Saturday, December 23, 2006
The other day we were cruising in the TL (and I mean cruising) and cursing (that was me) at the horrible 65mph speed limit boards! And then it came to me …
for all of the speed enthusiasts, they should appoint one day in a year, one Sunday – when they can drive --as fast as they want--!
Think about it – all the pent up frustration of having a zippy car and not really being able to zip around – can be released – one Sunday in a year – that’s not too much to ask for … and we’ll learn to live by it like the daylight-saving time change date.
They could earmark certain critical sections as off-limits for emergency vehicles, airports, hospitals, buses etc. but all other freeways would be game for speeding – Insurance coverage would not be effective on that day or they could charge a super-surcharge for that one day.
If you don’t like driving fast, then don’t drive on that Sunday – stay home and watch TV, do the dishes, laundry or do whatever else that you do on most Sundays! simple.
That would be really cool me thinks … a brilliant idea … and Soumya did not say anything in protest either :) (which is saying a lot)
vrroom vrrrrroooooooooooooooooooommmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm ...
Friday, December 22, 2006
So the cars that I would love to own someday –
1. Lancer Evo IX (I’m sure by the time I get to it, it would be a XII or XV)
2. Lotus Elise
3. BMW M3 (Of course I would want the M3 GTR but then that would be frivolous wouldn’t it!) (and oh if they “upgrade” the M3’s to new body styling, then all bets are off – will never buy those shitty looking cars)
4. Civic Si (the one I almost bought this year)
5. Audi S8 / BMW 750 iL (The E38 series) – tough call between the two
That’s pretty much it – not very different from Arvind’s list (am not surprised) – and dude thanks for including the TL in your list :)
OK if I’m going to be frivolous when I find gold treasures in my backyard (and after making sure that we have a big house, enuff savings for everyone, yada yada yada and still be left with a LOT of money) then … (and only then)
1. McLaren SLR (cmon – this is sheer engineering)
2. Ferrari FXX
3. Maserati MC12
4. Lamborghini - Murcielago
5. BMW M6
6. BMW M3 GTR
Oh man – this list can be quite long … I might even put in KITT from Knight Rider - so nevermind :P
Thursday, December 21, 2006
put-put golfing (in the cold),
drives (of course),
eating right and hence losing weight,
remote controlled air-planes (vich didn't last too long),
california for work,
putting the big bosses in a tight spot by asking them an honest question,
chatting with old friends,
Mind your language (the TV series - thank you Arvind),
making new friends,
Guru - the music (and waiting for Guru - the movie),
debates on religious beliefs (and everthing else in general),
reflecting on humanity (how sick we really are)
... been over a month ... a busy month
Thursday, November 16, 2006
According to the Hudood Ordinance enforced by dictator Zia in 1979, - "a rape victim is liable to prosecution for adultery if she fails to produce four male witnesses to her ordeal"
Wiki puts it as - "A woman alleging rape is required to provide four adult male witnesses of "the act of penetration", and if the accused man is Muslim, the witnesses must be Muslims themselves. Failure to prove rape places the woman at risk of prosecution for adultery, which does not require such strong evidence"
and today after more than 25 years when Pakistan is trying to get this ridiculously absurd law changed , some wonder why!!!
BBC says - The MMA parties boycotted the vote, saying the bill encouraged "free sex"
at this point I want to bang my head onto the monitor in hope of simply understanding ... "how?"
Rape is the extremest form of violation and these people are making a joke of the whole affair.
I just want to scream out loud - really really loud - coz at this point thats probably all that I can do! I'm feeling sick to my stomach!
are these people even sane? don't they have daughters or wives or sisters? If I was a woman in Pakistan I would just leave ... or if nothing else have a few of these MMA folks, nevermind that they are mostly men, raped ... and then left to heal ... and then raped some more ... and then produce 3 witnesses - not 4 - at the Sharia courts ... lets see how that feels ... to be slammed for adultery on top of everything else that happened!!
I'm sorry - I know that was an extreme thing to say ... even inappropriate ... but thats exactly how I am feeling right now!
tell me I'm missing something and I've got all of this wrong ... please please please
Tuesday, November 14, 2006
Sriram says -
"What i am amazed by is how people so surely and so exactly know what is their culture. When did the last edition of my culture come out? Are they selling it at Crosswords?"
I could never have put it so well.
Seriously! whats all the fuss about our culture ... unfortunately (and fortunately) - this loosely defined word is probably the only reason why we are still a country while being the reason for many of our problems today!
Thursday, November 09, 2006
OK Strike that … of all the above mentioned, Big B has always been the best … nevermind the Toofan’s, Ajooba’s or the recent abyssmal Mohabattein with Black and Karan johar sob storys! Amitabh was always one of the finest actors in India …
Of course when it really came to acting there was always Naseeruddin Shah, Anupam Kher and Kamal Hasan although the latter is kinda sliding down a self-obsessed patha – still that does not take away any credit from his acting talents.
But the point I am trying hard to get at(about time) is that I think (or "I feel" for some of u out there :P) that the best actor in modern Hindi cinema is Boman Irani. Yes u heard that right … he is by far the best actor in India … in the true sense of the word.
Have been watching a lot of cinema of late (and even before) and this chap has never ceased to impress. There was a brief period when Boman promised to disappear as the next comic Anupam Kher, but then he bounced back with a wonderful myriad of roles – positive, negative, funny, sad, evil, lively … the list goes on. For the uninitiated - Being Cyrus, Let’s talk, Khosla ka Ghosla are some of his not so popular films – but he has shined nevertheless.
Coming to think of it – that has always been a problem with Indians … and Indian Cinema – Brilliant movies like Main Azaad Hoon, Guna(Tamil), Aakrosh and many others - never make it big – and then “stars” have to come back to making the same run-of-the-mill tune mere baap ko maara main tera khooon pee jaoonga and two babes, which one to choose types stuff!
Still … in recent times, and even after Don, I have to say that Boman Irani is the best actor in India right now. u could not possibly agree more!
Tuesday, November 07, 2006
am not feeling the urge to brain dump all the posts in my head.
Watched Borat. Splurged on NFS Carbon and Half Life 2 - have been playing for the past week now - more than worth the money. Watched "Bombay Calling" - nice documentary on the call centers in Bombay. Have been keeping up with BG Season 3 and after last week's stunning episode we watched the BG Miniseries all over again! Awesome. Have been Orkutting on and off ... discovered some more arty-farty pics of mine - will post some other time ... and hey - I think I finally figured out how to fly a kite - at least @the beach!
Monday, October 30, 2006
Had always wanted to see the famous fall colors @New Hampshire - so off we sailed away on Continental airlines to Manchester, NH. Slight mistake there ... it was supposed to Northwest ... but then due to bad weather on a sunny day in Houston, we were re-routed via continental and then re-re-routed to Delta ... nevertheless we finally made it to Manchester on time ... and about 7 hours late :) The rest of the trip was fun ... even the rental car was nice ... a Pontiac G6 GTP
The first moring we promptly woke up early and left the hotel by 10:00 am. Our first stop was the Lost River gorge ... nature at one of its surviving best ... not sure if it is apparent from the following pics but, the plants here grow on rock!!! or rather on the lichen that grow on the rock! Naturally such trees are not very tall ... but trees nevertheless ... nice!
Spent a lot of time driving @NH ... pulling off the highway for scenic views etc. - very very pretty landscape - although you kinda get used to it after a few hours ... kinda take all the vibrant colors for granted - duh!
That evening D had booked front seats to the BlueMan group show "How to be a Megastar 2.0" at Manchester - but that is another post altogether - to summarize ... the show was AWESOME! Thank You D :)
Next morning was @the Kancagamus highway which cuts across some of the most breathtaking views of the mountains ... we stopped for a few hours at the Flume Gorge ...amazing what all transpired during the ice-age!
We then took the Cannon Aerial Tramway which takes you up the mountains for some more colorful views ... this picture was my favorite - the tower on top of the mountain was frozen in parts and I thought this was the stairway to heaven ... of sorts :)
The evening was spent @the Conway Scenic Railroad which pretty much took us up and down the same road that we drove by!! quite a scam I must say ... but it was fun riding a train ... nevermind the fact that I could have run faster :)
Picked up Shaibal from the airport that night and moved to a motel closer to Boston. The next day was spent walking the freedom trail in Boston - now thats a city ... its got a pretty downtown and so much history unlike the oil riches & concrete in Houston ... we just loved walking around the city ...
Vinod and Roshni joined us in the evening and we had a nice dinner @Lil Italy in Boston and then talked about everything and nothing into the night.
Woke up early (again) for breakfast at 9am :) Vinod and Roshni unfortunatley had to leave shortly after ... so it was Shaibal, D and I who set out towards MIT and Harvard
Something inside me never liked Harvard for some reason ... we wont go into that right now ... but I was so sad to see that MIT had a boring campus while Harvard was a lot like Berkely ... everything was on the street - of course we were extremely lucky to bump into the Oktoberfest and we enjoyed walking around listening to live performances, eating samosas (on yes there's hajaar indian joints around Harvard - go figure) , and even having Kashmiri tea ... very very nice. This lady Mieka Pauley, is an cool singer ... stood there listening to her for a while ... will upload her live performance some other time ...
Monday, October 23, 2006
1. Battlestar Galactica is one of the best TV series ever ... scratch that - it is THE BEST TV series ever! Now I'm not really a "TV" watcher but I generally get to see the good ones and this series tops it all. Have seen the first 4 episodes of the 3rd season and OMG these guys are more than awesome ... nuff said - go watch it.
2. Golmaal (2006) was a really funny movie. I don't remember the last time that I watched a movie 3 times in 3 weeks! Funny thing is that I missed a lot of one-liners the first time around ... caught them with subtitles - LOL
3. Vishal Shekhar are superb musicians ... I would watch out for the "theme" songs in each movie album - they kinda freak out on those songs. "Get into my car" from Dus and "Golmaal Theme" are my recent favorites.
4. I'm stuck at one point in Prince Of Persia - The Warrior Within, and its frustrating that the Dahaka gets me for no fault of mine ... have tried everything ... except one move - will try that ASAP!
5. Need to pick up my Guitar more often - last night I played "Aadat" by Jal for some time ... love the song ... and really easy chords too - Cm Bb A Bb ... nice
6. Zubeen Garg has a very nice voice and makes good music too. Music for "Strings - Bound by faith" is superb ... his vocals on other soundtracks too is neat.
7. Got myself a 300GB HDD ... feels odd to have 100GB free space :)
8. Helped build a Childrens playgroud last Friday - along with 60 odd colleagues from work ... was a lot of fun ... lot of engineering ... and even more hard-work ... proud of myself. Discovered a few things ... mixing cement by hand is a hard task, a pitch-fork picks up more mulch in each scoop than a shovel does!
9. I still can't understand Iron Maiden - heard their latest album three times ... and I can't remember even one tune - Sorry Dr. J - either they're awfully monotonous or I'm Iron Maiden deficient ... I think I know your answer!
10 . Pyaar Ke Side Effects is a very nice movie ... unconventional but extremely funny ... mostly observational humor ... nice. I really like Rahul Bose but for me to rate him out there I would like to see him carry off a "gaon walla" role ...
11. Don ... why why why Shah Rukh Khan? Did he steal Farhan Akhtar's favorite chair? And I met like 3 people who adore SRK ... seriously - WHO are his fans?
12. Batman - Child Of Dreams was a nice book. The first half was superb ... the second kinda failed to keep the tempo tight.
13. Wolverine remembers everything now. Oh wait I think I already wrote about that earlier.
14. Ramayan Reborn is actually set in 3392 A.D. - the first book was very tight - loved it - read it three times already ... can't wait fot the next issue - and they even threw in a 12" x 30" poster inside the book - SWEEEEEEEEEEEET.
15. I worked out 12 times in the last 4 weeks (I was on vacation for one) - not bad me thinks.
16. Have been ignoring Fruity Loops for a while now ... need to pick up on that - or stop talking about it!
17. Have been Orkutting for the past couple of weeks ... kinda responsible for the time away from the blog ... interesting to find more of us (old old agnelites) out there ... but don't have access to Orkut from work ... can't decide if that is good or bad!
18. I think I finally know how it feels to fall out of a friendship ... can't say if it is because of the fact that we became friends fairly recently ... still ... I thot we were good friends (still think so) ... still hurts a lot. Have been wanting to dedicate a long post for all my friends ... some of whom I know for 22 years now ... will definitely do so soon. Just know that I love all you folks out there.
***end of memory dump***
Friday, October 13, 2006
Yep, as the name suggests, its an online Map of the roads in India ... and a detailed one at that too. I've been playing around the website and the tool looks promising. A far cry from the measly bangalore map CD that we bought for 200 rupees!
Few quick comment
- the Maps looks very nice
- The Accuracy is not pin-point but it gets you in the vicinity
- The maps also include Landmarks and important-places - very handy
- Apparently online maps for India have been around for 2 years now!!! hmm ...
- Names of roads need to be consoidated - At many places two names appear ... hope this will kick-off some related and overdue activities as well
- The service is integrating (or already has) with other services as well - Mobile, GPS, etc.
- Thank You CE Info Systems (press release) This compay seems to be doing a lot of good work.
- Thank You Rohan Verma - the 21-year old Stanford student - who conceived this.
Nice ... Very Very nice.
Wednesday, October 11, 2006
Circa 2006 - Houston - NBA ... move aside cement court and flood lights ... enter glossy wodden floors you can use as a mirror and air-conditioned arenas with comfortable seats ... hmmmm - this promised to be intersting -
Half naked cheerleaders with silver pom-poms, the Houston-Rockets mascot (a bear thingie riding a segway), Floor dancers, Power dancers, kiss cams, move-your-booty cams, dance cams , extremely clinical breaks (there was some entertainment at every time-out!) ...
We were losing (despite the amazing start) and still all the show-baazi continued ... unabated ... the mascot dude was in the stands entertaining people even when there was just 3 minutes left to play and the competition was fierce! All these characters were not even watching the game ... even this large group of dumb-asses (read Rockets fans) - who never stopped screaming - the 2.5 hours that we were there!
So here I am thinking ... am I watching sports or an event?
Was the game interspersed by these "entertainment" activities OR were the entertainment activities interspersed by the game!
In this country I can't tell! ... And I don't know what to make of it ...
Tuesday, October 10, 2006
I can't take this huuuge smile off my face ... and just the other day we were discussing on the real "potential" in India ... but thats a discussion for another time.
Right now its the farmers and Google Earth ... yaay!
Tuesday, October 03, 2006
Must admit tho' that that the occasion was far cry from piety and meditation … it was a bling event and we accepted it for that.
These Radhe-Krisha idols have to be one of my most favorite idols if not "the" favourite ones on the planet! They were decked up in style :)
Saturday morning at durgabari. Move over 9 yard kanjeevarams and hello Bengali silk in your face, chubby faces, flowing hair, rolling r’s and more bling. Had no clue that there is a Durga temple in Houston … and so many Bongs too. Felt at home amidst all the Bongs … lots of memories … the dances at Durga Puja @Vashi in another life … Nandita Miss … Hindol … sigh … I digress! Getting back to the pujo – The idols were magnificent – the decoration superb - Just like the idols back home (altho they tell me that they are going to have a new set of idols next year coz a hungry rat ate the backs of some of these!!! Some appetite I say!)
The bhog (obviously) was extremely tasty – yum yum. We lingered around the place meeting lots of people … the only names I can retrieve from memory are Pinky and Tukur (Bong “pet” names Of Course) – lets not even venture into what their real names are! That’s a separate post altogether. So yes we “hung” around … watched an upcoming Bengali-rock band who played quite decently – never mind the dire-straits like sound … all in all a lot of fun … but we had other things to attend to and hence made our way back towards home … after 5 hours at the pujo. A big thanks to Oindrilla for inviting us and making us feel so comfortable at the event.
Evening rolled by and we prepared ourselves for the next item on the menu – ojheee raayyyy … yes it was dandia time … donned our kurtas and set off towards Reliant Park … little did we know that the venue for dandia at Houston is a Basketball stadium … a really really large one at that! Sure enough the floor was packed with desis … almost like we had crawled out of the woodwork to assemble here! Not only was the floor packed but even the seats (yes there were a lot of desis being desis and just watching the dance like it was some show or something! But we shall not get into that right now!) were packed. Un-frakkin-B-lievable! I have never seen so many desis in one place in the US – no not even in the Bay! And the thought that most of the Bongs were missing here (they would be at durgabari) and the Southies too (Navratri time at the temple) made me think – just how many desis ARE there in H! Like Soumya mentioned – theres one billion of us in India and prolly another billion spread across the rest of the world!
The dandia was awesome …the A/C and clean floor not withstanding :) I thought my legs were going to say enough and disassemble! Nothing like that happened (thankfully) and we limped back towards our cars after 2am … sweet sweet time we had.
Friday, September 29, 2006
Happened to stumble upon this news on TV yesterday. Funny - I did not see it on Google news - not that it is important or anything ... but still.
Do I need to start watching TV?
Second - Lightscribe - me like this technology a lot.
The Wolverine story-arc after M-Day has been a lot of fun to read … in case you didn’t know – Wolverine got his memory back … All of it!
And in related news, Framk Miller and Jim Lee are working together on "All Star Batman & Robin - The Boy Wonder" ... 4 installments are out (they're taking their sweet time) and I suspect another Hush/DK in the making ... nice!
Wednesday, September 27, 2006
Now I've always lacked in the patience department but I think I'm really pathetic in e-Patience levels!
Still ... I like the word a lot.
Wonder if GnR had to rewrite their classic today, how they would word it? ... hmmmmm
Tuesday, September 26, 2006
Some background – the TL plays DVD-Audio – I think it was the first car to support DVD-Audio. Now DVD-A is this high fidelity format which essentially plays music in 5.1 format – using up the 7 speakers + sub-woofer and all that good stuff. Unfortunately for me (there had to be an unfortunately of course) and for everyone else as well, this format is relatively new and not many albums out there in DVD-A format …. Funnily enuff – theres boatloads of western-classical stuff in DVD-A format. What gives?!!? Not that I have anything against western-classical but its definitely not the kind of music that I wan’t to hear when I’m driving. On the couch at home in the evening – maybe!
Was generally searching (like a lot of other TL owners apparently) the trenches of the internet to find a musical solution for the TL … (after all the sound system in the TL is soooo good) and lo behold! an entire forum for TL (and all other Acura models) owners dedicated to improving (and showing off) their rides. And in the “Audio, Bluetooth and Electronics” sub-forum (note the unnecessary detail) I find this Adobeman chap (Yaaay – I’m finally getting to the point)
Yep – Adobeman is his nick in the forum. And this Adobeman chappie wrote this program (if you know what I mean) to burn regular mp3’s in DVD-A format – not in 5.1 format but regular stereo format like audio CD’s – but lo behold … … … you can stuff more than 8 CD’s on one DVD!!!!!!!!!! Yes you read that right – like 500 minutes of music on a DVD. And oh, he just put the program up there … for free!
So I have the likes of 48-50 CD’s worth of music in my car – in 6 slots! good no :)
And I thought I was being biased, but a lot of ppl have confirmed that the same stereo songs somehow sound better in DVD-A format.
Thank You Adobeman (and people like you ) who make the world (and the Internet) a better place to live. God bless.
Monday, September 25, 2006
Not that being nominated for the Oscar's is a great scientific or human achievement but to me it just shows that there is (more) hope for Indian Films.
I'm glad that run-of-the-mill-and-pain-in-the-hindside-flicks like Kank were sidelined. And yes I'm opinionated (if u didn't know that already). I just hope that Rakeysh Mehra and the others get their fair share of credit and that Aamir Khan does not steal the show!
I'm loving it ...
Getting to the point (about time!) – One of the favorite topics is “kids and driving” … awesome topic – ppl generally talk about the ills of reckless driving, why safety-belts are so important, checking behind the car before you back up … stuff like that. And then most of these presentation generally mention the fact that DWI causes the most number of deaths … especially in teenagers and young adults. Why you really shouldn’t drink and drive.
I have to comment on this.
First off … I believe that it is NEVER fine to drink and drive … period! So if you disagree with me then don't waste your time (and mine) reading the rest ...
Now, I really don’t see any reduction in the number of accidents in the US (and the rest of the developing world) because of DWI. Why you ask?
That’s what is needed … and I’m sorry to say – that’s not going to happen.
Picture this – 30000+ people watching a ball game – everyone’s enjoying … coke, nachos, chips, cookies interrupted only by the loud screams of “cold beeeeeeeeeeer”! Oh yes – I have seldom seen any moving carts for water or coke but the “cold beeeeeeeeeeeer” fellow walks by every 45 seconds … like clockwork! Sure enough everyone around us has a cool-looking beer bottle (and many more empty ones under the seat) and everyone is enjoying the “spirit” of the game!Correct me if I am wrong … if I were to count the number of people who reside in the stadium there wouldn’t be any! So we’re talking about 30000 odd people who are about to drive out of the stadium - at night - after the game … baseball, football, ice-hockey, basketball … doesn’t matter – THEY DRINK AND DRIVE OUT OF THE PARKING LOT OF THE STADIUM!
Oh yes there’s always cops outside the stadium. But for some inexplicable reasons, all that they do is direct traffic … oh no – the breath analyzers have disappeared mysteriously and hard-working cops are reduced to being traffic signs … hmmm!
I don’t understand why there is such a big hue and cry over safety and all the good stuff when such a glaring mistake is so conveniently overlooked … in the name of sports, music , entertainment … whatever!
But wait … I'm the doofus here! That is how it is supposed to done, no? It is impossible to see the curve of the ball traveling at 125 mph … unless you’ve had a few drinks. Of course! And don’t even try to listen to the delicate sounds of thunder … or Pink Floyd … at any concert - extremely dangerous without the complementary 12-pack! A fun evening at the park without alcohol you say?!!? … are you on crack? And chill - its only a couple of beers dude ... it tastes like piss and there's no hangover after a couple of hours. Its not whisky or rum. I can drive all night - no problem.
Bah! Stop the bus please … I need to get off!
Wednesday, September 20, 2006
Thank You Sarat. Some more prodding from some of my colleagues and I took the DVD with me – sat in my hotel room in San Ramon and saw it. Very thought provoking. Very Very. Lots of things hit me … very hard. Immigrants … crime … poverty … justice – what’s right and what’s wrong? How would I think if I was on the other side of the fence … maybe I’ll get the chance in a couple of decades with all the India shining … I hope I do. Then maybe … I hope I don’t – I might not be able to accept the truth. I’m not sure – unity in diversity of India seemed good as long as everyone got their large shares … but the pie’s getting smaller with every day … it’s a different world … in just a couple of centuries … or less.
Some things that lingered … (not verbatim)
Immigrants/Minorities – they’re not here to embrace the country – they don’t really love the country like we do – they’re just here to take what they can. They don’t embrace – they exploit.
Why are most of the social problems in immigrant/minority communities?
Poverty really does not justify crime.
Now I don’t subscribe to hate ... or violence – Never. BUT - I am not in the same shoes now am I? … it’s so easy for me to give my two cents! (pun intended)
Tuesday, September 19, 2006
This time it was an 8 hour drive from Houston to Arkansas – to Hemant and Madhu’s. Those guys had done an AWESOME decoration … hand made and all. Next Morning saw Hemant and me don our pandit avatars and do the pooja (I was being funny … much to Jo’s dismay ;) ) – but it was good fun. Unfortunately we had to leave in the evening as I had my flight back to San Ramon. But we did manage to pack a lot in the 24 hours or less that we spent.
Ganapati Bappa Moriya. (I know Dussera is around the corner now but the feeling still lingers :) )