Sunday, August 31, 2008

Antrix off for another term at U of Waterloo

Aug 31, Antrix moved back to his Univ for a second year at the Faculty of Architecture in Cambridge. You can see how we loaded our van (left)and Antrix outside his new accomodation in Cambridge( Right)
We started the day by dismantling the furniture ( bed , study table & book rack) at home , loading the van and then assembling the same at Cambridge. Antrix managed the accommodation all on his own and I was impressed at his selection. Though his classes start a week later he was keen to get a good start on the new term & so he will now spend his night in his new room.


While Antrix, Piu and Aayush did the rounds on the kayaks Sonia and Rajni took the opportunity to bike around the park. Rajni was initially reluctant to get on the bike but once she had got astride she was equally reluctant to get off. You can see her in the right pic looking like a pro.
Overall it was a great idea to carry the bikes to the park for the kayaking trip. It helped us to move around quickly and ferry the heavy loads eg picnic basket etc
It was a great day with some great weather-- everyone returned with a smile on their faces.


On Sat Aug 30 , Piu ( Right pic)was finally able to do some kayaking. She had been looking forward to this ever since Aayush (left pic)mentioned this to her on his trip to India. She really impressed me and ventured out twice and then surprised me the next day when she declared there were no aches and pains from the kayaking experience of the previous day. I was also eventually able to click some decent pics which I had been trying to do since May. The two boats were switched between Antrix , Aayush and Piu. Antrix & Aayush wanted to venture on to the lake but apparently the calm waters of the lake were not challenging enough -- they needed some rough conditions to make it worth their while. I on the contrary feel the flat waters of the Credit river are ideal conditions for paddling-- but to each his own.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Anita's BirthDay

At the stroke of 12 midnight Sonia broke out on the well known B'day jingle and everyone followed the cue. B'Day presents appeared out of no where and very quickly the floor was strewn with gift wrappings and boxes. Calls from around the world ( Kenya/ Kazakstan/India) streamed in. After the hectic trip to Montreal and Quebec everyone spent a quiet day at home. There was a trip to the YMCA where I believe the treadmill was the popular appartaus.
We cut a strawberry cake in the evening and sipped some Shandy before we headed off to the neighbouring Swiss Chalet resturant for the customary B day dinner. The food was exceptionally good so much so that everyone poached from each other which we found equally good. The day was closed off by listening to the Robin Cook audio CD which was incomplete from the Montreal/ Quebec trip.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Rajni Arrives in Canada

Aug 18 dawned bright and clear and the KLM flt , with Rajni on board had no problem landing bang on time at Pearson. Anita was there ahead of time jumping excitedly like a school girl. She had been waiting for this moment for four years-- waiting for Rajni to come to Canada. I was at work but my imagination was accurate. From that moment on it has been a constant chatter , so much so , that last night Anita had a sore throat due to excessive talking ( shows you how much of a chance do i have to get in a word when we are not being visited)
Anyways , its been long walks in the mornings , the CN tower, Niagara and ofcourse the malls at Sqaure one and Heartland that have been visited so far... its Montreal / Quebec city this weekend.

Monday, August 4, 2008

New York- Aug 2008

Some of the places we visited in NY were the Statute of Liberty, Madison Square Garden, Times Square & the Empire State building. We also visited Ground Zero and had some tea right across the street where the WTC towers once stood. The enormity of the colossal damage to lives and property and the futility of such an act shakes one to the core. Times Square was a popular haunt for us for the two plus days we stayed there. Visiting NY is all about history. One can stand on the spot where Mohd Ali was weighed at Madison Sq Gardens, marvel at the Statue of Liberty on which millions of immigrants and visitors have gazed as they entered NY harbour or walk by "Ground Zero".
Heading back to Mississauga on Aug 02 , we made a stop at a Primeoulet Mall. it was a relief to see some decent prices eventually .... gas ofcourse was way out of control.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Washington DC- Jul 2008

After two days at the PMI session Anita and me took a bus tour of Washington DC. The oppressive Washington sun was unrelenting and tanned us thorougly while we rode the open top bus. The bus took us through the famous spots and we debussed at the White House and the Lincoln Memorial. Daph had advised via email that we do the Lincoln theatre and China town but the time/timings were not good & we could not make it there. The White house was another very popular spot and they made sure that all tourists just had a small peek to the structure. While we did the round on the bus Antrix and Aayush took the car down to Gergetown for some shopping. We ended up grabbing a quick lunch at the Union Station before we headed off for New York. I did want to see the NASA museum and the Arlington cemetry -- but perhaps another time.

PMI Item Writing- Washington DC, Jul 2008

PMI hosted a massive item writing event at DC in late Jul 2008. This was new to me but most folks there had attended these events before. Dan Lefsky, Molly Swenson, Marcos Damasceno & I were grouped together for a two day Item writing session. Though I was a bit apprehensive on how I would fare at this event, I actually found the experience very interesting. Judging from the amount they fed us every few hours one would think we were Sumo wrestlers but I am not complaining.
It was fun working with the group in the pic Light hearted banter and work progressed simultaneously-- the hallmark for a good working environment. I believe it was also the first time that PMI had everyone working on a laptop but we were not permitted to connect to the internet on account of security. No Face book, no internet-- how did anyone expect me to work!!!!


We eventually got down to some BBq-ing after 4 years in Canada. Anita & me assembled the BBQ contraption while Ant & Aay drove to the nearby plaza to fetch the hot dogs material. Aayush was Grill master for the evening having had the experience from a friends party. Getting the charcoal smouldering was quite a job and while the four of us had our own ideas of what would work-- my method was definitely not the best. I tried to use paper to coax the coal to catch flame and all that i achieved was peppering the area with papaer ash. After about an hour of sustained effort the coal was smouldering and Aayush lost no time in getting the BBQ stuff on. Anita had "bhutta's" and I was informed that this was dinner. Before any of you feel I starved , let me say that it was quite filling -- the unfortunate part was that I was out of beer.

Jose & Glory

Last week we drove to Germantown, Maryland & finally after 4 years in the North American vicinity we were able to meet with Jose & his family. Jose now sports a felon look and that combined with the knowledge that he is now known as "Hos-ey" gave me an impression that he has strayed from the straight and narrow of the Army.. ( that is ofcourse is just in jest-- he is still the same ol' Jose). Jason & Tanya are responsible American youngsters holding respectible jobs & you can see the four "kids" ( Antrix, Jason, Tanya, Aayush) in the pic above. We spent a a great evening together catching up on old times while Glory made sure we kept away from her kitchen lest we find it "messy" -- on the contrary we found their home classy and far from messy.
Interestingly , Jose & Jason both work for Booze Allen ( no! the company does not make booze)-- Jose now makes sure the databases of the US , FDA are ticking the way they should