As some of you might know, towards of the end of 2015 I moved out of Kuwait to pursue my career elsewhere. With the moving and setting up base in a different country its been a while since I’ve given any thought to the blog.
Now that I’ve blown off the cobwebs on the site you can expect to see updates on a periodic (or at least random) basis.
A couple of weeks ago I spent a few days at my home in Trivandrum and while I was there I was rummaging through my old stuff which has been gathering dust for about a decade or more since I’ve not lived there after 2000.
One of my most prized possessions which I’ve managed to hang onto till now are my toys from the 80s and 90s. My parents were pretty liberal when it came to buying us toys and my brother and I had so many toys that it could have bought a decent piece of real estate in my dad’s village (in the exact words of my father and he likes to use this comparison more often than not).
Now considering the age of these items and the amount of stress they’ve been through I’m actually surprised they made it this far. Check out the stamp on Lion-O’s foot; 19-fricking-85! That’s 30 years old!
Most toys and action figure are made from or a combination of; PVC, ABS, Polystyrene, Vinyl, rubber and glass. They all age/deteriorate differently and unless you take really good care of them your toys will develop cracks, break off at joints or accumulate grime and dirt. Here are some links to help you take care of them and preserve them for as long as possible.
Cleaning and restoring [link]
Tips on caring for old toys [link]
I’ve also linked to some online resources for Thundercats and G.I Joe’s that will help you identify your old toys and categorize them. You can find more pictures on my Flickr album [here]
Action Figure Archive LJN [link]
Yo Joe Figures [link]
Yo Joe Vehicles [link]
I made a really short trip to Kerala during the Eid holidays last week to attend to some personal matters.
I knew I had a tight schedule but while packing my cameras I figured I’d get some free time to go out alone but that didn’t happen.
Here’s some of the few photos I did take during the week I was there.
Another thing I found out that most of the bars in Kerala have now been shutdown due to some court order and that means getting a drink with your lunch means you’d have to go to a place that’s above 4 Stars. Quite a shame really as there are many hotels in Kerala that have a nice ambiance but the alcohol bans keeps out the clients during lunch time like this place below.
Its been a long year and quite eventful on the personal and work front but sadly the blog has taken a big hit. With so many blog posts in the draft phase and hundreds of photographs still unprocessed I’m not sure how or when I’ll get around to it.
I’ve been thinking about making my blog more about my interests in photography, cooking and building model kits. Another idea I’ve had floating around is to start another page just for my photography alone and keep all the other stuff on this page.
Anyway, hope I get more time to update stuff on this page in the coming year. Happy New Year everyone and have a great time in 2014!
It’s been tough the past month keeping up with work and trying to maintain my sanity in the sea of madness around me. Thanks to the long working hours, sometimes as much as 14 hours a day, my photography and other hobbies have taken a backseat and will probably be that way till the end of the month. I’ll probably manage to fit in the odd post or so but nothing on a regular basis.
After I came back from vacation I noticed my main PC was acting a bit funny so I did a backup of some of my files just to be safe. A couple of nights ago it even failed to boot to OS so it looks like I have to get another hard drive.
I’ve got a couple of posts on my mobile that I’ll be posting while waiting for the PC to be up and running again.
Recently a colleague of mine got a full physical checkup at a hospital while on vacation in Kerala and was explaining the procedure to me. I’ve never had any major tests done on me except for the blood group test so I thought it would be nice to see if everything was in proper working condition.
I found out that most hospitals have health check packages that you can choose from based on your requirements so I opted for something that would give me an overall understanding of where I stood health wise. The package was called the ‘Master Health Check’ and consisted of the following;
I was relieved to find out that all tests came back with optimum results except for maybe my lung capacity test (which could be attributed to the fact that I used to smoke occasionally before I quit in 2006) which I hope to improve by running and swimming more in the coming months.
My heart and circulatory system are in perfect shape and I even got good results on the stress tests. I’m thankful that I decided to adopt a healthier lifestyle and based on the two consultations I had with the physicians, I’m just an average guy with a slight weight problem that can be solved by moderation in caloric intake and increasing physical activity.
Since I enjoy my alcohol I also decided to get detailed information about my liver functions. Based on the tests performed I learned that my liver is just as good as the next guy and with that information in hand I hopped into the nearest bar on the way back home for a celebratory drink.
The Master Health Check package cost Rs. 4500 and takes about 4 hours to complete all tests. If you go early in the morning you can be out of the hospital before lunch time.
I’m taking a break for the next couple of weeks and will be visiting a few places in Kerala. Its been almost 3 years since my last visit so I’m really looking forward to this trip. I won’t be posting much till I get back but you can keep track on my Instagram account.
The picture above is from my last trip, at Shankumukham Beach, Trivandrum.
I just got my first digital camera today, the Kodak CX7300. It wasn’t as expensive as the Sony Mavica I had in mind and since there was a promotion at G.K Vale this month I took the plunge and splurged about half my monthly salary on this purchase. The Kodak CX7300 is the latest in a series of entry level digital cameras that are aimed at the beginner/casual photographer market. After discount the camera was listed at Rs 8,300 including taxes and they didn’t give any freebies. I thought long and hard at the counter wondering if I’d have enough money at the end of the month to buy a pitcher of draught KF at the local pub if I went ahead with this deal.
Unfortunately for me it’d been less than 6 months since I joined the company and my credit card was stil under processing so paying cash upfront was the only option. Still, being a bachelor with a decent job in an MNC and taking home around RS 200,000 (sounds unbelievable now) per year so I had some cash to spare.
Lets get the tech specs out of the way first; Sensor: 3 Million pixels.Wow this shit is awesome! Internal Memory: 16 Megabytes. My buddy with the Mavica would need more than 10 3.5 inch FDs to match that capacity Display: Live view and playback on 1.6 inch LCD Storage: SD and MMC cards supported, the guy at the counter said I can buy cards with capacity of up to 512 Megabytes Video: Shoots 320×240 silent video in .mov format Connectivity: Supports USB 2.0 data transfer
Whats in the box:
2 AA Kodak batteries
Software installation CD
My previous camera was a 35mm fixed lens Yashica automatic film camera and compared to it this Kodak is amazing. I can take a shot and review it instantly on the LCD. I’ll never have to worry about some idiot room mate opening up the film compartment and exposing the reel or have to wait till the roll is over to process the film.
The camera response is pretty good too, it just take a couple of seconds for the camera to switch on and then you’re ready to go. I took it along with me on a couple of office trips and it was very popular with the guys since they could all share the pictures on their computers and email it to their friends back home.
Picture quality: The output images are in JPEG format and can be used for prints up to 11 inches. I print most of mine in 4×6 size so its more than adequate. Pictures taken in broad daylight are sharp and detailed but performance in low light conditions is really bad but the guy at the Kodak Color Science Lab (he even wore a white lab coat!) reduced the noise in the prints after working his magic. Here’s one I took when I visited Delhi in 2006;
The next month I bought a 128 Megabyte Multi-Media Memory Card (MMC) which upped the storage capacity of my camera to insane levels. I also decided to spend some money on an imported camera pouch. I found this brand called Caselogic which came from Singapore or Taiwan. It cost Rs 499 but is high quality stuff and protects my camera from rain and dust while I’m riding my bike on weekend trips.
This is probably what I would’ve posted in my blog back in 2004 if I had an internet connection in our bachelor accommodation in Bangalore. I dug up this camera from my closet during the Eid holidays, did some cleaning and popped in a new set of batteries and it still works like a charm after more than 8 years of service. Hope you enjoyed the review as much as I enjoyed remembering it and writing it down.