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Saturday, October 31, 2009

Rennaisance fair

Since childhood, I love going to fairs. They are awesome!

3 weeks back, i went to Rennaisance fair with Court. Thanks to Court for giving me company and his camera :)

The official website is http://www.norcalrenfaire.org/. Rennaisance fair celebrates life and times of late Elizabethan period. Everyone working there is dressed in costume pertinent to that era. There are games, knights, jousting, plays (Shakespeare etc), arts (glass making, goblets), sports (fencing, swordplay), drinks etc.

Fortunately for me, i went on the last day of the fair. The setting of California Rennaisance fair is also great - at the foot of some hills with no building at sight, it looks like a proper Rennaisance period except for people like me who come dressed without any costume.

The pics can be found here -
Rennaisance fair


I highly recommend everyone to visit if they get a chance!

Hallowwen




I dressed up a Burglar, took a white shirt and PJ and made stripes with black duck tape. The number is a reference to Burgel Beagle from the Beagele Biys gang from Duck tales. Thanks to Dave for the idea! Had lots of fun making the costume and wearing it too. The two bags of cash are pillow covers with magazines stuffed in them.

The complete office pics can be seen here - http://picasaweb.google.com/arvindbatra/HalloweenKosmix#
Halloween - Kosmix



People were very creative and i was surprised by such a big turnout. Almost everyone came in a costume.

Awesome experience!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Belated Diwali

So, i didnt blog on Diwali this year. I wanted to but then blogging requires a frame of mind.

So what did i do this Diwali ?

Went shopping :) Sounds so fictitious. So i thought that i should buy an iphone on the special occasion of Diwali but apple and att go orthogonal to each other. So was unable to convert my t-mobile to att.

Ate lunch at Bhima;s - andhra style cuisine. Ate Thali. Remembered Blore days!

Watched Wake up Sid. Reviewes were posted before.

Went to potluck at Nikesh's house.
Here is how Nikesh invited me to Potluck
Wed ( 3 days before Diwali)
N - Hey Arvind, what are you doing on Diwali?
Me: (Thinks)Nothing.
N - I am organizing a potluck at my house. Would you like to come?
Me: (I am staring at him without giving an answer, this goes for 10 seconds)
N - You do not have to make anything.
Me: (Instantly) Ofcourse! Count me in!

So, good food, samose, gjams, mango lassi ...and many things. And then we played Mafia. A good game and Nikesh discovered that Arvind can talk and argue easily. I dont know why people get the wrong impression when they meet me for the first time.

The pics can be found here - http://picasaweb.google.com/garera/DiwaliPotluck2009?authkey=Gv1sRgCLja3rOKgorcBA&feat=email#

So, all in all a good Diwali as per US standards. Ofcourse Diwali in India takes a different meaning. Cant compare this with that.

Yosemite 2

8 people
6 guys 2 girls,
3 Chinese, 2 Brazilian, 1 Israeli, 1 Hungarian and 1 Indian
3 Math post-docs, 2 Math Phd students, 2 in CS and 1 undergrad

I can dissect the data, combinations in many ways but bottom line is that it was a unique set of people.

Friday night, we left Bay area for Yosemite. Stopped at In-n-Out for dinner ( good milk shakes). We camped outside Yosemite National park, my first camping experience. Tents, sleeping bags, fire, flashlights, marshmallows with crackers and the best - starting at stars. It was quite cold at night.

Next morning, we hiked up to Glacier point on the four mile trail which is of length 4.6 miles. My first strenuous trail, we climbed 900 meters on this trail. From Glacier Point, we took Panoramic trail ( 8 miles total), on which first we went down, 600 metres, then climbed up 500 metres and them came down. The trail covered Nevada falls, vernal falls, ending at Curry village. All in all total 12.6 miles (approx 20 kms). The hike from Glacier Point to Curry village was done in 4 hrs and at a good speed. It was getting quite darker and the trail was quite difficult too.

So what do i get in the end -
aching legs, badly aching legs, a blog post and a sense of achievement and great fun. I am ready for half dome (considered to be the most difficult hike in Yosemite) now!

Notes -
Camping is fun! Need to buy my own tent now!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Wake up Sid

aaaaaaaaaaaarrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrggggggggghhhhhhhhhhhh

I wanted to pull my hair many times while watching the movie. 8 months, yes it has been 8 months of not watching any bolly movie and i broke it with this one.....i have no words.

Rated 7.2, starring konkona sen sharma, music by shankaar ehsaan loy, newbie director.... it all looked promising .... but i overlooked one small detail - this movie is produced by Karan Johar. Gosh! if only i had know this info....i would not have gone if someone paid for me.

Why so? Bollywood has i think found out a new formula of success, other such films were Rock On, Luck by chance, that Aditi movie . what is the formula? Show young people rich, clubbing,enjoying life blah blah , then they have a mid life crisis when they run out of money and in some dumb (luck) way they come out of it.... heros are poster boys, houses are either huge or colored with vibrant colors if small.....


man! it was so pain to watch this one..... i can only say - wake up bolly indie.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

I now have a car

Yesterday morning when i woke up, if someone may have asked me on a scale from 1 to 10, what are the chances you will have a car, i would have said 1. But it was meant to be i guess.

I bought a Toyota Corolla 2010 model silver color, Sports model.
Why this car?
Ans: - why not? :) Its a decent looking car with good fuel economy. And it is worth for what it is worth. The sports type adds a little jazz but then i was shopping with Gurshi :) (but i confess, i like it too)

And yes, that brings me to Gurshi, there is no doubt in my mind when i say that i would not have bought this car without Gurshi. There is a delta between thinking and delivering, i think Gurshi has the gift of filling the delta with ease.
And call it kismet, or call it coincidence, buying this car has been such a pleasurable experience. With this i come to Toyota Fremont. I have heard many bad things about auto dealers, they intimidate you, harass you etc. But amongst all dirt, there are still people who are professional, understand terms like business ethics and morals. My dealer Gil Zib(...) is one such person and i would recommend anyone to go to him to buy a car.

Even though my process started like two months ago, the real process (i mean with Gurshi) started last sunday and by friday, here i am with a car. So i am still an impulse buyer :)


10 Oct 2009.