Saturday, January 26, 2008

I'll Not Forget This Day In A Long Long Time ...



.. infact i don't think i will ever forget this day ever, cos' the day was so eventful that i'll have at least 3 to 4 different things to remember this day by. Today morning i wrote in about my plans to attend the IIT Madras's culfest Saarang 2008, and also about the Annual Odyssey Quiz at the Music Academy. I got to be at both places today, and both of them rocked bigtime. Now thats not the real reason why this day will be so memorable, remember me talking about my semester results coming out today, i got them. And surprisingly i managed to get very good results this time, not that i managed to top my class ( whats the big deal about being the topper really ?), but i just managed to get through all my papers and that will suffice for me. I'm so happy now, if you know me personally you'll prolly know about the unfortunate incident that happened a few months back (May 22nd to be precise), a lot of damage was done on that day, and finally for all i care the repair work is done. Others might disagree with me on this ( people who understand what i'm talking about), cos' they might claim the incident did irreparable damage to my life . I say What the fuck is wrong with you ? ( that means i don't agree with you ) and like i said for all i care i'm fine with my life.

I guess i drifted off a bit, now going back to the start of the day, i was at Saarang the whole day, i was planning to attend a lo of event finals if you remember, but all we did today was to chill out all day and we did not attend even a single formal event. I could claim this was cos' i couldn't find my way to the different auditoriums, but the truth is we never tried looking. We just hung out near the informals stage ( with all the stalls and display platforms ) all day and had solid fun. I'll be writing about my Saarang experience very soon. All i can say right now is Saarang is godawesome !!

So after Saarang it was Quiz at Music Academy, the 2008 edition of the Odyssey Quiz. It rocked. The level of quizzing was a lot higher than i expected, to give you an idea of how things were, remember me talking about this guy from SVCE who won the General Quiz at the TransITion '08 in a previous post, he was taking part today and his team was even selected for the finals. But then at the end his team was placed last out of eight teams. The guy who i considered a quizzing champ a week earlier went down without a fight here, not that he wasn't good, only that the others are way better. That was just to give you an idea of how good it was. I even recorded the complete on my PMP and i think i'll be using a few questions from today's event at my college symposium quiz. More on this later, i need to write a detailed post, i'll surely put up a few questions for my readers this time around.

There is also this other reason for me to remember this day real long, today is the first anniversary of Venki's crash on the Pondy ride.

I know this post is really imcomplete with absolutely no details about the two events i attended today, doesn't that seem a little weird cos' i'll never miss writing about events like this.

That is cos' individual posts for each event is coming up real soon.

But i had a very long and tiring day, and i don't think i have anything left in me to write a long drawn write up. So this will have to wait till tomorrow.

Adios till then !!

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Where Will I Be On 26th Jan ?

These days do not come very often, my day today ( if everything goes as planned) promises to be interesting for three reasons ( i'm not sure if the third reason is actually going to make my day interesting, but i wish it does).

Reason 1: I'll be attending the Day 3 events at the Saarang 2008 ( the events not the pro-shows, i can't pay 200 bucks for listening to songs, i can't listen to songs on my Transcend T630 for free and who the heck is Lucky Ali ? ), check this page for the Day 3 schedule. The day will be filled with a lot of event finals and i'm looking forward to get to watch the finals of India Quiz, Extempore, What's the Good Word ? ( WTGW is some word game) and Cludeo ( this is an event that tests your observational and analytical skills ). The events end at 5.30 pm, but i'll not be able to stay till the end. Why ? Cos' of reason 2.

Reason 2: The Annual Odyssey Quiz is happening today at the Music Academy, the finals starts at 5.30 pm. I don't think i need to say anything more about this event, this should be real good - the third most popular quiz in Chennai only after The Hindu Young World Quiz and the Landmark Quiz. I'm looking forward to this one too. Just grab your writing pads and be there.

And i hope you got this right, when i say 'i'm planning to attend these events', i'm only talking about sitting as audience( of course). That is all i'm worth. But i'm going to really enjoy being there cos' i really love quizzing and i'm sure the day is going to rock at the Saarang..

Now, i was talking about a Reason 3 if you remember, this will decide the fate of the other two plans. My semester results are expected today evening ( according to this dumb site icqresults.com ). I'm a little nervous, i hope i get the best possible results ( which might still be very bad and i'm not talking about getting a good score here, i'm just talking about making it through the hoops). If the results are too bad i might be off my blog for a few days, so just in case you don't see any activity through the next week, you know what went wrong.

Tomorrow is the final day of the Saarang 08, you can find the Day 4 schedule here . You should prolly attend this if you can spare the time.

Adios ...

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Friday, January 25, 2008

My First Time ..

.. at a live game ( sport) . Yep, i've never watched any sport live ever (i'm talking about the national or the international matches ), all i've seen is a few district level kho-kho matches and maybe the odd Cricket division match (i think) at University grounds ( we used to have sports day selections at this ground) near my school, or a football game at the Pachaiyappa's college grounds. Thats is all. Ya i've never been to a cricket match, everytime there is a match at the MAC something usually comes up to screw up my plans or i just won't be able to afford tickets. But a international hockey match for free, i knew this was the best chance i had to end this little jinx. So today i was there at the first test match between India and Belgium at the Mayor Radhakrishan stadium, Egmore. It was Awesome !!

The match ended in a 4-4 draw with Belgium staging a strong comeback after being down 0-3 at halftime. At halftime the Indians were in total control with a strong possession and a good lead. But they really let the game drift away from their hands with mediocre defense in the second half, the Belgians managed to penetrate the Indian defense on each attack and they had 3 field goals in quick time, and they were looking good for a few more. But then i guess this wasn't the complete Indian team, today's match had a lot of junior players who were fielded for some practice before the crucial Olympics qualifiers at Chile.

I never knew the hockey stadium in Chennai was this good, the synthetic turf was relaid in 2004 for the Champions trophy in 2005, the stadium has floodlights of international standards now. This stadium hosted the Asia Cup ( India won the tournament beating South Korea in the final) during September last year, and this is one of the few hockey stadiums in India good enough for International matches, so much for Hockey being our National game. The all-green turf along with the brighter than daylight floodlights, the huge water sprinklers to keep the turf wet, the huge seating stands made it seem like this was some international hockey venue, definitely not a hockey stadium in Chennai.

I'm really impressed, i think i'll be attending the remaining four matches as well, the next one is on Sunday, if you are from Chennai and you are reading this, you should surely drop in some day ( check this post for match details and schedule ) , trust me you'll love it, i really mean this. And getting seats won't be a problem at all, the stands are so huge and today only 30-40 % seats were taken. The matches start at 6.30 pm and will go on till 8.10 pm.

Here are some pics i found when i was googling around today, ( the pics aren't mine and they are not from today's match, if they belong to you just drop me a message, i'll be very happy to give you credit )




If i'm right these pics are from the Asia Cup final, India vs South Korea, India won this match 7-2. Check out the stadium .. Rockin ?

Now with all the talk about the stadium i've totally ignored the teams, i just have one thing to say about the match today. Awesome !! I never knew the game would be this intense, the game was very interesting for a noob ( like me) who knew absolutely zilch about hockey cos it was real quick. The gameplay was way faster than i expected, like during attack the players move at a super quick pace, maybe twice faster than my sprint speed, they make their moves to deceive the defender, and also through all this he keeps dribbling the ball and the overhead taps look supergreat, they manage to control such a fast ball in the air with a single dab. You get it right ? Imagine a ball going over your head height at a good pace, you just tap it to get it to the ground, direct it to exactly where you want it and then start moving on. All this in less than a second dam .. How much skill would this require ? Let me guess: A lot..

So i repeat this again, if you can just spare some time inbetween make sure you drop in to watch a match, you will totally love the experience, i'm so sure..

Have fun !!

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Evolve @ Cognizant !!

Another post related to CTS, they just seem to be everywhere these days ( i mean around college campuses, they've created this buzz with all their events and the CTS brand is totally hyped up right now, good for them) , last week i wrote about my experience at their tech forum - TransITion 08. The reason i'm having to write about CTS for the second time in the week, is cos' of another workshop from CTS as part of their campus outreach program, we had this workshop today in college and it was pretty good.

Evolve is a workshop which aims at training college students to meet corporate expectations and prepares them for a smooth transition from campus life to corporate life. The workshop covers topics like understanding of employability and communications skills, leadership and teamwork, time management and career planning. A major feature at today's workshop was the inputs on facing interviews from the company HREs themselves . And all this training was given with lively team exercises and simple ppt presentations. The mock GDs and interviews gave the students a real time experience of the campus recruitment process.

I was (not) a volunteer for the mock interview, but still i got to take part in the demonstration. Pretty good experience, today i realized i suck at this, at least i'm not as good as i thought i would be. For one i'm not all that good with the fundamentals of my core ( electronics related ) subjects, thats cos' i never bothered to learn anything at all. Overall i was 'Ok' i guess, but then there are a lot of areas i should really work on, like for example my body language, or my academics.

After the mock interview session the HREs spoke about the mistakes we made during the interview session. Next there was a short mock GD session followed by some Q & A time. They gave us all some literature on GD and interview skills development, and the workshop ended with that.

I've got so much more to write about a lot of other stuff that happened through my day today, but all that will come up as a separate post tomorrow, for now i need to get some sleep. But this weekend it is going to be raining posts, cos' there is so much i want to write about.

By the way, this is post #50 on my blog. Another little milestone for me. yay !!

Stay tuned, a lot of interesting ( controversial ?) posts coming up real soon.

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Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Hockey: India Takes On Belgium At Chennai

The Indian team is scheduled to play their Olympic Hockey qualifier matches at Chile in the first week of March. As part of its preparations for the crucial qualifiers the team will play a 5 match test series versus Belgium at the Mayor Radhakrishnan Stadium here in Chennai between Jan 25 and 31.

The schedule:

January 25, Friday: First Test;
January 27, Sunday: Second Test;
January 28, Monday: Third Test;
January 30, Wednesday: Fourth Test;
January 31, Thursday: Fifth Test.

The matches start at 6.30 pm and now why am i writing about all this here ? thats cos admission to the matches is free. The Belgium team has already qualified for the Beijing Olympics, so you probably understand the kind of game that can be expected from them.

So if you are free on any of these evenings you could just drop by the stadium and cheer for the Indian team. I'll surely try and attend at least one match this time, Sunday or Monday for me.

Post #49

Cheers

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Woman:Bitch::Man:?

I was having this discussion with my friend Vijay today, and as with all our arguments we were trying to prove each other wrong, he was trying to make me see his point( but i think there was no point at all) and today we decided to take it online to my blog, that way we can get in more people on the discussion and also we'll( Vijay and Me) be able to archive all the conversations for later, so now moving on to the actual issue.

Everything started with me asking Vijay his opinion on why there was no term to refer to a man equivalent to 'bitch' for a woman. And his reply was there can never be a term describing such behavior in men cos' genetically all men are made to be bitchy. He was implying that a girl who sleeps around is a bitch, while a guy doing the same thing is being normal. He argument was that genetically men are made that way, and there is nothing wrong in them having a strong libido and bedding a lot of women, but then women aren't genetically designed to have an active sex life as men. ( Yep, he's a male chauvinist, no offense !! But you accept this right ?). That started all this ..

My point was that men and women both have similar sexual needs, and there is really no difference in their desire or need for sex, maybe that in the society( everywhere) the needs of a woman are suppressed by the men around them, they made it this way - a woman must accept sex when given and must never ask for it or a woman asking for it is a nymph or something like that, and all this talk about men having a right to fuck multiple women and get away with it, but women doing the same stuff need to be called bitches is total crap according to me.

We then started looking at the reasons affecting sexual desires in people, and we looked at factors that affects an adult's libido (other than the environment, his/her upbringing, the society etc). We then agreed we could use the testosterone as a factor, the sex hormone responsible for sexual functioning in humans( not only men, some people associate testosterone only with men), his point was that an average adult human male produces 8 to 10 times more testosterone than an adult female body( found this to be true), so men have a reason to crave for sex, so according to him craving for sex is normal and hence even if a man sleeps around a lot, he cannot be called a 'male equivalent of a bitch', he says this is the reason why there exists no(popular) term for a man who whores around.

After a little wikipediaing i found some stuff to hold against his theory, i found that testosterone is not only a sex hormone, but it is also responsible for other things like muscle mass development, maintenance of bone density, overall mental and physical strength in addition to affecting libido. Now i'm sure all the extra testosterone that we men produce goes into all the above mentioned stuff ( muscle mass, bone density, strength etc) and in the end both men and women have the same amount of testosterone controlling their sexual desires. ( This might sound lame, but this is what i 'wish'). I would like to find some concrete evidence from a study that says men and women have a equal libido genetically.

But even without all the hormone stuff, i think this is total crap. What is wrong in having the same desires as men. Men are normal when they do it, but the women are 'bitch-tagged'.

This isn't fair. My POV ..

I've tried explaining Vijay's argument here, but then i'm sure he'll want to write down his views himself, so please don't forget to check the comments ( hint: look for the long comment which is full of dots between words, thats .. how.. he.. writes ...)

Thats pretty much all..

Woman:Bitch::Man:? = Woman:Bitch::Man:Man ...? Nah .. I don't think ..

Don't forget to comment .. a simple whose point you accept will suffice ( but this isn't like voting) , but another two lines of 'why' would be superawesome. And about the discussion please keep it clean, no mud slinging, or getting personal etc.

Cheers.

Edit: Now i don't mean to make Vijay look like a heartless male chauvinist even though he is, ( a male chauvinist i don't mean heartless), you also need to look beyond his male chauvinistic attitude and look at the point he is making here. I'm going to try and summarize both our points here, that way my readers who wish to comment can grasp his exact argument.

Vijay: Women are not genetically designed to want sex as much as men, this regardless of the society et. al., if we take a male and a female subject ( two people who have had no contact with the world) and put them in isolation, then the man will surely have more sexual urges than a woman. This is cos' a man has it in his hormones. And now cos' of this a man sleeping around with a lot of women is to be considered normal but a woman doing the same isn't normal ( p.s: he does not say it is wrong). And hence the deviation from expected ( normal ) behavior in women has led to this term - 'bitch', but then due to all the reasons stated above a term to describe such behavior in men isn't needed.

Me: I disagree with him on everything he says ( surprised ?), first of all i think both men and women have equal sexual urges( genetically and everything), and all this 'because they are designed like that' talk is just crap ( according to me). Now even if by some remote chance his claims of 'men are made that way' is true, i still don't agree with him saying there needs to be no term to describe men who sleep around. Cos' that is so unfair.


Now Bring it on ..

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Monday, January 21, 2008

Back To 'The System'

By 'the system' i mean my boring, useless, dreary, monotonous, tiresome, dull, uninteresting, unexciting, unstimulating, mundane, unremarkable, ordinary and totally fucked up routine( yep, i used the thesaurus). If you still don't get me, i'm talking about my college . I'll have to get back to playing circus at college again after 8 days of freedom. I'll hardly have anytime to write here, so i guess i'll be doing the world a great favor. I'll not have time to read blogs for hours together, I'll not have time for hours of wikipedia link following. I'll not have time for those long chats with my friends on YM, i'll definitely not be able to watch Dexter for 5 hours straight like i did today. I'll not be able to do anything i like.

Today is the last day of my last break, i won't be having another one for a long time. First my semester results will arrive ( and i expect it to be really fcuked up, how fucked up ? i'll have to wait and see) in a week or two, and then all through February we'll have college all six days a week( to compensate for all the days we got off this week), and with a schedule like that the one day off i get will not even be a break, cos' i'll be sleeping late on Saturday night (obviously) and then rising late on Sunday morning and then watch the rest of the day disappear, and even before i know, it it'll be Sunday night and then fcuked up Monday. Crappy times ahead..

Just thinking about all this makes me so sick. I'll really be missing my freedom and i'll be waiting for the away time from 'the system' ( that should take another 40 days, i have my department symposium coming up mid-march, so i'll get to take a lot of time off from classes starting two weeks before the D-day). Till then my alter ego will take control .. No, actually thats not true ..

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Sunday, January 20, 2008

TransITion 08 - I Was There ..

I got to attend the tech forum titled TransITion '08 at the IMAGE Auditorium yesterday, this event was organized by CTS as part of their campus outreach program. The event was organized very well and was the panel discussions were interesting ( not so useful though), i spent the whole of yesterday at the IMAGE Auditorium, and it was totally worth giving the Ind-Aus match a miss.

There was this panel discussion on ‘Engineering Education: How to Foster Entrepreneurship and Innovation’. The panel included Mr. Gopal Srinivasan, Director TVS Electronics (he was real good), Mr. Murugavel Janakiraman - Founder and CEO of BharatMatrimony, Dr. D. Viswanathan, Vice-Chancellor of Anna University( i hate him) and a few other people( whose names i couldn't get, cos i got in a little late). Except for the part where the Anna Univ VC was speaking, the discussion was very good. The panel had a lot of new(to me) points on how could an engineer be an entrepreneur , Mr. Gopal Srinivasan was particularly good. But, then the question session was a huge let down, the members of the panel were not able to relate immediately to the question, and so instead of answering to the point they they rambled on and on, the Anna univ VC was particularly very pathetic at this, he spoke crap during the question session.I should mention the man ( i think from CTS, i couldn't get his name) who organized the discussion, he was real good, and he did a very good job of balancing his not-so-bright( my opinion) panel. Often he would give a perfect reply to the question in a few words, when he summed up the panelist's reply ( you get what i'm saying here, right ? the guy on the panel goes on and on but never answers the real question, but the guy whose job is to hold everything together answers the question at the end when he sums up the discussion.. Awesome..). That was pretty much all..

After that there was a presentation on ‘Tackling Cyber Crimes’, by Mr. Sudhakar ACP( Cyber Crime), Chennai Police. I was really looking forward to this presentation, infact this was the reason i was there. But then the 'presentation' turned out be educational tour about the various cyber crimes happening and how to avoid them ( included stuff like; never disclose your ATM pin number to anyone, don't use a public computer for bank transactions) and there was nothing new or interesting. Also the slides were really messy and the actual presentation was below par, not what i expected from the ACP, Cyber crime.. But, it was fine ..

Next up was the Quiz finals ( the teams from my college did not make it to the finals, too bad for them, the finalists at a event like this were hardcore quizzers not guys who were selected based on how much facts they remember from their 8th grade history text book), teams from Jerusalem,SVCE, CEG, AC Tech, REC, SSN made it to the finals ( how i remember all this ? thats cos' i took notes for the quizzing event, every single question, i might decide to put them up here later). After 6 rounds of superawesome quizzing, the team from SVCE( there was this guy in this team, who was a pro quizzer, he just goes around the country attending quiz finals, imagine a life like that.. ) were first with a lead of over 40 points, and the team from College of Engg. Guindy ( CEG) came in second. A very good session of quizzing, enjoyed every single minute of it.

Then there was this presentation by the CEO of the 'Nutan Tiffin Box Suppliers Charity Trust better known as "dabawallas' about the logistics of their huge supply chain, and how they were awarded a six sigma certification. The logistics part of the presentation was good ( with stats like 200,000 tiffin boxes transported each day) but then the guy drifted into a obsessive self promotion mode showing slide after slide of photos of dabbawallas with various celebs and politicians, the point was totally lost. Infact i doubt whether there was a point at all .. But then this lasted for only 30 mins, so I just sat through this.

That was the final event of the day, all the winners were given conditional job offers by CTS, this was the best part, imagine walking in to present a paper and walking out with a job offer. There was this guy who came in first in the paper presentation even, he was so full of joy that he asked to be allowed to speak to the crowd, but then after a few words he just broke down completely with happiness, and he was totally choked. Great moments he'll never forget in his life. All the winners and the runners up got goody bags with ipod's, gift certificates etc .. Like i said the event was organized very well, a simple point, there was bottled water available to everyone, on every floor there was this huge stack of bottles, they either spent a awful amount of money on this, or they found a sponsor( which i doubt cos there was no mention of any sponsors through the event), but this is a nice little touch, maybe at events like this all this is pretty common, but in many other symposiums and cultural events they just don't care about stuff like this, and sometimes it is these little points that impress. CTS pulled off a great show, and now i'm sure the students will look at the company in a different way, the IT companies are known to be heartless blood suckers, CTS might be one of them, but then they managed to do a good job of promoting their brand.

This post might be incomplete, and a lot of details about the event might be missing. But then i'm not filing a report here, this is just me writing down my experience. So ... nothing .. That will be all ..

And i've always been interested in these panel discussions, but i never got to attend any till now, but now after tasting this for the first time i'm going to go crazy on youtube, i'm sure there will be a few panel discussions. I just love listening to other people, and if they are successful even better, that is my fantasy really - being part of the audience at good panel discussions.

Cheers.

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Friday, January 18, 2008

18/01/2008 - Tidbits

Bought a new PC for my friend Srikanth, so i was very busy the whole day. This is the first time i'm assembling a PC all by myself(?). Well, that is not exactly true i had Venki and Srikanth with me, but this was the first time i was incharge(i think). I've done this before ( this comp. assembling and upgrading stuff, i do this all the time) but then every time someone else would be in charge, usually it'll be my friend Karthikeyan( kaka ), (my first PC was put together by him) and i'll be helping him. But this time around there was no one else. So incase something goes wrong, or i screw up i had to take all the shit. Now not that putting a PC together is some rocket science, but then my friend had given me 15k of his money, and i really could not afford to screw up. I kinda learnt how difficult it is to take charge for (even) a simple job, cos in the end if anything goes wrong you are held accountable. Thats scary, and 15k isn't small money, right ?

Hmm, but then today's job was a breeze. First we had to sell his old rig to get some extra cash ( which we'll get only tomorrow) and then went off to ritchie street, and directly to the one place we know, Supreme Computers. Bought everything, took it up to their service center to check the mobo, processor and RAM, and then put everything into the cabinet, that way we could get it home on our bike ( no 150 bucks for the auto). And after we got home put everything together in little more than 20 mins.

Now if someone is interested in the config,

Intel Core 2 Duo - 4600 bucks
Intel 945 Mobo - 2600 rs
Transcend 1 Gb X 2 DDR2 RAM - 1900 rs
Seagate 160 GB SATA HDD - 2100 rs
Samsung SATA DVD RW - 1200 rs
Cabinet - 1400 rs

That comes to around 13800 bucks, we'll be buying a Viewsonic 17'' LCD display ( 7200 bucks ) tomorrow, so that makes it 20k exactly. He just wanted a basic PC for the internet and movies, so no high end stuff, just the basic bare minimum config.

[ For current computer hardware prices check out theitwares.com. ]

After we were done with all the work he took us to Saravana Bhavan for lunch(:-)), full sappadu at HSB today thanks to Srikanth.

Then in the evening went with Vijay and Venki to Moore Market to buy books for the 6th sem. Had a narrow escape on the way back, i was flagged down by cops, i did not have my license with me, and i was riding Venki's bike which did not have insurance papers on it, and my bad luck the cop asked me for my insurance papers, i knew we were screwed bigtime, but then all of a sudden he just let me off, and told me to go on. Wow .. Very narrow escape, we would've been poorer by 100 bucks if not for my good luck.


BTW i'll be attending TransITion ’08, a tech forum for pre-final year engineering and MCA students by Cognizant Tech Solutions(CTS). This is happening at the Image Auditorium ( of which i have very fond memories from my school days ). And in the morning there is some crappy panel discussion on 'Engineering Education: How to Foster Entrepreneurship and Innovation’. Lame right ? Why would i want to hear shit about engg even on my day off, but then there is this other presentation by the ACP (Cyber Crime), Chennai on ‘Tackling Cyber Crimes’. I'm guessing that will be a little better, anyways i will be there cheering for the quiz team from my college ( too bad i couldn't get into my college team, what crap ? they quizzed us on history and geography during selection, maybe next time.. ). BTW Quizzing rocks .. Check this.

Thats all i've got for today, looks like tomorrow is going to be a pretty full day too. I better get some solid sleep now, so fricking tired.

BTW i'm starting with this new sitcom called ' Dexter', i'm watching this cos' this friend of mine says its awesome. Lets see.. So finally after ' My Name is Earl' i have something else. So no more movies for a while, it is back to sitcoms, and if anyone has some sitcom suggestions, please leave me a comment. I'm so vetti.

And with my new unlimited plan i've been downloading stuff for more than 36 hours now, and i don't think i'll ever stop. Need to milk my ISP to the fullest.

BTW the Macbook Air rocks !!

Adios !!

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Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Rant: Who Brought You Here ??

I'm not asking how you got here to this blog page, but i'm asking you ' who is the one person who you think is responsible for you being whoever you are right now ? or who is the one person who has influenced you the most ? I'm sure we all can answer that question with either a single name, or at least with two-three names max. And i'm guessing as soon as you read the previous line( if you understood what i was talking about) you had a name in mind. Right ? At least i have a name that'll spring up everytime someone asks me something like this.

So, now i'm going to talk a little bit more about the 'name' in my mind.

I'll be very quick to think up the name, but then if you ask me why i chose him/her over all the other people who i've known till now, i really don't think i'll have a answer ready so soon, infact i might not have an answer at all ever. Now that is not cos' i don't have any real reasons ( infact i can go on for hours about why he/she means so much to me) for feeling that way about him/her, but just that those reasons might not make any sense to you, and i don't really think it would do me any good. Also i don't want you to start judging me ( and him/her) without knowing nothing( i would hate that, and i would hate you for that). And also cos' i don't give a damn about what you think about all this, so why bother telling you ?

Now coming to think of it, i don't think i'll be able to answer this question myself( to me), thats cos' there is no way i can express all my thoughts through words cos' there is no way i can put my emotions on record just like that (even to myself, weird?), i don't have the vocab for that yet. And i guess i'm not just missing the right words, but i really doubt whether i'll be able to do justice to my thoughts by trying to describe them to myself. And even if i manage to describe something, i'll be defining boundaries for my thoughts, and i don't want to do that. Also what the heck ? I'm better off not thinking about all that. Right ?

Now, what if i tell him/her about all this, how will she(hint.. hint..) react ?

Well honestly i don't know, but then i'll not be surprised if she is surprised about the whole thing. And again i'll have a very tough time trying to explain my reasons to him/her. Thats cos' of the all the above mentioned reasons put together, and also cos' i don't want to scare him/her off (it could happen).

So, in the end i'm just happy with knowing the name inside my mind.

This is a rant of the best(worst?) kind. No one understands nothing ( including me ?). But i wanted to say something, so here i am. Now, again i think i need to prep a disclaimer for all these posts( i can see many more coming). Anyways here it is - Pls don't take my words seriously and argue with me. Just a ' You Suck' will do if you don't like it( of course i'll have to delete your comment then), and probably you'll be better off if you don't read this ( now, shouldn't i place this at the start of the post ?. But, i bet you would have read this post even then, so what the heck ?).

So i'm just happy i have someone who i can say has really influenced me (why am i happy ? I don't really know ). So even you could take this time off to think bout' that one person in your life. ( spend a few mins thinking about him/her, and then get back to whatever you were doing ).

End of my rant.

Update: Got my unlimited internet connection today.. yay!! ( i started writing this post cos' i wanted to talk about my net connection, but then ended up writing this). So i guess from now on there will be no Bandwidth screwups for me.

Also after reading the above post, if you think i suck at relationship related talk you should check out this post. (Actually i suck at this.. But, then so do you, and so does everyone else in this world.)

( i promise i'll bear with one absolutely crap post in your blog if you keep quiet for this one, i just don't want to let this post rot in my drafts folder )

Cheers..

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Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Shreya Gets A Taste Of Moral Policing & DC Sucks

I'm not going to go into the details of the actual issue, we all know know what happened( if you don't check this) at the silver jubilee celebrations of Shivaji held at the Madras University. I think this is actress Shriya's first brush with the moral policing crowd(fools?) ( who seem to have forgotten Khushboo for sometime now, good. We get so see someone else in the front pages of newspapers, and if it is Shreya, who is going to complain? ), but then Shreya was very quick to tender an apology, and looks like she is out of trouble now.

That was some quick thinking from Shreya or whoever is incharge of her PR, and with that we are saved from having to endure this news on the front pages of newspapers through this week. I learnt about her apology today morning from this front page article on our very own superawesome Deccan Chronicle( we started subscribing to this paper long back, and did not bother to cancel it, actually i love reading all the crappy stories in it, makes a very good read when you are totally vetti), now this post is not about all that. It is about how this newspaper managed to print unverified facts on the front page of their newspaper( actually it is not as huge as i make it to be, so chillax) about Shriya having to return from the shooting of the Hindi film Mission Istanbul in Thanjavur and her tight schedule was the reason for her dressing like that, now the actual story is that she had to get back from Istanbul( makes sense right, why would you shoot Mission Istanbul in Thanjavur ?) to Chennai via Mumbai.

Now i dunno where this DC reporter Mr. A Selvaraj, picked this Thanjavur story( maybe Shreya was coming back from Thanjavur after all, and she was chuma peter otufying about Istanbul, and maybe Mr. Selvaraj is Shreya's secret boyfriend, so he knew the truth and also being a journo he gave us the true story even at the risk of losing his sweetheart forever( did i take it too far ?), or probably not) but he had real guts to print unverified facts in his article just like that.

This is just one of the many foolish blunders that you get to see everyday in the DC, now coming to think of it, all this could be part of a plan by the people over at DC to improve readership, they are trying to make their product more appealing by intentionally sneaking in errors, that way the common man will be able to relate to their paper cos' then it is so synonymous with his life, not always right( i suck thinking up something like this, so please forgive me), anyways i think DC sucks cos they dare to print unverified news on their front pages, with people actually reading their content and believing it blindly( we do that, right? we consider articles in the newspapers to be trustworthy, at least i do), they really need to improve on this and on so many other things, they could even start with trashing their tabloidish style of writing( the other day there was this news bit(?) about Deepika Padukone, and the article plainly suggested that DP was a bitch).

Consider this a rant and don't even take this seriously, don't bother arguing with my points, cos i know my arguments is full of flaws and my anger has no real foundation.

Now, time for some eye candy. Here are the pics of that dress that caused all this controversy( honestly i don't think this attire is so bad, this is way better than the b & p kinda costumes she wore in Shivaji, right ?)





Lucky old man ( this pic looks a little weird, right ?)

BTW Shreya rocks !!! Whatababe ..

Cheers.

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The TOI (Finally) Comes To Chennai ..

It is good news for Chennaiites, we'll have a newspaper which can rival our own 'The Hindu'. The Times Of India will start operations in Chennai very soon, and 'The Hindu' finally gets some real competition for the first time. We might have 3 English dailies right now, but Express and Deccan Chronicle are no where near 'The Hindu' on quality of content and readership (the DC is really a joke with all the crass content, excessive spelling and printing errors and bordering on tabloid-style reporting). Though i've heard that the Express has very good political editorials( and we know about the Hindu's pro-congress stand, but i've not had the chance to read many of Express's editorials, cos' we don't buy the Express at home) so that should keep them going for a while.

But now with TOI entering the scene( now, why did they take so long ? how come they did not consider a Chennai edition till now ? Are they really anti-south India as everyone says ?) the people over at 'The Hindu' need to start watching their backs, in a few months time after the TOI gets a firm hold in Chennai, they are really going to bring it on. Not that 'The Hindu' is going to lose all its subscribers overnight, but then they should understand that with the TOI coming in the people have a choice, and they'll be very happy to make the switch if their expectations aren't met. And all of this competition is definitely good for us cos' we can expect value from our choice. And for the Express and the DC this news means even lesser numbers, so maybe it is time for them to pull up their socks and start looking for those long forgotten thinking caps and improve their standards, else they'll be left behind in this race.

Also the TOI has a few interesting subscription offers for its founder members(of course, i'll subscribe). By being a founder member you could get the TOI at less than 1 rupee per day, and also you get to be a part of history(too much?).

Subscription offers:

6 Months - 170 bucks - You get an 'exclusive sports & travel bag free' ( what the heck ? 'exclusive' ? But, still you get the TOI for .94 bucks, totally worth it)

12 months - 299 bucks - You get an' exclusive(again?) Stainless Steel flask' ( .84 rupees per day, need i say more ?)

You need to SMS ' TOIC' to 58888, and a subscription agent will call you back for the rest of the process(i'm still waiting for that call though, i'm guessing the call will come only after the holiday season), or you could call 24317979 to speak to an agent.

Cheers.

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Monday, January 14, 2008

Tyler Cruz Vs Gyutae Park - Head 2 Head

If you know me personally, you'll surely remember that phase two-three months back when i was really into making money online niche blogs, not that i was intent on making money(actually i was), but i really found the MMO niche very interesting with all the techniques to drive traffic to your blog and monetize your blog with the available traffic. But then my focus shifted to personal blogging, when i realized there was no way i could write about MMO and be happy with my work, i just wanted to have a personal rant space for very long. But then i stay in touch with the MMO blogs(a few blogs are still stuck on my feed reader), and now i decided to write about this interesting contest going on between Tyler Cruz of TylerCruz.com and Gyutae Park of WinningtheWeb.com.

The Contest

You could vote either for Tyler or Gyutae, and to vote you need to write a post of at least 300 words on your blog and explain why you are voting for whoever you are voting for( or why he deserves to win this contest) and then link back to both of them(which i already did). And then you need to post a comment with your url in the contest page(Tyler and Gyutae) of whoever you are voting for.

What can you win ?

Initially the contest started a 100$ prize through PayPal for three people who voted for the winner (paid for by the loser). But then when the contest heated up, things got quite ugly and both Tyler and Gyutae started giving out extra goodies for their voters. So now if you vote for Gyutae you get a free t-shirt, a linkback and 100 Entrecard credits. And Tyler on the other hand is giving away 150 Entrecard credits and a linkback to his voters.

Who gets my vote ?

My vote goes to Gyutae Park from WinningtheWeb.com. I chose him cos' inspite of being the underdog( in terms on stats and blogging experience) in this contest, he has managed to do quite well. The numbers are definitely in favor of Tyler(who has close to 1100 RSS subscribers compared to Gyutae's 262), but Gyutae has not let that deter him and still entered this contest, and as a result he is in a very comfortable 38-20 lead, with just one day to go i really doubt there will be any sudden reversal and Gyutae should go on to win this easily, and it is very important to be on the winning side, to have a chance at winning this( need to be little selfish here).

Looking back at this contest, i don't think Tyler is going to lose much even if he does not win this contest, at the end of this both Tyler and Gyutae will be so much richer with all the backlinks they gain and the publicity they've managed to generate. So it is a win-win situation for both of them, and i guess they both deserve this cos' they at least made this contest interesting by adding in so much spice. This one is so much better than the lame ' $20 giveaways for RSS subscribers', ' Post about my contest to enter in the draw' etc contests.

So even you could vote for Gyutae and have a easy chance of winning 100 bucks and also get a assured t-shirt, 100 Entrecard credits and a linkback ( i'm really interested in this cos' i'm looking to boost my PR a bit)

I'm guessing that with the current number of votes( with Gyutae managing to win this contest) i'll have a 6% chance of winning 100$, and if i manage to win, i could use the money to make up for my internet usage screw up, if only i manage to win ...

Cheers.

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Now, I Suck At Spelling !!

I've never been so good at spelling, not that i have a big problem with spelling as such, i was just not the kind to take any particular interest in finding the exact spelling for a tough word and then etch it in memory - never, life just went on with my own way of spelling, and i was doing fine. Though i had a very peculiar problem, i sometimes find it very difficult to get very simple words right - words like definitely, immediately ( i spelled both of them wrong even this time, there are a few more words that truly baffle me every single time, can't really remember them all now). But, then i've noticed a different pattern these days, i've become really bad at spelling even simple words and find it difficult to write my class notes without errors.

Now why this sudden regression ?

I think all the net usage has finally caught up and had caused this, i'm so used to having the spell checker every place i write something (online) that it has become almost impossible to write properly without the spell check looking over my shoulder. Every text entry box has the spell check tool by default now, be it this post text area, orkut scraps, comment forms on blogs, email compose pages.

I've noticed this pattern of late, when i write something real fast(online) i don't take a conscious effort to get the spelling right, i just key in the word as fast as i can and move on, and even if i notice a error i don't stop to set it right. After the entire text is done, i get back to every highlighted word -> right click -> choose the right spelling. Earlier i used to screw up maybe 5-10 words in a 400 word entry, but these days i spell at least 50 words wrong in such a entry. If this situation continues i'm going to find it very difficult to write anything at all.

Also it gets really difficult during my classes, i find it really difficult to write at a good speed and also to write without mistakes cos' i'm really used to typing with the spell check and also holding a pen to write on paper sounds foolish to me ( thats the effect of 6 hours on my PC every single day)

So i'm going to take a resolution to try and spell words right from here on, and i'll not be using the spell check options for sometime(till i improve a bit), i need to start getting words right the first time, that means i'll have to slow down while typing, and even if i spell a word wrong, i'll never use the suggestions from the spell checker, i'll try and edit the word manually.

Hope with all this i'll get better at spelling. And if you are facing the same problem as me, i think it is time for you to start as well.

Cheers.

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Sunday, January 13, 2008

Free Rice Vocabulary Program



The Free Rice vocabulary program aims to improve your English vocabulary (tall claims) and at the same time help end world hunger by providing rice to hungry people.

Now, how does it manage to do this ?

You need to play their vocabulary game, and for each right answer you donate 20 grains of rice to the WFP. The money is put up by their sponsors( now this is the shady part, why can't they donate money right away, and whats with all the grain count). So I looked around the site for a while, and it seems pretty convincing. But then what the heck you don't lose anything, so if you can spare the time you should prolly give it a try. The words are easy and there is no limit to the number of words ( you could go on till the mouse dies from the clicks, or the net connection goes down. But, my suggestion would be try till you get to 1000 grains of rice), and the game is pretty addictive.

You could post in your scores in the comments, i'm at 2000 grains right now ( there is a option to save you current score, and you could continue the game from that point later, so i'll try and continue this some other time)

Tidbit: The site had a lot of charts etc to support their claims, and in this chart you can see that India is in the top 10 recipients of free rice from the World Food Program (WFP). But on this chart you can see that India is in the top 10 rice origin countries ( third) ie. the WFP procures the rice from India and donates it backSo if these charts are true, this is yet another instance where the glaring inequality between the haves and the have-nots in our country is so obvious.

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Friday, January 11, 2008

I'm Screwed.

I busted my Internet Bill today, i use this unlimited nights plan from Airtel ( a measly 256 Kbps ) and today i forgot to turn off my torrent client in the morning, and when i got back from college i found that i had used up around 2 Gb over my free limit( a stupid 400 mb/month during day). At 1.4 bucks per extra Mb of data transfer, i'll have to pay around 2700 bucks for this foolish crappy act of mine. I've been really down since evening cos' of that, just can digest the fact that this small(?) act of stupidity is going to cost me so much ( 3000 bucks in our money is $75).

I'm so screwed with this, i've decided not to do more damage to this month's bill, so i'll not be using the internet in the mornings, but then this is only for 5 more days, cos i've given a request to be shifted into the 24*7 unlimited plan ( i should've done this long back), and i'll be migrating to that plan by next Wednesday. So i guess next Wednesday will not be a sick day for me( check this ), at least not this time.

I've wasted so much money downloading this movie called ' The Good Shepherd'. I read a review someplace on the net about this movie yesterday and thought i should give it a shot. Also it has Matt Damon in it, one of my fav. actors and Jolie. But, now that i've to pay through my nose for this movie, it better be good, else a hate review will be up by this time tomorrow.

I don't know exactly by how much i exceeded my free usage limit, that 2Gb estimate was the worst case, i really hope i get charged for much less than that. I'll be keeping my fingers crossed when my bill comes over at the end of this month.

Random Stuff:

Watched Saw 4 yesterday, i'm a huge fan of the Saw series of movies ( and like every true Saw fan - i like the first one the most ). Pretty good. Watch it soon if you haven't. Can't wait for the next installment of the Saw treat. Saw 5, 6 are already announced, so i guess i'm busy on Halloween weekends for two more years.

Also watched 1408 today (hmm.. two horror movies in two days. If you didn't already know i'm not a huge fan of horror movies. That is cos' regardless of how crappy the movie is, i still get mighty scared every time. I slept next to my father the first time in two years, after i watched the climax of Saw 1. I was just too scared to sleep alone that night (can't blame me though)). Anyways i skipped a lot of scenes in this movie, but it was pretty good and i would recommend it to anyone. But, if you travel alone and spends nights at hotel rooms regularly, this is one movie you should avoid, cos' honestly i don't think i stay alone in a hotel room after this ( what if it was haunted too ??? ) .

Thats pretty much all, stay tuned cos' a few more interesting(?) posts coming up this weekend.

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Tuesday, January 8, 2008

How To: Optimise Your Comments Page In A Blogspot Blog

We all know how important comments are to any blog, comments reflect the involvement, participation of its readers in a blog, you can talk to your readers, get their suggestions by way of comments. But then not more than 10% of readers think about commenting in response to a post, and a even lesser percentage will end up leaving a comment finally. This is cos' sometimes though you might keep inviting your readers to comment, your comments page might actually throw them off, i'm talking by experience here, i've always disliked lengthy comment procedures ( a few blogs require the reader to sign in someplace before commenting) and most of the time i just decide to leave cos' i don't want to waste my time commenting if the blogger does not realize the importance of making it easy for readers to comment.

So, i try to provide a nice commenting experience to my readers, and here are a few ways you can make life easy for your visitors too,

I use Google's free blog platform Blogspot, so these suggestions are written for Blogspot blogs, but most of these guidelines are universal.

1. Try and keep the Comment moderation option disabled, there is no reason to enable moderation unless you get a lot of spammy or abusive comments on your blog, and even if you need to filter the spam or trash that comes in once in a while, you should delete them at the end of the day and leave the comments unmoderated. This is cos' sometimes people have a problem with their comments being moderated, it could have something to do with the thought that their effort needs to be approved by someone else.

2. You should enable Open Id commenting, Now what is Open ID commenting ?

With Open Id commenting, your blog visitors can use their accounts on other blog platforms like Wordpress, AOL, Live Journal etc. to sign in and comment on your blog, this is to make sure a visitor has to sign in someplace before he can comment.

Or you could even go the extra distance to make commenting easy, by enabling Anonymous comments, this is for bloggers who believe the visitor has a right to keep his identity a secret if he chooses to, but allowing anonymous comments has a big extra use too, visitors could leave a direct link to their blog this way. Here is how you do it.

If use your Google account to comment in another blogspot blog, and if someone follows your comment link they are taken to your blogger profile, but then you might be blogging at a different platform, to that does not make sense, right ? In such a situation if anonymous comments are enabled, you could use a nickname and link directly to your blog home page.

Try this in my comments page, when you comment just check 'Nickname' instead of signing in using your Google account,and enter your blog URL below to give a direct link to your blog page.

3. If you notice the space above the text box in my comments page, you'll see that i've added a comment policy, even you could customize this space to display your comment policy and also maybe thank your readers for taking the time off to comment. I've seen a few bloggers write a very interesting comment policy in this space and sometimes that prompts me to leave a comment, cos' i can see how much effort has gone into helping the commenter and how much the blogger values comments.

4. Blogger gives you a option to use word verification or CAPTCHA in your comments page, this is to prevent automated comment spamming from bots, but then sometime people(like me) find it very irritating, cos' i can never ever get the letters right the first time, and it usually takes more than three tries for me to break the CAPTCHA ( i guess my eyes are pretty screwed up). So disable word verification unless you get a lot of automated spam messages. If you are a newbie blogger(like me), no one is really going to waste time spamming your blog, if you get a little bigger then you'll realize the amount of comment spam that comes in. So till then it is better to keep word verification turned off.

5. If you have multiple blogs, or write interactive posts all the time, you might need to keep track of comments not only on your new posts, but might even have to reply to comments received in a older post. In that case you could use a 'Comment notification by mail' option, to keep track of all comments you receive.

6. If you didn't know this already, blogger has this option wherein you can choose a comment policy for each post, you can either 'Allow comments' or 'Cancel the commenting option, and hide existing comments' or ' Cancel comments, but show existing comment entries'.

You get to choose this in your 'Create post' page, just below the text box where you enter the body of your post, click on 'Post Options' to expand the list, and choose the option you need.

Thats pretty much all i have for now, You could use these few suggestions to optimize your Comments page, and give your readers a better commenting experience.

This is my first post about commenting, Did you like this post ? If Yes, please don't forget to comment and even if you don't agree with my post, feel free to enlighten me with the right facts.

Happy Commenting !!

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Monday, January 7, 2008

Jan 7th - My First Blogging Milestone !!

If you just take a moment off and look at the right sidebar of my blog, among all the other junk stuff you'll see this little text Unique visitors counter, and today on 7th Jan, this counter went past 1000, and that is my first blogging milestone.


The count as i write this post is 1007, and if you still can't locate the counter; look between the 'NoNoFollow' and 'Hackosphere' pics, that is where i've hidden my counter.


Now, does this milestone really mean anything, hell YES !!! For a newbie blogger like me who just started working on this blog two months back, this number means i'm going at least going somewhere. Now i'm sure a good percentage of that 1000 unique visitors, is cos' of my visits. I use a ISP which provides dynamic IP's. So everytime i clear the cache on my browser, disconnect and reconnect my visit will be counted as yet another unique visit. But inspite of all this i still consider this a mile stone. Cos' this is all i have. And no one can take that away from me ( rather no one will bother to disagree with me on that, right ?).


It took me almost 3 months to reach this little milestone, that's pretty good by newbie standards. But then some other small blogs i read get 1000 unique visits in a week, a few medium level blogs get 1000 visits a day, and the probloggers get 1000 unique visits in a hour. But, still we all are bloggers, and our sites are called blogs. It is this part that keeps me hooked, inspite of being a tiny speck in the blogosphere i can still have an identity of my own and rub shoulders with bigger, better bloggers.


Also i need to talk about my niche today. I'm really comfortable with my current niche, which is 'no niche'. I've sure read a lot of articles about how having a niche helps, blah blah blah !! but i really don't think i can write on a particular niche, at least not right now. I just needed a place to rant out, write about anything i feel like( crap!) and here i am typing into the night in my very own 'no niche' blog, and i'm proud of it. I swear. You'll never understand the emotions behind blogging if i explained it to you now. You should experience it to understand it. Even if is a personal rant blog that no one reads ( or a blog that only [1000-300] people read in 3 months ), it just doesn't matter. It is totally worth it.

Thats pretty much all...

Now coming back to the milestone discussion, In addition to the unique visitor counter, i also use two other tracking tools, a complete site monitor tool from histats.com( scroll down to the end of the page for this tracker) and then Google Analytics, both these tracking tools return much more information about my visitors than the unique visitor counter, i'll be writing a detailed post with stats from Google Analytics real soon. That should be an interesting read than this post i hope.

Hmm.. My milestone post will be incomplete without this, I need to thank my friends and fellow bloggers Venkat, Vijay, Kicha, Baga and Sajith for their encouragement and support. This milestone happened cos' of you. Keep rocking !!

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Sunday, January 6, 2008

Something Is Already Good, How Do You Make It Better ? - Edit It !!

I came across an interesting piece of Academy Awards trivia the other day on this awesome blog that i read regularly, and i thought i'll share it with you here.

Turns out that for the last twenty-seven years, every single movie that managed to win the Oscar for best picture was also nominated for best editing.

Now this really does not mean anything great cos' it could just be some weird coincidence, or NOT ..

This trivia( if you hate the Academy Awards, then think of some other example where well presented products have been successful and have won over products with relatively better content on virtue of their presentation ) clearly suggests that a for a product to be liked by everyone, or if we could safely assume that a product that is liked by all is a good product, then for a product to be good(which is then synonymous with successful) it should be presented well, even we could go to the extent of concluding that it is only the presentation or the packaging that matters, not the content. Cos' in the end even 'awesome' content could be overshadowed by poor presentation and could be denied the audience or attention it deserves.

So everytime you put in effort into something( and expect to get results) make sure you direct some effort into presenting your work in a good way. That way in the end you need not sulk and whine about how all your efforts did not return proportional results. Cut the crap and look at your work as an outsider and rate yourself, don't stop till you're satisfied with what you see, if your work cannot satisfy you, then chances are that it is not going to be appreciated by anyone else.

This applies with everything really, when a student does a project, he should be able to present it in a real good way for the examiners to take notice, and by then the examiner already has a good impression, so with just a little bit of work from there he could get awesome reviews. This can be applied to everything else; employees in a firm, movie makers ( the initial trivia confirms this ) and Bloggers too.

So how does a blogger make his work look good, he does it by having a simple, non-fussy,efficient blog design, by using attention-grabbing post titles, by integrating visual media like pictures and videos effectively to support his story, by making sure his writing style is not repulsive and by providing a rich total reader experience.

So what he really needs to do is, put himself in the shoes of a visitor and then work on improving his work.

Well i'm quite far from doing all this myself, but i'm trying to get better and the first step towards a cure is to accept and understand the disease right ? I've made a start and so should you.

So, If you want to make something good - Just Edit It !!

By that i mean you should infuse something creative in everything you do, to make it stand out( in the good way). Thats the only way you have to get noticed.

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Saturday, January 5, 2008

Chennai Open - So Far, No Matter How Close !

If you were planning to catch a match at the Chennai Open any time before this year, you just had to walk into the stadium on the day of the match, and you could get any number of tickets. At least the tickets for the opening days were pretty easy to get cos' the number of true tennis fans was not so high, and the rich faking Chennai crowd ( posers!! ) and the 'just curious' fan did not bother about the tournament till the last two days, so there used to be this demand for tickets on the last day alone, but then this year it has been a different story altogether.

The organizers say they are very happy with the ticket demand this year, and are laughing all the way to their banks, cos' this is the first year since 1998 when all the season tickets were sold out, in 1988 the Chennai Open then known as 'Gold Flake Open' sold out its full capacity with two Wimbledon champions Boris Becker and Patrick Rafter participating. But, in 2000 and 2001, the top seeds Yevgeny Kafelnikov and Magnus Norman respectively, exited in the very first round to leave the stands almost empty for the rest of the tournament. The interest in the event was revived a bit with the organizers roping in top players like Carlos Moya, David Nalbandian, Thai star Paradorn Srichapan in subsequent years. Also Rafael Nadal ( the current World No. 2) has been a regular here for the past two years .

With 4 players from the top 20 in the world like Nadal, Carlos Moya, Marcos Baghdatis, Mikhail Youzhny and defending champion Xavier Malisse and a total of 16 players from the top 100 taking part in the 13th edition of the event this year, this is by far the best edition ever, at least on paper, but fan satisfaction has reached an all time low with non-availability of tickets at the counters, this is because of the management's decision to sell tickets in advance for all matches. With all the hype surrounding the event this year, all the season passes( sold at 1500 a piece) were grabbed by the tennis fans who could afford them, the rest went to the event sponsors(regardless of whether they were going to be used or not). All the other single day tickets was fully bought by the mob of black marketeers who've set up business outside the stadium.

The going rate for a ticket worth 100 bucks is 500 right now on the fifth day, and should go up to at least 1000 bucks per ticket for the last two days. So if you are planning to attend the last two days be prepared to shell out 2000 bucks, but then you could've saved money if you had the foresight to buy season passes in the beginning, most the the season passes were bought by people who just wanted a assured seat for the last two days, and they have no intentions of attending the first few days. Also the passes that went out to the sponsors were mostly not used at all.

So with fans waiting outside the stadium looking at ' All tickets sold out' announcements, most of the seats inside were empty, all this because the organizers didn't want to risk losing money by holding a percentage of tickets till the match day.


Image Courtesy: The Hindu

This years edition might be the best so far in the history of the event and might even promise quality action from its 'awesome' star line up. But it will surely be remembered as the year when the organizers 'screwed up'. Hopefully next year we'll have a better system of of ticket sales, now that the organizers have seen the kind of demand in Chennai, they should keep counters open till match day and make sure the middle class Chennai fan does not return home disappointed. They could probably come up with some arrangement with the sponsor passes and the season ticket holders to confirm their presence on match day, and they could maybe sell the unoccupied seats, that way they'll be selling a seat twice, and probably they could donate that money for a cause.

I'll be hoping to be able to catch a match at regular prices at least next year.


Useful Links:

Complete Stats from all editions of Chennai Open: Chennai Open Dossier.
Chennai Open on Wikipedia.

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Friday, January 4, 2008

Wednesday - The Second Sickest Day Of The Week

I was just thinking about which day would have my vote for the sickest most irritating day of the week, and obviously i chose Monday, everyone has a huge problem with Monday, right ? Monday hate is universal, but then Wednesday was close on the heels of Monday in the race for the sickest day of the week.

What makes Wednesday so sick ?

Well this day is right in the middle of the working week between Monday and Friday, all the good times we had during the previous weekend is forgotten after two continuous days of torture, and then the weekend is still two days away. It is like you've managed to endure two days of the week, only to find that there are two more days to go still.

Wednesday is also known to as "hump day", a reference to making it through to the middle of the work week as getting "over the hump".


Random bytes about Wednesday.

According to the Hebrew Bible, Wednesday is the day when the Sun and Moon were created.

Most of the Indian Languages the name for Wednesday is Buddhavar, which is derived from the Vedic name for Mercury, Buddha.

Only one holiday typically recurs yearly on a Wednesday. Ash Wednesday is the first day of Lent( forty day long prayer and fasting season before Easter) and occurs forty-six days before Easter. On this day ashes are imposed on the foreheads of the faithful, reminding them about the mortal condition of flesh - and the fact that humans are just dust.

Source: the free encyclopedia.


So according to me Wednesday is the second sickest day of the week, only because Monday is stuck there on top, nothing can topple it from there.

So, what is the second sickest day of the week for you ? Or if you have a different choice for most sickest day (Monday for me) just let me know why ..

Cheers

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Tuesday, January 1, 2008

2008: New Year's Day Post - Memoirs Of The Bygone Year

I wish all my readers a very Happy New Year, may you succeed in all your endeavors and get what you truly deserve in this new year. Now moving on, i would like to use this post to talk about the few mentionworthy moments of 2007 and my blogging plans in the year 2008.

The last quarter of the year 2007 has been really special for me ( at least from a blogging perspective).This blog was originally started almost a year ago, back then i just needed a place to put up my ride logs, and i was done with it, there was very little posting activity on the site other than my trip logs. But then my interest in blogging was revived around September this year, and i've never looked back since. From then on i've really been putting my heart, soul and body ( what the heck ? I'm writing this post at 2 am on Jan 1 while probably eveyone else is either sleeping, partying or having sex fornicating(?)) into this, and you see the result in front of you. For this, I need to thank my friend Sajith, it all started with him asking me about setting up a blog for him, and in no time we started blogging together as a team, we were just helping each other with our blogs and i felt much better when i had some company. In the initial phase he was all the support i had, i still remember how we used to read each other's posts, discuss about how to improve the blog etc. Thanks for all that macha ..

Now after that when i told people i was into blogging, i sure was mocked at by a lot of people, they probably thought it was another one of my foolish ideas. But then i had the support of Venki and Vijay, cos' even they had similar interests and so we started forming a network to help out each other with this, now we've managed to get a few more people on the network like Kicha, Ramanan, Sajith, Baga ( though he's been blogging for a long time, you need to check his blog, he writes really well ) and a few others ( like Srikanth, Vamsi ) who are in the process of setting up their blogs. My interest had become viral and had started spreading around, and i'm very happy for that. With such an awesome network of bloggers, we should be able to help each other and should find it easy to go up the blogging ladder. And if you want to ask me what we could possibly gain by all this: well i thought up a few things, just tell me whether this convinces you - a group activity like blogging helps us network with more people, we could learn new stuff from others and in turn pass on the little stuff we know, thats one reason.. Want more ?

We could improve our writing skills with blogging, remember how we were used to writing long essays back in our school days ? Our writing skills were pretty good then, at least we could sit down and put together a few hundred words on any topic, now we're totally cut off from any sort of writing activity, so blogging might be our chance to stay in touch with writing, and hopefully we'll get better or at least stop sucking at it.

Now i'm leaving out the best part of blogging itself - you could make money with your blog, i'm not going to go into the actual details right now ( you could take a look at my post about Sponsored Posting to get an idea). But tell me, who wouldn't want a few extra bucks to supplement their monthly allowance while in college ? I definitely do. Also I know it is pretty difficult to believe that there is money to be made by just blogging. Then comes out the thought that, blogging is an inborn talent and only a few people are blessed with it, and only those who are already good at it can make it big, but that would be totally wrong. Blogging requires no special skills, absolutely nothing!! With a little interest, little work and a lot of dedication you can learn all the stuff you need to know about blogging in no time. So you need to ditch the thought that blogging is only for other people, and should go ahead and give it a shot. Well, you don't have anything to lose do you ? Except maybe a little time of yours( what good use do you put that time to, anyways ?) , and even that time spent can't be said to be entirely wasted, for the reasons mentioned in the previous paragraph. You can still network with people you can start writing better if you can't make money. But trust me, it so fcukin easy to make a little cash!!


Henceforth the content on this blog will be aimed at driving this blogging network ahead, and i'll also write articles that might help you with blogging itself ( it'll basically be ME presenting my views or suggestions on a particular service or topic ). Also we're going to try and broaden the blogging community that we've started. So feel free to join our community, just drop in a comment to let me know you're interested and we'll discuss about this later ( i'm not expecting any replies really ). Thats pretty much all for the year ahead when it comes to blogging. So i don't have any proper blogging goals for the year, my goal will be just to get better at this.


Even if the above reasons don't inspire you to start blogging, you should just go ahead and start a blog just for the heck of it. You could post your thoughts, your emotions, your ideas, your experiences and then you could keep it to yourself ( don't disclose the URL to anyone, ie you're just archiving all your work for later), that way when you look back after a few years you'll actually have something to look back at. Don't you think it'll be superawesome to be able to read in the year 2012 about what you ate for breakfast ( and maybe even whether there was enough salt in the day's lunch )on the second Sunday of January 2008 ?


Well i think i really drifted away from the actual topic, but i guess thats fine this time. This was just a rant, i just wrote down anything that came up in my mind, and i'll be really happy if i inspired at least one person to start blogging. Then i'll consider the purpose of this post to have been fulfilled.

Please don't forget to comment, if you chose to read all the way till here, you could as well drop a comment to let me know your views.


A few tidbits about the year 2008 ( cos' this is a post on the first day, right ? )

According to the Chinese calender this is the Year of the Rat.

This is a Leap Year (if you didn't already know that).

This year has been declared as the International Year Of Planet Earth ( now whatever that means, what are they going to do about this ?).

This year has also been declared the International Year Of Potato.

Signing off..

P.S: Don't forget to comment. ;-)

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