Sunday, August 12, 2012

Ten Things to do in case of an NHL Lockout

10. Hope that #ChelseaFC, yet again miraculously, builds a wall in front of the goal and manages to score a few goals and win back to back UEFA Championship. After all, we have some fresh blood (Oscar, Marin, Hazard, ...) in the system!

09. Maybe I will pay more attention to the NFL season, despite my distinct dislike to the sport purely based on the average lifespan of an NFL player (52-55, 20 years less than a normal human being). Its fun to watch the sport, dont get me wrong, but its just not good for any of the players.

08. Hope for the Warriors to turn their season around, yet again. OK, thats beyond hopeless

07. Visit FearTheFin  regularly everyday, hoping for some more mathematical wizardry. Really guys, you make it fun.  (

06. Sell all my Sharks jerseys and collectibles and get rich quick (ok, #massive_fail)

05. Watch last few years Sharks playoff as if its the new seasons playoffs. As sharks fan, you expect to lose. But, normally, its to different opponents every year! So, this wont be as real.

04. Form an alternate hockey league. Rule #1 in the league - never allow a lockout

03. Save on ticket cost and caltrain cost and arena cost and spend it on a nice soccer vacation in Europe

02. Play tennis, even more!

01. Hope for the lockout to end, everyday?

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Must have Mac Software

Ever since the move to Mac about 3 years ago, its been a mixture of agony and pleasure. For starters, until Snow Leopard, using Mac in a "corporate" world was a joke. No integration to Exchange (yeah, call it evil or whatever - it is THE standard in corporate email), and no calendar integration of any sorts. It was like living without O2. But, there were so many good things about the Mac that the corporate citizen in me, figured out ways to work around the everyday challenges that a Mac posed. Solutions ranging from Entourage (yikes!) to Outlook Web Access to Parallels (really, if u have to run Windows in the background, whats the point?) to CrossOvers. You name it and everything was tried. None of it even ever came close to being the REAL thing, unsurprisingly!

And then came along a performance release of Leopard with a couple of features - go figure :) Snow Leopard has had its issues. My Mac never crashed before Snow Leopard, but now, its not as rare. Apps crashes a bit more, but's out of the box integration to MS Exchange and also, seemless calendar integration was all anyone can ever ask for, in a single release. My question to Apple would be - what the heck took soooo long? I mean, its not like Apple has a competing product to Microsoft in the corporate email server/calendar server. So, why did it take so long? But, I guess, they did get it right. Both in the iPhone and on the desktop.

Anyways, for anyone new to the Mac or even pro users of Mac, a few must have apps:
- OmniFocus (in general, all Omnigroup apps are great) - this is the uber task manager you will ever find; If you have it, but dont use it, then, I recommend relearning the tool through a couple of 30min tutorials available through Omnigroup website. +1 for iPhone integration
- Evernote
- Asana
-, iCal etc - this is brain dead, yes, but SmartFolders, multiple calendars etc makes life so much easier
- 1Password - Absolute life saver
- Alfred - yeah, turn that Apple Spotlight off and use Alfred
- Adium - well, the only IM client you need, period
- Colloquoy - IRC client, if u need one
- AppFresh - Keep all your apps up2date; really useful. Its still in Beta and it doesnt work with all apps, but atleast this is a good start
- AppCleaner - Works nicely; UI is a bit quirky; but once you figure it out, its useful
- Caffeine - Must have app; its a great little app to override the power saver/screen saver settings
- Gimp - Free online image editor; I have used it and again, its a bit quirky, but if you figure it out, its super useful
- NXClient - very useful tool - a la Remote Desktop for Linux systems
- TextMate - great Text Editor
- iTerm - great Terminal
- XMind - great tool to brainstorm

Saturday, December 05, 2009

New York [Guggenheim & Met]

NYC is a fantastic city, especially when one could couch-it someplace in the city. NYC in December should've been and could've been very cold, but this particular week was fabulously warm and the weather enabled me to walk about in the city a bit. Would I want to live in this city? Maybe? Manhattan is definitely a place to visit and soak it all in. Now, living here might be something else. I didnt have the luxury of time to experience the local scene, but I get the distinct feeling that I would love to live in the west or east side of Upper Manhattan. I walked more than 50 blocks one day and 30 or more blocks on another instance and it was a pleasant experience.

Talking about NY experiences, this is my first trip without any major worries. In the years past, my association with the city has been nothing but theatrics, with quiet a bit of anxious moments spent, wondering about who is gonna mug you. Maybe I have gotten used to the place and the pace, or maybe I have grown to like the craziness. Nevertheless, this visit was very eye opening. Specifically, visits to the Guggenheim and Met were extraordinary.

Guggenheim: I have heard and read about the Gugg for its architecture. Thanks to a friend of mine, I was well acquainted to the works of Frank Lloyd Wright. But, what I experienced in the Guggenheim was completely astounding and mind bending - Kandinsky. Kandinsky was not known to me before, but that ignorance now is blissfully behind me. I have poured over his works and his life in the last few days and its fair to say that I'm enthralled and motivated by his oeuvre. Starting at an age of 30 is no mean task despite his wealthy background that enabled him to attempt what he truly loved. The afternoon I spent at Guggenheim was vastly inadequate. His work is the most prolific, ranging from watercolors/sketches to large paintings. It was fascinating to learn that the Guggenheim building by Wright was inspired by Kandinsky's work. I feel thankful to see this collection @ the Gugg. Now, I await my amazon delivery of the "Complete writings on Art by Kandinsky" that implores the "Spiritual of Art" and his study of lines & points and other observations on art. The museum book on Kandinsky was specatular and I'm still soaking in documented history of Kandinsky.

Met : Met can be intimidating to a casual museum goer. Its one of the biggest museums of the world. Its a shame to be able to spend only one afternoon here. But, anytime spent here is a worth a lifetime of learning. I spent all the time in one section of the museum - the Greek and Roman art of the 5thBC to 1st AD. It was a vast collection. The sculptures and art of that ancient period provides you with a perspective to deal with one's daily life/struggles and its irrelevance.

Its a very weird experience, to feel overwhelmed but also, inspired, conflict abounds, hopes and despair combining well to cause immense introspection. Both of these experiences called for a long walk, amidst NYC skyscrappers on a cold, windy evening.

Il Trittico & The Abduction from the Seraglio

Sept 2009 was the time for Operas. 2 operas in 2 days - a bit overwhelming? Not really. It was a welcome break from craziness elsewhere.

Abduction from Seraglio was visually stunning and the soprano had a wonderful tenor. The rendition was fabulous. The only opera that I didnt like this year was Il Travatore.

Il Trittico was very unique in that it combined 3 different parts into a single opera, each one of them could have been an entire opera on its own, but this Puccini trio didnt disappoint. Its been 3 months since I saw this opera, but I still vividly remember it. [Well, I remember Il Travatore as well - which was more comical for its rendition and my rating of that was way down - so, my memory of operas, I guess, doesnt say much about the quality of the opera. Notoriety is, afterall, a double-edged sword.] All the three acts were excellent; I didnt really understand why it was all combined into one story, but I guess there must be a good reason... Note to self - research that aspect of Il Trittico.

I do want to watch the Wagner's Die Walkure beginning of next year. Until then, I will have time to muse about the 3 operas I saw this year.

Monday, July 06, 2009

Review of the open air opera (Opera in the ballpark) - Tosca

coming soon as well... but this is not an all gaga one :)