Tuesday, 27 January 2009

Routine Post Part Deux

These posts are getting quite common now (I resisted the temptation to call it 'routine'), maybe I should give it a special name ... riposte anyone?
  • Lance Armstrong made his comeback to cycling in the Tour Down Under (Australia). He finished 29th, with Allan Davis being the winner. Lance says that he came back to raise awareness for cancer. That might be one of the reasons, but I think it's more because cycling is his passion.
  • Talking of reporters. It seems that Barkha Dutt and her lawyers are after bloggers who wrote about her handling of the Mumbai terror attacks. I came across one such case. Where is the line between free speech and defamation?
  • And talking of attacks against women, I feel that self defense is necessary for the common people who become victims. I came across Wing Chun recently. Legend has it that it was a martial art created by a woman of the same name. A warlord was trying to forcibly marry her, but agreed that if she could defeat her in a fight he'll withdraw his 'proposal'. And guess what? She wins the fight. The art works on economy of motion and efficiency. It's smooth and elegant to watch. The most impressive thing, which I found, is the rate at which they throw punches. By the way this is one of the styles which Bruce Lee learnt.

Saturday, 24 January 2009

The Routine Post

  • I was made to sing at my guitar class today. The last time I sang for an audience was during my college ragging days. I was bad then, and not surprisingly, am bad now.
  • Running is going good. I have been attempting to increase my speed by doing hill training and intervals on the treadmill.
  • I finished my first book on running: Why We Run?, by Bernd Heinrich. It's a nice book, but you need to be a bit interested in biology to read it. The author is a biologist and an accomplished ultra-marathoner. Next book (purchased online, but yet to arrive) is Chi Running.
  • We are nearing two months since the Mumbai Terror attacks. On the surface, it all looks the same. Most of the media attention has moved to Obama. I don't even know what happened to Kasab -- the arrested terrorist. Has he been prosecuted yet? As I predicted, the security guards have stopped checking our badges at office. There is a paper written by RAND, an American NGO think tank, on the Mumbai attack. It's worth a read.

Sunday, 11 January 2009

Number 3

I write this half asleep, cheerfully tired, bleary eyed and ready to take a shower at 4:56 AM in the morning. I just finished completing my third half marathon: The Bangalore midnight (half) marathon.

Less than a month ago, I was struggling to get back to running. Today, not only did I cover 21.1 KMs, but did it in my best time: 2h 9m 23s -- previous one being a 2h 10m the treadmill. That is from 12 AM - 2 AM. Of course, I wasn't the only crazy person doing it; in fact there were crazier: few people were running the full marathon (42.2 KM for the uninitiated).

Tomorrow Today is going to be a well earned Sunday.

Friday, 9 January 2009


On Dec 31st 2008, many of Microsoft's Zune music players started dying. The problem was in the RTC (Real Time Clock) driver code which didn't handle leap years correctly. The explanation is worth looking at.

Tuesday, 6 January 2009

One more straw

Ever since I was a kid, I wanted to learn some martial art. Rakesh would teach me few things -- him being a karate kid -- and I would go practice it on other friends during the lunch time. We would have these contests where we would try and do splits -- we called it 'stretching' at that time. After going home, I would practice spinning kicks, drop kicks, flying kicks on my brother. But all that time, I never went to a martial art class. I thought, maybe I could just learn it on my own. Every martial art movie I watched, would leave me in a violent excited state ... still does.

After all these years, I decided to join a martial art class. There are bunch of guys who teach kickboxing near my house, and I went for a trial class tonight. It was decently strenuous and I have decided to join the classes. My daily routine just got denser: the classes are from 8 pm - 9 pm on weekdays. Did I mention that I'm not giving up my afternoon treadmill runs?

Monday, 5 January 2009

Because you don't know me enough .. ?

I was tagged by WSW. This is the first time ... so here goes:

1. The age you will be on your next birthday:

2. A place you’d like to travel to:

That is Machu Picchu in Peru.

3. Your favorite place:

In front of my PC ... where else?

4. Your favorite food/drink:

The sandwich is the Chicken Carbonara from Quiznos. Sadly, Quiznos hasn't come to India.

5. Your favorite pet:

Would not mind a dog, but the poop cleaning is not too enticing.

6. Your favorite color :

I don't have a conscious favorite color, but whatever things I pick up end up being black -- the bike is an exception though.

7. Your favorite piece of clothing


Levi's jeans, specifically.

8. Your all time favorite song:

Snow (Hey Oh) by RHCP.

9. Your favorite TV show:

The Office. Awesome show. Close seconds: House, How I met your mother, Friends.

10. The town in which you live in:

Bangalore, Bengaluru or as I like to call it: Bungle-more.

11. Your screen name/nickname:

Roxtar, though once I used to go by some other pseudonym. When I was in school I had seen the movie "The Phenomenon" in which John Travolta gains telekinetic abilities because his brain goes into overdrive. Telekinetic was what I chose for my handle. When gmail came along I tried to get my usual handle, but someone had already taken it. That's when "roxtar" was born. Interestingly I didn't listen to rock music back then.

12. Your first job:

Programming for my current employer.

13. Your dream job:

These days it's to be in the wild and make money. Blame Discovery channel.

14. Bad habit you have:

I shout at people without realizing it.

15. Your worst fear:

Thought long and hard, but couldn't think of anything. Some of my nightmares have been about me getting shot -- and this is way before any terror attacks -- , but then I always manage to come back from the dead.

16. The one thing you’ll like to do before you die:

17. The first thing you’ll buy if you get $1,000,000:

Phew! That took some effort. Rakesh has the honor of being tagged by me -- I have very few blog buddies ... sob sob.

Thursday, 1 January 2009

Happy New Year

We celebrated New Year's eve in Purple Haze (Koramangala). For those who don't know, Purple Haze is a song by the late great guitar virtuoso: Jimi Hendrix, and that's where the pub derives it name from. It has (AFAIK) three branches in Bangalore. The one in Koramangala is nearest to all our houses -- I can walk to the place -- and also the best. The pub plays LOUD rock music. It's not a place where you go to have a conversation, but to listen music and see interesting characters: the headbanging rock fan, the clueless-why-is-there-so-much-noise newbie, Mallu guys doing the Bhangra to "Sweet child of mine".

We often visit the place and I had hoped that we would go some place else, but didn't turn out to be. So once again, at 8 PM I was outside Haze. There was a cover charge of Rs 1000 for lively stags such as me. After paying up and entering, we got to see the special New Year menu; they had increased the price everything by 50%. They certainly weren't making me happy on the new year.

Beer was the weapon of choice, with judicious sipping recommended to everyone. The judicious sipping lasted for the first hour.

The music was predictable but good. They had gotten their big speakers out and you could feel the bass vibrate your body. It's a nice feeling and I approve and endorse it.

Things wrapped at 12:30 AM (yay Bangalore!) and I walked back home. It was a decent party.