ISI Recruiter

Somebody thinks I am an ISI recruiter. (ISI is the Pakistani spy agency.)

I Wnat To Join Pakisti Intelengenc Agency ISI
ThenHow I Can Join To this Please Send Me Any Email Addess or Website link where i contact to them

I Have No time please Help me i have a big problem
I m a civil person i promissed to you i can not tell about you or your information to another persona

if you will help me i will very thankfull for you

Poor guy! He wants to be a spy.

He promises not to tell anyone if I help him. On my weblog! Oh shoot, now the whole world knows.

He signs off as “a helpless person.” Even his name is a lot of fun: Love Choudhury. Does that mean he loves all Choudhurys?

May be I can refer him to the CIA. I hear they were pretty tight with the ISI.

Tall Tales and Hopeless Causes

I have seen only a couple of movies recently. A friend and I wanted to see The Passion of the Christ today but it was sold out. Instead we saw The Last Samurai. it’s an ok movie, but is entirely too predictable. There wasn’t a plot point I couldn’t predict in advance. That becomes tiring. Another problem I had with the movie is that it was unable to make me root for the underdog with the “hopeless noble cause” of the samurais. Ken Watanabe was good as the Samurai chief Katsumoto while Tom Cruise was just Tom Cruise.

Big Fish was a better movie. It was based on the idea of a dying father who likes to tell tall tales about his life. The myths and legends confuse his son but in the end help him understand his dad. It is an interesting premise and was fun, though the ending wasn’t great. But I am not sure if there could have been a great ending for this movie.

The Book Quiz

Loosely Based by Storey Clayton

You’re Loosely Based!
by Storey Clayton

While most people haven’t heard of you, you’re a really good and interesting person. Rather clever and witty, you crack a lot of jokes about the world around you. You do have a serious side, however, where your interest covers the homeless and the inequalities of society. You’re good at bringing people together, but they keep asking you what your name means.

Take the Book Quiz at the Blue Pyramid.

Via Barsaat ke Mausam.

Snow

Forgive me for getting excited, but this doesn’t happen often here in Atlanta. Since I have been here, I think it has happened only 2 or 3 times. In fact, today looks like the rare event where the snow stays on the ground for a day.

According to the National Weather Sevice,

Today. Occasional rain mixed with snow and sleet this morning. Then a chance of rain and snow in the afternoon. Windy and colder. Additional snow accumulation up to 1 inch. Highs in the low to mid 30s. East winds 10 to 20 mph. Chance of precipitation 80 percent.

Tonight. Mostly cloudy. A 30 percent chance of rain or light snow in the evening. Lows in the lower 30s. Northeast winds 5 to 10 mph.

A whole inch. That’s quite a lot!

Emory and Georgia State have delayed opening their campuses today till noon and Kennesaw is closed while Tech is open. I think K-12 schools are all closed as well. I hope you northerners don’t make too much fun of us. At least it snowed this time. We have had school closings based on snow forecast when nothing happened.

Here’s the view from my room.

Snow in Atlanta View from my room Snow in Atlanta

UPDATE: Kianoush seems to be pretty excited about the snow as well.

اگر کبھی میری یاد آۓ

یہ نظم عنبر کے لئے ہے کیونکہ وہ مجھ سے یہ نظم سننا پسند کرتی ہے۔ اسے آپ ابرار الحق کی آواز میں سن سکتے ہیں۔

This poem is for Amber who is always asking me to recite it for her. It’s by the Pakistani poet Amjad Islam Amjad. It has also been sung by Abrar ul Haq. (Warning: I can’t figure out if the songs on muziq.net are legal or not.)

Sorry I can’t translate poetry into English.

یہ نظم عنبر کے لئے ہے کیونکہ وہ مجھ سے یہ نظم سننا پسند کرتی ہے۔ اسے آپ ابرار الحق کی آواز میں سن سکتے ہیں۔ مجھے معلوم نہیں کہ muziq.net پر گانے قانون کے مطابق ہیں یا نہیں۔

اگر کبھی میری یاد آۓ
تو چاند راتوں کی دلگیر روشنی میں
کسی ستارے کو دیکھ لینا
اگر وہ نخل فلک سے اڑ کر تمہارے قدموں میں آ گرے تو یہ جان لینا
وہ استعارہ تھا میرے دل کا
اگر نہ آۓ؟ ۔۔۔
مگر یہ ممکن ہی کس طرح ہے کہ کسی پر نگاہ ڈالو
تو اس کی دیوار جاں نہ ٹوٹے
وہ اپنی ہستی نہ بھول جاۓ!!
اگر کبھی میری یاد آۓ
گریز کرتی ہوا کی لہروں پہ ہاتھ رکھنا
میں خشبووں میں تمہیں ملوں گا
مجھے گلابوں کی پتیوں میں تلاش کرنا
میں اوس قطرہ کے آئینے میں تمہیں ملوں گا
اگر ستاروں میں، اوس خشبووں میں
نہ پاؤ مجھ کو
تو اپنے قدموں میں دیکھ لینا
میں گرد ہوتی مسافتوں میں تمہیں ملوں گا
کہیں پہ روشن چراغ دیکھو تو جان لینا
کہ ہر پتنگے کے ساتھ میں بھی سلگ چکا ہوں
تم اپنے ہاتھوں سے ان پتنگوں کی خاک دریا میں ڈال دینا
میں خاک بن کر سمندر میں سفر کروں گا
کسی نہ دیکھے ہوۓ جزیرے پہ رک کے تمہیں صدائیں دوں گا
سمندروں کے سفر پہ نکلو
تو اس جزیرے پہ کبھی اترنا!!

Urdu/اردو

This is just a test to see if I can make this weblog bilingual with entries in both English and Urdu . Don’t worry this weblog will still be mostly in English. Urdu is my first language but this is my first time typing in Urdu…

اردو زبان میں بلاگ

This is just a test to see if I can make this weblog bilingual with entries in both English and Urdu (اردو). Don’t worry this weblog will still be mostly in English. Urdu is my first language but this is my first time typing in Urdu.

There are quite a few things I need help with.

  • First of all, if you notice any problems like gibberish or misaligned text etc. please let me know.
    • UPDATE: RSS feeds have misaligned text because of the right-to-left issue. I have no idea how to fix that. Is there anyone who knows more about RSS who can help?
  • If anyone knows a better way to write Urdu unicode than to try each key on the keyboard to find the appropriate character, please let me know. The OS I am using is Windows XP.
    • UPDATE: This is still my biggest problem.
  • When I publish my entry, the Urdu characters change to the unicode HTML entities in the edit screen. That makes the editing of Urdu posts very difficult. Is there a solution to that? Please note that I am using Textile 2 formatting and have set the character set for my weblog to be UTF-8.
    • UPDATE: Fixed by setting NoHTMLEntities to 1 in mt.cfg. Will that cause any other problems? Ampersand, smart quotes, em dashes etc.?
  • Right now, I am using <p style="text-align: right"> to align the Urdu text to the right (since it’s written from right to left). Is there a better way? How would I put that in CSS? Also, what if I want an Urdu word in the middle of a paragraph in English or vice versa?
    • UPDATE: I have created an urdu class in my CSS and use p[ur](urdu). using MT Textile. I still do want to make it simpler. Also, I am using %[ur]Some Urdu words% for Urdu text within an English paragraph. I need to create similar stuff for English as well.
  • Also, which fonts can I use for Urdu? Which ones are better looking? Which ones are more likely to be installed on my readers’ machines?
  • See how the commenter names in Urdu are misaligned with the numbers and the brackets. Is there any solution to that?
    • UPDATE: Fixed. It was being caused by the text direction issue. The brackets had an ambiguous direction. They could be left to right if in English text or right to left if in Urdu text. Since the brackets came at the boundary of the change in language, they were somehow being interpreted as in right to left direction. I fixed it by putting <span dir="ltr"></span> around them in the template.

Umair, you are the pioneer in Urdu weblogs. I need your help here.

Weeks 7-10

Start of a new life

On Dec 29th, we went to see the Doc in the morning. We were very nervous, if the heartbeat be there or not?

Dr Darder was there that day. He performed the transvaginal ultrasound. Zack was sitting on a chair next to me while I was lying on my back in that bed. The doctor congratulated us as he saw the heartbeat. Zack could see it from the distance while I was unable to see it. So Dr Darder put the cursor next to that little blinking dot and we were so excited to see it. What a nice way to start a new year.

He also told us to visit them for another week and then start going to my regular ob/gyn.

On Jan 05, I went to the doc and everything seemed ok.They also recommended some good ob/gyn in the area, since my guy is 25 miles away and I want someone near by.

I made the appointment with the regular ob/gyn for 14th Jan 2004.

My first pregnant visit to a regular ob/gyn

As usual I hated the long wait. Also, I am so pampered by going to specialists that ob/gyn gives me the silly PCP visit kind of feeling.

Anyways I visisted my new regular doctors on 14th Jan. They drew lots of blood (which was lost by the lab and I had to redo it) and performed a pap smear.

Doc told me that it will bleed slightly for an hour or so but nothing to be worried. It kept bleeding for three days. Again in desparation, I called my PCOS specialist and they told me to come right away for an ultrasound on Jan 17. The ultrasound was ok and Dr Trieser told me that cervix is just extra-sensitive. Finally the bleeding vanished away.

Another annoying part of my pregnancy

There is no doubt that I am suffering from major cramping etc. But that’s not all. My nose is congested all the time. I can’t breathe, can’t sleep and have no appetite left.

I am seriously allergic to molds, house mites etc. So I thought it must be my allergies. I visited the ENT specialist who told me that I have a deviated septum and may be polyps. Later they found I have no polyps; just suffering from pregnancy rhinitis. And it will get worse before it gets better… which is after delivery.

I can’t take any medicine and they can’t do CT scan to really know the cause, so blame it on the usual suspect… pregnancy.

But so far it has exhausted me. I am unable to eat and whatever I eat I throw up since I have post nasal drip and post nasal drip always make me vomit.

Progress of the fetus

During the 10th week,

The baby now enters it’s fetal period. The average size is approximately 27-35 mm crown to rump length (CRL), or 1.06-1.38 inches. S/he weighs in at 4 grams, or 4 paper clips. Tiny toes have formed. The eyes are largely open, but the eyelids are beginning to fuse, and will stay that way until 25-27 weeks. External genitalia is beginning to differentiate. External ears are completely formed, as well as the upper lip. The biggest accomplishment this week is the disappearance of the tail!

Arranged Valentines

A funny episode on Pakistani TV by Avari-Nameh:

During a Valentine’s Day “special.” A —- my family would call her “modern” —- woman is interviewing an evidently very happy couple.

Hostess: So how long have you been celebrating Valentine’s Day?

Husband: Just a few years now. We’ve only started recently, but we really enjoy it.

Hostess: That’s so wonderful. Tell me, and tell our viewers, how did you two meet and fall in love?

Husband: Actually, we’re first cousins. The marriage was arranged.

Also, check out the comparison of Islamabad to Little Rock, AR in the same post.

Weeks 5-6

I was having cramps in my lower abdomen for a few days and I noticed on Dec 16th evening that I have slight dark brown spotting. Spotting continued for next 10 days and cramps starting to become severe.

On the 18th, I freaked out as cramps were getting worse. I had an ovarian cyst couple months ago with similar symptoms, so I called my doc (IVF-NJ/PCOS specialist group). The nurse told me to have an early home pregnancy test and I told her… no way, it has not happened to me in last 7 years so it may not be pregnancy.

She was very polite and asked me to come next morning to have an ultrasound to see what’s going on with my cycle. I love this setup with the fertility specialist. They have 2 or 3 hours dedicated each morning where their patients can just walk in to have a blood test and/or ultrasound and one of the doctors from the group is always there even on weekends. It’s absolutely necessary for women taking IVF treatment but is also a blessing for patients like me who have gynecological issues often and need immediate attention and correct diagnosis.

My last emergency trip to a hospital (rated very best in NJ for its women health) was a very bad experience. I was dying with pain, they diagnosed me wrong without doing any test, X-ray or ultrasound and then started the wrong medicines and asked me to go see my regular specialist, who on my first visit did the ultrasound and right away told me that I have no infection, it’s just an ovarian cyst and then provided me correct line of treatment. So you can tell how much I trust my specialist over the hospital emergency rooms.

We (Zack and me) visited the specialist next morning, Dec 19th. One of the new doctors from their group (Dr Yi) was there that day. I have never met her before. Mostly I go with appointments and only see Dr Trieser or Dr Darder. She did a quick transvaginal ultrasound and told us that it seems like I am pregnant and the bleeding is due to implantation —- nothing to be worried about. She also did the blood test and later called me home around noon to confirm the pregnancy. She also asked me to keep visiting every week till the 10th week, when they can say pregnancy is stable.

Who comes to know next —- A complete stranger

My company is not doing good in last three years. We are reduced (by force adjustments) from a group of 8 System Engineers to only 2 and this is the last ultimatum from upper management to make a sale of our product or they will close shop.

So I was applying for other jobs. The same last week of Dec, I was negotiating with S, a manager in a very good company and he offered me a good package and I was supposed to confirm Monday Dec 22, that I will join this new company on Feb 01.

When I heard the baby news, I started to take it slow at work and decided not to change jobs. Moving to a new company requires a lot of extra work hours and effort before you make a good reputation. Zack and myself talked and decided it’s not a good time for me to start all over at work front. If I lose my present job in 6 months, so be it, but we should not be taking any risk.

So I told S on monday Dec 22, that I am sorry I can’t join and he was so disappointed and he tried to convince me and asked me if I wanted more benefits etc. I felt kind of sorry too and told him that I just found out I am pregnant and I don’t want to take any risk of extra work load etc.

Everything seems ok but cramps keep getting worse and worse. There were days when I was unable to sit staright in my office.

I told a few of my friends at work… mainly Steven, Rob, Laura and Daksha. I was feeling very tired and sick, could not sleep properly at nigt so I wanted to ask my boss if I can telecommute one day a week. Most of my friends at work told me not to tell my boss. Considering the force adjustments and stuff, they feared that he might use it as a negative impact on my employment continuation with my present company. But my lower abdominal pain was killing me so I decided to trust my boss. When I told him, he reacted very happy and told me to work from home as much as I needed. I was not sure if it was a good idea to share with him or not but I trusted him. It’s very important that you trust your immediate boss at work.

On the 24th Dec, I was scheduled for an ultrasound to see the baby’s heart beat. My doc could not find the heartbeat and he was concerned that it might not be the good sac since I am having such bad cramps. It made me very sad and I did pray a lot for a healthy baby.

My doc told me to revisit on Dec 29th to again check the heart beat. According to him if there will be no heart beat by Dec 29th (6 weeks) then it’s not a good sign.

Weeks 2-3

We don’t know when our baby was conceived. Actually, we have a vague idea. Since we live in different states, we can narrow down the dates to when I was home in Jersey. That comes out to be the thanksgiving weekend from Nov 27—30. But we can’t be more precise because we live apart. So it could have been any one of those days.

You see the conception of our baby was an accident. No, that’s not correct. It was conceived in indifference. Amber has PCOS and PCOS means infertility. So a long time ago, we stopped using any birth control. Condoms after all take the fun out of sex. And the only time we got pregnant before was in 1996 which ended in a miscarriage.

So, hear nutcase relatives of mine (you know who you are), God wasn’t punishing us (by not giving us any kids) for using birth control like you thought. Stop being so crazy and judgmental.

On the other hand, I can’t say that the baby is unwanted or unplanned. We were thinking about a baby and were ready to have one. Our plans just called for this to happen a couple of months and thousands of dollars later.

If you have read Amber’s post, you might wonder if our perspectives are completely different. They were. Amber has always wanted a baby while I have been, ahem, indifferent. However, both of us have been getting closer to the other’s viewpoint recently. This pregnancy is the result.