Saturday, February 27, 2010

Weekend in Bangalore - Mileage

Sat:
A bunch of nutcase friends (incl. me) decided to run from their homes in HSR layout to Cubbon Park and then to Lalbagh. The icing was a breakfast sponsored by the lovely M at MTR to celebrate her b'day.

While I ran only a loop of Cubbon and a couple of loops of Queen's Park, then joining the nutcases on the run to Lalbagh, the rest followed their plan... I guess I did about 12 km or less although I was on my feet for 2 hrs. Maybe I did more :(

Sun:
I was a little pained y'day to not join my pals on the long run. So I ran my own race - a half with 5 loops of Cubbon. Feels awesome, especially after the outoftheworld breakfast made by my mom.

Only hitch is that all the mileage accumulated onto a very old pair of NB

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Endearing Self Destruction

Why do I love movies about characters who destroy themselves?

Actually why do I love characters who are comely one instant and combustible another?

Please watch "The Damned United" if you like football and its managers.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Half Marathon on Sunday

Given the fact that I was sore from football (physically I mean!) on Sat, I had to push myself quite a bit to run on Sunday. And I hadn't run all week and in fact had run little in 2 weeks. Enough reason to run a half.

Ran about 22-23 km in 2:15 or so. New NB shoes. Not bad I think.

Kept thinking about doing the cyclothon, but decided there was little point in doing a similar distance on a mountain bike when I could run and savour Bombay much longer. Of course if I had a road bike, my take would have been different...

Football Fever

After a gap of over 7 years, I played football last Sat. For the record, my team drew 1, won 1 and lost 2 matches, crashing us out of the tournament :(

I let in 2 goals over 2 matches, but made some decent saves also. Still can't dribble for nuts but I sure can run and mark my man...

Still depressing to lose

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Strand Book Sale - Part III

No surprise actually. I had to go back and get that collection due to Brearley. A kind water mammal assented to pay for part of the collection and hence I have only 4 of the collection titled Howzatt...

Mike Brearley on The art of captaincy
Geoff Boycott's autobiography
Fred Trueman's As it was
John Woodcock - 100 Greatest Cricketers...

More than 2 dozen books bought in the 1st 2 months of the year and only 3 read so far... Shame on me... hey but I am saving up for my sabbatical!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Weekend Running

While my buddies had great fun running in Pondicherry, I just grew fat, sat on my butt and ran a sissy total of 10 miles this weekend :(

3 miles in old shoes (23:34)
7 miles in my new NB shoes

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Strand Book Stall Sale - Part II

Walked around the sale to my heart's content. Even dropped 2 books (both plays by Mark Twain) from the final purchase list. So here are the ones I picked up today. Will need to maintain a strict vigil on the wallet for the next quarter unless some enormous unexpected fortune surprises me...

Don't know much about Mythology by Kenneth C Davis*
Education of a wandering man by Louis L'Amour (autobiography)
The Ayatollah begs to differ by Hooman Majd
Hitchhiker by MJ Simpson (biography of Douglas Adams)
The Richness of Life (The Essential Stephen Jay Gould) by Stephen Jay Gould
Robbing the Bees by Holley Bishop (a biography of honey)
The Island of the Colour Blind by Oliver Sacks
Remembering Mr. Shawn's New Yorker by Ved Mehta(sort of biography)
The Road Well Travelled by Bob Hope (autobiography)

Also dropped a book on the history of wood (Wood: Craft, Culture, History by Harvey Green - very similar to the story of honey) y'day when I was at the sale :(

And yes, I noticed a little late that there is not a single work of fiction among these!

Now to read some of them...

* (slightly embarrassing dummy series kind of book, but would still have more myth than I have in my head! For ex., I noticed that it has African myth of which I have next to zero knowledge save for Egyptian myth)

Update: The book on mythology does not have anything on African myth beyond Egyptian myth. So much for my hopes :(

The Professional

Book review here

Strand Book Stall Sale - Part I

I intend to go again to the sale t'row and hence this is part-I.

In the 5 min I had after the quiz and the closing time for the sale, I picked up the below

50 Maestros Recordings by Amaan and Ayaan (sons of Amjad Ali Khan) with a CD of recordings, book about some stellar classical musicians in India
Presidential Diversions by Paul Boller Jr.
In Other Words by Anthony Decurtis
Bulfinch's Mythology
Totally Weird and Wonderful Words

Kala Ghoda Arts Festival - Literature Quiz

In a quiz which reminded me of Bangalore and how much I miss it (and simultaneously made me feel great about being in Bombay), my team qualified for the finals and narrowly missed 3rd place. But we made the finals... Woo hoo!

Sumant, Vibhendu and Ananya Deb of Bombay Quiz Club did a great job ensuring that around 25 teams which didn't make the finals were equally entertained. Any book lover would have felt like the happiness equivalent of a double pitcher at the nearby Leopold's after attending the quiz. It is quite a thankless job to be a quizmaster and even worse to set a good quiz. Hence hat tips and 3 Japanese bows to them.

The quiz was won narrowly by Girish & Co., with Rishi and Amit Varma coming 2nd. Sarat, my team mate for the day ensured we snared some beauties for the day...

Sunday, February 07, 2010

Quizzing Egos...rest of the weekend

Went to a nice & pleasant quiz on a Sunday at TISS, done by Appu. Finally qualified for a quiz final after numerous humiliations in the recent past. Thanks to my team-mate Ameya.
Of course, we finished last in the finals, but hey, 1 step at a time.
I was really kicked to crack atleast 1 question that no one else did. So my ego is soothed enough to not fret for about 6 weeks now - the period I will be away in Kolkata/thereabouts starting Tue with some scary amount of work.

Ran a piddly 3 miles y'day and 6 miles today. Nice n easy (as Seabiscuit's jockey says in the movie...)

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Waltzing Matunga...

The last two weeks have been agonizing - my coffee powder stock got over. Wait let me explain!
For over 30 years of my life, I have been drinking filter coffee made from coffee powder from the same shop in Bangalore - Kiran Coffee Works in NR Colony, Basavangudi.

And addicts of any sort will understand what withdrawal symptoms mean. While filter coffee can be had from other places, life has not been the same. Y'day I was in Matunga in search of some elusive powder only to discover that Matunga goes on holiday on Mondays. My anxious looks were countered with patronizing stares...

So I went again this evening to find the brew.

1st stop - Quality Tea & Coffee, Kabutar Khana, Matunga
2nd stop - Cafe Madras (I hadn't sampled their coffee. Now I have)
3rd stop - Mysore Concerns (read note below...)
4th stop - Cafe Mysore (their coffee is not bad at all. turns out the powder they use is sold at Mysore Concerns)

So now I have enough coffee to last over a month :)

Note: My process of sampling involves taking the coffee powder and taking one deep breath to check aroma and hence stimulating power and also to check granularity of the powder. Coffee Powder in Bombay in general is ground finer than at KCW. So one has to watch out. Anyways while I could easily select at my 1st 2 stops, I could smell nothing (to my dismay) at Mysore Concerns. The shopkeeper looked me and with a knowing look, said that I would have to go outside and smell the powder since it was overmasked by the smell in the shop. He was right!

Now we wait for a practical test and shall let any enthusiastic reader know which of the above meets our cutoff for good coffee powder for filter coffee

Monday, February 01, 2010

Pune visit, book buys, ...

Attended the Pune edition of Landmark and repeated past performances. Missed by about half a point.
Quiz was so-so with a lot of repeats in the finals while the prelims was mostly as good as usual.

Drowned a bit of sorrow by buying Nine Lives by Dalrymple on the footpath.

Bought Between the Assassinations by Adiga on the footpath in Matunga today.

So I have already bought more books than number of weeks elapsed in 2010. Lets see how this goes

1st half marathon after SCMM 2010

Ran a half y'day in about 2:04 with some breaks to walk in and out of Mahalaxmi as well as to buy water. Ran in the sun for the most part starting at around 4:30 pm.