Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Galactic Empire State of Mind

Better than the original... :) What can be more cooler than Darth Vader Rapping. The Diddy of Deep Space ha ha

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Well, it had to happen at some point. A whole site dedicated to exposing all the stupid things people post on Facebook. Go forth and enjoy Failbooking.

Here are some samples.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Get Ready for the Great Outdoors...

No, I’m not planning to go running around in some wood.

However, Canadian are getting ready for Summer now, having being cooped up indoors for the past 4+ months, they can’t wait to shed the winter jackets are have some fun in the sun. In preparation for this, there was an outdoor sports exhibition called the Toronto Sportsman’s Show at the Metro Toronto Convention Center, showcasing the latest in camping, fishing and hunting gear.

One of the first things that catch your eye is the sleek speedboats equipped with all the necessary gadgets and supports for the avid fisherman, or woman. Everything from the latest in GPS to rod holders, livewells (water filled storage units to keep your catch till you get back to shore) baitwells, etc. Even the interiors are comfy and luxurious. After you get past the boats then there are the rods, baits and other fishing gear, everything ever need to go fishing. However going fishing and catching fish are two different things. You got to have a lot of patience. And I bet it’s not as fun as fishing off a bridge in SL, with just a nylon line, no rods, and chicken bits for bait.

Then there was another section totally devoted for hunting. You can take your pick out of several dozen models of rifles with telescopic aiming. If you want to be more like Robin Hood, then you can take your pick out of the latest in Archery bows, long bows or cross bows. I know some of you out there are appalled at the thought of hunting, but I am a carnivorous animal, and I like my meat. However I do draw the line at hunting for sport and hunting exotic or endangered animals. I believe that for most people who hunt in summer, the main game is Duck, Turkey and maybe some Deer, which are then consumed. I mean who would shed a tear for a lame old Duck, except maybe Daffy and Donald. And in any case, these animals usually are breeding machines. Controlled hunting helps to keep their numbers in check. You need to have a license to hunt in a State anyway. The state of Ontario allows to hunt Moose, White Tailed Deer, Grouse ,Wild Turkey and Water Fowls, which make tasty dishes. The only oddity is that they also allow Black Bear, which is a surprise to me. According to this site, they allow hunting as a way to control their population.

Unfortunately, there is still big game African hunting safari’s offered by various operators. One such site is this, Hunting for trophies is just not right.

Tried my hand at shooting a few arrows with a long bow and I must say, not bad for a first timer. Managed to keep all the arrows within the target area, not the center mind you, but still. There was also a dog show and a competition for hunting dogs. Those hunting dogs are very well behaved mind you. No matter what distractions there are they will only retrieve what their handler tells them to, and after they retrieve the game they sit down and wait till the handler takes the prize from the mouth, they never drop it to the ground.

The place was jam packed, so I guess the fish, the ducks and the deer hanging around Ontario should start to make plans to find a safe house in the coming months, if they want to see the next winter.

Cheers and stay safe!!!

Some of the boats on display. The interiors are awesome.

Wanna jet ski anyone
...Or go trek the woods caterpillar style?

A home for the road, RV's

Drivers seat of an RV

Bedroom area of the RV

Kitchen area

Bathroom, take all the comforts of the home with you anywhere

Hunting Rifles

Big game trophies

I really don't get their appeal

Cute doggies at the dog show

A pic of the CN tower for a good measure

Monday, March 15, 2010

Settling In

Spring is in the air. Winter is officially over since last Thursday in Canada. This is a good time to be here. Apparently this time was one of the warmest winters on record. That and the heat waves in SL, I think Mother Nature is pissed.

The weather at the moment is around 6-10 degrees, but there is also some rain, a constant drizzle more likely. Hope fully it won’t rain the whole summer.

Anyway, I landed here without any problems last Monday afternoon. The flight was tiring. I’ll never get used to sleeping in those airline seats. Whatever sleep I did get caused me neck cramps. The Dubai airport is jam packed as always, and there seems to be no stopping in its expansion. From what I saw, construction projects are underway in full swing within the airport.

Dubai to Toronto flight was on an A380 and boy, those things are huge. Upper deck is first and business class while poor old economy class passengers like me are in the lower deck. However there is a bit more legroom than in other aircraft. The flight was full, with 530 passengers on board. Unfortunately for me, I got stuck between two other guys in the middle seat. One guy was a Sri Lankan now living and working in Canada and he was going back home after some official work in, if I remember correctly, in Madagascar. He’s been flying for about 3 days, along with transits. Later he got an upgrade or something and was moved upfront, and some Kenyan dude was planted there. The guy on the other side was an African dude, living in Canada, but works in Indonesia, and going home for the vacation. That guy has also been flying for about three days and he had to catch another flight to Ottawa after landing in Toronto. I would have gone stir crazy if had to be stuck in planes like that.

There were a lot of arrivals at Toronto airport that I was stuck in the queue at customs and immigration for about an hour. They have a separate line for immigrant visas and I counted about 5 people while I was in the line. Don’t know where they were from but two looked Chinese. So I guess there are a lot of people moving to Canada.

I’m staying in Toronto, a little bit west of downtown. The company has some apartments near the office for people coming in from SL. Unfortunately I have to work at a client site, which is a town called Mississauga, about 40k’s from here, so I have to travel daily. Luckily the company provides Taxi’s and with the highways, your there in about 20-30 mins. Last time I was here I was working at the same client site, but we had an apartment in the same town, but there was a commute which involved taking two busses. Not an easy thing to do during Winter. I guess this time it is much better even though the distance is greater because of the taxi. Less boring too since there are several other guys from the SL office at the apartment complex.

Been busy since I got here so haven’t had a chance of getting good pics.


Looking our from the Dubai Terminal at the giant bird which is going to take me

Some of views from the apartment. Hopefully by next month, these trees will have some leaves on them

Saturday, March 06, 2010

Adios, SL

For a couple of months at least. The office is sending me on a training/work assignment to Canada again and I’ll be leaving these beautiful shores on Monday. Currently it’s for 3 months but might extend up to 5, like last time. Luckily winter is ending and spring is slowly creeping in. The prospect of months playing in snow doesn’t appeal to me that much. One winter in a lifetime is good enough for me.

The flight is at the ungodly hour of 3AM. What’s with these airline people huh? Even Vampires are resting at that time. Transit is in Dubai, about 2.5 hours. The part I’m not looking forward to is the Dubai Toronto run. 14 hours of sitting in an airplane seat is not fun. I just hope I get an aisle or window seat, and not stuck between some strangers in the middle rows. The good news is that I hear Emirates is using A380’s for the Dubai Toronto run so at least I’ll get a taste of that.

One part of me is excited but then again, I’ll have to put my plans on hold for some time, especially my studies. I get a feeling that’ll be forever transferring batches. At this rate, that MBA looks a long way off. I’ll be also missing the wedding of one of my very good friends, missing the chance of being his best man too. Oh well, one has to learn to juggle everything. I guess at this point of time in life, I don’t mind putting focus on my work and career.

Anyway, I’ll be putting pics as and when I get a chance.


Thursday, March 04, 2010

The Power of Nice

In this day and age “Nice” is becoming obsolete. People very rarely give a shit about others. After all aren’t we taught that “Nice guys finish last” or that “being nice never gets you anywhere”? It’s a dog eat dog man eat man world, where kindness and compassion have taken a backseat to ruthlessness and selfishness. Money and status rule the world, it doesn’t matter what you do, or who you trample to get at it. Sadly this is not a new thing. We humans have always been assholes, it’s just these days we get to hear it more, thanks to the global information network.

No, I’m not preaching that I’m any different. I too am a greedy corporate whore. If you say that you don’t want to have the cool clothes, the flashy cars and the awesome gadgets, then you are a flat out liar. There is nothing wrong with aiming for these things. The point is NOT to become an asshole along the way. A majority of us do have a conscience and will feel some sort of guilt when we do something that we know is wrong. It’s when we lose this that we become the Adolf Hitlers’ of the world.

I came across this very interesting book sometime back, which has given me a lot to think about. It’s called “The Power of Nice” by Linda Kaplan Thaler and Robin Koval, founders of the multibillion dollar advertising agency the Kaplan Thaler Group. One of their key approaches to work is NICE and throughout the book they share personal experiences of people who have gained something through the power of nice. Each chapter also has little exercises that you can do to improve your niceness.

Being nice is not about how much you donate to charities and how many fund-raisers you attend. It’s the little things that matter.

I don’t know about other people but I found this to be a very informative and inspirational book. It’s not big either. I got it at the book fair but can’t remember which shop it was :( but I think it was from Vijitha Yapa.