It’s been long since I wrote about anything non-specific. I guess it’s a common symptom amongst bloggers from my generation (age jokes will draw ire). For me, it just stopped being so important to say anything, what with every major insight seeming pretty ciichéd and/or obvious by the time I got down to writing it. Can’t you just see the brain cells sizzle away?

As I was wont to do in days gone, let me start with books. I spent a long time re-reading books, sometimes more than once. Seemed to take a lot less effort than reading new books. Ditto movies, when I had enough time to watch them. Of course, bite-sized chunks of TV series were easier to grok as well. With a conscious effort now, I’ve started reading more new stuff, the latest of these being Neil Gaiman’s American Gods. Gripping book, that. Incidentally, if you’ve not read Richard Morgan’s Altered Carbon, you’re missing out on what I am certain is one of the best SF works in recent times. Have been promised access to the remainder of his novels featuring Takeshi Kovacs, so looking forward to that.

On the music front, I sold off my guitar a year and a half ago (the neck warped too often) and now intend to buy a new guitar. Saw a fairly decent and not-too-pricey Granada at Furtado’s, and it’s now somewhere near the top of my acquisition list. As before, my tastes are (a) relatively esoteric, and (b) temporally out of phase. My latest obsession are the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, about whom Rolling Stone has a brilliantly written article that borders on idolation.

Moved to a new house, and unpacking and settling in slowly proceed. All the running around before this and now mean that I still have to establish a proper working environment and discipline. I’ve been trying (with only moderate success) to maintain a reasonably “normal” diurnal cycle. Should be more successful as things settle further.

I’ve got a couple of work related blog posts lined up in my head, but that’ll have to wait for later. I hope this particular post heralds some exercising of atrophied writing muscles.

Good night, world.

Eastwind Festival

The icing on the cake that was my time at Freed.in was that I got to spend one evening at the Eastwind Festival (thanks to Piyush Verma for the ride that made this possible!)

It was brilliant. I got to listen to the Raghu Dixit Project (and get on their blog, to boot) and Junkyard Groove. These are both amazingly talented bands, and I do hope to catch some more of their music in the days to come. I got some pretty neat photos at the concert.

I bought 2 CDs — Raghu Dixit’s first, eponymous album, and Pentagram’s It’s OK, It’s All Good (the one with Voice) on it. They’re both awesome buys. I can’t wait for Junkyard Groove to get some of their music out too (are you listening guys? Someone point them to this blog post please!)

(Addendum: The Raghu Dixit CD comes with 2 copies of the CD — one for you, and one to give to a friend. This is such an awesome idea — kudos to Counter Culture (the label) for going with this idea. You guys rock!)

(Addendum 2: More photos here.)


So I finally did make it to Freed.in/2008.

I had a great time, though it took me a while to understand what exactly the objective and focus were. The talks were on a variety of topics (as diverse as communities, education, mobility, indie music and open street maps). The single theme, though, was Knowledge, and the freedom associated with it (this is me paraphrasing/simplifying). Since this a really broad topic, I didn’t know what to expect when I got here. The talks were really interesting and well-delivered, but at the end of it, I didn’t get the kind of “closure” I expected. To some extent, I guess I went in with the wrong set of expectations. On the other hand, it might make sense for Freed.in/2009 (be there — I will!) to pick a narrower focus so that we can come there, talk, discuss, and come away with something tangible.

This is by no means intended to take anything away from the massive effort the organisers and volunteers put into Freed.in — as I said, I had a great 3 days!

And here are the photos — not too many, but some interesting ones in there. :-)

Random stuff

Watched Forrest Gump again (beginning to end for the first time, actually). Some random reading later, came upon this rather interesting article about Robin Wright Penn.

Trent Reznor has released the download/payment stats for Saul Williams’ album (which is available for free or USD 5 — your choice) at NiN.com. He finds the results (about 18.3% paid for the album) disappointing. Maybe he was a bit optimistic. I would’ve pegged 20% as my expectation.

Y’know, stuff, things

Welcome back to the second episode of Arun Unleashed (though I find myself less inclined to blog these days).

Reading TP‘s Wyrd Sisters. I thought I’d finished all of the older Discworld stuff. Pleasantly surprised to have not. :-)

For those of you that’ve been living under a very large rock, Radiohead has released their latest album, In Rainbows on a pay-what-you want basis. But you need to jump through a couple of hoops to get to the final page.

Nirbheek is a big time Songbird pimp. I finally tried it after much nagging. It is good, if somewhat raw. Their demo video pointed me to this band (actually, guy) called Bonobo (not the component architecture, silly). Good stuff. Wish I could buy it in India. In the mean time you can get some of their stuff too (is this remotely legal?).

I think I used to have a voice

Ah, I’m back. In a revolutionary fit of life changing, I have decided to try to be regular about blogging again. And as I type this out, I have completely forgotten everything that I wanted to blog about. Flup.

Books. I got my hands on a few and, shockingly, read them. Going through a manic Kurt Vonnegut reading phase — Hocus Pocus, Breakfast of Champions, Slapstick, Slaughterhouse 5, and, in due time, Galapagos. But the biggest news item, book-wise, is that I got my very own Rs. 100 copy of Raise High The Roofbeam Carpenters, and Seymour: An Introduction. Pristine condition. W00t.

Our hostel has a little library, and I’m allegedly in the advisory committee for that. They made the mistake of getting me to buy books from Bangalore. You should’ve seen the twinkle in my eye as I entered Blossom with 2000 bucks to spend wisely.

Been looping on this song for a while now — Blink 182 – I Miss You.

Oh, and Poets of the Fall will be here for our cul-fest this time. That’s this Saturday. Awesome. I’ve not made it to the salsa crash-course this time, though, unlike last time.

Placements happen in about a month. I’d taken up some work on the placement team (our placement system is really anti-student — you get one job and you’re out of the process. Stupid.). Walked out in a huff after a while because of the usual kind of stupidity.

Oh, and I got a Canon PowerShot S5 IS. ‘Tis a beaut, no doubt. Now to figure out how to use it. :D Got some nice bird shots thanks to guru . Will post them in a while (gotta leave something for future posts).

And thus I bid thee short adieu.

Kama Ruchi Lokat

Went out to Loka Ruchi today, way down Mysore Road. Amazing North Karnataka food. Brilliant time.

Read Invisible Monsters by Chuck Palahniuk. Quite good (albeit somewhat morbid). Theme somewhat similar to Fight Club. This is the book his publishers found too disturbing to publish (Palahniuk, it seems, decided to write something even more disturbing to show them, but they liked it and published it. And “it” was Fight Club).

This Toe (Flash alert!) stuff is brilliant. Would really love to buy this album (New Sentimentality).

… and the day they stopped

Finished reading Haroun and the Sea of Stories (Rushdie) yesterday. ‘Tis very good reading, across ages. Should be made mandatory reading for children aged 6-10. I liked the Shadow Warrior <-> Kathakali association particularly.

Before that was the curious incident of the dog in the night-time (Mark Haddon — keeps reminding me of Haddon Mirk). I’m certainly lucking out in my choice of books — this too was amazing. Next in line, is The Handmaid’s Tale (Margaret Atwood)

Busy days here, filled with a lot of “nothing in particular”s. Coding work in earnest on thesis begins. Will also probably get to commission an HP NAS head, if I can figure out, and probably an EMC filer too. Fun!

Hope ya’ll had a happy Shutdown Day.