Had dinner with Michele. Had a pretty decent day. Gotta do homework now. I really wanna write a long 'blog entry sometime soon...
I couldn't be happier. My replacement HDD is here and so is my new sound card - which by the way is out of this world! Been EXTREMELY busy lately. Will post in detail later.
Went to the Golden Rail on Easton last night with Kathleen and her friends. Had a little beer and Kamikaze shots. Then a veggie fat-cat-something and a small pizza. Perfect Thursday night :) Hadn't seen Kat in months too and it was cool just catching up.
A few popups, but oh my this is soooooooo funny - Safety Charts from India with captions like: "Apparently when someone catches fire, the best course of action to take is to roll them up into a giant cigar."
Happy B'day Grandpa (Dadaji) !!!!!!!!
I just bought a Nokia 3595 over the phone, for free. It's $49.99 but there's a $50 rebate. Only cost is $10 shipping charge. Hopefully it should arrive in 3 days. But problem will be transferring all my phone #s from old phone to new one. A whole weekend afternoon I'm sure. The phone's really cool by the way and has tons of features, the coolest one being the ability to run Java applications. As soon as I get the phone, I'm gonna hook it up to Where is my Bus so that I can track the campus buses from my phone :-P Couldn't be more excited. Hehe.
Had a meeting @ work this morning and class later. Things going ok. Really nice weather outside. Kinda annoyed to be stuck indoors till 4:30pm.
Ok gotta get my work on now...
Things are getting busy now. Class, work, et al. Anyways my cell phone plan ended last month and I need to buy a new phone. I'm pretty sure I'll go with Nokia 3595 unless someone suggests anything in the next 12 hours. I need a sturdy web-enabled phone that will work in my bunker. This phone's got more power and memory than a 286! Hehe...
Got a lot of homework to do now.
I. LOVE. MY. PARESH. UNCLE!!!
Happy B'day Cigir!
Went home today. We had a lunch buffet @ this Indian restaurant right behind our house, less than a 3 minute walk. Cool stuff - my uncle/aunt bought a used BMW 318i yesterday and I just took it on a quick spin with Sagar (for 30 mins hehe). Awesome stuff. It's automatic and manual/stick-shift both! Good pickup too. Only 48,000 miles, 1999 model I think.
And now I think my computer hates me. After my hard drive, it's time for my sound card to screw up. It's not entirely damaged, but for some reason the voices are all cracked up. So wasting no time, I just bought Hercules Fortissimo III 7.1 from NewEgg. So now I should be getting a new sound card in addition to a replacement hard drive (it was still under warranty). Hope things don't get any worse. Well they kinda are, I spotted 2 dead-pixels on my monitor yesterday... :(
Oh well, gotta get back to work now...
Quote for the day: "Rationalization is not the same thing as reasoning."
Between the SAC and Frelinghuysen Hall, facing the Raritan is a tiny slope with lush green grass. Often between classes, on long tiresome days, I go down the slope half-way to catch a breath. It's one of those rare spots that everyone has seen before but no one really knows it's beauty. Located in the tiny corridor between two buildings, it's one of the windiest sites around New Brunswick and this secret belongs to me. It's right next to a busy campus bus stop - isolation amidst the congregation. Last night after my hard drive died, there is exactly where I wanted to be.
After I was sure that the drive was dead, I turned off my computer, got out of my bunker, and decided to wait outside in the storm for Cigir. She came after a few minutes, I told her what happened, and how I just didn't feel like going indoors at the moment. So we walked across College Ave. campus and headed for the river-front. I showed her the slope and spoke highly of its wonders. She thought I wasn't serious but just after sitting down for a few moment, she knew what I meant. "It was a dark and stormy night..." and now I felt much better. We walked down to the little park on the river-front, no one else in sight. The wind was roaring and all of a sudden, a cloudburst hit us. There are these tiny fake huts with benches where people sit on sunny Sundays afternoons to read a book. We huddled there simply to shield us from the rain. I was shivering. Not wanting to fall sick, we briskly walked back to my bunker to dry off. Indoors was comforting again.
It was pretty cold inside too (the bunker's air conditioner is always on) and what better way to get instant warmth than a little Vanilla Twist? Three shots and I was already slurring. It had stopped raining, we went outside. It rained again, we came indoors. It was the perfect weather. Like the time in Digha when I was around six years old. I remember the palm trees in the distance, bending dangerously low in the wind, someone in the background calling me indoors. I was out in the balcony with my eyes fixated, knowing that any moment now one of the palms was going to snap. The weather was like that last night in New Brunswick.
Here's a little bit of bad news. My new 160gb hard drive died. It's unreadable now and makes loud noise if I connect it. With that goes every video I had ever downloaded or ripped. Over 40 movies, 113 episodes of South Park, 50 episodes of Family Guy, and a LOT of backup data. My work is not gonna be hampered by it cuz it's on a different drive (and I have backups of my work) but I never made any backups of my videos (TOO large). So ya, and in 5 minutes Cigir was supposed to come over and see a movie with me. I'm so sad right now that I'm gonna cry. I might need to invest in a RAID fault-protection system or something. Can't live each day in fear of my data disappearing.
"One good thing about being an artist is that I can hold two contradictory ideas in my head and believe them both. I don't have to put my money where my mouth is and say this is my hypothesis and I've got to prove it. I can believe two ideas simultaneously because some days it's true for one and some days it's true for another, just like one day I'm a sophisticated guy and read highbrow books and the next day I'm eating crisps and watching EastEnders." - Keith Tyson in a New Scientist interview. I couldn't have said it better.
My buddy Vu sent me to Rutgers Meteorology Club's site last night, to see some pictures of the 1999 flood in New Brunswick. Let's just say this scares the hell out of me. However, I highly doubt it will happen this time.
It's beautiful outside - windy, cool (but not cold), dry, and pretty bright. Even in the middle of downtown New Brunswick, you can smell the fresh breeze floating in from the Raritan river. It's beautiful. Not beautiful like the innocent fawn on a lovely spring 'noon but beautiful like a roaring lioness on the hunt for those who stole her pups. In other words, the calm before the storm.
I just saw the movie "Fargo". I'd heard a lot about it, and finally got around to seeing it. Wow. One of the most gruesome true-life stories I've ever seen.
Gotta love my university's President. First he got robbed at the liquor store 2 blocks from my bunker and now he got drunk and backed into someone's car. This is what I posted on Fark: "Wow I can't believe my univ's Prez. is a real human who makes mistakes. Sure, this was pretty dumb of him. I can't wait till he sends the whole university another email. After the mugging he sent a very solemn email. What's it gonna be this time - oops I farked up? Oh and kids don't drink 'n drive!"
Anyways, I got some good news that the hurricane's changed its path and will most probably miss NJ. Phew.
I had a really weird dream this morning. Somehow I could take a local underground train/subway to go from Rutgers to my house in India. I don't really recall the dream now but it's surprising how/why/when I dream. Everytime I put my pillow facing the door, I oversleep, wake up groggy, tired, and have nightmares. Last few days I've been sleeping the other way and have pleasant dreams. I'm sleeping the other way simply because I lean against the wall next to the door while reading a book. So here's what I wanna find out. Am I dreaming good because I sleep in one direction OR because I read a book at night. I'm kinda thinking it's the latter however I did not read anything few days ago and still had nice dreams.
I'm gonna be 23 in a few weeks and I'm still so very affected by dreams. I should've grown out of it by now. But hey, I had a happy dream, I put on some good ol' Indian music (Maine Pyaar Kiya songs), took a shower, and came to my work - thus beginning an awesome day. And of course, now I go online and read CNN to find out that how you sleep says a lot about your personality. Of course. once again I have to be different (zara hat ke!) and turns out I am among the 6.5% of freefallers: "The freefall, flat on the tummy with the hands at the sides of the head, is the most unusual position. Only 6.5 percent of people prefer it..."
So yesterday I was a little worried about Hurricane Isabel. Now, I am HELL-OF-A-LOT worried! See the two pictures here: satellite relief map and predicted path. While the center is still quiet far from NJ, it can easily veer towards us and if it does, things are gonna get very very wet. While everyone in college wants a Friday off, I'm just hoping my bunker doesn't get flooded. Maybe I'm overreacting, cuz I know my landlord has a decent sump pump but still, this is my first hurricane and I am NOT looking forward to it. Why am I so scared? Let's just say the hurricane storm itself is bigger than all of Texas! That's like 1/5th the size of India probably. And I don't want the bunker to turn into the jacuzzi. Oh well, gotta get back to work.
I dunno the authenticity of the following piece, but the message is clear and quite enlightening: "Aoccdrnig to a rscheearch at an Elingsh uinervtisy, it deosn't mttaer in waht oredr the ltteers in a wrod are, the olny iprmoetnt tihng is taht frist and lsat ltteer is at the rghit pclae. The rset can be a toatl mses and you can sitll raed it wouthit porbelm. Tihs is bcuseae we do not raed ervey lteter by it slef but the wrod as a wlohe."
Wow took me almost an hour to write all that. Gotta get to my Operating Systems class now to get my learning on.
It's been a long time since I blogged. So what am I upto. Studies, work, select friends, and books. Ah books. Growing up, I used to devour the books my dad read, mostly works by Jeffrey Archer, Sidney Sheldon, and John Grisham. After I discovered computer manuals, help files, and FAQs, my interest in books dwindled. Last semester I took a class that got me interested in books again - Trauma & Literature; albeit a very different genre of books. This weekend I completed a book I'd been reading for over 2 months, Everyone's Burning by Ian Speigelman. Now I'm reading Andre Dubus' House of Sand and Fog.
This being the senior/final year, most of my friends are busy with their classes/homework so it's hard to hang out with them. Moreover, I have evening and night classes and work during the day. While it's great for me, since I get enough free time for studies, work, sleep, and just relaxing, it's hard to meet up with people and chill. I see Arthur every other day, just to chill, since he has a lot of free time in-between his classes. He gave me a ride to my aunt's house to pick up some of my client's mail. Then we went to an Indian food store and I bought some maggi for him. One by one I'll get all my friends addicted to it. And while my friends are gonna get fat eating Maggi, I have healthy lunches - today I had some good Chinese fried rice with tofu and vegetables. Since I have enough money to buy me mostly any food on/around campus, I have to be really careful with what I eat, especially if I get sick, there is nobody to take care of me on a daily basis. So I watch what I eat, but then people start thinking I'm on a diet. Look what Kathleen just said online with regards to my memory and eating habits: "You're an elephant with an underweight disorder. I'm calling you my anorexic elephant friend." But then just 2 hours ago I was with Cher eating some yummmmmmy french vanilla icecream, though only a single scoop.
I knew food would become a slightly bigger part of my life once I started living alone and well it has. I care a bit more about what I eat, when I eat, and how much I eat. But I never though cleaning would become anymore important. It is. I dust my room every other day and clean my bathroom once a week. What's my point? I'm turning 23 in 2 weeks, and finally I'm acting like one. No more excess drinking, eating, sleeping, working. No extremes - I'm becoming 'Fair and Balanced'. Hehe.
Anyways, my studies going on good. I have homework due tomorrow, on Wednesday, and on Monday. I already did the stuff for next Monday! Well simply cuz it's computer graphics and something that I absolutely love. Homework for tomorrow and Wednesday is pretty interesting too - mostly programming with a few question/answers. Nobody likes to do homework, but this is the first time I don't absolutely hate doing my homework - mainly cuz it's not repetitive or boring, rather interesting and creative. And as usual, my work's going awesome. I got one website to complete as soon as possible and got a new project for my university that I just started this morning.
Everything's going decent in my life right now, EXCEPT the weather. It's September and raining here as if it's the monsoons. Now I have nothing against rains, in fact love them. However I live 10 feet below the earth in well-sheltered bunker. I can survive a nuclear blast but I don't think I can easily survive Ms. Isabel - a Category 5 hurricane that could hit the US East Coast quite hard in a week or so. If by some misfortune the Raritan River in New Brunswick floods all the way to Easton Avenue (my home), I have no idea what I'll do. I'll probably move all my stuff (and trust me I have a LOT of stuff) out to the first floor of our house but it'll be a lot of work. So I'm keeping my fingers crossed.
Haha! Looking at my last year's schedule, I feel so relieved right now. This semester my schedule is pretty good. Work from 10-4, classes 5-10, and no school/work on Friday/Saturday/Sunday. I guess living on campus and having night classes fixed all my woes. My life rocks :)
It's two years already. Still gives me shivers thinking about the day. I was almost ready to go to college and my aunt was in the kitchen finishing up stuff. I never turned on the TV in the mornings, simply cuz there was never enough time to watch anything. But for some reason, I just turned on ABC 7. There was some gibberish of news and all of a sudden breaking news with footage of first tower! I couldn't really believe it. I instantly called my aunt to verify if this is the WTC or something else. She was shocked too, but it looked more like a tiny plane accident. She went on to get ready for work and in front of my eyes, a 2nd plane hit the other tower and ABC went blank; their broadcast antenna was on the 2nd tower. That's when I knew it was an act of terrorism. The name 'Osama' and 'Al Qaeda' instantly came to my mind, reminiscent of 1993 attacks.
We informed my uncle about the attacks and a few of our neighbors. I still went to college, even studied the 2nd class: 'Statistics I' and only after the class, was it announced that Rutgers was closed for the day. And the twin towers had collapsed! That bit was just unbelievable. How can two 110 storey buildings fall cuz of some tiny planes? It was later that I found out the planes were 747 commercial jet liners. It was an eerie ride in the bus. All the students just shocked and not knowing what to say. I mentioned the name 'Osama' and 'Al Qaeda' as prime suspects but nobody knew who they were. I said they were involved in 1993 attacks on WTC too, though I heard of them wreaking worse havocs in the state of Kashmir in India. I took the bus, reached my aunt's store, drove back home in her car, and spent the whole day on Fark. The next day I signed up for a fark account. Before that I was just a lurker. That day showed me what an online community really is. I also recorded some WTC videos, put them online and submitted to Fark, esp. for people in countries where TV stations were censoring the videos. That was the least I could do. It's 2 years past now. My life's pretty much the same. Yet the mention of WTC gives me the creeps everytime.
Same old stuff. I got work from 10-4:30 and classes 6-10pm. At least the weather is good. Pretty much nothing going on in my life right now. I've got new projects @ work now that involve a lot of cool stuff like credit card processing. Gotta learn all these new systems now.
I've been trying out a new freeware lately: iRate. The software basically goes on random music artists' sites and downloads their songs. It's not a file-sharing prog, rather downloads songs over http using my rating preferences. So if I rate all the techno songs as 'Cool' and the country songs as 'Yawn', it only finds more techno songs. Best part about this is that the songs it downloads are free and legal. I don't have to worry about RIAA suing me anymore. I've already found a lot of cool songs and upcoming artists. If everybody starts using stuff like iRate, the music industry will change forever.
I'm the 186,740,948th richest person on earth! Discover how rich you are on the Global Rich List site.
Well at least it's not as cold as last year! Actually the weather's been real good these past two days.
It's been long since I blogged. Off late, I don't feel like talking much. Things are fine, college has started, work is great as usual. My friends are back again and it's good to run into an old acquaintance once in a while. I went on a long walk around the campus with Cigir today and came to my bunker and watched a few episodes of South Park. Life's going good I guess. Nothing to complain, nothing to get excited about. Same old stuff, you know. This is the calm before the storm of mid-term starts in 2 weeks I guess. It's back to work and classes early tomorrow.
Took me over a month but I finally beat Splinter Cell. One of the best games I've ever played. OOOOOOOO the graphics...
I woke up @ 7am on a Saturday! Oh my...
Happy B'day Michele! Only one more year till you can drink 'legally.'
I'm not 100% positive about this, but I am quiet sure that I am gonna be the first person in my whole family to be mentioned in a book. One of the editor's at PC World has written a book on PC Annoyances and 3 of my softwares are reviewed in there. Makes me all happy.
I've been writing code all my life. I think it's high time I looked into code generation.
Finally after 3 years of college, I get to take a class that is actually interesting and new to me - Computer Graphics. While the course material is still unclear, we'll learn a lot of cool stuff on making software that makes 3d rendering possible. This course is not how to USE a 3D design software, it's how to MAKE it. I'm excited.
Just went to the Livington Surplus Store w/ Michele. She needed a new monitor. My buddy Chris told me they sell 17" monitors for $20! I am thinking of buying a 19" CRT and hooking it up with my 19" LCD. Desktop space will be a problem, but I'll def. get a lot more work done. Hmmm let's see...
Reading Manna, a book by Marshall Brain (best known as the creator of How Stuff Works. It's an eerie book about robots, computers, and more specifically intelligent software taking over the world. I make systems that make other people's jobs easier. I've also made programs that have eliminated time-consuming human tasks. I hope I never make something like Manna. Technically it's a piece of cake, but it's effects are not so sweet. Read the book if you have the time. He's a blogger too.
My university's site was redesigned. It's good I think. Too busy to be critical right now.