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Showing posts from 2016

I am done with Social Media

What was it 2008? When the unwashed masses were still in Orkut, I got an invite for a site called Facebook.First look - thought Facebook was like Flickr - for sharing Photos. It had a weird kind of magic that kept me hooked. Then I got tied to Twitter.Then bought my first smartphone - Samsung Galaxy S - and used a horrible app to access Facebook ( no it was not built by Facebook ). Later FB built its own hybrid app - on Phonegap which sucked - after which they released a native app which was damn slick.Later I moved to iPhone ecosystem - FB and Twitter were my constant companions on my first screen.Now, after almost 8 years - I have logged out - for good. In the new phone, I have not installed FB or Twitter.Why?I arrived at a conculsion by myself - that SM - Social Media is no good. For a developer SM is a huge time sink and also has stolen the ability for thinking deep and hard. I tried getting my head around Angular 2 - and found I was not being able to concentrate like usual.About…

Lara Croft Go

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I am a gamer who had lost his way.
6 years back I had logged out of TV and logged into FB, Twitter. Kept liking and sharing and tweeting the past 6 years or so. All this time I had not completed any game - other than the occasional try outs of Angry Birds, Candy Crush Saga, Temple Run. Monument Valley is an exception - the first game I purchased and played to the end after reading rave reviews of this game.
It has been a month or more - since I logged out of Social Media. It was giving too much BP with zero action or outcome. 
And to occupy the new found free time - gaming moves in. Idle brain is a devils worskshop you see.
I started on Lara Croft Go game - a 60 Rs. Download from App Store, and promptly got stuck at 3rd level or so - dont remember exactly. The game nudged me to buy a puzzle opener for Rs.160 - but I did not. Persisted and after lot of trial and errors cracked that level.
Then when I completed all the levels, they opened up one more level - I was both happy and angry...grr.…

Rebooting this blog.

Hi venkat2 - long time!

I am on a social media detox diet - has been a week since I bothered logging into Facebook or Twitter. I rely on good old newspaper for news and ask people around me what is going on in the world.

And during this week I realised - how the art of blogging is dead. Couple of weeks back I was researching on a trip to Pondicherry - and all travelogues were from 2013 or before. No one is blogging their experience any more - which is sad.

People are sharing on their Facebook page - that too just the photos - and get likes and the posts are lost. And the world cannot see it - this is lost for ever.

I can go to Team BHP or the thousand travel sites - but nothing can beat reading a blog post - no pesky ads or distractions - just the author and me.

Back to the topic - so I have made a resolution to revive my blogging. While my personal blog is still active ( http://kvrlogs.blogspot.in ) - this blog has been dormant for quite a while. Not any more - will be writing on my 2nd j…

Kitchdi

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Well thats my mind right now! Have deviated from the path the last few months - inspite of knowing the beautiful serene feeling I could be enjoying now - my mind is agitated and is all over the place, plotting many an evil plot, vengeful, hurt - messy.

My mind is similar to the parable of the boiling frog. It does not know it is slowly sinking into a mess and does not jump out.

Time to jump out of this rut.

Here is my interview of my mind.

Are you happy?

Nope. 

Why you are not happy?

I don't know.

Are you happy at work and home?

Yes absolutely. At work - did I tell you I work on 2 large monitors now - one of the developers is on a long vacation and I have borrowed his. The apps are coming out good and some of the complex things we were doing all have been stabilised. 

At home - have a beautiful dog to cuddle anytime I want. P got into a bout of sickness + injury - and is back to his usual self. Also had procured Kindle - and have an unlimited supply of books. 

Then what is bothering …

Living in the Future!

Today while running I was listening to a Chinese Science Fiction ( The Dark Forest ), translated to English, and recorded as an Audio book in a Studio in some corner of the world, that I downloaded from  Audible over airwaves using Cellular 4G - from a server in US or Singapore - to my iPhone.

And as I listened through my head phones, almost at the exact quality it was recorded, the phone was tracking my run with the help of  Geo Synchronous Satellites far up in the sky orbiting earth - I was wondering - man how lucky I am.

This is like living in a Future I couldn't have imagined 30 years back.

Humans have progressed from Stone Age, Bronze Age, Iron Age, Medieval, Industrial to the current Information Age.

I can't place if we are in the middle or just at the threshold of Information Era.

We were slowly cruising in the Information Age - from Mainframes to Laptops to mobile phones and having incremental improvements in every field.

Out of the blue, Steve Jobs, went ahead and rev…

Avalum Naanum Lyrics

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This is my translation of Avalum Naanum by Madhan Karky for the movie Acham Yenbathu Madamaiyada. Yet another masterpiece by AR Rahman - the music goes to the background letting the  lyrics shine.

The movie name means - Fear is foolishness a phrase from a famous old tamil song by Kannadasan. The director of this movie - Gautam Menon, a Malayalee, names all his movie names with beautiful tamil phrases - and hard to pronounce too at times!

Vinnaithaani Varuvaaya ( Will you cross the sky to come to me )
Vaaranam Aaiyram ( 1000 Elephants )
Veetaiyaadu Vilayaadu ( Hunt and Play )
Pachaikili Muthucharam ( Green Parrot and Pearl Necklace )


The song is full of comparisons for She and I. Sounds beautiful if you understand even a little bit of Tamil.

Avalum Naanum
Amuthum Thamizhum
Avalum Naanum
Alaiyum Kadalum

She and I
Amrit and Tamil [ Tamil is as sweet as Amrit - the oldest comparison for Worlds oldest language ]
She and I
Waves and Sea

Avalum Naanum
Thavamum Arulum
Avalum Naanum
Vaerum Maramum

Sh…

Sufi Returns!

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Dad was lying on the terrace, at peace watching the stars. The sky was the typical red because of the city lights diffusing into the sky. The clouds that night were moving very fast. There was a star - might be a planet - overhead, and this was giving an illusion that it was moving.

The son and dad debated whether it is a plane or a planet. Then the son ran away.

He had to go play with Sufi. Yes, Sufi 2.0 has joined their lives once again after 6 months [ Sufi 1.0 ]

Sufi was on her night stroll on the terrace. The mom had her on a leash and newspaper in the other hand - running behind the energy ball - as Sufi finds the perfect place to pee and poo - after her night dinner.

Sufi came back to smell Dad lying on the terrace, putting her wet muzzle on his face and hands and feet and went away to explore the terrace.

Life for a moment is perfect once again. Might melt away someday, but for now will just enjoy these moments and live in the present - how this Sufi lives moment to moment - a…

Animals. I am sorry.

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I was wrongly made to believe that we humans are superior and we have conquered this planet and we have dominion on the lesser animal species. We told lies to ourselves, oh we have the 6th sense which animals don't have. They just have the instinct - to procreate and survive. They do not have wishes or taste or wants or love. Put them in a cage, they will just sit there eating their food.

How grossly wrong was I / we are.

Animals are not just human, but more than human. In fact I don't think we should measure animals in the human yardstick. We have pillaged this planet and extinguished beautiful creations of God. We humans are not good.

Animals are better than Humans.

Animals are kinder than Humans.

They do not destroy the environment. They enrich it.  They kill, but only for their survival - not for pleasure.

I am sick of our race.

You might wonder - why this sudden outrage Venkat?

3 news items in succession triggered this in me. 2 Beautiful Lions shot dead because a guy trie…

2000 KMs milestone crossed. 2nd Attempt at Full Marathon

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That's 1000 Kms in a year. Crossed 1000 Kms in April 2015
Attempting my first full marathon for the 2nd time. Sep 18th is the D Day. Last year I started training for a full marathon, but midway had to give up.[2015 Kaveri Trail Marathon] Planning to run in the Kaveri Trail Marathon this year also. I use the Nike Running App ( Free on both iOS and Android ). There is a coach option, where you key in the race date and it will work out a training program. I am following it sincerely. 5 runs a week, the last one  a long run that keeps increasing till the race day. 
Excited about what lies ahead - the training days as it will get harder and harder, and finally the day of the Marathon.. Set a goal which is humanely impossible ( to me certainly it is ) -  break it down, work hard, and achieve it. 
Few days back when I was campaigning for more friends to join me in a a half or full marathon - got into a full fledged debate with a few friends in Whatzapp.
There were lot of objections. 
Not every…

Hot summer ride from Bangalore to Mumbai and back

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Mid-life Crisis
The wife told everyone - "Midlife Crisis" 
Sometimes there is no rational explanation why I do certain things - like this road trip on bike from Bangalore to Mumbai and back, in peak summer, through some of the drought stricken regions. So the wife had to term it my Mid life Crisis. 
I don't analyse too much on these. Just go ahead and enjoy the experience. 
The whole trip started with me fixing the EFI of my Thunderbird ( Comprehensive guide to owning a Royal Enfield bike ) - sunk 13k to replace an important part so the bike will start. After fixing felt bad for the bike - here is a cruiser doing small errands and going in stop and go Bangalore traffic. It never runs full throttle. Time to let it run loose. 
I found a co-conspirator - a developer in the team who owns an Avenger. And we started preparing for the big trip.
Preparation
On my earlier trip to Mumbai on bike, in 2014, I had Sangeeta escort me on a car. (If you are interested here is the story )This t…

Sufi

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They were sitting in the balcony on a cool Bangalore morning - all 3 of them. The kid, Mom and Dad.

They had just lost their lovely puppy Sufi - to a canine virus - the previous night. She had entered their life just a week back.

The dad who hadn't cried that night before was sobbing. The kid had got over it - weeping uncontrollably on that fateful night along with his mother - perhaps the first time he ever cried for a living being.

The kid made jokes to cheer his dad.

It has been 3 months. The dad still misses Sufi a lot. He gets sad when he remembers Sufi and along with him makes the kid sad. They both sit and mourn and curse God.

Life.





Speaker for the Dead - Whattay Book I Say.

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Don't read this book - "Speaker for the Dead" by Orson Scott Card,  if you haven't read - Ender's Game - which I highly recommend. This is my brief review from my 2014 Books Roundup.

"Brilliant Book. If you dig Science Fictions you should definitely read this. After Dune by Frank Hebert - this book captured my imagination and kept me in Enders World for the period I was reading this book.  A movie based on this book also came out in November but I missed it. "


After reading Red Rising I was looking for another Science Fiction and I picked up the 2nd part of Enders Game - and little did I expect what is in store for me.

It is unlike any science fiction I have ever read. There is the usual fancy aliens, starship travel and relativity ageing ( our Ender turns 3000 years old in this book ) - but I was hit with a very human angle.

How is to love animals as if they are human?

Now how it is to love aliens as human? This book addresses this in a beautiful way …

The Comprehensive Guide to Owning a Royal Enfield Bike

One has to be totally Irrational to own a Royal Enfield bike. If you are those Rational types - who just require a vehicle to go to from A to B with the minimal fuss - I strongly recommend buying a Japanese Bike.

Also close this tab you are reading in your browser, quit the browser, close your laptop, switch off the fan and light, get out of the house, go find a lake or park, sit on the park bench and think Rational Thoughts. 

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Now - my dear Irrational Friends,Royal Enfield Friends ( if you are a RE fan you will not be reading my blog - but riding your bike now - but if you are reading this then your bike is in the workshop - for which I am sorry ) and future Royal Enfield riders.. Hello and a warm welcome to the Irrational world we all live.

You - Rational Thought guy - out of my blog. Why are you still reading my post?

Anyway - back to my advise column. The title - if you have landed here because of a Google Search - it is because I know a thing or two about Search Engine Optimisa…

The Alien Chronicles - Part 1

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Greetings fellow Plingians. I am hovering around Earth right now - in our newly built LightSpeed Space Ship. 
Earth as you know is in a far far corner of the universe - in Milky Way Galaxy, in Solar System, revolving around a tiny star they call the Sun. Earth is a tiny planet - much smaller than our smallest moon of our Beautiful planet - but is stunning to look at and is mysterious. 
What impressed me were the Humans who inhabit Earth in large numbers. They have won the battle with all the other animals and are currently ruling the world.
We took a 25 Earth Years sample Human Being for analysis in our Space Ship and ran him through our Biomedical Decoder machine. The results were fascinating.
They have the usual sensory objects - for vision, for sound, for feeling etc - as expected in any aliens. However what fascinated me was somethings hidden deep in them.
There is a big bone like structure that runs from the middle half of their body and is connected to their Brain at the top of…

2015 Books Roundup

Here is the post everyone was waiting for - list of books I crunched in 2015 - and here is the list for 2010,2011,20122013 and 2014.

2015 began well with The Martian. Saw the movie on October 2nd, 2015 too - well made and did not disappoint. I will recommend the book any day - brilliantly written and well researched.

Once a Runner

Then one day I took a decision - lets run a marathon. So to inspire myself picked up this classic. This is a fun read and has some hilarious moments in the hero's college days. Has lot of philosophy on running.

Seven Years in Tibet

I had seen this movie before - Brad Pitt is the hero. In this case I recommend the movie. The book is  an autobiography of a German Mountaineer who is imprisoned in British India and how he escapes and reaches Tibet. This could very well be the first book to ever be written about Tibet - as Tibet is very secretive and does not allow outsiders in. The first half was very interesting - our Hero ( Heinrich Harrier )  escapes and …

2016 Here I come!

Had Julius Ceasar decided to go on a hunt - Jan 1 might be actually Jan 15. These days, new years really does not make sense in the large scheme of things - a speck going around a little brighter speck in a  random corner of the Universe.

However - it does matter in the personal progress. Am I wiser, stronger, smarter compared to last year? What am I going to accomplish this year, that I did not do last year?

It does serve as a mile stone.

In no particular order - my goals for 2016 - where I return to Bangalore for the 2nd time in my life.

Running

In 2012 December, I ran a half marathon (21.6 KM) in a little over 4 hours.
In 2015 September, I ran a half marathon in a little under 3 hours ( 2 hours, 53 minutes )

In 2016, perhaps I will run the half in under 2 hours? Or should I aim to run a full marathon ( 42.2). I have at my disposal 2 lakes at walkable  runnable distance from my home. Today I did a 5k in 32 minutes.. will see if I can extend it to 10k in 64 minutes and try to increase…