Gaze into your future

In a few days we will be having a function at our office and all 600 plus employees will be invited to attend it. My department, the training team, are organizing the whole affair, which will start with a big program including lunch & dinner this coming Saturday for the level of supervisor & above. But next week it will be for the whole office and that will be quite a task. We are organizing some games, a few gifts & some snacks for everyone. While we were discussing this, somehow it came out to have someone, ME, to dress up in a beard & a robe as a fortune teller! Wear a few rings on my finger, a turban on my head, have some ominous music in the background and scare the crap outta people who come to get their future told to them! I will be arranging for a crystal ball and set it on a small table.

Let me see you future….I see…..dead people!

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Song for the day – “Girls Who Can Read Your Mind” – PAUL GILBERT

Super Mario Bros theme music

Most of you know about the Super Mario Bros video games. Super Mario is in the Guiness Book Of World Records as the best selling video game of all time, with Italian plumber Mario & his brother Luigi. There was even a movie made based on the game, starring Bos Hoskins, John Leguizamo & Dennis Hopper. Here is Theirry Gomez, a classical & flamenco guitarist from Quebec City, doing his version of the Super Mario Bros theme music. This is a difficult piece to do but he does it so well.

Garbage In, Garbage Out

Finally the municipality authorities of Greater Cochin have woken up and smelt the stink of a ton of waste! Today, after many days of waiting & holding our noses in disgust at the piles of garbage being stacked on top of each other in numerous locations across town, the row of trucks have come to take away the trash. It is thought to be so bad that the streets might start smelling of the rotting garbage, that all schools, colleges & government offices were closed for the day! Great, but the rest of us harmless folk have to bear the stench, eh?

About bloody time too, as my fellow citizens of this wonderful city will say. In certain areas you are forced to dump the garbage on the side roads since the waste bins are overflowing and they have started flowing onto the streets. When you go in a car on said roads, it makes maneuvering through the piles the garbage like going through in a video game with hurdles & obstacles.

Hey Stoopid – Alice Cooper

Alice Cooper released Hey Stoopid in 1991 and this album along with Welcome To My Nightmare are the two quintessential Alice albums. Well, for me atleast! I consider this album to be a classic, although I am surprised that it didn’t do as well as I used to think. But most hardcore Alice Cooper fans think that Hey Stoopid had better songs than his 1989 smash hit Trash. The album has guest performances from guitar gods Steve Vai, Joe Satriani, Vinnie Moore & Slash and also Nikki Sixx & Mick Mars from Motley Crue. Lyrical themes involve strictly drug use/addiction and love/sex. The opening track & title song, Hey Stoopid, is about dumb people who contemplate suicide or a druggie who thinks that narcotics is the answer. The emphasis on ‘Stoopid’ is to show how dumb the singer thinks the two characters are.

Love’s A Loaded Gun is about taking revenge against a cheating lover, with a really cool chorus and some killer guitars. The implication is about killing the cheating woman & the guy she is sneaking out to see; having watched unseen from afar, the protagonist, shoots both of them. Snakebite is about sex and sleeze Alice style. Burning Our Bed is a song about a broken relationship. Dangerous Tonight is a song about sex, or like I would put it, the deflowering of a virgin. My favourite song on the track, lyrics wise, is the ballad Might As Well Be On Mars about estranged lovers and a man pinning for his former lover, but who has moved on in her life, that the guy might as well be on another planet.

Feed My Frankenstein is the most well known of the songs, the video having been heavily promoted on MTV & Alice singing the song in the film Wayne’s World and it being included in the soundtrack album. It features a hot, molten guitar solo from Satriani. This is another favourite Cooper track for many. Hurricane Years is about wild times. Another song about sex & love is Little By Little, while Die For You is a wonderful track about lost love and how the singer would have given up everything for the love of the woman. The sleeze returns in the form of Dirty Deeds, while the autistic character/ alter ego ‘Steven’ in the album closer Wind Up Toy, who appears in an Alice song after a 15 year gap. “Daddy won’t discuss me, oh what a pain I must be, Mommy couldn’t stand having such a wind up boy, doctors want to check me, Poke me and dissect me, What do they expect? Feelings from a wound-up toy?

With such a collection of great heavy rock tunes, I would have have expected it to be a huge hit but I consider it a classic. Here’s Hey Stoopid.

The Dustin Penner trade awaits

The hockey world is waiting with baited breath as to what course of action with GM of the Anaheim Ducks, Brian Burke, take regarding the Dustin Penner scenario. Penner, an up and coming big power forward was offered a 5 year deal by the Edmonton Oilers for $4 million dollars plus some change per year. That is a huge raise in salary for Penner, who made 10 times less that in 2006-07, his first full season in the NHL. The Winkler, Manitoba native is seen as a possible replacement for former Oilers right wing & face of the franchise Ryan Smyth. They hope that Dustin can improve on his 29 goals last season and hopefully grow into an elite power forward. Brian Burke & the Ducks have until Thursday to decide if they want to match the offer and keep Penner in Anaheim. Burke has already had some not so good things to say about Edmonton’s GM, Kevin Lowe, who ironically is a close friend of Burke.

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Six Degree Of Inner Turbulence – Dream Theatre

The 6th full length cd released by New York progressive giants, Dream Theatre, Six Degrees Of Inner Turbulence, is a two cd effort that was released in 2002. The first disc consists of five lengthy tracks while the entire second disc is occupied by the 42-minute title song broken into 8 tracks. The differences between the two CDs are two different types of Dream Theater styles. The first disc is generally seen as experimental and heavy while the second disc is seen to be more in line with the previous Scenes From A Memory. Blind Faith is an awesome track, which I place among the best that DT have to offer. The song is rarely played live as the unison section between Jordan Rudess and John Petrucci (timestamp – 7:55) is very difficult to play. Then you have Misunderstood, beginning as a ballad and followed by a dark mood with some crimsonesque guitar work. The Great Debate features excellent drumming and bass playing, and many rhythm changes in the bridge. Disappear is a melancholic ballad.

Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence fills up the entire second cd as the sixth song and title track. Though the song is essentially broken up into eight movements, the track itself is one 42 minute song and took up the entire second CD of the album. The song explores the stories of six individuals suffering from various mental illnesses. Particularly represented are bipolar disorder (About To Crash), post-traumatic stress disorder (War Inside My Head), schizophrenia (The Test That Stumped Them All), autism (Solitary Shell), post-partum depression (Goodnight Kiss), and dissociative identity disorder (Losing Time). The song also contains musical influences from classical, to metal, to folk and progressive. Some parts of the song are direct nods to some of the bands musical influences.

Grand Finale‘s lyrics advise the listener to be more understanding of the people who carry these and similar afflictions, and to accept them as they should be. This section of the song sums up the entire 6 degrees. The guitars by John Petrucci blaze throughout the album, Jordan Rudess shines on the keyboards & there are some intricate piano playing in there, Mike Portnoy is a mega drummer, John Myung’s bass lines thumping all throughout and James La Brie proves once again why he is known as one of the most powerful vocalists in rock music.

As you can see by the subject matter & the epic musical styles, Dream Theatre is not for everyone. If you idea of great lyrics & music is Britney or Beyonce – get the hell out! But you grew up on Rush or Yes, then Dream Theatre and Six Degrees Of Inner Turbulence is for you. Great album, which is better in places than it’s predecessor, Metropolis Pt. 2: Scenes from a Memory.

Song for the day – “Blind Faith” – DREAM THEATRE

Be Glad

Working in the late evening or night shifts I come home around 2 am or later. I kind of like this shift since I get to be lazy and spend lots of awake time at home or outside and I also don’t have to wake up at an early hour as I am not a morning person. I can stay awake till all hours of the night, even up to the crack of dawn, but I just hate to get up before 8 am. Ok 7 am is still a bit better but I prefer not to. So this way I get up around 9 am or even 11 am if I happen to stay up late after reaching home, be on the internet while slowly having a couple of cups of coffee or if I feel adventurous, I might go out on the town.

Coming home at that late time of night or early morning, whichever way you wanna put it, you get to see the city & suburbs in a different light. Cochin actually looks pretty in most places if you care to look at it in that angle. The various street lights, hoarding lights & lights at gates etc give the place a different kind of glow. I usually like the drive home and I usually don’t mind if it takes an hour, as I sit at a window seat and gaze outside at the various sights and let my mind wander.

However, one can also see the negative aspects of the city. In this day and age, with huge medical and scientific advances, with all this technology & wealth, huge building complexes, not to mention all that land, building, resources & money spent on unnecessary and useless temples, churches & mosques, there are still homeless people. I see a man pulling his sheets around him, lying at the entrance of a musical instruments store, a family huddling in the doorway of a shopping complex and an old lady sleeping in a bus stop shed! What about the poor animals who have no shelter? The dogs & cats with no homes? No questions asked.

That’s what I like so much about the Star Trek world, as much fiction it is. We should all aim for that world. No hunger, no diseases, no homeless, no stray animals (meaning that they are looked after), no in-fighting amongst humans for land, ideology or nation, no fucking gods or stupid religions making a mockery of us and no paper money needed.

Song for the day – “Imagine” – JOHN LENNON

Donut Crumbs in Your Eyes

Who isn’t excited & waiting in anticipation for the new & very first Simpsons movie? I sure am and by the looks of it most of the people whose blogs I read and who I have spoken to are feeling the same. There are a few skeptics, who say that the yellow fellows are meant only for tv and that the big screen will not suit their brand of humour. I have read about a few guys who say that the Simpsons haven’t been interesting or funny since 2001! Seriously dude, what do you think is funny? Paris Hilton’s various stupid escapades?

I can’t imagine tv without Homer’s dumb antics, El-Barto’s mischievous laugh & quick wit (Eat My Shorts), Lisa’s brainy comments, Marge’s maternal concerns & Maggie’s….er cuteness and (quickly insert the sounds of a pacifier being sucked here)!

Notes For 27th July

  • I am so lazy right now that I could go back to sleep
  • My hair & head are having troubles with dandruff
  • I need another cup of strong black coffee
  • I do not want to go to work for one month
  • I feel like having a beer
  • Saw a pic in another blog – Mike Comrie is going out with Hillary Duff???!!
  • Martin Gelinas signs on with the Nashville Predators
  • Edmonton Oilers have given an offer to Dustin Penner for a five-year $21.5 million offer, ($4.3 million dollars per year)
  • Found links to download about 50 albums mostly by heavy metal bands like Iron Maiden, Dream Theatre, Alice Cooper plus some death & black metal cds, for free
  • And in a bitter sweet news, Theiry Henri starts off well for Barcelona FC by scoring the only goal in a 1-0 against Dundee United in a friendly

Song for the day – “The Mourning Palace” – DIMMU BORGIR

Riled Roshan

I am pissed off! And I mean fucking pissed off; so mad that I could kick some major ass! Are all upper management guys supposed to be idiots, assholes & fuck alls? Is there a pre- requisite that demands all upper management to go to Asshole University and get a degree there? I mean come on people! Some guy shows up, VP or fucking jerkoff, struts his ass all over the place, pretends he knows a lot by showing slides of a company – which he has nothing to do with and is in Sweden for crying out loud – and tells us all these things that they did!

And he acts as if he was part of that company’s success and that he implemented a lot of those practices himself personally. Show me something that you did. And now he wants to stamp his authority by making certain things mandatory, things that they should have told us that we would have to do before we joined up. And this company does not at all behave like their 6 values. My ass! Everyone I spoke to agreed.

To top it off I overheard some asshole putting down my entire department cause he has a bug up his ass! He didn’t know that I was inside one of the bathroom stalls and I heard him saying shit. I spoke to some of my colleagues and they say that they have heard similar styled comments from some other people. We talked it over and we know that they comments are baseless. We are gonna teach ’em a lesson or two. Let us see how that particular idiot & the others like it. I am so pissed off, I need a drink!

Song for the day – “Slow Chemical” – FINGER ELEVEN

Pick me up

Today there was a public bus strike in the city of Cochin. The reason for the strike – the state of the roads in the city being so terrible and not deemed worthy of the tires of the buses. Hence commuters of the city are being punished and they have to find alternative means of transportation from and to work / school / college etc. My company provided a pick up in a van and I only had to wait outside my apartment building for 5 mins for to arrive. On my way to work today, I passed by the area of Kakkanad. The area is looking pretty good and it still has lots of open spaces but new buildings for business and residence are mushrooming up everyday. It’s becoming a hip place to stay in.

A couple of years ago, a bus strike would have paralysed the city and many companies would have very small attendance levels. That was a given in those days but not anymore. Many employers, like mine, arrange cabs to get you to and from the office and work goes by almost smoothly. There are some hindrances that cannot be avoided but it is like a normal day at the office. So what will the strikers do?

Oh, as we were going by Kakkanad, I couldn’t help but notice what a lovely day it was. Crisp, cool breeze blowing in my face, the sun was out but it was far from hot. And the clouds in the sky were cotton like. And there was one section where it looked like the opening scene from the Simpsons show!

Song for the day – “14 Years” – GUNS N’ROSES

Emery stays on as Sens goalie

i am legend movie download good online download bunch of amateurs a dvd download the job dvd The Ottawa Senators goalkeeper situation seems to be in control as Ray Emery resigned with the team for a US$9.5-million, three-year contract. Emery was going for arbitration as the team and their top goalie were unable to reach a deal during earlier negotiations. They have avoided that and both sides are happy with the new deal. The 24-year-old Emery was a restricted free agent. He will earn $2.75 million next season, $3.25 million in 2008-09 and $3.5 million in 2009-10 – for an average of $3.16 million a season, a big raise over the $925,000 he made last season. Meanwhile Christoph Schubert also agreed to a $2.65-million, three-year deal. Schubert, 25, will earn $850,000 next season and $900,000 in each of the 2008-09 and 2009-10 seasons. He had 25 points (8-17) and a plus-30 rating in 80 regular-season games last season while making $525,000.

The X Factor – Iron Maiden

This is an old album of Iron Maiden, 1995 to be exact. The X-Factor was released 12 years ago, the first of two albums that had Blaze Bailey do the unenviable task of trying to step into Bruce Dickinson’s shoes and fill the daunting role of lead singer of Maiden. Some say he failed miserably, some like his contributions and some say that the rest never gave him a chance. That his vocals were good but not for Iron Maiden, cause you will always compare him with Dickinson. For me, I liked this album a lot; I bought the tape twice, having lost my first copy and now I have been able to download the entire album as mp3. I think it deserves another chance, so try and listen to the songs without bias. Bailey is no Dickinson but he is not bad.

The album has a anti-war feel theme-wise but starts off with an epic (and I must say that this is one of my very favourite Maiden tracks) – Sign Of The Cross, a song of darkness, introduced by atmospheric keyboards and chanting monks’ choir, and which is a concert favourite. The live version recorded on cd & dvd from the Rock In Rio concert is even more fabulous, what with Bruce & three guitars. Man On The Edge is based on the Michael Douglas movie Falling Down, about a man who finally snaps and loses all control. It was a single and had a good video. Two songs about war & it’s effect on humans are Fortunes Of War & The Aftermath. The latter has a good line that says “After the war, left feeling no one has won, After the war, what does a solider become,” in a song that asks if wars are worth the destruction (both physical & mental) that comes out it.

Dark themes dominate in Judgement Of Heaven, Blood On The World’s hands,The Unbeliever and The Edge Of Darkness all good tracks. Lord Of The Flies is inspired by the book & film of the same name and was also released as a single, about a group of young boys who are stranded on a deserted island during a war. But you get the feeling that Blaze’s voice was not fitting well in Maiden and that there was something missing. 2 am & Look For The Truth are the remaining songs, which are both just ok. Overall I really like this album and I was just getting into Maiden around that time. I had a few songs & the Fear Of The Dark tape but no other albums, so this was a kind of beginning to really be an Iron Maiden fanatic stage for me. It’s a 6 out of 10 for me.

Song for the day – “Lord Of The Flies” – IRON MAIDEN

Oh Woman!

Ok, time for some sinful thoughts. Look, there is this woman that I know and she is so hot. I mean really hot – take normal hotness and increase the flames twice. Her only blemish is the braces that she has put on her teeth (she is about 26 years old). The rest is a sexy package that looks fantastic no matter what she wears. I can’t stop stealing more than a glance or a stare as she glides across the hallways or the huge bay in which her department and mine is put up. Most of the time she sits in another room but she has to pass by several times in a day. And my eyes follow her every move.

She had this sly crooked (slanting?) smile a few days ago planted on her face when some of us were in this room for a quick meeting. She knew she had all the guy’s attention. She was the hottest girl in the room and she knew it. I couldn’t help staring. She has got all the right moves and all the right curves. I can’t help but indulge her with my staring games cause I know she loves it when guys stare at her. Yesterday I had to spend some time with her on some work related stuff. She helped me along but it was also like she was posing for my effect. And she flirted like there was no tomorrow. Some other guys were watching and they had lots of comments. I’m pathetic, I know, but I just couldn’t help myself. Down boy!

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Song for the day – “Slow n’ Easy” – WHITESNAKE

Chris Simon

Chris Simon has re-signed on with the New York Islanders for a one year contract. The 14 year veteran, entering his 15th year in the NHL in 2007-08, Simon played in 67 games for the Islanders in 2006-07 and had ten goals with 17 assists for 27 points. Simon is seen as a popular player in Long Island for his tough play based mostly on enforcing & checking and scoring some important goals. The 35-year old native of Wawa, Ontario has won a Stanley Cup with the Colorado Avalanche in 1996. He has played for Quebec/Colorado, Washington, Chicago, the Rangers and Calgary in his NHL career. In 73 playoff games, Simon has scored ten goals with seven assists for 17 points. Simon was drafted in the 2nd round (25th overall) of the 1990 NHL Entry Draft by the Philadelphia Flyers, but was traded as part of the infamous Eric Lindros deal to the Quebec Nordiques before playing any games for the Flyers.

Chris Simon has just completed his 14 game suspension for hitting Ryan Hollweg of the New York Islanders on March 8th, 2007. Hollweg had cross checked Simon into the boards and Simon got a concussion for that. Receiving no penalty call from the referee, an enraged Chris hit Hollweg in the face with a two handed swing of his stick. Hollweg had to get two stitches on his chin and Simon was suspended. He is also known for an incident involving black American player Mike Grier. In the 1997-98 season, while playing against the Edmonton Oilers, Simon taunted Grier by calling him a ‘nigger’ and was suspended for 3 games. This was in retaliation against Grier saying derogatory terms against Simon’s Native-Canadian heritage. Surprisingly Grier got no suspension for similar taunts but the two later made up and were teammates in 2002.

I have always liked Simon due to the fact that he is representing a minority in the NHL. His father, John, is of Ojibwa decendence while his mother, Linda is Canadian. As a teenager he struggled with an addiction to alcohol but was helped to sobriety by his and the New York Islanders new coach, Ted Nolan, in 1992. He was also more like a rock star with his long hair that he maintained until 2003 and was seen as a positive role model for Native Canadians & Native Americans alike, with the exception to those two incidents. He has won the Stanley Cup with the Colorado Avalanche in 1996 and also reached the finals twice – in 1999 with the Washington Capitals & in 2004 with the Calgary Flames. Hopefully he will have a couple of more years in the NHL without negative incidents.

Top Ten Signs You’re a Fundamentalist Christian

10 – You vigorously deny the existence of thousands of gods claimed by other religions, but feel outraged when someone denies the existence of yours.

9 – You feel insulted and “dehumanized” when scientists say that people evolved from other life forms, but you have no problem with the Biblical claim that we were created from dirt.

8 – You laugh at polytheists, but you have no problem believing in a Triune God.

7 – Your face turns purple when you hear of the “atrocities” attributed to Allah, but you don’t even flinch when hearing about how God/Jehovah slaughtered all the babies of Egypt in “Exodus” and ordered the elimination of entire ethnic groups in “Joshua” including women, children, and trees!

6 – You laugh at Hindu beliefs that deify humans, and Greek claims about gods sleeping with women, but you have no problem believing that the Holy Spirit impregnated Mary, who then gave birth to a man-god who got killed, came back to life and then ascended into the sky.

5 – You are willing to spend your life looking for little loopholes in the scientifically established age of Earth (few billion years), but you find nothing wrong with believing dates recorded by Bronze Age tribesmen sitting in their tents and guessing that Earth is a few generations old.

4 – You believe that the entire population of this planet with the exception of those who share your beliefs — though excluding those in all rival sects – will spend Eternity in an infinite Hell of Suffering. And yet consider your religion the most “tolerant” and “loving.”

3 – While modern science, history, geology, biology, and physics have failed to convince you otherwise, some idiot rolling around on the floor speaking in “tongues” may be all the evidence you need to “prove” Christianity.

2 – You define 0.01% as a “high success rate” when it comes to answered prayers. You consider that to be evidence that prayer works. And you think that the remaining 99.99% FAILURE was simply the will of God.

1 – You actually know a lot less than many atheists and agnostics do about the Bible, Christianity, and church history – but still call yourself a Christian.

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United Abominations – Megadeth

This is fucking awesome! It was out of sheer nostalgia & curiosity that I decided to check out Megadeth’s brand new album United Abominations. The band in question have been known for an ever rotating list of band members with the sole exception of guitarist & lead vocalist Dave Mustaine. Truth be told, it is , in every aspect, Mustaine’s band. And I was a huge fan of the classic line up of Mustaine, Dave Ellefson (bass), Nick Menza (drums) & Marty Friedman (guitars) that was stable from 1990 onwards till 1999. That line up produced some great albums, so anyone who comes as replacements for any of the other three members is gonna have to prove themselves big time. So I got the album and now I can say that I really did enjoy it! Megadeth is back to singing about corrupt politics, war & hatred. This is a great return to form for the band, even though 3 of the quartet are new members. The band’s current lineup is a good one, with guitarist Glen Drover, bassist James LoMenzo and drummer Shawn Drover.

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The title track of the album refers sarcastically to the United Nations, who Megadeth claim have failed to protect the invasion of Afghanistan & Iraq. Sleepwalker which starts off the album in great style, is about the heinous crimes that one commits when the mind is asleep. Washington Is Next is about about biological war, after which a new world order rises to enslave people and that DC is their next target. I know that Mustaine is a hockey fan and that he supports the Phoenix Coyotes (based in the city which he calls home) but is he also a football & Liverpool fan? Seems so when he puts a song titled Never Walk Alone…A Call To Arms. Gears of War is an anti-war song, a topic close to the Megadeth clan, spitting bile at the authorities who design weapons for war. The song was first played on October 31, 2006 in Six Flags New England during an event for the Xbox 360 game, Gears of War. The song was in the process of being written when the creators of the game contacted Dave Mustaine about sponsoring Gigantour 2006. Mustaine then retitled the song “Gears of War”. Dave Mustaine also said in an interview that he was inspired after playing the game and decided to rename an already-written, but untitled song.

Next comes Blessed Are The Dead, which is about the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, a slight dig at his former band Metallica. You get a surprise in the form of a remake of their own classic 1994 hit single A Tout Le Monde, which is sung as a duet along with Cristina Scabbia, singer of the Italian Metal/Rock band Lacuna Coil. This is the first single released from the album with a new music video made for it. I prefer the original version but had I heard this one first, I would have loved it. Burnt Ice is about drug addiction, which is a subject covered extensively throughout Megadeth’s career. The word “ice” is referring to the street term for Methamphetamine. This is especially relative to Mustaine, because he was a user of cocaine and numerous other drugs. Then you have Amerikhastan which warns the US that they are headed to becoming another Afghanistan if they continue their path of religious extremism and there is a call to “Jihad Joe” to beware. You’re Dead closes out the album.

The album has Megadeth at their thrash metal / speed metal best, with complex guitar solos & riffs throughout. The bass & drums excel in most places and the lyrics are biting with Mustaine at his snarling, sneering best. The band is now 50% Canadian & 50% American. New guitarist Glen Dover is an excellent player and some of the riffs reminds me of Iron Maiden. James Lomenzo might be a surprise choice, since he is more famous for being the bass player of White Lion, who sound nothing like Megadeth. But he honed his harder roots while with Pride & Glory and Black Label Society, too southern metal & rock bands. Shawn Dover, brother of Glen, is a wonderful drummer. And Mustaine is Mustaine. How can you miss with a combination like that?

Song at his fomre for the day – “Washington Is Next” – MEGADETH