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Friday, May 27, 2016

Chp 609. English Premier League 2015-16

As somebody who has been blogging for the past 12 years, one of the things I love the most about blogging is reading some of my old posts. It's like walking down memory lane when I read about some of the stuff that took place many years ago.

My blog is kinda like my public diary sometimes, where I write about events that really mean something to me.

And I never fail to write about Arsenal. I've been a hardcore Gooner much before I started blogging (in my defense, there was no platform back then) and so, to this day, I get the occasional banter from friends that Arsenal has never won the League since I started blogging :P

But in all fairness, you gotta admit that is true. The frustration we Arsenal fans have the past few years is obvious. And that is what banter is all about. We, as football club fans, tend to make fun of rival fans as much as we can.

Take ManUtd fans for example.

Until 2013, they kept taunting Arsenal fans with, "We got more FA Cup trophies than you". And then in 2014 Arsenal equalized that record and they’re like, "Heh, you still haven't broken our record", and then Arsenal broke that record in 2015 and they’re like, "FA Cup is such a plastic cup, nobody cares", and then this year 2016 suddenly they won the FA Cup and they're like, "FA Cup is the bestest cup in the whole wide world". :D

See, that's how banter works.

Here's one of the many many many examples… When Arsenal won the FA Cup last year, the Vice-President of the "Chennai Mizo Works at Manchester United Die Hard Fan Association" (CMWMUDHFA) commented -"Arsenal won a Chicken Noodle Cup, and they are so happy about it, lulz".

This year though, Arsenal won the Community Shield and ManUtd won the FA Cup. The same person above (now promoted to President of the CMWMUDHFA because the only other person in the fan club went back to Mizoram) commented - "ManUtd won the glorious FA Cup this year while Arsenal only won a Chicken Noodle Cup".

Ahhh… ManUtd fans :D

This dear friend of mine tries so hard at trolling Arsenal fans, but always ends up getting trolled back. Here's one such image I received on our WhatsApp group.

Man, whoever made the above meme is so evil. I wonder who that person is… :)

And this particular pic I received today really matches the above meme! :D

Remember what Paul Scholes said to ManUtd earlier this year, "Don't be like Arsenal who only think of FA Cup and aiming to come in 4th"… It's pretty sad for him that Arsenal finished SECOND this season, not fourth, whereas ManUtd couldn't even reach fourth position… :D

Banter is all about making people eat their words.

Pretty much like my friend Lalramenga who is a hardcore ManUtd fan :D He would always update his Facebook status with the results of the latest Game Week matches on Mondays, but only when ManUtd won while Arsenal lost. Hence, this ENTIRE season, he got to update his status about the Game Week results only twice :D :D :D :D

And then there's my colleague here at work, who's also a ManUtd fan. He and I made a promise last year that we would both wear our respective team jerseys to office on Mondays whenever our team won during the weekend. Now that this season has ended, my Arsenal jersey is completely worn out while his ManUtd jersey is still brand new :D

Yeah I like making fun of my ManUtd friends, mainly because this entire season, whenever Arsenal was playing, they would be extremely active in the many WhatsApp groups I was in. But of course when their own team played, they were nowhere to be seen. It was as if they watched only Arsenal matches this entire season (after all, who can blame them, Arsenal matches are beautiful).

These past three years had been a complete comedy for them, finishing 7th, 4th and 5th (with three different world-class managers and top-flight player signings), whereas Arsenal came in 4th, 3rd and 2nd (Arsenal didn't even sign a single outfield player last summer transfer!) Yet they never fail to troll Arsenal fans even though Arsenal is evidently class apart from them. They're like the former local celebrity of yesteryear, you know, somebody who once used to be quite famous in your locality, but these days, nobody cares about him and he'll do anything to stay relevant, and that includes bitching about the current new celebrities that people actually respect. :)

Anyhoo, enough of ManUtd for now, let's take a look at Tottenham Sp*rs. Arsenal's arch-nemesis. Our reason to celebrate St.Totteringham's Day.

For years now since we last won the League in 2004, Sp*rs fans were like, "Is that all you think about? To finish the season above us even though you didn't win the League?" And that was the retort they all had for the past 12 years. They made it sound so convincing that it was more important for them to win the League rather than finish above their North London derby rival.

But suddenly when Leicester City won the League this year (A BIG congrats to them), their tune suddenly changed to, "Doesn't matter if we won the League or not, all that matters is we're above Arsenal!!!!" and they sang songs mocking frustrated Arsenal fans with, "We want Wenger to stay, he makes us stay above you".

They were happy and content with staying above Arsenal, even though they didn't win the League. Their words, not mine.

And then suddenly on the last Game Week of this season, Arsenal beat Aston Villa 4-0 whereas Sp*rs lost to a relegated 10-man Newcastle United 5-1. And all of a sudden, Arsenal was in second place, above Spurs once again. And immediately, Sp*rs fans all over the world were like, "Is that all you think about? To finish the season above us even though you didn't win the League?"

Back to the same old banter I guess. Ahhh Sp*rs :)

Twitter exploded at the last match of the season. Like this tweet for example, from an Arsenal fan…

Hehe nice opportunity to show-off one's butt I guess… And she's much more beautiful and classy than that Miss Bumbum whatshername from Brazil who got blocked by Messi on Instagram.

And of course there were the other jokes…

This season's last Game Week had been an utter frustration to me though.

Yeah it was a great result for Arsenal, but still, it was the ONE FREAKING DAY I was really looking forward to the ENTIRE year, because the last Game Week of the season is usually exciting, as all matches are held at the same time. This year, even though Leicester City had won the league, there were still a lot of uncertainties till the very last Game Week matches. And I earlier blogged about my new set-up [Split-screen dream come true] where I now have this sweet setup of a 32" flat-screen as my monitor, with a 10 Mbps broadband connection. Yeah, I could watch all the big matches simultaneously using a split window. I even posted this pic back then…

And guess what Reliance did? They disconnected my connection just 2 days before the final Game Week day!!!! Aaaaaaarrrrrgghhhhhhh.

I even subscribed to a HotStar premium account, paying quite a hefty fee, mainly to watch the latest Game of Thrones episodes before it came on Torrent, but also because I can watch the last Game Week matches simultaneously in case other live streaming sites were down. All that money spent went down the drain.

I hate Reliance so much. I finally got back my net connection yesterday, but by then, the damage had already been done. I missed the last Game Week of this season :(

Still, I guess, this year was not so bad. Moving from 4th to 3rd to 2nd, I'm sure next year it would be 1st. And that is when I'll be able to say "Hey, my blog is not older than the last time Arsenal won the League" :P

Cheers everyone, including y'all ManUtd fans. Love y'all nonetheless :)

Saturday, May 14, 2016

Chp 608. TF2 Mayflower cosmetic updates

I really don't know what I was thinking. I woke up this morning, saw the new "Mayflower" update notification when I opened TF2, and I was like, "Heyyy, lemme unbox a couple of them, I might end up getting an Unusual or Strange item!"

Me. Trying my luck at unboxing rare items. What the hell was I thinking.

I buy my Strange cosmetics or weapons directly from the community market, because all my friends keep telling me the chances of unboxing a Strange or Unusual item is extremely rare, and that I will save much more if I buy them directly online. Yup, some of them are expensive, but at least the certainty of getting that item is 100%.

Anyway, like I said, it was a crazy morning. And I decided to try my luck.

As is the case with any TF2 unboxable items, the crate itself is quite cheap, it is the key that is bloody expensive. In Indian rupees, a key cost 172 bucks.

And here is a clever marketing strategy TF2 uses. If you buy 8 keys, the total amount is just not enough to avail of the free gift. You get a free gift on every purchase of Rs. 1379 or above. Buying 8 keys costs Rs. 1376, just 2 freaking bucks shy of the free gift. What a dick move by their marketing strategists :) And of course buying another key makes you overshoot that target by a large margin, so you have no other option but to buy the cheapest item possible in order to reach that target. 

In my case, I bought a bagpack expander since I require it anyway. And so with that, I was eligible for the free gift.

I took a long hard look at my shopping cart, then thought of the amount I already spent on my Life Insurance premium this month, along with my rising electricity bill because of the summer heat, and it made me really really wanted to cancel that transaction.

But then I thought of the chance of unboxing an unusual item. Yeah I can go one or two days without eating if I end up broke because of it, but it would be worth it if I unbox an Unusual item.

And so, yeah, I clicked the dreaded "Checkout" button…

I felt my wallet go lighter from the back of my bum, even though this was an online transaction.

And then I got the items…

Yeah, eight Mayflower cosmetic keys, along with a free gift and a bagpack expander. Now it was time to buy the Mayflower creates from the community market.

As we all know, TF2 always lies when it comes to community market costs. :P The "starting cost" mentioned in the game is never the same once you go to the actual community market.

In this case, TF2 said the "Mayflower cosmetic case" starts at Rs. 0.18

But once at the market, you can see it was selling at around Rs. 10 or more…

And my oh my, it was selling like hot cake. The price was fluctuating continuously as people kept buying it quickly. I too failed a couple of times because by the time I clicked on it, somebody had already bought that item before me, and then it took some time to find a seller with that exact same cost.

Eventually, I bought eight cases with a price ranging from Rs. 11 to Rs. 15.

And so it was time for the grand unveiling…

The first item I unboxed was "The Airdog" for Scout.

The next item was the "Squire's Sabaton" for again Scout…

Then came the "Courtly Cuirass" for Scout once again…

Fourth item was the "Scoped Spartan" for Sniper.

After that it was "The Surgical Survivalist" for Medic…

Next was "The Demo's Dustcatcher" for Demoman of course…

After that I got yet another "Courtly Cuirass"…

...followed by yet another "The Demo's Dustcatcher".

So all in all, out of the eight Mayflower cosmetic cases, I unboxed 4 Scout items, 2 Demoman items, 1 Medic item, and 1 Sniper item. Not to mention two of those were repetitions. And NONE of them were Unusual or Strange. I felt my heart tighten and blood pressure rise immediately. Damn… such a bummer.

Anyway, that's the LAST time I'll ever spend money on keys.

I am very disappointed, but at least they aren't so bad. For example, let's take a look at my scout… He looks kinda badass medieval with the "Courtly Cuirass" and "Squire's Sabaton", though "The Airdog" doesn't match at all. If only I had unboxed the "Herald's Helm" to complete the set…

As for my Medic, I think "The Surgical Survivalist" kinda matches pretty well with my existing "Dapper Medical Monarch" and "Berlin Brain Bowl" headgear.

And then here's my sniper wearing the "Scoped Spartan" cape. I really am not a fan of cape cosmetics because they prevent you from equipping secondary weapons like the "Razorback", "Cozy Camper" and "Darwin's Danger Shield".

Finally, my demoman. I think "The Demo's Dustcatcher" really matches well with my "K-9 Mane" and "Shin Shredders", don't you think too?

And so, that was me unboxing eight Mayflower cosmetic items. Even though I was disappointed, I saw a couple of recent YouTube videos where people did the same thing and unboxed almost the same stuff that I did. So yeah, in a way, knowing I am not alone in my misery kinda makes me feel not so sad anymore :D :P

Cheers then…

Tuesday, May 03, 2016

Chp 607. The Second One

I'm gonna say it out right here. Yesterday was May 2nd, and yesterday, most of us watched the 2nd episode of Game of Thrones, season 6.

This post may contain some spoilers, so do stop reading if you haven't watched the two new episodes of season 6 yet.

Two episodes into the new season of Game of Thrones, and frankly speaking, I'm still not feeling the excitement and rush. The zing. Sure we saw a couple of important characters die… S06E01 gave us the death of Prince Doran Martell, Captain Areo Hotah and Prince Trystane Martell. And S06E02 saw the death of Lord Roose Bolton, Lady Walda Bolton and King Balon Greyjoy. Those were the rulers of three different kingdoms who just died. And yet, their deaths were nowhere as much of a shocker as S01E09 was when Ned Stark was beheaded. Or the infamous "Red Wedding".

Instead, I think the only scene that shocked me in the first episode of season 6 was the revelation of Melisandre's true form, and from the second episode, it was the revival of Jon Snow. But by then, I wasn't exactly surprised. With so many rumors and conspiracy theories doing the rounds and the way that revival scene was played out, I was expecting him to come back to life anyway.

Rather than shocking me, I was actually filled with a couple of questions. Like for instance, in episode 1, how did Prince Trystane's cousins Obara and Nymeria came on board the ship to assassinate him, when they were clearly seen seeing Jamie Lannister off last season (assuming Trystane was in the ship with Jamie otherwise there was no way he could have known Myrcella had died)? In episode 2, during Bran Stark's flashback journey, I wonder how he was able to recognize his young dad and uncle Benjen Stark, including his aunt Lyanna, considering, you know, they didn't have any old photographs to let him know how they looked like as kids :P And Bran saying he recognized his aunt from her statue in the crypt was kinda lame because we all know that statue hardly resembled any proper face :P And what about Gendry, is he still rowing his boat? See, so many questions.

But of course my favorite scene from episode 2 was this, which made me laugh out so much!

(Varys looks disapprovingly at Tyrion drinking)

Tyrion (looks at Varys): "If I'd lost my cock, I'd drink all the time."

(then looks at Greyworm and apologetically said): "... meaning no offense. He makes dwarf jokes, I make eunuch jokes."

Varys: "I do NOT make dwarf jokes."

Tyrion: "You think them." (gives Varys the eye)


Tyrion: Dragons do not do well in captivity.

Missandei: And how do you know this?

Tyrion: That's what I do. I drink and I know things.


(terrified Tyrion trying to free the dragons)

Tyrion (to the dragons): I am here… to help. Don't… eat… the help.


(after removing the dragons' shackles)

Tyrion (to Varys): Next time I have an idea like that, punch me in the face.


Lolz, you gotta love Tyrion. I'm sure things are going to get more exciting in the next few episodes, but until then, I must admit it had not been up to my expectations at all.

On the other hand, another TV show had just completed its second episode yesterday as well, and I totally love it so much. "Silicon Valley" season 3. And I think it is a very under-rated show. Or maybe I'm just saying that because it is something I can relate to because of my past experience in the Start-Up industry.

But the humor, the sarcasm, the witty replies and reactions, the nerd dialogues, I really must say this is one of the best TV shows in recent time.

The way the sales team "suddenly appeared" in the second episode, and how they tried to control engineering and production was utterly hilarious, and I'm sure many of us could relate to it. I experienced that in advertising (the eternal Creative Dept. versus Client Servicing Dept. war) every day, and I still experience that even today after working as a Game designer.

Hence if you haven't watched "Silicon Valley" yet, I really suggest you do. Don't assume that "Game of Thrones" is the only TV show currently worth watching :P You won't regret it (Another new show I would totally recommend is this new mini-series show called "The Night Manager". Just 6 episodes but it is bloody awesome. It's the best mini-series I've seen since "Narcos" last year).

And speaking of second, well, Spurs drew with Chelsea last night, so Arsenal still has a chance of finishing second this season! :D Meanwhile, because of that draw, Leicester City are now the new Premiere League champion this season! A big congratulation to them. I am really proud of their achievement.

Since Leicester City won because Spurs and Chelsea drew last night, technically, this means Leicester City had won the league at Old Trafford (where their last match was held)! Imagine that, being one of the "cheapest" squad and yet winning the title at the home of a team whose total squad value this season is 450 million pounds! Wow. If I was a ManUtd fan I would be so utterly utterly embarrassed. :P

Will get back to work now and catch y'all later. Until then, I'm gonna start using this phrase, "That's what I do. I drink and I know things" everywhere I go! Lolz. Cheers :)