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Three Day Weekend Ahoy!

Another three day weekend is upon us. These are so rare that we need to really appreciate them because they are here and then they are gone! So……take a moment. Ok, thanks!

So Good Friday / Vishu is tomorrow the 14th of April and hence I have the day off and therefore the three day weekend. I want to enjoy it a lot, watch a few movies and get some nice food. Maybe go for a bit of shopping. I dunno what I can do but I am going to plan it later today.

I have to work from 12:30 pm to 9:30 pm so by then I will know if someone wants to join me for a movie at either Lulu PVR or Cinepolis. Problem is the only movie I really want to watch is at 6:30 pm and I am not sure if I want to wait till that long. Coming back by Uber is ok but I dunno if I want to wait that long – movie might end by 8:15 or so, and dinner after that will be done by say 9. That means I will reach back home by around 10pm! Hmmm maybe that is a plan.

I dunno but I shall tell you how it goes. If my folks weren’t home and could go away for a few days then I might even stay in for 3 days and only go out to buy some beer and then order some food in.

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Pens and Pencils

When was the last time you wrote something substantive — a letter, a story, a journal entry, etc. — by hand? Could you ever imagine returning to a pre-keyboard era?

Short answer – a resound no! It hasn’t been that long since I and most people like me stopped using pens and pencils for writing out words. The last time I wrote a letter? Good heavens, has it been 17 years since then?

I suppose if we had to do it people could easily move back to a pen or pencil – if we really wanted to write, we would. We just wouldn’t write as much though. I used to keep a journal and at the most I wrote about a small paragraph a day, if that much! The most I wrote was when I was recovering from a minor operation that kept me at home for a month. I write a lot more these days and that is because I can type it up.

I don’t think the world would crumble if we lost typing up stuff on a keyboard and computer or other devices and had to go back to a pen and paper situation. But only real writers would write for a few years, the rest of us would stop for a long time. Me included. But I would probably pick up a journal and start writing again after a few weeks of mourning.

Prompt from The Daily Post at WordPress.com

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Crystal Palace 3 Arsenal 0

Crystal Palace continued their recent revival to boost their Premier League survival hopes and leave Arsenal struggling to maintain their run of top-four finishes under Arsene Wenger. Palace led through Andros Townsend’s close-range finish, doubling their lead when Yohan Cabaye’s shot looped in. Luka Milivojevic clinched victory with a firm, low penalty as Palace moved six points clear of the relegation zone. Sixth-placed Arsenal did not manage a shot on target in a poor second half. Some travelling Gunners fans again called for manager Wenger, who has led Arsenal to top-four finishes in each of his previous 20 seasons at the helm, to leave the club.The Frenchman’s side are seven points adrift of fourth-placed Manchester City with eight games remaining.

The manner of Arsenal’s performance – disorganised, devoid of attacking ideas and lacking fight – will increase the scrutiny on Wenger yet again. The 67-year-old has already faced protests from some supporters urging him to leave, with more calls clearly audible – along with the barracking of his players in the latter stages – at Selhurst Park. Wenger’s contract expires at the end of the season and the club has offered him a new two-year deal, although he is still to announce whether he intends to carry on. Arsenal had 72% possession against Palace but that mattered for little as the hosts broke quickly on the counter-attack, exploiting space down the flanks and taking their chances clinically. The Gunners looked defensively vulnerable whenever Palace went forward, lacking leadership without injured captain Laurent Koscielny.

And when the visitors did attack, Palace keeper Wayne Hennessey was only required to make saves from Mohamed Elneny and Alexis Sanchez. After the break, Hennessey did not even face a shot on target as Arsenal suffered a fourth straight away defeat for the first time under Wenger. “Palace wanted it more. You could sense that from the kick-off,” Theo Walcott, Arsenal’s stand-in captain, said. While Wenger has never led Arsenal to a finish outside the top four, opposite number Sam Allardyce has a proud record of not being relegated from the top flight. On this evidence, Allardyce looks much likelier to maintain his achievement than his long-time adversary. The former England manager, who has previously kept up Bolton, Blackburn, Newcastle and Sunderland, took a while to improve Palace’s fortunes after replacing Alan Pardew in December, but the Eagles are starting to reap the rewards of his methods when it matters.

Palace had too much pace, power and passion for a lifeless Gunners side. Although Arsenal dominated possession in the first half, Palace had the better chances and deservedly led when Townsend drilled in Wilfried Zaha’s cross from the right. Arsene Wenger has suffered four consecutive away Premier League defeats for the first time as Arsenal manager. This is Arsenal’s worst away Premier League run since April 1995 (also four defeats in a row) when they were managed by Stewart Houston. Wenger lost for the first time against Palace in 12 top-flight matches. Arsenal conceded three goals in four consecutive away league games for the first time since September 1929.

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Eat, Drink, and Be Merry…

…for tomorrow we die. The world is ending tomorrow! Tell us about your last dinner — the food, your dining companions, the setting, the conversation.

The food – all my favourite stuff. Pizza, burgers, bacon, chicken fry, biryanis, butter chicken, tandoori chicken, pork, ham, pepperoni, shawarmas, beer, rum, vodka, ice creams and shakes and coffees.

The dining companions – I have a few people in mind. Close family, some friends. But I would dump them all for some hot women.

The setting – a luxury hotel room with big beds

The conversation – fuck talking, I am having an orgy with those hot women! And I don’t care about the world ending tomorrow cause I can die the happiest man in the history of the world.

Prompt from The Daily Post at WordPress.com

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Missing Sequels

If you could create a sequel to one favorite (standalone) movie, which would it be? How would it build on the original?

Event Horizon. One of the best and most underrated science fiction + horror films out there. It absolutely rocks and is dynamite in it’s story telling. It has an awesome premise and plot and some really good actors in it. If you are unaware of the movie it’s about a crew of astronauts sent on a mission to get in touch with a starship that has reappeared suddenly after it’s disappearance 7 years ago on it’s maiden voyage. The ship had an experimental engine that opened a rift in the space time continuum.

Joining the crew is the scientist who invented the engine and when they get to the ship, the Event Horizon, they discover that the ship had opened a portal to a hell dimension and whatever got through had killed and mutilated the crew of the Event Horizon and now wants these men and women too. The characters must try and escape but the entity that has taken control of the Event Horizon won’t let them go. In the end everything from the forward section of the Event Horizon is destroyed and heads onto earth like a lifeboat carrying just three of the crew while the rest are dead and the rest of the ship is pulled back into the hell dimension by means of the black hole that was opened. However we are led to believe that all is not right as the remaining 3 are found by rescue crew from earth. Is the closing of the doors ominously mean that the evil still remains?

I dunno and it is speculated as a possible outcome. I would love to see a sequel for this 1997 movie which remains a favourite of mine. Someone please get to it.

Prompt from The Daily Post at WordPress.com

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The Magnificent Seven (2016)

Although I have seen the original, it was so long, long ago (Over 25 years I think) that I do not remember anything about it. The Magnificent Seven is a 2016 American Western action film directed by Antoine Fuqua and written by Nic Pizzolatto and Richard Wenk. It is a remake of the 1960 western film of the same name, which in turn was a reimagination of the Akira Kurosawa’s 1954 Japanese film Seven Samurai. The film stars Denzel Washington, Chris Pratt, Ethan Hawke, Vincent D’Onofrio, Lee Byung-hun, Manuel Garcia-Rulfo, Martin Sensmeier, Haley Bennett and Peter Sarsgaard.

The film pretty much follows the script of the original and the Hollywood remake classic (which makes you wonder why they bothered in the first place). A small mining town named Rose Creek, is looted by robber baron Bartholomew Bogue and his horde of criminals and when the good folk try to stand up to him, some of the men are killed on the street. Emma Cullen, who’se husband Matthew was one of those murdered, goes to the next town with her friend Teddy to get help and runs into warrant officer Sam Chisolm who was there on legal business. Along with gambler and Joshua Faraday, who is impressed with Sam’s skills, Sam agrees to defend the town on hearing that Bogue is the one who is harrassing the townsfolk. They are later joined by sharpshooter Goodnight Robicheaux, knife-wielding Billy Rocks, notorious Mexican outlaw Vasquez, skilled tracker Jack Horne, and Comanche warrior Red Harvest.

After they arrive in Rose Creek they confront and shoot dead enforcer McCann and his men, shoot dead 22 of them, and drive the corrupt sheriff away with a warning to leave Rose Creek alone. Surmising that Bogue and his forces will return in a week, the seven train the townspeople to defend their home and grow fond of them. Robicheaux, haunted by the horrors of the Civil War and fearing the killing he will be a part of, abandons the group and is replaced by Cullen. Bogue and his huge army of men arrive and attack the town but find that the people have rigged traps and bombs all over. A massive shootout ensues, during which Robicheaux rejoins the group. Bogue then unveils his secret weapon, a Gatling gun, with which he decimates the town and kills many of both sides. Realizing they’re outgunned, the seven evacuate the townspeople and mount their last stand. Horne is killed by Bogue’s Comanche assassin Denali, who is later killed by Red Harvest.

Robicheaux and Rocks are killed by a second round of gunfire. Faraday then rides up to the remainder of Bogue’s men and the Gatling gun. After he is riddled with bullets he makes a final attempt to destroy the Gatling gun, by detonating a stick of dynamite destroying the Gatling gun, the rest of Bogue’s men, and himself. Bogue flees into town, where he is confronted by Chisolm, who disarms and wounds Bogue. As Chisolm is strangling Bogue, he reveals that Bogue and his men raped and murdered his mother and sisters during a raid several years earlier, in which he himself survived being hanged. Bogue is then fatally shot by Cullen while attempting to shoot Chisolm with a hidden gun in his boot. Faraday, Robicheaux, Rocks and Horne are buried in town and honoured by the people of Rose Creek as heroes, while Chisolm, Vasquez and Red Harvest ride off. The film ends with Cullen remarking that their heroism made them legends and that it was “magnificent”.

I found the film boring in several places and then it picks up towards the final 3rd. The cast do a pretty good job but you won’t find the film memorable at all. I give it a…..7 outta 10!

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Salad Days

Is there a period in your own personal life that you think of as the good old days? Tell us a story about those innocent and/or exciting times (or lack thereof).

For sure my childhood from the age of 1 to 11. Those were great times and the good ole days for sure. No care in the world, with plenty to do and lots of friends to play with. I was in a great school with lots of friends and in my building as well I had a lot of good folks. We had some wonderful though cheesy tv shows which are still great like the A-Team, Knight Rider and V. And whatever advantages and better toys kids these days have, their cartoons suck! Ours were so much better.

We had fun at school and after school we played games and maybe football whenever we could. Board games and cartoons on tv were the best part of a holiday. I also remember family dinners (with my sister, parents, an uncle and aunt and my cousin who also lived in Kuwait) of either shawarmas, kuboos n hummus and fallafels or KFC! I will always associate those foods with my childhood. Good times!

Prompt from The Daily Post at WordPress.com

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Arsenal 3 West Ham United 0

Arsenal boosted their Champions League hopes with a deserved victory over West Ham, who remain in relegation trouble after a fifth consecutive Premier League defeat. After a quiet first half, Mesut Ozil, on his 150th appearance for the Gunners, fired home from the edge of the box after being gifted possession by Jose Fonte. And the German, after playing a one-two with Alexis Sanchez, crossed for Theo Walcott – captain for the day in the absence of the injured Laurent Koscielny – to turn home from eight yards out. Olivier Giroud curled in a fantastic third after being picked out by fellow substitute Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain. The Gunners are now up to fifth in the table, only four points behind fourth-placed Manchester City, with a game in hand on Pep Guardiola’s side.

West Ham are five points above the bottom three, although it could have been a lot worse had Swansea not collapsed late on to lose 3-1 to Tottenham. The Gunners had only won one and drawn another in their past six Premier League games, to leave their hopes of Champions League qualification – having reached the last 17 tournaments – in real jeopardy. There were more protests against long-serving manager Arsene Wenger – with some Gunners fans not taking their seats until the 13th minute. It has been 13 years since they last won the league. But it did not distract the team too much, admittedly against opposition in even worse form than themselves. Arsenal had the best of the first half, but it was after the break they took control of the game. Hammers keeper Darren Randolph was unhappy with Ozil’s opener as he felt Sanchez was offside and blocking his view, but referee Martin Atkinson did not care for his appeals.

The two Gunners stars both linked up to set up Walcott’s second, and then Giroud scored the game’s outstanding goal to clinch the match. The French striker, who replaced Danny Welbeck, has scored more Premier League goals as a substitute than anyone else this season – five. Arsenal should have had a penalty in injury time when Sam Byram brought down Nacho Monreal. The Gunners had to play their third-choice keeper, Emiliano Martinez, after injuries to Petr Cech and David Ospina. But the 24-year-old, on his first Premier League appearance since 2014, only had to make two saves in the game. Arsenal became the first Premier League side to score 100 goals in all competitions this season (currently 101).Theo Walcott has scored more Premier League goals against West Ham than he has against any other side (six).

Slaven Bilic’s side have failed to keep a clean sheet in any of their past 12 away Premier League games. Arsenal have won both Premier League games against West Ham in a season on 10 occasions – more than they have against any other side. No player has made more errors leading to a goal than Darren Randolph this season (three, level with Simon Francis and John Stones). Mesut Ozil has scored and assisted in the same Premier League game for the second time this season, with the other game being the reverse fixture against the Hammers. Olivier Giroud has scored more Premier League goals as a substitute than any other player this season (five). Emiliano Martinez has kept a clean sheet in three of the four Premier League games he’s started for Arsenal.

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Fearless Fantasies

How would your life be different if you were incapable of feeling fear? Would your life be better or worse than it is now?

I think a lot of us would have different lives if we were incapable of feeling fear. We might be more adventurous and more brave and take more risks. Some bully harassing you? Kick him in the balls! The job is great and you want it but you have to move half way across the country? Hell yeah, let’s do it.

I think people will become mostly risk takers start skydiving, adventure trekking, deep sea diving, catching sharks under water, hunting wild animals all the time, wrestler big wrestler, get into the ring with boxing / MMA fighters, jump off tall skyscrapers, want to go into space and do all kinds of crazier shit than what I can think of. And that can be dangerous too! While life might become more interesting it can also make it short if you aren’t careful. Sticking your head into a lion’s mouth? Well that can make you lose your head right there.

Life might be better if we lost the ability to feel fear but can balance that with a lot of intelligent thinking and if we had the right information in front of us. To let you know that it’s not ok to check out the tonsils of that hungry and mean looking lion! Balance is what we need.

Prompt from The Daily Post at WordPress.com

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Arsenal 2 Manchester City 2

Arsenal showed signs of recovery from their recent dismal run of form as they twice fought back from behind to draw with Manchester City at Emirates Stadium. The Gunners had lost four out of their previous five Premier League games, and faced City against uncertainty surrounding manager Arsene Wenger’s future, with more protests staged before kick-off. Arsenal got off to the worst possible start when Leroy Sane put City ahead after only five minutes, running on to Kevin de Bruyne’s routine pass to round David Ospina and score. Theo Walcott capped a spell of Arsenal pressure to scramble home an equaliser five minutes before the break – but they were on terms for only two minutes before Sergio Aguero’s powerful finish put City back in front.

Arsenal lost Laurent Koscielny to injury at half-time and it was his central defensive partner Shkodran Mustafi who rose above City’s defence from a corner to restore parity after 53 minutes. Aguero missed two good chances for City and manager Pep Guardiola was furious that a late handball appeal against Nacho Monreal was ignored, leaving his side in fourth and Arsenal in sixth place in the table – seven points of the top-four pace. Two banners were held aloft at the final whistle – and both summed up the confusion currently surrounding Arsenal and manager Wenger. One read “Forever In Your Debt – One Arsene Wenger” and the other carried the slogan “All Good Things Must Come To An End.” There were renewed protests from a noisy, but relatively small, group of Arsenal fans before kick-off to illustrate the pressure on Arsenal’s manager but there were precious few signs of discontent inside the stadium.

The smart money remains on Wenger extending a stay as manager that stretches back to October 1996 – but this result and performance did little either way to clear the muddied waters around this part of north London. Wenger insists his decision is made while Arsenal’s board say the next move will be mutual – so a draw almost summed up what seems to be the current inertia among the decision-makers. If Arsenal had won, it would certainly have made any announcement more palatable, while a loss would have made it a harder sell. As it is, a draw means the uncertainty goes on. Arsenal needed to show signs of fight and resilience after a desperate sequence of four defeats in their previous five Premier League games – and they certainly showed that, if not huge quality. The Gunners twice fought back from behind in a performance that was centred on determination rather than the dazzling football of old, but Wenger can at least take some comfort from that small mercy.

Arsenal’s wafer-thin confidence was exposed by the manner in which they defended for both City goals, opened up too easily by De Bruyne’s routine pass for Sane’s opener and losing concentration and shape far too easily to concede a second to Aguero two minutes after Walcott’s equaliser. They still display very obvious defensive faults and the Achilles injury to Koscielny, the most reliable member of their rearguard, could prove to be a significant setback in the run-in. This is a frail Arsenal side, reduced in self-belief by that recent poor run, but avoiding defeat here may just build some momentum as they chase a place in the Premier League’s top four.

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Whatcha Gonna Do With All That Junk?

Is there “junk” in your life? What kind? How do you get rid of it?

Ofcourse, who doesn’t? Well I have seen or heard of people who live very minimalist lifestyles and have only things in their home that they use on a regular basis and nothing else remains. I wish I could do that but I find that more junk accumulated as we get older. I have, for example, used and depleted batteries in my desk drawer. Not one or two – more than 20! Fuck that – I need to dump them tomorrow.

Old clothes, I dunno what I have more off – clothes that I currently wear or clothes that I do not wear at all as they are now old and do not fit me! What the heck! I need to throw them all out or give it to one of the guys who comes to collect stuff for people who are extremely poor and/homeless. There are atleast 13 shirts I can give away. 13 of them! I don’t have that many shirts that I do wear at the moment!

Strangely that is the extent of my personal junk lying about in the apartment. I used to have a lot more of them shitty stuff but I got rid of a bunch of stuff in 2015. Now it’s mostly the boxes of my Star Trek starship collection – which I do not want to get rid off as if I ever move it will be easier to put the ships back into the boxes as it will keep them relatively safe.

Prompt from The Daily Post at WordPress.com

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Here’s To A New Start

And so ends my slightly more than 2 years tryst with working in the outsourced section of the customer care and billing support (as a trainer) for one of the world’s largest (probably the world’s richest) iptv, broadband internet, wireless and homephone provider. And now I am moving onto to another process which is for online shopping plus a bunch of other services and it’s a pretty big company in itself.

I had my last working day at the current process at the office yesterday. Being a Saturday we had a minimal staffing and I had a little work done. I sat for a leisurely coffee with some snacks at 4:45pm and worked with the guy who is going to be doing a lot of the reports I was doing and will be conducting training for the process I am leaving. After dinner I prepared to move a lot of my files from my current desktop system to my personal drive (which can be accessed from any system).

By 10:30 pm I shutdown my system and went to meet some folks in the process and tell them a quick bye (not really a goodbye since I am going to be working in the same building just 2 floors up and will see them during breaks and at the cafeteria) and then booked my Uber to come back home.

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The Veil

Haven’t seen Jessica Alba in anything for a long while. So I definitely wanted to check out this film which was recommended in a Horror movie fan group as one of the best films of 2016 which most people may have skipped. And plus the film also stars one of my current darlings, Lily Rabe. The Veil is a 2016 American supernatural horror film directed by Phil Joanou and written by Robert Ben Garant. Jason Blum serves as a producer through his production company Blumhouse Productions and the movie also stars Aleksa Palladino, Reid Scott, and Thomas Jane.

25 years ago a religious cult named Heaven’s Veil, had all their members commit suicide in a ritual procedure. Documentary filmmaker Maggie Price contacts the sole survivor, Sarah Hope, to film a documentary about what really happened and she also has never seen before footage. Maggie and her brother Christian inform her that their father was the FBI who led the investigation that found the cult and saw the dead bodies. He soon committed suicide leaving his kids to be obsessed with finding the truth behind Heaven’s Veil. Maggie, Christian and their crew take Maggie with them to the remote site of the cult’s residence, which is deep in the woods. Sarah starts to see flashes of memories, visions of the dead and faints. After she recovers they set up camp for the night. The next morning one of the crew, Ed, is missing as well as their van.

Ann, the sound editor, and Nick, the gaffer, leave to find Ed. The others follow Sarah, who has remembered the location of a house hidden within the forest. Inside, they find the lost footage and missing cult member Karen Sweetzer’s decomposed corpse. In a tape found near her body, Karen rants about not being controlled and briefly addresses Sarah, who they learn is her daughter, before dying. They begin watching the remaining footage. In it, Jim Jacobs, the leader of Heaven’s Veil, describes how he has uncovered the secret to eternal life. By designing drugs with his knowledge of alchemy, he hopes to free his followers’ spirits from their bodies. Ann and Nick return, only to reveal that Ed has died in a high-speed car accident. Jill, the sound editor, argues they should leave, but Maggie and Sarah insist that they continue watching the tapes and the others reluctantly agree. In the later tapes, Jim experiments with dangerous drugs to help him temporarily cross over to the spirit realm.

During one trance, he possesses a cult member and announces that he has freed the first of three bindings from her soul. Ghosts kill Nick when he leaves to restart the house’s generator; he later rejoins the others and kills Ann when they are alone. Ann and Nick return together to continue watching the tapes. Jim reveals further experiments in the footage, where he administers poison to himself. He removes the second binding from his soul, then returns once the antidote is applied to him. Disturbed by ghostly whispers, Jill and Matt, the cameraman, leave. They find Ed apparently alive. As Jill applies first aid, Matt leaves to get help. Ed kills Jill, and they return to the house. Sarah holds a seance to communicate with her mother, who demands that she entice the documentary filmmakers to stay at the house. Sarah murders Christian, who rises and joins her to continue watching the footage with the others, all of whom but Maggie are now possessed.

In the final reel, Jim reveals that the poison administered to the cult members was supposed to be counteracted by an antidote. Karen objects to giving poison to the children and allows Sarah to flee. Jim is revealed to be Sarah’s father and forces Karen to take the poison when she resists. Karen leaves with the footage for the house, where she dies. Before the cult can administer the antidote to themselves, the FBI arrive and interrupt the ceremony. Denied the antidote, the cult members all die. In the present, Sarah reveals that the cult members have possessed the documentary filmmakers, and Jim, possessing Ed, nails Maggie to a tree despite her protests that her father did not know about the antidote. The police arrive with Matt, only to be killed by the cult members, who now possess their bodies, too. Jim announces his plan to feed upon the souls of the rest of the world.

You can predict how things are going to unfold and it’s a bit boring with very little scary stuff but I did find parts of the film cool. I’d give it a 6.5 outta 10! Average run of the mill stuff.