Johnny [Life & Code]

Semper Exploro!

Archive for the ‘LIFE’ Category

Travel Tips : Plan B

leave a comment »

Lot of things can go against your travel plans. For some you carry spares. For some you know what to do. The probability of most of these not happening is very high. But there is one which has a higher probability and unpredictability. No – Not a puncture in the tyres.

People dropping out

Phases in your plan:

Urge – Time when that spontaneous urge that comes over you for a drive and to see / experience new things and places.

Plan – This is the time when you share your urge with bunch of your travel friends. As with everything, all want to be part of it. Exciting!! You start thinking of renting a RV / trailer. May be get some more cars.

Plan A – You sit over in evenings and start charting your course. Possible things to do and alternatives. Check on political conditions and local traditions.

But of-course – Plan A never happens. People drop out. They are more excited by the idea of travelling than the travel itself. Ånd some-thing _always_ comes UP. Since you read the title of the post, its always your Plan B.

Plan B – So cancel your RV. Make that awkward call to the resort to let them know that we won’t be taking over all the rooms. You are down to 3 – Including yourself. Perfect number for a drive. You just have a direction and everything else is figured out on the way. The plan is no plan. You all are connected. A little too perfect to be true.

Plan B has a lesser probability of failure. It fails. Inevitability.

Plan U – Get up early in the morning. Resist deciding your destination – not yet. Pack your usual travel bag with necessities. Now (very important) pick your equipment – Your MTB / DSLR / sewing kit / telescope / mmm … swimming trunks (yeah! whatever gets you ..).

Just start driving. *Slowly* roll your car out of your apartment… Still dark… Drive to the middle of the city. Stop at the red light at the traffic signal : This is the time/spot to decide your destination. Take the turn. Switch on your stereo. Drive.

Have a fantastic trip.

Also x-posted here.

Written by Johnny

January 7, 2011 at 4:22 pm

Posted in Drive, LIFE, Thoughts, Travel

Captain’s log 2010.11

leave a comment »

November’s destination was Bangalore. “No travels” was the decision. But…

03 – Madurai

Grandpa passed away. Emotions deep from past surfaced. Didn’t enjoy the drive because of the grim mood around.

04 – Yercaud

I decided not to go (Pu insisted that I should join them). Saturday, woke up and I could spend only 30 mins at home. The gang was already in Yercaud. Me being stupid and crazy, started off. Loved the drive up/down the hills. Lovely place! This time tailing the Green (Pu) and Black (De) Ninja. Should say that they are growing up. Sr joined us (or we barged in to his ride?) on his Royal Enfield Machismo 500. I developed a new respect for the 500. Thumping steadily.. Majestic.. (Thoughts of buying a motor bike started to linger! probably not). Pics here…

Odo : 21264 KMs. Semper Exploro!

Written by Johnny

November 29, 2010 at 5:01 pm

Posted in Drive, LIFE, Travel

Bonsai : Signs of Life

with 3 comments

 

Signs of Life

This was the one that was predicted to die. Not anymore.

Written by Johnny

November 16, 2010 at 10:20 am

Posted in Bonsai, LIFE

Bonsai : Beginnings…

leave a comment »

 

 

The chosen ones

Two new saplings recommended and supplied by Dad. I’m afraid that the one on the left wouldn’t survive. Looks like a day in the car boot was too traumatic. .

Written by Johnny

October 28, 2010 at 4:48 pm

Posted in Bonsai, LIFE, Thoughts

Tagged with

Captain’s log 2010.09

leave a comment »

01 – Solo drive to Dad’s

A long long weekend and 4 days to kill. And I needed solitude to recharge, pay off sleep debts, connect with people, read/finish a book and get some tasty food into the system. And thats what exactly happened. In a solo drive, you’ve lot of time to think through many things. Therapeutic.

02.0 – Drive to Madurai

Bro gives me a heads up that there *might* be a drive to Madurai. Got a green at 2300. Picked up his friend and out of Bangalore by 0100. We reached Madurai outskirts by 0630. NH4.

02.1 – Drive to Chitradurga

Since I had my sunday free and to satisfy the urge of one of my friends to ‘drive out’. But not in my car this time. Was good. But mostly was mostly exhausted. Tried out ‘thatte idly’ from Tumkur. Huge Idlies!!

03, 04 – Bangalore.

Semper Exploro!

Written by Johnny

October 18, 2010 at 10:57 am

Posted in Drive, eXtreme, LIFE, Travel

Captain’s log 2010.07

leave a comment »

Visit Dad – A Drive

Always wanted to drive back to the place where I’ve grown up (a part of it). So decided to ditch the bus this time. Invited my good friend kalyan. It was a good drive. On the way back Kalyan had to go somewhere. Was not sure of driving alone for hours. But after the first 20 mins, I enjoyed every KM . It was just me, the car and the road.

Chikmagalur with CAM

Booked for this ride about a month back. Punya also signed up for this. It was a fantastic ride and the climb to Mulayanagiri was epic. (considering that fact that I’m totally out of shape) More…

Chikmagalur with iFolder team

Couldn’t resist a drive to Chikmagalur (even though, I was there last week) when the team proposed a drive. Enjoyed those curvy turns in the hills and the coffee estates. Enjoyed the synchronous moments of the man and his machine. Pictures …

Den Hague for GUADEC 2010

Thanks to GNOME foundation for sponsoring my travel and accomodation. And to Novell for the rest. Had a productive GUADEC. End of a wonderful July!

Best is yet to come – Semper Exploro!!

Written by Johnny

July 31, 2010 at 9:12 am

Mystical Mullayanagiri

with one comment

When I saw a mail in  BBC from Cycling And More (CAM) about a ride to Chikmagalur, thanks to the caffiene in me – was so excited and started to pull in people. Punya and Me signedup immediately and was waiting for the day.

Day 0

Action started a little early. Friday evening, I was getting late at work and had to deliver a package to my brother. Already late, I decided to use the Bike (fastest during peak traffic) and went around. Asked my bro to wait for me on the main road. A brief drop (felt like a environment friendly drug dealer on a bike :))  and I was on the way to the meeting point and made it on time. Meet other riders, loaded the bike and found my seat.

Day 1

Sleep deprived the previous days, I slept like a tree log. Thanks to CAM for arranging a comfortable bus. Woke up at 4 AM, bus stopped at Shalkaleshpur. Zombie walked to a hotel. Around 7ish – the adventure began. Started a bit late as I had to fix my rear wheel hub. Route was lovely. It was simply green. Enjoyed riding through some slushy area. Went off-course a little and reached the breakfast point. Punya’s bike got quite a bit of attention for it being one of a kind 😉 . By then, some faces were becoming familiar – Mohan, Biju, Arvind R, Arvind N, Manjula …

The real test started. There was a steady climb for several KMs .  The group thinned out . Finally Me and Arvind R teamed up. Few kilometers before Chikmagalur saw Manjula and Arvind N tailing us. All four of reached Chikmagalur on schedule. I should say that riding in a small group is more fun than chugging alone. During lunch, ‘Iron man’ Mohan and Ram joined us. Other riders were reaching Chikmagalur .

We were all pumped up looking at the hill that we would be climbing – Mullayanagiri. It was about 20 kms of pure climb. Took some pit stops during the climb. But the last 2 KM killed my spirit. Nothing left in my body, I was worn out. Stopped for a while. Recovered a bit and reached the top. By then Mohan, Manjula, Arvind R, Arvind N were at the peak already. Downhill ride was fun!

Rode about 110 kms.

Day 2

Did a leasurly ride to Belur. Rode with Punya through the lake and sunflower fields. Belur temple is Wow! Spent a little time there . Many started the second leg of the day – to Hassan. We (not Punya) decided to skip. Hopped on the bus. Sleepy … Woke up in Bangalore.

More pictures – http://picasaweb.google.com/johnnyjacob/MysticalMullayanagiri#

Some more here – http://cyclingandmore.com/previous-rides/july-2010-chikmagalur-mullayanagiri/

Written by Johnny

July 22, 2010 at 10:09 am

Posted in cycling, LIFE, Travel, Trek 3700

Captain’s log: 2010.05

with one comment

Fatigue that accumulated over the last 2 months (I was on the road every weekend) took me down. So decided to rest and recharge. But I have to keep moving. Instead of covering distances with car, I was training for Sunfeast 10k run.  Running is helping me to drive longer.

Now since I’m back, this month ended with a travel down the timeline (minus 500 years!). Till time machines are available (like the phonebooths), this is one of the ways to travel to the past : HAMPI.

Planned my route using maps.ovi.com . Pictures here, here and here. And yes MangoTree is a must if you are there!

My reviews on tripadvisor.in – Place where we stayed. Mango Tree

928 KMs in 44 hours. ODO says 7878 and Johnny says ‘Semper Exploro!’

Written by Johnny

June 2, 2010 at 8:46 am

Posted in Drive, LIFE, Thoughts, Travel

Captain’s log – 2010.04

with one comment

New diesel powered wheeled motor vehicle was added to the Fleet. Tagged KA 03 MM IXIIIVwith sunlight copper anti weather layer with Four rubber compounds of 165mm in width with mass of 1400 kgs. Propelled by a 1.3L turbo powered diesel engine with powerband range of 2200 to 3400 RPM.

Ranganthitu bird sancturay : With shutter bugs.

Shivasamudram :

Nandhi Hills : Early morning sleepy drive.

Pondicherry :

Coorg – The controversial awesome trip.

Mysore – Gopalaswamy Betta : No plans and awed.

Pearl Valley : Catch up with old friends (friends from age 4 🙂 ).

Madurai (x 2) (Family trip – Dad / Bro)

Crossed 6000 KMs as of now.

Semper Exploro!

Written by Johnny

May 23, 2010 at 4:09 pm

Posted in LIFE, Thoughts

4 months after ACL reconstruction

with 6 comments

Very happy with my recovery. I’m riding again. Hoping to do my first century ride in next couple of weeks. Decided to put my running goals on hold (Sad & frustrating).  But I’m happy and grateful that I’m able to do more than what I thought four months back.

My dailymile log :

Kilometers in weeks

Kilometers in weeks

Written by Johnny

January 24, 2010 at 1:50 am

Pedal in Paradise by TandemTrails

with one comment

Went for ‘Pedal in Paradise’ organized by Tandem Trails (Jan 9, 10)

Day 1 : I was there for one reason. To test my legs.  I was bit unsure in the beginning and was hopeful that if something happens I would be able to hop into the support car (Why?). I was hoping that I would be able to ride at least the first half.  Rashmin passed me and he said “come on …. !” and I was mumbling “I’m on.. 1.. 1/4 .. legs and ..blah “.  I have no clue what happened next. Felt like my engines finally started and I increased my pace. Joined the pack lead Samsheer. Then a downhill and I couldn’t resist it. Slipped into a higher gear and started to speed away. Few moments later a character showed up in my peripheral vision. Tommy joined me and we sped away. We rode hard. Tommy is a awesome climber. I compensated the lack of strong right leg (reason) with higher cadence during climbs. And I usually caught up with him on the downhills. I was crazy for downhills. At one descent I actually felt my bike flying over potholes. Rashmin later said that we were going 50km+ (probably more) on some downhills.

Day 1 - Briefing

Day 1 - Briefing

Day 2: A leisure ride. Enjoyed talking with the group. I guess Tommy had trouble riding slow 😉 . At times I acted as a the wise-one and gave ‘tips’ to Venky. He was politely listening :).   The climax was simply brilliant. It got over with a very very steep climb. My heart was thumping very very hard (unhealthy rate). It was simply brilliant.

Day 2 - From Right : Me, Tommy, Sameer, Venky, Shamsher?, Srinivas?

Day 2 - From Right: Me, Tommy, Sameer, Venky, Shamsheer, Srinivas

Thanks to TandemTrails team for a wonderful weekend. Would be joining you guys sometime later…

Written by Johnny

January 20, 2010 at 1:40 pm

Posted in cycling, eXtreme, LIFE, Trek 3700

ACL Reconstruction recovery journal

with 10 comments

Tore my ACL while playing badminton. An awesome jump, delivered a smash at a impressive angle. On landing I slipped twisting my ankle and entire weight of my body fell on the right knee. After 15 minutes I was walking out of the club with the idea of a 10k ride (cycle) back home. Probably I was high on adrenaline/endorphins. But as soon as walked 20 meters, I couldn’t take another step.

Friends helped me out. Few days later a MRI confirmed the ACL tear. Sought opinions from 3 surgeons. A day later I was scheduled for ACL Reconstruction.

Day 0 : Wheeled into surgery. Got shots of anaesthesia in my spine. 5 minutes into the procedure I started feeling my knee again. Then some new shots to my neck and i’m out for next 4 hours. Woke up in recovery room. Crying with pain in my thigh and knee.

Day 1 : High fever. Unable to move my leg. Felt like a dead log.

Day 2 : Realised that morphine (a better refined form .. Fentanyl ?) is being pumped in to me 24 hours.

Day 3: Fever continues. Unable to therapy. But was on CPM.

Day 5 : First time moved around 10 meters (felt like 5 km) to physio rehab. Was able to walk holding support ramps. Did some weight excercises. Morale boost.

Day 6 : Fever started fading.

Day 7 : Discharged from hospital. Realized I lost so much muscle mass. Right leg is very lean.

Day 8 : Woke up at brother’s place. Good food. Ate like a hungry pig.

Day 11 : Regained some strength in the thighs. Able to move around confidently with support.

Day 16 : Moved back to my own place.

Day 17 : Afraid to bend my knee. Looks like I’m resisting to bend the knee.

Day 18 : Able to sit with around 90 degree bend in my knee. Noticed some muscle development.

Day 19 : 90 Degrees knee bending 😀

Day 21 : Mental battle is tougher than actually bending the knee.

Day 22 : Walking without support (crutches). Yay!

Able to handle stairs without support.

Day 25 : 95 – 100 Degrees. Moving to Squat exercises.

Started riding on a stationary bike. Able to walk  small distance with little limp.

Day 31 : 115 Degrees. Knee feels stronger.

Day NN : Recovery still continuing. Yet to build muscles. And regain those remaining degrees. But I’m confident now that i would be back to 110% in few months (yeah .. months!).

I should confess that I’m not a very fit athlete. I’m just a ordinary clumsy guy who started playing a bit. So this is my recovery timeline. Rehab is the tough part. Painful and needs a good amount of will power to keep doing it. It is going to take a long time to get back to my running (hopefully a marathon!). Can’t wait to get back on my bike (cycle).

One thing I kept remembering was this “Pain is temporary. Quitting lasts forever” (Lance Armstrong). In this case it is literally true.

Notes :

  • Do research. Learn about the injury and the procedure before you go in. Helps a lot. Realize that you have options on the graft being used.
  • Ice is the best pain management you got. I personally don’t like pain killers.
  • Most of the online materials on this subject give times lines for fit athletes. So don’t get discouraged if you are not. Keep at it.
  • Mail from nice people at Bangalore Bikers Club

Misc :

  • Fun when you are on a stretcher and pushed around. Profound 🙂
  • Scary part was not the surgery, but the catheter in my arm. Got over it after a day.
  • Enjoyed the royal treatment. People always around you. don’t have to do anything. Everything is there as soon as you think about it!
  • I was without a laptop for about 15 days.
  • Long phone calls from stoned friends. 😉
(Would try to add more information and keep this post updated ..)

Written by Johnny

November 8, 2009 at 6:13 am