Sunday, August 31, 2003
”It happens only in India”
Continued viewpoints from the Indian press:
Fish market raises stink
Not just any fish market, but Hyderabad's largest: 600 vendors dumping their product on a main road and municipal park have produced a slippery traffic jam of entrails, scales and rogue cats. Local residents are abandoning their homes due to the stench spreading over a kilometer. Where the hell are the ice/refrigeration vendors?
Good news for potato growing tipplers
As Kolkata area farmers continue to grow economically infeasible surpluses of potatoes, lack of inclusion into Indian diet leaves the produce to rot. In a questionable solution, the West Bengal state gubbermint will resort to producing even more booze after a US -based firm successfully extracted alcohol from potatoes. I'm confused, didn't the Russians call this "vodka" for the last 500 years?
Friday, August 29, 2003
Want your Blog to show as "updated" on all the BlogRolls?
If so, we're much more likely to read you. Then you need to ping WebLogs.com after you've made your update. Details are at the site
here's a link to the ping function for your single URL Blog
here's a link for your framed Blog (one main URL & a second URL for the updated frame).
Thursday, August 28, 2003
”It happens only in India”
The theme above has been promoted by “Discussions over tea” and “Jivha the Tongue” (BlogRolled to your left). I read these gentlemen, respect their views, and humbly add other viewpoints from the Indian press:
Jaya orders annual health camp for 41 temple elephants to keep them in good humour
"Jaya" is Jayalalithaa, the Chief Minister & ex-movie starlet here in the south Indian state of Tamil Nadu. Organizations around India are also known to provide health camps for millions of destitute humans.
Chennai city council adopted 47 resolutions in just three minutes without any debate
The AIADMK majority party & Deputy Mayor Thiyagarajan had a ruckus with opposition parties.
Eunuchs seek a fair deal from the society
It has been estimated that there are at least a million "hijras" in India. I would ask: "who's checking?" Nonetheless, hijras themselves illegally perform the operation of removing all male organs. They are said to earn a living by prostitution or by performing a traditional ceremony which occurs whenever a new baby is born in the community.
Another stunning pic "from the last Columbia shuttle mission"...
with a sunset terminator line running thru Africa & Europe (and another hoax). BTW, I have great respect for the pic provider (BreakTheChain.org) trying to reduce the emailing of all these hoaxes that overload the Net.
Wednesday, August 27, 2003
As a scuba diver, I thought the pic below is almost too good to be true
Did you catch the keywords? If not, do a websearch on the supposed source "Global Marine Drilling iceberg".
Mars viewing for directionally-challenged Chennites...
If you're having trouble with the word "southeast" from my Mars post last week, try the following:
Face the Bay of Bengal/Indian Ocean (east). At 7PM IST, look halfway to your right (southeast) near the horizon (sea level). The brightest celestrial body (other than that special someone) will be Mars. Around midnight, Mars will set below the southern horizon (your right shoulder). BTW, a friend was on an airplane Monday night where the pilot turned off the plane's exterior strobe lighting for a few minutes. Mars was bright enough to light up the plane!
And in a related Mars story...
Astrologers blame Mars for Mumbai blasts. Personally, I think the astrologers should consider flying to Uranus, seaching for Klingons ;^)
Tuesday, August 26, 2003
Net trends during recent blackout & virus events...
Just how devastating was the east coast US power outage? I'm LOL at the Neilsen/NetRatings report that noted "average time spent online at work dropped 5 percent for the week ending August 17". That would be a whopping 2 hours.
During that same troublesome week, a barrage of virii & worms sent a 1100% increase of related information seekers to Micro$oft's TechNet. People, this is a KnowledgeBase where you read about the issues. When it came to actually doing something about the nasties, there was only a 76% spike at the Micro$oft Windows Update site, all-important home of the "patch" download. As for downloading up-to-date antivirus definitions, Norton AntiVirus author Symantec only had a 302% rise in traffic. I don't know whether to be happy regarding a portion of Luddites finally reading about their PCs or if I should be discouraged that only a fraction of them accomplished anything ;^(
Monday, August 25, 2003
Dozens killed in Bombay blasts
No, Mom, Bombay/Mumbai is far to the northwest. Chennai is still conservative & quiet; nobody will waste a nuke on Chennai.
Sunday, August 24, 2003
Meeting of the minds, the best of both worlds, AKA my b-day
Before I explain, let me again attest that a great day in India starts with a great haircut. The sadarji may not agree, but it's relaxing, meticulous, and economical. Your big head will never feel better. A non-veg Chettinad lunch continued the roll of favorable die (thanks, Tone).
Bloggers & Enfield Bulls later met together for a slight pub crawl. I've been in India for 18 months and these bastards have just disclosed the hangouts for modern, liberal, attractive Chennites. We started at Zara's, the local concept of a Spanish tapas (snacks) bar. I've Eurailed my way thru Spain and Zara's is no tapa cantina, mis amigos. But Zara's did have a Manhatten (whiskey, vermouth & bitters) in a straight-up stem glass, hotly dressed women, good music, and a decent selection of Malaysian satay, lollipops (chicken drumsticks), stuffed mushrooms, and grilled mussels (thanks, Kingsley). We then moved on to Match Point, the club in Chennai's premier hotel (Taj Coromandel, where our CEO reportedly has a permanent suite). Harsh & Verun rounded out our crowd and presented me with a small cake. Even tho I blew out the candle, the Filipino lounge singer did not join us. Instead, I took her a slice that included the sugary rose. We did not perform together, but her rendition of "Happy Birthday" was sweet ;^)
Friday, August 22, 2003
Found the important culinary .gif
from exactly a year ago. If you really have to email a greeting from one of those addy collecting, spam generating, card websites; use firstname.lastname@example.org
Are India's culinary delights back to norm?
Legislation to ban the slaughter of beef was quickly gutted today. A large number of India's political parties favor the ban, but refused their support in a tantrum, claiming they weren't first "consulted". Additionally, the government did their own sipping for pesticides in Coke & Pepsi products after last week's poisonous report by the independent Centre for Science and Environment. In universal government fashion, government labs in Mysore & Kolkata vaguely declared that some sodas are above allowed European standards, some are below. After drinking a few of the sodas myself, I can't quite remember what I did with a very important culinary .gif image...
Thursday, August 21, 2003
UPDATE: the California campaign gets HOTTER...
with Mary Carey in lace... I mean, "in the race". She has an interesting platform and much more. I'd post a pic if I wasn't at the ultra conservative workplace where someone was just terminated for questionable images.
Wednesday, August 20, 2003
When you say that you "own a computer"...
kindly live up to the word "ownership". Install your virus definitions & Micro$oft Updates on a weekly basis before Al Gore, Inventor of the Internet, requires all users to be licensed. New hacks came out on Monday & Tuesday of this week. M$Blast spread itself conservatively by sending itself to 20 addys found on your computer. Monday's variation [MSBlast.D, W32.Welchia or W32/Nachi] of the original M$Blast worm blatently sends itself to 300 addys. Tuesday's "SoBig.F" is also a variant of the original mass-emailing virus. Even for those of us protected, the secondary problem is the sheer overload to mail servers ;^(
Monday, August 18, 2003
Look up at the sky! (no, not another failed Chennai Flash Mob)
Recently, I posted about the fantastic full moon over Chennai, India & the Indian Ocean. I didn’t post about last week’s Perseid meteor shower because that annual event was
1. Not favorably viewed from India’s latitude/longitude
2. Additionally obscured by the bright moon
While at Elliot’s Beach on Saturday night, I was asked about a bright star and remembering Sisyphus’ blog, I replied that the stellar spotlight was probably the planet Mars. Normally, many stars & planets are brighter than Mars, but on 27 AUG, Mars comes closer to Earth than it has in 60,000 years. The brightness of Mars has been doubling every month since May. At this point, the only brighter objects are the Moon & the planet Venus. I’ve done the latitude/longitude corrections for Chennai, India as they relate to red-hued Mars rising above the southeast horizon:
19 AUG at 7:27PM IST
27 AUG at 6:54PM IST
My best suggestion: head to the beach with malted beverages, etc. Mars will slowly rise and eventually set in the south after midnight ;^)
Sunday, August 17, 2003
What’s a blackout like for Northeast U.S.?
I remember the big 1960’s event only because it wasn’t an early 1970’s event. It was fun for a 15 year old in November of 1965 with a few days off from school. Apparently, the darkness was also fun for adults, considering the birth spike nine months later. Over the years, there have been slightly smaller scale blackouts after winter ice storms coat the power lines and trees, eventually snapping them under the weight. Electricity might be off for a few days, but depending on remoteness and interconnectivity, that outage could extend for a week or two. I must admit, however, that the aftermath of an ice storm can be beautiful: diamond glitters of ice everywhere, branches bent gracefully to the ground, and a crust on top of the snow that makes for a tinkling sound whenever a fragment falls. A blackout can be an inconvenience to driving, heating/cooling, and entertainment, but it’s a time of returning to our roots. Under duress, it’s a time of counting on friends and community. Someone is prepared; some organization has a generator or shelter. In the dark, one can always tell scary stories, get to bed early and rise to make the best of daylight. There’s propane/CNG for cooking, tho during one outage, I can remember diapers sterilizing in a pot of water boiling on a bar-b-q grill.
I haven’t heard from the loved ones, but on the scene reporting by Clan Lally cited Fairport, NY, an eastside suburb of Rochester, as having no power failure. On the westside, Up the Mountain blogged electrically in the rural hideaway of Linwood, NY and the Mountain man goes on to describe traffic under blackout conditions: ”It was reassuring to note the calm, politeness and patience of most of the drivers that I joined with on my drive out of the city. Discipline at dead stoplights was excellent.”. I would like to further explain that observation to my Chennai, India readers:
1. If four roads came to a common 4-way stoplight that was out of operation due to a blackout, one vehicle would advance thru the intersection. Then the next vehicle on a rotating basis would take its turn.
2. Smaller vehicles would respect the queue and not worm like spineless animals to the front. Lane and traffic markings would be obeyed by all.
3. There would only be horn honking if someone mucked up the ”taking turns” concept.
4. If it were dark, all vehicles would turn on their lights, but not blind others with their high beams.
5. Vehicles would yield to pedestrians.
6. Stray animals (dogs at the most) would be kept out of the intersection.
7. When a cop arrived on the scene, he (or she!) would actually enforce all of the above ;^)
Saturday, August 16, 2003
My Seiko is in repair so I bought a Tag Monaco and a Cartier Tank
and now my budget is short by Rs. 320. Damn, that's what a pretty good dinner cost Friday when I tried a Chennai restaurant named Kabul. We had assorted kabobs: chicken, mutton, fish, and prawns. There were also two versions of mutton biryani, both tasty with fresh spices. If you like pista (pistachio), then the frozen kulfi dessert was a winner. The bummer: a poor excuse for malted beverage was served.
Friday, August 15, 2003
"Surf's Up" under a great moon at Elliot's Beach, Chennai, India
I didn't see anyone in the water let alone boarding. In fact, for all the times I've gone to this beach during the last 18 months, I've seen thousands of people, a dozen waders, and never a swimmer. Maybe there's a terrible current. Sharks shouldn't be a problem as I haven't seen any at this beach and anyways, they would be vegetarian here in Southeast India ;^)
I always liked the sea at night when I lived in the West Indies. It was fun to take a Freedom 30 sailboat out with friends under a Full Moon. There was a bar-b-que on the transom and we all had beer coolers. Night diving was also pretty cool: just strap on a scuba tank and grab a waterproof light. Spiny lobsters, color changing octopii & large graceful turtles were active at night, sharks were not. I also liked turning off the dive light for a few minutes to groove on the phosphorescent plankton. With the light off, it's easy to lose a sense of up versus down, but as long as you're not prone to vertigo, it's possibly like being a weightless astronaut with visual deprivation... far out.
Happy Independence Day to India...
and "Thank You" to all Call Center employees working today. Be careful when traveling, there's a lot of distracted people in the streets [drivers & pedestrians]... more so than the usual majority. There's also a lot of cops, but I've only seen them at checkpoints stopping motorcycles. I asked one cop who stopped me the last two nights in a row why they didn't stop speeding SUVs or lorries with no lights and screeching brakes. He replied: "Independence is a dangerous time of terrorism". [Did that make sense to any reader? Was the question answered? How many terrorists are on motorcycles with their RPGs & AK47s? We've all heard of car bombs which in reality are usually truck or van bombs. Who has heard of a Honda Hero bomb?]
Be especially careful at night on Canal Road West going to Tidel Park. They're re-paving that stretch for the tenth time this month. Most of the heavy equipment is not lighted and there are no cops or signal persons insuring safety. When you get to the road divider at Sadar Patel Road, watch out for the vehicles coming the wrong way down your side, but then this happens day or night, cops or not ;^(
Tuesday, August 12, 2003
Full Moon over Chennai, India tonight
Or, at least it looked pretty full as it rose out of the Indian Ocean around 8PM. I've got a great view from the 9th floor of Tidel Park office about 1 km. off the beach. Under darkness, one doesn't see the insane traffic & pollution below, only the scattering of streetlights & beautiful orb above ;^)
Monday, August 11, 2003
Writing of Schwarzenegger reminds me that I saw Terminator 3 this weekend, but heard little…
no thanks to the front row audience at Chennai, India’s Satyam Cineplex. Anytime the film's booming subsided and some actual dialog commenced, those morons would start with the whistles, cat-calls, and other noises on par with their animal mentality. I asked my Indian companions for their explanation of the crowd:
“Ignorant, don’t know English and only want to say they saw the movie”.
“They’ve seen the film several times and don’t care if other first-time viewers enjoy”.
I remarked that usher’s with torches (flashlights) had professionally shown us to our seats. In the U.S., these same ushers would escort rowdies out of the theater. My Indian companions responded that would never happen in India, the rowdies would revolt, throwing stones at the screen and knifing the seats. Wow, there’s a pattern that relates to Chennai's pervasive lack of discipline. And for those who sit back, watch this insanity and do nothing; there’s a lack of backbone. People of character should put pressure on Satyam management, hitting their all-important pocket books.
Sunday, August 10, 2003
Many Indians are telling me Arnold Schwarzenegger is a shoo-in for California's governor (if not President)...
now they should tell me what's a "shoo-in".
Here in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu, Bollywood thesbians MGR and Jayalalithaa eventually served as Chief Minister, but perhaps the Indian pundits have underestimated California's wider spread interests (and range of candidates):
Schwarzenegger, 25% poll vote
Larry Flynt, Hustler (nude magazine) publisher (4% poll vote)
Gary Coleman, child actor who lost his fortune, faced lawsuits & arrests
Don Novello, played "Father Guido Sarducci" on "Saturday Night Live"
Gallagher, comedian & corporate motivator
Angelyne, a buxom actress and model
Trek Kelly, artist promising to make the election a performance art piece
Georgy Russell, software developer selling thong underwear & coffee cups to support campaign
Ned Roscoe, supports smoking (and his store "Cigarettes Cheaper")
Leonard Padilla, bounty hunter (collects reward for finding fugitives)
Kitty Lu, founder of Drag (cross-dressing) Party
Mathilda Karel Spak, centenarian
Peter Miguel Camejo, "green" candidate
Bill Simon, lost to the current governor by 5% (7% poll vote)
Peter V. Ueberroth, financial wizard of the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics (4% poll vote)
Cruz Bustamante, current Lt. Governor of California (15% poll vote)
Thomas Miller McClintock, current California State Senator who targets financial waste (9% poll vote)
Arianna Huffington, political commentator (4% poll vote)
and 150 others who coughed up $3500 and 65 supporting signatures for an election that will cost the state $67 million ;^(
Friday, August 08, 2003
Don't worry about the US Gubbermint...
worry about the AFL-CIO unions when it comes to L-1 and H-1B visas allowing foreign tech workers into the US. Before you challenge the AFL-CIO, do a WebSearch on "Jimmy Hoffa". Not that anyone wants to go to the US for crap work where they're tempted to answer the phones: "Hello, how can we take your shit today?"
Thursday, August 07, 2003
Romance/fashion tips for Chennai?
Years ago, I fell in love with a sous chef who also kept me well fed, particularly with raw oysters on the half shell. I should add that Brenda Elizabeth looked absolutely delightful in her silk camis and tank tops. The kitchen was often hot & I applauded Miss Cook's choice of cool garb. After work, her outfits matched with anything, including jeans. Fifteen years later, it looks like lingerie is coming back out of the closet ;^)
Tuesday, August 05, 2003
Our company has sadly just lost a helmetless motorcycle rider...
In June, I had urged our company to consider a helmet policy that addressed not only a full concern for health & safety, but also recognized the mutual assets of the rider's knowledge. I suggested helmet solutions that included
1. the company gifting Rs.400, approximately half the price, to employees buying helmets
2. an employee's pledge to wear the helmet whenever riding as driver or pillion
I received confirmation on 25 JUN from the highest level of our Chennai operation that HR should "take this ahead". I'm not aware of any action and the employee death has rekindled my life-saving effort.
Does Chennai have what it takes for India's first Flash Mob?
I've reported the basic F.M. concept over at Geek News Central, but basically, it's 5 minutes of spontaneous street theater organized by email or blog. Clean, peaceful, social fun.
Can Chennai quietly show up at Ispahani Centre parking lot, Noon sharp this Saturday, 09 AUG? At 12:03, can everyone point to the sky, laughing & cheering? At 12:05, can everyone quietly disperse? Or is this all better off left for some more progressive city?
Sunday, August 03, 2003
The librarian of the Kesavapuramalpuram lending library...
has been slacking off. He (yes, there are male librarians) has long finished Jack Higgin's Flight of Eagles. It was a fast-paced read of improbable twin brothers, one an Ace in the Luftwaffe, the other a similar champ in the RAF. Ho hum. The librarian (thanks to Harsh) is now on to Yes Minister, the Diaries of a Cabinet Minister (Right Hon. James Hacker MP), as editted by Jonathan Lynn & Antony Jay and written for the BBC TV series. Pretty funny stuff and striking true at the reality of any nation's political humor. I'm also thankful the boss treated me to a lovely dinner last night followed by the gifting of Amazonia, penned by James Rollins. In a twist and with apologies to Tina Turner, "one goes in, two come out", that is an ex-Special Forces soldier goes into the deepest Amazon with one arm and comes out with his second. I'm mildly intrigued after 28 pages ;^)
Notting Hill on HBO India tonight...
Yes, the movie with Julia (Lips) Roberts & Hugh (Lips of Divine) Grant. The Sunday Night Movie. Did anybody else look forward to it all week long? I mean, that is why they advertise it all week long, right? That is why they put it on weekend Prime Time, agreed? I think it's fair to say there's a bit of romance in the film. And who doesn't need a bit of romance? If you have more romance than you can handle, drop me an email, quick, brother. As they say, "it is my duty" to assist you. Needless to say, this foreigner feels a little isolated in India & was looking forward to the film. I gave up after nine CTO (Cable Television Operator) "loss of signals" in the first hour ;^(