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Archive for November, 2004

A break …

Hey !

Due to the advent of the oncoming exams … I have not ( of late ) and will not be able to blog for sometime …

Exams get over on 15th Dec .. hope to do from then on … or maybe if I can find time and slip one in …

Thanks ! :)

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3 inches …

Thats the magic number …

Thats the amount of length I have to get off my waist before … oh … what the hell … I haven’t set a date … but I’d like to hazard … 1 month ???

All my life, I have always been into sports … basketball mostly … and also, all my life, I had been thin … a tall, thin stick like something …

I first started to put on some body mass after moving out from the four walls of my junior college ( which came with an attached basketball court ) to my ‘new & cool’ college – Engineering college life …

All sports took a backseat … and the main crux of life was to get those 40 precious marks which would take me to the other side …

Many times, during my school years, I would put on some weight during the Diwali and the Summer vacations .. which would just shed off within the first few weeks of playing the maddening 30 min basketball matches during the lunch break … and I would be back to square one …

In the beginning ( in college ) when I started putting on some weight, I started to look better … my BMI ( Body Mass Index ) improved and I started feeling better about myself …

But then, now, all those raids of the kitchen, with the ruthless plunder of sweets and all the good stuff there is in the world … now started showing off late …

I haven’t touched a basketball in months … and going to school is a pain … having to lug myself a distance of 10 kms to get to a decent place to play …

Of course, my college has a basketball court …

Only, we don’t play basketball there …

We play a game called – ‘Crater Ball’ in which we have to dribble the ball, over all the craters on the court, keeping the ball in control …

And if you are lucky enough to get to the other end, extra points are given for attempting a shot and double the points are given for actually being able to convert a shot … through the ring, which would baffle Newton by its gravity defying feat of being stuck to the board with half of the nuts gone missing …

Anyways, back to the point …

I have to lose 3 inches .. and have to lose em’ fast ….

Some years ago ( when we had the ‘cable’ ), I saw this one Oprah show which featured Fat people who managed to lose tonnes of weight …

There was this guy Jarrod who wouldn’t even fit in his Airplane seat … and I think he lost something like 150 pounds just eating low fat Subway Sandwhiches for a year …

I think I remember his name correctly cause Seinfield, later, took his case beautifully ;)

Anyways … thats out of the question for me coz … these Subway Sandwhiches start from 70 bucks here … and actually, I’ll end up starving 10 inches just having to pay for the sandwhiches …

I have a friend who was quite ‘big’ himself when he was in school …

He is one year junior to me … and in his 10th std vacations, he would run to school everyday ( which is 10 kms one way from his place ) and then at the end of 2 months … he was unbelievably thin …

Well … not very thin … but I bet he must have lost 30 kgs atleast …

We almost have a gym at my place … My mom likes to collect stuff … And all the gym things we purchase, miraculously metamorphose into other utility items within a period of 2 weeks …

Like the excercise cycle we had bought, is now is helmet stand which also sometimes serves the purpose of drying clothes on a rainy day …

We have a treadmill which is all nicely folded up and stays like that …

A set of dumbells which are there for finding your feet when the lights go off … and an Ab Cruncher … which I have just started to use … in my terrified state of reliasation …

But you know what ?

In the end of it all, its not the jazzy gizmos or paying 5000 bucks per kilo lost at VLCC … its plain old determination

And God, if you’re reading this, please give me enough to last for 3 inches ;)

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The Book Bug …

Just finished with the all so dreaded pracs a few days ago … which I am happy to report, were not all that bad …
So, now with the theory exams about 20 days away .. I decided I needed a couple of days of break before I had to go back to the monotinity of it all …

Yeah .. we do it every 6 months … have done so for the past 2 years … have still 2 more to go …

Anyways … generally I like to unwind … take my mind off work by either playing a game … or catching a couple of movies … and stuff …

I love to read … but have been avoiding that for quite sometime now due to the “not so much time to spare factor“, but I decided to hit the books this time …

I had purchased a Wilbur Smith – 2 in one special some months ago … but had been able to read only the first book – “The Dark of the Sun” which basically dealt with the adventures of this African Missionary …

Wilbur Smith was born and brought up in Africa and most of his books reflect the beauty and the brutality of the wild country …

I fell in love with his works … when I first read through the very big quot;Monsoon” … which dealt with the adventures of the Courtney family … english sea captains and pirates to many …

He has written many such books which span generations of a particular family ( The Courtneys ) in this case … and the previous book dealt with the father of the heroes of this book and the next book will deal with the sons of the heroes of this book and so on …

What struck me about this author was the amazing attention given to all details

… and the pictures he paints …

Throughout the 1100 page or so book … you are taken on an emotional roller coaster of joy, fear, disgust, anticipation, dismay … and all so many feelings that you cannot experience within a week …

The book which I am going through right now “Sunbird” is a tale of this African archaeologist and his quest to uncover these certain Phoenician ruins in a terror and war torn Botswana …

Again, the attention to detail is impeccable …

It does get boring at sometimes … but its like watching a movie in your head at 80 mm.

I did read a couple of “Hardy Boys” when I was in the fifth grade or so … but got extremely bored and was thankfully rescued by a friend who lent me his not so heard about “The Three Investigators” … Jupiter Jones, Pete Crenshaw and Bob Andrews kept me company for most of my high school and I must have read most of the 50 volume series …

The series were written by Robert Arthur and later Hector

Sebastian and each book was introduced Alfred Hitchcock …

Unlike the Hardy Boys which were sooo predictive, the three investigator books

were smart, slick and believeable …

Later, I found “Agatha Christie” pretty slow … esp the Miss Maple series … the Hercule Poirot cases were interesting until too much french put me off …

Then have jumped from “Robin Cook” … who again gets repetitive after a while to “Sidney Sheldon” … same complaint …. ( but Tell me Your Dreams was too awesome ) and now the “Wilbur Smith” series …

In the middle … after my HSC exams … I happened to bump in to the “Perry Mason” series which were just awesome …
The books were small enough to be completed with a part of the day and the steries were amazing … If any of you are avid mystery readers … I couldn’t recommend a better book …

I exhausted all the copies from my local library and was still not bored …

But after all this, my favourite book is “The Fountainhead” by “Ayn Rand“.

I started the book twice … and was able to actually start reading only on my third attempt …

My mom had given me her copy which was a small, 1980 paperback edition … with small print, and very thin yellow pages …

It took me a week to finish the book … but it was one of the most amazing experiences ever …

The characters in the books are … agreed … a little larger than life … but I bet every person in the world will be able to identify with either one of them …

Be it Howard Roark, Peter Keating, Dominique Frankon, Guy Frankon, Gail Wyand or Elseworth Toohey … you can identify with atleast one or more of them …

So much emotion and philosophy couldn’t have been captured better …

The book sort of changes your life around … in so many ways … It tells you that if you believe in yourself and your ideals … then balls to everyone else …

Thats how you should life your life …

My most favourite part of the book ( one from the so many ) is the one in which Elseworth Toohey comes out to meet Roark from the Stoddard Temple ( which later is converted to his School for Subnormal Children ) … after having screwed him over … and tells to Roark :

Why don’t you tell me what you think of me ?quot;

But I don’t think of you” is what Roark replies …

Just too amazing …

Now to somehow get my hands on “Atlas Shrugged”

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I’m baaack ….

A la Arnie in T2 … I’ll be bacc … and I am …

Have been wanting to write for quite sometime now … but those blasted exams …

I haven’t finished with them yet ( or shall I say, they haven’t finished with me yet ) … but we have a week almost … before the next practical … and so I thought … I’d write again …

Past couple of weeks have been hectic … as in, been very busy with exam prep … and facing the first orals … all for 50 marks !!!

These external examiners are a very peculiar lot … and so here are a few thoughts on these species …

Our orals was for the subject – CASP … or Computer Algorithms in Signal Processing … whatever that means …

If you flip the text book and look on the reverse … you will find pointers to get you to like CASP and try and study it …

The pointers read as follows :
Seven good reasons for learning CASP

  • Its the future
  • CASP can snatch success from the jaws of failure.
  • Excellent graphics ! Over 300 figures …
  • Step by Step approach in explaining concepts
  • Simple Computer Programs
  • Digital Filters : Simple to implement, incredible performance
  • Your competition knows CASP

If this already doesn’t have you in splits … you should maybe read the last one again …

Your competition knows CASP …

Now of course they do … they being as unfortunate as me and getting stuck up with this crappy syllabus …

You know whats the best reason that they missed out ??

It comes for 100 marks in the exam you dumbass !!! Do you have any choice ?

Not to mention the 50 marks orals that we gave a couple of days ago …

So, anyways … we have our orals in CASP … our first ever … yay ! ( all the previous stuff which we did for kicks were pracs … orals is the new ‘in-thing’ )

Anyways … so I spent 5 days in their entirety studying for this subject … and I realised … that it is not that bad … only I should have paid a lit-tle more attention with whats happening in class … and maybe should get treatment for ‘brain disorder’.

It always happens with me … I get things only in the end … throughout the semester, it was greek and latin …

On the bright side … better late than never … but I feel like such a dud !

So I went for the orals … having learnt all about Fourier series, Z Transformations, Digital Filters, Signals, DSPs and all the good stuff …

I reached the college a one hour before schedule and begin the all so important last minute GD with other fellow mates destined to the same fate as me …

I got all confused and tensed and entered the classroom … where the two … our teacher and the external were sitting behind the desk.

He looks at me with those “I don’t give a damn about you look” and asks me …

External : Have you studied difference equations ?

Me : Yes Sir ! ( Some chest thumping in order … I did it today morning only ! )

External : Good. Tell me some properties of difference equations.

Me : Huh ???

External : Properties of difference equations.

( Now to the best of my knowledge, difference equations is just a measly one line equation …

IT HAS NO PROPERTIES !!! )

Me : Sir, do you want me to write out the equation ?

External : No … tell me the properties only …

( I stare out into oblivion … and even fake scratching my head … trying hard to ‘think’ what to say … )

Me : Sir … which properties ?

External : Any properties … your choice …

( Deathly silence …

He then turns to my compatriot sitting besides me … who has enough presence of mind to rattle off the uses of Differential Equations …

The external on the other hand … shows no emotion or reaction whatsoever … )

He asks me another question which I answer properly …

And then a sum, which I flub big time …

The good thing for me was that he didn’t bother to see the answer ( hoping that he didn’t see me botch it while solving )

Anyways, to my rescue, my teacher asks me a couple of questions … which I CAN answer and which will hopefully save my ass …

So much for studying for 5 days …

Well, atleast I have sorta understood the subject … never mind WHY and WHERE it is used … but atleast I KNOW …

Next stop, a PhD at Massachusetts :)

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