Happy New Year !


Random thoughts on 2008

Just a meangerie of thoughts on the year that was. 

Bikes / Touring

My rides have gone down :( . Ridden only 2 overnight kind of rides this year. One to Guaghar and another to Dandeli with BN. BN now has grown to more than 800 people, and was featured on Yahoo group blog as well as bagging a most interesting group title at the Yahoo Moderators meet in Mumbai. 

BN calendar for the year getting delayed :( . Since all activities are volunteer activities, it all depends on the amount of time people have. This year, we ran short of time.

Yamaha made a huge impact in the market with the launch of the R15 and the ZF16 bikes. Both have amazing build quality and look great too! 

No new bikes in the highly anticipated 250cc sector. :'( . Bajaj was going to bring the Kawasaki Ninja 250, but with the worsening Economic scenario, those plans may never see the light of the day. 

Gaming

On the gaming front , Crysis is probably the only FPS that i finished in less than a week. Amazing graphics ( well, my 8800GT helps ;) ), and a gripping storyline. Getting my cousin to leave the comp so i can play was the bottleneck ;)

My world of warcraft character reached level 80, taking only a month after the release of the WoTLK expansion. Levelling has become easy in WoW , and the new quest storylines are quite involved. For the indian players out there, you can either join Deathwing (FTH) or Frostmourne (FTA). At 80 usually one starts to raid - the most amazing experience of the game. But with work and home activities taking up most of my time, I doubt I will be raiding. Which may finally mean bye bye to WoW. I also created a google group  wow-india , to find out if there are more nut-cases like me, and I was not disappointed.

Mass Effect looks to be like KoTOR saga. I have just played a bit - and it is nice. Not overly gripping. 

The game which was the most different one i have ever played has to be Patapon on the psp. Just the concept is amazing. You need to take your army of 'eyes' and make them attack, defend etc based on drum beats. I don't know who was goofing off so much, but it sure was a good goof! 

Politics

Obama became the first black president of the USA. It took them a lot of years to elect a black and they still haven't got a woman as president. Looks like the glass ceiling is still there. I don't mind , as long as the leadership is effective (which it wasnt in the last few years). 

In indian pre-elections, people voted mostly for politicians who had been performing. Shela Dixit in Delhi for example - she got another term. People were complaing that people are still voting for the same party, but having seen the changes in Delhi in the last few years, I am with the verdict. Best roads in India, a good mass trasport system with the metro, to just name a few of the achievements under her rule. 

Terror

The most graphic attack on India - at the Taj and Oberoi in Mumbai. It shook everyone up because , instead of being the usual bomb them and pick up the pieces, it was a long drawn out fight. It also showed that the police is quite ineffective , and the politicians will try to point the fingers anywhere. VilasRao was removed after public anger. Now the new minister is keen to keep out of sight. 

War clouds gathered for a brief hours, but nothing has happened. Pak is good at political rhetoric.

Movies 
Some good movies this year  : Quantum of Solace, Rock On! , The Dark Knight
Some forgetable movies this year : transporter 3

Gadgets

Apple launched the iPhone in india. Costing 31k for the 8GB model, it is just outside the reach of most people. The device has amazing responsiveness - better than any other phone I have seen. 
Google launched the first Android based phone. Waiting for this to become available in India. 

Work

Not much to write about my work. Somehow another year goes by. 
Economic situation crashed drastically. From the sensex being at 21k in Jan , down to 9k now. Major ripples due to the economic meltdown in the US. Hiring freezes almost everywhere. Which means that if you float your resume now, there is a slim chance of getting jobs, and the jobs that are tere , the big bosses squeeze you for the compensation given to you. 

What else ? Do you have a vivid recollection of any event which I don't ? 

Office ho to Aisa !


Just going through my bloglist, and i see an update by Joel from FrogCreek, about their new office space. Man, I am simply blown away.

What kind of thinker are you ?



Your Thinking is Concrete and Random



You are naturally inquisitive and curious.

You're excited by new ideas, and you are a true independent thinker.

You are interested in what is possible. You like the process of discovery.

You are often experimenting, challenging old ideas, and inventing new concepts.

Rules, restrictions, and limit don't really work for you.

You have to do things your own way, and you can't be bothered to explain yourself.

LvL 80 in world of warcraft


My main character in world of warcraft reached lvl 80 today. This has so far been my fastest lvling. Probably it helped as I was already 70 and i was running with the wave ( though a bit behind due to office schedules) and also that the quests were very interesting.

Next on, to get to naxx raid.

check out the screenshots in my World of Warcraft blog.

Happy Holidays !

This year, in office we have a year end break. Woowee ! unfortunately, it does not extend to the year end but only for the week of Christmas. Oh well. Whatever ! 

Happy Holidays ! 

A photo shoot

Life changes as you go along. One moment you are the hothead creaming other bikers on the curves, the next moment you are labelled 'too slow' ! Hey ! Amazing how life changes. Gotta take that in your stride or else you start getting all broody about where you messed up , etc. etc. etc. 

Work has been pretty hectic all through last year. Not much time for rides. A 3 day weekend window, i thought screw the work. I am going to relax. So the first call was for a meet for the BNers in Pune to just chit-chat over coffee. 



BN guys at CCD @ Aundh

That was where Nandu chipped in with an invite to take a few pics of 'Rash's Boys' over at lavasa on Sunday morning. Sure , I said, If I can get up :D

The plan was to meet at 8:30am at Chandni Chowk, which we did. Me, Nandu and Chinmay ended up there, and decided to push on before the RSA guys as I knew I was going to be slower than them. So, off we went. 

Took the left turn just after Manas resort. The view was hazy. I thought to myself, how nice it would be if it was clear. Will make for some really nice pics, but the pollution was spoiling it. 

Reached the base of Mutha Ghats and crested it - and presto !  Chinmay was no where in sight, and the air cleared up like magic. The Ghats act like a natural barrier to the pollution from Pune and surrounding areas. The Roads were great, but I went slow :)

Reached Lavasa, or rather stopped at the phatak. Nandu said we were to go back a bit for the photo shoot. So we turned back and met Chinmay. It seems he had stopped at the top of Mutha ghat... while we just swept on by. 

As we were getting in positions and I was taking tips from Nandu, the RSA folks arrived. 

Here's what nandu said to do for pan shots. 
- keep aperture at f16. Uh ! my camera does not allow more than f8. 
- keep shutter at 1/40 . ok. tried with that and f8. got a white screen . damn. a bit of trying on the locals going up and down and 1/100 was what worked out fine for me. 
- keep pics in burst mode. Ok dokey. The first try got me nothing... the bikes were going off the screen ! So, switched to single photo mode. 

and that what I tried all through out. The results as below :


Speed

I need moar muzik !

I have a lot of junk songs. I am looking at getting some great songs. So, folks, what are your suggestions.

Things like aqua, madonna, micael jackson, eminem , I do not like

I like Linkin Park, Rammstein, Doors, Scorpions. As well as instrumentals ( think James Last and not Yanni), world music ( Enya, etc).

You get the general idea. Gimme your suggestions of the albums/songs you like.. i need to get some great music over the weekend :)

Pics from a peace march on 3rd Dec at Gateway of India

Outrage against the politicians over the recent attack. I don't want to forward the emails I am getting, so I just uploaded it here.

At the end of it , I am not sure if all the demonstrations will help. Its just going to simmer down and die out.