Friday, December 25, 2009
We decided to reach Stradbroke Island by 9AM. We drove to Cleveland Bay to catch the 8AM ferry. The ferry ride takes ~45mins to reach Straddie. The weather god wasn't in his best mood at the start of the day. The skies were cloudy and there was the odd drizzle too. By afternoon, good-old Queensland weather was back! It was hot and humid. We didn't feel the 32 degrees heat though. We were in the water - swimming, body-boarding, surfing, playing beach cricket (with yours truly half destroying a kid's sandcastle with his signature cover drive)....yea. Awesome fun! :D
This was a one day trip. We had time only to visit two of the four popular beaches in Stradbroke Island.
Main Beach: The best beach at Straddie. There were strangely not many people in the beach that day. The big swells and strong waves were perfect for surfing and body boarding. We spent most of our time here.
Cylinder Beach: A very picturesque beach. This beach is relatively shallow hence the waves were small. Compared to main beach, there were lots of people around. Kids playing in the water/sand, people sunbathing, barbecuing etc. The music was on...the beers flowed freely. It was very lively. Cylinder beach must be the most family-friendly beach I've ever been to.
There were many lifeguards on patrol at Cylinder Beach. I had a chat with couple of them. I learnt that most lifeguards at Stradbroke Island are volunteers. The majority of them are school/uni students. They love the beach, the surf, and working as a lifeguard is way to be out there and help people. Good on you guys!
We did the scenic coastal track before we left the island. The ocean view from the lookout points and the headland were simply breathtaking. Here are some pics.
Overall, an awesome weekend! :D
Saturday, December 19, 2009
God's Debris stands out from the list of books I've read. It is a thought experiment. A delivery man goes to an address in San Francisco to deliver a package. He meets an old man in the house. The whole book is based on the conversation between them. The author states the old man literally knows everything. He has radical and non-traditional views on God, universe, evolution, science, humanity etc. His theories arise from 'sceptic's creed' - the simplest explanation is usually right. Philosophy and simplicity don't always go together. Philosophy is known for its complex sentences and incomprehensible words. I adore simplicity. Even though some of the old man's theories/views were flawed, I found the simplicity and clarity in his explanation very refreshing.
The crux of the old man's philosophy is that God is omnipotent and He knows everything. So what would actually challenge God? God knows answers to every question except one: What would happen if he ceases to exist. The old man say this is the one & only challenge that would interest God i.e. to destroy Himself. The result of this challenge is the reason for everything there is - all matter in this universe - that exists in its current form. Everything. Everything including us is the result of God's effort to maintain his omniscience. This notion also gives the book its title. We are God's Debris.
Using the above philosophy, the old man makes interesting correlations to many things. Natural phenomena like gravity he says is nothing more than simplified illusion created by human brain since it cannot comprehend the actual description of reality. Scientific terms such as infinity, electromagnetic field and words like dimension, horizon are conveniences created by scientists to mask holes in their understanding. I was tempted to know what he thought of zero. Let's say if God does not exist, we have nothing. Our fancy word for 'nothing' is zero. The old man may have explained that with yet another audacious theory that would've made Aryabhata turn in his grave. The engineer in me was mildly taken aback with his explanations. But I liked it. The book is a thought experiment and there was feast for thought. Even though most of explanations appeared logical, some seemed obvious, there was nagging feeling of something amiss. There is little bit of bull excreta in the old man's exquisite gourmet meal. The tricky bit is to differentiate between the two.
The old man bases explanation of the concept of probability. Every other question has an answer to why. Only probability is inexplicable. STAT101 taught us that probability works on the law of averages. The probability of heads or tails when tossing a coin is 1/2. That does not mean when we toss the coin, we are guaranteed to get head once and tail once. If we toss the coin 100 times, we are likely to get head 50 times and tails 50 times. Toss it 1000 times, we are very likely to get heads 500 times and tails 500 times. Probability tends to become eventuality in the average case. Life, too, is like that. It is a probability distribution. We can make efforts to maximize the expectation of an event, but we can never assure the outcome of any sporadic event. Probability, like God, is omnipotent and omnipresent. The old man refers to probability and normal distribution curves to explain creation. He weaves a transitive relation between creation, luck, probability and God. Based on this philosophy, he puts a interesting explanation that there is an equivalence relation between God and probability.
The old man discusses many topics - Relationships, intelligence, quantum physics, will power, extra sensory perception etc. Even if you don't agree or fully understand the old fella's views his explanations makes a compelling read. He bullies your thoughts and your grounded understanding. In the book's introduction, Scott Adams specifies his target audience as those people who enjoy having their brain spun around inside their skulls. Well, after reading the old man I begin to wonder what spun what in reality. Hmm.
Awesome read. Do check it out.
Thanks for this, Marcus :-)
Sunday, December 6, 2009
Here are some pics.
I remember looking at light trail photographs during those library periods at school. Light trail photography always fascinated me and I've wondered how such pics were taken. I managed to shoot light trails, took pics at different shutter speeds with varying results.
None of these pics are post-processed. It's hot off the camera. I am still learning about digital post processing. Hope you like these pics! :-)
Update (9th Dec 2009):
Few people have asked me how I did the 'I Love You' photo. That pic, obviously, is another attempt at light trail photography. The camera was perched on the tripod. I selected Manual mode (M), set an f-stop of 11 or 16 or could be even lower aperture and set an exposure of 10 seconds. The ISO was set to 100. I used a torch to write " I 'heart' you ". You can probably guess how I managed to place the dot above the ' i '. Cheers :)
Saturday, November 28, 2009
Thanks to the lazy weekend I didn't get any of the regular household stuff done (e.g. ironing clothes). At the dawn of Monday, I was hunched over the Ironing board wrestling with a business shirt which I had to excavate from the bottom of a big pile of washed, yet-to-be ironed clothes. The shirt I was ironing had a tag which read "wrinkle free". The shirt looked as if it had been rolled in a ball and been sat on by a Hippopotamus. I flattened the sleeves, straighted the collars, bssked bssked some water to subdue the material...and the brain did its thing as usual by going back to my school days when Kalai akka, our housemaid when I was in Madras (her name was Kalaiarasi), used to iron my school uniforms. I never had to worry about the clothes side of things. She took care of it. Akka, you are a legend!
So, the shirt was ironed. Pant was ironed. Someone was winning! I still had time to do couple more shirts so I don't have to endure this torment for the next two days. Just then, my flatmate popped in, his nickname is Tubs, and said in a stressed tone "O thank God. You are ironing. I am in a rush eh. Could you Iron this for me man, please?". "Of course. Give me.", I said, feeling happy that I could help someone in their Monday morning rush. Tubs gave me a black Adidas shorts to iron. Shorts are easy peesy compared to the beast of a shirt I ironed just now.
I laid the shorts on the ironing board. As I began to iron, I realised the Iron wasn't moving smoothly. "enna aachu?" (what's happening?), I thought, pressing the Iron a little harder. The Iron was stuck to the cloth. The blimming thing wouldn't move. I could sense a burning smell as well. I lifted the Iron, it had a black patch on the hot plate. Wisps of black smoke spiralled from its base. Sure enough, it had left a triangular shaped hole on the shorts. In a very short period of time, my brain went from horror, denial to plain blankness. So much for a Monday morning!
I walked towards Tubs's room holding up the shorts. I could look through it. It looked funny and I was almost about to laugh. I bumped into Nellie, my other flatmate. Nellie saw the shorts, laughed, and said "it's synthetic, Sriiii! you never iron them!".
"Oh. Is that right?"
I reached Tubs's room. Standing on the doorway holding the shorts aloft, I said "Man. I am really sorry. I burnt the arse out of your shorts". Tubs looked at the shorts in disbelief. He gave me a pained look. Oh the trauma of the burnt shorts.
As a guilt-stricken flatmate, I shouted him a few beers this weekend. It's the best therapy for this type of trauma.
Moral of the story:
1. Never, never iron synthetics.
2. Iron your own clothes. If you do burn/ruin them, atleast you'll have satisfaction that you killed it and not the other person.
Friday, November 20, 2009
Tagged by Archana
I am home and dressed for comfort. I'll leave it at that.
3. What’s the last thing you bought?
Lunch - Vegetable Frittata.
4. What are you listening to right now?
Crazy - Gnarls Barkley
5. Which language do you want to learn?
I like pigs. Dogs look up to us. Cats look down on us. Pigs treat us as equals - W Churchill
7. What do you consider a fashion faux pas?
Socks with sandals. Shoes without socks.
8. What are you going to do after this?
9. What inspires you?
10. What do you do when you are feeling low or terribly depressed?
Take a long drive/walk. Disconnect from everything. Silence. Regain perspective.
11. What is the meaning of your name?
12. What do you love most about yourself?
I can laugh at myself and take myself seriously at the same time.
13.Why did you do this tag?
Dig down your archives and list posts on five keywords:
Tchichiks of brizzy, beautiful Kondalilla...more posts like this after I buy my thing.
These people are special. I love them.
He is the pride of Kodambakkam. Words dance for him. We dance for his words.
Some posts on life in general. Other than that, I am just rambling away.
I'd like to tag:
Witsy (where are you mate?!)
Dot (yea, where are you?)
Thanks for the tag, Archana :)
Wednesday, November 18, 2009
Thanks to those who mailed/txted "kannaa, no blog updates. what happened?", or commanded "dai...blog ezhudhu da!", or threatened "Update, or else!" in the last 2-3 weeks. It is, you know, nice to be missed :D With most of my commitments over for this year, I hope to post regularly from now on.
As of yesterday, its been one year since I started blogging. Time flies! I’ve enjoyed the journey. I like writing. It’s fun. Writing helps me in interpreting things better and enhances perspective. Having a blog has given me more reasons to write, to write more and to write better. Apart from the desire to write, the fact that people will read and comment on it adds a thrill to the whole process. It makes me come back again, and again...
Over the last one year, I’ve come across some excellent blogs and met people whom I don't think I would've connected with if not for blogging. Most of my blog friends are in India. I hope to meet you guys when I visit India early next year.
So, I thank you, dear reader, for visiting this blog and special thanks to those who always leave a comment :D Pretty much everything in this world runs on feedback. It’s a great feeling when someone has read my post and bothered to leave a comment.
Monday, October 5, 2009
- Watched Unnai Pol Oruvan last weekend. A great movie. Unlike the friends I went with, I haven't seen the original, A Wednesday. I think having not seen the original helped me to appreciate movie on its own context without the inevitable comparison. While watching UPO, it took me a while to see Kamal as a common man. As the movie progressed, Kamal - the character - grew in me. Except for dialogues (only at some instances), every aspect of the movie was almost perfect. And no, I didn't find MohanLal's accent irritating. I actually liked it.
- Kamal proves, yet again, he is one of the few people to take Tamil Cinema to the next level. I really admire the brilliance and versatility of the man - not only as an actor - but as a movie maker. He is one of the few persons who really understands the medium called cinema. Legend!
- Things have been busy in work front. The last month has been a huge learning curve and greatly rewarding. Along with other stuff I've got running in parallel, I am happy that I've accomplished what I set to do.
- Weddings. Kalyanams. Engagement parties. Nichiyatharthams...September was full on!
- Later this month, one of my best friends, is getting married in Auckland. At last, I am attending a TamBram wedding after god-knows-how-many years. I cant wait for Oct 23rd. Ganesaaa!
- I hate time zones. Why do all my good friends have to live in different timezones. Hmph!
- I was at IKEA this weekend. I don't know what's with that place, it's my second visit there and I am writing about it again. Two things: I saw the biggest bathtub I've ever seen in my life. It was a size of a small lake. Massive. I also saw a slam-proof toilet seat. I tilted the toilet lid, and watched it slowly and noiselessly descend and close with faint click. The saleswomen pitching for the product looked very pleased. I asked her "do you have one that lifts automatically when someone approaches?", and immediately added "...and lowers when they depart?". The saleswoman gave a blank look and said "ahhh. no. sorry." Men can sometimes forget to lift the seat. This can cause a degree of domestic disharmony. I am sure IKEA will fully expound on the sales potential of the automatic seat lifting toilet. I wonder what's next?
- NZ playing Australia today in Champions Trophy final now. Go the Black Caps! Underdogs vaazhgha!
- I have not had Rasam for more than three weeks now. I am craving for hot thakaali rasam with poricha appalam.
- This weekend is gonna be a cookfest.
- I am brushing up my MATLAB skills. It's been 3 years since I've worked on MATLAB/Simulink. Hence the title of the post.
Wednesday, September 23, 2009
The above video is running hot on TV at the moment. It's an ad on blokes. It celebrates typical blokey moments and achievements. The ad glorifies different kind of blokes there are, namely:
a. Blokes who punch above their weight
b. Blokes who peaked at high school
c. Blokes built like a brick house
d. Blokes who've had their arm in a cow
e. Men who wont eat their quiche
f. Men who should have read the instructions
and many others. Very funny!
After my experience with my friends last week, I feel the ad missed one group. Guys who are part of this group - you know who you are - will be gutted that such hard-done by blokes have not been recognised. I am talking about the blokes who've been invited (in some cases dragged along) to a September weekend wedding. You may chuckle and say what's the big deal? Why is this category important? Let me explain.
The month of September is special. If you are girl and living in the southern hemisphere, you may say September means it is the spring season. That means flowers. Freshness. All bloom. Romance is in the air. September brings with it new life and new beginnings. Basically, the month of Sep has all ingredients for a perfect wedding.
If you are guy, September is special too. Unlike Ms CuddlyWink's exhaustive list, it's only for a handful of things. The list reads: four weekends, NRL finals and AFL Grand finals. All finals spread out in those four glorious September weekends. HE would either in front of the idiot box or in the battleground (the stadium). There is nowhere else he would want to be. The place is Holy Grail.
Last weekend, it was NRL's preliminary finals night. Along with the-colour-of-my-blood-is-rugby mates, I was at our friend's wedding (groom) on the game night. The wedding was great. I was very happy for the couple and everyone had a great time. A true bloke doesn't miss his friend's wedding. Full stop. Gazza, a common friend, recollected with a serious face, looking down at his shuffling feet, that even last year he missed the NRL final. All because "there were so many bleeeeping weddings in September man. Bleep". Along with the wedding gift, Gazza had planned to give the groom (our mate) a wedgie for choosing this particular time for the wedding ceremony. He spared him because the groom secretly confessed that he had the same feelings too. Instead of a wedgie, the groom received a bear hug from Gazza. Aww...the brotherhood!
During the pre-ceremony drinks, people were standing around in clusters chatting away, it was hard to miss the constant undercurrent footy talk in the conversations. Anything about anything was somehow related to footy. We did try our earnest for a work around to get the live scores. The problem was we were in a church at a small town in the outskirts of the city. The church was on a hill (awesome views of the city!) and we had to drive through dense rain forest to get there. Expectedly, the church didn't have AM radio reception, it had a GSM connection that would load live updates in time for my sashtiapdhapoorthi*, and a 3G network which wasn't strong enough to load the web page. Guys were squirming on their seats. If there were no one was watching us, we would've all yelled in unison "pichukhooo" and sprinted towards the nearest place showing the live telecast.
...and that's actually what we did, but only after the wedding ceremony (no we didn't yell. jees.). We made our way into a local run-down pub showing the game. The regulars in the pub said we were the most well-dressed men to ever set foot in the pub's long history. We watched the last few minutes of the game. Gazza shed a few tears. It was...hmm...a special moment for him. His team won. Nothing melts a true Aussie bloke faster than to see his team in the spoils of victory.
Like any wedding, everyone was decked in their finery's. We looked sharp. The ladies were gorgeous. It's amazing the amount of prep ladies put into weddings. So much that one girl told me that wedding is all about the bride. Considering the state we were in, I couldn't disagree with her more. I was about to say something (not about the trivial matter of footy finals), then stopped. But then...
Weddings have their own rules. We all know rules can always be bent, if not broken. You see, we have a problem here. We have to attend the wedding but we are also deprived of the Rugby. Perhaps we can find a way to incorporate both football and wedding in an innovative way. Maybe the priest can probably do a score update during the ceremony like, "Do you Joe Bloggs, take Mary Jones, to be your lawfully wedded wife, to have and to hold, like a football which the New Zealand Warriors just landed over the try line to take the score to 16-14?"
Or, how about showing the live telecast (volume muted ofcourse) on a big LCD behind the bride at the reception. 100% attention guaranteed.
Or, how about this in a South Indian wedding. Imagine there is a ODI going LIVE between India and Australia. The sastrigal defies conventions and recites this informative Mangalayam Thanthuna nena
getti melam! getti melam!
(in ARR's tune for Mangalyam Thathuna nena)
Indha game-a nambha jeyikkhaa,
Tendulllkar adikanum sadham.
* Sashtiapdhapoorthi - celebration of 60th birthday
Saturday, September 12, 2009
The annual Brisbane Festival started this week with last night's Riverfire. Riverfire is an extravagant firework display show from three major Brisbane bridges, a select few skyscrapers in the CBD and few boats on Brisbane River.
This is my first time at the show and I have to say the fireworks display were absolutely stunning. For 30 minutes, over 600,000 people (yes, you read it right) who thronged the banks of the Brisbane River were treated to some breathtaking display of fireworks. The night sky was lit up in plethora of colours. Some firework burst into patterns/symbols like smiley face, heart symbol, two hearts merging etc, some fireworks were choreographed to burst with beats of popular songs by AC/DC, Lenny Kravitz and A R Rahman's Jai Ho (Pussycat Dolls version). The timing of beats and bursts was almost perfect. Fantastic work!
The OMG-this-is-too-good moment was the show's finale - dump and burn by F-111 fighter jets. The fighter jets zoomed over the CBD, flying fast and low, with the bright yellow trail of burning jet fuel. The F-111s were flying low enough I could feel the heat of the burnt fuel and the ground shake. The noise was just unbelievable.
Below is the video I managed take from my good old Powershot as I watched the F-111s in an open-mouthed wonder.
Monday, August 31, 2009
I started the day solemnly. My mind was restlessly skipping between that day and this day.
I was walking to the train station on my way to work this morning. I had an eerie feeling that someone was walking beside me. I slowed down and looked. There was no one. I knew it was him.
It's been a while since I've seen him. It's actually been a long time. So, I deliberately walk a little slower feeling he is lagging behind me. Maybe he'd catch up? I turn back. Again, no one.
I snuck in at work. I am in my cubicle, typing away. Suddenly, I look around as if someone called my name. Did someone call me? I don't know. I look around wondering where the voice came from. No one, again. Where is he?
Deciding to take a break, I come out. For a very brief moment, I saw him everywhere. I saw him in everyone. I saw his gentle smile splashed over people's faces. My colleague greeted me, I saw him and felt his warmth and cheerfulness. I re-lived his humour in the joke cracked at smoko, I heard his laughter when people laughed heartily. People seemed to be like a prism. They appear to disperse a particular quality, trait, gesture which were one of the many reasons I love him so much. I keep looking out for him, I don't see him though. He is on the other side shining brightly, too bright for lesser souls like me to see.
I ask myself, what's happening? I dunno. The mind does funny things on days like this. Certain moments and memories are poignant in ones life. This is probably his way of saying I am here. I am with you. I am watching ya! (the way Robert De Niro says it with that hand gesture in Meet the Fockers :D )
I sent an email to certain somebodys. It was a very short mail, just two words: 10 years.
I know you are there. I saw you today. I know you are watching me as I write this. I reach out to you all the time. The void that was created when you waved goodbye to us was never filled, it will never be filled. The memories and the lessons of love you inculcated in us helped us to get by. We miss you. You keep reminding us that you never left us. You appear to me in flashes - in the transience between happiness and tears, in the moment of transition from thinking wrong to thinking wise; you appear whenever we see ourselves the way you dreamed of seeing us. We see you when we look at life in your vision. I want to meet you again. It may be a while before I make the permanent shift from soul to spirit. Until then, I'll live with a renewed assurance that you are with me, with us. Always. In every little step, in every big leap - you'll be watching over us. You are, you definitely are.
Thatha, in memory of you with deepest gratitude, love and affection.
Saturday, August 22, 2009
My first award asked me to list 7 fav blogs. 7 obviously isn't enough because there are many fav blogs. I'll use this tag to add seven more blogs to the fav list.
I've been a quiet follower of Kavi's blog for sometime. I admire the way he puts his thoughts across. Kavi continually fascinates me with his observations and sightings . He has the uncanny ability to capture instances of daily life and eloquently put it in a wonderful perspective. His writings are very creative, it almost has a poetic touch to them. Kavi's blog is a pleasure to read. Way to go Sir!
Kokonad's Mostly Pointless
Witty and very entertaining. To a good writer, we say "you've gotta a way with words". To Kokonad, I say "you've gotta way with words, graphs and cartoons". Check out his photo blog. It's awesome too.
FD's blog is a potpourri of happenings in her daily life, her observations, posts on East v West divide, her thoughts & opinions (followed by probing questions) which reflect thinking of a confident and rational individual. FD is my first blog friend. Her blog tag line reads "Story of an Indian brought up in the West" - this, to a certain degree, applies to me so I relate well to her posts. FD always has an underlying sense of humour (with a tinge of sarcasm) in her writing. Interesting read, always.
Mukund is a newcomer to blogsphere. He has a strong command of the language which is quite evident with the seamless flow in his writing. His posts are honest and has the on-yer-face bluntness which I absolutely love. Mukund has written good reviews on movies & novels and has penned interesting posts on other aspects of life. I am looking forward to more great posts from the young fella.
This blog is funny. Witsy posts a funny picture series under the title "Bloopers and Sightings". He seems to be at the right place and right time! I haven't fully read the Singam Simmakanth series yet. Great blog.
This is the best photoblog I've seen. Sriram is a genius with the camera. Full stop.
Catherine's Cat in India
Catherine is a US-based English teacher on an assignment to teach written and spoken English at a high school in Kadod, Gujarat. Catherine accounts her experience living in Kadod, her views on Indian education and life in general in India.
Sunday, August 16, 2009
S: Whatever you think is everything becomes everything.
K: So how is anything different from that which is in reality everything.
S: It is different because that which is in reality everything thinks that you are everything.
K: How do I know that is infact the case?
S: By becoming that.
Sunday, August 9, 2009
By the end of today (Sunday), both of us had had enough. When I bid goodbye to him, the feeling could be best described by the clip below.
Saturday, August 1, 2009
For the benefit of the lazy souls who cant be bothered reading the news item, let me summarise it for you: A political party leader enforced a ban on swearing on the party (in cabinet, committee meetings, offices etc.) in an attempt to improve the party image and to better place it for the next election.
The swearing ban became the big juicy topic for the media this week. They analysed, supported, critiqued, mocked the ban...basically blew the topic to smithereens.
I initially supported the ban, later questioned the practicality of it. I mean, common on. It's Australia. It is, as a caller to the local FM put it "the land of free bleeping speech. For bleep sakes, where the bloody hell are we?". I lol in approval, however, the laughter was just a transience into re-realising that swearing is ingrained in the fabric of our society. From prime-time TV, chat shows (e.g. a clip of Australia's PM slipping a few words), cook shows (Gordon Ramsey being the hero)...the ripe and fruitful "language" has rubbed off everywhere. I am not complaining btw. Just stating...
I swear too. I have a rich sweacabulary in Tamil and English. The usage is limited only when in company with good friends. At work, I wear the garb of a consulting engineer. My work involves dealing with people at both ends of the organisational ladder on a regular basis. Whether it is the posh office of Edward The Echecootive or the cluttered bench in a dingy little workshop of Doug i-climb-power-poles Faultman, the "language" is there at both ends. It's the style and frequency of the "language" that varies. It comes as no surprise. No one is a saint.
Coming back to the swearing ban enforced by political party leader, the issue has polarised people. The PC group has congratulated the leader for her hard-act while others feel it is bull excreta and it's a bleeping cheap shot at restricting the freedom of expression. In short, they say "bleep that".
Two different opinions. Many questions.
The PC (Politically Correct) group says:
These are politicians. They represent us. It is - though you may not agree - an honourable job. They have a prefix which reads "Honourable". The use of swear words maligns and denigrates their position and title. Weren't our predecessors able to persuade/make a point with their admirable imagination and correct selection of words? Or wade through tricky/tough situations with dexterous use of the language? If they can, why cant us?
Swearing has no place here. Swearing is the fungus of speech. We want to clean up the foul. So, please, cut the crap and get back to work.
No offence was intended!
The Bleepers say:
As representative of people, what's the big deal in using swear words? It is the language of the common man? We repeat, the language of the common man. Even if the language does offend a few jokers, who bleeping cares? Does it really matter? After all, aren't the bloody politicians, the part of the society? You freaks pass this ban in party offices...soon we'll have a group of redheads and greenies lobbying for the swear ban in Govt. offices, workplaces, theatres, bars...everywhere. A Department of Scowl on Foul (DoSF) will be formed, slapping an instant fine on every syllable of the guilty swear word. If we allow this, there'll come a stage where we wouldn't even be able to yawn or fart without offending somebody. Bleep this!
Yea, full offence intended!
So, what do I think about this?
Well, we are what we speak. Swear words portrays an awful impression of oneself. It is great when conveying quick emotion and can be powerful when we are trying to express oneself. Nothing can replace the power of a correct word, even if it happens to be a foul one. Most comedians use it support or source their humour. They use it tactfully so not offend anybody. Swear words have their own place in speech. They are the yuckiness of speech. As long it isn't overused, used in the appropriate context, and people reflect on the real intent of the before saying it, it should be OK. I swear.
Nirmal's Dash Phenomenon
Saturday, July 25, 2009
It's the weekend, so we weren't surprised to see heaps of people milling around in the store. From previous experience I knew that in IKEA if you are looking for something specific there's a good chance you are not going to find it straight away. They have the knack of making you walk through aisles of retail forest with stuff that scream out 'I am on sale! Buy me!'. You are forced to drift around with the tide of people turning left and right until the sense of direction is lost and you feel like you are in a maze. People around me (mostly ladies and ara-tickets (kids)) were just ambling along, scanning displays/stuff - they didn't appear to be looking for anything particular. Just checking out stuff, anything and everything which was labelled 'On Sale' or 'Buy me!'.
However, we were men on a mission. We are here to buy a bookshelf and we are not looking for other stuff. We reached the aisle of bookshelves. We found a display of the model that I wanted. I had a huge decision to make on the choice of colour - woody brown, charcoal, blue or white. That's a lot of colour options for a bookshelf. I was pondering a bit. My mate was shocked that I am *actually* spending a few seconds to decide on the colour. "Sriramaa, its just a freakin bookshelf!". "Alright, Alright". I took a pick. This achieved, we had to find our way to the warehouse end of the maze to find the pre-packed bookshelf. The warehouse had racks that almost touched the clouds. We somehow managed to track down the rack which had the pre-packed bookshelf. I also realised the package was big enough to carry home if we are driving a Ute or a trailer. Our Mazda6 wont do it. So, home delivery it is!
With the bookshelf model number in hand, we gouged our way to the counter with the big sign saying 'Home Delivery'. There was a Middle-Eastern looking, middle-aged guy at the counter.
"Hi. I'd like buy this bookshelf and I want it home-delivered. This is the model #". I handed out the model # chit.
He looked behind us as if searching for something. "Where is it?"
"Whatever you want to buy"
"Um..its in the back. At the warehouse."
He gave a muted laugh, waving his hand and nodding his head "No no no. It doesn't work like that. You have to bring to us"
"Err. It's here...in your warehouse. It's in your store"
"That is right. You have to bring it from the warehouse to there". He pointed in the direction of checkout counter.
"...and what do you do?"
"We home deliver". He said with a beaming smile.
I paused. My friend chuckled.
"you see, all you gotta do is to transfer the bookshelf from the warehouse and put it on a truck. After all, that's what home delivery is for. Right?"
In a stern, matter-of-fact tone, "For delivery, you have to bring your item to the front counter. That's the company policy" he said, pointing at a poster on the wall.
I am glad my Uncle or my colleague wasn't there with me. They would've lashed out the "you can shove it..." phrase and stormed out of the door. This convo tested my usually-calm temperament as well. This is like going to a restaurant and the chef says if you bring all the raw materials, I'll cook a meal for you. It doesn't make sense to me.
I took the pragmatic approach and decided, for now, to accept the harsh truth. There's no point throwing a tantrum. Like I said before, I am on a mission. I want to get things done.
So, we re-enter the maze with a trolley making our way past hordes of people. We located the towering rack again and loaded the ~80kg package on the rickety trolley. The pack was kinda big. The wheels of the trolley made a 'queeek queeek' noise as we careered along the aisles. My friend was in the front waving people to make way. Thank God he came along. I crashed into the steel storage rack once (no damage to anything) and narrowly missed piles of merchandise.
We reached the loooooong queue. It was almost the peak-hour of the day. The line we were standing in had women in varying stages of pregnancy. With the glacial rate at which the queue was moving, at least few of them would've delivered before they had a chance to pay for their purchases.
I also observed the idea of making people walk through almost always works. Most people in the queue had trolleys loaded big, bulky, brassy stuff - most of them were 'on sale' items. Some of things in their trolley were useful, most things they probably would not need or never use. At one stage, it almost looked like a competition of who arrives at the checkout with the biggest pile of stuff.
I paid for the bookshelf. The bookshelf was delivered in the evening. Armed with a screw driver and a craft knife, I rip opened the packaging. It's the wrong colour bookshelf. I chose charcoal, they've given me the woody colour. Hmph :)
No. I don't wanna go back. It's just not worth it. I am happy at least they delivered the correct-model-wrong-colour bookshelf instead of a sparkling white wash basin or something.
Kashtam! No wonder we are called Kashtamers. IKEA - Indha Kadaiya Ezhuthu Ada ! :D
Tuesday, July 21, 2009
Here are some pics.
I am still in the transition from the old Powershot A95 to the new SLR. This hike was a good chance to test out all the bells and whistles.
Sunday, July 19, 2009
People have reacted to this incident saying things like -
"His actions were not in the spirit of the game" (!!)
"It was passion that went a bit too far"
"Sport is being treated like a war"...
All of the above statements may be right. However, I feel the Blues player lost something a bit more fundamental in that incident. He lost his integrity as a player. People may admire these players. Kids may or may not look up to them as role models. But, when you are playing at the highest level, you owe the game a sense of respect and integrity in your actions. Adherence to moral principles and ethical values should not be forced nor should it be a noble aspiration. It should come from within. Sportsmanship and the soundness of moral character form the fabric of the game. Without it, the term 'spirit of the game' is just a joke.
Integrity is an essential component of a respectable sportsman. When it is lost, the 'sportsman' in the player ceases to exist. Tom Peters, a management guru, once said "There is no such thing as minor lapse of integrity." So goddamn right!
State of Origin is a celebration of the game of Rubgy League. The game may be alive and kicking. With incidents like this, it loses its soul.
Monday, July 6, 2009
Monday, June 29, 2009
Attendant: Who's waiting?
Mr Happy: We all are!
The attendant frowns.
A: Can I take your order?
MH: What's the muffin of the day?
A: Fruits of the forest.
MH: *sniggers* Which forest?
A gives him a cold look. MH likes trouble more than Muffins I think. :)
MH: *smiles* Ah..dont worry about it. Any others?
A: We have Choc chip cookie.
MH: *with a smirk on his face* Can I have a lookiee?
A: *frowns again. with a cold look on the face, she points at the muffin basket* it's in there.
MH: um hmm. I'll grab that.
A: Anything else?
MH: Cappucino, to go please.
after 2 seconds
MH: Oh. Can I have an extra shot with that please?
after 3 seconds
MH: Can you please use extra hot milk as well, please?
MH: If you can, please use less fat milk.
after 2 seconds
MH: Can you double cup it. Sorry miss. *gives a big smile*
* Attendant steps back. Puts her hands on her hips. Takes a deep breath*
A: * in a flat and raised tone* anything else?
MH: No. *pauses. looks her in the eye* Thank you.
MH: *quietly muttering* Thanks for being snappy.
A: *in a flat out intimidating tone* I beg your PARDON!
MH: I said thaanks for doing my co-f-f-eee! *sporting a plastic smile*
A: Is that right?
MH's Cappucino may have tasted like cardboard. It was high voltage start to a Monday morning. I was fully awake by the time I arrived to the counter. Screw the caffeine!
Here's to an exciting- but, trouble free - week! :)
Friday, June 26, 2009
Wednesday, June 24, 2009
Foreigndesi and Wits 'n' Nuts gave me the above awards. It was a pleasant surprise and I was really happy see my name on their list. So, thanks guys! The rules state that I have to list seven loves and pass it on to seven bloggers. So here I go,
(I'll leave the family out of this)
Best friends - Without ma bros & niggas, life aint much fun.
Sunshine - Light. Warmth. Vibrance. I love spring/summer! It is good to like sunshine when you are Vitamin-D deficient.
Photography - It's a great joy when you've clicked the perfect photograph capturing the right moment. It is an art to observe and capture something special out of something which many may see as ordinary. I've been clicking here and there. Some good ones, some OK ones. I am looking to attend a few classes to get the basics right and to polish off a few rough edges.
Cricket - It's in the blood. From Book Cricket, to playing Street cricket, to opening the innings for Woodleigh CC at New Plymouth Boys High, nowadays Indoor Cricket...I cant get enough of it. Cricket, sometimes, is my opium.
Blogging - My new lauve since last November...
Tuesday, June 16, 2009
I prefer dogs. I am okay with cats. I can accept rabbits, parrots, budgies, goldfish etc. I'll reserve #sneeze# my comments on #cough#sneeze#... pigs. Having worms, mouse, snakes, other members of the cat family as pets always draw a blank look from me. I guess it all boils down to (weird) personal liking/preference.
My friend has two dogs - a German shepherd (Bruno) and a Fox terrier (Pinto). Of the two, Bruno is my fav. He is, to put in typical Aussie way, a "naughty bastard". My friend tells me having pet(s) is not cheap. From vaccinations, flea powders, tick preventatives, supplements, electrolytes(!), leashes, collars, brushes, combs, and yeah pet food...it makes a dent in the purse. Some people would consider pet related expenses a waste of money, whereas some wouldn't mind. I believe with pets, it's horses for courses (echoos me for the pun!). It boils down to a matter of priority.
One fine day, my friend woke up to find Pinto limping. The vet pronounced Pinto needs surgery on two of his legs, followed by few weeks (if not months) of physiotherapy. Even though Pinto is not my fav pet, it's still a dog. A pet. It's not mine, but no one is/will be happy to see him suffer and limp for rest of his life. The medical costs rack up to a gruesome four figure amount. My mate was in a real predicament.
Medical costs could easily spiral if Pinto doesn't respond well to surgery or after care. But, it was an easy decision to make. The constant wailing and sheer tear power from his little daughters made him put his hand up and say "DO IT". The kids absolutely love Pinto. There is no choice but to see Pinto right. If not for Pinto, atleast for his daughters. In the end, all went well. Pinto is back. Pinto still hobbles a bit. We are told he'll be normal in time. It's funny the way he runs. He runs like chappaani from the Tamil movie 'at the age of 16'. The daughters are happy. So my friend is happy.
The Pinto episode was an eye-opener into how big a business the Pet industry was. Pinto had a MRI scan, a specialist vet examined Pinto, an extensive physiotherapy...the saying "naai paadu patten (like a dog, I struggled)" sounded ironic. My friend exclaimed even he hadnt had a MRI scan yet. Ofcourse, he touched wood straightaway! It's a world of dog whispereres and horse whisperers. As Bill Lawry often says, "its all happening out there". By the end of it, he and Pinto had had enough!
Prior to Pinto episode, my perception of a vet was not entirely correct. To me, a Vet was a random-hard-to-find doctor who usually attends to cows, horses...basically all farm animals. For a change, he treats cats, dogs of rich people. The more accomplished vet is in the zoo treating an injured Gibbon, or monitoring the birth of a Giraffe or shooting at a sleeping lion from a distance with an anaesthetising gun. By listing out my prior perception of vets, I obviously don't mean any disrespect. I admire these people for their career choice. Not everyone can do their job or can have the undying passion for animals. They are doctors for animals.
The Pinto saga reminded me of the good old days. My grandparents had a dog - Johnny. I cant recall what breed it was. She was black scrawny little thing. Please don't ask me why she was given a male name - I don't know! :) Johnny had a proud history being the most harmless dog in our colony. Johnny never bite anyone. She never really showed much aggression. The sight of a stranger scared her. You can see it in her eyes. The tail would between her rear legs. She'd run to the corner and bark. And bark she did. She compensated the lack of aggression by barking her lungs out. This managed to keep burglers' at bay. Johhny's world was circumscribed by the boundaries of our house. She wasn't really brave to venture out. She slept in the veranda, milled around in the big backyard, ate from the black plate near the small corner beside the well. As simple as that.
I don't think Johnny cost my grandparents anything. She wasn't fed anything special. Johhny ate the food that was cooked in the house. There was one difference though. In a big household like ours, there's always leftovers (pazham pathu) from the previous day. Johhny always had pazham pathu. Johhny may have Dosa with Rasam today; the next day it'll be Adai or Idli with sambhar; on a good day, rice with hot milk. Johhny had good dining habits too. She'll lick the plate clean till she sees her reflection on the black plate. Being a TamBram family, we were - still are - strict vegetarians. Johhny, I believe, was one too.
Comparing Johnny and Pinto, I don't think back in the days a dog could survive or have hope for a free feed without making itself useful - let alone a surgery on its legs. Pets had a utility value. If it's no use, it'll be gotten rid off. There was no secret or shame in it because it was the common approach. Does this mean people didn't love pets? Probably not. They did love their pets. But, there seemed to a weird detachment in love which made this approach a fact of life.
Pinto can thank his lucky stars now!
Monday, June 8, 2009
I love long weekends. Who doesn't? A glorious Monday here capped off a nice Queen's birthday weekend. The Queen's actual birthday is April 21st. But no one gives a hoot. We seem to celebrate it in June. Another reason to take a day off from work I guess. The strange thing is England doesn't have a holiday for Queen's birthday. I wonder why.
It was a incredible winter day today. I woke up and felt like a long run. I ran, jogged, then ambled - all in equal proportions. I took a few pictures on the way.