Funny thoughts when you browse through your old websites during the weekend

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With some free time on my hands, I’ve been looking through my old websites, old clients’ pages, just for fun and maybe out of curiosity to see where they are today.

Some things haven’t changed, but some have drastically! Some – while I made them – seemed just ‘normal’ – but now when I look through it makes me laugh.

Try as I might, I cannot seem to come up with why I wrote this line

“Once a disaster strikes, and half the world is engulfed in turmoil, WHAT DO YOU DO??? Normally, most humans would die of a panic attack before anything else. But YOU, our client, can sit back and relax – your systems, websites, email – everything you depend upon from us – is up and running!” (ref:

The “panic attack” part really got to me. You know during those 4 years not a single one of my customers had a panic attack, let alone died of one – they didn’t always take hosting from us – other brand companies were on their list too. But I’ve never seen anyone have a panic attack no matter whether their website was down, hacked (because that service provider’s security was weak), or taken down (worst case) due to non-payment of dues.

Now I’d probably take a more conservative line and write a bit less on the site – but I’m just too lazy to take it down 🙂

Somehow, someday maybe I will start my consulting work again. And I’ll be inundated with work all weekend – oh joy.

Nah – my target is set and the focus is clear – a Brand CIO in a Fortune 500 Brand Organization in 2020. See you there.

Wine making @ Home – the way I do it

I’ve been making wine at home for a while now, and have always declined to publicize it.

Recently my colleagues tried some and were very excited in that the flavour seems (in their words) ‘better than any market wine they’ve tasted’… I’m sure this includes some poetic license and of course doesn’t make my skills on par with commercial producers… However it did make me decide to do this write-up.

In India, December/January/February are the best times to get grapes. When you’re lucky you get an excellent crop of reds if you hunt in the right places, and then 1kg feels just too less even for a snack – those are the grapes I look for.

Wine making as you’re aware is a simple process. All you need is yeast, grapes, and time.

The Yeast

The yeast I’ve always used is a regular baker’s yeast – packaged by Bluebird. It doesn’t cost much, and gives an excellent result.

Steps I use to prepare the yeast:

  1. Start with a bowl of warm water – about 500ml is adequate
  2. Dissolve 500gm of sugar into the water, then stir in the entire packet-full of yeast granules and leave covered in a warm place
  3. The yeast should soften up and start ‘fluffing’ – which indicates it’s started doing its job
  4. Once the yeast mix becomes frothy (usually does in ~5 minutes)

The Wine Barrel

Yes we need something to ferment the wine in, and then to let the wine settle in for ~6 months – so pick something you don’t use too often. I prefer to get a 20-litre water can (a good brand with a tough shell is preferred), transfer out the water and use the can.

The Grapes

Steps I use to prepare the grapes – no I don’t lay them on the ground and dance on top of them 🙂

  1. Pick out the grapes from the stem and wash thoroughly – preferably with a light soap (I use my home-made soap for this – it’s light, hand-friendly, effective and simply awesome!)
  2. Mash the grapes using a potato masher, and pour the juice into my fermenting can
  3. If you want high quality wine at this time you need to discard the pulp (as it has very little juice and squeezing it hard will result in your wine looking a little foggy)
  4. I usually squeeze the pulp till I get the last drop out – and then add in about a quarter of the pulp to the fermenting can to get a better colour

The fermenting

Mix in the now-very-active-yeast into the can, ensure there’s at least a few inches of space above the mix. Remember this process will produce carbon-di-oxide (CO2) – which protects the fermenting wine from external agents. If you fill the barrel fully you lose out on this protection; and yet if you leave too much space you’re allowing in possible contaminants.

Seal off the barrel (I use a plastic bag – others recommend a balloon or an air-lock) – I wrap the bag tightly round the mouth of the barrel and then poke a very fine needle hole in the centre.

Let this sit for 3 weeks.

Next article – coming soon!!