Friday, April 18, 2008

Adorable Pete Wiggins

Pete Wiggins (his name jiggles his bubbly personality) is the 5 year old kid who features in the Kaiser Permanente commercial on TV. The ad. portrays Pete to be a middle aged guy and he rocks! Some of the things he says, like "I have made some bad decisions, hung out with the wrong crowd" etc. are hilarious. The ending of the ad. where he says "Things are looking up" with a pop, cracks you up!

Pete was invited on the Ellen Degeneres show and was truly adorable.

Enjoy this you-tube video...

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Beaches- Here and There!

Marina Beach, Chennai

Miami, Florida

San Gregorio State Beach, California

Last weekend, the weather was glorious in the Bay Area, in other words, it was really warm and sunny on Saturday. We drove on 280 and then took 1 South to go to San Gregario State Beach towards the evening. It was a scenic and windy drive, but, gets you to the beach in about an hour's time. This is the first beach you come across when you enter 1 South. We were surprised to find that the beach parking lot was full and saw the crowd. When we've visited this beach about 3 years ago, it was so deserted. Nevertheless, it brought back a feeling of being in Marina beach, Chennai. Well, that feeling only lasted until we dipped out feet in the sea and it was so cold. After several ooos and aahs, you get used to the cold, but still, be it the Stinson Beach , Monteray or any other Bay Area beach, the water in the Pacific is always cold, even during the summer and this has been our sea experience in the west coast, till we visited Miami beach in Florida.

The water in the Miami beach and other parts of Florida like Keywest was not only a greenish blue tinge, but also plesantly warm. It was such a difference standing in the water and we hardly wanted to come out. Not only that, the color is definitely a pretty sight for the eyes.
Lastly, how can I not mention our Marina beach in Chennai. Though, not as fancy as a hang out spot for teenagers like Besant Nagar Elliot's beach, Marina is surely an all time favorite in terms of the water, sand, and all the other side attarctions.

Beaches here and beaches there......enjoy while the good weather lasts.

Day at the Beach by Sharon Froese

A day at the beach
What could be
More fun
Than playing in
The sand
The surf
The sun
Building castles
And rivers
And splashing
In the waves
There's no better
Way to spend
Hot summer days

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Highlights of our backyard

With the official onset of spring, though, the days are yet to become warmer here in the Bay Area, the gardening and planting season has arrived. Since moving from an apartment to a house last year, one of the major attractions and benefits have been in having a nice front lawn and a spacious back yard. While we enthusiastically went and brought several flowers and plants at the beginning of spring last year and enjoyed the blooms, some of them didn't survive the winter months, though the roses and some others did.
This year, K and I made our visit to the local nursery and other garden stores and made some additions to our backyard. The first one being the "plantain/vaazhai tree." Known to survive best under tropical climatic conditions and having had bananas, vaazha poo, etc. from trees in our house in India, this was an automatic entry into our backyard.
The "pink jasmine" aka "jaathi malli" is another favorite that we planted last year, but has started blosomming this spring, the fragrance of this lures us into the backyard more often.
Everybody who has been in the Bay Area is familiar with the citrus trees such as lemon, oranges, madarins etc. which are a common feature in most houses on their front and back yards. Last year, K planted an orange tree, which is yet to show signs of fruit, but, we have a neighbor's tree full of ripe lemons (the size rivels in comparison to the oranges), that have branches sagging with lemons on our backyard. Our neighbors are a bunch of bachelor white guys who are better known as the "scooter boys", since they have a mini auto shop in their house, have no qualms in us sharing the fruits of their lemon tree. Its indeed convenient to go into the backyard and pluck a lemon out of the tree to use it for rasam and other types of cooking. We also share the fruits with friends when they visit our place, they leave with a carry bag full of lemons.

Tomatoes, both Roma and early girl varities thrive well during the spring and we've just planted some this year. Tulip bulbs are also a new addition this year. though, we've only planted a couple of them.

Spring is truly a great time to invest in gardening and enjoy the fruits of labor......

Evening Hours by Ella C. Forbes
The dusk has little gateways
That lead to pleasant homes
Enveloped in the soft light
Before the darkness comes.
Each home is in a garden
Alight with vivid blooms,
And there are fragrant posies
In all the restful rooms.
They are so cool and quiet,
After the hectic day,
After the crowded hours
That rush us on our way.
They are the little havens
Where we may turn to sit
And rest us in a leisure
The day could not permit.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

April Fools Day

The first of April is the day we remember what we are the other 364 days of the year.
Let us be thankful for the fools. But for them the rest of us could not succeed.- Mark Twain
As most of us know, April 1st is also known as All Fools Day and is a day to beware and watch out for pranks and silly tricks that will make a fool out of you. While growing up and during early school days, we used to play tricks on teachers and amonst ourselves as well. Sometimes, you would end up going to school thinking that your best friend wouldn't be the one to play a prank on you, while precisely that is what would happen.
It has been a long time since I fell for an April fool prank, not that I have a lot of people whom I expect will pull one upon me. But, a small thing happened to me when I walked into my office this morning. As usual, the first thing I did was to turn on my computer and after logging in, I started using my mouse. I noticed that it didn't do anything! After shaking it left and right, it still wouldn't move. Assuming that something had gone wrong with my mouse, I called our office courier/tech assistant guy (a college grad named Daniel who is more than 6 feet tall and has a huge frame and is a popular kid around the office) to do the first line of troubleshooting. When Daniel came over and took a look at my mouse, he flipped it over and there was a small post-it note covering the ball on the bottom with "April Fool Dear HR!" written on it.
Since, I do HR for my department, this was someone's idea of playing an innocent April fool's prank on me- you should have seen the look on my face, as Daniel pointed out. He said that I wasn't the only one, but there were "chosen folks" who were lucky to get their mouses messed up with this morning.
Anyways, Have a Fun April Fools'd out for any pranks that your kids or colleagues may throw your way.
Q: Why are people so tired on April 1st?
A: Because they just finished a 31-day March :-)