Like Duck to Water, thats how I have taken to life :). This blog is the saga of love and adventures of a small duck in a large water body called LIFE....

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Sunday, March 21, 2010

The clueless :-D

The baby blues guys are brilliant. This is something that happens at my house ALL the time :-p. Click to get the bigger picture ;-) :-D.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Hope springs eternal..

The daylight savings have begun again in my part of the earth and spring is almost here. So are some of my flowers. Yay!

The Jaaji (the winter jasmine which I cribbed about saying no flowers since 2 years) has finally blossomed :). The fragrance is a bit too gaudy for my taste (nothing like the Indian version). But am very happy nevertheless..

Then we come to tulips and other bulbs. After last year's fiasco, I had hoped that covering the containers with tarpaulin for the winter after planting the bulbs would work and the bulbs won't rot no matter how hard the winter will be. Turns out, I was right!

I have Tulips, Hyacinths and one other variety of bulbs (don't remember the name at all now) that have shoots coming up. Feels wonderful that the work paid of. Now if only I could think of what to plant for the summer :-p.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

The question..

Today I was at the Walmart billing counter with Snugli, when the lady at the counter pointed to Snugli and asked me this -

"So are you going to arrange a marriage for her?"

Hehehee :).

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

I did not know that about astronomy..

Did you know that you can take perfect photos of galaxies, nebulae and many other DSOs (Deep Space Objects) right from the earth? If you knew, kudos to you. Well, I did not.

I am a big fan of astronomical photographs. So much that "astronomy picture of the day" is my daily cup of tea. I always assumed that most of the photos of space were either from the Hubble telescope or some of the special satellites designed to take them. Well, assuming certainly made an ass outtta me :-D.

From the past couple of posts, you know that I was feeling down. I wanted to come back up and one way I thought I could do that was to immerse myself in the activities I love. I thought I would take photography classes or attend a photography workshop, but they don't have them in my town and the private lessons available in a nearby town are atrociously priced :-p. So next, I searched for an astronomy club and found one. While I was exploring through the site, I find the members' photo gallery section and thats when it hits me. Amazing photos taken by people right on earth!

The standard search on Google for more information revealed the term - Astrophotography. Suddenly it was as if the last puzzle piece clicks into place. Felt like a true calling. Felt like, hey thats what I always wanted to do, since I learnt the basics of astronomy (I gave up because of all the math, hehehee). I started reading more and more, getting more and more interested. Don't know how or when really, but I know I want to get into Astrophotography soon.

Its certainly not going to be easy. Astrophotography brings together 2 extreme things in photography and astronomy. It requires the knowledge of operating a high quality telescope (not to mention some knowledge of night sky) and a Digital SLR camera, both of which in turn take quite a bit of mastering. All these don't come very cheap either. Plus from what I have heard, its going to take years to get it right. Just pointing a camera into an eye-piece of a telescope will not get the perfect pics. So its going to be an expensive hobby if it is a hobby and I don't know whether my interest will be strong enough to go on for years and make it into some sort of a career. But right now, I am interested and I am excited.

I have decided to start off initially reading about photography, experimenting and then moving onto buying a digital SLR (which has been one of my all-time wishes). Meanwhile probably will also simultaneously explore buying a beginner's telescope (after going to a couple of meetings of the local astronomy club ofcourse) to learn and explore the possibilities. By then I should know whether I want to pursue this or not ;-). I have several good books on hold already and I can feel the impatience boiling in me ;-) :-D.

I know I am going to have lots of fun figuring it all out :). My only hope in all this is that this will make me look back on the bad phase in my life I have had for the past month fondly as a new beginning :).

Monday, March 08, 2010

The good twin ;-).

As I mentioned earlier, its the 5th birthday of my blog today :). And the gift is that I now have a copy of my blog (albeit private) on wordpress. Am yet to figure out how to setup the same theme and push all the photo-dependency from blogger to there. But one step at a time. Right now its a private blog, but if ever something happens to this blog here again, I'll take off and create the full fledged version there.

I said before that I was shocked to see all my posts gone. It was more than that, it was as if a part of me was torn apart. This shows you how much this blog has come to mean to me. I even declared that if I didn't recover the posts, I'd never blog again. But here I am :). I am so glad that all is well with my blog again (but that 1 post is still missing and google developers are yet to get back).

5 years. So many things have happened. Changes have come but some things have remained the same. My blog has become a companion whom I cannot afford to lose. Its not that I don't have any secrets from my blog, there are many things I don't write about here (there's still a part of me thats private and personal ;-) :-D). But for the most part, my blog is a reflection of my life. Its a day to day mirror, but remember even mirrors don't really show the true self of the person ;-) (the reflection is inverted duh!). Maybe there'll come a time when I'll open up more. Or maybe I'll become more close-mouthed about stuff (as if!). But what I do know is that I am going to be blogging for a long time.

Happy birthday blog, and here's to many more shared memories together :).

Friday, March 05, 2010

The whys..

- Why does the heart take such a long time in realizing something that the brain seems to grasp in a second?
- Why do we never say "Why me?" when faced with good times, but never fail to say it when things are bad?
- Why is it that when everything is hunky and dory, its credited to ourselves and termed "oLLe dese" (good phase or good luck), but when its not, its blamed on somebody else and termed "Ketta dristi" (evil eye)?
- Why do people suddenly realize that they have to be thankful for what they have, when they don't have something they want?
- Why are some people so wonderful (especially moms ;-) :-D) while others just don't seem to have a sensitivity chip?
- Why is it that sometimes you yourself cannot convince yourself?
- Why is it that our expectations of some people in our lives never decrease despite their never meeting not one of those expectations?

And finally
- Why is the doctor saying I have low blood pressure when it should be shooting off the roof top because of all the stress I've been facing? :-D (yes I am grinning :-D).

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Rock bottom..

"Ya know I really thought I had hit rock bottom, but today it's like there's rock bottom, then 50 feet of crap, then me." - Rachel in Friends.

Strange how some quotes just seem to suit your life so aptly. In my earlier post I wrote how I was afraid to say "it can only get better from now on", but I have to admit, I thought it. Well, I thought wrong. On the fateful day of Feb 16th, I woke up to find that I have been locked out of my Google account (looks like it was hacked into). After some miserable hours I managed to get my password reset and login to the account, only to find out that my Orkut profile was deleted! The profile cannot be recovered and I have to create a new one :(. Still, the saving grace was that my blog was still there and nothing had happened to my photos or mails. Wrong! Next morning all the posts were gone, wiped out, deleted without trace from my blog.

I was shocked to say the least. I didn't have a backup of anything (had tried to do that earlier, but hadn't gotten any proper solution). I really thought Google was the big boss of everything and they'd have multiple back-ups of everything and nothing can ever vanish without their approval. Not so apparently :-\. Didn't know what to do at all. After one complete day of grovelling on the help forums, I found something out. If you subscribe to a blog on Google Reader, it usually has if not all, most of the posts in cache`, despite the fact that you are logging into the damn thing only after your posts have been deleted. I had posts from December 2006 to February 2010, but I started the blog in March 2005, so there were a lot of posts missing.

After about 5 days of to and fro on the forums (here's the discussion), there still wasn't any concrete solution. I was told that if I could produce the URLs of all the posts, they'd try and restore them. What the heck! I had about 300 posts then, how am I supposed to get all the URLs of those? I got around 200 URLs on the Google reader. I didn't know what to do about the rest. I remembered some of the missing posts, but didn't really remember the titles of the posts (blogger names the URL on the title). Tried searching in Google blogs, didn't work. After various permutations and combination, finally figured out a solution. If you search the blog name and say a month and a year, the search result usually shows the archived page of the month. If you click the "cached" version, then you get the old post. And so after searching for every single month and spending the entire day on the computer I finally had all the URLs of all the posts (you can see the entire list in the discussion above). Phew!

Again a week went by without a word. You cannot fathom the frustration that I went through. Yesterday they finally said they had restored all the posts as drafts and I had to publish them all to get the blog functioning as it was (one URL was wrong, so there's still that to be worked out). They still haven't told me how or why it happened and I'm totally clueless. Atleast its a learning, have the XML backup and am planning to have a backup blog on some other site. That'll be my birthday gift to my blog this year.

Coming to my wounds, I'm fine. Stitches have been taken out and also the surgical strip that was put in as a replacement. There is a 1.5 inch gash on my forehead and a 0.25 inch one on my lip but they are very much on the mend. Right now I'm sporting the healing Frankenstein monster look (which is wayyyyyyy more hipppppp than the Rohini Hattangadi look ;-) :-D), so even though I feel awkward going out anywhere, thats alright to some extent.

So all's well right? Beep wrong again! You know that last year my MBA plans got cancelled (to put it mildly)? I had transferred the application to this year and had hoped to get some financial assistance. Yesterday I got a mail from the coordinator telling me that times are tough and financial resources are limited, hence they'll not be able to give any financial aid to me. I somehow expected that (usually business schools don't really dole out dough), yet felt crushed. It feels like I'm down and being kicked again and again. I'm so sick and tired of being treated this way! And I know tomorrow the situation can be worse.

So bring it on God! I'll take it like a woman - I'll be depressed, I'll cry, then I'll show you my middle finger and I'll get over it!