My New Blog

Hello to all my readers (the numbers have probably dwindles by now :p). I’ve got a new blog with a new set of feeds now. Feedreaders, please click here for the new feed options. I now have my own domain, and built my new blog using Django. I’ll be posting all my new blog posts there from now on. The syndication to Planet Gentoo should happen once beandog returns from his short hiatus.

To give you the short cuts. my new gentoo feed will be: or depending on whether you prefer atom or rss 🙂

My new universe feed will be: or again, depending on whether you prefer atom or rss 🙂

Meanwhile, please click out of your feedreaders and check my site out and leave me your opinions on my first post there. Please note that this will be the final post I make on Planet Gentoo directly (and furthermore this post will not be duplicated at the new site (though all the prior posts and comments have been ported over).

See you all in my new house!

I hate street parking (Subaru’s SVX’d)

Subject says it all. Bright and early this morning, someone rang on the doorbell (I was still in bed, but Aimee was up). She went downstairs to find a cop asking if we owned a black Subaru. She ran upstairs to tell me that my car had been hit from behind. Apparently, the person strayed too far to the right to avoid oncoming traffic and banged into my car. Pretty much the entire rear end is gone. The driver’s side of the rear has been pushed in so far that the wheel well has collapsed on top of the tire. I didn’t think to take a camera out there, or I’d give you pictorial evidence.

I bought that car while I was living in California (it was a migrant from Pennsylvania, I believe). At the time, it was basically my dream car. I fancied three cars at the time: the Mitsubishi 3000GT (especially the hardtop convertible from 1994, but I have yet to see a used one for sale), the Nissan 300ZX, and the Subaru SVX. Of the three, I liked the looks of the SVX best, and after test driving it, I was totally sold.

Fuji Heavy (Subaru) only built the car from 1992 to 1997, and this was 2000, so the car was well out of production. I managed to get my hands on a black 1992 with grey leather interior — precisely the colour scheme I was looking for. I remember when I saw the internet ad for it. I called up the dealership and had the guy on the phone walk outside to the lot to describe it to me.

My sister was visiting me at the time, so the two of us drove up to the valley to pick it up (she drove the car home). It was like a dream come true. I used to just sit and stare at the car for like the first year I owned it. Even nowadays, I’ll be walking away from it, and I have to turn around and just admire it. The insurance company will probably declare it totaled (due to the monetary value the car that they’ll estimate), and that makes me so sad. I’m rooting for them to fix it, instead.

Maybe because it’s only a few hours old, though, but I don’t feel devastated or angry or anything. Actually, I never felt angry at the other person, just angry at the pathetic parking situation in this town. Ideally, I’d like to keep the car and have it repaired, but if not, I guess that’s how the cookie crumbles. After all, one should not get too attached to material things. I think what made the car most special to me is what I have gone through over the years to keep it (including a repo attempt when I was jobless in California for a while). So it’s definitely a symbol of perseverance for me — my own talisman.

Let’s see what next week holds for my car.

Lemonade Diet Day 8

From Sindhu:

Day 8 has been an intensely relaxing and stress free day. After all the focus and will power we had to employ this past week to keep on track, we felt a day of utter laziness was well deserved. Cleaning out the apartment from all junk food minimized the temptation for both of us. We literally spent the day reading, watching movies and playing video games. All things that kept us entertained and not thinking about food.The weather here was bitter cold so that kept us indoors all day. We’ve both decided that doing this cleansing together is probably what got us this far. Any time either one of us wanted to break the fast, the other was there to offer support. Now, we will be more cautious of what we put into our bodies. Our tongues are still fuzzy but it is getting easier to stay strong.

Lemonade Diet Day 7


Once again, salt water made me feel a little sick but once it ran through my system I felt fine. My body is still expelling toxins after 7 days. Wow. The laxative tea does a great job of loosening the toxins and my body now wakes up like clockwork every morning. I still wake up with some serious cramps because my system needs to get rid of all the waste. The rest of the day just sort of flies by now with very little thought of food. Every time I have a hankering for something warm to drink, I pour a cup of hot water or peppermint tea. The weekend is here which means I’ll be home most of the time. I’m anxious to see if I’ll be craving more now that I am home.


It’s Friday and the office ordered pizza for lunch. It felt like I was offered a slice twenty times. I made it though. Just chugged my lemonade (with a bit extra pepper today, maybe too much) and put my head down and did my work. I have tomorrow off and we’ve been asked to go over to a friends house for dinner. I said we’d join, but we wouldn’t be eating. I expect that to be my hardest test of the week. We’ll get some serious peer pressure then.

Lemonade Diet Day 6


Today was pretty uneventful although I have to voice how much I hate the salt water first thing in the morning. 32oz is quite a bit to chug down and I believe the worst part is drinking it warm. I’ve started a little more than the required cayenne pepper in the lemonade because I like the bite. It hasn’t affected me internally. It’s truly amazing how just drinking this lemonade is the only daily nutrition your bode needs. I am still in awe at how much energy I have considering I haven’t had solid food in 6 whole days.


An unforeseen benefit of this diet is the additional time that has been added to my day. No dishes, no time cooking and no time spent eating. Although I love to cook, it’s nice to be able to unwind after work that much sooner. Six days in I also thought I’d be used to the salt water. Nope, still makes me gag a little. However I did think I’d be sick of drinking this lemonade. Quite the contrary, I actually enjoy the fact that I’m drinking something that’s giving me energy, cleaning me out and not making me full.

Lemonade Diet: Day 5


Day 5 is actually here and almost over. I didn’t really crave any coffee today. I did have a cup of peppermint tea because my tongue is white and fuzzy and the peppermint is supposed to combat any odors. Plus it was kind of a relief to drink something different. The mint really does perk you up. My boss’ brought in take out for lunch today from my favorite Chinese place but I didn’t have the slightest hankering for it. I still can’t believe that. I noticed today that I can get through about 25 mins of my workout before I need my inhaler where as before, I needed it 5-10 mins into my workout. That is very promising.


Today started with as much promise of completion as any. I was focused, I’m half way through this thing (I hope). Without even realizing it I walk by a basket full of crackers and pick one up. As I put it hit my tough I snapped out of my daydream. So violently did I snap that my coworkers around me laughed, wondering if there was something wrong with the cracker. Of course, rather than look psycho, I tried to describe my situation. Of course, after describing everything, and showing them my urine yellow drink with floating red pepper (lol) I may still look a little off mentally in their eyes 🙂 Anyway, I made it through today, one step closer. Time to sit down and have some laxitive tea..yum yum.

Lemonade Diet Day 2


Well, the worst part of today was drinking the salt water in the morning on an empty stomach. I still had a couple of cravings and felt like quitting, but Bill was my strength. More laxative tea and goodbye Day 2.


I worked at the restaurant today and the tantalizing smells from the Sunday Brunch were agonizing. However, I am excited about losing weight and helping my kidneys. Doing the fast with a partner is definitely advisable as Sindhu was almost giving in to the cravings today. I am proud that I was able to chug lemonade and water and not put anything solid into my system.

Lemonade Diet Day 1


Day 1 went better than I expected. I started the day by drinking 32oz of un-iodized salt water, lukewarm. The rest of the day, I relaxed by indulging in some TV and a book. I didn’t really suffer from major hunger pangs although I did crave a good cup of coffee and crackers. Other than that, I drank my lemonade and water. I worked out for 30 mins and actually had a lot of energy. It felt good. What kept me going was the idea that not only was my body undergoing some well deserved rest from constantly digesting solid food, but that my internal body is going through a rejuvenating cleanse. It’s best to think one day at a time instead of looking 10 days forward. For now, I am going to enjoy a steaming cup of laxative tea and bid goodbye to Day 1.


Working in a restaurant offers many opportunities to stray from a normal eating routine, even more so when you’re drinking watered down lemonade. Smells of cinnamon raisin french toast in the morning, sauteed garlic during lunch and servers enjoying cappuccino and espresso was just killing me. This diet, for anyone, is certainly a test of ones willpower. In my case, adding the constant tease of walking into a restaurant for work is going to make it even harder.

Lemonade Diet Day 0

Ha! It’s not me this time. I’m done with the Master Cleanse for another couple of months. Aimee and I will be doing it in March at some point, or maybe April (when the weather is a lot warmer, anyway). In the meantime, however, my sister and her fiance are starting their master cleanse tomorrow (saturday). So tonight is their last meal for 10 days.

I’ll let Sindhuja (that’s my sister) explain:

We decided 2 days ago that our bodies were in dire need of a cleansing of all the holiday feasts this past season. I hope to achieve a healthy relationship with food at the conclusion of the fast and hopefully not give in to my sweet cravings too often. A reward now and then would be fine, but not everyday. Tonight however, I will be indulging in some pizza, coffee ice-cream and Dr. Pepper. It’s an incredibly daunting thought of going 10 days (possibly more) without any solid food, so I figure I should give in to my cravings tonight.

My fiance hopes to lose some weight on the lemonade diet especially around his mid-section and the second chin. Two years ago, he was taken to the emergency room twice due to kidney stones so we’re hoping the fast will provide a cure. Tonight though, pizza and doritos are on the menu….

For Love or Money

Update: I hereby rescind the update I made in my Circuit City post: Office Depot has not pulled their creepy hand spots yet. Maybe they’re taking the tack that any exposure is good exposure, in which case I feel sorry for them (but not enough to shop there 🙂 )

Back when I was blogging about Gentoo being a development platform more than a user platform, I got an email from Stuart telling me about a book he’d read called The Long Tail by Chris Anderson. He was very sweet (Stuart, not Mr. Anderson, though he might be well be sweet, I just don’t know him) and even offered to buy the book for me if I put it on my Amazon wishlist (no link, because I don’t actually have one).

A few weeks later, I found it at a book fair where I used to work and picked it up. It took me a few more weeks to finish it, but I did finish it shortly before we left for Jamaica. I found the book to be quite interesting and compelling, and exactly in line with my own thoughts on where commerce is (or should be?) heading.

When we were looking into resorts and all-inclusives in the Caribbean last summer, we discovered a nice place in Ocho Rios, Jamaica that offered very decent rates. So basically, for the amount that we would’ve paid for a basic room in the Bahamas got us a fairly high-end room in Jamaica. So we decided to opt with Jamaica because we’d get more luxury for the buck. Boy were we in for a surprise. We thought we were getting a private type affair, with less people per pool, and a great view and location on the premises. Being an all-inclusive, food and tips were included. Drinks were also included. So at any bar, any restaurant at any time of day, you can get your favourite drink.

What we actually got, then, was all the stuff we expected — the less populated chalet and more private pool, fantastic view, brilliant location, free food and drink, and then also a free minibar in the room. So we had champagne, red & white wines, rum, vodka, beer, a whole bunch of juices, ginger ale and bottled water. Every morning, they replenished it for us. We thought that was just what they did, but it turned out that our “level” of room came with that. And finally, we got concierge service. So, when we got off the bus at the hotel, we got whisked into a private office with champagne and plush chairs and they checked us in.etc. And for our tours and excursions etc, they made all the bookings for us and picked up the tickets etc. They also arranged our check-outs and all of that. Essentially, it was personalised service for maybe a hundred odd dollars more (total). For a few hundred dollars more we could have gotten butler service, but I shied away from that, because it makes me a bit uncomfortable.

In sum, it was a fantastic experience and well worth it. We’ll do it again, but first we’ll explore different places and different hotels in the coming years.

I noticed last night a new set of commercials for Progressive Insurance (which, by the way, doesn’t even exist in this state, so totally not an option for us). They’re offering concierge service there as well. Now, when you’re in a car wreck, you call them. They’ll pick you up and take care of getting your car towed to wherever and getting it fixed, yadayada.
The commercial spot was great — everyone was whispering because they did not want to wake up the sleeping baby who slept through the accident. Quite well done, actually, but mostly because it’s a service that the others don’t advertise. In California, it turns out, they don’t care for this.

And, on the theme of cars and being picked up, Enterprise car rentals has been doing it for years, where you call them and they’ll pick you up. But for taking car rentals “out of the box” (someone shoot me now for that lingo), ZipCar is the best model I’ve seen. You get a membership, call them, and then go pick up your car at some predetermined location. You just wzve your credit card at it, and it unlocks. When you’re done, you just bring it back to that spot or at some other predetermined spot and walk away. It’s nice to dispense with going all the way out to the airport or whatever to return your car.

There’s more to be said on this subject, so I’ll continue that in the next article.

Oh, I almost forgot to explain the cryptic title of this post, which is all about concierge services. It turns out that The Concierge was the working title of that Michael J. Fox movie. I could probably dedicate an entire series of blog posts on Mr. Fox, who’s simply fantastic, but I’ll leave you with this: why isn’t Family Ties on DVD yet?