February 24, 2008

Few good reads

I havent read many books after moving down to Chennai ; the last one was The Black Swan - an excellent page turner with loads of gyaan. Taleb is a genius who understands the subject that he is trudging on and explains it with finesse.

Well, i was spending too much time on the Net and on my laptop and was getting into the geekdom(second part) again. My phone bill(broadband) shot up - guess the 2.5 Gb limit wasnt enough. But the 2Mbps line simply rocks. Nwayz, spent some time in the Spencer's(got a good Woodland Shoe) and then went on to Moore Market yesterday. Moore market is the bazaar near the Madras(Chennai) Railway Station wherein one can find everything on Earth (at very cheap rates) - provided on knows the art of negotiation/bargaining. My intentions were simply to go there and get some good reads to fill my shelf(and make my mom yell at me - she argues that i am occupying half the house with my junk).

Got the following :
# Survival of the Sickest - By Dr.Sharon Moalem
Having recently been affected by throat infection, i was searching for something on human anatomy and was happy to find this book. The Doc is a medical maverick who discovers why we need a disease. He talks about our genetic design and asks and answers some provocative questions. I have started reading this book and its going amazing.

# View from the Summit - By Sir Edmund Hillary
Waiting to read this book. An autobiography by the master himself and I being an ardent traveller/trekker this was an excellent find.

# The Dancing Wu Li Masters - By Gary Sukav
An old book - NY Times says that this is the most exciting intellectual adventure after the 'Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance'. Its an absorbing guide to the mind stretching mysteries of the new Physics and points out striking parallels with modern Psychology and Eastern Mysticism.

# The Goal - By Eliyahu M.Goldratt
Have read some good reviews. The story of a person who has to save his plant(business) given lots of extraneous conditions that hamper from its development.

# The Great Game (On a Secret Service in High Asia) - By Peter Hopkirk
Related to adventure and war - yet to get a flavour of it.

# Code Complete - By Steve McConnell
This is a book on software construction - a must for many self-taught programmers :)

Am sure these kill keep me occupied for a month or two :)

February 22, 2008

Streptococcus Viridans

Having survived numerous bacteria and viruses over the past decade and not falling ill even for a single day; inspiteof drinking water from rusty taps, broken bottles, dirty water tanks I was really happy and fortunate. But, 2 weeks back we started getting water in the bubble top containers (mineral water) due to a possible contamination of the well water. And 2 days after that had a heavy fever and then a really bad throat infection. Tried to control from my mind for a week , but that was of no avail - the specie in my throat was more powerful than my mind. Went to the doc finally, his initial dose of medicines weren't of any use , he made the dose even more powerful and I got partial relief. Finally, he advised me of a throat swab and this what the report read :

Organism Isolated : Streptococcus Viridans

Holy cow... my charm for sesquipedalion words ended up in a sesquipedalion bacteria in my throat channel :( My state is not as bad as the 'organism' sounds, but the very thought of an-organism-in-my-body and reciting its name sends mild shivers across my spine.

But the naming convention sounds 'kewl' ... i wish i had a body organ named after me : "Ramanilicous Venkatidans"

February 17, 2008

Insights 2007

2007 was an eventful year for me. Lots of things happened which gave me new courage to face new challenges and grab new opportunities. Met some interesting people and also had a some great conversations. Though each day is a new experience in itself, but 2007 made me think and take some steps that can have some strategic consequences later in my life.

Some of the important and finest moments......

January - The year started off with me buying a new camera on the NY eve - my new kid - Nikon D50. I was overjoyed - i had saved my hard earned money to buy this. I have had some great moments with this camera and am still having it; hope not to part with it - my commitment is sincere :D

February - My first ever Himalayan trek. At sub zeros temperatures and nothing but whiteness around under some really strenuous conditions , it was an excellent experience. Though the trek was called off after the first day but the experience is something to be cherished till my next Himalayan Trek happens.

May - The Bangalore Midnight Marathon - what an experience it was!!!! I ended up running though i had gone their for clicking :) Almost 8-10hours of clicking with some superb experiences.

July - Resigned from Oracle :) It was a tough decision for me. Life at Oracle was extremely good - with a good balance between good work and an adventurous personal life. 2 Years with Oracle was really satisfying in terms of both - Job satisfaction and excellent learning. But, life was getting very comfortable at a very young age and i did not want it to be like that.

In the meantime, gave some interviews at Google, cleared some rounds and then stopped the process - Google is not the place for me now ;)

August - Joined Svapas (Serendio)
I had lots of expectations when i joined Svapas - i wanted to be the flag bearer of setting up a pure product company based out of Chennai(India).

December - Left Svapas (Serendio)
Things always do not happen the way you expect them to ; though one can take the bull by its horns but it's sometimes clever to think strategically and take a suitable decision, by taking all the variables into effect. Again - experience @ Svapas was great.

2008 is keeping me busy...did not have much time for travel - except for the Andhra tour over the new year. Work is getting more interesting and enjoyable ...loads to learn..loads to share... hope to stumble on some interesting people and learn more :)

Life is beautiful.....
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