How I Joined My Current Industry – Way Back When

When I was younger, like around 14-15 years old my idea of a career I wanted to pursue was that of a software engineer. I wanted to try either programming, the networking side or database/webserver maintenance. That was what I felt was where I should go forward. It also was probably a lot due to the fact that in my extended and close-knit family, the 4 cousins just older to me by 2-3 years were also in engineering college by the time I turned 15. Only 2 have completed their courses and gone on to work in that industry but that wasn’t an indication for me.

I struggled with math and science and didn’t do well in my final years before college. Hence I had to drop those ideas. However as I struggled academically I also looked at possibly doing a non-engineering course, like a diploma in computer science and go with programming. At that time, which was 1997, two big institutes in computer programming offered 2 year diploma courses and most of the students were getting good jobs in the industry. So I applied and did a 2 year diploma. After that I did a 6 months e-commerce course on the advice of someone in the industry.

Once that was done and based on the big project I did at the end of the course, I realized that this dream was over. I wasn’t cut out for this industry and it’s better to try something else. Hence, I joined a call center and have been in the customer care industry since then with a little bit of sales thrown in for a few years. Despite a lot of issues, I have enjoyed most of it.

Can Money Buy Happiness? Why Or Why Not?

Yes in one way or the other. If you have lots of money you can buy things, provide for you and your family and that makes everyone happy. There are ofcourse things that you cannot buy with money, like love, but you can buy stuff to make your loved ones happy and take care of them and make their lives a lot more secure and happy. This is another way that you can buy happiness when you see your loved ones happy.

So I don’t buy that old saying. I can do a lot of things with money. Buy comfort, the best house or accommodation, the best in medicine & medical care, the best in entertainment, food and drink! That is something that everyone cannot do for their loved ones. But imagine you had so much money that spending it for doing this all even for 45-50 people will just be a drop in the bucket for you and your wealth! I’m talking Jeff Bezos kinda rich! Yeah, I want that and more so I can do that for my loved ones.

Money buys you things and services and comfort and luxuries. Cures (well gets you the best medical care up to a certain extent) and takes care of your health needs. Gets you entertainment stuff so you aren’t too bored. Also gets you homes and keeps your loved ones in safe & comfortable homes. It allows you to travel as much as you want (pandemic permitting) and that too makes you happy. So all in all, money does buy you happiness indirectly and sometimes directly.

Prompt from OCTOBER BLOG AND JOURNAL PROMPTS at Living A Sunshine Life

6 Unique Facts About Halloween

1. Some Halloween rituals used to involve finding a husband. During the 18th century, single ladies devised Halloween traditions that were supposed to help them find a romantic match. According to History.com, women would throw apple peels over their shoulder, hoping to see their future husband’s initials in the pattern when they landed. When they bobbed for apples at parties, it was said the winner would marry first. Most spookily, they even used to stand in a dark room, holding a candle in front of a mirror to look for their future husband’s face to appear in the glass.

2. Immigrants helped popularize the holiday in the U.S. When the Irish fled the potato famine in their country in the 1840s, they brought their Halloween traditions with them. The tradition spread, until the mischievous Halloween pranksters reached an all-time high in the 1920s. Some believe community-based trick-or-treating became popular in the 1930s as a way to control the excessive pranksters.

3. Sugar rationing during World War II halted trick-or-treating. Because of the shortage of sweet stuff, trick-or-treating wasn’t as big of a deal during WWII. After the rationing ended, it was all systems go on the candy-collecting front. Candy companies began launching advertising campaigns to cash in on the ritual and make sure kids were clamoring for their products to show up in their candy buckets and spare pillowcases.

4. There’s also traditional Halloween bread in Ireland. It’s called barmbrack or just “brack.” The sweet loaf typically contains dark and golden raisins, as well as a small hidden toy or ring. Similar to the classic king cake at Mardi Gras, tradition dictates that the person who finds the item will come into good fortune in the coming year.

5. Disney almost made Hocus Pocus a completely different movie. Everyone’s Halloween fav nearly didn’t become the icon it is today. The original title, Disney’s Halloween House, also went along with a much darker and scarier script, according to IMDB. Not only that, but Leonardo DiCaprio was courted to play teenage heartthrob Max Dennison, but he turned it down to appear in What’s Eating Gilbert Grape instead.

6. New York City throws the biggest Halloween parade in the U.S. On an average year, the event draws more than 2 million spectators and includes thousands of participants joining in the route along the way. It all began as the brainchild of Greenwich Village resident and puppeteer! Ralph Lee, who just wanted to throw a whimsical walk from house to house for his kids and their pals. When a local theatre got wind of it, they joined in and grew the event. It’s gotten bigger, more creative and more theatrical ever since.

Zomato & Tamil Nadu : A Language Lesson Needed For The Ignorant

This country has gotten itself into another language related incident. Food delivery company Zomato landed in a soup after one of its employees told a customer, during a grievance redressal conversation, that everyone should know Hindi as it is the national language. The exchange soon triggered a Twitter storm with many slamming the company for imposing the language on customers. Zomato later issued a public apology for the incident in Tamil and English, and informed the customer that they have “terminated the agent for their negligence towards our diverse culture”.

On Monday, a Zomato customer identified as Vikash tweeted screenshots of his conversation with the company executive. The screenshots indicate that Vikash was having an issue with his order and had asked the executive to check with the restaurant. The Zomato employee informed Vikash that they had tried calling the restaurant five times but wasn’t able to communicate with the staff due to the “language barrier”.

The customer then said that if Zomato is available in Tamil Nadu, they should hire a Tamil-speaking person to understand the language and went on to ask the executive to contact the outlet to initiate the refund. In reply, the executive said, “For your kind information Hindi is our national language. So it is very common that everybody should know Hindi little bit.” She was ofcourse very wrong – Hindi & English are recognized official languages but we do not have a national language. As his tweets were shared online, even a local MP took to Twitter to ask Zomato about this.

The company later insisted that the employee’s remarks did not represent Zomato’s stance on language and diversity and called the incident “unacceptable”. A Tamil version of the app is also in the works, it added. The company needs to get the agent in question a lesson on India and how diverse we are and also she should learn some etiquette.

Arsenal 2 Crystal Palace 2

Patrick Vieira said Arsenal’s late equaliser was “really tough” to take as his Crystal Palace side were held to a draw in a thriller at Emirates Stadium. Alexandre Lacazette scored deep into injury time to deny club legend Vieira a winning return, pouncing after Palace failed to clear a corner and Gabriel Martinelli’s effort was saved. The Gunners started brightly and led deservedly through Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang after Vicente Guaita’s diving save to deny Nicolas Pepe.

But Palace improved – as the Gunners faded – and Christian Benteke continued his good record in games against the Gunners with the equaliser. Thomas Partey was caught in possession by Jordan Ayew and Benteke drilled a shot into the bottom corner. Palace again stole the ball off Arsenal to go ahead, as this time Conor Gallagher dispossessed Albert Sambi Lokonga in his own half, and the visitors broke quickly, with Odsonne Edouard hammering in a shot via the underside of the bar.

Kieran Tierney almost equalised for Arsenal late on but blasted against the bar with his shot. And it looked as if they were going to fall short before substitute Lacazette steered home a loose ball from close range. Arsenal move up to 12th with a sixth game unbeaten, while Palace remain 14th after a third draw in a row.

Do You Ever Day Dream? What Do You Day Dream About?

Do you ever day dream? What do you day dream about?

Many of you would know about my fascination with science fiction and futuristic worlds & universe in which space travel is so easy, it’s the equivalent of traveling in cars or buses or large ships on the sea. I want to live in that era and quench my thirst of exploring the universe, safe in a luxury setting with cushions, sofas, big beds, plenty of food via replicators, plush carpeting, robots to cater to our needs and help us, dogs and cats and other pets able to easy live along with us in the ships. I would like to see families able to just easily move around the planets and solar systems across the galaxy in large family themed spaceship that are more like large homes with 3-4 storeys and vehicles that we drive on an alien planet.

Well my current I, in this futuristic universe, work for a Starfleet like operation and go on this smaller spaceship with the team/crew under me on assignments. While on leave and staying at my home and relaxing having extended family dinners and lunches every two days, I was chilling in my big bedroom’s lounge area with my dog Shawny (who is alive in this scenario) and the large robot who is my assistant. I notice that a few of my cousins had come over to the house and they soon joined me along with my sister. Seeing my 3 male cousins and 1 female cousin, I knew something was up. So they quickly laid the proposal onto me – they wanted to see if we could all go on a long trip out in space!

Well since I have connections due to being an officer in Starfleet, I could easily find a large spaceship to house our extended family – cousins, uncles, aunts, nieces & nephews, various pets and everyone’s family help robots. I thought about and was looking at how many of us would be coming. So my sister & cousins wanted it to be everyone and that would mean – 65 humans including all the kids, 4 dogs and assorted civilian help robots. I noted down all of the family members of the 5 of us and the robots would be coming for sure and let my cousins ensure to contact and check with everyone else.

While they were doing all this, I spoke to my parents and they were very enthusiastic about this. My cousins and some uncles and aunts may need to take long, long leaves but this was worth it and it would be ok for them to take the leaves for as long as they want. And for me as well! So I plan this out so that I can spend all the months that we want together. I then use my contacts to ask around for a civilian style spaceship – all the luxuries of a resort style home, hotel or mansion and check through various options that I can rent out. Speaking with my cousins I realized we needed atleast 35 bedrooms suites so everyone can sleep and relax in with all the comforts of home. Ofcourse the 4 dogs will be in each owner’s bedrooms on their own beds.

I confirm this with my cousins who check and agree. It looks like every cousin is excited about this as well as most of my uncles and the kids. Even my mom and aunts seem to be enthusiastic and looking forward to family bonding time in space. They know everyone will be safe as in this fictional universe I created (like Star Trek with even more technological advances) we have this forcefield that protects us from any harm like biological or any weapons that any aliens can throw at us making us invincible. So my family will be free from harm as long as they wear the suits encased with the forcefield or are inside the forcefield at all times.

So I find a suitable spaceship with around 40 bedroom suites – perfect! It also had game rooms, gyms, swimming pools, saunas, etc with giant comfy sofas enough for all of us plus 10 in the living room areas, several round tables for drinking coffee and having meals and also playing cards and other board games. The bottom section of the spaceship houses the vehicles that we can use to travel on another planet or moon. The upper section will have the bedroom suites for us to sleep and dress. This was then booked and I sent the information to all my cousins so they could share it with their spouses and parents.

The day is picked and I get a confirmation that everyone is coming on board and we fix a tentative schedule which will have an equal time on resort planets where there are lots of other humans, some space travel and other alien planets that are most devoid of sentient life but have wonderful sights to see in planet, animal and ocean life that we can all experience. Something for all adults and kids alike. By the time I finalize everything and share the itenary and flight path, we realize that it will be a few months before we come back but that suits us fine.

So on the auspicious day, me with my lead robot and Shawny in tow go and take over the ship and one up one all my relative – cousins, uncles, aunts, nephews, nieces and s start to come in and look for their assigned rooms & suites. It’s noisy with a lot of chatter and kids running around as well as 3 other dogs barking and wagging their tails. I chuckle to myself and on the bridge assign the orders to the robots who are piloting the spaceship and taking care of the other aspects of the ship. A couple of my cousins come in and look over the controls on the bridge. Once I was done, my cousins and I went to join the rest and get some beers from the drinks & food replicators.

Soon everyone is in the lounge and living areas, drinking and munching on something as it is almost dinner time. Our ship has now taken off and we are headed to our first destination. Soon we are all eating a big dinner with all of our favourite dishes and more beer. Once the dinner is done, we sit on the sofas and crack jokes and share anecdotes while the kids play and the older folks all talk about this and that. By midnight the elders and kids have retired to their rooms and we cousins are following suit after one final beer. I go to my room last, after bididng everyone a goodnight and I get my main robot to do an automated check on all systems on a regular interval and then change to my pjs.

As I yawn and get to the bed I see Shawny has already climbed up on the bed claimed one section for herself. “Really?” I ask her and she sleepily wags her tail and gets up so I can move the sheets. I get in and tuck myself in and ensure Shawny is covered with some of the sheet so she can sleep in cozy comfort. I call out the command to switch the lights out and drift off to sleep.

Prompt from OCTOBER BLOG PROMPTS {12 MONTHS OF WRITING IDEAS} #BLOGPROMPTS at Food Fun Family

12 Angry Men (1957)

12 Angry Men is a 1957 American courtroom drama film directed by Sidney Lumet, adapted from a 1954 teleplay of the same name by Reginald Rose. The film tells the story of a jury of 12 men as they deliberate the conviction or acquittal of an 18-year old defendant on the basis of reasonable doubt, forcing the jurors to question their morals and values. It stars Henry Fonda (who also produced the film with Reginald Rose), Lee J. Cobb, Ed Begley, E. G. Marshall, and Jack Warden.

The film was selected as the second-best courtroom drama ever (after 1962’s To Kill a Mockingbird) by the American Film Institute for their AFI’s 10 Top 10 list. It is regarded by many as one of the greatest films ever made. In 2007, the film was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant”.

Halloween & Candy : A Close Relationship That Makes The Season Fun


Americans will spend an estimated $3 billion on candy during the Halloween season this year, although in 2020 it was expected to be around $500,000 less. Although, interestingly, the per-person spending rate was up — from $25.37 to $27.55. For context, $27.55 could buy you a jumbo bag of pumpkin-shaped Reese’s peanut butter cups, a theater box of Skittles, six full-size Snickers bars, 3 pounds of candy corn, 12 ounces of assorted Laffy Taffy and a pack of Hershey’s kisses.

An estimated 65 percent of Americans plan to do just that. According to Statistics Canada, Canadians spent about $550 million just on candy and snacks in October 2018 — a significant portion of which would be Halloween candy. Canadians will spend an average of $42 on candy. That varies widely between rural and urban areas, which brings down the average.

1. Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups : Not only is it the greatest candy out there, it’s also one of the greatest snacks, period, the perfect alchemy of peanut butter and chocolate. And it’s so, so versatile… especially at Halloween. Are you devouring the mini, with its jagged chocolate edges? The medium-cup, in all its one-biteable glory? Or the pumpkin, which serves as a vessel to get as much sugary peanut butter in your mouth as possible? It’s your lucky day: there’s no way to go wrong eating a Reese’s.

2. Twix : The cookie crunch. The deliciously hard caramel. The ultra-silky chocolate. There are a lot of things to love about Twix (three, actually), but this thing’s even better in fun-size form. The ratios between the three main components are simply perfect, striking a balance that makes the intense sugar rush completely worth it.

3. Snickers : It’s easily the heartiest of all candy bars: nougat, caramel, nuts, and chocolate represent pretty much every food group. And this is one that’s hard to eat in a single bite, even when you’re going bite-size. It’s worth the effort nevertheless, and makes for a solid accessory for your Pissed-Off Betty White costume.

4. KitKat : It’s the closest your Halloween bag’s gonna come to having a sandwich inside, and let’s be honest: milk chocolate and sugary wafers are way better than a tiny tuna on rye, especially after they’ve been sitting in a pillowcase for a few hours. Plus, the two-by-two snack-size KitKat acts as an adorable accessory for your Hacksaw Jim Duggan costume.

5. Butterfinger : It’s like somebody took a bunch of peanut butter, transformed it into the world’s thinnest toffee, and layered it underneath a blanket of chocolate. And when you bite it, the little flakes pop off and melt on your tongue like butter produced by a chocolate cow.

6. Hershey’s Bars : The American classic is the best melt-in-your-mouth, no-frills candy in the bag. Toss in some almonds and you’ve got a beast. Toss in Cookies ‘n’ Creme and you’ll wonder what the hell you’re even eating. Save these for the eventual campfire s’mores you’ll be having this fall and winter.

7. M&M’s :  If they were embedded in a cookie or something, they might be ranked first, but M&Ms are still pretty great on their own. Especially if they’re the peanut kind. Or the peanut butter kind. Or the pretzel kind, the brownie kind, the crispy or almond kind… actually, why don’t they make a little bag with all the different flavors inside? That would put it in contention for the top five. Take heed, Mars.

Ten Weird Laws In Mexico

In Mexico City it is illegal to say to anyone “Have a nice day.”

If a Mexican enters the USA illegally it then becomes illegal for him to return to Mexico.

Women who work for the government of the city may not wear sexy mini skirts or any other “provocative” garment during office hours.

If on the off-chance you were thinking about having a baby in the Mexican state of Sonora, you’d be faced with a list of illegal baby names. The government has prohibited numerous weird names (like Lady Di, Rolling Stone or Cesárea), that are deemed “derogatory, pejorative, discriminatory or lacking in meaning”. OK, so you won’t be arrested for it, but you’ll definitely get some funny looks if you try and use one of these banned baby names in Sonora.

This is an offense that the Mexican authorities delight in fining and arresting people for, particularly foreigners who think they can get away with sneaky public urination instead of finding a toilet. Either hold it in or face the consequences.

If you’re a man in Mexico, it technically remains illegal to wear anything but trousers according to one antiquated law. It’s said that Mexico was trying to prove itself to be as modern as other nations and wanted to enforce that with a bizarre male dress code. It’s pretty (read: very) unlikely you’ll be arrested for it nowadays, but you are still technically a law breaker if you go bare-legged.

Whether you’re a citizen or not, able to vote in the election or not, drinking in the 72-hour period leading up to either a state or national Mexican election is banned. Along these lines, you’ll find it tough to get your hands on alcohol from corner shops during the Holy Week period too.

Another bizarre Mexican law that could technically (but probably not really) see you arrested is the one about removing your feet from your bike pedals. Yes, you read that right. Cyclists are not allowed to remove their feet from their bike pedals for fear they could lose control and crash. This was a law passed in the late 19th century after an accident between a coach and a cyclist and, unlike the shorts rule, it does sort of make sense.

Despite being the city which is home to the famed Callejón del Beso (Kissing Alley), a law passed in 2009 prohibited kissing in public in Guanajuato…for a few days at least. One of Mexico’s most notoriously conservative states, this so-called anti-obscenity law (which also banned “vulgar” language, begging and buying from street sellers) was put in place by the then-mayor Eduardo Romero Hicks of the right-wing PAN party. Naturally, the law provoked outrage and protests and was frozen a few days later.

Narcocorridos are popular “drug ballads” which detail the explicit exploits of known drug dealers, runners and cartel heads and draw from the norteño genre. However, despite originating in the north of the country which is well-known for its illegal narcotic enterprise, narcocorridos were banned in public concerts a few years back in the states of Chihuahua, Sinaloa and Coahuila after a shooting at a narcocorrido concert. This effort to stem “narco culture” was thwarted in 2016 though, when the law was overturned in Sinaloa.

A Simple Pumpkin Pie Recipe For The Fall Season


Ingredients

  • 1 (15 ounce) can pumpkin
  • 1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
  • 2 large eggs large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground ginger
  • ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 (9 inch) unbaked pie crust

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Whisk pumpkin, sweetened condensed milk, eggs, spices and salt in medium bowl until smooth. Pour into crust. Bake 15 minutes.

  • Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees F and continue baking 35 to 40 minutes or until knife inserted 1 inch from crust comes out clean. Cool. Garnish as desired. Store leftovers covered in refrigerator.

If You Could Take A Year Off, What Would You Do?

If you could take a year off, what would you do?

Honestly I do not know. Everyone dreams about taking a year off work and travel or do something like buy a house and work on some renovations, take a few courses or perhaps work on something else that you’ve wanted to do like learn a new language, move to a different city or county or just kick back and do nothing for a refreshing change of pace. I have no idea what I would do, if I could afford it. Let’s say that I did have the money and have no fear of where my next job will be at the end of the year.

I guess I would travel or maybe learn how to play the guitar. I have always wanted to learn to play guitar and that is one of my regrets that I gave up on lessons as a child because I couldn’t stand the teacher and never looked at finding another one at the age of 12. I would love to go and learn or just pick up classes online and concentrate only on that. 2-4 hours of classes with a gap in between per day and then practise quite a bit during the rest of the day. Or will I try and pick up a language to learn like say French! Or Klingon!

Or would I just live a quiet life at home, doing what I always do with the exception of any work? I just don’t know. If I had the money I guess I might go to some places, a resort maybe, a hill station or just a small cottage somewhere. Maybe I would take the time to write a book that I have always wanted to do.

Prompt from OCTOBER BLOG AND JOURNAL PROMPTS at Living A Sunshine Life

Samhain – The Pagan Religion Origins Of Halloween

Samhain is a pagan religious festival originating from an ancient Celtic spiritual tradition. In modern times, Samhain (a Gaelic word pronounced “SAH-win”) is usually celebrated from October 31 to November 1 to welcome in the harvest and usher in “the dark half of the year.” Celebrants believe that the barriers between the physical world and the spirit world break down during Samhain, allowing more interaction between humans and denizens of the Otherworld. Ancient Celts marked Samhain as the most significant of the four quarterly fire festivals, taking place at the midpoint between the fall equinox and the winter solstice. During this time of year, hearth fires in family homes were left to burn out while the harvest was gathered.

After the harvest work was complete, celebrants joined with Druid priests to light a community fire using a wheel that would cause friction and spark flames. The wheel was considered a representation of the sun and used along with prayers. Cattle were sacrificed, and participants took a flame from the communal bonfire back to their home to relight the hearth. Early texts present Samhain as a mandatory celebration lasting three days and three nights where the community was required to show themselves to local kings or chieftains. Failure to participate was believed to result in punishment from the gods, usually illness or death.

There was also a military aspect to Samhain in Ireland, with holiday thrones prepared for commanders of soldiers. Anyone who committed a crime or used their weapons during the celebration faced a death sentence. Some documents mention six days of drinking alcohol to excess, typically mead or beer, along with gluttonous feasts. As the Middle Ages progressed, so did the celebrations of the fire festivals. Bonfires known as Samghnagans, which were more personal Samhain fires nearer the farms, became a tradition, purportedly to protect families from fairies and witches.

Carved turnips called Jack-o-lanterns began to appear, attached by strings to sticks and embedded with coal. Later Irish tradition switched to pumpkins. In Wales, men tossed burning wood at each other in violent games and set off fireworks. In Northern England, men paraded with noisemakers. As Christianity gained a foothold in pagan communities, church leaders attempted to reframe Samhain as a Christian celebration. The first attempt was by Pope Boniface in the 5th century. He moved the celebration to May 13 and specified it as a day celebrating saints and martyrs. The fire festivals of October and November, however, did not end with this decree.

In the 9th century, Pope Gregory moved the celebration back to the time of the fire festivals, but declared it All Saints’ Day, on November 1. All Souls’ Day would follow on November 2.

6 Tips For Staying Hydrated

Both doctors agree, your best defense against dehydration is prevention. Follow these six tips to stay safe and healthy, especially when temperatures — or your activity levels — increase:

  1. Don’t wait till you’re thirsty to drink. By the time you feel thirsty, you’re already slightly dehydrated. Sip water steadily throughout the day and drink more fluids than usual when the weather is hot, especially if you’re active.
  2. Flavor your water. If plain water tastes boring to you, you can add flavor with fresh fruits or a splash of fruit juice. You can also consume clear broths, ice pops or sports drinks (especially if you’re doing intense exercise). Just make sure to limit caffeine and alcohol.
  3. Eat water-rich fruits and vegetables. Certain fruits and vegetables contain plenty of water in addition to healthful nutrients. Watermelon, strawberries, cantaloupe, peaches and pineapples are fruits with high-water content. Water-rich vegetables include cucumbers, leafy greens, radishes, celery, zucchini and tomatoes.
  4. Stay inside when it gets too hot. On very hot days, stay indoors in an air-conditioned environment. If you don’t have air conditioning at home, try a shopping center, movie theater or public library. Avoid sun exposure, especially between 10 am and 2 pm, when the rays are strongest. Plan outdoor activities in the early morning or evening.
  5. Dress for the weather. Wear light, loose-fitting clothing that lets your skin breathe. Dark colors absorb heat, so stick with lighter shades. Wear a wide-brimmed hat in the sun to keep your head cool and use plenty of sunscreen to avoid sunburn, which can increase your skin temperature and make it harder to stay cool.
  6. Be aware of the signs of dehydration (below). If anyone in your family is ill, pay attention to how much they’re able to drink — especially young children and the elderly. Anyone with a fever, vomiting or diarrhea should drink plenty of fluids. Do not wait for signs of dehydration to appear.

From Scripps.org