Two weeks ago, I finally got my DSL upgrade from a measly 3Mbps to a whopping (for me) 12Mbps. I have been on 3Mbps since 2004, and the difference is amazing. I’m able to stream HD quality stuff from Netflix all the time! Qwest set me up with an Actiontec Q1000 router/modem, which as far as routers go, is not that great. But it does the job… somewhat. My previous modem (also from Qwest) would let me grab multiple IP’s from Qwest if I had it plugged into a switch (every machine that was plugged into that switch got an IP from Qwest’s pool). However, the Actiontec is different. Since it’s a router, it basically just enables DHCP and gives you an address. This was a problem for me because I have three machines that face the outside world and I use DynDNS so that I can access them. The router does some port-mapping, but that wasn’t an option. Since my website was my top priority, I set it up in a DMZ and figured that I could access the other two machines through my webserver, so no big deal. But yeah, didn’t work completely. DynDNS uses the modem’s IP for my webserver. I can access my website without any problem, from the outside world. But if I try to get to it from within my network, I end up at the Actiontec’s configuration page. Stupid. So eventually I just decided to get some static IP’s. The price was pretty reasonable: a block of 8 for $14.99 a month. Then I saw the setup fee: $50. Seriously? FIFTY dollars to set up a block of IP addresses?
Sorry about not writing for so long. I was slowly getting back to “normal life” and I felt kinda apathetic about writing. Then when I actually felt like writing, my internet connection went down. It’s a long story, and I’ll talk about it later, but basically I have no more static IP’s. But I’m so glad there’s this.
My whole vacation was about “change”. Scratch that. Going to war, coming back, and settling into normal life has been about change. Usually I’m averse to change. Yeah, I’m that guy who orders the same damn thing everytime I go to a restaurant. Mostly because I really like the dish. It’s not so much I like being in a rut (I don’t), but it’s more that once I am comfortable with something, I don’t like changing it. Change makes me stressful and agitated and I usually don’t like it. I like to have a handle on every aspect of the situation and I hate “unknowns”. But if anything, I think I’ve learned how to deal with change.
I find myself thinking of the “good old days” a lot. I get patronizing scoffs from older people (people in their 40′s or 50′s) when I say this, but seriously; it’s true. After college, a lot of things changed. I started working, I got a house, and then I went to war. I listen to music on the radio, and I say “What is this shit? Music was so much better in the 90′s!”. That’s also when I realize that I sound like my father (of course, he claims music was better in the 70′s). But again, it’s more than that. I think I’m in that gray area when you realize that you’re actually starting to become a “grown-up”. Some people say it’s because you lose the clichéed “innocence of childhood”. But I think calling it the “ignorance of childhood” is more apposite, and as we all know, another cliché tells us that “ignorance is bliss”. My view of the world has become significantly grayer and duller over the years by layers and layers of cynicism. I don’t mean this just figuratively. No, really – I distinctly remember the days being brighter when I was younger. Is that what happens when you “grow up”? I remember wonderful summers in India, when I was seven or eight. There is this tree in our backyard that we children would play around. The sunlight was brighter, and butterflies would be flitting around us as we played. I didn’t see that many butterflies when I went to India this time, or the last time for that matter. Maybe I wasn’t looking hard enough.
When you grow up there are a lot of new things you learn, things you wished you didn’t know. You are expected to take part in “grown up” discussions and things like that. Stuff that’s really tiresome. Sometimes I feel that everyone talks, but nothing gets done. That’s really frustrating for an engineer, who’s whole life revolves around solving problems. I’d say for the most part of the eight years since I left highschool, my life was constant. But I think it was the going away for a year that made me realize how much had really changed. Being out there for a year made me re-evaluate so many things, especially my personal relationships (these especially for the better). I think part of it was because I was a passive spectator to my own life, one that was moving along without me. I mean, life wasn’t really “going on” for me. Life for me, was Arizona and I sure as hell wasn’t in Arizona for a year. It’s funny when I try to place things or relate to things and I realize that my point of reference is from two years ago. It’s very disorienting to immerse yourself into an environment that’s a year ahead of you… like stepping into a moving train.
One of the major “changes” I’ve had to deal with is my little sister’s marriage. I knew it was going to happen one day, but it was more of an abstract concept than something concrete. But yeah, my baby sister is getting married – later this year in fact. It’s a happy occasion, but still different than what I’ve been used to. Some changes haven’t been so happy. It’s sad when you look at an old photograph and realize some of the people are no longer around… and that some of them won’t be around much longer. I wonder if cynicism is the inevitable consequence of knowledge and adulthood. I do find myself looking at a lot of things through jaded eyes. Somewhere along the way I lost the sense of wonder I had during my childhood, or even in my early college-years. I guess I still believe in the goodness of things, but more often than not I am surprised by it.
I think it will get better though. Being in touch with my family, being around my family, and in the company of old friends helps it out quite a bit. Just like anything else, it’s always only a matter of time…
I’ve got a few pictures here from my trip in India. There are a few missing which I will upload later. There are also others that I lost when the drive on my laptod died (this always happens to me). I’m going to try and salvage what I can from it this weekend and see if I can get the pictures back. I’ve got pictures of my highschool teachers and highschool principal here. The feeling I have towards them can only be called “reverence”. In Hinduism they say that the Guru (teacher) is equal to God. Nothing could be further from the truth when describing my teachers. I would not be where I am today, without their help.
A Newfoundland I met at JFK.
The cutest doggie in the world.
Mr. Andrews, Mr. Dogra, and I.
One of the most amazing persons I have ever known.
My old class-teacher, Mr. Joy standing in front of good old 12 A!
Mrs. Ghosh, my old Ibri house house-mistress. She never actually taught me, but that seems irrelevant. I still remember reciting a piece from G. B. Shaw’s Pygmalion for the House Recitation compeition.
I certainly wouldn’t have understoon Electricity and Magnetism if it wasn’t for Mr. Srinivas. One of the most interesting and engaging teachers I’ve had.
Mr. Stanislaus wouldn’t let me synthesize RDX in the Chemistry Lab. That was probably a good thing. It’s also because of him that I can still amaze Chemistry Geeks with my random bits of Chem knowledge.
Our cats in Muscat. Thomas, Sundari (meaning “pretty one” in Malayalam), Karamban (meaning “black one” in Malayalam), and Tiger Poocha (literally translated, “Tiger Cat”. It’s a name I made up).