Saturday, December 26, 2009

Biking in Seattle’s Winter

Biking in winters in one things, while biking in rains another. If both get clubbed together its a whole different pie. It was my first winter season where I attempted biking. I read quiet some blogs and informational articles on ‘how to’ n ‘what not not to’ but nothing was specific to the weather in Seattle.

There are some key things always to consider when you plan to go out for that butt freezing joy ride. Its a careful amalgam of gear, bike maintenance, bike accessories, and caution.

Clothing: One key thing to consider before you start is to that never get overdressed. Gear up, go out, you should still feel a little cold. Overdressing not only restricts your body movement, but also makes you ride heavy.

  • Must is a waterproof, wind breaker light weight jacket. You don’t need a puff daddy insulate jacket as enough body heat is generated.
  • Never compromise the dexterity of your fingers. So pick your gloves carefully, which are water n wind proof for biking. Fingertips specially get frozen while biking, so pick the ones with mittens.
  • Waterproof shoe covers are a must. Water can still seep through so tape it further in addition to the default Velcro with a reflecting tape. Use warm socks.
  • A waterproof light weight skull cap, which covers your ear. These are thin specially designed for biking in winter. They fit well under the helmet. If your nose gets frozen pick up a Balaklava.
  • Never wear a cotton base layers. As once moist you feel cooler. Pick synthetic full sleeves and wear a full forearm warmer on top of it.
  • Water n windproof pants are available, but might get uncomfortable, as they are similar to rain pants. I use full leg warmer pants and wear my regular biking shorts on top for padding comfort.

Bike accessories: Winters come along with shorter days thence lights & reflectors are very important. Your winter jacket and pants should have reflectors at the same time you must use reflective bands at ankle and arms.

  • Waterproof bag is good if you bike to work, and red flashing lights mounted under bike seat and your bag helps in visibility of you while on the road.
  • Front white lights are available in LEDs and bulbs which must be flashing.
  • Fenders… they not only help your shoes to be clean from tangential sprays of mud n water but also keep the person behind you safe.

Bike Maintenance: Water rusts your chain so make sure to lubricate them weekly. Mud n dirt gets stuck to your brake shoes and wheel rim, clean them periodically.

Caution: Winter comes along in Seattle with black ice on the road. Leaves mixed with water n dirt, and any metallic rails or manhole covers may be icy and slippery. Ride slow and careful. Try to use familiar routes, and while going downhill lean a little backwards to balance better. If possible use thinker tires on your road bike for traction. Going too steep uphill in rains can be dangerous. If in doubt dismount and walk.

Post Biking Measures: Walk slowly in small steps. Its important as your toes might be a little numb. Do a little stretching to ease out. Get adapted to the room temperature before you step in the hot shower.

Happy biking….

Friday, December 25, 2009

Reads for the Yr 2009

2009 was wonderful for me (knock the wood) and hope for an even wonderful 2010. The year was full of wonderful beer and I am happy to say that I finally know what I love the most (Belgian Ales' and IPAs'). At the same time the year had a lot of great movies to offer, Inglorious Basterds, Defiance, Avatar, State of Play, GI Joes, Wolverine, Public Enemies are just some to name...

I am glad that I was able to steal time to read this year and today while arranging my bookshelf I recall the reads for 2009, along with the ratings in my opinion. I could have added the comments for each of 'em but that would be too much work and its already time to watch Cavs at Lakers ...!!!!


PS: Books hyperlinked to Amazon just in case... u need text review!!!

Title

Author

Rating

In light of India Octavio Paz 3
The Search: How Google and Its Rivals Rewrote the Rules of Business and Transformed Our Culture John Battelle 4
Secure Programming with Static Analysis Brian Chess 3
Will Work for Drugs Lydia Lunch 1
White Fangs Jack London 5
Call of the wild Jack London 5
Into Thin Air: A Personal Account of the Mt. Everest Disaster Jon Krakauer 5
To Live or to Perish Forever: Two Tumultuous Years in Pakistan Nicholas Schmidle 4
Nisha Nimantran Harivansh R Bachchan 4
The Selected Short Stories O’ Henry 3
Best Kept secrets of peer code review Jason Cohen 3
Rashmirathi Raam Dhari Singh ‘Dinkar’ 5
The Emperor's New Clothes: Exposing the Truth from Watergate to 9/11 Richard Ben Veniste 3
Strokes of Genius: Federer, Nadal, and the Greatest Match Ever Played L Jon Werthiem 5
The Road to Woodstock Michael Lang 5
Siddhartha Hermen Hesse 5
JBoss in Action: Configuring the JBoss Application Server Javid Jamae, Peter Johnson 3
White Tiger Aravind Adiga 3
Winter in Kandahar Steven E. Wilson 4
The Teeth May Smile but the Heart Does Not Forget: Murder and Memory in Uganda Andrew Rice 4

Sunday, December 13, 2009

are you 21…?

Age verification pages on websites ridicule me. Not because they are an extra step to reach the content, instead its a moronic attempt to keep underage kids away. The only analogy i can present here is a 4 ft fat belly 70 yr old bouncer guarding the door of a strip club who doesn’t realize that he is has been just slapped by a 17 yr old. I am not sure but I think since every brewery & distillery has this verification script on their portal its some govt law or regulation… so they are definitely not at fault but I cant resist myself from cursing the authorities who make it mandatory.

age

Who are they trying to shoo away with this…? People who live in constant fear that some legal org is monitoring their surfing habits or the underage? If later… yes these are the same kids who know how to bypass the childlocks on your DVR and who know how to check their fathers browsing history.

ahh c’mon Century Council you are nothing else but another illogical org like PETA… at least on this ground for sure.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Tickles from Seattle - 9

Discussion on ethics of making money. The plan presented is a well crafted business model based out of auction, inspired from a study from the class of political lobbying.

MG : So how about if we start auctioning deals, where you pay to place a bid and the highest bidder in the end wins the deal.

JL: Thats unethically shrewed and mean, and is clearly a strategy to fool a naive user.

AA: I dont agree to this. Anything with in the limits of law and presented with a well crafted fine print that can lead me to that extra buck in my pocket is absolutely ethical. So whats the plan and when are we doing it?

PS: The inspiring lecture under discussion:


Monday, November 23, 2009

The Road To Woodstock…

3 days of peace, love and music, 600,000 people, more than 30 bands/performers, a rainy weather, no govt support yet 0 crimes reported and one vision, Woodstock '69 is the name oWoodstock_music_festival_posterf the era.


For a certain point onward there
is no longer any turning back.
That is the point that must be reached
-Kafka

"Its 10AM, Monday August 18, 1969: Jimi Hendirx is playing to a crowd of forty thousand. Another half million or so have left during the night."

I read the above lines and I knew what I will be doing for next week... diving back into the '60s music and reading the account of events from the era which I always wanted to live. Michael Lang, the organizer, the visionary, the master mind of this epical music fest, tells us the story through interviews of people involved in the venture and through a number of performers at the event. The books chapters have been laid out in a smart fashion in chronological order.

Michael a kid from Brooklyn, NY is into jazz since his early days. He is a smart ass who convinces his folks as a teen that marijuana does no harm. His life was centered all around music marijuana n lsd yet he was never a wasted kid. At the age of 24 what he pulled off (regardless of a million $$ loss to investors) is a classic management study well illustrated through this book. Reading through his accounts you realize that nothing is felling in his favor and yet the inner feeling that "it will work out" is what kept Mike from turning back. The city union is against a festival for hippies, the council wouldn't allow any security or traffic support for a crowd of estimated 300,000 hippies. The locals filing law suites, the last minute change in venue, the weather, the investors opinions, the artists managers everything seems to be working against his plans... and yet that inner drive keeps the boy n his team going and here this pull off a miracle of managing more than 600,000 (more n more people turned in which was beyond estimates and the concert had to be made free) people doped n high just enjoying 3 days of "peace, love and music".

1023340-gf The rains came pouring, bad acid under circulation, shortage of food and then locals stepping in to feed the doped kids. Peace n harmony kept floating in the air, music was the only language that people communicated with. All of a sudden the things kept felling into its place, and its the culture (hippies) that just made this phenomenon immortal. Along with Mike's vision, determination and faith. Needless to say it was never possible without the wonderful team of willing young men n womenhe had. People who attended the festival can never forget the moment they lived for 3 days and people who were not born will just miss the days they couldn't witness.

Michael in this book also presents the black n white pictures of various events towards the road to Woodstock which just makes me nostalgic and wants me to live the 60s n 70s. The Epilogue and Where they are Now? chapters of the book leaves me with mixed emotions. The chapter describes the aftermath of the event and a current whereabouts of all people mentioned in the book. A lots been documented in all forms of celluloid and magnetic media forms, yet this book is one wonderful attempt to make one wonder; How Woodstock changed the life of who witnessed it and who still believe in it.

Michael Shrieve, Santana Drummer: "The size of the crowd so big, it was like standing in the beach and looking at the ocean, and you see the water and the horizon and sky. It was a sea of people as far as you could see. We were like a little street gag there making music together and hoping that it went over. But when I look at the drum solo I took, it drives me crazy because of some choices that I made in terms of stopping the groove and going really soft. but for the audience it worked. It was very tribal."

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Going to the Sun

Glacier National Park, Montana is worlds first international peace park whose boundary extends into Canada and it becomes Waterton Lakes National Park. This park has everything to offer that a travelers musing crave for. Its a haven for wild life ranging from Grizzly bears to mountain goats, trouts to beavers. It offers you immaculate forests, rugged mountains, emerald lakes, beautiful meadows and what not. They call it a hikers paradise and it stands to honor the title. If I have to say where is the paradise in North America... I wont think twice to answer it as Whistler and Glacier NP. Euphoria is the only language that people communicate in this land of wonders enjoying the colorfully carved landscape that is formed with the glacial activities.

I am one of those lucky fellows who got a chance to bike across the parks engineering marvel the Going to the Sun road. It travels drawing a line in the heart of the park through the rocky mountains via the Logan Pass. Logan pass is the highest point on the road overlooking the hidden lake vista point standing somewhere at 6700 ft. The oxbow twists of the road start with a gradual ascent but don't get dishearten if your spirits radiate for a challenge. The road has enough to offer in its climb of 6700ft and it has enough rewards to offer you in its breath taking vista points. Be prepared to share the same road with wildlife (though i was not lucky enough). The solitude that I was seeking was in my lap and i enjoyed every moment of it.

I started from the west entrance of the park while my companions drove off to the hike they had settled on. Its a 18mile ride from west entrance to Logan Pass. Ride started from a creek that flowed into the Lake Mc Donald and passed through all the terrain that the park had to offer. I was the lone rider on the trail and somewhere along the mid way a van stops and a family steps out.

car: "Dude you are nuts"
bike: but isnt it worth being nuts on this trail
car: can I n family have a picture with you
bike: pleasures all mine
car: you need some water
bike I am quenched thanks for the offer

I was well equipped from first aid to energy bars and water. Towards the last 5 miles of the ride the road was under construction and it was dark started raining. I reached the parking of Logan Pass in 4.5 hrs and couldn't help myself from screeching yuhooo while going round n round in joy. In 15 mins or so JG, SB n family arrived Logan Pass and we drove to the east side of the park to our campsite.

The dinner was a delicious trout served on a rice bed and hot chocolate and a huckleberry brewed beer. The next day was full of fun where we all hiked to the Grinell Glacier a 9 mile roundtrip. Though I don't enjoy hikes so much yet I must say that I will never think twice hiking the same trail, I did in Glacier. Standing on the glacier and feeling that ice cold glacial lake was a divine experience for me. The Labor day weekend of September '09 is something that I will never forget. I am so much more in love with nature.

As much as I was delighted to feel the nature the mountains, the lakes, the ice, the woods so was the pristine nature delighted in offering me pleasure. How can I not visit this place again.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Where is the Melody?

As quoted from wikipedia

Ganesha Chaturthi is a Hindu festival of Ganesha, the son of Shiva and Parvati, is believed to bestow his presence on earth for all his devotees. It is also known as Vinayaka Chaturthi. it is the birthday of Lord Ganesha.
Before 1893, Ganesh Chaturthi used to be an important public festival during the Peshwa rule in Maharashtra, but that year, Indian freedom fighter and social reformer Lokmanya Tilak transformed the annual festival into a large, well-organized public event.
The most elaborated celebration is in the state of Maharastra. The energy and happiness of the festival can be read on the faces. Since in States I have been attending it almost every year, though I never celebrated it in India. The festivals and their celebrations are different all over India from the (devotional songs) to the rituals.

For past 2 years a lot of us gather together and then just to show our devotion some of us sing at the highest note from the bottom of our lungs all out of sync as if thousands of hen just laid eggs and they all cracked at the same time. It no more is music to ears, hymns have lost their flavor. Some make sure that they are last to give that Alaap... for whatever reason. May be thinking that Ganesha will get irritated enough to appear before them and grant all their wishes.

The most irksome is that some want to sing just one more Aarti that no one else has ever heard of. A sudden calm of chorus and single vocals, while others flipping pages of the Aarti booklet. I dont know about the rituals in Maharashtra but from where I come there are some sacred numbers (11,21,51..) that we try to stick to. As a family, the eldest in family or the host of the event leads the ceremony. Ahh needless to say all those giggles during the prayer make me wonder, is this a rehearsal of a prayer performance to be held tomorrow?

Its not to offend any devotees feeling, neither is to declare myself as an atheist. My point is humans don't bray, when they pray.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Hemp Fest 2009 - Seattle

Me being pro-marijuana had to go to the annual Hemp Fest at Seattle.
It is the largest annual rally/gettogether for the legalization of hemp/marijuana. Speakers from sectors of community present their views and advocate the idea to legalize this natural product. They invite anti marijuana figures to debate.

The place is worth visiting at its water front venue Myrtle Edwards Park on a beautiful 3rd weekend of Aug. There were vendors selling some really interesting hand blown glass pipes and bongs. The slogans and graffiti were witty and interesting and the bands playing at the fest were a treat to head bangers. As newspapers quote the year had a gathering of 100000+ people.



Sharing some of the pictures from the event with the biggest bong in the slide show made with gatorade bottles, Lusty Lady as usual had its own style of supporting the cause with their witty, hilarious, to the point statement, and the snack bar called the "Happy Hooker" and "lollypipe"

Thursday, August 13, 2009

....today is the tomorrow I worried about yesterday ...

Reading about an interesting theory that time could be vector and not scalar since the direction 'forward' is associated with it (past to future passing the present), lead to a casual conversation over the lunch at work. Needless to say that several projects are now at a days risk and the lesson learned is never initiate a thought provoking question among geeks specially in a cafeteria.

Several theories were presented based on physics, quantum mechanics, theory of relativity, laws of thermodynamics, etc. But still the question remains unanswered : "How the time came to existence?". Physics answers several questions and explains what time is. But living beings are aware of it probably since their first night on earth given the life spawned for them during the day. Its just relativity of the events that bring this thought of light fading into dark and darkness into light. Time can be circular based on the events like day n night winters and summers, and time is also uni directional like that apple that ripes on the tree and the glass that flower that just bloomed, and the action is irreversible.

When I speak of yesterday you think of past. Time carved the great canyons of Arizona, and its time that actually made birds chirp in the valley of volcano Mt Ranier.

Its a convenient convention for us to just compare events and quantify them based on past present and future. We made time complex and garnished it with units and equations just to provide definition to itself in terms of speed and acceleration, to make our conversations better measurable. Else time is just past, present and future.

But why banging heads in philosophy when... when Floyd's already did it for us. Quoting it again:

......
....
Tired of lying in the sunshine staying home to watch the rain
You are young and life is long and there is time to kill today
And then one day you find ten years have got behind you
No one told you when to run, you missed the starting gun

And you run and you run to catch up with the sun, but its sinking
And racing around to come up behind you again
The sun is the same in the relative way, but youre older
Shorter of breath and one day closer to death
....
.......
Time will exists till the earth exists and those galaxies twinkle, and this leaves me with a question "What defines the existence of universe"

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Tuesday rambilng...!!!

I think as soon as someone utters the following...

shoal, swarm, bevy, flock, anthology

i know the context they are referring to. But still for some reason when in speech I always tend to state just the way Mrs Sinha taught me in Kindergarten.

This is never going to change for me and my sentences will always be like:
"a shoal of fish", "a swarm of bees", "a bevy of ladies", "an anthology of poems" , "a flock of birds"

I agree that there is an anthology of stories and also a bevy of alcoholics... but how often are these referred in speech.

To calculate the answer of 3 times 13 the only way is to mumble three thirteen za silently in your head.

Isn't it true for animal habitats too? I remember clearly that the farm house had a "horse stable", with a "rabbit burrow" right at the entrance.

May be its the use of metaphors in English that makes me explicitly state what I mean... or may be its just not my tongue.

Not every man follows what he preaches:
Proof: couldn't help using silently with mumble and tongue for language

Monday, July 06, 2009

Ride to the destination - 300 miles done

Finally I think I can write about this new passion as I touched my first 300miles on my bike yesterday. After experimenting for past 2 months, I think I can say that I enjoy it and will continue it (knock d wood).

It was later in the afternoon after brunching on a goat cheese chicken sandwich and an Americano I and MP decided on our weekly ride. Caught 545 to Redmond and got off at King County Library.
No the picture wasn't rough... the map all noted down in a notepad file and well uploaded to the cellphone. Air pressure checked, bike computer mounted. Bottle filled with Accelerade, and the ride begins now. By the end of the ride we were dehydrated by the brutal 84F but the pleasure of the thought of my first 300miles rejuvenated my spirits. So far my best rides have been Camano Island Loop, Chilly Hilly, Fallcity Carnation loop. These have been really challenging and scenic rides and needless to say that the following Sunday every time was beer drenched rewarding my own guts.

I started riding late April on a borrowed mountain bike and experimented my way on a borrowed road bike (2" larger in size), ended up with a back ache and finally I have my own a "2008 K2 mod 4 point O" Sram Rival parts with carbon fiber damping weighing just 18lbs and I am loving it.

During the weekdays I ride to work 2-3 times. Its a 11 mile one way ride. This ride needs its own description as it offers you the views of emerald Lake Washington, majestic mount Ranier, engineering marvel floating bridge, beautiful parks, mysterious wall paintings and a tunnel that reminds me of hope because of the light I can see at the far end of it.


In the month of Jun I logged Total Distance:240 miles Calories:7,844 (kcal). Weekend rides have been great for me.

Melancholy is incompatible with bicycling. ~James E. Starrs

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

PETA: "People Eating Tasty Animals"

...or "People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals"

whatever Obama's killing a fly bothered PETA so much that the losers run loose out of their den and they decided on sending him a bug catcher to save the fly. Well what makes me furious is them dicking around on useless matter.

I am a animal lover n my love for them has once gone to a extent that my mom had to tell me either I can live in the house or the 5 dogs that I once had at home (needless to say I stayed and they had to be moved to the farm). But this doesn't mean that I refrain from eating them. My choices rage from all sorts of seafood to the bizarre and rare alligator, bison, frog legs, moose, deer.

Pike place market is one of the most exciting and dynamic tourist spot in Seattle. Piroshky, Starbucks, Kells, Michou are just some places but the famous tourist attraction is those missile like flying fish artfully torpedoed from one set of skillful fingers to another. "Hali-BUT! Hali-BUT! Heyyyeee... Goin' right home! Goin' right home!" several men screech at the highest note... and the receiver neatly catches the fish between head n tail and wraps it in a sheet. People simply loved the activity so much that there actually are experts for it which give demonstration at various public gatherings.



Last week PETA came up with the most dumb argument they could present "did anyone ever think of the fish...?" apparently some people think that tossing a corpse is just on ethical and disrespect to the dead. OK but then there are 100 other things that we shouldn't be doing which we do. When asked for further reason to stop it they come up with their scientific studies of the pain a fish under goes after fulling out of water n blaah... If got balls go to a communist meat lovers nation and try to sympathies till you become their food.

As an old Poslish saying goes : Fish, to taste right, must swim three times - in water, in butter and in wine, and I am buying my next batch from pike place

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Tickles from Seattle - 8

Shipped a project 30mins back. Longboard Island Lager crowns are flying in the cubicles. A sigh of relief can be heard among all conversations... n no one has that game face full of frustration....

Dino-s : I had decided to wear my new NB shoes only after shipping this project n here I am. Look at the the color scheme looks so nice on me.

RA: huh yellow n yellow... u call it a color scheme?

Tiger: <pops open a new bottle with a belch> Dino-s, In these shoes u look like an astronaut from a fashion deprived nation. And your shoe model should be called banana astro. Pass me the chips.

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Rating: 0/5

I never thought that the disappointment is at the shore... one of the most awaited movie for me this year, turned out to be a disaster. Never been so disappointed.

"Terminator" it is supposed to be amazing... It has been one of those names that has survived all forms of media storage and served me from VHS to BlueRay. All I now want to do is wag my fist in the face of McG (Father of Charlie’s Angles) and give him a 3 punch combo.

The delivery of adrenalin mixed emotions as a result of statement "I am here to protect you" was missing from the T-Salvation... "If you hear this then you are the Resistance, This is John Connor" what bullshit? Naah I cannot agree Marcus's giving up “ITs” life was salvation. I think McG brutally slaughtered an emotionally attached franchise in the name of Salvation... which ain’t no justice to a fan like me.

I just didn’t had that virtual tear in my eyes that devoid me of sleep after watching the legendry T-Judgement Day when The Terminator is lowered in the molten vat. I rather had a smirk of relief when John Connor was stabbed. I wish it had happened to the director and story writer.

How can the producers and directors expect that WOW factor from the audience when your robots seem to be technologically handicapped as compared to 1984 terminator and there appearance is a copy from Transformers. When your plot has 1000 holes. What has happened to Skynet.. It was an organization where funding bills were passed. It drafted brilliant plots... produced best and most lethal robots and to give that similar touch all you could come up with was a totally predictable plot from skynet which had least to do with brilliance. If skynet knew Kyle Reese why didn’t they kill him at the first encounter rather hand picked him in skynet Hq.

I request McG to not to make Charlie's Angel-3 as there can never be another Cameroon Diaz, Drew Barrymore or Lucy Liu. May there be T5 to make this fan smile. A heart broken furiously disappointed fans' rage...!!!! <SCREECH>

Friday, May 22, 2009

Vedanta or Thomist..?

Both have a significant impact on my perception. Belonging to a family of strong Hindu beliefs and studied in a Catholic Missionary.
(Well thats a different question of hypocrisy m glad that I studied in a missionary)

Vedanta states: The world is, was n will be always the same. There was no beginning to it and there is no end to it. change in centuries doesnt change the world, it is what it was and it will be what it is. We are from the world but the world is not from us. Its one lone entity, a necessary and self sufficient.

Thomism' belief: fiat lux. Worlds an accident. Its just like any other living n non living things. It has a begining and will have an end. Spirituality is simple in its essence. yet twofold, a essence with being, and that originating from accidents.

Be it what ever logical/illogical, rational/irrational, science/belief some questions are unanswered and thence every answer is as true as the other regardless of who states it.

I think Vedanta is as true as Thomist and Darwin wasnt wrong either. There must exist one self-sufficient, efficient cause, that has an answer to it. I doubt if either has an answer : Ram/Jesus/Muhammad.

A lil vent on a happy Fri

Started writing here with an intention to vent... with an intention to discover the creativity inside and with an intention to know the ability to play with a group of words, and several group of sentences. Never thought of how this blogger will change the perspective on how I think and how magically it will present new perspectives on all topics and help me in making a reasonable opinion. This place is where i dump all junk in my head.

...m tired of above line... "This is no food for thought" n now don't tell me that move on n find some better blog... similar posts have created such an inspirational mess of mesh that its never before the 11th strange blog that I find a good read.

how about a post that starts from the end... now since I have a conclusion that helps me in determining my title, n since i have a title I want to miss lead the reader in his ride towards the conclusion just to make it interesting. These are usually my fav reads... i love such read. But when the writer looses the track and fails to have that slightest mandatory connection between the head, the chest n the tail... its a shear waste of 600secs that leads me to an anger venting smoke break and another 600secs towards my death bed.

The more explicit and commonly used style that draws my attention is to-d-point from Title to tail. The expectation is well set at the title and I know what follows next. Naah that blissful feelin isnt that close ever... 'coz you are now slammed with an unreasonable quiver of hatred arrows... n that is another 600secs closer to death bed with a stinky stale smoke smelling breath n finger tips.

cannot deny that d best of most stories start with clear memoirs in middle and well ornamented at their start n end... but thats an art, one is born with and an attempt to achieve this leads to that comprehension that was scored 20/20 in English-I with an additional +5 for neatness n resulting in a log of wood completely wasted in the paper you used and finally adding carbon to the nature on a cold winter while roasting the sweet potato.

Anyways the good news is I graduated last weekend. Met some old friends. Its Friday. Its the payday. There is sun in Seattle. I had a great lunch. Tomorrow starts the long weekend. I am watching 'Tyson' tonight and 'Terminator' tomorrow. And my google reader has 5 starred great reads shared with me.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

…and AgentA knew theres’ an engineer inside him

Somewhere around 9th grade. The clock was ticking and it was 5 mins to submission. Final lab exam of computer science and had to write a program to generate first 10 prime number.

The urge to get in 90s was so strong that Agent A had to attempt this last question, and submit the exe in share.

Sol:

int void main()
{
      int i=0;
      cout<< "Enter 1 for prime numbers and 2 to exit:";
      cin>>i;
      if(i==1)
      {
          cout<<"2, 3, 5, 7, 11, 13, 17, 19, 23, 29";
      }
      else
      {   
          cout<<Exiting;
      }
      return 0;
}

Rest is History.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Is it time to Legalize it

100s of arguments are being presented lately and yet no conclusion, or may be i should state that the conclusion is NO.

Is that high minded society that defines the path of righteousness there yet. I think its a side effect of a real high minded society that things are reasoned to an extent that things are left the way they are today. How right is it for the leaders of a nation to act reactively with reflexes rather than reasonably, when it comes to taking decisions.

Marijuana is under discussion here, and in society. The argument against legalizing marijuana is are you ready to take a risk that the upcoming generation has access to drugs, or how right is it for an employee to crack on a joint and return to his desk. If it is smoked can you avoid smoking and driving under influence. Legalizing it has a darker side on leaving a lot of countrymen unhappy, and you don’t know the implications of it. Can a stoned person has the ability to think and fight against adverse.

Arguments in favor just cant be denied either, as the first statement scientifically proved is; marijuana is less addictive than alcohol or tobacco. Just like govt. decides the age for alcohol so it can be devised for marijuana too. Some school kids n college teens will always have access to it and cannot be denied just like they have access to alcohol today. same or higher penalties on driving under influence. No argument in favor is complete without talking in terms of money. So, annual expenditure on correction and managing charges on people who are charged of possession or consumption of marijuana today in States go in 3 digit billion dollars. Making it legal not only saves this but a 10% tax on sales might generates another 3 digit billion dollars towards the economy. Investment in agriculture of the plant contributes to several K jobs and another huge revenue.

States has seen it legal in several states, but laws are strict (only medical marijuana). I think States is yet not at a stage of legalizing it and its because a voice in favor is considered stoned. Darker side, or a grey area is always scary. Its just like India is yet not ready for a spring break with wet T-shirt girls competition as the darker side effect in society/culture is scary, yet marijuana in India is legalized and govt. subsidized and today most of us not event realize it, as its just a part of our society now.

No, i am not stoned. I have never met someone who has tried and said they didn’t like it. I myself appreciate that numbness from the bottom of my heart, without being spiritual or a jerk. 

just my 2 cents without being judgmental….. btw bhang is marijuana.

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Let it all out…

No I am not venting here… I am just too much in this track lately. Been a die hard fan of alternative metal… i cant deny my fall for Disturbed.

The voice of David Michael Draiman has this energy in itself that I just cant resist those tapping feet and flowing adrenalin in me. They lack that turbulent or caustic of Thrash and heavy metal yet they are heavy enough with a melody in that meaningful lyrics.

My all time favorite is 2000 album The Sickness… along with the famous track Numb. Well “numb” is one of those words whose depth just cannot be measured. A band I think is incomplete without that track defining Numb in their own version. The track m talking about here is Shout 2000.

The track has a depth radiating a lot of energy with some serious meaningful lyrics…. the lyrics that you just cant deny and they seem to fit so well for every coolie out there struggling to leave their memorable mark on the ground.

Here it goes :

In violent times...
You shouldn't have to sell your soul
In black and white...
They really really ought to know
(just don't know)
Those one-trick minds...
Who took you for a working whore
Kiss them goodbye...
You shouldn't have to jump for joy
(jump jump jump jump jump)

(shout shout)
Let it all out
These are the things I can do without
(come on)
I'm talking to you
(so come on)

Daddy is Awesome…

So I have finally made up my mind to visit home. Its been a while and I am planning to visit home to celebrate Diwali, and my birthday with family.

Anyways I don’t remember when was the last time that I took a vacation with family at least not in last 7 yrs. So I laid a plan to take my folks to backwaters during my visit and stay in a boat n beaches for a 5-6 days, talk share n relax. Narrated my plan to dad and now, I am no more excited about this vacation.

Dad: Thats awesome. I thought last time you told me to take a stop over in Europe but I think it will be better if we could spend time together.

Agent A: Ohh yes, I thought so too.

Dad: So I will work on the itin and the miniature version is. Backwaters, Tirupati, Meenakshi Temple Madurai, Vivekanand temple Kanyakumari, and then back home.

Agent A: aaa ohh.

So leisure is no more in vacation, its just traveling and standing in queues. No No dont even think of telling me to suggest my plan to dad… the plans been laid as always the last words are from Dad :)

Sunday, April 05, 2009

When grown up boys talk….

HighSchool, party was samosa, thumbs up/goldspot/limca. Intermediate, party was choley bhaturey, Burger/PavBhaji, coke/thumbs up/Leher Pepsi.

College, party was bagpiper, 8 pm, ganja,  kabab rolls, boiled eggs, vinegar dipped onions, paneer tikka (point to be notes here is ur class and the affordable money drops exponentially as you step in colg as liquor take over all preferences. soft drink n beer were not affordable n kabab most of the times was buffalo meat Rs1.5)

As Professionals, parties are expensive, a lil classy, well dressed including liquor, beer, chips, beverages, pizza.

Well watever it be the interesting point here is the type n topic of discussions that go on during ‘em. I am intrigued to write this ‘coz m still in yesternites hangover, cracking on RedBull n coffee… n shuffling through my drawers to find an antacid.

So girls are no more a topic of discussion. Love life, affairs, gossip, bragging  are so high school. So yesterday was a bachelors party. Which means stripers liquor, noise, and you have the right to get that reckless bastard out of you,  which hasn’t seen daylight in a while, keeping aside all ur guilt and let that guilty pleasure override as annotations.

Party begins at nite with a countless train of shots of tequila, vodka, rum... n before we decided to step out to a strip club the bachelor passed, and the roundtable begun. The discussion started comparing the traits of Mumbaites and Delhites, and dunno how it moved on to a comparison of Socialism, Capitalism, Aristocracy. Without a pause or a break in conversation, and without realizing that we drifted the next moment we were talking about cloning, with some questions on how right it is and how justified is it to kill a clone to use its body parts, and then the hot topic was abortion. Is it a right thing? If yeah which stage what month. Should contraceptives be used after unsafe sex specially when you are not married, and finally the last topic were 2 conclusive statements as “ The end of communication innovation is Telepathy and the end of physical existence is teleportation”

A bizarre and a very memorable bachelors party I think. Good Luck to the bachelor…

…they talk anything.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

A Journey : 46 to 64

Well not exactly, should have been titled as 48 to 64 but 46 sounded well so I merrily picked it up.

2005 was a mark of the era when things were about to change drastically and the dude was absolutely unaware of it. Too excited to be done with his Engineering and too excited to get an acceptance from a university in States. All of his nearo n dearo had job offers in hand he himself had an acceptance from University of Texas, Arlington.

Twas time to binge n dance n he did. Next 2 months were all about Imperial Blue, Old Monk (status had shot up after all) and looked down upon 8 pm and Contessa which were best buddies through out undergrad. Family was loving him more… those dumb serious drunk discussions on long drives with friends were a everyday thing. Cannot forget the 3 cassettes from the car playing round n round Number 1 (Michael Jackson) The Wall (Pink Floyd) and the 3 songs from Bombay Boys (Lemon Tree, Tu hai tabla n the legend Hasne ka Gaane ka).

Life turned upside down as soon as he stepped into the new world so did the life of all other jerks. Training at work for all friends was like pursuing engineering again and everything that was taught in University was rocket science for the Dude. This is one thing, the fun ride actually began when twas time to hunt meals. They all found themselves Into The Wild.

Everyday meal in states was choley chawal n rajma chawal; reason : available canned and boiled, easy n quick to cook n affordable with a $4.57/hr with a max of 20hrs/week pay. Alas choley chawal n rajma chawal betrayed him. Every attempt done to cook resulted in one piece rice (in the shape of vessel) and 3 layered curry (oil, water, choley). Money was scarce n a shortage of time with 4 hrs of job, 4 hrs of classes 4 hrs of research, 4 hrs of self study. What happened next was the 1$ Mac Chicken( chicken was a blend of cartilage bones n some kinda disgusting white meat) a 750 ml of coke 2 times a day. Till day the thought of McDonalds brings so much respect in his eyes along with a shiver that he just cannot step in McDs any more.

And the result over a span of 3 yrs (‘05 –‘08) “hold your breath” accompanied with cheddar cheese, 1.5l of daily coke, skinned chicken, mayo, 2 buns of white bread is:

A Journey: 46kgs to 64kgs


Sunday, February 22, 2009

Felony to Ignore Beer

If you believe in life after Oktoberfest... life beyond Ireland, Scotland and Amsterdam... 'en this ur place brother. Its the Beer Mecca where you worship beer and scotch at any hour at any season. I must admit that m in love with this place. After Kells if I loved some brewery in Seattle then it is Brouwer's. It was just like on of those clicks from a '70s flick that you lay eyes on that beautiful gal in white plucking flowers in her garden and all your heart says is: "She is the one". Crap its getting too cheesy now.

The drink menu at Brouwers is a like a bible at your hands... where each name looks like a holy verse enchanting itself and calling you to feel it engrave it as a epitaph of your tombstone. They seem to have a beer scotch exchange program from all over the world. I've never in my life seen such a remarkable outstanding splendid lineup of beers handpicked and nicely selected. They are pricy but I must say they are worth it. Each beer from the tap is served in a different type of a glass which has the name of the brewing company printed. The ambience of the brewery is darkwood finish, brown leather couches and simple teak chairs.

As soon as the beer'o clock starts this place is full of young university crowd and finding a chair is a treasure hunt... people love to stand n drink and eat, and everyone seems to enjoy it love it and seem like a regular. For some reason the place is not known to everyone and is located in the art district of Seattle viz Freemont. What makes this place special is that food is great too.. from appetizers to Entree and also the desert. I am not a desert kind of a person but the Dark Belgian chocolate pie that I had the other day is still lingering somewhere in my taste glands.

Last weekends pick for me was walloping St. Bernardus Abt 12, a 10.5% alcohol brew. Its quiet some knock out stout with a great taste. The price is hefty, but I must say a single sip will make you forget about your wallet. Given its strength, you'll hardly need more than one but the love for stout will ask for more. Among others I have had a Leffe, another Belgian golden beauty, and a very well known Piraat which can bring Hercules on his knees still offering a lip smack flavor.

Closing statement to all travelers and beer worshipers: A trip to Seattle is incomplete without Brouwers. This is the place for all Beer snobs

PS: beer ‘o clock is 1930hrs precisely every Friday

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Tickles from Seattle - 7

St Bernardus and Piraat were being gulped down... some heavy thrash was being played... all Goths and Punks were at Brouwers... needless to say all 3 were hammered enough

JG (..at the highest note from his throat): I am getting engaged.. I am getting engaged yayyy..!!!!
MP : shut up u r not the only Adam that u need to sing about ur Eve
Tiger: re-revise ur definition assehole... engagement is a formality n u r still free... one is engaged only when married and committed only when u have kids... u r still a free man
MP : I agree... hey JG check out that chick, she's been eyeing u for some time now
JG : Nooo she is fat
Tiger: C'mon dude u r drunk so u can..!!!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Judge yourself

I was always of the opinion during the presidential war in States that if given choices among McCain n Obama I would any time pick the later, and wish I had a better choice. Reason: He is definitely a better candidate than McCain but then I never agreed to his ideas either.

Celebration all round the globe for his win... and people celebrating his victory have not even listened to one full speech of their favorite Mr Obama. Flowing with the wind and making opinions n being judgmental is questionable.

Anyways I love "The Daily Show - Jon Stewart" on comedy central and troughout the campaign John and Mr Colbert (Colbert Report) have enlightened me about the daily proceedings with their humor almost every evening. Ironically they were biased too towards Mr Obama but todays show actually reveals a lot other things. Fun begins after 2:30mins on this ~7min video. This is the satirical review of the The Stimulus Package speech from Obama.

Do you remember the famous lines from Jerry Maguire: " You had me at Hello"



"You had me at We are Fugged" ...

Sunday, February 01, 2009

... how important it is in life not necessarily to be strong...

….but to feel strong.

That is a quote from Christopher McCandless played by Emiinto_the_wild_movie_posterle Hirsch in “Into The Wild”. Another master piece from Sean Penn as expected. I watched it in ‘07 and this is one of those that left an impact on me. Not that I got some ideas got some inspiration, rather I kind of not agreed to the character and considered him an escapist, yet it left a positive impact on me, and have watched it several times since then. Its a true story with not so happy ending.

Chris is running away from society, not aimlessly but in search of something, something that is left beautifully by Sean Penn on viewers judgment. He hobo’s his way to Alaska abandoning all worldly comfort which life had to offer to him. He is idealistic, headstrong and all his beliefs go around the philosophers as Tolstoy, London, and Thoreau. He was a athlete, a Harvard graduate, had a family great career ahead, rather he picks up to hobo his way to Alaska in the wilds discovering himself while hitchhiking and meeting all kinds of strangers. Penn has done a great job in which the pace of the work is constantly moving yet static as a pendulum swinging between the climax of the journey and the events leading up to it.

Chris wants to live off the land, alone, abandoning all society. But he doesn’t hate people either. As I already mentioned, me being in society, twas hard to agree with him, but contradicting the former I was also drawn to him. I still wonder what he was looking for, but all the way and everytime I watch the flick I want him to find his answers. It may be peace, or freedom, nature,God, life, or may be simply nothing. Whatever it is, it's something bigger than himself, and unfortunately when he decides to go back after 2 yrs of living in an abandoned Bus in the wilderness of Alaska he dies..

I will not go deep into the story…as all colleagues and friends are already tired of catching me with the OST and talking about it for past 2 yrs. Something that I really would like to state here is Eddie Vedder.

Been a die hard fan of his lyrics and voice, he did gain more respect and praise in my books. The sound tracks from the flick Hard Sun and Society, say it all.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

and the problem is solved...

I have instance of Windows Live Writer on my box and seems to make my life easier.
The only warning that I would like state along with it is that it will ask you to install the whole suite which includes:
Mail, Photo gallery, toolbar, family saftey, MS outlook, MS Office Live Add-in, SilverLight and Writer.
Make a wise choice and select only what you want. Secondly it is going to update your windows live messenger to v9 which definitely has a problem in signing in if you are behind a firewall (and you should be behind a firewall).  So if you use messenger be ready to uninstall the v9 of messenger and then downgrade to messenger8.1
Talking with the development team they had solution [e-mail conversation]

The error message indicates the following

MSGR_E_INVALID_AUTH_PACKAGES 8100030F IDS_INVALID_AUTH_PACKAGES_FORMAT

Here is what is happening: The upgraded messenger (Wave 3) uses MSNP 18 as the protocol to connect to services. There could be some firewall/proxy which does not understand MSNP 18. The previous version of messenger shipped with MSNP16.

What you need to do is to either shut down firewall or open up the appropriate ports. A list of ports used by Wave 3 messenger is at http://support.microsoft.com/kb/960820

Ignore the link article above as it is not a great solution and the ports they want you to open are default ports already open on all machines. Another hack is available if you are desperate to use v9 messenger add:

Just browse to "c:\windows\system32\drivers\etc\", open the file "hosts" with Notepad and add this string to fix the error:
65.54.239.80    messenger.hotmail.com

Anyways coming back to the point:

Writer actually asks your credentials the first time to your blogger and once provided it downloads the template settings and gives you a feel as if you are editing at the blogger page rather than the editor.

Advantage 2 is that you no more need to play around with the monotonous html rather you can just drag drop tables, media, video, pictures, maps and resizing and alignment are just one click away.

Thirdly no need for a preview as it is just like blogging on the blogger page itself where you post.

Fourthly you can write all posts save as drafts and can also assign dates for auto publishing. Nothing new but yet another good feature.

Download here

Happy bloggin to you all

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Testing Windows Live Writer

If this goes good… i would share it with you all. So far it seems to be a cool experiment and I am not hating blogger editor anymore.

Why not I try adding a video and a slide show along and see how can i resize and move it around…!!!

Lenovo Add

 

i can even add the aerial view of my apt building… sweet

Map picture

 

huh… thts awesome… resizing was just a click away… i think I will advertise this with my next post…

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

You, your wife n Me

..sick..? Ok pardon me probably this will make more sense.


What will that "extra person" do on a honeymoon trip... looking at this UI the horses of my thoughts started galloping from pastures to meadows, from marshes to prairies wondering "can I be that extra person"

...r u asking me what m i doing looking for honeymoon packages, u better neck rein your horses n stop whipping them, I told ya i browse all never lands on this web <:D)

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Open Question...

The million $$ open question to sucess: "Fundatmental of product right" or is it proportional to the "What's new you have to offer"

well most of us would say a right combination of 2 but that doesnt hold true always. Its kinda baffling naa i think its bizzare in some sense that the answer to these basic questions change with the line of business and products.

Me considering myself as a consumer thinks that the quality of the product delivered to me can be compromised as compared to the quality of product delivered to an enterprise. Rather than beating around the shrubs; Live has quiet some better things to offer than the counterpart but than the basic purpose is yet not served viz the relevance of search results.Tips & Tricks of searching... hmmm well how many of us have actually read this doc or this its us we dont refer to usage guides... they are monotonous isnt it... experience is the best teacher.

Than another improtant thing to notice in the view source of live.com and google is the similarity of font sizes colors layout. Microsoft cannot afford to give away that because we the end users are very typecasted. We consumers are a bit of a pain in butt and some changes are just not acceptable to us. We dont want a new way to search therefore the basic idea of tabs cannot of altered.. but then how did Google defined a new page in contrast to Yahoo. I am not going in those details here but they did.

What should microsoft exactly do to make live popular. Give more relevant search results or offer more and better innovation more marketing (several millions are already spend) or a mix of all which they are already doing.

Live is capable of solving any mathematical equation and i think its pretty cool but than is that feature going to pull in more users? Live's Health Vault is superb source of concise info. Live image search and those search options for images are unquestinable better than what the counterpart has to offer. But then the relevance is the factor that I dont use it
Experiment(click): Live , Google

I think in some sense the innovation that actually is bagged by the right fundamental is the key to success. Example Google integrated the face recognition in its search and is indexing even the scanned documents over the web as relevant results is what is going to add towards my loyalty to them when it comes to search rather than arranging the number of pictures on a page grid style offered by live.

Another point to notice here is with the sinking Yahoo and a monoploly of Google, Live with its limited # of users is still not a loss to microsoft as they still capture that single digit market share on search giving Google a threat and Google on the other hand has not even a single successful product other than search. Stats of Gmail, Gtalk, Gdesktop, etc state it.( not accounting the acquired orgs youtube, blogger, etc).

I think its a tough deal to evaluate the key to success else noone would have been a looser...
who knows that kick ass college drop out kid is somewhere working in his dad's basement to wipe the giants out.