Typo or genuine error?
Someone sent this mail and I wonder if the misuse was intentional.

Would anyone like to purchase a fancy, corner computer desk?
The desk is practically in brand new condition.

I am selling it for $90.00 obo.

While you will save only around $15.00, you will also save the three hours
of construction time and a few vertebrates you may have lost trying to
lift the desk out of your trunk.

You may come by and see it if you like. Please call me at 604-1905 to
arrange a time. It has to either be sold or moved by Sunday night...so
call now!

(Why do I get the sad feeling that I could be a writer for the Home
Shopping Network???)

Thanks,

Danny (S-17)

Cartophile Heaven
A few days ago a became a proud member of the AAA not AA (not yet atleast :D). This had much less to do with that I now have a car but more to do with their map policy. As a member of the Automobile Association of America you are entitled to unlimited number of maps of cities, states, regions of North America. It was terribly hard to resist the temptation of telling the lady at the counter, "I want every map you have." I just love reading maps.
A map helps quantify the distance travelled. It gives each place a frame of reference. A trip from Ann Arbor to Chicago is not just that. It becomes a trip through all these places, Jackson, Battlecreek, Kalamazoo, Michigan City, Gary. I can see myself as a blip on the map moving at 75 miles/hr across the interstate.
That the sensible reason. The other reason is the way maps are folded. It is quite an interesting problem on how to best fold a large piece of paper. The map fold is the most efficient. Why?
For a person with an insatiable Wanderlust, the map is your scoreboard. Looking at one you can say, "Been there done that".

YAHOOOOOOO-OOO!
Yep,I now have my GMAIL account . I logged on today and I see this message. Do you want to sign up for GMail. "Yes or No?". Using a computer metaphor. OF COURSE YES MAN!! YES , YES YES.
I felt it was redundant question. It was just a matter of typing in an username and password.
I posted the announcement regarding Gmail on this blog on the 1st of April part of my fixation about Google. Some thought it was a hoax considering the timing and the kind of people who work at Google.
I did not get a reply.
Well now I have a Gmail account. It has become a sort of the latest Internet status symbol of late( Since? Since I got mine :)). I shall flaunt it for the short while that it is still exclusive. Hah! For the first time in my life I feel at I am actually riding the crest of 'the-things-to-come'. And its just an email account.
Will Gmail will be as revolutionary as Google was despite the uproar about ad-ware and other sap? I think it will. Free email was revolutionary which got Hotmail fired up and made Sabeer Bhatia a millionaire. The next step companies took was to make email not free with features. It has been an indifferent sucess. Now Google has come up with the ultimate spanner in the works:

Email: Free and Unlimited. As good as it gets

How good can it get?The concept of an unlimited mailbox is going to create the next revolution in the email business. Right now its exclusive so there won't be a public impact will be interesting to see how the Email- War shapes up. Its amazing as its major competitors were trying to eat into Google's business, Google used an age old trick. The best way to defend it to attack. MSN's hotmail and Yahoo the currently biggest free email are aware of the heat. Hate to think how this will affect the Google IPO (whenever that is!)

Getting your Gmail
I bet most of you are regular bloggers and have got this invite when you logged in to blog. Do it now if you have not logged on in days.

Another Tale of Human Greed
Seconds later after I got my Gmail account, Good old Human Nature kicked in. I began to think," Hey why not hit the Back Button and get one more invite and create another new account? Two accounts better than one". Apparently, the Google guys have been savvy about this. It did not work. It appears that somewhow your user ID and name so you can't redo the invite on main screen on Blogger.com. I tried various ways. So One account that's all. So ends the tale of Email Greed. Any Computer gyaani's with ideas if there is a work around this?

Mis-reporting?
The Americans never get cricket right do they?
VOANews.com
Last week the Michigan Daily described the one-day series in complete baseball terms which was hilarious. I shall see if I can dig that up.
Question:
Is a sixer in the same vein as a home run?

'The Little Prince' re-discovered
The New York Times > Opinion > Op-Ed Contributor: Saint-Exupery Lands at Last
Interesting article on the author of the Little Prince, a must-read.

Bad Hair Day

Before
For the past one week I have been trying to have my hair cut. I usually go to a Chinese barberess(sic) on Maynard. Back home I heard that people usually cut their hair at home in the US. I thought that the idea was ridiculous. After seeing the price of a haircut in the US, I realised what the options were. Home Sweet Home! My roomate at that time was a year senior to me which kind of made him more of an expert at cutting than others. The first time (he did not tell me it was his first time!) he almost chopped off my ear. His excuse was that the hair had grown so thick that he could see the ear and nicked it. After that I did not trust him with the scissors. At the same time I thought there had to be a better option. So we went and invested 25$ in automatic clipper which might be able to lessen his brutality with scissors. We were engineers man, we could figure things out or atleast were supposed. How tough could it be to be able to give a crew-cut?. Just snip away. Again my roomate was given the clipper. This time he just was so clipper-happy that my friend Anup was reduced to jail/mental asylum hair cut. That was the unkindest of all cuts and he had to hid in a cap the next two weeks.
Now
That ended my experiments with 'home-cuts'. So I go started going to this barber on Maynard street who charges 12$ smiles a lot, speaks little. After going to her all this time that I have been here, I thought that this time I must try someone different. I looked up the yellow pages and there are tons of barbers.
So one afternoon I call this barber up and find out that they are open till 8. So I reach there by around 7:40 and that lady kicks me out saying she has two clients and she shuts at 8.
"Come tomorrow". So I continue to live with this long hair that has by now become 'freakishly long' for one more day. I noticed while leaving the sign "Open at 9am". So the next day, I reach there bright and early. No sign of the shop opening at 9am. I sat there a while outside on the bench. It was cold and windy. I decide to wait some more time. Till 9:30 the shop did not open. Thinking that freezing to death waiting for a haircut was not an honorable enough death, I took refuge in a library nearby. The library was in Mall and I recalled seeing some sort of barber shop there too. So I went there. The glass was thick so I could not see what was going on inside. I stepped in to discover that it was female gym called Curves. I almost blurted out, 'I need a haricut' to the leotard clad ladies.
Then for a week I could not get to a barber, because in this country everything except bars shut early.
Today I took a bus to 'Supercuts' after calling them and finding out they close at 7pm. I reach there at 6:05 and there are two people sitting there and one lone hairdresser. The girl says, "Sorry we are not taking any more customers!!". WTF!
So then resigned to my fate and my karmic destiny with the Chinese hairdresser I cycled to Maynard Street. It was about 6:15 pm. I reached the door and saw Monday to Friday 10:00am - 6:30 pm. Damn!!! Is there a God?
I tried the door. It opened. The same lady was there. She beamed,
"Welcome. Haircut?"
"Yesss!!"

The Line of Control Series

Cricketwise:
I am not surprised at the results so far in the Indo-Pak cricket series after seeing what we did in Australia early this year. Pakistan has no batsmen save Inzaman and Youhana compared to vast array of talent in the Indian camp. Who would think that a player like Tendulkar would play an anchorman to the 'new blasters on the block' Sehwag, Laxman and Dravid?
For years I felt that these were the main problems with the Indian team and why we always seemed to
'snatch defeat from the jaws of victory'

1. Great batting order that failed to click together and relied too much on Tendulkar to go get the runs or make them quickly.
2. A absolutely pathetic bowling lineup. Ever more pathetic pacers
3. Horrible fielding.
4. Poor attitude towards winning.

In the past 2-3 years almost all of points 1-4 have been reversed.

Tendulkar and the Indian batting
Tendulkar is now on a different sort of innings in his career. He has absolutely nothing to prove to anybody. There is no doubt that he is one of the 'classiest' batsmen ever and also can be the most devasting (runwise, speedwise) batsmen if he wants. If he wants. Everyone know that, he better than all of us. Currently the attention is on Sehwag but before this year is out, Tendulkar will have scored maybe not 300+ but he will play two more innings that will put all others to shame. He was a wounded tiger last year and has spent some time licking his wounds. To me he appears to be jsut shifting gears slowly but surely. Fortunately now he does not have to carry the weight of the scoring as in the past. What could a great batsmen ask for more. Without the pressure its not hard to predict some fantastic play from him. There is a very good chance that he will cross 300+ in a test this year.
I bet he was disappointed about missing out on his double century. I read on cricinfo "...and Tendulkar is too mature a player to think about when he going to get his next double century..". Yeah sure but Tendulkar is too much a great player to not regret scoring a single run when he could. More reason for a HUGE score to come from the champion.
I have huge respect for Sehwag. Its indeed overwhelming to be playing alongside a childhood idol, mimic him and then also be your own player. This series has seen Sehwag mature as a player. In a few months he has gone from being a Tendulkar look-alike, bat-alike to creating a unique style of his own. If Tendulkar had this effect on Sehwag, I am afraid to wonder if some youngster watching them both play is going to destroy bowlers in a few years.
The great and much spoken about batting line-up of India is finally showing runs in proportion to their potential. At this point of time, no team in the world looks it as a happy or easy prospect to get 10 Indian wickets.

Bowling
He is just 19! I am wondering what Irfan Pathan is going to do when he gets older and wilier..The Indian bowlers dont have too much of experience or fantastic pace or some great delivery. What they have is spunk. Give them time. Nothing better than victories at an early stage in their career. Indian bowling atleast pace bowling is about to take off.

Fielding
Having younger players in the team automatically took the fielding skills a notch higher. Add to that the rivalry between the players to outdo each other in the field. Add special coaches. WYSIWYG. Yuvraj Singh is India's answer to Jonty Rhodes. For years I hated the fact that we sucked so badly in the field. Your batting might fail, your bowling may not turn out right but your fielding that always remains. Great fielding gives you bowlers the confidence to try new stuff and the batsmen that their score will be defended. We have a long long way to go to reach the athleticism of the Australians or the South Africans but we are getting there.

Attitude
This is the last point but the most important point which affects all the previous. I think the first time India showed it was the Nat-West trophy in England. That was the first evidence of the change in the mindset of the Indian team. "We want to win." Early this year in Australia the Indian team came of age for the first time in all these years. They drew the series away from home with the mentally toughest teams in the world. There is no looking back after that. In comparision Pakistan is joke. It resembles a ramshackle outfit and after the first two games the Indian team have gotten over the 'We-are-playing-Pakistan' syndrome. Its no surprise that India managed to get the wickets so quickly on a wicket that seemed to be so full of runs when India batted. How? "We want to win". That's all.

Ganguly

Jerry MaGuire- Alright here's why you don't have your ten million yet. Right now, you are a paycheck player. You play with your head, not your heart. In your personal life - (points to chest) Heart. But when you get on that field -- it's all about what you didn't get, who's to blame, who underthrew the pass, who's got the contract you don't, who's not giving you your love. Well, that is not what inspires people. That's not what inspires people. Shut up. Play the game. Play it from your heart. And you know what? I will show you the "kwan." I'm sorry, but that's the truth. Can you handle it? Just a question Rod. Between friends. YOU KNOW?
(pause)
Rod Tidwell (sobbing): I all HEART! I am all HEART you motherfucker!


There is talk about sacking Ganguly. Right now he aint in the best of form but he is what India really needed. A heart as big a cricket field. No India captain has provided that so far. You can see the results.