Friday, December 26, 2008

The Ugly Indian Tourist

Recently we had gone to Ladghar in Konkan. Stayed at the Pears beach resort. Nice place - I would recommend staying here.

But this isn't about Ladghar, Pears resort, or even the Konkan. This article is about us Indians as tourists. And how we desperately are in need of improvement.

Back to what happened at Ladghar. We had a lovely time there. The only blight on our trip was when a big group landed, nay, rolled in like a pack of cats jumping on empty barrels.

The noise they made was enough to wake the dead (and kill them again). This behavior was consistent across all age groups. It was as if there was a competition going on as to who could shout the loudest. Age 3 to 73, all of them braying to their hearts' content. Now if kids shout, that is understood. But when adults also do the same thing, then it is just not done. When those who are supposed to enforce discipline need disciplining themselves, then it becomes a very sad scene indeed.

I think most of you can guess the state that they came from. But this is not about a particular group of people either. This is about all of us Indians as tourists, and our behavioral pattern while doing so.

This pattern of behavior is repeated not just in India, but overseas as well. I remember an incident when I had gone to London with some colleagues from my erstwhile organization. At the hotel where I stayed, the employees around me used to give us strange glances when we used to pass by. I generally noticed that they were not comfortable when they used to see us. At that point in time, I put it down to simple racism - stories of treatment given to brown Indians in England came to mind.

However, there was more to this than met the eye. I somehow ended up chatting with an elderly white gentleman who also was an employee of the hotel. After exhausting 'normal' topics, I hesitantly brought up the topic of the behavior that I had seen, and asked him what the reason could be. He paused, and then said "I know that you are thinking that it is racism. However, that is not the case. It is due to some other reason."

On prodding further, he revealed that the strange behavior was because previous guests from India or the Indian subcontinent had acted badly while staying there.
Examples were:
  1. Dirtying up the place by dropping paper, wrappers, food items, etc. in every place except the waste baskets.
  2. Filling up the juice placed on the counter during breakfast into thermos flasks or other containers and taking it with them out of the breakfast hall.
  3. Pushing the fire alarm button. This was usually done by kids, which by itself is not that unexpected. But the sad part was that when this was reported to the parents they would shrug their shoulders and say "Oh that's normal behavior for children!"
  4. Deliberately giving the wrong room number when the bill is presented after a meal. This means that someone else staying in the hotel is charged for that meal. 
  5. Spitting in the hotel premises.
  6. Talking loudly even at the dinner table when in the midst of others who were very quiet.

He had other examples as well. After hearing them, I was really ashamed of my fellow countrymen. I really could not blame the hotel staff for being apprehensive about all Indian tourists.

After that conversation, I remembered that I myself have seen examples of this during my travels abroad. It starts with the plane journey itself. We Indians shout, demand too much service, follow no table manners, rush for seats instead of waiting patiently in line, stuff all our luggage into the overhead bins without sparing a thought for whether other passengers have space to put even one item, etc. etc. And it continues at places where we jump queues (yes, the great Indian disease of cutting in lines travels with us abroad as well). No wonder we are disliked.

Most of those who can afford to travel abroad are educated people. If education can't teach you manners, then what is the use? Do we need to have common sense, civic sense and etiquette as part of our school curriculum? Is it really so hard for us to follow a simple rule - "Don't do anything that will trouble others"?

Why do people resist good manners so much? Do they fear that if they stand in line patiently they will miss out on something? That if they don't shout while eating they won't digest their food properly? That behaving in a civilized fashion will corrupt their moral values? :-)

Some questions have no answers. I can just hope and pray that we take some of the good things from the West like manners, punctuality, public behavior, etc. instead of copying the wrong ones...

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

What good are Steve Jobs and Bill Gates without Josh Silver?

Josh Silver, a retired physics professor from Oxford University, has invented glasses with lenses that the wearer can adjust for his or herself. No need to go to an optometrist. This is perfect for poor people!!

He wants to find ways to give these glasses to the world's poor. Hope that someone funds this worthy project ...

Link: What good are Steve Jobs and Bill Gates without Josh Silver?

Creative photos by Chema Madoz

A set of beautiful black and white artistic snaps.

Link: Creative photos by Chema Madoz | - the lifestyle blogzine

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Restaurant Review – Bagban (Camp), Pune

Review – Bagban (Camp)

Went to this one on Friday, Dec 12, 2008.

The restaurant is on East Street, Camp – in front of the old Victory theatre. The first thing one notices is that the menu is also written on the walls. So that kind of gives an indication that food is the primary focus of the hotel - not ambience, decor, etc.

The seats are very plain. The place is also small but clean. There is an upper AC section but we preferred to sit in the normal one downstairs as there was a nice breeze blowing.

We had a few vegetarians in our group. The number of items for them were very limited. They ordered paneer tikka and promptly declared it delicious.

On the other hand, we non-vegetarians were spoilt for choice. Reshmi kababs, mutton seekh kabab, pahadi kababs, etc. – no fish items though. Only chicken or mutton.

For the main course, we went for

Ø     Veg handi + Bakery Naan

Ø     Mutton kheema + pav

Ø     Tawa gosht

Ø     Mutton biryani


The non-veg items were simply delicious! And following the general rule that healthy is inversely proportional to taste, the preparation did not seem at all healthy. But at times like this, you don’t really care!

I would rate the mutton biryani the best of the lot (and that is saying something considering that all the items were very good).

The veggie party declared the handi decent. The Bakery naan is a special item – it is a bread in the shape of a small pizza. Something different from the usual stuff.

All the prices are very reasonable. The total bill came for less than Rs 200/- per head.


Ø     It is a great place if you love chicken and mutton dishes.

Ø     Value for money

Ø     Not recommended for vegetarians (too less variety)

Ø     If ambience matters a lot to you, then skip this one.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

A few thoughts on the Mumbai attacks of 26 Nov 2008

The past few days' events have filled me with a sense of sadness and gloom. There are so many thoughts going around in my mind that I just decided to "blog them away". So here goes - the list is not ordered, as it mirrors what I am thinking ...

  1. When will our government learn?

    This is not directed at any particular political party. I am pretty sure that had any other party other than the Congress(I) been in power, the end result would have been the same.

    Our "leaders" are very reliable - you can rely on them to do anything other than the right thing. They play the politics of vote banks, communalism, casteism, reservation, etc. etc. - anything to avoid doing the right thing.

    We do not have a comprehensive anti-terror policy. We do not have co-ordination amongst security agencies. We do not have proper equipment for our police forces.
    We do not have anything other than the bravery of our armed forces who lay their lives down for our country selflessly. A country that does not even honor them enough.

  2. Spend money on anti-terror freely and wisely.

    News reports said that 100 policemen responded to the attacks immediately. But out of them only 7 had guns. The rest had lathis!! (canes)
    Only 7% of the policemen had guns? Could there be anything more pathetic than this? In the US, each and every policeman/policewoman has a gun. That is more like it.

    In India, most of the gun-toting policemen are sent to guard politicians. These politicians are mostly people who, if killed, would be more a reason for celebration than sadness!! Why can't we reduce the security of such goons-in-political-clothing?

    The equipment that the police had was faulty. The bullet proof vests could not stop bullets from AK-47 rifles. Ditto for the helmets.
    Instead of spending more money on foreign tours of our "leaders", it would be better to spend it on such items.

    Another article said that the Navy did not get the money needed for effective patrolling of the sea coast. We have outdated radar, and outdated ships / less ships than required. This is disgusting!!

  3. Choose the right men for the job.

    Just now heard the news that the home minister, the "honorable" Mr. Shivraj Patil, has resigned and has been replaced. Too little, too late.

    Mr. Patil should not have been made the home minister in the first place. A post that was held by stalwarts like Sardar Patel is now being held by people who change their dress 4 times during the day but don't do what they are supposed to.

    Another colossal mistake that happened was that the NSG is situated only in Delhi. This meant that it was a good 9 hours before they could come to Mumbai. 9 hours!! If that had been reduced to 30 minutes, a lot of lives could have been saved ...

    To take this to another level, we must choose the right people to man the security agencies. Make them co-ordinate with each other. Make sure that all information is given to all the concerned people.

  4. Finally, please spare a thought for all the people who died in this dastardly attack. All the army and policemen who lost their lives. All the commandos who fought so bravely. All the innocent civilians who died an unnecessary death.

    Rest in peace, my friends. Rest in peace.

Insensitivity never dies !!

After the horrific terrorist attacks in Mumbai on 26-Nov-2008, once expects that others would be sensitive to this fact and respect those who lost their lives.

But no. Human nature never ceases to amaze me - both positively and negatively. In this case, it was the negative.

We live on Baner road in Pune. There are 2 marriage halls near our home. This being the marriage season, there were marriages held on Saturday (29 Nov ) and Sunday (30 Nov).

That the marriages were held is perfectly fine - life has to go on and you can't cancel an event that was organized a long time ago. But one did expect them to be sensitive to the fact that terrorists had wreaked havoc in a city that is less than 3 hrs away from Pune.
No such luck. Both times there was a band playing loud music that lasted for one hour!! Not 5 mins, 1 whole hour!! Amazing ...

Friday, November 21, 2008

Footwear designed specifically for diabetics

A Pune, India based doctor – Dr. Manisha Deshmukh - has designed footwear specifically for diabetics as they are prone to suffer from a lot of foot related problems.

The article doesn’t mention where to buy the footwear, but I think she works at K.E.M. hospital -->

I have put the scanned article at

Monday, November 17, 2008

The 9/11 photograph you didn't see

This article is 2 years old, and the snap is 7 years old. But still does it make a comment on the times we live in?

Link: The 9/11 photograph you didn't see. - - Slate Magazine

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

New garbage collector G1 available in JDK7 / OpenJDK

Ø Snip from

G1 is supposed to provide a dramatic improvement on existing GCs. There was a rather good talk about it at this year's JavaOne. It allows the user to provide pause time goals, both in terms of actual seconds and in terms of percentage of runtime.

The principle is simple: the collector splits the heap up into fixed-size regions and tracks the live data in those regions. It keeps a set of pointers — the "remembered set" — into and out of the region. When a GC is deemed necessary, it collects the regions with less live data first (hence, "garbage first"). Often, this can mean collecting an entire region in one step: if the number of pointers into a region is zero, then it doesn't need to do a mark or sweep of that region.

Ø White paper describing the “Garbage-First Garbage Collection” algorithm:

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Youtube - “We’re sorry, this video is no longer available”

YouTube was pretty reliable - until now. Nowadays I frequently get the following error message for videos:  “We’re sorry, this video is no longer available”.

Now this error message used to come for videos that had been removed from YouTube either by the uploader or the web site itself. But now it comes even for valid videos.

There is a fix for this (courtesy For any video that gives such an error, append one of the following to the URL (in the browser's address bar)
  • &fmt=6
  • &fmt=16
  • &fmt=18

would become

Original Post:
Marc » Youtube - “We’re sorry, this video is no longer available”

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Electing a US President in Plain English

Very nice and simple video that explains the process by which a candidate is elected as the President of the US of A.

Link: YouTube - Electing a US President in Plain English

Thursday, October 16, 2008

E-mail Etiquette 101

In today's world, email is one of the top forms of communication. It makes sense to learn how to communicate via this medium effectively, especially in the corporate world.

Here's a nice list of dos and don'ts when writing emails: E-mail Etiquette 101 - Michael Hyatt

BTW, one rule not mentioned there: Do not overuse email. Sometimes an issue can be better solved with a face to face meeting or a talk over the phone.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Copernic Desktop 3 sucks!!

I am an avid fan of Copernic Desktop search. I use version 2 all the time and it works great!!

But recently I had the misfortune of upgrading to version 3. I quickly found out that it was a waste, for the following reasons:
  1. Features have been removed from the free offering from version 2 to 3, such as
    a)  Find as you type (you now have to press Enter before the search gets executed)
    b)  Indexing network drives --> Now only local drives are indexed by the free version

  2. The software crashes frequently. Once every 20 mins or so.
I know that the free version is well, free. And so the company has the right to give anything they want in it. But taking away features from a previous free version leaves a bitter taste in one's mouth. I guess they don't know the meaning of the word "upgrade".

And crashing so often - well that is just plain sad.

I have gone back to version 2. It works great!! I luckily did not clear out my index when uninstalling ver 3 before installing ver 2, so it works just as before.

If other search tools improve, I will switch. But I am definitely not "upgrading" to any new version of Copernic Desktop search.


Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Using Microsoft Outlook to Schedule Report Transmissions

A programmatic way to send recurring mails via Outlook (mails that are same in content and have to be sent periodically)

Link: Using Microsoft Outlook to Schedule Report Transmissions

Jeeves and Wooster Quotes Page

A bunch of quotes from the Jeeves series by P.G. Wodehouse. Enjoy!!

Link: Jeeves and Wooster Quotes Page

Sunday, September 28, 2008

NASA: 2 space shuttles on nearby launch pads simultaneously

You might not get to see this again, at least not for many years...

Space shuttle Atlantis (foreground) sits on Launch Pad A and Endeavour
on Launch Pad B at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida. At the left
of each shuttle are the open rotating service structures with the
payload changeout rooms revealed. The rotating service structures
provide protection for weather and access to the shuttle.

the first time since July 2001, two shuttles are on the launch pads at
the same time. Endeavour will stand by at pad B in the unlikely event
that a rescue mission is necessary during Atlantis' upcoming STS-125
mission to repair NASA's Hubble Space Telescope. The missions is slated
to launch Oct. 10.

After Endeavour is cleared from its duty
as a rescue spacecraft, it will be moved to Launch Pad 39A for its
STS-126 mission to the International Space Station. That flight is
targeted for launch Nov. 12.

Link: NASA - Mirror Images

Image below. It is beautiful!!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Choosing the next CEO: Nice story

Got this nice story in the mail ...

A successful business man was growing old and knew it was time to choose a successor to take over the business. Instead of choosing one of his directors or his children, he decided to do something different.

He called all the young executives in his company together. He said, 'It is time for me to step down and choose the next CEO.I have decided to choose one of you'

The young executives were shocked, but the boss continued. 'I am going to give each one of you a SEED today - one very special SEED.

I want you to plant the seed, water it, and come back here one year from today with what you have grown from the seed I have given you. I will then judge the plants that you bring, and the one I choose will be the next CEO'

One man, named Jim, was there that day and he, like the others, received a seed. He went home and excitedly, told his wife the story. She helped him get a pot, soil and compost and he planted the seed. Everyday, he would water it and watch to see if it had grown.

After about three weeks, some of the other executives began to talk about their seeds and the plants that were beginning to grow. Jim kept checking his seed, but nothing ever grew. Three weeks, four weeks, five weeks went by, still nothing.

By now, others were talking about their plants, but Jim didn't have a plant and he felt like a failure.
Six months went by--still nothing in Jim's pot. He just knew he had killed his seed. Everyone else had trees and tall plants, but he had nothing.

Jim didn't say anything to his colleagues, however. He just kept watering and fertilizing the soil -
He so wanted the seed to grow.

A year finally went by and all the young executives of the company brought their plants to the CEO for inspection.

Jim told his wife that he wasn't going to take an empty pot. But she asked him to be honest about what happened. Jim felt sick at his stomach, it was going to be the most embarrassing moment of his life, but he new his wife was right.

He took his empty pot to the board room. When Jim arrived, he was amazed at the variety of plants grown by the other executives. They were beautiful--in all shapes and sizes. Jim put his empty pot on the floor and many of his colleagues laughed, a few felt sorry for him!

When the CEO arrived, he surveyed the room and greeted his young executives.

Jim just tried to hide in the back. 'My, what great plants, trees, and flowers you have grown,' said the CEO 'Today one of you will be appointed the next CEO!'

All of a sudden, the CEO spotted Jim at the back of the room with his empty pot. He ordered the financial director to bring him to the front. Jim was terrified. He thought, 'The CEO knows I'm a failure! Maybe he will have me fired!' When Jim got to the front, the CEO asked him what had happened to his seed - Jim told him the story.

The CEO asked everyone to sit down except Jim. He looked at Jim, and then announced to the young executives, 'Behold your next Chief Executive! His name is Jim!' Jim couldn't believe it. Jim couldn't even grow his seed. How could he be the new CEO the others said?

Then the CEO said, 'One year ago today, I gave everyone in this room a seed. I told you to take the seed, plant it, water it, and bring it back to me today. But I gave you all boiled seeds; they were dead - it was not possible for them to grow.

All of you, except Jim, have brought me trees and plants and flowers. When you found that the seed would not grow, you substituted another seed for the one I gave you.

Jim was the only one with the courage and honesty to bring me a pot with my seed in it. Therefore, he is the one who will be the new Chief Executive!'

  1. If you plant honesty, you will reap trust

  2. If you plant goodness, you will reap friends

  3. If you plant humility, you will reap greatness

  4. If you plant perseverance, you will reap contentment

  5. If you plant consideration, you will reap perspective

  6. If you plant hard work, you will reap success

  7. If you plant forgiveness, you will reap reconciliation

  8. If you plant faith in God, you will reap a harvest

  9. So, be careful what you plant now; it will determine what you will reap later.

Hidden Emoticons - Yahoo! Messenger

For Yahoo! messenger --> You won't find these in the emoticon menu, but you can send them by typing the keyboard shortcuts directly into your message.

Link: Hidden Emoticons - Yahoo! Messenger

Sunday, September 21, 2008

I use Firefox as my default browser. It's great, and has a lot of cool features. But it loads up very sloooooooooowwwly!!

To avoid the pain, a couple of things to try:
  1. Turn off automatic updates: FF checks for updates (to itself, to plugins and to search engines) very time you start it. This makes it very slow. So turning off automatic updates makes it very fast. To turn them off go to Tools --> Options --> Advanced --> Update check off all the Automatic Update checkboxes.

  2. Note: This means that you don't get some required updates automatically. So you will have to do this yourself. Tools --> Add Ons --> Find Updates

  3. Use FF Preloader -->
    This pre-loads parts of FF into memory (RAM) and hence speeds it up.
    Note: There are folks who caution against doing this - it may cause FF to malfunction. I have not tried this myself.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Joke: Ten Jew Berry Mud

Old but gold joke…

The following telephone exchange between room-service and a guest at a hotel in Asia was recorded and published in the Far East Economic Review.

Hotel: Morny, ruin sorbees.

Guest: Sorry, I thought I dialed room-service.

Hotel: Rye! Ruin sorbees ... morny! Jewish to odor sunteen??

Guest: Uh ... yes ... I'd like some bacon and eggs.

Hotel: Ow July den?

Guest: What??

Hotel: Ow July den ... pry, boy, pooch?

Guest: Oh, the eggs! How do I like them? Sorry, scrambled please.

Hotel: Ow July dee baychem ... crease?

Guest: Crisp will be fine.

Hotel: Hokay. An San tos?

Guest: What?

Hotel: San tos. July San tos?

Guest: I don't think so.

Hotel: No? Judo one toes?

Guest: I feel really bad about this, but I don't know what 'judo onetoes' means.

Hotel: Toes! Toes! ... Why djew Don Juan toes? Ow bow singlishmopping we bother?

Guest: English muffin!! I've got it! You were saying 'Toast.' Fine. Yes, an English muffin will be fine.

Hotel: We bother?

Guest: No, just put the bother on the side.

Hotel: Wad?

Guest: I mean butter ... just put it on the side.

Hotel: Copy?

Guest: Sorry?

Hotel: Copy ... tea ... mill?

Guest: Yes. Coffee please, and that's all.

Hotel: One Minnie. Ass strangle ache, creasebaychem, tossy singlish mopping we bother honey sigh, and copy... rye?

Guest: Whatever you say.

Hotel: Ten jew berry mud.

Guest: You're welcome.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Firefox add-on: ScribeFire Blog Editor

Blog to a variety of sites such as Blogger, WordPress, LiveJournal, Windows Live Spaces, etc. right from within the Firefox browser.

Really cool - I use this one regularly. Most of my posts are via this tool.

Note: They have a feature where you can make money via ads, but I have't used that. I only use the pure blogging part.

Link to Firefox add-on: ScribeFire Blog Editor :: Firefox Add-ons

List of supported services/sites:

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

New browser - Google Chrome

Google has come out with a new browser, Google Chrome.
The browser is now ready for download. Try it out ...

Download link: Google Chrome
For some reason, this download link works only in IE for me, not in Firefox. Coincidence? ;-)

Thursday, July 31, 2008

How to find Uptime for a Windows machine

I have used Microsoft Windows for a long time now. But the other day when someone asked me how to find out the uptime for a Windows machine (how much time the machine has been running), I was stumped :-).

A little bit of Googling has revealed 2 ways to do this.

  1. Open a command prompt. (Start --> Run --> cmd).
    Type "net statistics server" and press "Enter".
    The line that start with "Statistics since …" provides the time that the server was up from.

  2. Open a command prompt.
    Type systeminfo | find "Up Time". You get the uptime.


Thursday, June 19, 2008

Quotable Quotes

1. Tears are the safety valve of the heart when too much pressure is laid on it.

-- Albert Richard Smith, author and entertainer (1816-1860)

2. Conscience is a mother-in-law whose visit never ends.

-- H. L. Mencken

3. People often find it easier to be a result of the past than a cause of the future.

-- Unknown

4. No one can guarantee the actions of another.

-- Spock, "Day of the Dove", stardate unknown

5. Man is the only animal that can remain on friendly terms with the victims he intends to eat until he eats them.

-- Samuel Butler (1835-1902)

6. The reasonable man adapts himself to the world;

the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself.

Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man.

-- George Bernard Shaw, Nobel laureate(1856-1950)

7. Hating people is like burning down your own house to get rid of a rat.

-- Henry Emerson Fosdick

8. Conquest is easy. Control is not.

-- Kirk, "Mirror, Mirror", stardate unknown

9. They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.

-- Benjamin Franklin, 1759

10. It's not the size of the dog in the fight,

it's the size of the fight in the dog.

-- Mark Twain

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Got this in a forwarded mail ...

There's an English proverb that
goes: "One father is worth more than a hundred schoolmasters."

Fathers can teach their children many important lessons. Father's Day is Sunday, June 15, and it brings to mind
some of the valuable lessons I learned from my father, Jack Mackay. I've shared
many of them with you in my books and columns, but here they are, in one nice
package, for the 64.3 million fathers out there.

My dad headed the Associated Press in St. Paul, Minn., for many years. He lived by deadlines. When he told
his 10-year-old fishing partner, "Be at the dock at 7:30 a.m." and I arrived at
7:35, I would be holding my fishing pole in one hand and waving bon voyage with
the other. Time management 101.

When I began my career selling envelopes, I asked my father how I could make twice as much money as my fellow
sales reps.

He asked me how many sales calls my peers made every day. I told him that everyone made about five calls a day,
and I could match them call for call.

"No good," he said. "Do what they do and you'll make what they make. Figure out how you can get to 10 calls a
day and your income will double."

We worked out a game plan, which became a life plan. I learned when the buyers were in the office and worked
according to their schedules, which sometimes meant anytime from 6 a.m.-8 p.m.
and Saturday mornings. I quit making cold calls, was among the first to get a
cell phone and learned many other time management tips from my

TRUST is the most important five-letter word in business and in life. When I was only eight years old, he
said: "Son, would you like to learn a lesson that might save your life some day?"

"Sure I would, Dad," I answered.

"Just slide down the banister and I'll catch you," he urged.

I slid ... and landed on the carpet. As I dusted myself off, he announced, "Never trust anyone completely.
Keep your eyes open and your wits about you."

Similarly, my father encouraged me at a young age to keep track of all the people I met on Rolodex cards, now on
my computer. He was a master networker. He knew where to get stories, much like
I learned where to get sales.

Maybe the most important lesson my father taught me was that your best network will develop from what you do
best. In my case that was golf. When I joined the sales game after college,
where I had been a varsity golfer at the University of Minnesota, my father
suggested I join Oak Ridge Country Club, which I couldn't afford. Because Oak
Ridge was historically at the bottom of the city golf league, I offered to play
for them and try to win them a championship. Six months and numerous meetings
later, I was admitted to the club where I gained access to many of the major
companies around town.

My father also taught me that the big name on the door doesn't mean diddly. You have to know who the decision makers are.

In addition, he warned me
against telling anyone how I vote. That's why it's a secret ballet. The Democrats think I'm a Republican, and the Republicans believe I'm a Democrat.

My father's greatest
professional attribute was his nose for a good story and his indefatigable zeal
in getting it. He taught me the same desire, determination and persistence for

After a skiing accident that
landed me in the hospital for 35 days in neck traction, he told me, "You can take any amount of pain as long as you know it's going to end."

My father taught me many more life lessons, among them:

  • They don't pay off on effort . . . they pay off on results.
  • No one ever choked to death swallowing his

  • He who burns his bridges better be a damn good

  • Education is like exercise. As soon as you quit
    you begin to lose the benefits.

  • It's hard to soar like an eagle when you're
    dressed like a turkey.

  • If you win say little. If you lose say

  • We are judged by what we finish, not by what we

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Got this as a forwarded mail. So true ....

London Times Obituary of the late Mr.
Common Sense - Sunday, 31st March 2008

Today we mourn the passing
of a beloved old friend, Common Sense, who has been with us for many years. No
one knows for sure how old he was, since his birth records were long ago lost in
bureaucratic red tape. He will be remembered as having cultivated such valuable
lessons as: Knowing when to come in out of the rain; why the early bird gets the
worm; Life isn't always fair; and maybe it was my fault.

Common Sense
lived by simple, sound financial policies (don't spend more than you can earn)
and reliable strategies (adults, not children, are in charge).

His health
began to deteriorate rapidly when well-intentioned but overbearing regulations
were set in place. Reports of a 6-year-old boy charged with sexual harassment
for kissing a classmate; teens suspended from school for using mouthwash after
lunch; and a teacher fired for reprimanding an unruly student, only worsened his

Common Sense lost ground when parents attacked teachers for
doing the job that they themselves had failed to do in disciplining their unruly

It declined even further when schools were required to get
parental consent to administer sun lotion or an Bandaid to a student; but could
not inform parents when a student became pregnant and wanted to have an

Common Sense lost the will to live as the Ten Commandments
became contraband; churches became businesses; and criminals received better
treatment than their victims. Common Sense took a beating when you couldn't
defend yourself from a burglar in your own home and the burglar could sue you
for assault.

Common Sense finally gave up the will to live, after a woman
failed to realize that a steaming cup of coffee was hot. She spilled a little in
her lap, and was promptly awarded a huge settlement.

Common Sense was
preceded in death by his parents, Truth and Trust; his wife, Discretion; his
daughter, Responsibility; and his son, Reason.

He is survived by his 4
half brothers; I Know My Rights, I Want It Now, Someone Else Is To Blame, and
I'm A Victim.

Not many attended his funeral because so few realized he
was gone. If you still remember him, pass this on.

Monday, May 26, 2008

How to download videos from YouTube (Firefox)

How to download videos from YouTube (Firefox)

Most of us watch videos at YouTube. If you want to download some of the ones you like, then here’s how.

Note: The downloading steps only work on Firefox. For other browsers, you will need to find out on your own.


1. Install the VideoDownloader extension from

2. Go to YouTube and pick the page of the video you want to download, e.g.

3. Click the VideoDownloader icon at the bottom right of the Firefox window (status bar). You should see something like this:

4. Click “Download”

5. The file name will be “get_video”. Rename it to e.g. music_video.flv. The .FLV extension is important.

6. Play the .FLV file using an FLV player. 2 free ones (Windows) are:


v (this one has a Mac version too)

Friday, May 16, 2008

NTLM Authentication and Firefox

If you are a Firefox user who is tired of entering the Windows password again and again for your intranet sites, then this is a must read.

I set both the keys required - I don't know if only 1 is sufficient. But it works!!

Link: Patrick Cauldwell's Blog - Firefox and Sharepoint

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Got this great joke in my mailbox ...

A to Z of being Punjabi.

A is for Adjust. Punjabis will always ask you to adjust whenever they want to push you around.

B is for Backside, and it has nothing to do with your bum, it is an instruction to go to the rear of a building, or block, or shop or whatever.

C is for Cloney and its not a process for replicating sheep, nor is its first name George. It is merely an area where people live e.g. ... "Dfence Cloney".

D is for Dilliwallas that live in Dfence Cloney

E is for Expanditure. Punjabis are never shy of spending money ¡V the latest cars, gadgets, marble floors: their ambitions are always expanding.

F is for Fackade, and even though it sounds like a bad word it is actually just the front of a building (with backside being the back, of course).

G is for Gaddi, and the way a Punjabi can pilot his gaddi puts any F1 driver to shame. (If the Grand Prix does come to Delhi there's no way Hamilton, Alonso or Kimi can overtake Balvinder, Jasvinder or Sukhvinder.)

H is for Ho Jayega Ji, and the moment you hear that you have to be careful because you can be reasonably sure it's not going to happen.

I is for Intezaar, and to know more about it see P.

J is for Jindagi, and if there's one person who knows how to live life to the fullest it's a Punjabi.

K is for Khanna, Khurana, etc, the Punjabi equivalent of the Joneses (e.g."Keeping up with the Khuranas")

L is for Lovely, but unfortunately she almost never is. Nor is Sweety.
She is usually married with kids.

M is for Mrooti, the car that an entire generation of Punjabis were in love with.

N is for No Problem Ji. To find out how that works see H.

O is for Oye, which can be surprise (Oyye!), a greeting (Oyy!), anger (OYY!) or pain (Oy oy oy...).

P is for Panch Minit, and no matter how near (1 km) or far (100 km) a Punjabi is from you he always says he'll reach you in panch minit.

Q is for Queue, a word completely untranslateable into Punjabi.

R is for Riks, and a Punjabi is always prepared to take one, even if the odds are against him.

S is for Sweetie, Bunty, Pappu and Sonu, who seem to own half the cars in Delhi.

T is for the official bird of Punjab: Tandoori chicken.

U is for when you lose your sex appeal and become "Uncle-ji"

V is for VIP phone numbers @ Rs 15 lakh and counting.

W is for Whan, as in "Whan are you coming, ji?"

X is for the many X-rated words that flow freely in all Punjabi conversations.

Y is for "You nonsense", when anger replaces vocabulary in a shouting match.

Z is for Zigzag. (Please refer to G, M and P)

This was sent to me by a Sardarji friend of mine.

Moral of the story:

Unlike most other communities who take instant offence, they can have a hearty laugh at themselves.

Cheers to that!!

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Reverse AJAX : Comet

Comet is basically Reverse Ajax --> for streaming data from the server using a server-side push mechanism.
Needs server side support as well. But a good idea nevertheless ...

Continuing Intermittent Incoherency » Comet: Low Latency Data for the Browser