Learning while playing!

It’s been another turbulent week for the world. Seeing people leave everything behind for safety has been distressing to watch. Such is human conflict that it affects the most vulnerable the most. Hopefully there will be a peaceful resolution soon and the damage can be limited to what it is at this time. On to something light to lift up the spirits.

It’s amazing that one can learn in the most unexpected places. I was playing scrabble online with a virtual opponent, Freya! For those interested Freya is a mythical Asgardian appearing in American comic books published by Marvel Comics, based on the Norse deity of the same name. Within the context of the stories, Freya is the Asgardian goddess of fertility. She appears as a supporting character of Thor. The game started and Freya played the word CUE. It was a miscue as the pieces I had gave me an opportunity for a bonus. Guess what the word was that I played? OLIGARCH! Got a 50 point bonus for using all seven letters in one try. I am thinking oligarchs still have high value on a scrabble board at least. The game progressed and virtual opponent Freya pushed her luck when she snucked in a Y after OLIGARCH. Too bad for Freya because by then the bite of sanctions had started to sink in and the value of OLIGARCHY had already started depreciating 😉 Game mirrors life at times and reflects current reality. Norse character Freya/Freyja is supposed to be in charge of love, fertility, battle, and death and this is one battle she lost. The lesson: Betting on a oligarch may work once but in the long run betting on oligarchy is risky! 🙏

Not a bad life lesson to learn playing a word game, eh 😊

Pushing the envelope

Lessons of history
Ain’t no mystery;
Getting in may be easy,
Getting out will be messy.

Seen state of many a Union
Watched some State of the Union
Force don’t make an Union
Nary an accord ain’t no Union 🙏

Today it’s Ukraine. tomorrow it could be a different place. Pushing the envelope to see what one can get away with is a quality we have seen and continue to see in politics, war, sports, business, entertainment and all other walks of life. Inhuman is becoming all too common human quality 😭

Looking back, looking ahead đŸ™

Today is the last day of 2021. Right time to look back, look ahead.
Put simply 2021 has been an extraordinary year!
A year in which
â€ĸ Good and bad were engaged in a constant battle
â€ĸ Many lives were saved, many lives were lost
â€ĸ Prosperity soared and paucity increased
â€ĸ The bright lights of democracy were threatened by inimical forces
â€ĸ We witnessed courage and cowardice in plenty
â€ĸ Truth tried to emerge while misinformation exploded
â€ĸ Olympian heights were reached along with plumbing of depths
â€ĸ Welcome jabs were followed by unwelcome jabbing
â€ĸ Lessons were learned hard and quickly forgotten
â€ĸ There was a lot gained and a lot lost
â€ĸ Hope and fear seemed to be juxtaposed

It has been a year to reevaluate priorities and relationships, both personal and professional, for many including yours truly. Will be interesting to see how historians view 2021. When 2021 and 2022 meet I hope the intersection is at love. đŸĨ° Hey, even the number 2022 has a good feel to it! Like beautiful swans together, one followed by two! Humanity needs to transition from a world of pain, loss and grief to one that abounds in love. My optimism is tempered by reality and reality is tinged with optimism. 🙏

Sayonara 2021! Welcome 2022! 👍

Greek tragedy?

Alpha, Beta, Gamma
Delta, Lambda, Kappa
Zeta, Eta, Theta
Random Greek alphabets?
Or name of Greek fraternities?
Or basics to learning the classics?
Could be any of the above
Yet these are names WHO appears to love
For coronavirus variants on the move!
A recent variant labeled Omicron
Sounds like combination of Ominous and Cron
Has the feel of a ticking time bomb;
Are humans stuck in a loop
Of never-ending alphabet soup
Or will we find the will to regroup?
For starters, to put the public at ease
Stop using wave to describe outbreaks of the disease
For waves do not cease! 🙏

Raj Farm: Here comes the rain again!

Here comes the rain again
Falling on Raj Farm like a welcome shower
Falling on Raj Farm like a new emotion
I want to walk on the drenched land
I want to rejoice like farmers do
I want to know what is happening where you live
Is it raining with you
So folks talk to me
Like friends do
Walk through with me
Like farmers do
Talk to me
Like friends do! 🙏

Here comes the rain again
I want to breathe in the open wind
I want to harvest like farmers do
I want to walk in my farm
Is it raining with you
So buddy talk to me
Like friends do
Here comes the rain again
Falling on my farm like a memory
Falling on my farm like a new emotion
Here it comes again, here it comes again! 😊👍

Sorry Eurythmics for appropriating your lyrics 🙏

It’s ok, it’s ok, it’s ok!

Wow, amazing voice and amazing attitude! 👌👏👍
America’s Got Talent judges were mighty impressed and moved.
Loved the audition 🙏
I missed the intro when it originally aired. When I played this video today it brought tears to my eyes.
Hearing Nightbirde say before the audition “You can’t wait until life isn’t hard anymore, before you decide to be happy” brought tears of sadness 😭
Hearing her say after the audition “I have 2% of survival but 2% is not zero %” brought tears of sadness and smile at the same time đŸ˜ĸđŸĨ°
The last line of the song “It’s alright to be lost sometimes” whilst sad was uplifting too 👍

Happy Mother’s Day!

To my mom, all mothers and everyone celebrating their mom:
“Happy Mother’s Day!” 👍🙏
A mother’s love is the purest, most selfless form of love. Few weeks ago watched on TV real life story of Ada Blackjack nÊe Delutuk (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ada_Blackjack), an inspiring story of true love, grit, determination, faith and hope. 👌 In 1921, she joined an Arctic expedition across the Chukchi Sea to Russia’s Wrangel Island. She was recruited for the expedition to sew fur clothing for the team. She joined the expedition to earn money for her ailing son Bennett. Long story short, the expedition ran into rough weather literally and she was left caring for one expedition member who fell sick while other members of the team ventured out. She cared for the sick explorer who died after about 5 months. All alone, except for the expedition’s cat for company, she toughed it out for ~ 8 months in extreme weather till she was rescued. The money she earned helped save her son. 👏

It’s delightful to see people’s face light up when they fondly recall memories of their mother. It’s funny to see big Shaq quake in his boots when his mother admonishes him for some silly on-air feud. 😂 It was heartbreaking to see and hear George Floyd call out for his mother as his life was ebbing away. đŸ˜ĸ It was heartening to read about Bam Adebayo surprising his mom by buying a home for her in appreciation of all her hard work and the sacrifices made by her when he was growing up. 👏 My mom helps me stay grounded and think positive. 👍😊

In recent times it’s become a habit for me to watch reruns of cooking shows on TV. “It reminds me of food cooked by my mom, it’s so comforting I could keep on eating this dish” is among the best praises lavished by patrons of restaurants and judges of cooking shows. Hearing that I feel
“With moms around, the world is in good hands. Everything will be alright” 👍

Happy Mother’s Day! 🙏

umask and chmod!

Spring is in and brought along some much welcome warmer weather. More than a year into the COVID-19 pandemic vaccinations are picking up and politics has returned to being boring both of which are what the doctor ordered 👍 We are still not out of the woods yet. Safety still being the order of the day you mask and change mode of doing things. I wouldn’t be surprised if umask and chmod were among the most searched commands in recent times! 😉 Life as we have known has changed virtually.

In times past when winter ended it was time to look forward to travel and step out frequently to shop, dine and for entertainment. For me personally much of those activities have shifted from outside the home to inside. Apart from shopping online and ordering take-out food I have been satisfying my travel and entertainment needs by watching reruns on TV. One looks for comforting feeling to perk up the mood. The shows that I watch broadly fall under following categories
1) Food channel/network programs: No better way to drool than watching the chefs dish out all their creative, colorful and delicious concoctions đŸ¤Ŗ
2) Home improvement shows and aquarium build shows like Tanked: Fun to see people have a vision and get their dreams translated into reality 👍
3) Any show that involves a set of wheels: Not sure if it’s more of a guy thing but it’s always great to see anything on wheels, especially if it runs very fast 😄
4) Comedy shows: Laughter and smile best to lift up spirits always 😂
5) Nature and wildlife: Wonderful to see God’s own creations, national parks and trails and store in memory 🙏 Will come in handy for planning travel when we get back to more normal times. 👍

I like to watch shows that feature something being built, being improved or an already great creation. Find those interesting and learn something new. That sets up nicely for diving into detail about the shows. Aha, not yet! Wait for future posts for that. 😊