I Have Come For You Tonight

Dream Theatre is an awesome band of one heck of a vocalist and 4 tighter than tight musicians. The 5 members in this video can all easily win top awards in their respective categories of vocals, guitars, bass, keyboards & drums. Unfortunately their founding member and erstwhile drummer Mike Portnoy and the band decided to part ways. It is a huge shame! I just found out that former Extreme and Steve Vai drummer Mike Mangini is the new drummer for Dream Theatre and that they will have a new album out in September.

Meanwhile in tribute of their live performances till date, here’s Forsaken – my fav Dream Theatre track of all time – live.

Before The Internet

You can also read that as before I got a connection at home, what did I do?

Well music has always been a huge passion in my life. I’ve always spent a huge portion of my free time listening to music. Until about 2004, it was mostly cassette tapes that I listened to. I started buying cds around the year 2004 and slowly built a good collection. On the weekends, I would wake up late, watch some tv and if nothing interesting was on for the day, I would retreat to my room and lie on my bed, reading novels and playing from my vast collection of hard rock, blues & metal albums. To cool off on a hot day I would get some watermelon or pineapple and cut it up and make an icy fruit juice in the mixer.

Carrying a huge beer stein filled to the brim with ice and the juice of my choice, I would get a straw and set the stein on a bedside table and sip the juice from the straw as both my hands would be used for holding the book that I would be reading. All the while songs from Pearl Jam, Alice in Chains, Poison, Guns n’Roses, Metallica or any one of my fav bands would be blasting on my stereo system. I loved chilling out in this fashion.

Evenings would be watching football on cable tv. Man did I watch a lot of matches back then. I would also watch a lot of tv series and movies. WWE Wrestling ofcourse – RAW & Smackdown were two of my favourite tv shows and I enjoyed the storylines a lot. It was around 2007 that I stopped watching it on a regular basis and now just watch a clip here or there. If there is a particular match or interesting incident that I must see, then I watch it on Youtube nowadays.

Riding The Bus To Town

This is why I, at times, love long bus rides.

Today I got into a local bus that goes from just near my office in Koratty to the town of Angamaly. It’s a pretty slow bus route as they stop at every few meters to pick up passengers in this semi-rural area. At Angamaly I had enough time for a small cup of tea to refresh myself and before boarding the Angamaly to Fort Kochi bus.

As usual I was one of the first to sit in the bus and I chose the front single seat on the left and settled down to listen to mp3s on my phone. The lady bus conductor came to collect money for my ticket and I handed her a crisp Rs.100 note as I didn’t have the exact change required for my ticket to Kacheripady. She said that she would come back a little later as she didn’t have enough change to give back to me. I said ok and relaxed back in my seat. A few stops later, she came up to me and handed me a ticket and I gave her the 100 rupee note. But I saw that the ticket was for less than what it should be. Sure enough she gave me more change back! I asked “Did you make a mistake? The ticket to my stop costs more!” She just smiled and said “We’ll keep it that you got in at a later stop so don’t worry!” That was nice of her as I have been a regular passenger in this bus.

Also on this same ride this morning, I was playing with a young girl, tickling her and making her laugh. Now before you think all dirty thoughts, the girl in question was a babe! I mean a real babe, perhaps about 7-8 months old. She was getting a little cranky, cooped up in the bus and I was able to get her attention and played with her a bit. She was so into me – I guess the age bracket of women I can now charm is 7months to 70 years!! Her grandfather and mother beamed and smiled at us. Her mom was hot – there goes my dirty mind.

I also helped a middle aged man who got in the bus at Aluva and who slipped as he was getting in through the door. Due to the rains, there was some water on the floor and he nearly stumbled back and could have hit his head on the still closing double doors of the bus….but I grabbed his arm and helped me steady on his feet.

What else? Oh two hot women in sarees got on and were all giggling and laughing throughout, sitting just behind me and it was almost too much for me to handle. That giggling was turning me on!

Solomon Kane

Based on a pulp magazine character, Solomon Kane is an epic action film depicting the title character’s origin – from the end of his life as a privateer, through the salvation of his soul by rescuing a Puritan girl and the beginning of his life as the Puritan avenger of the source material. Directed by Michael J. Bassett, the movie stars James Purefoy in the title role.  Now I’ve never seen anything that Purefoy has done and never even heard of him before this film but I am a converted fan.

The film starts with Kane leading his men into a battle against an Ottaman soldiers occupied fortress. After defeating the Ottoman defenders, Solomon and his men enter the fortress, only to enter a room of enchanted mirrors. Demons trapped within the mirrors attack and kill most of the crew, but Solomon fights his way into the throne room of the fortress. Inside, as he helps himself to the fortress’s treasure, a demon dressed in hooded black robes and armed with a flaming sword appears. It declares itself a reaper of souls, sent by the Devil himself, and tells Kane that he is there to take Kane’s soul to hell. Solomon managed to elude the reaper by jumping into the sea.

Following this encounter, Kane returns to England and takes refuge in a monastery and living among the monks, he changes his ways and becomes a pious and peaceful man. However he is expelled from there due to the dreams that the Abott has about Soloman’s past. On his way back to his father’s land, Kane is ambushed by thieves but doesn’t fight back, choosing non-violence. He is found by a family of puritans, on their way to the coast to travel to America and start a new life. The family takes in Kane as one of them and soon they even ask if Kane will travel with them to America. The youngest child, a son, treats Kane like a hero and follows him around. However the family is itself ambushed by corrupted followers of the sorcerer Malachi and his brutal lieutenant, the Masked Rider. Most of the family is killed, except the daughter Meredith, who is kidnapped, and her mother. When Meredith’s younger brother, is mercilessly slain right before his shocked eyes, an enraged Solomon charges into battle, killing several.

A dying father’s last request is for Kane to bring the daughter back to safety and Kane vows to do so. He takes a horse and follows Malachi’s forces, attacking and defeating many and rescuing several captives. Malachi has taken up charge in a castle that belongs to Kane’s father. Kane is soon captured and crucify him but on hearing Meredith calling out his name, while she is being led along with other prisoners in a cart, Kane frees himself. A revolt of resistance fighters defeats the soldiers and they ask Kane to lead them in battle and overthrow Malachi. After resting, Kane & his new group storm the castle, where Kane finds his father, enslaved. His father explains that the Masked Rider is really Kane’s older brother Marcus Kane, whom Kane thought he had killed in an accident shortly after he was banished as a teenager. Marcus was, however, only severely injured and left in a coma: after the priests and healers failed to awake him, Solomon’s father turned to Malachi, who brought Marcus back to life: however, Marcus was horribly disfigured and left subservient to Malachi, who turned Marcus into his enforcer: the Masked Rider. At his father’s request, Solomon reluctantly shoots him dead and heads to the throne room to confront Malachi.

Inside the throne room Solomon confronts Malachi but is forced to fight Marcus and kills him. At the same time, Malachi uses Meredith’s “innocent blood” to open a portal, thus releasing a demon sent to claim Solomon’s soul, which attacks Kane. After a desperate fight, Kane shoots Malachi in the head, and all three souls (Kane, Malachi and the demon) are apparently pulled into Hell. It transpires that Kane, in saving Meredith from Malachi, redeemed his soul and so escapes Hell. Meredith travels to America with her mother, while Solomon, after burying his father and brother, declares that evil exists elsewhere in the world and that he will put an end to it.

Awesome movie with a lot of great sword fight scenes. I really liked it. 8/10.

Happy 1st Birthday Samantha

My first & current laptop, a Lenovo G550 aka Samantha, turned 1 year old yesterday. I remember wanting a laptop so badly but not being able to afford one for years. Finally, two things happened – my pay scale improved a lot and in May of last year, my 4 year old desktop pc died on me. So it was high time for a laptop. But I needed to wait 3 weeks to get one as I needed some cash to kick in before financing it.

During those 3 weeks I googled from the office for a notebook that would meet my specifications and fit my budget as well. I spent a lot of time with the tech guys I knew, including the ones at my then office. How much RAM, hard disk capacities, which processor and which brands to go for. Unanimously they all told me to stay away from Acer (till then that was the brand that I was going for) and we soon ruled out HP, Dell & Sony – too rich for my budget! That’s when I got a quote for the G550.

She’s a budget notebook, meaning build quality is durability rather than looks but the plastic seems cheap. The colour is a dull dark shale and there are no fancy trimmings either. But she works like a charm and has been great for what I need a notebook for. She is awesome.

Happy Birthday Samantha!

The ASUS Eee PC 1215B

In my search for a work purpose related netbook pc, I hit upon this very sweet looking machine. It’s the ASUS Eee PC 1215B; with a 12 inch monitor I’m not sure if you will bracket it in the notebook or netbook category but either way it seems awesome. This Eee was also recommended by someone I know online who just bought it. Any readers have an opinion on this baby? I’m not really an Asus fan.