Friday, January 17, 2014

The Geek in the Family

      If the picture above looks complicated and is too many wires for you to deal with, get ready to be schooled by our family geek on electrical wiring! I am talking about  D! 

We recently moved to our home and we have been busy setting up the house to our tastes.  D is a technology aficionado and loves a sprinkle of technology in all aspects of everyday life. D regularly follows trendy gadgets and happened to stumble on the nest.  Wondering what the nest is? The nest is a wi-fi thermostat that keeps the home cool during summer and warm during winter.  It can learn our behavior and save energy by controlling air conditioning in the house. Imagine returning home from vacation in peak winter and waiting an hour for the heater to turn the freezer into a warm home. At this point, it is time to veer back to the story - D bade adieu to our old thermostat and decided to replace it with the nest.

I figured D would ask me but boy, did I not see it coming! D figured out all the circuitry including deciphering the color coding to the right heating, cooling, shutdown, and power off wires. Followed by a quick labeling on the wires, D installed the new nest. The neat picture below shows the install quality along with the current temperature of the house. yeah, D schooled me! All hail D!  


Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Cooking: Art or an acquired skill?

The river flows again after a long time. Not that it was empty of water but rather the lack of a trigger. Rather than muse about the trigger, lets engage in the topic of the day. Do natural cooks really exist or are they purely a figment of my imagination? I have been blessed to live amongst great cooks in my life. Even better, I have had the privilege of eating great food from such cooks everyday! Most of these people have not had the sometimes overrated formal education or been to cooking competitions that showcase their talents, yet they seem to cook well. Which brings me to the question - Is cooking an art or an acquired skill?

I have seen some of these people cook on a day to day basis and the observation process makes me wonder. When I cook, I strictly follow my mom's recipe or more recently, my wife's directions. If some ingredient should be added in two teaspoons, I follow the law to the dot. While I still think I am ingenious, i like to be safe and cook known good recipes. On the other hand, my mom, my friend, or more recently, my pretty lady cook with abandon. All measurements fly out of the window and they add ingredients as they feel the dish needs. It is scary to see that they seem to throw an unknown amount of spices or salt (yeah, I am an engineer who likes to know the exact measurements). When it is time to eat food, each and every dish tastes great! Their minds apparently work the recipe on the fly. While cooking, their hands sing the tune of their minds.

If you see it once or twice, you think it is a fluke. But if you have been seeing this everyday for 20 years with your mom, 2 years with your friend, or for the last 6 months with da wife, it makes you wonder! Is cooking natural to some people and totally a skill to others?

Monday, May 19, 2008

Howard Roark or Peter Keating?

Sounds like a great question; although the novel suggests otherwise. For people who havent read "The FountainHead" , I recommend that you read it. Howard Roark is the quintessential man who is "as man should be" while Peter Keating is the supposed "the man who couldn't be, and doesn't know it". Roark is ideal; he falls to the edge of wretchedness before regenerating from the ashes - ideology is his life. Keating is pragmatic, wants to be liked, and is a victim of his own desires.
He embodies the result of a soulless man devoted to altruistic means. Rather Intriguing!

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Business and the Godfather

surreal but nice - is it? or AOL and the french kiss girl?

KATHLEEN: My business is in trouble. My mother would have something wise to say.

JOE: I'm a brilliant businessman. It's what I do best. What's your business?

KATHLEEN: No specifics, remember?

JOE: Minus specifics, it's hard to help. Except to say, go to the mattresses.


JOE: It's from The Godfather. It means you have to go to war.

KATHLEEN: The Godfather? What is it with men and The Godfather?

JOE: The Godfather is the I Ching. The Godfather is the sum of all wisdom. The Godfather is the answer to any question. What should I pack for my summer vacation? "Leave the gun, take the cannoli." What day of the week is it? "Maunday, Tuesday, Thursday, Wednesday." And the answer to your question is "Go to the mattresses."

You're at war. "It's not personal, it's business. It's not personal it's business." Recite that to yourself every time you feel you're losing your nerve. I know you worry about being brave, this is your chance. Fight. Fight to the death.

Monday, February 11, 2008


I never did talk to him a lot. I never felt the need to. We were fundamentally different people. He respected the system and strictly adhered to its rules. I believed that the system was a byproduct of people and was always likely to have cracks. I was joyed to identify those cracks. He was a man of principles set by our timeless ancestors while I believed in what I thought were principles. His unnerving trust in the system surprised me, baffled me too at times. Yet, I never realized I had so much respect for him as a child. The respect only grew as I my exposure to the system increased. To have never appreciated the man I revered for such a long time only makes it worse. He is not with us anymore after his tryst with destiny, as the system calls it. After a little more than two years since I last spoke to him, his fire for appreciating things for what they were still burns inside me. I can only hope that one day, I will probably see life as vividly and clearly as he did.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

The Evolution of the iPod: Apple squeezing its competitors

As Gump called it, the "fruit" company has ushered in yet a new generation of the uber-cool and the uber-profitable iPod. From a consumer standpoint, Apple seems to be releasing a newer version every year and it looks just out of the world. From a purely technical standpoint, Apple seems to be reducing the design time for a new generation which requires a significant level of planning and thus, a greater number of resources from it competitors. This keeps Apple far ahead of its competitors given they still havent closed in on the "cool" of the fruit brand.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

A Relaxing Vacation in San Diego

Just a fast update. A bunch of our undergrad friends decided to visit San Diego and also meet up with Mahesh for a relaxing vacation by the beach and it was a Blast! Kayaking, Sailing, Swimming, Boogie boarding, Football, Tabletennis - all in all, it was a great trip to sync up with long time mates. I will get back with details and photos.