Thursday, December 18, 2008

Anuram Dikshit Smiles While Paying $300 Million Fine: 3 Stories from Wednesday's NY Post

Anuram Dikshit is not "feeing the pinch" of the global recession, according to these stories from Wednesday's NY Post:

Web-poker programmer folds on $300M hand

A billionaire computer expert sported a bizarre grin as he pleaded guilty yesterday to running an illegal online gambling parlor - and agreed to forfeit $300 million he raked in from American bettors.

Maybe he was pleased with the Manhattan federal judge's unusual decision to postpone his sentencing for two years based on his cooperation.

The move allows Indian computer whiz Anurag Dikshit - who's No. 743 on this year's Forbes' billionaires list - to return to his home in Gibraltar, free on $50 million bond.

Dikshit told Judge Jed Rakoff he developed software and directed operations for Gibraltar-based PartyGaming PLC between 1998 and 2006.

Are they sure the judge's name wasn't "Red Jakoff," not Jed Rakoff? Maybe that's what Mr. Dikshit was smiling about. The second article, eight pages later, is titled "Web Big Craps Out," and the Business Brief item, three pages later (second in the linked page) is titled "In Deep." Now, I know many liberals hate the NY Post, and would be quick to call these titles racist slurs against Indians, by making innuendoes about the spelling of Mr. Dikshit's last name.

Let's balance that against liberals' hatred for the "super-rich," who can smile as they pay a $300 million fine. Most Indians aren't that rich, either, and might appreciate the Post's poking fun at such a powerful person. Think of it this way: Indians have "arrived" on the world media scene, when liberal media bias against "the rich" overrides their kneejerk instinct to claim "victimhood" for an Indian billionaire. No backlash against the NY Post, yet.

Internet gambling isn't going away. Mr. Dikshit seems to be free to engage in foreign online gambling, as long as he "co-operates" with US authorities, for the next two years. Personally, it'll take me that long to stop laughing at every aspect of this story, starting with the name Anurag Dikshit. I mean, imagine if this guy was as ostentatious as Donald Trump. We'd have "Dikshit" resorts all over the world, and internet gambling promoted in all of them, outside of the US.

I can't imagine what it's like to be Anurag Dikshit, or to be fined $300 million in the middle of a global recession. He probably has a stockpile of "cheap dollars" from the summer of '08, so the impact on his finances is minimized. He's still small potatoes, compared to Brnie Madoff's (pronounced "MADE-OFF") $50 billion ponzi scheme, but that's a whole different story.

I'm still counting my change, and enduring the daily struggles of life. I hope I can be forgiven for laughing at Mr. Dikshit's name, but I don't hate him. My only real problem with him is that he violated US law, and his business is conducive to unlawful behavior in our country. If you want to legalize internet gambling, then pay off some US pols! Follow the George Soros/Rod Blagojevich model, Mr. Dikshit! You'll fit in anywhere, especially in this country...

Monday, November 24, 2008


This is an even more exciting week for a NY football fan than last week was. First, the Jets stepped up another level, beating the (previously) undefeated Tenessee Titans in Nashville by a whopping 34-13. I missed the game, but the reporting on it has the Jets actually dominating the Titans. The Jets should have worn their "throwback" NY TITANS uniforms! That makes consecutive victories over Buffalo, New England, and now the only undefeated team in the NFL. "Little brother," as I teasingly label the Jets, might have a shot at fighting "Big brother," better known as the NY FOOTBALL GIANTS, in the next Superbowl.

OK, that's still a fantasy, but it's the closest NY'ers have gotten to it in the past few years. Last year, I doubted the Giants' ability to go all the way, and still regret it. If I were a Jets fan, I would see this year as "destiny," and predict the same for the Jets. As a Giants fan, I hope that we get the chance to stomp them on a national stage. It would be a great Superbowl matchup, whichever team wins.

The Giants deserve a second trip to the Superbowl, and seem determined to get back. Three of our worst rivals are lined up to "take a shot" at us, in the coming weeks, but I'm confident that the Giants can win these three games. We're playing at Washington, hosting Philadelphia, then at Dallas. Right now, the Giants have to concentrate on beating the Washington Redskins on Sunday. The Giants didn't distinguish themselves in last Sunday's victory over the Phoenix Cardinals. If the Giants want to compete in the playoffs, they better stop making mistakes. I'm sure this is what Coach Coughlin will be focusing on, over the next three games.

There were things worth praise in the Giants' victory in Arizona. The running game, while much reduced by the absence of Brandon Jacobs, was still potent, as was the passing game without Plaxico Buress. It looks more and more like this Giant team is more than the sum of it's parts, even when some parts don't function at "peak" levels. That's when you have to credit the coaching, and that goes for the Jets, as well.

Here's the "kicker": The Jets victory, combined with the Giants' win makes the Giants tied with the Tenesee Titans for the best record in the NFL. "Thanks, lil' bro!" Here's another tidbit: the Jets and Giants are the only teams who have won their last FIVE games in a row! How do you define a "hot streak"? Can you spell "M-A-N-G-E-N-I-U-S?

This is one exciting football season for a NY football fan! GO GIANTS, AND J-E-T-S!

Sunday, November 16, 2008


It's been an exciting week for a NY football fan. The Jets faced the biggest challenge of their season, trying to avenge the hometown loss to the Patriots in week two. "Avenge" may be too strong a word, but they came away with a win, in overtime. After beating the Buffalo Bills in Buffalo last Sunday, this was a huge step toward being a real contender in the overall NFL. Eric Mangini is young, but he's "earning his stripes" right now, as a head coach. Bret Favre has earned his stripes, as a guaranteed Hall of Fame quarterback, and willingly works under a coach that's younger than he is. These are a few of the things that make me like the Jets this year.

They have the foundation of a "great" team, and will develop into one, given time. They are leading their division, after beating two of their toughest rivals on hostile turf. The Jets are also known for collapsing at the end of the season, which is a worry for every team, but an all-tooconstant for Jets fans, in the past. Of course, last year they only won 3 games, so all expecations of a "late season crash" were moot. This year, I'm proud that the Jets have a record worth worrying about!

If you didn't notice, the Jets are my SECOND favorite football team. I was born in Manhattan, and raised a NY GIANTS fan! My mother had a friend at their office in the '70's, and she gave us a football signed by the whole team, including Ron Johnson and Fran Tarkenton. The Giants stunk back then, but they were my team. I remember a news cartoon from the '70's, when our enemy Dallas was dominant, that showed a guy in a Giants uniform saying "Who cares who shot JR? I killed Dallas," when we beat them one year.

All reminiscing aside, the Giants have developed into the most powerful team in the NFL, perhaps more dominant than they were under Parcells. Head Coach Tom Coughlin has created an amazing chemistry in his team, with signifigant roster changes. Since Coughlin became head coach, the team has lost Tiki Barber, Michael Strahan, Osi Umenyiora, Jeremy Shockey, and several other great players. Somehow, they're still 9-1. This is a great team, which I'm proud to be a fan of.

Look at how the Giants "dismantled" the Ravens. It was a sloppy game by both teams, but the Giants attacked the core of the Ravens' game plan: they ran the ball down their throat. The Ravens had allowed an average of 65 rushing yards per game, before this. Giants running back Brandon Jacobs broke that yardage in the first half, and the Giants ran for over 200 yards in the game. That's going to signifigantly raise the Ravens' "rushing yards allowed per game" average.

It's week 11 of 17, and things are shaping up. The Giants face the toughest schedule of any team, for the remainder of the season. When I first saw the Giants' schedule, at the beginning of the year, I had fits of terror. All of the toughest teams are piled up in the final stretch of the season, and how many more players would we lose, by then? "Then" being "now," it doesn't seem to matter what players the Giants have on the field, as long as they're part of "the team." They struggle sometimes, but have shown a will to win that "dominates" most of the on-field battles.

I see the Jets as the Giants' "little brother," much as I see the Mets as the same to the Yankees. The Jets play against the only undefeated team in the NFL, the Tennissee (sp?) Titans, next week. I wish the Giants were playing them, but it would be fitting if the Jets beat them. If they can "step up" to beat the only undefeated team in the NFL, Jets fans will have something to counter Giant fans' taunts. I really think the Jets can beat the Titans next week, but I don't bet, so I can't "put my money where my mouth is," as they say.

This is a NY football fan's dream, for both of my teams to be in first place in their divisions, and on a "hot streak," to boot! I've waited too long to write about football, this season! GO, NEW YORK GIANTS, and J-E-T-S!

Here's a funny anecdote: NYers are wearing "cheescake" heads, to welcome Favre to NY. It's not pretty, but it's pretty funny! Only in NY, kids!

Saturday, July 26, 2008


This is me, on my Chrysler PT Cruiser (made in China). I'm off to buy cat food for Buffy, in a photo taken by Anna.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Bellboy and Hatman! I mean Batboy and Hellman! I mean Hellboy and Batman!

I love both of these guys. That's why I make fun of them.
See original sketch here.

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Blue Skies, and Passing Clouds, at Sunrise

Photos from my back window: Blue skies, and passing clouds, at sunrise...

...and a few minutes later, as the clouds pass.

I'm just warming up the camera for vacation. These images were reduded, cropped, and converted to JPG format. I'm not satisfied with this quality, but that's why I'm publishing these photos. It's kind of "trial and error."

Update: I put a Starborn image into the first photo. See the image here!

Sunday, June 22, 2008


Perhaps Gamera has to make a solo US movie before this will happen, but every kid around my age argued about whether Gamera could beat Godzilla! The majority of us bet on Godzilla, but we never would know the answer to that question. I'm begging hollywood to answer my prayers, and buy the rights to use Gamera in the same movie as Godzilla. I know that they are from rival Japanese studios, which is why they've never appeared in the same movie. Still, Gamera was the second most popular Japanese monster, rivalling the actual Godzilla spinoffs: Mothra, Rodan, Ghidra (aka Monster Zero). Gamera could be introduced in a new Godzilla movie, but I suspect I'm kidding myself.

PS: For those who don't know, Gamera was a giant monster who resembled a turtle. She could pull her arms, legs, and head inside her scaly "shell," and shoot jet blasts out of the openings, enabling her to fly, usually in a spinning motion. She could also breath fire. Gamera might not be a "she," but was impregnated by another monster in one movie. Gamera and Godzilla would be great together, in a movie.

PPS: There is much speculation, and fan-produced material about it, if you Google "Gamera vs Godzilla." Not surprising, considering me & the boys were talking about it over 30 years ago. Hollywood should take note.

Sunday, June 01, 2008

Phil's Parties, 1987-2008

Partying with Phil from the 1980's to 2008! Rock on, dude!

Thursday, May 15, 2008


White, with silver to blue fade flames on the body and fenders, this is the coolest bike I've owned since I had a sting-ray chopper bike in the 1970's (which I painted flames and applied flaming skull decals to). It has the most comfortable seat in my experience, but the hanlebars are a little bit wider than I'm comfortable with. Overall, it's a great bike, once the substandard parts (plastic nuts, for one) are replaced.
The frame is heavy, and sturdy, as far as I can tell. I ride about a half-mile a day, and have a history of being "tough" on my bikes, but I enjoy riding my bike to work almost every day. This is my bike, "the Cruiser."

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Why I Gave Hillary a Pass on Tuzla: My "Marty" Story

My friend Marty Stahursky was a popular Freeport HS basketball star, some years ahead of my time there. My father was a teacher at FHS, so I had heard about him years before I actually met him. I used to tell a story about seeing his name on papers that my father was grading. There was one problem: Marty never had my dad as a teacher. I learned this after getting to know Marty in the '80's. Here's the most embarassing part: I continued telling this story, on occasion. It only happened a few times, inevitably in a bar, after a few too many adult beverages. Marty is a bartender, and I probably had a few too many the first time he "set me straight" about the story, as well. Still, as recently as 2002, I told this story right in front of him, and got publicly embarassed for it. Everyone laughed, as I tried to play it off as an example of a "false memory," which I had believed for so long, it was hard to distinguish from the truth. This only made my friends laugh harder. I haven't seen Marty since then, though there are no hard feelings, other than my embarassment.

While I realize that my "Marty" story pretty much happened in bars, I got to thinking about it recently because of Hillary's "Tuzla" flap. Maybe it's just because I can identify with her embarassment, but I've decided to "give her a pass" from criticism on Tuzla. I'll let others speculate on how a person creates a story in their mind, and it becomes "true" to them. Me, I've been there.

Now, I just hope Hillary's not having too many "adult beverages."

Friday, January 25, 2008

SUPERBOWL XLII MEDIA KICKOFF: Belichick, Brady, and Bundchen Invade NY; Romo Breaks Up With Simpson

The chessgame begins. Tom Brady visited Giselle Bundchen in NYC, wearing some kind of cast on his foot. He ditched it later, but still made the cover of the NY Post and Daily Snooze, wearing it, on Tuesday. Welcome to the psychological side of football. It seems conspiratorial, but I have no doubt that this was scripted by Bill Belichick and Brady, with Bundchen serving as the NY hostess. The meme is that Brady walked into the heart of "enemy territory," while "wounded." Both Belichick and Brady have been through this media dance more than once, so they know how to do it. Luckily, NY is such a hugely skeptical media town that even the Snooze caught this as a scam by Wednesday. I'm sure the Giants' players knew it from first glance at the sports page cover photos.

In other Giants-related news, Dallas Cowboys' quarterback Tony Romo has broken up with Jessica Simpson. Will a loss to the Giants break up Brady and Bundchen? Only time will tell. This much is clear: Belichick is exploiting Brady's relationship with Bundchen for media exposure. I think he is trying to counter the media problems that Romo and Simpson had with the media, with this pre-emptive strike in NYC. Whether it will work is another matter.

PS:Don't forget they're the Cheatriots. For those who think I'm off the deep end, remember this: these guys get paid millions of dollars to WIN. How they do it is secondary. I wouldn't put it past a team that was caught cheating in the first game of the season to publicly falsify an injury to a player to the media, running up to the Superbowl. He might have a "high ankle sprain," or not. The footgear he wore in NYC was a publicity stunt.

Previous GIANTS '07-'08 posts:


The GIANTS vs. the "GREATRIOTS": The NFL Network Caved, and Showed a Great Game!


Wednesday, January 02, 2008

The GIANTS vs. the "GREATRIOTS": The NFL Network Caved, and Showed a Great Game

As a Giants fan, living on Long Island, I was going to see "the Game" on a local broadcast station (My9), anyway. This was a game that had no impact on the playoff standing of either team, and the sports media were questioning how long each team would keep their "first string" players in the game. The NFL Network, which is not available to a majority of cable customers nationwide, had exclusive rights to show this game.

The game was not meaningless, however. The Patriots were on the road to a perfect season, and the Giants were their final opponent. Giants "season ticket-holders" were selling their tickets to Patriot fans at exorbitant prices, and the NFL Network felt the pressure of this demand, as well.

If the Pats won, it would be a historic game, and the NFL Network would go down in history as "hoarding" the broadcast from the majority of football fans. This was a bigger problem than they bargained for, when they chose this as their final week's game.

I don't know what this portends for the NFL Network's future, but they caved to the public demand to see this game, and allowed it to be simulcast on NBC and CBS, two of the networks that have broadcast contracts with the NFL. They deserve a backhanded compliment for this decision, because the public was treated to one of the best games of the season.

Personally, I have a reason to laugh about this. My darling Anna was at my apartment, where I don't have cable, and the game was on 3 of the 7 broadcast channels I receive. She is not a football fan, but tolerates my fanatic analysis of the games every week, during football season.

I get to watch TV at work, when I'm not dealing with customers, so I watched most of the game. Imagine my surprise, when I got a phone call from Anna, less than a minute into the halftime break, with her saying "the Giants are winning!" Pigs were flying, and it was a cold day in Hell, and not just because the Giants were winning. ANNA WAS WATCHING A GIANTS GAME ON HER OWN ACCORD! My honey was enjoying a football game, and knew enough about it to tell me the highlights she noticed, which included plays I missed while at work. Did I mention how much I love this woman, and how much more it grows every minute, day, and year?

Unfortunately, I had to catch up on my paperwork at halftime, and couldn't listen to her express her new found jubilation for football for more than a few minutes. Still, I have to thank the NFL Network, for showing (or in Anna's case, practically FORCING) this game to a wider public audience.

An anecdote:

I watched the first Giants game of the year at Anna's place, and they
lost miserably, to the Cowboys. The Jets lost the later game that day, to the
Patriots. Anna was in "football denial," sometimes flinching when I yelled at
the TV. However, I remember her telling her daughter "that's the first fumble of
this season," after one particular "shout." I explained that if she watched the
game along with me, she wouldn't be "shocked" out of her shoes by my yelling;
she would be able to anticipate it, in fact.

It took most of the season, but by the time we watched the
Giants/Buffalo Bills game on Christmas Eve, she was with me. This brings me back
to the Giants vs. the "Greatriots."

The Pats got caught cheating * in the game against the Jets, in the first week (or second?). It does not change the fact that they are the best team in the league. They have proved it against some of the best contenders from both conferences, while playing some of the worst teams twice, as divisional foes.

The Giants are the team that couldn't "do it," until they could. They are a better team this year than they were last year, which should be credited to Tom Coughlin's "new" coaching approach this year. Though they lost "the game" to the Patriots, they scored more points against them than any other team had all year. I had a smile on my face as the clock ran out.

This game was a win for both teams, as well as the fans of football everywhere. While the outcome of the game didn't really matter in this season, this game gave the Pats several records, besides the perfect season. It also gave the Giants a kick in the ass, just when they needed it, as well as giving all of us a great game to watch on a Saturday night.

Another thing I am pleased to report is that almost all of the starters played throughout the game, refuting the rampant media speculation about "coasting" through the game. Both teams played to win, as if they were being paid millions of dollars to do so (oh, that's right, they are). I was proud of the Giants, even in losing.

At one point, I had to laugh out loud, yelling "it wouldn't be a Giant game, if Manning doesn't fumble a snap!" to the TV. At least he fell right on it. I was lucky enough to be able to bury myself in paperwork, as they completed their self-destruction. They have played much worse this year, but they are minimizing that "self-destruct" factor every week, lately.

The Patriots have an impressive receiving cadre, with Wes Welker and Randy Moss at the top of the list. They made the Giants' coverage look inept (which it was, at times). The Giants faced them without Jeremy Shockey, who is out for the year. Brandon Jacobs is the next best thing that the Giants have in their offensive arsenal, and I predict a long, and great career for this rather large young running back. Remember his name, because you're going to hear it alot in the future.

While both of these teams were already locked into their respective playoff spots, this game showed us something. The Giants are playing at a higher level than they have been through most of the season, and the Pats are fighting the odds, if they want to extend their streak to 19-0. I don't know if either of them are up to the challenge, but I think that the Giants can beat them, if they have a rematch in the Superbowl.

Thanks to the NFL Network for sharing with the broadcast networks, so that more of the people reading this may have actually seen the game! And kudos to Ty Phoon and Robert F., who wrote about the game on Gather already! Call 'em the "Hatriots," or the "Greatriots," the New England Patriots have made history, with a perfect season! *

PS: I stated in my last post (on Christmas day) that the Giants won't make it to the Superbowl this year. After watching them lose to the Pats last night, I have to recant that statement. It sounds crazy, but I sensed a continuation of the "change of momentum" I felt during the game against the Bills. I think it's growing, and they are going to get better each week of the playoffs. Even if that's wishful thinking, Tom Coughlin has done an excellent job at developing a winning team this year.

*(Google "Patriots spygate")