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Showing posts from November, 2007

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…