Tuesday, May 31, 2005

And someone said being an adult was fun


What baloney - being an adult is sucky sucky. Too much responsiblity, stress and too little time spent with friends and family. WTF!! Is there a silver lining? Not that I can see it; I sure as hell can see and feel that fat lining around my stomach - bhench!

Monday, May 30, 2005

Memorial Day Weekend 2005


Nearly half of 2005 is over; many personality changes, new opportunities, a trip to India to see another cousin get married, talks of my impending doom aka wedding to a yet unseen woman and many movies have made this first half pretty eventful. So what has changed? For one, I fold my clothes immediately after they come out of the dryer. Big one this is, trust me. Second, I use the dish-washer to wash dishes, not dry them out after I've washed them (someone's going to feel like they deserve the credit for this one). Third, I now pick up my mail every 3 weeks not every 2 - not good, not good! I end up going to the Post Office more than to the mailbox that is 2 minutes away - this has got to end!!

About this weekend now. Slept through most of it. Watched the Yankees get trounced twice by the Red Sox and saw three movies (one more tonight, an entry in the Seattle International Film Festival). The one that definitely left a mark is Facing Windows, an Italian film with English sub-titles on the rigours of marriage and the temptation of infidelity. I was lost at the end of the movie and I wondered about the whole institution of marriage and the permanence of anything, love in particular. Here's a link to the movie - you should check it out - Facing Windows.

I'm off to watch The Journey - have a great week.

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

It's not even 9am


And I am at work. Let's see if coming early (get your head out of the gutter) does anything for my productivity.

Sunday, May 22, 2005

My Head is Gonna Explode


- My new favourite phrase
- I have too much to learn and do in the next 10 days
- I have no friends
- I need to get some (I didn't say which head)
- ...

Hi.

Saturday, May 21, 2005

The weekends just get better


If every Saturday were like today, I'd consider my existence to be bliss. I dropped Karan off to the airport this morning, watched some old episodes of American Chopper, ate great lunch at Karan's, and it was only 2pm - that's usually when I wake up on Saturdays. Hmm, maybe there is some merit to waking up "early" on the weekends - I can actually have a life then.

On a whim, I called Matt up and he asked me to stop by on my way home through South Seattle. Some baby-sitting, long conversations and a couple of hours later, here I am, being asked to stay for salad and wine. Am just going to roll with it today because I need to get cracking at work starting tomorrow morning. Karan has left behind a whole ton of work that I need to ramp up on and get done before our next big milestone. He conveniently is away as I struggle to get up to speed with my new assignments - true friend he is eh? :) Enough of this, I'm going to stop being anti-social and converse with everyone else...

Friday, May 20, 2005

The art of forgetting


This is a very new realization for me. Not a realization actually, maybe just a new quirk. I don't remember things for too long, especially memory of new events and occurrences. There have been more occassion than one when I've walked into my team manager's office and blanked out - totally forgotten what I'd walked all the way to her office to say. I wanted to really blog about something on Wednesday but I can't remember anymore - damn...

Here is what I'm going to write about over the next couple of days - Revenge of the Sith, love and all that, Smallville and how super-heroes are doing things for all the wrong reasons, and the wonder of site tracking.

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

It's Monday again


I like it when I do a variety of things over a weekend, one of the things being sleeping. I'll get back to the issue around sleeping but first up tell me, have you watched the movie Crash yet? If you are in the mood for a good drama, you should definitely check the movie out - the intertwining of the lives of unrelated individuals will keep you glued to your as the plot unravels, with the stories all coming together right at the end - good entertainment. Wanna find movie information? Try google - they've really taken relevance based searching to the next level when it comes to movies currently playing in theatres. Just go to google and type the name of the movie you are interested in, for instance Crash, and you will be presented with :this: page. How cool is that?

So back to the sleep issue. I don't get enough sleep on weeknights; staying awake till late doing random stuff being one of the biggest reasons why I'm a zombie the next morning. As far tonight, I can't get sleep because I played a great game of tennis with Adrian late this evening. It has been three hours since we finished playing and I am yawning as I type this out but can't sleep without taking a shower now can I?

Work was pretty uneventful - I was in some meetings, I finalized some thoughts on a test plan template, I drank coffee - the usual. I would like to start doing some actual coding work, something I might get to do tomorrow given that I don't have too many meetings early in the day. Early in the day, damn, I won't get there before 11am. And I have continuous meetings from 12 through 6 tomorrow so basically, tomorrow is going to be a wash. :( Bogus work tends to fill the time available while real work always gets postponed to be scheduled for another day.

I had an interesting discussion this evening with our Director of Test and we're going to conduct a little experiment over the course of the next month tracking how and where I spend my time. I'll report my findings to her at the end of the month after which we will determine whether us lowest level managers are spending too much time in process related stuff when we can be better utilizing ourselves in actually testing the product. I'm excited.

Enough of my ramblings, have a great Tuesday...

Sunday, May 15, 2005

The Yahoo! Music Service

:Link to Article:
Yahoo launched their subscription based music service this past week without much fanfare and has been getting rave reviews. At a $5 monthly subscription rate (if you pay for an entire year up front - $60), you can download as many songs as you like from a database of a million songs to your computer or portable music player. The songs will continue to play as long as you pay Yahoo! your monthly $5 dues. I picked up this quote from Walt Mossberg's article to highlight what might become my reason to switch to the Yahoo! engine:
"So if you have a spare $60 this year, you want to try renting music, and you don't have an iPod, Yahoo is the way to go. If you love your iPod and want to collect music whose longevity doesn't depend on paying a subscription fee years into the future, stick with Apple."
I have a lot of music currently that I'd listen to time and again. I also have music that I can't stand anymore; it just sits on my hard-drive because space is no longer a concern for me. Don't get me wrong, I did like the songs that fall into the second category when I first heard them but the songs just lacked replay value and got annoying. This is so true of music these days, especially given my shortened attention span (and that of the people I know).

Which is why the subscription model will win this war, or at least that's what I predict. And what is $5 - 2 lattes? I sure can afford to spend that much every month to get the latest crop of music that's out there on my machine and my iPod-knockoff. Out of all the new tunes I rent, if I really like a couple, I can buy them for $0.79 each or download them from a friend. It's a win-win.

But wait, I have an iPod - these songs don't work on iPods. Damn realizations...

Thursday, May 12, 2005

Ring tones require etiquette

:Link to Article:
I've been in many meetings, presentations and brown bags when someone's cell phone has rung and more often than not, this totally disrupts proceedings. Isn't it common sense to mute your phone's ringer when you are in public, especially at work? Apparently not...
When is it appropriate for a clip of 50 Cent's Candy Shop or Green Day's American Idiot to play on your cellphone? What about an angry man shouting 'Answer the damn phone?'
This sort of summarizes my feelings on this matter to a T. I'm not without blame; my phone has also rung at inappropriate times at work but I make an attempt to put my phone into Silent mode while walking from the parking lot to my office. Tell you what, I'll check again right now, so should you.

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Eureka


I've figured it out, found the reason my workouts are thwarted (other than the fact that I hate cardio) and I'm putting on weight. Drum roll please... It's Peanuts, Peanut Butter and mixed Salted Nuts :O :O :O

Time to quit them evil, fatty objects - one more thing off the list!! Notice how nuts, any shape or kind, get you into trouble :)

Monday, May 09, 2005

Throwback to old times


Something that was triggered by the events of last afternoon deserves a mention. Like any story I relate, this one has a prelude, a body and an end. Here goes...

I watched The Empire Strikes Back on Saturday evening at Rutu's - the best sequel to any movie in my opinion. I woke Sunday afternoon and turned on the TV to find "Return of the Jedi" playing on Fox but there were too many ads for my impatient mind to tolerate. The Star Wars fix had to be taken care though...

Out came the laptop, the Star Wars DVD and what in my opinion made the experience - the headphone to stereo RC cable. Star Wars DVD into the Laptop's drive - check, cable connecting laptop's headphone jack to the aux input of stereo - check, popcorn in microwave - damn high protein diet. Relived all the light sabre battles, especially the one between Vader and Luke on the Death Star and enjoyed every minute of the action. I have enough anger, fear and aggression to already be on the dark side; a possible reason for why I idolize Darth Vader.

After the movie was done, I set Winamp to plays tunes at random from my library while I completed chores around the apartment. When "Is this Love" came on, I was instantly taken back to the eventful winter of 2001 and felt a void in my life like I did when I first arrived in Seattle. I stopped, sat down and reminisced as the song played out its length of 4 minutes and 42 seconds. Memories came rushing in that I had sealed in an envelope and stashed away. How naive of me to believe they were gone!!

Sat at JJJ's later that evening and did random stuff - attempted solving the Crossword and Jumble from the NY Times, had a brief chat with Ervin and drank coffee, all while it rained outside. The memories were back in their cubby hole by the time I drove down to Kirkland Avenue after dinner to hang with the boys. As I sang along with the Steaming Cats later that night, I realized that I have precious little to complain about – it's all good in the end.

Friday, May 06, 2005

RSS Demystified

:Link to Article:
I've been using an RSS reader for the last year (mostly) and most browser-based applications now have some form of built-in support for RSS/Atom feeds - the latest to jump on the bandwagon is MSN Messenger 7.0 (a coup if you ask me). Walt Mossberg explains the ideas behind RSS in non-geek speak but doesn't provide links from where RSS readers can be downloaded for your browser, so here's some RSS readers for Windows users:

If you use Firefox:
- Firefox has a built-in RSS reader
- Sage is a great RSS reader but works only for Mozilla based browsers

If you use IE:
- Tough luck (just kidding)
- Try :this cool new MSN page:
- Try Pluck

Now that I've armed you with some RSS related info, I hope I've made it easier for you to track your favourite blogs. Be warned though, reading blogs is a very time consuming and addictive pass-time and might eat into your time at work. Caveat emptor...

Thursday, May 05, 2005

555


- Cinco De Mayo - Another *reason* to drink
- A cigarette brand my dad used to smoke
- A very chilled out day at work.

Finishing up some work before signing off on Windows Update for the RMS Client. Got in a little late this morning because I was very tired last night. Adrian called last night and we played tennis for nearly 90 minutes in near perfect weather at the Grass Lawns Park. He is such a good player with neat groundstrokes and great agility around the court. I would have learnt simply by watching him setup and execute but he took it a step further by pointing out subtle mistakes in my technique; addressing some of them have made my shots more consistent and some rallies we played last night lasted more than 15 balls - a dramatic improvement for me.

I'm going to leave in a bit and hit the gym for a quick workout before a get together at Rutu's place. Might even head out to Sea Sound after but looks unlikely; I am pretty tired today.

Monday, May 02, 2005

Apple Beware

:Link to Article:
The OS Community in general and the Open Source community in particular is usually very harsh in its criticism of Microsoft products. The exact reason why I find this glowing review on OSNews of Longorn Build 5048 somewhat off kilter and very encouraging. Excerpts:
"I found Windows Longhorn to be by far, much more stable and fast then I had expected. My biggest fear was that I was using the bare minimum of system ram (256mb) and that I would experience a world of BSOD. It was completely opposite."
...
"By far the best feature I've seen in Longhorn so far is the new refined Search sans WinFS."
...
"Having used Longhorn for a few days now, I have to admit that Apple, needs to be worried. Longhorn doesn't even have a name yet, but it's by far the most promising thing to come out of Redmond in quite a while. With the release of build 5048 the bar has been raised, and so have my expectations of Beta 1 and beyond of this remarkable Operating System."
And things will only get better...

Sunday, May 01, 2005

Weekend ramblings...


As promised on Friday, I'd elaborate some on the happenings of the past couple of days. What better place to do this from than the table at Bauhaus with a view of the Space Needle. If you haven't heard about BauHaus and you are in the Seattle area, you gotta check it out; it's located at the intersection of Melrose Ave and Pine St on Capitol Hill.

Today has been a perfect Spring day; a balmy breeze made basking in the sun inviting enough to get me out of my bed and sit around in the lawns outside my apartment. Picked Rutu up a little after 1:30 and drove to Kirkland to meet Suri and Smita. Some coffee, some snacks and a lot of catching up and it was already past three in the afternoon. Surprisingly enough, the sun was still shining, people were still either biking or jogging or roller-blading and the sun made the water in the puget sound shimmer. I'm glad some things never change and Suri is just one of those things. He's forever smiling and always has some advice for me - this time around a lot of our conversation revolved around getting a bike license and on American Chopper.

I have a new favourite show on TV and it's called American Chopper. Yeah, I said it; the extreme masculine aggression, the intense skill involved and the very physical nature of the labour that goes into building a bike makes for great entertainment. Paul Jr. and Sr. (not to take away from Vinnie and the others) have magnetic personalities, Paul Sr. is a prima donna if you ask me, and their heated arguments, the tight deadlines and of course, the SICK bikes they build have me hooked to their TV show. More details and showtimes can be found :here:

I had no control on the fluctuations in my mood this past week. I was down for most of the week, Tuesday and Wednesday in particular and now that I look back, two reasons become apparent. The first was a definite lack of sleep, no wait, a bad sleep schedule. American Chopper airs at 2am every night and I stayed up most of the week till at least 3am to watch the show. Second, I'm sucking at tennis, especially during lessons. I've figured that I need to be good at something outside of work to keep me sane - I've quit the whole girl thing and don't play squash anymore so all my energy is focussed on getting better at tennis. My game is spiralling downwards suddenly and it's not for lack of practice. There are other forces at work here that are out of my control and it's killing me that I can't figure out why? Umm, I know I promised to not try and find out WHY but come on, this is an easy one to figure out. Maybe getting laid will help? :-) So says Amruta!

And finally, Hitchhiker's guide to the galaxy on Friday afternoon just didn't stoke the fires within. I took a short nap, ate a bar of chocolate, tried to laugh at the jokes but none of that left me feeling entertained. As I said earlier, the jokes were flat and the only fun moments came when the Guide said something about something or Marvin took centre-stage - that character was a rocker. Bummer eh - long on expectations but short on delivery, much like the first two Star Wars prequels. My friends seemed to really like the movie when they saw it later at night so maybe it was a timing thing. Going straight to a movie after rolling out of bed isn't that great of an idea - apparently!!!

Gonna head back to the East Side (bah) and hit the gym. Have a great week...