Archive for March, 2004

31-Mar-2004

March 31, 2004

Well, today started off pretty well, even if I was a little late getting into work. First, I found out that, after making Pakistan follow on 268 runs behind, India had reduced them to 207 for 9 in their 2nd innings. When they resume tonight, Pakistan will need to score 61 more runs just to make India bat again, and they have only one wicket in hand. I think it’s safe to say that, barring an act of God, India will win its first test ever in Pakistan. I can only wonder at the repercussions after seeing how this Paki team capitulated so easily.

Then while I was checking the scores, I suddenly got a message from Ishani, who I hadn’t chatted with for over a year. In all honesty, I was more than a bit surprised. And since I gave Ish the URL for this blog, let me clarify… it was a pleasant surprise. She was always one of my funnier and more entertaining friends, and here’s to hoping we will bitch about other people for a long time to come.

24 yesterday was exciting as ever. I guess what makes it even more interesting is that everything they show is somewhat plausible. That stuff could really happen, except it would probably take longer than a single day to unfold. I can’t wait for the series to end, especially since both of the previous seasons have ended with fiendish cliffhangers to keep people hanging till the new season started. Personally, though, I don’t know if I want there to be a Season 4. They’ve done a remarkable job in maintaining the level of tension, and I’m afraid if they try to milk this cow for too long, it’ll dilute the quality of the show. Let’s see what happens.

Finally, Richard Clarke was the guest on the Daily Show last night. He gave some more revealing facts about how politics works in this country, and it made for some interesting viewing. Watch the replay this evening if you can. Tonight’s guest is Karen Hughes, a former advisor to Bush, who will probably explain why Richard Clarke (who gave 30 years of his life to government service, and voted Bush in 2000) is a lying, scheming , opportunistic bastard. Great TV.

31-Mar-2004

March 31, 2004

Well, Pakistan is trying to survive, but after India’s mammoth 675/5 declared, I think it’s safe to say that there are only two likely outcomes: a draw, or India’s first ever test win in Pakistan. In the meantime, the press is making a big deal about India declaring when Sachin was still on 194 not out, depriving him of the chance to score his 4th double century. While it was an admittedly puzzling decision, I wonder if the media would have complained as much if it had been Dravid who’d been called back instead. This may be the new Team India, but the worship of the individual continues. Ah well…

According to the guy I’m working with, I’m making pretty good progress on the project I’ve been assigned. He’s especially glad since, if I hadn’t come over, he’d have had to do it himself. ;Honestly though, part of me is kinda looking forward to going back to doing nothing at work. At least I’ll have more time to do YJA stuff, and I’ll actually be free when I get home.

But tonight is a good night. New episode of 24 is on, and I can’t wait to see how this storyline progresses. I personally don’t find the bioterrorism storyline as interesting as the first season’s assassination attempt, but the structure of the show overall is still as tight as ever. They’re doing a better job of making me want to care, which is commendable in and of itself. And Jack Bauer is still “Da Man”. Him, Jack Bristow (Alias) and Red Forman (That 70’s Show) are easily the best badasses on TV.

30-Mar-2004

March 30, 2004

Virender Sehwag has become the first Indian to score a triple century in test cricket. To put this in perspective, in the 127 year history of Test Cricket, only 16 other batsmen have scored over 300 runs in an innings, and only the great Don Bradman (think Michael Jordan, but even more dominating) has done it twice. Quite a feat, and about damn time. It was getting kinda embarassing, what with every other major team having achieved it.

Saw the new Alias last night, and I gotta say, I wasn’t really surprised by the “surprise twist” about 40 minutes in. I kinda felt it coming in the beginning of the episode. I guess the show is becoming predictable in its unpredictability.Still, it was good stuff. I’m just waiting for when they finally expose Lauren. That witch. Also, new 24 tomorrow. They’re gonna run through the last 9 episodes in a row, with no off weeks, so that should be a fun 2 months as well. I love that show. Jack Bauer is “da man”.

29-Mar-2004

March 29, 2004

I saw The Passion Of The Christ yesterday with Kumar. I’d heard enough about it, and decided to see for myself what the hoopla was about. Before I say anything else, I did like the movie. And yes, it is violent. Very violent. Definitely not for kids under 13, and even under 17 is questionable. But if you’ve been following the news, you already knew that.

The movie was powerful, but it almost felt like Mel Gibson was trying to make the movie feel powerful, instead of letting the story talk for itself. Also, while I understand that he wanted to show the pain and suffering Christ endured, methinks he focussed a little too much on it. The movie as a whole was too sad , and aside from the brief flashbacks into Christ’s life strewn throughout the movie, there was very little hope in the film, until the last scene. I won’t tell you what the last scene is, but if you have even a cursory knowledge of Christ’s life, you can guess what happened. I’ll give you a hint, though. Easter is coming soon. Anyway, there were some emotional moments, like when he was forsaken by Peter, and when his mother ran to help him while he was carrying the cross. Jim Caviezel did a stellar job, and the movie soundtrack was especially good. As I said before, I liked it.

And no, I didn’t think it was anti-Semitic. Then again, I’m not Jewish. *shrugs*

I also finished watching the 5th season of That 70s Show, and I gotta tell you, this is one hell of a comedy show. If you’ve seen it, you know what I’m talking about. If you haven’t, you don’t know what you’re missing. Screw Friends – this is probably one of the best and most consistently innovative sitcoms to come out in the past 20 years.I’ve watched the first 5 seasons over the past few months, and I gotta tell you, they’ve been consistently great. Great characters, great writing, and above all, great actors. I especially love Topher Grace (Eric Forman, who definitely deserves awards), Kurtwood Smith (Red Forman, the best badass in any sitcom), Debra Jo Rupp (Kitty Forman, she of the funny laugh) and Wilder Valderrama (Fez, of unknown nationality). If these shows come out on DVD (and they deserve to), then I highly suggest you at least rent them, if not get them outright. Wonderful stuff.

BTW, cricket update. The first test match started yesterday, and the Indian batting has been demolishing Pakistan. Specifically Virender Sehwag who, as of this writing, has already achieved the top score ever by an Indian, and is on his way to becoming the first Indian triple centurion. Sachin is giving him company on an unbeaten century, but damn this is looking good. If we keep this up, we’ll be hard pressed to lose. Now it all depends on our bowling. Let’s see if they can get the 20 wickets we need.

27-Mar-2004

March 27, 2004

Well, last night wasn’t bad. Went out with Eric, Andrew and Emily for dinner at an Italian restaurant that was overpriced, had a surprisingly small menu (no lasagna?), and was trying to be fancier than it was. I had Ravioli in some kind of lemon-flavoured cheese sauce. It was interesting, but not worth $13.95. Anyway, after that, we went to the Beer Club event at a sports bar in San Jose. It ended up being a dive bar, and not a very good one either. One of the bartenders (bartendress?) was cute, but there wasn’t much else of note. I did see quite a few members from my NEROP class. ;The main attraction was actually someone from work who was playing that night. He was soloing on a guitar and singing. Wasn’t bad, but it was one of those situations where I couldn’t make out a word of what he was singing, what with the acoustics in the place. Eh, it coulda been worse. I tried Sam Adams for the first time (I think), and ;it confirmed ;that I prefer liquor over beer.

Came in to work for a couple of hours today, to make up for some slack over the past week. I still gotta find out if I’ll be getting comp time or not, otherwise there’s no real point to coming in on my day off. ;Anyway, I’m doing some YJA work right now before I head over to the gym. Let’s see what plans I come up with for tonight.

Also, my watch band is close to bringing breaking, so I’ll be going to Sears today ;in the hope that they have a spare band to match my Timex. I mean, it’s a Timex !! They’re not exactly one of a kind timepieces. Sheesh…

26-Mar-2004

March 26, 2004

Another day at the office almost done. I’m actually about to head out and meet up with some guys from work for drinks. It’ll be my first after-work non-desi outing since I moved here. Heh heh heh…

I overheard this in the locker room today, so I thought I’d share. Some guy was talking about how he’d classified the 3 levels of sweating:

Level 1: My shirt is soaked
Level 2: My shirt is so soaked, I can’t see it anymore. It’s just a sheet of water.
Level 3: Man, I stink.

And with that, I am out.

24-Mar-2004

March 24, 2004

Well, it seems the first part of my plan worked well. I went to sleep at 7:30 last night, woke up at 1am this morning, and watched India reach a challenging total of 293 (the exact same score Pakistan scored in the last match, on the same ground). While watching the match, I had a very late dinner, and an early breakfast. ;Reached work at 5:15, and turned on computer just in time ;for the ;start of the Pakistani innings. Yay for plans that work!!

BTW, Pakistan have scored ;21 runs and lost 2 wickets in ;4 overs, including 12 in the last over. We gotta be careful not to give this away. Still a long way to go, but it should be exciting.

I have my nutritional appointment today, so let’s see how that goes. In my next update, I’ll give y’all the final numbers from my Biometrics post-assessment.

*Update* Pakistan are 96/6 after 24 overs. I think this match is heading towards an Indian victory, though I still take nothing for granted.

*Update 2* ;INDIA WIN!! INDIA WIN!! Moin Khan (and Shoaib Malik to an extent) gave me a few nervous ;moments, but we pulled through in the end. Hooray for the Baroda boy, Irfan Pathan.

24-Mar-2004

March 24, 2004

Well, it’s been an interesting day at work. Had my first staff meeting today. Nothing really relevant to me, but it gave me a chance to meet the other people in the group. What was funny was that, of the 8 people in the room, I was the only non-white person there. On top of that, Eric (the guy I’m working with) and I were the only ones under 40. Not that I’m surprised, since it’s the nature of the business. It was just funny… well, to me anyway. . I also spent some time chatting with this dude who’d been here since 1980 and how, when he was waiting for his clearance, they asked him to help out by doing inventory. He decided to just blitz through it as fast as he could, and was done in 6 weeks. Everyone else was so impressed by his efficiency (no one else wanted to do that stuff, so ;the task had ;been around for a year), that they asked him to sort another pile of stuff. Hehehe…

On a side note, I saw on the news today that Walmart is entering the online music business. They’re using a business model very similar to Apple’s iTunes, except they’re charging only 88c per song. 88c!! Good Lord, is there any business they won’t get into? Groceries, tires, Internet Service Provider, ;DVD rentals by mail. I am honestly waiting for the day they decide to open Walmart University and have it be a fully accredited university, with the same quality as any other national university, but costing $5 less in tuition. One funny point: in keeping with Walmart’s standards on “decency”, they won’t sell any music with offensive lyrics.

Tonight is the final match of the one day series, and I have a plan. As soon as I get home at 7pm, I’m going straight to sleep. I’ll wake up at 1am to watch the first half of the match. As soon as the first innings ends at 4:30am, I’ll take a shower and rush off to work and be there by 5:30am or so, right in time to watch the second innings. Plus, since I’ll have arrived at work so early, I’ll be able to leave early, so I can go home at about 5. Yay!!

23-Mar-2004

March 23, 2004

Another day, another blog. I haven’t written in a couple of days, so this might be a longish one. Bear with me, I’ll try not to let it be boring.

Saturday was Great America Day. But, since I had a YJA meeting from 1-4, I had to leave after only 2 coasters. Fortunately, one of them was a rather thrilling ride called “Top Gun”. It was one of those coasters where your chairs are suspended above the ground, and your “car” hangs from the tracks. When I got off that thing, my legs were wobbly. Good fun all around. The YJA meeting itself was longer than I expected, ending at 5:30. I decided not to go back to Great America, and went home instead. Did YJA stuff till 11ish, then took a nap till 1am so I could see the cricket match. Then, as soon as I saw that Pakistan was batting first, I went back to sleep. Got solid REMs till 5am, then I was ready to see India chase down that total.

Pakistan had scored 294, a formidable but not insurmountable target, especially given the pyrotechnics from preceding matches. India made a fist of it too, smacking the bowlers around in the first 15 overs. They bowled faster, we hit them for more runs. Unfortunately, we were losing wickets as well. When we dropped to 94 / 4, I’d decided that we were going to lose, so I went back to sleep. Wrong move. I woke up in the morning around 9am, and I check my email to see that India won. ;Turns out that Dravid played a killer innings, forming partnerships first with Yuvi, then an unbeaten one with Kaif, and took us to victory with 5 overs to spare. And what was I doing? Sleeping! AAAHHH!!!

Moved to my new cubicle today, where I will stay for the next few weeks. Alas, I actually have to do work now. Unlike the Icebox where I was sitting earlier, this place actually feels like a place of business, what with the hundreds of cubicles and people around me. And according to Eric, the guy I’m working with, it’s a lot more like Office Space and Dilbert than I will ever know. Should be loads of fun. ;

19-Mar-2004

March 19, 2004

I love Fridays. On the days I’m on, I can leave an hour earlier than usual. On the days I’m off… well, I’m off. Have I mentioned that 9/80 rocks?

BTW, I know most of the people reading this blog regularly (all 3 of you) know what 9/80 means, but for any potential newcomers, here’s a quick primer:

Normal Work Time: (8 hours a day) x ;(5 days a week) x (2 weeks per period) = 80 hours per period
9/80 Work Time: Week 1: (9 hrs a day) x (4 days) + (8 hrs a day) x (1 day) = 44 hrs
Week 2: (9 hrs a day) x (4 days)  = 36 hrs
Total = 44 + 36 = 80 hours per period
Therefore, in Week 2 of every two-week period, I get one day off, because I’ve already worked my 80 hours. This day off is usually Friday, hence I get three-day weekends every two weeks. Make sense? Good.

India lost the match yesterday, in another reasonably close game. Fortuantely, it is now available for webcasting. It’s a bit steep at $150 for the remaining one day games and test matches, but at least I can watch highlights at work. The match itself was interesting to me for one reason. But first, another quick primer on how batting lineups work in cricket. Out of 11 players in the team, the first 5-6 are the batsmen. ;Then there’s the wicketkeeper. If the team is lucky (like Australia), then the wicketkeeper is good enough to be counted as a batsman as well. Finally come the bowlers. The bowlers come last because they are the worst batsmen. Consequently, the last 4-5 batsmen are considered the “tail” of the batting lineup.

Now, even though we lost the game, during the Indian innings I saw signs that we may be developing a tail that has some spine. Ever since India started playing cricket, its tail has rarely wagged (yes, it’s a bad pun, but it’s commonly used in cricketing parlance). But yesterday, I saw the number 10 batsman (i.e. a bowler) scoring runs off of Pakistan’s second fastest bowler, Mohammad Sami, who is very fast indeed. These weren’t just lucky runs, scored by blindly swinging. This guy knew what he was doing, and looked surprisingly comfortable holding the bat. It was a good omen for Indian cricket fans. I just hope they’ll pay attention to it over the inevitable breast-beating about having lost to Pakistan.

And if you’re a Yankee with no idea about the rules of cricket, check out this page . It explains the basic rules in terms even Americans can understand.