23 September 2008

Reporting from Holland

I haven't been able to sit peacefully in the past 4-5 days. Those paintings from the last entry were the beginning of a busy schedule.

The onam celebration on the next day; The study tour (I was the tutor) to Nürmberg on Sunday and then flying to Amsterdam on Sunday evening -- All these kept me busy.

Even after coming here I happen to be busy (at home: talking with my friend) and then to the conference/workshop place.

The talks are good. Most of them, I follow well during the first half, then the things get a little too complicated to understand. But I did really enjoy a few talks. There were a few boring talks too! :)

I haven't got a chance to go around the city, yet!. My host happens to be a not-out-going person. Well, I knew that earlier. But after reaching here, I even realized that he is lately traveling in straighline in life - a one-dimensional life. (if he reads this entry, he might argue back - trust me guys, I am so right here)

So, all the touring has to be done alone. Well, after the conf. tomorrow. :)

By the way, something which happened yesterday reminded me of IIT mess(canteen). Sometimes when we went for dinner, we would be around a table, students from Kerala, TamilNadu, Karnataka, Orissa, Maharashtra, W.Bengal, MP, Bihar and so on.

Yesterday when we (I and some other Ph.D students) went for dinner, we were - from India, Italy, Germany, Greece, Mexico, Russia, USA and France - all around the same table. Great... isn't it?

All are very nice people and needless to say - very smart too! :) [Loved their company]

I have to leave now. Or else, I will be late for the afternoon session.

Signing off, Sands.

PS1: Forgot to bring my camera! :(

PS2: In a hurry - so, for just this entry, you may have the liberty of reading between the lines, if you find me not so clear in expressing, provided you won't read any bad things. ;)

20 September 2008

Ice Breaker! :)

I wouldn't be in the blogosphere for the coming 10 days. It will make that a looooooong break and I will need to have a wonderful post to break the ice.

So, I am putting these pictures, so that there wouldn't be any long silence. ;) I am finding reasons to put my paintings! :)

Tomorrow is the Onam Celebration of the Malayali group of Munich. And these paintings of mine are going to be on the back wall of the stage... to make it non-blank! :) Isn't it great?

[forgive me for those magnets .. which are used to keep the pictures to my white board] :)


This one actually took about 90 minutes plus, where as I had wanted it to be a fast work.

The one below is a fast work - about 40-50 minutes and I am proud of it! :)


Needless to say: The pictures are copyrighted. No one may use these pictures for any money-making purposes -- without written permission from me! (Who am I? M F Hussain or what? OR Van Gogh himself?)

That's it my friends!

Till later, Signing off, Sands. [2:40 at night :( ]

PS: The pictures are good, aren't they? :)

12 September 2008

Fire, fight and then... (something) ;)

It is going to rain in sometime. I have to leave soon - before it pours. After reading an article, my mouth is watering .. to have some steak. In the article, somebody (important) has asked everyone to reduce meat intake for reducing Global warming (what an obedient citizen I am!!). So, before it pours, I even have to go to the supermarket!

Before I go to the main topic: Do you even know what is the connection between eating meat and global warming? It is something worth knowing. Simplest thing to think is production = warming. But in case of cattle, think about the gases from the faeces. :)

Now, back to track - to the title.

I had been in the city today. I got stuck in one railway station, as there was some fire in one of the railway lines. (I hope things are fine now).

So, after waiting for sometime, I decided to take the tram. The tram was fully packed. I had to stand near the door of the tram (which will be closed/locked safely before the tram starts). The crowd was just increasing owing to the railway problem.

Then came in an old man (65-70). He suggested/requested (very decently) to others to move in a little inside, so that more people could get in. I was shocked to see that this was received with anger and protest from 3 other passengers.

They were a young man, a young lady and a little old lady. They started scolding this old man. They shouted, there is no more space inside. They told him to get out of the tram. Well, this young man used pretty nasty language, very disrespectful.

Finally, I raised my voice to help this old fellow. For the first time - an argument in German. I stressed only this much - If one really wants, there is space there to move further. Well, it didn't work. :(

I am at least happy that I didn't leave the old man alone even though my effort was fruitless.

Why don't many people give respect to their fellow beings? Haven't they heard about "Give and Take Respect"? We once had a chapter in German classes - about civil-courage/duties. Just as we learned in the book, no single person raised voice against this!

Another topic: There is a blogger who interests me a lot lately (more than lately). For some unknown reason, I like her - in fact more than a little. She blogs from Dubai. Is this mere curiosity? or something else????? I don't know -- but some_thing! :) [She reads my blog too. She would read this too. I hope that she wouldn't decide to stop coming to me. Knowing her a little, I know what she might think, but I won't say it here! :)]

Going home.. for a wonderful weekend, Sands.

PS: There was an awesome beautiful girl with some luggage and all... who must have got in to the tram, unless for the heavy luggage. I would stayed with her till the next tram and would have happily helped her with the luggage unless for an appointment and my punctuality! (She was simply adorable!)

PS2: An old puzzle came to my mind after writing about the old person and beautiful girl. Read it below.

You are driving down the road in your car on a wild, stormy night, when you pass by a bus stop and you see three people waiting for the bus

  • An old lady who looks as if she is about to die.
  • An old friend who once saved your life.
  • The perfect partner you have been dreaming about.

Knowing that there can only be one passenger (driver is driver) in your car, what would you do?

8 September 2008

From Close to Closer

First of all, a smile for you... :) .... Now read on!

Are you guys bored that I almost never complain here? Bored with something like "life is beautiful"? If yes, then you may want to leave now. Because I think, once again, Life is beautiful! :)

I was at my German teacher's [D] ancestral home - over the weekend - along with a fellow student and her husband. Before I started from home, I thought - "Well, this weekend I will have to speak everything in German". And yes, I did. Even though I showed only one tenth of my talkativeness, I did manage well.

The weekend gave me time and opportunity to reflect over a couple of things. I just identified a few things which make me a little different from most others. My interests, passions, dreams, knowledge and even point of view. I am so glad that I am like how I am! :) [ Three times "I am" in a single sentence!]

My concept of a German family too underwent change. The picture I had was not as good as what I saw with my own eyes. The family was wonderful. D's parents were very nice, her brothers very friendly and she herself was of course as sweet as always! :)Grill Place

There was a grill party on Saturday evening. Awesome! After about cycling 50 kms, any food would have tasted very good to me; any place to sit would have been good enough.

But when it was grilled meat, that was the best I could ever have asked for. That too in open air, sitting by the side of a river! :) - Paradise, Bliss! :)

The picture here is taken from the grill place. (Sunday, early morning)

There was an invisible but experience-able division among the four of us. My friend and her husband together, D and I together - not always, but mostly. Good for me, for I did have quality conversations with D, for she is very knowledgeable, smart, clever and speaks well too.Backyard of her house

Even after reaching Munich, I and D went for a coffee (Sunday evening, nothing much to do). Sitting in the cafe, we spoke for a long time - about lot of things. I always had had lot of respect and love for her. I have always felt her close to my heart.

I feel much closer now - after the weekend and especially those long conversations we had during this time. Such a wonderful person.

And finally a small sentence which she said, did touch me! :)

Life is beautiful, if you have such people around you! Right?

Signing off, Sands.

PS1: The only small (very small) problem was that my classmate's husband was a little possessive about her. Especially when it came to me! ;) A couple of times, I was at the brink of snapping one or two dialogues. But then, I am decent - I keep my level. That's it. But I did enjoy that 'irritating someone' part. [nasty I, right?]

PS2: After a long time, last night I had a dream - a friend of mine (chocolate seller) has sent me an email in which he has listed 125 problems he is facing in life and his take on each of them. Asking for my opinions. He has also promised me to send the rest of the problems in subsequent emails! -- what a strange dream to have!

PS3: Those two chairs were in the backyard of the house. I found them cute! :)

3 September 2008

Angry at myself and CHROME

For about the past 10 days, I am behaving highly irresponsible. There were quite a number of things which I should never have avoided or never could have afforded to forget. But I did. I could give my relocation as one reason - but that is not a reason.. it's just an excuse.  [Luckily, the consequences weren't that bad :) ]

I don't mean to say that I was behaving like a total idiot. Just that I was a little bit of an idiot ;)

A little less vigilant than usual. A little less planned about what to be done on the next day. Just a little floating state. Hmm.. not really able to express. I guess, I can do that once in a blue moon .. or rather once in many blue moons!

But after getting back to my normal level today morning, I realised that I had forgotten to attend an important meeting; I had misplaced the key for my new house one day (which made me search for 10-15 minutes); I forgot to close the door of my new house yesterday. So after reaching heights of absent mindedness, I shook myself awake today morning. :) Totally ready for anything now. :)

--- Chrome ---

The rest of it is a little technical! I have been planning to separate tech-and-non-tech stuff in two blogs; I do even have one tech blog. But this is for a wider audience - something which my tech blog doesn't enjoy! :(

So, CHROME - the browser from Google is out. Yet another reason to stick with MS-Windows (available only in this platform)

First of all, I didn't like the name. The name is not smooth and also that it gives some different feel. But that is not really that important. Just that, I would have given a name like "feather" or similar - for a light weight browser. [(Provided it doesn't become an Oxymoron later ;) ]

Except for the dislike for name, I seem to like it.

Any single software which I have tried at BETA level, I have been able to find bugs. All the beta-stand-alone software, I had been able to crash within first few minutes. That is the way I usually decide to continue to use it or not.

IE7, IE8, Firefox, Office12 -- almost everything - I have crashed in the betas - mostly easily. Even with gmail (which is still in beta), I had once found a bug.

But I haven't been able to break chrome yet. It looks pretty fast (no benchmarking .. but the feel and my own personal testing***)

Still there are a few things to point out.

  1. Personally, I close most of the windows by double clicking at the left top icon thing on every window. Chrome lacks that.
  2. In the history page, once loaded, the search box should be focused - which is not the case. Also that "/" could be used for search (after all, it's from Google)
  3. No way of managing bookmarks - which is something on very high priority. (which I am sure they are working on)
  4. The refresh button is on the left side of the URL(address) as in Firefox. It would have been better if it were on the right side of URL - for me it is of more logical flow. (You type the address, then refresh it if needed. Why would you put it on the left (behind) the address?)

Well, my final take is to use it for a few days and see. As a big time beta-testing fan, I shouldn't lose the opportunity.

Signing off,

*** : Personal testing (Could be a little technical)

One of my simple testing is this. In the browser, there are auto-populating lists. [Example] Something like when I type "abs", the list populates all the searches starting with "abs" -- "absent", "absolute"... etc.

My challenge is that I try to type fast that the browser cannot guess what I might want and before the browser brings in the word, I am done.

IE fails mostly, FF fails almost always. but Chrome (till now - meaning the list is small) stands the test. (this is again a *feel-factor* :) )

Let me wait and see! :)