Wednesday, May 19, 2010

We are Shortsighted

We are a product of our choices. Even when we thought we didn’t have a choice we did.

If we have choices all along why do we feel so discontented? Because we are timing our decisions wrong. Rather than focusing on what will make us happier today we are making choices for the self that we think we will be in future. But when the future comes we are anything but happy about our decisions. How often are you amused by naivety of your younger self? We change and so does the world around us. Our experiences shift our thinking and our thoughts no longer align with our previous ones. We need to realize this disparity and be cognizant that the obvious choices today would still rub us the wrong way tomorrow.

[All this is discussed in detail in Daniel Gilbert’s book ‘Stumbling on Happiness’.]

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Coders and Insurance

At work a program fell flat and wiped out the backup eliminating any hope of recovery. The coder said she had not expected the program would ever encounter a condition like this and hence never accounted for it. In an ideal situation..., she continued, but she had lost me.

I wonder how could humble people who take out insurance policies on themselves miss to see fallibility of the applications they create. By taking insurance they accepted fallibility of their own body or mind. At the same time they weren’t “expecting” something to happen to them. It was just a way of ensuring things go smooth in the event of a failure.

I would suggest we take out the insurance on our programs too, just in case.

Wednesday, May 05, 2010


Reading has been keeping me busy apart from endless browsing and listless browsing. I find time to watch a 1 hour TV episode but not a 10 minute tutorial. I guess it's all in the mental setup. The mindset that we are too tired to do anything. In 'How to live on 24 hours a day', that author (forgot his name, he isn't a movie star after all; but I often refer to Robert De Niro as 'What just happened' guy for lack of affinity for his name). So the author suggests if we are tired to do anything fruitful we ought to correct our routine. So am trying to do that by going to gym regularly and trying to sleep early.

But I was gonna talk about my reading. So I got a Kindle last month. It's by far my favorite gadget; so light and beautiful; and keeps me away from jumping on the internet and losing my time. The only thing I miss is a touch screen on it which will make using it's dictionary feature super easy. It's great to get all those classics on Kindle and read away.

So since last month I've read quite a few books - The Curious Case of Benjamin Button - an incredible, witty short story. Am a Fitzgerald fan now.

Adventures of Alice in Wonderland, hadn't read the book although I saw the animation. I used to be scared to Queen of Heart as a kid. She wasn't that scary in the book. Perhaps the next in the series will change that opinion.

And then the ultimate - Three men in a boat and to say nothing of the dog. O Man! This is like opium. I would say this is round tine. It's so ineffably funny but yet J penned it! I read it and read again to whoever will listen.

Am now reading the Great Expectations by Charles Dickens. It seems interesting but am still yearning for more of Jerome K Jerome. If I go to gym I reward myself by reading - 'The importance of being Earnest' by Oscar Wild(e). It's a satirical play. During my lunch I've been reading autobiography of Virgin owner - Richard Branson. It's so interesting it feels like fiction.

PS - The name of author is Arnold Bennett.

Tuesday, May 04, 2010


Last week I tried my hands at The Cheesecake Factory style cheesecake. I had intended to stick to the recipe to get it just right. The cake turned out good even after my slight deviations. The recipe suggested a mixed nut crust and it's to die for. It's worth just baking the crust as snack bars.

The tin foil cake-pans I bought ended up smaller than I needed and I didn't have any spring-foam cake-pans. The recipe on Philadelphia Cream Cheese suggested I use the regular 9" dia pan and line it with foil leaving out enough foil to lift the cake out of the pan. It worked quite well and was fun to do it.

The pan turned out to be smaller for the suggested ingredients. Of course I was mixing suggestions from two different recipes. I left out one egg.

When is my Cheesecake done?
I baked the cake as suggested but it cracked and looks like it was due to over baking. To check if your cheesecake is done; give the cake-pan a jerk. If the center wobbles, it needs more time. If it barely moves, it's done.