on my new-ish podcast

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Yes, I know this blog could be considered partly “defunct”.

It is conceivable that one would assume this if a blogmaster blogger blog-author appears to have put their blog out to pasture.. by, say, posting only once every 6 months or so (guilty). Or that said author appears to be letting their interest in writing wane away to an inevitable demise (guilty).

Such a thought process would not be incorrect.

But.

It’s about having stuff to put out there.

Usually, the most fun, interesting things I’ve come up with have been in the company of friends. It has often been a discussion point between my friends and I that if only we could somehow publicize our messages to each other, we would have comedy/information gold.

If only it were that simple.

You need the right people. You need the right medium. You need interesting topics. You need to be able to play off each other.

Suffice to say I do have candidates on all those fronts. But the partner-in-crime got self-selected during one of those daily back-and-forths with Raghu:

Raghu: finished this book – http://www.amazon.com/Remember-India-First-World-Vedica/dp/8174369791
Satish: yes i think i heard about this on sidin’s podcast/newsletter
Raghu: i don’t veen get those anymore
Raghu: and never heard his podcast
Raghu: why don’t we do a podcast?
Satish: hahahahahaha
Satish: y’know
Raghu: well – you have a bunch of things happening for sure
Satish: i started listening to this dads podcast and mentioned to G that i should an indian geek dad podcast with raghu
Satish: great minds, man
Satish: but yes, every time i think about how to get that off the ground i remember all the other things in the air
Raghu: yeah
Raghu: well, let’s try anyways
Raghu: desi geek dad squad
Raghu: once every two weeks

And thus The Inconceivable! Desis Podcast was born. And is now 11 episodes old.

Yeah, I know. A bit late on the origin story 1.

Personally, of course, I have been following podcasts for a while (no matter what the so-called podcast renaissance would have you believe). Just like my beloved RSS feeds, they remain integral to my online experience. Based on which, it seems apt to reflect on our own experience so far.

But this is not that post. That will be the next post 2.

This seems a good point as any to touch on some of the more abstruse aspects of our podcast. Such as the subtleties to our logo:

podcast-logo-expln

Raghu and I have known each other for a while (15 years, at this point, I think). This conversation epitomizes what happens when we hang out together… really, it’s 15 years of missed recording sessions 🙂 Geekdom. Pop culture. Movies. Books. Technology. Perspectives. Life. The 11 episodes we’ve released so far have spanned the breadth of these, and we have a list of many many more to come.

How can you get updated? Get notified of new episodes? Actually listen to the damn things?

There is Twitter. There is Facebook.

Also an iTunes link.

And an RSS feed which can be put into any podcast client.

And we’re inviting you to join in. And let us know what you think. And what you might want to hear about. We promise to do our research to talk about anything you might want to hear about.

Enjoy.


  1. Raghu has, of course, been a lot more on point in putting up an introductory post close to when we launched the show. Me, I tried to write it and then decided to simmer on my take for a while. And so, here we are 4 months later, and I’m finally writing about it. Typical. 
  2. Don’t you dare say, ‘fat chance!’. 
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#10

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A post reminiscing about the past should begin (fittingly) with recalling the post I was going to write for the ninth anniversary of this blog.

It never got written. (Incidentally, neither did the 8th).

And, further back.. the 1 year anniversary post of this blog?

It was 1 line.

At the half-way mark to this anniversary, I noted that I was at post #675. 5 years later, this is post #771. Barely 20 posts/year from what used to be ~70 posts/year. I actually made note of needing to work on this post back in August 1. Drafting began in September. And here it is, finally published at the end of October. Yep, I spent a month-plus on this anniversary post.

How many will read it? I wonder.2

In the decade since I started this space, “my blogosphere” has mostly disappeared. Heck, in the larger web, blogging has gone from cool to overkill to dead to a (sort-of) renaissance. My own community originally grew out of all the sites I found to try to pull readers to my own blog. There was the Blogger ‘random blog’ button. There were the blog-traffic sites where you submitted your URL and then “stumble” onto other blogs.. all so that other bloggers then stumble onto your own3. My link-list organically grew out of this internet — where people seemed to mostly go off in discovery mode. The “social” internet we know today barely existed.. discovery today is basically 10 people on your Facebook or Twitter feed linking to particular sites. The term ‘blogging’ itself was a catch-all for a bunch of internet-related activities — link sharing, commentary, long-form writing, editorials, what-have-you. The web has since supposedly “evolved” to having more focused tools for each of the above. Each of which then enables easier, more broadcast-able access to a (closed) community. I guess one could say that the blog itself has evolved, in its own way4.

Anyway, back to the future. When I started out on Blogger in 2004, it was literally a random exercise in writing. I had no idea if I could fill a blank page with random thoughts and musings. No idea if I could do it everyday. I’d spent a significant chunk of my college and school years writing in class, at home, anywhere. Sure, the stories never always made sense (in truth, some of them are pretty psychedelic reads when I go back to them today). But I’ve always enjoyed wordplay. My little attempt to push the envelope. Think about structure and story, with imagination5.

I had the time to blog. I decided to find out.

Starting out, one of my more distinct memories is of sitting in a bus stop on my way home, furiously scribbling a bunch of thoughts down on paper.. which I later transcribed (talk about passionate, I guess). Then, of course, the adrenaline rush of having 3/4/10 different people comment on a post.. and getting these completely unexpected interpretations based on what I penned. All said, though, I never did think my writing would evolve into this space. Arbit observations. Personal memoirs. Notes about things that strike me. Reviews. Philosophical frustration. And some fiction. It is actually a space that I revisit now and then, just to remember.

The 10 years of this blog’s existence incidentally signifies one other event: a decade since I left India for shores abroad.

10 frickin’ years.

So many things have happened in this time (expectedly, it is 10 years after all). Places visited, friends met, relationships established, and so much, much more. I’ve gone from student to trying-to-figure-my way to PhD to an actual researcher. From single to married to having a kid6. Rediscovered so many facets of my youth that I didn’t know were ensconced in my memory. So many different houses I’ve lived at, culminating in my current one.. which I can call ‘my home’.

From Blogger to FortuneCity to self-hosted WordPress to WordPress.com 🙂

So I can’t really come up with a reasonable summary in how much life has changed.. in, well, the most changeable part of life. Big surprise.

So what then for the next 10? Dare I think of a “next 10”? Will my (apparently) ever-filling schedule allow me to make the time to come back here and pen something that I can look back on to commemorate 20 years of this blog? I want to say ‘Yes’, but the recent past makes me… wonder. I’ve even gotten bored with writing posts lamenting my lack of posting. I’ve tried a bunch of different “post-types” to try to ensure a regular schedule. I’ve tried the weekly challenge here at WordPress.com. Kinda, sorta.. out of ideas.

But then… based on the time I’ve taken in crafting this post, it doesn’t feel like I’m ready to say goodbye. Or farewell, for that matter.

I wonder if I can think of a way to rejuvenate this space. Keep it alive.

To riff on Doctor Who, I guess its time to say something I never did say to this blog. Or to whatever audience this blog has.

Hello.


  1. At which time I realized that Greatbong and I started blogging within months of each other. And to be completely honest, it’s pretty amazing that he has actually taken it to the next level (books, public writing etc.). Lets not talk about what mine has become, mmmkay?7
  2. To be honest, if I was doing this for the readership, I would have shut shop a while ago. But to be fair, the long gaps between posts probably made my readership think it was over. Until, y’know, posts like this. Out of nowhere. 
  3. Yeah, I can’t believe I used to have the time to do such things either. 
  4. Example: Svtble and Medium. Also closed. 
  5. The auld saying goes ‘There is a book in all of us’. I have no idea when my book will actually get written and whether I’ll ever publish it. But it’s something that’s been on my list for a long time. Someday
  6. A kid who will probably find this space one day. I wonder what she will think. 
  7. I was doing these manually with a little HTML snippets = pain. in. the. butt. Discovered Markdown support on WordPress.com, and here we are! Really need to keep up with WP developments on these sort of things more closely :) 

hello, 2014

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Even as I starting typing in this box, I got to thinking about what I would remember 2013 for. 2012, was of course stupendously epic on multiple fronts — something I should probably have talked about in January 2013 🙂 Well, ’nuff said about what is now 2-year-old news…

What do I want to say about 2013 specifically, then? A pretty big “life checkbox” got ticked this year, together with which came the realization of all the different ways I’m supposed to have grown up by now. How does it feel? Pretty amazing. Unfortunately though, a pretty big “death checkbox” was also crossed off… and despite my better sense telling me otherwise, it is hard to believe how things have gone down. How much I wish I could have been there. And how quickly it all happened1.

Skipping away from such thoughts, I guess my big takeaway from 2013 is my realization that I need to make the time to do <fill in something I complain about not getting to do nowadays>. Trite realization I guess, but for far, far too long I wished? hoped? that life would be nice enough to open up the time I need2. Very much au contraire, mon ami. Life has the glorious ability to fill up all the time you have available with whatever it can. I’m still not great at properly allocating time, and have a major tendency to push off to-dos until they cannot be pushed any longer… but I’m learning to look at things differently. That being-a-Dad/having-a-family thing? Shockingly great motivator that ensures that there is always a chunk of time that cannot be given over to work3. Hopefully I can take that forward into the many other activities that have suffered in the absence of time for them.

This space, of course, didn’t see much of anything in 2013. For those who came in late, it is now spluttering and coughing its way into its 10th year of existence. Among other things, I guess a post describing fatherhood in some way is pretty mandatory in the blogosphere. 16 months in, I can’t freeze on an angle to take. Yes, it doesn’t seem that long to me either.

Speaking of blogging, I clicked around the different stats that WordPress so kindly makes available to us bloggers. This site has clearly become the hub for… erm…

Search stats Q4 2013

Yep, Asia Carrera lovers are hitting up this page, and probably getting a little disappointed by the content. It is, of course, one of only 3 pages indexed by Google which have that relatively innocuous photo. Another page that’s very popular? One of my many posts about Savita Bhabhi4.

A good place to end as any, I guess. And yes, I know have managed to get 2 posts out in 2 weeks, where there had been 2 posts out in the 11 months before that. Assuming we don’t want to jinx it, lets leave it there.

1. I just scanned my post from the end of 2011, and in addition to the loss in the family, another thing that is in correspondence to that time is my India trip, or the lack thereof. 4 years and counting now…

2. Or that I would be able to just “create” the time I need. I have been able to in the past anyway. Basically, I gave up sleep. Or free time. Voila, time just got made.

3. Incidentally, also a way to find out how much you can do for a baby in a groggy, sleep-deprived state. My kid, clearly knowing of my late-night-ways, first chose to wake up every morning at 3 am for “play-time”. Nowadays, she just wakes up and is ready to attack the day at… 5:30-6 am. Every day. I used to say to the only way I can be sure of being up at that time is if just never slept. Something, someone, somewhere has a sense of irony.

4. And yes, I realize that by including these words in this post, I’ve probably further cemented my PageRank as an authority on these 2 subjects. And to think of all the time we spent on Galadriel’s PageRank for… well, you know.

post #3 for 2013

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Yep, you read that title exactly right.

I posted twice this year. Once for the big three-o birthday. And once for a story that was worked out in my head the minute I saw the poser.

Lets compare my other spaces this year: 589 tweets. ~50 Facebook posts. 24 Instagram shots.

As Kottke rightly put it: the. blog. is. dead. In the context of which, mine has hit the rock bottom of life support. Clearly blogs and blogging in all its forms have been eroded, split away into multiple other “specialized” forums that exist today. Earlier this year, my partner-in-crime declared his blog shuttered. Heck, I used to find it hard to follow everyone on my blogroll on a weekly basis1. Of the 50-odd sites that I used to link to, 13 remain.. of which 4-5 occasionally post. 2 of them are actually Tumblrs, which are somehow different from blogs, I think.

Does this mean that no writing happens at all? That would be harsh. I do write, as much as I remember to, in a private local space. Guess this blog is too public to be home to those details. Its more of a daily.. well, to be honest, more like a bimonthly.. log. One of those things you do coz you want to document stuff about your kid. Yep, I’m that kinda dad2.

Is there really nothing I can burden this space with? As far as readership.. well, that has now moved to the many other social forums that people find easier to dip into and out of. Short thoughts/asides? Twitter. Arbit GIFs/links? Tumblr. Life status updates? Facebook. Photos? You name it.

Which leaves long-form, introspective writing. I used to have a tradition of reflectively writing on anniversaries, new years, birthdays, in addition to the regular posts on how I don’t post any more. The birthday one may be the only thing that sort of lives on.. but next year will truly tell whether it stays or not. Writing for the sake of it seems a tad, shall we say, idealistic. Yes, it gets you better at it.. but as time moves on you feel a need to ensure that everything has an end-goal, an objective.

I thought it was well known that blogs don’t need objectives and goals. Least of all personal blogs like this one that have suffered barely 3 posts this year. And yet, I..

Must decide if this space has an objective any more.

..and If this space should officially go on hiatus3 in its absence.

1. Which led down the rabbit hole of RSS readers, and even reviews of RSS readers. One thing led to another, and here I am 8 years later, paying for an RSS aggregation service in the wake of Google Reader’s death. Bazqux.com is highly recommended for a quick interface, Google Reader-y interface, and interoperability with every possible RSS reader client/protocol out there.

2. Heck yeah, footnotes. Nothing like trying something new to believe things could happen. If you click the footnote number that is at the start of this footnote, you’ll go back up top. Enjoy!

3. Typing the word ‘hiatus’ bummed me out unbelievably. Didn’t think this meant that much to me.

updates galore. or something.

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Given the extreme gaps between posting here, it is obvious that a series of update posts are in order.

Well, obvious to me anyway. And I’ve already written them, regardless of how bored y’all get.

So they’ll be following from here on in with appropriate gaps so you guys are not “overwhelmed” while reading them. Getting a sudden influx of blog posts here at staying.cool could prove so mind-numbingly awesome that all your minds would be collectively blown. Which we wouldn’t want to happen.

Well, to be honest with myself, it’s probably just a couple of minds. But I’m a kind, considerate person.. and I wouldn’t wish that on y’all, especially seeing as you’ve stuck with me through so much.

Just don’t say you weren’t warned.

****************

Continue reading

staying.new

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Here we are. 5-odd years after severeanomaly.org was first launched. To announce the death of severeanomaly.org.

As well as the continuation of staying.cool.

Such is life.

5 years ago, when Ubertechnophile (when he was still known as Cyberjunkie) and I decided that we needed our own web space, multiple factors came into play. We believed we should own space on the net. We believed we should control what we own. We thought we truly could use some corner which we could (mostly) control. We thought we should go to the next level in being online.

But most of all, we got a good deal from UKHost4U.

Most of the above has not changed. We still believe in most of those things. In the meanwhile, the internetz as we knew it back then has undergone a paradigm shift. And in all of this, web space has lost the sheen it used to have. Free alternatives, cheap alternatives, and most importantly.. viable alternatives finally exist.

Most importantly, the “good deal” from UKHost4U is no longer a “good deal”. Minorly, we can no longer justify spending the money we do for not using the features we don’t (or as much sense as that statement can make).

TL,DR: Effective immediately, severeanomaly.org is phased out. But all blogs currently hosted on this domain will continue to live.

staying.cool — http://blog.severeanomaly.org is now moved to https://severeanomaly.wordpress.com/

Uber-T Blog — http://ubertechnophile.severeanomaly.org/ is now moved to http://ubertblog.blogspot.com/

Life’s…. like that! — http://lifezlikethat.severeanomaly.org/ is now moved to http://lifezlikethat.wordpress.com/

 
Feed subscriptions should be updated as follows:

staying.cool — http://feeds.feedburner.com/stayingcool2

Uber-T Blog — http://feeds.feedburner.com/UberT-blog

Life’s…. like that! — http://lifezlikethat.wordpress.com/feed/

As you can see, severeanomaly continues to live on. In some form.

As will this blog. Live on.

let me tell you a story..

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There was once a blog that was updated frequently.

Then it was not.

[The end] [End credits]

Ah well. Wish I could stop there.

Something doesn’t let me.

There is the still pending instalments to ‘The Man Who Was‘. Which was supposed to be finished with by now. And I was going to start on my next, partially based off something else I started a long time ago and never finished.

Are we seeing a pattern here?

My flickr has languished too. There are photos piling up, crying out to be looked at and segregated and uploaded.. and they remain there. Crying. There are classic ‘blog’ type posts that I note down here in the ‘Drafts’ folder. And they remain there. ‘Drafts’ for ever more. Google Reader doesn’t look like it can ever reach ‘0 unread items’. I have to organize it to club all the posts that I’m never going to read on time together, so they don’t overwhelm.

Somehow the day doesn’t seem to have enough time in it for me to work, relax, write, watch TV/movies, follow up on hobbies (like photography), game, read… all within the same 24 hour period. I keep resolving to turn over a new leaf every day. And then at the end of the day, I wonder how many times the leaf can be turned before I realize its just a spinning top.

Is it that these things are not fun any more? Not really. I’m enjoying this random ramble right now. But there seems like there’s too much I want to do and not enough time for me to do it in.

I’ve complained about this before, I think. Yeah, there’s a definite pattern here.

Where is this post going?

I thought I would talk about some big realization I’ve had about time management. Then I thought I would make it more moralistic and pin-point my apparent lack of discipline. Now I think I will do neither of those, because that’s what I normally do. There must be something new I want to take up in this post. Something new I want to work with here.

I know its going to get worse from here on in. There’s a new PS3 around. There’s a parental visit. There’s a marked increase in interest in when I’m going to finish and graduate and get out of school after 24 years of attending.

Can I promise much for this space? Can I promise much to any of my hobbies (so to speak), to assure them they are unforgotten? I want to. I really want to. But I guess that’s the point of this post. I’m going to be realistic. And accept that some things are evolving in their use. In the role they play in my life. I just have to learn to prioritize and make sure I don’t lose out on the important stuff in all this ‘realism’ talk.

I guess that’s the pattern. I’m grasping at straws to hold back a ship that has already sailed.

I have to be careful about what I lose. And I have to be careful about what I try to hold on to.

Not everything falls into the correct category when things finally pan out.