Friday, February 10, 2012

Attitude vs Talent

What is a great attitude for work ? Is it any different than attitude for building long-term relationships or achieving stretched self-goals ? I would zoom in on 3 aspects - Pride, Passion and Belief. Why is it that I feel very little energy in taking up a new task ? Why do I suffer from depression and low self-esteem ? I know that I procrastinate a lot of things but so do others, then why is my world view so limited, why my memory so confined ?

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

last trips in US.. part 2

The road for Las Vegas took us through desert mountains, even after travelling hundreds of miles, all you can see is more mountains. It was like "Road to Nowhere". The good thing is you can travel at a speed of 80 miles per hour on most of the roads and sometimes reach 100 miles per hour, so you feel that you are covering distance fast and swiftly.
When we reached hotel Stratosphere, we rested for about an hour or two in our room on the 21st floor. Now something about the hotel. The hotel has "Top of the World" Restaurant on the top floor which rotates 360 degree every 80 minutes.The hotel has the tallest free-standing observation tower in the US and has some extreme rides on the top floor. See the video below of one of the rides. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QbehfUGx6Rs
To go to the observation tower located on the 109th floor, you need to buy a ticket and there is ofcourse additional charges for taking one,two or all the three scary rides.
We bought tickets for the observation tower and went to the top. From the top, you can enjoy the 360 degree view of the city below. All the famous hotels- Trump, MGM,Bellagio,Treasure Island etc. on the Las Vegas Strip look small from the tower. We took some photos and as we had only one night stay in the city, we decided to go and see the famous Las Vegas strip and the hotels that line the street.
A lot of people come visit the city every weekend and this being a long weekend (holiday on Monday due to Labor Day), the rush was much more than normal weekends. As you walk on the street, you can see the big screens put up by each hotel to showcase the shows being played in their theatre halls as well as publicise their cool bars and restaurants. Some of the most famous personalities and groups come and perform in these hotels, to see these shows you need to pay for the tickets which may cost anywhere being 65 and 120 dollars, depending on the popularity.
In MGM, David Copperfield, the magician was performing this week while Tador, the winner of America's got Talent, was going to perform in Mirage hotel.
Each hotel had big casinos on the ground floor, the largest I saw was in MGM Hotel.
Some hotels had city or country themes like the New York New York hotel, Paris Hotel and The Venetian Hotel. New York-New York had replica of Statue of Liberty near its entrance and from the inside, it looks like you are roaming on the streets of New York. Paris Hotel had a huge Eiffel Tower starting from its entrance while The Venetian had Venice,Italy written all over the hotel design.
We had to walk so much from one hotel to another that time just passed by.
At around 10 pm, we went and ate buffet at Tamba restaurant which served Indian cuisine exclusively.
Casinos of some hotels were full with people. Some were gambling on horserace or playing BlackJack, poker or other games. I played BlackJack at one of the slot machines. The game was pretty easy to play and as expected I lost the 2$ in the bargain.
We tried to cover as many hotels as possible but could cover only a few - Treasure Island, MGM Grand, New York-New York, Excalibur.
By 1 am, we were pretty tired and called it a day. Our legs were aching with about five hours of walking. We went to our hotel room and slept.
In the morning, we had a nice breakfast at Lucky's restaurant inside the hotel. We checked out
at 11 am and started on our journey back to Santa Clara.
That was the end of our Vegas trip but I know that I am going to return to this place and Do Vegas Right. Adios !! Chirrio !!

last trips of US visit.. part 1

The weekend just gone by was special for us in more than one way. First of all, this was my last weekend here in US before me and my parents fly back to India. Secondly, I got to visit places I had only heard before of how incredible they are and never really imagined that I will get to see them in my lifetime. What I am referring to are the most visited place in US - disneyland and Las Vegas.
Our hotel booking in LA and Vegas was done in advance. In LA, we booked a room in Radisson Suites Hotel and in Vegas, Stratosphere Hotel and Casino. We packed our bags and headed south towards Los Angeles - Orange County on friday afternoon. The road trip took us about six and a half hours in traversing a distance of about 400 miles. On the go, we listened to latest hindi songs on youtube as well as hummed to the tunes of oldies like Kishore Kumar album on the CD player.
We reached the hotel at around 9 pm. The location of hotel was great given that disneyland was located at a 10 min drive from the hotel. Our room on the fourth floor was awesome too. Our room had infact two rooms - one with beds, almirah and all and the other with sofas and dinner table. Both the rooms had big LCD TVs. Moreover, our room faced the front side of swimming pool. We made reservations for the shuttle service to disneyland provided by the hotel. We had to be ready by 8:30 in the morning so that night, I watched some TV and went to sleep.
In the morning, we got ready and went for breakfast in the hall. I ate muffin, some fruits, bread with butter and jam and drank orange juice. After the breakfast, we took the shuttle service to Disneyland.Disneyland has two parks- Disney's California Adventure Park and Disneyland Park. We bought tickets for the disneyland park. The tickets were expensive - 72$$ per person for one park. There was a big rush of visitors waiting in lines. The park opened at 9 am and after some waiting, we went inside the park. The theme park entrance lead onto a path after which one could take any of the many routes for roaming and seeing things around. Entrance to a castle was visible from a distance but we decided to check out the map first. The park had more than 60 attractions and plenty of places to dine. The map had areas marked into categories- Main Street,USA; New Orleans Square; Adventureland; Fantasyland; Tomorrowland and so on.Each area had its own attractions given properly in the map. We went into the Adventureland first which lay on our left. We took the Jungle Cruise in which the visitors set sail on a large boat and taken through the jungle waters. All kinds of animals like elephant , chimpanzee , lion etc could be seen doing some stuff or the other. Of course, the animals were artificial but if seen in a flash, they look really real. The person who took us through this ride made us laugh throughout with his jokes and tricks. We felt really good as this was our first experience of disneyland attraction and had turned out to be awesome. We moved on and saw many more attractions of the park but I will point out those which really stood out. These were "Pirates of the Carribean", "Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage", "Indiana Jones adventure", "Innoventions","Splash Mountain", "Honey,I Shrunk the Audience" and "Buzz Lightyear Astroblasters". In "Finding Nemo...." we travelled in a submarine, in "Pirates ...." we went on a boat and in "Buzz Lightyear .." we travelled on a spaceship, on a journey similar to that in Star Wars movie. We went on a roller coaster ride on the mountain in "Splash Mountain" and had 4-D experience in "Honey,I shrunk the Audience". In Innoventions, we saw some amazing gadgets and played some cool virtual games. The parade with dance, music and cartoon characters in "Celebrate! A Street Party" was real fun too. The fireworks show in front of the castle was to begin at 9:25 pm. We had our last ride "Indiana Jones Adventure" at around 8:15 pm after which we went straight for our dinner at one of the diners. The crowd for the show had gathered, approximately 10000 people waited on the road for the show to begin. The show began on time and was a real entertainer with amazing fireworks on display in full throttle and synchronised with the music played in full volume.
After the show, we went to our hotel with memories of how wonderful the day had gone by.
We checked out of the hotel the next morning and departed for our next and last spot, Las Vegas.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

random post

Recently I have done some random things, things that I did for no reason. I created my own bucket list - i could put some 35 items on it in less than an hour. I had to think hard and wide, about things that I have secretly wished to happen but was not conscious enough to know about. The experience was good and goes on to show just how much you can know about yourself when you write something related to yourself.
Today also I had a lot of spare time, so I googled for "5 things to do in 5 minutes" and got this link - http://www.search-this.com/2007/10/05/5-things-to-do-in-5-minutes/ and registered on all the sites it mentioned - technorati, MyBlogLog, del.icio.us, StumbleUpon!, Digg. Though the site says that these could be done in 5 minutes but it took me over an hour to go to these sites, learn what these sites are for and register on the site. One thing that pisses me off during this process is the rejection of the username that you want to have because someone before had already registered with that name on that site. So I have to take
a username which is not to my liking and that makes the registration part quite irritating.
I have registered on these sites but I am not sure how much I am going to surf through them.
That part is reserved for the later blog(s) !

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

raging forest fire in southern California + updates of my trip

Huge fire is raging in Southern California, almost four times the size of San Francisco is burning. In three days, only 5% fire has been contained, so it will take a little while before the area is cleared and fire extinguished. We saw live telecast of the fire which has claimed lives of 2 fire extinguishers and gutted more than 50 homes. Due to this fire, our trip to Los Angeles stands cancelled, as the smell of the fire has spread to Universal Studios where we were planning to visit this weekend.
Last weekend we went to Yosemite National Park and there too forest fires could be seen from afar. The park has tremendous scenic beauty owing to the lovely waterfalls, mountains, Merced River and some nice spots like Glacier Point. Half dome,a mountain top with the shape of a dolphin, stands out among the mountains visible from Glacier Point. Both the Upper and Lower Yosemite Falls are visible from the same point. Glacier point is so called, because the whole area below it was a glacier some 14000 years ago which had formed several V-shaped valleys in its path. We went to Bridalveil Fall for which we had to traverse some rocks on foot. The fall was mighty and the water below was icy-cold.
On Sunday, we went to San Francisco to visit downtown area. It has some world-famous shopping area like Union Square and Fifth Avenue. We visited one of the finest malls, Bloomingsdale. The mall is exquisite and worth-visiting.
That's all for now !! Hope to give more updates on the trip later !!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

shopping for dslr camera...bought one finally

My P & S nikon camera was not able to capture the images the way I wanted it to.So we decided to upgrade to a dslr camera. There is so much of a good deal of dslr cameras manufactured by Sony, Nikon, Canon, Panasonic etc that it really becomes difficult to find a camera that suits your needs and is affordable too, which in our case meant a price range of 500-800 dollars. Since my knowledge of dslr's was minimal, so I started with youtube videos to know what features are important in a dslr and also compare cameras of different manufacturers. Also I looked at the price range of cameras from amazon.com, from where we eventually bought our camera delivered right at our doorstep within 3 days of ordering it online. I found some good sites for camera comparisons like reviews.cnet.com and dpreview.com which provided extensive user reviews of cameras they bought. One site, i think it was dpreview.com, offered side-by-side
comparison between any number of cameras that you select from the available list of cameras
available in the market for all manufacturers.
The choices of manufacturers was narrowed down to Nikon and Canon, given their lead over others in technological advancement. In Nikon, I liked the D3, D50 and D5000 models but
they all cost over 1000$$ while in Canon, I liked the Canon EOS 50D and higher models which
were again out of the price range we set.
The basic features that I wanted in camera were Megapixels > 6, frames per second > 3 with a
good buffer, good dynamic range, easy-to-use, lightweight, ISO range > 700, CMOS type sensor (consumes less battery than CCD type), atleast 3.5" screen and good picture quality in low light conditions. Canon EOS Rebel XSi fulfilled all these conditions and was rated high in all the websites I visited. We then decided to go check in Best Buy store and compare between the dslrs. The picture quality of canon was excellent and was quite light compared to Nikon D40. The marked price of camera in the store was 750$$ while we got it for 640$$ for amazon.com including the shipping charges. The price of the same camera one and a half years before was 950$$ so we think we have a good camera at a reasonable price.
I hope to use the camera soon in our next trip to Yosemite National Park and then in Las Vegas and Los Angeles.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Road trip to Big Sur

The day after our San Francisco visit, we headed for our next destination - Big Sur. The main attraction of the place is the long drive along the Pacific Ocean which gives spectacular views of the ocean, the mountains and the turning, twisting roads adjoining the ocean.
We had a heavy breakfast and carried lunch before starting on the trip.
The road lead us through the farm-lands on either side of road to our first stoppage point which was where the drive along the ocean started. We stopped at many more vista points ( place where you can stop your car and take some pics) along the way, each point giving a new perspective on the beauty of the place. A lot of campers and adventure enthusiasts visit this
place. A number of camping grounds could be seen from the road, some people could be seen cycling on the road, which they brought along in their car.
At around 5 pm, we stopped, had our lunch, drank some coffee and moved on.
Our last stop was at a beach along the highway and that too at the time of sunset. The view and the air were refreshing, to say the least.
On our back journey, we could see a rainbow towering above the mountains, some of which reflected red color maybe due to the sunset.We could not have asked for a more beautiful view in that moment.
The whole drive back and forth lasted 10 hours, and till the end of it, we had enjoyed every moment. I had never seen such beautiful sights in my whole life as I have seen in the last few days.
The trip is still on, the next tentative destination being Yosemite National Park. It is located on the east-side of California and offers Glacier Point, Waterfall and hiking as the main attractions.
Lodging is going to be expensive as we plan to go on a weekend when the rush is heavy and most hotels are booked. Pray that we get a nice affordable lodging at the place or else !!