Monday, August 25, 2008

seen in the neighborhood

I have found that I love to take photographs of the daily things, of the little things that one sees around us, in our homes and in our neighborhoods, but often overlooks. Thanks to my morning walks, I have become much more aware of everything around me and have started noticing how they would photograph. Since I have a good but basic point and shoot camera, I try to always use the light to my advantage. The early morning light is always wonderful when I walk in my neighborhood and I have been able to spot and document lots of interesting sights in the past few months.

Stop for love

A new recipe stash

I'm an avid fan of searching for stuff on the Internet and the one kind of search that I've been doing a lot of recently is of recipes. I'm no chef and need all the help I can in the kitchen and I find that a lot of recipes that one finds on Internet sites are not only tried and tested recipes but also much more simpler and less complicated ones than what one finds in recipe books.

The next step after finding recipes is organizing them and that's where sites like comes in with its recipe organizing tools. Not only will you be able to find some really great recipes here, but you will also be able to store them for future use, so you don't have to go crazy looking for them later on. As a first time visitor, I was really impressed by the site and found some really great chicken recipes which I stored and have made on several occasions.

I really like the option of being able to search by ingredient, so I can find a new recipe for odds and ends that always seem to get left right before one goes shopping again. Another thing I really liked about this site was that it is very user friendly and looks very appealing design-wise. I've been really happy with it and am so glad I found it.

the next trip

Well, our next trip has been booked and we're excited to be getting away for a while. We're planning a two week trip back home for some family functions as well as a short but much needed retreat to the hills. I do hope it will go according to plan, as there are lots of balls up in the air, so to speak. I really need to go out for some fresh air, especially fresh mountain air, it will be six months since I last went up to the hills and I'm dying to be there again. The hardest thing for me to deal with living in the desert is the constant heat and air conditioning. The past few months it has been too uncomfortable even early in the mornings, so I'm starting to feel a bit claustrophobic now. Just thinking of the hills makes it better though.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

current must haves

I've really been surprised at the number of name brand that have become so important in the baby industry. Every one now must have a recognizable and rather famous Bugaboo stroller or something that everyone can recognize from celebrity photographs. It's certainly a very interesting place and time to be in, and to study the sociology of the people involved. In fact, we are all involved, since we are all influenced by trends, fads and things inspired by celebrities. With baby products, this has been taken to a whole new level though, making it a very interesting segment to watch.

photos of Madinat Jumeirah

Some shots from our trip to the Madinat Jumeirah hotel in June. It was a fun trip, which we made using an abra (water taxi) to go and using a golf cart to return. The abra was definitely a better experience, more interesting and more memorable of course as well. This was the Al Qasr section of the hotel which is only for hotel residents and their guests. They make a photocopy of your id before they take you to this section of the hotel, which is all very interesting.

falling car prices and insurance

I've been reading in the newspaper about how much the price of expensive gas guzzling cars has dropped since the gas prices have sky rocketed, and have been wondering how this will affect car insurance rates. For a lot of people, this is a great time to buy a vehicle, although buying a gas guzzler is not good for any time of the year or economic situation, I feel. Insurance rates usually stay quite competitive, especially if you search online, where it is possible to get some really good rates. I wish I had done that when i bought my last car, when I ended up getting insured by the agent tied up with the car dealer, often the most expensive of the lot.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

a blogging lincoln

It's been ages since I visited, which is one of my favorite cartoon sites online. Sadly, the site no longer has any new cartoons, barely one in 4-5 months or so, which is practically nothing. Anyway, because there is nothing new, I've been checking out their archives and found this one about Lincoln and blogging. How weird it would have been!

If Lincoln Blogged

How we usually select our financial services

A lot of my assignments have been on the banking industry lately, and so I've been doing a lot of reading and researching on different kinds of bank accounts, interest rates, how to go about getting a balance transfer credit card, the advantages of transferring your balance to another credit card and so on. Every adult has a bank account, or at least should have one, but I serious think that no one really does any kind of research before opening an account. The location of the bank seems to be the number one priority, along with free and available parking. The actual banking services don't even get discussed, and if they do it's only about the basics, which is really sad, since they doing them selves a disservice. Do take time out to understand what your bank account is about and what the fine print is in the credit card statement. It'll pay off, I promise.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

A flickr milestone

I started my flickr account a couple of years back, but didn't start turning my photos public till January this year. It's simply been an amazing run to get a great set of flickr friends from across the world and to see photos of people, places and things that are going on in Houston or Finland or Bali or Mozambique. For anyone who hasn't given flickr a try, i would highly recommend a visit to their site and also the explore page.

Here's a shot that I took some time back and uploaded yesterday.
Rolling past 10,000...or is it 38,000+?

finding stuff

There are those who are experts at all things electronics and for the house. Well, unfortunately, I'm not one of them, and I like to rely on the experts for their advice. Say, I want to get some audio racks but I'm not sure where I can get the nicest ones, I'd rather just go and Google it along with my area and go to wherever the results say. I do pay attention to the forums etc, which I find is a great way to get a true picture of what people think of a product or service, and not the marketed version. Everyone has their own system of doing things and this one works for me.

July reading

The past month has been super, super hectic for me. It's been a great month for work and I have done several fun assignments. It's also been a really great month for reading and I have managed to read 4 books instead of my allocated two for each month. The first two I read were about the Bush presidency, The Fall of the House of Bush and Imperial Presidency, both of which are good reading, but I personally preferred the first one. I then changed tactics and read The Boleyn Inheritance by Philippa Gregory, which is about two of Henry VIII's wives. I also read Deep France by Celia Brayfield, a British writer who moves to the Bearn region of France for one year and writes about her experiences in this book. I highly recommend the last two books, they were enjoyable, knowledgeable and engrossing.

summer decisions

It happens every summer. The sales of all kinds of diet pills increases significantly as everyone tries desperately to get into shape as fast as they possibly can. When taking any new kind of diet medication or diet plan, one must make the effort to visit one's physician so that there is no medical issue that can be compromised in your quest to lose weight. All diets must also be taken slowly and steadily, since the slower one loses the weight the longer it stays off, which is the best goal to have. For some, taking weight off too slowing is just not enough incentive, but it has been proven to be the most effective.