Thursday, July 30, 2009

My 2 cents to save the planet

Most of us use liquid soap in the washroom to wash hands and throw away the bottle once we think the soap is over. But last week when my wife poured water to the bottle closed the lid and shook it vigorously, I was amazed with the amount of soap still left in the bottle that I was about to throw away. Yes the soap was very watery but trust me there was enough soap in a small amount of soap water to clean my hands perfectly. From the little experiment we did last week, the extra water+soap mixture has lasted more than a week in our washroom.

So, next time when you think the liquid soap in the washroom is over, think again,

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Friendly Canadian freeways

Driving along freeways in Canada I noticed these "NEW" signs on speed limit changes near road construction areas. Either the Canadians are really fast in building the roads or they are really gentle and want to be nice to their people. Eitherways I loved these signs.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Mysore Anand in Austin

Austin Kannadigas were completely blown away by standup comedian Mysore Anand. He gave a 2hr program last Sunday in Austin. He danced, he sang, he performed mimicry and he performed his trademark cricket commentary. We were greatly amused when he performed his own version of evolution of dance. Most of us were pleasantly surprised when he sang a song. I don't have a background in music so can't comment on the raaga and all but all I want to say is it sounded really pleasant. All in all it was wonderful and one of the best shows for kannadigas in Austin this year. At the end of the program none of us wanted to leave and we had to be kicked out by the organizers.

The program was organized by Austin Kannada Sangha, kudos to them for organizing such a beautiful event. I only wished there were more people in the audience.

Monday, July 06, 2009

Niagara - water everywhere

As noted in my previous blog entry we made a trip to Niagara Falls. Here is a travel log of the same.

We flew into Toronto, Canada; the flight was cheaper to Toronto than any place near Niagara Falls inside US. After some delay in the flight at Dallas and some confusion regarding location of rental car office we reached our hotel at 11:30PM on Saturday night.
On Sunday we had our breakfast at A&W burger place and that gave the first taste of Canadian way, unlike US the fountain drink and coffee were not unlimited but were rationed. There was a 13% sales tax and the food in general was expensive.
After breakfast we started driving to Niagara Falls, thanks to our GPS we took the toll road even though there was no need for it, the weather was pretty damp and it was drizzling. I was hoping the weather would clear away and there will be sunshine but no such luck.
Once we reached near the Niagara parkway I was amazed by the number of people, I have never seen so many people at one place barring Time Square NY. There were all kinds of people from all over the world. As it was drizzling one of the first things we did was to buy an umbrella and then we started walking to the falls. The view of the falls was quite amazing, the gorge wasn't too tall but the amount of water flowing was phenomenal The drizzle and the water sprinkling from the falls made our Canon camera malfunction a bit but it got better over time.
We first took “Maid of the Mist” tour, we all got dressed in blue rain coats and we climbed into a big ship. The ship took us near the American falls first and then headed towards the horse shoe falls. When we got near the falls the water was no longer a mist but pouring on us from all over the place and needless to say we could have been completely drenched, thanks to the blue uniform just our shoes and trousers were drenched. We couldn't keep our eyes open for more than a few seconds because of splashing water. The sound of the millions of gallons of water falling down 150ft or so is amazing. The experience was wonderful and worth every single penny we paid for it. We were hungry by the end of the trip and ate some crappy food at the restaurant near maid of the mist tour.
Next we went to the "Journey Behind the Falls” tour", this tour actually takes us 120ft below and gives us the opportunity to see the falls from the bottom. They have built a tunnel that is 650ft long and has 3 different look outs. The very first look out was the best which let us go outside to open air and watch the falls and we could see the falls from the bottom looking up. The other two are just name sake and not any view there. Again the experience was wonderful, I think we spent nearly half an hour to 45 minutes watching the falls from the bottom and still didn't want to leave the place. I came across some interesting facts while walking through the tunnel, supposedly the water flowing through the horse shoe area every minute is enough to fill a million bath tubs or so. The rate of erosion of the horse shoe was 10ft/year till beginning of 20th century and now due to engineering it has reduced to 1ft for every 10 years.
We were wet and soggy by the end of the trip and hence we decided to head back to the hotel and come back in the evening to watch the Niagara illuminated and weather permitted watch the fireworks.
We started from the hotel in the night after having dinner at place called Mucho Burrito (excellent Quesadilla), it rained, sorry it poured but we are optimists we drove with the hope that the rain will go away but it pretty much poured till we reached the falls. We lost our way and instead of searching our way looking for the falls we went to Skylon Towers (took us 775ft above the falls). The view of the illuminated Niagara Falls from the top was really gorgeous and to our pleasant surprise at sharp 10:00PM they started the fireworks. The fireworks were a coordinated effort between the Canadian side and American side. It was a short five minute one but was really great.
All in all day one was a great success.