Monday, December 10, 2007

Sardarji Joke

Another Sardarji joke...but this time the tables have been turned!

A sardarji comes up to the Pakistan border on his bike. He's got two large bags over his shoulders.

The guard Iqbal stops him and says, 'What's in the bags?' 'Sand,' answered the Sardarji.

Iqbal says, 'We'll just see about that. Get off the bike.'

Iqbal's guard takes the bags and rips them apart, he empties them out and finds nothing in them but sand. He detains the Sardarji all night and has the sand analyzed, only to discover that there is nothing but pure sand in the bags. Iqbal releases the sardaji, puts the sand into new bags, lifts them onto the sardarji's shoulders, and lets him cross the border.

A week later, the same thing happens. Iqbal asks, 'What have you got?' 'Sand,' says the Sardarji.

Iqbal does his thorough examination and discovers that the bags contain nothing but sand. He gives the sand back to the Sardar, and crosses the border on his bike. This sequence of events is repeated every day for three years.

Finally, the Sardarji doesn't show up one day and the guard, Iqbal, meets him in a 'Dhaba' in Islamabad.

'Hey, Buddy,' says Iqbal, 'I know you are smuggling something. It's driving me crazy. It's all I think about...I can't sleep. Just between you and me, what are you smuggling?'

The Sardaji sips his Lassi and says, 'Bikes'

Friday, September 14, 2007

Email Subject Heading

A while back I bought a memory card from and ever since then have been on their mailing list. Today I received a another email from them with a subject heading that I think is in rather bad taste:
" - If you saw a man drowning... what kind of film would you use?"

The email then continues:
"...So let us help answer the age old question... "If you saw a man drowning and you could either save him or photogrpahy [sic] the event...what kind of film would you use?""

Perhaps I'm just over-reacting after something that happened last week, but even as a keen picture-taker I think it is a bit disconcerting. What do you think? I'd be interested to know.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Resolutions update

Just nine days into the New Year, and unfortunately I’ve broken most of my resolutions already. It started so well, but the past couple of days I’ve been rationalising my way out of decisions, and from then on it was a slippery slope. This seems to happen most years, so even though I’m disappointed, it’s not really very surprising.

Last night, however, I was idly surfing and came across Christine Kane’s website. She’s a singer-songwriter who keeps a blog called ‘Conscious Living’, and in one post she describes a new approach to the New Year. Instead of making resolutions, she recommends
“Pick[ing] a word for the year. Just one word. That’s all. Then, hold[ing] that word in your mind throughout the year, and let your word guide you to take action.”
In other words, that word becomes your focus and reminds you what you want to accomplish. It sounds like a really good idea, and judging from the feedback to the blog, seems to work for lots of people. So here’s my word for 2007:


Wish me luck. Thank you.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

New Year’s Resolutions: Kaizen

So 2006 is over. Have you recovered from the excesses and sleep deprivation of the New Year’s Eve celebrations? Like lots of people, around this time I always think about all the possibilities the New Year offers, and all the things I hope to achieve through continuous and incremental self-improvement. I think this is what’s known as the Japanese concept of Kaizen, and this year I’ve again made a number of resolutions. Most of them are geared towards trying not to waste time, so that I can do things I’ve always promised myself to do (like spend more time with friends, learn to speak Spanish and write a review article). Lately, I’ve been spending more and more time in the lab, and recently even brought my sleeping bag into the office. I’m a bit worried that I’m losing touch with other things and people, and hopefully I can try to address this by getting back the odd few minutes here and there.

I’m putting the resolutions down here not because I think you’ll be interested, but since many I’ve made in the past have failed. Perhaps this was because I didn’t actually want to do whatever it was or because it was just too hard to do, but I hope this entry be a reminder and source of encouragement. Sending you vibes and wishing you all the best with any resolutions you make.

  1. I’ll make a rough plan of my week every Sunday.
  2. I’ll appreciate friends more and set aside time every week to call and meet up in person.
  3. I’ll get my clothes and bag ready for the next day the night beforehand.
  4. I’ll wake up soon as my alarm clock goes off in the morning, and use that time to clean my room.
  5. I’ll reply to emails as soon as I get them.
  6. I’ll learn how to floss.
  7. I’ll cook for the family once a week.
  8. I’ll send an update of my work to my supervisor every Friday.
  9. I’ll try and update the blog more regularly (whenever I have something to say), and contribute to friends’ blogs more.
  10. I’ll become a dude.

Monday, January 01, 2007

Happy New Year

How did you spend New Year’s Eve? This year, I went out to Central London with a unit of the St John Ambulance and paramedics from the LAS. In groups of three, we walked around Piccadilly Circus and Soho, responding on foot to 999 calls. As expected, it was quite a busy night and we did lots of walking, but fortunately we weren’t called to deal with any life-threatening injuries. There were lots of drunk women who had reduced consciousness or who had tripped over their high heels and hurt their ankles, but before 11.30pm we didn’t have much to do. Ten minutes before the bells struck for midnight, we were called to a house in a side street for a suspected collapse. Turned out to be a false alarm, but we didn’t make it back to a thoroughfare in time for the celebrations and fireworks, so it was quite a subdued start to the New Year.

Over the next few hours we had a variety to calls to minor injuries, before we were stopped by a man with a suspected ankle fracture, who’d been waiting for an ambulance for “decades”. Just as we were starting to treat him, another guy came running up to us, asking for help for his friend across the road, who’d sustained a head injury. My two colleagues went to investigate, so I was left with the first man, who was getting cold and increasingly angry. The second guy’s injuries were more serious, so when the ambulance arrived, it was diverted to take him to hospital instead which made the guy with the ankle injury furious. He was pretty abusive, and it was only after we told him it wouldn’t be tolerated and that if he continued we would leave that he calmed down. Not a nice experience. Fortunately, another ambulance arrived within fifteen minutes and he was on his way. We carried on working till 5am, and by the time I got back home at 7.00am was well and truly knackered.

Happy New Year!