Dinner at KG BBQ, an excellent Egyptian food truck next to a brewery in East Austin.
December 8, 2023
December 7, 2023
A couple of days ago, we had a traveling (San Antonio to Austin) mass shooter who left dead bodies in his wake. A couple of victims were in a neighborhood not far from us 😳 We had no idea this was going on that day.
I attended a webinar at the university that demonstrated ways in which AI was making our work easier. One quote stood out - People will not lose jobs because of AI. People who do not use AI will lose their jobs.
One excellent example of AI-powered analysis by one of our research partners:
I wrote a check for a largish amount when the contractor started work on fixing the damage. I got an online alert from my bank asking if it was a valid payment. The next day, an actual person from their bank called me to verify the payment and other details. Security much or is this normal now?
December 5, 2023
Our dog, Leo, has developed a new neurosis. Apart from night thunderstorms, now the heat kicking in freaks him out too.
So much so that he puts both of his huge paws on my side of the bed and wildly scratches at me especially on my face & neck. He’s fine when the heat gets going.
Yuki doing his best impression of the Pixar lamp post-surgery
Is @gluon working for any of y’all? It was working and now apart from Discover, none of the tabs are displaying any posts.
December 4, 2023
ICICI Bank now allows using a non-India phone number for UPI payments. But only for Canada, UK, UAE, and Hong Kong not for customers in U.S. yet 😐
I had no clue until recently that Car Fax also keeps a record of your car’s maintenance history. And it’s free for cars you own. I thought it was only for accidents logging and insurance claims.
December 3, 2023
⚽️ Excellent day of Premier League football. But Darwin Nunez ought to work on finishing well. He missed a couple of sitters.
Someone is nice & cozy. He has his neutering surgery tomorrow.
PS. By he, I mean the dog.
December 2, 2023
I had to re-activate ActivityPub on Micro.blog because I realized - my replies from Micro.blog to replies from Mastodon users on Micro.blog posts - were vanishing into the ether.
I follow very few Mastodon users directly via Micro.blog and choose to do that via my @firstname.lastname@example.org account.
This post may sound cryptic if I read it a few years later, so I thought I should elaborate, if for no one else, but for my future self. Some Americans may call Kissinger a complex man, but by that measure, so were Stalin, Mao, and Hitler. unlike them, Kissinger was responsible for killing largely outside his home country.
If you know your average American well enough, you know they value non-American lives much less than American ones. If Kissinger found himself in power only a few years earlier, he would’ve been responsible for American deaths in the “main” Vietnam War and not McNamara & Johnson. Perhaps then Americans would know the man better. But then again, Nixon’s “secret plan” to end the Vietnam War that would eventually extend it could be traced back to Kissinger.
You may be told you don’t understand geopolitics, and while they may be right, you definitely can stand against mass murder regardless of the greater good. The Rolling Stone obituary is the only one you should read if you want the unvarnished truth about how Kissinger was perceived by the other 8.65 billion people on Earth. Kissinger’s versatility in generating hate for America in the rest of the world was unparalleled. You may know about the irredeemable damage he did to Cambodia and Laos. But even his lesser-known roles, for example, in the Bangladesh genocide where India, as an underdeveloped country, had to finally intervene, losing several thousand of their troops, after Kissinger’s America let Pakistanis massacre hundreds of thousands of fellow Muslims. You can feel the reverberations of his coddling of the Shah of Iran even today.
Until 9/11, before America discovered “spreading democracy,” their foreign policy was, “He may be a bastard, but he’s our bastard. No other foreign affairs diplomat than the Sith Lord, Kissinger, embodied this principle. All this was done under the guise of American national interest, which we now know had the opposite effect. The country suffered as a result of his actions.
There is a lesser-known adage in India, “Agar tum kisi ke aapno ko maaroge toh koi tumhare aapno ko maarega” which basically is a more realistic version of karmic justice that states if you kill someone’s loved ones, someone else will kill your loved ones. The underlying sentiment of this adage is that, it’s not necessary that the person who commits the crime will suffer the consequences but it’s often the innocents who may be close to him will suffer. This should explain all the hair-pulling about how such an evil man could live in luxury until he was 100.
Hence, I’ve always believed in this core principle from the Bhagvad Gita. I hope you find the strength to also do so in the season of “do good for goodness sake.”
Remembering our time in Amsterdam.
As if India didn’t have any more foreign policy hassles with North American countries, they decided to poke the bear. Now, all they have to do is (try to) carry out an operation in Mexico, and they’ll have the NAFTA trifecta.
If this Domestic Visa Renewal Program was in effect when I was on H1-B visa (2009-2021), I would’ve visited India more often instead of just once. But a great move for those who are still in line.
What a little below-100 temperature and the occasional rain can do for your vegetable garden that nearly died during the summer.
Yay! I’ve made my retro camera even more so by adding some dings and scratches by dropping it during my first trip.
We returned after many years for the Fun Run in Zilker Park, Austin. It was a lovely evening to be out although getting to the parking lot was still a pain even though we had reserved parking.
December 1, 2023
Best thing about my new Nikon z fc apart from the lovely retro look? After I take a photo in RAW, a JPG version is immediately available on my phone. No more deciding whether I should use my camera or my phone before taking a photo📷
November 29, 2023
It’s here! 📷
Good riddance. A little too late but the world’s a better place now.
November 28, 2023
Michelle Wolf: It’s Great to Be Here, 2023 - ★★★★★
Watched on Tuesday November 28, 2023.
ChatGPT (Dall-E) created this digital portrait of my son based purely on the prompts I gave it. It’s uncanny how closely it resembles him 😳