Sunday, November 29, 2009

This one's for Meg (uh oh!)

The title sounds shady right? That's coz this post is shady too, you'll get what I mean as you read along! ;)

So, Meg wrote this post about growing older but not making a huge life-changing contribution to the world, and PseudoRandom (as always) made a very very good point, about making small changes everyday instead of wanting to make a giant change. This reminded me of something that I had heard, oh, just this Friday. Something I wanted to blog about but couldn't fit into that useless last post of mine, so hear goes nothing...

We had a lecture Friday, by Mr. Niranjan De Silva, the CEO of Metropolitan Computers, not the MEP. I learned more in that 1½ hour lecture than I had learned in a whole while. He started off by giving us the bad news. Although Sri Lanka had the highest per capita degree, diploma and other certification holders in Asia, we were also the least productive country in this continent. Raman Roy, the father of BPO had come here and said that he could get anything that the Sri Lankan do done better and faster by the Indians. Anyway, he laid out 5S as a way that we could improve productivity. He also made the very valid point that not enough Sri Lankans have a vision, a dream of where they would be in 10-15 years time. And he said "If you don't know where you're going, then any road will take you there", and told us about stories of interviews in which highly qualified people didn't get the job because they were lacking a clear vision for themselves.

He mentioned that Japanese don't believe in depreciation (not to be confused with wear and tear). He had visited a Toyota factory that had brand new machines. Or so they looked, until he asked the manager. He was told that all the machines were about 20 years old! See, apparently the Japs clean the machines and do any necessary repairs before they leave at the end of their shift. And the machines have remained as good as new for 20-odd years.

Ok, now to the point. He talked about Kaizen, or continued improvement. See, making big changes with your life can be disruptive and too drastic. He talked about how making gradual, small, but continuous improvements can make a bigger development. Apparently when the Japanese engineers came here to build the Southern Expressway (yeah the one with all the collapsing bridges) our bigwigs asked them straight away for 'The Biggest Highway in Asia'. The Japanese were taken aback, and thought how could one of the poorest countries in Asia maintain such a mammoth facility. But they then laid out a plan with a small number of continuous improvements, for example filling up the pot-holes in the current Galle Road, which would decrease travel time to Galle by 15 minutes, creating a 2 lane highway first and then gradually expanding that to a 4 lane one, etc., and at the end of 6 years, Sri Lanka would have the biggest highway in this part of the world. Obviously, those plans were scrapped... ;)

Ok, in conclusion, make small, but continuous improvements. Remember the story of the little kid who was walking on the seashore, throwing starfish that had washed up and were dying back into the sea? And the man asked him why he was doing it, what kinda change would it make, that he wouldn't possibly be able to save more than a couple of them? Remember his answer? coz I sure don't err, I mean he threw another starfish into the sea and said 'I just changed the world for that one'...

P.S. He also mentioned that reading material relating to the industry you're in for an hour every single day, was equal to getting a degree every 7 years. So Meg, if you want to improve your Sinhala I'd recommend talking with someone exclusively in that language for an hour, or in the spirit of Kaizen start at about 15 minutes and gradually increase the duration... :) You can call me if you want someone to talk to... ;) There. See. Shady! lol :D

P.P.S. This post doesn't even remotely do justice to the amazing, captivating speaker that Mr. De Silva is... if any of you get the chance to see him live, I recommend that you take it! :)

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Lilac skies and the end of November

Well, as I sit here writing this, I can't stop staring out the window at the beauty of the sky this evening... I'm home alone (again) and kinda bored, but relaxing after a hectic week. It's never easy to come out of a year of doing basically nothing, is it? ;) Couldn't be bothered watching the match, I mean an innings and 144 runs? gimmi a break! :/ Aaaanyways, I was planning to be all holiday-fying in December but by the look of things that doesn't seem like a possibility. This will be the first time since the O/Ls that I'll be working in December and it must be the first time ever that I'd be working the whole month. Well, better get used to it son! It's not like employed people get vacations anyway, is it? :)

Uni's been good, it's good to be around books and laptops and seniors who seem to have nothing but their presentations on their mind. Yikes, I'd be having to do those in an year too!!! But seriously, it feels good to be doing something productive again... :D

Ok, I'm going to end this by apologising to you peeps for this completely boring and pointless 'journal entry'...hopefully I have better stuff to write about *wink* next time! :)

Friday, November 20, 2009

You'll start writing a blog!

I know! The guy who can barely type a letter out in an hour at 16 will be writing posts, long ones sometimes... it's going to be an amazing experience, so I suggest that you start right away, and stick to your real name. When your friends find out, it'll be a lot less embarrassing than trying to explain 'Chavie'... :P Oh, and use Blogger, not Wordpress. Remember that 13-year-old web designer you killed with a shovel and buried in the garden? Well he's gonna have a whale of a time messing with the CSS! ;)

Love your friends, you know how lucky you are to have people like that. They've stuck with you through thick and thin and you could certainly appreciate them a bit more. And FFS, be good to your little cousin bro! You haven't got much time. In 2 years he'll leave for Ingerlaand and you won't get to see him for 2 more years. You know what a pain he can be at times, but remember that he loves you, that you're his one and only Aiya, and that he'd be the closest thing you'd ever have to a brother. So drop the attitude, stop ignoring him, and give him a big hug for me, kay?

Don't worry too much about your studies, you're going to ace all the exams. But please, please, PLEASE FFS, don't do Applied ICT! You can throw away this letter and not take a word of advice I give, but please if you love your parents and don't want them to go through all kinds of crap because of you, do chemistry or something instead. You'll thank me for it!

You're going to be a lot less religious in the years to come, but that doesn't mean you'll turn into a immoral bastard. But try not to stop observing Sil with Ammi, sitting on the ground all day might not be fun, but atleast try?

Music, I know you aren't into it right now, but by next year you won't be able to live without it! Don't listen to stuff just because your friends like it. Delete the hip hop off your HD, you're never going to like that stuff and there's no point listening to stuff that you don't like. Music for you would be about happiness, so listen to songs that make you feel warm inside. A tip if I may: Next time you go to Kandy, rip 'I Feel Fine' off your uncle's Beatles' CD, put it on your phone (yeah you're gonna get one of those soon, and use it for the next 3 years and counting!), listen to it 3 times in a row. You shall be hooked for life! :)

OK, computers! You'll get rid of that old Compaq dinosaur next year. Be sure to get atleast 1 gig of RAM on the new machine, or you won't be able to play CoD4 properly! And PLEASE get a router when you get your ADSL, you'll avoid countless nights trying to compile your modem driver on Ubuntu to no avail! Oh, and webcomics. Start reading xkcd and Questionable Content, you'll love them! What? URLs? Google can find you stuff OTHER than porn you know, so start using it!

Right then, go and get back to whatever you were doing while pretending to study for your O's... and no, you'll never learn to study, sorry! :)

With love,
Older (only by a couple of years) you.


Thanks Cadence for the tag! I tag Kirigalpoththa and Black... :)

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

random post #60

One word that I wish was easier to say in Sinhala is 'cousin'. I mean, 'ඥාති සහෝදරයා' is too long and too formal, and 'නෑනා' makes me uncomfortable cos it always reminds me of cousins getting married and shiz... :/ I mean if there was a simpler, less-formal term, like say 'කසයියා' (I hear the thunder gods grumble in the distance!) errr! ok, ok, what about 'ඥායියා' then? :P no? but WAAAIIIII?! :(


The areas that I've highlighted in the picture above, near the Rukmale housing scheme, used to be two tall proud granite mountains, the closest there were to our house I think. The one in the bottom was strikingly beautiful, shaped like the head of an Elephant. But sadly, they're no more, since they've almost totally been blasted apart to make those small rock pieces used in road construction. Sad, I know! :(


This blogger will be beginning his new life at the university from next Monday! yay for the fact that it'll make me employable, boo for the fact that I can't sleep all day and not have any work to worry about! :( And this morning a wise wise friend of mine shared this gem on Facebook! :D

"The back rows [in class] produce the wise"

So, that's it for now. Will post again soon with any updates... :) 

Thursday, November 12, 2009


So, Sirasa is getting all excited and running the flashing lights and the urgent music. Breaking news alerts were rarely seen after the end of the war. It seems that the General wants to resign, and apparently run for the Presidency! :/

My sources deep within the political establishment have sent me a detailed report showing the reaction of the incumbent on hearing this news... I shall, at great personal peril, share this report with you! *gulp*

If you're one of those people who have no idea what internet memes are all about, consider yourself lucky! lol ;D

P.S. If my body turns up in the middle of some rubber estate in Avissawella, you'll know who to blame! ;)

Monday, November 9, 2009

Happy Birthday Machan! :D

I remember downloading you over a dial-up that would max out at 33 kbps,
I remember the day I first installed you,
I remember carrying you around on a flash drive, spreading you like a virus,
I remember going to insane lengths to find out the admin password at school, just so I could install you!

and I DON'T remember how I survived before you, before tabbed browsing! :O

Happy Birthday Mr. Fox! :D

Image courtesy of TechRaga... hope he doesn't mind me stealing this! ;)

Friday, November 6, 2009


Err, this exam I sat for about a week ago had a section based on cryptography... it was easy to crack, basically the order of the alphabet had been advanced by 2 or 3 letters (?) so that A became C and B became D and C became E and so on... so ACE would be spelt CEG... I dunno about the other guys, but me being the geek that I am had fun with that part! Too bad I could only complete 40-odd out of the total of 50 within the one hour time limit! ;) lol

Anyway, I've been using ciphers for a long time... this one is particularly easy to crack for anyone with basic knowledge of the Greek alphabet... except moi! I can't decipher most of the stuff I write down in this, and recently burned a diary that was entirely written in this code because I was convinced that anyone but the intended reader (me) could read it... :/ funny noh?

A thousand apologies for murdering the Queens of England, Greece, and any others due to this! lol ;)

p.s. check out today's xkcd! I think it's brilliant! :D