Modem Dead

So I didn’t have broadband at home for the day. Last night, I switched the modem off as it was thundering and lightning and as I usually do, I pull the plug of the board that has my laptop, speakers and modem connected and I also remove the Ethernet cable that is connected to my laptop.

About an hour later as the lightning and thunder died down, I plugged it all back up, only to find that the modem lights were not switching back on. I tried it again and saw that it had died on me. This is the second Asianet provided modem that has died on me. I guess the last time, well over a year ago, as well was due to lightning or so it seems.

I have coverage on the modem so they had to replace it for me but it just seems odd that this happens. And what’s worse is they were supposed to come in this morning and then when I called in the afternoon on not seeing anyone they were supposed to come in this evening and yet here I am at 11:47 pm with Asianet not coming through on their promises yet again.

Their customer services have become bad on a regular basis.

Live Stream It Is

This year makes it 8 years since I stopped watching tv altogether and depend on dvd/blu ray, downloads and live streaming for watching my movies, tv shows and sports events. Well for sports it is just football for now. I watch football on live stream.

Earlier I used a free service called Vipbox but most of the links that they have are really bad and slow even on a good speed package and also most of them are illegal. Atleast I think that they are illegal. But I used that for several years, 2010 onwards I guess. Then recently as last year I found another live stream link called astream.me which was for sure is all illegal streams. How do I know that? Because the links go down every 5 minutes.

So I alternated between using Vipbox and astream for about a year when all of a sudden I got word that Hotstar, which usually advertises their local tv channel soaps and serials being available online for streaming for a fee, also has sports streaming. So earlier this year I signed up for just the sports package at just Rs.299 annually. That is an awesome package. But they didn’t have the World Cup so I signed up with Sony Liv which had the rights for streaming the WC games.

Though I must say that Sony Liv’s customer service on Twitter was pathetic and I had no intention of continuing beyond the month that I signed up for. Once the World Cup was done and two days later my month was up, I ignored their attempts to get me to continue.

Uber Eats Fiasco

Uber Eats is an app and service that I have been using quite a bit off since they started in Kochi a couple of months ago. It is really an awesome app along with Zomato and Swiggy. I haven’t used Zomatao yet but the other two I have used it quite a bit. I’ve been able to get lunch and dinners served to me from several places I love to eat from and several I hadn’t yet been to and liked. It also helps me to give good dinners for dad & mom and also since it’s been raining quite a lot this monsoon season, it’s an excuse not to go out and yet enjoy good food from the comfort of my own home and watch a movie while doing so.

Yesterday Uber Eats ruined my birthday dinner. I ordered food from Aangan restaurant via the app for 5 people for my birthday dinner. I was in the washroom when the delivery guy came to my place and mom took the packets from him. The guy gave us the wrong order but you can’t contact him over the phone since once the order is closed on the app, you don’t get the rider’s contact number. I tried the app and submitted a help option which said “You’re issue will be resolved in 24 hours!” Fuck that, we are having a dinner.

I contacted UberEats and one guy told me wait for 30 minutes he is placing a new order for me. One hour later, no food and another agent told me technical issues and he will refund my money and that they cannot reorder the service. Over 90 minutes now and my order is still pending. I asked for a supervisor. He basically told me that the first agent lied; they can only contact the driver to come and collect the wrong food but since he was then in another part of the city, he couldn’t come that night. So the other people got my order and enjoyed the food. I had to reorder and wait, a total of 2 hrs and 15 minutes for my 30 minute delivery.

Then I had to hassle them quite a bit for my refund and initially they gave a part refund and then today after two more enquiries, I got the full amount. I told them that they could collect the wrong food the gave me but they can’t do that. The supervisor promised me a Rs.100 credit and that was not done too! I am gonna think twice before reordering again.

How I Am Viewing The World Cup

I’ve been streaming the live matches of the World Cup from the comfort of my bedroom using the Sony Liv website, which is amazing by the way. I had signed up earlier this year to Hotstar for their really cheap Rs.299 a year for the Sports Package but Star network, their parent company, do not have the rights to broadcast the World Cup.

I was checking out other streaming options before signing up two weeks ago with Sony Liv for their monthly rent of just Rs.99 a month to watch the football games. I am loving this so much that I just might continue using it for a year or so. It’s easy to sign up and pay and then go to the website and select the game you want to watch. My 10mbps unlimited plan with Asianet is coming in really handy for this.

This weekend has been spent indoors, enjoying nice cool weather, with the exception of a quick Uber ride to and fro the self-service Bevco in Gandhinagar for a few beers – six in all, 2 each of Hunter, Black Fort & British Empire – and a 600ml bottle of Smirnoff Apple. I have to try to find another outlet though; this one doesn’t seem to have the brands I want.

Social Media Good Thangs

What is your favorite thing about social media?

My absolute favourite thing about social media is connecting with like minded people. Kindred spirits. People who have a taste for the same kind of silly humour I have and like and have the same interests like me – football, movies, atheism, scifi, horror, rock n roll and other stuff – and can appreciate a good joke or two.

I have a couple of friends on Twitter who seem to be very like minded. Also on Facebook, meeting the first time in a shared interest in atheism, scifi shows, movies, horror, music or football and then becoming friends on Facebook as well. That is the best outcome that can happen when you spend many an hour on social media.

Other than that, finding links to some good music or video clip is also an awesome thing. Dirty little jokes and memes too!

Prompt from 30 DAYS OF WRITING PROMPTS FOR JUNE at The SitsGirls

Wild Wild Country

Wild Wild Country is a Netflix documentary series about the controversial Indian guru Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh (later known as Osho Rajneesh), his one-time personal assistant Ma Anand Sheela, and their community of followers in the Rajneeshpuram community located in Wasco County, Oregon. It was released on Netflix on March 16, 2018, after premiering at the Sundance Film Festival.

I knew some things about Osho but apparently that was just the more recent stuff. I knew he was a controversial figure and guru but didn’t know much else. I knew he talked about sex and sexuality and that most religious people in India were not too comfortable with it. But I did not know anything about this scandal. When I saw the trailer/ad for this Netflix documentary series on Facebook, I knew I wanted to check it out. It is fascinating and makes for a compelling semi-binge if you will. It’s just 8 episodes long but each episode is over 60 minutes long. The Rajneesh movement that began in earnest in India, was hounded out off India because of their controversial practices and tension between the ruling Janata Party government of Morarji Desai and the movement led to a curbing of the ashram’s development.

With a lot of his followers being mostly white foreigners (I can remember seeing only less than 10 Indians in the whole documentary) the community decided to move abroad. In 1981, efforts refocused on activities in the United States and Rajneesh relocated to a facility known as Rajneeshpuram in Wasco County, Oregon. Rajneesh’s personal secretary, the megalomaniacal Ma Anand Sheela, orchestrated the commune’s construction. They called their new home Rajneeshpuram, and its 64,000 acres were quickly occupied by thousands of sannyasins seeking proximity to their leader and a life of meditative bliss. However things began to take a turn for the worse when the Rajneeshs clashed with the conservative Christian community of Antelope, population of just 70.

Directed by brothers Chapman Way and Maclain Way,details Rajneeshpuram’s downward spiral; the scandals that plague the community include immigration fraud, biochemical attacks, arson, assassination attempts, the recruitment of homeless individuals to sway an election and the drugging of those same folks after their presence threatens the commune’s peace.  There are extensive interviews with key former members of Rajneeshpuram, including Sheela herself. Finally – what seems to me atleast – it all came down to a rage of jealousy; Sheela was pushed away from her influence as Rajneesh’s succumbed to the glitz and glamour of Hollywood as among his more rich and affluent followers were Ma Prem Hasya (a.k.a. Francoise Ruddy) – the ex-spouse of Godfather producer Albert S. Ruddy who eventually supplanted Sheela as Bhagwan’s secretary and fled with him to India following his 1985 conviction – who along with the others showered Rajneesh with expensive gifts.

Rajneesh himself said so in an interview after Sheela left. It certainly comes off that way. I can still not understand or believe that so many people just showered their love, devotion, money and Rolls Royces his way. What the heck? But then I never really understood religions or cults – both are the same, one just has a lot more followers, power and influence in politics – but still found it compelling. A 9.5 outta 10!

Blocked An Asshole On Youtube

I had to block another asshole idiot on Youtube. And this time it’s an Indian or Pakistani moron. Really these people who have no other life but sprout their bullshit online. What the fuck do your parents teach you when you were growing up? Mind your own business and if it is not content that you are into, move on and find something you like. This guy can read and see I suppose.

He comes onto my channel and (I dunno if he is a subscriber or just happened to come on in) and on my review of a pizza from Dominos, he comments that he prefer to have vada pav and samosas with tea. Odd comment but still ok and so I reply that it’s cool, to each his own and that I wasn’t a fan of vadapav. That sets him off and he tells me to be more Indian and abuses me. I tell him to fuck off and a couple of replies later I blocked the fucker. I will not be mocked and abused on my channel, motherfucker.

This leads me to think once again, why do you even bother to go online to check out things you have no interest in or like and then spout off your shit at others. Go home and suck on your pacifier. Shitheads!

New Broadband Plan Change!

I have changed my broadband plan once again. That is the second time in less than 3 months and I love the fact that we are getting better plans. So they have a few more unlimited plans and I picked the middle one – 10mbps unlimited at Rs.799. My current plan is 10mbps for 100GB and then 2mbps unlimited at Rs.999 plus taxes! Better speed fulltime for less money – that’s great. And until this year I was at 2mbps unlimited for Rs.999 – so overall I am happy with the plan changes.

However, I am still not convinced with the ISP as I am not that happy with Asianet’s customer care services or their reliability in the last few weeks what with frequent outages, they assure me that it was mainly due to issues outside their normal control. Like, a truck hitting the post which houses their equipment or a large vehicle cutting the cable as they try to pass an area that they are not supposed to.

Ok, I can buy that but when it happens way too many times it starts to get on your nerves. Especially when their customer care call center agents, baring maybe 10% of them, can’t seem to answer the call properly and act as if they are totally outsourced and hence it isn’t their problem and they will inform whoever needs to know about it and are in a hurry to keep your call. Oh and don’t get me started on their replies to your emails – apparently they do not read them.

Restrictions On Kids Using Social Media

At what age should children be allowed to use social media, and how much parent involvement do they need?

I seriously think that you need to check up on your kids when it comes to the internet as they have the access to the entire world at their fingertips and that comes with a lot of assholes and jerks. So please be careful.

I would think that kids at the age of 13 or so can start to be allowed to use social media provided you have an eye on things. Like who they share photos and personal information with. I am scared about things like that. Lots of crazy bastard pedophiles floating around the net just waiting to catch an unsuspecting victim. I don’ have kids of my own but I do have a niece who is just 11 years old and I want her to be safe.

Facebook and Twitter and any other social media sites where images and videos can be uploaded should be monitored. Once they are 17-18 I guess you can relax quite a bit. No, wait! This generation is actually quite dumb! Restrict everything until they are 30!

Prompt from 28 Days of Writing Prompts at The SitsGirls

So You Want to Learn Piano Online?

So You Want to Learn Piano Online?
First of all let’s give some special thanks to Bartolomeo Cristofori for coming up with such an incredible music instrument. The invention of piano has really revolutionized music in general since way back during the 1700s.

We might be taking this instrument for granted but for me I can say it has been a game changer. Even in the modern day world, if you are keen enough, you will find out that piano is basically included in every type of music composed by any musician be it pop music, classical music or even obscure art type of music.

This is practically true because piano is usually a versatile and powerful type of music instrument making it a permanent fixture in the musical world. This is an amazing instrument and different people from different backgrounds can get a lot just from learning how it’s used.

We’ve asked the specialists from playgroundsessions.com to give us a few tips of why learning this instrument is a great idea.

Gateway to every music

Most of the time artists would always start playing with a piano when they want to come up with a new music. This is because it has almost everything that a songwriter would need.

These include gorgeous tone, dynamic options, and massive range among others. We’ve seen a lot of musicians shooting to stardom and it all started as a joke, simply by playing with a family piano.

It is a suitable instrument for everyone regardless of your level of skills.

It can be played easily

Piano is an easy instrument to learn compared to others. Actually it has a painless and quick playability thus enabling the learners to quickly grasp the concepts.

Pianos generally have a simple operation mechanism i.e. a sound will be produced if you press down a key. This makes the piano a suitable instrument even for the little children to learn since it is intuitive.

Within a few minutes a child might be able to sit down and learn how to play a piece on the piano and that’s how easy it is.

It can help you to understand the music theory

This is also one of the benefits you get when learning a piano. When you start learning about the complicated concepts of music theory, you should start by throwing a glance at a piano.

This is simply because the music theory as always is visualized as those black and white keys you see on the keyboard. Understanding and learning intervals, scales and chords on a piano is much easier compared to other instruments.

It is often said that if you learn how you can play your first scale, you will also be learning or understanding the music theory. This makes the piano a must learn instrument if you want to have a better understanding of the music theory.

Treats depression and relieves stress

You’ve heard people talking about music being food for the soul? Well, that might just be right. A recent study has shown that learning the piano can be a powerful process towards treating depression and stress relief.

This is according to an article by national library of medicine which stated that piano lessons can actually induce positive mood state and decrease depression on the elderly.

It further states that playing a piano can be a useful intervention to help the elderly increase their cognitive reserve among other things.

This process can be of great importance to both the elderly and young children who are suffering from depression and stress.

It gives you the sense of accomplishment

This is true as it can also help the students to be able to finish projects. We both know that feeling you get after completing some tough task or in this case a music piece that seemed to be so difficult, it is always a great feeling right?

Yes, of course you would feel great and this can really motivate you as a student to always complete the tasks you have in your day to day activities.

If you become a successful student i playing piano, it means you dedicated a lot of time, follow through and effort to reach where you are. If you look at our normal routine, you will realize that these are the qualities we usually need to succeed in our areas of work, at school or even in relationships.

In short, I can say that learning how to play a piano can develop perseverance, tenacity and patience in someone.

Conclusion

The above are some of the benefits one can get if they decide to take piano lessons. Well, it might take some time for you to become a pro in playing this instrument but you will realize the benefits as you continue learning.

You might have several reasons why you would want to learn the piano but the most basic reason is because it can act as a source of entertainment.

After a long day at work, you might want to sit down behind those keys and play your old favorite piece as you entertain and feel good about yourself.

With that being said, I would advise you to start thinking about it. Take the lessons and change your life for good.

If you’re interested in learning amazing tricks in learning piano, take a look at this article https://www.wikihow.com/Become-a-Better-Piano-Player

My Top 5 Social Media Tips

Your top 5 social media tips

  1. Do not add your family members, especially your parents, uncles, aunts and other elders. Especially if you have strong opinions on things such as politics, religion and either you or your friends share NSFW type posts.
  2. Take everything you read with an unbiased pinch of salt – too many fake news media (not the Donald Trump type) out there with a biased way of looking at things or who just vomit the same shit without fact checking and most people just share the links without doing their own work.
  3. Don’t take anything personally, especially if it’s by someone who is just voicing their opinion. Voice yours back.
  4. Do not post a photo of yourself and then tag all your friends, especially the girls in your list so that they & their friends can see the pic. You are just begging for likes and you are an attention whore! Get a life!
  5. Don’t air all your grievances on an hourly basis on Facebook/Twitter. Stop being a Debbie downer. I block such people.

Prompt from 31 Days of January Writing Prompts at The SitsGirls

Firefox Quantum Updated

Well will you look at that – there is life in the old girl. 11-12 years ago I switched over to Mozilla Firefox and vowed never to switch back to Internet Explorer. I loved Firefox and it has always been a really good browser to use but then I started using Google Chrome and it felt better and more flexible and faster than Firefox. Oh dear, what to do?

So for many, many years now I have been using both at home and at the office. At home I open both browsers and open up various tabs on each to go to various things I wanna see online. Though my current process at work works solely on Chrome so I end up using that a lot more. But now and then at work I will try to get online using Firefox if I feel like using the old familiar. This early morning as I switched on my laptop and started up Firefox she updated automatically to the latest version.

Mozilla claims its updated web browser is twice as fast as its last one, and uses a lot less memory than the competition—Google Chrome in particular. It’s called Firefox Quantum, and it might give the web’s most popular web browser a run for its money. Firefox Quantum is twice as fast as the previous build of Firefox, according to the company’s benchmark tests comparing Quantum to both Chrome and the previous version of Firefox. Its memory tests showed a noticeable decrease in memory usage compared to Google Chrome on Windows 10 and Linux; on macOS 10.12, memory usage was pretty much the same.

Try it out.

11 Years of This URL

I have just renewed my website URL for the 11th year running. Awakeanddreaming.org is booked for the next year, 365 days from November 14th. I first booked this URL back in November of 2006 just a couple of months after I made the move from Thrikkakara to this apartment in Kacheripady. A friend of my cousin had started his own internet website service and webspace reselling business and I contacted him to set me up with a URL. I called him up and he asked me which url I wanted and I checked out a few.

It’s been over a decade so I can’t remember exactly all of them but I think I checked out and came up with 4-5 final choices :

  • countroshculla.com
  • roshanmenon.com
  • rgkonline.com
  • rgkmenon.com
  • awakeanddreaming.com

I finally decided to get awakeanddreaming but couldn’t get the .com version. So it was a toss up between awakeanddreaming.net or awakeanddreaming.org and I should have taken the .net but they had a discount for the .org URLs and I though, what the heck. I remember I had to pay him through the money order option for the first couple of years as netbanking was still new for us.

And like that this name stays on.

Social Media I Use

I dunno about you but I am addicted to Social Media – to the point that I prefer to stay indoors and not be very social and instead connect via my laptop or my smartphone.

Facebook, Youtube, Twitter, WordPress, Instagram – these are the big four that I am usually always online at when I am not at work. Sometimes at work I can still check Facebook and Twitter. And ofcourse Flickr has all my photos that I shoot on a regular basis. I have an on and off love affair with Pintrest and even went a whole year or more without access it. But I am back on it and I love it again. I have two Tumblr accounts – one for general stuff and the other for just Star Trek – but I haven’t used it in about 3 years.

Something that is not the norm as far as Social Media is concerned is 500px which is a photo sharing website and it is awesome but they recently reduced the free upload option to 7 a week instead of the 20 pics a week which came with the free account. The payment for a year, with a discount that I have is almost $60 and since I live in India that is a big amount to pay for uploading pics, especially since I haven’t sold any yet.

Youtube is ofcourse my jam! It has replaced tv for me and I love it for the vlogs, the professional done channels and the music, especially the live concert clips which is amazing for me.

ROSHAN’S ELEVEN : Vlogs & Other YouTube Channels I Watch

Youtube Channels that I watch on a regular basis – these are the vlogs and other kinds of channels that I watch regularly. I am not counting in very professionally done videos or channels like FBE / Buzzfeed / Facts /

  • Ken Domik’s Vlogs / KBD Productions
  • Truck Josh Vlogs
  • Greg’s Kitchen / Grego (vlogs)
  • Trekyards
  • Geekology
  • Bowlestrek
  • Jack On The Go/Cooking With Jack
  • Irish Tekkie
  • My Virgin Kitchen
  • MLKKAEFEnterprises
  • Rob Chapman

Safeguard Your Cubs

At what age should children be allowed to use social media, and how much parent involvement do they need?

I think parents should be vigilant and not even allow kids to use the internet without someone like an adult being there nearby until say kids reach the age of 16-17. I know kids will hate me for saying this but I find that kids can get themselves into all kinds of trouble and let’s face it, at those teenage years there is too much hormones and not enough brains! Kids can be stupid!

If not a parent then a stricter and wiser older sibling or cousin will do. Do not take it for granted that your kids will known better and will not be the kind of kid who falls into the traps that you see kids in the news or movies falling into. Your kid is not that special (maybe to you but only to you) and he or she could use that guiding hand. Keep a parental lock handy, keep a software that blocks website that you do not want junior to be snooping around on.

I have seen or heard about too many kids, mostly young girls, getting into trouble because they trusted the person at the end of the online conversation. Then they get blackmailed into doing things that they shouldn’t because they gave the guy(s) their home number, sent enticing pics or something. Predators are everywhere and we need to be ever vigilant to safeguards the young cubs in the pack. It’s a tall order but it’s worth it in the end.

Prompt from 29 DAYS OF WRITING PROMPTS at The Sits Girls

Selfie Overload!

Is Social Media Making Us More Narcissistic?

Yes in so many ways. I guess we all have some narcissistic streak in all of us but at different levels. Some have very small doses of it – I for one, atleast think that I have very little of it because, hey even I have a low opinion of myself.

Once in a while taking a few selfies is well understood and it’s fun to do. Having a great hair day? Nice new outfits? At a new location or a funky, happening place? At a party with friends? At a concert or a sporting event? Sure! Meeting friends after a few years? Excellent! All of these I can understand. Your current profile pic for your various social media accounts has become a bit old and stale? Go for it!

What I do not understand is taking 100 selfies in a week! Some guys are at fault too but I notice, atleast where I live that it is mostly girls under the age of 25-26 who do this. Go to the bathroom – takes 150 selfies! What the hell? I think that taking so many selfies is akin to some kind of mental disease.

Prompt from The Learning Network at The New York Times