Sunday, May 24, 2009

I typed this up a while ago and never posted, don't know why..! May be
I would know if I read it again - but I am busy today..! So, apologies
in advance!


We had another good reason to celebrate, so we decided to check out Eastern Sea Board.

So typical of me I left it till 3pm to reserve a table for the same
evening. The woman on phone started off stating they are really booked
out that night, and offered just two slots. One a decent slot and
another when A&Es starts filling up with drunks. We picked the
decent one, and strolled in just in time.

The restaurant is dimly lit around the entrance area, and as soon as
your eyes get used to the darkness, the controlled chaos wallops you
across the face. To the right there’s the main eating area where people
seems to be skinning their road kill, and to the left there’s drunken
people tripping over each bleeding from fist fights.

No, not really. It’s a bit noisy, but it’s manageable, unless you have
a headache, which I had. Anyway, the d├ęcor looked nice. Its has
semi-pub feel to it, but has a honest appearance too – may be it was a
tad bid cold, but may be that’s just the weather that evening. I not
the type of person who can take one glance at something and give public
seminars on what I saw, but we had plenty of time to take all this in
as we were left standing there for about three minutes. I won’t say we
were totally ignored intentionally, because most of the staff members
seems to be running in and out of the cash till to our left, holding
bits of paper and money, looking totally baffled by the technical
contraption in front of them, so I won’t blame them for failing to
notice us two indignant people by the door! Physiological Advantage
Easter Sea Board!

After another few more minutes of doing our best ‘sad doggy eyes’, they
did eventually took pity on us and guided us to a table near the drinks
counter side, and a warm and well spoken woman, who seems to run a lot
of the show there, came up to us and briefly apologized for the delay -
apparently they had a large birthday party dining going on and that is
keeping them on their toes. Explains the family road-kill feast that
was going on so.

I have to admit I am not as fit as I used to be (err, or when I used to
think I am), so I did find it rather tricky to get comfortable on those
high chairs – they had no footrests! We first got two single sheets
menus with an apology of printer running out of paper or something, and
within seconds, they found a few of those famous clipboard menus for
our reading pleasure!

We soon realised we are seated between two tables of old acquaintances.
I guess when the tables are close to the pub counter, people tend to
behave a bit like that too –they looked happy to meet, which they kept
reassuring every five minutes – no harm I suppose.. Except that now I
know where two of them work, that the woman to my left has a son who
moved to Australia and she is going to visit there and Toronto next
month to visit her daughter. Okay, lovely.. urgh.. Whatever! The only
plus side is that with the all the shouting around us, it wasn’t easy
to make ourselves heard to each other – which meant less talking –
which is not a bad thing I suppose since I was out there with my wife!

Wine list was nice, we picked some white, which turned out lovely and
mild, and not too expensive. They brought around some bread on
breadboard to the table – which was a class touch because it felt
really fresh and tasted pretty nice.

The starters arrived in good time, and it arrived well- read ‘a lot’.
Generous portion sizes seem to be their style at Eastern Sea Board.
Starter was yummy and left me half full, and the main dish (we had
picked steak) was perfect, and was nearly impossible to finish with the
generous massive side order portions. The food was well presented and
tasted lovely. We skipped dessert as we would have needed assistance to
help slide down from those highchairs..

On the side, we noticed we were being looked after by about three girls
– there were at least three attempts to take our order (one didn’t know
we just had our menus, the other got the order and the third didn’t
know we had ordered). And two attempts to get us order the dessert. And
three came around to see if we are all okay and if we need anything
else. I will never complain about too much care, but for their own
benefit, they might want to streamline this a bit – just the basics -
like assign a few tables to each, and have one senior person to get
feedback / build the rapport further etc.

Conclusion: Exactly opposite of my experience at Indus, which I
posted at the start of this thread (admittedly, that was a long time
ago). Tasty food, good quantity and not over-the-top prices (not cheap
either).

I still miss Lemongrass, but EasternSeaBoard does fill that gap – in their own way.
(An old review I posted on boards, 28th May 2008)

A few weeks ago, we had a small good news to celebrate and thought we
would check out the new Indian restaurant in Bryanstown Manor.

It was mid-week, rang around 2pm to booked table for 8:30pm, which was
'no problem' and the girl on phone was pleasant to deal with.


We strolled in around 8:28pm (we live nearby ),
and the place looks funky. Not your traditional dark, candle-lit Indian
restaurant at all. The place is done up nice and bright, very
contemporary, yet colorful. Trendy looking tables and chairs, cutlery
etc. Slightly louder than your typical Indian restaurant, probably due
to open kitchen (you see them cook, flames etc) but mostly due to the
typical bollywood music in sync with an LCD tv on the left of the bar
area. Overall, its not a bad place to be, so far.



As soon as we got there, we were asked to take a seat at the bar area.
There is a certain lack of communication from now on. We didn't know if
we were to be served here (all the normal tables looked busy) or if we
are just being asked to wait (they didn't ask!). Five minutes later
someone gave us the main menu (!) - again, not sure whats happening
there! Another couple came thru the door and were taken to a table. A
few turned up for take-aways and they were asked to wait at the bar
area next to us as well. Now I am getting really uncomfortable...



Okay, here we go - some one came around and took us to our table - by
the window. Nice touch. All forgiven. I don't know much about wines,
but the list was, lets say, average. We went for a white Italian
between us - €35 or so. Probably not the best decision of the day, but
ah well, no one else to blame here. Oh quick comment on the table,
cutlery, wine glasses, plates - all top notch - loving it!



We ordered startes (selection platter, €15) between us, and own main
courses (can't remember - approx €20 each). Starter turned up in a
large square china - and my jaw literally hit the floor well, no, it
actually hit the above mentioned funky table - there were two small
pieces of sausage, one prawn, two small pieces of chicken and a small
piece of something that I couldn't recognize. Bit of a bummer then...!
I couldn't comment on the quality - because it just wasn't enough for a
good bite! Bit of of a disappointment there for €15. That kinda set the
tone for rest of the evening to be honest!



Main dish was brought out in good time. Again, same story with
quantity. Large round china and the curry was not more than about four
teaspoons in the middle of the plate. It tasted okay, I have had
better, but my main gripe was about the quantity. A 6 year old would
probably eat more than that!



At this stage I was starting to wonder if the dessert might impact my
credit history, so we got ourself Magnums from nearby Crossroads for
the walk back!



Whats good: Decor. Location.

Whats bad: Eh... pfft! Do I look like Geri Halliwell or something?

Would I go back? Of course ... (NOT!)



Conclusion: The only good thing about Indus is that Lemongrass is nearby!



I love Indian food and really wanted Indus to be a good restaurant and
I think they can be - brings the prices down, increase the quantity and
quality! And oh, just explains things better too, please! Thank you
very much!

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

The Importance of Timing

A few months ago, on my way back from a neurologists appointment with someone, I had a brainwave (yeah, it still hurts...) that there should be a better tool out there to track and report the seizure activities, medicines, what could have prompted the seizure etc so that next visit to the neurologist one can be loaded with concise information of the condition and progress, rather than the typical expression "meh, it was.. err, about the same, slightly worse at times, but otherwise normal..".

I google'd for hours looking for a tool or website that does something remotely like that, but there was none. Another brain flash - here's something I should do. I should setup that site..! With this newfound passion and purpose, I registered www.brainwavetracker.com and a few days later I forgot all about it (typical me), and never got around to setup the website.

Now it seems someone else had a similar brain flash, and they, unlike me, actually did something about it - and here it is - www.seizuretracker.com.

Fair play and best wishes to them - and kick up the back side to me!

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

WebSphere application startup issue!

WebSphere applications have this nasty habit of starting up all as soon as the application server has been started up. Its not a bad thing if your application has been working fine all along. But if you have just installed the application or have updated the build, and not sure if the application would startup in the first go itself, its probably a better idea to not to let the application startup automatically.

The rule of thumb seems to be that you leave a profile/server aside to handle the adminConsole, so that you will always have adminConsole, even if other applications fails to startup. However, in practice, most development / test WebSphere environments that I have come across has everything deployed to 'server1'. In this situation, the applications starting up automatically is even more dangerous as they can make even the adminConsole unavailable to you!

If you get stuck with the application bringing down adminConsole, solution is to stop the application from starting up automatically on server startup. To do this, you need to locate deployment.xml file in your WebSphere installation folder:

$drive/$WebSphereInstallation/profiles/myProfile/config/cells/myCell/applications/myApplication.ear/deployments/myApplicationName


Look for 'deployedObject' that is related to your application, and under it, locate 'targetMappings', and change 'enabled="true"' to 'enable="false"'.

eg: <targetMappings xmi:id="DeploymentTargetMapping_1147899429698" enable="false" target="ServerTarget_1147899429698"/>

Next time when you start the server, the offending application will not startup, giving you a chance to use adminConsole, and identify a fix.

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Wednesday, August 01, 2007

thoughts...


thoughts..., originally uploaded by chunangadan.

This is how I picture my mind when I am worried about something. The 'worry' just spreads from one part of the mind into other, in a very unpredictable shape and pattern and just slowly takes up the entire mind, and if it ever goes totally black, I guess I would stop thinking and drop dead like a log.

Just as well that I don't worry too much! I am too forgetful to remember an issue long enough to worry about it... hmm and did I mention how forgetful I am?

Each serves according to their strength


nibbler, originally uploaded by chunangadan.

.. which seems to be the morale of the story behind those beautiful strips on his back!

Source: healingstory.org

Long ago in ancient India a ten-headed monster called Ravana the Rakshasa kidnapped a king’s beloved wife. The king was named Rama and his queen was named Sita. Everyone loved the king and queen because their hearts were pure. King Rama waged war on Ravana and set off to battle. The great king of monkeys, King Hanuman, led the army.

They traveled until they came to a vast sea that they would have to cross to reach Ravana’s kingdom. King Rama attempted to calm the raging ocean by shooting his magic arrows into the waves. But the King of the Sea rose up and said, "The seas can not be overcome by force, but only by building a strong bridge." So, King Rama ordered his monkeys to construct a stone bridge that could hold his entire invading army.

Monkey after monkey set to work carrying huge stones and enormous boulders to the seaside. Thousands of monkeys worked ceaselessly and King Rama was pleased. Then the king noticed that a small brown squirrel rushed up and down from the hills to the shore carrying little pebbles in her mouth. "What is that little creature doing?" he wondered.

The monkeys also saw the squirrel and grew angry. "Get out of our way," they screeched. "You are too small. You are not needed."

The little squirrel looked up and said, "I am helping to build the bridge to save Queen Sita." All the monkeys began to laugh. They held their sides and roared and hopped and mocked the little squirrel. "We have never heard anything so foolish in our entire lives," they said.

The squirrel answered, "I can not carry rocks or stones. I can only lift small pebbles, but that is what I can do to help. My heart weeps for Sita and I want to be of assistance."

The monkeys moved the squirrel away, but she continued to carry small pebbles and pile them up nearby. Finally, one monkey grew so irritated that he lifted the little animal and threw her into the air. The squirrel cried out, "Rama!" The king lifted his hand and caught the squirrel safely in his palm.

It was just at that moment that the monkeys realized they needed the little pebbles to place between the larger stones to keep the bridge from falling.

King Rama said to them, "Monkeys, never despise the weak or the deeds of those that are not as strong as you. Each serves according to his strength and capacities and each is needed to make this bridge." With three fingers, King Rama drew three lines down the squirrel’s back. "What truly matters is not the strength one has, but how great one’s love and devotion is." From that day forth squirrels have had three pale stripes on their rich brown furry backs—marks of the great King Rama. And that is how the strongest bridge across the sea was built.

Even if they are just rodents, Indian squirrels just adorable looking creatures!

Kerala birds..!

Real birds, not ""birds"" - since I started reading various Photography forums and stunning pictures of beautiful birds, I started noticed birds around where I live. There are stunning but limited number of species around here in Ireland.

However, during my last visit home, I was shocked by the close proximity and different types of bird calls and chirping that was going on around me! In next 60 minutes or so, I counted about a dozen different species of birds, all beautiful, some stunning, and some like this one - drop dead gorgeous!

Aparantly Black hooded Orioles are very desirable, expensive pets all over the world! Who knew?!

I am delighted with myself that I have finally, after ignoring them for three decades, have come around to be able to appreciate them! Better late, than never! :D

Friday, July 27, 2007

The Pope's children!


The Pope's children!, originally uploaded by chunangadan.

I haven't read the book by that name, supposed to be a good one, about the new Ireland of Celtic Tiger boom economy of increased employment, soaring prices, new spending habits, changing priorities - live in general in the Ireland of the 21st century.

Anyway, the photo here is from Phoenix Park, 1752 acres of beautiful woodlands and park, right in the middle of Dublin. One of my favorite places in Dublin.

The large cross in the background is the Papal Cross where Pope John Paul II held a mass for over a million people in 1979. Remember, total population of Ireland around then was less than four million!



This photo has been shortlisted for Schmap Dublin guide. I have never heard of them before, no need to prepare my acceptance speech just yet!


What the Bible left out..., originally uploaded by chunangadan.

.. . the full story of course! The church's lack of understanding of majestic sea creatures meant they decided to twist the tales to completely take them out!

Newly found ancient documents shows that the The three kings intially set off following the star, but soon, the sky went totally cloudy and they got lost in the vastness of the desert. Not like they had GPS sysems or anything, and the Camels where poorly trained as well! They then used their powers and sought the help of the supremely intelligent sharks to show them the way. This species of sharks could fly and they were later hunted down and exterminated by the armies supporting the Church as the Priory of Flying Sharks stood in the way of Church's version of the Bible stories.

Anyway, on a serious note, I am about two thirds into Richard Dawkin's The God Delusion, and I think he makes a lot of sense. Growing up in a relaxed yet Hindu family, I have to say, the Abrahamic religious ideas never appealed to me! I could never understand the idea of a 'God' person (Bruce Almighty-ish all knowing all seeing God guy). Over a period of time I was getting comfortable with the idea of God as 'collective goodness in the universe' (and evil the opposite), but Dawkins has thrown a spanner in that idea too. I think he calls my stand apologetic fence-sitters or something - grrr, well I have to agree, fence sitting is not same as opposing, and it probably is more close to supporting than opposing, blind religious rules by various interests, almost all of which is really are the reasons for most of the major conflicts in known human history, and present!

Coming back to 'The God Delusion', I find it a tough read. It started off with Mr. Dawkins making his position clear, and making sure that he sets your expectations straight - this is going to be a straight taking book with mild rhetoric tone. Read it if you like, or give it to someone else right now. I kept going of course, even if I don't agree with the rhetoric tone, I was curious about his side of the argument. So far, I agree with almost all of what he has to say! Not sure if I will be a 100% atheist by the time I put the book down, but I am sure I am more an atheist now than I was - was never a theist to start with, so it wasn't too difficult anyway!

A random point that I can recollect now (it sparked a 'Ahhaa' moment when I read it..)::

Human brain is programmed to survive - we more likely to mistake a shadow for a burglar, than a burglar for a shadow!

Verdict: Good read, if you have the time, interest and patience!



PS: A timely (almost) discussion on this topic over at Dilbert: The Atheist Who Thought He Was God.

The Sunny Coast!


Spanish Sun!, originally uploaded by chunangadan.

.. or 'Costa Del Sol' in Spanish, the south coast of spain lives up to its reputation here!

Its sunny, even in the middle of winter, which is nothing new to someone from the tropics like myself, but living in Ireland where Sun is usually referred as 'the strange fireball in the sky', or one dry sunny day is the difference between 'average summer' to 'brilliant summer', a warm sunrise like this on a December morning is better than sliced bread, better than threesome on The Maltese Falcon!!

Costa Del Sol, with its fine weather, fine selection of restaurants that cater all kinds of food, with prices just fraction of whats common is UK and Ireland (Western Europe in general), the unstoppable mass migration of retired people from UK and Ireland to South of Spain has been going on for years now. The coasta is now so built up, tall, tasteless apartment complexes, beautiful but soul-less stree markets, shops and restaurants - its not Spain anymore - its more like a knock-off UK or Ireland, with good weather and cheap food and drinks! Property boom in UK & Ireland, cheap fares airlines Ryanair offering to get you there for less than your taxi fare to airport doesn't help the situation either!



Fuengirola, as seen from the sea here, probably has more English residents that Spanish.

Away from the proxy-Engerland, nearby town of Malaga has a lot of history to show off, The Alcazaba, the Moorish castle. But due to my own carelessness, I lost this memory card with about 300 shots! Well, an excuse to go back there again!! :D


Jet d'Eau, originally uploaded by chunangadan.

Haven't been here since I bought a Canon 400D.

Jet d'Eau, familiar backdrop for the dancing couple of an average Bollywood movie in last few years. Apart from that sort of abuse, the place, Geneva, is as beautiful as anything else swiss. Life looks perfect around Lake Geneva - skiing all winter, water sports in summer, crystal clear water, fresh air, beautiful houses with green lawns and fantastic views to die for, snow capped matterhorn mountains in the distance, worlds best public transport, low tax, high average income, relaxed and healthy lifestyle, top class education system, universities, research and development jobs, finance and banking related jobs and a very stable, very matured economy!!


On the downside, accommodation is extremely expensive if you can find one at all, and it usually is an apartment. Eating out, insurance costs etc are a bit on the dear side.

Over many visits to Geneva, most striking thing that comes to mind is that I never saw a police car or a police officer around, which I think is a darn good sign of how things are! Especially considering the hotel is right next to the ""business"" or red light area of the town!

Tops my list desirable places to live. Just have to be careful to not to bump into Bachchans or Kapoors, thats all!

Friday, September 22, 2006



True, true!!
 Posted by Picasa

Saturday, September 16, 2006

When going gets tough...


sunrise
Originally uploaded by chunangadan.
.. the tough gets going; or so they say.

Its fairly tough with me at the moment personally, but if I toughen up and get going, that might hurt some others, which I don't want to. Now does that make me weak? I will think about it. For now, I am busy finding out and getting indulged in new distractions to keep me busy. My camera gets a lot of abuse lately. This one from this morning when I wandered out (very) early upto the nearby Bettystown beach.