Monday, June 20, 2011

I've Moved!

Folks- i have been working on creating a new blog using Wordpress - so please visit the new URL -

I need to create the auto re-direct- but till i can figure out the how to auto redirect and not crash my blog - i request you to please click here

Sunday, January 16, 2011

#southwest pilot holds plane for Traveler

I have read, from various sources, how Southwest is a people centric organization - and considering their stock symbol is LUV, I thought this was the most touching story for a long time. Kudos to the pilot.

I picked up this story from:

It’s easy to be an airline industry critic in an era of “no waivers, no favors” and fees on top of fees. It’s easy to paint airlines as heartless corporations that treat us like self-loading cargo.

But every now and then, you hear a story that turns you into an adoring fan. Like Nancy’s story.

Before I continue, I should mention a few things: Nancy is a faithful reader of this site, and I agreed to use only her first name because of the brutal nature of the crime and the age of the victim. Second, I’m not an emotional, John Boehner-type, but I can’t read her story without getting a little teary.

So you’ve been warned: Grab a tissue.

Last night, my husband and I got the tragic news that our three-year-old grandson in Denver had been murdered by our daughter’s live-in boyfriend.

He is being taken off life support tonight at 9 o’clock and his parents have opted for organ donation, which will take place immediately. Over 25 people will receive his gift tonight and many lives will be saved.

This morning, after only a couple hours sleep, my husband and I began to make all arrangements to get him to Denver to be with our daughter. He is currently on business in LA and is flying Southwest.

While his employer, Northrop Grumman, made arrangements to get his ticket changed so he could get to Tucson today (which he had to do in order to not spend any extra money) I called Southwest to arrange his flight from Tucson to Denver so he would be stepping off one plane and getting on another.

He has several free flights with them so I couldn’t really do it on the website. The ticketing agent was holding back tears throughout the call. I’m actually her step-mother and it’s much more important for my husband to be there than for me to be there.

In LAX, the lines to both check a bag and get through security were exceptional. He got to the airport two hours early and was still late getting to his plane.

Every step of the way, he’s on the verge of tears and trying to get assistance from both TSA and Southwest employees to get to his plane on time.

According to him, everyone he talked to couldn’t have cared less. When he was done with security, he grabbed his computer bag, shoes and belt and ran to his terminal in his stocking feet.

When he got there, the pilot of his plane and the ticketing agent both said, “Are you Mark? We held the plane for you and we’re so sorry about the loss of your grandson.”

The pilot held the plane that was supposed to take off at 11:50 until 12:02 when my husband got there.

As my husband walked down the Jetway with the pilot, he said, “I can’t thank you enough for this.”

The pilot responded with, “They can’t go anywhere without me and I wasn’t going anywhere without you. Now relax. We’ll get you there. And again, I’m so sorry.”

My husband was able to take his first deep breath of the day.

I don’t know any other airline that would have done this.

I’m speechless. Twelve minutes many not sound like a lot to you or me, but every second counts when you’re an airline. Southwest can turn an entire plane around in about 20 minutes, so 12 minutes is half an eternity.

I shared Nancy’s story with Southwest, and a representative said the airline was “proud” of the way the pilot had held the flight. Again, most airlines would punish an employee who holds up the line for any reason.

My Monday post is normally called, “Can this trip be saved?” But today I’m sharing a trip that was saved amid tragic circumstances by a compassionate pilot and an airline that supported his decision to hold a flight.

Good work, Southwest!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Chocolate Coffee moist cake

My first attempt at a moist cake, if i may say so myself, came out pretty well.

Here goes:

1 1/4 cup maida
2 eggs
1/2 cup milk (plus a little extra bsed on requirements)
1/2 cup oil (plus a little extra based on requirement)
4 tbps butter
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1tbsp coffee poweder
1.5tsp baking poweder
1.25cups sugar
2tsp Vanilla essence

white chocolate 25 gms - optional
dark chocolate 25 gms - optional

Add coffee, maida, cocoa. egg, oil, milk, essence, baking poweder and sugar. blend
heat the chocolate and mix - and put it into the mixture. add butter and blend

preheat over to 175degrees cent

transfer into tin and place in oven for 45mins or till knife comes out clean.


Friday, November 12, 2010

of broken bones and cycles

I couldnt figure out what i should put in the topic, but the very fact that i cracked up while cycling is somthing of importance.

10/10/10 - the Hercules City Challenge - organized by CRX Sports was supposed to be an exciting treasure hunt with clues and we had to go to the clues to get the next one, slated for the previous week, but due to some reason it got pushed to the 10th. I was all excited since i was preparing quite hard for it. the routine included a 20 odd km ride in the morning (as often as i could) a run in the evening and on weekends a 1-1.5km swim. i was happy with my fitness level, to the point i set my sights on riding upto yercaurd from salem the following weekend all this to get to my ultimate goal - coimbatore to ooty ride - 70kms of which 50 were uphill. The gradient was steep and not forgiving, but the chennai bikers had done it last year, and i was determined to do it. Why? I want to ride downhill from kotagiri to mettupallayalam - what a ride- crazy decent, 2nd only to the kalahati climb - which incedently was the other objective. Ride ooty - mysore and then come back by car / train / bus.

So, the flag off of the HCC was from adyar - a decent 20kms from home- at 545 am. So that means i needed to leave by 5 to do a good warmup and not exhaust myself before i got there. So wake up call at 430 from my wife, got ready, and just before i left i figured i should eat something and drank a half glass of milk. good thing. Switched off all the lgiths, fans, internet, and by the grace of god- wore a headband under my helmet. Finally got out by 515.

Started off, good pace, relaxed ride, decided to climb the bridges on the way - thats 2 steep "mini flyovers" Ala Govt of TN. reached the start by 550, a good ride, and all charged up. registered myself, set up the playlist and got in line.
was starting in group 5, so the last group. all groups left, and finally we took off. furiously pedaled down to the first check point - cofee day. While i approached, the guy came out and stuck out the clue, i was like wow- touch and go. took it - it read " the coolest cycle shop in mylapore" being a TI event, the only one is the BSA shop which i know. So started putting the clue into my pocket, I caught a glimpse of the speed breaker in front but didnt think much of it, one hand on the handle bar, and another in the pocket, and the next thing i know im falling.

toppeled, hit the ground, rolled and was out for a few split seconds. Shit! shit! this is not good. got up, moved my hands, the left shoulder was making a funny noise - click click...everytime i move. not good. shit shit! forget the bruises.. this was bad. moved my sholder- i could lift it- but with pain - atleast not a dislocation. there was one competitor who stopped to help me. Thank you! there was a shop outside which i fell. no one came forward to help , everyone was just looking at me.

the race organizer in the check point came running and helped me up. i just held my shoulder - witout moving it. crap! my race ws over. I asked them to bring the ambulance -cause i felt it was quite bad. jst hung around there, in a lot of pain, till finally the ambulance came. The guy sprayed a lot of volin - for what i dont know, i asked them to take me to the hospital.

to add to it, my phone was busted. i couldnt take out my wife's number and tell her. finally called my mom - nto the best thing- with sirens blaring and at 630 in the morning, being woken up is jolting. then called a friend to come and pick me up from Global hospital. They were the healthcare partners for this event. They took awesome care of me throughout this. the Xrays, medicines etc etc.

I must thank Global Hospital. Thank you! For the record i was like "ive never heard of global hospital" and went there expecting a small 25-30bed place - but man was i wrong. They are expanding to about 1000 beds and its HUGE!

So i was diagnosed with a broken collar bone, they first gave me some pain killers and stuff. Asked if i hit my head, since there was not bleeding or anything i was fine. the bruises and stuff were painful. The gloves saved my hands from getting scratched.

I was discharged and told that i need to just rest for the next 6week. crap! one stupid move and im out for such a long time!

The only good thing - lance armstrong also broke his collar bone!

So now its only recovery.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Of dinners with friends

Last evening was extremely pleasant. Took some time off, went for a nice concert and then went out with a group of folks from different nationalities.

What struck me was some of the things that we are Indians take for granted, which does not seem to feature in other cultures.

One thing that I have not been able to get my head around is the bill pay concept. So if you are going out as a group for dinner, each one orders something for themselves, and then pays for just that. Culturally, the continental dishes are platted, with one portion, but most indian dishes are shared with a few people.

IF you must do an ABC on this, then count the number of spoons of gravy, that you are taking, divide it by the total number of spoons of gravy that are available and cost of the dish, to get your contribution to the bill. And guess that goes for starters as well. But beyond that, it becomes and uncomfortable scenario where one says that they didnt eat. Anyways, it is something that I need to take time to understand, and comprehend.

Another thing, now this I am not to sure is an Indian hospitality thing or a personal thing, is dropping a person back. Well, if it on the way or a slight detour, I would in all fairness drop the person (I am not referring to male of female) back if it is late. But last evening saw something else. The fact that a person in the group, and not an indian, had a car and a driver, yet, he neither offered nor did anyone ask him to dropped. At 12am finding public transport would obviously be difficult, so given the fact that the driver is there and car is there, i would have assumed an extension to drop- but none came. What was strange was the lack of even enquiry on method of return. hmmm.

well, this is life.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Transfer of vehicles - Automobile Association of Southern India

TRANSFER OF VEHICLE Very often people buy or sell vehicle, but do not intimate about the transfer to the Registering Authority. This will create problems and it is illegal. Any such transfer has to be reported within 14 days of the transfer to the Registering Authority. If it is not so reported, the Transport Department will take legal action against both transferor and transferee.

The intimation should be done by sending Form 29. Further, the Transferee should register it within 30 days. Form 29 (in duplicate) and Form 30 have to be filled up and given along with original RC, valid insurance and valid emission under control certificate, along with fees of Rs. 131/- in case of four-wheeler and Rs. 61/- in case of two-wheeler. Address proof in the form of Ration card, or Passport or Voter’s ID card or LIC policy, is required. Compounding fee will be levied in case of delayed transfer. If the vehicle is under hypothecation, no objection certificate from the financier is also necessary and signature also on Form 29. In case of four-wheeler, the copy of the PAN card of buyer and seller are required.

Transport Department has released a press release in view of the increasing number of accidents, thefts etc. This is communicated to the members in view of its importance.

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

my mayonnaise

pretty excited about the 2nd attempt of mayonnaise this morning. The last time i made it, it was quite a disaster. too much lemon and not beaten enough.

but the 2nd attempt this morning turned to be quite nice. the magical recipe - the 222221

2 spoons of Mustard
2 eggs (whole)
2 teaspoons of sugar
2 pinches of salt
2 pinches of pepper powder
2 teaspoons of lemon juice
1 cup of oil

add everything into the blender, blend.. add 1/3 of the oil,
add another 1/3 blend again
and another 1/3 blend till thick.

pour into a salad- enjoy! :)

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