Drinking Beers After A Very Long, Long Time

After many, many months – close to 9.5 months, last weekend I had gone to get my hair cut. I am balding, have a bad bald spot on the back of my head and hence my hair doesn’t really grow that much but within the last couple of months my hair had grown so long that it was almost at my shoulder. It was difficult for to manage and drying my hair after a shower was a nightmare. So I went to Ole and got my hair cut short and it feels so much better now.

With that out of the way, it was just a couple of steps near to Couchyn, the lounge bar that is attached to the Grand Hotel. I went it as it was also 9.5 months since I had any drinks. I was only going to have some beer but as I got in, I started to really miss it. I quickly sat down and ordered a Corona and munching on some free hickory sticks, I quickly demolished that. Man, did I ever earn that beer. Now I needed another one and I asked for a Hoegaarden which I really, really love.

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By then my first order of food had arrived. Delicious tempura prawns which is so good on it’s own but dipped in that delicious sweet & spicy Thai Chilli sauce that it comes with – oh my god, how I have missed this taste! So great to drink my beer and eat them prawns while listening to their excellent selection of 70s, 80s & 90s soft rock and folk music. The word chilling in the dictionary should have a clip of me drinking my beer, eating those shrimp and humming & singing softly to myself the lyrics of the songs that were playing.

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A little later I ordered some tandoori chicken, a half plate and a Budweiser. Now the first two beers were 350 ml bottles but the Bud was a full bomber bottle of 650 ml. I thought I could finish that but I couldn’t complete the last bit more than a quarter of the bottle and the last piece of chicken. Well I culd have but I wanted to go back home and if I stayed back then I could have finished them off. So I paid via my credit card, washed my hands and mouth, took a leak in the washroom and then booked an Uber to come back home.

Where To Spend A Quiet New Years Eve

I can’t remember exactly how I used to spend New Year’s eve as a kid – I do know that when we lived in Kuwait, our building would have parties organized on the roof top terrace and everyone had fun and games. Once we came back to India back in 1987 I can’t remember much happening unless we cousins would get together in our ancestral home in Mattancherry for the winter holidays. We usually would go for some ice cream or maybe even a movie in the afternoon and get burgers & fries or something like that for dinner. And we would sit together in the top floor of the house and spend the night listening to music.

Once my teenage years ended I think a few years we usually spent at home watching tv. Money was also tight during those years hence it was usually quite dinners at home, maybe some cake or ice cream and watching a blockbuster movie (I remember one year, 1998 or 1999) I was watching Titanic with my mom & my sister’s mother-in-law). 2003 I remember I had applied for a new job as I had enough of my then current job and in the afternoon I went to small bar and had some food and a few drinks and was really sad about my life. As I was about to leave, I got a call from the HR of the new employers informing me that I was selected and could join in 1 week.

My next really happy & wonderful New Year’s eve was back in 2006 which I have blogged about on the first day of setting up this blog. It was a fun night with my cousins, parents, uncles & aunts and we had good food and lots to drink. The same was true the next year as well. I spent a couple of New Year’s eve drinking at bars with friends but mostly I have preferred to be at home as I have grown older. I order food for myself, dad & mom and sometimes my sister & her family might join as well. I listen to music, watch a movie perhaps and have a nice quiet nice in. That is the same for this year as well.

Happy New Year!

Prompt from New Year Post Ideas for Bloggers! at QueenBeeBloggers.com

RIP IAN TYSON

While the sporting world and football fans were grieving the passing of Pele, the country music & Canadian music scene also had a major legend passing. Singer-songwriter Ian Tyson also passed away at the age of 89 at his ranch near Longview, Alberta. The Member of the Order of Canada (in October 1994) wrote a significant number of modern folk songs, including “Four Strong Winds” and “Someday Soon”, and performed with partner Sylvia Tyson as the duo Ian & Sylvia.

Tyson was born to British immigrants in Victoria, and grew up in Duncan B.C. Right after his graduation, Tyson bagged a job in Toronto as a commercial artist where he performed at local clubs. In about 1959, he actually began his singing career with Sylvia Fricker. In 1961, the beloved duo began performing a full-time musical act and three years later they got married. By 1969, they began a group called, The Great Speckled Bird. The musical duo released over 13 folk and country music albums. In 1970, Ian Tyson famously hosted a national television program, called, The Ian Tyson Show, which aired on CTV. The show aired till 1975 and was titled Nashville North for its first season.

In 1980, Ian Tyson began working with Neil MacGonigill and delivered several albums focussed on the country and cowboy niche. His famous works include Old Corrals and Sagebrush. The man popularized “Cowboyography” and was on a winning streak as he went on to deliver famous albums focused on cowboy music including, I Outgrew the Wagon (1989),And Stood There Amazed (1991) & Eighteen Inches of Rain (1994). In 1989, Tyson was inducted into the Canadian Country Music Hall of Fame.  In 2005, CBC Radio One listeners chose his song “Four Strong Winds” as the greatest Canadian song of all time on the series 50 Tracks: The Canadian Version. He has been a strong influence on many Canadian artists, including Neil Young, who recorded “Four Strong Winds” for Comes a Time (1978).

In 2006, Tyson sustained irreversible scarring to his vocal cords as a result of a concert at the Havelock Country Jamboree followed a year later by a virus contracted during a flight to Denver. He was nominated for a 2009 Canadian Folk Music Awards for Solo Artist of the Year. The album includes a song about Canadian hockey broadcasting icon Don Cherry and the passing of his wife, Rose. Tyson was married twice. Both marriages ended in divorce. His first marriage, to his musical partner Sylvia Fricker, ended in an amicable[14] divorce in 1975. Their son Clay (Clayton Dawson Tyson, born 1966) was also a musical performer and has since moved to a career modifying racing bikes.

His second marriage in 1986 to Twylla Dvorkin also ended in divorce in 2008. The couple had a daughter together named Adelita Rose. The song Four Strong Winds, written by Ian Tyson, was named as the greatest Canadian song of all time by the CBC-Radio program 50 Tracks: The Canadian Version in 2005. There was strong momentum for him to be nominated the Greatest Canadian, but he fell short.

RIP Edson Arantes do Nascimento – The Legend Known as Pele

Edson Arantes do Nascimento (born 23 October 1940), known more famously as PelĂ© , has passed away at the age of 82. The former Brazilian professional footballer who played as a forward and regarded as one of the greatest players of all time and labelled “the greatest” by FIFA, was among the most successful and popular sports figures of the 20th century. In 1999, he was named Athlete of the Century by the International Olympic Committee and was included in the Time list of the 100 most important people of the 20th century. In 2000, PelĂ© was voted World Player of the Century by the International Federation of Football History & Statistics (IFFHS) and was one of the two joint winners of the FIFA Player of the Century. His 1,279 goals in 1,363 games, which includes friendlies, is recognised as a Guinness World Record.

PelĂ© began playing for Santos at age 15 and the Brazil national team at 16. During his international career, he won three FIFA World Cups: 1958, 1962 and 1970, the only player to do so. He was nicknamed O Rei (The King) following the 1958 tournament. PelĂ© is the joint-top goalscorer for Brazil with 77 goals in 92 games. At the club level, he was Santos’ all-time top goalscorer with 643 goals in 659 games. In a  golden era for Santos, he led the club to the 1962 and 1963 Copa Libertadores, and to the  1962  and 1963 Intercontinental Cup. Credited with connecting the phrase “The Beautiful Game” with football, PelĂ©’s “electrifying play and penchant for spectacular goals” made him a star around the world, and his teams toured internationally to take full advantage of his popularity. During his playing days, PelĂ© was for a period the best-paid athlete in the world. After retiring in 1977, PelĂ© was a worldwide ambassador for football and made many acting and commercial ventures. In 2010, he was named the honorary president of the New York Cosmos.

In Brazil, he was hailed as a national hero for his accomplishments in football and for his outspoken support of policies that improve the social conditions of the poor. His emergence at the 1958 World Cup, where he became the first black global sporting star, was a source of inspiration. PelĂ© married three times, and had several affairs, producing several children. At the age of 73, PelĂ© announced his intention to marry 41-year-old Marcia Aoki, a Japanese-Brazilian importer of medical equipment from Penápolis, SĂŁo Paulo, whom he had been dating since 2010. They first met in the mid-1980s in New York, before meeting again in 2008 and marrying in 2016. His Instagram account confirmed his death at the hospital from  multiple organ failure, a complication of colon cancer, on 29 December 2022.

Five Movies I Have Watched Set Around New Year’s Eve

The Age Of Adaline : This romantic movie, starring Blake Lively and Michiel Huisman, follows a woman, Adaline, who has stayed 29 years old for decades. Because of this, Adaline knows she can’t fall in love—but she does, of course, with a man she meets on New Year’s Eve. Stream this one if you want something beautiful to accompany your NYE in.

New Year’s Eve : Bronx-born filmmaker Garry Marshall (brother of the late Penny Marshall) loves the holidays. It’s the only logical conclusion after scanning his body of work: Mother’s Day, Valentine’s Day, New Year’s Eve. Each of his seasonal contributions is an interconnected ensemble comedy that assembles several bold-faced names into one glitzy movie. For New Year’s Eve, you have Josh Duhamel, Michelle Pfeiffer, Halle Berry, Jessica Biel, Zac Efron, and more colliding on December 31.

About Time : A delightful British romantic comedy you may have missed, About Time stars Rachel McAdams and Domhnall Gleeson as Mary and Tim, a couple whose story continues to be rewritten thanks to Tim’s ability to travel through time. Though its moral is something like “The grass actually isn’t always greener,” one of the film’s best scenes is when Tim keeps hopping back in time to get a New Year’s Eve kiss just right.

Ocean’s Eleven (2011) : Danny Ocean (George Clooney) is one of cinema’s most charismatic masterminds—and on New Year’s Eve, one of his most ambitious heists begins. It doesn’t matter if you’ve already seen the original Ocean’s 11; the plot’s ingenious twists will continue to delight.

Ghostbusters II : Everyone’s favorite supernatural crime-fighters return to the screen for a sequel with all the same players: Ivan Reitman directing; Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Harold Ramis, and Sigourney Weaver starring; New York City as the setting. But this time, there is no Stay Puft Marshmallow Man. Rather, the Statue of Liberty comes to life and slimy spectral activity is oozing onto the streets, just as the New Year’s Eve festivities kick into high gear.

New Year Traditions In India

People in all parts of India dress colorfully and indulge in fun filled activities such as singing, playing games, dancing, and attending parties. Night clubs, movie theatres, resorts, restaurants and amusement parks are filled with people of all ages. People in all parts of India dress colorfully and indulge in fun filled activities such as singing, playing games, dancing, and attending parties. Night clubs, movie theatres, resorts, restaurants and amusement parks are filled with people of all ages. Some big restaurants and hotels may have a live band and a DJ or arrange some party gags and contests for their patrons.

In some cities they will try to have concerts conducted and in some metro cities they might get an international artist to come and perform for the crowd. Larger cities such as Mumbai, Delhi, Bangalore and Chennai organize live concerts which are attended by Bollywood stars and other well-known personalities. Large crowds gather to attend such shows, while some individuals prefer to celebrate with their close friends and family members. The fun filled occasion is considered a great opportunity to get closer to the loved ones in your life and to revive contact with lost friends. The media covers many New Year events which are showcased on prime channels for most of the day. Several people prefer to just go to a bar and drink a few and ring in the new year that way.

People who decide to stay indoors resort to these New Year shows for entertainment and fun. The age-old tradition of planning new resolutions for the coming year is a common sight. A few of the most popular resolutions include losing weight, developing good habits, and working hard. Still others, usually families and those with older people and small kids, will prefer to gather in a house or apartment, order some good food or cook some and have a few drinks and enjoy each other’s company and ring in the new year in the safety & comfort of being indoors in a familial environment.

Santa Cruz Del Islote : The World’s Most Densely Populated Island

It’s the World’s Most Densely Populated Islands

Approximately 600 people live in a two-and-a-half acre area, making Santa Cruz del Islote one of the world’s most densely populated places. More than a century ago, fishermen were said to have built the island on a coral platform before settling there, content with its beautiful location and lack of mosquitoes. Over the years, the families of the original inhabitants grew, and most never left, citing its palpable community spirit and laid-back way of life. The island packs a church, school, shops, and one restaurant into its winding streets and narrow alleys.

Everyone on the Island Is Related

Residents have just six different surnames, a testament to how they are all related to each other by blood or marriage. Homes painted lime green, banana yellow, and sky blue are passed down through generations and there is no room to build more: if a family requires extra space, they construct a second floor. There are no non-native residents living in the island’s approximately 100 homes, where 10 under one roof is not uncommon.

Peace and Quiet: No Crime, Cars, or Motorcycles

There is no police presence on Santa Cruz del Islote and there’s no need for it. On this small island where everyone is acquainted and people look out for one another, nobody locks their doors and no crime has ever been reported. It’s also free of traffic and vehicular noise. There are four main streets on the island, none wide enough for cars or trucks, and since distances are short people walk–or take boats–to get around.

It’s an Island Full of Children

Currently, 65 percent of Santa Cruz del Islote residents are under 18, showing how much parents value this safe environment. Kids play soccer in the tiny amount of open space there is, take boats out to fish, splash in the water, and run under washing lines in their neighborhoods, all under the watchful eyes of adult family and friends. There’s one school on Santa Cruz del Islote that ends at 10th grade; students who wish to pursue further education leave home, but many also return to the island.

Locals are Working to Conserve Sea Turtles

The bounty of the Caribbean Sea has long been the major source of food and income for island residents: a variety of fish, lobster, shrimp… and, at one time, sea turtles. Since islanders have learned of the plight of these protected creatures, there has been a cultural shift. Whereas sea turtles were previously a significant food source, now residents avoid catching them. If they become entangled in fishing nets, there’s a protocol in place: turtles are kept safe until a nearby conservation organization collects them. Not only have islanders taken sea turtles off the menu, they also educate other residents and visitors about the critical need to protect them.

E-Books Vs Printed Books

Though ebooks have become more and more popular over the last several it hasn’t meant the demise of the printed book. Far from it. Though the sales of ebooks went over 1000 million USD by 2019, hardcover and paperback books still rule the market, with approximately $3 billion and 2.5 billion in sales in 2019, respectively.

Many studies confirm that reading comprehension is better with physical books than with eBooks. Although young people may read more quickly on an eReader, the speed and potential distractions of links, scrolling, and advertisements usually mean people remember and retain what they are reading better in physical books.

Print books are still a little more expensive than e-books, but not all that much. Books on paper are difficult to carry around, especially hardcovers. If you’re an avid reader and you’re going on a trip, or if you’re just stepping out to a coffee shop, an e-reader or iPad is a far lighter burden than a book or a stack of them. There’s also the satisfaction of having an entire library at your fingertips, not to mention an infinite supply just a click away, ready to download instantly. In addition, e-book buyers have the advantage that the internet gives consumers of any products: No space constraints. Just about everything ever published is available, all the time.

The drawback is that you must recharge your device regularly while some screens may not be the best for reading conditions in bright sunlight. Also if you work primarily in front of a computer screen, relaxing with an ebook may not be all that appealing.

KEY TAKEAWAYS

  • Print books have the feel of a book that many readers love. You can hold it, turn the pages, and feel the paper.
  • Illustrations on paper are generally higher quality than even high-end e-readers can reproduce.
  • E-books come with font style and size flexibility.
  • E-readers can store thousands of books on a single device.

Arsenal 3 West Ham 1

Arteta’s young team produced a second-half fightback to beat West Ham and move seven points clear at the top of the Premier League, which was resuming after the World Cup. Wenger, who was the last Arsenal manager to win the title, made his first return since stepping down in 2018. West Ham took the lead against the run of play when Jarrod Bowen was judged to have been clipped in the box by William Saliba, allowing Said Benrahma to smash a confident penalty down the middle. There was a mood of frustration among the home fans until Bukayo Saka converted from close range after collecting Martin Odegaard’s mis-hit shot.

The equaliser gave added impetus to the Gunners and another home goal looked increasingly likely. Five minutes later, it duly arrived. Gabriel Martinelli put the hosts ahead, catching out West Ham’s former Gunners keeper Lukasz Fabianski by tucking inside the near post from a tight angle when he seemed more likely to cross. The points were sealed when Eddie Nketiah – starting in place of the injured Gabriel Jesus – spun sharply in the box before firing into the opposite bottom corner. Arsenal extended their lead at the top over Newcastle, who moved second by beating Leicester earlier on Monday.

Reigning champions Manchester City – who go to Leeds United on Wednesday – are now eight points behind the Gunners. West Ham are 16th and just a point above the relegation zone after their fourth league defeat in a row. Arsenal fans are starting to believe Arteta’s side can genuinely maintain their push for the club’s first title since Wenger’s Invincibles in 2004. The match came on the third anniversary of Arteta’s first game as Arsenal manager, and significant progress has been made since then. When the former Gunners midfielder took over, they were closer to the relegation zone than the top four. Their current position – and mood around the club – is a measure of how they far have come.

Going Back To Work On Boxing Day After 2 Weeks Leave

So Boxing Day is when I am going back to work. After 2 weeks away, I am going back. 6 of those days plus one over night which was on Tuesday, was spent at the hospital. The rest was at home, recovering and resting my poor self.

I am a little anxious. Not about the actual work but wondering if I will have the same problem again after a few days. I hope not since I don’t think we will be allowed to go back to work from home again until a few more weeks. Or so I think. There might be a chance that we will all go back to work from home but I can’t be sure since nothing has been communicated so far. So I will go early and come back by 10 or 10:15 pm.

Most of the day will be spent on checking emails – 2 weeks worth of emails! Sheesh, I can guess it will be 1000 plus by now. I just can’t imagine reading all of them or atleast sorting them out. I will have my lunch there and I think I will send out the weekly report before I leave since that is usually due by Wednesday. I hope to spend time with my colleagues during a tea break. I will book an Uber by 9:30 pm and have my dinner once I get back home.  Hope everything goes well.

Drinking Eggnog Around The Holiday Season Sounds Just Right; Here Are Some Eggnog Facts

1. Eggnog Was Once Only A Drink For Wealthy Aristocrats

Oh, you fancy, huh? In the 14th century England, only the well off could afford eggnog, as milk and eggs were both scarce and expensive, as was the sherry used to spike the mixture.However, that changed in the American Colonies where they had easier access to dairy products and liquor. Many Americans had their own chickens and dairy cattle so tossing together a glass of eggnog was an easy feat, making its popularity soar.

2. The Word Eggnog Has Many Origins

Many etymologists believe the name stems from the word “noggin” which referred to small wooden mugs that were often used to serve eggnog. Others posit a similar story but explain that “nog” comes from the slang term to refer to strong ales they also served in those cups.

3. Washington Enjoyed Getting Sloshed On Eggnog

When toasting your glass of eggnog these holidays, charge a glass to George Washington. Kitchen records from Mount Vernon indicate the first president served an eggnog-like drink to visitors. And since the general was a wealthy man, he didn’t’ skimp on the booze. Washington’s potent recipe included three different types of liquor – rye whiskey, rum, and sherry.

4. The FDA Limits The Amount Of Egg In Store-Bought Eggnog To 1%

If you pick up a carton of eggnog with your groceries, you may be getting more “nog” than yolk. Due to our fear of raw egg, U.S. FDA regulations limit egg yolk solids to no more than 1.0% of a products’ final weight to bear the eggnog name, while your typical homemade version has roughly one egg per serving

5. Eggnog Was Responsible For A Riot At West Point

In 1826, the Superintendent of West Point, Colonel Sylvanus Thayer set strict rules forbidding purchasing, storing, or consuming alcohol. However, several cadets took Thayer’s regulations as a challenge and celebrated the Christmas festivities with alcohol-laden eggnog. A riot ensued, two officers got assaulted, and the North Barracks vandalized. Ultimately, 19 cadets and one soldier were court-martialed for their involvement in the riot, resulting in eleven dismissals from West Point.

6. There Is No “Right” or “Wrong” Alcohol With Eggnog

With no hard and fast rules, eggnog can be made with any number of different distilled spirits, or none at all, known as “virgin eggnog”. Rum, sherry, Cognac, and whiskey are all suitable for eggnog. Some suggest that it should be a mix of two dark distilled spirits to balance out the sweet treacle flavor of eggnog, but it’s best to try them out and see what works best for you.

7. Vegan Eggnog Exists, And It’s Spectacular

While not technically using any eggs or milk, vegan “eggnog” can be made using a variety of products and is ideal for not only vegans but also those with lactose or dairy intolerances. “Milk” is used, in the form of soy, almond, coconut, or cashew and traditional eggnog flavors and spices remain such as vanilla extract, cinnamon, and nutmeg. And of course making either alcoholic or virgin vegan eggnog is your choice, depending on how bearable your relatives are!

What’s So Special About December 25th? Who Was Born On This Day?

So it;s the 25th of December? Why the fuss? Gifts, decorations and buying, receiving and giving gifts? What’s So Special About December 25th? Who Was Born On This Day? Who celebrates their birthday on this day? Well, lots of people were born on this day. However I took a look on Wikipedia and found these people who I admire :

1642 – Isaac Newton, English physicist and mathematician (d. 1726/1727)
1924 – Rod Serling, American screenwriter and producer, created The Twilight Zone (d. 1975)
1924 – Atal Bihari Vajpayee, Indian poet and politician, 10th Prime Minister of India (d. 2018)
1949 – Sissy Spacek, American actress
1952 – CCH Pounder, Guyanese-American actress
1954 – Annie Lennox, Scottish singer-songwriter and pianist
1958 – Alannah Myles, Canadian singer-songwriter and actress
1971 – Dido, English singer-songwriter
1971 – Justin Trudeau, Canadian educator and politician, 23rd Prime Minister of Canada

Got An Arsenal Jersey Designed Coffee Cup From Jersey Kart

I think I have mentioned it perhaps once or twice on this website, but I have a thing for collecting coffee mugs. Or tea mugs as I now drink tea as well. I always look for coffee cups that I can have and keep in my collection, ones which nice logos – either they come that way or I can customize them. I think I have 7 coffee mugs at the moment that only I use and these are all that I have bought just for myself. Of these 5 are customized.

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So I was scrolling though the Facebook app on my phone when I saw an advert for Jersey Kart. Jersey Kart is a website & app that sells football jerseys & shorts (club & national), banners, balls and mugs. I wanted to get the Arsenal mug which is a coffee mug with the current style of Arsenal home jersey design on it and you can either get a player’s name and number on the other side or get your own name and customized number on it. So I did order mine on December 1st and it was scheduled to arrive on Dec 10th to the 12th.

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However they ended up having some problems and did not communicate it to me. Their customer care leaves a lot to be desired. I had to send multiple messages on Whatsapp and email before finding a phone number and the guy said that it was delayed but that it would reach me by the 24th. I got it yesterday and opened it. It’s not bad but it doesn’t look as good as I thought it would turn out to be.