ad astra per alia porci

my favourite animal
January 21, 2009, 5:39 am
Filed under: diary | Tags: ,

The ratel is an amazing animal; it embodies the kind of values I admire: tenaciousness, courage and intellect, amongst others.

This video proves it visually. Pay attention especially to the last part. It’s incredible.

who wants to stay in residence
January 13, 2009, 1:22 am
Filed under: diary

I asked my friend why he chose to stop staying in the student residence at the university.

He said, “Life is so boring there I rather spend the time travelling.”

mushroom sauce
January 10, 2009, 10:39 am
Filed under: food | Tags: ,

I made this to complement the pork chops. This is the first time the sauce turned out well. The flour and the simmering process are the critical bits. The recipe is not cast in stone; vary ingredients to achieve optimum result. I used Swiss brown button mushrooms.

Mushroom sauce


Butter – 1 tbsp

Chicken stock – 1/2 can

Mushrooms – half a box, chopped

Flour – 1 tbsp

Salt and pepper to taste


1) Heat up butter and stock to a boil

2) Turn down heat, add mushrooms

3) After about a few minutes, add flour to coagulate sauce. Stir to break up clumps of flour.

4) Let sauce simmer. Add salt and pepper to taste.

5) When appropriate viscosity is reached, remove from heat and serve.

Graham’s Late Bottled Vintage Port 2003
January 10, 2009, 8:56 am
Filed under: alcohol | Tags: , ,

This stands in contrast to the Graham’s 10 Year port. Raw and intense with its deep ruby colour, yet held together, with a strong taste of fruit. I prefer the 10 Year for its refinement, but this wine has its own character and perks. Even 1 week after opening, its sharpness has dulled only by a bit. It warms my mouth and body still. Yet it develops still. A port with a twist. I eagerly await sampling it at the second week of opening.

losing my religion
January 9, 2009, 4:28 pm
Filed under: soundtrack

I lost it a long time ago.

The sense of uncertainty and vulnerability that pervades this song speaks to me in various ways. As with most art,  there are layers of meaning and this song bears various meanings for me.

As I grew older, appearances and reality diverge more and more, and the idea of the world being an essentially benevolent place is replaced by a more realistic conception of the world as essentially ambivalent to human life. Speech is politicised as human interaction is laced with the poison of power plays between jostling competing humans.

Oh, it has quite a nice tune too.

wise advice for intrepid travellers

I got this from the foreword of The Worst-Case Scenario Survival Handbook: Travel, penned by David Concannon of the Explorers Club. Rules of thumb that applies to travel, as well as life in general. They do say that life is travel.

Lesson #1: The unexpected usually happens
Lesson #2: Accept the things that are beyond your control.
Lesson #3: Always have a contingency plan.
Lesson #4: No matter how bad you think things are now, they can always get worse.

A quote from the Introduction:

The statistics are against you: more than 50 percent of all travellers run into problems.