NHL Players Cribs : Mike Green

With the playoffs happening and the Washington Capitals looking like a threat, I was checking out player profiles & videos of their players on the team. Mike Green is a phenomenal defenceman and one of rising stars in the NHL. He’s already got a rabid following and at just 23 years of age is destined for a long & storied career. Here’s a tour of Mike’s apartment.

Blogging Contests @ IndiBloggers.Com

The people @ IndiBlogger are holding contests for blogs in different categories, which change every month. I’ve registered myself (not that I have any chance to win anything) but I’m proud to be part of a growing Indian blogging community.

wishmaster online I must say that the prizes are so cool. The winner of a category can choose between a 2 year Flickr Pro account, 50 Premium WordPress.com watch crime fiction online Premium Credits, 2 Premium WordPress Themes from WooThemes, a .com domain for 5 years, a .in domain for 3 years or a Premium account with Rapidshare for 6 months.

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Evening With The Team

Today we (my team of trainers & myself) were to go to our client’s office for a training on a product that is being launched in the first week of May. By 4:30 pm we took a cab provided by the office and made our way to the digs of our clients; however we were quite late when we reached there as there was a traffic jam at Edapally.

Just as we reached the venue for the training, it started pouring! Man was it heavy rainfall. I like it! We scurried inside and started the training process. Once that was done, I took my team to have some food & drink. We settled for Shawarma plates and fruit juices – I had a 250 ml can of Moutain Dew. I haven’t had MD in quite a while and it doesn’t taste the way I remember it. Wow, I think it’s been well over 2.5 years since I have had Moutain Dew.

I’m pretty tired, metally more than physically. I’m working tomorrow, May Day, to finish off the month end reports for the training department and then I take a comp off on Saturday. My leave officially starts on Monday and ends on Saturday. I plan to go to Trivandrum on Saturday and attend BCK5, stay in the capital for 2 days and get back to Cochin on the 4th evening.

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Hope this all pans out.

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2009 NHL Conference Semifinals Lineup

The stage is set for 4 evenly matched series as the Stanley Cup Playoffs reach the Conference Semifinals stage. Disappointment ranges through fans of Calgary, New York & San Jose but this could very well be a very open remaining playoffs stage.

So here’s what’s in store for NHL fans:

Western Conference

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Detroit Red Wings vs Anaheim Ducks

Chicago Blackhawks vs Vancouver Canucks

Eastern Conference

Boston Bruins vs Carolina Hurricanes

Washington Capitals vs Pittsburgh Penguins

Prediction for the Conference final lineups:

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Detroit vs Vancouver & Boston vs Pittsburgh

And Then There Were Three @ Cochin Square

I would like to bring to your notice that I’m now also blogging at CochinSquare.com, a community website that updates you about the developments of the city of Cochin. We bring to you the happenings in and around Cochin with the help of our sources so that you do not miss anything that’s happening in this busy little city.

The site is owned & maintained by Anand Subramanian, who mainly blogs at his personal website TheAnand. Currently there’s only the two of us contributing to the articles (I have 2) but we’re being joined by a third soon – Priya @ Composed Volcano is signing up as a contributor.

I hope CochinSquare.com becomes a go to site for all web savvy Cochin citizens and for those interested in our city.

Hoping To Be Snapping Pics Soon

I’m not a photographer in the sense that I do not know the technicalities or the terminologies of the field and I don’t know anything about cameras. But I love taking pictures!

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I’ve not had a good camera in a long time and I’ve never had a digital camera. I’ve borrowed my sister’s camera to take a few pictures of events that I had wanted to take pictures of and then hosted them on Flickr & ofcourse saved a copy onto my hard disk.

My bank is ICICI and they have come up with an offer to make net banking payments for a couple of online shopping malls in India. And what’s more one of them said shopping sites has some sweet deals on several of their items, including the Wespro 5060s 5MP camera. I’ll be saving a whole lot of money if I buy it from their site and I’m getting excited as I anticipate using the camera. I’m waiting for the 30th to finalize the deal. Keep your fingers crossed.

Workshop On Transactional Analysis

The entire working day I was in a workshop conducted by an external trainer, who’s company is hired by our firm to take sessions on Transactional Analysis. Transactional analysis, commonly known as TA to its adherents, is an integrative approach to the theory of psychology and psychotherapy.

As a theory of personality, TA describes how people are structured psychologically. It uses what is perhaps its best known model, the ego-state (Parent-Adult-Child) model to do this. This same model helps understand how people function and express themselves in their behaviors. For more understanding on TA, click here to read the Wikipedia article & here to read about Eric Berne, the psychiatrist who developed TA.

I enjoyed the session today, although it did become a bit dull in places, and have got some understandings on it. I look forward to implementing it in my daily work as head of the training team.

Horse Soldier, Horse Soldier – Corb Lund & The Hurtin’ Albertans

Highly anticipated by his fans, roots country singer Corb Lund and his band the Hurtin’ Albertans brings forth his 5th album after splitting up from alt-rock band The Odds. The album Horse Soldier, Horse Soldier reminds us of the courageous cavalrymen of the early wars and has a strange affinity to horses.

The first song, single & video I Wanna Be In The Cavalry starts off with a marching snare and it’s catchy chorus and well written lyrics that is infectious and paints a clear picture of a young man who dreams of being in the Cavalry. However the song ends on an ominous note when Corb changes the chorus to “And I won’t ride home no more”. We’ll soon see that there’s a flip side to that dream when it becomes a reality.

The title track is up next – a historical tribute to soldier on horses of the wars of the past. The semi-narrative style matches well to this somber tune as the song recalls the valiant victories of the brave men who fought the old fashioned way. Lament For Lester Cousins is a song about a man who after a hard life, settled down with a wife & kid but his past catches up to him. Lester’s wife & daughter are raped and Lester goes for revenge. Brother Brigham, Brother Young is a man’s confession to two priests. The Horse I Rode In On is a ballad about someone who gets on a horse after a long time but his joy on riding a horse again cannot hide his heartbreak on his love lost.

A Leader On Losing Control is  exactly that – a man confessing that he could not control his unruly men. The strangely titled Student Visas is about a reluctant gunner as his helicopter goes & who does not want to kill anymore. What That Song Means Now is about how something takes on different means or how something can mean a lot to you with the passage of time. Hard On Equipment/Tool For The Job is about a certain kind of worker/handyman. Family Reunion is about man looking forward to meeting his relatives after a long gap and hoping for a good time. It’s a tongue in cheek look at things that can go on at a reunion.

Especially A Paint is about love of horses. After the instrumental Ciesla’s Revenge, we have My Saddle Horse Has Died. I think this is a song more about the loss of a man’s youth or strength. It’s got a Mexican flavour with the trumpets native to that nation. And finally we have I Wanna Be In The Cavalry (Reprise) which tells of the hardships of war after the protagonist joins the war. The glamour is short-lived as he watches people die in front of him and he is not sure if he will survive. This is the lament of the soldier at war.

A wonderful album filled with memorable songs. Here’s the video to Family Reunion.

Arsenal 2 Middlesborough 0

Stating that this would a perfect preparation for his side, Arsene Wenger’s Arsenal side beat a relegation threatened Middlesborough 2-0.

Captain Cesc Fabregas scored two goals at the Emirates as his club all but secured in fourth place following a run of 20 league matches without defeat.

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RIP Feroz Khan: Sept 25, 1939 – Apr 27, 2009

Star of movies like Qurbani & Dharmatma, Feroz Khan passed away in the early hours of the morning in his farmhouse in Bangalore. The 69 year old actor/director lost his long battle with cancer.

Feroz Khan was born in Bangalore, India to a father who was a Pathan originally from Ghazni province of Afghanistan and his mother who came from Iran.

A divorcee, he leaves behind his son Fardheen Khan, also an actor, and daughter Laila. He is the brother of actor Sanjay Khan, uncle of actor Zayed Khan and interior decorator Sussanne Roshan.

Vicky Cristina Barcelona

I had no idea what to expect from this movie as I rarely watch Woody Allen films. Nothing against him personally but I just haven’t been too attracted to the kind of movies that he makes. But I really wanted to watch this one and Vicky Cristina Barcelona was an interesting movie to watch.

For one, I don’t know what to think of Javier Bardem but the bugger gets to make out with Penelope Cruz, Rebecca Hall & Scarlett Johansson! Oh to be in his shoes! But I hate this poster – Hall is not shown in it but she is  shining light of  this likeable movie. Rebecca Hall might be the lesser known among the main actors – Cruz, Johansson, Bardem and Patricia Clarkson (who plays Vicky’s aunt) but I thought she was great in the movie. Hall plays a graduate student who has a plan about the way her love & life is supposed to pan out. She is more conservative and less likely to take a chance. Her best friend is Johansson, playing Cristina, a much more liberated soul but one who does not know where she is headed in life.

But Penelope Cruz was magnificent as a mentally unstable woman, who attempted suicide. Quickfire angry Spanish words spew from her mouth in a demented form of lament as she confronts her lover. She & her ex-husband Juan Antonia (Bardem) had earlier up finding the missing ingredient in their love life to be Cristina and they begin a polyamorous relationship. Vicky had a one night with the charming Juan Antonio and has feelings for him while caught in an unsatisfying marriage.

I found the movie dragging in parts but maybe the film wasn’t meant for late night watching. I loved the location shots in Spain, mainly Barcelona & Oviedo. I loved the three oh so sexy women. I loved the sprinklings of flamenco guitar music but found the theme music to be a bit annoying. It wasn’t necessary to have the title song with repetitions of “Barcelona” every 20 seconds. Overall, I liked the movie although I doubt I’d be watching it many more times.

Can I Rewind My Entire Day Today?

I slept quite late last night, after watching a movie at 11:50 pm and then a couple of episodes of Star Trek Voyager. I fell asleep for a bit and when I woke up I saw that the time was 3:15 am. I switched off the monitor and switched off the lights and slept till 10 am this morning. I felt drowsy and my mouth felt quite dry for most of the day.

I went to Barista cafe for some cold frappe and a muffin. No soon had I sat down with my book, when a man came in and ordered an espresso in a rude, obnoxious style and a snap of his fingers. It turns out that he knows the (manager or is it owner) and was showing off a bit. He then proceed to loudly have a conversation on his cell phone, asking some guy to come and see him at the cafe because he was, get this, back in form. “I’m back in form, back in form. You should see me I’m back in form.”

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After reading for a while, I left the cool comfort of the cafe and headed to Velocity bar and selected a table. I ordered chilli gobi and vodka+sprite. This is the first time that I have not enjoyed drinking in velcoity. 4 guys, around 21-23 were commenting loudly on the ads & Hindi songs shown on a cable channel on the flat screen tv. Posers! Two of the guys are sitting too close to be just friends and as I looked up, they wrapped their arms around each other and it looked too gay for me to even thinking of looking in that direction any longer.

And then…..a family shows up! In the bar! To eat lunch while the rest of us get drunk next to them! It was something I don’t agree with; 2 women, 2 men, 6 kids all chatting and having lunch on my left while I struggled to hear my own thoughts. I wanted to ask the 2 men to take their families to a fucking family restaurant but I was too polite to do so.

And then….some fucker gets too drunk and starts shouting “Da Sameer, da Sameer…..da patti (dog)” in a angry loudy voice. Sameer was, apparently, his companion who had gone to get a smoke or something. I was hoping that Sameer was going to get a shotgun to blow his fucking friend’s head off! I was about this close (keeps index finger & thumb an inch apart) from going over to that idiot and slapping some sense into him!

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I had some chicken & noodles and some more vodka but the food was not good this day. It wasn’t an enjoyable experience at all and I left disappointed and dejected. I came home at around 4 pm and slept for a while, waiting for the Arsenal vs Middlesborough match to start. And to top it off, it’s hot as a furnace this evening. Fuck!

This Is What Scary Is To Me

This swine influenza disease has a lot of people worried. I know it’s been restricted to parts of Mexico but the numbers dying in that country & spread of it is a scary thought. In Mexico, in some cases it causes severe influenza-like illness, followed by pneumonia, which has in some cases resulted in death. Around 81 people are supposed to have died from the disease in the nation and around 1000 infected with the virus.

That’s 1000 cases & 81 deaths in March & April! Reports say that 2008-09 has been a mild year for flu infections compared to the average of 36000 death cases that is seen every year. Most of the deaths have occured in Mexico city while the infected are spread throughout the country. In the South-Westerm United States around 10 cases have been confirmed but no deaths as of yet.

It’s that image that bothers me. The image that I have linked here from Wikipedia. The image of passengers in a commuter train wearing masks. It seems that all around Mexico, army & police are handing out surgical masks to the general public as a safety precaution measure. That’s a scary image.

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Lunch With The Team

It had been a while since we went together for lunch or anything from the office as a team. I really wanted my team to have some fun & enjoy a good meal outside of the office. So it was arranged for us to go to a hotel nearby and have some fun. By 1 pm we set out – 5 of us in a car and the remaining 5 on 3 bikes. We started out with soup – sweet corn chicken soup for 8 and 2 guys had mushroom soup. I pulled the leg of the waiter by stating, like Mike Myers does in the movie Wayne’s World, that I would have the “cream of sumyungguy (some young guy)!! A couple of my colleagues were holding back tears of laughter as the puzzled waiter said that he would check and get back to us.

So, soup was slurped back quickly and the waiter took our orders. 2 Chicken biriyanis, 3 mutton biriyani, 3 fried rice, 1 American chopsuey, 3 big ‘karimeen’ fish fry, 2 plates of chicken 65, mutton masala, one veg meals, 2 prawn schezwan & 8 porottas. The waiter staggered back with trays heaped with plates & bowls of food. We shared & compared and ate to our heart’s content. At the end of it, we had ice cream and 3 had milkshakes.

Damn that was good food and we had some fun, making jokes and laughing ourselves silly for just over 2 hours. You never know if it’s the last outing together with the same bunch of people, so make it a point to enjoy yourselves.

Geocities To Shut Down Service Later This Year

The most shocking Internet related news that I have heard as of yet. Yahoo! will close it’s Geocities service later this year. Back in 1999, when Yahoo purchased Geocities, it was the third most visited site on the web behind AOL and Yahoo, with 19 million unique visitors in December 1998. Geocities has since become somewhat outdated, giving users no way to integrate their sites with third-party applications.

“Sorry, new Geocities accounts are no longer available,” reads a message on the homepage from today.

Back in 1999-2000 when I first started learning html and was into creating websites for fun, I used Geocities. I have 5 accounts in their service but from around 2004, I have mainly used Geocities just to host images that I want to link to my blog. I used to maintain a personal website in my main account. I also had a tribute site to the hot actress Kristin Minter (I was particularly proud of the site design at that time) & a couple of others. I also used another account to store images. Now they will be all gone. I must copy all the files I want and move them to a safe place. It’s a sad day and it will be even sadder when the service goes offline.

Goodbye Geocities. We’ve had a good run of 10 years together. I will miss you!

Best Food On Planet Earth

The Arabs gave us their version of coffee, their version of tea and their version of religious fundamentalism (it’s no fun and they – the religious zealots – are mental!). They can proudly lay a claim to many things but they should not be prouder for anything other than what I dub the “best food” on Planet Earth!

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I’m talking about the Shawarma sandwich. It’s cut up peices of heaven, rolled up in a khuboos or bread or whatever kind of roti you get, depending on where you get yours cooked. Cochin & the rest of Kerala have adopted this precious food as one of it’s favourite late evening snack or dinner. I just love them and my belly is full after having a couple of these, washed with a small milkshake down at restaurant near the bus stop. Perfect!

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