Arsenal 4 Vorskla Poltava 2

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang scored twice as Arsenal opened their Europa League Group E campaign with a comfortable win over Ukrainian side Vorskla Poltava. Until Aubameyang’s opening goal it had been a laboured performance from the Gunners, who had struggled to break through well-drilled opponents. However, the Gabon striker – the club’s record ¬£56m signing last January – changed the dynamics of the contest by steering Alex Iwobi’s pass into the bottom left corner after the visitors overcommitted in attack. It was only Aubameyang’s sixth touch of the game, and Arsenal’s first shot on target but it allowed them to cut loose after the break.

England forward Danny Welbeck doubled Arsenal’s lead three minutes after the interval with a header from Henrikh Mkhitaryan’s cross. And as Unai Emery’s team surged forward, Aubameyang stroked his second goal of the night past visiting goalkeeper Bohdan Shust before substitute Mesut Ozil rounded off the scoring for the hosts. “I didn’t play in the Europa League last year and I am really happy to be back in this competition,” said Aubameyang. “We want to go to the final, of course – it is an objective and hopefully we will do well in our next games.”

At 4-0 the scoreline was cruel on Vorskla, who have had a mixed start in the Ukrainian Premier League after finishing third last term. They did, though, muster consolation goals via captain Vladimir Chesnakov’s left-footed shot from 18 yards and Vyacheslav Sharpar’s strike moments before the final whistle blew. There were opportunities for Uruguay midfielder Lucas Torreira, Switzerland full-back Stephan Lichtsteiner and Germany goalkeeper Bernd Leno – all three making their Arsenal starting debut.

6.5 Hours And Yet….

So this is an odd feeling. I, as mentioned a few days ago, am working the regular day shift at work, which is 9:30 am to 6:30 pm. This is because I am currently conducting a training batch, the first of 3 that I will taken in the next 40-50 days. We usually start the training batches in the day shift and slowly move them into the late evening or 6:30 pm to 3:30 am slots.

But having been spending so many months in the late evening shift, it seems I feel so tired when I am working the morning shifts now. I get more sleep this way – I sleep from 12 am to 6 or 6: 30 am and yet I feel more tired than when I do the late evening shifts, where I usually get 5 or 5 1/2 hours of sleep only! Yet I feel more refreshed during the evening shifts!

This is weird. Anyways I will move back to evening shift for the next week and will move again to morning the following week. Let’s see how it goes.

What A Pizza!

How do you like your pizza (and do you call it a pizza pie)?

Aha – I love this prompt! Pizza is my favourite food, the best gift that Italy has given mankind. It is the best thing ever and it can cure your ails and the blues.

Ok, let’s give it a try – I want a tomato sauce based one and a white sauce or Alfredo sauce one. On the tomato sauce one – I want Pepperoni, mushrooms, Italian sausages and green peppers. On the Alfredo sauced one – I want grilled chicken, bacon, jalapenos, bell peppers and caramalized onions.

Simple yet delicious. Oh and I love Hawaiian ones too. You can also substitute grilled chicken, jalapenos, black olives and pineapple pieces in it as well. Yum, now I want a pizza!

Prompt from 30 DAYS OF SEPTEMBER WRITING PROMPTS at the SitsGirls

Gazidis joins AC Milan; Venkatesham Is Arsenal’s New MD

Arsenal chief executive Ivan Gazidis has resigned to join AC Milan, the Premier League club have announced. After almost 10 years in his current role, the executive will leave the north London side to take up a similar position in Italy. The 54-year-old will step down at the end of October, following a decade at Emirates Stadium, and take up the same role at Milan, who were recently taken over by American company Elliott Management, on December 1. Raul Sanllehi and Vinai Venkatesham will head up football operations at Arsenal, taking up the head of football and managing director roles respectively.

Sanllehi, a former director of football at¬†Barcelona, joined the Gunners as head of football relations in February, while Venkatesham is currently the club’s chief commercial officer. Gazidis headed up the interview process that led to Unai Emery’s appointment as head coach, succeeding long-serving manager Arsene Wenger. His overhaul of Arsenal’s structure, including the appointments of Sanllehi and head of recruitment Sven Mislintat, arguably helped to herald the end of the Wenger era as a degree of power was wrestled away from the veteran Frenchman, and Gazidis has described his pending departure as “the hardest decision of my life”.

“For the last 10 years I have been privileged to dedicate myself to this great club. Arsenal is entering a new chapter and I have done everything I can to ensure that it is strongly placed to take on that challenge,” he said in a statement on Arsenal’s official website. “This includes world-class facilities and outstanding leaders in every sector who carry the values of the club, including, of course, Unai Emery, Raul Sanllehi and Vinai Venkatesham, in whom I have enormous faith.

Kerala Style Egg Puffs

This morning at around 10:45 am, having had just bread and mayo at 8 am for breakfast, I was craving a hot coffee and a snack to eat. I called on one my colleagues and we went to the cafeteria’s tea/coffee counter and got a tea for him and a coffee for me and we ordered some eggs puffs. Flaky, warm (not hot but warm enough to know that it was freshly made just an hour or so ago). Delicious and it satisfies the hunger.

How do you make it? Heat oil in a wide pan and add sliced onions. Cook till the onion becomes golden brown.¬†Once the onion becomes golden brown, add crushed ginger and garlic and cook for 2-3 mins. Add 1/4¬†tsp¬†Turmeric powder, 1.5¬†tsp¬†Chilli powder, 1/2 – 1¬†tsp¬†Coriander powder, 1/2¬†tsp¬†Pepper powder, 1/2¬†tsp¬†Garam masala / meat masala , all masala powders and salt. Cook till the oil appears, around 2-3 mins. Add 1 ‚Äď 2 tbsp hot water to bring everything together. Add ketchup, curry leaves and mix well.

Beat 1 egg with 1-2 tsp water for egg wash. Apply this egg mixture on four sides of the puff pastry. Place about 1 tbsp of masala on each puff pastry, followed by half a slice of egg. Put some masala on top of the egg as well. Bring together the diagonally opposite sides and seal. Apply the egg wash all over the sealed puffs. Bake in the preheated oven for 20-25 mins or until the puff pastry is golden in colour.

Serve with some ketchup and drink hot coffee or tea. On a rainy day in Kerala, this evening snack has few rival.

The Advantages Of Doing A Day Shift

Ok, let me tell you the worst part of working a regular day shift, from my point of view. I have to get up early to go to work! I kept my alarm for 6 am this morning but then changed the alarm of 6:30 am as I knew it would be difficult for me to get straight outta bed at that time. So for 30 minutes I just lay in bed with my eyes closed and rested. Then I got up and got a coffee, then went to the loo and watched Youtube videos till 7:30 am. I shaves, showered and got ready and left by 8:40 am to reach work by 9:30 am.

I worked till almost 11 and then got a coffee. At 1:30 pm I joined a couple of colleagues for a quick little lunch and then went back to work till almost 6:20 pm, except for a bathroom break at 5pm. I took my water bottle and filled it up again and then put it in my bag and then went for a coffee and a snack. I spoke to a couple of colleagues for a bit and then came on home. I reached here by 7:45 pm meaning I took an hours to reach home.

So that is the advantage – I reach home in the evening and I get to chillax in my bedroom for a couple of hours before I get ready for a movie or tv show episodes and then go to sleep by midnight. The regular stuff that people do.

Couchyn Visit After Over A Year

I haven’t been into Couchyn lounge bar, attached to the famous Grand Hotel, in over a year. July of 2017 was the last time I went to a bar, that was Couchyn itself, as the prices for beer and alcohol drinks went up to way beyond what i would want to pay after the ban on alcohol in non-5 star bars was lifted. The bars in the state tried to compensate or over-compensate by charging premium prices for beer (a Rs.100-120 bottle of beer from a BevCo is served for Rs.250-300 or so in bars like these.


Hence I prefer to buy my beer and vodka, and the odd rum, from BevCo, come home and order some food and drink from the comfort of my home. It’s way cheaper and way convenient. The bars/restaurants are awesome since you can order and enjoy some really great hot meals.


However with apps like UberEats, Swiggy and Zomato coming in to cities like mine, going to bars has become unnecessary. I can chill my beers to a nice cold degree in my fridge or freezer and I can mix drinks in my home. I can also order pizza or any of my favourite foods from any of the best restaurants in the city and have them bring it to my home within 30 minutes and enjoy both in the comfort of casualness.


Today was the day I went to Coucyn with my cousin Sujith and we had Tandoori chicken, French fries, grilled beef, shared a club sandwich and had two beers plus two vodkas – one with Red Bull and one with Pepsi. Food was great and the drinks were awesome.


It was an awesome few hours. I miss going to bars like Couchyn and would like to go more often if only the prices were more decent.

NewCastle United 1 Arsenal 2

Granit Xhaka’s excellent free-kick set Arsenal on their way to a third consecutive victory under Unai Emery as Newcastle remain without a Premier League win. Despite being frustrated in the first half, Xhaka opened the scoring for the Gunners with a long-range free-kick that flew past Magpies goalkeeper Martin Dubravka. As the visitors grew in confidence, Mesut Ozil met the rebound of Alexandre Lacazette’s blocked effort to double his side’s advantage and ensure Arsenal won consecutive away league games for the first time since May 2017. Ciaran Clark responded in stoppage time for the hosts, but Newcastle remain 18th in the table with just one win in their past 10 league games.

Rafael Benitez’s side remain on one point, equalling their worst return after five Premier League games – although they had much the better of the first-half chances as they pressed an Arsenal defence determined to build from the back. The early pressure forced errors, as keeper Petr Cech passed the ball out for a corner and defender Shkodran Mustafi’s stumble was indicative of an Arsenal back-line still trying to get comfortable with a new style of play under Emery. However, Arsenal returned the stronger side after the interval and scored twice in 10 second half minutes to secure the points – despite a late Newcastle rally.

Following a tough start to Emery’s reign, with opening league fixtures against champions Manchester City and Chelsea, victory at St James’ Park is the Gunners third consecutive win and they now appear to be gaining some momentum under Arsene Wenger’s successor. And it did appear, once they got into their stride, that Arsenal’s players are adapting to Emery’s philosophy – although on evidence there remains plenty of work to do.

Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom

Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom is a 2018 American science fiction adventure film and the sequel to Jurassic World (2015). Directed by J. A. Bayona, it is the fifth installment of the Jurassic Park film series, as well as the second installment of a planned Jurassic World trilogy. Derek Connolly and Jurassic World director Colin Trevorrow both returned as writers, with Trevorrow and the original Jurassic Park director Steven Spielberg as executive producers.  Chris Pratt, Bryce Dallas Howard, B. D. Wong, and Jeff Goldblum reprise their roles from previous films in the series, with Rafe Spall, Justice Smith, Daniella Pineda, James Cromwell, Toby Jones, Ted Levine, Isabella Sermon, and Geraldine Chaplin joining the cast.

Set 3 years after the events of Jurassic World, a¬† small team of¬†mercenaries¬†arrives on the abandoned¬†Isla Nublar¬†to collect¬†DNA¬†from the remains of the¬†Indominus rex¬†at the bottom of the park’s¬†lagoon. After successfully collecting a bone fragment, the team’s survivors barely escape the island following attacks by the¬†Mosasaurus¬†and¬†Tyrannosaurus rex. As a US Senate hearing debates whether Isla Nublar’s dinosaurs should be saved from an impending volcanic eruption. Mathematician¬†Dr. Ian Malcolm¬†testifies that the dinosaurs should be allowed to perish to correct¬†John Hammond’s¬†mistake of¬†cloning¬†them. Hammond’s former partner,¬†Benjamin Lockwood, summons Claire Dearing, who has started¬†the Dinosaur Protection Group to save the animals, to his¬†Northern California¬†estate.

Lockwood and his aide,¬†Eli Mills, reveal a plan to relocate the dinosaurs to a new island sanctuary and Claire is needed to help reactivate the park’s dinosaur¬†tracking system¬†to locate the animals, particularly Blue, the last surviving¬†Velociraptor. Although they are estranged, Claire recruits Jurassic World’s former¬†Velociraptor¬†trainer and Blue’s alpha, Owen Grady, to help capture her. Things go wrong and it turns out that Mills has hired a mercenary team led by¬†Ken Wheatley to capture 11 dinosaurs on the¬†black market. They also use Blue. They will also unveil the¬†Indoraptor, a new¬†genetically-modified¬†dinosaur created by geneticist¬†Dr. Henry Wu¬†using¬†Indominus rex¬†and¬†Velociraptor¬†DNA. Wu wants Blue’s DNA to create an enhanced¬†Indoraptor but after Blue is shot and bleeding badly, paleo-veterinarian¬†Zia Rodriguez uses T-Rex blood, that Owen and Claire took from a doped up Rex, for a transfusion.

At the ¬†Lockwood’s estate, Mills & Gunnar Eversol auction the dinosaurs and the Indominus rex fetches a royal sum of $30 million. After his granddaughter, Maisie, informs Lockwood about the auction, he confronts Mills, who murders him. Maisie is later revealed to have been cloned from Lockwood’s deceased daughter and is the reason John Hammond, who opposed¬†human cloning, ended their association. The dinosaurs are transported to Lockwood’s estate and caged. Zia and Franklin narrowly evade capture, but Owen and Claire are apprehended and confined. Owen incites a¬†Stygimoloch¬†into breaking open their cell. They find Maisie, who leads them to the auction where the¬†Indoraptor¬†is being sold despite Wu’s protests that it is a prototype.

Owen disrupts the proceedings by luring the¬†Stygimoloch¬†into the room. In the ensuing chaos, Wheatley tranquilizes the¬†Indoraptor¬†to extract a tooth as a trophy, but it feigns sedation and escapes, killing him, Eversol, and others. The¬†Indoraptor¬†hunts Owen, Claire, and Maisie throughout the mansion. Zia releases Blue, who attacks the¬†Indoraptor, causing it to fall through a glass roof to its death. When a¬†hydrogen cyanide¬†gas leak threatens the caged animals, Maisie is unable to let them die and frees them, despite Owen’s objections. The¬†Tyrannosaurus¬†devours Mills and tramples the¬†Indominus¬†bone, destroying it. Owen, Claire, Maisie, Zia, and Franklin escape safely, while Blue and the other dinosaurs escape.

In a new U.S. Senate hearing, Dr. Malcolm declares the beginning of a Neo-Jurassic Age, where humans and dinosaurs must learn to coexist. The closing scenes show the freed dinosaurs roaming wilderness and outer urban areas.

To be honest this film did not capture my attention and imagination the way the first two did and the previous movie did. It just lacks actual thrilling moments and is kinda predictable to be suspenseful at all. I do love the way they did the dinosaurs. I give it a 7.5 outta 10!

Royal Night Out

Yesterday was a good day. I was asked to go and be the final interview panel for the recruitment drive at our Marine Drive office. The HR Recruitment team had lined up several candidates that they had screened and usually someone from Service Delivery goes in to finalize on which ones fit the bill for our process. As they needed more people and they were running short on panelists, my manager asked me – at 4:15 am and after I had reached home post shift – if I could go and do the selecting at 2:30 pm.

I haven’t been part of conducting interviews since 2011 so I was game. I woke up by 11 am and went to Marine Drive by 2:30 pm. One of the guys there gave me the lowdown for about 20 minutes. Then I started and continued till almost 6:30pm. No breaks. I then took an Uber and went to Royal Residency as we had a function there as an R&R for the CLS team in Kochi. I was among the last to arrive and then the fun started.

After some fun & silly games and some awards given out, we started dinner and it was good. Dessert follower and we took photos and then left. I dropped one of my colleagues enroute to my home and I then proceeded to relax in my lungi and enjoy the rest of the late night before sleep hit me.

The Perfect Cheeseburger?

How do you make the perfect cheeseburger?

I am a firm believer in the fact that there are several great burgers out there but having said that, here is what I would think makes the perfect cheeseburger. This is based on several burgers that I have had over the last few years.

Big, soft bun with a light smattering of sesame seeds which is toasted and hot. Bacon jam, mayo, one piece of lettuce, on the bottom and on top of that comes the first beef patty. Boom! One slice of cheese – mild cheddar if you please on top of that. Second beef patty on top – BOOM! One more slice of mild cheddar please! Caramelized onions, bacon and a fried egg on top. More mayo or bacon jam on the bottom of the top bun.

Damn! That’s a fine burger right there.


September 13: On This Day…

On this day, September 13th :

Child’s Play

Child’s Play is a 1988 American slasher film directed and co-written by Tom Holland, and produced by David Kirschner from a story by Don Mancini. It is the first film in the Child’s Play series and the first installment to feature the character Chucky. It stars Catherine Hicks, Dinah Manoff, Chris Sarandon, Alex Vincent, and Brad Dourif.

This is a classic horror franchise and film which I watched at the age of 14 I guess, which was in 1990. I remember a cousin of mine telling me about it and I’ve watched it twice and today was my first view of the movie since those early 90s. I also remember renting the 2nd & 3rd films in the franchise and I have also seen Bride Of Chucky on cable a many years ago.

Charles “Chucky” Lee Ray is a criminal & serial killer who is shot by homicide detective Mike Norris on his way to a getaway car. His accomplice, Eddie, panics and leaves him behind. Charles is shot in the leg and tries to hide in a toy store nearby but Norris follows him and fatally shoots him from afar. ¬†Realizing that he is soon going to die, he transfers his soul into a “Good Guys” doll via a¬†Haitian Vodou¬†spell. A bolt of lightning causes the shop to explode. Mike survives the explosion and enters the shop, only to find Charles’ dead body and all the “Good Guys” dolls on the floor. With the store destroyed and a crime scene, the doll ends up being taken by a hobo who sells it a day later for a smaller rate to widow Karen Barclay, who’s son is turning 6 that day.

Later that evening, Karen’s friend Maggie Peterson babysits Andy and is annoyed when Andy disobeys her saying that Chucky wants to watch the news. After putting Andy to bed, Maggie is hit in the face with a hammer and falls out the window to her death. The police search the apartment. Detective Norris deems Andy a suspect, much to the annoyance of Karen, who orders Mike and the police to leave once they complete their investigation. The next day Chucky gets Andy to skip school and head to Eddie’s lair. While Any is urinating Chucky sneaks into Eddie’s lair, turning off a stove’s pilot light but turning up the gas. As Eddie shoots the stove, the house blows up, killing him. Andy, once again a suspect, is placed in a¬†psychiatric hospital. That night, Karen discovers that Chucky’s batteries were never inserted, and that Andy was telling the truth about Chucky functioning on his own power. While she is inspecting the doll, Chucky comes to life, bites her arm, and escapes.

She finds Norris and shows him the bite wound that Chucky made. He does not believe her and leaves. Chucky tries to strangle Mike from the backseat using a cord but Mike burns Chucky with a cigarette lighter. After that, Chucky attempts to stab Mike. Mike shoots him and Chucky retreats. After that, Mike finally agrees to help Karen. Chucky tortures John, the voodoo practitioner who taught him the spell him, and he says that the longer he stays in the doll, the more human he will become that he has to transfer his soul to the first person who he revealed his true identity to which is Andy. Before bleeding out and dying, John tells Norris that although Chucky is a doll, his heart is fully human and vulnerable to fatal injury.

Chucky attacks Andy at his home but Karen and Norris arrive and stops Chucky from completing the ritual to transfer his soul to Andy. Chucky slashes Norris Mike, then goes after Karen and Andy. Soon, the pair trap Chucky in the fireplace and burn him alive. Karen and Andy leave the room to help Mike, but a heavily burned Chucky follows them and attempts to kill them, since burning him alive didn’t work. Chucky is again thought to be killed when Karen shoots off his head, arm, and leg. Mike’s partner Jack Santos arrives at the apartment, and disbelieves the trio’s story just before Chucky’s body then bursts through a ventilation duct and tries to strangle Jack. During the struggle, Karen tells Mike to aim and shoot at Chucky’s heart (as John told them to do) which Mike does finally killing him.

While Mike, Jack and Karen go to the hospital, Karen turns off the bedroom’s lights and Andy looks back at Chucky’s burned remains before closing the door. This itself in an indication to the audience that the producers wanted to make sequels from the beginning – Andy’s look indicates that he knows that this is not the end. They did a great job finding the right innocent kid for the role. Brad Dourif, who had 3 appearances in Star Trek Voyager as a psychotic Betazoid,¬† is an apt choice for the mainly voice role as Chucky and he and Catherine Hicks (from Star Trek IV : The Voyage Home) are the Star Trek connection to this role. 7.5 outta 10!

2 More Religious Jokes

A Jew, a Muslim, a Catholic, and a Mormon are shipwrecked on a small desert island. They have very little food and water, and the situation is perilous.

The Muslim finds a corner of the beach, prostrates himself, and prays to Allah for succor.

The Mormon finds a different corner and prays fervently to God.

The Catholic heads for a palm tree, sits down, and begins reciting the rosary non-stop, her beads miraculously having survived the wreck.

The Jew continues hanging out by the shore, picking up a shell now and then, and occasionally skipping rocks.

After a little while, the Muslim, Mormon, and Catholic realize that the Jew’s just idly staring off into the distance, whistling a little tune, instead of doing everything possible to get them saved. They confront the Jew and say, “Hey, you jerk! We’re all doing the best we can to get a little divine intervention here! How about you help us cover your base, eh?”

The Jew just smiles for a moment. Then she says, “Well, over the past ten years, I’ve donated about $20,000 to the Jewish Federation.”

The Catholic, outraged, replies, “So what? What does that have to do with anything?”

The Jew answers, “Don’t worry. They’ll find me.”

A man takes advantage of a deserted beach by a lake to skinny dip.

Then three church ladies from the nearby local Christian congregation (insert name of church of your choice) arrive and set up a picnic lunch.¬† They are sitting between the lake and the man’s clothes.¬† They seem unaware of his presence.¬† He is getting tired and cold, and finally can’t stand waiting.¬† He grabs a towel from the shore, wraps it around his head, and runs for the spot where his clothes are.

The three church ladies all agree this is shocking.
The first church lady says, “I’m glad he is not my husband.”
The second church lady says, “I’m glad he is not my husband either.”

The third church lady says, “He’s not even a member of our congregation.”