Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Diddya miss me ?

I had written the last post as a draft a few days back only. So technically speaking, I haven't been completely 'out of touch' with this part of the world. But yes, it has been a lean time. Maybe, I should do a quick update on the recent happenings.

* My roommate's b'day was celebrated with fun (true to his type/character, people should have been celebrating his birthday instead of St. Valentine's, but he missed it probably by just a few hours and ended up in the next day). Gave him a real good surprise by gifting him a mobile phone (take this remark with a pinch of salt though. Well, not a pinch, a whole load of it)

* Got a really happy and interesting news from one of my wingies. More on it later on.

* I suddenly seem to have gone Lee crazy. Bought 2 jeans (on a real good discount) in the past 3 weeks !!

* Keeping up with the movie tradition, saw 2 movies, both of them really good. Black, a celebration of the human spirit, kept upto my high expectations. But not Oscar quality, as others might claim. Some logical mistakes and a wee bit overacting. Terminal, the other movie, was cute.

* Got the 'highest' grade on one of my 'lessons'. (It was a really simple 'lesson', so nothing great about it) :)

* Work has been pretty much on a slump in the near past.

Well, ciao then. Getting late here, so gotta leave.

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

The changing face of F1 ....

Ok.. Lots of interesting rule changes for the 2005 F1 season.

First off, the engines should last 2 races instead of 1. A 10-second penalty for any change. Hmmm .... brings in a lot of reliability, but raises the question of what would happen if the engine is damaged due to a crash or mistake of another driver ? I wonder how the officials keep tag of all these things, that too for every team (??!!!)

Next, tyres must last for the whole of qualifying and the race !! This I consider to be a major change. Normally in F1, tyres are changed for every pitstop (on an average of atleast 2 times in a race). Add to it the fact that there are different tyres for different weather conditions. I guess, the F1 teams would start recruiting weather experts for accurately forecasting weather conditions (especially rain). :p And for puncture/blowup cases, only one change of tyres is allowed !

Some aerodynamic changes have also been introduced to reduce the speed.

I think the Scarlet team stands to gain a lot with these changes as they have started their homework loong ago. (Jordan and Minardi recruited new drivers recently only and have just started testing their new engines.)

Lets see how things work out. Its definitely an interesting to watch out for (for more than one reason) ... :)

Friday, February 11, 2005

Garfield rocks !!

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And those who say Dilbert too rocks, yes .... he does too :)

Communication blues.

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Today I realised how much havoc miscommunication, or rather no communication at all, could possibly wreck in the healthy working relationships between two people. The situation is something like this : We have a parent group in US, one of the teams of which, takes care of a very small project. Due to the movement of a bigger project here, we decided, to sort of, start using (which would mean snooping and a bit of meddling around here and there) that small project. The only hitch was that, this decision was not communicated to them at all. I agree that the decision was pretty quick, but we had about 2 days, and thats a good enough time ! It turns out that the person handling this project in US was planning to do some major overhaul of the project, and our decision has restricted his 'freedom' of handling the project.

The unfortunate aspect is that I am caught right in between all this confusion, because I was the person who as asked to start 'using' that project. I have a very decent working relationship with this guy in US. Now, since the last 2 days during which all this confusion has arised, he seems to be in an angry mood. From the moment he got a hint that we were going to use his project, he used to discourage me into using it. I didn't understand the reasons behind it of course, but I used to patiently tell my team here about his views. I used to tell our team indirectly, as much as possible, that what we want to do, albeit a good one, is not being done in the right fashion. Still, no measures were taken to communicate our rationale behind the decision to use the project. Today, it has ended in an 'angry' email from him expressing his views.

All this has ended up in some friction in the communication between us. For the past two days, its somewhat evident in his communications with me. He doesn't respond immediately, he doesn't wish me at the start/end, his language and general mood has gone on the angrier side. Now I don't know whether to lie low for some days till he becomes his usual self again, or whether to act as if nothing has happened.

Looking back, I would say that an innocent email on the first day would have prevented all this. A good decision ended up in a sour note, just because it was not communicated.

Monday, February 07, 2005

Sweeping away my time ....

Broke my minesweeper record in Expert level to finish in less than (or equal to) 2 minutes ! I've been wanting to break this barrier since a loong time. Of course, it isn't a huge record compared to the world record of 41 seconds. (Refer this site for the world records and world rankings.) To get listed, one has to have a time of 99 seconds or less (for expert level). For intermediate, its 35 seconds or less. I am missing both the beginner and intermediate listings by just 2 seconds. :( Here are my present records. (In the intermediate level, I have a record of 34 seconds in my PC at home).

BTW, Samsung mobile has announced an interesting contest for those who like to 'finger' a lot. Wait, wait ! Before you start mistaking me, take a look at the link. :)

Below in an interesting picture which I got from one of my friends. (Disclaimer : The comments in the picture does not necessarily express my views.)

A bugging link and a really bugging link to sign off. Ciao.

Listening to : Chala jaata hoon from Mere Jeevan Sathi.

Sunday, February 06, 2005

Movie weekend.

Had a mad movie weekend this time. Saw 3 movies. Had planned for 4. Could not watch 'M. Kumaran ...' as the CD was taken on Saturday and the shop was closed on Sunday. :(

1. Page 3 - the inside story.

Initially, on hearing the movie's title (without the tagline), I thought "What the heck !". Just another 'candy' movie. (as our wing calls those sweet movies where everybody has lots of money and keep flying to US and Europe whenever they feel like, the hero has no worries in his life except whether the herione loves him. Eg: Almost every other Bollywood movie). Three weeks after it was released and after hearing reviews from my roommate and others, I realised that one shouldn't judge a movie by its title. (As Subbu does, so often).

Haunting - that best describes the movie in one word. Each and every character starting from the NRI investor who wants his picture on Pg 3 every day, the paedophile industrialist, the homosexual make-up man, the two party gate crashers, and of course, Konkana and Atul as the journalists, have been very intricately etched by the director. In the end, the movie is about contrasts, hypocrisy and conflicts in one's mind. Most of the dialogues are crisp (and at times funny too, especially between the chauffeurs), except for a very few hanging dialogues like "Nanda, you are ganda" (??!!!) The background score is another haunting feature of the movie. 5/5 is my score. Don't miss this really slick movie.

2. National Treasure

Its a mix of a robbery movie (with those high funda gadgets, master plans etc) and a treasure hunting movie. End result : Just another Hollywood movie. Those who have read "The Da Vinci Code" will find lots of similarities with the book (The Knights Templar, the brotherhood, cryptic clues, churches etc etc). The film talks a lot about Democracy and how citizens should take the power upon themselves in times of crisis. As usual, Nicholas Cage does a fine job. I would say : don't watch this movie if you have something else important to do.

3. Swimming Pool

Nice one. I like those movies with open endings where the audience is left to wonder and form his/her own theories about what really happened. I had initially assumed that it would be like those thriller college flicks where murders take place every other night and the killer is revealed in the end (atleast the tagline - "On the surface, all is calm." hinted at something like that). Nothing remotely close to that. Its about an best selling crime fiction author who goes to France (the publisher's villa) to be alone and get the inspiration to write another book. There she meets the publisher's sex-crazy daughter (who makes a lot of noise, pun intended ;) ). Things don't go well between them initially, though later on, the author becomes interested in the daughter. Lots of weird happenings here and there, and finally a surprise ending. Though the explanation of the ending is entirely left to the audience. Dialogues are really less in the movie, though there appears to be strong hints and analogies in many scenes.

I read a lot of interesting (and plausible) theories in the IMDB site. But I couldn't find one single explanation that links together all the intracacies of the movie. Frankly speaking, at this stage, I myself am confused and would like to have a good discussion with anybody who has seen this movie and has a good explanation for the ending. I would rate this movie at a good 4/5.

Friday, February 04, 2005

India on track.

The fastest Indian with the cherubic face (reminds me of Ambix) has finally made it. He has made a deal with the Jordan F1 team and has been selected as one of their drivers (the other is Tiago Monteiro) for the 2005 F1 season . In a circuit which has been completely commanded by the scarlet (many critics condemn them for their utter domination stating that people will lose interest in the sport), some might say that it is clearly not a judicious time to make a debut. But coming from a fairly conservative city like Chennai and getting an opportunity to race with the likes of Schumacher, Montoya and Raikkonen is itself a big achievement.

It should be interesting to observe the conflict of support. My head would say - Ferraris, who IMO, are far more technologically advanced than the others. But my heart would definitely support Narain and hence the Jordan team. (Probably Renault also, because of this).

The entry of Narain in the F1 arena would give some small respite for the otherwise cricket crazy India. It would probably also make people rethink about the abandoned (and ambitious) plan of having an F1 circuit in Hyd.