Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Workout your TV !!

Recently read a news article about a gym that uses the member's workout (cycling) etc. to generate some electricity, and use it to run some stuff....

That got me thinking - what will be really nice is to have some link between your tv at home and some exercise equipment like a cycle or treadmill....basically run the tv off the power from the equipment...

so if you need to watch some tv, you need to cycle some....

as you can see -  multiple benefits...
1. you are forced to work out while watching tv
2. you save time (workout + tv show)
3. your tv time goes down (some shows may not be worth the effort)
4. green :)
5. save some electricity bill

Happy Holidays ...

Its that time of the year, when you finally get to see 5 folks riding in a 5 seater car....

Thursday, November 27, 2008


Power outage at atlanta airport. Everything grinds to a halt. Traffic cannot get to the airport as the lights are out. News reporters bring the "sad" stories of people who could not make their flights...
"..I got out of the car and ran all the way to the gate...only to have the lady shut the door on me..."
and stuff like that....but then there was one story, about a man who was going to visit his grandma....."he has not seen his grandma since he was 14, now he missed his flight and has to wait ONE MORE DAY to meet her..."

Only in america can it be that the sad part is that he was delayed another day coz he missed his flight...and not that he has not visited his grandma since 14....

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Small Town Talk..

Happened recently to a colleague who came to the US and was posted at a customer site in a big city. Next project he gets sent to a remote customer site in a small town - about 4 hours drive on open country roads (by that I mean the "next gas station 100 miles" type open country) from the nearest airport.

After about 3 hours on the road, comes to a small town, where he stopped for dinner at a small restaurant (of course). Noticing some really good stuffed animals and birds and animal heads, he asks the waitress if those are real.

She starts out on who hunted which one, and where they get them stuffed, etc...

Our astonished colleague goes "wow , do you know it is illegal to hunt where i come from"

an even more astonished waitress goes "oh my god!, what do you guys do in your spare time?!!"

Saturday, November 8, 2008


People are quite used to the Indian Stretchable Time in the IT industry. By people, I mean folks outside India, who have to deal regularly with colleagues in India. A good example - my boss, whenever he sends out our frequent global call invitations, always mentions (NOT IST) against India time. So invite will look something like 7:30 am ET / x:xx pm singapore / 6 pm India time (NOT IST).

This is not about the IT industry. This is about some folks whose closest encounter with IST is dictating medical case summaries into a software, which is transcribed by other folks in bangalore. Basically, folks who dictate, sleep, and wake up to find everything ready, and think "this is neat !" - folks who have no clue what IST is. 

So, we get invited to this Indian wedding reception in Atlanta. Invite says 7 pm onwards.......(dots are mine). We start(read "the wife starts")  getting ready around 7, leave home at 7:45, and get to the venue around 8:15. What do we find there? No bride, no groom and a hall full of the groom's american colleagues who have been waiting since 7 pm. Their kids are dreary eyed, its past bed time. Most of them dont look good - its waay past dinner time. Some of them actually went to get dinner at the restaurant across the street. 

To the rest of them willing to listen, prowe started explaining the great concept of IST and its intricate workings..... 

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

What next ?

Found at a store in tijuana mexico - snortoff vodka and buttwiper beer....what next? :))

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Please dont touch there...

@ a Greek restaurant in Vancouver- the well placed sign reads 'Please do not Touch'

Thursday, October 23, 2008

machine error? human error ?

Big news on CNN about voting machines, and folks who wanted to click Obama, but machine took it as McCain...then debate on whether it was the voter's fault or the machine's fault. 

They showed a machine and how it looks, out of all the space on the touch-screen, the two buttons to select obama and mccain are right on top of each other and by themselves, use up about 3% of the screen area - hardly a line space between - blame the guy who designed the User interface !!! not the voters or machines. And this on a touch screen!!!

What do you need the remaining 97% of the screen for? to put disclaimers to avoid litigation? 

Put two big boxes there, one side for John Mccain, with his Big photograph and the same for obama on the other side, then, if something goes wrong, blame the voter or the machine.....

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Sense and sensibility

Finally - a good explanation of the credit crisis - follow the link below


I can bet you 700 billion dollars (of taxpayer money), you are never going to get this from media in the US of A


Users !

“There are only two industries that refer to their customers as “users” – Technology and Illegal Drugs. “

(From NYT Technology newsletter by David Pogue)

Normal !!

these recent google quotations are getting very personal :)

Normal is getting dressed in clothes that you buy for work and driving through traffic in a car that you are still paying for - in order to get to the job you need to pay for the clothes and the car, and the house you leave vacant all day so you can afford to live in it.
  - Ellen Goodman

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Nothing to lose...

I guess parents have a hard time dealing with kids and their queries on prime time ads about "veeevaaa viaagraaaa....." and genital herpes and natural male enhancement and such !!

It is usual for ads to say "you suck" to make their point...but i do not think this one did it intentionally....

for a "male enhancement" product: 
"try it...after all, you have NOTHING to lose!!" 

Friday, October 10, 2008

Stars !!

There are 10^11 stars in the galaxy. That used to be a huge number. But it's only a hundred billion. It's less than the national deficit! We used to call them astronomical numbers. Now we should call them economical numbers.
  - Richard Feynman

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Rice cooks slow

US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice visited India this week. A (nuclear) deal was expected to be signed, but that did not happen and is expected to take longer. This was the headline in a regional newspaper (malayalamanorama, translated from malayalam)

"This Rice will take longer to cook"

(rice is the staple of the state, and of course how much time a variety takes to cook is a common conversation item) 

Thursday, October 2, 2008

To each his own...

Q: hows the atmosphere there in US ?

A: Its the same. Everyone is still in their own wonderland !

Its football season, so that still tops tv coverage, and conversations, followed by the election coverage.

Business channels crib abt the bailout not going thru, and how stupid politicians are, news channels not sure if bailout is good or bad.

my cab guy in oregon yestetday was worried about his golf handicap! And my cab guy here in atlanta was worried about the long lines at gas stations after Ike.

The guy next to me in the flight seemed quite happy about how much land he could buy dirt cheap.

to each his own.....or if the bailout goes through....to each his own bit of the leftovers.....


Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Hard Times

Heard on GMA on ABC:

What is the difference between a pigeon and a stock broker today?

(Today is the day after the 700 billion bailout failed and dow crashed)

A pigeon can still make a deposit on a ferrari !!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Lift of a Warning !!

Note posted at lift entrance in our hotel in Sao Paulo

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Paper or Plastic ?

From NY Times Circuits: David Pogue newsletter
The full paper-or-plastic discussion goes something like this:

"Why, paper, because it biodegrades."

"Yes, but we kill 14 million trees a year to make the paper. That's contributing to global warming."

"Yes, but the plastic bags consume 12 million barrels of oil and choke the oceans and sea life."

"Yes, but creating paper bags creates 70 percent more air pollution."

"Yeah, but plastic bags create four times the waste."

"Yes, but it takes seven times as many trucks to ship the same number of paper bags to the stores; they're much bulkier."

And so on. (The real answer to that question, of course, is "neither—bring your own reusable bags." But until U.S. stores start charging 15 cents per bag, as groceries in Europe do, Americans aren't likely to go to that trouble any time soon.)

Monday, August 25, 2008

Even India ?

A line from movie review of Bachna ae haseeno - got that right? note the locations !!

An amiable romantic comedy with fatal attractions to primary colors, glorious scenery (locations include Switzerland, Italy, Australia and even India) and 360-degree pans, “Bachna” starts too cute.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Raj Bhavsar

Got an answer to something that has bugged me for a long while - are Indian Americans (not American Indians) restricted to shine only in the math Olympiads and the spelling bees? will there be some stars ever in NHL - do we grow that big?, more importantly, do we make them that mean? :)

I somehow missed Raj Bhavsar - he barely missed selection for 2004, same here in 2008, but was called in last minute.
Pretty cool player..catch him fast before USA gets knocked out of the team events :)

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Indian Fusion Hour

On my way to get a hair cut, tuned to the local Atlanta "desi" channel on radio. It was "west Indian fusion" hour, and some "chutney soca" music was playing. After the song, the RJ came on line "you are listenin to the west Indian fusion hour, and I am your host joel ghanshyam".

Ghanshyam? why was the name so familiar? the name kept ringing some bell somewhere...figured it out during the hair cut - ghanshyam - the on-campus "hairdresser" at Lucknow...the small mirror, the sharp sound of the scissors, the water with a peculiar smell, all were slowly coming back...

"WOULD YOU LIKE A SHAMPOO SIR?" – almost instinctively, I said "nahin", quickly corrected it to a "no". The cut was over...that was the time ghanshyam would have asked "maalish karoon saab?"

(there was always a rumor floating around that ghanshyam was not exactly "straight" - so nobody in their "straight" mind went for a "maalish")

Mexican Masala

There is this small South Indian food stall at the Global Mall in Atlanta. From afar, looks as though you transplanted the take out counter of "vasantha bhavan" straight from Chennai, including the "uncle" sitting there, complete with a small bindi on the forehead.

I ordered two Mysore masala's "to go", and the order got shouted out to the "pack man" standing outside the kitchen - "Dos (spanish, i realized later) Mysore Masala". He shouted the same at his wife (just my wild guess from the way they were shouting at each other) inside the kitchen. Thats when i noticed, other than the counter, the whole crew was mexican, and were busy preparing uthappams and mysore masalas and vada and what nots!!

Got my order, went home, and washed down my perfect mexican mysore masala with some Sam Adams - i swear i would have tried it with dos equis if i had it in stock :)

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Free What ?

How will you read this title ? This came up on my "deals" feed...

HBO Store: Free Sex and the City movie Poster on $60+ order

i went "free WHAT ? and some movie poster....if you shop for 60 bucks !! .. wait, let me read that again...."

Monday, June 30, 2008

Before Subtitles

footnote to bollywood everywhere

how did the Ethiopians understand the language? especially the ones that go "Kuttay, Kameene Main tera khoon pee jaaonga.."?

seems they have it very easy these days, the movies come with subtitles (which could be really interesting)

But in the old days, they had a person who stood at the back of the hall, and shouted out rough translations.

would have loved to see him(or her) translate the songs (maybe padosan? "ek chatur naar....")

Out of the Box

When you think "out of the box", it is beyond the ordinary, but when you buy something "out of the box" it is ?

Friday, June 27, 2008

Bollywood everywhere…

Have been discovering the worldwide following Bollywood has in bits and pieces, here n there – like a full time French TV station broadcasting just Hindi songs…like the old time Bachan fans (big b) from Japan, and Russia…like the YouTube video spoofs of Hindi songs done by college kids here…

What makes it so popular? Well, here was one reason I did not think of…in Ethiopia, they have movie halls that show Hollywood movies, and then there are some that show everything else, including Bollywood. And its way cheaper to watch a Bollywood movie than the Hollywood ones. The result? An “aam aadmi” there knows and follows everybody from the Bachans to the Rajnikant's and Vijay’s of Kollywood !! To say the least, the wife (my secret agent for all news Bollywood) got the shock of her life while talking to somebody more educated than her on the latest gossip !!

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Bottom Half again !!

Dont know how many years more i will keep seeing this, but then, it is all about tradition, the strict dress code, the green grass.....it is that time of the year again....ESPN2 is broadcasting the "Gentlemen's Bottom Half" all day.....

Thursday, June 19, 2008


Up in victoria island, asked for what's on tap at a pub, and got this - race rocks, rockcreek, big rock XO, dead frog nut !!

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Overheard: New Plates

Overheard at a Kitchenware store:

Boy: MOM, why do we keep buying new plates?
Mom: Because we keep dropping them Johnny!

Friday, March 14, 2008

Yen n Yang n Dollars n Francs

Talk about catch 22s.....I get less rupees for my dollar each going month....of course, the indian equities i buy with those rupees have not been doing any good either...and of course, i do not have enough dollars to invest in the US of A...

The Europeans are having a field day here...travel through NYC airports on any weekend and you see hordes of them going back with their weekend shopping - yes..shopping in New York is cheaper than shopping in UK or swiss, (flight and hotel charges included)....and NYC hotels now offer "shopping packages".

The other day, my colleague met a couple at an NY Outlet Mall. They were lost in their shopping and missed the last transport back to their hotel and were looking for a lift. So here are the numbers he got: they bought stuff for $3000, which would have cost them $8000 back in their place...flight and hotel is just a 1000 - they still save 4000 (or make more if they sell it back there?)

same goes for many south american countries - we were visiting an airline in brazil, and were asking some guys there whats a good place to go shop in the evening, and most of them said "New York" !!!

What about US shoppers in Europe? really at the wrong end of the stick :) found this the hard way last week, when some "constants" like a McD burger cost $10 and a bottle of water cost $8 (to a guy used to buying 12 bottles for $3)

like the wife says "paapi chellunnidam paathaalam" or "wherever the sinner goes, its always hell"

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Extreme Exits early on Super Tuesday...

There have been exit polls..and there have been exit polls...and it is early morning SUPER TUESDAY, the Democrats and Republicans are fighting it out internally in around 24 states today.....and we get to see some real "newsmaking" happening on TV....

Channel 1: "....we now go over live to 'small town 1' in New Jersey where our reporter john doe is standing by......
john doe: "it is around 6:30 am now...and voting has been in progress since 6 am today.....so far we have observed half a dozen people go in and cast their votes....i have been conducting my own exit poll here, and out of the 4 people I surveyed, it shows a wide and interesting mix for the candidates among this cross section of New Jersey's voting population..."

Channel 2: "...we now go over live to 'small town 2' in Massachusetts..." - display switches to the outside of a brick building and stays there for 30 seconds...not a soul in sight....not even a leaf twitches for those 30 seconds (not that there are any leaves on the trees this winter to twitch)....and comes back to news(making)room..."...stay tuned and we will have more live coverage as it happens right here throughout the day...." and we go into a well deserved commercial break....

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Little Superstars



(and the best part is the wife got this from her lab colleagues, who had no idea who the big superstar in the video is)

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Who Whistles ?

Lunchtime discussion on "parampara" and similar pre-mix gravies and a colleague mentioned this incident...

well, before that, let me explain how these mixes work....if you get a malabar chicken mix, the pouch will have everything you need for the gravy (includes oil, salt, EVERYTHING). You take chicken, add the mix, add water, pressure cook for a couple of whistles, and eat it....

back to story: a canadian friend went to the indian store with our colleague, found the concept interesting, took a pouch home....late evening our colleague gets a call...
"... it says wait for 2 whistles....who is supposed to whistle? the chicken? or should i go ahead?"

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Kachi Kaliyan & Subtitles

We watch a lot of Hindi and Malayalam DVDs with the English subtitles on. If the movie gets boring, there is a likelihood of finding something interesting in the subtitles at least.

In the old days, it was star movies with hindi subtitles, where "what the F**K happened here" on the audio became "he bhagwan, ye kya hua??" on the subtitles...

And occasionally you come across some amazing work of translation - the local dialects in OMKARA got translated beautifully to some english slang in the subtitles.

But this one takes the cake - translating a meaningless song without compromising its meaninglessness takes some knack...

(from the song kachi kaliyan na todo.... from laga chunari mein daag)

now, don't go plucking buds
or the gardener will kick your butts

ladies, we beg your pardon
we are here for the whole garden

gardener, your blossoms are too cool,
row after row like a flowery spool

we are hungry bees so lovesick
we'll gladly get our butts kick'd


Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Web Activity

Saw a "Web History" link on i-google homepage - clicked on it, and i am not sure if i was amazed or scared by what i saw - every item i searched on google, google maps, orkut, or any other googly stuff....since early 2006, what i got as results, what did i click on, where did i go....trend charts on that...other stuff i "might" be interested in because of all these searches......what time of day did i search...which day of week did i search most.....like i said - i dont know if i have to be amazed or scared :)