April 14th, 2008

boy with dog

Going Through the Right Channels

The TV I have in my house right now is an awesomely cool dinosaur named Videocon Bazooka, which, despite its ancient vintage still serves me well when I come home cold and tired, to warm my bones beside the fire and all that, you get the picture!

Back at home in Mysore, my family has a Tata Sky subscription, and ever since I have checked out that blessed service, it has been love at first sight. The ease of navigation, the customization of channels, the ability to set reminders and get reviews and ratings and so on and so forth makes TV viewing so much more wonderful an experience, that words of mine, despite flowing out so abundantly in this paragraph, can only do so much justice to it.

At my place here in Bangalore, I have, out of sheer laziness and the absolute disinterest in wanting to make a heavy initial investment towards procuring the dish antenna and the set top box, have subsisted with the old fashioned cable guy, who by the way, is an absolute moron of the first order.

This vitriol spewed against him is not unwarranted, let me assure you.

I like my TV channels a certain way. I want to have my first few channels as the movie channels, starting from 0 onwards, so that I can check them out first. Saves me the trouble of going to check out serials, whose continuity I will probably never be able to want to put up with, due to my being such a sporadic TV viewer. Next after the movies, I place the sports and the music channels, again for obvious reasons.

Following that are the news channels, should something important happen that I would like to follow. General entertainment comes next, with channels such as Star World, Zee Cafe and so on, which I can check out whenever I have the chance.

At the very outset, in April 2007, when I got my cable connection after having moved in solo into this current place of living, I dilligently rearranged all the channels, sitting for two whole evenings to make that happen, a tired but proud man at the end of it all.

However, our cable guy derives cheap thrills in life out of changing frequencies, toggling channels and making my orderly system of arrangements go haywire. I tried to rearrange the channels according to the way he went about switching and playing around with frequencies, until a certain point in time where I finally had to give up because he was changing the order way faster than I could even imagine putting them back together.

Finally, after almost a year, I have given up. After returning to Bangalore, I have noticed that all my favourite channels had been replaced by K tv. It had irked me no end, and if I were a member of the SIMI, I would've declared Jihad on the cable operator.

Thankfully, I have other means of achieving my ends. Last evening, I resorted to making a list of my favourite channels, written down in pen on a sheet of paper. I have to now make a revised list where I have the channel names written in pen and the channel numbers in pencil, so that whenever my almighty cable guy decides to make a switch, I can do so with as little trepidation as possible myself.

The things people do on a saturday night. Beats the hell out of 'partying' on almost all counts.
boy with dog

A Matter of Principle

A friend of mine recently attended a corporate presentation at the office where he had commenced his summer internship. One profound statement made during the presentation was what he recounted to me, and it has somehow been stuck in my mind since then.

It isn't a principle unless it starts to hurt sometimes.

Sure, we all have principles. We all have certain sets of rules and regulations that we follow in order to lead what we would like to believe is a meaningful existence, one that we can look back upon at any point of time ahead in the future and feel good about, minus regrets.

The presence of principles and following them on a consistent basis definitely goes a long way in assuaging one's conscience in that regard.

I was able to personally relate to that statement made above due to the fact that I've undergone unpleasant situations / discomfort / sadness due to the fact that I've stuck to what I've felt has been right, and the bad feelings felt momentarily are relegated to oblivion in the long run.

One of the principles I have been following, more so out of selfish reasons rather than for the greater good of Mankind is to not have pirated software on my typewriter, come hell or high water. So far, I have Windows Vista, a licensed version of it that came along when the machine was purchased, following which I have been using Ubuntu on a consistently regular basis to write all the rubbish that I do. It has worked well for me so far, and I hope this continues further as the days go by.

(Pirated software = virus = high maintenance, not something a cheap guy like me would really want to put up with).

This principle was tested over this weekend when I had to send out a MS word document urgently before the end of sunday, and the open office installed on my typewriter was not able to open the file. I could've borrowed someone else's MS Office installer, something I had seriously contemplated doing to avoid going to my office on a sunday morning to complete the requisite work, but I chickened out and ended up going all the way to my work place to finish what was necessary, before heading out to have a wonderful lunch.

I guess the hot sun and the traffic sort of put me off some bit, not to mention almost slipping on the stairs while climbing down them four at a time because there was nobody I could bump into, but the satisfaction of not having had to renege on the word I gave to myself is priceless indeed.
boy with dog

"TVS Flame" Advertisement Rants and Raves

The new TVS Flame ad is pretty cool. It shows some guy doing a wheel spin of his bike, riding it down some multi-storey parking lot and then going as fast as he can to intercept some girl who has leapt off another taller building and is gliding downwards using a parachute.

Firstly, this ad doesn't show the biker doing some crazy stunts. Any idiot buying that bike would probably expect his girlfriend / wife to jump off a building with a parachute so he can intercept her, rather than try some synchronous bike dancing or trying free biking on a road that can only take more traffic on it in the next millennium. Of course, considering women are more sensible than us men in general, such a scenario will probably not happen too regularly, although the occasional freak occurance cannot be discounted, specially if one is dating a professional sky-diver. One would be better off playing Tomb Raider instead.

The other thing that I noticed in the ad was how there were circular tyre marks around the place where the bike was standing, indicating that not enough attention to detail had been paid for the ad makers to have erased the traces of the previous wheel spins, unless the effect was intentional.

I personally know a bunch of absolute morons who have, in front of my very eyes tried to replicate the stunts shown on TV and ended up having to pay for hospital charges as well as for bike repair at the same time, only to have recovered, dusted themselves off and done it again!

'These stunts are performed by experts and should not be imitated by anyone, especially children', seems to be the best example of reverse psychology at work out there.

If only it would work as people on TV ate spinach and drank lots of milk, and had a message saying 'please do not try this at home'.
boy with dog

DLF Indian Premier League

One can't seem to escape the fact that the DLF Indian Premier League for cricket commences this friday, with seven games being played at the M.Chinnaswamy stadium, being the home grounds for the Bangalore Royal Challengers.

With hoardings, TV ads, radio promos and the like, it seems like the event is bearing down upon one and all, and just adds to the huge number of sporting events one can keep track of, should one choose to. All the more fun so far as beating ennui is concerned.

Now, I just ran a quick check on the IPL website and I found out that tickets are available online through ticketpro, and it doesn't honestly seem like a bad proposition to catch as many of the games as possible live at the stadium.

The cheapest tickets are available for INR 220, and consequently I shall, in all probability try and pick up some tickets for that stand to watch the games that I can, subject to life, the universe and everything allowing me to.

The most expensive tickets come at a price of INR 5450, though I doubt anyone reading this blog would buy one of the tickets, unless it were gifted to them. Onward to the IPL.

Sounds like a plan. I might finally get to see Sachin Tendulkar in the flesh.