Author Archives


"It is love alone that gives worth to all things." St. Theresa of Avila
"In the Evening of Life We will be Judged on Love Alone." – St. John of the Cross.

Cheapest MIPS Helmet Bell Revolution Review

Frugal Average Bicyclist

Because I’m frugal, I decided to see how cheaply one could get a MIPS bicycle helmet. After searching around, I landed on the Bell Revolution for just a little over $30 on Amazon. I think it’s got a good look and comes in black and red for adults. The red one matches my new mountain bike well. Check it out:


MIPS equipped of course

Standard dial fit

14 vents

Adult and children’s sizes

Complies with the U.S. CPSC Safety Standard for Bicycle Helmets


Designed and built in the USA

What is MIPS? It stands for Multi-Directional Impact Protection System. Designed to reduce rotational forces and somehow give you better protection. I can’t say I fully understand it, but I’s the new thing.

I like this helmet, but the shell was a little…

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How to fix ghost shifting under load bicycles

Frugal Average Bicyclist

I’ve spent about the last year trying to stop my Fuji Cross Comp from ghost shifting. Every time I checked it on the stand it shifted perfectly. Often, I would have rides that it shifted fine. But most often I should shift and later when I put some power down, I’d get that loud shifting under load sound. Really annoying.

Early on I brought the bike into the shop, and they tested the rear derailleur hanger and said it was a bit bent. They bent it back a little, but said it was still off a bit. Seemed like the problem was better for a while, but it came back. So, I bought a new hanger to replace it. While I was replacing the hanger, I noticed the chain was actually broke. Not completely, but one rivet was loose. So of course, I replaced the chain.

For a ride or…

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Kidney Stones and Cycling

Frugal Average Bicyclist

For years I would have a kidney stone every other year. Seemed to be guaranteed that it would happen. But now since I started cycling regularly, I haven’t had one in 5 years. I’m not sure why that is. Could be some coincidence? A search will show many cyclists do have kidney stones, and I’ve chatted with a few of them. I’ve read that getting regular exercise may help keep kidney stones away. But doctors sure can’t tell you just what to do to keep them away.

Is cycling good for kidney stones?

If regular exercise is good for kidney stones, then maybe. Maybe when down getting aero your knees kinda work the kidneys to loosen any potential stones. Maybe the bumps of the road will loosen potential stones. I really don’t know. But maybe it’s working for me.

Can cycling cause kidney stones?

I don’t think it can cause…

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‘ഈശോ’ കേശു ഈ വിടിന്റെ നാഥൻ എന്നീ സിനിമകൾക്ക് പിന്നിലെ ശക്തി ഏതെന്ന് വെളിപ്പെടുത്തി ബോസ്കൊ അച്ചൻ

‘ഈശോ’ കേശു ഈ വിടിന്റെ നാഥൻ എന്നീ സിനിമകൾക്ക് പിന്നിലെ ശക്തി ഏതെന്ന് വെളിപ്പെടുത്തി ബോസ്കൊ അച്ചൻ


‘Taliban are Looking for People Who Left Islam to Follow Jesus’: The Global Lane August 26, 2021

Nelson MCBS

‘Taliban are Looking for People Who Left Islam to Follow Jesus’: The Global Lane August 26, 2021

Desperate time of Taliban torment. Afghan Christians undercover, fleeing for their lives; Afghan females under siege. Who is speaking up for their rights? Stealing the election? Ballot envelope holes reveal voter choices in California recall.

These stories and more on today’s Global Lane. CBN’s Gary Lane hosts.

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CBN features 24-hour TV news from a Christian perspective. The CBN News Channel provides independent news programming to an underserved audience to enlighten, entertain and inspire Christians around the world. Comments below do not necessarily reflect the views of CBN.

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Journey To Infinity

kevin kinge

For eons, we have journeyed, yet our paths are not defined but the end is known
Stacked in ethereal libraries of the Akashic records in a multidimensional reality
Made of a thousand stars in the millions of light year travel
In timelessness, wandering the spatial deserts of multiverses
Nomads of the vast expanse
The micro and macro of the cosmos imagination
Shapeshifting, collecting experiences
Eternal beings teasing hide and seek with itself,
We live, love, and die, with an infinity of forever awaiting
As supernovas catalyze the morphing into the next existence
In an ever-expanding universe, where everything that is, is alive
Animated by esoteric unknown yet familiar causes and effects
Dividing making a reduced copy of the original in the expansion
Abandoning the homeland of meaning, words find new shelter,
a constant call echo’s
All connected in a common language, emotion
for at the center, all is vibratory energy…

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Nguyễn Thị Phương Trâm | I developed early (63)


By Nguyễn Thị Phương Trâm

I developed early, but the curves appeared like sand dunes on a shore line hard hit by waves. My first love was a waif like fair skin altar boy with big brown eyes. I kneel mostly during mass in the front row, closer to God or was it to the angel that served Him. On the left pews where all the women were segregated in the seventies, my doe eyes at nine ballooned unblinking  trailed him in the full length white robe. His footsteps on pillows of clouds, from him emit rays of sunshine, and lingering fragrance of lilies from the valley.

Tôi lớn lên lúc khi còn non, thân mã nở nang lốm đốm như những bãi cát duyên hải tồn tại vì sóng. Người yêu đầu tiên là anh giúp lễ da trắng mỏng manh mắt tròn xanh biếc. Tôi quỳ triền…

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Trần Băng Khuê | The Nets (10)


By Trần Băng Khuê, translation by Nguyễn Thị Phương Trâm


The Nets


I started seeing them everywhere.

In places I’ve lived or where I may have spent a few hours.

This time, I had to make sure it was not a dream or passing hallucination. I definitely saw them. Clear, vivid, no surprise. It was as tangible as though it was 3-D. I didn’t see it with my eyes. I saw it clearly in my head. I thought, I should practice seeing my surroundings with my mind instead of conventionally through the eyes. The brain is more attentive. But then, I can no longer see it. It has left me. It has disappeared from a mind full of dreams that is mine. Mercilessly they have abandoned me. The sickly pale bluish nets, the connection between the sky and the parallel universe. The nets present behind the wide opened…

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Pacific Paratrooper

K-P Duty

In Dobodura, New Guinea, the 457th began to notice severe shortages in their sugar supply.  As it turned out, there was a major boot-legging operation in progress.  With the absence of alcohol, the men felt necessity would be the mother of invention, but they were caught with their stills in production.  The makeshift liquor companies were immediately put out of business.

My father had other ideas.  The following letter was one I never tired of reading; it always gives me a chuckle or two.  My father’s ingenuity was unfailing.  He used to tell me, “If you think hard enough, there’s a solution to every problem.”  After years of having tended bar, this was going to  be right up Smitty’s alley.

Letter # 10 has been previously published by “Whistling Shade” magazine in 2007.  I submitted it during their war story inquiry.  And also, in The Miller Family’s “Soldiers’ Stories vol…

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Letter XI “?? Problems?? / National 81st Airborne Day

Pacific Paratrooper

Problem solved

The 11th Airborne Division, still in New Guinea  and continuing to specialize their training – little do they know that they are coming closer and closer to their time for combat.  Their commander, General Swing, awaits the word from General MacArthur.


Letter XII                                                       ?? Problems ??                                           0800 Sunday 9/3/44

Dear Mom,  We will start off first with “Webster’s” definition of the word — problem.  “A question for solution, and a proposition to be demonstrated.”  This is all very true, only in the army, although it is demonstrated, it never turns out in a satisfactory solution.

For some unknown reason, the hint of a problem soon-to-be gets around long before it is ever officially announced.  When once you hear about it, you begin to wonder just how you will get out of going and wonder if going on sick call will help.  The best thing is to try to…

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WACs in New Guinea + current news

Pacific Paratrooper

WACs in New Guinea, 1944

In June 1944, about the same time that Smitty landed in New Guinea, Gen. Kenney of the 5th Air Force started building up a WAC detachment in Australia. He had nearly 200 women in the HQ doing the secretarial duties.  They must have been originally scheduled for Alaska, because they arrived with heavy woolen skirts, coats and shirts.  The quartermaster re-equipped them with cotton G.I. clothing and the tailors of Brisbane were kept busy making alterations.

They were told of the deplorable conditions on New Guinea, but not a one backed off from the ‘hard knocks’ assignment.  So, General Kenney handed the women over to their commanding officer, Captain Blanche Kline.

US Army WACs, New Guinea

The women were warned that eggs would be nothing but a memory, so they purchased 30 hens from an Australian poultryman.  The WACs talked about the bacon and eggs…

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ആശ്വാസപുത്രനായ ബർണബാസ് തിരുമേനി

Nelson MCBS

ആശ്വാസപുത്രനായ ബർണബാസ് തിരുമേനി

വിശുദ്ധ ബൈബിളിലെ അപ്പസ്തോല പ്രവർത്തനങ്ങളിൽ ആദിമസഭയിലെ ധീരനായ മിഷണറി ബർണബാസിനെ നാം കണ്ടുമുട്ടുന്നു. തന്റെ നാമഹേതുക വിശുദ്ധനെപ്പോലെ സുവിശേഷ തീക്ഷ്ണതയാൽ എരിയുന്ന ധീരനായ മിഷണറിയായിരുന്നു ജേക്കബ് മാർ ബർണബാസ് പിതാവ്. മലങ്കര സുറിയാനി കത്തോലിക്കാ സഭയുടെ മിഷണറി ചരിത്രത്തെ തനിക്ക് മുമ്പ് എന്നും തനിക്ക് ശേഷമെന്നും രണ്ടായി പകുത്ത വ്യക്തിത്വത്തിനുടമയാണ് തിരുമേനി. 1930ൽ ആരംഭിച്ച മലങ്കര പുനരൈക്യ പ്രസ്ഥാനം പുനരൈക്യ പരിശ്രമങ്ങളോടൊപ്പം സുവിശേഷ പ്രഘോഷണത്തിനും മിഷൻ പ്രവർത്തനങ്ങൾക്കും ഒരേപോലെ പ്രാധാന്യം കൊടുത്തിരുന്നതിനാൽ നിരവധി ആളുകൾ മലങ്കര സുറിയാനി കത്തോലിക്കാ സഭയിലൂടെ ക്രിസ്തു സ്നേഹത്തിൽ പങ്കുകാരായി. ആദ്യ കാലങ്ങളിൽ കേരളത്തിലും (1930 കാലങ്ങളിൽ കന്യാകുമാരി തിരുവതാംകൂറിന്റെ ഭാഗമായിരുന്നല്ലോ) പിന്നീട് ജോലി തേടി കേരളം വിട്ടു പുറത്തേക്കു പോയ മലയാളികളുടെ ഇടയിലും മാത്രം പ്രവർത്തിച്ചിരുന്ന മലങ്കര സുറിയാനി കത്തോലിക്കാ സഭയിൽ അതിരുകളില്ലാത്ത വിശാലമായ സുവിശേഷ പ്രഘോഷണത്തിന് തുടക്കം കുറിച്ചത് ബർണബാസ് പിതാവാണ്.

2007 മാർച്ച് 10ന് മലങ്കര സുറിയാനി കത്തോലിക്കാ അജപാലന പ്രദേശ പരിധിക്ക് പുറത്തുള്ളവരുടെ അപ്പസ്തോലിക് വിസിറ്റർ ആയി ബഥനി ആശ്രമത്തിന്റെ നവജ്യോതി പ്രൊവിൻസിന്റെ പ്രഥമ പ്രൊവിൻഷ്യലായിരുന്ന ഫാ.ചാക്കോ ഏറത്ത് നിയോഗിക്കപ്പെട്ടപ്പോൾ അത് സഭയുടെ സുവിശേഷ പ്രഘോഷണത്തിന്റെ പുതുയുഗത്തിന് നാന്ദി കുറിക്കുകയായിരുന്നു. അതിന് മകുടം ചൂടിയെന്നോണം ഇന്ത്യയിലെ ഏറ്റവും വിശാലമായ(വടക്കേ ഇന്ത്യയിലെ 22 സംസ്ഥാനങ്ങൾ ഉൾപ്പെടുന്ന) ഗുഡ്ഗാവ് സെന്റ് ജോൺ ക്രിസോസ്റ്റം ഭദ്രാസനത്തിന്റെ പ്രഥമ ഇടയനായി 2015 മാർച്ച് 26ന് നിയോഗിക്കപ്പെട്ടത്. ഒറിയ, പഞ്ചാബി, ഹിന്ദി, കൊക്ബ്രോക് തുടങ്ങി നിരവധി…

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മദർ തേരേസാ ഒൻപതു വയസ്സുകാരിക്ക് എഴുതിയ കത്ത്

Nelson MCBS

മദർ തേരേസാ ഒൻപതു വയസ്സുകാരിക്ക് എഴുതിയ കത്ത്
ഇന്ന് ആഗസ്റ്റ് 26 കൽക്കത്തയിലെ വിശുദ്ധ മദർ തേരേസയുടെ 111-ാം ജന്മദിനം. ഈ അവസരത്തിൽ 1987 ൽ മദർ തേരേസാ ഒൻപതു വയസ്സുകാരിക്കയച്ച ഒരു കത്ത് പരിചയപ്പെട്ടാലോ.
അഗതികളുടെ അമ്മ മദർ തേരേസാ തെരുവിൻ്റെ മക്കളുടെ അമ്മ മാത്രമായിരുന്നില്ല കുട്ടികളുടെ പ്രിയപ്പെട്ട വിശുദ്ധ കൂടിയായിരുന്നു. മദറിനു കുട്ടികളോടുള്ള സ്നേഹത്തിന്റെ പ്രതിഫലനമായി എഴുതിയ ഒരു കത്ത്.
സംഭവം നടക്കുന്നത് 1987 ൽ. ഒൻപതു വയസ്സുകാരി ലിസ് മുളളർ മദർ തേരേസായ്ക്ക് ഒരു കത്തെഴുതി. ഉപപിയുടെ സഹോദരി എന്ന നിലയിലുള്ള മദർ തേരേസയുടെ ജീവിതത്തെപ്പറ്റി ചോദിച്ചു കൊണ്ടുള്ള ഒരു ചെറിയ കത്ത്. കൂടെ ലിസ് മദറിനു വേണ്ടി വരച്ച ചില ചിത്രങ്ങളും ആ കവറിൽ ഉണ്ടായിരുന്നു.
വർഷങ്ങൾക്കു ശേഷം ലിസ് മുള്ളർ ആ കത്തിനെക്കുറിച്ച് പറയുന്നു:
“ആ കത്തിൽ ഞാൻ മദറിനോട് ഒരു സിസ്റ്റർ എന്ന നിലയിൽ മദറിന്റെ ജീവിതം എങ്ങനെയുണ്ട് ? ഉപവിയുടെ സഹോദരിമാർ അവരുടെ മുടി മുറിക്കാറുണ്ടോ? തുടങ്ങി ഒരു കൊച്ചു കുട്ടിയുടെ കൗതുകത്തോടെ കുറെ ചോദ്യങ്ങൾ ചോദിച്ചു.
ചെറിയ കാര്യങ്ങൾ വലിയ സ്നേഹത്തോടെ ചെയ്യാറുള്ള കാരുണ്യത്തിന്റെ മാലാഖ ആ ചെറിയ കത്തിന്നും വലിയ വില തന്നു. ലിസിനും മദർ ഒരു കൊച്ചു മറുപടി അയച്ചു. ലിസയച്ച കത്തിന്നും ചിത്രങ്ങൾക്കും നന്ദി പറഞ്ഞ് കുഞ്ഞുങ്ങൾക്ക് ചേർന്ന ചെറുതും മനോഹരവുമായ ഒരു ആത്മീയ ഉപദേശം നൽകി. മദറിന്റെ ആ…

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The Ballroom Balcony!

The Thinking Captain!

My heart goes out to her
I feel she is trapped.
It appears that way to me,
It’s the view from were I stand.

Is this her original colour
Or is it what she requires?
She has been myriad colours before
This one looks acquired.

When she looks into the mirror
Who does she see?
Between her past and her future
Who does she want to be?

I see glimpses of the real her
Those memories are mine.
She buries it with thoughts and words
Every single time.

I don’t know where we stand
I don’t know how it will be.
I’ve learnt to watch from the outside
Up in the ballroom balcony.

Cheers to all the women out there!

We are all made of myriad colours. Let us learn to learn and love them.


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The Thinking Captain!

Opposites attract is a known fact.
Why it is so, nobody knows that!

Sweet and sour, we like the mix,
Love and heartbreak is a good movie fix.

Confidence and submission can surprisingly coexist. Watch out as it creeps in from the back exit.

Strength may also come from weakness. Let the default reaction come from kindness.

Toughness and gentleness could both be in good measure
The variety of flavors add to the treasure.

Discover personal beliefs and values in life
Observe which are helpful and which create strife.

Keeping the guard up at all times is tiring. Self awareness at all times needs hard wiring.

Bitter yet sweet? Alive yet dead?
Funny yet tragic? Happy yet sad?

Becoming aware of my contradictions and then embracing them was a big step for me. What contradictions do you experience?

Think about it!

Until next time… @thethinkingcaptain

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Respect Boundaries!

The Thinking Captain!

Many years ago, I was still in my twenties, a young spirited, skilled professional, gregarious, independent and outspoken girl. (I would like to believe I am still all those things, except not in my twenties! :))

I was on a Kolkata night stop and had gone on an afternoon picnic with my older sister’s and her husband’s friends on my off day.

The women were handling and surrounding the food. The men were huddled around a table playing cards and enjoying some beer.

I was just floating around taking in the beauty of the flora and the fauna of the exotic location, making polite conversations with people I just met.

I was then summoned to the men’s table by my brother-in-law to be introduced to his friends as “The PILOT” with great pride.

After a few atypical questions about my work and family, one of the gentlemen asked me how…

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Loyalty For Royalty!

The Thinking Captain!

I work for the “Maharaja of the skies”, as Air India is so lovingly known by its affable mascot, the ever graceful Maharaja. I recently completed 20 years of service with the airline. It is quite a milestone, especially in the fast paced start-up age we now live in.

Wishes and affection poured in through virtual platforms. I missed having an in-person celebration with at least some physical form of affection, handshakes, hugs or flowers. I would have liked to have a cake and eat it too. 🙂

My batchmates and I are always candid in our interactions which is a boon in itself. Our planned hill station celebration with its niche members, was unceremoniously withdrawn due to the raging covid situation, leaving me with an unfulfilled feeling.

I found myself craving real conversations with real people who have experienced the grind and grandeur of the years and were not…

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The Root Clause!

The Thinking Captain!

How the World sees me!

I live in Bombay, now Mumbai.

But I am not a Bombayite because I wasn’t born here.

I was born in Assam, the tea garden state.

But I am not Assamese because I don’t have roots there.

I have roots in Rajasthan, the golden state.

But I have no marwari influences since my ancestors moved away from there.

In Bombay, I am told I sound North-Indian.

When I say I am from Assam, I’m told I don’t look Assamese.

When I say I’m Marwari from Rajasthan, it causes too much confusion because I am nothing like they expect me to be.

I have lived in Assam, studied in Rajasthan and worked in many cities across the country and have been based in Mumbai since almost two decades.

And still I feel, I am not a Bombayite!

How I see Myself!

I am born in India

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