Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Treble Uttarakhand Cohibas

Sorting has led to uploading

Here's a coupla long single handled shots, now on YT.

Three different locations, all in Uttarakhand
- Gethia, Nainital
- Haldwani, Nainital
- Hardwar, Nainital

Cohibas - because some fancy icon could be sitting on a hill in the backdrop of Nanda Devi, playing them, smoking a nice Cuban cigar.

Obit on a sad dawn

I'd have called him Russet or Burns, if he were still around. I don't think he saw the light of this morning. He got ran over, and was found placed in a corner of his sanctuary - the neighborhood park.
Funny, that I liked him more than his siblings. Funny, that I saw something special in him, by the way of his interaction with the world. Funny, that I also suspected this day to come. But optimism can go along with calculated fears; every day I urged him to take care out there, in the hope that experience will come his way sooner than accident.
All he had to do was survive his childhood. Him dying now corrupts my morning thought.

Sunday, September 27, 2015

uprooted and sorted

No drumrolls, but this week has been more sorted. Too bad it ended up sorting me.


Studies: I got my nose back into the books. For my 'crowd' its hard to start, so the messy, wet, sloppy experience of (yet another) start will soon be cruise sailing.

Orderliness: for all the data that I now own, it was begging for consolidation. I have found meself wasting so much time over 'that photo' that I sat and made a lotta buckets through the day. Sadly, it is kinda addicting to do that with one's own pics, and I might lapse into this addictive habit regularly until all that content is available for immediate consumption.
Physically running through folders is still quicker than on any software I've used. Tagging is amazing, but the first cleavage should be a file-to-copy-file effort. Now lemme look for that copy of Windows Commander. (Update: it is now called Total Commander, and still available for upto Win 7!)

Externality: Over the week, two tiny lives have given me the only reasons to step out. I've fed them on three consecutive days, including today. The local nexus of the cobbler, the tobacconist, the chaiwallah, and the cassette wallah, look over them with great care, and even in the middle of a bustling market with a lotta traffic most of the day, the pups are healthy, happy and feel secure. They are very playful, more so after a hearty lunch like today's.
I had to drag them out from under the parked cars by their tail, those sleepy heads. They were lazy to boot, but once they came out of their dream and realized they were in another one with a lotta food and a human, they were in high energies and played for a long while (or maybe the rice helped increase their sugar levels, which is what promoted activity).

Sub-new: Blackrat's new OnePlus 2, on which we had a sub-sub-new: 4k video shooting.
Our memories now exist in 4k. To consider how far we've come in a mere 15 years, in terms of resolution, from 172x something, which is approx 0.1k, to 4k; and our minute-long videos that barely exceeded 40MB on older digicams (cameras dedicated to recording stuff), to this 4k res on a phone, which generates a ~400MB file for the same.

Work: in doing new stuff, the old stuff didn't find time. Makes for too many post-its on my walls.

Work: Got fired, now feeling fried. Luck strikes early, or finally ends.
New lows for somebody who didn't imagine all such this strife.

Advice for losers
Another low?
Whattey blow!
Break the flow,
Take it slow.

Saturday, September 26, 2015

One handsome Giant Leaf-footed Stink-bug (Acanthocephala Declivis)

With a quick mail exchange with Ted (of Beetles in the Bush), my hour was to go into looking up ID of this phantasm that was spotted one lucky afternoon in 2008.

With an even lesser of a foundation in ID back then, my trail went in a wrong direction, into Phasmatodea (erring right at the level of Order).
Where I was supposed to go, was Hempitera. And thereon to Hemiptera > Heteroptera > Pentatomorpha > Coreoidea > Coreidae.

As sure as Ted was with his ID (replying inside minutes of my asking), I wasn't, even after landing on the Coreidae page on Wikipedia. As an amateur, much of my identification is visual than morphological. But reading up the bit on morphology was helpful
The general morphological features of the Coreidae are an oval-shaped body, antennae composed of four segments, a numerously veined fore wing membrane, a metathoracic stink gland, and enlarged hind tibiae. Many species are covered with spines and tubercles
Considering Ted's comment on the horns, morphological adaptations came to mind, which could result in differently proportioned features. That consideration helped look for a more accurate match.

Which is an Acanthocephala, like one found here:
Giant Leaf-footed Stink-bug, Acanthocephala declivis
Photo courtesy Pete Williams, Gulf Breeze, Florida
December 12, 2006

Copyright (C) 2006 Pete Williams

This was the closest match, and reading on its ID solved the puzzle
Humeral angles of pronotum broadly expanded, extending laterally well beyond maximum lateral abdominal margin.
Next I went into an expanded/elongated pronotum frenzy. While Acantocephala has 27 subspecies, A. declivis seems a sure match, since its size and distribution both match.

A cursory search for related keywords on Google Images didn't throw a more beautiful specimen as this one. Makes me feel kinda swell, and lucky.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

A minor victory for Disbelief

...but victory, nonetheless.

A recent Whatsapp-shared wisdom had me curious. It comes in several forms - a slideshow, or a subtitled video, or a composite image. It described an exceptional behavior by the falcon to symbolise letting go. Besdies the fact that people around play a passive dominant part through such clips in my present situation, it got me very curious that such behavior existed in nature.

The big claims it made
- Eagles and Falcons live for upto 70 years
- They feathers lose their function between the ages of 30-40 years
- The beak bends
- Then they perch on their nest on top of a mountain
- Then they pluck each of their feathers one by one
- They break their beak off
- They grow back a fresh set of feathers and beak
- They extend their lifespan by another 30 years through this

It turned to be just the kind of quackery to be proven as that, and make my day. Snopes has already taken it apart here

An Eagle has a curved beak to tear through meat and bones, not because it tears through meat and bones. Just imagine birds of prey with frugivoral adaptations, lol.
Well, we haven't found one yet.

"Uh, I kinda saw myself as a bird that sacrifices its past and rises out anew, to find that some 4chan rejects tried passing that as a meme a few years back."
People won't understand how enervating such untruths can get. One can understand where time flies by - keeping off delusionary sociality, or dabbling in it. We are wasting time, don't you see, you passive-agressive and socially-motivated-to-the-level-of-spreading-untruths people!

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Screwed in Spirituality

I entered their complex for the first time. It is huge. The inner sanctum added further credence to adjectives forming in my head. Beautiful. Serene. Aesthetic.

It was breakfast time when I arrived. My relatives were packed, and ready to leave. The in-house breakfast was approaching its closing time, and moreover, my cousin soon had her flight to catch, so we were in a bit of a rush.

The 'crowd' - or rest of the people - was made of several resident pupils doing their rounds and finishing their morning duties; wayfarers from across the nation - like my relatives - endorsing the to institution's ethos and getting free lodging (transit services) in the process; foreigners who had come to find their inner light; and the institution staff that seemed calmer and lesser occupied than staff anywhere else.
Cultured, peaceful, happy crowd.
Also, sedate and passive.

In the middle of the inner sanctum, is a large circular fountain, that must be operating on special days, but today was sitting dry. Crossing it, I noticed, as everybody else had, a mole in the hole. (छुछुंदर) I imagine it had fallen in by accident at night time, and hadn't been able to get out since. It circled the circular fountain, vainly. The sun was about to flood the planet, and this little thing had grim chances of keeping at its jig, once it got hot. It already looked emaciated, and either starvation or a flying predator (aka bird) would get it eventually.

In a place of spiritual enlightenment, I didn't expect to see such a sight. Compassion should've seen the mole rescued the first thing by the first person who chances to come across the sight. The young band of pupils - who I'm sure were amongst the first to wake up - merrily flitted about, cleaning the floors, washing the sinks, collecting trash.. things small and belittling but regular, that made them fit in, as 'disciplined', 'responsible', 'a good learner'. But none of them bothered about the mole.

The wayfarers, and great men and women of the West, who had come down to India, to seek spirituality, calmly walked to the breakfast hall, just next door. Their curiosity, too, was piqued by the sight of the emaciated mole, then they got around the fountain and proceeded onwards to their morning fill.

The staff in all its peacefulness, seemed least bothered to break their peace.

The mole kept running in circles.

In rush, I myself skirted around that fountain on my way to and back from the lodging. We moved out 65kg of luggage. On insistence, aunt asked one of the pupils to help the mole out. The pupil, a young girl, had a huge basket, that she had just merrily carried trash out with, which could help in the situation. Her reaction, was to promptly recede and merrily tell us on her way out that she'll have the janitor boy do it.

We left for breakfast in our haste. The mole was still running in circles.
We got out from the breakfast hall. The mole was still running in circles.

I found it appalling that the sight of a living thing going around in pointless circles, with death-as-eventuality gaining probability, was not symbolic enough for anyone there.
It wasn't like I hadn't tried. The first time I crossed it, I was puzzled a bit in my decision, thinking that it could slink out the mesh at the far end of the fountain floor by itself. The second time, I threw in a stick that was too weak to climb out on, and tried finding a piece of paper or cardboard in the trash, but found one that was covered in something like goo, that I didn't really want to get my hands around. The third time, this merry girl gave us a merry promise to get help and leave it to them.

This was the fourth time, and having seen the nature of people around I gave up acting 'appropriate'. I took my sandals off and stepped in. The sandals could work as a trap, using which I would haul the mole out. Or so I thought. I tried cordoning off the mole, but a smooth surface and lack of corners defeated my purpose. I chased it around like one would chase wild partridge, with the same effect, of being outwitted every time I got close. It found ways to keep distance from approaching sandal-traps. These small creatures are Thigmotaxic, that is, they will keep to the edges, so a second person could've surely helped.

I stepped out in ignominy, defeated in purpose. Shortly before, somebody had casually commented, while walking by the scene of my compassionate antics, that what I was at wouldn't work. Wise men who had calculated the high probability of all negativities. It felt amazing to be in middle (literally, as the fountain was in the middle of the sanctum) of such people, and receive their wisdom. More amazing, that, seeing somebody take on an active role, the passives will not only dissolve their responsibility, but also step out of their skins and comment on another who is trying. They must teach some contemporary spirituality in this place, which works more towards social acceptance and sedation-till-death, than any behaviors arising from virtues.

These people whom I thought rich in their currency of the spiritual, had none of that. Their spiritual was more like a code. "Thou shalt not fornicate" type of code (which was a rule set by their divine Guru/Mother), that they were expected to follow, and in turn, told that they were good people by other people whom they perceive as 'good people'. Otherwise they were just beggars, poor people with saucers begging for spirituality in a place that claimed to be holding a lot of "spirituality", hoping that they'd get rich quick.

The mole was still running in circles when I left the complex. Asking the receptionist guy, got a response shocking in its callousness, "oh its been there since the morning". If not for the symbolic scare of death, at least get him out for the effect of hygiene, he was told. Hopefully he can really get a janitor with a long broom or a cloth, that could help out the mole, who must be having a different experience of sorts in the middle of a place full of so kind and compassionate people.

He didn't read into my annoyance or overbearing feeling of helplessness as I left. How small things break and shake me. After this episode, I am more lucid about where my heroes are. Or are not.

Landscape With the Fall of Icarus, a panting by Breugel, is a close parallel. Breugel drew the fall of Icarus - a man with wings made of wax that melted and drowned him in the sea - as he imagined it. It connects to today's episode, in that nobody gives a hoot about the drowning Icarus.

Saturday, September 19, 2015

poop happenings contd..

The poop standoff at my home has reached to mythical proportions. If I find time from studies - which I have been shirking in favor of other things, and work - which i have been shirking in favor of other things - then I could draw a fictional character derived from my roomie who has raised a storm in a teacup instead of issuing a minor apology/promise towards managing his poop (literally). He has put himself under room-arrest when in the sanctum of our home, and barely ventures out but to sneak away water and butter (and my facewash, i suspect). He even brought a friend home - and made sure to keep her under room-arrest too, crippled under the influence of aspirin, tobacco, junk food, and youtube - to prove how he's got his own circles. There has been not a single word between us. His daily exit for work has taken a dramatic persona, which is sneaking out when the access is clear and ringing the doorbell in his wake.

This has some Buddhist undertones going. Thanks to roomie, I understand the concept of Heruka better - Herukas represent the embodiment of indivisible bliss and emptiness. Well, his emptiness under a pretense of bliss kinda reminds of that. I imagine him in a wrathful pose if confronted, too, albeit without a deity-ness about him.

This is turning into a bigger farce than I thought. Let me write about that some other time.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

poop on mind

Yesterday, relations with the roomie kinda derailed, over the issue of his poop etiquette. He, literally, cannot take care of his own poop. Consequently, it takes somebody to notice his day's misdemeanor, which is usually MSR in the evening time, and do what's been left undone i.e. flush it down the pot. By this time, the poop has worked up quite a stench in the bathroom (#1), and it becomes a challenge to get in there, flush, and get out.

This guy apparently has no muscle memory of flushing his poop after pooping. In between the 5 seconds of wiping his ass and getting up from the pot, he has forgotten he ever pooped, and calmly walks away from the pot, that poop unflushed. How could somebody be like that, at 25! What a baby!

MSR has to take care of it (at least) twice a week, and he's not happy about it. Every evening, he walks in, to find questionable or no hygiene code in practice by the roomie, - issues like poop and more - and loses it. Every evening starts with imprecations to the roomie.

MSR enters a foul state of mind. The roomie gains bad karma. Nobody wins. It's all downhill. Our home becomes a segregated zone when roomie gets back from the office later and shuts himself out, trying to avoid a direct confrontation, anticipating further embarrassment. He doesn't talk, he skips dinner together, we don't roll. All coz of poop.

Friday, September 04, 2015

Infibeam over Flipkart

My bookbag is again full. I can count 8 new ones ones in possession through the past week. It is a bit enervating, considering it's been a while since a full-novel read. With work done, I hope, there is time. Writing in detail will come later.

Right now just wanted to put a smooth shopping experience out there. I was going to order a set of books from Flipkart, until I ran into Infibeam. That helped with an instant saving of INR250. Flipkart is out of its discounts and free shipping these days. Albeit their book inventory is the largest, Amazon and Infibeam are also there to match (Amazon, I believe, will over time, get the book market). I'd already ranted about how FK is losing out on customers because of poor sales support. This gives another reason to customers like moi.
Flipkart - INR 1229

Infibeam - INR 973 (-256)

Indian trends spotted today

From the above trends graph on Facebook, corresponding things Indians have on their minds
- Sex
- Idealism
- Travel
- Family
- Frisky Relief

I would like to believe this is the facet of every single individual, at least from what I can say looking around me. 

Tuesday, September 01, 2015

Look who came knocking

SHTF today. It could've been a Quentin Tarantino movie I was going through.

Here is as it goes in Pulp Fiction:
Jules[throws the small table in the room] What country are you from!?
Brett: Wha-what?
Jules: "What" ain't no country I ever heard of! They speak English in "What"!?
Brett: What?
JulesEnglish, motherfucker! Do you speak it!?
Brett: Yes!!
Jules: Then you know what I'm saying!
Brett: Yes..!
Jules: Describe what Marsellus Wallace looks like!!
Brett: Wha-what I—?
Jules[points gun directly in Brett's face] Say "what" again! SAY "what" again! I dare you! I double-dare you, motherfucker! Say "what" one more goddamn time!
Brett: He-he's black...
Jules: Go on!
Brett: ...He's bald!
Jules: Does he look like a bitch?
Brett: What? [Jules shoots Brett in the shoulder] AGHH!! Anh..!!
JulesDOES—HE—LOOK... LIKE—A BITCH!!?BrettNOHH!!Jules: Then why'd you try to fuck him like a bitch, Brett?
Brett: I didn't!
Jules: Yes, you did! YES, you DID, Brett! You tried to fuck him.
Jules And Marsellus Wallace don't like to be fucked by anybody except Mrs. Wallace. You read the Bible, Brett?
Brett[gasping for breath] Yes...!

It didn't go to those extremes for me. But, yes, I did have to sit on a chair in front of a bewildered boss and promise to cough up work soon. I would've started with work, if a flood of memes didn't come in my head as I biked out to office (after a long hiatus), which I continue to be blogging about right now.

It will be fitting to be ambling about in the Samuel L. Jackson tee for rest of the time till my work is finished. And to well verse Ezekiel 25:17. My part is easy, though, since I get no dialogs playing Brett, and will be the one sitting on the chair taking SMG fire, come work remains undone.

Also, I ran into a magnetically abject audio track by Meursault - "One Day This'll All Be Fields". My day had started on a crooning of
"And we will descend from the sky.""And we will bury you alive."
I thought it met an unanticipated closure today. Literally!

Later on I got fed Rotis and Bhindi at the office, a fact which will make my boss come as a compassionate being, hence I will pray doesn't get out.
I was thankful that things stayed in the QT zone. Tarantino still makes cool shit. They didn't descend into Bollywood-ean chaos, which I have always felt being on the cusp of these days. That could've happened had K, A, N, A, S, S would've converged upon me on the same day at the same time. What fireworks!
Also makes me wonder of my source of next enervation. They haven't been what I thought they'd be. My lessons into chaos. Also, the world demands me to learn about a lot of insecurities, and I fail to.
Also forgot paying some bills today.