3.10 To Yuma

3.10 To Yuma is a 2007 American Western film directed by James Mangold and produced by Cathy Konrad. Starring Russell Crowe & Christian Bale, the movie also has a extremely decent supporting cast of Peter Fonda, Gretchen Mol, Ben Foster, Dallas Roberts, Alan Tudyk, Vinessa Shaw, Kevin Durand and Logan Lerman. The movie is a remake of the 1957 film and both are based on Elmore Leonard’s short story Three-Ten to Yuma.

The movie starts off with Dan Evans, a struggling ranch farmer who lives well outside of Bisbee town, getting his barn burned down in the middle of the night by men who work for Glen Hollander, to whom Dan owes money. The next morning Dan & his two sons are out with their herd when they see outlaw Ben Wade and his gang using Evans’ cattle as a road blockade to ambush an armored stagecoach staffed by Pinkerton agents. After looting the coach, Wade sees the 3 from the Evans’ family but as they pose no threat to him or his gang, the outlaw lefts the go free but takes their horses with him. He however does leave the horses further up the road on the way to Bisbee. At the town Wade, his second in command Charlie Prince, and the others have a celebratory drink at the local saloon after which Wade sleeps with the barmaid while Evans eventually arrives with lawmen from Bisbee and tries in vain to negotiate with Hollander. When Dan goes to the saloon to confront Hollander, he instead runs into Wade, who he distracts long enough for the railroad guards to ambush and arrest him. The coach’s owner, Grayson Butterfield, enlists McElroy, Potter, Tucker, one of Hollander’s guards, and Evans, who agrees for a $200 fee to deliver Wade for arrest. From Evans’ ranch, McElroy arranges a decoy wagon to distract Wade’s gang, now led by Charlie Prince. The real prisoner transport charts a course for Contention, where Wade will be put on the 3:10 afternoon train to Yuma Territorial Prison.

On the way to the station as they rest at night Wade, who has sneaked in a fork, kills Tucker and later McElroy by throwing him off a cliff. He almosts gets away from the others using a shotgun but William, Dan’s older son who dreams of being a cowboy and who has followed the group, holds his gun on Wade and the men disarm him. Taking a shortcut through a canyon, which Wade warms them against, the group is attacked by Apaches who Wade kills and then he escapes to a Chinese construction camp. He is recognized by the foreman who has his captured and strung up Evans, William, Potter and Butterfield appear and regain custody of their prisoner, but Potter is killed in the process. The group arrives in Contention hours before the train’s arrival time and check into a hotel, where several local marshals join them. However wade’s men also reach there & upon their arrival, they enlist the aid of numerous mercenary-minded citizens to secure Wade’s release. This leads the frightened Marshalls to go outside try and calm things down but they are killed on the spot. Evans is now alone and he entrusts his son’s safety, plus a 1000 dollars for delivering Wade to the train, to Butterfield. Evans & Wade evade the bullets and the outlaws and make their way to the station. Wade attacks Evans but relents when Evans tells him that this was about more than just money. He wanted to restore his pride give his sons something to be proud of; his leg injury was during a retreat in the Civil War sustained through friendly fire, a fact that had humiliated him ever since.

Most of the men being dead Wade agrees to be lead to the train as it pulls at the station. However as Wade boards the train and congratulates Evans, Charlie (the only remaining outlaw) shoots Evans fatally in the back, despite Wade’s order to stop. Wade then takes his gun which Charlie had tossed to him and kills Charlie. William appears and draws his gun on Wade but finds that he cannot kill him, instead turning to his dying father. Wade boards the train and politely surrenders his weapon. Evans eventually dies as Wade rides the train around a bend. He lets out a whistle, and his faithful horse pricks up his ears and gallops after the train while it is still gathering speed, perhaps with his old gang all dead he can now start life afresh.

Good film and an afternoon’s worth of entertainment. Luke Wilson also shows up for a brief couple of minutes before being killed off. I’m going to give it an 8 outta 10!

Cold Squad – Season 4

Firemen discover 8 bodies wrapped in plastic in a house. Mickey falls under suspicion when Bailey’s wife is murdered, and Bailey doesn’t back up Mickey’s alibi. Frank and Ali reopen the case of Leonard Larkin, whose son was acquitted of his murder and now claims his sister killed their father, and that her husband gave her a false alibi. Mickey’s case is referred to Homicide. However in the end, she is acquitted of the crime as it was clear to see that she was set up. Her relationship with Bailey sours after this and after a couple of episodes the character of Bailey is not seen again. An unidentified body is found at the forensic “body farm”, and Ali and Mickey are assigned the duty of identifying it and determining manner of death.

Ali works with a visiting Russian detective to connect the dots between the Russian Mob and a traffic accident that killed a Russian hockey player. While Mickey babysits the arrogant player, who invites a girlfriend over for sex, Ali ends up having a passionate one night stand with the Russian detective. Mickey and Ali check out the story of a career criminal who wants to be sent back to prison for murder. Frank looks into a case that involved Nicco back in his undercover days. Ali, Frank, Nicco, and Mickey try to connect a cold murder case to a massage parlor that employs immigrant women as indentured servants. Ali and Mickey reopen a 12 year old case, which was originally judged a murder-suicide, based on the word of an arrested drug dealer. After a man reports being attacked by a dog, Frank investigates whether the dog-owner earlier had killed his wife by ordering the dog to attack her. After the evidence against a rape/murder suspect is thrown out on a technicality, Frank must find another witness, and he must persuade the witness to come back to Canada to testify.

Mickey is severely beaten while trying to make an arrest with Ali. While recovering from the injuries and bruises she is mocked by one of the arrested convicts but rallies herself later to confront him and break him down while she interrogates him. Frank and Nicco investigate a death within a polygamist family and while questioning the members, Nicco connects with the youngest of the wives. It turns out that the son of the husband killed his father’s oldest wife with slow poison intending to actually kill his father. Ali and Mickey look into a three-year-old suicide case when a letter surfaces taking credit for pushing the victim off a bridge. Mickey and Ali investigate the connection between a woman’s murder outside an antique shop and a car chopping outfit. Frank gets personally involved in a seven year old case when a man comes to collect the personal effects of his father, who was awarded the Victoria Cross for his heroism during the Normandy Invasion in 1944. The building is locked down after two prisoners overpower their custodians, take a weapon, and shoot an officer. Ali and Frank interrogate Danny Cullen, a former undercover cop, about the murders of two bikers and an RCMP undercover officer. A pedophile comes forward and confesses to the murder of a boy 20 years ago, and he then tries to claim the reward the parents had put up to find their boy’s killer.

Iwan Gudang case will see some regular cops being investigated for killing an Indonesian gang youngster who was in jail and found hung to death. New investigation reveals that he was killed and it was made to look like a suicide. A store clerk is murdered after Dean Bulmer is released, and Ali is blamed by the other detectives because she questioned the validity of the case. Jill Teed joins the cast in a recurring role in the forensic lab. Nicco will clash with the rest of the squad, especially Ali for certain decisions that he feels went against his principles of catching criminals vs holding off to catch a bigger fish and/or waiting until all the chips were in place. He would also clash a lot with Frank, who he is often partnered with after he argues with Ali. Frank, who’s son attempts to kill himself with his dad’s police gun, will move to Toronto as his wife finds a treatment for their son in that city. This was Stephen McHattie’s last season with the show.

Winamp Shuts Down After 15 Years

After over 15 years of existence, music player Winamp is shutting down it’s doors and will cease to exist after December 20th, 2013. Winamp has always been the choice of playing mp3 and FLAC music files for me from 1998 onwards and the only choice for playing music since 2006 when I gave away my stereo system and began using my computer as my main source of listening & playing music. In 2007 I even had a separate blog category for a few months as I re-ripped all my old cds (after my old hard disk had died) and did the same to my new ones.

From it’s launch in the late 1990s, every music geek had a copy of Winamp and downloading mp3 files from the internet or ripping and creating your own from your collection of cds were the craze. AOL famously acquired the company in June 1999 for $80-$100 million—and Winamp almost immediately lost its innovative edge. When iTunes took over in many part of the world, countries like India which doesn’t have the iTunes monopoly continued to be Winamp territory. If you buy a new desktop, laptop and tab in India you can be sure than among the free little applications that they give you Winamp is sure to be there. When I bought this laptop that I am typing on back in 2010, they not installed Winamp but they also gave me a few folder worth of music – all of which I deleted since Tamil & Bollywood music isn’t what I listen to.

Winamp is very customizable and best of all they had tons & tons of skins, mostly created by users. I used to go crazy over them and download a few 100 (movies, tv series, sports teams, music bands etc) that I’d keep changing every few days. For the past 7 years I have only used 2 or 3 and this one pictured here – the Star Trek LCARS themed one – is the one that I usually use. If you can’t bear to leave the past behind, you have one more month to download the free Winamp media player, along with some skins and plugins, before it shuffles into the annals of history.

Best Hour Of The Day?

6:00AM: the best hour of the day, or too close to your 3:00AM bedtime?

I don’t see a debate here – 6am is way better an hour of the day than any of the other. Over here it’s light but not too bright or sunny no matter when, except for the monsoon season. On the heavy rainy days waking up at 6 am takes a whole lot of will power and for the aged or the ill a whole lot of physical struggle as well. I would prefer waking up at 6am – I now wake up at 7am or 7:30 am on most days but waking up at 6 is a small adjustment. I used to wake up at 6 for an earlier job and did that for a really long time so it’s not a big deal.

Staying awake until late at night is quite difficult for me these day. I used to be able to stay away for much longer but I’m 37 now and I need more sleep for my now aging self. I have found that I sometimes tend to wake up early, like 4:30 – 5:30 am on some days and then can’t go back to sleep. That’s ok, I tend to lie in bed and read or watch some tv episodes that I have downloaded on my laptop or on dvd until 7 am and then go get some coffee. It is easier to do that. I might not be able to do that on a regular basis unless I go to bed at like 10:30 or 11 am at least but once a week or so it is ok.

My current routine is sleep at 12-1 am and wake up at 7am-7:30 am. This is suitable for me and I get enough sleep and rest (for the most part as long as I don’t wake up more than once during my sleep). I love waking up and going to get some coffee. Best part of the day!

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Jobs is a 2013 American biographical drama film based on the life of Steve Jobs, with Ashton Kutcher playing the role of Jobs. It is directed by Joshua Michael Stern, written by Matt Whiteley, and produced by Mark Hulme. Joining Kutcher is a solid cast including Josh Gad (as Steve Wozniak), Dermot Mulroney, Matthew Modine, Ron Eldard and Lukas Haas.

The movie starts off with the 2001 announcement & launch of the iPod by Steve Jobs at the Apple Town Hall meeting, and as the applause fades off we flash back to 1974 in Reed College with a young Steve having dropped out due to high tuition fees still auditing classes with the approval of Dean Jack Dudman (James Woods) who took him under his wing. His friend Daniel Kottke and Jobs head to India based on the influence of a book by an Indian spiritual guru and their experiences with LSD and spend some time there. Back in Los Altos, California, it is now 1976 with Steve living at home with his adoptive parents and working at Atari. After a disagreement with his fellow workers, Steve works on a solo project and builds a successful new game with some help from his friend Steve Wozniak. After seeing that Wozniak is working on building a personal computer (Apple I), the two join forces and start their own company called Apple Computers. After a rather dull presentation by Wozniak at a computer club, Steve is approached by Paul Terrell for a contract to make the computers. Jobs asks his mechanic/carpenter father Paul for permission to use the family garage (set up as a carpentry/tool center) for his new company. His father agrees and Jobs then adds Kottke, Bill Fernandez (Victor Rasuk), Bill Atkinson (Nelson Franklin), Chris Espinosa (Eddie Hassell), and later Rod Holt (Ron Eldard) to the Apple team to build Apple 1 computers. Terrell isn’t very happy with the result and Steve tries to get investment elsewhere. After hounding potential investors and making thousands of calls Mike Markkula (Dermot Mulroney) invests in the company which allows them to move forward.

Jobs & Wozniak develop the Apple II and launch it at the 1977 West Coast Computer Faire. The computer is a huge success and the company starts growing bigger. Steve begins to distance himself from his old life & friends such as Kottke (calling him a barely competent worker who can be easily replaced) and later his girlfriend Chris-Ann Brennan. The often quoted incident is shown her – with Jobs dumping her as she tells him that she is pregnant. Having had a long on again, off again relationship with her Jobs tells her that this is not the time (just as his company is taking off big) and refuses to accept that the baby could be his. Brennan eventually gives birth to Lisa Brennan-Jobs whom Jobs continued to deny is his daughter. He is also shown to be difficult & erratic, firing a employee for not appreciating his investment in using fonts). As the company grows bigger the board of directors feels that Steve isn’t mature enough for the CEO role so Steve brings in former Pepsi-Co president John Sculley (Matthew Modine) to take hold of the reins. Jobs is moved away from The Lisa to the Macintosh Group where he works with Bill Atkinson, Burrell Smith (Lenny Jacobson), Chris Espinosa, and Andy Hertzfeld (Elden Henson). He also forces the original team leader of the Macintosh group, Jef Raskin, out of it. Though the Macintosh is introduced with a great deal of fanfare in 1984, Jobs is forced out of the company by Sculley in 1985.

Forced out by the board and the man he brought in to be CEO Steve leaves and starts NeXT, marries Laurene Powell Jobs
and fathers 3 more children. By 1996 he has accepted Lisa as his daughter and she comes to live with Steve and his family. After Apple, who are struggling badly and buys out NeXT, CEO Gil Amelio asks Jobs to return to Apple as a consultant. Jobs visits the offices and interacts with some of the design teams and offers them suggestions. He later takes over as interim CEO and eventually fires Amelio and Markkula (who did not support him when he was forced out of Apple 11 years prior) and begins to reinvent Apple. The film ends with Jobs recording the dialogue for the Think Different commercial in 1997. Before the credits, there’s original photos of the main characters, including Steve Jobs, and also, the characters from the film.

Well made film and Kutcher does an excellent job. There are several issues with factual accuracies (as stated by the real people in Apple & Job’s life in interviews and press) but since I am neither an Apple fanboy nor a worshipper of Jobs, I can’t decide which ones to claim as true and which ones to claim as false. I was happy with the end result and will give it an 8 outta 10 based solely on what the movie is like and not facts and figures.

Reasons You Should be Blogging

I’ve been reading blogs since 2001-02. I first started started blogging in a blogger account in 2002. In October of 2005 as I started blogging more and more and did not like what my first blog was becoming I created a new account and tried blogging more regularly and more about personal things. Then on January 1st 2007 I created and set up this blog website with this URL and I’ve been at it for almost 7 years. I’ve been blogging almost every day (totally missed days must be less than 30; about a month) and I usually do multiple posts on a regular basis. Why do I keep at it and why do I think you should create your own blog or if you were a blogger, that you should get back to blogging?

For one, blogging is a great way to get your creative juices working. You can work on your language skills and your writing skills. Next, it’s a great way to capture your thoughts, ideas, feelings, opinions and the events that have happened to you. Years from now when I want to check on something that I had noted back in 2008 – all I gotta do is come to my blog and search for the event with the keywords and voila – there it is! I have had to rely on my blog posts to remember certain places, events and even certain details that others have forgotten but need it now. And it always impresses people when you can help them or get some point that was discussed back then. It’s helpful and resourceful.

You get to meet a lot of people who share your opinions and/or like your blog posts and make friends with them. You can create a community of like-minded people and help promote each other’s blogs. Positives, positives galore! Get to writing!

Say No To Harthal Movement

Long time regular readers will know about the disease that strikes my home state of Kerala – the disease called “harthal”. Harthal, for those of you who have no clue as to what it is, is a general strike that paralyses normal life in the city/state (and yes we’ve even had a couple of nation wide harthals as well). It is usually declared by the opposing political parties and their supporters/goons/hoodlums and affects businesses, schools, public and most forms of private transport, labour etc. Shops, stores, offices, schools, colleges, buses, taxis & autorikshaw services etc must all be closed on the days that the harthal is declared. Usually it runs for 12 hours – 6am to 6pm – which means you can go about your normal routine after that. Today is one such harthal.

Harthal became so routine (averaging once a month for the past 10 years or so) that most people in the state of Kerala have become used to it. The day before a harthal is to happen people buy enough food, usually planning to make a holiday out of it, to last the day without having to go out and most drinkers buy beer or rum/brandy/vodka whatever to indulge in on that day. Hey, if we had embraced the barbecue concepts we would be on our patios and backyards grilling chicken, beef or pork the whole morning! For the last 3 years or so a lot of people have voiced their frustration at this unwanted nuisance that affects us due to political parties playing around with our personal choices. Many in the IT section chose to ride their bikes to work (bikes are usually given a pass by the harthal organizers) and work at the office a full shift even if their bosses have told them to not come in. And now harthal protesters have come with their own plans.

The ‘Say No To Hartal’ group is gearing up to mark their protest against the Left Democratic Front’s (LDF) call for hartal on Monday in the state. The group which comes to life whenever there is a hartal call said that they would actively contest the hartal supporters in the streets of Kochi on Monday. In an attempt to confront the hartal supporters, the group will organise a vehicle rally from Kadavanthra to South railway station at 10 am. The organisers said the attempt was to break every taboo followed religiously on a hartal day in the state. The group has said that if any hartal supporter tries to damage their vehicles, they would move court for compensation. They have also arranged for 30 vehicles to support any travelers who are stranded in train stations, hospitals, bus stations etc or who just need to get from one point to another urgently. The ‘Say No To Hartal Group’ will be on duty at the North and South railway stations on the hartal day to help stranded passengers. Almost 262 volunteers have already registered on the group’s website ‘www.saynotoharthal.com’ expressing their interest to volunteer on the day. A number was shared on Facebook, Twitter & email for the same.

Kerala is opening up about Harthal. It’s high time we put an end to this nonsense!

A Quick Easy Cure

If you could create a painless, inexpensive cure for a single ailment, what would you cure and why?

Since we are making fantasy wishes then for this one, that is if I could create a painless inexpensive cure for a single ailment, then I would choose cancer – all kinds of cancer. Cancer is a dirty bastard of a disease in that it starts in you mostly undetected and by the time the signs show usually it has already grown a bit. In some cases the detection is too late for you to operate that you have no choice but to go through chemo-therapy and go through that ordeal which is taxing on the human body and human spirit. Young children and the aged suffer terribly through the treatment. In some cases they are unable to operate and sometimes that means sure death. And cancer is so strong that because of the duration and the toll it takes, both emotionally & physically, not just the patient but his or her whole family also suffers through it. Patient is one but victims are more.

If not a disease or ailment can I include old age? Seeing people age and the effect that it takes on you. I would never want to be so old that I need someone to take care of me, feed me, clothe me and bathe me. Hard to feel like an adult when you can’t even control your bowel movements. And can’t go out to enjoy a simple, nice evening ad enjoy the outside air. No sir I would want to die before that happens to me. So if I could create a cure to ease up the effects of old age that would be something I’d choose as well.

Both cases, for humans and animals. Dogs & cats.

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You’ve seen/heard the story millions of times. Married couple who have been together for a long time, busy with their daily lives and raising kids, lose their passion for each other. In some cases one or perhaps both of them stray to find someways of reliving the romance & passion. However this movie is different in that the couple are lesbians and the change in one partner’s lifestyle/searching for passion is fueled by a concussion. And that’s the title of the movie; Concussion is a 2013 drama film written and directed by Stacie Passon and stars Robin Weigert (Ally Lowen the lawyer for Sons Of Anarchy fans) as the prime character.

After being hit in the head accidentally with a baseball by her young son, Abby Abelman suffers a mild concussion. She gets frustrated with domestic life, although a loving mother to her son & daughter, and she wants more from life. Her spouse Kate (Julie Fain Lawrence) seems distant in bed and does not respond to any attempts at sex by Abby. While Kate seems to prefer abstinance, Abby craves more. Abby who usually is the one at home and picks up the kids from school, occasionally buys apartments cheap and renovates them with her assistant Justin and then resells them. She takes up a project to renovate a small studio apartment and gets it painted and furnished once they work on the renovation. She then hires a dirty prostitute for what turns out to be a bad experience and confides in Justin. From Justin she learns that his college going girlfriend, known only as The Girl (Emily Kinney) works as a prostitute on the side, catering to women. Abby arranges to meet a prostitute in the apartment for an eye-opening session. With a little apprehension, Abby takes The Girl’s help and sets herself up as a prostitute only for women, calling herself Eleanor. She only meets the clients in the apartment, keeping her private life separate from her family life, and only after she meets them first for coffee a day earlier.

Abby’s first session is a no-go as she sees the client as being too young. Her next is an overweight 23 year old who has never even been kissed; although they start off awkward they do meet regularly. She also calls on another client who acts very cool & confident but is extremely nervous inside and they two have a great time in their sessions. Abby as Elenaor begins to enjoy life again, spending time being a mom at home and enjoying a few sexual encounters a month for money (although she’s in it for the pleasure). Soon she has great reviews and revels in the new found sexual freedom. She is then set up with Sam Bennet (Maggie Siff) a married woman who’s kids go to the same school as Abby’s & Kate’s and also shares a pilates class with Abby & other friends. Abby has always found Sam attractive but they have never said a word to each other and only smile when they pass by. They have a romantic afternoon as Abby has her fantasy fulfilled. However when she is with a client, one afternoon she forgets to pick up her kids from school and that is the first indication to Kate that things have changed. Kate, a divorce lawyer, arranges for one of her clients to buy the apartment from Abby and she become suspicious of Abby’s total lack on interest in selling the place. Kate then walks in on Abby lying naked in bed at the apartment and walks out knowing what she has done. Things are strange for a while and they don’t talk for a while.

Abby then runs into Sam & Sam’s husband at the supermarket and sees them being very flirtatious with each other. Her later talks with Sam slowly spurs her out of the business and she finalizes the sale of the apartment. As the movie ends Abby & Kate start to reconnect and they go about their lives, their friend unaware of the double life that Abby has been living.

Excellent turn by Robin Weigert who plays the role beautifully. The movie is slow and a little disconnected but as a whole it does the job really well. A slower movie without much excitement the acting is the best part of a simple script. 8.5 outta 10!

Beef & India

Most people outside of India know India as a nation that does not eat beef. Or that all Hindus do not eat beef. Right? Wrong! It’s not their fault. A lot of Indians themselves seem oblivious to the fact that some Indians do eat beef and that some Hindus eat beef as well. Truth is that there are Indians who eat beef and there are Indian Hindus who eat beef as well. While a vast majority of Hindus do not. While I don’t expect most foreigners to know this, it’s really a shame that Indians and non-residential Indians do not know this.

Cattle slaughter in India is a taboo subject because of the cow’s status as a sacred animal in Hinduism, the largest religion in the country. As of August 2013, 24 states/UTs have strict laws that either prohibit the slaughter of cows completely or ban killing cattle under a certain age, which make it difficult for restaurants to source, store or serve beef legally. That’s 24 states. Some States allow the slaughter of cattle with restrictions like a “fit-for-slaughter” certificate which may be issued depending on factors like age and gender of cattle, continued economic viability etc. Others completely ban cattle slaughter, while there is no restriction in a few states, most notably Kerala. I live in Kerala. Now, Many illegal slaughterhouses operate in large cities such as Chennai and Mumbai. While there are approximately 3,600 slaughterhouses operating legally in India, there are estimated to be over 30,000 illegal slaughterhouses. So even in some of the states where eating beef is banned (as well as killing cattle) there are still people eating beef. In 2013, Andhra Pradesh estimated that there were 3,100 illegal and 6 licensed slaughterhouses in the State. An investigation by a newspaper found that tens of thousands of cattle are sold annually for slaughter from a market in just one of that State’s 23 districts.

As far as I know Kerala, Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Sikkim & Tripura are the 7 states where the consumption of beef has no restrictions. In some of the other states it is either prohibited completely or prohibited with some exceptions given for olde cows and producing a certificate states that the cattle is “fit for slaughter”. There are fines and even jail sentences for violating the laws. Ironically India produced 3.643 million metric tons of beef in 2012, of which 1.963 million metric tons was consumed domestically and 1.680 million metric tons was exported. India ranks 5th in the world in beef production, 7th in domestic consumption and 1st in exporting (majority of which is buffalo).So – the rest of India read that and digest the information, while I eat my beef steak!

….For Tomorrow We Die

for tomorrow we die. The world is ending tomorrow! Tell us about your last dinner — the food, your dining companions, the setting, the conversation.

I’ve always thought about what I’d do for the end of the world. I recently watched a movie where the destruction of the earth is known in advance, a couple of weeks before the event. So if such an event were to happen in my lifetime,  that the world is about to end then here’s what I would do for my last dinner.

Gather all my close family & relatives in one big place. Get all the best food we can lay out hands on; it doesn’t matter which particular ones but for sure beef, chicken, pork & bacon, fish will be on the menu. Lots of it. Screw the veggies we want all the best meat out there on our last day alive. And yes pizza! Some fried rice, naan, porotta & noodles. Fried stuff, curry stuff, grilled stuff. Lots of beer, vodka, brandy and whiskey. Lots of fruit and ice cream. Loud music. Plenty of tables buffet style, plenty of big comfy chairs so every one can enjoy themselves, talk up a storm and eat, drink & be merry.

Play music all night and enjoy the company until the very end. As the word ends, I will look around at everybody and smile. Good bye & good night!

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Snow White & The Huntsman

Almost everyone I know has heard of the story of Snow White and the 7 Dwarves. I love the 1937 Disney cartoon movie that is instilled in so many people’s mind with it comes to Snow White. Snow White & The Huntsman is a 2012 live action fantasy, action movie based on the original Brother’s Grimm tale. The film is directed by Rupert Sanders and written by Evan Daugherty, Martin Solibakke, John Lee Hancock, and Hossein Amini. The cast includes Charlize Theron, Kristen Stewart, Chris Hemsworth, Sam Claflin, and Bob Hoskins.

So after Queen Eleanor of Kingdom Tabor pricks her finger on a rose thorn and drops of blood falls on the white snow, she wishes that she had a daughter as white as the snow, lips as red as the blood, hair as black as a raven’s wings and a heart as strong and defiant as the rose she found, still blooming in the snow. She later gives birth to such a child and names her Snow White. While Snow White is still a child, the queen falls ill and dies. King Magnus “rescues” Ravenna, after a battle with the Dark Army, and enchanted by her beauty marries her in a day. Ravenna, who is in fact a powerful sorceress and the queen of the Dark Army kills Magnus on their wedding night and lets in the real Dark Army soldiers, led by her brother Finn. Having decided that no man shall use & abuse her again, her army takes over Tabor with only a few men escaping and she holds Snow White as a prisoner and locks her in a tower. As the years pass Tabor suffers under Ravenna’s rule as she periodically drains the youth from the kingdom’s young women in order to maintain a spell once cast by her mother to save her life from marauders who kidnapped her, which allows her to keep her beauty.

Finally when she asks her magic mirror as to who is the fairest one of all, the mirror replies that it is now Snow White, who has come of age, and not her. She also learns from it that Snow White is destined to destroy her unless Ravenna consumes the young girl’s heart, which will make her immortal. However before Finn can bring her to his sister, Snow White escapes into the Dark Forest, where Ravenna has no power. Finn hires a drunk widower, Eric the huntsman, to lead the search for the girl in the Dark Forest as Eric is one of the few people who has survived going into the mysterious forest. Eric first refuses but is persuaded when Ravenna promises to revive his deceased wife, Sarah. Eric tracks down Snow White but helps her get away from Finn when he learns from the latter that Ravenna cannot resurrect the dead. Snow White promises him gold  if he will escort her to her father’s associate Duke Hammond’s castle. Finn gathers another band of men to find Snow White. Duke Hammond learns that Snow White is alive and has fled into the Dark Forest. William, Snow White’s childhood friend, argues with his father and then leaves the castle to find Snow White. Later he joins Finn’s band as a bowman in order to find her. Eric has no idea who Snow White really is but knows she is special when she charms a huge, angry troll that attacks them. They then encounter a group of women in boats who take them to a fishing village populated by women who have disfigured themselves in order to escape Ravenna. While there, Eric learns Snow White’s true identity as the princess. He then leaves her in the care of the women but returns when he sees the village being burned down by Finn’s men. Snow White and the Huntsman evade them and eventually meet a band of eight dwarves namely Beith, Muir, Quert, Coll, Duir, Gort, Nion, and Gus. A blind Muir perceives that Snow White is the daughter of the former king, and the only person who can defeat Ravenna and end her reign.

As they travel through the fairy sanctuary the group is attacked by Finn’s men. In the fight Eric battles Finn and kills him after Finn taunts him with details of his murder of Eric’s wife. William reveals himself and helps defeat Finn’s men while Gus sacrifices himself by taking an arrow meant for Snow White. William joins the group which continues the journey to Hammond’s castle. However in the morning Ravenna, disguised to look as William, tricks Snow White to eating a poisoned apple and the girl faints to the ground. William & Eric attack and wound Ravenna but she gets away by transforming herself into a few ravens and flies back to her castle. William kisses Snow White b without seeing that she has shed a solitary tear & she is taken to Hammond’s castle. Once there Eric, regrets that he couldn’t protect her nd kisses her, breaking the spell; she awakens after a second tear has fallen. She then rallies up the Duke’s army and they attack Ravenna’s forces. Snow White confronts Ravenna, but is overpowered. Ravenna is about to kill Snow White and consume her heart when she uses one of the moves Eric taught her on Ravenna and kills her, telling her that she cannot have her heart. Duke Hammond’s army is victorious. The kingdom is once again in order and peace as Snow White is crowned Queen.

Visually stunning and exciting for the most part but…I think the actors fail in convincing us with passionate performances. Especially Chris Hemsworth and Kristen Stewart (what a choice for Snow White). I thought Charlize Theron was quite good. 8 outta 10!

14 Random Facts About Moi

I’m joining the number game, one I’m glad to play along. I got the number 13, from Amanda Herring so here are 13 facts about me that you may or may not know:

1. I once talked a friend out of committing suicide. I didn’t know how serious she was on going through with it but she has repeatedly thanked me for stopping her.

2. I came close to death once – almost got hit by a train. I tripped in the dark and fell on the railway tracks and got up and moved just before the train went by.

3. I can’t read or write my native tongue on account of never having studied it at school. I can speak it very well.

4. I do not have a license for either bikes or cars and take autos for within the city area and buses everywhere else.

5. I’ve been in 3 real relationships (all before the age of 23) and 2 almost relationships in the 14 years since then.

6. I’ve been on stage for a drama twice in my life. One was a non-speaking role.

7. I have smoked marijuana 3 times in my life. Only. I support the legalization for this wonderful nature’s gift.

8. I’ve suffered from bronchitic asthma from the age of 12. I carry an Asthalin inhaler for emergencies.

9. My favourite thing to do is to day dream about this Star Treky kind of futuristic universe, around 5000 years from now, where inter-planetary & inter stellar space travel is as easy as driving from one town to another.

10. I love dogs & cats. My wish is to move away from where I live, find a nice home and get 2 dogs and 2 cats.

11. My favourite drink is vodka (preferably green apple flavoured) with Sprite on ice.

12. I’m an atheist and an anti-theist. I don’t hate people (unless you are an asshole) but I hate all religions and the atrocities connected to them.

13. I’ve always wanted to sing for a rock band or as a solo artist. I’ve only had a chance to sing live, with a band, once – and it was awesome!

14. I’ve once spent an entire night out on streets of Bangalore. Read about it here.

What You Need to Know About the Aruba Certified Mobility Professional Certification

Earning the Aruba Certified Mobility Professional (ACMP) Certification requires you to pass a 75 question proctored exam administered in a Pearson/VUE testing center. Each exam is composed entirely of multiple-choice questions and must be completed within 90 minutes.

In order to pass the ACMP exam, you will need to demonstrate your abilities in deploying and managing a large scale, multi-controller Aruba wireless LAN. The ACMP exam will ask you to demonstrate your understanding of product knowledge, including the features and functions included in the base ArubaOS and the limits of Remote AP scaling. You’ll also be asked to prove your understanding of firewall roles and policies. These questions on the ACMP exam will test your knowledge of policy design, roles, aliases, source NAT, and destination NAT.

Another significant section of the exam will test your knowledge of operations. During this section of the test, you will need to prove that you understand authentication, including pre-shared keys, open system, captive portal with credentials, and captive portal with guest logon. This section of the exam will also test your knowledge of configuration wizards, management, power over Ethernet, roaming, RF management, AP provisioning, centralized authentication and encryption, and controller configuration methods. You should also have understanding of general Aruba architecture and design and wireless intrusion detection with RFProtect.

The exam preparation services provided by ExamTrace can help you review these concepts. Additionally, Aruba recommends that you take the Implementing Aruba Wireless (IAW) course and the Scalable WLAN Design and Implementation (SWDI) course prior to taking the exam.