Monday, January 30, 2006

Ethanol - Did You Know This Could Be It?

This was one long article, but I read it all the way to the end. Every time I get a new car, I wonder if the world's oil reserves will last long enough for me to drive it years down. Serious, I sometimes think one day my car will just be immobile because there's no gas left anywhere. I think of hydrogen engines and conversion kits....

And now I hear this:

'An energy source that costs less than gasoline, produces almost none of the emissions that cause global warming, and comes from the Midwest, not the Middle East.'

And it sounds like it could happen, is happening, has happened for a long time. Way to go, Brazil!

Next time I pass by cornfields, I'll think oilfields...ethanol-fields.

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

The Colts - Again. The Pats - Huh?!

Always go back and read what sportswriters said before their heros turned turkeys.

For Peyton Manning, they went on and on about the Colts' unbeaten run. The greatest QB ever, the matchup with the Patriots, his record. 14-0 in the first 14 weeks of the season.

And what? Big deal. It don't matter.

Indianapolis got kicked out of the playoffs again. Pittsburgh won a thriller. The same playoff story for the Colts. Don't see why Manning's record is so important when he's never won a Superbowl, or even reached one.

And every year you'll hear his achievements being tom-tommed to kingdom come, when nothing finally happens. You never hear the same year round hype about Tom Brady who has 3 rings in four years, and 3-0 record in Superbowls.

Speaking of Brady's Patriots.... what happened to the dynasty this time? That was one awful show at Denver. Guess we're too used to seeing New England win in the playoffs.

Throwing my hat in the Monday morning QB ring...

Friday, January 13, 2006

How To Spot A Zombie

What do you do when people that you barely know walk in to your apartment, and try to get you join some 'educational session' that will be a 'life changing experience'? This happened to me recently.

Two things came to mind:

- Amway

- Some zombie cult

I got the name of this organization, and sure enough the internet tells me it's a brainwasher sort of cult, where the sessions cost a packet each time. Whenever there's any kind of proselytizing, you can bet something's up.

Hint : Any acquaintance/friend/neighbor that shows up suddenly and tries to get you to:

  1. attend a 'session', and
  2. says how it changed their lives,
  3. asks you to confirm attendance, and
  4. then says no obligation to join...

... is in a cult.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

J.Priest - Ye Olde Metal Gods

I was thinking of Judas Priest's latest album 'Angel of Retribution', and as always was trying to download tracks for free. Then I realized my childhood metal gods were now like 56 years old on average. That made me think some....

During what I think was their best ever album 'Defenders of the Faith' ('84), Glenn Tipton was 36. For their heaviest album 'Painkiller' ('90) he was 42, and Rob Halford was like 40.

Am I up for people Paw's age screaming their heads off on stage, and doing those guitar riffs? Probably not. Why? It don't fit.

Will stick with the likes of Queensryche awhile. Ah, I coulda been screaming like a banshee as a lead singer..... alas. At least, I had the long hair once.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Arrest me, officer?

Arnie has no license to ride motorbikes. Not in Terminator, not in LA.

Schwarzenegger acknowledged that he never bothered to obtain a motorcycle license because he “never thought about it.”

Maybe we can all drive around without valid licenses, and say 'Sure, well the governor didn't have one either, and I never thought about it'

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Hotmail - Is anyone listening?

Why does Hotmail continue to be such a usability disaster? Has Microsoft given up on making this product easy to use?

The difficulties begin right at login. You need to type in an entire email address. Ok, there's ' save email address' option, but what if you have more than one ID? All the other web mail offerings let you sign in with just a user name at any time.

After signing in, there's a meaningless screen that tells you what email is new, from my contacts, and what is junk. More often than not, I find legitimate email in the junk folder.

The inbox screen is completely non intuitive. Composing an email requires looking for some button that says 'new'.

There are too many intermediate 'confirmed' screens to wade through to get anything done. Sure, Yahoo mail has similar stuff, but somehow it seems cleaner and quicker.

I like Gmail's no nonsense approach the best, and I don't care about the text ads. They do not bother me. It has everything that users need - easy to find anything, everything is saved, it's fast, and is thus a complete usability delight.

Once upon a time - Hotmail ruled the net. I think it now ranks a distant third or fourth in favorable ratings.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Mining disaster - Now Alive, Now Dead.

Unbelievable! I was just watching and reading news reports about the W.Va miners that were supposedly alive , that were actually dead.

First we heard early today that 12 miners were found alive in that incident. Scenes and exclamations of joy

Twelve of 13 miners who had been trapped underground for more than 36 hours are alive and were being brought out early Wednesday for treatment, officials and family members said.

Ambulances carrying the rescued miners began arriving early Wednesday at the local hospital.

Minutes later, we hear that 11 are dead, and only one is alive and in critical condition. What a god-awful horror story. Can't imagine what those families are going through, especially when we saw those scenes of jubilation, and church bells tolling.

Grief and anger replaced jubilation early Wednesday as mine officials announced that, despite earlier reports, only one of 13 trapped miners had survived a West Virginia mining accident.

'Miscommunication' was blamed for the good news turned bad news.

Per MSNBC, 'the chief executive of the mine blamed the stunning error on a misunderstood conversation overheard between rescuers and the command center overseeing rescue efforts.'


Tuesday, January 03, 2006

New Year's Eve highlights

I know this is a couple days late. Been catching up on New Year's eve 'who said/did what after a few drinks' stories. All with a touch of exaggeration, but who cares.

True highlights though:
- My neighbor that had invited people to his place, but hung out at my place at our pre-party. In fact his guests, family and their drinks ended up at my apartment, until they realized who'd invited them in the first place.

- My friend told a guest that he'd 'beat her' if she didn't quit smoking. ;)

- Us returning home real quick to after-party cos the place we went to was a disaster.

- Tequila shots from 3am onward, cos some people didn't feel drunk enough.

So New Year's Eve 2006 won't be in my worst list ... refer to an earlier posting.

Titles at work. Napa under water.

Can anyone explain Assistant Vice President? One of my friends has this title at work, and it seems like it means Vice-Vice or Assistant-Assistant.

Was in Napa just last month, and I hear wine country's completely flooded. Dennis and I were just there and it was picture perfect when we managed to do three wineries despite starting out from Santa Clara at 3pm.

Pretended like I understood wine appreciation terms, and also noted the progressive animated chatter of my fellow tasters. You could tell who'd been to how many wineries.

In all my time in CA, this was the first time I did anything touristy - like visit Napa Valley and go wine tasting. The old guy at Peju Province was a riot - the way he sang and narrated his wine stories. Good times.

Sunday, January 01, 2006

Random chuckles...

Ever suddenly chuckle about something that you recall from the past? Some incident, a scene from a film, something on tv? Happens to me often. =)

Even as I think most 'Bollywood' films are poorly made with copied stories and bad acting, they can be funny at times. Intentionally and unintentionally - mostly the latter. Among genuinely funny scenes that I keep recalling for chuckles:

- The Pele-Kele scene in Do aur Do Paanch
Amitabh to the kid:
'Bittu beta..main tumhe aisa football sikhaaonga ke mashhoor football player Pele tumhaare saamne kele bechthe hue nazar aayenge’’

- The missing corpse scene in Jaane Bhi Do Yaaron.
When asked about it, the two journalists go -'Woh laash (body) la la la ...' (sung to the tune of another film song)

- The 'Hamara Bajaj' scene in Andaz Apna Apna.
The crooked twin of the rich man makes plans for his chicken business, when he thinks he now has his brother's fortune.

Whenever I think of my neighbor's 'kid-friendly' german shepherd chasing the children around the pool. That cracks me up. Right after being declared 'friendly' she went after them. LOL.


HNY - 2006 is here! Now do you remember what you did for New Year's 1996? It's a decade ago already!

1996 was the year of the Macarena craze, when the WWW expanded exponentially, when Ind-Pak-SL hosted a cricket world cup together, Pepsi ran the 'Nothing Official About It' ad campaign, the summer when Independence Day hit the screens, and when Clinton-Gore beat Dole-Kemp in a landslide.

It was also the year that you now wish you had bought IPO stock. It's now ten years since - amazing.