Friday, September 14, 2007

Much "AD"o about nothing ....


...have you ever wondered how ads and commercials on media sometimes have the opposite effect of what they are meant to promote? I have, on numerous occasions .... Take the "SitNSleep - You are killing me Larry" commercials with different scenarios like the taekwond-ing Larry slashing down cardboard stacks of prices and Irwin screaming hysterically every two minutes .."you are killing me Larry!!!" or Irwin complaining about giving birth to free two mattresses and getting de-fibbrilated by an equally hyper nurse ...



How gross or unimaginative can you get ... sometimes when I listen to these ads on the radio ... I think to myself ... there's no way, I'm walking into a sit and sleep store to save some dollars ..just because the way the ad cheeses me off ... I mean really ... for all those people who pay top dollars to ad companies... they should invest some time and effort in making sure that the ads are worth the huge bucks they shell out ... and that their consumers appreciate the nuances or the humor ... or that they are tempted to buy that product ...

There are a lot of other cases .. Like the "southwest airlines - get wherever you want to" ads that used to air one - two years back... They would start of with scenarios that leave you wondering to the last second of the ad, as to what the ad is about ... Commercials are supposed to have an effect within 30 seconds for the user to respond to it and to think to him/herself ..."May be I should get that" ... and not keep scratching his/her head for 30 seconds after wondering "What was that all about?".....

Maybe the ad guys here need to take some lessons from their Indian counterparts ... I'm not being biased here ... but in India 90% of the commercials in media is very effective, very apt and sometimes very subtle ... but even the subtleties hit the bulls eye every time ... I used to love the Amul butter ads for instance ... They would usually be related to a current event or topic of discussion in news ..and would be usually one liners ... but the impact would be just amazing ... take a look at some of them here ...


or for the Indian-thusiasts, here's the full link at:


to be fair, not all ads here in the usa, are bad... some are quite good..like the super bowl ads, or "need a moment" by Twix etc ... But the percentage of good ads to horrible ones, is like 10% ....

that's what I'm talking about .... a perfect commercial is like an "Ala carte" .. .it has to be the perfect blend of wit, common sense, subtleties and a succinct description of why one should get the product... a perfect ad/commercial would not only leave a visual impact ... but would also leave one wanting more .... and to ultimately get one to move one's butt off the couch/chair to go get that thing ... instead of sitting and lamenting about the quality of ads..Like I am doing here ... :)

see ya back on monday ... and for those with a big funny bone in their bodies .. here's a fun link to look at ...




Thursday, September 13, 2007

Best day at work ....Offroading babe :)

i totally disagree with whoever said "you can't have fun at work" ... I did ... yesterday..part of what I do for a living is to design a mobile network ..(for the layman, who's rolling his eyes...I basically get to decide, where I want big black boxes that help you make that call on your cellphone...)...and yesterday I got to go an island 25 miles off coast of Santa Barbara, called the Santa Cruz Island to figure out where in the wilderness would I want to put a cell site to provide the only means of communication to the permanent residents of the island ....
I had so much fun yesterday, that decided to blog it .. so I dont forget it ... not that the ton of pics i took yesterday will let me do so...:)



(courtesy nature.org)

Santa Cruz in short is any nature lover's dream ... it's full of steep cliffs along the coastline, coves and the central valley that splits the island along the Santa Cruz Island fault... it's almost 21 miles from west to east and home to some species of flora and fauna found nowhere else in the world ... Some quick facts on the island:



1. Main mammal (apart from the official population of 3 people) - the island fox that's supposed to be as small as a house cat and is a cross between a cat and a dog (figuratively speaking..).. these are pretty territorial and they'll eat anything from oranges to plant to mice ... we did see lots of half eaten oranges...I have to tell you ... these would be a pretty healthy bunch of foxes ...given all the vit C they consume :)

2. Mice - aggressive bunch according to an inside source ... these are scared of none ... and they have a sharp set of teeth to chew through almost anything ... and tons of them on the island
3. A typical kind of bush called island buckwheat is found nowhere else in the world and is a prolific and beautiful bush....

4. The tallest flowering tree in south and north america is found here ... Eucalyptus trees .. some of them more than 200 feet tall .... there's a big grove of them near the central valley ... big hunkering trees that consume at least 300 gallons of water each day...

5. Most of the buildings on the main ranch in central valley were built in 1880-1891...out of bricks made on the island ... limestone quarried from the northern coast and carried inland on treacherous and steep trails by wagons ... there's a small chapel, two three barns..

6. The only source of power is solar energy ... harnessed by huge solar panels ... that produce surplus energy ...

7. Windward ho!! - the western end of the island has a cooler climate, is windier ... thanks to all the coastal breeze that gets channeled into the valleys and peeks ..pine forests are in abundance at this end ...

8. Grass is greener on the other side - Very true for the island figuratively speaking...an aerial view(awesome view from the 7 seater small plane that I took to get to the island!!) speaks a thousand words :) half of the island is absolutely barren and devoid of green as compared to the other half ... this thanks to some 100000 sheep and some 5000 pigs who decided to have a "all you can eat buffet party" some years ago ... the sheep ultimately had to be exterminated to prevent the island greenery from becoming "thread bare".... they just have a couple of cows, two horses left on the island as part of the ranch...no more sheep....

Enough of facts ....there are no roads ... only trails... so to get across the island from one end to other .. you have to offroad ... and it was a very wonderful dusty, albeit roller coast-ish experience ... :) and ofcourse the flight back and to was very smooth ... despite all the propeller ringing I still have :) we flew our lunch in ... and camped out poolside for our meetings ....

It was one heck of a trip in short ... :) Business trip that I enjoyed to no end ..... and for more information ... here's a pretty concise link that tells you the how, what , where.

I love my work ....few days I get to say it ...Off roading... yeah...



Thursday, August 30, 2007

"highway to the danger zone"

i think one of the best places to observe humanity and its whims and fancies is being stuck in a traffic jam on the freeway commute everyday... you get to see such a wide variety of people, cars and people doing things in their car stuck in a jam .... :) for instance...

1. i have seen a nice middle aged man, trying to shave while driving at 40 mph in stop and go traffic ... (Hello!!!! dude .. if you are in a suicidal mood, please spare your fellow commuters the gory sight..)

2. I have seen ladies applying makeup in the right most lane stuck between two big rigs ... no offense to my species ...but i can never get myself to do it ...however many arguments one can put forth about how it's about using time efficiently ...but no thank you ... i don't want to be stuck in traffic with a mascara stick poking my eye ... if i have to hit the brakes once too often ... and I'm the brake jamming kinds :)

3. I have seen people reading a book(!!!) on the freeway driving at 50 mph ....how do you do it ... it has to be no mean feat I tell you...I tried it once in the safety net of my parking lot with no cars or lampposts around for miles ...but it gave me the "heebeedijeebies" :)


4. And here comes the big burger, murderer... ini kamoze would make big bucks on remixing his hot stepper song here ... I have tried this one .. eating while driving ...(only once though..becoz honest to god I was 2 hours late for a meeting!!!) and i call it the world class juggling act

and yesterday took the cake ...biker trying push up position on his sports bike going @ 80 miles per hour...I dedicate Kenny logins "danger zone" to him :)

Thursday, August 02, 2007

ratatouille...:)


few of the best things in life...




1. getting compliments from your own mom who is a great cook herself ... that you have turned out an amazing cook yourself :)

2. winning a 300 million dollar lottery and not having to think about the cost of something when you want it :)

3. having an office with a view of the mountains and lake and having your boss think that you are the best employee, while others do all the work :)

4. 10 min power naps under your desk when everyone's out to 2 hour lunches :)

5. 3 wishes from a jeannie....

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Shine On


Favorite pastime on morning commutes is listening to the radio ... I have this one favorite radio station too... 104.3 .. and I think I’m more a loyal listener becoz I have won a lot of prizes and give-aways on this station ... but that's besides the point ... (of this blog neways)...
What I set out to write was that ..today morning they had this commercial about bright smiles and how it's a perfect gift idea for your friends or loved ones ... not that it's an inexpensive gift ... at 399 bucks for 60 mins of a machine polishing your teeth for you .. (so you can look like Ross and his phosphorescent teeth in one friends episode) .. it's definitely not a steal .. but doesnt it kind of give the idea to the recipient (of your much thoughtful(!!) gift) that his or her teeth are not in the perfect state of affairs? :) That their teeth resemble ape mandibles? or that it resembles a 24 hour tobacco chewing aleck?
come to think of it ... wouldnt the importance of an expensive gift be belied by the implications of it? :) I'd rather get a gift voucher of 399 bucks that I can use as I please ..rather than a "Tooth Polish" ... my teeth are in perfect health .. (so I would like to believe :) ) thank you ....

Friday, August 25, 2006

Joyride...!!!!


standards of living .. i believe everyone should have them .. i mean not just for living ... other stuff too .. like people should have standards for even crimes they commit ... you know ... if i had some self respect for myself ... and i had to commit a crime .. i would make sure that it's worth committing it ... according to my standards(pretty high they are ... mind you ) and keeps up my reputation .. like Fran├žois Toulour of Oceans 12 ... he had pretty high standards too ... so much so .. that he wanted to be declared the best thief in the world .. (talk about having ambition !!!)
anyways .. to make a long story short ... last weekend somebody stole my car ... right from the parking lot in front of the apartment ... and parking lots as they are, have all kinds of cars .. fancy ones, drooly ones(the cars dont drool .. but they'd make you drool .. ), "neighbor's envy, owner's pride" ones ... and decrepit ones too ... a parking lot is like a mall ... you'll find all ages, types and genders .. :D so my car belonged to the generation "I'm old .. but flashy" ones ... you know ... the red, two door sports model ... with a stick shift that can kick up a dust behind it ... oh and it had a moonroof too :) the only thing flashy inside was the nice deck ...
the car's been broken into before too ... (Dam'n that stereo .. ) i dont regret the stereo being stolen .. but what does pinch is the fact that it usually always has one of my "Favourite CD's" and "I spent like 30 trillion years of my life to get those songs!!!" ... hmmm .. maybe they should invent car cd players that have an "auto eject and fly away to owner" mechanisms ... atleast I wont have to spend another 30 trillion yrs .. !!
so usually when i wake up in the morning and get out to go to office ... i have this thought that yeah .. my car will be there ...albeit .. the stereo might be gone ... imagine my surprise ... when i see the whole car gone .. !!! :( ..
and I'm thinking to myself .. and asking the cop too ... "why my car?" ... sheesh .. thieves ought to have some standards ... i mean .. dudes .. if you have to steal .. go about it Danny Ocean style ... you know .. challenges et all ... have some panache ... steal all the drooly cars ...
anyways ... to really cut the story short this time .. the cops did find the car ... (They really do .. and I used to think ... they just go around handing out tickets and pretending to be in a saga of Popeye and Bluto .. ) !! but they found the car minus the battery and the seats .. (the joyriders .. must have gotten stuck to that piece of gum I couldnt get off the passengers seat ... SERVES them right !!) and ofcourse needless to mention it .. the stereo too .... and my "favourite" cd gone with it ...
have you ever realised ... how important something is to you .. when you lose it??? i feel for those cd's :)
so here i am .. hunting for cars again ... and inventing schemes to keep the joyriders away ... and maybe get a patent or two along the way for my discoveries ... and thinking to myself .. every minute ... thieves should have standards :)

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Of Pinacoladas ... and getting caught in the rain ...


... no it doesnt rain in aruba .. at least not for 10 months out of 12 .. so its nice hot humid .. all through the year .. with lots of cool winds ... and abundance of coladas ... come to think of it ..coladas are the perfect drink for that kind of a weather ... so what is this post about ? no ... am not going to ramble on about the qualities of a colada ... just wanted to document my trip ... there are pictures .. but it's nice to read about memories .. places .. so i'll try to make it as nice as possible for the reader .. ( which may include me .. a couple of days from now .. :) )

day 1 of the vacation- aruba's pretty much accessible .. the flights are not ... so pretty much of one day goes in flying into the island .. on the way one gets to see the pristine white beaches and green waters .. of the bahamas .. so keep those telephoto lenses out .. the islanders are a very friendly and helpful lot .. some of them can speak upto 9 languages .. so no matter what .. you'll communicate one way or the other ... si .. :) Bon bini ... that's welcome in papiamento .. the aruban native language that has a rythm to itslef and is easy to pick up .. well at least from the guide book .. it seems so ... the airport has the caribbean sea to one side of it ... and the flora is mostly abumdant with cacti .. and coconut trees .. and tropical plants ... with lots of flowers .. "colors " .. that's what it is ... the whole picture is very colorful ...

Aruba .. Ariba


I'm back after a nice four days under the sun on white sand beaches ... and after four days of downing my fill of aruba ariba's and coladas ... Does bliss get any better than this ? Well it might .. but for now I'm happy thinking it doesnt ...

Especially after four glorious days of sand, sun, and wildlife ... aruba's a small island country .. with netherland sovereignty... plenty dirt roads to go hiking on / jeeping on .. to rediscover natural and man made edificies ... they have gold ruins ... lighthouses a 100 years old .. caves with indian drawings a 1000 years old .. underground tunnels .. with bat caves .. that give you that "I have to get out of here .. " feeling ... but are fun to explore anyway ..

the island also has lots of rock formations .. which are a sight to behold in themselves ... 200 year old churches .. in the wilderness along the coastlines ... you can find cacti's and sand dunes strewn by the dozen ... and as the aruban's say ... "the iguana has the right of the way .. " .. so stop .. and the haughty looking lizard will pose for you .. in all it's colorful spiked back arched as if to say .. "hey get on with that snap .. I got work to do .. !! " :)

for the wilder not so interested in wildlife or nature or historics .. there's an abundance of water sports .. from sea treks ( you dont even need to know how to swim .. and for flounderers in the water like me .. :) .. that sounds and is a heavenly exp.. ) to parasailing .. , to windsurfing, kiteskiing .. jet skiing .. in short you name it .. and aruba's got it .. ofcourse, if someone invents "lighthouse bungee" .. i'm not sure if the island will allow it .. :)

in short .. four days were not enough ... not even the cuisine .. of seafood ... fresh caught and cooked .. in local styles .. i can still taste it :)

stay tuned .. for pics .. and more posts on ... aruba ariba ..