Upturned Noses

Even the most laid back and egalitarian among us can be insufferable snobs when it comes to coffee, music, cars, beer, or any other pet obsession where things have to be just so. What are you snobbish about?

Well to tell the truth I am a little snobbish about my coffee. Not the one I drink at home. No, at home I drink plain old simple instant coffee with sugar. Sometimes I add milk. I like it hot and black. But when I go out to cafes I can never think about drinking plain coffee.

No I want somewhat pricier (around Rs.100-150 worth) of lattes, machiatos, cold frappes, whipped cream and/or ice cream laden cold ones. I prefer though. Mocha this, latte that – give them to me. I want them complex and I want them rich. Otherwise why bother having a coffee outside your home.

So I turn my nose up towards your regular stuff. Give me a good one to savour.

Prompt from The Daily Post at WordPress.com

Sudden Downpour

It was sunny when you left home, so you didn’t take an umbrella. An hour later, you’re caught in a torrential downpour. You run into the first store you can find — it happens to be a dark, slightly shabby antique store, full of old artifacts, books, and dust. The shop’s ancient proprietor walks out of the back room to greet you. Tell us what happens next!

Well at this point I just want to stay inside the store with it’s warmth and dryness and not be drenched in the downpour outside. So I pretend that I was looking for this same store for a while and ask the store owner for some old artifacts and books and ask numerous questions about them. My idea was to wait until the rains die down and then I would purchase something that I could get for cheap or in the likelyhood that I find something really interesting I would buy it no matter what. Hey, I could always sell it on eBay later if I didn’t want to keep it.

However things would get interesting. The old man who owned the store brought out some hot cups of cocoa and started showing me some of his prized stuff. I was barely listening, even though he was a good story teller, until he mentioned some maps and paintings leading to a lost treasure. Treasure, eh? My interest was piqued so I asked for more details and he brought out some legendary maps with a log about an group of early treasure seekers who went on an expedition to find the Lost city of Almata and the treasure that was hidden in an old palace. I went through the maps and the paintings, including cut outs kept in the well catalogues log book when suddenly – a familiar face was staring back at me from a painting!

A woman, no the woman from my dreams. I had had these dreams for as long as I can remember about a dusky, raven haired beauty, a princess who has haunted me in my dreams from childhood. I always thought she was created in my imagination and my love for adventure stories and movies. But no, she was real. A princess who was the guardian of the treasure of Almata. I was fascinated, I had to go and find this place and seek the treasure. Or this ghost of a princess would never leave my dreams. I bought the maps and the log and went home to pour through the details. I would find a way of traveling to the places mentioned and find this lost city.

Prompt from The Daily Post at WordPress.com

Arsenal 2 Basel FC 0

Theo Walcott scored twice as Arsenal put in a dominant home display against Basel in the Champions League. It took the Gunners just six minutes to open the scoring as Walcott headed in from Alexis Sanchez’s cutback. The two Arsenal men linked up again as Englishman Walcott drilled low into the net to complete a swift team move. Basel goalkeeper Tomas Vaclik made good saves to deny Sanchez and Hector Bellerin, with Birkir Bjarnason coming close for the visitors.

Arsenal stunned rivals Chelsea 3-0 in the Premier League at the weekend and impressed again at the Emirates in this Group A encounter. Arsene Wenger’s side are now unbeaten in eight games in all competitions since losing to Liverpool on the opening day of the season. The sublime skill and movement of attacking trio Sanchez, Mesut Ozil and Walcott, who already has five goals this season, was too much for Basel to handle and the margin of victory could have been far more emphatic. Santi Cazorla controlled the tempo of the game with 94 passes – more than any other player on the pitch – while centre-backs Laurent Koscielny and Shkodran Mustafi were largely untroubled. Arsenal often start a season strongly before falling away, but if they can avoid major injuries and maintain a settled side, realistic challenges for the league title and the latter stages of the Champions League are not unthinkable.

The Xhaka brothers, Granit of Arsenal and Basel’s Taulant, faced each other again after crossing paths at Euro 2016.
In a quirk of international eligibility, Granit represents Switzerland while Taulant plays for Albania and it was the Gunners man who came out on top on that occasion. And it was the younger Xhaka sibling who triumphed again as his side totally outplayed the Swiss league champions. Midfielder Bjarnason, part of the Iceland side that beat England at the tournament in France, had a long-range effort tipped over by David Ospina, who also saved well from Andraz Sporar late on. Theo Walcott scored his first Champions League double since October 2007 against Slavia Prague. Walcott scored his first headed goal in the competition. Alexis Sanchez has had a hand in 11 of Arsenal’s last 16 Champions League goals (four goals, seven assists). Only Barcelona’s Neymar ( has more Champions League assists since the start of last season than Sanchez.

Evil Beings

Write about evil: how you understand it (or don’t), what you think it means, or a way it’s manifested, either in the world at large or in your life.

Evil – I do not believe in the traditional sense of evil. Evilness is not the outcome of the effect of a demon, devil or other supernatural beings on humans. Humans are capable of doing great deeds of kindness and humanity and also capable of unleashing massive destruction, chaos, cruelty and madness. Man is the evil that we frequently talk about. It’s in our nature. We are both good and evil; it’s a balance that needs to be more on the side of good.

There is no creature on the face of the earth that is more destructive than man. Animals would pale in comparison’ they hunt for food, fight when threatened of their property / territory / offspring or mate and kill for food. They are not evil. We are! We will kill for fame, gluttony, perversion, lust, greed, envy or for pure malice. Kill just because we can! To revel in the pain and anguish of others. If that is not evil, then what the fuck is? Killing in the name of politics or religion or because your point of view is supposedly better than the other. What a creature man is!

Look inwards when questioning evil. Evil is because of lack of knowledge, lack of empathy, lack of awareness, lack of guidance, lack of any sense of decency or humanity or because well, your parents and society just goddamn failed you. Or maybe you were raised to kill? Evil humans!

Prompt from The Daily Post at WordPress.com

Marital Blues Dream

I had this weird dream two nights ago. Odd one. In it I was finally fed up of life and living all alone and agreed to marry this chick, who said that she wanted to marry me. And get this – the girl (and I will have to call her a girl) is almost 19 years younger than me!!!) Apparently when she was in college a guy in her class liked her a lot and she ended up saying no to him because he was very aggressive. She was quite hurt by that whole episode is what she said and I wanted to make things better for her.

So, I ended up telling this young girl that I wanted to marry her as well and started making preparations. I went everywhere with this girl, hand in hand, as I let her choose the wedding invitation cards, hall, flowers etc etc. I invited all of my friends and family. All the time, she clung to me. I would kiss her when we had some downtime and decided that I would really do everything I could to make her happy. And then….a night before the wedding something happened. I can’t remember exactly what the details were because this dream was on Saturday and it’s Tuesday now. All I remember is that things went sour and I was trapped and being blackmailed by her and her friends and I had no way out. So I had decided to kill her and her friends and then kill myself or something like that. All I remember is fire in the end.

Weird. I know this girl in real life and I have no feelings towards her at all. Oh well! It was just a dream.

Adrenaline Rush

Do you like being scared by books, films, and surprises? Describe the sensation of being scared, and why you love it — or don’t.

Yes oh yes. Gets the heart pumping and the adrenaline flowing and it makes you feel alive. In a small way it’s exciting to watch a horror film almost like a thrill ride. I guess it depends on the kind of horror film that you watch; I prefer less gory but more horror filled as it dark lit, tension filled and enough nail biting or jump scares to make me sit on the edge of my seat or way back in anticipation of upcoming horror.

I like books too and find that I can get lost in a good horror book very easily and not realize that I have been reading since just after breakfast, non-stop without a break and that it is now almost midnight. It has happened to me more than once, especially when I am alone at home and then I look around to find myself all alone and perhaps even that the house or apartment is now very dark except for the room that I am in and I might have to battle a few scary creatures on my way to the other room to switch on the lights.

So I do like to get a good scare.

Prompt from The Daily Post at WordPress.com

Central Intelligence

Central Intelligence is a 2016 American action comedy film directed by Rawson Marshall Thurber and written by Thurber, Ike Barinholtz and David Stassen. The film stars Kevin Hart and Dwayne Johnson with Amy Ryan, Danielle Nicolet and Aaron Paul.

The movie is about Calvin Joyner, a former high school star athlete and academic student, who finds himself stuck in a job he isn’t enjoying and getting passed over for promotion. One afternoon he gets a Facebook invite from Bob Stone aka Robbie Wierdicht, an old friend from school, a chubby guy who was picked on and made fun off and who was tossed into a full sports hall buck naked by the school bullies. On that night in 1996, only Calvin and his then girlfriend now his wife Maggie felt bad for Robbie and Calvin gave him his jacket to cover himself up. Not wanting to go to therapy with his wife, Calvin agrees to meet Bob for drinks and is shocked to see that Bob is now a muscle bound tall guy who beats up some bullies at the bar.

After a night of catching up Bob asks review a few accounting records. Calvin deciphers the records as multi-million dollar transactions from an auction, with the final payment set to be made the following day. Bob avoids Calvin’s questions and spends the night on his couch. The next morning CIA agents shows up at the house and demand to see Bob, who has escaped, and say he is a dangerous rogue agent who intends to sell satellite codes to the highest bidder. Calvin finds himself in the middle as a thrilling adventure takes place and he reluctantly is in the middle of a shootout, fights with tough agents and car chases. Bob is blamed for the death of his partner but is really a killer and a rougue or is he being framed? Will the two sort out the mess and get back in time to attend their 20th year class reunion?

There’s a lot of laughs, some slick action, cool moves and stuff flying or jumping around. Although Kevin Hart is funny at times his shouting, yelling and screaming can get on one’s nerves. Johnson is actually more cool and calm in his role and shows his funny side. It was a fun film though the story is wonky. 7.5 outta 10 for a lazy afternoon’s watch.

Arsenal 3 Chelsea 0

Arsenal produced a devastating first-half display to dismantle Chelsea and secure a fourth successive Premier League win. Alexis Sanchez took advantage of Gary Cahill’s error to race clear and lift a composed finish over Thibaut Courtois after 11 minutes, and Theo Walcott completed a brilliant move to steer in Hector Bellerin’s pass three minutes later. Mesut Ozil then left N’Golo Kante trailing to expose Chelsea on the counter-attack and steer home Arsenal’s third five minutes before the break, after an exchange with Sanchez. It was little more than damage limitation for Chelsea after that as they fell to their second league loss in a row as rampant Arsenal moved third in the table.

Arsenal, for all Chelsea’s obvious frailties, were simply untouchable from back to front in a magnificent first 45 minutes that revived memories of their finest days. The Gunners showed pace, skill, pressed Chelsea into submission and probed weaknesses ruthlessly in the manner of a team at the top of its game. Arsenal’s fans, so often frustrated and having already expressed their discontent at home this season, left Emirates Stadium with a spring in their step and sharing the optimism expressed by manager Arsene Wenger. He wrote in his programme notes: “We feel as though we are on the way up.” This was a performance that spoke eloquently on behalf of Wenger’s theory – with the proviso Gunners fans have heard this talk before only to be disappointed. This, however, was a magnificent exhibition of power, pace and end product, from the skills of Sanchez and Ozil in attack to the lightning speed and tackling of Bellerin at the back.

When Sanchez and Ozil are in this mood, Arsenal are a threat to anyone. The pair are world class when at the peak of their powers – and they certainly were here. Sanchez hurried Cahill into a panic before a gloriously composed chip for Arsenal’s first, and he and Ozil combined to leave Chelsea’s defence embarrassed as the latter scored the third. Arsenal were outstanding in all areas – but Sanchez and Ozil provided the final flourishes with the sort of class that makes them central figures in all Wenger is trying to achieve this season. Arsene Wenger inflicted Antonio Conte’s heaviest league defeat since October 2010, when he was manager of Siena (3-0 loss to Empoli). Chelsea found themselves three goals down at half-time in a Premier League game for the first time since May 2012 (v Liverpool, 4-1 FT). This was the first time since October 2012 v Manchester United the Blues had conceded twice in the opening 15 minutes of a Premier League game. This is Arsene Wenger’s first win over Chelsea in the league since October 2011 (drew three, lost six). Chelsea’s first shot on target came in the 82nd minute. Hector Bellerin has provided more assists than any other Premier League defender since the start of last season (six). Theo Walcott scored in consecutive Premier League games for the first time since May 2013 (three in a row for the Gunners).

Pick Your Gadget

Your local electronics store has just started selling time machines, anywhere doors, and invisibility helmets. You can only afford one. Which of these do you buy, and why?

A time machine, a time machine for my entire fortune. For that matter an anywhere door is also great. But traveling back in time or forwards into the future would be just awesome. I wanna see what it was like 2000 years ago. Or go even further and see what the dinosaurs were upto. Maybe even kill and eat a brontosaurus and make some brontosaurus burgers.

Check out the evolution of man from ape like creatures to modern man. See what it was like during the middle ages and maybe kill a few religious figures and dictators or tyrants before they can come into power and influence. Romance a few beauties of the past, check out Marilyn Monroe. Do a lot of debauchery and revelry with the Romans at the height of their powerful empire.

And the future, well that would be interesting. What will the world be like in a 100 years, a 1000 years? 5000 years from now, will we still be living on this planet? Or do we just have some off world colonies and stations? Will space travel be as easy as taking your car and going for a ride? Things could be exciting.

Prompt from The Daily Post at WordPress.com

Changing Work Shifts Again

Urgh, I hate this but it has to be done. I will be changing my work shift again and from Monday I will be working from 8:30 pm to 5:30 am. I don’t know how this will affect my sleep patterns and my health (hope it doesn’t) even though it’s just a two hour difference from my current shift. But I need some darkness to properly fall asleep and that is what worries me.

So if my shift finishes at 5:30 am I will reach home by around 6:15 am or so. If I go to sleep right away I am hoping that I will be able to get 5 to 6 hours of decent sleep. I hope so. Because otherwise I just know that I will end up all tired and miserable. Maybe 3 to 4 hours in the morning and a nap after lunch might do the trick. But I just can’t control my sleep like that. I hate working night shifts and the 4:30 pm – 1:30 am or 6:30 pm to 3:30 am shift were fine for me.

Anyways this is for the next 2 weeks after which I can switch back to either of the two shifts I am used to. Or even a 3:30 pm to 12:30 am shift. Which is fine. I am not looking forward to the next two weeks. Let’s see and hope for the best.

Sandwich

Sandwich – it’s food. It’s good food. It’s also one of the most varied thing in the world. Because you can put anything and everything between two slices of bread and it will become a sandwich. Any food item or items between two slices is automatically a sandwich. That’s the rule and it is an awesome rule. 

You can have just butter and jam in between. Or cheese – and then grill it or put it in a sandwich maker. Put some grilled veggies inside. Or just cucumbers and cheese or carrots along with it. Or meat – chicken, pork, beef, lamb, fish anything. Anything goes well inside a sandwich. Even thick gravy and meat or veggies. As long as you don’t mind your sandwich becoming soggy.

And ofcourse from the sandwich you also got burgers and perhaps even hotdogs in a bun. They are offshoots of the sandwich. What a humble and giving creation this sandwich is.

Prompt from The Daily Post at WordPress.com

A Posh Retreat

You just inherited a dilapidated, crumbling-down grand mansion in the countryside. Assuming money is no issue, what do you do with it?

Well get me all the money I need to make that into a swanky, posh hotel or a b&b and I will get it done. Fix the exteriors, rip up all the flooring and put new ones in. Whole new paint, tears some walls down if needed and put up new ones. Make sure that the building is solid.

Add a few extensions as well – place for tennis court, basketball or something like that. Swimming pool, bbq area with a lawn at the back. Like a big lawn. Hire the best interior decorates for paints, wall hangings, chandeliers, sofas, cushions, beds and mattresses, cupboards, shelves etc etc. Hire good chefs for the food and servers serving the food as well as the drinks. A good bartender. Maids and butlers. Musical performances in the evenings. The works.

So give me the money already!

Prompt from The Daily Post at WordPress.com

Dictionary, Shmictionary

Time to confess: tell us about a time when you used a word whose meaning you didn’t actually know (or were very wrong about, in retrospect).

I don’t. I am usually very careful about such stuff. Also since 2003 I have worked with computers at my jobs, which ever place it was, and your computers have things like Word processors and email client software like Outlook and they have thesaurus and antonyms and synonyms. Also they usually come with google access so you can check up words if you do not know the meaning or want to use a more suitable word.

But I do remember something silly that happened at my work place a few years ago. Several idiots in the office used the word “livid” when they actually meant “delighted or happy” for reports on customer care interactions. That was because one moron used the word “livid” by accident – when trying to find a synonym he must have selected an antonym – and every other dumbo, about 15 or so, started using it as a template. So when we were sending out reports to our clients instead of a customer delight it was customers were livid!

Luckily me and another colleague caught them before they were sent out!

Prompt from The Daily Post at WordPress.com

Where’s The Music?

I’m feeling sad while looking at some of my cds. I am a big music fan and I love my music collection but everything I have is on mp3 format. I either get them online in mp3 format or buy cds and rip them onto my hard disks in mp3 format. I think the last time I bought and played a music cd was back in 2009! 2009, that’s 7 years ago!

I currently have about 57GB worth of music in about 10,500 mp3 files on my laptop and I have a copy of them on an external hard disk. That’s a lot of music and a lot of songs. I barely listen to them anymore now though. I blame Youtube for that. Youtube had gotten me fixated on live versions of the songs that I like hence I listen to song mostly on Youtube. I have come to prefer the different live versions of rock songs by bands and musicians that I like. With some exceptions ofcourse. Also Youtube has a much larger access to musicians that you may never have heard of but are super talented and do either awesome covers or originals that you’ll like.

So I look at the cds that I have and will probably sell off at a local store here. Most of them at least in prime condition. Blame it on the times, cds are done for the most part.