Posted in Politics - General

Striking the wrong chord..

The idea of having to collect my thoughts together to present something cohesive – suddenly seems a little strange because I have been relying heavily on my iPhone SMS features to send instantaneous updates. The past week has been a bit of a roller coaster ride for the family as one close family member has been diagnosed with a terminal disease – although he is from my wife’s side, the impact is felt quite badly for several reasons. It is one of these situations when you realize how quickly things can change in one’s life and how suddenly, everything you plan for becomes almost irrelevant when such events hit you hard. The person, the patient in this case, his family members and extended family members have all to have to go through this stress and there is no easy way out of this. For me, it does not matter how this will end and what it will lead to, but the bottom line of human lives has been well underlined. Don’t take anything for granted…!

I learned yesterday that Niles, Ohio is the birthplace of President McKinley…and it is actually not a small town as I had expected it to be. The drive through the industrial towns of mid-western America is pleasing, when you are looking at the greenery alone and actually not so pleasing when you are looking at the shut down factories, run-down plants & houses that resemble shacks with the structures ready to fall down. Depressing may be the right word for that feeling you get – The families and the children in their back yards (smiling and playing, absolutely unaware of the economic recession) struggle through these difficult times. And in spite of all these, what puzzles me the most is the total ignorance of this so called blue-collared America that is mostly white, about what McCain actually can do and cannot do. Total ignorance of what Republican party stands for and why they are no longer a national party but a regionalistic (Southern) & segmented, party that caters to only one segment of the American demographics. This is the population that will always be proud of what wars they won 100 years ago and never think of what that means today & where and how that past history will take us tomorrow. This is the population that will put a war hero from 40 years ago on the presidential pedestal, yet think that anyone else who wishes to challenge that person’s position on the pedestal as an act of traitor.

Any way – Any how – I hope it is not Mr.800 year old this November! Else, it will not be music to anyone’s ears…

Posted in Uncategorized

The Difference….

I peer through my window. I see a well designed parapet wall that is approximately 2 ft. tall made with red bricks. The grass is still green, at least right outside my window. It is certainly green for the temperature we are having here (80+)..May be the tall trees and the heavy trunks of the trees around the building are ensuring that there is enough shade. Like they are protective and possessive of the grass that are beneath them. Like they feel they can do that because they are the only ones who are responsible. The protective big brothers who are physically stronger than their younger siblings. They always want the best for the younger ones in the family. Or so do they think..!

Talking about thinking (ha..the vagaries of the language), we had an interesting discussion in one of our team meetings, today – “Issue based thinking” was a topic that was thrown at a bunch of sales guys, who have had no consulting experience or any scientific experience for that matter. Needless to say, the meeting was mostly a one way street – as the person who proposed the topic, ended up explaining what the topic meant and that pretty much took care of the time we had..

The time difference between Phelps and his fellow swimmer Cavic, who wore a silver medal instead of a gold, which he thought he had it, till about the last 2 seconds, before the giant arms of Phelps touched the timing pad sooner than his did, was 1/100th of a second. That was absolutely incredible and absolutely out of the world. A feat that can only be matched by another remarkable athlete who may not be born yet.

As random thoughts are born in my head, my blogging mind starts itching, but my other minds hold me from giving in, because I certainly have other tasks of higher priority during the course of the day – like driving to work. Of late, I get the best topics to blog about when I am on the road. Unfortunately, by the time I make it to work, they are lost.

Lost indeed the average American voter still is and that is why the 800 year old Republican Presidential nominee still has hopes of pulling a surprise. It is totally bizarre to notice how simple an average American voter’s mind is – It cannot process complicated pieces of information and analyze them together in the context, before making a judgment. And when it comes to military, it is fascinatingly annoying to see how easily that mind can get carried away.
An ex-military man is always better to be a President of the country than anyone else? Go Figure….

Where are on earth can you find this belief so strongly etched to the voters minds other than certain dictatorial countries…? To me, it is not democratic at all – It is not democratic to throw seeds of fear in the minds of vulnerable voters, about your opponent’s capabilities, in order to prove your credentials to be the President.

It is plain exploitative and definitely dictatorial.

Posted in Miscellaneous

Giving it back to the Upper Hand

It is kind of strange that I feel the way I do – but it is not surprising that I feel the way I do either..I have been living in Michigan for the last 10+ years and it now officially is the second most lived state. I have spent 18 years in Tamil Nadu and I recently touched the double digit mark for Michigan. And the feeling I was referring to has got nothing to with this magical figure of 10. It is to do with the general state of economic affairs here. I was at the Detroit Zoo this past weekend and was heartening to see some local corporations support the cause of our Zoo sustenance. I also learned about the recent voting to increase taxes to support increasing maintenance cost at the Zoo. I welcome that – Yes, I favor increase in taxes where it matters. Like a true liberal…

Coming to the state of Michigan itself, I am proud that I am still sticking it out in spite of having no real roots here – in traditional terms. The state needs all the support that businesses can give. A recent news item talked about how the state has been throwing sops at film makers and how, so many new movies are now scheduled to be shot here. Welcome incentive indeed!
Jeff Daniels, is a spokesperson for the state – beyond Chelsea and its neighborhood.
I certainly am impressed with the “Upper Hand” promo…The logo has made its mark!

As the whole country sails through these hard economic waters, this great state is pretty much in the bottom of many “nation’s worst lists”. But hopefully in the next couple of years, there will be some “green” shining on this side too.

Posted in Sports - General

Citius, Altius, Fortius – Bei Jing Huan Ying Ni

It’s here – The 29th Olympiad in Beijing. After all the hype and hoopla that clouded the event till now, the event has promised to be interesting – if not for anything, just for the curiosity factor “Can China do it?”. I mean, I don’t propose the world boycott the games because of China’s Human Rights Violation – but I am against IOC for granting China the games to begin with. Which country wouldn’t want to host Olympics, if given a chance..for Achilles’ sake?
In any case, I hope all the anti-pollution laws and artificial rain attempts with silver iodide pellets help the air stay cleaner than how it was earlier.

Looking forward to the next 2 weeks – Other than the track & field events, I am going to root for Phelps.

Posted in Movies - General

Cycling, Charlie Wilson, Chennai 28

Have been seriously looking at buying a better bike. I have an old fashioned bike, which has done its part over the last 9 years and is ready to give up. May be I can tune it and still use it. The consumer in me tells that I should just take it to either Craigslist or Salvation Army and look for a fancier one. In the market now for a good bike. For now it is purely selfish – but I am truly considering using it for any 1-2 mile errand rides, thus adding more green points in my kitty.

Charlie Wilson’s War could have been better. Well, Tom Hanks was there and so was Julia Roberts but I thought Philip Seymour Hoffman did a fantastic job. The movie on the whole was so incomplete. Watch it in DVD only when you have run out of other ‘not-yet-watched’ movie options.

Chennai 28 – second time on a better quality DVD was still watchable. Looking back, although the movie had some loose ends, I thought it was a daring attempt…The movie was true to its genre and Venkat Prabhu deserves a pat for sticking to his guns or should I say bats? – so to speak.