Monday, October 26, 2015

a walk in the fall

I thought I would get back to the blog after a considerable break -- This is Cosby & I on our evening walk

Thursday, September 6, 2012

& on to Venice

.. with the camera precariously balanced on the opposite side of the bridge we took a quick picture as we landed on the main island of old Venice.
.. the two large boats are the "vaporati" or water buses-- the main public transit system in Venice. Typically you would expect that these boats would have a max capacity after which the boat could go under --- BUT -- apparently there is no such limit-- the boats keep afloat no matter what and life moves on
...One of the 4500 bridges in Venice that spans the network of canals that criss-cross Venice
.. as one would park his car on the drive , residents of Venice tether their boats in front of their homes
.. the island of Murano in sight ( I wonder if they named the Nissan SUV after this island?)
. what can I say-- its a great place to stroll down their many walkways and shop for trivia that look great but .. ( I will shut up before i get killed)
.. there was not much for Antrix & Aayush to do at Murano & they were eager to get back to the main island -- time was ticking away .. > next Milano> Tirano> & on to Switzerland

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

The Amalfi Coast

By far the most scenic and beautiful spot I have visited so far-- The Amalfi Coast
This is a scene I stared at for quite some time and then again at dawn as the sun came up.. words cannot do justice
its an hours boat ride from Sorrento di Piano to Amalfi (pronounced Amaa-lffi) on the Tyrrhenian sea coast- some excellent pics are now on my hard drive-- come over to see more..
this is the central plaza in Amalfi -- a very cheery and beer-ie place-- lots of patio's to eat on
-- the entrance to the central market area in Amalfi-- the sea on the south and the plaza to the North
some where between the hotel and the central plaza.. a nice walk..
.. the Italians really know how to make their pizza's-- we ate a lot of them and for once just ignored the voice of caution-- we were on a vacation.. > Venice OR is this enough?

Monday, September 3, 2012

The Vatican & Pompei

To build up a sense of wonder and anticipation for a visit to the Vatican you must see the movie The Da Vinci Code & the Lost Symbol. It adds to the excitement and thrill of walking the hallowed city..
.. from the top of the dome of St Peter's basilica can see St Peter's sq and the city of Rome beyond. In the middle ground is the River Tiber ( remember Horatio holding the bridge -- I think it was on the Tiber-- am I right?)
Soldiers of the Swiss National Guard who serve as the Papal guards. Many years back I would have loved to get a hold of their Kangols (berets)-- in fact it still interests me . These are Hans & Adam who seem to be guarding Anita ( temporarily). I asked them if I could meet with the Pope - they answered very curtly- No!!
. a view of the balcony where the Pope appears - we wondered if he ever just walked on to the balcony to take a whiff of fresh air -- apparently he does not indulge in such mortal pleasures
the Vatican museum and the Sistine Chapel-- unfortunately we planned so well that we arrived in the Vatican the day it was not open.. anyways there was enough to see and appreciate -- i was glad -- maybe it would have been too much for one day..the basilica inside was extremely beautiful-- the cheap camera we had did no justice
a two hour train ride from Rome to Napoli + metro down to Pompeii you must see the movie "the last days of Pompeii" before you visit the Vesuvius / Pompeii combo.
.. the audio devices + the movie ( the last days of Pompeii) were very useful else no one can make sense of the ruins
Anita standing at the entrance of what was supposed to be the local politicians home
& me pointing to a stone - who knows what significance it could have had :) ( before Vesuvius devastated the villages of Pompeii & Herculean)
another pic to give you a sense of what pompeii looked like -- a very well planned city constructed with neat right angled streets and sturdy construction-- obviously no match for molten lava .. next - The very scenic & sun-filled Amalfi coast on the Tyrrhenian sea.

Europe 2012

The pics below walk you through some parts of our European vacation... ROMA
That’s me next to the lamp post of the forgotten tourist – There is’nt any such pole but I decided to name one at the start of our Roman Holiday. Italy has so many monuments for their soldiers & Leaders – I named one
... Anita standing on the cobbled stoned streets of Rome looking absolutely smashing
Anita, Antrix & Aayush looking cool… the pillar in the background is in the heart of the ancient city of Rome
Anita & I on the steps of one of the many monuments that adorn the City
& since we are always taught to “give back” – WE decided to adorn the steps in return
This is at the Trevi Fountains.. very beautiful and very crowded
.. a short tea break .. the tea tasted good & so was the ambieance.
Aayush at the Pantheon .. a young man in front of an old building
That’s Pegasus ( the flying horse) on the right and Octavius blowing the conch… I just made that up – I really don’t know who these are but they looked impressive at the Trevi Fountain
Piazza Novona -- great place -- excellent Beer!
hmm.. not as formidable as i thought..
on way to the tomb of the forgotten soldier ( in the background) .. I recollect a major coverage on this on the Indian media of not having something similar …. The trees in the middle ground seem to be cousins of the African Acacia trees—they looked beautiful
The two Italian Naval sailors who stood guard at the tomb of the Forgotten Soldier .. umm I guess the folks who have a military eye will know what is un-soldierly here .. there is a flame that burns at the base of the brass wreath. Inside there were corners devoted to the infantry, cavalry and the supply corps of the Roman Army. I looked for Signals – I seriously did but alas…!!
just us .. we cut out the background
.. the first sight of the Roman Forum, Palatine Hill and the Coliseum beyond..
..many moons ago the Roman Empire was governed from these very grounds..
.. the Coliseum from the inside.. we were told that the missing flooring had trap doors from which men(slaves) and beasts were released for mortal combat.. those were barbaric times
& thats Rogers billing me for international Roaming...under the arch of umm .. Octavian ( does it matter)? Next .. the Vatican..& Pompei

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Brampton Hardwood Floors-- The Floor Hell

Businesses that are rude and offer poor customer service will not survive. Here is what happened to us

My wife went shopping for hardwood at Brampton Hardwood Floors, Brampton, ON and finding the right colour match at a good price, decided to buy. She was interacting with John, a salesman/ installer and pointed to the Maple Traditional variety and ordered 24 boxes. The invoice was drawn up by Vandana and the payment was made. Further negotiations were done to tie up the installation through John's team of installers. The installers showed up at our home on the pre determined day with the 24 boxes all labelled Maple Mill run. For those un initiated to floorings, the Mill Run variety is of a low grade and the boxes contained short pieces of the hardwood ( longer pieces provide a better optical value). The store had sent us the Mill Run variety whereas we had ordered the Traditional variety. When my wife questioned the installer team we were directed to speak to the Store. We spoke with Vandana who was aggressive and rude and literally hung up on us. That left us no choice but to make several 25 km trips to the store. At the store my wife was informed by Vandana that the Traditional & Mill Run categories were one and the same even though the samples on the walls were labelled separately for both varieties. Stepping away from Vanadana my wife spoke to a sales associate who confirmed that the Traditional & Mill Run were separate categories. She was just discussing these aspects with the sales associate when Vandana walked up and "told" the Sales associate that " there was no difference between the Traditional and Mill Run categories". The sales associate meekly withdrew. My wife then met the Store manager who initially tried to assist but when Vanadana caught sight of this she pulled the store manager to a corner and "updated" him the way she had "updated" the sales associate. My wife was then informed that if she wished to return the hardwood , she would have to pay 25% as re-stocking fees. The store manager who till then had been helpful , now seemed to have undergone a transformation and spoke very curtly and seemed to follow the "company line"

The bottom line
1. Brampton hardwoods was paid $ 2011 for 24 boxes of Maple Traditional Hard wood
2. We got 24 boxes of Maple Mill Run Hardwood
3. The return policy required us to pay 25 % as re-stocking costs i.e. $ 502
4. We ended up paying the re-stocking costs , being subjected to rude behaviour on part of Vandana and losing the day dealing with what was a simple mistake made by Brampton Hardwood which could have been rectified by the Store mgmt accepting their mistake and switching us to the Traditional category
5. Our forays into the market place to shop at other stores after this episode revealed that there had been others who had felt cheated in doing business with Brampton hardwood
6. Our message to Brampton Hardwood Floors: We had nothing against you and infact we brought our business to you & for that we recieved what I have narated above. You have not only lost a customer but other potential customers who are our friends and family. You should pause to consider this...

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Ski Day

Aayush and i spent a great day at kelso - approx 6 hrs with about 30 runs. What a day!!