Clackity Clack

    7 August 2008, lunch time

My Unicomp Spacesaver arrived a few minutes ago. I knew it would be loud, but I think I underestimated just how loud it would be. There is a clackity-clack that comes with every key press. Typing out a sentence results in a not so quiet roar of noise. My plan was to use it at work, but i’m worried the noise is going to drive everyone around me nuts: our work space here is pretty quiet. I think this keyboard is a bit too loud. (Well, I know it is too loud, it’s really a question of just how annoying everyone else finds it.) Of course, it feels quite nice to type on. I’ll have to see if people start giving me dirty looks.

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And so my Glasses Story Comes to an End

   29 July 2008, late afternoon

I have two pairs of glasses now, one from 39dollarglasses and the Mykitas I mentioned earlier.

I’ve been wearing the Mykitas since Friday, and they are quite nice. They are very light, and quite comfortable. They are apparently made out of stainless steel or titanium or something tough, and have some crazy all-most lifetime warranty. At least, this is what the lady at First Markham Place was saying.

The pair from 39dollarglasses aren’t nearly as nice, but they were way cheaper. They arrived today, so I haven’t actually worn them outside yet. They look kind of ridiculous on me. I guess I can wear them when I’m in hipster mode. (Shima didn’t notice I was wearing new glasses when she came in — even after I made a big deal about there being something she wasn’t noticing. Perhaps they aren’t as crazy looking as I think.)

And so my glasses story comes to an end.

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Inbox Zero

   29 July 2008, terribly early in the morning

Matt recently wrote about how he uses the Inbox Zero method to manage his email. The general idea is that you don’t use your email inbox as a dumping ground for all the emails you need to deal with. You can read all about Inbox Zero on Merlin Mann’s web site. Like Matt I find the system works pretty well.

Read the rest of this post. (300 words)

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A week ago I broke my glasses.

   22 July 2008, terribly early in the morning

A week ago I broke my glasses. I took them off to clean them and they fell apart in my hands. Seriously. I needed new glasses anyway, but it would have been nice to go looking for a new while I still had a pair I could wear. That evening I went to Dufferin Mall to get fitted for contacts. They didn’t actually have any boxes of contacts in my prescription for sale, but they did have a sample, which is what I left the store wearing. And so I manage to make it through the week with contacts. I hate wearing contacts, but what can you do?

On the weekend I headed uptown to play board games with Yang, and then to my parents place in Scarborough. The thing with contacts is that you can’t just take them off and put them on a nightstand. If I had been wearing contacts for a while I probably would have remembered to bring contact solution with me. Sadly, I did not. And so as I flushed my contacts down the toilet I thought about how I would spend the next few days blind — a man without fear.

I spent Sunday afternoon at First Markham Place. If you need to buy glasses there really is no better place in the city to go. After much soul searching I settled on a pair of Mykita glasses. Carvill’s sister apparently loves her pair off. They make these light titanium glasses – the sort of glasses that shouldn’t crumble in your hands. I asked them very nicely to rush my order, which they said they would. Surprised, I get a call the next afternoon letting me know my glasses are done. Of course I’m happy, but am now faced with the dilemma of actually picking up my glasses, which are trapped in the middle of nowhere. Lucky for me, Ali offered to pick them up, so I head off to Warden station to meet him.

And so I am standing in Warden station, holding a little white box that contains my new frames. I put them on. And then I come to the sad realization the right eye is way off. And so I headed off to Dufferin Mall to get contacts — again.

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The iPhone 3G

   14 July 2008, mid-afternoon

I went to Dufferin Mall to get contacts. I haven’t worn contacts in ages. They feel weird in my eyes, but I can see again, so that’s all that matters. While there I stopped by the Fido shop to see if they could add Visual Voicemail to my current iPhone — I hate normal voicemail, and the rates are the same. They told me, politely, no. I had already been told this on the phone — twice — but I like to ask around. Talking to various Fido reps I got the feeling my dreams of an iPhone first generation amnesty plan weren’t going to come true anytime soon. So I did what anyone would do: I bought the new iPhone. (It’s worth re-reading my last post on this topic, where I make fun of all the rich kids and yuppies I predicted would buy them. I guess I’m a yuppie.)

For those curious, I dropped my current value pack, which I added when I got EDGE working on my old iPhone, and added the new iPhone value pack — which is basically the same thing but with Visual Voicemail instead of normal voicemail, and no data rates whatsoever. On top of that I added what I really wanted, which was the 6gb/month data plan. All in all, that’s $27 more a month on my cell phone bill. I also sold my soul for 3 years, which is the part that really hurts. The thing is, I really wanted that 6 gig data plan. Rogers/Fido totally have my number.

I’ll have more to say later, but the GPS works, browsing is quick, and my headphones finally fit in the damn phone.

Read the rest of this post. (652 words)

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Time For New Frames

   14 July 2008, lunch time

My glasses just broke. Part of the frame that holds the lens in place snapped … while I was cleaning it. I guess it’s time for new frames. I’ve had these ones for a while.

I hate wearing fucking glasses.

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Cherry Picking

   14 July 2008, terribly early in the morning

I shot the first of five rolls of Black and White film Shima bought me this weekend. I went cherry picking with her family, and a bright sunny day seemed like a good time to shoot with the Delta 100. I had planned to take notes about how I exposed each shot, but you’d be surprised how big a pain in the ass that actually is to do. I wonder how hard it would be to right a little iPhone application to let me track exposures on a roll of film, or make other notes. (Why start taking notes now? I bought another notebook I have no use for.) Cherry picking was more fun than I thought it would be. It was a nice day out.

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Ajantha Mendis

    6 July 2008, evening time

Ajantha Mendis won Sri Lanka the Asia Cup today. India were chasing a reasonable score of 273, posted primarily by Jayasuriya, but no one seemed to think India would have any trouble topping it. Sehwag looked like he was going to win India the cup all by himself when they started batting. All looked lost till Mendis came out to bowl. Holy shit. 6 wickets in his first outing in front of India. And India has a pretty nice batting line up. No one seemed to know what he was doing. He probably could have got 8 wickets had the captain played him more. I can’t recall the last match I saw where a single player had such a big impact on the whole game.

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Not Getting Things Done

    2 July 2008, early morning

I like reading about getting things done and all of that task management junk. I find it interesting to see how people keep themselves organized. For all of my reading on the subject, I am still incredibly disorganized. I was using a moleskine day planner for a little while, which worked reasonably well when I would actually use it. When I bought my iPhone I switched to using iCal again. You may recall I was using TaskPaper for a little while. With no way to sync stuff to my phone — neatly — I stopped using it for a long while. The latest development version is really quite nice, so I might switch back. There are some tricks out there to integrate it with an online version, tasko, which makes the whole system more appealing. Really, I should just copy whatever it is that Shima does. I think a part of me likes setting up elaborate organizational systems more than actually using them. (Are you the same way? You might enjoy reading this: iPhone Task Management a Go-go)

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Shima with Short Hair

   26 June 2008, terribly early in the morning

When I met Shima she had long hair. And then it got longer. She wanted it longer still for the wedding. That out of the way, she decided it was time to chop it off. Now she has a bob and looks really cute.

Shima with Short Hair

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Wedding

   19 June 2008, early morning

The wedding went well. It went really well. It was pretty much exactly how I wanted things to be: very casual. There was a wedding, and then there was a bunch of people spending an evening together. I didn’t want the wedding to be the main attraction. My friends were in saris, and they all looked quite lovely. The Persian girls did a knife dance. Shima and I fed each other honey. There was lots of photos taken. There was a team kata. We signed our marriage certificate on my dining room table, in the rush between the Hindu and Persian ceremonies. I hung out with Dave before the wedding, at my aunts house, while my cousin scrawled out the logistics of the ceremonies. I sat with Mahi in our living room late at night — I apparently missed a soul train. My uncle broke two coconuts, and did so like a pro. Shima’s dad read us poetry. I didn’t get to eat, but I did drink some scotch. Krishna’s friends did lots of hard work, and then drank all our beer — a fair trade. There were garlands that were swapped, and a thali that was tied — symbolically by me: my two aunts did the hard work. We traded rings, mine a battle to get on. It didn’t rain. Shima looked beautiful. My hair was too curly? It was a nice wedding. I wouldn’t change a thing.

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Dis-moi Quelque Chose Avant De Dormir

   14 June 2008, terribly early in the morning

I was going to write something late last night, but Shima doesn’t like it when I type away on my keyboard. (This doesn’t stop me usually, because a part of me likes to wake her up when I get home late and she’s already sleeping.) We’re getting married in a few hours from now. I had thought i’d be more nervous the closer this day approached, but no: I’m feeling just fine. Asking someone to marry you is one of those questions you should really only ask when you already know the answer. I’m sure there is a lesson to be learned with regards to follow through based on how I feel at this moment.

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One Week

    9 June 2008, early morning

I generally try and keep this site devoid of too much detail about my life. In part, this is because my life is really not some stranger on the Internet’s business. Also, my life is pretty boring as peoples’ lives go. I like to think of funkaoshi.com as an impersonal personal web site. Of course, my life is now closely tied to that of another person, and so it bleeds through in other places on the web. It’s good to make note of important events in your life. We had a party this past weekend with some of our friends. Next week, a bunch of those people will be replaced by a bunch of brown people, and we’ll have another party. And after that we’ll be married.

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My God Damn Shoulder Hurts

   27 May 2008, terribly early in the morning

I have managed to cripple myself. My right shoulder is all sore—again—as I type this. I need a job that doesn’t involve sitting at a desk typing junk into a computer. I remember when I was a co-op at CI Funds, laughing at my boss who said slouching so much was a bad idea. Oh, how stupid I was. Children reading this: sit down properly when you use a computer; get up and walk around when you start to feel stiff; and for the love of god, exercise.

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Why is it so cold?

   20 May 2008, terribly early in the morning

The air is brisk and cool. The sky is grey, overcast. I walk to work with a touque on, my hands in my pockets. You can tell winter is fast approaching. No wait. It’s May. Seriously Canada?

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Adventures on the 191.

   12 May 2008, early morning

I hop on the 191. It’s 8:45, so I ask the driver if he stops at Atwell, just to be safe. He replies, “yes.” I sit down and start reading my book. When I look up again the guy across from me looks to be hopping off the bus on the highway. I think it’s a bit strange, get back to reading my book, then look up again to realize I have no idea where we are. I get up to talk to the driver.

— Where are we? Do you stop at Atwell?
— Where do you want to go?
— Dixon and Atwell.
— We’re at Bellfield and Highway 27.
— Where is that? Where is Dixon and Atwell.
— It’s 5 minutes South. pause I missed the stop.
— OK. Well, I’ll get out here then. pause Thanks.
— Sorry.

And so I started walking South on Highway 27. Now, I wouldn’t have been too bothered about the whole affair had the driver bothered to announce that he’d missed the damn stop. Seriously, WTF TTC?

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Startup Camp Toronto

   30 April 2008, terribly early in the morning

Shima and I sorted out wedding rings in the afternoon. She left for Karate, and I left for the Carlu. I was out with some of the Well.ca boys and girls yesterday night. Ali, Alex, and Chris were in town for Startup Camp North. They chose the event to launch Startup Index, a project they are working on along with the guys from Startup North. And I use the term ‘they’ loosely, since as far as I can tell, Chris does all the work. (Oh Snap!) I always feel a bit out of place when I go to events like this. At the Rails Pubnite, people always gave me this look of both disappointment and sympathy when I told them: a) I had a job b) writing C++ code c) for a company that hasn’t been a startup for a very long time. At this event, people assumed I worked at Well.ca, since that is who I was sitting with … and then I would correct them, and you could see that glimmer of disappointment. Of course, that didn’t last long, because Ali would inform them that I’m a Ruby guru, or a Rails master. I suppose that’s not a total lie, but it’s pretty close. That said, I’m going to have to start introducing myself as, “Ramanan: Ruby Master,” from now on. I think you just need to say stuff like that enough and it becomes true. Well.ca is the biggest online pharmacy in the world. Or it will be anyway.

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Waking Up

   19 April 2008, terribly early in the morning

Shima is destroying my ability to sleep in. I woke up at 8:30 today. It’s saturday. That’s just not right. I guess it’s time to be productive.

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Chocolate Milk Tea

   17 April 2008, terribly early in the morning

I had chocolate milk tea yesterday at the Ten Ren at Empress Walk. I think the tea I used to get at the Market Village Ten Ren were sweeter — it must be the brown cow — but this was still really good. Before yesterday, I can’t recall the last time I had bubble tea. I used to get bubble tea all the time. My life near the end of high school involved a lot of bubble tea (and lemon coke). My friends and I would go to Axia or Ten Ren several times a week — easily. Axia still exists, but when I walk past it now it’s lost all its charm. When we were in high school the girls who worked there were cute, and it was open late. Ten Ren at Market Village closed down a while back. When they stopped letting you smoke inside its business suffered a lot. It’s a shame really, that was the best bubble tea shop in the city. I think as the years pass the place gets more and more mythic in my mind. It makes me very nostalgic when I walk passed where it used to be in Market Village.

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My Denim Experiment

   10 April 2008, terribly early in the morning

I used to make fun of Mezan all the time for the stupid money he spent on jeans. Then one day I went to Delphic on Queen and spent a stupid amount of money on jeans. After that, I had to stop making fun of him — about the jeans, anyway. I’ve been wearing a pair of Julian Red California jeans pretty much non-stop since I bought them last November.

These are unwashed (raw) denim jeans; you are supposed to break them in before washing them. Breaking in jeans simply means you wear them a lot. The general consensus is that you should wear the jeans all the time for about half a year: that’s a long time to go without washing your jeans, but who am I to question the denim experts. Raw denim jeans are stiff as cardboard when you get them, they are so full of starch. The indigo on the jeans will also rub right off onto anything White. The idea with jeans like this is that you will loose indigo wherever the jeans crease, so over time the jeans will fade based on how they fit your body. When you wash your jeans the indigo fades evenly. So, after washing your jeans, the areas that you’ve creased will be a fair bit lighter than the areas you haven’t. You should end up with jeans that look like they were distressed just for you.

There were fewer than a dozen days I decided not to wear the jeans out, usually when there was either torrential rain or a snowstorm to worry about. I ended my denim experiment 40 days early, after wearing the jeans for 142 days. There is all sorts of discussion online about how to actually wash your jeans: I simply through them inside out into my washing machine on the gentle cycle with a little bit of Tide Cold Water. When the machine was going to do its spin cycle, I took the jeans out to fold them neatly in half, and then placed them back inside the machine along the inside edge: I didn’t want them to get whipped all over the place. The Julian Reds actually kept most of their indigo. They’ve faded a bit since I bought them, but are still fairly dark in colour. There are spots that have lost more colour, behind the back of my knees, and the tops of my thighs, where my iPhone fits in my pocket, and my wallet in my back pocket, but i’d say this is pretty subtle.

I’m not sure if I should have waited longer or not. I can say it feels good to wear clean clothing.

Update Jul 8th 2008: They’ve actually faded a lot since I wrote this post. These are solid jeans, well worth the 200 bucks I paid for them.

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The Woodhands Rock the Wrong Bar

    4 April 2008, terribly early in the morning

I saw the Woodhands again last night. They were playing a set at the Wrong Bar to celebrate the release of their new CD, Heart Attack. I’m listening to the CD now, and it really is quite enjoyable, but you really need to see the boys play live: they are amazing. Dan and Paul are both very skillful musicians, and there is clearly a good chemistry between them — they both play off one another during the course of a song. This show I actually got to see what Dan gets up to when he’s on stage: I had a good view of his set up and what he does while playing. Sadly, I still have no clue how he makes all the sounds he does. There is some multitasking going on that I just can’t grasp. The dude can play a Keytar: I think that’s enough reason to see the band live. Paul rapped a verse from Triumph — fuck yeah — and he didn’t mess up like the last time I saw him do a verse from California Love. (Although, I actually think his messing up at the last show actually got the crowd even more hyped up.) As before, Paul played the shit out of his drums. The crowd was dancing and it was good. The show last night was awesome.

I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the opening act, Machetes, a 4 girl band that reminded me of something vaguely British, though I suppose that isn’t very descriptive. The girls looked like rockers, and rocked like a mother fucker. I can’t describe how disappointed I was to learn they didn’t have any music for sale. I’ll have to find out when they’re playing live next. Seriously, I was really disappointed they didn’t have a CD. Also, the lead guitarist had purple pants on which looked hype.

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The Very White Album

    1 April 2008, terribly early in the morning

Cathy used to work at a small software company with a fellow, Darrin Rose, who decided one day to become a stand-up comedian. I’m not sure how you make that leap, but it seems to have been a good choice on his part: he’s quite funny. Rose, along with Graham Chittenden and Jeff McEnery put out a CD called the Very White Album. Cathy, Patrick, and I went to the CD release party last night at the Gladstone. All three dudes were quite funny. (The opening acts were funny too — bonus!) This was actually the first time I’ve been to a comedy show live. I need to do this more often.

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Stomping In My Air Force Ones

   29 March 2008, early morning

My Air Force Ones

These are my orange shoes. I bought them over the Christmas break. I’m wearing them for the first time today. It looks sunny outside, so it should be A-OK. I haven’t had white sneakers in a while now.

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Little Foot Long Foot at The Wrong Bar

   27 March 2008, terribly early in the morning

Cathy and I went to a fund raiser for a theatre group our friend Yeena is connected to in some way. It was taking place at the Wrong Bar, which is out in Parkdale. Parkdale doesn’t seem to be quite the same place it was a few years back. The Wrong Bar is a really nice venue. It’s very spacious, with space for a stage at the back. There is a single bar in the middle of the venue. The front is wallpapered in this gorgeous felt lion print wallpaper, that reminded me quite a bit of the Rorschach inkblot paint job at the Drake. The two of us bought some beer, sat on a very tall bench, and waited for Little Foot Long Foot to start their set. There was a silent auction taking place, so while waiting I bid on a Spa package for Shima. Little Foot Long Foot’s set was quite good. It’s a two person band: there is a guitarist singer and a drummer. The place wasn’t that busy, which seems to be the case for a lot of these shows I go to. There is a lot of good music happening in Toronto, but I get the sense it goes largely ignored. It’s a shame. I bought the bands CD which I’m listening to now. I bid once more on the Spa package, and then Cathy and I called it a night. You need to walk way up Lansdowne to catch the Lansdowne bus back North up to Bloor.

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Yay! It's Spring!

   24 March 2008, terribly early in the morning

The Spring equinox was on Thursday. It’s the tail end of March. This would be great if not for the fresh snow on the ground. And the sub-zero weekend weather. When people make fun of Canada, this is totally what they are laughing about. I’m so sick of the Winter. It is making me crazy. (And by crazy, I suppose I mean full of rage.)

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