Friday, October 21, 2005

QuietComfort is quite comfortable!

When I traveled to New Jersey for the Memorial Day weekend earlier this year, I was roaming around the lounge in the airport looking to buy cheap headphones that I could use to listen to songs in my laptop during the flight. What started of as a hunt for headphones, turned into window shopping for books, 'sight-seeing' people and buying junk food, until I stumbled upon a Bose outlet. It was more of a kiosk than anything else with a typical sales guy demonstrating a couple of Bose products. I went to take a closer look and found that he was selling headphones and got me curious. I was just peeking at the items on display and he asked me to checkout one of those QuietComfort® 2 Acoustic Noise Cancelling® headphones. Well, the sound quality was excellent and it was a totally new experience to me. The sales guy explained how the noise-cancelling technology works and demonstrated the difference with conventional headphones. You have got to experience it to feel the difference. I was pretty impressed with it. Well, now the guy started selling it to me saying its great quality and it comes at a very 'nominal' price of $299 (with taxes comes to $324)! I told him straight that I felt it too much to afford for just headphones. Then we went to talking about other Bose products and then started asking me where I was headed towards and why I stumbled upon Bose outlet. It was ironic when I told him that I was trying to buy headphones to listen to music during my travel. Then he made me this offer to which I fell for. He said that I could buy the Bose headphones and use it for my trip and return it within 30 days of the purchase and get a full refund at any Bose outlet. I thought why not and all it took me was to swipe my debit card to get the headphones. After all, I was on my first long flight trip within the U.S. and was all excited.

I could enjoy the headphones for all of 20 minutes as my laptop ran out of battery. All I do was to use the headphones to listen to some sh*t that went in the television. Of course, good thing was that the noise cancelling effect totally nullified the loud background noise that you get in an airplane.

So, I showed off my headphones to my cousins and told them how I got a great deal to use these for just my trip and how I planned to return them when I came back. Well, I did come back, only to get into my all-work-and-no-life-kind-of-sh*tty-software-project that screwed me no end, and when a lightning struck in my mind at 5PM in the evening of the 30th day, I realized it was the last day that I got to return the headphones! I browsed through the Bose website to figure out the nearest outlet and the shop closing time. All I had was an hour's time and I had no car and neither do I know to drive, so I co-axed my colleague to take me to the Bose outlet to return my $324 headphones promising him that I would buy him lunch the next day. Well, I was at my office then and I had the headphones with me but I remembered that I had to collect the sales receipt. So, off we went to my house and then I realize that I really do not know if I 'really' have the receipt. After one of the shortest and sourest 'hunts' it dawned on me that I had misplaced the receipt.

It was one of those situations where you are embarrased at yourself to the core and the same time you try to put a brave front when you meet your friends. I went on to explain all and sundry (to whom I had 'showed off' my headphones earlier) as to how I was 'destined' to own it and how proud I felt owning it. :-)

Since when I realized that I was owning it for good, I started to consciously use it to listen to songs in my laptop though otherwise I would have never done so. After all, I never used it much during the 'trial' period. Then as I began to use it more, I started liking my favorite music even better. As days went, I wasn't happy listening to music from my laptop and I wanted to use it on the move. So, I ended up buying a MP3 discman as I wasn't ready to invest another $300 on an iPod yet.

The discman and the QuietComfort headphones are my best companions these days. The most pleasant hours of my day are when I use them during my travel to work and back. And none of those hours go by without listening to Elangathu Veesudhe , a true masterpiece, that soothes and elevates my spirit. Will post a separate blog on that song sometime later.

Well, if you think that the world is a noisy place then do check out this innovation.

Sunday, October 09, 2005

Spielberg's List

Seattle Acting School has a compilation of movies that they call as the Spielberg’s List. The list is a pretty huge one and this is what they have to say about the list:

You have to watch all these films if you want to work with Steven Spielberg. This list is his, combined with the one from Universal that circulates L.A. from time to time.

Every movie on this list will stand the test of time. Knowing these movies and these movie makers will give you an understanding of how the best directors have used motion pictures to tell stories.

Out of the 203 movies that are listed, I have watched only 20 of them. Miles to go before I sleep... :-)

The entire list can be accessed from here.

Saturday, October 01, 2005

Understanding Vegetarianism

I enjoyed dining tonight at Udipi Palace with Sujit, Amit, Kushagra and Sriram. While Sambar Vadai and Dosai were food for our hunger, the food for thought was the talk on vegetarianism.

I am not sure how this talk started, but then everyone was certainly interested in airing their views on the topic. My thoughts were primarily based on the 'thou shall not kill' philosophy. Also, I felt that people eat food without giving a due consideration on how it was cooked (or how the animal was killed before it is cooked). Talking of vegetarians, Sujit mentioned that Greg Chappel is a vegan, a term that refers to people who, apart from avoiding meat, avoid consuming all animal products. Amit discussed about the abuse of chicken at KFC in its slaughterhouses and mentioned that there is a dedicated site that deals with this issue. Sriram and Kushagra gave enough support to the discussions. The conversation was so healthy that Sujit surprised us in the end by vowing that he would try to avoid eating meat going forward. That was a gutsy statement, mate.

The conversation acted as an appetizer and I googled to learn more on vegetarianism after returning home. Well, I got all the answers that I could ask for - from its definition to its various types - vegans, ovo-vegetarians, lacto-vegetarians, ovo-lacto-vegetarians, Fructarians, et al. You too can get all the answers here and find out for yourself which type you are.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Saurav the Cat...

Anand had posted a beautiful metaphorical comment in my earlier blog, where he compares Saurav to a fly. But after seeing BCCI's decision to give Saurav yet-another-life, one wonders if Saurav is a cat that has nine lives.

Suderman has a pretty long, descriptive and surprisingly optimistic viewpoint on this whole episode.

Sunday, September 25, 2005

Weekend Movie Marathon

Did nothing much this entire weekend other than watching a bunch of movies - Ullam Ketkume on Friday evening, Azhagiya Theeye & Flightplan on Saturday and Virumandi & Vasool Raja MBBS (yet again!) on Sunday.

For the past 2-3 months I wasn't renting DVDs since our BOSE home theater didn't quite work well with our Pioneer DTS/Dolby Receiver & Amplifier. I connected the home theater directly to the DVD player on Friday (since Sujit was away to the east coast) and that worked!

Ullam Ketkume - Watched this one since my brother recommended it. Well I certainly liked Ullam Ketkume for Laila's performance though it had shades of Kajol's role in Kuch Kuch Hota Hai.

Azhagiya Theeye was a lovely flick. Not sure why I had missed this flick for the past year and a half. It is a simple movie with new faces and has nice humor. Of course, I was happy to see that Prakashraj just had a guest role. One gets the feeling that his acting is becoming repetitive and cliched.

Flightplan - I was very reluctant about watching this one, but just made one of those spur-of-the-moment decisions when Prathi asked me to join him when we met in the DVD shop. Jodie Foster carries the entire movie. While I was getting restless during the first hour of the movie, I was just hanging in there for Jodie. The twist in the tale in the last 30-40 minutes was a pleasant surprise and I came out feeling that the 10 bucks that I spent was worth it. It takes guts to make a movie which is very slow-paced and one that has almost the entire story shot in an unbelivably large plane. I am not sure if it will work in the box-office though.

Virumandi and Vasoolraja MBBS - What will happen when two lazy Kamal fans get together for lunch at home? Well Bharani came over for lunch today and we ended up watching Virumandi and Vasoolraja MBBS. We enjoyed every frame of Virumandi though we both were watching for the n'th time. We watched Vasoolraja just for the Crazy Mohan-Kamal combo.

Still had time to go to the DVD shop this night and rent the Kaakha Kaakha DVD. Haven't watched this since I came to the U.S., so planning to watch it sometime this week.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Me, the Einstein!?!

Got to this site through Suderman's blog. Took the Leaders test and here is revealed, my other identity :-).

Monday, September 19, 2005

Memento to Ghajini


Well, it is now almost certain that Surya’s soon-to-be-released movie, Ghajini, is an “ee adichaan kaapi” version of the movie, Memento.  Lazygeek had earlier guessed about the same.  One hopes that the director does justice to the original which is ranked #22nd in the all-time movies list in IMDB.