Arsenal 4 Reading 1

I haven’t watched a full live match in a few weeks since I tend to go out on Saturday nights and hence stick to Sunday matches or highlights. Last night I sat back to watch a live streaming of the Arsenal vs Reading match. Arsenal maintained their push for a top-four finish with a comfortable victory that sent Reading bottom of the Premier League on goal difference. Gervinho opened the scoring with a close-range finish from Santi Cazorla’s cross-come-shot as Arsenal dominated.

Cazorla curled in after half-time before Olivier Giroud drilled a third. Reading reduced the deficit through Hal Robson-Kanu’s header, but Mikel Arteta secured the points with a penalty after a foul on Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain. Arsenal had many more chances to increase their advantage, but the result was never in doubt. They stay fifth in the table but are now just two points behind fourth-placed Chelsea, who were beaten at Southampton, and four behind third-placed Tottenham, over whom the resurgent Gunners have a game in hand. Arsene Wenger’s side have won five of their last six Premier League games and their confidence was apparent against a Reading side who would have done little to impress their new manager Nigel Adkins. Arsenal after 30 games sit at 5th place on 53 points, just two behind Chelsea and 4 points behind Tottenham who sit in 3rd place.

The Hobbit : An Unexpected Journey

Based on J R R Tolkien’s 1937 novel The Hobbit and serving as a prequel to the Lord Of The Rings trilogy (also based on his novel The Lord Of The Rings), The Hobbit : An Unexpected Journey is the first of another trilogy set in Middle Earth and which brings much happiness to us fans of the universe and Tolkien’s books. Directed by¬†Peter Jackson the movie’s screenplay was written by Jackson, his longtime collaborators¬†Fran Walsh¬†and¬†Philippa Boyens¬†(who also co-wrote¬†The Lord of the Rings), and¬†Guillermo del Toro, who was originally chosen to direct the film before leaving the project in 2010.

The movie has grossed over $1 billion at the box office, surpassing both The Fellowship of the Ring and The Two Towers nominally and was nominated for three Academy Awards for Best Visual Effects, Best Production Design, and Best Makeup and Hairstyling. It was also nominated for three BAFTA Awards. Here are some of my points from the movie:

  • The movie & the triology is set 60 years before the events of the Lord Of The Rings and is set up as 111 year old Bilbo Baggins writing down the full story of the adventure he had 60 years earlier, for the benefit of his nephew¬†Frodo (a brief appearance by Elijah Wood). A much younger Bilbo was invited by Gandalf to join the wizard & 13 dwarves¬†led by¬†Thorin Oakenshield¬†(Richard Armitage) on a quest across¬†Middle-earth¬†to reclaim the Lonely Mountain from¬†Smaug¬†the¬†dragon. Much hilarity occurs when the dwarves arrive at Bilbo’s home for a dinner party.
  • Smaug kills many men and women in the nearby town and Thorin, grandson of King of the¬†Lonely Mountain Thror is also angry by the fact that though the wood-Elves were nearby and saw the destruction unfolding, they left rather than come to the aid of the Dwarves.
  • The party are attacked by trolls who almost eat them but are turned to stone when their feast is delayed and Gandalf ¬†exposes the Trolls to sunlight. They search the Trolls’ cave and find treasure and Elven blades. Thorin and Gandalf each take an Elf-made blade‚ÄĒOrcrist¬†and¬†Glamdring, respectively‚ÄĒwith the latter finding an¬†Elven shortsword, which he gives to Bilbo. They next meet up with Radagast the Brown, a wizard who is an old friend of Gandalf. Radagast tells them an encounter at¬†Dol Guldur, an abandoned area, with a¬†Necromancer who has been corrupting the forest with dark magic.
  • The group is then attacked by Orcs riding wargs (huge wolves like creatures) and Radagast tries to cover them using his speedy rabbits but the group is outnumbers. Gandalf leads the company through a stone passage to¬†Rivendell¬†as the Wargs and Orcs are slain by Elven riders led by¬†Lord Elrond (Hugo Weaving). At Rivendell, post the discovery of hidden¬†writing on Thorin’s map, Gandalf had a meeting with Elrond, Sauroman & Galadriel in which he tells them about the Necromancer and the threat he poses if he attempt to use Smaug for his evil purposes. Saruman is skeptical, not believing the Necromancer to be a true threat.
  • The dwarves & Bilbo leave Rivendell without Gandalf (as planned) and ¬†journeys into the¬†Misty Mountains, where they find themselves amid a colossal battle between Stone¬†Giants. While resting in a cave they are soon ¬†captured by¬†Goblins, who take them to their leader, the¬†Great Goblin. Bilbo is separated from the rest but finds himself in an underground section where he encounters¬†Gollum, who accidentally drops a¬†mysterious ring¬†while killing a stray Goblin to eat. Bilbo pockets the ring and is confronted by Gollum, who is unaware of the loss of his precious ring. They play a riddle game, wagering that Bilbo will be shown the way out if he wins or eaten by Gollum if he loses. After riddling each other back and forth several times, Bilbo eventually wins by asking Gollum what he has in his pocket. Not knowing the answer but later realizing that he lost the ring, Gollum suspects that Bilbo possesses it and attacks the hobbit. Bilbo discovers that the ring grants him invisibility and evades a furious Gollum.
  • The Dwarvs fight their way out from the Goblin’s lair with Gandalf’s help and a huge battle ensues. Bilbo kicks is way past Gollum and joins up the rest but doesn’t reveal that he has the ring with him. The group have barely time to rest as the Orcs have made their way to the area and attack them. Heading the pack is the Orc king Azog,¬†¬†who beheaded Thr√≥r and lost his forearm to Thorin in¬†battle¬†outside the Dwarven kingdom of¬†Moria. The group take shelter in the trees but are attacked by numerous wargs who break the trees. Thorin leaves to fight Azog, but is defeated and knocked to the ground by his mace and set upon by his warg. Bilbo saves Thorin from the Orcs just as the company is rescued by the¬†Eagles¬†who fly them to the safety of a large cliff. Gandalf heals Thorin, who immediately acknowledges the bravery of Bilbo. As the group look out in the distance they see the Lonely Mountain.
  • As the film ends, a thrush carrying a snail in it’s beak flies to the walls of the castle on Lonely Mountain knocks its shell against the mountainside, awakening the sleeping Smaug, who is lying beneath a golden hoard. As the credits roll, a beautiful song by Neil Finn – “Song of the Lonely Mountain” – plays.

I just have to give this film a 9 outta 10! Slightly longish but that’s ok.

The X-Files ‚Äď Season 5

At the end of¬†fourth season, Scully is dying of cancer. Mulder is convinced that her condition is a result of her earlier abduction, and is prepared to make a deal with the¬†Syndicate¬†to find a cure. While being pursued by an assassin responsible for a hoax alien corpse discovered on a mountaintop, Mulder fakes his own suicide, mutilating the assassin’s face to provide a decoy body.¬†In the fifth season opener “Redux”, he uses the distraction this offers to infiltrate¬†The Pentagon¬†to find a cure for Scully’s cancer, while Scully is able to uncover and reveal a Syndicate connection within the FBI. Due to the information he learns from¬†Michael Kritschgau¬†(John Finn), Mulder loses his belief in extraterrestrials. Later, as a¬†rebel alien race¬†secretly attacks several groups of former¬†alien abductees, the agents meet¬†Cassandra Spender¬†(Veronica Cartwright), a woman who claims to be a multiple abductee and wants to deliver a positive message about aliens.[5][6]¬†Eventually, Mulder has Scully put under hypnosis to learn the truth about her abduction after Cassandra goes missing and her son,Jeffrey Spender¬†(Chris Owens), angrily attempts to push his way up in the FBI. The Syndicate, meanwhile, quicken their tests for the¬†black oil¬†vaccine, sacrificing their own to do so. Later, the assassination of a¬†chess grandmaster¬†leads Mulder and Scully into an investigation that they soon discover strikes at the heart of the X-Files; they learn that the real target was a telepathic boy named¬†Gibson Praise¬†(Jeff Gulka).

This season has a lot of stand out episodes which make it the best season overall. The origins of the Lone Gunmen are explored. In 1989, two salesmen and a federal employee join forces when they meet Susanne Modeski, a woman who claims that she is being pursued by her violent ex-boyfriend, an FBI agent named Fox Mulder. We learn how agent Mulder came to meet three friendly and familiar faces. On the way to an FBI convention in Florida, Mulder and Scully stop to help in the investigation of the mysterious disappearance of three people in the woods, where a pair of invisible humanoids lurk. Filmed in black-and-white, Mulder and Scully‚Äôs investigate a letter from a single mother that leads them to a small town where a modern-day version of¬† Frankenstein’s monster¬†lurks,¬†Jerry Springer¬†is an obsession, and¬†Cher¬†plays a significant part. Home for the holidays, Scully is haunted by dreams which hint at a strange connection to a murdered woman‚Äôs daughter. Scully fights to protect her daughter‚Äôs life, while Mulder discovers her true origins. When¬†‘Pusher’ Modell¬†escapes from prison, Mulder and Scully race to catch him before he can take revenge against his favorite target¬†‚Äď Agent Mulder. When a teenager is suspected of murdering his father, Mulder and Scully become convinced that a greater evil may be lurking in the community. Scully takes a vacation to Maine, where she encounters a bizarre case where the victims appear to have inflicted wounds upon themselves¬†‚Äď apparently at the behest of a strange young girl. This episode was co-written by famous horror writer Stephen King. It carries the alternate title of “Bunghoney” in some sources.

While investigating the strange circumstances of the death of a reclusive computer genius rumored to have been researching artificial intelligence, Mulder and Scully become targets of an unlikely killer capable of the worst kind of torture. The episode was co-written by¬†cyberpunk¬†pioneers William Gibson and Tom Maddox. While investigating bizarre exsanguinations in Texas, Mulder kills a teenage boy whom he “mistakes” for a vampire. Awaiting a meeting with Skinner, Mulder and Scully attempt to get their stories ‚Äústraight‚ÄĚ by relating to each other their differing versions of what happened during their investigation. In 1990, a bizarre murder leads young agent Fox Mulder to question a former FBI Agent who investigated one of the first X-Files dating back to the 1950s¬†‚Äď a case which may have involved Mulder‚Äôs father. Agents Mulder and Scully investigate a murder that seems to have been committed by a blind woman, but Mulder suspects that her involvement is not what it seems. The unexplained death of a young handicapped girl prompts Father McCue to ask Scully for her help, but her investigation leads her to a mystery she’s afraid to understand. Scully begins to grow suspicious of Mulder, whose increasingly strange behavior suggests he may be serving another agenda. Mulder and Scully encounter a delusional man who believes his boss may be a monster¬†‚Äď and is willing to pay any price to prove it. Investigating the murder of a chess player, Mulder and Scully meet a boy who may be the embodiment of everything in the X-Files. This episode marks the first appearance of¬†Diana Fowley¬†(Mimi Rogers).

This was the last season to be shot in Vancouver and the production was moved to Los Angeles.

RIP Robert Zildjian

Robert Zildjian (14 July 1923 – 27 March 2013) was the founder of Sabian Cymbals, the 2nd largest manufacturer of cymbals in the world. Zildjian was born in Boston, Massachusetts and belonged to the Zildjian family, which brought the technology of cymbal making from their ancestral homeland in the capital city of modern Turkey to the United States by Armenian Avedis Zildjian, and then passed it on to future generations of family members. The company was founded in 1981 in Meductic, New Brunswick, Canada, by Robert Zildjian, son of Avedis Zildjian III, the head of the Avedis Zildjian Company located in Quincy, Massachusetts.

Family tradition had it that the head of the company would pass its secrets down only to the oldest son, but Avedis III gave the information to both his sons, Armand and Robert. A family feud resulted in Robert leaving Zildjian to form the rival Sabian Cymbals company. The companies continue to be rivals, and are both among the world’s most popular cymbal brands. Sabian cymbals have been used by many famous drummers in the world, including Chad Smith of the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Neil Peart of Rush, and drumming legend Mike Portnoy, formerly of progressive metal giants Dream Theater. Zildjian remained active in management until recently, spending most of the summer in a cottage in Meductic, New Brunswick near the main production facility. Sabian is an acronym based on the combination of his three children’s names, Sally, Bill, and Andy.

Robert Zildjian (14 July 1923 – 27 March 2013)

Calgary Trades Iginla To Pittsburgh

The Calgary Flames have traded Jarome Iginla to the Pittsburgh Penguins. A few years ago, it would have been impossible to imagine the¬† Flames without Jarome. Now, it‚Äôs reality. Iginla, the face of the Calgary Flames franchise for more than a decade and captain, was traded Wednesday to the Pittsburgh Penguins Wednesday night in exchange for a couple of forwards currently in the NCAA ranks — Kenneth Agostino and Ban Hanowski — and the 2013 first-round draft choice.

Iginla, who was acquired in the 1995 trade that sent then captain Joe Nieuwendyk to the Dallas Stars, would end his Flames career with 525 goals, 570 assists for 1,095 points in 1,219 regular season games. He has twice won the Maurice ‚ÄúRocket‚ÄĚ Richard Trophy, claimed the Art Ross Trophy in 2001-02 and the Leaster B. Pearson Trophy in 2001-02 ‚Äď the players‚Äô award for most valuable player. The deal is the start of a much-needed rebuild for a team which appears destined to miss the playoffs for a fourth consecutive season, and been criticized around the hockey world for seemingly being unwilling to go away from icing a veteran-laden team while other clubs are turning to more and more younger players.

With the trade, he joins a Pittsburgh team that’s a legitimate Stanley Cup contender and can team up with Sidney Crosby, with whom he combined for the golden goal at the 2010 Olympic Winter Games. Other players who could be potentially dealt include defencemen Jay Bouwmeester and Mark Giordano, forwards Lee Stempniak, Alex Tanguay and even Curtis Glencross, who also has a no-trade clause. As sad as it to see a committed player & beloved by the fans leaving a team he had always intended to stick around with for the entirity of his career, the Flames badly need to shake things up and rebuild. I fully expect the team to be very active in the summer, making a lot of trades and trying to go for younger players and prospects from the juniors.

Them Three Wishes

You have been granted three wishes. The caveat is that you cannot wish for anything for yourself. What do you wish for?

Ok, so a genie or some such mythical creature, that I have somehow invoked, is going to grant me 3 wishes and I can wish for any three wishes except that it cannot be for myself – what kind of stupid ass genie is this? Is this from the retarded Arabian Nights and not the original authentic storyline? Geeze, I get 3 wishes but cannot do anything for myself directly! So what shall I wish for? Don’t rush me!

Wish # 1 : I wish that all religions & religious beliefs to be chucked out of human¬†consciousness. Thereby every human becomes humanists and go out of their way to help one another. No more wars based on religious differences and all that crap. All humans are treated equally and woman’s rights are upheld and no such issues arise.

Wish # 2 : People get more involved in science, building a better world and bettering ourselves. The jobs for money and wealth is pushed out the window. Instead we work for a safer & more¬†environment¬†friendly world for us and for the generations ahead of us. The search for alternative fuel sources is enhanced and we ensure that we can feed, cloth, medicate & provide shelter for the entire world’s population. We also find ways to replicate food, water and other essential materials so we never have short supply of anything.

Wish # 3 : Space exploration for all. Just like Star Trek. Make Star Trek a reality. Ooh and make the entire earth’s population immortal. ¬†That indirectly means me as well but what the heck? It’s my wish!

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RIP Sukumari

Malayalam cinema lost an iconic figure and an extremel talented and beloved actress as Sukumari passed away today. The 74 year old versatile character & comedic actress passed away at a private hospital in Chennai following a heart attack. The veteran star of Tamil and Malayalam cinema was admitted to the hospital for burn injuries that she suffered a month ago.

Sukumari has acted in Malayalam and Tamil films mainly since she was 10 years old. She was born in Nagercoil, Tamilnadu in 1940. Sukumari is a first cousin of the Travancore Sisters, Lalitha, Padmini and Ragini (their mothers are sisters). The total number of her films is presumed to be about 2500. She has also done movies in Telugu as well. In 2003, she was awarded the Padma Shri by the Government of India for her contributions towards the arts. In 2010, she won the National Film Award for Best Supporting Actress for her role in Namma Gramam (2010), a bilingual in Tamil and Malayalam.

She has donned the role of mother, grandmother, aunt and many other to various actors in the stardom. My first memory and fondest is of her in the Anglo-Indian and oddly named Miss Dick called Dickammayi by the other characters in Boeing Boeing, a moody chef whose ex-military husband eloped and married her sister. Similarly my next favourite character that she portrayed was as Maggie Aunty in Vandanam.

She will be sorely missed for her acting talent and her comedic presence. RIP Dickammayee!

This Is 40

If you have seen the 2007 hit Knocked Up, you’d recognize the couple who play the lead in this movie (and not just the actors). This Is 40 was¬†written, co-produced and directed by¬†Judd Apatow, who also helmed Knocked Up and stars¬†stars¬†Paul Rudd¬†and¬†Leslie Mann, who played the supporting roles of Deb & Peter in the previous film.¬†The film follows the lives of middle-aged married couple Pete and Debbie as they each turn 40, with their jobs and daughters adding stress to their relationship. Returning as their daughters are¬†Maude Apatow &¬†Iris Apatow who are now ages 13 & 8 respectively. Albert Brooks, Jason Segal, Megan Fox, John Lithgow & Chris O’Dowd also have supporting roles in this comedy.

The movie is a comedic look at the family and especially Peter & Debbie and the changes that happen as you turn 40. Debbie is not happy that Peter used a viagra before they had sex and makes him stop, angered at the fact that they are growing older. They spend a weekend celebrating her 40th birthday, doing things that she wants and also go on a wild weekend to a resort where they get high off of “special cookies”, and fantasize out loud about ways they would kill each other. After speaking to her friends¬†Jason (Jason Segel) and Barb,¬†Debbie decides to improve her marriage and family through exercise, and becoming more connected with their parents. She tries to reconnect with her estranged biological father and invites him out for lunch. Deb makes Peter dump his cupcake habit and tells him to stop giving Peter’s layabout dad Larry (Albert Brooks) money – his dad has another wife and young triplets – and although Pete¬†goes to visit him, he is unsuccessful at giving him the news, and still agrees to give him money to support his lifestyle. Peter’s record label business is suffering and his latest act, veteran rocker Graham Parker, is not making enough sales despite heavy publicity and support from Green Day’s Billy Joel Armstrong. Debbie than finds out that she is pregnant.

Suspecting that Desi (Megan Fox) one of her employees is stealing from her boutique shop, Deb takes her out to a nightclub¬†planning to confront her with her suspicions.¬†Debbie and Desi meet several players from the¬†Philadelphia Flyers¬†hockey team at the club. Debbie awkwardly finds out that one of the players wants to hang out with her and possibly sleep with her. She is proud that he wants to have sex with her, but admits that she is married, has two kids, and is pregnant.¬†Afterwards, Debbie drops Desi off at her house, and confronts her about the money, saying she’s been taking money to buy drugs. Desi reveals she is able to afford nice things because she is also an¬†escort. Later, Debbie meets up with Jodi, who confesses that she stole the money to buy¬†Oxycontin. Debbie fires her and leaves. Meanwhile, Pete and Debbie are having to deal with Sadie and Charlotte fighting all the time, which results in arguments between the family. There’s a whole little subplot about the two kids and watching Lost and the fights between the girls are funny. As this goes on Deb’s & Peter’s relationship starts going a bit sour.

On Pete’s 40th birthday party, he argues with his dad about the money he wants from them. Debbie argues with her dad about not spending too much time in her life, and how his is perfect. Oliver then explains that his life is not perfect, and how he has always cared about her and loved her. Later, Pete overhears Debbie talking about her pregnancy, and rides out of the house on his bicycle in anger. Larry & Deb go in search of him and find Pete getting knocked out in a fight with a car owner who crashed his door against Pete.¬†Debbie and Larry take Pete to the hospital, where Larry apologizes for everything, and Debbie forgives him. Debbie and Pete talk later and Pete explains that he is actually thrilled about having a third baby, and that he doesn’t feel trapped, so the two reconcile. Sometime later, Pete and Debbie are watching a small concert with¬†Ryan Adams¬†performing. Debbie then suggests that Pete should sign him to his label and plan to talk to him as they finish watching the show.

The movie is a bit too long and goes aimlessly in some places. It’s not as funny where it should be and I feel the focus should have been more on the two of them with their daughters. It does offer some funny moments that will tickle your funny bone. But I don’t understand why a father would chose to sit in the toilet without locking the doors – Debbie walks in on him twice in the movie! 7 outta 10!

Supernatural – Season 7

As we left season Season 7 has this awesome opening in which Castiel assumes¬†his new role as God, Castiel sets out to right some of the wrongs in the world.¬†he Winchesters summon Crowley in exchange for a spell to bind Death, they summon him but Death is not pleased, Dean orders him to stop Castiel, but the former angel is one step ahead of them, leaving Dean to face an angry Death, while Sam struggles to deal with the broken wall in his mind due to memories in the cage. Castiel appears to them, confronting the brothers and prepares to kill them. Death tells Castiel that consuming every soul in¬†Purgatory¬†isn’t his only problem, Death confides that he also consumed one of God’s earliest creations, “The Leviathans” – the first beasts. Castiel breaks the binding spell due to the betrayal of Dean when he tells Death to reap him.

Eventually, Castiel disappears, Death tells the brothers that he warned them about Purgatory, and he tells them to persuade Castiel to return every soul back to Purgatory. Death then leaves. Castiel awakens in a room full of massacred individuals and believes that he is too weak and finds that he cannot control the powers of the Leviathans, and goes to the brothers for help; they re-open the door and although they send most of the souls back into Purgatory, theLeviathans¬†remain. The beasts take over Castiel’s body and claim to have killed him. Meanwhile, Sam has a vision of¬†Lucifer, who tells Sam that he didn’t truly escape, and is still in the cage — that this is just his own ultimate torture. Sam disappears, leaving Dean and Bobby to face the new threat on their own. The Leviathans confront and attack Dean and Bobby. Their intentions on Earth are yet unknown.

The rest of the season is about the Winchesters¬†facing a¬†new enemy, in the Leviathans, stronger than they have encountered so far, and everything they know, as well as rendering their weapons useless. The leader of the Leviathans takes the form of ¬†Dick Roman, a powerful businessman and president of one of the largest¬†corporates¬†in the US with a worldwide hold over various field.¬†Among the more memorable stand alone episodes is the one with two powerful witches played by James Marsters & Charisma Carpenter who prove to be too powerful for the brothers.¬†Sam and Dean are framed for a series of murder-robberies by two Leviathans that take the forms of the Winchester brothers.¬†¬†Crowley¬†then appears to¬†Dick¬†in an effort to build a partnership, but Dick harshly turns Crowley down, considering demons to be even more pathetic than humans, and hinting that he wouldn’t mind wiping them off the face of the Earth. During a raid on a Leviathan ‘s stronghold, Bobby is shot and later dies.¬†Dean has now become obsessed about hunting Dick Roman, and leaves no stone unturned in doing so. Meanwhile Sam has hallucinations of Lucifer taunting him which affects his ability to do the job.

Lucifer has driven Sam to the point of mental breakdown, because of which he is now committed to a mental institution. Dean searches for help and is led to a healer – who turns out to be Castiel¬†who now is living under the name Emanuel and works as a faith healer, and has no memory of his past life as an angel. Dean convinces him to come with him to heal Sam of his mental break down. Castiel later regains his memories and is torn apart by guilt.¬†He does the next best thing: transfers Sam’s madness and experience in Hell, to himself. So while Sam is released, Castiel stays in the hospital plagued with the visions of Lucifer. Meg takes up a job in the hospital, to support Castiel, and look after him. The brothers, back on the job, find out that Bobby’s ghost is following them, attached to the living world via his old flask. They then find a prophet in the making, Kevin Tran, when an ancient table is found inside a clay encasing awaking his abilities and Castile also wakens up. The brothers must keep Kevin & his mom safe from the demons that attack him. Dick then calls for Crowley to discuss a deal; help him get the Winchesters & he will give him Canada to do as he pleases.¬†Dean and Castiel confront Dick in the lab, but when Dean stabs him through the heart with the weapon, it fails to kill him. However, Dean reveals this to be a trick and while Castiel holds Dick in place from behind, stabs Dick through the neck with the weapon, killing him. However, Dean and Castiel disappear and Crowley betrays Sam, taking Kevin and planning to become the next major threat. Crowley also has an army of demons in the building dealing with the remaining Leviathans located there now that Dick is dead. Dean and Castiel find themselves in Purgatory surrounded by monsters and Castiel disappears on Dean.

My Childhood Room

Describe in great detail the room that you slept in when you were ten years old. What was the light like? What were the furnishings? Leave out no detail!

Takes a bit of remembering so I will stretch the ole grey cells and try and get that info out to you. At age 10 I was living in Kuwait with my family, in the same small apartment I lived in from ages 0 to 11. It was a 2 bedroom, 1 bath, 1 kitchen & living room for the 4 of us but it was a happy home.

My sister and I shared a bunk bed which was kept in the second bedroom that also served as a dining room and also where my mom & dad did their prayers – a small box like thingy held the idols of Krishna, Shiva and stuff on one corner. There was a big clock on one of the walls. The bunk bed was pushed to one corner and I always used the bottom bunk cause that’s where Teddy also rested. Teddy was my big bear that I had when I was much younger, maybe age 4, and Teddy always preferred the bottom bunk so that’s where I also slept. A simple bunk bed with bright red metal parts for the frame.

There was a big table right in the center which was to be our dining table but we usually ate in front of the tv in the living room, sitting around the big coffee table. The dining table was mainly used when we had guests over for dining and my sister and I would do our homework and studying at that table. And ofcourse it was also where I read my comics and did my ……ahem…artwork. The normal stuff that kids do.

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Flashpoint – Season 4

As we left season 3, Ed’s life was in danger, being shot at.¬†Team One races to find Ed’s shooter, while his wife has problems delivering their baby. The culprit turns out to be a man married to a military wife under duress from drug groups based in Toronto, who plan on smuggling drugs through military channels from Afghanistan. Team One pulls off a risky move to capture the culprit. Afterwards, Dr. Toth (Victor Garber) clears for duty Team One, but keeps it under probation. As he recovers from his wounds (with the vest having saved his life), Ed meets up with his wife, son & new baby. In the next episode¬†Team One has to protect a cop who incidentally shot a teenager, but was cleared of all charges. The boy’s father incites a mob, demanding justice for his son’s death. But the event soon turns to violence and a desire for vengeance.¬†The team goes after a corporate robber who streams his robberies on the Internet and has thousands of followers. However, the robber plans on making a “grand finale,” unaware that he’s being duped by the stepson of a philanthropist, posing as a teenage girl, into assassinating his neglectful father.

The SRU is called when a mother and daughter are suddenly abducted, and the only clue to the abduction could expose a dark family secret.¬†During a drug bust, one member of Team One struggles with a secret that could jeopardize the member’s career. The situation worsens when the undercover officer in the drug cartel becomes too emotionally involved with the cartel leader’s girlfriend and refuses help from Team One.¬†A new recruit, Raf (Cl√© Bennett), replaces Wordy on Valentine’s Day, traditionally one of the toughest days of the year for hostage and suicide situations. Team One splits up to defuse three cases: a suicidal widower; a mom holding her daughter’s manager of a strip club hostage; and a recently fired gunman who is obsessively infatuated with his boss. Greg directs the saving of the last victim, who later hints at a romantic interest in him.¬†Spike must leave his dying father’s bedside to help Team One defuse its largest bomb threat yet. Two smaller bombs go off in a building, trapping Spike, Raf, Sam and six other civilians underground. Spike then discovers a complex chemical bomb designed to produce a bigger explosion. The bomber is one of the civilians trapped underground, determined to get revenge after the firm he worked for framed him for selling out company secrets when their stock dropped. Spike must deactivate the bomb before it explodes.¬†Team One is called when a group of armed hijackers forces a passenger jet plane to land. As Parker tries to negotiate with the increasingly desperate criminals, the rest of Team One faces an almost impossible task‚ÄĒhow to storm the plane without anyone getting killed. With the help of brave passenger Holly McCord (Melanie Scrofano), the team races to find a solution before hijacker Sandra Moore (Joanne Boland) carries out her deadly threats.

Team One responds to a panicked 911 call: a masked gunman is threatening a group of teenagers in the Don Valley ravine and has abducted Joe Stanick. But it turns out this gunman was no stranger to the youths. Joe was the author of a viral video prank that “outed” a fellow student, Ryan Bell, triggering humiliation at school, and an explosive confrontation with his parents. Now, Ryan’s engaged in a desperate and violent journey, hoping to win back his parents’ acceptance. Ed faces a sensitive suicide intervention that hits a bit too close to home‚Ķ and Parker, inspired by Ryan’s struggle, gathers his own courage to speak the truth to the woman he loves.¬†When a ransom drop goes wrong, Team One is drawn into the dangerous world of “express kidnapping” and the nightmare of a woman haunted by the brutal experience of captivity. Meanwhile, Greg finds out about Sam and Jules’ secretly renewed relationship.¬†A gambling-addict mother (Camille Sullivan) under duress from a¬†loan shark¬†who owes money to the local crime boss, Harvey Micks, is forced to play her life away.¬†After a shooting on Donna Sabine’s wedding, Team One speculates that the attacks are retaliation made by the local crime family, the Logans, on Donna’s former undercover team. Instead, the Logans are targeting the team’s family members after their names are accidentally leaked by Donna’s former partner, who is then forced by the Logan matriarch to try to kill Donna’s newly-wedded husband.

A Chinatown gang called the Golden Dragons kidnaps a widower to force his daughter to give up the names of the various store owners building up evidence on the gang’s extortion rackets.¬†Team One races to Fletcher Stadium, where a knife-wielding robber has taken a hostage. The situation turns bloody when a security guard tries to be a hero. The guard, Gill Collins (Aaron Douglas), is an ex-cop who applied for SRU who had set up the robbery in an attempt to make himself a hero. With that plan failed, he takes Greg hostage, blaming him for his fall from grace.¬†Spike responds to a distress call from Sam’s sister and suddenly finds himself held at gunpoint by her criminal ex-boyfriend. Meanwhile, Team One responds to shots fired at a metro depot, where two men have broken in to rob it.¬†eam One defuses an explosive conflict at a high-security psychiatric hospital, only to find that a young patient, Charlie (guest star¬†Rossif Sutherland) has escaped, bent on confronting his former best friend about a hidden secret. As is turns out, Charlie, who was hospitalized for incidentally pushing a classmate to his death for bullying him, took the fall for his friend, who was the real culprit. And now his friend is poised to move out of town without clearing his name.¬†A laboratory filled with deadly anthrax samples is broken into and hostages are taken and an explosion traps Jules.Meanwhile, Parker is asked to resign or face suspension for keeping Sam and Jules‚Äô relationship a secret.

During the season four finale, Team One races to a hospital when Fire Captain Simon Griggs (guest star¬†Dylan Neal) interrupts the attempted murder of a badly burned firefighter. When they corner the suspect, the team learns he’s behind a series of deadly fires in the neighborhood. Meanwhile Fire Captain Griggs is forced to make a horrific choice‚ÄĒone that pushes him to the edge of revenge and suicide. Parker, wrestling with his own decision about his future on Team One, must convince this broken man to live. As the season ends, we see the team with their families at a family picnic, where Parker comes to a decision about his continuing with the team and decides to stay.

Beer Types – Kellerbier

Kellerbier, also Zwickelbier, is a type of German beer which is often not clarified or pasteurised. Kellerbier can be either top- or bottom-fermented. The term Kellerbier literally translates as “cellar beer”, referring to its cool lagering temperatures, and its recipe likely dates to the Middle Ages. In comparison with most of today’s filtered lagers, Kellerbier contains more of its original brewing yeast, as well as vitamins, held in suspension. As a result, it is distinctly cloudy, and is described by German producers as naturtr√ľb (naturally cloudy). Kellerbier and Zwickelbier are often served directly from the barrel (for example, in a beer garden) or bottled.

Originally the term Zwickelbier, which is often used to describe a weaker and less full-flavored Kellerbier, was used to refer to the small amount of beer taken by a brewmaster from the barrel with the aid of a special siphon called the Zwickelhahn. Nowadays in Germany Zwickelbier is commercially available in large amounts, usually as a bottom-fermented, but often also as a top-fermented (Kellerweizen).

Breweries that brew kellerbiers include

  • Eichbaum-Brauerei
  • St. Erhard
  • Flensburger Brauerei
  • Hacker-Pschorr
  • Samuel Adams
  • Creemore Spring (as pictured above)

Food Pairings: Spicy foods, fresh cheeses, burgers, oysters.