Pics From Dad’s 80th!

Not posting pics of the folks at the function as I decided to protect their privacy and I won’t post them here without the people saying ok (unlike on Facebook, anyone can view the pics here) so here are a couple of pics at the venue.

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This was the outside of the hall that my sister & I paid for at the BTH Sarovaram in Maradu. It wasn’t expensive and it was airconditioned. A small hall that could fit 40 people easily with chairs and probably even 50.

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LOL, can’t show you pics of the people at the event but I can show you this. This was the stones they placed around the roots of this tree in the grounds. I kinda like these stones and would love to have this if I had a house and a tree in the property.

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Lunch is served and was the traditional Kerala vegetarian meals. And it was really good.

Holiday Meals

So with the Christmas eve and now Christmas day behind us (almost as it’s 9:30 pm on the 25th as I type this), I though I’d share some of what I and my family ate & did during this holiday period. On Monday the 24th, I woke up early and had coffee by 7pm and later at 9am I had my breakfast of 4 dosas with sambar and more coffee. Lunch was light and simple, just some rice with veggies and a bit of fish curry.

I watched The Minions movie and then watched Star Trek First Contact on my tv – which was awesome by the way – and took a light nap. In the evening after coffee and light snacks, my sister came over with her three kids. So we ordered some food – I ordered a shawarma for my niece and two piece alfahm chicken for me with kuboos and mayo. My sister ordered butter chicken & chilli chicken with appams for my dad, mom, my two nephews and herself.

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I also had two beers with my meal, which was delicious by the way. I had two kuboos with the alfam chicken and drank a Sterran beer plus a Kingfisher. The alfaham was great though once it isn’t that hot you do need more mayo as it dries up while trying to eat it with kuboos. After the dinner, I was back in my bedroom on my computer. At night I watched Home Alone, a Christmas movie and one of my 3 ultimate Xmas movies (the other two being Gremlins and Die Hard) and then 2 episodes each of Z Nation and Angel and fell asleep by 4 am.

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This morning I woke up by 11 am and just had coffee. By 1pm my sister and her kids came over for lunch and my sister had made a simple egg fried rice while dad and mom made chicken curry. We ate our fried rice and chicken curry and at the end we had some mango & chocolate chip ice cream which my sister had bought from a store on their way here. Nicely filled I went back to lie down and watched Star Trek Insurrection. I even managed a short nap after the movie. More coffee and chips and then more internet until dinner time which was chappathi and the left over chicken curry.

Budweisers & Food At Golden Dragon

After a long while, my cousin Sujith and I went to Golden Dragon on Saturday afternoon. Our meets have been lesser & lesser this year and with me preferring to stay in and relax at home over the weekend with the folks and order in it was inevitable that our outings will be sparse. We also planned a couple of meetings which fizzled out due to either he or me not feeling well or other things coming up.

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This time we just had to meet and despite the fact that I only woke up at 11 am and met him by 1pm. I also have to work at 3:30 am – because of some fuck up at work – but I still was gonna go to eat some good food and drink a couple of beers with my cousin. We met at Golden Dragon and ordered Budweisers and started with shredded pork and chicken lollipops, both of which were excellent.

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We then had some pepper lamb and more beef in oyster sauce, which was the only dish that wasn’t excellent because it was a bit too salty. One more beer each as we discussed a bit about work, music, movies and Star Trek. After that it was a short walk to Milanos to have banana splits which we didn’t know they had on their menu.

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And the banana splits were amazingly rich and sinfully delicious and full. Excellent sundaes!

My New DVD/Book Shelf

IMG_20181125_123124I am surprised that I didn’t post about this sooner. But I did get my new dvd shelf. I guess you can call it a dvd shelf, though most people would call it a bookshelf. There are a couple of things that the carpenter go wrong though. This was custom made but…the shelves are taller than I had asked for. The gap in between was supposed to be shorter so I don’t have waste of space.

Secondly, I had asked for a dark rosewood finish, like some of the shelves that he had shown me at the shop. But two days before they were scheduled to deliver it to me, he called me and said that they ran out of rosewood finish (which I had really liked and thought would look more awesome) but they had black and would that do.

Now, black is the usual default colour for dvd shelves and when I first thought about getting a shelf I had black in mind. But having gone to the furniture store and seen the finished products of the rosewood finish, I was really looking forward to that. But if I had said no and waited for them to get the rosewood finish then it would have been a long wait.

As it was they were late by a couple of days. Initially he had said that week Tuesday (13 Nov) and I said even Wednesday morning would be fine but that was when he called me and said that they didn’t have any rosewood finish remaining. So we settled for Thursday evening but then the carpenter’s mom was taken to the hospital so we decided it would be Friday evening.

Friday the 16th was that major storm we had in Cochin and the rest of the state and he called me to say that they were trying to get it delivered but the storm was so bad. I told him to wait till 5:30 pm and see if the storm eases and if not to abandon it. Saturday was a sudden harthal called so I ended up getting the shelf delivered to me on Monday the 19th of November.

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Here is my small but growing collection of dvd movies that I have started collecting. My main options to buy dvds from are Amazon India and Flipart. I hope to get a nice collection going.

Food, Glorious Food

There was a plan to have a dinner outing from the office this evening. So we had a bigwig coming to India from the Philippines and he wanted to take our team out for dinner. That’s nice but I and two other from my team had 8:30 am shifts and so should we stay back till 11pm when the dinner was supposed to end?

Anyhow, since it’s your boss, your superboss and another bigwig you have to attend. They had picked Zaatar Arabian Restaurant for tonight’s dinner. Well, one of their three outlets. This is a nice place with lots of seating.

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The food was amazing and plentiful and it just kept coming one after the other. What you see in these two pics is just a small portion of the stuff. There was soup, juice, tea and plenty of starters. Mushroom, seasfood, mutton, beef and chicken starters. And then huge kuzhi mandhi and sizzlers and two large platters of chicken.

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We ended up having to parcel a bunch of the food and even cancelled two dishes. The chicken was amazing, the beef was amazing, the seafood was awesome and the mutton in the madhi was succulent beyond belief! Hmmm everything was so good.

This has become a must go to restaurant.

Afternoon In Couchyn

My only agenda for today was to go and pay loans long term the advance for the new dvd/bookshelf that I am having custom built at a furniture store nearby. After I did that I went to Coucyhn for some drink and good food.

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I hadn’t had any breakfast and having woken up at 9 am and the fact that it was almost 12:45 pm by then, I was starving. I ordered a half tandoori chicken and a Budweiser. That went down well indeed.

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A while later I moved onto vodka. My cousin turned me onto Smirnoff Espresso vodka mixed with Coke which makes it taste a lot like iced coffee. This is awesome.

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I also ordered a plated of grilled beef with veggies, which is a superb dish. They ought to market this dish a lot more.

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At around 3pm I left and came back home and watched a movie. Now I’m listening to some tunes and drinking a juice.

Mi LED Smart TV 4A (32) Installed

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Well I have the tv installed. I spoke to the installation guy this morning at around 10:30 am while I was drinking coffee and he came here by 11 am. It took an hour to install the tv on a wall mount and show me how to connect to the internet (normally using wifi but since I don’t have wifi, I opted to connect the tv to my phone’s hotspot.

I installed a couple of apps for Youtube & Hotstar via the aptoide tv app for Android televisions. This works out great. But my very first act was to check on playing movies via a thumbdrive and ofcourse I picked Star Trek as my very first movie to run on it. It looks great.

The Almost Blank Wall

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Well this is where the new tv is gonna go. As you can see from the outline, I used to have a painting there. Well not a painting but a 3D image of two birds inside a large frame. That has been moved to the living room.

This wall is now almost blank now, except for the small painting on the right and the switch board on the left. Pretty soon my new tv is gonna be mounted there.

The New TV Is Here

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Well the tv is here. It was on time and all that. So I ordered the tv from Flipkart on the 11th of October and the delivery date was given as the 24th. Which was yesterday and sure enough, in the morning at around 11 am I was sent a message saying that “your order for the Mi TV is out for delivery”.

The guys delivered it at around 1:30 pm and about 90 minutes later I received a call from the local support company that Flipkart has and the lady on the phone asked me if I got the package. I said I did and could you arrange the installation for the next day – today – between 11 am and 3pm since I have to leave by 3:30 pm to go to work.

And now I await the installation guy.

Humid Day Out

What a day! Today has been hot, though not too sunny, and humid as we had clouds hovering over and it looked like it might rain a bit. Well only drizzling is what we got later on in the evening.

Anyways, I got showered and shaved in time to leave home at 12 but there was a huge protest going on the main road. Political party workers and hired goons were blocking the main road and making it difficult for people to pass by in their cars, bikes and buses. The cops came in droves and chased away the protestors from this area. Hold your protest in front of the High Court, the government buildings or the collectorate office or wherever the fuck but not on the road.

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They used water hoses and threatened to douse the protestors who then slinked away to lick their “wounds” but there still were bog buses of cops around. I went to have some lasagna and cold coffee in Kawaha and then went to shop for shirts (look at the pic above) at Men’s Studio. By then I was tired and then went to my bank in Ravipuram. After that it was almost 4 pm and I went to Center Mall to buy some groceries and toiletries and when that was done it was 4:45 pm and I was hungry again.

So I had a burger at Burger King and then came on home. At 7 pm I had a coffee and I will have a light dinner after 9pm. So tired.

Couchyn Visit After Over A Year

I haven’t been into Couchyn lounge bar, attached to the famous Grand Hotel, in over a year. July of 2017 was the last time I went to a bar, that was Couchyn itself, as the prices for beer and alcohol drinks went up to way beyond what i would want to pay after the ban on alcohol in non-5 star bars was lifted. The bars in the state tried to compensate or over-compensate by charging premium prices for beer (a Rs.100-120 bottle of beer from a BevCo is served for Rs.250-300 or so in bars like these.

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Hence I prefer to buy my beer and vodka, and the odd rum, from BevCo, come home and order some food and drink from the comfort of my home. It’s way cheaper and way convenient. The bars/restaurants are awesome since you can order and enjoy some really great hot meals.

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However with apps like UberEats, Swiggy personal loans for people with poor credit and Zomato coming in to cities like mine, going to bars has become unnecessary. I can chill my beers to a nice cold degree in my fridge or freezer and I can mix drinks in my home. I can also order pizza or any of my favourite foods from any of the best restaurants in the city and have them bring it to my home within 30 minutes and enjoy both in the comfort of casualness.

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Today was the day I went to Coucyn with my cousin Sujith and we had Tandoori chicken, French fries, grilled beef, shared a club sandwich and had two beers plus two vodkas – one with Red Bull and one with Pepsi. Food was great and the drinks were awesome.

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It was an awesome few hours. I miss going to bars like Couchyn and would like to go more often if only the prices were more decent.

Postponed Birthday Dinner

My birthday is on the 2nd of August but this year since it was on a Thursday and since I was working an evening shift of 5:30 pm to 2:30 am and since I was conducting a 5 day training all last week, I couldn’t take the day off from work. I wish I could have and celebrated it at home or atleast worked a day shift so I could have had my evening free.

So while I did buy a quick fried chicken lunch for my parents and I on Thursday I left it for Saturday to invite my sister and niece to have a nice dinner with us. Saturday morning I woke up late so I just lazed around, watched a movie and relaxed. In the evening post a quick shower I went to BevCo and bought me a few beers so I can drink them in my new mugs.

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At 7 pm my sister and niece came over and they bought these rose petal chocolate & gold gooey alliance and leicester loan icing cup cakes. They look pretty but under the chocolate it’s nasty. I popped open a can of Heineken and started drinking. I ordered some tandoori chicken, butter chicken masala, naan, mushroom manjurian for my sis and egg fried rice via Uber Eats.

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What would happen is a whole another post, so I will leave that for later. I managed to salvage a dinner with the family and enjoyed me a couple of 500 ml beer cans poured in my awesome new skull head mug.

My Birthday So Far

My birthday started out like this – at 12 midnight I was asked to come down to the cafeteria as the members of my team had arranged for a cake. Usually we do it with just the extended members of our department, which goes to 25 folks, but here it was just the 6 members of my team, a few from service delivery, quality and a couple of our clients. We had the cake cutting and then cake pasting after which I had to spend a good 10 minutes washing it off my face with water and plenty of tissue paper.

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I went back to do some work but clearly I was not in the mood as it was already 1:30 am and I lazed about for a bit until I could leave. I came home and as I planned, I drank a couple of vodkas with apple juice to celebrate turning 42. Not that it’s anything to celebrate; growing old that is. I went to bed and woke up by 10:20 am. I had coffee and went through Facebook thanking people for their wishes. Watched some videos. At 12 pm I ordered some fried chicken for my folks and I and we had a quick lunch.

Now I gotta go get ready to go back to work. I don’t want to, I usually don’t work on my birthday or I do a morning shift so I can have the evening to myself but this time I cannot do that. Ah, what the hay!

Blue Rock Resto Bar

It’s been a very long time since I’ve been to a bar. Last year in July infact. Why? The reason is money. After the two year alcohol ban in bars and hotels in the state that are not 5 star (a fucking stupid decision by the stupid old corrupt asshole who formed the government in Kerala bowing down to pressure from equally corrupt and hypocritical asshole organizations) the hotels and bars have jacked up the prices of alcohol and beer once the current government allowed the ban to be curbed.

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As the tax is now higher the bars and hotels have (or rather not have to, they can reduce it quite a bit) chosen to charge you premium money for drinking in their establishments. So why go to bars and pay Rs.200 to Rs.300 for a can or a 650 bottle of Heineken, Carslberg, Touborg or Budweiser when you can go to the Bevco and buy them for Rs.90 to Rs.100 or Rs.130 (for Heineken) and drink it at home in the comfort of wearing you lungi or shorts? That’s what I have been doing for a while.

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I go once every two months with my cousin to a Chinese restaurant called Golden Dragon for beers and good food. But yesterday was the first time I have been to a bar in a while. The Blue Rock Resto Bar inside the Olive Downtown hotel is an awesome place that started in December of last year. This is an awesome bar where you can watch some football on their tvs and enjoy a few. But things are expensive.

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We had 4 Heinekens which were expensive at Rs.380 but we got one of them free as it was Happy Hours at the time. I am disgusted at the prices but it was the stupid old men in power who made this happen. They steal from the people and can afford to go to expensive bars and enjoy while we want to save money. Anyways, the bar gives you free potato sticks in a bowl that they filled after we finished the first one. We ordered a grilled chicken and veggie platter as the appetizer. It was good but I must admit that I enjoyed the grilled veggies and potato wedges more than the chicken. It came with a small bowl of their bbq sauce or gravy which was awesome.

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Later we ordered a fried pizza, which is more like a calzone and though it was not what we were expecting, it was tasty. We were there for almost 3.5 hours iron bridge lending after which we were both sleepy and hence left. We also stopped for some donuts at the cafe beneath the bar and then went to our respective homes.

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Goodbye Baby Pigeon

Well, I hadn’t posted about this for a day or two because I was a bit heartbroken and sad about the news. Two mornings ago, just after I woke up I went to check on the mamma pigeon and the baby pigeon that were nesting on a plant pot on my balcony. Just as I picked up my coffee, mom & dad informed me that the baby pigeon had died.

That was so sad. I guess it was too cold in the night especially, since it had been raining way too much and it was very windy. The mamma pigeon’s body warmth must not enough to keep the baby alive. It look so depressing to see him/her like that.

Here is a pic of the little guy or girl taken just a couple of days before that. Damn, I know it’s silly to fret so much about a little baby pigeon but I am sad.

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