Top 5 Pizza Joints

Top five slices of pizza in Cochin

  1. 360 Degree Pizzeria
  2. Dominos
  3. Pizza Hut
  4. SFC Plus
  5. Woods Manor’s Pizzeria

These are my personal top 5. I have a couple of newer places that I have yet to try and once I do I am sure this list will change. But these are the ones that I go to satisfy my pizza cravings.

The Great Wall

The Great Wall is a 2016 epic historical fiction action-adventure monster film directed by Zhang Yimou and written by Tony Gilroy, Carlo Bernard, Doug Miro, Max Brooks, Edward Zwick, and Marshall Herskovitz. The film stars Matt Damon, Jing Tian, Pedro Pascal, Willem Dafoe and Andy Lau. The film is based on one of the legends about what it is that the empire was trying to keep out and in this case it’s these monstrous creatures who maybe alien in origin. Called the Taoties, these monsters originate from a green meteor that crash-landed onto Gouwu Mountain two thousand years from the time set in the movie. The Chinese believe the Taotie were sent from the gods to punish the Emperor for abusing his authority over the Middle Kingdom and the people. They attack northern China once every sixty years, an invasion for which the Order has been training for their entire lives.

A mercenary group originally consisting of twenty men searching for black powder is attacked by bandits and only two, William and Tovar, survive. While seeking refuge in a cave they are attacked by a monster and William cuts off it’s hand with his sword and it goes away. The next day they stumble upon the Great Wall are taken prisoner by Chinese soldiers of a secretive military sect called the Nameless Order, led by General Shao (Zhang Hanyu) and Strategist Wang (Andy Lau). Initially ordered to be killed the two are spared because they fought and killed a Taotie, one of the monsters that plague northern China every 60 years. William & Tovar joins the battle when the monsters attack and their skills arn the respect of General Shao and Commander Lin. Losses are sustained on both sides before the Queen recalls her drones. Later, William and Tovar meet Sir Ballard (Willem Dafoe), an European who, like them, had ventured east twenty-five years ago in search of black powder. Like them, Ballard was also taken prisoner and now has been serving as an English and Latin teacher. The three foreign mercenaries discuss plans to steal black powder from the storeroom and flee while the soldiers are occupied by battle.

At night two taoties climb the wall and trick the soldiers killing a few including the Shao who then passes on the general’s mantel and leaving Lin to take the command. They also discover that a magnet stuns the monsters into sleeping and they capture one and put their theory to the test. The Taotie is taken to the capital by the envoy. A short while later, a hole is discovered in the base of the Great Wall, which the Taotie Queen has used to lead her hordes to the capital. While Lin investigates, Tovar and Ballard try to escape and knock William unconscious for resisting. William is then arrested by the Chinese soldiers, and despite being saved by a statement from Peng Yong, William eventually locked up in the Wall. Some distance away, Ballard betrays and abandons Tovar, but is himself captured by the Khitans, who inadvertently destroy themselves and Ballard after igniting the powder. Tovar reclaims the horses but is recaptured by the Deer Troop. Lin uses the hot air baloons to get to Bianliang, the capital, Lin passes word to set William free, with Wang telling him to tell the outside world about the danger about to come, but William decides to stay and boards the last balloon.

They reach the capital to see swarms of the monsters destroying property and attacking people. They landed safely into the Emperor’s palace, where Wang proposes an idea to kill the Queen by tying explosives to the captured Taotie from earlier and giving the Taotie meat to be delivered to the Queen. While transporting, a horde of Taotie breach the sewers. Peng Yong sacrifices himself to save the others. With the Taotie released, Lin, William and Wang climb a tower to shoot a black powder rocket to detonate the explosives. Wang is killed while moving to the upper floors. Two of William’s arrows are deflected by the Taoties, but Lin’s spear breach through the defenses after William throws the magnet into the horde before the spear hits a nearby Taotie within the defenses. The queen is destroyed, and the rest of the horde is frozen solid, killing them. With the horde destroyed, William is given an offer, during which he forgoes the powder and instead frees Tovar, much to Tovar’s annoyance. The two, guided by a cavalry, begin their journey back to Europe as Lin, now the General, watch over them from the wall.

Great film to watch in 3D at the theatres. It was awesome to watch. Is the story original? No. Is it very entertaining? I’d say for the most part it was that. Because some of the characters, including a main character played by Matt Damon, are white in a movie set in medieval China, the film has been accused of whitewashing and using the white savior narrative. There are some cliches and non of the actors are taxed in their acting skills. I still enjoyed the film. As a movie going experience I’d give it a…..7.5 outta 10!

All Or Nothing At All

“Perhaps when we find ourselves wanting everything, it is because we are dangerously close to wanting nothing.” — Sylvia Plath. Which do you find more dangerous: wanting nothing, or wanting everything?

I think it’s a catch 22 type of situation if you want it all. Wanting everything means that you will likely never be satisfied because you are always planning and waiting for the things that you don’t have. If you want to keep the next achievement or award or whatever it is that you want as a way to challenge and motivate yourself then I think it’s pretty healthy to do so as long as you also appreciate what it is that you do have and take some moments to cherish them.

Wanting nothing at all is so dangerous. It’s not human at all to not want or desire. That is what fuels us and gives us purposes. It need not be money or fame or anything like that. It can be wanting a peaceful existence or wanting happiness and joy and having a wonderful family life. If you do not want anything at all then you are dead inside, a hollow shell of a being. How can you not want something? No way can a human being want nothing. If they do say so they are liars.

It’s a good balance to have though if you are satisfied with what you have and yet also look forward to something more. Means you will work on it. You will improve yourself and your surroundings. You have a passion to reach out for.

Prompt from The Daily Post at WordPress.com

Chelsea 3 Arsenal 1

Chelsea tightened their grip on the Premier League title race and delivered a blow to Arsenal’s aspiraions with a convincing victory at Stamford Bridge. Manager Arsene Wenger, watching from the stands as he served the third of a four-match touchline ban, was hoping Arsenal could respond to Tuesday’s shock home defeat by Watford – but Chelsea exerted their authority to leave the Gunners 12 points behind the leaders. Marcos Alonso gave Chelsea the lead after 13 minutes, heading home after Diego Costa’s header came back off the bar. Arsenal were unhappy with Alonso’s challenge on Hector Bellerin that saw the defender take a heavy blow to the head which forced his substitution, but referee Martin Atkinson saw nothing wrong. Eden Hazard made the decisive contribution with a magnificent solo goal eight minutes after half-time, leaving a trail of Arsenal players in his wake in a run from the halfway line before beating Petr Cech.

The goalkeeper’s poor clearance gifted substitute Cesc Fabregas Chelsea’s third, five minutes from time, and Olivier Giroud’s late goal barely counted as consolation for Arsenal. The visitors had chances but saw Thibaut Courtois save well from Gabriel, Mesut Ozil and Danny Welbeck. Chelsea’s lead at the top of the Premier League was 12 points at the conclusion of this victory – and to underscore the scale of their improvement, it is worth going back to the first meeting between these clubs at Arsenal in September. Their 3-0 loss to the Gunners left Chelsea in eighth place and eight points behind then-leaders Manchester City after six games. This proved to be a watershed moment for the Blues and manager Antonio Conte. In the intervening 18 games after Conte switched to his preferred three-man central defensive system, they have won 16 league games, lost at Spurs and drawn at Liverpool. It has been a powerhouse run that has effectively brought a 20-point swing in the title race. Chelsea once more looked the model of efficiency, although they conceded more chances than Conte would have liked, with N’Golo Kante a tireless midfield influence.

The Italian wanted to make amends for that heavy loss at Emirates Stadium and he had the players and system to do it in style. And when they have individuals who can produce game-defining moments like Hazard, it is almost impossible to see any way they will leave the door far enough ajar for any of their pursuers to squeeze through. Conte’s celebration after Hazard’s goal showed how much the win meant to him. Arsenal’s loss here at Stamford Bridge caps a dreadful week for the Gunners and manager Wenger – watching from the stands as their title hopes were surely snuffed out for another year. First they were knocked off course by that defeat by Watford and here they were beaten by a Chelsea side that looked like everything Arsenal did not. Strong, streetwise, ruthless and confident. Wenger’s side were limp in the opening phases, not even getting a touch in the Chelsea penalty area for 35 minutes and when chances did come along they were squandered. Wenger can make all the usual positive noises but this was, ultimately, an emphatic beating and barring a dramatic and unforeseen turn of events, the wait for their first title since the year of “The Invincibles” in 2003-04 will go on. A single banner saying “Enough Is Enough. Time To Go” was held aloft in the Arsenal end – but it was almost a token gesture of defiance, rather like Giroud’s late goal.

The Week That Is

Think about what you wanted to accomplish last week. Did you? What are the things that hold you back from doing everything you’d like to do?

I had a couple of things I wanted to do this past week – well work week anyway. I had applied a few days before for an internal job posting at the company I work for and I had two interviews set for this Monday and Wednesday. I had my first round, a presentation round on Monday at 7 pm which eventually became almost 7:45 pm due to some issues. Anyway I completed that and I think did well enough. On Wednesday I had a personal interview round which was a casual affair.

That done I was on a complimentary off on Thursday for having worked on the previous Thursday which was Republic Day. As the clients were in the office I had to come in for work and I could take this Thursday for some personal reasons. I also went to KFC in the evening and bought some take away. It was a busy day though. The other thing I wanted to achieve isn’t completed yet. I wanted to get a couple of people who I am close to job interviews at a company or two using my contacts. One was done and she is through now I am waiting for the second one to attend the same. It will have to be on Monday next.

And that’s about it. I also sold my previous phone, my BlackBerry Q10, and using that money to get some ships for my Star Trek collection. Today is relaxing at home and tomorrow I will go out and watch a movie.

Prompt from The Daily Post at WordPress.com

First Visit To Gold Souk Mall

I went int Gold Souk Mall or Gold Souk Grande as it is officially called for the very first time last evening. I never was a mall kinda guy until last year and that’s mainly for the movies and in some cases the awesome food that some restaurants have in these malls. But Lulu and Center Mall have been the only ones I go to. Gold Souk was one that I had seen from outside but never gone into.

So last evening I took an Uber ride to the mall and went in. The place looked like a dump! There are some shops open but most of the upper floors look deserted. There is a Subway, a KFC and a Chick King. Ofcourse they have Q cinemas but I am not sure how good they are. There are a few small shops and some food/beverage/ice cream stalls. On one part of the first floor they have a huge furniture sale happening and it blocks most of the way. You can’t miss the chairs, sofas and stuff. Not all of them look cheap though; I myself wanted to check out the computer chairs but they didn’t have any of the type that I was looking for.

I could see into the Subway and it looked big and nice but the first floor of the KFC, though clean, looked a bit rundown. I ordered some food from there to take back home and drank a cold shake while I waited. There is a Big Bazaar grocery store on the ground floor which is the reason for a lot of people to visit the mall and that with the three major fast food chains and the Q cinemas should be reason enough for a good crowd but the rest of the place make it seem dumpy and sad. Oh well, I might visit them once in a while.

New Dawn

How often do you get to (or have to) be awake for sunrise? Tell us about what happened the last time you were up so early (or late…).

I rarely am awake at sunrise though it is often a funny, weird feeling to be awake at that time. During the odd days that I am awake because of work I am usually too tired to even worry about something like get a cup of coffee and go stand in the balcony and watch the sunrise.

But yes I have done that at times when I am at home and usually alone. I have had some other days when sleep either fails me or I happen to wake up early and it usually is very quiet. I usually will switch on a movie or some tv show – once I actually watched an Iron Maiden special and a couple of times I have watch comedy standups. Anything really. And yes I have gotten that coffee and gone to the balcony.

I do like being awake at that time and enjoying some quiet time by myself. It’s ok once in a while.

Prompt from The Daily Post at WordPress.com

When Will I Be Loved?

Have you dreamt of becoming famous? What would your claim to fame be? Comedy? Acting? Writing? Race car driving? Go!

Like a million, billion people throughout the years I have dreamed of being famous for something. Like being a beloved actor, singer or musician or a sportsman. To be praised and loved for my talent and art and capabilities and lauded for my achievements and get awards and adulations by the thousands.

In more recent years I have wished I had the ability to be a comedian and a stand up comic in particular. To be able to stand in front of thousands and have them laugh themselves silly and fall out of their seats with rib-tickling humour is awesome and I wish I could that for a living. Or a singer/musician and sing my songs and have the audience being moved to tears and sing the lyrics back at me. That would be amazing!

The oddest thing I would want to have been famous for – a porn star! Hehehehe yes I would love to be a porn star and “perform” for the ladies!

Prompt from The Daily Post at WordPress.com