Sunday, November 11, 2007

Celebrating seven years with my crappy, junky, grumpy, age-old, yet never-say-die PC!

Man and Machine…They always found a differentiation. Not always, maybe

Some seven years ago, when I bought my current PC, I didn’t know a damn thing about computers. Hell, even I couldn’t find the crappy power button to turn it on. The guy who came and hooked the thing up showed how tahe graphics load, how to play an mp3, a movie and all the major tricks. After the fella left, I thought it ain’t gonna be too hard to run this thing, but didn’t take long to realize that I had made a major mistake. I didn’t know where the power switch is. Fed up with searching, phoned a buddy and he said the button should be there. Finally I got my finger stuck in a hole, and bang! The thing worked! Well…that’s just history. I’m still running it since then and there’s a whole saga behind it. For the first few months, when it broke down, I used to carry it all the way to Kandy, where my computer shop was. The only (yet the best, as they say) remedy these genius computer shack repair guys know is formatting the boot drive. The same happened for me, despite how minute the problem is. Then I thought this ain’t gonna do, and since then I doctored my own aches and pains. That’s when I started to feel computing, and that’s when I started this passion. Well, it wasn’t the end, but a beginning of a different companionship with this machine and myself.

For every quarter of a year, something gets blown off; nevertheless, this junk has survived a miraculous seven years. The last gadget that faced its demise was the goddam CDROM drive. Hell, it ran a good ol’ 6 years non-stop. Way, way better than the crappy Creative shit that was on sale in every corner of the street back in 2000. It had all the wizardly crap like remote controls and all, but it wasn’t just enough to survive long, at least in our reach. Presently, the CPU looks bare naked and the last time I saw the casing cover of the CPU was back in 2006. Sometimes the CPU goes dead silent. It may sound cool but that’s when I know the cooler fan has stopped. With a couple of thumps, the thing starts to rotate and I’m back on line. During this seven-year tenure, few hard disks served its time until I switched to Hitachi. Hitachi is more silent unlike the old Quantum hard disk; which, when operating, emulated the noise of a tractor running in my room. My UPS is with the repair guy for over 2 years and he and I have both forgotten it. Now he thinks he owns it and I don’t give a damn. It ain’t cool to run a comp without a UPS, but what the heck.

Well…This saga with this machine, and myself - it will go on…Till one meets its demise...

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Tedium or Inertia? Or both?

From the footloose uni life to pro life… Before I know it, life’s back in a shell - one seems quite hard to break away. Guess the life - from the birth till death, is a function of intermittent, varying and interchanging set of shells. Changes of life - things that one desires or hates happen within these shells and some even go unnoticed. The longer one shell gets dragged on, or when the transition to the next shell appears vague, either tedium (say boredom) or the interia (say reluctance against change…wonder if anyone ever used this term in this context) could happen. Six months into this shell, and I’m having a mix of them. Say 80% tedium and 19% inertia. And I have a few words to name this composition: I need a fuckin change. Change, well…you got to make things happen as not all changes are favorable. You need to seek your own asylum, redemption, salvation or nirvana – whatever the hell they call it. In fact, that’s what we all seek in our life – freedom in mind with no or fewer strings attached. I find myself long way away from there – my own nirvana. I’m having a hangover and feeling too drowsy to write this shit now. Hell, I feel like boozing right now. What the fuck, I’m out…

Friday, May 4, 2007

Back to Cricket: What comes first, country or county?

WC maybe gone but the cricket should move on. I’ve just heard on the news that three Sri Lankan players – Vaas, Murali and Sanga are joining in with the English county cricket for the coming season. They are gonna miss Sri Lanka’s international tours for the coming 5-6 months. Again, yeah, WC woes are gone but this act raises few eyebrows. Are these guys really playing for country or money? Playing for the national team does not necessarily imply that a particular player is genuinely playing for the country. These guys are already rich by numbers with playing in the national team over the years, and hence have no reason such as ‘seeking financial stability’ by playing for English county. In addition, they can’t be seeking extra form in cricket, because they are already age-old veterans. There is a saying that when you start to earn money, you don’t see an end. Maybe it’s the same thing with these guys. We have nothing against them earning money, cos they deserve it. But if this lets the whole country down for few extra pounds, it’s something worth giving a concern. If Sri Lanka looses any upcoming tour, it may very well be due to the absence of these players. They may say that they are just allowing new guys to come and play for the team, but the truth may be far from it.

Sunday, April 29, 2007

We shall always be triumphant in our hearts…

The streets in Kandy went empty since the eve, fewer vehicles on the road, and even a lot of shops were closed. Firecrackers were heard everywhere since the dawn of the day. Everyone in Sri Lanka, from north to south built in to a crescendo on the 28th night to see the World Cup grand finale unveils. There is more to it from the public’s preparation. There have been a lot of Bodhi Poojas and other activities conducted; just to wish the guys luck. Luck, yeah, one thing that stood against us in the finals, nothing else.

Everything from the start to the end went to Australia. Nothing, not a single thing went in Sri Lanka’s way. I’m good with numbers and stats; many would say it’s single handedly the skill and form that won the game for Aussies last night; no, it’s the pure luck. With the skill, the oppositions were pretty much even with the Aussies having a slight edge over the Sri Lankans. Lankans lost the toss earlier in the day, and marked the beginning of the calamity. It’s so funny that such a trivial thing like a toss, which has no resemblance to cricket, plays such a vital part in the outcome of the game, especially on a World Cup final. The game was reduced to 38 overs per side, and it wasn’t going to help the lions anyway. Sri Lankans’ strength in winning lies in a complete session. Unlike the Aussies, they are not natural sloggers of the ball; instead, they pace their innings at the consumption of time. A reduced game play wasn’t going to suit the Lankans’ style of play. Surely Aussies batted well for 281, but it wasn’t predominantly the skill, it was the luck, the thing that we were running short of. Vaas, such a great exponent with the new ball, couldn’t extract even a tiny bit of swing off the pitch even under wet, overcast conditions. The balls with mediocre pace didn’t deviate off the pitch and came on to the bat on a flat pitch like footballs. It was too easy for the Aussies.

A pitch predicted to be bouncy and pacy was always going to help Murali, but he failed to make an impression either. In contrast, when the Sri Lankans went to bat, Bracken and McGrath could extract nice juicy seam movement. On a cloudy, gloomy eve, coupled with the Tera Pascals of pressure on batting second on a World Cup finale with the required rate of nearly eight, any team would crumble. It would have happened to Australia had they batted second, but the single most governing factor in this final – the luck was on their side and it took them to their hat-trick in World Cup triumphs. Sri Lanka, in my opinion, put up the best performance when all the odds were against them. But luck is mathematically immeasurable and cannot be statistically recorded. Hence, this will go down as another pinnacle of the Aussies’ dominant run in the cricket arena, with the Sri Lankans being the underdogs. Nevertheless, the bravery, courage and sportsmanship shown by the Sri Lankans throughout the tournament is truly remarkable. As I said in a previous post, a cup is purely symbolical, but so long as we put up an honest and brave fight, a win or loss would hardly matter, and we shall always be triumphant in our hearts.

It’s the end of my time where I used to cuddle up with myself in the sofa in a cold night in the hills and watch most of the cricket till the dawn. I’m glad this is finally over after an express run, and with the Wesak is coming ahead, it’s about time to move on from Cricket…

Saturday, April 28, 2007

A win or loss would hardly matter if…

Just one more day to go for the night, which we waited 11 years to arrive. Though so many things were said, we all know unless we do something special, something that was never predicted, we don't really have the edge over the Aussies in the finals. Yes, we have been playing really well, but Aussies are definitely going to uplift their standards in the finals just like they did in 1999 and 2003. They have not been under any sort of pressure throughout the tournament, and they do not appear to posses any breaches where the opponents could capitalize on. Even if we couldn't clinch the title by the dawn of Sunday, if we could put up a fair and brave fight, in the true Sri Lankan style, we shall always be triumphant in our hearts.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Kiwis fly away as the Lions roar

Well...If my knowledge on zoology is good, kiwis can't fly. But it really looked as if they were when the Sri Lankan lions ran amok today. I was up till now and I know many blokes around my area were too, hearing the fire crackers all around. Great win, couldn't have been better! Can't say much, I feel bit drowsy now. It's a 3.40 am now in SL, and it's the dawn of a day after a majestic victory...

SL - 289/5…Just a few mins away from the start of the NZ Innings

The decision to retain Tharanga pays off. Asantha de Mel once again shows his decision was the right one. On a day where the whole country (including myself) wished he (Tharanga) shouldn’t be playing, he turned the tables, broke the shackles and converted the Giga Pascals of pressure to scores. He was very unfortunate to be dismissed while en route to a brilliant hundred after having done all the hard work. Mahela the maestro puts up an innings what can only be described as one of the best innings in the history of the World Cup. From the very first ball he faced, the plan was right on schedule in his mind to build a truly majestic inning. Bond came up back from the injury with tons expected of him. He failed to deliver the goods and picked a solitary wicket of Chamara Silva which was one of the two poor decisions given by the umpires today. Dilshan hit a run-a-ball cameo but was again wrongfully adjudged lbw by the best umpire in the world. Jayasuriya and Sanga failed to make much impression, but it didn’t bother the SL total. It’s just few mins away to the start of the NZ innings, so I’m gonna shut this thing off and crank on to Channel Eye. Well...hope this sleepless night would be for a better cause...We'll see...

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

A Reminiscence…Four-year University life at Pera (Part I)

As Master Amaradewa’s classic – “hanthane kandu muduna” airs on my audio, I fall into a virtual trance. It’s an amazing song really, one that would put anyone to a kind of a rumination.

Months after the University life at Peradeniya was over, I start to look back and reminisce. Apart from all the joys and woes that I had, I wouldn’t know if I could have lived those four years better, but what I know for sure is that I really enjoyed it the best way I could. Maybe I missed out on a few. One thing I pretty much regret is the fact that I didn’t find love there. It wasn’t just me who left the University without a single, real love saga behind, but most of the blokes at Engineering were in my boat. Apart from a few who had found love before entering the University, some found their life partner from the faculty. But majority of the guys were looking for something else, which they didn’t find in Engineering girls: a non-mechanized mind.

One thing deprived us from reaching a real University love, is the fact that Engineering was separated from the major part of the University. There’s a bridge to cross (the famous Akbar bridge joining two banks of Mahaweli) and few hundred yards of walk. It shouldn’t be a big hindrance, one may think. Surely it isn’t, but coupled with the tight academic schedules and high probability of ‘chaater’, which is almost inherent in any love case, most of us were reluctant to take that step. Moreover, most of the blokes are too serious about the academics and probably giving an overly significance. It wasn’t very odd because the general idea among the guys was to capitalize on the degree and get the ass out of the University at the four-year tenure. Something like finding a life partner was considered to be an extra load and commitment, but definitely a bonus.

Something we always believed in was that the real University Life lied beyond the river. In contrast to our area with people having numb looks and nerdy faces, the majority of the University area comprising Arts, Science and Medicine looked so much lively, full of aroma and was truly scintillating. Breathtaking sceneries entrenched with plenty of history and legend makes it an inviting place for romance. The feeling of holding a hand of a girl and strolling down the scenic lovers’ lane or the tranquilizing uda Peradeniya, while talking all the crap in the world, would have been really unimaginable. May be we missed out that experience, but we’d certainly rejoice over the life we spent there...

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Hindsight and the woes of defeat against the Aussies in super 8 clashes

SL went down against the Aussies with what should be called as a big disappointment for the Aussies, despite their 7 wicket victory. Ponting persists with all sorts of crap saying that he doesn’t care about SL bringing up a much depleted bowling attack, but it was very apparent that he’s disappointed. He continues to say that they have huge amount of video footages of Murali and Vaas, so Mahela’s tactic of hiding the cards doesn’t pay off since Aussies know how to play against them anyway. He says his surprise was that Murali and Vaas didn’t get a chance to play with the opposite. Wonder why the hell he’s shedding tears about our bowlers. Ian Chappel too made fun with saying on CricInfo Talk, that ICC should question SL with the team selection. But choosing whom to play in the match is solely at SL selectors’ discretion. If the ICC was OK with the initial 15 men squad, wonder what Ian’s point is about the right for ICC to question the selection of players from that squad. He also used the words ‘Ridiculous’ and ‘Disgraceful’ in describing SL team. Ian Chappel is very much a Chauvinist I believe, thinking Aussies are immune and untouchable. When his team has 20 straight WC wins, he must be feeling so. It’s just the matter of SL not living up to the level like the Aussies anticipated. It’s funny that Aussies went with all guns blazing, only to find that SL was not REALLY looking for a win there. One wouldn’t rest 3 best bowlers if looking for a win, right? Mahela’s tactics were very much questioned, but it was not all that bad idea when considering the up coming matches. Aussies’ formula is simply to ‘win all’, but we can’t try that because our guys are not that fit and replaceable. Even if Murali and Vaas played, the chances are very much scarce that they’d be able to save a modest 226. The poor performances in batting and fielding aren’t a big deal either. The fact that SL wasn’t really looking for a win must have somewhat sterilized the commitment in the park. Apart from the fuss of a defeat, I think it was anticipated from the beginning and very much a discreet thing from the SL’s standpoint, and there’s nothing much to worry about. However the defeat against Aus is quite huge, but we’ll hope SL will rise from the woes and ashes and turn tables in the finals…Err…But semi’s coming before the finals, right? Who knows, maybe RSA jumps in to fourth spot and might beat the so-called ‘invincibles’ in the semi’s. Only time would tell…

Monday, April 16, 2007

Classics - The Music that don't die

…Just take those old records off the shelf
I’ll sit and listen to ‘em by myself
Todays music ain’t got the same soul
I like that old time rock n roll…-Bob Seger (Old Time Rock n Roll)

Guess it’s high time I hit the keyboard again. With having less than 1.5 months before the end of the University saga, life gets into a kinda shell; which, in a way, makes things look rather hazy ahead, and music sounds to be just great to set things right. I’ve just had my good ol’ ‘hard earned’ classics collection got together so that not only me, but also my father can enjoy it too whenever he’s bored with watching same old DVDs. It took hundreds of hours for the hunt with the 115 kbps CDMA and couple of P2Ps hooked up; but in the end, it’s just worth the trouble to have something that you can truly enjoy . It may look rather odd for a young fella like me (presuming 25 is not that old) to love the classics and oldies while all the mates go jumping around for rock and hip-hop. Well…nothing wrong with rock and other genres, but you never realize what and how much you’ve been missing out in music until you start enjoying classics. They define a unique and genuine style where the rhythm, class of voice and meaning of song surpasses most of the trends in modern genres (it’s never the same with Kershaw’s version of ‘Riddle’ and Gigi’s). Probably one would find classics are too slow and of inferior audio quality to blast away the 3000W sound systems . And some young folks would think oldies just don’t go with the beat of their life. In fact that’s what I was thinking few years back when I used to fill up the room with thrashing heavy metal while my father was going with the ‘Golden Oldies’ show on SLBC. I thought then that he’s just too old so he can’t go with the beat of today’s style. I now find that I was wrong, that it’s just the temperament and state of mind that puts you there. For me, drive towards classics was not something happened abruptly, but more of an evolution of mind. From the very young years with soft pop, passing adolescent years with rock, metal and techno and then onto a matured state with the classics. Thirty years from now on, what’s modern now becomes classics in time and maybe then I’d be able to crank up my radio and listen to ’50 Cents’ while my grandchildren listen to some crap that’s beyond my imagination . :-))