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April 23, 2009

Cooking and me

Filed under: My Life — Suramya @ 11:52 PM

Most of my friends know that cooking and me don’t go well together. Its not that I can’t cook, just that I tend to get distracted or get lazy and just order out. Infact the main thing I am good at during cooking is chopping stuff up including onions (They don’t make my eyes water) so…

A couple of years ago Surabhi and Vinit were on their way home so they called me to ask me to start boiling rice so that they could make something when they got back home. So I got the instructions over the phone and put the rice on the stove and went to my room to work on the computer and then completely forgot about the rice. Surabhi and Vinit got stuck in traffic and were delayed for a few hours.

About an hour or two later I thought that I smelled smoke. At first I ignored it thinking I was imagining things. Then I thought maybe the neighbours were burning something. Finally after about 15 mins I suddenly realized that I had put the rice to boil. Ran to the kitchen and found it completely filled with smoke. Turns out that all the water had boiled away, then the rice got heated, got burnt and finally was converted to charcoal.

I had to open all the windows in the apartment and setup fans to get rid of the smoke. To make it all the more fun, this happened in the winter so the temperature outside was below zero (probably in the -5 to -15 deg C range) so the apartment became freezing cold. When Surabhi and Vinit got home we made an unspoken agreement that they would never again ask me to cook without supervision.

That all said, I do know how to make sandwiches and Omelettes. But prefer to avoid cooking.

By now you must be wondering why all this talk about cooking all of a sudden. Right? I was browsing the web and saw the following comic strip at Sinfest and it reminded me of the above incident and led to this post:

Now that I am back in India having to cook for myself is no longer an issue. Having a maid cook for you rocks. :)

- Suramya

April 21, 2009

Common misconception about the kind of books people read

Filed under: My Thoughts — Suramya @ 3:12 AM

A common misconception that people have is that while boys/men read ‘dirty’ magazines/books girls don’t do that and I have heard loads of comments about this from my friends, online in book forums etc. From what I have seen this is utter nonsense. Yes, guys read dirty magazines but atleast they are known and clearly visible/marked as such. Girls tend to hide their dirty magazines/novels under the title of ‘Romance novels’.

You are probably wondering, how could I possibly know this, right? No. I don’t read Romance novels. However I love Paranormal books, unfortunately a lot of the paranormal books are actually Paranormal Romances which has given me a lot closer look at the Romance novel genre that I ever wanted. I am not saying all these paranormal romances are bad, just that some of them are very explicit and some don’t have any story at all, just sex.

The last few Anita Blake novels by Laurell K Hamilton are a good example. In another one of the books I read, the summary of the book was awesome: Something about demons appearing randomly in this one village and a hunter who would go out and kill them. Can’t remember the author’s name or the name of the book but it sounded really interesting. When I actually read the book I found out that out of 100 pages 80 pages were descriptions of really explicit sex and the remaining 20 pages was the actual story line. Needless to say I was pretty irritated with the book. Other examples are the Dark Realm series by Delilah Devlin, books by Lydia Parks etc.

I have no issues with people reading erotica. Its their choice. But don’t label erotica as “Paranormal Romance” or Romance and then act all superior/snotty and pretend that you are reading something different.

This blog is read by people of all ages otherwise I would post an extract from one of these books. If you have some time read one of these books, then come and tell me that they are not porn novels masquerading as “Romance” novels.

This was something I had been meaning to blog about for a long time and I have finally gotten around to doing it. Yay Me :)

Well this is all for now. Will post more later.

- Suramya

April 20, 2009

Choice. What the ‘Desktop wars’ are all about

Filed under: My Thoughts — Suramya @ 4:55 AM

I was reading an article on Linux Journal titled “I am switching back to Windows” and my reaction was “ok. So?” I am tired of reading articles about how switching to Linux rocks or how windows is much better/or worse. Personally I think people should use whatever they are most comfortable with and stop bothering the rest of us.

I personally like Linux, have been using it almost constantly since 1999. My sister likes Vista (which I really hate). That’s her choice and I am fine with it. I like the way linux works and if I don’t like something about it or some software on it I can change it or download something new.

But that doesn’t mean that I think Windows is bad. I had to switch back to it for a year when I worked with a company that did .NET development and I liked it. Actually I got used to it, which is pretty much the same thing.

When I switched jobs after that I decided to switch back to Linux and it was a pain, mainly because I had forgotten a lot of Linux and had to search for a lot of stuff (This is where keeping notes/blog entries helped) plus it was the first time I was installing it on a laptop and that caused some issues. (Mainly with the wireless). That’s the main problem with switching to Linux. People are used to of working on Windows and that makes it hard for them to use Linux because the system doesn’t react the way they are used to.

But then again it was my choice to switch and that’s the whole idea behind the Linux philosophy (atleast as I see it) You have the ability to make a choice (And you get free stuff. Which is always good ;) ). You don’t like Windows fine. Try Linux. You don’t like Redhat, try Debian or Ubuntu or Fedora or Slackware or Linux Mint. If that’s not to your liking try a Mac or try Solaris. The choices are endless and that’s what makes life interesting. Choice. Do I read this book or that? Do I drive to work or work from home? Do I wear formals or casuals? Do I use KDE or Gnome?

You don’t like Linux based software use Windows software on Linux. For example now even though I use Linux I still use some Windows based software like EditPlus. Its one of the best editors I have used: Its fast/simple and does exactly what I want it to. Before you start sprouting off about how I should try Linux based editors and not contaminate Linux with Windows based software, let me tell you. I have used Emacs/Vi/Kate/Keditor/Pico/nano. Vi is awesome for working on the command line to make a quick edit, but I don’t like it for extended work. Emacs is very powerful but is overkill for the stuff I need to do. The rest are too limited. So I use EditPlus. Plus I like having the same set of software on both my Linux and Windows systems. Makes life simpler when I have to switch between the two.

Ah well, this is all for now. BTW, if the above post didn’t make sense then I blame it on the solar radiation and not on my inability to type sense at 4:45 am ;)

Cya.

- Suramya

April 13, 2009

First post from a phone

Filed under: My Life — Suramya @ 3:49 PM

This post is the first time i am posting to the blog from my phone. First impression, Opera mini rocks. It is very fast and responsive. Secondly I wish that this phone had a QWERTY keyboard. Typing on this keypad is hard.

I am currently at Nidhika’s wedding where she is getting ready so i have been kicked out of the room for obvious reasons. So i am passing time by surfing the web on my phone.

This is all for now as i am getting tired of typing on this keypad.

- Suramya

April 11, 2009

Limiting sales/downloads to a particular platform sucks

Filed under: My Life — Suramya @ 1:43 AM

As I mentioned earlier in a post I have recently started listening to audio books (mainly because at that time I was feeling too sick to read or work on the computer). Since then I have read(heard) a couple of them and most of them were pretty good. For me mp3 is the best medium as I can use it on any platform i.e. I can listen to them on my computer/phone/CD player in car.

A couple of days ago I was going through John Scalzi’s blog and I saw a note that METAtropolis (A novel he edited) had been nominated for the Hugo Award for Best Dramatic Presentation and was available for a free download at Audible.com (Still available for free as of 11th April 2009) I decided to go ahead and download it. This was because
a) The book sounded very interesting
b) It was free
c) The book sounded interesting.

So I went ahead and registered on the site and tried to download the book. I must have spent a good 1/2 hour on the site trying to download it on my Linux system but was unable to do so. At first the stupid site kept trying to force me to install a windows program on my system even when I told it that I wanted to listen to it as an MP3 or on a CD player. Then finally I somehow convinced the system to allow me to download but alas I still didn’t get to listen to the book. What I got was a 300 byte file with a weird name and a .py extension containing a long text string that looked like part of a URL.

Ultimately I gave up. If I had paid for the book I would have been really upset. I still fail to understand why they want me to download a program on my system before letting me download a mp3 file that can be played on any system.

In any case I don’t think I will be downloading/purchasing any more books from them in the near future.

- Suramya

April 7, 2009

Are we there yet?

Filed under: Humor — Suramya @ 11:29 PM

Its that time of the week when you start missing the weekend and start waiting for the next one. Or in other words:

- Suramya

April 6, 2009

Nice advertisements by Shoppers Stop

Filed under: Humor — Tags: , — Suramya @ 4:20 AM

Shoppers Stop has some really nice advertisements. So I took pics and wanted to share them with you. Although what they have to do with Shoppers Stop is still a mystery to me but they are certainly eye catching and memorable so I guess they server their purpose.

Shopperstop advertisements

I had blogged about their advertisements earlier.

- Suramya

April 5, 2009

Driving faster gives you a better fuel average?

Filed under: My Thoughts — Suramya @ 11:47 PM

Well that’s what it looks like right now. Till last month I used to drive pretty fast going to work and back as at that particular times the roads would be empty so it was normal for me to hit 100-120. This was the case for the past year and I would get a fuel average of about 14 (I did hit 16 a couple of times) consistently on my Honda City.

This past month I haven’t been driving that fast and have kept to a speed of about 50-60. This was mainly because a) mom found out that I drive that fast and I got a lecture b) I wanted to save fuel. The funny part is that this time I only got an average of 10.5 which is the absolute lowest I have hit in ages.

So I believe the moral of the story is that I should drive faster as it will give me better millage. :)

What have your experiences been with fuel averages?

- Suramya

April 4, 2009

Mixing Old with New

Filed under: Interesting Sites — Suramya @ 3:29 AM

The artist on this amazing site has taken old photos of a city and merged it with new photo to create some amazing remix photos. The skills required for create something are phenomenal. Here are some of the ones that I especially liked:

Pretty cool eh? Check out the rest of the images here.

- Suramya

April 3, 2009

How/How much do you use your cell phone?

Filed under: My Thoughts — Suramya @ 11:13 PM

Personally I don’t like talking on the phone a lot. There are only a few people with whom I can stay on the phone for more than a couple of mins at a time. (You know who you are).

My phone usage graph looks pretty much like the one shown below:

cell-phone Usage

In fact according to my phone which I have had for a little less than a year now, I have talked for 36 hours and 45 mins so far on it. The funny part is that I know people who talk that much on the phone in a week.

BTW, these stats don’t include the time spent on conference calls at work. The longest I have been on a conference call was about 6 hours and I must have talked for about 30 mins during the entire call. (A server was down and different departments in the company in different locations were trying to fix it)

- Suramya

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