October 17, 2009 9:11 am

Diwali Greetings from White house

Filed under: Events,People,Rituals — ramsblog @ 9:11 am

It  is so nice to see a note of greetings from Prez Obama on the occasion of Diwali – Festival of Lights. such a fine gesture.


Fellow people – all who celebrate Diwali – Have a great time – Be safe – Happy Diwali.


July 5, 2009 6:11 am

July 4, Fireworks

Filed under: Events,Fireworks — ramsblog @ 6:11 am

We had been to a friend’s place on Saturday (4th) evening – met with couple of other families over dinner and walked down to watch the fireworks. It was a perfect spot to watch and was fairly closer compared to the other fireworks I had previously been to. Apparently, we are not allowed to light the fire crackers ourselves in our area, so was a good thing that the city organizes such events.

Here are some pictures captured during that 20 minutes of fireworks show…

IMG_7160 [640x480]

IMG_7163 [640x480]

I am yet to learn about night and light shots on our Canon ES camera, and I was not prepared to take good pictures for this event. It wasn’t enough time at that moment and I just turned to one of the pre-programmed options and clicked away a handful of pictures, and realized they weren’t really coming out the way I wanted.

 IMG_7165 [640x480] IMG_7168 [640x480]

IMG_7176 [640x480]

May 27, 2009 6:44 am

Host’s role in setting the stage…

Filed under: Art,Communication,Events,Interview,Professional skills — ramsblog @ 6:44 am

it does really matter to have a great host in any events – specially for presentations. All this while until a few years ago, I thought Host/Hostess at the presentation would only introduce the speaker and end the meeting as appropriate. However, Hosts do a lot beyond this. What other things Hosts perform.

–> Ensure the lighting is right for both presenter and the host
–> ensure speaker’s accessibility needs taken care
–> welcome and greet both speaker and the guests as they enter
–> talk to few early birds at the meeting, about the speaker
–> when presenter is already inside the room, ensure to give all the time he needs and not steal away their time
–> Provide absolutely great credibility to the speaker. The way people listen to the presenter, most of the time, also depends on how the speaker was introduced at the first place
–> after speaker ends the presentation, make a decent transition to either another speaker or if the meeting is being ended, help speaker make a great exit from the podium and conclude as appropriate

I started thinking about these more and more due to a recent experience at one of the events. These are the things the Host did and it was very very distractive to the audience. Most people in the audience also expressed their (dis-)satisfaction after the meeting that the host was wasting a lot of time on podium.

1. Laptop computer: Being technical savvy is great. having a computer in hand might make you look great. But it was at the same time very distractive. She had her introductory lines typed in. I am not sure if she was promoting Apple mac-book there 🙂 As she would come to the podium, she would also bring the computer over and try to adjust the microphone set so it doesn’t blocks her view to the computer screen. No, the computer was NOT used to project anything while she was at the podium. She would scroll down her notes, and apparently scroll down too much and not knowing where she had stopped and going back and forth before hundreds of people in the room.

oh, after introducing the speaker, the person would take the laptop aside and sit on the staircase and start doing something with computer again. I don’t know if that person realized, but since the room was dark except the podium spot, audience could see the host/hostess’ facial expression while being worked on the laptop computer there.

Moral: Technical gadgets are great, but ensure it does not distract you or the speaker and the audience

2. Being Nervous: Yes, not everyone was born with a boon of not having the stage fear. pretty much everyone has the butterflies in their stomach when they get on the podium. Audience was able to sense that the hostess was nervous a bit – and the self disclosure/disclaimer was also made about nervousness, but it doesn’t have to be told every few minutes the host/hostess is on podium. It only emphasizes more while he/she is on podium and takes away other thoughts and the flow while the nervousness keeps lingering in the mind and only those words are repeated over and over again.

Key: It is ok to disclose about nervousness once, but do not repeat the same again and again.

3. Time on Podium: Understood it is a great opportunity to be on stage before hundreds of people. But if you are a host, ensure you are not taking as much time as the speech would take. Do not spend too much time on the stage. K.I.S.S (Keep it Short and Simple)

5. Smooth Entry and Exit for speaker: Keep an introduction to an extent of providing positive credibility to the speaker and not make it pages and pages or hours and hours to it. Ensure there is an arrangement made to take the speaker from podium safely. There could be darker ambience towards the sides of the stage and speaker might need some help getting off from the bright light to the darker side.

6. Personal Stories: Give out your personal stories if it is appropriate or if it is absolute necessary and if you would like to share personal stories that provides credibility to the speaker, and your positive experience with the speaker or if it is some humor that you would like to share while speaker is on the way to the meeting, so that audience can be engaged with some entertainment.

7. Q&A: Facilitate question and answer session. At times Speaker might prefer to take questions offline and so mention about it. But do not take away the Q&A session and replace with your photo session with the speaker. Oh, Yes! this has happened at this recent event. Host was busy taking pictures with the speaker on the stage, and audience were left out, audience were disappointed for not having the Q&A session. Their response was, at least 2 to 4 questions would have been great instead of hosts taking pictures for 15 minutes on the podium. A short Q&A would have taken approximately about 10 to 15 minutes depending on the context.

It makes me think about these other perspectives now that I have been involved in Toastmasters program more and more and really helps to understand such Do’s and Don’ts for some of the meeting etiquettes.

May 20, 2009 7:02 am

Toastmasters: speech #10

wow! 9 speeches under Competent Communicator series are complete and one more to go to complete the Competent Communicator program with Toastmasters. I have been with Toastmasters.org for several months, it is really awesome that you would tend to learn so much about public speaking and moreover it also helps to gain the confidence and overcome the stage fear that we often develop as we grow up. Agreed, there are handful of people who fly out without any fear, but majority of us have those little butterflies in the stomach soon after we get on to the podium. Anyways, tomorrow is my 10th speech, and this will be part of a speak-a-thon that we have organized at our club. Series of speeches in a two-hour slot. this will be fun…


Technorati Tags: ,

May 1, 2009 12:11 am

Surprise all day!…

Filed under: Events,Personal — ramsblog @ 12:11 am

One morning, a few weeks ago, 4yr old came up to my bed with a song – ” happy birthday to you…. happy birthday daddy, …. !! ” woke up with a surprise – she gave me a big bear hug.

We were about to head out to work/school, my wife said, she was going to be a little late to work and asked me to leave my cell phone, since her phone had stopped working the previous day. 

While at work, I didn’t go directly to my office, but worked from a different building to be able to get the work done and we were behind on our deliverables. I received few greeting emails from my team. Well, it was not usual in our team, but interesting to note the change. I received one IM enquiring about my lunch and if we could go out for lunch. I had to gracefully refuse since I had to catch up on my tasks. Not that i was excited about these, but a skeptic mind says, what’s happening?

Stopped by the school to pick up my daughter later that evening. imageMy wife was at the school as well. We all came home, as I stepped in, it was so good to be surrounded by the aroma of ambode, sabbakki payasa and so on. Proceeding further, there was a beautiful wall note “Happy Birthday”.





image  Hover my eyes around and noticed a beautiful cake on the dining table with strawberry toppings. (my 4yr old had picked up all the strawberries by the time i took this picture). It was a delicious home made cake.

Apparently L’ had taken a day off and prepared bunch of these for me. I was caught by a surprise.

So, that’s a “Cut the cake” moment. Happy Birthday song again.


While eating the cake, Mom and Daughter gave me a big box neatly wrapped with a gift wrapper image imageand insisted me to open right away. Obliged and opened it and to my surprise that I had never expected, there were these. Although I knew about the shirt/trousers, but another little box hidden underneath was a fabulous Canon DigitalSLR Black – [link] my favorite, a toy that I have always been longing to buy, but never had made up my mind to buy one. 





     Linking to picture on canonxs-site: http://www.canonxs.com/canon_xs_files/canon_xs.jpg





Now the dinner time, apparently i don’t have the pictures of all the food, it was yumm.. delicious. On top of all these, there was also a plantain leaf, so we eventually had our dinner on a plantain leaf after a long time.   It is very rare that we find this leaf around here.
(picture from wikipedia: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/a/af/Lunch_from_Karnataka_on_a_plantain_leaf.jpg/230px-Lunch_from_Karnataka_on_a_plantain_leaf.jpg)

April 27, 2009 12:42 am

ah! finally…

Filed under: Events — ramsblog @ 12:42 am

finally, registered my tissue type with marrow.org today. As was mentioned on Marrow.org; or other related websites, it was only a 5 to 10minutes task to fill in the form, and provide the cheek swab samples at the donor drive.

step0: go over to a drive location
step1: fill in the form with your name, phonenumber, date of birth, and mailing address information
step2: provide the cheek sample with a provided swabs
step3: keep it back in the envelope and submit the kit

Hoping to help out such drives in our own area here ….


April 24, 2009 11:09 am

Marrow Drive in Seattle Area

Filed under: community,Events — ramsblog @ 11:09 am

Upcoming “Be the Match” marrow donor registry events in Seattle area:

04/29/2009     Seattle ,       WA     Details

4/26/2009       HTCC temple, Bothell        WA    Details [1] [address/directions]

I have missed several such drives before and missed one 2 days ago. I will be there at the temple on 26th.

more information on finding drive events in your area – SAMAR

January 26, 2009 1:04 am

Gang Cei Fa Cai – Happy New Year to my Chinese friends…

Filed under: Events — ramsblog @ 1:04 am

A new year in China nationals starts today. Chinese years go by different symbols for each year and this year it happens to be Ox. The other day, I heard on the local radio, that it is so timely with all the economic issues we have worldwide, the new year with Ox, meaning praying god to give all the strength we need to bear this economic burden and cruise through with this tough situation. Ox is considered to be fairly stronger animal and helps farming the crops.

(image: http://www.theholidayspot.com/chinese_new_year/images/ox.jpg)

Few years ago, when I called a co-worker to greet him on this occasion and somewhat (wrongly) pronounced this phrase (Gang Cei fa Chai!) and in return he suggested me to also say “hum bou na lai” –> meaning, bring me the lucky money. 🙂


I remember the new year celebration when i lived in Singapore a few years ago. Few of our friends went around the city the previous day after work. It was a bit late when I finally reached the place where I lived. There was a lot of crowd at the center of the city and the residential areas were quite calm. Apparently when I reached the place where I lived, it was fairly empty. I needed to buy some eatables for that night and the following day, apparently no stores were open all day. There were very few buses being operated on that day as well. What I heard later on was, often people either stay home or go outside for food. I also heard that they would not cook food on that day but all things are prepared the previous day itself.

Parades are one of most attractive events during this time in Singapore.

I also heard on a local radio a week ago, that this is the day they pray a Kitchen God who resides right by the Cooking range / stove. Pray the god offer lots of food and wine to ensure the Kitchen God would convey all the right things about the residents to the superior god in heaven.

listening to some of these stories or traditions, I realize there are many rituals or customs somehow relates to what we do as part of our traditions in India. Southern part of India will celebrate the new year around March or April when a start of Hindu Calendar (Chaitra month) starts.

Here are some resources:

about Chinese new year: http://www.theholidayspot.com/chinese_new_year/
on wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chinese_New_Year
Activities / superstitions around new year: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chinese_New_Year#Superstitions_during_the_New_Year_period
ugadi http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ugadi

Technorati Tags:

January 21, 2009 10:32 pm

Appears to be a good start…

Filed under: Events,leadership — ramsblog @ 10:32 pm

President of USA appears to be on a great start at his office on Day 1. It sounds like a good move with middle-east peace initiative and hopefully end those wars.


Picture: http://msnbcmedia1.msn.com/j/MSNBC/Components/Photo/_new/090121-obamawh-hnmed-930a.rp420x400.jpg

January 19, 2009 10:09 pm

Presidential Inauguration – Technology cycle

Filed under: Events,Tech — ramsblog @ 10:09 pm

Wired magazine has a great article about how the Presidential inaugurations were celebrated in terms of technology back then and now. Recently when I heard several people mention about the inauguration webcast and watching the celebration at the community gatherings etc, I was thinking about how such events were communicated/conveyed to the people when there was no web or Television. Here I notice this article gives an overview timeline from technology aspect.

Also take a look at this slideshow here


Next Page »

Blog at WordPress.com.