I know it’s been a long while since I’ve written anything. I’ve been really really busy with work and some other personal stuff.

I have an announcement: my blog is moving!!

I’ve had my own domain, www.neelaka.info, for a while now. I bought a hosting plan with the hope that I would get some web design jobs though which I could possibly make some money. However, I got busy with work and also got lazy complacent. The hosting plan is up for renewal and the cost for it  cannot be justified any longer.

Since, the only thing I use is this blog, I decided to move it to wordpress itself. The new URL is: https://neeworld.wordpress.com/

 

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Yesterday was a happy day. A very happy day.

One of my best friends, Kemanthi, renounced all worldly things and took a huge step in becoming a Buddhist bhikshuni. As part of the renunciation, she gave up her lay name and going forth will be known as Karunika. A name befitting her in any day.

It was a really a joyous occasion and I was elated to be there. Words can’t express how happy I am about the journey samaneri Karunika is embarking on. We don’t always agree on religion and philosophy, but her bravery in doing this is remarkable. I wish her full speed ahead toward finding true liberation of nirvana.

 

Pic: Samaneri Karunika gets blessings from Ajan Braham as her mom looks on proudly…

Note on pic: I wanted a bit more depth of field in this pic, but unfortunately this was the best I could do. Well, next time…. Oh wait, I don’t think anyone else I know will be getting ordained anytime soon.

I know it has been a lot of Rugby related posts from me recently, but here is one more.

So, my predictions here and here were a bit off and of course there’s still the matter of the winner to be decided this weekend. So far, I got the Australia v Ireland match and Wales v Ireland match results wrong. Apart from that things have been pretty good. Personally, the betting hasn’t been very productive from me as yet. But, I’m keeping afloat thanks to some side bets I made with friends. But, I’ve decided not to do that anymore and keep my betting online as some people get very emotional when their team lose. Anyway, if the All Blacks deliver on Sunday I would come out with a bit of dough.

Moving along to the point of this post, the IRB announced its nominations for the player of the year award. The nominees are Thierry Dusautoir (France), Piri Weepu (NZ), Jerome Kaino (NZ), Ma’a Nonu (NZ), David Pocock (Aus) and Will Genia (Aus).

There a lot of class in this lot. Genia has been an instrumental playmaker for the Wallabies while Pocock has been their key man at the breakdown. Pocock was nominated last year as well and he is only 23 years of age. But he is not quite as good as McCaw, yet. So I don’t think it is his time yet. Genia is also around the same age, and if an Aussie is to win this, it would be him.

To be honest, I haven’t seen Dusautoir stand out too much. Yes, he is a good player. But not quite player of the year. He did have some very good outings tho, especially during the six nations.

Coming to the All Blacks, Weepu has been the first choice scrum half and backup kicker for Dan Carter. He has really brought up all the aspects of his game from a few years ago. Nicknamed ‘Mr. Fix it’, he is the man to turn to to get you out of a jam. Then there is Nonu – the dreaded hulk in mid field. His ability to break through the opposition defense along with his solid defense have guaranteed that Graham Henry picks him for any important outing. He is the closest thing to Tana Umaga in the All Black unit – and that certainly is saying a lot.

As good as these two have been, the man that has stood out for the Blackness is Jerome Kaino. He puts in a huge amount of work at the breakdowns, and come out with the ball on many an occasion. His tackling has been brilliant and has been consistent throughout the 80 minutes. He has been a stalwart in the All Blacks RWC campaign. The only person that I see capable of challenging Kaino is Genia. Come Sunday, if the All Blacks lift the Webb Ellis cup, it would be hard to imagine anyone but Kaino walking away with this award.

So my picks for the RWC2011 quarter finalists was right on the money. The only hiccup was that the trusty Wallabies lost to the Irish. So my previous predictions for the knockout stage of the tourney are all messed up.

I’m trying to save face and come up with some new winners. I’m gonna go for Ireland and France for the matches tomorrow. Then on Sunday we see the number 2 and 3 ranked teams face off. This is by far the hardest pick of the bunch. Both teams are victims of injuries but the Boks lost Frans which is almost as bad as the Blackness losing Carter. Therefore I think the Aussies have the edge in this match up. The Kiwis haven’t lost to the Pumas ever and there is no reason to start this weekend.

That sets up France vs Ireland and New Zealand vs Australia as the Semi-Finalists.

The grand final will be a pool A rematch which the hosts should win.

I won’t say much about this as there are millions billions of posts out there already about Steve Jobs passing away.

I will just share this video with you. If you haven’t seen this, do take the time out to watch it.

He was one of the greatest inventors of our age and his legacy will be immortal.

I’m  suffering from withdrawal right now. Facebook withdrawal that is.

Yes! I quit Facebook. Hopefully for good.

I have been considering it for quite a while now. Why? Well, it’s a combination of many factors. The constant and unwanted changes to the layout, the ever changing security policies, the repetitive copy paste status updates, everything Sayy talks about here, most of my friends slowly retracting from using it, people trying to enforce artificial rules on it, et cetera.

Last week it all came to a head. The final straw was when photo security was changed overnight. I had always restricted my albums to be viewable only to my ‘friends’ – people I had added. But, FB suddenly decided that any picture will be viewable to all the ‘friends’ of anyone who is tagged in that picture. If I wanted to change that, I had to go in and manually change the privacy for each photo/album.

I had over a 1000 photos on fb with plenty of ‘friends’ and even ‘friends of friends’ tagged in them. The fact that some people add just anyone and everyone to their friend list coupled with the new privacy setting meant that those pics would be visible to a whole bunch of people I didn’t even know about. The photos themselves were harmless, but it’s the principle that mattered. Where does FB get off just changing stuff up like that? Not just for new content, but for existing content. Content I had added over the past four years. There was no way in hell I was gonna sit there and go through each album and change privacy settings. And to what end? So, FB can change things up in three months or so? I had had enough.

Facebook had stopped being fun and started being work. Either FB had to change, or I had to change. I decided to go with the one party that I could control.

So, that’s it. The end of an Era. Also, the official start to me being full time on Google+. This time I’m wiser and so is social networking. So, hopefully we won’t make the same mistakes again.

I got a smart phone.

This is not a strange thing for someone to do in this day and age. But it is a bit strange for me. When it comes to mobile phones, it’s fair to say that I haven’t kept abreast of the times. Well, to  say that I am an uber noob would be more fitting.

Looking back, I’ve only ever really used two mobile phones. The first one was a Nokia 3410 that I got 2006. I absolutely loved this phone. In an age where my peers were carrying around N93’s, one had to be brave to carry around this phone. That phone took so much abuse from me that it was a miracle it survived. But it was a sturdy phone and no matter how many times I dropped it, it kept on working. I was dating my now wifey during this time. So, in addition to constantly being dropped on the ground, I took a ridiculous amount of calls from this phone that counters such as ‘minutes called’ literally started to malfunction! I bid farewell to that awesome phone when I moved to Kanga land, but it was not going to retire that easily. My sis was going to keep using the phone.

Once in Kanga land, I got a Nokia 6120. Good sturdy phone, that again managed to survive being dropped on a regular basis. I only used it for calls, short messages, taking an occasional picture and playing the one game that came pre-installed. I was advised by phone fanatics that I can download more games and such, but this notion never appealed too much to me.

Two years later I got a Nokia 6700. I never liked this phone much. It was very flimsy and didn’t like being dropped that much. It met it’s untimely death just a couple of months after coming into my possession when I took it the beach and a bit of sea water touched it. That phone worked sporadically for a week or so after coming into contact with sea water, but that was the end of the road for that. So, I went back to my trusty old 6120 and have been using it ever since.

After much deliberation and waiting about I have just got a Samsung Google Nexus S. I was thinking of getting an iPhone since these days every second person you meet has one. But, they are so damn expensive that one wonders if they are made of gold. So, I was pondering whether to go for the older iPhone 3G or newer and much expensive iPhone 4, I sought some advice on G+. ‘Neither’ was the most popular response and so I had to look for alternatives. The Nexus S was suggested. A bit  of research showed that it’s got most of the capabilities of the iPhone 4 while being significantly cheaper. There wasn’t anything left to do but go down to a phone shop and get one. Which I did, yesterday. For the few hours that I’ve owned it, it has been pretty good.

I doubt if this will survive being dropped even once though!! Maybe a phone insurance is in order…