Saturday, December 30, 2006

The Highs and Lows of 2006

The year is almost at its end, and I was just wondering what would be my highest highs and lowest lows of the year.......its past 3:35am on this Friday night, and I've just been thru 3 buds, so my thoughts are a bit muddled, but let me try anywayz......

High #1
My sister's marriage in January. Had a whale of a 2 weeks, since it included my cuz bro's marriage too. Great start to the year.

Low #1
ManUtd coming second in the EPL, esp the 3-0 loss to Chelsea at Stamford Bridge. Arrrghhh!!!

High #2
Getting into the 'Mafia' gang @ MT. Man, the only thing on my mind in those initial few weeks would be lunchtime Mafia, and now though that's over, I've got some great new friends! Awesome.

High #3
Getting into the Hillcrest account. Turning point of the year, when I look back now. Lucky?

Low #2
Took a flight to tvm instead of taking the usual bus, cos I didn't want to miss Eng vs. Por in the WorldCup. Reached in time, only to see Rooney get a red, Ronaldo play spoilsport, and Eng crash out on penalties. Heartbreak.

Coming to the US for the first time. Oh, and the trip to NYC too. Memories etched forever.

Low #3
After having watched every match in the WC, it was indeed irony when I had to take the July 9th AI flight to come to the US, which meant I would miss the World Cup finals! Ended up hearing the wrong result from the pilot, only to land up at the hotel and realize the actual result. Almost 12 hours after the game had ended. Fate?

Coming to the US for the second time. The Thanksgiving and X'mas holidays I spent with cousins at NJ and Philly respectively. Unforgettable.

Low #4
My AF flight is at 16:55pm EST tomorrow. Which means... I'll me supposedly landing in India only in the wee hours of Jan 1st. Which means.. New Year will be spent 35,000 feet above the air, no party nothin. And since I'll be flying against time, I won't even know when New Year has arrived. Hmph! :)

Anyway, that's that, and I now wanna wish you all a very Happy and Prosperous New Year! God Bless.

Friday, December 22, 2006

Conversion Syndromes

It's something I've been thinkin about lately. More related with the way I think personally, but its also something that anyone goes through, sometime in his life, sooner or later. Am I sounding too serious, or philosophical now? Apologies mates, cos what I'm speaking about is basically just the conversion of the root of all evil, Money.

It's something I went through on my last visit here, and its continuation after I returned to India. And now I have it again. The positivity and the negativity of it all. The battle between Gandhi and George, the cent and the paisa. Ok, in simple words, I can't help but convert the dollar into rupees, and vice-versa whenever I shell out some cash now. Maybe its my inherent love for mathematics and numbers, or some friends who feel I haven't treated them enough point out, its my hesitancy to part with the green paper. Yeah you can argue I'm biased, but I feel its more of the former than the latter. Whatever the reason, I find myself doing it in various situations, while paying at the Burger King counter, buying a snickers at the snack bar, bidding on eBay, or just walking down the Safeway aisle looking at the prices of cereal, milk and the like.

Now the syndrome has two parts to it, based on my geographical location. How? Why? WTF? Patience, I'll explain. Now when I'm here in Uncle Sam's land, my conversion syndrome makes me uneasy inside. Helplessly, I convert the dollars into rupees, and the way the numbers add up, you can't help feeling a lil flat when you realise the astronomical (exaggerated) amount of money you spend (in rupees) for a movie-ticket, or a lunch. I know it's stupid and dumb to do so, but I can't help it! Not that it stops me from going ahead with my buy, or going on a diet (which is even more stupid in my case), but it still gets to me. For example, I go and buy a DVD or a book, then start converting and realise how much I could have saved had I got it from Landmark. Or I may have just eaten a regular cheeseburger from Jerry's and then figured that I could have eaten at KFC for a whole week in Bangalore for the same amount.

And now the flipside. When I return to India (Oh, by the way, I am coming back in a week), the exact opposite happens. When I'm out with friends to have a good time, or otherwise, I tend to automatically convert the rupees into dollars. Now, this is bad. It's even worse that just having a queasy feeling within, cos it makes you careless and an addicted spendthrift, if there ever was one. You have that false feeling of happiness, like, "Ahhhh..what the hell, this is just a few dollars, won't hurt much", and it's hard to stop the cash flowing. All this after convienently forgetting that you ain't earning dollars anymore and you still have a pathetic Indian salary. For example, the month I was in India before I had to come here again, I got fixed so bad that I ended up calling up the local PH and Dominos home-delivery numbers every night for two whole weeks before I realised my folly. Well, my stomach realised it first..but..err..nevermind. I've gone through the syndrome's whole cycle one time, and right now I'm going through the first half of the second round. Anywayz, as the saying doesn't go, six pence none the wiser, I might be able to fare better this time round. Let's wait and see!

Personal Updates: Have got four days of hols now, and I'm headed off to Philly tomorrow to be with my cousins for X'mas. The last few days have been busy too, just finished episode-17 of LOST Season-2! :P Yeah, once da man's hooked, he's hooked.

So, here's to a Merry Christmas , or Hanukkah, or Kwanzaa or whatever it is you may wish to celebrate this holiday season. Cheers!

Monday, December 18, 2006

Even the best...

For those with eye problems, the words in the pic are,

Unhandled Error

Error Details

Could not allocate space for object 'DNN1_EventLog' in database 'DNN_chrisckemp' because the 'PRIMARY' filegroup is full

Totally unrelated to the pic..........
This week has been pretty relaxing after the gruelling last month. Since our main deadline was completed last Monday, work pressure has reduced quite a bit. Went for LaserTag this weekend, which is a hi-tech version of paintball. In other words, it is almost like a real-life version of CounterStrike, and boy, was it intense! We signed up for two games (each 20-min rounds), and they turned out to be much, much more tiring and exhausting than I expected - and great fun too. Spent the rest of the weekend watching all 24 episodes of LOST (season-1), after I'd got the 7-DVD set from a colleague at office here. I literally coudn't stop after the first episode and ended up watchin the whole thing at one stretch, having the odd break in between to eat or maybe sleep. Started on a lil X'mas shoppin too, mainly because my eBay addiction has kicked off again. Bid and bought a FIFA07 DVD this weekend and Crichton's new book, "Next". Still waitin for them to arrive ofcourse. Went to Tyson's, a huge mall in Virginia with Charles and Ravi on the weekend after seeing Dhoom-2 (sob sob) at Loehmann's. Ended up buying a $40 Complete Star Wars Enyclopedia. Yeah! Go on! Call me crazy! But a man has got to do what a man has got to do....

Ok, that's that. Now coming back to the title....
Google and NASA had a huge press release a few hours ago, announcing plans to collaborate on a number of technology-focused RnD activities, including large-scale data management, massively distributed computing, bio-info-nano convergence, etc etc. NASA also plans some pretty jazzy stuff like providing statistical data about the Earth's atmosphere, via Google Earth. They even launched a new website for it, look here, that I hit upon a few hours back. Alas that's where the good news ends. (see pic).

Even the best...have setbacks.

Monday, December 04, 2006

YouTube v/s Google v/s Revver

Ok. This is AWESOME.

To do this right, scroll down so that you see the three video-boxes below in the same page. [This may not be possible, so try centering the middle video so that you get 75% of the other two. This is good enough]. The idea here is that you have to press play on the following videos (in vertical order) so that they all stream to you at the same time. You may need to adjust the volume on each respective network, though. Press play on the top (YouTube) video, then immediately press play on the second (Google Video), and then press play on the third (Revver). Bam, bam, bam - and you should see ‘em playing back simultaneously.

Thanks Chris Pirillo.
Oh, and Thanks Joe! :)

Because of inconsistent timing issues, each time you try this, you should see / hear slightly different results. So do NOT think what you just saw is final, come back later at some other time, or try accessing this post via a different network or net connection, and you're gonna see a different result! It worked for me! Adios, Enjoy.