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

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

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:>/install.php

8. Run through the wizard as per the tutorial at 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 :) ??

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!