Friday, October 29, 2004


My weekend is shot. Originally I had nothing scheduled for Saturday and Sunday. I had planned to rest nursing a very painful left shoulder and arm for the last two days. I could barely sit in the class today. A Mid-day email from the office comes informing me that three classes tomorrow and two classes the day after. Four classes from a tech-savvy prof who wants to submit a case analysis before every class, by email. The last two days, though tight, were very interesting. This marketing/advertising guy likes teaching and was telling some of his experiences in the class. One story made me sit upright.

He was talking about brand personality and such stuff. He said that one very famous retail chain, while professing superior customer relationship management, had misspelled his name in over 30 letters they sent him. He compared this to his experience with the English Cricket Board; they had actually kept track of him watching a few cricket matches during the World Cup in England and informed him about upcoming events there.

Coincidentally, the same story was told by atleast one other marketing/advertising guy who also like teaching (or was it a marketing/advertising professor?), with another company and the same ECB. Maybe this was mere coincidence and they both had indeed had similar experiences, considering the propensity of marketing guys to travel far and wide.

Thursday, October 28, 2004


This is my first attempt at photography, especially sceneries. My friend had given me his digital camera and I am practicing shots with it. Yesterday I woke up too early and was roaming in the terrace when the dawning sky captivated me. I ran down, brought camera and took about 5 shots of the sky. I like this one. Doesn't it look like found in a professional site? :D

Thanks to this great site called, I can host as much photos as I want, without bothering about the bandwidth or server space.

Report & presentation

A small 2 page report takes me almost 2 hours to complete... am I working too slow? The break up is 1 hour of data 'collection' (too much distraction at this point), 30 - 45 minutes of tap-tap-tap in MS Word (lot of 'thinking' involved in this place), and 10 - 15 minutes of copy-paste-format from MS Word to MS Powerpoint. Now, what background do I put is the next important question! All done, not very bad. Now, for the printouts. Climb up one flight, walk a few metres, there you are...

Damn, the printer won't take paper automatically from the bulk tray, have to feed manually or direct it for each print job. Backlogs of prints given upto 2 hours back has to be cleared first... They know you have to be there to print it, why do you even bother to give a print job? Most of these jobs won't be collected even after a month. Yeah, someone like me would finish them all and find out the paper has run out *just* before mine is started. Ok, load the tray, select tray, work done. Happy days are here again.

Wednesday, October 27, 2004

Vacation over

The week long 'vacation' I have been enjoying ends today and I have a very busy 2 days; classes from 9 am to 7.30 pm tomorrow and the day after. These are the busiest 2 days ever. Oh, and my win2k machine has been running for over 10 1/2 hours days now. A record for myself! The last process has a PID 44280 and this browser 43888. System idle time 215 hrs and 38 minutes + seconds (whew).
Correction 28/10/4: 10.5 _days_, not hours :)

Tuesday, October 26, 2004

Britcoms Rule!

I love British comedy programmes. The current bunch of American comedies, if you may call them so, are pathetic. Even the much heralded Seinfeld, and Friends, are nothing when compared to Benny Hill. Only Whose Line Is It Anyway is funny, though it is copied from the British version. Even then, the people who were loads funny in the British version are not as funny here. Britcoms are not like the slapstick variety of humour contained in Friends or Seinfeld.

The first comedy I ever loved was Carry On England. From then, I have made it a point to sit before the TV whenever a Carry On movie was aired. The whole series of 'Carry On' movies was phenomenal. Then there was 'mind your language', a brilliant piece if I have ever seen one. I had heard about Monty Python in college, and did not get a chance to see it till a few months back. I was bowled over by the genius of that group. Life of Brian is undoubtedly their best work, followed by the Quest For Holy Grail. I laughed my ass off at ‘Romanes Eunt Domus’ and ‘Bigus Dickus’. As soon as the movie ended, I started my quest for Monty Python Skits. They are fabulous, even though the ending of their skits are corny. Even 'Allo 'Allo was amusing, way funnier than Friends. I still laugh at the Benny Hill Chase at the end of his programs, funny as hell!

Then suddenly something happened to british comedy? They are a pale shadow of what they were 2 decades back. The current shows like The Office are funny but pale in comparison to ‘Only Fools And Horses’.

Some of the britcoms have been copied to Hindi, like Yes Minister (later Yes Prime Minister), and Mind Your Language. But a part of that comedy thing is lost in the translation. The TV channels here don't air britcoms but thanks to kazaa, and the kind souls who grab the videos and post them on the net, I can include a steady supply of humour. Ali G and his hilarious alter-ego Borat show what quite witty too. is a good place to visit to know about britcoms. Blessed are those who share their videos or has forgotten to password protect their directories. Yeah, Britcoms Rule!!!

Mobile Phones and Libraries

What can you say of idiots who use mobile phones in libraries? I was sitting in the library today when this guy suddenly called his friend over his mobile and started speaking aloud. With his gruff voice, it was like using a jackhammer near a hospital. He carried on his conversation for about 5 minutes, cackling and cracking jokes to his friend on the other side. The phone too, had its voice level too high. I could hear both sides of the conversation, not that I wanted to. A place full of "Silence Please" signs and not even one was visible to him?

Monday, October 25, 2004

Mail delivery failed

Mail delivery failed: returning message to senderThis message was created automatically by mail delivery software

I used to see this kind of emails coming to my work account every day, around 10 on an average at its peak. It also had an attachment, with a doc.pif extension. My IS dept guys used to tell me it was some kind of virus in the mailserver, trying to send emails as me. Today, I received one such email on Gmail, the first for me. Is it virus in Gmail server? or spoofing going on somewhere else? Maybe even Gmail is vulnerable, after all!


A not-so-shabby report of 4-5 pages takes me 2 hrs to complete...

Sunday, October 24, 2004


A respectable person from a respectable institute writing in a respectable newspaper, can he be wrong? I had earlier written about evangelical vegetarians preventing me from eating meat. They said I was in the minority, even said by Maneka Gandhi, the militant vegetarian. But this guy here contradicts it. He writes,

Contrary to popular belief, India is not a predominantly vegetarian country. But a quarter of the population is reckoned, based on census data, to be vegetarian. ... 21per cent of Tamil Nadu, ... are veggies. While part of this vegetarianism is economic, a more compelling force is ethical and even religious.

Boy, I was hanging out with the wrong crowd! Maybe that would explain the abundance of high-class non-veg restaurants while there are only a few like Saravana Bhavan. Even that doesn't come close to the ambience of Anjappar or Nachiappar.

He goes on to say that certain influences around 500-300 BC changed most of our food habits. He says we are not eating most of what we were eating till just about that period. Apparently, my ancestors' diet included many exotic things which they later discontinued. Imagine, what if that certain influencing factor was not present - our menu would be something like the Malaysians or the Thais, if not Chinese, Korean or Japanese.

Solomon Grundy

This was my favourite song when I was about 2 years old. It still is one of my top fifty songs. This songs fleets across my memory sometimes and brings thoughts of good times... Carefree days, all day nothing but playing, friends at the creche, no worries whatsoever - *sigh* those where the days

     Solomon Grundy,
     Born on a Monday,
     Christened on Tuesday,
     Married on Wednesday,
     Took ill on Thursday,
     Worse on Friday,
     Died on Saturday,
     Buried on Sunday.
     That was the end
     Of Solomon Grundy.