Thursday, April 21, 2005


Ben the Locksmith (like Ben Affleck- Jennifer Lopez...only better)

Yester-evening I got an S.O.S. from my friend Rachna, who had locked herself out of the apartment without a spare key. She was considering hurling a large stone at the living room window, carefulling removing the resultant sharpnels and crawling into the room to retrieve the keys. I had other thoughts. I knew just the right man for the former office-mate Ben.

While the rest of us mortals use an analog clock...or a digital clock as in my case, Ben has one that tells the time in binary. Thats how smart he is! At MIT, along with the difficult computer courses, he had mastered the 'MIT Guide to Lock Picking'. He demonstrated his skills at the workplace once...I had securely tethered my laptop to my desk and had gone to get a glass of water. He had it open in 30 seconds...and he didnt cut the cable.

I gave him a call and explained the situation, sensing his glee as I mentioned unlocking locks. He was over at Rachna's apartment in as much time it takes to drive home from work, pick up his wife and the tools and get to the apt. With his instruments he had the lock open in 2 minutes (which incidentally was the same time it took me to read the time from his binary clock). His wife was disappointed...she has usually seen him crack locks in under a minute.

If I was ever at MIT, I wouldn’t even bother to lock my doors.

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

O Las Vegas!

I got to visit Las Vegas for the Microsoft 2005 Summit...just because no one else from the company wanted to go. I spent the sunday at the Bellagio and watched 'O'- the cirque du soleil. You know a show is amazing, when the curtains are raised and you see that the stage is infact a big swimming pool. While watching the show, I wondered if they had hired divers, gymnasts, synchronized swimmers who took part in the sydney or athens olympics. Yes they had!


Tickets dont come cheap and buying them atleast a month in advance can help.

Monday, April 11, 2005

Rhyme of the Ancient Mariner

I made my maiden voyage on the seas in 'J/24'- a versatile 25-foot training boat. My crew included our skipper- Aude, second-in-command Osman and two able seahands - Shaheen and Artem. We started out from the Berkeley Marina at approximately 1030 hours heading northwest towards Tiburon. At 1330 hours we docked at Angel Island for lunch to ward off scurvy from our long journey. At 1515 hours we started for the golden gate bridge amidst lots of complaints for siesta time from the seahands.

Around 1530 hours we saw an incredible that made us wonder whether we had gone through a time warp instead of the Racoon straits while leaving the island...

Blasts from the Past

...either that or "Pirates of the carribbean" was being projected on a really large screen below the GG bridge. The ships were accompanied with mock-battles, replete with cannon fire and posturing. We were lucky to witness this 'historic' event...these shows are very rare and we had the best seats in the house!

Around 1645 hours we headed towards Alcatraz to discover the feeling of The Rock's isolation after sundown...along with the many passing cruise ships and their passengers. Swinging by the Treasure Island we were back in the Marina by 1800 hours. Then the perfect follow-up to any hard day of sailing- having to tie up the sails and wash the boat.

We signed off the day with dinner at an Indian (Coorgi) restaurant- Breads of India.

The Crew

Skipper - Aude with a Sea hand

Sea Hands - Shaheen and Artem (Osman in the background - Second-in-Command)

Me - At the Helm