Thursday, June 28, 2007

one night at home, alone

after almost 6 months in pune, i finally got a chance to spend a night by myself, thanks to a whole lot of coincidences:
  • sidharth is on leave
  • prasad is between jobs
  • vaibhav is in the u.s. for a couple of months
  • u. gerard and a. anitha already have visitors
  • i'd rather work for two days this week than prolong my internship for as many days of july
well...living alone isn't really all that bad when you accept it as just a way to live, instead of moping over the fact that almost all your friends are not alone right now.

oh and dim lights + dido + good speakers + delicious home-delivered chinese food + heavy rains outside does help :)

i feel you, marj :)

ps: surprisingly, for once, i'm actually not feeling like turning the volume up even though i'm alone. definitely a first.

infinite showers

either it's raining everywhere, or the rain has been following me wherever i go...i've been in the rain since 10:30 am when it started raining at dadar, in mumbai, and it's still raining at 7:30 pm here in aundh, pune. i have travelled about 170km, and it's been literally raining every second.

random thoughts:

i love my windcheater. it actually keeps me warm and (mostly) dry, without me feeling all sweaty inside it. it doesn't have a hood, so i can get my head wet (otherwise it won't feel like i'm in the rain, will it?)

i hate wet socks. especially when im forced to wear them all day after stepping into a puddle in the morning. yuck.

i'm immune to cold. i sit in an air conditioned bus for four hours after being fully drenched, and i still feel the need to point all available air vents at myself. even the ones on the row ahead and behind me.

the view along the lonavla ghats isn't any good. all you see are the clouds below you. now that's not something you get to see very often under normal circumstances, but it's pretty monotonous if you're traveling the same cloud covered route twice a week.

the carpenters were wrong. it's not "rainy days and mondays". it's just mondays. period. rainy days do *NOT* get me down.

song to listen to when drinking hot tea (i'm off coffee for now) and watching the rain patter 2 feet away from me outside the 'tapri' im standing under: "milk and toast and honey" by roxette. such a cosy number. just like my trusty windcheater.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

problems!

the last few days haven't exactly been smooth sailing for me...but life has reminded me of this one lesson:
"problems solve themselves once you show some serious initiative towards trying to solve them"
my problems aren't over yet, but the end is in sight for most of them. and the scariest ones actually took care of themselves, with a little bit of my nudging :)

Sunday, June 24, 2007

the most surprising error message ever

i just happened to click on a link to the windows live spaces site, and discovered it's currently down. that's fine i guess, sites need to be taken down occasionally for maintenance and stuff, maybe a revamp or to move to another server. whatever. what really surprised me was the error message. here's it, in all it's glory:

Sorry, we are unable to complete your task at this time. The Windows Live Spaces service is experiencing difficulties. Please try your task again later.


that's it. black text on white background, 10 point times new roman. no lines, no nothing. no hint of formatting whatsoever. i checked the source code and was even more surprised. it was just plain text. no hint of html. not even the <html> tag.

someone in the windows live spaces team definitely typed that error message out. i wonder if he/she ever thought about how many users would get to view it. it's been 3 hours now and the message is still there. my guess would be atleast a few hundred thousand.

someone is gonna get fired tomorrow morning. if not, microsoft simply sucks.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

disrespecting historical personalities

my bro, kevin made a comment recently that made me really think:
"people disrespect historical personalities because of the bad things that people are saying/doing in their name today."

he was speaking in the context of what happens quite regularly here in india - ever so often, we hear of riots because people somewhere wanted to take revenge because someone did something to the statue of someone who died 100 years ago.(note the alliteration!!!)

neither my bro nor i claim that the above statement is 100% true, but it does fit a majority of all such cases, imho.

case in point: why do people disrespect dr ambedkar or shivaji every once in a while, but we never hear about people disrespecting say gandhiji or bhagat singh???

Friday, June 22, 2007

best way to introduce yourself to a girl

...if you want to eliminate every chance of being her friend (quoted verbatim from a friend's scrapbook - hope she doesn't mind)


amit:
hi friend
my name is amit i m from mumbai (bandra)
see i m straight guy that is why i m asking direct
will u b my best friend
if u r ready then trust me u r starting relation with true guy i will b very good friend of urs.but how will we start our friendship i dont no but i dont want to be ur net friend i want to b ur real friend .so if u belive in friendship then mail me ur cell number dont worry i need a friend to share my feelings ,secrates etc,not to give trouble or create problem trust me i will not miss use ur number if u dont want to give then not a problem i will not force u but i will like to say u some fundas of my life which i think for friendship


friendship isnt about whoem you have known the longest
who came first or who cares the best
its about who came & never left

hope u will try to understand


i have a great idea. lets document all the stupid things guys say online in order to "make friends". it'll make me look better when i try my (hopefully better received) approaches ;)

how to pretend to be a web browser

  • log in to a *nix box (i've used solaris and aix). any OS works fine, but you may not get a local echo so you won't know if you made a typo. HTTP is very unforgiving about typos.

  • run the command:
    telnet krist0ph3r.blogspot.com 80

  • in the telnet window, type the following text:
    GET / HTTP/1.1
    Host: krist0ph3r.blogspot.com
    User-agent: krisroxxx
    be very careful, backspace and arrow keys etc. don't work. you have to get it right the first time. it *is* case sensitive too.

  • press return twice.

  • marvel at the profoundness of what you've just done.

  • to close the connection, type:
    CLOSE
    and press return once.

unproductive but geekishly fulfilling things to do at work


  • search for internal code names of your company's products in google to see how many of your company's confidential documents are on the www. puzzle over who to report it to when you succeed.

  • run the same google search queries in different browsers and different computers and compare the results. philosophize over the reasons for the different results with an equally bored colleague.

  • pretend to be a web browser, telnetting into sites and giving weird names to yourself, hoping that some dilligent webmaster catches it in his logs and gets very puzzled.

  • blog it.

Monday, June 18, 2007

my unique living arrangement

ok...maybe not unique, but definitely uncommon :)

what happened is that since 1st june, i've been staying with my relatives, while my former roomies have shifted to another friend's place. as a result, i rarely end up meeting them after work. since they stay quite far away from my relatives, i end up staying the night with them if we meet up. that gave rise to a problem - i need a change of clothes for my next day at work. which means i have to know atleast a day in advance before we decide to meet up.

simple solution: carry one change of clothes to work everyday.

this gave rise to another problem - now i can't stay out for 2 days in a row.

finally i hit upon the perfect solution. i have two bags, one large one in which i carry a week's supply of my clothes to and from bombay every weekend, and the other (smaller) one which i carry to and from work everyday. i decided to keep my big bag at work, in my cubicle. every evening, i pack my small bag with a fresh set of clothes that i will wear the next day. i then go and stay at wherever i have planned to for the night - either with my roomies or with my relatives. next morning, when i reach the office, i transfer the used clothes back to the big bag.

in short, i live out of my cubicle. it works perfectly too!

Sunday, June 17, 2007

let's ban orkut?

the shiv sena has been creating quite a ruckus of late over www.orkut.com. apparently they've forced a lot of cyber-cafes in mumbai to manually ban the site (ie peep over users shoulders and stop people whenever they open the site), threatening violence if the cafe operators don't comply. they also vandalised a few cafes just to show they mean business. and they have applied for the site to be banned by isps too. one of the authorities of the sena's student wing was quoted as saying something to the effect of "if we stop people from using orkut, it will lose money from advertising and run into losses"

their reason: apparently there are a few communities on orkut that speak ill of their party, its leader, mr balasaheb thackeray, and his son mr uddhav thackeray.

the incident leaves me deeply embarrassed for them on many levels. in fact i don't even know how to begin my rant. i expect to get more infuriated and abusive as i progress. my apologies about that. they don't deserve fury or abuse, they deserve sympathy and a free ticket to the nearest asylum. however i don't have any qualms about insulting certain retards. so here goes:

first of all, orkut or google doesn't create communities. users do. the sena should please understand that statement before they do anything.

people speak ill of the sena because they think ill of it. shutting their mouths isn't gonna shut their thoughts. in fact, shutting orkut won't even shut their mouths.

by infringing people's freedom of speech, they make more people think ill of the sena, and hence speak ill of them - this post is a case in point :)

orkut has many millions of users. banning it in one city won't make the slightest dent in its popularity.

orkut isn't even the most popular social networking site out there. it's just extra visible because it's filled with the retard-scum of the earth. wonder if the sena has heard of facebook or myspace. we could slam dunk the sena into the nearest commode on slashdot and no one would notice. that's because slashdotters have a significantly higher average iq than orkutters. (citation missing)

the sena is worried about the few (hundreds at max) communities that poke fun at them, while there are several thousands of india bashing communities out there. it's ok, we never really thought they were patriotic anyway, so there's no need to back up and cover their ass now.

dunno if the average indian realises this, but you can generally judge the strength of a person (or group of people) by how they take criticism. i can't overemphasise this point. mr bal thackeray needs a good dose of self esteem more than he needs the cocktail of medicines that's keeping him alive these days (assuming he does have anything to do with this farce). if this is uddhav's idea, then he probably (personal comment about uddhav's sex life deleted for decency's sake. use your imagination)

hmmm...i think i've got infuriated and abusive enough. bring on the sympathy and the free ride to the asylum.

on a sweeter note, when people make dumb blonde jokes i'll have my "smart" tiger jokes to one-up them. yay!!!

ps: i now realise why online privacy is so important. if i die or get castrated unexpectedly, you know who did it.

Friday, June 15, 2007

my friends in pune

today is the last day in pune for many of my friends. in a month's time, we will all be gone our own ways, going wherever our search for happiness and success leads us. we may meet again, after a while, maybe by plan, or maybe by pleasant coincidence. but either way, we will look back with fond memories of these days in pune. this city which has been my (and many others') first home away from home.

i have to thank you all for the many small joys of the past 6 months - sitting up into the wee hours of the morning just talking, eating out at a different place almost everyday, stopping for kulfi/icecream on our way home every night, catching late night shows of whichever movie happened to be showing, watching tv till we fell asleep, queuing up for the bathroom/loo/wash basin every morning, triple seat rides on ever too few bikes, delicious homemade food cooked by the girls, fighting to avoid doing the dishes afterwards...the list goes on forever.

last but certainly not the least, thanks for making me feel that even though my family is so faraway in another city, i am not without my family.

thanks for being my brothers and sisters.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

dreams

All men dream, but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds, wake in the day to find that it was vanity: but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act on their dreams with open eyes, to make them possible.

---Thomas E. Lawrence

what a quote! and so true too...some people dream and forget, while others simply go ahead and live them.

ps: thanks, anurag :)

walk of life

awesome song by dire straits. has a funny video. one of my favourites too. been listening to it on repeat for the past 3 hours :)


Walk Of Life - by Dire Straits

Here comes Johnny singing oldies, goldies
Be-Bop-A-Lula, Baby What I Say
Here comes Johnny singing I Gotta Woman
Down in the tunnels trying to make it pay
He got the action, he got the motion
Yeah the boy can play
Dedication devotion
Turning all the night time into the day

He do the song about the sweet loving woman
He do the song about the knife
He do the walk, he do the walk of life

Here comes Johnny and he'll tell you the story
Hand me down my walking shoes
Here comes Johnny with the power and glory
Backbeat the talkin' blues
He got the action, he got the motion
Yeah the boy can play
Dedication devotion
Turning all the night time into the day

He do the song about the sweet loving woman
He do the song about the knife
He do the walk, he do the walk of life

Here comes Johnny singing oldies, goldies
Be-Bop-A-Lula Baby What I Say
Here comes Johnny singing I Gotta Woman
Down in the tunnels, trying to make it pay
He got the action, he got the motion
Yeah the boy can play
Dedication devotion
Turning the night time into day
And after all the violence and double talk
There's just a song in all the trouble and the strife
You do the walk, you do the walk of life

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

metablogging

what do you call a blog that's about blogs? i've decided to call it metablogging.

firefox and word 2003 both red-squiggly-underline metablogging, so it's possible that it's a new word, or atleast not mainstream yet. i'm crossing my fingers and hoping it gets famous (if not popular as an activity).

to be fair, metablogging has been around since very long, but in a slightly different sense. i've read quite a few blogs where people without the talent/motivation (imho) to add some value of their own, just paste other interesting posts and make a blog out of it, occasionally without giving proper credit too. still, i guess that's not exactly a metablog, as their blog isn't *about* other blogs, it's just *composed of* other blogs.

metablogging on the other hand is at one higher level of abstraction/indirection than blogging (sorry, couldn't skip the programmer jargon for want of better terms).

now i have not really seen a lot of metablogs (though i admit i'm not all that well read, being a very late starter in the blogosphere), but i think it's a concept that can catch on. take my case, for example. i've been subscribing to around 1 new blog a week, for the past 4 months. google reader does a nice job of managing my subscriptions for me, but i'm guessing i'm gonna need something more than just a "new item" highlight and their trends section very soon.

it happened to my gmail - my inbox is too huge for me to manage without labels. right now, the only mails that come into my inbox proper are the ones that don't already have any labels automatically applied. the moment they reach a critical mass, i try and think up a filter and make a label, freeing up my inbox again.

so how does metablogging come into the picture? i think, over time, people will be so overloaded with blogs, that they would rather rely on someone's metablog than read 10 posts of a blog to check whether it's worth subscribing to. we already have sites moving in that direction (technorati et al - i've not used too many of them, but i know they exist). i predict that sometime soon, there will be some sort of a specification or atleast loose standard for metablogs (the way it happened for feeds). if you want to ride the crest of this new wave, here's your cue.

happy metablogging!

cleanliness day

some coincidences are beginning to startle me.

a couple of days ago, i had this day when all the new blog posts i read were really awesome.

today, two out of the three new posts in my reader are about cleanliness. to be more specific, personal hygiene.

now the simplest conclusion to draw would be that one of them was inspired by the other.

i subscribe to barely 17 blogs, over half of which are authored by my friends, so the statistic probability of two blogs coming up with the same topic on the same day is very low - especially since the aforementioned half barely has one post per week per blog, and personal hygiene isn't a hot new topic that was in the news or something.


one of the posts
is by scott adams (yeah, the dilbert author, who turned 50 a few days ago). his readership primarily consists of (i assume) people in their mid twenties and above, who have some kind of corporate experience and hence find dilbert entertaining. (i guess i'm an exception, having been a fan of dilbert for atleast 5-7 years now, which means smack in the middle of my teenage existence. whatever.)

the other post is a teenage irish girl who i share my nickname with - kris. she's still in school, is very expressive and all, her posts are fun to read, but her spellings somehow give the impression that she doesn't love to read too much, and her blog gives the impression that she's right in the thick of teenagerhood (a phase that was pretty watered down in my life...btw). definitely not the corporate humor types.

conclusion: it's not mutual inspiration. then what is it??? i wonder.

anyway...i guess i'm thinking too much. maybe these things happen once in a while, and i just happened to be around when it did. or maybe the universe is made of strings :)

Sunday, June 10, 2007

my lack of sense of humor

this is a certain miss x's (pun intended) idea of a joke:
  • call me on wednesday and tell me she wants to meet me on saturday.

  • call me on friday night and tell me she can't meet me as her best friend gets only one off a week, and it's on saturday.

  • call me 11 hours later and tell me that she was joking, and that she really (seriously) wants to meet me.

this is *not* the same miss x's idea of a joke:
  • call me 2 hours later and tell me that she can't meet me because there's no electricity in her house and she can't leave home without a bath taken in electrically heated water.

i guess i have lost my sense of humor. people's jokes don't seem funny and their serious statements do.

ps: i hope someone isn't in splits reading this. if you are, please don't forget to blame it on my lack of sense of humor.

Saturday, June 09, 2007

my 'awesome blog' day

apparently the saying "when it rains, it pours" applies to blogs too...

a few minutes ago, i checked google reader and found 5 new posts listed. i read all of them. what really surprised me was that 4 out of those 5 were awesome posts!!!!

scott adams turned 50

manisha got scared by "the ring" on HBO

anurag found a touching poem that he wrote around 12 years ago

marjorie wonders about her life and her choices, and her all time fav poem, lord byron's "the road less taken"

ps: the one that didn't make it to my a-list was urban dictionary's word for today ;)

Thursday, June 07, 2007

the rain in spain stays mainly in the plains

...but apparently, in india it hits the plateaus first :)

the rain finally caught up with me today.

2 weeks ago, it rained in pune when i was in bombay for the weekend.

then it showered in bombay while i just got drizzled upon in pune.

then it showered in the half of pune which i wasn't in.

finally, it showers right where i am, with thunder and lightning and the floor vibrating and all.

unfortunately i have to watch from the window, because i have a killer cold, super sore throat, a 'productive' cough (thanks gillian for the medicalese) and as of 5 mins ago, signs of bronchitis :(

Sunday, June 03, 2007

breaking the loop

when my life's fine, i usually don't think about god or pray.
when my life's not fine, i usually don't think about god or pray.
when i think about god or pray, my life becomes fine within a few days.

my life's fine right now. i shall go to church tomorrow, just to remind god i'm grateful (for a change)

stressed out

recently, a talk organized in office by a cardiologist about prevention of heart disease and other related health issues highlighted the top...