Thursday, July 31, 2003

"I tell you, those voices soared. Higher and farther than anybody in a gray place dares to dream. It was like some beautiful bird flapped into our drab little cage and made these walls dissolve away...and for the briefest of moments -- every last man at Shawshank felt free."

That is the power of the words. Words that can move you, make you feel emotions that life doesn't evoke in you. I was completely moved by those words the first time, and by the whole movie as such. A wonderful story, beautifully told, marvellously enacted, magically filled to the brim with that most wonderful of human emotions - Hope.

"Fear can hold you prisoner, hope can set you free."

And now to the baseless ramble. I am a new blogger, and have a rich history and tradition of blogging to catch up on. Hence I assiduously pursue my blogging research. And the result of my research ? My blog sucks ! I've been to other blogs, that have had a constant stream of visitors since their inception. Averaging about 25-40 visitors a day. Myself, I'm lucky if I get 3 ! I am going to change the layout a bit... but more importantly - I lack something that brings people back to blogs - Creativity.

I have never been very creative at anything in life... I don't sing, I flail about a bit (call it dancing), I don't play any musical instruments, I can't play any sport well, I can't draw or paint or anything and my last resort, as I sadly found out, I can't write. Welcome to the real world Viggy.

The best I can do is, direct you to people who can write. And boy, do they do a good job of it. Read, blog and enjoy. And I shall go and.... does it matter ?

And this isn't about my blog's popularity or anything, just a rant about my personal deficiencies. I sometimes feel my biggest problem is - lacking the courage to do anything about it.

Wednesday, July 30, 2003

Cooking is all about color. That's the only way I get it right. If its not the right color, its not right. Especially indian cuisine. Its totally color-coded. Just the right mix of red, bordering on orange. And dinner right about now, looks just perfect ! Yummmm !!!

I need a change in design, I just wanted to make sure that I can stick to this blogging thing before I put in the time to change the design and layout. I guess I can do that now. I have a few layouts in mind, should play with them this weekend. A nice clean XHTML layout is what this blog needs.

Talking to someone online can be quite a cathartic experience. Especially if its an anonymous chat. I've been on IRC since the HyperTerminal days on VSNL. Been through a bevy of personnae, all the sorts, all the actions. Then the chat rooms and then came the big one.. ICQ. Did ICQ make a hit or what ?! Everyone and thier grannies was on ICQ. I think ICQ revolutionised communication in a way. IM blew up bigger than anything else, meet someone in a chat room, catch em on ICQ and chat all night. Phone bills skyrocketed, but hey ! I had friends in every continent ! Even my mom got onto the bandwagon, she got in touch with some of her old penpals in the US and France. When I think about it, I can't imagine what college would have been like without all that. I met most of the people I knew in college, other than the people I used to go to college with, were people I met online. It was fun, it was exciting and it was something I felt really comfortable doing.

And now this. I guess its a form of chat, a form of IM, but much more liberating and constraining at the same time. Its a great feeling and Im happy I started this. Happy Happy !!!! BTW, do you guys think I ramble too much ? Well, whoever reads this anyway... I think I do, I digress and I ramble... hope its all coherent at some view....

Tuesday, July 29, 2003

Saw Pirates today. It was a total blast ! Total summer blockbuster all over ! Johnny Depp was, true to all the reviews, brilliant in the movie. And Keira is so damn gorgeous in the movie ! woo0t !!!

I used to have a diary actually. Some thing similar. The summer of '96, of my 10th grade, was one of the best. All the stories you hear, all the coming-of-age type stories (not that it was then... but in a similar vein !), all the fun a gang can possibly have. Most of the friends I had during that period left at the end of summer, but for those 3 months, it was great ! It also helped that I spent a lot of time in Bangalore (Note : I LOVE BANGALORE !!!). Plus, the results of the 10th grade exams were totally kewl... placed first in the city of Chennai ! wooohooo !! I still remember my school principal calling me up at home... I was like.. whatever it is.... I didn't do it ! And she used the oldest opener in the book... "Sit Down" Me: " I am" She: "Then stand up and sit down again !". Totally awesome.... It was also first love time... the fun we guys had ! Good times... and it was like you know... totally without a care in the world... that was also the year that great ice cream place near my house opened... I tell ya, we ate soooooo much ice cream ... we actually went thru every item on the menu... I'm not kidding ! It was like a summer right out of The Wonder Years ! (One of my favorite shows of all time btw...).

Nothing lasts forever and neither did that summer. All the people left, things changed, lives changed. We buried a time capsule in the backyard of one my friends' house. She's no longer living there, but come July 31st 2016, the people who do live there... will find some 30 something year olds digging in their backyard. Hope the house still stands.. coz otherwise.. we will have some difficulty figuring out where to dig ... plus if the house is gone, Im sure the construction crew is off with the capsule anyways. What was in it you ask ? Nothing much, a menu from the ice cream place, lots of photos, little trinkets, an audio cassette us all of us singing and talking... stuff. Stuff that meant a lot to us. I know I will be there. Shovel and all. Will they ? Thing is, we have all lost touch with each other, but imagine how amazing it would be if we all did get together in 20-freaking-16 !!!

Heres to good times of old and the many summers more to come. It will be tough to beat that one though.

And the reason this whole rant started was because of the dairy. I might do that, scan em in and post em as an entry. Hmmm....

Monday, July 28, 2003

Well, two projects and two reviews on a Monday. There must be a law somewhere that prevents people from having this much work to do on a Monday. A nice relaxing weekend, and BAM ! It hits you like a huge freaking avalanche !

This blog is turning out to be more of a what I did today kinda thing, rather than what Im feeling and what Im thinking about. I guess a big reason is that I suck when it comes to telling anyone how I feel. Or whats running through my mind at any given point of time. Unlike the other gifted individuals whose blogs I frequent, I really start to ramble when I try to digitize what Im feeling. Much like now.

I was part of a survey once... you know the type, the million questions will-determine-your-deepest-darkest-secrets kinda deal. Anyways, I shouldn't make too much fun of the thing, because the results of the survey were pretty true to fact. My perfect job description was one based in health care. Im a comptuer enginner now. Talk about letting your instincts guide you. One other thing the survey claimed was that I was totally dependent on social interactions. Friends, parties that sorta thing. I agree with that. I need to talk to people. Its not like I will freak out if I don't in a whole day or something, but it will slowly start eating into me... get all moody and stuff. I guess thats another reason this blog is a good idea. Im not only talking, Im SHOUTING !! wooo00t !!

Is that why the world blogs ? An expression of self ? The novelists and self made Rushidies need not apply !! ;) Im boring, just say so... boo hoo hoooo...

Sunday, July 27, 2003

Why do we insist that we aren't drunk when we are ? I mean, if we weren't drunk, our reply to the question "Are you drunk ?" would be something creative, something that says a lot about our character, our inner self. Ask a drunk person the same thing, out comes the excuse, the reason he/she claims to be NOT drunk. "I only had a few" to "If you can get drunk on orange juice and a dash or vodka..." to "Who are you ? And why are you wearing my cat ?"... that sorta thing. The last one is a true gem.

One of my friends left me a voice mail yesterday, he was hammered, and the entire voice mail was the conversation he was having with another friend of his.

Him: Lets go get a beer...
His friend: Naw, its too late...
Him: Lets go get a pitcher...
His Friend: Okie...
Him: [hears a police siren] HIDE !!!
Him: [later, after sounds of scuffling] Hello ? [click]

And that was the last I heard of him.

Amidst the latest batch of fresh off the boaters, came an excellent lady, total pardy animal, true confidant of moi. And true to character, the very night she landed in the City of Angels, she got tipsy. Welcome to America dearie. Heres wishing her the best in the year or two to come. Expect many more righteous stories about the madam in these columns in the months to come.

Damn.. I need a power source... this laptop's battery sucks.... I have some serious form of Attention Deficiency. I can't concentrate on anything these days... does not bode well for the 2 million papers that I have to read.

I hate it when friends complain that I don't keep in touch, but when I call, they are all busy and say they will call me back. And never do. I'm not saying that I take offense at that, I realise that all of us lead busy lives. What gets to me is when they are like.. Oh Mr. Busy, can't find time to call... dammit ! Especially relatives. I hate having to call my relatives because of my mom's constant nagging. I personally don't get upset when my uncles don't call me once a month. And I expect that they would feel the same way. These people have been in the US all of my life, and what about all the 21 years I didn't call them every month ? Huh ? Why not ? Sheesh...

Let me go call, otherwise mommy will have some choice words for her first born. On a last note, does anyone know how to "stop" talking to relatives without having to lie ? I have even resorted to calling my cell phone from my roomates... How do you end a conversation with them without it sounding rude ? "I have to go now - get back to work". "My phone card is running out of time, and I am a poor grad student, spare me !" . Wrong answer !!

Saturday, July 26, 2003

Well, just got off the phone with my best bud, whos back in India right now. Just talking about all the good times back in college... all the fun we had... just the sorta thing you really shouldn't be talking about on a fine Saturday morning. Why you ask ? Coz its depressing ! I miss home ! I was fine in the morning, spoke to her for a while... all happy and stuff. Then our man here, tells me about all the stuff hes been upto... and the funniest part is, he is like... Im not having fun at all ! Withouth any of you guys around, there isn't much todo ! Either way he is in Chennai, and I am here, working. How I wish I could go back... a nice summer vacation.... wake up in the morning to granny's coffee... the Hindu in hand... sit on the porch, do that little flick with the newspaper... and then breakfast... a nice hot dosa (something that isn't like mine at all !)... and then laze around... lunch... hit Qwickys in the evening... man.... those we the days huh ! Im sure most people would agree... wo0t !!

Either way, I better find something to do today. Get out of the apartment and DO SOMETHING ! I'm all charged up... ready to rumble ! Lets go people !!

I miss home, but, hey... home is where the fun is ! woohoo !!

Friday, July 25, 2003

I, Cringely | The Pulpit. Hear ye, hear ye, the revenge of the nerds shall fall upon the RIAA with great wrath and furious anger ! Read all about it.

If Cringley is onto something here.... the possibilities... hmmmm....

Thursday, July 24, 2003

Yesterday, me and a friend went to watch the awesomely talented Rowan Atkinson in Johnny English. Even though this movie isn't one of this best, this man is truly one of the best comics of our time. I'm talking not only about the comic genius that created Mr. Bean, but also all the other stuff... the standup, the whole Black Adder series...totally hilarious stuff.

Anyways coming out of the movie, we saw hundreds of people with those wierd folding chairs lounging about the place. After a quick Q&A session with the nearest official looking person, we found out that it was the Torch Light parade in downtown. I didn't have my camera on me, which was a great pity, coz the parade was really nice. Nice parade music, colorful costumes, princess, queens and all....

The whole of today has been a serious mental block kinda deal... couldn't do any seroius work. Spent most of the day cataloguing my mp3s, getting all the tags right and all that. I find it really tough to get the genre right ! Whats the difference between Pop, Pop-Funk , Pop-Folk.... and what in God's name is Porn Groove !!?!?! Do porno flicks come with OSTs ? Either way, spent a long time at websites with lyrics coz I didn't know what the album name is ... stuff like that.

You know what would be a nice winamp/wmp plugin ? There should be someway to set my equalizer setting based on what genre the tag on the mp3 has. That way you wouldn't have to change presets when running through your favorite playlist. Is there something that does that already ? If not, there should be !

The Associated Press - RIAA Now Targets Pirates' Parents. How far can this go ?

As a slashdotter noted, one would think you are reading an article out of the The Onion. Not that The Onion is any less reliable a news source.

Wednesday, July 23, 2003

Free Software Song - GNU Project - Free Software Foundation (FSF)

Ok, now that is just going too far. Stallman singing..... nooooooooooo... the horror... the horror....

Tuesday, July 22, 2003

Dammit.... I closed the page with the blog post.... but it asked me if I wanted to save.... hmmmm....

Either way, she visited my blog today and left me a message !! But I accidentaly deleted it.. and hence the other message that's there now..!! wo0T !!!!

I need to go run... pizza make me feel lardy !

Time to steal from /. again. What I wouldn't give to get my hands on this little baby - Audiopad.

Monday, July 21, 2003

I almost got hit by a car today !! This dumbass was driving this fatass SUV, and comes up at a signal. It was my green and I'm crossing the street and this guy screeches to a halt an INCH away from me !! The dumbass was on his cellphone and was reading something !! What the hell you doing reading and on the phone driving a car that can mow me down !?!!

Other than that, had a totally nice day ! For people who don't know me, I'm as lazy as you can possibly get. I hate to do anything... especially work !! But I have to admit, there is no other feeling quite as satisfying as a job well done ! Atleast thats what my manager thought !! wo0t !!!

I sent my brother some DVDs today... I paid the same price to send em as I did to buy the things ! Next time, he ain't getting the boxes !

A friend of mine saw the pics I had put up in the last post, and she was like.. what the heck.. why are there no people in it ?! I thought these pics were nice.. but she doesn't think so ! She sent me some pics she took... and well.. there was a person she knew or was with, in every picture ! Well.. to each his own I guess !!!

I love all these "Best of" shows on TV, esp on VH1. Right now, its Greatest pop culture icons. I really don't agree with the number one entry, but I guess once you get up there in the top 20s even, it really doesn't make sense to keep track anymore !! Top 20 or Number one... its a totally nice roundup !!

Sunday, July 20, 2003

Its like magic. Nothing else describes it. Talking to her makes me feel great. wo0t !!

Today started out fine.... but quickly spiralled to the abyssmal level if crapiness that I feel right now....

I hate arguments. I hate arguments that leave both of us, not angry with each other, but just sad. Ones that leave you with really nothing more to say, just wishing that you could hold each other and let it all go... if only life was that simple. We all know its not. That knowledge alone should be enough to console us, tell us that there is nothing to be done about it - so move along. If only we were that simple. If only relationships were that simple. I want to go back home, I want to hold her, just tell her that she is the most important person in my life. She knows and I know she feels the same way. Why is that not enough ? Why am I still feeling like something that fell out of a goats arse ?

I need to talk to her... Right now....

Thanks blog.

Saturday, July 19, 2003

Well the weekend began with a total blast, thanks to 2003 Minneapolis Aquatennial. Lots of nice stalls, opening day concerts and all that !!! Totally nice, totally picture worthy. Update: Added the pictures from the past couple of days.


After that, there was a big pardy at a friends place. Being new here, I've heard that pardies at this place are absolutely amazing. And let me tell you, thats an understatment. All the previous pardies there have been amazing fun.. and yesterday was no different. Great people, great drinks, great music ! Everything you need to have a totally amazing time ! And man, was it unforgettable yesterday. Totally....

This has been my longest blog entry... in terms of time.. I think I've been staring at this screen for almost 3 hours... bloggers block ??! Within the first week of starting ??! Thats sad.... well you bloggers.... any suggestions on overcoming bloggers-block ?!?!? ;)

Don't you think Dumb and Dumber has a sad kinda underlying tone to it ? Two jerks, who have no hope of making anything out of their lives... wasting away.... a movie about that ?!?! What has this world come to !?!? *sarcasm*.....

And now that I have made a total fool of a blog entry... I shall log off.. gnite....

Thursday, July 17, 2003

Feeling inspired due to no reason in particular, I decided to try making dosas. Armed with one of the many instant mixes, I began. The instructions were pretty straight forward. So I began, started making some potato, and started the dosas. The thing I didn't anticipate was how difficult it would be without a teflon coated pan !!! The stuff got completey stuck and eventually, this is what I ended up eating. It tasted fine.. but to any person who knows what a dosa looks like, well... I needn't say any more.

For the discerning few who, looking at that picture of the dosa, realised that I have a camera at my disposal - I have this to say... the new camera rocks. It is totally awesome.. it is slightly larger than a credit card but packs quite a wallop !! Read more about the Canon PowerShot S230 Digital ELPH here.

And now, the movie related blurb of the day. Contrary to the beliefs of a few, I think the movie Dune is a pretty good take on the epic cult novel by Frank Herbert. Complaints about "the subtle plot changes and its briefness" aside (the movie is more than 3 hours long, but to depict every aspect of the novel's political intrigues would have taken some serious effort... much like... the Lord of the Rings trilogy right now !) it makes a truly sincere effort and not-too-bad graphics for its day.

"Fear is the mind-killer [...] I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me [...] When fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain" - Paul Muadib.

Wednesday, July 16, 2003

I spent an hour today debating whether I should buy an iPod. I listen to a good amount of music, but not enough to warrant a $400 purchase ! And hence my problem... and this rant.

Do we buy things because we really need them ? I hate buying things. I've had the same watch since 95 (I think). I don't use it now, coz I have my cell phone on me most of the time. I generally take a long time to buy things... wonder if I really, REALLY need it... drives people nuts. Weighing the pros and cons... all sorts of things. I finally decided against it... not because I decided not to buy it, but because I had to get back to work. I'll probably end up at the Apple Store again, but thats blogging for another day.

Do you remember Jaws ? I saw it recently, I remember being terrified by it the first time I saw it that shark looked so damn real... now... well... its a "classic" I guess its ok !

I had ordered a few DVDs... got em on a good deal... Father of the Bride ( one of mom's favs ) and two for myself... The Princess Bride and The Fugitive. I love both those movies... "My name is Inigo Montoya...." - The Princess Bride :) Totally hilarious movie... at no point would you be rolling over laughing or anything, but I can assure you, you will be quoting lines from that movie for a while !!!

"[Dr.Kimble:]I didn't kill my wife... [Gerard:] I DON'T CARE !!!!!". Nice......

Tuesday, July 15, 2003

After a tough Tuesday at work, what better way to chill out than a movie and some awesome ice cream. If you are in Minneapolis, you really should check this place out, great ice cream. It smelt kinda nice too !!!

Saw LXG today. Its a typical summer action flick... keep your brains at home people !!! But it was good fun... after hours at computational reflection, mindless, pre-digital, comic book action is just what the doctor ordered !

After starting this blog, all of 2 days ago... I've started going through the day looking at things and wondering if it should be on the blog. Most things can be, with a bit of work... but I'm too lazy to do that. I'm just sitting here thinking about what to write. I can't wait for my camera to get here. I saw the wierdest signboard in Uptown today... wishing I had a camera on me !

Aren't there way too many reality shows on TV these days ?? This ones takes the cake for the funniest name !!! I guess they couldn't have named it anything else... but hey... this is just plain funny !

Another big pardy coming up this weekend, anyone reading know any recipies for some good drinks ?

Bon Jovi is playing in Minneapolis today... huge lines and screaming people... and I'm at home... but hey... I did have some ice cream....

Monday, July 14, 2003

Mondays. Enough has been said about Mondays and work. More has been said about gloomy, overcast, rainy Mondays and work. Enuf said.

The weekend was un-eventful. Totally. Un-blog-worthy. I saw Pulp Fiction again.

I've always wondered what its like to create something. Programming aside, truly create something. A poem. A painting. A song. Wouldn't it feel swell !! Something you can leave to posterity, something you can call your own. Inspiration time !!!

I finally ordered my camera today. It should come in tomorrow. Click Click !

I'm watching one of my favorite movies of all time.. Dirty Rotten Scoundrels. Absolutely hilarious. All the way. Especially the end, when Michael Caine takes a second, then says "G'day mate !". That has to be one of the best endings ever. The best being this of course.

The emails are flooding in from a new batch of students, crossing the Atlantic to the Land of the not-so-free-yet-underpaid grad student. I can't believe its been a year ! Time flies when you're working your ass off....

This was on /. today. Totally awesome !! Definitely work checking out !!!

G'day mate....

Saturday, July 12, 2003

I feel like Doogie. You remember, like how at the end of each episode he would sit at his computer and type away at this WordPerfect blue screen. I used to think that was the coolest way to end the day. I still do. Think about what happened to you thru the day (well, the episode was essentially more than one day, but hey, its TV), and pen it down. A nice cathartic effect.

The party was a huge mess of people, food, music and booze, in that order. Basi-la-cally (hehehe!) a nice downtown party ! wo0t !

Me go eat pav bhaji.

Friday, July 11, 2003

Well, this is officially my first blog. Kinda late to catch on I guess, but I'm there. Finally.

Quite a weekend this time around, fun parties - least of all the Block Party. That ought be all dandy.

How does a blog gain popularity ? I read a few of them so should I link to them ? I think I should mail people before I link to thier sites and try to get those people to give me some feedback. And hopefully start making some sense with what I'm saying... that usually helps when you want people to read what you write.

I'm planning on getting a few addons to this site... soon. Major updates. Real soon....

Hello world !

Man.. how corny is that for a first blog.. hurray for growing up with programming !