Foggy London

Before we flew back to London last week, we heard that British Airway had halted domestic flights due to heavy fog. We didn't pay much attention to it because we knew Britain grinds to a halt with the slightly change in weather. But when we finally landed in Heathrow airport, we finally realized exactly how foggy it had been.

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Difference Engine

My mum has finally come to the 21st century with the arrival of broadband internet and a Dell laptop with built-in Wi-Fi. After setting up her DSL modem/router and connected her desktop and the new laptop to it, I had been doing a lot of application installations and data transfer this last day.

Today, my dad brought home the office machine that they have been using which used to be my machine in college. My task was to copy some files over from that to the home desktop and the new laptop, then erase the hard disk so my parents can donate/sale it.

The file transfer part is relatively easy, I just connected the old machine to the router via Ethernet cable and I was able to upload the file(s) onto my blog server space. I then sucked it back down to the laptop and unzipped, blah, blah, blah, and it was done! The thing that strike me was the noise that the old machine makes! It is as if I am using The Difference Engine! Granted, the machine is over 10 years old. It is a Pentium 166MHz, no USB, no Wi-Fi, for crying out loud! But the noise the hard disk makes really reminds me how data is read off the disk platter with the disk head swinging around on an arm!

I am glad it is finally being retired because it is definitely a hazard to my ears!

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Not all stars are given equally

eiron's company X'mas party was held in a West Village gastropub, which according to Michelin Guide 2006, is awarded one Michelin Star. eiron's colleagues were very excited because Michelin star is awarded only to great restaurant (even one star). But I was puzzled because eiron and I had eaten there previously with friends and although the food was good, it wasn't good enough to warrant any star! That place is more the place to be seen in rather than the place to have fine dinning. Sittings are cramped and service is definitely not up to Michelin standard (in fact not even NY standard). If that pub deserves one Michelin star then about half of New York restaurants should have one too! I can name a few just off my head: Alfama, Les Halles, Dillon's Prime.

After having eaten at two of Gordon Ramsay's restaurants in London (Angela Hartnett at The Connaught, and Gordon Ramsay's at Calridge's) which both have only one Michelin Star, I can safely declared that Michelin has lowered their standard for New York City. Mike Steinberger at Slate.com seems to think so too.

I hope NYers realised the difference in Michelin and rating and not compare Michelin Star-ed restaurants in Europe with the ones in NYC. At least not the one star ones. The three stars ones (Thomas Keller's Per Se, for example) are definitely better!

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