Another shot of the Ambassador five star hotel building that dominates part of downtown Hsinchu, Taiwan. Taken on the 20th of December 2006 with a Nikon D200 and a Nikkor 18-35mm. Part of the Ambassador Series 1.
I have been watching some old James Bond movies. Currently, I am watching Goldfinger (1964). This was caused by the release of a new James Bond movie last month. I had forgotten, but Goldfinger contains some interesting factoids.
For example, I realized when I was listening to the movie that the Sneaker Pimps had sampled the cord refrain of the OST of the movie in their hit song 6 underground. Also, the way that Goldfinger describes getting into the vault of Fort Knox has been copied by David Singer in the Usual Suspects when the lawyer Kobayashi explains to the crew how they have wronged Kaiser Souze.
I like watching old movies. You always get these kinds of gems in the dialogue or storyline.
“Oh no, James, I hate you I want to punch you out.”
“No you don’t dear, you want me, like all women do.”
“Oh no, James, stay away! I am pushing you away because I hate you!”
“No dear, you love me, you need me between your thighs.”
“Oh James, I love you, kiss me!”
James Bond, all women want to be with him and all men want to be like him!
Since I have reviewed most of the older James Bond movies, except the original Thunderball (1965) and Live And Let Die, I have come to the conclusion that most scenes shot in the States kinda suck ass. It hasn’t got anything to do with the places, but the two films in which most of the action took place in the States, well… It wasn’t the best. I am referring to Diamonds Are Forever and Goldfinger. When I think about James Bond, I think about sexy women, gadgets and explosions in exotic locales. Not the USA, mayby Hawaii, but something like Bora Bora, Monaco, and the Fire Islands or whatever. Not Miami beach or Kansas.
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Tomorrow, we have a dinner with some friends, the closest that we will get to a family dinner in Taiwan. It is strange since we both do not know them all that well, but we do like them very much.
It is harder for my wife to be without her family because she hasn’t spent a lot of Christmases away from them. I on the other hand have. In the last few years, I have always managed to spend the time with my family or with my wife’s family.
I am not sure, but I think that last winter we spent Christmas with my family. Or maybe it was the year before that. I do miss my family and wish them the best and hope that all works out for all of us in the end.
My parents are both researchers in biochemistry. My father is a few years away from retirement and has full tenure in Laval University. My mother has also a doctorate in biochemistry and worked for years with my father, but she has stopped working with him last year to concentrate full time as a writer. She has written and published a series of short stories on India and on a family of Indians living in the west. She has also completed her first novel in the last two years and it is also going to be published.
I have a younger sister who is also somewhat of a purelaine Quebecois. She is living currently in Trois-Rivieres and is a physiotherapist.
I have a lot of things to be thankful for this year. This year started out as the worst year of my life and ended as being one of the better ones. I am thankful for my wife’s support in my endeavors and our constant companionship and our marriage. We aren’t perfect, but we are made to be together, albeit our idiosyncrasies. I am thankful that all is well with my dog and that he will be joining us shortly in a few months. I am thankful of the BC family taking loving care of him.
[Ed Note: as always, since I have not obtained permission to use the names of the people I am talking about in this post, I am not publishing them. Call it protecting their privacy.]
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On Thursday, I made really great salmon. I got a great filet and had to cook it right away since I hadn’t gotten any red meat. The cuts available at the RT Mart weren’t the best, because the best were sold out. Instead of getting a few little steaks, I decided to get a big chunk of salmon. I usually prepare salmon in the oven, but since we do not have an oven in our little apartment, I slowly roasted it in the pan, using the steam from the veggies and the heat of the pan. I minced some garlic and peppers and prepared a marinating sauce. I usually like to use a lot of lemon juice and coriander, but I wasn’t able to get those ingredients so I had to made due with what I had. I have been able to get some basic spices, though I am still missing coriander, cumin and a few other essentials.
It took about 20 minutes for the salmon to be ready, and since I hadn’t moved it, when it was ready, the skin was stuck to the pan. Stuck is a big word, since it came right over when I started cleaning it up. It was really good. So good that we need to eat it every few days I think. Since I have put on a few pounds since I came here, because of all of the carbs, we both have decided to go back to our low carb diets. It isn’t easy, since rice is one of the staples of Taiwanese cooking, but we will manage somehow.
Another thing that we enjoy is fruits. The fruits here are so fresh and sweet compared to Canada. I enjoy apple-pears, dragon fruit (which gives me diarrhea), papaya, guava, kiwis and other delicacies. There are fruit stores spaced throughout the city and it is hard not to be within a short scooter drive of one.
You will be happy to hear that my lungs have completely cleared up since my episode a few weeks ago. I have not used my asthma inhaler this week and I have completely stopped coughing. I am always wearing a pollution mask though, that probably helped out a lot.
Meanwhile, I think I have caught up on Heroes (NBC), Jericho (CBS) and I have finally been able to watch Spooks. I almost stopped watching Heroes after the 3rd episode because of the storyline, but it has picked up since. It helps that I watch them in batches instead of a single episode every week. The same goes for Jericho. The whole melodramatic element of this show is a bit stupid. We want to know with who the mysterious man is talking to on his ruggedized laptop and who or why the USA was bombed back to the stone age with atom bombs. The most recent mystery are the food drops. The planes were Russian and had been stopped making in the 1970s. The food that they contained was from China. The parachutes were American made. After the message from the director of the Homeland Security a few episodes ago and the mysterious Chinese TV news show showing that 8-10 American cities were destroyed, we still do not know what exactly happened. The EMP didn’t help matters either.
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