Friday, November 28, 2014

Drowning in debt and Black Friday deals

I have been tracking this Black Friday deals for a long time, not looking for anything particular but just seeing how crazier it has become and how nauseating it is to see it all happen. I am not here to discuss how we all fall into a trap of getting lured into these black Friday deals. No I am talking about how a person already drowning in debt has to see all these tempting ads right in front of every newspaper and also on the internet and then enticing them to go out and further dig a debt hole for yourself. Then there are stories about how people line up outside stores to get their favorite or desired stuff at supposedly steep discounts and here the person who does not have money to begin with really feels depressed and angry at his/her situation. In this situation a lot of self control is needed otherwise people have been known to go into debt every holiday season. I am also one of the millions of people who are subjected to these tempting ads but thankfully have not fallen into the trap and gone into further debt to satisfy my immediate material urges. Standing in line in the cold morning, fighting with the crowd and then getting that dream item which you can get it anytime of the year if you look on the internet is what I stand for. And I have no urgent need to buy any upgraded electronic item when that item is of inferior quality as mentioned in some news articles. I urge everybody who is drowning in debt not to fall into this black Friday temptation and stays put and reduce your debt before you accumulate and pile more and stress out later.

Black Friday work

I know that it really is hateful to work on Black Friday, the day after thanksgiving in the last week of November every year in the U.S. While most or even all the schools are closed and children are asleep at home, some of their fathers and mothers have to get up and go to work where most of the private sector employees are enjoying a long weekend. And I am one of them working this day while some of my colleagues have taken off. It is a quiet day for some, busy for some as only the United States is closed on Thanksgiving and slow on Friday the next day but the world is working and since we deal with international clientele also, they send us email which remains unanswered till we are here on Friday. Most of the mood of the employees this Friday is not that great as they see their work as not essential as the offices are half staffed and the majority of the private ones closed. But hey looking at the brighter side (if there is any) I discovered or rather enjoyed by traffic free drive to work, trains and buses are empty so you can have a seat if you want to (if you have a good transit system in your city). There is less foot traffic in the streets and the overall atmosphere is calm. Depending upon where you work, if you office is open, the work flow maybe less but still everybody is getting jealous of their colleagues who have taken this day off to enjoy with their families or just relax at home. It is a mixed blessing but mostly it still sucks to work even on a quiet day like this.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

On the lighter side-Movies-Danger Dolls (2014-Japan)

Four highly skilled female martial arts fighter travel between two parallel Universes to stop an evil plan to destroy both worlds in this sorry excuse and confused martial arts movie. Not recommended

On the lighter side-Movies-Shadowless Sword (2005-Korean)

A martial arts fighter must escort and protect a reluctant prince to his embattled kingdom in this dramatic martial arts movie. Recommended for action fans only. Subtitled in English

On the lighter side-Movies-Horns (2013)-Daniel Radcliffe

A man is accused of rape and murder of his girlfriend who somehow wake up one day to develop supernatural horns which gives him the ability to hear exactly what people are thinking. With these new powers he pursues the real killer. Not for all tastes and sometimes annoying, but different. Recommended with caution

On the lighter side-Movies- The Expendables 3 (2014)-Sylvester Stallone

Action packed sequel as the expendables expand with new younger blood included to take on the former co founder of the expendables who is now determined to destroy the expendables. Plenty of superb action and some comedy inserted in with aging action stars competing against new comers. I enjoyed the action and the movie. Recommended

On the lighter side-Movies-The Giver (2014)-Meryl Streep, Jeff Bridges

A perfect community where your destination is predetermined and where there is no memory of any human pain whatsoever, a boy is chosen to learn real world realities from a reclusive man known as a giver in this science fiction drama. Nothing special as it is seemingly geared towards teen audience. Not Recommended

On the lighter side-Movies-The November Man (2014)-Pierce Brosnan

An ex-CIA operative living a quiet life is brought back into service to foil attempts by an assassin involving Russian President-elect in this pedestrian action thriller by the former James Bond Star. Okay for only one time viewing. Recommended with caution

On the lighter side-Movies-Zombeavers (2014)

A group of friends vacationing near a lakeside are attacked by Zombie beavers in this better than usual horror comedy. Recommended for usual take on Zombie genre.

On the lighter side-Movies-Fist of the dragon (2014)

An MMA fighter goes to China to meet his online girlfriend and get entangled with arms smugglers in this hit or miss martial arts movie which is not that impressive. Recommended for action fans only.

The translation issues in foreign language movies

I love movies and increasingly crave movies in foreign languages provided they have English subtitles in it. I rarely go for dubbed into English movies because it is rare that they do justice to the people speaking the language as sometimes I have stopped watching movies where the mouth is speaking something earlier and the dubbed translation is later and also because of the fact that you cannot literally translate the another language into English because of different words and alphabets that other languages may have and English may lack. And now I am seeing in movies which are not professionally subtitled that you see that it is literally translated by the computer and then the incoherent structure of sentences start to pop up and you are left scratching your head that what was the dialogue was about. Although you may enjoy the movie if you are as experienced as me in watching the subtitles and the movie at the same time but if it is done professionally it makes a happy movie watching experience. Most of the Chinese language movies are professionally translated and you can make sense of what they are talking about since they have both Mandarin and English subtitles on it and they are more or less understandable but some of the Korean movies and also Russian and some other foreign languages movies which are not supposed to be shown outside their countries have subtitles done by some downloadable software and they literally translate movies which if you are not use to it, you will not make sense of it. And because of this, despite being a good story line and movie, you are just frustrated and mad about not watching a good movie. I think that since now the world is global place and movies are increasingly seen outside their home countries and they are getting most of their revenues outside their home countries, they should at least do a better job in subtitling their movies into English professionally as it would ensure a wider audience and more adherents.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

A real snow day in Buffalo, New York

If you have not heard this yet, there was a snow apocalypse in Buffalo, New York, a city near Lake Erie in western New York, where almost 8 feet of snow fell equaling the total of full year in three days according to some reports. I live in the New York area and the news that is trickling down here and the pictures that are being shown looks like a town under siege with everything buried in snow. I was just telling my co-workers that if our business was in that area, we would not be even able to go to work to our alternative site. And we in the New York region complain about six inches or more of snow that we have to clean up and I see this and I say wow it would take days just to clean up and then wait for it to melt. And the sad part is that the season has not even started yet and they have already gotten the snow for the whole year. Although the housing is cheaper there and this is one of the reasons as people are leaving it for a little bit warmer climate. I feel for them digging out and then trying to go on with their daily lives. It is already tough there and with all this snow life really becomes a struggle. I love snow and the cold season it brings but if the snow spreads over the season that is fine with me but I am not sure I would like to have this kind of massive snow storm in three days and waiting for more to come.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Taken out of context

I have been hearing this phrase so much that I think that it has just become an excuse to try to control the damage that you have done. I am talking about people who say something so offensive about something that when there is criticism all around, they or their representative or their supporters try to control it by saying that the statement or whatever they have done have been taken out of context and it was not what they meant it or they were referring to something else. I believe that they are just trying to control the damage of what they have said or done and they perfectly knew and believe in their heart and are truth in their feelings about what they have said. It is when they are hit with criticism, they realize that they should not have said nor done what they believe and then they try to retract their statement but the damage is already done meanwhile. And it is not only in the U.S. but all over the world in different languages they say something but when people criticize them, then they scramble to say that their words were taken out of context and they did not meant to say that but this. Well they exactly meant what they said and if they are still not convinced in this day when there is technology over all over the place and everything is being watched and recorded, people don’t need to analyze what they were saying since that recording is the proof. Nothing is taken out of context and people are smart enough to see what the whole question and answer or speech was all about. So watch your mouth when you are saying something as it can hurt or damage you personally or your career.

Will an end to Israeli-Palestinian conflict bring peace to the Middle East?-4

I have seen far more Muslims killed by other Muslims than this Israeli-Palestinian conflict has. I know that Palestinian people have been suffering for a long time but there is always a give and take in all conflicts. And the Muslims despite all the talk are in no urgent mood to tackle this conflict head on. Although I admit that resolving this conflict will take out a major excuse for the Muslims to blame the West for the disturbance in the Muslims world but it would not bring peace to the Middle East. There are many issues and resolving this, which I don’t see it anytime soon (like in years or decades later) will not bring the much needed and touted peace to that area. As I said that even with dialogue going in fits and starts, it will be impossible to bring both the parties to the table as they are not even keen to find a solution to little problems. I believe that there are elements with vast majorities on each side who are not keen to resolve this issue but do it from time to time under U.S. pressure or just to show the world that they are at least trying to do something about it. Even if for example the Israelis and the Palestinian decide on day that they want peace and recognize it whole heartedly (assuming all the issues are resolved), there will be people outside that will stay claim for the destruction of Israel and removal of it from Arab lands. This issue is not going to resolved and that is way each of them like it as it suits them well in their own interests and keep this issue as the major cause of conflict in the Middle East which it is to some extent but not the only one.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Will an end to Israeli-Palestinian conflict bring peace to the Middle East?-3

But even if both sides agree to a solution (not likely) and there is peace between these two parties, what is the guarantee that some crazy person or organization bent on sabotaging the peace do something horrible and kill some people. And if you are still hopeful about the whole Israeli-Palestinian issue, you don’t have to look much further than the so called Arab spring that swept the Arab world recently. I had been following closely this event and despite various efforts on my part there was no mention of the plight of the Palestinian people or the issue dealing with the Israeli state. Everybody was worried about where their next food will come from and protesting the dictatorial regimes in which they had no say. Maybe some fringe elements in some Arab countries were vocal about this Palestinian issue but nobody was worried about them as much as they cared about improving their own lot. And if you are not convinced still, you can see by the latest war between Israel and Hamas that no Arab country was vocal enough to support Palestinians in it since they are already hampered by their own economies or do not agree with a certain stand that Hamas the organization representing Palestinian people in Gaza Strip was taking. And still people are not convinced then they should see all the mayhem that is going on in the Middle East in the name of religion as these so called religious fanatics slaughter people in the name of not religion but their particular sect. My question here is does killing of Muslim minorities by particular Muslim sect has anything do with Israeli-Palestinian conflict?

Will an end to Israeli-Palestinian conflict bring peace to the Middle East?-2

Every U.S. President since the creation of Israel has been fighting for the elusive peace but to no avail as neither sides except each other the right to exist. There was the Israeli-Arab war in the early seventies when Israeli with a population equal to New York city showed who had the actual power as the Arab armies were pounded (no matter how you see it because Arabs blame the U.S. of taking sides) but apart from that the war showed that Arabs are no match for the Israelis and then Egypt and Jordan signed a peace treaty with Israel knowing if I say bluntly that being in a constant state of war with Israel is futile and harmful for their economies and its people. But after getting ten of billions of dollars Israel has advanced to the status of an advanced country while Egypt and Jordan are still struggling with poverty and still dependent on U.S. grants to keep them afloat. I do not understand this unless I go to those countries to find out what went wrong but that is another topic. But the issue of Palestinian homeland remains there even when it has become somewhat of an exercise in frustration with all the peace initiatives and dialogues between enemies who are not ready to let go of anything. The Israelis want the Arab nations and specifically the Palestinians to explicitly declare the right of the state of Israel to exist in return for peace and the Palestinians insist on their so called right to return policy of all Palestinians exiled since 1945.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Will an end to Israeli-Palestinian conflict bring peace to the Middle East?

First of all my condolences to all the people killed in the Synagogue attack in Israel as well as all the people killed on religious beliefs and ethnic identities around the world. I am not going to go into the detail of what is happening to significant religious and ethnic minorities around the world as it will become a topic later on somewhere in my blog. As my title says, an overwhelming majority of Muslims say that the main issue in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is the occupation of the Arab lands in Israel (including some say Israel itself). And this they blame it for all the ills that affect the Muslim world in particular and the world in general. The Palestinian supporters say that if Israelis return the land to Palestine there will be lasting peace. I maybe in the vocal minority, since most of the majority may also feel that way that this is not going to happen. Since I was little I have been hearing this conflict from different angles and I don’t see any resolution to this conflict in the near or far future. For the optimists, who are always positive or very utopian type, every time there is a chance of peace in the Middle East (specifically Israel and Palestine) somebody is out there to ruin it for the peace loving people. But the fact is there is never peace but just a lull in between wars. As long as both sides think and act that they are on the right path no amount of peace exists. It is only that some people are not killed in the peace time era but eventually this illusion of peace is shattered now and then by some extremist measures on both sides.

On the lighter side-Movies-If I Stay (2014)-Chloe Grace Moretz

A teen dies in a horrible car accident along with her family and experience an out of body phenomenon which gives details of her life before the accident as she struggles to make a decision whether to fight back or die in this excellent romantic/sentimental tearjerker. For people who like a mix of laughter and tragedy and romance all mix in one. Recommended

On the lighter side-Movies-The Extreme Fox (2014-Hong Kong)

A villager who has just failed his imperial guard examination returns to his village and engages in several adventures to improve the lot of his people in this Hong Style comedy with minimal action inserted in. Not that great and you should skip this one. Not Recommended

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

On the lighter side-Movies-Sin City: A dame to kill for (2014)-Mickey Rourke, Powers Boothe

Sequel to the equally graphic movie in which some of the most dangerous criminals encounters its crazed citizens in this beautifully made bloody movie. I enjoyed it for its visual effects but this movie is not for all tastes. Recommended with caution.

On the lighter side-Movies-22 Jump Street (2014)-Channing Tatum, Jonah Hill

The duos from 21 Jump Street are back, this time infiltrating a college to find out the drugs being distributed to the students. Funny and serious at the same time but highly enjoyable sequel. Don’t forget to see the credits as they are equally hilarious. Recommended

On the lighter side-Movies-Housebound (2014-New Zealand)

A mystery movie rather than a horror one as a woman returns to her childhood house as a part of detention given by a judge and starts to feel that the house is haunted. Good entry on a small budget but not enough to sustain your interest for long. Not Recommended

On the lighter side-Movies-Into the Storm (2014)

Storm chasers American style as a group of thrill seekers, townspeople and amateur storm trackers chase after several tornadoes touching down in a small town. Great special effects and really enjoyable and thrilling movie. Recommended

Sometimes a picture is worth a thousand words and sometimes it isn't -2

And there have been many cases where some people have edited some pictures to put a public figure in that picture which they have defend for a time till the picture is term fake or as they say photo shopped. It just make you cautious about what picture is real and what is fake as now many magazines try to make their cover girls look thin from what they are really are and immediately some people cry foul over it and then all people get caught in the frenzy of condemning the fake picture. It is a scary situation since you never know what your enemies can do with your pictures taken that they can insert whatever dirt and filth that they can insert in your picture to make you look bad and maybe in the process ruin your reputation and shatter the peaceful life that you exist right now. Now most of the time if you see some scandalous pictures in the magazine or on the internet, you need to be skeptical about it. Somebody in the print department (with orders from management) may have edited the picture to make the person featured look skinny and then you start to wonder about what is the real picture. I can understand some of your enemies editing your picture to make you look bad but why does the print magazines have to go to extra lengths to make the picture fit into certain societal stereotype. Our teenagers are already having body image problems; they don’t want any assistance from the media to aggravate the situation.

Sometimes a picture is worth a thousand words and sometimes it isn't

It is use to be that picture was worth a thousand words and it seems to be true today to but to an extent. Everybody knows that what you can say with one picture, you cannot describe with one thousand words that is why you see that people want to take pictures and expose themselves and where they have visited on many websites. Even when writing a blog, people tend to add pictures when describing a subject matter if possible so that the people can see what the blogger was doing at that particular time for the article that he/she is writing about. I have not posted any of the pictures on my blog not because I don’t want too but I did not have the chance to go to so many places and sometimes out of fear that I may violate some picture which is copyrighted and I may land into some legal trouble which I am least prepared to any time now or in the future. Maybe I will post pictures sometimes in the future to give my readers a glimpse of what a picture can say than many words. But with the rise of the so much technological advances in photography and photo editing software, it feels like the pictures are not worth the same anymore. Now we have seen that pictures can be deceiving since people can photo edit a picture and put something else or somebody 's else in that picture to give it a look that the person was there at the particular time.

Friday, November 14, 2014

The thrill seeking individuals-2

The other thing that I work on from time to time is the fear of heights, it just seems that whenever I am up there and I look down, I just feel dizzy and strange thoughts comes to my mind like jumping. Although every time I am up there, I try to convince myself that I should not have that kinds of thoughts but it keeps on coming but I am also stubborn and keep on going up and looking down. Although it is not as thrill seeking as like bungee jumping or riding a roller coaster (which I did recently this year at Disney World®) or jumping from a plane or putting myself in harm's way, but for me this is thrill seeking or I should say fear conquering activity that I confront. But I am still fascinated and sometimes start to doubt the sanity of people who try to defy death by doing things which will in some circumstances can bring your life to an end. Some of these people do it for money but most do it for their own satisfaction and accomplishment since there is nothing more compelling than you doing it for your own pleasure. Although I salute these thrill seekers but for me the biggest motivator will be money but even some feats that these thrill seekers do is not worth the money to put your life in danger and also give pain to your loved ones. But to see these people do incredible feats is in itself a thrill and you must give them credit for pushing themselves to prove how far the human strength and determination can take them.

The thrill seeking individuals

I am not a thrill seeker, meaning I am not the one to look for challenges to conquer to prove a point or win a bet. But there are some people who for the fun of it try to do dangerous things which a normal person in any circumstance would not do. There are people who do bungee jumping and there are those who seek mountain climbing and some do go venture out to nearly impossible places to reach. Some will do parachute jumping and some may drive a race car. All these kinds of people thrive on adrenaline rush which pumps them up to do these daring things. If you recall there was a show on television called The Fear Factor, in which people did dangerous stunts just to win prices or I should say show up ( I believe that this form of show still exists in other countries in various forms). As I said that I am not a thrill seeker and I don’t go out looking for one not for any money or just to show my prowess. But what I try to do is conquer my fears. For example I have already said that I have drowned twice in water, once in a swimming people and once in a lake). But I still go inside the pool and have started to learn swimming too ( I will admit that I have a long way to go in this department). I just wanted to conquer this fear of mine and enjoy swimming like normal people.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Is America a violent society?-2

But does a homogeneous society make for a peaceful one too. The answer maybe yes and no. I have already told you about Japan and small European countries which seems to be peaceful but if you look at South America and Africa, there are many countries with equally homogeneous population but are sometimes more violent then the U.S. one. And I believe that guns can be one reason some of the nations are peaceful and some are not but again if you look at Switzerland, there is gun in every house by law but again their crime rate is low. But back to the U.S. we as a society are made up of different ethnicities and different cultures; essentially we are a nation of immigrants. The vastness of the country compels some of us to own guns to protect our lives and property but we are also a nation of laws and most of the people are peace loving and docile, it is just that when people see our television and movies it will seem that we are a violent society. But despite the perception of the U.S. being a violent society, overall our crime rate has been falling every year and generally it is now safe to walk the streets of some big cities at night. But like in any country even the peaceful ones, you need to be careful and take care of yourself as there is no substitute for being alert and vigilant. This is I am telling you by experience since I have been to two big European countries and have lived in Asia for a long time. So safety is a personal issue and perception should not deter you from a visiting a country as there are both good and bad people in every country.

Is America a violent society?

This question often arises when talking about why there are so many violent crimes in the U.S. and why the U.S. is the only big industrialized country to incarcerate the highest number of its citizen in proportion to the population. The countries who treat the U.S. as a violent society are mostly in Europe and the industrialized countries of the Asia but others like the South Americas and Africa don’t even bother with that blame since they are also in the same boat. I can understand that the countries who are blaming the U.S. society for being violent are relatively peaceful themselves but they have forgotten their own history. And it is also true that the second amendment to the U.S. constitution giving the citizens the right to bear arms (debatable but for now I will leave it at that) is the most unique right very rare in any modern day constitution of any country. For example people say that Japan is peaceful because it is illegal to own guns and therefore the crime is low. But they forget that Japanese society also has its crime organizations and their TV shows are as violent as any in the U.S. (and sometimes even more), there past history is nothing to be proud about and they also have a homogenous population which means that their population consists of Japanese people only with same characteristics and cultural traits. Same thing goes for Europe too with most of the peaceful nations outlawing gun ownership but their past is nothing to be proud of either as they were embroiled in World War I and World War II and millions of people were killed and also if you go really back, the middle ages in Europe were no utopia too as killings were aplenty at that time.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

How big is Space?-2

And even remotely by chance we know that there are certain numbers of galaxies with certain number of stars in each of them, we don’t know what is the weather pattern of each star, which one is hot and which one is cold, what is the length of each galaxy and the age of them. Is any of them contain water and can be habitable for humans. If you keep on digging further, your mind stops working after a while because even the scientists don’t know the above answers. It just seems like there is no end for the universe for if you start analyzing the sheer numbers, you will not be able to comprehend how vast this universe of ours is. My mind is already spinning round just think what is the length and breadth of this universe. It is a fascinating world out there which needs to be explored and I don’t believe that humans would ever be able to go to every corner or galaxy in their lifetimes. I am not a scientist but am fascinated by the empty space in the sky (which is not that empty once you start to think about all those billions of galaxies and stars). After existing for millions of years, we have just started to explore our galaxy and that too also on a nominal basis as it costs money and technology and sometimes it is not even practical to go near them by robots. I wish we could know more about all the galaxies and stars and be able to visit them but not in my life time and not in anybody else either as some of planets is inhabitable for humans and we cannot travel to nearby stars in our galaxy what to talk about other galaxies.

How big is Space?

Nobody knows as the scientists keep on guessing the length and the breadth of the space on which they have little to no knowledge. It is just a guessing name for now but I am afraid nobody will ever know how vast and deep the space is. Although I have written about the mysteries of space and what we don’t know about it (nothing), but the vastness of the space fascinates me. I was just looking at a article about how some star scientists have discovered whose light is just reaching us after around some billion of light years away and I was blown by the sheer number of miles it is. Imagine a light year is equal to number of miles the light travels in a year which is roughly equal to 186,000 miles per second so you can do the math. And if it is millions or billions of light years away, you can just imagine how vast the space is. According to some estimates the human beings have been here on earth maybe a billion or a million years or anything in between, the scientists are not so sure about when the human beings arrive since they keep on discovering evidence putting different dates to the human existence. But whatever the date, it is only recently that we have started to reach out to space and only in our own galaxy. As such we are just guessing that we have 100 billion galaxies and in it we have 100 billion stars in every galaxy (I have read this somewhere don’t know the source and I have already mentioned this once before in my blog).

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

On the lighter side-Movies-How to train your dragon 2 (2014-Animated)

In this second outing, Toothless and Hiccup discover an area home to hundreds of dragon and becomes embroiled in a battle to save the peace between humans and dragons in this computer generated animated movie. Highly enjoyable and fun for the whole family. Recommended

On the lighter side-Movies-Gun Woman (2014-Japan/US)

A doctor in his quest for revenge inserts weapon in a woman so that she can kill his prey in this bloody violent movie with nudity galore. Not bad but not for all tastes. Recommended with caution

On the lighter side-Movies-Iceman (2014)-Hong Kong-Donnie Yen

An imperial guard who has been ordered to be hunted down by his three friends gets frozen for 400 years and continues the fight after getting unfrozen in the present day world in this very expensive action comedy science fiction movie from Hong Kong. Recommended with caution

Monday, November 10, 2014

If mommy bloggers then why not Daddy bloggers

If you see on the internet, there are lots of the so called Mommy bloggers where they write about their daily routines, their activities with their babies and kids and their hobbies and activities that is happening around them. Some of them have been successful enough that they have created substantial regular income just by writing about it. A lots of news highlight this mommy bloggers and some advertisers activity court them in order to be in front of millions of those women who are mothers and who are staying at home to take care of their babies but have substantial control over the budget of their families. In all this, nobody has cared to see whether only Mommies take care of their babies and the Daddies don’t have any input. In fact there is really a shortage of Daddy bloggers and even if there are, it is not highlighted in the media and advertisers tend to ignore them. Although I am a father and I blog too but not about what I do with my kids and that is sorely lacking about what the dads interests are and what their daily routine is. Besides going to the office and back (which increasingly number of mommies does to) I am sure there are lots of dads who actively take part in taking care of their kids and participate in their interests and school activities. There is a dire need to bring a balance to the blogging issue and men should be taking active part in chronicling what they do and what their interests are so that the society does not assume that only mommy is responsible and takes care of their kids while the dads just watch sports or do other manly stuff. Taking care of your kids is also a very manly stuff and if dads take time out to blog about their activities I am sure the perception about them being a hands off parent would change too.

Why I don’t write about pets-4

My idea of pets is slightly different than most of the other people. I use to have chicks and birds and parrots but it was long time ago when I was in my junior school years. But I like goat, cows and sheep too. And the horses I love the best. Although horses are traditionally not considered a pet but I still love them the most, they are the most beautiful of animals in my eyes. If you have noticed my love of animals being slightly different also has one key element, all of the animals that I described above serve dual purposes. Not that all other animals don’t have less importance as they may give you company and security but the animals I am describing gives you plenty of food and milk and transportation. For example chicken gives you eggs and more chicken and if you hungry, they can provide you will fat free food. The goat and lambs and cows are the same, they provide you with milk that you can either drink for consumption or sell it in the market and also in case of need you can eat them too. This will make some vegetarians and some other people squeamish but that we all (except for vegetarians) eat meat without thinking the way they are killed or prepared to come to our table. Horses provide you transportation even in places where you have other means of transportation and also you can enjoy rides on them when need be. If I had a pet I would have written about it even the ones that I mentioned above but for now the above reasons would suffice why I don’t write about pets very much.

Why I don’t write about pets-3

Then there is a huge accessories industry for the pets where you decorate your pets in different seasonal clothing like Christmas and Halloween and if it is cold then sweaters and other things to make them stay warm. It is not only the young but all ages of life cater to their pets and have them. You would rarely see a house without some sort of pet in there and if they don’t have it then the kids ask why not. Especially the people who live alone have at least one pet with them and I have see beggars and homeless people on the streets with their pets begging for money and food. My point in all this is that at least here in the United States and I believe based on what I see on television and read, there is a growing number of households with at least one and even multiple pets to enjoy their company in every age group. So as I said before since I my pet is a fish, the only thing I do is to watch it since my wife takes care of cleaning the tank and feed it , sometimes my kid feeds it too. But since you cannot take the fish out on a walk or cuddle with them or even talk to them (some may even do),I don’t write about pets very much (or negligible) but that does not mean that I don’t like pets. The pets I have described above mostly relate to dogs or cats. I don’t have either, although some dog and cat breeds are great to be around.

Why I don’t write about pets-2

And if you go to a grocery store, sometimes a whole aisle is dedicated to pet related stuff. Sometimes it surprises me that even poor people with food stamps in their hands buy pet food so that their pets don’t go hungry. Then if you have been to New York city, there is a huge kennel show going on for decades where the owners proudly display their dogs and ultimately the best one wins ( I don’t know the criteria since I have not attended it once, one of reasons being I don’t have a dog at home). Two years ago, I went with my nieces and sister to a cat show in Rhode Island and saw many cats and their owners who were selling cats and then my sister's brother in law adopted a cat from a animal shelter in Boston. And I have seen people walking their dogs during even snow time. And I have also seen people carrying their dogs onto trains in their handbags. And although I have been talking about dogs as pets, there are millions of households with cats and other animals in their houses who care for them. I have a fish in the house, which for all practical purposes is a pet but for me it is not a pet as I don’t cuddle with it and I don’t walk it and keep it beside me. It just stays in a glass aquarium and we (meaning my whole family) feed it from time to time. There are pet hotels and pet grooming places along with pet day care where people drop off their pets to be taken care of while they are at work.

Why I don’t write about pets

A big question since if you have been reading my blogs, there will hardly be any topics related to pets or related issues. So the question is why I don’t write about them. I know that pets are a huge industry and people take care of their pets and make them part of their family and even call them their sons and daughters and if anything happens to them like sickness or surgery, they even tend to skip office to attend to their needs. If you drive through small towns in New Jersey where I live, you will see towns with less than 12,000 have animal hospitals in them ( I covered animal hospitals in my earlier posts). There are animal graveyards and people go to extreme lengths to make sure their pets are given the best food, house and other necessities that human beings enjoy. Just to give you some examples, one family in Australia did not wanted to part away from their gold fish who have developed a tumor, so they paid a surgeon around 200 dollars or so to remove it and the gold fish survived. One of another example that you may encountered is when the pet dies away and you see so many tears in their owner's eyes that you assume that their family member has died (and for some they are). Then if by chance the pet runs away from home or is lost, the owners go out of their way to advertise them all over the place and offer rewards for finding their beloved pet.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

The right time to breakup-2

Like marriage, there is a thing call compromise, you can be angry with your partner and don’t talk for a while but you forgive and reconcile knowing his good attributes far outweigh the bad one which may be just a bad judgment call, a mistake, a blunder, a lapse of judgment, in some spur of the moment, being angry and taking out the frustration one time only and any other of the human things that people do when they make wrong decisions that they think affect them only but hurts their loved ones in the process too. You have invested too much time and your emotions (not to talk about the financial factor) that you will just jump your partner for trivial matters which you have in a fit of anger thought were of highly significant nature. Before even you go to this length, although you should treat other as adults but as you know adults to make mistakes, there should a level of threshold that you should talk about that you would not tolerate any mistake whether intentional or not. I point is that you cannot just breakup during a certain time to avoid the comments of people and you have to work it between yourself that what made you fall in love in the first place despite all the annoying habits that each one of you had. Once that is settled then you can compromise on certain things and try to build a relationship free from lies and threats of each other. But in case you really are adamant in dumping your partner, you need not wait for a certain time of the year and tolerate them until then, you can break up any time of the year if you feel that all your efforts at reconciliation have failed and you have lost interest and have fallen out of love with the person who you were certain you would spend your life with and can't live without.

The right time to breakup

This topic always creeps up during the holiday season that what is the best time to dump your boyfriend or girlfriend if you really are not getting along. Some say before Thanksgiving, some say before Christmas and some say after the holidays are over. Why do people differ on the dates people dump their partners and why dump them right at the time of holidays and is there no way to reconcile? The reason for dumping before Thanksgiving, Christmas maybe the fact that they don’t want to give presents or introduce their soon to be ex to their parents and families. But on the other hand there are some who say that we should dump our partners after the holidays because we don’t want to be alone in this season of job and the invitation people get to attend parties, cuddle or just stopping nagging comments from your relatives that you are alone or how come you did not bring your boyfriend (if you don’t have one) and other silly reasons. But irrespective of dates dumping strategy you might approach, why do you have to dump a person whom you have fallen in love. I can understand that after a weeks, if things does not work out, you try to gently end the relationship, but if you are in a relationship for months, if the other person have not done something gravely wrong (like cheating or ending up in jail or harming you, you decide which one is your threshold of tolerance for forgiveness), can't you not try to reconcile with your partner.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

The bombing at India-Pakistan Border-2

As the much touted military operation is going on, there was hope that the suicide bombings would decrease and in fact they have decreased but with the fragmentation of the Taliban groups, there are now many smaller groups who have now joined with ISIS to wage war against the weak government of Pakistan. I know no matter how much you can secure your country, there will always be someone willing and able enough to penetrate some security hurdles to do what he/she is supposed to do but I think that there should a fundamental thinking on the part of Pakistan regarding its support of these organization to further its utopian agenda to get the disputed region of Kashmir or bleed India into submission. The use of so called Jihad as a foreign policy is doing great harm to the country as the so called Jihad is now being directed towards Pakistan itself. After a few days, people tend to forget about the bombing till the next one and it has been happening for such a long time that people have resigned themselves to being killed. But the Pakistani state should rethink its strategy of what to do with all these militant organizations who despite all the military operations keep on hitting on the poor people of Pakistan. A new kind of open talk should be initiated and sponsoring of these organizations whether covertly or overtly should be stopped.

The bombing at India-Pakistan Border

A few days ago there was a bombing on the Pakistan's side of the border with India. It was the only border crossing between the Pakistani city of Lahore and the Indian city of Amritsar in northern Pakistan and India. It was a routine day there when both sides use a ceremony to lower their flags in the evening ( I have been there so I know the area and the ceremony). As usual there was a huge crowd witnessing this ceremony and when the ceremony was done, people were leaving when a suicide bomber (initial reports indicate) detonated his bomb and killed almost 50 people and injured dozens others. All the deaths occurred on the Pakistani side and the claims were made by some militant groups that it was to the response of the Military operations going on against them in the northern part of the country bordering Afghanistan. There have been now more threats by the same militant groups that if they can kill on the Pakistani side, they can do the same for the Indian side. In this bombing kids, adults and women got killed who had come to enjoy a supposedly secured ceremony and now they are dead at the hands of these so called Muslims. Nothing happened to the Indian side as now you can witness that Muslims for whatever twisted reasons have killed more Muslims than the non-Muslims. And some even point to the toleration of the security establishment in Pakistan which have harbored and nurtured these groups for their supposedly Jihad against India but now they have come back to bite the hand that feed them.

Church closings

Recently the New York church announced that some of the churches will be consolidated with other churches as there seems to be a lot of churches with not enough members to sustain them financially. Firstly I don’t understand why you have to a member of the church, can't anybody join it without being a member. I believed before that since a house of GOD is built, in this case churches they should remain open irrespective of the congregation. Why do they say that there are too many churches and they need to consolidate them, meaning some of the church property will become vacant and be sold to financially help the newly consolidated churches. Do people need the church or the church need the people? There is something fundamentally wrong in this picture. The churches are there for spiritual guidance and they should not be place of grandiose architecture so that they are unable to maintain in times of crisis. Now some people are lamenting the loss of these churches but is it not the fault of the people too that they are not coming as much to the church and supporting it financially and by their participation. It is a two way street, first the churches are built so big and huge without thinking about how many people are there actively coming to the church and then when the attendance is not there then you have to start closing or consolidating it. According to me once a place of worship is opened there should be no need to close it and if it is just financial then it is both the fault of the people and the church administration and they should reflect on why this is so that the churches are empty and people are not coming.

On the lighter side-Movies-Maleficent (2014)-Angelina Jolie

An alternative take on the Sleeping beauty saga with magnificent storyline and amazing special effects as a fairy in revenge of a betrayal by a man (later a king) puts curse on the daughter of the king but later relents when she finds out that the daughter is a kind hearted person. You really have to see the movie in order to comprehend the beauty of it. Some scary scenes for the kids but otherwise highly enjoyable and fun to watch. Recommended

On the lighter side-Movies-Planes: Fire & Rescue (2014-Animated)

A racing plane whose engine is aging gets a second chance to be fire fighting plane in this entertaining animated movie but not the finest Disney has to offer. Though fun for kids. Recommended with caution

On the lighter side-Movies-Hercules (2014)-Dwayne Johnson

Second Hercules movie of the year, this time with the muscle bound “The Rock” fighting to take revenge for the killing of his family and helping a kingdom get rid of tyrant. More action and nothing else in between. Recommended with caution

Sunday, November 2, 2014

The counter terrorism efforts in detecting terrorist threats

I wrote a few days ago about the terrorist attack and Canada and how it has affected that country with the government there saying that they will upgrade their anti terror laws and one news came out that the two people were known to Canadian authorities but they did not share this information with U.S. authorities because of the privacy laws and court rulings in Canada against doing that and I was thinking what? I can understand that there are some privacy issues but if a person is a known threat to a country, would it be not appropriate to inform the U.S. and other countries that if by any chance you see this guy in your country, be careful and keep them under surveillance. I know that everybody wants to gang up on the U.S. to intruding on everybody’s privacy but to its credit if it has not done so there would have been many terrorists attack on the U.S. soil. And nobody in the world can deny this fact that only the U.S. has the capability and the resources to detect terrorists’ threats and prevent them more successfully than any other country. I know that even this capability there have been terrorists attack in the U.S. and other country and nobody can be hundred percent vigilant against it but only with the cooperation between countries, the threats can be minimized. And with some in the security apparatus of the U.S. as saying that the northern border with Canada is highly susceptible to terrorists activities, it is time government of other countries set aside this privacy issue of their citizens aside to some extent and share intelligence with U.S. and other countries so that they avert any possible terrorists attack in their respective countries.

Learning to swim-2

As I told you before that by the end of the my swimming class, I will need to go back again to learn more as I was not feeling comfortable about the level of expertise that I have achieved and since my class ended recently I am no where as I was expecting myself to be. Apart from front float and back float, there was gliding and treading, jumping the pool, and paddling etc. I think that I was the last one who was still holding onto a noodle or a kickboard and a belt to float and even that time I was not properly floating or back floating. I just kept on going to the bottom of the pool which is no go. There is so much coordination that I did not know that swimming is going to be much harder than driving a car. Although if you know how to swim and drive, you will know that both needs coordination but swimming needs more coordination than in driving. There is seems to be the coordination of the foot and the legs and the hands and the arms and the mouth and the head and the neck and everything else in between and on top of that make sure that you are also breathing. I wish I would have learned swimming since I was little but now is not late either but since the winter is here, I will start going back again to beginning swimming classes and will learn it even if it takes me a year to do so.