Saturday, September 25, 2010

Silent Saturday



I successfully got A mad at me and then got mad at A. Its a mad mad Saturday you see. Hopefully we both get out of it. I haven't been the best of me for weeks (months in fact?) now. Sigh. Every time I promise to be good to him, I flake. Now I don't even believe me when I say the word "promise". Hmm. Sad state of affairs. I need an intervention of sorts. Who is ready to take this herculean of a task? Anybody? I hear my own echo. So I take it as a NO. Sigh.

And since I have got into this baking fetish (since my hit Tiramisu last week, haha! Wait...I did get a lot of compliments! So I am not blowing my own trumpet, if that's what you thought x-(. So ya, since I have got this little spark for baking now, I am deciding between chocolate fudge squares and lava cake. See how I picked two easiest baking recipes? LOL. Its still an ordeal, coz I am not stocked up on baking supplies. Plus, am NOT EVEN a dessert person. Sigh sigh sigh. But I gotta learn. And doing is learning. So anyway, I think if I get a set of ramekins from Target or Bed Bath and Beyond for a decent price, I might be up for a lava cake. You can't go wrong with it because if you cook it precisely, you get a lava cake (duh!) but if you overcook it, you get a brownie. Its a win-win, ha!

Oh btw, I saw this baking cookbook at NYPL and got totally sold out. Man o man! I was right there, leafing through it after a late lunch, not ready to go back to my desk whatsoever, but the darn clock wouldn't stop ticking. Big sigh! But I will let it pass for now. I want to see how long I continue with my baking adventures to warrant a massive book that is better off left on the shelves for a deserving person to pick up. I am such a noble soul (have I told you that before?;)). And if you knew me as much as A does, you will know my small excitements don't last long. That is because of the inherent laziness in me. But I hope I prove myself (and transitively A) wrong and
pursue this thing. I also, in fact, in a fit of a moment declared today morning that I will bake my own wedding cake. Very very wishful. What the heck was I thinking? Was I on an adrenaline drive? (The sort of things that shoot my adrenaline..sigh)

On other news, I got this link on funny source code comments from an old colleague. Super hilarious. Check it out here. Totally made my day. My favorite is "options.BatchSize = 300; //Madness? THIS IS SPARTA!". Hmm, maybe I will use this line one of these days. HAHA.

Also, I have been still toying with the idea of which Kindle cover to buy. A naked kindle in NY/NJ subways is too much of a risk :O But I cant decide if it should be this one or this one (with a built-in light). The cool thing abt the cover with the light is, it works off the Kindle battery which is so super cool since I don't have to stock up on batteries and also dont have to carry around a book light with me. Plus I hate to get up from the bed to switch off the darn lights in the night. But 60$??? Really? So maybe I would want to settle for the simple cover for 35$. Beats me how I can still not decide :(

PS: I am reading The boy who harnessed the wind. So far its all abt witchcraft and things. Not liking it x-( I hope it picks up to the main theme of the story sooooooooooon. Running out of patience here, as always.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Kindle my man..





Imagine my joy when I found this link to P G Wodehouse collection in Kindle format. Oh of course, the news being I got my Kindle 3 delivered. So so happy:) Now I need to find a good kindle converter software to get all of my favorite books on my baby. Yay!

What if I could actually get on-the-shelf books at home into my Kindle? Wishful thinking. So long..

Monday, September 13, 2010

Just saw this..



...video on howitshouldhaveended.com (ya you can read that without the spaces, so tells me an old forwarded email from a friend, ha!). Totally made my day (or night?). Ok you slackers, you can catch the video here:

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Happy Vinayaka Chavithi!!!



There is something magical about a festival day! I woke up with a rotten mood today (I slept in a rotten mood actually). A tried to cheer me up and talk me out of it, didn't work. I slept in until late noon (huge pile of work, chores and all of it running at the back of my mind). I somehow dragged myself out of the bed and thought "Ok, lets jus make some payasam. That's easy right?". And then the magic started.

With the cardamom, butter, raisins and milk flavoring not just the dessert but also my kitchen my spirits lifted. (Food's always been a big bait for me, lol). I got some fruits together, cleaned the place and began to pray. Fat tears rolled down my cheeks. Overcome by so many emotions. In a flash, I could see the most cherished festival days I spent back home. I cribbed abt getting early in the morning then. Taking a bath and stringing flowers together to make garlands. My dad would throw a bait (I always had to be bribed to do something) - if you clean up, hang all those garlands at all the house doors and clean the porch and all the photos of God at home, you will get the highest marks in that toughest exam. That sealed the deal for me.

Of course, I would keep prancing in and out of the kitchen waiting for the vadas (spicy donuts?) to get done :) I was never a dessert fan (thankfully! given my huge appetite, that would have spelled disaster). And the same straight answer from my mom: "If you eat it before God was served, you will not get those highest marks in that toughest exam". Wicked! x-(

So after the prayers and after God and the crows were served, it would be my turn. Oh but the crows..lol. That is another funny story. I would keep pieces of vada, payasam, chakra pongal and sambar and rice on a piece of an empty milk packet and keep it on the terrace waiting for some crow to come eat. Sometimes they wouldnt and that made me mad because I wasnt supposed to eat until they ate. Hmmm. So just because I was such a gullible idiot and I would believe anything (when good food or education was guaranteed), my dad assured me that if I screamed "Kaaaa Kaaaa" into the sky as loud as possible the crows would come eat the prasadam (Kaakaa means crows in Tamil). I am SO embarrassed even telling you guys this story. But honest to God, I did it. Just for some good food and great scores in exams. Wicked wicked dad. Hmmm.

But the rest of the afternoon that followed would be heaven. A big fat meal. A great movie on TV. Afternoon siesta before heading out to the temple in new clothes. Then playing cricket, taking a walk, sipping piping hot chai, watching people and gossiping...FUN! Thats what I call a festivity! And when at school, you get an extra day off, didn't have to study or do homework or anything (that was a big deal then right?!). Everything about a festival spelled HAPPINESS.

I miss those small pleasures SOOOOO much. Even thinking about those moments makes me happy. Happy Vinayaka Chavithi to all!! God bless you all:) Pullayar appa will make all your dreams and wishes come true.

Monday, September 06, 2010

Book review: The Pragmatic Programmer - From Journeyman to Master



I heard a lot about this book. If you are like me, you just heard about it and never read it. Sigh. In fact, it's a mandatory read in many of the software firms. I finally did manage to read it though:) So instead of giving a detailed review (which you can find here) I will mention what I liked in this book.

- The book draws parallels between real life situations and programming problems. It delivers excellent analogies on the way. Its a fun read.

- The book is crisp and to the point. This book is not meant to be a reference, its a collection of different design techniques, refactoring and testing nuggets, common programming and project management problems and recommended solutions. This appeals to me because I don't lose my train of thought as I read through it. If I need a reference on a particular topic I will pick a book on that than sit on a 1000 page heavy book that often deviates from the theme.

- The book has some good exercises at the end of the chapter that made me "think". I get bored by just having to read through verbose and not think. I retain very little if that's the case.

- Also has good number of references to useful resources, books and web links.

- It is by no means "read it in one sitting and then forget it" kind of book. You will want to refer some parts again and incorporate some of the techniques in your everyday programming. The book sticks to its title - honestly pragmatic.

All in all a great book. Better late than never, so grab a copy and read:)

Sunday, September 05, 2010

Relational DB vs No SQL fanbois



"..I suggest you pipe your data to /dev/null. It will be very fast..". LOL.

Friday, September 03, 2010

Sushi for life!



So it turns out its Fri evening and labor day weekend and I am sitting down in my apartment with Sushi and cold water. And its not even dinner time. Like I care.

Its crazy how I never liked Sushi before and now I am absolutely devoted to it! I refuse to eat takeout, but Sushi is a rare exception my friends. All of you who don't love Sushi, shame on you. Of course I am NOT kidding. You gotta try this. It just grows on you. Spicy Salmon rolls in Wasabi and Ginger melting in my mouth. Divine.

The first time I tasted Sushi with all its accompaniments, I had a near-death experience. Its what I like to call - "Death by Wasabi". As naive as I could be I imagined that greenish thing to be guacamole (LOL, I know!). So of course after a passing thought on why they would give sooo little of that greenish paste (I was pissed abt the quantity until I found out the reason later of course..), I picked a liberal amount of the wasabi and put it in my mouth. 1 sec, 2 secs....and then the near death experience - fumes blazing out of my 3 senses. I underestimated the Japanese horseradish. After all, we Indians take pride in our spices and think we know it all. That no one could ever invent anything more spicy than our peppers. WRONG, WRONG, WRONG! Sorry to break it to you Indians, the Japs have caught up with us. LOL.

Anyway, so I thought I was this kickboxing champ or whatever (after 4 months at it) and walked straight into this Martial Arts class today. Result: sore kneecaps, aching arms and worse still..a deeply scarred ego. Tch tch. Little did I know the power punches and jabs and round house kicks are going to totally wipe me out. And going to the class on an empty stomach? BIG MISTAKE. I never even do that before a gym class on an average day! Conclusion: Martial Arts is THE MOST EFFECTIVE endurance training I have ever taken. Set in stone. Period. I come back to my desk only to be told I could leave as early as 4 pm as markets close early today. Oh the joys of a long weekend. Meanwhile I heard some desis murmur "potluck". It made my stomach churn. One more time someone even mentions that word, there will be blood. Damn it.

On happy thoughts, I have devoured half my sushi plate. *Grin*. And the rest half shall be duly eaten tomorrow by yours truly.

Btw, I am calling Amazon guys starting today, everyday, till they ship my Kindle 3. I am delirious with excitement and I am NOT even exaggerating.