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Showing posts from August, 2013

Rub-A-Dub Dub, Three Men In A Tub

A rather unusual incident this weekend reminded me of the classic nursery rhyme. Ok, so it was four grown men instead of three and they were sitting in an inflatable raft instead of a tub and no one was a butcher, a baker or a candlestick maker but hey if you want to nitpick.. /*grumbles*/
Anyway it all started a week ago in East Lansing, when we were trying to find something to do in the sleepiest city I've ever visited so far. One of our friends, +Chandrasekharan Jayakumar, who had so nicely accompanied us to help while away time while the BRZ was getting detailed, asked if we wanted to go camping up to Lake Higgins for 2 days. Of course +Abhilash Bingi & I said yes, given that the sun might go into hiding any day now, taking summer with it.
And thus began a series of blunders leading right up to the night we set up camp. The last time we went camping (my first time) everything was planned meticulously, right down to the spoon and knife. This time? Not so much. Here's the …

Tectonic Shifts Or Trifling Tweaks? Part II

Last week I talked about moving halfway across the world and how it wasn't half as bad as everyone made it out to be. Turns out, being married can be fun too.
Second: Marriage
I must have dreamed about marriage once. Maybe when I was a kid. I must have because that's what girls are supposed to do, apparently. For most of my adult life though, it wasn't such a big deal. Until I finished college of course. Around that time started the Great Hunt for a groom and needless to say, it was a time of butting heads and loud noises.
Not that my parents wanted to force me into anything but they just didn't see any alternative to the traveling circus otherwise called Arranged Marriage in India. Bad enough that I saw many relationships between friends fall by the wayside and I couldn't find anyone I wanted to spend my life with. On the other hand, the guy parade consisted of these specimens. I was stuck between a rock and a hard place.
Of course, my mother and many othe…

The XIII Labor Of Hercules

Spare no expense to save money on this one. - Samuel Goldwyn This could very well describe my quest to find a good Android budgeting app. My needs were pretty simple - track expenses and incomes with category distribution, monthly budget reports and my account balance at any time. I didn't need multiple accounts, users, auto update from my bank accounts (I don't have any!) or investing tools. I needed to track cash, that's it. Bonus points for looking good, though not mandatory.
As it turned out, I had unknowingly embarked on one of the Labors of Hercules. What I thought would take half an hour, took more than 3 days. Here's a chronicle of the apps I tried out before finding one which had (almost) everything I wanted:
Step 1: Search for budgeting apps on Play Store This got me a listing of more than 25 apps. After weeding out that ones which looked like they had a Gingerbread hangover or fake leather and paper, I had a handful of apps remaining.

Step 2: Try out a couple Afte…

Tectonic Shifts Or Trifling Tweaks? Part I

The last year saw two major life changing events happen for me - I got married and moved halfway across the world. These events separately are plenty enough for one person to adjust to, I managed to do them together. I've had plenty of familial advice and friendly warnings regarding getting married and moving so far away from home. Analyzing the effects of the two separately is difficult since I moved because I married and one of the reasons marriage was attractive was moving! But not impossible. 
First up: Moving
I've read horror stories (relatively) about the adjustments you have to make when you move to another country. Different people, language, culture, behavior and what not. You no longer hear familiar sounds - angry motorists yelling at cows peacefully sleeping in the middle of the road, vegetable vendors hawking 'fresh' tomatoes (which are really leftovers from last week), the neighbor next door fighting with the kaamwaali for the nth time, the screech of brakes…