RIP Steve Montador

I Former NHL player Steven Montador was found dead inside his Mississauga home early Sunday morning, according to Peel Regional Police. Police said a female friend woke up at 2 a.m. to find Montador deceased. She contacted police and he was pronounced dead just after 2:30 a.m. at his residence. “Foul play is not suspected, pending the outcome of an autopsy,” said Const. Fiona Thivierge, a Peel police spokesperson. At this time, Thivierge said, the incident is being treated as a sudden death investigation, not a criminal investigation.

Born in Vancouver, the 35-year-old began his NHL career with the Calgary Flames in 2001-02. He went on to play defence for a number of NHL teams including the Carolina Panthers, Boston Bruins, Anaheim Ducks, Buffalo Sabres and Chicago Blackhawks. He last played in the NHL during 2011-12 season for Chicago and suffered a season-ending concussion. He went on to play for the American Hockey League’s Rockford Icedogs the next year before moving to the Kontinental Hockey League for the 2013-14 season. On June 28, 2013, the Blackhawks announced Montador would be bought out making him a free agent during the off season.

He won the 2000–01 AHL Calder Cup with the Saint John Flames. In 10 NHL seasons, Montador compiled 33 goals and 98 assists for 131 points and 807 penalty minutes.

RIP Steve Montador (December 21, 1979 – February 15, 2015)

Rio

I must admit that I do tend to avoid animated films at times (I dunno why, I end u liking them a lot when I do eventually see them) and this one was no exception. 2011’s Rio is an American 3D computer-animated musical adventure-comedy film produced by Blue Sky Studios and directed by Carlos Saldanha.

The film features the voices of Jesse Eisenberg, Anne Hathaway, will.i.am, Jamie Foxx, George Lopez, Tracy Morgan, Jemaine Clement, Leslie Mann, Rodrigo Santoro, and Jake T. Austin. The film was also a box office success, grossing over $143 million in the United States and $484 million worldwide. The film was nominated for Academy Award for Best Original Song for the song “Real in Rio”.

Blu is a young Spix Macaw hatchling who was smuggled out of Brazil along with several other birds. In Moose Lake, Minnesota his crate falls off the truck it was being delivered in and is found by a little girl named Linda Gunderson. Linda raises Blu as her pet and keeps him by her side all the time and 15 years later he has a place of honour in the bookstore that she manages. Blu is highly domesticated but unable to fly as he was snatched away at a very young age. One day Brazilian ornithologist Túlio Monteiro comes to the store and invites Linda & Blu to go to Rio de Janerio with him as Blu is the last male of his species and it is imperative that he mates with a female Spix to ensure that the species continues. Linda accepts and they fly to Rio, where Blu meets and befriends a Red-crested Cardinal named Pedro and his Yellow Canary friend Nico. At the aviary Blu meets Jewel a fiercely independent female Spix Macaw who wishes to be free in the wilderness.

At night the bird are captured by Fernando, an orphaned street boy and a tough looking & scarred Cockatoo named Nigel, who are both working for a group of smugglers led by Marcel. Marcel wants to sell the birds on the black market and make a lot of money. Nigel seems to dislike all “pretty birds” as he once was a famous star but his role on a television program had been ruined by one, while Fernando seems to have second thoughts. Blu manages to escape with Jewel and they make their way to the jungle. Fernando meets Linda and Túlio and helps them find the birds, while Blu and Jewel meet Rafael, a Toco Toucan, who offers to take them to his bulldog friend, Luiz, to remove their leg chain. He attempts to teach Blu how to fly, before they meet up with Pedro and Nico.

Nigel hires some marmosets to help capture Blu & Jewel who are taken by Pedro and Nico to a Rio-style dance party, where they perform a duet and begin to fall in love. When the marmosets attempt to capture them, a fight ensues after which the 5 birds escape on a train. Fernando, who has met up with Linda and Túlio, takes them to the smugglers’ hideout, where they discover that the birds have already been moved out. Meanwhile, Blu and the others meet Luiz, who releases the chain holding Blu and Jewel. After the two get into a heated argument, they decide to go their separate ways. Pedro & Nico witness Nigel capturing Jewel and inform Blu & Rafel who rush to the carnival to rescue her. As Linda and Túlio pose as dancers in blue macaw costumes to enter the carnival, Nigel captures Blu and the group.

As Marcel takes the birds in a plane, Blu destroys his cage using a fire extinguisher and releases the other captive birds. However, Nigel attacks the macaws, injuring Jewel. Blu sends Nigel flying into the plane’s engine using the fire extinguisher, causing the plane to fall. Jewel falls out of the plane’s open cargo hatch towards the ocean. Jumping out of the plane to rescue her, Blu finally discovers that he is able to fly and carries her to Linda and Túlio for help. Later, they adopt Fernando and organize a sanctuary to protect the jungle from smugglers. Blu and Jewel eventually raise three children together, and celebrate with their friends. Meanwhile, Nigel (who actually survived the plane accident) is ridiculed for his loss of feathers, and the smugglers are sent to jail.

It’s a fun and feel good film as most of these animated comedy/romantic films are. I like the storyline and the actors did a great job with their voices. 8 outta 10!

Valentine’s Day Family Party

We had a large gathering of my family members last evening. It was paid for by my uncle & aunt who had flew in from the UK and one of their sons. It was held in my dad’s old stomping grounds – or should I say our old stomping grounds – Cochin Suburban Club in Thrikkakara and we had a small hall/conference style room for the evening. The organization was done by a couple of my cousins and my sister.

The evening had a bunch of snacks – from french fries to peanuts to beef fry, fried chicken (which was mostly bones) and delicious cheese omelets & honey fried potatoes. The older folks had whiskey to keep them going but my cousins and I stuck to beer for some reason and I think one too many beers as I have a pounding headache this morning. But it was worth it! I haven’t had much to drink in the last year and a half and it showed.

I had fun meeting a bunch of my cousins, aunts & uncles after such a long time. We had fun and we had a great time. This group pic is of me, my cousins, my dad, my mom, uncles & aunts.