Wednesday, June 28, 2006


There’s not really much to talk about Kemah, Kemah the entrance to the bay area, was hoping to get my feet wet, but no chance of that. Parking space is a real issue here, took us about 20 minutes to find one. Kemah boardwalk is what it’s called, there’s the view of the bay, cruises and ski-jets line the bay area, there are a lot of amusement rides such as the Carousel, Aviator, pharaoh’s fury and stuff like that. We took a ride on the Boardwalk tower; the views from the top are breathtaking to say the least.

Spacey Saturday(06/24/06)

For a change, all went according to schedule, the rain God decided to bear with us too, we (my roomie; team-mate, his friend and myself) rented out a car for our visit to the Space Center and Kemah beach. A teeny weenie bit of a delay turned out to my advantage as I could catch Germany’s two goals against Sweden and they didn’t score anymore after that, so didn’t really miss much.

Back to our jaunt, it's about a two hour journey, with all the induced delays, so we were right on time for lunch which we had at an Indian restaurant close to NASA, buffet style, but too spicy for my liking. All the camera’s were loaded and we reached the Johnson Space Center, the Manned Spacecraft Center was renamed the Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center in 1973. He during his tenure as President and VP supported the space program as Chairman of the Senate Committee on Aeronautical and Space Sciences. It was during this reign that the decision to land a man on the moon was made.

Since we had already booked our tickets online, we went right in. My first thought on entry was ‘Oh my God, we’ve come to the wrong place', lottsa kid rides around the entrance, lots of terminals with different astronaut themed games and stuff. Kids can basically have a good time here.

We sat through a demonstration on ‘Feel of space’; it was a demo of a day in the life of an astronaut/cosmonaut on the International space station (ISS). Its almost hilarious, I said almost … the mundane tasks such as eating or relieving oneself, seem, well, extraordinary.

ISS is pretty significant but of course, there’s a miniature model, along with a larger more detailed model suspended from the ceiling, you can also take a virtual tour of the ISS, and you don’t even have to worry about the laws of gravity!

The walls and ceilings are pretty much covered with dials, medallions and various other exhibits and a handful of astronauts suspended in air.

The astronaut gallery houses a whole lot of spacesuits (ejection suits and flight suits) complete with a detailed listing; the adjacent wall has portraits and crew photos of every US astronaut who has flown in space. There were a couple of paid rides, one was a sort of a Shuttle mock-up, Blast-Off. We also toured a section of a mock-up space ship complete with a hanger for the spacesuits, dials, controls and such stuff.

The tram tour was next; we were in the blue line, waiting endlessly, curving through a maze of rope dividers! The tour was within the gates of the space center, the real place where the people (astronauts too!) work, these are the people involved in all those numerous space missions, must be one exciting life!, this is the ‘Houston’ Neil Armstrong was referring to when Apollo 11 landed on the moon.

It was a three stop tour, the first one at the actual mission control room used for the Apollo missions. The tour narration was on a pre-recorded tape, but at the mission control center there was a guide who took us through the history of the MCC and the adjacent blue room which supports ISS.

Stop 2 was the Astronaut Memorial ground, Oak trees planted in honor of all the astronauts who have lost their lives for the space missions. The most recent addition was of seven oaks planted in honor of the crew members of the ill-fated Columbia which included India’s very own Kalpana Chawla, the moment was almost nostalgic, a minute silence was observed for all those souls, at last count it is 40.

Stop 3, Rocket park was an optional stop, a number of people in the group didn’t get off, coz the tram just goes on and we need to wait and get in the next one, the park has a couple of space rockets, engines and then there’s a long building at the corner of the park, we almost didn’t go in there…it was amazing….a Saturn V rocket sitting horizontally inside and boy was it huge, it stands almost 36 stories tall. Looked up some material, this is one of only three extant Saturn V’s..used to launch the apollo spacecraft, made up entirely of rocket stages intended for flight. It’s so huge that they built the building around it instead of moving it and is currently undergoing restoration, due to the damage caused by the weather.

That's about it, sadly we missed a few exhibits, significantly the Starship Gallery which features the largest collection of moon-rocks, it was buried in one corner, somehow the setting of the place is a little haphazard, quite easy to miss shows.

A suggestion, don't forget to pick up the 'Map & Show Schedule' at the entrance!
All said, a must-visit if you are in Houston, Kemah in the next post!
Some problem with uploading pics, will do that soon.

Friday, June 23, 2006

Huh! its appraisal time

Oh, how I hate appraisal time!, I really seriously have begun to hate it, is there any profession where there are no appraisals? anyway why I hate it so much is probably not something to discuss here.

For the record this was my fifth appraisal in a career span of 3 months short of 3 years and this was my only appraisal that was partly done by a male appraiser. hmmm ... food for thought! :- )

Sorry, don't know why I am even posting this, there's nothing much else I can say. Went well though.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Mangalore grows up!

Aravind Adiga in Life is Calling talks about the growth of Mangalore, from a sleepy coastal town to a bustling city, the time span for this transformation seems unprecedented but it’s not unexpected. IT and its dominance in Karnataka have obviously fuelled this growth to an extent. Read the full article, its worth the time, my cousin’s mentioned in it too. I know this link has been posted in a number of blogs, but I had to have it on mine, Mangalore in TIME, is reason enough!

'Mangalore Grows up' in pictures.

Monday, June 19, 2006


Why blog?

A spelling error according to Microsoft, but WordWeb returns the meaning of blog as web log, a little bit of history here.

I can’t even remember why I created this blog, have never been an avid 'Dear Diary' person either; it was sometime in Feb this year, was on bench, the first time I actually had so much time on my hand. It was Rashmi Bansal's blog that caught my attention, my source of inspiration for this, have seen her participate in discussions on NDTV, very articulate and focused.

A sneak peek into your thoughts, events in life!. The day will probably come when the saturation point for blogging may arrive, until that to all us bloggers and our readers, a happy day!

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Time does fly!

Benjamin Franklin shared with the world the secret of his success, ‘Never leave that till tomorrow, he said, which you can do today’. This is the man who discovered electricity; you think more people would listen to what he had to say. I don't know why we put things off, she said it’s because of fear, I say it’s because we drift, we lose our focus. In her words ‘Fear of failure, fear of rejection, sometimes the fear is just of making a decision, because what if you're wrong? What if you're making a mistake you can't undo?’In my words ‘there’s a lot you want to do, it’s just that there’s no time to do it all, effective time utilization is something we have to learn, obviously procrastination comes in too’.

The early bird catches the worm. A stitch in time saves nine. We've all heard the proverbs, warning us about wasted time, and heard the damn poets urging us to seize the day. Still sometimes we have to see for ourselves, we have to make our own mistakes. We have to sweep today's possibility under tomorrow's rug until we can't anymore. Until we finally understand for ourselves what Benjamin Franklin really meant. That knowing is better than wondering, that waking is better than sleeping, and even the biggest failure, even the worst, beats the hell out of never trying.

P.S: She in the above is Meredith from Grey’s, some of the thoughts in her voice overs are so good, couldn’t help picking up some lines and modifying for this post!

It's one of those weekends, when I feel like I did nothing useful and wonder where did all those hours go?, I’m sitting in front of the TV with my laptop, watching the Brazil/Aus match. Have you ever felt that 24 hours in a day is way too little especially on weekends, go to sleep at 1:30 AM and get up at 8:00 AM and still there’s no time.

Finally!, got to watch football yesterday, thanks to ABC, a severe thunderstorm warning was issued for Harris county and true to the weather channel, it rained and thundered, it got so dark, made me want to go back to sleep, as usual was checking the TV schedule when I came across abc’s, so got to watching Czech vs Ghana, heard Czech is one of the stronger teams in the competition, but they hardly played like it, if not for their goal keeper, I think the score would have read something like 5-0. The commentators seemed overly excited with Ghana’s victory; I didn’t seem to understand why, until I got to know the impact of the result on the next match that was coming up, USA vs Italy, when there are two teams playing I always root for one, even though I really don't have a particular favorite and in this case, was rooting for Italy, if not for the self-goal they would have won! Again the commentary was totally one-sided, but to be expected.

Way too many red-cards and yellow cards in the games, even today, Rolando too, I personally think he is an over-rated player, maybe not as much as David Beckham, but he is. I know he’s got the stats to prove that he’s a great player, its half-time now score still reads 0-0 and they are discussing ‘USA-win or go home’, I don’t want to know, so taking a break to complete this post. Kinda feel guilty that I was watching this match when I should have been in church, will find a way, soon I hope for my sake!

Yesterday we went shopping to Kohl’s and then fiesta, malls is one place where the time just flies, I can spend hours together, reminded me of the days in Plano, week after week, but I guess I can never get tired of shopping, got back home around 10, had dinner around 11 and then the internet, this is another place where the time just flies, the blogs, the scraps, the news, the stories, the deals, the reviews, it's all about keeping up, this is life!

Forget the To-do’s lists that that never seem to have an entry marked ‘done’ week after week, only new additions, from 43 things to do to 86 things that must really be done. Procrastination at it's best, angels and demons lying there, bookmarked, since the Dallas to Houston flight!, when did I become like this, I love reading, some day in the near future I’m gonna open the list on a Friday and start completing each of those tasks, right on top will be ‘Finish reading angels and demons', good luck to me on that … back to the match and to find something else to do on this Sunday other than from the list.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Auburn Red 3.11

I used to think, I could write on anything under the sun or the moon or the dark dark sky, or the blue sky, just wanted to test that belief of mine. It’s only right to put your beliefs and faith to the test! Talking is equivalent to writing, a topic I once got at our bi-weekly toastmaster's meeting was 'white lies', how good a topic is that, won best table topic speaker that day, kudos to me and my white lies!

To give you a little background; the Roman Catholic loves the catholic traditions, going to church, the serenity of the church, chapels, basically I love being catholic if you know what I mean, even if you don’t please don’t ask me. Anyway what I am trying to say is that I am religious and spiritual if those are the right words to use.

And then there’s Dan Brown and the Da Vinci Code, I don’t know if he is religious, anyway he is an exceptional author, literally, I mean to come up with works of ‘fiction’ such as the Da Vinci Code is amazing, am trying to complete reading ‘Angels and Demons’ another of those utterly fascinating stories.

Watched the movie too and frankly I thought the movie was something like the last of the movies in the Harry Potter series, ‘Goblet of fire’ right? Lucky for me to have read the books, but I think in both these movies you need to have read the book to actually appreciate the movie…its only a view …a well made movie is one like ‘The Lord of the Rings’, have not read the book, but its so amazingly made, so easy to love!

Back to Dan Brown and his Da Vinci.., for what its worth, my two cents…it’s only a work of fiction; question, dwell, dissect it to whatever extent you may but at the end of the day or night will it/should it shake your faith, the beliefs you have built on for all the years…it doesn’t make sense, all these bans are only increasing the publicity, take it at face value… Da Vinci is the outcome of an amazing creative/fictional mind ….that’s it..
I’ll let my imaginative mind dwell on less controversial topics, like on this post….does Dan Brown have a blog somewhere, I think it would make an interesting read!

Back to the what the post is all about, my hair color…Auburn Red!

There used to be so many colors in this short crop of hair, I had lost track!, but then enter tone-up and 3.11. It seemed really nice and it turned out well or so I thought and still do, just one more experiment to thou who sits on top of my head, alas, though I didn't expect the reaction. Without the glare of the sun, it was still pretty much okay as they say, go out in the sun and I looked like one of those red-head yahoo avatars! hehe as Jean aptly put it.

Whichever way, it reminds me, it's time to give this mane of mine some color in life!

Till the next post, happy soccering, blogging, maning!

Friday, June 09, 2006

Lottsa sports!

It looks like football mania is in full swing. I personally have never been much of a football fan, don't ever watch EPL, can't name the players in the clubs, yet somehow I just love world cup football. We began watching since the 2002 world cup in South Korea, so am still pretty new to the game!

For the record, I am an avid German supporter, followed by Portugal, Brazil, England in that order… and Klose, Ballack, Figo, Owen are the guys! It’s amazing, the kind of following that soccer has, even back in India given that we practically have ‘No football team’. Have updated my favorite links too ... f1 and tennis will take a backseat for a while amidst the world cup.

If I was back home I would probably be glued to the TV, have to make do with keeping up with scores and results online here since I can’t watch it live, but that's a rather dull way, no excitement, no thrill, all I can say is something better than nothing!

Federer and Nadal fighting it out for the French open title, may the best man win (read Nadal) and at Silverstone too, may the best man/team win! will again be following both the scores online :(

Oh yes, am gonna update the previous post...haven't forgotten yet!

Monday, June 05, 2006

The weekend of June 3rd, 2006

No intellectual words or advice, only a bit of rambling, that seems like what I do best and most lately :- )

Binaisha was here!, she traveled from LA to Dallas and then to here, amazing don’t you think? To all who said this was a God-forsaken place, it's not true, it's not like I've changed my previous view but I do think there’s a lot that can be seen/done if you put your mind to it :- ) After all Houston is the 4th largest city in the US. Did some reading, might as well start TRYING to enjoy living here. 

Okay, back to the weekend. Downtown aquarium was our first stop in Downtown Houston; boy was that a long journey. The skyline is beautiful, the tall buildings running parallel and perpendicular all along the avenue almost made me feel claustrophobic. The aquarium itself was pretty small and seemed hyped, but it was beautiful and tastefully decorated, lunch in the company of the fishes I can’t even name!

The shark voyage, which was supposed to be thrilling somehow didn’t give me a thrill despite an enthralling experience with the creatures of the sea! However it’s as if we were doomed/jinxed when it came to transport, either the long wait or the non-arrival or the non-inclusion of routes huh! right until Sunday. We seemed to have it all. to be contd. finally the continuation!, has been some time coming, but think about it, it's more Binzi's story than mine, so will let her complete :)she would have a lot to say! all in all a great week with Binaisha :)

Friday, June 02, 2006

Plano to Houston

An hour in the air and much more than hours spent in DFW and yet there isn’t much change to the view, not that I expected it. Okay, maybe I can point out the differences, or rather to the one striking difference! Plano was much more refined, Houston just seems a little unkempt ... :- ) not sure if it’s the right word to use.

My apologies. It could be a harsh view since it’s not even been a week since I landed here and I’ve basically only been on the Enclave Pkwy, will write in when/if I change my mind. Oh, and how I am gonna miss Prince of Peace and the beautiful Sunday service there, the so typical mass, the melodious singing and yes and it pours here.

The weather is a talking issue, one minute it can be so hot and humid and the next it’s raining, guess it’s the wrong time of the year to be in Houston. Who can forget Rita (not my Ma, but God Bless her), the much talked about hurricane of 2005.

It so reminds me of Mangalore, where no surprise, it’s pouring.