube site, I came across this wonderful video featuring a duet doing two Hokkien songs.  

Hokkien songs are mostly about love, family and the vicissitudes of life.  They are usually sung with deep emotion and delicate vocal, facial and body expressions. 

This video focused on the different Chinese traditional instruments in their finest display throughout the songs; a very rare video presentation of such beauty.     

I am sorry I don't know Mandarin Chinese.  The singers are 洪榮宏 and 龍千玉

and the songs are 一生只愛你一個 and 男人情女人心 

The first song sounds like this in Hokkien, "It seng, chi ai, li chit lei" meaning "Love only you in my whole life"
The second song sounds like "Cha por lang eh cheng, char bor lang eh sim" meaning "Man's feeling, woman's heart."   

Well, if you are not familiar with Hokkien, forget about pronouncing the above.  You will definitely get all the intonations wrong, rendering them incomprehensible!
 


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