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:: Thursday, September 27, 2007 ::

Ways to tackle mice at Work

I was baffled and amused and choked when I had to witness security personnel called to deal with an intruder in the form of a mere mouse. And then I wondered how else would they deal with a mouse in other workplaces.

At the Whitehouse: The CIA would be called to work on who released the mouse into White House. In the meanwhile, the news has somehow leaked to the press. Al Gore's camp is already saying that mice are invading places where they were never seen earlier, all due to Global Warming. But the Bush camp and CIA believe Osama has a hand in it. While both parties continue to occupy most of the time slots in tv shows and a nation of clueless fools tries to wonder whom to believe, US Army has already invaded Nigeria and taken over all the oil wells. No one knows how Nigeria came into picture. Haliburton has taken up contracts on dealing with all those wells, thanks to the mouse. In the meanwhile everyone has forgotten about the mouse which is still having a free run in the kitchen!

At a factory in China, busy exporting cheap goods: It is fairly obvious. There is a big commotion. Everyone runs behind the mouse. After all, it is he who catches the mouse gets to have it for dinner.

Parliament House, New Delhi: Someone catches the mouse and throws it at the arena of opposition parties. A fight breaks out immediately and no one cares for the speaker who starts shouting first, and then begs for mercy! The parliament is adjourned for the day while the mouse continues to stay inside.

McKinsey, KPMG, or any other consulting company: They run a research and study, including a market survey to find indicators on how the mouse entered. Past data on mouse intrusion is collected and a trend chart is made to check the likelihood of mouse's occurrences in future. They are still clueless. When they realize that mice are not their core competency, they hire another consulting company and pay big time money to get their advice. A lot of presentations are made and plenty of money changes hands. Lot of people become rich and finally the findings will indicate that the mice in office are harmless and no action needs to be taken.

Deutsche Bank, Citi, or any other big bank: Presence of mouse is treated seriously and taken as a security breach. Processes are reviewed and 10,000 page document is created to ensure mice do not enter office. At the end of the whole exercise, they still find mice in the office, which provokes them to hire KPMG to work on the problem. Go to previous point to know what happens finally.

LN Mittal's Office: Pays 10 billion dollars to buy the mouse, and in the process pays another billion dollar to the consulting firm that negotiated the deal and yet another billion to the investment bankers who worked on the deal. End of the day, everyone is happy except the grumbling mouse.

Bill Gate's Office: Decorates the mouse nicely and sells it for a thousand dollars. The mouse gets sick often, and he charges another 10,000 dollars to fix it each time. As he laughs his way to the bank, the folks at Sun Microsystems who tried to sell a healthy mouse without decorations and failed, keep grumbling about Gates' unhealthy business practices.

Vidhanasoudha, Bangalore: A yawning Devegowda calls a press conference and sleepily tells the waiting press that the mouse will not be transferred to BJP. Kumaraswamy calls a press conference next day and says he will keep his word and transfer the mouse to BJP. Meanwhile, press has a free run as each JDS member gives a different statement. Whatever they do, the mouse remains in Vidhanasoudha.

All India Congress Committee office: They are too scared to decide how to act on it, because any decision can make a section to pick a fight. They leave the decision to Soniaji instead. Sonia appoints Rahul as mouse manager for AICC. Rahul goes on an overseas trip with Congress money to have some fun while the folks at AICC office silently keep up with the mouse.

What would happen at your workplace?

:: Wednesday, September 26, 2007 ::

A Guest @ Work..

Was at a training room today morning at work. We must be around 20-25 people and were half-way through the training. If you don't understand what half-way through the training means - people were just beginning to shift to sleepy mode. And then an intruder appeared out of nowhere. It was a tiny mouse that had lost his co-ordinates and was gripped with fear!

The next part of the story is slightly predictable. The girls in the room screamed and there was sudden burst of activity in the room - a quick transformation from the sleepy mood! The mouse would have found a corner to hide and it would all be fine, but some one got a brainwave and called the security personnel! I am not sure since when did the security staff's job extend to flushing out tiny four legged intruders! Obviously neither were they trained to it and nor were they equipped.

Someone did arrive and he had a totally confused look on his face. Poor chap, I am sure he never thought he would have to face such situations in his job! But luck was in his favor - a few seconds after he opened the door and came in, the troubled mouse found it's way out of the ruckus from the still open door and relieved every one of the further trouble.


:: Monday, September 24, 2007 ::

India wins the Twenty 20 World Cup

Nobody predicted it isn't it? Well, that's when it is all the more fun. I wasn't meant to watch the match as something else kept me from it; but managed to make it for the last four overs of the match. I think those were the overs that were really really worth the entire game. Few little things of interest at the end of the match.

- As soon as the last ball was caught by Sreesanth, ESPN did not throw in a hurricane of ads as they normally would, but continued the relay. Bless them.
- Did you notice? Joginder Sharma's last ball was a lousy one. If Misbah just stood his ground, the ball was an ideal candidate for another sixer. It was a showdown between two stupid guys; at the end the stupider of the two lost out! :D
- Ravi Shastri kept saying again and again that Misbah's brain is working like a computer. Finally every computer meets its virus! :D
- Dhoni seems to be a really cool dude. As much as he is known to keep his cool in difficult moments, he did not really go bananas after the win.
- Harbhajan seemed to be the most delighted of the whole lot
- Did you see Dhoni instructing team members to go around the ground soon after the match was over? A few of them took off, and Dhoni himself stayed back!
- And when they started running, they were empty handed. Then they cleverly picked up some flags from the spectators
- Did you see those two ladies brining in the cup? Someone had carefully designed awful looking dresses for them. And they wore such perfect artificial smile, it would make the most seasoned air hostess to go into hiding!

The presentation ceremony is on as I am writing this. Am looking for more things interesting to update.. :)

- Pathan's tensions have no end. He was struggling and stuttering with words as he received man of the match award.
- Afridi says - "Winning and loosing doesn't really matter". Well Afridi, we understand :)
- Dhoni said it straight and clear - "No one expected us to win". You guys did it man!

:: Thursday, September 20, 2007 ::

SeventyMM and the ordeal of ordering

One fine day, I woke up and decided that I need to watch more movies from now on. In a few hours, I had subscribed to seventymm and was on a roll. You see, I am a very decisive person who can act real fast! And as soon as I enrolled, the fun started.

Folks at seventymm seem to believe that if they stay silent, they may have to let go a customer. So I was immediately bombarded with communications from them. First shock - there were four emails on my mail box.

Email 1: Welcome to seventymm, blah, blah and more blah..
Email 2: Thank you for registering to seventymm, etc, etc.. Yes, if I remember correctly (1) and (2) were different emails.
Email 3: Thanks for the payment..
Email 4: Here is the faq, these are the features we have, these are the things you do, so on and on and on and on..

And it looks like they were not sure if people read there emails. Within 5 minutes of registration, some one called me up and thanked me for the subscription and gave me some instructions. He said they can deliver me a movie on the same day and asked me to add a few movies in my queue, just in case the specific ones I wanted weren't available.

Done. Waited for the movie that never came on the same day. It turns out they are really low on inventory. I had entered 8 movies in my queue and they did not have any of them!

Ok. But they were not to leave me for myself. Two days later I get a call from an unknown number. Its the seventymm folks! And they "re-remembered" me! The lady who called said, "sir, this is a welcome call sir.. thank you for subscribing to seventymm saar.. you can do this and this and you should do this and this saar.. thank you saar.." and banged the phone down. Never even bothered to explain why my movies weren't delivered to me as they had mentioned earlier.

The best part was yet to come. You would never guess anyone would do this to you. Another day later, they were still not sure if I love them enough. I received a courier from them, and it turned out to be a hardcopy of the faq on their website. Admit you could never have guessed this, did ya?

After 2 more days, they finally had some of the movies I wanted. Thank god, at least the wait was not eternal! But the delivery process added more fun.

Someone called me on Tuesday and said - "shall I deliver the movie saar..?"

I was unwell and at home that day.

Me: Okay.. bring it to my home address. Not to office address.

Caller: Which area saar?

I could not believe that he can't look up my home address in the system. Anyway I told him. He said "okay saar.. I will bring it" and hung up. I waited for my movies to come to me that day. They never did.

Next day, I am at office. I get the call again; now he is now trying to deliver it home while I am at work. "Saar, I am near your house.. can you give me landmark and directions?" I gave him, told him that I am not at home and asked him to leave it with the neighbours.

So I presumed I will finally have the DVDs in the evening. I was wrong. They had not come! Another day passes, and I am at work and the phone rings. "seventymm sir.. shall I bring the movies?" Now I was ready for their call; I nearly expected them to call every day, at least once. I love the way they love their customers! I said, "ok, get it to office," but never hoped it will come. Late afternoon and I get another call with familiar greeting -

"seventymm sir..!"

But this time the news was better. "Sir I am waiting outside the gate."

I thought wow, and finally received the movie from my loving caller! That was yesterday. I am hoping I won't have any calls from them today.

The story was not finished though. As I was entering back into my office with DVDs in hand, the dutiful security folks stopped me. STPI premises, no unauthorized magnetic media inside the office, etc, etc. Darn! Why did not these seventymm guys give me the movies in a cover or something! So I had to surrender it at the gates and could only pick it up when I was leaving office for the day!

What an ordeal, I think I am drained enough that I have no energy left for watching the movie now!


A New Way to Give Directions

Big time rains paralysed Bangalore last week, with traffic jams all over the city. The word 'paralysed' has already lost the emphasis it is supposed to create due to overuse. But until we come up with a better word, let's hang on to what we have. I would not be too keen to admit on lack of creativity anyway.

Not to digress from the main topic, it suddenly flashed to me that we can have a whole new way to give directions when someone asks how to reach a place. For example, here is a great way to tell someone how to drive from Banashankari to ITPL - a road I frequently commute on.

"Start from Banashankari towards Ragigudda and enjoy the smooth flow of traffic in the first few minutes. Enter Jayadeva Hosiptal flyover and join the line of vehicles already piled on the top of the flyover. And just wait there! If you move forward in less than 15 minutes, you are probably at the wrong place. Crawl along with rest of the traffic to reach 16th main junction and again - just wait there! After waiting till you get totatlly frustrated, jump the signal with the help of your neighbouring cab driver(Now, this is something I really don't do and recommend, but that's how it usually happens) and somehow continue to crawl further. In case you see yourself in a breezy fast moving lane, you have missed your way, so look around for the longest traffic jam around and join back in the tail!

You somehow managed to drive through SilkBoard. Now let out all the frustrations you have had on your accelerator; but just stay away from the cabs, okay? Continue the smooth ride till you reach the big long pile of cars at Sarjapur Junction. And of course, next thing to do is wait! After clearing the junction, look for the immediate traffic jam near Bellandur and gleefully join the long queue. Clear this again, vent out your ire on the accelarator(remember - I told you to stay away from cabs) till you reach another set of traffic jams at Marathahalli. Go right up the flyover and join the traffic jam. And once you come down the flyover, get into the next traffic jam at Kundalahalli. Your next landmark(!) will be the traffic jam at Graphite. Just when you are thinking you had enough for the day, all the gates open up from here and give you a free run all the way to ITPL."

That's it! The trick is very simple. Just spot the next jam and join the gang, and you will automatically reach your destination!

I am sure it applies to most of the roads in city. Try it the next time someone asks you for directions!


:: Monday, September 17, 2007 ::

The loot at the bro's

Been to bro's place a couple of days back and came back with an awesome loot. A little bit of burrowing and I got a small treasure to carry home with me - a cool book and five classic movies that I had not seen!

- The latest Harry Potter(Deathly Hollows)
- Dead Man Walking
- Casablanca
- Amistad
- Doctor Zivago
- As Good as it gets

The loot is really as good as it gets! Thanks bro!

Small Changes @ Surplus Musings

Now that I can surely say that Surplus Musings has returned to life after a long period of inactivity, it is time to start making more changes. For one, I got rid of the old commenting system - Yaccs and replaced it with blogger comments. But many thanks to the nice guys at yaccs for selflessly supporting commenting for such a long time. I thought of expressing my gratitude with a small donation as I moved on, only to find that they no longer accept.. Now commenting interface is much better but I have to agree to forgo all the comments that were ever made on surplus musings earlier.

A few more changes will follow soon. I need to update my blogroll which is completely outdated. A few minor changes may also happen in the look and feel of the blog, but I have a feeling that is unlikely.

:: Saturday, September 15, 2007 ::

For a Good Friend..

She was relocating. She already lived 1000 miles away but was moving another 10,000 miles further. I called her on the day she was about to leave.

Me: Hey, so you leaving tonite..

She: Yes, the flight is at xyz hour..

Me: Great, you have a great time wherever you live, etc, etc..

She: Thanks, you too have a good time.. blah.. blah..

Me: You know you are going to be missed.

Now, that had given her the opportunity to burst and spatter all her ire that was lying dormant till now and waiting to come out. She nearly screamed -

She: Ya? When you went to Spiti Valley you did not even tell me. We were planning a Ladakh trip for such a long time and you said you are going to be busy and all that and then you folks suddenly left without even leaving a word.. after you guys come back I get to hear the news.. you did not even tell.. you did not even call.. $%&^$@*&%^....

Now I was not looking forward to this one. I had not seen it coming.

Me: Jeez.. you would have come? But I presumed you were busy with relocation plan, GRE and all that.. you had been telling that you hardly have time in your hands, and been running all over the place.. gawd.. so sorry.. you know it would have been so nice to have you around.. mumble.. mumble..

She: Ya.. you tell me all this now.. I so wanted to go there.. and you did not even say a word.. ^&*#^$(#@^^...

Me: Oops.. umm.. *searching for words* ok, my mistake.. Now, say some sweet sweet words before you go; don't be so harsh, be nice and goody goody.. :)

She: hmmm.. alrite then. So be it..

And that nearly ended our conversation with a few more customary exchanges of parting friends.

'A' was one of the best travel companions I have ever had and could ever ask for. She knew the right ways to travel, ways to make closed doors open, and be her natural self even in unfavorable times. There are few people who would acknowledge my thoughts exactly as they were and when she spoke, I often thought - "this is exactly what was in my mind". 'A', you will be missed, and those beautiful journeys with you will be remembered.

:: Wednesday, September 12, 2007 ::

Funny Blogs..

Have been checking out funny blogs on the web in the last few days. There aren't many people out there. May be when god creates people, humour is not on the top of his mind.

Silverine. Just the way I like humour to be. Not too strong, not too light. She must check word count for her posts though; sometime they get really long. Too much funny can cause stomach ache.

Ouchmytoe. Funny indeed. But this guy has got some problems. He has marketed his blog heavily as a funny blog, and now under pressure to keep up. So when his creative juices are low, still tries to cook something up; and easily lands up with some soft porn in the process. Nevertheless, good read.

Pri. Funny and cruel. Cruel to people around her and funny to the rest. Checkout her blog, but don't get too close or you might be victimized!

Bikerdude. Funny, and very creative at it. Have a look, but you may have to be a big time linguist to understand some of his posts. Not updated frequently.

Ramki's cartoons are funny though his blog is meant to be more serious.

My blog hunt for funny people will continue. Watch this space for more updates.

:: Monday, September 10, 2007 ::


A surprise invitation from guys from an old gang saw me heading to play paintball last weekend. Funny how things turn out, only sometime back I was thinking of exploring it and as if someone figured it, plans fell in place!

Checkout the link to know what paintball is all about. If you are too lazy to click(I know you will be!), here is a quick brief. Its a shooting game with semi-automatic toy guns. For bullets, you use colorful balls with liquid inside it. When you are hit, the ball bursts and the liquid splashes all over your body declaring you out!

Our instructor showed us how to shoot and seeing the way the paintball jetted out, people gasped. "ouch.. it can hurt". It does, but not badly. Nine of us, we split into two groups with ours being smaller - four people. World has to be unfair to me isn't it? :D But we played 3 games in as many hours and we won all that, killing our enemies in no time.. Okay, thats not the truth.. We lost two of those games but we still won one game despite being a smaller team ok? My best moment was when I and an enemy were hiding the in the same bunker - opposite ends. I threw wisdom and caution into air and boldly got up and shot bang into his face before he knew what happened! hahaha... D But in the previous game, those folks - three of them had attacked me from three different and had shot me like Sallu shooting the poor black bucks.. :P

After three games we headed to bushy wilderness outside the arena and started shooting everyone all over the place. I had a spat of guns with S and at the end of a burst, it turned out I had not shot her even once properly! It was like in the bond movies, one party gets shot by a revolver but the bond happily escapes truck loads of machine guns aiming at him! darn!

We were tired at the end of the game and rested for a while, and on the way, our guide showed us a guava orchard in their campus with nice ripe fruits. After we walked past the orchard, there were no ripe fruits in the trees he he!! :D

It was a fun game, except that one of the close shots I took still pains slightly.. :)

:: Tuesday, September 04, 2007 ::

Septermber 2007 Desktop Calendar Wallpaper

This month's calendar is the beautiful Chandratal Lake in Lahaul and Spiti region, Himachal Pradesh. Click on the image to get 1024x768 version.

Septermber 2007 Desktop Calendar Wallpaper


:: Sunday, September 02, 2007 ::

My Room..

When Mouna wrote about the mess that her room has been, I asked her to post a photo. But mine was no better, and it seemed worth a picture. Disclaimer: It is not always like this, but now matter how it is, it always gets to being like this some day!

My Room

1. I had wired something a few months ago for some temporary purpose. The purpose is past now but the wires remain.
2. The hotspot - right now seem to be carrying too many things - my guitar, small backpack, many clothes, unicef 2008 calendars box, camera, lens, a few books and many more things that are yet to be discovered and listed! Where to I sleep then? Good question! :D But it is empty below the cot - mind you - it is chaotic but not dirty. At least the floor sees some cleaning every day.
3. The curtain is alright, but has a few things invisible. 2-3 data cables to connect to me to the world, a hub.. The poster you see to the left of the curtain is intended to reflect the chaos of my room. It is not visible well in the pic; it says 'this is my room' and has a cartoon of a room similar to mine!
4. The computer table - has a small unorganized pile of books and CDs, Flash card reader to the right of it. There is an equal amount of chaos in the rack below too..

Like with most people, nothing gets lost in this room and anything I need will be always found in no time. On the days when it is all organized, I never seem to find things..


:: Saturday, September 01, 2007 ::

Picture in 2008 UNICEF Calendar

A courier guy banged the door early in the morning and handed me a huge package, which seemed to be from overseas. I did not remember ordering anything recently and wondered what it would be, and checked for the sender. It was from UNICEF, and I was delighted to see it. It has 2008 calendars with one of my photographs in it.

See the larger sized image here.


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




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