Free Ticket?

Recently we started using IRCTC's online booking services to book for our train journeys. Despite the oddball service issues where you end up gnawing your nails fearing that your transaction didn't go through (but the money did!), it's been very reliable. Tickets usually delivered by the next day or a max of 2 days from the time of booking. They do charge you about 60 bucks delivery fees, but what's that when you think of the time and effort (not to mention fuel costs) consumed to get to your local Southern Railways booking office.

I'm probably the luckiest one alive, to have been one among mee-lions of other lucky (suckers?) ones. If you're one of the lucky ones, you're hopefully less puzzled than I am.
I would appreciate it, if somebody enlightened me as to what in the name of all that is clean and pure and good in Free Ticket Land this is supposed to mean.

Got this email a couple of days ago, and I despite my wondrous intellectual feats (which include... ah, well, there was this, ah, um, I don't recall, I've done so many things...) I have yet to crack this nut. What was the intent? How foolish do they think we are?

Am I a w(h)inner? Am I going to win(e)? Do I stand a chance to win a FREE ticket? How many tickets can I win: one per day? 21 per month?

The words "winner of free ticket to be announced everyday" should get my anti-scam filters all excited. Thunderbird was nice enough to parse the message and advise me on the basis of the conclusions it had drawn "Dude, this is a spam message. Don't bother, if I could hold your hand, I'd probably be taking it down to that key labelled Erase From Existence." And yes, the 'Dear Customer' addressal at the top shows that they just sent this out as part of a mass scam without even running it through Mail Merge. Spammers!

I may have to go to Chennai one of these days, so I'm hoping that one of these free tickets will come through. Talk about being desperate to save Rs. 115! I think I'll take a much needed trip to Jupiter. They did say anywhere, right?

If you've just come across this by accident, and have no idea of who I really am, then this might be your goooooal-den owe-per-choonity to help out a fellow who cannot parse stuff like this.

What do you think I should do? Email me. Or leave your suggestions in ze' comments.

I learnt this new Frenchie phrase yesterday when Nitya was prepping herself for her first tests beginning today - Comment ca' va?
I don't know what it means, but it is in you to help a fellow out, you could supply an answer to that as well.

The old adage might need a little revision to: the best scams in life are for free.

Thank you.

Tweet It, Then Book It Up

Note: I left Twitter in Jan '09. I do all my u-blogging on

I'd recently posted a link to Twitter on the Apple vs. Psystar riff.
To put it illustratively, I posted a comment on the tweet as shown in illustration alongside.
Another way to use Facebook comments:
To provide some insight into thine rantings. Because, you see 140 chars is simply not enough to (adequately):

Update: Forgot to add this! Read some books, get some brain. ;D

So, the next time you mouth off about your loved ones, or list pet peeves, just bank on your Facebook profile and the patience of your Fs to parse the long, detailed and (most often) mouthing offs behind the mouth offings on Twitter Identica

Don't forget to add the Twitter App App to your Facebook profile. Comments are included as part of the FREE package, as explained previously.

Tweet Dent, and write a book based on said tweet dent, that simple!

I <3>twitdentbo.ok/TwitDentbook? Put your tweets dents in context!

No Comments?

I've begun using the comment-on-stories feature on Facebook. Something I guess most people haven't even bothered to try out, despite it being a part of the basic interface.

If a person does anything on FB, the an event corresponding to that transaction is created. All these events go into the news-feed for that person.
Examples include: adding an app, removing an app, adding a friend, removing a friend, a sex change, a break-up, a marriage, or anything else that you like.

All these events can be individually considered and commented upon by the people in your friends list. It's a slightly easier way to get responses on what's going on a person's life.

I discovered this feature a while back while trying to understand the purpose of the news feed. I wondered, why list a bunch of events if you can't connect the dots between the events and your messages to that person regarding those events. It just didn't make sense. Look for the 'Plus' button next to each event. Looks like you can comment on almost anything!

The comment system doesn't seem to work with your Home page. You have to visit each person's profile page to comment. Integration the H. page would be the logically next step. And I don't see why they can't do it either.

So, the commenting system is something I use extensively these days (to comment on mine and other's newsfeeds). If you've enabled notifications, you should get an email when somebody comments on a event in your newsfeed. And you could build a conversation right there by replying to the comment. And it goes on and on. I tend to have self-conversations! Very few have actually replied.

Sometimes, I don't get people. Why join FB, if all you want to do, is throw apps on your profile?

And the stupid thing, the news feed isn't actualy a feed in the technical sense. You can't subscribe to it via an RSS reader. They should work on that too. Zuckerborg has his work cut out for him.

And people are just missing out on some of the best things FB has to offer.
Wake up people! comment your heart out, it is a democracy, you must have something to say about your friend Mogun becoming Maggie!

Creature Comforts

It's been a couple of days after the exams, and I'm feeling much better about a lot of things. Honestly, I don't miss the nights. I miss the days though. Time for the day was mostly filled in with a lot of cramming: Block diagrams, essays on the Productivity in the Software Industry, and things that most people wouldn't even be concerned with.

But right now, all of that has changed.

Nitya asks me to get a photocopy of her marksheets.

I think I shall take a little walk and clear my head. And get the p.cs

My bloodshot eyes betray my computer fixation.
I can't be saving the galaxy all day.

Thud. Thud. Thud. 3 second frequency. Seems to be coming from the water pipes in the walls. What is that girl doing? Water is flowing down Rush...

Ah, italics are so hard to turn off in Blogger. Looks like there are a couple of bugs they just left hnging in this thing for old times sake.

I've found myself giving in to the temptation of putting in a couple of italicized phrases into all my communications. I've tried reasoning this out. It seems that of late, I've had a lot of things to be sceptical about.

Diya comes up the steps counting down from 20... 1 with her truckload of books in her bag. She just complimented Indiravelliamma. "Ah, you're the better teacher than my teacher in school." Finishes off with a whistled-rendering of 'Ajab Si' (the song all those newly-hiding-coochie-cooers) are listening to.

I spent about half an hour this evening on the terrace, watching the crows circle in the sky. There are plenty of trees around my house and plenty of crows, seems to me like there's the C in AECS does mean something else, besides Co-operative, that is. Seemed to me they were playing a game with one another. A few of them would chase each other and go around my house. Come back full circle and they would then descend upon the ones resting in the tree, who would let of a flurry of excited caws and then take off, all flying in a sort of pattern, looked to me like they were making a star shap with their flight patterns, and then some of them would land. Again two of them would take off, chasing each other all around, and then descend into the tree, more would join in the fun and then as it darkened, things quitened down and everybody retired for the night.

Wouldn't it be lovely to sleep at 6 in the evening and wake up 12 hours later?

"Amoeba paramecium" recites Diya from my room from which I have been displaced on the occasion of I. velliamma's visit. Wonderful woman. Diya is actually sitting down to study before 10 PM. Which is quite an improvement. I remember how she taught me Physics on the eve of my Second Board Exam (for all of you who don't, that's the 12th grade examinations, and yes, the capitalization hopefully conveys to some measure the importance that society gives this. But society exists to overwhelm everything. The First Board Exams are important too.). I wasn't a stellar student, and needed some help. Thank you for being there. I am where I am partly thanks to you. Diya will do well tomorrow.

I have been meaning to talk to somebody, trouble is people are so busy these days, and simply cannot be found. I've found solace in the birds and bees, or more specifically, in the crows and the bees. (except when they proceed to crap on, and sting respectively) All my friends are either working, or going to college in distant lands. And mobile phones are the ultimate multi-tasking devices around, so detrimental to the quality of a conversation, albeit the clear voice delivery.

The ants in the bowl of the toilet still say hello, and there's hasn't been a single day when I haven't dipped my hands into the bowl (in the middle of a certain process the nature of which one could only describe as excretory) and brought them to safety. Guess that makes me one of the good guys.

There is a brood of squirrels nesting in a small space in a nice cosy space between the top of the pillar and the ceiling of the A-frame that forms the front of the house. Amma (Malayalam for mother) has been observing them all day, and thinks that their mother has abandoned them, or has more likely been detained elsewhere (read not caught in traffic). Which makes it a very bad situation for the young ones. We've been trying to figure out how to get up there and get them out of their situation. (They've become desperate enough to chew on the plastic, and that can't ever be good.) No ladder we have is going to reach there me trying to shimmy up the pillar does not bode good for the structural integrity of the pillar. So, we'll have to try and effect some kind of rescue.

Babu, our driver said he could get somebody to get them down. We've kept a box all ready for them to move into. By tomorrow, if the mother's not back, we'll move them in. Diya will finally get all the squeeeeerily pleasure she wants.

Creature comforts: we all like!

I'm feeling a bit heavy. I am some percentage of the mass of the universe. (aren't you?)

Update: Diya reading, "Expected lifetime: Housefly: 1-4 months, Human beings: 60-70 years, Lion: 15-20 years. SQUIRRELS: 8-9 years! Amma get them, amma please!"


Why would a company developing Cocoa-based web-frameworks call itself 280 North?

It really makes me wonder.

What is Cocoa? Here.