Amicalola, Cloudland, Johns Mountain

Here are some photographs from our hikes in North Georgia. In the spring, we went to Amicalola falls, Johns Mountain and Cloudland Canyon. All are very scenic and fun to hike. Even Michelle hiked for part of the trail.

These photographs are from spring when we went hiking around North Georgia.

Amicalola Falls is close to Dawsonville, GA. We parked our car near the base of the falls and took the East ridge trail to the top. After climbing through switchbacks, it turns into a nice gravel road. The ascent was still sharp but Michelle wanted to walk by herself, so this became her first real hike (not including short walks on other hikes). We had lunch when we reached the top of the falls while Michelle ran around. Then we climbed down two sets of stairs at the side of the falls to the base.

top of the falls
View into the valley
Amicalola Falls
Amicalola falls further down
Amicalola falls from the bridge
Amicalola falls lowest point

Johns Mountain trail is in Northwest Georgia. Unlike Amicalola Falls, this was almost deserted. The only people we saw were the teenage couple in the parking lot (and they didn’t hike the trail). The best view of the valley below is from the parking lot, but the trail is fun as well. There is a waterfall called Keown Falls about halfway on the trail, but there wasn’t much water in it.

Ridge and valley view from the parking lot
On Johns Mountain Trail
Michelle and I

I have been to Cloudland Canyon before, but this was the first time for Amber and Michelle. The waterfalls there are probably the most beautiful in Georgia.

Us at Cloudland Canyon
Hiking up the stairs
View of the canyon

I should probably upload all my spring photographs before the fall season starts and we head north again.

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly is a classic Spaghetti Western. While I enjoyed the movie, the print restoration job wasn’t very good and at times it looks washed up. Overall, I rate it 8/10.

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (Il Buono, il brutto, il cattivo) is a classic Spaghetti Western.

I had seen parts of it on TV multiple times, but never before had seen the whole movie together. So that was a good experience.

However, the print restoration job for this DVD is not that good. At times it looks washed up.

Overall, I would rate it 8/10, but if you haven’t seen it you haven’t seen anything.

You Are On Notice

Stephen Colbert has his On Notice board. Now you can have one too. Here is mine.

If you watch The Colbert Report, then you might have heard of Stephen Colbert’s lists.

“On Notice” and “Dead to Me”, originally phrases Colbert used as a warning or condemnation for something he disagreed with, were later made into giant-sized lists that contain a comically bizarre assortment of people and things that are supposedly displeasing to Colbert. When the “On Notice” list is full, Colbert is forced to either remove an item or move one to the “Dead to Me” list to make space. The “Dead to Me” list is shorter and is reserved for the most hated nemeses of Colbert. There are a few random and unexplained entries, such as “Owls”, to again demonstrate the absurdity of Colbert’s fixations.

Via PhotoDude, I found out that you can now make your own custom “On Notice board”. So here is mine.

On Notice Board

Yes, this will change from time to time.

Thank You for Smoking

We saw this movie in the theater. It is a good satirical comedy about a tobacco industry lobbyist who can spin anything to his clients’ favor. I rate it 8/10.

We saw Thank You for Smoking in the theater. It has been a long time since we have been to the theater, so that probably added to our enjoyment.

The movie is based on a book of the same name by Christopher Buckley.

It is about a PR guy for the tobacco companies and his confident lies and gimmicks.

Overall, it is an enjoyable satirical comedy. I would rate it 8/10.

یومِ آزادی مبارک

آج چودہ اگست ہے اور پاکستان کے قیام کا دن۔ تمام پاکستانیوں کو میری طرف سے مبارک۔ کل انڈیا کا یومِ آزادی ہے۔ ان سب کو بھی مبارک ہو۔

آج چودہ اگست ہے یعنی پاکستان کا یومِ آزادی۔ پاکستان کے قیام کو آج 59 سال ہو گئے۔ آپ سب کو یومِ آزادی مبارک۔

کل پندرہ اگست ہے جو انڈیا کا یومِ آزادی ہے۔ مبارک ہو!

Today is 14th of August. Pakistan was founded on this date in 1947, making it 59 years old today. Happy independence day, everyone!

Tomorrow India celebrates its independence. Happy independence day to all Indians as well.

Michelle at 2

Today is Michelle’s second birthday. She has grown a lot during the last year. Here are some photographs.

It is Michelle’s birthday today. She turns 2.

She has grown a lot in the last year. From barely walking to running around and talking in 3-word sentences, she’s done it all! It has been amazing watching her do everything for the first time and soon mastering it. I am still surprised when I speak an Urdu word and she gives me its English translation or vice versa.

Here are some photographs.

1 year old
A closeup
Playing with the computer
Wearing a gharara
What is she doing?
Dressed for colder Pakistan
Should I get this fish?
Falcons fan
Cool glasses
Michelle is not a Whale Rider
The prettiest of them all

Today will be a busy day since we are celebrating Michelle’s birthday.

Good Night, and Good Luck

It is a movie about the conflict between journalist Murrow and Senator McCarthy. It focuses exclusively on media responsibility and other than the archive footage of McCarthy it almost never leaves the CBS studio. Overall, it is a good movie.

Good Night, and Good Luck is a good movie about the McCarthy era. The plot of the movie shows the conflict between veteran journalist Edward R. Murrow and Senator Joseph McCarthy.

The movie was actually filmed in color and then converted to black and white.

It is a movie about media responsibility and focuses almost exclusively on the happenings in CBS where Murrow worked. Thus it is probably not the best historical guide to the anticommunist hysteria of the era. But as a movie it works well.

I would rate it 7/10.

سالگرہ مبارک ابو

اگست کا مہینہ شروع ہو چکا ہے جس کا مطلب ہے کہ سالگراؤں کے مہینے کا آغاز ہوا۔ سب سے پہلے امی کی سالگرہ آئی جو 4 اگست کو تھی۔ آج ابو کی سالگرہ ہے۔ سالگرہ مبارک ہو ابو!

اگست کا مہینہ شروع ہو چکا ہے جس کا مطلب ہے کہ سالگراؤں کے مہینے کا آغاز ہوا۔ سب سے پہلے امی کی سالگرہ آئی جو 4 اگست کو تھی۔ آج ابو کی سالگرہ ہے۔ سالگرہ مبارک ہو ابو!

میں وکی‌پیڈیا پر دیکھ رہا تھا کہ 6 اگست کو ابو کی پیدائش کے علاوہ اور کیا واقعات پیش آئے ہیں تو معلوم ہوا کہ ایکٹریس باربرا ونڈسر عین اسی دن پیدا ہوئی تھی۔ نہیں میں نہیں جانتا کہ یہ کون ہے مگر بس اس دن پیدا ہوئی تھی۔

August has started which means birthdays. My Mom’s birthday was on August 4 and my Dad has his today. Happy Birthday, Dad!

Other than my father’s birthday, August 6 is also known as the day the nuclear bomb was dropped on Hiroshima.

Muslim Occidentalism

Thabet argues that Muslims see the West similar to the way the West sees Muslims. Western Orientalism has a counterpart in Muslim Occidentalism. What is even more interesting is that Western Muslims set themselves apart from the West.

Thabet has a great post about Muslim attitudes towards the West.

Western Orientalism and its science of Islamology is a very well-studied and understood phenomenon. Edward Said, above all others, did much to highlight the distorting filters through which some of the most widely read Western scholars of Islam. […]

One would have thought that Muslims, and mostly Western Muslims, would have understood what it means to distort and crudely reduce entire human traditions and cultures into vulgar stereotypes or dismissal of other ideas as pointless and meaningless. Yet Muslims are far too happy to engage in their own form of Occidentalism when engaging with Western traditions.

[…] the discussion moved to ‘liberty’ and Muslim states. I pointed out that they fail miserabley on that aspect; that they do not leave people alone who is not directly harming anyone or causing any great offence. This, I said, was an ideal from Western traditions and Muslims who lived in Western states should appreciate this liberty (give or take the recent fascination with arresting and harassing people). They weren’t about to be arrested everytime they left their front door (or even if they were asleep). The response from one friend was to suggest that my approval of ‘liberty’ was tantamount to advocating ‘binge drinking’. The logic being that because people were free to drink, then they would want to binge drink, and so binge drinking would this become an ‘ideal value’, as it has in Britain. Whatever the flaws of the argument — and the point here isn’t even about binge drinking, which is a massive problem in Britain — this isn’t critical engagement with another tradition or culture, but is the reduction of these traditions into vulgar forms, where the worst aspects are held as the ideals. It is no different to suggesting that the subjegation of women is an ideal of Islam, because far too many Muslims engage in opressive practices against women in the name of Islam (and that do this shouldn’t be denied).

Do read the whole post. It is not too long and definitely worth your time.

Seven Samurai

A samurai movie classic, Seven Samurai, is fun to watch despite the bad print of an oldie. Seven samurai get together to defend a village against bandits. The movie is worth watching. I rate it 8/10.

If you want to watch a Samurai movie, forget The Last Samurai. Instead watch Seven Samurai or The Twilight Samurai.

Seven Samurai (or Shichinin no samurai in Japanese) was pretty good. And it was a traditional story of the good Samurai defending a village against bandits.

However, the restoration job on the movie wasn’t so great. The print on the black and white movie was in somewhat bad shape and reduced our enjoyment. I guess that is to be expected for a movie from 1954.

Overall, I would rate the movie 8/10.