The list

March 26, 2013

I have always listened to Pandora radio. From the time that I first discovered it back in 2008, I have spent a lot of time tuning my station to play exactly the kind of music that I want it to play, and right now it has reached a point where I can at least listen to half an hour of streaming before I reach for the thumbs down button, or the next song button. This arrangement worked for me and I was never bored as I always had good music to listen to. Even when we moved to the suburbs, by usual bus route had Wi-Fi and I could comfortably listen to my Pandora station and doze off for a good 45 minutes. Things changed last month when they changed the bus schedules, and now there is no Wi-Fi on my route anymore. I tried reading a book, talking to fellow passengers and every other traditional way of killing time, but nothing came close . I finally decided to go low tech and download all my favourite songs onto my phone. Fortunately, spotify had a one month free trial for their premium account, so I installed spotify on my phone and spent the last one day perfecting the playlist with 45 minutes of audio. This is what I could come up with. It has all my favourite songs in no particular order.


The ghost of christmas past

February 22, 2012

I was fixing a probe to the probe station the other day when the wrench slipped from my hand and hit the probe tip. I have been a member of this lab long enough to know what that means. An hour long lecture from my professor and a $1300 expense on my account. I didn’t bother to look under the microscope and estimate the damage. When you hit something that is less than a hundred microns thick with a steel wrench and 160 pounds of moron, the results are usually catastrophic.

I was on the phone with a friend who graduated with a masters degree recently and is now working for a semiconductor company. I almost forgot what words like timing closure and formal equivalence and placement legalization meant. I was just getting used to this sudden blast from the past, when she said the magical word. “BIST”. That is right, this word has given me more nightmares than Urmila Matondkar (I was still a kid when I watched “Kaun”). A wise man once told me, “DFT is what separates the men from the boys”, and boy I agree with him. It motivated me to start writing a blog and to explore other career options.

I wish there was one universal solution to the BIST problem. I sometimes think, I should just try to solve this one problem and the world would be a much better place. Any other DFT people reading my blog, please share your BIST experiences. I miss the wonderful world of memory test, I would love to know what is happening


November 2, 2011

“From now on, I’ve decided to quote my age in base 18. That way I can feel like a teenager for a few more years.”

I have to quote Cecilia, from PhD Comics for giving me the idea. She does it the other way round and quotes her age in base 7, so that she gets motivated to graduate soon. I think, my academic shell is as thick as the Earth’s crust. I’m not breaking out of it any time soon.

People ask me for my reasons for doing a PhD, and trust me, sometimes they are not always clear. It is like, there is light at the end of the tunnel, but i could be the milkman on his cycle with a headlight (I was going to say, a train, but the light is not all that bright)

It is tough to get creative ideas, especially when you are battling a monster that takes up all your time. For those of you, who stood by me, in those difficult times, I salute you. I promise that if I ever graduate, I’ll make a special mention of all your names in my thesis, but since I’ll probably be the only one who reads it, you might not get the recognition you deserve.

So, here I am today, hoping for a miracle. Hope something interesting happens soon, so that I can blog about it. Till then, see ya

Protected: Please Make it stop now-II

July 12, 2011

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July 5, 2011

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Stay Warm

December 4, 2010

I walk around telling people that I love the Minnesotan winters and people think I’m crazy, so I’ve decided to write a blog on why it is the best time of the year. The cold winter is part of the culture in Minnesota. People say, “Bye now, and stay warm”, instead of the usual “bye now and take care”. The best part about winter is how things seem to slow down a bit. You cannot just get up and go out to get lunch. There are procedures for stepping out of the building. You need a sweatshirt followed by ear muffs, winter jacket, gloves and heavy winter boots. Putting all of that on, takes about 5 minutes. Walks just take longer. The ice and the snow make it impossible to walk faster than a sloth in the amazon rain forest. Cars cannot travel faster than 20 miles an hour. The wheels just spin and the car skids, and the interstate is as fast or as slow as the narrow bylane. The sun sets early, but the street lights are scattered by the snow and the night is almost as bright as the day. Winters are the best time of the year. Come to Minnesota and one day u’ll agree with me



November 17, 2010

Have you ever noticed that we spend so much of our time in pointless routines. I never thought I would talk about this, because I always thought I was a very spontaneous guy. I just live in the moment. Then I had something that I would call an “Out of this world Experience”.

I might have to go back a little  and explain it to you. There is this Vietnamese sandwich place on Washington Avenue. The place has a whole lot of sandwich options and they are pretty reasonably priced, but that is not the point of the story here. The point is that I’m vegetarian. I’m a vegetarian because I was raised vegetarian. I like it, and I think it is a healthier diet. Okay, back to the story. There are only two vegetarian options at the sandwich place, Mock Duck and Tofu. I used to alternate between the two every time I went there, and I ate there often. The greeter at the restaurant knows me by my first name and she knows what I eat. I went there the other day and ordered Mock duck, and the greeter said, “You ate Mock duck yesterday, it’s Tofu day today”. Life doesn’t get any more monotonous than that. When a greeter at a sandwich bar knows what you eat. I eat at Chipotle now, but that is getting a bit monotonous too. If you guys know a great place to eat around the university area, then please leave a comment below. I was watching a movie the other day, actually I watch a movie almost every day, and I realized that even that is a routine. How many movies can a guy really watch. Netflix is running out of recommendations for me.

I would like to end this blog post with a link to a photograph. There is nothing much to it, it is the most recent change that happened in my life, plus i wanted to get more hits to my flickr page 🙂



October 2, 2010

I hadn’t met “Her” in ten years. When she got married, her husband wanted her to break all ties with me. “No connections with your ex”, he said. Things had changed now. They were married for ten years, and I was pretty much out of their lives. I ran into her at a shopping mall, and she thought that I should meet her family for lunch.

I was really nervous when I rang her door bell, not knowing what to expect. A kid came running up the stairs and walked up to me, while I was waiting at the front door. She waved at me and stood next to me. “Give me a chocolate”, she said. “Sorry dear, I don’t have any”, I replied. “Yes you do, you have one in your left pocket”, she said. I was really surprised and pulled out a chocolate bar from my pocket. I was carrying one in case my lovely ex girlfriend had any kids she didn’t tell me about. I gave it to her and she started eating it. “What’s it like, meeting your ex-girlfriend after 10 years?” said the kid. “How do you know?”, I said, turning to the little girl. I was shocked at her knowledge of my personal life.  “Do you wanna know a little secret”, she said. She pulled my arm, signalling me to get down on my knees, so that she can whisper in my ears. “I’m imaginary”, she said, when i got down on my knees.

“What?, Did ‘she’ set you up for this? Is this a prank?”, I asked the girl. The door opened, and ‘she’ was standing in front of me. I forgot how beautiful she could look. “Wow”, I said, looking up. “Hey, glad you could make it. Slight change of plans though. My dearly beloved, has to work today, so we are meeting him at a restaurant near his office”. The phone in her bedroom rang and she went in to take the call. I guess I was supposed to let myself in. Just when I thought I was in the most uncomfortable situation in my life, Things just got worse. Now I was alone in an apartment with her.

“You are in some serious s**t now”, said the girl. “Hey, watch your mouth. You are lucky I’m not gonna wash your mouth with soap, for talking like that”, I said. “You watch it, I’m just a figment of your imagination, remember”, she replied. “Who are you talking to?”, my ex yelled out from her bedroom. I heard footsteps, she was walking towards me. For reasons I cannot explain, I grabbed the girl and hid her behind a couch, and leaned on the couch to block her from crawling out. “What are you doing?”, asked my ex, when she found me leaning onto her couch in a very weird position. “Nothing, I was feeling a little uncomfortable. Just gas, I guess”, I replied. “Okay.. I guess we should stay away from Mexican food then” she smiled and shrugged her shoulders.

She went back in to get her keys and her purse. “I hope you understand, that was totally unnecessary”, said the girl, crawling out. “She cannot see me”. “I still think, this is a prank. I don’t believe a word you say. I am not crazy”, I replied. “Check your pocket”, she said. I put my hand into my pocket and found the chocolate that she just ate a few minutes ago. “Did you slide another one into my pocket?” I asked the girl. She promptly pulled out the cover of the chocolate she ate and handed it to me. I compared both of them. The batch numbers and the manufacturing date were exactly identical. It could have been a prank, but I was starting to believe that I might be crazy. I always knew that the PhD was a bad idea, now I knew why. “Holy Cr*p”, I said, still shocked from my discovery. “Now, you watch your mouth”, said the girl. “You are just a figment of my imagination. I can say whatever I want”, I replied. “Yes, but I’m still six years old”, so you can’t swear in front of me.

“Are you ready. My husband just called, he is waiting for us”, my ex was standing near the door. “Yah, Where are we going. I’ll follow you in my car. I think i’ll leave after lunch”, I said. “Really! I was hoping we could catch up on the way to the restaurant” she said. “No, I just remembered something. I’m crazy, I mean, its this crazy thing from work”. I put on my shoes and we were ready to go. I walked up to my car and sat in the front seat. “Kids sit in the back seat. It doesn’t matter if they are real or imaginary” I said. The girl opened the back  door and got into the car. “You know why I’m here right. You created me because of the uncomfortable situation that you were in”, she said, putting on her seatbelt. “Ya, well I just wish you would go away” I replied. We drove to the restaurant and walked up to the front entrance. Her husband was waiting for us. He was a few years older than the two of us, he was nearing forty and he looked a lot older. She put her arm around him and said, this is my husband, and I believe you have already met my daughter.

This is definitely the strangest dream I have had in years. It was interesting how much I remembered after waking up

10 things of the narcissist

August 30, 2010

I got tagged by Sneo to confess 10 things about me. This is kinda tricky because I might have to confess 30 things about me, DFT and Ingrads. Here are the details of the tag

* Tell your readers 10 things about you that they may or may not know, but are true..
*  Tag 10 people with the award, and be sure to let them know they’ve been tagged (a quick comment on their blog will do).
*  Link back to the blogger who tagged you.

1. I love Cheerios. When I miss breakfast, I eat Cheerios for dinner.

2. I use “Abbey” a lot. Most of my sentences start with “Abbey…..”

3. I eat a lot of junk food

4. I like the freezing Minnesotan weather.

5. I cannot keep secrets.

6. I workout quite a bit. A lot of cardio goes into burning all the junk that I eat.

7. I get bored easily. I’m actually bored right now.

8. I am not good at saving money. I spend every penny I earn.

9. I can be very sarcastic at times. I know a few people who would love to see me dead, or at least in a lot of pain.

10. There is only one person on this planet who knows everything about me.

Ending this tag here. I don’t know a lot of people who blog.


August 30, 2010

Honesty is highly overrated. People don’t want to hear the truth, they are just looking for someone to reaffirm their faith. You cannot go to a creationist and talk to him about evolution. I once talked to a guy about fossil evidence and he said that there is no proof to say that the dinosaur actually lived 65 million years ago, and radio carbon dating might be way off. He even argued that the average life span of people has decreased in the recent years because of the increase in the number of non believers. His grandmother apparently lived for a 120 years because she believed in God and prayed everyday. It didn’t matter to him, that the average life expectancy in those days was 7 years or less. He wouldn’t even accept that vestigial organs like the appendix or  wisdom teeth as evidence.

Having said that, It appears to me that creationists aren’t the only ones living in denial. A friend of mine recently got into a relationship and her guy wanted to know everything about her exes. She said, she was not ready to discuss it yet and when she is, she will tell him everything he needs to know. I don’t know how much she told him, but in my opinion, all he needs to know is that, there were a few men before him, and it doesn’t matter now. I follow a simple rule with my relationships. When my girlfriend asks me how many bases I have covered with my ex, it is always “One less” than the number of bases I have covered with her. That is usually the answer that they want to listen. It might not be the truth, but it is better to lie and be in a relationship, than give out the truth and stay single.

The truth hurts. I learnt that the hard way. If all the people in my university found out, what I really think of them, it would kill them. This is after I have openly insulted a few of them. I find it easy to be honest in emails, because I cannot see the rage on the other person’s face, but when I’m talking to them in person, I prefer to keep it low. A friend of mine interpreted my silence as lack of a valid argument. I kept quiet and reaffirmed his faith.

A friend of mine kept two business cards. One of them said he was a business analyst at a multinational company and the other one said he was an author for a world famous travel guide. He carried both of them in his pocket, when he went to bars to pick up girls and decided which card to play, based on the girl. The truth is that, he quit the multinational company a while ago and he hadn’t published anything for ages. He wasn’t lying about what he did. He did both those things, but right now he is just an unemployed writer with no money to travel. He can never pick up any girl by telling them the truth.

What would you prefer as your facebook profile? A picture of you, with the hottest women, which makes your friends think you are a player, or a picture of you standing next to your fat wife. I’m sure a lot of you will say that love has got nothing to do with the physical appearance and criticize me for being superficial,but what you are doing here is lying to your self that you actually love your super fat wife. If you know what is good for you, you will never admit the truth.

How many of you guys will admit the truth, when your girl friend asks you “What are you looking at?” Even though she is your girlfriend and you are allowed to check out her cleavage or figure, your answer will always be “Your Eyes”. If you ask your girlfriend if she thinks you are “better than” the other guy, her answer will always be a big “Yes”. Trust me, you don’t want your girlfriend telling you that she has seen something better before.

Lie to me my friends, lie to your husbands and your wives. They are good people. They don’t deserve the truth.