I love the Android platform, but I also love the ecosystem of apps and services on iOS. I can’t hence be happy with any smartphone I own. Unfortunate!

My family loves to watch singing reality shows. It's an opportunity for me to get some focused time when I read or write. I do join in occasionally, though. This weekend was one such occasion.

For one, A. R. Rahman was going to be on the show as a guest. I love this man and his music. I won't miss a chance to watch the people contending to be good at singing attempt the maestro's brilliant tunes. The episode did not disappoint -- a contestant attempted one of the trickiest songs ever composed by Rahman, Satrangi Re.

As the performance came to an end (and the director decided to stuff it with unnecessary stuff), a little dialogue happened at our home. The contestant mentioned the first album he purchased was Rahman's, and he wanted Rahman's autograph on the old audio cassette. My daughter looked on with her curiosity piqued by watching the object the guy was holding. She genuinely asked, "what's a cassette, dad?"

Boy, I had a nostalgic few minutes. I explained all about how I used to listen to songs when I was a child. I showed her the images of the audio cassettes, up close and afar. But you know what she was most interested in? Sony Walkman.

I dearly wish I had not given away my Sony Walkman to one of my cousins. Sure, I had made her day by passing on the tech I did not need. But I loved my Walkman. And pleasing to see my daughter get fascinated by the beauty. And she has owned every type of iPod -- yet the retro-tech will always hold its charm.

By the way, the contestant I mentioned above, Ashish Kulkarni, is too good a singer. Just watch him nail a track I love, Alvida from Life in a Metro.

Image Credit: Binarysequence at Wikimedia

I just had a wonderful power nap – even a few whole night’s sleep don’t revitalize me as much as these 20 minutes did. Nice! I love my afternoon naps.

I had a productive writing and reading Sunday this week. Read many of the long pending posts from my Pocket queue. Wrote a few drafts, they are ready to be edited. Published a new issue of Slanting Nib. A pretty satisfying end to the week.

I have been reading many books from Christie recently. Every time I get into a reading lull, I pick up a Poirot mystery and start reading. I was facing one such lull and Dame Agatha was to the rescue again. Her books always help me get back to reading more.

Anyway, after I read another of her wonderfully crafted mysteries – Lord Edgware Dies – I wondered why are these books not generally adapted to TV series and films. Most of her books are perfect. Yet, we hardly see any adaptations. Is it due to licensing?

Anyway, the one attempt I had seen recently was the disappointing Murder on the Orient Express from 2017. It was unnecessarily stylized, the adaptations need to let the story take over. The complex simplicity is the most important virtue of the Christie’s stories. Then there is the old, yet long-running, TV series Poirot – again, enjoyable in parts but tries too hard. That said, I have liked whatever I have managed to see (mostly on YouTube).

There’s so much scope for something in the middle, not too stylized and yet, a modern adaptation. Preferably in the form of a film or a TV mini-series. I did come across one such adaptation, the 2015 three episode television mini-series of And Then There Were None. IMDB Plus has made all the episodes available on YouTube. I enjoyed this particular form. I felt it worked.

So sad that there isn’t much readily available.

Unless you’re really sure the other person will get your humor, or appreciate it, it’s usually better to say what you mean instead of trying to be funny.

Oh, I agree with Dave. Being funny isn’t easy, especially when you’ve no sense of the other person’s sense of humour.

The recent ad from CRED feat Rahul Dravid is an absolute masterclass. No doubt it is trending heavily. It subverts people’s perspective towards a gem of a man and that always works with ads. And yet am sure Dravid’s image is hardly blotted.

Om Alone

I have also developed uncanny abilities—not exactly superpowers, but I am now able to read entire books while thinking about other things the whole time. When I first realized that this was happening, I would reread the paragraph or two that I’d missed, but my subconscious—or, more specifically, my third eye—told me that it wasn’t necessary, so I just kept reading and thinking and have now read more books than ever before.

Revisiting 2020 through the /now page

I updated my /now page today after a long time. I usually maintain a thought’s archive as part of the page for the updates that are no longer relevant. The idea behind is revisiting the thoughts that once were at the top of my mind is another way for me to retrospect.

Today I’ve reset that section for 2021. And below is an unadulterated list of the thought archive from 2020 – so in a way a snapshot (incomplete, sure) of the year that went by.

  • I’m trying to get into a habit of regular meditation. I want to give it a chance again.
  • I’m in love with the Hamilton soundtrack. I keep going back to it every now and then.
  • Study Café Album on Spotify has been my go-to album every time I want to focus. If that fails, the real café ambient noise from Coffitivity does the job.
  • I have started writing frequently now. The simpler writing workflow with WordPress is helping.
  • Need to get the backup solution for posts (probably in WordPress) addressed.
  • Focus on deciding on the format, the frequency and the tone of the newsletter.
  • Where would my blog go next? Or will it stay here? It would most probably not be WordPress
  • I want a better writing interface. Or maybe not? Why do I want to create something perfect myself?
  • Need to get to the improvements planned for Wall.
  • Read. Read. Read. Write. Write. Write.
  • I need to finish the couple of books I had started reading in the last month
  • Implement a micropub client. Get anything working. Without UI. Dropped the idea
  • Getting used to the new normal.
  • Write about and share details about Wall. Feedback and issues.
  • Get IndieLogin working – just been too long now
  • Get distracted with the side projects, again. IndieWeb’s done.
  • Start reading and writing again
  • Stop procrastinating items from must-do list
  • Fix issue with webmentions from Brid.gy
  • Send webmentions to target on replies/likes
  • Support for updates in blotpub
  • Decision on upcoming nearby travel
  • Handle crossposting to Twitter and Mastodon for longer posts
  • Style webmentions section to my liking. It is too bloated in the current form
  • Start \now page to be updated regularly
  • Consolidate all my online content onto a single place (most probably blot)
  • Move old content from Hugo to archive (a Hugo site)
  • Change stuff around

The effort that the developers across collectively spent on building the “small”, “light” javascript framework of their liking is way too high. Sure, build that framework – just don’t carry an expectation of it being perfect.

I am curious - isn’t a drone that can carry a human just a helicopter? A self-driving, may be. What about a flying car? What makes it different from what exists today? Every sci-fi futuristic world has such flying cars, even trains for that matter. I don’t like those skies.

If you maintain a /now page like I do, what do you write in there? What’s a good enough update? I keep swinging between very text-heavy and too terse – I haven’t found the right balance yet.

Dan Lewis recently made me aware of one of the most beautiful love story, that of Long Distance Love Birds.

The story would have ended there but in 2001, something unexpected happened: another stork arrived. A male stork. The two mated and shortly afterward, the male stork left, as one would expect, being a migratory bird and all. But storks are also known for being serial monogamists; while they don’t mate for life, they tend to stick with the same partner so long as that partner is on the same migratory path. In this case, though, Malena had no migratory path, and the bird that happened across her nest seemed unlikely to return.

Until he did, a year later. And a year after that. And a year after that, too.

Ah, love indeed is universal. And in this case, it literally has no boundaries. Such a pretty, happy story. To anyone who says long-distance relationship doesn't work, I have another real life story bookmarked now.

What Data Can’t Do

Numbers don’t lie, except when they do. They [statistics] can help remedy our human fallibilities. What’s easy to forget is that statistics can amplify these fallibilities, too.

This discussion on Stack Exchange proves again that the majority, including me, understands so little of the relativity theory. Easy to think it’s easy. It ain’t.

So at what speed I should travel to make my 24 hours day equals 36 hours?

It was a couple of years ago when I had ranted about how the alternatives to the popular social networks are not seriously considered. A discussion something on these lines.

What all alternatives have you tried? Were there none that were good? If so, why? What is missing? How can they be made better? What is it that you are looking for in a social network?

It’s so frustrating to see the state hardly change. A call to tell the makers of the service why you cannot use their service is rarely answered. Sure, new social networks are launched, but they have the same underlying problems. They create unnecessary flutter and eventually die down. Why not create buzz for something that’s not aiming simply for the acquisition?

I love my laptop a lot more than my smartphone and my tablet. I’m more comfortable with the trackpad and the keyboard than a touchscreen. I can focus more with a lot more windows in front of me than say one full-screen app. This list goes on and on. What “Gen” am I?

I absolutely love the Daily Mixes that Spotify serves. Every new song or album or artist that it recommends is spot-on. Each time I need something to calm myself, I put on a Daily Mix. What’s more? There’s usually a mix for every mood. Two big thumbs up! 👍🏼👍🏼🎵

Does getting the vaccine lend one liberty to return to normalcy? From what I've read, the recommendation is still to maintain patience. And caution. Sure, it gets safer as more people in the community get vaccinated. But starting to roam around getting rid of the masks and shaking hands is not the way. Am I being too cynical?

The 2021 Oscar Nominations, and What Should Have Made the List

It seemed obvious that the absence of many big-budget movies this past year would clear the way for smaller films to earn nominations, and that turned out to be true.

I know of so few from this year’s list.

The first “promise” Ghost 4.0 makes is “Turn your audience into a business.”. The first “feature” that it calls out is the dashboard “with detailed stats on audience engagement and business growth”. The answer to my question is clearly not for a blogger like me.

Meta Alert: Btw, the yesterday’s MailChimp experiment for email digest was a failure. The campaign (🙄) is live, it should send the email. It does not. Sigh, a problem that looks so simple isn’t. I don’t want to build a custom solution for such a seemingly trivial problem.

I am usually good at keeping the thoughts from my work away from what I publish at my website. I guess that last post was an unintended and a rare slip.

For that matter, I just don’t like the distinction work vs life. Work forms a significant part of one’s life. So what balance are we talking about when we say the “work-life balance”?

When do you consider it a productive day? When you achieve a lot from the backlog, but not much from the list of tasks planned for the day? Or when you achive just that one task at the top of planned list? Many might say the later, but the former is not bad either.

Another day when I think about all the meta stuff around my blog and how I swing between complete control over the setup and no control at all. Another day when I admire the folks who have custom-made solutions for each part. That level of dedication’s not trivial.