Saturday, July 26, 2014

An Evening At the Comedy Club

Last night, my wife and I went to a Comedy Club and Restaurant to watch the stand up comedian, Sinbad (born David Adkins).  He is the one and only.  Very famous in USA. Me and my wife both like him because he and Bill Cosby are the only two stand up comedians DO  NOT use any foul word or vulgar word or racist language.
No F word.
No S word.
No V word.
No N word.
No racist jokes.
No touching himself.
Yet, it was so fun to listen to him.  He was on stage for 1 hour and 30 minutes.  Every minute the whole auditorium came down with laughter.
I don’t know about other countries because I never went to a stand up comic show in any other country.  Nowadays, in USA, all of the above “NO” I have listed, are the main topics in stand up comedy.
In addition to attending in person once in a while, we occasionally watch on TV and in Youtube.  It is very embarrassing if there is any kid present in the room. So we don’t watch when kids are in the living room.
There is one famous stand up comedian who use the V word every 2 minutes.  I don’t know if he likes V a lot or hates V a lot.
Here is a sample from Sinbad’s stand up comedy:


Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Idea for Stopping Rapes in India

There was a news item in USA a week ago.  In Florida, a dad came home at 1 A.M. in the night and walked into his 11 year old son’s room.  He saw an 18 year old man sexually abusing and raping his son.  He was the babysitter for this kid till the dad came home.  Dad got angry as any dad would.
He took care of him the next 20 minutes and then called the 911 (Emergency Call System in USA).  It includes medical emergency also.  He told the operator what happened and asked them to send an ambulance.  The operator asked if there were any weapons involved.  The dad replied “my foot and my fist”.  Look at the 18 year old after the dad took care of him for 20 minutes.  I would say the dad showed extraordinary restraint.
                                                               (Courtesy: Yahoo)
Police did not charge the dad.  The Chief of Police said: The dad did what a dad has to do.
The 18 year old is charged with sexual battery on a child under 12. He is being held without bail.  I don’t think this guy would go near a kid in future.
This is what I have been telling my family and friends in India for years.  Even today my heart bleeds when I think of that medical school girl in New Delhi who was gang raped in December 2012.  I have been telling everyone the judge should release all the rape and pedophile criminals on one condition.  They are free to get out of the court on the condition they should walk home.  The judge should also tell the police to stay away.
We need the cooperation of the police also.  Police should not book any criminal case against rapists and pedophiles.  If it is proved they are the culprits, police should ask them to go home walking (with advance information to the victim’s relatives.) (Caution: We don't want to make the police as the "judge" and "jury" also.)
Some people will say we should not take the law into our own hands.  This is not at all like this.  Parliament should change the current law (to what I have suggested) with regard to punishing the person who is found guilty of rape/pedophile.  If we are all united in this we can achieve this. How?
Bombard with thousands of emails to your MPs.
Call their phone numbers and leave messages.
Fax your requests to your MPS.
Tell them not to come to your city/town/village unless this bill is passed.
You can always use Facebook and Twitter. (Modi likes these two. He will read and get the message.)

What do you think?

Sunday, July 20, 2014

The Best Photobomb

Remember, recently I wrote a post on Photobomb.  Look at this picture.  Don’t you think this is the best photobomb!
                                                                  (Courtesy: Yahoo)
This photo was clicked exactly on this day, 45 years ago, on July 20, 1969.
Can you tell me what this photo is all about?  OK I will tell.

On July 20, 1969, when American Astronaut Neil Armstrong set foot on the Moon, he took a photo of his lunar module on the surface of the moon.  His shadow appears as a photobomb.
Since his shadow also appears, I would call this a “selfie” also.
What do you think?

Thursday, July 17, 2014

So Sad

You all by now know about the Malaysia Airlines (it is not MalaysiaN) Flight 17 (Boeing 777) was shot down over Russian-Ukrainian Border.  Both sides are blaming each other.  But the real tragedy is 298 innocent lives are lost, for no fault of their own.
May they rest in peace and may God grant their families and friends the strength to bear this irreparable loss.
One of the passengers on that plane, Cor Pan, posted a picture of that “ill fated” plane in Facebook, before boarding.  He wrote:
"If it should disappear, this is what it looks like."
Malaysia Airlines Flight MH-17 is seen at the G3 gate of Schiphol Airport in Amsterdam, before it took off, heading to Kuala Lumpur.
He wanted to joke about another Malaysia Airlines flight that mysteriously disappeared over the Indian Ocean in March.
The poor guy did not know a few hours later his flight too would disappear.
My heart goes out for this guy and his family and all the 298 innocent passengers.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Wine Tasting

California is a great wine country, especially Northern California, especially San Francisco Bay Area.  Napa Valley wineries are world famous.  Livermore wineries are also very famous.  One plus point for Livermore.  It is only 10 minutes from our home.  I don’t know why people visit from foreign countries wish to visit Napa though Livermore is equally good.
Other than Napa and Livermore, there is one more place that is very famous in USA.  That is the wineries in Sonoma County (Just next to Napa).  We have been to Napa and Livermore several times but never been to any winery in Sonoma County.  So we decided to go there last weekend.
We started at around 12 noon on Saturday and reached Unti Vineyards in Dry Creek Valley.  We tasted 5 different wines.
                                                              Tasting Room - Unti
I digress here.
When wine tasting became a fashion in USA, it was free.  The big name brand wineries started charging $5 person.  Some even charge $10 or $20 person.  Not so famous, but good, wineries still do not charge and serve free of charge.  But one good thing is, in most of the wineries, if you buy a bottle of wine, they waive the charges. 
We were 6 adults.  In Unti, we should have paid $30 for wine tasting.  But we bought a bottle of wine for $23.  They waived the cover charges.
Then visited Raymond Burr Vineyards.  Remember the famous actor Raymond Burr.  He owns this Vineyard.  He is a character actor who became famous from acting in Perry Mason and Ironside.  He was never married.  After his death, his domestic partner Robert Benevides (another actor) owns this now.
                                                       Tasting Room - Raymond Burr
There is no charge here. Still, we bought a bottle here also for $25.
Then we went to Francis Ford Coppola’s Winery.  Remember him?  The famous Hollywood Movie Director.  He directed the movie, The Godfather, starring Marlon Brando.  The description of this winery will take a whole post.  Therefore, I will write about this in my next post.
After dinner, we stayed in a hotel that night.
Next morning, after breakfast, we visited one more winery on our way home.  It is the Alexander Valley Vineyards.  We sampled some wine.  We did not buy anything.  Still, the bartender waived the charges.
                                           Tasting Room - Alexander Valley Vineyards
Here are some more photos:
                                                                   Vineyard - Unti
                                                            Vineyard - Raymond Burr
Grapes are crushed in this - Alexander Valley Vineyards
            Wine Barrels are stored in a cave - Natural cool - Alexander Valley Vineyards
                            Stored Barrels in a cave - Capacity: each barrel is 225 liters
                                          Green Grapes - Alexander Valley Vineyards
                                            Red Grapes - Alexander Valley Vineyards
Even if someone do not drink, it just a good way to spend an enjoyable weekend.
Stay tuned for our experience in Francis Ford Coppola’s Winery.

Friday, July 11, 2014

Maria and Sachin

(I was going to write how absurd to have a match for the third place in the World Cup.  All those 32 teams qualified for the World Cup are professionals.  In my opinion, any team can beat any other team on any given day.  All these teams vowed for the Championship.  It is a disgrace to make 2 of those teams to play for the third place.)
(But I am not going to write.  My strongest critic, my wife, LG, says she is tired of reading too many sports related posts.  Therefore, this will one will be the last.  Not for ever.  Just for a while.)
There was a news item that tennis player Maria Sharapova said she does not know who Sachin Tendulkar is.  Here comes most of the Indian newspapers and television channels “scolding” Maria for being so ignorant.  One newspaper (I think it is Hindustan Times) wrote:
We hope you read up on cricket soon, Maria.  Because this population that comprises 17.5% of the global population won’t take not knowing Ten(times God)ulkar lightly.
There are a lot of facebook attack also by the Sachin zealots.
This is just another cheap headline grabber designed to catch people in India who thinks the world revolves around them and everyone in the world knows (or cares) what happens there.
I fail to understand the purpose of this anger at Maria. Why should this thing be so shocking? Cricket is played and followed only in a handful of countries. Maria Sharapova does not come from any of those countries. Then why should there be an obsessive expectation that everybody in the world should know Sachin Tendulkar?
I’m not demeaning anybody’s greatness. I myself agree that Sachin is a legend, but would not expect everyone to know him.  Me, my wife, and son went all the way to England (Lords) and India (Chennai) to watch Sachin during the world cup a few years ago. I am sure he would not be offended by Maria’s remarks.
Just want to ask these guys if they know who Joe Montana is? He was the Quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers, American Football team.  In his playing days, he was the highest paid athlete in the world.  But I know that no one outside the USA would know his name (possible exception is Canada).  Just wiki Joe Montana if you want to know more about him.
If someone asks Sania Mirza who Joe Montana is, I would bet she will say “never heard of him” and she would not recognize him from S#@t.  Will Americans get angry? No.  They will say the guy who asked that question to Sania is an idiot.
PS: Someone wrote in NDTV that 50% of India’s rural population do not know who Sachin Tendulkar is.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

World Cup Finals

In the semi-final soccer match today, Germany humiliated the number one seed and the host country, Brazil.  The score 7 to 1. Their Government, probably thinking Brazil will go to the “Final”, invited leaders from many countries to watch the finals.  Now that Brazil will not be in the finals, what the Brazilian Government may do?
Cancel the invitations? Or
Cancel the final itself?
There have been incidents in the past where the organizers have cancelled the finals.  Here is one I came to know off.
In the 1960s and 1970s, there was a school in Delhi called American School.  It is for teaching the American kids living in Delhi.  They used to have a basket ball tournament every year.  It was called Lincoln Memorial Basketball Tournament.
A few local school teams and many men’s team would participate.  Indian men’s average height was around 5’8”.  American school kids average height was around 6’2”.  American school kids would win the tournament every year.  They will keep the trophy to themselves.
One year, by luck (or unlucky for American kids) American School was defeated by a local team in the semi-finals and did not go to the finals.  Do you know what the American School administration did?
They cancelled the finals.  Gave no reasons.  And, they cancelled the tournament also from the subsequent year.
Don’t worry.  The World Cup Final will not be cancelled.  It is not organized by the Brazilian Government. It is organized by the FIFA (International Federation of Association Football).

Sunday, July 6, 2014

One Nil

(I wrote this post during the previous (2010) World Cup in South Africa. In the finals, Spain beat Netherlands One Nil.  Four years ago, soccer was not that popular in USA.  Broadcasters were never heard of the word "NIL".  So they took a special liking in pronouncing that word.  I have almost a new set of readers now to my blog (I took a 2 year sabbatical).  It is for their benefit.  Hope you like this post.)
Published on July 7, 2010.
Today will be an enthusiastic day for American sports announcers in television and radio stations. Here is the reason.
The meaning for the word “nil” is zero or nothing. In sports, it is used in soccer very commonly. However, in USA, when there is no score the term “nothing” is used. Never have they used the word “nil”. Also, soccer is not that popular in USA yet.
But there is lot of enthusiasm here during the soccer world cup. It is given very high priority in news. World cup matches are televised live.
Sports announcers get a kick out of saying the word “nil”. Actually, they love saying it. They enjoy saying it. If the score is something like 2 to 1, they don’t show that much enthusiasm. There is some enthusiasm when the score is “2 nil” or “3 nil” or “nil nil”. But their biggest pleasure is when they announce the score “one nil”. Their pronunciation is more pronounced. A few minutes ago, Spain beat Germany one nil. They will be very happily saying throughout the day:
Today Spain beat Germany onnneeennniiilll. (Keep the "n" in your tongue a little longer).