Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Are you a celeb watcher?

The most popular sites these days are those that allow interaction and involvement from its viewers. I came across a site about celebrities that collects news and gossip items from a variety of sources and lets its readers vote for the best and leave their comments as well. The site is quite new, but has already built up quite a following it seems. Everyone is interesting in watching celebrities and especially in celeb gossip these days and this site not only gives all the information, but also lists the sources, which makes it interesting to get a complete perspective. It looks like quite an interesting concept, definitely some thing that will catch the attention of celeb watchers social networking fans.

a good blogging year

Just some quick last minute posts before I sign out for the new year. It's been a good year for blogging, I feel. I've paid more attention to my blogs this year than the last and more than just attention, it's been a bit more focused attention on the topics rather than random ramblings. Well, there have been some of that too, but then that's what a personal blog is all about, right! I can write about the book I'm reading and jump to a post on a NJ Cosmetic dentist if I feel like it. There's certainly a nice freedom to doing that, instead of feeling boxed in and having to stick only to a single topic. Here's to another prolific year in blogging.

NYE plans

With the new year almost here, everyone seems to be planning for their parties for New Year's Eve, from clothes to food to music. The party we're attending is going to be outdoors, which is going to make it really pretty cold. There will be a tent although the sides will be open and there will be a huge bonfire in the open area and individual warmers spread around the tables as well. I do hope the new year brings me some peace from the constant questions I've faced from readers regarding safe weight loss pills and so on. It's flattering to be contacted for my opinion but it just became a bit too tedious since I had to say the same thing over and over again. Here's to a new year free from all of this!

a new redo on the street

Each time I come home for a visit, there is always another house that is undergoing a renovation on our street. It's been going on for the past 5 years or more at least, and each time it seems to get more and more fancy, complicated and time consuming. Everything from the latest bath fixtures to tile flooring seem to be used in the newer houses or rather newer updates. It's a good boost to the local construction industry I suppose to see so many houses undergoing work even in slow economic times.

Monday, December 28, 2009

The truth about debt

It seems like just about everyone is living in debt these days. Our wants and needs as consumers have increased while our resistance to waiting to save for a purchase has completely disappeared. So, we all spend as we please and then are not able to pay off our expenditures on time. Each year our christmas expenditures have been rising along with more impulse buys which is a dangerous trend. Recent reports have highlighted the fact that the number of people with debt problems in increasing rapidly and will continue to do so. While most consumers are taking high interest loans to pay off their debts, what usually happens, is they they end up even deeper in debt unless they make radical changes to their lifestyle and their spending habits. How much does the average consumer really know about debt? Most have very little knowledge on the facts on debt. So while we continue to live the way we do, we will continue to face these problems.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

rushing to the bookstore?

I remember when I was in college, many students used to rush to sell textbooks before even giving the exam at the end of the term. The reason being that if the store got too many of the textbooks back, it wouldn't want yours, so there was always a rush to sell them and get some money in time for the Christmas holidays. The same went for the Spring semester, but it wasn't that much of a dash since most students were going to get jobs anyway.

Sunday, December 06, 2009

time for a vacation

We'll be leaving on vacation in a few days, so have been busy with sorting all my pending stuff out for our trip. But that still hasn't stopped me from doing a little fun surfing every once in a while, and on one of them I found the tempting sights of saint thomas on offer. Winter would be a great time to head to the Caribbean, away from the cold, away from the usual Christmas stuff, away from one's work and so on. Wishful thinking! Anyways, our vacation will be good too...filled with family members and friends and old haunts.

Christmas shopping ideas

As the holiday season heats up, its time to find some great deals and specials online I think. One of the best ideas is to look for online deals and coupons that cater tor a great number of merchants. I found some super coupons that offered up to 60% off select HBO DVDs and had lots of other specials offers as well. We've been collecting DVDs for quite some time now and are always on the lookout for deals on movies. The other great coupon that I found was coupon for an office supply store that has lots of discounts, including $30 off on any purchase of $150 and so on. It's a good time to search for deals on the Internet as retailers are pulling out all the stops to win over customers this holiday season. My holiday list is not completely ready as yet, but I have a general idea of the kind of things that I want to buy for friends and family.

ask me something inventive next time!

As much as I love the holiday months, I am almost dreading the influx of queries about all sorts of weight loss programs and fat burner systems that I usually get at the end of the vacations, when everyone realizes just how much weight they have actually put on. Well, in a way it's good too, but it gets boring since it is just so repetitive since I get asked the same question time and time again. C'mon people, come up with some inventive questions!

Thursday, December 03, 2009

wishful thinking

Well, if one is dreaming of stuff for Santa to bring for Christmas this year, why not go a tad bit overboard and wish for something like loose diamonds! What a Christmas it would be if you got a bag full of diamonds, wouldn't it! What would one do with them? Besides play with and stare at them! I love being inventive with presents, for Christmas or otherwise, but never in a million years would think of something like this!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Streamlining processes

Technology for medical card scanning has improved immensely such as the MedicScan + ScanShell 800N package that lets you scan medical insurance cards which can be stored as a file on your PC or LAN server, so that you can export them to 3rd party applications, publish them via TP or send them by email. The Medicscan scan process is itself extremely simple and starts automatically once the card is inserted into the medical scanner. Storing these scans saves a lot of time sorting out paperwork and will increase productivity and reduce mistakes made by hurried medical staffers. Both sides of the card are scanned simultaneously, and the saved image is added to the patient file. The scanner needs no outside power supply as it connects to your PC via USB port.

a big fan of the!

Just imagine that you had to find out what Symbol LS2208 was and that there was no internet? So how would you go about it? Go to the library? Ask someone? Wander around hopelessly and hope the answer would hit you from the sky? Hmmm, seems like a tough world without the internet, right? I certainly think so. I seriously cannot imagine how we lived our day to day lives without it, very frankly. I grew up using encyclopedias and loved them. I spent a lot, really a lot, of time at the library in college, finding information, digging up stuff, but I am a complete convert to searching for stuff on the internet. Well, let's be honest, who isn't?

would you buy insurance online?

There are a ton of things that one can find and buy online, but one of the fastest growing segments seems to be the insurance online sector that seems to be registering quite a solid and steady growth rate. I've always thought that it would make more sense to talk to someone about things like insurance, but these days if you want the best rates, then you'll just have to go online to find them. Maybe one should get all the details by talking to different agents and when one is sure of what one wants and the right kind of insurance, then go online. This way makes more sense to me.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

knowing your directions

If one is going to be traveling to out of the way places then getting a navigation system is a great idea, in fact it's kind of a must actually. There are a ton of gps systems available in the market so it can be quite confusing as to which will work the best for you, so it's a good idea to read up on the material with it to ensure that it will suit your needs and knowledge, as a lot of them are just so complicated that they lie unused once bought!

Monday, November 09, 2009

photo: shades of blue

A shot from my morning walk some time back. With the weather turning so lovely it's been a great excuse to wander out in the mornings. And yesterday we had dense fog here, so much that I could barely see past the gate. It was just a bit chilly, but it looked like it was really cold. Looking forward to winter now.

shades of blue

is it time to change the tv?

We are being bombarded with advertisements these days.... mostly from electronic stores in the paper and in inserts as well. I've got tired of looking at the ads now, but it has put a seed in that it's got me thinking that maybe it's time to upgrade our current TV to something like a Samsung HDTV or some such thing. Very frankly, shopping for stuff like this confuses me, so I put it off or put the decision on someone else's shoulders. Our current one is just over two years old, so it really doesn't need replacing, but if one gets a great deal, then maybe it's worth it. Let's see!

Monday, October 26, 2009

a busy landlord

The landlord's been really busy lately with stuff around the house. Last weekend he redid the front end of the drive, which was all broken up and today he's busy with electrical stuff, changing the switches in the utility room with these toggle switches. He repainted the house a few months back and made some changes in one of the apartments upstairs and I wonder what he's going to be up to next. He's a busy one for sure!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

photo: Naldehra Golf Club

As you all know, I love the hills and mountains of India. I have been traveling and living in the area since I was a child and nothing makes me feel better than going back to familiar places. This shot was taken in June on our trip to Mashobra. This is the clubhouse of the Naldehra Golf Course, which is located around 15 kms beyond.


reliving old school days

When I get nostalgic, I remember school days. I remember the old wood paneled classrooms we had and the old wooden classroom chairs and desks, where we used to carve our names for posterity. Nothing like a trip to school days to relish in nostalgia, is there! I've been back to my old school many many times, but the trips usually don't involve going back to the classroom...mostly because they've all changed so much....been modernized so much, almost striped of their old personality. So we usually go to the other haunts that still remain as they were!

the beach beckons!

As winter approaches, the idea of a beach vacation sounds more and more appealing. Something like those Myrtle beach vacation rentals that one can take for a week at a time, chill back and just relax without agenda or plan for the day. To really be able to have a relaxing vacation, one has to have enough time to feel....ah, there's lots of time left as just doesn't happen in a 2-3 day long weekend vacation for me. I'm all about week long vacations!

Monday, October 12, 2009

photo: the sound of flowing water

A photo from our visit to Orient Cafe in the Bastakiya arts quarter in Dubai. This little area is a gem, so full of interesting sights and will lots of interesting things to do as well, from learning Calligraphy to restoration of local tile work. I could go back again and again.

the sound of flowing water

Shopping online or in the store

I'm constantly amazed at the way people happily spend their money on buying things on the internet. I've always been a cautious online shopper, usually buying only air tickets, doing hotel bookings or sending flowers overseas through the Internet, but according to a study, one of the hottest items that people buy online are fat burners. According to the report, consumers prefer to purchase such weight loss items online instead of actual stores, where they might be judged by the checker or by other shoppers.

Sunday, October 04, 2009

relying on technology

I remember the first time I heard about virtualization services, I thought it was something from the future. Well, it isn't and it is all about a technology that is changing the IT infrastructure and computing as we know it. There are many combination's of it that can reduce your dependency on physical computer systems, while significantly increasing your efficiency and allocation of resources as well as applications. In today's work environment, we all need to focus on making our work and technology more streamlined and this is one proven way to do exactly that. I will definitely be reading up more on this technology.

Monday, September 28, 2009

photo: passing by

Considering just how modern the city of Dubai is, it is sometimes hard to find anything old about it, till one heads to the area by the Creek. I love to explore this area since it has so much character in it, and it feels so much more real than the new modern skyscraper filled Dubai.

passing by

noisy neighbors

Our landlord has been making changes in the apartment above ours for the past few weeks, making our lives quite miserable. The workmen show up at their enthusiastic best after lunch, especially on the weekends, when we just want to laze and maybe take a nap. I went up to investigate what all was going on the other day and saw that besides installing some very nice granite tile, a wall or two were broken to make new doorways and change the configuration of the rooms. I was quite impressed with the what the end result is likely to be, now hopefully we will get nice neighbors too.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

one can never have too much of office supplies!

What is it about buying office supplies that is so much fun! I love to go buy things to organize my files, mark them to make them easier to find and a whole lot more. It's with a childlike glee that I head to buy office supplies for myself, even though they might be the boring computer printer and staples variety. I've always loved organizing stuff, so maybe that's why I love buying these things, but then a lot of other people who aren't into organizing are addicted to shopping for stationary too. I'm making my list right now of all the things I need and the things that I want to buy :-)

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

photo: taking in the view

On every vacation, I try to find a nice spot to sit and read, to contemplate life, to think, to ponder and to be thankful for the opportunity to be able to see such places. Often I find myself in such a mood on my morning walks, when I am by myself, but this photo below was when I sat at the golf club in Naldehra in Himachal, around mid morning, drinking apple juice, and taking in the scenery.

taking in the view

more on comparison shopping

In my last post, I wrote about how shoppers are increasingly using comparison shopping online before making their purchasing decisions. This is also especially true for life insurance leads and finding the right coverage. There are a several comparison sites that make it all easy for you to decide by showing you options side-by-side so that you can compare aspects directly. Comparison shopping for all kinds of insurance has been a popular way to select it, especially car insurance which is the kind that most people get first of all, before they even consider life insurance.

comparison shopping

What do you like most about the internet? Is is the connectivity that you like, so that you can keep in touch, or is it the information that you like, so you can read the newspapers from 10 different countries, or is it the power of finding stuff when shopping, such as comparing prices before you head out the door? I find that a lot of people really do use the internet for comparison shopping, so instead of actually going from store to store physically they find the best deals online and then go to the store to pick it up. This phenomenon really picks up during the Christmas shopping season and the Black Friday sales in the US. If you're searching for something like the best weight loss products then starting online is a good place, since if you go to a store, you might only see part of a selection, so for shoppers, the internet has become a great source of deals as well as information.

photo: through the doors

As you all know, I love to take shots of windows and doorways and of looking through them. I took this one at the souk at Madinat Jumeirah which is an interesting combination of old and new, a sanitized and cleaned up version of what the local souks are like, I suppose. It's a convenient place to go to if one wants to eat out and do some shopping for little trinkets too.

through the doors

and more on my cleaning spree...

Lately, I've been on a cleaning spree. First it was the cupboards and drawers and now it's been all the electrical equipment. Living in the desert means that the air conditioner filters need to be cleaned very often, as often as every 15 days, which is a real pain, since our ceilings are super high and I need to find a extra tall ladder to reach the AC. My cleaning guy is a wimp, and will do anything to avoid climbing ladders or chairs to clean anything, so that means that I have to do it myself. That's fine by me since I'm adventures and a lightweight so climbing up rickety ladders is still doable.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

time to clean up

Well, summer's almost over and so it's time to sort out my cupboards and home, kind of a reverse spring cleaning of sorts. The last time I did it, I found so much unused stuff, new clothes, new Dansko shoes that I'd bought for my hubby for work and he'd never worn. I find I really need to sort things out every so often, else they just get pushed to the back of the cupboard and one never even realizes they are there. I wonder what all goodies I will find this year!

Monday, August 31, 2009

photo: down the corridor

Reliving the Kerala trip with old photos. Here's a shot that I took in Calicut at the Beach Hotel where we stopped for lunch. The building was beautiful, built with traditional materials and had a tiled roof and I got to wander and take some nice photos. I like the perspective in this shot a lot.

down the corridor

just bought and outdated already

Sometimes it feels like one is never really done with buying technological stuff. The moment one buys one thing, it seems that a newer and upgraded version hits the market. Sometimes one can manage with little updates or by getting an sd card or two, but at other times, one just has to go the whole hog and buy it all over again. I have decided not to delay updates too long, else it just gets too much of a hassle to transfer things over from the older version. Hope I can stick to my schedule!

Saturday, August 22, 2009

spotting trends

What is it about summertime that sends sales of colas and weight loss supplements to a high? Well, actually, the latter's sales shoot up after Christmas as well, after everyone has been gorging on food at parties and disguising the added weight under layers of clothes. Sales of seasonal products show annual trends that help manufacturers and marketers in their planning for product launches and debuts. I've always been quite fascinated by understanding and spotting these sorts of trends, something along the lines of The Undercover Economist and Freakonomics, which were both awesome books.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

photo: | |

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I love the symbolism of doorways. Ever since I started going on my early morning walks, I have enjoyed taking shots of doors, walls and windows. Sometimes I think I will get into trouble by taking photographs of other people's home, even though I never went inside anyone gates or zoomed in to their windows. Here's a shot of a doorway in a building near Fujairah Fort in Fujairah, UAE.

celebs as fonts of truth....I think not!

OK, so if you're a celebrity watcher, like so many people seem to be these days, you will know that each one of them espouses their own version of the best diet pills, which leads to the spiking of sales every time they say it or refer to it. I'm not for pills of any kind actually, don't need to be since I'm already slim, but for those who rely on these to look good, I would recommend to meet a doctor before starting on any kind of dose. They really make weight loss look altogether too simple, which can be rather misleading to many young and impressionable girls.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

photo: people watching

At Dubai Mall....just passing time and watching people. This was taken when the mall had just opened and there were lots of people coming in to see the new mall and especially the humongous aquarium. Malls are good people watching spots in Dubai, especially since there are cafe's spread out all across the malls and one can always find nice places to sit for a good view.

on RV vacations

Summer is the time that everyone wants to take a break, and despite the downturn of the economy, consumers are still taking vacations. The difference is that now more and more travelers are looking to travel within the US and in more cost-effective ways. One such popular trend is for traveling in RV's, which is a great way to see the country or state but also cut back on costs of hotels and restaurants. If you're planning a RV vacation, then don't forget to take the number along of a rv towing company so that if you face any problem, you have someone to help you out.

on specific searches

The other day, I came across a very interesting thing online, as is the case usually when I happen to spend some time surfing without any goal to find anything specific. Did you know that you can find a San Jose motorcycle accident attorney from the comfort of your hospital bed, if you ever find yourself in such a situation? I thought it to be quite radical, in the sense that we seem to be becoming more and more specific when it comes to our searching needs. It's not a new phenomenon I know, but I just hadn't come across something so specific before. Or maybe it was just my day to be amazed at something or the other!

Thursday, July 02, 2009

photo: viewing the viewers

One thing I really love about the hill stations of India, is that people love to walk and people love to sit and watch other people walking. We do it too :) There's almost something kind of soothing about it, to just be, to take in the surroundings, to observe and to absorb.

viewing the viewers

interesting referrals

The Internet is a great leveler. One can be anyone, anywhere and one will end up with similar results on the search engines. That makes me wonder how some people come to my blog. I really don't check the stats very often, since it's kind of boring and obsessive, but when I see a spurt of comments, I am usually intrigued enough to go check out why and how. So along with the usual referrals, I see the funny ones, like orange nj cosmetic dentist`, which I really cannot remember writing about earlier, although searches for 'orange paper flowers' do end up in the right place. I find it all very interesting how people do their searches, and where they eventually end up, usually by mistake.

rational Vs irrational fears

There are some things that one is afraid of that can be overcome with time and practice, but then there are others that are just irrational and refuse to be sorted out. I've always had a public speaking fear and although I always put it into the second category, I now realise that it is possible to overcome it bit by bit. My mind seems to just go blank when any such situation arises, but then I have noticed that at other times, when I don't perceive it as public speaking it doesn't bother me at all. So, then it actually is all just in my mind, right! Seems so simple to sort out, right!

Saturday, June 27, 2009

photo: look up!

I've been back for a while, but I just haven't had a chance to sort out my trip photos and blog about my vacation. I was catching up quite nicely to all the work when I came back, and then I fell sick, so it all came to a grinding halt, and now I have to play catch up to lots of things that are pending and need to be taken care of by the end of the month. So in the meantime, here's a shot of my view of the sky taken while on a picnic beyond Narkanda in Himachal.

Too many pills lately....

We've both been down with the flu this past week and been feeling miserable generally. The doctors here seem to love to dole out all sorts of medication, so we've been having mountains of pills morning, noon and night, between the two of us. Probably everything but a diet pill or two, which they probably would have tried to slip in, regardless of the fact that we don't need it. It's like the new age rock salt and mint gargle tablets I was prescribed for my sore throat...they were pathetic and didn't do any good, but the plain old salt gargles worked like a charm.

My never ending camera saga!

Sometimes, taking one's time and doing the research before buying something is a smart thing, but then at others, it is a sure way to end up more confused, which is what I have become regarding what camera to buy. I seem to have asked too many people, and no two people have given me the same answer (ie. camera option), and with the unlimited choices, I think I'm going to go batty! Decide on the brand, the mega pixels, the type, the size, the cost, the micro sd and so on, and I go from being kind-of sure about what I want to be running from store to store, pointing at hundreds of cameras and trying them out. Not a pretty picture, is it! Although the pun isn't too bad ;-)

Monday, June 22, 2009

photo: home-home feet

It's become a bit of a tradition to take shots of my feet on every vacation! This time I got to take several footy-shots, since I was on quite a long vacation. I love feet shots and think this is a fun way to capture the moment. The other thing that I do on vacations, especially when we go to the hills etc, is to collect leaves to bring back. I really don't do much with the leaves after wards, but still like to bring them back. I probably should start pasting/framing them in a journal, so I can keep track of dates and places.

home-home feet

More than just a pet

I've never really had a pet of my own, so sometimes struggle to understand how attached pet owners are to their pets. They actually become more than just a pet, but a family member, and often provide more support and show more love than family members themselves :-) This explains the rise of the pet accessories and the pet supplements industry, which have continued to rise even during this ongoing slowdown, since for most pet owners, their pets need just as much as their family, whether it is to do with food, supplements, medical treatment and toys. It's all about good marketing for sure.

the simple pleasures of life

Summer is the time for everyone to buy new patio furniture, organize the area for barbeques and so on. But for us it is the winter that is the prime season for outdoor furniture, when the weather is fabulous, the sky full of stars and the nights a bit nippy. There is something so special about dining al fresco, isn't there? I find that it just makes even the simplest of meals into something special and memorable. I'm looking forward to the time, when we can sit outside and enjoy a meal too!

photo: the downside of living with history

I love taking street scene shots, but I find I get too flustered and embarrassed when people start staring at me, so in that way drive-by shots are a great alternative for me. I took three shots this day, and this was the first one. It was also the best one of the lot.

the downside of living with history

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

questions and answers

I just posted on my other blog, how people seem to single me out to ask for advice on weight loss, to find the best fat burner and diet pills. I'm not really sure why that happens. I don't go around wearing a T-shirt that says "ask me", but oh well, I suppose it gives me stuff to write about here. I think I should probably start a specific blog to deal with all the queries about all of this!

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

modern day watch towers

The modern day landscape is not complete without these cell towers and surprisingly they make some very interesting sights when taking shots of a city, especially if one takes them at sunrise or sunset, when the warm light seems to highlight them and almost make a showcase of them. In the old days, there were watch towers and forts, but in modern times, it is these that have taken on the role of watching over our cities. I especially like spotting them in unusual places, like in the middle of the wilderness in the mountains.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

photo: layers

As much as I love taking shots of the books I'm reading along with tea or coffee, I really do love my shots of doors, walls and windows. They have a more abstract nature, so maybe that's why they appeal more to me, or maybe because they are simpler compositions, starker even.


changing the way we get married

It seems that weddings are becoming more and more practiced and matter of fact. The clothes such as the traditional tuxedo is rent-able along with most of the other furnishings, which although makes it so convenient for most people, I find it makes it somewhat matter of fact and routine. A custom made tuxedo is more to my line of thinking since it will have more meaning and remain with you, as part of the wedding memorabilia.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

understanding the pros and cons

As a researcher, one often gets assignments for topics that are completely out of your realm. When I first undertook a diet pills comparison, I wasn't sure how good I would be, since I don't have a medical background, but after a good amount of research I managed to find some very qualitative information about how to compare them and how to evaluate them. I would recommend anyone who wants to use any kind of pills also do a bit of research of their own.

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

photo: down the escalator

Noticing the light and patterns created by the sun from the top level of Festival City. Took this from outside Fitness First, where one has a nice view towards the parking lot, the outside sitting area, and airport beyond. I find Festival City to be one of the nicest malls in terms of architectural interest...beyond just large chandeliers and grand columns. The glass roof creates wonderful patterns everywhere you look.

announcing in style

These days it seems like everything has to be so perfectly planned and organized. One of the area that has really benefited from this line of thinking is party planning and especially for things such as birth announcements and baby showers. The trends towards creating something unique has always been there, but it seems to have taken an even grander scale lately! Apart from the grandness, the attention to detail in these aspects is quite fascinating.

Monday, April 27, 2009

a little step that goes a long way

I'm always surprised at home many mom and pop stores just don't care for modern technology, even if it is going to increase their sales. For a lot of the old-fashioned retailers it's all too much of botheration to try and learn about new technologies and of course the cost involved with them as well. What most don't know is that how easy it actually is to use something like a Symbol LS2208 barcode scanner, and how this along with a proper inventory system can transform their business.

Often, it's just a case of one slightly-modern thinking retailer who switches and everyone else watches him and sees the difference and switches as well, some reluctantly and some enthusiastically. I've spoken to so many small neighborhood grocers who will make the investment only if pushed into it, but once they have done it, they are quite amazed at the difference it makes. If only they realized it earlier.

Monday, April 20, 2009

photo: looking out

Looking out into the courtyard of the Orient Cafe and Guesthouse in Bastakiya in Dubai. They have some really great tiramisu and also serve Starbucks coffees and drinks! There are just five or six tables in this tiny courtyard so it fills up pretty quickly.

More photos of the area here, and a map here.

Do you trust your car insurance agent?

It feels like if one has an Internet connection, one can find just about anything there is to be found in the world. Well, of course, one cannot find out how something smells or feels like just from the Internet, apart from reading about it second hand, but one can certainly find information like car insurance coverage recommendations and so on. Everyone knows that the most expensive automobile insurance is provided by the agent who sits at the car dealership, but we often just go ahead and take if for the simplicity of it all. In the long run, this adds up to a lot of difference, and the fine print is so important to read. When we moved from Bombay, it was a month and a half after renewing our car insurance, and the company refused to pay us back the unused amount, refused to transfer it to the new car owner and basically made us curse them. I suppose, that's how one learns!

understanding why...

Oh, I forgot to mention, the other thing that I get a ton of inquiries about is appetite suppressant, again something that I did a research assignment on and have personally never used myself. I did meet some people who used them as part of my research and it was certainly very interesting to get some first hand information from them. What I was really curious about was the though process during the time when a person takes these? Is it a sure-fire thing that it will work, or does it work like a placebo and positive thinking is what the magic trick is? Very interesting indeed!

Me, an expert? No way!

Ok, now seriously people, by the amount of inquiries and mails and spam comments I get on best diet pills is simply quite amazing. I've written about them before thanks to a research project I was assigned to do on them, but I'm certainly not an expert on them! But I suppose any information in the online world takes on some sort of importance, right? Well, I'm telling you right here and now, please do your own research, check with your doctor and so on, since I am not an expert on them, I have never used them and don't plan to either. My study on them was based on several published reports and consumer feedback and I don't claim to know any more than that.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

photo: at the fairground

This winter we've made a concerted effort to get out of our comfort zones and explore Dubai and its surrounding areas, before it gets too hot. Now going to a new shopping area doesn't really seem like a worthy exploration, but in Dubai the shops and restaurant areas are created quite wonderfully and have lots of other interesting things to do as well. I'm not into shopping much or window shopping either, but it was nice to explore The Walk in Jumeirah Beach Residences, mostly for its architecture and great angles.

at the fairground

what to blog about?

I can't seem to stop writing about the oddest things, such as the best diet supplements or where to buy dog food or how to create rubber stamps and so on. They're not exactly what I had in mind for this blog, but sometimes its required and so here I am writing about such things. Well, if nothing else it is variety for the blog at least. Let's hope my topic list of blogging improves!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

the focus....

The focus of this blog has become quite wide lately. It was meant to be about technology, communication, the web and so on, but somehow it has spread to travel, reading, my life and so on. None of the actual topics are my field, but they are an interest, since I like to be well informed and like to write about them, but maybe it was just all too different from what I usually do to keep it up. The problem of being the "second blog" also arises here, as my first priority is always the other one, and so the quality has deteriorated. I've got to rethink it all and see what I want this blog to me. I'm leaning towards writing more about consumerism, but will take some time to dwell on it.

looking for sales jobs?

Since I write quite a bit on retail on another blog, I get a lot of inquiries about finding sales jobs. While I don't run any kind of business myself on this front, I am really getting inundated with inquiries for jobs, franchising offers and supplier queries. A lot of people are not getting the point of blogging or differentiating it from news sites or company websites. Clarifying the matter hasn't made any difference at all and the queries still continue. Oh well!

Thursday, March 12, 2009


Since I just wrote a post about stamping and ordering stamps online, I thought I would post a shot of the one that I got made several years back. It's made from a sketch that I doodle all the time, just reduced on the photocopy machine to the size that I wanted the stamp in. In retrospect, I realize that I reduced it too much, as the lines all blur together.


stamping online

I love putting aside a bit of time each weekend for being creative. A couple of weekends back I did a bit of stamping, which ended up quite fun. I've always loved stamps, as it is so easy to make so many different things from them. I had carved out a little simple stamp from an eraser a few months back, but had never got around to using it, so it was nice to test it out as well. If you're keen on stamping, it is a good idea to get a custom rubber stamp made to your specification. They are relatively simple to order online and the quality is quite good. I got one made of a paisley pattern that I keep doodling and it came out nice, but next time I know how to make it even better.

photo memory space

As a freelance writer, I really rely on my laptop, for work, for communicating, for surfing and for keeping in touch. So, when things go wrong as they did at the end of last year, I was in quite a fix. I had to make sure I didn't lose any of my work and that my tech problems did not affect my client at all. I did end up losing some of my photos but getting a compact flash memory card really did help a lot and I'm really glad my tech savvy friend told me about them. Live and learn, I guess!

In Central Perk

We all love Friends don't we? I do to, and have been watching it right from when it started. Thursday nights were sacred, to be spent with friends in front of the TV, watching Friends and then ER. When I read about the real Central Perk cafes in Dubai, I knew I had to visit....for nostalgia's sake. Well, we finally did and it was nice. Here's a photo from our visit of the Central Perk in Uptown Mirdiff in Dubai.


It's all in the eyes!

So, this is something that every girl could probably use, at some time or the other. Having a good eye cream can be quite a lifesaver when you're not sleeping well or are unwell, but need to look professional and with-it. I'm not much of an experimenter when it comes to make-up, lotion and potions, I just like to find a good one, usually one that is recommended, buy it, use it and forget all about the fine details! Including the fine lines under the eyes :-)

Award yourself

OK, admit it, aren't there some days when you want to give yourself an award or one of those grand trophies, a day when you really need to feel on top of the world? Well, if you really want to you actually can, you can even get yourself a set of softball trophies if you'd like for the company sponsored game or just for yourself. The only cup that I've ever won was for a marathon when I was in school and I'm incredibly proud of it. It makes an ordinary race seem like a great achievement and that's quite something.

Monday, March 02, 2009

Some quotes on technology

Technology: No Place for Wimps!
-Scott Adams, "Dilbert"

As industrial technology advances and enlarges, and in the process assumes greater social, economic, and political force, it carries people away from where they belong by history, culture, deeds, association and affection.
-Wendell Berry

Engrave this Quote We've been slaves to our tools since the first caveman made the first knife to help him get his supper. After that there was no going back, and we built till our machines were ten million times more powerful than ourselves.
We gave ourselves cars when we might have learned to run; we made airplanes when we might have grown wings; and then the inevitable. We made a machine our God.
-John Brunner, Judas [1967]

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

in a tree house

What is it about tree houses that endear them to us so well? I've always loved them. not only for their vantage point and views but for their sense of adventure. You have to be adventurous to go up into one, you have to a bit kiddish to love them, and you have to love them for the feeling of joy that they give.

self-storage anyone?

We've been moving so often in the past seven years, that I sometimes feel like I could open my own business! Well, if not a packing and moving business, then at least a self storage business, since I'm pretty good and organizing and packing as well. Or, maybe not! The thing is that I've always been rather fascinated by all these storage facilities for some reason. Maybe, it's the thought of traveling or moving to new places, and collecting too many things along the way as well, that endears them to me. What ever it is, the fact is that I am fascinated by them!

on topics far and wide

As a writer, one can't control the kind of assignments one gets. Sometimes it's all about traveling to Turkey, other times about the best acne treatments available in the market and at other times about supply chain networks. In a way, I suppose the work never quite gets boring at least, but it can test one's patience for sure. Well, in the sense that, you work hard and do a lot of research on some complicated topic and write a fantastic piece, and then you get a completely inane subject! There is always a option to refuse, but I usually find it too intriguing to refuse. I'm one of those people who needs to be busy, I love doing a couple of things at a time and so on!

Friday, January 23, 2009

a cup of tea!

Will you have a cup of tea with me?

I never, ever thought the day would come when I would enjoy drinking a cup of tea, or even two cups a day. Well, it has come and I am really relishing the cold weather for the opportunity to enjoy my cup of cha!

tea time

searching for...

I can not really believe just how many research articles I get for anything related to diets, the diet pill, losing weight and so on. There is a vast amount of research on all of these topics and sometimes it can get really confusing as to what is real and what is someone's opinion. I think the best way to deal with that is to stick to known and reputable sources, that are backed or recommended by a hospital or a doctor. Get a second opinion as well, it will do you no harm.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Being a state of mind

A vacation is always good for the soul. Often we relegate it to the lowest of our priorities, sometimes due to lack of time, at other due to lack of money or interest, but it really is very important to get out of one's daily routine and do something different. Sometimes a day is all it takes to get refreshed and often one need not go very far from home either. It's just a state of mind, kind of like leaving one's watch behind, turning off one's phone and not letting any problems intrude.

Being calm....

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

The right first impression

These days, it is absolutely essential to have an Internet site, a place where you can build your brand, your image and connect to a new category of buyers. Having the right kind of digital signage is very important, as that is a viewer's first impression and is the deciding factor, whether they stay or move on. There are some really great places to get all your work done, so you actually don't need to understand any of it, but only the importance behind it.

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Become environmentally aware

All through our travels we found that all the places we stayed at had installed these new and quite impressive tankless water heaters. It certainly what I had been expecting of the region, but it is a great use of the resources at hand, and limited waste to a bare minimum. I think everyone must make a concerted effort to be aware of the problems around us and try to help the environment at each step. Something as simple as installing an efficient water heater can make all the difference!

back to my warm home

Back home to lovely warm sights like this one. I love seeing the sunshine wander through my home, changing its course in the seasons. It's been a wonderful start to the new year. Hope to see it continue in the same vein. Having a beautiful, specifically a warm and inviting home is very important to me, and everyone who visits my home or sees its pictures conveys the same to me. Thank you all so much.

back home....

hotel pampering

What is the first thing you check when you enter a hotel room? For me, it's the bathroom. If the bathroom is good, then you can be assured that the room will be great as well, which is not always the case the other way around. I find that I must have good bathroom light fixtures as well, since that really makes a huge difference to the feel of a room. One is there only for a short time, but if that time is enjoyable, then it's certainly worth it. Many hotels I have found are going all out in putting in the most luxurious of settings in the baths, since they have found that guests really do like to feel pampered when they come to a hotel, even if it is just a business trip or in transit.

using barcode scanners

Retailers worldwide have adapted to the use of barcode scanners as part of their retail requirements, but many of the small retail stores have still not invested in this very basic implement of a retail store. For many, it is the price which is an impediment, but for others it is the new technology that is the main hindrance to getting pos scanners. One has to remember that a lot of small retailers are simply mom-and-pop stores, which have been conducting their business in the same manner for generations, and are not exactly willing to change.r