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Just Another Day

Our days our organized around numerous small actions we repeat over and over. What’s your favorite daily ritual?

It may seem silly and even a bit sad but my favourite daily ritual is the one that I do immediately after I wake up, put my clothes on (as I sleep in the nude) and go to the bathroom to wash my face and then brush my teeth. All this will take about 15-20 minutes to get done and oh yeah there is also the morning peeing involved as well. Once I brush my teeth and wash my face, I come back to the inside of my bedroom and take a towel and wipe my face and hands dry.

Then I switch on my laptop and modem and then go to the kitchen to put the kettle on for my first cup of coffee as the laptop boots. As the kettle of water boils I go online on Firefox/Chrome and open my choice of websites – usually Facebook and Youtube. I look for updated on new videos by the various vloggers and channels I frequent and setup a couple of videos to load and then go make my coffee. Cup in hand, I sit back on my chair and open Facebook and go back to the videos I have setup, take my first sip of coffee and enjoy the vids.

I do it everyday in that same order and look forward to starting my day in this manner. It can’t be beat.

Prompt from The Daily Post at WordPress.com

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Alien : Covenant

Alien: Covenant is a 2017 American science-fiction horror film directed by Ridley Scott and written by John Logan and Dante Harper, with a story by Michael Green and Jack Paglen. A sequel to the 2012 film Prometheus, the film is the second installment in the Alien prequel series and the sixth installment overall in the Alien film series, as well as the third directed by Scott. The film stars Michael Fassbender, Katherine Waterston, Billy Crudup, Danny McBride and Demián Bichir, and follows the crew of a ship that lands on an uncharted planet before making a terrifying discovery.

The year is 2104, 10 years after the events of Prometheus – but before we meet the crew of Covenant, we are shown a scene from the past in which a younger looking Peter Weyland addresses a synthetic android who would become part of the mission. Weyland asks the android his name; the android selects “David” after looking upon Michelangelo’s statue of the same name. During a moment of the exchange we also see that David, despite his devotion to Weyland, remarks that in a way he is better than his creator/father because Weyland will grow old and die while he, being an android, will not. Now, back to our crew who are in stasis on the colony ship Covenant is bound for a remote planet, Origae-6, with some 2000 colonists and over 1400 embryos on-board, monitored by an upgraded android resembling the earlier David, named Walter.

Enroute,  the a neutrino shockwave severely damages the ship, killing its captain and waking the crew from stasis. As the crew repairs the damage, a radio transmission is intercepted from a nearby planet. It’s a recording of Dr. Elizabeth Shaw, singing “Country Roads” in a forlorn voice. As the planet, which is deemed inhabitable for humans is just a few days away, acting captain Oram decides to investigate, as the transmission is human in origin, despite the protests of acting second officer, and wife of the deceased captain, Daniels.  The rest of the crew agree with Oram as Origae-6 is 7 years away and no one wants to get back into stasis. As they arrive, a smaller group stays in orbit while the rest, led by Oram and Daniels descend to the surface. Karine sets up an ecological survey station, while the others track the signal’s source. They discover it originates from an Engineer ship, piloted by Elizabeth Shaw following the disastrous Prometheus mission. Two security team members, Ledward and Hallett, are inadvertently infected with an alien spore. Karine attempts to assist them, but Faris locks them inside the landing vehicle’s med-bay as a quarantine precaution.

A Neomorph bursts from Ledward’s back, killing him, then mauls Karine to death. Faris tries to kill Ledward’s Neomorph and fails, but accidentally destroys the lander in the process in a large explosion. The ground team witnesses the explosion and, seconds later, another Neomorph bursts from Hallett’s throat. Forced to retreat, the remnants of the landing party are attacked by the neomorphs. Mayhem ensues and one of the Neomorphs is killed. Walter loses a hand saving Daniels before the crew are rescued by David, the sole survivor of the Prometheus mission, as they attempt to radio Covenant for help. David claims that, upon his arrival with Shaw, the Engineer ship accidentally released its cargo of “black goo”, a bioweapon recovered during the Prometheus mission, killing the native population of Engineers. In the ensuing chaos, the ship crashed, killing Shaw. On the surface, the surviving Neomorph attacks and decapitates Rosenthal, who was separated from the main group. David attempts to tame the alien, but is horrified when Oram kills it.

At Oram’s demand, David reveals his activities on the planet. Using the “black goo” as a catalyst, he created the earliest Neomorphs after experimenting with a parasitic wasp that laid eggs inside its prey; upon being born, the larvae ate the prey from the inside out. David shows Oram a chamber he has used to incubate his latest creation, Facehuggers, which implant Oram with an embryo. The embryo later erupts into a Xenomorph—an evolution of the Neomorph—killing Oram. As the crew search for Oram, Walter confronts David after learning the truth of his experiments; David had deliberately unleashed the black goo upon the planet’s population. Elizabeth Shaw became the first victim of a Facehugger, murdered by David in what he considers a necessary sacrifice. David disables Walter and confronts Daniels, telling her that he would do to her what he did to Shaw. Saved by a reactivated Walter, the crew attempt to evacuate. Against objections due to a severe weather storm, Tennessee, the pilot of the Covenant, arrives to extract the survivors of the team. They are attacked by an adult Xenomorph as Covenant arrives.

he remaining survivors kill the Xenomorph and they escape the planet. Crew member Lope, however, had been implanted by a Xenomorph embryo, which has gestated, and is now loose aboard Covenant. The Xenomorph kills all the human crew members besides Daniels and Tennessee. With Walter’s guidance, they funnel the Xenomorph to the terraforming bay, flushing it into space.

With the ship safe, the crew return to their original mission plan, and re-enter stasis. As Walter puts them under one by one, Daniels asks him if he will help her realize her dead husband’s dream of building a log cabin once they arrive on their new homeworld. Walter, with whom Daniels had previously confided this information, does not appear to understand this, and Daniels realizes she is talking to David, who had disguised himself as Walter. As Daniels enters stasis, David gains access to the colonists’ embryo cryogenic chambers and regurgitates two Facehugger embryos. He leaves them with the frozen human embryos, intending to use the humans aboard the covenant as hosts to continue his experiments.

I thought this film was awesome and good enough to rank as high as the first 2 films in the franchise which were classics of the horror/action/scifi genres. Fassbender in particular along with Waterston were excellent in their roles. Also I am not in the bracket of people who hated Prometheus – I loved it – and this movie is even better and a worthy sequel to it. I’ve give it an 8.5 outta 10!

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Stoke City 1 Arsenal 4

Champions League-chasing Arsenal moved within a point of fourth-placed Liverpool with a comfortable Premier League victory over Stoke. Despite collecting the three points, manager Arsene Wenger faced further protests from his own supporters during the game, as they flew a plane over the Bet365 Stadium and held banners inside the ground calling for him to leave the club. But the Frenchman ended the game by receiving warm applause from the club’s travelling fans as he made his way down the tunnel at the final whistle. The Gunners had not won on their previous six visits to the venue, but took the lead with a well-crafted move as Hector Bellerin picked out Olivier Giroud for a tap-in before Alexis Sanchez combined with Mesut Ozil, who coolly tucked home in the second period.

Until their opening goal it had been a poor spectacle, with Nacho Monreal heading against the post and Sanchez dragging an effort into the side-netting from a promising position. Stoke controversially restored hope as Peter Crouch converted Marko Arnautovic’s cross with his hand, but Sanchez drilled in a low finish and Giroud slid in a fourth for the away side. Both Arsenal and Liverpool have two games remaining and are level on goal difference with the Gunners ahead by one on goals scored. Jurgen Klopp’s men travel to West Ham on Sunday (kick-off 14:15 BST) and play Middlesbrough on the last day of the season, while the north London club host Sunderland on Tuesday and Everton in their final league match next weekend.

Wenger’s season has been blighted by protests demanding he end his long association with the club, repeated questions over whether he will sign an extension to his contract, which runs out at the end of the season, and uncertainty over the futures of key players Sanchez and Ozil. But he will be pleased with the way his players have responded with the campaign coming to a close, taking five wins from their past six league games – the only blemish a weak display in their defeat by Tottenham. He was even afforded a standing ovation at full-time and will be particularly satisfied at triumphing at a venue where his side have struggled in the past, claiming their first win there since 2010. Wenger jumped off his seat and jigged in delight at Sanchez’s goal, which gave his team a cushion.

The Chilean, who has been linked with a move away, hobbled off with a leg injury after scoring and fans will be hoping it is not the last time they see him in an Arsenal shirt. A season that promised so little at one stage could actually turn into a celebratory one. Their late charge sees them maintain optimism of extending their Champions League participation to 22 consecutive seasons, and they have an FA Cup final against newly crowned Premier League champions Chelsea to look forward to. Arsenal have scored 4+ goals in five away league games this season. It’s their most in a season since 1936-37 (also five). Sanchez became the eighth player to score 50 Premier League goals for Arsenal, with only Thierry Henry (83 games) and Ian Wright (87) reaching the milestone faster than the Chilean (101). Sanchez is also the first player to record double figures for both goals (21) and assists (10) in the Premier League this season. Since the start of last season, only Ozil (31) and Sanchez (25) have recorded more assists for Arsenal in all competitions than Hector Bellerin (13), with the Spaniard picking up two today.

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9 Hour Power Outage

Today my area had a 9 hour power outage. 9 hours! Thanks KSEB for a bad Saturday! Anyways, I had plans to go for a movie, Alien : Covenant, in the morning (crazy I know) and then get some lunch with my cousin. I also wanted to get a few things at the Big Bazaar inside Center Square mall which also houses Cinepolis. I woke up at 8 am but having slept late at night I hit the snooze button three times and only got outta bed by 8:15 to go and get some coffee. After coffee and a little light reading online, I went to shave and take a shower and do my business in the loo.

But as I got out of the shower I noticed that the power was out. And it didn’t come back 30 minutes later when I had to get ready and go. So I walked down the 7 set of stairs and hailed an Uber and reached the mall. Cousin Sujith was waiting there for me. Having only had 1 coffee each we were hungry and despite the fact that it’s a 10:20 am movie, not having had breakfast meant we were starving and a Coke and popcorn sounded good. So we got two medium Cokes and cheese popcorn and went into the theatre screen which was showing the movie in the multiplex. I guess it was due to the early house but it was just us and 9 other people in the theatre.

We were the first ones in that particular screen but were soon joined by the 9 other folks. And usually we order and pay for the popcorn and coke and ask the staff to get it to us at our seats. This is because we have to stand at attention when the national anthem is played (before every movie as per the current government’s rule) and I don’t want to have the drinks and popcorn in my way as I stand at attention. And usually by the time they bring the food and drinks, the anthem would have already played and we can relax for the trailers. But as there were less people and hence less orders, they brought it to us quickly. In order to not drop the popcorn bucket as I stood up I told Sujith to keep it against the wall on the stand on his seat.

National anthem plays and we stand and dingus here drops the bucket as he sits down. His but hits the bucket and the popcorn falls onto his seat and on the floor. We were able to salvage most of the popcorn but the ones on the ground, we left it there. Post the movie, which we loved, we did a little shopping and then went in for burgers to The Burger Junction. On my way back I stopped at the self service BevCo outlet to buy 5 beers. But I had to walk 7 set of stairs at my building as the power was still out and the elevator was not working. Tired and sweaty I rested for a while after lugging the heavy bags of provisions and beers. At night it’s pizza and beer for me plus some football.

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American Sniper

American Sniper is a 2014 American biographical war drama film directed by Clint Eastwood and written by Jason Hall. It is loosely based on the memoir American Sniper: The Autobiography of the Most Lethal Sniper in U.S. Military History (2012) by Chris Kyle, with Scott McEwen and Jim DeFelice. The film follows the life of Kyle, who became the deadliest marksman in U.S. military history with 255 kills from four tours in the Iraq War, 160 of which were officially confirmed by the Department of Defense. The film was produced by Eastwood, Robert Lorenz, Andrew Lazar, Bradley Cooper, and Peter Morgan. It stars Bradley Cooper as Kyle and Sienna Miller as his wife Taya, with Luke Grimes, Jake McDorman, Cory Hardrict, Kevin Lacz, Navid Negahban, and Keir O’Donnell in supporting roles.

The acting is pretty good especially by lead Cooper and supported by Miller. You see a story of a Texas boy, who is taught to shoot by his dad, living in a god-fearing, Bible reading family. Kyle goes on to become a rodeo cowboy and ranch hand, competing in events around Texas and returns home early, to find his girlfriend in bed with another man. The Jesus & Bible loving, gun shooting cowboy thing is there for all to see. Anyways, after telling her to leave, he is mulling it over with his brother when he sees news coverage of the 1998 U.S. embassy bombings and decides to enlist in the Navy. He qualifies for special training and becomes a U.S. Navy SEALs sniper. He meets Taya Studebaker at a bar, and the two soon marry. He is sent to Iraq after the September 11 attacks.

We see the stuff that killing people does to the mind of a sniper, one of his major kills is a young boy and his mother who attacked U.S. Marines with a Russian made RKG-3 anti-tank grenade. Assigned to hunt for the al-Qaeda leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, Chris interrogates a family whose father offers to lead the SEALs to “The Butcher”, al-Zarqawi’s second-in-command. The plan goes awry when The Butcher captures the father and his son, killing them while Chris is pinned down by a sniper using a Romanian PSL sniper rifle. This sniper goes by the name Mustafa and is an Olympic Games medalist from Syria. Meanwhile, the insurgents issue a bounty on Chris. Meanwhile back home, a pregnat Taya delivers a baby boy and Chis comes back home to spend time with his family. Kyle leaves for a second tour and is promoted to Chief Petty Officer. Involved in a shootout with The Butcher, he helps in killing him. When he returns home to a newborn daughter, Chris becomes increasingly distant from his family.

He takes a third tour and Taya wants him to now spend time with his family home in America but guilt over losing his unit members makes Chris take a 4th tour and Taya tells him that she may not be there when he returns. Back in Iraq, Chris is assigned to kill Mustafa, who has been sniping U.S. Army combat engineers building a barricade. Chris’ sniper team is placed on a rooftop inside enemy territory. Chris spots Mustafa and takes him out with a risky long distance shot at 2,100 yards (1,920 m), but this exposes his team’s position to numerous armed insurgents. In the midst of the firefight, and low on ammunition, Chris tearfully calls Taya and tells her he is ready to come home. A sandstorm provides cover for a chaotic escape in which Chris is injured and almost left behind. Back at home he struggles to adjust back to civil life, always seemingly on the edge. He is asked by a Veterans Affairs psychiatrist if he is haunted by all the things he did in war. When he replies that it is “all the guys [he] couldn’t save” that haunt him, the psychiatrist encourages him to help severely wounded veterans in the VA hospital. After that Kyle gradually begins to adjust to home life.

Years later, on February 2, 2013, Kyle says goodbye to his wife and family as he leaves in good spirits to spend time with a veteran at a shooting range. An on-screen subtitle reveals: “Chris Kyle was killed that day by a veteran he was trying to help”, followed by archive footage of crowds standing along the highway for his funeral procession. More are shown attending his memorial service. Now, I usually have a strong bias against war movies and particularly American ones even though the acting is good. I admit I was bored in several scenes of the film. And that plastic baby thingy – made me laugh. Still I’d give the film a 7.5 outta 10!

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Autumn Leaves

Changing colors, dropping temperatures, pumpkin spice lattes: do these mainstays of Fall fill your heart with warmth — or with dread?

Why would you be filled with dread during autumn? Colours changing on the leaves on the trees, the temperature is cooler and you need a sweater or a jacket when you go outside, lattes with pumpkin flavours and beer in pumpkin flavours, fire on in the fireplace, lots of hot cocoa with marshmellows, kids and dogs playing in the fallen leaves.

Unless you have seen the Halloween movie franchise one too many times, why would you fear all these things? Oh yeah, how can I forget celebrating Halloween? The dressing up in costumes, going to houses and saying “trick or treat” and getting lots & lots of candy from stranger people! And then eating those treats back in your home.

Now being Indian I got none of those things. We live in a tropical climate area so it’s heat or monsoon season and then a period where it’s nicer (less heat but hardly any rain) and we don’t celebrate Halloween so it’s boring that we don’t get the fall pleasures. Oh well!

Prompt from The Daily Post at WordPress.com

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Southampton 0 Arsenal 2

Arsenal kept alive their hopes of a top-four Premier League finish as second-half goals from Alexis Sanchez and Olivier Giroud earned victory at Southampton. After a dull first half, Sanchez produced a moment of magic to open the scoring when the Chilean wrong-footed two defenders in the box before calmly slotting home. Substitute Giroud then made the win safe by nodding in from close range minutes after coming onto the pitch. Mid-table Southampton rarely threatened. Their best chance came in the first half when Manolo Gabbiadini forced a fine save out of Petr Cech from close range, and they stay 10th. The win means Arsenal move above Manchester United into fifth, three points behind fourth-placed Manchester City. An awful run of form from January until early April had seriously threatened to end Arsene Wenger’s record of securing a top four finish in every season he has had at Arsenal. However, four wins in their six games prior to the trip to St Mary’s had given hope that the season would not peter out. In what was a must-win game, Arsenal’s players initially failed to rise to the challenge.

They were ponderous in possession and lacked bite in attack. Too often they played passes square just inside the Southampton half before gifting possession back to the hosts when they approached the final third. But in Sanchez they possess a player capable of producing something from nothing and that is exactly what he did midway through the second half. His goal, which came after he sold two Southampton players a dummy to give himself a clear shot on goal, visibly relaxed Arsenal and from then on they played with confidence and freedom, allowing them to open up the hosts for a second time when Giroud headed in Aaron Ramsey’s cross. The only negative for Arsenal was the loss of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain to injury in the second half, although Wenger suggested it was not serious. Sanchez has now scored 20 goals this season, making him only the fifth Arsenal player to reach that mark, after Ian Wright, Thierry Henry, Emmanuel Adebayor and Robin van Persie.

It was also his 14th away from home – more than another Premier League player has managed this campaign. Victory not only moves Arsenal, who face Chelsea in the FA Cup final later this month, to within one win of Manchester City, but also four points behind Liverpool, who have played a game more. In a season that has seen protests against Wenger and some fans calling for the Frenchman to leave, the possibility they could finish with FA Cup success and a place in the top four is a very real one. Arsenal ended a run of five winless Premier League games at St Mary’s, claiming their first win there since December 2003. This is Sanchez’s best ever league goal return in the top five European leagues, beating his previous best of 19 in 2013-14 with Barcelona. The Gunners have won four of their past five Premier League games (L1) since adopting a three-man defence. Olivier Giroud has six Premier League substitute goals this season – only Adam Le Fondre (eight in 2012-13) has more in a single campaign than the Frenchman. Giroud’s goal was his 100th in the top-flight of European football (33 in Ligue 1, 67 in the Premier League).

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Unlikely Pairing

Bacon and chocolate, caramel and cheddar… Is there an unorthodox food pairing you really enjoy? Share with us the weirdest combo you’re willing to admit that you like — and how you discovered it.

Yes, everyone has their unlikely pairing of food, combos that others find weird and crazy. And if you don’t have atleast one, you are a boring individual.

I once used to have sandwiches of cheese and tapioca chips – called the Naveen sandwich after my younger cousin who came up with it. Another cousin accidentally came up with a double decker style sandwich – spicy prawn pickles (achaar) in one layer and sweet strawberry jam in the other. It was weird but oddly satisfying as the sweet jam cooled down the hot n spicy prawn mix.

At my current office, an earlier vendor used to bring egg or mixed veg noodles which I loved and if they had Kerala style chala (sardine) fry I would buy 2 or 3 and eat them along with my noodles. They do not make sense together as they are two different food styles but I don’t care. I love it!

Prompt from The Daily Post at WordPress.com

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Advantage of Foresight

You’ve been granted the power to predict the future! The catch — each time you use your power, it costs you one day (as in, you’ll live one day less). How would you use this power, it at all?

Well I have always wanted this particular power, the power to predict the future. Imagine the money I could make, placing bets on sports games and winning big on gambling and stuff. I would be rolling in dough! I’d be dirty, rotten, filthy, stinking rich! Well….no I would be clean because I would be soaking in a bathtub every night and I’d smell great because the bath water and soap would also have perfumes and other delightful fragrances in it and so I’d be smelling lovely and clean rich!

But since I’d lose one day of my lifespan each time I use my powers I’d be careful and use my powers very wisely. I’d win big, make my millions and billions in as few bets as possible so I’d lose like just 10-20 days but I’d be rich enough for a 1000 lifetimes. I’d be swimming in pools of cash, that kinda rich! And I’d have a bunch of gorgeous, busty, voluptuous babes all hanging around me – blondes, brunettes, redheads from all over the globe! Just wanting to be pampered by me and we’d all live in a great big mansion in the hills and I’d indulge in outrageous orgy parties with my girls.

So I’d still live a long, luxurious and indulgent lifestyle for the rest of my days and only lose 20 days or at the most a month for it. Easy peasy!

Prompt from The Daily Post at WordPress.com

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Arsenal 2 Manchester United 0

Arsenal ended Manchester United’s 25-match unbeaten run in the Premier League and kept up their hopes of securing a place in the top four. After a largely uneventful first half, Granit Xhaka opened the scoring with a deflected shot from distance, which looped over goalkeeper David de Gea. And they doubled their lead three minutes later when Danny Welbeck headed home against his former club after a pinpoint cross from Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain. Jose Mourinho introduced Marcus Rashford and Jesse Lingard to try to rescue the game, but they failed to bring the visitors to life. The result means Arsenal remain in sixth place but are two points off United in fifth and six points off Manchester City in fourth, with a game in hand over both teams.

This victory not only reignites Arsenal’s chase for a Champions League place, but also ends an unwanted record for Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger against Jose Mourinho. The pair have endured a fractious relationship over the years, and in their previous 15 competitive meetings Wenger had never beaten a Mourinho team, with his only victory coming in the Community Shield in 2015. Mourinho has won eight times, while the remaining seven were drawn. Sunday’s win ended the hoodoo and earned Arsenal only their 13th league win in 50 outings against the Red Devils. There is still uncertainty about Wenger’s future at the club, despite them still being in with a chance of Champions League football for the 21st consecutive season, and an FA Cup final against Chelsea coming up this month. When asked by BBC commentator Jonathan Pearce about whether he would be interviewing Wenger next season, the Frenchman joked: “You want me to work for the BBC?”

Both teams had four shots on target during the match but it was Arsenal who made them count. After a dull start to the second half, the Emirates came alive when Xhaka ran into space and took a shot from 30 yards out which was helped on its way by Herrera and out-smarted De Gea. The Gunners kept up the pace and exactly three minutes and 11 seconds later, Welbeck had notched his second Premier League goal of the season. Oxlade-Chamberlain’s right-wing cross whistled over the box and Welbeck rose up between the United defence to land a bullet header. Arsenal offered little in attack after the goals, but they did not need to. Mourinho revealed before the match he intended to rest key players, with one eye on the Europa League semi-final second leg against Celta Vigo, in which his team have a 1-0 advantage. The European competition could represent United’s best chance of reaching next season’s Champions League.

The United manager made eight changes in total and his side never looked like causing a major threat. Goalkeeper De Gea kept them in the match at half-time, producing a low stop to deny Aaron Ramsey’s effort, before making a brilliant save from a rasping Oxlade-Chamberlain shot from distance. United were undone by two quick goals early in the second half, and their only notable efforts after that came from Rooney and substitute Scott McTominay, who tried to poke home late on. United’s unbeaten league run has come to an end at 25 games (W13 D12), with losses on either side coming in London. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain has provided as many assists for Arsenal this season in the Premier League as in his previous five combined for the Gunners (seven).

This was the first time Oxlade-Chamberlain had assisted twice in the same Premier League game. Danny Welbeck has scored in each of his last three appearances against Manchester United for Arsenal in all competitions. Two English players combined for a Premier League goal for Arsenal for the first time since December 2014 (also Oxlade-Chamberlain for Welbeck, v West Ham). Manchester United conceded more than once away from home in the Premier League for the first time since losing 4-0 to Chelsea in October. Arsenal have won successive home Premier League games against the Red Devils for the first time since November 2001. Arsenal, meanwhile, have a midweek Premier League trip to Southampton on Wednesday (19:45 BST).

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Rocking The Law

What do you when your band has guitarist problems? You hire your lawyer to play for you!

Yes, 80s rock band Dokken had several personnel changes on guitar, that finally their attorney Jon Levin stepped in to fill the role in 2004. Levin, now 51, who was the guitarist for German band Warlock, took a break from music in the early 90s and became an entertainment lawyer and served as legal counsel, working with Jim Paidas, of Paidas Management, on a myriad of licensing programs; some of which include Orange County Choppers, Dog the Bounty Hunter, American Hot Rod, and Rockstalgia and a few musiceians. He was invited by one of the membrs of Dokken to play guitar for them in 1998 and over the course of the next few years played in some of their shows before becoming a permanent member in 2004.

He’s been with the band ever since, enjoying the career resurgence they’ve had since their 2008 return-to-form album, Lightning Strikes Again. Levin himself, who now co-writes most of band’s material, had a strong hand in shaping that record. “I wanted us to do a Dokken-sounding record,” he explains — a concept Don Dokken was slow to commit to, but has since fully embraced. Now, when Levin goes to perform with Dokken at big classic rock and metal festivals, he’s a rock star guitarist onstage and a rock star attorney backstage. Of the Rocklahoma festival, which Dokken last played in 2013, he says, “So many of the bands that were there, I represent someone in the band.”

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Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 is a 2017 American superhero film based on the Marvel Comics superhero team Guardians of the Galaxy, produced by Marvel Studios and distributed by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures. It is the sequel to 2014’s Guardians of the Galaxy and the fifteenth film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The film is written and directed by James Gunn and stars an ensemble cast featuring Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista, Vin Diesel, Bradley Cooper, Michael Rooker, Karen Gillan, Pom Klementieff, Elizabeth Debicki, Chris Sullivan, Sean Gunn, Sylvester Stallone and Kurt Russell.

Ok, fresh off watching it last night I am disappointed in the film. It wasn’t as good as the first one. There are some good points and some bad points. Let’s look at the storyline first. After first helping Ayesha, leader of the Sovereign race, to protect valuable batteries from an inter-dimensional monster, the Guardians piss the Sovereign race off because Rocket stole some of the batteries for himself. Well, they did have it coming because they put them down and even questions Peter’s parentage but anyways….In invading the fight of the large unmanned drone vessels, the Guardians are aided by a mysterious figure but their ship crash lands on a planet. The mysterious figure turns out out to be Ego, who says he is Peter’s father! He invites Quill, accompanied by Gamora and Drax, to his home, while Rocket and Groot remain behind to repair the ship and guard Nebula.

Ego explains that he is one of the god-like Celestials, and exists as the planet on which they are standing. In his travels he took the guise that they see, of a human, and visited earth where he met and fell in love with Quill’s mother Meredith. He then had to leave but on learning of his mother dying, sent Yondu Udonta to fetch him but the Ravager never brought Peter to Ego. He has been looking for his son ever since and on hearing about the feats of Star Lord, he knew it has to be his son. Gamora & Drax interact with Mantis, an emapth who was raised by Ego and it’s clear that she wants to warn them of something but she keeps it to herself. Meanwhile, Ayesha hires Yondu Udonta and his crew, who have been exiled from the greater Ravager community for child trafficking, to recapture the Guardians. They capture Rocket, but when Yondu shows reluctance to turn over Quill, his lieutenant Taserface leads a mutiny with help from Nebula. Taserface imprisons Rocket and Yondu aboard Yondu’s ship and executes his loyalists while Nebula leaves to track down and kill Gamora, whom she blames for all the torture inflicted on her by their father, Thanos.

While imprisoned, Rocket and Yondu bond. Groot, together with Yondu’s loyalist Kraglin, frees Rocket and Yondu and they destroy the ship and its crew as they escape, though not before Taserface tips off the Sovereign fleet. Nebula arrives on Ego’s planet and attacks Gamora and the pair reach an uneasy alliance when they discover caverns filled with skeletal remains of various alien species. Ego reveals to Quill that in his travels he planted seedlings upon thousands of worlds which can terraform them into new extensions of himself, but they can only be activated by the combined power of two Celestials. To that end, he impregnated countless women and hired Yondu to collect the children; they all failed to use the Celestial power, so Ego killed them, until he found Quill. Ego uses Quill to activate the seedlings, which begin to consume every world. Quill is hypnotized into helping Ego, but fights back after Ego reveals that he deliberately caused Meredith’s death as his love for her distracted him from his purpose.

Rocket, Yondu, Groot and Kraglin arrive at the planet and the reunited Guardians reach the core of the planet, where Ego’s brain is housed, and fight the Sovereign’s arriving drones. Rocket makes a bomb out of the stolen batteries that Groot plants on Ego’s brain, while Quill battles Ego with his newfound Celestial powers to allow the other Guardians to escape. The bomb explodes, killing Ego and causing the planet to disintegrate. Yondu sacrifices himself to save Quill, who comes to realize that Yondu did not deliver him to Ego in order to spare him from the fate of Ego’s other progeny, and that Yondu was Quill’s true “dad”. Having reconciled with Gamora, Nebula still chooses to set out and attempt to kill Thanos. The Guardians hold a funeral for Yondu, which is attended by dozens of Ravager ships, acknowledging Yondu’s sacrifice and accepting him again as a Ravager.

Post credits scenes have Kraglin takes up Yondu’s telekinetic arrow and control fin; Ravager leader Stakar Ogord, inspired by Yondu’s sacrifice, reunites with his ex-teammates; Groot starts growing back to normal size, exhibiting typical teenage behavior in the process; Ayesha creates a new artificial being with whom she plans to destroy the Guardians, naming him Adam; and an astronaut discusses several experiences on Earth with a group of uninterested Watchers.

While it has it’s funny moments (mainly Groot, Mantis & Drax but others too) the film lost it’s charm on me due to the mystical powers of a god like creature. When they go down to the core of the planet and see a brain – oh sweet Satan! Having said that casting Kurt Russell in the role of Ego was a great choice though why Sly Stallone was in it for a bit I don’t know. Same for Michelle Yeoh who was in for 2 seconds. The mystical elements aside, it is a fun ride. The visual effects is awesome. I loved baby Groot and Mantis is so sweet that I fell in love with the French actress, Pom Klementieff, playing her. I will give it a…reluctant 8 outta 10!

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Binding Judgment

Does it ever make sense to judge a book by its cover — literally or metaphorically? Tell us about a time you did, and whether that was a good decision or not.

Sometimes you just can’t help it. It’s your own perceptions, your life experiences with dealing with certain things and well the opinions of the local media and those of others around you that shape your judgement. You tend to be hasty and quick to judge right off the bat and it is by something’s or someone’s “cover”.

You can’t say if a person is good just because they look good or fit your description of what beautiful looks like. They can be attractive as hell but be all kinds of sadistic & twisted shit on the inside. Never go by just the looks. If they are as good as they look you will find out soon enough and you can go by that. Also some folks may not be glamorous or have good looks or even halfway attractive looks and may be plain, have weight issues and may not have the greatest sense of fashion. But they will be decent and good people.

Finding out what sort of people they are is sometimes hard and your hopes can be dashed. But it is important to do so.

Prompt from The Daily Post at WordPress.com

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Fight The Heat With Fruit Juice

This summer, like of the past few years, has been bad. Energy sapping heat and humidity which makes you sweat like you were leaking water. It starts in mid or late February and picks up in April. You sweat as you sleep and when you wake up your legs are sticking to your sheets. My head is usually soaking wet in the middle of the night.

I tend to drink a lot of water anyway but these months I drink a lot more. But there’s only so much water you can drink each day. I drink 3-4 coffees as well because I need it, especially as I am 40 and need that pick me up a couple of times in a day. But I’ve started to get back to drinking the best thing possible. Fruit juices.

I buy them from one of the stores when I shop for groceries and they always have offers. Buy 2 of any brand and get a 3rd one free. Minute Maid, Natural, Real – you name the brand, I will buy them. I buy a couple of litres a week and drink them during the day or the late evenings. Tasty and good for you as well. I wish I could get fresh juice all the time but it’s not realistic.

So now instead of vodka + juice, it’s just juice!