secret

Travel log: Six days in SoCal

Roadtrips in Southern California are sure a true mix of technology and nature. 2 days in Los Angeles, 2 days in Joshua Tree National Park and 2 more days in Legoland gave us a perfect blend of fun, infocation and entertainment.

Day-1:

what else goes first? The Universal Studios, yey.  Start early if you are visiting for the first time because you need to catch up with a lot of rides. And if its December-31st, then you would get to enjoy live music and frenzy crowd dancing until midnight and finish it with a brief but amazing fireworks.

Day-2:

Here you have a really lot of options. We went to the Science Museum for a leisure day of infotainment. Don’t miss the IMAX movie experience, its one of the biggest screens in the world.  You may prefer to stroll among the exhibits, but let kids roll all day and tire them with some science 🙂 You may drive to the BAPS swaminarayan temple if you have spare time and energy in the evening.

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Lotus Pond — BAPS Swaminarayan Temple, LA

Do you have the heat image of your family? :P

Do you have the heat image of your family? 😛

Day-3,4:

Drive to the Joshua Tree National Park, to slow down your watch and mind. Mesmerize yourself with a million stars in the sky and a zillion cacti on the ground :). The skull rock is silly but together with one of its kind — cholla cactus garden — would make a day full of fun for your kids. I think the baby cholla cacti  are some of the cutest in their category, no wonder they are called the “teddy bear cholla” 🙂 We did our first exotic hike of the year on the “hidden valley trail”,  with tall boulders all around, walk by the world-famous climbing destination the “Burrito rock” and of course watch your kids jump, climb and run in every direction. Its important to keep them on the trail, watch the plants and other micro organisms.  Test your leg muscles too and your shoe grip. There are no cabins inside the park, only campgrounds but there are many hotels just outside the park entrance.   If you are an astro enthusiast, then you are in the right place. Just go out after dark and grab yourself an experience of a life time.

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At the “Hidden Valley Trail” head

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It takes to become a Junior Ranger.

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Ranger’s check point

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Cactus cactus lots of cactus

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Skull Rock

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Cholla Cactus Garden

Day-5,6:

LegoLand. This is a place that sure entices every kid with a lifetime of memories. Their Lego characters coming live, trivial but funny rides and lots of walking and excitement around.

Legoland -- you can never leave without buying something :P

Legoland — You can never leave without buying something in that shop.

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Hero Factory 🙂

Bonus:

They say the roadtrip between SFO and LA would take at least a week if you are serious about all the places in between, thats so very true. But when you are doing it for the first time, don’t miss the Carrizo Plain National Monument and the Soda Lake.

Watching the San Andreas Fault stretch a hundred miles with your naked eye  leaves you in awe.

The Petroleum Highway and the thousands of “Oil Derricks” swinging like giant dolphins doing Sine curves will bring smile onto your face and explains something that drives that metal body under your steering wheel.  The “driving buds” in your brain would sure get some satiation 🙂

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Thats one grand plain and my next campground for star gazing 🙂

thats my best possible shot at the San Andreas Fault

thats my best possible shot at the San Andreas Fault — it stretches hundreds of miles on the West coast… Just from the Soda Lake with a good wide-angle lens, you can capture at least a few miles of it.. An iphone camera doesn’t do any justice to that spectacular view 😦

bumblebee on the south bed of Soda Lake

Bumblebee at the south bed of Soda Lake

Road in Carrizo Plain approaching Soda Lake south bed

Road between Taft and Carrizo Plain National Monument

Petroleum Highway & the Oil Derricks

Petroleum Highway — thousands of Oil Derricks

Right, thats all. There are many other places worth your time :).. Just start driving first.

thanks for reading.
B

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Categories: California, car, family, fun, hike, infotainment, kids, national parks, outdoors, roadtrips, secret, travel | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Experiment :: 30 days of my “Social absence”

It may sound crazy or silly, but yes it happened to me.

I was “connected” too much and it started suffocating me with overwhelming flow of incoming messages.

In the age of facebook, whatsapp, hipchat, snapchat, slack, linkedin and google+, its easy to grow your online circles , start liking groups of your interest, subscribe to the endless RSS feeds of choice and bury yourself with tons of data.  I never thought social networking can be so suffocating.  And you know what? I am not a “power user” of these networks. Just a normal guy with usual circles and casual interactions.. And if I experienced such a flood of data, I can image what happens to people with thousands of friends and hundreds of groups.. My phone was vibrating almost all the time 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

So I thought I should take a break.

I deleted all my social network accounts and went into online-oblivion.. for 30 days.

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And not surprisingly, not many noticed my absence.  As I said, I am not a power user. Few might have frowned at seeing me go, but you know people dropping out accidentally is so common so they just ignored.  One friend has gone to an extent to drag me into one group so badly that he added another ‘balu’ in his contacts ( I don’t blame him, no one remembers phone numbers any more).

Thats all. Nothing much. That PROVED one thing very clearly.

My absence doesn’t really matter much.

All that constant flow of incoming messages that gave me an immense sense of belonging, all the phone vibrations that demanded my attention and gave me a false feeling of importance, all that hype around an illusory possessiveness that cared so much to notify me of so many happenings… all that everything washed off… in 30 days.

Now, I came back and activated all my accounts silently. I now know the core circles where I actually belong. I will see how many people will actually read this and care to add me back to the groups because my number is now active.  Lets just wait and see :):p

And hey, what happened in these 30 days? what did I do productively in the absence of a constant stream of connectivity? Thats suspense for now .. and thats the concept of my next post 🙂

Thanks for reading. I encourage you to do the same experiment and realize your true connections and also use that time to realize and prove your true potential, because you won’t have as many distractions.

Happy experimenting.

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Categories: experiments, fun, life, me, online-life, philosophy, secret, society, suggestions, urban, world | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

why men love their cars than women?

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Ahem! … I finally figured out why Men like their cars more than Women..

  • Because a car carefully ‘listens’ to the driver, simply follow his command actions without a hesitation;
  • Tries to comfort him all the time with only the “possible/available” resources;
  • He can lower the windows anytime for fresh air to stroke his hair affectionately and solace him “silently”;
  • He can click a button any time to know where his car is;
  • He can drink a beer while still sitting inside the car;
  • … and many more.. Please add if you have any points.

WARNING: The above logic doesn’t apply to your ladylove. In fact, Love is always beyond logic, mortals!

Thanks for reading.

B

Categories: car, cars, life, philosophy, secret, suggestions, travel | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

great words from a great cook

Listening to the famous Chef Thomas Keller yesterday in the campus was so inspiring. Wanna know what lead him from a dishwasher to SEVEN grand Michelin Stars? #goosebumps

organization; efficiency; critical feedback; repetition; rituals; team work;

It was a certain feast for me when he explained each of these that gives me little more clarity in grasping where men fail whatever their field of work is, how teams flounder however ambitious their goals are, and in fact why success dates only a few.

B

Categories: analysis, great men, office, secret | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

3 D’s that made me remain firm

Desire, Determination & DrudgeryI personally devised, tested, implemented, succeeded & started suggesting these 3 D’s. Let me explain:

DESIRE: What is this? OR if I know what it is then what should I desire?

DETERMINATION: If what I desire is clear, how should I get it? how at the earliest?

DRUDGERY: Why should I make myself a slave of chasing my own Destiny? Is it the fourth ‘D’ that exists between my present & my future?

I don’t know how people devise their career but I am clear on my own career path and I have kept only these 3 things in my mind. I first focussed on seeing myself as an employee in Yahoo. Very few people know that the 20 months that followed were so intense and consuming that I almost forgot the external world. Having clarity on my own SWOT that I only know what extra bite I have taken to reach where I am now. One may find my term ‘drudgery’ a little confusing but I substantiate it very strongly that until I became the slave of my own desires and unless I forgot everything else, that I couldn’t have gotten the confidence to face that one final interview on 8th August, 2007.

And now, I am a happy part of the Yahoo family. And do you think I am sleeping peacefully, relishing the weekends…..?

No, I want to become a ‘PARANOID’ now. You will soon see me so.

🙂 All the best for both of us.

Categories: me, secret | Leave a comment

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