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Showing posts from 2007

Transformers (A Brief Movie Review)

Dios mios! What a boring movie! The lead character was so annoying! Check out the way the hot girl ends up teaming up with him. She is casually going by on a cute scooter in a part of town that she normally wouldn't be in. Alright? It so happens the lead dude was being pursued by a monster robot at that that part of town. Alright? The lead dude and hot girl run into each other and then start running away together from the monster robot. And what's with the other hot girl with the british accent who is an expert on signals (as in communication technology not as in body language) and has a fat black fella (played by a ditzy Anthony Anderson) for a buddy? I have yet to see that combo in Beantown. I thought that british youth were only good at one thing: boozing. The fact that I was spending time thinking about stuff like this while watching the movie should tell you about the quality of its screenplay.

The robots had more personality than the humans. I understand that th…

The Luna Poem

So I have come up with a poem for Luna, who is my friend Raina's tabby. Along with Bill and Soon-Il (both of whom I have since lost touch with), the five of us once shared a blissful home in Watertown...and, no, the house wasn't made of chocolate although it had a few memorable cracks and wedges.

Me with Luna in 2004. That was an era a long time ago when I wore my hair long and did a bunch of crazy things...

So without further ado...

Oh ye fancy fancy doggie,
Who is so into cans of tunie,
Ogie ogie ogie,
Oh how you can smell a ratty,
Hoagie hoagie hoagie,
So often full of baloney,
Boogie boogie boogie,
Stop breaking my hearty,
My loonie loonie loonie.

Now this is what I call a Loonnet because it has nine live...lines. Well, I hope that this makes me a "loonateer" and brings out my romantic (the definition of which I have not grasped in eons) side.

Planet Earth - A Monday morning rant

I am familiar with how the US Fish and Wildlife Service conserves habitats by controlling the population of flora and fauna. A lot of people don't realize this but hunters, for instance, are allowed only certain bag limits for certain animals in certain regions/counties in certain times of the year. A lot of the revenue from annual hunting licenses is actually used in such conservation efforts. And I know at least one family in New Hampshire that lives on meat from a whole deer during deep winter.

Apparently a redneck with a DUI conviction...according to an email that is going around.

Did you know that various states have hatchery programs using which they grow fish and then use these fish to stock local bodies of water? So next time you see a bunch of guys fishing in a pond, they likely aren't overfishing that pond.

A lot of developed countries do have such infrastructure in place to monitor habitat use. But developing countries do not have the resources (or the deep-rooted pass…

My Speech to the Graduates, 2007 by TC

Another classic one from TC. It does reflect some of my own "findings" from my college going experience. I have posted an excerpt here. The link to the actual article appears at the end of the post.

"As I stand here on this lovely spring day looking out over this sunny vista and your bright, smiling faces filled with hope, I can't help but feel depressed as hell.

While I'm often told that your generation is so much smarter and so much more worldly and wise, I think it's a crock. Mankind obviously learns a lot more with each passing day, but I don't know who came up with the notion that you guys absorbed much of this knowledge.

Nowadays, a general college education is a mighty thin layer of sandwich spread. Sure, they covered all of the bread — tried to expose you to every subject and topic — but the mayo's so sparse you can barely taste it. Of course, there's the old platitude about how the purpose of college is to just teach you how to think.
To thi…

Drink Life Deeply

This is fantastic stuff. The initial taste felt a little bit similar to Jack Daniels (which is my favorite beverage) but it was distinctly different once I've savored it. It also seemed smoother than Jack Daniels. I thought that it felt stronger too than most other Whiskeys I have tasted. Sure enough, the label said "50% Vol.". That's it. I don't really have anything more to say.

All steamed up

So my parents have a new room set up for steam baths at their place. They took an existing bathroom on the first floor and merged it with the dining room closet that was next to it. The merger has led to a larger, modern bathroom in an otherwise old-world type Victorian home. I used the steam bath for the first time last night. I have used a sauna many times before but this really takes the cake. The steam bath "got" to me faster while a sauna always seemed to take forever (now that I think about it). I was expecting cakes of dirt to come out of my skin but nothing like that happened. Maybe I was not in there long enough (only seven minutes) or maybe I wasn't as dirty a man as I thought I was. By the end of those seven minutes, I was feeling like a pig in heat. It seemed like I was slightly sweating off the bottom of my feet (do we even have sweat pores there?)! Anyway, it felt really good to turn on the cold water, whence I felt like a hippo in heat. Just kidding :) All…

New York, New York...again!

I went down to visit Sam and Mercy down in NJ for Thanksgiving 2007. I left early Thursday morning from my garage in Boston. It was smooth sailing except in CT where I hit heavy fog for most of the travel there. I arrived in NJ around 9:30 AM. Milton, who lived in Philly, met us there with his wife Shiney and young son Kevin. He was stopping by on his way to Washington DC since Kevin had been itching to see the Aerospace museum there. While the womenfolk were busy prepping the Turkey (for the record, they added a bit of spices to it) and Kevin was watching Chicken Little, Tom & Jerry, and playing with his toys, Sam, Milton and I whiled away the hours chatting.

Kevin. It was unseasonably warm on T-Day.

The food was phenomenal...

...and we made short work of it!

In the evening, we visited Sam's friend Ragu and his family in a brand new community near Windsor. It was a beautiful house with a huge basement where Ragu had a Table Tennis setup. So we played a good bit of TT before retur…

Until Death (A brief movie review)

This is another movie where the good guy starts off as a bad cop, gets beaten up into a coma, recovers and dispatches the actual bad guys. Having said that, I have to say that for a straight to video B-grade Van Damme flick, this movie had a surprisingly good screenplay and an acting side of Van Damme that I have not seen before. He doesn't throw a single kick (he does throw a variation of punch while in the driver's seat) as the primary means of delivery of violence here is always through a form of gun. But he did show some acting chops.
The supporting cast could have been better fleshed out. On more than one occasion, it was painfully obvious that people were acting. The producers of such low-budget movies apparently cannot rope in a Scarlett Johanssen. So they should commit more time to finding good casting. The girl playing Van Damme's wife was pretty hot (but then I am always horny so I could here). The romance seems to have been thrown in so as to ad…

In defense of Bear Grylls

You might want to visit the following two links first:

"Man vs. Wild" now truth vs. deception

The Man Vs Wild DVD set (and some real skeptical reviews) on Amazon

And here is the review I placed on amazon for the DVD set:

"I think that Bear (with his background in the military and a climb on Mt.Everest) started his show with a bit of cockiness. Personally I didn't mind that. Still I am glad to see the disclaimer/warning that they are putting up now before each episode begins (and Bear seems to have mellowed a bit as well). That should tell the skeptics that, like the reviewer below says, Bear's show is a "demonstration" of survival skills (something tells me the skeptics don't care). I like his show. My brother likes it. And a few other people I know like it. And we are all very active folks (not couch potatoes).

Now free climbing a 30 foot cliff to save hours from going around it (as he demonstrates it in the recent "Sahara" episode, which is…

What a magnificent animal!

Looks a bit like a thug...Hi, baby, sorry I didn't call last night!

Great whites are perfectly capable of breaching. I wonder how the person who took this photograph did it: using a telephoto from a tall ship or a wide angle from a smaller boat. Its likely the latter since the pectoral fin, just below the surface of the water to the right of the photo, is clearly defined (unless the above shot is cropped). I wouldn't want to lean out of a small boat with a great white around. See video below for what I am getting at.

And that is a fish that can grow to 5000 lbs! But despite such impressive statistics, they are vulnerable....very vulnerable! They are not fished by humans as much as, say, Cod is. But fishing mishaps happen. And great white sharks mature very slowly. They may not reproduce until they get to be around 12 years old. This means they won't reproduce rapidly enough if their population, already low, were to decline quickly for some reason.

New York, New York

I was in NY this past few days meeting with friends. So I took some photographs. I know. Isn't that amazing? I actually took photographs!!

Although I have been to NY many times before, this was the first time I visited the Empire State building. The light was falling fast but I managed to take some decent pictures using the D70 (no tripod).

View of Central Park.

A different view. This was a handheld shot. I love my D70!

Note how much the light has fallen. The above three pictures were taken during a 15 minute period. I was constantly tweaking exposure in full manual.

Then they had this room with colorful lights. I felt compelled to take at least one shot. Well, I had to do something!

I attempted some rear sync shots so that the background won't be darkened by the flash. This one came out pretty decent. Although, without a tripod, camera shake is evident.

Back on earth, we had to do the ubiquitous Christmas tree-like shot.

At night, we flocked back to our friend Palani's house in L…

Festival of Lights

Today in India, Diwali (aka Deepavali), the festival of lights, will be celebrated all over the country. Because of major construction work in my parents' kitchen here in Quincy, we are planning to observe the festival on Sunday. They will probably invite some friends over for a big lunch.

Setting up lights (through oil lamps) seems to be done more elaborately in northern India.

Everyone does firecrackers, of course.

People play with firecrackers on their own. There isn't that much of a fire hazard since most houses in cities are built in concrete and brick (unlike here in the US where a lot of wood is involved). Any mishaps I remember from my childhood had to do with light burns on my hands from handling firecrackers.

The Rangolis become more elaborate on such "auspicious" days.

I've been calling up friends and family in India this morning and wishing everyone a good time!

ZMA = Deep Sleep

Ok. No one is paying me to write this stuff. So here goes...

I have been using ZMA for about a year now. The serving size is 2 to 3 caps a day. But I've been taking more like 2 to 3 caps a week. I was slacking off and, sure enough, I didn't see any noticeable effect in my sleep or recovery from training. I thought that since I was already sleeping in a pitch black room with the air purifier on (to provide white noise), the quality of my sleep cannot get any better. And I was recovering fine from training. Boy, was I wrong? Well, at least when it came to the sleep component, I was wrong.

In the last two weeks, I've been taking 2 to 3 caps of ZMA before bedtime. And I have gone into deeper sleep than I had thought possible. This happens on all nights except Monday nights (which is when my 130 lb neighbor has pretty vocal sex with her 350 lb boyfriend). So...I go to sleep and wake up the next morning completely awake. No grogginess. Nothing. Nada. Its like my Nikon D70. You tur…

Larder my rum

For the past year, I have been cooking my (whole) eggs in bacon grease (left behind from frying bacon). I am never going back to olive oil now that I have gotten very used to the distinct flavor of frying eggs in pork fat! Although I have received some nods of dissent from friends, I have continued to do so. Joy!

Anyway, here is a great article from Food & Wine that I recently came across:

My 100th post...

...and I honestly don't have a clue as to what to write about It's a total blank in there, man.

So, to settle the matter once and for all, I will just throw in some random photos starting with a closeup of my legs Mmkay?

Vell, I am sorry but I cannot reveal "more" of ze man.

And here is something for the poetically inclined: a picture of a sunrise that I shot along the waterfront a few mornings ago as I was walking toward the garage. It was real early and still considerably dark.

And for those not so poetically inclined: a real early breakfast I prepared and consumed with gusto at around 3 AM this past Sunday morning after wrapping up a Halloween party at my friend David's place. The train's had stopped running and I ended up walking all the way to my apartment in the North End from his place in Inman square. So, yeah, my knees felt like jelly and I was ravenous by the time I got home. I didn't wake up until around 12 or so Sunday morning!

A few slices of ba…

How the west was won...or was it?

Wild fires in the west are not uncommon. But this is a real disaster!

"A woman watched her neighbor's home burn on the Rincon Indian Reservation."
Picture Courtesy: Reuters.

"Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger observed a fire burning out of control in Lake Arrowhead, California."
Picture Courtesy: Associated Press.

"The famous California sun is now obscured behind smoke and ash."
Picture Courtesy: BBC.

Like waiting for bread in the former Soviet Union.
Picture Courtesy: Sacramento Bee.

"President Bush consoles Kimber Fowler at the Rancho Bernardo Community Center resource center on Thursday as Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, left, looks on. Fowler's home burned down in the recent fires in San Diego."
Picture Courtesy: Associated Press.

And later on at a press conference in Escondido... "President Bush speaking about the fires Thursday while Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger looked on. The men had previously not made a habit of supporting each other."

Social Capital

Last night I had to literally close a door in my office as two of my coworkers were being so chatty that a customer I was with on the phone wanted to know if we were starting to have some sort of party. I think for some being chatty makes them productive at the workplace. Now that is not a problem for me at all as long as it does not get disruptive. There was a point in time when I felt that I was starting to chat a lot in the office too but decided a while ago not to socialize so much in the workplace. It wasn't that the chatting was cutting into my productivity. It wasn't. Being single, I could stay around longer and get things done. The decision really had more to do with maintaining a semblance of discipline or polite restraint in my "official capacity".

Speaking of being single, yesterday's incident did make me finally realize something this morning: that I am probably still single because I am not given to talking a lot. I am generally the quiet type but whe…

Several degrees of...separation

So I stopped by my brother's place last night. We usually train with weights when we get together, a productive way to spend time together (instead of gorging on buffalo wings and gulping down beer at some bar). It turned out to be a rather eventful evening actually!

I hadn't done towel chins in a while. So we started with those. After about 3 sets of only 5 reps each, my fingers were screaming in pain. But the fact that I had gotten 15 reps out of the movement after not having done it in ages was reassuring (guess grip power acquired through rock climbing doesn't die hard).

Towel Chins. No, that ain't me...

We proceeded to Romanian Deadlifts next. I started by warming up with Waiter's Bows using a 45 lb plate. My hands were a bit shaky from the chins. The plate slipped and fell. I moved just in time to prevent the plate from dislocating my kneecaps or crushing my toes (I train barefeet whenever possible) but not fast enough: it took some skin of my lower thighs on it…