14 October 2023

Scare of my life

How irritating is it when the phone rings while you are in the middle of an important meeting?

I had just landed in London after a near sleepless night and was in the middle of some serious discussions with the Board when the table vibrated slightly. Everybody glanced at their phones or fished them out of their pockets. I noticed that it was my phone and it said “No Caller Id”. Well, one more of those scam calls, I concluded. Pressed the power button to cancel the call, looked at the beautiful River Thames in front and proceeded with my spiel.

Within 5 seconds, the phone rang again. With “No Caller Id”. Fairly persistent fraudster. Canceled it yet again.

And sure enough, they called up yet again. For a moment, I had a doubt that Sharmila or the daughters might be trying to get hold of me. Excused myself and picked up the phone.

“This is Alpharetta Police Department. Am I talking to Rajib Roy?”

This was TROUBLE.

“Let me take this. It is urgent”, I told the Board members as I ran out of the room, fearing some real bad news. Visions of one of the three in an accident is what kept flashing in my mind.

“This is Rajib Roy speaking. What is going on?”

“Your car is parked in an illegal spot. You need to move it now or we will have it towed.”

That was confusing. My car is at the airport. It is in a reserved parking spot. There is no way my car is anywhere near Alpharetta.

“Where is the car?”

“On Highway 9. In front of Smokejack. We have signs all over not to park anywhere on the road due to downtown events”.

“Officer, I am in London right now. I suspect that is my wife’s doing. Let me call her”

So, I called Sharmila and sure enough she and Nikita were out and about and had the car parked where it should not have been.

I went back to the room and within a minute there was a message from Nikita that they had moved the car to a proper place.

Late in the evening after all meetings, I called up Sharmila to find out what had happened.

She explained that there indeed was a sign not to park. They saw it. It said Oct 15.

“Well, why were they disallowing cars to be parked there today? It is Oct 13th today.”

She explained herself.

Unfortunately, my phone had said “No Caller Id”. If I knew the number, I was so going to call back Alpharetta Police Department and let them know that somebody thinks it is all their fault. The “From” date should not have been written in smaller font than the “To” date!

24 August 2023

This has to be my absolute favorite runway

This runway in San Antonio is laid in such a way that one way is 40 degrees south of east – therefore the number 13 and the reverse way is 40 degrees north of west – thus the number 31. So, the reverse of one direction has the exact reverse number. The only other possibility is if you write a runway direction as “02” instead of “2” (20 degrees east of north). The reverse direction will be actually 20 (20 degrees west of south).

But what is unique about the 13-31 combination is that the square of 13 is 169. And the square of 31 is 961. And they are reverse of each other!!

So one way and the reverse way of this runway has not only reverse numbers, their squares are also reverse numbers!!!

I agree, I really need to get a life 🙂

23 August 2023

Everything is big in Texas!

I had rented an intermediate size car. In a new city, it is easier to maneuver on unknown roads with a smaller car. Plus I was going to stay in a downtown hotel. With all the narrow streets and construction going on, it is always a good idea to get something that can turn in tight corners like a small car.

Except, Avis had other ideas for me. The had a shining Nissan Titan ready for me. These puppies are really big and really high. If you know the car I have been driving for the last 17 years, you can fit my car and a half within this truck’s dimensions. And Avis had no other car.

So, for the first time in my life, I drove a pickup truck!! I almost needed a ladder to get up. Although, I have to say – it was filled with all sorts of gadgets that made driving and parking fairly smooth. My current car does not even have a reverse camera!!

23 August 2023

That was an intriguing sight!

As our flight wrapped around San Antonio anticlockwise to approach the airport, I spotted what you see in this picture while looking out of the window. The Delta map showed we were due north west from the city.

At first glance, it looks like a small airport with a single active runway (and a feeder one). Then the details become a little more interesting. There are no buildings around it!! In fact, it appears that there is no concrete or asphalt. It is just cleaned and leveled ground.

First I thought that it might be used for crop dusters. But it seems too long for crop dusters. Plus there is not a single plane standing there. There are no hangars. The airplanes could not have been towed away anywhere since the only connection into the runways are a couple of narrow dirt roads.

Perhaps, an airport under construction? A private airport? But there is absolutely zero construction machinery around.

An abandoned effort to build an airport?

Would anybody know or venture to guess?