Saturday, April 4, 2009

Atlanta Passion Play

Yesterday was Chris' 10th birthday, and the theme was Jesus Christ. As a birthday present, we took Chris to the musical drama 'Atlanta Passion Play'. The show started at sharp 7:30 PM and it was a spectacular one.

The NT part of bible comes alive on stage. The images of the life, death, resurrection, and ascension of Jesus Christ are displayed powerfully on stage in an unforgettable way. The show included Baptism, wedding of Cana, walking on water, Palm Sunday, Last supper, Denial of Peter, trial before Pilate, way of the cross, crucifixion, resurrection, ascension, etc. The images from the show still remain alive in our minds. There were over 200 cast members ranging from ages 4 to 80. They even used a live donkey to display Palm Sunday. We were able to get a new perspective on Jesus Christ.

This play has been going on for 33 years and after seeing it, we again made plans to go next year. It was held at the Atlanta civic center which can seat over 3,000 people. We booked out tickets well in advance, and got row F (6th row from the front), and were able to catch a closer look at the show. The tickets were $25 per person and we paid $ 5 for parking.

Strongly urge you to go for the show next year. It's truly worth it.

Avoid getting mugged

Spring break is here and while you may start going places alone, you should be aware of the potential dangers that lurk out there, such as mugging. Unfortunately, mugging is something we got to be prepared for, while living here in the States. Most guys get mugged on the streets, while girls get mugged in the shopping malls.

The best idea is not to get mugged at all – as the old saying goes: prevention is better than cure. The best strategy is to avoid being at the wrong places at the wrong time. Using common sense, you could easily tell such places by having just one look. An exception is when you are a traveler or a tourist in new/different place. Getting in such a situation can lead into several unfortunate paths.

Most people think that while they are alone, pretending to talk to someone on the cell phone will leave them from the clutches of the mugger – wrong; unless you are talking to the 911 call operator. Talking/pretending to talk thru cell phone will limit your awareness of the surroundings.

Muggers pick their target, based on the location and who they think is weak. From the mugger’s perspective, they want to spend the least amount of time and effort with the victim, and maximize returns, without any violence. Some of the muggers operate in teams – a blocker, a snatcher and a shill.

While there are several tips on avoiding mugging, I believe in the thought of not attacking the mugger, rather to let go of those possessions. Credit cards, money, cell phone, etc., can be made replaceable, but not one of our body parts. Below are some tips for you:
  • Walk confidently, with a purpose, as if you know the place well.
  • Do not dress like a rich person and walk in the wrong place.
  • Carry a ‘mugger’s wallet’ with fake credit cards and few real dollar bills to create a sense of originality.
  • Carry your wallet in your front pocket.
  • Asking time is a classic trick - If someone asks you time, say you were about to ask him/her the time.
  • Do not try to help cars/people on the streets. Those are also old tricks.
  • Do not attempt to chase the mugger; instead, try to make notes of the mugger’s hair color, eyes, some distinguishable features, etc.
  • If someone in a car grabs your bag, do not chase the car – this could lead to further accident to you on the street.
Here’s an interesting fact: New York is a crazy place and if you shout for ‘Help Police’, on the street, the actual police in the vicinity will run away from you, and you’ll be attracted by other muggers!!

Thursday, April 2, 2009

High pollen count

Have we started noticing our car turning to be yellow? The pollen season is back again!! Atlanta is one of the cities with highest pollen count and it remains in the extremely high region.

Pollen count is the amount of pollen particles measured in the last 24 hours in a cubic meter of air. The scale goes like this:
0-30 = Low
31 - 60 = Moderate
61 - 120 = High
120 + = Extremely High.
Just today, our count is 219. (last yr, I remember seeing some days to be 1000 plus). Thanks for all the rain, else we could be seeing lot more of those yellow particles around us. The pollen affects not just us, but our pets as well.

Note that pollen is usually emitted between 5:00 AM and 10:00 AM.

Washing hands, rinsing eyes with clear water, staying indoors most of the time, and staying away from playing outside, not doing yard work/garden is deemed safe. If you have been hit by allergies in the past, it may be a good idea to get those medications in advance.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Ice cream session

Well, hope you enjoyed the ice cream session - did you get enough? It was to thank you for all the BRS hard work you did. I was glad to see those additional 'guests' we had. It added the enjoyment. The more the merrier!!

Photo Session

We had our photo session last Sunday - we now have a class picture. Thank you for showing up on time. Many of the pictures did not come out well - few of them were shaken. I think I have couple of good shots in the back up camera - thank you for your patience. I'll get the picture out soon.

I remember your request, not to publish it on the class blog, and will respect your privacy.

Remarks on Talent Competition

All our class participants did extremely well during last Sunday's talent competition. Congratulations participants. Good job, and I am really delighted you did a wonderful job.

Always, there is something that I learn. This time around, I gained some experience as well. Will share it with all of you in our next class.

As always, there is lot of work being done in the background which you do not get to see much. Several long hours have been put into this event by many Sunday school officers to make it a success - all for your betterment and nourishment.

Eating pistachios - think twice

After the salmonella scare on peanuts, now it is pistachios. FDA warns us not to eat anything containing pistachios until further notice.

Drought is over

Finally, the drought in Atlanta is officially over.

All the rain we had in March has improved the conditions of our Lake Lanier. It's now less than 9 ft. below full pool. The biggest gain was when we had the snow on a Sunday, followed by all the rain that we received these past weeks. Lanier is the biggest contributor of water in and around Atlanta and had experieinced drought in the past several months. Lake Allatoona, another major source of water (close to Marietta) has already crossed the full pool level. We have rains in the forecast again, and that should help Lake Lanier further.

Still, there are certain restrictions regarding watering the lawn; but if we have a swimming pool, they may be filled up.