Tuesday, November 30

Film: I Heart Huckabees Click for more info

Not the total headf**k I was gearing up for, but still fairly complex in a straightforward way. It wasn't funny enough to be classes as a comedy in my opinion, but that's ok since the film had enough going for it anyway.

Exploring the philosophy of existence and delivering it in a way accessible for us dummies, it thankfully didn't get bogged down with the task of making its point. Watch if you're looking for something different, but only after you've seen The Incredibles.

Manchester Sucks

Yeh, you heard. And what?

Monday, November 29

Link Of The Day

Credit goes to Roh. Who else?


And no, I haven't gone through all of them. Yet.

Spammy's Choice: Helen Parr

Today she's that supermum (literally), Helen Parr, otherwise known as Elastigirl. Heroic and devoted to her family in equal measure she's also extremely flexible, hur hur:

Yes, she's a cartoon character. And yes, I'm worried too. Hmm. Perhaps I'll stop here...

Avast! AntiVirus

What, more software? Those that read regularly will know that I have a habit of "blog vomiting", but if I don't do it now I'll prolly forget to before it's too late so...

Anyway: Is anyone as sick of Norton AntiVirus as I was? If so, I heartily recommend Avast! as a worthy replacement - especially since it's free. Not only that, but it works as well as NAV (perhaps even better, although NAV wasn't that bad. Others report that it's a bit of a resource hog though).

As well as the now-common e-mail protection (which, like in NAV, is the first thing I disable), this also offers IM protection (amazingly with support for Trillian) and P2P (including support for the various Kazza variants and The Mule). The interface isn't as slick as NAV's, but it does the job.

Of course the best thing is that this does away with the yearly hunt for the new version of NAV to avoid subscription renewals. You know who you are...

Windows Media Player 10

First some qualification: I'm a big WinAmp 5 fan and it does everything I want it to do, including making watching previously recorded shows painless. And if I was to recommend a media player right now that's the one it would be.

I had resisted installing WMP10 for a few months now for the above reason. However a chain of events led to my having to[1]. And to be honest, I'm not too upset that I did. The main ability to synchronise playlists to my PDA (so that I now no longer have to organise the lists again on the PDA or worry about copying/converting the files themselves) is great alone, but the icings on the cake are the Auto Playlists.

These wonderful things dynamically filter your music based on previously defined criteria - filename, rating, most often listened to, most recently added - you get the picture. What this means is that you can do away with manually organising your music based on these things (or like I used to, keep separate folders for them). And like I've said these (the music and lists) can then be sent transparently to my PDA. Hooray.

[1]If you're wondering: Bluetooth remote for PDA -> Media player control -> WMP10 Mobile -> inability to create playlists -> ability to sync playlists with WMP10 -> WMP10.

New Music

She Will Be Loved - Maroon 5

Took me a while, but I finally realised that I liked this song enough to get it. "Look for the girl with the broken smile". Great stuff.

Sunday, November 28

Game: Singstar Party

30 new tracks to go with the 20 on the original disc, otherwise more of the same. The duet mode seems to be more of a hindrance than a feature though, and again we ended up playing just a few karaoke-friendly tracks, like Maroon 5's "This Love".

Oh and if anyone is interested I did pretty well. Only one other player was really better than me. And she was a girl, so that's ok. At least I've got proof that I can do a stunning Tony Hadley... #The man with the suit and the pace...

Film: The Incredibles Click for more info

Go watch it. Now.

Saturday, November 27

Missing Pakistan

Just sat down and watched what my dad filmed on his camcorder during my parents' visit to Pak. While doing so I suddenly realised that I'm well overdue for a trip. Man, I miss it.

Anyway, I'm gonna make sure I keep two weeks next year, hopefully more, exclusively for Pakistan. Seeing as there may be a Canadian trip in the works too, that doesn't leave me much time for a new country.

Hottie Alert

Vectone Urdu, and I'm guessing 4-5pm on Saturdays... A programme called Nanhe Sitare.

Thursday, November 25

Link Of The Day

Piston Pacers brawl video: http://thelastminute.typepad.com/blog/2004/11/pistons_pacers_.html

Thanks to Roh for the link.

An Efficient Use Of My Time

Beyond TV + Axim X30 + 1GB SD card

= Ability to watch last night's missed episode of One Tree Hill on The Tube

-> More time at home to play Paper Mario


Wednesday, November 24

Game: Half-Life 2

Wow. So far I've played very little of the game but already I'm impressed. Maybe I'm swallowing the hype (although those that know me would baulk at that suggestion. I'm very anti-pop, apparently), but I am truly amazed.

Apparently, some people rate the GTA3 series as being "open" since you can wander off from the path of the main game and steal cars, smack people, stuff like that. Looking deeper, you'll find that this isn't actually the case - what the clever developers have done is to hard code in so many different ways of playing the game that it appears you're choosing your own arbitrary actions to perform. So when you play Pool in a bar you're playing a preprogrammed Pool simulation and not using fundamental mechanics of the game. It's all just foresight, which admittedly in itself is an achievement, but not freedom.

The guys at Valve have taken a different approach. Although the game may be heavily scripted (perhaps moreso than GTA3), the script itself is, well, acted out. I hope that you see what I mean here. Here's an example: Say you hit a set piece, like when a character is supposed to talk to you. Unlike other games which may display a cutscene where the actors move on rails, HL2 will do the whole thing in realtime with the actors behaving in different ways depending on your arbitrary position at the time. Another method used to provide this "improvisation effect" is to make the characters lips move depending on what they are saying rather than preprogramming the movements "by hand".

Anyway what that all means is that no two cutscenes, set-plays and therefore full plays of this game will be the same. That's real freedom in my opinion, and that's what makes HL2 so bloody excellent. But I'm sure it has a cracking story like the first did too though.

Game: Knights Of The Old Republic

Oops. I had forgotten to blog this review. Anyway, a bit late, but here it is.

I'm a bit concerned at the way everyone I know who has played this game raves about it, 'cos So far I'm not. An overly complex character development system (one of the first choices you have to make is between three classes to be the base of your character - how the hell am I supposed to know which will suit? I haven't played yet!) as well as a monotonous battle system (it's realtime, and I fear for my mouse button and the repeated clicks I make it do) and uneventful storyline aren't qualities of a good game, right?

However I'm confident (after asking friends and groups) that this impression is a common one and that the game picks up once the player gains some groovy force powers and manage to leave the first planet. Alas, at the moment I've got Paper Mario to play, so I won't find out till next year.

Yum Yum

I have been running a bit of an experiment lately. For the past week or so daily Steve's been buying a four-pack of YumYums (99p from M&S), and we've been having two each EVERY DAY. Per YumYum, that's 795KJ, 18.9g of carbs and 11.5g of fat. We're both on the light and skinny side, and I wanna see whether this improves the situation. Ok, even two YumYums a day isn't drastic, so I've also been proactive in eating the sweeties at home and around friends' (some of you might have noticed this...). No chocolate though since that stuff brings out the spots.

So who reckons I'll finally break that 10st/10%BF barrier?

Tuesday, November 23

What Next? A Maid?

So, the car's battery had run dry while pops was away in Pakistan and although I had jump started it last week, I must not have driven it around enough to keep it going till he got back. We received three years emergency breakdown cover with the car, so after the jump start today didn't work, we thought we had better use it.

The mechanic guy came, jumped the car and told us to take it out for 45 minutes (the M11 is well dark this at time of night, y'know...). I was well impressed actually, but then I guess you pay for that kinda service.

Yes anyway. My point is that we have now officially become another incompetent Asian family who will helplessly call out for help when faced with the most minor of issues. Sigh.

Book: Tafsir Ibn Kathir

Well a looong time later and I'm still only two thirds of the way through volume one. And so I've given up. Of course I shoulda really guessed that this would happen - Ibn Kathir is more of a reference book than straightforward "prose"(?) so I was hoping for a lot when I thought I could read it cover to cover. Very dry with lots of repetition it even put me to sleep on the train a few times... Don't get me wrong, it is translated well and has tons of valuable insight and isn't even that hard to follow if you know what you're looking for. Maybe I'll give Pickthall or something a look later.

Anyway, this means that I can now finally exploit SOAS's excellent library as well as a few other books on my list, so expect a few more of these blogs from now on.

Monday, November 22

Spammy's Choice: Kelly Rowan

She plays Kirsten Cohen in The OC - a perfect wife and mother who is also happens to be the major breadwinner of the family too. Intelligent, kind, selfless and to top it all, hot as well.

She can't cook, but then contrary to popular belief us guys don't actually care about irrelevancies like that.

The End Of The OC

So almost after a whole year and 27(!) episodes, season one is finally over. The finale itself was pretty good - not too cliffhangy and had just the right amount of poignancy, but I think the actual fact that it was over was what struck home the most.

Still, we've been promised season two early next year. Frankly I don't know what they have left to cover.

King Size Beds Rock...

... Till you have to change their blummin' sheets. How the hell to does one manage a duvet 20 million times bigger than they are?

One To Watch

I Won't Marry White, Channel 4, 11pm.

After (exclusively, I think) dating whites only, three single Asians look to marry someone from their own backgrounds. This is how they get on.

Will it be as infuriating as it sounds? Possibly...

Sunday, November 21

Film: Bridget Jones: The Edge Of Reason Click for more info

Otherwise known as "Let's try to salvage this weekend's movie going". Well, Bridget's latest outing wasn't too bad actually, but that may have possibly been 'cos I was still hung over from the film last night.

Are all women this psycho about relationships? And is D'Arcy what us guys are supposed to live up to? Jebus. Even I fancied him a bit. Maybe.

Parents Are Back!

Hooray! I even managed to tape all of Mum's drama. BONUS!

Film: Veer-Zaara Click for more info

A predictable and emotionally cheap affair. Bad dialogue as well as an uninspiring soundtrack ("I'm here, here, here and here". I mean, come on) didn't help either. And then there was the weak plot - now I'm one to disregard an overuse of poetic licence if it delivers a gripping storyline, but all the corrupt Pakistani policemen and strict heartless Muslim parents (amongst other things) couldn't help this one.

Even my shallow side wasn't happy: The promise of a hot Muslim lawyer (Rani) didn't score any points. Preity wasn't up to her usually stunning standard either (it's almost unbelievable that the same actor starred in KHNH). For balance I'll mention a rare moment when I enjoyed in the film as being when Veer's village celebrates Doli. It was also refreshing to see a Bolly film with no nudity nor laughable "action sequences". Unfortunately I can't seem to remember much else.

Perhaps I'm being too harsh (I was expecting much more), but there really isn't much about this film that I can recommend - especially if it means sitting in a theatre for 3 hours. I wasn't alone either: Those that didn't walk out early were left struggling to stay awake. No one seemed to care toward the end and many were more interested in their mobile phones than the outcome of the film.

My advice? Wait for the DVD and create your own director's cut - you'll be through it within 45 minutes, tops. Better still, go watch Kyun? Ho Gaya Na...

ADDENDUM (from a comment posted on another blog):

This film didn't represent love. In fact it almost insulted it by battering it over the head with a farcical club. A good love story should make the audience feel with the characters and relate with what they're going through despite having no similar experience. This did neither and in places did the opposite.

That is exactly what Chopra usually delivers - VZ didn't do his talent justice, and shouldn't be mentioned in the same breath as his Mohabbateins, DTPHs and DDLJs. Even the relative "lightweight" Hum Tum was more enjoyable and effective. Notice how some of the more positive reviews feel like they owe it to him to like his latest work (even though they include words like "disappointing").

The Indo-Pak message was as weak as it was in Main Hoon Naa and shouldn't have been focused on as much as it was. In fact the whole problem with the film can be wrapped up in the scene where Anupam's character quit law. Mindnumblingly silly. And don't get me started on the old-young-old-young special effects bonanza toward the end...

As for my (as well as the whole of Cineworld, Ilford on Saturday night) being heartless... Well possibly. But if so, then that just goes to prove my point: A good love (or otherwise) story would have melted the coldest of hearts and not just appeal to those that are "weaklings when it comes to emotional love stories". If anything it shows how shallow and exploitative this flick actually was.

Friday, November 19

RFC: PIMP1104a

Gah! I just realised I need a pic for this Shaadi.com thing. You know where they are (if not, ask) - which one should I post?

There's A Bentley Parked Outside

Someone important must be visiting, 'cos this in an Arnage while I think the CEO's is a Continental GT. It's bloody big, I tell you.

Still, it makes a change from the Diablo that's usually parked there.

Tube Tales

So the other day I was coming home from Arabic Class pretty late. There I was minding my own business when at the end of the Tube carriage I saw a girl in a hijaab making out with her Muslim boyfriend/fiancee/husband. I considered the situation for a moment (it's not the first time I've seen this, and probably won't be the last - not that it's anything special, well in London anyway), then got on with listening to Spandau Ballet and reading my Metro.

Other people's reactions to this were interesting though. It was amusing seeing an uncle-jee trying not to look. And I was curious to see what happened when the fully bearded, Muslim-clothed (y'get me, right?) and topi wearing uni student came on the train (I was bitterly disappointed btw).

So why am I blogging this? I honestly don't know. I'm all for public displays of affection (and when I say "making out" it wasn't that bad), and I certainly don't think a hijaab implies anything about how a particular girl wearing one should behave. But then it isn't something you see everyday and so I thought I'd share. Have any of you ever seen this? If so, what do you reckon?

I wonder how I'll behave with my (possibly hijab wearing) partner on a train?

T-Mobile In Rip Off Shockah

I've been receiving a few picture messages from friends recently (thanks guys!) but unusually they have only been accessible from the web - one of those URL password jobbies. Anyway it's all a bit inconvenient and designed for phones that can't display piccies (does anyone still have one of these?) and quick call to T-Mobile CS should sort it out. Or so I thought.

Apparently I have to send a message to be able to receive them. What the hell is that about? I didn't have any problems receiving messages on Orange (I can't recall whether I sent any other than via NowMMS - which I miss. But that's not the point anyway).

Now I know it's only 40p or whatever, but a) I think that in itself is a ripoff and will not support it just like I won't vanilla texts and b) I refuse to be held to any kind of ransom.

What this admittedly overprincipled and quite unreasonable action means is that, although I appreciate piccie messages being sent to me and although I will endeavour to get to the web and look them up, inevitably there will be times when I won't have a chance to. So, unless it's important save your money and send me an E-Mail instead.

I Quit!

Well I've decided that, after over two years, it's time for me to quit Arabic Class. It's a shame, mainly cos it feels like I'm giving up in the face of failure, but the fact is I keep asking myself why I'm bothering with it... I'm finding it pretty difficult to keep up with my classmates (they keep having conversations in Arabic the content of which I have little idea about), I get frustrated with it and myself and I kinda feel bad all over. So it's gots to go. It has been like this for a while too, so I don't think I'm just having a temporary rant. I have four more lessons of this term left, so maybe I'll change my mind before the end.

I dunno if it's my fault - I think I put in the effort and I've never missed a homework let alone a class, but I guess you need more than that to learn a language. Perhaps I'm supposed to watch and listen to more things in Arabic, or perhaps if I had someone to converse with I would be at a level I'd be happy with? Possibly. I don't want to give up on the language altogether though, and hopefully I'll have the initiative to try studying it in a different, and possibly more effective, way. It would be a bigger shame if I let the time and money invested go to waste.

So this means I'll now have that bit of cash and Saturday mornings free again (Friday night is paaarty night again). I'd like to try something else to replace it though - it was pretty nice going back to study and actually learning and stuff. Any ideas?


Teeth are very important. Clean dentals are a sign of both discipline and hygiene. Retainers are worth their weight in gold, and braces are a much better idea than plastic surgery.

You know I make sense.

Ego Surfing 101

D'ya get it? Bah. Anyway, Google have come up with a new type of search, this time to search academic papers and citations. It's another example of why Google is great. It's not just the manner in which their search engine retrieves relevant results. It's not just the way they design their user interfaces either. It's the way they innovate and come out with the ideas that no one else seems to think of - you can even search shopping catalogues (although only in the USA atm)!

Anyway, Scholar Search can be found at http://scholar.google.com, and of course here's a predone search for you here.

EDIT: Or maybe not so great. I had blogged this already but the post seems to have vanished since. Which is worrying. Thank God for FeedReader, eh?

Thursday, November 18


As some of you know I'm about to foray into the wonderful world of online matrimonials. The first one I've picked is the obvious Shaadi.com, and I have a kind of idea of what to put down on my profile... But I've decided to ask you scabs for some help too.

So please, feel free to comment on what kinda stuff I should put down. There's no guarantee that I'll include your suggestions, but it will help. Be gentle though - THIS IS SERIOUS STUFF.

Wednesday, November 17

Studying Sucks

I have an Arabic vocab test tonight. It's crap timing IMO seeing as we just came out of Ramadhan/Eid week, but maybe I'm just sour that I spent the last three days or so cramming a good 300+ words (excluding irregular conjugations).

So... Do I still have the test taking ability? This isn't really a formal thing but it will be interesting to see if I'm still as studious as I was in school.

We'll see.

Tuesday, November 16

Band Aid

Y'know there's a whole bunch of people (some that even I know) that don't even remember the first one?

How depressing...

Monday, November 15

New Music

Ramadhan is over and the music restarts. I wonder which tunes I have to catch up on?

Leave (Get Out) - Jojo
I think this was popular before fasting started. Yeh it's pop, yeh it's sung by a child, yeh its target demographic is the Jojo type... But I think it's catchy.

Stop! - Jamelia
Superb cover of the Sam Brown classic, I think for the new Bridget flick. Wailing and powerful another one that'll have me miming in public.

I'm also ploughing my way through the Veer-Zaara OST, but since they're not all gonna be keepers, I'll list the ones I like individually later.

Sunday, November 14

Eid Resolutions

Ok, so I've decided to start my own personal tradition of making a resolution to keep each Eid. I figure if I give myself a new goal to achieve twice a year then they'll have a good chance of being followed - but then who knows if I'll even remember to make one next time... And judging by how others' New Year's Resolutions go maybe I'm being a tad optimistic?

Anyway this time it's all to do with discarding any irrational fear that I may have when trying to make a decision. Now, this is quite a wide ranging one so bear with me while I elaborate. I'm talking about how sometimes I (seemingly rationally) talk myself out of doing something because of what might potentially happen. Maybe some of you can relate?

Hmm... Still not clear is it? Ok, perhaps some concrete examples would help. Here are two things which I've always claimed I'll never do and that I may now do in the future. The first is to go watch films by myself in the cinema (yes I know. This is a pretty trivial one, but then that's what puts it in this list) and the second is to go on to one of those matrimonial sites. These are pretty small things, but the point is that the reasons why I haven't done them in the past are even smaller.

Now this could all just be a massive exercise in backtracking and an excuse for the fact that I'm contradicting what I've said in the past, but I don't think it is - and I don't care if others do too (which the more astute readers will realise is 'cos of this here resolution which I am making).

And some of its effects may have already been seen - for example yesterday I called both new and old people to dish out Eid greetings despite that inner voice telling me not to 'cos "they didn't want to hear from me", "it's been too long since you last spoke" or that "you'll bore them" or to "just send 'em a mail later and let them reply". And I think (or at least I hope) that they appreciated the fact that I did anyway. And I'm sure some of them didn't. But the point is we wouldn't have known otherwise, innit?

So will this lead to a more positive, happier, adventurous and effective me? Who knows... It'll interesting to see what happens though. The danger is that I may overstep the mark on some things - ignoring rational reasoning thinking that it is otherwise, but hopefully I won't. And I have you guys to tell me when I am anyway...

And don't worry - Hopefully my next resolution will be to stop waffling so much...

Spammy's Choice: Sarah Michelle Gellar

Those that have known me for a while will also know that Sarah was Spammy's Original Choice - she was my first celebrity obsession I think. Of course, no one else agreed with me then and probably won't agree with me now, but that's nothing new and I'm used to that.

It's good to know that after eight seasons of Buffy, and a few years after that, that SMG has still got it.

Film: The Grudge Click for more info

Less than 48 hours after Ramadhan ended and my film going has restarted. Ahem. Anyway, today wasn't the rush of movies I had expected it to be - mainly 'cos most of the ones I missed aren't showing anymore.

The film itself was pretty good. Either scary cinema is getting better at its job or I'm becoming more of a pussy as I get older. Either way this film was particularly effective at giving us (three guys at that!) the jeepers. Smacks a lot of The Ring et al, so having watched those may give you an idea of what to expect here.

Oh and the fact that it stars Sarah Michelle Gellar is just an extremely generous bonus.

It's Been A Loooong Day...

... Even though I had to leave half way through Kabhi Kushi Kabhie Gham. Feeling quite fulfilled though. One of those special days which has a bit of everything... I'd elaborate, but I need to sleep...

Friday, November 12

Game: Paper Mario: The Thousand Year Door

I'm only in 20 minutes and I'm loving it so far. Think Generic Squaresoft RPG #13 but without the excess guff. Beautifully presented, sublime controls, gripping, involving and most importantly FUN. Hopefully this factor won't wane...

Game: Halo 2

It's crap. Ok, I'm crap. But either way, back it goes.

Saudi Have Annouced!

Well that was a surprise... Eid Mubarak I guess!

I Am Weak

So I just got back from Game. With Halo 2. That's 40 quid. On top of the 40 I paid for Paper Mario this morning. 80 quid on gaming in a day? No wonder they sell so well.

Still, at least I can return Halo once I inevitably get bored with it.

Last Jummah Of Ramadhan

I've forgotten how to spell Jummat-Ul-Vidda. Anyway, it seems like everything is all coming to an end. I can't believe that this is the fifth one.

Today is also the last day that I'll be reading the Quran on the Tube - it'll be back to The Metro and books for me. Next time I come to work I'll be having lunch. It's also the last day that I get to leave at 5:30, but hey at least I can chill at home after work now...

But enough reminiscing. At this rate the next Ramadhan will come before we know it, Insha'Allah.

Happy Diwali!

To all that are celebrating! Apart from those waving flags on Green Street today.

Wednesday, November 10

The $100 Million Dollar Man

I'm talking about Master Chief of Halo 2 fame, of course. And that's just first day sales. uk.games.video.xbox is awash with those in the UK receiving their copies early (official UK release is tomorrow) and telling us all how great it is.

Am I the only person not buying a copy? Possibly - I didn't really think much of the first one, but then I'm not really an FPS fan. What I'm looking forward to is Paper Mario to be released on Friday.

Anyway, $100,000,000 is an impressive amount of wonga, and more than most films make over the whole of their cinematic lifetimes. Spider-Man($115m) and Shrek 2($108m) are the only two which can really claim to have topped the opening $100m mark and these are both opening weekend figures so Halo 2's figure is still remarkable. Of course these movies went on to increase their takings to $772m/$850m respectively and it's hard to see how Halo 2 will turnover that much over its lifetime.

Anyway the point is that Videogames are quite serious business, and have been for a while. Bear that in mind the next time you tell me I play too much.

EDIT: Seems that it actually made $125 Million. That makes it more successful than the two flicks above, and the most successful entertainment event ever. Cripes. Game were out of stock this morning. Pfft.

Monday, November 8

The OC Suxx0rs

"WHATCHU SAY?!?" I hear you scream. Well excuse me, but I've been watching American Teen Soaps for, like, ever and so I know what I'm talking about here. Don't get me wrong - six months ago I was The OC's biggest fan (in the UK anyhow, 'cos Americans are just nuts like that) and I was converting people to the cause left, right and center.

But something has changed since then. Weak plots that rely on sensationalism rather than depth have taken over. Regurgitated storylines which WE JUST SAW THE LAST EPISODE are the norm now, while whoever is in charge of writing the show chooses to rush past anything different which may develop into something interesting.

My theory is that they've spent all the potential "big hitter" storylines already and have nothing left to keep us gripped - for example, the sparring couple of Seth and Summer got together in less than half a season leaving no conflict, no tension, NOTHING for the rest of it. Jebus, even Marisa and Ryan have broken up and gotten back together since the show started. What's left for us to see? In their generosity, the writers have shown their hand, spent their load, emptied their wallets and have nothing left to give us.

Listen carefully, oh makers of the show: This may have been fine for 90210 but we now live in a world that has experienced Dawson's Creek and I'm afraid that the bar has now been lifted. One Tree Hill is managing fine (so far - signs of Orange Countyism are creeping in that too), so there is no reason why The OC can't. The people in charge need to step back and re-evaluate or something. Perhaps they have already and Season Two (currently airing in the US - we have two episodes left of this season before we get to see that immediately after) has thrown back to how The OC used to be not more than twenty episodes ago...

Oh, and Jim Bloody Robinson doesn't help either, man. Get rid of him and I promise you'll have me for another season at least.

Timeslip Roxx0rs

I just finished watching today's ep of The OC - thirty minutes after it ended. Not only that, but I'm all brushed up, pajama'd and ready for bed.

How? Well since my time machine is out of order I had to resort to Beyond TV, a neat little application which sits on the computer acting like a VCR. But more so, since it lets you watch stuff that's still recording (or anything else it's recorded previously). If you've seen any of the Sky+ ads, you'll prolly know what I'm talking about.

So not only do I have instant rewind and fast forward but I also don't have to wait for stuff to finish before I can begin watching it (like after returning from Tarawih, say). And since I have material "buffered" I can also skip ads, or pause what I'm watching so I can go pray, brush my teeth or get changed into my PJs.

Anyway it's great. If you want timeslip then you can do worse than to get a Pioneer DVR-220-S, which happens to be a DVD recorder to boot. The last time I checked PriceRunner this came to under 200 quid, which is a bargain imo.

Link Of The Day Click for more info


A Tube Theory

I reckon that the morning commute in is a very good indicator to how the rest of your day will go. So an uneventful journey will mean your day will be quick, but boring. Having a pretty girl standing next to you will mean your day will be happy, happy, joy, joy.

Today there was a signal failure at Leytonstone, a suspect package at Tottenham Court Road and two "Passenger Incidents" (or alarm handles pulled) including one on my train. Amazingly I was only 45 minutes late.

I'll let you know if I survive the day...

Sunday, November 7

I Am Crap

Proof: Just two days without the folks and I missed Sehri. Implications include:

a) The first Sehri missed since I started fasting
b) The first Salaat in Ramadhan I've missed since I can remember.
c) The first Tahajjud and Witr I've missed since I started reading them.
d) The first time I've missed brushing my teeth.

A week of firsts for me it seems.

Friday, November 5

Celebrity Poker Showdown

As some of you know, some guys and I sometimes play Poker (although we haven't for a while - what's up with that?). I don't watch it on the telly or anything though, but I am today.

Why? 'Cos Celebrity Poker Showdown features 90210's Jennie Garth. Yup, she's still hot.

Oh dear. She just got knocked out. Oh well, she is still hot.

Feel For Me

This time last week I attended Tarawih with my mum, my dad and my brother.

Today I attend Tarawih by myself for the first time ever. Aw.

Thursday, November 4

No Parents For Eid

First big night and our Sehri timings are slightly out as a result of us making time for Tahajjud. So I thought I'd blog.

Yesterday I found out that my dad was being sent to Pakistan for work. Good for him, right? I gathered that he'd be back before Eid so it would have been nice for him. A phonecall one hour later confirmed that my mum was going too - and that they'd both be staying for two weeks - that is they'll be coming back after Eid.

This'll be the second time I've not spent Eid with my folks in my life - the first being the Eid-Ul-Adha of 1990 (although that year is in dispute by me) when they went Hajj without my brother and me. Still, this will be the first Eid in yonks that my dad will spend with his family so it's still all good.

My mum also asked me if I had any holidays left and if I could join them. It only clicked a few hours later what she was actually asking. Meh.

Time for Fajr.

Wednesday, November 3


I wasn't gonna blog till after some kind of official result came out, but if the way I'm feeling now about the result is anything to go by I'm not sure I'd have the will to if Bush officially wins.

So what went wrong? I dunno. And that troubles me. In retrospect, a Bush win was kinda inevitable (despite the media hoo haa about it being close) but there was enough hope for him to lose (note how I refer to him losing rather than Kerry winning). Perhaps I just feel let down?

And what does this result mean? That over 50%[1] of people who voted are bonkers? That all that talk about how the American people don't really back Bush and his government and are really sensible human beings was actually false? Or perhaps even more worryingly that anyone who wanted Bush out was wrong? Should we expect the same come our election? Heck, ours isn't even looking as close as the US one. And do we have a right to lose faith in ourselves and democracy, just 'cos we didn't get the result we wanted?

Sorry, that's too many questions. But hey. It isn't over yet. There could be a miracle. Maybe I will blog on this subject again today...

[1]Yeh yeh, the Electoral College thingy makes it a possibility that this isn't actually true. But hey.

Monday, November 1

Mind Bollying

On Vectone Bolly 700-730. It's a Bolly/Holly phone in quiz. I fear for the UK Asian population, 'cos we suck.

So painful it's irresistible.