Thursday, December 13, 2012

BaltiMore Sun(Set!) - IMRAN™

I had to be in the Washington, DC area for meetings, and flying Southwest Airlines to BWI airport is the most convenient way. Except this trip.

I had pulled an all-nighter for all day and all week meetings in DC, on top of a difficult personal challenges filled week! Prayers appreciated my friends.

So I got to the airport early 0500 for the 0630 flight of 55 minutes. Due to fog at BWI, we could not take take off and a one hour trip became 11 hours in an airplane seat.

I could've walked faster, as I joked. Then some passengers who were allowed to walk around the terminal just left for home without telling anyone, so we had a person by person identification against a paper list. If it was an Extra passenger I'd say it was my evil twin brother. LOL. Instead we were a few passengers short.

By the time the check was done, BWI had closed landings again so we missed our take off slot! What a joke that process was. I did get to the hotel that night, ironically one I had last stayed at when it was brand new, 7 years ago. It took 12 hours door to door! I wondered if the local newspapers, the Baltimore Sun, had given news coverage to the delays.

But, by the next day, the weather had cleared, and that evening I was able to catch this spectacular sunset from my pocket Nikon 6200, through the unopenable and not perfectly clean 9th floor hotel window. Zooming it to the max ensured the window's impact on the photo was minimized, as I caught more of the BaltiMore Sun(Set). :-)

© 2012 IMRAN

Sunday, December 02, 2012

NetFlix CEO Makes Dubious Analogies On Cloud Computing

I read a magazine article titled "Netflix CEO likens cloud computing to early coding era".

That is quite a dubious, if not totally strange, analogy. Probably the same kind of logic led him to increase DVD by mail prices 60% (and lose me as customer among another million), try to create a new company to mail vs. stream, then fold it, and other such poor judgement calls.

If anything, one can argue that the stage today's cloud is in can be analogous either to rudimentary web site applications accessed over dialup with floppy disks to store data locally. 

Cloud Computing is changing (and benefiting from developments in) storage, network, compute and accessibility. As these continue to develop, as more innovation takes place in these areas, cloud will benefit, further driving innovation in those industries. 

What do you think?

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Friday, November 30, 2012

The Bridge To The Sun - IMRAN™

We can go through decades of life and the realize how quickly the days of our lives flew by. I wonder if the sun, hurtling on its own one-way ticket to burning out in the heavens one day, wonders how quickly its own billions of years of existence have flown by.

The last few weeks, months, even the year, have been a blur… of downs and ups, of sorrows and joys, despair and hope, but above all, a certain knowledge of how blessed this amazing life has been, and seeing dreams start turning to reality in front of my eyes.

An irony of these few weeks has been the destruction of the boardwalk to my beach here on Long Island, due to hurricane Sandy. The debris on the alternate path kept me from visiting the beach as much as before, so, I did not catch as many sunsets at the beach as before. Last night, well, just 5 PM EST really, I braved the really cold wind, and walking over debris fields, fallen tree trunks and treacherous piles of wood, to step back onto my home beach that I have been blessed to live at for nearly 20 years.

And, I saw the ironic imagery of how the setting sun's burning orb colors were exactly touching the tip of the bridge 17 miles away that the Nikon D300 and Nikkor 300mm (450mm eq) lens caught even with my trembling cold hands.

The Bridge To The Sun, which is the bridge to what makes our lives possible on earth, which are the bridge from when we are born to when our sun sets, and we, once born from stars, burn out in the cosmic winds leaving behind, we hope, shining images in the memories of those who love us, even better replicas of us in those whom we give birth to, and our deeds, and how we made people feel, and how we lived, laughed and loved to our last breaths…..

© 2012 IMRAN

Monday, October 08, 2012

Be/Hold The (Man); The (Super) Human Stain(ed) Glass View - IMRAN™

2012 has gone by in a blur of activity, even as what is likely more than half of my life has rushed by, as time flies, before it is time to meet my maker, at the end of my human life.

Because of the hectic schedule, I have not even been able to add more than one or two pictures here since I had the pleasure of passing the One Million Views mark in August 2012.

I was about to post a gorgeous sunset I captured at home in New York this weekend, when I remember the Stained Glass theme I played with words on, in the previous photo, of a butterfly, the wings of which almost appeared to be made of stained glass.

That reminded me that I had captured some photos deep inside the Köln Dom (Cologne Cathedral) on my arrival there, in Germany, exactly 25 years after my first visit. So, I decided to post a photo from that April-May 2012 trip.

This SOOC (Straight Out Of Camera) photo was simply framed in Photoshop and titled, otherwise, nothing was changed. It is how the Nikon D300 captured the windows of these religious symbols, of such symbolism and significance to many Christians.

I am a Muslim but went to Catholic schools in Pakistan. That is where I studied Shakespeare and was introduced to puns.

The title was based on too many puns that combined wordplay and mixing religious metaphors. Be! A powerful word ascribed to events carried out at the order of a supreme being. Behold the man. A baby Jesus image, likely the mother holding the child, who is to be a man many would follow and behold. Others would later attribute super human, even god like, powers to him.

And it reminded me of the movie with Anthony Hopkins that related to the games genes and mixed parentages can play, The Human Stain, coming full circle to the stained glass view, of great human beings, miraculous events, stained by violence and murder in the name of God, marred by near-idolatry worship of a great man whose message was to erase idolatry, seen through the windows of time, and stained glass windows....

Do as the man did, not by what others later tell you to do. Don't be BeHoldEn to dogma created in all religions by power hungry men decades and centuries later to usurp power, to legally steal money from poor believers, and to kill others, in the name of messengers of peace.

© 2012 IMRAN
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Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Stained Grass Wing Do? Bad Puns Seen On Good Fun Scene - IMRAN™

I was about to throw some burgers on the grill to savor the passing days of end Summer on Long Island, New York, as a strong onshore wind started picking up, carrying with it news of thunderstorms arriving tomorrow.

The butterfly bushes on my back deck were swinging wildly, but I saw several tenacious butterflies still at work. I only had the Nikon D300 with a 300mm (450mm eq.) zoom lens on the kitchen counter, so I grabbed it, and zoomed in full power. My attempt was to catch the butterfly and flowers lit by the sun but with the pale blue sky as the background.

It was impossible to get perfect focus, with the wind, the swinging bush branches, the fluttering wings and that it was a handheld maximum telephoto picture being taken of a butterfly barely a few feet away from me.

I still felt I should post the picture because of the shocking colors and textures I caught on the butterfly. They reminded me of stained glass windows and rich fabrics in famous cathedrals…. with straining Stained like Wings the grassy green leaves visible, as the butterfly did what it had to Do…. Stained Grass Wing Do was what I muttered to myself as a bad punny sounding title for this photo…

© 2012 IMRAN
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Tuesday, September 04, 2012

Lv LV Or Lv LV -- IMRAN™

Love Lois Vuitton Or Leave It, one does have to appreciate the unique look and style of the LV Store on 5th Avenue in Manhattan, New York.

This photo was actually stitched from 6 iPhone 4S pictures on the iPhone standing right outside the building, later imported into iPhoto on my MacBook Pro, and then processed in Photoshop CS6, before being saved as merely a 2.2 MB file.

© 2012 IMRAN
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Monday, August 27, 2012

Butterfly / Bush / (Whacked) - IMRAN™

I'll have to learn Spanish just to make the landscapers stop chopping off my Butterfly Bushes during hedge trimming. They did it twice this year but I managed to save the bushes the most recent time.

There was still enough time for them to bloom again, rising to about 9 feet, though much less than the 12-15' high they had gotten mid-summer. An amazing growth considering I planted these a dozen years ago, and each was less than one foot tall.

Like all past years, this weekend the butterflies again came out in force, even three at a time on each flowering branch. All peacefully savoring nature's bounty, while their wings showed scars of surviving encounters with predators.

My downstairs deck is filled with the sweet aroma of the bushes, and the dazzling colors of these lovely winged creatures, including a stunning midnight blue one that got away before the Nikon could capture it in a net of photons and electrons. Maybe next time!

© 2012 IMRAN

Friday, August 24, 2012

Blind Emulation Of Industries Like Technology & Entertainment Can Kill Pharma Firms & People!

McKinsey Quarterly, a business and strategy  journal I respect and enjoy reading, did a recent article "Pharma manufacturing for a new era: The sector can restore lost value by focusing intently on manufacturing innovation." This was one that I found logical sounding, but also found difficult to completely agree with.

It is an interesting analysis of what pharmaceutical industry players need to do, to be more like other big industries, in manufacturing operations. But therein lies the rub… pharma cannot completely be like other industries. The writers give examples of how it can learn from archetypical firms like Intel and Disney…. and the steelmaker, Nucor, which left me completely amazed.

Pharmaceutical firms face existential threats not because they do not have cool manufacturing plants like Intel, but when they spend billions in what can sometimes be nothing more than a scientific educated gamble. They can come up with something that "seems to work OK" and  then be denied the right to sell the resulting product -- as it may have side-effects no one can predict -- because the ultimate recipient, the human body, is still such a mystery. 

Keep in mind, I am no defender of pharma, much less any big industry. But, I want them to get a fair shake. Like many industries that get too big, and can (seem to) make "obscene" profits in the eyes of people, pharma gets the worse of both words compared to banking, oil companies, etc.

On the one hand people accuse them of exploiting suffering and on the other hand complain about the lack of more blockbuster drugs. That is not even counting the conspiracy theorists and others who suggest governments and pharma companies conspire to sit on cures for things like cancer "to make more money." {How NOT selling a cure and sitting on it makes more money they are unable to explain}.

We want firms to fund billions in research at their own risk, but ask them to throw it away the minute one patient in a trial dies of a heart attack (as happened just this week with a major drug trial). We put them through onerous processes that can take years, if not decades, then we complain about the time to market for new drugs. We look the other way when they lose billions on a failed drug, but then complain when they finally make a profit on something that (seems to) work… at least until some unknown side-effect pops up years later.

Much that we like Utopian ideals of only launching drugs that have no side-effects, and cost very little, we cannot forget that we live in the real world.

Intel can design a new version of a chip, usually based on an existing architecture, or even a new one entirely, but most likely targeted at one of its usual areas… e.g. CPUs for PCs, or cell phones. Pharma does not have the luxury of saying, we will keep redesigning and launching new versions of a drug every 90 days going after the same sore-throat market as the existing product.

Intel can decide to enter a new industry, say, chips for car entertainment systems, but using almost all the same core knowledge, with the same known laws of physics, electronics engineering and manufacturing, that they use for their other chips. Even if they decide to go into some new type of ASIC (application specific integrated circuit), they can use existing knowledge, skills, processes, people, manufacturing and some levels of innovation to quickly bring the chip to market, seed it to OEMs, see how it works, and go back to designing the next version improving on the last one. They do not have to wait for a trial of 100,000 devices over 2-5 years while they await approval from a government authority (like the FDA in USA) before they can actually "launch" or monetize the product. 

The writers' giving the example of Disney in a discussion on pharmaceuticals left me even more puzzled. Yes, DIsney went from a movies-based business into an entertainment conglomerate, but how does that relate to pharmaceutical manufacturing? Should pharma firms start selling soda, chocolates and cigarettes to move from being a medicine-based business to a "conglomerate of products that go down people's throats"?

The final comparison the article above makes is to the steel industry, mentioning Nucor. I am sorry, but which one of us would like to have our medicines, that go into our mouths, stomachs, hearts, brains, and bloodstreams, be made by pharma companies that somehow emulate (no disrespect to steelworkers) the steel industry!?

Yes, pharma firms need to focus more on strategy (all industries do), and learn from every other industry what makes sense to learn and emulate. Yes, they need more innovation (all industries do). Yes, we all know, almost any known product or manufacturing process in the world can be improved. NO, you cannot emulate Disney, Intel and Nucor to somehow become more successful in creating, manufacturing, and delivering safe, reliable, inexpensive, drugs that will win approval, of authorities, doctors and the rest of us.

Such blind emulation of other industries like Technology, Steel & Entertainment can kill not just the Pharma industry, but real people, like us!

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Summer/Night/City - IMRAN™

Nothing better than Times Square, Manhattan, the heart of New York City, the city at the center of the Universe, to feel, breathe, savor and live the energy of a summer weekend at midnight which one of my favorite ABBA songs refers to. Handheld panorama stitched from 38 photos is the size of a 36MP image. See larger to see individuals, faces, expressions, even folds in fabrics, as people dance to the internal beat, of Summer/Night/City. - © IMRAN
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Friday, August 17, 2012

Reason #1 That I Don't Get Anything Done! Life Is A Beach! - IMRAN™

Life is neither a bed of roses, nor a day at the beach. As a matter of fact, as I took this photo with my iPhone 4S, with the late summer Atlantic rip tide churning near my feet, I was contemplative.

The weekend brought with it an unexpected twist, an unresolved challenge, but I am not one to let the challenges of life faze me. But, as I sat in the wet sand, the reddish summer dusk starting its moody glow over my shoulder, I realized how blessed I am, have been, and, God willing, will be, until it is my time to go.

I resolve to make the best use of my time, to achieve my potential, to find my true love, and to leave behind a legacy, of a life well lived, a love incredibly loved, a family to be proud of and that is proud of me.

In the meantime, there is never a moment that I do not want to waste the opportunity to play with words, to jest with life, to mock fate….

A twist on a "Wish You Were Here" card came to mind, especially as it gave me an excuse to make excuses for all the excuses I cannot make for all the things in life I need to get done, but procrastinate away the precious hours. :-)

Yet, for all that, there are moments, even hours and days, when there can be no better way to savor one's blessings than to do nothing but soak in God's gift all around all day, and then take a break!

All the best to you, all, my friends.

© 2012 IMRAN

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Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Can't Ration Passion - IMRAN™

I experienced something on Sunday that reminded me of the tenuousness of life. As Pakistan and its youth prepare to celebrate Independence Day, and as my friends, family and beloveds presence in my life shows me how blessed I am, here's  something I whipped v0.1 together to remind you….

Can't Ration Passion
by Imran Anwar

Live, with passion. Love, with passion.
Desire, with passion. Lust, with passion.
Dream, with passion. Pursue, with passion.
Rebel, with passion. March, with passion.
Freedom, with passion. Devotion, with passion.
Achieve, with passion. Sacrifice, with passion.
Until it is time to Die, with passion!

Live long, play hard, love madly, die happy! .... Can't Ration Passion!

Friday, August 10, 2012

Why Email Is Here To Stay, Whatever The Platform Or Interface

It is ironic, and a sign of the times, that the two most interesting discussions in my office email (with many colleagues far smarter than me!) AND on my personal FaceBook page (with many friends even more opinionated than me!) are both about Email, and whether its time has come and gone.

My prediction: Email is here to stay.  Here is why.

Everything has a time and place (and audience). Face to face, telephone, old fashioned hand-written letter, email, post, tweet, all have their uses and none of them really replace any of the others.  As a matter of fact, they complement each other. They enable us to build deeper relationships leveraging these micro-contacts even when we are time-constrained and distance challenged.

I am all for social media. I love interacting with many among the nearly 10,000 people following me on Twitter ( if you’d like to connect), and nearly 10,000 more on FaceBook and Flickr. But it would be highly impractical to pull all of them  into my “real” Address Book or inundate my EMAIL Inbox.  The ones who become important to me on social networks are “upgraded” (or as they become real friends, colleagues, associates) to communicate with me via my “real email.”

BUT, here is something I like to point out to people who wonder if Social Media somehow will be a replacement for EMAIL? No!

What they are talking about is simply exchanging emails in much less robust, far less searchable, far less open, and far less secure, proprietary platforms of social media firms than traditional email systems.

Here is what that means….

We do not hold discussions with clients (or even personal family members) in newsgroups or mailing lists. We interact with them usually in one-to-one exchanges of messages sent in “electronic” “mail” called “EMAIL”.

The irony is that the “one on one” communications that takes place on Social Media (FaceBook, Flickr, you name it) is in one-to-one exchanges of messages just like traditional web-based email, that are exchanged out of the public eye, not on the Wall, not in the Timeline, not on a stream, but in specific areas, e.g. called Messages. And with far less flexibility, accessibility, security, or manageability. 

In other words, using  social media to “replace” Email simply means sending private "messages" on their platforms, simply email by another name!

Social media firms know email is, and likely will, remain the most used mechanism for one-to-one exchanges…. with the flexibility of multimedia multimodal multiple-use that even telephone calls do not offer.  

FaceBook is even more obvious in showing its recognition of this fact, by forcibly inserting as your default EMAIL address in the About > Contact Info page, until there was a huge outcry about it. Trust them to go back on their word… Even today they have NOT "fixed" the problem as they promised and most people's pages still show addresses.

Even worse, for those of you daring enough to place their entire (email) stock in a social network, think about this…

You post something that FaceBook deems inappropriate, or if you send out 20 invitations to people and 10 are not accepted, the clerical-gods of FaceBook (and other networks too) may strike you with e-Lightning and cancel your account. If that happens, good luck recovering your email, or any of your content, from there.

With traditional email providers, even if, say, Yahoo shuts down one day (sorry, Marissa!), Hotmail migrates to, Gmail spying gets too intrusive, you can still easily drag your emails onto another provider/server/account/computer/device. You still “own” or have far greater control over your emails/messages in these “legacy” email approaches than you do, or likely will, in the social media sites’ Messages boxes.

The tragedy of “regular” email is that many great discussions like the ones I mention above, including those with actual knowledge transfers from smart people answering questions, are lost in email folders’ deep recesses forever. Mail apps and operating systems like Windows and OS X are getting better at helping us "spotlight" what we need to find, but it can still be a pain, especially in corporate mailboxes. Sometimes you can have 200+ email messages with the same keywords mentioned and poorly written subject lines (a pet peeve of mine) making it next to impossible to find THE particular email you are looking for with the answer to that complex question someone had answered 3 months ago.

In my humble opinion, detailed technical topics, with specific questions asked and many valuable replies sent (that are the majority of traffic on most companies internal email discussions) would be so much more effective, less intrusive, and more useful to others later, if they were held on suitably tailored Microsoft SharePoint or Wiki type collaboration platforms. So, yes, for that email is not the right tool. And the unnecessary traffic (plus resultant bloated mailboxes with each reply-all containing the last dozens of emails in each discussion, in every instance of each message, in all of our mailboxes!) give rise to the type of very discussion my Enterprise Architect colleagues are having. 

When, over time, we are able to influence people to use collaboration tools where appropriate, social/mobile media (Yammer/Twitter/Lync/SMS) as practical or needed, somehow overcome a propensity to hit Reply-All on almost every email (another pet peeve ;-) ), get in the habit of writing better Subject lines (PLEASE, You can do better Subject lines than "Doc attached" or "Here it is" or the dreaded "RE:" !!), learn to judiciously delete previous body text not relevant or required, many of the reasons we complain about email would be reduced. 

So, yes, it may shift platforms, take on new interfaces, become more “intelligent”, but Email is here to stay, regardless of what platform we exchange it on…..

What do you think? Email me! 


Imran Anwar is a New York based Pakistani-American entrepreneur, Internet pioneer, inventor, writer and TV personality. His day job is with the world's best software company, but these opinions are his and his alone. He can be reached through his web site . You can follow him on Twitter at

Thursday, August 09, 2012

Leaving A Mark On The Sands Of Time - IMRAN™

Another Hidden Gem Of Eastern Long Island, New York.

A beautiful day to enjoy beautiful company riding on my motorcycle in beautiful weather to a beautiful beach on the Great Peconic Bay, near Southampton, for a beautiful afternoon and later a very special sunset and late evening on the beach, leaving my mark in the soft beautiful folds of nature, on the sands of time, as the day died a little death, as the night silently came roaring to life.
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Wednesday, August 08, 2012

Simply Spectacularly Stunning Sunset At Home

Simply Spectacularly Stunning Sunset At Home NY.

Light layers of clouds without overly heavy cloud cover to the Western horizon almost always ensure beautiful sunsets and gorgeous dusks at my home. Because of torrential rains the previous night, the air was so clear that the sky became brilliantly blue as a backdrop for the shocking pinks.

This dusk was so stunning I did not even make it to the beach and just stayed at the marina dock soaking in this scene.

Handheld photos stitched into a panorama, shown here in low resolution. IMG_6930
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Monday, August 06, 2012

Sun Settles On Seattle Scene - IMRAN™

I finally made it to Seattle Washington (after lots of time in Bellevue and Redmond the last 2 trips).

I had a great time walking Alki Beach Park with a friend, and we had a great dinner at Cactus. My special thanks to the beautiful young lady at the front desk, with gorgeous eyes, who took my friend and me to the top of the long wait list. :-)

As my friend and I walked along the water of Alki Beach Park, the beautiful Sunday was coming to an end. The street vendors at a small fair type event going on there were wrapping up.

A cool nip in the summer air surprised us but I had to stop to capture some photos with my Canon Vixia HD camcorder's built-in camera. It could not match what my Nikon D300 would have captured, but, it was the only camera I had carried with me on this trip.

The tendril like branches of a tree framing the scene…. the layers of mountains under layers of clouds under layers of colors looking like a painting…

So I went with that effect in Photoshop… calling this picture, Sun Settles On Seattle Scene.

© 2012 IMRAN
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Saturday, August 04, 2012

Seattle/Music/Scene - IMRAN™

Seattle/Music/Scene. Redmond Town Center Washington, Unknown Band Plays Well.
Check it out, short clip, great sounding group. Anyone know who they are?

Thursday, August 02, 2012

Earth, Wind & Fire (On The Water) - IMRAN™

Back home after a travel filled weekend and whole month, I stand on a Smith Point Beach deck right now to soak in this beautiful NY summer day languidly melting into the night.

The moist fertile land, in heat, from the strong demanding glare of the sun, opens itself to the cool breezy evening that drops in to seduce it and wrap it into the satin sheets of night.

Shades of passionate pink pastel drip longingly from the sky, now arousing nature, which starts to sing the sounds of night, then thrilling the hungry deep dark blue openness beneath blushing red…. engorged on the fiery heat of the hot sun, and laps up the pearly and pink colors dripping from the heaven above….. until all three, sated, spent, smiling, meld and melt into a tender triple embrace through the long longing night, while the moon, quietly, silently, stands to one side, with the seductive pull of a voyeur, so near, and yet so far…..

© 2012 IMRAN

Title refers to a music group, Earth, Wind And Fire, as well as a song by Chris de Burgh, Fire On The Water. iPhone 4S photo, brightened and framed in Photoshop.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Product Review: Glen Burton Wine Red Electric Guitar & Rocksmith on Xbox 360

Cover art
Cover art (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I bought my first Guitar when I was 17 (a few decades ago :-)) in Pakistan but never had the time to learn, especially as I got more into music synthesis, sequencing, and keyboards.

Arriving in Manhattan to attend Columbia Business School almost 25 years ago I immediately purchased a Yamaha (acoustic) that still adorns my Long Island home for nearly 20 years. During that time I did manage (despite an utter lack of talent and complete lack of training or music education) to create an electronic music CD a few years ago. Email me about nTrance: To The Tunnel Of Love. :-)

Of course, I have to thank Atari for the original experience (Atari 520, then 1040ST and finally Mega4ST) and Apple (various Macintosh desktops and laptops) along with Korg, Yamaha, Casio, Roland, and many others (including Ashar Nisar, as well as whoever wrote Music Studio for Atari, Dr. T for KCS, and Opcode for Vision) for helping but not completely hiding my total lack of musical talent. By the way, I still own those products in running condition 25 years later.

Anyway, back to this review. Despite my love for the Piano and for electronic music and the dual creativity of music tunes and sound synthesis on keyboards, here was something about the guitar that always attracted me. But, lack of time, knowing there was a calloused fingers price to pay, and other obligations kept me from it.

Then I bought an Xbox 360 with Kinect, and my interest in guitar was rekindled (not the Amazon Kindle kind :) ) by the availability of Rocksmith. At the price, for what is elaborate software, including a cable interface for ANY electric guitar to connect to the Xbox, along with licensed music (including the first rock tune I loved as a 7 year old, Can't Get No Satisfaction), and an ability to help even the untalented learn to strum guitar, I had to order it, and I did, from Amazon.

Since Rocksmith required me to purchase an electric guitar, I looked around, on Amazon, and one of my other favorite music stores, Guitar Center. I also checked out Best Buy. There were many great guitars in the several hundred dollars price range but I also knew that the likelihood of it becoming an expensive unused showpiece around the house was high. So I looked downmarket in price. Reading the great reviews on the Glen Burton guitar, I settled on it. Heck, even if it was never used, it matched the colors of my new Yamaha Y-ZF R6 motorcycle :) and would be a not too terrible waste of money. I did email the seller to see if there was a way I could get the Blueburst (gorgeous blue and black body) but I could not get it in time, or with Amazon Prime that I was planning to use. So, I went with this Glen Burton in wine red.

Both Rocksmith and the Glen Burton arrived on time the next day. I love Amazon purchase experiences but this was the first somewhat less than perfect ones.

Rocksmith, a software DVD and cable, came packed beautifully sturdily in the typical Amazon carton. The far heavier, more "breakable" and sensitive guitar, on the other hand, arrived in a carton just slightly larger than the guitar's own carton, with just a few folded layers of brown wrapping papers thrown in for "cushioning". (Others have commented on the poor packaging also). Mine, fortunately was not damaged, but the packaging was not up to par for Amazon experiences, in my opinion.

This is when it got more annoying. The product name clearly states: '39" Inch WINE RED Double Humbucker Full Size Electric Guitar [Fat Style] & DirectlyCheap(TM) Translucent Blue Medium Guitar Pick'.... but, there was nothing in there with a pick. I had to email the seller and was told that is shipped separately! It is "just" a piece of plastic but to get Prime (and pay extra per item for next day delivery) and then find out the pick will arrive later, after I would have left for a trip, was annoying.

Another thing that I was surprised by was the complete and utter lack of anything remotely like an "owner's manual". Even if I buy something for $1.99 at a Home Depot or someplace these days, I usually find even a tiny scrap of folded paper with some usage, or care, instructions. Nothing, zip, nada, for a nearly $100 product that will be used by many beginners. Nothing about a warranty. Nothing about how to care for it. Nothing about not putting it in a washing machine... OK, I say that last piece in jest, but you get the idea.

For less than $100 I am not expecting 2 separate manuals in 20 different languages and colored how-to plug-in instructions. But to have nothing at all in the box, and the seller's advice in an email to go buy a book, were extremely annoying and dissatisfactory. What do I ask for at the book store... "How To Clean Your Wine Red Electric Guitar For Dummies"?

The Rocksmith software, on the other hand, was delightful to set up and use - except for an initial hiccup. As you probably know, the software is basically of the type you've seen people play, e.g. Rockband etc., on their TV consoles. Notes of different colors come down the highway lanes representing different locations on the fretboard. But, no matter how hard I tried, each note made Rocksmith tell me to move one note over to the left. Every note, on every string. I tuned and retuned the guitar, but kept getting the same error.

I then did a Bing search (why Google when using an awesome Microsoft console :-) ) and found others reporting the same problem and found the answer to be exactly what I said. "No matter how hard I tried...." was the problem... When the strings are pressed too hard they stretch enough to change their tone, making Rocksmith thing you played one note to the left. Using a lighter touch I was immediately able to hit the right notes... of course, every 20th note of the actual songs. I have used Rocksmith thrice, once each day for about 15 minutes, so as to slowly toughen the fingertips, without overdoing it.

The guitar itself has been a satisfactory purchase. I will read up more in other places to learn about the upkeep and maintenance of such instruments (manufacturer gets a Fail for not including something in the box).

Overall, I have to say even the seller has been fine, and Amazon, as always, has been great to deal with. The seller's auto-reply says emails may take 24 hours to reply and generally he responded well within that time frame. Amazon was awesome in how quickly they offered to take the guitar back or to otherwise make up for the less than satisfactory experience. So, for that I would make this a 4.5 Star experience. But since there is no half-star option, and I do not want to give 5 stars due to the shortcomings, I will leave it at 4-stars.

I had to be in Seattle for the weekend and only got back to Long Island, New York, late last evening. I will get back on the Xbox starting my learning experience this week. Who knows, in these next few decades ahead, I may actually learn to play, not just own, a guitar. :-)

Rock On!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Summer Dusk Panorama At Heron Pointe NY - IMRAN™

Another Spectacular Summer Dusk At My Blessed Home Beach. iPhone panorama from 28 handheld photos, stitched, then cleaned up on MacBook Pro, Photoshop. 7300x2500 image. IMG_6447

Monday, July 23, 2012

Shades Of Red, White & Blue in/and RGB! - IMRAN™

iPhone 4S Photo Of A Perfect NY Summer Weekend At Home On Long Island, NY.

It is great to be back after 2 weeks away. Great trip to Seattle, Atlanta, Cincinnati, etc. Great meetings, great new professional connections, great new friends made (esp you TLC & MSM :-)), great weather, great (too much) food, great conference, great appreciation...

Worst part was being stuck at Philadelphia Airport's third world Terminal F and horrible USAir 'service', incompetent clueless people, crappy planes (two separate planes broke down on the same day just for that airport!)...making it just slightly less horrible than the airline I find most disgusting and never travel, AirTran.

But, I am safely home, happy, blessed, thankful, as always!

© 2012 IMRAN

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Product Review: Eikon To Go USB Fingerprint Reader With Apple Mac + Windows Software

I have always believed in the convenience of biometric devices. They have been hard to come by on Macs, but for many years I have used and appreciated a fingerprint scanner (infrared pad to USB) from Microsoft, that only worked on Windows, though sadly now does not work in Windows 7.

This Eikon fingerprint scanner is a USB plug in type for the Mac and comes with Windows software also. I tested and use it on both platforms, after buying from Amazon.

The product itself gets 3 stars, but the 4th star is for the fact that they made the effort to develop it for Mac, and even more so for how absolutely wonderful both the seller (reseller) and the manufacturer were to my emails about the bugs and frustrations I encountered.

It is finicky, it often takes 2-3 slides of the finger(s) or one slow very accurate swipe for it to work. Often I wonder if the 2-3 attempts are worth the hassle of using the device. On the other hand (no pun intended) it does log me in quickly when I do it "right". Using it regularly and getting used to it provide the benefit that you can ( I did) make the password far more complex/long than when just typing it in my hand. E.g. &*mYpa$$word&*43!! Instead of just &*mYpas$$ etc.

The worst thing about the design is that it is useless to plug in to a typical MacBook Pro (i5 15" for this case) when anything else is plugged in. It is too wide. So, it comes with a maybe 6" USB extension, but then it makes it even less attractive, in visual and usage sense.

Now you have loose hanging thing twisted upside down or sideways sitting on the side of your laptop (as the cables often have an inherent 'twist' torque in them that flip the device on its side), and it is now even less usable as you almost have to grab is with one, hold it up firmly enough so you can swipe a finger from the other hand through it.

Since I use external USB keyboards with my MacBook Pros, I tried to plug it into the USB built in to Apple keyboards. No joy, as the device will not fit there and even if it did, it would be under the keyboard body and not usable. Hanging it by the USB tail extension I can use it but it will always move around, still requiring the 2 hand use, unless I scotch tape it. Then, it makes the laptop a little less mobile if I have to remove it every time I travel.

I am also disappointed that despite taking far more repetitions to learn a fingerprint than a 10 year old Microsoft infrared fingerprint reader (sadly not compatible with Mac or even Windows 7 now), it still needs the finger swipe to be so specifically accurate. But, it i doable, and when you get used to it, it does save time.

A plus is that I have it working on an office provided Windows 7 laptop. A disappointment is that it does not store finger prints on the device for MAC users. It does store the fingerprints for the Windows software! So, technically I think I can carry it to different Windows desktops/laptops without having to save fingerprints x 10 x 5 repetitions per finger on each machine, but for each Mac I would have to go through that process.

Based on just how cooperative the seller and the manufacturer have been, and the price, and overall tolerable usability, I am considering getting another unit so I can leave one taped to the desk and one to carry with me or use on the other laptop(s). Or, of course, I will be happy to buy the next great biometric device that comes out for my preferred platforms. 

But please be aware of the shortcomings (and advantages) before you order this or similar devices.

Imran Anwar


Thursday, July 12, 2012

Palm ~ Beach. Far From Palm Beach! - IMRAN™

Palm Beach, Florida, one of the most affluent, and classy, places in the world, is also one of my favorite places to have lived in. Singer Island, the location of my old Tiara condo, and the mega rich Palm Beach Island, have some of the most stunning Atlantic Ocean waters and beautiful beaches with palm trees lining the roads, and the area.

I finally got to visit the Gulf of Mexico side of Florida several times this year, including a beautiful memories-making trip to the Naples, Fort Myers Beach, and Captiva/Sanibel areas culminating in another visit to Apollo Beach and Tampa Bay.

It was on my first evening in Fort Myers Beach (the island side) that I captured this sunset view from my resort balcony showing a stunning silhouette of trees against the melting pink vanilla gold sky.

A vision of Palm ~ Beach, far from Palm Beach! I am sure you will love this photograph.

© 2012 IMRAN

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Thursday, June 28, 2012

I ♥ NY. Empire State Of Mind, In 2D, 3D, Or 36D! - IMRAN™

Empire State. I Love NY. It has an energy all its own, unmatched by any other city. Walking on Avenue Of The Americas (6th Av), at 34th Street, I noticed how the Empire State Building appeared perfectly framed by the other buildings, and, in this iPhone 4S photo, appears almost 3D-ish.

The ♥VS at the bottom of the picture adds, ummm, another dimension to liking the photo. LOL

Unedited iPhone 4S Photo framed in Photoshop.

© 2012 IMRAN

Monday, June 25, 2012

I, Solitary Soul, Eye Sole, A Tree, See By Sea - IMRAN™

Despite living in America for nearly 25 years, and despite having had a second home in Florida for nearly half of that time, I had never been to the Gulf Coast, ever, until earlier this year.

My nearly 2 weeks driving along the Gulf coast of Florida was a fascinating part of a nearly 3 weeks long drive I did along the entire Florida coastline.

This is definitely not a straight out of camera photo. It was during a detour to a remote, nearly desolate peninsula, near Bald Point State Park, that I, a solitary soul, eyed this sole tree stump, standing open in seeming solitary confinement under the punishing sky raining fiery heat on it day in, day out.

The hazy weather, and ironically, a completely accidentally screwed up camera setting led to a photo that was interesting in subject, but boring visually. As I was trying to undo the damage of the wrong settings in Photoshop at home in New York, a few wildly (and randomly) applied settings led to this almost 3D effect, which I thought made it visually, and conceptually, interesting enough to share.

I hope you will enjoy this random output.

© 2012 IMRAN

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Sorry NY Times, "Pakistan's Ménage à Trois" Is Really An S&M Orgy Of Rapists And Murderers On Board The Titanic

The New York Times today (June 22, 2012) published an article by Huma Yusuf, of the well respected Daily Dawn in Pakistan. The piece, titled Pakistan's Ménage à Trois, is a good summary of a bad situation... the political climate in Pakistan.

Every powerful institution is making a blatant power grab, while the common man is melting, literally, from 20 hour power failures. The country is blowing up, also literally, at the hands of the Taliban. They are bleeding to death at the hands of ethnic gangs and fundamentalists.

Without admitting to any experience of Ménage à Trois ;-) , I must sadly disagree with the writer or the newspaper calling Pakistan's political situation by that name....

A Ménage à Trois generally works best preferably with three very loving individuals, or at least two loving people with a third one they also have affection for, all willingly seeking a pleasurable experience which should delight all involved mutually, and provide possibly more than some fun to any onlooker, Peeping Tom, or voyeur.

In Pakistan what we are seeing, and wishing we weren't, is an S&M orgy -- with murderers and rapists  in attendance, wearing masks of faux sincerity, where, instead of overflowing passion, we have blood flowing on the streets, from Khyber to Karachi.

As I have written, and spoken about this on TV and radio,... Pakistan is like the Titanic that has hit several icebergs. But its captain, engine crew, and security personnel are all equally busy fighting over what chair they will sit in.

They fight over who is more sincere, even as they are stealing cutlery, fine china and anything else of value -- while the ship sinks and the passengers drown.

If James Cameron wants to make a much bigger disaster movie than Titanic, and with more weird looking characters than Avatar, that makes him see worse depths than his drop to the ocean floor, he should consider a documentary on The Abyss of Pakistan Politics. I bet he will want to send in The Terminator.

That is the sad, ugly, truth.

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Friday, June 15, 2012

Clouds On Fire - IMRAN™

Clouds On Fire - IMRAN™ by ImranAnwar
Clouds On Fire - IMRAN™, a photo by ImranAnwar on Flickr.

I have been traveling most of the last several months of this year. So I have not had much time to post photos, even though I have taken many more than usual.

I hope you enjoy this fiery red sky, clouds on fire, above the Great South Bay, at Smith Point Beach, near my home on Long Island, New York.

© 2012 IMRAN

Monday, May 07, 2012

I Am Amaryllis - IMRAN™

I Am Amaryllis - IMRAN™ by ImranAnwar
I Am Amaryllis - IMRAN™, a photo by ImranAnwar on Flickr.

Click to see larger!

Two years ago I was at a local home fixtures store when I saw a packaged bulb-in-a-pot offer for what looked like a lovely flower photo on the cardboard carton.

Even for someone who does not actively garden, I am blessed with having a green thumb (except when it comes to enough Dollars… that color green always slips through my fingers too fast LOL).

I purchased it, and planted the included bulb and dirt in the silver-painted plastic container.

I was thrilled when the bulb shot up stem a few months later and a beautiful set of flowers erupted.

I do not think I got a chance to photograph that set. Later, I ignored the instructions on how to take out the bulb and store it and how to revive it next season.

First two, and then just a single long green blade stayed alive for another year.

I just lightly watered the pot every few months. And, just when I got home from a long trip abroad, I was thrilled to see this explosion of sweet, stunning, shining, shimmering pink flowers all bloom within a two day period, shouting….

I Am Amarlyliis!.

Even without any special place to photograph them, I took pictures with the iPhone 4S and the Nikon D300, and they came out looking like an art gallery exhibit of white on white against my simple jacuzzi bathroom wall.

I had to change my usual framing colors to honor this simply stunning pink flowering plant. I hope you enjoy this beautiful flower as much as I am even as I write these lines.

© 2012 IMRAN

Thursday, May 03, 2012

CURES For Security Challenges In Cloud, Crowd, Big Data And The Big Bad World

An industry colleague and fellow blogger/journalist Mary Jander wrote an interesting article, "Security May Be Too Big a Job for IT" on Internet Evolution. It was a thought provoking post. Though I only see two comments on it at the time of writing this article, I am, for someone often taking contrarian views, quite in agreement with both Kim Davis and smkinoshita who wrote comments there. They talked about collaboration, and where the role of Security in an organization should lie.

With the advent of Cloud Computing, and more and more use of public, hybrid and public cloud converged infrastructures, one of the questions I am asked most often is, "Oh, is the cloud secure?"

Ironically, this is common between a housewife sitting on a flight next to me and a CEO that I may be advising.

"Nothing is secure, unless you make it a collaborative business of everyone in the enterprise to make it so," is what I, sometimes to their chagrin, bluntly tell them.

The problem is how Cloud Security, IT Security, Information Security, Data Security, Premises Security, Perimeter Security, XYZ Security, are still almost islands of imagined security unto themselves. This is not so much a technical limitation as an issue of three major distinct issues.

The first is due to enterprise architectures designed for the last century, or at best, for the last decade.

The second is the human element of doing management by dividing large entities into smaller pieces for easier management. That works great for operations, project management, etc. but is a terrible approach to security.

The third is a lack of collaboration (and integration) where it counts (end-to-end enterprise security) while organizational leaders patting themselves on the back for having rolled out some collaboration platform for sharing Word documents and Excel files.

This problem is not new. It goes back decades.

In 1999, as CEO of EverTrac, a pioneer of location-aware mobile information management & security, I was privileged to speak to top leaders at the United States Space & Missile Defense Command (I still get goosebumps at that name :-) and tell people to envisage Crystal Palace in one of my favorite childhood movies, War Games) at an Undisclosed Location in Alabama :-) .

But, excitement aside, I was surprised (and seriously concerned) when they were surprised at my saying they had to worry more about the information than about how to secure the servers and data centers, as they were focused on.

Even more, I said, they had to start thinking in terms of erasing boundaries between security departments -- not just in IT but even with and within non-IT. At the level of criical importance their Star Wars program was (and the nature of information today must be even more important and the threats even more nefarious and multifarious), not only would there be attempts, I said, to break in over the network, but physically, as well as various combinations.

The advent of mobile devices, global networks, hacking tools, complicated systems with often un-patched vulnerabilities, managed by people either lacking or not interested in keeping up with the latest iterations of technology and security challenges and solutions, all touching the cloud, make for an explosive mixture.

Even in 1999, I declared to my audience that these problems had CURES™.
I said Collaborative Unified Realtime Enterprise Security (collaboration was not yet a buzzword then) would be key to solving the problem before it became intractable. Sadly, 12-13 years later, even the top companies in private sector high information value businesses do not get it.
I continue to highlight this even more vociferously the more our lives generate, use, and are governed by, floods of big data, accessible to crowds large and small, all in a cloud with nebulous threats and security capabilities. I am glad others are taking up this serious problem.
Together, we can find the CURES!

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Wednesday, May 02, 2012

25 Years!

I left Pakistan early on the morning of the 19th, for my first flight into Europe, my first trip abroad, landing in Europe on April 19, 1987. It was an incredible April to June trip.

I promised I would return, and I did, visiting France, and Spain, at other times in the past few years.

But, I had not previously made it to Holland, even though I had passed through Schipol, Amsterdam, during my trip to Barcelona, Spain, (ironically with a Dutch born then GF).

By the grace of God, I took a flight that left USA on the evening of the 18th, when it was EXACTLY the same time in Pakistan EXACTLY 25 Years after my first international flight, to again travel to Europe on the same exact date as my first trip.

April 19, 1987. April 19, 2012. Exactly 25 years later, I am back to commemorate that awesome chapter in my life.

God is kind and has blessed me with an incredible journey, every step of the way, Please keep me in your prayers. May we all meet and celebrate such anniversaries another 25 years from now. Amen.

© 2012 IMRAN

iPhone 4S photo taken by a random tourist who I offered to take a picture of with his camera. This was after 24 hours of travel, and 30 hours awake!

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Saturday, April 14, 2012

How To Think Clearly Before You Buy A Motorcycle!

I just read an interesting article in BusinessWeek, How to Buy a Motorcycle by Mitch Daniels.

I love motorcycles. (Of course, I love flying, boating, driving German cars, and motorcycles, in that order!).

My Dad bought me my first (and until recently only) motorcycle, a Yamaha Enduro in Pakistan in 1981-82, when they were still imported from Japan.

Twenty years later, in about 2001-2002, here in the USA, I went to go buy another bike because I wanted to enjoy them while I was physically fit. (I prefer racing style bikes to hogs). I figured the under $200 monthly payment was worth it, but was dissuaded by the shocking price of comprehensive insurance.

The insurance company was treating me like a new rider considering how long I had not ridden officially. (I did take friend's bikes in Pakistan for occasional spins during trips there in that time).

So, 10 more years went by, but as I near 50, I took the leap and last year at my birthday, got myself a gorgeous 2011 Yamaha YZF-R6.

The R1 was just a couple thousand dollars more, and a year older unsold Kawasaki 1400cc was just a thousand more on clearance. It was very tempting. But, I realized the few thousand dollars more was worth the price of the toy but not the almost certain guarantee to have too much power and get myself killed.

However, even though I decided on the 600cc, even after the R6 was delivered to me, I did not ride it until I had taken three riding classes. I was delighted at how the instructors were pleasantly surprised that I did not need classes but took them anyway. And I am glad I did. I still learnt so much more. I had all the mechanical and riding skills to pass my test, but the lessons, the tips, the advice, the stories of how people get in trouble, made the riding classes a great investment.

Fortunately, I realized something a lot of people may rather forget. In the 30 years since my first Yamaha, the bike I owned went from 100cc street legal dirt bike weighing probably 100 lbs to a 600cc monster of power (max speed 165 mph) weighing 350 lbs, while my body, though fairly fit, has gone from that of a 150 lbs. 18 year old to a man nearing 200 lbs. and 50, even if not feeling (or looking, LOL) it.

I also bought, and read, books like Proficient Motorcycling, and others, and learned even more. In about 8 months, including winter in NY, I put nearly 4000 miles on the bike and loved every minute of it.

I believe in the adage that at the end of life we regret the things we did not do more than the ones we did (and shouldn't have). But, keep in mind, there are many cases of people where the purchase of a motorcycle more than they could handle led to a hastened end of life.

So, be very, very careful in making this decision. I did not regret it and am blessed so far. But I realize, one false move, even from an inattentive car driver on the road, can mean the end for me.

Choose wisely. Ride safe. I'll see you on the road. 

Keep Track Of Road Rules: Rule The Road And Track! IMRAN #Yam... on Twitpic

Friday, April 13, 2012

Clock Tower, Sea Time - IMRAN™

Singer Island, Florida, is a place I fell in love with when I made it my second home in America in 2003.

One of the nearby places I loved going with special people in life has been Palm Beach, the ritzy but understated, island home-ground and playground of the rich and (many choosing NOT to be) famous. In particular, Worth Avenue is a great place to hang out, where old money meets new glitz. Fancy stores of the world's most posh brands stand next to understated elegant dining. Expensive cars that seem to flash irritatingly in Miami appear to be quietly parked along the street as their owners quietly and without pretense walk the sidewalks.

On the East end of Worth Avenue, a maor renovation was done recently, which included the building of this clock tower. Its architecture has elicited diverse comments, but the view from inside and around it is wonderful.

My last trip here recently was on a stormy night, and the rain was falling on me as I stood by the roadside, taking advantage of low traffic at that dusk hour, when the sky was still bright but the lights were turning on, when the clouds were menacing, but the sea was welcoming.

As I stood there, I realized, as the seconds of our lives go by, standing under a Clock Tower, Sea Time and distance merging at the horizon, you see time through a portal, the image merging time gone by and the endless promise of a beautiful life still ahead, despite the storms on the horizon.

Handheld photo captured with my spare Nikon (pocket sized 16MP Coolpix 6200 ISO1600, f/3.2 at half-second 4.5mm), as I did not want to risk damaging the D300 in the rain.

© 2012 IMRAN


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Monday, April 09, 2012

Pigeon, Homing - IMRAN™

Pigeon, Homing - IMRAN™ by ImranAnwar
Pigeon, Homing - IMRAN™, a photo by ImranAnwar on Flickr.

I stood on the shore of Pompano Beach, Florida, more than a thousand miles from the shore of my NY home, and not too far from where I had my second home in Florida.

I was soaking in the late winter sun, the stunning turquoise blue waters, and foaming white surf.

I stopped to take a photo of this wild pigeon, thinking how a breed of this bird can be used as a carrier/homing pigeon that can travel a thousand miles on its own.

It can fly at 50 mph for long distances and even up to 110 mph over short races.

As I contemplated this and looked at the bird, it in turn observed me. It sat there for a while, and then suddenly took off.

I only had an instant to change focus, while the bird focused on the mission at hand.

It was hard to do on a manual focus 300mm-450mm eq zoom which barely had space to focus on the pier wood a few feet from me.

But, in that instant, the shallow depth of field was perfect to catch the pigeon, the moment after it launched, it's wings stretched almost like an eagle's, as it homed in on the Nikon Moment.... Pigeon, Homing!

The Nikon D300 caught the spectacular blue and white rolling surf and sea, the dark grained wood, and the sharp, intensely focused glare of the piegeon's menacing orange ringed eye…. while the sun behind my shoulder reflected its shoulders brightly, making it an intense, interesting and incredible moment.

I hope your imagination also takes off on seeing this photo as you, I, we all, home in our goals in life, in this time we share on this planet.

© 2012 IMRAN

Friday, April 06, 2012

Sun. At Half Mast. Literally. - IMRAN™

SOOC. Image Straight Out Of Camera, absolutely unedited and untouched. (Only frame and titles added in Photoshop.)

I am blessed to live on the water, looking at glorious silky satin smooth silver blue waters in the morning and luscious, brilliant sunsets and dusks, from all the windows of my blessed home on Long Island, New York.

The beach my home is on also gives me magical moments to savor, to make memories in, and to photograph sunsets.

But, sometimes the stunning imagery lies to the side of the house, if I walk out the ftont door and head to my boat slip or beach, the setting sun behind the marina to the side makes for interesting combinations, of sun, clouds, and sailboat masts.

This latest photo I captured at the side of the home was of the Sun sliding down behind the sailboat while the clouds seem like wave passing in front of the… Sun. At Half Mast. Literally!

I hope you enjoy this totally unedited SOOC photo. Click to see larger and on black.

© 2012 IMRAN

Thursday, April 05, 2012

The Blame In Pakistan Lies With…..

Basit Jehangir Sheikh Formar President Distric...
Basit Jehangir Sheikh Formar President District Kasur with Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto Former President Pakistan and the founder of Pakistan Peoples Party (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Benazir Bhutto, photographed at Chandini Resta...
Benazir Bhutto, photographed at Chandini Restaurant, Newark, CA by iFaqeer (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Did I miss offending anyone with this comment I posted on a Pakistan friend's Wall?

She posted a photo of the front page of the respected Pakistani newspaper, Dawn, of the day power-hungry despot but once popularly elected Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto, ousted Prime Minister of Pakistan, was hanged to death by the creator of the ISI, lapdog of the CIA, and purveyor of hate, intolerance, violence, ethnic strife and religious fundamentalism, Zia-ul-Haq.

"I was a big fan of Zulfiqar Bhutto. Met him as a pre-teen (with Col. Qaddafi on the same day!). I'd met dictator Zia several times. The first time was as a student at Aitchison College, Lahore, when, even as a self-imposed President of Pakistan, he was the de-facto Chief Guest.

Later, after leading a protest against his martial law regime, I was arrested, tortured, court-martialed and imprisoned in Lahore's Kot Lakhpat prison. I was 20. And, later, I met the repulsive dictator at media events, when I was working for the Jang Group newspapers.

I recall I was visiting my Karachi home, from Lahore, and was woken up with the news that Bhutto had been hanged. It was inevitable, but still, a shock. It was always said that "There is one grave, and two men. One has to go in."

I was devastated by Bhutto's hanging (which he brought upon himself in his state of hubris) and I had always despised Zia (Islam-thaikedar evil dictator intolerance breeder ko karwat karwat jahannumm naseeb ho) {May he face hell on every turn and twist in his grave… come to think of it… he did burn alive in a plane crash}.

But, to this day, people tend to blame one or other for Pakistan's problems. In my humble opinion, 80% of the root causes of Pakistan's economic problems were because of ONE man, Bhutto and his selective socialism.

He nationalized all that was working in free markets in Pakistan yet let waders {feudal landlords who were lapdogs of the British raj} like himself fraudulently hold on to jageers {estates} and tax free land income.

90% of the intolerance, hate, violence in Pakistan is because of ONE man, evil Zia.

The remaining 20% of economic and 10% of hate mongering problems are because of "ordinary people" like all of us in Pakistan, especially those of us who worship personalities like incompetent Benazir Bhutto, corrupt Asif Zardari, hypocrite Nawaz Sharif, criminal and repulsive Altaf Hussain, and even slogans-without-solutions Imran Khan, instead of doing what WE can to fix OUR own ways.

Not to mention power hungry corrupt Army generals who can only occupy their own country and stinky illiterate spiteful mullahs. Only when the people of Pakistan decide to take control of their own destiny, demand specific detailed plans from their present and wannabe leaders, is there any hope.

Otherwise, Pakistan will continue its path through history like a drunk bull in a china shop.

(Sorry, did I miss offending anyone? LOL)"


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