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Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020 - First Look

MSFS2020 was released yesterday. Yay! I had paid for it a couple of months ago. So I wasted no time in downloading it. And downloading such a massive product was quite an epic experience.. I simply left it to run overnight. On a side note, the theme music that played during the installation is what my masseuse normally puts on during a deep tissue massage. My laptop, which I bought brand new in 2019, does not meet minimum requirements. So while the cockpit seems to be realistic, distant scenery is clearly in low resolution. Other than that, the product seemed to run smoothly.The UI is extremely clean, concise and bold. The app automatically detected and married my existing Saitek Yoke, throttle quadrant and a couple of other devices for radio, auto-pilot etc. I did not have to download any drivers, etc. I did have to do a bit of calibration. By comparison, I remember the frustrating experience I had with setting up and calibrating control surfaces, etc. in the last version of Flight S…
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Gymming again

I was working out in my little room on the terrace of our house in Madurai back in the early 90s when an older family friend named Kumar dropped by for a quick visit. Seeing me puttering around shirtless with a pair of adjustable dumbbells, he remarked,

"So, bud, how's the gymming going?"

That's as best a translation I can offer but the word "gymming" was definitely used. So why am I mentioning this? Because gyms have re-opened in Massachusetts today. I had a chat with a friend in the Boston area yesterday and he mentioned that he was definitely going to wait a month before going to his gym. I couldn't wait though. Calisthenics at home has been fine over the past few months but I have been hankering to push iron the last two weeks. So.. I gave into temptation and went to my gym mid-morning today.

My temperature was taken upon checking in at the gym and a few questions about any COVID-like symptoms, recent international travel etc. were asked. I was told…

End of the "Butter Maiden"

Apparently Land O' Lakes has now removed the picture of the kneeling Native American woman from their product packaging. Here is the image:

When I first laid eyes on her upon emigrating to the United States, I fell in love with her and her dark, sultry and lustrous look. I thought it was a very clean, endearing image reflective of a healthy way of life well before the dawn of the industrial revolution and pollution.. a time when life moved at a sedate pace that.. ah.. a butterfly would have appreciated. Having grown up on a steady diet of Louis L'amour in India, I possessed a certain level of knowledge of native American culture that I noticed even Americans lacked. L'amour treated his subjects with the utmost respect at a time when Hollywood was happily undermining them. Still,  I am not an expert on native American relations. And so.. I am completely confused as to why this is considered a racist image. Or.. are people simply starting to find a problem with everything n…

Summer Thunderstorm

Ok, well, it was mostly wind and rain and one or two rolls of thunder really. It was still somewhat ferocious. Anticipation ran high as day turned to night. And the heavens did not disappoint. I like it!

Bye, bye bidet

Regardless of whether you are rooting for Biden, you are very likely wondering whether a bidet in your toilet may make an immediate impact to your quarantined lifestyle. Listen, you do not need additional fittings in your toilet. Ok? It is already complicated in there as it is. Instead simply use a general purpose sprayer like the one pictured below. I have been using one of these since time immemorial to.. ah.. occasionally supplement toilet paper.

Here are the advantages:
Cheap.. something like $2.Immediately available.. you just need to get it from a hardware store. No need to schedule and wait for a plumber, etc.Lightweight.. even a child can lift it.Portable.. you can keep it out of sight, if you need to. Moving houses? No problem. You are guaranteed the same quality of service at your new place.Zero-maintenance.. Cleaning it (the sprayer, I mean) is easy. No need to worry about a bidet with all its fittings, etc. going bonkers on you.Creativity-possible.. if you want to add a li…

Life's good

Alright! Clearwater beach has been re-opened. I am looking into flight tickets on Expedia now.. can't wait to get there one of these weekends! I had been planning to go there this past winter when the virus roared in. Hopefully, we won't see any resurgences of the virus anywhere. Yay!

Scone me now

Now that I think of it, the last time I enjoyed afternoon tea was last December down in Falmouth center with a buddy of mine. The proprietor had a sign either out front or on each table requesting that patrons do not use their smartphones. I don't exactly remember which. So I do not have a picture of the delicacies that we gulped down that Saturday afternoon and washed it all down with some wonderful, aromatic tea.. and a great chat.

But fear not. I have the wonderful shot below that I made from a couple of years ago at the Shangri-La in Toronto with another friend. Look at those juicy, mouth-watering gooey goodies!
Ok, now I have a hankering for tea things and naught I can do about it. Sad. Sad. Sad.