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My last week in 2009

Another year gone! Where do the days go huh? Seriously is it just me or does anyone else been subject to extreme time loss as well? Hmm maybe Mulder's conspiracy theory was right all along!

So these are the last few days of 2009... What have I been doing? Hmm lets see...

Week started on Sunday with me and my friends tuning on to the Avatar hype - we really wanted to see it last Sunday but we had to postpone it because we couldn't get tickets on short notice.


Mondaysaw me dragging myself off to work. Really its such a crime when you have to work in the last week of December :( What with the whole festive mood and all. And almost everyone goes on leave that the office is so deserted! Nothing is as depressing during office hours as being surrounded by empty desks and blank screens - serving as constant reminders to you that somewhere, someone is frolicking in the golden sands of Trinco/ living it up in Bangkok/ Sleeping till noon while , YOU are NOT.

On Tuesday I made a startling di…

These bloody southerners...

I went to this salon last weekend - its not a fantastic one in any sense, but quite capable and walking distance from my house.
So I go there, and when I enter, I'm greeted by a tall woman with weird doll eyes. I do a double take and realize to my amusement that she's wearing sky blue contacts.
So anyway, even though I arrived at my appointed time, they have taken another girl in, so I'm asked to wait. OK, fine, so I wait. While I wait, I can't help listening to a hilarious convo between the blue eyed giantess (who owns the salon) and another distinguished lady whose hair is being cut by blue eyes.
Convo starts like this:

distinguished lady - here, what happened to that boy from matara who used to work here darling?

blue eyed giantess - he left ane. without prior notice too.

d.l - tsk tsk... well ane, what can you expect? hes from matara ne.. you can never trust a southerner, I always say

b.e.g - ya ya men. you know what they …

Out of office!

Ahh my much awaited annual leave finally starts today! This is, after all what I've been dreaming of during those lengthy boring meetings.. Incidentally, I've discovered that no one actually listens at these weekly meetings. It seems that everyone has assumed that everyone else was listening – but then, as it turns out, no one has any idea on half the things that were discussed.
Yesterday for instance, we had one – We have to write up a report for these meetings consisting of what we've been upto and as usual, you only remember about the bloody report on the morning of the accursed meeting. And with my usual luck, I had another meeting in the morning, which left me too little time to figure out what everyone in the team had been doing and where all the man hours seem to have disappeared.
11 am : Me counting hours in the backlog
11.30 am: Me counting number of resolved bugs. Usual feeling of 'What? Only this much?'
12 noon: Tummy complains! I race to the lunch room and …

Waking up to birdsong...

When nature speaks, it is best to be silent...

How true!
I spent a heavenly weekend in a remote forest lodge at Galkadawala - which is somewhere off Habarana - about one hour drive from Anuradhapura. The house is made from bricks, wattle and daub, wood and some iron. There is one bedroom on the ground floor, another two in the first floor, and about 8 people can sleep on the deck - which roughly functions as the second floor. Oh - and there arent any stair cases :) Just a sort of wooden ladder thing.
Sleeping on the deck was amazing...Imagine the night winds gently blowing in your face while you fall asleep listening to the distant sounds of elephants...and then waking up at dawn to the sounds of birdsong...














There is no TV or internet. Which make this a escape from the electronic jungle - especially for computer junkies like myself :)
I wish I could have spent more days there - to take long walks to the now dried up reservoire where hundreds of birds flock to in the early morning... To wai…

Not for Sale

My dreams are not for sale
They are not on display
Like cheap celluloid Popsicles
With sugar coated dazzling gods...
They were shaped by love
And hope and hope of love
Of truth and beauty and the beauty of truth
Under uncharted skies
On star sprinkled dusks
Days that were so long ago
On Once Upon Times
When I still believed,
When dreams were not dreams
When anything was possible...

Now the possible is replaced by the probable
Hopes with pure statistics
And innocence has been traded with Common Sense
Because everything must make sense
Calculated.
Priced.
Accounted for.
And we have to be logical after all.

And yet
By the green of spring
I repeat
My dreams are not for sale.

Ode to Mundane Life

Do you ever get bored of life? I do! I am.
Boredom is like leech that sucks your lifesap little by little. If I am this bored by 26 I can't imagine how people survive to be 40. Seriously!
Yesterday I was so bored that I tried to find a way to hack Barn Buddy on Facebook. *Sigh. Yes I know it's sad. I really don't understand why Barn Buddy is so popular. You just plant seeds – add manure – and …wait. The only fun thing in the game is you get to steal crops from your friends. There are some pretty hilarious messages some people have set when someone's stealing. Best one I've come across is "Thova kotiyama kapiya"
I guess the sheer number of Barn Buddy players just goes to show you how incredibly bored people are.
*Sigh
Everyday I wake up in the morning -6.30 on weekdays – and go through the same routine.
Work has become a collection of routine tasks:
Log in – check mail – open Ecllipse – check bug list – try to figure out why the damn thing is crashing. Oh and th…

Women don't ask

That's right. We don't. Not enough it seems.
I came across this video clip : http://techtv.mit.edu/videos/140-span-classhighlightwomenspan-dont-ask from a friend's email.

Basically the point is that women don't know how to ask for things for themselves at work. For example, a women goes to a job interview, and she gets selected, she would just say 'Hey great! I got a job..Thanks' and accepts the salary thats given to her. In contrast, a guy would say 'OK that's a good offer - but I was looking for more like <$$$>'. And most of the time, the guy would get the job with a raise.

And you know what? Its true. I got accepted to the first job interview I ever went to and did I negotiate? No. Did I go to another interview to see if I could get a better offer? No. Now, I'm not complaining about my job because it's quite a nice place to work - but my point is that I was just happy to assume that I would be getting what I deserved. And it's not …

අපේ ඔෆිස් එකේ සීතල යුද්ධය

දැන් ඉතින් සීතල යුද්ධය කිව්වාම හිතයිද දන්නෑ අර අමෙරිකාව - රුසියාව අතර තිබුණ (තාම තියෙනවද?) එක වගේ එකක් කියල. මේක මේ එහෙම එකක් නං නෙවේ. මේක A/C ප්‍රශ්නයක්. :D

මේකයි සිද්ධිය - අපේ ඔෆිස් එක දැන් මාස කීපෙකට කලින් තැන මාරු කරා. ඉතින් අලුත් තැනට ආපු දවසෙ ඉඳලා A/C එකට රණ්ඩු.
මෙහේ එක එක තැනට A/C එන්නෙ එක එක විදියට. එක් කෙනෙක්ට වැඩියෙන් - තව කෙනෙක්ට අඩුවෙන්. ඊටත් වඩා මේකෙ උෂ්ණත්වය 25 ට වගේ දැම්මත් මාරම සීතලයි. අනිත් එක මේවයෙ ෆෑන් ඕෆ් කරන්න බෑ. කොච්චරවත් හුළං පාර.

ඔෆිස් එකේ ඉන්න ගෑණු ළමයින්ට ඕනෙ A/C එක අඩූම කරන්න. මටත් පේන්න බෑ මේ කෙහෙල් මල් A/C එක. අපේ වැඩේ ඉතින් අඩු කරනව. අනේ මන්ද ඒ උනාට පිරිමි කට්ටියට තියෙන්නෙ මහ පුදුම A/C පිස්සුවක්. මේ වෙව්ලන තරමට අපිට සීතලයි. එයාල ගිහින් තව වැඩි කරනව.

reproduce වෙන්නෙත් නැති බග් එකක් හොයල හොයලම මොළේ කචල් වෙලා තියෙන වෙලාවට තව ඒ අස්සෙ හිම මිදෙන තරං හීතල හුළං පාර වදිනකොට ඉතින්!!

මං ඉන්න තැනට කෙළින්ම පොල්ලෙන් ගැහුව වගේ A/C. ඊටත් ඔළුවට මයි වැදෙන්නෙ. දැන් ඉතින් මං අර එස්කිමෝල වගේ hoodie sweater එකක් ඇඳගෙන ඉන්නෙ. නැත්නං හීතලේ මැරෙයි.

ඇත්තටම පිරිමින්ට මෙච්චර හීතලේ ඉන්…

How to get through X-Men Origins

My friends want to go see X-Men at Liberty on Sunday :( I don't know why but for some reason or other they're convinced that they absolutely HAVE to see it.
I've actually already seen it on dvd - and it didn't make me laugh or cry or smile or even puke or gag or anything. Basically no extreme reactions. Actually no reactions at all - well except maybe a yawn or two. And oh yeah - I watched the pirated unedited illegal version - which in itself made it more interesting that the movie by itself is.
Anyway I thought of compiling a list to motivate myself why and how to go through some 2hrs of mutant activity.
Things to do:
Bask in the total hotness of Hugh JackmanImagine basking in the total hotness of Taylor Kitsch (Gambit) if only he was given more screen time
Curse Fox for not giving Gambit more screen timeTry to figure out how people who can make optic blasts shooting out from peoples eyes and make metallic claws growing from peoples hands can not make Gambit's eyes re…

The ‘throw nothing away’ syndrome

I have this family wedding coming up next week. I thought I should probably check out some things – such as do I have hairspray/powder/lip gloss, does my blow drier work, etc in advance… So I rummaged in my room – went through my cupboard and dresser.
Now I'm not one of those squeaky clean maniac girls who insist in dusting and rearranging their rooms all the time. Which basically boils down to the fact that there are probably many things in my room that have not been in human contact for quite some time…
Still, even I was quite surprised at the things that turned up in my dresser! Some were items that I had given up as lost – some things that I didn't even know I had – and some..were frankly quite mysterious!
First things first. I found out that I do in fact have hairspray. Ditto on lip gloss – but I'm not sure it's the right colour for my dress. I did have lots left in the powder compact but sadly past its expiry date L Blow drier still in prime condition though.
Among …

Now sleeps the crimson petal, now the white...

I finished a very interesting book today : 'The Crimson Petal and the White' by Michel Faber. I'm not going to write a book review or anything, but it's such an odd, gripping book that I feel I need to share my experience.
I normally don't do drastic experiments when I borrow/buy books. Meaning that I usually stick to authors I know. But when I saw this book at the BC library, I don't know I just felt like turning a few pages and skimming through.
The first chapter - even the first paragraph caught me off guard. It literary grips you and holds on to you with a fierce tenacity that doesn't lessen all through its 800+ pages.

800+ pages? You say. Don't you believe me?
Well. Look at these lines in the very first page and see for yourself -

"And yet you did not choose me blindly. Certain expectations were aroused. Let's not be coy: you were hoping I would satisfy all the desires you're too shy to name, or at least show you a good time...'"

Five Words to sum up?

Seems this tagging session has been going around for a while now...I was tagged by Kirigalpoththa last week - So here goes:
Basically I'm just gonna copy paste the rules now :D ..which are -

•You write five words to describe how you feel about recent events in Sri Lanka.
•You tag five bloggers.
•You sit back and relax.

I guess by 'recent events in Sri Lanka' they mean the war ...
OK so my list of 5 words -
JoyDisbeliefHopeSadnessPrideJoy that it is finally over - Disbelief that it could be over - Hope for the future - Sad for all the bloodshed - Proud to be standing on free undivided Lankan soil. :)


Now to go and find some victims ..
...Later ..
People that Ive tagged:
Deeps
Sam
realskullzero
nilubilu
nash_node

Winds of change

From as long as I can remember, there was a war in the North.
I recall the earliest awareness in 2nd grade - I forget what subject we were being taught - it was probably Social studies (we called it Parisaraya) and a someone wanted to know who the 'Tigers' were and why they were in a war with us. The teacher (I remember she was a plump and motherly dear) said the 'Tigers' were some very bad people who wanted a piece of our country for themselves. And all of us were completely outraged - as much as it was possible for 6 year old little girls to be outraged - that the teacher had to slap her desk to call for silence.

As we grew up, our generation sort of learned to overlook the war.
It was always there. It was like an incurable sickness that was growing inside us for so long that we did not know what it would be like to be cured.
Indeed most of the time, we did not believe it would ever be cured.

Terrorists became a part of our lives.
I remember hearing the bomb blast in Cent…

නිවන් දකිනා තුරා යාව ජීව සාමාජිකත්වය!

මේ පාරත් වෙසක් දවසෙ සුපුරුදු විදියට සිල් සමාදන් උනා. ලංකාවෙ ඉතාම ප්‍රසිද්ධ බුදු රජාණන් වහන්සේ පවා වැඩිය පින්වත් පන්සලකට තමයි ගියේ. අවුරුද්ද පුරාම දුවල දුවල වෙසක් දවසට වත් නැවතිල හති අරින එක හොඳයි කියල හිතනව. ඉතින් හිතට හරි සතුටුයි. අඩු ගාණෙ එදාටවත් භාවනාවක් කළ එක ගැන.
හැබැයි පන්සලේදි විටින් විට ශබ්ද විකාශන යන්ත්‍රයෙන් ඇහුනු දෙයක් ගැන ප්‍රශ්නයක්. ඒ නිවේදනය පන්සලේ දාන සීල සමිතියෙ යාව ජීව සාමාජිකත්වය ගන්න කියල. කිව්ව හැටියට එහෙම ගන්න එක මුලු සංසාරෙ ඉන්නකම්ම ලු. එතකොට මේ භවයෙ සාමාජික උනොත් ඊළඟ භවයටත් ඒක වලංගුද?? සාමාජික කාඩ් එකත් කර්ම ශක්තිය වගේ අරන් යන්න පුලුවන් එකක්ද දන්නෙ නෑ. හ්ම්ම්.. අනේ මන්ද මේ කතා!!

පරණ අවුරුද්දේ අන්තිම POST එක

පරණ අවුරුද්දේ අන්තිම පැය ටිකනේ දැන් මේ ගෙවෙන්නේ. ඉතින් අන්තිම පොස්ට් එක සිංහලෙන් ලියන්න හිතුනා..
හ්ම්ම්..අද නම් මං අපරාදෙ කියන්නැතිව බහු ජන හිතාය වැඩ ගොඩක් කළා.. ඒ කිව්වේ අවුරුදු කෑමක් හැදුවා - සාලෙ මොප් කළා - පහන පොලිෂ් කළා ...ආ තව අසල්වාසීන්ට කැවිලි පිඟං අරන් ගියා...මගේ කාමරේ අස් කරා (- ඒක ඉතින් බහු ජන නෙවෙයි නෙ - මට විතරයි නෙ :D )

ඉස්සෙල්ලම කියන්නම් හදපු කෑම ගැන - හැදුවෙ බිබික්කම් හෙවත් පොල් කේක් හෙවත් පෝරං ආප්ප (කැමති එකක් කියාගන්න. අම්බලංගොඩ පැත්තෙ බිබික්කං කියනවා, පානදුරේ පෝරං ආප්ප, කොළඹ පොල් කේක් --- හ්ම්ම් පැටලුනාද මන්ද කොහොම හරි මං ඔය පළාත් තුනේම ඒව කියනව. අසන්නෝ සිහි බුද්ධියෙන් අසත්වා )

ඒක හදන්න හරී ලේසියි. අමාරු පොල් ගාන එක විතරයි :) පැණි සීනි ලිප තියලා ඒක පත් පැණි වෙන කොට පොල් සහ කැන්ඩීඩ් පීල් දාන්න යි තියෙන්නෙ. හැබැයි පත් පැණි සීන් එක නම් ටිකක් සංකීර්ණ්යි. ඒක බලන්න ගිහින් ඇඟිල්ලත් පිච්චුනා :(
මට මේ පාර කැන්ඩීඩ් පීල් හොයාගන්න බැරිඋනා :( අපරාදෙ කියන්න බෑ පුනර්ජීවනයේ නගරයේ නම් කේක් බඩු ගන්න නියම තැනක් තියෙනවා. මැරවින් ගේ අඩවියේ නැද්ද මන්ද.
ඉතින් මං මෝඩය වගේ ඉස්සෙල්ලම පොල් පැණි මි…

Confessions of a shopoholic

I got the symptoms early last week. The itching started by Monday and by Thursday I couldn't stand it anymore. Well whats a girl to do? So I went. Shopping I mean. On Thursday afternoon. Got off the office 1 hr early (I hope to goodness my PM doesn't read this blog!) and went in search of the Perfect Denim Jeans. And sadly I would like to announce to my fellow suffering members of the female species, the Perfect Jeans, just like the Perfect Guy - is a myth.

I went through the little slinky tops in Romafour wondering who might be brave to wear those in Lanka and guessed that if you can brave the glares of some shop assistants there who stalk you around as if you're going to shoplift something, then you could pretty much brave anything. There was this uber koool jean jacket that I almost bought -but then I didn't because I couldn't think of a cool enough place to wear it. This is something that I now regret however. So if you're reading this and you like little je…

A mild case of developer mentality

Its that time of a project again... The time when all (almost) the functionalities have been developed but not properly tested. Those frantic last days of development just before the release are - thankfully - over. No more late nights or working on weekends.
The time has come - for bug fixing :(

For me, there are two kinds of bugs that I really hate.

The first kind of bugs are those annoying UI related ones. Like the tabbing doesn't work. Or some cell renderer wont paint what we want it to paint. Or theres a bug for changing the background colour and its marked 'Critical' (???)

When a red blooded developer gets these kind of bugs we just want to roll our eyes and smirk. Oh come on, we think. Why can't they just click it if loses focus? Why can't they just press F5? Why cant they just use the bloody scroll bar? Why can't they just use their heads? Why why why?
Well the truth is, we're just being a little narrow minded. Maybe we've managed to design a nifty …

Why does cherry candy taste like medicine?

I have noticed that whenever I come across cherry flavoured chocolates, the ones that have gooey syrupy cherry mush inside them - they always taste like medicine! Rather like those cough syrups we were given when we were small.
I used to think it was just me, but today someone brought some Cadbury chocolate and two other people in my team commented that it tastes medicine-y. I'm sure Cadbury wont use fake flavouring so is it us?? Have we been 'taste washed' by all those cough syrups that we were given as kids so that we associate the real cherry flavour with medicine?
Scary.

බොරුවෙන් ජීවත් වීම

කවදාවත් බොරුවක් කියල නැති කෙනෙක් මේ ලෝකෙ ඉන්නව ඇතැයි කියල මම නම් හිතන්නේ නැහැ. පෘතග්ජන මිනිස්සු හැමෝම යම් යම් අවස්ථාවලදි බොරු කියනවා.
ඒ උනත් අපි අතර ඉන්න සමහර අය බොරු කීම විනෝදාංශයක් කරගෙන වගේ. මගේම යාළුවෝ අතරත් ඒ වගේ අය ඉන්නවා. (ඒ අය ඇත්තටම යාළුවොද නැද්ද කියන එක වෙනම කාරණ්යක්.)
මේ අය බොරුවක් කියලා ඒ ගැන අනිත් අයත් එක්ක කියන්නේ හරි ලොකු දෙයක් කළා වගේ. 'මට නම් එයාව හොඳට කඩේ යවන්න පුළුවන්' 'මට හොඳට බෝල බස්සන්න පුළුවන්' 'අපෝ මට නම් ඕක රෝල් කරල කියන්න පුලුවන්.'
ඒ වගේ දේවල් ඇහෙද්දිද් හරිම පිළිකුල්. ට්ව් එකේ යන 'Moment of Truth' කියන වැඩසටහන සමහරු බලල ඇති. ඒ ගැන දවසක් කතා කරද්දි එක්තරා මිතුරියක් කියනවා 'අපෝ ඕක ලංකාවෙ නැති එකමයි හොඳ. අපේ අම්ම මගෙන් ඔහොම ප්‍රශ්න ඇහුවොත් රතු ලයිට් එකක් පත්තු වෙලාම තියෙයි' කියල. අම්ම තාත්තට ඔච්චර බොරු කියන කෙනා අපිට කොහොම බොරු කියනව ඇද්ද් කියල මට හිතුනා.
ඇත්තටම (බොරුවට නොවෙයි !) මිනිස්සු මේ හැටි බොරු කියන්නෙ ඇයි? කපටි කමින් ජීවත් වෙන එකෙන් සතුටක් ලබන්න පුලුවන්ද? එයාලට මොන ජරා වැඩේ හරි කරල තමන්ගේ වැඩේ වෙනවනම්, තමන්ට වාසියක…

Fun at Work

Just consider this bit of exceptional programming found in the source:

.. blah some breakneck loops and ifs

if(false){
...
some very long and elaborate and complex code displaying
the programmer's ability to show everyone else that
he/she canwrite long and elaborate and complex
code.
...
}

... blahblah


No points for guessing if the app works properly! And the comment
by some frustrated guy had everyone doubling up :

if(false){//what the f*** is this?!!
...
...
...
}

Hah!

Trying to read up on my proposal ...Project Aura

I mean my research proposal of course. *yawn And yes, its tedious. Very. For one thing, I'm not sure what my proposal IS actually. So its hard to do a background survey. And secondly, most papers that I want are IEEE stuff that aren't available free. *Sigh.

However, I found this paper on Pervasive computing that I found v.interesting. Its also v.readable. Basically it's about Project Aura carried out at Carnegie Mellon. And Aura doesn't focus on traditional resources like disk, bandwidth, processor etc. Instead, they say the most critical resource is Human attention. The paper 'Project Aura:Toward Distraction-Free Pervasive Computing' can be found here.

One key concept here is Cyber foraging - which is using remote servers for computation and data staging - by, say mobile devices such as PDAs.
They have embedded several existing components such as Coda & Spectra. Their new component 'Prism' focuses on the 'Human Attention'.

I definitely recomm…

Blogging in සිංහල

I really want to start posting in Sinhala. But it takes me forever to type using the Wijesekara keyboard layout! I noticed quite a few Sinhala bloggers in the lankan blogsphere...Wonder how they do it??
Do all you guys use Ubuntu or something? 'Cause LKLUG keyboard is pretty cool. It's almost 100% phonetic so you don't have to memorize key mappings.
On Windows its another story.

So... I guess I need to either :
a)install Ubuntu, or
b)learn Wijesekara (ugh)

but then again, come to think of it, I do have this transliteration scheme + code I used for stuff at uni. My scheme is roughly phonetic too, so it would be dead easy to type.. Maybe I should write some scripts... Hmm...