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Thursday, February 25, 2010

I hate the phone company

And by that I mean specifically the ones that I've been unfortunate enough to associate with in the past few years, including Virgin Mobile (in Aus), Tata Indicom (for my internet) and Vodafone.
If they're not tryin to find new ways to overcharge me - either by not telling me specific details that MIGHT be important to know, or by providing me with their 'value added' services, which I never asked for, and never wanted or needed - then they're either just making my life miserable with layers of bureaucratic retardedness, or just providing a terrible slow ass service in general (Yes, i'm looking straight at YOU, Tata Indicom)
I could go into far greater detail about the idiocy that i've had to deal with, especially in the last two months, but it would take way too long. Seriously, had more issues than I did with all my various service providers in the previous 7 years before that.
And the worst part is, I really cant do anything about it... at the moment, I'm living sorta on the move, without any fixed land phone, so my cellphone and wireless internet are my essential lifelines, so I have to just grin and bear with whatever idiotic crap they put me through. Bastards
If anyone's aware of any phone or internet companies around, that just WORK, and let u get on with things, without all the bullshit, i'd love to hear about it.

Been having a really blah day for a bunch of reasons, and my internet going like a fucking snail in the middle of the night, was kinda the last straw for me...
There was a whole bunch of other, much more positive stuff that I've been meaning to write about, but its just been drowned out by a general malaise, and I cant be bothered anymore. Maybe next time.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Lost in the Garden of Eden! Lost in the Garden of Eden! Aint no one gonna believe it but we're lost in the Garden of Eden!

Been a while since I wrote for the blog, mainly due to illness, trips to the emergency ward and such. Had a whole host of things I wanted to talk about, but they've all been forgotten now...maybe they'll surface again in time. :-D For now, instead, you'll just have to read about cricket :-p.

Never actually written about any game before, but hey, there's a first time for everything, and I've decided that since my own life doesnt really have anything to interesting to write about at the mo, I might as well branch out a bit.

Today was one of the more intense days of cricket I've watched, even though I barely got to 'watch' any of it, and had to spend most of the time following the online commentary on cricinfo. But intense it was, because of who was involved, what was at stake, and not least the incredible quality of the play on the field.

In the end it was great to see India bring it home, taking the final wicket with an over or two to spare, and fighting back to tie the series, after we were so completely and clinically destroyed in Nagpur. Most people (the media in particular) rejoiced at the fact that the team had managed to hold onto our No 1 ranking, but for me, what was especially satisfying was the brilliant fightback and turnaround from the previous game.

I argued at the time, that the defeat wasnt quite as bad as it appeared...that it had taken a perfect storm of circumstances to bring about...injuries to dravid, laxman and yuvraj, career defining innings from amla and kallis, the law of averages catching up with our own mr cricket gambhir, and one incredible day of bowling from dale steyn. We might have lost that game anyways, but it certainly would have been a lot closer if even ONE of those circumstances had been different. I certainly didnt agree with people who immediately seemed to overreact to the defeat, calling for wholesale changes, talking about our No 1 ranking being a sham, and all the other hysterical commentary that any Indian defeat brings.

That said, even I couldnt have expected just how heavy a counterpunch India would throw back at them in the second test- especially leading up to tea on the first day of the match. Prem Panicker describes the events that followed in the last session much more eloquently than I ever could. It's been said before, but there just seems to be something about Eden Gardens, and Indian comebacks. In just over a session, SA crashed from 218/1 to 266/9, and one could argue that from there, it was India's game. Of course, that wasnt really true, with many roadblocks to overcome...India's innings was hardly a 82/2, the game was in the balance before Sehwag and Sachin joined for a huge partnership....when they lost 3 quick wickets at the end of that day, SA once again had a sniff, except that Dhoni and Laxman then managed to put together a second 200+ run partnership. (Apparently its only the second time that 4 Indian batsmen have scored centuries in the same innings...and since the first one came against Bangladesh, that hardly counts does it? ;-)

Finally, there was the small matter of bowling out South Africa again in the time left, and as expected, they didnt exactly lie down without a fight. The rain certainly didnt help, with most of the 4th day lost, and then came the news this morning that Zaheer Khan was injured and couldnt play, depriving the bowling attack of their cutting edge, the man who has been India's best bowler for most of the last two years. Oh, and then there was Hashim Amla, SA's best batsman in the series, who'd already scored 253 and 114 in his previous two innings. As long as he stood firm, they would always have a chance of saving the game. As it turned out, he scored yet another unbeaten century but his nine hour struggle wasnt quite enough, with his teammates leaving him stranded on 127. As a matter of interest Amla's numbers for the series are 490 runs from 3 innings, losing his wicket only once. I wonder if its a little irritating for South Africans to know that their best batsman is a beardy brown man :-D

So the series is done now (well, the Test matches anyway, and since the ODI team is seriously depleted, i expect nothing less than a mauling from a pissed off SA team that wants revenge)
You'd expect that a marquee clash between the top two teams in the world would have involved some tight draws and closely fought victories, not each match ending in an innings defeat for either team, but despite that, I dont think anyone could say that it wasnt exciting cricket. The end of the year, and India's trip to SA for the return series, cant get here fast enough.

Right now though, I need to go find my South African mate Evan, and do some constructive gloating.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

For those cute little kitties

Most of you would have seen the "Save Our Tiger's" ads around the place by now, and I'm guessing that at least some of y'all, like me, visited the website and signed up. What I found though is that there isnt all that much to the initiative at the moment, except for spreading the message, and links taking you to the WWF donation page. I thought it might be interesting to work up a proposal for something else to add on to that, so I put these together.

Basically, the idea is that the Initiative could have a tie-up with Converse to bring out a special range of shoes with tiger themed artwork. Proceeds (or at least a portion) goes to the tiger funds, and the shoes themselves serve as walking billboards to spread the message even further. Btw, this isnt meant to be the final version of the artwork, just an illustration of what it could be.

I think this could be pretty do-able, especially since Converse is one of those companies known for their tie-ins to various charities and campaigns around the world, and they've already been bringing out whole ranges of shoes with artwork meant just for India alone.

So what do you think guys? I'm in the process of preparing a package that can be sent to the Save Our Tigers Initiative and/or Converse, so in the meantime, I'd appreciate any feedback on whether you think this is something that could be worthwhile, and that people might actually buy.

Friday, February 12, 2010

In today's top stories

Havent had a chance to write anything for a day or two, since I had no electricity during the day, and was away from my pc during the night...couple of things that I wanted to write about at some point, but I havent had time to frame them properly yet, so I'll get on to those later. Right now, a few linked news stories, and a couple of thoughts...

Firstly, as I made it a tradition while I was at college to get the new Sports Illustrated calendar every year, I'm probably more familiar with their models and locations than many. One of the glaring omissions had always seemed to be the fact that there were never any Indians, or Indian locations used for the photoshoots- which is strange considering that they must have had models and locales from just about everywhere else. Finally though, there's an Indian in the swimsuit issue, so let there be much rejoicing....if only they'd picked a prettier one...ah well, maybe next time.

I'm not yet really sold on Google Buzz, and from the sound of things, I'm not the only one. I get the attraction of converging everything into a single service, but so far, never seen a service that could actually do it all, and do it well. Of course, I could be completely wrong on this, and maybe Buzz will turn out to be the bee's knees (sorry, couldnt resist that one :-p )

And finally, this Nasa video from The Onion just made me laugh out loud. Bit long, but its worth it :-D

Aight, that'll do for now... another update as soon as I can (be bothered)

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Through the wonders of modern technology...

I'm off to Bangalore to seek fame and adventure...or at least a couple of paychecks, so wish me luck on that front.

Normally, I hate travelling on trains, especially by myself, but the last two trips have been much more tolerable due to my mobile internet, and the power points in the train carriages that allow me to use my retarded battery-less laptop. This blog is coming to you live as we pull out of Chennai station, and I'm hoping to stay online for the greater part of the 6 hour trip. I'll let you know how that works out...or how soon the novelty wears off, and I put away my lappie and get bored again.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

I think best in bed ;-)

Ever have one of those nights where you're trying to get to sleep, and you're nearly there, when all of a sudden, you get a really great idea for a design or a project? And then no matter what you do, you cant stop thinking about it, and planning it out in your head, so that sleep basically becomes impossible until you've sat up and at least had a go at working out all the details properly.
Well that's just happened to me (again), and I'm off to figure out the rest of the idea...wish me luck!

Monday, February 8, 2010

Things that make you go hmm..

I'd have loved to start off this blog with a proper piece of writing that was both witty and insightful. However, its about 5 am, and I need to wake up earlyish tomorrow, to watch the cricket (btw, the Ind-SA match thats on at the moment might be the biggest challenge to end Dhoni's unbeaten run as Test's hoping that it lasts just a little bit longer :-)

ANYways, I made a promise to someone that I'd start writing posts TONIGHT, so I'm gonna cheat a bit, and just mention a few random things that were on my mind, bubbling around the surface.

Havent had a chance to play any basketball at all since I came back home...hopefully that'll change now that I've bought some shiny new bball shoes :-D

A sign that you're getting older (which I've just discovered) is that an amount of alcohol that isnt enough to get you seriously drunk, is still enough to give you a serious hangover...that seems really unfair somehow.

Chennai has very little to occupy free time unless you want to go out to eat or drink, and absolutely NOTHING to offer that isnt massively overcrowded. Wish I could go back to that time in high school when we used to pick quiet, fun places to hang out in, and then leave just as it got popular with everyone else, so we could move on to the next one.

This is something I'll probably touch on again sooner or later, because its a pet peeve, but it seems that every time I turn around, there's the local or national authorities putting more and more restrictions on us... most of which are squarely aimed at people in our approximate age group. Cant stand the whole moral policing nanny state that we seem to suddenly live in, but more on that another day.

Going to be moving to Bangalore soon, and quite looking forward to it. Aside from the fun friends I've got there, and hopefully a design job, I've always had a special affinity for B'lore that I havent had for any other city I've been to in India. And this despite the fact that I've barely lived there at all, and was too young to remember those times anyways. Maybe its something to do with being born there?

And finally now that we're done with the Noughties...what exactly are we calling this decade? I'd like to go with the Teenies and/or the Elevenses

So here we go again

So its been almost 5 years since I started my first blog, with a post that was cunningly titled "Bandwagon sighted..prepare to jump" Its also been about 3 years since I gave up on the sporadic posts that I used to put up on that site. For anyone interested in reading dated and largely mindless drivel, here's the link to the blog on Multiply.

And now here we are in a shiny new decade, with me on a shiny new blog... I cant promise that the drivel I come out with on here will be any less mindless than on the old blog, but hey, chances are that if you're reading this blog, then you know me, so you'll be quite used to it. For anyone new...well, you can take heart from the fact that turmoil and displacement usually leads to interesting writing...and rest assured, you've met me at a very strange time in my life.

PS: I've wanted to use that line ever since I heard Ed Norton say it in Fight Club :-D