Tuesday, June 27, 2006

My Comment Which Was Not Mine

Some days ago, I posted this. Some people were not happy and asked me to review the decision. Some other people were even more enterprising in their disagreement with my decision. One particularly bright soul chose to do the following in the comments section:

1. Write my name -- "arnold d'souza" -- in the name box.

2. Put a link to my BloggerTM profile in the web site box.

3. Write the following comment:

well, i have revised commenting policy.
And will henceforth reply to even anonymous comments.

This comment was on the previous post, but I have now deleted it.

Of course, hilarious (and ingenious) as this is, I cannot have people going around commenting on my very own blog in my name. However, I am a lenient soul. If this happens again though, comment moderation shall become the norm on this blog.

I also wish the person who did it a happy syphilis-inflicted life.

Monday, June 26, 2006

Train Specials

I traveled to Bombay last evening by train. As usual I left the issue of booking the ticket too late and so was not able to reserve a seat for myself. Hence, I went standing. The train journey from Poona to Bombay is slightly over three hours and so there were a lot of other standing passengers too.

Standing next to me were a Moslem gentleman and his missus, both slightly past middle age. Seated nearby were a young man, his wife and on her lap, their very young child. About midway through the journey, the man rose and offered the Moslem lady his seat. She waddled over, knocking into a couple of other standing passengers on the way, and plopped herself down next to the young, slim wife, her girth overflowing in all directions.

Now, standing for three hours is itself not much of a big deal. But when you consider the shaking and clanging of the train and the fact that you're often contorted into some weird position because of the other people around you, then it becomes slightly more challenging than a mere stroll in the park. I'm sure the Moslem lady must have been plenty relieved to be able to sit for a while.

But my point is this -- shouldn't she get up again after resting her legs for a while, and give the seat back to the gentleman? Is it fair for him to have to stand for the remaining half of the journey, considering that it was after all his seat to begin with? He was kind enough to offer this lady some respite -- surely he deserves the seat back again. If not for the fact that sitting is less trouble than standing, then at least for the fact that it is more comfortable too. (He was probably being given a whiff of a few underarms where he was standing!)

So what's your take on the offering of a seat? If it's a long journey, should the "offeree" return the seat back to "offerer" after some time? Incidentally, this lady didn't.


You know the old joke about what the height of mixed feelings is -- watching your mother-in-law fall out the window of your high-rise apartment, straight onto your BMW! Well, I have a new answer to the height of mixed feelings. I shall explain.

Yesterday being Sunday, there were plenty of picnickers -- both young and not so young -- returning to Bombay from Lonavala in our train. Among them was a small bunch of females in their early twenties, who were standing between two rows of seats. Although, they were returning from a day out in the country (as the fact that they boarded at Lonavala and the mud on their clothes evidenced), they were dressed like they had been to the mall or the movies. Indians have little dressing sense when it comes to swimming and picnics, but I'll reserve my opinions on this for a later post.

So there they were, dressed in tight jeans, standing and talking. One of the girls had her ass right in front of the face of one of the male passengers who was sitting down. It was quite some derrière too! And it was so in his face, that he would really, really have to make a great concerted effort consisting of severe twisting and craning of the neck in order to not stare at it!

The problem? The guy was sitting right next to his rather truculent looking girlfriend!

Friday, June 23, 2006

Watch What You Say

I've always thought that saying, "I'll eat my hat if you're right!" is much wiser than saying "I'll give you five bucks if you're right!" Because if you do turn out to be wrong, they can't make you eat your hat! They can, on the other hand, make you pay up those five dollars. But a hat just cannot be eaten. It's impossible.

When you say "I'll eat my hat", you really don't have much to lose. If you turn out to be right, you can look all smug and haughty; if you turn out to be wrong, all you have to do is make some silly joke about "hats", "eating" and "comedians" (because they always make good jokes). No one's going to snatch that hat off your head, sprinkle on some salt and pepper, add some mustard and then serve it up to you on a plate asking, "Would you like fries with that?" Most of time, you don't even wear a hat, so that makes it even safer.

Other phrases you might want to avoid are:

1. I'll eat my arm.
2. I'll jump off a cliff.
3. I'll sleep with a monkey.
4. I'll kill myself.

I don't worry much about such things, since I'm almost always right anyway. But just to be on the safe side, I'll stick with "I'll eat my hat!"

My Soccer Mom!

My Mom isn't exactly your average sports enthusiast. She knows the names of a few sports, the odd rule or two here and there and sometimes she's even aware of who the better player or team is. But to say that she's an expert would be far from the truth.

Every few months though, when a tournament of some importance comes around -- Wimbledon, the Olympics, one of the World Cups -- she gets in the groove and makes a decent attempt to follow the action. However, a "decent attempt", while quite laudable, does not always translate into success. This Football World Cup is turning out into of those stories.

My Mom was a Maradona fan. In a slightly different universe, I would have been named "Maradona". Thankfully, I wasn't. One of the problems with my Mom, and my sister too, is their proclivity to focus their attention more on the sartorial elegance displayed by the footballers than their footballing skills. My Mom is old school and believes that the golden days of the game were when the players wore extremely small shorts. Today's longer and looser variety just don't cut it with her. Bah! It would be like comparing a street player with Diego! My sister, having never experienced this "golden era", quietly wonders what Del Piero or Beckham would look like in those tighter shorts.

My Mom tends to reserve her sympathy for the goalkeepers. For some reason, she'll always side with them. She believes they have the toughest job in the game and that it isn't really fair to them. (I find that very hard to believe considering they're the only two people on the field who can actually hold the ball!) If she were to officiate a football game, a goalkeeper would probably be able to kick down one of the opponents down to the ground and she'd call a foul on the player knocked down for dirtying the keeper's boots.

My Mom thinks the penalty rule is extremely unfair to the goalkeeper since he has almost no chance of stopping the ball. "Poor chap, poor chap!" she'll say repeatedly. I have tried arguing with her that the keeper is in many ways in a better position than the guy taking the penalty. If he saves it, he's a hero; it he doesn't, no one expected him to save it in the first place. It's a "no lose" situation.

I'm thinking of sending my Mom to do color commentary for ESPN for the rest of the World Cup. (I don't know if you've noticed, but they don't have a color commentator currently.) I'll send my sister too, while I'm at it.

Mom(M): And tonight we have Argentina versus Germany, a rematch of that great final 20 years ago. Argentina look dazzling in their classic blue and white, certainly better than the plain, dull white of the Germans. I've always felt these Germans weren't much when it came to color co-ordination and that's the most important thing to dressing.
Sister(S): Indeed so. A remarkably under-par dressing sense from the Germans. They're certainly up against it tonight! In any case, I really fancy Lionel Messi. They say he's almost as good as Maradona, but I think they're very wrong -- he's way better [looking]!


M: Oh dear! One of the Argentineans has brought down a German in that rectangular area around the goal. It's a penalty. Poor chap, that Argentinean goalkeeper! I feel really sorry for him. How can he ever save this now? No chance.
S: Maybe they ought to have Messi be the keeper for the penalty! Can they do that?
M: I'm not sure, dear. But do you think those goalkeeper's colors will suit him?

Well, to her credit, she's finally managed to understand what the offside rule is all about -- and that's about all one can ask of a woman when it comes to football.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Why I am Not Nice

Some days ago I wrote about why a guy shouldn't ever be nice to a girl. Of course, there's a theory about all of this -- The Ladder Theory. Simply put, the theory says exactly the same thing I did. But do read it anyway. It's really funny.

Many people I know seem to think I "try" [read: make an conscious effort] not to be nice with girls because I'm a firm believer in the Ladder Theory. This is not quite true. While I do agree with a lot of things mentioned in the theory -- like what guys and girls look for in a partner, nice guys get nowhere, etc -- the reason I'm not nice is not because of the theory. I'm just not a nice person.

Two points to back my claim:

1. I was never nice -- even long before I had ever heard about this theory. And certainly way before I'd had the chance to see where being nice to girls can get a guy.
2. It's not restricted to my attitude toward girls. I'm not very nice to guys either.

At this point, if you're still reading, you might wonder about what the true reason behind my not being nice is. A good question, indeed. To which the simple answer would be -- it's so much easier to be rude to a person than to be nice.

For example, it's quite easy for me to tell someone to "Sod off!" However, it calls for a lot more effort to try and be all nice and chummy with someone instead. Is it worth this effort? Mostly, it isn't. If you were to have a sign over your head saying -- "$1000 To All Those Who Are Nice To Me!", then I'd seriously consider being nice to you. Suddenly, it becomes worth the effort.

Till then, you can go choke yourself to death for all I care. Have a nice day.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

New Commenting Policy

My policy on this blog so far has been to reply to all non-anonymous comments as far as possible. I have also, for the most part, refrained from replying to anonymous comments. The problem with such a stance is that a comment from someone named Bob (assuming I don't know a Bob), who doesn't leave any email address or website tracking back to him, is to me for all intents and purposes as good (or bad) as an anonymous comment. A smaller problem might be that "Anonymous" may turn out to be a popular first name in some country like Burkina Faso and if those people started commenting on the blog it would lead to a lot of confusion. For now, we shall ignore this.

So disabling anonymous comments would not make much sense. All of you who wanted to go anonymous would just comment using the name Bob. Also, allowing only those registered with BloggerTM to comment doesn't seem fair to others who have registered with blogging services like WordpressTM. Their only fault is making the wiser choice of registering with a better service and don't deserve to be left out for this.

The other possibility was disabling comments altogether. I rarely write about important stuff that merits a discussion anyway. However, this didn't seem like a good idea. Why stop you people from having your little bit of fun.

So instead my policy from now on shall be as follows -- I shall not be replying to any comments. I shall read all of them since I get a notification in the mail. I shall even stop to think about the ones that warrant a bit of thinking or hint at dirty ideas. But I will not be replying to them in the comments section.

If you feel you have something really important to say -- which I seriously doubt -- you can mail me at the address provided in the sidebar. I shall reply to these mails with the following exceptions:

Mails that -

1. Are extremely crass.
2. Are in a language that I do not understand.
3. Make fun of my mother.
4. Contain pro Communist statements.
5. Are from someone named Bob with an address like bob@aol.com


Monday, June 19, 2006

How Did You Get Here?

Men tend to love statistics. You'll never hear a woman describe to her friend a guy who passes by as "42-32-34". Women don't care about statistics so much. But men can't get enough.

I'm a man and I like statistics too. And when there aren't enough beautiful women around, I have to look for them in other places. An excellent example being the statistics related to this blog. I use Sitemeter to track visitors to this blog. So there I was looking at some of the numbers and feeling very happy with so many statistics in front of me.

I focused my attention on the page that told me where people were getting to this blog from and what they were searching for. You may think of this as good customer care -- if I know what you people want to read then I can write about that. Of course, this isn't really true; but please assume it is.

There were a lot of referrals from blogs other than mine. These didn't interest me too much since they were either blogs where I was in the blogroll or one of the posts linked to something I had written. The one exception was a "referral" from "http://dilbertblog.typepad.com". (Sitemeter is really good and it told me this visitor was from Norway and even gave me his IP address. Why I would want this I will never know.)

For a few minutes, this was a bit of a puzzle indeed -- I was sure there was no link to my blog from Scott Adams' site. Then I was able to put that puzzle to rest when I realized that the same visitor had visited my blog a little while before that as well. (Here's where that IP address bit came in handy.) I concluded that he must have clicked the link on my blog to Scott's page and then hit the back button. If you are from Norway and are reading this and did indeed do that, please mail me to settle this matter once and for all. Do not try to fool me by pretending to be from Norway if you are not, because I will ask you what the capital of Norway is.

The other interesting entries were the Google searches that led here. Almost all of them surprised me -- some because I couldn't believe people searched for such things, others because I couldn't believe Google actually thought this blog was the appropriate site the particular search!

For example -- someone searched for "who are the kids that accompany world cup players onto the field" and this page of mine turns up as one of the results. Of course, it doesn't come remotely close to answering the question. If the guy who searched for that is reading this, I hope you've found the answer by now. And if you have, do tell me what it is. I'm just curious.

Sunday, June 18, 2006

How Many Times Do You Read a Book?

I'm not much of a reader. I'm slow and easily distracted. I can barely read 3-4 pages of a book before putting it down and daydreaming. A novel takes me a good three weeks to a month to complete -- if I'm on holiday, that is. Otherwise, a half-yearly time frame is closer to the mark. I find it hard to finish anything with a word count greater than the menu at Pizza Hut at one go.

I like reading books a second time. I'll often choose to re-read a book that I've already read over a new book that I haven't read before. This is especially true for mysteries and other suspense stories. I tend to notice a lot of new things the second time round that I completely overlooked in the first attempt. When you already know how it ends, you tend to pick up little clues that have been carefully woven into the story but eluded you earlier.

So you'll suddenly go -- "Oh! So that's why she did that!" or "Hmmm... I can't believe I didn't see this before!" I'm not sure if this happens to everyone or if I'm just too stupid to be reading books. And afraid as I am to learn the answer, do tell me -- do you notice new things when (and if) you re-read a book?

I'll often read a book more than twice. This is either because it's a porno magazine and my computer is down so I can't access the Net or because I'm really, really bored. How does reading a book that I've already a zillion times help me overcome my boredom? It's simple. Actually, I'm not really interested in the contents of the book. I'll start reading and then two minutes later I'm daydreaming. That is what actually helps pass the time.

[I'm ending this post now because I'm going to have to proof read it and I'm not sure I can make it all the way through.]

New Blogs

A recently conducted poll in the country concluded that the current leading fashions are:

1. Snorting cocaine.
2. Pretending to be a football fan.
3. Kissing a "has been" model at your birthday party.
4. Starting a new blog.

I am too poor to do the first, to uninterested in football for the second and despite numerous invitations I've never had a model turn up at a birthday party. Hence I've been left with little choice but to add to my blog tally.

Toward this cause, I hereby annouce the two other blogs where I am a co-contributor:

1. Triumph Des Villians -- Dispatches from the Frontlines in the War against Coherence.
2. Silly Point -- Experience Sports, Up Close.

I have already started posting on both of them. Please do visit. Especially the first.

Saturday, June 17, 2006

Who Will Win the World Cup?

Everyone's trying to predict the winner of the ongoing FIFA World Cup. And since I have been asked to voice my opinion on the same, I'll add one to that count.

Most people I know would attempt to undertake such an endeavor based on factors as banal and irrelevant as team form, team success in the recent past, quality of players in the team etc. All this, of course, is quite useless. So we shall have to make our prediction on factors that do play an important role in deciding a team's success.

a. Hairstyles:

A little know fact, but stupid hairstyles are the single most important factor in determining the winner of a major championship. Let's look at some stupid hairstyles from the last World Cup in 2002.

a. Ronaldo wore the most atrocious hairstyle ever seen in a World Cup Final match -- the "half moon on forehead". Brazil, as we all know, won the Cup and Ronaldo finished top scorer.

b. Germany's run to the Final was helped more by Christian Ziege, I opine, than Kahn's brilliance in goal.

c. You were surprised by Turkey's 3rd place finish? I'll explain how that came about. It's simple, really. Umit Davala.

d. USA progressed to the quarterfinals -- an amazing feat for a nation where 89.34% of the population thinks the only form of "football" in the world involves men in tights and wearing helmets and shoulder-pads throwing an oval shaped ball to each other. I give you the reason -- Clint Mathis.

I predict this year too, teams with players sporting the worst hairdos will do the best. Is Ronaldinho's bad enough? I'm not sure.

b. Post Goal Celebrations:

The crazier a team's celebrations after scoring a goal are, the more likely they are to do well in the Cup. I offer Senegal as a brilliant example of the same. No one is likely to forget their post goal antics in 2002, and as we all know, they proved to be one of the big surprise teams of the Championship.

Which team has the stupidest celebrations this time around? I haven't seen enough matches to make the call on this one. But I'm sure those teams are going to do great!

c. The '82 Symmetry Effect:

Football, like the rest of life, has a lot to do with numerology, the supernatural, the occult and other nonsense of this kind. If you look at the list of World Cup winners down the years, you'll see that they form a strange symmetry on either side of the 1982 Cup which Italy won. 1978 and 1986 (+/- 4 years from 1982) were won by Argentina. 1974 and 1990 (+/- 8 years) were both won by Germany. 1970 and 1994 (+/- 12 years) were both won by Brazil as were again the 1960 and 2002 Cups (+/- 20 years).

Of course, the 1966-1998 (+/- 16 years) pair proves to be the exception. However, this is easily explained by the fact that even the omnipotent spirits felt that giving a terrible team like England the Cup twice was too unbelievable for the common man to digest. Hence, in the name of promoting Anglo-French relations, 1998 was decided to be France's.

This of course means that this year's winner will be the team to have won it in 1958 -- Brazil. Well, what with Ronaldinho's hair and this sure sign, I wouldn't bet against them. Would you?

[I swear, if I see one of the Brazilian players doing a little African dance after scoring a goal in the next game I'm calling up Ladbrokes.]

Weddings I Like

I haven't been to a wedding in a long time. More's the pity, actually, since I love weddings. Well, who doesn't? Of course, my favorite is the Goan wedding in Goa.

Every time I attend a wedding, somewhere deep down I'm hoping for either the bride or the groom to answer "no" or "I do not" to one of the questions. (Yes, I understand that my revealing this hidden desire on my part decimates my chances of getting invited to the wedding of anyone reading this.) Just think about it though. Wouldn't it be fun?

Priest: Do you, John, take Mary to be your lawfully wedded wife, in sickness and in health, in good times and bad until death do you apart?
John: No, not really. Couldn't be less bothered actually, padre.
Priest: Ah, that's nice to know. I'm sorry, Mary. This is about as far as you're going to get on this show.

When you think about it, it's not as unrealistic as it initially seems. It only takes someone who's a wee bit more doolaly than I am, and I'm sure there are at least a few people out there who match that criterion. One of them happens to get drunk one night and proposes to someone, and voilà, next thing you know we have my fantasy wedding. Actually I'd do it myself, but I doubt anyone would agree to marry me in the first place.

The other interesting twist in the ceremony, that I'm always hoping for but never materializes, is at the "objections" stage. You know, when the priest asks the guests present whether any of them has any objection to the marriage. I'd like to see someone speak up then. Just once.

Priest: If anyone has any objections to this marriage, I request them to speak now or forever hold their silence.
Me: I hereby strongly and unequivocally object!
Priest: And what would be the exact nature of your objection, my son?
[I believe priests are fond of using the terms "my son" and "my daughter" liberally with strangers to compensate for the lack of the same in their actual lives.]
Me: Nothing really. I just always wanted to see the look on all the faces when someone actually objected. Oh and yeah, I slept with the bride last night but I'm not sure if that counts.

I also believe that the perfect wedding is that of a first cousin. A first cousin, you see, is perfectly distanced from you in the family tree. Close enough for you to not be left out of anything, and yet far enough so that you don't have too much work to do!

So please invite me to your wedding. I promise to add a little bit to the fun myself -- by objecting like the dickens, that is. If you're a cousin, so much the better.

Friday, June 16, 2006

Contracting Game

Cricketers, it seems, believe whole-heartedly in the "less is more" maxim. The latest development is the Twenty20 World Championship to be held in South Africa next year.

In the matter of a century or so we've gone from long boring Test matches which stretched over days to 60 over games to 50 over games to now 20 over world championships. Where are we headed? Ten over games? One over? Maybe just the toss, I feel.

Captain 1: Heads or tails?
Captain 2: Tails.

Captain 1 flips the coin. It lands heads up.

Captain 1: Ooh! We win. That was a really close game there. Which team's next?
Captain 2: Damn! Maybe if we had played two spinners.

Don't Be a "Nice Guy"

I think the worst thing a guy can hear a girl say to him is -- "Oh, you're such a nice guy." Personally, I'd hate a girl telling me that. Of course, I don't really have to worry too much about it, since I am not a nice guy.

I'm not sure what the girl is actually trying to convey with the "nice guy" statement. I believe it's something on the lines of "I like you. I'm going to laden you with all my little secrets and life's woes. I'm going to call you to pick me up when I'm stranded at the station at 3 in the morning. I'm going to ask you to come take a look at my car when it has a problem. Basically, I'm going to use you like a butler, bed-servant, mechanic, cash-source, shoulder to cry on. But I'm never going to sleep with you." The guy, unfortunately, only cares about the last sentence.

Yes, there are some guys who actually believe it's good thing for a girl to call you a "nice guy". They argue that this is the first step to getting somewhere with the girl. I wouldn't listen to such guys too much -- they're normally the kind that also believe Santa Claus exists. There's a word to describe them. Let me see if I can remember it? Ah, yes -- 'Stupid'!

There are some other alternative versions to the "nice guy" routine:

1. I feel like I can tell you anything.
2. I feel really comfortable with you.
3. You are like my best friend.

Don't be fooled. All of these are just as dangerous as the original. If you hear any of them, you know you're in trouble. I suggest you run as far away from that girl as possible.

So if you're a guy reading this, don't be nice today. If you're a girl reading this, call me and tell me what a nice guy you think I am.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Went to Germany, Held Beckham's Hand.

Yesterday I had done the worst job in the world that has anything to do with football. Today I have something of the opposite.

The kids who accompany the players out onto the field just prior to the game -- where do they get them from? Because they're a pretty lucky bunch, if you ask me! Ten years old and you get to escort your favorite footballer out onto the pitch! That's the equivalent of a high school kid getting to take Paris Hilton to the prom.

It's like the ball boys and girls at Wimbledon. Except you remove all the hard work of running around gathering balls and you add the extra exciting aspect of the escorting, and then you realize just how much better this actually is!

I've only noticed boys among the kids and no girls. This could possibly be because I haven't seen too many games thus far. But I'd be really surprised if there were no girls involved in this at all. And before you start to yell out about how girls aren't really interested in sports, just think about all the preteen girls you know who would half kill to get to hold David Beckham's hand.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Beep Beep

I hate typing out text messages on my cell phone. I probably send one message in a day. And that too only if it was a really exciting day! Like if I met with the Queen. I’d send a message to my old Grandpa because he always devoutly maintained that the Queen never met with strangers. But on a normal day, it would be surprising if I sent more than half a text.

I know quite a few people who send 30-40 text messages a day and a few who even surpass those numbers regularly. This amazes and disturbs me -- in equal proportions. What are they all messaging each other about? Is there some big, secret plan for everyone under the age of 21 to take over the world? Because if that’s the case, then they’re in for a rude shock -- the world’s not such a fun place to rule.

I hate conversations that are conducted via text message -- ones with 10-15 messages being transmitted each way. I bet I could convey more in a half-minute call than in such an exchange of texts, and save my precious fingers from unnecessary calluses too.

Most guys, I believe, aren’t too fond of speaking on the phone anyway. For a guy, a phone conversation has to have a specific purpose. It’s like a Special Rescue Mission -- get in, get what you have to and get out! For a girl, a phone conversation is like a day at the beach -- the longer it is and the less you accomplish, the better! This is why a phone conversation between a boy and a girl is bound to create problems for the guy. But then again, it’s not as bad as actually having to sit next to the girl and listen to her though. At least when it’s on the phone, you can play Solitaire on the computer and respond with a few arbitrary words of approval every so often.

Girl: So then my dog ran out through the open door and my Mom rushed out after it since it had taken her favorite slipper in its mouth. So I looked up from the top I was ironing and burnt my finger. Then I heard screeching tires and next thing I knew they’d both been run over by a truck. I still can’t believe what has happened.
Boy: Hmmm... Interesting.
Girl: Are you sure you’re listening to what I’m saying?
Boy: Hmmm... Interesting. [Black five on red six. Yay!]

I think it’s safe to say that phones are probably the gadgets that men like the least. But as always, they sure beat the alternative!

Went to Germany, Saw No Football.

I'm not sure what I used to think the worst job in the world was, but a new contender has marked its arrival on the scene. The security men standing around the ground at all the football stadia for the World Cup. In case you haven't noticed, during each match there is an entire squad of security guys in bright fluorescent yellow jackets encircling the ground spaced out at regular intervals. They stand just in front of the crowd and their job is to prevent fans from running onto the ground when the game is in progress. It may actually have been quite a good deal, if they didn't have to face the wrong way the whole time! For the entire game, these guys have to stand with their backs to the players and face the crowd. Can it get worse than that?

You're standing right next to the ground on which a match is progress that is being watched by thousands around you and millions around the world, and yet you can't see a single play! You're closer to the action, in a strictly geographical sense of the word, than any one else except the players, the referee, the linesmen and the coaches; and yet the most exciting thing you can hope to sight is an excited female supporter flashing one of the players.

Okay, maybe the flashing doesn't happen -- but I'm sure most of them wish it did!

Mom or Not?

What’s the deal with girls anyway? All of them desperately want to have kids. When I last checked, having a kid entailed also becoming a Mom. So it’s fair to say that most girls want to be Moms.

And yet if you tell a girl she’s acting just like your Mom, she’s liable to pick up a blunt object and cudgel you to death with it!

(I speak from experience. I wasn’t born this stupid. You now know where the brain damage came from.)

Monday, June 12, 2006

Here We Go Again

Yippee, tally ho, cheers and all that! My computer is back among the living again. Don’t ask how -- some things are best left in the past. Of course, regular programming resumes.

The one year (that’s what it felt like to me, at least) that I was without the computer was almost like living in rehab. I’d become more addicted to it than I was conscious of. I’ve been without it for more than a week at a stretch in the past -- but that’s always been when I was out of station. And then you’re too busy to notice you don’t have a computer. So that doesn’t count.

But seriously, this was quite bad. Like I said earlier -- rehab. The first day was the hardest. Until I got to the second one. And then the third. You get the picture.

There’s almost something cool about the word “rehab”. You know, “I was in rehab.” It almost cool. I think it’s because we associate celebrities with rehab. Drew Barrymore goes to rehab. Eric Clapton goes to rehab. Courtney Love goes to rehab. Your boring, slightly over-weight neighbor Bob, on the other hand, does not go to rehab.

Rehab’s almost gotten cooler than the addiction itself! It’s like -- you do coke? Big deal! I’m in rehab! Coke shmoke! Been there, done that. And now it’s rehab for me. I’m one step ahead of you!

Meanwhile, I’m sure half of you out there don’t even know the full form of “rehab”.

Don't Worry, I'm Alive!

Epilog: I know an 'epilog' comes at the end and I'm not a fool. (Well not for this reason at least.) I wrote this part after writing the post. Okay? This post was written about a week ago, but I am only posting it now for reasons that should become clear after you read it.

Some of you may perhaps have noticed the lack of posts on this blog in the past few days. Those of you who don't really know me, may have attributed this to my final exams which have just ended. Those who actually do know me, know better than to believe in such nonsense. And they'd be right!

The actual reason why I haven't been able to post anything is because my computer's been acting up. It keeps restarting after random intervals of time -- normally ranging from about 15 to 30 seconds. Even with my super-quick typing abilities, this isn't quite enough to hack out a post-worthy post. (Unfortunately, most of that time is spent starting Windows or I might have been able to pull something off.) On the rare occasions -- namely two out of forty-three attempted -- that I did manage to get the computer running for more than a minute, I was swamped by the sheer volume of mails in my inbox and the new posts in my blog reader. (Okay, you got me. It was only the second thing -- no one likes me enough to mail me.)

Well, this time I decided to forget about checking my non-existent mail for a change and write something. I'm not sure how long it will be before my computer decides to play naughty again, so if this post suddenly ends in the middle of a sentence you know what might have happened.

A. I may have died. In which case, this post will attain unprecedented fame.
B. My computer stopped working again. In which case, it won't.

If you're interested in finding out which one of the above is true, you can always try calling me up. If I don't answer, you may safely conclude that I am busy kicking myself for having forgotten to press Ctrl-S since I started typing! In other words, Option B.

You may wonder why I haven't called up a technical help line for assistance. I can assure you it isn't because I feel I know more than the person at the other end of the phone. It's because I know I don't! A conversation with a technician (T) would normally go like this:

I: Well, you know my computer isn't working. It keeps restarting every 15 seconds.
T: Okay, maybe there's something loose somewhere. Why don't you try pressing your RAM chips in a little harder.
I: What do my RAM chips look like?
T: They're the little black rectangular chips on your motherboard.
I: Hey! Watch your tongue when you're speaking about my Mom!

I could always get a technician to come to my room and look at it or maybe take it down to their office. But from past experience I've realized that electronic gadgets with technicians are quite like kids with the doctor. The minute the healer arrives on the scene, the problem has magically disappeared. You've seen it happen, right?

You'll have a kid who's bawling his ass off claiming that everything in his body hurts. (It's mostly because he doesn't want to go to school.) But the minute you take him down to the friendly neighborhood doctor, he's suddenly fitter than Superman! It's the same thing with gadgets. They'll play all sorts of tricks with you. But you bring in a technician and suddenly that formerly recalcitrant microwave is working better than ever before. I believe they do this just to make you look stupid. It's the first step in the whole "machines taking over the world" thing. (They're not so smart though. The last time I brought in my old Uncle Willie dressed in a lab coat pretending to be a technician. Fooled my TV into working again!)

So there you have it. I'm in a bigger fix than I consider fun -- and I don't know what to do. I have no way out of it. So until my computer gets better, I'll leave you with today's useless piece of trivia: While writing this post, I restarted my computer 14 times. (I kid you not.)

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Youthful Advice

Here’s some of the best advice I’ve read in recent times:

Advice, Like Youth, Probably Just Wasted on the Young

Do read and all that.

[Link by: Visionunseen]

Friday, June 02, 2006

Facial Fashions Gone Wrong

I’ve never understood the need for two particular male facial hair fashions -- the mustache and the French beard.

I think some men look best clean shaven, some with varying levels of unshaved stubble and some with a nice and proper full-beard. But I can’t think of a single man who can truthfully claim he looks best with either a mustache or a French beard! Think about it. Name one celebrity hunk who sports a French beard. (Porn stars don’t count.) I bet you can’t. And even if you could, I doubt that’s his best look! You might be able to think of a couple who do sport mustaches, but again I doubt they’d be very strong cases.

So why did these two fashions come about? And why do guys still sport them? I think the mustache is a married man’s way of telling his wife he’s not looking out for someone else. It’s like saying, “Here, I’ll grow a mustache, darling. Just so that I drop below that level that girls still find attractive. You have nothing to worry about now.” The wife’s equivalent for this is putting on a few extra pounds. Just so that her husband can feel safe that she’s out of the game too. I think if you take a survey of all the married couples out there, you’ll find the ones where the husband wears a mustache and the wife is slightly overweight are generally the happiest.

What about the French beard? I find it extremely puzzling that the French lend their name, on the one hand, to something as beautiful as the French Kiss while at the same time on the other, to something as ugly as the French beard. A French beard is basically trouble for nothing. It takes effort to trim and shape it and all you get for your pains is the fact that you now look uglier than before. You’d do so much better just shaving it all off.

Why do guys wear a French beard? Anyone want to answer that?

Thursday, June 01, 2006

What’s the Worst Way to Wake Up?

Waking up at 4.30 in the evening and finding your inbox filled with messages asking you why your blog is missing isn’t exactly the best way to start the day! Actually, the first part’s quite okay -- even good, actually -- it’s the second part that makes me feel a tad scared.

That’s when I remembered I was mucking around with my template in the wee hours of the morning -- never the best time to indulge in such activities. So I go check the template. And sure enough! For some reason almost my entire template was missing! Save for the odd “$” symbol!

My initial wonder soon turned to disgust when I realized that I hadn’t saved my earlier template anywhere! I could select a new template from the available choices but I’d have to make all the changes to my sidebar and everything again!

Since I didn’t have too many other choices, I selected a new template and was just about the commence on the dreary task of changing the sidebar, when I remembered the old saying -- “If you have a problem, chances are Google has the answer!” Of course! The Google Cache!

So I open my blog from their Cache, open the source code and copy the modified parts from there into my new template. It still took me about 20 minutes in all, but I’m willing to bet it would have taken a little longer had I modified the whole thing again myself!

So here it is -- back on the road again. And boy! I can do without scares like that again! (This time I’ve saved the template on my hard disk, just in case.)