Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Controversy on stick people

Officials at Pine Tree Elementary School in Monroe, New York say a hand-out of male and female stick figures in sexual positions spelling the alphabet was a mistake. A spelling curriculum was handed out with the acrobatic and suggestive figures. "The school received several calls of concern from parents who read it when they got home", the Middletown Times Herald-Record reported Tuesday.

Parents were assured the students had not seen the curriculum, and letters were sent out explaining the teacher who used the font "did not do so intentionally or maliciously," the report said.

Stick people are around us forever. For instance, this is how you spell YMCA with stick people - \o/ |o| /o_ /o\

But as far as the racy alphabets go, my heart is with the concerned parents. How dare the school institution try to pollute our children's minds? In order to show my solidarity with the parents, I have created the following banner for the concerned parents. Please feel free to use this in your demonstrations!


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At 3:37 PM, Blogger Priya said...

Ok, Does Tidnina have access to your blog? Hope he does not...

At 6:52 PM, Blogger Gaurav said...

What? Where is the banner?

At 8:32 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ah, now I see them.

At 8:34 PM, Blogger Gaurav said...

The stick people were not visible earlier.


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Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Sweet revenge of the wanderlust

Enjoy yourselves, keep your brain in your head and your head firmly attached to the body, the body active and alive, and I promise you this one sweet victory over our enemies, over those desk-bound people with their hearts in a safe deposit box and their eyes hypnotized by desk calculators. I promise you this: you will outlive the bastards.

- Edward Abbey

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At 1:35 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good one, Machi!!!
i thought you were at a meeting that time ;)



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Thursday, September 07, 2006

Operation Efficient Breathing!

I am at home now enjoying Priya's pampering following the Septum correction surgery (and for the millionth time this is not nose job!) I underwent this morning. I was under General Anesthesia and didn't feel a thing. I saw no tunnel, no light, no rushing of all my past events. GA is a total anti-climax. When I entered the theater, my Doctor (Dr. Patrick Fann, Otolaryngologist), the anesthesiologist and some one else were elaborately discussing about where to hold a birthday event for one of their kids. My surgery was more like an express Oil Change for them - I guess :)The nurse patched something in my body (Giggle...Oooh...Tingly!) and that was the last thing I remembered and then I woke up to a beautifully etched glass on the ceiling (No! I didn't ask "Where am I? How did I get here?")

Priya drove me back and I was still under the influence. I didn't feel any pain and I enjoyed the traffic in 101-S under a hazy consciousness. Is this how you feel when you DUI? Scary! When the influence started disappearing, I felt a mild discomfort. Kind of nose blockage under a very bad cold. The stents inside the nose started feeling funny. If you want to feel the same, take a plastic wire and insert into your nose ;) I hope this won't start me sneezing when the pain killers' effect disappear. I can't afford to experience the simple satisfaction of sneezing for a week!

I discovered one more interesting fact. If you don't like the groginess associated with the pain killers, try chocolate bars. Dont bite but treat the chocolates with respect as the Hershey bar advertisement says. I found that a 5-star chocolate bar, 4-5 Petit Beurre chocolate biscuits and an ice cream reduced my pain and I feel alive as well. I am sure my Physician - who has put me on Cholesterol watch, wont think of that kindly but it really worked for me.

Dr. Patrick Fann of the Camino medical group was awarded The Best Otolaryngologist of Silicon Valley and the award proudly adorns his consulting room at the Camino Medical group hospital. I couldn't agree more. The websites which talk about septum plasty and septum correction mentioned about constant bleeding soaking the swabs every hour. But for me, So far, the bleeding is very minimal. I have only the discomfort of stuffy nose and minimal pain (touch wood). All the inhaling through my mouth has given me sore throat. Apart from that, I am doing pretty good on the first day.

Priya is exteremely wonderful and is taking good care of me. I am entertaining her with my non-stop unintelligible gibberish and miscallaneous blabbering - which I am prone to do when I have cold or fever. I am avoiding any sound that has a nasal tone (m, ng etc.,). I am going to read some books, organize some photographs (long pending) and do a lot of introspection in the next couple of days before I get back to work.

So long,

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At 12:13 AM, Blogger Gaurav said...

So what is this nose job for? Also, I totally remembered my experience with GA when I was operated for the kidney stone. They said, take a deep breath and I did and the next thing I remember was waking up in the recovery room with bunch of other patients waiting for the effect of GA to subside. Can we come to see how you are doing? I promise I won't get too much pepper.

At 2:41 PM, Blogger Pya said...


(Even the doctor's profile online is Facial Plastic Surgery...)


At 4:17 PM, Blogger Sai G said...

For Pya's comments:

:> :> The enemy within the family!


At 11:11 PM, Blogger Kedar said...


The doctor has done a great Nose Job. You did choose the best Nose Job specialist ;).

At 11:56 PM, Blogger Mehrabaneman said...

I have consulted Dr. Fan and I was searching on line and I came acros your blog. Are you happy with his wok?
Thank you.


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Saturday, September 02, 2006

Boston Trip - Eventful but Pleasant

The original title for this blog entry was "Will missed baggage and crashed laptop spoil what-was supposed-to-be-a pleasant R&R trip?" Prudence prevailed and I changed the title. But to the original question posed, the answer is, "a resounding NO!, if you are surrounded by good company, good food and a kid whose energy is highly contagious." That is our Boston trip - in a nutshell.

We took a week off and visited families (plural) in the last week of August. Priya's 2nd nephew (Sujatha/Uday's 2nd son) was born in July and a trip to Boston was in the offing. We waited for my Summer quarter exams to end and we started the Friday following the exams. Since there was a carry-on restriction for liquids and Gels, we had to check in a luggage (Read: Priya's cosmetics;)). We had a layover in Dallas and I had the hunch that for the first time in my flight travel history, the checkins are going to be messed up. That hunch turned out to be true. The 'Meet the Parents' debacle was precluded because Priya had the thoughtfulness to pack our carry on with all the unmentionables and the works. We did not receive our checkins on the next day as well and the American Airlines 'up-to-the-minute' status on baggage situtation kept repeating the same status - "Your baggage was scheduled to be picked up at 3:00PM on Saturday", endlessly.

I also had carried some work with me to be completed over the weekend. My laptop started behaving funnily and crashed in a moment. No blue screen - nothing. Just black screen. Priya helped me out with setting up a web-ex conference with my colleague's machine. That worked but was painfully slow. Thankfully the assignment got transferred to one of my teammates with the help of my managers. I had a feeling that this vacation is not starting very well. I wanted to have a good rest and relaxation trip with my nephews and instead I am spending countless minutes brooding infront of this screen which is mocking at me. I took an oath that I will never ever count on finishing tasks by logging in remotely. It seemed to me that Murphy's law was more powerful than all the technological accomplishments of 21st Century. But once my manager helped me to reassign the task, I got a relief and put the bitter experience with my ugly black laptop behind me.

On Sunday morning, the same message was replayed on the American Airlines baggage system.We decided to take things into our hand instead of waiting for the baggage to arrive and Uday drove me to the airport. The missed baggages alley was not unlike a refugee camp minus the refugees. The chaos that prevailed there would have beaten hands down, the situation in Indian Railway Stations. There was one guy with one trolley who was doing the unenviable task of clearing out these baggages. Looking for our baggage, I annoyed him with my impudence of disturbing his carefully arranged trolley. There was a baggage which looked exactly like ours and I took it out of the trolley only to notice that it was not ours. He vented out all his frustrations on me (Red Sox just got creamed last night by the Yankees, he had to clear all the baggages in a non-conducive weather and a Brown guy is messing with all his bags this morning - that was his last straw).

At the end of whatt seemed to me an endless barrage of expletives, he screamed, "Where the f*** are your baggages destined?". I tamely answered, "Boylston, MA". Those magical words put a smile on his stern countenance. "That changes everything", he said. "I think I have only one baggage in my office destined to Boylston; if you can follow me to my office, I will verify if it is yours". I wanted to seal the deal. "So if I understand it correctly, my picking up the baggage from your office will obviate a 50 miles trip for you", I slipped in a reflexive question his way (Thanks, Prof. Corio). He demurred but eventually conceded. "Man, Don't get me wrong; This f***ing airlines guys are morons and they cannot handle the increase in check-in volume and I am the one who gets punished because of their incompetence. I was delivering lost baggages non-stop for the past 2 days", he explained his churlish attitude. I seconded his opinion that the airlines guys were morons. With congeniality established, I followed him to his office - a thatched broken brick building to be precise. The baggages were strewn all over the place. Some baggages were kept outside in the rain. Inside the building, in a corner, my bag was patiently waiting for its salvation. Had we left the delivery to be done by the pick up service, we would have lived out of our carry-on for the entire duration of our trip. "Normally we pick up 50-75 badly routed baggages per day. Yesterday alone I delivered 500 baggages", mentioned the weary pick-up guy. We thanked him and drove back to Boylston.

After these very eventful 2 days, the trip took a very pleasant turn. On Sunday evening and Tuesday Uday, Priya, Arvind -the elder one, and I took long walks in the nearby park. We talked about all and sundry in these walks. Priya was on a roll and I have never seen her talk so much! We reminisced about our school days, good old friends, not so good old peer pressures, bad old sibling pressures and the pranks we used to pull on fellow students. It was pure fun from Sunday afternoon. Arvind was full of energy. Watching him move like a tornado from hither to thither made me feel tired.

Taran - the younger one, was very silent. He was sleeping most of the time and gets cranky in the night when his tone pops out. Otherwise, he minded his own business (eating, burping, farting and sleeping). Priya had good fun with the 2nd one. Being a male, my bias was more towards things that move, jump, fly and make noise. So, I had fun watching Arvind in action. Uday's parents were there and we had authentic Tambrahm food - Conjeevarom Idli, Aavakka oorugaai, arisi appalam and what not. The very thought of these would make my mouth water at any time.

What started as a disaster evolved in to a very delectable trip and closed with a lot of heavy hearts as all good things have to come to an end. Uday drove one last time to the BOS airport to see us off. We bid everyone farewell and headed towards my brothers' in Chicago. Bye bye "Walking City".. Hello "Windy City".


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