Archive for the ‘Misc’ Category

New home

I have a new domain and my new blog can be found at Aperture22.com


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Niranjan was my former colleague and a friend. He passed away on 04/20, fighting cancer for the past 2+ years. He died young and is survived by his loving wife and a 2yr old daughter.

Rest in peace my friend. You will always be remembered.

Saturday, 4/24, 5:00 – 7:00 p.m.,  Schrader Funeral Homes & Crematory, 14960 Manchester Road, Ballwin, MO 63011
Sunday, 4/25, 3:00 – 3:30 p.m., Kirk of the Hills Presbyterian Church, 12928 Ladue Road, Creve Coeur, MO 63141

Memorial Service:
Sunday, 4/25, 3:30 p.m., Kirk of the Hills Presbyterian Church, 12928 Ladue Road, Creve Coeur, MO 63141

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We had a spring like weather in St. Louis today with occasional showers. Another reason for me to stay indoors and use my macro lens 🙂

I was out of ideas for today’s post and my wife suggested may be I should try with oil/water setup. So spent some time on setting/shooting this and it turned out pretty good. Here is what I did to set this up for the shoot.

  • Filled a clear glass with about 1/4 cup oil.
  • In another cup filled with cold water and few drops of liquid food color – here is where you could be creative.
  • Then started pouring colored water over oil until I got enough bubbles.
  • Allowed the mixture to settle down.
  • Then carefully looked around the glass for the bubble/bubbles I liked and start shooting in full manual mode

One thing you will need is lot of patience and don’t forget to shoot a lot of pictures. In my case, I thought most weren’t sharp. Out of about 30+ pictures I took this evening I only liked a couple 😉

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Suryan FM

suryan-fm You can listen to Sun TV network’s Suryan FM online 24/7 at http://www.sfm935.in/

I have to tell you, it feels good to listen to a live Tamil FM stream. IF you really like good ole’ Tamil movie songs from the 80/90s, the good time to listen would be at 6:30 PM CST – I think the program is called Kaalai Thendral. I have been listening to the stream for the past couple of days in the evening and its a bit relaxing listening to nostalgic ole’ songs returning back from work.

Updates – 09/22/2009
You can listen to live streaming of Suryan FM, Aahaa FM, Radio City FM at loka.fm – I have been listening to Aahaa FM at loka.fm and over the period of time the quality of the audio has gotten bad considerably 😦

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Air India As we are in the process of getting ready for our vacation to India, thought I should write this blog post on BMC Travel. Typically I am shy of writing any reviews – but lately I am trying to change that habit as I more and more value the reviews of other folks when deciding on buying things/services both online/offline.

Anyway, I have been buying my India travel tickets from BMC Travel for almost 5 years (or 3 trips now) and I should say Bomi@BMC Travel is on my speed dial when it comes to buying India travel tickets – I think when it comes to vacation and such you need to trust someone on buying tickets and definitely one can trust Bomi@BMC Travel. She’s really good to deal with and real responsive to phone calls or emails. On my recent booking she was able to match the online price and further able to get us some decent deals as the airfares just keep on skyrocketing.

Here is the information on reaching Bomi@BMC Travel
Phone# 636-532-4156
Email: bomi@bmc-travel.com

P.S. I don’t work for BMC travel. In fact, I have not met Bomi 😀

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gift-cards It has been quite sometime since I wrote a blog post on Gift Cards. The other day when I was on a mission to unclutter my office room, I came across a gift card from about 3 years or so. Luckily enough, when I checked with the merchant the balance on it was left intact :mrgreen:

This made me start looking for a way to track my unused gift cards. What came to my mind was Microsoft Money, Spreadsheet, Access DB. Basically I was looking for some simply way to track balances on these “never-seen-light-yet” gift cards and was wanting something that I look at every day – Out of sight, out of mind…right?

Spreadsheets are good for this purpose, but I wasn’t in a mood to search for template. So I started playing with Microsoft Money and it works perfect for tracking gift cards. Though Microsoft Money doesn’t have an account type of gift card, it could be set as a “Cash Account”.

Two approach in Microsoft Money to track gift card:

  1. Set one bucket to put all the gift cards – problem with this approach is at any give time its not possible to which gift card has what balance on it 😦
  2. Set individual cash account for gift card – though it may sound like a clean solution it has a downside as well. Assuming one has about 10+ gift cards, then you are going to end up with setting up 10+ gift card accounts.

I ended up with opting to approach 2.

Here is a brief walk through on setting up Microsoft Money to track gift cards. Click on the images to see a better resolution image.

Once you have the Money program opened, click on Banking -> Add a new account – this should bring a Choose an account type screen

MS Money

Pick “other account type” – last one on the list and click “Next

On the next screen pick “Cash” as the account type.


On the next screen “Choose level of detail“- if you just want to track value on the gift card, pick the top one but to record transactions on purchases made on gift card pick “Track transactions and other details”.

MS Money

On the next screen, you will have to name the account. If you have multiple gift cards from the same merchant say Target, then you could add date to the name to know when you got this gift card.


On the next screen, you will set the value on the gift card.


Once you have entered all the details then on the “Account list” screen you will see the gift card that you just entered.

MS Money

That was easy, right 😀

Now that I know how to track my gift cards, my next mission to to look for gift cards…;)

P.S. You might be interested reading my other blog posts on MS MoneyTake control of your money, and Home inventory.

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“”One of the mostly talked about topic these days is recession, slump in housing market, stimulus package and such. Last week Congress passed the bill to provide relief to US recession. The question that comes to mind is What does it mean for you?

Marketwatch.com recently had a topic titled What the stimulus package means for you

Here is an excerpt from the article

Under the bill, individuals with adjusted gross income of up to $75,000 would be eligible for a rebate up to $600, while married couples filing jointly with an AGI up to $150,000 would receive up to $1,200. After those income levels, the rebates start phasing out.

Taxpayers with children would receive an additional $300 per child, with no limit on the number of child-based rebates. That means a family with four children could enjoy up to $2,400, and a family with two kids could receive up to $1,800.

Checks will start going out 60 days after the legislation is enacted. It will take approximately 10 weeks to issue all of the checks.

You can read more on this article here.

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