Monday, October 13, 2003


An update on my original post:

Wow, the movie was amazing for its action sequences, music and Tarantino's direction! And, for those keeping count, Uma Thurman has to kill 3 more including Bill in the next Volume.

Be warned though, there is too much violence and way too much blood and killings, so if you dont like those, skip this.

Overall, I liked it and its the top movie for the weekend!

Friday, October 10, 2003


Q: Daddy, why did we have to attack Iraq?
A: Because they had weapons of mass destruction,honey.

Q: But the inspectors didn't find any weapons of mass destruction.
A: That's because the Iraqis were hiding them.

Q: And that's why we invaded Iraq?
A: Yep. Invasions always work better than inspections.

Q: But after we invaded them, we STILL didn't find any weapons of mass destruction, did we?
A: That's because the weapons are so well hidden.
Don't worry, we'll find something, probably right before the 2004 election.

Q: Why did Iraq want all those weapons of mass destruction?
A: To use them in a war, silly.

Q: I'm confused. If they had all those weapons that they planned to use in a war, then why didn't they use any of those weapons when we went to war with them?
A: Well, obviously they didn't want anyone to know they had those weapons, so they chose to die by hundreds rather than defend themselves.

Q: That doesn't make sense Daddy. Why would they choose to die if they had all those big weapons to fight us back with?
A: It's a different culture. It's not supposed to make sense.

Q: I don't know about you, but I don't think they had any of those weapons our government said they did.
A: Well, you know, it doesn't matter whether or not they had those weapons. We had another good reason to invade them anyway.

Q: And what was that?
A: Even if Iraq didn't have weapons of mass destruction, Saddam Hussein was a cruel dictator, which is another good reason to invade another country.

Q: Why? What does a cruel dictator do that makes it OK to invade his country?
A: Well, for one thing, he tortured his own people.

Q: Kind of like what they do in China?
A: Don't go comparing China to Iraq. China is a good economic competitor, where millions of people work for slave wages.

Q: So if a country lets its people be exploited for profits, it's a good country, even if that country tortures people?
A: Right.

Q: Why were people in Iraq being tortured?
A: For political crimes, mostly, like criticizing the government. People who criticized the government in Iraq were sent to prison and tortured.

Q: Isn't that exactly what happens in China?
A: I told you, China is different.

Q: What's the difference between China and Iraq?
A: Well, for one thing, Iraq was ruled by the Ba'ath party, while China is Communist.

Q: Didn't you once tell me Communists were bad?
A: No, just Cuban Communists are bad.

Q: How are the Cuban Communists bad?
A: Well, for one thing, people who criticize the government in Cuba are sent to prison and tortured.

Q: Like in Iraq?
A: Exactly.

Q: And like in China, too?
A: I told you, China's a good economic competitor. Cuba, on the other hand, is not.

Q: How come Cuba isn't a good economic competitor?
A: Well, you see, back in the early 1960s, our government passed some laws that made it illegal for Americans to trade or do any business with Cuba until they stopped being Communists and started being capitalists like us.

Q: But if we got rid of those laws, opened up trade with Cuba, and started doing business with them, wouldn't that help the Cubans become capitalists?
A: Don't be a smart-ass.

Q: I didn't think I was being one.
A: Well, anyway, they also don't have freedom of religion in Cuba.

Q: Kind of like China and the @!#$ movement?
A: I told you, stop saying bad things about China.
Anyway, Saddam Hussein came to power through a military coup, so he's not really a legitimate leader anyway.

Q: What's a military coup?
A: That's when a military general takes over the government of a country by force, instead of holding free elections like we do in the United States.

Q: Didn't the ruler of Pakistan come to power by a military coup?
A: You mean General Pervez Musharraf? Uh, yeah, he did, but Pakistan is our friend.

Q: Why is Pakistan our friend if their leader is illegitimate?
A: I never said Pervez Musharraf was illegitimate.

Q: Didn't you just say a military general who comes to power by forcibly overthrowing the legitimate government of a nation is an illegitimate leader?
A: Only Saddam Hussein. Pervez Musharraf is our friend, because he helped us invade Afghanistan.

Q: Why did we invade Afghanistan?
A: Because of what they did to us on September 11th.

Q: What did Afghanistan do to us on September 11th?
A: Well, on September 11th, nineteen men, fifteen of them Saudi Arabians, hijacked four airplanes and flew three of them into buildings,killing over 3,000 Americans.

Q: So how did Afghanistan figure into all that?
A: Afghanistan was where those bad men trained, under the oppressive rule of the Taliban.

Q: Aren't the Taliban those bad radical Islamics who chopped off people's heads and hands?
A: Yes, that's exactly who they were. Not only did they chop off people's heads and hands, but they oppressed women, too.

Q: Didn't the Bush administration give the Taliban 43 million dollars back in May of 2001?
A: Yes, but that money was a reward because they did such a good job fighting drugs.

Q: Fighting drugs?
A: Yes, the Taliban were very helpful in stopping people from growing opium poppies.

Q: How did they do such a good job?
A: Simple. If people were caught growing opium poppies, the Taliban would have their hands and heads cut off.

Q: So, when the Taliban cut off people's heads and hands for growing flowers, that was OK, but not if they cut people's heads and hands off for other reasons?
A: Yes. It's OK with us if radical Islamic fundamentalists cut off people's hands for growing flowers, but it's cruel if they cut off people's hands for stealing bread.

Q: Don't they also cut off people's hands and heads in Saudi Arabia?
A: That's different. Afghanistan was ruled by a tyrannical patriarchy that oppressed women and forced them to wear burqas whenever they were in public, with death by stoning as the penalty for women who did not comply.

Q: Don't Saudi women have to wear burqas in public, too?
A: No, Saudi women merely wear a traditional Islamic body covering.

Q: What's the difference?
A: The traditional Islamic covering worn by Saudi women is a modest yet fashionable garment that covers all of a woman's body except for her eyes and fingers. The burqa, on the other hand, is an evil tool of patriarchal oppression that covers all of a woman's body except for her eyes and fingers.

Q: It sounds like the same thing with a different name.
A: Now, don't go comparing Afghanistan and Saudi Arabia. The Saudis are our friends.

Q: But I thought you said 15 of the 19 hijackers on September 11th were from Saudi Arabia.
A: Yes, but they trained in Afghanistan.

Q: Who trained them?
A: A very bad man named Osama bin Laden.

Q: Was he from Afghanistan?
A: Uh, no, he was from Saudi Arabia too. But he was a bad man, a very bad man.

Q: I seem to recall he was our friend once.
A: Only when we helped him and the mujahadeen repel the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan back in the 1980s.

Q: Who are the Soviets? Was that the Evil Communist Empire Ronald Reagan talked about?
A: There are no more Soviets. The Soviet Union broke up in 1990 or thereabouts, and now they have elections and capitalism like us. We call them Russians now.

Q: So the Soviets, I mean, the Russians, are now our friends?
A: Well, not really. You see, they were our friends for many years after they stopped being Soviets, but then they decided not to support our invasion of Iraq, so we're mad at them now. We're also mad at the French and the Germans because they didn't help us invade Iraq either.

Q: So the French and Germans are evil, too?
A: Not exactly evil, but just bad enough that we had to rename French fries and French toast to Freedom Fries and Freedom Toast.

Q: Do we always rename foods whenever another country doesn't do what we want them to do?
A: No, we just do that to our friends. Our enemies, we invade.

Q: But wasn't Iraq one of our friends back in the 1980s?
A: Well, yeah. For a while.

Q: Was Saddam Hussein ruler of Iraq back then?
A: Yes, but at the time he was fighting against Iran, which made him our friend, temporarily.

Q: Why did that make him our friend?
A: Because at that time, Iran was our enemy.

Q: Isn't that when he gassed the Kurds?
A: Yeah, but since he was fighting against Iran at the time, we looked the other way, to show him we were his friend.

Q: So anyone who fights against one of our enemies automatically becomes our friend?
A: Most of the time, yes.

Q: And anyone who fights against one of our friends is automatically an enemy?
A: Sometimes that's true, too. However, if American corporations can profit by selling weapons to both sides at the same time, all the better.

Q: Why?
A: Because war is good for the economy, which means war is good for America.
Also, since God is on America's side, anyone who opposes war is a godless run-American Communist. Do you understand now why we attacked Iraq?

Q: I think so. We attacked them because God wanted us to, right?
A: Yes.

Q: But how did we know God wanted us to attack Iraq?
A: Well, you see, God personally speaks to George W.Bush and tells him what to do.

Q: So basically, what you're saying is that we attacked Iraq because George W. Bush hears voices in his head?
A. Yes! You finally understand how the world works.
Now close your eyes, make yourself comfortable, and go to sleep.

Good night.
Good night, Daddy.

I am a fan of Tarantino movies - all of them - actually 3 of them - Pulp Fiction, Reservoir Dogs and Jackie Brown. And I am really excited about the 4th film thats coming out this weekend - Kill Bill Vol.1.

Sadly though, the movie has been split into two - Volume 1 and 2 and I hate those "To be Continued" movies or serials. Anyways, its a Tarantino movie - and I can expect lot of action filled fight sequences.

And apparantly this movie has a scene where Uma Thurman fights with 86 guys... Should be interesting to watch! CNN seems to like it.

If you get a chance to see the movie, check it out...


Wednesday, October 08, 2003


I went on a two week business trip to China. This is my second trip to world's largest populated country and I was all excited about it. Here are the highlights of my visit to China and some pictures of my trip:

o There were additional "SARS" temperature checks at all the airports. I landed at Shanghai Pudong airport and from there I went to Guangzhou, Guangdong.
o Guangzhou is one of the richest industrial city in China. I loved the China Mayors Plaza hotel where I stayed in.
o Guangzhou is like Boston or Chicago - full of multi-lane highways, high-rise buildings, Starbucks, McDs, HaagenDazs everywhere.
o For a moment, I thought I landed in a different country. The only problem was language - Gotta learn Chinese!
o Four days of work - slogging and was amazed at the amount of work the engineers there put in!
o From Guanzhou, flew to Hangzhou for the weekend. All china domestic airlines are well maintained - mostly Airbus-es and some MDs.
o Hangzhou is where our company has its manufacturing plants. Its a major tourist attraction too.
o Had an amazing time, met many of my co-workers whom I only knew by email addresses.
o BTW, all the taxis in Hangzhou are brand-new Volkswagen Jettas. Went to some of the major tourist attractions.
o Back to work, flew to Zhengzhou, Henan from Hangzhou.
o Zhengzhou is in the exact center of china... relatively poor town...
o After another four days of work, am on my way back to the US...

One thing is clear, China is growing - both economically and politically, and I think it might soon become a dream for people to live and work there like people do (used to?) now to the US.

It might just happen pretty soon...


Well, this is an on-going search for a perfect notebook and it seems to go on and on and on... I have been trying to get a notebook computer to replace my 4 year old IBM Thinkpad 380XD for about an year now and I dont seem to get anywhere...

My requrements are very simple:

14.1 - 15.4' Inch TFT Screen with good viewing angle
2 GHz Pentium M Processor or equivalent with 2 MB L2 Cache
Upto 2/4 GB of RAM
60 GB HDD (7200 RPM)
Support for Bluetooth and IEEE 802.11a/b/g.
Top-of-the-line Video Card (ATI Mobility 9600 (64+ MB RAM)
Weighing less than 5 pounds
Battery Life of 5+ hours
Costing about $3000

I dont seem to have much options out there... I liked Thinkpad T40p but it doesn't have a/b/g module yet. I thought I would wait for T41 and it does not seem to have much of new features anyways...

Apparently I am not alone in this search ...

I think I should get this new Apple Powerbook 15". What do you think?