Food Review #182

Burger King’s Mutton Whopper – Mutton patties are the best option in Burger King as we don’t have beef in national/international restaurant chains. A juicy and peppery 100%* mutton, flame-grilled patty is made even better with tangy pickles. Combined with fresh tomatoes, lettuce and onions with mayonnaise and ketchup, in a 5-inch freshly toasted sesame seed bun.

Stoke City 1 Arsenal 0

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger complained his side were denied a goal and a penalty as Jese Rodriguez enjoyed a dream start to his Stoke City career by scoring the winner against the Gunners. Former Real Madrid winger Jese, who was thrust straight into Mark Hughes’ side after arriving from Paris St-Germain on Wednesday, slid in from a tight angle after being left unmarked to pick up Saido Berahino’s pass. The Spaniard’s strike came just 90 seconds into the second half, after an opening 45 minutes the visitors had dominated. Wenger felt his team should have been given a first-half penalty when Hector Bellerin fell under a clumsy challenge by Mame Biram Diouf.

And Arsenal thought they had equalised when Alexandre Lacazette rifled in, only for the France striker to be ruled offside by a tiny margin. “We know we don’t get penalties,” said Wenger. “Look at the numbers and you will see. “We had last year the highest number of penalties against us at home by a mile and the lowest number for us. So I give you just the numbers. I don’t say anything else.” Wenger’s side were awarded six penalties last season, a tally bettered by only five other Premier League sides. Four of those were given at Emirates Stadium, only Tottenham (seven) and Bournemouth (five) won more at home. The Gunners conceded 10 penalties in their 38 games – the second highest tally after relegated Hull City (13). Five were given against Arsenal at the Emirates, while Hull had six awarded against them at home.

On Lacazette’s disallowed strike, the Frenchman added: “I believe we scored a regular goal that was not offside. It is an easy decision. Even his foot was not offside.” The Gunners continued to press in the closing stages at the Bet365 Stadium but Stoke, who had only 23% possession, remained resolute to earn their first win of the Premier League season. Stoke has long been considered a place where Arsenal’s soft underbelly gets exposed against a physical home side – and so it proved again. Arsenal won for the first time in seven trips to the Potteries when they cruised to a 4-1 victory at the end of last season, leading Arsene Wenger to confidently predict his team could cope with the challenge posed by the home side. But, as has been an all too familiar sight for Gunners fans, they lacked steel and aggression in key areas of the pitch.

This was illustrated in the build-up to Stoke’s winner. A sloppy pass from Granit Xhaka towards a flat-footed Mesut Ozil gave the ball back to Stoke, with neither player working hard enough to retrieve the ball as Jese broke forward. In truth, Arsenal could have already been well in command after a dominant first-half performance in which they had over 70% possession. Still without the injured Alexis Sanchez, the visitors forced Potters keeper Jack Butland into a string of a splendid saves, particularly from angled drives by Aaron Ramsey and Danny Welbeck, while Arsenal’s players felt they should have been given a penalty when Bellerin burst into the penalty area. The Gunners boss threw on substitutes Oliver Giroud – who rescued them in their opening win against Leicester – Theo Walcott and Alex Iwobi in the final stages, but the forwards could not mask their team’s defensive deficiencies for the second game running.

Saturday Movie, Dinner & Ice Cream

After a nice evening out, I am just back home. Today, a Saturday, saw me wake up at 10 in the morning due to the fact that I kept the alarm for that time. If you think keeping the alarm for 10 am is odd – remember that I work from 6:30 pm to 3:30 am, reach home at 4 am and probably sleep only by 5 am! So after reach home at 4am I watched two episodes of Frasier (final episodes of season 9) and then went to sleep. When I woke up at 10 I was so tired and sleepy that I went back to sleep for another 90 minutes before getting outta bed.

I stayed on my feet till 1:30 pm only as I needed more lying down time to relax, no sleep but still needed some rest. The plan was to wake up at 10 and get ready by 11 or 11:30 am and go out for a nice big lunch and then a movie. I wanted a nice big lunch because it’s been a couple of weekends since I’ve gone out. So that was out as I didn’t feel like going out until later in the day. At 1:15 pm I asked my cousin Sujith if he was up for an evening movie and dinner. He was so we booked two tickets for Annabelle : Creations and went to Cinepolis at 5:30 pm. Until then I relaxed at home and watched three episodes of Stargate SG-1. After the movie, which I wasn’t too chuffed with by the way, it was time to shop for a few provisions.

A quick shopping at Big Bazaar later and we were in an Uber to Ravipuram and to have food at Dominos. We have some baked chicken wings and a pepper bbq chicken pizza – both were awesome. After that we went nearby for some ice cream by which time it started raining heavily. We ate our ice creams while chatting and then hailed Ubers to go to our respective homes. And now watching some football before sleep.

Arsenal Sell Gabriel To Valencia

Valencia have completed the £10m ($12.8m) signing of Gabriel Paulista from Arsenal. The Brazilian defender put pen to paper on a five-year contract at the Mestalla Stadium on Friday (18 August), a deal that includes a buyout clause worth a lofty €80m (£73m). As per Valencia, Gabriel, obviously not eligible to feature for Marcelino Garcia Toral’s side tonight in their La Liga clash with Las Palmas, will be presented to the media tomorrow. The 26-year-old centre-back follows Neto, Nemanja Maksimovic, Simone Zaza and Fabian Orellana as Los Che’s fifth recruit of the summer transfer window to date. Arsenal also confirmed the deal in a statement released via their official website that reads: “Gabriel has joined Valencia for an undisclosed fee. The Sao Paulo-born defender made a total of 64 appearances for us, following his arrival from Villarreal in January 2015.

“For many supporters, his finest performance in an Arsenal shirt came in last season’s Emirates FA Cup semi-final win over Manchester City, when his aerial dominance and tough tackling helped put us on our way to the final. “We would like to thank Gabriel for his contribution to the club and to wish him well for his return to La Liga with Valencia.” Briefly stopped by reporters at the airport on Thursday as he arrived in Valencia to complete his medical, Gabriel, according to Spanish publication Marca, said: “I am very happy, I have spoken to Marcelino several times and I understand how he works.” Gabriel dealt with numerous injury issues and failed to establish himself as a first-team regular during his two-and-a-half year stint in English football, making only 15 Premier League starts for Arsenal in 2016-17.

He was stretchered out of a 3-1 home win over Everton on the final day of last season after suffering a serious knee problem. Such an issue caused him to miss the FA Cup final and all of pre-season, in addition to the Community Shield defeat of Chelsea and last week’s top-flight curtain-raiser against Leicester City. Wenger has been clear in his desire to further trim a bloated squad at the Emirates Stadium before the 31 August transfer deadline, with Gabriel following released striker Yaya Sanogo, new Juventus goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny and Getafe loanee Emiliano Martinez out of the exit door.

Mathieu Debuchy, Kieran Gibbs, Calum Chambers, Carl Jenkinson, Joel Campbell and Lucas Perez could also be offloaded before the end of the month, although Olivier Giroud, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Jack Wilshere all look set to stay. Arsenal are hell-bent on retaining the services of contract rebel Alexis Sanchez, despite the risk of losing him for nothing next year.

Is That Enough Sleep

Do You Get Enough Sleep?

I guess not. Not during the working week anyway. I usually get somewhere around 5-6 hours of sleep a day, usually around 5 to 5.5 on most days. The weekend is another thing is even if I do sleep less at night I will manage an hour or so of a nap somewhere to make up for it.

I currently work from 6:30 am to 3:30 am and I guess I reach home by 4 am. Problem is I do not feel sleepy right away and hence will watch a tv show or something till I fall asleep which is by 5am. So from 5am I sleep till about 10:30 am. 11 if I am lucky. And this usually leaves me very tired until about 4pm.

I have some coffee after I brush my teeth and will have lunch by 12:30 pm (no breakfast). I might watch some tv for 2 hours and lie down for a while and will start to get ready by 4:30 pm -shit, shower, shave – in order to leave my home by 5:30 pm.

Prompt from The Learning Network at The New York Times

TV Shows: Binge Watch?

Do Your Television Viewing Habits Include ‘Binge-Watching’?

Yes they do. However, I must say that I can only binge watch certain types of shows. And I don’t mean genres! I mean certain types, depending on the pace and storylines. I also feel like I can easily binge watch a new show (one that I haven’t seen at all, irrespective of the year it first came out) easier than I can one that I have watched once or many times before.

Let’s take scifi itself, which is my fav genre: I have binged watched Battlestar Galactica (the reboot) to the point of 6 to 8 episodes a days and finished the show in a few days the first time I watched the show, which was in 2010 when I tore ligaments in my right foot and had to take off work for about a week to 10 days. Having never seen the show during it’s first run on tv here, I was dependent on dvds that were given to me by a friend. It is a compelling show and well acted and well written but it was also aided by the fact that I was mostly off my feet due to resting my injured foot and hence changing shows after one or two episodes isn’t the best idea.

Another show that I can easily binge watch from the scifi genre is Stargate Atlantis or even Stargate SG-1 to a certain extent. Although I find that serialized shows are easier to binge watch, I can binge watch non-serialized ones. Comedy too is one that I have watched many episodes of at one time. FRIENDS or Frasier or Corner Gas. Though to be honest, if I had 6-8 hours free during a Saturday or Sunday and just wanted to watch tv shows, I would watch 2-3 episode of one show and then move onto another and then another.

On the other hand, my fav franchise is Star Trek and I find it difficult to binge watch most of it. Maybe Voyager is an exception but even that, the most lightest of all the 5 Trek shows so far, is hard for me to binge watch at times. It’s because I always want to analyze the story and the meanings and the morals and ethics it brings in some of the episodes. So I will watch 2 or maybe 3 of TOS, TNG, DS9, Ent or Voy and then think about it, go to Wikipedia or Memory Alpha and read about the storylines and go in depth into the analysis. That’s Star Trek for you – or for me and all other Trekkies!

Prompt from The Learning Network at The New York Times

Alien Movie Franchise – Best To Worst

Having watched Alien : Covenant for the second time a few days ago, I can now rate all the 6 films in the franchise and the Alien vs Predator films which I know are not in the franchise per say but are crossover movies without the large scale backing. Still they do have the alien creatures in them and hence I add them to this list. To date I have watched all of these films atleast twice and some way more than that. So here we go; this is how I would rate them.

  1. Aliens
  2. Alien
  3. Alien : Covenant
  4. Prometheus
  5. Alien 4 : Resurrection
  6. Alien vs Predator
  7. Alien 3
  8. Aliens vs Predator : Requiem

Beware Parents Of The Blue Whale Game

Just came to know about this online game called Blue Whale challenge. What an uproar on this! Parents, do some damage control and talk to your kids! This seems ridiculous to me that a teenager could actually do this but I forget that the teenaged years are filled with a rollercoaster of emotions and hormones. They are also easily influenced. I would say parents also have a part to play in this – teach your kids right versus wrong. School teachers also take heed. Let your friends, neighbours and relatives know that their kids can reach out to talk to anyone rather than get absorbed in completing the ridiculous challenges and tasks that the game gives you and then commit suicide at the end.

The list of 50 challenges has been translated from Russian and can be found here. Please be safe, please do not attempt anything from this. Parents and other adults, if you have teens and young adults in your family please ensure that you are approchable and that they can come and talk to you about anything. You could prevent more unnecessary and meaningless deaths.

What’s the Best Way to Get Over a Breakup?

What’s the Best Way to Get Over a Breakup?

The thing you should not do is to immediately fall in love or start a new relationship right away. That is not the best thing to do as you usually will need that space to get over the breakup even if you are the one that initiated the breakup. Trust me, it’s not worth it.

To get over one, surround yourself with things you can do. Go out with friends or have them over. Have movie marathons or episode binging of your favourite tv shows. Or go out for a picnic or for some movies, concerts whatever you can find. Weekend trips out in the country. Anything to keep yourself occupied and enjoying life with people who care about you.

Even if are going to do it solo, try and find something to do. Take a solo road trip, a few days, a week or 10 days. Go to someplace new and a place you’d be excited about going to. Take up a new hobby. Make yourself some new friends. Time heals.

From The Learning Network at The New York Times

Weekend Flu & Fever

How quickly did my cold escalate into a fever! Friday morning I woke up with a bad old. I took a hot shower before I left for work in the evening but I was still feeling down because of it. Still I didn’t think it would continue till the next day but Saturday I was ill too and decided to stay back for the day. If I did feel better by Sunday I thought I’d go for a movie and lunch somewhere.

But it was not to be; while watching a movie late last night I started feeling the effects of a fever and struggled to go to sleep as I started shivering a bit. Yet I could not muster up enough strength to get up and go switch the fan off or reduce the speed, instead I just wrapped myself tightly in my sheets. This morning it was really bad and I managed to wake up by 9am even though I was awake before that. I switched the fan off and sat at the computer for a while, drinking coffee and eating a light breakfast. By 10:30 am I couldn’t sit up anymore so went to bed and watched three episodes of Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

And then I fell asleep for a while until my mother woke me up to eat lunch. My sister, younger nephew and niece were visiting as well. I did inhalation and then ate some rice and chicken curry. Then it was back to bed for 3 episodes of Star Trek Voyager and more sleep. By 7 pm I woke up and had coffee and medicine. I think the worst is over as I sit here with the fan on a lower speed.

CHiPs

CHiPs is a 2017 American action comedy buddy cop film written and directed by Dax Shepard,[4] based on the 1977–1983 television series of the same name created by Rick Rosner. The film stars Shepard as Officer Jon Baker and Michael Peña as Frank “Ponch” Poncherello, with Rosa Salazar, Adam Brody and Vincent D’Onofrio in supporting roles.

This film is an attempt to bring back the fun of the late 70s to early 80s cop show CHiPs which started Eric Estrada & Larry Wilcox. Now you take away the light hearted, action, crime and drama with family viewers in mind and you bring in physical humour, low brow gags, crude jokes and nudity for the sake of nudity. Hey, if done well that stuff can work but it is just done wrong here. Still I thought the action sequences, bike and car chases and such were done well.

Tough guy FBI agent Castillo sent on an undercover job as a highway patrol officer in LA is partnered with a rookie cop, Jon Baker, who is the oldest rookie cop trying to make it as a cop and win back his wife who has lost interest in him after his glory days as a former freestyle motocross racer beginning a new career after his body has been left damaged by his sport. He is on a regimen of pain killers and is living in the guest house, after he and his wife separated when he lost his sponsors. Castillo’s undercover name is  Frank “Ponch” Poncherello and he too is underfire for having shot his partner while apprehending a criminal. Despite his goofyness and being a rookie, Jon has astute observational skills and impresses his partner in a few days.  The corrupt officers are seen being led by Lt. Ray Kurtz, who is stealing the money from armored cars to get his heroin-addicted son out of Los Angeles. Ponch argues with his new partner over whether Baker’s wife is unfaithful, while Baker gives Ponch unsolicited advice on what he perceives to be a sex addiction. Ponch is fired from the FBI when he ruins the investigation of another agent in which a suspect is killed.

However, he is sworn into the CHP when he and Baker identify the dead suspect as Ray Kurtz’ son. Kurtz sets a trap for them by kidnapping Baker’s wife. Baker knows it is a trap but persuades Ponch to go anyway, despite the fact that his wife has just sold their home without his approval. After successfully rounding up the gang of corrupt officers and killing Kurtz, Ponch decides to remain in the CHP.

The movie tanked at the box office and was panned by critics. I found a couple of scenes funny and the bike chases good. A 6 outta 10!

Arsenal 4 Leicester City 3

Substitute Olivier Giroud headed in a dramatic late winner as Arsenal fought back to beat Leicester City in a thrilling start to the 2017-18 Premier League season. The Gunners trailed 3-2 with seven minutes to go before Aaron Ramsey and Giroud swung the game back in the home side’s favour at a euphoric Emirates Stadium. Alexandre Lacazette headed the Gunners ahead 94 seconds into his top-flight debut, only for Shinji Okazaki to nod in an equaliser just two minutes later. Vardy then slid the visitors ahead from Marc Albrighton’s cross, before Danny Welbeck drew Arsenal level at the end of a pulsating opening half. Leicester took the lead again when Vardy headed in Riyad Mahrez’s corner before Arsene Wenger made an inspired double substitution which sparked Arsenal’s comeback.

Substitute Ramsey smashed in an angled drive – from a corner which was won after Mesut Ozil handled in the build-up – before Giroud showed athleticism and strength to meet Granit Xhaka’s corner. Giroud’s days at Arsenal appeared to be numbered following the arrival of fellow France striker Lacazette from Lyon for a club-record £46.5m fee. And Wenger revealed after Friday’s win that Giroud, who has scored 97 goals in 231 appearances since joining from Montpellier in 2012, could have left the Gunners this summer. “At one stage I opened the door for him as I knew I had many strikers, and in the end he decided to stay,” said Wenger. “He doesn’t want to leave and I’m happy he wants to stay.” The 30-year-old wasted no time in proving his worth with another vital goal after coming on as a substitute. Giroud offers a different, more physical option for Wenger, but is hoping for a more substantial role at the club.

Since the start of last season, he has scored seven Premier League goals when coming off the bench – three more than any other player in the same period. “I prefer to be on the pitch as much as I can but I want to help the team reach the targets,” he said. Arsenal started the new Premier League season having won just one of their previous five opening matches – all of which were also home fixtures. In the build-up to Friday’s game Wenger repeatedly stressed the importance of beginning with a positive result against Leicester – and the Gunners appeared to have listened to their manager as they made the dream start. Lacazette was perfectly placed to take advantage of Wes Morgan misjudging Mohamed Elneny’s cross, flicking in a low header to become the fastest-scoring debutant in Premier League history. The joy did not last long, however. Leicester exploited sloppiness by the Gunners to go ahead, leading to murmurings of discontent among the home crowd.

The atmosphere turned dark among the home fans after Vardy’s first, the audible frustration subsiding when Welbeck calmly rolled in Saed Kolasinac’s cut-back, only to return again when Vardy restored the Foxes lead. Wenger looked on anxiously from the dugout, eventually appearing on the touchline when he introduced Ramsey and Giroud after 67 minutes. Within 20 minutes both players had scored – and the mood completely changed – as Arsenal avoided losing their opening fixture for the fourth time in five years.

Would You Pay Extra for a 3-D Movie?

Would You Pay Extra for a 3-D Movie?

I hate the 3-D experience. Especially in the theatres I go to here. OK, Cinepolis is not that bad but man the 3-D in Lulu PVR sure does suck.

I suppose that the fact that I have to wear that clunky 3-D glasses on top of my own glasses is a pain in the wrong areas. And they keep sliding off. Once again, I must mention that the glasses as well as the screen in Cinepolis is a lot better and offers a more pleasant viewing experience than the one in PVR. PVR screens look darker in comparison and when it is 3-D I don’t even enjoy the film that much.

I get it when a film is made for 3-D effects in a theatre but sometimes the theatres here just add 3-D for no reason. It’s not worth it. I have to chose the 3-D option when they don’t have the same movie in regular 2D so when I get a choice then I will pick 2-D all the time.

Prompt from The Learning Network at The New York Times

Diaries And Journals From Years Gone By

What Old, Worn Out Thing Can You Just Not Part With?

I do have a problem in throwing out stuff. Just look at the keyboard drawer of my desk (where I do not have a keyboard since I use a laptop) where I have a bunch of old, used batteries. For no reason that I can think off, I just haven’t gotten around to get rid of these. Not that I like them or have a connection with them. I just procrastinate or am plain lazy.

But some thing or some things that I just cannot part with? Some old diaries/journals. In a physical form. For a sentimental reason I just cannot bring myself to get rid of them. Even if some of them are torn and worn out. Even if there is a musty smell from some of them. Even if it has been 25 years in one case or 18 years in others. Geeze! I have kept journals/diaries since I was 15-16. Though I didn’t write in it everyday.

Just looking back at my thoughts and ideas and what I considered to be important back then is a rush of nostalgia for me. In some cases I have a few photos as well. At one point when I was 21, back in 1997, I was at home for 5 weeks recovering post a surgery and all I posted in my journal at the time was the songs and albums that I listened to each day as I was mostly resting in my bedroom and couldn’t go out much and the tv was downstairs. But I find it fun to go through those pages.

Prompt from The Learning Network at The New York Times