Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Is Life like Baseball?

I have read many an analogy between life and baseball; as an ardent follower of the game, I've only now started to understand and appreciate this next fact of the game:

"... think of baseball—even the very best of the best might get a hit only one out of three times they go to bat, which seems pretty pathetic when you consider that the whole point of the game is to get a hit and players receive immense compensation just to get hits."

Could this be true? Yes it is... Alex Rodriguez and David Ortiz are inarguably two of the most prolific hitters in the American League today and their batting averages are 0.290 and 0.340.

Where am I going with this? I've realized that my life can be construed as a string of journeys to the plate; I struck out on some occasions, I reached base on some others and I hit some home-runs. There have been times when I've been stranded in the hole or on base but now that I think about it all, I have a radically new perspective. I'd like to believe that my batting average is reasonable, 0.250 if I were to venture forth a guess. And that's above average, even good! Hmm, I have reason to be happy and reason to work hard at getting better. And now, to bed...

Monday, September 26, 2005

I'm Awake at 8:30...

Maybe my conclusion is premature but I'm beginning to think that working out till late at night prevents me from going to bed on time. I've written on numerous occasions about how I'm groggy and fiesty on Monday morning, wishing that the week was over already. This is basically me complaining about not having had enough sleep on Sunday night, in a twisted way :) And I won't deny it, my not making early morning meetings contributes to my Monday frustrations!

So what did I do different yesterday? I desisted from going to the Pro Club. I have a tendency to squeeze in a work-out just before the club closes. More often than not, you can find me hitting the weight room at around 8pm on a Sunday evening. Don't get me wrong, I love working out but my timing is completely wrong for many reasons. First, everytime I workout late, I can't sleep for hours after I'm done. I've noticed that I yawn a lot during late workouts. And just about the time I'm done, at around 10pm, I'm fully awake and ready to take on the world. Second, I miss out on activities with friends because I'm usually in the gym. And third, I workout so hard that my body takes a long time to recover. If I don't get a good night's sleep, I wake up tired and cranky.

So back to this morning - I'm awake, sipping coffee as I blog and my body isn't exhausted. My knees aren't hurting and I'm ready to take on the challenges that this week presents me. My schedule could use a 2 hour shift so I wake up, reach work, workout and sleep earlier. I'm going to try and start today! And if I don't stop blogging now, I'll not be in time for my 10am meeting, so I'm off! Have a great week...

Saturday, September 24, 2005

Palm - Another Competitor succumbing to Microsoft's power

"Palm Inc. is expected to end years of rivalry with Microsoft Corp. on Monday and announce that a version of its popular Treo handheld unit will run on the software giant's operating system.

Any other company out there wanting to compete"??

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Manage Stress -> Manoj Happy

As much as I've tried to not get stressed at work these days, this past week has been high stress. It is a combination of insufficient sleep, exhaustion from working out and too many things to do that has left me with no desire to get out of bed and go into work in the mornings. I must manage my stress level though, and work on increasing the duration of time for which I can execute my tasks without feeling stressed out.

As of right now, the valve is just about holding it all in. Since I feel I am close to the brink, I'm going to take my laptop to meetings so I don't get bored and am going to take a deep breath before I react to a comment. For the long term though, I'm looking for an opportunity to get out of Seattle and catch me a break from my routine. I'd like to go to a familiar place though and just vegetate; hmm, Smitha's place in Boston comes to mind . You think if I found me a girl, I'd be less antsy?

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

6 weeks from Fat to Fit - Update

August 26th
Manoj - 189lbs
Arun - 155lbs

September 15th
Manoj: 178lbs
Arun: 155lbs

Deadline for reaching target weights extended to October 16 2005 by popular demand (and insufficient weight loss).

Monday, September 19, 2005

No week should start like this

I hung out with Geni last night and sometime during our conversation, I realized how lonely my existence was. I can't really pinpoint who said what to trigger the feeling; I just couldn't get over being all by myself when I got home. What made it even harder to deal with this new Low was the High I had been on all of last week. It's so true, when you ride a high crest, the trough is equally deep. I was so down and tired that I couldn't sleep till nearly 4am. Okay, something good came out of my being awake, I got a chance to work on the slides for the WTT presentation we gave this morning, but...

I woke up in a foul mood! Answered email from home while the throbbing in my head continued on before getting up and heading in to work. Not a good idea in hindsight; I should've called in sick because I really wasn't in any mood to indulge in constructive arguments or tolerate criticism and feedback. My patience ran very thin all day and at first I thought it was just cause I hadn't eaten 'nything all morning. Even after I ate a good lunch, the all encompassing exhaustion never left my side. When I finally walked over to Cafe 26 around 5:30 PM, I just wanted to get away and be by myself.

I decided to drive home around 6:30 even though I had a bad feeling about leaving this early. The irritating part of driving home early is I have to take the back roads because of traffic, which means lots of stops, turns and lights. I was coasting along, had avoided most of the traffic and was listening to NPR when the light on 85th St turned green. All the cars ahead of me started moving forward and suddenly, they all stopped.

My left foot had the clutch pressed in till it wouldn't go any further and my right foot pressed the brakes hard. The ABS came on, the car skidded a bit but I couldn't stop before, "BAM". Luckily, contact was made at approximately 3mph and the car in front didn't sustain any damage. The grill holder of my car got a little bonked but I pulled into the next parking lot and set things straight and avoided getting super mad at myself. What I did do though was practice stopping in such emergency situations when I got into my apartment complex. Though I can't do anything to change what happened, I have hopefully taught myself to navigate my car better under similar circumstances for the future.

Moral of the story then - trust and respect your sixth sense. More often than not, it's really clued in... And of course, don't talk to Geni :-) No really, call in sick if you must but don't go to work crabby!

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Words of the Wise One

surdbird says:

we;ve chosen te it the hard way

Manoj says:

we have?

Manoj says:

what do you mean hard way?

surdbird says:

well yes

Manoj says:

kindly give me fundaes Surd

Manoj says:

I confuse

Manoj says:


surdbird says:

as in when all the women in india we knew were blossoming, we were rubbin our asses with toilet paper in this country

surdbird says:

that's what I mean

Manoj says:

you are right oh wise one

Manoj says:

Kundi The Wise - that's your new name Surd Bird

Manoj says:

all bow to thy grace oh KTW

Saturday, September 10, 2005

Making Subjects and Verbs Agree

Common grammatical mistakes writers, including myself, are prone to making:

1.When the subject of a sentence is composed of two or more nouns or pronouns connected by and, use a plural verb.
Eg. She and her friends are at the fair.

2. When two or more singular nouns or pronouns are connected by or or nor, use a singular verb.
Eg. The book or the pen is in the drawer.

5. Do not be misled by a phrase that comes between the subject and the verb. The verb agrees with the subject, not with a noun or pronoun in the phrase.

7. Nouns such as civics, mathematics, dollars, measles, and news require singular verbs.

8. Nouns such as scissors, tweezers, trousers, and shears require plural verbs. (There are two parts to these things.)

10. Collective nouns are words that imply more than one person but that are considered singular and take a singular verb, such as: group, team, committee, class, and family.

In very few cases, the plural verb is used if the individuals in the group are thought of and specifically referred to.

Example of the Exception:
My family have never been able to agree. (correct)
My family has never been able to agree. (wrong)

You experience this yet?

I got to the Tennis Courts this evening a little ahead of time. Now this is a first for me, arriving earlier than I'm expected!! Good thing I was early, I needed the time to change into my workout shirt and stretch before the game. I turned the stereo up in my car, walked around to the boot and started going about my tasks. Wear Workout Shirt - Check. Stretch right arm to avoid tennis elbow - Check. This is about the time Mariah Carey's smash hit, We Belong Together started playing on the radio.

More than four hours have elapsed since and I can't get these lines out of my head,
Cause baby
When you left
I lost a part of me
It's still so hard to believe
Come back baby please cause
We belong together
Regardless of whether I wanted to experience this emotion, the truth is that I have. And what do you know, I have a friend who is most definitely experiencing this right now. Her ego is not going to let her admit this but I know better. What's killing her more than anything else is,
Who else am I gonna lean on
When times get rough
Who's gonna talk to me on the phone
Till the sun comes up
Who's gonna take your place
I hope she finds peace, sanity and composure over the coming weeks. It totally sucks to be emotionally unstable, says the guy who's had it rough in the past...

Searching for failure? Try George W. Bush

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Lleyton Hewitt

Australia flag
Lleyton Hewitt

Country: Australia
Birth Date: 24 February 1981
Birthplace: Adelaide, Australia
Residence: Adelaide, Australia
Height: 5 ft. 11 in. (1.8 metres)
Weight: 150 lbs. (68.2 kilos)

He's 5ft 11in. tall but weighs only 150 lbs. I'm 5 ft. 10in. tall and weigh 182lbs. He's a professional tennis player, ranked 3rd in the world; I'm fat :-)

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

The Internet is a Curse

I can't sleep anymore - Must get daily Internet fix. Must read G E E K stuff. Must keep eyes open and stare blankly into laptop display. Must stop blogging now...

Defensive programming - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Now that I have the Internet at home, I've started reading up topics of interest to me at Wikipedia. This paragraph in the article on Defensive Programming made me think of a conversation I had with Karan last week when we were talking about cleaning up the test source tree. The entire article is an interesting read in my opinion, and here is the paragraph that triggered the memory:
Within functions, you may want to double check that you are not referencing something that is not valid (i.e., null) and that array lengths are valid before referencing elements with indexes on all temporary/local instantiations. A good heuristic is to not trust the libraries you did not write either. So any time you call them, check what you get back from them. It often helps to create a small library of 'asserting' and 'checking' functions to do this along with a logger so you can trace your path and reduce the need for extensive debugging cycles in the first place.

Sunday, September 04, 2005

Things you have to believe to be a Republican today

  1. Being a drug addict is a moral failing and a crime, unless you're a conservative radio host. Then it's an illness and you need our prayers for your recovery.

  2. The United States should get out of the United Nations, and our highest national priority is enforcing U.N. resolutions against Iraq.

  3. "Standing Tall for America" means firing your workers and moving their jobs to India.

  4. A woman can't be trusted with decisions about her own body, but multi-national corporations can make decisions affecting all mankind without regulation.

  5. Jesus loves you, and shares your hatred of homosexuals and Hillary Clinton.

  6. The best way to improve military morale is to praise the troops in speeches while slashing veterans' benefits and combat pay.

  7. Group sex and drug use are degenerate sins unless you someday run for governor of California as a Republican.

  8. If condoms are kept out of schools, adolescents won't have sex.

  9. A good way to fight terrorism is to belittle our long-time allies then demand their cooperation and money.

  10. HMOs and insurance companies have the interest of the public at heart. Providing health care to all Iraqis is sound policy. Providing health care to all Americans is socialism.

  11. Global warming and tobacco's link to cancer are junk science, but creationism should be taught in schools.

  12. Saddam was a good guy when Reagan armed him, a bad guy when Bush's daddy made war on him, a good guy when Cheney did business with him, and a bad guy when Bush needed a "we can't find Bin Laden" diversion.

  13. The public has a right to know about Hillary's cattle trades, but George W. Bush's driving record is none of our business.

  14. You support states' rights, which means Attorney General John Ashcroft can tell states what local voter initiatives they have a right to adopt.

  15. Government should relax regulation of Big Business and Big Money but crack down on individuals who use marijuana to relieve the pain of illness.

  16. What Bill Clinton did in the 1960s is of vital national interest, but what G.W. Bush did in the '80s is irrelevant.

  17. Trade with Cuba is wrong because the country is communist, but trade with China and Vietnam is vital to a spirit of international harmony.

Songs and Memories

Memories of a time in my life are often triggered by a song that I hear from that time; it's an unconscious association my mind makes between the two. Often times, the memory is of a person I heard the song with; other times, the memory is of a phase in my life that has in some way made me the person I am. A couple weeks ago, I was watching a movie when "I'll Be Missing You" started to play in the background. It was instantaneous; I transported back in time to an evening in Bombay at Three Flights Up. It was the summer of 1997, the track had just started making the rounds of the club circuit in Bombay. Aarti was dancing with me when the DJ mixed this track in and she whispered in my ear, "Manoj, dedicate this song to me". I walked up to the DJ console, made the request and continued dancing with her. Since then, everytime the songs plays on a speaker within earshot, I think of her and for an instant, I'm back at TFU. When I return to the present, it's usually with a smile on my face...

The Return to... Playing Racquet Sports - II

I got back from Rutu's this evening and decided it was high time I played tennis again. I haven't been on a tennis court since I played against JD two weeks ago and though I have filled the void with squash, I needed a tennis fix. Called a couple of people and found a willing accomplice in Ken, which I thought was lucky given that this is Labour Day Weekend. I was worried about my backhand though, which has been a work in progress over the last year. It's weird how that is the first shot I completely lose when I take some time off.

We had some long rallies during the course of a 75 minute hit at Perrigo Park, leading me to believe that we might be very evenly matched. Contrary to my initial fears, the highlight for me was my backhand, which towards the end became as consistent as my forehand. We played one rally in which Ken hit six balls consecutively to my backhand, each of which I got back. When I finished the point with an almost unplayable backhand down the line, my eyes followed the path of the ball till it fit the back wall. It was an ecstatic moment because that ball had hit the sweet spot and flown off my racquet, bella bella!!

I wanted to call someone and tell them about my exploits on the court today. I didn't because I couldn't think of one person out of the nearly Hundred I have programmed on my phone who would actually "lend" me a ear and be excited for me. I'll take that back, there was one but that's a non-starter; I'd like to have shared this with her but that time has passed.

The Return to... Playing Racquet Sports - I

I've started dabbling in squash again. I picked up the racquet a couple of weeks ago and tried to hit a few balls down the line on the backhand and forehand side. My shots are far from "perfect" but I don't expect them to be. I strive to play two matches a week, and hit against the wall twice a week by myself. The court sense isn't there, my feet don't know where they should plant themselves, my eyes don't know what to follow, my left arm is a nuisance and I'm not nimble like before. I've had my ass handed to me on a platter, I've lunged all around the court only to lose points, I've been virtually bitch-slapped by every opponent I've played since my return. And my hips and butt are sore for days after I'm done playing. It's a good sore though, a reminder that my body has forgotten what it is like to play this sport; testament to the fact that my muscles will awaken from their slumber and adjust to the new movements. I'm changing my stroke to put less pressure on my knees (right in particular) and I've learnt how far I can stretch my body. It's a matter of time before I can harness it's residual potential and start gliding rather than lumbering on the court; start winning rather than losing. But first things first, gotta twiddle my right big toe...

Saturday, September 03, 2005

Lazy Saturday Afternoon

This is the perfect Saturday if you ask me. Slept after reading some material on C++ last night; you read that correctly, I read :) I dreamt of some Generic implementations of Iterators, some random women and other even more random situations from work and my personal life from the past couple of days. Woke up earlier than I would on a usual Saturday but I have done NOTHING except chill! You can't do any more to make a day perfect.

Aunty made us some paranthas this morning with paneer in the filling, a deviation from her usual recipe for paranthas. We got out, drove home and were just in time for me to be present while an Internet connection was added to my apartment. In Karan's words, I felt welcomed to the 20th Century! The instant I get my Wireless Router, I'll feel welcomed into the 21st. Yippeee...

After picking Rutu from her apartment in Bellevue, we drove into Seattle to buy some cold weather head gear. The people at Feathered Friends were extremely helpful and made the purchase pretty pain-free. The purchases made, we decided to buy some fruit, wine, cheese and crackers to celebrate one of the last few summer days to grace us this year. When we left Whole Foods, we were armed with all we needed to celebrate at Rutu's. And now, I'm buzzed; wine and cheese consumed after a great Nutelle and Banana crepe while basking in the sun. Aah, the good life!

Thursday, September 01, 2005

I'm in Love


From yesterday's activities and lack of sleep. Many thanks to one Ashley who made me drive to Seattle and then cancelled the program while I was on the freeway. Even if I don't want to make U-turns, circumstances make me :-)