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Last Visit 2018-05-04 21:42:20 |Start Date 2007-04-01 15:09:25 |Comments 9,860 |Entries 1,012 |Images 1,430 |Sounds 30 |SWF 1 |Videos 221 |Mobl 27 |

Category: i-tech

11/20/09 03:22 - 43ºF - ID#50350

The future of Personal Computing?

Chrome OS went opensource on Wednesday. I am excited but I also wonder if comfort in the knowledge of having most important things on your harddrive (if the internet were to crash and burn one day) would ever go away. I have a 1TB harddrive that I back-up things on - and I may potentially get another one. Why, then, is this concept of netbooking exciting?

I think people like me lead dual lives - a mobile, assimilate-and-let-go "info-now" life and a more static laid-back static "make-do-with-what-you-have" life. In the ancient past, I might have had a laptop for one life and a desktop for the other but now I have 2 laptops. My bigger older bulkier laptop serves as an emergency back-up for major disasters (which means it never gets used but its there all the same). The other smaller laptop is the one that I port around - almost inevitably to journal clubs and other venues that require me to review some written document.

I gave up printing more than a year back. All my docs are now online and backed up on my 1TB harddrive. I surf the web extensively and all my information gathering happens on this smaller laptop. Since I don't take my harddrive with me, whatever little data I have while on the go is on the tiny laptop. I depend on the net for the rest. So this could well be a netbook. I could get rid of the other laptop, retain my harddrive as a vestige of the ancient desktop and move ahead.

Some day, when I have a blazingly fast broadband satellite access to the net, I could ditch the harddrive as well. I just wonder if this day will coincide with the official release of Chrome OS. :)



I would love to see the owner of the voice in the video in action. I saw the video 3 times just because the presentation was so snappy, and so Google!

And if you are instinctively thinking of Windows when it comes to long boot up times, you would be wrong. The latest Ubuntu takes a WHOLE godawful minute to boot and you can't even mod it easily as you can mod Win XP. I am sick of the holier-than-thou attitude of linuxers when you ask if you could just cut out all the crap add-on software that Ubuntu ships with* - the answer is that its free so you shouldn't expect too much. I say, to hell with you and your snobbish attitude.

If you can't give civilized useful answers to genuine questions from new users, you are no better than the micro$*** folks who just keep making their operating system even more bloated with every revision. At least WinXP can be stripped down to a lean performance beast. Requests for user-friendly ways of slipstreaming and coring Ubuntu make it to the "innovative future ideas" board instead of being listed as priorities and answered - just goes to show how completely behind the times and user-unfriendly Ubuntu (and generally the linux community) really is.



  • PS: YES. I have tried Puppy Linux and its no more user-friendly than an esoteric command line system with all the commands in a useless pretty GUI drawn on a puppy's back. :/
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Permalink: The_future_of_Personal_Computing_.html
Words: 557
Location: Buffalo, NY


Category: buffalo

11/19/09 07:09 - 52ºF - ID#50346

Drycleaning around Downtown Buffalo

Does anyone have any experience with the Drycleaners at:

a) The corner of Linwood and North? You know, that shop next to the art gallery that sells clothes with the grammatically wrong tagline "Never to big... to be beautiful". Hmm... does that imply that the shop *actually* thinks that if you are too big, you could potentially be ugly?

b) That Drycleaning store near Delaware and Amherst - whose adverts scream that they dryclean EVERYthing at $2.95.

Who are your favourite Drycleaners around the downtown area? I have a particularly grimy but really expensive woollen blazer I want to have drycleaned and could really use some recommendations.

Thanks!
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Permalink: Drycleaning_around_Downtown_Buffalo.html
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Location: Buffalo, NY


Category: opinion

11/15/09 11:01 - 45ºF - ID#50315

"Visiting with family" =/= "Vacation"

"Visiting with family" is definitely not equivalent to a "Vacation".

I was over the moon thinking about the vacation, was stressed out completely during the "vacation", but nevertheless didn't want to come back and felt devastated and depressed when I returned. Weird and totally expected at the same time. I miss my folks so much it actually aches. I think I now know why I avoided going back home for so long. :(

I think that's all I want to say about my "vacation".
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Permalink: _quot_Visiting_with_family_quot_quot_Vacation_quot_.html
Words: 83
Location: Buffalo, NY


Category: whine

11/15/09 10:03 - ID#50314

Sizes and why I hate clothes-shopping.

Over the past few weeks or so, I have been finding out what size I am or rather the numerous sizes my clothes need to be to remotely "fit" me in some way.

In Delhi, I am an XL for some shirts or an 80-85 or some weird European size in some arbitrary scale that the dressmaker invented while getting sloshed. Here in Buffalo, I am apparently Petite. Okay, that sounds reasonable. But I am also:

-- 3/5 short for trousers in the juniors (teens) section
-- 3/5 short for jeans in the juniors section (I like jeans with a looser fit, -- 3-short somewhat fits me but would be uncomfortable over a day of wearing)
-- 2 for tops in the women's section (this is baggy and they don't go any smaller).
-- Petite-Small-Extra-Small (not Average or large) for tops in the petite-women section
-- 2/4 for shorts/trousers in the women's section
-- 2/4 for jeans in the women's section

And none of the busts or lengths on any of these tops or trousers ever fit me. If they do, they are in the "girls" section - but then my hips don't fit. To make things even more fun, sizing varies among brands and in-store lines. I don't fit petite trousers at all - they are 7-10 inches too tall for me. Worse fits are regular women's trousers/jeans -- they are sometimes a full feet (and maybe a half) longer than I am.

Does it mean that the average woman here is well over 5'7-5'10 and has a bust of around 55 inches? I don't see many such individuals on the street. Who are these people tailoring clothes for? I see tons of women who are around 5' to 5'4". Where do these women shop? Do they all have enough money for tailoring/alterations or own sewing machines - because I never see them rolling up their cuffs or trousers like I am forced to.

I am completely baffled by sizing and fatigued with shopping. I could easily wear the clothes I currently own for the rest of my life, had it not been for the fact that work requires me to dress-up from the rather hobo-like frayed faded ill-fitting clothes I have been wearing over the past four years. I could also easily have brought my wardrobe back to Buffalo but I am not sure the wild colours, embroidery and mirrors I used to wear would be street-safe here.

I think I unconsciously stare in horror and fascination at people who say they love clothes-shopping. How could anyone possibly enjoy shopping if they are not 6' tall and have a 55" bust or have an incredibly small hip size? Or maybe I am just an alien mutant.

EDIT: I scrutinized a lot more sizing charts and I think I am a 2 Petite and unusually short. Good to know I am a pygmy even among petite people. Dockers metro trousers in a 2-Petite-Short with an "ideal fit" or a "curvy fit" almost fit me - except that the waist is a bit larger. As for tops, I am almost a 4 petite extra-small to small. Even by this measure my bust and waist are a whole inch or two smaller but my hips are almost fine but not really. :/
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Permalink: Sizes_and_why_I_hate_clothes_shopping_.html
Words: 546
Location: Buffalo, NY
Last Modified: 08/13/12 04:24


Category: tourism

10/25/09 09:00 - 47ºF - ID#50118

Yeh hai Dilli, meri jaan!

<3 <3 <3 I am coming home to you! <3 <3 <3

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Permalink: Yeh_hai_Dilli_meri_jaan_.html
Words: 18
Location: Buffalo, NY


Category: art

10/25/09 07:16 - 49ºF - ID#50114

It's...It's Stella. She was just popped!




Man. I have smashed so many bubblewraps over the years and maniacally jumped on many! This totally changes everything. Hahahaha
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Permalink: It_s_It_s_Stella_She_was_just_popped_.html
Words: 29
Location: Buffalo, NY


Category: science

10/24/09 03:02 - 58ºF - ID#50094

Dan Pink on Motivation.

Something to think about.




Funny thing is, did you exclaim, "But I knew that already (but never thought so much about it)!" after the video ended? Didn't you?!
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Permalink: Dan_Pink_on_Motivation_.html
Words: 36
Location: Buffalo, NY


Category: eating in

10/18/09 08:25 - 45ºF - ID#50049

Food in the time of Flu

Admit it! First you were afraid, nay, you were petrified whether you would survive the flu if it hit you point blank, correct? Well, your can lay those fears to rest. You will survive with the help of food and tea. Cue the music, because I present:




::DOWNLOAD SOUND::


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To recuperate from the obnoxious flu I had over the past week, I cooked like a maniac (and ate with a matching attitude) to beat the sickly virus.

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Globe Grapes in a cloud of vanilla yogurt blended with frozen blueberries. That was really the last of my frozen blueberry stash. I am kind of sad that I ate them like the greedy grasshopper and now there are no blueberry-hoarding ants I can steal frozen blueberries from.


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Pongal with light cauliflower saute and tomato-pepper rasam. Every time I make this, I invariably tweak something and the taste of the rasam flows down uncharted and sometimes blah territories. Being sick has its advantages because I was too clouded to think of new tweaks so I stuck with the traditional recipe and this came out perfect. But oh my, the rasam was so hot, I think it burned all the weenies out of my lungs and maybe some of my normal cells. But it was so worth the collateral damage.


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Imitation Chinese soup with cauliflower, carrots, bell peppers, zucchini, bok choy, tomatoes and whatever else was in the fridge. The chopsticks are a sham because I don't really know how to eat with them. I tried, but it made my flu-tinged annoyance worse and I ended up breaking them into two in miscalculated blind rage.


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I was interested in trying veggies the (e:Paul) way. So these are just bell peppers, carrots and broccoli sauteed very lightly in olive oil with cumin and garlic topped with squeezed with fresh lime juice. It tasted awesome and the texture was crunchy and to-die-for, but I couldn't smell anything that day so I am withholding judgement on whether I really wanted to die for the texture or not.


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I think this is my favourite combination for a pizza at home - Whole wheat pita bread topped with some strong wisconsin cheese, red onion slices, tomatoes-on-the-vine, bell peppers, red chilli powder and salt and baked till the pita is crisp like a biscuit, in the oven. I went overboard trying to get a crisp crust so I burned a wee bit of the toppings. My snot-ridden brain thankfully gave me a timely warning and I took it out before it could smoulder into a total charcoal-y disaster.


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Oh, and this last one is my formerly-yucky-but-now-fantastic keyboard getting a thorough detergent scrub and disinfection. I threw away the useless insert key when I put it all back together.

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If I added up all the minutes I have wasted because of that stupid key, who knows, I might get a day of my life back. No more "insert" anarchy!


Happy week ahead, y'all. Keep away from people who are sneezing and sniffling, because if you do, you may need to spend the week in a snot-cloud, coughing and sick. On the upside, if you do get the flu, you can always look at this journal and do some inspired cooking. I also drank nearly 3 litres of assorted tea every day. Maybe I should have stuck a picture of a cuppa there. Since I didn't, just remember this. Tea is your friend in the time of cholera flu.
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Permalink: Food_in_the_time_of_Flu.html
Words: 593
Location: Buffalo, NY


Category: the odes

10/17/09 01:05 - 44ºF - ID#50033

Yeah, movies are made to be seen!












Thanks, mrmike. My Saturday is slowly going down the toilet.
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Permalink: Yeah_movies_are_made_to_be_seen_.html
Words: 52
Location: Buffalo, NY


Category: eating in

10/14/09 09:38 - 37ºF - ID#50019

Puliyodarai (For e:Himay)

Okay, the thing is (as usual), I didn't agree with that recipe and this is my own. Take it or leave it. That blogger has it wrong. And if you substitute ANYthing here, may the kitchen god make you itch till you realize there is no substituting allowed.

The "Podi" (Or The Powder)
You need:
- Coriander Seeds (Cilantro Seeds) - 5 tablespoons
- Chane ki Dal (Bengal Gram) - 4 tablespoons
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- Dried Red Chillies (Indian NOT Mexican) 4-5 Full Size
- Karuveppelai ("Curry" leaves) 1-2 sprigs
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- Asafoetida powder - A light sprinkle

Prep:
1. Heat a flat-bottomed stainless steel pan at LOW heat.
2. Add Bengal gram and dry roast for a minute
3. Add Coriander seeds and continue roasting till its reddish brown

Some precautions:
DO NOT TURN HEAT UP - even if someone threatens you at knifepoint. DO NOT stop stirring. No, you cannot go away till it roasts to that perfect colour. You need to be there and keep a watchful eye out or they will burn.

4. When the coriander seeds are almost done, add the dried red chillies and keep stirring. Turn off the burner.
5. Add Asafoetida powder - a pinch/sprinkle or less. Stir well with the rest.
6. Add a generous number of Karuveppelai. Mix.
7. Wait till it somewhat cools down.
8. Grind to a rough powder in the blender.

The Rice
You need:
- Long grained preferably Basmati rice
- 1-2 tablespoon of sesame oil

Prep
1. Cook the rice in a rice-cooker (or however you cook it). The ratio of rice to water I use in my rice cooker is Rice:Water 1:1.25-1.5
2. Each grain of rice should be soft and cooked, yet separate and non-clumpy.
3. After the rice is cooked, mix in 1-2 tablespoon of sesame oil.


The Pulikaatchal (?? The tamarind Sauce? I am not sure this has an English equivalent. Calling it a sauce is laughable!)
You Need:
- Peanut oil - 2-3 Tablespoons
- Black Mustard Seeds - 1-1.5 Teaspoons
- Urad Dal - 1-1.5 Teaspoons
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- Bengal Gram - 1-1.5 Teaspoons
- Peanuts - 3-4 Tablespoons
- Cashewnuts - 4-5 Tablespoons
- Karuveppelai ("Curry" leaves) 1-2 sprigs
- Turmeric Powder - a pinch
- Tamarind concentrate - 3 Tablespoons
- Salt

Prep:
1. Heat a pan on MEDIUM heat, add peanut oil.
2. Add Black Mustard Seeds (NO, YOU CANNOT use mustard as a substitute. NO means NO.)
3. Add Ural Dal
4. Add Bengal Gram
5. Stir it around for a while
6. Add Cashewnuts and Peanuts
7. Stir till some of the mustard seeds start to sputter
8. Turn off the burner.
9. Tear the Karuveppelai leaves into pieces and drop into the oil. Mix.
10. Add a pinch of turmeric powder and mix.
11. Now add 3 Tablespoons Tamarind concentrate + maybe a 4-5 tablespoons water to the above. Mix
12. Turn on the burner to LOW heat.
13. Keep Stirring with a lot of loving till the water evaporates and the oil comes out.
14. Add salt to taste
15. Add the Podi (rough ground powder) you made to this and keep stirring for a bit.
16. Turn off heat. Transfer it to some storage container - preferably not plastic. Glass would be better.


The Puliyodarai
17. In the same pan you made the Pulikaatchal, add the cooked rice, slowly mix with the pulikaatchal teaspoon by teaspoon - till you feel the flavour is just right. I prefer the rice intensely saturated with flavour till it completely takes over my senses, but some people I know prefer keeping the flavour delicate and light. Either way works.

Let me know if something is unclear. Oh, and did I tell you you cannot substitute with random things or delete things that are not convenient, the rice doesn't work any other way.

The Puliyodarai is a traditional "offering" to the million Gods and Goddesses of the southern part of the subcontinent specifically around the festive days. You have to understand just how angry this mob has the potential to get if you get it wrong. ;-)
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It is an unforgiving recipe and a tough rice to get right on a fair day; substitutions/deletions might push it over the edge of being palatable and you might end up like that unfortunate bloke underfoot - at least in spirit.
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Permalink: Puliyodarai_For_e_Himay_.html
Words: 704
Location: Buffalo, NY


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mike said to mike
Well really I did not bury the hatched in my mind I guess because now 5 years later, I just saw him ...

mike said to mike
Well really I did not bury the hatched in my mind I guess because now 5 years later, I just saw him ...

mike said to mike
Well 14 years later I have more grays but still solidly more pepper than salt so that's good at leas...

mike said to mike
Well 14 years later I have more grays but still solidly more pepper than salt so that's good at leas...