Monday, March 27, 2006

knock knock

Today while leaving home, I had to go to the apartment of head of the hsg society, where I stay in a rented flat and give the society charges that my landlady had given me. I rang the bell, a voice called out from behind the closed door - "Who is it". Now, I have never talked to these people, and even if they have seen me around, how do they know my name. I said, fumbling a little, "Its me". The reply, as expected "who me?" I called out my name. Before they could say anything further, I said I wanted to give the society charges.

Ok, now why do people call out "who is it". Doesnt it occur to them that the person at the door might be a first time visitor. Ok I accept that, but now what should one reply when faced with this question. Something like the knock knock jokes like the one below.

Knock Knock
Whos there?
Boo Who?
Ok now, dont cry.

No entry

I hardly watch movies. This is one I watched for about an hour since it was on a TV channel - No Entry. Too much ads so the actual movie I saw must be around half an hour. It was lot of fun. The only bad point of the movie - Salman Khan. I wonder how do directors sign him on for any movie. His dances seem forced (unless its a movie made by one of his brothers). Anil Kapoor is real good and natural at comedy, Fardeen was also quite natural. Salman seemed to be disinterested, and his laughs seemed forced. Like everyone howling for Tendulkar to be retired, Salman is also long overdue. He seems like, he is just hanging on and wasting producers money in the process.

Friday, March 24, 2006

Gareeb railway budget

I might be late in posting this (but most of my posts are late anyway, many of them are old memories).

Reading the Laloo Yadavs railway budget article in the papers, I noticed the names of the new trains he has introduced. Almost 40 pc of the trains have names with "Gareeb" in them.

There are three (or four) "gareeb raths". AC trains for the poor, with 25% lower rates than normal AC rates. Hey, if they are poor, they cannot even afford 2nd class travel and so they travel in unreserved 3rd class. Is the bhaisanwa wala stupid. Please somebody make him the Gai-Bhaisanwa minister. Or Maveshi minister.

Then there are Shramik express , and a few Gareeb Nawaz express trains ( the latter are for gathering more so-called minority votes.. ****** minority appeaser).

Itna gareeb budget.. Seems like railways is run by poor people. Mujhe pata nahi tha Bharat des mein itni gareebi hai. Truly, Laloowa has opened my eyes to the reality of my country. How nice of him to remind the people. Good he isnt like Gandhi who wore a loin cloth to remind us of that. Cannot imagine Laloo in only a dhoti. A tond and grey unironed hair sticking out of his ears.. hehe.

Listening - Iron Maiden - The Clansman

guns and bananas

Once while returning home in Mumbai at very late night (or very early morning, whatever you like) at around 5 am, as I got down from the train and walked to a deserted footbridge, I saw a drunken nut sleeping near the ticket counter.

I passed him by. I noticed that he had something in his hand over his chest. It was a pistol! Hey, this is Mumbai, not Bihar or UP. (Yeah, once I had been to Lucknow for a friends wedding, and I saw gareeb people riding bicycles with guns slung over their shoulders. There were people carrying guns even at the reception in some lawn). Now what, the police missed him I suppose. Or let him be. As I was walking to the exit, I was thinking - Hey what if I hide his pistol. Or I replace his pistol with a banana. - Imagine his surprise when he wakes up with a banana in his hand. Or with a toy pistol which makes a beeping sound when you press the trigger, with red flashing lights. Or a water pistol.

Then I thought, if he wakes up, he will pump all the bullets into me.

Anyway, I have worked at odd hours but have been lucky to not meet with any robber late into the nights. The employer should be providing transport if they make employees work at odd hours. They paid me Rs. 350 extra per night, but what about security. Ok here, take your money, and go home. See you tomorrow if you are ok. I left that company later on though. Many a times, I slept in office (since there was no boss watching at late nights), and woke up at 7-8 am and then left office. There is enough crowd that time, so its safer.

I wonder how nice beautiful humans called girls work late night in call centers. Well, the employers provide them transport so its OK. Software company guys arent so lucky :-(

Strange thoughts cross the mind at late nights.. I am off to sleep now.

Listening - Metallica - Wherever I may roam

Woo.. got my hands on the new Joe Satriani CD. Its cool. The typical Joe Satriani sound, nothing much changes. But my initial impression is that Engines of Creation is a better album than this new one - Super Colossal. I thought Crystal Planet is Joe Satriani's best album, until I heard Engines of Creation. So, Super Colossal is good, but cannot beat the Engines album. I havent read the reviews of any of these, but I find Engines to be his best. I have seen that many of my choices do not match with the reviews in terms of rock. Def Leppards Slang album was trashed, but I liked it.

For those who think Joe Satriani is a western classical singer/musician like Yanni or Pavarotti, No. Most of the blogs I have visited mention western classical musicians like these or classical singers(who go aaa-aaaaa with harmonium or sitar), sufi music, qawwalis or ghazals (all of which I dont like, and sometimes find that they are a cure for insomnia). Nobody seems to listen to mainstream music it seems. Or most bloggers listen to classical. Or that I end up at wrong blogs. Joe Satriani is a hard rock musician and wields the six-string. Amazing rock instrumentals, this guy plays. There are some musicians, whom you listen to and you can build pictures in your mind. Satriani is like that. Another such band would be Pink Floyd. But it takes time to get to listen to Pink Floyd. It takes time to grow on you. Not many appreciate Floyd in their fist sampling.

Again, Metallica diverted from their thrash metal sound in Load, and was criticized, but I found it to be one of their best. Actually, the fans were expecting thrash metal from them, but Load has a slower and mellowed down sound. So the fans did not really like it. The point to note is that most of them were thrash metal fans and so they would not really like it. Say, I am a rock fan , but if Metallica sing rap in their next album, I would also not like it. Now, to many, it matters whether it is heavy and fast like Metallica was in their pre-Black days or it is slow like Load. To me , it really doesnt , because I listen to many other slower rock stuff too.

And yeah, rock sounds too good on Altec Lansing speakers. Amazing speakers. Well, ok, amazing budget speakers. Its the best stuff you can get for the money you spend. Value for money it is. Nothing beats Bose speakers, of course :) , but 25000 odd rupees ??! Cant afford this one right now, but will soon have one, hopefully.. (dreaming away).

Thursday, March 23, 2006

blog management blues...

Listening : Creed - One last breath

Ahh, sometimes I feel embarrassed of being a software engineer (blushes...), I dont actually know how this blog thing works. What is atom (no, not the physics one, the blog one), and what basically is an RSS feed. I have been too lazy to search the Net for this. I should be knowing how to manage my blog, and use advanced features. Most of my reading is on programming and software engineering rather than this new emerging web technology. I wonder if it is just an application with a hyped-up buzzword, or its something radically different.

I am bad at HTML_ / javascript / CSS_. Not really bad, but just that I have limited knowledge. Extra frills is something that I cannot do, like embedding images etc. Its simple actually, but I dont feel like playing with HTML. And javascript is worse. You never know how it will behave. Javascript does not have flow that a proper programming language like C or Java have. And it does seem a bit unintuitive at times in terms of syntax. The representation of window elements seems a bit clumsy as compared to what VC and Java Swing do. Most clumsy are the error messages. Its not easy to debug either. CSS_ is something I hardly know.

I try various options, search the Net, try out before previewing/publishing. And lot of things dont look like what I intend them to be, and I have to revert my changes. I tried to add a blogroll through a third party system. It made the loading slow, and I noticed that it waited for the contents of the blogroll to be fetched from a third site. I removed it and added anchors manually. Well, I think I will let it be as it is till I learn some more advanced HTML_ and javascript. Dont know when will that be :)

Alcohol is a depressant

Warning:Consumption of liquor is injurious to health.

What about those reports in the papers of it being nice for your heart, and it helps you fight your enemy, cholesterol.

Anyway, I read sometime ago that alcohol is a nervous system depressant. If its a depressant, why do people consume alcoholic drinks when they are depressed or in sorrow. Perhaps to drown their sorrows :-). Gham bhulane ke liye.

Or maybe alcohol is a depressant, so it depresses you so much that you forgot all other things that were depressing you. Ok, I stop here, or I will get depressed.. too much depression in this post.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

In sickness and in health

These days, I am feeling a bit unwell.

The strange weather at these times of the year. Nights are cold and the days are quite hot, upto 38 degrees C. Such temperature variations sure makes me feel down and bored. Also, it seems to make people easy targets of flu (not the avian variety). Well, I will be back in a short while.

I have stopped eating chicken and eggs (This reminds me of IIPM's Arindam Chaudhari's flop book, but more on it later) due to the bird flu scare these days. I now realize how dependent I am on them, since I eat out everyday.
A friends says "Marna hai to dhang se maro, yaar chheenkte chheenkte nahi marna". Wonder why all types of stupid diseases are coming up these days.... mad cow, bird flu, SARS, etc. Cows going mad and biting humans(turning them mad), birds flu getting to humans, etc. Is this the chickens way to get back at us :-)

Oh by the way, Happy Womens day to any woman reading this. Just a wish.. hope things become better for you.