Friday, March 31, 2006

Google Reader Snippets

Don't ask me why I am writing in orange. Today is Friday and I feel like escaping from the suffocating grayish, sober tones of the workweek and be "springy"..:)

I decided to try out Google Reader after a long while. I've been playing with various feed readers. It's been a sort of a favourite vetti hobby for me. Don't ask me what my fascination is with feed readers! Its like this: I like to have all my news neatly organized, arranged and ready for me to browse with my morning coffee. So I go to great pains to research a feed reader, set up my feeds and go to bed with a satisfied sigh.

I wake up in the morning and think, " To hell with feed readers" and descend into my usual chaotic browsing pattern. And that is basically: "Read whatever catches your eye." Didn't mean to bore you with a lecture on my browsing patterns.

I tried Google Reader a while back and found it confusing, contrary to all popular opinions. It was too chaotic for me with no folders, no option to mark feeds read etc... But recently, after dealing with some complex software, I figured this was easier. And I checked out the "Share" option on my Google Reader. So on the right side of this page, you'll see a box with a bunch of items that I found interesting to read and "Starred" it. Being the optimist that I am, I am going to think that I will keep updating this..:)

Thursday, March 30, 2006

UK is constructing a huge parking complex at the corner of Press Avenue and Virginia Avenue. Entry into Press Avenue off Virginia is blocked. That costs me another 8 minutes in terms of diversion because South Limestone is so crowded and to even take a right turn, I have to wait at least 3-4 minutes (yeah, I timed it!). But that's not the point. The other way to enter Press is via Leader avenue. There's a T-junction with a stop sign where leader hits Press Avenue. You can either go right or left. This is probably one of the worst turns ever. You've got cars parked on Press Avenue by the curb that block your vision. It is virtually impossible for you to see if there's any car coming from the left. If its night, you can tell by the headlights. If its day and you've got music turned on in your car, you really are not going to have a clue where you're going! That's not the end of it. Leader avenue has also got parking on the street. Parking stops a few feet away from the stop sign. Common sense. But the past 2-3 weeks, some idiot has been parking right upto and at the stop sign making it a cramped, one-lane road with blind corners on either side. I noticed a week back, a cop was meticulously making out a ticket to a car parked there. And then for a couple of days, the illegal parking stopped. Now, someone's started it again. I truly wish that, whoever this person is, he/she get slapped a fine that they won't forget for the rest of their life! It is causing danger to the lives of motorists.

There have already been two accidents at that exact corner. Now, this parking situation just worsened it and I shudder at the thought of what's going to happen when the parking structure opens up to the public.Hopefully, someone is going to do something about that turning. Either prohibit parking on the street (which I don't think is possible given the parking problem at the U of Ky) or make sure that there's a three way stop or something!

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

The Fat Lady Sings...

So what's with the fat lady and her singing? Why is it such a stylish phrase used by password mongers and wannabe secret societies? What does it mean? Read here.

Monday, March 27, 2006


"Listening is an art. When people are speaking it requires that they have our undivided attention. We focus on them; we listen very carefully. We listen to the spoken words and the unspoken messages." - Frances Hesselbein, The Art of Listening

Just when I was thinking that nothing could inspire me to write anymore, I ran across this article- The Art of Listening- on the web. I was googling for Peter F. Drucker (been reading "Managing Oneself" by Drucker).

Listening is an art alright. We, humans, wear many masks. We mean one thing but we say something else in the hope that the other person understands (If you're a guy and you have a woman in your life, you'll know what I mean!:)). The kicker is in the tone and body language; Not the actual words. This is the reason it is hard to make computers fathom human conversation. There's just too many overtones, too many fine distinctions and too many idiosyncrasies.

Listening, if done right, is one of the most exhausting things one can ever do. Listening to a long technical/business discussion at a workplace can be strenuous. But then, mostly we can draw a line and say, "Hey, I am not going to let this affect me beyond this point!". You have the option of distancing yourself. "Human interest stories", on the other hand, don't let you do this. You start putting yourself in the other person's shoes, you imagine what'd have happened if you were in such a mess, what you'd feel,do etc...and at some point, you start feeling the other person's happiness/agony/anger/sadness/enthusiasm! Your emotions take over rapidly because you're actually listening. This is especially true with friends and loved ones.

I don't know if I am a good listener or not. But many-a-time, I've been influenced by the mood of the people I've been talking to. With the web, feeds, phone, tv, radio etc..., one is just flooded with information. I think that the trick is to listen to the right people at the right time for the right things.

Friday, March 17, 2006

I haven't been posting frequently. I have figured out that there's a direct relation between my reading and writing. The more diverse the topics I read about, the more ideas I have to write about. Of late, it has been a dry run. I haven't picked up a book and devoted time to it in the past two months. The last book I read was "Udaiyar" by Balakumaran when I was in India. I really do yearn for the feeling where I can just lose myself in the yarn spun by the lines of a good book! Ahhh! But then, there's also this little something called concentration that has to oblige..:)
I have put aside Jane Austen's "Emma" for my next read. After reading too many contemporary, practical essays/books, I yearn for a bit of old-world-charm and romance! Perhaps, the direct result of watching "Pride and Prejudice" last weekend...:)
I was standing in queue at a bank when this quote flashed on a display screen:
"A man in love is incomplete until he marries. Then he's finished"- Zsa Zsa Gabor
Brought a smile on my face..:)
As if there wasn't enough controversy over abortion, now we have this. I confess I'd never even imagined such a point of view! So this article made me raise my brows. Male readers, what's you take on this? Just curious.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

You can tell me anything", a gentle voice prompts me.
"But I am so lost! I HATE EVERYTHING.How can I tell you anything clearly? " I replied impetuously, tears streaming down my face.
My friend took my hands in his, smiled and said,
"It doesn't have to be clear. I am your conscience...I KNOW."

All that was more than 9 years back in the hallways of Burnaby North Higher Secondary School, Vancouver when I was a 15-year old suddenly shocked into a world I didn't belong in. Well, this morning, I sorely missed that "conscience"..:) When you need something the most, it ain't there..:) And you're left wondering......


Let's say I decide to give up chocolates. Due to some weird destiny, let's say that the next week I run into a cache of irresistible Belgian chocolates. Did fate send the chocolates my way because I decided to give it up? :) Is it some kind of weird temptation test? Of course, this applies to not just chocolates but almost anything. When you've made up your mind that you don't want something, it just stares you right in the face...:) And you're left wondering....