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