kids’ saplings

Its important they plant seeds and then grow their understanding of nature along with the sprouts and saplings:)

kids' sapplings

Categories: family, fathering, fun, gardening, kids, my, outdoors | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

నాలాంటి సామాన్య ప్రజలకి అంకితం (A half minute gripe)

Not to sound philosophical, I started to dislike getting stuck in an endless routine.. And what better time than a weekend to vent your gripe?

Contrary to the Karmic philosophy which says a soul takes multiple births based on its bad deeds, I strongly believe the next birth, if at all, is given only to people who do good things here… If you are of the types sung in this folk, you won’t get a chance to be here again… Enjoy this half-minute song:

 

Categories: emotions, philosophy, fun, suggestions, me, writing, traits, తెలుగు | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

dosa hut

yet another Daddy’s creation:) Its a #spicy #life:)
dosa-hut

Categories: తెలుగు, food, fun, indian, kitchen, my, recipes, traditional recipes | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

పాత పెనం మీద కొత్త అట్టు

“పుల్లట్లు”, “చల్లట్లూ” పాత తరం బాబూ .. “పంచట్లు” కొత్త తరం ..:)

Stack them all like a burger and take them in one-bite-at-a-time with accompanying ginger chutney:)

Flattened rice and curds soaked overnight, add little salt while making the batter and pan fry them into palm sized cookies with different vegetable top-ups… Tomato, peppers, onions, carrot, mint/coriander… served with ginger or sesame chutney.. Enjoy the sunday.
panchantlu

Categories: తెలుగు, food, fun, indian, kitchen, my, recipes, traditional recipes | Leave a comment

bug day at Randall Museum, SFO

Its important to teach your kids something about bugs, what are harmless and what are harmful etc. Thanks to the Randall Museum in SFO, we had a fun day with lot of infotainment. Add that to all our outdoor time and I am sure my kids would have their curiosities answered and still be safe…

Of course each bug is a lesson whether its biting your neck or breaking your code ;):P

hand-crafted Bug Crowns:)

bug day
 

The real Tarantula is hide sleeping in grass but the one you see in the box is only the shell he just shed:
bug day

 

One harmless scorpion.. believe me!

bug day
 

the common beetle:

bug day
 

larvae will never be disgusting again:

bug day
 

Its the daddy beetle who carries all the eggs around:

bug day
 

 Not indoor plants, they are all carnivorous hunters:

bug day
 

 This cone shaped death trap is probably the most misguiding:

bug day
 

 Not all beauty is naive, it eats a bug alive and slow:

bug day
 

 Spot the snake:

bug day
 

 Thats the first time I saw a birdie skeleton:

bug day
 

 and a tortoise one too:

bug day

Categories: bugs, california, family, fathering, fun, infotainment, my, outdoors | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The first thing I do with my tax refund and you should too!

Its not actually the ‘first’ thing  because I am doing this directly from my tax deductions without even receiving the refund. This time I used TurboTax and came across this wonderful feature to be able to donate directly from the refund while filing the returns itself.. And here is my fav list:

$100 -> Emergency Food For Families Fund

$195 -> State Parks Protection Fund/Parks Pass Purchase

$100 -> Keep Arts in Schools Fund

$80 -> America The Beautiful – National Parks Annual pass (ordered separately)

That takes a cool big chunk from my total refund but I am happy and thankful to God for giving me this opportunity to donate.  I never want to boast about myself but it just gives me good sleep if I do this:) and probably I can inspire a rich aahs to beat me in this someday:)

B

Categories: california, my, national parks, state parks, suggestions | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

hiking thru Bear Gulch caves at Pinnacles

A superb start to the Spring 2016 with a 3.2 mile hike in the deep talus caverns of the Pinnacle National Park in the Bear Gulch Nature Reserve. My 5 year old kids did this full loop along with my senior citizen mother-in-law and everyone liked the narrow passages laughing heartily squeezing thru the wet rugged rocks:)

Don’t forget your headlamps:   Moses Springs Trail -> Bear Gulch Cave Trail -> Rim Trail -> High Peaks Trail -> Bear Gulch Nature center;

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Categories: 2016, california, family, fun, hike, kids, life, my, outdoors, state parks, summer, trails challenge | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

real time lessons

Daddy is painting after a long time:) and his brief 5-minute lesson on drawing real time objects looks overly simple on paper but kids picked it up quickly and they even started drawing objects that are NOT displayed… If only you appreciate how difficult it is to imagine something in your mind and put it on paper whether its a painting or a write-up that you will spend those 5 minutes with your kids and give them a certain opportunity to open a new door in their minds:)

Its never too early to buy them easels..

Daddy's real-time-drawing lesson

Categories: drawing, family, fathering, fun, kids, life, me | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

wasted knowledge

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Categories: analysis, life, mind, my, philosophy | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

hiking Mount Diablo, California

15 miles of rocky, muddy, slippery terrain on a lonely, cloudy day to the summit at 3850 ft   and the hike route is so well planned that it covers all the park geography with a solid ascent and descent., probably why they call it “The definitive route to the summit at Mount Diablo“.. I enjoyed it thoroughly:).

Michelle Canyon VC -> Back Creek Trail -> Bald Ridge Trail -> North Peak -> Summit -> Juniper Campground -> Deer Creek Trail -> Michelle Canyon Road -> VC.


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Categories: 2016, california, fun, hike, my, outdoors, state parks, trails challenge | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

వే.ట.కూ.ర కాదు! … అంతకు మించి … తోటకూర! :)

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Categories: తెలుగు, food, fun, kitchen, life, my, suggestions, traditional recipes | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

Sunol wilderness hike

12 miles of sine curve trails under the scorching sun, a nice n hot challenge to your leg muscles, tiny purple grass flowers that are hardly 2-3 mm in diameter covering the stretch of a valley and an absolute aloneness with the nearest human at least a few miles away, not to mention the beast bullies who block your way and complicate things:).  This year’s first hike for the #trails #challenge #2016 #ebparks!

thats a lot of calories guy!

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yes yes true sine curves looking back

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funny tree? bouts of green branches😉

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be careful with the slopes

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to own just one such ranch house

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cave rocks — don’t dare to enter — one little famous landmark

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purple beauty cutie

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beast bullies.. they don’t give way.. you can’t detour because of the slopes.. nice.. um… guess who charged running!!

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god send lunch bench.. the 4 oranges I ate after 7 tough miles is surely one of my best lunches ever had

Categories: 2016, california, my, outdoors, state parks, trails challenge | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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@’😉😛
  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

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