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:: Tuesday, February 26, 2002 ::

Ego surfing and my site stats

Site statistics reports are some thing really intereseting. They can be as addicting as the blog itself. Summary of my site stat summary. :-)

  • The highest pageviews in a day is 39. Not sure how much of that is mine. ;-) I don't have to say about the least, it is zero! :-)
  • It is surprising. Some people came to my site browsing in Solaris and Mac machines. Maximum number of visitors were using Win98(48%). Luckily, I don't use Win98 but Win2K(30%). So I am glad to know I don't make up a big part of the site stat report! :-)
  • IE5.01 is the most used browser. I use Netscape and IE5.00 which added together rank 3rd
  • Reference from fellow bloggers brings in around 20% traffic. Google is 7%. 60% of people reach directly.
  • No surprises here. Number of visitors on Saturday and Sunday is much less than other days. ;-))

  • The tricke from Google has only begun recently. Most common keywords:

    • game packman(most frequent)
    • artificial flower shows
    • old pcman game download
    • pictures of varsha bhosle(Ain't got any)
    • kemmannugundi

    The worst thing is that any one trying to reach my archives thru Google will not make it there! I changed my archiving from weekly to monthly and the URLs also have changed. Then, I tried some ego surfing on Google. Other search engines simply refused to recognise me. But who cares when you are there in Google. Search for multiple combinations of my name put me in the first 3 pages. Naturally, I was listed first when I tried full name. But it is worth noticing that there were 2500 entries in all. ;-))

:: Monday, February 25, 2002 ::
Joy at Work!

Clarifications first: I did not say Joy of Work.

I sit next to a glass wall. And beyond the wall, stretching close to it is a jackfruit tree, now full of fat bubbles of jackfruit hanging from its stem. The jackfruit tree has some visitors coming in and going everyday and some of them probably even live there. I presume the glasses ensure that the visitors don't get to see us working in the building, but we can see them.

Today morning, first it was that beautiful white pigeon that lives in our building(I think) that decided to relax on the tree for some time. As we watched it play around for some time and fly off, soon followed a band of monkeys! One of them pulled out a big jackfruit and started its lunch right away. It took its own time to finish part of the fruit, and when done, decided to drop the remaining down. What came next were a pair of pigeons, which did some walking around in the tree and then took their way. Then there was some peace around the tree. After some time it was a squirrel who was looking around for some thing to eat. He looked around a big jackfruit but finally found some edibles that matched his size. With a full stomach, he decided to take take a sunbath, sitting on the top of the jackfruit, posing like a Maharaja. A little later when another pal arrived, they decided to do some acrobatics around the tree and give us some entertainment. The stream of visitors in the morning ended by that.

Squirrels arrive on the tree almost regularly, but the other visitors are a bit rare. Sometimes there are even crows that bang right into the glass wall and threaten to break down the glasses. With the arrival of fruits on the tree, there are more visitors and they come back more often. And we have more fun.

:: Saturday, February 23, 2002 ::
To Chuck Jones, with Meow

I still recall having seen one of the very old, first videos of Tom and Jerry, a few months back on cartoon network. There was nothing great attached to it's tail. It was grossly unimpressive, dull, just another carton show. Very unlike the famous Tom and Jerry pair that we now see, The one great lively pair, vibrant and hilarious Tom and Jerry that never fail to make me laugh. It was Chuck Jones, in the in the 60s who changed the whole thing. Since his entry, TJ became one great show.

It was the remodellingof the TJ pair by Chuck Jones that probably brought the first light of fame and glory to the cartoon. The TJ with Jones' magic touch never ceases to amuse me, no matter how many times I see that or that I am no longer a kid, though Hanna and Barbara made it much better in later days. I probably realize the importance of his contribution to TJ because I have seen how bad it was before he stepped in. Jones went on to work on more well known characters such as Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck. He also created the Road Runner and Coyote.

Chuck Jones is no more. He died yesterday of heart failure.

As I write this, I recall, it was only last Friday that I had bought a brand new set of 10 Tom and Jerry VCDs, and playing it, with people surrounding my PC, watching it, laughing out loud and having great fun! And I recall the evenings spent watching the Coyote chasing the road runner and trying to imitate the 'pee peenk' sound of the road runner while it has it's last laugh. The creator of those wonderful moments is no more, but his creations are bound to stay, giving us those pleasures for more years..

I thought all Americans are invariably insane. Here's someone who is not.

:: Tuesday, February 19, 2002 ::

I came across these line while reading Joseph Heller's novel Catch-22 yesterday:

"Major Major had been born to late and too mediocre. Some men are born mediocre, some men achieve mediocrity, and some men have medicrity thrust upon them. With Major Major it had been all three. Even among men lacking all distinction he inevitably stood out as a man lacking more distinction than all the rest, and people who met him were always impressed by how unimpressive he was."

For the first time, I am impressed by mediocrity!

:: Monday, February 18, 2002 ::

It has been a question that is eating my head for some time. Rather, long time. Why do I go to work every morning without fail? Why do I do lot other things that I do not really fancy? Why do I sometimes live for others? Why don't I just go ahead and decide: hey, this is what I want to be doing in my life. Why not shed all that I have been todate and start living the way I want.

Like always, this introspection reinitiates the conflict between the realities and dreams. I speak to myself in consolation- this is how we have to live and go along with the world. You will have to wait for an opportunity to come your way and grab it when you set on it. And don't jump into a deep pool and loose whatever solid ground you have. Yes, I need to work everyday to earn my dough. I have to do my part to retain whatever position I have in my soceity. I have to be answerable to everyone who cares for me. And then meet my contractual obligations in life of my workspace.

But what about my dreams? What about my ambitions, to be free, to find my dream companion, to go round the world, to explore the unknown and live for just that? I feel like breaking away. It is a spaghetti of thoughts that never see light. But I strive. I bring it up to me again. The only option seems to be living with the world and take the beaten path, make compromises. After all, I need capital. Whether to survice, to associate, to reach the top of the Himalayas or to explore the Amazonia, to discover the secrets of the nature or to fly away in the sky; it can only be achieved by being a part of the world. There seem to be no choice. But My heart says there is. It tells me to run, break free. But my mind to holds me. It barricades my spirit. I am trying to break the barrier. One day....
....I will succeed. One day.

Calvin Again

Today's Calvin and Hobbes is the best I have come across so far. Don't miss it!

:: Saturday, February 16, 2002 ::

So it had to happen one day or the other. Yesterday night blogger was down for some time. Said '500 Server too busy'. Looks like there is more blogging happening than Pyra can manage.

Cut and paste of comment on my post about Indian blogger list:

See: http://www.kamat.com/vikas/blog.php?date=09/29/01

-Feb 15 2002, 12:22 am

Why do I prefer to read more of Indian blogs than else?

They should merge all Unix developers and Microsoft into a team. So that people can do only that work they are good at. We will have great looks. And the looks would not deceive.

:: Wednesday, February 13, 2002 ::
Ogden Nash

Ogden Nash's poems are cool, nice, funny and innovative. Here is one of many of his poems that I like.

The Ant
The ant has made himself illustrious
Through constant industry industrious.
So what?
Would you be calm and placid
If you were full of formic acid?

A big collection of his poems is here.
Thanks Deepa(lesser mortal, ain't got a blog) for enlightening.

:: Tuesday, February 12, 2002 ::

Has any one compiled a list of bloggers from India and posted on the web?

Zen and the Art of trying to understand it

While going thru my email archives, I found this email on my 'understanding of Zen' that I had written to a friend:

I had been reading some stuff on Zen and Buddhism in Japan and China. Had not known much about it earlier but found it interesting. I was always a great fan and advocate of Buddha but never really new much about him. And though Zen really does not reflect a lot of original Buddhist preachings, I found Zen more interesting by their stories et al than being some thing that leads to enlightment or so. And after much struggle, this is all that I could realize from Zen:

1. Zen condemns absoluteness in any context.
2. Emptiness is what it is all about. When you are enlightened, you realize emptiness and think beyond tha absolute.
3. Of course, (2) in some way means renunciation.
4. Confusing as it is, Zen seems to be an art of confusion: Getting confused and getting others to get confused.
5. Despite (4), enlightened people are happy(the word is incorrect and absurd :-)). This could very well be because they indeed found true enlightenment or that they have plunged into confusion.
6. Strangely enough, enlightenment is binary. You have it or you don't. This, I suppose is some thing that evolved because of the history of Buddha himself. The Zen masters typically struggle for enlightenment for years without going any where, but at some point, they suddenly get it in an instance.
7. These instances in (6) can be induced at some cases. And Zen masters do this induction. If you read Zen stories, this will be realized instantly.
For example, often, the pupil are asked to find the 'sound of one hand' knowing that the sound of two hands is a clap.
8. I did not find the Zen preachings to be any precises following of Buddha's own ideals. I have never heard of any Zen Guru talking about 'Desire is the root cause of tears'. They would rather say desire is illusory. Emptyness is reality' :-)

All these above could be my 'half knowledges'!! And Zen, I feel happend to be a great tool to practice divinity(or whatever is the right word) and peace of mind because

1. It always preached meditation. That was one of the primary activities of a monk
2. It provided a much necessary 'great escape'. Into their temples and mountains...
3. Zen preaches detachment.

Have you seen the movie 'Matrix'? It kinda reflects the fundamentals of Zen pretty well.
After this, I always was puzzled by one thing. Why did Buddha preach his understanding to the world? Why was he not just by himself? Was he attached to the world and wanted world's welfare? Or is it just goodwill that had no attachments? He is one person I admire most. But however close he was to perfection, I wonder if he had reached it?

And some thing that makes me feel more admired about him are that he did not preach about god but he preached people how be. He was the not the one who created Buddhism. It was people around him. Of all religions in the world, Buddhism would be one that is least likely to get a 'cult' like status.

:: Monday, February 11, 2002 ::

More about privacy woes. Biggies like Wal-Mart, P&G, Gillette have joined with MIT and Sun Microsystems towards putting a wireless detection device to every damn thing that we buy, including things like groceries or razor blades. The big brother(s) indeed seems to be planning to watch us day in and day out!

The blog tentacles are spreading! Welcome aboard Prabu! You are now in this vicious whirlpool, there is no returning back!

This ambitious guy has started 3 blogs!!

Dream run

I dream, to break away from shackles
and fly away free
beyond the blue skies
to the world of joy and glee

:: Saturday, February 09, 2002 ::

I tried to view my blog on Netscape6.1 today. I was surprised by what I saw! The rendering was way better than IE. The page looked much much better than what IE(5.5) seemed to render. A major plus was that the ad bar from geocities(that you may be seeing on the right side) was pushed to the bottom of the page, so there was no hassle of having to close that.

I hate to be using IE for browsing but I have to admit that is the best of the options available now. But I am clear about not upgrading to IE6 simply because they longer support plugins and Java.

Looks like YACCS has a limit for number of words you can write in the comment box. Prabu wrote a comment on the post 'How not to hate?' that was more than 1000 words(!) and he could not post it. :-( Finally he put down the comments in his blog.

:: Friday, February 08, 2002 ::

Yesterday, Ashok wrote a lot about voting and not voting. I wonder if the number of voters in the on-line community would increase drastiacally if voting also goes on-line! Let's wait and watch for digital signatures to become common place first.

:: Thursday, February 07, 2002 ::
How not to hate?

I have always wondered. But never found a solution.

It almost always begins with differences. Initially I try to face it by putting up the differences, discussing them and trying to arrive at a consensus. Yes, I always do this, hoping that things don't get worse. I want to be in good terms, I don't want to hate anyone. What happens when there is no consensus? I analyse once again to see if I am doing something wrong. My ego says, no way, I am doing everything perfect. How can I do anything wrong at all? It is as clear as daylight that I am right. But I try again. I don't see anything wrong with me. .....This time it is no question of consensus. I will try to convince the other person about the wrong doings. Noo, it is not working. I still give peace a chance. This time, I just wait. I'll try to please the person, without making much compromises with myself, though. No good. It is still not working. Things are as usual. It looks like a change is not in sight in near future or even distant future. What do I do now? I can no longer bear it. Godddd!!! Please do something, things are getting bad. I have started hating this person. But I hate to hate someone. I hate hatred. I don't like it that way al all. You see, conflicts are no good for me either... I want things to run smooth, but there is only so much I can do. :-(

What if I was wrong? Time to think again. If I were really wrong and my mind scores over my ego, things have to take a new course. May be I should go ahead, say sorry and admit my wrong doing? Hmm, if my ego agrees with that, perfect! Things are back to normal quickly and everyone is happy. But my ego doesn't agree all the time. Then silently turn the tables into an agreement, and things are back to normal again, but a bit coldness remains, which will be washed away with time. But at the end, there is a broad smiley. And things are running smmoooth. :-)

What do I do in the former case? I don't know! I wish I did. I hope I find out.

:: Wednesday, February 06, 2002 ::
msn messenger bug

There was some noise on the web today about a bug in msn messenger that allows any websites to look up your contact list. Complete detail is here. I guess this site was giving a demo of the bug. I could not see the demo as the site was down the whole day(I suspect microsoft may have something to do with this), but anyway that was no major threat, as long as it's not your credit card number or password or something like that involved. But then, look what mircosoft has got to say: they openly claim it is a feature! And they are blaming that some 'malicious' sites are mis-using it!! This statement was posted on their support status page today morning, they have removed it now!

What they say is some thing like - 'It is a wonderful feature that allows msn or microsoft to get user information without user's consent, but if any other site makes use of this, let's call them malicious!'. Scott Adams would love this. Incidences of companies mis-using their softwares to break privacy of users seems to be increasing every day. Read about Audiogalaxy's satellite being used as a spyware. Thanks to Ashok for the link.

Talking about irresponsible calims of software companies, it reminds me of the famous Sklyarov case where Adobe filed a case against this Russian programmer for having found a security hole in Adobe's software! Then, Adobe had to face the wrath of programming community and eventually dropped the case.

:: Tuesday, February 05, 2002 ::

While reading Anita Bora's post on 'Life before TV', I recollected my earlier struggles with TV. There were times when I used to think, I have had enough with this stupid box, let me do something else. Then I would always find some solace with reading books, radio and talking to people over the phone. It would always succeed for some time, but eventually, TV would take over again and I used to end up as looser. :-(

I am starting it again! Yesterday I cut down my TV time by around 70% and started reading Catch-22. I am hoping that my Worldspace receiver will do a good job in keeping me away from TV, like it did before. Wish me luck. :-)

Radio Mid-Day

Yesterday I found that Radio Mid-day has stopped broadcasting on the worldspace network. It seems it has been some time they are out but I realized it only yesterday. I felt bad, that was one of my favorite channels. I hope they decide to come back some time.

:: Monday, February 04, 2002 ::

For a change today I received a forwarded joke that was good and readworthy. Did not find any copyright message attached to it. :-) So I can dare to post it here.

Vajpayee and Bush are sitting in a bar.A guy walks in
and asks the barman, "Isn't that Bush and Vajpayee?"
The barman says "Yep, thats them."

So the guy walks over and says,"Hello, what are u guys doing?"
And Bush says, "We're planning world war 3"
And the guy says, "Really? What's going to happen?"

And Vajpayee says, "Well, we're going to kill 14 million Pakistanis
and one bicycle repairman."

And the guy exclaimed, "A bicycle repairman?!!!"
So Vajpayee turns to Bush and says,

" See, I told you no-one would worry about the 14 million Pakistanis!"

I have succumbed to lure of automation with ease. I subscribed to yaccs today. This is my first post after that. Let me see if it works fine.

:: Friday, February 01, 2002 ::

I happened to be discussing with Shivananda(links to homepage, not blog) about an eternal question - 'What is happiness?'. The question is probably one of the most asked and most of the answers given are all valid. Here are some set of answers Shivananda came out with. He picked up the definitions from I don't know where.

  • Happiness is being in perfect harmony with ourselves.
  • Happiness is feeling good about ourselves.
  • Happiness is feeling a sense of satisfaction when you can help someone.
  • Happiness is being in love with our inner self.
  • But above all, happiness is when we forget ourselves doing what we enjoy the most!

If you have a definition of yours, post it here. And here is the definition that I like the most. Can't recall where I read it first - 'Happiness is the sense of feeling when you are contempt with the current state of being and not wanting to go anywhere from here'. What would I do when I ever feel that transendental feeling of complete happiness? I would just sit back wherever I am, elated, not knowing what to do.... It is difficult to say with words....

In a different thread, I recalled this famous statement with which, Tolstoy's novel 'Anna Karenina' begins. All happy families resemble one another; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way

Update(4th Feb): There was an ugly typo!! Above, in my definition of happiness, 'contempt' was to be written as 'content'. That was a bad one. Thanks to 'ahem' for pointing it out.

Nidhi posted her definition of happiness: 'Happiness is doing what you like!'. I liked it, simple but very true.

Bangalorean, Love travelling and photography
email:  arunchs at yahoo dot com 




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