Sunday, December 5, 2010


As a latest update, have now quite got the hang of rev matching, have switched from Linux finally back to Windows, have been playing the drums (Alesis DM6), work related stuff will always be there on my mind, n watch a lot of TV thru the entire weekend (College Football, NFL and of course Dexter S5).

Speaking of TV, I hardly ever watched any sport as much as this NFL season, even cricket, partly this can be attributed to coworkers/ friends following NFL, College Football and also as in Lansing due to being around MSU where the Big Ten is a religion. Infact I have started following football so much that I tried to watch an EPL (Chelsea/Everton) soccer game a few days back and it just seemed slow and boring in comparison. College Football  is even more interesting since the Spartans had one of their best seasons in 20 years.

This brings me to Dexter, I usually don't follow a series but Dexter is different. I started following Dexter from last year in Lansing due to recommendations from various co-workers and so initially caught up on seasons 1-4 on Dvd's and finally started season 5 on the regular TV schedule. IMO, the best seasons have been in that order seasons 2,4,1,3. Season 5 looks to be shaping up as a classic as well, sortof a combination of seasons 2 and 1.

After moving to DC have hardly ventured out at all except for an occasional NYC trip, rather have had a ton of visitors for sometime now, starting from July 4th, Labor Day, Thanksgiving and prob thru the end of the year as well. Need to get out and connect with STL/KC folks sometime, its been a while since I met the old gang. 

Monday, June 28, 2010


100 posts over a two year period, wow. I need to get back to doing this as soon as I stop thinking about (in that order) work related stuff, the car (downshift rev matching it is now).

Need to practice the rev matching part more, will post on that sometime.

Friday, June 25, 2010

iTunes under Virtualization

I generally do not update my iPhone on a regular basis thru iTunes since there isn’t a native iTunes client on Ubuntu , iTunes even under XP is a generally buggy s/w. Since I did not want to jailbreak my iPhone I ended up running a XP image inside VirtualBox under Hardy. Now this was working fine until recently when the latest iTunes 9.2 update came out. Apple for some reason decided to crash iTunes if virtualization was underway over here. Now this I realized pretty late until after I had made multiple images of my WinXP and after several unsuccessful attempts to get iTunes going on each of these multiple images. I even tried to get Vista to play nice, but the Vista iso itself had issues, so had to call it a day there.

Coming back to the issue at hand, the quick fix for this was to revert back to an older version of iTunes, I mean who really cares about an iTunes update anyway. I use iTunes for transferring music to the iPhone because Apple makes me do so (unless I jailbreak), but that’s all I really do with iTunes. No Podcasts/Video, nothing. But the catch over reverting back to an older iTunes version is that apparently iTunes uses a library file called (you’ll never guess this one !! ) ‘iTunes Library’, now this file gets timestamped with the latest date that it was generated by iTunes and the version of iTunes used to generate it. And this file isn’t exactly backward compatible too, so several attempts to replace the existing lib with the older lib didn’t work either. Finally the easiest fix for this was to simply delete the lib itself and have iTunes regenerate it. Yes, I do lose my playlist info and stuff, but that’s ok, I was booting up from a fresh XP iso anyway.

But all said and done at the end of the day the only reason am still going to stick with the iPhone over Droid phones is since the G37 has a complete iPod interface and I intend to make full use of that without buying another iTouch for the same. I did try to do an update today after several months since I needed a backup of my Contact List after I switch to the iPhone 4.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Ride Review

Originally uploaded by Nikon Babu
The first 1000 miles are done on the car now and I had promised a review to several folks, so here we go.

This car is incredibly fun to drive. I have driven the 335i so lets start with that. Yes, the 335i does carry the tag of 'the ultimate driving machine' but there is still German refinement in there, but not so much in the G37. Simply put the 335i is like an escort service whereas the G37 is just a high class hooker. They both will finally lead to the same result, total ecstasy, but there is a whole lot more fun to be had in the G37 than the 335i. This is the car that can bring out the child in you, who simply wants to have a blast on his day out. The 330 horses in this are more than enough for regular folks on city streets and most ppl will never ever go upto the red line here anyway except on rare occasions. Yes, the 335i does produce more torque(30 lb-ft) but it is a lot more entertaining in the G37 because you need to rev it upto 5200rpm to fetch the 270 lb-ft.

I had a friend (Pam), comment on the looks once as ' A Batmobile lookalike', enough said. Everyone knows that the Batmobile is by far the coolest car anyone can ever have. The number of gizmo's loaded in this is HUGE. Damn, there is also a USB host port in it, so basically anything and everything goes now. A special mention goes for the 4th gear, which will keep pulling from 1500 rpm all the way to 7000 rpm. The sound from the dual exhausts is mind blowing. The gear ratios are perfect higher up, 6th has a sublime 1:1.

There are cars in which you need to think twice when coming up to a traffic light changing from green to yellow about if you press the throttle whether you will clear the light or not but no such doubts over here, the G37 is up there all the time with you during these decisions. A joy for weaving as well thru traffic. If you think that you can get thru sticky situations then this car will do so too. Simply put, when at a traffic light you get into a drag race then pretend your inferiority and encourage your adversary.

Curvy mountain roads are where this thing comes into its own. The power is savage, speed is exhilarating and handling on a knife's edge, so you really need to be awake to push this car and when you do the rewards are there too.

Once another friend (Rama) gets back to Pittsburgh I will be taking this on the Pennsylvania TurnPike thru the Appalachian Mountains. I also have started using the WMATA bus service to get to work and back and taking the car out now on weekends when I can really enjoy the drive :)

On long drives I intend to take the D90 with me now everytime to get some panorama's from the east coast.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

You know you own a G37 when...

This has been lifted off of various forums, automag sections, comments etc.

You know you own a G37 when...

1. You still don't see another one the road, and the one you do see makes you go wow!!
2. When one of the things you hate most about your car is something as trivial as not having a tire pressure display in the TPMS.
3. you see a 2008 G35 sedan on the road and you wanna race them 
4. When u drive by people and they're trying to catch up to see what kind of car just flew by them.
5. When you play along when some dumb kid says... wow is that the one that has 400hp.
6. When you get nervous turning a corner too fast and think you might spin out because the car has too  much power.
7. When you drive by a Cayman and realize your car looks better, is faster and is way cheaper to own.
8. When you get your monthly car payment.
9.When you have stock brakes that are bigger than most guys aftermarket ones, same goes for the intake manifold, catback exhausts too.
10. When you get stares from young bucks to old fogies b/c they don't know if its a LEXUS or some new car
11. You get no girls hitting on you b/c they think you are too poor to buy a bmw
12.When every parking space feels like you're just way too close to the other cars in the lot.
13. When you get pissed because someone thought an Altima coupe they saw in the in a parking lot was your car!
14. When you wanna quit your job, but won't do it cuz you can't afford to see it GO.
15. When you're excited to drive to work!
16. and when you look forward to lunch cuz you cant wait to drive to the furthest place away from work.
17. you know you're a G37 owner when your talking on the hands free phone system through your car and the person on the other line can hear your exhaust.
18. You know you're driving a G when the other guy who clearly arrived at the 4way stop before you waves at you to go first so he can watch you drive by
19. When you prefer to turn down the stereo and roll down the window just so you can hear the engine purr~~ (or roar like a lion in an underground parking lot!!!)
20. You have an extra 7-8K in the bank because you didn't get the 335i
21. You can't wait till after break-in to feel what this thing can really do!
22. When you're eating milk n cereal three times a day to make your monthly payments even though you decided not to get the 335i because you wanted to save money, but you still ended up blowing the money saved on gas, parking because you can't stop driving it and you only park your car in a parking structure 5 miles away from civilization.
23. When you blow the doors off an Audi TT because some young punk thinks his car is faster than yours.
24. When you scratch your car and it feels like you just skinned yourself alive
25. Folks do a double-take at your car: 1st take to admire the car, and the 2nd take to wonder how the hell that guy (or girl!) can afford this car!
26. when guys in vettes and vipers tell you u have a wicked hot car
27. When haters insist on calling it a NISSAN, and then drive off in a Honda!

Sunday, May 2, 2010


I bought a new car, a 2010 Infiniti G37 Journey Coupe. Enough said. Will post in detail after the break-in period of 1k miles.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Swim Shwing

Since the past couple of weeks, I have been leaving work at 5.30pm to go swimming till 7.30(the time the pool closes) and so haven’t explored DC as much as I would like to yet. Get exhausted by the time I get back (5k/day swim is no joke man). If I get good enough at swimming longer distances maybe then next year will take part in a swim marathon.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Drive to DC

Recently relocated to Washington DC. I decided to drive there instead of flying as I had done previously.(LA -> Lansing) Since I was more comfortable now with long/boring drives than I was initially.

I decided to leave around noon on Friday, halt at Rama's at Pittsburgh (my apologies to Ramya here) and then drive onto DC the next day(Saturday). I had recently also got my car serviced and decided to give this a shot. So I loaded my car with as much stuff could fit into it and took off.

Michigan,Ohio for the most part is just boring old flat land, the Ohio Turnpike especially was extremely boring, since speed limits are heavily enforced in Ohio and also since I have an old car and had decided to keep it around 2500 rpms. Thus the initial part of the trip was extremely boring (I had a good playlist ready thankfully).Once I hit Pennsylvania though things started to look up. Mountains and long curves were the norm. However since this was nightfall so couldn't enjoy it as much as I had hoped to.

By the time I reached Rama's I was exhausted. The next morning after a good night's sleep and a cup of South Indian Coffee I set out to DC. This time it was amazing though for the drive thru the mountains. Perfect weather, early morning(lesser traffic) had made it the perfect time. Pennsylvania to Maryland was much shorter, more gorgeous drive. Tunnels especially reminded me of the Mumbai - Pune expressway.

I got into DC around noon finally. There is some stuff (PS3, Guitar etc.) that I have left over at Pittsburgh and so will be going back there again in a few weeks to pick those up. The next time around I plan to halt a while to get some snaps of some awesome landscapes.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Rock Band


Recently got the Rock Band 2 SP Bundle. This includes a wireless guitar, wireless drumset, USB Mic and the game disc itself.

I was very apprehensive about getting RB because I had tried it earlier (in Boston) and since can actually play a real guitar the plastic one from RB just feeled very disorienting. However RB has another ace up its sleeve and thats the drums.(Am not much of a singer)

The Drums are awesome once you get the hang of it. In fact once you get real good at it there also additions like a cymbal expansion kit which can be connected. (Yes, I know that I probably sound like a drummer/geek combo by now)

Also the Rock Band music store helps since they have a HUGE selection of tracks, thus more add-on content. (Drumming gets especially difficult on the Metal tracks when the double bass kicks in). I generally do not mind paying for RB music tracks since I have pretty much ripped all my music so far from a million sources(poor student days) and so its only fair that I pay for this when I earn now.

There is another feature that most people are missing when they try RB. This isn't about how good you are on each of these 'instruments' , its about getting together, having fun and hitting the right notes. (Just like DDR isn't about how to dance but rather about hitting the right notes) Another thing that a lot of folks are missing is that RB is just another way of experiencing some good music (only this time its much more interactive). This makes RB all the more popular for kids who are starting out to explore the amount of music available out there and not just listen to Britney, Christina but rather go onto Deep Purple, Beatles, Rolling Stones. (Too bad Floyd, Zeppelin haven't released any of their stuff yet)

For now lets get back to drumming some more and hopefully get the cymbal expansion kit sometime.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Wants v.s. Needs

A new/almost new car is something I have been planning for a while. This post is exactly about that(i.e. the Planning, not the Purchase).

As of now I drive a 2000 Mercury Cougar, its served me very well since I bought it in '08. It does everything I want and more, comfortable seating (for me), more than enough cargo space, a great stereo, the V6 ensures that am the first guy off at the traffic lights (when I feel like it) and its also perfect for my favorite activity while driving (weaving). But lately I was thinking of getting another car, infact I have been thinking about this since several months now.

Now obviously since am a driving enthusiast (NOTE. the keyword is driving enthusiast and NOT car enthusiast) my first choice was a BMW. I did ride shotgun in the new 3 series sport once from Chicago to Lansing too but for some reason it felt cramped up, but of course a lovely experience nonetheless. I decided then and there that I wanted to go bigger and started looking at SUV's/Crossovers.

It started by looking into the Honda CRV, Ford Edge, Mazda CX7 and my favorite (so far) the Nissan Murano. The argument against this though is that if am going to buy a new car and keep it for several years now then I might as well go in for the higher end models. And so looked further  towards the Audi Q7, Infiniti FX, Lexus RX350 and the BMW X5(The Volvo XC60 and the Mercedes GLK350 just appeared extremely 'boxy'). Needless to say the X5 won this round hands down.

Lets get back to my situation now, as of now being a single guy I don't really need an SUV, I mean there are only so many occasions for which that am really going to need all that cargo room, seating, AWD etc. But that doesn't stop me from still wanting one. So I decided for the time being to not purchase anything at all (since I don't need it) and have now started looking towards the Porsche Cayenne.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Tragic Relief

How many have heard the " We are sorry but we are going to have to let you go". (Basically in a nutshell, you are fired). Also how many bosses have heard "I do not want to do this anymore, I quit" from their employees.

I can say that I have done each of both. Yes, I have heard the phrase, we are sorry but we are gonna have to let you go,(Toyota, Sircon) and I have also delivered the phrase, I quit (to my research Prof at UMR, I was getting paid here for RA NOT TA, and NO I did not quit because I had something better in hand, I quit because I just didn't want to do it anymore, infact afterwards I washed dishes and did the cafeteria thing for a while, but I did sleep very well though)
It isn't easy to do either though, $$$ are still essential. But each time, each of these disparate incidents happened it has been like a wakeup call. A wakeup call to salvage whatever is left and move forward. I am a consultant, I know that I get paid more because I am dispensable, I can get fired very easily without any explanations either because if the client isn't satisfied with my services I can be let go without any complications. No hard feelings. Just good business. Then again it isn't the worst thing to happen since there will always be some other client. Yes, it may entail moving bag and baggage to a totally new place but this is me we are talking about over here, for those who know me best know that making new friends, adjusting to a new place isn't the hardest thing for me to do. (I moved thru 4 states in 2008, MO, TX, CA, MI, I would know)

The reason I can do this right now is because I am not married (settled) yet. Am sure of course that over the natural course of time this will need some adjustments and will eventually settle down to a question of a comfortable life vs. more money. But for now its a question about how much can I cram into the limited amount of time that I have. (Before I get married) This can be interpreted in different ways as how much $$ can I make before the wife spends it all, how many places can I see before I get bogged down with baggage, the best car/techy goodies that I want etc etc.

I am still very much interested in 'fishing' (Can't elaborate much, my folks read this space too). But leaving everything aside if someone asks me today (01/12/2010) as to whether I want a FT versus consulting, I think I'll take the latter option. I probably may not have said this though when I got out of grad school.

Btw after reading this far it shouldn't come as a surprise that I typed this up after watching Jason Reitman's Up in the Air. Gold Stuff.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Elementary my dear Watson

Recently saw the Sherlock Holmes movie with RDJ in the lead role. Like Johnny Depp even Robert Downey Jr. has managed to get into the A list pretty late in his acting career. Loved him in Ironman, he wears the role of Tony Stark like he was meant for it. But this post is not about that its about Holmes.

I have read the entire collection from Arthur Conan Doyle very early on, almost like 12 years back in 1998. I went back and reread some of the stuff again and its still just as golden as it was before. Now Holmes is set in Victorian London, much before the on set of the WW's and just after the 1857 mutiny. Crime was much more difficult to detect back then unlike now due to advances in forensic science (CSI). This makes him seem all the more heroic due to his eccentricities but ultimately its just a primitive form of forensic science.

However even today he would do very well. A lot of cases that Holmes gets aren't really deemed national security or worth some extremely large sum of monies (exceptions being the Red headed league, Hound of the Baskervilles, Sign of Four, the Naval treaty among some of them.) Thus there are still those outlier studies which most agencies wouldn't fret over like infidelity, recovering objects of certain sentimental value/societal value, revenge(Valley of Fear, Devil's Foot, Speckled Band, Copper Beeches, Study in Scarlet) etc. These are still cases which are present very much in society and would serve very well to highlight Holmes' powers.

Sooner or later we'll end up with Holmes' being set in the 21st century, now that would be interesting to see when Lestrade, McDonald, Gregson and co. have all failed even with the best of forensics at their disposal. Maybe something like Sacred Games would be where Holmes' prowess would shine. Guess we'll just have to wait and see if Hollywood or even Bollywood for that matter come up with something now.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Blitzkrieg Bop

2009 has been very definitive. Most of life has been about work. More and more work. Also watched a ton of movies and played more video games in a year than I ever did before. Visited India and Canada too. Had some amazing outdoor trips during the summer/fall, Colorado (Rollaites), Mackinac Island (MSU Crowd), Niagara Falls(MSU Crowd) and Grand Rapids (Myself).Of course Chicago was there twice as well and once to LA. Parents visited me and later I saw them again as well.
Drove A LOT. 4 Hrs drive to Mackinac Island then an 8 mile bike ride around the island and then 2 more hours drive further up north to waterfalls and finally the 6 hr drive back to my apt. All in 1 day.

A lot of me has changed this year. Become extremely pragmatic and value oriented. I have my work manager to thank for this. If there was a single person to whom I would attribute to having the greatest influence on me this year it would be him. Also I kind of got into a senior level position at work since I got assigned to train another guy.

Have my fingers in multiple pies right now as far as interests go. Life is just not boring. Work and Office are priorities over pretty much everything else. Followed up by Photography, Cooking, Guitar, Gaming, Driving, Traveling all in no particular order.

As the Ramones go

Hey ho, let's go
Hey ho, let's go

They're forming in a straight line
They're going through a tight wind
The kids are losing their minds
The Blitzkrieg Bop