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The Apple Effect

Apple A lot of you may think this is a case study on Apple, if so I suggest you move on – this is my experience with Apple devices and my views on their products. Let’s start from the beginning, I never cared much about the iPod even though it was part of pop culture, just me being uninterested in listening to music, like playing it though 🙂 – then came the iPhone, again way over priced and I was an HTC guy so again a no show, of course at that time I was not even aware of the Macintosh PC devices, please note I am a windows fan for life (a lady in my office calls them Massintosh)

My first introduction to an Apple device – the IPhone gifted to me for my wedding by my brother Ameet, the device was fascinating, you must understand I had never used a touch phone before this – I spent a lot of time getting to know device; read up manuals/blogs/sites etc – in about a month since I had the phone I was what you call an Apple fanboy, I downloaded every possible application that 16gb phone ipad1could handle. I also started promoting the device as the greatest device ever, next came the IPad gifted to us (M&M) by the family, again the same cycle reapeats, getting information and downloading apps. By now I was a fully grown full-time Apple slave/marketer – recommending the devices to anyone and everyone and also creating a self dependency where I had to get my daily Apple fix, going to their website, hunting for upcoming product stories, signing up as a developer and so on. for a few years this dominated my life.

The Ipad MiniNow to the present – a couple of months back like every other man on earth I also heard about the new devices Apple was to introduce, I really was not very keen on getting drawn into the world, but eventually because of my Ipad being over 2 years old and running and outdated OS decided to look at the Ipad Mini, my loving brother Ameet and his Dad Dipu are Apple salesmen in disguise pretty much hard sold it to me, next I did my round of diligence also, contemplated buying the 4th gen Ipad instead but eventually due to budget constrains went for the Mini. The very loving Mrs. gifted it to me and to be very honest from day one I was as hooked to it as I was to my old Ipad – knowingly or unknowingly the vicious cycle had started all over again.

Twist in the Tale – A few days back an event forced me to rethink my entire Apple addiction, I was contemplating which laptop to buy for my personal use, first thought, Macbook, but then I got thinking, yes the devices are great, they do change how you interact with the internet & multimedia but they are not for the general public, very clearly the company caters to a luxury segment and I am not part of that segment – I use 3 programs on my HP and am happy with it – all I use Apple devices for is calling and surfing the net, I just can’t see myself spending 70k for a device that I could buy for 40k – of course if it drove my car, made me jump tall buildings in one leap and played Gears of War, I would thiMac Book Airnk about it, but it doesn’t. Now add to this Apple constantly upgrading devices to keep Steve Jobs legacy going, my biggest fear is that in 6 months the Mini will be obsolete – you would think they would give it a year at least, imagine buying a laptop with a one year lifespan…doesnot make sense…

To conclude if I had not received the iPhone and iPad as gifts I would never end up purchasing them, they are way to expensive – agreed quality comes at a certain cost but critical mass comes free or at affordable rates – Google, Facebook, Microsoft are all examples of the same – think about it what would phones, tablets, PCs be without the above mentioned companies – anyways this does not mean I am bitter and throwing my Ipad Mini – only an idiot would do that – On the Mac Book and Mac Book Air, if I win it in some contest great else it’s a know show. Please Note this article is also to prove my Sister in law wrong, she thinks I am an Apple Fan boy (WTF). Finally all said and done, I definitely will use an Apple device, but my addiction to all things Apple is done and dusted – like one South Indian Star said and I quote “Topic Is Over”

 
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Posted by on January 9, 2013 in Bikes & Builders

 

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The Goa Getaway Again

One fine day, Ekta, Rachita & me met at gallops for a few drinks. The discussion revolved around going & seeing a house in Goa for their aunt. Randomly we all agreed & decided on a roadtrip to our most favorite holiday destination… somewhere through the week, we also convinced Vishal to come with us, a point to be noted here is we also tried to get Aashay to come with us, though he wasn’t allowed as his parents think we are a bad influence on him – this has definitely not gone down well with all of us…

Heaven is a place on Earth!!!

Heaven is a place on Earth!!!

Banyan Soul

Banyan Soul

Moving on & now to the interesting part, we started the roadtrip by about 4 a.m. on a Friday, made good time as we didn’t stop anywhere except for the occasional bathroom breaks & reached Goa by about 2 p.m. This time around, we were on a tight budget so were staying at a place called The Banyan Soul, a relatively inexpensive place at Anjuna. The Hotel is built around a huge-ass banyan tree as you can see in the pictures. It was nothing to rave about, but considering in Goa we use the hotel only for crashing, it served our purpose. After resting for a bit, decided to explore the surroundings on foot, walked passed German Bakery which was 100 meters from our Hotel, had a beer there, then decided to go to Curlies which was about a 15 minute walk away.

German Bakery

German Bakery

A Must Visit Place...

A Must Visit Place…

The place was pretty crowded, though we did get a quiet corner to chill, beers & rum were ordered. Also ordered some food which pretty damn awful, though the whole angle of being in Goa & on the beach with alcohol made up for the same :-). Next day started off with some photography and playing the guitar under the banyan tree which was super cool! For breakfast we decided to go to Lila’s Cafe where the roesti, sandwiches, bacon, etc is phenomenal. Side by side, we ordered some beer, which by now you have figured is mandatory with meals as well as generally while you are in Goa. Post a superb breakfast, we went to see the house. Nothing exciting happening there, as in it was a nice property and all that, but too far from the beach & general activity & thus a definite no show. Then we decided to go to Calamari, a shack ahead of Candolim. More beer was drunk & some more good food eaten, post chilling for a while, decided to head back to the hotel, crashed for a bit; dinner plans for the night were at Florentine, one of the most awesome places for authentic Goan food. We ate awesome vindaloo, fish cafreal & egg curry with beers, rum & fried papads.

Super View at Calamari!!!

Super View at Calamari!!!

Superb Crab Curry!!!

Superb Crab Curry!!!

Next morning, Ekta & me went out for a drive for some photography & general chilling. We went around Vagator which has some awesome opportunities for great photography; for brunch, we decided to go to Calamari again. Post general lethargy & laziness through the day with beers & alcohol, we decided to go for dinner to Souza Lobo’s one of the oldest sea food eateries in Goa located at Calangute beach, we ordered some awesome crab curry……. this was the 1st time we ate crab & it was instant love….. we finished every last bit availaible in the curry bowl i.e. ekta & me did. We also ordered vindaloo which was superb. Beach photography started off the next day, post which we decided to go to the Casino. This was interesting because Casino Royale is located on  a ship away from the dock, in what qualifies as international waters, thus making gambling legal. In the casino,  played some black jack & slots with Rachita, won about 2k & then after a while got bored & went home, though decided that at some point in life, need to buy a boat which is kind of cool. For dinner, Rachita & I went to this shack at Anjuna called Seashore Bar which had super view of the ocean, had a few mojitos & beers accompanied by bhajiyas which was total awesomeness!!!

We were chilling here...

Shopping!!!

Shopping!!!

The final day in goa was spent having breakfast at this quaint place called Artjuna which had some great food & a brilliant ambiance. The concept basically is an eatery with a selected menu card, add to that pieces of art, sculpture & a lifestlye store in the open where you can buy whatever you like. Post breakfast, Rachita & Vishal decided to go finish some shopping, while Ekta & me went to Anjuna beach, got ourselves a couple of loungers & lazed there for a while. Shortly Rachita & Vishal also joined us as the area where we were living had no electricity so the breeze on the beach was more then welcome. Early evening, went shopping again with Rachita at Candolim. Finally, dinner was at a place called Sussee Cafe which was ahead of the Kingfisher Villa at Candolim. Ordered mussels, chicken, etc….. ate, chilled with beers, got back to the hotel & crashed. Next day roadtrip to Bombay was in full effect. Goa, this time around, was a revelation in terms of all of us trying & eating different kinds of seafood. Other than that, it also reconfirmed the fact that there is no other place in the country which is so super chilled out. Now we have decided to go there at least once every 3 months :-).

Susse Cafe!!!

Susse Cafe!!!

 
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Posted by on December 17, 2012 in Bikes & Builders

 

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The Crazy Car and Tech Expo

I am not that into cars, don’t get excited seeing many of them (Jaguar is an exception) or drool when people talk about speed, etc. This year however, I went to the Autocar Expo which showcases some of the most awesome cars and bikes across India. Of course, I had a hidden agenda here, the Stuff Gadget show was also in the same premise, the very lovely Mrs works for the magazine and hence would not miss it for the world.

We started off early to avoid the mad crowds, got to the venue by about 10:30. As soon as I walked in, the first thing that caught my eye were custom bikes – a company called Verdanci – I had seen their work before online, but was very impressed with the quality of bikes they were making. As a promotion activity, they had decided to build a bike at the expo and launch it on the last day. I spoke to one of the promoters there and he told me the bikes cost anywhere between 5-10 lakhs basis customer requirement – a bit expensive if you ask me, but then again, the bikes look kick ass! Further on, there were more bikes – BMWs to start with – they look like cheetahs ready to pounce, I quickly took a few shots and then moved towards the cars…. the first few Porsches, Audis, Mercedes – while I was shooting the Porsche, a gentleman approached me and asked me for my email, he apparently forgot his batteries on his Nikon and wanted pictures of the event; this was a first for me also so I happily obliged (just sent him all the pics last week). Moving on, I stopped at the Jaguar booth for about 10 minutes and just stared at the car, that is one car that I would love to own in my life :-). Post the foreign cars, there were the standard India brands on display; what impressed me was how they had setup their booths and were rallying people around with contests, pictures, etc., something international brands definitely need to learn.

Moving further, reached the Ducati booth, 4 monsters parked there, that’s about it no flash lights, no booth babes, nothing – just 4 bikes and it was spectacular – these are monsters, not ordinary bikes. Post these, I did catch a glimpse of a Harley, but the crew there was rather unfriendly, they had issues if people came close to their bikes, so I said thanks but no thanks and moved on. By now, I was getting impatient as I had not yet reached the Stuff enclosure, I quickly asked someone and he directed me towards it. On my way there, caught a glimpse of some awesome car systems – they looked like they are straight out of The Fast & Furious… beautiful. Just before the Stuff enclosure, I ran into the Bat Mobile, well not really the Bat mobile but the Lamborghini Aventadore – hands down the greatest car that I will ever see in my life time – pity the Lamborghini booth was very small and restricted movement for Photography.

Finally made it to the Stuff enclosure – the walkway towards the expo was lit up and paintings of movies with gadgets lined the walls, my favourite the Godfather and the Guitar on display; from there the first store I caught was the LG TV booth. People! the booth babes in there looked like aunties, but the products on display pretty much killed it. The Stuff gallery had Bruce Lee guarding it and had some really fancy Lomo cameras, speakers, television and video game rigs on display; talking about rigs, the car simulator was suspended 4 feet off the ground and moved basis the steering wheel, please note even the screen moved giving the user a visual like none other. There were people riding Segues, trikes around the area and the sound system on display were to die for, they cost a crore+ so yes to die for. The mandotory smartphone displays drew in crazy crowds. I did hear a rumour that the Iphone 5 was going to be made available for display, but did not end up confirming the same. Another interesting toy/gadget was qaudrocopter or A.R Drone. It was in this huge enclosure and was being flown around by some very talented kids, it moved in all directions and could hover seamlessly in one place. After all the gadget porn, I went to meet the Mrs and all her collegues at the show. As usual, they were all working tirelessly for days but greeted me with a smile and offered to take me for a whole lot of demos, etc. I politely refused, have one policy in life if I can’t buy it, I don’t try it. After exchanging pleasantries, I decided it was time to leave, I had had a late night due to a kickass office party.

Going out, I noticed car companies had created drag, dirt and mountain tracks for people to try. There were also ATVs available to ride, honestly I was very impressed with the setup. All in all, it was a great experience. I definitely look forward to the Stuff show next year, Autocar may be but only for Photography. DO check our slide show for all the pictures from both the expos and don’t forget to favourite the blog 🙂

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Posted by on November 24, 2012 in Bikes & Builders

 

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2 Days of Partying

Since 2 days we have had a house to ourselves…. reason for the same….. the in-laws are travelling & thus the house is empty. The same indicates that for the next 3 days we were going to be partying there without anyone around, kinda like school or college where in you wait for the opportunity to have the house to yourself when parents aren’t home & party like there is no tomorrow 🙂

Bike Ride View

Random Pic During Bike Ride

So the 1st day, due to excessive work, we could not capitalize on it as we got done late from work, post which a severe headache made my life hell. Day 2 (which also happened to be a Holiday due to Dassera, a Hindu Festival) was going to be a make up day basis the same. I woke up, went for a bike ride which was awesome, as the early morning breeze was spectacular. Also after a while, I rode past Siddhivinayak Temple at Prabhadevi, went all the way till Shivaji Park & back….. absolutely amazing the experiance was! If the breeze is an indication of the winter, mid Novemeber through till end of February is going to be awesome fun, specially for bike rides. Got home, decided to play some NBA2k13 on the Xbox360 which, according to Mihir & me, is the finest basketball game ever!!! Played with Chicago Bulls & Derrick Rose, awesome fun way to start the day!

Yummmmyyyyy!!!

Post that, crashed & passed out for about a good 4 hours, woke up to an awesome lunch at home which was a full-on punjabi cuisine spread & included fried papads… Confession time, I love fried papads, I can like just keep eating them without stopping. Through the afternoon, decided to go to the in-laws house for some general chilling & to make up for lost time the night before. Chilled over there with Vishal, Ekta & Ra. After ages, did lots of Sheesha also had loads Beer, current favorite in local beers is Miller! Evening was spent eating Dosas for Dinner & a Telegu Horror movie on cable…

The Only way to Drink!!!

Awesomeness!!!

Day 3 began with work as usual, though the POA was to have this major Non-Veg feast at the in laws. For lunch, we ordered food from The Bombay Kitchen which was brilliant: the Chilli Dog, Rice with Indonesian Gravy, Stuffed Chicken & Tenderloine was amazing! Come evening, we all were there – Mihir, Yooti, Vishal, Ekta & Rachita. On the menu, which was totally being managed & cooked by Rachita, there was Salad with Chorizo & and an Orange Reduction dressing, creamed Spinach & Mushroom, Masala Sausages, Chicken Sorpotel & Rice (Do check the below slide show to see the amazing food pictures). The food was simply delicious every one ate to their hearts content & more. Obviously there were beers, though this time, due to non availibility of Miller, we had ordered King Fisher Ultra, there was also a Rum, Thumbs Up, Ice & Chaat Masala Cocktail we call Boondi made, again lots of Sheesha was done & general chilling happened. Also through the day, Mihir & I played a bit of Guitar, currently our obsession is learning how to play the Blues.

Happiness on a Plate!!!

Overall, out of the 3 days where we had the house to ourselves, we made most of the 2 days & had awesome food, alcohol & loads of fun!!! The food, courtesy Rachita, most definitely was the show stopper. Also occasions like this somehow just become so much more exciting as there is a time-line attached to having fun before the house gets occupied again. Hopefully in a week or 2 we will have the house to ourselves as most of the family is travelling basis Diwali, fingers crossed 🙂

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Posted by on October 29, 2012 in Bikes & Builders

 

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Olympics Fixation

So the fixation with Sports for Mihir & me started courtesy Dad – my Dad loves all kinds of sports and has been watching them since decades. That interest definitely spilled over onto both of his kids :-). Sports – beyond Cricket & Football – like Basketball, Baseball, etc. were watched in the Shah household regularly. Enough of basking in the glory of watching all kinds of sport, coming back to the Olympics…

In 1982 there were the Asiad Games & for the same our family bought our first Color TV – the same was huge thing. Excitment all around considering the same was a 32″ Sony Telivision. At that time, India had only 1 channel the govenment run Doordarshan. The first Olympics we watched was the 1984 LA Olympics. The opening Ceremony, Lighting of the Torch, etc. were activities which were just unbelievable at that time. Also saw multiple different kinds of sports like – Volley Ball, Swimming, Diving, Steaple Chase, Athletics, to name a few. Over the years, till cable TV hit India, Doordarshan carried the Olympics; Cable TV, ESPN, etc. hit India during the early 90’s. The same changed India’s perspective on sports only from a viewership perspective.

Over the years, we saw some great feats in the Olympics and some great Atheletes right from Carl Lewis & his achievments in athletics, Sergie Bubka – the greatest Pole Vaulter of his time, Florence & Griffth Joyner – the sprint queens, Gail Deevers, Greg Lueganiss in diving,  Michael Johnson & his dominance in the 200m & 400m races, 1992 USA Dream Team in Basketball, Tennis Legends – Jenifer Capriati & Andre Aggasi, Michael Phelps probably the greatest Swimmer ever the list is endless. Through all through this there have been a few favorite sports: Athletics, Diving & Gymnastics. (Next Week we will have an article on the legendary Sprinters of our Generation).

This Years Olympics in UK have also been awesome and also the way we have started to see the same in terms of perspective has changed. Initially, it was about Winning & Losing, also about favourites and atheletes you didn’t favor. Now its more about the sport per say and the acheivments, also athletes and how they are able to push themselves which at some level just seems unreal. It’s like they are from a different planet :-). Details of this year’s medal winners is splattered across the web and we clearly didn’t want to cover the same, just wanted to share our experiance of the Olympics as probably the greatest Sporting Spectacle of All Time!!! Also Google changes its Google Doodle everyday with the theme of the Olympics… This is an event you dont want to miss.

 
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Posted by on August 2, 2012 in Bikes & Builders

 

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Secrets of The Dark Knight Rises (Spoilers)

Awesomeness!!!

The Dark Knight Rises is a damn good film, but what it also showcases is Christopher Nolan’s ability to balance the movie so both the hardcore and the casual fan can appreciate it. The movie has been out for about 2 weeks now; I think it’s high time we put some spoilers up, some of these spoilers have a connection to Nolan’s vision some are just Easter Eggs. Before you jump to the next paragraph be warned it could spoil the movie for you if you have not already watched it.

The Cast

I am not going to beat around the bush anymore, here are the spoilers –

Bruce Wane walks with a cane; this due to injuries sustained in his last encounter with the Joker, of course as the movie progresses Mr. Wayne ignores the doctor’s advice and is back on the street fighting crime as the Batman.

Michael Cane who plays Alfred (Bruce Wayne’s Butler) is there in the movie only for a few minutes, he decides to leave his Master when Bruce Wayne decides to go up against Bane.

Bruce Wayne goes bankrupt, this due to losing his fingerprint and Bane taking over the Gotham Stock Exchange, the bankruptcy leads Wayne to seek a wealthy ally to rescue the company, and he turns to Miranda Tate, a philanthropist and Green Energy activist who he and Lucius Fox bring in order to fund the suppression of the renewable energy programme that they shelved in case it fell into the wrong hands. Fairly key plot point right there…

As twitter Says#TDKR

Joseph Gordon Lewit plays John Blake, who is Robin the boy wonder in the making, for the geeks out there it is explained in the movie that his name is changed from Dick Grayson so he can escape his past – if you closely watch his interaction with Batman you realize it is fairly similar to the ones Batman has with Robin

Commissioner Gordon is a total waste in the movie, for the first half he just in a Hospital bed. I feel bad for Gary Oldman an actor of his calibre deserves more screen time.

Liam Neeson makes an appearance as the very awesome Ra’s Al Gul in Mr. Wayne’s dream sequence; Nolan brilliantly ties the story in and around the character even though he is not present in the entire movie, read on to find out how.

The Scare Crow is back, he plays the judge in the people’s court which is created by Bane

Bane!!!

Bane’s army takes over Wayne enterprise science division, in turn giving them access to the many versions of the Bat mobile

Bane has some crazy confrontations with the Batman, in the first such confrontation he breaks Batman’s back and takes him to the dreaded pit prison, where he leaves him to watch his conquest of Gotham and die.

Anne Hathaway is great eye candy in the film, she plays Catwoman who partners with Batman to fight Bane, and of course before that she is an integral part of bankrupting him and also getting him bitch slapped by Bane. Note towards the end there are indications that she is Mrs Wayne.

Catwoman!!!

Bane’s origin are credited to the dreaded pit prison, where he was born and was the only prisoner ever to escape, however the same is untrue – Marion Cottilard who plays Miranda Tate is actually the prisoner who escapes the dreaded prison, she in fact is Ra’s Al Gul’s daughter Talia Al Gul, Bane is her protector and is in love with her, he helps Talia escape and faces the wrath of the inmates who disfigure his face (hence he needs the breathing apparatus). Talia on the other hand is on her way to fulfil Ra’s’s legacy and wants Gotham to rise from the ashes

Batman does not die in the movie, he hands over his cave to Robin and then is last seen having what seems as lunch with Catwoman, while Alfred looks on.

I think that’s pretty much it, if you have any questions regarding the movie don’t hesitate to type them in the comment section also if you have a great spoiler please add to the same 🙂

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Eye Candy…

 
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Posted by on July 31, 2012 in Bikes & Builders

 

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Bikers & Gamers

So when we aren’t on the bike & not at work, what we do is watch sitcoms, movies and pursue our passion – GAMING.

It’s been a while since we (when I say we, I mean Milind, Rachita, Amit and Aditi) have been playing games. It started with my Dad getting us an Atari console from Dubai; before that I had a pong machine but never respected it much – anyways we were hooked to the Atari; games like Berserk, Pitfall Harry, Snoopy and the Red Baron, Pacman, etc…. At the same time, my uncle used to buy us handheld Nintendo games – single screen, dual screen, multi screen, panorama screen….. you name it we had it – we were very spoiled kids, if anyone has a problem with that –  deal with it!

Anyway, the fascination with games kept getting stronger. One fine day we got a Samurai – this was the Nintendo entertainment system desi version, pretty much changed the way we played games – Mario, Puch- Out, Track & Field, Rad Racer, Excite Bike, Metroid, Ninja Gaiden, Tecmo Basketball, Final Fantasy all became accessible and the only thing we spent money on was games. We would even get cartridges from the US, get them converted here so you could play NTSC games on Pal consoles; I remember my first converted game was Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Parallel to this, we bought the Sega Genesis and that started an internal battle of budgeting; Nintendo games played awesome, while Sega games looked great some of them played also very well; Sonic, Duck Tales, Eternal Champions, Phantasy Star 2 and so on; by this time we were obsessed…. we use to call Nintendo America for tips on games, by every possible magazine out there…you get my drift :-)!

A few more years went buy, magazines started showcasing the Super Nintendo, games like Street Fighter became all the craze. As usual we had to own it, so we got our uncle to order it from Dubai with the Super Mario, Super Tennis and Super WWF game. The console was insane! It introduced us to multiple paralaxing,  mode7, 3D, polygons and many such innovations. I remember playing the newly released Street Fighter till our thumbs went numb and were bruised purple. By now, we were complete fanatics, buying multiple versions of a game was very normal – for example Mortal Kombat was ordered from a vendor but because another guy got it first, we would buy both, just to play the game first. The SNES took us to new levels of insanity, we would exchange old games for new; at a point we would buy a new game everyday…While all this was happening, we experimented with various other consoles also, namely the Sega Saturn, Amiga, Neo Geo just to name a few.

The next shift came with the launch of the Playstation – I remember Milind and I selling stuff to buy the machine – the first couple of games we got were NFL, NBA and Resident Evil. An interesting thing to note was this was our third CD-Rom based console but we battered it and how, the console would remain on for hours sometimes even days; the 4 of us: Milind, Ameet, Aditi and I, spent a good portion of our life putting the console through its paces. I don’t think consoles are even stress tested to the limit we pushed the one we had. Next was another big game changer the Playstation 2 – I remember we were the first to own it, it used to run with a Sbox mod which would let us use bootleg content on the machine. The PS2 actually took our obsession and channelized it into some line of business, it also exposed us to insane amount of content. Parallel to this, we bought the Xbox but due to limited titles available it just did not fly with us. This was the time Rachita also got very involved with gaming.

That’s a lot of writing and that’s just the tip of the iceberg – currently we own the PS3, Xbox360 and the Nintendo Wii – the dominant machine is the 360 its truly the next generation of gaming – you can’t tell real from virtual. GTA, LA Noire, Top Spin, NBA 2K and so on…an interesting thing here is right from our Nintendo days Basketball games have been a constant, consoles change but the Basketball games always remain. It’s funny… today we have the ability to buy whatever games we want, and we buy only original, but the fight for time has made our gaming sessions a weekly or an hourly activity. I am hoping the same will change for the better going forward…………

 
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Posted by on July 13, 2012 in Bikes & Builders

 

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The Spider Busa

The UFC has always fascinated me – mixed martial arts fighters going at it Mano-a-Mano until one of them submit, or is knocked out. We have been watching The Ultimate Fighting Championships for a while now. Like with most sports not broadcast in India, the web was the best way to catch up on all the action. Next came DVDs and so on. UFC games have also dominated our videogame time…latest on the list UFC Undisputed 3.

Interestingly, last week was spent doing a fair amount of diligence on the Anderson Silva and Chael Sonnen fight. Note: Since 2006, Anderson Silva has reigned as the most dominant champion in UFC history. 14-0 in the UFC, Silva has had little difficulty with most opponents. The one significant exception was Sonnen, who dominated Silva with wrestling and was close to winning in decisive fashion when Silva caught him in a submission in the fifth round of their first encounter. So this match was Sonnen’s opportunity to actually defeat the Spider. Sonnen also mounted a fair amount of trash talk and all against Silva, but really, when it came down to the match, it was a no show; Sonnen went down in round 2 courtesy a brutal knee from Anderson Silva followed by a flury of punches. Personally, I would have liked to see the fight go on for a few more rounds but then what is done is done. In other happenings around the match, there was a match between has beens – Tito Ortiz and Forest Griffin. They fought like two athletes way past their prime, Forest eventually won the match and that is about all there is to that. For some awesome Silva highlights, check the video below:

Anderson Silva has pretty much proved to the entire world that he is the greatest fighter of our generation; he has beaten anyone and everyone in his weight category and maybe above and below when required…few are his equal in this day and age. In the ring, there is no equal – he is a killer in there, but outside the ring, Anderson Silva is the quietest person you will find. Early in his life he worked at McDonalds. He also likes to play soccer as he has a soccer field in his backyard at his house in Curitiba, Brazil. He plays paintball and actually freezes the paintballs so it hurts more when you get hit! He owns a CBR600RR back home in Brazil and loves 2 wheels.

Given all these facts and given his brilliance in the ring, Rob Uecker from Voodoo Industries decided it was time to give the Spider a full custom motorcycle that would match his name, personality and fighting prowess. The Bike chosen for this was the Suzuki Hayabusa. Voodoo then ensured they got the right parts and collaborations to ensure it was converted to the “Spider Busa”. UFC fan, Jason, and his business partner Tommy from C&S Customs fabricated the lengthened single-side swingarm, configured the web theme into the arm, rotor and sprocket design and gave the motorcycle an impressive 6 inch over from standard look and feel. The back end was finished off with a special 240 wheel that housed a floating “spinner” yellow spider, which sits stationary on a bearing attached to the one offset of Spider Silva custom wheels.

Star Motorcycles and Yamaha Motor Corporation U.S.A. have also gone the UFC motorcycle way and created 2 motorcycles – Both bikes were inspired by renowned UFC fighter Diego Sanchez. Frank Mir, another UFC fighter, is a motorcycle enthusiast. Unfortunately, he is known more for the unfortunate crash he had as compared to his love for the motorcycle – Mir was knocked off his motorcycle by a car. The accident caused a break in Mir’s femur and tore all the ligaments in his knee. The bone had broken in two places but the injury did not end Mir’s career as a fighter. Major surgery was needed to repair the bone in his leg. Other UFC fighters, who are into Motorcycles – our absolute favourite Matt Hughes and BJ Penn – don’t miss their rare picture to the left. If you have not seen the UFC yet, log on to Youtube and check some crazy action you will definitely not regret it.

For all you motorcycle geeks, here are the Impressive specs of the “Spider Busa”

Make/Model: 2008 Suzuki Hayabusa

Builder: Voodoo Industries, Rob Uecker

Engine: Shorty Duals w/Speakeasy Baffles: Voodoo Industries
See Thru Clutch Cover: TOCC
Clutch Set: DP
Air & Oil Filter: K&N
Glass Radiator Hoses: Voodoo Industries

Body: Paint, Molding Windscreen, Gator Glass “Spider Silva” Logos and Solo Hump: Gator Customs

Powdercoat: Sport Chrome

Swingarm: Single Side 240 Tubular Swingarm (Webbing, “Spider Silva” Rotor, “Web” Sprocket, Center Cap “Spider Silva” Spinner) C&S Custom

Wheels: 18 x 8.5 & 17 x 3.5 “Spider Silva” Custom Design: Voodoo Industries

Tires: 240/18 Elite 120/17: Dunlop,USA

Front Brake Rotor: Galfer

Brake & Clutch Lines: Galfer

Brake Pads: DP

Gauges “Spider Silva” Logo: StreetRacerParts.com

Mirror Block-Offs: Yanashiki

Levers & Grips: Yanashiki

Top Triple Tree, Fork Caps, Yoke Cap: Roaring Toyz
Fuel Cap: Roaring Toyz

Kickstand/Lowering Links: Roaring Toyz

License Plate Mount: Roaring Toyz

Axle Cover & Frame Plugs: Lawst Caws

Chain: RK

 
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Posted by on July 11, 2012 in Bikes & Builders

 

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The Piekers

After 8 Pie made by Rachita

Wikipedia Says – A pie is a baked dish which is usually made of a pastry dough casing that covers or completely contains a filling of various sweet or savory ingredients. Pies are defined by their crusts. A filled pie (also single-crust or bottom-crust), has pastry lining the baking dish, and the filling is placed on top of the pastry, but left open. A top-crust pie, which may also be called a cobbler, has the filling in the bottom of the dish and the filling covered with a pastry or other covering before baking. A two-crust pie has the filling completely enclosed in the pastry shell. Flaky pastry is a typical kind of pastry used for pie crusts, but many things can be used, including baking powder biscuits, mashed potatoes and crumbs. Pies can be a variety of sizes, ranging from bite-size to ones designed for multiple servings.Random use of a Pie – Cream filled or topped pies are favorite props for humor. Throwing a pie in a person’s face has been a staple of film comedy since Ben Turpin received one in Mr. Flip in 1909. More recently, pieing  has also become a political act.

The Avengers Inspiration!

The Pie, an unassuming dish which a lot of people love to eat or make. To most people in India though, the introduction to this dish was the famous and awesome movie American Pie….. ha ha ha ha ha ha! Agreed that in the context of the movie and the use of the pie was totally skewed versus the one which people eat, but it still established interest and intrigue in this wonderful creation. Today’s article primary is with regards to our, actually more importantly, “The Mrs’” interest in baking & the lovely pies made by her.

Red Velvet Cup Cakes

The story starts off at about the same time we went and got our bike. Rachita, my wife, who is extremely fond of cooking, started to show renewed interest in baking the same was extremely evident when red velvet cupcakes which were absolutely awesome were made by her & were a super smash hit in terms of look, feel & taste. Post this she tried her hand at the Hulk cake (post us watching the Avengers and being in that zone for a long time). You can also check the details of the Red Velvet Cupcakes & the Hulk Cake in our previous posts :-).

Super Stuff!!!

Awesomeness!!!

Then there was the brilliant Baked Philadelphia Cheesecake, and then came in the Pies – starting off with the brilliant Peach Crumble which raised the bar to some crazy level. The crust was totally spectacular add to that the fresh peaches and stuff, absolutely unbelievable! The complete pie was devoured in about 20 minutes by all of us & some pieces which were sent to the in-laws had the same fate. Further to which discussions on the brilliance of the dish continued for multiple days… Next in line the absolutely sensational After 8 chocolate ganache pie! Yup, I know! Sounds mouth watering delicious! Trust me, it tasted even better……I mean this was hands down one of the most awesome desserts made by Rachita!!! Finally there was the breath taking Raspberry Pie which was just a sensational change from the regular taste of pies in your mind. The crust and the use of cheesecake to add just that little bit of pizzaz made this last pie a true slice of heaven!!!

Enough said…. take a moment to check the gallery which has the awesome creations made by Rachita and have a visual treat 🙂 Also below some crazy numbers & facts about the Pie.

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Super Duper!!!

Approx. $700 million in pies (approx. 186 million units) are sold in grocery stores every year. This does not include restaurants, food service or price clubs, only grocery stores. If you lined up the number of pies sold at U.S. grocery stores in one year, they would circle the globe and then some.

According to a 2008 survey by Crisco® and American Pie Council:
•Nearly one out of five (19%) Americans prefer apple pie, followed by pumpkin (13%), pecan (12%), banana cream (10%) and cherry (9%)
•Pie just isn’t for after-dinner dessert. Thirty-five percent of Americans say they’ve had pies for breakfast. Pies as lunch (66%) and midnight snacks (59%) also have a popular following.
•When asked what dessert Americans would prefer a friend or family member bring to their house for a holiday dinner, pie was the winner with 29%. Cake (17%) and cookies (15%) rounded out the top-three spots.

Pumpkin pie was first introduced to the holiday table at the pilgrim’s second Thanksgiving in 1623.

Pie was not always America’s favorite dessert – in the 19th Century, fruit pies were a common breakfast food eaten before the start of a long day.

Pie By the Numbers
•36 million number of Americans who identify apple pie as their favorite
•47% Americans for whom the word “comforting” comes to mind when they think of pie
•6 million Number of American men ages 35-54 who have eaten the last slice of pie and denied it
•27% Americans who believe chocolate pie is the most romantic to share with someone special
•1 in 5 Proportion of Americans who have eaten an entire pie by themselves
•113 million Number of Americans who have eaten pie for breakfast
•75 million Number of Americans who prefer to drink milk with their pie
•32% Americans who prefer no crust on top of their pie
•90% Americans who agree that a slice of pie represents one of the simple pleasures in life
•9% Americans who prefer to eat their pie crust-first
•7% Americans who have passed off a store-bought pie as homemade
•18% Men who say their wife makes the best homemade pie
•2% Women who say their husband makes the best homemade pie

Unbelievable!!!

Pie Personalities
If you love… You are likely to describe yourself as…
Apple Pie – Independent, realistic and compassionate
Pecan Pie – Thoughtful and analytical
Chocolate Pie – Loving
Pumpkin Pie – Funny and independent

Pie Preferences
•More than one-third of Americans have eaten pie in bed

•Nearly one in four women believe that they make the best pie – better than Mom or Grandma
•More than one-third of Americans have craved pie in the middle of the night
The first mention of a fruit pie in print is from Robert Green’s Arcadia (1590): “thy breath is like the steame of apple-pyes.”

 
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Posted by on July 4, 2012 in Bikes & Builders

 

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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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