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Monthly Archives: June 2012

The Food Fest

Crazy Bombay Rains!!!

Yesterday was crazy considering the awesome food places we went to for both lunch & dinner – it was super awesome so decided to write about it on the blog. So the way this played out was that the morning was totally crazy with the city being lashed by heavy rains. Somehow Rachita, Mihir & me rode through the same & reached work. While at work, got random calls basis traffic jams across the city, also social media was going crazy about the jams, etc. We decided to leave early by lunch so as to avoid the traffic nightmare. Though come noon, the day suddenly was bright & sunny and there wasn’t an iota or indication of rains.

Yummy Salad!!!

This is when we decided to go for lunch at the local mall. On reaching Inorbit, we were contemplating where to eat considering the amount of options availiable, right from the Food Court which offers everything from Mcdonalds, Subway, Tibbs Frankie, etc., to stand alone places like Kareem’s and Pot Pourri. After much contemplation, we finally decided to go to Pot Pourri. Rachita & me have been to the place before – some time ago – but Mihir hadn’t and thus the excitment. At Pot Pourri we realized they had a buffet for lunch which was for Rs 440/-. Mihir & I opted for the same while Rachita ordered a chicken prep off the menu.

Pretty Damn Good!!!

On the Buffet counter, there were 2 soups to choose from, the veg and non veg. We had the pumpkin &  chicken soup, post which Mihir went and got some awesome salad of the live counter, the same was super yum! After soups & salad, we decided to try the pizza – the same, unfortunately, wasn’t that good. It was a bit dry & cold, also the sauce on top barely had any flavor. Moved to the main course wherein there was pasta, rice, madras curry, korean chicken & rice. I opted for some korean chicken & rice, Mihir opted for the pasta, fish curry & korean chicken. The main course was total value for taste & money & was devoured in minutes & then finally there was dessert, which was Tiramisu & Orange Souffle. The same was also pretty nice! Overall, the experience was extremely pleasant – the ambiance of the place is casual & the waiters are also extremely helpful and polite. That just takes a simple lunch experience to another level. Even though we didn’t drink, we checked & the Alcohol is well priced & the menu for the same is decently extensive.

Our Rating for this place:

Inorbit Mall

Pot Pourri

Our Rating – Please note this is basis Km 10 to 100 (10 being the lowest & 100 being the highest)

Ambience – 90 km

Service – 92 km

Food – 88 km

Burn – 80 km (This place is well priced)

Badbikegang Average Speed – 87.5

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Superb Stuff!!!

Steak , Chips & Barbecued Onions!!!

Post the lunch, the evening was something we were still super excited about as the POA was to go to our favorite Sizzler place in town – Kobe Sizzlers. While this was going to be a family affair, the promise of Sensational Steak & other goodies available there were definitely upside. Reached Kobe by about 7:30pm with the jing bang of about 16 people. Kobe doesn’t take bookings so it is first come first serve based policy, Oh ya! the 16 people included the in-laws and our immediate family. Everyone more or less ordered Sizzlers except for Mihir & me who weren’t so keen on sizzlers as we wanted to eat some hard core yummy steak, biker style! 🙂 Went ahead and ordered a steak bun & also an egg & cheese bun to start with. The same was totally awesome – bread just rightly roasted on the pan and the egg with cheese in between just totally brilliant! The steak bun was totally in another league as with every bite you could taste the yumminess. Post this, we ordered a portion of steak, chips & onions to end our meal. The main course absolutely stunning, as you can see in the picture. Also a note for people who don’t like their meat too hardcore, if you are at Kobe’s and ordering, do not order the steak, go for chicken instead, though if you are the hardcore variety, do not miss the steak! The Sizzlers are to die for at Kobe& they customize them to your taste. Also the burgers are super juicy succulent & all the wonderfull things you expect. Finally, after being stuffed silly, walked home which is about a 1 km away & called it a night.

Brilliant Steak Bun!!!

Our Rating:

Kobe

Our Rating – Please note this is basis Km 10 to 100 (10 being the lowest & 100 being the highest)

Sensational Sizzlers!!!

Ambience – 80 km

Service – 88 km

Food – 93 km

Burn – 84 km (Value for Money)

Badbikegang Average Speed – 86.25

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Posted by on June 29, 2012 in Helmets & More

 

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A Tribute to Billy Lane

Choppers Inc Billy Lane’s Brand

Billy Lane!

By now, people who have been reading our blog know that we follow the Great Biker Builder Off very closely and builders and riders like Indian Larry, Arlen Ness, etc. are gods to us. Today’s article is taking off from that serial and the 1st time we saw it and were introduced to this maverick crazy builder, Billy Lane. The first episode I ever saw of this show was Billy Lane vs. Roger Bourget. At that time, I had no clue of what the show was about or who these guys were, building some crazy-ass choppers. Watched the episode and re-runs of the same multiple times. Was amazed at the brilliance of Billy Lane who’s philosophy of building a chopper was simple & stemmed from the basics…………bikes assembled using spares at your disposal and chopping metal and steel to make spares to fit your ride = Choppers. Superbly brilliant & simple 🙂

This is so Awesome!!!

Brilliance!!!

Another aspect of Billy Lane’s personality which stood out during the show was his approach to life and living it by the moment & the same also reflected in the way he built his bikes, wherein he would always have some vague design in his mind about how he wanted his bike to look, but in terms of innovations, he would do it on the fly. Good examples of the same are the rimless bikes called the Psycho Billy Cadillac & The Chronic. Picture for the same & a Video featured below. Post this, saw multiple episodes of Biker Build Off specially the ones which featured Billy Lane – have mentioned some of the same below. Also a worthy mention over here is the episode with Indian Larry as the same not only showed great bike building powers of both Larry & Lane, but also showed the spirit of riders and brotherhood between these great builders as Larry helped out Billy get his bike working and started during the course of their ride when Billy was having some bike trouble.

  1. Billy Lane vs. Roger Bourget : Original run : September 28, 2002
  2. Billy Lane vs. Dave Perewitz : Original run : September 1, 2003
  3. Billy Lane vs. Indian Larry : Original run : September 1, 2003
  4. Billy Lane vs. Mike Brown : Original run : March 8, 2005
  5. Billy Lane vs. Russell Mitchel : Original run : August 7, 2006

Hard at Work

William David (Billy) Lane (born February 6, 1970 in Miami, Florida) is widely known as a builder of custom motorcycles, owner of Choppers Inc. He holds seven U.S. patents on motorcycle parts and accessories and has authored two books – an autobiography, Billy Lane’s Chop Fiction: It’s not a Motorcycle, Baby, It’s a Chopper (2004, Motorbooks International) and Billy Lane’s How to Build Old School Choppers, Bobbers And Customs (2005, Motorbooks International). Lane also holds an Associate in Science degree in Mechanical Engineering from Florida State University as well as a Bachelor in Science degree in Mechanical Engineering from Florida International University, graduating in 1997.

Psyco Billy!!!

Also post buying a bike & while we were collating content for the blog, we found out that Billy Lane was imprisoned, post being found guilty for a drunk driving fatal crash & is going to be in prison till October 2014. The news was extremely disheartening considering the career and the work of this legendary builder & the way he built his life & his bikes. This post of mine is a tribute to one of my favorite chopper builders of all time – Billy Lane!

For people who want to see other stuff by Billy Lane do check out http://www.choppersinc.com/ its awesome!!!

 
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Posted by on June 28, 2012 in Bikes & Builders

 

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The Bike ride around Home

Amazing!

This weekend’s ride started the way like any other, fairly straightforward around Marine Drive and back again; while on my way back, I realised I needed to pick up some Peach Nectar to make Peach Sangria later in the evening. So I rode towards Grant Road Station and soon enough realized that the area near my house is also a great place to ride and take pictures.

En route to the Station!

Construction at Nana Chowk

Cobbler Outside Our Lane.

General Notice – Riders who are afraid of narrow streets, please do not come to this vicinity; on the other hand, if you like photography, some amazing shots are there for you to capture. Back to me now, I started by parking my bike and walking across Grant Road vegetable market. The place gets mad crowded even as early at 8:00 a.m. in the morning. Once I picked up the juice, I decided to take a detour and move from the back lane of the station towards Tardeo, from where I exited and came back towards Nana Chowk. Around Nana Chowk is where they are constructing a sky walk which will lead straight to the station. My curiosity got the better of me. I parked my bike, took the camera and climbed up the Skywalk. The first thing I noticed is how clean it is, next that it is a fairly long walk towards the station. Anyways, I kept moving forward taking pictures. After a while I reached the station; surprisingly, the skywalk started to shake as I got close. At this point, I am thinking Earthquake, but a passerby informed me that the walkway vibrates a bit when trains pass by. I walked back towards my bike and moved on; next on my list was Mani Bhavan and the by lanes around the house.

Rumbling Skywalk!

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Off Mani Bhawan

Mani Bhavan, the residence place of Mahatma Gandhi is in the street next to where I live. I have moved up and down these lanes for 30 years now. The buildings have an old world charm that is hard to find nowadays. If you are around Gamdevi, be sure to explore the lanes, I took a few pictures of Mani Bhavan and then moved towards Kennedy Bridge which has an awesome view of the Old Gamdevi (we call it that….. it’s not really that old). Note the drive is fairly challenging, as beyond narrow streets, you are also avoiding people shopping and kids playing cricket J. Once on the bridge, I got off to take a few shots. At that time a bunch of school kids saw my bike – they were very fascinated with the customization and requested if I could show them if the Iron Eagle lights up. Of course, I happily obliged and left them smiling. After all this excitement, I went back home to watching movies. In the evening, the beautiful Mrs made us Peach Sangria, do note I got very high after 3 glasses! Post that, Rachita, my sister-in-law, cooked us some unbelievable Pasta, followed by a Peach Crumble for dessert. To round it all up, a Saturday well spent.

Temple around the residence…

When I look back on the entire day, I believe the sights and sounds I saw around my house were very fascinating; I would strongly suggest this to anyone, the important part is you need to change your mindset while walking around areas you have a million times. Think about it like a tourist and the amount of things you will notice will surprise you.

Total Awesomeness!!!

For all my alcoholic friends here is the recipe for the Absolute Amazing Peach Sangria! Enjoy!

  • 1 (750-milliliter) bottle rosé wine
  • 3/4 cup vodka
  • 1/2 cup peach nectar
  • 6 tablespoons thawed frozen lemonade concentrate
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 pound ripe peaches, peeled and sliced
  • 1 (6-oz.) package fresh raspberries
  • 2 cups club soda, chilled

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Preparation

  1. Combine the first 5 ingredients in a pitcher; stir until sugar is dissolved. Stir in peaches and raspberries. Cover and chill for 8 hours.
  2. Stir in chilled club soda just before serving.
  3. Peach-flavored vodka may be substituted. In that case, omit the peach nectar.
  4. 1 cup frozen raspberries may be substituted or omitted.

 
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Posted by on June 27, 2012 in Trips & Rides

 

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We Ride & We Eat

This is where this post begins…

Raju Omelette!

By now most of you have figured that post the whole biking experience the next thing which we obsess about is food 🙂 Also continuing from the last few weeks where bike rides have come to a stand still due to rains in Bombay, most of our lives are revolving around food. Today’s post is also about food and mainly it takes off from a post last week “The Rainy Weekend” wherein Rachita had made the most awesome Omelette Pav (bread) even surpassing the great Raju Omlet of Baroda. For all you egg lovers and foodies, the below post is a must read and also if you are travelling to Baroda then you have to visit this destination.

One of my most favorite places in the city of Baroda and the one I recommend to all my family & friends who visit the city is Raju Omlet. This is an iconic  place run by Mr. Raju and thus the name for people who didn’t get it..  My first visit to this place was around 2 years ago basis my in-laws recommendation. The place clearly didn’t disappoint and thus the visit back. This time around, I carried my  camera so as to capture all the awesome sites of the legendary “Raju Omlet.”

So back to the main story –

We ordered Everything!!!

Raju Omlet, from what I hear, started off many years ago as a small cart which has now evolved into this one small restaurant. Please note, the food available here is only egg preparations – the most famous being OMELETTE and thus the name “Raju Omlet”, As soon as you enter the compound, you can smell fresh butter and hear it sizzling on the tava… Loads of people sitting around staring down at their plates with a singular focus of devouring the food. As soon as you walk towards the order counter, you can see the menu which has a selected few options – egg bhurji, egg rice, bolied egg masala, etc. and also egg omelette, which is the trademark dish. So out of pure desperation and hunger, we (accompanied by in-laws and the Mrs) ordered everything on the menu. Post ordering everything, felt very proud and cool considering people at the cash counter looked at us in amazement!

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This is Heaven!!!

Egg Bhurji

Also next to the counter was this gigantic tava with Rajubhai (you guessed it! he is the gentlemen who owns this place) cooking some awesome stuff!!!. I kid you not, he put in 500 gms of butter on the pan, broke a few eggs on it, added tomatoes, chilli, garam masala and made 3 plates from the same!!! That’s when we realized this was not going to be a meal for the faint of heart. Please note, to accompany most items on the menu, there is Pav soaked in butter, soaked to such an extent that in the shine of the same you can see your face – brilliantly delicious! Moving on to the food, we had the bhurji floating in butter, boiled egg masala and egg rice which were worth mentioning. The other dishes were spin offs of these and strictly average. Though post eating all the dishes on the menu, it was time for the trademark omelette. So this it 2 portions of Pav (bread for you firangs) soaked in butter and sliced omelette sandwiched between them served piping hot!!! The taste….unmatched!!! We went through multiple portions of the same in like minutes. Side by side, took loads of photos to confirm the claims of butter utilization, limited menu and brilliant food. Also took a photograph of Rajubhai, the owner, who in his moment of attempted humor, said he was worried that because of his picture being available someone would kidnap him! Lol!!! All in all, this is a must place for people visiting Baroda to go and eat – its simple and totally brilliant!

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Though, the butter and its quantity does take away a few years of life… though totally worth it 🙂

Insane Amounts of Butter!!!

The Legend Mr Raju Bhai!!!

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Raju Bhai & Butter!!!

Spicy!!!

 
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Posted by on June 26, 2012 in Helmets & More

 

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1 King to Rule Them All

Scorching Heat!!!

Miami Heat win the 2012 NBA Championship!!! Lebron James takes the team to the promised land… The King perseveres & finally delivers on his promise. We having been watching the NBA for over 20 years & this is the first time ever after a team has one the championship, there is a clear feeling of achievement & redemption. Through this article I have not only captured details about the Heat organization but also of Lebron so as to understand why this championship meant so much to both city & player….

The Wade Shaq Era…

Burnie!!!

The Team started out in 1988 /1989 though the time this team came on the map was with the arrival of Pat Riley, the legendary coach of the Lakers. This also brought Players like Alonzo Mourning, Dan Majerle, Eddie Jones, etc. The team was a good strong contender till 2000, post which they had a slight decline between 2001 & 2002 where they didn’t even make the playoffs. Then came the Dwayne Wade era in 2003 / 2004 who was signed as the 5th overall draft pick by the Heat. The next few years saw the genius of Pat Riley bring the Big Daddy Shaquille O’Neal to Miami & come 2006, with a veteran squad of Gary Payton, Antoine Walker, Alonzo Mourning, Shaq & Dwade, Miami won its first championship!!! 2007 to 2010 there is nothing to write home about though come 2010, the world changed as the Big 3 came together – Dwayne Wade, Chris Bosh & the most important & prolific peice of the puzzle Lebron James…

James, Wade & Bosh

The King!!!

Important here to mention the Lebron James story so that we understand the importance of this championship. He was selected with the number one pick in the 2003 NBA Draft by the Cleveland Cavaliers. Listed as a small forward, James has set numerous youngest player records since joining the league. He was named the NBA Rookie of the Year in 2003–04, the NBA Most Valuable Player in 2009, 2010 and 2012 and has been both an All-NBA selection and an All-Star every season since 2005. In 2010, a much-publicized free agency process ended with James signing with the Miami Heat. James led the Cleveland Cavaliers to consecutive playoff appearances from 2006 through 2010. In 2007, the Cavaliers advanced to the NBA Finals for the first time in franchise history, but lost to the San Antonio Spurs. In 2011, James and the Miami Heat advanced to the NBA Finals, but lost to the Dallas Mavericks.  James has been a member of the USA national team, winning a bronze medal at the 2004 Olympics and gold at the 2008 Olympics.

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Heat Win!!!

Post losing to the Mavericks last year wherein Mihir &  me were both rooting for the Heat to win, this year was definitely a make or break year for the Heat. Fortunately, the season did happen and through the same, The King performed at an unmatched level. James entered the lockout-shortened 2011-2012 season with a drastically changed demeanor. Admittedly humbled by Miami’s loss to Dallas, he spent the off season attempting to improve himself as a basketball player and a person, going so far as to work with Hakeem Olajuwon on his post game. The Heat opened the year on a strong note, finishing January with a 16-5 record and matching their best start to a season in franchise history. During that stretch, James averaged 29.2 points, 8.3 rebounds, 7.1 assists, 1.80 steals and 37.4 minutes while shooting 55.1 percent from the field and 40.6 percent from three-point range. In the 2012 All-Star Game, he tied Kevin Durant with a game-high 36 points and tied the All-Star Game record of six three-pointers made. At the conclusion of the season, James was named league MVP for the third time, finishing with averages of 27.1 points, 7.9 rebounds, 6.2 assists, and 1.9 steals per game on 53 percent shooting. A championship was now way overdue…

The King Rules!!!

Finally, post beating teams like the Indiana Pacers & Boston Celtics, Miami returned to the big stage, this time to take on the Oklohoma City Thunder lead by the season MVP runner Kevin Durant. The series was pitted as one of the most evenly balanced series’ in the history of the NBA and with allstars on both teams, this was the most media friendly series as well. What seperated the men from the boys was not only the hunger and dissapointment for the Heat players from last year’s loss against Dallas but also the emergence of Lebron James who took over the reigns of the club and pushed it to the next level. The King had multiple triple doubles in the finals series – one of them in the decisive game 5. James also won the MVP of the Finals basis his contribution to this series. This also opens up another discussion basis build & buy. Clearly Miami Heat today is a bought & build team which defeated a build & bought team in Oklohoma City… Purists – one of them being my brother – will always argue this point though, today, the writing’s on the wall and Miami Heat are your 2012 NBA Champions!!! Today there is only 1 King to rule them all!!! Kudos to Pat Riley’s genius as president, Eric Spoelstra, the coach & key players not only like Dwade & Chris Bosh but a great supporting cast – Shane Battier, Mike Miller, Mario Chalmers, Udonis Haslem, Noris Cole, etc.

 
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Posted by on June 23, 2012 in Trips & Rides

 

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Fringe Science

Fringe science is scientific inquiry in an established field of study that departs significantly from mainstream or orthodox theories, and is classified in the “fringes” of a credible mainstream academic discipline. Mainstream scientists typically regard fringe concepts as highly speculative or even strongly refuted. So why am I writing about this highly debatable field? One reason is that all popular TV DVDs are out due to rains in Mumbai limiting time on the bike. Next, is to introduce people to some of the crazy TV that we watch. Do expect a lot of series’ to be covered in the next few months.

A couple of months back, Yooti and I had just finished watching Mad Men, the popular television serial, and were debating which sitcom to watch next. After doing some research on IMBD no conclusive decision was reached – anyways we still went to the DVD shop – once there I kept staring at the large collection of popular TV series’ available. This time around I was clearly looking for the sci-fi genre, the sales man recommended Super Natural and Fringe. In the interest of saving some money, I picked up Fringe (only 2 seasons at that time as compared to 6 in Supernatural – it is a separate discussion that I did end up buying Supernatural later). We had lunch and went home after that. Later that night we started watching Fringe, after watching the pilot episode we both arrived at the same conclusion….this is probably one of the best shows we have seen in a while. Here is the trailer introducing Season 1.

Created by J. J. Abrams, Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci, the series follows the lives and cases of the Fringe Division, a Task Force supported primarily by the FBI; the team includes Agent Olivia Dunham, Dr. Walter Bishop and Peter Bishop. They are supported by Phillip Broyles and Agent Astrid Farnsworth, who assists Walter. The Fringe Division investigates cases ranging from transhumanist experiments gone wrong to the prospect of a destructive technological of singularity. They are supported by the members of a company called “Massive Dynamics” – Nina Sharp and William Bell. What makes this sitcom different from others like the X-Files is the meticulous characterization of the cast and the storyline; each episode can be watched as a standalone piece of content, but all 24 come together to reveal a plot that just boggles the mind!

Fringe actually has you questioning and debating episodes much after you have finished watching them – Walter Bishop’s character played by John Noble is unforgettable. Referred to as “The Einstien of our generation”  the character is funny, smart, eccentric and definitely the driving force behind each and every episode.  For all of you who don’t know who John Noble is – he played Denethor in The Lord of the Rings – he is also Artistic Director of Stage Company of South Australia 1977–8, head of Drama, Brent St. School of Arts (Sydney) 1997-00, has directed over 80 plays, including ‘Sons of Cain’ on London’s West End (1986), a freelance actor. Semi-regular in TV series ‘All Saints’ and a Voice and Acting Teacher.

Fringe is a DVD turner! Once you start watching it will take every bit of your will power to press the stop button on your player – an absolute must watch for people who enjoy science fiction. I am currently watching season 4 and some of the theories are out of whack! If you are already a fan, there are a bunch of comics published by DC that are prequel to the series and a must read…a word of advice, the series has a way of taking over your life……Finally check the image for the glyph keys as shown in various episodes of the sitcom – let me know if anyone has a solution out there….

For die hard fans, here is the opening sequance with the absolutely haunting theme.

 
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Posted by on June 20, 2012 in Helmets & More

 

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The Rainy Weekend

Crazy Rains!!!

This week was the rains, so no bike ride happened 😦 bummer… Primarily, the monsoons here in India, specially in Bombay, aren’t conducive to bike riding; there is decent amount of water logging, also traffic’s a bitch and roads are as slippery as icy glaciers… Having said that, if you are planning on getting your bike out during the rains, whether out of choice or duress, some basics you need to keep in mind. (Also images are not of the weekend but of past rains and how they are a problem year on year)

Damn thats a bad situation

1) Have your tyres checked for the right amount of air

2) Get tyres with better grip for the rains

3) Buy a good windcheater or raincoat

4) A good cover for the bike

5) Get all the metal work plated so that there is no rusting or corrosion

6) Have a tool box & first aid box handy so that in an emergency, if at all, you are equipped

7) Have the engine oil and brake oil also thoroughly checked

8) Carry a dry towel or napkin at all times

Moving on, Friday evening was generally an easy one wherein Rachita & me watched some serial on TV, had a nice Family dinner & closed the day. Also it had been a tough day at work so didn’t do much even though it was a Friday. Saturday morning started off with a bang, having my favorite cold coffee with some super bailey’s irish cream and chocolate sauce (Recipe for the same below). Also, as mentioned, no bike ride happened basis rains, so then decided to watch movies and chill through the day – pulled out the entire Bourne series from my collection; the POA was clear then to laze & go through movies & eat awsome food.

The Bourne Trilogy!!!

For people who don’t know, the Bourne series is about Jason Charles Bourne (born David Webb), a fictional character and the protagonist of a series of novels by Robert Ludlum and subsequent film adaptations. He first appeared in the novel, The Bourne Identity (1980), which was adapted for television in 1988. The novel was very loosely adapted in 2002 into a feature film under the same name and starred Matt Damon in the lead role.The character has appeared in eight sequel novels (the last six were written by Eric Van Lustbader) with another due to be published in 2012. Along with the first feature film, The Bourne Identity (2002), Jason Bourne also appears in two sequel movies, The Bourne Supremacy (2004) and The Bourne Ultimatum (2007), both with Damon again in the lead role. A fourth film, The Bourne Legacy, is due to be released in 2012 but will not star Damon – the concept & story is about a black-ops agent gone rogue against the corrupted government system.

Gimme some Dimsum 🙂

Post the marathon movie session, awesome dinner cooked by Rachita was had. She made some awesome dimsum/momos & rice noodles with chinese greens which were totally spectacular! Sunday morning started getting the bike cleaned, though, couldn’t go for a ride as the rains were just not letting up. Spent the entire day lazing in bed, watching serials. Finished Vampire Diaries season 3 which was super fun! There is no one more cooler than Damon played by Ian Somerhalder… Again for dinner, Rachita made some awesome Omelet Pav I(Omelet Bread) which was the greatest in the world! In the posts through the week, I will be sharing the recipe for the same and also an interesting article on why this preparation is so iconic. Finished the day watching Supernatural and finally called it a day.

Greates Omele Pav Ever!!!

Cold Coffee Irish Style Recipe Below

Cold Irish Coffee!!!

1) Some cold milk & some good instant coffee.

2) Add some sugar to the same and drop the same in the mixer.

3) Post mixing the same, add 30 ml of bailey’s irish cream to the mix & give it another stir.

4) Finally top the mix with a generous helping of chocolate sauce.

5) The super duper coffee is ready.

 
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Posted by on June 18, 2012 in Trips & Rides

 

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The Mobile Photographer

Off late, I have been obsessed with Instagram, the popular photo sharing tool on my phone. To be honest, I got into phone photography a little late, only a few months back – 2 reasons for this, I own a DSLR so thought using the mobile is beneath me and I had an iphone3G with a 2MP camera covered with dust, so totally avoided taking pictures with it.

My reason to get a high end phone was the camera which accompanied it; currently I use an HTC Sensation XE with a 8MP camera.  I end up using my phone for both, taking pictures and processing pictures on the go, these are images taken earlier with my DSLR. Yes yes I know some of you are saying why post production on a mobile? The answer is pretty straight forward – it is “simple”, Photoshop is fairly complicated and time consuming; layers and more layers, I am all for Photoshop only if I have ample time on my hand, 99% of the time that is not the case.

For shooting while on bike rides, I mostly use the phone’s default camera , it starts up the fastest and hence, my next favourite application is Panorama. The phone makes it so easy, at least 3-5 slide panoramas are just a click and moving the camera left to right, very intuitive and opens a whole lot of options for the rookie panorama photographer. What stands out in all these apps on the mobile is the fact that they come with default effects, Black and White, Sepia, HDR and so on, these are the kind of effects you would only find in a high end software a couple of years back. Personally, I do a lot of correction, mix and match using applications, filters, cropping till I get the right image. Once done, generally the images go up on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram – just so convenient using the mobile, no searching in directories and so on…select check boxes and upload one time.

There are multiple schools of thoughts basis mobile photography, there are people who love it and some who say it is a gimmick – let me explain why. Like I mentioned earlier, the current generation of phones offer multiple corrective tools and filters. These help make average pictures look rather dramatic Instagram is a good example of the same. The purists believe there is no effort there; the shot is not setup, the lighting is not adjusted, post production skills are zero and hence even if the shot is nice it is still gimmicky. I disagree just because it is easy does not take away from creativity and effort. Take mail for example, it use to be a painful process until e-mail came along now it’s easier, of course this does not take away that like the original mail the email has to be written/typed, similarly a picture need to be taken.

I still use my DSLR on weekends and will continue to do so, the control it gives me is phenomenal. The phone on the other hand is like a higher end digital camera that I carry around everywhere. Most pictures you see around this post have been taken or treated using my phone while i was riding my trusty Bajaj Avenger. I would highly recommend using the phone to shoot candid shots and difficult to reach areas (I know what you are thinking and that is not what I meant). Below are a few tips that will help you snap some really awesome images using your mobile –

  • Like your DSLR know your phone camera, the newer ones have similar functions, DOF, ISO, Scenes etc, check settings on your phone for more
  • Activate the Grid and use the rule of 3rds very important for all rookie photographers
  • Try and use the phone the same way you would use a DSLR, look at the lighting around you, create the composition in your head and then shoot.
  • Touch Screen phones allow you to focus on objects just by touching the screen, check how that works on your phone
  • Use filters on multiple applications till you achieve the desired effect on the image
  • Crop ruthlessly, mobile devices attract a lot of distractions in the background, it is the nature of the beast, ensure you cut them out as required.
  • Share your pictures in social networks, beyond the morale boost it will keep you clicking
  • Follow professional photographers on various social networks, try imitating them, there is no shame in that.

I hope you guys enjoyed reading the post, do share links to your pictures in the comment section below, my instagram ID is mihirshah1975 if you are there drop by to say Hi!

 
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Posted by on June 15, 2012 in Trips & Rides

 

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Bikes, Beers & Barbecue

Bikes, Beers & Barbecue was the POA with Rachita, Ritika, Ekta, Vishal, Suneel, Anus & me for last evening! The whole thing came about on Saturday while we were celebrating Ritika’s birthday and, as always, the discussion revolved around food. The minute we figured that the in-laws were going to be out of town for the week, we had a POA ready. It was quickly decided that we were going to have a barbecue with loads of MEAT! This was the moment where Ritika & Rachita started planning the menu. Through Monday & Tuesday multiple visits to online sites were made, menu options were discussed & final list of food was decided.

Some of the Awesomeness!!!

On the menu….crazy stuff….right from –

1)      Sheekh Kebabs

2)      Spicy Chorizo Ham

3)      Spicy Cumin Chicken Sausages

4)      Paneer, Potatoes & Corn

5)      Bacon

Cold cuts were bought on Tuesday by Rachita & the Sheekh Kebab  was being made by Ritika. Wednesday evening was looking awesome! Chicken would also be marinated on Wednesday morning. Tuesday started the day as always with a bike ride past Prabhadevi & Shivaji Park. Thankfully, there was no rains so life was sorted. Also went and tanked up the bike… Ran through the day at work really quickly in all the excitement of the evening ….  also forgot to take tiffin to work. So, had to rush to the nearby mall to grab lunch, then left work, headed home quickly & got to peddar road by 6:30pm. Also carried a bottle of Southern Comfort for the evening, Vishal had ordered some Budweiser’s and Kingfisher Strongs as well, so now we were set for a crazy evening!

Sheekh Kebab Mix

Yummmmyyyyyy!!!

Southern Comfort & Beers kick-started the evening though the same was topped off with some super duper food. To start with, Rachita made some awesome spicy cumin chicken sausages with sautéed onions which was mouth wateringly spectacular!!! Then came in the veg stuff -corn, paneer & potato which was unreal. this was quickly followed by the chicken and the seekh kebabs which were divine. Post going through decent amounts of alco & food, there were, as always, multiple drunk discussions about people who like Ritika, etc. Bacon & spicy chorizo ham were brought on the table…..this is when the world came to a standstill & the food was totally devoured… Post this, and a couple more drinks, the discussion shifted to a discussion around the Nano – the mini Tata Car and it’s mileage – from there the discussion escalated into whether the car is safe and what the good points of the car are versus the bad. At this point, Ritika who is a Tata employee, on the bad points started severly outraging which was like weird but funny,  (She is going to kill me for putting this). Finally, post everything, we had some awesome chocolate cupcakes made by Ritika, and then we ended the evening by 10:30pm. All in all, crazy amounts of fun, gossip, food, alcohol was had to make the evening totally unforgettable!!!

Chorizo Ham & Bacon!

You have to try this…

The Recipe for the Spicy Cumin Chicken Sausage –

All you need for this are some julliened onions, cumin, a packet of sausages – sliced, red chilli powder, corriander powder and salt, to taste.

Heat some oil in a pan and add in the cumin seeds, about 2 teaspoons. Once lightly browned,

add the onion and saute till translucent. Add in 2 teaspoons of red chilli powder (adjust to suit your tastebuds), half a teaspoon of corriander powder and salt to taste. Now’s when you add in the sliced sausages as well. Cook it for a few minutes, and then serve hot. Your Spicy Cumin Sausages are ready!

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Posted by on June 14, 2012 in Trips & Rides

 

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Unusual Motorcycles

Every now and then you will see a motorcycle on the road and go “WOW! That’s an awesome looking piece of equipment!” People queue up outside showrooms or expos to see motorcycles that have been created basis themes or brands. We have always been fascinated with unusual bikes; hence one of our favourite pastimes is customizing our bike and also watching the Biker Build Off.

To add to the above, Movies, Games and various other brands are also promoting their products using Motorcycles; a classic example of the same – Batman, Gears of War, Tron Motorcycles, etc.. The Gears of War Bike was actually designed by Paul Junior Designs; the wheels of the game-inspired trike include the Gears of War cog skull symbol and the paint resembles armour used in the game. It features crash bars to fight locusts, dual gattling guns and 14 inch wide tires. Check the video below for the unveiling.

The Batpod, on the other hand, is a totally different ball game (we will be covering this in another post). Designed by Nathan Crowley, who designed the Tumbler for Batman Begins (2005), the bike has 20″ front and rear tires (the Tumbler’s front wheels), and is powered by a high-performance, water-cooled, single-cylinder engine, geared toward the lower end for faster acceleration and with no exhaust pipes. The exhaust is routed through the hollow steel/aluminum/magnesium tubing used for the frame of the bike. The Batpod is steered by the shoulders instead of hands, and the rider’s arms are protected by shields. The two foot pegs are set 3½ feet apart on either side of the tank, which the rider lies on, belly down.

The Tron Bike is by far, my most favourite bike, purely on the way it looks and also the way it is showcased in the movie. Electroluminescent strips built into the tire cowlings, wheel rims and body illuminate the cycle. It is powered by a fuel-injected Suzuki 996cc, 4-stroke engine. Riders lay at a near-horizontal position astride the padded leather seat, with feet on foot pegs that control its 6-speed constant mesh manual transmission and hands on the handlebars for throttle and braking. The hubless wheels are former truck tires built up, then custom-shaped to fit onto one of two counter-rotating rims spinning within each other, providing the broad-tired authenticity of the computer cycles from the movie. A chain-driven friction drum manages acceleration and braking from the handlebars. It uses a 3 1/2-gallon main fuel tank and 1 1/4-gallon reserve tank. Check the awesome video below.

I thought it would be fun to put down some Unusual facts on Motorcycles in this post, some of them you already know some will make you go WTF….

The German inventor, Gottlieb Daimler, is generally credited with building the first practical motorcycle in 1885.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that in 2000, 631 motorcyclists were saved by wearing their helmet.

Motorcycles and scooters are, on average, about twice as fuel efficient as cars.

Up to eight motorbikes can fit in the same parking space occupied by one car.

Kawasaki also makes spaceships.

The first rider to ever go over 300 mph was Don Vesco in 1975, on a 1496cc Yamaha-engined streamliner.

MV Agusta is currently producing the F4 1078 RR 312. 312kph being the recorded top speed at the Salt Flats in Utah in 2007.The RR312 reached a recorded top speed of 195, but since speeds are averaged, it’s recorded top speed is 194mph, or metric, 312kph.

The fastest motorcycle is the Dodge Tomahawk, a prototype with an unusual design, featuring the 500 hp (373 kW) 8.3 L V10 engine from the Dodge Viper.(Picture: theRed Bull Bike)

Harley-Davidson built push-bikes between 1917 and 1923. The first Harley Davidson motorcycle, built in 1903, used a tomato can for a carburettor.

When Valentino Rossi was five, his dad Graziano built him a go-cart to discourage him from getting into bikes.

By now you must have realized why the unusual works. Below is a bunch of interesting, unusual motorcycle facts and some awesome imagery for your eyes only. As with all our posts, if you have an unusual bike and an image to share, do add the link in the comments section.

The Unusual Gallery

 

 
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Posted by on June 12, 2012 in Bikes & Builders

 

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