Monthly Archives: February 2006

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Do all endings have to be happy?

Readers may thing that there is something seriously wrong with me, considering that I’m posting what they interpret as low, self-defeating and sad stuff. Let me assure you, first hand, that such is not the case, it just happens that way, and is in no way indicative of my current mood, or whatever. Blah!
Anyway, so there was this mail I received. It was a forward about how a guy fell in love with a gal who sold CDs at the music store, and he, as most Indian guys (yeah, bring on the stereotypes!), never had to courage to go and ask her out. So he’d keep buying CDs from her, and it’d go on and on. Finally, he dies (or something like that) and his mom clears out the closet full of unopened CDs. Guess what she finds in every single of them: A note from the gal, saying that she thinks he is cute, and if he’d like to go out with her. Yes, you can go WTF? and roll your eyes now.
And so that is that, the ending was sad, miserable even.
So then some smart arse replies to it, saying that he can provide for an alternate ending: The gal meets the guy’s aunt or something, and finds about the unopened CDs, and the guy isn’t dead, but in the church about to be married… She rushes there, has a one-on-one with the fiancée, and the fiancée wants the best for the hero, so she allows our heroine to go ahead, and then they live happily married ever after.
With a comeback: So enjoy the second ending, the earlier one shows life can be sad this one shows life can be good too.
Yeah, right.
Grow up.
BTW, if he’d have bought all those CDs from an online store, say Amazon or something, the algorithm, trying to determine what to suggest him the next time he visits, would go insane. Just imagine: “What the hell is wrong with this guy? He seems to be buying anything I throw at him. I can’t even establish a pattern with his purchases… Whaaaaaaa! ;'(“

Mathematics, Logic and More

Nothing new, but once again, I’ve been reminded how hopeless I’m when it comes to hardcore mathematics, algorithms and numerical logic. And over time, I’ve come to accept that I almost completely suck at it.
Oh well, I can scrape through, most of the times. And I am competent enough to use it when required, but it simply isn’t my forte.
The question, therefore, is: Is being proficient in it really important?
For those who are thinking that I’m shooting words in the air, here’s a concrete example: We had a Programming and Debugging in Space 2006, and while I comfortably cleared the eliminations, the finals were a different story altogether. And here’s why: The finals had problem statements from TopCoder, which lays a great deal of emphasis on algorithmic programming, logic and maths. And, as we all know by now, I’m not good with it. Some people are great in it… Nishant, Nadeem (props to you guys ;-))…
Sure, I can improve a lot. But it’s not something I love… So, unless the situation demands that, I’m not going to take it up.
Here’s what I’m good at: I’m excellent when it comes to top level views. I can design reasonably good application programs, but when it comes to something that uses maths, you’d be safe with the next guy. I’m good at overviews… I can show you a possibility, but I can’t necessarily do the implementation. Which does not mean, that I won’t be able to do it (unlike some other people I know, who’d claim they can do everything, even if it’s clear it’s not feasible). It’s just that I don’t particularly like doing it. And consequently, lack faculty.
That brings me to an interesting conclusion, something which I’ve known since quite some time now: I’m good with systems. If that is what they mean by systems. Then again, they might not, so the conclusion does not necessarily hold.

Countering the Monday Blues

I have very humungously bad cases of the Monday Blues. Here’s what I’ve come up with, after considerable deliberation:
It’s not so much about Monday, or the start of the week… It’s the grind that we fear, or get frustrated about. And even small things at such a point are great relievers…
Do everything as if Monday was the big day of the week, get up, do your stuff, even schedule as if it was a normal day. But actually begin the day as if it were a half day or something. For example, my Monday in this semester begins at 12 noon. That’s so uber. I can laze around till 10! It’s an amazing feeling.
Try not to accumulate new things to be done on Monday. Like say, washing hair, or shaving, or nail cutting, or whatever. Do it a day before. So you don’t have an additional burden of doing it on an already worse day.
Skip stuff. It’s perfectly ok. You can do it along the week. Even dropping off a small thing that you had planned to do on Monday, but not actually doing it does wonders to my mood.
I guess, we are all inherently lazy.
Some of my friends have a holiday on Monday. WOW!
Then, I guess, they must have the Tuesday Blues!

The IT Crowd

Well, this is a new BBC Comedy Series to be telecast on Channel 4 of the BBC network. And what’s unique about it, you ask? Well, the series is first premiered on the internet. So you can watch it online at your leisure.
Only, of late, BBC has restricted access to the archives and the online files to UK only. Which means people like us cannot watch it anymore. Pretty darn crappy.
But there is hope. You can download the episodes from here. It sure takes a little longer and you do have to put in a bit of effort and time, but then again, at least you still get to watch it for free…
And BTW, BBC, no props for you! 😛

What do you wanna do?

Well, we have all asked ourselves this question, at some point or the other. If you haven’t, trust me, you will.
And the answer, atleast for most of us, is that we don’t really know.
I don’t. And yet, I won’t admit it. Heck, no one will. Makes you feel unprepared. Displays weakness, unplanned life. You most certainly won’t want that.
A friend of mine once told me (*) that I had the most clear planned life. Everything was set. Waiting to happen. Far from it.
But you go with the flow. Nothing wrong in that. You’ll live. Quite happily too.
The only problem is: Is that what you really want to do?
* – (I think this was in my second year of engineering, when things were much rosier than today, or I was not in perspective, not that I claim that I am now)

The Big Dig

While the title was the name of the great engineering project that took place at Boston, to make place for better infrastructure and living standards, it is used here in an altogether opposite sense…
People are always digging up roads here.
And while I take it for granted almost every time, today is different. They are redoing the storm water drains, rather the pity excuse for one: those small one foot wide, one meter deep concrete thingies that run on both sides of most roads. Maybe a wake up call from 7/26, but anyway.
In this redoing process, they are blowing away all forms of stuff that people have built over the drains, including pathways and access roads to the building compounds, in the name of improving the gutter by increasing the height (depth?) and reconcretising it. Complete with compressed air mechanical diggers that make your head explode.
The sad part is that, while they will be restoring said access ways, I am not sure of their commitment.
My apartment complex has (designer?) tiles on the access way. And the builder had some divine intervention, so he built them really really strong… Taking those morons over two days to dig through! And they say that they’ll be making just a standard mortar-concrete path once they are done (unless we provide them with the tiles)… And I am sure that will fall through before the next monsoon.
I mean, come on, just leave it as it is. The drain won’t help a thing. Especially if the river is already overflowing…