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Showing posts from November, 2010

On Being ill

I caught a cold last week (or should I say cold caught me)?  

Each time, I tell that I will go to the doctor at the slightest hint of illness.   It does not happen. I think, it is just a little cold. It will go off tomorrow. 

First, there is running nose (not literally, of course)!  Ah, that is good sign - that the cold is coming out through the nose.

Soon there is sore throat.  Surely gargling with hot salt water will take care of it?  Again, a sign of cold coming out of the system?


A mild headache, then sneezin, coughing... Soon it is four days - multiple symptoms, no sign of the cold leaving.  

Avoid head bath, drink hot water, avoid curd...

And then comes the fever.  That is when the decision is made - to visit the doctor.   Usually, half the illness goes once the consultation charges are paid and medicines bought. It is like telling your learning is ineffective unless you pay "guru dakshina".

Looking back at my younger days, I think I fall ill about twice a year - most…

A Nice Experience

Last week, I wanted to renew my Two Wheeler Vehicle Insurance.  Ever since I bought it, Bajaj Allianz is the insurance provider.  I used to renew the policy by going to their office.  The last two years, I had done the renewal online
I had received a couple of SMS as well as calls from Bajaj Allianz reminding me of the impending renewal.

I provided the required information which took me to successive pages, including the payment gateway, ultimately, resulting in a confirmation page.  I took a screenshot of the page for reference. I got an SMS from my credit card provider stating that the online transaction had been processed.  I could not however find the link to download the policy. Nor did I receive any confirmation email.

I waited for a couple of days and then emailed Bajaj Allianz (around 8 PM) using the email proved in their Contact us link.  I really did not expect any response and was prepared to call them the next morning.  Imagine my shock when I received a response in 10 m…

Tiger tiger

"Tiger tiger", cried the Security personnel as he rushed inside Vodafone's Customer Service Center in 100 Ft. Road, Indira Nagar. 

It did not register the first time.

"Tiger tiger" he cried again.

"Oh no!", the Bangalore Traffic Police's towing vehicle is here. 

Why is it called Tiger?  It is because some of the policemen who enforce No Parking rules, ride a two wheeler which have a cover which is a mix of yellow and black stripes - resembling the skin of a tiger! Also, I guess, some of the Towing vehicles sport that color.

Ok, now that we are done with the digression, to get back to the problem at hand.  I rushed to the entrance to see that my two wheeler was one of the first ones to be aboard the towing vehicle, along with a bunch
of others.  The policeman sitting in the front portion of the vehicle said "Jeevan Bhima Nagar" - indicating that this was the place we should go to collect the vehicle (after we paid the fine).

Evidently, …

Upgrading to Fedora 14

Nov 3, 2010:

Fedora 14 released yesterday (2nd Nov) and it was time for another upgrade of my office desktop - from Fedora 13 to Fedora 14.  (I have written about previous upgrades here and here)

From Fedora Core 7 days, I have been using upgrading using yum (perhaps the most adventurous of the upgrade options). 

Following the instructions in the docs, I removed unused/orphaned packages and switched to console mode.

The first instruction - to import the new gpg key failed and for an interesting reason.  The office PC is behind a proxy server and cannot directly get files.  I have configured http_proxy and ftp_proxy variables to the proxy server so that any requests go through the proxy.  What was different here was the request was to an https resource.  One would have thought the proxy variable settings would work for both http and https.  I ended up setting the variable https_proxy to the same proxy server and I could download the gpg keys and import the same.

The next hurdle was th…

Palani - the abode of Lord Muruga

We were in Coimbatore for Diwali.  It was decided to make a visit to Palani to have a darshan of Lord Muruga. Palani is about 110 km from Coimbatore.  The route is on NH209 Coimbatore - Pollachi - Udumalpet - Palani.  We decided to drive down and started from Coimbatore at 6.30 AM.  We found the road to be pretty good, as well as fairly empty in the morning (the morning after Diwali).  It is a two-lane highway with no divider, but well-tarred.  We found just one speed breaker and one unused railway line. 

It is a very scenic route, especially Pollachi to Udumalpet - with dozens of windmills dotting the horizon.  Since we wanted to make good time, we decided to take photos while returning. (As it turned out, this was not a good idea).  Interestingly, only two or three windmills actually rotated - the rest were quite stationary, indicating it was not a windy morning.

We were in Palani by 8.30 AM and proceeded to have breakfast.  Through a known person, a pass was arranged for darshan.  …

Protecting language

According to Bangalore Mirror today, Karnataka Film Chamber of Commerce (KFCC) had a marathon meeting and decided on a number of steps to "protect the interest of the Kannada film industry... on the verge of collapse and to save it...".  This was apparently triggered by the telecast of a dubbed film in a private Kannada channel.  The film in question?  a 1963 Telugu film "Lava Kusha".

In this connection I cannot help writing about how liberal Kerala is, with respect to other languages, especially, Tamil.  Most Keralites can understand Tamil.  Rajanikanth and other Tamil actors are as popular in Kerala as their Malayalee counterparts. 

More interesting are the TV programs. Most music based  reality shows have "Tamil Song" rounds. Why, some TV channels telecast Tamil movies once a week - without even dubbing them in Malayalam.

One would think that a small State like Kerala, where Malayalam language speakers are limited by the population, would be keen to &q…