Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Visiting LV? Read this first.

Well, while I am on the subject of traveling to far off places, might as well indulge in some armchair travel to Las Vegas, the mecca of good times! When it comes to looking for hotel in Vegas, look no further than booking rooms here on the Internet, since it is the best way to find cool deals and special offers for the city. This way, you'll be able to see the room you have booked, maybe even order special services and plan tours etc, keeping more time for enjoyment once you're there. I can't imagine what traveling must have been like before online booking became common practice.

More than a vacation

There has been a lot of armchair traveling going on here for the past few days and the destinations have varied from Ladakh to the US, Maldives, Montenegro, Solomon Islands and beyond. It started when I got an travel assignment but quickly grew to beyond just researching a destination for work. When it comes to traveling and exploring, there isn't enough time (and money of course) to go to all the places one really wants to. Lately, I've been leaning towards going for an low-impact sort of holiday, a trek combined with social service or a meditation camp or some such thing. Haven't really figured out what exactly I want to do, but it needs to be more than a regular sightseeing kind of vacation.

Maybe I should start somewhere here:

Ladakh trip 4

A luxurious place to stay?

In all our travels over the years, I have realized that what really makes me happy is not completely what I expected, as in the most luxurious of digs don't make for a perfect vacation for me. I'd much rather stay in a more homely and personal place, which is what we did when we traveled for our summer and winter US trips in 2006. I've stayed at posh hotels in places like Bangkok, and while it was great it didn't make for a memorable vacation. In contrast we stayed at a wonderfully warm place in Pattaya, which was posh but not outwardly so. I guess, the point that I am trying to make is that I hate the snobbery associated with most luxury hotels, which you just can't seem to get away from. For some people having some luxury real estate is essential, but for me I'd rather have a place that was more personal and unique.

Monday, January 28, 2008

A dream trip to Ladakh

The past couple of days, I've spent a lot of time uploading pictures on Flickr from my parents trip to Ladakh in June 2006. The photographs are amazing and I'm keen to get some of them enlarged and framed for my home. I was to go on this trip with them, but then ended up going to the US for a wedding my in-laws instead. That was a good trip too, but I'd really like to go to Leh and Ladakh with my parents, since they are really a lot of fun to travel with and my father knows a ton of stuff about the area, geography, history, culture and so on.

Here's a photograph of the Suru Valley taken by my father.

Ladakh trip 2

The reach of the Internet

The interesting thing about the internet is that it is a place where everything is possible. You can buy things like platform shoes, send flowers or cards, research a history paper, check up on the latest changes in the stock market and so on. There is something for everyone in the Internet and that is one of the reasons for its success and adaptation by such as wide range of people at different ages. It really is an enabler, making things possible that might not be otherwise.

No more monday blues

Long time since I posted here. Lots has been going on and time just seems to pass so quickly here, that before one knows it days and days have gone by. I thought I would have a hard time adjusting to the difference weekend schedule here, but it has been quite easy actually. The best part is that it makes the week go by so much quickly and before you know it, another weekend is here. Also my usual Monday morning dread is finally dissappearing since it's not the the start of the week anymore. It really has been quite a surprising revelation and I'm rather thrilled about it.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Is it time to exercise?

According to research, the most exercise equipment is used is after the holidays. People do use it a lot in late spring and early summer as well, so as to get back into shape to get into a swimsuit as well. Whether it is a treadmill or something else that you work out on, chances are that you're using it more these days than you do during the rest of the year, thanks to all the parties you attended during the holidays. If you have a treadmill at home, its a good way to beat the winter blues and keep in shape as well. It's all just a matter of creating a routine.

bLaugh on digg

Here's a new cartoon from the folks at bLaugh. This one is about Digg, which seems to be becoming one of their favorite topics. I'm quite sure there were a couple of cartoons on Digg earlier as well. Definitely was one that was published earlier at least. This is a good one, but I'm still not so keen on the font they are using. I still prefer the old one, which was easier to read and didn't take attention away from the cartoons, which this one seems to do.


Enjoy!
The Real Reason Behind Digg’s Bury Brigade

Monday, January 21, 2008

Following the celebs

With each passing month, a greater number of Americans go into rehab to deal with problems with drugs and alcohol that they can no longer deal with themselves. With the number of celebrity magazines reporting on Hollywood It girls entering and exiting drug rehab, it has actually become a fashionable place to be seen, I suppose. It also gives the recipient a fresh slate to start from all over again, so to speak. Not sure how many cases will actually be successful at being clean or sober for a long period of time, which is something that only time will tell.

Relying on technology

I couldn't resist posting this cartoon from bLaugh! It's simply delicious. The more we rely on technology, the less we are able to take care of ourselves and our mind. It seems that we use our brains less and less these days since we have all sorts of tools and gadgets to help us remember what to do when, where to turn, and so on.

GPS Locator Device

Enjoy!

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Planning schedule for next month

The last couple of months have been a busy time for work for me, especially since there are so many people taking time off and since I wasn't I got lots of extra assignments. Which was fine by me, since I will be reducing my workload for a couple of weeks in February, when my parents will be visiting us. I've already wrapped up most of my current assignments, am not taking any new ones as yet and one of my long running assignments finishes off at the end of this month, so I will be all set to have time to spend with them. I will have one ongoing assignment which I will continue to work on, as it only takes a couple of hours work every morning. So, that's the plan for the next month!

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Amazing trade show displays

This is the season of trade shows and with each new show, the variety of trade show booths and displays is really getting very creative. The travel shows are especially amazing with auditoriums, restaurants, water features and much much more. Besides going to check out the stalls, I really love to study the new trade show displays that are being used these days. There seems to be no holding back in this field and manufacturers are experimenting with new materials and technologies to create world class temporary structures.

Flickr-addiction!

I've become an avid Flickr user in the past few months and am really enjoying browsing through other people's pictures and uploading mine to display as well. I don't have too many public photos displayed there as yet, since I don't like posting any pics of myself or my family in the public domain, but am slowing building my portfolio, so to speak. The most interesting part of it all has been to fine tune how I take pictures and bit by bit I do think I am getting a better. I also love looking up photos from my favorite parts of the world, such as Kasauli and Bangalore. Here's my page and here is a link to my favorite pictures from other users.

Here's a sneak peak:
ganobristol. Get yours at bighugelabs.com/flickr

Going to the races!

One of my most fun experiences from when I was in college was attending the races in San Francisco, sitting in the owners box and getting my picture taken with the horse and jockey when we won. The horse's name was Bay Fig and he was a magnificent horse. I haven't gone to the races since then, apart from a couple of Polo matches several years ago, but would love to start attending the races again. It would be especially tempting to get one of these Kentucky Derby party invitations wouldn't it? I think so and hope to do so one day. Maybe 2008 will be the year it happens!

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Dreamhost's overcharging nightmare

bLaugh's at it again! This time it takes on Dreamhost's overcharging nightmare. Thankfully, I was not one those, since I created my own site using BlueHost instead. I had heard a lot of good stuff about Dreamhost, but never signed up with them for some reason. Here's the cartoon. Enjoy!

Dreamhost’s Nightmare

PS: Here is the official explanation, which actually sounds very un-official!

Investing in fitness equipment

Been reading up on health stuff lately and it seems that we need to increase our exercise levels a bit. I've never been keen on going to the gym, simply cannot keep up with the routine, so have been thinking on investing in some fitness equipment along with our apartment neighbors, to set up a home gym that is open for all residents. Since we are only 7 apartments here, it will never get too crowded or hard to manage, but will be a good place for everyone to get some exercise, especially when the weather is too hot or too cold and rainy, as it has been for the past week or so.

Remembering the blue skies of dubai

Here's a picture that I took a couple of weeks back. The sky was brilliantly blue, a complete contrast to its disappearance this past week. I took this photo from a moving car, so you can see a reflection at the top left corner. Yes, I know, I should have at least rolled down the window to take it...etc etc...but we were on the highway and I didn't want to get blasted by the wind. Anyhow, I liked how it came out.

blue skies in dubai

Movies to watch (and avoid)

We saw Aamir Khan's Taare Zameen Par a couple of days back and enjoyed it immensely. It was one of those rare movies that really touches your heart and makes you think and place yourself in a similar situation. The subject was handled really well and all the actors were superb, none of them overacting and there being no needless melodrama, songs or villains. All in all a beautiful movie, one that you should not miss and one that you should be prepared to become sentimentally involved in.

Other recent movies we have seen are Jab We Met (surprisingly good), Johnny Gaddar (rather fun), Aaja Nachle (ok types, although I really liked the entire supporting cast),Dus Kahaniyan (a disappointment, with 8 stories very predictable...my favorite story was the one with Shabana Azmi and Nassuridin Shah). Ahead on our list of movies to see are Dhol, Goal, Dor, Baabul, Victoria # 203, Cash and Khoya Khoya Chand.

Creating an exercise routine

With all this rain going on for the past few days, I haven't been able to go out for any exercise and I think getting some fitness equipment installed in the spare room is a really good idea to ensure the continuity of my fitness routine. In cold and rainy weather, it is really easy to get sidetracked and lose one's focus on exercising on a daily basis, but if one were to have some basic equipment here itself, it would make all the difference. We already have a spare room in the complex that all residents would be able to access and use any time of the day and night, so it really seems the best way to be able to have a nice exercise routine.

Cold, wet and wintry

It's been surprisingly cold here for the past week, with a lot of rain, thunder and lightning. While it usually does rain a bit every winter, this amount of rain for the desert has been unusual and there have been lots of flooded streets and stranded cars by the side of the roads. It really is the kind of weather that you want to enjoy from the inside of your home with a nice hot cup of cocoa in your hands, a blanket on your feet and a nice book or movie to watch. I'm hoping to do just that once I finish off a bit of work, update my blogs and check my mail.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Communication options for a small business owner

For many small business owners getting their business started is the relatively easy but to maintain the momentum is usually the hardest part. One of the best ways to do this is to have a world class communication system in place so that you can reduce the turnaround time for your clients and customers. Technology has advanced to such a stage these days that small businesses must take advantage of new options such as VoIP technology, which reduce costs substantially. Many new small business owners are cautious when it comes to adopting new technologies, but the cost savings on using innovative technologies like VoIP are significant. Service standards are also one of the key decision makers when it comes to selecting a service provider.

Talkswitch from Neobits is one such system that is perfectly suited for small businesses especially those ranging from 2-250 users and has all the best brands such as Panasonic, Allworx, Avaya, NEC, Norstar and many more. Neobits has more than 3,000 customers across the US and the special options that the company provides such as local installation for every zip code and dial tone and broadband services in all of the US, make it perfect for all new businesses. Neobits is known as one of the best sources of online telephony and other related services and its Talkswitch is one of its most popular services.

Being connected

I have been really busy lately with adding to my contact list on LinkedIn and have managed to double my contact list. Of all the networking sites that have come up in the past few years, LinkedIn is the best business networking site. Thanks to LinkedIn, I have been able to connect to classmates and colleagues from ages ago. There are lots of other business networking sites, but none are comparable to the choice of options and reach that LinkedIn has. With each new contact that you add to your list, your network increases by their connections as well as their connections connections, which is a great way to get yourself noticed as well as find others.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Creating a safe haven

Ever since we moved into our new home, we've been thinking if we should get our home insured. I even got around to getting some home insurance quotes to see what our insurance rates would be. We're still have to do some further research on the subject as yet, but the more one thinks of it, the better an idea it seems to be. By and large, most consumers don't even consider getting home insurance until they own their own home, but one seriously starts to think about these things much earlier on, so that when the time comes, one knows exactly what to do.