Wednesday, July 4, 2007

July 4th in India

It's 10PM as I type, and the people who run and/or teach at a "de-accenting" school for call centers and live in a house a few steps away from me are launching major fireworks off their rooftop. Burning embers are showering my roof and the entire area around us. By God, we're Amuricans, and it's the 4th, so we're going to exercise our God-given right to behave like redneck yahoos, no matter where we are. Sheesh.

This is the cap (at least I hope it's the cap) to an altogether eventful and somewhat weird day. I woke up this morning to some extremely creepy dreams; I don't know if it's a case of mefloquine psychosis or what, but it was a disturbing start to the day.

At work I plowed thru email I've ignored for the past 36 hours, discovering some high-urgency items that occupied my morning. At lunchtime, I took my camera to the cafeteria to get some shots of our lovely facility; I was slightly harassed by a security guy who didn't want to believe that I had permission (I had, in fact, filed the requisite paper work). Unfortunately, I screwed up while attempting to get video of Anil going thru the line and getting food; I don't yet have a good handle on this camera, and I got nothing but some stills. Fooey.

After lunch I worked on a variety of things, including trying to get prepared for tomorrow's inaugural "Thursday bull session"; I discovered that the projector in the room we've scheduled still has a blown bulb. I have a promise of a replacement, but I'm not especially confident.

I got a response to a note I sent to Laura Haas, and it contains this lovely phrase:

...communications in this day of write-only, read-frantically craziness...

I love it. Of course, I'm contributing to the problem at this very instant. I've resolved to spend some time tomorrow searching w3, and the web at large, for a decent emacs tutorial, to avoid finishing the one I've already started. It's true, at least for me - I don't do enough search.

I took Sixty Days and Counting with me to supper, and read this, regarding one of the characters, Charlie, trying to get his growing son Joe to ride in a backpack for a walk:

"I wanna walk," he said. "I'm too big for that now, Dad."

This was not literally true. "Well, but we could keep each other warm," he said.


"OK, then."

It occurred to Charlie that it had been quite a while since Joe had been willing to get in the thing and take a ride. And it was looking a little small. Possibly Joe had gotten into it for the last time, and the final usage of it had passed without Charlie noticing. [...] How he had loved carrying Nick and then Joe around like that. He had done a lot of backpacking in his life, but no load on his back had ever felt so good to him as his boys. Instead of weighing him down, they had lifted him up. Now that was over.


Then, on the way home, I passed this. Iwant one. I've never seen anything like it before; it may be a custom one-off. It's the perfect solution to my transportation dilemma. Hopefully you can tell from the pictures just how tiny this thing is.

[Update - yes, I think it's a one-off, from Sudha Cars.]

Finally, after arriving home and uploading these pictures, I noticed this image from a few days back. I had awakened just at dawn, noticed the light and dashed up to the roof to get this. The light was changing visibly as I stood there, and I only got this one picture before an ordinary day arrived. I went back downstairs, crawled back into bed for an hour and then forgot I'd even taken this - until now.

Happy 4th.

1 comment:

  1. Hey Jerry,

    I just finished reading "River of Gods" by Ian MacDonald. The story is mostly based in Varanasi in the near future. The author does an amazing job of mixing Indian culture into a sci-novel with a very Gibson-esque style, all tied together with some pretty neat ideas about artificial intelligence and multi-verse theory. I though of recommending it to you while you were in Hyderabad because of the cultural tie in. Wasn't sure if you read sci-fi, but with the KSR mention in this post I guess you do...