Slow Times @ Calicut Beach

download merlin and the war of the dragons online The beach has always been a part of my life. Heck I live in Cochin – the Queen of the Arabian sea! That being said, I don’t actually live anywhere near the beach. But my mother’s native town is Mattancherry and it’s a short drive away to Fort Kochi beach. Growing up in Kuwait, my family would visit the beach there once in a while. And ofcourse, I can’t forget my very memorable visit to Kovalam beach, where I saw my first topless women (I hadn’t yet turned 16).

While I worked & lived for 8 months in Calicut back in 2002/03, I would visit the beach there often with my friends. Since we were paid almost nothing (due to the company haveing problems) cash was a major problem. You didn’t need much cash to go to the beach. Just the bus fare there and back. And we would sample some of the sidewalk vendors’ wares as we passed many a late afternoon and evening there. Peanuts, pickled cucumbers, onion bajji, pineapple slices & once in a while beer. We had them all.

My friends & collegues from Aysha Infotech (the company I worked for then) also loved the beach. Shinoy, Anoop, Mujeeb, Mini, Neelima, Nisha, Rajesh – I can barely remember their faces. Shinoy, Anoop & Mujeeb were the closest to me and we tried to keep in touch for a few more years but by 2006, I had lost all contact with the three.

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During one visit, the drummer from Calicut rock band Dreadlockz was there for one of his marathon drumming sessions. He would set up a minimalistic drum kit and go at it for hours at a time. The time that we saw him, the wind kept blowing down his cymbal stands. It was surreal to hear him banging on the drums, with his long hair blowing all over his face. Most locals thought he was weird. Us rockers thought he was cool.
I miss the beach in Calicut and when I do visit the city again, I must go and catch up with my old friends and maybe sit with them at the beach like those times.

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An award-winning beer from McAuslan breweries, St.Amboroise Oatmeal Stout.

2008–09 NHL Season Is Upon Us

The NHL’s new season is upon us. NHL.com had a new look and so does Senator.nhl.com as does the team. On Friday, June 13, 2008, the Senators named Craig Hartsburg, coach of the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds, the new head coach. We still have most of the core players like Spezza, Alfredsson & Heatley. Neil, Vermette, Fisher, Phillips, McAmmond & Kelly. We have new players like Kuba, Smith, Ruutu & Auld.

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I’m a little worried about fire power. I’m more than a little worried about the goalie situation. Auld backing up Gerber. We’ve lost some big names and only got Smith & Ruutu in return. Here’s hoping that we do well. For the first time in the last few years, I’m not sure about gunning for the cup. I think that before the trade deadline in March, we will need to stock pile on a few name players if we want to have a realistic chance at winning the cup. Till then, Go Sens GO!

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Notes for the season : This will be the first season since the 2004–05 lockout in which every team will play each other at least once during the season, as opposed to the last three seasons where teams only played against two divisions in the other conference. It will run from October 4, 2008 through April 12, 2009, with the Stanley Cup Playoffs to follow, ending in June 2009. The Montreal Canadiens will host the 57th NHL All-Star Game at the Bell Centre on January 25, 2009, part of the Canadiens’ 100th Anniversary celebration.

The regular season will start with four games to be played in Europe. The Ottawa Senators and the Pittsburgh Penguins will play each other twice in Stockholm, Sweden and the New York Rangers and the Tampa Bay Lightning will play each other twice in Prague, Czech Republic. The 2009 NHL Winter Classic will be held in Chicago, Illinois on January 1st, 2009, played between the Chicago Blackhawks and defending champion Detroit Red Wings. It was decided that the game would be played at Wrigley Field, the North Side home of the Chicago Cubs, on New Year’s Day, Jaunary 1st, 2009.

Four Strong Winds, One Strong Voice

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Neil Young makes his comeback from his illness in 2005 at the Canadian leg of the Live 8 concert in Barrie, Ontario. Accompanied by just his acoustic guitar, harmonica and his wife Peggi Young, watch & listen to a legend entertain the large audience.

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