Monday, March 31, 2003

Invite codes again !

I'm back with my begging bowl. Does anyone have an l-j invite code to spare ? My long lost buddy from college days, Dr Bobby JV, is looking for one. At least that will stop him from leaving anonymous comments in my journal !

And , looks like we've been playing messenger tag. Sorry about that. Next time, lets hope both of us are online at the same time.

Saturday, March 29, 2003


Saw LOTR: The Two Towers on Friday night & Chicago on Wednesday night. TTT was great, as expected. Chicago was no great shakes, save a few from Queen Latifah.

Thursday, March 27, 2003

The Complete Collections - Tintin and Asterix

A colleague at the i2 office in Mumbai got hold of a couple of cds, one containing the entire Tintin collection and the other Asterix. Scanned in high resolution jpg format. Excellent quality. The Tintin stuff includes Land of the Soviets (no Congo though) & the Asterix collection has the smaller ones too - The First Asterix Frieze, How Obelix fell in the Magic Potion, etc.

Too excited to write more. Am planning to burn them on cds and drool over them at home. They are already hosted in our local network...yummy !

Of course, the drawback is that one can't take them to the loo.

Tuesday, March 25, 2003

In other news...

Kichan cleared the mains exam of the civil services, surprising everyone and making all of us very proud. The final stage, the interview, is on April 10. Went out a few days back and bought him clothes to wear for the interview. A pink shirt, red tie, black trousers and brown shoes is what he is going to wear, in spite of his brother & sister-in-law's advice to look sober and serious. Apparently, he wants to be himself. It has worked so far, it should work in the interview as well. Insha Allah.

The baby is extremely active and kicks his/her mom at every opportunity. Sindha says her insides must be black and blue by now. I can also feel the movements very clearly, its as though the kid is practising karate inside. Or maybe trying to bend it like Beckham. Sounds like its more of Sindha's kid than mine. But then it appears to be hungry all the time, so maybe its got quite a bit of me too.

Gave the Palio for its first service today. The dealer I bought the car from - Manx Auto - had closed down, as predicted. Sundaram - the other dealer - will service the car, but they will also charge me for it. I'm supposed to take the bill and the warranty coupon, go to Manx and convince them to reimburse me. Great. On the positive side, the car hasn't given me any trouble so far. Its a great drive and the mileage isn't all that bad - I get about 11 to 12 km in the city, without a/c.

Stephen King's Everything's Eventual sucks. Kichan tells me From a Buick Eight sucks worse. My next book is most likely to be Llosa's Feast of the Goat or Gunter Grass' Tin Drum. Yum !

Played Serious Sam - the Second Encounter on Saturday. Went to the second level after vanquishing the Mayan firegod, Whatshisname. Sam rocks. However I don't like the jumping around and clicking on levers stuff thats been added in the second part. The first episode was a pure shoot-em-up. One of my all time favourite games.

Whats a good program to convert mp3s into .cda format ? I was thinking of burning audio cds from my mp3 collection. Tried out some shareware stuff from the net, didn't like it very much.

Vague about Vegas

Boss wants me to travel to Las Vegas in May, to meet customers during our annual marketing bash. Told him I'd prefer not to go as my wife is pregnant, but also told him it wasn't a hard constraint. He prefers that I be there if its not too much of a problem.

Discussed with Sindha and we feel it should be ok as it would be only for about 10 days. Her parents and/or Kichan should be able to come during that time. Moreover, she would just be in her 8th month, so there wouldn't be much reason to worry.

Still, am apprehensive about the whole thing. Of course, presenting to customers is something I haven't done so far, but should not be too much of a problem. The prospect of being away from her for 10-14 days is weighing on my mind, though. Decisions, decisions.

I searched the web trying to find a decent map of the US with key cities and states highlighted. Had a tough time finding one that didn't want to give me directions to reach a street in Vegas. Does everyone just want to know how to drive to a place ? There doesn't seem to be much interest in a higher level view. Or maybe that is taken for granted. Anyway, after 10 minutes of googling, found out that Vegas is in Nevada and it was close to California. I don't think I have any friends in Nevada. Not that it will influence my decision. Do I have friends in California ? I think I do. However I'm not sure if I will want to go around meeting folks.

Sindha is apprehensive too. Not over my being away, but because I will be away at Vegas, the vice capital of the world. Hey, maybe its not so bad after all, heh heh...

Thursday, March 20, 2003

I'm Father Christmas, I'm the prince of tides; ...

I'm Father Christmas,
I'm the prince of tides;
I'm the New Year,
I'm Thanksgiving.

I'm the bronco,
I'm the cowboy;
I'm blood on the blade,
I'm the steel within.

I'm what I please,
I'm what I like;
I'm God almighty,
And I've the devil inside.

Wednesday, March 19, 2003


LiveJournal's beta site

I didn't like it very much. But then I'm resistant to change, or so I've been told...

Monday, March 17, 2003

Four day weekend and I'm at office on the first, ...

Four day weekend and I'm at office on the first, second and third day. Will need to work - at least for some time - on the fourth day too. Hmph ! Grumble, grumble.

Friday, March 14, 2003

Top 50 Sci-fi/fantasy books

From a post on 's journal - The top 50 Science Fiction & Fantasy books of the last 50 years, 1953-2002

I've read just 13 of them. 6 out of the top 10 though.

Blasts again

Bomb blasts in Mulund and Rajouri. I have relatives in both areas - my uncle is the Brigadier at Rajouri, in fact.

There've been rumours today of bombs found in Powai as well.

L-jers in Mumbai - , , , , , & others, you guys take care, ok ?!

Tuesday, March 11, 2003

The world cup scene

Reminds me of all those martial arts / boxing movies: you see the hero progressing steadily through the initial rounds of the kickboxing championship. Workmanlike, with a few hiccups here and there, he defeats all his opponents. Takes in a few blows, but throws knockout punches which leave them on the mat.

On the other hand, you see the tough-as-nails villain who demolishes all, in his way to the top. He is never down and out - just goes in and vanquishes all those in sight. The villain looks indomitable, unsurpassable, unbeatable. He trains better than the hero, has the best equipment, the best body, the best coaches.

You know that he can easily beat the hero to a pulp, but you also know that this being a movie, the hero will triumph in the end. Even though in your heart of hearts, you acknowledge the villain had the better game.

Monday, March 10, 2003

How the weekend was...

We keep our washing machine in the balcony, for want of space in the bathroom. It did not start on Saturday morning, exactly when the laundry pile was assuming ominous proportions. I slapped the machine a couple of times, in the time tested manner men have while trying to get anything mechanical to work. The machine didn't budge, but a rat did. It ran from under the machine and into the maze of drainpipes adjoining the balcony.

Called the Godrej folks, who sent over their service engineer the next day. He opened the top of the machine and out popped three more rats who had made the instrument panel their home. The wires were all chewed up, mouse shit all over the get the idea. The guy from Godrej fixed the wires and assured us the rats would be back. So Kichan and I lifted the machine into the living room yesterday night and spread rat poison all over the balcony floor. We think the rats must have feasted on the poison, as the lumps were rather neatly arranged in one corner today morning, with mouse turds all around. Must have been some party. Perhaps they were trying to get over their disappointment in not finding their usual home.

So right now we have the washing machine in the living room, taking up space and hidden from rats. Need to think of a working alternative fast.

Went to Gangarams and bought 5 books, just 400 bucks over the 1000 which I had won as gift coupons. Picked up Mario Vargos Llosa's The Feast of the Goat (thanks to ), A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving (thanks to & a few other l-jers), The Tin Drum by Gunter Grass & my usual quota of Stephen King - Everything's Eventual and From a Buick Eight. The only book which I wanted to buy but later discarded as being too 'pulpy' was Crichton's latest, Prey. Maybe I'll buy that before a train journey.

Bought a Reliance mobile phone, coughing up Rs 23,000 out of which we get Rs 2000 back after two years. If our calculations are correct, this should reduce our monthly phone bills considerably. There are a few gotchas in the scheme, but we thought we'd take the risk. Cancelled the Airtel account which Sindha was using. Time will tell whether we made a good decision.

And oh, received the mother-in-law at the station, went shopping for vegetables, fruits & sundry provisions, cleaned up the house, read a bit and watched Nadodikkattu for the twenty seventh time.

Friday, March 7, 2003

When it rains, it pours

Sudden spike in customer issues at office. One hot account in Brazil, another in China and a third in Germany, thereby covering all timezones. Luckily I switch off my cellphone in the night.

But yes, I am feeling better now.