Tesla – Mo Cushla!

Electric with excitement was the air,
To my surprise it was over a car;
Wondered what’s great about a gas-guzzler,
Learnt Tesla is a lithium-ion battery powered trailblazer!

Created with passion by a team driven by Elon,
This car smells sweet like musk and rolls with elan;
Heard whispers that Apple wants to add its own touch,
About such unconfirmed iCar rumors I care not much!

Some swoon for its looks sleek,
Others swoon over price of its stock;
My swoon was caused by sticker shock,
Hoping it will cost much less as more buyers flock!


Among interesting things I look out for on long drives are town water tanks. Although most of them are big they come in different shapes and sizes.
Some are tall and imposing
Some are stout and strong
some are purely functional in design
Some have more character/color to their design
Some are bald at the top
Some sport telecommunication equipment at the top!
I wonder if they always store water at least for a particular number of days for all homes they provide water in a town like a specific # of gallons of water. The most important purpose they serve is provide the most precious liquid of all that is colorless, odorless and flavorless at its purest but nothing else comes close to providing satisfaction when thirsty: drinking water! That in itself is great but for The Raj they serve few other purposes that are equally important 🙂
1) They provide welcome change to the scenery and keep the drives interesting
2) When they have the town name printed in huge on them they provide relief for these old brown eyes in figuring out which village/town/city I am in and
3) Help in guessing how close to the destination I am at a particular point in time (without depending on GPS). The fun is as much in the journey as in reaching the destination!

Getting pulled from all sides?

The Raj is always looking out for interesting things and structures when he goes out for a drive. Radio masts / telecommunications towers have fascinated me. Tall and thin, they stand out dwarfing other structures around. What keeps the masts standing are the guy wires running in different directions from the tower to the ground from multiple levels in the tower. The guy wires/cables are spread out over a radius of several hundred feet. Will be interesting to see a tower under construction just to observe steel lattice being put up and then secured to the ground by the guy wires. Some of those guy wires must be tethered to the ground in properties not owned by the organization that owns a tower. I wonder if those property owners get some discount if they use the radio/TV services on offer 🙂 My guess is more densely populated the area where the towers are they are likely to be taller to avoid signal obstruction by surrounding structures.
What is the point of all this?
To share a life lesson: If you are getting pulled from all sides you can still stand tall and
strong if you maintain your balance! (Did I hear someone say “and there is always a Raj story
waiting to be told”? 😉 Yes, of course! You betcha 😀 )

Clear thy name first, Special Counsel!

For about 2 years now whenever you turn on the news one person has been part of the daily news: Special Counsel Robert Mueller! It could be a report on his ongoing investigation, a talk show on his court filings/indictments or a subject pleading guilty or witness called for questioning etc or reaction of anyone linked to the investigation directly or indirectly. Mr Mueller lets his work speak for him, haven’t heard him say a word in public past 2 years. In many discussions about the investigation there is someone in the panel talking about their personal interactions with him in the past or remarking about the way he has gone about his work in this instance. So widely is he mentioned that I think there is a strong case for Mr Mueller to be made part of the lexicon, used in different contexts for different effect. For example describing someone as “He/She is a mueller” could be description of a silent, strong person. “Person A is very muelleric” might fit the description of a stoic individual with no outward display of emotion. “He/She got muellered” could mean someone brought to justice OR unfairly victimised depending on political inclinations of the person saying it 😀 Going by utterances of POTUS and Mr Giuliani mueller could mean hunter (although I am not sure which hunt they keep referring to 🙂 )

There is a lot of strong opinion about the Special Counsel and his work. For those in support he is a savior of our civilization as we know it and for those opposed he is a destroyer of our civilization. With so much divide I was hoping there would at least be some agreement on how to pronounce his name. Alas, no luck in that either 😦 I have noticed 3 major ways people say his last name. Some say MULLer, some say Mewller, some say
Mew-e-ller with some variations of the above 3 also thrown in 😀 For someone like me who has not grown up hearing Mueller last name it has left me scratching my head. Depending on the situation when discussion about Special Counsel comes up I adopt one of the following approaches:
1) Refer to Mr Mueller as Special Counsel or
2) Say Robert M reducing the last name to an initial or
3) Insist on response in writing only or
4) Say the full name with the last name barely audible in the hope that no one hears it or it’s so faint no one hears or feels offended if I say it wrong 🙂

It’s been frustrating to resort to such methods. I can’t continue with those approaches any more. Keeping public interests/service in mind here’s my very public appeal to Mr Robert Mueller :

“Sir, all of us are very appreciative of the admirable restraint shown by you doing your work past few years in the face of provocation and personal attacks on a daily basis. We understand your sense of duty and quiet dignity has been shaped to some extent by your personal experience in war and seeing friends and fellow soldiers lose their life in fighting for a cause. The closest some of your fiercest critics have come to fighting a war has been fighting messy, expensive divorce battles in court. Please continue your quest to find the truth wherever it takes you, however long it may take to unearth. Your appointment may come with the mandate not to respond to any reaction to your work or personal comments about you. You have to make one exception though. I urge that you to go public, say your full name in public loud and clear and broadcast it on all major networks/cable channels! The least all of us should be able to agree on is how to say your full name correctly. It’s time to speak up. Now!”

Clear thy name first, Special Counsel!

No appreciation for efficient disposal!

When son was in elementary school and we went out for shopping or on a long drive one thing was certain. After couple of minutes’ of drive he would feel the need to use a restroom 😀 No amount of reminders before we started seemed to have any effect. Leaving us with 2 choices: Either drive back home for him to take care of business or look for the nearest shop with restroom. Availability of restrooms for public use in the USA is something that is nice and probably taken for granted. After the business was transacted we would be on our way (Thirsty feeling would soon follow but The Raj generally takes care of that by keeping couple of bottles of water handy in the car 🙂 ). Not long after I caught on to that habit too. On long drives whenever there was a need for relief the usual excuse would follow: car running low on gas, need to fill up 😉 Pull over to the nearest gas station, fuel the car, grab a cup of coffee and oh, by the way, be back after a quick trip to the restroom 😀 Wife is never amused whenever that happens. I guess she doesn’t understand guys have the most efficient disposal system in the world. When a man has to go he has to go 😀

See No Light?

Punching above your weight,
All day and night,
Nary an end in sight,
Ever wonder why you see no light?

Try as hard as you might,
For a future bright;
Life is much more than just a fight,
Why not relax and sit tight?

When the time is right,
Sure as day follows night,
Fright will turn into delight,
You will see things in a different light!

The day I wish I wore diaper at school!

I am writing about the only time that I took part in an elocution competition. Hard as it may be to believe I don’t like to give speeches, especially scripted ones.
There are 2 reasons: I am not a natural public speaker and I am not good at memorizing things. If I try hard to memorize something I forget it, I can remember things that I never cared to memorize. Anyways, I digress.

In secondary/middle school, much against my own wishes and better judgment, I agreed to take part in an elocution competition. And almost regretted doing so the very next moment. I decide to give it my best shot.
Couple of weeks time to prepare for the competition. Not too bad!
My dad writing me the speech. Even better!
Next came the hard part: memorize and practice. After 10 days of struggle the speech starts sounding a little interesting too. Woo hoo! half the battle won!
Day of competition: Some bad speakers and some good speakers before me. Man, I was starting to have visions of winning a prize. Good confidence boost!
My turn comes. Time to talk the talk. Start a little jittery. Practicing alone and speaking in front of a crowd are two different things, I realize. Still I strive manfully. The first paragraph goes through relatively smooth. I sound better than I am because of the quality of my dad’s writing. Starting to relax a little bit. Wow, I am getting into the zone I think. Then disaster strikes, old failings emerge. I forget the text. Boom, the wind goes out of my sails 😦 I glance through the speech where I got stuck. Not a good sign. After couple more glances through the speech I stumble my way to the end of the speech hoping that the ground would swallow me. Was I going to get relief now? No, I had to hear the school topper speak next. The guy is simply amazing, he’s speaking as if he’s to the manor born. Makes me feel more miserable about myself. He was great but I was in no mood to hear and enjoy it. Was too worried about myself crapping out. Maybe if had a diaper on, it would have saved my day 😀

P.S. It’s ironical that my job today requires me to host calls and speak most of the time. Would rather prefer to think and solve problems myself rather than speak. But it is what it is and you do what it takes to get things done. At least I don’t have to memorize what I am going to say and I can use my twisted humor too!