I am the alpha and the omega
May 30, 2005
Experiential Law
Good judgment comes from experience. Experience comes from bad judgment.

First Week

I know that I have not blogged for a while. Or bloghopped. But work catches up, you know.

I never realized that working in an industry could be so demanding.

My day starts at 7:30 am. And I start working at 9:30 am. Till about 6 - 6:30 pm. And probably later, as the weeks go by. Dinner and some roaming around (by getting lost) follows. By the time I come home, I am so exhausted, all I manage to do is to go to sleep.

But aside from that, I am enjoying work. Where else can you get perks like almost free (and really delicious) food for lunch and dinner, unlimited supply of coffee, tea, soft drinks, and a really good friendly work environment. Really makes me want to work more.

California - is a wonderful place, to live in.

  • Where else can you enjoy the splendor of the Yosemite.
  • Where else can you gape at the grandeur of the Sequoia.
  • Where else can you relax at the pristine beauty of Lake Tahoe - one of the larger inland lakes in USA.
  • Where else can you enjoy miles of unspoilt beaches and scenic drives along Route 1.
  • Where else can you have aquatic adventures like the Monterey Bay Aquarium
  • Where else can you walk along one of the most b-e-a-utiful bridge - the Golden Gate and the mystic China Town in less than a day.
  • Where else can you walk with the stars than in Hollywood.

These and many more, await me. And I plan to accomplish them in the following many week(ends). I just started by going to Monterey Bay Aquarium following a drive along the scenic California 1.

Starting from San Jose, we drove towards and through the hills that separate the Bay area and the coast. Following a winding road through the hills, I was actually surprised to find pastureland and cows there. Just the emptiness of that region took me by surprise.
What followed next was a drive along the Route 1, which snakes its way between the hills and the sea hugging cliffs as it goes along. Here we are at one of the desolate beaches that was desecrated by us.

Four of my friends with whom we went along.
Dont try too hard, I am not in there

An hour's drive later, through Santa Cruz and beyond, we arrived at Monterey. Santa Cruz has really nice beaches, but I did not have time to go there; shall probably get there some other day.
One thing that I did realize is NOT to go to that place on a weekend - it is packed. With People. It is like everybody had the same plans as us. But I did spend some quality time at the Aquarium.

One of the more colorful exhibits of the aquarium

A drive to one of the beaches nearby resulted in this - the Lone Cypress.

The Lone Cypress - wonder why its called so!

This view was probably enough to satiate me for the rest of the weekend. But today, I am off to the mighty Sierras...

Posted by satosphere at 1:08 AM

May 20, 2005
And finally.
The eagle has landed.
After quite an uneventful journey of three and half hours in an extremely crowded plane of people in sauve coats, business formals, and expensive leather bags unwielding clumsy laptops.
There was not even one damsel in distress.
What more to expect when you are flying from one tech area to another!!!.

This is what a bird's eye view of southern Austin looks like. Try to correlate with this

Luckily, my baggage came through safely and quickly.

And I am staying in Cupertino, in a quite big apartment rite behind the Apple headquarters @ 1 Infinite Loop. (Pictures to follow).
Apple is a stone's throw away. Literally - I can throw a stone and it can fall into the parking lot of Apple.

One of Apple's buildings - there are about 8 of theirs here. And all of them have this famous Apple sign. Read the address - 1 Infinite Loop. LOL

The Symantec office, quite near to the Apple Hq.

And how does the city look? Take the best area of Bangalore, and spread it everywhere. Thats how it is - minus the snarly, overcrowded, potholed roads, and the dust-laden air. And an amazing weather that never crosses 80 F (27 C) - its the perfect weather for everything. And that is why companies like AMD, Intel, nVidia, Symantec, Apple, Google, Cisco and a lot many more have their home bases here. And that is why it is called Silicon Valley.

One of the few things that I DO NOT LIKE about the city is the lack of public transportation. California in its entirty is notorious for lack of one. It is often said that If you have to go a distance farther than your car, take your car. Unfortunately, I do not have one, making life all the more difficult for me.

Work starts tomorrow. At 8 am. It is going to be a miracle if I get up that early.

Posted by satosphere at 8:04 PM

May 16, 2005
Evvie Nef's Law
There is a solution to every problem; the only difficulty is finding it.

And thanx to a great friend of mine who trusted me with her car, I finally got my license.
Of course, yours truly didnt certainly ace it, but the mistakes I made were quite trivial that they felt safe to let me on the roads.
And now, I look forward to a whole new world...

I shall be flying this Thursday to San Jose and then start working at nVidia on Monday.
All while I have not yet completed my semester here. The University still drags me in its long arm - i.e. I still have an exam.

And then comes the big hurdle of packing:
What to pack?
What not to take?
What if I forget something?

Will I have enough time to settle there?
How do I change my local address from where I currently am located, to where I am going to go? I have given my address at innumerable websites and offices and I never really kept track of them. What do I do?
And what about all the mail that I am going to get here - especially my license?

While the first set of questions can be easily solved by preparing a list, which I am in the process of doing, the second set remains unanswered. I am just going to hope for the best. (I do remember facing a similar situation before coming to the US).
Thankfully, I do have an uncle out there, quite nearby!!!

And now, with just a couple of days left for packing and shopping, and me not yet even dragged out the suitcase, it is going to be a bit tight out there - Cross your fingers!!!

Posted by satosphere at 6:23 PM

May 15, 2005
Eve's Discovery
At a bargain sale, the only suit or dress that you like best and that fits is the one not on sale.
Adam's Corollary
It's easy to tell when you've got a bargain -- it doesn't fit.

Squirrel Hop

It all started when this friend of mine walked past some squirrels. Instinct probably forced him to take a couple of peanuts from his pocket.
And this is what resulted.

Can I have one? Pretty Please....

I shall jump for you...

I shall stand up and do tricks...

Thank you for the peanuts...

Posted by satosphere at 1:02 AM

May 10, 2005
Erskines Observation on Government Procurement
An elephant is a mouse built to government specifications.

Well. I failed the driving test. Not surprisingly.
Besides, its a well known saying that you will only pass the second time.
The sad part is, I dont get a second chance - I had to return the rental car and it was costing too much for each day. And hence I will not be able to take the test for a loong time.

Here, for most people, the difficult part is something called parallel parking where you actually park parallel to the road - I managed to do that without great difficulty. It was in the other parts of driving - on the main roads that I actually failed.
I was bummed for the rest of the day, and couldnt set my mind on doing anything.

Exams and project deadlines coming up - hard working ahead!!!.

And I am still looking for an apartment and a potential room-mate in Santa Clara. Otherwise I may end up living on the streets ;) ...

Posted by satosphere at 9:58 PM

May 04, 2005
Epstein's Law
If you think the problem is bad now, just wait until we've solved it.

Its the fag end of the semester, and all academic work is crunching by to a close, and I am eagerly awaiting to start my internship. Inspite of all the things happening now, I still get time for little things, like the daily read of /., Google Blog and of course, Sepia Mutiny.

But the thing that seems to consume most of my thinking time, is neither the assignments, nor the huge problem of finding an apartment at the place where I am interning, but rather whether I would pass the driving test I hope to take next Monday.

One of the largest difficulties I have faced, is that I have never driven a two-wheeler; actually, I have just driven it a bit, for getting the license in India. I have driven my dad's car only quite a bit; I did no extensive travelling on it. I never found the need to - there was always good public transportation system in Chennai, and I depended on it for the better part of my stay there and never regretted it.

So that road-sense is completely missing in me. I lack the quick reaction time necessary for driving on the road, or the ability to foresee what other people would do. I did cycle quite a lot, but the pace of cycling is so slow compared to the gasoline-powered beasts that I never worried about it.

Its this, and the fact that I cannot yet clearly estimate the clearances on the sides and the back. Things always seemed nearer, resulting in me being overly conservative on the dangerous side.

One advantage here, is that, you dont have to anticipate what the other person will do - they are all fixed by road rules. That and the fact that I do not have to worry about changing gears a lot removes quite a bit of tension. But it still doesnt remove the fear.

I have been practising now - on my friends' cars for a while (thrice, in fact ;) ).
I shall be going out more. And I plan to take a rental this weekend, and hopefully get the complete grasp of it.

I always ended up saying this to myself. If the car had arrow keys (yes, keyboard arrow keys!!) instead of a steering wheel and accelerator / brake, I would ace driving. Simply because I have been doing that quite comfortably on my computer for years!!!

Posted by satosphere at 5:42 PM


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