Proof wife is smarter

During these tough times all of us need a reason to smile 🙂 or laugh 😀 Was watching a news show today anchored by a lady. Her hairstyle looked a little different. Remarked to my wife “Does that lady’s hairstyle look a little odd?” Pat came wife’s response “Yes, her hairdresser/hairstylist must be off now due to social distancing”. As if on cue a lady guest appeared on the show in a remote location and she appeared to be having a bad hair day herself proving wifey right 😀 And I was left wondering “Duh, I should have reasoned it myself considering that hairdresser/hairstylists’ business has been hard hit by the lockdown/social distancing guidelines issued across most parts of the country”! I now truly believe not only is wife is always right, she is also smarter 😀

Oh s–t, it happened

In my recent visit to India I had layover at Zurich airport. Layover means opportunity to stretch legs and freshen up. After my flight landed off I went looking for restroom to wash face and get rid of bloated feeling after a long flight. In the US airports restrooms tend to be open and more easily accessible. At Zurich airport to get to the restroom a door that looked like an exit had to be opened first to make it there. Looked more like making one’s way to a super secret Swiss bank vault 😀 Ladies’ toilet is located at the same level and to reach men’s toilet two flight of stairs have to be climbed up. For someone like me, who has tendency to step out the elevator every time the door opens, it was a recipe for disaster. After I transacted my business I rushed out. And then it happened. After climbing down 2 flights of stairs I instinctively reached out to open the first door in sight 😀 Was red faced with embarrassment on seeing a lady coming out instead of seeing walkway towards the flight gate. Apologizing profusely I averted further disaster by opening the right door. Folks from Europe, you got to take into consideration guys like me when you design the layout for toilet access at the airports 😀 I prefer the open US access where it’s difficult to make mistake even for me 🙂 I bet even if a Swiss happens to read this blog he/she will not comment as it will go against another Swiss trait: reputation for neutral position. Right? 😉

P.S. Few hours elapsed before I thought this experience could make for a blog piece and decided to take a picture of toilet entrance. By then passenger traffic to the toilet had increased as they were using the restroom before boarding their flight. Felt like a weirdo as I was trying to get one clear picture of toilet entrance without anyone appearing in the photo. Hopefully folks who saw me did not feel the same 😀

This man should testify

There has been one constant when witnesses have showed up to testify in the impeachment proceedings if anyone cared to notice. The man in red circle in left photo above! I don’t know about others but I think he should be asked to testify. Hear me out first please 🙂
From the rarefied heights that he operates in this guy has a bird’s-eye view to everything! He can see everything in this galaxy and beyond. Not only can he see everything he always appears to stay under the radar too! In most photos with group of people that Mr Red Circle is in all you see is a well dressed gent neck down, no face 😀 (right photo an example). In short this is a person who stands head and shoulders above everyone else, can see everything and yet not be seen. What more do you need in a witness?
I change my position. This man must testify 😀

Learn Chinese or STEM?

Few months ago we took advantage of being able to vote early on a Saturday. Went to the local public library and boy oh boy was it a learning experience! We first presented our credentials 😉 and after our identity was verified we got a blank sheet with some code about the ward# and the like at the bottom of the sheet and an envelope. The line for voting was quite long and was growing longer by the minute. We just beat the rush crowd as quite a few people were trooping in few minutes later after a college game. The real learning began in the line 🙂 On the way to the polling machine, on top of one of the small shelves (~ 3 feet in height), saw some books and comic strips. All had the library stamp/sticker on them. My first thought was some library patron waiting in line must have borrowed and just placed it while waiting to vote. It wasn’t the case as the line moved but not the books. My second thought was “Looks like the library has thoughtfully kept some books and comic books for entertaining people waiting for their turn to vote”. A nice gesture indeed as the line was moving slowly. The book at the near corner had “Reading and Writing Chinese” printed in bold on the cover. My third thought was “Chinese language on the go like Chinese food on the go! Kewl!”. As we edged closer to the shelf I saw the smaller print on the cover. It read “The 1,725 most frequently used characters” 😀 I rubbed my eyes in disbelief and looked again. Yes, it did say “1,725 most frequently used characters” 🙂 The # 1725 and “most frequently used” did seem an odd combination. For someone used to 26 alphabets in English it seemed 1,700 too many 😀 I didn’t even care to see if the book mentioned Mandarin or Cantonese. After recovering from the initial shock the question in my mind was “If Chinese Lite is 1,725 characters what is the real deal like?” Luckily I did not have to even flip a page. Right on the cover it said “2,633 characters”. I decided maybe another day, not today. As we reached the far end of the table I saw another book. The title read “Chinese for Dummies”. Couldn’t be more appropriate 😀 After looking at the 1,700+ and 2,600+ characters in the serious book seemed natural any starter would graduate to more realistic “Chinese for Dummies” level. As we neared the polling machine I had an eureka moment! Always wondered how the Chinese kids are so smart in STEM. Well, all the parents have to do is whisper into an infant’s ear “Chinese language mastery or STEM mastery” and the choice would be a no-brainer for most 😉 If I were learning Chinese language I would still be struggling at 100th character 🙂

TheRajBlog – Midterm report

It’s been a few months since I started my own blog. As children return to school after summer holidays I thought it’s a good time to issue midterm report in Q&A format!

Background: Over the years I have been posting on FB and some friends suggested I start my own blog. Did not give serious thought to it for a long time. Earlier this year decided to explore what options are available. After a bit of research decided to go with wordpress.com as it seemed to be a site specifically for bloggers. Chose the paid option as I did not want visitors to encounter pesky ads that free options generally come up with.

How the name was chosen? First choice was RajBlog to keep it simple and not spend much time thinking about the name. However, that name appeared to be taken already. Then I checked for ‘TheRajBlog’. Looked available. Reason for choosing the name? To joke about the fact some Asian Indians choose ‘the’ liberally and at wrong places (eg. I went to the New York 🙂 ) that I myself may have been likely guilty of at times and also take a mild swipe at self-important folks who like to refer themselves with ‘The’ prefix (just for eg. The Ronald)

Purpose of the blog? Post for fun for the most part, express random thoughts and links to stuff I find interesting.

How can external users access the blog? Best way is to google using the search term ‘therajblog wordpress’ and link to the blog should be at or near the top of search results

How is the site for blog laid out? It’s very simple and minimal the way I prefer things to be and also fitting with my lazy nature 😀 Just a welcome page with 2 menus at the top right corner: ‘Home’ and ‘Themes’. For those interested in exploring further from the homepage click on the down arrow beside ‘Themes’ menu to see the different themes under which the site is organized and feel free to check them out. Once in a world of infotainment opens up to the intrepid explorer 😉

How has the response been? At this time the blog has a total of 13 followers including myself and my better half 🙂 Makes me wonder if all those folks who suggested I start a blog are having a big laugh thinking “We were joking when we mentioned about starting a blog. This guy took it rather seriously 😀 ” Asked my wife to check out the blog just to see if it’s easy to access and comment. Looks like liking or leaving a comment for a blog post may need entering an Email or some other information for users that are not wordpress subscribers. I understand for most people that might be tedious and information they may not be comfortable sharing.

How do we see the future for this blog? Considering the fact I can’t sell anything to save my life I think with 11 external followers we have outperformed all expectations 😉 😀 With six more followers we would have 50% growth. That’s explosive growth by any standard! The sky is the limit for this blog the way we see it 😀

Disclaimer: Projections for therajblog.com are forward in nature and subject to visitor traffic. Throw caution to the wind and access the blog for the results to match projections. Visitor discretion not required for liking the blog posts 😉

Kiss of death :(

I could use sage advice from my wise friends. Plants in Raj Farm seem to be afflicted by kiss of death 😦 Yeah, those pesky rabbits are it again and they seem to have upped their game. This morning as I was looking out at my beloved plants I saw a rabbit chomping merrily one of my flowering plants. Earlier they used to run away on sighting me. Now they have grown more brazen in their ways. As I opened the door to get closer to the victim plant the rabbit took its own sweet time enjoying its meal and after what seemed an eternity bit off a branch and ran away. And they have grown smarter too. They refuse to take a nibble at the peppers. I have a tried a few times to goad them into having a go at the peppers by calling them wimp or sweet talk them to have a bite of the peppers but I guess I have to admit they are smarter than me 😀 To add insult to injury the rabbits have turned my family against me 😦 Wife finds them cute and son finds the sight of them running around, taking a bite here and taking a bite there, funny. This morning son burst out laughing looking at the rabbit having a jolly good time with my plants. I asked him why he didn’t support me. He explained rabbits are his friends and their relationship is based on mutual respect. I respect that. Where there was promise of full grown plants I see stumps. And where there were green stumps I see look of despair. The rose plants are the worst sufferers as the rabbits show no mercy and I see dry twigs where the promise of a colorful future seemed bright.

I could put a protective barrier around the plants. For years Raj Farm has been a mecca for cage free plants and it has been a source of pride (It’s more like 2 years actually but we live in an age where “truthful exaggeration” qualifies as truth so 2 is good enough to suggest many 😀 ). Left to thinking it would be better if the rabbits displayed even more smarts to ensure their food supply by leaving enough on the plants to let them grow. It will help make my summers a bit more enjoyable when I talk to the plants 🙂

Shop closed because of high grades!

This afternoon, after a long time, we added donuts to the shopping list. Donuts brought back memories of few years ago. When my son was in middle school one day he came back home from school and excitedly announced local Krispy Kreme shop was offering free donuts to students who got A grade in school at the end of a semester. Nothing like a prize or a freebie to boost students’ confidence and validation of their good performance. So, off we went to the shop. I was expecting one or two free donuts. I showed my son’s report card. Imagine my surprise when the girl at the counter said he was eligible to get about a dozen free donuts after looking at the report card. I was thinking up to 10 donuts is fine 🙂 but a dozen is bit too much 😀 But who says no to the prospect of fresh and sweet glazed donut melting in the mouth on first bite, right? 😉 For the next couple of years the same routine followed at the end of each semester. In later visits I requested the shop folks to reduce the # of donuts they offered to us. The owner of the shop must have been a nice person wanting to encourage students. His love for education probably matched my love for donuts then. The shop closed 3-4 years later. I was kidding to my son today “We probably helped that shop close business by cleaning out the shop with our end of semester visits” 😦 To the owner of the shop: Sorry, I did not thank you enough earlier as I was too busy sinking my teeth into those tasty donuts. Thanks a lot, may your tribe grow and prosper.

I was eating most of those donuts. Actually a co-worker and good friend indulged my sweet tooth when we both worked in the same office for the company we worked for, in Iowa. She used to drive in from Chicago area and me from Wisconsin. On some Monday mornings she would show up to work with 2 dozen fresh donuts for our group. Before lunch I would help myself to couple. Then guilt would take over and I would stop myself from having more. After lunch the longing for some more donuts would soon come back. I would rationalize to myself “I gave others a chance to grab their share. I can help myself to some more now as these donuts are meant to be consumed fresh 😉 😀 Felt sinful afterwards but I was committed to committing the sin on first bite 😀

If the local donut shop was still open I would be sugared up and bouncing off the walls now 😀 Even a sad ending had some positive effect 🙂