Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Baker Beach

Away from the city...

Another Saturday;
and another opportunity to explore the place!

I'm posting pics from this latest trip here, some of which are pure scenic, like this one. There are more coming up, while I am deciding which is the best place to put it online. Till now I have been using Yahoo photos, yeah outdated I know. The photos were getting compressed and they lost their quality. So I am contemplating on Flickr. Will soon post the remaining pics there.

Before I begin, here's a tip: San Francisco is a large city. Take a day pass ($11) and you can hop on any Muni, Trolley, or Cable car for the whole day. Its a good way to see the city real quick. The route numbers 29, 28 and 18 are quite scenic, although I didn't try all the routes..I guess there would be better ones too.

I decided to do some trekking this time. Went to Baker beach, on the west coast of SFO. Its one of the beaches that has a long way you can tread all to the Golden Gate bridge. Also a good view of the mystic (also misty) pacific ocean. 'Twas an opportunity to look from near end of the world (virtually) and stare into the vastness and beyond the International Date line, to Asia.

Heard it had interesting terrain, and was right on that. Beautiful hills, though not steep enough, lead directly into the pacific ocean. Scenic winding roads adorn the hills like a necklace basking in the glory of sun gleaming into the waters nearby.

So I did eventually do some trekking, climbing small hills and traversing easy routes. But I loved challenging rock climbs. And I got that just here.
At one point I almost made a mistake. Climbing up was easy. But getting down was real tough, especially with moving sand. I almost got myself killed atop this small climb. One slip and I'd be dead meat.

Somehow, I did manage to climb down. And when I did, the folks at the shore applauded and I flashed my embarrassed-sheepish smile. It was funny. I never knew it was dangerous trekking terrain. I simply fought my way up. And once I got there, I had trembling feet and moving sand beneath. A look down would kill what's left of my consciousness. I did manage to put on a brave face though and also took some snaps from above. God helped me, and I was back safe land. Why on earth did I attempt all this? The challenge was good, the terrain was inviting. The thrill and real scare made it memorable. So no complaints ;-)

Well, that's about the trekking part...Here are some more pics from there..

Beautiful; just beside the shore.

Quite Poetic..Steps..Ocean and beyond. Your first step counts..

Lonely warrior returning from the unknown...


Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Nobody's world.

Imagine ...
  • you have totally failed in your job...,
  • that you stand no more scope in your career...
  • Your future is bleak -
  • you're gonna loose almost all your earnings..
  • ..and you have nobody close to share your grief are an orphan...

Give it some time - quite some time (maybe hours). Talk to yourself and allow the feeling to sink down.

At first it would be really disheartening and heart breaking. Keep talking to yourself to find an answer.

How do you feel? Its not catharsis. But its nice.
Nice to know that you are a nobody, and that actually everybody is a nobody..and that what you are striving for is foolish, and...


Saturday, March 11, 2006

Google calculator

Ok, I may be the last person to know this, but the thrill of finding out yourself is something unique. So while that feeling lasts for me, let me jot it down here.

Google can be used as a cool calculator! You can enter any (yes ANY) calculator related stuff on and it will get you the result - be in scientific computation, currency conversion, what not..!

Sample tries:

Monday, March 06, 2006

SFO part 2

Here's another day's out travelogue in SFO, complete with pics for those interested.

This was my second visit to downtown and I could feel the pulse of the city better. Boy, its big! Every spot is so happening. So modern and quite fascinating. Theres a lot of variety in the kind of poeple you'l meet. I remember awe-ing at the big city streets of Dubai in my childhood. But I never thought I'd see a place this huge in every sense. I guess its second only to New York.

O.k, coming to my latest trip..I thought I'd try the world famous San Francisco cable cars all the way downtown to Fisherman's Wharf. It takes you across really steep hills going up and down. Its a nice ride. The crowd today was amazing. There were all kinds of people just out to enjoy the day. The vintage cable cars are quite fast for its age.

The other highlight of the day was a huge bunch of deep baritoned sea lions and seals awaiting my arrival at peir 39, complete with all the sound effects of their welcoming snorting and barking! Well, I didn't know, but they do give off a real barking sound. And today I saw about a hundred off them in the orchestra. Some of the people watching just joined the show....(the sea lions were better)

I had been to Fisherman's Wharf last time. But the place, the views and the crowd made me come back. Its a fabulous place with shops, restaurants, scenic bay views and lot of rides. Lot of street performers (wish I could be one) dancing and making music for money. There were also some who came there just to vent their feelings. Like a man I saw singing ballads, a red-head who just yelled at the top of her voice and using her violin in some frenzied ballet, created some sort of fusion music..all in all it was a place to be. My favourite was this person who played on deep flutes (the ones they use for Sufi music). It was so soulful and I wished I could lay in the grass there all day listening to that music.

Lot of crab eateries all around the place. Lot of shops on souvenirs and just about everything. Lot of rides and for the happy hour folks, a really jiving hard rock cafe! Aquariums, pools, rides, just about everything. People showing public displays of affection(!!), people proposing, and what not. Its fun. You'l find just your kind of place there. Oh and not to mention, lots of Indians too with the elderly gaping at, I guess the culture shock for whom it hadn't mellowed down yet! I just hung around the area a little longer and did some shopping for the folks at home.

And then I made my way back, yup in the cable car again. This time another route. And hey, what did I find!! A..secret, staring at me right in front of me. I did hang around a while though, trying hard not to be noticed and taking a peek inside, except when I was directly in front of the doorway an elderly dame just opened the door and walked out queering at my interesting pose, now frozen, looking inside. I walked the other way.

Well, the place I was then was the Union Square, a good place to hang out with friends. With artists painting potraits, all around the square. I hopped into Macy's, a high end shopping store, looking to buy a belt. The Calvin Kleins and DKNYs with their price tags made it just a frivolous visit with me rushing to the door. Duh!

Now dusk hit me sooner than I expected and it was time to take my train back to Redwood city where I stay. It was dusk. And I had planned to go to a Sushi place near my house for dinner!

Coming to my dinner - Sushi sucks (depending on which you have). Raw fish with some intoxicating sauce almost made me puke. I washed it down with some beverage. I tried oyster for starter and it was good. One thind I really loved was chicken teriyaki a dish similar to our chicken biriyani, with more chicken and more rice. The foods generally have a taste of vinegar and soy sauce, which when taken in excess is just not right for the first time. I tried using chopsticks to blend into the culture, but I found myself ordering a fork after having made enough fool of myself at the table.

So that's it from another round of updates travelling. Not to mention I'm in full awe with the city and striving not to get too attached. Until I get another time to visit the city, thought I'd pen today's experiences, first hand for those who missed...

Take care folks & have a good time. Adios!

As always, more photos here.

Friday, March 03, 2006

Evolutionary Collectivism

Here's something I scribbled as a reaction to, well something! 'Twas in my email drafts for a long time.

My idea of evolutionary collectivism

I see the present world filled with madness. All energies wasted on materialistic
and unyielding activities totally unproductive to the development of freedom and
eternal happiness. Those deeds that are so entwined with self praise, pleasures
and self empathy that feeds itself to glorify its presence as a necessity and a fashion.

While the unattended truth lurches in the dark corners of the background awaiting
the right soul kind enough to lend it a hand and show it some light. People have to
reinvent themselves..there's no other go. They have to seek out the real nature
in them to collectively produce ever-shining light, if we have to have lasting peace
and dignity in the society.

Everybody collectively - the media, the schools, the employers, the government -
should understand the consequences of proceeding like the present and the huge
pit we are digging ourselves beneath us unknowingly. One day its certain the
ground will give way and we will all fall into this pit we created ourselves.
We have to hold back.

Resist the quarrying into human values, search for the holistic pursuits and
feed the pure thoughts to cover up the nation of muck we have dug up.

Guess it was some bad day :)