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IMDb rating count hits 1000+

My IMDb ratings have hit 1000+, sometimes we argue why I’ve given a certain rating to a movie. I am still not dead inside so my emotions can tend to factor in on how I rate a movie and what mood I was in when I rated the movie, eventually the after-taste matters. But here is how I grade my ratings scale..

1-2-3 is wtf why did I do this to my self stopped half way.. consciously not completed… reserved for classics such as twilight amongst others..

4 is made me fall asleep didn’t bother to complete if I woke up..

5 is below average probabaly played at x1.5 speed or forwarded parts

6 is average.. managed to complete without the need to skip parts but will never watch again

7 is good kept engaged but may not watch willingly again

8 is very good can easily re-watch with someone else or alone..

9 is great can watch many times again anytime could even buy the dvd

10 is exceptional

 

No tourist buses here: Siena – via Florence and Pisa

I would always prefer visiting a city where there aren’t any tourist buses polluting the city – visually. hordes of tourists are the worst thing you should have to bear while visiting a foreign city.

Siena is a wonderful city in Tuscany, Italy. It is the capital of the province of Siena. The historic centre of Siena has been declared by UNESCO a World Heritage Site. Siena is famous for its cuisine, art, museums, medieval cityscape and the Palio, a horse race held twice a year. The city is more or less closed to cars, you wont see any tourist buses and the tourist here are mostly Italians, unless word has got around about this historic medieval city. http://wikitravel.org/en/Siena

Proposed Itinerary:

Italian Break fast – a croissant and a cappuccino..

  • Day2: Drive to see the tower of Pisa
  • Day2: Park over here: Via Fazio degli Uberti, Pisa


  • Day2: MAKE SURE YOU DONT ENTER THE ZTL ZONES with your car, this will cost you.
  • Day2: Morning to at most 1300hrs – walk to the Piazza del Duomo, take the typical picture holding up the tower of Pisa – the piazza is a very touristic spot and can be quite crowded depending on the season.
  • Day2: Try to leave Pisa before lunch aiming for Lunch in Florence.
  • Day2: Arrive in Florence and once again avoid ZTL and park here: Piazza Francesco Ferrucci, DO NOT cross the river thats an easy guideline to avoid ZTL
  • Day2: Here is a guideline for the trip: http://wikitravel.org/en/Florence and my recommended order to visit, drive until Piazza Francesco Ferrucci, park there and walk from there.
  • Day2: Leave the hordes of tourist behind in Florence and drive to Siena
  • Day2: Park here and as always avoid ZTL


  • Day3-4: Enjoy the sights, sounds, food, cafes, and if luck the horse races of this beautiful city and its medieval feel, http://wikitravel.org/en/Siena
  • Day5: Leave Siena for the Airport at Pisa – give your self 2 hours to reach there.

BONUS: Have lunch on the way to Pisa at Dario Cecchini – Butcher of Panzano.

Visiting Cordoba and Granada

Easter is coming and it is a great time to visit and experience the Holy Week in Spain which is the annual commemoration of the Passion of Jesus Christ celebrated by Catholic religious brotherhoods and fraternities that perform penance processions on the streets of almost every Spanish city and town during the last week of Lent, the week immediately before Easter.

In 2011 we decided to visit Granada and Cordoba to experience Easter in Spain and here is the itinerary that would be something we would highly recommend.

Proposed Itinerary

  • Day1: Fly into Madrid and depending if you wish plan a stay over in Madrid but ideally  would recommend departing staright for Granada which is in the south in  Andalusia, Spain
  • Day1: Take the subway from the airport to Madrid-Puerta De Atocha (Railway station)
  • Day1: Pre-book your train journey from Madrid to Cordoba possibly on first class coaches on http://www.renfe.com/EN/viajeros/ these are really good trains which are fast and super comfortable, the Cordoba-Granada-Madrid leg might be on more regular trains, the round trip costed us 68 euro for two people.
  • Day1: Arrive in Cordoba and plan your stay at the: AC Hotel Córdoba by Marriott this is right next to the railway station, since you are staying in Cordoba for just one night this is quite a good place to be staying at.
  • Day2: Wake up, check out from the hotel and  ask the front desk to keep your luggage in the baggage room at the hotel until you pick it up in the evening.
  • Day2: Be ready for a nice walk through another historic city, It has been estimated that in the 10th century Córdoba was the most populous city in the world, and under the rule of Caliph Al Hakam II it had also become a centre for education under its Islamic rulers. Al Hakam IIopened many libraries on top of the many medical schools and universities which existed at this time. Such universities contributed towards developments in mathematics and astronomy. During these centuries Córdoba had become the intellectual centre of Europe and was also noted for its predominantly Muslim society that was tolerant toward its minorities. Today it is a moderately sized modern city; its population in 2011 was about 330,000. The historic centre was named a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
  • Day2: Walk through the narrow winding streets of Cordoba to the Mosque–Cathedral of Córdoba. Even now there is an area dedicated for people to offer prayers in the mosque.
  • Day2: Plan to depart from Cordoba to Granada using http://www.renfe.com/EN/viajeros/ you would already have had the booking from day one so you just grab your baggage from the hotel and board the train from the railway station to Granada.
  • Day 2: In Granada, you must book this hotel: http://www.hotelamericagranada.com this hotel is in the Alhambra and is really an ideal place to be staying at, Since this place is on the hill where the Alhmabra is located so you might need to consider taking a taxi from the railway station or a bus which goes straight up to the Alhambra
  • Day3: The most important think in Granada to visit is the Alhambra and you must buy tickets in advance from here – you will plan to spend a full there here.

You will not regret spending your money here for all the palaces and sites.

  • Day3: After spending the whole day in the Alhambra you will need a good meal for which you can walk down or take the bus to the city at the foot of the hill where Alhambra lies, if you have the energy its not a long walk just a bit steep.
  • Day4: Since you are actually staying at the Alhmabra you will feel quite lucky to be waking up to this historical site, spend some time enjoying the Alhambra from outside and then take a walk down the hill and explore the city.
  • Day4: The second must see are the caves of Sacromonte, which for centuries have been the home of gypsies, bohemians and Flemish artists. It is a must to visit one of the Sacromonte’s zambras, see a flamenco show in the Albaicin, or enjoy a meal and a real live flamenco show in one of the flamenco restaurants in Granada. Although the performances of flamenco in Sacromonte are now commercial and directed primarily at groups of foreign tourists, it is a must to spend at least one night in a cave of the Sacromonte to watch a flamenco show. Ask at the reception for recommendations, the one we visited was at Camino de sacromonte 9

  •  Day4: Will be also a lot of walking on the hilly roads of Granada, for dinner and lunch i would recommend that you walk to the city and explore the restaurants in the narrow streets of the old city. Just about every plaza in town holds at least one outdoor restaurant, but the usual trend for the locals is to go for tapas for lunch and a late dinner. http://wikitravel.org/en/Granada_(Spain)
  • Day5: Relax take the bus or taxi down to the railway station, and then the train from Granada to Madrid-Puerta De Atocha (Railway station) in the evening.
  • Day5: Stay the night and explore Madrid in the evening, and depart in the morning to your next destination – possibly home..
  • Day5: We decided to stay overnight at Hotel Paseo Del Arte right across the station..
  • Day6: take the subway and depart from Madrid Airport..

The Day I Got Scammed

My wife found this really attractive deal to buy Canada Goose jackets on Facebook with more than 80% discounts, she wanted to buy this jacket but was hesitating, so to make her happy I decided to buy the jacket she was looking into. In my hastiness I didn’t do the usual paranoid checks on security and went ahead and just bought the jacket.

canada_goose_fake.png

The comments have only now begin to pop up and warn people of this scam but for me unfortunately the first clue to my stupidity came to light when I got the email after the payment from an unrelated email domain: service@forshoppingtime.com

If there’s any question about  the ship date,order quality,cancellations,etc. we suggest you can send inquiries to our after-sales customer service directly to save your time(there is always an email address/”contact us” button on the website), If you couldn’t get a reply from them in time, kindly feel free to contact us  based on THIS email,it is easier for our action.

With no detail of the product I purchased and any way to track the product or information on delivery and return, as all of this was already out of my comfort area I started to read the terms and conditions of return, and unlike usual shops there was no refund policy, this made me more suspicious so I looked up the link on http://www.scamadviser.com/ and the reliability rating was low, with the sites owner based in china and new sites popping up with similar details:

Website: cgswe.com
Title: Welcome to Web Store!
Description: : – Safety Sunglasses Polarized Sunglasses Goggles Sunglasses Active Sports Sunglasses Me
Type: fashion,Sports,Shoes,sunglasses,sunglasses
Domain Age: 15 Days
Website Speed: Average
Organisation: xu xiao dong
Owner: xu xiao dong
Owner Address: xia zhuang zhen yi min cun 473 hao
Owner City: gao mi shi
Owner Postcode: 261500
Phone Number: +86.015807741236 
Phone Type: generic:
Email: gua84467124@163.com 
Owner Country : China 
Website Location  : France 

So I mailed back to the email I had received on completion of the order and got another email from a gmail address of a Mr. Woolf Watt shop7x24onlineservice@gmail.com in essence telling to not ask for a refund:

Thanks for your order firstly. If you want to cancel the order, it may need 1-3 months for the different international bank to handle the refund, so we do not suggest you to do so. Please check again your final decision and then reply us soon. Hope your understanding. Thanks for your time and patience.

Accompanied by a series of grammatical mistakes and spelling errors, and mention of “international banks” it was obvious I had been duped.

I am still quite sure that if I let the order through I would get A Jacket but instead of goose down it would be filled with chicken feather, instead of coyote fur it would have dog fur and instead of being made by the hard working Canadian folk it would be made in a sweat shop in China.

I’m not angry at the online shop that is running this scam, I am angry at myself for not picking up on the series of red flags along the way. I cancelled my credit cards and ordered new ones as my paranoid self was back in action. My lapse in judgement motivated by the love for my wife only tells me that the most paranoid of us can become victims of scams in those moments we let our guard down.

This also reaffirms my belief that Facebook is polluted by scams, ads and all that nasty crap that appears after analyzing your browsing trends, targeting unsuspecting and possibly unsophisticated users (like my mother and your mother) preying on the simplicity of common folk. These fake operation use the warmth and security of the Facebook community to make you let your guard down and become a victim of internet fraud.

 

Update:

You will receive a jacket.. but beware the customs duties and the fact that there is no way to return it.. and well I have shopped in China during my travels there and this is possibly the lowest level of fakes out there.  I wouldn’t be surprised if the fur on the hood is fake or the tail of a dog that just became food..

Here is what you’ll look like this when you wear this polyester filled monstrosity.. size M for women..

20151207_154248

Possibly the best Free Anti-Virus out there

I have been looking for Free antivirus which don’t affect the performance of my machines.
The top options as reviewed by techradar and PCMAG are the usual, AVG , Panda and AVAST but this time around I have possibly found the best option out there – Bit Defender.
bitdefender
Bit Defender scores well by:
  • Using a clean light interface
  • Does not consume resources
  • Has proven to have a good real-time shield
  • Is effective in catching malware, both from test scores and my personal experience.
  • Is free
  • Found a Trojan on my OneDrive which Microsoft had been missing for weeks..!

Like all things free there are drawbacks:

  • Lack of configurability
  • A nonexistent(?) quarantine management function

By logging in with an account of your choosing you get unlimited free protection – otherwise its limited to 30 days and of course the paid version will offer much more in terms of all round protection.

For advanced user who are well aware of where not to stray off too and with a decent awareness of the security threats on the internet this definitely a tool that I recommend exploring.

Happy Birthday Signor Crisci

To celebrate a friends birthday lets celebrate the first day Wolverine came to life.

Wolverine’s full debut in The Incredible Hulk #181 (November 1974).
Cover art by Herb Trimpe, with alterations by John Romita Sr
The Incredible Hulk #181 at the Grand Comics Database.

(Source: Wikipedia)

For the first time in forever..

I have found an app that  has changed my life.. Shush! Ringer Restorer – despite the somewhat corny language it uses.. it has become the one app that is used most frequently.

I have been bad at disabling the silent or vibrate mode on my phone, annoying friends and family by being unreachable.. so now each time you set your phone to vibrate the app will ask you when to switch it back on..! Simple and effective and a remarkable 4,7 star rating. Shush! Ringer Restorer- screenshot

It should be built in to every smartphone with quick access functionality, and integrated into the “Do not disturb” (DND) functionality introduced in Android 5.1.

Meet and Greet – Engineers Networking..

I am off to network with the engineering community tonight and in a long time I don’t have any company issued business cards. So I went to this really clean website http://goqr.me/ to create a QR code that I would have on my phone for people to scan – yes this sounds nerdy but when everyone has smartphones reading a QR shouldn’t a big deal, we’ll test and see tonight..

http://goqr.me/ is great allows you a number of options as text, contact card or links and the files are downloadable as PNG or JPG with out the need to subscribe

Then of course I need to learn to post multiple pictures  and see how they will showup on my latest Theme..

Changing FONT now..!

Testing Themes

Well there’s a limit to what you can do for free but testing a lot of themes to see how things appear.

So it turns out not all themes do well with pictures, after a lot of swapping “Baskerville” by Anders Norénone seems to be doing well with both pictures and text as I would like it to be.

Playing with WordPress

So working the kinks out.. first post on navtaz.com a place where I learn things and amuse you in the process..

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