20 Years Of Blogging : From Sporadic Posts On Blogspot To Daily Blogs On WordPress

How did you get started blogging? Tell your readers about the day you decided to become a blogger.

Way back in time, in the wonderful year of 2001 I started going to internet cafes a lot and spending a few hours each week browsing the internet and I started reading a few blogs. The blogs I read kept me entertained and I was finding myself spending more and more time reading them. Having kept and maintained personal journals from the age of 15, which was way back in 1991, I wanted to create a blog of my own soon.

By October of 2002 I had decided to create one even if it was sporadically at first that I could enter posts. Moving to a new city back in July of that year also meant that I would have new experiences to share as I was living on my own in a lodge. And initially it was more like updates of what I did, how the work was going, how living on a very tiny budget was like and how I was basically getting along. I would come back home most weekends so that was usually the time that I would find time to enter a few lines of a post on my blog.

l like blogging as it brings out my creative side. It is an outlet and it is I also try to be as honest as I can on my blog. I don’t hold back – well maybe I might tone down the language a bit, even though I have thrown in a few choice words many times. Yet it is still very tame when I compare it with what I say when I get angry or think. I also try to post as much positive things as I can and keep it varied. It’s like a release from the day to day life and a way that I also let my frustration out.

If I didn’t blog and use it as a therapy for myself, I might actually go a bit angry and nuts at things that happen to and around me along the week. Even sometimes at home, when I get pissed off because of family, even if I may not blog about that exact incident, I do find that blogging keeps me from acting out.

Prompt from 61 BLOG POST IDEAS FOR ANY NICHE | WRITING PROMPTS FOR BLOGGERS

The Handful Of Black Male Artists In My Music Collection – Part 1

So a year ago I wrote a post about the lack of Black female singers in my music collection. I listed only two singers who I have enough music from, enough songs from, and who I love, though I do like some songs from other artists. Now it’s the turn of the men. There’s a lot more in this list as there are more Black make singer/musicians who create the kind of music that I do like to listen to. Let’s start to look at the main ones in my collection.

First up is bluesman Robert Cray. The first I had ever heard about Cray was in an article in a magazine about his mentor Eric Clapton. Curious to know about the guitarist mentioned in the article, I went to a music store back in 1992 (I was 16 years old) and saw that there was a cassette of Cray’s 1992 release I Was Warned and I bought that. It soon became a staple in my stereo system and later on I bought the CD and a few other of his albums. Born in 1953, in Columbus, Georgia to a military family Cray’s musical beginnings go back to when he was a student and by the time he was 20 he had seen his heroes Albert Collins, Freddie King and Muddy Waters in concert and decided to form his own band; they began playing college towns on the West Coast.

In the late 1970s he lived in Eugene, Oregon, where he formed the Robert Cray Band and by the early 80s he was steadily making albums and touring, joining other Blues based musicians, playing with Chuck Berry & Tina Turner and opening for Eric Clapton. Cray has generally played Fender guitars (Telecasters and Stratocasters) and there are two signature Robert Cray Strat models available from Fender. His success continued in the 90s and past the 2000s and in his late 60s he still tours and makes new music and is highly popular in the Blues rock scene.

Up next is Living Colour. Although I first heard of the band a few years earlier than Cray, it would take me until 1993 to get my hands on some of their music. I first heard of the all-Black American band back in the summer vacations of 1989 when on a chart program show my cousin & I saw the video for the band’s biggest hit Cult Of Personality off their 1988 debut album Vivid. Over the next couple of years I would see the videos for this song and Glamour Boys once in a while on tv but in 1993 I was finally able to buy both this album and their 1993 release Stain., which was the first with their current bassist Doug Wimbish.

A compilation albums of their hits plus some unreleased songs were released including the cover of Cream’s Sunshine Of Your Love, which also had a video as it was supposed to be released on Stain. While singer Corey Glover, drummer Wil Calhoun & guitarist Vernon Reid concentrated on their solo careers and albums, the older Wimbish continued being a much in demand sideman for other artists like Joe Satriani, Annie Lennox, Carly Simon as well as releasing 2 solo albums. The band reunited in 2003 and have released 3 more albums and have toured a lot in support of the albums and will be soon releasing a new one soon.

About Blogging Full-time And Why I Can’t Do It For Now

Write about blogging full-time. If you aren’t already a full-time blogger, is it something you’d ever aspire to do?

I wish I could do that. Well I could but I wouldn’t be able to pay my bills. See during the time of November 2018 till August of 2020 I was getting a lot of money from sponsored posts that I was getting from mainly 2 agencies. They would send me content and images on various topics, with links to their clients’ business website and I could make some changes to the format and the images if I wanted to and then upload it within 48 hours. It was a good side business for that time and I got some nice chunk of cash for the little work that I did. It was very stable for a while and even during the first few months of the pandemic I was getting a steady flow of side income.

If only that had continued. To be honest I was hoping that there would be 1 or 2 more agencies who could give me steady work to do as I wanted to branch out but it didn’t happen. I did manage to get one more agency to give me some stuff to do but it isn’t paying much. If I had the same flow of posts and articles, and especially the money for doing so, that I had especially during the first 6 months of 2020, I would so quit my job as they pay would be more than what I am currently getting as my salary – almost double what I am getting paid.

So yeah I would so love to do that and get paid to blog full time. As in 2-3 posts per day and get a nice big fat cheque at the end of the month for it. Who gets cheques anymore – a nice load of money into my bank account via PayPal (which is how I have been getting paid) every month so I can afford to quit my regular job and live the comfortable life as GBP & USD into INR is always  very beneficial for us.

Prompt from 61 BLOG POST IDEAS FOR ANY NICHE | WRITING PROMPTS FOR BLOGGERS

5 Weird Laws In The Philippines

You can “legally” kill people : Under Article 247 of the Revised Code, anyone “who having surprised his spouse in the act of committing sexual intercourse with another person, shall kill any of them or both of them in the act or immediately thereafter, or shall inflict upon them any serious physical injury, shall suffer the penalty of destierro.” Likewise, the article also applies to parents “with respect to their daughters under eighteen years of age, and their seducer, while the daughters are living with their parents.”

The State Will Do Its Darndest To Get a Couple To Stay Married : Ever wonder why, Catholic culture notwithstanding, it’s so hard for couples to get away from loveless or hopeless marriages in the Philippines? It is because the State is mandated to do so according to Section 2, Article XV of the 1987 Constitution which states that “marriage, as an inviolable social institution, is the foundation of the family and shall be protected by the State.” The State will always be the third party in any marriage between individuals.

Annoying People Can Be Charged for Being Merely Annoying : The second paragraph of Article 287 states that “any other coercion or unjust vexations shall be punished by arresto menor or a fine ranging from 5 pesos to 200 pesos, or both.” Both legal experts and laymen have condemned unjust vexation as an ambiguous catch-all provision with no specific meaning, merely something to charge annoying people with.

Women get charged with adultery, men get charged with concubinage : One look at Article 333 and 334 of the Revised Penal Code and you can see why the law tends to be stacked against women. Charging a husband for an extra-marital affair in court is infinitely harder to prove since the woman has to prove any or all of the following:

a. He has kept a mistress in the conjugal dwelling.

b. He shall have sexual intercourse with a woman who is not his wife under scandalous circumstances.

c. He shall cohabit with her in any other place.

And even when the husband is convicted, he will at most serve a sentence of only six months to four years while his mistress would only be slapped with destierro or banishment. On the other hand, proof of sexual intercourse between his wife and another man is all a husband needs to charge them both with adultery which can carry a penalty of two to six years.

Immigration Laws Are Ridiculously Ancient : Commonwealth Act No. 613 or the immigration law reeks of antiquity, considering it was made and implemented in 1940. Among the many outdated sections include Section 29-A which denies entry to foreigners suffering from insanity, loathsome or dangerous contagious diseases, or epilepsy. It also excludes paupers, vagrants, beggars, or persons who practice polygamy or who believe in or advocate the practice of polygamy. A bill right now is being pushed to update this decades-old law.

Rock Concerts Of The Years Gone By

During my teenage years I used to go to a bunch of rock concerts held in my hometown of Kochi. Most were by bands from Kerala who played solely covers of famous hard rock & metal bands. A couple of them were big names at the time in India – 13 AD from Cochin and Shiva from Calcutta – both long since disbanded.

There were many others for a while since I turned 15 a couple of my cousins and I went to almost all of them. Despite no internet or any promotion from radio or tv, we would get to know about the concerts atleast a few days in advance and ensure that we would go and see them on the Friday or Saturday nights that the event would happen in. Most were open air concerts in one of the small stadiums we had at the time but there were a few that were held in closed venues as well. We went for all of them and had a great time singing along with the songs that we knew and would usually head to the cold drink stalls during the ones that we didn’t know.

When I moved to Bangalore for a year back in 1995 I also went to two awesome concerts held there and one of them had two established bands from India. Those were really awesome but unfortunately I have never been able to see an international act in my life, despite several coming to India since then. Someday I hope to see one of my fav bands live.

ROSHAN’S ELEVEN : Fun Oktoberfest Facts

1. Oktoberfest is called October but starts on September.

The name “Oktober” is misleading because most of the festival happens in September. Fun fact: The event started in 1810 and at that time it took place during one week of October. Along the years, it was extended and the starting date was changed to September because the weather is warmer and more pleasing. Therefore, it’s easier to attract more visitors to stay even longer and enjoy the beer (and festival) throughout the night.

2. Munich beer only

Oktoberfest is, above all, a celebration of Bavarian traditions, so the only beer you’ll find during the festival is brewed within the city limits of Munich. Only beers that fit this criteria are considered Oktoberfest Beers.  Fun fact: It’s considered one of the best beers in the world and according to the Bavarian Purity Requirements there are only 3 ingredients used in the brewing process: water, barley and hops.

3. It is a 204-year-old tradition that wasn’t originally a beer festival.

The first Oktoberfest was held to honor the marriage of Prince Ludwig and Therese of Saxe-Hildburghausen, in 1810. Now that’s what we call a wedding party! Fun fact: The wedding party ended with a horse party.

4. They’ve cancelled it 26 times.

You can’t stop beer pouring! In 200 years, Oktoberfest has only been cancelled 26 times. The causes were mostly due to the war and cholera epidemics. The last two years the event was cancelled due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

5. Vomit-proof sneakers for Oktoberfest.

With so much beer being consumed it’s obvious that some people might feel sick and end up puking… And that’s why Adidas recently released a limited edition of vomit-proof sneakers inspired by the Oktoberfest. They’re priced at 199,95€ with “Prost” stitched on the side and surprisingly, they’re already sold out.

6. Locals call it “Wiesn”.

It’s named after the Theresienwiese, which is the name of the land where it takes place, and it’s also named after Therese, the Princess that was married there. It’s pronounced as “Vizen”. Fun fact: The “Oide Wiesn” is a part of the festival that features more traditional elements such as music, dancing and costumes, in contrast with other parts of the festival that are dedicated to beer and partying.

7. Nobody raises their mug until the Mayor says so.

Since 1950, the festival has only started after the official gun salute and the mayor shouting O’ zapft is! (“It’s tapped!”) and offering the first mug to the Minister-President of the State of Bavaria. Only after that, the festival can start. Tip: On the 21st of September of 2019 at noon, the Mayor will tap the first keg of beer and the festival will (officially) start.

8. The hairier the hat, the wealthier the wearer.

During Oktoberfest, traditional visitors wear Bavarian hats (Tirolerhüte). The more tufts of goat hair on your hat, the wealthier you are considered to be. Except nowadays the tufts are synthetic and everybody can look as wealth or as poorly as they like.

9. Beer prices start at 10.70€ / £9.50 / $12.

It’s the price of one liter of beer… Not for those looking for a low budget festival. Tip: Beer can be bought in the tents from 10:00AM to 10:30PM on weekdays, and from 9:00AM to 10:30PM during the weekend.

10. People drank 7.5 million liters of beer in 2018!

Fun fact: In 1910, on its 100th birthday, 120,000 liters of beer were poured – that’s about 1,500 bathtubs worth of beer!

11. The beer is specially brewed for Oktoberfest and it’s extra strong.

One mug of beer here is equivalent to 8 shots of Schnapps.They’re specially brewed for the festival and they have at least 6% alcohol.

Aliens (1986)

Aliens is a 1986 science fiction action film written and directed by James Cameron. It is the sequel to the 1979 science fiction horror film Alien, and the second film in the Alien franchise. Set in the far future, the film stars Sigourney Weaver as Ellen Ripley, the sole survivor of an alien attack on her ship. When communications are lost with a human colony on the moon on which her crew first encountered the alien creatures, Ripley agrees to return to the site with a unit of Colonial Marines to investigate. Aliens features Michael Biehn, Paul Reiser, Lance Henriksen, and Carrie Henn in supporting roles.

Aliens is now considered to be among the greatest films of the 1980s, and among the best science fiction, action, and sequel films ever made, arguably equal to (or better than) Alien. The film is credited with expanding the franchise’s scope with additions to the series’ lore and factions such as the Colonial Marines. With its effect on popular culture and fan following, Aliens has inspired a variety of merchandise which includes video games, comic books, and toys. The film was followed by two sequels â€“ Alien 3 (1992) and Alien Resurrection (1997), neither of which were as successful, as well as the prequels,  Prometheus  (2012) and Alien: Covenant (2017). A standalone film in the Alien series is in development as of 2022.

Brentford 0 Arsenal 3

Arsenal’s Ethan Nwaneri became the youngest ever Premier League player aged 15 years and 181 days as the Gunners defeated Brentford to return to the top of the table. Mikel Arteta sent on the schoolboy midfielder in the closing moments with his side leading 3-0. Arsenal’s travelling fans greeted Nwaneri’s appearance by singing: “He’s going to school in the morning.” William Saliba set Arsenal on their way to a sixth win in seven top-flight games this season after the France defender climbed high to head Bukayo Saka’s corner in off the post.

It was 2-0 inside the opening half an hour as Brazil forward Jesus, a ÂŁ45m signing from Manchester City in July, headed Granit Xhaka’s measured chip past David Raya. Portuguese midfielder Fabio Vieira capped a dominant Arsenal display by marking his first Premier League start since joining from Porto with a goal from 25 yards. Brentford were unbeaten in their previous three games and could have climbed to fifth in the table with a win, but they rarely threatened as forward Ivan Toney, who has been called up by England for the first time, struggled for service.

Arsenal had started the weekend top of the table but dropped to third after Manchester City and Tottenham won on Saturday. Arsenal were bullied in the corresponding fixture last season and tamely went down 2-0 against newly promoted Brentford on the opening day of the 2021-22 campaign. After that game, Brentford striker Toney made a slight dig at the Gunners by tweeting ‘nice kick about with the boys’, something Arsenal defender Gabriel was quick to revisit after Sunday’s win. This win, however, put the Gunners on 18 points, one more than their nearest rivals before their next match against Spurs in the north London derby at Emirates Stadium on 1 October.

Is world peace possible? Why or why not?

Certainly doesn’t look like it at this moment. At the rate we are going, I wouldn’t be at all surprised if we end up in another World War within the next 3-5 years. And the results will probably be catastrophic. The immature human race will need to be taught a lesson and that lesson, ladies & gents, is gonna be a very painful, terrible and sad one.

We will probably have to hit rock bottom before waking up en mass and realizing that they are just on the path to annihilating themselves to oblivion. In the fictional future that I have created in my head we have one or two more global wars that will see a lot of death & destruction and possibly with a huge chuck of the population wiped out and perhaps even a whole country or two! And in the aftermath the human race will wake up. The horror & shock of seeing the damage caused will awaken the senses of humanity and finally the first steps towards finding a permanent solution will take place.

I think it will take something like that for us to truly wake up and realize thee futility of man killing man. Once the damages are cleaned up and the healing can begin, then hopefully humans will realize that we shouldn’t be fighting with each other. The safety, security and well being of every individual will have to be top priority. Religious differences, border disputes, monetary affairs – all these will have to be set aside and chucked away. The focus will have to be shelter, proper food & water, healthcare, education – those kind of things. No more sick, no more hungry or homeless and no one dies of pain.

Then we can think of world peace which will come naturally. When everyone human sees their fellow human being as a friend or neighbour to be honoured and loved then and only then will be truly advance as a race.  World peace is not impossible but highly improbable now. It will take a lot, with everyone contributing to make it happen and we’re no where near that level of maturity yet.

Prompt from 30 Thoughtful September Writing Prompts (List #1) at Journal Buddies

MomoMia – Pizza Hut’s Chicken Momo Pizza

IMG_20220917_210016

Once in a while even the big brands of fast food deliver a real winner. Pizza Hut India gave food lovers a lifetime of happiness as they will not have to choose between pizzas or momos, ever again. The brand launched India’s first ever Momo Pizza called ‘Momo Mia’, an epic fusion of two beloved dishes offering the best of both worlds back in October of 2021. Pizza Hut’s signature, pan pizza has been topped with spicy schezwan sauce and has juicy street-style momos in its crust. You can choose between the veg or chicken options.

Momo Mia Pizza’s vegetarian variant has a delightfully crunchy pan pizza base, with toppings of capsicum, onion and sweet corn, encircled by mouth-watering mixed vegetable & paneer momos. The non-vegetarian variant comes with capsicum, onion and schezwan chicken meatball toppings, with succulent chicken momos around the edges. Pizza Hut has created a unique sauce recipe for the Momo Mia Pizza with the much-loved flavours of spicy schezwan, which is generously spread on the base along with 100% mozzarella cheese. Customers can also order a special spicy schezwan dipping sauce with the Momo Mia Pizzas at just Rs. 20 for an added burst of flavour.

Today is the only second time I am trying the Momomia pizza, chicken. I haven’t yet tried the veggie one. I had it once in October of last year and felt an inkling for it this evening,hence I ordered one. I really love the kick of the schezwan sauce on the pizza with the chicken balls and chicken filled momos. A big winner from Pizza Hut.

Three Common Misconceptions About Your Niche.

Name three common misconceptions about your niche.

  1. That customer care call or chat support is an easy job. Not true. Big companies like to outsource their customer care to a BPO because a) they struggle to do it themselves b) it’s cheaper and c) they can concentrate on their core work. Also they cannot do it as well as BPO employees can, as we specialize in it.
  2. The people who work in a call center/BPO are all young folks between the ages of 21 to 26 and are all having fun, chatting up a storm in between chats or calls, lots of dating, lots of fun stuff going on and basically there is a lot of laughter and games being played at all times. Hardly the case! At times the associates are pressurized a lot to handle all the calls or chats and they get just an hour of break and have to work hard for 8 hours.
  3. Then there is the racist comments that some natives of English speaking countries have – oh I get an Indian or Pakistani for tech support who can’t speak English or their accent is funny or too thick. Or they say that the customer support staff is an idiot. Well that’s one thing you have in common with the non-English as a first language employee on the other end of the phone. He/she also assumes that YOU – dear customer – is an idiot!

Prompt from 61 BLOG POST IDEAS FOR ANY NICHE | WRITING PROMPTS FOR BLOGGERS

5 Easy Game Time Snacks.

Everyone gets munchies watching football games. When you wanna have a couple of friends over to watch your favourite English or Spanish or Italian league football matches, it is inevitable that someone is gonna feel hungry during the game. Plus what fun is watching a game or two on tv with your friends without some good food around. For this list I have not select main course items but just food that I would enjoy while watching a few goals being scored.

Quesadillas : What’s so terrific about these quesadillas is everyone can enjoy them no matter their age. The inside is oozing with melty cheese while you pick your favorite variation of either veggies, chicken, or beef.

Buffalo Chicken Wings : A game day without chicken wings is blasphemy. So if you don’t want to hear about not serving it for years to come, I highly suggest you opt for this recipe. You’ll take frozen chicken wings and turn them into a succulent masterpiece. All you need is some spices, Frank’s red hot, and a wings. The smell of this cooking will have everyone’s mouth watering before they even feast their eyes on these juicy wings.

Mozzarella Sticks : Got some non-meat eaters in the bunch? Mozzarella sticks are a surefire winner.  Crunchy on the outside and gooey on the inside, these mozzarella sticks are impossible to resist. While the recipe isn’t complicated, you will need to freeze the cheese for a couple of hours, so keep that in mind.

Nachos : These slamming nachos come fully loaded with the works. I’m talking shredded cheese, refried beans, beef, and jalapenos. It’s a foolproof recipe that’s just about as effortless as it gets. Simply load up all your ingredients on a sheet pan and bake. What’s so great is you can adapt this recipe to the taste preferences of your crowd. Vegan, vegetarian, or meat-eater, there are numerous ways to fix up this quick recipe.

Popcorn Chicken : Popcorn chicken is the perfect recipe for snacking. Panko breadcrumbs give them a crunchy exterior while the inside is nothing but juicy chicken. I think a blue cheese or buffalo sauce will make a great addition for dipping. However, your guests will have no problem finishing off a basket of these on their own.

So It’s National Double Cheeseburger Day!

America seems to have so many days dedicated to something or the other, including a lot for food. So they have a National Cheeseburger day, which I was aware of, but I was today year’s old when I found out that they also have a National Double Cheeseburger Day? And that is today, September 15. Who came up with the double cheeseburger – no one actually knows.

A hamburger simply consisted of meat, bread, and some toppings. It was then in 1926, where Lionel Sternberger created a cheeseburger in Pasadena, California when he decided to slap a slice of American cheese on it to see what comes out of it. Since then the cheeseburger is one of the most popular food items across the world. But then someone did it twice without adding more bread.

Years later in 1937, Bob’s Big Boy is said to have created the first double cheeseburger. That double cheeseburger had another bun in the middle of it so it sort of resembled the Big Mac from McDonald’s. Nevertheless, they are still credited for making the first double cheeseburger. However the actual person remains a mystery.

My ultimate double cheeseburger would be a brioche bun, flavoured mayo, then a slice of lettuce, tomato slices, two quarter pounder beef patties, with cheese slices on each, caramalized onions and mayo on the top bun’s bottom side. For extra omphiness, add a fried egg, bacon & cooked mushroom on the top. Deliciousness at it’s very best!

Old (2021)

Old is a 2021 American thriller film written, directed, and produced by M. Night Shyamalan. It is based on the French-language Swiss graphic novel Sandcastle by Pierre Oscar Levy and Frederik Peeters. The film features an ensemble cast consisting of Gael García Bernal, Vicky Krieps, Rufus Sewell, Alex Wolff,  Thomasin McKenzie, Abbey Lee, Nikki Amuka-Bird, Ken Leung, Eliza Scanlen, Aaron Pierre, Embeth Davidtz, and Emun Elliott. The plot follows a group of people who find themselves aging rapidly on a secluded beach.

Shyamalan decided to adapt Sandcastle into a film after receiving it as a Father’s Day gift in 2017. The then-untitled project was announced in September 2019, with the filmmaker revealing a partnership with Universal Pictures. The following year, filming took place in the Dominican Republic for three months, during the COVID-19 pandemic, with cinematographer Michael Gioulakis. Old premiered at Jazz at Lincoln Center in New York City on July 19, 2021, and was theatrically released in the United States on July 23. The film was a box office success, grossing $90 million worldwide against an $18 million budget while receiving polarized reviews from critics.