Tuesday, December 9, 2008

My views

Pessimism - such a wasteful state of mind

Explore and I think, you’ll find

A ‘fatalist’ it’s better to be

‘Cause then it’s all ‘fait accompli’

No point worrying since your future is predefined.


Thursday, December 4, 2008

Where is my book?

Which one of you has taken Vikram Seth’s “Beastly tales from here and there” without letting me know?

Happy B’day Pi

Happy Birthday to Pi. Here’s the best gift I could come up with in 10 minutes :)

There once was a girl named Payal

whose iPhone refused to dial

she tried and she tried

but her calls were denied

because Apple ended her free trial

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Tiny relics of the past.

I was just going through some stuff and came across this:


This is the first toolkit (if I can call it that) that I bought. Coming back from Mayo, it was purchased at Midway circa 1990. Imagine how long it has been with me. What other things do people have that they are carrying around? Probably went to their drawer when leaving home and those little things are still tucked away in a drawer somewhere?


Sunday, November 16, 2008

Happy 60th birthday, father!

Wishing Pa a very very happy 60th birthday. Wish I was there to celebrate along.


Saturday, November 8, 2008

Diwali poem

Here’s a thoughtful Diwali poem from our niece, her very first poem that we got to read!

Diwali comes year after year.

It’s on October 28th this year.

It’s a time to be happy.

You musn’t look shabby.

It’s a time to look your very best.

You don’t have time to rest.

We gather to pray

Everyone has something nice to say.

Diwali brings celebrations

And decorations In all the nations.

The candles glow

Please don’t blow.

For if you do

They won’t glow.

It’s a time to feast,

on some of the tastiest treats.

My favourite sweets

The candle heat.

Firecrackers we light

Oh! what a sight.

Diwali is my favourite holiday.

Oh how I wish it would come everyday.

By: Anshika Jain Age 10


Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Post election musings

On your point of why I prefer McCain to Obama—I compare their economic agenda and policies; definitely McCain has my vote. I’d prefer right wing economic policies to the left wing any day (health care, free trade, taxes, labor unions: I definitely prefer McCain over Obama) ! On Iraq war, U.S. is going to reduce its presence in Iraq irrespective of whether it is going to be a republican or democrat in white house so it does not matter to me.

I’d rather ask on why all of the rest prefer Obama. Is it primarily Obama’s policies that we like, or is it more due to disgust with the outgoing president Bush? My view is that republicans have badly lost due to their unpopular president (most voters don’t trust them any more); not because of McCain’s projected policies.

Yes, I’d love to hear from you all what you want to see happen under Obama; and Pri will really like it if you post those comments on this blog :)


Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Happy Diwali

So proud that Yahoo! is celebrating Diwali on their home page.

No wishes from google though. Why doesn’t Diwali make their list? Next time they mark an occasion I will be sure to compare its significance to Diwali 

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Happy Diwali

Happy Diwali to all. Hope the festival of lights brings joy, health and success to all.


Wednesday, October 22, 2008


Oh, I am so chuffed. Our very own moon mission!!! Finally!

Nanu is already wondering if he should broaden his horizons and include ISRO along with NASA in his list. Who knows…...

BARC na sahi, koi ISRO mein hi naam kama le…


Monday, October 20, 2008

Harriet Who ?

So.. I was watching this movie Atonement. (A good movie), and I went to IMDB to look into something and there was this name: Harriet Walter. Immediately, some bulb went off in my head, and I remembered Harriet Vane - Harriet Walter. Here is a link to do the same to your memories : http://www.geocities.com/gregorym101/bbcwimsey_tv_peth.html

Enjoy your trip down memory lane.

Cricketing joy

Yoohoo, Indian cricket is having its moment of glory. Hopefully we will actually win today.


Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Movies and music

You knew this was coming if you saw my facebook status. I mean, if something can move me enough to make it worthy of a facebook update, I owe it at least a blog entry. Here’s the background—Da and I are taking this evening course on International Films, where we are learning about Cinematic Storytelling techniques (based on a book of the same name by Jennifer Van Sijll). Interesting course and you’ll soon see a couple of our movie analyses up on this site.

These movies obviously have excellent soundtracks and one such movie we saw was “All About My Mother” (Originally Todo sobre mi madre) by Pedro Almod?var. You know, one of those, where the music constantly gives you goosebumps then continues to play in your head a couple days later.

So, I finally looked up the soundtrack for the movie and discovered the music of, appararently, a very famous African musician, Ismael Lo. Yea, a few months from now I might wonder how he was so obscure to me. Have a listen to one of the songs from the movie and see if it casts a spell on you too: http://www.last.fm/music/Ismael+Lo/_/Tajabone?autostart.

The Romani connection

Another movie we watched recently was “Time of the Gypsies”. This one’s a Yugoslavian movie based on the gypsies or romanis as they are also called. What amazed me was how much some of their words sounded like Hindi. It was hard to identify most of the words within the sentences but every now and then there’d be a distinct one between long enough pauses and the subtitle confirmed the meaning to be the same as my mind expected. For example, their counting went yek, dui, trin, something, pansh…and then their was a time where a girl said something very similar to “aank, muh, naak, sab” and the subtitle read “eyes, mouth, nose, everything”. There were also other words that I no longer remember.

At first, I thought the connection might be through Urdu. But my interest was piqued, so I searched and learned of their connection to the Indian people; relearned actually, since I now remember having discovered this earlier in relation to some genealogy reading I was doing at the time when I participated in the National Geographic Genographic project. Only this time it made more of an impression on me because I just wasn’t expecting a Hindi connection in a Yugoslavian movie. And Romani didn’t sound anything like a Latin derivative which we’ve long known to have connections with Sanskrit.

Here’s an interesting link about the language connection: http://www.journeyfolki.org.uk/HistoryCulture/HistoryLanguage/tabid/681/Default.aspx?PageContentMode=1 and another about the genealogical one: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Romani_people

Friday, September 19, 2008

Happy 30th

Yo dude, here’s an attempt at summarizing your last 30 years…at least pi should enjoy it :)

Nickname progression: bhai, tai, taklu, takku, kattu, kittu, cat, kitty

The Toddler:

A cute li’l boy with a big grin and enthusiasm for life


: keyboard, reading, cartoons (Tom and Jerry of course), jokes

favorite jokes


child: mummy doodh peena hai

mom: beta doodh to fat gaya

child: to sil do

Dronacharya ne eklavya se manga tha ek angootha,

Maang lete do pair, saath do chappal milti, aha, saath do joote milte.

Bharat mein jo bhi marein sabhi swarg ko jaayein,

jaane ye nark kyon vidhi ne diya banaye, wahan kya bhains bandehgi aha, wahan kya bhains bandhegi?

Poetry dedicated to him: “door se dekha to tinka pada tha, paas jake dekha to bhai khada tha” and the likes

Poetry (written): To be added

The Teenager:

The cuteness fades and out comes a boy with mayhem on his mind

Crush: Aishwarya Rai (I roll my eyes as I type)

Hobbies: keyboard, cars, music - A. R. Rehman genre

The Tweenie:

Little is known about the early to mid years of this phase. A more troubled and troublesome soul I haven’t met!

GTG…people, add your comments and I’ll compile them into the entry.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Badly Shaken (not stirred at all)

Is this real? Who could believe that giants like Merrill Lynch and Lehmann Brothers could ever fall/fail? And yet the unimaginable is happening right here.

Am going to be watching the ripples across the world.


Saturday, September 13, 2008

Re: She's got me confused.

It is two weeks since Palin’s name was announced by McCain; I think we are no longer that confused :). Yes, she is relatively young, attractive and has an ultra conservative background. But frankly, isn’t this exactly what Republican party needs to energize their voters ? Even the Democrats have shown such a strong reaction to Palin choice, I expected at least a few positive words from the influential women democrats.

Here is a quote from California senator Barbara Boxer(D): “Sen. McCain had so many other options if he wanted to put a woman on his ticket, such as Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison or Sen. Olympia Snowe -? they would have been an appropriate choice compared to this dangerous choice.” Isn’t that funny ?? Yes, McCain should have taken Democrat’s advice and put another sure loser on the ticket of V.P. to make all this look correct in the traditional sense… The exact reason to put Sarah Palin on the V.P. contention is for McCain to have someone he can trust, and a bonus if she also helps his candidacy thru all this buzz.  As the saying goes, “There is no such thing as bad publicity”

Then there’s the other question: how in the world can you manage 5 kids while having a V.P.‘s responsibilities ? Of course this question was never posted to a man running for any high office…Here is a funny reply found on the web: If Bill Clinton can juggle 5 chicks, why can?t Sarah Palin juggle 5 kids? :)

Saturday, September 6, 2008

We’ve been indexed :)

Yay! We’ve been indexed on both yahoo and google search engines (try search term “prickly pair blog”). Of course that doesn’t mean much yet but at least they’re crawing our site so now it’s up to us to add meaningful content to get real hits.

Friday, September 5, 2008


What lovey dovey ? I was reading the posts but was lazy to look up how to login etc…but now got around to it so here I am. Me mainly been busy with assignments etc.. finals coming up on Aug 26/27 and another take home. So you can imagine. Nothing much else happening at the moment. About to start seriously preparing for going into Consulting (My top choice right now) and may be Marketing (second choice). Now that I have looked up my login, I can try to be more regular :D

-- AJ


What a great surprise to find all these entries. I am considering them my very special b’day gifts.

Now that most people are officially on the blog, maybe it’s time to change the picture. A bit late to change the name…and anyway, I guess it more or less represents most of the pairs on the blog; NM included and AJ/Pi being the exception (Gawd, why do they have to be lovey dovey!). Mits could you draw a picture that somehow represents the prickly pair blog? Pretty please!

Palin’ in comparison

She’s got me confused.

Initially, I was offended that when they did finally pick a woman (which is great!), they seemed to have picked her for the wrong reasons…I mean, within hours of the announcement, I received an as_steamy_as_it_gets_for_a_VP_nominee picture of her on IM and the next day I hear from friends about websites like vp ilf…doesn’t say much for the company I keep but the point I’m making is that this is the reaction of the average guy. The women on the other hand are excited about the possibility of another woman on the presidential ticket. I guess these are just the types of wave they wanted to create to compete with “celebrity” Obama and to woo the Hillary supporters. Maverick or not, I hardly doubt that she wouldn’t be the top choice if she wasn’t a woman. And do we really want to be picked for that reason? Haven’t we been objectified enough by the popular media?

Then there’s the other side of my dilemma. I’m just so amazed when I read stuff like “can she really fulfill her responsibilities of a mother as a VP?”. Well, if you’re going to doubt her, at least do it for the right reasons! Why do we women have to shoot ourselves in the foot by casting ourselves in these roles and expecting every woman to fit it? Seriously, would you ask that question of a man?

More to come but just wanted to get this much off my chest. I will wait to receive more opinions (I’m sure this will make Da break his silence :)).

Thursday, September 4, 2008


This is my first time here and I must say I got encouraged by Mit’s and Nan’s blog entries. The little Pixter has becoming a boxer again..which means she has a swollen eye again today. It’s the other one today. Saw the doc but can’t figure out a reason. It could be the peanut butter that was served ...coz that’s common to both days. But she didn’t even eat it. Can’t be a bug bite - he said.

The bright news of the day is that she has learnt how to say her name today ...full name. Had been calling hersalf Aana for the past several days…guess she hears so much of her name now at the day care that she picked it up.


Wednesday, September 3, 2008

. Hi

Hi everyone! Well, here I am sitting on the couch…...hey, you know what?? We have a new student in class and her name is Gigi. She is pretty nice. She has just come from Hongkong. And she is really good at maths. Anyway, just here to tell you….it’s great here in Australia. There is a few kangaroos skipping around. And I have a really cute picture of baby penguins. I got it from the National Geographic.

More later, alligator!


The kids are taking over….

Oh man! The kids are taking over the blog. Should I be worried or should I stand aside as time marches on?




I am not sure what to write today. Errrrr…......ah yes, I remember now….Coincidentally, I’ve recently created my own, own, own, own blog. On a separate website. Isn’t that COOL????

So, I am sorry but I reckon I prefer to post everything on my other blog which is from my school….If only I could remember the address of the other one…..think, think, think, think, think…..........


Wednesday, August 27, 2008

The Pareto principle

The 80-20 rule certainly applies to my clothes. I notice that no matter how many trousers or capris or skirts or shorts I buy (and I’ve stocked up like there’s going to be an earthquake tomorrow), my butt spends over 80% of its time in the same pair of jeans. The rest of my clothes see the light of day only when this pair is out of service from a major spill or so…now ain’t that sad? Is there a way to shake myself out of this miserable habit? Or must an engineer’s clothes be resigned to their fate?

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

A hundred thousand miles

A hundred thousand miles, a hundred thousand miles, a hundred thousand miles, a hundred thousand miles,

Yes, we’ve driven a hundred thousand miles in the Santa Fe

Not just five, not just ten, not just twenty, not just fifty

Lord, we’ve come a hundred thousand miles away

I hope you all know what tune to sing that to :)

Well, it actually touched 101010 miles today, 100100 miles on Aug 5 and 100000 on Aug 1. Of course, there goes 100000 mile warranty but it’s a good time to look back at all the fun we’ve had in this car. Remember, everyone from the family has sat in this car and everyone except Pi has driven it (we must fix this the next time Pi visits). Some of the great trips in this car:

Florida - July 2002 (Vi, GG, N, M, AJ, B)

Virginia - July 2002 (Vi, GG, N, M, KB, AJ, B)

Numerous trips to NY, DC (anyone want to list the details?)

Cross country on I-40 (Da, B)

Numerous trips within CA

NM still talk about its soft back seats.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Skiing trip

So we went skiing. Long drive. Woke up at 5 and started driving at 6 am. Had rented all the gear the previous night. NM and I slept through at least part of the journey. The mountains were beautiful and the place was packed with skiers and snowboarders. Took us a while to get our snow gear and skii shoes on and then trudge across with our skis and poles. Made it to the ski school just in time for the lesson. NM in two different groups and then V and I in one. Sobering experience for me to try skiing as I was quite atrocious at it. Alright, so I can’t be good at everything. Mith was not too enthused either. Was more interested in making snow angels and snow balls. Cutie-pie.

V wasn’t much better than me (although he will never agree!!!). N seem to have the best handle on things. I think what we all enjoyed the most was the ride in the ski lift. Up and down we went, enjoying the view of all the skiers, some succeeding, some falling over and over. The mountains around were truly spectacular. It snowed/sleeted all day. Fortunately, none of us were cold. We were bundled up well enough.

Next time, NM want to just go tobogganing. That’s all they really want. To play. The rest is irrelevant. Isn’t it great to be a kid?

So, spent a whole lot of money and came back with muscle and body aches. Had to rest on Sunday. But it was an experience!!!


Saturday, August 16, 2008

Happy Rakhi!

Camping in Shingletown, CA near Lassen National Park tonight. Details when we’re back. Meanwhile, happy rakhi to all.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Skiing trip planned

Going for our first skiing trip tomorrow. Kids are super-excited. Went and got everything from the rental place today. *^$#^ Expensive!!! And entry into the skiing place is even more so. I just hope we don’t regret it.

We’ll get a 2 hour lesson to begin with and then will try our hand (or should I say legs?) at it.

Oh well, we only live once.


Monday, August 11, 2008

How I got this blog running

First things first, how to get an ExpressionEngine (EE) blog running on Yahoo! web hosting:

My reasons for using expression engine instead of Wordpress or Movable Type available via Yahoo! web hosting:

1. I\'m already familiar with ExpressionEngine.

2. Being a skilled programmer (even if I do say so myself), I quite enjoy the flexibility ExpressionEngine offers me to muck around with my templates etc.

3. I had already worked on integrating Google Ads into my EE blog during the last lull in my project (which was in Sept 2007, yikes!) + I have not tried WordExpress or Movable Type to see how I could serve ads alongside my blogs on those platforms.

So if you have some valid reasons to host your blog on Yahoo! using ExpressionEngine, these instructions should be helpful to you. The more interesting set of instructions (on how to set up expression engine or how I integrated google ads with Expression Engine) are soon to come.

1. Sign up for Yahoo! web hosting at http://smallbusiness.yahoo.com/webhosting/

2. Once setup and logged in, click on \"Design your site\" and then \"Using your own tools\". This should show you all the ftp information you need.

3. Using FTP connection settings from above and an FTP client, upload Expression Engine installation files to the Yahoo! web server.

4. Go to Yahoo! Web Hosting Control Panel, then click on the \"Manage\" tab and click on \"File Manager\". Confirm that you see your uploaded files here.

5. Update file permission if necessary as per the tutorial on http://expressionengine.com/tutorials/lesson/installing_expressionengine/

6. Create a MySQl database that EE can use

a. On the Yahoo! \"Web Hosting Control Panel\" click on the \"Manage\" tab and then \"File Manager\". On the left, you should see \"MySQL database\". Click on \"Open Database Utilities\" link.

b. Click on Database Administrator. The first time, this will prompt you to create a database (db) admin. Enter a username and password (and note them down in a safe place as the db admin info :))

c. Click on \"Install admin tool\" and go through the wizard

d. Click on the admin tool URL at the end of the installation (<your site>/phpMyAdmin). Enter username and password from step 6b.

e. Create a new database and give it a name.

f. Now you\'re ready to install Expression Engine armed with all the necessary info.

7. Go to <your site (example: http://www.lightupyourlifecoach.com/pricklypair)>/install.php

8. Run through the wizard as per the tutorial at http://expressionengine.com/tutorials/lesson/installing_expressionengine/. The step to watch out for is where you enter the database information. Here you will need to the following information:

a. DB hostname: mysql (where it says this should usually be \"localhost\"

b. username and password are again the ones from step 6b.

9. Voila! At the end of the installation you should get the links to view your website as well as the URL for your ExpressionEngine Control Panel.

Watching the Olympics

Olympic fever is on… we’re spending 4 hours in front of TV every night, first time in four months that our HDTV has lived upto its promise !

Michael Phelps just finished his 200 m breast stroke semi. Looks quite tired after winning the 200 m just an hour back. The highlight of olympics for us today was the first individual gold for India in olympics ! At last, Indians have found their niche in olympics. It was a shock though that indian hockey team didn’t even qualify for olympics this year… It is time for India to move on from grandpa days’ hockey and figure out what the younger generation is best at:  could that be kabaddi in olympics :) ??

Monday, February 25, 2008

Baingan Bharta

Prep: 1 large baingan, 2 large bell peppers, 1 large onion, 2 medium tomatoes, 1 clove garlic, 1 green chili, cilantro, coriander powder, garam masala, crushed red pepper, cumin seeds, salt.

1. Bake 1 large baingan in oven at 400 degrees for an hour. Turn every 15 minutes. Let it cool.
2. Finely chop 1 large onion and 2 large bell peppers.
3. In olive oil, add a pinch of heeng and cumin seeds.
4. Saute the onions.
5. Add minced garlic (about 1 large clove).
6. Mash or blend the peeled baingan, then add to the above mixture.
7. Add about 2 teaspoon coriander powder, 1 teaspoon garam masala, crushed red pepper and salt to taste.
8. Let the above mixture fry for 10-15 minutes on med while stirring every now and then.
9. In a separate pan, stir fry the bell peppers, keeping them slightly crunchy.
10. Blend 2 medium tomatoes with 1-2 hari mirch and add to the mixture. Fry for another 2 minutes and then turn off.
11. Before serving add fried bell peppers and cilantro.

Every day is Earth Day!

In honor of Earth Day today, here's Boog making recycled paper! And Shoo's beautiful Earth Day poster from 2019!