A Reader’s Mind is Like A Hotel

I imagine my mind as a hotel where characters from all the books I read stay. Most of the characters leave as soon as I finish reading the book.

But some stay.

Some stay longer.

Some stay forever.

But there are other things they do. See, when we give room for them stay, they mess with it. They scribble crazy things on the walls. We call them quotes.

Some re-arrange things in the room, lock some rooms forever, among crazy things.

But you know what, I love those who stay forever. I love those who shake things up, and scribble stuff on the wall.

I totally love them.

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Can You Multi-task Like This Does? #gif

Can You Multi-task Like This Does? I bet you can’t!

via Reddit

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Genesis or Thesis?

Ever since my blogs started making little money, I have invested on premium theme framework and child themes (or skins). Thesis theme was my first investment in blogging other than the hosting expenses that I was already paying.

Lately, I have been reading a lot about the Genesis framework and their child themes.

Most people rate both Thesis and Genesis almost equally in most of the things, but the pricing is a huge attraction for Genesis. There is no pro package. You purchase the theme once and you get full support and updates for the life time, for any number of domains that you want to use it on.

The Thesis option was ok for me because apart from this personal blog of mine, I had only one pro-blogging effort, and I used Thesis there. But in 2013, I added two more domains and started blogging there. I blog on Chrome Story regularly, and I keep the other two updated as much as possible, most of the time spending weekends on them.

I write very less here on this blog these days though.

So, Genesis package will give the freedom to use the Framework on all my blogs without paying extra dollars for the developer option like Thesis.

Hmm

It is a tough decision to make, comparing all the features and design opportunities.

Which one should I choose now?

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What I Meant is Not What He Meant

The Blah Blah Blah Introduction/Background

After a week long vacation in Kerala, my wife and I packed our bags and reached the railway station.  It was 9pm, and we still had 15 – 20 minutes before the train arrived.

We said our “tata-bye-bye” to my brother-in-law and his friend who dropped us on their two wheelers. The ticket was in the “waiting list” when we booked, but as usual, it should be “confirmed” by now, we thought.

Yes, the ticket was still “waiting list” and the ticket was booked online, which means we cannot get in to the train and beg the ticket examiner to give us some space to sleep.

(Stop that devilish grin on your face and continue reading now.)

Our next option is to take a general ticket, get in to the next train, and try to get a seat/berth.  This was a newly introduced AC only train, and we have better chances of getting a berth here, the guy at the counter said.

So, we now have a couple of hours to spend in a city where my wife grew up, and I worked for 3 years and more importantly, had nothing to do after 9.30Pm.

Cochin after 10pm is not an exciting place to hang out. Empty roads and closed roads greet you almost everywhere.  We decided to try our luck finding some street food, and an ATM to fetch some cash to pay for our ticket (which we may or may not get).

The Real Story

MG Road, 10 PM. My wife is inside the ATM getting the money and I am waiting outside respecting the privacy of her ATM card PIN.

Is there any good place to go at night in Cochin?” a voice asks from behind me.

I turn around and see a fair, tall guy with lots of pimples on his face.

I freaked out.

Why is this guy asking me for a place to go to enjoy the night?

I am not what you think, buddy. I am married..see that lady inside the ATM? she’s my wife.. I wanted to say.

I don’t know” I finally said.

Aren’t you from here?” he asked

No

He walked away with a surprised look, ran towards and mom and dad who were waiting a few steps away. I now figured out that he was just a boy, little tall for his age.

They discussed something real quick, gave me a confused look and started walking again towards the junction.

Oh! Now I get it.

A family stuck in the city, unplanned, looking for tourist attractions to explore…

and what did I think!!

What he meant is not what I meant.

 

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I am going to heaven (for sharing Facebook posts)

This morning an HR executive from the heaven added me on Facebook and send me an invite. I had to make couple of phone calls to the NSA to be sure that the invite came from the heaven indeed. (Turns out, they got the entire traffic going in and out of heaven covered in their PRISM)

Don’t ask me the religion and gender of the person who contacted me, I don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings.

The message said that I have been allotted a 1BHK apartment (east facing, water front) in the “Mother Teresa” layout of the heaven. I will get parking facility as bonus, but maintenance charges will be applicable. (ooops! forgot to ask them which currency they accept, I am assuming Bitcoin)

So, why me? What did I do?

Turns out, I have to thank all my Facebook friends for this achievement of mine. A particular type of posts to be specific.

All I had to do was like and share (sometimes post a comment) on certain posts. Some examples below

A picture of a baby without hands or legs with the caption ” 1 like = 1 pray”

Dozens of paper clippings of men in need of financial assistance for surgeries and costly medical treatments

Pictures of God the lord appearing on an apple (imported variety)

Cloud-Heaven

The invitation congratulated me for dutifully following all rules set by this Facebook philanthropy drive that they had organized (anonymously, of course). My likes and shares actively contributed to the general well being of the entire human race and reduced global warming to an extend.

PS: I was told that I can keep sharing and liking such posts to upgrade my allotment to a pent house or a villa. So please keep sending such Facebook posts my way!

PPS: Tagging your friends on a photo of yours just to get more people see it, is illegal according to the HR executive I spoke to. Doing this will reduce your chances of getting in to heaven.

 

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Yes, I Still Blog!

Been a while. Bad. I should have kept this blog alive. But there is some good news too. I still blog. I actually I blog a  lot these days. I started Chrome Story, which is doing a lot better than I had expected, and keeps my evenings busy. Then there is a new one I started last month, G This, G That (tips and how to articles on Google products).

So blogging is still alive. And for writing in general, I changed my career and became a Technical Writer last year, so my day job is also writing, even though 90% of that writing is like “click this, enter that and click again”

And then, I see a few of my wordpress friends coming back to active blogging. And WordPress adds something to the mix by announcing the new version, 3.6 and a new default theme which I wanted to try out.

And here I am, scribbling random stuff about all that.

But hey, I still blog!!!

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Bots Registering on Your WordPress or bbPress Site? Here is a Small Tip To Reduce It

I added a bbpress forum to my blog chromestory.com recently. Since bbpress is being maintained as a wordpress plugin instead of a separate software, installing and setting up the forum was simple and easy.

and then I started figuring out ways to stop spammers and bots.

After lots of tweaking and breaking, I got the forum ready to block spam posts. But, I started noticing some user sign ups with suspicious mail IDs. These definitely were bots or spammers. But how are they finding my new forum?

This entry in the search engine terms of blog stats gave me the answer. intext:powered by wordpress inurl:regist

This was one of the search engine keywords bringing traffic to the forum. Clearly, spammers were using Google to find out wordpress powered websites with registration pages.

Removing the text “powered by wordpress” was not a good option. I could change the second criteria of their search keyword. I changed the slug (url) of the sign up page on my forum, and that has reduced the number of spammers registering on my forum.

So, there, a small thing I learned while getting a forum ready. I am sure this will come handy if you have a blog or forum with option for users to sign up.

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Samsung, You Must Hire Designers Who Made That Sony Tablet

Seriously. Sony designed an awesome tablet, but they couldn’t put together a nice tablet on top of that great design. Samsung does great tablets, but they really need to refine their tablet design so that everyone will stop complaining about their resemblance to iPad.

I loved the design of this Sony tablet. They proved that tablets can look different than the iPad and still be stylish. But when I read some reviews, I got to know that there were a lot of drawbacks for their first Android tablet attempt (they released more tablets after that, and I am sure they have fixed all that)

Sony Android Tablet

Sony Android Tablet

Samsung, you hear me? Get those designers!

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