I’ve been listening…

Thanks for all the comments for my burst of posts. Its been really helpful and I’ve been listening to it to. One of the comments received by email was that I need to add some life to these posts and that would mean some pictures. But I don’t have anything thats even worth mentioning. Then again, this was a good opportunity to take one of my old photographs and do some post-processing on it using GIMP. As I said in an earlier post, the only processing I’ll be doing is cropping and adding borders. From another comment, I also included a watermark to them. So here is my first “processed” photo on the blog. Hopefully it’ll add some life.

Cosmetic changes…again!

I know…here he goes again with changes to the layout. I just couldn’t take the newspaper-ish format any more. Wanted little bit of more space in the posting area. Tried all my attempts in figuring out which CSS element controls what, but eventually found out that without the corresponding GIFs, it’ll look pathetic. If I had the comments in the code, I wold have saved some time 🙂

Did some googling around and found this post on the blogger guide. The steps outlined are pretty simple. The GIFs can be used from his site for free. And the most important part is that I get to have a larger area for the posts. So I’ve modified the template changes and I see myself sticking to this one for quite a long time. Thanks to ids for his steps and gifs.

The only other thing I need to change is the font of the posts. That’ll need some help from my more web crazy friends 🙂

DIY: Cardboard Laptop Stand

Since many of us keep ordering stuff online and land up with huge cardboard boxes. Some of them gets used while you are moving or storing junk in the garage, but the others can be put to use to hold a laptop. Here is a nice method of making a cardboard laptop stand. Give it a shot and see how it goes.

Books

There used to be a time when I did pay $135 for excess baggage and the bag just contained all my books. Off late, I’ve been happy just reading things online, but some times I do miss the old method of having a book in the hand and sipping a hot coffee. With my limited selections of keeping the books I like, I still do end up in having quite a lot and with a toddler around, its a challenge to keep them all together in the book shelf.

The idea posted on this blog seems very interesting. Not sure when I’ll be able to drill them, but its definitely worth a try.

New Look

Just changed the template of the site to something that I found on the web. Seems to be interesting (for now atleast). Will use this for couple of weeks and then decide the fate of it.

UPDATE: Just couldn’t take that look any more. So picked another default templates available and this seems to be a lot better.

Nemesis: New found joy!

Its been almost a year that I’ve been playing tennis ball cricket for a team called Nemesis. The team takes part in the CircBay tournament which is held twice a year. I’ve also enrolled for the leather ball league team, but due to my shoulder injury I’m no good there. Nemesis has been very kind to have me as a player though I haven’t been performing on the field.

Nemesis has always been managed very professionally. At the end of last season, another wonderful thing happened. All the players decided that we’ll contribute the money (leftovers from the team’s fund, prize etc) to charity. An orphanage in India was chosen and in Jan-2009 the money was handed over to them by Rohan Pai. The photos were really touching and it can bring a tear or two to anybody. Rohan has also written an update to it on CricBay and you can read it here.

So its not just weekend fun cricket time, but also helping others who are in need! Go Nemesis!!

Personal Finance Management

For a long time I’ve been using plain old spreadsheets to keep track of my personal finance using OpenOffice Calc. Just yesterday stumbled upon this nice tool GnuCash. As per what I’ve read on it, it pretty much does what Quicken or Microsoft Money does, but a lot lighter. Another plus point that I see is that you can run it on multiple platforms (pretty soon I’ll be migrating to Ubuntu). So I’ll have give this one a shot and from the looks of it, you got to know some amount on bookkeeping to realize the potential of it 🙂

PHS/SPCA II

As mention in my earlier post on PHS/SPCA, I finished my new volunteer orientation. The event lasted for about 2 hrs and started with a tour of the campus. They showed us different areas where the animals are sheltered – including the wild animals, followed by a short video presentation on the history of PHS.

I learnt a new thing about dogs which are kept as pets. While growing up I used to remember seeing quite a lot of posters about missing dogs/cats nailed to the trees. I used to always wonder whether they would found or not. It seems that these days, even if your pet looses it way to your home, you still have a very bright chance of getting it back. The catch is that it has to be found or taken to a humane society.

Once a dog/cat is found, it is immediately screened for micro chips in them. These are…as the name suggests micro chips implated into the animal. It carries a digital signature with the help of which it can be returned to its home. You can read more about it here.

As the event was coming to an end, I had to hear the sad part; the dog training assistant was completely filled up. So instead of going back with nothing, I signed up for a post in Behavior & Training department. So I’ve one more orientation scheduled on April, 16th before I can actually get started with it. So my wait to be with the dogs continues…

Raju!

When I started my work for Oracle India in 2000, we were the first group of DBAs hired for support work. We pretty much joined at the same time and did most of the things together. For a long period of time, we never felt we were working and the atmosphere was more like that of college. It was during these times that the best work got done (without anybody paying attention or trying hard for it). The work just happened magically. Everybody was learning new things, diagnosing new issues, sharing with others and getting the kicks out of finding solutions to problems. I really had a blast of a time out there. I can go on and write more on it, but would rather save that for another post 😉

During that time, many of us got close enough to become friends. Sandeep (known as Raju for some of us) is one of them. You might wonder as to why would somebody give a nickname of ‘Raju’ for him. To cut a long story short, it was he who fed us with that name day in and out. Every time we met, he would start by saying “Kya Raju…”. Pretty soon we started calling him Raju and that’s how we refer to him even today. He was a well informed guy too. You can talk to him on a variety of topics and he would be stuff to discuss.

Raju moved to Singapore and has been having a wonderful time out there. The best part of it is that he shares his views/tips on http://www.icare2share.com/. You’ll find very informative write-ups out there and I’m sure you’ll enjoy them.