Wednesday, September 23, 2009

My Incomplete Blog Drafts - Heading


    Over the last couple of years, I have had numerous instances when a thought occupied me long enough to make me almost blog about it. In the following cases I started with a heading but somehow did not get enough time to complete it . Just blasting it off so that one day hopefully it will be either irrelevant to write about or I get charged enough to complete this draft.

    1. Why twitter will never catch up to Blogs ?

    2. Curse of the 26th.

    3. Moving beyond the Obvious

    4. Trick Questions and Question Tricks.

    5. Standards for Technology Blogging.

    6. Mini Blog Posts Series

    7. Why Cricket Interests Me ?

    8. Big Sentences and Inarticulate communication.

    9. Consistently Predictable

    10. When God Slept.

    11. Canonical Standards for TDD.

    12. Earliest Memories of Meeting You.

    13. Why did I stop blogging on Sulekha?

    14. Memory Lapses

    15. Connecting the Straight Lines.

      I also lost many other drafts in my previous installations on various computers. But nevertheless the idea to pursue and recover them still lingers on.


      Tuesday, September 22, 2009

      Reading ‘The Lost Symbol’


      Ever since I saw the poster announcing Dan Brown’s next book ‘The Lost Symbol’ at a Barnes and Nobles shop about 6 months ago, I have been awaiting it.

      Now that it has been released last week, I got my own copy from the ‘Costco’ shop last week instead of waiting for the ‘request’ queue in the Local Library to serve it fast.

      I have been trying to read and flip through the chapter’s and after 5 days of effort, I am into Chapter 6. I am now getting more interested in the book.

      Whenever anybody mentions ‘Dan Brown’ the book ‘The Da Vinci Code’ popsup immediately. But avid book readers know and believe ‘Angels and Demons’ the book was a far interesting and more polished work of the Author. Even ‘Deception Point’ gets a lot of nods as being a better book than the ‘Da Vinci Code’. I have not yet read ‘Digital Fortress’.

      I wonder what kind of book an author should take up once his last book is a best seller. Should the author stick to the same genre or should there be a change in the style, language, editing ?

      Every year a new Jeffrey Archer book attempts to tell another story and it always tends to be compelling page turner and almost un-put-downable for the fans. It meets the minimum quotient of a good write up. But can ‘Dan Brown’ live up to his own standards.

      So far, I think ‘The Lost Symbol’ is a lame title not really interesting. For some strange reason I keep referring to it as ‘The LAST symbol’.

      Lets see how this goes……



      Tuesday, September 15, 2009

      Waste of Time – Another Go


      Before retiring for the night, during our visit to New York when, I copied roughly 600 photos from my DSLR to the Laptop. Just to quality check, I started the Slideshow  and was viewing each of them. I do this exercise after almost every day after the camera use.


      My friend brought it to my attention calculating ‘3 seconds per snaps’ makes it 30 minutes of browsing through the days shots.


      DARN !!! I have wasted roughly 1 hour every GB of photos I have taken with my camera. I have almost a Terabyte of photos captured in the last couple of years.


      During commuting I have developed an ear for listening to podcasts (technical or otherwise), audio books and/or NPR. Thanks to another friend of mine who introduced me to audio book world last year. I have finished listening to 10 books mostly short stories, fiction and/or self help. This I believe has been a good investment of time considering the fact that it is almost next to impossible to avoid commute time.


      Somehow I foresee a future of great opportunity for gadgets, software and utility products around the time waste zones like traffic jams, travel departures, commute.


      And yes I don’t believe ‘Multi Utility Mobile Phone’ is the answer. There is something missing.

      What Say !?


      Sunday, September 13, 2009

      Waste of Time


      “The Best Way to Win An Argument is to Avoid It”. There are a zillion acronyms which are used to aid memory retention for a long time and fast recollection. For e.g. WATCH – Watch your Words, Actions , Thoughts, Characters and Habits.

      Last week as I celebrated my birthday, One thought which occurred to me was “Time Being Wasted”. Hindsight is an exact science so even though I hope not to regret things I have done in future, I get some time to analyze the time I have wasted not invested in during my lifetime.

      Anthony Robbins had said, Most People don’t behave or do what ‘exactly’ they should be doing, it is always a case of what causes less pain and what gives greater pleasure influencing the behavior and/or actions.

      When I was in my teens in the My friend and Me used to Frequent the Town Local Library to devour each and every page of “Illustrated Weekly”, “India Today”, “Filmfare” , “Science 2001” et al including all ‘Marathi’, ‘Hindi’ and English dailies. This activity lasted till we left the town for higher studies. In the last decade, Internet has been the major source of all reading in my case.  So every time I was not in school studies or working, my waste of time was around reading, movies or playing.

      Whenever I catch up with friends, we frequently tend to exchange a few thoughts, experiences, opinions on some random but related topics. One of the most recent discussions was about ‘Waste of Time’.

      Most of my ‘Time waste’ activities like reading, entertainment, surfing, playing and fooling around has been influenced majorly by my passing interest or ‘bad’ habit. I have been guilty of wasting time because of ‘cricket’ and ‘Movies’ when I was so much addicted to following cricket that all the cricket sites were on my favorites folder and I used to visit them several times a day.

      I was surprised the other day I discovered my best friend, equally passionate in following cricket, had found his interest Waned. So we had a good intellectual discussion about how and why this can happen.

      One good analogy he mentioned was about ‘Generally people of a generation Idolize and passionately follow Individuals and/or Teams/Bands throughout their career ups and downs’. As soon as the ‘team'/individual’ retires it takes some time for a successor to be followed with the same zeal.

      Extrapolating based on the discussion ‘I can certainly foresee a high amount of productivity increase by the fans of “Sachin Tendulkar” when he retires from cricket’.

      What Say ?

      On another topic, I was lucky to handle an Amazon Kindle which my friend has and was extremely pleased with it. The most surprising aspect for me was I cannot read on KINDLE it when its dark.


      Friday, September 11, 2009

      Whatz a D&G ?


      I have seldom been a time person. Somehow on instinct I recollect dates of special events or occasions. But keeping track of time has never been my forte. As a matter of fact, my friend BM chides me by asking to mention time the moment I recollect a date of a certain event/occasion.

      My best friend was once worked for marketing a reputed Jewellery and Watch brand and had told me once that “there are more than 600 odd distinct parts of a wrist watch”. Unbelievable but true, like the number of 200 odd bones in a human body.

      Time and again, I have been very lucky to have been gifted a few watches and also recollect getting one on my marriage. But I seldom wear it. Now that my better half has got me a sports D&G Sean Brown DW0365, I am exhilarated. It looks a beautiful piece as can be seen in the image below. It also constantly reminds me of its presence.

      And what is D&G ? It stands for Dolce&Gabbana which is a Italian based luxury fashion brand. So far I have not been a fashion person. I still can’t identify a Prada or a Gucci. But who says you need to be aware of each and everything. Sometimes Ignorance can be bliss. If it looks good and you can afford it and you like it, go ahead and buy it.

      When I mentioned I got a D&G watch from my wifey, my friend says ‘Get It checked for Bugs Dude, You might be Tracked’. LOL.


      Next time we meet don’t be surprised to find my wrist occupied with a D&G and guess what I might be looking forward to hearing a few words of praise of D&G.

      Also no more switching on the iPhone or looking around at the Set Top box or a Wall Clock to check time. Just twist the wrist and view the time. Oh yes.. Its time to go…. Ciao !!!


      Tuesday, September 8, 2009

      The Weekend New York Trip – Day 2


      On Sunday we woke up at 10’ish and had lunch at Woodlands of Morristown NJ. We had plans to visit Brooklyn Bridge, Ground Zero and visit the top of Empire State Building reaching New York by bus.

      Following second thoughts G drove us through Lincoln Tunnel to NY. On reaching Empire State Building we did not park but drove all the way to end of 34th Street, Took a left and followed the shore till the 155th Avenue. All the view of the Hudson river and the Atlantic was good. At some times Old Bridges and structures made us recollect the by lanes of ‘Nagothane’ (India). In about 50 plus minutes we were back in front of Empire State Building.

      Parking in weekends in New York streets is free but there is no mention of this anywhere on any of the signs. The info describing where to park and where not to is not clear. We took a chance after several anxious minutes of dilly dallying thanks to my ‘Overly Cautious/fear Driven’ behavior.

      Luckily there was not a minute wasted getting into the Empire State Building. After getting the Tickets, it took us only 30 odd minutes to be on the 80th Floor. Another 10 minutes we were elevated to the 86th Floor of Observatory. The temperature was quite cool in the upper 40’s and Windy as usual. It was just before twilight set in and the view from the top was great. I could not capture good photos because the focus was either on us or the background.

      Here are some photos taken up there on the Top of which G and I posing as the Statue of Liberty was the funniest.

      imageimage image image image image

      We walked out of ESB around 7 pm and had good starbucks coffee. We drove through Park Avenue and after rounding Grand Central station parked on 54th Street to visit SAKS Fifth Avenue shop. It was late in the evening and all the brand shops were closed. There were some good snaps taken in front of the Rockefeller Centre.

      You can find the photos of Day 2 and the drive back to home here.

      There were lot of other plans which never materialized as time was short and not much energy was left.

      1. Catch up with a few friends 2) Take a drive to the Wild Life at Six Flags 3) Visit King of Prussia Mall 4) Visit Ground Zero 5) Have a Sub/Metro/Duckbus ride in NY.

      Hopefully we will be able to do this in some future trip.


      Prolonging Career !?


      Australian Cricket Captain Ricky Ponting this week announced his intention to retire from Twenty-20’s.

      Ricky Ponting is one of the most shrewd, successful and brilliant players of this generation and at 34 intends to defend the ODI World Cup title as captain and keep playing Test Cricket wearing the Baggy Green as long as possible.

      The reason for retiring from Twenty-20s to Prolong Cricketing Career is the one which I find intriguing.

      What Say !? Only time will tell.


      The Weekend New York Trip – Day 1


      Following the plan My Wifey and I were forming for the last couple of weeks to visit New York, we finally took off for New Jersey on a Saturday morning instead of the Friday late night drive from Columbia Maryland. A Whole 3 and a 1/2 hour non-stop drive.

      I have been to New York twice earlier when I was single. The first was a 60 day stint as soon as I arrived from India, during which I was staying at JFK Boulevard, NJ and rode on the Johnny Cab to NY office to grab a project. The second was a weekend trip in winter 2007 during which I visited Empire State Building.

      Another one which does not count as a New York trip was when in June I visited Ellis Island and Staten Island to get a view of the ‘Statue of Liberty’

      So this weekend, after a good lunch at ‘Spice Grill’ in Parsippany, NJ, My friend G drove to NY through the Lincoln tunnel. Watch it here

      We parked the car at the Port Authority at afternoon 3 pm. We walked out the Port Authority towards ‘Times Square’.

      Walking on way to ESB, we spent half an hour getting a ‘Caricature’ drawn of us three. The result was in caricature we all three have the same shaped nose. :-)


      Our plan to visit Empire State Building fizzled out as soon as we saw the long queue of tourists wanting to do the same.

      We proceeded to visit and explore Macy’s and ‘escalated’ all the way to the 9th floor. One Sofa I noticed there was strikingly ‘similar’ in texture and shape to the one I recently ordered last week. The price was outrageous 849 USD on discount, while the One we ordered is 400 USD.

      Once we walked out Macy’s we were exhausted and planned on catching up a movie. We got tickets for ‘Inglourious Basterds’. By the time the movie got over and we drove back it was past midnight. I posted my own take of review here [Edit : This got overwritten. Sorry]

      So the links to share the photos are here.


      Friday, September 4, 2009

      1st Marriage Anniversary


      Today 4th September 2009, My Wifey and I are celebrating our 1st Anniversary. So far we have been overwhelmed by the ecards, emails, phone calls and text messages of congratulations and blessings from relatives, friends and well wishers.

      Last year when we tied the knot in India, I was happy for manifold reasons. One of them was, I was no longer spending time searching for a mate.  Today as I look back, I see so many positives of the married life.

      I must give due to my Wifey who is a smart, cheerful, understanding, down-to-earth and a conscious person who is aware of the world around her.

      She also impeccably keeps complete balance of her life and mine with a smile. For me Good Food has always been a great starting point and quite a few of my Friend’s spouses are great cooks. I have been treated royally when it comes to food by some of my friends and thanks to their ‘prayer's’ my Wifey is one of the best cooks.

      Guess what, yesterday I was treated with a ‘Home Made Burrito with Tortillas’. Come On, How many of my Indian friends can boast of having ate a ‘Home Made Burrito’?. Anyway during the first 3 months, I had almost a different variety of ‘curry spiced rice’ for lunch that I ran out of count, I never knew this dishes existed. Each and every one of them was spectacularly cooked and delicious.

      Now that we have moved from Maryland to Virginia, We are looking forward to keeping up the promise of hosting our friends very soon.

      To celebrate our Anniversary, We are driving to New York this weekend and intend to have a memorable time.


      Tuesday, September 1, 2009

      Ganapati Bappa’s Blessings


      This year 2009, My parents celebrated the 25th anniversary of hosting Lord Ganesha’s Idol as a part of Ganesha Festival celebrated yearly in most part of the world. We host Ganesha for Five days. The Lord is hosted for 1 and 1/2 day, 5 days , 10 days and in some cases 21 days if not retained for a year. For all the hosting days the Celebration is carried out when you have guests trotting in and out visiting Lord’s idol and praying for blessings.

      Born in Chennai, Brought up in Mumbai is something which I oft repeat to introduce myself, Ganesha Festivals are a key event in the calendar year for me during which the activities are impressionable.

      Of the many names of Lord Ganesha one is ‘Vignaharta’ (Destroyer of Sorrows). You can read more about it here

      Being in the ‘Photographic Memory’ time during years till I left for USA, I have great memories of the wonderful time during the festival.

      To jot down a few on the top of my mind

      1. All of us decorate the ‘Room’ in which the Lord’s Idol is Hosted throughout the night with ‘Paper Flags’ , ‘Themocol Cuttings’, ‘Light Bulb Decorations’
      2. We never close the ‘Main door’ of our home day or night.
      3. We keep the ‘oil’ lamp flame alive during the duration of the hosting Lord Ganapati.
      4. Our town Roha has often witnessed umpteen floods during monsoon almost every year but it has never occurred during the time of Ganesha festival.

      There are other memories of when my dad almost drowned one year, I got smacked when I was jay walking near the river bank during visarjan etc etc.

      It is said that the family which plays together stays together. I have experienced and tend to believe ‘The family that PRAYS together Stays together’. I wish even this year I was with my parents to celebrate this festival with them.

      Please have a look at the videos which show the dedication with which the whole festival time is being carried out.


      May Lord Ganesha bless one and all with all the Happiness and Peace possible.

      Ganapati Bappa Moryaaa !!! Phudchya Varshi Lavkar Yaa !!!