Tuesday, August 31, 2004

Love Thyself


Thanks to Nandu Singh Rathod, I've discovered something I had lost - the knowledge that I must learn to love myself, my solitary self before I can really love somebody else... Ironic that I had to be reminded of this, since I blogged about it :here:

On the turning away...


Turn away from what punk - away from the past and toward the future bitch!!! Do plans work? Sometimes they do, sometimes they don't. Do we make correct decisions? Since the answer to that is Almost Never, I'll say Of course not - for instance, I don't think anyone will say that doing crack is a good idea - but it feels good! I made one such decision in the year gone by and I'm going to have to take measures to address the mistake I made. Will I wanna change what happened - maybe, I've nearly lost an entire year of my life at work. On the flip side though, I've learnt a lot from this wrong turn I took, things I couldn't have learnt just from observing. Being in the throes of something that goes so wrong, that slaps you in the face; now that's an experience. Something like going river rafting only to swim the rapids; to die and then come out alive...

So, now what? Forge the plans of the future based on the experiences of the past and remember to not repeat the mistakes made - easier said than done. Good start nonetheless; my only hope is that this doesn't turn out like one of my promises to start every day at 8am! :D

Saturday, August 28, 2004

The Cellphone Hunt - Reloaded


It's that time of the year again folks, the time when I am without a cell phone for maybe a week. Oops, I did it again - I lost my cell phone. This time around, I left it on the boot of my car while filling petrol and then drove off without putting it back in my pocket. I wonder, what was I thinking - not much of any consequence I'm sure...

I might remember your number but please do me a favour and send me an email with your current phone numbers so I can add em to my new phone book (when the phone arrives that is). All things happen for a reason - I was mulling moving to a new service provider and isn't this the perfect opportunity to do just that?! Yes, I'm done with Sprint PCS and am switching to T-Mobile: Get More. More of what one would ask, Catherine Zeta Jones who is the spokesperson for the company - bring it on...

Thursday, August 26, 2004

Clumsy Clumsy


Here's a question for you - are you a clumsy eater? I am. You'd think I'd have nailed that one activity down - 26 years 11 months and odd days alive, eating 3 times a day - I'd be proficient if not exceptional at this, right, right? Wrong! What's even funnier is that I've become clumsier in the recent past. And it's always the last bite, darn 'em last morsels! :D

Here's a breakdown for you - As the meal winds down, I look at my clothes and marvel at how I've been so skilled, at how my clothes haven't eaten with me. In thinking such thoughts, I jinx myself and the last bite, that I shouldn't really eat, does me in. Solution: When I've thought of how food's either in my plate or in my stumick is when I should quit - free for me and cheap for them :)

To Trust or Not To Trust, that's the Question


What follow are my thoughts on the question,

"When you break up, time and space can heal most things. However, why does it leave you feeling so bitter?"

This update is in email form (I wrote to a friend about this) and I have preserved most of the content as is, just removing any trace of who I was addressing. Read on...

One of my friends said this to me once during our third year at BITS. He was distraught after his girlfriend had broken up with him:
Wounds heal,
Scars go away,
Love Hurts...
But honestly, we know this before we fall in love/date/whatever. Problems arise when we break up maybe because we take ourselves too seriously and wonder why things went wrong. It happened, shit happens - to the best of us. You might deny this but it's in our nature to move on though - we eventually adapt and move on. The thing to note though is that we always over-estimate the emotional impact of our actions because we want to brace ourselves for the worst.

Why we choose to not trust again is a defence mechanism for self-preservation. No one likes to be hurt ergo, we shield ourselves to the point that we miss golden opportunities. The truth really is we are going to be hurt at some point or time in our life; that's what life brings - hurt and pain along with joy and happiness. It's all a give and take. But to let a relationship dictate all future ones is "your" biggest loss. This is a vagary of life, though the past shouldn't really influence the future, it does. And it's plain unfair to the new people who come in your life - the fact that your interactions with them are not purely based on their interactions with you but are based on your interactions with a phantom being that they can't recognize or fight. In the end, you gotta pick your battles. And really, you are mean, suspicious, etc to the new people you meet just because you wonder what the ulterior motives of the person are - when there might not actually be any.

A phase of introspection and motive-questioning is paramount but the faster you get out of it, the better off you are. Constant questioning isn't going to take you anywhere except down the road to Cynic-ville. Think of it like this - if you let your past relationship dictate what you do in the future, you have in effect handed victory to your old partner on a platter. Everyone wants to leave behind a train wreck, it's an ego boost to make a lasting impression. Solution: Take a chill pill and go with the flow and enjoy the ride with all it's ebbs and highs. At least you didn't watch the flow from the banks and wondered what it would be like to ride along.

Wednesday, August 25, 2004

Skykomish River Adventure - June 20 2004

:Link to Article:
I finally uploaded a slideshow of our brush with death rafting down the Skykomish River - Enjoy! :link: Now I know Surd's gonna complain about my not uploading the pictures from SanFran but I will, latest EOD tomorrow...

Tuesday, August 24, 2004

How to make "WHY" Suxxor less...


WHYs suxxor so much because you seem to not have answers to them questions. That's really not true, stop kidding yourself. You actually know why you are experiencing something, why you did something and most often, why you are unhappy. Of course, there are those events that you really don't have any answers to - the passing away of a near and dear one, natural disasters - earthquakes, floods, fires, why you were born who you are - rich, poor, handsome, ugly, smart, dumb, etc, etc.

Hmm, so maybe I'm onto something here.

Category 1: WHYs you know the answer to but are too afraid to face the reality that the answer presents you with. I can't help you with this; you need to go see a shrink so you can confront your fears. Don't be misguided into thinking that the problems will go away or someone else can solve 'em - only you can help yourself here (I should read what I'm writing coz I'm plagued by situations like these too).

Category 2: WHYs that are totally out of your control, not in your purview to decide when, where and why they occur. You gotta let these go, accept them for what they are and continue on with life. Cest La Vie - random atoms, random events - just go along for the ride. You're alive, make the most of it.

Another side to the Olympic games


And you thought the games were all about sportsmanship? Think again, my friend, 1000 athletes, in their prime assembled at one location with no restrictions, no boundaries. It's not that much of a stretch to see where this going...

Read:
1. SI.com - Games athletes to be given free condoms
2. Let the games begin

Just a snippet to get you going:
"You can contact any athlete, even if you don’t know them at all," says Buechel. "They give you a list when you get there. Everybody uses it. I saw this beautiful ski racer, from Greece of all places. She had the most beautiful eyes I had ever seen. I saw her at the village and sent her an e-mail, in English. Her reply was very short: ‘Not good English. Want meet you.’"
Time to move to some obsure country and join their Olympic team because it's a known fact that:
An invisible two-caste system of Olympic athletes feeds the randy village dynamic. "The reason there is so much distraction in the village is because there are two kinds of athletes there," says Maurice Greene, the American sprinter who took two golds in Sydney. "You have Olympians and Olympic tourists. The Olympians are there to win. But, let’s face it, there are other athletes who know they have no chance; they’re just there for the experience."

The athletic tourists - from more than 200 countries - are in the vast majority. "Athletes who are knocked out early have basically a two-week, all-expenses-paid vacation with nothing to do," says American shot-putter John Godina, a silver medallist in Atlanta. "And that’s when things happen."
More incentive to represent your country, I'd do it in a heartbeat - now there's the question of being good enough :)

Monday, August 23, 2004

Why "WHY" Suxxors


So really, whoever solved anything by answering a "Why". And what is the upshot of finding such an answer? People read books on spirituality, on the meaning of life and its origins, read the ramblings of obscure gurus just to find answers to WHY. Has it not occurred to people that they don't know for a reason. I for one don't need to have an answer to all the WHYs anymore - maybe it is because this is how it is supposed to be ala Cest La Vie. Why find out WHY, why not just accept things for what they are? More WHYs and still no answers - I rest my case... Maybe not - read on!

If we just go on with our lives rather than waste cycles on figuring out WHY, we just might find the answer that eluded us earlier. Speaking from experience, everytime I've looked back at a situation, I've understood why I did what I did or thought what I thought - hindsight's periscope assisting more than anything else. If you wonder why you are here, why the earth revolves around the sun, why, why, why - just get over it and do something that actually makes you money. Will thinking about WHY help you find an answer - NO, it'll confuse you further. Will thinking about WHY make you money - NO, you might actually get fired. So what is it that you should do? I don't know, just keep it real :) But I'm sure you can definitely do something better than reading this blog ;)

And the INGREDIENTS are...


Here's my home-brewed recipe for an action-packed weekend:

1. 2 days, 3 nights :)
2. 7 hours of work
3. Chilled out Friday night in front of the tele
4. Chai and Pakoda on a rainy day
5. A game of tennis just before the rain comes pouring down
6. Drinks with friends
7. Chole Bathure and family warmth

And finally, a great week of work to look forward to (this doesn't materialize most weeks for me but what the heck). And before I leave, what is life without your praendz pulling your leg about everything under the sun and being so wrong ;)

Sunday, August 22, 2004

Annual Reviews...


It's that time of the year again, when you find out how you did compared to your peers this past year at work. Interestingly enough, I also tend to find out how my friends did in their respective reviews and I would be lying if I said that I envied my friends who did very well, who had their desires fulfilled and will be richer through this coming year. With that said, I have no expectations from this review at all - but it's not easy to stomach a tepid review. First up, I switched teams and second up, work in this new team has been wishy-washy given the number of re-architectures and re-orgs our team has gone through. What does this to my motivation - I don't know. Is moving teams a good idea - I don't know. What I do know is that I have to lift myself out of this situation and work like I used to again - be motivated, be positive and keep myself sharp.

On to other work-related things... It's so easy to be distracted at work when there is precious little to be done that actually interests me. How do I balance out distractions with real work? I ask the question so I can get some answers from you guys out there that are reading this. Do you keep a count of how many hours you actually worked in each day, do you not surf the web, do you not... What is your working scheme, what algorithm has worked for you? If it worked for you, maybe a variant of it will work for me - I need to find something that works or else I'll stay perenially down and out! And yes, you can post Anonymously...

Thursday, August 19, 2004

Polymorphism & Virtual Functions

:Link to Article:
And here's a great :link: to read if you want to know more about how Virtual Functions are implemented in C++. One task done for the day. Might read this in greater depth this evening...

What a good night's sleep can do for you


Take a normal guy; throw in three hours of sleep, a trip to the airport, some spec reading, some code writing, some NeillC enlightenment, some discord, some accord, some making up and what do you get - an exhausted guy in dire need of a good night's rest. And when the guy wakes up the next morning after nine hours of shut eye, what do you get? A super happy guy with a beaming smile on his face. Replace guy with Manoj and what do you have? A happy Manoj :)

I have a long day at work today; need to write more code but am looking forward to it. Also need to research Virtual Function tables - yippee...

Tuesday, August 17, 2004

Variable sized struct allocation in C


I learnt something today about how to allocate variable sized structures and the use of the FIELD_OFFSET macro in Windows. Here's an example:

One way of defining a variable sized structure is:

typedef struct _VAR_SIZED_STRUCT {
int a;
int b;
char var[1];
} VAR_SIZED_STRUCT, *PVAR_SIZED_STRUCT;

For the sake of example, say the size of the char array needed is 100, you can allocate memory for the structure using the FIELD_OFFSET macro like so:

PVAR_SIZED_STRUCT varStruct = ( PVAR_SIZED_STRUCT) malloc( FIELD_OFFSET( VAR_SIZED_STRUCT, var[100]));

You could also define the char var as a ZERO sized array.

Wedding Bells are here again


My sister Rachna is going to get married in February. Yippeee Yea Yea! I'm next in line... Baby, baby, baby!

The key to happiness - food, work and yoga ;)


Is letting go - isn't it? :) So I have forgiven! I can't be unhappy, life's too short!

Must talk about this evening's yoga session - it started off with simple breathing and evolved into an excrutiatingly challenging yet enjoyable class, the instructor gradually raising the level of difficulty as the clock ticked on. Showered, shaved and went over to Geni's place to give her some company through her stomach virus (food poisoning is my hunch) before returning home and browsing the web aimlessly.

The Led Zeppelin tunes being belted out by my iPod are gonna keep me company while I bite into a healthy late night meal before hitting the sack. Have a good week all...

Monday, August 16, 2004

Forgiving and forgetting


Isn't something I am cut out for. I hardly ever get mad but when I do, somehow things are never restored to their initial state. It's a facet of my character that I've tried to change but have realized it's a losing battle and have surrendered to the vagaries of who I am. Time does iron out the initial differences and things become 95% ok so that's some consolation...

Weirdly enough, it usually is small stuff, small fights that make me sit up and notice. Isn't it counter-intuitive that small skirmishes reveal large things about people and their impressions of who you are? Why do I say this? It's because small situations let you actually notice people's behaviour under duress. Huge situations are over-whelming and you miss out on the nuances. Warped thinking or too much thinking, I'll never know! Any thoughts...

How many questions does this answer?


Its all pointless you know what i am saying?
Its all a collection of random atoms
Coming together to form random events
For absolutely no fucking purpose.
The ONLY thing you can do is enjoy the ride...

Tenacity, or the lack thereof...


Days like today shouldn't occur too often or else, I'd lose the ability to appreciate their occurrence. Wistfulness, exhaustion, bliss, happiness and melancholy - the whole gamut of emotions intermittently enveloped me through the day. Woke up around noon, watched some TV with Karan, ate (a little too much food) at Pabla's Indian Cuisine, shopped at the Bellevue Square Mall and drove back to Renton. I don't know what came over me but I was overwhelmed enough to snag some zzz's in the evening.

I woke up in a queer mood, partially exhausted and completely socialized out. The list of things to do is growing with the passage of each day but now I don't want to get things done. Familiar story?? All in all, despite the silver linings, this wasn't exactly the weekend I was hoping for but one's gotta learn to deal with curve balls and maybe even dodge some.

Maybe I need to be more tenacious and not let things come in the way of my having a good time. Or maybe I just need to go out and hit a tennis ball around - whatever it takes, I need to get out of this stupor - Amen!

Saturday, August 14, 2004

Money...


so they say
Is the root of all evil today
But if you ask for a rise, it's no surprise
that they're giving none away
Geni and I hardly ever argue but the one thing that divides us down the middle is money. And it isn't huge sums of money, it's meagre amounts, which is what makes this suck even more. What a way to end such a happy week - I'm going to go hang with the boys now and maybe go see what Rohita is up to before going to an India Independence Day celebration.
Look around, choose your own ground
For long you live and high you fly
And smiles you'll give and tears you'll cry
And all you touch and all you see
Is all your life will ever be
Sigh...

Friday, August 13, 2004

Two lives and never-ending to-do lists


I twisted my knee a little bit while playing tennis but I didn't realize what I had done till later when I was in the jacuzzi. Iced and steamed my knee intermittently till most of the soreness was gone and then drove home. Was going to visit a friend en route but decided to just go home instead and hang out. And what did I do...

I made myself a sandwich with a boca burger patty, cheese and cilantro spread and watched select parts of The Dark Side of the Moon DVD. I spoke to a few people on the phone and then got around to doing things around the apartment that I had postponed for longer than I'd like. I folded laundry for the first time in four months and now, that's one less thing to do for this weekend. Lists, lists and more lists; I see them wherever I go - at work, in meetings, in the gym (my own exercise list/chart) and now at home too. I was talking to Tom about how wanton my days used to be as a kid - aah, how I miss them days of scant responsibility, no complications and the good life. Now I have to cook my own meals, pay the bills, buy the groceries, do the laundry, clean the dishes, vacuum my apartment and WORK - Hi tanks!

Thursday, August 12, 2004

Exhausted...


I walked in to my office this morning at 8:52am to the total surprise of Tom who couldn't believe his eyes. The first thing he did when he saw me was look at the clock on his computer after which he screamed out, "FUCK - this can't be true!" What a total cheap for me; both he and Dmitry had completely ruled out my keeping my end of the bargain, coming in earlier than 9am that is. Just proving them wrong was motivation enough to get in earlier than 9. And I was the bigger man and didn't even eat part of Tom's sandwich - that should teach him ;)

Spent the entire day in spec reviews, meetings and then an all-hands for Craig's org. Free food was the primary motivation for going, I knew exactly what I was going to hear. Great job guys, new hires, less budget, more work - you know the routine. Got out of the meeting and saw a matinee showing of Harold and Kumar go to White Castle with the boys (and M). I really had a fun time, sometimes because of the movie and other times because of Shabs, Wes and Mithun. To me it's all about the movie-going experience and with the right set of friends, even the most drab movie can become a total entertainer. Not that H & K was drab but it wasn't in the same league as American Pie or Eurotrip. Good for a lazy evening view at home but not one that deserves a trip to the movie hall. Unless of course, you go with your crazy buddies ;)

Tennis with Paul was a hoot - he hits the ball very hard and with a lot of topspin (he's one strong guy trust me - built like a rock) but isn't very consistent. Played under the lights at Grass Lawn Park and am finding that my tennis game varies a lot depending on my opponent. I don't think I've played enough to have a characteristic style of my own; I'm reacting most times instead of carving out opportunities for shots but that will come with time - Rome wasn't built in one day.

To sum it all up - I'm deadddd! My feet are sore and am gonna hit the sack soon. Good night and god bless...

Driver Watching DVD: Not Guilty

:Link to Article:
So really, is there any one individual to blame for anything anymore in the US? Or is the legal system so riddled with loopholes that a good lawyer can completely make a mockery of it? A human being lost his life because another was watching a DVD while driving and the accused isn't guilty? On the one hand I read all about how much life is valued in the US and on the other, I read this article - what am I to believe? Damn hypocrites...

Wyoming's Teton County No. 1 for wealth

:Link to Article:
It's not people in NYC, not people in California - It's people who live in Wyoming, in the heart of the country, Mid-westerners who are the richest in the USA. More power to them farmers and geyser watchers :)

Muwwwhaaaahaaahaaa


I'm going to make it to work before 9am, which means I'm going to earn 30% of Tom's Nutella sandwich. Hi Tanks!!

Wednesday, August 11, 2004

A Game of Tennis anyone?


Thinking up a title for updates is no easy task. You don't want to repeat yourself but there are only so many you can concoct to summarize random musings. My updates aren't about issues or about code, they're more like tirades and commentaries on what goes on around me. Do you have suggestions for titles?? Fine, I'll take some more time and think up some that make some sense myself but I gotta stop ranting about the title or I'll end up writing little about what I wanted to.

I've done two yoga classes this week and it's good to be regular with that activity again. This is my third month with yoga but the deliberation before finally driving to the Pro Club at 7:40 is very much there - should I go today, will it be worth it or should I just sit out and enjoy the sun. And each time, I've finished the class with a smile on my face. Maybe the post-class bliss is what swings the pendulum in favour of going instead of staying at work or on the fields playing ultimate. But it is a huge committment and can be hard to keep. I know some people who can't believe I've been this regular; what am I saying, I CAN'T BELIEVE I've been this regular :)

Hmm, Tuesday... Oh yeah, social Tuesday! I got quite a bit of work (liar) done during the day and so didn't feel guilty about having made plans to play tennis with Jessica, one of Mithun's friends that I met at his suprise birthday party on Sunday night. Jessica and I were in the same yoga class for an entire month but never introduced ourselves so it was strange to see her waiting for Mithun to arrive from the airport on Sunday night. We started with the introductions and the usual "aren't you from XYZ class", "Ohh you live in Ravenswood" pleasantries. I found out she was looking for a tennis game so we exchanged phone numbers to sync up for a tennis game sometime in the future. We had to wait only till Tuesday evening to play, sometimes the future comes pretty fast ;) Tennis was fun; I think my game has definitely improved in steady strides if not leaps and bounds. My backhand geezz, it's sweet. What hasn't changed though is the soreness in both my legs when I'm done but I guess I'm going to have to get used to that soreness - getting old is tough!

I dropped Jessica home after our game, showered and drove over to Rohita's for dinner. You know how it is when you're late - everything around you conspires to make you even more late. So I forgot to get my non-sweaty clothes out of the car, had to fill gas, hit every red light possible on the way to her place - I mean, the works. And of course, the cashier at the 7-Eleven had to goof up the transaction so I was stuck there for 10 minutes - how hard is it to ring up two pints of ice-cream, really????

Dinner was fun; we heard some tunes, watched some television, chatted about this and that - we exchanged stories from our times in Seattle and in BITS, I yanked her cord about her trip to Rome and we both talked about how women are O O C - the usual stuff. She's fun company; so what if she trips over small undulations in the parking lot and fractures her right foot - I mean, cut her some slack please people ;) I'm gonna be in such trouble for this but it's so worth it!! It's all goodddd...

Tuesday, August 10, 2004

Cartman for Class President in 2004!

:Link to Article:
Cartman for Class President in 2004!: "Everything 'hateful' that I've done in the past is, well, in the past. I learned from every experience and I'm going to use that knowledge when I'm elected class President. You may be thinking to yourself "Why do we need an overweight, racist, sexist, opressing bigot as our class President?" Well, guys, the answer is simple: understanding. You see, just because I did a few things in the past doesn't mean I did it all in seriousness."

What blatant lies... :) Cartman rules - cartman roxxors!!!

A new week begins


If I thought I would start the week with an early morning at work, I was completely wrong. After all the fun and frolic of the weekend, the first morning of the week was best spent sleeping :) When I eventually dragged myself out of bed, half the day had ticked by completely unnoticed.

I actually woke up around 8 this morning and turned off the radio and closed the blinds so that the shining sun would stop interrupting my beauty sleep. I was also a tad sore from the running and fast walking on the trail and I'm glad I slept because as I've experienced this past week, too much exercise without sleep screws up my entire day.

Got to work, helped Geni pick-up and install her new TV and got some work done on the Object Manager. Time to revert back to the LPC implementation of the logging infrastructure but I've also got to be on some spec reviews this week so it's going to be an interesting balancing act to perform. I'll report the results of my time management on Friday but unless I do something drastically different, one of the priorities is going to suffer :( Unless I work through the nights for the rest of the week. It's baffling how suddenly everyone I know (and that includes me) has so much work to do - it is a blessing according to me because I'm happiest when I get work done and have something to show for the week.

Geni made me dinner in appreciation of the help in picking up her TV. I want to give a shout out to Justin who let me borrow his SUV to haul the beast from Costco to Gen's apartment. I am really blessed with great friends here in Seattle, don't know what I would do without them people, honestly! Dinner was very tasty, green beans with potatoes, a salad and some vadai (South-Indian style) and I was extremely hungry after an intense yoga class. I got to take some home for lunch tomorrow morning too - yea yea! Speaking of yoga, Cathy is out of town and her substitute is a slave driver. She made us go into pose after pose with practically no rest between poses; it was akin to a session of power yoga and I was sweating profusely within the first ten minutes. I think the Downward Dog pose is a favourite among yoga instructors, I did it nearly twenty times this evening. I'm not complaining though, I love the fact that yoga is such an awesome workout along with being the calming force in my life. I don't think I want to spend a week without yoga, at least not for the next couple of months - I'll re-evaluate this when the dust has settled. Aha, it's 3:22 am so maybe I should hit the sack in preparation for a long day at work tomorrow. Ciao...

Monday, August 09, 2004

Daring Fireball: The Art of the Parlay

:Link to Article:
A very interesting piece at Daring Fireball explores the age-old question of Apple vs Microsoft; would Apple have been any different had it licensed its platform back in 1984. Myths like these must be debunked and the article shows you exactly how :link: - through astute analysis and some knowledge of computer history.

Annette Lake Pictures

:Link to Article:
Pictures from yesterday's hike have been added to the sidebar under Manoj stuff. Enjoy...

Long you Live and High you Fly


So Donna and I were hanging out in my office last afternoon when we realized it was time to get some new music. We have a Wherehouse Music very close to work so off we went to find us them CDs. I bought the first Black Eyed Peas cd and Karan bought a Bob Dylan collection and an Eric Clapton collection. Total listening pleasure for the next month; I reckon the Black Eyed Peas cd doesn't compare with the other two though. I have to say though, the jackpot find of the afternoon was the Dark Side of the Moon DVD :link: I saw the first part of the DVD, the actual making of the album, and had goose bumps, especially when I learnt of the intracies that went into making the album what it is. And it is my favourite Floyd album, the second I ever heard after Pulse - the album that ensured that I would be a fan forever.

I think this is a must have for any Floyd fan. The four erstwhile members talk candidly about the thoughts and events that inspired the material and the creative machinations that propelled the thoughts into hypnotic music. Wright, Waters and Gilmour play some pieces during the interviews detailing why the music was what it was - paying tribute along the way to Jazz, Country and Space Music. Syd Barrett received a nod too but in some ways, I am glad Syd went insane. Floyd is what it is today because of the departure of Syd and the arrival of Waters to the center-stage.

I can't do justice to the DVD in this single dimensional medium so I'll choose brevity and leave you to experience the DVD. I can't resist sharing a quote that rankles,
"Everything we did till Dark Side of the Moon was to become successful, rich and famous but once we got there, we were lost. We didn't know what to do next..."
All this as Clare Torry's voice envelopes the room...

Sunday, August 08, 2004

Just before dinner at Donna's


I can say this with a 100% certainty - this has been an extremely chilled out weekend. Right from coffee with Zeets on Friday to tennis with Zito to dinner with D to the hike this morning with Viju, Anu and Geni, this has been a total blast. I've had a couple of tough weeks but I think the worst is behind me. I haven't been this relaxed since my return from India and if I have to cling on to this with dear life, so be it. I've figured it out, the formula for happiness that is - food, music, friends, a couple of good movies and the great outdoors. The company of girls always helps ;)

Friday, August 06, 2004

No point bottling things up


In my opinion, some things are so much better just vented; venting gives you a means of getting over your thoughts and figuring out if a solution exists or if there can be extenuating circumstances. I'll say it, I'm an emotional person and I get that from my upbringing and close ties with family. With that said, I'm also a very logical person and know when logic should have the upper hand but I've learnt that unless I say exactly how I feel, logic just doesn't get a chance.

I was talking to Gundapps a couple nights ago and we both agreed that we were so glad to be geeks. I feel for the people who don't have work to fall back on to get over emotional stress. Though I have been unable to focus a 100% on work yet, I know I will get there sometime. I rest assured at night knowing that I will not become a total basket-case even though there is so much emotional duress. And really, what's the point of analyzing the situation anymore, as Donna said today, that would make this a case of analysis paralysis. Time to put thoughts to rest and be happy again...

Ayesha from New York tells me that not analyzing has been the secret to her happiness too. Maybe this is a pathological situation, I should stop thinking too and just go with the flow. I used to be like that, a long time ago and then, I grew up :) But no really, I go with the flow when the right flow presents itself so maybe I'm choosy.

Played Ultimate for nearly two hours this evening before doing a short workout in the gym. The game was a lot of fun since the two teams were very evenly matched. Attendance for ultimate these days is reaching last year's unprecedented numbers when we sometimes had twenty four people show up and we'd have two games simultaneously. Last Summer really was something else but this summer is looking up now. Time for ABCD BBQ - II in my opinion to get things rolling again.

Wednesday, August 04, 2004

What is a geek?

:Link to Article:
What is a geek? - I belong here, do you?

And another day ends...


But I can say with a certain degree of surity that I did get something done today - trivial in the grander scheme of things but paramount given my present context. The design that I came up with for the Logging infrastructure is like the silver bullet that will slay the Logging vampire. But wait, that's not the end of the story. After some thought and hard-selling through sheer technical prowess, I got buy-off on the Logger to do the uploading of the diagnostic events to user-mode also. This is immediately a visibility boon because I'm solving two problems with one solution - and I architected it, albeit with some inspiration from Karan, and that makes me proud!

Tuesday afternoon is a key session at work for me - it's when I have my weekly 1:1. The key discussion bullet for this afternoon was the Logging Architecture. After getting my manager excited about logging, I switched gears and discussed some issues that had been on my mind for a few weeks, both personal and professional. He now knows that things have gone awry in the realm that is my personal life and the effects this has had on my productivity at work. I also had some words to say about him randomizing my efforts causing me to lose focus and not meet deadlines and not deliver.

If there is one thing I've learnt from reactions to management policy these last two odd years is to avoid the randomization of the people who work for you. Not only does this stress them out but it also drastically reduces productivity, which works hand in glove with morale. To work for hours and days on a project without any tangible results, that's typical of the software industry. Compare this with the service industry and you'll know why geeks and software engineers are among the most clinically depressed and warped creatures out there. It's hard to turn off the introspective eye once you get off work because your brain has been in overdrive all day - designing a solution, resolving an issue, finding bugs - and we all know what happened to the man who thought too much...

Tuesday, August 03, 2004

Five Minute Free Form Writing Returns


I used to do this every night before going to bed as a student and when I first joined Microsoft but have become lazy since. Well, the resurrection of this habit is the first step I'm taking towards becoming more like the Manoj of yore :) But before I continue, isn't it annoying when you get used to the shortcuts in one editor and use them in another only to find that the shortcut could have catastrophic consequences. Take for instance, Ctrl+W - in gViM and Emacs, this deletes the previously typed word; in Firefox and IE, it closes the currently open window. So you can imagine the horror when I was done with just about five minutes of typing when I typed a word wrong and used Ctrl+W out of sheer habit. Of course, I haven't been using my editor at work too much because I haven't been writing too much code but I did write a fair chunk of code today - wooohoo - and not so woohoo! :)

I'm developing a solution for the logging infrastructure needed by our driver to log events that occur in kernel mode. Rather than choose a pull model in which the user-mode application queries the driver for logs, the driver pushes the logs to the application using LPC. LPC seems to be the neatest and cleanest way to solve this problem because it is inherently push based, the producer of the logs pushes the logs to the consumer who then processes the logs and creates a new log file. The key is to get the interactions between the various architectural pieces right and make the solution useful enough that it can be applied to the entire test framework architecture.

My five minutes have now elapsed, good night...

Monday, August 02, 2004

The Led Zeppelin fascination continues


I have many friends to thank for expanding my musical horizons; and it's to another friend that I attribute my obsession with Led Zeppelin this past month. The mix of trippy tunes, great guitar, lilting vocals and poignant lyrics has swept me off my feet. For the first time in many years, I feel compelled to listen to a band other than Pink Floyd. My current favourites draw from various works in Led Zeppelin's oeuvre - all thanks to Random Shuffle and Winamp. Praise the Lord for playlists :)

Are the Browser Wars Back? - How Mozilla's Firefox trumps Internet Explorer

:Link to Article:
Paul Boutin over at Slate Magazine has switched to Mozilla Firefox because of the recent spate in Security vulnerabilities in Microsoft's IE. But as has been proved by multiple advisories for the Mozilla branded browsers, here and here, no browser is totally secure. The advantage that Firefox has over IE is the fact that it is not tightly integrated into the OS so it doesn't have the concept of zones - Local Zone, Intranet Zone, Internet Zone. With that said, you are only deluding yourself if you believe that Firefox will protect you from all the phishing scams, viruses and malicious hackers out there. It's a great browser, easy to use and updated frequently enough to give you a strong notion of security but that's where I would draw the line...