On the Interstate – Part 4

On I-20 West somewhere in Mississippi. Notice the little red Ganesha. Click to embiggen.

This is the final part of the set of posts related to my road trip from Newark, DE, to Dallas, TX. (Previously, part 1, part 2 and part 3.) I was slightly apprehensive about the drive not because of the distance — around 2,500 kms — but because my car had a roof-top bag. I’d never done such a thing. It turned out fine.

Let me tell you why all my road trips turn out fine. Notice that little red Ganesha on my dashboard? In exchange for him removing all obstacles, I give him sweets. He never fails to deliver. Honest. Continue reading “On the Interstate – Part 4”

On the Interstate – Part 3

Easy Rider

(Previously part 1 and part 2.)

I believe that part of my fascination with road trips derives from a movie I had watched many times during my teenage years. It was Easy Rider, now a classic American movie.[1] A bunch of guys on their Harley Davidson motorbikes.

I was attracted by the American landscape but what made it addictive was the sound track. Many of the songs became my favorite, the most loved being “Wasn’t born to follow” by The Byrds, which I append at the end of the post. The lyrics are magical. Continue reading “On the Interstate – Part 3”

On the Interstate – Part 2

This is the followup to the previous part.

I like road trips so much that I like to think that had I been born in the US, as a kid I would have thought that I would be a truck driver when I grew up. Some kids in the US dream of becoming garbage truck drivers or train drivers. Not me. But thank goodness, I get to drive a lot for fun.

The latest road trip was required. I drove from Newark, DE, to Dallas, TX, via Atlanta, GA. The journey was in three parts. First, the shortest of the three was from Newark, DE, to Ashburn, VA. I met a huge amount of traffic and ended up doing a 3 hour journey in 4 and a half hour. Continue reading “On the Interstate – Part 2”

On the Interstate – Part 1

In my view, how much we like some place depends primarily on two factors. One is the people we know there, and the other is the opportunities the place offers us to explore our interests.

(The image on the left is a graphic of the interstate highway system. Note that it is denser on the East than the West. Click on the image to get to the wiki page on the interstate highway system.)

I like living in the US. I have a large number of friends and acquaintances in the US (but no family and I don’t have my own family, anyway), and I can indulge my hobbies and my interests. One of my passions is the open road. I love road trips. The US is made for road trips. Continue reading “On the Interstate – Part 1”

Tornadoes

Nature is awesome in the sense that it evokes a sense of awe in us. Last Saturday a bunch of tornadoes tore through central and southern United states:  Arkansas, Missouri, Tennessee, and Kentucky.

About three-fourths of all tornadoes occur in the United States. I have never witnessed one since I spent most of my life in California — where we have droughts, floods and earthquakes but no tornadoes. Continue reading “Tornadoes”

No Excuse

Tweet from Oct 12, 2021

In a tweet on Oct 12th, Prime Minister Modi boasted, “I feel proud that even at the peak of COVID-19, 80 crore Indians got access to free food grains.”

It takes an extraordinary amount of self-deluded arrogance for a prime minister to claim credit for something that any person of average morality and sensibility would be ashamed to admit. It is shameful that India is so desperately poor that 800 million (out of a total population of around 1,400 million) would starve under adverse conditions without government food assistance.

“If you feel driven to feed the poor, get your checkbook out and keep your tyrannical mouth shut about it.” – Lewis Goldberg

If it was Modi’s personal fortune that was the source of the largesse, he could have been justifiably proud for having helped the poor in distress. But it was not his money; he merely extracted the wealth from about 600 million at the point of a gun and transferred it to the 800 million. In doing so, he forcefully demonstrated that Indians can be conceptually partitioned between two mutually exclusive and exhaustive groups: those 800 million who are reduced to beggary, and the 600 million who are reduced to slavery. Continue reading “No Excuse”

Hello from Bangalore

I’m visiting my friend KM and his family in Bangalore (aka Bengaluru) after many years. The weather in this city is better than any other major Indian city’s. If I were to live in India, I’d choose this city. I took the picture above from the 15th floor apartment in a development called Brigade Gateway in Malleswaram — it has everything that you’d need: residential towers, school, hotel, mall (Orion), hospital, mega store, parks, gyms, restaurants, office complexes, etc etc. Continue reading “Hello from Bangalore”

The Magnificent Tom Lehrer

Tom Lehrer “went from adolescence to senility, trying to bypass maturity.” He graduated Bachelor of Arts in mathematics from Harvard University, magna cum laude in 1946. He taught mathematics and other classes at MIT, Harvard, Wellesley, and the University of California, Santa Cruz. Lehrer is German for “teacher” — which is fitting in his case. He is 93 years old and still hangs out around UC Santa Cruz.

All that, and he’s a genius too. I have loved his songs for decades. Try this one on the chemical elements. The last line cracks me up:

These are the only ones of which the news has come to Harvard
And there may be many others but they haven’t been discovered Continue reading “The Magnificent Tom Lehrer”

Hi from Charlotte NC

Greetings from the Charlotte Douglas International Airport (CLT). I am on a long layover on my way to Austin TX. My American Airline flight was from Philadelphia to Charlotte NC. And now I am waiting at CLT for my next flight. 

According to the airport’s website, “CLT is ranked among the top 10 busiest airports in the world, averaging 1,600 daily aircraft operations. It serves approximately 178 nonstop destinations around the globe and welcomes more than 50 million passengers annually.”

As it happens, this is my first time in NC after several decades. Long time ago, I once drove through NC on my way from NJ to FL. It was during a very fierce snowstorm.

I will get to Austin TX late — actually past midnight my time but still before midnight TX time. Will write tomorrow.

UPDATE: CLT has been shut down for now due to a massive lightening storm. It is thundering like crazy. I am afraid that my flight will be late. I captured a bit of video that I will post when I get to Austin.

 

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