Sun, 31st Oct '04, 7:05 pm::

So anyways, no success story can be complete without a pretty lady pulling the guy through. So the marathon story began when I was running my 16th mile. I passed by Angela stretching her leg due to what seemed like a bad cramp. I kept going on, well because I didn't know who she was. At the 20th mile stop, I suddenly felt like giving up because there was no way I was going to make it through to the 26th mile. That's when I saw Angela walking in front of me. She smiled and started talking to me. In an instant, I felt like I can pull through if I had a running partner.

We started talking and kept on going at a slow but steady pace. It took over two hours but we slowly made it upto the 26th mile. Just as we saw the finish line, we smiled at each other and made a dash for it. We crossed it just at the same time. We got our Finisher's Medals together and I gave her the biggest hug ever! If she hadn't been there to pull me through, I would've given up at the 20th mile. Moreover, she was moving at a very good speed and just because I kept up with her, I barely made it to the finishing line 3 minutes before the marathon ended! Without her, I wouldn't have been this happy right now.

And just like that, the marathon ended and I guess so did our friendship. I walked back to where my family was waiting for me and she went the other way to find her brother. I can't believe how randomly someone can come into your life for just a few hours and turn it around forever. Angela, I will forever thank you for the rest of my life for helping me make it past one of the biggest hurdles I've ever faced in my life. And maybe if I'm ever in Dallas, I'll check up on you and see how you've been doing. Till then, have a great life.

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Running a MarathonSun, 31st Oct '04, 6:20 pm::

I RAN THE DC MARINE CORPS MARATHON!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! OH MY GOD I AM SOOO HAPPY! And best of all our whole Team (my cousin Sagar, my cousin Purvi's fianceee Allen, and myself) completed it :) In case you want to see how I did, here is my timing.

Our team name was: For Keval. I am so happy because every minute that I ran, I was praying for Keval's speedy recovery. If you haven't been following my 'blog, he got into a motorcycle accident in January '04 and has been in coma ever since. We are all still hoping he wakes up some day!

I don't think I have ever been this tired in my entire life. 26.2 miles (42 kms) is a LONG way! Anyways, tonight is time for celebration. So some pizza and drinks follow. I will have to go to bed soon too because my flight is tomorrow at 8:55am.

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Sat, 30th Oct '04, 12:15 pm::

Here I am in Virginia with my cuzin Purvi and her fiance Allen. Tomorrow is the big race. My friend Vishal emailed me to wish me best of luck. I miss him so much. This is your time to send me the last few best of luck wishes :)

Cool Stuff: If you wish to track my progress during the race, go to Marathon Tracking Page, enter your email, make up a password, and then enter my name: Mehta / Chirag. Then enter your email address (or if you're within US, your cellphone number) and you will be sent a message everytime I cross a timing point - about every 3miles/5kms. You can go to the tracking page right now to set it up and make sure you check the 'Test Now' box to give the system a test run.

Plans for today: Not much. Just gonna go to the Marathon Center (or whatever it's called) to pickup my runner's packet. Lotsa rest and some healthy food later in the night. That's about it. It feels good to be here, seeing Purvi after a while. Especially after the sad sad news my dad gave me last night. My great-grandmother passed away yesterday in Balasinor (my village-town) in Gujarat, India. She lived a very properous happy long life and as per the Indian custom, when someone lives such a fruitful life and passes away, instead of mourning their death, we celebrate their live achievements.

Last time I saw her was over two years ago. Everytime she would see me, she'd mention how she thinks of me as the most successful and talented person in our entire family. According to her, I was the incarnation of alpha-male with every good quality that a person could have. I regret the fact that I haven't called her in a long time and now it's too late. But she lived a long eventful life and saw her great-grand child, Nikita, get married to a wonderful man, Mehul. And that's what makes me smile everytime I think about her. I wish I can be so lucky so as to see my great-grandkids settle down.

I gotta take a shower now and get some food. Then we're off to get our packets :) I am sooooooooo excited right now. And come on, click on the little 'contact' button on the left and send me an email already!

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Fri, 29th Oct '04, 12:50 pm::

OH MY GOD! My boss and coworkers just threw me a Best-of-luck-for-Marathon party lunch! I am sooooo loved in this company :) Thank you everyone!!!!!!

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Fri, 29th Oct '04, 12:17 pm::

Here's something I posted on Fark:

When I turned 10, I thought I was the God of Basic
When I turned 12, I thought I had to learn DBase III Plus
When I turned 14, I knew C and Pascal is what I need
When I turned 16, I wanted to make Win32 GUI Apps in Visual FoxPro, VB, and C++
When I turned 18, I realized I had to learn sockets, TCP/IP, APIs
When I turned 20, I felt dumb for not knowing Python, Perl, PHP
When I turned 22, I felt sad that I knew nothing about Oracle, DB/2, TCL, LISP, Compilers
When I turned 24, I cried for I knew nothing about Linux Programming, Handheld coding, .Net/Mono, Kernel compiles.

And just now I realized that I spent a lot of time learning about computers and not enough time learning about girls.

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Thu, 28th Oct '04, 11:55 am::

I can't even DREAM of even qualifying for the Boston Marathon.

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Thu, 28th Oct '04, 7:00 am::

I'm so nervous about the marathon. It's in 3 days!!!!!! Funny thing is every little feeling in my feet is amplified and intensified now. This morning when I woke up I felt like my legs were made of solid stone.

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Wed, 27th Oct '04, 8:45 pm::

Thankfully no one was injured in the fire.

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Wed, 27th Oct '04, 7:45 pm::

Oh my! The Dining Hall at Rutgers (College Avenue Campus) is on fire! I called up all my friends and everybody's safe. I really hope nobody's injured.

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Sat, 23rd Oct '04, 11:45 pm::

Sat, 23rd Oct '04, 9:05 pm::

I ran 8.5 miles this morning in under two hours. Yeah yeah, I know my timing sucks.

Anyways, watching TV while drinking some good cheap wine and talking to my friends online. Fun times :)

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Fri, 22nd Oct '04, 9:45 pm::

And here's a little more artwork :)

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Fri, 22nd Oct '04, 7:15 pm::

Had a real long day at work. But loved every minute. The big project I've been working on is nearing completion. I am so excited about it's implementation. It's definitely gonna change the way we do business in our company. For now, I'm really tired and going to bed soon probably.

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Fri, 22nd Oct '04, 9:25 am::

MMMMMmmmmmmm. I love the dream I had this morning. Too bad I can't tell you what it was ;) And it's a bright beautiful morning. And everybody at work is so cheerful!

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Thu, 21st Oct '04, 10:10 pm::

Long day today. Went to get my car serviced but they said it was too soon. Will have to get it serviced next month now. Otherwise a pretty dull uninteresting day. Stop reading my 'blog and go do something more fun :)

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Tue, 19th Oct '04, 1:30 pm::

My nightmares are back. Urgh.

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Mon, 18th Oct '04, 3:35 pm::

OH MY GOD!!!!!! My awesome friend Arthur from Jersey sent me this book for my b'day - The Daily Show with Jon Stewart Presents America: A Citizen's Guide to Democracy Inaction!!!!! It took a while to get here due to mail problems but damnnnnnnnnnn am I surprised or what! Thanks bro! I reallllllllllllly appreciate it :)

And here I was thinking that he'll send me some cheesy t-shirt or something. This rocks :-P

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Mon, 18th Oct '04, 12:15 am::

Just saw Team America with Brian, Lara, and Chris. It was soooooooo hilarious I wanna see it again. It's made by the same guys who created South Park :)

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Sun, 17th Oct '04, 5:05 pm::

This weekend's been pretty good so far. I've made a few more artwork. Last night I picked up Ash from her house and we went to Panera Bread because I was so hungry. I brought her to my place and she loved the furniture and the whole setup. I gotta give credit to my awesome friend Lynn for it, who picked everything for me :) We watched American Beauty and then just chilled together for a while.

I know that someday I'm gonna look back to these days with warm 'n fuzzy nostalgia at how happy I was.

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Sat, 16th Oct '04, 12:10 pm::

HAPPY B'DAY NICK!!!!!!!!!!!

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Fri, 15th Oct '04, 12:45 pm::

Work going on as usual. I'm soooooooooo sleepy. And tired. And hungry. Thankfully the weekend is just 4 hours away :) Tomorrow I gotta run 12 miles. I'm kinda nervous about it. Though I ran 21 last week, 12 is still a long way to go.

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Thu, 14th Oct '04, 1:50 pm::

Wed, 13th Oct '04, 11:00 pm::

Had a looooong day at work. Got home and assembled the new desk for my 3rd computer. Still have to setup the computer itself. Lots of things I need to do - not enough time.

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Wed, 13th Oct '04, 12:45 am::

I usually don't discuss my dates or love-life online but tonight I have to write it all out. Tonight was the single-most romantic night of my life. I met Ashlie - the sweetest most beautiful girl I know. I picked her up from her house in Tampa (30min drive in traffic). We had dinner at Carrabba's on Dale Mabry. We shared a Dessert Rosa and giggled like middle-school kids the whole time. Then we drove from Tampa to all the way in St. Petes - Indian Rocks Beach. We held hands while walking along the beach and kissed under the stars to the tune of the ocean waves. I just can't believe any of this is happening to me. I just can't.

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Tue, 12th Oct '04, 10:25 am::

I'm so excited that I'm gonna meet Ashlie tonight...

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Mon, 11th Oct '04, 9:45 am::

I am so sad. Christopher Reeve - Superman died last night.

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Sun, 10th Oct '04, 2:45 pm::

I bought an awesome desk + chair combo and three UPS's for my three computers. Also bought a simple keyboard and lan cable. And I had pizza at Cici's. I love Sundays :)

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Sun, 10th Oct '04, 9:15 am::

Thanfully I can walk! Today I'm gonna go buy me a second desk/chair for my third computer :) Life is sweet...

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Sat, 9th Oct '04, 7:50 pm::

Top-most personal accomplishment ever: I ran 21 miles (34 kms) today in 4 hours 30 minutes and then walked/trudged/crawled for another 3 hours out in the sun. Basically I was out for 7.5hrs from 7:45am to 3:15pm! I am soooooooooooooooooooooooooooo sore right now that you won't believe. I don't know if I can walk tomorrow.

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Wed, 6th Oct '04, 8:45 pm::

No matter what good things I say about my job, something happens right after that tops it all. So after taking me to lunch for my birthday, today my boss and buddies Brian 'n Scott at work, decided to take me out to dinner. We went to this cute little restaurant in downtown St. Petes near the ocean-front. It was a British-India style restaurant with a wide variety of dishes on the menu. For me, it was Chana Masala. For them it was Chicken Tikka, Pasta, Salad, and Chicken Burger. We talked and chilled for about two hours and topped it off with yummy deserts - Chocolate Volcano for me :)

One of the reasons I love this job is not just the atmosphere but the real work itself. Right now I have to setup our inventory with barcodes. So here's the plan. We purchased Symbol PPT 8846 barcode scanner. It's runs WinCE 4.1 on Pocket PC x86 hardware. This tiny little device has a built in scanner, wireless ethernet card, and support for Microsoft .Net Compact Framework. It used to be that if anyone wanted to program devices like barcode scanners, remote controls etc., they would need to interface directly at the low hardware levels with the devices. Not so anymore. I can write full-fledged Visual Basic.Net or Visual C# applications that will run in the tiny 32mb ram scanner and perform all the required functions smoothly.

So basically I'm gonna have to program it in VB.Net to talk to our internal web server running WAMP (Windows, Apache, MySQL, PHP) over 802.11b network using XML. Here's what will happen: Anytime the scanner scans a barcode, it is sent to the web server that process the input and sends back an XML document which will be parsed by my VB.Net software and displayed to the user for further input. So basically, I can walk around with the device and scan random barcodes of all our inventory and simply enter the physical quantity of stock and all the computer systems will be automatically updated. This is by far one of the coolest things I've ever worked with. I can barely sleep at night because I'm thinking about what I want to program the next morning. Eight hours of coding a day is simply not enough. I want more!

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Wed, 6th Oct '04, 1:00 am::

My friend Tamara now blogs from Mexico.

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Mon, 4th Oct '04, 7:55 pm::

And my third PC came in today!!! It's so awesome. I'm gonna need to get another chair+table now and gonna hook it up soon.

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Mon, 4th Oct '04, 3:00 pm::

Oh my God my coworkers bought my awesome ice-cream cake!!!!!!! And they sang "Happy Birthday" for me :) I feel sooooooo loved.

Thank you everyone for wishing me :)

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Mon, 4th Oct '04, 7:55 am::

Monday, October 4th, 2004 - Day 278 with 88 days remaining

Today is:
National Day (Lesotho)
Labour Day (Australian)

Today in:
1582 - Pope Gregory XIII implements the Gregorian calendar.
1824 - Mexico becomes a republic
1830 - The state of Belgum is creates after separating from the Netherlands.
1883 - First run of the Otr
1910 - Portugal becomes a republic.
1957 - Sputnik I launched
1993 - Doom released for media review.

Happy Birthday to:
1822 - Rutherford B. Hayes, 19th U.S. President
1861 - Fredric Remington, painter, sculptor.
1895 - Buster Keaton, actor
1924 - Charlton Heston, actor, NRA Prsident
1941 - Anne Rice, author
1946 - Susan Sarandon, actress
1961 - John Secada, singer.
1976 - Alicia Silverstone, actress

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Mon, 4th Oct '04, 12:45 am::

It's my 24th b'day!!!!

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Sat, 2nd Oct '04, 6:55 pm::

So I've been making more and more artwork lately. I'm absolutely addicted to it. Today to see if my art is any good, I decided to print it and if possible, hang it in my computer room. Here is the picture of my artwork on my wall :) I feel quite proud of it. In addition I made a pretty damn hi-res wallpaper for my friend Tony. Here are his dual LCDs with my image as the background :)

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