Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Well, I finished Epileptic. I had to take a break halfway through as it was just too difficult to digest in one sitting.

In other news, people have been getting engaged and married left, right and center. I'm still single though.

I tried to read Pop Gun War but I'm just not in the mood for such fantastic stuff right now.

And I'm looking forward to New Years in Las Vegas!

Viva Las Vegas baby!

Monday, December 04, 2006

Well, I couldn't really recover any of my data from that hard drive. It's a pretty brick now. I did get a new one a week before Thanksgiving. It's working out just great. I had inadvertent backups of most of my important stuff. Like when I had burnt CDs during trips when I needed a copy of photos my friends had snapped. I lost all my music but that's replaceable.

I didn't go anywhere special for Thanksgiving this year. Did get a great Thanksgiving dinner at my boss's place though. Of course that heavy dinner made me sleep right through the Black Friday sale. I awoke at 11 am after all the really fancy stuff was out of discount. Ah well, there's next year I suppose.

I'm currently reading Epileptic after i-me-moi's recommendation.

Snow is back in Madison after an unseasonably warm week. It's bitterly cold again. I've been traveling like crazy this week. Phoenix on Wednesday and Thursday and Detroit on Saturday. I don't want to travel again for a while.

I just finished watching another brilliant episode of The Shield. This is how a police drama should be. Not like CSI and Law and Order. It's just so much more realistic.

Also, it's been pointed out to me that I pronounce my W's like V's i.e. with my upper teeth touching my lower lips instead of using rounded lips. Which is odd 'cause I learnt 'em right. Heck, I even got the prize for phonetics when I was in kindergarten (or Nursery as we say back in India.) (Also, stupid Firefox underlined learnt as a spelling error. Turns out, it's learned in American English and learnt in British English.)

Monday, November 06, 2006

Catastrophic hard drive failure on my laptop. Everything's gone. Had backups for a lot of stuff. Some little tiny stuff gone. Let this be a lesson to everyone else today - backup, 'cause you never know when hard drives are gonna let you down.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

My eyes are covered by the hands of my unborn kids,
but my heart keeps watchin’ through the skin of my eyelids.
- Neighborhood #4 (7 Kettles), Funeral, The Arcade Fire

It's so nice to finally listen to a band that not only got excellent sound but also beautiful lyrics. So yeah buy, beg, borrow or steal this record.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Why is the whole world so incredibly stupid? No, really, I mean, for God's sake people, why are you all so stupid?

You know what we need? We need more smart people. How can we get more smart people? Well, one plan would be for smart people everywhere to start making babies. Lots and lots of smart babies. Chop chop you married smart folk! More smart babies right this minute.

And all you stupid people need to stop meeting other stupid people. C'mon, snare a smart person, at least your kids will be halfway smart. Also, while you're at it, could you also stop reading safety labels?

Well, I guess it's another Tuesday rant brought on by reading this crazy post by Jean Valjean. And of course all the news from all over the world.

I wish I was more ambitious, then I'd rule the world with an iron fist. Who wants to vote for me and my iron fist? I swear I'd fix this place up good.

So remember, whenever you get a chance to vote for anything, vote for Hob Gadling!

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

The Postal Service - We Will Become Silhouettes

No video? Get the DivX Web Player for Windows or Mac.

Another strange song with a strange video.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

India's Censorship Craze

It's stuff like this that makes me want to consider settling in the US.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

The New Pornographers - Use It

No video? Get the DivX Web Player for Windows or Mac.

Just experimenting with the DivX Web Player. This is way better quality then YouTube. Double click for fullscreen. And once the video has finished caching you can right click and save it no fuss. Nice song too! I've written about it before. That video is hosted at Stage6 which has seems to have videos by a lot of other indie artists.

Apologies to my Linux-based blog readers. On the other hand the .divx file pointed to seems to be an avi wrapping DivX MPEG4 video so perhaps the MPlayer Mozilla Plugin could be configured to handle the video/divx MIME type.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

So Vik book tagged me. And I wuv being tagged! Onward!

1. One book that changed your life?
Got to say The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand. Yes, it's preachy and long and filled with sociopathic protagonatists. Doesn't matter because the core idea, the one that gets to you once you look past the tedious three page descriptions and the one-dimensional characters is still pretty powerful and it's one we weren't really exposed to as kids growing up in socialist India in the '80s. Capitalism.

2. One book you have read more than once?
Peter Pan by J. M. Barrie. Because let's face it, I hate growing old. And everytime I read that book it makes me feel like I'm reading it for the first time like in did in fourth grade.

3. One book you would want on a desert island?
I'm going to cheat here and choose the Collected Works of William Shakespeare. That's a fairly large and diverse set of fiction and spans humor (The Taming of the Shrew), tragedy (Othello), and gratuitous sex (Venus and Adonis). What more does a guy need? Besides the language being all funky means it's going to be a bloody struggle to read so I won't be able to finish it in a hurry even if I wanted.

4. One book that made you cry?
It's going to be bad for my tough bastard rep if I let on but what the heck, maybe the ladies will appreciate the fact that I have a sensitive side (Yeah! Right!) It was A Farewell to Arms by Ernest Hemingway. That last part when Catherine is in the hospital and Henry prays.

5. One book that made you laugh?
Ah! One? Just one? My life revolves around books that make me laugh and asking me to choose one is like asking me to which one of my thirty seven illegitimate children should live. The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy by Douglas Adams, The Inscrutable Americans by Anurag Mathur, Calvin and Hobbes by Bill Watterson (ok, not one book but who cares?), The Farside by Gary Larson (again, who cares?), The Dilbert Principle by Scott Adams and I just realized that this list won't stop unless I tell it to. Stop.

6. One book you wish had been written?
A critically acclaimed bestseller in comic book format. Frankly that one breakthrough graphic novel that makes the everyman give this medium more that just a second look. There have been great graphic novels written already but none have yet broken into the mainstream and frankly it's the mainstreams great loss. I guess I look forward to the day when a freshman can enroll for Comics 101 just as he or she can for Art 101 or Literature 101 today.

7. One book you wish had never been written?
Honestly? Any religious literature. Because I'm sick of watching the bastards twist, manipulate and misquote it to fuel their fires of bigotry, hatred and ignorance.

8. One book you are currently reading?
I just finished reading Understanding Comics by Scott McCloud and The Book of Bunny Suicides and Return of the Bunny Suicides by Andy Riley. Scott McCloud's book is a serious examination of the comic book medium as a form of communication. I'd say it's recommended reading for anyone who's in the communications industry (Hint! hint! Vikster!) And the Andy Riley books are sick sick tomes upon reading and enjoying which you get a first class ticket straight to Hell. I have mine and I hope to see lots of you there too. (So far, it looks like Hell will be a lot more fun and interesting place than Heaven seeing as how all the people I know and love already seem to be sinning like there's no tomorrow.)

9. One book you have been meaning to read?
Holy crap! This list is big. An awful lot of crap by James Joyce. People say he's really good. This book of short stories by Ernest Hemingway that's been sitting on my shelf for almost 3 years now. So much non-fiction that I feel almost ashamed: Maximum City by Suketu Mehta, Design Patterns by Erich Gamma et. al., Doors of Perception and Heaven and Hell by Aldous Huxley (been sitting on my shelf for years too.) In short there's this huge work of glorious human achievement out there that I have been too lazy, bored and ADHDed to read. It'll get better. I hope.

10. Tag five people.
That's easy. I-me-moi, Saket, M. Valjean, Thë Là¢ke¥ and /<0usik. Update: Also tagging DivSu who I caught up with after a long time yesterday!

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Your results:
You are Iron Man

Iron Man
The Flash
Green Lantern
Wonder Woman
Inventor. Businessman. Genius.

Click here to take the Superhero Personality Test

Monday, September 11, 2006

Damn, I feel a post coming on. Now to wait patiently on this Sunday night for the words to coalesce into sentences. Hopefully this one will have more structure and form than my usual balderdash.

So, what bothers me tonight. There are some people I cannot call, cannot talk to, whose Orkut profile I don't visit, whose number has been erased. Sometimes acquaintances who don't know any better will talk about them and I'll stumble awkwardly and explain that I don't talk to them and don't talk about them and don't care what they're up to.

"But why? You guys were really close na?"

Yeah we were but things happen and people change. Heck. I've changed. People who I used to talk to everyday I haven't spoken to in years now. Sometimes it's mutual avoidance. Sometimes just forgetfulness. Sometimes you grow up and don't know what you saw in someone that long ago.

I wish I could say that I'm more mature than I used to be. That I've grown up. To be honest I don't feel that much different from the skinny guy who came here five years ago, from the shy guy from ten years ago.

I was talking to a friend yesterday (one of the old ones who I've stayed close to) about regrets. I have a few. Not too many and not to bad, but I do have them. That's life I guess, a bundle of hopes and regrets. (Damn cliché.) I must say that I learned from my mistakes though. Didn't make the same stupid ones again and again. Heck no, I made brand new ones!

It's so damn fleeting isn't it. Life. And yet I suppose we are the lucky ones. We're watching things change around us at a rate our parents didn't. Our children will be even luckier. I envy them already.

A good deal of you are married or about to be. The rest are dancing that intricate ballet that is Finding Someone. I wish you well. It's a fun dance to be sure but sometimes you fall badly on your butt and people stare. It's fun to stare. It's even fun to fall.

Did you dream when you were little? Do you dream now? Hold on to that dream because in a few years it will seem to fade away. It hasn't gone anywhere. It's just hiding around that corner waiting for you to dream it again.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Wow! That was a long long time without an update. I've been busy but that's no excuse as I've been busy before but always updated this blog!

Anyway, I've been reading. I discovered a branch of the library pretty darn close to where I work. To celebrate I read Runaways Vol. 1 and 2 and Ex Machina Vol. 1, 2 and 3 by Brian K. Vaughn and illustrated by Adrian Alphona and Tony Harris respectively. Mr. Vaughn writes a great story and his books are always based on a brilliant premise. I've raved about Y: The Last Man before which is about the last surviving man on an earth where the entire male species dies suddenly and violently. Runaways traces the fates of the children of a group of supervillians who after having discovered what their parents do for a living run away. Ex Machina is about a superhero who prevents the plane from crashing into the second tower on 9/11, and goes on to run for mayor of New York to better serve his city.

I've been listening. I discovered Franz Ferdinand. Their eponymous first album is fantastic but their second effort, You Could Have It So Much Better, isn't as good. Also listened to a bit of Katie Melua who's ok. I guess she needs to grow up a bit.

I drove up to Detroit and Kalamazoo. I had my first sailing lesson and bruised my shin!

Ganpati Bappa Morya!!!

Monday, August 07, 2006

I read a "real" book last week - Life of Pi by Yann Martell. More impressively, I finished the whole thing over just a weekend, something I haven't done for years. You can clap any time now.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

The Eisner awards for this year are out and they were good. Nice to see Grant Morrison winning for Seven Soldiers and All-Star Superman! I just wish Superman Returns had been based on All-Star Superman instead of the older movies.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Nice post Vicky.

But do you really think that a life in suburbia with a nice white picket fence and 2.3 kids and a black labrador is what you want? I'm not so sure because if that's what you wanted then why were you in love with Bombay to begin with? Unless you're really rich you ain't never gonna get a picket fence in Bombay. But you know that already.

A life in Bombay does unfortunately involve flooded streets, bus strikes and the kids begging on the trains. Those aren't the things that endear anyone to Bombay. And the things that do aren't really that easy to pick out. Maybe it's the thick black smoke that causes pretty girls' faces to break out into acne, maybe it's the humidity that makes summers unbearable and that standing bus ride from Churchgate to Borivali all the more hateful. Or maybe it's the first shower in June that catches you unaware, ruining your favorite expensive silk tie but still leaving you happier because it's cooler now and your nightclothes won't stick. Perhaps it's the claustrophobically closely spaced buildings, that make open spaces seem special and sacred. Maybe it's khau galli or perhaps it's the little transistor radio's that everyone carries on the day that India is playing Pakistan. Maybe it's diwali chakli and besan laddus and shankarpali and chiwda or all those crazy kids running after those damn kites during sankranti. I don't know.

But I do know that if you choose the picket fence your life will never have that. It will be one day after another with the man of your dreams, in the same house, in the same neighborhood, attending the same cultural events, raising your kids and tolerating their bratty friends. It will sure be safer. But somehow I get the feeling you'll spend those years when your kids go off to college sitting and remembering Bombay. Smelling the smoke, tasting the garlic chutney in the morning vada-pav.

I don't know. Maybe I'm saying this because I'm safe here in Madison and I'm that much younger than you. Maybe it's because I miss Bombay, miss all those things that you take for granted. But on that Tuesday morning when I got an email from my brother telling me "everyone is safe" I never felt more helpless in my life. And when my mom got home at 10 pm and told me that she had been in the next compartment from one of the bombs, I swear I couldn't think straight for the rest of the day. I just wanted to hug her. But I couldn't and won't be able to for months. Because I'm safe here in Madison.

I guess I've rambled on. And probably not very coherently too. But really, don't make a decision that big based on a random act of terror pulled off by morons who don't value anything that decent people live by. If you are going to move, make it for something else.

Monday, July 17, 2006

Indian gov blocks Blogspot, Typepad, Geocities blogs!

Fantastic! That's all we need, the worlds largest democracy censoring the Internet, joining the likes of China, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan and Ethiopia.

In any case, there are ways to get around the block which include the following:
Of course, all this is contingent on being able to read this post in the first place :(

Update: Apparently the blocking is not related to the Bombay blasts but rather to curb the spread of religious propaganda! This means the ban probably will not be lifted anytime soon. On the other hand, assuming that the ISPs have been asked to block specific blogs on blogspot, it would be up to the ISPs to ensure that they don't block the domain (If the ISPs have been asked to block the entire domain, then India does really fall into the same league as Pakistan.)

Visit Chennai MetBlogs and NDTV for more details.

Update 2: Blog blockade will be lifted in 48 hours says Rediff. Quoting from Rediff:
"He [Amitabh Singhal] acknowledged that some ISPs -- he insisted it wasn't all -- mistook the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) notice and blocked entire blog domains, adding that it was technically feasible to block a sub-domain and leave others still accessible."
Last Update: So the domain level block on is gone but the block on a few specific sites remain. This makes us better than China and Pakistan but put us firmly with the likes of Germany, the UK and France. I guess we're not quite up there with the US yet when it comes to freedom of speech. But I have hope.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Andrew Sullivan posted this email from someone in Mumbai on his blog:
Not-so-Dear Terrorist,

Even if you are not reading this we don't care. Time and again you tried to disturb us and disrupt our life - killing innocent civilians by planting bombs in trains, buses and cars. You have tried hard to bring death and destruction, cause panic and fear and create communal disharmony but every time you were disgustingly unsuccessful. Do you know how we pass our life in Mumbai? How much it takes for us to earn that single rupee? If you wanted to give us a shock then we are sorry to say that you failed miserably in your ulterior motives. Better look elsewhere, not here.

We are not Hindus and Muslims or Gujaratis and Marathis or Punjabis and Bengaliies. Nor do we distinguish ourselves as owners or workers, govt. employees or private employees. WE ARE MUMBAIKERS (Bombay-ites, if you like). We will not allow you to disrupt our life like this. On the last few occasions when you struck (including the 7 deadly blasts in a single day killing over 250 people and injuring over 500 in 1993), we went to work next day in full strength. This time we cleared everything within a few hours and were back to normal - the vendors placing their next order, businessmen finalizing the next deals and the office workers rushing to catch the next train. (Yes the same train you targeted)

Fathom this: Within 3 hours of the blasts, long queues of blood donating volunteers were seen outside various hospital, where most of the injured were admitted. By 12 midnight, the hospital had to issue a notification that blood banks were full and they didn't require any more blood. The next day, attendance at schools and office was close to 100%, trains & buses were packed to the brim, the crowds were back. The city has simply dusted itself off and moved one - perhaps with greater vigor.

We are Mumbaikers and we live like brothers in times like this. So, do not dare to threaten us with your crackers. The spirit of Mumbai is very strong and can not be harmed.
Yeah, that about nails it. I hope all the readers from Mumbai and their loved ones are safe.

Monday, July 10, 2006

Following Vikster's lead here's some YouTube crazy for you:

Spiderman: I had just about started going to school when this was on DD. I remember singing the theme song with gobbledygook made-up English during kindergarten in front of the whole class! This was when I had just about barely started to understand the alphabet, a full year before I could read a single word!

He-Man: Everyone remembers He-Man. Probably the most memorable intro ever. And I'm sure everyone's parents remember the toys which they had to buy. This version on YouTube is botched in the end though.

Giant Robot: Although the official English translation of the name is Johnny Sokko and his Flying Robot everyone from India who got DD2 in the '80s remembers this as Giant Robot. The high point of this show used to be all the crazy monsters (and the crazy homemade names we would come up with for them.) Memorable ones were the Eye Monster, the Ball Monster (which was a rolling ball with spikes it could stand on), "Sandwich" (which was a monster which could split into two pieces and sandwich Giant Robot), and of course the Other Giant Robot which was more powerful than our hero but couldn't stand up for some reason. I'm sure everyone remembers doing the steps - swing arms left ("kachink"), swing arms right ("kachink"), swing arms in front ("kachink"), load finger missiles ("chink, chink, chink" etc.), fire!

Switching gears from the '80s to the '90s (or rather from Before Cable to After Cable which I'm sure is the best way to categorize Indian television), here's some Prabhu Deva dancing to some kickass Rahman.

Chikku Bukku: I remember the first time I saw this video I was simply dumbstruck. It just seemed impossible to dance that way and yet the dude was doing it! I don't think I've seen better dancing anywhere else actually. And of course the most frustrating aspect of this video was how little airtime it actually got.

Urvasi Urvasi: After Chikku Bukku, Prabhu Deva was famous (the lone picked-on Tamilian in school made sure of that actually!), and when Kadhalan was released (as Humse Hai Mukabala in Hindi) everyone knew who he was. I prefer the dancing in this video to any other in Kadhalan.

And to finish you off on a happy note, some psychedelic trip-hop from the 2000s

Nice Weather for Ducks
: I discovered Lemon Jelly completely by accident. I was watching Eurodance videos at (I miss Eurodance!) when I stumbled upon this gem of a video. Watching it once is all it takes to get hooked. (And don't blame me if you find yourself singing the chorus in public.) (All you engineer geeks will also notice that it stretches the video codec to its limits and then breaks it completely!) This is some of the happiest music ever!

Sunday, June 25, 2006

My blogger code: B8 d- t- k+ s+ u- f- i o+ x e- l c+ (decode it!)

Yeah, I've been kinda busy hence the lack of posts.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Hilarious quote from a thread on Slashdot:
There are no women on the internet! Everyone knows that! It's the place where men are men, women are men, and children are FBI agents.

Sunday, June 18, 2006

I've read the first chapter of Dubliners and I can tell this is going to be a difficult read. I will finish it.

I just had a long conversation with a friend.

I bought a new phone. It's my first flip-top. I usually buy candy-bar phones so I feel dirty. Although I spell it flip-top with a hyphen, I'm not sure what the correct spelling actually is.

There was a tornado watch today. I would never take these watches and warnings seriously until my car was damaged with golf ball sized hail. Now I stay indoors whenever there's a problem. It's nice and sunny now though.

There's ivy growing on my windows. It goes.

Stupid France let South Korea equalize. Zidane got a yellow card. Now, this could very possibly be his last match. It's such a thrill watching football on the telly! It won't last for too long though.

They've already started advertising for the fall TV season. Too early according to me.

I miss Scrubs and Grey's Anatomy.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Do you know who Jim Woodring is?

He's crazy. He makes comics. He has a blog. If you ever get your hands on a Jim Woodring comic, be afraid, be very afraid.

It will swallow you whole.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

A surfeit of reading. That's what's happened in the last couple of days. I have read more than 15 graphic novels! Let's begin shall we:

The Golem's Mighty Swing: Set in America in the 1920's, this stark black and white piece is the story of a Jewish baseball team that tours smalltown USA. As a gimmick, they decide to include a 'golem' on the team - the sole black player. Things go awry. Read the excerpt. (Click on "Search inside this book" under the picture.)

Love and Rockets: Created by the Hernandez brothers, Gilbert and Jaime, Love and Rockets is a series of about 15 graphic novels originally published over a span of a decade. Jaime writes about Locas (crazy women!) and Gilbert writes about Palomar - a fictional village in Central America. I could go on but it's easier to link to one of them on Amazon and let you read an excerpt yourself. (Click on "Search inside this book" under the picture.)

Also, currently valiantly trying to read Dubliners by James Joyce.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

I finally did something I should have a long time ago. I created a technology only blog on which I can go crazy and spew out as much techy stuff I want without boring the regular readers of this blog.

So here's to Surfin teh Interweb!

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Seeing as how I seek to convert more and more people to the church of comic books, here's an excellent list by J.D. of Graphic Novels for People Who Hate Comics.

As I note in the comments, the only significant omission is Will Eisner.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Just watched this on Conan tonight.

SAT Analogies

Warren Buffett's favorite stock pick :
Johnson and Johnson ::
Clay Aiken's favorite sex position :
Johnson on Johnson
One and one-half wandering Jews
Return to their natural courses
To resume old acquaintances
Step out occasionally
And speculate who had been damaged the most
Easy time will determine if these consolations
Will be their reward
The arc of a love affair
Waiting to be restored
You take two bodies and you twirl them into one
Their hearts and their bones
And they won't come undone

Hearts and bones
Paul Simon

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Sometimes, I think that the only thing I seem to persistently follow through with in life is this blog. It's the only thing I have been doing for more than a couple of years with no extended breaks. It's true that quite often the content has suffered (too much nerdy stuff or comics) and in recent months it has turned into a place where I end up recommending things to readers but all in all, I'm just happy that I'm still doing this.

Now talking about recommending things to readers. A couple of hours ago I watched half of the season finale of Grey's Anatomy. The other half is to be televised tomorrow. Grey's Anatomy is one of the three shows that I seem to be regularly following. And it's not because of all the emo stuff on it (though that's done well too), it's because of the medical stuff on it. Makes me want to wish I had got better scores in biology and become a doctor myself. Though knowing my fragile memory I wouldn't have done too well in it anyway. Yeah that's me. Smart enough to be a doctor but with a memory only good enough to be an engineer. Because a doctor wouldn't inspire too much confidence in his patients if he kept needing to look stuff up in his programming manual on the Internet!

The other two shows I watch are Farscape and Scrubs, but I've said too much about them already.

Now changing the topic to books, I am struggling through the third book in the Ringworld series - Ringworld Throne. Perhaps it's because there is too much going on at work and other fronts. Perhaps, it's like the reviewers on Amazon said, it's just not as good. Hopefully I'll finish it. I also have with me a signed copy of Neil Gaiman's Anansi Boys, but I haven't ready more than a few pages of it. I guess since I own it, I feel I can probably read it whenever I want.

I can't remember which comics were on my list this week, which is not a good sign, as it means they weren't interesting. Haven't heard anything interesting for a while. Except for Baba Lagin. Don't ask.

(Yes, my grammar seems to be deteriorating. I can't seem to put the commas in the right places. I need my copy of Wren and Martin again.)

Monday, May 08, 2006

Alan Moore is a genius. I've read a lot of graphic novels. And I've read a lot of books. And even if I consider and critique all of what I've read at once, the conclusion remains the same, Alan Moore is a genius.

If you get a chance you should read everything he's written. It's not so much that Alan Moore plots and writes a good story. It's that he plots and writes a superlative story and then makes it all seem so easy. Neil Gaiman creates a magical place in the The Sandman. Warren Ellis fleshes out some plausible yet terrifying science fiction in Transmetropolitan. Grant Morrison moves us to tears in We3. And yet, Alan Moore finesses them all, in everything he writes.

Some of what he writes is difficult reading. His prose is profuse and calculated. Not a word is used unnecessarily. But he brings out the best in the artist illustrating the story. I've yet to see a badly drawn Alan Moore story.

So what's the tragic bit in all this? He's retired.

Sunday, April 30, 2006

And what have I been reading?

Ringworld and Ringworld Engineers by Larry Niven. Classic science fiction from the Seventies which stills reads good today. And adds great new words to my vocubalary like tasp and rishathra!

My regular quota of comics which hasn't contained anything good for a while. I did buy Superman Chronicles which is surprisingly good for a comic book made in the 1930's, but which I haven't had the patience to finish reading.

And what have I been watching?

Finding Neverland and Final Solution. The latter has been one harrowing ordeal to watch. It was banned in India for a while, but the ban was lifted in October 2004. Indians should watch this. (But be prepared to lose your lunch.)

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

So Jim Emerson came out with this list of 102 movies which you should watch if you want to have a meaningful discussions of any kind about movies. Like the words of a language which everyone should know to understand each other.

I've seen 16, half seen 7. I saw The Godfather while growing up in India. Not having cable while you grow up sure sucks. i-me-moi, Saket, Jean Valjean, Vikster, Là¢ke¥, /<0usik, bluegreenflysplat, I hope you guys do better.

* = I've seen it
+ = I've seen maybe a quarter or half of it (hangs head in shame...)

+ 2001: A Space Odyssey
+ The 400 Blows
8 1/2
Aguirre, the Wrath of God
* Alien
All About Eve
* Annie Hall
Apocalypse Now
The Battleship Potemkin
The Best Years of Our Lives
The Big Red One
The Bicycle Thief
The Big Sleep
* Blade Runner
Blue Velvet
Bonnie and Clyde
Bringing Up Baby
Un Chien Andalou
Children of Paradise / Les Enfants du Paradis
+ Citizen Kane
+ A Clockwork Orange
* The Crying Game
The Day the Earth Stood Still
Days of Heaven
Dirty Harry
The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie
Do the Right Thing
La Dolce Vita
Double Indemnity
+ Dr. Strangelove
* Duck Soup
+ E.T. -- The Extra-Terrestrial
Easy Rider
* The Empire Strikes Back
* The Exorcist
* Fargo
* Fight Club
The General
* The Godfather, The Godfather, Part II
Gone With the Wind
* GoodFellas
* The Graduate
A Hard Day's Night
It's a Gift
It's a Wonderful Life
The Lady Eve
Lawrence of Arabia
Mad Max 2 / The Road Warrior
The Maltese Falcon
The Manchurian Candidate
Modern Times
* Monty Python and the Holy Grail
The Night of the Hunter
Night of the Living Dead
North by Northwest
On the Waterfront
Once Upon a Time in the West
Out of the Past
Pink Flamingos
* Pulp Fiction
Rear Window
Rebel Without a Cause
Red River
The Rules of the Game
The Scarlet Empress
Schindler's List
The Searchers
+ The Seven Samurai
Singin' in the Rain
* Some Like It Hot
A Star Is Born
A Streetcar Named Desire
Sunset Boulevard
* Taxi Driver
The Third Man
Tokyo Story
Touch of Evil
The Treasure of the Sierra Madre
Trouble in Paradise
West Side Story
The Wild Bunch
The Wizard of Oz

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

For those who came here looking for the congested Indian street video because the original blog (It Rocks Everything) seems to have reached some bandwidth limits, here is the direct YouTube link.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Dr. Kelso (to Perry): Oh Perry, you're so edgy and cantankerous, you're like House without the limp.

Scrubs, Season 5, Episode 18 - "My New Suit"

Scrubs: 2, House: 0

Monday, April 10, 2006

There's this Pakistani restaurant on Monroe Street called Campus Biryani and Kabab. It opened a little more than a year ago. The owner serves excellent chicken and mutton biryani, chicken haleem,and mutton chapli kabab. Also available is the ubiquitous chicken tandoori and mango lassi. And this weekend after much goading from me and his other regular clientele he served falooda.

Highly recommended if you hanker for authentic Indian/Pakistani food and are sick of the homogenized crap available in pretty much every other "Indian" restaurant in the US.
So I remembered what I had to post about. Playboy names UW No. 1 party school. And of course, Wisconsin Comes Back to Win N.C.A.A. Title.

Saturday, April 08, 2006

See now, I knew I had to blog about something, but for the love of me I can't remember what!

Saturday, April 01, 2006

Yes, I'm gay. It should have been obvious to everyone by now. The incessant obsession with comic books, television, movies, music, technology, food, poetry and just plain emo, should have been clues enough.

Actually to be precise, I'm a lesbian trapped in handsome man's body. So any hot babes out there suddenly gripped with a strong sense of pity please help ...

(Yes, yes, an April 1 post. What can I say, I'm still juvenile enough to make fun like this. Make fun, make more fun!) And mucho apologies already to my token gay reader.

Friday, March 31, 2006

It's 7 am. Why am I awake? Why am I at work?

Sunday, March 12, 2006

New post for no rhyme or reason.

In other news, I am greatly gladdened by the fact that Aeryn Sun is alive and did not indeed die as I had feared. But the fate of Zhaan who brought Sun back from near death is still uncertain. Hopefully she won't die either.

Haven't heard from Rommie, Dylan or Tyr lately, nor from Xander or Willow. Hope they're all okay.

Also, Steve Rogers was freed from illegal imprisonment by Janet Pym. Clint Barton was able to free himself, and Tony Stark was able to save himself from an assassination attempt. These guys will bounce back.

(Bonus points to readers who can tell what I'm talking about.)

Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Elliot: ... let's just go home and watch Grey's Anatomy.
JD: I love that show. It's like they have taken our lives and put them on TV.

Scrubs, Season 5, Episode 11 - "My Buddy's Booty"

Scrubs: 1, Grey's Anatomy: 0
Daily dose of timepass.
Yeah, I surf a lot. You really don't want to know what my weekend URI set is.

Sunday, February 19, 2006

My adventures in TV land.

Mondays are usually CBS. Two and a Half Men is on in the evenings. There used to be another comedy right after it called Out Of Practise which seems to be cancelled, because I haven't seen it on for the last couple of weeks. It's been replaced by Courting Alex which isn't as good.

Tuesdays, it's Scrubs on NBC. A full hour of Scrubs, two new episodes back to back. Yeah, I guess you can tell that I really like Tuesdays.

Wednesdays, I don't remember. I don't think anything good is on.

Thursdays, it's My Name Is Earl and The Office. My Name Is Earl has been pretty inconsistent so far. Some episodes have been pretty funny, others have bored me to tears. The Office on the other hand is one of the funniest shows on TV.

Fridays, I don't remember. Which is odd, considering that I'm sure something good is on. Damned if I remember though. (Oh, yeah, I've been watching Beauty and The Geek. Please, don't tell anyone.) Actually Friday's there's a pretty good chance I won't be home, it being a Friday and all.

At this point I should also add that most of the time I'm not watching the stuff listed above, I'm almost certainly either watching PBS or surfing (or a watching a stray episode of That '70s Show or Yes, Dear.) And every night, I watch Conan (especially if it's a new show or a particularly funny old one.) One of the advantages of living in the Midwest is that Conan is on at 11:30 pm instead of 12:30 pm like the rest of the US.

Saturdays, I try and get out of the house. If I can't (-18°C anyone?), I usually watch PBS, unless there's something funny on the other channels. Incredibly, PBS has recently been showing the original British version of The Office on Saturday. Watching Ricky Gervais and Steve Carrell in the same week playing the same role, is a lot of fun. (Another funny show on PBS is My Hero, which chronicles the adventures of Thermoman!) If I'm home, I may also watch Saturday Night Live. Much later in the night Fox will have Farscape on, which I watch religiously.

Sundays, I may watch a little bit of Desperate Housewives especially if Gabrielle is doing something fun. Otherwise, I will wait until 9 pm and then watch Grey's Anatomy. That's a good show. It's one of the few serious shows on TV that I can stomach. All that hot doctor action sometimes makes me wish I had done medicine. And to cap off the week, Fox will show another episode of Farscape.

And if you haven't realized by now, you should know - I don't have cable!

Monday, February 06, 2006

Weekend reading.

The Essential Wolverine, Vol. 1 and Black Widow. Both essentially forgettable. I only picked them up from the library because they were there.

Watchmen by written by Alan Moore and illustrated by Dave Gibbons. I've written about this graphic novel before, but you can never shower too much praise on it. Every time I read this, I discover something new that I missed the first time around. The only analogies I can draw are to good wine: subtle, layered, complex.

The Cook's Illustrated Complete Book of Poultry. If one has to use a single word to describe any cook book written by the editors of Cook's Illustrated magazine, than the word has to be 'complete'. This book is no exception, and contains an almost encyclopedic collection of recipes for chicken, turkey, quail, duck and other poultry. What appeals to the engineer in me is how scientific their approach is. Each chapter is about one particular preparation method. Roasting, broiling, sautéing, frying, even chicken curry, is given the treatment. My mom taught me how to make chicken curry. This book explained what each step does to the chicken and why it's needed. Recommended.

(And yes, in case you haven't noticed over the last few posts, I'm a food voyeur)

Thursday, February 02, 2006

After installing Firefox 1.5, I was upset to notice that the minimize-to-free-memory trick from version 1.0.7 stopped working. Here's how to get the old behavior back.
  • Type in about:config in the address bar.
  • Right click on the list and select New -> Boolean.
  • Type in config.trim_on_minimize as the preference name.
  • Set the value to be true.
  • Restart Firefox and tada!
Now, if Firefox memory usage rises too much (if you open too many tabs etc.), simply minimize Firefox and the memory usage will drop dramatically (usually to around 5-10 MB.)

Saturday, January 28, 2006

Three graphic novels read last weekend.

Invincible is a relatively new comic book series written by Robert Kirkman and illustrated by Cory Walker and Ryan Ottley. I read the first 13 issues collected in graphics novel format as Invincible: The Ultimate Collection (Volume 1). Invincible is about what it would be like to grow up as Superman's son. Essentially a well-written combination of science-fiction and the O.C.

Then I read three volumes of The Walking Dead also written by Kirkman (Illustrated in horrific pen and ink by Charlie Adlard.) This is a zombie book, which opens suspiciously like 28 Days Later. Pretty quick however we see that this book is about a lot more than just zombies. It's one of the most plausible portrayals about how people would actually act during a world-wide catastrophe. This book has bigotry, sexual politics, mania, and everything else that makes us human.

And finally, I read a book which quickly finds itself in the list of the greatest graphic novels ever written, right up there with Persepolis and The Watchmen. The Tale of One Bad Rat, written and illustrated by Bryan Talbot. The story of a young girl with a pet rat, on the run, that will break your heart and give you hope. The art, lush and beautiful, illustrates Mr. Talbot's mastery of all the literary devices of modern graphic novel, quite a few of which he invented himself, in his earlier work The Adventures of Luther Arkwright. (Hat tip to Warren Ellis for introducing me to Bryan Talbot.)

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

A mid-afternoon post is a rare thing. But seeing as how I haven't really been posting otherwise this will have to do.

We've had some unseasonally warm weather for the last couple of weeks. No complaints.

I should probably cook more than I do. Still, I seem to be cooking more than in my old apartment, so I guess I shouldn't complain.

I should spend less time in front of a computer. Eyes hurty.

Nothing good on TV but Steve Carell won a Golden Globe last night for The Office which was a good thing. He beat Zach Braff in Scrubs though, which goes to show how good the NBC comedy line-up is. (There's should be a new episode of Scrubs on today, yay!)

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Tetris is addictive

I downloaded a free version called Yet Another Tetris for my mobile phone, and haven't been able to stop playing. I play a couple of hours everyday. I should stop as I see blocks falling when I close my eyes.

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Now that we finished trying out Performancing, let's try Deepest Sender. It's actually been designed for Livejournal exclusively but the latest version supports posting to Blogger. The first thing I notice is that I cannot pull up an older post. I guess this is something which will change in the future. Other wise the interface is pretty much the same. Update: Well, I reviewed this just a few days too soon! The latest version (0.7.3) does support editing posts which is great. Code generation also works better than Performancing.

Most of my complaints with Performancing seem to hold true for this extension too. No fixed width font in the source tab, no easy way to use a <code> tag etc. Also, the default text editor font is too small.
So this is a test post using the Performancing Firefox extension. It's a blog managing mini-application that runs inside Firefox. You can add, edit and delete posts. I guess it would be especially helpful if you have multiple blogs with multiple blogging services.

Looks like I already found a few bugs! If you select a post to edit from your existing posts, it seems to wrap paragraphs in a <div xmlns=""> and add additional line breaks.

Also, the html editor is not syntax highlighted, and doesn't use a fixed width font. No easy way to wrap chunks of code in <code> or <pre> tags. More importantly no spell checker. I'm probably going to stick to using the rich text editor built into until they fix all this stuff.

More bugs! If the connection to fails when you are editing a post, the post as edit button disappears. I have to restart performancing to get back normal behavior.