Alien Droppings....

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You kno what I tend to miss most about roadtrips back home? The excitement.... You take a long drive out of town in India, and on the way there are the colourful trucks which are almost breaking down, the occassional village every 20kms or so which is bustling with activity, the sumo's and safari's jam packed with families heading off on a vacation....things that keep you awake while you're in the car! But here.....its just straight road all the way. You travel for 20kms or so, on roads absolutely aligned to scale, then take the occassional left or right, and then move again for the next 20kms. And on the way, you'll only see farmland with sheep or cattle, or dry barren land for miles around. So its absolutely essential that you have friends / family in the car with you, else you'll be stiff bored.

I headed off with my friends up north, about 250kms to a place called 'Cervantes'. There lie these structures called the Pinnacles, which are essentially limestone pillars which rise up from the sand. There are thousands of them scattered around the sandy desert, and its quite an amazing sight. Its not what you expect from looking at the pictures. Apparently someone thought they were stones dropped by aliens...hahah. What got me amazed was that here was a sandy desert, with minimal vegetation, situated right next to the ocean!




as you can see, the color's of the desert kept changing with the sunlight


It took us about 2 1/2 hrs to get there, we stayed at one of the self contained holiday homes. I've heard of a one horse town, but Cervantes is what I would term as a half horse town. The population must barely be a few hundreds, with just a couple of houses, a few shops and a gas station. The town is named after a ship which was wrecked there, which in turn was named after Miguel de Cervantes (Author of Don Quixote). So it wasn't surprising to find references to Don Quixote everywhere, such as the Don Quixote cafe closeby. We also stopped at the Lake Thetis, is famous cuz it contains Stromatolites (absolutely no idea what they are). On our way back we went to the beach, which was called 'Hangover Bay'. It was weird standing right next to the water with an entire desert behind you.

thats my friend ensuring we don't starve at night!


The night was cold, but it didnt take long for the day to heat up next morning. Before heading back home, we decided to take a look at Jurien Bay, which we thought would be somthing similar to Hangover Bay. But it was a full fledged town, and one of the most prettiest I've seen in a while. It was really like those country side town's you read about in books, with nice lil row houses, children playing on the beach, small cafe's lined up.... I even managed to see a couple of seal's swimming about in the water! Couldn't get a clear picture though, they really weren't too willing to pose for a snap. But the sight of the water, people fishing, the sand....it was like being back home in Kochi.



So it was back home then, the trip was a nice change after the exams. One thing I have to mention is about the kangaroos by the road. They were all dead!! Well, it seems that they just get too excited looking at the car's going by the road, and the moment they get too close...bam! Dumb animals...

To see the entire set of photo's...go here


Photography...

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Its amazing to see the hundreds of thousands of photographs that are put up online. I've been browsing a lota photo sharing sites recently, and here are some of the really amazing pics out there...















Makes me wanna grab a camera and start clickin away...
Be sure to visit:
deviantart, flickr, stulberg, scx


Note: The pictures above may be copyright of their respective authors. The pictures were taken by, in order of apperance, ~kea, ~borissov, ~theteng, ~lenw, ~staged, ~podobycko, Simon Lyatokov


Chilly Ideas...

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So I'm on my way to my exam at 8 in the morning, and I didn't take the bike as usual cuz it was toooo cold to ride. So I pop in the earphones, and tune into a local radio station. The guy on the airways tell me that its 3.1 degrees, and its "Nice bright & sunny". I look up...sure its 'Nice bright & sunny', just that I guess the heat is on low. Does the sun come with a temeperature contol or somethin? And then there's the whole day-night cycle which gets runined. Come 5:30 and the sun's gone home. Cumon....does the sun have to work half time durin the winter?? He's already got a disfunctional heater, on top of that he decides to call it in early.
Maybe I should write to god to turn the thermostat up jus a lil bit....

I'm not a big fan of the cold. Sure, its better than being sweaty and smelly, but bone chilling cold isn't too great either. Here I am padded up in three layers of clothing, hands and legs fully covered...the works. Infact, I got so much padding, that I'm sure I could easily withstand a bullet fire or somethin like that. It wouldnt penetrate through....i'm pretty sure of that! I guess nations should fight wars also in these temperatures....they'd either be too depressed to fight (it does get depressing in the cold) or they'd save millions of lives cuz the bullets wudn't go thru all that warm clothing!!

Maybe I should run for president....


Ol Friendz...

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Seems to me that this is the week of reuninons.....Recently I've gotten in touch with my friends from way way back....right from when I was in the 2nd grade!!

Ah...who could forget those ol skl days. Thats the one diff between uni and skl. In skl you knew everyone, and everyone knew you. But once u step into Uni, all that changes. You may meet a whole bunch of new faces every day, and never see them again!! From my 1st skl back in cochin, I'd nearly lost in touch with everyone....kept in touch with just a few, mainly cuz they were the only ones whu wrote emails n stuff. But I guess once ppl started using IM's....no one really bothered to write emails to each other anymore...

So I was just browsing thru hi5 couple of days bak, and found one of my old classmates. Got in touch wid him...thru him got in touch with others...it was like a chain reaction! It really felt nice to talk to them again. And we spent hrs just talkin bout the ol skl days....I remember this one friend of mine had a really short temper, and I'd make it a point to exploit it.. I'd sit right behind him in class and just before leaving skl at the end of the day, when we had to all stand up for the national anthem, I'd tie his skl bag to the chair!! And that'd really get him furious.....and while he was busy untiying his bag, I'd run off......Was chatting with him yesterday, and we both had such a big laugh over it....

Come to think of it, I'd always do stuff like dat, but somehow never got into trouble for it! I remember another time back in the 5th grade, my friend had gone up to the teacher's table for somethin. So I picked out a pin from the notice board next to me, stuck it in between a piece of folded paper and placed it on his chair so that it wud face up... when he came back...he sat right on top of it!! And he jumped back up quicker that he sat down......But at the end of the day we just laughed over the whole thing.....lol...

Ah...whoever came up with the idea of Instant Messaging was a genius....without it I wud have never been able to cherish those ol memories....


Ubuntu...

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##SPOILER: NON GEEKS MIGHT GET BORED....##

Finally got rid of Windows once and for all...yep...after sticking to Windows as my OS for over 12years, its now my 'secondary' boot-up list...

I needed a change. Windows Vista seemed a good change from XP, but one glance at the min specs (2Ghz, 265MB Vid Mem, 1GB RAM....), and I knew that it would be a couple of years b4 I get that config on my table. I'd recently read that I could actually emulate OS X Tiger on the PC, so I had that in the back of my mind. But that would require too much work....and with exams coming up...hmm...not a good idea.

Linux was always on the cards...first have it a try in 1997, but never really stuck on with a distro because of some problem or the other. Only twice can I recall that I used a Linux Distro extensively.....first was Fedora Core2, for about 2months I guess, and then Ubuntu Breezy Badger for around 4 months. I was really impressed with Breezy, was almost flawless. But lack of wireless support, and no NTFS write support became a hindrance after a while. So I was forced to let go of that too.

The latest Ubuntu distro - Dapper Drake was released on the 1st of June, so I said, what the heck? I'll give it a try. Downloaded the ISO, and most impressive was that the Live CD and Install was combined into one! Well, to cut it short, everything works flawlessly. From network to wireless to NTFS write support....ooh yeah....and it seems to have sped up my comp too!! (Even if it didn't, I would like to believe that it did...)

So yeah...been using it, and loving it!!! Here are a few screenshots....




and yeah...i'll try to keep this blog tech-free in da future....(try)


Gotta Love Wireless....

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The only downside of living on campus is the internet restrictions....I cant get my daily dose of music downloads!!! So my music collection has kinda stagnated since I got here....

But now I've found a way to get back my daily quota of new music....I still can't download, cuz of the restrictions, but just because I can't that doesn't mean every single student who attends uni can't. They've got connections at home, and do what they have to do with them. So as I was sitting through my stats lecture today, I turned on the wireless in my notebook and just did a causal scan of all the computers connected to the network...and voila...i'd hit a jackpot!!!! There were over 100 computers on the network with shared data, with everything from games to movies...and most importantly...MUZIK!! So yeah...in that two hr lecture...I copied over 3Gigs of music onto my comp....I should be good for about a month or so now....lol...

Today was also the Chinese children's day, following the traditional dragon boat festival that was yesterday. My chinese housemates took into the festive mood, and cooked traditional chinese dumpling sorta things (dunno the weird names...) yest, and another grand dinner today....ahhh....chinese festivals = good food....and from what I hear...there are plenty more coming up.... (",)




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