17 June 2015

Have not seen this in quite some time

Early in the morning all three are up!! And dressed up!! And walking outside!!! Not a very common thing.

That is one advantage of body clock being six hours ahead I guess!! Also the attraction of all the dogs they knew they were going to see in Central Park!!

Last leg of vacation started yesterday in New York…


16 June 2015

That was an interesting route we took today…

In twenty years of transatlantic flying, this is the first time, we did not take the Great Circle route. In fact, on our way to Italy, I remember the route took us thru the familiar arc and over London. Today, it appears that we are taking a “straight” route back !!

All the frequent fliers over the pond, has this ever happened to you? What could be a possible reason not to take the shortest route of Great Circle? Possibly very strong winds? Anything else?


16 June 2015

Real life puzzle from Italy

Here is an interesting puzzle that we faced in real life a few days back. We had come back after a beautiful day in Verona and finally we were all ready to retire. Next day we had to leave for Rome early in the morning and that posed a logisitics issue. We had four rooms in our resort – one for our daughters, one for Sunil’s sons and one each for the set of parents. Now the resort we stayed in gave us only one door keycard for every room. Once you entered the room, you had to put in the keycard in a slot next to the door and that triggered the power in the room. Without this, the lights and AC wouldn’t work.

The issue was that while the adults were ready to sleep a little after midnight and wake up early, the kids were notorious for sleeping much later and showing no signs of getting up till 10 am. No amount of knocking on the heavy doors had helped in the past.

The puzzle was how to wake up the kids early next morning. We needed to enter the room. But the keycard was required to be inside – else the power would not work. Thus we could not possibly enter the room.

So, as a first shot, I yanked out the key from the power slot and put in a paper card of the same size. That would not work. I put in a credit card. That would not work either. (If it actually worked, obviosuly, the parents would keep their kids’ room keys with them and use them to enter the kids’ rooms next morning and wake them up). Later I found out from the resort folks that indeed only a hotel card would work for the slots. Apparently the hotel cards had a chip inside (not the magnetic strip) – which is what they programmed when they gave us the keycard. The door cared about the room coding. The slot reader however, did not care how the chip was programmed – it just needed to detect a chip in the card at the right place.

We were way too lazy to come out of the building and walk up across the resort to the lobby to pick up extra cards.

BTW, Sunil had a bright idea that let one parent sleep with one kid that night – which would have worked, but the kids immediately voted the idea down. But we did find an elegant solution.

Can you solve it?

16 June 2015

Happiness still is…

Reliving that walk in Costa Rica in pitch darkness – the four of us singing old Hindi numbers – just like college days – and scaring the beejujus out of the hapless iguanas (check out http://www.rajibroy.com/?p=4160), this time too, we sat out one night, way past midnight singing our favorite old numbers. There are no iguanas in Italy and there was some faint light in the vast green lawns… Like last time, the most voluble chorus was for “Pyar hamein kis mod pe le aaya”…


16 June 2015

Now, this is what I mean by a vacation :-)

I doubt I will remember any of those stuff from the long dead in Italy. Fortunately, I avoided going inside any of them. But I will remember all those numerous people I made friends with and some indelible moments spent with my and Sunil’s family. Here is one such moment guaranteed to evoke a smile in the future, way after the kids have left home, just to recollect how the street clown himself picked the pose πŸ™‚ This one was somewhere in the streets of Verona.


16 June 2015

Unexpected sight in the streets of Rome

Near the Pantheon in Rome, among all the Mediterranean fruits being sold on the streets was this vendor selling stripped coconuts. Which I thought was distinctly tropical. In any case, I cannot think of any other country than India, where the white of the coconut was being sold on the streets like this.

By the way, Anastassia, should I get you some? πŸ™‚


15 June 2015

Some window dressing…

After the run, I went out for a walk with Sunil, both of us duly accompanied with our respective glasses of wine. We were busy discussing the intricacies of the “bin-packing” algorithm when we got caught by some quick, sharp showers. Not having too many options, we just shoehorned ourselves into the narrow window openings of a building and continued with our wine and discussions! I don’t think the algorithm got any better πŸ™‚