Disconnected – Yet Again

This month seems like disconnection month for me as far as internet and Tata broadband are concerned. I’ve been disconnected so frequently now it’s getting ridiculous. The problem they say is due to huge lorries and trucks pulling the cable out when driving by a block away from here and that’s why the internet goes out for me and a few other people in my area. If this is the truth, I can understand it’s not their fault that my service is getting disrupted. But Tata’s response is totally their responsibility.

I called them up in the afternoon when I noticed that the connection was down and had a complaint registered. Their tech team here called up to find the status of lights on my modem. I informed them of the same and they said “Ok, let us check and call you back.” I’m waiting and waiting and finally at 7pm I lost my patience. I called the call center again and find that my complaint is in progress. Which means that since tomorrow is a Sunday, they will only fix it on Monday. This has happened once too often.

Enough is enough, I have decided to cancel the connection and move to either Airtel or Reliance.

Trivandrum Style Fried Chicken

Trivdandrum (or Thirivananthapuram as the city is offically called) style Fried Chicken from Couchyn bar & lounge. I believe this is the same style of fried chicken as they serve in the Trivandrum Chicken Corner franchises, which are still around. Spicy but not to spicy and very delicious and succulent. Chicken was well done & juicy both times I had it at Couchyn. Goes down well with beer.

2012 Stanley Cup Playoffs : Semi-finals Lineup


St.Louis Blues vs. Los Angeles Kings          New York Rangers vs. Washington Capitals

Phoenix Coyotes vs. Nashville Predators      Philadelphia Flyer vs. New Jersey Devils

Boy I did not see that lineup coming at all. In the West Vancouver & Detroit are out in the first round itself and how. Detroit met their boogie team the Predators who have done themselves proud with that showing. Vancouver battled the LA Kings to a 7th game but it wasn’t enough. In the East Boston lost in the first round to Washington.

So how does the semi-final or second round look? Tough to call in the east but I’m going to stick with my pick for Philly to beat the Devils in 7 (and for Martin Broduer to announce his retirement from the game post that) and for New York to beat the Capitals in 6. As for the West I pick the Blues & the Coyotes to win their respective rounds.

All Good Things

Ryan Gosling has got to be one of the best actors of our time. This man is awesome. Consider this film РAll Good Things directed by first time non-documentary director Andrew Jarecki and inspired by the life of accused murderer Robert Durst and released in late 2010. This is the kind of stark & dark movie that could cause you to have sleepless thoughs about people late in the night. The movie costars Kristen Dunst, Frank Langella & Kristen Wiig (in a small role but so totally different from what we expect from her). The events of the movie are from 1973 till 2004.

Gosling plays David Marks, the son of a wealthy real estate tycoon and who has rejected his family’s wealth and business. He married a beautiful girl Katie (Dunst) who is from middle class family. They are initially very happy together, move from New York city to Vermont, to start a health food store in front of an idyllic cottage. However the formidable Sanford mark (Langella) lures his son back to the city and makes him work for him in the family business. At first we see David enjoying the rich man’s lifestyle, going to disco parties, joining his rich friends. We see an unraveling of the mind – from a happy, carefree young man in love, David becomes withdrawn, solitary and totally at unease with the world. He spends more and more time at work. The young couple buys a country home and Katie begins to spend more time alone there with just their dog for company, while she completes her college education.

Katie eventually applies to medical school while trying to understand David’s mood swings and unwillingness to have children. She gets into a good college much to David’s anger.¬†As she becomes increasingly independent, David mysteriously turns more violent and controlling. He starts to do poorly at work, a job he did not want at all and was almost forced into joining by his father. At one point the older Marks calls David in and says that due to David’s ineptitude he is giving control of the company to his younger son. David seems to snap internally on this news and while he is at Katie’s birthday celebration at her folk’s house, he appears sullen and withdrawn. He asks her to leave within a few minutes of them settling in, which she refuses. David goes to wait in the car but then he goes back in, grabs her by the hair and drags her home.

A family secret is revealed about David – he watched his mother commit suicide by jumping off the roof of their family mansion. In a confrontational scene between father and son, the older Marks says that he made David watch as he had hoped that his wife wouldn’t jump if her young son was a witness. David continues his abusive treatment of his wife. Finally she goes missing from their home, never to be seen again. It is implied in the movie that David killed her. He has his longtime friend Deborah pretend to be her, with a wig that looks just like Katie’s hairstyle, so the doorman of their building can see her hail a cab after making a phone call from a booth next to their building. The case was reopened 20 years later and David – dressed as a woman ‚ÄĒ retreats to Galveston, Texas, where he befriends his neighbor Malvern Bump (Philip Baker Hall). Bump becomes a confidant for David and the former goes to Los Angeles to kill David’s friend Deborah, shot execution style in the back of the head.

David later kills Bump and dismembers his corpse and dumps it in the bay. He is questioned in the death of Deborah but never charged with anything. He finally confesses to killing Bump when evidence piles up against him but he is able to convincingly plead self-defense. In the end, David served just 3 years in jail for bail jumping and evidence tampering (for dumping Bump’s body and not coming forward). Once he gets out, he leaves for Florida where he sells real estate.

Well worth watching, the cast delivers a solid performance even though the movie might drag a bit and not really set the heart racing with tension. Good movie. 8 out of 10!

A Ticket To Space

Like I have the money for something like that. But going off into space and having a look around is the ultimate dream. It’s the final frontier and we boldly go where no man has ever gone before. I would love to see the Earth from outer space, to see that big blue & green ball that we call home. And our companion the moon! If the earth is our mother, the moon is our favourite aunt! I would die a content & happy man if I ever was able to go out in space and get to see the stars up close and see the Earth & the moon from above.

So if I was a multi-millionaire I would try to buy that ticket and enjoy my trip. That would be so awesome.

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Bloopers In the Church

The following are actual church bulletin board bloopers found in churches across the United States.

Scouts are saving aluminum cans, bottles, and other items to be recycled. Proceeds will be used to cripple children.

The outreach committee has enlisted 25 visitors to make calls on people who are not afflicted with any church.

Evening massage – 6 p.m.

The Pastor would appreciate it if the ladies of the congregation would lend him their electric girdles for the pancake breakfast next Sunday morning.

The audience is asked to remain seated until the end of the recession.

Low Self-Esteem Support Group will meet Thursday at 7 to 8:30 p.m. Please use the back door.

Ushers will eat latecomers.

The third verse of Blessed Assurance will be sung without musical accomplishment.

For those of you who have children and don’t know it, we have a nursery downstairs.

The Rev. Merriwether spoke briefly, much to the delight of the audience.

The pastor will preach his farewell message, after which the choir will sing, “Break Forth Into Joy.”

During the absence of our pastor, we enjoyed the rare privilege of hearing a good sermon when J.F. Stubbs supplied our pulpit.

Next Sunday Mrs. Vinson will be soloist for the morning service. The pastor will then speak on “It’s a Terrible Experience.”

Due to the Rector’s illness, Wednesday’s healing services will be discontinued until further notice.

Stewardship Offertory: “Jesus Paid It All”

The music for today’s service was all composed by George Friedrich Handel in celebration of the 300th anniversary of his birth.

Remember in prayer the many who are sick of our church and community.

The eighth-graders will be presenting Shakespeare’s Hamlet in the church basement on Friday at 7 p.m. The congregation is invited to attend this tragedy.

The concert held in Fellowship Hall was a great success. Special thanks are due to the minister’s daughter, who labored the whole evening at the piano, which as usual fell upon her.

Twenty-two members were present at the church meeting held at the home of Mrs. Marsha Crutchfield last evening. Mrs. Crutchfield and Mrs. Rankin sang a duet, The Lord Knows Why.

A song fest was hell at the Methodist church Wednesday.

Today’s Sermon: HOW MUCH CAN A MAN DRINK? with hymns from a full choir.

Hymn 43: “Great God, what do I see here?” Preacher: The Rev. Horace Blodgett
Hymn 47: “Hark! An awful voice is sounding”

On a church bulletin during the minister’s illness: GOD IS GOOD Dr. Hargreaves is better.

Potluck supper: Prayer and medication to follow.

Don’t let worry kill you off – let the church help.

The 1997 Spring Council Retreat will be hell May 10 and 11.

Pastor is on vacation. Massages can be given to church secretary.

What’s In Store For SciFi On TV?

I wonder what’s in store for Science Fiction tv series. I believe it will always survive & thrive on the big screen but on tv it’s a different thing altogether. Look at all the scifi franchises that are struggling and all the good shows that have been cancelled.

I will start off with my fav Star Trek – not much to say here. The last we saw anything from Star Trek was when the series finale of Star Trek : Enterprise was aired back in 2004. Luckily the show creators knew in advance that they weren’t going to get a 5th season and they wound things up, giving the series an ending (as bad & unsatisfactory an ending it was). Since then Trek has had a resurgence thanks to 2009’s alternate timeline Kirk, Spock & McCoy era movie, simply titled Star Trek. We will have a sequel in 2013. But what we fans really want is a proper series, in the proper timeline.

Stargate : – Originating with a really good movie in 1994, Stargate launched their tv franchise with a movie length pilot and created an almost legendary series in Stargate SG1. It lasted for 10 season and had 2 live action spinoffs and 1 short lived animated series. While the animated Infinity wasn’t well received, the same couldn’t be said about Stargate Atlantis or Stargate Universe. Much more fast paced than it’s predecessor, Atlantis had a great lead villain race and some cool elements not to mention great chemistry among the cast. However the show was getting cancelled but luckily the makers were able to provide some closure (sort of but it’s better than being left on a cliffhanger). That paved the way for Stargate Universe, a dark, deary and very serious show with a great ensemble cast and great characters. It wasn’t enough. Universe got cancelled after 2 shows and we will never know what happens to the crew of scientists & military personnel lost on an ancient ship. I cursed every one at the network when the cancellation was announced and I still curse them.

Despite the runaway success of Battlestar Galactica aka the rebooted version, their prequel series Caprica didn’t not fare as well. Set 58 years before the events of BSG, Caprica was based mainly on land, in a city that looked way too much like Vancouver, featured way too much drama that it almost became like a soap opera with some special effects. As a concept I liked the show and was hoping that we’d see more action. The series came with a bang (literally, there was a terrorist bomb on a futuristic train) but ended with a “phzzzut”. The series ended with just 18 episodes aired but due to a funny & erratic broadcasting and production schedule due to the 2010 Winter Olympics, they were able to wrap up the show by showing us what they wanted to. And soon a new show was announced,¬† a second spin-off series, Blood & Chrome, set 40 years before the events of BSG, during the Cylon-Humans war and revolving around a young William Adama who has just joined the battle and reporting to a new battlestar for duty – the Galatica. Initially envisioned as as web series, the show was greenlight for a full series and now it is not! Syfy channel has decided not to pursue the series to be shown on tv but is planning to¬† promote it on the web as a digital series. The 90-minute pilot movie will air on Syfy¬†in its entirety at a future date. The producers of the show may still shop the project to other networks. All this back and forth has not diminished the appetites of the fans for a space saga – which leaves me wondering just what the hell does Syfy want? A reality tv series?

V – a huge staple of my childhood back in the 1980s growing up in Kuwait, was cancelled during a cliffhanger. That was the original series. A new series was announced and launched in 2009, with a new sleeker look and some changes made in the reboot. It didn’t really work. The show wasn’t very exciting or engaging but towards the end of it’s short run it did pick up. I was sad but not surprised to see it being cancelled, ironically on an even bigger cliffhanger than the original series. We then had Terra Nova – backed up the mighty Steven Spielberg himself, who is attached as an Executive Producer of the show. We had the time travel element, people going back in time to start life all over again, dinosaurs, gadgets – they could not save Terra Nova from being cancelled. To tell you the truth, the show was becoming rather family oriented and not really science fiction enough but it had potential.

When you look at it, a lot of good science fiction series gets cancelled. The original Star Wars, the original BSG, V, Firefly (ask anyone who has seen this show and they will tell you it is one of the best shows they have ever seen) – the list is endless. The networks wants reality tv crap. Remember how the old music tv channels stop showing music videos and show crappy reality tv shows with idiots doing stupid stunts? That’s what SyFy, the ironically named network channel, is headed for. Meanwhile us true scifi fans have to depend on our dvds, blu rays and watching the old shows online. We need a good shake up of things. A really good scifi series or two¬† to crack things up again. Help us!

Jurassic Park Trilogy

Who doesn’t love dinosaurs? Anyone? Remember back in 1993 when Steven Spielberg unleashed his magnum opus to the entire movie going world – Jurassic Park. I remember the excitement of watching this movie when I was 16 almost 17 years old, watching it in a theater that they had renovated for Surround sound and new seats in anticipation for this movie alone! And ofcourse the theatre owners would get much more than their money’s worth as Jurassic Park ran for a few months with many people coming in for repeated viewings. It was also one of the few English language movies that we saw whole families – dads, moms, kids, grandmother and perhaps a few pets – piling up in the car or family van and going to watch it. My cousin Manoj & I went to see this movie on the day of it’s release in Cochin, for the 9pm show, and we almost didn’t get tickets. We ended by paying a scalper almost twice the amount for the seats but it was worth it.

So nothing much needed in terms of the story – eccentric billionaire John Hammond has created a dinosaur park on an previously uninhabited island, with dinosaurs that his scientists cloned from the¬†DNA¬†extracted from insects preserved in prehistoric¬†amber. He invites ¬†Dr. Ian Malcolm, a mathematician, a paleontologist Dr. Alan Grant and paleobotanist Dr. Ellie Sattler to visit the park before it’s official opening. At the park during a tour things go wrong when a greedy head computer programmer tries to sell some embryos to one of Hammond’s rivals and deactivates the security system, thinking that he will go deliver the samples and get back in time to fix the system again.¬† However his jeep gets stuck in the rain & mud and he is killed by a dilophosaurus. The rest of the people, which include Hammond’s grandkids, in the park have to survive the attacks of the dinosaurs, including a T-rex and velociraptors and in the end only the 3 scientists, the kids and Hammond get off the island.

In 2007’s Jurassic Park II: The Lost World 4 years have passed since the incident of the first movie. Hammond has lost control of his company to his nephew & on a deserted island,¬†dinosaurs¬†have secretly survived and been allowed to roam free. His nephew forms a team to bring the animals back to the mainland for creating revenue. Hammond sends a smaller team with Dr. Malcolm & his girlfriend paleontologist Sarah Harding and to help leave it as a¬†nature preserve. The facilities on the island have been mostly destroyed by a massive hurricanes. Their camp is attacked and they have fend for themselves on the island being attacked by velociraptors. The InGen team led by Ludlow which they spot chasing and capturing several dinosaur species such as¬† Parasaurolophus,¬† Pachycephalosaurus,¬† Gallimimus¬†and¬†Mamenchisaurus but a¬†Triceratops¬†destroys the camp and the dinosaurs escape. InGen does capture a T-rex and it’s infant and carries it by ship to San Diego.

At the docks in San Diego, the ship crashes and Malcolm & Harding find the people in it all dead. A guard inadvertently opens the cargo hold releasing the Tyrannosaurus, which escapes into the neighborhood, then into the city, and creates havoc. Using its infant, which was shipped separately, to lure the mother T-rex, Malcolm and Sarah manage to tranquilize the adult before it can escape again and seal it in the hold. The next day, Malcolm, Sarah and Kelly watch television reports of the cargo ship on its way back to Isla Sorna, surrounded by a convoy of naval vessels.

That brings us to Jurassic Park III – the only one not directed by Spielberg (though he was an Executive Director) or based on a Michael Chricton novel. A rich divorced couple tricks Dr. Grant to join them on a trip, along with¬†Grant’s assistant Billy Brennan, to Isla Sonar to help them find their son, who went missing while para-sailing near the island. The boy, who is into dinosaurs and a fan of Dr. Grant survives on his wits and using his knowledge of the creatures based on Dr. Grant’s books. Their plane however crashes when they are attacked by a¬†Spinosaurus¬† (bigger than a T-Rex) that comes crashing through the trees. The team, which includes a couple of mecenaries, escape from the creature only to run into a male T-rex ¬†which pursues them back to the¬†Spinosaurus. The two predators proceed to battle each other and the¬†Spinosaurus¬†kills the¬†Tyrannosaurus¬†by snapping its neck as the group escapes. The group comes across a derelict¬†InGen¬†laboratory. After exploring the compound, they are attacked by a¬†Velociraptor. The group traps the raptor, which calls for help as the group leaves the building.

Outside they are pursued by a raptor pack and one of the mercenaries is killed. Dr. Grant is separated and surrounded by raptors but is rescued from them by Eric, who uses gas grenades to disperse the pack. Eric & Grant reunites with the rest of the group and manage to just escape from being killed by the spinosaur by going into a building. Grant finds that Billy stole two eggs from the raptor nest in hopes of using them to fund their digging. The group then sets out for a boat docked at a nearby river and are attacked by Pteranodons. The group escapes onto the boat, but while navigating down the river, the Spinosaurus emerges from the water and attacks them. They ingnite the oil in the boat to drive the dinosaur away. the group is rescued the next day at the beach by, Marine helicopters and infantry arrive, who were alerted to the island by Dr. Grant calling Ellie using the satellite phone.

Thus ends 3 epic movies about man playing ‘god’ and going against nature and trying to bring back to life & control a species he has no business with. Or being alive on the same planet with them. Enjoyable and entertaining although the sequels pales in comparison with the first one. But a movie franchise no kid or adult should stay away from.

Share A Favorite Summer Memory

I remember one summer holidays which I spent in Coimbatore with my cousins Manoj, Sandhya & Navin and their parents. They lived in Coimbatore for a few years between 1986 and 1991. The summer I was with them must have been 1989 and that was the also around the time that Manoj & I discovered Guns n’Roses. We were both huge hard rock fans; I still am but I am not so sure about him now as I really don’t know what all stuff he listens to now.¬† I spent around 4 weeks or so with them in their rented place in Coimbatore. Which was a 3 bedroom plus den kinda apartment house. Manoj & I slept on mattresses in the living room as we watched movies till all hours of the night.

I have fond memories of those days. The four of us kids would spend the day yakking our heads off probably driving their mom nuts. She was a saint, always looking for goodies to cook up for us while we either played games or watched tapes of recorded music videos that they got from their friends in the UK (my cousins were all born in the UK and raised there with the exception of a few years that they lived in India). So we sang in harmony (badly at that) with the songs that we loved and must have competed for air guitar solos and rock god poses. The only reprieve we gave their mom was when we went to a local library nearby – I distinctly remember reading a few Astrix comics that year and some novels. But during the afternoons and evenings post dinner it was movies.

My three cousins introduced me to the brilliance of the comedy duo Abbott & Costello and I love them for that. When I recently watched some of the movies towards the end of last year I remembered those days spent in that apartment living room, laughing our asses off, rolling on the sofas with laughter filling the air. I also remembered some of the silly kid stuff – Manoj & Sandhya fighting for the nth time and he insulting her with “You are so dumb, you don’t know what 2+2 = is?” and silly girl (she was 12 at the time) haughtily replying “I know, I know…..5!” (no Sandhya) and all four of us laughing at her dumb mistake! Good times, I will always hold those memories close to my heart as long as I have life in me.

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Criminal Minds – Season 4

We start immediately from the tense ending of season 3 and it is revealed that the SUV where the bomb blew up was the one in which Agent Hotcher & his friend SSA Kate Joyner. Kate is injured and bleeding badly due to the explosion and cannot be moved due to her injuries. Hotch has minor cuts & bruises and his hearing is affected due to being very close to the loud explosion. The team manages to track the terrorists before they can kill their target. Next they go to Ohio to stop a copycat killer connected to a serial killer named the Angel Maker who had been executed a year ago. Hotch struggles with his ear problem, a result of the explosion in the previous episode. The 3rd episode sees Prentiss & Dr. Reid go undercover in Colorado to investigate alleged child abuse at the compound of an underground cult and find themselves being held hostage when a federal raid on the fortress ends up going disastrously wrong, with guest star Luke Perry playing the leader of the cult. Next the team has to catch a serial killer, Will Wheaton, who tortures and kills couples inside hotel bedrooms and conceals the manner of his crimes by staging car accidents.

With JJ off on maternal leave, Agent Jordan Too (the lovely Meta Golding) temporarily joins the BAU. Reid begins to have dreams that force him to recall long-forgotten memories from his childhood as he investigates the case of a young boy kidnapped by a woman suffering a psychotic attack. He discovers possible connections to his own past, including his own father. While the rest of the team head back to D.C., Rossi and Morgan stay in Las Vegas to help Reid solve the case once and for all. A¬†narcissistic¬†psychopath obsessed with the¬†Fibonacci sequence¬†shows up at a FBI recruitment talk given by Rossi and Reid and turns himself in, confessing he has killed seven people and more will die, but doesn’t reveal where his latest victims are being held, so it’s up to the team to locate his latest victims before it is too late.

Jordan joins Emily to go undercover in¬†Atlanta¬†to profile a serial killer who has perfected his skill as a pick-up artist and uses his masculine prowess to lure his next victims. The BAU is then called to assist in the catching of a serial killer, dubbed the “Road Warrior” by the media, who is shooting blonde women as they drive along freeways in¬†Orange County, California. The case is complicated because the heinous acts appear to be at random. The team also tackles a family of Romani origin working together in what may be a ritual seemingly designed to acquire wives for growing sons and introduce new blood into the family. This is Jordan’s last appearance in the series. Then the team has to identify a serial killer who kidnaps, murders, and¬†embalms¬†his victims to spend more time with them, also to assist in the pursuit of a serial killer who appears to be copying the methods used by famous serial killers from the past such as the¬†Son of Sam,¬†Jack the Ripper¬†and the¬†BTK killer and goto to Dallas to investigate a serial killer who’s drugging and murdering high-powered executives by posing as a high-class¬†call girl.

The BAU then has to investigates a series of deaths involving possible¬†exorcisms¬†in the Washington area that appear to be sanctioned by the¬†Vatican. Prentiss finds herself becoming personally involved in the case when it appears her friend might have fallen victim to the rogue priest. The BAU travels to Boston when the Boston Reaper, one of Agent Hotchner’s first cases, which involved one of the most notorious murderers in the history of¬†New England, returns after 10 years. The team interviews the only victim that survived, George Foyet (C. Thomas Howell), to find clues about the killer. Later we learn that Foyet is the Reaper, but he escapes. Next it’s off to¬†Texas¬†to investigate a serial killer who is raping and killing male teenagers on spring break on¬†South Padre Island.¬†When a serial killer in¬†Buffalo, New York¬†who films his victims as they die sends a videotape of one of his crimes to the BAU, the team discovers a message from the murderer begging them for help in stopping his killing urges.

In one of it’s most difficult cases the team goes to Detroit to help track down a serial killer who is killing homeless people who forces the team into Canada to catch him. Loosely based on a real life case, in Canada they learn that the serial killer they were looking for is a pair of brothers who were kidnapping people to perform medical experiments on them. The invalid but controlling older brother directs his younger but larger brother to kidnap the people and kill them during the experiments. At the end of solving the case, Hotch finds himself in life-threatening danger when he arrives home to find the Reaper waiting for him. He is shot and left for dead.

Hello Woman Of My Dreams

A couple of nights ago I had this rather sweet dream. But it made me sad & left a longing in my heart once I woke up. The dream I had must have started around the early hours of the morning cause I woke up at around 6:30 am.

I was in a house, with a large living room opening onto the dinning area and the kitchen at one end. The ceiling was quite high and the place was like a half duplex with the stair leading to three bedrooms on the second floor. It was around late evening and I was getting the dinning room ready, placing plates of snacks and a huge pitcher of lemonade with ice and some glasses on the dinning table. As I placed the plates on the table, a woman walked in from the kitchen with a couple of more plates. She was my wife. I can’t say that I have seen this woman in real life or if I have I can’t remember but she is sweet as can be. Pretty, petite, fair and with the cutest nose you have ever seen. It was obvious that I was quite fond of her.

As she passed I got a whiff of her perfume and I wanted to take her in my arms. But we were expecting my cousin and his wife for the evening & she was still getting dinner ready. No time for fooling around. Oh who am I kidding – no way was I not gonna grab her in my arms and kiss her. She protested mildly and then laughed as I kissed her ears and nose and then her lips. She returned my kiss and told me to behave as our guests could be in at any moment. I ran my hand through her hair and kissed her forehead. Soon she went to put the final touches on dinner, while I went to check the scores of the football game on the telly. My cousins reached within minutes and they came in. I remember us having some laughs and some food and enjoying a nice evening. But all throughout the time I kept thinking of being alone with my wife.

After I woke up I had this feeling of having lost something. I missed this woman, I felt as if she was real. In my dream I could actually feel her touch and her body against my skin. I know I am lonely and these kind of dreams are only creating more longing in my heart and increasing my loneliness. Had the ship sailed on me, leaving me stranded behind on a deserted lonely island where it’s just me and my shadow? I dunno.

Diary Of The Dead

Ok I admit it. I wasn’t that big into zombie movies for the longest time. I have seen a few but The Walking Dead has turned me into a zombie lover and I needed some zombie fix to carry me on during this gap until season 3 of that great series begins. So I got this movie – Diary Of The Dead released in 2007 as the 5th of George A. Romero’s zombie films. Shot in Canada and with a mostly Canadian cast, it’s not a sequel rather just a re-tweeking of the myth. The film follows a bunch of young film students who were making a horror movie at the time of the outbreak of the and who decided to document the zombies as they are attacked & chased by them.

The film stars Michelle Morgan (beautiful Michelle who I first saw in 2 episodes of Stargate Atlantis), Shawn Roberts, Joshua Close & Amy Lalonde. The movie starts off with footage of a tv news crew who are covering a story about an immigrant man killing his wife and son before committing suicide. As the bodies are being taken out to an ambulance, they begin to reanimate and they attack and kill a medic & the reporter before they are killed by the cops. This news was never reported by the camera secretly uploaded the clip to the internet. Most of the movie is narrated by Debra (Michelle Morgan). We see a group of film students making a horror movie in the woods near Pittsburgh when they hear reports of mass killings, rioting & suicide. The kids are shocked by the news of cannabilism and  they decide to leave the area and go to their homes.

Two of the students, Ridley and Francine, decide to leave the group, while project director Jason, who wants to film the events documentary-style, heads to the dormitory of his girlfriend Debra. Debra is unable to contact her parents and wants to go to Scranton to see them. They group travels in an RV and on the way and see an accident on the road and Mary, who is driving the RV, has to drive over a re-animated cop and 3 other zombies. As they stop on the side of the road, unable to bear the fact of killing people, Mary shoots herself but does not die. The rest take her to a hospital which they find deserted except for the dead who have turned into zombies and they are forced to kill them, including Mary who has also becomes one. One of the students, Gordo, is bitten by a zombie. After Gordo dies, his girlfriend Tracy begs the group not to shoot him immediately; she is ultimately forced to shoot him herself when he comes back as a zombie. The students leave and keep riding but when their RV is sidelined when the fuel line is broken.

They get assistance from a elderly deaf Amish man but are attacked by zombies and the man is killed. Tracy is able to fix the RV but they are stopped by an armed gang. Better armed and supplied,¬† the gang takes the students to their hideout where the group rest and edit their videos. Meanwhile the news is heavily censored and a cover up is running on the lines of keeping people in check and avoid widespread panic. The only true news comes from bloggers on the internet. Debra also receives a text from her younger brother, who verifies that he and their parents where camping in¬†West Virginia¬†and are now on their way home. With some supplies from the gang, the students hit the road again and at Debra’s house, they find her mother and brother reanimated and her father being consumed. Escaping from the house they head to Ridley’s mansion, which the find abandoned. However a bookcase opens up to a panic room and Ridley steps out.

He reveals that all his family & staff turned into zombies. The bodies were dumped into the large family pool where the zombies are reanimated but are underwater. Ridley soon turns into a zombie and hunts the rest; he¬† kills Eliot by electrocuting him in the bathtub, then attacks Tracy and Jason at the RV, before Jason distracts Ridley long enough for Tracy to knock him out. She then runs to the RV and drives away, angry at Jason for filming rather than helping. Jason doesn’t believe surviving in this world is worth it and decides to stay and continue shooting. Ridley returns and infects Jason. Maxwell kills Ridley, and Debra shoots Jason. Debra decides to continue the video. In the morning they awake to see zombies beginning to emerge their way to the mansion. The only remaining survivors, Maxwell, Tony & Debra lock themselves in the panic room and they watch the last thing that Jason had downloaded from the net – a shooting zombies of people they previously left tied to trees, leaving them to die and reanimate and using them as shooting targets.

Debra muses at the end of the movie if the human race is worth saving. With this introspective bit the movie ends. Good for all zombie fans. 7 outta 10!

Indian Demo-Crazy : Free Speech Be Damned!

The Indian Government could force a number of websites like Google, it’s video sharing service Youtube & social networks sites like Facebook & Twitter to introduce local servers in India, as the country‚Äôs government seeks to better regulate ‚Äėobjectionable content‚Äô on the Internet. Now for those of you who proudly declare India to be the world’s largest democracy – take a moment to let that sink in. Then hang your head in shame!

According to a report from Hindustan Times, ‚Äúthe option is already in process‚ÄĚ with India‚Äôs¬†union law ministry, which is looking into a solution that would see the likes of Facebook, Twitter, Google and YouTube asked to set up servers to handle content from the country‚Äôs Web space. High level politicians have raised the issue of removing ‘objectionable & offending content’ from these sites.¬†Home secretary RK Singh is said to have suggested that the US develop a system to catch unsuitable Web content instantly, or within a specific period of time, to help cut down on ‚Äúmala fide‚ÄĚ postings. While such a request seems¬†optimistic, Singh told Lute that, if the US is unable to address the issue of managing content itself, India could require the Web firms to comply with the server request. However, the US politician‚Äôs responses are not known, at this stage.

I have a suggestion – the so called ‘objectionable content’ is often related to politics & religion, two strange bedfellows. Perhaps the politicians and religious fucktards could clean up their act and not provide us with the aforementioned content which is what we sometimes share across these social networking sites!!

A Good Biography / Memoir

Hmm funny enough I haven’t read that many biographies or memoirs but I actually find them very interesting and would like to read more. The very first one I read, and I remember this so well cause the book is something that I¬† hold very dear to me, is My Life & Game which tennis legend Bjorn Borg co-wrote along with the writer Eugene Scott. Published in 1980, it is a fascinating read in which Borg tells us his story from his childhood, to how he won his first real tennis racquet, to playing in the juniors and then on turning professional. He writes a lot about the events and things that happened to him uptil 1980. By the time the book was published, Borg had won his 5th French Open title and also won his 5th consecutive Wimbledon title.

He talks about his rivals, his friends, some great matches and tournaments. His endorsement deals are showcased. One of things I remember well is how he explains his initial emotional outbursts on losing badly during the junior years and how his coach smacked some sense into him. He wrote about being embarrassed about his behaviour and that led him to change his demenour and outlook and a legend was born – Borg the professional player was known for his stoic approach, barely any emotional displays and reported to have “ice” flowing in his veins aka the IceBorg nickname! The book also talks¬† about his romance with Romanian player Mariana Simionescu (who he later divorced) in July 1980.

Although I have since read a few more biographies/ memoirs, this one stands out as it was the first one I read. I was 11 when I started getting into liking & watching tennis and I got this book, along with a few others, back in 1988. I must have read this from cover to cover atleast 20 times. I think I sold this book along with a whole bunch of other just before I moved houses. But I always tend to remember this one very well.

Meet Melissa Version 2.0

Well you guys remember that on the 4th of this month I had got a BlackBerry phone? I had a white BlackBerry Bold 9780 delivered to my house and was quite happy with it. But it turns out that it was defective. Well out of 500 order by my friend it turns out that 3 or 4 were faulty. It took just 3 days for me to start having problems. Turns out that when the phone was unlocked some OS issue happened and the phone just froze on Sunday 8th April and refused to reboot no matter how many times I tried. After contacting my friend, I was able to get in touch with the store owner who has shipped the 500 BBs and he asked me to try and get the OS reinstalled, which I did. I visited Reddington (official BlackBerry service centers) and they reinstalled the OS for me. But they also pointed out that there was a problem with the panel of the phone and to ask for a replacement.

On Tuesday I spoke to both my friend and the store owner and it was decided that I would get a replacement phone. I couriered the white phone back to the store which took 3 days and then I had to wait till this Wednesday for them to get me my replacement. They had run out of white and so I said that I would take a black one instead. I received the package today. Look at her all coy & shy still in the bubble wrap.

I must admit that black certainly seems to be the way to go when you buy a BlackBerry phone. The white was cute & sweet but the black looks a lot more sleeker and streamlined. This is the first black BlackBerry I have ever owned. I did like the white one but if there was a problem with it, I didn’t want to be stuck with it. So anyways, the replacement works like a charm and I’m happy. I’ve been charging her on my laptop and I’ve installed some of the stuff I need and configured my emails, Facebook, Twitter, Gtalk, WordPress and now BBM remains.

I really like the look of the phone. I’m not going to call her by another name. This is Melissa v 2.0. Say hi to her, she’s a beauty.