Friday, December 23, 2011

Highway to Hell (not!)

December is almost over, and what a December it has been... most of it has been spent on the road, away from home. With the Southern Expressway opening up, the long journey up to Delwala has been shortened to a 2 hour cruise along scenic routes. The stretch of road between Agalawatte and Kalawana must be one of the most beautiful and naturally set roadways in the island. And the land surrounding the expressway isn't hard on the eye either (for now...)

A few snapshots of the expressway:

...the Kalawana road:

This is, I believe, the famous "Akasa Bokkuwa"

Delwala Valley, from the Kalawana - Thiruwanaketiya road

We even caught a fleeting glimpse of Siri Pada
(faintly appearing in the middle of the picture)

A bridge on the road during a normal day...

...and on the day we got caught in a storm :D

But to be honest, the most beautiful road that we got to travel on was the Rathnapura Panadura road, which is a messed up road to drive on (has way too many curves, and is narrow... we passed one head-on collision), but has views that are to die for. After coming down from the mountains, there are the industrial parks of Horana, which are vast! (You literally can't believe we have such huge factories in Sri Lanka)

There is also a bad ass bridge across the Kalu ganga somewhere near Kiriella that I wasn't able to snap, which is a shame coz it looked really nice, deserted like an old Western film and leading to a haunted-looking rubber estate on the other side. :D

Update: Here's a photo of the bridge I managed to catch a few weeks later. It doesn't look that haunted in the mid-day sun, but at the right time, in the right light, it looks seriously haunted. ;)

Huge rubber estates were a recurring theme

So were awesome sunsets

Here's something strange I saw, and I hope Amila can shed some light on this. At sundown, Mathugama town is filled with literally tens of thousands of these tiny birds (a friend of mine suspects they could be 'Vee kurullo'), fluttering around like tiny moths near a lightbulb. They were on every visible tree and lamp-post, and I had never seen anything like that before. O_o

Like 'Meruu', but bigger o_O

Oh, and here's a video of Tommy and his friend Achcharu being idiots. :D

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Blogger facepalm

How a human being likes to see an RSS feed:

Jerry's comment feed (Wordpress)

How a monkey generates an RSS feed:

Mein feeden (Blogger)

The reaction of the hapless programmer who's trying to parse comments:

I know, I know, parsers don't care about whitespace. But uuuugh, that fugly feed

Thursday, December 15, 2011

The perfect social network not Google+. Har Har. ;P

Years after the party ended, and everybody had left, I joined back in March. It's pretty neat. It stores records of all the music that you listen to quietly in the background and gives a running commentary on your profile page. Everything is neatly categorized, and every artist (even the more obscure ones) have an artist page. It's kinda a wiki, in that it allows users to tag artists and put up descriptions. And for old time music fans, it's a place for you to discover that the kid with a nice voice you're listening to from back in '66 just died a few months ago. :/ (I personally found of about Gerry Rafferty and Alex Chilton through comments)

But seriously, for such a small time social network, the programmers have paid enormous attention to detail. Every little stat or arrangement you can imagine is available. It's a geek's dream. For someone who's trying to build a social network of sorts, it's an eye-opener about how creative you can get with a few more lines of code. For example, you can look at someone's library, go to an artist, and go to a particular album by that artist and look at their listening trends on that, like so:

The title track is amazing. And too short. :/

And doesn't pretend to be something it's not. It's not Facebook pretending to be Twitter, or Google pretending to be social (don't kick me off G+, Sergey and Larry!). It's always been about the music. And they say the best way to discover good music is to look through someone else's library, and allows you to do that in every way you can think of, without being an annoying babysitter. Power to the people, yo! :)

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Not-so-lilac skies, and the beginning of December

A sequel of sorts to Lilac skies and the end of November

(Two years later...)


I took a look at the blog archive and noticed that November is usually a very busy month around these parts. Not so this year, COZ SAI IS BACK! Woohoo! :D So we've been on all sorts of trips around the place, including a secret Negombo beach trip that my parents know nothing about. ;) Yes, I'm aware that I'm writing this under MY OWN NAME and that my (pretty internet savvy) mom could be reading this. So let's just call it Schrödinger's trip. Since nobody observed it, it simultaneously could have and could have NOT happened. :P

But here's a panorama from Rathnapura, where we stayed at my place all by ourselves for two nights. Fun story: We almost lost Sai to the angry waterfall. Good times. :')

In other news, things have been ORSUM. And I mean that. I think my life is finally getting back in order (knock wood) and things will hopefully get orsumer and orsumer now that Makuluwo is back on holiday! :D

Going to finish off on a random music-y note, and no, I'm not going to post Oasis here like I've been spamming my Google+ with. But seriously, Noel ILY!!! We owe you big time for making guitar bands cool again. Like I said once, I quite like SoKo, and I love Cornershop, and two days ago in Kandy (in a moment of total randomness) I discovered 'The School of Soul E.P.'. What a gem! :D

On a side note: Is it just me, or does the original 'Brimful of Asha' not have a bassline? :O