Friday, February 9, 2018

Ting ting ting....

Was about to sleep but I blame random youtube surfing for this. It brought me to this video and the grin from the last few videos below just continued to grow. Spent the last 15 minutes listening to them a couple of times. If you could get past the first minute of noise from the train announcements, it's some awesome collaboration by two random guys being brought together by their love for music.

To infinity and beyond...

Something huge happened this week. The launch of SpaceX Falcon Heavy. I have been following it recently, and a lot more earlier this week when the launch date was approaching. Genius and Absurdity has a fine line separating them and it was well proven with this launch. Something so complex that sounds so simple, something that looks so simple is in fact, so complicated. The cherry on top was Elon's Tesla Roadster that was shot into outer space.

I watched the live stream of the launch and it was a mind boggling experience. I just re-watched it again and had a wide grin on my face, ear to ear, as it launched, recovered the two side boosters in an ultra precisely choreographed manner. I just watched Elon's post launch press conference today and hearing him speak makes me want to go start a new life working for him on his future endeavors.

I would highly recommend watching the launch when one has 30 minutes to watch something I believe is a pretty significant event in recent times:

Elon's post launch conference here. He talks about how and why they were not able to recover the center core. It was supposed to land on the drone ship but didn't land because 2 of the 3 engines didn't light up.

Here's Spacex's "Blooper reel" -- It includes the many failed attempts at recovering the boosters from their flights in the past. Pretty funny footnotes on the videos are an added bonus. They have been successfully able to recover over 20 boosters between land and drone ships so far. The two side boosters on the Falcon Heavy test flight were in fact recovered boosters from prior space flights!

Still have that silly grin. Smart guy, that Elon

Saturday, February 3, 2018

A Swift kick..

Sometimes you need,
A swift kick in the pants,

A swift kick in the pants
To wake up your senses
Get the blood flowing
Break inertia, ball's rolling
To realize what you got
What's valued, what's taken for granted.

A swift kick in the pants
A failing test, the rising stress
Imploding relationships, a lost contest
Shake-up at work, a forfeited perk
Long look in the mirror
What you got, what trails in the rear view

A swift kick in the pants
Broken screens, depleted batteries
Failed patches, rolled back releases
Stranded on the highway, waiting for a tow
A table full of food
Empty stomach, empty chairs around you

A swift kick in the pants
Pink slips, red cards, alarm bells
Aching hearts, twisted ankles, pulled muscle
Uphill drives, frozen roads
Wandering deer, slippery slopes
Undone gloves and untethered souls

Sometimes you need,
A swift kick in the pants,
To come back and say
Hi blog, it's been a while

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Tic, Tac, Toe...

Bake, Fix, Fly..............Bread, Drone, Rail-Bike-Walk-The-Town.
Balance, Play, Fry......Coach, Bluff, Tater-Tots-And-Ranch.
Drive, N Y, Roam...........Faraway, Tower, Closer-But-Not-Rome.
Work, Project, Drool............Project, Work, Looky-But-No-Eaty.
Eat, Roast, Cook..........Pizza, Smores, All-Stalk-No-Flower.
Tic, Tac, Toe..................Random, Happenings, Going-With-The-Flow.

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Peace & music...

Fast moving days,
short nights;
weeks & weekends - competing.
Competing for time, priority, backlog.
Task list, schedules, to-dos;
what to do, what not to.
What's slipping,
slipping through the cracks;
forgotten until it's late, little late, little too late.
Of all these days,
days & nights, spending some time,
few minutes here, an hour there;
listening to music, finding peace.
Peace & tranquility;
Silence in music.
Silence in the sound of music.
Peace, quiet, timelessness;
no hurry, no waits or delays,
just music, rhythm, bass, vocals, strings, air...

Thanks all you musicians and artists out there. Respect, admiration, envy.
Also, thank you Youtube - the best way to discover music without getting butt off seat imo.

Frequent plays from recent times (Will probably come back and reflect at this list some day):
Aao Balma - Coke studio
Bhaja Govindam (MS Subbulakshmi)
Bhagyada Lakshmi Baramma (Bhimsen Joshi)
Tunga Teeradi (Bhimsen Joshi)
Aigiri Nandini
Suprabhatam (MS Subbulakshmi)
Vataapi Ganapatim (MS Subbulakshmi)

A tiny work bonus lies in the fact that it gets me closer to music...different kind of music, but it's still music...
Sweet Baby James - James Taylor
Blank Space - Taylor Swift
Fight Song - Rachel Platten
Good for you - Selena Gomez (ahem)
Photograph - Ed Sheeran
I'm not the only one - Sam Smith
Uptown Funk - Bruno Mars, Mark Ronson (you guys gave me heartache at work!!)
Lazy Song - Bruno Mars (Love playing this on those lazy days)

Some more...
We will rock you, We are the champions - Queen (bonus - in his short shorts)
Khwaja Mere Khwaja - Rahman (live)
Baby Doll (Had to put this one here!)
Tum Tak - Raanjhana
Konjum Mainakale (memories...)

Saturday, August 8, 2015

A dose of 10

Just installed Windows 10. It was kinda an accidental install - Had scheduled it to be installed late night on Sunday but it started the upgrade on re-start.

Having said that, it was quite a smooth install. The upgrade from 7 to 10 went by without a glitch...and it was ready for use when I went back to use it later in the day.

My first impressions of Windows 10 so far has been great. Pretty impressed with how crisp and modern it feels, while at the same time, does't make you go looking in to 10 different places to do the things you are familiar with. (In contrast, I still get lost when I try to use the kiddo's Windows 8 laptop)

So far, +1 to you Windows. Thanks Obama!

Friday, July 31, 2015

Closing the deal...

(Started this post a couple of weeks back. Completing it now).

Lesson learned on closing a deal while you can. Had been shopping for some home improvement stuff for some time now. Finally, after all the searches and researches, had short-listed 2 choices - Preference #1 - Item X (Apple) from Store A; Preference #2 - Item Y (Orange) from Store B.

Apple was to cost almost twice as much as Orange but it was probably worth it. It would have been a longer running project as well but I had made up my mind to go with Apple.

So I go to Store A, negotiate a deal, agree to come back the next day to pay and pickup the stuff. Next day comes, I go to this place, with my checkbook to pay for the materials. Checkbook because he was to offer me an additional discount to pay by check instead of credit card. However, now he wants to get approval form his manager who is not around. Says he will call me in a couple of hours.

Couple of hours go by, no call. That evening I just go to store B, pay for the stuff....with my credit card and get home a truck full of Oranges. Next morning get a call from Store A asking to come pickup the Apples at the agreed upon price....but it was too late.

Project started the next day and completed 2 days later with Oranges spread across the whole house and it came out quite well too.

Looking back, it was silly on their part to not close the deal when they had the chance. They lost my business and I lost out on my first choice. I probably was too small a fish for them to move quickly on....but if it were me, I wouldn't lose out on a customer however big I get. The small little holes are what eventually end up sinking the ship, at a business that you own and run...or at the job that you work at from 9 to 6.

Thursday, July 9, 2015

6 week plan....Continued

No junk month and a half - part 2 - extended through end of August. Similar restrictions, similar goals. 

Results from part 1 - Did quite OK for the most part. Had some lapses - vacations, trips, etc. But overall was quite a healthy phase. Stats as they stand now: 7, 185, 6, 2. Stats to shoot for: 10, 180, 6/n, 2/w.

EDIT - 7/31 - Strike whatever's been posted. Been a lousy few weeks. Busy at home, work, plus a few more excuses. Suspending till next weekend. Will start over after 1st week of Aug.

Tuesday, June 30, 2015


Been using MapMyRide for over a year now. Has been a great app for the most part. It did all that I wanted from an app in it's category. They have been constantly adding new features, which again for the most part were useful.

However, I'm not sure where it started falling apart. I'm  not sure if it's got anything to do with:
- It being recently bought by UnderArmor.
- Some of the latest features and the frequency it's been added. Has been very frequent lately - Almost a release every month. Did they cut corners to meet the tight release schedules?)
- The integration with the Health App?
- Recent iOS releases causing the contention?
- My phone going bonkers?

Whatever the reason, it's been behaving rather erratically. A crash once a while is acceptable (My code's not bullet proof either). Sadly, it's been crashing all too frequently. The bigger issue however, is that it has been bringing the whole phone to it's knees. After the app gets unstable, it has been crashing the whole phone. Only way to fix it has been to re-boot the phone. %#@$!#%!!

A quick Google search says that I'm not alone to experience this issue. The solution offered (by the app vendor) has been to uninstall/re-install the app. I've done that once and it's helped for a week. But after that it's back to crashing and burning itself and rest of the apps with it. Hello??? Windows wants the soul of Windows ME back!!!

Anyway, won't be using you anymore, dear MapMyRide. You have been great but time to put you to on my 6th page.

Welcome Runtastic Pro. You seem quite promising. Hope you will give me company in the weeks and months ahead...

Friday, June 26, 2015

Little things...

Around 8 years back. Was in front of a firing squad....
Being asked questions:
"How are you sure it won't break x, y and z?"
"What if it breaks x, y and z?"
"How blah blah blah"
"Why blah blah"
"When blah"
"Are you sure??"
"Why don't you go and come back in a few weeks when you are doubly sure??"

I remember starting to get frustrated. Was kinda ready to blow up. We were slow, a bit too slow maybe but we were thorough and this had already dragged on for a few weeks too long.

I look at the guy who was facilitating this session. He was not the one asking the questions. He was just facilitating the review. So, I look at him. My eyes saying, "What the f&^#*^# Jim." "This is #&*^&*% BS, Jim!!!" "Can you help me out here???"

He looks at me with his calming eyes, points his open palms at me - asking me with his eyes and hands to stay calm and that he will take care of the irrationality in the room. He comes to me after the session, tells me that he agrees that it was kinda absurd and that he will take care of it. I don't quite recall how it was resolved or whether the process improved later but I do still remember his gesture.

Did not work much with him since then but I can still look at his calming eyes, calming me when I was losing my cool.

Thank you Jim. will be missed.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Pizza pizzaz...

Umm...Hungry? Alrighty then!!

Let it rise...let it rise...can't hold it back anymore...

Round?? Good enough...Needs to look homemade, eh.

Sauce it up, onions, peppers, cheese, into the hot box....

And after 9 months (or maybe 12 minutes), the stork delivers....pizzzzzza!

2nd of 4 - fully loaded: +tomatoes, +pineapples, +pepper flakes

Cheese it up, and ready to go in (No after pics...too hungry for clicks!)

4 of 4 pizza of the night - sauce and cheese, ready to please!

Saturday, June 6, 2015

It's not about the equipment...

Bumped into this gem on Reddit. This guy really owned that $15 Walmart guitar.

Had some mixed emotions. Happiness, joy and pleasure listening to him own that guitar. A little bit of sadness realizing I never put in any effort to learn music. And joy again watching him enjoying himself. Simple pleasures at it's best. Spent the next 1/2 hours browsing through his videos on Youtube.

Seems to be a nice, fun guy trying to make it in the music industry. This guy has skills and the attitude. Hope he makes it big some day. Reserving this blog post to come back and say, "I knew him before he was famous and shit!" Made me wish I had some musician friends in my life...

Here's a couple more of his videos from the many I browsed through.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Sore nipples...

Been getting some sore nipples lately. Need to do some Googling on how to prevent/minimize them. (Hey moms, I can empathize with you now...)

Also, been getting some sore feet. Trying to switch gear. Need to go get some fitting done. Maybe after I cross 10m?

Last couple of times, got some sore throat too. Need to eat some before, change what I eat before or a combination of the two. Seemed like reflux.

Been doing good so far. Week 1 can be checked off!

Thursday, May 14, 2015

6 week plan

No junk month and a half - Through end of June, stay away from: candies, ice creams, chips, sugary sweets, cakes, pastries, puffs, anything overly sweet, deep fried stuff, diet sodas, late night junk-eating, etc. Publishing this here to keep me honest. Will post back end of June....or sooner if I give up on it. Other stats to shoot for: >8, <180, 6/n, 2/w

Monday, May 11, 2015

Smelly memories...

First rain of the season - the smell of the soil; the earth thanking the sky for hydrating her after a long hot summer

Juhis, champas, chamelis, mogras - the fragrance that fill up the chaos under the bridges & outside the railway stations

Wadas, bhajis, samosas - the smells that call you; from the stall to the stomach via the nose in 3 seconds flat

Camphor burns, sandalwood, vibhuti - temples at every other corner; feeling religious; thinking of Him

Marigolds - sea of marigolds, roses, jasmine - a wedding every other week; grandeur; largesse, people, lots of people

Unburnt oil, burnt diesel, gasoline & sulphur - autos, buses, scooters and trucks; traffic that kills, the speed that thrills

Banana chips, bondas, coconut chutney, coconut oil heating up - makes me hungry, saturated fat/whatevurated fat, whatever

Smells of lake water, bhel, patties, horseshit - wanna row row row the boat, eat, ride the tonga, walk around the lake

Green leafy veggies, onions, pineapples, cilantro, lime - walk by the sabzi mandi, haggle, buy, bag - from the farm to the fridge

Smells, fragrances, stenches, aromas - Memories that can't be captured with a lens but can forever stay with you...?

(Hmmm...need to file a patent for smellera - smell camera....may be on to something here!)

Saturday, May 2, 2015

Passing by...

Come, do, change, go.
Share, care, compare,
Like, love, impact,
Trust, betray,
Passing by,
Hi, Goodbye,
Thank you, sorry, please,
When, how, what, why,
Wealth, health,
Save, spend,
Earn, burn,
Passing by,
Live, like, love,
Procreate, carry, raise,
Learn, teach, instill, train,
Hope, wish, wonder,
Wave them bye,
Passing by,
Short, gloom,
Dark, night, bright,
Dawn, dusk, sunset,
Move, shake, change,
Begin, middle, end,
Start, over, again,
Passing by,

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Pizza problems pissing me off

(Alright, alliteration overload night)
Recipe for great gourmet pizza (at least has been so far??):
Get cheap cheese pizza - 2 bucks a pie
Is perfect base for a perfect pie, wonder why?
One, it's low and cheap on cheese, skimpy on sauce;
Cripsy crust that's not flowing with fat;
Offers one ready-to-craft pizza pie
Without the time or hassle to do the dough from scratch
So, I (used to??) take the fine frozen pie,
Add some siracha saucem spice it up
Thin tomato slices, slender onion longs,
Green peppers, pineapple pieces,
Parmesan cheese, crushed pepper flakes,
Good quality shredded cheese: - cheddar, mozzarella, monterrey jack
In the oven, 400 Fahrenheit, fifteen minutes
Out and on the cooling rack for four-five minutes
Six slices serves three or two if you are too hungry
But Walmart wants me to staaaaaaahp!
The cheap cheese pizza - 2 bucks a pie was gone...
Yanked off their freezer (forever??) Or short term stock shortage???
Pizza, pray please come back,
Hope to see you stocked sometime soon.

Monday, April 20, 2015

The F Word...

One of the kids asked yesterday, "What's for Dinner??"

My smart-ass brain said, "The F Word"

I was smart enough to not let what my brain said convert to what came out of my mouth. I just kept quite and chuckled on the inside. My right brain, however, continued to brag to my left brain about the smartassedness of that unsaid comment.

Fast forward to today, I was browsing Reddit when I bumped into Gordon Ramsay's AMA. It was quite an interesting read. I admire that guy and reading his AMA managed to bump up my admiration for him by a few notches. (AMA = Ask Me Anything = Reddit's way of having folks come and answer questions asked live by fellow redditors)

It was while reading his AMA, that I found that The F Word is a cooking show in UK hosted by Gordon Ramsay and has been going on for almost 10 years now. My right brain was hurt and my left made fun of the right for rest of the day for yesterday's unoriginal comment.

Edit: (removed it yourself if you wanna watch!) PG13 Youtube video of "Gordon talking dirty" (bumped into it while reading his AMA). Hahaha...some people put their editing skills to good use!

Saturday, April 18, 2015

A knife for everything, everything for a knife...

I love my knives...but I feel knives are some of the most underrated and unappreciated tools in most households. Figured I'll share my thoughts on what might be some good set of knives to get.

My most favorite of knives by far has been the Victorinox 8" Chef's Knife. I bought this knife over 6 years back and I still continue to use it multiple times a day. It's still priced very reasonably on Amazon - Around $35. I checked my order from Sept 2012 and I paid around $23 for it (whoa - 50% inflation!).

One might say - "$35??? I can buy a 12 piece knife set with wooden block to store them for that money!!!"

While someone else might say - "$35 for a chef's knife??? That's nothing compared to my $219 Shun Ken Onion chef's knife!!"

Some day when I have enough money to burn, I want to buy the Shun Ken Onion. But before that I have quite a few things to burn money on - camera, lens, speakers, you get the drift.

Back to knives, this Victorinox 8" Chef's Knife is really good for your everyday slicing, chopping, etc. It is very well balanced and has a solid feel to it. It's heavy but not too heavy. It was kinda big for the wifey, so I had bought her a smaller version of it - the 6 inch chef's knife but I was not at all happy with it. It  is too light and not nearly as sturdy as the 8" version.

I also bought the Victorinox 7" Santoku knife in 2011 - around 4 years ago. This is my second most frequently used knife and it's light enough for wifey to use as well. She uses it regularly but it's too light for my preference. It's still a good knife though - sharp, shaped well for day-to-day cuts and the granton edge helps prevent the veggies from sticking to the knife while slicing.

These are not serrated knives that most of us in India are used to. Serrated knives don't need sharpening and cannot be sharpened properly. If you have seen those Informercials of "NEVER NEEDS SHARPENING" knives - those are your serrated knives. They may be good for slicing 0.0004mm thick tomato slices but they are not fast enough or smooth enough for your day-to-day chopping and slicing (how often do you need to have a 0.0004mm thin tomato slice, eh?)

These are straight edged knives and these need to be sharpened quite frequently. I sharpen my Chef's knife almost every day before I start using it. I am made fun of at times when I do it - "Do you really need to sharpen it everyday???" - but I still do...and I think it's important to do so.

I don't use a sharpening/honing steel for my sharpening but a simple AccuSharp 001 Knife Sharpener (again from Amazon). Have had for 5 years now, had paid 5 bucks for it but is still going strong. I just ordered a new sharpener earlier today - KitchenIQ 2 stage knife sharpener - $6 on and it should be arriving on Sunday (Yeah Sunday! Amazon delivers on Sunday now - Ordered Friday night, should be in my hands Sunday night - how cool is that!!!).

Happy knifing. May your edge be true and your blade sharp, forever!

(By the way, new series - Gyaan)

Saturday, April 11, 2015


Driving Home
From the Park
One hand on the Wheel
Other on the Phone
One click Pic
Illegal in some States
Illegal in Mine

Friday night dinner...

Friday nights are usually pizza nights. Sometimes, do get a bit adventurous.

It was half a pizza (cheap frozen + spinach, onion, green peppers and crushed red peppers), baked fingerling potatoes (not pictured - sliced in 4, Parmesan cheese, red pepper flakes, Italian seasoning, olive oil, salt - in oven for 20 mins at 425 F) and asparagus (minced garlic, crushed black pepper, olive oil, salt, lemon - in the oven for 8-10 mins at 425 F).


Thursday, April 2, 2015

Boston Snow

Had an opportunity to visit Boston a couple of months back. Among other memories, also had a fond encounter with beautiful fresh snow after a long time, as I wandered through downtown Boston in the middle of the night...

(Yep...I made my own snowman!)

I love my iPhone and it has been my primary camera for a while now. 90% of the pics I click these days are with my dear beloved iPhone. Thank you Mr. Jobs. RIP.

Panoramic Boston snow, just for grins..

The lady in red...

Been wanting to write about this for a few days but never got to it...but better now than never.

So, the other day, I was at Publix on my way home from work to pick up a few things. Publix is one of my favorite places to shop. I love their customer service, the cleanliness, the short line and oh yeah their bakery - they make some of the best cakes and breads around....but I digress.

So, I was at Publix to pickup a few things we had run out of. It was supposed to be a quick pit-stop - thing 1, thing 2, thing 3, ring, ring, out. While I was zipping through the aisles, I couldn't help but notice this lady - short, athletic, fair, dark dress and had a bright red lipstick on. For some reason, that red lipstick stood out but at the same time blended perfectly with the rest of her features.

I passed her once in aisle one as I picked up thing 1, when I noticed her for the first time. Then, couple of aisle down, we crossed again. But something weird happened....

"That red lipstick looks really good on you..." (+/- a couple more mumbles")

"Why, thank you very much!" (With a nice big smile)

I then proceeded to pick up my thing2, thing3, ring, ring, and continued on my home and never saw her again.

Was pretty surprised at the spontaneity though. Made me think:

- Liked something, complimented someone, with no strings attached.
- Went off-pattern from my day-to-day introverted lifestyle
- Probably made her day a few points better with my compliment
- Didn't come off as flirting, or getting slapped, or banned from Publix forever (Cakes!!!)

Also made me wonder:
- Do we compliment each other enough? Folks around us? Folks we know? Folks we don't?
- Why don't we?
- Would I like to get a compliment out of the blue from someone I know? from someone I don't?
- Why is it always: "GM, How are you", "I'm good, how are you?". Do we ever expect to hear how someone's actually doing? Do we ever share anything other than "I'm good" when anyone asks us how we are?

While I was wondering all this, I also wondered, Why did I stop posting on my blog? Thought of resurrecting it. It's been around a couple of weeks since this incident and the wonderings, and here I am today, posting on my blog after many months.

Do I really need another lady in red for my next post is yet to be seen!

Friday, November 28, 2014

What has the world come to???

Eh? Eh?? Eh???

I wonder if they have one for full size potty...

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Camera calling

Camera's been calling but I've not been responding. Need to get it out, need to get out.

Soon...maybe soon!

Speaking about cameras, I love my iphone camera. It clicks better than most p&s cameras I've ever had, except for the lack of an optical zoom....or an image stabilizer. Love you Mr. Jobs!