Friday, March 31, 2006

Word for the day

Go figure out what MESOTHELIOMA means.

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Thursday, March 30, 2006

What makes India tick?

Check out this video clip.. Very interesting..

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At my uninspired best

There are moments in your life when everything seems to drag and there is no sense of timing or momentum. Looks like I am going through such a phase now, especially this afternoon. Had a lousy lunch (may be that has something to do with how I am feeling now). Been totally switched off from work since then. Tried doing a few simple tasks at work and it feels like I have literally moved mountains. Checked out a few songs and that just put me to sleep. I guess I need a moment of inspiration or a broad kick up my backside to get things going. Its raining now and just making life more miserable. Maybe, I should just wind up and go home.

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Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Good deed

This afternoon, there was a blood donation camp organised by the local mosque in Cardiff along with Welsh health service. My work colleague coaxed me to come along to donate blood. I was a little reluctant to do it as it meant I had to walk 15 minutes to Cardiff university student union as thats were the camp was organised. Eventually, I made up mind and turned up. Initially, there were some forms to fill. Once that was done, nurses went through the forms and just repeated the same questions orally to make sure we really understood the questions in the form.. hmm.. Once this formality was completed, we were asked to lie down on the cot (refer to the picture). The nurse got ready to stick a needle, which looked like a needle used for cattle, in my left arm. Trust me, it was really huge. It hurt a little but after that, it was ok. They were collecting around a pint of blood which took about 10 minutes. Then we were asked to relax a little bit to recover from the terrible ordeal we been through and were also provided with some complimentary snacks and drinks (now you know why I turned up).

The very thought that the blood I donated could help save someone's life made the entire process very memorable. We also found some time to take group pictures. Most of the people (present in the picture) volunteered to help out the staff at the blood donation camp and spent the entire day there assisting them. A marvellous gesture from their side. I really feel that I will be a more willing participant in future blood donation camps (now that I know for sure that they do serve nice refreshments).

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Saturday, March 25, 2006

Silence..

In the attitude of silence the soul finds the path in a clearer light, and what is elusive and deceptive resolves itself into crystal clearness. Our life is a long and arduous quest after Truth.

Mahatma Gandhi (1869 - 1948)

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Friday, March 24, 2006

My new hobby

I have taken up a new hobby and its very addictive. Its called "tracking people visiting your blogs". Yes, you heard me right. I have signed up with a site called 'statcounter.com' who provide you with a javascript which you add to your blog and thats it. Its so simple. Now, all I do is keep pressing the refresh button every few minutes to check if I have had any new vistors for my blog and website. Its also interesting to note how people land up on my site. I have had people from Fiji checking out my blog. Wonderful, aint it? Some people do take the time to read the awesome crap I dish out and others (quite smartly) switch over to next blog. One day, I am going to track those smart asses and get even with them.

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What do I say?

I do wish that I had the courage to write on more topics including religion, politics and sex. I feel that it would make for more interesting reading. Also, it may lead to the possibility of me offending other people. I am sure there are enough weirdos out there who got enough problems on their hands to salivate on without me adding to theirs and they coming after me. Anonymity would be a boon in such circumstances but given my mini-celebrity status (who??? me???), I have to tread the safe and politically correct path (yeah right) . Also, I wouldn't want to give my parents (who happen to read this blog once a year) more ammunition to come after me.. :)

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Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Battle continues...

Well, looks like I celebrated too soon after the installation of websphere integration developer application yesterday. This morning, at work, I tried starting the process server and waited for a few minutes which eventually became 10 minutes. The IDE kept saying that its trying to start the server. The funny part was, the server was actually running and I was able to access the server through a browser but my damn IDE wasnt registering that and as a result, I couldnt do any work from within the IDE. I tried applying a few patches and updates but to no avail. I guess I will be doing the same tomorrow and probably the day after as well.

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Fight against spam

Its getting exasperating. Every morning, I open my inbox in the hope of seeing atleast a few emails from family and friends. I do find a couple of new mails only to realise that they are SPAM. Its especially bad with hotmail. Looks like their anti spam software isn't upto the task and is kind enough to let all junk mails get through. With gmail, its much better. Till now, I havent had a single spam mail in my inbox. They have been re-directed to my spam mail folder and makes it easy for me to just delete it without having to take the trouble of reading all the nonsense that these spam mails are filled with. This post is not a propaganda thingy for gmail but just stating the obvious. Any disagreements?????

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Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Nature at its best

This is a colour photograph but gives the feel of looking at a black and white image. This was shot in Interlaken during our trip to Switzerland. The entire city was covered in snow and it looked like a magical place.

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Battle with Websphere

Well, its been hard work installing websphere process test environment on my desktop at work. For one reason or another, the installation kept failing and we were trying to guess what could be going wrong. After four days of trial and error, the installation completed successfully and we heaved a sigh of relief.

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Saturday, March 18, 2006

The 'Inside Man' experience

I watched the movie 'Inside Man' starring Denzel washington, Jodie Foster and Clive Owen. It was a really good thriller with exceptional acting from all the cast members. But one aspect of the movie took the cake as far as I am concerned. As the movie started, you could hear the tune of chaiyya chaiyya (dil se) being played and then sukhwinder belting out the number. I wondered if I had walked into the wrong screen as normally they dont play hindi movie trailers for english movies. Then the introductory credits appeared and saw Clive Owen on the screen. The same happened for the ending credits as well. Looks like Spike Lee (director) is a closet fan of Rahman. That kinda set up the movie for me and it just got better and better. Make sure you dont miss the title credits while watching this movie.

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Friday, March 17, 2006

Website designing

Finally, its ready. I have been working on my staff website for the last 2 weeks. Majority of the time was spent on designing the site and there isnt much content there yet but slowly and surely, I will be filling it up. I am not very good at designing and had to take the assistance of macromedia. Used one of the templates that comes with it and just tweaked the design a little bit and that feels like a major accomplishment. Do please check it out when you get a chance and any comments would be welcome. Here is the link

Here is a snapshot of my website..

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Thursday, March 16, 2006

What do I do?

Well, I am a research associate working on a healthcare related project with Cardiff University. Some of the applications we use for the project include IBM portal, process servers, Websphere (rational software architect) and IBM DB2 for database. We are also looking into HL7 messaging for the project and that's one of my responsibilities. I am responsible for database design and also take part in portal development work. This brief bio is for people (if there are any out there) who keep wondering what I really do at work.

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Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Videos shot in Switzerland

Some videos shot during our stay in Switzerland. Enjoy it.. Right click on the screens and select play option..

This video was shot in engelberg close to the train station while waiting for our train






This video was shot in a train on the way to Geneva



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Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Illegal immigrants

During our recent trip to Switzerland, we ventured into France without a valid visa. We were in Geneva and the receptionist at the hotel mentioned that we could take a bus to the area bordering with France and if we are lucky, we can just cross into France and spend some time there. We took up on this and as mentioned, strolled into France with no French border control official stopping us. Infact, there were none. Well, we had no intention of staying back in France as all we wanted to do was do some sightseeing but its easy to imagine how immigrants can enter a country illegally with the least amount of hassle. The funny part was, while returning, the swiss officials stopped us to check our documents and we had no trouble getting back into Switzerland. If we really wanted, we could have ventured all the way to Paris but didnt want to push our luck too far. It made for a very interesting experience and we too were illegal immigrants for a short while.

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Monday, March 06, 2006

Lost in translation

Recently visited a small town in france and came across this notice on a path leading to a house. Had no idea as to what it meant. Any one kind enough to translate this message for me? Thanks in advance.

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