Wednesday, May 28, 2008

A short post Celtics / Pistons Game 5

So the Celtics & Pistons game 5 is about 30 minutes away and I just got a glimpse of the pre-game shoot around on TV and they showed Paul Pierce shooting the ball.

OK maybe I'm getting over myself and tripping but the dude looks tense and fatigued! If this is the guy they are going to rely on,they should not.

Celtics will loose this game!

10 things that suck about New York (and I guess - at most places)

10. People who pronounce your name wrong - all the time, time after time.
9. People who crowd the doors of subway trains
8. SlowMo's (slow walkers on the sidewalk- mainly tourists. Get Moving!! This is NYC!)
7. Slurpees (people who slurp while eating their food)
6. Paying $2 for a small bottle of water
5. Your Boss (only till you get a new one -then the old boss feels like divine)
4. Your Job (see point 5)
3. Cell phone yellers
2. Gas Prices
1. Knicks , Yankees ( or Mets)

Men with the whistles....... They are the real payers!!

As much as I wanted to I couldn't watch most of the first quarter of the Spurs /Lakers game. My wife did inform me that at one time the score was Spurs 8 and Lakers 22 and then of course I sat down to watch the drama unfold.

I then listened at the end of the first quarter to Lakers coach, Phil Jackson say to the TV Commentator; " To be honest, I thought the men with the whistles changed the game" and this was little startling to me.

Phil, rarely if ever goes there in the middle of the game and even though granted that this coachtalk-direct on TV-from-sidelines-while-the-game-goes-on is a new phenomenon, he's one of the few coaches that in my opinion, speak the truth. Now I don't know if it was meant to be a strategic input so that referees would ponder over it and keep in mind so as to give make-up fouls later, or was just his observation.

Normally, I would be upset and angry if Spurs didn't get that foul call on Brent Barry as he was fouled by Fisher but I was not.

I was just happy that these pathetic, incompetent, league manipulated, bumbling bunch of idiots or as they are officially called, referees, were on National TV and exposed to the public at large. They seem to do it all the time but to be caught with your hand in the cookie jar on prime time TV is just great.

I'm just happy that next time someone opens his/her mouth to defend these bozos, they will have a real time picture to refer to.

Mind you, I'm not saying Spurs should have won. In fact, this is one of a game in a very long time that I'm not going to complain about at all. Lakers were running with the ball all through the night and they should have won anyway, just that if David Stern wants his dream of Laker/Celtic final to happen, it should be on competence and not by using his henchmen.

I just hope that more and more NBA fans will put pressure on NBA league to let the games be won or lost on merit of the players rather than being manipulated by vested interests.

Going back, I guess then its also highly likely that Celtics will win their series because apparently that;s what he wants. Sorry Pistons, your campaign is over even before it really starts. Say thank you to Stern uncle!

Reminds me of a long email exchange I had last year, with one of the key sports writers on New York Post (I think it was NYPost but could be NY Daily News), about what I felt was blatant manipulation of games by NBA referees. While I insisted that the intent of some referees was malafide, he insisted that it was incompetence. Not too many months later, the corrupt practices of Tim Donaghy came out in the open and I felt somewhat vindicated. To my surprise David Stren came out with a quick rebuttal that it was just one referee and they had taken care of the problem. I do understand that statement from PR angle but to not extend a thorough public review is unacceptable to me.

I'm sure right at this moment and through out this season, there were all kind of shenanigans going on and many people are benefiting/benefited from the corrupted results.

Hopefully, you guys can put enough pressure as fans on the league to stop it right now!

Monday, May 26, 2008

High oil price a bubble, says Soros

It does feel good when your ideas/thoughts are supported by a billionaire. If you recall, in an earlier post I mentioned that the many of the BS reasons being given by stock analysts for the soaring Oil/Gas prices were unpalatable - Growth in China for example. No, China's growth and need for gas just can't be just debunked and surely there is some truth to many other facts but Greed seems to be the biggest reason for the insane gas/oil prices. This speculation greed is what the analysts conveniently forget to mention - of course, I didn't/don't expect them to point a finger at themselves but hey when not a single stock analysts mentions that greedy constituents of stock markets are driving the fuel prices, that bothers me.

Soros lays it out open, brutally. In brief, he says that Oil prices are mainly going up so quick because they are on a speculation ride.

To me what that means is that in next few months when oil prices do slide down, it will burn those investors who are getting on the oil bandwagon now or plan to buy oil shares, in the coming days. Here's the full article;

May 26 (Bloomberg) -- George Soros says speculators are a key cause of the sharp rise in the price of crude oil, the Daily Telegraph reported, citing an interview with the billionaire investor.

The Telegraph said Soros maintained that while the soaring oil price, which hit a record $135 a barrel last week, can be linked to the weak dollar, declining Middle East supply and rising demand by China, speculators have had a strong effect on the crude oil market.

The price increase has a ``parabolic shape,'' Soros said, noting that such a shape is ``characteristic of bubbles,'' according to the newspaper.

The comments are significant, not only because Mr Soros is the world's most prominent hedge fund investor but also because many experts have claimed speculation is only a minor factor affecting crude prices.

The oil bubble will not burst until the U.S. and Britain are both in recession, at which time oil prices may drop dramatically, the Telegraph cited Soros as saying.

Mr Soros warns Britain is facing its worst economic storm in living memory, dwarfing those of the 1970s and early 1990s, with a housing slump and serious recession.

Mr Soros warns Britain is facing its worst economic storm in living memory, dwarfing those of the 1970s and early 1990s, with a housing slump and serious recession.

He said: "The dislocations will be greater [than in the 1970s] because you also have the implications of the house price decline, which you didn't have in the 1970s."

Spurs win !!!

Was there ever any doubt!
You bet there was. I for one, was unsure if they could recover from the physical fatigue from some very tough games they have had, one-after-another, ever since the play offs started.
Anyways, MANU did what he does better than any other 6th player in the league, take and make some shots and change the game.

G I N O B L I

Don't forget though that Kobe almost stole the thunder right under from Spurs when he started hitting big threes seemingly without even trying hard. Man, that guy can play. There are a few superstars in this league who, once they are in the air, no matter where they are on the floor or how their body is positioned or who is in their face or what quarter it is or how many points they are down to - once they are in the air, the ball is going in.
Apart from Kobe, Vince Carter & T Mac clearly fall in that category, of course, only on the days they come to play on.

Anyways, at least the series is interesting now. The only scary thing that I felt after the game was that in post conference news Kobe was so relaxed that it was scary. That's a dangerous sign for the opposition, always. On the other hand, Odom was definitely tensed up when he went on to say, "put this one on me" .

We shall see !

Oh how about the match tonight - Celtics and Pistons. Will Ray Allen reappear - yeah the same guy who was lost once the play offs started! Irrespective, Pistons will come out sharper and my guess is they will win tonight. Darn, there I was, thinking they will finish Celtics off in 6 games and here
we are wondering which Piston team will show up!

Random List - People and Places I like

Always like
- Manu Ginobli
- Dev Ananad
- Roger Federer
- Kapil Dev - The best there is, was or will be
- Leander Paes
- Vijay Amritraj
- Bill Maher
- Amitabh Bacchan
- Rahul Dravid
- Vishwanathan Anand
- JRD & Ratan Tata
- Geet Sethi
- Aishwarya Rai
- Madhubala
- Govinda
- Pondicherry
- Singapore
- My Family
- Mobikes
- Traveling
- Movies
- Akshay Kumar
- Manoj Bajpai
- Sonali Bendre
- MJ
-

- Always grateful to
My Country, Family & Friends, Subhas Chandra Bose, Shaheed Bhagat Singh , Chandrashekhar Azad , Sardar Patel, Lala Lajpat Rai, Lal Bahadur Shastri , Lakshmi Bai- Jhansi Ki Rani, Shivaji Maratha, Maulana Abul Kalam Azad, Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan, Veer Savarkar , Rajkumari Amrit Kaur , Vijaya Lakshmi Pandit , Abdul Ghaffar Khan , Pattabhi Sitaramayya , Bipin Chandra Pal , Mangal Pandey , Aruna Asaf Ali, Bal Gangadhar Tilak, Birju Maharaj, Kishore Kumar , Kundan Lal Saigal , Mohammed Rafi, C.V. Raman , Homi Bhabha , Jagdish Chandra Bose , Meghnad Saha , M. Visvesvaraya , Anil Kakodkar, Birbal Sahni , Srinivasa Ramanujan , Dr. Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar , Har Gobind Khorana, Dayanand Saraswati , Raja Ram Mohan Roy , Ramakrishna Paramhansa , Swami Vivekananda , Vinoba Bhave , Kiran Bedi , Medha Patkar , Shanta Sinha , Baba Amte , Jyotiba Phule , Shahu Chhatrapati ,Bankim Chandra Chatterjee , Premchand , Rabindranath Tagore , Anita Desai , Arundhati Roy , Jhumpa Lahiri , Mulk Raj Anand , R.K. Narayan , Salman Rushdie , Vikram Seth , V.S. Naipaul , Kiran Desai , Mahadevi Varma , Shashi Deshpande , Shobha De , Khushwant Singh , Nirad C. Chaudhuri , Subhadra Kumari Chauhan , Subramanya Bharathi , Mahasweta Devi ,Girija Devi , Kumar Gandharva , Vishwanath Rao Ringe , Bhimsen Joshi , Pandit Jasraj , Balamurali Krishna , Ustad Bade Ghulam Ali Khan Tenzing Norgay , Mirabai , Sister Nivedita , M G Ranade , Kamaladevi Chattopadhyay

Current Favorites
Katrina Kaif
Harold & KUMAR
Ayesha Takia


Like most of the time
Underdogs
Nadal - not when he plays FedEx
London
Dojokovic -- not when he plays FedEx
A Rod
Manny Ramirez
Goa
Pokhara - Nepal
Bombay
Calcutta
Dalhousie


Used to like
Sachin Tendulkar
Kareena
Salman
Mahesh Bhupathi
Simla
Mussourie
Rajesh Khanna



Do not like
Gavaskar
Ravi Shastri
Donald Trump
Sharukh Khan - overpaid, undertalented! Certainly Successful.
Saif
Chandigarh
Dilip Kumar



Do not like at all
Indian Counselor Office New York - I guess it will be the same for many Indian Embassies/Offices across the world. Expect a full rant on this soon.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

So..... some thoughts on Sunday

First, now you can hear all my posts - Podcast is live on my blog now. Just press the Listen Now Button under the blog title. I like this feature and am amazed at how good the voice conversion is.

Second, I don't know why the Chelsea Manager - Avram Gran, was fired!!! OK, I don't claim to know about english league or inside/outside of the football/soccer world but hey the guy took the team to the Champion Leagues Finals - the first time in the club history!!!!!!!!

What the Faak!

I guess, Chelsea Management would rather keep the expectations low for next year and languish below the leaders, Well Done Chelsea!

BTW, I liked the match, it had all the elements of an exciting high- end drama till the very end. As the match progressed, I thought Man U were likely to loose, they looked super tired but when divine forces are with you, who can stop you.

Thank god, I was watching the game only as a football/soccer fan and not as Chelsea F.C. or Manchester United fan or I would have been conflicted right till the end.

Thank you both the teams for a lively and thrilling match.

And now the basketball dilemma - Do Spurs win tonight or do Lakers maul them on the home court!!! Suddenly, I'm sacred for Spurs - not because they don't have the firepower but because the rested Lakers have a wide edge over them - remember - Spurs were stuck on the runway for 11 hours after they finished the game 7 with Hornets and if that was not enough, after the game 2 with Lakers they reached San Antonio around 3 am on Saturday! By the time they were in their homes it would be 6 am!! I hope Pop gave them day off.
Lets see if they recovered a bit from their fatigue or this whole schedule drained them beyond endurance.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

League wins, basketball looses

So I just finished watching the Lakers /Spurs game 1 of '08 Conference finals and its clear that Referees and the league won. Its funny, how they helped Lakers make a 20 point deficit into a 4 point lead!

Bravo David Stern!
Looks like your dream of having a Lakers /Celtics final will be carried out by your henchmen a.k.a. Referees.

In other words, if you are a NBA watcher, it should come as no surprise to you when Pistons loose their series - if NBA wants a Lakers /Celtics win.

Ladies and Gentlemen, the dice is loaded - heavily.

Having said that, Manu Ginobli is still making some bad decisions and though I know he had an injury to his hand and was kind of brave on his part to play (well actually in NBA, really it would be considered just a minor scratch considering that the players are paid millions) yet he is nowhere close to performing what he's capable of. He's been somewhat disappointing and that's likely to cost Spurs some critical games.........maybe a shot at title itself.

We'll see what happens next

Is Shivraj Patil a Retard?............... are Indian politicians so desperate for votes?????

So I was shocked to see the news today about Shivraj Patil's comments - see the link (http://www.ptinews.com/pti%5Cptisite.nsf/$All/BAA9DD2B51063EE46525745000510075?OpenDocument) or the full article at the end of this piece.

His remarks have been called irresponsible but really these are Despicable, disgusting, obnoxious and nefarious. This son of a b#@%! has the nerve to equate an Indian citizen with the low level, guilty as hell enemy combatant.

He shames all Marathas, in fact he forgets that he and his fellow politicians were attacked in the same parliament by that enemy basta%!. What is with these politicians - do they understand at all the concept of motherland, the country that gave them everything. OK if they have no concept of that do they forget that all the fat perks they enjoy in life are because of the country they live in.

This cheap bastar% Patil should be sent to the no man's land and sent away from the country that has given him everything including his life and that he so shamelessly vilifies.

If his parents are alive surely they are ashamed beyond their soul can bear and god forbid if they are not alive they must be turning in their graves.

Here's the article:
New Delhi, May 21 (PTI) Union Home Minister Shivraj Patil's comments virtually equating Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru with Sarabjit Singh today drew flak from the BJP, which accused the Congress of playing votebank politics. The main Opposition party slammed as "irresponsible" the Home Minister's remarks that how can the demand be made for the hanging of Afzal when India has been pressing for clemency for Sarabjit."The comments of the Home Minister are deplorable and condemnable. The Government, which has been dithering from executing Afzal, is playing votebank politics by giving such absurd reasons," BJP spokesperson Prakash Javadekar told PTI.

He said the cases of Afzal and Sarabjit, who is on a death row in Pakistan, are totally different.

"While Sarabjit's was a case of mistaken identity, Afzal's role and involvement in the Parliament attack is proven and he has been convicted by the court," Javadekar added.

Another senior leader Ravi Shankar Prasad described Patil's remarks "as one of the most irresponsible comments by a minister" and said "it is bound to have serious implications on the ongoing Indo-Pak talks".

"The statement of the Home Minister relating Sarabjit's case to the Parliament attack convict would demoralise the Indian security forces," he said and demanded that Afzal's capital punishment be executed.

He said while several courts, including the apex court, awarded capital punishment for Afzal, in Sarabjit's case many Pakistani leaders have publicly raised questions on his identity, he said.

Big B or SRK!

So, there is this great debate, the rivalry, the rancour, the hate, the competition between the men themselves as well as in media....... WHO's bigger, better, taller, fresher, newer and deserves the title of "Bollywood King"

To me. the debate is over even before it begins. Big B is the Badshah of the Bollywood, the Sultan of Bombay, the man who fought through it all and survived. A true test of any person is the adversities he/she weathers, the storms s/he comes through and, the maturity of actions displayed, on every single account, BIG B stands taller than srk, and literally too he stands way above this short guy.

To be fair, there are some similarities in the way both came on the hindi movie scene. Amongst that I think the Timing was a big factor -Being at the right place at the right time;

Big B - when the audience was looking for an angry young man
srk - when audience wanted to see all the shades of a man's inner personality. No black and white alone - they wanted to see all the shades of grey that exist in a person. A good evil, if you would.

Both were lucky too; they got good breaks to begin their careers and soon the audience ensured that they reached the dizzy heights of Desi Stardom.

Similarities kind of end there though, AB went through much adversity - a devastating accident on the set of movie ( I think it was "Coolie' but I could be wrong), getting into politics to help out a friend (who turned out to be a ungrateful wretch of a man), fall of the business he was trying to build (AB productions or what ever the corporate avatar his company was) and after that relentless political witch hunting - attacked personally with attacks on his family ( remember the IT raid they endured!) and still he stands tall in what his adversaries would like make live ruins for him/his family. An Endearing man but more importantly an endearing man.

On the other hand, srk has virtually enjoyed a breakaway free run every which way. I personally think that its also because he was indirectly or directly supported by the infamous "D Company" - the Dubai mutherf!%~@# responsible for killing thousands of innocents during the Mumbai blasts. Now obviously, there is no published report that announces this support, but you look at the uninterrupted run srk has at the bollywood and you wonder, who's supporting him so well that there is never even a whimper of anything bad about srk, indeed if anything does come up, that reflects poorly on srk, it is made to go away so fast that its off the news even before you realize that its a news to begin with - e.g. the story of the bungalow he bought on the sea face and then wanted to radically change the architecture and add add monstrous expansions to this heritage building.

BTW, I don't wish to take away anything from his popularity, great success at the box office or his business acumen. He has certainly earned it. Even though, I have reservations on his limited acting skills (for eample the fact that he has the same canned laughter irrespective of the role, the situation or the kind of movie) BUT considering the fact that there are hundreds of star sons/daughters who have worst skills despite being given multiple chances, and are still around, I think he's much better.

I wish I could go on and on but time is short and I must stop. In conclusion, srk doesn't hold a torch to the BIG B and yet the public debates oops I mean media propaganda continues to tout srk as the king, I don't blame them, as Murphy's law says; The race doesn't always go to the fastest or strongest horse but that's the way to bet. Big B may be stronger or faster but go ahead and bet on the short man.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Basketball Predictions come true - Spurs win & so do others exactly as I said

So I'm feeling good right now. Spurs win and the only slight miss hit in my predictions ( if you read my earlier blog*) was that I thought Lakers /Utah series will go to 7 games.
Before I go back to Spurs here are my predictions for the conference finals:

Pistons/Celtics - Pistons in 6
Lakers/Spurs - Spurs in 7 OR Spurs in 5. Oh I know, Spurs in 5 is impossible you say. Here's my thought - If Spurs can win the game 1 of the series then it will be either a sweep (don't shoot me Laker fans - I'm just a messenger) or Spurs will win in 5. SHOCKED!

Finals: Spurs/Pistions - Spurs in 7

Gooing back to Lakers/Spurs, I know this is a shocker Moreover Spurs winning the game # 1 of the series is like the chances of being hit with a lightening - not only impossible but incomprehensible. If you are a Lakers fan then you may even consider this reprehsensible. I must mention though, not before long, I used to be one myself.

Ok I say that Spurs can win the series from Lakers based on two important thoughts
1. Spurs maintain/keep their momentum that they are carrying from game 7 with Hornets, while the Lakers play rusted from the rest
2. This is very important: David Stern & his henchmen sorry, I mean Referees, do not intervene on his behalf.

The story this year will be Spurs and Pistons - not waht Stern/League /Refs/ want but what should happen logically based on the team performances. I can't deny though that my Lakers/Spurs prediction is very very very tight. If you have seen lakers play the past few days, you know, they are playing like a team possessed so I know the peril I am getting into by making this bold prediction. Pistons/Celtics on the other hand I have no qualms about. Sure a good number of poeple will like Celtics to win and sure they have a home court advantage ( if the series goes to 7 games, it will only be because of this factor) but they have been struggling excatly as I thought and said before the play offs.

Of course, its well known and now even documented that Stern would like nothing better than a Celtics and Lakers final to revive old rivalry, bring back old days etc. BUT that is exactly that - OLD days.

Oh, I do understand Stern's dilemma and savvy though. As basketball czar, he has to make sure that all metro markets are well covered, all demographics specially white paying customer's wishes are well taken care of, keep promoting new players to keep the excitement going ( remember LeBron is the "King" - what a baloney of hype), keep fans interested in the game and teams and this is not an easy task, the downside of ruling like a czar however is that genuine plays and players get bumped off in the season and experienced fans can't help but feel that games are manipulated through Refs.

Still if you are a fan, you will not and you can't stop watching! Its an addiction, a fix, a need even though it may cause you to seethe when you watch the games.

What are the alternatives if you are a hard core NBA fan! Switch to another sport, Stop watching NBA! Move to Asia! Not happening! So we grumble, ooh aah in each game, curse the league and then go right back to watch the next game and start the grumble cycle all over again.

So like I said, if league can somehow keep people interested and yet not really influence the results of a game/series, that will be awesome and real exciting too.

Well any ways , going back to Spurs/Hornets game 7, I was almost shocked to see Spurs get some calls their way and even though I thought they should have got some more & obvious calls in their favor, it was true that Hornets didn't get some calls. Specially strange was the sequence when Manu tried to make it tough for Chris to take the last second shot. First of all it was a no call so it was bogus right off the bat but then after calling it a foul, the refs in their wisdom decided that the "foul" was committed after the buzzer went off. Really! That's not what the replay on the TNT showed, but hey, I'm not complaining, Spurs got that one and god knows they deserve that and many more calls just based on the fact they have been on the wrong end of the foul calls so many times, that it is tragically comic and poetic justice.

Lets get set to Pistons/Celtics now!

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Some of the Movies I Like

Sanj's Favorite Movies - some of them

* Action:
Pirates of the Carribbean
Sin City
Rambo
Pulp Fiction
Goodfellas
Reservoir Dogs
Blade Runner
Seven
No Country for Old Men
Fargo
Kill Bill 1
Gladiator
Die Hard
Snatch
Scarface
The Usual Suspects
American History X
The Departed
Terminator 2

* Drama:
Its a beautiful life
* Amores perros
* The Sixth Sense
* Mystic River
* The Shawshank Redemption
* Memento
* American Beauty
* Raging Bull
* Donny Darko
* Midnight Express

* Comedy:
Harold & Kumar Whitecastle
* Ferris Bueller’s Day Off
* Beverly Hills Cop
* Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels
* Shaun of the Dead
* A fish called Wanda

* Desi / Bollywood:
Sholay
* 1942 A Love Story
* Border
* Haqeeqat
* Woh Saat Din
* Kalyug
* Parinda
* Satya
* Munna Bhai MBBS
* Maqbool
* Pinjar
* Company
* DDLJ
* Bade Miyan Chotte Miyan
* Hum Hain Rahi Pyar Ke
* Ghayal
* Hyderabad Blues
* Maachis
* Gol Maal
* Amar Akbar Anthony
* Zanjeer
* Anand
* Purab Aur Paschim
* Johny Mera Naam
* Padosan
* Jewel Thief
* Upkar
* Guide
* Kaagaz Ke Phool
* Chalti Ka Naam Gaadi
* Do Aankhen Barah Haath
* Jagte Raho

Movies I found Disappointing:
American Gangster - Overhyped
* Hot Fuzz - indecisive director
* The Talented Mr Ripley - what the f*** is this movie! So terrible
* The Ocean's twelve - what the f*** is this movie! So terrible

Friday, May 16, 2008

Letter to Adrain Wojnarowski

To my surprise, sports writer Adrain Wojnarowski wrote today, what I would consider an attention seeking trashy piece of writing so I had to write and let him know what a good majority of true NBA followers think about his article. Mind you, I actually really really like his articles but this one was titled and written as a cheap piece.

Adrian,

I have always wondered, how good writers do it such that they create something out of nothing or create a controversy when none exists! Thanks to your article on Robert Hory, now I understand.

Congratulations. You are the hate maker, flame stroker of the day!

I always read your columns with great interest but for once it looks like that its you who's taking a cheap shot and not Hory, who you try to malign for no reason at all. You have written it yourself in the very column
"West said. “He just caught me really clean, and my guard was down, because I didn’t know anybody was behind me.” AND “I’ll take a look at it, but right now, I’ll just say he caught me with a good shot,” West said.

I'm sorry but it sure looks like you are taking a very cheap shot, but for what! I could understand, if you were a rookie writer and needed attention to your column but since that is not you then why! Did someone tell you that reader numbers were falling!

I don't know but then you may know better! Maybe that is the case, because you also attempt to bring in Bowen into this! Is Bowen annoying to all top players, he sure is as the best defensive man in the league, do players hate him, I'm sure they do, its hard not to hate him if you are a superstar and he shuts you down. What I don't get is what is your beef in all this!

Incidentally, if you were not at the game and were watching it on TV then I think either your TV was on mute or you were drunk because, the three analysts that included Jeff Van Gundy and Marc Jackson said that it was a non-foul, no call required foul or at the best a hard foul. If you doubt me and you are sober by now, go watch the replay.

For a man, who gives us many wonderful views on NBA, this is not a worthy article. I just hope that it's a temporary lapse of judgment and not a hidden streak that we readers were unaware of.

Lastly, In the spirit of the full disclosure, I'm not for/against Spurs or Hornets. I love them both as in my opinion they are both great to watch and follow.
I'm just a basketball fan

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Please God Make me a NBA referee - or NOT

So I have never understood on why no NBA analyst, player, NBA covering journalists ever brings out the fact that some of the referees ( a good majority!) seem to be either blind, deaf, perverts, idiots or who knows - are just rotten.

I guess since every team gets some benefit at one time or another, they can't complain and then they end up facing these bumbling jackasses in critical games or critical times like playoffs and then they can't do much about it because they are guilty of not bringing out all this in open earlier and this cycle continues on, year after year. The only real losers are the fans who are actually paying for all this carnival and who quickly switch off to baseball or hockey or NFL or other games and then start feeling bad all over again the very next year.

Some of the most "interesting" refs in my opinion who should NOT be refereeing any games are:
Bennett Salvatore (Don't even get me started)
Steve Javie (fair! what does the word fair mean!!!)


On the other hand some Refs that seem to be fair in my opinion are:

Dick Bavetta (most objective!)
Joey Crawford (Fiery, may hold grudges against some but not corrupt)
Violet Palmer (women better than many men)

I will keep adding to this list so go over it again next week.

Jesus of Change is arriving - soon in an office near you

And you guessed it right, its Obama. Right now, he's the only hope on the horizon, the man who will bring the change, the savior of humanity and many more things.

Well, frankly I like the guy but I don't like this blind fervor, this mouth-open, wide-eyed, saliva drooling looks that his fans are pouring on him and the overwhelming accolades, that are almost unwarranted/unprecedented. He seems like a good product but looks far from a real battle tested product. I mean he is a great political debater but beyond that I really don't know what exactly has he achieved as a professional.

My thoughts at the moment are that Sure no one would ever decline a chance of a Presidency, and that too of the US Presidency, the most powerful position on this planet, BUT would you not like to scrutinize a candidate's credentials very very closely for such a powerful position before you hire someone!

Right now all I see is that apart from the fact that this job aspirant speaks very well and talks convincingly about brining a change, I really don't know what he brings to the table. On the other hand, the competition both in his own party (Hillary) as well as in the other (McCain) is so uninspiring that he automatically appears to be better.

McCain is not only old but he's such an indecisive flip flopper that it will be like condemning the country to doom by choosing him. Hillary on the other hand has not created an impact that was expected (ok, I mean I expected).

To top my ignorance, I don't really understand the psyche of the women voters so hearing some comments makes me wonder; what the heck are you thinking! when you say you CAN'T vote for Hillary. To give an example, this is a conversation I overheard between two ladies, who per my guess were in their mid sixties; " I don't want to vote for a woman, who I think will cry if a tough issue comes up" WWHHAATT!!!!

I thought, this was a strange comment not only because conclusions were drawn based on vaporized facts but also because current president has admitted that not only he weeps on the job but talks directly to God! If he could be elected twice, surely Hillary could be elected once if the issue is "crying on the job".

All said and done, Hillary somehow or rather her team has not really done a great job either. More importantly in my analysis Clintons must have angered/annoyed/overstepped so many democrats when they were in the office, that everyone from Pelosi, Ted Kennedy, Kerry to Edwards may be joining Obama bandwagon not because they love Obama but because they definitely hate Clintons. I still remember that just when Kerry/Edwards campaign was picking steam and Bill was supposed to support them and speak for them, it was announced that Bill needed a heart by-pass surgery. Mind you, I'm sure he needed the operation but did he need it right then, on the exact days he was supposed to be helping Kerry/Ed! I'm convinced it was done just so Bill could keep away from the Kerry/Ed campaign without getting under fire.

Oh my! How your bad Karma comes back to haunt you when you least want it.
Still looking at the field, Hillary looks the best bet to me even though I wish it was Paul or Edwards in the final fight. Of course, if good candidates could filter through the process, then it would not be Presidential politics, would it!

So cheers to Obama. Sure he will be the president, I have no doubt. Nothing succeeds like a success they say, and right now what can he do if everyone has already decided to make him successful!

I'm just concerned that the people will be hugely disappointed in a year or two after he becomes the President.

I think it will be less than two years after he's in the power that the same people who want him to be president would like him to step down but then he would be set for another two years and that will be that!

We shall see!


P.S. - my next rant will be on SRK and AB. I'm just sick of these new puppies like SRK taking a shot at a giant like Big B. Of course, only Desi will be able to figure out that so if you are not a Desi or not familiar with Bollywood then this won't be something that you enjoy or even understand.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Think a gallon of gas is expensive?

To put things in perspective, Compared with Gasoline.... ..

Diet Snapple 16 oz $1.29 . $10.32 per gallon
Lipton Ice Tea 16 oz $1.19 ........ $9.52 per gallon
Gatorade 20 oz $1.59 ... $10.17 per gallon
Ocean Spray 16 oz $1.25 ........ $10.00 per gallon
Brake Fluid 12 oz $3.15 ..... $33.60 per gallon
Vick's Nyquil 6 oz $8.35 .. $178.13 per gallon
Pepto Bismol 4 oz $3.85 .. $123.20 per gallon
Whiteout 7 oz $1.39 .... . $25.42 per gallon
Scope 1.5 oz $0.99 ... $84.48 per gallon

And here is the REAL KICKER...

Evian water 9 oz $1.49.. $21.19 per gallon!
$21.19 for WATER and the buyers don't even know the source ( By The Way..... Evian spelled backwards is Naive)

AND you may be shocked by this last one!

Ever wonder why printers are so cheap?
So they have you hooked for the ink. Someone calculated the cost of the ink at.......... .....
(you won't believe it....but it is true........ $5,200 a gal. (five thousand two hundred dollars)

So, the next time you're at the pump,be glad your car doesn't run on Spring Water, Scope, or Whiteout, Pepto Bismol, Nyquil or God forbid, Printer Ink!

Just a little humor to help ease the pain of your next trip to the pump...

And yes, All these examples do NOT imply that gasoline is cheap; it just illustrates how outrageous some prices are....

- If you don't share this along with at least one person,
your muffler will fall off!!

Okay, your muffler may not really fall off...but, you will run out of toilet paper

Federer, Henin's departure from the Tennis World - So Sad...

So I like Federer and Henin both and hence this shock on departure of both from the Tennis world.

Ok Ok Federer has not announced his retirement or anything but for all practical purposes every match that he plays makes it look like that he is getting ready to give away his games, his matches and eventually his crown.

Now, I have been watching him for last several years and to me, the moment of truth was in the 2006 US Open semis and the final. I just couldn't believe that he was hitting some shots with casual abundance at critical times in the match. I just couldn't. Till date I believe he won 2006 US open not because he played great but because his opponents folded up - after all, Its not easy to play center court in front of a huge crowd and world number 1 looking at you from the other side of the court.

Now don't go thinking that I don't like the guy. I am probably his biggest fan, in my home I am his ONLY fan because my wife and kids only like Nadal. I don't question Roger's skills, he's the best there is, I question his shot selection and his stubbornness. Stubborn because he refuses to change his game plans to match the changing situations during a game. I guess many of his opponents have started realizing this, so now he's tasting defeat so frequently. He, of course, is a player with great skills, talent and knowledge but if he doesn't take corrective action NOW, he may only be one amongst the top few instead of THE man in command in the Tennis World.

Justine Henin - I guess most of the tennis world is shocked beyond belief, I know I am and given my size, I'm at least half the tennis world, so its a certified stunner for the world.

DO you know any other women in sports who had so much grit, mental toughness and determination! What a loss! I hope she will just take a hiatus and come back in a year or less.

On the other hand, if you look at her roller coaster ride of last few years - estrangement from the family, divorce from the husband, reuniting with family- it must not have been easy even for a woman of so much courage.

May she get what she desires and may god fulfill her wishes As Well As wishes of everyone who reads this blog.

Non-readers, I can't guarantee your future though. Sorry. Wait a minute, if you are a non-reader you are not reading this blog... Right!!!

Peace.


P.S. - Damn the Spurs - I can't believe they lost to NO last night. They are messing up my predictions from the previous blog. *%#@ them.
I can't believe that so much bad decision making can be done by such an experienced team. I hold Manu specially responsible for taking a few perimeter shots that should have been in the paint hoops. Only consolation is that the loss is to Byron Scott's team - a man I feel was unfairly fired by Nets due to that smart ass Jason Kidd! What a sweet deal - Kidd sits out and Byron is still in there. JUSTICE.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Oil / Gas Prices - Why are they going up! Who's Profiting!

So I am totally confused by the upwardly mobile Gas ( Petrol - if you are in Europe or in Des) prices. As far as I am concerned, the only logical reason the prices are going above $125/barrel is because some companies, brokers and handful of speculators want to make as much money as possible!
Ah, you think its because of high energy demands from emerging/fast growing countries like China! Think again - so you are saying their demand is actually growing exponentially every day....!!!!
I can understand if the demand was jumping astronomically every year or 9 months but to say that its doing that on a daily basis sounds insane and before someone gives me crap about Oil futuress trading etc. , that still is crap - Give me a real reason and I'll agree.

Funniest thing is that couple of months back, when everyone (in stock market) was distracted due to rapidly plunging stock markets - for almost four days, there was no change in oil price, as a matter of fact, the prices actually went down a bit. So if I were to take this with teh same crappy argument that stock players will have us believe (demand from China & other countries), we'll have to presume that for those four days, all construction, transportation, travel was completely at a standstill in those countries and hence no price rise.

Pulleeeze!

I know general public is supposed to be stupid or busy earning a living or distracted and/or all of that but still give us a break.

Just own up to the fact that right now is perhaps the best time for making money if you are an Oil company or a stock market player and that prices will keep on going up till the doomsday ( which at this rate, is not too far)

Monday, May 12, 2008

NBA, Knicks, Spurs and rest

So what better way to start blogging than to talk (bitterly) about Sports. Now basketball is my favorite sport but over the years, well at least over the last 7 yrs. I have felt that league tries to force results; in other words, tries to control who wins a match or a title or even the championship. How they do it! Through the refs. in my experience.

Tom Donaghy was just a scapegoat in my eyes. I bet that almost every ref. is influenced one way or the other, by the league office to ensure that the some teams are kept under check in a game while others are allowed to get away with all kind of nonsense plays. In the name of a hard game, some teams will be allowed to physically hurt, almost injure, players of the opposing team in a game while opposing team will be called for a foul every time they are within an inch of the players of the favored team. Since the non favored team knows that they will be called out fro the slightest touch, they start being tentative and end up backing away from any contact on both sides of the floor, resulting in obvious results - non-favored team loses out.

My guess is that league does this not with a specific malice but to ensure that advertising dollars, TV rights and general sentiments of NBA fans are taken care of while making the max money possible. I saw this in 2006 when Dallas Mavs were getting all kind of foul calls on other teams almost through out the season BUT in the post season when Mark Cuban started making loud noises about refs playing favorites, the league suddenly pulled out the "easy call" cushion for Dallas, mainly during the finals with the Miami Heat. Nowitzki and rest of the Mavs looked stunned during the games with Heat and lost to a team that they had no reason to lose to. Some can give an argument that Heat was really good that year, Shaq and Wade were a deadly combination but that's all B.S. No time during the season or post season that year, Heat looked good enough to beat any team in Western Conference leave alone Mavs but there they were, Champions of 2006.

Big joke but well, no one can complain, can they! As for Wade and Shaq, is there any doubt that they are exceptional players, none. Were they capable of playing good that year - absolutely, WERE THEY capable of winning a title that year - no way.

Anyways, I must mention the fact that I am not a Miami or Mavs fan, heck I live in Jersey so these are not even my teams. Just my oobservations of last few years.

Before I go on to make quick statements on Knick and Spurs I do want to quickly give my predictions for the current play offs ;

Lakers and Utah - Lakers in 7, (even though I'm conscious of the fact that league would like to make it Utah in 7 - apparently a good bunch of NBA fans think that Jerry Sloan should get a title that he has never got)

Spurs and Hornets - Spurs in 6 ( even though I know league would like it to go to 7 games to make enough TV and advertising dollars)

Pistons and Magic - Pistons in 5

Celtics and Cavs - Celts in 7 (only because they have home court advantage)

Conference Finals
Lakers and Spurs - Spurs in 7
Pistons and Celts - Pistons in 6 or 7

Championship
Spurs and Pistons - Spurs in 6 or 7


Knicks
There are many doubts being expressed on D'Antoni's move to Knicks with an overwhelming majority of comments expressing their disapproval and the fact that Mike will have to manage Marbury and Curry. In my opinion, it will be a great move benefiting everyone and Mike will be very successful.

Spurs
So everyone was writing off Spurs when they went down 0-2 against Hornets and how old spurs were done and finished. Oh my, how things change, last night during the fourth game suddenly the TV presenters were talking about " New Orleans inexperienced youth"! What an about turn. Same specilaists were talking about how New Orleans was a perfect picture of young and experienced just four days back.

As of now I pick Spurs to clean the act and the match up, by picking next two games
 
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