Wednesday, December 24, 2008

My own inspiring quote and picture

I constantly receive inspiring picture-messages from couple of my friends... Today I thought I'd create one of my own and share it on the blog. This is the modified version of the quote I found on the internet and the picture of a temple inside the Chandragiri fort and the mountain is located on the outskirts of Chittor, AP. I wonder how long it will remain from the rapacious eyes of granite mafia... I sure hope this kind of natural heritage survives for several more millenia to come.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Inspiration for a fruitful life

I had posted some pictures I get on a regular basis from one of my e-mail only friends. His pictures coupled with their quotes make them very interesting and inspiring and often touching. Time and again I try to share them with all my blog readers. This time it is about holidaying and happiness. Enjoy your holidays!!!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Movie Review: Big Jake

For having nothing much to do at home I borrowed this movie from the library. I must say I kinda liked the movie set in 1909. The movie features John Wayne in the leading role of the title character Jacob "Big Jake" McCandles, an aging rancher and near-legendary gunfighter estranged from his pretty family.

The movie starts with a ruthless gang of outlaws raiding the MacCandles ranch. The gang led by John Fain (Richard Boone), runs havoc on the ranch and murders some of the workers, wounds McCandles' eldest son (Bobby Vinton) and kidnaps the youngest member of the family for a ransom of $1 million. Martha (Wife of "Big Jake" McCandles) (Maureen O'Hara) summons Jacob through some messengers and tells him to find their grandson.

Though Jacob and his wife have been separated for nearly 10 years, they still love each other dearly. Jacob arrives by train and discuss a plan to take the ransom to the kidnappers and free the boy. Jacob warns that "Pay or not, we run the risk of never seeing the boy again". Martha has what is well known as a million dollars in a big red strongbox. Jacob is to deliver the box to the kidnappers. Jacob is packed quickly and ready to go along with his trusted "Native American" gunrunner.

The Texas Rangers led by Buck are close at hand ready to attempt a rescue, as is Jacob's son James McCandles (John Wayne's real-life son Patrick Wayne), whose initial greeting of Jake reveals a somewhat strained relationship. Michael McCandles (Christopher Mitchum) arrives by motorcycle and tells Martha that he saw the little boy alive. He suggests the Rangers can use the automobiles and set an ambush for the kidnappers. Buck (John Doucette) and the Rangers try to get Jacob to come along with them. The Rangers take off to set the trap in their new automobiles and are themselves ambushed at the very place they were planning to ambush the kidnappers.

The rest of the story is about their journey through the stunningly scenic wild west territory of South Texas and Mexico. Their gunfighting with the villains and rescuing "Little Jake" the grandson of "Big Jake". The journey and the hunt for kidnappers also serves to unite the long lost father with this sons and family.

In my opinion this is a great movie to watch. Fast paced, straight forward narrative and stunning photography. Worth every second spent watching the DVD, I'd say.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Expert Ratings and Reviews of Web Hosting Services

One of the most important needs of any business, big or small, is a strong internet presence in the form of a website, blog, online store etc. To have an online entity you need a reliable, efficient, and cost effective website hosting service provider. With so many companies offering more or less the same services, it is very difficult to decide which company is best suited for you.

I was in the same dilemma recently and after considerable amount of research on the web I found this website known as Web Hosting Geeks. The site provides ubiased user ratings of almost all the web hosting services in the market. These reviews are independent and are both cheap and expensive ones. There are services which offer Free Domain Name registration if you host with them. Personally speaking I think the free domain name service is a great advantage for me because that cuts down my costs quite a bit. I only want to host my blog on my own domain and for this I just need a domain name. And I could find such a service on Web Hosting Geeks. I believe this site has the resources to fulfill all your information needs about website hosting and related services.

I strongly feel that if anyone is interested in hosting a website or looking for a good hosting company one should consult Web Hosting Geeks and then decide upon it. This is one site where you can find all the necessary information, pitfalls and advantages about a wide range of website hosting service providers.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

CCCCD Dance Ensemble

On Monday, I finished my Economics exam and was walking through the corridors towards the exit when I chanced to see a notice that the college dance ensemble would be performing at the auditorium and it was free entry for students. I immediately decided that I would go and take a look and started walking towards the theater. Anyway the programme started on dot 8.00 pm and ended an hour later at 9.00 pm. The English musical dance drama titled The Producer, was well executed and the entire team did a great job of entertaining the audience which comprised mostly of students, faculty and other staff members of the college. Since I had the camera handy I thought I'd shoot some pictures and present them on my blog. I also shot a video which I will be posting soon after I add some titling and edits to it. For now you all enjoy the pictures, they are a bit dark but that is the best I could do given the limited lighting in the auditorium.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Affordable High-Quality Prescription Glasses

One of the banes of life in the US is that if one doesn't have insurance for any health related issue, he is doomed. If one doesn't have vision insurance, buying prescription eyeglasses can make a hole in one's pocket. Vision insurance can be prohibitively expensive too.

But even in such scenario there are companies like which sells eyeglasses for as little as US $15. These are not cheap plastic ones but high-quality glasses and made according to your prescription. I got to know of this site because I wanted to get a pair of eyeglasses for myself and was aghast at the exhorbitant prices in the stores. So I did a google search and found Optical4less and was overjoyed to see prescription glasses for just US $15. I would never go to a store again... at least not to buy eyeglasses.

In this downward spiralling economy what Optical4less offers is something that everyone would be thankful for. Of course traditional eyeglasses stores will not be happy to know about Optical4less, but then it is the consumer that matters. Consumers are served well and are happy with the high-quality prescription eye glasses with anti-reflective coating. Apart from prescription glasses, Optical4less also offers tinted sunglasses; bifocal reading glasses; progressive reading eyeglasses and photochromic sunglasses.

What impressed me the most about Optical4less is that their service is not limited to US, they are worldwide. One has to order more than 1 pair of eye glasses and Optical4less will ship it to any corner of the world absolutely free. Their inventory has some amazingly trenddy and stylish frames.

Fall Colors that almost went unnoticed

I have been busy going through my college, radio shows, volunteering and other stuff that I almost missed capturing the beauty of fall in my camera. Last weekend I finally got around to do it and here are the amazing hues of nature. Of course most of the pictures have been shot inside the apartment complex I live in and couple have been captured outside in places like Irving and Plano, places that I frequently visit.

Data about US Prison Inmates

One of the things I like about the US establishment is the way records of virtually every facet of life are maintained. This has enabled them to churn out enormous amounts of statistics, research-based data and establish their domination over the world. I recently came across this website which has a uniquely different search engine. This site enables people to locate prison inmates. Aptly titled Prison Inmate Locator, the site provides access to information about inmates in the US. Data available include inmate license and all other vital information of people in the prison anywhere in the US.

I believe this is a commendable effort, considering that nearly 1% of US population are living in prisons. And in my opinion every nation should put in place similar systems so that tracking of information will be easy and lessons learnt will be retained across generations.

Monday, December 08, 2008

Post-Terrorist Attack Protests

After the recent Mumbai terrorist attacks which exposed the total lackadiasical attatitude of India's corrupt politicians, common people took to streets with placards, posters, and banners. The people are outraged at the blatent courage of the Pakistani terrorists who struck at the heart of India. Of course the terrorists were helped by some "local loyals" of their own kind who live, thrive and enjoy the wealth of India but think, plot, and work against India, only one reason... because India has a majority Hindu population.

Here are some images that were forwarded to me by a friend in India, who was part of this protest rally. I hope the awakening of national consciousness continues till next year's elections and the people would elect a "Patriotic Government" or at least give full majority to one party... be it "minority-appeasement party" or "stupid spineless party" or anything... but let there be one power at the center and not a mixture of trash like it is now.

Sunday, December 07, 2008

God's Master Plan

What is god's plan for the world? How does he decide which nation is rich, which is poor, what is strong and which is happy... well here is a humourous deduction of God's plan for the world. Read through and enjoy.

God was in the process of creating the universe.
And he was explaining to his subordinates

Look everything should be in balance.:
For example, after every 10 deer there should be a lion.
Look here is United States.
I have blessed them with prosperity and money.
But at the same time I have given them insecurity and tension....

And here is Africa.
I have given them beautiful nature.
But at the same time, I have given them climatic extremes.

And here is South America.
I have given them lots of forests.
But at the same time, I have given them lesser land so that they would
have to cut off the forests...
So you see fellows, everything should be in balance.

One of the angels asked...
"God, what is this extremely beautiful country here?"

God said....... "Ahah...that is the crown piece of all.
My most precious creation.
It has understanding and friendly People.
Sparkling streams and serene mountains.
A culture which speaks of the great tradition that they live.
Technologically brilliant and with a heart of gold.....

The angel was quite surprised:
"But god you said everything should be in balance."

God replied --
"Look at the neighbours I gave them."


I must say that if this is God's plan, it has worked out pretty well and that is the kind of neighbors we Indians have.

Weapons for Police and Security Forces

One of the most important necessities for any police or security force employee is a good, reliable and high-quality weapon, which can also be used as a tool in case of emergencies. Guns and other fire arms constitute such weapons but are very lethal and have limited utility. There are other implements such as Benchmade Knives which can be used in multiple applications.

I came across this website which offers several highly innovative products for the police and security forces. The range of benchmade knives available with them is impressive and conform to high standards of quality. Their manufacturing unit is completely computerised and their products are well engineering to perform their tasks.

Friday, December 05, 2008

Dating Advice from a 9-year old

This can happen only in a free spirited nation like the US, an 8-year-old writes a best selling book about one of the most talked about subject in the entire world "How to Talk to Girls". I read this article about Alec Greven, a fourth-grader at at Soaring Hawk Elementary School in Castle Rock, Colorado, US, who has catapulted to nationwide fame thanks to his first published book titled "How to Talk to Girls" and am pretty impressed by his enterprise, skill and observation ability.

This book started off as a school writing assignment, which was so well written that the impressed principal and teachers they put it up for sale at the school book fair for $3. The book became hit and soon attracted the attention of a publisher and since then Alec has been the Agony Uncle, the macho man, the ladies man, the original casanova... etc etc... Boys in his school have been seeking his advice on how to get "girls".

Reading the interview he gave to I am pretty impressed by his confidence and modus operandi with which he wrote the book. His inspiration came from his observation of boys finding it difficult to talk to girls and get dates. Wish I was so brainy at 9 yrs old to write a book... heck I have not even been able to complete my books at 35...

But anyway I will get to it and hopefully soon I will have my picture with the book.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Shanti Homam in Dallas

The recent terror attack in Mumbai took over 200 innocent lives. It is another matter that most of the dead are Hindus and the killers are all Jihadi Muslims trained in Pakistan. Most of the media and "Moderate" muslims I know are blaming the victims.. the Hindus as the reason behind the attack. The fact that we are Hindus and we follow our own religion seems to be the bone of contention in this case. I wonder when these guys will get their brains straight and start working towards creating a happy family life for themselves and their loved ones.

Anyway as Hindus we are a peace loving civilization and the most we do is pray for peace... not only for our own people for the whole world. The traditional saying of Hindus "Krunvanto Vishwamaryam" meaning "May the whole world be happy" is something every Hindu remembers and thinks before taking any action. In this direction the immigrant Hindu community, apart from donating money to help the rehabilitation of those affected in Mumbai terrorist attack, has organized a Shanti Homam in several cities in US, Canada and New Zealand. I have uploaded the flyer of the homam in this post and definitely hope and trust that several people will be joining us as we pray for world peace. To participate or know more about the homam do visit the website of Sanatana Dharma Foundation


Tuesday, December 02, 2008

When the nation burns, projected future PM Parties Hard

This is perhaps the most shameful facet of our country. Rahul Gandhi, the scion of the ruling Gandhi family didn't think twice before heading out and partying all night even as the family members of those dead in the Mumbai terrorist attack grieved over the loss. According to newsreports the general secretary of Indian national congress was seen partying hard till 5.00 am at a friend's Sangeet function in a private farmhouse on the outskirts of Delhi.

According to anonymous eye witnesses, Rahul Gandhi was completely out of sync with the mood of the nation post-26/11 terrorist attacks. Though officials have been cancelling parties and even private business establishments called off special events, Rahul Gandhi wouldn't stop partying. He was enjoying himself at the lavish party hosted by Leena Musafir, sister of the bride and her husband. “When everyone is cancelling parties or just keeping them low-key, Rahul Gandhi had no business to be celebrating. His action makes us lose faith in future leaders,” said Ajay Bahl, a leading corporate lawyer who was trapped in the thick of the action on 26/11 at The Oberoi, Mumbai, but managed to escape with the help of the hotel staff.

And this is the same person who is being projected as the future prime minister of India. Do we need someone like this, one who is totally callous about the sensitivities of the nation, someone who is totally self-indulgent at the tax payers expense. Someone who doesn't care about the response of the nation to this crisis and goes off to party hard. An Member of Parliament who parties instead of serving his constituency? Come on we don't need him... I'd suggest he and his family just leave the country and go away to Italy, their mother land and never come back.

Monday, December 01, 2008

Worst kind of politics by Kerala CM

This is something that can happen only in India. A chief minister insulting a slain soldier's parents is something that should never happen in any nation. And this is exactly what the great Achutanandan did in Bangalore recently. The CM of Kerala has had the audacity to say that not even a dog would have gone to the home of late Major Unnikrishnan. I wonder how he got elected in the first place and what the people are doing keeping him in power. This kind of characters should be divested of power and sent to prison for disrespecting the sacrifices of a martyr.

I wonder if there is any depth that a politician can stoop to... This is the most Thanklessness one can show. This type of people are those who surround themselves with security guards even to go to the bathroom, what does he think of himself. If he had any conscience he would have resigned or at least sanctioned money for purchase of high-tech protective gear for the security forces.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Get your Nikon Hunting Gear today!

This is the time once again, when stores and corporations wait for shoppers with fantastic deals on their products. Black friday sale is one of the largest sales in the US and the best deals of the year are available during this time. And this year world's famous camera and optics maker Nikon has announced its Nikon Black Friday Promo.

The deal is the best I have come across and the savings are huge. One can buy all kinds of hunting gear from Nikon at amazingly low prices, thanks to the black friday prmotion. Items on sale include Riflescope, Rangefinder, and other sport optics products. You could order from any division of Nikon, the Nikon Sport Optics, NikonProGear and and of course this year special is the addition of Lee and Tiffany Lakosky.

All these together form the Ultimate Hunter's Package which contains:
-ProStaff 3-9x40 Riflescope with BDC Reticle
-ProStaff Laser Rangefinder
-Silent Technology Rangefinder Case
-Mastering a Long-range shot with BDC DVD
-$50 NikonProGear Gift Card

Total savings on the package come upto a cool $114.90, isn't that at great deal. And if you are buying a Nikon Action Extreme ATB 10x50 binoculars you get an additional $20 off. And there are great deals on other models of binoculars such as Monarch, trail blazer, action, etc. So don't wait any further, this is the best deal for a long time to come just go ahead and buy all the hunting gear you need.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Book Review: 500 Places to see before they disappear

500 Places to See Before They Disappear by Holly Hughes and Larry West; Wiley Publishing Inc; Price: $19.99; 472 pp.

Global warming, climate change, deforestation, destruction of natural habitats, reduction of national park areas and melting glaciers etc are causing great changes in the way we have known the earth to be. When one reads the title of this book it would be tough to imagine that there could places on the earth which could disappear, but the unfortunate truth is that there are many more than 500 places which are in danger of disappearance due to various man-made reasons. 500 Places to See Before They Disappear is a compilation of the information on the world's most fragile wonders.

At the face on might get the impression that this book contains information about forests, glaciers, mountains, lakes and other natural places, but this volume has information about man-made wonders too. “Though this book was originally conceived as a handbook for eco-tourists, it soon became clear that we couldn’t separate natural and man-made attractions. After all, historical and cultural landmarks are part of the environment, too. If changes in the natural environment have threatened the piping plover, the Tasmanian devil and the mountain gorilla, so too have changes in our cultural environment threatened classic amusement parks, ballparks and movie palaces. Our planet is poorer every time we allow something to die,” writes Holly Hughes, the New York-based globally traveled editor and writer who has also written fiction and also edits the annual Best Food Writing anthology.

From Canada to Chile, Russia to Africa and India to Japan, 500 Places to See Before They Disappear has information about numerous locations which are suffering from the onslaught of modern development. This volume enables passionate travelers and eco-conscious individuals to learn about and plan a visit to see rare cultural, historic, and natural places before they are get permanently, irreversibly changed or disappear. These include exotic landscapes, fragile ecosystems, rare animal, bird and big game habitats, cityscapes, vanishing cultural kitsch, petroglyphs, and more.

500 Places to See Before They Disappear is ideal for school and university libraries where young students can access information about the changes that are taking place in locations across the world and the natural and man-made heritage we are slowly but surely losing.

When I saw the book my first interest was to check out how many places in India are listed in the volume. After reading the book I am quite shocked to note that 19 places in India are in danger of disappearing completely. These include the world heritage sites of Ajanta Caves, Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary, Chilika Lake Bird Sanctuary, the Great Stupa of Sanchi, Rock shelters of Bhimbetka, Sundarbans National Park, Taj Mahal, Temples of Khajuraho and the Valley of Flowers of National park.

Each fast-disappearing location has been profiled in great detail along with pictures and accounts on its history, nature of the threat it is facing, and why it’s been included. And of course there is quite a bit of brief practical information on how to visit, and what visitors can to do protect it. The easy-to-use geographical index at the end of the book makes reading the book all the more easier. This index helps travelers locate attractions in and around the locations they are traveling to.

There is a definite US spin to the endangered places featured in the volume. The places in the US are listed as per their geographical location. There are seven endangered sites in Texas including the Aransas National Wildlife Refuge, Caddo Lake State Park and Houston Astrodome. 500 Places to See Before They Disappear is doing a great public service by bringing these places to the notice of everyone so that people could take steps to extend their life and prevent them from disappearing fast.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Thanksgiving Party at College

Today the Collin county community college has organized a Thanksgiving party for all international students in association with the International Students Organization and Christ Church Plano. The event is by registration and as a person curious about traditions and cultures I registered to attend the party.

I am hoping that the party will be enjoyable and informative about the American Christian culture and will help me learn about the diversity in the world. Thanksgiving, I believe is one of the most important festivals in this continent-sized country and this is the time for grand shopping, family reunions and holidays.

Let us see how this party will go. Will try to capture some nice pictures and post them over here later. For now I am off to the party.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Festival Gifts for my loved ones

Thanksgiving and Christmas season is just around the block and this is the time for everyone to give and receive gifts. It is not uncommon to see people going overboard to give the best gift to their loved ones. So how far are you going this festival season... are you just giving them a gift or are you granting your loved ones their wishes? As for me I have decided to grant each one of my loved ones whatever they wish? Thanks to Sears Layaway I am confident of being able to grant them their wishes even in this economy.

Well I chose these three items which are the wishes of three of my most favourite people. The first gift is for my beloved... she always complains having to walk all the way to the apartment laundrette to wash clothes so, this thankgiving she will get a Neat white Samsung 4.0 cu. ft. High Efficiency Front Load Washer and Dryer. I chose this gift because of two reasons.. one is she really needs a nice gadget to help her wash clothes at home and not spending loads on coin operated machines. And then the amazing savings that Sears is offering to buy this season.

Another gadget is the Craftsman 200 mph 430 CFM Gas Blower/Vac for my brother who lives in a big home and loves to do yard work. This easy starting gadget with a variable speed trigger will help him work in the yard and helps create mulch and clean up his yard. With its 200 MPH, 430 CFM blower/vac and Sim-Pul™ starting technology, Variable speed trigger and 10:1 mulch ratio I'd say my brother would be thrilled to receive this gift.

And last but not the least my sister will get her unlimited apparel shopping wish fulfilled this season. There are so many fantastic offerings like Apostrophe Vanessa Pant, the Levi's ® 545™ Boot Cut Jean and numerous other apparels on deals I am sure my sis will be thrilled.

This kind of a splurge would have been impossible in this economy if not for the Sears Layaway, which enables me to buy today and pay over a period of time in easy instalments. I am sure this season will be filled with happy memories.


Fantastic Musical Composition

I found this musical composition on Youtube while I was looking for music for my Kannada show and was pleasantly surprised by the ingenuity of the composition of this song. It is equally brilliant how the song has been adapted to a famous Kannada song of none other than Dr.Raj Kumar. This song is absolutely true and very well rendered. One would burst out laughing listening to this composition and at the same time feel the pinch about how the leading corrupt political family is taking Karnataka for a ride.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Houston Zoo - Fantastic Collection of Exotic Animals

I thought I had finished with my Houston trip, but I was going through some of my pictures and I realized that I had completely bypassed some exotic locations such as the Museum of Art, the Zoo and other places we visited in Houston. The Houston zoo was the first I visited in the US and I am pretty impressed with the collection of animals and the number of people visiting the place. Kids, parents and young people everyone yelling, squealing and happy to see the animals... I saw some really rare and exotic species of animals here... some of which I had never seen in my life. The Giraffe with its long neck, the large and regal grizzly bear, numerous exotic varieties of animals from Africa, South America etc.

One thing left me a little dazed... shelters for large mammals like the Leopard, Tiger, Lion etc were so small that these cats hardly had any space to move around and stretch their legs. In a continent-sized nation like America and particularly in Texas where everything is Texas Sized,... I wonder why these enclosures were so pitiably small... I hope this will be rectified soon... The sea lion demonstration was too good...