My Guide To Saving Money On Coffee

My guide to saving money on coffee is to not order these suckers. Done! Genius right? Nah, mainly because of the pandemic, I do not go out to eat much. Though I did go for a few outings from June 2020 till April 2021, from May of 2021 I have rarely gone out to eat. I think just a couple of times. And in all this time I have not gone out once for coffee.

However I did not go to get a coffee with the sole exception of my first afternoon out at a cafe in Ravipuram with my cousin in June 2020. Since then none but I have ordered a large frappe or cold brew a few times from either of Starbucks, Costa Coffee or Cafe Coffee Day. Usually it is a large or in Starbucks case, I should say either a grande or a venti. But I think I have probably only ordered 12 to 15 times in these past 2 plus years.

So I guess that is the way to do so. Besides they are really expensive anyways, with the exception of CCD which I think are more reasonably priced. So hardly going out and ordering a large coffee once every 45 days or so, you save a lot more money. And just make it at home. All that will change when finally Tim Hortons will expand to Cochin. I have been eagerly waiting for this for over 2 decades. They started in India last year and will probably come down south by July or August I think.

Prompt from 100+ Blog Post Ideas That Your Readers Will Love at Macy Michelle

Ever Tried Drafting A Post While Traveling? How Did It Work Out For You?

Yes quite a few times and I mostly publish them as well when I am away. Look, back in 2010 – I think – when I bought my first BlackBerry, one of the apps that I downloaded was the WordPress app for BlackBerry. This was ofcourse to capture my thoughts and view points as I was out and about and enjoying the city. Or if I traveled like to Bangalore for 3 days. So I would type up whole blog posts on the app and post them.

Later on I would take my laptop with me and connecting via wifi I would posts from coffeeshops or restaurants and in 2015 and 2016 when I traveled to Chennai and Delhi/Gurgaon respectively, I relied on the wifi to blog from either my phone or my laptop. My stay in Chennai was only 6 days and it as around 2 weeks for Delhi and I think I blogged almost ever day I was there.

Also when I went on holiday – well more like staycation in a hotel – in both 2019 & 2020 and stayed in a hotel I blogged regularly from there. In 2019 at the hotel I stayed, unfortunately due to a problem with my laptop I could connect the laptop to the wifi so my phone acted as a modem. That was for 3 days. Then the next year I stayed for 4 days in a hotel and I was using my current laptop and was blogging a couple of times per day.

Prompt from 87 Blog Post Ideas That Will Never Fail You (2023) at Blog Tyrant

The Next Experience That I Am Anxious To Try in 2023

What new experiences are you most anxious to try in the new year?

I’ve spent eight years at my current place of employment. While I am happy to have spent so many years at one place, I also know that it’s high time that I left. I wish I could just quit and go rest for a month or so and find that next job almost immediately but then it doesn’t quite work that way.

I know for a fact that it can be incredibly frustrating and feeling despair and doom when you do not have a job at hand and are searching for one and it’s not happening. I spent quite a few months without a job as my previous place of work had to lay off a bunch of people due to struggling financially and with lack of capital to try and bolster things, the boss had no choice. I struggled for a long time and finally it happened and I am where I am now.

But I am more than ready to find a new one. I’ve got to sit this weekend and really focus on updating my resume. And I need to start applying and find what options are available in other places. This is getting to be a bit depressing. And it’s time!

Prompt from 30 Creative Writing Prompts for January at Brilliantio

2007 to 2023 – 16 Years Of Maintaining This Blog

Revisit your very first blog post and reflect on how you’ve grown

I just realized that I broke a long time concept of wishing my blog a happy birthday on the 1st of every January. It was on the 1st of January, 2007 that I created this blog and setup WordPress and added my separately bought URL to link to this blog. After that I posted my first hello, then my Roshan’s Eleven list of the first 11 songs I had listen to that day.

Then I recounted the previous night’s New Year party that we had at my sister’s place that our parents, cousins and a few uncles & aunts had gathered and had a blast with some music and great food and drinks. And then I posted by the end of the day as to how I spent most of January 1st recovering from a long night of partying and by evening I was trying out different themes to check out on my blog. That was a long, long time spent to select one theme.

Since then most of my blogs are based on things I have done, experience, happened to me or my ideas and thoughts. I do reviews and post photos and images, video clips of what I have to say etc. Food and movies are usually the top of the topics. I have more topics that most people and I like it that way.

Prompt from 31 JANUARY BLOG POST IDEAS at Blogging Her Way

5 Must-haves For Your Bag

Well in my case, it’s a laptop bag that I carry. Funnily enough, I do not carry my laptop in it but I take it to work and I have a desktop instead of a laptop. And this right here on the left is the exact one that I have, which I bought on Amazon IN.

So I have a lock and key which I keep in my bag. This for the locker in which I keep my bag and my phone and lock it when I start my shift and take back at the end of it. I also carry a 1 litre bottle of water for hydration ofcourse. Then I have my regular inhaler and my current two inhalers which I am supposed to have after breakfast and after dinner, which is why I take them to work in my bag.

I also have my apartment keys and the access card to the building so that when I come by post my 1:30 am end of work shift, I can let myself in. Other than that I do not carry anything else in this bag. But if I wasn’t heading to work then I would carry my HP laptop in it.

Prompt from 127 LIFESTYLE BLOG POSTS IDEAS TO WRITE ABOUT IN 2023 at She Means Blogging

Science Fiction Should Become Science Fact

Jan 2 – Science Fiction Day – Sometimes the truth is stranger than fiction, science or not – is this something that you can write about? Maybe myths and ‘fake news’ that plague your industry? Or have you ‘boldly gone where no-one has ever gone before’? Think laterally and you’ll be surprised what you can come up with. #sciencefictionday

Regular readers will know for sure that I have a deep love for space and science fiction and especially Star Trek. I would love to live in an era where space exploration is done as easily as it is in the fictional 24th century in Star Trek. Heck, let’s go even further and say that it will be even easier. It should be as easy as you getting in your car and traveling from one city to another city.

Although I have different scenarios of this fictional universe that I dreamed up and I wish that we all lived in, I will tell you about just the simplest and sweetest one. One in which I and my late beloved Golden Retriever Shawny are both alive and well and we are traveling in a small starship with a very advanced robot who helps keep us safe and runs the operations of the ships. And our job is to go to various alien planets and beat up the bad aliens and rescue the good ones who need our help. We have so many adventures on our travels and are kept invincible due to a very complicated safety shield that covers our ship as well as the spacesuit we wear.

The other dreams are me as the captain of a StarFleet like ship and a big crew as we patrol the galaxy. Or a smaller ship with just a smaller crew of say 10. Or a large team of a motley crew of citizens who all band together to do good across the star systems in the furthest parts of the galaxy. Or a pleasure cruise across the stars with my extended family. Whichever it is, it’s a lot of fun and Shawny is ever by my side in each. But the simplest one is the one in which it is just me and Shawny and our robot. After all when it comes down to it, it’s as innocent & special as a boy and his dog!

Prompt from 40 Social Media And Blog Post Ideas For January 2021 at SquareMedia.Solutions

To Dye Or Not To Dye

By the time I turned 35 I noticed that I had started getting grey in my stubble. At first it was only a couple of places on my chin and then soon I noticed the grey in my hair. I am 46 now and I have grey strands on the sides of my temple on both side. It’s still not too bad but it is noticeable and I am not quite sure how to feel about it.

Thing is I am badly balding. So does it really matter? It does and it doesn’t. At times I have a devil may care attitude about the greys and at times I wish it was all black. While I am still wishing, I wish I had a full set of hair on my head. So not for the first time I have thought of dyeing the greys that I have to jet black. Or just go for the full job.

It is doable and lots and lots of people are doing it but when I think about it too much I feel, why do you want to? Just leave it as it is and grow the grey out. It is not too bad plus it is natural and everyone will eventually go grey. So do you dye or do you proudly wear the grey?

My New Year Resolution Is To Lose Some Weight & Be Healthier

Share your New Year’s resolutions

So just yesterday I posted the top 5 new year resolutions that people usually say that they are going to do. I dunno about the other 4 but I certainly have a new year resolution and it’s not a fad or something I said on the spur of the moment, fueled by several nights of binge drinking. Due to my health being the way that it is, I am on a diet and I said to myself let’s have a nice meal on New Year’s Eve and then start the diet on the 1st.

This time it is after consulting a dietician. Unlike last time when I went all gung ho and did it by myself. So out goes the regular rice, the white bread, pasta etc. Brown rice, wheat bread, chapati and oats instead. My calcium is very low so I am trying to have more milk, skimmer milk curd, mackerel & sardines. Chicken 4 days a week, 1 big piece with gravy or boiled. Vegetables and yeah I like broccoli – we’ve looked at a few recipes and the two we tried are pretty good.

Eggs – I was told to have 3 egg whites a day for protein. Skip the yolk. Two eggs white omelete with some green bell peppers and tomato. I want to get some spinach and try that as well. Toast some wheat bread and have them as a sandwich. Biscuits as long as it’s not sugary or cream filled. I have cut off sugar and instead use sugar free in my tea and coffee. Let’s see how this goes.

Prompt from 31 JANUARY BLOG POST IDEAS at BloggingHerWay.com

My Laptop Back Where She Truly Belongs

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It’s been a tad over a month since I returned my work system and started going back to the office for work. March 21st 2020 was when we had the first lockdown due to the Coronavirus and from that day till December 1st 2022, I worked at home. My small desk, as you can see from this photo, was now free for me. And my desk was happy to not bear the weight of the clunky CPU plus dual boot desktop that we need to handle the client’s work.

So I would say that the only positive thing about going back to the office for work is that I got to send the work desktop back and I could now properly keep my Boat Bluetooth speaker, my Amazon Echo (loving renamed “Computer” much as in Star Trek) and my laptop! Love having the laptop back on my desk where she rightfully belongs. So I have a couple of things else on the desk like a couple of thumb drives, my RealMe earpods and small stuff like that. It feels so good to be able to sit at my desk and use the internet on a laptop instead of the work desktop.

Back To Work, New Year, Same Ole Grind!

Well it’s Monday and the 2nd of January. Ugh! Guess I have to go to work. Well these bills and food won’t just magically pay itself I guess. Like I have stated before we don’t get any time off really during the holiday period here in India, other than the actual day. Like if Christmas or New Year’s Day was on a weekday then yes we get the day off (depending on what work you do). Otherwise, like this past month it’s just the weekend since both these days fell on a Sunday.

I just read a note on a vlogger’s Community tab that she is taking a week off to unwind since she did work and make vlogs during the last week and many before that hence she needs to relax. I wish we could do that too. Funny enough I have had quite a bit of time of this past month but recovering in a hospital for a week and then at home isn’t what I think off as time off. Yes I did get to relax quite a bit at home the week that I was at home post the hospital stay but that isn’t the ideal thing. To have some fun and be with relatives, go out and shop or spending time with your loved ones is what I do miss.

So anyway off to work I go in another 4 hours or so. I am going to be doing a 4:30 pm to 1:30 am shift. That’s actually not too bad. But again I will have to take 2 to 3 days to adjust to these timings again as for the past 3 weeks I wasn’t staying up that late. So let’s see how it goes. Also we may be working from home once again, maybe starting the middle of January. That will be good as I save a lot more money that way. I am dependent on Uber but it is expensive.

How I Rang In The New Year – 2023!

So like I hinted in the previous day’s post, New Year’s eve was a very quiet night in for me and my parents. Apparently there was a bit of a plan for some of my cousins to meet up but as it was at the last minute, most already had plans of their own. Hence that did not take place, but I wasn’t sure if I would go for that anyways. I was thinking that if it happens, I would stay back and order in some dinner and have my sister take my parents to the event.

Since that didn’t happen my sister and a friend of hers went out with a cousin and a couple of others. Finally it was just me and my parents who would be at home together and that’s alright. We will find another day so I can enjoy with all my relatives again. Oh well, I woke up at 9 am and had my breakfast and coffee and then took my meds. I relaxed all day, hydrated as much as possible and watched a movie in the afternoon and even managed a 40 minute nap. Evening I had some biscuits with my tea, took a shower and then checked out to see what offers we would have dinner on Zomato & Swiggy.

I decided to get some chicken lollipops (6 in total, 2 for each of us), kuboos and Afghani tandoori chicken (one of my favourites) from Zaataar. I ordered early by 7:15 pm as I thought we would have trouble with the app later on. Still it took 50 mins (as mentioned on the app) for the food to arrive. We ate it while my parents watched tv. Oh and we had ice cream cake from Baskin n Robbins. Once that was done, I had my meds and relaxed at my system till 11pm when I started to watch the Brighton vs Arsenal match and we won and it became 2023 halfway though. I spent some time sending and replying to wishes and then went to bed by 1 am.

Drinking Beers After A Very Long, Long Time

After many, many months – close to 9.5 months, last weekend I had gone to get my hair cut. I am balding, have a bad bald spot on the back of my head and hence my hair doesn’t really grow that much but within the last couple of months my hair had grown so long that it was almost at my shoulder. It was difficult for to manage and drying my hair after a shower was a nightmare. So I went to Ole and got my hair cut short and it feels so much better now.

With that out of the way, it was just a couple of steps near to Couchyn, the lounge bar that is attached to the Grand Hotel. I went it as it was also 9.5 months since I had any drinks. I was only going to have some beer but as I got in, I started to really miss it. I quickly sat down and ordered a Corona and munching on some free hickory sticks, I quickly demolished that. Man, did I ever earn that beer. Now I needed another one and I asked for a Hoegaarden which I really, really love.

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By then my first order of food had arrived. Delicious tempura prawns which is so good on it’s own but dipped in that delicious sweet & spicy Thai Chilli sauce that it comes with – oh my god, how I have missed this taste! So great to drink my beer and eat them prawns while listening to their excellent selection of 70s, 80s & 90s soft rock and folk music. The word chilling in the dictionary should have a clip of me drinking my beer, eating those shrimp and humming & singing softly to myself the lyrics of the songs that were playing.

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A little later I ordered some tandoori chicken, a half plate and a Budweiser. Now the first two beers were 350 ml bottles but the Bud was a full bomber bottle of 650 ml. I thought I could finish that but I couldn’t complete the last bit more than a quarter of the bottle and the last piece of chicken. Well I culd have but I wanted to go back home and if I stayed back then I could have finished them off. So I paid via my credit card, washed my hands and mouth, took a leak in the washroom and then booked an Uber to come back home.

Where To Spend A Quiet New Years Eve

I can’t remember exactly how I used to spend New Year’s eve as a kid – I do know that when we lived in Kuwait, our building would have parties organized on the roof top terrace and everyone had fun and games. Once we came back to India back in 1987 I can’t remember much happening unless we cousins would get together in our ancestral home in Mattancherry for the winter holidays. We usually would go for some ice cream or maybe even a movie in the afternoon and get burgers & fries or something like that for dinner. And we would sit together in the top floor of the house and spend the night listening to music.

Once my teenage years ended I think a few years we usually spent at home watching tv. Money was also tight during those years hence it was usually quite dinners at home, maybe some cake or ice cream and watching a blockbuster movie (I remember one year, 1998 or 1999) I was watching Titanic with my mom & my sister’s mother-in-law). 2003 I remember I had applied for a new job as I had enough of my then current job and in the afternoon I went to small bar and had some food and a few drinks and was really sad about my life. As I was about to leave, I got a call from the HR of the new employers informing me that I was selected and could join in 1 week.

My next really happy & wonderful New Year’s eve was back in 2006 which I have blogged about on the first day of setting up this blog. It was a fun night with my cousins, parents, uncles & aunts and we had good food and lots to drink. The same was true the next year as well. I spent a couple of New Year’s eve drinking at bars with friends but mostly I have preferred to be at home as I have grown older. I order food for myself, dad & mom and sometimes my sister & her family might join as well. I listen to music, watch a movie perhaps and have a nice quiet nice in. That is the same for this year as well.

Happy New Year!

Prompt from New Year Post Ideas for Bloggers! at QueenBeeBloggers.com

Going Back To Work On Boxing Day After 2 Weeks Leave

So Boxing Day is when I am going back to work. After 2 weeks away, I am going back. 6 of those days plus one over night which was on Tuesday, was spent at the hospital. The rest was at home, recovering and resting my poor self.

I am a little anxious. Not about the actual work but wondering if I will have the same problem again after a few days. I hope not since I don’t think we will be allowed to go back to work from home again until a few more weeks. Or so I think. There might be a chance that we will all go back to work from home but I can’t be sure since nothing has been communicated so far. So I will go early and come back by 10 or 10:15 pm.

Most of the day will be spent on checking emails – 2 weeks worth of emails! Sheesh, I can guess it will be 1000 plus by now. I just can’t imagine reading all of them or atleast sorting them out. I will have my lunch there and I think I will send out the weekly report before I leave since that is usually due by Wednesday. I hope to spend time with my colleagues during a tea break. I will book an Uber by 9:30 pm and have my dinner once I get back home.  Hope everything goes well.

Got An Arsenal Jersey Designed Coffee Cup From Jersey Kart

I think I have mentioned it perhaps once or twice on this website, but I have a thing for collecting coffee mugs. Or tea mugs as I now drink tea as well. I always look for coffee cups that I can have and keep in my collection, ones which nice logos – either they come that way or I can customize them. I think I have 7 coffee mugs at the moment that only I use and these are all that I have bought just for myself. Of these 5 are customized.

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So I was scrolling though the Facebook app on my phone when I saw an advert for Jersey Kart. Jersey Kart is a website & app that sells football jerseys & shorts (club & national), banners, balls and mugs. I wanted to get the Arsenal mug which is a coffee mug with the current style of Arsenal home jersey design on it and you can either get a player’s name and number on the other side or get your own name and customized number on it. So I did order mine on December 1st and it was scheduled to arrive on Dec 10th to the 12th.

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However they ended up having some problems and did not communicate it to me. Their customer care leaves a lot to be desired. I had to send multiple messages on Whatsapp and email before finding a phone number and the guy said that it was delayed but that it would reach me by the 24th. I got it yesterday and opened it. It’s not bad but it doesn’t look as good as I thought it would turn out to be.

Share Your Favorite Holiday Traditions

Share your favorite holiday traditions

To be honest, there isn’t anything we do special during this time of the year. We are not Christians and neither do we have any traditional links to the festival/holiday as we do not live in a predominantly Christian country. Only the Christians here will actually do a lot of the stuff that you expect to be done during this time. However over the years a lot of non-Christians have done the Christmas tree, hanging lighted stars and getting cakes and treats during the eve & day of X-mas.

If you work in an office or are a student in a college/school you will have some games, some activities and get to taste cakes (and wine in case of offices) and sing silly carols. Sometimes if you have close Christian friends, they might gift you a bottle of homemade wine (to be honest most of the stuff is not that good) and some cakes. This is what we are used to getting and sometimes I buy a couple just to give to our neighbours as well. I am glad to say that unlike an old post I did about these cakes, the taste has improved a whole lot in the last 10 years or so.

Aside from that the only thing we do is order some good food on Christmas eve or on the 25th and enjoy the evening. The following day, Boxing Day, isn’t really acknowledged much here in India and aside from some businesses and stores that may have ongoing sales for the week or 10 days, nothing much special will be going on. Maybe some event in a top hotel or maybe the malls but other than that, nothing!

Prompt from 31 DECEMBER BLOG POST IDEAS at Blogging Her Way

When Did You Know You Needed To Start A Blog

When did you know you needed to start a blog

Back in the early 2000s when I started going to internet cafes a lot (like 3 times a week), as broadband at home was unheard of at the time, I would try to make friends online with people from the UK, rest of Europe, the US & Canada in particular. Soon I noticed that several of these people had blogs. Now, as someone who has maintained journals in physical diaries for a few year in my teens, I was intrigued about making them digital and starting a blog.

The blogs I read kept me entertained and I was finding myself spending more and more time reading them. At the time I started to only read sports news/articles and blogs. But when did I know that I just needed to start a blog? By October of 2002 I had decided to create one even if it was sporadically at first that I could enter posts. Moving to a new city back in July of that year also meant that I would have new experiences to share as I was living on my own in a lodge.

And initially it was more like updates of what I did, how the work was going, how living on a very tiny budget was like and how I was basically getting along. I would come back home most weekends so that was usually the time that I would find time to enter a few lines of a post on my blog. That developed to what it is now, something that I can’t live without doing.

Prompt from 30 {DIFFERENT} BLOG POST IDEAS at Helen In Between

Sleep Study Done For My Obstructive Sleep Apnea

So as stated before I had to have a sleep study done to measure and analyze my obstructive sleep apnea. They booked it for Monday, yesterday and I was told to come by 7:30 pm to the sleep labe in the hospital, as the booking was done from 8pm. I was quite nervous and anxious. However I waited till 5 pm, had a cup of coffee and then took a shave and a shower. I had a light dinner/supper as I couldn’t eat once I reach the lab. I then got ready and booked an Uber and reached the hospital by 4 past 7 pm.

My cousin Raakhee, who was to be my bystander, reached there at the same time and we went to register. This took a very long time and we went to pay for the study and get antigen tests done. By 9:30 pm we were guided to the 7th floor and went to find the lab. I changed to a lungi and relaxed for a little bit. Then the technician attached all the probes & sensors to be and tied the sensor belt around me. She tested it out and then told me to get to bed and sleep. Better said than done. My cousin and I ended up talking for an hour and then we started snoozing off. She fell asleep much before I did. I tossed and turned for a while before falling asleep.

The technician woke me up for trying to get me to wear a mask for pressurized air flow but I felt very uncomfortable with it. I then went back to sleep getting much better sleep till a little after 6 am. We both woke up and the sensors were removed from me. I freshened up in the washroom for a tiny bit and then went down. We caught separate Ubers and I came home for some coffee. By 9 am I was very hungry and had buns with peanut butter for breakfast. And now I am chilling!