Monday, May 31, 2010

Indian culture ( or suchlike!)

 Never thought someone could write about marriages and their aftermath in such a funny manner.. and that too a guy!!!!!! ( yes yes, I have a poor opinion of their general divining capabilities!)

Much respect! and laughter!!

Friday, May 28, 2010

10 K!

So after the 5K some time back, I managed to complete my maiden 10k as well this week. Much walking was done in the duration, but still managed a timing of about 1 hour and 20 minutes, rather better than I expected.

Of course the feeling of running with a ton of other people, is a high in itself, and the absolute nicest feeling in the world is to have people cheering you along the way. Reminded me of school, and those sports days, what kickass days they used to be! The sound of some cheering you on, the best feeling in the world.

So lets hope, the next time can be a bit better than this, better prep, faster and more constant running, and the same thrill of eating up the miles, the wind in your hair, and a song in your soul!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Polterguest, my polterguest!

So yes, laughing is all one can do. While frowning today, I remembered this by Ogden Nash, and smiled !

I've put Miss Hopper upon the train,
And I hope to do so never again,
For must I do so, I shouldn't wonder
If, instead of upon it, I put her under.

Never has host encountered a visitor
Less desirabler, less exquisiter,
Or experienced such a tangy zest,
In beholding the back of a parting guest.

Hoitiful-toitiful Hecate Hopper
Haunted our house and haunted it proper,
Hecate Hopper left the property
Irredeemably Hecate Hopperty

The morning paper was her monopoly
She read it first, and Hecate Hopperly
Handing on to the old subscriber
A was of Dorothy Dix and fiber.

Shall we coin a phase for "to unco-operate"?
How about trying "to Hecate Hopperate"?
On the maid's days off she found it fun
To breakfast in bed at quarter to one.

Not only was Hecate on a diet,
She insisted that all the family try it,
And all one week end we gobbled like pigs
on rutabagas and salted figs.

She clogged the pipes and she blew the fuses,
She broke the rocker that Grandma uses,
She left stuff to be posted or expressed,
Hecate Hopper, the Polterguest.

If I pushed Miss Hopper under the train
I'd probably have to do it again,
For the time that I pushed her off the boat
I regretfully found Miss Hopper could float.

                          -Ogden Nash

By Ogden Nash

Copyright Linell Nash Smith and Isabel Nash Eberstadt

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

What if today was the last day of your life?

I know we've all heard this statement in various places.. chicken soup for the soul stories, self help manuals, forwarded emails and what not...

but what if it really really was? How do you react when you hear of someone just like you, who passed away, suddenly, without warning, without excuses of an accident? Perhaps its even more hard hitting because it wasn't someone close to you personally. A respected colleague, but not someone you share a relationship with. Perhaps its hard hitting, exactly because you don't have any personal baggage to cover the fact staring you in the face. It could be you. Anytime. Life is ephemeral, you won't get any answers in a hurry, and not much warning either. Deal with it.

There isn't much point to living scared, but then there isn't much point assuming there's all the time in the world. What if there isn't ? What would you choose to do? Would you take that insurance policy? Would you leave that last bit of code unfixed, or fixed? Would you take that expensive house? Would you patch up with that old friend after all? Would you throw caution to the winds and dance in the rain? Would you do something you always wanted to, but always put off? Would you change anything, or nothing?

Such thoughts, like life, of course are ephemeral as well. But perhaps there's no harm in taking some minutes off and wondering....

Friday, May 14, 2010

Diagnosis, treatment and .. guesswork.

When I was in school, I remember we all went through a period of "crazy for books by Eric Segal". I can't remember which was the first one, but I remember that Doctors was devoured by the whole circle of friends, the tattered copy getting passed around, after much covering and recovering with brown paper. In hindsight, the novel seems a rather cheesy, but apart from the improved vocabulary, it left one lingering affect - a strong belief, that the practice of medicine, is more guesswork that knowledge.

I think the lines were these - "Gentlemen, I urge you to engrave this on the template of your memories: there are thousands of diseases in this world, but medical science only has an empirical cure for 26 of them. The rest is ....guess work."

That number might or might not be true, or it might have changed, or perhaps it wasn't meant to be anything other than fiction. However the years showed, how hard diagnosis always was, how little we really understand our bodies, and even less our minds. The past few years were specially revealing, as we reached an age, when one after the other, parents of friends and cousins, rapidly declined in health. As the stories emerged of malpractice, extortion, incompetence, carelessness, I was reminded again and again, of the word guesswork. Not everyone is equally talented at guessing, and the faster you guess, or the better you use the tools to help you validate your guesses - the better you can be as a doctor. There are many things that can help with your guessing, experiance, knowing the patient, updated knowledge, etc etc etc. But at the end of the day - its finally all about guessing.

I was reminded of that today as I trawled through the net for the umpteenth time, looking for answers, and  finding numerous reports with numbers, which look suspect to say the least. And mental ailments seem so much more of guesswork than the physical ones. Its a depressing scenario every way you look at it. But then such is life.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Confidence / overconfidence?

I guess a workplace rant was over due... Why is it that some people insist on making every statement, like they absolutely must be right, and as if they can quote a million pieces of data to back up their statements, even when all they have a statement heard third hand , and no knowledge on the matter?

In a majority of the cases, most of our knowledge is shaky , sketchy and iffy at best. Its fine to state what you feel you know, perhaps even back it with a "I'm quite confident its correct." But whats with the misplaced overconfidence and aggression? The absolute refusal to say - "Thats what I know, here are my sources, I could be wrong".

I guess part of the problem tends to be the words we use, our body language, how red in the face we get, defending a statement we made, which at best was just a statement. The more instances in which we push ourselves into a corner and try to cover by sounding more overconfident, the more we erode our credibility.

I guess its unfortunate, but after a point, a lot of people just get on my list of - "not to be trusted for any facts, unless independently verified". They're actually eroded the trust they could have got for their areas of expertise, if only they'd claimed a little less confidence in the areas which are NOT their areas of expertise. Sad, but that's the way it goes. Trusting your little nugget of information, when you're wrong, can cost me more, than not trusting anything you say.

And amazingly, this doesn't come only from the vocal extrovert people around. Sometimes the shy, softspoken people are the worst offenders, almost as if since they speak so little, every time they do, they absolutely must be right.

Come on fellow workers, a little less confidence won't kill you!

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Thought for the day - Sunscreen.

nn had introduced me to this song a long time back. Have always loved it.

Some of the lines are just priceless !

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

How to tame your dragon.

I quite liked this one. Its almost like a throwback to kiddies fairy tale stories, simple black and white story. Easy answers. Touching scenes. Cute characters. Doesn't strain the brain. Doesn't try too hard. And some great visuals to take it up a notch.