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Sunday, July 30, 2006

Chanderpaul in town

Just learnt that Shivnaraine Chanderpaul will be in town on the 13th weekend playing a couple of friendly games with us - hope to get a few photo-opportunities. :)

What this also means is that our tournament semi-finals will get postponed by a couple of weeks and I wont be able to make it. :(

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Company Training in Chicago (Lisle office)

My co.s started this thing about conducting Tech training for onsite folks and get them certified. Only problem is certifying ppl seems like the only thing the trainer was interested in. This is "out of syllabus" almost made me ROFL. Here's the bunch of people I met during this July 4th trip to Chicago and around.

L-R (Sasank, Mathew, Bharat, Senthil, Randhir, Ajmel, Mohan, Aatish, Sumit, Arun - as far as I can remember :-)

PS: No offence to anyone. But felt it was a total waste of time - the only useful thing that came out of it was my meeting a friend in Chicago, eating some good food and playing a lot of pool during the breaks. :)

Tuesday, July 25, 2006


Put an ad in Craigslist and got like a gazillion responses in no time. The first guy who had a look at my baby ... decided to take her. But had some crazy moments ... before I finally sealed the deal today.

I'd put an ad asking for 5.9K. Of all the people who responded, there was one guy who despite my laziness to call back respondents kept calling me and leaving me his number. So finally decided to call him (let's call him Mr. V). He said he didn't have a car and he wanted me to come to his house and show it to him. There were two other people living close to each other with similar requests. So finally decided to spend one weekend day showing my baby off to potential buyers.

Mr. V wanted the vehicle checked @Firestone. Although I'd heard a lot about Firestone screw ups, decided to go for it. One big blunder. After a lot of checks and balances ... dude came out with a report saying about 800$ worth of repairs most of it was general maintenance I'd just done a week back. I showed Mr. V the receipt. There was still a couple of minor things to be done. So he wanted me to reduce the price. After a lot of bargaining we finalized the deal @ 5500/-. Maybe I could have gone for more ... but didn't have the patience to go around showing it to more people. I'd almost spent 2 hours there by then and traveled 35 miles to show this guy my car.

I said I'd confirm the deal in a couple of days and as we were driving out ... my car started making a rattling noise. My worst fears about Firestone had come true. As I braked the front tyre rim fell off. :o

Slowly drove it back to Firestone and after an hour or so ... they finally fixed their screw-up. They hadn't put the tyre back on properly. Thought my problems were over??? Nope, by the time I reached home - Right rear tyre rim had fallen off. :(

I was worried dude might say he doesn't want the car now or he wants me to pay for the Rim. He luckily didn't. Over the next couple of days he kept calling me asking me to reduce it by a 50 to 100 dollars for one reason after the other.

First it was I have so many expenses - Insurance, Taxes, Family, and lots of other bullshit. I told him, dude - let's not discuss our finances. Deal has been finalized. I had lots of other ppl that wanted to buy my car. That silenced him.

Next day, he called and said - I thot we'd agreed for 5.4. Since he'd given me a token amount of just 100 bucks, I really at one point thought he might have found another car and was talking himself out of this deal.

Then it was - I need to replace the Wipers. In another 10K miles (atleast a year away), I'll need to replace the Timing belt. :) The clincher was - You will get it water serviced and give it to me right.

I said "What is water service dude?". That thing they do in gas station and all right. "Oh, Car Wash!!!". I thought there was a new form of alternative medicine for cars similar to Water Therapy for Humans. I said "Dude, I got it done last week. If I have the time, I'll get it done. Otherwise whatever amount you are supposed to pay, reduce it by 5 bucks and give me the cheque." :) That silenced him.

And just after my last long drive - almost went around Columbus picking him up, getting him the title, then his license plates - had to give him a 1/2 hr crash course in my car controls. Man - the way I got so many responses to my ad, I thought selling a car was easy. Phew!!! Am I relieved now or what? First thing I did after getting rid of him was going and dropping his cheque.

Coming up - The close shaves I had while driving the car after the deal had been finalized over the weekend. I was convinced - my tryst with DEF-2606 was done!!!

Monday, July 17, 2006

Funny lines in Orkut scraps

I love the word scrap (with reference to orkut) when used as a verb. Scrap me!!! :)

Here's the dictionary meaning of scrap as a verb:
tr.v. scrapped, scrap·ping, scraps
1. To break down into parts for disposal or salvage.
2. To discard as worthless or sell to be reused as parts; junk

Anyway, here are some interesting scraps:

* Hey, tum phone kyon nahin uta rahi ho.

This one I've seen so often in one guy's scraps and one particular girl's scrap book that I really thought of scrapping him - Dude, don't you get the message???

* Dude, come home or do this or do that or whatever.

We use this mode of communication often these days because some people (esp. one particular person I know) respond to this better than any other mode of communication including going to his house and banging on the door.

* Scrap # 278
* Scrap # 279
* Congrats on 280 scraps
What is this? Some sort of competition eh? :) Maybe I'll write a program that given an id, generates intelligent scraps and sell it. I'll probably make a fortune. :)

Another business idea I have is writing a book called "101 Ways to a 1001 scraps" - if nothing it will be a great gift to all the Orkut junkies.

Saturday, July 15, 2006

To go or not to go

Finally did it. Told the boys (United Cricket Club team mates) about my leaving for India next month. They were shocked and tried to convince me into changing my plans. Sadly I too want to stay for the entire season and I thought I was going to stay for the entire season. But then I assumed the season would be over for us by mid-August.

But now that we've started doing well and are into the next round ... they obviously want me to continue so that we can do well as a team this season and end up among the top teams in the league. Anyway let me try to do my bit before I leave!!!

Cricket was always a passion ... but now I know that playing Leather ball cricket gives the word passion a whole new meaning!!! If I ever come back to the US, this would be reason number one. Coming into the Midwest region would be my preference for this one reason too since this is turning out to be a FUN team to play with.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Tips to losing weight

Am I the right person to provide tips on losing weight? You bet. I can lose weight as easily as I can gain it. This time decided to lose some flab before heading homewards. Joined Lifetime Fitness by paying a whopping 150 bucks since my current gym was relatively further away from home than LFF.

Started controlling my diet - went off burgers and Pizza for a few days. There was obviously the occassional day at lunch when I got tired of eating a Veggie Sub everyday and had to go for variety. But mostly went off Pizza n Burgers n MacD's. Totally off Soda - I hate it anyway - so this one wasn't tough.

Coming to the main topic - had a few sessions with a personal trainer - a 50$ value ;) according to the Sales Guy @ LFF. Since I had 3 sessions that I could take, I was supposed to get my money's worth in those 3 sessions anyway. :)

Here are a few tips that he gave - most of these I'd read online just the day before I went there. So it was a kind of deja'vu feeling I felt when he said what he said.

*** Don't lose weight too fast. You gain it back sooner than you lost it ... :o
*** Approx weight loss should be around 1-2 lbs per week
*** To lose 1lb, you need to burn 3500 more calories than you consume.
*** To do this, reduce daily intake by 500 cals and burn 500cals more.
*** How to reduce 500 cals? In US, this is easy. Almost every canned item - be it milk/cereal/canned soup/etc has calorific value mentioned on it. So just have to jot down how much you consume in a normal day and reduce it by making small sacrifices like 1 less cookie and smaller portions of dinner.
*** How to burn more cals? Just put on your running shoes and RUN like HELL!!! Nothing like running on the road. This really made him sound like an ANTI-GYM person. Why would he say that?
*** Do weight training before CARDIO to get the full benefit of the cardio. Doing cardio in the morning on an empty stomach helps burn fat. Evening work outs take energy out of food in body.
*** Free weights > Machines

... and many more to come!!!

Coming up ... Tips to gain weight!!! which I'm surely going to once this cycle of weight loss is over. :)