Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Rip DVDs (and other media) to video iPod

Wired has this article which shows how to rip a DVD to your iPod. A few pointers though. You could try DVD Decrypter instead to dump the DVD files to your comp. Its a very small file and works like a charm. The 3gp converter that it talks about is quite good and better than Videora and faster than Quicktime Pro. Videora had crashed for me quite a few times and Quicktime just takes ages to convert even music videos. I didn't have the patience to convert movies. Another quick way to find iPod ready videos is on the P2Ps. But do keep in mind most of them (movies) could be screen prints or might not work properly on the iPod. All music videos though work absolutely fine.

Sunday, February 26, 2006

A cup win, finally!

ManUtd thrashed Wigan at Cardiff last evening in the Carling Cup Final to take home a trophy in almost 2 years. Thats not a ManUtd fan is used to. But hey, its better than ending the season yet again with no silverware. Inspite of missing midfielders, ManUtd played a full strength team (considering the injury list) and decided to drop Nistelrooy for Saha. And the latter made it count with a goal and assists. Rooney slipped in a brace while Ronaldo scored too. I expected it to be more of a fight as I like Wigan's fighting spirit. The fact that they have reached a cup final on their entry to the premier league and that they are at 40 points when most had written them off before the seaon began is victory for them! Hope that this victory leads to more silverware in the near future. Immediate goal: finish in 2nd place and qualify for Europe.

Cross-posted at Welcome to the Ball Game.

Saturday, February 25, 2006

Hamlet, Anu Malik and mixes

The evening started with Hamlet at Rangashankara. It wasn't your usual Shakespeare-English Hamlet. This one was a fusion of three traditions - Yakshagana, Dhrupad and Theatre. The concept was quite brilliant and I was quite impressed. Its on tomorrow evening at 7:30 too, so catch it if you haven't.

Back home I caught a little of the Filmfare 'Live' Awards. Why do they call it live when its surely not, its a deferred live telecast and even a moron would know that when you have adverts taking 15 min between sections. This is supposed to be the Indian version of the Oscars but the production and quality is a far cry. You can hear things in the background, audio feeds are not taken from indivual channels - they telecast the sound the audience hears! C'mon. Anyways, what entertained me was Javed taking Anu Malik's trip. He was hillarious. I can't explain - if you do get to see it, please don't miss it. If you were interested, Black swept the awards.

In the end I'll leave you with this blog (Pop77) - have kept going back there for mixes. You are never disappointed if you love music - old and new. Go there and download the latest mix. Very nice selection.

Still groggy...

Hadn't gone out for sometime. Actually I hate doing that with weekend traffic acting like a pop-up everytime we think of going out. Fridays are slightly better. After office. Headed to Firangi-Paani with a couple of colleagues - who are also batchmates. Bangalore has this new fascination with couples on weekends. Being single is quite a crime. A few guys can't go out and get a few pints. And we shell out a lot more than the couples. Anyways, I knew one of the guys at the pub and we got in. We chatted, drank, ate till it was movie time. Saw 'Memoirs of a Geisha'. I wouldn't say it was my fave. It would one of the dvds that would be lying around and I would watch it only when I didn't have anything else to watch. It just isn't gripping as a drama. Contrary to that, watch 'The Joy Luck Club' if you haven't watched it. That was quite nice. Watched it ages ago. Got back home to see my flatmate's friends still partying. So joined in and it was 3am by the time I decided to call it a night. Had to wake up early and call home - stupid time difference! So still groggy. Bright side: the cook is in and I can smell some pomphret! :)

Friday, February 24, 2006

Can you do this?

Kau, this is the video I was talking of, which I had seen a while back on the Nike site. Got it off the YouTube.

All that you can leave behind...

...for a fresh start - thats the new Indian cricket mantra. Carry less baggage and you travel better. Makes sense. And don't for a second believe the rubbish that Kiran More feeds you. 'His chance will come', 'doors aren't closed' etc etc. Why doesn't he just say it as it is. We aren't morons and we anyways know what's happening. Most of these people love the Hindi movies and if they can't find the trees, beating around the bush is the most loved job! Anyways, I really don't care as long as the team does well. I was happy they won 4-1. Sometime back an Indian team wouldn't care for a dead rubber and lose the last game. But there's a ruthlessness and quiet confidence in this team that's quite refreshing.

And I for one, did not expect Ganguly to get back. He isn't coming back. Ever! Atleast till Greg's there. And actually, in all fairness he doesn't fit in now. He's served his time and we love and respect him for the fact that he had transformed the attitude of the team and led them to wins abroad. But its time for someone to take up the baton and run the next part of this never-ending race. As they say 'The journey is the destination!' Adios amigo!

The squad's stronger in fielding (except Laxman - but he is a very good slip fielder), has a fair mix of youth and experience. I like the fact that the team's making a gradual transition to the Aussie way. You stay in the team on merit. We will give you a few chances. You can't perform? There's someone waiting in the line. The benchstrength is something we did not have earlier. People were pulled up for odd matches after doing well in domestic cricket and they didn't go on to play too many matches for India. Specially fast bowlers. Well 'fast' is not right eh? Did we ever have an express bowler? Not since I was born for sure.

Piyush Chawla is a good find and I really hope he learns and has a long career ahead of him. Kumble isn't gonna play for too long. We need a good bowler like Chawla. Vantage point has been following him closely and so has been 22nd floor. We all hope he does well.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

For your ears only

Thanks to Prerona, I found the link I was looking for. The direct link is here.

Have been hearing a lot of Imogen Heap lately. Couldn't find the album track, but here's a remixed version.

Imogen Heap - Hide and Seek (remix)

This one I absolutely love. Had discovered Jeff Buckley a few years back and he just blows you away. James, you will like this one.

Jeff Buckley - Hallelujah

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Fun with movies quiz

Try this quick quiz here. Has screenshots of 30 movies - old, new, international. Should be quite easy. I got 27. Go ahead and crack it.

Part I of the quiz is here. 30 more.

Grapes, them sour Jose?

Here we go again. This is the post match interview clip with Jose Mourinho after last night's defeat (Chelsea lost 2-1). He is mumbling something about Messi play-acting and the game wasn't 'pure' after the sending off of Del Horno.

"I don't think we should talk about it as a game, because after that the game was not a game.

"It was a pure game until that moment, it was 11 against 11, two good teams tactically thinking a lot about the game, not many mistakes, not many chances but an open game.

"There is no point talking about the game after that."

Oi Jose! Where the f*** were you when Robben (who was shielding Messi in the build-up to the foul last night) got Jose Reina sent off not too long ago??? That game was pure eh? Robben looked like he was murdered a 'few times' when there was hardly any contact. So is it the case of the pot calling the kettle black? Grapes in Stamford Bridge are sour I guess. Maybe they grow more potatoes in that shocker of a football field!

But on a serious note, FIFA should take a hard look at 'Playacting' which is getting notorious as days go by. I can understand if you do that to waste time at the end of the game, but to do that and influence referees to send other players off? Thats a complete shame. I'm quite sure such controversial incidents could be referred to an off-field referee (with the help of replays). Lit bit of technology never hurt anyone.

Here is the wrap-up of last night's games. Barca, Bremen, Inter look favourites to go through to the next round. We will know in a couple of weeks. For the roundup of games played Tuesday night, click here.

Cross-posted at Welcome to the Ball Game.

West Side Story: what's changed in all these years?

I was watching West Side Story last night. Its one of the classics and some argue its one of the best musicals. I won't get into that. What struck me is the base on which this story is woven. Its about two rival gangs - American and Puerto Rican back in the 60's. Its about America and immigrants, trying to fit in. For the ignorant, Josh - the bollywood movie was based on this. Not the ending though - don't think they could kill off Shah Rukh - could have been bad for the box office. Anyways, if you pay close attention to the lyrics and the story, I don't think there's much of a change in the socio-environment today is it? Maybe the players have changed, new ethnic groups have come in. But has race-discrimination really died down? I would say no but some may argue.

Here's a smaple of the lyrics to the song 'America' in this musical:
I like to be in America
Ok by me in America
Everything free in America
For a small fee in America

Buying on credit is so nice
One look at us and they charge twice
I have my own washing machine
What will you have, though, to keep clean?

Skyscrapers bloom in America
Cadillacs zoom in America
Industry boom in America
Twelve in a room in America

Lots of new housing with more space
Lots of doors slamming in our face
I'll get a terrace apartment
Better get rid of your accent

Life can be bright in America
If you can fight in America
Life is alright in America
If you are all white in America

I found the last stanza quite interesting. Singing the same song today too? Hmmm.

Monday, February 20, 2006

Tales in two cities

India thrashed Pakistan by 8 wickets to wrap the series 4-1. Is Yuvraj finally living up to his promise? I hope so. Kaif must be feeling the heat. He made a total of 13 runs in 4 matches, with his highest being 8. Is he going to be dropped to let Ganguly get in? Don't think so. Its about blooding youngters isn't it?
But more than the match I enjoyed the comments of Imran Khan which had me in splits. He was seething. If only he was in Karachi, he would have strangled a few of those players. Woolmer would be the first. But you couldn't agree with him more. On one hand, India sends its top batsmen at 1,2,3,4 while Pak sends them at 4,5,6. Would you rather have 100/1 or 50/3? I don't think I need to answer that one.
The other guy who has me in splits is Inzy at each of his post-match interviews with Rameez Raja. I think Rameez gets a sadistic pleasure in interviewing him in English while he interviews some of the Indian players (who aren't that fluent in English) in Hindi. I haven't heard anyone in love with 'is' in each and every sentence.
Rameez - 'Bad luck today?'
Inzy - 'Ya the indian batsman is play very good today. We is try very hard but is not win the game.'
Behchare ko hindi mein hi pooch lo please! But then, would we have a laugh then? Hmmm.

India and Pak matched up here too in the U19 world cup final and roles were reversed as India capitulated under some intense swing bowling and were bundled up for 71. This happened after the Indian spinners restricted Pak to just 109 (well it looked 'just' then). The only consolation was that Pujara was declared the man of the series. Piyush Chawla tried to put up a rescue act but it was quite in vain as batsmen around him fell like bowling pins. But don't be surprised if Chawla is included in the squad to face England. With Bhajji not impressing lately, its going to be just a matter of time till Chawla comes knocking on the door.

Elsewhere, the England team's not showing any blood and thunder against the Board President's 11. At the end of their second innings they have set the home team 311 to win. Irrespective whether they win or lose, they don't show signs of coming into this series as the World Number 2 team (do the rankings lie?)

Friday, February 17, 2006

Quote Unquote

"Most of our life is a series of images. They pass us by like towns on the highway. But sometimes a moment stuns us as it happens. And we know that this instant is more than a fleeting image. We know that this moment, every part of it, will live on forever."


Surfing through the net and this is what I got:

1. First full motion stamps launched in The Netherlands. In the comments section there is a link to how the stamp looks too.
2. Sony shoots themselves in their feet. Again! Once I was inspired by 'Made in Japan'. But now its the most locked-in product manufacturing company ever. And so expensive! Who makes devices that most people can't use with their other products.
3. Gmail Skins are in. Have look. For firefox only.

Thursday, February 16, 2006


since this post is not about something specific, couldn't come up with a better title.

Aparna reminded me about Hepburn and Breakfast at Tiffanys. And 'Moonriver'. Hepburn is my all time fave and the movie too. The song too. Its just dreamy. Thats all. Reminded me of the last episode of Sex and the City Season 4 where Big leaves this record for Carrie.

Indian cricket teams (seniors and juniors) seem to be on a roll. Quite a few u19 players are getting into the senior team which is a good sign. Raina is the latest addition. WIndies would be the test. The only worrying part is that the team changes its fast/medium bowlers over seasons quite like how the erstwhile bollywood heroines changed their clothes in the dance sequences. Balaji was a hit last tour. Where is he now? Will Sreesanth and RP Singh stick? Only time will tell. But we do need an express-quick bowler. Now!

Super-sub rule is due for a scrap. Kau asks why. I agree. Instead of going forward we are taking two steps behind. And Twenty20 championship is being uttered in the same breath! Hmmm.

And I am hugely pissed. EspnStar is not showing the ManUtd v Liverpool FA Cup match on saturday as its clashing with the Bangalore Open semis (where Sania has lost, neither is a top 10 player present) and the India-Pak Hockey test. What if this was a cricket match? Could they have pulled it off the air then? I wonder.

Monday, February 13, 2006


1. Richard Ashcroft - Break the night with colour
2. Hot Hot Heat - Middle of nowhere
3. LMC vs New Radicals - You get what you give
4. Strays Don't Sleep - For blue skies
5. Dire Straits - So far away


Was going through a resume when a few Dilberts came in from Belf. Timing!

The weekend that was

Last weekend was hectic. In a good way. No, it wasn't about going somewhere or doing any errands. It was basically about eating! Kau was down and he had insisted about a food tour. So sat morning James and I were with him for the Mojo brunch - english breakfast with beer. Then we went shopping for second hand books. I picked up a couple of Steinbecks - 'Grapes of wrath' and 'East of Eden', the x-files handbook and a few old issues of rolling stone. I dunno how I do this...can't come out of a book or a music store empty handed! Anyways, since we wanted to see the cricket match and eat biriyani too, we headed to Hyd Mahal (next to Magazines on Church Street). While the biriyani was ok, the kebabs weren't that great. So not going back there.

Headed back home then where James gave me a load of comics (Frank Miller, Alan Moore etc etc) to read on my laptop (with a cbr reader). Its quite good. Not like reading a book on the laptop.

Evening. We headed out to Arabian Savoury (on Coles road) where shawarmas were wolfed down. The coolest thing with the place is the name of the juices on offer. There is no where else you can drink a Rolex, London, Internet, Computer etc. :) Then we were off to a friend's cousin's place for a few drinks where Kau told us his gossip about the latest in bollywood. If its true, its quite weird! Back to my place and we had some Finlandia, Kahlua and some Baileys. Nice.

Woke up late in the morning and after breakfast we headed to Puntu's house for lunch. His mom had made some nice shorshe-eelish (Hilsa), which Kau and I finished without any prodding. After that was the kheer-kodom. Nice.

Kau insisted that he wanted some icecream, and we went to Corner House for some. Couldn't finish mine. Was too full. But we headed next door to Indi Joe's and downed Margaritas quickly before we had to drop him off to the airport. Came back home and crashed. Was just too tired.

So was a good weekend. Burp!

Thursday, February 09, 2006

New: The Video Playlist

Lemme see how this one works for a while. Each week I'll shuffle the videos in the player (look under the clock on the left - in case you still haven't noticed it!). Lemme know if they work fine, else will pull it off. Enjoy!

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Dilli, Gabbar and seekh kababs!

Am back after my Dilli trip (the second one in 2 weeks). This one was a whole lotta fun though. I did my usual air india roundabout trip and got in on Sat morning all groggy. Slept a bit and then joined Kau, Puntu (yet another nick, we all like this one - and it is derived from paantua, the Bong sweet) and Jiggy at CP. We got a few beers at DV8 before ending up at Q'BA. The latter we liked a lot. There's this nice terrace where you can enjoy the crisp Delhi evening air while you sip on the cocktails and there's a nice view of CP too. The food is good but for bhooke junta like us, the quantity ain't that great. So if you are like James and try and enjoy your each bite, there's not too many bites you are gonna manage if you also have Kau, Jiggy and me around! :) The last stop for the night was at Khan market where unfortunately we couldn't eat at Khan Chacha's but had to do with nice and yummy roomali rolls from the shop opposite to it. Jiggy was shopping for cola to extend his drinking sessions at home too. Thats where we said adios to him and James and I went to Kau's for the night. Caught a lil' of ManUtd beating Fulham 4-2.

Woke up to luchi and 'aloo'r chhechhki' (Bong potato preparation) and some chicken. Don't remember when I had that on Sunday! So was a nice surprise. We then went to DefCol to belt some kebabs (forgetting the name, its the one opposite to Moet's). Nice. Got home and went out again in the evening with Sonali. We caught up at the Gurgaon Turquoise Cottage. We did the vodka and red bulls and we talked. Everyone's getting married! Hmmm.

Monday morning was a total waste with me trying to get the indian airlines ticket. Was taking too long so I ditched it. Picked up a few dvds at Palika. North country, Aeon Flux, The Matador, Transamerica and couple of old Sophia Loren b/w flicks. Transamerica isn't working, grrr!

So it was evening and I headed to Hari Nagar for Gabbar's wedding, the reason I was down in Delhi. She looked nice and pretty with haajar jewellery. But I hadn't seen a bride like her who taps her feet to music while sitting on the stage. We discovered to our horror that the wedding was veg. How??? A punju wedding that was veg!! When did you go for one last time? Kau and Puntu decided we should not come to a wedding and not eat non-veg, so nonchalantly these two slipped into the wedding next door with me following cautiously. Soon I had a plate of Seekh kababs in front of me and I couldn't resist. That done with we slipped away again.

The 2 things we won't forget at the wedding (other than the seekh kabab that is) are the clown at Gabbar's wedding and the guy who had a full box of kulfi. We took some snaps and made the poor guy quite concious and he went and returned the whole box. Poor Kau was distraught!

Anyways that in not quite a nutshell was the whole trip. And we did learn that the Delhi Metro is good. Correction. Very good. Thanks to James. He is considering writing a letter to the Delhi Govt. for having such a good metro. Evidence? Read this. And he also claimed that he fell into a vat of rasgoollas when he was a kid (at his grandpa's sweet shop). Surprisingly this 'trip' was both forward and backward, depending on which one he liked more while telling the story. Hmmm. I wonder if he tripped? Kau?

Friday, February 03, 2006

Richard Ashcroft is back!

"Fools they think I do not know
The road I'm taking
If you meet me on the way
That is just because I know which way I will choose ..."

We have been waiting for some time for him to be back. The first hint was when he sang together with Coldplay at Live Aid. Was quite good. That. I can't wait to get all the tracks of his new one. I like the first release - Break the night with colour. This one looks introspective.

"Oooh, I don't wanna know your secrets
Oooh, they lie heavy on my head
Time for me to break my cover
Time for me to move ahead"

Move ahead he will.

The iPod Ecosystem

Was reading this article by the same name in the NYT this morning. Quite an eye-opener as regards to accessories seperately as a huge market.

When I bought my iRiver 320 last Jan I didn't have a desire to spruce it up with any accessories maybe because it wasn't cool enough or just for the fact it didn't have any in the market except cases and the ones it had were sold off and not easily available.

When I bought my video iPod this Jan, even before I had my hands on it, I had a docking pod, a neoprene case and an Altec Lansing iMPlus set of stereo speakers for it. Now that would be weird eh? Not really, specially if you check them out. And there are quite a few like me which make this accessory market worth close to $1 billion. Hmmm. Thats quite a lot spent on accessories. If their numbers are right, (they claim) consumers spent $1 for every $3 spent on an iPod. Let me do my own math now. I had spent 40 odd quid in London and Canadian$ 80 odd for my stuff, which roughly works out to this ratio (the iPod was for $400). There you go.

Another interesting part of this whole accessory thingy is that its not a captive Apple market. There are numerous players in the market which compete directly and sometimes not for the range of accessories. My only pain point is that Apple's accessories are so damn expensive. The one I'd be looking to add is the fm-remote thingy and thats a $50. So whoever said good things in life don't come cheap was quite right!

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Oscar time

Just a lil' late but here it is. Oscar nominations were announced on Tues evening and there were few suprises. Brokeback Mountain, Crash, Walk the line and Capote formed the usual suspects. Dhoomk2 was asking if I was happy that Crash got nominated. I said I would be if it won, atleast one for either the best movie or the best original screenplay. For the the complete list of nominees click here.