unintentionally emotional blackmail :)


My kid innocently said:

Naannaa! Today after taking bath, I went to Puja room and chanted the sloka ‘Shuklam Bharadham…’ and then asked the Elephant God to give me ‘skating boots, helmet, walkie-talkie and binoculars’.

Daddy laughed his heart out but fainted with responsibility and of course happy (i) seeing him ask all outdoorsy items; (ii) that my kid’s correlation of his toys to be a grant of God;

Ain’t this the daily dose of warmth that is worth writing in my life book? :)  Whatz yours today?


 

Categories: emotions, family, fathering, fun, kids, life, my | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

వృధా

one-day-waste

Categories: తెలుగు, life, philosophy, suggestions | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

sorry Google! 3 features that make Yahoo! Mail the best

I take extreme care to evaluate neutrally and am surprised that I didn’t write this till today.  Here are the reasons that make yahoo mail the best in the industry, sorry Google, sorry Microsoft.

i) disposable mail ids:

Do you know Yahoo! gives you 500 disposable mail ids, with all incoming mail in one Inbox? What does that mean to you? Aha! It means no spam. Let me explain.

Its NOT ABOUT spam filters any more. However good your mail system is, if your email id is compromised, which is unavoidable, YOU GET SPAM.. so you must be getting a lot of unwanted mails by now.

Do you know, once your friend’s email account is compromised, your own email id is compromised too? No spam filter mechanism can stop the wrath then.  That starts pumping in a lot of spam. I know of people who just abandoned their ids only because they couldn’t help themselves out of the spam onslaught.

How good it is to shield your original email id from the rest of this world?  And here is how Yahoo!® solves my problem, of course along with the best in the industry Spam filtering. 

To use the disposable mail ids, I have to choose a root word, say ‘Bob’.  I then create multiple mail ids using this root word..

  1. For important web site registrations, I use ‘bob-register@‘; and if are you are really paranoic, you can even do a bob-tumblr@, bob-gmail@, bob-dmv@ etc..
  2. For non-critical web site registrations, for example, all my wine club associations, I use ‘bob-wine@‘.. Just every other Internet need is a new mail id now.. ‘bob-chess@’, ‘bob-car@’, ‘bob-parenting@’…or even a ‘bob-matrimony@’  or ‘bob-dating@’ ;) :P
  3. All the mail coming in to all these ids would land in your original Inbox, at a single place., so you don’t even see any difference. The better part, no one else in this world knows your original email Id. 
  4. Now imagine, my wine club’s account is compromised and the ‘bob-wine@’ id is leaked into the open wilderness… I start getting 10’s of spam mails every day..
  5. As soon, as I see tall legs or viag** tablets in my emails ;), I simply delete the ‘bob-wine@’ and create a ‘bob-wine-2@’ for my wine club..
  6. swoosh!! my Inbox is clean now.
  7. The number in the end actually tells me how many times that account is compromised..If I see the ‘bob-wine-2@‘ is also compromised, then I know I have to delete that account for ever and preferably get rid of that club too.

This may sound like a lot of techie stuff or tedious to do or maintain, but its just a breeze doing, takes less than a minute.. and what you get in return is simply invaluable.. a spam free inbox.

Please check this cool feature out in your ‘Settings->Security-> Disposable addresses‘.


Update: The ‘+’ mails feature by google is very similar and unlimited too. But the biggest downside is that your original gmail id is still leaked.


 

ii) All other mail in Yahoo! Mail

Forget the technical name of it, but what this means is that all my Gmail®, all my Outlook® mail, all my AOL® mail, .. gaah! all at one place.. The Yahoo! Mail® Inbox.. How cool is that? You won’t realize the convenience until you start using it. Go ahead! Try it!

You can import many other mail boxes from ‘Settings->Accounts->Add Mailbox

iii) the eco-system that is called Yahoo!

This may sound like another geek rant or a promo, but this is the most important of all. Yahoo!® is not just a mail provider.. Its an eco-system…And its a market leader in many other fields like News, Finance, Sports, Flickr (best-in-industry photo management), Movies, Mobile..yahoo-mail-logo

  • you can use the all new Yahoo! Messenger® straight from your Inbox ( I will write about this stunning tool later at length).. who doesn’t have memories there?
  • you get a myriad of other tools like an online Notepad, Calendar, Contacts management etc..
  • you can integrate your Twitter®, Facebook®, LinkedIn® accounts for a better social experience custom tailored to you by Yahoo!®
  • you get an honestly better ‘News Feed’ all in a separate tab in the Yahoo! Mail®

I can go on and on about the Yahoo!® experience, but I want to leave it all here and let you explore it.  You better be the judge here.

thanks for reading.
/balu

Categories: analysis, design, online-life, suggestions | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Whale Tail licence plate from California Coastal Commission

By reading about dinosaurs as a kid, probably started my love of huge animals .. then of course the elephants, rhinos and whales were only a dream away reading all those books.. So when I saw the specialized license plate by California Coastal Commission, I just couldn’t resist and yey I got mine.. :) Then to give it a techie tinge, you write a letter as a number ;):P

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Categories: animal, california, car, my, travel | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Travel Log: Trinidad, Portland, Seattle and Crater Lake

End of 2015 in a classic wanderlust way with a 2320 mile road trip also setting my new personal record 

Wow! It was such a fun to see huge rainbows spanning the full horizon, blinding rains, blazing interstate speeds, whiteout snow challenging my guts, deep ice trembling my car and super slick roads shaking my confidence. And then the gigantic redwoods with living trees as huge to pass a car thru, the mystic aura of intense forests, the refreshing air that fills your lungs n mind with new energy, the splashing sexy water falls whispering new ideas and the crashing pacific waves charging you for the year ahead.. And then searching for Sasquatch in thick forests where its dark in the afternoon and the invaluable time with friends in the middle of nowhere, ziplining gondola ride above the tall redwood tree canopy,  that nostalgia in a family get-together, my 5 year old kids setting their own hike record of 8 miles,  meeting a childhood friend after 20 years, greeting a long time puppy who can now lick my cheeks standing straight, peeping into an incredible business empire and see how a Boeing 787 is made, staying with strangers who are unbelievably hospitable and caring..  wow! wow! wow! Here are only a few of the pics that give me a high looking back.

 

with babai my father figure and sis family

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December 31st night at -10°C temperature in snoqualmie pass, WA

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Fern Canyon — another 1 mile of wet beauty thru the tunnel in the background

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Its still a living and kicking tree.. after 2100 years

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thats the rendition of the first leg of journey :)

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Photo Courtesy: UXER

 

try wild elks next time :P

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the subtle beauty certainly whispers ;)

multnomah falls in portland, Oregon

Defy your own self.

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There are only 4 of such ‘dream lifter’s in this world and one I have already captured in this pic :)

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My kids’ own record of an 8mile hike to the Fern Canyon

fern-canyon

bumblebee – my sweet subie

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Turn right after 313 miles… wow.. A road bug’s high :)

drive-crazy

chase a bear every time you are in the woods

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One day I will surely meet this ‘bigfoot’ guy

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America’s deepest lake might also be the bluest beauty

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Thats the end of the year 2015.. Tubing at snoqualmie pass on December 31st night at -10°C temperature..

tubing at snoqualmie pass

thanks
Balu

Categories: california, life, my, Oregon, outdoors, roadtrips, state parks, travel, videos, Washington | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

52 miles of sweat and scenaries

yey! I just got my #2015 #Trails #Challenge souvenir :) Thats like more than 52 miles in different trails all over [east bay] California, multiple weekends, tons of fresh air, thousands of calories and many more memories :)

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Categories: california, health, my, outdoors, state parks | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

Imagination is everything

imagination is everythingThis is not any modern art but my 5 year old kid told me that its a picture of a big mountain in a “national park” (yes he said ‘national park’) where a spaceship crash landed making a big hole in the earth with fumes coming out, then a bear came and scratched all its surface (probably out of curiosity or food smell)… i am struck with his description and felt happy that I could let him imagine something extraordinary for his age on a simple paper.

I know the time we spend outdoors would finally be justified someday but the doors of imagination are opened in every dream… every day…

:)

I am happy.

 

Categories: family, fathering, my, psychology, travel | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Travel Log: Sequoia, Redwoods and Lassen

7 days, 5 national parks, 3 different worlds and 1 spirit.

It may seem crazy to drive across California for a week but the sheer fun of a roadtrip connecting 3 unique worlds into one is something I couldn’t have resisted. Please scroll down to check my brief travelogue :)

For a patio gardener like me, the Giants Forest is something unfathomable n supremely attracting :)

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Giving my kids a chance to explore and then to breach their own limits is more than anything to me :)

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Thats the WORLD’s LARGEST TREE folks! If only you wonder the size of seed it came from :)

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It matters what you do holding your kids hands :)

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Photo Courtesy: UXER

 

And then to leave them free to walk on their own :)

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Travel in groups :)

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Photo Courtesy: UXER

 

Hike, ski or whatever.. But get lost and get exhausted :)

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Photo Courtesy: UXER

 

Wanna get charged for the next day? simple… do firepit and barbeque, the crude way :)

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Photo Courtesy: UXER

 

Look straight for love :p

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Photo Courtesy: UXER

 

Check out the roads where only a few cars would love to go… Thanks to my sweet Subie.. bumblebee :)

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Photo Courtesy: Pavan

 

Get a large backyard wherever you stay :)

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Gen-NEXT-Men ;)

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Sign-in wherever you go :)

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Prepare well :)

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And the four little mountaineers posing with a live Volcano in the background..  They took pain and braved all odds to come along with me :o  … More than enough for their age.

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Selfie with the Sulphur.. End of adventure for now :)  #stay #tuned

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Categories: california, family, friends, fun, my, outdoors, roadtrips, state parks, suggestions, travel | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

ఓ మహాత్మా!!!

ఓ మహాత్మా!!!

Categories: తెలుగు, life, my, suggestions, traits | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

earlier-better

earlier-better

Categories: california, family, fun, kids, life, my, outdoors, philosophy, suggestions, travel | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Life is a special Key

Its not what you do. Its all about how you do it that matters. Every key opens the lock, but how should your personal key look like? ఎనిమిది డాలర్లిస్తే సొట్ట తాళం చెవికి సొగసు కాపీలు రెడీ! అందులో అందులోనే మళ్ళీ ఆంగ్లంలో వేదాంతం కూడానూ !!! :)

Whatever you do, be yourself and be unique.

Life is a special key

Categories: design, fun, life, my, philosophy, suggestions | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

do you?

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Categories: california, friends, outdoors, state parks, suggestions, traits | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

small talk

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Categories: life, me, philosophy, Work, world | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

వెన్న మురుకులు

Packed with energy, this traditional snack made with fine grained black grams, lot of butter, generous amounts of ajwain with the rice flour base., is an instant hit and a childhood memory for every generation of tired kids.
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Categories: తెలుగు, food, health, indian, kids, kitchen, my, traditional recipes | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Time Machine – do you want to relive life?

I don’t want to go back in time and relive my life making different choices than that made me what I am today.

You may wonder why. If you can go back in time, you can consciously avoid the mistakes you did, you can make better choices, end up in a better position, so why not? Haha, thats where I am different. Its not that my life was/is filled with roses.

But still, I somehow like the way I have gone thru it all. I liked that pain in the ass. I liked those pleasures on the beach. I loved everyone who touched my heart. I admire the people who loved me in spite of my short comings. Looking back now, I started loving those who ever even hated me.

Wow. It was and is a wonderful life you know. If I go back and change at least a minutest of those things, then this entire path will differ and I may never get to see those flowers I have already seen, those cute faces, those sunsets and sunrises, those seashores and valleys, those daemons in the dark alleys, those few successes and the many failures, those wonderful strangers I have met in the remotest of places and the thoughts we have shared, those unbelievably nice men who are otherwise so unnoticeably common but are angels from my tiny past.. oh! They are what all made me what I am today. I can be grateful to them only by not reliving in a different way. So, I don’t want a Time Machine. No, thanks.
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Categories: life, me, philosophy | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

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