Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Who’s minding the Security?-2

So are we keep on getting these security breaches or will be ever feel secure about using our credit and debit cards? By the looks of things, rest assured that we will get more security hacks like this maybe not on a massive scale like this but we will. If look at the history of hackings even recently you will notice that big companies and even security ones are being targeted exposing holes in their security. I really don’t understand that even all these expenditures on security and others, there are these breaches going on with increasing frequency. Either somebody is not testing their security constantly or they just believe that the breaches are going to happen no matter how much money and expertise they put into their security. For the companies affected it can be a huge embarrassment and loss of business but for the people who have their credit and debit card stolen and their identities exposed, it is no less an huge affair. Although it is a hassle to change your debit and credit card but when your identity is stolen like this then you have to wonder that if it is only this breach or the thieves have taken more than the PIN and card numbers, if it involves social security numbers then it becomes really a nightmare and you have to constantly on the vigil that somebody may not open an account in your name under the social security number. I am really very tired of hearing about their security breaches and then the apologies and investigations start, why can't these companies make their system as much as fool proof as possible and if they fear the security breach is going to happen why can't they spread their security across different companies so that it does not affect so many people and also keep on constantly checking on their security because a constant vigil is the only way to secure that there are no more breaches and if any can be caught in time like in days and not weeks. Other thing is that please update the public as soon as something like this happens and don’t wait till some other entity reveals that there were more people affected than initially acknowledged.

Who’s minding the Security?

Recently there was a huge breach of security at one of the biggest discount chains of the country and almost 40 million credit and debit cards were hacked from presumably from November 27, 2013 to December 15, 2013 until it was discovered I don’t know how. I was also the intended victim of this elaborate hack and was initially very much pissed off at the hack. But now I have calmed down a little bit but still unhappy with the Target® the discount chain where this breached occurred handled this issue. It is hard to understand the breach occurring for a few days let alone for almost three weeks and for so many people which is larger than the population of some countries. I mean for such a long time and for so many people the cards, Credit and debit were getting hacked and nobody noticed it is really unbelievable and it shows either the sophistication of the hackers or the lax security at target. And instead of coming out in one go and updating the victims, they were supposedly trying to conceal some facts. And you know the lawsuits have already started to pile up for them. As for me since I use exclusively credit card, I am just monitoring right now and if need arises will change the card as well but for those people who use the debit card, they will have to either monitor their account constantly or just have to change their card right away along with their PIN numbers.

On the lighter side-Movies-Ninja: Shadow of a tear (2013)-Scott Adkins

A ninja hunts for the killers of his pregnant wife in this sequel to the Ninja movie. Recommended for martial arts fans.

Saturday, December 28, 2013

On the lighter side-Movies-Daglicht (Daylight 2013)-Dutch

Dutch thriller about a lawyer who has an autistic son and discovers that she has a brother who is also autistic and who has been incarcerated for murder he says has not been committed by him. Slow moving but certainly keeps your interest throughout. Recommended

On the lighter side-Movies-The Gifted Hands (2013-Korean)

A South Korean detective hunts for a missing girl with the help of a teen who can predict events by the touch of his hand. Very good and effective movie. Recommended

On the lighter side-Movies-Wither (2012-Sweden)

Swedish horror about a group of people going to a secluded cabin and encountering evil. If you have seen Evil Dead then that looks at this Swedish version with more gore. Recommended for curiosity

Friday, December 27, 2013

On the lighter side-Movies-The Berlin File (2013-South Korean)

South Korean movie about a North Korean spy in Berlin who is betrayed and then has to escape with the help of his wife so as not to get killed by North Korean spies. Good action but sometimes slow and complicated. Subtitled and Recommended for Asian movie fans.

On the lighter side-Movies-The Guillotines (2012-HK)

Poorly executed Hong Kong movie about a group of assassins in the service of the Chinese emperors who uses Guillotines to kill their enemies. Too much emotions involved and not much action as compared to other martial arts movies. You had better watch some other Hong Kong movie (an old one maybe). Not Recommended

On the lighter side-Movies-Frozen (2013 Animated)

Disney® magic at its best about two sisters, one cursed with hands that touch everything into ice and the other sister who tries to bring her back after the ice sister accidentally creates permanent ice in her kingdom. I watched it in theaters and you would not be disappointed with special effects to the max. Highly recommended and animated.

On the lighter side-Movies-Raptor Ranch (2013)

I will try to make sure not to watch crap movies in the next year as it wastes my time and there is no redeeming value and this one except for some gore is nothing to waste your time on. A rancher has been breeder dinosaurs on his ranch in Texas and they escape one day and start killing people. Bloody and messy. Not Recommended

On the lighter side-Movies-Bella Kiss: Prologue (2013)

A slow and agonizing gory horror movie about some robbers who had escaped their captors come to a hotel to lay low and slowly starts to get killed by a deranged killer. Supposedly involves the side story about the worst mass murderer in history who was never found and how he may be behind the killings of the robbers. This is the best I can describe since I regret watching this mess of my time movie. Not Recommended at all.

On the lighter side-Movies-Dead drop (2013)-Luke Goss

A guy gets thrown off from plane up in the sky and survives and then goes on looking for who did it and why. Not that great movie and a general time waster. You are better off sleeping. Not Recommended

On the lighter side-Movies-The Demented (2013)

A group of friends vacationing at a weekend house suddenly encounter zombies who have become such due to some chemical/biological attack. Gory and bloody and yet another take on the zombie genre. Better than the movies I waste my time on. Recommended with caution.

On the lighter side-Movies-Fear Lives here (2012)

Another one of the movies that I should have stayed away as far as possible and every time I get duped into it. This time another four young people go to a remote area and encounter a boy who has been dead long time ago or is he? Not worth your time. Not Recommended

On the lighter side-Movies-Camp 139 (2013)

Sometimes I regret watching some independent horror movies that are not even be supposed to be called a movie let alone a horror one and it is this piece of crap that I had to sit through and waste my time when I should be doing some other productive work or watch some other movie. Anyway I watched this movie about four young kids who go on a vacation in a remote area (where else would you go?) and encounter a killer. Absolutely not recommended for anybody.

On the lighter side-Movies-Buddy Goes west (1981-Italian) - Bud Spencer

Lightweight Italian Spaghetti Western comedy about an outlaw who goes to a small town in the west and tangles with unscrupulous elements who are trying to get rid of the town people so that they can get their hands of the gold underneath the town. Lots of comedic fist fights as the movie does not take it too seriously. Recommended for goofiness and good time waster.

On the lighter side-Movies-Insidious: Chapter 2 (2013)-Patrick Wilson

Another sequel to the block buster creepy ghost movie and this one also made ton of money meaning more to come. This time the father who saved his son from an evil ghost from the world beyond brings with him the ghost who haunted his son. Standard chills and nothing special to boost here except to kill time and say that you are update on the series. Not Recommended

Why people bring race into touchy matters-3

So if Jesus was white did he only come for white people and the other races should look for some other Jesus. I really don’t understand why race matters in this case. Jesus came for all humanity and that should be the end of it. The people who try to play the race card in such cases are actually insecure and have an inferiority complex (yes inferiority complex not Superiority). The race equation if they want to play it should be a non issue in the case of Jesus and other prophets because GOD did not create prophets for a particular race but to fix up the screwed up humanity at the time of their birth. We are really hung up in so much race issues that we don’t see anything past it. Be it white, black, yellow, Hispanic etc we keep on deciphering every issue based on race statistics. I don’t know what goes on in people's head when they put out such statements and if they believe it to be true can you keep it to yourself instead of making a fool of yourself and be ridiculed in public and create a backlash of sorts. I have also many opinions about many things but there is a limit to where I would go and since I am not on TV or other mass market media I still restrain myself so as not to hurt other people's feelings and beliefs. But if you want to really put it out in the open support it with irrefutable facts and evidence and not with some wild theories which cannot be supported.

Why people bring race into touchy matters-2

And what if horrors of horrors, these folks find out that Jesus Christ is not the white blue eyed person that they were supposedly assuming. And there are credible evidence that he was not the one that is depicted in the paintings and pictures of him all over the western world. And would people who perceive them as a white man have a lesser respect for him if he turns out to be not a white person. I don’t know why people would want to create such a controversy so as to blur the message that he was conveying. Why are we so hung up on the race of people that does it matter in terms of his/her character personality and other traits which should be more important than the non issue of race? And on the subject of race I have never heard about Jews questioning the race of Moses or the Muslims questioning the race of their Prophet. Why then the race of Jesus Christ becomes so important? As we are on the subject of race, do you think that if I come to you as a white person in a land full of people will different physical characteristics like color of your skin, facial feature, way of talking etc, would you believe me or would you rather believe a person who is of your own kind and have lived and born in your area. Just a little thinking will dispel your doubt about what Jesus Christ looked like.

Why people bring race into touchy matters

Okay before I give my two cents in this matter so as to speak, my posts is in no way to offend anybody sensitivities nor should be construed in anyway blasphemous to any religion or religious beliefs. Now that is out of the way so what I am talking about. Recently a television host in the heat of the moment or whatever came over her said that Santa Clause is a white character (and I don’t have to elaborate it any further) and most of the people wished she could have kept it to that. But no when your mind stops working you say things which you regret later on or just retract when you become mentally sober. And put Santa Clause (an obviously fictitious character) with Jesus Christ (obviously an historical and biblical Character) was not a smart move but you know sometimes smart people do make dumb moves. And out it came from her mouth that Jesus Christ was a white person. Now why would she utter such a thing when she knows that it is a touchy subject for majority of people and they don’t talk about it? I don’t really understand why some people have to create controversies like this when you avoid it entirely and think about other problems that the world is facing. Does it really matter if Jesus Christ was black or white? I mean what does race got to do with his mission and his affect on the world history? Why do we have to see somebody in a race issue and not what the person's character and personality stand for?

What’s wrong with regifting?

The idea of regifting has been around for a long time but now it has gain more acceptance as recent survey says that over 70 percent approve of it and do it. So what is so wrong about it that people were not shy about it to mention it now than it use to be before. I believe the economy has more to do with it than other things. But another factor is also the wide spread acceptance that it is really ok to do it and there is no shame in acknowledging it. You know that people values and morals change as the society and times change and this is also one of the moments when there is increasing emphasis on saving money and if the gift is perfectly in fine shape in a box and all packed and you don’t need it then it is okay to regift it to someone else. In this way you can save money without busting your budget and admittedly reduce the clutter in your house. I would readily admit that I have done regifting in the past (once or twice maybe) and if I can, will do it again as the benefits of doing it outweighs the cost of not doing it. And why not if I am able to save some money and gift it to another person when I don’t need the item in the house and reduce clutter and also make somebody else happy who may need it for their house then all the power to the regifting phenomena. Hey you have to save some money right think about it and enjoy regifting

Monday, December 23, 2013

Age old sentences and words used constantly-3

Terms like "Yours truly", "Sincerely Yours", Yours Sincerely" and all of the other variations have been in use since GOD knows what years and nobody is not even thinking about changing it. And it is not just in the U.S. that we use these terms but all over the world the variations of any of the above terms are used in different language. Although the person using these terms use it in all sincerity but some of the terms become irksome to a rare breed of people (like I) who want to shake up the status quo and try to find new ways to rehash or retire these terms and use new ones. Maybe my blog will help people start thinking about new ways regarding the sentences and words or maybe it will not but at least I would have helped make them see these terms in a new light and create new ones replacing the old ones or just create new one from scratch. You may be showing respect to the person you are addressing (or maybe you are not) but to see these words in hundreds and thousands of documents makes you feel like you are just do it without any thought process. And there may be other sentences and words which I may not have discussed it here because I don’t remember or have not come across it though but the ones described above which I have come across needs some fine tuning or sometimes major overhaul as they are some of the most annoying ones out there that has not be changed for several decades.

Age old sentences and words used constantly-2

Everybody knows that people are afraid to innovate on their own when working at a job. They don’t want to ruffle feathers with their bosses who have been programmed to do the same thing day and night till they retire and I don’t blame them. Nobody wants to be the person to offend their bosses and their company's client who are used to the same sentences and words all their lives. But if you have your own company you can do with a little innovation like I said in my previous post. Another one not so annoying as much as being used too much is the "regards" word and there are variations of it like "best regards", "kind regards" and the obvious "regards" and it all depends upon how much your client is valuable to you or how much you have developed a relationship with a person. Another one is "have a nice day" or its variation "have a nice weekend". If you have been stopped by a cop for a traffic violation and he/she gives you a ticket and then smiles and says "have a nice day" does it not annoy you since not only that day but many days to come have been ruined by this ticket. This expression becomes annoying if used in this extent. One of my favorites is "see you later" or its variation, "talk to you soon" both of them anticipating that you will bump into each other sometime in the future and even when you meet a stranger and become a little informal with his/her during that brief moment you don’t really expect to meet them again but we always say the above mentioned sentence to them.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Age old sentences and words used constantly

If you are like me noticing even minute details of life, you may have come across sentences and words that are used constantly and never get old. Nobody has even wondered about these and it has been kept in use because nobody has the time to think about an alternative to it or does not bother to change for fear of starting something new which may or may not be acceptable to society at large. And I am not the one who will start a new revolution by spearheading a change in these as I will only give some examples and see if somebody can come up with a variation of it through their comments in my blog. There are many words and sentences that are used and I will not mention all of them (I don’t even remember all of them to begin with) as it will become impossible to mention all of them. So in the following paragraphs I will only name a few that are in use and sometimes annoys me. The most annoying one is “Please feel free to call me" and its twin "Please do not hesitate to contact me". I mean what the person sending these kinds of instructions implying? That I am not free I cannot call or I may be a little hesitant and with this sentence I should not be. I mean if you have send me a message and if I have some questions do I really need your permission to get some explanation or understanding of what you have sent. Although this sounds much better "if you have any question please contact me" but the ones described above is still very much in vogue and pretty annoying since I have been reading this for a long time and people keep on writing it out of habit..

Too many distractions-2

The checking of your phone while you are in the train or somewhere stationary is fine but when people are checking it on the go and sometimes blocking the way of other people are rather annoying. If it is a life or death situation I can understand but if it is something other than an emergency why are some people being obnoxious about it. If they really want to check every minute, they can stop by or get out of the way of other people who may have to reach their work place or other places. And I will readily admit that I also get distracted from time to time but you will hardly find me checking my phone walking on the road or street like I am conducting a war. When I am on the internet it is hard to concentrate on one website along as you are constantly moving from one site to another if something does not interest you right away. And if you work in the office, the distractions multiply manifold like when you are working on something and are concentrating when all of sudden a new thing comes up and you have to leave what you are doing and concentrate on the new item. It just breaks your concentration and then you have to take a breather before you start on this new item. And these distractions not only hurt your focus on certain things but you are unable to complete one task at a certain time and are juggling yourself from one work to another. This is why you can see that most of the people have lost complete focus and your mind keeps on wandering from one thing to the other and you are completely exhausted because of your completely shifting focus on several things at once instead of completing a task in one sitting.

Too many distractions

It was not that way before, I mean the distractions that we encounter each day and they keep on increasing. Some of the examples will prove my point. Not so long ago we just had television to watch and we use to concentrate on it fully when watching a program and then came the video recorders and now with the internet all the rage, we are unable to concentrate on a program and we keep on getting distracted by internet or cell phone or all the apps that are available to us. Driving is one of the most important aspect of your attention but here the things have also changed as you receive your phone calls and send text messages, eat and chat and listen to the music while also driving and if you have not had a good night sleep then your distraction also includes sleepiness while on the road. You may have read that there have been so many fatalities on the road and this due to the culprits I have mentioned above and teenagers who are driving these cars are very much distracted with their texting and despite all the dangers and caution and advertising the fatalities does not stop. I have seen people crossing the road and chatting on the phone or texting and also just walking they keep on checking their phones and I start wondering what is so much important that it cannot wait for a few minutes until you reach a safe place to do your texting or chatting or checking on the email or whatever.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

On the lighter side-Movies-Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters (2013)

If you have already seen the first movie called Percy Jackson: The lightning thief, you will enjoy this continuing adventure of the half human/half god son of the Greek god Zeus and these friends, this time along with his half brother embark on an adventure to get rid of some evil cloud hanging over their retreat. If you have watched the first one, you should watch this one. Good action sequences but ultimately too childish for adult taste. Recommended with caution.

On the lighter side-Movies-Elysium (2013)-Matt Damon, Jodie Foster

In the near future the earth is just a waste with majority of the poor people living on it and the rich people in far off planet like place from where they are controlling the inhabitants of the earth and exploiting the natural resources. In comes a man who is determined to reach this planet like place and finish of this difference between rich and poor people. Exciting action sequences. Recommended

On the lighter side-Movies-Kick Ass 2 (2013)

Those kids from the Kick Ass movie number one are back about a would be super hero who teams with a foul mouth and violent teenager to take on the bad guys once again. Pretty good for the second time around. Recommended

Friday, December 20, 2013

On the lighter side-Movies-The Lone Ranger (2013)-Johnny Depp

Funny but loud western about that famous character Lone Ranger with this trusted and smart sidekick Tonto in this big budget extravaganza which failed at the box office because it was too long and very expensive and not that great. But if you have the time you can watch it on DVD which is exactly where it belongs. Recommended with caution.

On the lighter side-Movies-The Family (2013)-Robert de Niro, Tommy Lee Jones

Funny action movie about a Mafia family who are relocated to the France under Witness Protection Program after snitching on the Mafia and their efforts to maintain their old ways of dealing with people the Mafia way. Recommended for the two great actors involved.

On the lighter side-Movies-Prisoners (2013)-Hugh Jackman, Jack Gyllenhaal

Great movie about a parent's worst nightmare as two kids are abducted and the parents take the law into their own hands to find out about their location. Very authentic and thought provoking. Highly Recommended

Thursday, December 19, 2013

The best of intentions

You know that even with the best of intentions and preparations sometimes you stumble in what you are doing or things goes awry when everything has been planned to your so called perfection. For example you have planned your vacation to perfection and checked everything you have to do in order to make your vacation clock wise without any hitches, glitches and hurdles but you reach the airport and find out that the planes have been due to inclement weather not from the airport you are departing from but from the one the airplane is taking off. Or you have arranged for a birthday party and have everything to the last detail in order and everything seems to be perfectly working fine and then something happens which you have not expected in the least and all your plans just because of this little unexpected event has been ruined. So what does it all mean that despite your best intentions something goes wrong at the last minute? Who changes these plans for you if you have done an excellent superbly flawless job in executing every detail to the minute level and then it comes crashing down. There is a saying that Man proposes and GOD disposes and that is exactly what is happening here. So matter what your beliefs are or a lack thereof you have got to believe that there is somebody out there who messes up your plan even they are the most perfectly executed one in the world.

A question of faith-2

And when an innocent child is killed for no fault of his/her then the question of faith really intensifies. What did a child do to deserve to die an unnatural death or even if it is natural why to make them suffer and their parents and loved suffer? How does it fit into the schemes of things of the world of parents whose world is turned upside down by the loss of a child? How can GOD do this to them and what was the use of giving a child to a couple when their lives will be cut short by a tragic event. This and similar and many questions come to mind when you are emotionally unstable and not in the right frame of mind at the time of the tragedy and even long after you still question what and why of the situation and your mind cannot comprehend why this has happened to you. I know that here you completely question your faith and even contact your religious leaders to make sense of the situation and the religious leaders are at a loss how to console and explain what has happened and so some of them give you historical facts about Jesus Christ or some other historical figure and try to compare their predicament with yours. But it is really hard to explain to the aggrieved parties how and why it happened to them and why they should keep faith in the higher beings because there are some things which no human being can explain, you can keep on questioning and doubting your faith in these kinds of events. But it is really your test of faith that you should be strong enough to withstand these terrible tragedies and try to understand their meaning. In the end your strong faith will indeed carry you through these terrible tragedies.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

A question of faith

Recently there was the first anniversary of the Sandy Hook elementary school shooting and it was a low key event as parents of the innocent killed kids had a day of mourning in private for them. I would not wish this upon any parent to go through this and I don’t know how it feels (although I lost my niece at age 19, the only child of my sister) but here I want to talk about what happens in these kinds of tragic events and how do people start to question their faith and doubt about their religious affiliation and the whole notion of existence of their lives. Why do people start questioning faith and then the notion of whether a GOD would do such a thing to them? You know that we are all human beings and as such we are have our weaknesses and doubts in life and when we fail to comprehend some event we try to find some excuse to why it happened. It is just that as human beings whenever we are faced with a life and death situation, we are so overwhelmed with grief and despair and are unable to make sense of things, the only way that we can understand with our limited brain functionality at that tragic time to question why as being a good human being doing everything exactly as GOD has prescribed in the Holy Scriptures and practiced and never did anything bad so why are being punished in this way. Why are we being tested when evil people seemingly roam around and are rewarded for your bad behavior?

Testing someone in times of need

Have you ever tested someone in your time of need like some kind of financial support, help with your child care while you work to bring home decent pay or have asked your friend for any kind of support when you are down on your luck. I have and have had mix success and I can understand that people have problems of their own but if you asking some help from somebody it is not of fun but as a matter of last resort. I have never asked any kind of financial assistance from any of my friends and relatives but from my immediate family and have not been disappointed. But here I will be brutally honest that if you have the network to help your friend or relative or acquaintance land an interview not even a job and I am not talking about out of huge favor but if you are qualified enough and then you don’t help even knowing that the person needs one then it truly hurts. You don’t have to ask for a real job, just an introduction and there is no promise of a job just a way to get to alert the person who is interviewing that you are promising candidate and should have a look. And if person doing you a favor have the power to help an unemployed relative or person out and does not for reasons best known to them then you know time does not remain the same for everybody. I may not get a job now but since I have been sent to this world then I would also be taken care of somehow. GOD works in mysterious ways and one day you can be dirt poor and the next day you may become filthy rich and it is your test how to treat both your conditions. You expect to get help from your relatives but if some don’t even if it is in their capacity to do so then it is better not to have contacts with them. So if you want to see who your true benefactor is or well wisher try them when you are really down in the dumps.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Displays of opulence

This is how I feel and I may be wrong or right but there will be some people out there who will share my view. I have seen people displaying or you can say flaunting their wealthy not discreetly or openly for other people to see to make them either jealous or envious or something like that. The most annoying ones are you see every day like people holding onto the famous and most expensive coffee Starbucks® in their hands walking around. If you feel that I am being too jealous or envious of them, I am not either but if you start complaining about how much expenses you have and are having difficulty paying your bills while holding that expensive cup of coffee in your hands then you are sure I will be completely turned off and may also tune them out. If you are really struggling to pay your bills why are you not getting a cheaper brand of coffee and why can't you get your lunch from your house and buy expensive ones at your office area when you are pinching money. I wrote long ago about women holding expensive luxury handbags (which may or may not be fake) but they buy it to show to their colleagues, friends, relatives and other people who may or may not know their true social status or financial condition. But it is just to make you feel good inside about it. Spending money on expensive stuff and then flaunting it out reduces your funds not mine and flaunting expensive stuff does not make me any more envious or jealous for that matter since I really don’t care about your expensive stuff. If what you owe and flaunt makes you an arrogant and inconsiderate person then you can have it to yourself because it does not affect my health (although it may affect somebody else's).

Learning computer programs.

Although nowadays everybody is learning computers and it seems like a worn out question that if you are learning one or if you know how to operate computers, but learning computers just does not mean what is being meant generally. I know computers and some skills needed to complete my job like MS office skills of MS word and Excel but if you really want to go in-depth of computers and make it a part time money making job, you should learn to program and codes. I know it is all the rage and it is not for all tastes but what harm is there to learn how to code and make your own website. If you are dedicated and disciplined enough to sit and learn, you can have a heads-up when you are applying for a job where besides your skills you acquired in the office where you work, you can also lists these additional links so that the employers knows that you may be the right candidate even if you are weak in some other areas. If you want to make websites on your own so that you can have flexibility on your website, you should learn the basics of web design like HTML, CSS, PHP and MYSQL and JavaScript. At least one hour a day is enough but if you have more time, be my guest and invest more time. You don’t have to go to school as it is more expensive but if you search the web, you will find plenty of websites that offer free online tutoring to make you learn at your own pace and timing. And I know that people will say that why you need to learn these programs when there several software out there which can make your website up and running without the need to learn programming. And you are correct and that was my mentality too but if you want your website to me responsive to your needs or even if you don’t want to make a website, it is nice to have an in demand skill at hand just in case you are unable to find a job in your original field and there is no harm in learning new things.

Monday, December 16, 2013

My writing style

I know you must be wondering what my writing style is really. I don’t have any (just kidding), but as I said in my previous post on grammar, I write in the style that I am talking to my readers and if you talk to someone in casual or friendly conversation you don’t use any grammar to voice your expression. And that is what I do in my blog, although it can be annoying but my point is the get my opinion across not to teach a lesson in grammar. You may have also noticed that my articles are overwhelmingly 250 words or more but not less and it must be intriguing to some people why I stop at that point and continue to the next part 2. It is my observation and my experience that I at least lose interest after 250 words on a topic or I just want to take a breather and start anew. I know it is not a school topic where you have to have 250 words article but it is almost like that. Another thing is that sometimes there are topics which demand much more than my 250 words or so limits and if I believe that there are many more things to discuss I stretch it or continue to the next part of the article. It may not be the ideal choice but I don’t want to have a long five hundred words or so paragraph where the reader or I can get lost and lose my attention to the details of my topic. And if I feel that I can finish my topic in around four hundred words, I do that. So here is my style whether good or bad I leave it to my readers to decide. Any comments on any topic are more than welcome and appreciated. I am always ready to improve my presentation of the topics and your suggestion will help me do just that.

The old times wrestling matches

I was talking with one of my colleagues regarding the old wrestling stars and memories came to mind with the names of the wrestling stars I used to watch until they busted my enthusiasm by saying that it is a staged event for entertainment purposes only. But not only this, there are not as many color characters as it used to be in the early 80s and nineties. If you have seen the old wrestling matches you would remember such names as Macho Man Randy Savage, Hulk Hogan, Junkyard Dog, Brit the hitman hart, Iron Sheik, Andre the Giant, Hacksaw Jim Dugan, The Undertaker and many others whose name I have forgotten and then they use to have tag teams mixing some of the so called good wrestlers with the bad ones and have fights and drama. Then one of the wrestlers challenged the reigning so called world champion and at the end wins the title and the crowd could go wild with enthusiasm especially the kids. The camera used to capture the excitement of the crowd. Then to add to more excitement there were so called Wrestling mania tournament each year where they use to gather all the wrestling stars to wrestle and get crowned the next wrestling king. Every wrestler that appeared on the wrestling scene had its own wrestling persona and the wrestling authorities made sure that wrestlers are bunched into the good guys and the bad guys and sometimes they switched the good and the bad guys to keep the public sympathies switching back and forth. It was all fun and entertainment and I in my infinite wisdom thought that it was all real and when I found out that it was not I was very upset and felt stupid to say the least. But it was also time that the wrestling era as I knew it was changing and there was not enough entertainment to hold my attention. But it was fun while it lasted.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

The manipulation of religion-3

Although every religion has its own adherents who interpret the scripture to their needs and then try to find refuge behind their interpretations, it is the Muslims who have the turn now to manipulate its religion and try to rewrite history with their rigid and myopic interpretation and pitting themselves not only against the Non Muslim world but also their own co-religionists. And they are justifying this in the name of Islam like the religion Islam has to do with all these wars and other calamities that has befallen the Muslim world. These people believe that only they have the mental capacity and intellectual ability to interpret what the Holy Scripture has meant and then they are instead of convincing people with reason resort to violence to force people to view their interpretation as the right one and all the other interpretations are not correct or have been manipulated by them. It is this manipulation of the religion that is playing havoc in the Muslim world and no competent religious scholar is/has coming/com forward to have a debate about it since there are very few if any that can have a debate on this topic and get away with it since the other party may not have the patience or even the intention to listen to counter arguments to their interpretation and it may just end up in violence as it is been going around for so many years. As long as people are interpreting the scriptures according to their own myopic views, this violence is going to go on abated as one group of people fight with the other groups of people for the forceful win over the hearts and minds of the hapless masses.

The manipulation of religion-2

You see the regular folks don’t know much about religion and so they rely on these scholars to navigate their spiritual part of their lives. And if these scholars don’t come to the one conclusion of some verse in the scripture then there is trouble all around. I am not talking about all the religions scholars but there are some who has take to the literal meaning of the words and then manipulate it to their own liking and then teach their flock their own interpretation which may or may not what the GOD had intended in the first place and that is how the conflict is created. Sometimes these scholars mix and match some verses from some place and join it to something else to make their point and further their agenda. And if these scholars don’t help then people on their own do some little work and then manipulate the religion to justify their actions. I don’t really understand how the people can think that they can easily interpret the scriptures and then justify attacking other sects of the religion and other religions and then argue that it is in the scriptures. How do you know what GOD intended and in what context that verse or sentence came that they have made basis to justify violence against other religions or sects and is violence the only thing GOD preached in the scriptures? How about your love and responsibilities towards your family, towards the poor, your neighbors, your elders, little kids, towards society, country, relatives, animals etc. Why does violence have to apply always to achieve your aim?

The manipulation of religion

As the world increasingly gets violent and wars break out and keeps on going for a longer time, there are many people out there who have started to blame religion as the major cause of it. And I don’t entirely blame them because as they see it from their lenses, it is the religion that is being used by each side to justify atrocities against their co-religionists or other religions. Although the numbers of atheists (who don’t believe any higher being) are growing, they are also being prosecuted more (as per a recent global survey). But why does a person have to have a literal meaning of the scripture because if you have that literal meaning then GOD did not have to send so many prophets to earth to explain to people what he has in mind. Apart from the atheists who don’t believe in any higher being (which I doubt very much as I have met people who have some serious doubt about their doubt of a higher being), most people think that they should have a literal interpretation of the scripture and any deviation from that will be considered an abomination or blasphemy. Everybody knows that every human being is individual in its capacity to understand how things work and that is why we have religious scholars who devote their lives to interpreting the scripture. These scholars have the time, energy and dedication and intellectual capacity to interpret the scriptures to the best of their ability and according to the advancement in time in light of what is a sin and what is not. But since these people are not infallible they may interpret something which may be subject to a different interpretation by a scholar who may have different idea of what GOD has said.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Can you say no to your kids?-2

Kids don’t need to know your money problems unless it becomes so acute that you have no other way of telling them but the truth. But their innocent souls would never comprehend what goes on when you have to say no to some toy or some vacation that you are unable to take just because you don’t have a job or you lost one and you have to tighten your budget. But if you happen to have a job then it becomes even harder since you have to make sure that you say no to your kids sometimes but also not spoil them by buying them whatever they want. It is a juggling act and it becomes harder when you have one kid and you are constantly trying to be the good cop and bad cop at the same time. You want to buy the whole world for your only child but you fear that it may spoil him/her and that will not be good for them in the future when they grow up. So as a parent you should have the courage to say no when it is necessary and appropriate and it depends upon the situation and on your own circumstances. Each parent has to decide when to say the dreaded no word because as a kid you may have also known to show your anger when you heard the word NO and now it is your turn to say the same NO to your kids knowing very well that it is in their best interest.

Can you say no to your kids?

The other day I was at a donut shop buying coffee and I saw two little girls with their parents and when they were leaving I saw one of the girls pointing to a cup and wanted to buy it but her parents flatly and cheerfully refused and they were not that fussy about it either so they left without any crying or tantrum. And it got me thinking that if you can ever say no to your kids and if yes when and if no when? It is heart wrenching when you can afford to buy a stuff but have to say no because of your budgetary constraints or you know that once you buy it, it will be used once or twice and then the kid will move on to something else (I know this experience from my own kid). Although we try to keep a balance between needing to have it and wanting it badly but there is always a constant battle between the two. And when you are unemployed or with limited means then it really becomes hard to distinguish when to say yes to a legitimate child's desire and when to say no even though you know that it is needed. Because you don’t want to tell your kids that you are unemployed or don’t have the money, since they don’t know the meaning of that when they are little and when I was unemployed, we used the same tactics to tell them that I was employed and she did not have to worry about the money.

On the lighter side-Movies-Pedione l’africano (Flatfoot in Africa) (1978-Italian)-Bud Spencer

Another Bud Spencer movie about him being an inspector and visiting South Africa to investigate a murder that happened in Italy. Lots of silly fist fights (with no blood) and general entertainment. If you are fan of his movies, watch it, otherwise move on to the next movie. Dubbed in English

Friday, December 13, 2013

On the lighter side-Movies-Fast & Furious 6 (2013)-Paul Walker, Vin Diesel

The gang is back in this exciting car chasing movie with the team given a full pardon of their crimes if they can help the government bring down a kingpin who is using high speed mercenary drivers to commit crime. Fast paced and indeed furious. Recommended

On the lighter side-Movies-Man of Tai Chi (2013)-Keanu Reeves

A man with rare martial arts skills falls prey to a mysterious stranger who pushes him to the limit of his skills in this exciting martial arts movie. Recommended

My tribute to Nelson Mandela

As everybody has heard about it by now, the great South African leader who led the movement against apartheid in South Africa died at the age of 95. As long as I remember I have been hearing his name on and off since he was in prison until today. He was a beacon of hope for so many South Africans and others alike and the best thing (according to me ) he did when he came out of prison and apartheid was dismantled and he became president to reconcile with all the factions of society (name blacks and whites) to move forward and forget about the past. Although it is very hard to forget what may have happened to your family and friends under a repressive apartheid regime, it was under his leadership that he made sure that there is no retribution and no tit for tat killings and punishments and that his how South Africa has moved forward under his guidance. That is the best legacy that a leader could give that instead of revenge and retribution which anybody can do, it takes a great man/women to forgive his enemies and move forward with his life and others since there is a larger cause than an individual being that Mr. Mandela strived for and achieved. And as many people and dignitaries around the world mourn his death the same people are also celebrating his life and achievements and paying tributes to him. As you know that no man is perfect but we all strive to be reach that level of perfection and Mr. Mandela despite being a mortal tried to be the best human being as he possible can under the circumstances. May his legacy lives on in South Africa and elsewhere.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

World of Finance: Temping: Another way to earn a living-6

If you want the job of your choice, you should directly go the company's website to apply although I fear that you would not get that much lucky there either if you have more experience in a certain area and you are applying in a different area since the software will automatically scan the key words in your resume to match with the job description. The more you temp, the more time you would then waste in not getting some retirement benefits and also since you don’t have sick days, you have to be careful not to fall sick and in the temp case, you will have to manage to get your own health insurance since most of the temp companies don’t give any and the amount you have earned as a temp, you will have to allocate to health insurance besides your commute, food and lodgings. And there are no retirement benefits so there is no matching amount that you and your company can contribute jointly. Although working as temp can be a good way to earn money and experience if you don’t have any other option but as I have already elaborated above, it should not be a substitute of attaining a full time position in a company not necessarily of your choice. And temping is not only for young people but anybody can be temping at one point in their lives and especially with the older folks who have been laid off and are having a hard time to find another similar position, temping can be good way to stay update in the market place and update your skills while you look for that ever elusive full time job.

World of Finance: Temping: Another way to earn a living-5

As a temp employee you are the least protected of all the employment types (believe me I know). Once your job ends and you are asked not to come, then you go to the agency to find out if you have another gig lined up or if you will have to wait. Usually you have to wait, but you don’t need to stick with one agency and you should try to apply again to various agencies to see if you can find similar to what you were doing before in any other company. One thing is for certain, all the employment agencies work for the companies who pays their bills and you are just an employee to them so even if they sympathize you to the max, don’t expect them to work for you with regards to what you want in a job. Their job is the match the requirement of the company to what their employees have to offer and if does not match, they would not bother you to send your resume to their client company. I have tried to do it every time I finished my first stint with a company I had to tell that I want to work as a finance person since I had my bachelors and Masters in Finance and they did had a sympathetic listening to your "grievance" but they could not do anything about it since my experience was in the Trade Finance and they could not find a job other than that. These companies are there to help their client get the most optimal employee not the one that they have to train from scratch and that is not the intention of these agencies.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

World of Finance: Temping: Another way to earn a living-4

Although you are working for some company where you have to show up every day, for all practical purposes, you are the employee of the employment agency and when you two weeks are done, you get a slip where you have noted all the time that you have spent working and then get it signed by the company you working and then mail (email, fax) to your employment agency and then they will issue the check (or direct deposit) to your name. And since smaller companies are working in a highly competitive business, they are at the least luxury to give you a sick day or vacation day even if you work for them for a year ( I know that by experience) and you will if working for the employment agency will have to sign documents stating your rights as the employee of the agency and what you can or cannot do and what the agency will provide you in terms of compensation. Regarding compensation, you would never know how much the actual company that have hired the services of the employment agency is paying for your services and what the agency is paying you in return. I have heard that usually it is the double of what you are making or like 75 percent but I have never found out. You don’t get any of the regular two weeks’ notice that most of the companies give you when they lay you off and you are constantly on your edge by Friday of every week if your services are needed or will be extended for another week. But even before that you mess up something and you are out of a job not only from the place you are doing it but also from the employment agency.

World of Finance: Temping: Another way to earn a living-3

Although my temp jobs were not suppose to become permanent but I kept on persisting to do my best and eventually my temp jobs became full time but not everybody is so lucky. Some people like to work temp jobs because it gives them the flexibility to work around their schedule. But for most of us a temp job is a life line to pay our bills till we get the coveted full time position. Why do people want full time position when you are already working as a temp and sometimes make more money? It is because of the benefits that come with a full time job. Let me explain when I was working as temp, I was getting higher wages but at the cost of coming exactly on time (no matter what kind conditions I encountered on the way to the office), leave exactly at five no matter how much emergency I have unless I make arrangements with my boss in which case I would not lose any hourly wage provided I make it the next day or sometime that week. Although most of the temp jobs are through an employment agency, it is not rare to score a temp job on your own and since I went with an employment agency for all my temp jobs, I will relate my experience. I did not force myself to go with the small employment agency but I believe that the smaller ones (in my experience I have gotten me jobs faster than the bigger ones. But the disadvantage with the smaller ones is that they don’t give you any vacation days after a certain months that you stay with them. There are no bonuses or even sick days and it is up to you to score overtime with the company that you are doing your job.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

World of Finance: Temping: Another way to earn a living-2

I know everybody wants a full time job with benefits but if there is none after sending so many resumes then you should not waste any opportunity and work as a temp (or as some say consulting job) and as you know I have done three of them and two of them lead me to a full time job so I can say that it was a success for me. Nowadays with economy not that great and companies are cutting corners and outsourcing their work to foreign countries, any job that start as a temp may or may not lead you to a full time position but if you work hard and make yourself worthy and network around the office, you may still have a chance to make that temp job a permanent one for you. And here I should tell you that it is not easy you really have to make yourself work hard and make that seemingly impossible temp job a permanent one. Sometimes you will succeed in making the temp a full time one and sometimes you are just out of luck and despite being the best temp the company has ever hard, there can be some hard facts to face which maybe out of your control, like the institution maybe cutting staff and you are not in the head count or you were hired for a specified period of time and then you time is up. There are several types of temp one is a short term temp like for a few weeks or even days, the long term one which may last from anywhere from six months to a year and longer and then there is another one called temp to perm which is exactly what it says, that your temporary job can lead to a long term permanent (full time position).

World of Finance: Temping: Another way to earn a living

Although I know that unemployment is falling as economy is picking up (the latest unemployment figures will tell you that) but you may times when there will not be many full times jobs and you will be looking for any job to do so that you can pay your bills. You know that paying your bills is important and essential and if you are unable to get a job full time and are just getting unlucky for a long time, have you ever tried working as a temp. A temp (or temporary worker) is a one who works full time but is not given all the benefits that come with permanent (nowadays called full time) status. I have already gone through this process for three times for a total of 30 months so I have definitely have experience with how this works. I had this temp opportunity a few years back when jobs in my area were not plentiful or you can say I was not qualified enough to land a job. Although I know that if you have family and you want to take care of them, it is not the best option (which I will elaborate further) but since it is paycheck coming in and you don’t have much choice, then it is better to take it then to look for the elusive full time job which may come later but why waste time now to not take the temp job and keep on looking for the full time job, at least in that way you will gain money and also some experience too.

Monday, December 9, 2013

The male insecurities

(WARNING: THIS POST MAY BE INAPPROPRIATE FOR KIDS AND SOME ADULTS) What are they, actually they are none (just kidding) but to top it off, they have short height insecurity, always trying to compare themselves with people with tall heights. The biggest one I believe is what everybody now knows for sure is the private part size issue. In numerous movies and writings, I have observed that men are overly obsessed with what size they. They really don’t care if it performs or not as long as it is of more than the average size. Performance becomes critical when they are with somebody as they want to hear that they have satisfied their other half, so if you have read study after study that most but not all women fake their orgasms so that their partner is not emotionally hurt. One of the other insecurity is about their salary. As you cannot ask a woman about their age, so you cannot ask a man about his salary (I don’t have any idea why not?) And although the men don’t say anything but they are very insecure about their appearances vis-à-vis the female ones that is why you see so many men in the gym trying to build up their bodies and stay fit in order to compete with other men. As far as salary goes, men are also insecure about their job stature and how it measures it against other jobs in society. As a male individual I don’t have problems with any of the above as I am perfectly fine with how I am and how I present myself to the outside world. There will be many men who will feel that way but still the above ones are some of the insecurities that men have, although women will protests that there are many and I am keen to listen to their views too since I may have overlooked some. I don’t know if it is the society that instill some of the insecurities but there is definitely pressure on both the females and males to come up to certain standards and then some are self created. So let me hear your side of the insecurity that you feel was overlooked.

Another lovely trip to the Dentist-2

The x-rays to be taken for my teeth near my mouth were slightly better as I did not have to open my mouth all the way up to have the x-rays done. One of the techniques she told me is to breathe to my nose heavily so that I am concentrate on my breathing instead of the x-rays. Only one or two time it worked as the other times I was just a mess as the constantly putting the x-ray in and out made my eyes all watery and after much struggle it was done and I thanked GOD for the completion of this ordeal., then the cleaning part came. As I am bad with the doctors and dentists, she had to do a thorough cleaning without giving me local anesthesia and most of the time it was okay and one or two types, she hit my gums which hurt a little but not as much as it did with the x-rays. And after all the cleaning, she told me to take care of my teeth properly and floss it too and come every six months because one year’s time to come to the dentist and two years for the cleaning is not good for any teeth and all the other nitty gritty details that you are not supposed to know about my teeth ( I guess with all the hacking of the websites going on even the ones that are supposedly secure, it is best to not let some information of your life online). And then the dentist came and checked my teeth and recommended to me some procedures which have to be approved by the insurance company before they can start it and after that thankfully my appointment was done and I headed toward my work.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Another lovely trip to the Dentist

A while ago, you heard my adventures at the dentist office and here I am again with another one of my trip to the dentist. As you have already know by now that I hate going to the dentist. I know every does too but they go anyway maybe twice a year. But I haven't gone to one since at least one year and I was expecting some sort of pain. As so with a heavy heart I made an appointment early in the morning to have my teeth cleaned. Arriving at the early hours of the morning, I had to input my information on an IPAD(r) because I did not do it before when sent to me via email a few weeks ago. After that long filling up the form, I sat down to wait for my turn and then it happened, the hygienist (or a doctor I did not bother to ask) ask me to come in the room and told me that she will take a bunch of x-rays for my teeth and I knew that I was already in trouble a big one. I have done this x-ray thingy before and I hate it more than I hate the root canal, extraction and cleaning or whatever the dentists do to you teeth. You see they use little x-ray cards to put in your mouth sometimes way back and you have to hold it for a few seconds (less than ten) but those seconds are highly uncomfortable because my tongue hardly stays in one place and when it touches those x-ray cards, I make the vomiting sound. And when I do that the person who is administering this, have to take the x-ray out and then again insert it to get the x-ray.

The female insecurities-3

Females are not only obsessed with their physical image especially their chest size but are also conscious about what other people will see in them and it is not only what other men will say but also what other females hold opinion about them. It may be about their figures, their hairstyles, makeup, clothes, shoes and the way of being presented, what type of car she is driving or where do they live, raising her kids and what not. Insecurity or you can call it an obsession is about aging. You can see countless aging creams and long half hours commercial stressing the qualities of some anti aging cream to reduce your wrinkles, supposedly reverse your aging somewhat and look younger. I can understand that everybody wants to look younger but to obsess over it and spends thousands of dollars each year on these creams and surgeries would not affect how much your age would no matter how much you want to hide it. What happened to being aging gracefully? The most sensitive topic for women and the most they feel insecure or don’t want to talk about it is about their age. Nobody can dare ask them about their age, you can just guess about it and no other topic is as sensitive and taboo as their age (the same with men about their salary). And it not only inappropriate but highly offensive to ask a woman her age. Don’t ask that I don’t understand it because I don’t. I am sure there are other female insecurities that I have not pointed out and these are the major ones that I see from the male point of view. I will write about the male insecurities sometime later.

The female insecurities-2

And if they choose the career, they are called selfish and if they go for the family route they are called non career woman so it is damn you do and damn you don’t. Either way it is up to the individual female to decide which route to take because there are no easy answers. The second one is the weight issue that every one struggles with each day (not that men don't do but they just care a lot less than women do). You will see thousands of ads regarding the weight issue and then the popular media tries to portray heavier women as not attractive. You can see how is insecurity is perpetuated not only by the media but by the women themselves. Although the pictures you see on the magazines are sometimes photo shopped to make them look much thinner than they are already but mostly women think that it is the image they want to have. Then there are several websites which encourage anorexia and bad eating behaviors that add to the insecurities of females especially the teenagers. This obsession with figures becomes a competing game and more and more females fall victim to it and become insecure about their bodies even if they are fine. If you notice in the movies, a female is never satisfied with her body and even when their boyfriends and husbands say they look beautiful, they are insecure to the extent that their boyfriends and husbands will leave for the next woman if they ever gain weight. Then females goes to extreme length to have plastic surgery to look younger or more feminine or remove wrinkles or whatever they feel dissatisfied with their body, it is just a short distance to the plastic surgeon to correct it to their specifications.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

The female insecurities

Before everybody jump on me regarding why only the female have securities, please note that I will be writing about the male insecurities too so everybody should hold their horses and self reflect (whether female or male). I would not go into the comparison whether the female or the male is the most insecure about themselves but just to highlight that human beings no matter where are generally insecure and not sure about themselves in certain aspects of their lives. As you know I am a male and am married so I just observe and will report what I see are the core female securities. It is no way to reflect on all the females but the majority may fall into it. The first thing which they are insecure or not sure about is whether a career is important or having a baby is important or which comes first. Even if their husbands are supportive either way, they are torn apart on whether to advance themselves on a corporate ladder or just have a baby and stay in their family life. This confusion has arisen because of the plethora of studies giving them alternative views on the subject that they are unable to make up their minds regarding this important subject matter. If they decide to further their career and postpone starting a family then they are at risk of the so called biological clock ticking meaning that don’t have much time in order to have a baby and if they prefer the baby route then they are not able to have fulfillment as a career woman.

A closed mind-2

And this closed mind has been the cause of decline of the Muslim world and it is still continuing since there is no leader who can bring them out of this rut. It is like blind leading a flock of blind as they are still trying to figure out who is a true Muslim so they don’t have time for the outside and its innovation driven economies. The closed mind has done considerable damage to the Muslim world and they have not been able to argue with other religions about anything subtantative. And if people don’t have any reasons to argue about a statement, the so called Muslims instead of patience and reasoning start killing because the other side is not adhering to their beliefs blindly. And it is not just the Muslims (although majority of them are) but also ordinary people who are not open to any suggestion which may give you a faster or alternative solution to a problem. Like a saying is that you cannot teach old dog new tricks and it is mostly true but you can substitute the old into anybody who refuses to hear anything which is contrary to his beliefs even if it is beneficial to him/her or may cause the work to speed up. This closed mindedness can have repercussions not only on them but also on their loved ones. As the clash between the old generation and the new ones can be very frustrating because the old wants to go on their own ways and are not ready or not willing to learn or adopt to news ways and the new generation does not understand the old ones. It is very important that whatever situation you encounter, you should always approach it with an open mind otherwise you may miss out on some solutions which may be beneficial to you.

A closed mind

What do I mean by a closed mind as opposed to an open mind? An open mind is that which does not automatically accept what is dished out to him/her and keeps his/her option open regarding what to make of the situation. An open mind is not bigoted or racist or intolerant against other races or just not budges from a position even in the face of facts. This is opposite to a closed mind where even if the people with this characteristics are presented with facts refuse to accept it, they are not ready to do further research into a subject matter and even if they do, their mind does not accept it since they have been taught that the things have be of a certain way and any deviation from it is blasphemy, heresy, abomination or a crime against religion. Their mind is so wrapped up or is of such a single track mind that it is useless to sway their opinion unless it corresponds to their own myopic view of the situation. You may call what you want such a person like conservative or a label similar to that but they are just so narrow minded that they are stuck in their world view. Nowadays the so called Muslims are stuck in the closed mind mentality as they are unable to comprehend what is going on around them and things are changing so fast that they are have closed their mind to any kind of constructive thinking that can explain these events to them and hence they have closed their mind to all the technology and other progressive stuff happening and are not ready to argue their views peacefully and are ready to resort to violence if somebody gives them an alternative interpretation to their views.

Friday, December 6, 2013

The human flaws

I have already talked about how fragile a human is being. Now I will talk about the human flaws, as every human being is a flawed person. No matter how much a person convinces you that they are perfect in every shape and form, don’t believe a word they say since you can observe everything around you that will negate that claim. For example if someone claims to be a perfect human being why is it that all computer operating systems get hacked or develop bugs, why is the anti-virus software fail to catch some viruses, why are there so many car recalls not to mention all kinds of products recalls you hear now and then. Your model human being collapses when you cheat, lie, do fraud, commit crime or even if you do not do all those things then you may have an accident, your house may need repairs because you forget to take care of the repair when needed. You try to do the perfect ironing but still you develop some wrinkles, you are seemingly nice to people but when you are not in front of them, you do backbiting. You become angry, argue, get frustrated, annoyed, and sad or have numerous emotions due to certain events outside of your control. Even when you are of the same religion and sect, your flaws sometimes overcome you and you stop talking with each other. You are good to your kids but sometimes you are forget to help them in their homework, or take them out for entertainment or neglect your pet. My point in all this discussion is to point out the basic flaws that every human have and even after thousands of years gone by have retained these and will have because nobody's perfect.

On the lighter side-Movies-The Wolverine (2013)-Hugh Jackman

Our clawed friend from the first wolverine movie is back, this time losing his power travels to Japan to meet his old friends and regaining his powers and becoming more powerful in the process. Good movie and Recommended

On the lighter side-Movies-The Smurfs 2 (2013)-Neil Patrick Harris, Brendan Gleeson

The animatronics of the smurfs are back in this sequel (I did not see the first one) which is fun and entertaining but not for adults as our heroes travel to Paris to do some rescue work with the help of their human friends. Recommended for kids not for adults.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

On the lighter side-Movies-They called him Bulldozer (1978-Italian)-Bud Spencer

If you enjoy comedy action movies then you should check out this one with the Italian super star of yesteryears Bud Spencer as a retired football player who is pitted against the football team of the U.S. Army in Italy. Lots of fist fights but no killing in this fun packed movie. Recommended and dubbed in English

A matter of Grammar

I must admit that I am not good at grammar, and by the readings of my blogs you can see glaring examples of wrong grammar that is why my wife does not read my articles since she says that it is annoying to read with grammatical mistakes. But I write my blog not to teach a course in grammar but to express my opinion on some issues that I feel strongly about. And since I rarely see any comments regarding my posts and have definitely not seen anything about my grammar it means that my readers understand what I am writing about. When I write my blog, you can assume that I just suspend all kinds of grammatical niceties and focuses on delivering my message. My blog is like when you are talking to someone, you don’t put periods, punctuation marks, question marks, exclamation, commas, semi colon and colons for that matter anything which is part of a literary column. I talk like I am discussing a matter with someone on an issue and if you are discussing an issue you don’t talk or think about what your sentences be based on some grammatical correction. You just talk and discuss and that is how I write my articles in my blog. Just plain simple face to face talk with the common people who may or may not have the same strong feelings about an issue but will come to enjoy the varied and dispersed topics that I write about. So enjoy the articles without having the temptation to see it as a grammatical piece of writing.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Conspiracy theories galore-5

If it were only the normal folks, then it is understandable since they don’t have much information or the time to decipher complicated situation but even the top level politicians and government officials succumb to these ridiculous conspiracy theories and join the chorus of other people so that the issue is deflected and takes on a meaning of helplessness or just plain indifference. When you unable to solve people’s problem and you believe that they are out of your control or don’t feel compelled to solve it then you try to create these conspiracy theories which illiterate and uneducated people buy into it and then instead of the real issues you are in a maze where you are trying to find your way out but cannot since you have made yourself to believe that it is outside forces that are responsible for your predicament. And this is what is happening in Pakistan for the last 4 or 5 decades. Although I know that conspiracy theories will never die completely and there will always be people who will even in the light of facts twists and turn the facts on their heads and try to convince the world their version of events but we should instead of creating these theories (easier to explain) try to rationalize and reason and see if what we are creating is in line with the know facts. It is easier to make your mind convince of some unknown theories than to figure out what is true or not.

Conspiracy theories galore-4

I know every country has its share of conspiracy theories. Those unexplained events that cannot be explained by official reports and conclusions and then people try to deduce what has happened and that spawn into a whole network of conspiracy theory that is hard to put down no matter what. And if you helpless in finding out what have happened or if you mind does not accept the reality, you are constantly in motion of creating these theories. And as I have mentioned every country has its share of it but I challenge anybody who can top the world headquarters of Conspiracy theorists where it lurks every corner of every street in every city of the country. Yes you guessed it right even if you did not it is Pakistan. Sometimes I feel like it is the citizens of that country that have created this term and then exported to the outside world as everything that happens is either the fault of somebody outside their control or part of some conspiracy. You in that country, the killing of OBL is a conspiracy, every bomb blast is a conspiracy, every suicide bomber even if acknowledged by the Taliban is a conspiracy, killing of people of minority sect is a conspiracy, the insurgency in Baluchistan (a province rich in minerals and Pakistan’s biggest) is a conspiracy and you can keep on counting and you will find conspiracy is like the eternal sunshine that is never ending. And you would think that it may die down sometime but it has kept on piling up.

Conspiracy theories galore-3

There are many theories circulating around that suggest that President Kennedy was killed by the CIA, the Mafia, and the KGB of the former Soviet Union and there might be other gunmen involved all of which have not yet been substantiated but there is definitely a group or groups of people who believe in this conspiracy theory. Another one that has gained momentum in recent years has been the attack of 9/11 in New York city. Although it is now known that 19 Muslim hijackers slammed their plane on the Twin towers and also on the Pentagon and in Pennsylvania, there are different stories regarding about the attacks. Although we in the U.S. have some kind of conspiracy theory about it too but the major ones are in the Muslim countries. Different people have different ideas but mostly people believe that the U.S. government was involved because they wanted to invade Iraq and Afghanistan. And then there are those who say that since many Jews were away on that day so the Jews must have done it and another one says that how come with a plane the whole building went down in flames and another one saying that the Al-Qaeda is not sophisticated enough or does not have the means to destroy the twin towers and the countless other ones which are not worth writing. One more example is that many people deny that the Holocaust existed or that six million Jews were killed by the Nazis although documents have been known to exist to confirm about the Holocaust but still people want to believe what their mind will accept.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Conspiracy theories galore-2

Then there are historical events which even if they are explained carry with it also conspiracy theories which are sometimes out of this world and sometimes take us to ponder whether they are really not false. Again I will give you some examples to show that these historical conspiracies are not recent but have been going on forever. The first one is about the alien landing in the Nevada desert and it concerns that alien land like sixty years ago and have been in an area called Area 51 which is under governmental control and the government has been hiding the existence of aliens from the American Public. I have not seen it but there have been many movies regarding that area based on the movie makers own perception of what that area is all about. And with it there has been supposedly numerous sighting of UFO (Unidentified Flying Objects) that whole books have been written on it. And don’t forget all the movies that have been made about UFO’s and how people have whole networks dedicated to alien abductions which are so convincing sometimes that you don’t have any scientific explanation but still people keep on believing in them as they say that government is trying to also cover up these alien abductions. And then there is the assassination of President Kennedy who has been target of speculation for a long time that who was involved. Although it was decided that a lone gunman was responsible and was arrested from the sight and according to the government the case was closed but for conspiracy theorists it still remains open.

Conspiracy theories galore

The world maybe full of it and every day there are more and more made up because the information to refute it on the contrary are nonexistent and if even if it exist the conspiracy theorists dismiss it as a cover up. I just have to give you some examples to let you know that conspiracy theories stay alive and they never die. Most of the people who had potential and died young have been subject of much conspiracy theory. To give you some examples, Marilyn Monroe, the Sex bombshell who alleged committed suicide, Bruce Lee, the martial arts expert and actor who died at the age of 33 or so even people who have not died so young have created a sort of conspiracy theory around them like Elvis Presley. In all these cases, some people are so shocked that they are unable to accept that their favorite celebrities have died and they try to build stories around them to make themselves and others believe otherwise. The biggest conspiracy theory that is not going to die down is about Osama Bin Laden (OBL). Some people say that he was never in the compound in Pakistan from the start where he was killed and some say it was an imposter that got killed. There is another theory which says that if he was there how come we did not get to see the body of the most wanted man. I don’t have neither the time nor the critical analysis to determine if it was true or not but OBL was killed in Pakistan and that should be the end of the story but you know even if you had shown the body, people would not have been convinced it was him since they could have said some other make believe thing that they are more comfortable with.

Monday, December 2, 2013

To shop or not to shop on Thanksgiving Day

Now this day has become controversial because some people chose to have it so. It is a whole debate about whether you should or should not shop on this day. And this controversy is increasing every year as more and more retailers chose to open on this day and ask their employees to work too, which some refuse and some accept grudgingly. But as the customers have shown, they are willing to shop if the stores are open. And every year people start to grumble about why the store should be open since it is the day families get together and share meal and give thanks. And I was talking to one of my colleague and the same question came up that the day should not be about shopping but thanksgiving and family gathering. And I was arguing that one gives thank every day so why this day should be not like any other day. And then it was like this is one day dedicated to thanksgiving, we should keep it that way. Although the matter was not resolved as you might have guessed. But we should give thanks every day and nobody is forcing anybody to go to shop. As for the employees they can chose either to work or just stay home with their families. And the rise of the internet shopping what you are going to say about that? Is it then okay to shut down the internet just because it is thanksgiving in the U.S. Why can’t people resist the temptation to not shop for one day. I Surely believe that if people do that then this rise in shopping on Thanksgiving day will go away but I don’t see it happening. Why because of the internet which is on 24/7 so to shop or not to shop on Thanksgiving day has become an irrelevant question to me.

How many vacation days are acceptable in a year?

This is not as contentious issue as it is made out to since you don’t have to argue about it as much and you get what the organization in which you are working gives you. Some organizations give you usually two weeks in the United States and some give three weeks and it grows if you stay in your job for more than one year. In other countries it may be of different duration but mostly organization give some days off to their employees to make them forget about work and take time for themselves. When I was working previously I started with two weeks’ vacation per year and the graduated to three weeks. But in my present employment, I already started with a three weeks’ vacation. Although according to my standards it is a generous benefits but it seems like some people think that it is less generous. But have anybody figured out yet what are the optimal vacation days one should give their employees each year. Because I usually hear that even if you go on vacation for two weeks or even three weeks it is not enough for some. And I have struggled to come up with an answer of how many vacation days are enough. Maybe a month or two months or even six months with pay or how about on a permanent vacation without pay, that will do. Nowadays another variation has come with in which some organizations have no limit on vacation time but it is only a minuscule number of them and have not caught on yet and I am not sure it will ever too because there is always a chance of abuse. I believe that three weeks is enough of a vacation time and if somebody else comes up with another suggestion, you are free to comment.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

My target of 2000 articles-2

You see I am now able to say that I have thousands of articles on my blog and I intend to keep on bringing more interesting topics as time goes by. I hope to have this as a constant source of my income in the future so that I can increase my frequency of articles. Right now I was posting three articles per day so that I may reach my goal. But from now on it will two articles or sometimes more depending upon how many topics I have lined up (and if I get some regular funding I may even write more). I just enjoy writing as it keeps on my mind sharp and constantly on my toes so that I observe things more carefully and keep on thinking what should be the correct way to do things if it was in my power. It is really fun to write about things that I feel is the right way to do it. Once I start getting regular funding or financing on a monthly basis, I can ratchet up my articles more and more. Nowadays I usually read 10 to 12 newspaper a day constantly being updated on the internet besides countless articles which are scattered around the internet from different newspapers and magazines. When I started I did not know that I would be able to write one hundred articles let alone having more than 2000 articles. And now that I have achieved this, there is no stopping how many I would be writing in the future so please keep on reading and supporting my blog. Thanks

My target of 2000 articles

As you know by now I have completed my target of 2000 articles and am constantly adding more and hence not stopping at this milestone. It has been a long and hard journey for me since I started my blog in October of 2009 just because what I could not express to speak out publicly (since nobody listen to it anyway), this was my way of giving my opinion of how the world should have been working. It is not by all means anything definitive on one subject as the opinions are being constantly shaped by events and new information comes to light which definitely alters those opinions. I know that if some of the events changes which I have shed light before, they will definitely alter my opinions too. No opinion can remain constant forever as we are all humans and may have erred in our call to judgment but only when partial information is present. Most of my close friends have been asking why it was so important for me to reach this milestone and why I was asking for all of my readers to see my race towards this goal. Well the reason can be weird but first I did not make much of a hue and cry about when I reached the 1000 milestones since it never occurred to be then to celebrate it and now when I wanted to celebrate it was the reason that I may say whenever I advertise that I have thousands of articles.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

World of Finance: Price drama that retailers play-2

And you would think that since the stores are going out of business, they would want to sell items at the lowest possible price but I read somewhere that they do not and they actually price it higher than the regular price to make sure they recuperate as much money as possible. And since the customers are not in the habit of remembering what were the prices a few weeks ago, they get lured into these shops and pay for it thinking it is a bargain but it is not. And I will readily admit that I have visited these places but the prices I have seen made me turn back. And when the prices go down each week by 10 percent and then you visit the store, there is only crappy stuff remaining and the staff about to get laid off does not care that much any way of who buys or not. And recently a news article came out which said was an open secret that businesses don’t sacrifice their margins even when the discount or put items on sale. They buy from vendors for a certain amount and then put amount on the item which is like 200 or 300 percent more and even if they discount it to like 50 percent that is their initial margin that they are comfortable with and that is what they adjust it in their books. It is like a casino where the house (casino) never loses money no matter how many gamblers win, it is the same with retailers unless the customers don’t shop their anymore in which case the stores go out of business.

World of Finance: Price drama that retailers play

I wrote long time ago about how the prices end up on .99 or .95 and I have noticed that not only in the U.S. but other countries too, maybe because they are copying from the U.S. or have conducted their own survey to suggest that those numbers are the psychological numbers where people buy their products. But there are other ways the retailers use prices to lure their customers and it can include discounts, point, price comparison, loyalty cards, sales, early bird specials, limited time deals and other tricks they have in their sleeves. And nobody has the time to see if the prices are really down from the actual prices or are the same by looking at the original price and then putting a line on it and giving it a lower price which may actually be the same price it may have sold a few weeks or months ago. Because the store rarely sacrifices their margin by giving sales and discounts. And I have noticed one more thing that when a department store or any store for that matter is having a going out of business, losing a lease or going bankrupt, you should notice the prices of their products during their normal store hours or in happier times and now when they are having a to liquidate all their inventory, the prices are rarely at the discount level and are even higher than the original prices. Maybe the owners want to recuperate as much or even more from the unsuspecting customers or they think that the customers don’t remember the prices before, but this is highly deceptive and unfair.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

On the lighter side-Movies-Red 2 (2013)- Bruce Willis, John Malkovich

Those spies from the first Red movie (Retired Extremely Dangerous) are back, this time trying to retrieve a mobile nuclear device which can cause massive devastation. Enjoyable movie with fast paced action. Recommended

On the lighter side-Movies-The Grandmaster (2013-HK)

Another Hong Kong movie about the Grand Master Yip Man who famously was the teacher of another Martial Arts Legend Bruce Lee. Less fights and more talk but executed brilliantly. Recommended

On the lighter side-Movies-Getaway (2013)-Ethane Hawke, Selena Gomez

If you like cars racing and destruction on the streets then this movie is for you . A mess that I can say the least in which a former race car driver has to do certain tasks while driving like crazy so that he can save his wife from a clever kidnapper. Not recommended

Monday, November 25, 2013

World of Finance: It’s all about the points-3

The online businesses are not behind with as they are giving prizes, discounts and points to their loyal customers. I have also used these kinds of points from the credit card company where I used the accumulated points to purchase air fare and it saved us a lot of money. So as competition heats up and as more and more companies fight for the market share of the same group of people and hold on to them, you will be seeing more and more variation of points being offered on purchases which can then be translated into more purchases as all these points are already built into the sales, discount and other corporate sales and marketing strategy. A new variation is that you don’t get any points but you need to buy a certain dollar amount of products before free shipping kicks in. And this type is gaining popularity among online stores. My whole above discussion is that the winners in this whole points game are both the customers and business because the customers gain when they purchase and then get more stuff by redeeming their points and businesses have already incorporated all these points and perks into their prices of products so both are ultimately winners but more so are the businesses as mentioned above. Although I am not addicted to earning points or going crazy over it but it is nice to see that whenever you spend money, you can accumulate points which you can redeem for cash or as the need may arise.

World of Finance: It’s all about the points-2

Although some retail establishments have a variation on the points system like giving you 10 to 15 percent discount on when you initially open your store credit card, but you can get that discount anytime later on too if you can keep up with all the sales that happen throughout the year. The only difference is that you pay with the store credit card and then you have a monthly statement so essentially you are paying in about two months time from the date of your purchase in less value dollars. But I still would not care about the store cards so you should stay away from them if it is a credit card, if not then you can join in to enjoy perks if they have any. And apart from retail stores, the banks have been very aggressive in giving points on opening of checking or saving accounts giving away thousands of free points just for opening an account with them. These banks points are the same as it was done in the early days of banking where the banks use to give like toaster or some physical good for opening account with them. And usually you have to use their online service constantly in order to rake up points to get cash credit from them. I am not sure but it is the airlines that started this craze with their loyalty program of miles accumulating, although it is still going on but they have really slowed down and do not advertise it as much. I rarely see car dealers diving into this although the car manufacturers do it from time to time like giving extra money or discount to their customers who had previously purchased their cars.

World of Finance: It’s all about the points

What points am I talking about? The points where you shop or do some business online or offline and get to redeem it with cash or credit to your account or buy even more stuff from the retailer offering you the points. And more and more retailers are adding points to their loyal customers account so that these customers are hooked to these retailers and cannot buy from other retailers because they want to redeem those points. You know in a sense points are good since wherever you are spending you will be able to redeem those points for some items which want to buy but because of the point system just wait till you accumulate enough so that you can essentially get it for free. And now almost every business where offline or online have loyalty cards or some type of arrangement like that where you accumulate points and when you reach a certain level can redeem it in store or get credit towards your bill. And different retailers and service providers have different levels and different criteria how to accumulate points. Usually points are calculated at 1 point to a dollar but some may have 10 points to a dollar, the difference being the earlier one takes more time to redeem and the later on less time to redeem. Some retailers even give you free points when are asked to join their loyalty program. And sometimes these points can be huge like 20 thousand points when you open some account in some bank or give you points on opening some retail/store credit account.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Aren’t we all blasphemers?-3

This post is not to insult disrespect any religion or belief whatsoever but a deep thinking analyses about how people should respect other people's religion and not start to behave like animals and start complaining about how other people have done blasphemy to their religion or religious figure because as I said before what I think is blasphemous cannot be blasphemous to another person of different race and if you are not able to reason with the other person then you should not resort to violence just because you think that you can silence other people's narrative. If you happen to be in country where the blasphemy laws are applied mostly against Non Muslims then you should be careful of what you say about the customs or religion as people can twist the meaning and create a false claim against you. But these laws should be applied when the accuser should also face the music if he/she happens to report a false blasphemy case. I don’t know if there has been any discussion of what constitutes true blasphemy and if the government has the right to get involved in it through laws and regulation when they are unable to provide basic needs of their citizens. And wherever somebody did try to discuss this, he/she has been killed or has escaped death by moving to more liberal countries. It is a contentious issue and super delicate since religion is a very touchy subject for anyone, but my main point of discussion is that blasphemy is not only for the Muslim sensitivities but anybody could be offended when it comes to religion matters and you should not even try to discuss religions matters if you believe that it would be taken the wrong way some way along the discussion.

Aren’t we all blasphemers?-2

It is puzzling to know to that if Pakistan or any other Muslim country for that matter have laws on the books stating that blasphemous act is punishable by death, why would any non Muslim want to risk their lives to commit blasphemy but this does not goes into the head of the people ready to have blood on their hands just because they heard that somebody committed blasphemy. At that time, the atmosphere is so charged that any reasonable voice doubting the allegations can get killed too because people will perceive that he/she may also be sympathized with the suspect. And it is not only the Non Muslims can be a target, even Muslims who are in dispute with another Muslim can devise or accuse each other of blasphemy in order for his/her opponent to suffer. And why it is always that blasphemy applies in the case of Muslims sensitivities and not for non Muslims. For example, Christians believe that Jesus Christ is the son of GOD and Muslim treat him as one of the greatest Prophets so it can be said that if they speak at the same time, they are committing blasphemy against each other. And when a mob is enraged they really don’t care what they are attacking as long as it is targeting the opponent's religion and in such a case, a blasphemy has been created because a church or a temple has been destroyed including all the holy books inside. The same argument can be said for the Hindus, Buddhists, Jews and other religion who are make an argument which will be considered blasphemous to the another religion.

Aren’t we all blasphemers?

What is a blasphemy? By what I have read it is saying something against GOD, religion or a religious figure which may be considered insulting or disrespectful. In some countries Blasphemy is punishable by death if you happen to insult the Prophet of Islam, religious figures and religious books (name the Holy book of the Muslims-The Koran or Quran) especially in Pakistan and other Muslim countries. By this definition everybody in this world seems to be blasphemer as we think that our religion or even sect is right and all the others are wrong and in the heat of the argument start insulting the other religion and then there becomes no difference between any of us. And it is not just in the heat of the argument but inadvertently or by choice we do blasphemous stuff almost every day and then go about the day like nothing has happened. I was reading an article by a person long time ago and he raised an excellent issue that states that one person's blasphemy may not be the other person blasphemy and vice versa and started to think that he is absolute right about it. And further more blasphemous laws in some countries and especially and particularly in Pakistan have been used by some Muslims to instigate and settle their differences. For example somebody will say that he/she somebody insulting the Prophet of Islam or damaging the book of Islam and the police has to arrest the person and in the meanwhile this allegation false or not becomes a rally cry for the people of the area and they are ready to kill the alleged blasphemer without a hint of investigation if the allegation is true or not.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

The Global Neo Nazis movement-3

And why blame the white people only for racist tendencies when you can find it in other races also. If you read history you will notice that the Japanese in World War II had the same problem and still now the country does not allow widespread immigration despite the fact that the own population is dwindling due to xenophobic attitude. And it goes on and on, look at the Buddhist and Hindu Anti Muslim attitude and also among the Muslims, despite having a religion where you are only superior due to your characteristics, racists, xenophobic and superior attitudes abound. The Muslims may blame the white people for the racist attitude but when you visit Muslim countries and live there you will find out the even when you are of the same religion, you will be discriminated and felt inferior due to where you are coming from, you social status and your color. And it is perfectly fine with the people but they can only see the white racism not their own. And it is has nothing to do with religion and all the thing to do with human nature and attitude, if you want to blame Nazism for all this you can go ahead and blame them but nobody is forcing you to practice this hatred for other races and love of your own. It is what you have been brought up with through your parents, internet, and friends, social and electronic media. You cannot reason with these people until you go to the root cause of this problem and until you do that you will keep on having this problem in your midst. No need to say that they are misguided or are born that way since we have not done the job to educate them from the start regarding love and compassion and justice for other people. It is we the whole collective society that is at fault for this increasingly violent minority.

The Global Neo Nazis movement-2

This article is not to bash any race but the tell the readers that Neo Nazi movement is for anybody who thinks that his/her race is superior to other race and they can and must resort to violence to prove it. But the strangest thing that I have noticed is that despite the Nazis killing millions of people across Europe and Russia, the white people still adore their policies and practice it with fervor. If you have seen the salutes and the clothes they were and the policies they preach, they are not only similar but one and the same without realizing that the Nazis killed white people too. For example look at Russian Neo Nazi Skin heads who are increasingly target internal migrants from the other parts of Russia despite the fact that millions of Russian died because of the siege that the Nazi Germany laid to their country some seventy years ago. Maybe this new generation of Neo Nazis has forgotten or is just attracted by the idea of Nazism or just pride about their race, this is a dangerous phenomena. Although laws in Europe restrict access to the symbols and displays of Nazi culture but it is still thriving underground. In the U.S. because of the First amendment protection of free speech have a more open field to preach their hatred or their version of Nazi philosophy. And this thing has spread to many countries in Europe where the Nazis looted and plundered and killed so many people that it is just a shame that a whole generation of Europeans have forgotten about what Nazis did to their countries.