Monday, July 30, 2007

Snarly Weekend

This weekend was great. We had a grand old time even though we didn't go anywhere. Bangalore still has some good times left in it for us. It went a little something like this...

  • Wednesday: Bollywood Night - On Wednesday we went out to a club called Zero G for Bollywood night. Bollywood night is great. They take the already awesome Bollywood movie music and spice it up with a little techno beat. It is awesome, and it's always packed, or at least it has been the twice that I have gone before but, you know, I am extrapolating.
  • Saturday: Bangalore Expatriot Club - Saturday night found my friends and me at Park Hotel on fabulous M.G. road, for the Bangalore Expatriot Club's Hollywood meets Bollywood night. The idea behind the club is that it's a way for all these foreigners in Bangalore to meet one another, and have a good time (but don't worry, there are plenty of locals who hang out as well). The idea behind the night was that people would dress up in Western or Indian-style fancy dress, and have a grand old time. There was dancing, food and merriment. Afterwards (and because everything stops are 11:30 around here) we rode a gaggle of rickshaws back to my apartment for a hang-out sesh. Good times.
  • Sunday: RSE Lunch & Lalbaugh Park - On Sunday, the head of our research group invited us over to his house for lunch. The food was delicious, and we had a little X-Box fest while waiting for some of the other guests to arrive. Afterwards we went on a little walk around Lalbaugh Park, and even later to a restaurant he claimed had the best Dosa in the city. Not only was he totally 100% correct, but this restaurant was rediculous. There place was tiny, and there was no order whatsoever. Because there were no seats available at first, we had to go stand inside the place, right next to the customers who were eating their meals. There was no room, and the waiters had to push around all the waiting people so that they could serve the people sitting down. Then when a tabled opened up, we basically started sitting down right as they were getting up. (It happened again when we left; a guy was coming into my seat while I was trying to get out and blocking the only way for me to get out!) It was fun and hectic and pretty much was exactly what I was looking for.
That is all good sirs.


Originally uploaded by DixiePistols.
A few hangout pictures posted to Flickr. You'll get more enjoyment out of it if you're my flickr friend, but considering I am friends-locking this one too, you probably already know that...

Wednesday, July 25, 2007


To whom it may concern:

I have built up quite a collection of postcards, with zany phrases and and mumblings. They are filled out and ready to go, but they want for just one thing; your address! If you would like to receive an international communique, then please email me a mailing address where you can be reached.

This Guy

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Cochin, alias Kochi

Originally uploaded by DixiePistols.
This weekend Pavol (another intern from Slovakia) and I went to Kochi. It was great, and a wonderful break from all the hard work I had put in (or was telling myself I was putting in) to get the paper out before the deadline. In the spirit of full disclosure, though, I must point out that my camera ran out of batteries within hours of my arrival, and therefore I have almost no pictures. Boo. It's my own fault too. Many times while walking around my room, I saw my battery charger, thought, "Man I wonder if my camera needs to be charged..." and did nothing.

Anywho, Kochi is on the west coast of India. It was used by the Portuguese as a trading post, and therefore has a heavy European and Christian influence. The architecture was great! The food was great! Weather, not so much... It felt a lot like Central America, or should I say Guatemala, since that is the only place in Central American I have actually been to. At the same time, there were parts that felt like Southeast Louisiana, the backwaters in particular. Here are the highlights in no particular order:

  • Finding a roach in my bed on the train car... Just kidding. it really freaked me out, and I was jumpy for the rest of the night.
  • Fish! Seafood! I ate some bomb coconut curry fish and some shrimp in the "Kerala style."
  • When a group of riskshaw drivers were suggesting places where they could take us, one of them yelling "a barber shop," and putting rubbing in hand on his beard area. Yes folks, my facial hair situation is getting pretty dire!
  • The backwater cruise. Although if it were any longer, it would have ceased to be fun.
  • Some seriously reckless passing on a bunch of tiny two-lane roads by a host of hired drivers.
Uh, yeah that's about it. Only two weekends left folks. Where will I go? Only time will tell!

The Grapes of Wrath

I finally finished reading "The Grapes of Wrath." It took a little longer than I would have liked because my reading time was rudely stolen by this project I was working on. I had never read it before. Maybe that tells you something about the quality of my high school, but I doubt it. Anyway, I loved it, but man is that ending sad...

Friday, July 20, 2007

NOLA Street Photog

Originally uploaded by InspectorOyster.
Found a sweet collection of New Orleans street photography. Definitely worth checking out. I hadn't seen anything in this style done in New Orleans before.


Here are two new euphemisms that I am trying to spread around. (Actually, one is a euphemism but the other is more like a catch-phrase.) Try to work them into your daily routines.

  1. You had me at Hello World - This is a phrase used to complement a programming language that you like. It is an allusion both to the concept of writing a "Hello World' program in a new language and a line from the movie Jerry Macguire.
  2. Applying for Dual Citizenship - This one is a bit more obscure. It refers to the act of, in a foreign country where an alternative means of bathroom sanitation is used (e.g., France's bidet or India's hose), utilzing both your home country's and the foreign country's means of sanitation. The logic goes something like, "well maybe their way of doing it is actually much better, but to be on the safe side I better also go with what I know works."

Do I see these phrases taking off? Not really. But I do feel the need to put my stamp on them, just in case the some day come to rule the world.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

25 American

This is friends-locked, because I don't want to brag.
But 25.75 years ago my parents made sweet love and the result was this man that you all see when you close your eyes at night.

Okay, seriously though.  We went to Opus for my and Christian (another intern's) birthdays and had a great time. Wednesday is karaoke night. I sang "fire and rain" by James Taylor. Frankly, it didn't go that well. But what can I do? I love karaoke.

Um, that is it. I am pretty crunk. Coming home in three weeks. Can't wait to see you all!

Guy Fantastic  

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Done With Paper! Weekend Planos

Today our project group at Microsoft submitted our paper to the POPL conference. We went from idea to implementation and paper in two months, so I'm pretty jazzed/stoked/pumped. It's in fabulous San Francisco, CA, USA, so wish us luck. (Actually, I have no idea whether I would even go to the conference, but it's always nice to know it's in a neat place.)

This weekend I'm going to Cochin, alias Kochi. I know almost nothing about it because I spent the last two weeks working and trying to avoid just about everything else. But at least based on the wikipedia article, it looks nice. Guess I'd better read up. I'll try to make it hot as usual. Expect many more pictures now that I'm actually going to get to enjoy India.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Time Goes On

Right now, as I sit at my desk at work, a man is washing the floor with a cleaning product that smells exactly like the one used to clean my freshman-year dormitory bathroom. The smell is taking me back to a time that I will always remember as being happy and trouble-free. It's hard to believe that it was six years ago. I feel like I was just there.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Mouth Full of Work

Just in case you were wondering if I'd run off to join the Indian National Ping Pong team, or was kidnapped by bloodthirsty Goan pirates, never fear! I've just had my head down, working to finish this project before a paper deadline. By Monday, 11:59pm Appian Time, I will know my fate and be back to enjoying life in India (we're trying to submit to POPL, a conference for programming languages nerds like myself, and those nerdier).

All the best,
Cpt. Tough Guy

Sunday, July 8, 2007

I Been Eatin' Mangos In Trinidad w/ Attorneys

This morning I am eating mangoes and bananas for lunch, and I felt like it was the perfect time to point out that I freaking love mangoes! I never really got into them before. I always saw mangoes as some trendy fruit eaten by health types. UNTRUE. Mangoes are objectively delicious, and here in India they have about 4000 different types, each tasty in its own way. Indians spend plenty of type arguing about which is the best. I prefer to eat them all. 

The reason all of this is possible is because Uncle Bill is nice enough to keep our kitchen stocked with mangoes and other assorted fruits, along with the normal tech-job free foods like coke, coffee and candy bars.

Today I'm working, like yesterday. The POPL deadline is coming up (next Tuesday), and it really would be awesome if we had something to submit...

Wednesday we did go out for Fourth of July to sing karaoke. I wanted to give 'em something USA themed, but when they didn't have "Coming to America," I just settled on "Happy Together" out of a total lack of creativity. Friday night we went to the south side of town to hang out with Astrophysicists at their apartment. Last night I just stayed home and worked on The Grapes of Wrath. Good times all around.

Monday, July 2, 2007

6 Weeks!

Nels' Bells
Originally uploaded by DixiePistols.
I also feel the need to point out that this past Saturday marked six weeks that I have been in India. This means that my foreign excursion is half-way over. It also means that, starting Saturday, I have now been in India longer than I have been in any other foreign country (the previous record being my six weeks spent in Madrid on the USC engineering summer abroad program). Great success!

Hampi Times

The Beast and the Coconut
Originally uploaded by DixiePistols.
This weekend we went to Hampi. It was fantastic. It was awesome.

Hampi, as I'm sure you all know, was the center of the Vijayanagara Empire (pronounced laughably close to a part of the female anatomy). It was sacked over the course of 7 years during the 1500s so these days it's basically a ton of ruins, but what a impressive ton it is. This weekend trip has been by far the highlight of this trip thus far. We saw some great architecture, did some out-doorsy sort of stuff, and had a good time hanging out with fun people.

I must immediately proceed to give shout outs to a rad group of astro-physicists; we met Natalie, Nick and Sonnett on the train ride there, as they had initially been planning to travel with our friend Christian (MIA). I had a fantastic time. Everything we did was great, but highlights include bike riding from ruin to ruin, seeing the Jain temples, watching my friends get "blessed" by an elephant (pictured) and taking one of the sketchy-est boat rides of my entire life.

The trip also ended up being somehow perfect for pictures. The light was perfect for portraits and my friends were more than willing to oblige me by hamming it up in front of the lens. You really should check out these pictures if you get the chance. I know there are a lot, but I couldn't help myself (and this is only like a third of them).