Sunday, September 14, 2008

The workshop

It's five pm on a weekday, and your palms are already greasy, your shirt sleeves rolled up, forehead (ample area there) glistening with sweat, as you wrestle with the spanner to tighten that one last nut that holds the engine head to the block. The bike is shimmering in the evening sunlight, it's potential energy aching to convert and escape as kinetic energy. The carburettor has been cleaned with petrol, the control cables have been checked and double checked, the oil level in both oil tanks is at the maximum safe level, the battery has been charged, the wiring harness is brand new, the CDI and plug also sparkling new. The painstaking attention to detail in the design of this bike, and the thought applied to its paint job, the chrome and detailing is bordering on ridiculous. For all this, it's a very sober looking piece of machinery. Black where its not chrome, and chrome where its not black. Not a very complicated design you would think....and you would be far off the mark. From the deliberately askew positioning of the speedometer(angled just right to flow seamlessly from the headlight to the handlebar), to the matte black paint job on the wheel drums, to the wicked sparkly red on black petrol tank and the agonisingly chromed engine head and buffed fins, this bike has been rebuilt from the ghastly piece of machinery it was, to a no-nonsense thrilling speed machine. 

 The exhaust note is distincive, and promises to scream out in fury when the throttle is opened up. That though, is a month or so away. Running in this new engine will be a labour of love, and will teach you patience. For now though, you need to scrub off the grease and oil from a day at the workshop, head back home, and patiently wait for the day your bike is ready to run.

Update: This is actually related to an earlier post (thanks ArKev) where I posted about my new (old) Yamaha. Find it (with pics) here.

Friday, September 12, 2008

I killed a crow...

 Before any of you scream murderer, let me tell you that it was neither avoidable, nor intentional, nor did I gain any satisfaction from the event. I was riding my bike, easy as can be, in moderate traffic, along the divider. This crow, scavenging something on the divider, decided to fly straight into a rickshaw, about a foot and a half above the road. It smacked against the body of the rickshaw, hopefully rendered unconscious, and bounced off, belly up, wings spread, right under my front wheel. Now for people who dont know which bike I ride, let me inform you that it is a heavy, ponderous creature, very resistant to sudden direction changes. 

 My first reaction was self preservation, the thoughts running through my mind were, in the following order:
1. Hope it is unconscious, or its going to feel a world of pain
2. Hope its claws/beak dont puncture my tyre.
3. Hope there is no blood splattered on the underside of my bike/ trouser legs.
4. Hope I don't feel guilty all friggin day.

 I didnt wait around to find out whether it survived, the chances of that happening are very remote, because I felt both front and rear wheels roll over the poor beast. The speed at which these events happened totally absolve me from crime, human reaction time is after all, restricted and regulated by the laws of evolution, genetics and physiology. 

 I do wonder though, did the crow intentionally fly right into the rickshaw? Was it suicide? or plain bad judgement. I've now run over a cat(it escaped), a dog's tail and finally, this crow. Wonder what/who's next...

Monday, September 8, 2008

Google and your privacy

To jump on the conspiracy theory bandwagon for a bit, I stumbled upon The site simply hosts a small movie, which you can either download or stream. The theme revolves around a brief history of Google, its founders, its reason for existence, its access to information, and its idealogy to make this information easily available to everybody. Yes, that means your data, my data, and my neighbours data. All available, all the time, to everybody. Considering that Google plays a huge role in our online life, search, mail, blogging, ads etc. The amount of information they process per individual is staggering. To imagine that they would store all this information in the form of a dossier, not unlike the TOP SECRET files you see in spy movies, is a leap of the imagination, but is certainly possible. What they could gain from this, is anybodies guess. I guess the whole issue boils down to the fact that the information in question is of a highly personal nature, and the control over its distribution should remain with the owners rather than the publishers/service providers, read Google. Whether this is wishful thinking, or legitimate demand, I cannot compute. 

Friday, September 5, 2008

Google Chrome

My first post from google's new open source browser, Chrome.
Built using the Apple open source webkit framework, and with a snazzy javascript multi threaded processing engine, with promises to increase page load speeds by just implementing multi threaded rendering and processing, this browser aims to conquer. They can do no evil, they stormed the search engine world, their labs are giving Bill Gates nightmares, and they will rule the internet with the launch of this browser. It is honestly much faster (16x faster javascript processing than IE7, Sun sider told me). It comes with loads of builtin features, sandboxes individual tabs, makes blogging/bookmarking/googling super easy and is by far the cleanest UI you will see.

Go for it here. The auto updates, and google's rights to data mined from your internet usage should not deter most of us from installing and using chrome. After all, "They can do no evil".

Update: Sucks that chrome cant load, but i'll live with it till they update. Oh and btw, chrome auto updates each time, without asking ya.
The browser's Terms of use are also pretty interesting, and have been updated now, go read about that here.

Invaded on Sunday

A rainy afternoon, a cup of coffee, a pen and some papers, comfy chair. All the ingredients to kill a few hours, recharge some batteries, ignite a few neural pathways that were once demonically active, or actively demonic, whichever you like.

Truth be told, this time it is my only escape from a house teeming with people, who although share my genealogical traits, are as unlike me as can be. Forced to flee from my own house, I hit the nearest coffee shop, my pride dented and bruised by the sheer decibel level of a bunch of kids, and some septuagenarians. Oh! How the mighty have fallen!

What drives people to spend weekends away from their own little homes, out in the rainy day, in someone else's home, invading them on a Sunday, shattering their oh so carefully created little bubble of peace and tranquility. Are our weekends not sacred? should we not treat them with more importance? with more respect!

How many times must one be made to endure an ear splitting scream, or a noisy brawl in one's own house before it is permissible to take up arms against the invaders. Kids may be the most guilty of this, however the adults aren't blameless either. Since when did conversation and logical debate equal out shouting the other person, as if the sheer amplitude at which a point is vocalized somehow converts it from inane drivel to proven fact.

Is all of this indicative of anything? Does this behaviour deserve Freudian analysis? Well, in my opinion, its all a complete waste of time, and thats a polite estimation of the pointlessness of it all. They will never stop taking your time for granted, they will always try to ride rough shod over your protestations, they will continue to act as if what they are doing is in your best interests, and you have no option but to squirm uncomfortably, while they walk all over you. Or do you?

There is something that can help. Hostility. Plain, undisguised, malevolent intentions. You know you feel these emotions. Well, let them out. Indulge them. Allow them to become part of your aura. Soon the same relatives that tried to walk all over you will hesitate to even talk to you. All you need to do, is to cultivate this perception. And believe you me, it works.

Enough ranting for now. I have exhausted my capacity for caffeine consumption, hearing the weird couple sitting behind my table(totally different story, for another time). It has also stopped raining, and it is time I reclaim my home from the invaders of this Sunday.