Thursday, February 28, 2008

Internet laughs

Ah, nothing quite like the Internet to unleash a whole new set of jokes and comics, right? My favorite ones are on bLaugh.com, which has some incredibly great cartoons, most to do with lives of bloggers and those involved in the Internet, which is pretty much everyone actually. Here's one of the good ones! Enjoy!

The Whole Internet Truth

Having visitors?

We usually have our fair share of visitors who come and stay with us, and we quite enjoy the company. There have been times when several sets of guests have called to say that they would stay with us and the times collided or rather coincided. In those circumstances, we were quite lucky to have adjustable beds which could be used when we got larger number of guests staying with us. It's only happened a couple of times, but it's a good idea to be prepared for it and know how to deal with it when the time comes. One of my main criteria is the storage of such equipment, since it is essential that it be hidden away nicely until it is required.

Travel to where?

A lot of the assignments I have been doing lately are to do with travel, so I have really been getting lots of ideas on new place to travel. One of the areas of the world that I am very keen to travel to is Eastern and Central Europe. I was keen on visiting Croatia, but when I did an assignment on Montenegro, I was really hooked. Located just down the coast from Croatia, Montenegro has something of everyone, from grand fjords to canyons, to exotic beach resorts where Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton partied in the 1960s to mountains and lakes that are great for fishing.

After getting to know the basics of the country, I was really intrigued and ended up reading and doing a lot more work than the assignment required. Ah well, that's the way the best things happen, right. Just by chance!

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Being creative!

Since I wrote about being creative and stuff in my last post, thought I would put up a photograph here...sort of proof is in the pudding kind of thing! So, here it is...am open to all sorts of criticisms and stuff, if you're willing to put in the time and effort to take a look at it! I have no background in art of course, but a fondness of dabbling around in it. I usually do more towards craft, but this one was different from my usual stuff.

corner table...

Collecting supplies

I've been wanting to get back to doing some creative stuff, but didn't have any of my supplies with me. So, last week, I went out and got not all but a lot of the things I needed, including a box cutter, some nice large sheets of paper, variety of paints and so on. Now, lets see what I can come up with. I certainly don't consider myself as an artist, but love to play around with stuff and sometimes it comes out nice and at others, looks pretty ghastly! But that is exactly the point of the entire exercise, to be creative and let go. I did some stuff a couple of months back and got a pretty good response when i posted it on Flickr. So, the creative juices are flowing again!

Travel plans or travel mess?

The year is not turning out too good when it comes to travel plans. Each time we make some plans, things go awry and we have to change them completely. Earlier it was to be a US trip, then it became a Leh trip, then maybe a Mussourie trip, and now not sure what if anything. I know, part of the fun of traveling is making the plans and dreaming of what all one will do in these places that we visit, but when they don't pan out time and again, it's getting a bit frustrating. So, lets see what finally happens.

Monday, February 25, 2008

The power of a trampoline!

My neighbor's got a trampoline recently and the kids are absolutely delighted with it. Since all the apartments are in a common compound, with a common play area, the trampoline has been a great bonding tool for not only the kids but all the parents as well, who are too busy to socialize most of the time on their own. All of the residents here are young couples, some with children under 7 and others with none, so along with the fun for the kids, we are now planning to hold a barbecue on the weekends as a way to get everyone together. I wonder, if my neighbor's had any idea their purchase of a trampoline would lead to this?

Time off...

Been away for a while, since I had family visiting and decided to take time off from work and blogging. It was a really fun two weeks, hectic trips to the shops during the shopping festival, gold souk, desert safari and so on. Did get some really nice pictures, that I will post in a while out here, bit by bit. In the meantime, here is a photo that I took recently of the book I am reading.

Currently reading...

Monday, February 18, 2008

A great solution for emergency medical help

When it comes to finding interesting stuff at random, there really is no place better than the Internet. I came across a site that sells medical id tags as jewelry, so they can be worn at all times and have the information on them, in case of emergency. It's a good idea since a lot of people don't bother carrying this information with them, and end up getting into trouble if they are in a new place and have a medical problem. At first, I thought it just to be a marketing gimmick, but the more I think about it, the more it seems to make sense. A lot of people carry such information on a card in their wallet, but wearing it as a pendant or on a bracelet is a better way, I think.

Monday, February 11, 2008

On my desk

OK, I just couldn't log out without putting up another of my favorite photographs....this one was taken last year and shows a small portion of my desk in our old apartment. There is something fascinating about Plumeria's or Firangipani's or Champa's as they are commonly known as and they are definitely a tree that I would want to plant in my home. Here's hoping to a constant supply of Plumeria blooms in the future.

Enjoy!

Plumeria...

Watching trends

OK, I don't have a cat, but if I did, I think I would be looking for accessories and things like a cat bed on the Internet. How interesting the Internet has made our lives, that we could spend time searching for something so mundane on an high technology connectivity computer! It is actually quite a fascinating aspect of our lives and I get really thrilled each time I do something so simple on the Internet, such as search for flight arrival times and so on. It's a telling story of the fabric of our society and the direction that we're headed in and it's definitely cool phenomenon to watch.

One of my recent photos

I've been wanted to post this photograph here for quite sometime, but since I only made it public on Flickr a couple of days back, didn't want to display it here first. I took it last year in June, when the monsoon had already arrived, so everything looked really nice and green, and clean as well. I really like that there are so many things to see in the photograph...the people, the trees, the buildings and so on. Take a look and see if you like it as much as I do?

Fresh corn on the cob...

Thinking about insurance

Recently a friend told me that she had signed up for life insurance for herself and her family, and it really got me started into thinking about getting some life insurance quotes for us as well. As one starts working more seriously, one needs to start thinking about things like this and it seems that now is the time to do so. There are so many options these days and finding out about them is getting simpler as well. Searching for something like this on the Internet makes it even quicker to see the different options available and how much one would have to pay for it. As a starting point it is a great way to start and that's what I think I will do for now.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Adding to an old post: A place to call home

This is a post I wrote long time back (April 22, 2005 to be exact), but it is one of my favorite posts, simply because it brings back memories of all the places that I have lived in. Now that we are in Dubai, I have added my thoughts and experiences of the city as well.

Here's a link to the original post.

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Of the many cites, towns and even, villages I have lived in, what was the best one? What makes a place most desirable?

Is it the weather......Bangalore, Dagshai and Juneo would be tops;
or the life that a city offers in its:
restaurants.....Bangalore and Bristol;
theatre.....Bangalore and Providence;
art galleries........Providence;
libraries and book stores.......Bristol and Bangalore;
parks and green spaces.......Providence, Bristol, Dagshai and Juneo;
public transportation.......Boston, Providence and Bombay
daily conveniences and ease of traffic.......Kansas City and Chandigarh win here;
scenic beauty.......Bristol, Boston, Juneo, Providence and Dagshai;
shopping.....Bombay and the Maine shopping outlets
history.........Delhi, Providence and Bristol
quaint life........Bristol, Manhattan, KS and Juneo

Details:
  • Bangalore, Karnataka, India: IT city, cosmopolitan, relaxed and very welcoming.
  • Bombay, Maharashtra, India: So far more hype than reality.......time will tell. I think the style quotient got muddied with the name change to Mumbai.
  • Juneo, Himachal Pradesh, India: A village in Sirmour district where the peach growing area starts.
  • Dagshai, Himachal Pradesh, India: A British Cantonment in the Simla Hills of Himachal.
  • Chandigarh, UT, India: India's first planned city designed by Le Corbusier and Pierre Jenneret in the 1950's. Surprisingly, no other city has been able to replicate its success.
  • Delhi, India: Slowly being transformed into a great city.
  • Providence, Rhode Island, USA: America's gangster town turned into America's food capital by the last Mayor Buddy Cianci.
  • Bristol, Rhode Island, USA: America's first independence day parade took place here. The original route is maintained and promoted with a great sense of pride.
  • Boston, Massachusetts, USA: History everywhere you look here. A wonderful city to explore by foot.
  • Merriam/Kansas City, Kansas USA: Known as a City of Fountains, it is a beautiful city with a sense of joy and positiveness everywhere.
  • Manhattan, Kansas, USA: A university town and my first taste of American life. No matter how hard college life actually was, I will always have a soft spot for this town.
  • Dubai, UAE: A city bursting with energy, one that believes in making the impossible possible, a city that is impossible to imagine until one sees it for oneself.
So what is the right mix of the perfect place to live in? We seem to exploring new places with great speed and regularity, so it looks like a few more place to explore before deciding.

Relying on technology

Even in our high tech world, things can go wrong and the perfect example of this is the recent incident of undersea cables getting cut by a boat dragging its anchor off the coast of Egypt in the Mediterranean. Ever since fiber optic cables have become the norm in communication, the world has changed and we simply cannot go back to an earlier time where emails and messages didn't go through that very instant. Technology has given us everything, and we really do take it for granted, which is not all bad, since that is the very reason that we have progressed so far and continue to develop new and innovative methods of communication and interaction.

Reading list

I've been wanting to start reading like I used to and so I bought some books last weekend. I've had a weird books phase for a while, in the sense that I just get around to finding one to read that I'm in the mood for. It's never happened before I didn't like it one bit. I visit bookstores quite often and I will be going to the Library as soon as I get my residency card. I read book reviews in the sunday papers, and make lists of books that seem interesting, but when I get the book in my hands and read some more, it just doesn't seem all that interesting any more. Anyhow, I finally managed to overcome this odd feeling and found three books that I wanted to read. I got Kiran Desai's Booker Prize winning novel The Inheritance of Loss, Kazuo Ishiguro's Never Let Me Go and Phillipa Gregory's The Boleyn Inheritance. I have started reading The Inheritance of Loss and am enjoying it so far. It's a very descriptive novel and her words really do transport you to the creaky old bungalow in Kalimpong where it is set. Glad to be reading again!

Monday, February 04, 2008

Making a difference

A greater number of people are realizing the importance of doing something to make a difference in other people's lives. It's no longer alright just to work to better yourself, but we all need to work to better the society and the world we live in. Car Angel is one such company that is using the concept of a car donation to do something different. The company uses cars and other donations to help it make videos for children and teenagers. All the money raised is used to make videos and so far, the company has given away 2.4 million videos. As a society, we all need to start thinking differently and understand the importance to doing things like this, that will build our society rather than segregate it. See this video for more information on what Car Angel does.

Getting inspired to take better photographs.

I've been writing a lot about photography and taking photographs lately. That's mostly because I have been spending a lot of time on Flickr. The quality of photographs on the site a pretty amazing and I have found a lot of inspiration on taking better photographs there. There are also tons of photographs on homes and interiors that I love to look at, and what is really interesting is that a lot of users on Flickr have Etsy accounts and sell their works there, so I am on the search for some nice artwork for my home. Most art on Etsy is quite small, and I would like something larger, but a nice original piece, would be nice to have, even though it might be small. I'm adding stuff to my favorites folder there and hope to order something soon.

Here's one of my photographs that has been getting a lot of attention lately.

seeing green....