Meat Lover or Meatless: My Stance on Vegetarianism

I have many a times thought about turning vegetarian. Or even vegan. That however is for another blog post. Let’s talk about being vegetarian.

At times I have thought that turning vegetarian would be good for me. Let’s check out what I would eat. Cauliflaur – yes gotta love those. I like in in a curry or fried. I especially like them as chili gobi (much like chilly chicken) which is the staple of most restaurants on the streets of Cochin. Potatoes, carrots, beans, peas, soya chunks – all good. Sweet potato, tapioca, yams. All of the good stuff. And I’d have lots of fruit to get me by. I’d also have loads of noddles without the meat or eggs.

Sandwiches would be good without the meat, fish or eggs. I’d probably put lots of ketchup or cheese on my sandwiches though. And pizza – I have a theory that pizza is supposed to be vegetarian and that adding meat, although quite taste, is doing something against the actual intent of pizza making. Cheese, tomato sauces, onions, green peppers, mushrooms, nuts, olives, maybe some garlic and then olive oil. Perfect!

But then I do like my meat. And I can’t live without fish. I am a typical Kerala boy – I love my fish. I need my fish fry or fish curry – mackerel, sardines, pomfret, salmon, seer fish, anchovy (oh I love anchovy fried with my vodka) and my favourite karimeen (Pearl spot fish). I prefer fried to curry but some fish curry can satisfy the taste buds. And don’t forget crab, prawns & squid.

I love chicken done any which way you care to serve me, I love quail fried, pork at times. Beef I like but only seem to like it from two hotels now. I rarely have it these days. I love rabbit meat. But I don’t like mutton – either goat or sheep. I just don’t like the taste & texture of the meat. And oh yes I like frogs legs. Very much.

Oh was this post about vegetarianism? Lol. I guess I can never switch completely to veggies only but I will always eat more veggies than meat.

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At Home Alone For The Weekend

Even with a two day break mid week, it still wasn’t an easy week work wise for me. One hell of a shitty Monday with some unpleasant events & talk. Followed by a lot of debate. The next day I was just so tired and weak and I applied for a two day leave.

Those two days at home did wonders for my health but coming back to work on Friday wasn’t easy either. An escalation against me and struggling to get things done. What’s a guy got to do to get a break around  here? Then today, Saturday, which is usually a very relaxed day for me was spent working on the phone with training leads from other states working on a little project that took most of our time. I started on a conference call at 11 am and that got carried over till 2:30 pm. A break till 5:30 pm and then onwards till about 8:45 pm. Then I asked for a company cab to take me home.

I came home at around 20 past 9pm and ordered a pizza from Pizza Hut along with a pepsi. I so rarely drink Pepsi these days but it feels so refreshing even if I waited for it to warm up a bit as I didn’t want to strain my sinuses. Hawaiian Chicken pan pizza – yum but why does it taste like it’s got a lot of butter rather than cheese? I dunno. I also did some grocery shopping for Sunday and I hope I get to have a nice quite day in, home alone for the weekend. I have no problems staying at home on my own; I’ll just sleep in and watch a few movies.

Moon

I do not remember hearing about this movie or watching a trailer before this Sunday. The story sounded very intriguing & the movie looked very interesting & dark that I just had to get me a copy of Moon. I’ve seen a few things with Sam Rockwell in it and had a passing interest in him as an actor. I did like him a lot in Confessions Of A Dangerous Mind & Galaxy Quest. But this movie looked like a whole new ball game for him as an actor and indeed for any actor. Moon was directed by first time director Duncan Jones who is the son of David Bowie.

Well what is the movie, set in the near future, all about? Sam Bell is a Lunar Industries employee working on the Moon, extracting helium 3 which provides for clean energy on Earth, leaving behind his wife & baby daughter (who he hasn’t seen yet as she was born after he left Earth). His contract is for 3 years, during which he mans the almost completely automated station base with only the robotic assistant GERTY (voiced by Academy Award winner Kevin Spacey) for company. On a daily basis Sam drives a Moon rover to retrieve the canisters of helium-3 from the automated harvesting machines. A blocked signal limits his contact with his family to recorded tapes.

Towards the end of his contract, he starts hallucinating and his health deteriorates. One day, 2 weeks before his 3 years are up, Sam crashes his rover and is knocked unconscious. He then wakes up in the base’s infirmary and GERTY tells him that he was injured. However Sam goes out a few days later and find the damaged rover – with himself inside! He brings the other ‘Sam’ into the base and confronts GERTY about this. After the older Sam recovers the two of them are wary of each other, each thinking that the other is a clone. Turns out that they both are clones of the original Sam Bell, who left the Moon for Earth after his 3 years were up. In order to ensure that the training skills will be saved, Lunar Industries used Sam’s genetic material and memories for the production of hundreds of Sam clones.

Each clone has a lifespan of just 3 years, which is why the contract is still known as the same. Towards the end of the 3 years, the clone’s health deteriorates and becoming ill they are told to get into the “hibernation” pod; believing they will be returned home, but are instead killed by incineration. And a new clone is ‘activated’ believing that he has just arrived at the base for the start of a 3 year term on the Moon! The older Sam then goes out in his rover and using an unblocked link seeks out his family – he finds that his daghter, Eve, is  now 15 years old and that his wife is dead. Eve stays with her father the original Sam.

A rescue team is sent to the base to ensure that, along with repairs to the harvester, only one clone exists at one time. The second Sam plans to launch the sick Sam back to Earth (on the reasoning that the sick Sam is the more deserving since he did the three years) in a helium delivery vessel, and proposing to place another clone body in the damaged rover to take the sick Sam’s place. However the sick Sam, aware that he is near death, insists that the healthy Sam go instead, while he returns to the rover to die, and with the new third Sam clone awakening to prevent the rescue team from becoming suspicious. GERTY permits the healthy Sam to wipe out his memory and reboot him. As the second Sam approaches Earth, newscast voice-overs begin detailing the consequences of his return: Lunar Industries’ stock price crashes; Sam’s clone gives evidence to an unidentified Board of Directors; and finally a radio talk-show host denounces the clone as a ‘wacko’ or an illegal immigrant and insists he be jailed.

What a fantastic looking and acted film. Great job by Sam Rockwell who pulls his role off with aplomb. This is a much watch film for anyone who just likes good cinema, forget if you are a Scifi fan or not. 9 outta 10!

Arsenal 3 Partizan Belgrade 1

Arsenal survived a minor scare to reach the last 16 of the Champions League for the 11th successive season with victory against Partizan Belgrade at The Emirates. Arsene Wenger knew that three points would assure them of qualification for the knockout phase and they ultimately ran out comfortable winners, although for a spell in the second half against the Serbians, there was the fear that Arsenal’s proud record might end.

Arsenal’s win was not enough to give them top spot in Group H, and they now face the prospect of running into the real elite of European football when the draw is made on 17 December. Robin van Persie, Arsenal captain on his first Champions League appearance of the season, put them ahead on the half-hour from the spot after he was fouled by Marko Jovanovic. But Theo Walcott’s introduction as substitute injected some firepower into Arsenal and some life into subdued supporters inside The Emirates as he made a decisive contribution. He restored Arsenal’s lead with a fine volley after 73 minutes, and another moment of class from Samir Nasri wrapped things up as he scored with a fine low finish four minutes later.

Arsenal suffered a blow with an early injury to defender Kieran Gibbs, while Bacary Sagna was shown a red card in the closing stages for a foul on Aleksandar Lazevski.

I Won A Giveaway

Hey I won something online! Finally I do win something that I entered to win online. I’m one of the winners of the 2nd Annual Big Evolving Beings Holiday Giveaway 2010 held by the lovely Evita Ochel on her blog Evolving Beings.

A total of 10 gifts were to be given off to 10 different winners in this giveaway. The way to enter this was just by entering a comment on of Evolving Beings video posts or by tweeting about the giveaway. I did the latter and I also was so happy about my gift. The first 5 gifts are all books, with one even having a 6 cd course included. I wasn’t that into any of the books. The other 5 winners each get to select one of two mp3 albums recorded by Canadian New Age singer/musician Marcome.

The two choices are Seven Seas or River Of Soul. I chose the latter and will be sent a link to the mp3s by the artist herself. That is such a treat. I love Marcome’s uplifting music and will enjoy listening to the tracks.

A big thank you to Evita and a big thank you to Marcome.

Update: I was sent an email from Marcome’s website which contains the link to download the album in mp3 format. That was quick! Downloading it as I type.

Black Swans And Wormhole Wizards – Joe Satriani

I’ve been a big Joe Satriani fan for 18 years. He is easily my favourite guitarist, musician and solo artist out there – of all time. I have all of his albums and listen to them continuously and I keep watching clips of his live recordings a lot. The Scifi inspired titled Black Swans And Wormhole Wizards is his 14th studio album of original material, released on October 5th of 2010. Joining him in creating his latest masterpiece are Allen Whitman – bass guitar, Mike Keneally – keyboards & the faithful & masterful Jeff Campitelli – drums, percussion.

The first track sounds much like it could be the theme music to an adventurous scifi tv series – Premonition is mid tempo based and the keyboards are prominent. The track has a brilliant, fierce solo with Joe attacking the guitar which compliments the subtlety of the melody nicely. Wah wah pedals bring out the next track Dream Song – the riff along with the gentle keyboard rythmic line gives a great backdrop for Joe to setup his semi-blues guitar leads that sound almost like words. So far we haven’t got the band cranking out at full throttle yet and it’s still very memorable & nice. Pyrrhic Victoria sounds like a groove oriented number and sounds like it could have felt right at home in his 1998 album Crystal Planet. The solo is a real shred fest.

We then come to the first single, Light Years Away. It’s an awesome track, with some rumbling bass that sounds like it’s about to explode, danceable beating drums giving it company and ofcourse Joe’ storming away on his Ibanez. Appropriately for a track named Solitude, it’s just Joe on his guitar with some delay & reverb. Littleworth Lane is a down on your luck lament (without the lyrics) but can’t you just see a guy in a seedy bar when this song plays? I can imagine the perfect video; a bar band playing this with just a bartender, a solitary drinking customer moping in his beer and a lady cleaning up the bar which is near closing time. Did Joe visit India recently? It certainly sounds like it when you listen to the next song. Tablas join the band in creating The Golden Room, this Eastern flavoured track and Joe’s solos are magnificent here. It simmer and boils but never explodes and some might like it for that but I think all that is missing is an explosive break out with noisy guitar solos.

Once again the Blues element shines on in Two Sides To Every Story, in which the playful nature of the music can take over the listener who will surely bop his/her head to the rhythm. Kennely’s Hammond organ is soulful and graceful and the drums funky. Next up is Wormhole Wizards (wait! Where are the Black Swans). The keyboards set up an etheral melody and then the bass drives into place with the drums, giving us a head bopping number. Joe’s guitars then takes over. I really like the solo lead section of this song. Wait it’s not over; we also get a keyboard solo from Mike! Awesome track! Wind In The Trees is a wah drenched gentler track with open harmonics and distorted ballad style solos. Very laidback & relaxed. We come to an end of the album with God Is Crying. Funnily enough the song starts out with a clapping track before the driving riffs snake their way in and builds slowly from a cleanish guitar part that slowly cranks up the volume before kicking into the the main theme after about 45 seconds.

It’s not his best album out there. Infact I’d name atleast 5 or 6 that are better but anything that Satriani puts out will be a class apart from all  the drivel that is being pumped out these days. Easily a good buy. Enjoy the video!

And Then There was One!

Another one bites the dust. Out of my 2 best friends, one is married and till this Sunday there will be two single men. Because on Sunday, my buddy Anil Alapatt is getting engaged. The surprise information hit me this evening when Anil called me up on his way back home to Thrissur to let me know that he is about to take the big step before the biggest step in his life.Madhu is getting company in the married men list of our small gang, leaving me as the only eligible single dude.

As the story goes, he’s 36 years old and his parents are alarmed by the amount of hair that he is losing and the scalp that they can see on the top of his head. Carefree bachelor lifestyle happiness be damned and they went out to search for a woman for him. A good proposal came their way and his parents took to meet the girl and her family. She is a lecturer at a college in Thrikkakara and she is 30 years old. It seems that his parents like her and he does too. So her family also comes to visit his house in Thrissur and both parties are satisfied that the families are a match. He likes her and surprise, surprise she has agreed to marry him!

So there goes another long time bachelor, bowing down in front of the marital monster. The wedding date is to be decided on Sunday but in all likelihood it will be in January. So I guess I am the only single guy in our little trio. I’m happy as hell for him but this just makes me feel a little down. I guess I will find my life partner one of these days too. I just have to be patient and she will come along.

Join me in congratulating Anil and best wishes for the engagement on Sunday.

48 Hours Of Down Time

Ok, I’m not that sick as depicted in this little cartoon, i.e I do not have a temperature and I am not restricted to lying in my bed at all times. However I am unwell.

I got wet in the rain last Thursday night while walking from the office till the bus stop. It wasn’t raining heavily but I guess that was more than enough to make me sick. The next day I battled a sore throat and tried fending it off with lots of hot water & coffee. Saturday and Sunday it was more of the same followed by a hacking cough and a cold. Runny nose was the highlight of my Sunday.

I felt better on Monday, enough to get to work but the air conditioned environment wasn’t really helping my sinuses. I coughed and sniffed my way throughout the day. I still struggled and survived the day and on my way home got some hot coffee. Yesterday I was feeling even more worse and people kept offering to get me black tea, coffee & hot water. I decided that I needed some rest from work and stay at home or I would end up getting even more sick. So I applied for a 2 day leave from the office, which was granted no doubt by hearing & seeing me cough about 90 times in a 5 minute discussion. I was so happy to get this leave as I really didn’t know how I would manage to stay in the office and get by.

Oh and last night I had some wonderfully rich hot chocolate at Cafe Coffee Day. It’s called Molten Chocolate or Molten Lava or something and is absolutely delicious and did a wonderful job on my sinuses & throat.

What Is Your Favorite Sound?

Imagine it’s been a hot week. The sun blazing all day long and the nights hot and sticky. Just walking on the streets for a few minutes is enough to sap all energy from your body and leave you a sweaty mess of goo. You feel the need to drink as much cold drinks & water and supplement your salt intake just because you are losing a lot of it by sweating. The sun is no friend of yours and is intent on burning or frying you up.

This goes on for days and you take 3 showers a day just to be presentable. Your clothes smell because of the amount of sweat you pass onto them. You end up using a lot of deo just to please people. The mere thought of going out turns your brain to mush and all you want to do is crank up the air conditioner and lay indoors as much as you can. Those of you who don’t have an ac at home will spend long hours in the office just to enjoy that cool air for a little bit longer. And then….

The rains come. The heavens part and the clouds bursts in orgasmic climax and showers the land with rain water. Heavy rain water as a pregnant cloud decides to quench mother Earth’s thirst and fill it to the brim with water. That sound of heavy rain fall and a pleasant breeze that follows….that is my favourite sound. I’ll keep the windows open and I’ll sit by them as the rain falls. Peaceful and euphoric at the same time.

Would You Want To Live Forever?

If you were given the choice would you want to live forever? Would I want to? Not in this world.

I have often thought about a world in which humans are much more scientifically advanced, technologically much higher than even the utopia of the Star Trek universe that I am so fond off (but ofcourse that is where I get most of my ideas from). No hunger, no poverty, no injuries, no death, no one dying of illness or being killed. You live forever, always trying to better yourself, learn more, explore more, go beyond the next planet, the next star,  the next galaxy. Discover new elements, new species of life – animals, fish, birds, aliens who are a lot like us. Establish trade and cultural exchanges.

Families who travel in comfortable spaceships between planets for visiting & vacationing, much like we do in cars, buses and airplanes these days. Terraforming other planets for human existence, co-existing with aliens on other worlds. In that kind of life, yes – I would want to live forever!

What Mixed Drink Are You?



You Are an Appletini


Most of the time, you’re a typical party animal. You know how to have a good time.

You’re a friendly, fun drinker. Drinking usually brings out the best in you.

When you drink a little too much, your flirtatious ways can get you in trouble.

You really up your sex appeal when you’re super sauced. Drinking totally lowers your inhibitions.

If I Could Only Eat One Meal The Rest of My Life

Pizza! Pizza! Pizza! For breakfast, lunch & dinner. Yes please! Slices & slices of the best gift that Italy has given mankind. Oven-baked, flat, disc-shaped bread typically topped with a tomato sauce, cheese (usually mozzarella) and various toppings that your heart may desire. I love mushrooms on my pizza, green peppers, onions & baby corn too. Hmmm oh yeah. Chicken, bacon, ham, pepperoni, black olives and more.Yummy, yum yum.

For years in India I would be stuck to fast food joints that made what passed for pizza. It wouldn’t taste that good but then we all realized that it was a poor substitute. But we ordered them at the hotels anyway. I remember that Canopy & Hot Breads made decent pizzas that were enjoyable. Also there was another place that I remember going to for a couple of years. They closed down due to poor business but they did serve good coffee and their burgers were decent and the pizza’s were ok.

Then came the giant chains. Pizza Hut & Dominos. I think that there was a Pizza Corner in town at one point but if there still is one, I have not seen it and have no idea where it is located. So I order from Dominos and Pizza Hut, preferring the former just because their wares taste better. I’ve even made pizzas, with my cousin Manoj, but that was a long time ago. I’ll tell y’all about it some other time.

An Intriguing Character From DS9

Followers of Star Trek and Deep Space 9 in particular should be familiar with the character Cmd. Michael Eddington. A recurring character, the Star Fleet Security officer was stationed to DS9 after first contact with the Dominion. This was done in part to increase Starfleet control of the station’s security operations, as Starfleet did not have full confidence in the current security chief, Odo. Ironically it was Eddington who ended up being a traitor and causing the Federation issues.

Eddington, who became disillusioned with Starfleet and the Federation, and joined the Maquis, was created as a Canadian but played by New York actor Kenneth Marshall. After joining the staff at DS9, he worked closely with Odo. There was an incident where he was ordered by an admiral to sabotage the Defiant when Capt. Sisko disobeys orders, but then helps the crew to complete their mission. Eddington also saved the lives of Captain Sisko, Major Kira, Lt. Commander Dax, Chief O’Brien and Lt. Commander Worf on an occasion. But he would show his true colours and defect to the Maquis after hijacking some equipment meant to be sent to the Cardassians. He would soon rise to become their leader and would soon be established as Sisko’s nemesis.

Sisko would be hell bent on bringing Eddington to justice, more so because the latter was an officer under his command. He would try to uncover all Maquis operations to get Eddington in a cell but kept getting thwarted. Finally it was an uncharacteristic ‘villainous’ move by Sisko which helped him to bring the wayward Commander in – Sisko destroyed the atmosphere of a planet where the Maquis had established a colony and threatened to do the same to more. In order to spare the other Maquis worlds, Eddington turned over the remaining biogenic weapons and surrendered to Starfleet for court martial. In this move, Sisko was playing out a fantasy of Eddington’s – Eddington was particularly fond of the novel Les Misérables. He saw himself as the hero, Valjean, pursued by the inflexible policeman Javert, whom Eddington envisioned as his former commander, Benjamin Sisko.

In the final episode to feature the commander, Sisko enlists Eddington’s help to find a small planet in the Badlands that houses deadly missiles. It turned out to be a ruse to save a few Maquis survivors from the Jem’Hadar who had aso uncovered the base on the planet. Sisko & Eddington worked together to save the Maquis personnel, among whom was Rebacca Sullivan, Michael’s wife. The Maquis were saved but at the cost of Eddington; injured he stayed back to cover the escape of the rest of the humans. At the end of the episode, Sisko pays a tribute to his former chief of security to whom he had a grudging admiration.

Eddington would be one of the most intriguing recurring characters in Star Trek history. Who would want to leave the utopia of the Federation & of Earth in particular and defect to the deary living & hiding of the Maquis? Eddington was one of those who didn’t like the fact that the Federation was held back by diplomacy to side with the Cardassians against the Maquis who, according to him, had nobler reasons for fighting the Cardassians.

“I called him a traitor once, but in a way, he was the most loyal man I ever met. He was a Maquis, right up to the bitter end.”

Sens Update, 4th Dec 2010

Things are not getting any easier for the Ottawa Senators. Goals aren’t coming by at all for the Sens and they are letting in pucks at the other end. On the 24th of November the Dallas Stars visited Ottawa and won 2-1 against the sens. Ryan Shannon had the solitary goal for Ottawa. 2 days later it was facing off against Crosby and the boys in Pittsburgh with the Senators losing by the same scoreline of 1-2. Jesse Winchester having the lone goal.

Where were the goals going to come from? How can we reverse this trend of losing? Well it a day late back in Ottawa and took a visit from Toronto to spark the Sens back to life. Mike Fisher scored two goals to follow Alexie Kovalev’s opener and grab a 3-0 win over their bitter provincial rivals. Brian Elliot made 29 saves to earned a shutout, his second of the season. Having just got off a great win, the Sens should have been on a high but they came crashing down after the Edmonton Oiler’s visit to the Canadian capital. Former Senator goalie Martin Gerber had a win over his former team, 4-1 with only Nick Foligno scoring for Ottawa.

December would prove to be of no respite for the Sens – Dany Heatley, booed throughout the game, might not have scored but his San Jose Sharks came off 4-0 winners on the 2nd of December. And then just last night the Sabres came a calling from Buffalo and although they didn’t score in the regulation time, they came off with a shoot-out win. Yes, Ottawa gets a point but where are we going to get the goals from? Tonight we face the Rangers and two days from that it’s Montreal.

Arsenal 2 Fulham 1

I gotta admit; this was a very exciting attacking game for long periods and I certainly enjoyed it. Full credit to Fulham players who took the game to Arsenal and never let up during the 90 minutes of football.

But it was Samir Nasri who stole the show, the spotlights, the whole she-bang with two goals. The Frenchman lashed the hosts into an early lead after dancing inside two defenders before the Gunners wasted a host of chances to extend their lead. A clash of heads affecting Arsenal’s Laurent Koscielny let Diomansy Kamara slot a slick but contested equaliser.

But Nasri decided the match late on after jinking past a posse of defenders to slip the ball home from an angle. It was a beautiful goal, a highlight reel event, gorgeous to behold and a joy to every Gunners fan. When the ball went that far, I thought the chance was lost, as must most of the onlookers thought. But someone forgot to tell Nasri. He turned and shot the ball past the goalie and a lunging defender.

Thanks to French international Nasri, who now has 11 goals from midfield this season, Arsenal have moved to the top of the Premier League – one point clear of Manchester United – as they put rare back-to-back home defeats behind them, albeit in nervous fashion.