Friday, December 29, 2006

Winning the Fantasy Football

This was my first Fantasy football year . When I decided to play fantasy football I did not think much except to learn American football. I was a little clueless to the whole game. I started out reading about the whole rules in wikipedia. Love wiki for this kind of stuff.

We had two divisions in our league which was run by Dave savage. The Alpha and Omega division.
The first hurdle was draft . With not too much knowledge on players I put the picking up on Autodraft. Sometimes I trust the statistics too much and infinite computing power or AI . Ever read Kasparov vs Deep Blue . I knew I was not going to get the best pick knowing statistics are not always up to date but I would get a decent pick. I came away from the draft with a couple of decent player but some of them were prone to injuries as I later discovered.

My initial 2 weeks went without much ado and I won them . From week 2 I saw injuries to Trent Green . Thereon I started managing my roster a little replacing players on bye with players from the bench .

Week 3 had me playing with an eventual division winner from the Alpha division .I was on omega division. The guy had L Tomilson who I guess is going to be the Most valuable player in the NFL this year with career numbers . I lost week 3 .

I had a 4 week winning streak after that . By this time I have started actively managing my players due to loss of key players like Trent Green . Clinton Portis , Daunte Culpebber , Lamont Jordan. But I had Donavan Mcnabb and Ravens Defense earning me my bulk of my points . Then a low phase followed, In the following weeks I had lost 4 of my 6 games and I lost Mcnabb to add to my growing troubles . But this low phase really helped me research and pick out future stars. I won the division with an 8-5 which got me a first round bye.

Week 2 into playoff I played Thomas ( The Edge guy) and that was a tough match up .He had key players but most of my new picks were now peaking into form this included Ladell Betts and Jeff Garcia whom I picked from Free agency when they were starters. That week going into sunday night game I was up by 5 points with one kicker scores yet to come in for both of us . The game saw Thomas kicker score 12 points and lead me by 7 points. So I needed my kicker to get me 8 points to win the knock out game on Monday night . That was an exciting monday night game. In the game where Cincinati struggled against the colts my kicker came up with 10 points.
So won that that by the neck with 3 points.

I was in the final and interestingly the division leader from other division
. I had lost to Ray before in week 3 and I knew with him having LT and Frank Gore and a star studded line up it was going to be tough . I made some radical adjustments to my roster by playing lower ranked players but potentially peaking players . The move paid off I won the final 139-119 . LT did not have a great game that week which contributed to the margin.
So I got awarded the FFL champion of the league.. :-)

All said and done you need to manage your roster go with some of your gut feel and above all need a little luck to go your way . Wishes to everyone who played

Friday, December 15, 2006

XBOX 360 vs Wii vs PS3

2 years before when I started hearing about the PS3 and the XBOX 360 and ninetendo's intlligent motion control . I must say I was pretty excited. I presently own an plain normal XBOX . I have played with video games a lot . PLayed and perfected games liek PCMan , Frogger , Teris, Prince of Persia , Carman Sandy , LS Larry,Wolfenstein , Jazz Jack rabbit, Doom , Myst ,warcraft m Shadow warrior Age of Empire, Mythology, Commando .So I feel I am well qualified to write this review or my take on the consoles.

All the consoles are to be frank in different league . Apart from the things liKe HD and the BluRay and the Xbox live features the one thing I am really really excited about is the Wii for one single reason . It gets you out of the couch .

XBOX 360

Having the early mover advantage is with XB360 , It has the widest array of games available on the platform . I frankly like th exbox because of its host of online features and the online gmaing experience . Microsoft has got that community play right with xbox live whihc will be hard to match so fast. It has also built a subsciber revenue model early. Did I mention I already have an XB


Playstation 3 is a bit of enigma.. It might be a big success or a washout. Although the processer ( cell) is the most powerful . None of the games out there except Resistance the fall of man has taken full advantage of Cell . If Blu Ray comes out to be the defacto player standard buying a PS3 makes sense . atleast just for the player whihc costs over a 1000 $ + but that is if Blu Ray becomes the next standard.
There are not many gmaes in PS3 which are exclusinve to PS3 platform like the edge with PS2 enjoyed . So I am skeptical .


The controller itself is amazing . I have been trying to get control of a wii box for quite sometime now but no such luck . Yesterday I saw a couple with thier kid but a Wii game which comes out in February with a wii Remote. I guess I am not the only one.

I plan to cancel my health club membership for a new wii..( I have sold my wife on the idea , though she is not convinced I think ). The intitiveness of the control cannot be argued with.. I have heard reports about the strap breaking and hittting expensive TV's . Wii has recalled the straps and giving free replacement straps which are thicker. So far I have heard only nice things about the wii. Wii has unlocked a whole new segment of population into the gaming mode for good. Playing games helps keep the youth in you alive.

I am sure Wii will be a winner

Sunday, September 03, 2006

BizTalk talk for CNUG- DAM

I had recently taken a talk on my favorite topic Biztalk .
The talk was on "Common Enterprise Integration problems , Design Patterns and Solutions using Biztalk " Read the session details

Some photos from the talk .

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Indian Bloggers Outraged

The Indian governement has asked Internet service providers in the state to Ban certain blogs and websites which were spreading communal inharmony and racial intolerance. The ISP's in the haste to comply to the order blocked all blogsites liek blogspot , type pad . This has caused the wrath of the bloggers community in the country. There were cases filed under Right to Information Act. This also started a big lash out against the governemet. The govt in a knee jerk reaction has came out strongly and said it did not ask ISP's to block the entrire sites just the subdomains .
The undesired effect in this whole scenario is that mainstream media carried the names of theses sites and everyone I knew were visting these websites to check out the literature having quite the opposite effect that the government wanted. I dont believe the govt should start censoring the net. There will always be such websites and bad apples. The Indian democracy should have faith in the people to know what is right and wrong

Anyway the acess restriction have been removed now and the blogs are once again accesible now.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Summer Camping in Allegany

We went camping last month in Allegany, It was a much awaited camping trip, and we had begun preparations a month earlier. Manish had put together a beautiful list based on his prior camping experiences and we were prepared with stuff from mosquito cream to combat West Nile virus to Stomach upset medicines. We were seven. That is me (Abhi ), Bini , Manish , Rashi , Sanjeev , Pooja , Aryan

We started from Corning in the evening and reached Allegany with light still up thanks to the long summer day and the daylight savings. We started with beer as all good things should be started and we were soon putting up the tent . We put Sanjeev's tent first and it was a little tricky and we spend quite some time to put it up . Then we put mine and it took less time as we knew the ropes and then Manish's tent was to be put. By this point now we were self declared experts and tried to improvise the procedure and ended up taking more time . So we came to the conclusion Always follow instructions to the dot.

Once we set up tents we set up the dinner table .It was Raasi's birthday. So we cut cake and we smeared her with cake . The cake was lovely.

Then we planned to start a campfire. After a few minutes we had a nice campfire going . We roasted marshmallows in the fire . It was fun even Aryan tried a hand in roasting marshmallows . We were quite exhausted by now and we sent to sleep . The night sleeping out was very interesting , There were lot of foxes making sounds and later we realized that it was Manish and then Sanjeev and some other campers joined :)

The next day morning we found out that there has been some breach in security . We had accidentally left some buns outside and it was eaten by some animal . We had been warned about bears . Anyway we did not know what animal it was . But it was strong enough to make a hole in the basket and take the bun out of the cover. Anyway luckily we had some bread so we had bread instead of bun along with scrambled eggs and hot tea for breakfast.

Making breakfast at the campsite is really a wonderful experience . And we had a good filling breakfast with orange juice and stuff. All the time the topic was about the bear who came to eat our buns.

Some shade time. Lying down in the open air is so relaxing . No cases for Sanjeev

After some hour of cycling we were exhausted and then we thought of catching little fish from the stream . We had lot of fun . We even caught a small lobster but we let it go after some time.

After breakfast we lied down and relaxed for a while . No laptops , No cell phone no Instant messenger and NO TV is actually a lot of fun . Then we headed down and rented a cycle and Benita went cycling for some time and then we both went cycling together .

Next on the agenda was slow cycle contest . We all had loads of fun in that . We timed each person's lap and decided winners

We made lunch next and we sat down in the stream which had a very little flow. Our camping chairs were really nice as you could put them anywhere. Next we went boating in the lake . There were some water cycles. But since there were lots of weeds we could not rent the water cycles. We rented rowboats instead .

We came back and then started out charcoal fire again and started grilling . We had Onion, bell peeper , Sukini and chicken and some veg burgers all toasted to perfection . Now we had a new guest a giant raccoon . Now we knew it was this guy who ate our bread yesterday night . After a few minutes he left

We had a couple of rounds of beer and vodka and I guess we did have a little too much as I apparently was walking all around in circles when I thought I was walking straight . The next day morning was not the fun part in camping where you need to pick up your trash and clean the place. The hangover of the previous night was there . Well we picked trash and checked out of the camp by 11 and drove back. The 2 days close to nature had taken a toll on everyone . I guess we should never have mixed alcohols as it had quite unpredictable results. But then there will always be some thing that you need to set right the next time . But it was definitely a wonderful experience. Hopefully we will have another one before the summer is over.

Friday, June 23, 2006

The World cups and the Korean Connection

It comes once in 4 years . The World cup's . The football world cup and The Cricket world cup . And I go crazy .
My whole schedule goes for a toss at these times . I have to plan my life around the television . No other time of the year do television time command so much time and priority in my life. Luckinly for I have South American fan in my spouse who is an ardent fan of Brazil and Argentina , she has a final prediction of them I still got my vote out for Brazil ..

I have the whole prediction running with my tons of cousins , 26 to be exact..( Anything over 25 qualifies as a ton , at least when you are counting first cousins and this is just one parents side of the family ) . There is a cool ipod to be won .

So the game is hotly contested . See who is winning now

Another interesting thing that happened to me and Bini during world cup is that we started supporting Korea and lot

and have even sported ambitions of learning Korean . Now you might genuinely ask wy this sudden interest in South

Korea . Well two reasons we have a soft corner to Asian teams and Koreans like Brazillians have a cult like attitude

towards football suddenly.. The second reason and whihc is the main reason is I have a Dish at home and I believed I get ESPN , ESPN2 and ABC . Come match day and I realize I dont have ABC in my package but ABC Family which is not telecasting matches. Now suddenly that realization on match day is not a very joyful one as most of the weekend games are on ABC . As I hunt through the spectra of channels that I normally dont watch I stumble upon a channel called KBS ( a Korean Channel ) is showing all world cup matches and hurray . I am hooked on to KBS for the ABC telecast games.

So now you know why my sudden love for Korean .

pohl-gah-yo korea , cho-ah-yo .

Want to learn a little Korean Yourself , Check out

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Robot has shipped your Christhmas gift

Microsoft Robotics Group annnounces the Microsoft Robotics Studio

As stunning as it may seem it is true. Ther is indeed a Microsoft Robotics group and they have come out with a Microsoft Robotics SDK . Well soon you will be ordering something from amazon and Robots will be packing your order . You never know ... I am a crazy Asimov fan and I have read his Robots Series and the foundation series . So I might be a little over enthusiastic

If you are into robotics as well Read the press Release here

Friday, June 16, 2006

Google's How to of the day

One of the thing that I like about my Google Home page. (Yeah a Micorosft MVP with a google home page , I know ... ) is that I really like the amount of customiztion from my Live Fifa score cards to one of my favorites "How To of the Day" .. Just reposting todays as I really think this is a very positive one.. for many of us .
How to Grow Old Without Feeling Old

Your First great-grandchildAs you sit in the hospital waiting room, waiting for the baby to be born, you think back to the day when you had your first child. Now, here you are, looking forward to your first great-grand child. It's amazing how time flies, and looking back can leave you feeling old! But just because you've got several decades behind you doesn't mean you have to feel old. Here's how to stay young in mind and spirit.

Keep age in perspective. Never think of age as being anything but just a number. There are some things in life we have no control over, such when we were born. Age is no more than a circumstantial detail, like the color of your eyes, or the names of your parents; it does not define who you are. There are other things that do--those things we do have control over, such as how we think and what we do.

Visit the libraryLive and enjoy each day. There is always something positive or something to look forward to each day. Enjoy the sun shining on your plants, or a movie you are going to see. Look forward to reading a good book, or meeting with friends for lunch. If you feel lonely, go to the library. It is a great place to meet and talk to people who have a similar interest. Surround yourself with people, even if you might never see them again. You can do this at a supermarket, or even a department store or coffee shop.
Don't waste your time thinking that you're too old to do this or that. As long as you have your health, you can do just about anything you find an interest in doing. If you have never used a computer, buy one! Learn how to use it. You will find you have brought the whole world into your room. Learn new things and do the things you never had the time to do before.

Learn folk dancingTake care of your body. Take vitamins and eat healthy. Exercise at either a gym or at home. Dance to the music on a CD, as moving your body is great exercise. Get a full physical and visit your dentist at least once a year.
Don't look back. Don't worry about what happened in the past. Live just for today. The one thing that no one can change is the past. What has been is over and done with. The future has not yet come, so all we have is today. So enjoy today, let the past go, and plan for the future.
Keep your mind alert. Do crossword puzzles, learn a new language, or take up a hobby you were always too busy for. Exercise an Open Mind.

Keep your mind activeKeep up with the news. By doing this, you always will be able to converse with most people. Be up to date on what is new in politics, fashion, and/or in computers. Learn about the new methods of treatments and the new drugs available so you can advise your family members, who might need the information.
Find ways to interact. Even with no close friends or family around, there are many opportunities to talk to new people. Strike up a conversation with people you meet in the supermarket. Greet people you pass on the street, and ask them how they're doing. You'll be surprised at how refreshed offering a kind word to a stranger will make you feel.
Stay positive. Try to avoid thinking negative thoughts as it will get you no place except sadness. For example, trying to figure out why a mate died and left you alone will only bring tears to your eyes. Instead, remember all the wonderful years you shared, and how you both brought such wonderful children into this world. Go out with a smile on your face, and enjoy the rest of your life as best as you can. There may even be a new mate on the horizon. You never know!
Do something different every day. The local newspapers usually have a weekly schedule of activities. Find one that you would enjoy and go for it! Perhaps the museum or a flower show might tickle your fancy this week.
Join a group, club, or volunteer at a library or senior center. Take dancing lessons. Ballroom dancing is back, and just think of how great you would feel dancing the Cha Cha once again, as you did in your youth. Meet with like-minded people, and help those less fortunate than yourself.

Continue to do things you used to do -- biking, camping, swimming, dancing, or canoing. You can still do them!
The difference between a spry "oldster" and a non-spry "oldster" is phenomenal. Stay flexible and sprightly by walking 20 minutes a day and re-think that elevator. Stairs are a wonderful thing. So is yoga class.

See your doctor for a checkup at least once a year. If you don't, you may regret it. Preventative medicine is available, but you can't take it if you don't keep your doctor informed.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Nish's new book "C++/CLI in Action"

Nishant's new book is coming out on C++/CLI .
knowing Nish from a long tie and his lucid style of writing
I am pretty sure this book willbe a real gem for C++/CLI crowd.

I am glad now that he has finally finished it and he really spoiled his health over the book . Nish vows this is going to be his last book . But I dont think so :-) knowing Nish so well ...

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Me and JK( Jayakrishnan Nair )

This is me and my good friend Jayakrishnan. I had stayed with him a few days when I went to Seattle . He works from Mcirosoft SQL Server team .

He is a real gem of a person and very helpful . He can be stubborn at times the Taurean that he is but a real good friend .

He is also a good chess player. We had gone to the Seattle Zoo and we took this snap with some grizzlies in the background

Trip To Seattle

Me and my good buddy DK ( Short for krishnan Duraisamy ) . My only regret about DK is that even though we knew each other from Chennai we became good frined only later in seattle. . He has such a postive energy and cool head that make him a fun and wonderful guy to be around with

Having fun at the aquarium

Dk , Lakshmi,Bini and me at the Seattle aquairum . The aquarium was one of the higlights of the seattle trip apart from meeting my friends at MS.

All of us at snowquolmie

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Me and Dennis

My Cousin Smitha and Nishant had visited us duing long weekend and we had gone to my friend Jacob's place . He has a son Dennis (Appu ) . He really is sweet but hasa temper at times and he holds Jacob and Deena and sometime me and Bini hostage..

On this day he wanted to get Soap bubbles and I went out to buy a big bubble liquid bottle .
Playing with kids is really one of the most enjoyable moments

Bini wonders who is the kid ?

Sunday, April 30, 2006

Our second marriage anniversary

It was our second marriae anniverssary , I was trying to buy Bini an innovative gift , knowing Bini well I knew that Bini appreciates the thought behind a gift rather than its monetory cost .So I did a lot of thinking finally I decided to give her a different anniversary card..
I made one out of shells and put it into our aquarium .

Thursday, April 20, 2006

MVP award kit

I recieved the MVP award kit toda y , It includes a nice certificate a nice swiss army Laptop bag and my personal favorite a MVP file folder. I also got some MVP bucks to use at the company store and I guess it is all going towards those Age of mythology and Halo games that me and my cousins love. :-)

Besides that I am really waiting for my MSDN subscribtion to install Virtual Server on my home machine

Monday, April 17, 2006

Rafting Trip - A travelogue

This is our travelogue of the exciting Rafting trip that we had . Here goes ...

0600 : It was a cold Friday morning ,Bini woke up . It was Vishu ( a festival for us ), My cousin Smitha and Nishant had joined us from Toronto yesterday . I looked outside the sky was clear. I felt happy . We quickly got up took bath and had light breakfast .We met Manish and Raasi in the parking lot and set off to Tapans House where Manish picked them up and we started our drive towards Welsboro .

0700 : The drive was smooth . It was a little overcast and then it started pouring in as the skies opened up . We all had that look on our faces . Was Rupa right ? Were we stupid enough to set off. Who will have the last laugh ? But as we drove on and reached Pinecreek outfitters the rain tricked down to drizzle.

0800 : Well any doubts we had about the weather and chill quickly vanished as we put on the wetsuits that were provided to us and in fact I was feeling a little hot inside the dress even though I knew that the temperature outside was only 40F or something

0830 : We had a quick orientation by the rafting lead , There were 40 to 50 rafters and he quickly told us all about steering and paddling and what not to do . It followed some routing questions like what do I do if I fall into water? What if I don't know how to swim ? (This was my cousin she had no idea they were going for rafting . They had the pedal boating impression in their mind ! ) .The guide told us to put the bossy and fussy people in charge of rudder at the back and not to paddle . This made sense because you don't want them in the front anyway ! . It was quickly decided to put me and Tapan as navigation as we went in two rafts

0900: we started out in our rafts and we quickly discovered that it was not as easy as it looks , everyone was trying to paddle or rudder at the same time and the raft was going in little circles but still making progress because of the current . We were the last ones at this stage .

1000: We saw some eagles and we also saw some eagles nest on the way . By now we had got the hang of it . But after a few minutes we came across a big rapid and we got stuck in the rock . We did freak out for sometime My cousin was panicking a little but the two guys in kayaks who were guides came and told us as to how to find the stuck portion and transfer the weight to one side. This included me getting on top of the rock pushing the raft and jumping in.

1100 :We went through more rapids . My cousins husband nearly fell out of the raft and we both caught him in time. That was a scary moment there . My cousin sister was screaming for the next half hour but calmed down later. Soon we were steering and controlling the raft like pros. The sun had come out and the weather improved , it was drizzling all this time I guess But none of us really noticed the light drizzle we were too busy guiding and peddling and I was really feeling hot inside the suits. They were really skin tight.

1200 : We saw some more eagles and some ducks and more rapids. Everyone was looking forward to the lunch break . We were tired arms were paining a little I guess but we were totally having fun . We had passed Devils Run and split rock some higher class rapids. We had rafter about 10 miles now.

1300 : We had now stopped for lunch and everyone had some much deserved rest and the sandwich and jams and jellies never tasted so good. We realized we were all so exhausted. Raasi had made some excellent roti and sabji which we shared along with tons of snacks I guess.

1330: Then we spent some time near the burning wood warming our hands. water had got into the gloves and they were a tad cold.

1400 : Now that we had lunch and were back they gave us water guns and we started playing with them a lot shooting folks with water jets . It went pretty smooth after lunch for next one hour we were in calmer waters .

1500 :We had more rapids coming at us now but by now we knew how to look far down and guide the raft well in advance .

we also noticed that when rocks are higher the water is splashy in those places and we also learned how to use the streams force to guide the raft faster and now it was more guiding and less paddling

1530 : we were getting exhausted and my arms had also starting to throb . We had rafted about 17 miles by now . We soon reached Blackwell which was our final stop . We all climbed into awaiting vans ; They were heated and me and some of us started sleeping in the van itself.

1600 : We reached back at the base camp after 40 minutes . We quickly got into our regular clothes the changing rooms were heated and I was not complaining about the heat now . We started our ride back to corning and on the way we were discussing the rafting events all the time.

1800: We reached home . We still had not stopped talking about the trip . It was a memorable and thrilling trip .It was scary and exhausting but we had fun .It was a life changing experience one thing for sure is what Nish told I forgot all my stress at work and feel so good. A hot tub and some light dinner and soup we were all tucked in bed . As our dear friend Tapan says what doesn't kill you makes you stronger .. and we all agree !

All in all it was an adventure ; that none of us would forget in a lifetime. I have not intentionally mentioned the rapids and stuff in detail as everone should go and do this thing and it so so beyond words. The adrenalin rush feeling you get when you are headed towards a rock and your raft is spinning and you try to push your raft through nearly grazing the rock and you have the little grin on your face for a moment; before the next rock comes along. It is just an awesome experience and I will definitely do it again maybe a more higher class of rapids this time and that is me signing off..

Thursday, April 06, 2006

I am now Biztalk Server MVP

Joy when shared gets multiplied .I have been selected the new BizTalk Server Most Valuable Professional as of April 2006.

This is definitely a very happy moment for me , Although I had been given a heads up for the selection into MVP award evaluation; The MVP awards are given in recognition of a recipient's technical expertise, spirit of community, and their willingness to help their peers by providing reliable and accurate answers to technical questions about Microsoft products & technologies. More info on MVP program can be found here

Well once you are at certain stages in your road called life you tend to sit on a mile stone and look back at the road travelled. And then you realize it is your past that makes who you are today . And the different persons who contributed to your little things in life . So I guess at this milestone a short speech is coming out . Oh Boy

I would like to thank the followwing persons in no particular order

. Mom and Dad ( You are the best , well you have your faults , But hey you are still the best )
. My brothers Anu and Aravind ( Thanks for hanging in there with me )
. All my cousins the whole 26 and the big extended family of ours .
. The TNHB guys especially Binil,Vineeth,Girish,Sanju,Giri,sumesh, Asif (U guys Rock !)
. Some of my smartest ex-collegues and wellwishers , DK , Sabareesh ,Nish, JK,Arun S,Ashok H,Gopal,Veena,Harish T,Daniel Berry , Mark Harris ( You are Cool )
. My college buddies Archie , Sanoop , Jayson , Sam , Siad , SPK(Sam ,Pav, Kaks ) and all of you in College ( Never could have asked for a better bunch )
. Vijay Srinivasan , Dr Prasad of IIM-A ,Swami Vimalanandji
. Folks at Satyam, ML ,Checkfree, CEI and Corning
.All my friends and wellwishers ( You know who you are ! )
. And my better half , soul mate, friend ,collegemate and life partner Binitha
Good news ...A new Addition to the Family

My Mom was ectasic and then I realized the power of those words and the damage I ad already done . I immediately told her Mom It is not What you think .
I Could realize that she was not listening to my explanantion I wanted to clarify . Anyway me and Bin are married close to two years and the usual questions were popping out with a hint of that "you know what I mean voice " for some time now. So i guess it was my fault .And I casually take the question at face value and say the weathe is good/bad/raining today as if all she really cared when she called to chek on me is the weather gods mood . Anyway I clarified that our Guppies in our aquarium has given kids and they were so small that I did not realize it for almost two weeks. She did nto believe me . Bini takes care of all the fish flake although I was the one who was crazy about aquariums. And it was not until last week that I realized that there are baby fries in our tank .

Here goes a little picture of the guy mom ..(7x zoomed )

Now we have lot more baby fry last time I couted 7 they are really tiny . Guppies do breed fast or maybe it is becasue I got this tank as a ast year Valentine gift to Bini in the first place. Guess I will have to get a new tank now .

Monday, March 27, 2006

Good Morning America -India Rising

Check out this video . This looks like a very good program made on India .
A very unbiased true documentary.

Saturday, March 25, 2006

The Indian motivational Industry

What motivtes your people . What transforms oridinary men into visionaries. Surely it is great ideas and the leaving of inhibitions behind to think above the rest. Not to be a face amonth the crowd but to be noticed. to speak up , To change, be an agent for that change.
In India motivation industry is slowly taking off.. Just read this article on the week

These programs at least the good ones go through a very intensive psycho analytical conditoning of your mind. I myself was lucky to attended one by Dr Prasad conducted by AMAYA Management Consultants Chennai . He is a facualty at IIM ahmedbad . Dr Prasad was trained by Dr David McClelland of Harvard University in 'competency analysis' and is a Phd from IIM-A . He has 27 years exploratory research in Creativity-Originality .He is well versed in Upanishads, Tao, Zen; Western thoughts on Mind-Matter-Existence .He has also worked at XLRI-Jamshedpur apart from IIM-A . He runs his school in cochin "School for Creative Perspective"

A session like this especially your FIRO analysis is very imprtant step to bcoming thought leaders

Friday, March 24, 2006

CheckFree EPL showcased in Enterprise Application Block

Saw this news today In patterns and practices home page and I was very happy .
This news talks about a showcase project at checkfree suing Patterns and Practices.

This is the project that I was previously assosciated with , a project where i was part of the core 6 member proposal team and later worked as ont of the tech lead after we won the proposal .
This showcasing gives me a very warm and joy feeling because I was one of the pivotal forces in pushing application block usage in Checkfree EPL right from proposal stage itself .

I have since moved on from Checkfree and Satyam in the grand scheme of things called life but it sure gives joy to read about your past assosciations spoken in showcase.

And that's that.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Happy Holi

Happy Holi everyone. It is Holi today . The festival of colors and fun. The day you celeberate with your near and dear ones your friends.. whatever happens make sure you are not alone..

Somehow Holi reminds me of my days in college.. The carefree life.. Getting late to class. hanging out in the canteen . Complaining it is the fault of the system . sleeping over at friends place. Smoking on the terrace looking at the full moon . The Arts festival .. the campus....

I rememeber this song by Ali Haider . I used to listen to this song a lot and is somehow most favourite song of college times..

I found the lyrics of the song..

Purani Jeans
Purani jeans aur guitar
Mohalle ki vo chhat
Aur mere yaar
Vo raaton ko jaagna
Subah ghar jaan
Kood ke deewar
Vo cigaretee peena
Gali mein jaake
Wo karna daanton ko
Ghadi ghadi saaf

Pahunchna college hamesha late
Vo kehna sir ka
"Get out from the class!"
Vo bahar jaake hamsha kehna
Yahan ka system
Hi hai kharaab
Vo jaake canteen mein
Table bajaake
Vo gaane gaana
Yaaron ke saath

Bas yaadein
Yaadein reh jaati hain
Kuchh chhoti
Baatein reh jaati hain
Bas yaadein..

Vo papa ka daantna
Vo kehna mummy ka
Chhodein ji aap
Tumhein to bas nazar aata hain
Jahan mein beta
Mera hi kharaab
Vo dil mein sochna
Kar ke kuchh dikha dein
Vo karna planning
Roz nayi yaar

Ladakpan ka vo pehla pyaar
Vo likhna haathon pe
A + R
Vo khidki se jhaankna
Vo likhna letter
Unhein baar baar
Vo dena tofe mein
Sone ki baaliyan
Vo lena doston se
Paise udhaar

Bas yaadein
Yaadein reh jaati hain
Kuchh chhoti
Baatein reh jaati hain
Bas yaadein..

Aisa yaadon ka mausam chala
Bhoolta hi nahin
Dil mera
Kahan meri jeans aur guitar
Mohalle ki vo chhat
Aur mere yaar
Vo raaton ko jaagna
Subah ghar jaan
Kood ke deewar

Purani jeans
Aur guitar..


How true.... Just memories.. remain... just memories...

Listen to this here..

Thursday, March 09, 2006

My experience at ASPEN Dental Elmira

I had to visit Aspen Dental to get one of my tooth pulled out and upon visitng there , They said it would be better to pull out a lowere wisdom tooth too . I agreed I had already prepaid for the procedure becuse they told me they cant make a reservation for me without a payment . !!
Anyway I went ahead and paid 96 $ for two tooth extractions . I have a guardian PPO plan which has 80% coverage and they had given me this estimate based on a prior visit to their offices for which I was already billed. Before leaving the office I checked with them if I owed anything further and I was told I am good

A few weeks after the extraction I got a new bill of 273 $ apparently.They have now added an additional doctor consultation charge for the day of extraction . I was aghast I called thier office and they told me there is some mistake and I explained I had already come in prior to that day for getting the consultation . Anyway i agreed to yeah there was a consultation .
Even after that I asked them to explain my insurance plan benefits to me and then asked him to explain the bill. So after the explanation I was supposed to pay only 45 $ more.Apparently there was some mistake in the Bill I got (No apologies yet ! ) !!!. He asked me to pay the 45 $ now . I have now requested for a corrected bill and I am awaiting the same now before sending in the payment.

Maybe this was a genuine billing mistake on thier part . But after a bit of googling about ASPEN . I found people with similar experiences. So now I am Skeptic

Do leave me your experiences with Medical Billing

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

The new Windows Live

I visited the new windows live site today . .
Frankly I am amazed by the new search . It is still behind on Google in terms of search results but the whole new live experience is awesome .

The birds eye view feature where you can search for a Local place in live and get a birds eye view of the place is awesome . I think this will be a really cool site once it becomes full blown . imagine being able to cruise through streets in Manhattan without ever leaving your PC. Yes the whole thing was there in Google earth before but the level of clarity in live is Breathtaking..

As the search engine takes so much more importance in the new millenium . It will be very ineresting the events that unfurl in this space in this decade.

The Search wars... are heating up

Tuesday, February 21, 2006


Well I had seen some preview shots of Rang De basanti and I thought God Aamir looks so young and I heard somewhere that he lost lot of weight for this movie, My admiration of Aamir for the versatility of the characters that he potrays have been growing.

Then I heard the MIG controversies that the film got into and the Army was given a special screening and I understand they did not have problems with the film except one scene . All this I
attributed to pre release gimmicks that most films now pull to get attention .

So when I heard the movie is playing this week nearby , I was a bit skeptical of going .
What changed by mind was my brother , who recommended this as a must watch movie.

Well I don't want to go into the story , but a short review is in order . The story starts
off about an English Journalist(Patton ) who comes to India with her broken Hindi to shoot a documentary on Indias Young revolutionary War heroes . She is met by her friend Soha Ali Khan . After some tragedies with finding her suitable roles for Azad, Bhagat and the rest she meets Aaamir,Siddharth( remember him from Yuva ) , Atul Kulkarni, Kunal Kapoor . The intial meeting itself paints a good picture of India in it current state. These boys are carefree and do not connect with the ideas of pre-independence revolutionaries.

The narrative that follows interludes two stories one in the past and one in the present and the cinematography is excellent . The Scores by A R Rahman is catchy and is lingering on in my head. The songs are beautifully picturised and so well blended into the movie that I don't remember more than two songs in the movie.. Wherein it actually had 5 .
The song "loose Control " and the title song are especially dear to me . The former because it reminded me of so many good times in the past.

Kudos to Director Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra whose previoous film AKS was a hit and whoever said that was a fluke must be eating his words now .

It might be easy to categorize RDB as a patriotic movie but it does not fit into that bracket. The movie is much more , it is aimed at a social awakening .I hear this often from lot of Indians settled in United states , the bickering about the Infrastructure , the corruption , the lawlessness but when I point out that we are part of the problem , because educated people like us either do not vote,neither done anything constructively to prevent it many do not agree.

It is easier to criticize and point the finger at somebody than to own responsibility and take action . I cant remember a movie in recent times which tries to convey a message and does it so beautifully without any pretences.

The movie itself has two shades . The initial fun rollicking crowd and then a single incident turning the whole tone of the movie and a brilliant real to life ending which is reality in your face.

Bold is what I will call this movie. RDB is the BEST movie I can remember having seen in recent times. A MUST WATCH !!

Let me know your feel once you see the movie . leave me some comments.

Saturday, January 28, 2006

Potluck at Tapan's House

These are the hosts Tapan and Kinjal , Both are the real gujaratis to the core.. and is into stocks... Tapan is a fine cook and loves cooking like me .. :-) . Well Tapan made some mind blowing Pav-bhajii and I have never eaten so much pav bhaji in my life..

This is Vishal , Venu and Swapna's (below ) Son... He is 8 months old...

That is Manish (French beard ) and Venu with Tapan towering over..

That is Dr Aruna explaining UNO to Niranjan

Tapan with his cocktail of the day . Margaritas !!!

Me and Bini , we are playing Teen Patti . boy I lost miserably.. I was doing well unitl the last round when I pitted my color against a Triple.. Boy I am a sore loser. It always gets me worked up .

But then the food was excellent apart from the Pav-bhajis there was mango ice-cream , gulab jamun , Dhokla, Fried rice,chholey,egg puffs and a lot of other stuff... which I cant rememeber the name..

This is Rajesh...This color really looks good on him . He is our Biztalk Admin and a card shark .

This is Rashi and Manish . Rashi won the most of the money , She beat me with the TRIPLE 10 . Boy i could not believe that hand..

Well all in all it was a fun get together.. I guess we will have more before this winter is over..