Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Yummy and Heavenly

These are some of the latest things that wifey baked.

She is always experimenting with her baking skills. Not that I am complaining, as I get to taste some real good stuff.

Last month I sauntered into the kitchen and found this big plate all piled up with mangoes which looked very pale. 
I asked wifey “Hey why so many mangoes and why are they looking so pale ?”
She said “its all sort of blanched”

Me : “Blanched?”

Wifey “ Well I don’t know if the technical word is blanched, but what I did was, put them in boiling water till they turned slightly yellow and then immediately took  them out and cooled them”

Me “ But who wants to eat boiled and cooled mangoes?”

Wifey: “I am not finished. Do you see that big jar down there? I have filled it with salt water. We have to slowly slide in those mangoes in the salt water one by one and make sure that all of them are submerged properly”

Me “then?”
Wifey: “then we wait”
Me “wait? for what ?”
Wifey: “for the right time to take them out and relish them one by one”

Me “ and when is that right time?”
Wifey “ well, it can be anytime from one month to one year. You see when we don’t have any suitable curry to go with our rice, we just fish out one and have them as an accompaniment. Its heavenly and yummy”
Wifey went about with her other chores and I kept staring at the “Blanched Mangoes” My photographic instincts told me that I should take some photos of them before they were turned into heavenly and yummy.
Suddenly I found that there were two voices talking to me. One from the left shoulder and one from my right shoulder.
The one from the left shoulder said “go ahead take out your camera and click some pictures. You can upload them on the site where you sell your pictures”
Right shoulder: Oh what is the use, any way its going to be rejected as usual
Left shoulder:  No no . . . . . . just go by your gut feeling, put all your passion into it. If you click a good one it will get accepted
Right shoulder:  Oh come on it’s a waste of time, remember how they reject with the answer “this is not what we are looking for
Left shoulder: Come on Joe you are a good photographer and you have an eye for it. Just make it happen. This time select your best camera
Right shoulder : Good camera ? Ha, that is a joke. Remember the last time you clicked with your latest costly camera. After submission what did they say? “Chromatic aberrations and purple fringing” and what not. They threw so much jargon at you that you did not understand half of it.
Left shoulder : Go by your instinct. Open your cupboard and pick up that eight year old camera of yours.
Right shoulder : Oh that one with four Mega Pixel? And after post processing and trimming how many mega pixels will you get? Just forget it and go and lie down on that easy chair and relax.

Left shoulder : There are ways to overcome that. Why don’t you take a good close up so that there is no need for trimming. This time use your tripod. Make use of the reflectors that you have. Click many pictures, so that you can select the best.
So I did just that. Listened to the Left shoulder.
I carried the plate of mangoes out onto our patio and placed it on a stool (in the shade) Fixed up the tripod and mounted my old faithful eight year old 4 Mega Pixel camera. Tried to place the object in the one third (or was it two third) of the screen.

Wifey from the kitchen “ Hey where did all my mangoes go?”
Me “ Its here honey, can you just come out and hold this reflector for me while I adjust the camera and set it up”
I put the camera on automatic mode and pressed the shutter and ran up to wifey to help her deflect the light on to the mangoes from the proper angle.
While I was trying to take some more shots wifey said “common hurry up, I am standing in the sun. By the way, why are you using that old camera. Why don’t you use your brand new one”
Me “Well you will not understand, its what the Left shoulder said”
My wife gave me an open mouthed quizzical look.
Once I was done with the mangoes, I lugged the huge jar onto the patio and repeated the same procedure to click pictures of the jar.
Later I did some simple post processing of isolation on white and made the mangoes look a little more greener (after all who wants to look at pale looking mangoes)
It too me some time for the isolation (but I had full confidence with the voice from the left shoulder)
As soon as it was finished I uploaded the mangoes (I had yet to do the post processing of the jar)
Now comes the waiting part with fingers crossed. 

The next morning when I logged onto the site, hey presto the Blanched Mangoes were accepted !!
I ran into the kitchen and hugged my wife lifting her off her feet “I love your blanched mangoes, they are heavenly and yummy. See I told you ……… we should always listen to the voices from our left shoulder. Now the photographs of the blanched mangoes will get sold and we can buy more raw mangoes and pickle them in salt water”

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Tintin and Spielberg

107 minutes of pure entertainment.
This is a must see movie for those who have read and enjoyed the comic books of Tintin.

As for me it was a triple treat for obvious reasons :
1)      Tintin comics – my favourite
2)      Haddock -  my favourite character and suedoname in the blogs world.
3)      Spielberg - my favourite movie maker and director. (and Herge’s favourite too)

(That is Herge above)
It was good that Herge met Spielberg before his demise in 1983 (and this happened because of their mutual admiration)

When you read a book, your imagination runs wild and there is no limit to your imagination as to how a scene could be. I must say that Spielberg has done full justice to this transportation of imagination. 

 It was a delight to see Captain Haddock swinging from mast to mast flicking his cutlass, knocking down the pirates, or the escapades in the seaplane, and the subsequent crash land in the desert.

The best scenes are the ones where the transition takes place between the desert and the duel on high seas.

While reading the comic book, I used to be in awe of the fine details depicted in the drawing. Now Speilberg has taken it one step ahead and put the same in a three dimensional view with animation.

The technique of “motion capture” has made this animated movie look so real.

One of the reasons of the success of the movie is Spielberg’s decision that "there will be no cell phones, no TV sets, no modern cars. Just timeless Europe”   And he did just that, Europe in a time wrap.

British actor Jamie Bell poses with Tintin which was painted on a special High speed Thalys train.

The bumblings (and mumblings) of Thomson and Thomson were considerably reduced but nevertheless their presence was felt.

The only character that was missing here was Calculus, for obvious reasons as he was nowhere in the story.  

There is a trailer that they have put up on YouTube and it gives you a glimpse of the whole movie.

It was sad to see people walking out of the theatre when the credits were rolled out at the end of the movie. They don’t realize that it is these very people in the credits, who made the movie happen.