26 October 2009

Tongue Tying Charm : feeling stupid

Tongue TiedHave you ever had a strange feeling/experience of stumbling-bumbling while speaking with some people? Something like your tongue is tied? or your brain is turned off? Making mistakes with something you know very well?

When I was in Microsoft, I experienced it. Whenever I spoke with Neo (only with him), I made mistakes, even with simple/silly things. I don't know why, but it just happened.

Then I experienced the same a few months ago. Can you believe that I got 'mutually exclusive' and 'independent' events in probability theory mixed up? I also made stupid remarks concerning regular expressions. (picture)

Don't use this!In fact, regular expressions, probability theory etc. are MY topics and I KNOW them well. Still…

Being with this person sometimes froze the technical part of my brain.

And finally, now something strange is happening - which tops all these. I met a person about a month ago, and I make so many mistakes (English) when I talk to this X. Silly, sillier, silliest kind of mistakes. Yet again, it riddles me.

Yesterday, I had to travel with X; and during the 20+20 minutes, I was being corrected.  Not so surprisingly, X enjoys my company very well. :( [Who doesn't like to pull someone's leg :) … What went around came around :P ]

Some common friends remarked: finally there is someone who could make Sandeep silent. What a pity! :(

Do these people know some tongue tying charm? Or brain confusing charm? Well, if that be the case, I need to learn some defence against dark arts.

After meeting X, I have become an ardent fan of Mark Twain, because Mr. Twain had said - "It is better to keep your mouth shut and let people think you are stupid than to open your mouth and remove all the doubt".

Why don't you share your experiences? Or are you a fan of Mr. Twain? :)

Signing off,

PS: I know that Attractive Women Make Men Temporarily Stupid. But that theory is applicable in only one of the aforementioned cases.


Insider Joke for Tamil people: I got a Bulb while correcting X.

20 October 2009

Been there, Done that..

I am too young to say something like the title seriously. A long way to go…. But… I would invite your attention to last October.

garching morning frost 2009-10-20 001My research had, for some wonderful reason, got stuck. It appeared as a dead end. To add insult to injury, my funding was over too.

I seriously considered dropping out. Then… BANG…accident! Broken leg, damaged lungs, ICU, hospital, a month at home, partial mobility.

Cold winter, no income, bad health, bad-state-of-research. My house owner wanted me to move out (his relative came to stay).

Savings got over, debts GREW. Then hit the global financial crisis.

None of these was good to happen to anybody – but all those hit me more or less simultaneously.

As said in Malayalam, bad things came together. I didn’t complain, I said “Schaumamal” (let’s see) and started to face them. I wasn’t very cool about it though.

Health recovered 100%; crutches became unnecessary to walk; research opened new doors; funding was re-instated (better than earlier); debts were cleared; started saving; winter was over and the skies cleared.

Garching, flowers 012Situation improved. Research started showing the symptoms of reaching a shore. I passed the German exam; drivers’ licence; became a part-time translator for German-Malayalam; some friendships got solidified, it all started blossoming again.

In between, I was struck by one of the worst blows (personal).  Even though I faced everything above cool, this one rather shook me strong. A novel painful feeling. Even that phase is passing or rather over now.

Why all this now? The good and bad things during the past one year helped me to have a better outlook. I empathise more. This Friday marks the first anniversary of that accident, which I consider as a starting point.

Now you know, how am I able to take most things light and to see the positive side of everything.  Been there, done that helps :) That doesn’t mean I don’t attach seriousness to things.

Should I call for an accident anniversary celebration?
Deathday Party? :) nearly headless nick]

Bad things aren’t necessarily bad, they teach you a LOT.

Signing off, Sands.

PS: Perhaps this post sounded too much of bragging. If it did, so be it. :)
PPS: Post dedicated to KBCL123.

15 October 2009

Snowing and the going Autumn

Garching, flowers 004It is snowing outside – very slightly though. The weather changed almost overnight. Even though it is cold everywhere, I am teeming with energy. (rest of the post is perhaps unrelated).

Whatever you do, don’t cut your hair, it looks lovely” – so said Ellen. My long pampered dream of long hair is becoming true. People are starting to notice that I have non-groomed curls. :)

It looks very nice” – so said D. But….. most of my Indian friends are dead against this. Why oh why!? (Because I look like a rowdy? or a crazy man? ;) )

Garching, flowers 013And my recent favourite thing is a black-hat. I love to wear that and my long black mantel together. Again – I am hearing very contradicting notes of appreciation. Someone said - “You have a cool hat”. A lady said - “It looks horrible”.

Surprisingly, I usually don’t see these external things about people. It would take a long time before I would notice that someone is wearing glasses. Or stuff like that. It surprises me that people see what I do.

Tell me, should I buy a long black umbrella? or a red one? My heart is with red, but a black one might suit my outfit better! (Since when am I concerned about outfit?)

BTW, yesterday, I reached/finished a very important work-related milestone. :) :) :)

Garching, flowers 029From the edge of the cornfield on my way to Uni.

Oh my dear ones, summer is gone and even fall seems to be losing her beauty. The pictures in the post are the ones I made today on my way to Uni. (Today was practically a judgement day for me, So I wanted to come to uni. very relaxed. Ah yes, good you asked. The judgement was good – better than what I had thought :) )

Garching, flowers 037
Some flowers on my way: Just for you! :)

Garching, flowers 042

Remember? I once told about the poles in front of the computer science building with powers of two? Today I finally took a picture of one of those. I hope you can see it clearly enough.

After many hectic days and judgement I am going to take a free evening. A trip to the city, a walk in slight snowing, a cup of hot chocolate, my favourite places in the city. And so on. In case I didn’t mention earlier, I am relocating in two weeks – yes AGAIN! :)

Signing off, Sands.

PS: Lips are cracking! :(

8 October 2009

Link Story (alias Puranam)

Life revolves around links. One can even coin a phrase - "You are what you click".

We communicate with links. The sound "Remind me to send you that link" is heard very often. They take up lot of our time; some of them enlighten us, some of them distract us.

I am someone who cannot multitask. For the same reason, catching up with links takes up a chunk of my time. When I say hours, don't be surprised.

Today was a typical day and as usual I came across a set of links. Here I have a snapshot of the collection (a few of the nice ones). I am sure that you will find some funny; some informative and some waste of time.

The day started with a dictionary service - I wanted to find out the meaning of "Klitschnass". Then I caught up with some informative/thought-provoking blogs [eg. Gurukulam, Chinthyam (both Malayalam)]

By then my daily link delivery system beeped (email): a friend had sent me links. Perhaps she thought I am not happy enough in life - hence HowToBeHappy - 10 tips to be happy.

There was also a link to Nearly Headless Mike - a chicken story.

Obviously, I didn't disappoint her. I sent her the link about a mental disorder which I think I have - Dunning-Kruger-Effect. Well, I atleast know people who have it. I also sent her XKCD619 to retaliate for a flash-link.

Afterwards I went to count hits on my blog (which is good lately - strategies). But it was later I found out that HITS = How Idiots Track Success. :(

During a quick chat, I send RG a link to a handy plug-in for Vim - Pydiction.

Finally, I went to mark my attendance at StackOverFlow - programmers' site.

I don't bore you with the details of where I found out that my university is the 55th best in the planet (THES), nor with the regular links in my daily-breakfast-bookmark-folder or technical ones.

Now tell me, don't you understand why I say I don't have enough time? :p It does take time for a healthy and tasty diet.

Have a good day, fellows. I have to tame a Python which has been eating my head for the past few days.

Tail Piece: Recently, I had had encounters with two self-proclaimed multitaskers. The truth about multitasking is that it s*cks. Read MORE.

An excerpt: "We believe we can surf the web while talking to our kids/spouse/lover/co-worker. But we can't! (Not without a hit on every level--time, quality, and the ability to think deeply)" - thinking about the situation I faced that day, I smile now (reading the excerpt). :)

And people say that I am overconfident? ;)

Signing off, Sands.

PS: You aren't angry at me for too frequent posts, right? It happens usually either when my days are very productive or very nonproductive. Luckily, it is the former now.

Bonus: You are awarded a free pass to Bibliomania for reading till here.

7 October 2009

Can I borrow them for a lifetime?

Yesterday I was in one of the very famous, old restaurants in Munich. I have been there earlier too. Pope Benedict 16 used to go there when he was a student.atzinger-schellnegger-1232985479

It was a fun evening. :)

I was the only non-german in D's birthday party. Against me was a geek (Boreland C compiler team member) and by his side was a lady who wasn't very good at Mathematics.

Eg.: Average life expectancy in Germany is about 80. Since some people die at 20, there must be people living till 140 (average of 140 and 20 is 80). This was her doubt/argument.

The geek and I tried to explain – without success. All she agreed with was that I can do fast arithmetic. We laughed our ass off through the discussion.

She also gave a ‘great’ explanation - why less AIDS in Europe than in Africa?. The geek dared to call her dumb; I clarified her doubt and she was finally happy with it. I don't dare to get to the details for the fear of using adult literature terms.

This discussion wasn't lacking any fun either. With the right group, double meaning can be fun. :p

Mind you, the conversation was in German. Amazing right? That day has come when I sit with 8 Germans and have decent conversation in German. Integration has gotten a lot faster............

...............Last week, while helping a friend with relocation, MDR-NC40_001~02TH_-_MI was shown a set of never-used-headphones.

Can I borrow the headset for a lifetime?”. (Shameless me?*)

I have them now. Noise cancelling model (MDR NC40) from Sony. Amazing man, amazing. Someday, I will buy one.

Signing off, Sands.

PS: For some reason, I had to pull the last post.

*: Not that shameless, the story will be told later.