Sunday, April 30, 2006

Weekend In NYC

(The camera shook a little when I took this photo, but I kind of liked the effect so decided to put it up. Also kind of tricky to take a photo when you have an umbrella in one hand and it's cold, windy and rainy and you are trying to not get the camera wet. D & C were in the restaurant trying to figure out which one of the dozen black umbrellas in the umbrella bin was theirs so I was outside trying to take this picture. )

I finally made it to the city one Saturday (22nd April) evening to meet Dan and Cheryl. I only live about 2 hours away from NYC but don’t get to visit as often as I would like. It was all fun except for the rain. It rained right from the moment I left the house till I got back on to the train in NYC. But meeting D & C and the great dinner we had more than made up for it.
We went to Gabriel’s an American Bistro style restaurant near the Time Warner center on 11th W 60th street. They picked the place and made reservations which was very nice of them.
We walked in to the restaurant from the cold rain outside to enter this room with one of the longest mahogany bars that I have ever seen. Not sure if the picture below does it justice. We got a nice table in one of the back rooms which was quieter. Our waiter was nice and from Spain. I love hear accents, one of the great things about America and esp New York is the multitude of ethnicities that abound. Each one has it’s own ways of saying certain words and I just find that very enthralling.
Gabriels has a menu it changes about 5 times a year that I geared to the seasons (trust me food eaten in season tastes a lot better).

Appetizers –
D and I started off with a refreshing gin and tonic, C stayed with NYs finest water.
We ordered our appetizers. D n C went with a tossed Arugula salad drizzled with olive oild and balsamic vinegar. I have noticed that what they tend to order and we have been out to eat with them several times. Note to self – ask them about it next time.
I ordered carpaccio - a very thin slice of raw beef on which rested aragula leaves drizzled with some extra virgin oil and balsamic vinegar. On top sat an equally thin slice of young parmesan cheese. It looked delicious and was yummy, needless to say I had only had a bagel since morning and was starving.
A quick discussion and we moved on to the entrees. I sometimes rib D about being a typical white-bread guy. He is not really, but when it comes to food then he usually is. But he has changed and having being fed an assortment of spicy foods during the numerous visits to our place (Japanese/Indian/Thai/Chinese) he has changed.
He found the kid Arrabbiato (baby goat) - goat slow roasted with red wine vinegar and hot pepper tempting. But we were warned about the dish being hot. I decided to go for it since I hadn’t had goat meat in ages. I was warned by our waiter about it being hot and I was like c’mon man I am Indian I can handle spice. He gave me a knowing smile.
By the way arrabiato means angry, a term commonly used to denote sauce with hot makes your mouth angry in a good way.
D decided to go for marinated with buttermilk and rosemary, served with garlic mashed potatoes, roasted onions and broccolini.
C chose the red snapper filet cooked in tomato, black olives and rosemary served with toasted polenta.
We then moved on to the wines. The sommelier was helpful and knowledgeable about the wines that would go with the food we ordered. We ordered a light Classico “Terre Vineate” 2003 for C and D & I went for a medium bodied Pinot Noir, 2003.
Meeting D n C is always a pleasure they are fine, well informed folks and good friends. Even a trip to a fast food place is fun with them so we were having a fun time.
We offered each other a taste of the dished each of us ordered.
D’s baby chicken was nice a tad too mild for me but scrumptious, and not dry.
C’s red snapper filet was heavenly! The fish just melted in my mouth and all the flavors just complimented each other very well. My expression must have been a dead giveaway as she offered me more. However I politely declined.
The goat meat was served in small pieces almost like pulled pork. In a neat mound in the middle of the plate. Arranged around it almost like the petals of a flower were snow peas (their pods are flat as compared to snap peas). The dish was lovingly arranged I have to say. I had my first bite the goat meat was succulent, rich and the flavors of the red wine vinegar and the meat went ahnd in hand along with the spices. And then the spice or rather the chile hit me.. it was hotttt! But jit was just enough to clear my sinuses and give my ears a pleasant burning sensation. I was glad I ordered the goat. The wine was a perfect companion to the dish.
The portions were just right, a lot of restaurants will give you humongous (I love this word) portions. Sometimes it’s just a way to mask ordinary food by giving the customer more of it. But Gabriel’s has the portions just right. You want to be full but not feel like you have to stuff dessert in.
But we were sort of full, we had kind of been nibbling away at the great fresh bread basket that we got when we first sat down at the table. Wisely we decided to ask the waiter about the warm chocolate truffle cake. Boy was it good we asked. He said the cake was small I would say it’s diameter was about the base of a big coffee cup and only about an inch or so thick. But he said it was very dense and could easily be shared by the 3 of us. And was it ever so delicious. The rich moist chocolate cake has a soft center filled with grand marnier and a dollop of vanilla gelato on top. A drizzle of passion fruit sauce rounded off this sweet temptation. It was as good as it looked. We were oohing and aahing over the richness of the cake the cognac and the orange in the marnier and the aromatic flavors from the passion fruit sauce made us feel completely decadent.
It took an effort to get ourselves moving at the end and have to deal with the cold, gray grizzle outside. Well at least we were high and aglow with the food, the spirits and the feeling that comes from being with friends.
PS: If any of you visit NYC this is a place to go check out. Dinner was on D and C. I thank them for a most lovely treat.

Friday, April 28, 2006

Critics Blast Bush For Not Praying Hard Enough

April 5, 2006 | Issue 42•14

WASHINGTON, DC—President Bush, already facing the lowest approval ratings in history, is coming under fire from former supporters over what they call his "ineffectual and incompetent" use of prayer for national guidance and assistance.

"Every time the president is criticized, he insists that the nation is in his prayers," said the Family Research Council's Bob Jensen. "That may be, but it's becoming more and more clear that these prayers are either too infrequent, too brief, or not strongly worded enough to be effective."

Jensen added: "This nation deserves more than a president who just pays lip service to prayer. It deserves a president who demands that his prayers get real-world results."

Despite assurances from the president that he "prays every day" for the nation's interests both at home and abroad, the mounting crises of recent months—escalating gas prices, the botched Dubai port security deal, ethics scandals, and the rising death toll in Iraq—have left many unimpressed with the effectiveness of his devotion.

Francine Gundersen, an Iowa mother and churchgoer, says she voted for Bush but is now having doubts about his commitment to prayer, particularly with regard to Iraq, where her son, P.F.C. Jason Gundersen, has served since June 2004.

"Bush says he prays for the soldiers' safe return, but if that's the case, where is my son, Mr. President?" she said.

The White House Office of Communications, which has denied any wrongpraying, released transcripts of Bush's inner dialogues with God from May 12 through Oct. 22, 2005 and tried to paint the president as "very close" to the Almighty, saying he speaks with Him "regularly."

"The president spends many hours each day alone in quiet contemplation," White House press secretary Scott McClellan said. "These allegations are, quite simply, absurd. The president is as strong a prayer as any who has occupied the White House."

In an interview on Fox News, Vice President Dick Cheney defended Bush, saying the president puts as much energy into prayer as he does into domestic policies.

"Half the time, I can't even get him on the phone because he's busy praying for the American people, the same people who are now so quick to criticize him," Cheney said. "If something's wrong with those prayers, I would suggest that it's perhaps the fault of a supernatural entity. But it's not the president's. He is doing his duty."

While newly released portions of White House prayer logs show that Bush's praying has actually gone up in recent months, critics are seeking to subpoena the documents in their entirety to determine the strength of those prayers.

The harshest criticisms continue to come from members of the president's conservative base, who insist that the proper devotional words must be used in prayer.

"There is a real possibility that the president misrepresented the number of times he invokes Jesus' power each day in accordance with the strict guidelines of scripture," said Henry Holbrook, senior fellow at the Intercession Institute, a leading conservative prayer tank. "Is he clasping his hands together tightly enough? Is he using the proper forms of the pronouns 'thine' and 'thou'? What about the verb 'hast'?"

Susan DiDomenico of the National Prayer Task Force said her organization is seeking "full disclosure" of any and all prayers Bush may have skipped or manipulated to seem more effective or holy.

Heh! That's from the Onion...

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Late Wednesday Night Post..

Too tired to type something up and my post about my trip to this really nice NY restaurant is almost complete. However I dont have the energy to finish it now. That will be my weekend post I guess, with some photos I hope. (Ya of a very gray, dull rainy NY :-).

Anyways. One of the magazines I susbscribe to is the New Yorker. It's always a fun read and very well written, very intellectual (I make no claims to being one). I am a convert to this magazine. (My wife started subscribing to it a few years back. After being a snob about it I sort of reluctantly started to read one and have been a fan since. They have great cartoons too, which unfortunatey as not always online. Maybe I will find the time to scan them and post an occassional one here). The articles can be long but they do more justice to whatever topic they cover instead of the crappy 2 minute soundbites on TV or the kind of stuff we see in mags like Time or Newsweek. Their recent issue was devoted to "Journeys" and there was a funny take on the lonely planet travel guides. I am just going to copy and paste the article which is also online here.



Issue of 2006-04-24
Posted 2006-04-17


My Apartment’s vast expanse of unfurnished space can be daunting at first, and its population of one difficult to communicate with. After going through customs, you’ll see a large area with a couch to the left. Much of My Apartment’s “television viewing” occurs here, as does the very occasional making out with a girl (see “Festivals”). To the north is the food district, with its colorful cereal boxes and antojitos, or “little whims.”


A good rule of thumb is “If it’s something you’ll want, you have to bring it in yourself.” This applies to water, as well as to toilet paper and English-language periodicals. Most important, come with plenty of cash, as there’s sure to be someone with his hand out. In My Apartment, it’s axiomatic that you have to grease the wheels to make the engine run.


The best time to travel to My Apartment is typically after most people in their twenties are already showered and dressed and at a job. Visits on Saturdays and Sundays before 2 P.M. are highly discouraged, and can result in lengthy delays at the border (see “Getting There and Away”).


The population of My Apartment has a daily ritual of bitching, which occurs at the end of the workday and prior to ordering in food. Usually, meals are taken during reruns of “Stargate Atlantis.” Don’t be put off by impulsive sobbing or unprovoked rages. These traits have been passed down through generations and are part of the colorful heritage of My Apartment’s people. The annual Birthday Meltdown (see “Festivals”) is a tour de force of recrimination and self-loathing, highlighted by fanciful stilt-walkers and dancers wearing hand-sewn headdresses.


Rabies and hepatitis have almost completely been eradicated from My Apartment, owing to an intensive program of medication and education. However, travellers must still be wary of sexually transmitted diseases. While abstinence is the only certain preventative, it is strenuously not endorsed by the My Apartment government. Condoms and antibiotics are available on most evenings (see “Medical Services”).


The inhabitants of My Apartment tend to be insecure and combative. This is likely the result of living under the thumb of a series of illegitimate dictators (see “History”) that have dominated the citizens in recent years. Since the Breakup of 2004 and the ensuing electoral reforms, the situation has become more democratic.


Solo female travellers are often subjected to excessive unwanted male attention. Normally, these men only want to talk to you, but their entreaties can quickly become tiresome. Don’t be afraid to be rude. Even a mild polite response can be perceived as an expression of interest. The best approach is to avoid eye contact, always wear a bra, and talk incessantly about your “fiancé, Neil.”


The ongoing economic recession has led to a large increase in petty crime. For the most part, this is limited to the “borrowing” of personal items and the occasional accidental disappearance of the neighbor’s newspaper. However, the U.S. Department of State has issued a warning about several common cons—such as the “I’m out of small bills” scam, typically perpetrated when the delivery guy arrives.


Various international agencies can place volunteers in projects working on areas such as job training, doing my laundry, election monitoring, developing opportunities for young women, running to the deli for me, and therapeutic massage.


A ten-foot walk to the non-working fireplace brings musically inclined visitors to the popular collection of novelty records, which includes “Leonard Nimoy Sings.” The north-facing section of My Apartment is divided into two districts. In the lively Bedroom District, the excellent drawer of snapshots of ex-girlfriends naked is a good way to gain a deeper understanding of the history of the people, and is open for guided tours on most Saturdays between 2 A.M. and 3 A.M. The Western Quarter is home to the bathtub with one working spa jet, in which the recreation commissioner of My Apartment plans to hold an international jello-wrestling tournament in the spring of 2007.


Tourists often flock to the salvaged wooden telephone-cable spool in front of the TV as a convenient dining spot. More adventurous eaters might try standing over the sink, as the locals do. If you’re willing to venture off the beaten track, there’s balancing your plate on the arm of the couch or using the toilet lid as a makeshift table.


The music on offer tends toward late-seventies disco recordings, but they are sometimes embellished with impromptu live vocal performances. There was once a cockfight in My Apartment, though it was unplanned and will likely never happen again (see “Law Enforcement”).


The air-hockey table probably still works.


A short trip in almost any direction will bring travellers to one of many unique Starbucks outlets. Or try one of the nightly walking tours to the sidewalk in front of the brownstone across the street to watch that redhead getting out of the shower with her curtains open. And tourists are often sent around the corner to visit the A.T.M. machine in order to stock up for the rigorous financial demands of a trip to My Apartment.


Mules can be rented by the hour or the day and are situated near the main closet. Prices vary with the season and it’s best to reserve in advance, since My Apartment’s stable of twenty-six mules books up fast. They may not be the quickest form of transportation, but they provide a wonderful way to see My Apartment up close.


The dog’s name is Sadie. Don’t touch her.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Some People Will Do Anything For An Ipod.....
I have to say ipods are cool. I have a MP3 player from creative that is small almost the size of an credit card. It's basically a flash card. I use to for music when I jog and also as a flash drive, FM radio and also as a digital voice recorder. Of course it is NOT an ipod as my wife so lovingly likes to remind me. She has class she only goes for the best. Yours truly on the other hand has no taste. To this I submit gladly. ;-)

Having said that. I always thought getting an ipod was easy. Not sure what the deal is with some of these folks who are either willing to do anything for an ipod or want something done and offer an ipod as payment. Not that I am complaining. Kind of interesting I thought.

Ahh a request to walk naked down the street, ofcourse it's a guy requesting it so he prefers a female (males are aok too) and it has to be videotaped. No frontal nudity. I guess some people will do anything for an ipod. The link is here along with other requests.
Remember the signs "will work for food"? They might wanna design one saying "will do anything for an ipod".

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

What Do You Think Is On His Mind?

I got this from dependable renegade and from Holden. I have my own caption for it below and will add more as they cross my mind. But feel free to add your own.
We don't (well some of us that is) worship our leaders or consider them beyond reproach or call upon them when they do a crappy job. It's a democracy after all. American presidents have always been the butt of jokes on late night comedy shows and ther places.
Here's my captions --

"Looking for mah approoval ratings, they must be down there somewhere!" (at 33% and falling)

"Are those the missing WMDs down there?"

"Hey Osama git out of your rat hole"

Monday, April 24, 2006

How Do You Say Shizzle Mah Nizzle In Pashto Or Dari?

From the timesonline of the UK
Gangsta rapper of Kabul puts peace before guns 'n' girls

WITH his fur-lined Puffa jacket, silver pendant chain, bandana, neatly trimmed goatee beard and combat trousers, DJ Besho looks like any other gangsta rapper.

In his music video DJ Besho, meaning DJ Diamond, stands on the bonnet of a Humvee, rapping. It is there that the similarities with the gangsta rappers of Los Angeles and New York end. There are no girls in bikinis gyrating in the background and no references to guns, drugs and prostitutes.

This is Afghanistan and five years after the fall of the Taleban the country’s first rapper is still constrained by a tight social code. “We have to take it step by step. It will be a while before I can introduce ‘booty shaking’ to Afghanistan,” said the 28-year-old, referring to a type of dancing where scantily clad girls wiggle their behinds.

When he was ten years old, he saw his best friend killed by a rocket. “It was my best friend, Jawad, and a rocket hit him in the neck. He died,” he said.

It was this tragedy, one of many in a country hit by almost three decades of war, that prompted DJ Besho and his family to leave Afghanistan. They moved first to India, then China, followed by Russia, before finally settling outside Frankfurt. It was in Germany that he picked up his rapping skills.

DJ Besho now spends his time between Germany and Afghanistan. In Afghanistan he has a contract with the nation’s most popular TV station, Tolo TV, a sort of MTV meets Bollywood, and his videos are a frequent and popular showing. In Germany he has a “crew” of German and Afghan rappers who act as his support act and bodyguards.

“In Germany I have bodyguards but here [in Afghanistan] only God is my bodyguard,” said the rapper who, like many of his fellows, has started his own clothing line.

Living in so many countries has had an influence on his rapping style. “I rap mainly in Dari, but also German, Hindi and English.”

In Afghanistan the message that DJ Besho preaches is a positive one. He counts Tupac Shakur, who was killed in a gang feud, as his biggest influence. “God blessed me, my style is a mixture of gangsta and life,” he said. “The people here are used to fighting but I teach against war, to not fight their brothers, to respect everyone. They should only fight with their raps, not their fists or with guns. The country needs teachers like me.”

He also turns old Afghan love songs into raps. His most popular rap talks about a man’s love for a girl from the provinces who is beautiful with pale skin and magnificent eyes.

There is no doubt that DJ Besho is striking a chord with Afghanistan’s young and he is so popular that President Karzai requested a meeting. DJ Besho, however, was an hour late and missed it.

On the streets, it is common to hear his music. Ahmad Jawid, 23, a mobile phone card salesman, said: “All the people in Afghanistan like him. He is a good rapper, he is amazingly successful and what clothes! I am so proud he is Afghan.”

DJ Besho is aware of his popularity. “Everybody in Afghanistan knows me, I have many friends,” he said.

However, not everyone in Afghanistan seems to be won over by DJ. He has been criticised by Afghanistan’s religious élite. Mullah Abdul Rauf, of the Herati Mosque in Kabul, said: “Music is not banned in Islam but to get enjoyment from music is banned. Singing about women and guns is certainly not allowed.”

As always, DJ Besho has the last word. “This one mullah came to me — he used to be in the Taleban and he was telling me what I was doing was bad. I let him try on some of my clothes and rapped to him, and he was won over.”

Despite all the help that Afghanistan is getting (not enough IMHO) it continues to be one of the poorest countries in the world and low down in a number of developmental aspects, with the status of women and children still nowhere near where it should be and poppy cultivation makes up a significant proportion of the national economy.
I guess stories like this make you feel a bit better, but still I wish we do more for Afghanistan. It gets a fraction of money of what is being poured into Iraq.
Ofcourse some the religious nuts there are upset by his music but when are they not? More power to him for doing what he is doing. Afghanistan has always had a long history of music and the arts.
I for one pray for peace for that troubled land which has seen so much suffering.

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Look At This Screenshot From CNN's Web Site Below... I Think The Israeli People Have Bigger Things To Worry About, And Who Really Cares About This Issue -

Here is the link to the story. updates it's page so the story is now off the main page. It was there for a while on Sunday. From the link -

LOS ANGELES, California (CNN) -- Actor Tom Cruise and his fiance, actress Katie Holmes, welcomed the birth of a daughter on Tuesday, according to Cruise's publicist.

They named the girl Suri, which "has its origins in Hebrew, meaning 'princess,' or in Persian, meaning 'red rose,' " Cruise spokesman Paul Bloch said in a statement.

Maybe the original piece by cnn was changed as the link does not say anything other than the name having hebrew origins. As I said the Israelis have bigger concerns than Tom and Katie's baby's name. They probably worry about crazy Hamas being in charge next door. The Israeli's are probably puzzeld at the American media's attention to this non-story.

Personally I tend to believe parents can name their kid/s whatever they want.
PS: I have a different take on that name..
Suri is a north indian last name and in the indian language Marathi it means "knife". So CNN you missed that angle. ;-)

Stupid media!

Friday, April 21, 2006

Andrea Mitchell Time For You To Retire (For Those Of You Not Aware Of It She Is Former Fed Chair Alan Greenspan's Wife And Is An NBC Reporter) -

The state of the media in our country is sad, especially that of TeeVee Journalism. They often just read the news and sometimes don't fact check. Andrea has been guilty of this before. Courtesy of media matters we now find out that there are four repugnant countries the US will not do business with unlike China. There is also a transcript and video at that link.

Mitchell then quoted Fimat USA senior vice president John Kilduff, who said that China is "willing to do business with a lot of countries that the U.S. would find repugnant." Mitchell provided examples: "Hot spots like Iran, Venezuela, Nigeria, and Sudan."

Err Andrea are you going senile? Don't you friggin fact check? She is wrong on two of those countries. We do import oil from Venezuela and Nigeria. Citgo is owned by Venezuela a nation headed by the idiot Hugo Chavez. If Andrea had been following her own media's reporting of Chavez's offer to sell cheap heating oil to poor citizen's in some of America's cities she would nto have made that mistake or had she just fact checked!
We also know about Nigeria's dismal human rights record and the corruption and problems in the Niger delta.
However according to our own government Venezuela remains one of the top suppliers of crude oil products to the US. We also got about 419 million barrels of oil from Nigeria in 2005 and about 37 million in January of 2006.

Look I know Andrea is trying to say we are a lot better than China, and we know that. The US is by many many standards a much better nation when it comes to things like freedom and human rights, so Andrea how about just sticking to the facts and finding the real differences between the two nations to highlight?

Anyways am off to NYC on Saturday and Sunday to meet with friends from Connecticut. I look forward to a fun filled weekend. I hope to take some pictures. Have a great weekend people.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

grabbing a world leader's jacket sleeve and yanking him back qualifies as a faux pas

I got this from Watertiger’s place and a hat tip to her. I am not gonna say much about it. The photographs say it best. The way the decider-in-chief (link explains why he is called that) is tugging the Chinese premiers coat sleeve makes me wonder is it about - “this is all about power and I am boss”?
It’s funny isn’t it? The Chinese president is very much within arms reach. All our president needed to do is to reach out and touch his arm. If someone did that to you that would get your attention, but on the other hand if someone tugged at your coat sleeve it would be just rude. Given that he is a visiting head of state, that would be such a no-no and aren’t you supposed to be the gracious host?
And before cries go out “Oh you just don’t like him”, let me just say he is moving this nation that I love and is my home in the frigging wrong direction, so you bet I don’t like the job he is doing and I am free to vent about it.
Also reverse the roles if Bush had been visiting a foreign nation and say this had happened to him, not only would he be displeased our media would be all over it.
Was this a calculated gesture on decider’s part? Maybe maybe not, either way a quick way to make up for this faux pas would have been to put his arm on his back as he often does with other people.
I wonder how this image is playing back in China.
And since I am on the topic…
We should also be careful about how we deal with China, they are our competitors and a potential enemy. However the business community is so much in love with using China as a cheap base for manufacturing as are a large part of the American public with cheap stuff that is made in China, we seem oblivious to this. We are forgetting who is holding a large part of our national debt. Sure the Chinese are very dependent on us as they are not yet a nation with a huge consumer base and the purchasing power that accompanies it. But that is changing once China becomes lessdependent on us as a market they will flex their muscle. While China may have the worlds 4th largest economy, their per capita GDP (a better indicator of economic strength) is not that great..yet. But that will change. And while we continue to be tied down with Iraq and potentially Iran, China has quietly made inroads in our backyard in South America where the Chinese have been investing heavily. They are also making sure they have access to natural resources – crude oil, natural gas, steel and other important metals.
So better watch out folks, and in some ways I agree with Lou Dobbs who has been on this topic about China relentlessly for a while now. He says he blames the American government for this and not the people, he also says he has nothing against the Chinese they are doing what needs to be done to make sure they can be a power. What he is mystified about is why we are playing such a big part in helping communist China become a major player. I think the answer as we all know is because big business interests rule.
That’s my rant for the day, and while I am not going in to solutions here, I will say this the blame for this rests with both our parties. They both have to wake up real fast.
PS: Real busy friday shaping up so I might not be around much.. sigh!

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Cell Phone Related Etiquette -

We all know how some cellphone users can be aggravating at times..loud and uncaring of others?
But how about what I encountered the other day on the way back from work at the train station.
I have to go thru a set of double doors(non automatic) to enter the train station. So as I head towards them,
I hear this Desi accent, and notice a guy walking towards the door but slightly behind me and to my right.
Guy is in a suit and all and talking about
some policy, got a bag on his shoulder and he is dragging another small suitcase. In the other hand he has his yakity yak device.
I step thru the first set of doors, wondering if he needs any help wth the door. Well he does but does not care to make eye contact, its like I don't exist.
Turns his shoulder to stop the door from closing still yapping.
Manages to get himself and his bag thru.
I go thru the second set of doors.
Again hold the door so he can get thru more easily this time.
Again yakathon continues no attempt to make eye contact or acknowledge that
some stranger bothered to hold the door for him.
As I turned to go towards the track where my train was I saw him talking away like some desis do
nodding their head and now using his hands (the bags are now on the ground near his feet).
I am thinking man some people are so involved in their own world and oh so self important.
What do you think? Had similar experiences I am sure, maybe you can recount some.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Place an X by all the things you 've done.

This is from Opin's place -
This is for your entire life:
(X) Smoked a cigarette (Ages ago, sort of a camaraderie thingy)
(X) Drank so much you threw up.. Am a wuss I get sick after 4 drinks, should have know better.
( ) Crashed a friend's car
( ) Stolen a car
(X) Been in love
( ) Shoplifted
(X) Quit your job
( ) Filed for divorce
(X) Been in a fist fight
( ) Broken a bone
( ) Saved someone's life
( ) Been arrested
( ) Gone on a blind date
(X) Lied to a friend - Cos there are good lies and then there is deceit. I lied once to someone I really liked. But don't they say being mature and all is not an overnight process?
(X) Skipped school
(X) Seen someone die - Seen a couple of train accidents as a kid where someone got run over by a commuter train. They really should not have been on the tracks. Also saw someone go up in flames from some distance an apparent suicide attempt.
(X) Been to Canada
( ) Been to Mexico
(X) Been on a plane
(X) Been lost
(X) Been on the opposite side of the country
( ) Swam in the ocean
( ) Felt like dying
() Been stung by a bee
(X) Played cops and robbers .. Must be a male thing, gotta have done that as a kid and I did.
(X) Recently colored your hair .. recent as in 10 yrs ago for Halloween was a flaming red.
(X) Done somethin' you told yourself you wouldn't
(X) Made prank phone calls
() Lost over 20 pounds. If I lost 20 pounds it would be an emaciated look, not cool at all.
(X) Caught a snowflake on your tongue
() Danced in the rain
() Written a letter to Santa Claus (I know, I am such a confused Desi, but I was young)
( ) Been kissed under the mistletoe
( ) Had your opinion printed in the newspaper
(X) Taken a bubble bath with someone. It's very relaxing and more...
() Made a bonfire on the beach
(X) Crashed a party . back when I was young and stupid.
() Gone roller-skatin'
() Ice-skatin'

Feel free to tag yourselves and then some..

Monday, April 17, 2006

That Picture You See Is A Wetland As Per The Bush (Mis)Administration.. Yes I Kid You Not
Update: Apparently one of my commentors (JD.. no fan of mine..) read the report and claims this policy of calling golf course hazards as wetlands has continued thru prior administrations. I have not had time to read the report myself (this post was based on a Field & Stream article). I will read the govt report myself when I get a chance. That being said it is still a bone headed policy and trying to say we are not losing wetlands by using man made golf hazards as "wetlands" in your figures does not make this administration any better.
That being said here is proof that Dubya has a poor environmental record compared to Clinton and yes even his father Bush Sr.
Here is a quote form the link where they compared these administrations -
"In 13 of those 17 categories, the Bush administration had lower average numbers than the Clinton administration. And in 11 of those categories, the 2003 average was lower than the 2001 average, showing the trend increasing over time.
They apparently did increase civil penalties against water polluters but their overall record is not good.
There is more in the link and here about the general record of this administration on the environment.

Not surprising is it? This is an administration that defines up as down, failure as success and will use every excuse imaginable to not acknowledge any mistake.
As per wikipedia a wetland is - "an environment at the interface between truly terrestrial ecosystems...and truly aquatic systems...making them different from each yet highly dependent on both".
Now how in the fark does that golf course water hazard represent a wetland???
Golf courses are often characterized by the heavy use of pesticides and weed killers to keep the greens oh so perfect. How do you think they look that great?
It's not a surprise that this administration with one of the worst environmental records is actually claiming that the US is no longer losing wetlands!
Ya baby, everything is hunky dory just don't look at our standards for measuring hunky dory ;-).
This link is from the Field & Stream magazine. And when hunters and fishermen get mad at you, you are in real trouble!

"The Bush Administration announced last week that the nation is no longer losing wetlands--as long as you consider golf course water hazards to be wetlands.


Thursday (March 30), Interior Secretary Gale Norton called a press conference to claim our long nightmare of wetlands loss had finally come to an end due to unprecedented gains since 1997 (click hear to read the report she cites). However, she then admitted much of that gain has been in artificially created ponds, such as golf course water hazards and farm impoundments.

The sporting community--from Ducks Unlimited to the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership--reacted quickly, and not favorably. Researchers long ago established that natural wetlands such as marshes, swamps and prairie potholes are far more productive than even the best-designed artificial wetlands. And sharp-edged water bodies like water hazards, farm ponds, and even reservoirs offer very little for wildlife. Putting man-made ponds in the same class as natural wetlands is like ranking pen-raised quail with wild coveys.

The boldness of Norton's claim was particularly galling given the Bush Administration's record on wetlands. President Bush, like other presidents before him, promised a policy of �no net loss� of wetlands, but his administration has consistently supported rollbacks of the Clean Water Act to satisfy industry and development.

In fact, at the same press conference, the Fish and Wildlife Service reported a continued loss of 523,500 acres of natural wetlands during the same time period. So how could the nation have come out ahead if it lost more than half a million acres? Norton didn't try to hide the truth: The 715,300-acre �gain� was mainly artificial ponds."

Amazing eh? But not surprising when Dubya was guvnor of Texas it was one of the most polluted
states in the nation!

2008 cannot come soon enough. What surpises me (well not really) are the way some of the blind Bush supporters (Bushbots) continue to worship him. One of whom I knew always used to hide behind his "libertarian" label and claim that is what he was when it got hard to defend dear leader!

Sunday, April 16, 2006

You can't catch me

A teenage girl acknowledged making about 1,000 fake 911 calls from her cell phone, laughing, taunting and saying, "You can't catch me," police said Monday.

Police said some of the calls made this month lasted several minutes, and one lasted an hour.

The girl was charged over the weekend with two counts of misdemeanor falsely reporting an incident for allegedly making six fake 911 calls from a local church phone Saturday.

"She didn't give us a reason for doing this," Chief of Detectives Dennis Richards said. "She was very disrespectful, and she said that she was going to keep calling 911."

There is a reason why teens sometimes do silly things, part of the reason is their brains have not yet developed to the point where they can make certain rational decisions or use logic, or may be it's the whole raging hormones thingy.
Oh and some of those phone calls were from a church... go figure!
Have a good Monday!

Friday, April 14, 2006

The Lovely Tobacco Companies...

Philip Morris is threatening legal action over the sale of a "Smoking Baby" doll--but not because the tobacco giant is offended by the thought of an infant lighting up, but rather because the diapered cigarette enthusiast appears to be enjoying a trademarked Marlboro.

In an April 7 letter to Toy Lounge, an online retailer, Philip Morris attorneys contend that the $5.95 ceramic doll comes equipped with a pack of cigarettes bearing a "logo confusingly similar" to Marlboro's "roof design," which is further described as "a pentagonal figure with a horizontal top and two vertical sides with two upwardly and inwardly sloping diagonals."

Link at the smoking gun

It's been a busy busy week, people out on vacation, deadlines to meet. I feel totally spent. Hope I have the energy to post on the weekend. :-)

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Outsourcing leads to some interesting/funny conversations across cultural and other differences between Americans and Indians --

I work for a company that like a lot of American companies these days is outsourcing to India. Rajkumar apparently a huge star in Karnataka (Bangalore is the capital where a lot of IT work is farmed out to) passed away. And as the link shows they are like totally nuts about him, and guess what Bangalore officially shut down.
Rajkumar passes away, Bangalore paralysed

Our Bureau / Chennai/ Bangalore April 13, 2006

For five crore Kannadigas, the demise of their idol Rajkumar was as dramatic as it was totally unexpected. His passing away following cardiac arrest at 1.45 pm brought the IT capital of the country to a total standstill.

As soon as the news of the actor's demise spread, the whole of Karnataka, especially the Old Mysore region (consisting of South and Central Karnataka districts), which is considered the actor�s bastion, observed an undeclared bandh as a mark of respect.

In Bangalore, traders and business establishments all downed shutters to condole the death of the star. The city came to a complete standstill with public transport services, including autorickshaws, going off the roads. A majority of the IT companies declared a holiday after incidents of stone throwing and torching of buses were reported.

Apparently the government later declared Thursday a holiday

The following is a conversation between a coworker and his offshore partners. Obviously no work got done, because of the sudden holiday and none will get done as Good Friday is a holiday. So a four day weekend for the offshore folks. Anyway I present their conversation which I found very funny.

Edited conversation with Offshore folks today.

Offshore: Hi AcmeCompanyguy

Offshore: goodmorning...

AcmeCompanyguy: hi

Offshore: Due to death of a great personality in Bangalore, today is declared as a holiday in Banglore

Offshore: so Offshore couldn't attend the call...

Offshore: And upto yesterday evening, it was confirmed that today will be a holiday.

AcmeCompanyguy: who died?

Offshore: One great personality, Raj Kumar

AcmeCompanyguy: it ok that you couldn't attend the call, by hte way.

Offshore: who was a great Film star, in Karnataka

AcmeCompanyguy: wow

AcmeCompanyguy: you guys have holidays for the deaths of film stars?...

AcmeCompanyguy: I wish we did

Offshore: No, not normally,

Offshore: but he was very much famous... :-)

AcmeCompanyguy: I see...

Offshore: and the city becomes very much sensitive,

AcmeCompanyguy: He must have been the "John Wayne" of India...

AcmeCompanyguy: or something like that

Offshore: yes in Karnataka,

Offshore: yes

AcmeCompanyguy: interesting.

My colleagues found in intriguing that a whole day was declared a holiday. Are the fans in the southern part of India more crazy about their film personalities compred to the rest of India?

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Things That Make You Go Whaaaaaat

Porn star's offer to Bin Laden
Italy's most famous porn star Cicciolina has offered herself to Osama Bin Laden.

The 55-year-old actress said it was about time somebody tackled the terrorist and claimed she could be just the woman for the job.

Speaking at an erotic fair in Bucharest, Romania, Cicciolina said: "It is time someone did something about Bin Laden, and I am ready to do it.

"I am ready to make a deal, he can have me in exchange for an end to his tyranny. My breasts have only ever helped people while Bin Laden has killed thousands of innocent victims."

The blonde porn star, whose real name is Anna Ilona Staller, pointed out that Bin Laden could learn from Saddam Hussein's mistakes.

In the 1990s she offered herself to Saddam Hussein if he gave up dictatorship of Iraq, and added that if he had taken up her offer "who knows what might have happened."

My thoughts on this. Ok very noble of ya lady, but I doubt this will work. OBL's gripes against the West are not because he isn't getting any ya know?
As for the picture for a moment I thought she was a guy. You know crossdressed and all (No offense meant to the guys who like to do that though).
As for her offer to Saddam, frankly lady I doubt if you would have made it out of Iraq. Saddam's sins had a reputation with the women esp Uday.
Dubya get a hint will ya? It will be 5 years since 911 and OBL is still free somewhere. Talk about being incompetent!

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Top 20 Strangest Gadgets and Accessories

I would call some them wierd. The complete list is here and I picked the ones I thought were really strange and/or funny. I present in order of ickiness...

1. This expensive ($601 USD), but striking laptop bag is made from synthetic human skin.

The “Skinbag” is shock absorbant, has 1 cm padding (fabric lining), and 1 side pocket for all your accessories. It measures approx. 39 x 29 cm or 14 x 11 in. and doubles as a regular carrying bag.
“The bags dedicated to electronic machines are waterproof and proctective jackets and become autonomous organisms. They anticipate the fusion between the digital and the organic.”

Some fusion....

2. Introducing the RSStroom reader by Yi Tien Electronics, with this gadget you’ll be able to print the latest RSS headlines directly on to rolls of toilet paper.

It also features Wi-Fi Connectivity, USB 2.0, and RSS 2.0/Atom compatibility. This reader interacts with your toilet bowl “biometrically” which basically means when you sit down this thing will weigh you. Depending on your weight, it’ll deliver you a customized news feed.

Talk about using the crappy news of the day to ahem wipe..crap

3. Put simply, this solid lime-wood knife block shaped like a human head would be a refreshing addition to any boring kitchen.

This piece was hand carved by Irene van Gestel.
“This is a lovely design-student project: a hand-carved knife-block shaped like a man’s head, the knives sticking out of it in gruesome humor."

Maybe they can customize it to make the knife block resemble your most hated person? There is an idea...

4.Not your ordinary speakers, these “Talking Lips” actually have moving lips that synchronize with your mobile phone or online chat conversations (Skype, etc.).

They come in three different colors (silver/black/red) and connect to your phone or computer via USB. Fortunatley, there’s an on/off switch on the bottom that will come in handy after the few seconds of entertainment are up.

Or might be a neat way to scare the bejeesus out of someone, like have the talking lips in another room and talk in to your phone or something..

5. This is not useful for a chopstick challenged guy like me, now if they made a fork version of it..

With these sauce dispensing chopsticks you’ll never have to dip your sushi in soy sauce again. For $21 you can own two pairs of these chopsticks, which are made from polypropylene and ABS, meaning they will break before you know it.

6. Humans have a thing for scatological stuff.. The link to this one is here. I just did not want to put that one up on my blog. :-) This might qualify as the ickiest of them all.

Monday, April 10, 2006

Martha Stewart's Way And Then There Is The Other More Practical/Realistic Way?
It's Monday lots to do, and am just plugging myself back in to the daily routine. Not a lot to say, so am just gonna reproduce something I saw on Sakshi's blog. So for your reading pleasure with a hat tip to Sakshi --

Martha's Way#1: Stuff a miniature marshmallow in the bottom of a sugar cone to prevent ice cream drips.
The Real Woman’s Way #1: Just suck the ice cream out of the bottom of the cone, for Pete’s sake, you are probably lying on the couch with your feet up eating it anyway.

Martha’s Way #2: To keep potatoes from budding, place an apple in the bag with the potatoes.
Real Woman’s Way #2: Buy Hungry Jack mashed potato mix and keep it in the pantry for up to a year.

Martha’s Way #3: When a cake mix calls for flouring the baking pan, use a bit of the dry cake mix instead, there won’t be any white mess on the outside of the cake.
Real Woman’s Way #3: Go to the bakery. They’ll even decorate it for you.

Martha’s Way #4: If you accidentally oversalt a dish while it’s still cooking, drop in a peeled potato and it will absorb the excess salt for an instant "fix me up."
Real Woman’s Way #4: If you oversalt a dish while you are cooking, that’s just too bad. Please recite with me the Real Woman’s motto: "I made it and you will eat it."

Martha’s Way #5: Wrap celery in aluminum foil when putting in the fridge and it will keep for weeks.
Real Woman’s Way #5: Celery? What’s that?

Martha’s Way #6: Brush some beaten egg white over pie crust just before baking to yield a beautiful glossy finish.
Real Woman’s Way #6: The Mrs. Smith frozen pie directions do not include brushing egg whites over the crust, so I don’t do it.

Martha’s Way #7: Cure for headaches: Take a lime, cut it in half and rub it on your forehead. The throbbing will go away.
Real Woman’s Way #7: Martha, dear, the only reason this works is because you can’t rub a lime on your forehead without getting lime juice in your eyes and then the problem isn’t the headache anymore, because now you are BLIND. A much better use for the lime is with tequila. You certainly won’t have a headache, not until the next day, anyway. If a headache does occur, repeat with the tequila and lime.

Martha’s Way #8: Don’t throw out all that leftover wine. Freeze into ice cubes for future use in casseroles and sauces.
Real Woman’s Way #8: Leftover wine???

Friday, April 07, 2006

Using A Blog To Propose To Your Girfriend...

We have heard of ways people propose to one another, at a game (with the question popping up on the electronic scoreboard), a quiet dinner and so on. But has anyone heard about a proposal made at a blog where the guy hangs out and the g/f occasionally?
Well guess what it happened today and it happened with two people I know at Atrios's blog Eschaton. Nim (thats his handle on the blog) borrowed Atrios's blog to ask Jen if she would marry him. I have a screenshot from the blog and the link will take you to the post.
Here is what the post said
" A Modest Proposal

Since the whole sordid affair started at Eschacon, Nim has borrowed this space to ask Jen whether she will have his ham hock in marriage. If she can forgive him for proposing on a blog, that is."

How do I know them? Eschaton is one of the most trafficked progresive blogs in the US. I have been hanging out at this place for more than 2 years now. I got to know the people via their handles/nicks. Having gotten to know them online some of the folks decided we should meet in Philadelphia where Atrios (Duncan Black) is based. This convention was called Eschacon links to some pics here and here. I am in a cpl of pics in the second link, kinda hard to spot, I shy away from pics ;-). I met Nim in person, and a bunch of fun people all of them bright, witty and intelligent. Vicki was also one of the people who hung out there. She brought her sis Jen along too. Jen is really sweet. Nim and Jen hit it off something a few of us notice. As the months went by we found out (via the blog) that they really developed a fondness for one another and fell in love. We knew things were serious when Nim moved to Michigan from Baltimore to be with Jen. Eschaton is often referred to as the "crack den" for us political junkies and I always check out what is happening (at least half a dozen times a day). I looked as usual when I had a few moments and saw this post. I was like wow thats neat of Nim to propose to Jen via a blog where we have sort of built an online community of friends.
Like the rest of the commentors I was glued to the PC. We were all waiting to hear what happened next, would Jen agree? Would she be upset that he asked her in a rather non traditional manner? When I last checked there were more than 900 comments on this post.
Here are some of the comments -
- I'm waiting for her to finish playing her game of online Scrabble. She refuses to close the browser to read it since I won't tell her what she has to see. Oy
he scrabble thing is killing me.

Probably killing you more, though...


20 tiles left in the bag.

This is like a bad sitcom
Nim, at some point please tell Jen that she kept hundreds of Atriots glued to their monitors for ages on a Friday afternoon while she finished up her Scrabble game. She owes us all a drink.

-it's not a first in the blogosphere, but probably a first on a major political blog.
should we spring for matching towel sets embroidered with their blog names? Ask GWPDA to find them a nice set of percale sheets?

- Awesome awesome awesome - what a way to end the week. I'm grinning so much my face is going to split.

I love weddings. Oh I do love them so. I've had 3. I think I might have another one in me. [just keeding.]
Nim congrats

my dad is opening up a bottle of champagne as I speak!
Nim:ROFLMAO. That has to be the funniest thing I've ever heard in my life.

I'm sorry. But that takes the cake. And hope she says yes!
You know, Nim, I hate to say this, but if it weren't for me, you never would have met the little vixen!
Did they just make history? The first blog-sponsored proposal?
this suspense is starting to get Hitchcokian. nim, are you freaking out or what?

Oh ya Jen did say yes to Nim!
But she waited cos she had no idea why Nim was asking her to look at something important on Eschaton. She is a scrabble junkie and was playing the game online when the proposal post (above pic) went up. Jen asked Nim to either wait or just tell her what it was. So Nim (and the rest of us) waited while she finished scrabble. Her handle is "High Priestess of Selune" if anyone actually wants to read and relive the experience and the nail biting tension in the comments link.
Her response -
"OMG Hell Yes!!!! (sorry about the scrabble incident)WOOO HOOO !!!!!High Priestess of Selune Homepage 04.07.06 - 3:07 pm "

My congratulations to two fine people!
I am so happy for both of them. That's a nice way to end a week. :-)

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Geeky Friday Post.....
Not really.. just my pathetic excuse for being too friggin tired to write anything more, but hey you gotta say a housefly with glasses is kinda cool or just too freaky...

From the National Geographic -
March 28, 2006—Pampering pets with designer goods isn't so unusual—and now even your houseflies can get outfitted in style.

An entry in a German science-photo competition, this image shows a fly sporting a set of "designer" lenses crafted and set in place with a cutting-edge laser technique. The glasses fit snuggly on the fly's 0.08-inch-wide (2-millimeter-wide) head.

Manufacturing firm Micreon GmbH submitted the insect's picture for the Bilder der Forschung (Photos of Science) 2005 competition. Selected images were on display last week in a Munich shopping center.

Micreon, based in Hannover, Germany (see map), created the fly's eyewear using ultrafast laser micro-machining. The firm notes on its Web site that the process can create objects with high precision at scales of less than a thousandth of a millimeter.

Nanotech, we are getting there slowly but surely. I am not sure we know exactly where this will lead us. Benfits will be there for sure, but it's a double edged sword. More later may be if I get time and feel like typing up my thoughts while on the train in the morning.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

The Endangered Indian Woman (Yes In Certain States In India This Is Happening)!

LONG, twirling moustaches and bejewelled daggers are no longer enough for a man seeking to marry in India's desert state of Rajasthan, long considered a land of fearless warriors.
But if he is lucky enough to have a sister, he can relax, a newspaper report said.
I read this here.
A declining sex ratio in the state is prompting a girl's parents to spurn offers of marriage from men unless the potential groom's family also has a marriageable daughter for their son, the Sunday Express said.

"Around 30 per cent of the marriages in the past year in Shekhawati region of Rajasthan were fixed on this swap system," local lawmaker Rajendra Chauhan said.

The sex ratio in many of Rajasthan's districts has dropped to 922 girls for every 1000 boys, according to the last census. In one or two villages, it has plummeted to less than 500, the paper reported.

The joint engagement pact, called "aata-saata", or the "double-couple plan", has emerged as young women find themselves much in demand in a state where the traditional preference, as in much of India, has been for sons.

Heavily skewed sex ratios have emerged in several parts of India as couples use ultra-sound technology to achieve their desire for a baby son despite such tests being illegal.

Another great example of how the treatment of women and the premium put on sons in certain cultures is putting a strain on the male/female ratio. With tools like sonography and other means to determine the sex of a child, selfish families have been practising female infanticide for many years despite laws on the books to the contrary.

Just a thought, now that it is so hard to find women for their sons, will this give the women a chance to step up and demand equal rights and protection, especially in some of these strongly patriarchial societies? When will people wake up?

As I love to say a truly progressive society can only be achieved when it has has women who have equal rights. Clearly some societies have ways to go despite the centuries of culture and customs which have often failed to keep up with the times.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

No This Is Not An April Fools Joke.. Jack was being a bad boy..

British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw really said this....

There he was standing before some 200 dignitaries in Blackburn, the cameras were rolling and Condoleezza "Condi" Rice was listening attentively.As he introduced his guest, the Foreign Secretary held up a copy of a local newspaper and read out the headline: "Condom….er, Condi Comes to the Centre of the World".

Ahh don't believe it? Here is the link. Also if you want to hear is a link to the audio file. It's only a 47 second long clip. The "word" is around 25 seconds in to the clip.
Ticked Off Tuesday..Sort Of
Ughh! I missed my usual train because of an overturned tractor trailer on I-95. So my long commute just got a bit longer. I am typing this post while sitting on the train, so when I get in I can just upload it. And this will also take my mind off the lost 45 mins, sitting behind the wheel of the car inching my way along the shoulder of the highway, just trying to get around that tractor trailer.
Get Your Cheap Flat Panel Teeeveeees Right Hea...

I sometimes don’t get people, if something is probably too good to be true, it probably is. How in the world would you fall for an oven door being passes off as a flat panel TV. Courtesy of the South Bend Tribune..
It isn't a crime police have seen many times before.
An unsuspecting woman purchased a "flat-screen television set" at a bargain price, the package even bubble-wrapped and complete with cord and controller.
But when the street consumer returned home that February day with her "steal" of a product, she was likely steamed.
"It was actually an oven door inside the package," explained South Bend Detective Sgt. Jim Walsh.
Police on Thursday arrested a suspect they believe sold the appliance piece to the woman. Walsh says recent thefts of oven doors from vacant properties may be linked to the scam.
The 42-year-old theft victim was reportedly approached by the 43-year-old suspect Feb. 20 at her job in the 1600 block of South Michigan Street. The asking price for the bogus TV screen was $500, but when the victim couldn't come up with the money, the suspect settled for $300.”

“Despite the bizarre fraud, police say oven doors are an increasingly hot item in area burglaries.
Just this week two reports of stolen oven doors made their way to South Bend Police.
The first happened Saturday at a home in the 400 block of North Arthur Street when a back door was kicked in and two suspects were seen exiting the residence carrying an oven door, according to reports.
The second occurred Monday at a home in the 900 block of South Twyckenham Drive, where a back door was forced open and the oven door removed from its frame.”

Oven doors are hot (no pun intended) items in area burglaries. It must be because there are enough gullible folks thinking that they can buy a flat screen TV on the cheap on the street. Simply amazing!

Monday, April 03, 2006

Manic Monday…..

I had two good weekends without any of my “weekend” headaches. Yes I only get weekend headaches. Based on my conversations with friends and colleagues, these must be stress headaches, since they happen only on the weekends, once the stress of the week has passed . An additional observation, they also appear to happen when I have a relaxed Sunday with nothing planned.
Heh! That’s exactly what happened this Sunday. I woke up with a bad headache, feeling slightly nauseous. Well it was time to pop that sinus/allergy headache pill again and back to bed. I woke up just to eat a bite and was out till 4:30 pm. That was when I felt normal again. Well then was the next fun part, doing our state income taxes. Took a couple of hours and that was that. Sunday gone kaput!
I have to say I enjoyed watching “Inside Man”. There was a movie that held my attention. Denzel Washington who plays a NYC detective was great as usual he is just such a smooth, effortless actor. Jodie Foster was good too except she had a small role and I thought not enough opportunities to display her considerable talents. I don’t think she even smiled during the movie, she has her usual Jodie Foster expressions (pursed lips). Movie had a great plot, Clive Owen was good too. There have been a lot of bank heist movies but this one had a twist, in that the bank robbers were really not after the considerable amount of cash in the vault. They were after something that belonged to the chairman of the bank, not of a huge monetary value. And Jodie Foster plays this sort of “person you go to when you need things done and don’t want to leave a trail”. Jodie is hired by the chairman of the bank played by Christopher Plummer, who is worried that the document would fall in to the wrong hands. What is left unexplained is how Jodie has that influence with the Mayor of NYC to get herself injected in to the scene of the crime. The bank robbers have been surrounded by the cops and taken whoever is in the bank as hostages. I am not going to give away some of the surprises in the movie.
One other thing about the movie is the music as the titles and credits roll. It was a Indian/Indi pop score “Chaiyya Chaiyya” . I subsequently found out that it is an A.R. Rehman song. Good beats and all but did not quite jive with the movie in anyway.
The movie had great dialog including the following by a Sikh character, who is a bank employee and is released by the bank robbers. As the cops drag him off his turban comes off and he protests his initial arrest as he is just a hostage. Then as Denzel and company are interrogating him, he complains about his problems.. being profiled at airports, on trains and anywhere he goes. I thought Denzel’s comeback at him was good. He says “But I am sure you don’t have a problem getting a cab though do you”. I thought it was a dig also at the fact that cab drivers will often hesitate to pick up black customers.
The movie is shot in NYC and most of the cab drivers are South Asian, people familiar with this would get the joke. A lot of people in the theatre did get it.
Good movie overall I thought.

Saturday, April 01, 2006

Finally A Not Too Busy Saturday (Well Sort Of..... )
After house hunting and friends visiting the past two weekends which was fun too but crazy busy, we finaly have a less busy Saturday. I think I need a 3 day weekend. Err.. but who doesn't?
So it's off to
- Getting the car washed
- Home Inspection
- Inside Man (Denzel, Jodie Foster and Clive Owen ..what's not to like). The movie reviews have been good too.
- Shop at Trader Joe's (umm love their Chicken Jalapeno Sausages)
- Watch History Of Violence on DVD. Viggo is hot (doesn't hurt that he is politically very aware and intelligent). *A* loves Viggo and Ed Harris (she will watch anything with him in it). As an added bonus there is Maria Bello. I think she is very underrated as an actress, folks might know her from ER, but she was really good in The Cooler. The Cooler was a bit of a let down despite the good acting. William H Macy should stop playing losers, he has that down pat. (There I go on all off topic).

Saw this piece of news. Political correctness gone too far or just plain wierd?
(England) - The head of the Jo Richardson comprehensive school in Dagenham, England, prohibits students from raising their hands in class, according to a January Daily Telegraph report, to keep those not called on from feeling ''victimized.''

Question.. how the heck does the teacher know that a student wants to respond? Do they design sign language - two rapid blinks/ finger up the nose/shake of the head for a raised hand?

Try not to follow the upward pointing arrow in the image below if you are on a bike ;-)