Saturday, December 12, 2009

World's Largest Baskets

Today I saw the world's largest picnic basket (see above) and world's largest apple basket (see below).

Picnic basket is located at
1500 East Main Street
Newark, Ohio 43055

Apple basket is located at
5563 Raiders Road,
OH 43822

Picnic basket is the working office of Longaberger basket company. They have the basket workshop in Frazeysburg by the apple basket.

It's closed during the holidays so checkout the timing without heading out there. Checkout the hours here -

Saturday, November 21, 2009

The Horse

My charcoal sketch of original Baroque (European art marked by ornate details) Horse Series III by Heather Theurer.

Completed it comparitively faster than my other paintings.

After 30 minutes into it, it looked like this -

25 minutes later -

32 minutes later -

Total time to complete the sketch 1 hr 27 minutes.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Chocolate Factory Tour

This week I took factory tour of Schakolad Chocolate Factory in Columbus, OH.

It is one of the few attractions that Columbus offers apart from monstrous apple baskets, graduation cap etc.

The tour was sweet and so was our host/guide - Judy. She showed us a video on the history of chocolate and served us warm chocolate drink with honey and salt. That's probably the way it was drunk in ancient days.

Then we got to taste white, milk and dark chocolates fresh from the churner. Their pure cocoa butter white chocolate is out of the world. Then we got to make specialty chocolates ourselves.

We learned the 'two finger technique' of dipping in chocolate and 'catching the tail' trick from Judy and tried it. She also showed us how to use templates. She created a lolly and a baseball from templates.

We made chocolate pretzels, chocolate dipped strawberry, chocolate dipped cookie and chocolate bar dipped in chocolate. However, we didn't use any templates.

Then we got to wrap all the chocolates we made. Judy showed us how to curl the ribbons. Very cool!

Mom made the video of us making the chocolates while dad looked on.

It was a fun filled hour and all the chocolates that we made during the time were our take away from the tour.

PS - Oompa-Loompas were missing.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Girl with red rose

I've been wanting to draw this for a long time. I abandoned the first attempt. But started afresh last weekend and here I am.

It took some time to locate the poster. It's called "Only for You" by Kim Anderson. It's also called "Red Hat" and appears in "Little Friends" too.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Just a thought

I've a book of 100 short stories by O. Henry. I read it almost daily during lunch time. I like O. Henry's work - the sarcasm, the humor, the twists and the language. Today while I was reading I realized I was holding 100 individual works of art by Henry. Each written with great deliberation. It's a huge accomplishment to write 100 stories. Of course he would have written many times more to get those 100 published.

Then it came to me. If Henry can create hundreds of masterpieces I should be able to just produce hundreds of my work; quality no bar.

I've decided that I'm going to write and draw more.

How David Beats Goliath

I like writings of Malcolm Gladwell. Just read his new essay Annals of Innovation: How David Beats Goliath

Underdogs beat professionals in as many as 70% cases. These underdogs often don't play by the conventional methods. Their effort and determination triumphs the expertise of their opponent.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Cat in the Shoe

Sketch of the naughty cat caught in the shoe.

Closer shot

Mom says the sketch is exceptionally good. She said, "Look at the tail. How brilliant it is! OMG!" She even encouraged me to be a full time artist.

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Available packages/ ports on MacPorts :

To install a package using MacPorts :
sudo port install <package name>

sudo port uninstall <package name>

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Experiment - Amazon Remembers

Amazon remembers is an innovative and incredibly fast product image recognition service by Amazon currently available only on iPhone. I'm totally blown away by it.

How it works
Go to Amazon app on iPhone, Remembers Section, Click a picture with your iPhone, Send it to Amazon. Amazon will respond with a either an exact item or a matching one. All this right from within the app. You can view the results on your iPhone app or on your Amazon homepage.

I tried this service with following 5 items and within a minute or two I had Amazon respond with the exact item link in 3 out of 5 cases. One was a close match and the other a disaster.

1) On left above is the smoothie cup from my cafeteria for which Amazon found the adjoining matchin cup.

2) Picture of a poster. Amazon found it instantly but it had taken me over an hour.

3) I sent a valid bar code. Instead of the item Amazon found me this book on bar codes.

4) When I sent the cover of book whose bar code I had used in #3 above. Amazon promptly found it.

5) Finding a toy was easy too. This search took Amazon a little longer. Although it 's not an exact match but it's pretty close.

Overall, Amazon Remembers is a lot of fun and really useful in finding items which are difficult to describe. And hey it's someone else doing the work for you.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Folding a sheet of paper more than 7 times

While growing up almost all of us have tried folding a paper more than 7 times and failed but for Britney Gallivan. She derived empirical formula for approximate width needed to fold a paper in alternate directions and another one for approximate length needed to fold a paper in one direction. She demonstrated that a 1.2 km long toilet paper can be folded 12 times.

Here's the complete story and more.

An awesome quote by Juan Ramon Jimenez (in the article too)
"If they give you ruled paper, write the other way."

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Add hours to your day - Switch off TV

Mitch Altman talks about how TV takes away 13 years of 70 years of an average American's life. He hates TV so much that he created a universal remote called TV-B-Gone.

Here is a talk he gave on hacking life for fun and profit -

Some salient points -
1. Watch more TV be less happy.
2. TV is one of the causes of obesity.
3. Advertisements makes one feel inadequate and discontented.
4. TV watching is the only non-natural activity that causes our brains to radiate alpha waves. Our brain releases alpha waves when we are falling asleep, drowsy or
sleep. This implies we are more susceptible to advertising.

Some nuggets from the talk -

If you're building a project around some thing you like
make sure your damn well love it because parts that are uncool are incredibly uncool. If you don't love it you'd hate it more than anything you've hated in your life.

The bad things in life are still there but now there are so many cool things to do and choose from.

Choose well what you do with your time. Do what you love and world would be a better place.

Lazy Days

My latest watercolor painting.

This adorable golden retriever was photographed by Keith Kimberlin and can be seen here.

I first saw it hanging on my roommate's door and when it tore during a move, I replaced it.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

The Sawmill

As I walked into my parking lot a small smile came to my lips. A smile that comes with knowledge of familiarity.

As a kid I used to visit my grandparents' sawmill. The mill is still there but they aren't. They were older than the mill. The passage to the mill was piled with fresh logs on both sides. The greatest attraction of the mill for me was it's big wooden pan balance right at the entrance. Others liked the new electric sawing machine. I loved to swing on the balance. Sometimes I'd get weighed against firewood, sometimes against the weights that I could not lift.

In summer my cousins, my brother and I'd play hide and seek in the mill. Behind the logs, over the shed, heap of sawdust, and dingy cowshed were our hiding places. Sometimes we'd climb the shed and pluck wood apple and jamun (kind of a plum). Granddad would yell urging us to be safe and not to pluck the raw fruits. We'd take these fruits home to aunt. Jamun made for immediate consumption. We'd take a glass full of them, washed and salted. When we were done eating each of us will compare whose tongue was darker shade of purple.

After the hard day at mill body would itch with sawdust and lungs would be saturated with smell of damp wood, wood shavings, sawdust and rat poop. We would go back the next day nonetheless.

It's this nostalgic smell I've found in my parking lot emanating from the mulch of wood chips.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Unlocked iPhone

After several failed attempts at craigslist and unwillingness to sign a 2 year contract my wait finally got over today. I bought a 4 GB 1st generation iPhone.

I attempted to jailbreak and unlock with QuickPWN but it did not quite go well on mac. I guess because I failed to put iPhone in DFU mode a couple of times. When I tried again iTunes blew raspberry with "An iPod has been detected, but it could not be identified properly. Please disconnect and reconnect the iPod, then try again. 2001"

The phone didn't turn on again. I guess this is what they call being brick. I restored my iPhone by holding down home key and connecting to pc with iTunes (8.0) already running. I let iTunes update the software version to 2.2.1 and restore it to factory setting. This took about 25 mins.

So the phone was alive again! Then back to unlocking and jailbreaking.

1. Download and unzip QuickPWN - Software Version: 2.2.5-2 from
2. Download bootloader file from and unzipped to get bootloader 3.9 and bootloader 4.6.
3. Download iPhone1,1_2.2.1_5H11_Restore from

All the above downloads should be in the same folder. Close iTunes while your iPhone is still connected to pc. My iPhone had the unactivated AT&T sim card while I unlocked it.

With all the downloads ready and phone connected run QuickPWN. It would guide you thru all the steps. Most important step is while putting the phone in DFU mode. Do not release the home key until iPhone screen turns white. That is when QuickPWN has started to run your iPhone.

After that its a cake walk. But yes replacing the sim is a little unconventional too!

Here's my apple and iPhone :)