Father’s Day 2016

Yesterday, was one of the best Father’s day I ever had in many years.. I got to spend a whole day with my kids! Spending a day together with my girls is the best gift I can ever get from my girls.

The day got off to a rough start when I missed the train from Hazlet, NJ to NYC… but that’s what happens when you don’t anticipate traffic from point A to B. The day almost got cancelled before we got started, but of course it was my fault as my lack of planning can always cause unnecessary chaos.

Taking New Jersey Transit and Path to World Trade Center is pretty exhausting.. I still don’t understand why they have escalators that don’t work on weekends in Newark, NJ Penn station.  By the time we changed trains from NJ Transit to PATH.. I was huffing and puffing and sweating profusely.

If you are traveling from NJ to NYC.. you always know you are going to be on the move and be prepared to spend money every step of the way.. I was shocked that PATH was now $2.50 for a ride.. I can remember when it was $1! Yet when you think of the NYC subway’s costing $2.50, this PATH fare just seem to be over priced!

Tip of the Day: If you are in NYC, make sure your Metro Card is loaded! This same card can be used on NYC Subways and Path!

When we finally got to WTC, I was in absolute awe at the changes and the rebuilding that has happened and is ongoing. WTC continues to evolve but for me it brought back memories and sorrow. I used to commute to work through the original WTC in the late 1980’s. Yes I’m that old..

When you are in NYC, your attitude just automatically changes.. Once a New Yorker always a New Yorker.. I grew up in NYC, went to school in NYC and worked in NYC for many many years. Yet if you are not used to the hustle and bustle of NYC, you will get overwhelmed by the speed of NYC (from walking to running to subways).  I felt that I was walking in slow motion and everyone else was walking in high gear!

My girls took me to a great “bottomless” mimosa restaurant on 14th street. I forget the name of the restaurant.. but needless to say.. I left very happy (if you know what I’m trying to say here!).. When you have enough Mimosa’s your happiness level goes up exponentially!

highline2Highline1

I think the highlight of my Father’s day was walking from 14th street to 30th street on the High line.. This is an elevated walking platform where trains used to run and now is an elevated park that runs for about 5 miles!

The art, culture and the ability to enjoy the various art and neighborhoods that surround the High Line is truly amazing.

I bet you are asking yourself.. what was the best gift that I got? Well it was given to be my younger daughter.. She got me a Dad’s Taxi tag for my car.. This made my entire day.. So if you see a car with Dad’s taxi in the back window.. you will know that it’s me!

Dad's Taxi Yes simple things like this can really make me happy!

By the time we returned to NJ, I was exhausted and I needed a few hours of nap time to recover.. This is when I truly felt old! I used to commute to NY for work in the 80’s and 90’s! Now just one day trip wore me out..

Well I’d like to hear from my follower’s on how was your father’s day.. For me, yesterday was one of the best father’s day I ever had!

 

 

 

 

 

Chance Encounter: Psychic

Today I was at Trader Joe’s with my friend Deeb and I met this woman who was psychic.. Initially I didn’t know she was psychic, but my friend who was with me knew the psychic for many year told me she was a true psychic with real powers.

I’ll call the psychic Linda. Linda looks at me and without me telling her anything she says to me that I’m troubled.. and she stepped back.. I was perplexed..

For anyone that know’s Dad, knows how cynical I really am, and am not a believe in things that I don’t really know much about. Yet.. something about Linda captured my attention. Imagine me.. being captivated by a woman who was doing a watermelon demonstration at Trader Joe’s and her being a psychic.

My friend Deeb told Linda that I was in despair because I had a house that I could not sell and was in a situation where I would have to move back into the house and give up my current place. Linda closed her eyes and said to me: “If you give off positive energy every day, you will get that positive energy back in your direction by tenfold. Also every day I need to say at least 5 to 10 times “I’m Relieved the house is sold“. Even if the house was not sold, this mantra would give me back some positivity and reduce the stress and anxiety that I was feeling.

Linda also told me not to move back into the house for 3 months.. She didn’t know why the 3 months number was important, but she felt that number was important to my true self relief and the resolution to my issues. This chance encounter moved me to my foundation. Here was a woman I just met me telling me that my anxiety and stress would be over in 3 months. 

Before I had gone to Trader Joe’s I had told my friend Deeb that I was moving back into my house at the end of June.. Now this chance encounter had thrown my emotions and my decision into a state of upheaval. Now what? Would I listen to this stranger and take it a face value of what she was telling me to do? Or do I just ignore her advice and go with my decision. What would you do? I’m open for input from vast legions of followers (LOL)..

When Linda stepped back and closed her eyes,  I felt something.. I felt an electrical energy passing from her to me.. I was almost frozen in my spot.. If you know me, you know that I’m not that easy to get frozen or be moved by external influences..

Now, I have to decide do I take her advice and do the mantra and wait out the 3 months?

What do you think I should make of this chance encounter???.. because I’m teetering on the verge of going with the encounter and just letting it go..

Chance Encounter

 

 

Hurricane Sandy: A week after

Map of New Jersey
Map of New Jersey (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

So it’s almost a week after Hurricane Sandy devastated New Jersey. There are still almost a million people in NJ without power and many communities are devastated.

 

When I reflect on that, my situation at my home (no power) is trivial. Yes, we are living at relatives houses in other parts of New Jersey, but the sheer impact of Sandy is felt no matter where we are. Especially the gas situation.

 

Some highlights/low lights since my last posting:

 

  • As of yesterday the odd/even system of getting gas was implemented by Governor Christie. I commend him on doing this. I spent almost an hour on-line getting gas a few days ago. These kinds of lines reminded me of the lines I saw over 20 years ago when I used to live in NYC during the Oil embargo when Gas was less than $1 a gallon. Now we are paying over $3.50 a gallon and the sense of deja vu is back for me!
  • I realized my elderly father needs immediate attention as his mental faculties have deteriorated tremendously and I have to now take charge of his entire life. If Sandy had NOT come around, I would never have seen this, so from the bad came this good/bad news. I’ve spent the past few days getting organized on how to take care of my father who is in his mid 80’s and let me tell you this is an absolute attitude adjustment, for me. I’m thinking that I’ll spend the next few weeks posting some of the things I’ve done and hopefully this will enable some feedback and interaction with others that are or have gone through what I’m going through!
  • In times of need the people that reach out to you from all over the world shows that people do care. I’ve received so many emails on Facebook, Linked In, Text messages that I’m truly touched at the outpouring of affection from my friends and relatives.
  • Living with my various relatives has been such a joy.. These people have opened their hearts and homes to my family, and this is truly touching. This scenario is being played out in many families and I’m sure many will attest to this.

 

Good thing about today.. it’s Sunday and I have a TV to watch the games!

 

 

 

Natasha sings “My Immortal” with Evanescence!

Image representing Facebook as depicted in Cru...
Image via CrunchBase
My dear friends, we need your support! Here’s a Mashup song “My Immortal” made today by my teenage daughter  Natasha (BharatBeat Idol) M with Evanescence. This is a Mashup contest on Facebook that Natasha has entered! Follow the link below and give her a big LIKE and a word of encouragement!!
http://www.facebook.com/Evanescence?sk=app_116272508446233&app_data=4549

As her proud Dad, please view the video on Facebook and vote for by giving a big thumbs up LIKE!

As you may know this 13 year old is quickly becoming a star in her community!

Dad

Black Monday – Possible of 300K of outages

I know everyone that reads Dads’ Taxi is very alert about Malware and virusus.

Tomorrow (Monday, July 9th) is when up to 300 thousand PC’s may go dark because of the “doomsday virus”. What does going dark mean? It mean you won’t be able to get on the Internet and update your Facebook status, or do ANYTHING on the internet.

Of course the media is hyping this possible situation to the max and trying to get everyone to be scared silly. Well on Dad’s taxi, we try to alleviate your concerns by providing you with links that were published on Yahoo that you can use to see whether your computer is/was infected. It takes 20 seconds of your time and any one of the links below will do the check for you.

The Taxi is providing these links as a courtesy to my legions of followers. Ok, the ten’s of follower’s I have!

Online security firms, Facebook and the FBI are offering free diagnostic checks for users whose computers may be infected. Here are links to several sites:

Malware check: http://dns-ok.us/

After you run the real time tester and you see the image below, your machine has been infected!

FBI: https://forms.fbi.gov/check-to-see-if-your-computer-is-using-rogue-DNS

DNS Changer Working Group: http://www.dcwg.org/

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/notes/facebook-security/notifying-dnschanger-victims/10150833689760766

McAfee: http://www.mcafee.com/dnscheck

Keep in mind, this malware was discovered and and baddies that originated this malware were arrested. The information was excerpted from the following Yahoo News Site:

  • The problem stems from malware known as DNS Changer, which was created by cybercriminals to redirect Internet traffic by hijacking the domain name systems of Web browsers.
  • The ring behind the DNS Changer virus, discovered in 2007, was shut down last year by the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Estonian police and other law enforcement agencies.
  • Because the virus controlled so much Web traffic, authorities obtained a court order to allow the FBI to operate replacement servers which allow traffic to flow normally, even from infected computers.
  • But that order expires Monday, when experts say infected computers will face an “Internet doomsday.”

Life, insanity and hiatus for Dad’s Taxi

ImageAs you can see from over the past month, Dad’s taxi has been on hiatus. Life as I know it has been high gear both at work and home and that’s added to my writers block. Ugh!

ImageAt work, in addition to my F/T job managing a testing team, I’m also the President of an employee resource group for Diversity. Basically full jobs are being done by one person with one salary..I actually find both roles challenging, but I find that my priorities are becoming more and more convoluted every day! More ugh! Of course the challenge is not in doing both roles, but in keeping my sanity in the process.

At home, my younger daughter has been performing at a talent show in Middle school as well as keeping all of us on our toes as she becomes more of a talented performer at a ripe old age of 13.

Add all of this to the fact that my writers block is ongoing, it ends up that Dad’s Taxi is in hiding and no new posts are being written. Oh things do happen in my life that are blog worthy, but if I really want to continue blogging this long term writer’s block has to end.

Indo US FlagOh I almost forgot, in the back of my mind is my other passion is falling to wayside. That of course is BharatBeat where I’m still trying to work with my co-founder to establish a niche both on Facebook and do a full redesign of our main site

Last week I was in Atlanta and I gotta tell you, it was just as chaotic for my business life, but I actually got a great blog posting idea that I’ll be putting up soon, it’s called “The Boot”!

On this Memorial day, I sit here and realize that either my life is evolving into more daily chaos both emotionally (let’s not even start with this issue) or I’m just starting to realize that my insanity is not just at work but it encompasses all of my life.

Of course I can continue to write about nothing, or I can open a new venue to define how truly unbalanced my work & life has become. This of course has tremendous risks associated with it as I’ve found out that many of my followers are both at home as well as work. Hmm, how do I deal with that?

This weekend was opening the pool and the un-official start of the summer season, with 3 months of fun in the sun and pool work. Yet I constantly ask myself the following question:

How would you answer this question?

“Am I having fun yet?” – Most of the time the answer is yes, but when start taking myself too seriously (as I do a lot these days), I truly wonder when the fun really begins.If not this I constantly say to my self with my inside voice “Stop this train, it’s time for me to get off!”

So for all my followers, tell me if you think I made any sense in this litany of nothingness and how I defined the hiatus that I see my self being in on an ongoing basis.. Don’t be shy, feel free to tell me what you think!

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New Year Musings

Every year, I think to myself, what can be some of my New Year’s resolutions that I know that I will (not) keep? So this year, I decided to write some resolutions that I will not be able to attain in 2012, but will try to..

  • Lose weight. The more the better. Every year I say, I’m going to lose 10 to 15 pounds and this year I went the reverse direction and gained.  Not Good.  I guess the “See Food” diet just doesn’t work. Either, I change this pattern in 2012, or, I’ll be facing more medical bills and ailments than I did this year..
  • Be Debt Free: This year, financially was better than 2010, but I’m no closer to being debt free than I was last year.. It’s not like I spend more recklessley this year on credit cards, but chasing the moving target gets harder and harder. I’ve tried different stragegies to reduce debt, but it’s like I keep floating in the same pool of debt..  In 2012, I gotta think of a strategy that will really make a dent in my credit card balances, or I’ll be writing about it AGAIN next year at this time. Gotta figure out how to use less plastic and/or pay off what you buy… Both are good ideas in theory..

 

  • Have 6 month cushion of Money – Yeah right.. Refer to “Be Debt Free”. Only difference now is that my household income has gotten a spike upwards, but that doesn’t mean, my savings to debt ratio has gotten better.. Sad but true. I guess the motto “the more you make, the more you spend” applies here”.
  • Reduce my Medical Bills by taking care of my health.. Refer to bullet 1.. “Lose Weight”. It seems if I can’t do this, my medical bills will continue to go up every year..
  • Make my other passion BharatBeat successful: In 2011, my partner and I made some progress by setting up a dedicated page on Facebook .. but getting people “LIKE” us continues to be a challenge. In 2012, our goal is to finally step out of our comfort zone and go all out… maybe people will “LIKE” us then?? We shall see
  • Make strides in my Day Job – Actually 2011 was pretty good here for me… Enjoy my job, have a challenging position.. yet the rise to a higher pay scale continues to elude.. Yes, I know.. “Work hard and you shall succeed”..

Even with my cynical outlook, I do realize that what I have far exceeds my expectations of where I thought I would be as I hit the half century mark as well as well as 2011 draws to a close.. Now the question is what 2012 resolutions should I write that are actually attainable goals?

 

Parenting – What’s your style?

Today, I’m going to write about a topic that is near and dear to my heart. Parenting.

What is your parenting Style

There are many  schools of thought in on parenting. Below is the two that I struggle with on a day by day basis.

  1. The Authoritarian Parent (“Micro Parenting“) – In the business world, we’ll equate this to “micro-managing” a child. In real life, this is the overbearing parent that is constantly molding, probing, prodding, and making the child in a possible self-image.
  2. The Permissive Parent (“Hands Off Parenting – In the business world, you can refer this to “no management direction at all”. In real life, this is a parent who just stays back and let’s the child make his/or her  decisions of mistakes.

How do you establish the right balance between the two?

Now I don’t consider myself to be the best parent in the world, but I have always tried to guide my kids to “do the right thing” and “be an all-rounder”.  In my house we have two kids that are not only 7 years apart but worlds apart in their DNA makeup and their outlook and perspectives.

  • The younger one, is a go-getter, extremely sensitive and wants to succeed at any cost and does whatever is necessary to reach her still evolving goals, and she’s not even a teenager yet. This is the child that is harder to manage, because she’s all over the place and always challenging the Status Quo. In my house this is my “American Idol Child”. She even blogs!
    • This child is a non-stop communicator and will not stop discussing till she gets her point across. This is more like me I guess. Of course my friends may think otherwise.
  • My older one is a teenager in college and she’s on the opposite spectrum with DNA. She’s easy-going and really just wants to “go with the flow”. This child doesn’t have much of an outward desire to excel in anything much, but just wants to “be”. I could spend hours and hours talking to her for a stretch, but the channels of communication are uni-directional. From me to her.
    • In my mind’s eye, this is a passive child who doesn’t directly interact with her environment, but treads water ever so slowly that there is not much year of year differences.
    • At times she shows flashes of brilliance and may even be misunderstood to be a “selfish, self-centered child” for only being a go-getter for things she wants for herself.

How does a parent cultivate these two unique personalities and DNA composition? what is the right balance of parenting style match the child?

For my younger one, I must always raise the bar and challenge her to excel, whereas the older one, I need to constantly push her to find something that will interest/challenge her.

For my older one, I must always push her to establish “any” goal to work to. Otherwise, I’m not sure that she will ever set a goal which will interest/challenge her.

It’s as tough balance for any parent to follow. At least I struggle to balance the needs of each of these kids.

Here are some of the things I have to catch myself from not doing to maintain an equal footing as a parent:

  • Compare the achievements of one to the other
  • Use the classic line – “Why can’t you be like your sister, she doesn’t need any push in the right direction”.
  • Punishing the one that is yet to establish or even vocalize an “attainable goal”. Of course for me this one is too easy. Just take away my child’s body attachment to social media (her blackberry, or her Mac)!
  • Praising one over the other (in front of each other), because this obviously gives the older one a “complex”. What kind of complex  you can figure that one out.
  • Using the daily/weekly/monthly parent lectures, where the child will in minutes shut down and roll his/her eyes

There are many more bad “helicopter parenting” strategies that I can write about but I think you get the idea..

Now what are successful techniques that all of us a highly paid parents do use?:

  • Rewarding positive behavior and success
  • Being friends first and then parents. Even the first part is hard to do!
  • Drawing the lines and boundaries  for acceptable behavior and enforcing these boundaries
  • Being clear, concise, honest and direct in what you expect from you child. For me, I always tell my kids this is directly associated with “doing the right thing” for any situation that the world throws at you.
  • Constant Coaching and Communication – As a parent, the lines between the two of these things have always been blurred, as my coaching style can easily be perceived as “sarcastic encouragement”.
  • Being involved with your child’s daily life, without being intrusive. Allow your child to experience success and failures in their relationships and activities as they grow up?
    • I today’s Facebook age, how can you be your child’s friend without being overstepping the boundaries of being your child’s friend?
    • For every failure there is always to successes!
  • Trust but Verify: Now this is the hardest one for me. I trust my kids to do the right thing, but I how do I verify that the right thing has truly been done?

I could go on and ramble more and more, but as a parent what strategies work for you? As a dad who is constantly trying to balance his actions with some sense of positive reinforcement, I’d like to hear from you if you have any ideas..

Dad…

Terrorism in India – The common man

This past Wednesday, as I was a conference call with my off-shore team in Mumbai, one of them told me that there were additonal attacks in Mumbai, India. At first I was shocked, then I was deeply saddened.

This past week Mumbai experienced another cowardly attack by terrorists. This attack hit home for me even more as one of the sites was where I roam when I’m visiting and it’s only a mile or so from where I live when I’m in Mumbai!

My best friend AK from Bharatbeat wrote and  an absolutely wonderful article about this attack  on our blog. The post describes how the common man’s interests are NOT the priority of the Indian government, and how the government does not seem to protect the the population. Each terrorist attack is a photo opportunity and an opportunity for the corrupt politicians in India to get face time in front of the cameras.

I could go on and on, but I won’t, as none of my rants will change anything in India. Sad but true..

Do you think that anything will change after the latest attacks? You can provide your opions at the BharatBeat FaceBook page or here..

Below are some articles related to the attack from a few days ago.

Google Plus – Invites available via BharatBeat!

As many of Dad’s readers know, Dad’s Taxi and BharatBeat.com continue to be partners and we are working to establish a global community for our friends.

Today, we are introducing for a limited time FREE INVITES to Google Plus.

  • We are not selling anything nor is there any obligation for you purchase anything. We are just trying to give back to our community!
  • You don’t have to buy anything, and your information will always be kept private.
  • Follow the directions below or go to the facebook page for and  BharatBeat as we introduce to our friends the new world of Google Plus!
After a very long time, Google has created a big buzz by releasing its own version of Social media called Google Plus or Google+. As of now it is in test phase and access is limited only to invites by members (like they did when Gmail came in).
After Facebook shot down Google’s Orkut, Google has come out with a bang with Google+. It has some really neat features. We will be soon creating a new section for Google Plus discussions.To get an invite for join Google Plus – here are the easy steps you should follow:

  • Once you complete the steps above, the BharatBeat Team will send you the invite to Google Plus ASAP.
  • In the email that you send us, make sure that you include the screen name which you used to post a message in this thread. If we cant match or find the screen name to the registered email, then we wont be able to send an invite.
  • If you are not a registered member of BharatBeat forums  click on Register button on the top of the forums page.
For example – if you sign in to this forum using a name called “email” then include that name in the email so that we can verify that you posted a message.It might take couple of days to get the invite because we have to send bulk invites. So please be patient.

Thank you and we hope you enjoy Google Plus