At the receiver’s end

When I was young, if we wanted to listen to music we used to turn a knob on a Medium Wave radio and it used to croak out music at a pitch of its choice depending on which direction the antenna was pointing to.  If it didn’t produce sound, we whacked it on its head and music promptly followed.  Life is not that simple these days.  They invented this equipment called “Receiver.”

It took them a lot more research to find a problem that is solved by the Receiver.  If you have a lot of audio/video players that want to share the same goddamn speakers, you need a Receiver.  In other words, a Receiver is a piece of equipment which accepts input from several audio/video sources and outputs nothing.  It is an Entertainment device.  Most of the entertainment is derived while setting it up.  This is how it went for me.

When we bought our receiver a year ago, the first thing I did was to study the back of the receiver carefully.  It took me half an hour to figure out that I was holding it up side down.  Not that it made much sense the right side up.  For the curious, the backside of the receiver looks somewhat like this:

After an hour of writhing under the sofas, shoving speakers in every corner of the house and inhaling a few pounds of dust, all I achieved was clean living room floor that I inadvertently cleaned with my undershirt when I crawled around the room on my belly. Oh yes, I got all the connections done too.  For the grand finale, I played my favorite CD.  Then I heard it.  The crystal clear sound of silence, in Dolby 5.1 surround.  Nothing.  Not a peep.  Nothing was there to speak for my hard work other than the clean floor.

Not the one to give up, I went to work checking the connections.  I heard a whirring sound.  “Yes! There is sound!” I told myself.  Didn’t matter what sound.  I jumped out to see where it was coming from.  It was coming from the running power drill, which was carelessly left around, in the hands of our 3 year old son who explained to me that he was trying to help.  If  Wife sees him with it, the power drill privileges will be taken away.  From me.  After the power drill was returned to safety (under the couch), I got back to work.

Then, putting professional contortionists to shame, I snaked myself into the tiny gap between the entertainment center and the wall into a wild forest of open electric wires, spiky tools and broken light bulbs.  When I explained the mortal hazard of my situation to Wife, she asked me to get the toys the Kid threw in that gap when I was done.  The risk I took partly paid off.  I got the toys out.  No sound though.  I halted the work for the night.  I vowed to get back to it at daybreak.

Later that night, Wife handed me an unfamiliar object sealed in a plastic bag.  She pleaded with me, “Please read the user manual.  It might help.”  Just to make her happy, I did read the manual, which has absolutely no useful information.

The next morning I took another swing at taming the beast.  In a stroke of brilliance, it suddenly occurred to me what I was doing wrong.  Within seconds everything was working!  It was just an unfortunate juxtaposition of events that an amazing clarity of thought dawned on me followed by my reading of the user manual.  But the argument about it never ceases at home.

Chuck Norris walks into a bar

There was this interesting “Chuck Norris” theme going on Twitter today.  This is my contribution.  I didn’t have much time to come up with this so this is all I can manage.  (If you don’t know Chuck Norris, you can replace Chuck Norris with Rajnikanth.  It makes equal sense)

  • Chuck Norris doesn’t need a gun because he can reach the enemy faster
  • Chuck Norris won the San Francisco marathon. He started in New York.
  • Chuck Norris was delivered via C-Section. He performed it himself
  • Chuck Norris pops bubble wrap with his gun
  • Chuck Norris is not above the Law. He is the Law
  • When Chuck Norris wants ice, he makes it hail
  • Baby Chuck Norris didn’t eat Gerber mashed foods. He crushed his own apples
  • Chuck Norris never used braces. He straightened his teeth with his tongue
  • Chuck Norris uses a lawn mower to shave
  • Chuck Norris will tell you if the oven is hot enough by touching it
  • When ToysRUs advertises a walker for toddlers, they specify they mean no disrespect the Texas Ranger, Chuck Norris
  • f nothing can move faster than light how do you explain Chuck Norris’ guns coming out of holster
  • Chuck Norris doesn’t like to handle diamonds because he keeps accidentally crushing them
  • Chuck Norris can impregnate a woman on a long distance phone call
  • To calm down Chuck Norris when he was a toddler, his mom used to play The Sopranos
  • When Chuck Norris wants a mobile phone, he carries around a cell tower
  • Chuck Norris doens’t need a gun because he can throw the bullets faster
  • Snake bite is a common cause of death near Chuck Norris’ house. He bites a lot of snakes
  • In their wilderness survival classes, Mountain lions learn how to identify Chuck Norris
  • When Chuck Norris walks into a bar and says “The usual”, bartender shoots a bunch of people

Help me with taxes

Please help me fill in this value.  How much will thieves steal from me in 2009?

Sick fun

Spring is in the air!  It is time for nasty allergies and unpleasant flu.  You probably called in sick one time or the other.  But did you and your spouse both fall sick and took the day off at the same time?  If you didn’t, let me tell ya, this situation provides numerous unexplored romantic opportunities.  Just because you both are sick like dogs, clinging to bed with aching body, bouts of cough, pounding headache and high fever, it doesn’t mean you can’t make it romantic and fun.

Here are the top ten things to do to spice up your sick day when you and your spouse both are home sick:

10. Impersonate movie actors in your soar-throat aided husky voice
9. Play thermometer race.  Stick digital thermometers in your mouths and see who’s beeps first
8. Just in case there is ever such event, practice for Olympic Synchronized Coughing
7. Sit out in the backyard and chat over a hot cup of Theraflu
6. Forget staring contest.  Try “who can go longest without wiping nose” contest
5. You played drinking games, didn’t you?  Try this: watch daytime tabloid talk shows and take a cough syrup shot every time a word is bleeped out
4. If your noses are completely blocked, see how long you can kiss before you gasp for air.  Can you hit the magic 1 minute mark?
3. Hide a Tylenol capsule in your layers of clothing and let him/her search for it
2. One word.  69!  Give each other foot-massages
1. To declare your undying love for each other, exchange your nasal sprays

Chicken soup for vampire soul

Anybody who knows me fairly well would tell you that I am not a 14-year-old girl. Yet I subjected myself to the phenomenal pre-teen hit book Twilight by Stephanie Meyer. Why I did such unthinkable injustice to myself, in spite of being forewarned, is beyond the scope of this post.

To summarize the storyline, Edward is an Adonis-lookalike vampire who distanced himself from standard-issue vampires and went on one of those low-carb, non-human diets. He mingles with humans, pretending to be human, and attends high-school. In lunch and other recess times, he practices being awesome. Along comes the classic dumb heroine, Bella, who is beautiful but doesn’t know it, has everything but brains. To Edward she smells like irresistible food and makes his life miserable. So our 100-year-old vampire eventually falls in love with 17-year-old Bella. Talk about age gap. In case I haven’t mentioned it, the author reminds you every two pages that Edward is an awesome personification of awesomeness. Rest of the story is the standard formula. Add forbidden love, a pinch of angst and a villain and shake it. Out pours a saccharine love story.

As you can see, the story is just laughable. I kept imagining somebody falling in love with their food. To give you a better picture, here is how the story will look like if told by Edward, a human being, who falls in love with his food.


For the love of food

I am Edward. I am a human being. I used to eat chicken for breakfast, lunch and dinner and when I got hungry in the middle of the night. But I became a vegetarian. I vowed not to eat chicken any more. In fact, I go to school with a flock of chicken and pretend to be a chicken myself.

One day, this extraordinary chicken waltzed into my class! It smelled just like Butter Chicken Masala. I was overcome with hunger. It started looking like a barbecued chicken, so enticing, so inviting. But at the same time, I was terribly attracted to it too! I had all these feelings I couldn’t understand. Let’s just say, chicken breast started meaning more than just a sandwich to me. I was confused. Testosterone and hunger fought for control over my body. I wanted to kiss its delicate wing, make sandwich out of it, cuddle it and whisper Chicken-65 recipe softly into its ear.

The chicken had uncontrollable attraction for me too. What can I say, chicks dig me. I tried to persuade her to leave me. I confessed my hunger for her. I explained to her the various senses of the sentence, “I want to poke my hot iron into you.” She wouldn’t relent. She had dreams of marrying me and laying my eggs.

When the love story between us was cooking, another human laid his eyes on my chicken. He wanted it for a dinner date, where the date becomes dinner. I protected my feathered friend and made it mine.

I implored it to leave town, find greener pastures; I didn’t want to clip its wings. But it decided to abandon all its family for a human it knew for about 2 months and stay with me. Now I know why they call it chicken brain. We were a happy couple. Rest of the story is for birds.

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