Free beer, money. Free rides to vaccination sites. And the incentives continue to pour in from the administration in US. And then there’s the struggle for vaccine slots in India & other contries.

Faulty, lethargic adminstration? Economic gap? Selfish, mindless leaders? Sure, the reasons are many. But how does one argue with a common man who is convinced it’s an unfair world? That it’s a world where the scales are always tipped towards a richer populace?

I hate binge-watching shows, but I fall for it so often. I like the weekly release of the new episodes. I wish the streaming services forced an episode a day even for released shows. I know they won’t - it impacts their key business metric.

“You can get rid of masks if you are vaccinated” is a faulty message. People are selective listeners. A section might ignore the later part.

How to (Actually) Save Time When You’re Working Remotely

During a time of global crisis, it’s healthy to prioritize relaxation, and it’s natural that we might struggle to maximize productivity at work. But as we return to semi-normalcy, what can we do to ensure we use our time savings to pursue meaningful activities that make us truly happy?

What’s the recommended Text Expander utilities for Windows and Android? It comes so handy and is another thing I miss from Apple ecosystem. Only one that I’ve come across is Phrase Express.

Before there was Twitter and Facebook and other social media, was there any physical equivalent of likes and reshares. And hashtags? Because these interactions stem from the social instincts of us humans, right?

How crazy is the mind? It already believes mask is the normal attire. Just a thought of seeing people around without masks makes it queasy.

I always struggle giving titles for my regular posts - especially quick thoughts. Sure, if I’m writing a tech post or writing about a specific topic, giving it a title is easy. But forcing title on every post is fiddly. It can never encompass what the post is about.

Look what I got! Thank you, Jean ☺️

Say you are focused, reading something and thoughts keep popping up in your mind. About some stuff that you need to search for or quickly check the status of or need to research on later. Or simply make a note of. What do you do? What’s the quickest way to get back to reading?

I clicked on a link to an article at CBS. As per my defaults, it opened up in Firefox. CBS asked whether it should open in their app or continue in Chrome. Chrome? Is Chrome synonymous to browser now? That can be healthy for the web.

Yahoo, the destroyer

After almost 30 years in business, Yahoo has come to be known as a straight-up villain. [T]he company’s most notable characteristic at this point is “the sheer amount of destruction they’ve done to the historical record.”

Another dimension in games

Ever notice the view is wrong in all first person games that exist today? In reality when we look around our eyes don’t just rotate but actually swing side to side and even up and down. As an example this video shows Skyrim configured for our real vision.

I am surprised that the bike sharing projects are failing. Maybe it’s not tried in proper markets, yet. I remember I rented bicycles very often as a child. No technology, just trust. Sure, the lockdown that pandemic had enforced throughout the world must have had an impact.

How am I doing right now? 2021 edition

It was exactly a year ago that I had posted my thoughts on a few key questions. The idea was to capture how I was doing right then. It was a welcome and much needed introspection. I didn't want to miss on the opportunity to revisit the answers from the last year and see what has changed.

It was a nice exercise. My thoughts a year back were so quite unfamiliar to what I am going through today. So, here's an update to the same set of questions. Again, I would love to hear how you are doing.

How are you taking care of yourself today?

Regular exercise and daily meditation. Reading a lot more fiction and non-fiction. I'm still listening to music and many audiobooks. Staying far away from news.

What part of your shelter-in-place residence have you come to appreciate the most?

Garden at my home. The wooden swing at the top floor that overlooks the garden.

What surprising thing have you been stocking up on (that isn’t toilet paper)?

Biscuits. Lots of them.

What’s a story — from a book, a movie, an article, a conversation — that you’ve been gripped by recently? Why did it capture you?

Nothing grips me any more. Maybe I have grown numb?

What habit have you started, or broken, during the quarantine?

I have stopped staying awake late into the Friday and Saturday nights. That was one habit I had, stay up late either mindlessly watching something or working on side projects.

As an effect, I am following a pretty routine. Get a calming and wholesome sleep.

Which specific place in your neighborhood are you most looking forward to visiting once this is all over?

Again, every part of the neighbourhood. Especially malls and the restaurants.

What’s the easiest part about the quarantine?

Getting bored. And getting creative.

What are some things you have realized that you don’t really need?

Cash. And fancy clothes. What I wear at home is often good enough even outside.

What’s something you own that feels useful?

Kindle. Headphones.

What is your COVID-19 nickname/alter-ego?

Calm workaholic.

What problem—either yours, or something more global —do you wish you could solve?

Global Stupidity. Political Divisiveness. Natural Selfishness.

I am happy with the format that I’ve settled on for my newsletter Slanting Nib. A regular personal update followed by the recommended reads. Plus a colorful artwork from India. It’s simple enough for me to curate and I feel should be clean enough for the readers to follow.

I finished reading Make Time: How to Focus on What Matters Every Day today. I cannot apply all the suggestions that the authors have to offer. But it’s a fascinating list of a few easy to follow tactics, presented in a no-nonsense manner. The authors stay to the point; they don’t ramble along as many authors of the self-help books tend to do.

I did find a few of the suggestions pretty useful and have already incorporated a couple. I can clearly see the benefit. What helped is that the authors worked in an industry and in roles that I can closely associate with. So, I could relate to many of the problems they talked about and was keen to hear what changes worked for them.

If you are at a full-time job and are struggling to get the right balance between work and life, this book would have a few strategies that you might find useful. 📚

“The happiness of loneliness” - such a curious phrase from my yesterday’s post. I really enjoyed reading this one a day after. I like to reflect on my posts from past. There’s on this day for the yearly reflection; for the daily one, I’ve setup an email digest. Tinkering time.

Music is the only time machine out there. You come across a song or an album, and a flood of memories and emotions come rushing at you. You almost relive those priceless moments. Exaggeration? I think not.

You get transported back to the time when you listened to that song the first time. Or when you spent hours and days crooning along, the album on repeat mode. You vividly feel your surrounding from that time. The place you were at. The mental state you were in. The happiness of loneliness. Or the craziness with those few, old friends. You remember the moments that matter, the moments that are tucked deep within your heart.

I am not saying anything groundbreaking here. Each one of us has experienced this ability of music. Many have worded it a lot more beautifully even.

I consider this a superpower and am reminded of this every few months. Most often, the time I hop back to is the early 2000s, the time that I cherish the most. It was a new phase of my student life. A period with a lot more independence. A period when my thoughts were moulded. Today was one such day.

A lesser-known A.R. Rahman album. It's not even among one of his best. But it's close to me, though. I can't explain why; maybe the feeling of the songs resonated with what I was going through in my life. I didn't understand a word of those lyrics; it was the first non-Hindi, non-English album I listened to. But as they say, music has no language. And good music doesn't need words to convey an emotion.

Sure, the album doesn't evoke the same feelings in me today. But I momentarily relive that unfamiliar phase of freedom every time. Just as I did today.

The reminder that Patrick Rhone inspired me to set seems to be working. This is a second update to my /now page in the last one month. Nice!

Another day, another Covid tale -The Pandemic Has Been Tough for Extroverts. The introvert in me quips it’s been hard for me too, pal. Because the extroverts like you have been roaming around and reaching out to make new friends.

Bug in Notepad Involving Asterisk in Title Bar

[W]hen you open a text document and change the text by using the Delete key to delete the character ahead of the cursor, the asterisk does not appear in the title bar. If you delete the character using the Backspace the asterisk appears though.

I’ve unsubscribed from the NYTimes digital subscription. I haven’t been getting enough benefits, and there were a few events & posts that made me seriously reconsider whether I should continue to pay. And it coincided with me subscribing to New Yorker.

I came across a headline “Six Tips to Avoid Being Overwhelmed by the News” with the first “tip” being “Regulate consumption”. That one’s enough, with one change - don’t regulate, just stop the consumption.

Whoever coined the adage “picture speaks a thousand words” must have seen a post from his colleague with just a single image gain a lot more conversation and interaction than his post with a title and more than a thousand literal words. Just saying, not complaining 😬