September 25, 2007

Conspirational Coffee

Yesterday was one of those bleary-eyed days at work where I'd not slept a wink the previous night due to a variety of factors - one of which was YEAAY - India are the World T20 Champions!! But cutting to the chase, I wanted to sleep a couple of hours before getting to work. But I was too pumped up after the Indian victory and I knew fatigue was a while away. I cajoled myself into leaving for work. And I tried out a different bus combination and so I didn't have my usual coffee at the transit center.

So I arrive at work around 10 and the canteen has shut down for the usual breakfast-lunch interim. It won't be open for another hour at least. With my eyelids growing heavy every second, I ambled to the the coffee machine.. one that looks like the picture above (its not that same brand so don't sue me).. dug out my 60 cents.. fed it the money and punched in 1-H-3 which was the combination for my usual non-sweet French vanilla. I shut my eyes while I heard the perfunctory cup-dispensing sound. But it was a wee bit different from usual. I half opened one lid and imagine my horror when there was no cup! The machine however happily displayed "Dispensing" and spat out the 5 cents of change as it poured the coffee literally into the drain with no cup in between. I actually yelled "WAIT!" at the machine when I frantically looked around for an empty cup. None. I donno if the coffee would've woken me up as well as my temper against the coffee machine did. Either way - mission accomplished. I was awake. For the next 2 hours at any rate.

September 23, 2007

Space and Time

How I wish this post was on Physics as you may have expected of me.. But it's not. Its about the world we are in, the time differences and how relationships strive to thrive amongst everything. I read this post a long time back: and it almost precisely summarizes a part of my weekends. Just make that time difference 9 hours and you have more variables in the story... How its lunch for you when its dinner for them.. how they rise as you crash... How you work as they relax.. How you're bursting with energy (coz the day's just begun) when they're ready to crash for that Monday morning... and how everything is soo different..

On a positive note.. its not for long.. :)

And on an entirely different note, JD turns 2 tomorrow.. Happy Birthday JD (or Kittadri as I called him)

September 20, 2007

Bloody Murphy

Murphy's Law: What can go wrong will go wrong

Its my 200th post and I take the opportune moment to discuss Murphy's Law with you folks. I bet almost every person who knows of Murphy's Law has experienced it and knows that it does hold good in the best of situations..

Today was one of those days I cursed it... I got up 30 minutes past what I wanted to, having given myself the luxury to sleep more after a late night... I decided I would take the 7:30 am bus. On an average I require about 16 minutes to briskly walk the distance from home to the bus stop. Today I had 12. I ran at full-speed, jogged and power-walked till I reached the bus stop all huffing and puffing.

7:29am - Yoo hoo.. I'd beaten the clock; the bus hadn't come early -> hence I beat Murphy's Law. Or so I thought.

Now lemme explain the situation. At the transfer point where I take the next bus, I have two options - Route 120 - once every 30 minutes- a bus that leaves right after the first one reaches, and takes a half hour to get to work or Route 20A - once every 30 minutes- a bus that leaves 15 minutes after the first one reaches and reaches in 10 minutes to work - which reaches me faster and gives me time for a morning coffee. I usually skip the former bus in preference to the latter.

7:56am - The bus reaches my transfer point. Its 4 minutes ahead of time. 120 (the slower one) hasn't even come yet.. I head for coffee. 120 arrives. As I pay for coffee, it leaves. So what? I still have 12 minutes before 20A.

8:15am - I gulp down the last of the coffee - No sign of 20A - no frustration just yet.
8:20am - Usually 20A has come by now and we're halfway to work. Not today.
8:25am - What's going on?
8:30am - 120 (the next 120) arrives. What the helllllll..... I climb in.

Bloody Murphy.

September 19, 2007

Fall in Love

I love Fall - Autumn, whatever you call it. Its my favorite season of the year in the US. The temperature is perfect, the weather great.. the colors vibrant and the scenary brilliant. At times like I this, I miss being on the East Coast. Back in Cincinatti, I was able to observe the 4 seasons with clear distinctions and loved them for what they were worth (okay - you did tire of winter in 3 months) I am not so sure about that in Southern California. Will wait n watch. Meanwhile for a true riot of color, check this presentation out -

September 18, 2007


I had this crazy dream last night.. and its right up J.K. Rowling's alley. I dreamt that there was a way to tell if people were good or bad... merely by looking at them. I am sure it was inspired by the character of Marietta in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. But my dream extended it a few feet further. So people who had these ugly pustules on their faces were the bad ones. But the degree, intensity and number of pustules varied according to the deed itself. For example, a murderer might break out all over while a kid who stole a pencil might barely entail a blemish. Once I got up, I sat day-dreaming if such a system could exist in hypothetical world. Wouldn't life have been so much simpler? That way people might've been afraid to commit these crimes.. at least at the very beginning when they were risking their pure faces and characters.. And everyone could see. It wasn't hidden. Maybe then the good people wouldn't sit and waste their time with the incorrigible ones. Maybe the people with the pustules didn't care and as long as that was all that happened, they would commit more and more errors. I also went on to wonder if there had to be a reverse effect as well. For example if the kid realized his mistake and returned the pencil either anonymously (so as to not take the blame) or with an apology - an indication of a true lesson learnt, the blemish would heal. That would be nice. It would encourage people to definitely change. For the better. But all of this has a simple, very realistic problem (apart from the fact that sprouting pustules on the billions of people according to each deed is Mission Impossible) was that there would have to be an upper governing body that certified an action/deed right or wrong. And this is entirely subject to variation of people's perspectives, the situation, yada yada.. And that's where the plot caves. People's morals differ from person to person... While there are some who look at the big picture - what affects a nation, there are others who look at the narrowest slice of reference - themselves. And thats when I realized that the system would be a monumental failure (apart from the gazillion loop holes in between)

September 17, 2007

SoP story

Yeah.. another whole sob story.. Almost four years after writing my first and up until now last SoP, I am back at it again. And for the writer that I want to become, I am drawing a large and a complete blank. After looking through a bunch of samples sent by illustrious colleagues, I have started finally. Three paragraphs down, I am critiquing already. I just hope I am done in a couple of days. For someone who can write a trillion blogs a day, its taking so many whole days to pull my own achievments together.. Gosh!

September 16, 2007

The Brave One

Ok.. I am not going to waste too many words on the movie.. The movie's tag line reads 'How many wrongs make it right'. Instead they should have said 'How being near death makes you a serial killer'. That would've been more precise and to-the-point. The only credit to the movie was Jodie Foster herself who's delivered another flabbergastingly realistic performance. You can smell and feel her fear and she has conveyed every emotion to perfection. But that's all that there is on the movie. It drags on for over 2 hours with the audience dying for the movie to get over.

The bottom line:
See it if you are big Foster fan... Otherwise, you ain't missing much.

September 12, 2007

Finger cots?

I'd never heard of or seen finger cots till I joined K. Here they don't use hand gloves. Instead they use finger cots. For more information: It seemed a ludicrous substitute to the conventional latex-free, purple nitrile gloves which I considered academic/industry standard. And its likeness to a male condom is uncanny. No wonder when I wiki-ed it, it confirmed my own comparisons and I felt good that I wasn't a pervert- yeay! Obviously you have to wear one on each finger (atleast I do - most people wear them only on the thumb, index and middle fingers of each hand - lo behold - you've saved 4 finger cots!!) At first I found it unsettling, icky and creepy even. Now I am used to it. Yet I wonder.. its more time-consuming, icky and tends to come off easily.. and it isn't even that much inexpensive than the traditional gloves. And people tend to unroll them off of their fingers and reuse them.. That's the limit, if you ask me. Eew.

September 11, 2007

A sliver of hope.. and then no scope!

Like I'd mentioned K had banned most websites at work. So when they upgraded my comp to XP and handed it back to me, I recklessly decided to try out some site, mostly GMail. Imagine my surprise when I discovered that they'd either omitted the Firewall or its tough fabric had torn! For 6 long hours, I was the proud browser of all my email clients, Orkut, etc. But I didn't misuse my rights. I promptly checked email/scraps etc and logged off.. more out of gratitude than ethic I think. And I say 6 hours because, right after coffee break when I exercise my right.. it was gone! They'd sewn the stupid Firewall back. Hmph.

September 10, 2007

Walking Wounded

Ouch... In today's aerobics class, I managed to sulikify ("catch") my back! :( Its uncomfortable, painful and hurts everytime I twist. Moreover, my food's feeling heavy in my tummy and I have the feeling that the back has something to do with this. All this upon the non-ergonomic chair that K has isn't any good. I have to slouch a bit.. the chair doesn't let me sit straight up.. I have to bend down a bit.. the chair doesn't let me lower it.. And every sip of my beloved water shoots sparks of pain down my back! What does one do for backpain relief? And quick? Any suggestions? Boo Hoo.

September 7, 2007

Rated 'i'

Ever noticed how no matter what you do, there's at least one person who is not happy with what you did? It maybe work you did, a report you wrote or something as simple as what you told a friend. Everything comes under the high-powered microscope of society you didn't know existed till it smacks you on the face. Do things really have to be this complicated? Especially when you thought the world was simple. Leaves you feeling i-rate, doesn't it?

September 5, 2007

Kidney Bazaar

Read this:

And Pakistan is just one of those countries where there are no laws governing organ sales. Here are the policies in some other key countries: And in spite of everything, the laws, the sentences, everything, who's to say that there's not a flourishing black market for this kind of stuff? Like someone had commented to one of the articles, it is better having a hospital hygienically remove it rather than having a butcher shop cutting you out and damaging God-knows-what. These days with laproscopy, I wonder why minimally invasive surgery is not an option. Its the rich guys who buy the kidneys anyways and there should be a provision where they'd have to pay for the best kind of surgery and care for the donors. I am not sure any of this is the right thing to do at all. I think Robin Cook's Coma was just one of the books inthe 70s to explore the ever-increasing and appalling organ black market. Whats the solution to this whole thing? Introducing a legal documentation system the way US has and matching willing donors blah blah or trying to rescue 2 sides of the coin - the healthy man with no wealth and a family to support AND the rich dying man?

September 4, 2007


Unshruggables (N): People you can't seem to get rid off

I met one today.. I was getting back from the airport by bus and he chanced to sit next to me. He seemed plain friendly at first and then went on to trying being pally. He rambled on for the 25 minutes that the first connection from the airport took. Believe me when I tell, you I was answering in monosyllables and said no more than 10 words. I was in no mood to fraternize with overly friendly strangers. He got off at the same stop as I did and waited for the same connection bus I did. I have never had a longer 45 minutes in my life. And it wasn't like he was talking about the weather. He was probing about me.. what I did.. where was I from.. how long was I here... I even went so far as to tell him, "I don't think I need to answer any of these questions." And finally I managed to shrug him off by getting off a stop later than I wanted to. The things one has to do... Whats the politest way of being rude? Any suggestions to deal with such situations?