Saturday, November 19, 2016

Gilgit-Baltistan conquered by India—at least on the globes made in India, and being sold by the Target stores

Gilgit-Baltistan conquered by India—at least on the globes manufactured in India, and being sold by the Target stores

Found this globe at the local Target store, selling for $14.99—please see photos.  It was made in India, and it shows Pakistan having no land border with China, and India having a border with Afghanistan!  How did the ground realities change?  Well, according to this globe, India has taken over the Gilgit-Baltistan area.  Hooray!  No CPEC (China Pakistan Economic Corridor) anymore without the consent of India, since the northern stretch of the trade route passes through ‘Indian-controlled’ Gilgit-Baltistan.  And the USA does not need Pakistan’s help anymore, in order to control things in Afghanistan—Pakistan’s archrival India now has a land border with Afghanistan!
All sarcasm aside, who are these idiots working at the Target Procurement Department?
They don’t know geography!  They can’t identify a glaring error in the globes being manufactured in a third world country!  Time for Brian Cornell to fire a bunch of morons Target Corporation can work without.

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Urdu Academy's November 2016 methfil

Classical music is about mantras, about creating music from the repeating phrases reverberating in your soul.
Photos form Urdu Academy’s classical music mehfil, arranged by Maestro Nagesh Avadhany.

Tuesday, November 01, 2016

Highway 280 as seen from the Ocean Avenue bridge

Oct. 31, 2015
Highway 280 as seen from the Ocean Avenue bridge

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

You set a bad example, Bill!

You set a bad example, Bill!
(Explaining the two types of school dropouts)

Overheard a conversation between a father and a son.  They were walking in front of me.  The father did not appear too happy on his son’s passing grade in math--especially when earlier the son had B’s and A’s in the class.  The father warned the son that was how students fall behind, they drop out of school, and then the world is there to take advantage of these marginally educated people--the dropouts are always kept at the lowest rungs of the workforce.

“But Bill Gates was a dropout too.  And so were Steve Jobs, Mark Zuckerberg, and Michael Dell,” the son retorted.

The father appeared stunned by the response.

And just then the father noticed me.  He could tell I was overhearing the conversation.  They changed direction and walked away.

I came back home and wrote the following note for that father and for all the fathers whose sons, swayed by half-truths, think dropping out of school is a ticket to a successful life.

When people extol famous school dropouts they fail to mention the difference between the two diametrically different types of such students.  You cannot equate the sagging-pants dropouts whose every other word starts with the letter F, with the geniuses like Gates and Zuckerberg.

Steve Jobs, Michael Dell, Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg did not drop out of school because they had bad grades.  Quite the opposite: they were doing well in school. They were not just riding the curve, or worse still, were behind the curve--they were ahead of the curve.  They were not lagging behind in math and science--they were marching miles ahead.

When they were taught Algebra in the classroom, they were bored, because by then they had already learned far advanced stuff on their own.  When their fellow students were struggling with the quadratic equations, they were well versed in the latest technologies.  For the dropouts of the first kind the school was the quintessential roadblock in the way of their education.  For them, the only way to move faster in life was to say goodbye to formal education, to get rid of the shackles that were holding them back.

School promises to teach students necessary skills and to make them find their way in life.  The dropouts of the first kind had already developed the skills, on their own, and they already knew what they wanted to do in life.  They had nothing in common with the other type of school dropouts who had neither learned any useful skills, nor had found a purpose in life.

The first kind of school dropouts leave formal education to go out and shape the world the way they want to see it--and while living their dreams they keep educating themselves.  Not all dropouts of the first kind get to see their dreams come true, but at least they live meaningful lives and don’t get exploited by others. The second kind of school dropouts leave school to be employed at minimum wage jobs, and they seldom get a chance to continue their education.

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Another gift...that I didn't deserve

A beautiful Saturday morning.  The rain stopped sometime during the night.  Patches of clouds are racing through the sky.  I can feel the strong breeze sitting by the window.  Another beautiful day given to me, and their gaze is intense.  How would I treat this day, this gift?

It is good to have time-capsule posts.  You get to see what was important to you in the past.  Several of such one year time capsule posts have suddenly appeared on my blog.

To have a better respect for a single day given to you, start counting your life in days, instead of counting it in years.  You will realize how quickly it is slipping out of your hands.

I am thinking of trying another technique for better management of time.  Write down the work done every hour.  Put the 24 hour time intervals in this Word file, and then every hour jot down what was accomplished in the hour that just passed.  Will try this technique today.

Saturday, October 01, 2016

An oil change

3:30, Reached at the Precision Tune for an oil change.  The middle-aged receptionist man with long hair quickly registered me.  He said I could leave the car and go as it was going to take at least an hour.  I told him I would be waiting right there, as I did not anywhere to go to—I did not have a ride either, to go from there to anywhere.  After he printed out the bill and asked me to put my ‘autograph’ I casually asked him if the deal included tire rotation.  I had showed him a $16.95 coupon (with $3.45 other fee and taxes).  He said no, the deal only included oil and oil filter change.  I told him the coupon said otherwise.  He wanted to see the coupon one more time.  Showed him the coupon on my phone.  It did indeed say the deal included tire rotation and brake inspection.  He was not too happy with that.  He said they were a repair shop and not a discount oil change place.  He threw away the old printout and printed out a new bill and had me sign it.  I sat there in their waiting room and started writing.  Later, when I saw the Accord being taken for oil change I went out to see what was happening.  The receptionist was there, smoking a cigarette.   I talked to him and found out his name was Bud.  He was a chatterbox.  He grew up in this area.  He said by the time he turned 16, he already had three cars.  His mother looked out of the window and asked about the cars lined up by the street.  ‘I said they were all mine’, he told me proudly.  He said he had bought cars for as low as $20/$30.  He had an older couple as a customer who drove an old car, white in color; the couple drove it with utmost care.  He said the Accord I had was a 250-260 car (that it could go as high as 250,000 miles)—it had 169,000 miles on it then.  He advised me to use quality gas: Chevron, Texaco, 76.