Abbey Road Crossing Cam

Amusing. They’ve set up a livecam at the famous Abbey Road crossing which the Beatles used on their album cover.

WATCHING STUPID TOURISTS ON THE NEW ABBEY ROAD CAM IS HILARIOUS

(The Thrillist’s headline, not mine).

I enjoy seeing famous sights in person but I’ve never been one to try to reenact a moment or have the need to capture a photograph proving I was there. Not that there’s anything wrong with it; I think I’m just lazy.

Guide to Gin

Speaking of gin and tonics, Ladyironchef (courtesy of Mandy Lynn) posted a Beginner’s Guide to Gin.

I’m part of the article, talking about the beauty of Greenhook Gin and how one may enjoy tasting gin. It can be pretty intense for a newbie!

Guide-to-Gin

Drop by The Secret Mermaid and go through a selection of gins via our tasting flights! Some really awesome stuff there… Greylock Gin, Pinckney’s American Gin, New Deal 33, New Deal 1, Half Moon Orchard Gin, TRU organic gin, and plenty more! It’s quite amazing the differences one can taste  between different gins.

A gin and tonic after a hard day’s work

I’ve touched on this before, my love for commuter bars. These days we’re overwhelmed with “destination” everything places. Destination restaurants, destination bars, destination destination destination. It’s always about the destination. Commuter bars are great as they’re about the transit. The passing from Point A to Point C but with a short hop at Point B.

On my last trip to New York I was thrilled to go to Tracks Raw Bar and Grill. They had been featured in a New York Times article, and I wanted to check them out, much to my New York friend’s dismay. We hauled ourselves over to Penn Station where we overindulged in whiskey poured by sight. Commuter bars are a temporary refuge, the “third place” that all these cafés are striving to be. An escape for the salaryman, able to loosen their tie, untuck their shirt, and mentally step away from the stresses of the office. Maybe they’re with a couple colleagues, or maybe they’re friends with the bar regulars. Or maybe they’re just alone at the end of the bar nursing a drink.

Tracks Raw Bar

Tracks Raw Bar

We started happy hour at The Secret Mermaid last week. It brings us a step closer to being a great Singapore commuter bar.

From the article:

For Michael Haskell, 37, of Garden City, N.Y., all it takes is a nod to Theresa FitzGerald, a longtime bartender; a second later, a gin and tonic is in his hand. “This is the only spot to go in Penn Station,” Mr. Haskell, a wealth manager for an investment bank, said the other day. “Actually, this is about as good as it gets in the basement of a train station.”

Microsoft Surface Pro 3

A year and a half ago or so I got Microsoft’s first attempt at a tablet + laptop device. It was their first version of the Surface Pro and overall I quite enjoyed it. I thought about upgrading to the Surface Pro 2 but figured it wasn’t substantially different than what I had so I should be a good boy save my pennies for another day. Then the Surface Pro 3 was announced and it was improved enough that I thought it would make for a worthwhile upgrade (and I can use the previous Surface Pro at one of my restaurants). Microsoft’s new Surface Pro 3 comes with a bigger screen, new type keyboard, improved hardware, changes to the pen input as well as a host of other new features.

I’ll write more thoughts on it as my usage increases, but for now Mashable has a well-written review on the device. If you’re in the market for a new laptop, I’d urge you to take a look at the Surface Pro 3.

05-29-14_Microsoft_Surface2_Finals_16[1]

Sweet Jane

Digging through music I haven’t heard in a long time. Lots of old favorites that just fell out of rotation. Time to bring them back.

And with that, good night.

Still Life with Airport

From Douglas Coupland’s book “Marshall McLuhan: You Know Nothing of My Work!”

You are in an airport and the year is 1962. Women around you are dressed nicely. You are wearing a hat. You are a fifty-two-year-old man eating roast beef in an airport restaurant, and the roast beef you are eating is marbled with globs of fat shaped like American states and counties. The air is silky blue with cigarette smoke. There are no black people around you. You are reading newspaper articles about birth control pills and about art being made in New York that uses comic strips and magazine ads as its creative nucleus. The ice in your bourbon is almost entirely melted. Your flight is announced and you go to your gate. You get into your seat, 3A, and the guy seated beside you pinches the stewardess’s butt. She giggles.

You cross a continent.

The car that picks you up at the other end is a machine that pumps large clouds of leaded blue smoke into the air while it idles. All the other cars around you are doing the same thing. None of these cars have seat belts. The sky is brown.

A woman on the sidewalk takes a pill. Pills of all sorts seem so common: amphetamines for people trying to lose weight, elephant-pill barbiturates for those in need of sleep. But your brain is calm. Your brain feels like a cathedral made of brown stone, light beaming in through stained-glass windows. You are witnessing the world, but you are not being affected by it. You are driven to a skyscraper where rich men are paying you thousands of dollars to say pretty much whatever passes through your mind.

The Age of No Sleep

I wonder if it’s old age, alcohol, a racing mind, or a combination of the aforementioned that cause these frequent sleepless nights to happen.

At least I’ve been getting better in doing productive, if not mindless things in these early morning hours. (Is it productive getting your daily quota of looking at cat photos done early?)

May is bringing lots of travel. Just returned from Penang, which is a city that contained many pleasant surprises, and soon will go to Bandung, Hong Kong and Kuala Lumpur. Different cities, new projects, all exciting opportunities.

The Secret Mermaid has been well-received, so I’m happy about that. Looks like there is demand and curiosity for American craft alcohol, which is promising for Liberty Spirits Asia. Shinkansen is thrumming along and will soon be in two more locations. Yay for soba and brown rice bowls! We’re revamping the offerings at Tanuki Raw; keeping the much talked about happy hour and refreshing the food items as well as pushing forward with our lunch options. My stalwart, Standing Sushi Bar, should be expanding soon as well.

I need to start exercising again. Had been doing it on an almost daily basis for a month and a half but stopped about two months ago. Various aches and pains have cropped up since then.

I wish Singapore had cooler weather.

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