Archive for November, 2006

My poor laptop

November 30, 2006

I have a lovely Toshiba laptop that proved too heavy for KM’s travel needs, and I got it when he got himself a lighter one…and for nearly 4 years, it has worked extremely well. This morning, I tried to shut it down when clicking on the Zone Alarm prompt made the screen hang…and that’s it.

But even that has a good side to it…I got to meet a very interesting young man, who came to repair it; he is very interested in wildlife and trekking too, and we chatted and chatted and chatted away!

His blog is at chandanv on Blogger. I am now on a borrowed laptop, so will visit his blog later….

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A new Christmas Carol

November 30, 2006

‘Twas the night before Christmas–Old Santa was pissed.
He cussed out the elves and threw down his list.
Miserable little brats, ungrateful little jerks.
I have a good mind to scrap the whole works!

I’ve busted my ass for damn near a year,
Instead of “Thanks Santa”–what do I hear?
The old lady bitches cause I work late at night.
The elves want more money–The reindeer all fight.

Rudolph got drunk and goosed all the maids.
Donner is pregnant and Vixen has AIDS.
And just when I thought that things would get better
Those assholes from the IRS sent me a letter,
They say I owe taxes–if that ain’t damn funny
Who the hell ever sent Santa Claus any money?

And the kids these days–they all are the pits
They want the impossible–Those mean little shits
I spent a whole year making wagons and sleds
Assembling dolls…Their arms, legs and heads
I made a ton of yo-yo’s–No request for them,
They want computers and robots…they think – I’m IBM!

Flying through the air…dodging the trees
Falling down chimneys and skinning my knees
I’m quitting this job there’s just no enjoyment
I’ll sit on my fat ass and draw unemployment.

There’s no Christmas this year now you know the reason,
I found me a blonde. I’m going SOUTH for the season..

Thanks to beast_666

Trust Flow II results….

November 30, 2006

TrustFlow II results for deponti
The following people not on the friends list for deponti are “close to it” according to the metric that TrustFlow defines. Numbers represent distance; people listed earlier are closer than people listed later.

prady (100 – 150)
ravi, jessyleen (150 – 200)
anitab, murthys_r_us, milin, smriti, shradha, manubhardwaj, bluesmoon (200 – 250)
achitnis, fox2mike, dhempe, mrinal, teemus, minn, nithya, louiswu, inthing, yodha (250 – 300)
mekin, khorgath, yellosonja, vaibhav, sandykins, shankerbalan, sidcarter, balaji, hserus, seizureinquiet, meghadutam, fus, notanangel78, shoan, mrsgollum, lolliejean, hamdamn, mriga, sankalpa (300 – 350)
zoneee, clueless_rebel, mona1610, geetanjali, theju, jackol, cappuccino_jo, arucard2, ti22, karmakurma, kaustubhhere, rfc9000, derherr (350 – 400)
skarra, drkishoremurthy, chandru_bv, madhav, premshree, joshmachine, mythrandyr, mannu, erhgyx, ga_woo, metafizzics, rashmiprasad, urmila, azooey, mssnlayam, rythm, gromhellscream, zeeshanmn, deepix, fugney, freegeek, manjunaths, raghav (400 – 450)
rpratap, botsie, shruthi_dipali, sampada, aneeta_04, al_lude, acmurthy, usha123, saravade, 2fargon, vinayakh, prikansaritual, eppendorfs, beatzo, vibharaj, jwz, crabbycool, putu99, savyasachi, quizling, occhidelfino (450 – 500)
chandrahasa, kanishka_sinha, beerbal, nishnt (500 – 550)

It *must* be lonely at the top….

November 29, 2006

Just musing about excellence…and I must say, I am comfortable with being on the way there than being there (not likely in any field either!)…it’s so comfortable being among the million duffs all shambling along in amiable company at the bottom, comparing mistakes and making fresh ones each time, and being ecstatic during the times, by fluke, when one gets something right…how lonely it must be to be at the pinnacle of perfection, the object of envy (or worse, jealousy), not knowing if, having reached a peak, one can keep that up, or trying to deny the fact that the most likely way now is downwards….separated from one’s peers by the vast expanse of one’s achievement, bereft of any but the company (often competitive) of other stars whose egos are likely to make them tsars….I think this is one of the reasons why I like to learn new things all the time. There is such happiness in being a beginner, one has NO facade, no standards, to keep up or live up to, one can make the most ghastly mistakes and cheerfully own up to them!

No, this is NOT a sour grapes post, either, oh you uncharitable people out there! I really do enjoy repeated duff-dom….learning and being a beginner keeps me…to use that awfully over-used phrase….young at heart.

Airport Station

November 28, 2006

….

That’s what I want to call the antiquated, outdated, badly-designed-for-today’s-needs Bangalore Airport. The explosion of the airlines (er…am I using the right term?) has resulted in air travel being affordable to everyone….good. But it has also resulted in the Airports Authority (of Bangalore at least) being caught with their pants around their air-traffic ankles. The crowds are vast, traffic in the airport is chaotic, and announcements just cannot be heard across the cacaphony.  We had someone bound for Delhi coming all the way to the boarding gate…we were bound for Mumbai. He ran …no….streaked back the way he had come, hoping to be able to catch his flight.

The only thing that seems to have happened is that one pays Rs 30 for a half-awful-plastic-cup of coffee (“Madam! That is not even a dollar!” said the vendor when I protested. What IS our national currency now?) and proportionally high prices for everything else at the supposedly-glamorous coffee shops. Yeuggh. Parking fees are Rs.50 onwards. Last week a friend lost his windshield wipers too.

The Devanahalli Airport has been on the cards and the planners’ blueprints for about 15 years now. If the Tirupati airport can be named after Venkatachalapathy, the ruling deity of the area, then surely the Devanahalli airport should be named after Apathy, the ruling deity of Bangalore Mahanagara Palike.

Oh I HATE the politics that puts its fingers in the pie of progress. Couldn’t we send our airport planners on a one-way flight to the Indian Ocean?

JLR Dandeli, 22 Nov 06

November 28, 2006

…..

One of the companies that KM  consults for was looking for a venue to hold a brainstorming session; KM suggested that since the factory was mid-way between Hubli and Dharwad (two Karnataka cities, 25 km apart), they could go to the JLR property at Dandeli. So it was written, and so it was done, much to my glee!

I went to pick up KM and the other executives from the factory and whiled away my time, while they debated weighty corporate matters, by roaming around the factory campus. Apart from the pictures of the CRIMSON ROSE BUTTERFLY and the RED-VENTED BULBUL that I have already posted, I saw lots of GREEN BEE-EATERS, PURPLE-RUMPED SUNBIRDS, and the usual MYNAHS, BLACK KITES (less in numbers because we were far away from a city).
We reached Dandeli too late for the evening safari, but met Mr Basil, one of the naturalists there, who told me about a sighting of a BLACK PANTHER a few days ago. (Of course these animals are always sighted before or after my stay.) The corporate group had a musical evening but I retired early because my focus was the morning safari! Thankfully, they were not too noisy, and it was peaceful on the banks of the Kali river.

Let me start with my favourite sunrise photograph ( the “fingers of God” through the forest trees was really incredible!)

IMG_0324 Sunrise at Dandeli

The rest of the account and pictures under the cut

The Crimson Rose

November 28, 2006

As I wandered around the campus of Spicer, one of the companies that KM consults for (the factory is midway between Hubli and Dharwad), I got this snap of the Crimson Rose butterfly:

IMG_0302 Crimson Rose B'fly

And the side view, too…photographing butterflies is hard, frustrating WORK!

IMG_0298 Crimson Rose, side view

Butterfly…the name is a corruption of “Flutterby”, which was what they were called, with good reason! You aim your camera…you steady it…..you alMOST click…and the thing has….fluttered by! Wait for more pictures from the Dandeli trip…..

LOVED this one

November 28, 2006

Here’s a fantastic world atlas

Mumbai and Bangalore

November 27, 2006

If anyone thinks traffic in Bangalore is bad, they should try travelling by car in Mumbai. We are staying in the Peddar Road area, the wedding we wanted to attend was at Chembur, and we visited someone at Andheri….neither of us wants to go back for the reception now!

But the concrete roads of Mumbai impress me…

More later, I am on very slow Reliance wireless connection on KM’s laptop…we are within walking distance of Haji Ali and the Mahalakshmi temple, so off for a nice sea-face walk now (it was lovely in the morning, too.)

One image from the Dharwad-Dandeli Trip

November 26, 2006

I went to the company where KM consults, and the whole group was to leave for JLR, Dandeli. While waiting for them, I went around the campus and found several BEE-EATERS, RED-WHISKERED BULBULS, PURPLE SUNBIRDS,  ROCK PIGEONS, and other such common birds all over. I saw this fellow try to have a drink from a slightly leaky tap…and I couldn’t resist clicking!

IMG_0293 Red-whiskered Bulbul, trying to drink water

Will post the rest of the pics soon….I took several of butterflies, dragonflies, wasps and ants…fascinating creatures!