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The (In)Famous Gult



gult \Gu.llt\, n. slang for native of Andhra, South India. 'Telugu' - reversed and mutilated Source: Nrcima's Extended Unabridged Version of Important Offensive Words.



Updated: 2016-09-01T10:33:43.897-05:00

 



New home

2009-08-16T01:04:59.765-05:00

Moved to http://orugallu.net/. See you all there.



What would you do with a Billion?

2009-08-12T12:46:07.794-05:00

Yes and that's a Billion Washingtons. This is not a trick question and there are no hidden parts to the question. One simple direct question - What would you do if you were given a Billion USD.

Its nice to see people come up with a variety of answers and more importantly similar ones. Almost everybody who gets this question asked, answers philanthropically with sentences like ' I will spend most of it on fighting poverty, world hunger and environment protection/global warming'. Though it is nice that everybody thinks of saving the world first, is that really what will happen once you land with the Billion.

Lets take a closer and practical look at the problem and the common answer.

A Billion is a lot of money. There is no denying that. This much money can fix a lot of problems in today's world where almost everything and anything is possible if you can pay for it. Now there is no denying that either. Setting up stuff for goodwill is not an overnight process. It takes a lot of time, effort and thought to get it right. Small mistakes could end the money in wrong hands and not to mention that lots of money brings in lots of problems. There are folks all along who want a piece of that wealth for themselves. Not just people who you need to work on your philanthropic project, even family members are interested too. More money means more greed.

By the time you realize what is going on and keep everybody in check, you have already spent a whole lot of time and the interest and zeal with which you took up this task has faded away. Now this is what makes this question a tough one to answer.

I am yet to come across an answer that I feel would really work in a practical world. As for me, I would answer the question as - ' You keep the money and do all this philanthropic work. As a payment for getting all of it done, you can keep half of it if you like to after the task is complete. I am content with what I have. Thanks'. Honestly. smirk and wink.




Win 7 Rocks

2009-08-07T12:48:54.148-05:00

Windows 7 is awesome. This is why -

I have a 512MB, Centrino processor, 5 years old dinosaur of a Dell laptop sitting on the death row for about an year now waiting to be recycled. Enter Win 7 and this baby is running like a race car.

Sweetness!



Crappy device

2009-08-06T12:16:50.392-05:00

You know its not a good day for technology when a device that is considered to be a big breakthrough in the tech world stops working and starts frustrating you. Well that is the day for me today.

I recently purchased an iPhone. Now for people who dont know what iPhone is, it is the standard for smartphones as some might like to put it. I initially liked the phone a lot but not so much lately. The phone is slow, takes forever to load the apps, drops calls all the time, runs out of memory (oh yeah! I see the oom msg pop up almost everyday) and most of the apps dont even work. Not to mention the sluggish 3G network of AT&T and weird battery draining problem.

So today I decided its time to pay a visit to the genius desk at the mac store. The guy there basically ran a quick sanity health scan of the device and decided that there is nothing wrong with the phone. When I tried to discuss the issues I have had lately, he ran the list of issues and their reasoning which pretty much pushed iPhone out of my fav 5. This is how the conversation went.

Me (M) - So what do you think
Genius (G) - Your device is working fine. There is nothing wrong with it.
M - But the battery keeps draining all the time.
G - Oh. About that. You need to turn off wifi to save your battery. Wifi has a tendency to drain batteries.
M - mmm... But I need Wifi for faster access to content.
G - Not just wifi, you will have to turn off or better manage your 3G and push mechanism for email. These usually need a lot of power to keep running and are the primary reason for draining your battery.
M - But I need my mail and 3G gives me faster downloads where wifi isnt available.
G - Yah about that, 3G from AT&T isnt really that great. So you arent really gaining anything there with 3G turned on.
M - Oh. So whats your recomendation now.
G - You have about 100 apps on your device and thats basically chewing up all available RAM. You will end up with OOM no matter what you do unless you delete some of these apps.
M - (in my mind, but iPhone is famous for its apps)
G - and you might want to download the memory freeing apps to keep your device running.
M - Alright. Thanks (in me mind - for this sucky device.)

So I began a quick comparison of this phone and the Windows Mobile phone I had before. I used to run multiple apps, had easy access to outlook servers, could connect to windows machines without any issues, built in media players, better call quality and service from Sprint. This phone had none of those but for the form factor.

Bottom line -> iPhone - useless crap = nothing. (unless I see some improvement with the phone) If you are looking for more info on love/hate relationship with the iPhone, here is an interesting article on msnbc. Check it out. http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/32177251/ns/technology_and_science-wireless/wid/11915829/

This is just venting out my frustration with the phone, please do not take this as a review for iPhone or reco for their Genius bar service.



Hurricane Ridge - Olympic National Park

2009-08-03T19:55:21.874-05:00

Now, I have been to this place atleast a half dozen times in the last 1 year and yet the scenic beauty doesnt cease to amaze me. Every time I feel like I am looking at something new and awesome. Thats the Hurricane Ridge in Olympic National Forest for you.

For more on Hurricane Ridge visit think link on Wikipedia.org http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hurricane_Ridge



Celebrating 8th Anniversary

2009-08-03T19:54:56.398-05:00

EIGHT. Now that is a very good number for a lot of reasons. But the reason for celebrating it this time is - Its been 8 years since I headed out to the US of A looking to make a name of my own, to finish higher education, get a Masters degree, find a job and get settled down in life.

Though the first few years were kind of rocky, dont even want to recollect those days, life's finally taken the high road to success. 8 years later on this day I do have a sense of accomplishment in whatever I talk about or do. I have a lovely wife, a good job, beautiful home, family members all settled and happy. Cant be asking for more in 8 years.

But before I close, thank you God for making sure this happened and thanks for all the good stuff you have in store for me. And now the closing note, thanks everyone and special thanks to the special people for standing by me through thick and thin and making sure I got to where I am today :).



Sequim Lavender Festival

2009-07-20T13:56:25.720-05:00

Sequim, the town in the midst of the Olympic Peninsula with hardly any rain. Yeah. You heard that right. Sequim pronounced as Skwim is on the other side or the right side as some might say, of the Olympics and given its geographic positioning gets just a few leftover showers from the mighty clouds that soak the rest of the peninsula. Sequim's annual rainfall is about 16 inches, that is less than half the average of the nearby Puget Sound area. Sequim is the city with about 300 days of sunshine and a refuge for folks who want to escape the ever pouring rain.

Now all the above sounds very entincing, so we decided to check out the place and its lavender festival. Because of the uniqueness in its climate, Sequim has a lush growth of lavender and it is well known for its lavender farms.

Every year in the month of July, these farms open up for visitors. There are tours and fairs organized by the local farms with buses transporting folks between the farms. The festival runs the entire weekend and is a must see, must experience. The entry fee for this weekend is 15$ a person and is money well spent. Although any other weekend would be a free visit to the farm the experience is not the same.

Another Sequim surprise worth mentioning is one of the local chinese restaurants, The Fortune Star. We read reviews that its one of the best and the reviewer couldnt believe the best chinese would be in this tiny town far away from the Greater Seattle area. The place did hold its reputation and yes the food was awesome. So do check out the restaurant as well.

For more info on the Lavender festival visit the official Sequim Lavender Festival site at http://www.lavenderfestival.com/



Wallace Falls State Park, Gold Bar, WA

2009-07-15T02:25:50.010-05:00

Wallace Falls Trail hike has got to be the best hike I have done to date. There are only a fewer better trails within such easy reach of the Puget Sound region. Wallace Falls is one of the best falls in the Cascades with about 9 drops of atleast 50 feet. The biggest of them all is about 250 ft and is visible from US highway 2.

(image) The trailhead is in the city of Goldbar which is on US-2. There are clear directions from US-2 to access this trailhead. The trail head has enough parking but is always full given the amount of traffic this trail gets all round the year. There are two ways of reaching the falls via the trail. One is the woody trail which is of moderate difficulty and is about 1.5 miles while the other is of railroad grade and adds about a mile to the woody trail. Both are accessible from the trail head.

(image)
The trail head is directly under Puget Sound Energy (PSE) power lines. Once we get past the cackling noise of these lines, we reach the split for the two trails. These two meet again at the lower falls. The lower falls has a nice lunch spot for family hikers who usually bring a picnic basket upto the falls and spend time with their family. The middle falls is another half mile and the upper falls adds up another .4 miles. The hike from lower to middle falls is of moderate difficulty and not suitable for amateur hikers or beginners.
(image) The trail is not accessible to bikers, although the railroad grade trail leads the bikers to a different spot altogether.
The falls and the trail are open all round the year and a must see/hike for all enthusiasts.



Twin falls trail, Snoqualmie, WA

2009-07-15T11:21:37.623-05:00

(image)
Twin falls trail is the trail that leads to the Twin Fall waterfall on the South fork of the Snoqualmie River (Sno), in the Twin Falls/Olallie State Park. The fastest way to reach the trail head is to get off at exit 34 on I-90. Although the route I took and would recommend is via WA202 which leads through the beautiful Snoqualmie Falls if you are driving from Redmond, WA.



(image) This tree was so huge, I could actually walk through that tree trunk


(image) This was taken on the way to the Falls. The Trail head itself is very picturesque and mention worthy. Not all trail heads look this gorgeous. The trail is at a moderate level of difficulty with steep hikes and narrow paths leading up to the falls. The trail is quite a hike and not recommended for first timers. Rated as easy to moderate, the trail goes a total of 2.6 miles round trip with a nice family friendly walk.

Looking forward to Wallace Falls next week.




Prince of Persia

2009-03-19T20:37:15.366-05:00

Dint find anything princely in the first 10 mins of the game. I even got awarded 20G just like that. It would be a shame to finish the game and not feel the same as other POPs. The graphics are really good but again every game these days has awesome graphics in it. :)



Gears of War 2

2009-02-23T18:50:12.360-06:00

I finally managed to get my hands on Gears of War 2 last weekend. I can only think of two words to describe the game and experience - simply superb. The game is no longer restricted to Marcus Felix but starts developing more into this coalition efforts to beat the alien force. I will not give out any more info on the game, there are enough sites on that already. Check out the game trailer at xbox.com.
http://www.xbox.com/en-US/games/g/gearsofwar2/



Rattlesnake Trail

2009-07-14T14:45:58.816-05:00

Rattlesnake trail is just off of I90 at NorthBend. To get to rattlesnake, get off I90 at exit 32, keep right after the exit and just follow the 436th street till it becomes Cedar Falls road which will take you right to the Rattlesnake trail. The distance is about 3+ miles for those who want to watch how far the trail is from the highway.

Rattlesnake hike is not your regular everyday trail. The slope is very steep at places and is not recommended for folks with injuries and definitely not for firsttimers. There is a small 5 mile roundtrip hike to the top of the mountain to begin with and goes upto 20 miles for people who want to go all through the snoqualmie valley.

The trail zigzags through muddy pools of water and takes you on rocks, though cut trees, wooden bridges and to astounding beauty of nature. I stopped at the Rattlesnake ledge, that gives an overlookpoint to look over the Rattlesnake lake down below. You can spot your car from teh top of the ledge that gives you a sense of achievement and makes the hike worth all the trouble.

http://www.wta.org/go-hiking/hikes-of-the-week/rattlesnake-mountain-trail



Evolution & Civilization

2008-07-15T01:18:46.333-05:00

Some years back, well let me put it this way, some thousands of years back - remember when man wasn't fully erect, could eat anything he could spear, cut and chew, did not care whether it had enough sugar, calcium or protein in it, did not mind the cholesterol levels in his blood and only obeyed his hunger. Lots of good times.

Everything we eat now has to be calculated for calories, I hate to say it but I do mind munching on the fourth slice of that extra cheesy pizza. Not because I do not want to eat it, only because it wouldn't do much good to my health. I dont add extra sugar to my coffee, well actually cant afford normal coffee, only decaf. Reason, my folks wouldn't appreciate me staying up all night just cause I can't get sleep with all the caffiene in my blood. Its not like I could use that extra energy to go out and hunt down some extra food for the winters. I calculate the calories in the snack bars, I eat lotsa greens, ration'd proportions of dairy, well you get the idea.

I still envy the folks in pre civilization times when they used to eat everything. I did not want to evolve to stand erect and worry about my spine. I did not ask to be civilized to cook everything I eat and get used to digesting dairy. I am not for evolution and civilization if it makes me work extra hard to earn my meals and makes me watch my diet. But then again I am evolved and civilized so I will follow the rules and norms of the society. Time to go finish off my fifth slice of that extra cheese pizza only after I peel the cheese off of it. ;)



Camping checklist

2008-07-12T12:17:28.879-05:00

This is the checklist for camping for amateurs. The list is very exhaustive and is not in the order of importance.

Sleeping:

  1. Enough tents
  2. Tarp, foam pads or air mattresses
  3. Sleeping bags / comforters
  4. Extra tarp to cover cooking area
  5. Basic toiletries
  6. Swimming trunks/suits, hiking shoes, Hats
  7. Quarters - for using the showers at the campsite

Essentials:

  1. Flashlights/ Lanterns
  2. Extra layers of clothing
  3. Insect repellents
  4. Stoves
  5. Propane cylinders -
  6. Matches, lighters -
  7. Grilling pans/Sauce pans/other cooking utensils
  8. Paper plates -
  9. Paper cups -
  10. Paper Napkins -
  11. Spoons -
  12. Ladles –
  13. Skewers
  14. Can openers -
  15. Knife/peeler -
  16. Sun screen -
  17. Coolers/campers (ice pack) -
  18. Trash Bags -
  19. First aid kit -
  20. Ice for the icepack -
  21. Firewood/Starter wood
  22. Games - Catchphrase, Dodgeball, Frisbee -
  23. Boom Box / Zune/ FM Transmiiter & CD’s
  24. Foldable chairs

Food

  1. Water (big jerry cans) -
  2. Veggie/Meat burgers/Hot dogs -
  3. Bread/ buns-
  4. Cheese/Butter
  5. Grease (Pam Spray) -
  6. Soup cans /2 minute Noodles-
  7. Tomatoes, Onions, Cucumber
  8. Salt/Pepper/bbq and other seasoning
  9. Chips/Soda/beer
  10. Whole corn
  11. Lime/Lemon
  12. Scrub (for utensils)
  13. Egg Beaters
  14. Pancake mix/Other cereals
  15. Milk
  16. Coffee/Tea Powder
  17. Sugar



Glacier National Park

2008-12-12T21:16:11.345-06:00

The long weekend holidays for me are always boring. I usually end up working or sitting at home watching F.R.I.E.N.D.S. Not that watching TV is not good but hey its long weekend and I am expected to make some sort of long road trip. So this long weekend we set out to explore some wilderness of Glacier National Park.

To begin with, we have no experience watsoever with hiking, camping, biking, swimming, horse back riding, rafting or boating and this is what we wanted to do in GNP. The day started out with exploring and site seeing some of the local falls along the highway US-2 in western Washington and through Wenatchee. Talking about Wenatchee I will have to write another post to talk about Wenatchee alone. But for now back to GNP trip. Then we went as far as Spokane and still wanting more adventure we decided on the fly to head out to GNP. We immediately pull up information on our Win-Mo phones and make a few phone calls. Got ourselves a room on the bank of Lake McDonald in the Village Inn in Apgar Village.

The drive took about another 5 hours, total 9 hours to get to Apgar Village. The room we got to spend the nite opened into the lake, the view was the best and the feeling was just out of this world. We spent the night in the Village Inn and set out on the Road to the Sun which was a 50 mile drive filled with scenic beauty. The Chief Mountain, the Triple Arches, Mt. Clemens, wild fauna and flora just keep you engrossed all through the drive. We then camped at Rising Sun Motor Inn near the lake St.Mary for the night and then traced our way back to the city the next day.


(image) By far this was the most adventurous trip I have had and makes me want to go there again very soon.

Here is what Wikipedia has on GNP. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Glacier_National_Park_%28U.S.%29



Tintin - All titles so far

2008-07-08T10:10:16.842-05:00

This is the complete list of Tintin titles so far.

  1. Land of the Soviets
  2. Tintin in the Congo
  3. Tintin in America
  4. Cigars of the Pharaoh
  5. The Blue Lotus
  6. The Broken Ear
  7. The Black Island
  8. King Ottokar's Sceptre
  9. The Crab with the Golden Claws
  10. The Shooting Star
  11. Secret of the Unicorn
  12. Red Rackham's Treasure
  13. The Seven Crystal Balls
  14. Prisoners of the Sun
  15. Land of the Black Gold
  16. Destination Moon
  17. Explorers on the Moon
  18. The Calculus Affair
  19. Red Sea Sharks
  20. Tintin in Tibet
  21. Castafiore Emerald
  22. Flight 714
  23. Tintin and the Picaros
  24. Tintin and Apha-art
  25. Tintin and the Lake of Sharks
Most of these are available in English, French & Spanish. Yesterday I was browsing through the Half price book store and the assistant there told me Tintin was one of the most difficult books to get our hands on, esp the used ones. That made me feel good and bad. Good coz, its Tintin and there are others like me :), bad coz I would love to get my hands on some of these.



XBOX - back on my fav 5

2008-07-03T13:19:11.266-05:00

First of all WOOHOO XBOX. Please let me repeat it again, WOOHOO XBOX.

Now to explain the WOOHOO. During one of my recent trips to Andhradesam, I visited one of these big video stores. Seeing the dirt cheap prices of the DVDs sold there I couldnt resist myself and got a handful of good old Gult movies. Its not everyday that I shop for such movies and so I did not check to see the video format of these movies. Its not until I came back to US that I realized I got PAL video which none of the DVD players in here would play. I was restricted to watching them on my tiny screen laptop.

Not anymore though.

The other day when XBOX scratched my GEARS OF WAR, I knew I needed something to put XBOX back on my fav list of musthave. So I started experimenting with all sorts of discs that I had and was trying to figure out what scratches the discs the most. During one of these experiments I accidentally popped in one of my movie discs and to my surprise, XBOX started playing the movie - the one in PAL format.

I am a happy man again.

XBOX - You totally rock but for the occasional disc scratching and oh ofcourse the loud noise of your fan. You are back on my fav 5.



too human

2008-06-27T01:14:17.590-05:00

'Too human' - the new XBOX game that is scheduled for August 19th. Definitely looking forward for this.

Check the trailer out.

(image)
Trailer - Too Human



Gears of War

2009-02-23T18:50:42.380-06:00

Gears of War - probably the best game in XBOX so far, probably better than Halo IMHO. I bought the XBOX elite only for this one game and that damn thing scratched my disc the other night. I mean whats the use of bringing in a kick-ass game if the console is just going to scratch and destroy it anyways. I hope someone from the XBOX team is actually keeping track of how much they are losing because of issues like this in their console.

I am just waiting for the sequel to Gears Of War to come out in November. The trailor looks awesome. I hope the game is atleast as good as its predecessor if not better.



Orey Tintin

2008-07-08T10:10:36.842-05:00

I have always been a big fan of Tintin. The reporter with his pup Snowy and the ever swearing Captain make a good team and always seem to have a good taste for adventure with enormous amounts of good luck. They always run into troubles but do manage to get out. The video was much better than the actual comic, at least thats what I thought whenever I watched the Gult translation that air'd on ETv - MiiTv.

The other day just like that I walked into this weird store that had Tintin merchandize on sale. This store owner is apparently a big fan of Tintin just like me and carried all sorts of Tintin stuff. My first reaction - 'Billions of Blistering Barnacles'. As I recovered from the shock I started looking around and 'Ten Thousand Thundering Typhoons' did I find these 3 in 1 comic books of Tintin. I never thought i would actually see a store that would carry these anymore. Just like that the store became my favorite store and I bought all the available copies of Tintin. I am going back there again very soon to check out other stuff.

Hee Haw.



Driving me crazy

2008-04-30T04:50:47.999-05:00

On one of my most recent visits to India, I did get a chance to witness and experience the madness that is driving. Driving in india is like endangering oneself and daring in a lawless world. The only law that is followed is try to stay alive.

There are more types of vehicles on the road compared to probably any other country in the world. We have the street kings - pedestrians who would like to cross the road whenever they want. A la Jaywalking but then again this is the regular method to cross a street. Then the one level up is the guys running around for a bus or auto or for no particular reason whatsoever. They beat the jaywalkers in that they dont even look around when they are on the street.

The next level is the two wheelers, three wheelers and the four wheelers. The two wheelers category starts with a bicycle. This 'what can a bicycle do' kind of vehicle when rode by a normal Indian transforms into nothing but a speeding turbojet twin engine 6 cyclinder race car. Not really but atleast thats what the rider thinks of his ride. They cut corners the way that puts the nascar drivers name to shame. They are everywhere, they dont care for the rules, they have no rules. one level up in this category is the two wheelers that includes the girly looking pep and activas and the macho pulsars and hunks. The driving requirements prescribes that the driver come with an attitude. Helmets are a must so they hang by the seat hook. The speeds are 100+ in a 40 zone and these folks are always in a hurry to get somewhere.

Three wheelers is the transportation class that includes the infamous auto-rickshaws aptly named autos. The vehicles seems to have a mind of their own and so the drivers never apply their when driving. the lesser said the better for this fleet of vehicles. The four wheelers is the community that is quickly catching up despite the gas prices and inflation rates. Four wheelers is a status symbol. If you have a four wheeler you are already a hero in your group. If more than one person owns a four wheeler then its the maker that puts you at the top of the list. There is hardly any maker left in the world who doesnt have a model on 4 wheels trying to rule the street.

The only thing that is common to all drivers on the indian street is almost everybody is trying to overtake everybody else. There are no rules, they dont want to follow the rules. Ofcourse when stopped by the cops, they are either the son of some big shot or a cousin of some movie actor. After spending three weeks in these life threatening conditions and after many futile attempts to drive my old scooter on the street, i just gave up. But then everytime i looked at the street, I thought of a new way to implement the driving laws and atleast come up with some since there are none. More about that later.



I recycle, Do U?

2008-04-23T05:32:22.414-05:00

Greener city, greener earth seems to be the new mantra of everyone these days. Big corporations are trying to do everything that they can to promote the little bit of recycling they do. Its not like they are not doing anything, but what they do is not sufficient. Its simply not good enough.
I recycle. I recycle every piece of paper, plastic, glass, metal, food. If its remotely recyclable i dispose it the way it should be. Never use a plastic bag when i go to the grocery store. I carry my own bag or sometimes bags. I prefer to eat in my china rather than use plastic or foam plates and worry about recylcing them later.
Green starts at home with every individual and is not the problem of just the corporations. A greener Earth is for everyone now and for the future to come. Try to recycle and help preserve our world.



Breaking the radio silence

2007-12-10T02:01:47.616-06:00

So its been a while since I have blogged about anything. But there wasn't much to write anyways and saying that to myself just made me feel a little better. This post was just to break the radio silence once in a while, make my presence felt in the blogosphere and feel like i contributed my part in moving a few electrons around and waste the all precious bandwidth. Ha HA huh. Thats a gults laughing the Gabbar way. CHAW.



The move...

2007-04-17T02:45:44.018-05:00

So I havent blogged in a while. But I was never a daily blogger and I will try not to pretend to be one.

So I recently moved to a bigger city from a not so big city. Like many people I said to myself, so whats the big deal, so its a big city, life is not so different after all. But slowly I have come to realize that maybe Big City does have its effects after all.

There are more folks that you know who live nearby.
There are more parties every week that you have to attend.
The crowd to cinemas keeps growing every week.
There are more folks poking in your matters.
The number of people who dislike you is very high.

And this is just to name a few, not including the real problems of a big city like peak traffic, bad traffic and regular traffic jams. The lines in the grocery stores are always long even at 100am.

Damn the move... huh the big city.



Aeroplanes: Making the world look smaller

2006-11-22T00:32:08.522-06:00

We have always heard about the aeroplanes bringing the world closer. But my recent air travel has made me believe that they have also started making the world smaller. Read on to learn how.

The punch line for everything aboard the plane is compact. The snacks they serve are small servings. The alcohol comes in special "small" bottles. Just to add to the list, there is lesser leg room in the flight and the restroom has just enough space to take care of the business.

I can go on and on with the list but my point is aeroplanes are making the world a smaller place - atleast for a few hours.