Buffy Vs Dracula

I first watched Buffy The Vampire Slayer the series back in 1999 when they first started showing it in India on the cable channel Star World. I think they showed the seasons almost back and it probably stopped airing with the last episodes in 2004. I must have seen all but a handful of episodes and among them is one that I desperately wanted to see and even missed the reruns due to some reason or the other. After the series got over I was still looking to see if there was some way that I could catch it on tv.

The episode in question is the 5th season opener, “Buffy vs Dracula”. Earlier this year I started watching the series starting from episode 1, downloading the episodes via torrent and watching them at my leisure. I just finished the 4th season last night and this morning got the 5th season opener. I guess I had some different expectations and although this is a good episode, I would have done it differently had I been Joss Whedon. There was a lot of comedy in this show and I did not like the way that Drac was treated. I mean, he is no ordinary vampire, he is the Count!

Although I can’t really find fault with the actor who portrays Dracula – for a single tv episode Rudolf Martin did a good job. But I feel that the episode should have been more dark with the outcome more ambiguous. The ending is almost comical and slightly demeaning to a character as grandiose as Dracula. They did connect the Dracula story with the cast of Buffy – what with Xander becoming like Renfield for Dracula and then Giles getting distracted & seduced by Dracula’s female vampires, much like Jonathan Harker. I would have a much darker episode with Buddy & Dracula becoming lovers or something and probably do a 2 part episode. This could have been a bigger thing in Buffy-verse but that’s just my opinion.

Sitting In A Chinese Garden With Madhu & Anil

So I hope my Muslim & Arab friends have had a nice Eid celebration at the end of Ramazan with some good food & eats. I didn’t have any plans for today but that changed when Anil called me in the morning just around 9am and said that he would be available at around 3pm and if me & Madhu could join him this afternoon it would be great. I said ok and arranged with Madhu to meet up at that time at Coffee Beanz.

Breakfast for me was courtesy our neighbours in the building – we were given poori & potato masala for the morning meal and some payasam. I had a little breakfast and lazed around till 1pm, when I shaved and took a shower. I had a light lunch and then settled down to watch an episode of Buffy that I had been waiting to watch for a long time. Anil message the both of us saying that he was held up till 4pm and we were to meet up at that time at the same place. So by 4pm I met Madhu at Coffee Beans and we ordered lattes while we waited for Anil to join us. He did at around 4:15pm and we sat in the cafe for 30 minutes as we sipped our coffees and decided what we were going to do.

We thought we’d do some window shopping in Bay Pride mall just across the road and checked out a couple of shops there. Anil wanted to buy a nice leather case for his brand new HTC phone and we looked for one in vain. The best option was to go back across the streets and check out stores in Penta Menaka mall. Now being Eid most of the mobile stores (there are dozens in the mall) were closed but there still were a few open. While Anil looked at pouches and selected one, I ambled across to another store that sells computer accessories and asked them for a speaker set. My old creative speakers had died on me and I need to buy a new pair. I selected a sleek looking one, sleek compared to my earlier chunky ones and got them for much lesser than what I had expected to buy them for.

That done we went to Ravipuram for some chinese food at the Golden Dragon but found them to be closed. This hotel closes at 4pm and reopens only by 7pm in the evening and it was only 6pm when we reached there. It was either wait for an hour or find another place and that’s exactly what we did! We went to Chinese Garden – some what same in prices but less tastier dishes that at the Golden Dragon place.

While we ordered for our food we sat and joked around. I snapped a pic of Madhu who sat next to me. The red light effect is because of the red lamp shades that they have all over the restaurant and NOT because we were in the red light district! Although Madhu was cooperative, Anil seems to have become bashful in his old age. Marriage sure has mellowed him a lot. Here he is below, hiding behind the menu.

We ordered bowls of sweet corn crab soup for appetizers, followed by two bowls of fried rice, ginger prawns & schezwan prawns which we shared. Food eaten we then had small bowls of ice cream – Anil had strawberry while Madhu & I enjoyed mango flavoured ones.

Pretty soon after that we came out into the pouring rain and made our separate ways home. I’m now i my room listening to mp3s blasting through my new speakers. I think they look rather snazzy.

A Fascinating Time Period

The 7000’s! Yes you read that right, it’s waaaaaaaaay out there in the future but I have seen more than a glimpse of it and I would love to be alive during that time as I find it a truly magnificent & utterly fascinating time to be alive in. You want to know what it’s like. Well sit back my dear boys & girls and assorted animals. This is what the year 7000 looks like.

First of all we humans do not live on Earth anymore. So do not get attached to good ole momma earth in any way. She wasn’t going to last. No by the late 2400s we had so screwed up the planet and it’s atmosphere that humans living on earth was dangerous. The only way was to leave and so we did. Temporary settlements on Mars, Titan and several of the moons in the solar system helped for a while but it wasn’t a permanent solution. So by 2500 all humans had packed up and left the earth in various sized spaceships, taking all the things that we needed along with us, and settled on 3 different sized planets in another system.

Ofcourse we also took along with us most of the animal species that survived till that year. Dogs & cats ofcourse live with us and most families had atleast one or more as a pet and the dogs & cats lived in housings along with their owners. Birds, tigers, lions, all big cats, wolves, bears, elephants etc all of them were housed in huge enclosures and then re-populated on these 3 planets. Cities were built on these 3 planets and we lived on them. However we needed more space and we also wanted the animals to live on more space. We wanted wide open land for all the animals. These 3 planets were fine for a few centuries but we needed more. So the search was on for our permanent homes.

Around the year 3200 we found them – 13 big planets, almost all the same size in a huge solar system with many moons and more planets. These 13 planets were terraformed to suit our needs (yes our scientists had achieved this art) and soon the human & animal population were re-settled on these 13 planets, each one slightly different from the rest but each one lush with greenery & vegetation, mountains, lakes, rivers, oceans and also climate controlled. This is where we have been living since the 3200s, when we first arrived here and now onto the year 7000 and beyond. It’s a great time to be in with space exploration, scientific research, meeting new alien species, some enemies while others friends, and finding out more & more exciting things.

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Vampires have always fascinated me. And they will continue to fascinate me. Not the kind of vampires that are here in this movie though!

Priest is the kind of film where the best part of it is the trailer. The film is stylish & sleek and chock full of excellently done action sequences but the story telling leaves a lot to be desired. Based on the Korean comic, the world has always seen vampires (blind, greyish, mutant creature like vampires) & humans fight. Vampires are far more powerful and can cut into a human with ease; if not for the sun, they would have easily beaten humans. Finally a creed of Priests, soldiers of the church bred specifically to hunt & kill vampires are created and they defeat the blood suckers. The humans live inside walled cities while the vampires, a majority of whom were killed, are chased away to reservations. Once the war is over the priests are “retired” and live in obscurity behind the walls of the cities.

However for our main priest (Paul Betthany) he is tormented by the fact that he failed to save one of his brothers (Karl Urban) in a vampire cave. Now dressed with a black hat, this priest was turned into a human-vampire by the queen of the vampires and is now out to get revenge and conquer the humans. He has Priest’s niece Lucy (who infact is actually his daughter, raised by her mother and her uncle)Ā  abducted and has Priest’s brother & sister-in-law killed. Denied activation & help from the church, he goes off on his own to get his niece back. Aided in his search is young Hicks, a sheriff and Lucy’s lover, and they both go on these futurist motorbikes.

The church does not believe that the vampires have gained their former numbers and send 4 other priests to capture our Priest. However one of them, a female Priest (Maggie Q) has feelings for Priest and decides to aid him in his search to get Lucy back. Human-vampire travels in a train filled with sacks of maturing vampires and decimates one town. Priest, Hicks & female Priest catch up and blow up the train, killing all the vampires and along with them Human-vampire, who tries to get Priest on his side and join him in quest for power & glory. The niece is saved and is reunited with Hicks.

Priest tries to tell the church that the vampires are at large again but the elders do not listen. Even then him & female Priest gathers the rest of the priests and go out to hunt & kill the vampires, for the queen is still at large and she is breeding an army. The end.

What’s a movie like that gotta offer a viewer? Good special effects, good action. That’s it. 6 outta 10 and that’s only because the fights look so cool.

My Current Desktop

I’m kinda obsessive about cleanliness on my computer. The inside contents just have to be so. I arrange most of my stuff into folders and do not like stuff like images, mp3s or documents to lie around unattended. My desktop has got to be cleared off as possible with all icons arranged neatly. Below you can see what my desktop currently looks like.

The only non application icon is a folder called “Work” and I leave it there on the desktop because it contains files related to work and specially stuff that I am working on now and other files from which I refer materials for the work I am currently on. It has powerpoint presentation slides, excel sheets, word documents and a few notepad files. The rest of my files are usually all arranged neatly inside the 4 partitions of my 320 GB HDD. I do like stray files to get away from their individual folders, like excitable puppies straying away from momma dog. I extend the leash and bring back said stray file into the folder where it belongs.

I hate the system at the office – it’s so cluttered with crap. The thing is that I share that system with two others and hence there is a lot of stuff that is not mine. I have removed the wallpaper on that system since the icons on the desktop are too many that you won’t be able to see it anyway. The files, none of which are mine, are scattered across the 3 hard drives and it looks like the aftermath of a sandstorm. My files are all neatly labeled and saved inside a folder in a section that is dedicated to my work stuff. I make copies of that main folder from time to time, usually once a week, and save it in another drive. If I need a file all I have to do is to look it up in my main folder or the appropriately named sub folders. The other two have to do frantic searches in Windows to get their files.

Why I Left My Previous Job

Why did I leave my last job? I’ve been meaning to get away from my previous company for a while. Back in March, 2010 I even almost got a job in Chennai which I think would have been great for my career. It was an HR decision not to hire me and I was upset as I seemed to have been a hit with the person who I would have reported to (she conducted my first two interview rounds) and with the Associate Director of Training for that company. I think that despite the tough second round interview I had I was through and was even confirmed but in the end it didn’t work out and I had to let it go. I was disappointed for about a week but went back to my work.

In July my best friend & second in command at the office left for greener pastures. I had my young team with me and I thought we’d be ok. But I hadn’t expected that I would have trouble in store for me. We had a new center head/DGM for the Cochin center and he was a fucking moron & an arrogant son of a bitch. Thomas didn’t know much of the work, assumed that he knew everything and considered everything that he didn’t care for as inconsequential. He was a brown noser but he also had some clout. He would make life miserable for me and some others in the office. He rubbed people the wrong way and made it difficult for people to continue doing what they best did and whatever good feelings we had about working in the office soon died out.

Within a month or 6 weeks after he came in he sent an escalation mail against me. The first one ever sent against me in my life. The odd thing was that he hadn’t discussed what he wanted with me properly but he put some points and sent it to central management. The GM of training forwarded that mail back to me & the manager of training (who sat in another office and 9 of us reported to him on points relating to training) and demanded an explanation. I spent the next 20 minutes stunned at reading the mail and then replied. The reply made it very clear that Thomas was a moron who hadn’t thought before deciding to send an escalation. The GM slapped his face with her stern reply back and he was embarrassed in front of the others who the mail was marked a copy to. I knew the end was neigh, as Thomas started plotting against me. He called me in and tried to make it difficult for me to do stuff.

I have never worked with such animosity before. He tried to pin stuff down on me. I spoke to HR about how this moron would try to find fault; like he would bring people, who are there for an interview, to me and ask me why they weren’t in one of the training rooms. I would look at them and see faces I have never met them before and they would turn out to be people who had just come in for an interview. This happened 4 times which I complained to HR about saying that this fucker is just trying to find fault where there is none and embarrassing me. He would blow up in our HOD meetings and always side on the other people. He wanted me to bend the rules and if I get caught then tough luck. I wasn’t the only one he was after; three other people would also have face this bastard’s atrocities. Finally it became too much.

On the 31st of December he tried to blame me for a decision that he has taken and which several other people were aware off. I had had enough and refused to take the blame. That was the final straw. I didn’t get much help but the decision was taken from corporate that I could leave after 2 months. They said that I should use those 2 months to find another job and to leave as amicably as possible. I was ok with that but I had to settle for a job that wasn’t the best for me and now I am stuck with it. I hope to find another job soon. I won’t suffer another mother fucker like Thomas ever in my life and I hope he gets what’s coming to him. I just hope it is sooner rather than later.

3 Day Weekend

I’m heading into a long weekend; 3 days of peace & quite I hope. The 3 days is because Monday & Tuesday we are keeping the office closed due to the end of Ramzan fasting month and the celebration of Eid.

I have a bunch of movies to watch including around 6 James Bond movies, Source Code & Priest. I am feeling tired and out of sorts and I will use these next 3 days to rest. I also want to sort out my dvd collection and also if possible my books. I also want to start writing this story that I have been discussing with fellow Trekkies on Facebook. I have the storyline outlined and fixed in my mind. What remains to be seen is can I put my mind into typing out a few pages a day on the actual story, processing the images in my mind into words. I lack discipline but I would really love to get this done.

Other than that I have nothing else planned. Maybe I can also watch some football on the telly. That’s it.

New Star Trek TV Series Being Pitched!

Great news or possible great news for Trekkies.

On Agust 23rd 2011, David FosterĀ of 1947 Entertainment, who has been working since 2006 with co-originatorĀ Kevin SeversonĀ (who sadly died last September suddenly from a stroke) on a super secret Trek t.v. series pitch under the code name of S.E.T.I., submitted the idea for a new Star Trek tv series to CBS. The series concept is fully developed, subject to change of course, with a solid 5-7 year series plan, pilot script and a conceptualized finale that intends to define Star Trek for generations, extensive character bios, costume and ship/set designs, and more. This is a drastic departure from the typical 8-10 page treatment of the previously pitched Star Trek series ideas that have not included even a pilot script.

Apparently Foster has the support of past Trekkie producers, concept artists, visual designers and writers who are encouraging him to keep plugging away at his Trek series blueprint and finally it now seems after years of planning, he is ready to find the right executive producer (they have turned down some already) to take his pitch to CBS officially. The vision that the duo ave created is pre-2009 cannon and will be set in the Star Trek universe post the event of Voyager.

The series is set in the post-Voyager era, and is designed to return Star Trek to its original series roots in big and mighty ways, without disregarding the other series and movies. As Star Trek (2009) was an alternate timeline, it will not conflict with any canon there either. The co-creators are avid believers in Gene Roddenberryā€™s ā€˜positive view of the futureā€™ and intend to bring Star Trek back to its origins while moving forward with the timeline, integrating the best aspects of each of the previous series.

Weā€™ve heard recently about an awesome sounding but ultimately unrealised series titled Star Trek: Federations that Bryan Singer was trying to make a few years back before Paramount decided to go in the direction of a film franchise but for us that doesnā€™t mean a t.v. series canā€™t exist at the same time. In the 80?s and early 90?s, the original Star Trek crew made big screen movies whilst The Next Generation aired itā€™s seasons on the small screen and similarly when The Next Generation had their moment on the big screenā€¦. Voyager, Deep Space Nine and Enterprise were on t.v.

I Come From The Land Of Lungi

LOL, this is the way to ease your tensions the first thing in the morning. Land Of Lungi, a parody song based on the hit 80s single Land Down Under by Men At Work, is a tongue in cheek praise of my home state of Kerala. This is awesomely true and extremely funny but you’d have to know about the state & the culture to fully appreciate it. Anyway, see how the foreigners are enjoying along with the local boys? If you come down here, that could be you!

Ambi – is short for Ambassador car, the former popular choice of vehicle in the state. Gelf – is the way most locals pronounce the Arabian Gulf, Khadi sanjee is a bag made of khadi, Mungee is monkey and lungi is a coloured dhoti! Enjoy!

Blowing Off Steam

It might not work for you cause you know it need not but this works for me.

I lock myself in the bathroom and scream for a bit and then wash my face with cold water. Repeat until I calm down.

Walk around in silence and all alone and if possible take deep breaths out in the open. No one should be near me.

Put headphones on and listen to aggressive metal music. It helps my friends, it helps. Singing out the lyrics and punching the air in beat with the music does go very well too.

A little booze after I have calmed down a bit also helps. And some good food. But it has to be a while after I have blown off steam, atleast 30 minutes or so. And I won’t drink anything hot – that would be like putting more heat in me!

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A Historical Event I’d Time Travel To

Well, for most music lovers it would have to be Woodstock back in August of 1969. The 42nd anniversary of the event billed as 3 days of peace & music was just a few days ago. I wasn’t born when the event was held and even if I was New York state is not easy for me to get to but it would have been nice to witness this event in person.

Who would I have been psyched to see perform? Richie Havens, Santana, the Grateful Dead, CCR, Janis Joplin, The Who, Johnny & Edgar Winter, Jimi Hendrix & Crosby, Still, Nash & Young. The last band would have been my major attraction along with Santana & Hendrix. I was never that big on Hendrix but he defined Woodstock and is great performer while Santana is just great anywhere.

The rain & mud isn’t my scene so if I could find someplace safe to watch it, that would be great.

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New Tumble Blog

Star Trek as you know is one of my biggest passions in life. I am a fanatic. Everyone who reads this blog will know that. Not enough to blog once in a while about all things Star Trek, I have now created a new Tumblr blog wholly dedicated to what mankind should aspire to be like.

Star Trek : Images & Words is this boy’s humble little dedication to the wonderful world of Star Trek. It will feature images from the 5 live action tv series & 11 movies (and counting) and even other stuff connected to the great franchise. Gene Roddenberry created Star Trek as a vision of what he thought mankind should & could become. This tumble blog will be just a fansite to that dream. I love Star Trek. If there is one word that defines me let it be Trekkie.

What I’d Like a Lifetime Supply of

Aha! If the Genie in a lamp appears and gives me the option of lifetime supply, I’d choose the following:

  • Laptops & external HDDs
  • Snickers bar
  • ice cream
  • Vodka+sprite
  • since I am asthmatic, Asthalin inhalers
  • Popcorn
  • apple juice
  • coffee – in all forms
  • Sandwiches
  • clothes & shoes
  • toothpaste, soaps & toothbrushes
  • Old Spice shaving cream & aftershave
  • Head & Shoulders
  • coconut oil
  • free electricity (keep the bill Genie)
  • credit limit
  • Condoms

I guess that’s it!

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There’s Not A Lot Going On

Corner Gas is/was what most sitcoms hope they can be but usually never do. An instant hit from the get go, with a genuinely funny cast of 8 people who have incredible comedic timing & chemistry and are funny without trying, each of the 6 seasons are as equally great as the others and people get nostalgic for it the minute it stopped airing.

From January 22, 2004 to April 13, 2009, 107 episodes of this awesome comedy was shown and it now lives on in reruns. I just finished watching the very last episode this morning and have been emotional from the 1st episode of the 6th season. Corner Gas is the name of the show and also the gas station in fictional Dog River – in fact the only gas station for 60 kms in either direction. Brent Leroy (Brent Butt) inherited the business from his father Oscar (Eric Peterson) who is now retired and lives with his wife, Brent’s mom, Emma (Janet Wright). Wanda Dollard (Nancy Robertson) works at the stationā€™s convenience store as a retail assistant. Hank Yarbo (Fred Ewaniuk) is Brent’s best friend from childhood and is an unemployed handyman who always hangs out at the gas station. Veteran cop Davis Quinton (Lorne Cardinal) and rookie Karen Pelly (Tara Spencer-Nairn), keep the peace in the small town, which is virtually crime free and hence they live a dull work life – which is the way Davis likes it but Karen likes a bit more action. And we have Lacy Burrows (Gabrielle Miller) who moved from Toronto to Dog River and who runs & owns a dinner adjacent to Corner Gas, The Ruby, named after her aunt who she inherited it from.

I just love it how old cranky Oscar tries to cook up some scheme or the other to make a buck or usually just to entertain himself, causing grief to Emma and how Hank, the village idiot, always does or says something stupid. Lacy does her best to fit in despite being reminded on many occasions that she is the big city girl in a small town, while Wanda – the cleverest person in town – always does things to better her situation but it never works out. Davis is so enthusiastic over small silly thing much to the chagrin of his partner Karen who wants more actual police work to do. Brent just kinda takes it all in and is like the referee in all of this. The cast is so funny together that it feels like such a shame to have only had them for 6 seasons. It should have gone for a few more.

Captain Benjamin Sisko

Star Trek characters are usually a lonely bunch. There’s a lot of tragic in their lives and knowing fully the dangers of a career in Starfleet – on either a starship or a space station in deep space – and also having to be away from family & friends for long stretches at a time. At times we have seen an officer who has his/her spouse on the same ship/station as them. One such person was Benjamin Sisko who, while as the first officer of the USS Saratoga, has his wife Jennifer & young son Jake aboard the ship he was assigned to. Ofcourse as Star Trek & Deep Space 9 fans are aware, that ended in anguish. While the Saratoga was engaged in the Battle of Wolf 359, Jennifer was one of those who perished in the Borg attack.

Commander Sisko was faced with the loss of his wife and raising his son alone. He found an outlet for his pain in his new posting at Utopia Planitia Fleet Yards on Mars. There, Sisko worked on the prototype USS Defiant ā€“ the first in what was to be a fleet of warships to defend the Federation from the Borg. As his work there was winding down, with flaws coming in the designs, his former captain recommended him to take over the command post of Deep Space 9; a former ore mining space station built by the Cardassians during the occupation of Bajor.Ā  It was to be Sisko’s responsibility to help prepare the newly liberated Bajorans for entry into the Federation. A first reluctant Sisko brought along his son Jake.

On his first visit to Bajor, Sisko would be declared as the Emissary of The Prophets (a worm hole dwelling alien species living outside of linear time and who the Bajors worshiped as their gods) by the then religious leader of Bajor and met them when he traveled into the wormhole. It was a title & respect that Benjamin would be uncomfortable with, his humility not letting him accept the fact that his Bajoran officers looked upon him as a religious figure. Although he had no idea at that time and it would take him more than 6 years to find out, his birth mother was a human possessed by one of the wormhole aliens or Prophet and was responsible for his birth. Therefore he was in a way part wormhole alien or part prophet! His birth mother left Ben & his father a year after Benjamin was born and he was raised by his father & his stepmom – who he always came to know as his own mother.

While in DS9 Benjamin would meet & fall in love with a cargo ship captain Kasidy Yates, who he also had to arrest once for shipping supplies to the Maquis. Their romance would still bloom and the two later got engaged and Kasidy got pregnant soon after. Sisko also had a deep love for Bajor, a planet & people he came to be closely linked with. I found it lonely & sad that at one point Sisko admitted that once the Dominion war was done, he wanted to retire on Bajor, where he had found a secluded spot and bought some land. He planned to build a house there and live alone. However ofcourse as his relation with Kasidy progressed, they both planned to build the house and live on Bajor for most of the time and visit Earth from time to time.

Sisko would never get to build the house or retire on Bajor. After the war was over and his enemies killed, Benjamin was taken by the Prophets to the Celestial Temple, Sisko appeared to Kasidy in a vision, telling her that he would someday return, and that he loved her. He left behind his son Jake, his new bride and unborn child. That was the last episode of DS9 so canon wise, we do not what happens afterwards.