Long Ride Back Home

Back to work after a long but totally unenjoyable 3 day weekend. I sure won’t forget these last 3 shitty days in a hurry, although it would be wise to do so. I knew that there would be a ton of emails to sort through and issues to sort out. That is what I mostly have to do at work these days – sort out issues.

A 2 hour Head of Departments meeting started at 12pm and post that we went up to the cafeteria for a late lunch. Sitting with my team for some quick preparations for December and then back down to my seat. I worked till about 8:30 pm at which point I shut down my system and went to chat with the Tech head for a few minutes. Then a girl from HR and I took a company cab to go home at 9 pm – well I had to drop her first as there has to be a male staff member accompanying a female staff till her home.

So we sat in the car as it drove all the way to Fort Kochi where her home is situated. Along the way we bought a packet of sweet banana chips to munch on. That, and a mini burger from the office at around 7pm, ended up as being my dinner. I love the city sights at night with the glow lights & signs beautifully captured in the dark.

Upgraded To WordPress 2.8.6

WordPress has been releasing upgrades of itself quite frequently, fixing bugs and adding stuff as they go along. It wasn’t that far back when I had upgraded to version 2.8.1 and within a few weeks it went up to 2.8.5.

The latter version was stable for a while I guess but here comes 2.8.6. So, ok – tinking around with themes last evening caused some problems and I decided to download the latest version of WP just to see if it would solve it. It didn’t (turns out that it was a problem with one of the plugins that I had installed and a compatability issue with a new theme that I was trying out) but it’s what my blog is running on now.

2.8.6 fixes two security problems that can be exploited by registered, logged in users who have posting privileges.  If you have untrusted authors on your blog, upgrading to 2.8.6 is recommended. The first problem is an XSS vulnerability in Press This discovered by Benjamin Flesch.  The second problem, discovered by Dawid Golunski, is an issue with sanitizing uploaded file names that can be exploited in certain Apache configurations.

V 2009 Pilot Episode Review

Long awaited and highly anticipated, the pilot episode of the new V (or V 2009 to distinguish it from the original one) was originally aired on November 3rd on ABC in the US. Although the basis is the same, let’s face it, the 2009 version is going to be a lot different than the 1980s version. For one, it’s going to be affected by the phenomenon that I call Battlestar Galactica-ism. Less actual Sci-fi and more drama. The aliens are too like us – Anna wear suits that look very North American, the whole look of the visitors is very much human.

Also it suffers from the controvesy of being an allegory of the Obamamania – the use of phrases present in the series (such as “hope”, “change”, and “Universal Health Care” being offered by the Visitors) have riled some of the President’s supporters. And although I liked the episode, I gotta say this – it feels too rushed! There’s not enough time given for the arrival of the visitors to sink in. The deception and their true intentions are arrived at so quickly. It really takes a mini-series to get to such conclusions, like the original did so well.

Positives – Morena Baccarin as the vistor leader Anna, is super sexy – she’ll make a great villain. And boy does she have super hot & long legs! I think Joel Gretsch is a good choice; he sure is a Sci-fi guy. And Laura Vandervoot is so beautiful & sexy. The ships are very futuristic. I was so happy to see Alan Tudyk (Serenity, Firefly) as a visitor posing as an FBI agent and the partner of lead heroine Elizabeth Mitchell. Not happy about the fact that he is killed towards the end of the episode.

So there you have it; the aliens come to our planet on 29 huge motherships, they claim to come in peace and offer us greater technology, but it transpires that they have been infiltrating the planet for decades, and are planning on enslaving the human species. The beginings of a resistance movement is sowed when Father Jack & Erica, after escaping a visitor attack, plan the next move. A young ambassor program by the visitors recruit culpable humans into their plans.

They are reptiles in fake human skin. They are here to enslave us and take over our planet’s resources. You do not know whom to trust.

7000 Thousand Bucks Down

Today turned out to be one hell of a shitty motherfucking day after all. I hate this fucking day. I am so pissed off and there’s nothing I can do about it but wait for 2 weeks.

So what happened was that I left the apartment at around 12:30 pm to head out to Marine Drive. I thought I’ll get some coffee @ Barista and chill for some time. Then I’d go have a late lunch with some drinks. I also wanted to take out the remainder of the amount in my account so I decided to stop at the SBI atm in Marine Drive. While I stood in line at the ATM, I hear the people in front saying that the ATM wasn’t working. Now, I bank with ICICI but you can use any ATM. A bank employee told us that they have another ATM on Broadway road, which is just parralle to this road.

So, ok it’s nearby and so I walked over to that ATM and waited in line again to take my money out. I wanted Rs.400 in 100s and the rest could be in Rs.500 notes, so I took Rs.400 first and then I put the card in again and tried to take Rs.6900 (the balance was Rs.6976) out of the account. I got the ‘Sorry, we are temporarily unable to complete the transaction” error message twice. So I guessed that the ATM was down and left the area and went to Barista for some much needed coffee.

And holy shit! As soon as I entered the cafe, I got an SMS alert from ICICI that Rs.6900 had been deducted from my account. What the fuck! I couldn’t enjoy my coffee and got out of there quickly to go and check again. I made my way over to another ATM and checked my account balance – yes, it stated that there was only Rs.76 remaining. I had just lost almost 7 thousand bucks! Devastated I tried to calm myself down and called up the ICICI customer care number and lodged a complaint.

The only explanation is that the money left ICICI but SBI had errors in their ATM system, I never got it. They told me that it will take 12 working days for the resolution. Rs.6900 – gone just like that. I do hope that I will get it back. I had saved that money to put together with December’s salary and perhaps get the Blackberry I’ve been wanting for so long. But there was another reason for me going to get it today – I was going to give it to my dad for some debt that he was finding hard to pay off. And now I can’t.

No wonder I feel like crap.

Don’t Stare, Fuckface

As it is yesterday evening I was in a foul mood. And when I’m in a foul mood I’m not usually the nice guy that I think I usually am. Or whatever.

Around 6:30 pm I went down and across the road to the little store where I usually buy provisions from. I was standing there waiting my turn and this fucking stupid looking kid of about 19-20 comes along. From his accent I can make out that he is Tamilian. Skinny bastard in shorts and a dumb open mouth look to his face. I order my items : jar of oats, bananas, sugar & some other stuff and ask the shop owner the cost. He calculates it and then gets a bag to put the stuff in.

All this while stupid fuck next to me is staring at me. He then picks up the jar of oats that I had bought, turns it around & reads the label. Then he looks at my feet and continues staring. I wonder what is this prick’s problem. Then I take out my wallet and count out the money – the fucker is now staring at my money! I give him a “fuck you asshole” look and stare him down. Bastard then looks away and can’t look back at me.

I paid for my stuff and gave him another dirty look, which he didn’t have the balls to return, and went back home.

My Own Prison

Hi, my name is Roshan, 33, and I live with my parents in an apartment.

More and more I am begining to think that I will never get out of this prison that I am in. My life is heading out to work and comin back home exhausted and going into my room. Money problems. Even though I’ve got a decent hike (not as much as I should have been getting) it seems that the moment I save money, some need will be coming out. That Blackberry Curve I was saving up for is getting further and further away.

Will I ever get out? I can’t live my life this way. All I have is my computer, music and the internet. I want my own place, not too big, a 2 bedroom place so I can use one room to store books & keep a mini office, a hall big enough for a couch, some chairs and a nice tv with cable, a shelf for keeping knick-knacks. A queen-sized comfy bed.

I don’t think that’s too much to ask.

Ronnie James Dio Has Cancer

Former Black Sabbath & Rainbow singer Ronnie James Dio has been diagnosed with stomach cancer. The heavy metal rocker was due to begin a tour across Europe with his band Dio last week but he was forced to call off the trek after doctors told him he must begin treatment to combat the disease.

The 67 year old is confident he’ll be able to beat the cancer – and he’s promised fans he’ll make a triumphant stage return once he’s healthy again.

A statement released to Blabbermouth.net from his wife and manager Wendy reads, “Ronnie has been diagnosed with the early stages of stomach cancer. We are starting treatment immediately at the Mayo Clinic. After he kills this dragon, Ronnie will be back on stage, where he belongs, doing what he loves best, performing for his fans. Long live rock and roll, long live Ronnie James Dio. Thanks to all the friends and fans from all over the world that have sent well wishes. This has really helped to keep his spirit up.”

I sure hope he does – at 67 he is just 3 years younger than my dad and he’s still rocking hard! Long live Ronnie!

Arsenal 2 Standard Liege 0

Just watched the highlights a few minutes ago. Arsenal sealed their passage into the last 16 of the Champions League in convincing fashion with a comfortable win against Standard Liege at the Emirates Stadium. Arsene Wenger’s side needed only a point to qualify for the knockout phase for a seventh consecutive season – but they never looked in serious danger of clinching anything less than three as they dominated the Belgian club for long periods.

Samir Nasri took advantage of Landry Mulemo’s slip to put the Gunners ahead after 35 minutes and Denilson struck a spectacular, swerving second from 30 yards in first-half injury time. Arsenal boss Wenger will now hope his side can take their impressive form in the group stage forward and go one step further than last season’s Champions League campaign, when they exited against Manchester United in the semi-final.

Born To Be Prey

I finally like Star Trek : Deep Space 9 enough to download the series and start watching from scratch. Captive Pursuit is the 6th episode of the 1st season. It’s episodes like this that reminds me why I feel that the franchise is the best thing to ever happen for television.

Tosk is a reptilian-humanoid species bred for pursuit; to trained to be excellent prey by a hunter species. The hunters are another race also part of their planet that lies in the Gamma Quadrant. Tosk are only sentient because the Hunters made them this way (this implies a degree of genetic engineering on their part). The meaning of life for a Tosk is to outsmart the Hunters for another day. The only greater dishonor for a Tosk than being captured and returned to their home planet alive is to seek protection from another race. They take an oath of silence regarding the hunt preventing them from even talking about it with anyone else. The Tosk are treated with respect and admiration by the Hunters.

Now, this cannot be understood by human beings. In this episode, the Tosk is befriended by Chief O’Brien, who cannot come to terms with the fact that his new friend has to endure a life of being treated as prey and, since he is caught in the jail of another species, will be shamefully exhibited back on their planet. O’Brien defies his commander’s order & helps Tosk escape and thereby restoring his dignity & honour – the hunt goes on.

Can you imagine an exsistence like that? Being bred only for becoming someone else’s prey. What kind of an exsistence will that be? And yet, in Tosk’s case that is the only life he has known. Or even wants!

Lion & Bear But No Tiger – Oh My!

I had this weird dream last night. This is my original intention to start a blog – to capture these dreams in words before I forget them.

I was about 20-22 and back in our house in Thrikkakara. There was a news item on the tv about a freakish animal that looked like a lion but could also change it’s shape to another wild animal for an hour or so. It would take a lot of energy from it and it would be barely able to move in it’s changed form. However, while in the shape of a lion it was very agile.

The next thing I know, I hear a sound in the kitchen and I go there to see what it is. Sure enough, a full grown lion is on the breakfast table, growling and on seeing me, starts stalking me. I am unable to close the door and trap the lion in the kitchen and so I run to the living room and hope to escape via the front door. Too late – the lion has leaped in front and is covering my path to the front door. He encircles me and it looks like he is about to pounce. He then speaks!

And not just speaks, the son of a bitch is taunting me! He tells that he can smell my fear and that he enjoys killing a creature who fears him and that the flesh tastes  better. He then tells me that he had tricked a few of my personal heroes (like sports players, musicians & actors) recently and that they are all dead. I am stunned. Then the lion starts spouting philosophy and telling me about how humans should all just die out and leave the animals to rule the earth. How humans are a thorn in the side of mother nature and how he loves to kill us.

Like I said, he can change into another creature’s form. This he does but first he lunges for me and I stick my hand into his mouth. Although he hadn’t noticed this, I had found a non-tearable glove and slipped it on my right hand. Thus, although my hand is shoved into his mouth, he cannot tear into the flesh. He then changes shape right in front of my eyes (and still with his jaws covering my hand) into a bear. His bear jaws now dig deep into my hand and I can feel pain but there’s no blood.

I beg for my life but the bear creature does not budge and still grips onto me. But then I remember something – it is vunerable now! Only in it’s lion form can it move freely; as a bear it cannot exert itself. I drag the bear to the front of the house and towards the gate. The bear is not too big and I can even lift it with my hand as it is now weak and except for it’s teeth gripping into my hand, it poses no threat as long as it remains a bear. I then ask it once again to let me go. It refuses.

Angry and powered by adrenaline, I swing my hand against the brick wall. Since it’s head is covering my hand, I expect the bear’s head to get injured enough so that it will have to release it’s grip on me. I keep swinging and banging it’s head against the wall. My father then comes in through the gate. I ask him for help. He gets a huge electric rod (that works much like a taser) and tells me to get my hand free. After a couple of more hits against the wall, the bear’s skull cracks and it loses consciousness and I can get my hand free. My hand hurts but there is no blood.

My father then hits the stick against the form of the bear and wacks it good. The bear is nearing death. I get a huge knife and stab it several times. We then drag the dead animal outside and dump it in some nearby open land. We then go back home.

How weird was that!

Blah, Blah, Blah

Reviews, reviews! Making ppts. KPIs, trending, Action Plans, Ways Forwards – a lot of blah, blah, blah. The tech version of carbon monoxide is the humungous amount of bullshit being drafted in e-mails, Excel sheets & MS Powerpoint presentations.

When will all of this end? Why the same old bullcrap being bandied about left, right & center? Can we go ahead and do some actual work rather than entertain pointless discussions & reviews & meetings?

One Word Meme

Found this meme on Meleah’s blog. Since it’s been a while since I did one of these, I thought I’d give it a shot/

1. Where is your cell phone? Bed

2. Your hair? Thinning

3. Your mother? Sleeping

5. Your favorite food? Pizza

6. Your dream last night? Hazy

7. Your favorite drink? vodka

8. Your dream/goal? actor
9. What room are you in? Bedroom
10. Your hobby? blogging
11. Your fear? failure
12. Where do you want to be in 6 years? Married
13. Where were you last night? home
14. Something that you aren’t? handsome
15. Muffins? Yum
16. Wish list item? BlackberryBold
17. Where did you grow up? Cochin
18. Last thing you did? wash
19. What are you wearing? Pajamas
20. Your TV? dead
21. Your pets? None
22. Friends? Few
23. Your life? zzzzz
24. Your mood? pissedoff
25. Missing someone? many
26. Vehicle? none
27. Something you’re not wearing? shirt
28. Your favorite store? MusicWorld
29. Your favorite color? PURPLE
30. When was the last time you laughed? Today
31. Last time you cried? August
32. Your best friend? Anil & Madhu (2 of them)
33. One place that I go to over and over? office
34. One person who emails me regularly? Dhanya
35. Favorite place to eat? Dominos