Nomological Net

Stray thoughts from here and there. The occasional concern for construct validity. No more logic. Fish.


faults in the clouds of delusion

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Blood is thicker than water, but what is thicker than this?

I still cannot believe this. They killed a man for what he ate! Just let his lipid profile do it, I say.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

RIP Ravi Shankar

Farewell, as you too set off along that little road.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Say Hello Again, Blog People

To Sobu, Another Little Lebowski Urban Achiever.

Saturday, May 05, 2012

A fellows that has speciality

Fwd: Join JOC as Editorial Member

Dear Fellows

Greetings from our journal and whole team. We are running a quarterly journal "The journal of Commerce" under the banner of Hailey College of Commerce, University of the Punjab, Lahore, Pakistan. Hailey College is the premier institute of commerce and business education in sub-continent and was established in 1927. Since than it has been contributing alot for the development of region. In its enlightened history it contains names of finance ministers as well as prime ministers of both Pakistan and India.

Keeping its traditions alive, Journal of Commerce was launched in June 2006. For few years it was dormant due to some unavoidable reasons, but it again arose in 2010. Since than its quarterly issue have been launched. We are now expanding our operations. In order to do so we are increasing our editorial presentation. We looked at your profile and found you a fellows that has speciality to work for our journal, we therefore want to invite you to join our editorial team.

If you are interest to join our editorial team, you can send us your latest CV at following email:


You can visit journal/college site for further details:

Tuesday, May 01, 2012

Just like July 2006

It's been *ages* since it's been like this. I'm up, I'm unhurried, and I'm missing the way the blogroll used to be.

Well, since I'm here, let me share a great way to spend a free sixty minutes.

Wednesday, December 07, 2011


I was enjoying a nice bit of reflexology yesterday, and it occurred to me that "tract" is really very versatile as a root word. You can stick all kinds of prefixes and suffixes on it, and the meanings go all over the place. Consider:

tract-or, -ion
con-tract-or, -ion
pro-tract-or, -ion
ex-tract-or, -ion
de-tract-or, -ion
sub-tract-or, -ion

Also, technically, shouldn't addition be called supertraction?

Monday, September 12, 2011


Yesterday I revisited this blog, after *ages*.

And so now I felt like posting something. An old lady eating roti with chopsticks. FWIW.

Friday, December 31, 2010


Happy new decade.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010


Having finished Bhairavi, as I said in my previous post, by sheer coincidence I picked up The Music Room, by Namita Devidayal. TPB had just finished it, and it was lying around. I had no idea what it was about.

I loved it to pieces. It's a must-read for anyone with even a passing interest in Indian classical music.

There is just so much incredible stuff on youtube now. Who knew?

Monday, September 20, 2010

Bhairavi, and Mian ki Malhar

Just finished an amazing book called Bhairavi: The Dawn of Indian Music in the West, by Peter Lavezzoli. It's a must-read -- learned, eclectic, and thorough. Through it, I have learned about Saskia Rao-de Haas. Here's a clip of her playing Mian ki Malhar on her custom-made "Indian cello".

Part 2 is here.

Now that's what I call music.

the faster we go the rounder we get

i fired someone today. my first firing ever.

thankfully, the person was expecting it. no waterworks like the time before she was put on probation. and she made it worse for herself by trying to negotiate the lifeline she was being given.

still, what a way to start a week.

Saturday, September 04, 2010

Round and round

Yesterday a child came out to wonder
Caught a dragonfly inside a jar
Fearful when the sky was full of thunder
And tearful at the falling of a star
Then the child moved ten times round the seasons
Skated over ten clear frozen streams
Words like, when you're older, must appease him
And promises of someday make his dreams
And the seasons they go round and round
And the painted ponies go up and down
We're captive on the carousel of time
We can't return we can only look
Behind from where we came
And go round and round and round
In the circle game

Sixteen springs and sixteen summers gone now
Cartwheels turn to car wheels thru the town
And they tell him,
Take your time, it won't be long now
Till you drag your feet to slow the circles down
And the seasons they go round and round
And the painted ponies go up and down
We're captive on the carousel of time
We can't return we can only look
Behind from where we came
And go round and round and round
In the circle game

So the years spin by and now the boy is twenty
Though his dreams have lost some grandeur coming true
There'll be new dreams, maybe better dreams and plenty
Before the last revolving year is through
And the seasons they go round and round
And the painted ponies go up and down
We're captive on the carousel of time
We can't return, we can only look
Behind from where we came
And go round and round and round
In the circle game


We love you, Joni.

Thursday, September 02, 2010

Single parents everywhere

How do they do it?

Last night, I finally succumbed and cracked open the case of Rocky Mountain Holiday: John Denver and the Muppets.

It sucked 45 minutes out of the evening. After the show, the Achiever noted, multiple times, "What is the baby frog doing? Baby frog sleeping, with the blue blanket."

Which is pretty much what my baby frog has been doing for the last ten hours as well. Mercy.

Monday, August 02, 2010


A few years ago, every few months, someone or the other would pipe up with an angsty post on the topic of blogging. The question always was: Why do we blog? My standard thought at that time was that I blog because I feel like it. Now I think I have a better answer.

I blog to remember.

Friday, July 30, 2010

A time to every purpose, under heaven

Turns out this is my 300th post.
The saddest.

Things turn, but they never stay the same.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Basket case?

Dear TR,

Hello! It is ____ here. I am writing to request for leave from today's regular meeting.

I am sorry that one of my friends has a terrible stomachache, and I have to take her to the hospital now, since she cannot speak Cantonese and she is feeling picnic. Therefore, I cannot come to today's regular meeting. I will send you a MSWord document regarding what I have done this week and want I plan to do next week. If possible, can you reschedule an individual meeting with me at 4:00p.m. this Thursday?

Sorry for the inconvenience caused.


Thursday, May 13, 2010


and Rare Earth -- Ma (Part1, Part2). Now playing.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

On Passing

Life. New life. Precious life.
Old life. Farewell.
I am privileged to have known you.
I am sorry that you never met.

Thank you for everything.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Now spinning

Now spinning dxpx5 on steady rotation. Yesterday and day before were disk 2, this morning it's disk 3. The UJB is *sweet*, and I think it will get a few more rounds.


Speaking of rounds, this Sunday I got a free pass to go see Ian Wright at an event promoting his new program "Out of Bounds". Never heard of the guy before, but he's funny, and as far as the travel stuff goes it seemed his heart was in the right place. The show is about "places that most Americans would not dream of going" -- like Syria and Siberia. Amazing how many elderly women were in attendance, going completely crazy about him.


And speaking of gaga, I used a clip from the eponymous performer's latest video in a recent class. It's called "Telephone" and it is loaded with product placements. So is her previous vid, "Bad Romance". Not linking. Astonishingly bad music and crass storylines but boy do they cause earworms or what. The sad thing is that the students (who, funnily, hate her) seem to think I am a fan. I had to use a Clapton Michelob commercial to wash some of the sins away.

Monday, April 26, 2010

You've Lost That Lavang Feeling

aka Not So Spicy Any More.

Monday, April 19, 2010

It's not a real imbroglio yet

Tharoor may have resigned, but I'm not convinced. Where are the religionistas, I say?

Thursday, April 01, 2010

I'm the Dude

It's near midnight, I'm in the living room with the laptop on my knee, working. Feel a little chilly so I walk into the bedroom where the mishpuha slumbers, and, from the walk-in closet, relying purely on touch in the darkness, I pull out my dressing gown and put it on.

Close to an hour later I finish the review and, shrugging the laptop off, head towards the bathroom. My eyes are groggy and my head is dense. My knee hurts. I plod. Somewhere along the corridor, the gown falls open from the front, exposing my shapeless t-shirt and the shorts beneath.

And I wonder -- where have I seen this before?


Friday, March 19, 2010


You think about it for months and years. You plan it to pieces. You carry the dock and the poodle to the hospital with you, carefully wrapped and stashed next to the other necessities. Through the night, through the labor, you play the Duke on an endless cycle. The nurses who walk in all comment on it with surprise and pleasure.

Afterwards, you play everything that you can think of. You film her first Dark Star. You film the first dance, to a verse and chorus of Ripple. As she grows, she learns to dance with you to your favorite music. You watch her twist to Mozart, beam along with Hendrix, bounce madly to any CD you slip into the rig. You even suspect she may have a crush on Art Garfunkel.

But the day it all really comes together is when, four days before her first birthday, she points to the rig and grunts as she always does. And you point along with her and ask, "What? What do you want?" And she says, "Moji".

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Sweet and salty

The branch manager of our local bank was called Candy Butt. That was her name, on her business card.

She passed us on to a Personal Financial Consultant. This was a young lady whom she referred to as Miss Sou. Miss Sou gave us her card as well, which said S. L. Sou.

Today we received a letter from the bank. In it, Miss Sou signs her first name as Sodium.

Monday, March 08, 2010

A nice interview

In the NYTimes recently, with Tachi Yamada, president of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation's Global Health program. Some excerpts:

- I think the most difficult transition for anybody from being a worker bee to a manager is this issue of delegation. ... a principle that I apply today — I don’t micromanage, but I have microinterest. I do know the details. I do care about the details. I feel like I have intimate knowledge of what’s going on, but I don’t tell people what to do.

- you can’t possibly be competitive in the world unless you actually go outside your own geography and learn the way other people live and think.

- when you actually are with somebody, you’ve got to make that person feel like nobody else in the world matters. I think that’s critical. So, for example, I don’t have a mobile phone turned on because I’m talking to you. I don’t want the outside world to impinge on the conversation we’re having.

- I spent a couple of evenings reading the paper and wrote a six-page review of it. I shredded the analysis. And I showed it to him, to show how smart I was. He looked at it and said, “O.K., now I want you to write me a report and give me a reason why it’s a fantastic paper and how we could make it even better.”

- Intelligence is often more displayed in what I would call complex abstract thinking, and there’s nothing more complex and abstract than human relationships.

- if I have something negative to say, I will say it. I will be clear about it. But I won’t try to couch it in a lot of positives, because people have a natural tendency to not want to hear a negative message. ... But I also try to give positive feedback in other moments. To try to mix the two is often very hard, because the positive messages get lost in the one negative message, and the negative message gets garbled.

- I don’t think anyone should do one job for too long a time. I think every five to eight years you should be willing to take on some different challenges. It’s so easy to get stale. Every time I’ve left a job, I was loving the job that I left. But I never regretted the next move that I made.

Kudos to the interviewer, Adam Bryant.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Das Rickshaw

A Hall of Fame contender for the Annals of Moronicity.

Folks in India, and/or those who have been watching broadcasts on the Neo Cricket channel in recent months, will have seen an ad campaign for Volkswagen in India. I think the first I saw it was about three months ago, during the India-SL series, and I remember how awestruck I was by how bad the commercial was. Actually, it's worse.

For those who don't know (and I will NOT post this video here), the ad features a scruffy middle-classish kid in a car showroom, asking the suited salesman whether it is possible to book a car in advance. The guy says yes, so the kid says he wants to book a car for his eighteenth birthday (which appears to be about ten years in the future). The salesman then puts the kid inside each of the main VW models -- Golf, Jetta, Passat, and Touareg, accompanying each with a statement which is inane than the last. For instance, the Jetta is supposedly the car for the vice-president of the firm, which the kid can drive when he is 24. The Passat, that haven of the soccer mom, is apparently perfect for the kid when he is a CEO. The spot is mind-blowing in its inanity on many levels -- TPB goes ballistic about "what they're teaching the children", I personally am aghast at what they're doing to the brand. This spot is bad, but the follow-up in the campaign, featuring a bunch of morons drinking some black liquid while they laugh about another moron who walks into a bar holding an animal's skull, is a pinnacle of human achievement. Both commercials end with a voice-over mangling the word "Volkswagen".

All that executional shit apart, yesterday I realized what was *truly* unbelievable about this campaign. Both commercials sign off with the VW logo on a black screen, under which a tag line appears, accompanied by aforesaid voice-over. Clearly this is something that is meant to awe and impress. The tag line? "Das Auto".

Entschuldigen Sie, but has anyone stopped to think what this means to an Indian? You are trying to position yourself as a premium car brand (forget the soccer moms for a moment). Let me spell this out very clearly:

- AUTO means RICKSHAW, a common mode of transportation in which someone pulls you around, either on foot or by means of a yoked cycle.

- DAS is a common middle class name. Taken literally, it means servant.

What can I say, oh Car of the CEO? Go to Fail. Go directly to Fail. Do not Passat go. Do not collect $200.

Friday, February 05, 2010

Four down

Years, that is.

And I find myself with as little of anything to say, but refusing to say it in under 140 characters like much of the rest of the crowd.

Which may be why this latest political ad seems just right for today. The commentspace holds up to scrutiny as well -- give it a look.

So keep at it, folks. Harmlessly passing your time in the grassland away.

Cheers to dat.

Wednesday, February 03, 2010


Some Nordic-type exchange student uses the word "shit" in class yesterday -- first class of the year, first thing that he says. He goes, "You can make a shit product and people will still buy it." I'm not sure why he had to put it that way. Was it his way of going for alpha dog? Or did he feel like he needed to impress me, since the class was already digging (so to speak) my informality?

Anyway, I shot back, "Yes, but if your product is as inedible as you say, then people won't buy it a second time." He agreed with my point. More pertinently for me, he didn't seem to get the subtlety of my phrasing.

Oh well, it was a good thirteen months.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Don't view this now

I'm proud to know this man.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Name in vain

So I meet this guy last week. He mumbles a bit. I ask him his name. He says (I think), "Jose."

So I all brightly and all, say "Jose? Ola!"

He looks a little confused but smiles and says, "Yes."

A little later I ask him where he's from; he says Iraq.

Now I'm confused.

Later that evening, back in the hotel room, I find him online and realize his name is actually Hossein.

Now I'm thinking, he must be wondering why this random guy suddenly upped and called him Allah.

Wednesday, January 06, 2010


Filling out a visa application form for Singapore. The first section asks for my name, DOB, gender, and marital status.

The following fields appear in the second section:
- Country of Birth
- Race (e.g., Malay, Indian, Chinese, Caucasian, etc.)
- Nationality

The third section asks for my passport details, including Country of Issue.

The fourth section then wants to know my address in my Country of Origin. There are separate fields for:
- Country of Origin
- Division / State / Province of Origin
- Prefecture of Origin
- County / District of Origin, and
- Address.

A subsequent section wants to know if I have resided in countries other than my Country of Origin during the last five years, and if so, to provide all addresses.

I called the consulate to ask what exactly they meant by Country of Origin -- nationality, country of birth, or country of current residence (i.e., original location of application for Singapore visa). Any guesses?



1. The nice lady at the counter took a look at the passport details section which said "Country of Issue: INDIA", "Place of Issue: CHICAGO". She crossed out the INDIA and wrote USA.

2. There was a section that asked me to check a box if I had ever entered Singapore using a different passport or name. Since I was applying to transfer my valid visa from an expired passport to a new one, I checked YES. She took exception to this as well, and told me that "different passport" meant "passport issued by a different country".

3. The entire transaction took just a minute or two. I was asked to return at 4 the same afternoon. I asked if I could enter the waiting area before 4, since I expected that I'd have finished my other errands early. They said yes, and indeed let me in at 3:15. I sat there reading a nice book of old Singapore photos, when someone saw me waiting and so processed my visa early.

4. Singapore claims to not do visas as passport stickers any more. They gave me a one-page computer printout that looked like an e-ticket with a bar code, folded in four, and said that this was my "e-visa" and I better not lose it between now and the time the visa expires. I think this is most inconvenient -- another random piece of paper to carry around.

Tuesday, January 05, 2010


How utterly miserable to be an infant with a cold. Nose all caked up and clogged, and no idea what to do about it. Unable to breathe, or even suck your own thumb. Unable, therefore, to sleep. Unable to rest. No appetite. Spreading infections. Medicines forced into your mouth and nostrils. The only recourse, endless wailing.

How utterly selfish of adults to shoehorn an infant into their own infantile schedules, forcing attendance simply because "everyone will be there; how will it look?"

I get laughed at often, because I worry about worst case scenarios. Usually, I get my way and sanity prevails. Of course, the one time I get over-ruled is the time that things have to really get out of hand.

Screw me.