My Frenemy Balaji

A few days ago, Balaji came down to Chennai from Seattle. We met for breakfast and played catch up for a couple of hours. Amma invited him over for lunch, before which we decided to continue yakking at home in my room. A short while later, I got a call which I had to take and unfortunately, it ended up taking longer than I thought it would. As luck would have it, Balaji got a couple of calls himself while I was on the phone and he took them outside the room.

He came back in about 10 minutes later and started typing on the computer and once he was done, he pointed me to it. This is what he’d written:

My Frenemy Balaji

What are we? Freakin’ teenagers? *aaaaarrrrgggghhh* Whoever it was that said, “With friends like these, you don’t need enemies,” definitely had Balaji in mind.

Back to the old life…

Move from Nor Cal back to the greater Seattle area to a “temporary”, cramped 1 bedroom apartment for what was supposed to be just a couple of months turned into an 8 month ordeal navigating narrow passages around brown cardboard boxes stacked from floor to ceiling. Boxes overflowed from the only bedroom into the kitchen, dining room passage ways and living room. Finally moved out of that one into a bigger place  with an additional bedroom. Time to unpack. 🙂

And with the move, also comes the end to the hiatus from gaming. I’ve finished playing “Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic 2 – The Sith Lords” and “Star Wars: The Force Unleashed”. The former is definitely a fabulous game, especially with the community patches, fixes and additions. The latter is a game with great ambition, but falls short of even being good, primarily due to very poor camera programming. I managed to slog through it and finished the game in about 19 hours.

Right now I’m about 3/4ths of the way at normal difficulty through Toki Tori, a puzzle game that looks like a platformer. This game would be an excellent introduction to anyone that wants to get into gaming or wants to try out casual games. Visuals are clean and the difficulty curve is very gentle. The background music need to be turned down or even off – a bit annoying. Looks like there’s some replay value at the higher difficulty levels.

I’ll have to attend to processing photos from my shoots from April through June. There are about 1200 or so photos I have to filter. I’ll expect to end up with 5% or 60 of them to post-process. The B&W film I shot turned out to be ok, not bad at all. Costco scans of the negatives wasn’t all that great, photos seemed overexposed in the scanned versions, though the prints looked significantly better.

I have about 20 book boxes to go through and I expect to eliminate about 10 of them in the process of unpacking. There are about 15 boxes of media and I have absolutely no intention of disposing of any of it. 😀 On a consolation note, I do plan to get rid about 7 of the 10 boxes with paper crap, which I don’t need to keep. Goal is to be rid of about a third of my possessions (mostly junk) as part of the unpacking process. Not sure when I’m going to get rid of all my gardening and yard work tools. I’ll have to clean them and put them up for sale. Should I get rid of the barbecue or hang on to it? Decisions, decisions.

I”m hanging on to the Hitachi rear projection TV. No, I don’t need 2 TVs. But having paid to move it a couple of times, I might as well reap the benefits of having spent the money. I’ll definitely get rid of it when I move out of this place to the next one. That would also be the time to get rid of my floor standing speakers that take up an inordinate amount of space. They produce great sound, but the sheer bulk is overwhelming.

Onwards and upwards. Time to get back to work. That’s how the bills get paid.

I’ve been a !(busy bee).

Let’s see. What have I been up to these last few weeks?

  1. Made a not-so-well planned trip to Yosemite and Kings Canyon & Sequoia National Parks.
  2. I got on to Twitter to try it out.
  3. I got back on facebook (why, oh why?).
  4. Played about 60 hours of Final Fantasy XII (PS2) – about a third to half of which was level grinding. I’m still only about a third of the way through the game.
  5. Played Bonsai Barber (WiiWare) – crazy, fun game. Different. Controls are a bit frustrating at times, but good fun.
  6. Read How to Make Webcomics by four authors [ good ]
  7. Read Photoshop Studio with Bert Monroy: Digital Painting [ too advanced ].
  8. Tried out Word Jong Party (Wii) with Lakshmi – discovered that Lakshmi has some truly unique talents such as seeing the word “genitals” in a bunch of jumbled up letter tiles. My version of the story (and I’m sticking to it!) is that it is solely due to the extreme development of such skill that Lakshmi is able to consistently whup my ass at word games. I made sure that Vimal was immediately appraised of this unique talent of Lakshmi much to Vimal’s simultaneous disgust and delight.
  9. Watched about two dozen episodes of Highway On My Plate (HOMP) – The most entertaining series of Indian television. Two guys, Rocky and Mayur, hit the highways of India sampling various dhabas and specialty restaurants on their travels. Good banter without much corniness and the class of entertainment is pretty decent.
  10. Worked on my 2008 tax returns – still not done. Bad Vijay! Buy hey, the IRS owes me money, not the other way round, so it’s okay… Or is it? Maybe it’s not so okay. Coz, I’m letting them hang on to my money longer than I need to. Hmmm.

So essentially, I’ve done nothing very “productive” in the traditional sense. Pity.