Friday, December 28, 2007

Thoughts on Game Consoles...

A few weeks ago, I mentioned a thought to Anand about the gaming consoles and their controllers. The recently purchased Wii has been getting a lot of attention from the three of us at home, and I, like many others in the gaming business, am both intrigued and amazed at how intuitive the Wii's controllers are. Nintendo sure as hell got it right; look at the competition - Six-Axis was shoehorned into the PS3 release, and if recent rumors are to be believed, a motion detecting 360 controller is in the making too. Nintendo though, has run away with the grand prize in 2007 - it can't manufacture consoles fast enough, and they've sold around 15 million of them...

To get back to my thoughts at that moment - what struck me as a potentially overlooked opportunity, in a sea of missed opportunities, was Sony responding with a motion detecting controller for the PS2. I know the hardware specs for the console can't change, but they sure as hell can sell an add-on (and make a killing in the process since the accessories are where the margins are) that adds the ability to detect motion in the PS2. Can you imagine playing a game like Grand Theft Auto (or Burnout which I think exists for the PS2) with motion detection turned on? There are wireless controllers out there already, so it shouldn't be too much of a stretch for either a 1st party or a 3rd party controller that sends motion signals to the PS2's receiver. The argument that this move would cannibalize PS3 sales is specious at best. PS2 is the highest selling console of all time, and this would definitely spur sales of the console in the casual gamer category - people like me who aren't into games like the God of War and its ilk. Nintendo has demonstrated that the casual gamer market is untapped, alive, and hungry for a great gaming experience. The PS2 library has some of the greatest games of all time - why not consider upgrading the gaming experience of the console to include motion detection?

Sony, wake up, smell the coffee!

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Mayoneez == Soos In Face

Short Form: SIF, Mayon

1. Like a Kux in Mouth, only in liquid form
2. You got Thrown
3. Something bad happened

Soos in Your Face.
Soos in Face?
You're a mayoneez!

Just so you get the order of severity of these terms:
Soos In Face < Soos in Mouth < Kux in Face < Kux in Mouth


Between You and Me or You and I?

While hanging at Jyot's this past weekend, I stumbled upon an SAT practice test and started doing the Verbal section. One sentence correction question had "between you and I" as one of the underlined grammatical elements possibly in error. I didn't think it was, but it turns out ...
Between You and I.

Between you and I? — Between you and I? — You should be ashamed of yourself.

First, the technical explanation: between is a preposition; it should govern the "objective case." (In English, that's a concern only with the pronouns.) A preposition can't govern a pronoun in the subjective (or nominative) case, even when there are multiple pronouns after the preposition.

That explanation should be enough for the serious grammar nerds. For the rest of you, think of it this way: when you have two pronouns after a preposition, try mentally placing each one directly after the preposition. "Between you" should sound right to your ear, but "between I" jars: "between me" sounds much more natural. Since it's "between you" and it's "between me," it should be "between you and me."

Ditto other prepositions, like for, to, from, with, by, and so on. If something is for her and for me, it's "for her and me," not "for she and I"; if Akhbar gave something to him and to them, he gave it "to him and them," not "to he and they." Try putting the preposition directly before all the following pronouns, and then use the form that sounds right in each case.

The problem probably arises from hypercorrection: it sometimes seems that you and I is "more correct" than you and me. It's not — at least, it's not always. Be careful. [Entry added 8 March 2005.]

Friday, December 21, 2007

Leopard is to Tiger, as Vista is to XP

I've seen Vista get battered in the press over the last couple months. Gizmodo published an article chronicling the "upgrade" experience from Vista to XP, highlighting the many advantages of switching to the OS released in 2001. As someone who worked hard on the Vista release, all this bad press truly saddened me, but what I read didn't really surprise me. Vista is a great start, but on release, it was no where as mature as the XP release.

Less than a year after the Vista release came the much anticipated release of OS 10.5 Leopard. The press went ga-ga (as is expected for an Apple OS release), and critics all over cyberspace gave the OS a 5/5 rating. 2007 has been Apple's year - everything they release has the critics gushing in their panties. It started with the iPhone, the iPod Touch, so let it be with Leopard. Turns out, Leopard is an even bigger turd than Vista. This is one of many articles panning the features included in the new OS.
Rumor: Dock made less horrible in 10.5.2 Leopard update: "If ever there was a poster child for battered features in OS X, it has to be Apple's Dock. Once a contender for system-wide notification, it has mostly been ignored since the first iteration of OS X. It wasn't until Leopard that spring-loaded folders were added. Unfortunately, along with that sorely-needed pop-up functionality came a hideous 3D look for the Dock, 'stacked content' folders, and the bizarre grid and fan display of folder contents."
After the initial euphoria died down, reports of people wondering whether Apple rushed this release out the door began to surface. For the first time in many years, Apple was accused of photocopying features included in a Microsoft OS release, and badly at that. The Dock, Time Machine, the new Spotlight infrastructure, the Firewall, Security Holes, et al have been much maligned and criticized since October of 2007. Apple is more agile than Microsoft in releasing updates to its products, and within 2 short months, the 10.5.2 release is on the anvil. As Michael Howard told me over a chat conversation, Apple had it coming. There is no place for hubris in today's competitive s/w industry, and Apple had better wake up and smell the coffee...

I am so glad I didn't upgrade from Tiger!!

Monday, December 17, 2007

What's Wrong With Windows Mobile: What's Wrong With Windows Mobile and How WM7 and WM8 Are Going to Fix It

Some snippets from this article, which I thought presented a very balanced insight into the Windows Mobile world. I have always contended that Microsoft needs to create a 1st party phone that becomes the blueprint for other phone manufacturers to mimic (or ignore as the case may be). The platform is very powerful, and the only way to showcase the prowess of the product is to highlight the core strengths, while keeping its weaknesses in the shadows. Now, to quote the article:
"WM's core suite of apps include IE, the SMS client, the email client and Windows Media player; all are sub-par compared other smartphones. There's a reason why the iPhone's browser marketshare is already 0.09% when the entire Windows CE family (which includes Windows Mobile, among other things) is only at 0.06%. Why? It's because nobody wants to go online with that version of IE. They'd rather wait until they get a real computer rather than trudge through WAP decks, insufficiently optimized versions of web pages and hard to use interfaces."
The matter of fact is, Windows Mobile can do just about anything you'd want it to do. It can edit Office documents, send and receive Exchange email, browse the web, chat on IM, give you turn-by-turn GPS directions, play music, watch videos and so much more. The features are there, but the experience isn't. Turns out, the Windows Mobile team knows it.
Let's see how this cookie crumbles...

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Disassociation as a technique to maximize your athletic performance

Dr. Morgan, who tested the method in research studies, said he was inspired by a story, reported by an anthropologist that, he suspects, is apocryphal. It involves Tibetan monks who reportedly ran 300 miles in 30 hours, an average pace of six minutes a mile. Their mental trick was to fixate on a distant object, like a mountain peak, and put their breathing in synchrony with their locomotion. Every time a foot hit the ground they would also repeat a mantra.

So Dr. Morgan and his colleagues instructed runners to say “down” to themselves every time a foot went down. They were also to choose an object and stare at it while running on a treadmill and to breathe in sync with their steps. The result, Dr. Morgan said, was that the runners using the monks’ strategy had a statistically significant increase in endurance, doing much better than members of a control group who ran in their usual way.

That, in a sense, is the trick that Paula Radcliffe said she uses. Ms. Radcliffe, the winner of this year’s New York City Marathon, said in a recent interview that she counts her steps when she struggles in a race. “When I count to 100 three times, it’s a mile,” she said. “It helps me focus on the moment and not think about how many miles I have to go. I concentrate on breathing and striding, and I go within myself.”
I do this subconsciously when I feel like I can't go on any more. My technique - count my breathes till a 100, and repeat. That focuses me on the task at hand, on the current moment, not on how many miles I have left to go. Do you have a similar technique? As apocryphal as the conclusion from the Tibetan monks story might appear, the strategy works for me. Two things help me go longer - dissociation and endorphins - but I know when to stop...

Monday, December 10, 2007

Twenty days till lift-off

Am headed home again in a few weeks, but before I go, I have so much
to do! Might spend New Year's eve on a plane, but that might augur
well for the future. Maybe my job will suddenly involve travelling.
Who knows!!

If things proceed as they are, it will be hard to keep my parents at
bay this time around. Let's see how this cookie crumbles. For the
moment, it has been frigid in Seattle the past couple days, with
temperatures hovering around freezing. The promise of sun in less than
a month is going to make it easier to live through this winter.


Wednesday, December 05, 2007

God's Gift to Mankind...

Just click the link: Gisele.

'Nuff said!?!

First post from my iPhone

In a meeting.
Unhealthiest food possible right in front of me.
Can't eat simple carbs like this.
Must control...
Ran two miles yesterday.
Climbed stairs for 12.
No bread, pasta, rice is so difficult.
Need chicken kabobs!

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Snow Day in Seattle, Dec 1 2007

Snow Day Dec 1 07 003, originally uploaded by jhatax.

The best way to start December off!!

Monday, December 03, 2007

Hunger definitely strikes at 4pm

Jeff and his girlfriend Katie are trying out the South Beach Diet. Like all diets these days, this one is divided into phases; Phase 1 - deny your body all simple carbohydrates, grains, etc. Phase 2 - slowly re-introduce some simple carbohydrates from fruit back into your diet. Phase 3 - Become Rich! No?!?

In my opinion, the trick is to avoid simple carbohydrates if possible, keep your caffeine intake to 1 cup of coffee a day, and drink a lot of water. A friend of mine commented last evening on why Americans tend to eat so much junk food - it's because real food is so expensive. Canned fruit is so bad compared to the real deal, but it comes at a fraction of the price, and isn't subject to the vagaries of season. Want Peaches in Winter, go to the Canned Fruit aisle - easy as pie...

I threw together a really tasty stir fry last night, and since that moment, I've made a conscious effort to cut out as many carbohydrates from my diet as I possibly can. It's so fucking hard though, especially between 4 and 6 pm!! There has to be an easier way that doesn't include surrendering to Obesity. Train for a 1/2 marathon???

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Killer Instinct and Sports

It is absolutely essential to go for the jugular in Sport when the opportunity presents itself. In a tight match, its not a difference in skill level that determines the eventual winner; the winner is the one that gains momentum and doesn't let go when the opponent suffers a lapse in judgment. This ability to ride the momentum out to a win by going for the jugular is also known as a Knockout punch. If you don't capitalize on a momentum switch, the tide usually turns against you, and that's the end of the match. There are very few second chances in a close match...

The Seattle Seahawks have been fortunate in their last two outings to get a second chance at sealing the deal. A lot has been written about this team's inability to deliver the "Knockout" punch when they are ahead. Their 8-4 win-loss record could have easily been 10-2, had they not left a window open for their opponents to fashion a comeback. I watched with astonished eyes as we lost to the 49ers in the final seconds due to conservative play calling and an incompetent hand-off. As the commentators said today, the Seahawks pussyfoot through the final few minutes of a game when they are leading, instead of driving their opponents into the ground. Compare this with the Patriots, who go for it on 4th down even when they are leading by more than 10 points. Something about the passive-aggressive attitude of the Seattle populace is visible in the attitude of the Seahawks players on the field. Someone needs to remind them that sports isn't about being polite; there are no points awarded for being a gentleman in Football. It's about time the Hawks stepped up and grabbed the game by its horns.

The Best Time to Score a Deal on Electronics

The link author prescribes...
In my experience, the best time to shop at an electronics store is one hour before the store closes, preferably on weekends. Sunday is the best day to shop because that's when the new ad kicks in for the week, so check your Saturday paper for any early advertisements.

I personally prefer Fridays because you have a wider selection of products to choose from, and sales reps are in a good mood when the store is empty and about to close. Another reason to shop at night is sales reps start changing the price tags, as they prepare for the big weekend sale. That's worked to my advantage several times.

Tina tells me the real reason you'll find deals at the end of the night is every store has to meet a daily sales goal, so managers will tell associates to do what it takes to close the deal before the store closes. That's probably how I got a great deal on my Blu-ray player and my Sony Bravia, both items purchased on a Friday night.
Personally, my experience has been to play two big retail stores against one another. That almost always results in quashing any price gouging tactics by the retailer, and in a way gives some power back to the consumer. Good luck with your shopping this holiday season...

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Life between the Lines

Yoga in the mornings, squash in the evenings, and some work in between - that's how my days go by. I am glad that I don't have much time left to be on Facebook, or MySpace, or be at work finding new things to fix. The quest for the rest of the year is to locate, and possibly acquire some measure of Zen.

Sumeet and I hung out after almost a year last week. You know, my love (and appreciation) for friendships that require very little maintenance has never been higher. It felt just like old times with Suri - we ate dinner, drank coffee, and had a few glasses of Wine. I might've mentioned this meeting with him in an earlier post, but for some reason, it's not passed into the nether regions of my consciousness. The only difference between the Suri of yesterday and today is the philosophical tilt of his conversations. We both have wanderlust, and are slowly discovering that the rat-race is not worth running for too long. Life's about taking a pause, and ...

Got my first squash lesson in almost a year, and I learnt two new things. Two bad habits that were negating the gains my game had made over the past six months; thanks Azam! I am looking forward to the rest of my sessions with him before I leave on vacation. Oh yeah, something else I hadn't done in more than a few months is gorge on curly fries with my lunch. Just felt like I have been spending enough time in the gym to earn me a treat - a complete serving of them curlies. And they were so tasty with the chipotle sauce - Ummmmmmm!! Time to live a little eh? No! That's it for this week, except if I get my hands on a bag of Jalapeno Chips :)

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Christian Troy Endorses the iPhone

To the few of us that watch Nip/Tuck, Dr Christian Troy is the epitome of cool, an adonis whose tailspin into dysfunction keeps us riveted to the show. I know more than one guy who hasn't felt cheaper than when someone, a stranger usually, found a striking resemblance between the guy and Christian Troy. We want to dress like him, charm women like him, even fuck like he does. So when Christian whips out his iPhone in Season 5, it's no surprise that every guy that watches the show is gonna want one. I wonder if Apple had to pay the creators of Nip/Tuck for this endorsement, but I know that Arun's gonna be jealous that I have one!! :)

The Score to Date: Manoj - 2, Arun - 1...

If you've got cable, and you don't watch this show, you're missing out, BIG TIME!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Me and my iPhone

For better or for worse, my friends call me an Apple Whore. I'm a very atypical Microsoft employee - I use Firefox as my browser, my main computer at home is my Mac Book Pro, I have owned multiple iPods, and I recently swapped out my Smart Phone for an iPhone. When the iPhone first came out, I really coveted one, but I was skeptical about its keyboard. Not getting any tactile feedback while typing is an alien concept to me.

Aware that the 1.0 release of any product is riddled with bugs, I bided my time and pushed off the purchase for a few months. In the interim, I read every review I could get my eyes on, and everything I read pointed to AT&T being a fecez. I had been a happy T-Mobile customer since 2004, the biggest positives of being with TMob were the great service, decent phone reception, the best voice plans, and the phone selection.

It's been two weeks since I took the plunge into the iPhone realm, and using another phone now is a drag. The keyboard took a few hours to get used to - I'm a fast learner ;-) - and now my fingers fly on it, using the camera is a breeze, sending pictures via email or to flickr is damn useful, and the browser is beautiful. Here are my nits though:

1. Though Mail is good, it doesn't hold a candle to mail on the Smart Phone.
2. I can't save a Mail attachment to my phone - that's plain silly.
3. Give me a frickin' back button already. This is akin to no Second Mouse Button on my MBP. WTF?!
4. The screen gets dirty too easily (fine, I sweat, a lot)
5. AT&T is the network with the most dropped calls. Their tagline is the lie to top all lies!
6. Can't change the volume while listening to music by flicking my finger up or down on the screen.

With all of these being said, I'd still recommend that if you are an AT&T customer, the $400 price tag is worth the experience. If you do take the plunge, you'll be hard pressed to enjoy another phone again.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

People like Deep give the Mac a bad name

I am sitting here in Portland, catching up with a good ol' friend, and we start talking about his new Mac Book Pro. He starts to relate his experience about the love for his Mac, its display, the way it blew his mind off when he first switched, etc. And finally, the truth comes out, he thinks Mac peripherals are too expensive. "The power supply was gonna cost me $80. That's just wrong!". Then I point him to the fact that a Lenovo T60's power supply costs $140+.

To all you people out there that think the Mac is over-priced, and its peripherals cost an arm and a leg, take pause and research the cost of comparable laptops. Thanks for bringing this to my attention Deep. :D

P.S. He's sitting right here cursing me for relating thist story. All you bloggers, he says there is a reason why we have no friends! Go get him...

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Today is the Day!!

The day we've all been working towards is finally here. The Zune v2 hits store shelves today, and it has been a rollicking ride. I am headed to the Launch Party in the Bear Creek campus right now, but I'd like to take a moment to congratulate (and thank) everyone who was a part of this monumental release by the team. All you dogfooders, coders, forward thinkers, designers, et al pat yourself on the back.

What are the cool features of this release?
- Wifi Sync
- Wifi Send
- Zune Originals
- Podcast Support
- Excellent Radio Quality
- ...

Finally, the consumer can choose a product made by a team that actually "Thinks Different". I can hear the photocopiers in Cupertino whirring all the way up here in Redmond!

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Getting squashed on the court

Tuesday night is Seattle City League Night. Teams of at most 6 players in every skill category (A, B, C and D) all over the Seattle Tacoma area play against each other on Tuesday night. The league is like social hour; I end up playing and meeting both strangers and acquaintances, and had it not been for the league, it would be very hard to play against better opponents on such a regular basis. I have played against the Pro Club members so much now that I practically know their games, know what works against them, and have figured out how I can win, if at all. So last night, when I got a chance to play Jeff Evans, the Northgate team's Number One player, I relished the opportunity, and made the most of it.

In the lead-up to the match, I ran more, lifted weights, and ate healthy, so I was on top of my game. Turned out, I prepared a little too much, because I lost in 3 tough games to Jeff. My sole consolation prize was that I won the next 2 games we played but that didn't affect the final result. The rest of my team members lost their respective matches too, and the way things are going, the team might go lossless all season.

Now that the Zune launch is done, we have a week off to recharge, connect with friends and family (once again), and prepare ourselves for the next challenge - deliver a compelling set of follow-up features that increase the value proposition of a Zune purchase. This is a tall order mind you, because Apple is not going to sit still over the next couple of months. As I said yesterday though, the heat is on Apple for the first time in the Music Player business, and their response remains to be seen.

The stock markets today took another nosedive, which means my Microsoft stock is still worthless. Maybe greed isn't the way to go here - once the market rebounds from its current bear phase, I'll sell my holdings, and invest in mutual funds or in India. The market, and the dollar need to recover lost ground though, and both will hopefully sometime soon.

You heard about the Indian girl with 8 limbs??

Monday, November 12, 2007

Long Time No Post

India brings out the hopeful despondent in me - an entity that thrives on the radiant sun, basks in the warmth of the people around him, and waxes eloquent about the Indian experience on this wall. If my quest was for literary excellence, I'd stay back. Alas, that's not the case; I eventually return to Seattle, where for the first week after I land, nothing quite feels the same. Everything is simpler in America, more accessible, therefore one could argue, less *special*. A typical day in Bombay is spent dealing with impatient, rude, rowdy, impertinent, impetuous, lazy and down-right ridiculous people. The thought of a few moments of solitude, drink in hand, within the four walls of your quiet home help you look beyond the cacophony, and takes you through the day. Survival is tougher in India, don't get me wrong, but the satisfaction of having survived another day is stupendous as well.

It is exactly 5pm, and the sun has set on what has been a cold and dank day in Seattle. Winter is upon us, and a pall hangs over the daily proceedings. The volatility in the stock market has resulted in almost all the gains of the last week to be nullified, and in the lead-up to the Zune v2 launch tomorrow, things have quietened significantly at work. People are beginning to jump ship, and I will be sad to see some faces go, though I did expect some departures. Working on a project like Zune comes at a dear price, which at first seems commensurate with the quality of work, but for some, the cross is too heavy to bear. While I definitely see my future on this team, I need to take active measures to attain a balance between my work and personal lives. Till that is sorted, I can't rest.

The beaming faces on my desktop bring a smile to my face. The fond memories from this trip involved both friends and family, and I'd like to take a moment and thank the powers that be for my good fortune. Regardless of promises kept or broken, I've returned to the US with an even stronger yearning to pursue a career in India. I just need the stars to align, and the right opportunity to present itself to take the plunge. Who knows, this might help jettison the abject loneliness too.

Friday, November 09, 2007

K L P D - Hilarious

I just found this on Urban Dictionary, and couldn't stop laughing. All you folks that don't know what KLPD stands for, here is your daily dose of worldly knowledge:

hindi/urdu slang term for getting stood up or rejected by a girl.
Acronym for 'Kheray Lun per dhoka' (translation : Fraud on an erect penis)

bhainchod .. saali nay KLPD kerdiya

Wait, not only do you learn how to use KLPD, but you also learn that the other Hindi slang, bhainchod, can be inserted into any sentence. Much like "fuck". Oh crap, I dedicate this post to all the potty mouths out there, like me!

Thursday, October 25, 2007

When it's 35 Degrees Celsius

The sunlight pouring in through the open window, my auditory senses are enthralled with a melange of melodic sounds from my computer and garish sounds from cars driving by. Cup of milk in hand, I am trying to shake the writer's block away but my muse eludes me. The highlight of this trip has been its soundtrack - India is famous as a country of many cultures, but it gets little credit for being a country of many sounds. It is rare, even at night, for the bustling city of Mumbai to be quiet. Either my Mac or my Zune have been a constant companion during my travels, and when the sounds of the city become monotonous, I create a soundtrack of my own. Release your inner ZJ...

The adjustment to the new time zone is almost complete, and one of the objectives of this trip is reaching fruition - I am sleeping better and longer hours. As this process runs its course, the crankiness borne of sleeplessness will dissipate, and I should calm down. As things stand right now, I stop myself in my tracks when I sense myself slipping into my Hitler garb, but it's still not early enough to avert every situation in which I exceed my bounds. It's time I took a chill pill though, and went back to being Happy Go Lucky; I wonder if becoming an adult comes at the price of loosing some "Happy-Go-Lucky"ness. If that is the case, it's an expensive tax to pay.

TidBITS Safe Computing: How Leopard Will Improve Your Security

Any article that starts with this paragraph is bound to get a lot of attention from the Security community:
"With the release last week of the feature list for Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard, the security world is buzzing about some extremely important updates that should, if they work as expected, significantly improve Mac security and will make me less nervous about connecting to wireless networks in Internet cafes."
The big ticket security features mentioned in the article are:
  • Address Space Layout Randomization

  • Time Machine a la Backup and Restore

  • Application Sandboxing

  • Firewall Improvements

  • Application Signing

  • Guest Account that purges itself

Turns out that most all these features already exist in Vista, and though people on the web can claim that the Windows implementation isn't perfect, thanks to the SDL and the Windows Security Team, Windows is the pioneer when it comes to security technologies available in Consumer Operating Systems. The fact that there is no mention of the existence of all these features in Vista points to a double standard in the Technology Press. No one is calling out the fact that Apple has copied Microsoft, which is just egregious.

This round definitely goes to Vista.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

The Sad Truth - I am tethered to Email and Work

Work Email is omni-accessible - on my Phone, in my Office, over the Web, and at home. The sorry realization is that despite all my efforts to the contrary, work email has percolated into my very being. There is no other explanation for the cravings I experienced to read my email the first few days I made it back home. Come to think of it, this was an inevitable eventuality - I didn't have an Internet connection at home for many years, and while everyone around me was buying into the smart phone frenzy, I resisted and used the simple T-610 for as long as it was feasible. Then, I caved...

Back to the present - my steely resolve has mostly prevented me from giving in to the urge to navigate past It helped that I was in Bangalore for 3 out of the first 4 days I was back. The toughest phase is past me, and if I do check email now, it's on my terms!

This brings me to the oft discussed and hereto unresolved issue of work-life balance. What checks and balances can I put in place so that work does not travel with me everywhere I go? To those that know me well, it would come as no surprise that Sachin's wedding was just a front for my trip to India. I was close to my breaking point last month with the stress of my new job; the true purpose of this trip is to recharge my batteries and get some sleep. I haven't had much success with sleeping yet, but just being away from Redmond and the rat race that is intricately woven into its fabric has been detoxifying.

Monday, October 22, 2007

To Bangalore We Shall Go...

<This was written on the 19th but published today>

I couldn't sleep past 6am this morning; an expected outcome given that I had passed out around 10 the night before. My body clock stays warped for a day or two when I first arrive by the Arabian Sea, but within a few days, I am back to my regular shenanigans between 10 am and 2 am. Ready for the random fact of the day? If you use your laptop/cell phone in India, expect the keys to become sticky, and all white objects to turn a slight shade of brown.

I decided to check-in to my flight to Bangalore over the web, but I wasn't sure if the Indigo website would support this. I was pleasantly surprised with the experience, and barring the fact that I had to call the 1800 number to allocate a new pair of seats for Nikhil and myself, the operation was quite the success. I am sitting in this Bangalore guest house room singularly because of that bright idea. Read on to find out why; as for the airline, the site is

Complete co-ordination was needed between multiple members of the Mehta family this morning in order for two of us to be ready for our trip. Mom packed our bags with the help of Vikas and Tai, Nikhil drove to Nikita's to get a signed photocopy of her credit card, I got ready and guided the packing troops in their duties :). All was proceeding on schedule until I decided to pamper myself with a salon shave. Hey, it usually takes me 20 minutes to shave; considering I had mostly trimmed most of the hair down, I didn't think a professional barber would take any longer than it would take me to clean the fuzz. WRONG!

Almost thirty five minutes later, I sauntered into the living room, clean shaven and extremely late. The flight was to depart at 1:25 pm, and it was already 12:10pm when we left, which was cutting it very close. It is an hour long commute to get to the airport from Worli, and as the trip to the airport progressed, I readied myself to spend another 100$ on our tickets. Here is a play by play for your entertainment in the Manoj Mehta patented Mastercard-24 format: (12:15pm) Cab ride to the train station - 40 rupees in cash; (12:31pm) Train ride from Mahalakshmi to Vile Parle - 12 rupees in cash; (12:58pm) Auto rickshaw ride from station to airport - 50 rupees in cash. Arriving at the airport at 1:13pm and still getting on to the plane, PRICELESS.

Getting on to the plane took a lot of two things - praying, stressing, and a little help from 2 complete strangers. The first one gave us 2 rupees so we could buy our train tickets. The other was the rickshaw driver who hauled ass from the station to the airport; he drove on the other side of the road, blared his horn, ruthlessly cut fellow drivers, and somehow managed to cover 2.5 crowded kilometers within 8 minutes (truly a mean feat of Bombay driving). As we entered the terminal, late as hell to begin with, Nikhil wanted to check our bags in, which I graciously accorded as the stupidest idea of the day, vetoed it, and instead directed our attention to the the security check-booth. Imagine my surprise when I was told that we were at the wrong check-point - halle-fucking-lujah. An alert airport assistant noticed our hapless situation, and led us to the right security gate where things proceeded smoothly until the cop wouldn't accept our printed boarding passes. Nikhil ran out and called the Indigo representative, who stamped our passes while simultaneously informing us that we had arrived in the nick of time - any further delay on our part and they would have departed without us. Phew!!

Bullets of sweat flowing down the sides of our faces, both of us took our seats as the air hostesses closed the airplane's gate. Through the "arduous" ride, we didn't feel hunger or thirst because of the continuous adrenalin rush. About the time we took our seats, our tiny celebration of making the "cut" was rudely interrupted by both parched throats and rumbling stomachs. That's when we started requesting bottles of water, and by the end of the flight, the two of us had gone through 12 bottles (250ml each). One of the air hostess' saw us, smiled at us, and kept bringing us water, sometimes without our explicit asking - the almost instant guzzling down of the entire bottle of water clued her in to how thirsty we were, maybe! :)

Our welcoming party consisted of a familiar face and a new one, but not for an instant during the ride to the hotel did I feel constrained. Gouri seems like a good sport, and if her friend is anything like she is, Gundapps is a lucky man. My opinion is that you can't truly love a person without spending time under the same roof; given my confidence in my friend's ability to love, I think this is going to be a very happy union.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

A Heretical Yankee In King Manny's Court

I had two hours to kill before the start of the second leg of my journey back to the Motherland. Tired of reading yet unable to sleep, I decided instead to flip through the channels on one of the many HD TVs outside Gate 33 at Incheon airport. Once you realize I was in Korea, you can better fathom my surprise when I stumbled upon a broadcast of game 4 of the 2007 ALCS. An avid Yankees fan, I wanted to see how the Red Sox were faring against the team that vanquished my favourite Yankees. By the time I left to board the plane, the Tribe had all but sealed the game at 7-2, which made me happy. I didn't expect to get happier as another run was tacked on for the Red Sox as I stood in the check-in line, but the homerun by Manny Ramirez was one for the ages...
"the wildly eccentric Ramirez watched adoringly as his homerun traveled majestically through the night sky over Jacobs Field. Never mind that this only reduced the deficit to 7-3 in the Indians favor. Never mind that this capped back-to back- to back homeruns that included blasts from Kevin Youkilis and David Ortiz. Never mind that it was done in the national spotlight of post-season baseball. Never mind that it was one of the most impressive homeruns that anyone could ever hope to see."
The ball covered upwards of 420 feet, and was hit in almost dead center field, which is an accomplishment even a die-hard Yankees fan can fully appreciate. The Red Sox lost, but even if they hadn't, I can put my personal prejudices aside, and sincerely congratulate Manny on both the towering hit and his post season records. And hells yeah, I'd like to see him in a pinstripe uniform...

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Touchdown India

I am back in the Motherland, again! You'd think I was now habituated to the rigors of the travel halfway across the globe from Seattle to Bombay, but I am not. The exhaustion, the sleep deprivation, the distaste for airplane food, all those things never change. What I did change this time was how I spent my time while in the air - instead of wasting the entire time watching the TV screen, I caught up on my Economist reading, after which I solved a Quantitative section of a GMAT practice test. Nothing like getting caught up with what's going on in the rest of the World. Too bad most of the news is depressing!

While I speak about changes, Mumbai's International Airport has definitely changed for the better on a yearly basis. The changes are mainly cosmetic; alas, it is impossible to change the attitudes of the officers manning the booths or the fact that the carousel area is full of coolies looking to thug you out of your money for the most basic service, but I take solace in the positives rather than get worked up over the fringe negatives. The immigration process was a breeze - extremely efficient, and a far cry from the long drawn process it is at Seatac airport. Efficient isn't an adjective I'd associate with the baggage retrieval process though. The time I saved at the immigration desk was negated by the inordinate delay in my bags emerging from the aircraft. Now that I think of it, "You win some, You lose some", is a phrase that best summarizes my experiences in India. Let's see how this trip unfolds...

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Zune 2007

The fruits of all my labor since March 2007can finally be shared with the rest of the world. Here's the new Zune product line:

In particular, here are the features I worked on:
- Retail Mode
- Sharing and Community
> Podcasts can also be shared via WiFi.

The new line launches in November, and if you are in the market for an mp3 player, you finally have a real alternative to the Apple juggernaut.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

The Review System

I have waited more than a week since I received my last performance review, and the resentment towards the system, and the bureaucracy that drives it hasn't subsided. Essentially, the review deflated my enthusiasm, and completely knocked the wind out of my sails. I thought this organization was different from others because of the nature of the project, and the relative infancy of the team. What I didn't account for was the fact that most of the team was comprised of senior employees from all over the company. You can build a new team, attempt to coat it with a new veneer, but the proof is in the pudding, or in this case, the mindset of the people you staff the team up with. Old School employees of this company are cut from the "arsehole" cloth, and they are quick to form cliques wherever they go. If you disagree with their philosophy, you're growth will stutter.

Not like I haven't learnt a lot in my new role. Au contraire, my technical growth has surpassed my expectations. I am still prone to small errors, but who isn't?! What has dawned on me though is that I need to get out of this morass-infected system, and work for a company/organization that values my input, regardless of my provenance. Prejudice manifests itself in many forms - some overt, others covert. The denizens in the latter category affected my review, and that is not something I can ever stand for.

To start the 30th year of my life on such a sullen note was a wake-up call that mandates action on my part.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Dollar Falls to New Low Against the Euro

Investors dumped dollars yesterday, sending the euro to a record high and putting the American currency at par with the Canadian dollar for the first time in more than 30 years.
No more shopping sprees in Canada for all you shopaholics. There is something to be said about the falling dollar, the ricketing economy, and the generally lackadaisical attitude of the administration. Good thing the stock market is soaring...

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Look in your rear-view mirror Sox Fans...

... cuz the Yankees are hot on your heels. It's only a matter of time before you'll have to stare at the Juggernaut's tail-lights. This is a storied year for the club - from being written off for most of the season to being toted as the team in a renaissance year, this season has seen the emergence of the next generation of Yankees greats. Robinson Cano, Melky Cabrera, Joba Chamerlain, and Phil Hughes all herald a bright future for the pinstripes. The rest of the baseball world has been warned...

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Word of the Day - Frisson

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fris·son (frē-sōN') pronunciation
n., pl. -sons (-sōNz', -sōN').

A moment of intense excitement; a shudder: The story's ending arouses a frisson of terror.

[French, from Old French fricons, pl. of fricon, a trembling, from Vulgar Latin *frīctiō, *frīctiōn-, from Latin frīgēre, to be cold.]

Saturday, September 08, 2007

It's American to be CHEAP

I was listening to the WSJ "This Morning" podcast, and a story really caught my attention. Americans are now proud to say they are cheap, want to live below their means, and will drive the extra mile to get a bargain. Finally, the rest of America is seeing the light of a lifestyle that is synonymous with being "Indian".

I was surprised that a podcast by the WSJ didn't only talk about business and the stock market. Instead, the stories featured by this podcast cover a wide gamut of news categories. Subscribe to it via this URL:

Is Apple the new Microsoft?

The tide is turning in the technology industry. Microsoft, the most feared and revered company of the 1990s, no longer inspires the awe it once did. Competitor offerings have trounced Microsoft in select vertical markets. Google is the king of the web services space, and Apple has established itself the top dog in the world of digital media. Hitherto the darling of the press, and considered by many to be a true innovator of consumer products, Apple is suddenly in the hot seat. The dominance of iTunes, the iPod, and the mixed message sent by the pricing of the iPhone have left a bitter taste in the mouth of consumers, analysts and the press alike.

Regardless of how you dice it, the American populace has a thing for the underdog. I sense a brewing, and swelling discontentment with the status quo that could lead to a groundswell of support for Apple's competition. The biggest beneficiary of the move away from Apple would be the Zune; if positioned correctly, the Zune can ride the changing tide, expose a few chinks in Apple's armor, and challenge Apple's hegemony.
Apple not only "bundles" iTunes with multiple products, it forces you to use it. At least with Internet Explorer, you could always just download a competitor and ignore IE.

Not fair, you might say. Any hardware device that syncs data with a PC as part of its core functionality has software to facilitate that syncing. True enough. But operating systems have browsers as part of core functionality, too. Doesn't Mac OS X come with Safari? Doesn't the iPhone?

And "bundling" works. Steve Jobs bragged this week that Apple has distributed 600 million copies of iTunes to date. The overwhelming majority of those copies were iTunes for Windows. And iTunes for Windows' popularity isn't driven by software product quality. ITunes is the slowest, clunkiest, most nonintuitive application on my system. But I need it because I love my iPod.
Apple's reputation of being innovator par excellence is slowly getting tainted too. As PC World's Mike Elgan eloquently states:
Apple the copycat

Ten years ago, Microsoft haters complained that Windows followed the Mac OS to market as a graphical user interface, copying the Mac's features such as folders, trash cans, resizable windows and other elements. That complaint was repeated with each new version of Windows -- Apple was the innovator in the operating system space, and got there first with a host of key features. Microsoft just came along later, duplicated features that Apple pioneered, and reaped the benefit because of its monopoly power.

But who's innovating now? The LG KE850 was winning awards for its full-screen, touch-screen, on-screen keyboard before Jobs even announced the iPhone.

The best thing about the iPhone and iPod Touch -- the warm-and-fuzzy multitouch UI with gestures -- wasn't new, either. Various labs have been demonstrating similar UIs for more than a decade, and even Microsoft demonstrated a fully realized 3G UI in May, well before Apple shipped the iPhone. Microsoft will ship its tabletop UI, called Microsoft Surface, in November, and Apple will likely enter this space with a 3G UI months or years after Microsoft does.

And Wi-Fi in a media player? Ha! Microsoft's funky Zune had that almost a year before Apple did and SanDisk's Sansa Connect with Wi-Fi was released last June. Apple even stole the name for its iPod Touch product, according to HTC, which sells a touch-screen smart phone called the HTC Touch.
Apple is in the eye of a press storm, and as an investor, this could bode well for the short term. You don't have to be psychic to see a plethora of class action lawsuits against the company in the future. Only a study of past events would make you think that an anti-trust lawsuit against Apple is looming over the horizon.
A consumer walks into a local retail outlet to buy a Christmas present for dad. The Apple iPod "section" of the store dwarfs the section where all the also-ran players are displayed. IPod is clearly the trusted standard. The consumer buys a shiny new "Fatty" iPod nano with video.

Dad opens the present and is excited. He follows the directions, installs iTunes and immediately splurges on a few dozen songs at the iTunes store. He loves it, and is an instant convert to portable digital music.

The only downside is that he works out every day at the gym, where cardio machines face TVs that broadcast sound over FM radio. Six months later, when his iPod is stolen, he goes to buy another player -- this time, he hopes, with an FM radio in it. Several competitors offer this feature, but not iPods. He's about to choose a new player with an FM radio when it hits him: None of his files -- now totaling 300 songs and 50 movies -- will play on the new player. He bought and paid for all this content, but it only works with iPods and iTunes.

Apple has an iPod customer for life. Microsoft never had this kind of monopoly power.
Let's see how this plays out...

Friday, September 07, 2007

Sore Knees

need ibuprofen, or so I am told. I had my first taste of meds to relieve pain, and they worked. i hope this doesn't become a habit, and instead of popping pills, I discipline myself to stretch before and after working out...

It's a sad day for me though :( Oh big deal says my alter ego, 2 pills ain't gonna kill you!

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Apple's iPods for Holiday 2007

The Million Dollar Question

Can Apple roll out incremental features to its iPod line and get the market excited once again?

The Immediate Aftermath of the Announcement

Apple shares remained stagnant during the event and then closed down almost nine points. This on a day when the company refreshed its entire iPod lineup with new "models."

Did Apple just suffer along with many other tech stocks in yesterday's downtick, or was it something more? Apple CEO Steve Jobs has a wonderful way of making the world think each 'new' Apple product is somehow a first or one-of-a-kind, but most aren't any longer when it comes to the iPod line (save the iPhone, which is easily a revolutionary product).

Basically, Jobs trotted out the same products -- from the iPod Classic to the iPod Nano to the iPod Touch -- with incremental feature upgrades and more marketing glitz than a glazed donut. The market seemed unimpressed, all things considered. But, there's more.

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What say the analysts? The Stock Price?

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) will have to recover from yesterday's announcement of a $200 price cut on the iPhone. Analysts may have now to adjust models and maybe even price targets, although some, like Gene Munster of Piper Jaffray, think it's the right strategy. In the mean while, Apple will also have to deal with the wrath of the first adopters, the ones who ran to get the iPhone on the 29th of June, stood in line for hours and paid $200 more. If you ask me, Apple stands to alienate quite a few of its fan base, the ones who did buy the iPhone for $599.

In a phone interview Thursday, Pacific Crest analyst Andy Hargreaves said Apple's stock declined Wednesday due in part to people adjusting their expectations for the company's revenue and gross margins for the year. Hargreaves doesn't think the iPhone price drop will have a huge impact on Apple financially, because he assumes unit volume will make up for the price change.

Hargreaves added that the sudden price cut -- which is unprecedented for Apple, as it tends to add features to products while keeping prices stable -- might make customers think twice about becoming early adopters of its products.
"When people are waiting outside the store two days ahead of time it becomes a story and they get, essentially, free marketing out of that. If all those people decide they don't want to wait outside the store because they got burned last time, Apple loses that marketing," he said.
Also Thursday, Global Equities Research analyst Trip Chowdhry downgraded his rating for the stock to "Equal Weight" from "Overweight," saying in a client note that the company "is probably unlikely" to meet its goal of selling 10 million iPhones in 2008. Chowdhry also reduced his price target to $130 from $150.

Chowdhry said consumers have reported that the iPhone is missing some key smart phone capabilities like voice calling, and users have noted issues with AT&T's service that include dropped calls and very slow Internet access speed.

He added that some PC-using iPhone owners reported receiving rude customer service at Apple's in-store Genius Bars, after which they returned their iPhones. In a phone interview Thursday, Chowdhry said the price cut means Apple is struggling to get iPhone adopters. And those who already have them aren't happy about the sudden price decline, he said.
"People who bought the iPhone early, stood in the lines -- they are not smiling. They're feeling ripped off," he said.
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RBC Capital Markets analyst Mike Abramsky, in a client note, kept an "Outperform" rating on shares with a $175 target price.
"While the lower price itself was not unexpected, the speed of the cut - coming 68 days into launch - was a surprise; given our recent checks (this week) suggested sustained sales momentum," the analyst wrote.
But Abramsky thinks the cut will pay off in time, because it widens availability of the product, strengthens Apple (nasdaq: AAPL - news - people )'s competitive position and might drive users to upgrade as the holiday season gears up.

Morgan Stanley (nyse: MS - news - people ) analyst Kathryn Huberty likewise said the price cuts could generate strong holiday demand. She has an "Overweight" rating and $150 target price on shares.

JPMorgan Securities Inc. analyst Bill Shope was a bit more concerned about the price cut, saying it could be a sign of slower-than-expected initial demand.

"Yesterday's event gives Apple an impressive product line up for the holiday season, but it also supports our view that margin and iPhone expectations were too lofty," the analyst wrote.

He kept a "Neutral" rating on shares.

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Coupled with the ridiculously capable new iPod Touch -- which has every major feature of the iPhone except for its phone capabilities -- will any other manufacturer stand a chance?

Analyst Tim Bajarin, president of Creative Strategies, thinks not.

"I don't see how anyone can respond to a product lineup like this," he said. "Who out there has the ability to compete with this? Microsoft and the Zune simply can't compete. And Sony's new video Walkmans (announced earlier this week), they pale in comparison."

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With the analyst opinions all over the map, I can't really trust any of them. So it's down to what ...

The Zeitgeist says

But it’s frustrating that the highest capacity iPod Touch holds a mere sixteen gigs, making it an unlikely choice for hardcore iPod fans. The so-called iPod classic now tops out at 160 gigs, but with no Wi-Fi. Why? To get above sixteen gigs or so, you need to switch from flash memory to battery-draining hard drives — and presumably, the combined battery burden of Wi-Fi and hard drive was just too much.

It’s cool to be able to buy music almost anywhere, but in the end, today’s iPod and iPhone selection still represents a compromise, limited by current technology. Ideally, you’d have a eighty-gig-plus iPod or iPhone that would allow you to surf the web and buy tunes at high speed wherever you are — but free Wi-Fi everywhere is just a fantasy, and the iPhone isn’t even capable of running on fast 3G phone networks. Another dream: Imagine paying ten dollars a month for an iTunes subscription — all the music you want, streamed wirelessly, anytime. Give Apple (and maybe a competitor or two) a couple more years, and we might just get there. In the meantime, as singer KT Tunstall told us yesterday at the Apple event, the iPod Touch is “a nice piece of kit.”

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On the Steep Price Cut

Such steep cuts, coming just two months after the iPhone's much-hyped launch, may risk angering the Apple faithful who lined up to buy an iPhone on the day it came out. As Apple customer Rachel Kane, who bought her iPhone in August, said,

"It's not the losing $200 that bothers me. What bothers me is the idea that the company grossly overpriced their product and took advantage of the faithful few hundred thousand who initially purchased the iPhone."
Now what they originally called this end-all-be-all of phones is being price-slashed for the holidays as a stocking stuffer," Kane continued.

Customers aren't the only ones rattled by the price drop. Despite the iPhone grabbing a 1.8 percent share of the smart phone market in June alone, the stock market seems to think that the 33 percent price cut is a sign of weakness: AAPL share prices dropped 7.4 percent for the day.

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Is Anything Missing?

“I know the iPod Touch is cool looking but [without] a 60 gig drive it is worthless to me,” says one comment.

“One thing that is conspicuously missing from the iPod touch (as well as the iPhone) is any sort of games. One would think that the touch-screen platform would be perfect for something like bejeweled or solitaire. Seems odd to me, and is one of the few features missing from the iPhone that most other cell phones have,” adds another.

A third drawback: “No Mail! WTF! That's all I can say,” says one disgruntled commentator on “There's Safari [Apple's web browser] but no Mail!? I don't get it.”

On Times Online, too, most commenters were sceptical. "Instead of introducing new iPods,

Apple should support the thousands (millions?) of broken iPods out there," one reader says.

"My iPod Mini died in August, just 5 months after the warranty expired. So did many other iPod Minis of the same vintage. But Apple refuses to recognize this as an 'event'. Their Tech Support suggested that I purchase a new one."

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Could this be a mistake?

Four Mistakes Apple Made With The IPhone Price Drop

But, what about the rest of us who waited it out and will now profit from the price cut? Personally, I don't see this as a mistake, rather an admission by Apple that the cell phone market is more volatile and capricious than the computer market. Cell phones are bought on a whim, and though $400 is a HUGE whim, it requires less thought (and preparation) than $600.

Will this affect Apple's bottom-line?

$100 returned on 1 million phones - that's a $100 million dent in their profits. But, the price cut will catapult iPhone sales into the stratosphere (comparatively speaking). If Apple manages to sell twice the number of iPhones in the rest of this quarter than was originally forecast, this blip will be just that, and nothing more.

To Conclude

The jury is still out on the new products. I personally think "fatty" is sucky, but I reserve true judgment till I actually hold the new Nano in my palm. I still want an iPhone though, and can't wait till it is untethered from AT&T.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

What makes a product great?

What is it about a product that makes you want to go to a store and buy it? Some people would contend that there are various categories of products in our lives; I can think of three broad categories - the essentials, the luxury items, and the items we covet. Turns out, the items I covet are the ones that have established themselves as "great" products.

Regardless of the criticism leveled at great products, they usually are worthy of the hype that surrounds them. Take the iPhone for instance; it is reviled by a certain segment of the market, but it is hard to argue against the device's merits. From the moment I saw the first commercial for it, till it was pried out of my grubby hands, I was in complete awe of not just its capabilities, but also the attention to detail that had gone into its creation. If a device could have oomph, I'd say that device is the iPhone.

Forget the technology world. My tempur-pedic pillow, a Ferrari, Microsoft One-Note, Quicksilver for the Mac, True Religion jeans - these are all examples of great products. I think I have one part of the "why is this great" equation down. I know a product is great when using it gives me an "Ah-ha" feeling, a rush even. This brings me to a thought I've had all day - our philosophy at Microsoft is to think up a whole bunch of features when we start planning a product, and as we get closer to the ship date, to put certain features on the chopping block. Very often, the features that get cut are the ones that were conceived to give the user that Ah-Ha. Hopefully, the new Zune isn't headed in that direction. I digress...

Back to the thought that triggered this verbal avalanche. Another characteristic of a great product is the process of continuous discovery. As you use the product, it reveals subtle details about itself. Turning and holding the key on most BMWs and VWs rolls the windows up - I learnt this five years into owning one. gViM, my text editor, has many such features, but one I use everyday is auto-indenting (=%).The first time I was entering data on a web form, and I got a drop-down list with previously entered information, that discovery made my day. When listening to music on the iPhone, I happened to receive a phone call. The music's volume faded away as I heard the phone's ring. All these aren't core features, but discovering them endeared each of these product to me.

All of this leads me to my final reason for what makes a product great. When a product I own goes from being a luxury to an essential, when I can't imagine my life without something that I don't own, and ergo covet, it's a sure sign that it is great. It's not that life wouldn't go on without it, life just would be a little less enriched.

So, what do you think makes a product great?

Saturday, September 01, 2007

Defending champ Sharapova upset by Radwanska - US Open Tennis

... and she looks like *SHIT* in the interview! Loser all around...

What does one do on an Immaculate day like this?

It's 24 degrees Celsius outside my window, and had it not been for the sudden bout of nausea after lunch, I would have stayed out in the sun. There might have been other days like today in the August gone by; not that I would have know because the only coherent details from the month gone by revolve around work, the drive to and from work, and ... my mind draws a blank.

The good news is that we've hit code complete. I left for the gym last evening at 5:45pm, knowing for the first time that I didn't need to come back for another session later in the evening. All my work was accounted for, completed, reviewed and checked-in; for the first time in months did I feel relieved, and overcome by a strong sense of accomplishment. All I need to do over the next month is fix bugs, but I am proud of my contribution to this project. The sense of fulfillment is hard to describe.

A quick nap, a bike ride to the gym, weight training, and a protein shake are next on the cards. I celebrated my reprieve from work by hanging out with Amru this afternoon; first she unpacked, then she cooked, all while I relaxed and watched the tele. Here's to more shiatsu massages in the afternoon...

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Should Mussina Go?

"Mussina sets tone in humbling loss Out by second, veteran puts Yankees in insurmountable hole"

Is it time for Mussina to go?!? Yes, I asked the question...

Facebook Outage?

I spend a few minutes every evening checking out the activities of my nutty friends on facebook. Well, the site is down tonight because the "server is too busy". I think the site has crashed ... ;)

Things have been very hectic at work, but I am getting closer to finishing my feature work. Friday is the first big deadline, and I am trending towards finishing my work before Friday night. What a perfect weekend it would be if I didn't have to think about implementing another list of something!

A few days can make such a big difference. Last Friday, my feature was completely broken, but persevering over the weekend, and some monumental check-ins later, 85% of the core functionality is working. The ritual of writing a post in bed was temporarily replaced by watching Sportscenter, but Sports news is a waste of time. The analysts spend so much time prognosticating the future of the college season, the NFL season, that it makes my head spin. Whatever happened to living in the *present*?

Hung with the goons last evening for a few hours, and it made me realize how much this new job has changed me. My focus is disproportionately skewed on work, and I need to achieve more of a balance. What's the To-Do List look like now?

- Achieve work-life balance
- Don't miss out on the subtle pleasures of life
- Get to 175
- Become a better squash player
- Max out the experience - at work, with friends, as a lover...

You believe in lists?

Monday, August 13, 2007

To Write or To Sleep

After a relaxing weekend, I am ready for the long week ahead of me. Cooking has become a ritual on Sunday night, and I conjured up a simple Indian curry that will serve as my lunch for the next few days. I might make an exception this week, and cook on a week night - I've been craving one of my pasta recipes, so maybe I'll treat myself. I would like to note the biggest time suck this weekend - talking on the phone. I know, most of my brain cells are fried by this point, but not even the censure of my friends is putting an end to the incessant phone usage. I hate using a headset, so I am done for come January 1, 2008 when the use of a headset becomes mandatory while driving.

Though I couldn't partake in the Laser Tag festivities last afternoon, I did join the crew to celebrate Apurva's birthday at multiple locations last night. The party started at Apurva's house, continued at Capitol Club, and finally ended with us eating pizza at Mamma's on Capitol Hill. Christa and her friends rolled by the pizza joint, and we finally got home around 3am after lively banter. The only deviation from a domesticated Sunday was the drive to pick Amru from the airport. The drive afforded the opportunity to experience the one situation I hadn't been in all my life - having my car run out of gasoline before I got home.

Juggy came and bailed us out, and as we were struggling to get the hose into the tank, a state trooper pulled up and aided our efforts with her torch-light. She ensured that we got the car started before pulling away to catch some poor sap doing 39 in a 35. We got home an hour later than we should have, way colder than we should have, and treated ourselves to dinner and Entourage. Amru left, I finished folding the laundry, and am now ready to pass out. Lights out!

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Disgusting food

... and no sleep, make manoj a sad man. I was doing great till we went to JiTB where I had a oreo shake, and then TGIF where I had a lotta food. Wanna barf!!

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

To Soar Like a Bird

Nelly Furtado, seemingly from another life, crooned about being in love that was doomed to fail:

It's not that I wanna say goodbye
It's just that every time you try to tell me that you love me
Each and every single day I know
I'm going to have to eventually give you away
And though my love is rare
And though my love is true
Hey I'm just scared
That we may fall through

I no longer wonder about what drives people into a relationship that they know is going to end. If in the course of such a relationship, they can truly soar like a bird, that itself is worth the cost of admission - the imminent heart-ache. Time to find more reasons to be happy now...

Monday, August 06, 2007

On Separation...

The tale of my friend dating again has started an avalanche of synaptic pulses that are keeping me awake. The human condition is of great interest to me, hence the opinion piece. The thinking, and some personal experience has resulted in a deeper understanding of how guys and girls deal with break-ups. There are three distinct phases post break-up:

The Immediate Aftermath
Girls cry, voice their emotions, want to get back together, want things to work out, and are generally opposed to the change (unless they called off the relationship). During this phase, the girl continues to interact with her ex like nothing has changed. This is a girl's way of healing, biding time, and having a familiar shoulder to lean on. Meanwhile, since the girl is around all the time, the guy doesn't consider dealing with his feelings, or looking for other girls. Why would he when there is a familiar person by his side?

Enter the New Guy
The status quo is maintained until a new guy appears on the scene, at which point the girl is mostly healed, and sees the potential of a new relationship. Nothing hits a guy harder than knowing that he has been supplanted by another. If the girl has been professing her love for him through the months since the break-up, it makes the pain even harder to deal with. Guys are stupid like that, and the reason they are so distraught during this phase is because their ego gets smashed to bits. The absence of a girl to sympathize with, something that he has grown accustomed to, makes the pain seem harder to deal with than it really is.

... A Few Months Later
Some guys become stalkers, others get deeply depressed, and the rest carry on with their life. Both parties eventually end up with someone new, albeit with a part of them lost forever...

In general then, it would appear as if girls move on faster than guys do. Maybe guys just can't bounce back from a loss as well as girls can, or that the guy realizes (a little too late) that it's over and doesn't know what to do next. I'll let you pick...

New Beginnings

Here's to a friend who is starting a new chapter in her life. It was only a few days ago that she was professing her love to her ex, but that's a thing of the past now. After so much drama in her previous relationship, and still being in an emotional knot over her ex, she has decided to take the plunge and date a guy who has been chasing her for a few months. Time will help her get over the residual feelings, as will the presence of the new man. Let's all toast to her happiness, and the human ability to bounce back from the brink.

Sunday, August 05, 2007

August Week 1

Hits and misses, strike outs and fly outs, close shaves and almost theres have characterized this week. Interestingly enough, this state has permeated every aspect of my life, and had it not been for this weekend, the negativity would have extended into the next week. The silver lining to this dark cloud has been a mix of impromptu weeknight rendezvous, and several trips to the gym that lasted at least 45 minutes.

Looking outside in, this week has brought some things to my attention that I should avoid in the future. The first lesson, sleeping at 6am on a weeknight is a bad idea. Solution - stop using the computer around midnight, work out earlier in the evening, bring the economist home every week so I have something to read while in bed, and turn my phone off at midnight. The second lesson, being a morning person works only if I have had approximately eight hours of sleep. The only day I woke up at 8am this past week was Friday, and my productivity hit its nadir that day. It might be because it was the last day of the week, or because I didn't turn my phone off at midnight the night before (smiles), but I'll keep trying this morning business. Persistence and perseverance result in ...

When I first moved in to my new digs, I was circumspect about the arrangement. My skepticism stemmed from my xenophobia, but two months into this and I must say, I couldn't have been more off kilter in my initial assessment. Saqib is reticent, weird (like that's a bad thing) and aloof at first, but he warms up with familiarity, and reveals depth, loyalty, and has an easy-going disposition. Such a stark contrast to Nishant.

I saw "The Prestige" last night, and like other Chris Nolan movies, the twist is in the tail (this isn't a play on words). Two aspiring magicians and close friends get estranged when the arrogance of one results in the death of the other's wife. The tragic accident starts a chain of events that lead to an unexpected climax that ties up all the movie's loose ends. The story alternates between the past and the present, which made some events hard to fathom at first, but the changing story-line piqued my curiosity and kept me engrossed. I had questions long after the credits were done rolling up the screen, the sign of a good feature film, and worthy of 4 stars.

Time to get back to reality now, the magic show is over. Work beckons...

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Another Day, Another Late Night

A long yawn punctuates the stream of random thoughts in my head. As I prepare to get into bed, my mind drifts to the events of the day gone by. An early morning, a productive day at work, a quick yet effective workout, great coffee, an epiphany, and a rare sense of balance elevated today "beyond" my expectations.

These past weeks at work have been frustrating; I have made slow progress on my deliverables due to issues outside my control. It is true that stress causes your mind to focus on the single stress-inducer, which at first might seem like a good thing. The truth is, single minded focus causes you to miss out on the bigger picture, and precludes your ability to find other things to work on. In my case, while grappling with issues I couldn't fix, I overlooked the value of working on the unrelated, and therefore achievable, items assigned to me. Lightning struck me out of my rut this afternoon, and I found a purpose again. Two hours of focused coding, and I had fixes ready to go.

After a quick workout at the Pro Club, a quick cup of coffee (cinderella made it home on time with her sandals intact), and a check on how Amruta was doing with packing her belongings, I am finally sitting down penning my thoughts. Finally, I can rest in peace knowing full well that balance was achieved - the work, personal, and social chakras are rolling in the same direction, and propelling me forward. A long yawn...

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

The Sex-Position Playbook

"Smart ways to switch it up in the bedroom"

Ridik Factor - 96

Monday, July 30, 2007

Jen on Hell's Kitchen

Looks like a man, Yes? :)
And, she got thrown!!!

Sunday, July 29, 2007

What does 120 calories look like?

The Linked Article provides information on the serving size of many foods that add up to 120 calories. This is going to become my reference chart for the future. Quick summary - Apples good, candy bad!

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Riding Around, Singing a Song

I have been riding my bike to and from the Pro Club since this idea first occurred to me on Thursday. I am working towards a day when I ride my bike in, play an intense squash match, and ride my bike back without being completely destroyed. Where am I at this moment? I have an extremely sore arse from all the riding. Soreness or not - I ain't wearing no weird biker shorts!

The current routine is to bike the 5+ miles to the club, work a set of muscles in the weight room, and ride back. I played squash just once this past week, so I might play a match today. Actually, even though I had a great night's sleep, I am still feeling the after-effects of a tough week at work. The hours aren't grinding on me anymore, it's just the constant state of high alert that's bringing the fatigue on. The adrenaline constantly pumping through my veins through the day at work is exciting though.

We went to Trinity last night to "celebrate" Mitika's birthday. After multiple weekends of Ridik partying, last night was relatively chill. Threw a shirt on, drove in to Pioneer Square, and hung with friends. The music was inconsistent at best, the DJ seemed to have an identity crisis, or plain didn't know what to play next. Trinity has something for everyone though, so when the RnB section wasn't up to the mark, I'd walk over to the Trance floor to groove. My usual crew of crazies is in Chelan, so I got to hang with a mix of old and new folks - fun party.

Random notes from the week:
- Met Pant after a long time. We're gonna grab lunch this coming week; he has intellectual depth and I'd like to hang with him more often.
- Did I hear trench-coat dress?
- The Simpsons movie gets 4*'s.
- 'Rash is back and made me a new CD - yay!

That's all folks!

Friday, July 27, 2007

Use Google? Want to save Energy?

Apparently, tons of MWs can be saved every year if high traffic sites change from a white to a black background. Agreed that the site's readability takes a severe beating, but it's not a bad attempt at conserving power. I'd much rather prefer gray but for now, I've made Blackle my default search engine. So not only is Black cool, it also helps conserve energy - what are they gonna conjure up next? :)

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Just before we head out to the Simpsons Movie

If I were to write about the things I have been doing since the Legendary night this past weekend I'd be at a loss for words. I repeat, the night was Legendary, and if you missed it, you really missed something. Enough of this talk, instead of typing this, I should work on uploading the pictures from the party, shouldn't I?

Work has really become hectic, and it's going to be crazy like this for the next couple of months till we ship. I found out that the trip to NYC needs to be canceled because there is no business need anymore for me to be in the city. This is a good thing because it is one of my best friends' birthdays on the 3rd, and I'd be really bummed if I missed the occasion. I am also glad that I am not going because of the intense work pressure this week. Though the flip side of the coin is that the trip would present the ideal environment to decompress and recharge. Oh well....

A friend of mine leaves for Wharton this weekend, so I took him out to a celebratory lunch this afternoon. We talked about our expectations, our ambitions, our dreams, and what the immediate future holds for each other over burritos and salsa. It was interesting that both of us concluded that the kind of work pressure we are subjected to at Microsoft doesn't lend to a sustainable lifestyle. The hard choices we make always result in us sacrificing some aspect of our personal life for work, and at some point, that is infeasible. Since I don't think any amount of money is going to give me back these years of my life, I have decided to take matters in my own hands at the end of this release cycle, and seriously rethink my career. It's great to be ambitious, it's great to have aspirations, but it is all to naught if in realizing my dreams and aspirations, I lose out on the spice of life. Balance is an easy word to say, it's a very difficult state of mind to achieve.

I've droned on for longer than I should, and it's time for me to head to the movie hall. Before I leave though, I must say that I am excited for my workout with Amruta tomorrow morning at 8. Hopefully, we can make a habit out of this, and not only will we get fit, but we'll fix our busted sleep cycles as a bonus. Peace!

Monday, July 23, 2007

Ridik Productions Present - 3 Pieces Only

Snacks for the Party - $40
Alcohol and Mixers for the Party - $200
Party Costumes - $25
3 Pieces Only being a huge success - PRICELESS

Friday, July 20, 2007

A Week of Firsts

I usually miss Nikhil's presence in America, but never as much as I did this past Tuesday. Around 7pm on 17 July 2007, I strapped on a helmet, and walked out to bat at the first cricket nets session in my life. Nik and I have been talking about me trying out for one of the many Microsoft Cricket teams, but I hadn't applied myself to the task. All that changed this past Tuesday when I received an email from Santy about the evening's practice session.

I'd say that I played confident strokes 50% of the time I was at the crease, my right thigh is still fresh from the hit it took while I was batting, but this is just the beginning. If I can apply myself, practice often, and concentrate while I am batting, this could be a lot of fun. As regards the other players - they all seemed friendly and accommodating enough to make the entire experience pleasurable.

Spent Monday evening with Karan, Monu and Nikko Aunty; we talked about politics, religion, work, Apple and its ability to be on the cutting edge of innovation, etc. I didn't sleep much that night, but the yoga session with aunty in the morning powered me through the day. I have woken up a little earlier every day since so I hope the trend continues.

Random Stuff"s":
- After listening to Amru ramble on about not eating carbs at night, I gave it a shot today, and my stomach is rumbling right now
- I drove on 520 today and they have done a great job repaving the freeway. Kudos WSDOT
- My car is street legal till 2008 now, what with the shiny new tabs affixed to the license plate
- I played 2 squash matches this evening, both against Erich. The result was the same in both
- Work is fun, but will be very hectic the next couple of weeks. The furious activity and the long nights will culminate in a Marketing trip to NYC. I am hella excited about that.

And finally, ZJ Manoj takes over the booth this evening at 4 for two hours of hip hop, trance, reggae, and some rock. I'll put up a list of the songs I played soon.

Peace Out!

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Should A-Rod stick around while the Bronx burns down?

Question is no longer whether Alex Rodriguez is good enough for the New York Yankees...

The Yankees, with one of their worst seasons in recent history, have played themselves into a corner. With a record of 42-43 at the All Star Break, their performance begs the question - Will the Yankees make it to the playoffs this year? If they do, how far will they go? With such speculation rife in Baseball circles, A-Rod, the lightning rod for the Bombers this year, must be rethinking his place in the Yankees lineup. It is no secret that after having received almost every accolade possible for a baseball player except a World Series ring, Alex is a man on a mission to augment his case with this last elusive trophy. Turns out, he might have to wait another year (and maybe find a new team) to accomplish his mission. To quote the article:
The Yankees, you see, no longer offer him the best chance. Seriously: Does anyone believe the Yankees are any closer to a title than, say, the Cleveland Indians? Or the Detroit Tigers? Or the Los Angeles Dodgers? Or the Milwaukee Brewers, for heaven's sake?

Over the next three or four years, those teams should contend better than the Yankees, mainly because they're not on the verge of crumbling anytime soon. They don't need an immediate and expensive makeover, unlike the Yankees, who must address serious issues in their starting pitching, bullpen and outfield, all of which are failing and getting old on them.
I don't for a second doubt Alex's smarts, and his savvy. To be making 26 million a year, you need more than baseball skills to land that contract. It remains to be seen what the rest of the season has in store for the Yankees; Yankees fans, its detractors, and now A-Rod are all going to microscopically examine how the season unfolds. It might just be that A-Rod quits mid-season if the team continues to let him down, and that will definitely end all hopes for a Yankees post-season. Stay tuned...

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

ZJ Manoj spinning tunes on Friday

I have been asked to man the DJ booth this Friday evening in the Zune Atrium starting at 4pm. I have a list of tracks that I'd like to mix for first 45 of the 90 odd minutes I'll be a "ZJ", so I need your help. Here's what I need from you:

1. Do you like ZJ Manoj? If not, what should it be - ZJ Jhatax? :)
2. I need song recommendations from you. If the songs you recommend make the cut, I'll make you an mp3/wma/aac cd with all the songs I spin on Friday.


Sunday, July 08, 2007

Want to give an Impactful Presentation?

If yes, then the linked article contains 5 tips that will get you started on the path to creating audience tension, and excitement like only one man in the Technology World can - Steve Job. Here is a list of the things to bear in mind when you want your presentation to be memorable:

1. Build Tension
2. Keep your slides simple - stick to one theme per slide
3. Modulate your voice, and use emphasis at the opportune moments to engage the audience
4. Practice, practice, practice
5. Be Honest and Show Enthusiasm

Good Luck!

Friday, July 06, 2007

iPhone cracked: You Don't Say?

Lo and Behold, the iPhone has been cracked; I sure as hell didn't see that coming! Here is a breakdown of how this "hole" in the iTunes-iPhone partnership can be exploited:

1. Get Hex editor - easy (if you're thinking WTF is hex, skip to Step 8)
2. Open iTunes in said Hex editor - easy
3. Look for some magic codes - duh!
4. Re-write some values - it's not rocket science dunce hat
5. Save changes
6. Find and edit your hosts file
7. Install some .Net framework
As easy as "Lather, Rinse". If something goes wrong, "Repeat" else goto :next-para

8. Hello normal, non-geek person. Welcome to my blog!

No article is complete without a post-mortem of sorts so let me keep with tradition, and ramble on. After going through all this hassle, you can't use the iPhone as a Phone anymore. What's left after activation is a WiPod(TM), a wireless iPod (yes, that's my term). It's a shame that the Jesus Phone will be reduced to a mere shadow of itself, those heathens I tell you.
"I think it's bit, shall we say, 'expensive' to buy the iPhone and not use it as a phone. But if you're looking for a widescreen iPod and a small web surfing device that you can use at WiFi hotspots without having to worry about a monthly bill, then you might want to check out what DVD Jon has in store.
Stupid Apple - they didn't think of this earlier, and start a similar gimmick themselves. Come to think of it, they are potentially making a $400 loss on their current iPods, at the current retail price of $250 (+tax). Considering that people are willing to pay $650 for an iPhone, and then downgrade it to a WiPod(TM), I am sure these individuals wouldn't mind paying the extra money to Apple directly if they were saved the headache of the aforementioned "Lather, Rinse, Repeat" cycle. For once, Apple has missed out on a real cash cow, it's a real shame. If I was a powerful person in the world, this analysis would result in Apple's share price falling a few points, but that's a pipe dream so Apple's shareholders can take pause, and heave a sigh of relief.

Here's the true rub - I wonder how these people who have so proudly "hacked" their iPhone into a WiPod will feel when Apple will release the Real McCoy WiPod(TM) for $299. For the rest of us budget-constrained folks looking for a Wireless music player that you browse the Internet with, the PSP is a great option at $169.

PS3 $499 on July 12

I'm IN

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

The 4th of July 2007

The American Independence Day is often celebrated with friends at a barbeque, or sitting around in a park waiting for the fireworks to go off. Some of us are lucky enough to have the privilege of hosting a bbq in the evening, and follow it up with watching the fireworks go off. Thirteen of us got together at #18402, cooked, ate, and had a jolly good time this evening. It was time spent with my inner circle, and not for a minute did I think about work from the moment we started preparing for the event. Jugz and I came up with a list of things to buy, the purchases were made, the grill was fired up, and we were away.

It took about 20 minutes to clean up after everyone left, and this exhaustion feels so sweet. It is days like these that make life worth living, and if you were here this evening, thanks for making this day memorable. Peace to all!

Thursday, June 28, 2007


I find it very hard to absolutely, and unconditionally trust anyone, me included. There is too much variance, and unpredictability built into the fabric of society, and therefore, our existence to believe anything is constant. If this is a truism, why do people not extend its bounds to include trusting another individual? Call me a skeptic, but you can't dismiss my claim without giving it some thought! When was the last time your trust, implicit, tacit or explicit, was violated by another person? When was the last time you couldn't believe you did something? For me it was today, when I was calm, serene even, as I jotted down the details of the person who rear-ended Saqib's car. Tuesday evening I surprised myself again by not losing my cool during an entire squash match.

Tell me your story in either a comment, an email, or on the phone. It helps to get shit like this off your chest...

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Sachin's Visit to Seattle

The stream of work coming my way seems endless, but this new state of existence is teaching me the lost art of prioritizing activities. The omnipresent workload compels me to spend breaks from work (few, and always well earned) with a chosen few rather than a room full of strangers. Contrast this with a few years ago, when I used to wonder why people restricted their circle of friends. This was a time when "the more the merrier" was my motto, and the yardstick by which the success of an event or party was measured by the number of people in attendance. An evolution of the species, maybe?

This past weekend was one such well deserved, and thoroughly enjoyable break from the humdrum routine - Sachin stopped over in Seattle for 2 days en route to Korea. I could wax eloquent on the depth of our friendship, but some things just can't be described in words. The festivities, and shenanigans of his weekend sojourn weren't far from ordinary either, in fact, I have had more eventful weekends. What made this weekend uniquely singular, and therefore memorable, was his presence in the "team". We are crazier and more care-free in each other's company than we are by ourselves; it's as if the presence of one, exaggerates the vivacity in the other. I see in him the verve that others see in me, a pulse that makes us vibe to the same beat. There is another similar, symbiotic bond I share with a person, that is my relationship with Nikhil.

The conversations we had ranged from the sublime to the utterly mundane - past relationships, the future, work, what's to eat, why we are always late, etc. We share similar but sufficiently divergent opinions on a lot of subjects, so our discussions are both lively and insightful. There is always something to learn from an evenly balanced debate, and I had a few epiphanies this weekend. Oh yes, and a lot of alcohol!

I checked in the culmination of a week's labor a few minutes ago, and my work load is now reduced by a quarter of what it was earlier this morning. Miles to go before I sleep...

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Want to get your PDA on T-Zones?

The linked article provides step by step instructions on how to get your phone to connect to T-Zones, if the phone didn't already have this functionality built in.


Friday, June 22, 2007

Carpal Tunnel in my Right Index Finger

My right index finger might be showing early signs of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. This is a scary thought, so I am going to have it checked out soon, as early as Monday even. If you know of a good doctor, please write me a comment, or get in touch with me. I am not freaked out yet since that won't cure me in any way, but I plan to ice, and exercise my finger every day. And yes, no typing over the weekend, regardless of how much I feel the itch. Or I'll use my right middle finger more :)

Thursday, June 21, 2007


I have been on the go since waking up at 6:40 this morning. I finally made it home not half an hour ago, and it took something like "The Daily Show" to help me uncompress. After chasing down the cause for a Priority Zero bug, and finally fixing it, I had nothing left in the tank to go on. Can't wait to hit the sack. I'll take the 3 big accomplishment of the day to bed as my prize - waking up at 6:40, working out before going to work, and the bug fix. Peace out!

In Bed... At Last!

It's past 1am, and though I have been sleepy since midnight, I stayed awake to finish watching "Life In A Metro". The movie had a promising start but ambled on slowly during the 2nd half; I really don't have the patience to write a review right now but will soon. This movie, and other life experiences have taught me this much - falling in love and picking up the newspaper slid under your door every morning are kinda the same. I say this because after a little while, both actions become second nature. Both the newspaper, and the person you fall for are conveniently around when you need 'em most, and you miss both most when one morning you wake up, and they aren't around. You know the worst part - you act like you don't care if they aren't around. You know what I am talking - we try so hard to avoid the truth about being in love with someone. The game is up as soon as you start to miss your special friend when they aren't around. Once you begin to wonder when the person will be back, you're in love.

Case Closed! Manoj Mehta.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Awake, and Ready!! - UPDATE 3

Back from the Pro
Am still awake, and I didn't even put my back into it
Just ate the other 1/2 of my sandwich
Look at ME!
Friday Night is dinner and movie night - growl!

Finally ate some lunch
An extremely critical bug kept me awake
Still haven't passed out
Squash at 4:30
The prognosis is good - I might make it through the day...

Sleepy, yawning, and low on fuel
Might get cranky soon
Waking up early is for the birds

Up at 7:15
Showered, put em shorts on
Cup of milk, simple sandwich
Chill for 15 minutes, crank up the tunes
Ride the bus in
No lies, I am a little tired
Second baby step on the path to a normal sleep cycle

The burning questions -
1. When will I run out of steam?
2. At what time will I pass out tonight?