Sunday, December 31, 2006

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

doing more with flickr

I highly recommend Cameron Marlow's post about how to be more social with flickr. I had no idea random people were commenting on my photos, but now I can get a feed of comments in bloglines! Follow his instructions, they're really easy, and you too can keep track of your friends photos and comments.

Note: the userid is *not* your flickr login. Make sure to use the site he links to to get your id, it should look like this: 12345678608@A10 (fake userid).

Also, if you're a livejournal user, you can easily add RSS feeds to your friends page!

Monday, December 25, 2006

o christmas tree

The Narula family tree.

Sunday, December 24, 2006

woodfield at christmas

It looks way more serene in this picture than it actually is.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

google chicago!

I'm working from the chicago office today, and it's great.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

TRex eating the Googleplex

taken outside building 43.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Monday, December 4, 2006

Sunday, December 3, 2006

more tasty bite

I have found the perfect food!

Tasty Bite, delicious portions of indian food packaged in amazing space-technology pouches.

This stuff is so cool -- you can leave it in your pantry for up to 18 MONTHS, and it's fine. Whenever you want to eat it, just cut open the pouch, pour the perfectly moist and normal looking food into a bowl, and microwave it for 2 minutes.

2 minutes.

18 months.

This food seriously seems like it was made for me -- yummy indian food that takes no time to make and keeps forever! I shall never cook again! It works because they totally sterilize the food after putting it in the pouch. I really hope they don't discover later down the line that this stuff causes cancer or something (after i eat my way through boxes of it).

I'm going to buy up a bunch of boxes on amazon. If you like Indian food, you'll like Tasty Bite. It is a bit spicy, but they're mainly vegetarian and even vegan! and there are thai options!

Saturday, December 2, 2006


These were fantastic.

crazy zionist

Telling us to "embrace the king of israel" and "save the city of san francisco" by telling the mayor to "ban all homosexuals".

man universal used to be so calm.

russell quong

Hmmm, I don't remember taking this. Holiday party 2006!

Friday, December 1, 2006

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

salty chocolate

It's like eating a chocolate covered pretzel without the pretzel dough! Very decadent.

flu shots

i hate needles. and now my left arm has the flu!

Saturday, November 25, 2006

why did the deer cross the road?

So i could take its picture! It's in the middle.

megan at the egg harbor cafe

Downtown barrington, it's so cute! lots of eggy-chicken decorations, and there was a copy of this magazine for "The Suburban Woman" in the lobby. All locals.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Mehndi at an indian wedding

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

where's my free wifi?

an excellent blog post by David Freeberg describing some of the SF kooks who are pushing back against the Google/Earthlink wifi deal.

Some of the crazier demands that were suggested at the meeting included a “requirement” for every San Francisco renter to sign a lease addendum with their landlords before being allowed to install a WiFi card in their PC, forcing Google to agree to transport kids back and forth to the Zoo in their Google busses and a requirement for EarthLink to pay the electrical costs for running computers in order to prevent brownouts.

* San Francisco Local Politics Derail Free Wifi Project

Monday, November 20, 2006

the comfort of chain stores

Today I was checking out the Atlantic Monthly (at least, I think it was the Atlantic Monthly. Now I can find no reference to said article on their webpage, though I found the author), and I found this very interesting article defending chain stores. This is an that issue hits close to home (literally) as there has been a ton of development in the town where my mom works. They recently built a MASSIVE shopping complex, and they're in the midst of putting in a few more.

At first I thought I was against chain stores, or big box stores, or whatever you want to call them. The walmarts, targets, best buys, circuit cities, office maxes, and most ominously, meijer's, of the world. Then I found myself saddened that there wasn't a closer Target to my apartment in SF (6.4 miles to Colma. it takes like 15 minutes!). People hate them because they supposedly destroy a town's individuality, put local stores out of business, have bad harmful policies, and are in general unsightly. Well, some chain stores (ahem, Walmart) match this description pretty well. But they all don't have to!

The article made a good point on the individuality token. Local stores are not the only thing that add color to a town, and often when they do add color, it's in a kitschy touristy fashion. Think of two quintessential San Franciscan things (besides the bridge and the hippies) -- Pier 39 in is one of the most atrocious things I've ever seen, and the trolley system is an overpriced joke. It's not the stores that make my town unique, its the people, the geography, and the culture. How lame is it to define a town by where people shop?

Speaking of where people shop, they do shop at these stores. A lot. Measuring by where the dollars go, chain stores are actually a good thing. They provide trustworthy options and dependability at good prices! I know I can go to Best Buy to get that ipod connector thingy and I know they're not going to rip me off. The gazillions of "local" stores lining Mission Street in San Francisco are all full of crap. Why do people shop at the Gap, Banana Republic, and Old Navy? Because there are no other choices? No, because they have stuff that people like at reasonable prices! And national stores get more attention, meaning that its more likely they're being watched and regulated. That's a good thing.

The harmful policies part is a little harder to counter. Walmart definitely treats its employees unfairly, though it's not clear that all these stores do. I have some friends in the suburbs who have worked at some of these stores, and they were just happy to have a job. One should definitely reconcile this sort of thing with their own values when determining where to shop, and the government should do its job and regulate.

It's a shame that overzealous zoning laws relegate these stores to the suburbs, where they become these massive monoliths of consumerism in fields of parking spaces and turnoff lanes. This isn't the only option -- Starbucks is a great example of the way a chain store/restaurant can integrate with "downtown" areas and connect with local culture. I think it's the exurban sprawl that is hurting small towns (and americans!), not the chain stores. With centralized planning, and the companies that run these stores to foot the bill, every small town could have a central shopping area with stores, cafes, parks, and offices where people could shop happily and actually walk and run into each other instead of just driving past in their cars.

Ironically, that same Atlantic Monthly had another article about how supermarkets were terrible because they put local wine stores out of business by being more convenient (why not just grab a few bottles while you're buying the food instead of making a separate stop). And they were ruining the wine industry by selling a few bland wines en masse instead of having skilled employees to recommend quirky individual things. But then this lack of experience made people go to the local wine stores. or something like that. Ironically again I read this issue while sitting in a Borders drinking Seattle's Best coffee next to a franchised wine store in a mega strip mall.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

kind of disgusting

Yes, these crackers actually contain dehydrated chicken...

Saturday, November 18, 2006

at the washbag

vijay's citzenship/going away dinner