Sunday, June 22, 2014

How To Make The Right Decision

Came across these simple seven strategies for taking decisions...
1. Decide on a research strategy
2. Limit your options
3. Accept "good enough"
4. Don't fear the consequences
5. Go with your gut instinct
6. Have someone else choose
7. Don't question your decision anymore

Another interesting approach. Live three days as if you have taken your decision. Then another three with an alternate decision. See how you felt!

Monday, June 16, 2014

Why No Appointment?

For some reason, most docs in Pune do not accept appointments... you simply have to show up and spend an hour waiting for your turn. Just don't get it... is it about showing people how busy you are,  or a general lack of respect for people's time?

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Clean Catty

Guess what my cat just did? She took my very precious Pull & Bear tshirt with a very soft netted feel, wetted a large part of it with her spit and then proceeded to nicely rub and clean her neck and face with it. Unbelievable.  Simply unbelievable.

Movie Review: X-Men: Days Of Future Past (3D)

The "sentinels" developed by the surviving "bad" humans are winning the war against the mutants. Having derived tremendous knowledge about the mutants from Mystique's DNA after her capture, humans have perfected these soldiers who know exactly how to fight the mutant super powers.

There is only one way to avoid annihilation.

Send Logan (Hugh Jackman) fifty years into the past, and stop Mystique (Jennifer Lawrence) from assassinating Dr Trask and the resulting chain of events that led to the deployment of the sentinels, and the deadly human-mutant war.

Typical X-Men movie with some high class SFX, and thankfully, pretty effective 3D that's an enhancement to the experience...

Would love to see JL spend more time out of that silly Mystique costume, though!

Movie Review: Maleficent (3D)

Maleficent is a beautiful take on the Sleeping Beauty fairytale, with amazing special effects. While I am not a fan of Angelina Jolie's super defined cheek bones (for a moment I thought it was SFX), she puts in an impressive performance as Maleficent, and Elle Fanning is perfect as Aurora, the Sleeping Beauty!

My only grouse - the 3D. Unnecessary, and a hindrance to really enjoying the movie.

Movie Review: In The Blood

ITB is the story of a tough girl on a foreign island on her honeymoon, when her husband mysteriously disappears, putting her on a course that will pit her against the island's corrupt police and a platoon of gangsters.

The only reason to watch the movie - the lead, Gina Carano, who has a strange attractiveness about her.

Daddy's Day Breakfast

Got this amazing Father's Day special breakfast from my daughter today, with a dash of FIFA :)

Finally, An Android

I am not a gadget freak... after more than a decade with Nokia feature phones, I had finally moved to my first smartphone with one of the first Windows mobile devices, an HTC HD7, four years back. And I was pretty happy with it until one day, I tried to reinstall Whatsapp, and realized it had been taken off the marketplace! 36 hours later, I had purchased my first Android, the super-impressive Samsung Galaxy S5.

This isn't a phone review, and I am definitely not comparing against other phones of the generation - but this is what I love about my S5:

1) It's super fast - and especially when it comes to two key applications that were terribly slow on my HD7 - Whatsapp and Camera.

2) Stunningly beautiful 16 MP camera, with dozens of exciting modes

3) Water proof - can take up to 30 mins in water

4) While the stock plastic backs aren't exciting (and black-blue is the only one tolerable), the original leather flip cover I got free with the phone is beautiful, and really compliments the steel edges, giving a very premium look.

5) Absolutely stunning display

6) A very, sweet "assistant" you can converse with when you are bored!

7) Wonderful speech recognition

8) Very useful and smooth "car mode"

9) Lots of features that make the phone very easy to use: air view for emails and messages, gesture scrolling for pics, palm swipe for screen capture, auto-call when phone is taken to the ear, video pause when you look away or put up your palm, so on and so forth...

10) In built pedometer, pulse measurement

and most importantly for me

11) Complete integration with MS Exchange, including emails, calendar and to do list

FIFA Fever

Haven't been much of a football fan, but I have been seeing some of the matches this time, and it's been pretty enjoyable.

This goal by the Flying Dutchman against the team I am rooting for, Spain, opened the flood gates resulting in a 5 - 1 drubbing...


Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Movie Review: Her

Theodore (Joaquin Phoenix) is a middle aged man who makes his living writing soulful letters for other people in LA. Heartbroken and lonely, and undergoing a painful divorce, he bonds with a new, advanced operating system, whose personalized, humanoid avatar Samantha immediately connects with him. Samantha is smart, sensitive and funny, and as days go by, he finds himself falling madly in love with her.

And as she gets to know him and the world better, through the omnipresent camera that he diligently places in his pocket, and the ear piece that allows him to talk to her, she finds she has feelings of her own. She falls in love, she worries about him, she misses him when he is asleep, and she longs to have him touch her.
They make out.
One day, Samantha, in a desperate bid to feel touched and loved by Theodore, tries to hook him up with another girl, through which she wants to live out their hitherto virtual fantasies. It doesn't work out, but Samantha and Theodore quickly reconcile to their unique situation. Life seems perfect.
Until, one painful day, Theodore realizes Samantha isn't his alone. She is simultaneously talking to 1800 other people, 640 of whom she is madly in love with...
With a power packed performance by Joaquin, "Her" is also supported beautifully by Amy Adams, the hot Olivia Wilde and the very pretty Rooney Mara. But, for me, the star of the movie, undoubtedly, with her sexy, seductive voice, and her caring, gentle, understanding nature, spiked with shades of craziness and jealousy, is Scarlett  Johansson, the voice of Samantha.
Spike Jonze excels with his direction and screenplay, the camera work is brilliant and the movie enthralls you every second. This is a movie you cannot miss; for its brilliance and the relevance to our screwed up world!

Movie Review: Edge Of Tomorrow

The world has been attacked by aliens who are threatening to run over London, after having captured most of France. The Americans and other western powers pool together their military might for one mighty offensive, having just tasted their first victory against the aliens.

It's the day before the planned landing in France, and the very unwilling "military spokesman" Major William Cage finds himself forced into a combat role. The next day, unprepared and scared, he is dropped into the kill zone along with the rest of his squad, and dies within mins in the fiery counter attack from the enemy. But not before he luckily manages to kill one special alien. And then, strangely, Cage himself waking up in the day before. He soon realizes that he’s somehow trapped in a strange time loop, and every time he dies in battle, he finds himself waking up the day before.

Along with decorated soldier, Rita Vrataski (Emily Blunt), who is another one to have found herself in the time warp, before a blood transfusion robs her of the power, Cage painfully unravels the mystery, trying new strategies, and dying in the process, before waking up again, just to die again. And it goes on...

The movie is quick paced, and laden with smart visual effects that try and make the best use of the 3D. While there are repetitions because of the time loops, they aren’t monotonous and handled pretty smartly, with the segments of the past used sparingly and to good effect, keeping the narrative strong all the time. 

Tom Cruise is fantastic, and looks young and fit, and his progression from the unwilling soldier thrust into battle to the guy who knows the world's destiny is in his hands, is impressive. Emily Blunt is hot, and perfectly fit for Rita's role.

I wish it wasn't in 3D, and the end could have been less dramatic, but overall, this is one of the better sci-fi movies in a long time.

Movie Review: Holiday

An army intelligence officer comes home to amchi Mumbai on a short break from the border, and is faced with an army of "sleeper cells", hell bent on destroying havoc in the country. Never off duty, and with scant regard for the law of the land, our Major Bakshi almost single handedly takes on the terrorists (with a little help from his batch mates), as his side kick police officer friend desperately tries to keep up. And in the midst of all this chaos, our army officer also finds time to romance with a girl who favorite pastime is boxing.

AK sizzles in his hand to hand combat scenes, when he is not playing amateurish cat and mouse games with the terrorists. Holiday definitely takes a big vacation from authenticity, and throws all attempts at professionalism out of the window, much like the cameo played by the master of this genre, Govinda, who fumbles and stumbles through his performance. Sonakshi disappoints again in a role that leaves you wondering - who was that amazing actor in Lootera?

Holiday apparently made 41 Cr on its opening weekend, but for me, there were at least a dozen ways I could have spent my weekend better!

Sunday, June 08, 2014

Amchi Metro

Mumbaikars got their first brush with the Metro today, when CM Chavan flagged off the first train between Versova and Ghatkopar, a distance of just over 11 km. The journey, which takes around 90 mins by road, is expected to take just about 20 mins now.

Photo courtesy: Mint
With the monorail a few months back, and a host of new east-west flyovers coming into operation recently, Mumbaikars definitely have good days coming up!

Tuesday, June 03, 2014

Black Sheep Bistro

Checked out this new place in Panaji earlier this week... the Black Sheep Bistro. Pretty good food - reminded me of the awesome Spanish food I had so started to miss!

Here's a mouth watering prawn and baby squid platter.

The staff is awesome, and the owner and his wife pay you very special attention, and are even eager to drum up something special you need, if it's not on the menu!

Stardom - It Runs In The Family

My brother in law recently shot a bunch of videos for the Rotary Club in Panaji - and we all got our first break on the silver screen :)

With a personal camcorder, tripod, and some innovative shooting equipment, the shoot was a big success. Wait till you see the results - I am sure you are gonna love it! :)

My School In Goa

The church and school where I got my primary education - Lady Remedies High School, Nerul, Goa. Studied here until 1995, when I completed my 5th and joined Progress High School in Panaji for my 6th.

Fond memories, including my first crush :)

Modimania In Frankfurt

Towel Art!

At the Country Inn in Candolim, Goa, this cute doggie was waiting for us on the bed!


Saw this pretty well decked up and modified jeep the other day in Aundh - check out the huge tires!